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My latest blog posts

My latest blog posts

Venice: The ultimate wedding destination

How many women, since he first found fame on ER, have fantasised about marrying George Clooney? Well, it was British-Lebanese human rights lawyer AmalAlamuddin who finally had the honour last week. And the location for the most high-profile wedding since William and Kate? Venice. The wedding festivities, which spanned a weekend,

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Writing fast, reading fast

George R.R. Martin is without doubt an exceptional writer. He has just one flaw, according to fans: he doesn’t write quickly enough to keep up with their demands! That’s not to say that George is a plodding writer by any means. But the bestselling and world-renowned series he is currently

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Amazon versus publishing: print on demand

I could fill a blog post a day on how Amazon is changing the face of publishing – the repercussions of its actions are monumental and wide-reaching. Takethe seemingly simple decision by Amazon to supply copies of out-of-print books itself using its print-on-demand service. Then, theoretically, when the publisher’s print

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A new chapter in romance storytelling

Have you heard of new publishing innovation The Chatsfield? If you’re thinking That sounds like a cross between a Chesterfield, the swanky couch, and Chatsworth, the stately home, you’re not far off the mark.  In a nutshell, The Chatsfieldis a fictional online luxury hotel, a ‘world of style, spectacle and

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The Venetian Gondolier

I have written before of that quintessential symbol of Venice, setting for my novel The Echoes of Love: the gondola. But what of its pilot, the gondolier? In my novel, when the lovers take a gondola ride, I write simply that ‘the gondolier stood perched at the stern behind them,

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Indian Summer by Marcia Willett

From the blurb: Some memories can be forgotten . . . Others won’t ever go away. For renowned actor Sir Mungo, his quiet home village in Devon provides the perfect retreat. Close by are his brother and his wife, and the rural location makes his home the ideal getaway for

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Authorisms

This week I’ve been reading the brilliant Authorisms: Words Wrought by Writers by Paul Dickson. Regular readers of my blog will known that I am a logophile – a lover of words; so much so that on a summer’s afternoon I’m often to be found like this: Yes, I’m reading a

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Love in a dystopian setting

I take a great interest in trends in publishing, especially within the romance genre, and it has struck me how much popular fiction in the past two to three years is set in a futuristic dystopia. Books like The Hunger Games and Divergent are bestsellers, spawning films and TV series

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Muddying the path of true love: Love triangles

The course of true love never did run smooth’ – so wrote Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and I think that no single axiom is more explored in romantic fiction! A romance story that unfolds simply, without a hiccup, is delightful, but uninteresting in literary terms. So authors create

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Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop

          I’m delighted to be participating in this Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop. I’m giving away two paperback copies of my epic romance novel, The Echoes of Love, a passionate love story set in Italy. The Echoes of Love is a beautiful, poignant story

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Promoting literature with the Google doodle

Do you use Google as a browser? If so, you may have noticed, on 9 September, that Google marked 186 years since the birth of writer Leo Tolstoy with a slideshow of images: from Tolstoy writing by candlelight, to the first meeting of Anna and Vronsky in Anna Karenina, and

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A very Venetian bookstore

When I travel to a new city, I’m always interested to see the main sights. In Venice, for example – where I went recently to get a feel for the setting in my latest novel, The Echoes of Love – I followed the crowds to all the main attractions: St

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Welcome autumn

  It’s September, and while in England we’re enjoying a brief revival of summer’s warmth, the first yellowing leaves drifting on the breeze tell that autumn – fall – has tentatively arrived.I love the warmth of the spring and summer, but who can resist the kaleidoscope of colour that autumn

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The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

From the blurb: And then came war . . . Today. Sera James spends most of her time arranging auctions for the art world’s elite clientele. When her search to uncover an original portrait of an unknown Holocaust victim leads her to William Hanover III, they learn that this painting

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Audio books

Did you know that audio books are a fast-growing sector in publishing? Between 2008 and 2013, revenue grew by 12 per cent annually to a massive $1.6 billion (source: IBISWorld). No longer are people complaining they don’t have time to read: they’re listening to books on their phones, their media

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Choosing the narrative mode for your novel

Last week I wrote about using the male point of view in romance fiction.Deciding on whose point of view you’re writingin is just one aspect of the narrative mode on which an author must decide before writing his or her book. This week I’m looking at two other aspects: the

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My latest blog posts

Fidelity: an essential ingredient for romantic love?

The modern concept of romantic love owes much to the roman of medieval times: a story told in one of the Romance languages (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Romanian) about chivalry and love. As Marilyn Yalom of Stanford University pointed out in her recent article ‘How medieval storytellers shape our

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Meet the fathers of philosophy: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle

Did you know that to this day, much of the Western way of thinking is derived from the philosophical explorations of three men of Ancient Greece? Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. No doubt you have heard of these thinkers. Certainly, when I began researching my latest novel, Aphrodite’s Tears, set in

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Setting romance in inspiring settings

What ties together all of my novels? Romance, of course; but more than that, each is set in an inspiring place. My debut novel, Burning Embers, is set in rural Kenya – think the unspoilt beauty of the national parkland where wild animals roam free. My next novel, The Echoes

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The origins of Saint Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Did you give your special someone a card today? Some chocolates, perhaps, or flowers? Have you booked a restaurant for an intimate meal for two? Such gestures have become traditional on Valentine’s Day, thanks in great part to clever marketing. Stores have been festooned with pink and

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Psyche and Cupid: the ancient story with a happy-ever-after

Researching my latest novel, Aphrodite’s Tears, was an absolute pleasure, for it involved reading up on ancient mythology. I was especially interested, as the novel’s title conveys, in stories of the gods; but as my heroine Oriel points out in the book, so many of the stories of the ancient

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Havens for bookworms: Literary hotels

In Liverpool, you can stay in a hotel modelled on the Titanic; in London, in an imitation Hogwarts; in Montana, in a Hobbit house… Themed accommodation has been growing in popularity in recent years, and now not only can readers escape into the fictional worlds of their books, but they

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Made in their image: Taking lessons from the Greek gods

My new novel, Aphrodite’s Tears, set on the Greek island of Helios, takes inspiration from the colourful, dramatic myths of the Ancient Greeks. The hero of the book, Damian, is Greek, and he is very knowledgeable about the culture of his homeland. But more than that, he is a born

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