Captivating Captains and Dishevelled Dukes

Join Catherine and Eleanor as they welcome dashing captains and a dishevelled duke to their stable. Meet an airline captain in a tropical paradise and a former soldier with a surprising new job on Downing Street, not to mention a saucy oarsman making waves in a village  with more than its share of secrets. And if that’s not enough, there’s a magical Valentine’s in London too!

Find out what’s emerging from the inkwell this week, and discover who’s putting the fizz in the Curzon and Harkstead gin. Only on Gin & Gentlemen!

This is now an enhanced podcast, depending on your podcast app.

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Interview: Rebecca Cohen

Rebecca Cohen dropped by the blog to tell us about her latest release, her historical m/m novel James, Earl of Crofton.

How long have you been writing? Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?

I wrote a lot in my teenage years, but going to university changed that as I went off to study science. A couple of degrees later, and after starting a career in my area of expertise, I was bit by the bug to write again. I felt something lacking and that was my creative storyteller wanting to get in on the action. So after several iterations I wrote what was to become my first novel (published in 2011). Servitude was a high fantasy mm romance, which is currently out of print having parted ways with my old publishers (Dreamspinner), but will return at some point. My first historical came along in 2012, what was meant to be a short novella to get a brain itch out of my system, became a full-length novel. That book was The Actor and the Earl and it spawned two more in the same series and two spin off series, with several more stories still to come.

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The Man in Room 423 – out on 5th May

This one is all about the suspense element, it’s all about the plot with the romance between Ben and Lizzie flawlessly riding alongside, which makes for a perfect and undoubtedly epic love story with a twist. – Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Published 5th May 2020 by Totally Bound. Available in paperback and ebook from Amazon and other retailers.

In a heady cocktail of passion and poison, who can you really trust?

When Lizzie Aspinall and her sister meet for cocktails in a high-rise bar, the last thing she’s expecting is to spend the night in the arms of the nameless man in room 423. As a one-night stand with a stranger turns into a steamy affair with a dedicated detective, Lizzie finds herself in the sights of a stalker.

Ben Finneran has spent ten years pursuing a ruthless serial killer who poisons victims at random before disappearing into the shadows. He wants to believe that the attraction he and Lizzie share is just physical, but when they find themselves falling for each other, is Ben unwittingly leading a murderer straight to her door?

Pursued by the past and threatened by the present, who can Lizzie and Ben really trust?

Excerpt

Lizzie saw him in the light of his uncurtained hotel window. He leant one hand casually against the pane, looking back at her across the dark December street.

She watched him over the rim of her glass. Office Christmas parties were loud in the bar around her, but she was barely aware of them. All she could see was the man at the window, immaculate in a dark-coloured suit, the white of his shirt as crisp as frost.

“Earth to Lizzie. Come in, Lizzie!” Long, coral pink acrylic nails snapped in front of her eyes and Donna set down two glasses of a bright red cocktail, a cherry bobbing on the surface like a drowning man. “You need a crowbar to get served in here tonight!”

She wasn’t going to tell Donna about the man in the window. She wanted him for herself, so that she could pass through what remained of this evening with her sister in the knowledge that she and she alone had seen him.

And that he had seen her.

The interested glance of a stranger.

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Interview: Zoe Allison

Debut author Zoe Allison’s first novel, Imperviousis published on 14th April by Totally Bound. A busy medic by day, she took time out to talk to us about writing her first book and what draws her to paranormal romance.

Welcome to our blog, Zoe! Tell us about your journey to publication.

I started writing around 4 years ago. I was looking for a creative outlet and initially I wrote children’s picture books, because with two small children that was all I was reading at the time! After that I got back into reading romance and a few things spurred me on to start writing my own romances. It was partly being inspired by other writers and also the feeling that if I was to write my own, it would be satisfying to be the master of the story’s destiny. I decided to give it a go and wrote my first, contemporary, romance.

I read about the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writer’s Scheme and felt it would be an excellent way to get professional feedback, which I felt I needed in order to grow as a writer. I therefore bided my time until the next intake of members and on the day in question sat with my finger hovering over the “send” button on my join request email, until the clocked ticked onto the time that applications would be accepted. As I had predicted it was an excellent opportunity. I had already started writing Impervious as that first manuscript went through the scheme and in my second year with the NWS, I submitted it. My feedback was so helpful and inspiring. I decided to make the suggested changes and resubmit the next year (2019). Whilst awaiting my critique another fantastic writer on the RNA Facebook group posted about Totally Bound accepting submissions in a few genres, including vampire and paranormal. I decided nothing ventured nothing gained, and submitted. They got back to me a few days later with the offer of publication and I ended up in shock for a number of days!

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Interview: Morton S Gray

Morton S Gray popped by to have a chat with us about writing romantic suspense.

Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?

I have always written. I can remember the delight of learning to read and write words at infant school and I’ve enjoyed both processes ever since. My first novel closely resembled the Errol Flynn swashbuckling films I used to watch with my nan on Sunday afternoons. I gave this first novel to a school friend to read when I was fourteen. I still have the original typewriter written pages.

As with many writers, life then got in the way! I didn’t really write seriously again until 2008 when the need to tell my stories began to build. Of course, you could argue that by then I’d experienced enough of life to have something to actually write about.

I went with a friend to weekly sessions run by author Sue Johnson in Pershore and again discovered the delights of putting down words to tell stories and form poems. Sue mentioned the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writer’s Scheme (NWS) and I applied and got a place in 2012. The NWS is invaluable as it gives a critique of a full-length novel for each year you are a member. I had fun and experimented with different sorts of novel – contemporary, historical and timeslip.

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Interview: Sue Fortin

Today we’re chatting to bestselling romantic suspense author Sue Fortin.

Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?

I’ve been writing stories since I was a child, I think it was my love of books which made me want to write my own. However, I didn’t complete my first manuscript until about twelve years ago when I was on maternity leave with my youngest.

I was on the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme and sent my manuscript in. Needless to say it required a lot of work. I spent the next twelve months working on it and the following year sent it through the scheme again. This time it came back with excellent feedback and comments that it was ‘book ready’. I took the decision to self-publish as I was part of an indie group at the time but a year later HarperCollins started up a new imprint called HarperImpulse and I submitted my book to them. I was delighted when they offered me a three-book deal as a result and I have been published within the HarperCollins group for all my books – eight in total.

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