30 April 2019

Emily Royal ~ Sins of the Sire ~ the imagery and the thin line between love and hate

Emily Royal talks about imagery and the thin line between love and hate.

Thank you so much, Sherry, for letting me loose on your blog!

You're very welcome, Emily, and best wishes with your debut novel.

My debut novel The Sins of the Sire is the first in a series called “Dark Highland Passions.” It does exactly what it says on the tin – there’s a lot of passion with a high heat level and it has violence and dark themes. You might say it’s a marmite book, love-it-or-hate-it, best avoided if you prefer your romances sweet and gentle but if you’re OK with dark and a bit of violence it might be for you!
The other word on the tin is “Highland” which is the primary setting for the book. Living about an hour’s drive away from the Highlands, I was able to use my personal experience for a lot of the imagery, from the brilliant sunsets which light up the whole landscape in a glorious pink glow to the heather which gives distant hills a distinctive purple hue.
Before I took writing seriously I did a lot of painting – mostly mountain landscapes but the odd smattering of life drawing too. I still paint, but not as much as I’d like to now I spend most of my spare time writing. My painting experiences have helped me a great deal with imagery for writing. As my art teacher kept on telling me, the most important skill an artist must acquire is the ability to look. The ability to draw was much less important. Not only did she tell us to look, but she also told us to feel – and to express that feeling on the paper while drawing, so we were not just describing the subject in front of us, but also conveying our emotions.
Words are like brush strokes in that respect. A sequence of words can be used to describe how we feel just as powerfully as a few strokes of a pencil. And in much the same way that a work of art can elicit a reaction from a viewer, the right string of words on a page can elicit strong reactions from readers. I only have to read some of the diverse reviews for my novel to see that – from the caustic 1* to the glowing 5* – they have all elicited some form of emotional reaction; strong enough to compel them to post about it on Amazon, Goodreads etc.
As my down-to-earth husband keeps telling me every time I groan about deadlines, promotion, marketing and getting critical reviews: “This is what you’ve always wanted, love.”
And he’s right. I always maintained I wouldn’t want to write anything safe or mild which the whole world “liked”. Bizarre as it may seem, but armed with the knowledge that you can never please all of the people all the time, my objective has always been to have a mix of 1* and 5* reviews rather than a glut of 3* reviews. And I’ve done that! Even my 3* reviews are accompanied with comments to the effect that the reader can’t make up their mind whether they should hate the book or love it.
Objective achieved!

Blurb for the Sins of the Sire:

Two years ago, English noblewoman, Elyssia De Montford, risked her life to free the Highlander held prisoner by her sadistic fiancĂ©. She cannot forget the man who first stirred her heart–a memory that burns anew when she finds herself once more on the road to Scotland.
Tavish MacLean has sworn vengeance. It’s been six years since his beloved sister was raped and murdered by an English lord, a tragedy which almost destroyed his family. On his deathbed, his father demanded retribution and Tavish pledged before his clan to enslave the lord’s daughter then send her back to her father, pregnant with a Scottish bastard. When he learns that she is travelling north, he seizes his opportunity and orders her abduction.
But when his men fling the prisoner before him, Tavish recognises Elyssia, the woman who once saved his life. Loyalty to his clan trumps the debt he owes her and he claims Elyssia as his captive. Though she’s one of the hated English, her willing body ignites passion in him at night, though she fights him at every turn during the day. As time passes, he questions his loyalty, finding himself increasingly enthralled by his fiery captive.
Treachery surrounds Clan MacLean. When long-buried secrets come to light, Tavish must risk his life and his clan, or all that he holds dear will be destroyed.

Author bio
Emily Royal is a mathematics geek who grew up in Sussex, UK and has always had a passion for romance and strong alpha heroes. After graduating from Oxford and enjoying a brief dream of becoming an airline pilot, she started a career in financial services in order to indulge her love of mathematics.
She now lives in rural Scotland with her husband, two daughters, and a menagerie of pets including Twinkle, an attention-seeking boa constrictor. She reignited her passion for romance when she joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association under their New Writers’ Scheme.
When not working on algebra or writing, Emily enjoys cooking, painting, target sports, and playing the piano. She can often be found wandering about the hills of Scotland looking for inspiration.

Find Emily on:
Twitter: @eroyalauthor

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27 April 2019

Arabella Sheen is today's guest on The Heart of Romance

Arabella Sheen is a British author of Contemporary and Regency Romance.
Published with Beachwalk Press, she is also a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association.

One of the many things Arabella loves to do is to read, and when she's not reading or writing romance novels, she is either on her allotment sowing and planting with the seasons or she can be found curled on the sofa pandering to the demands of her attention seeking cat.

Published ~ March 3rd ‘19

Westbury - A Traditional Regency Romance

Can Miss Georgina Morton surrender her independence and accept the Duke’s love?

Miss Georgina Morton, at the age of four-and-twenty, with a modest annual income of four hundred pounds, believes she has no need of a husband and can manage quite nicely without one. Yet within a matter of weeks, she’s betrothed to Giles Glentworth, the Sixth Duke of Westbury, and bound for Regency London.
Set in rural Wiltshire and elegant, fast-paced London...a runaway ward, a shooting at midnight, and a visit to fashionable Almack’s, are only a few of the adventures Georgina enjoys while falling for the Corinthian charms of the Duke.

And a big hello to Sherry Gloag’s ‘The Heart of Romance’ readers. My name is Arabella Sheen and I’m an author of sweet/clean and sensual Contemporary and Regency romance novels.
Sherry has kindly invited me along to her blog spot and in doing so she’s set me quite a challenge. She’s asked me to imagine a fictitious interview with the imaginary characters from my latest Regency release ‘Westbury’. Now if that’s not a challenge, I don’t know what is.
Westbury’s book blurb reveals that we’ve been transported to Regency England where the need for mobile phones and laptops has yet to be thought of; let alone invented. So, forgive me while I sharpen my quill, select a fine piece of parchment paper, gather a smattering of sand, and prepare to answer the quizzes put to Miss Georgina Morton (my Regency heroine) and Giles Glentworth, the Sixth Duke of Westbury (my dashing hero), on topics that I’m sure will be of some interest to you.
Here are a few questions from Sherry. So let’s begin…

Sherry: Why did you want Arabella to write your story?
Georgina: To put it simply, I wanted Arabella to show her readers how I struggled and fought to maintain my independence. Giles will tell you, my independence is something that’s important to me. And although getting to know him was a great adventure and one that I would not have missed for the world, our courtship, if one can call it a courtship, was not always easy. He wanted me to give up my autonomy for a short duration, to appease society’s need for correctness. That act alone impinged on my principles yet for some reason, I found myself doing exactly what he wished me to do.
Giles: I beg to differ. I more or less knew straight away that Georgina was the one for me and there was to be absolutely no “short duration” about it. Georgina is feisty and treats me with complete and utter disrespect. And although I’m somewhat ashamed to admit it, I quite like her overbearing, officious management of me.
Georgina: Giles! We are talking about my need for independence not my meddlesome management of you.
Giles: So you admit you’re meddlesome?
Georgina: No, of course, I don’t. I might be a trifle interfering but I’m never meddlesome. However, back to the question of my independence. My longing for independence was more to do with being financially self-sufficient and able to survive in this world without the necessity of a man in my life. In the eighteen-hundreds’, this isn’t always an easy thing to accomplish. It’s dreadfully frowned upon in my community for a woman to remain unattached and unwed after the age of twenty. Scandalous that it is, I must confess to being all of four-and-twenty. I was perfectly content with my decision to remain a spinster and I had built a secure world in which I cared for my father and ran his household. It was to my liking…and then Giles came along.
Giles: I did. I came along and haven’t left her side since. I too like my independence, but my need for self-government was slightly different from Georgina’s. I desired freedom of spirit. Freedom to have the time to indulge in my hobbies. Freedom not to be continuously accountable for my position in life. Being a Duke can tie you to duties and these duties can be restricting. But there comes a point in most people’s lives when a crossroad is reached and a decision has to be made. Georgina turned my life completely around, and after that, maintaining my independent lifestyle seemed pointless compared to the rewards I could reap if I was in a relationship with Georgina.

Sherry: Did you get tough with your author?
Georgina: In some parts of the story, I think I caused Arabella a few problems. I had to behave realistically within the bound of social conventions yet I continually had the urge to flaunt convention – and often did.
Giles: I think Arabella (and my mother) believed I had issues with woman. I suggest you read the book and draw your own conclusions.

Sherry: How hard was it to share your deepest secrets with Arabella?
Georgina: I mostly share my opinions and beliefs with Miss Abigail Channing. Abigail is Giles’s ward and cousin. She can be quite a handful at times but as Abigail has said on more than one occasion, we are almost like sister’s…and sisters always share. Don’t they? Oh…and of course, any emotional inner conflicts and division of loyalties were worked through with Arabella.
Giles: I simply don’t share. I don’t share my secrets, my horses…nor my woman.
Georgina: Giles Glentworth! If you are slyly referring to Mr Mark Goldman as being my―
Giles: What in the world would make you think that, my dear? I would no more refer to Mr Goldman as your secret than you would refer to Lady Charlotte as being mine.
Georgina: Well I never! I’ve a good mind to…
Sherry: What character quirks are you pleased that Arabella wrote about you?
Georgina: One of the quirks that I delight in, is in knowing what Giles wants before he does.
Giles: I don’t have any particular quirks. Especially not the fact that I’m overly fastidious about my apparel or that my horses are―
Georgina: Sherry, I’m terribly sorry. But we can’t reveal any more. If we do, I’m afraid the mysteries of Westbury will be revealed and we wish Arabella’s readers to discover for themselves what our adventure entails. Don’t we, Giles?
Giles: Yes, my sweet pea. I shall agree with anything and everything you say. Always…

Thank you for having me as a guest on ‘The Heart of Romance’. It was a fun exercise and if one thing comes of this, it’s that I’ve discovered I much preferred writing about Georgina and Giles’s romance than having to listen to their thought-provoking opposing views on life during this interview. They’ve exhausted me.
I also hope your readers will forgive me for not expanding further as I’m reluctant to give too much of Westbury’s plots and twists away. As the story unfolds and the pages are turned, you’ll soon discover how Georgina and Giles unravel their inner conflicts and test one another’s strengths and weaknesses so they can come together and find true love.
Best wishes,
Arabella Sheen

You are very welcome Arabella.

Author Bio:
Having worked and lived in the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands for nearly twenty years, she now lives in the South West of England with her family.

Arabella keeps in touch with her readers on:
Facebook: Arabella Sheen - Author
Twitter: @ArabellaSheen
Webpage: www.arabellasheen.co.uk

22 April 2019

Ros Rendle's Book , Peace of Time

I'm delighted to welcome Ros Rendle to The Heart of Romance today to share her road to publishing Peace of Time

My name’s Ros Rendle and I write books. 

Four years ago, I was lucky enough to be accepted on to the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme and had access to very helpful critiques at that time, so my novel, Sense and French Ability found a publisher quite quickly. It became an Amazon best-seller, so I am indebted to that excellent scheme for all their support.

I started to write Peace of Time forty years ago! My mum was a published author many times over and she urged me to get on with it. Life got in the way, as it does, in the shape of a demanding full-time job and two young children. However, when I took early retirement and went to live permanently in France, I had oodles of time and dug out that early idea. The difference was I had a lot more of life’s experience upon which to draw as well as time. The book was accepted for publication and came out in April 2017. Therefore, although the first book I wrote, Peace of Time was the second to be published.
          It was the book that I needed to write, and I was able to draw upon personal experience and that of close family to a greater degree than when I was young.
          Peace of Time features six close friends – or are they? It’s a story of trust and loyalties tested. As the summer draws to a close, Jen has some life changing decisions to make and what she decides will shock everyone, but most of all herself. Peace of Time is currently on a price offer of only £1.99 or $2.64
           It has received good reviews all with either four or five stars.

These are but two of those for which I am extremely grateful.
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is easy to read, and the characters are believable. The twist at the end is quite unexpected and will resonate with lots of people in a similar situation. Good holiday reading.
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With this book I just needed to know what happened next, found I couldn't put it down. I could relate to the characters well.
Peace of Time is available at:-

Ros has a website:       www.rosrendleauthor.co.uk

She can be found on    www.twitter.com/ros_rendle

Many thanks for this opportunity to share with you.

18 April 2019

J M Ralley ~ Falling for Katie ~ New Release

Welcome to  The Heart of Romance Janet, and congratulations on your new release,  Please will you share a little bit about Falling For Katie?

Falling for Katie ~ blurb

A romantic suspense set in modern-day Scotland.

After a car accident, Katie Gowen wakes up in a house with a man she doesn’t recognize. Unable to remember anything about her past, Angus persuades her they are married. Held against her will, Katie struggles to come to terms with her predicament, but as they are snowed in, she can see no way out.

Returning to Gretna wasn’t on Finlay Gallach’s itinerary. Memories of an unhappy childhood still haunt him. However, the moment he opens the email from Katie’s father, he knows he’s in trouble. As a photo of Katie stares back at him, his heart breaks for the missing woman, and he vows to do anything to bring her home. 

It becomes a race against time for Finlay to save her. But can Katie recover from her ordeal and allow the love to blossom between them?

Other info

Why this story?

After the success of Falling for a Duke, I knew I needed to write Katie’s story. Therefore, the Romancing in Scotland series became born.
With her best friend now happily settled, I felt Katie needed her own set of problems. And they arrived in perfect style.
My love of Scotland really comes out in this book. I added several details I’ve come across, and for those who have visited Gretna Green and Braemar, some of those details may pop out at you.
This story would only work if Katie could become snowed in, which is why I chose Braemar, having nearly been snowed in myself there. There really is only one road in and out, and the small village can be snowed in easily, as the main road blocks with heavy snow. Everything came together beautifully. 

What inspired you to write it?

My love of Scotland runs deep within my blood. I have no idea why, I’m all English, but I always feel at home once I cross that border. I try to visit at least once a year and the first stop is usually Gretna Green.
I’ve seen plenty of change. One of these was the lose of the Highland Cow. So, that was one of the first things I added. Being wildlife mad too, I make sure to add a dedication to the native wildlife in these books. If you want to know which ones, you’ll have to read the books. And, yes, I’ve seen the animals mentioned in the wild.
However, I wanted to add some twists in the story. I’m not one for those romances with no grit to them, I’m afraid my characters do have to suffer to gain their happiness. And I think I’ve managed to get the right amount of twists in.

How do I feel now it’s finished and close to release?

I enjoyed writing Falling for Katie, and when I wrote ‘The End’ I knew instantly I’d done a respectable job. Now it’s due for release, I’m getting nervous. It’s like letting your baby into the big, wide world. Will they swim or sink? I can’t do no more, no mater how much I want to continue tinkering.
Now, I’ve got them marketing to roll out which I find harder to do. I’m not a natural seller. On the plus side, it means I’m free to begin another story. That helps to keep my mind of this one.
All I can do now, is cross my fingers.

Sales links

Author Bio

When not writing, J M Ralley works full-time as a veterinary nurse. The long hours mean writing happens early morning and late evenings, most of the time.
She enjoys hiking, photography, wildlife watching, and is an avid reader. And can often be found playing with her pet rabbits.
She is the author of the Romancing in Scotland series, romantic suspense, and Persecuting series – a dark psychological romance thrillers.
Based in England, she prefers to dwell in Scotland, whenever she can.

Social sites

Website – www.jmralley.com

12 April 2019

Author Spotlight... Pernille Hughes

Thank you for visiting The Heart of Romance today Pernille, and congratulations on the success of your debut RomCom novel Sweatpants at Tiffanie’s.
And best wishes for your new novel 
Probably the Best Kiss in the World 
which releases today.

Pernille Hughes (pronounced Pernilla) studied Film & Literature at uni and took her first job in advertising, having been lured by the temptation of freebies, but left when Status Quo tickets was as good as it got. 

After a brief spell marketing Natural History films, she switched to working in Children's television which for a time meant living in actual Teletubby and, sharing a photocopier with Laa-Laa.

Now, she lives in actual Buckinghamshire, sharing a photocopier with her husband and their four spawn. While the kids are at school she scoffs cake and writes RomCom stories in order to maintain a shred of sanity.

Previously, Pernille's writing has been printed in The Sunday Times as Confessions of a Tourist and in the fabulous SUNLOUNGER summer anthologies. 

 Here is a little bit about her current Book ~ Sweatpants at Tiffanie’s ~ which is Pernille's debut RomCom novel  (Harper Impulse)

Tiffanie Trent is not having a great week. Gavin, her boyfriend, has dumped her unceremoniously on their tenth anniversary, leaving her heartbroken and homeless.
Frank Black, the owner of Blackie’s boxing gym and where Tiff has been book-keeper for the last decade, has dropped dead. He's not having a great week either.
And if that wasn’t enough, Mike ‘The Assassin’ Fellner, boxer of international fame and Tiff’s first love, is back in town and more gorgeous than ever. Tiff can’t seem to go anywhere without bumping into his biceps.
When she discovers Blackie has left her the gym, Tiff, with her saggy trackies and supermarket trainers, is certain she’ll fail. Can Tiff step up and roll with the punches, or will she be down and out at the first round?

Buy Links
Ebook available from online retailers including;

Paperback available from online retailers including;

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Pernille also kindly answered a few questions for us.

1 Where did the ideas for both your books come from?
Sweatpants At Tiffanie’s came from simply making a pun on the film title and stopping to wonder what that story would be about. A ‘fish out of water’ idea seemed to fit, especially as I am a reluctant exerciser myself. The new one, Probably the Best Kiss in the World, was inspired by several trips to Copenhagen, but particularly one with my husband where we navigated the city entirely by micro-breweries. It got me thinking about a woman who wants to be a Brewster.

2- What is your favourite book to read, and have you read it more than once?
I have a book by historical crime writer Lindsey Davis. It’s a stand-alone romance she wrote a long time ago called The Course of Honour and I just adore it, for no other reason than the characters existed and it depicts a love that spans decades and long absences.  My husband used to be away for a longer stint every year for work, and I always read it then. I know, I know, I am such a sap.

3- Chocolate or ice cream?
Chocolate, without doubt, especially truffles, the round ones with the hard chocolate shell and the soft middle,(not the cocao dusted ones) maybe a strawberry filling, or mocha, or the fresh cream chocolates from Leonidas, or a Jewel box from Prestat…mmmm… sorry, where were we…?
Ice cream is good too though…

4- If you were to write in another genre, what would it be?
Maybe funny crime? I love Janet Evanovitch’s writing.

5- Cut flowers or house plants?
Cut flowers are gorgeous but there is something sad about them dying. I’m going with a hydrangea in a pretty pot.

6- What do you do to relax?
A hot bath, a glass of prosecco or an Aperol Spritz, a book or a romcom film. I find being by the sea very relaxing too.

7- And finally, have you started working on your next novel and if so, please will you give us a hint about where your story it set?

Actually, I’m about to start from scratch as I’ve just shelved the story I was working on. Sometimes a story isn’t ready to be told, I suppose. So I’ll be ‘watching this space’ as much as anyone else!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Probably the Best Kiss in the World  
(Harper Impulse) ebook is published today, April 12th 2019, 
and the paperback will be available on 27th June 2019 )

Can control freak and app-fiend Jen Attison stop listening to her head and start following her heart?

Author links