#NewBook Resisting Mr Rochester available for pre-order!

I’m delighted to tell you that Resisting Mr Rochester is now available to pre-order. You can do so by clicking here, or on the link at the side of this post. Publication date is 20th June. If you’d like to see a little book trailer I made, click on this link. //studio.stupeflix.com/embed/pUxQVaqBTDu9/

 

 

A Cuppa and a Catch-Up

You can’t beat a cup of tea

It’s May! I can hardly believe it. Happy Bank Holiday to you all, and – as my good friend Rhiannon Bone would say – a very blessed Beltane, too.

Pull up a chair, grab yourselves a cuppa, and let’s have a good old catch-up, shall we?

I am very well aware that I haven’t been around much on here lately. I apologise – again. I have been incredibly busy, working on not just one, not just two, but three different writing projects.

The first of these is currently having a final proofread. I have had a gorgeous cover designed for me by the lovely, and very patient, Berni Stevens,  and I’m just waiting now to make any final corrections before things move on to the publishing stage.

New book coming soon!

There will be a cover reveal and a pre-order date coming very soon, but I can tell you that the book is due for publication around mid-June. It’s not a Kearton Bay book, nor a Skimmerdale book, but it’s very close to my heart. It’s set on the Yorkshire Moors, not far from Kearton Bay (!) and a scene takes place in Helmston, so readers of the KB series will feel on familiar territory. We have brand new characters, including a heroine I loved and a hero I fell completely in love with. I’m always nervous when I’m about to have a book published, but I really hope you’ll enjoy it.

I’ve also been working on the second Skimmerdale book, and it’s been great fun to be back in the Yorkshire Dales with my old friends. I’ve especially enjoyed renewing my acquaintance with hunky sheep farmer, Eliot, but that’s me. I’m shameless. I’m not sure when this book will be published but I will definitely keep you updated when I know more.

Thirdly, I’ve been writing a Christmas book, and that should be coming out in late October/early November. It’s set in and around Farthingdale and Moreton Cross – villages that also appear in the Kearton Bay series – but will feature completely different characters. I’ve been getting to know a very different sort of heroine in this one. She’s quite challenging, and she has a rather lovely fella whose life she’s about to turn upside down – or is she? Hmm…

Can’t believe my book’s in the libraries!

So, as you can imagine, it’s been all go lately, and that’s why I’ve neglected the blog and for that I can only apologise. Hopefully, you’ll all think it was worth it in the end. 🙂

What else have I been up to? Well, I sent off a story to the lovely folks at The People’s Friend, and it was accepted. It’s going to be published as a pocket novel on July 27th. It’s provisionally called The Doctor’s Daughter, although that may change. I’ll be publishing it on Kindle at some point in the near future, but it’s always lovely to see a copy of your work on the shelves of WH Smith or a supermarket – even if it’s only for a couple of weeks. My previous pocket novel, All Because of Baxter, has been published in large print format by Ulverscroft, and copies of that should be in various libraries right now. That’s made me very happy, as I spent practically my entire childhood in one library or another, and I never dreamt in a million years that one of my books would be on the shelves one day. It just shows you!

I’ve also been setting up a new website. You may notice that several pages of this blog have gone missing, and that’s because they’ve been incorporated into my new site instead. However, this blog will remain, as will the book reviews, and there will be a link to these pages on my new website. It’s been quite a faff for someone as technically challenged as me, I can tell you! Find me at http://www.sharonboothwriter.com

Me and Jessica in a very windy, cold Scarborough!

It hasn’t ALL been work, though. On Saturday I ventured out of my writing room into the real world. I caught the train to Scarborough to visit my lovely friend and fellow Write Romantic, Jessica Redland, who was giving a talk at the Seastrand Cafe on the seafront. We had a fabulous day, and even though the talk didn’t go quite as planned, we had a lot of fun. Mind you, the weather was a bit grim. My teeth were chattering! Of course, it WAS a British Bank Holiday weekend so I should have known. 🙂 You can read all about Jessica’s event here.

So, I think we’re all caught up for now. My cup of tea has actually gone cold, so I’m off to put the kettle on.

Have a great week.

Merry Christmas

text-1892882_1280It’s Christmas Eve! I can’t quite believe that the big day is almost upon us. It seemed to be hovering in the distance for such a long time, and now it’s so close I can practically hear those sleigh bells. I think I say the same thing every year!

Christmas preparations are almost done. I don’t have children living at home any more, so it’s not as frantic as it used to be when I had five little ones, all with very high expectations of a perfect day. No pressure there, then! It’s a lot easier, now, with just the husband and the dog to think about. On the other hand, I can’t deny that it’s lost a certain something. I do miss having the kids around most at Christmas. They were noisy, chaotic and very messy, but Christmases with five children at home were also amazing, exciting, and rekindled the joy of the festive season in me every year.

How are your Christmas preparations going? This year, I actually managed to write all my cards and post them or presents-153926_1280give them out in time. I can’t remember the last time I managed that. The last of the food shopping is being delivered today, and I’ve already had an email to say there are no major substitutions, which for Christmas Eve, is pretty impressive. Even the presents are wrapped, and most of them have already been delivered.

Of course, not everything’s gone according to plan. Two parcels have gone astray. One was delivered to the sorting depot on the 9th December and hasn’t been seen since. Investigations are in progress but I’ve heard nothing so far, and I doubt I will now, this side of  January. The other was delivered to some mysterious person at some mysterious address. It was signed for, but no one has come forward to tell me they have it. Again, investigations are in progress…Hmm. I actually ordered the item again, as I couldn’t hang around while the company tried to figure out what had happened, but there has been no sign of that one at all. Can’t say I’m impressed with the delivery company. Amazon, on the other hand, have been brilliant. Everything ordered from them has arrived well on time. There have even been Sunday deliveries! Impressive.

quotes-933816_1920The thing is, whatever’s not here now isn’t going to be here for Christmas, and it’s no use worrying about it. I’m determined not to stress about all this stuff. It’s sad but true that the most wonderful time of the year is also the time when we lose sight of everything that matters, lost in a fog of panic, and a dreadful fear of failure. Today I’m seeing some of my kids and grandchildren, watching my favourite film, It’s a Wonderful Life, and maybe even treating myself to a festive snowball! Christmas is for enjoying, and I intend to do just that. It’s too easy to get caught up in believing you have to have the “perfect” Christmas, and thinking that to achieve that you have to tick off every single thing on your to-do list, when, really, none of it matters at all.  I think this poem by Sir John Betjeman sums it up perfectly:

Christmas

The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hookers Green.

The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that the villagers can say
‘The church looks nice’ on Christmas Day.

Provincial Public Houses blaze,
Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze,
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says ‘Merry Christmas to you all’.

And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.

And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children’s hearts are glad.
And Christmas-morning bells say ‘Come!’
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

And is it true? And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A Baby in an ox’s stall ?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me ?

And is it true ?  For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare –
That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.

christmas-934177_1920I fully appreciate that not everyone believes that “God was man in Palestine”, but the Christmas message of love, hope, and forgiveness is relevant to everyone – and maybe it’s more important than ever in these troubled times.
So I’d like to wish you all a very merry, peaceful Christmas. Have fun, make memories, and remember to enjoy it – even if you don’t get the exact present you wanted, or the turkey’s too dry, or Uncle Bill gets completely sozzled and falls asleep with his head in the pudding. One day, you’ll look back on Christmas 2016, and you won’t remember the things you forgot to do, or the things that didn’t arrive in time. You’ll remember the love, the laughs, and the feelings. That’s Christmas for you.
Have a good one!
Sharonxxx (3)

And the winner is…

cracker-1245584_1920Congratulations to Christine Corkill, who is the lucky winner of a signed copy of This Other Eden! Thank you to everyone who entered the draw, and remember , you can buy the Kindle version of the book by clicking on the link at the side of this post, or if you want the paperback, it’s available here (UK) or here (USA).

 

 

 

 

This Other Eden is the first in the Skimmerdale series, and the second will be out next year. I really enjoyed my jaunt over to the Yorkshire Dales, and can’t wait to return there to see what everyone’s been up to.  Here’s what people have been saying about This Other Eden

“I so loved this book! If you love Ozzy Osbourne and P.G.Wodehouse then this book is a must!”

“The stunning Yorkshire Dales, a gorgeous brooding young farmer, and lots of secrets. What’s not to love about this fabulous novel?”

“A hugely entertaining jaunt of a novel through the Yorkshire dales.”

“This story, set against the backdrop of sheep farming in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales is a must read.”

“I adored this fabulous tale of love, lies and mistaken identity.”

This Other Eden ebook cover V4 (1)

THIS OTHER EDEN (SKIMMERDALE BOOK ONE)

Eden wants to keep her job, and, as that means spending the summer caring for three young children in the wilds of the Yorkshire Dales, she has no choice but to go along with it. Her consolation prize is that their father is unexpectedly gorgeous. Sadly for Eden, she’s not quite herself any longer…
Honey wants to spend the summer with her married politician lover. The only problem is, there are quite a few people determined to put obstacles in her path. But what Honey wants, Honey usually gets…
Cain wants a knighthood and is willing to sacrifice almost anything for it. If his daughter is putting that goal in jeopardy, it’s time to get tough…
Lavinia wants to keep her marriage intact, and if that means turning a blind eye to her husband’s philandering, she’ll do it. But that doesn’t mean she can’t have someone else spying for her…
Eliot wants to care for his children, and to be left in peace to heal. When he gets an unexpected guest, he wonders if it’s time to start living again. But is this sheep farmer having the wool pulled over his eyes?
Cake baking, jam making, gymkhana games and sheep showing. Blackmail, deception, spying and cheating. Laughter, forgiveness, redemption and falling in love. A lot can happen during one summer in Skimmerdale…

 

Have a great week!

Sharonxxx (3)

 

It’s Publication Day!

This Other Eden ebook cover V4 (1)Yes, it really is, and how am I celebrating? Well, in my usual glamorous fashion, I’m catching up with blogging, emails and (hopefully!) writing this morning, before heading off to the day job. No Champagne or celebration cakes for me. Oh, no. I like to keep things down-to-earth. Ha! Like I have a choice.

To be honest, I’ve been ill all weekend, so the shine has kind of been taken off the whole thing for me. I’ve honestly been too worn-out-headachey-aching-limbs-sore-throat-feeling-sorry-for-myself to think about publication day much. I’m hoping whatever nasty little virus has attacked me this time, clears off pretty sharpish. Mind you, the way this year has been going, it’s only a matter of time before it lets its mates know and the next horde of germs move in. I never seem to be free of them lately.

But enough of this tale of woe. It is publication day, and I’m delighted to say that This Other Eden is now available to buy for Kindle for the bargain price of just £1.99. Fingers crossed, it’s also available to buy in paperback for3773091618_64da64443e_b £9.99, but you’ll have to check that out for yourself. At the time of writing this blog, the paperback hadn’t yet appeared for sale on Amazon, but it shouldn’t be long.

So, if you fancy heading off to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, to spend time with an ageing rock star, a double-crossing politician, a spoilt brat who is angling for her own reality show, an inept journalist, a confused young woman who’s really not herself, and a truly delectable sheep farmer with a more-than-passing resemblance to Aidan Turner, treat yourself to This Other Eden for less than the price of a cappuccino, and enjoy…

Have a great week xx

New Book is up for Pre-order!

This Other Eden ebook cover V4 (1)This Other Eden, the first in the Skimmerdale series, is now available to pre-order on Amazon. The release date is April 5th, so not long to go. Hopefully, the paperback will be available on or around the same date, but I’ll let you know if I hear differently!

The main heroine in this book is a young woman called Eden Robinson, who, due to the fickle finger of fate pointing mockingly in her direction, finds herself in the unfamiliar territory of the upper Yorkshire Dales. She arrives at Fleetsthorpe, a sheep farm belonging to Eliot Harland, who lives with his three young children, to care for the family after the loss of Eliot’s wife, Jemima.

Of course, things aren’t that straightforward. Eliot is disturbingly attractive for a start (he would be, since he looks surprisingly like Aidan Turner!) and Eden wasn’t expecting that. This rather throws her off course. Battling with her growing feelings for both Eliot and his children, a woman who clearly resents her presence at Fleetsthorpe, and a man who is far too devious for his own good, Eden’s summer proves more eventful than she’d anticipated. To top it all off, she’s not really herself any longer.

With a cheating husband, an ageing rock star, and an inept journalist in the mix, things are about to get a whole lot messier for Eden…

This Other Eden is available for pre-order here.

Have a great week xx

In Praise of Libraries

Today (February 6th) is National Libraries Day, and the internet has been full of articles about the importance of libraries, and information about events that are being held to celebrate this special day. Which got me thinking about my own experience of libraries, and also made me realise that my relationship with them has changed dramatically. And not in a good way.

My first experience of a library – that I can remember, anyway – was when I was around four or five years old. Having sat through an assembly at school and hearing the Nativity story for the first time in my life, I was so enamoured of this miraculous tale that I wanted to know more about it. My dad simply said, ‘Well, let’s go to the library and you can get a book about it.’

The library was above the Town Hall

The library was above the Town Hall

Now, I may or may not have visited the library before this, but I really don’t remember any previous visits. So off we went, me and my dad, to the local library, which was above the town hall. I well remember my dad pushing open that door at the side of the building, and the creaking of the stairs as we made our way up to the first floor. Opening the library door, I was faced with a large counter, where solemn looking librarians stamped books with silent authority. The stamping of books fascinated me. I wanted to be a librarian for years, just so I could stamp books.

The main room of the library was, unsurprisingly, given over to adult books, but

Ladybird Book of Baby Jesus

Ladybird Book of Baby Jesus

there was a small room that was purely for children, and, oh! What heaven lay behind that door. On that particular visit I found a Ladybird Book of Baby Jesus and fell upon it in delight. Later visits yielded treasures such as Paddington, the Wombles, Stig of the Dump, Babar and Milly-Molly-Mandy.

I was lucky. My mum and dad were avid readers, and my dad would often take me to the library where I was allowed to choose two or three books. As I got a bit older, I was allowed to go alone, and would spend hours in there, choosing books and sitting at the little table by the window, browsing through them and deciding which ones I would take home with me that day.

Milly-Molly-Mandy

Milly-Molly-Mandy

As I got even older and could venture into the city on my own on the bus, I would take my pocket money each week and head to WH Smith to choose a new pony book every Saturday. But before I reached that age, the library was essential to me. Our little town had only one bookshop, and it wasn’t a particularly large one. Often, books had to be ordered and there would be an agonising wait for weeks until the stock arrived. I remember having The Cat that Walked a Week, by Meindert Dejong, read to me at school, and deciding that there was nothing that I wanted in my life more than that book. I begged my mum to buy me a copy. She was reluctant. It was a hardback book and quite expensive, but eventually she agreed and placed an order. I had to wait for ages until we got a call from the shop to say it had arrived. It wasn’t that easy to get new books. They weren’t cheap. There were no Kindles, no Amazon. The

The Cat that Walked a Week

The Cat that Walked a Week

library kept me sane.

I only really got new books at Christmas. They were my favourite presents. Invariably, they were Enid Blyton books, all hardbacks, and usually I would get at least three from my parents, who recognised my addiction to reading and, thankfully, encouraged it.  But three books a year would never have been enough for me. Those visits to the library were essential.

School libraries were a wonderful discovery, too. Packed to the rafters with books I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. I could never have afforded to buy them all. With a library at school and a library round the corner from my home, I never had to worry about running out of reading material.

When my own children were little, I took them all to the local library and they soon had their own little tickets. After school, I would take them there and let them choose books, while I browsed for yet more myself.

With the advent of the IT age, spaces were cleared so that computers could be set up in the libraries. My childhood library closed and a new one opened, modern and spacious with lots of glass and no creaky stairs. I realised that librarians didn’t just specialise in stamping books – not that they ever had, of course. But now, it wasn’t just books they had to know about. They had to understand the world wide web and information technology. Reference books were less in demand. We had Google, after all. Paperbacks were on sale in supermarkets. I could download a book I wanted to read in seconds to my brand new Kindle.

Hello Mr Twiddle

Hello Mr Twiddle

To my shame, I haven’t been to a library for some years now. Thinking about them today, I realise how vital they were to me and to my own children. There must be many people who still rely on them. Not everyone has access to technology at home. Not everyone has money to spare for books. Libraries have changed and adapted, holding events to help and encourage youngsters to read, classes to teach information technology, “meet-the-author” evenings and talks…Libraries are having to fight back, because so many have closed. It’s easy to blame the authorities for the closure of the libraries, but we have to look to ourselves, too. How many of us use them regularly? How many of us use them at all?

I am so thankful that I had access to a good library, and that I was lucky enough to have parents who recognised the importance of reading, and were happy to take me there. I hope that libraries will be around for a long, long time, revealing new worlds to young children, opening doors for all those eager to learn and discover. It would be a sadder world without them.

Have a great week xx