Today we're joined by KT Valentine, author of romantic comedy Dispatches From the Dating Zone, for the weekly Q&A! In the novel, Fleur Summers is on a quest to find Mr Right, with the help of her friends and family.

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
One woman's fight to find love the hard (and very funny) way! Raunchy, raucous, relatable.

What inspired you to write Dispatches from the Dating Zone?
Along time ago someone told me that some of the best writers are the ones that write about what they know. Whether that was the case or not, it got me thinking about everything I’d been through over the years and how I could draw on it for inspiration.  After turning my life around and spurred on by my family and young son, I finally put pen to paper again and ‘Dispatches from the Dating Zone’ was born.

Where do you do most of your writing?
As a single mum, working full time and raising my 12-year old (who’s going through a phase of thinking he’s 16) whilst trying to write a full length novel  the only time I was really able to write was in the evenings. Where I wrote it varied, from the dining room table to lying on my bed, basically it was wherever I got the urge. Writing day in and day out was something I had to be really disciplined about so the location of where the writing took place didn't really worry me.

What is your favourite book?
I have lots. Too many to mention. But I'm currently enjoying JoJo Moyes' One Plus One.

Which part of Dispatches from the Dating Zone did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing the humour and the interactions between Fleur and her son Tobey. Being a mum myself, it seemed to flow easily and it was important to me that Tobey played a prominent part in this story as our children do in all of our lives.

Who is your favourite literary heroine?
It would have to be a coin flip between Jo March from Little Women and Bridget Jones. Jo March, because I remember reading Little women as a young girl and I really related to Jo. Like Jo, I loved reading and writing and my three siblings and I were always putting on endless plays for my poor parents. As for Bridget, I'd be lying if I said there wasn't something about Bridget I relate too.

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Just go for it. Self confidence isn’t one of my strong points and putting my writing out there for people to read and ultimately judge was scary, but the thought of looking back on my life as an old woman wondering ‘what if?’ was the motivation I needed to get myself into gear. At the end of the day, if you have a passion for writing and work hard at it, anything is possible. Look at me.

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
Yes, I have started work on the sequel to Dispatches from the Dating Zone which will be out next year. So watch this space.

Thanks, KT!

You can find out more about KT Valentine over at her website, Facebook (KT Valentine), or Twitter.

Dispatches from the Dating Zone by KT Valentine
Having exhausted all the conventional ways to meet her ‘Mr Right’ (and because now she really is a little bit desperate), Fleur Summers turns to her well-meaning, but eccentric friends and family for help.

From ‘Man Mountain’; an engineer who eats everything in sight and tall dark handsome Tom with big hands but no idea how to use them, to the mysterious and brooding Henry Austin. Follow the trials and tribulations of Fleur’s journey as she works her way through a number of eventful blind dates, all in the name of finding true love. 

COVER REVEAL: The Prophecies by Holly Martin

The Prophecies, the new novel by Holly Martin, author of One Hundred Proposals and The Guestbook, will be published on October 1st. The Prophecies is Book 2 of the Sentinel series, and today the stunning cover can be revealed!

The world is a big place, will Eve really be the one to save it?

Eve grows stronger and more powerful every day as she strives to ensure she is ready to face her destiny. But some of her gifts are unwelcome.  Eve's visions of the future become darker and those she loves are in terrible danger. But when her actions result in tragedy, Eve is called before The Oraculum, the council that created her.

When she is summoned to their castle she becomes aware of a rift between the council members that not only could endanger her life, but could put the whole planet at risk. Would The Oraculum really turn against her and risk everything?

But in the darkness, a light burns bright. Her love for Seth is stronger than any of her powers.

But as she battles against a new threat, can she really forsake those closest to her in order to save the world?  Will everyone Eve loves survive?

The Sentinel, Book 1 of the series, is only 77p/99c, so if you haven't yet read it you can download it here.

COMING SOON: Us by David Nicholls

Fans of One Day and Starter For Ten will be pleased to know that Us, the latest novel from David Nicholls, will soon be available. Released on September 30th, Us is described as a bittersweet novel about love and family, husbands and wives, parents and children'.

'I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.'
'Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?'

Douglas Petersen understands his wife's need to 'rediscover herself' now that their son is leaving home.

He just thought they'd be doing their rediscovering together.

So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.

The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.

What could possibly go wrong?

INDUSTRY NEWS: Sophie Kinsella to publish YA novel

Bestselling chick-lit author Sophie Kinsella is to publish a young adult novel, The Bookseller revealed today.

The novel, titled Finding Audrey, will be published by Random House and has been described as 'a mix of family comedy, romance and personal discovery'.

Finding Audrey will be released next year. Sophie's next novel in her well-loved Shopaholic series, Shopaholic to the Stars, will hit the shelves tomorrow.

COMING SOON: Dead Romantic by Ruth Saberton

Being a huge fan of Ruth Saberton's novels, which include Katy Carter Wants a Hero, Ellie Andrews Has Second Thoughts and Rearranged, it was exciting to hear about her latest release.

Ruth's latest novel, ghostly tale Dead Romantic, is released on 2nd October and we can't wait. Read on for the synopsis...

What do you do if you come face to face with a ghost? Put it down to a bump on the head and work stress if you’re a respected academic like Cleo Carpenter. With Christmas approaching, professional rivalry afoot and a best friend determined to interfere in her love life, the strain is clearly starting to get to her.

Guilt-stricken and deceased, Alex Thorne is desperate to make amends with his brother, Rafe, a tortured musician trapped in a spiral of destruction. When an encounter with Cleo forges a link between them she becomes his only hope. So what if the only person who can see him is a sceptic?

As Cleo starts to doubt her sanity, the safe world she takes for granted crumbles around her. Setting out to regain control and prove once and for all ghosts don’t exist, she embarks on a journey of self discovery and surprise, learning that love really does defy science, logic and maybe even death itself...

INDUSTRY NEWS: Winners of the Romance Reader Awards announced

The winners of the 2014 Romance Reader Awards were announced at the Festival of Romantic Fiction in Leighton Buzzard over the weekend. Many authors were shortlisted, with some fantastic novels in the running! Congratulations to this year's winners.

Best Romantic Read - One Step Closer to You by Alice Peterson
After Polly ends her relationship with the father of her young son, Louis, she is determined to move on. All she wants is to focus on her job, her friends and to be a good mum. No more looking over her shoulder. No more complications . . . 

Then Polly meets Ben.

Ben is guardian of his niece, Emily. They become close, with Polly teaching Ben how to plait Emily's hair, and Ben playing football with Louis. Their friendship is unexpected. Polly’s never been happier. 

But when Louis's dad reappears in their life, all Polly’s mistakes come back to haunt her and her resolve weakens when he swears he has changed.

Will she give herself a second chance to love?

Best Historical Read - The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evans
Alix Gower has a dream: to join the ranks of Coco Chanel to become a designer in the high-stakes world of Parisian haute couture. But Alix also has a secret: she supports her family by stealing designs to create bootlegs for the foreign market. A hidden sketchbook and two minutes inside Hermès is all she needs to create a perfect replica, to be whisked off to production in New York.
Then Alix is given her big break - a chance to finally realize her dream in one of the most prominent Parisian fashion houses - but at the price of copying the breakthrough Spring Collection.

Knowing this could be her only opportunity, Alix accepts the arrangement. But when a mystery from her past resurfaces and a chance meeting has her falling into the arms of a handsome English war reporter, Alix learns that the slightest misstep - or misplaced trust - could be all it takes for her life to begin falling apart at the seams.

Best Short Romance - Taming Her Italian Boss by Fiona Harper
"So, Miss Lange with an e, will you take the job?" 

Ruby Lange might be unconventional, but her struggle to find the ideal career isn't from lack of trying! Now the latest option is "traveling nanny"—so she takes a deep breath, packs her vintage suitcase and heads for Italy.

Ruby's new boss, architect Max Martin, may be utterly gorgeous, but he's far too buttoned up for her liking! Yet traveling around Venice together, Ruby discovers that the man who took a risk on her is masking a huge heart—he just needs a reason to trust it again….

Best Ebook - The Oyster Catcher by Jo Thomas
Dooleybridge, County Galway. Population: 482 (or thereabouts). The last place Fiona Clutterbuck expects to end up, alone, on her wedding night.

But after the words 'I do' have barely left her mouth, that's exactly where she is - with only her sequined shoes and a crashed camper van for company.

One thing is certain: Fi can't go back. So when the opportunity arises to work for Sean Thornton, the local oyster farmer, she jumps at the chance. Now Fi must navigate suspicious locals, jealous rivals and a wild, unpredictable boss if she's to find a new life, and love, on the Irish coast. And nothing - not even a chronic fear of water - is going to hold her back.

Join Fi on her romantic, unpredictable adventure as she learns the rules of the ocean - and picks up a few pearls of Irish wisdom along the way... 

Best Author Published Romance - Christmas Yves by Nicola May
It’s two days before Christmas - and Evie Harris finds herself both manless and jobless. After a chance encounter with handsome Greg (and egged on by her toy-boy-eating friend, Bea) she agrees to work at a homeless shelter on Christmas Day. 

Striking up an unlikely friendship with homeless Yves, Evie begins an unwitting journey of spiritual awakening, all set against the sparkling winter backdrop of London landmarks. 

A New Year’s Eve revelation is on its way . . . but will it leave Evie with a happy heart, or will she allow the pre-Christmas past to dictate her future?


We loved Holly Martin's novel One Hundred Proposals (which recently made the shortlist for Best Romantic Read at the Festival of Romantic Fiction!) Given that we always love to pry a bit further into the lives of lovely writers (in a nice way, of course!) we put our weekly questions to Holly.

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
Round the world with 100 romantic, spectacular gorgeous proposals, a story of friendship and love.

What inspired you to write One Hundred Proposals?
It just came to me one day as a fully formed idea, how do you propose to proposer, how can you be romantic when your whole business is romance?

Where do you do most of your writing?
Where I can, in my bed, on my sofa, in my conservatory, at work scribbled in the back of notepads over lunch, just wherever I have the time.

What is your favourite book?
There's so many great ones, I love Twenties Girl from Sophie Kinsella and Waiting for Prince Harry from Aven Ellis.

Which part of One Hundred Proposals did you enjoy writing the most?
The proposals, coming up with new and exciting ways for Harry to propose to Suzie and I love the ending, it makes me smile so much.

Who is your favourite literary heroine?
It's not very original but Bridget Jones, she was just a normal girl who ended up in the middle of disaster after disaster.

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Just write, every idea, every sentence, every scene, just write it down, it could turn into something, it could not, but if you don't write it down, it will never be anything?

Thanks, Holly!

You can find out more about Holly Martin and her books over at her website, or by following her on Twitter (@hollymartin00).

BOOK NEWS: The Little Shop of Hopes and Dreams by Fiona Harper

The Little Shop of Hopes and Dreams by Fiona Harper is to be released in October and seems like a promising romantic read! When Nicole sets up a proposal agency, she doesn't imagine falling in love with a client...

Nicole Harrison is planning the proposal of the century. Too bad its not her own…

Nicole, a born organiser and true romantic, has created her dream job when she sets up the Hopes & Dreams proposal agency – staging YouTube worthy proposals…until she’s hired to plan a proposal by gorgeous photographer Alex Black’s girlfriend.

Alex is the New Year’s kiss that Nicole hasn’t been able to forget – and now she’s planning his wedding to someone else! But if she lets herself fall for Alex’s charms, her reputation and business will be ruined before it’s even got off the ground! Suddenly the girl whose always prepared is at a loss…and falling head over heels.

MOVIE NEWS: Love, Rosie to hit cinemas next month

Love, Rosie is the upcoming movie featuring Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Jaime Winstone and Tamsin Egerton, which is based on Cecelia Ahearn's 2004 novel Where Rainbows End (which was titled Love, Rosie in the US). Check out the trailer for the new film below - and if you haven't yet read the novel, then read on for the synopsis!

Sometimes fate just can’t stop meddling…

Since childhood, Rosie and Alex have stuck by each other through thick and thin. But they’re separated when Alex and his family move from Dublin to America. Their magical connection remains but can their friendship survive the years and miles?

Misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck have kept them apart – until now. But will they gamble everything – including their friendship – on true love? And what twists and surprises does fate have in store for them this time?

Will you be watching Love, Rosie? Let us know!

GIVEAWAY: Gray Skies by Elle Emtage

Gray Skies is the fantasy romance novel from Elle Emtage, and we have one copy to give away. Read on for the synopsis!

Dunstan's dashing good looks, thriving business and exotic lifestyle made him one of the world's most sought after bachelors; but none of this seemed to quell Dunstan's desire for Destiny. As their courtship evolves their romance is woven from a tapestry of classical beauty and romantic places in the orange light of the Tuscan sun. To Destiny, her life once filled with endless days of meetings and long nights alone is now full of life and love in a whirlwind romance.

In the midst of their developing relationship however, tragedy rips them apart and she discovers a thread in time which links their existence to an unbelievable possibility. This possibility threatens their very existence, but Dunstan, fueled by his love, will stop at nothing until he reclaims what he has lost. A fantasy romance novel, Gray Skies demonstrates how true love can even overcome obstacles set by the universe.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply drop us an email with 'Gray Skies' as the subject header by 22nd September. A winner will be chosen at random.

Good Luck!

EXTRACT: Here and Again by Nicole R Dickson

Here and Again is the new novel from Nicole R Dickson, in which a stranger appears in the life of widowed nurse Ginger. We are delighted to share an extract from Here and Again, which is available now on Amazon.

Deep in the Shenandoah Valley, the present and the past are as restless as the river mists. And when they collide, the heart is the only compass pointing home.

For nurse Ginger Martin, her late husband’s farm is both a treasured legacy and the harbinger of an uncertain future. Since he was recently killed in Iraq, every day is fraught with grief that won’t abate. Keeping the farm going and nourishing her children’s hopes without him seems as impossible as having dreams for the future—or going back into the past...

By a curious coincidence, a stranger appears in Ginger’s life, always showing up to help in unexpected and much-needed ways. He says he’s a soldier, lost and trying to make his way home, but Ginger understands that Samuel is a kindred spirit, longing to repair a life interrupted. The challenges of their hopes and longings will test who they really are in the most heartbreaking of ways. And only by coming to terms with their losses and the necessity of change will Ginger and Samuel be able to each make a future of their own—and discover at last where their true home lies...

Chapter 13


The house had been full of words and shuffling feet as Ginger tried to serve coffee to the Martins. They, however, would not settle; instead they followed Osbee from one room to another, trying to beat sense into her with argument and tenacious pursuit. But everyone was talking and no one was listening any longer, so the words just floated about the kitchen, dining room, and family room like a bunch of notes played absently by a small child on a piano. None of it made sense and it wasn’t a pretty tune to be sure. Eventually, the long drone of discord found its way to the door, down the steps of the porch, and was silenced by the slamming of the Mercedes’s doors. At the exact moment the car rolled onto the asphalt, Beau came slinking out of the barn. Coward.
     Ginger kissed Osbee on the cheek and, without any words, they made dinner. All was quiet as they ate, after which there was just a soft murmuring as baths were taken. Osbee mentioned something about exhaustion when she passed by the door to the bathroom. Ginger was towel drying Oliver when a mumbled “Good -night” was followed by the gentle closing of Osbee’s bedroom door. That was soon followed by Bea’s door shutting and Oliver climbing into bed next to his brother.
     By nine p.m., silence fell through the house and Ginger slowly walked around it, room to room, turning off the lights, locking the doors. As she did so, for the first time, she pondered how many people had done these things in the hundred and forty-four years the Smoots’ Farm had stood. Then she wondered why she hadn’t thought about it before this night. When Samuel and ghosts rolled across her mind, she shivered and went upstairs quickly to bed.
     There she lay down, covers tucked beneath her chin, listening to the wind and watching herself kneel in the snow near Jesse’s tree. She had asked for anything and so here she was, in an old house, on ancient land, waiting for a ghost to help her—farm.
     “Be careful what you ask for,” she whispered, breathing in the scent of coffee that was now brewing in the kitchen. She hadn’t slept a wink, and when her cell phone alarm sounded at eleven thirty p.m., she turned it off. It was time to get up—time to go to work. As she rolled out of her covers, a large shadow moved in the far corner of the room. An electric zap of terror seized her spine and instantly, she reached for the lamp next to her bed.
     “Don’t!” Samuel said, but it was too late. It was reflex; she turned the knob.
     “Ahhh!” he yelled. In the flash of light, in the second the bulb came to life, Ginger saw Samuel in the corner of the room with both of his arms flung across his face as if recoiling from a large flame. Then, he was gone.
     “Samuel?” Ginger called.
     The door burst open and Osbee rushed in.
     “What?” the old woman asked, her eyes wide as she stood barefoot in her white nightdress.
In the light, Ginger could just make out a shadow of red undergarments through the cotton. She grinned a little.
     “Uh —bad dream,” Ginger said, with a shrug as she endeavored to recover from her own start. “So sorry.”
     “Holy Moses!” Osbee said, grabbing her heart. “That didn’t even sound like you.”
     “It was a really bad dream,” Ginger added, climbing out of bed. “Sorry to wake you. Go on back to bed.”
     Osbee shot her a sideways glance, shaking a little as she turned to go. Before she left, she paused to offer, “We’ll talk tomorrow when you get home.”
     “Yeah. Oh—and Ed Rogers is coming to fix Henry’s Child.”
     Osbee stopped, gazing over her shoulder. “Who?”
     “Ed Rogers. Jesse bought parts for Henry’s Child before he, uh—”
     “Yeah, okay.” Osbee waved to stop the rest of the sentence. “Good thing, ’cause we’ll need that tractor now.”
     “Time to plow,” Ginger said as she followed the old woman into the hall.
     “That’s for sure. Drive safe, daughter.”
     “Always,” Ginger replied. “Love you, Osbee.”
     “Love you, too.”
     Ginger shut the bathroom door, stood still for just a second, and then, faster than Oliver could grab a free cookie, she was dressed and tiptoeing down the stairs. She found Beau sleeping on the couch with Regard resting just above him on the window sill. Both raised their heads as Ginger entered the living room.
     “Samuel?” she whispered. She stopped to listen. Nothing.
     “Samuel?” Stepping into the kitchen, she turned on the light. There was no sound except the popping of the coffee pot as it finished brewing.
     “Uh —sorry,” she whispered to the empty kitchen. “I didn’t realize it was you.”
     Ginger poured coffee into her traveler’s mug, grabbed her lunch from the refrigerator, slipped into her coat and boots, and quietly stepped out of the house. The yard was darker than the night before even though a sliver of moon hung above. Snow reflects light and as most of it had melted away during the day, the moon had no help brightening the night. Coming around the back of the house, she found a shadow sitting on the front fender of her truck. She halted.
     “Samuel?” she whispered.
     “I did not mean to startle you, Virginia. I was hoping to speak with you and could not determine how best to wake you.”
     “I was awake,” she replied, walking toward the truck.
     “Oh,” Samuel said, standing free of the fender.
     “Why did you yell?” she asked.
     “I cannot be in light.”
     Ginger thought for a moment. She had seen him in the day and opened her mouth to say such.
     “Electric light,” Samuel interrupted. “Electricity hurts me.”
     Ginger shut her mouth, not sure she wanted any further explanation.
     “To be in your house —itches a little.”
     “Itches,” she repeated.
     “Yes. I can will myself through your doors and windows, but not through the walls, as there is electricity there.”
     She nodded as if to indicate she understood. She had, of course, no true comprehension of what he was talking about but it seemed the polite thing to do. What were manners when dealing with a ghost?
     “Um —is that what you wanted to tell me?”
     “No. But it is why I could not help you with the sick boy on the road.”
     “Ah.” Ginger smiled. “You couldn’t get in my truck.”
     “It is full of electricity. And light hurts. Bright light hurts greatly.”
     “But not the sun,” Ginger stated.
     “No. Nor moonshine.” Samuel pointed up at the moon, which smiled down at them like the Cheshire cat.
     She nodded again and lightly danced from one foot to the other. It was cold. “I—uh –have to go to work.”
     “I know. I— Would you mind if I rode with you?”
     Ginger cocked her head. “I thought yo—-”
     “I can sit back here,” Samuel said, walking back to the bed of the truck. “And this window opens, yes?”
     He pointed to the little sliding window in the back of the cab. Oliver called it “Beau’s window”.
     “It won’t hurt?”
     “It’ll itch a little, I think. But we can talk. Would you mind, Virginia?”
     “Not at all. Mmm. There’ll be headlights on the freeway.”
     “I think I can duck. If I dissipate, though, I’ll only end up back in your orchard.”
     Reticently, Ginger shuffled to the driver’s side. “You dissipated when I turned on my light,” she said.
     As she opened the door, Samuel, who was climbing into the bed, coughed loudly and held his hand over his nose. “What is that smell?” he asked, shaking his head.
     “Jacob Esch hurled in my truck,” Ginger replied, turning on the truck. She then reached back and opened Beau’s window.
     “Who is Jacob Esch and what is ‘hurled’?” Samuel said as he lifted himself into the truck bed.
     “The Amish kid you found in the ditch. And ‘hurled’ means he threw up.”
     Ginger shut her door, turned her lights on, and began to back down the drive. There was Samuel, a ghost, sitting with his head in Beau’s window. She shivered a little and so turned instead to her side windows to back up down the gravel drive.
     “Amish. So they yet live?”
     “Yep. You had Amish back the—” Her sentence stopped with the truck. What were ghostly manners?
     “Back then,” Samuel finished her sentence. “We did.”
     Ginger put the truck in drive and slowly made her way down the road.
     “Where are you from?” Ginger asked.
     “I have said, Virginia Moon. Laurel Creek.”
     “There were Amish in Laurel Creek?”
     “No. My best friends had a friend who was from Pennsylvania. An Amish on rumspringa.”
     “I see.”
     Ginger came to the spot where she’d fallen near the fence—where Bea saw Samuel standing as she rode away in the bus. Samuel had not said anything and she looked in her rearview mirror to see if he was still there. He was, his eyes lifted to the sky.
    “Light hurts, Virginia Moon. I can smell and see and hear. But I cannot touch or taste. I am left here in the world, but am not of it. That is how the Amish say they live.”
     “How’s that?” Ginger turned right.
     “They are in the world, not of it. But truly, they are of it. They can feel the sun and the wind. They can feel warmth of soup on a cold night and taste the salt of its broth. They can work all day beneath heaven and feel the aches of their muscles. They can touch hair, feel breath, taste lips.”
     How long had it been since she’d tasted Jesse’s lips? She felt an ache in the center of her body as a car came toward the truck and she could see Samuel disappear from her rearview mirror.
     The car passed. Darkness grew. Had he dissipated? “Samuel?” she called quietly.
     “I am here, looking up at a Virginia moon.”
     She smiled and leaned forward to see it, too.
     “To farm beneath a Virginia moon,” he said.
     “Hard to farm in the dark, I reckon, Samuel,” she said with a giggle.
     “The orange one that rises on the harvest. Huge and round on the horizon. No sound but insects, the click of horse hooves, and the scour of the plow.”
     Ginger imagined the quiet of plowing so. “I love that moon,” she said. “I like it when it’s warm on those evenings.”
     “Mmm. A ginger moon,” he whispered.
     Ginger giggled.
     “What’s funny?” Samuel asked.
     “I was thinking about my name.”
     He popped up in her rearview mirror. “I love your name,” he said.
     She smiled to his reflection. “My mother always wanted to name her daughter Virginia after her grandmother. My father wanted to name his child ‘Moon.’ You know my dad? The one you want to meet?”
     Samuel nodded, staring at her intently.
     Ginger sighed, thinking about her father. Step into the light. What if it hurts? “Yeah—Virginia Moon. My hair is strawberry blonde so my parents call me Ginger Moon.”
     They had reached Highway 81 and Samuel lay down, saying, “But your hair is dark.”
     “Mood hair,” she replied, accelerating.
     “My hair changes with my mood. Like a mood ring.” She laughed.
     “What’s a mood ring?”
     Ginger stopped laughing with a little cough. That joke didn’t translate. There must not have been mood rings back —then. “It’s a little ring with something inside the glass stone that changes color with the heat of your body. Supposedly different colors mean you’re feeling this way or that. Doesn’t really work or anything. It’s just a—thing. It was popular a while ago.”
     “You change your hair with your mood?”’ Samuel asked.
     Ginger shook her head. This wasn’t working. “Just a joke, Samuel.”
     “Your hair changes as a joke?”
     “No. The mood thing—that’s a joke. The hair color—the mood ring.” For the love of Pete.
     “Why do you change your hair?”
     She rolled her eyes. Could she switch subjects politely? “I don’t know. To change something. To see something new.”
     “Is that why you drive so far to work?”
     Ginger thought. “I don’t think I do those two things for the same reason.”
     “We passed a hospital on our way, Virginia. It is closer to home.”
     “I know.”
     The cab of the truck fell silent. Cars passed on the left and Ginger wondered if ever anyone would believe she had a ghost riding with her. Until this morning, Samuel could be explained away logically. Now, he was her companion on her travels. Was she calling him, keeping him with her? He had said as much.
     “When my husband was alive, I was more. I was greater than I am now.”
     “You are the same person.”
     “No—not the same. I never used to question if I was pretty because he thought me so. And smart—he thought me so. It’s like I am myself and I have respect for myself, but with him, I was more myself. And he was more himself with me. Now, I am just myself. I was more because he thought me so.”
     Ginger switched into the left lane. A BMW had been going too slow for her. This made no sense.
     “Look—I was born a traveler. I had a wanderlust to see the world. To be of it and in it. To walk on as it rolls endlessly beneath my feet and be dusty and sore from the road. But with him, I didn’t need to go anywhere to do that. Every day was something new. Another day to figure stuff out with him. We weren’t done with anything. We weren’t even sure we were done having kids.”
     She returned to the right lane.
     “But now, here I am. No more kids. I didn’t even get a choice in that. I don’t even know who I am anymore or what I want or what I like. How can I raise children and do them any justice? This wasn’t our plan. We were together in this. We were greater. I want him back. I want to see him and tell him he is more—more than anything else in the world.”
     Ginger broke off, her voice cracking. Flipping on her blinker, she turned the endless loop off of 81 and onto the road that climbed into the Blue Ridge. She wept as the truck wound through Harrisonburg and crawled up the hill. The sky was clear; the air cold. She said nothing for miles as she struggled to stop crying. She came to the spot where Jacob Esch had lain drunk in the ditch and she wiped her stinging eyes.
     “Are you still there?” she asked as her voice steadied.
     Samuel slid up into Beau’s window.
     “I called to him, Samuel. That day in the snow. And you came. An answer to my prayer.”
     “I —am an answer to your prayer, Virginia Moon?”
     “As sure as I’m sitting in this smelly truck.” She sniffled, taking a sip of her coffee.
     “I have never been an answer to a prayer. I have been prayed over. I must confess I was hardly an obedient son. I perpetually spilled things I shouldn’t have touched or broke things I shouldn’t have played with or rode away to a far, distant place on a horse that was not our own. Many a time have I heard the prayer, ‘Lord, give me patience with this boy’ as the switch hit my backside. Never would my father believe I would be the answer to anyone’s prayer.”
Ginger looked up at the rearview mirror. Samuel’s face was shadowed by the light of her dashboard and he was smiling in the darkness of the empty road.
     “Well, maybe, Samuel, one day I’ll meet your father and set him straight.”
     “Will you?” He chuckled.
     “Yes.” “
     “And what will you say to him?”
     “I will say that in the darkest day I have ever lived, your son came as an answer to my prayer. And I know now—– I know, Samuel —my husband rode the Elysian Fields home and is watching over me. Watching over our children.”
     She put on her blinker and pulled into the hospital parking lot, which held more than ten vehicles. In her three shifts at Franklin, the parking lot never had so many cars when she arrived. It was a busy night at the hospital. The truck crawled closer to the lights.
     “Better go now, Samuel. This is no moonshine and I would never wish you to hurt on account of me.”
     “Very well. I will be home when you return,” he said quietly, and as Ginger turned into a parking space far from the emergency room door, she gazed over her shoulder to find Samuel gone.

NEW RELEASES: The Secret of You by Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly, author of Molly's Millions and The Runaway Actress, is back this month with new novel The Secret of You, which is set in the Cotswolds. Released tomorrow, The Secret of You focuses on journalist Anna whose assignment about a local collector leads her to a whole new mystery...

Journalist Anna McCall has never understood people who collect things so, when she’s asked to interview local collector and eccentric, William Kitson, she isn’t exactly looking forward to the experience. 

But she soon falls under the charm of Fox Hill Manor as well as its owner, even though she thinks there’s something very strange about the collection there. What exactly is William hiding in the unused wing of the manor house? And is it a story Anna could sell? 

Set in the beautiful Cotswolds, The Secret of You is a novel about love, trust and antiques from the bestselling author of A Weekend with Mr Darcy and Wish You Were Here.


This week we reviewed Good Sam by Dete Meserve, which we thoroughly enjoyed! So we're delighted to welcome Dete to the blog this week, to find out more about her inspiration behind Good Sam, her writing habits, and exciting future projects...

Tell us about your latest novel in 15 words or less.
TV reporter Kate Bradley searches for the anonymous Good Samaritan giving away  $1 million cash.

What inspired you to write Good Sam?
I enjoy reading mysteries but I grew tired of having to get inside the head of a killer or psychopath in order to sink myself into the latest mystery/suspense thriller. Plus it seemed to me in order to remain “current and edgy,” each mystery I read or watched on TV seemed to be increasing the grisly-factor. I wrote Good Sam because I wanted to give readers a compelling mystery without killers, dead bodies or criminals—yet with real stakes, a lot of twists, a romance at the center, and an inspiring story about the search for a mysterious person who is doing extraordinary good.

Where do you do most of your writing?
It’s very unsexy but I write in the basement near the washing machine.  It’s a relatively low-traffic area and since I write primarily after 9 at night and have three kids, it’s perhaps the only quiet place in the whole house.

What is your favourite book?
My favorite book is constantly changing.  Right now I’m obsessed with reading Harlan Coben’s Missing You.  I haven’t had time to dive into a new book these past few months because of the release of Good Sam and other demands on my time, so it’s great to escape into his book and let the mystery unfold for me, instead of working on writing a mystery myself.

Which part of  Good Sam  did you enjoy writing the most?
That’s tough to answer but I’d have to say it was the part where we find out who the real Good Sam is and why he was leaving $100,000 on strangers’ front porches.  It was a difficult set of scenes to write because the story had to be told in a way that would be believable, emotionally powerful and tie up the mystery in a satisfying way.  At the same time, the reveal of that surprising truth would change everything between the main characters and create a whole new set of complications for them to overcome.  Challenging, but fulfilling.

The week before Good Sam came out, a mysterious benefactor in San Francisco began giving away $100 bills causing a nationwide media frenzy.  How did that impact the book?  
This was a serendipitous case of reality imitating fiction! Many people thought the anonymous donor, @HiddenCash, was part of the marketing campaign for Good Sam but, of course, he wasn’t.  But his timing was uncanny as he came to Los Angeles, where Good Sam is set, the weekend before the novel was released.  That drew a lot of interest to the book and I was able to have a private email discussion with @HiddenCash.  There are many similarities between @HiddenCash and Good Sam, but in the end, Good Sam’s reason for giving away one million dollars are very different from what @HiddenCash is trying to do.

Now the book is being developed into a TV movie and series?  
Wind Dancer Films has optioned the book.  The plan is to produce the story in Good Sam as a two-hour movie which will launch a series following TV news reporter Kate Bradley as she solves crimes and mysteries, transforms futures, and often—but not always—uncovers good.

At your Book Launch event earlier in summer, you honored several real-life Good Sams.  How did that come about?

Once early buzz about the novel traveled around social media, I began hearing about Real-Life Good Sams.  By that I mean, people who are doing extraordinary good on a regular basis without expectation of reward and sometimes at great personal sacrifice.  I so admired what they were doing that I honored three of them at my Book Launch event:

Cathy O'Grady of Boston performed 318 Acts of Kindness in memory of a friend's husband who passed away after 318 days fighting cancer. Cathy left anonymous gifts for the homeless on park benches, gave away care packages at facilities for adults with cancer, baked cookies for anxious families waiting for news in the hospital, and much more.

Daniel Smith from Provo, Utah had lost his job last winter and decided to dedicate 30 days to Acts of Kindness.  He spent the next month giving away gift cards in the Walmart parking lot, secretly paid for lunches at a steakhouse, paid for an elderly woman’s groceries, and more.

Larry Collins is Battalion Chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. What makes Larry a compelling Good Sam is his inability to see the extraordinary courage of what he does every day – putting his life on the line for strangers.  If you ask him how he managed to pull a young boy from swift water while suspended from a line below a helicopter during blinding rain, he’s very likely to say quietly, “It’s what we train for” in the same tone most of us would use to describe crossing the street.

It’s been a profound experience getting to know these Real-Life Good Sams and now I’m hearing again and again their stories are inspiring many people to do beautiful Acts of Kindness.  Now people regularly send me emails and posts about other real-life Good Sams and I post their stories on www.Facebook.com/GoodSamBook.

Who is your favourite literary heroine?
It might not be surprising when I say Jo March from Little Women.  I read that book several times when I was growing up and I admired Jo, not only because she wrote stories and plays and had a vivid imagination, but also because she was smart, sometimes impulsive, outspoken, and unwilling to let others dictate who she was going to be.

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published writers?
Write, rewrite and repeat.  Be careful about showing your work too early in the process.  I recently found an early outline of Good Sam and I’m very glad I never showed it to anyone.  So much changes as you continue to work on a project that you have to give the idea and the characters time to breathe and expand before asking others to review and comment.

Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us? 
In the book writing part of my life, I’m working on a sequel to Good Sam where we follow the main character, TV reporter Kate Bradley, as she covers another nationwide story that has viewers and police mystified.  I’m also working on developing the adaptation of Good Sam into a television movie and series.

Thanks, Dete!

You can find out more about Dete Meserve and Good Sam by visiting Twitter, Facebook and Dete's website.

COMING SOON: Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman

Next month sees the release of Perfect Girl, the exciting new book by Weightless and Single in the City author Michele Gorman. Perfect Girl is a modern-day fairytale focusing on trader Carol, whose seemingly perfect life is about to unravel.

Carol is perfect… at least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality she’s sinking fast – her family treats her like their personal assistant and her boyfriend is so busy with work that he’s got her single-handedly running their relationship. Not that her job is any easier. As the only woman on the bank’s trading floor she spends twelve-hour days trying not to get sworn at or felt up by colleagues who put the "W" in banker.

How long can she go on pleasing everyone else before she snaps and loses it all?

With humour and empathy, Perfect Girl lays bare the balancing act that working women face in a man's world.

BOOK REVIEW: Good Sam by Dete Meserve

What would you do if you found $100,000 in cash on your doorstep? And what if you had no idea where it came from? Dete Meserve explores this concept in her novel Good Sam, in which a Los Angeles TV reporter becomes involved in a story which is about to change her life in an unexpected way...

When an anonymous donor dubbed 'Good Sam' by the media starts leaving bags of banknotes on the doorsteps of needy people, the city is desperate to find out who is behind the good deeds. One person in particular is TV news reporter Kate Bradley. After covering local murders and police stories for most of her career, Kate is sure that unmasking Good Sam will get her the story of her career.

However, discovering the identity of Good Sam proves tough for Kate. With so many people claiming to be Good Sam just to get a taste of the spotlight, locating the person who is truly behind the bout of donations is going to take a lot of digging. Digging that's made slightly more difficult with Kate's ex-fiance Jack intent on getting back together, and handsome Eric, who Kate meets whilst reporting on the Good Sam story. Ambitious reporter Kate won't stop until Good Sam is found, even if it begins to take over her personal life as well...

Good Sam is a wonderfully-written novel. It's intriguing and full of suspense, with great characters (Kate especially) and numerous twists throughout the book which will keep you guessing until the very end. I had no idea who Good Sam could be until I reached the final chapters, which made the novel even more fantastic. Admittedly it's quite hard to fully review the novel without dropping spoilers, so if you have a penchant for mystery and romance, I highly suggest that you check out Good Sam for yourselves! Dete Meserve is a very promising author and I look forward to reading any future novels.

Rating: 5/5

NEW RELEASE: An Officer and a Gentleman Wanted

The new romantic comedy from Beverley Watts has been described as 'Bridget Jones meets the Navy.' In An Officer and A Gentleman Wanted, a forty-something divorcee sets out to find love again - by working in Royal Navy officer training...

Beverley Wilkins has always dreamed of becoming an officer's wife and working at the Royal Navy's premier officer training establishment could just be the way to do it. She might be divorced and in her mid 40s, but it doesn't mean she's given up on romance - after all, she's seen 'An Officer and a Gentleman'! 

The only problem is that so far, the only man in her life is her dog Nelson who unfortunately has a mind of his own - not for nothing is he named after Britain's greatest hero. 

But it's a new semester which means new officers... 

Anything could happen! 

BLOG TOUR: The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks - Review

Chick Lit Uncovered was lucky enough to participate in the blog tour for The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks (author of The Lucky One and A Walk to Remember.) The film tie-in edition will be released next week to coincide with the release of the movie adaptation, which stars James Marsden.

Despite constantly hearing about this author and his work, and the successful movie adaptations that have followed (The Notebook, anyone?) admittedly I had not read any of his books previously. So when I was contacted about the blog tour, I was intrigued. And annoyed later, at the fact that I had left it so late, because The Best of Me is a very, very good read.

Dawson and Amanda were young lovers, forced apart in their teenage years. Despite their passion and determination, their backgrounds were enough to pull them apart in their small town. With Amanda's family deeply unhappy that she had chosen to be with Dawson, a member of the criminal Cole family, their otherwise perfect relationship ends, with Amanda heading off to college and Dawson remaining with his bullying father until finally finding work. In fact, the only person looking out for Dawson Cole is Tuck; a friendly, lonely man who shares a love for cars.

Tuck is a friend and mentor to both Dawson and Amanda, for in later years, when Amanda heads back home to visit her mother, she and widower Tuck regularly meet to talk about life.

But when Tuck dies, both Dawson and Amanda are shocked to find that they are both called to the private funeral of their old friend. That they will have to face each other again, after all these years...
With Amanda now married to Frank, and with children of her own, having to face her teenage sweetheart is going to be a hard task. And with Dawson now living a quiet life alone, having never dated since Amanda, setting foot in his hometown is going to be equally difficult. Even more so when he is sighted in town by his family. The family who still haven't forgotten Dawson and vow to see him punished...

The Best of Me is a beautifully written love story that's very hard to put down. With Cole and Amanda finally together, I found myself wanting to find out what would happen to them; would they fall in love again? Or would they finally have to part? With Tuck's clever yet saddening plan put into place, the couple find themselves fulfilling their friend's last wish, but nothing is ever simple, especially when Dawson's family show up again.

I highly recommend The Best of Me, and I really wish I had read this book sooner - it's a highly enjoyable, heartwarming romance with a twist.

Rating: 5/5

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
They were teenage sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks - with a passion that would change their lives for ever. But life would force them apart. 

Years later, the lines they had drawn between past and present are about to slip . . . Called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter when they needed it most, they are faced with each other once again, and forced to confront the paths they chose. Can true love ever rewrite the past?

This is the new epic love story from the multi-million-copy bestselling author of The Notebook, The Lucky One and The Last Song.

About the Author
With over eighty-five million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world's most beloved storytellers. His novels include twelve No. 1 New York Times bestsellers.

All Nicholas Sparks' books have been international bestsellers and have been translated into more than forty languages. Nine of his novels have been adapted into major films: The Best of Me, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember and The Notebook.

Nicholas Sparks lives in North Carolina with his wife and family. You can visit him and sign up for the Nicholas Sparks eNewsletter at www.uk.nicholassparks.com, and follow him on Twitter: @NicholasSparks.

NEW RELEASE: Dispatches from the Dating Zone

Dispatches from the Dating Zone is the debut romantic comedy from British author KT Valentine, which follows desperate singleton Fleur on her mission to locate her Mr Right. Read on for the synopsis...

Having exhausted all the conventional ways to meet her ‘Mr Right’ (and because now she really is a little bit desperate), Fleur Summers turns to her well-meaning, but eccentric friends and family for help.

From ‘Man Mountain’; an engineer who eats everything in sight and tall dark handsome Tom with big hands but no idea how to use them, to the mysterious and brooding Henry Austin. Follow the trials and tribulations of Fleur’s journey as she works her way through a number of eventful blind dates, all in the name of finding true love. 

You can find out more about KT Valentine over at her website.

UNCOVERED PICKS: Five September Releases

Now that summer is drawing to a close and the days are becoming chilly, it's time to take a look at what new chick-lit releases are in store for September. Tea and a good book? Don't mind if I do! Here's our pick of this month's upcoming reads...

Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella
Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is in Hollywood ! It's as if all her life has been leading to this moment. She's hanging out with the stars ...or at least she will be, when she finally gets to meet movie superstar Sage Seymour, whom husband Luke is now managing. There's so much to see and do! And getting Minnie through the hurdles for her A-list Hollywood pre-school will require some ...er ...help. Becky sets her heart on a new career - she's going to be a celebrity stylist . Red carpet, here she comes! But Becky soon finds it's tough in Tinseltown. Luckily her best friend Suze comes over to keep her company, and together they embark on the Hollywood insider trail But somehow ...things aren't quite working out as they'd hoped. Then Becky's big chance comes, and it's an opportunity that money can't buy. But will it cost her too much?

Twitter Girl by Nic Tatano
Meet America's Tweet-Heart. She's network reporter Cassidy Shea, better known as @TwitterGirl, with more than a million followers thanks to her sarcastic tweets. One hundred forty characters than can take anyone down a notch. But while brevity may be the soul of wit, it can also get you fired. When a controversial tweet goes viral the snarky redhead finds herself locked out of the career she loves...and watches her boyfriend take a hike. Alas, no industry values sarcasm more than politics, and Cassidy becomes a marketable commodity for Presidential candidate Will Becker, a squeaky-clean, stone cold lock to be the next occupant of the White House. This candidate is unlike any other; he's the country's most eligible bachelor. He's also looking for a running mate, and we're not talking about a Vice President. Twitter Girl has caught his eye. Cassidy finds herself swept up in a whirlwind romance that turns her into the next Jackie Kennedy and becomes the favorite to be the next First Lady. The country can't get enough of America's First Couple...will Cassidy and Will Becker bring back Camelot? But an anonymous tip triggers her journalistic curiosity. Is Will Becker all that he seems? The search for the answer teaches Cassidy the meaning of love.

Honeymoon Hotel by Hester Browne
The Bonneville Hotel is the best kept secret in Mayfair: its art deco suites and glittering ballrooms a former home-away-from-home for royalty and film stars alike. Recent years haven't been kind, but thanks to Events Manager Rosie, the Bonneville is reclaiming some of its old cachet as a chic retro-glam wedding venue. While Rosie's weddings are the ultimate in romance, Rosie herself isn't; she's focused on the details, not the dramas. But when the hotel owner appoints his eccentric son Joe to the Bonneville staff, Rosie finds herself up against an unprecedented challenge: a rival whose predilection for the unconventional could derail not only Rosie's own career, but the most elaborate, high-profile wedding the Bonneville has ever seen.

Saving Grace by Jane Green
Grace Chapman has the perfect life, living comfortably with her husband, bestselling author Ted, in a picture-perfect farmhouse on the Hudson River in New York State. Then Ted advertises for a new assistant, and Beth walks into their lives. Organized, passionate and eager to learn, Beth quickly makes herself indispensable to Ted and his family. But Grace soon begins to feel side-lined in her home - and her marriage - by this ambitious younger woman. Is Grace just paranoid, as her husband tells her, or is there more to Beth than first thought?

The Seafront Tea Rooms by Vanessa Greene
The Seafront Tea Rooms is a peaceful hideaway, away from the bustle of the seaside, and in this quiet place a group of women find exactly what they've been searching for. Charismatic journalist Charlotte is on a mission to scope out Britain's best tea rooms. She knows she's found something special in the Seafront Tea Rooms but is it a secret she should share? Kathryn, a single mother whose only sanctuary is the 'Seafront', convinces Charlie to keep the place out of her article by agreeing to join her on her search. Together with another regular, Seraphine, a culture-shocked French au pair with a passion for pastry-making, they travel around the country discovering quaint hideaways and hidden gems. But what none of them expect is for their journey to surprise them with discoveries of a different kind ...Full of romance, tea and cake, The Seafront Tea Rooms is a heart-warming tale about the strength found in true friendship.

INDUSTRY NEWS: Awards shortlists announced for Festival of Romantic Fiction

Shortlists were released today for the Romance Reader Awards, New Talent Award, and Romance Industry Awards. The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony at the Festival of Romantic Fiction on Saturday, 13th September.

Awards organiser Sarah Taylor said: "With the highest number of entries the awards have had in their four year history, the standard this year was exceptionally high with many highly rated novels not making the shortlists. The breath and depth of quality writing in romantic fiction should be celebrated and that's what these awards are all about."

Congratulations and good luck to all those who made it to the final lists! And now, on with the shortlists...

Best Romantic Read
Two Weddings and a Baby by Scarlett Bailey (Ebury)
The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman (Ebury)
The Cornish Stranger by Liz Fenwick (Orion)
After The Honeymoon by Janey Fraser (Arrow)
The Unpredictable Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell (Headline Review)
One Hundred Proposals by Holly Martin (Carina)
The Wedding Proposal by Sue Moorcroft (Choc Lit)
The Proposal by Tasmina Perry (Headline Review)
One Step Closer to You by Alice Peterson (Quercus)

Best Historical Read 
The Downstairs Maid by Rosie Clarke (Ebury)
Monsoon Mists by Christina Courtenay (Choc Lit)
The Maid of Milan by Beverley Eikili (Choc Lit)
The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evans (Quercus)
Crosscurrents by Jane Jackson (Accent Press)
Home For Christmas by Lizzie Lane (Ebury)
A Rose in Flanders Fields by Terri Nixon (Carina)
Queen of Bedlam by Laura Purcell (Myrmidon)

Best Short Romance
Don't Tell Penny by Anna Bell (Quercus)
Taming Her Italian Boss by Fiona Harper (Mills and Boon Cherish)
A Western Heart by Liz Harris (Choc Lit Lite)
Just You by Jane Lark (Harper Impulse)
The Right Side of Mr Wrong by Jane Linfoot (Harper Impulse)
Grand Designs by Linda Mitchelmore (Choc Lit Lite)
The Bookshop on the Corner by Rebecca Raisin (Carina)

Best E-Book
The Second Time I Saw You by Pippa Croft (Penguin)
The Wedding Cake Tree by Melanie Hudson (Choc Lit)
Summer at Castle Stone by Lynn-Marie Hulsmann (Harper Impulse)
Dear Lizzie by Annie Lyons (Carina)
The Guestbook by Holly Martin (Carina)
Room For Love by Sophie Pembroke (Carina)
The Oyster Catcher by Jo Thomas (Headline)
Doubting Abbey by Samantha Tonge (Carina)

Best Author Published
Mary Bennet by Kate Allan
Sweet Occasions by Linn B Halton
Drumbeats by Julia Ibbotson
Fairlights by Jan Jones
Christmas Yves by Nicola May
A Change of Heart by Adrienne Vaughan

New Talent Award Shortlist
An Infamous Seduction by Glenda Cooper
Country Strife by Debbie Fuller-White
Fancy Cakes and Skinny Lattes by Melanie Griffiths
For One Last Time by Louise Hall
The Gossamer Trail by Brenda Hawkey
Who Does He Think He Is? by Emily Kerr
Hats Off To Love by Susan Jones
Meeting Halfway by Mairibeth MacMillan
The Perfect Blend by Catherine Meadows
True Colours by Caroline Rayner
Maggie's Child by Glynis Smy

Industry Awards Shortlists

Innovation in Romantic Fiction - Publisher
Accent Amour – new commercial imprint from independent publisher Accent Press investing in backlists as well as new authors
Carina UK – celebrating it's first birthday in 2014, Carina digitally publishes over 75 authors from around the world and has been exceptionally successful in the ebook charts
Mills and Boon – launching a brand new reader-centred website including an interactive story world The Chatsfield that blends fiction and reality
Simon and Schuster – continuing development of their Books in the City website, a popular hub for readers to connect with authors

Innovation in Romantic Fiction – Author
Jenny Barden – for championing the whole genre with innovation in events for the Historical Novels Society and Romantic Novelists Association
Rowan Coleman - after writing Dearest Rose, Rowan was inspired to raise money for women suffering from domestic abuse by writing Woman Walks into a Bar and donating the royalties to Refuge
Nadine Dorries – for shining light on the romantic saga by topping the bestseller charts with her debut novel The Four Streets
Belinda Jones – for connecting with readers with an engaging theme across her website and social media including the Belinda Jones Travel Club on Facebook and Va-va-vacation.com website
Holly Martin - for her debut novel The Guestbook which uniquely tells the story through guest comments left in a leather-bound guestbook

Romance Blogger of the Year
ChickLitClub.com – an excellent example of a group of readers working together to share book news and reviews
Reviewedthebook.co.uk – passion shines through from blogger Sophie Hedley who has been nominated for her dedication and professionalism
Onemorepage.co.uk – blogger Amanda is described as an indefatigable advocate for books and their authors she champions

NEW RELEASE: First to Fall by Carys Jones

We first heard about Carys Jones when her April novel, romantic thriller Prime Deception, was released. Carys's new novel, First to Fall, was released on Thursday, and it follows lawyer Aiden Connelly, whose latest case turns out to be much more difficult than he expected...

Aiden Connelly’s first case…

Lawyer Aiden Connelly has traded the frenzy of Chicago for a slower pace in sleepy Avalon – and his first case appears to be as open-and-shut as he could hope for. Hired to defend a local ex-beauty queen accused of murdering her husband, he’s confident that he’ll have the case closed in record time. But below the surface lurks a darker truth…

Will be one he’ll never forget.

Suddenly, a quiet backwater has transformed into a dangerous pressure cooker. In a town where everyone knows everyone, gathering evidence should be easy… but the harder Aiden searches, the more he appreciates how tangled this net of loyalties is. And as he digs deeper, Aiden begins to realise that his very first case in Avalon could be the beginning of his undoing…

Head over to Amazon to download First to Fall. You can also find out more about Carys and her books over at her website, or by following her on Twitter, @tiny_dancer85. Also, check out the stops on the First to Fall blog tour!

About the Author
Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader's imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion, Rollo.

When she's not writing, Carys likes to indulge her inner geek by watching science- fiction films or playing video games.

She lists John Green, Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews as her favorite authors and draws inspiration for her own work from anything and everything.

To Carys, there is no greater feeling than when you lose yourself in a great story and it is that feeling of ultimate escapism which she tries to bring to her books.