Sunday, 28 March 2010

Pure Silk

This is an important day. My first work of romantic fiction to be published is released today as an e-book by Total-e-Bound. There is a link to the book on the sidebar to the right of this post. I must thank April Martinez for doing such a wonderful job on the cover. It's striking. It was just what I wanted, and I love the warm colours.

'Pure Silk' was accepted for publication in July last year. The learning curve since has been steep. I knew nothing then about blogs or websites, but look at me now Ma!

'Pure Silk' is a brisk contemporary novella relating animal cop Greg Hudson’s imaginative efforts to turn his friends-with-benefits relationship with commitment-shy Ellie Tobin into something more permanent. I adore Greg because he is alpha in a quiet way. If you like reading about such men then this story may be just right for you.

For the past few years I've been writing historical romance, and you'll understand why if you glance down at some of my previous posts. I have a passion for history, and yet it is in contemporary romance that I have found my ‘voice’. It was quite a revelation I can tell you, and so strong is my conversion that I'm currently putting the finishing touches to another two contemporary stories. One is a full-length novel with the working title 'Falconer's Masquerade'. If you read and like 'Pure Silk', keep an eye on this blog for updates on the progress to publication of the relationship between Evie Westlake and Will Falconer.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Heritage Britain 2009, Part 3

My goodness, what a wanderer I was last year! Even after I came back from holiday in the north of England, there was no holding me. In June I was off for a day out into Hampshire. The first stop was the Devil's Punchbowl at Hindhead, but the main destination was Butser Iron Age Farm, near Petersfield (see photos above and below). If my memory serves me well, we even managed lunch at Uppark House, the former home of Regency rake Sir Harry Featherstonhaugh, a lover of Emma Hamilton who later in life married his young dairymaid.

On the way back home we decided to take in the wooded area around Farnham, hoping to visit a Rural Museum, not far from where the opening scenes of 'Gladiator' were filmed. Unfortunately, the museum was closed. But our journey wasn't wasted because it took us through the lovely village of Tilford, with its medieval bridge, which spans the River Wey (see below).
The weather that day was absolutely fantastic, as it was later in the month at Mottisfont Abbey, near Romsey in Hampshire. This picture was taken in the gardens. And no, that isn't me on the bridge.
Before the month was out I managed also to visit Quebec House in Westerham, Kent (the home of General James Wolfe who died at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham), and St John of Jerusalem, a surviving Knights Hospitallers' Chapel which now forms the end of this house at Sutton-in-Hone in Kent. Just look at that blue sky in the photo below! And that was June. July took me mudlarking on the Thames at the Tower of London and to the Coombe Conduit which once supplied water to Hampton Court, but more of those visits later.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

RNA Awards Lunch

The Romantic Novelists' Association Award Luncheon took place today at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington. I have attended only one previous Awards lunch and that was at the Savoy three years ago, and I can honestly say that both the food and service today were far superior. It was an excellent lunch, and for the foodies among you who were unable to attend, this was the menu:

Trio of Sweet Melon with a Pineapple, Chilli and Corianda Salsa. Pot Roasted Guinea Fowl, Port Wine Jus, Confit Cabbage Cake and Fondant Potato. The vegetarian option was Basil Gnocchi, Aubergine Cheese Beignet and Vine Tomato Sauce. The pud was Pure Chocolate Passion, and my goodness was it good!

And the Awards?
The Romantic Novel of 2010 - 'Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts' by Lucy Dillon.
The Romantic Comedy Novel - 'The Nearly Weds' by Jane Costello.
The People's Choice - 'Missing You' by Louise Douglas
The Love Story was 'Animal Instinct' by Nell Dixon,
The Romantic Film - 'An Education' by Lynn Barber,
and the Harry Bowling Prize went to Debbie Johnson.

Two Lifetime Achievement Awards were awarded to Maeve Binchy and Joanna Trollope.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners, and to the RNA for organising a smashing dinner and a splendid occasion.