Happy Christmas everyone!

We’ve been up here for ages now. I’m not sure who got up first – Rachel or me, but we waited patiently (not) for the rest of the family to get up and mum to get the turkey ready for the oven. Once we heard our parents downstairs, we went down and waited in our family lounge/dining room.

christmas treeWe didn’t dare sneak down earlier. Not with those bells on the lounge door. They jingled when we walked through the hallway so you can imagine what they would do when the door was opened.

christmas bellsLast night Granny and Grandpa Shand and Granny and Grandpa Duncan came to ours for our traditional Christmas Eve meal. Like always, mum made Beef Olive (from scratch) and Roast Potatoes. We ate in the dining room where guests take their breakfast and lit the lovely candle centre-piece on the table.

christmas centrepieceAfter supper, we went over to the lounge where the tree is set up (pressies under it, too) and we had tea and coffee along with mum’s homemade shortbread and cheese and like always, Rachel and I got to open one present from Granny and Grandpa Shand – Christmas pyjamas.

Seeing all those gifts under the tree made it really hard to sleep last night. Which ones were mine? Did I get some of the things I wanted?

Now we have to wait until Mum gets the turkey in the oven before we can go into the lounge and start with the gifts. The bird is huge! It has to be close to 30 pounds! Dad’s in the kitchen helping her because it’s so big she can’t lift it on her own.

One year she cooked a goose, and the grease caugth fire. She ran screaming through the house waving a wooden spoon in the air. Rachel and I laughed. We thought she looked so funny. Good thing dad was about to put the lid back on the pan and smother the flames. We’re back to the traditional turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and sprouts.

Granny and Grandpa Duncan will come about 2:00 and Granny and Grandpa Shand shortly after. We usually eat our Christmas dinner about 3:30.

Hey, here’s dad. The turkey is in the oven! Christmas can officially start!

All these traditions. I’m not sure what I’ll do when I get married and move out. Will I have to come home every year at Christmas and stay just so I can continue these traditions or do I start my own?

Three more sleeps until Christmas arrives!

It’s almost Christmas! It’s my most favourite holiday of the year. My sister, Rachel, and I went to Huntly to the Market Muir with Mum and Dad to pick out our tree on the 14th. We’ve done this every year for as long as I can remember.

After we got it home and untied, Dad cut some more off the bottom of the stump and stuck it in the stand by the window so that the branches would fall down into place before we decorated it the next day. Real trees are SO much better than artificial – least I think so.

christmas treeIt turned out really well and looks fab when the fairy lights are turned on and they’re the only lights on in the room.

Mum puts wreaths on all of the inside doors – guest lounge, guest dining room, ensuite bedroom, door that separates the guest area from our private one (although we often visit with folks who are staying at the B&B).

wreath 2But this year, she’s gone and put bells on the lounge door. Guess she thinks that we’ll be trying to sneak peaks at the pressies after they go under the tree. Who me? Never… 😉

christmas bellsThe house looks beautiful with the decorations and smells even better. Christmas baking aromas linger in the air – homemade mincemeat for tarts, fruitcake, and shortbread. All treats that aren’t prepared any other time of year.

Mum has a collection of scented candles that she burns, too. Cranberry, spiced-vanilla, balsam.

christmas candle And, on the mantlepiece in the lounge, her miniature village is set up and lit. It looks so pretty. All those quaint buildings, trees, and people.

villagevillage 2

I think after the tree, I love mum’s villages the best. She used to have more buildings but Murphy knocked a couple off the mantle when he was looking for a place to sleep a few years ago. Since then, he’s not allowed in the lounge until all the decorations have been taken down and put away for another year.

Author Interview with Melanie Robertson-King

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I’ve never done this before so I hope you’ll bear with me whilst I work my way through this new territory. I’ve read lots of author interviews so how hard can it be? Maybe I’m nervous because my first interview is with Melanie. After all, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her. She created my character.

Anyway, I’ve managed to catch Melanie between events and she’s agreed to this last minute idea of mine, so (gulp) here we go. Over to you, Melanie.

Thanks for inviting me to talk to your followers, Sarah.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing the summer after I finished what you would call primary school. Here in Canada it would be grade 8. Before I started penning my own stories, I read anything and everything I could get my hands on.

Before A Shadow in the Past, did you have any of your writing published?

It wasn’t until 2001 but yes. My first published article appeared in The Scottish Banner. It was about William Quarrier, the founder of The Orphan Homes of Scotland. I sent the article off and never heard anything. You can imagine my surprise when my copy of the Banner arrived (I subscribed to it) and there was my article – a two page spread!

All of my non-fiction work has been historical in nature, as is a portion of A Shadow in the Past. Believe it or not, I hated history in school and was ever so glad to be able to drop it after my second year in secondary school.

There’s all this talk out there about author brand. Do you have one?

If we can insert my cover image in here, I’ll try to explain my 4RV Publishing created brand.

A-Shadow-in-the-Past-by-Melanie-Robertson-KingIn this cover, the transparent band at the top and bottom of the cover image creates the brand. So, with any other projects that pertain to YA Paranormal/time-travel published by 4RV, I see the same font used, my name at the top and the title at the bottom in the same format as here. I see the mirror playing an important role in book two as well. Think author name in the top band as in this cover and title in the bottom band… see where I’m going?

When people see this style, they’ll know it’s me.

But I have another author brand, too. This one is completely different.

The Consequences CollectionThis is my King Park Press brand… author name at the bottom and title at the top, still with the hyphenated surname which is the combination of my maiden name and my married name.

Wow! I didn’t think it was so complicated. I’m glad you explained it. What are your next projects? And can you give us a hint to the content?

I’m working on the sequel to A Shadow in the Past. And no content hints… aka spoilers. I can say that I see the cover being similar in that the ‘brand’ will be the same and my idea of the perfect cover will be a reverse of this… you in the present looking in the mirror and seeing yourself in the past but there will be two, very important characters with you but their reflections will be transparent.

I can’t wait for the sequel to be published. You have an image in mind for the cover, what about the title?

Currently, the working title for the sequel is Shadows from her Past. It fits really well with the storyline.

Oooh… sounds like it will be a fab read. Any idea when it will be out?

Don’t get too excited. I’ve not got the first draft finished yet. I’ve got about 62,000 words done (which includes the ending) but there’s still stuff I want to add to it.

Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to drop by, Melanie. I always thought being a character was far easier than being the writer and now I know for sure that I’m right.

You can find out more about Melanie and her books at her Celtic Connexions blog and her website.

 

Launch Day for Sophie’s Encore!

It’s time to Rock And Roll in earnest! Yes, Nicky Wells is here to celebrate the launch of Sophie’s Encore. Three cheers for the third book in her Rock Star Romance Trilogy!!!

Says Nicky,
“I’m so excited to share with you, finally, this third installment in Sophie and Dan’s epic romance! Thank you for coming to celebrate with me. Read on for:

The blurb!

The fantabulous giveaway!

But most of all, enjoy yourself and party hard! Are you ready?”

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Sophies Encore

Her rock star is waiting in the wings, but will he get a second chance?

It’s all change for Sophie Jones—only this time, there is more at stake than just her happiness.

Rock star extraordinaire, Dan Hunter, has been her patient and caring friend through the highs and lows since her wedding day, but now he figures it is time for her to start over. By stealth, the rock singer draws Sophie into the behind-the-scenes work for his band’s latest album. Through the days and weeks spent together at the mixing desk, Sophie discovers whole new horizons for her life, yet before she can even begin to explore them, she faces the very real threat of losing her rock star for good.

Join Sophie and Dan in Sophie’s Encore to find out how their journey will end…

Amazon.co.uk Kindle | Amazon.co.uk Paperback | Amazon.com Kindle | Amazon.com Paperback | Barnes & Noble Paperback | Nook

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Three-Fold Cover Story

Never judge a book by its cover, or so they say. I think that’s a highly debatable position! Book covers matter. Here’s my cover story!

Authors and publishers alike expend considerable effort on creating eye-catchy covers that zzzzing! Evidently, I’m no exception. Each cover for the three books in my Rock Star Romance Trilogy was carefully designed. Individually, they’re awesome! But in their togetherness… WOW!

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I have to confess, I’m a little in love with how they work side by side. (Okay, a lot in love then. I admit it.) They show Sophie’s story in a nutshell. There’s a progression there, an evolution, that is quite deliberate.

Consider this. In the first book, Sophie’s Turn, Sophie still very much finds herself drawn to the glitz and glamor surrounding that rock star of hers, the dangerous and delectable Dan Hunter. But throughout the book, Sophie gets to know him—and herself!—much better than she’d ever dared dream, and this produces the ‘turn’ at the end.

In book two, Sophie’s Run, Dan becomes Sophie’s friend while she’s in pursuit of someone else. Quite unexpectedly, Dan finds himself in a position of unrequited love. He has to think up ways to keep their friendship alive. Their joint recording of his duet right there in his home studio is one of the key moments in the novel and eventually builds a bridge right into book three. So the sound recording equipment on the cover says, hey, look, there are rock starry things being done here! Yet it hints at the ‘detour’ Sophie’s life is taking and lays the foundations for the final book.

Enter the cover for Sophie’s Encore. There he is, Dan, right on the cover, toned bare arms and all, singing his heart out in all his delicious rock-star glory. The title promises us another go, an encore—but what will it mean, and how will it work? Will Dan and Sophie get a second chance? And what will Dan have to do to make that happen? Between you and me, Sophie’s Encore might equally have been titled, Dan’s Encore, for this book is about the both of them and whether they can bring their romance to a happy ending.

And there you have it! See what I mean about the Cover Story? What do you think?

Party Time — The ENCORE PARTY!!

Join in the release day fun!! Come on and party with Nicky —
On her blog
On Facebook
On Twitter — #SophiesEncore

Moreover! In honor of the launch, the first two books in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy are available on Kindle for only $0.99/£0.77 for a limited time only!

If you haven’t already got them, go get them here:

Sophie’s TURN: AMAZON.CO.UK | AMAZON.COM
Sophie’s RUN: AMAZON.CO.UK | AMAZON.COM

If you’ve already read them, share the joy and spread the word!

Party Time — The GIVEAWAY!!!

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1 x signed Sophie’s Encore Poster
2 x Sophie’s Encore Mugs
1 x Sophie’s Run Mug
1 x $10 Amazon Gift Voucher (or equivalent currency)
2 x Sophie’s Encore Key Ring
1 x Sophie’s Run Key Ring
2 x “Swag Pack” featuring 2 postcards (1 signed) each for all three Rock Star Romance books, and 2 bookmarks each for Sophie’s Turn and Sophie’s Run

ENTER HERE: a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway closes 30 September at 12 midnight BST.
Entrants must be 18 or over. Giveaway is open internationally.

About Nicky Wells

Nicky_NEWAuthorPic_April12_useforwebsiteNicky Wells is your ultimate rock chick author. Signed to US Publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky writes Romance That Rocks Your World, featuring the rock star and the girl next door.

Nicky’s books offer glitzy, glamorous contemporary romance with a rock theme ~ imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill!

Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C. Like her leading lady, Sophie, Nicky loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s a wife, mother, occasional knitter, and regular contributor to The Midweek Drive show on Lincoln’s Siren 107.3 FM. Rock on!

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Romantic Novelists’ Association | Sapphire Star Publishing | Amazon | Goodreads| Pinterest

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*Nicky waves*
Whoa! What a party! I hope you enjoyed yourself. Thank you again for stopping by Sarah’s Place today to help me celebrate. Happy reading and rock on! And don’t forget to say ‘hi’, I’d love to hear from you and I will come back to chat later!

Coming on 4 August – an ebook launch splash

E-book launch splash for A Shadow in the Past

4 August, 2013

I can’t wait! If I know Melanie, she’s got a great party planned for that day. And why not celebrate? Now people who prefer to read on an e-reader can enjoy her fab book, too.

ebook cover on readerBlurb:

When a contemporary teen is transported back through time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past…

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages; powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

You can buy Melanie’s book at the links below (change the .co.uk in the amazon one to whatever your domain is) but not yet. She would like it if you waited until the 4th to make your purchase so that when all the sales are registered on that one day, A Shadow in the Past will soar up the charts.

So mark your calendars for that date and get your buying fingers limbered up.

A SHADOW IN THE PAST – now in all ebook formats!

I told you in my last post that Melanie Robertson-King’s novel, A Shadow in the Past, was available for amazon’s kindle reader. Well now it’s available for Barnes & Noble’s nook, the kobo and over at the iBookstore!

If you’d prefer to buy it as an ebook, all you have to do is click on the logo of your choice and you can download it. The link for all the amazon domains is the same, you just have to change the .co.uk to your own.

So what are you waiting for? It’s your opportunity to get a great read in ebook format!

Robert and I are at Famous Five Plus today with Peggy Stanton

The interview with Peggy Stanton that Robert and I did as part of Melanie’s Blog tour back on 5 October is now live on Famous Five Plus. Famous Five Plus.

I hope you’ll drop by and leave a comment. We had a lot of fun doing the interview back then and it’s just as much fun now re-living it.