Sunday 19 February 2012

Snowbound on the Island by Kate Allan

Today I'm hosting Kate Allan on her blog-tour. she is going to tell us all about her new book - Snowbound on an Island. Welcome Kate and over to you.

Love on the Isles of Scilly     

It's a joy to me to be able to set romances in different places, and especially places that I love myself. My historical romances have been set in various parts of England and Europe that I enjoy including Cornwall, setting for The Smuggler Returns, set at the very end of the 18thcentury. And the setting was a very important part of Krakow Waltz. Set in Poland, and with many Polish and European characters whose outlook and concerns would shape how they acted, it is a Regency romance that is quite atypical of Regency romances and yet remains firmly within the genre.

I first visited the Isles of Scilly as a teenager, a friend's parents had a holiday house there and my friend and I explored and roamed, quite unfettered by adult interruption as we had the cottage to ourselves. We took the boats to the off islands, explored the archeology, often visiting sites quite alone. The islands are quite unique; part of the British Isles and yet with their own culture, character and indeed climate. The sea, naturally, has played a huge role in that. The opportunity and memory of being somewhere where one can be alone with the landscape is immense. Perhaps sitting on a cliff and watching the sea, or on a grassy bank next to a prehistoric village, those feelings of wonder will never leave me and I will always want to return to the Scillies. And indeed I have.

When writing a short novella or story, the writer is limited in the role that the setting can play. I've always wanted to write a story set on the Isles of Scilly but it's impossible, within the confines of having to move the story forward at a good pace to share everything I'd love to about the setting. I'm writing fiction, not an encyclopedia entry or travelog. Yet it is – just about – possible to slip one or two things in. So my hero Dominic reads at one point a bit of a local magazine. He can do that, it's in character. He's a scientist by profession, and is well informed and detail orientated. And I think it helps makes the story special. It is about the Scillies – not any old islands:

I was just reading that at the start of the 20th Century over 40 tonnes of flowers were being shipped from the Scillies to markets in London,” he said and passed her her coat. Their fingers touched briefly. Lisa found she was looking up into his eyes, grown darker in the dim light of the hall, and they seemed to communicate without words that they both knew the significance of that touch. That it was only another beginning to what would lead to more. A shiver, like a tiny insect, ran up Lisa's spine.
There's a bit more to relationships besides fancying the pants off someone, Lisa told herself and looked away while they put their coats on. Not that she knew whether a relationship was on offer here. Perhaps it wasn't and that might be a good thing as far as she was concerned.
Oh,” she said. “Flowers? The fields I glimpsed from the airplane looked like pasture.”
Or meadows of daffodil shoots?” Dominic opened the door and she immediately felt the cold air rush in. “Anyhow, tourism is the main industry here now.”

Excerpt from Snowbound on the Island @ Kate Allan, 2012

You could win a copy of Snowbound on the Island and some chocs by sharing your winter pictures on Facebook in Kate's winter photography competition. See:

Thursday 16 February 2012

Musa Blog Hop

Hi there,
Thank you for taking the time to visit my site. I write Regency for Aurora and my sixth book, Miss Shaw & The Doctor is due out next month.
I'm a voracious reader - print books downstairs and on my Kindle in bed. I love thrillers -especially Lee Child and Donna Leon and have recently discovered Diane Gabladon. Have just read War Horse and Farm Boy - YA books by Michael Morporgo - as I'm going to see the show in April.
One of my favourite Musa books is Lady Hartley's Inheritance by Wendy Soliman. A cracking Regency adventure of the traditional sort.
Clarissa Hartley is distraught when she discovers that her late husband left his entire estate to a son she knows nothing about.

Her godmother's son, Luc Deverill, the Earl of Newbury,suspects fraud. Thrown together during the social whirl of a Regency season in full swing, Luc is increasingly drawn towards Clarissa but she thinks him an idle dissipate and finds little to admire in the ways of high society.

Racing against time to foil those seeking to deceive Clarissa, Luc is horrified when she places herself in the path of danger. At last a woman has dented his impenetrable heart and he rides to her rescue. But has he left it too late to tell her how he feels?

I also enjoyed Wendy's other Regency 'Duty's Destiny'. Why not give them a try - after you've read one of mine of course. :) 
I'm going to read Deadly Delirium by Alyssa Lilquist and Shadow Eyes by Dusty Crabtree -both YA books at Musa. I'm also going to read A Bodyguard of Lies by Donna Del Oro. I'll let you know how I get on.
Now for the competition: Can you tell me in which of my books Demelza features?
 I'll randomly select a comment with the correct answer and  if you win I'll send you a copy of Miss Bannerman & The Duke - Best Book - at Long and Short Review.

Thanks for dropping by


Saturday 4 February 2012

Work in Progress?

I wish to ask this question to anyone who drops by: How many projects do you work on simultaneously?
I'm making this enquiry because at the moment I seem to be juggling six projects at the same time.
1. Rewriting racy Regency romance
2. Editing an old book in order to send it to a digital publisher.
3. Rewriting/editing a World War II romantic suspense.
4. Polishing finished manuscript to send to agents.
5. Final edits on young adult urban fantasy.
6. Final edits for Regency romance for Musa/Aurora.
Needless to say I'm not getting any one of them finished satisfactorily. The final edits for Musa obviously take priority, but I still can't settle to anyone of the above. I've actually done all the rewrites and editing on hardcopy for the first item on the list but am finding it increasingly difficult to transfer this information onto computer.
I know several friends who are writers who are already making notes for the next book whilst finishing writing the current one. This makes sense to me, if you're bursting with ideas for a great story you need to keep the momentum going.
I think my problem at the moment is that I'm not working on anything new. I made the decision in the New Year to finish all the books I had loafing around on my computer and bring them up to a publishable standard. It's now February and I haven't managed to complete any one of the six projects.
Maybe I'll put them all to one side and start something new- well, I would if I had a story bursting to be written. Unfortunately my mind is so full of these already written stories that there's no room for anything else.
What do you think? Should I abandon my decision or keep juggling until all six of them are cleaned and polished and ready to go out into the harsh world?