This was a lovely surprise to see on the Review Sisters’ blog just now! I couldn’t resist sharing it! The Review Sisters are 5 lovely book reviewers who – yes, it’s true – they review books! Why not pop over to their blog and give them your support? And discover more wonderful books to read!
And an update on The Book Thief – I loved it! (You’ll have to read the interview to understand that one lol)
Name Janice Preston
Age Much older than I feel, which is another way of saying I can be very immature!
Where are you from
I was born in London and grew up in Wembley. At 18 I decided I wanted to work with animals so I took myself off to Devon to do 6 months practical experience on a dairy farm before going to agricultural college. I never did get to college. I met my first husband, a dairy farmer and that was it! We had two children, a boy and a girl, who are both now adult. My son is married, with a son of his own and another baby on the way, which I’m thrilled about. I now live with my second husband in the West Midlands, and through him I have acquired a stepson and a stepdaughter.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Cinderella and the…
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Of course it is! Just kidding. But that headline illustrates how bad I am at keeping anyone up to date with my doings. And now I’m planning to produce a newsletter! You can guess how that will go. If you’d like to sign up for it, you can do so here. You can be confident you won’t be inundated with emails, but there will be giveaways!
Back to my blog. My fingers are now on the keyboard and, rather than follow my normal practice and type a post in Word and then copy and paste it into my blog, I’m trying something new, i.e. typing straight into my blog, because I’ve come to the conclusion that trying to blog ‘formally’ doesn’t work for me. Maybe it’s too similar to the day job and I am therefore just too resistant to actually getting started. So here I am trying the brain dump method 🙂
My 5th title for Harlequin / Mills & Boon ‘The Governess’s Secret Baby’, was published in December. It was well-received and I had some lovely reviews, including my very first (or the first I am aware of) from RT Book Reviews, when I was awarded a 4 star rating!
(I’m aware the review is barely readable, but I just wanted to post the proof it exists! Can you tell I was excited?) Thank you to Virginia Heath for sharing the review with me.
I successfully hit both my deadline for book #7 (Scandal and Miss Markham), which is out in October, and for my Christmas novella (Awakening His Sleeping Beauty) which is one of three novellas to be published in a Christmas anthology called Regency Christmas Wishes in November 2017. The other two authors are Carla Kelly and Christine Merrill – I’m really looking forward to reading their stories and to seeing the covers for both my book and the anthology.
Scandal and Miss Markham is book #2 of the trilogy The Beauchamp Betrothals, and book #1, Cinderella and the Duke, will be out in July. The hero of book #1 is Leo Beauchamp, Duke of Cheriton, and the hero of book #2 is his brother, Lord Vernon Beauchamp. I have also just signed a 4 book contract with Harlequin, to cover book 3 of the trilogy (my current work in progress, with the working title of Passion and Lady Perfect) which is the story of Leo and Vernon’s younger sister, Lady Cecily Beauchamp, and a linked trilogy, The Beauchamp Heirs, about Leo’s three adult children: Dominic, Alexander and Olivia. That little lot should keep me busy for a while!
The entire Beauchamp family have appeared in some of my earlier books, and some old friends will pop up in these two trilogies. I do love writing linked books – and I know from readers’ comments that they enjoy them too – but they can be a lot of work in making sure everything hangs together, particularly dates.
I’m thrilled to now be involved with a Facebook group called The Unlaced Book Club ,together with 8 other Harlequin historical authors who write in various historical time periods. The group was set up as a fun place for readers who love history and romance to hang out, chat and share interesting and funny snippets of history. We are keeping the group largely promo free (apart from the occasional giveaway) so you’ll not be inundated with ‘buy my book’ posts. Why not come and join us? You’ll be assured of a warm welcome 🙂
On a personal note, I have learned I am to become a grandmother for the second time, in August, when my son and his wife are expecting a baby girl, a little sister for Noah. To say I am thrilled is an understatement! So congratulations to them.
And that’s it for now. You’re as up-to-date as I am.
Until next time
I haven’t blogged since May and it’s now September, and where, exactly, did the summer disappear to? Mind you, if you do follow my blog you already know my output is sporadic at best!
Contrary to my lack of activity on my blog, it has been a busy time for me, so here is a whiz through my summer.
I’m delighted to say I signed another two book contract with Harlequin Mills & Boon at the end of April, plus a contract for a Regency novella which will be released for Christmas 2017. The deadlines for the 2 books were 31st August 2016 and 31st January 2017 – which seemed doable as I had already prepared outlines (unusual for me) – until I realised the deadline for the novella was 14th February 2017, just 2 weeks after the deadline for book #7!
So I have had my head down since then, writing book #6 (provisionally titled Duke in Disguise). It was hard going for a while and more than once I feared I would never make the deadline, which happened to be just two days before my husband and I set off on holiday, leaving me no room to manoeuvre. But I made it. Phew. Now my nerves are being soundly wracked as I await my editor’s verdict.
In the spring I was interviewed on our local BBC radio station as part of their community takeover event. I met Maggie, the interviewer, through a talk I gave to a writing group at my local library, and she asked if I would be willing to be interviewed by her on the radio. It took place at her house rather than at the radio station, which would have been more intimidating, and after our initial bout of ‘um’s and ‘er’s we managed just fine.
You can listen to me bumbling away here, if you so wish.
In June I took part in a Love at the Library event at Harbury Library, with Ellie Darkins, who writes for the Mills & Boon Cherish line. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves despite our nerves beforehand. We spoke about the history of Mills & Boon and how we came to be writing for them (I’ve blogged about my journey before – you can read about it here) and then we held a Q&A session. The audience were lovely!
Our event was ‘Inside the minds of three authors’ and, after each reading an excerpt from our work, we discussed why we write what we write and our different approaches to writing. Again, the audience were fabulous which helped to settle my nerves.
I found with all three events that my nerves vanished as soon as I got going, and I realised the same thing happens with many of life’s challenges – perhaps it is the surge of adrenalin as I swing into action ;-).
Does that ever happen to you?
Until next time,
Sharing! A wonderful review for Saved by Scandal’s Heir by the lovely Julie, reblogged from Bookish Jottings.
When childhood friendship had given way to a love that simply could not be denied, Harriet had thought that she was going to be spending the rest of her life with Benedict Poole, the man who had captured her heart. But when a cruel twist of fate had torn them apart, Harriet had found herself heartbroken, vulnerable and alone. Forced to marry a man who made her flesh crawl, Harriet had endured years of anguish and pain at the hands of a husband whom she despised and feared in equal measure. However, despite the many years that had passed, she had never quite managed to forget Benedict or to put their passionate affair behind her.
Now widowed, Harriet has thrown…
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I met the lovely Elaina James last week at the RNA Birmingham chapter meeting. She told us about the blog series she’d written for Mslexia, detailing her inspiring journey from being a lyricist with stage fright to performing one of her songs on stage. She asked if any of us would like to blog about our own relationship with music, to link in with the final week of her blog series.
I didn’t offer.
I love music – many different types – but I don’t listen to it when I’m writing and I thought I had nothing of much interest to say. I don’t compile a playlist for each book, unlike many writers, and I find it distracting when I’m trying to write – the lyrics take over the part of my brain that is meant to be composing my own, original prose!
Then, today, I heard – again – Disturbed’s wonderful rendition of The Sound of Silence and – again – goosebumps spread over my whole body. And I realised I do have something to say about music.
Just over seven years ago, I assumed everyone listened to music in the same way I did. I can pinpoint the exact time I realised I was wrong because my (now) husband and I were choosing a playlist for our wedding. He has a vast collection of music, from Led Zeppelin to Sinatra, and came up with many suggestions for our playlist.
‘You can’t have that,’ I said, when he vigorously championed the inclusion of one particular song. I can’t remember what song it was, but it was all about regret over lost love.
‘Oh,’ said he, when I explained why. ‘I never realised that!’
Although he knew every word of that song, he had never registered the meaning, and it is the same for (virtually) every song he loves. The music is paramount; the lyrics are just words. And it seems there are many other folk who hear the lyrics, and sing them, without actually listening to them.
I, on the other hand, listen to songs. Yes, the tune is important but, for me, it is the lyrics that touch my heart. I absorb the poetry and the story, and that inspires my writing. So, you see, just because I don’t listen to music while I write doesn’t mean they are disconnected.
I simply didn’t make that connection last Saturday when I met Elaina.
It was hearing The Sound of Silence that inspired this post, and there is a line in that song (penned over 50 years ago by a youthful Paul Simon – a wonderful lyricist and songwriter) that is particularly apt:
‘People hearing without listening…’
Do you hear without listening or are you, like me, a listener?
This blog post is part of a music themed blog event organised by Elaina James, a guest blogger on Mslexia. Her author page on Mslexia can be found at www.mslexia.co.uk/author/elainajames.
Details of participating bloggers in this event can be found on Elaina James’ blog.
…and a huge thank you to the readers who have bought and enjoyed my books and to the wider writing and blogging community who are ever willing to support and to cheer and to commiserate.
Today is the official publication day for Saved by Scandal’s Heir, and it feels like it’s been a long time coming! My deadline for the book was July 1st 2015, and I met it by the skin of my teeth. By the time I sent the ms off to my editor, I was so close to it I had no idea if it was good, bad or indifferent. But she loved it and after a few ‘tweaks’ (that’s ‘editor-speak’: they are never quite as benign as they sound!) it was done and dusted.
This is a book close to my heart. It tells Harriet’s story (she was Richard’s former mistress in From Wallflower to Countess), and I knew she’d had a tragic past – one she kept bottled up – but until I started writing her story I had no idea how much heartache she had suffered. And, of course, I had the pleasure of writing more about Richard and Felicity from From Wallflower to Countess and also about Matthew and Eleanor from Return of Scandal’s Son.
I do love to visit old friends :-).
If you want to know more, you’ll just have to read the book ;-), but Harriet does get her happy ever after, of course, courtesy of hero Benedict. And I’m not going to apologise for writing books with happy endings. It seems some people are of the opinion that happy endings are, somehow, less worthy than unhappy endings or those that are left open for the reader to decide. I disagree. Would you be satisfied with a crime novel where the crime was left unsolved? Or a thriller where the bad guys won (unless there was a sequel planned, of course)?
I was also thrilled to read my first-ever review on a blog – the SweetisAlwaysinStyle blog run by the lovely Blossom Twins. Here is a link to their review. Thank you Kelly, who read the book and wrote the review.
As always, you can read the first chapter of Saved By Scandal’s Heir by selecting the Books tag at the top of this page, and following the menu.
Or you can buy your copy here!
Thanks for reading.
Until next time,