Cover Makeover …

As several years have passed since my books were first published, I decided it was time to give them a makeover. The stories are the same, only the covers have changed to reflect the romance and suspense elements. I hope you’ll agree that Coverfresh Designs did a sterling job.

 

 

 

Not only are my books available in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, Ring of Lies is currently being translated into French and will be available from Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and a few other retailers later this year.  I will let you know as soon as I have a firm date for publication.  In the meantime, here’s a preview of the French cover.

Breaking News …

I am thrilled to announce that the Portuguese edition of Anel De MentirasRing of Lies –  is now available to pre-order for Kindle eBook readers and will be delivered to your device on the 9th April.

Available from Amazon

Quando o contador inglês Daniel Elliott morre em um acidente de carro em uma noite chuvosa, sua viúva, Grace, é tomada de tristeza … e pânico. Daniel era controlador e o casamento deles sem amor, mas sempre cuidou da proteção de Grace.

Ou assim ela pensava.

Translation:

When English accountant Daniel Elliott dies in a car accident on rainy night, his widow, Grace is overcome with grief… and panic.   Daniel was controlling and their marriage loveless, but he always took care of the sheltered Grace.

Or so she thought.

If you have Portuguese or Spanish friends who enjoy reading please do tell them that Ring of Lies is now available in both languages.

 

Available from:
Amazon,
Kobo
Nook
Apple
Barnes and Noble

¿Hablas español? – Do you speak Spanish?

If you do, then you might be pleased to know that two of my novels, Ring of Lies and The House on the Shore are now available in Spanish.  Translated by Ailin Denoya, they are available in ebook and print formats.  Both books have lovely new covers designed by the very talented Mae Phillips at Cover Fresh Designs.

Anillo De Mentiras/Ring of Lies

Available from Amazon  in both print and eBook formats, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Scribd.

 

La Case Sobre La Orilla/The House on the Shore

Available from Amazon, in both print and eBook formats,  AppleBarnes and Noble, and Kobo.

And coming soon…

The Italian version of The House on the Shore!

La Case Sulla Spiaggia/The House on the Shore

 

News Flash…

Christmas has come early for me as I am delighted to announce that I have signed a contract with Brazilian Publisher Leabhar Books for the Portuguese editions of my three romantic suspense novels.  I’m looking forward to working with the editorial and graphics team toward the publication sometime next year.

The Spanish editions of Ring of Lies and The House on the Shore, with stunning new covers designed by Mae Phillips of CoverFresh designs will be released toward the end of the year.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who placed a bid in the Children in Read 2019 auction.  Over three hundred and fifty authors donated books, covering a wide range of genres.  A total of £8,519 was raised for this very worth cause

Sheffield Authors will be present at Kelham Island Victorian Christmas Market this year.  With over 100 stalls selling a variety of made in Sheffield gifts, seasonal goods and, of course, books, you are bound to find the perfect stocking fillers for family and friends.   The Market runs from Saturday 30th November to Sunday 1st December, with doors open from 10am to 7pm.

Finally, I shall once again be signing books at Aston Hall Christmas Fair on the 24th November. The fair is open from 11.30am until 4pm. So, if you are looking for a Christmas gift for hard-to-buy-for relatives and friends do come along as there will be a variety of crafts, jewellery candles, and gifts on display and be sure to stop by my table and say ‘hello.’

 

 

 

 

Roll up, Roll up! Come To The Fair!

July and August see summer fairs and festivals taking place all over the country.  Sheffield is no exception and on Sunday 12th August the South Yorkshire Summer Festival takes place at Wortley Hall.

The Festival is a FREE event with something for everyone to enjoy.  There is live music, dancers, donkey rides, face painting, and a bouncy castle, plus refreshment stalls and a BBQ, in addition to the craft, garden and gift stalls.  The event runs from 11am to 5pm, and as I mentioned, admission is free although there is a small fee for car parking.

Copyright Wortley Hall

This year, Sheffield Authors have organised a stall to showcase the work of it’s members living in Sheffield and the surrounding areas.

I, along with my fellow authors, will be on hand throughout the day, so if you’re looking for that hard-to-purchase present for a relative, do come along and say ‘hello.’ We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about our books, publishing and writing.

Back at my desk …

After four glorious weeks in Scotland, I am back home sat at my and eager to work on my novel. We had fantastic weather, so don’t believe anyone who tells you it only rains in Scotland!  And as for the famous Scottish Midge, as I was staying near the coast I avoided their biting, itching presence!

Usually my trip to Scotland takes place in September to coincides with the annual Wigtown Book Festival. Visiting earlier in the year has its advantages as the woods were full of bluebells, in fact, I don’t recall ever seeing so many. The scent occasionally combined with wild garlic was overpowering.

Of course, no trip to Scotland is without some research for my next book, including a visit to Portpatrick, the village in Galloway I have based my fictional village on.

 

Glenwhan, a garden created over a period of 30 years out of open moorland and bracken, has not only solved an issue I had with my hero’s occupation, but also given me an idea for another book.

I’ve not been completely out of touch with the publishing world while away. Some of you may be aware of the Trademark issues that are taking place across the Atlantic, where a romance author has trademarked a single word in order to protect ‘her brand.’ In doing so, she has created a furore that so far has seen three people in court and resulted in Amazon removing books from its website. After  intervention by the Romance Writer’s of America and the Author’s Guild, Amazon has reinstated the novels affected pending the results of the ongoing court case.

Fortunately, an application has been filed to have the trademark in question overturned. I hope it succeeds, because as things stand, it has far reaching consequences for writers of any genre. ***

Words are frequently repeated in book titles, as indeed are titles themselves. I know of one book with the same title as my novel, The House on the Shore. Did I threaten to sue the author, or they me? No.

Trademark law works differently to copyright law, which protects the contents of a book. I won’t bore you with all the legal details (this article explains the issue) other than to say that Trademark law indicates a source of goods;  ie., a brand such as Apple Computers.

Like many authors, I am concerned that these applications for trademarks may set a precedent. While lawyers fight it out in front of a Judge on the other side of the Atlantic, I shall continue to  work on my next novel.

Until next time,

Victoria

 

*** Since writing this post I understand another application has been made by a different author to Trademark the words Dragon Slayer, Tamer, Destroyer and Star Justice. If granted, these would affect Paranormal authors and Science Fiction authors. This application is also being challenged.

 

Research …

With winter is just around the corner,  there is no better time for me to knuckle down and work on a manuscript. But, before I do, there was just time to squeeze in a holiday before I dig out the winter woollies from the bottom of the wardrobe and hibernate until spring.

As many of  you will know, I lived on a croft in rural Aberdeenshire for many years and have long considered Scotland my second home. So, it probably comes as no surprise that my destination of choice was Scotland and in particular, Dumfries and Galloway. I love the Highlands, the rugged beauty of the mountains, but the Scottish border country also has a special place in my heart because it is the home of Scotland’s National Book Town.

Wigtown is home to at least seven bookshops and is a haven for book lovers with over a quarter of a million books to choose from. Each year holds it holds a book festival. With 200 hundred events and workshops for adults and children.  The festival takes place over ten days, with such speakers as Ian Rankin, Professor Iain Sinclair, Mairi Hedderwick, Denise Mina, and Gavin Esler, I decided to take some time out of our holiday to attend a few of the events.

I have long held the desire to write crime. So, when I read in the Festival Brochure that Denise Mina, winner of the McIlvanney Prize 2017 for Scottish crime book of the year, I knew that was one event I could not miss. Ms Mina is a Scottish novelist and playwright, and her latest book, The Long Drop is the true crime account of Peter Manuel, a serial killer who operated in Glasgow in the 1950s.

 

 

Now, I have a confession to make, although I have seen Ms Mina’s books in the local bookshop, I had never read one until this week. More than just a crime story, The Last Breath, kept me up all night wondering what would happen next. As soon as I finish this post, I shall be scouring Amazon for more of her novels.

Not only am I determined to finish the romantic suspense novel I’m working on, but also to try my hand at writing a crime novel. Watch this space!

A Holiday and Research

I love autumn, and am always happy when I spend it in Scotland. And, if I can combine a trip to my favourite part of the country with a little research for my next book, I’m even happier. The air seems crisper, the vistas clearer, the sunrises, and sunsets more stunning. I don’t mind the darker mornings and evenings, which give me the impetus to sit down and write, or finish the knitting projects that were abandoned in spring when longer days meant time spent in the garden.

I’ve just returned from two weeks staying on the Mull of Galloway, that ‘hammer head’ part of southwest Scotland that juts out into the Irish Sea. Part holiday, part research for my next book, it turned out to be two weeks full of beach walks, ancient stone circles, and stunning gardens hewn from hillsides.

Glenwhan Garden, Dunragit
Glenwhan Garden, Dunragit

The fictional village in my current manuscript is based on the town Portpatrick, a former port for transportation to and from Northern Ireland. The ferries have long gone, and Portpatrick is now a holiday resort and the starting point for the Southern Upland Way, a long distance path that stretches to the east coast some 212 miles away.

Portpatrick
Portpatrick

A little further south, lies the village of Port Logan, created by Colonel Andrew McDowall, the Laird of Logan in 1818. The Bell Tower at the end of the harbour was designed by Thomas Telford, better known for designing bridges and the Caledonian Canal.

The Bell Rower, Port Logan Harbour
The Bell Rower, Port Logan Harbour

I’m fascinated ancient carved stones, and was surprised to find a fine example of bothat Kirkmadrine Church. It is home to a collection of the oldest Christian monuments in Scotland.

 

Early Christian Stone Carving, Kirkmadrine Church
Early Christian Stone Carving, Kirkmadrine Church

While driving back from Wigtown, I also came across the Standing Stones of Torhouse, a Bronze Age stone circle consisting of 19 granite boulders. The three central stones are known as King Gladus’s Tomb, a legendary and probably mythical early Scottish King. While the dumpy granite boulders are not as impressive as the stone pillars of Callanish on the Isle of Lewis, it was nonetheless interesting to read that the circle was probably erected between 2000-1500 BC as a religious centre.

Torhouse Stone Circle, Nr Wigtown
Torhouse Stone Circle, Nr Wigtown

And no post would be complete without a photo of the weather forecasting stone from the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse.

Weather forecasting stone, Mull of Galloway Lighthouse
Weather forecasting stone, Mull of Galloway Lighthouse

I am now home, armed with a camera full of images to inspire and a notebook full of ideas, it’s time to knuckle down to finishing the next book.

Until next time.

The Allure of Scotland

What is it about Scotland that draws writers and readers alike? Is it the rugged peaks, hidden lochs and glens, great Castles and stone circles? Is it because the Highlands are teeming with heroic men and equally brave women? The harsh climate and rugged landscape certainly make an ideal backdrop for adventure. Add a history that is also seeped in legend, and you have the basis for some very engaging plots. However, that still doesn’t explain the allure of Scotland in fiction.

My longstanding interest in Scotland began many years ago, not from reading novels, but primarily from childhood holidays in the Highlands. Such was my love of the country that I chose to make it my home for twenty happy years.

Skye

I wish I could explain why Scotland inspires me to set my novels there, but I can’t. Whether this is because I can trace my mother’s ancestors back to 1697 Scotland, I don’t know. I only know that the moment I cross from England into Scotland, there is a song in my heart and a spring in my step.

Scotland, it’s people and landscape continues to be popular with novelists and readers. Sir Walter Scott, Nigel Trantor, Iain Rankin, Gavin Maxwell, Rona Randall, Anne Maybury, Dana Gabaldon, Lin Anderson, and Linda Gillard, to name but a few, have all used Scotland’s landscape and it’s history for settings of their novels.

P1000936a

To me, Scotland is magical. The way sunlight casts shadows on the waters of a loch, a ruined castle, or the sight of a solitary croft house in an isolated glen seem to kick-start something in my brain and the ideas seem to flow.

Holidays 012

It will therefore comes as no surprise that my next book will also be set in a place that I think of as home.

 

Penistone Literary Festival 19th-20th July 2014

A full programme of events has now been released for the inaugural Penistone Literary Festival.  Headlined by one of the best poets of his generation, Simon Armitage, and best selling author, Milly Johnson, supported by Andrew Macmillan, crime writer M J Fowler, and other local poets and authors, it promises to be a fun-filled two-days for young and old alike.

 

PenLit Program

 

There are events for children, Penny the Sheep Children’s exhibition, a vintage tea room, a Bookshop and the chance to purchase a Penny the Sheep Mug!

Penny the Sheep mugs

 

So, pop along to the Penistone Literary Festival Website, and book your tickets now for a great day out.