Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Welcoming Lisa Hobman to the blog

Today I am delighted to welcome a new visitor to the blog. Lisa Hobman joins us to share the inspiration behind her debut release, A Seaside Escape.

My love affair with the stunningly rugged country began around fourteen years ago when I first visited the Highlands with my husband, his parents and our very young daughter. One place in particular stole my heart and that was a little stone bridge at a place called Clachan Seil.

The Bridge Over the Atlantic, a pretty little structure designed by architect Robert Mylne and opened in 1793, sparked a passion in me that I never anticipated. I had always loved writing as a child but never dreamed of making a career out of it. But that little place with its whitewashed cottages and views out to sea, conjured up stories in my mind that I just had to write. Initially, I intended this to be a very personal thing but with the encouragement of my husband, my friends and family I finished the love story with the little bridge at the heart of it.

That story, aptly named back then as Bridge Over the Atlantic, was my debut release back in 2013 and I was honoured to be shortlisted in the 2014 RoNA Awards in the Contemporary Romance Category along with some of my favourite authors. I haven’t stopped writing since.

The Scottish people and landscape had such a magnetic pull for me that my family and I relocated to the south of Scotland back in 2012 and we are now fully ensconced in our gorgeous little village and surrounded by the timeless beauty of the Scottish Borders countryside.

Buy the book...

All about Lisa...
Lisa is a happily married mum of one with two crazy dogs. She especially enjoys being creative and now writes almost full time.
Writing has always been something Lisa has enjoyed, although in the past it has centred on poetry and song lyrics. Some of which appear in her stories. Being published was a dream come true and in 2014 the original version of A Seaside Escape (previously called  Bridge Over the Atlantic) was shortlisted in the RNA RONAs which is something she still has to pinch herself about!
Lisa now writes for UK based publisher Aria Fiction - an imprint of award winning Head of Zeus.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Welcoming Stacey Garrity to the blog

Today I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Stacey, the lovely face behind Whispering Stories Book Blog, to share with us a bit about herself and how she came to be one of the wonderful bloggers us authors are so very grateful for!

I’m Stacey and I run Whispering Stories Book Blog. I say run because there is not only myself on the blog, there is also a team of fantastic reviewers too (currently there are 10 of us who do the reviewing).

Before I tell you a bit about myself and the blog, I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Heidi for welcoming me to her blog.

Well, what can I tell you about myself? I’m 40 years old (just), married with three children, all boys, 21,14, and 12 and live in Manchester. I love Manchester, I just don’t love the weather. Apparently according to friends and family I’m a bit wacky as I don’t like to follow the norm. My youngest has a rare illness (info below) and my middle son is Autistic.

I have eight tattoos (five of which are on my hands), I used to have a lot of piercing, now only my ears and belly button are left, and I’m a witch - okay, not a real one.  I was born on Halloween and ever since I can remember people (including family) have called me a witch, so the name has just stuck. Even at school that name followed me around. I don’t mind, I actually quite like it - hence the logo for the blog.

Talking of the blog let me tell you about my life in books and how the blog came about.

I’ve been a big reader since being a little kid.  I remember going to the local library (which is no longer there), at least one night a week after school and choosing that weeks books. I loved the Mr.Men Annuals, and actually bought one last year that I remembered from my childhood.

As I got to my late teens, books we’re a place of salvation.  I don’t want to burden you with the details but I read to get away from reality.  Books became my happy place.

When my youngest son was born he was very poorly.  The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him.  He spent weeks at a time in hospital miles away from home.  They needed to put him on a child’s cancer ward whilst they were treating him, and trying to discover what it was that was making him so gravely ill. Whilst my son slept I would grab the opportunity, via the pages of a open book, to go to some distant place and try and push my situation to the side for a while.

In case anyone wants to know we got a diagnosis at 19 mths old.  He has a rare incurable life-threatening illness called, X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia. (basically his immune system doesn’t work properly).  He has to have infusions of gammaglobulins (antibodies) donated like blood, twice a week to keep him alive. The bigger he gets the more he will have to have. Anyway I’ve side-tracked a bit - sorry.

About four years ago my hubby said to me that I should be a writer - apparently I read enough, because that’s all it takes!! I actually did two creative writing courses but I decided that it wasn’t for me, but I did have an idea, ‘why not blog about the books I’ve read as I was writing a review for each one on Amazon anyway, how hard could it be’?  Harder than I imagined, but so worth it.

On the 15th February 2015 my then little blog was born and it has gone from strength to strength.  If I’m completely honest I went into blogging blind.  I didn’t know what it would entail and was surprised when I got asked to review a book for an author as I expected it just to be a blog about the books that I had bought.  Since then the requests haven’t stopped coming in - not that I’m complaining.

Whilst we review a range of genres on the blog, my personal favourites would be: Psychological Thrillers, Detective/Police/Crime - I like to keep my brain working
YA - they are fast paced, normally have life lessons, and I can get through them quickly. Chick-Lit/Romance - who doesn’t want something sweet and romantic to read now and again.

That’s not to say I don’t read any others, but these would be my go-to books.

I would be delighted if you would check out our blog, which you can find at

You can also find us on Twitter - @storywhispers

Once again a big thank you to Heidi for giving me this opportunity to let you have a sneak peak into my life.


Find Stacey on social media...

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Kissed by Jilly Cooper!

As many of you know, Monday March 5th was a highlight for me as Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage had made the contemporary RNA shortlist and was up for a RoNA along with fellow Simon and Schuster authors, Milly Johnson and Holly Hepburn.

Here we all are, with overall winner of the entire night, fabulous Dani Atkins! Dani is another S and S author and her book, This Love was nominated in another category. Don't you just love the height order in this pic taken by Sara-Jade Virtue. How I would love to be further up the order, but never mind.

The evening was amazing and even though I didn't win the award I did get to chat with, hug and kiss, the lady who made me want to put pen to paper when I first read racy Riders by torchlight after lights out at boarding school!

Obviously I had no idea Jilly Cooper was going to be attending and was rather overcome when I spotted her. However, after a quick recovery courtesy of the smelling salts and a brown paper bag, I screwed my courage to the sticking place and approached her for a pic.

Jilly was kindness itself  and wanted to know all about my writing career. She was much amused when I explained how I had had to hide Rupert C-B from the nuns at school.

I might not have bagged myself a RoNA but I achieved a lifetime ambition and can say very, very proudly, that I have been kissed by Jilly Cooper. Life can't possibly get any better than that!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Cover Reveal Klaxon!

So, here it is folks! The absolutely exquisite cover for my Summer '18 read,

Sunshine & Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square!

As you may have guessed, I'm thrilled with it and love the way it sits so well with the other 5 titles.

Here's the blurb to remind you who and what the story is all about and the buying links, if you would like to order ahead of publication day on May 31st can be found on the right.

Welcome, to Nightingale Square...

Kate is on the run from her almost-divorced husband who is determined to have her back, and she has found the perfect place to hide... a little cottage on Nightingale Square in Norwich, far away from her old life in London. But the residents of Nightingale Square don't take no for an answer, and Kate soon finds herself pulled into a friendship with Lisa, her bossy but lovely new neighbour.
Within a matter of days Kate is landed with the job of campaigning the council to turn the green into a community garden, meanwhile all the residents of Nightingale Square are horrified to discover that the Victorian mansion house on the other side of the square has been bought by developers. But when all hope is lost, the arrival of a handsome stranger is sure to turn things around!

Heidi Swain is the perfect summer read - you'll want to find your own green space, stretch out in the sun and dive into life at Nightingale Square.
I really hope you like the sound of this brand new setting which comes complete with a whole host of new characters, as well as a few familiar faces. Kate's story was wonderful to tell and her friends, especially Lisa, were a laugh a minute! I'll look forward to seeing you all this Summer in Nightingale Square.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Welcoming Emma Davies to the blog

Today I am joined by lovely Emma Davies, who is going to tell us all about her latest release, The Little Cottage on the Hill which was published on February the 19th.

All about the book...

There’s blossom in the trees and daffodils as far as the eye can see. Maddie is looking forward to a fresh start in the countryside, but there’s just one little problem…

 Following a scandal at her high-flying PR agency, twenty-six-year-old Maddie flees London to help promote what she thinks is going to be a luxurious holiday retreat in the countryside. Everything is riding on her making a success of this new job…

 Yet when she arrives, Maddie is horrified to find a rundown old farm in a terrible state. The brooding and secretive owner, Seth, spent all his money on leasing the land when he fell in love with the beautiful, dishevelled farm cottages and the very romantic story behind them.

 When Maddie discovers an old oil painting by the original owner’s wife, she unlocks the secret of the farm’s history and quickly realises she must start getting her hands dirty if this very special place is going to have any chance of survival. As she and Seth begin working together, the stunning view from the top of the hill is not the only thing that’s leaving her breathless…

 After weeks of hard work the dream looks like it might become a reality, until a secret from Maddie’s past threatens to snatch it all away again. Can Maddie find a way to save the business and herself? Will she finally find a place to keep her heart within the crumbling walls of the little cottage on the hill?

All about Emma...

After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: 'I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.' Well the job in the design studio didn't work out but she's now a forty something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true.

 After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time, and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband, three children, and two guinea pigs in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life. It's a county she adores, her love of its beautiful people and landscapes providing endless inspiration for her books.

 Pop over to her website where, amongst other things, you can read about her passion for Pringles and singing loudly in the car. You can also wave to her on twitter @EmDaviesAuthor or find her on Facebook (a little too often than is good for her).

Buy the book...

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Competition time!

I've just discovered the fabulous Sleigh Rides and Silver Bells competition is still open and will be running for another six days!

To be in with a chance of winning this beautiful necklace from Lily Charmed (and I have one of these so I know exactly how gorgeous it is), simply click the link and follow the instructions .

Good luck everyone!

H x

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Welcoming Bella Osborne to the blog

Today I am absolutely delighted to welcome wonderful Bella Osborne to the blog. Fellow RNA member Bella is always easy to spot at RNA events because she wears such beautiful and elegant dresses! Today she is here to talk to us all about the importance of picking character names and tell us all about the second instalment of her new title, Ottercombe Bay, which is released today.

What’s in a name? – Coming up with character names.

 I love the part of the writing process where you get to name your characters. For me it’s a really fun part because it’s usually very early on in the embryonic idea stage. Sometimes a plot thread will come to me first but my main characters are usually not too far behind. Naming them is a very important stage for me - they have to feel right. Occasionally they just fall into place as they did with Ottercombe Bay. My lead female character, Daisy, barged into my subconscious and her name just popped into my head. I already knew that her parents had been bohemian individuals so naming her after a flower seemed likely.

For other characters I needed to do more digging to uncover the names that felt right for them. Cue lots of trawling of baby name databases, archives and research on traditional names from the West Country as my story is set in a fictional Devon seaside town. I was thrilled when I hit on the name of Pasco for one of my secondary characters. It is a traditional Cornish name and although my story is set over the border in Devon I felt it fitted my character so well. You can almost hear the accent when you say the name Pasco.

Once I’ve got the main character’s names sorted I can progress with the story sometimes leaving out the names of minor characters until I hit upon the right one. Instead of a name I put XXX so it’s easy to locate later on when I need to change it. For book five I have left the names of my heroine’s parents until the very end of the first draft, having toyed with a number of options, but as none of them felt right I left it until I knew them both better and this really helped find names that worked with their personalities.

I also have lots of fun choosing the names of the animals in my stories. It is just as important to me that they have the right name. The black pug in Ottercombe Bay has a big personality, bags of attitude and some hoodlum tendencies so Bugsy Malone was the perfect fit. I hope my readers agree.

All about Ottercombe Bay

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

All about Bella...

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. She’s now written four romantic comedies and been shortlisted twice for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year.

Bella's stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you.

She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s dog. When not writing she’s usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

Buy the book...

UK Amazon link:
US Amazon link:

Find Bella online...

Twitter: @osborne_bella