|Posted by Mandy Baggot on January 27, 2015 at 4:15 AM||comments (0)|
I've been busy already this week! As well as writing between 1,000-3,000 words a day I've been getting happy with the clicking finger and updating my Pinterest.
I find it's a great way of getting all the themes and inspiration for my books in the once place. It's colourful, it's slightly random AND you can find really hot men on there! Just for hero potential obviously!
Check out my boards for 'Corfu Romance' and 'Manhattan Romance' for clues about my next books coming with Bookouture! What do the characters look like in my mind? Where are the books set? Food! Music! You name it I've pinned it! And there is still much to add!
So, feet up, cup of tea in hand and check out where I'm going to take my readers next!
Here's the link.
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on January 20, 2015 at 8:00 AM||comments (4)|
I'm thrilled to finally be able to tell you that I have a new publisher!
In a contract agreed with my lovely agent, Kate Nash, I've signed a two book deal with the fabulous Bookouture!
I'm so excited to be working with the team there (including my lovely friend, Kim Nash - there's a lot of Nashes in my world now!) and the amazing other authors (including another gorgeous mate of mine, Sue Watson). Find out more about Bookouture on their website.
And the even better news is both books are scheduled to come out in 2015!
Next month it will be a year since Made in Nashville was released and you have all been so patient waiting for my next story. Well, it's coming soon! And, it's set in Corfu!
Think gorgeous sunsets, a hot hero and two sisters who couldn't be more different! I can't wait for you to meet Ellen and Lacey!
Here's a photo of me signing the contract!
Thank you for all your support!
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on January 20, 2015 at 2:00 AM||comments (3)|
I am so excited to be taking part in this Written Fireside. Written Fireside is a round robin way of storytelling set up by the lovely Lori Connelly. This story is entitled I Looked Away and you can find parts 1-9 on the following links.
Part 1 - Lori Connelly
Part 2 - Elsa Winckler
Part 3 - Aileen Harkwood
Part 4 - Elise Forier Edie
Part 5 - Patricia Sands
Part 6 - Eve Devon
Part 7 - Bella Osborne
Part 8 - Kari Lemor
Part 9 - Jennifer Faye
Cover by Aileen Harwood
So without further ado, here is my part, Part Ten.
‘You come back here! You come right back here and listen to me!’ Donnan shrieked.
The absolute venom in his voice hit every nerve ending but Madeline kept on striding away from him, Megan like a baby monkey around her neck, clinging tight. She just had to make it to the Jeep and all this would be over. Garrett was here. Garrett was going to keep her safe and in a few minutes the whole place would be crawling with rangers and police.
She heard the crunch of gravel under hard boots, heavy steps heading her way.
‘Take one more step, Donnan and you’ll find out just how much trouble you’re really in.’ Garrett’s voice sounded out like a warning shot.
‘D’you know why this kid isn’t getting hold of any of my inheritance? Why my father isn’t going to get a happy-ever-after with a granddaughter?’
Madeline was so close to the Jeep now she could almost reach out and touch it. But there was something in the tone of Donnan’s voice now that halted her. A fizz of emotion ran through her insides and she swung Megan down to the ground, altering her position to stand in front of her like a shield.
Facing Donnan she saw the anger in his expression, the jet black pupils dilating, his lips set in a furious scowl.
He parted his lips and spat out the words. ‘Because she isn’t fucking mine.’
Every emotion Madeline felt since Megan had been taken from her drained out of her body in one lightening motion. She staggered, almost losing her footing, dizzy, sick. What he was saying was incomprehensible.
‘That’s right.’ Donnan began to pace. ‘All those years ago when you cried and you begged and you told me how we could be a family. When you told me that you loved me. When you said things would be tough but our love would be enough.’ He shook his head. ‘You never loved me! You were screwing someone else!’
‘No,’ Madeline said, shaking her head. ‘No it can’t be.’ She turned to look at her beautiful daughter, standing there so cold and scared and all she wanted to do was protect her from this, from everything and make it all go away. How could a camping trip they’d both looked forward to so much be ending up this way?
‘I think you’ve said enough.’ It was Garrett’s voice. But it was different. The empathy lost.
‘I wasn’t ready to be a father then, but I am now. I’m married and we want a family. There’s nothing we want more.’
She watched Donnan put his hands to his head, saw the rage revert to devastation.
‘And I can’t have them. The doctor says I’ve never been able to have them.’
To read the conclusion head over to Jane Lark's website on 27 January 2015.
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on January 7, 2015 at 2:00 AM||comments (3)|
My first Hump Day Hunk of 2015 is brought to you by HarperImpulse author, Teresa Morgan.
One Fine Day
Just a boy standing in front of a girl…
Steve Mason returns from Hollywood after 15 years to catch up with his sister, Ruby. He’s miserable because the woman he was planning on marrying has dumped him.
He’s now worried that with his A-list celebrity status he won’t find a woman who genuinely loves him. Ruby devises a plan to disguise Steve, so that he is unrecognisable as the famous Hollywood actor, in a hope to help him find true love. It worked for Clark Kent, right?
As Steve searches for his not-so-perfect woman and has a taste of normality, his relationship develops with his sister. But will he find the right woman before he has to head back to his real life in Hollywood?
‘This book encompasses all the elements of a truly fantastic chick-lit novel.’ Cosmochicklitan
Introducing Steve Mason
What makes Steve Mason the perfect hero?
Although he is handsome, rich and famous, strip that away, and he’s funny and charming. He tries to be considerate and cares about others. Deep down he longs to be a family man.
What would Steve Mason plan for a perfect date?
Steve is easy going, so he’ll do anything to please his lady. He’s got enough money to treat them to whatever they want to do, but he’s learning to appreciate the simpler things in life. He loves the theatre, but in December the only thing you can watch at the Bristol Hippodrome is a pantomime. However, he’s game.
What is Steve Mason’s favourite TV show and music style?
He stumbles across an old CD of his by The Stone Roses and he’d probably be quite happy to watch re-runs of The A Team.
Grab your copy of One Fine Day here!
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on January 6, 2015 at 5:10 AM||comments (0)|
Tomorrow (Weds 7th January) I will be going cowboy crazy!
The bosses at HarperImpulse have let me loose on their Facebook page and no amount of lassoing is gonna stop me!
Make sure you like the HarperImpulse Facebook page and turn on the notifications because from 9am tomorrow I'm going to be having a Nashville hoedown and giving away all manner of prizes y'all!
Here's the link to fun! http://www.facebook.com/HarperImpulse
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on December 23, 2014 at 12:55 PM||comments (0)|
I just want to say a HUGE Merry Christmas to everyone and I hope you're able to spend the holidays with the people you hold dearest.
I'm spending Christmas Day with Mr Big, my two daughters and my mother and step-dad... and my cats Kravitz and Springsteen of course! They will be fighting me for the turkey!
I'm really excited about 2015 and am looking forward to bringing you some new romantic reads! Thank you so much for all your support in 2014 - I wouldn't be writing them if you didn't read them!
AND as a treat - from Boxing Day (26 December) - my romantic suspense, Security will be just 99p! Here's a link.
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on December 19, 2014 at 5:00 AM||comments (0)|
After a week of shows, parties, dressing up and rushing off with scotch eggs and presents under my arm, school is out today! It's time to wrap those final presents, stuff the turkey, replace the already opened Christmas pate and get ready for the big man in red to make an appearance!
So to get you in the mood have a read of the first chapter of my Christmas short story, Home for Christmas! If you like it you can read the whole story PLUS some brilliant other festive stories from the HarperImpulse authors in Naughty or Nice. It's completely FREE!
Chapter One – Christmas sucks!
Charlotte sat at the bus stop wondering whether she would make the naughty or nice list this year. Last year she had rescued a stray kitten and therefore considered herself most definitely ‘nice’. This year she had broken Daniel’s heart into a million tiny pieces, so ‘naughty’ seemed to be the only answer. There’d be no Santa Claus coming down her chimney anytime soon.
My eyes are rolling now and I close the magazine up. I should have guessed this week’s fiction feast would be another lame Christmas story.
It’s Christmas Eve Eve and I am so sick of the sleigh bells ring-a-linging and Rudolph’s very shiny nose and I would happily stamp all over the Little Saint Nick. What I want to know is, who decided the whole of December should be sugar-coated, sickly sweet and drizzled in tinsel?
My mom for one. The woman who was born wearing an apron and pays homage to Nigella Lawson. Thanks to my mom there’s always packets of stuff I don’t understand in our kitchen. Foreign nuts, damsons (?!), royal icing (as if the Queen of England has actually commissioned it), essence of wild boar…OK, that one might not be strictly true. But there are cherries that have had every natural flavor removed from them and are so glazed I can use them like a mirror.
I’m watching her now, in between reading lame stories and pretending to do homework. Homework in the holidays sucks particularly when it’s math. I understand math a whole lot less than I understand damsons.
Mom’s humming freaking Nat King Cole while she sashays around the kitchen in her ‘Queen of the Grill’ apron. Dad bought it for her last birthday. Most moms would have thrown it back at him and demanded to know where the diamond necklace was. Not my mom. She squealed like she was sixteen, threw her arms around him and said it was the best present she’d ever been given. That’s the last time I buy her really really expensive tickets to the theatre with all my allowance…and every cent I could find down the back of the couch.
‘You won’t finish that math by looking at me, Darla.’
Darn. Note to self: When reliving family memories stare down at homework book not into space.
I drop my head before she can suggest I get all sugar-coated with her.
‘Why don’t you come help me bake?’
Uh oh. Note to self: Drop head back into book a whole lot faster next time or do homework in your bedroom.
I clear my throat for dramatic effect. I’m great at this. It’s almost Shakespearean.
‘Oh, Mom, I can’t possibly have all that fun yet. It would be wrong to stop important high school math for mixing and frothing.’ I bat my eyelids and try to look sincere. I’m not so great at this.
She hits me with that look, the one that knows I’m lying and isn’t going to let me get away with it.
‘All this isn’t for me, Darla. It’s for the community.’
As much as I hate to admit it, her words are a dart to the heart and make me feel completely guilty. Here I am moaning about chestnuts roasting on an open fire and baubles to rival Dolly Parton’s…earrings and my mom is baking up a storm for the homeless day at the community center.
‘I know, Mom,’ I respond, suitably contrite. ‘But baking… you know it isn’t really my thing.’
She lets out a sigh and I know what’s coming next as she dusts her hands off on a towel.
‘You did not kill Aunt Mary.’
As she says the words all I can see is my dad’s radish red face as he performs the Heimlich maneuver, a flying pecan and Aunt Mary gasping for air. I haven’t baked since. I haven’t even touched a wooden spoon, except when I helped my little brother Marlon make puppets for a school project. Making puppets was a lot safer than baking.
Perhaps my face is giving away everything I’m feeling, because Mom comes right across the kitchen and puts her hand over mine. I think it’s supposed to be a loving, supportive touch but she’s jarred my pen and now I have a squiggle over my equations.
‘Aunt Mary had a stroke. The doctors said it had absolutely nothing to do with the pecan pie.’
I nod but there’s no conviction to it. Aunt Mary had the stroke two days after she choked on a pecan pie I had made…alone…without supervision. It was six years ago. I was nine. Should nine year olds be allowed to cook on their own? I’ve always been advanced, or so I used to think. The nine year olds in Marlon’s class have trouble opening their lunchboxes. I wouldn’t trust them to make a sandwich, let alone a complex dessert. Especially Sapphire Dimmick. She basically has one tooth and paws for hands.
Nat King Cole is bringing it home on the radio and Mom is still looking at me for some sort of response. What do I do? Confess I still feel responsible? Laugh it off? What?
‘I know what we’re going to do.’
Mom sounds like a sheriff about to lay it on the line to the prisoner. I should have said something. I had options before she jumped right on in. I could interrupt her.
‘I’m fine, Mom, no need for an intervention or anything lame like that. I just don’t do baking. Like I don’t do skateboarding or cheerleading or spying on our neighbors…anymore.’
‘When this last cake is done you can come with me to the community center and help me serve.’
It’s like I didn’t speak at all. She’s decided. An afternoon of hell. I know they’re homeless and everything but why do homeless people want to get so freaking joyful about peace and goodwill to all men? Where was the peace and goodwill when they really needed it, huh? No one was offering them handouts when their home was about to be repossessed where they? If I was homeless I’d be telling the do-gooders exactly where to stick their figgy pudding.
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on December 10, 2014 at 2:00 AM||comments (2)|
This week on Hump Day Hunk the wonderful Liam Livings is introducing his hero, Gabe from his latest novel, And Then That Happened.
Blurb: And Then That Happened
Should you settle for a nearly perfect happiness or put your heart on the line for more?
It’s 1999 and 28-year-old Dominic’s carefully planned suburban life with his boyfriend Luke is perfect. His job as a nurse, his best friend Matt, his relationship with his parents, everything is just right. He and Luke have been together ten years, seen each other through friends’ deaths and their parents’ ups and downs, and even had a commitment ceremony.
Gabe isn’t happy with his boyfriend, but he stays with him, because, well it’s complicated.
Fate throws Gabe into Dominic’s life. And then that happened. Gabe’s open relationship, impulsive nature, enthusiasm for life and straight talking advice are fascinating to Dominic. They’re friends, they click over a shared love of Goldie Hawn and Gabe shows Dominic there can be more to life than planned and safe. So why can't he take his own advice?
And Then That Happened is about finding a new kind of happiness, even when what you have is already perfect. And how sometimes perfect isn’t quite what it seems.
What makes Gabe the perfect hero?
You know that saying: sing like nobody’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt before, dance like nobody’s watching and f**k like you’re being filmed - Well that’s *exactly* how Gabe lives his life. And once you’re in his life, you get his full undivided attention - and all his dramas too obvs. He’s always running off to have the next adventure, the next experience, and he does it all without holding back, which is why he sometimes falls flat on his face, and gets hurt. He’s also sensitive, caring, loving and isn’t afraid of having a good cry.
What would Gabe plan for a perfect date?
It could be anything really. A quiet night in with him cooking for his boyfriend. Maybe a few drinks in London, then going clubbing all night, and watching the sun rise from Trafalgar Square in central London. Even if it was something when he and his boyfriend were out and about, he’d still manage to make the boyfriend feel they were the only two people on the planet, giving the boyfriend his total undivided attention, no looking at mobile phones, not taking calls, not swanning off to see other people.
What is Gabe’s favourite TV show and music style?
He’s a massive Goldie Hawn fan, so any film with her in and he’s there. His favourite of her films is probably Housesitter they have a bit of an ongoing joke about how the character makes things up in her life. He also enjoys Death Becomes Her – and why wouldn’t he, it’s a camp classic! He likes Erasure, and isn’t afraid of anyone thinking it’s *too gay* music. He’s proud of what he likes, and doesn’t apologise for it.
Gabe has brown eyes, but the smile, the dark hair, and the beardedness, is pretty much right in this pic (above) of the gorgeous Bradley Cooper – from IMDB.
I can share a small sample of when they first meet:
The fourth of June 1999 at eight thirty pm, it was raining, as expected in a British summer. I looked up from my handover note in the staff room; he pushed the door open slowly and sat opposite me, smiling at everyone else.
It was my fourth of a string of extra nights, and I felt the sort of tiredness that comes from a series of night shifts where you grab hours of poor quality sleep during the day, between batting about with housework and other chores. The sort of tiredness only people with young babies or night workers can fully understand. His arrival immediately woke me back to more than normal levels.
My gaydar gave me mixed signals as he wore Timberland shoes and a very plain jacket over his nurses tunic.
He smiled at me, shook his curly dark brown hair so water sprayed around the room, then removed his jacket. ‘Look at me, Ernest! Just look at me! I'm soaking wet!’
The day sister looked him up and down. ‘Ernest, who’s he?’
‘I’m assuming you’re Gabriel, from the agency.’
He nodded. ‘Gabe.’
But as soon as he quoted Death Becomes Her—I knew for definite, without a shadow of a doubt, he was as gay as bunting. No straight man quotes that film, not in this world or the next. ‘Spanish, are you?’ I asked, feigning disinterest.
‘My dad is.’ He stared at me, his long brown eyelashes framing his eyes perfectly.
I deliberately allocated myself at the far end of the ward from him. I didn’t want to come across as too keen. Besides, I was happily partnered.
Connect with Liam
Grab your copy of And Then That Happened now!
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on December 4, 2014 at 5:30 AM||comments (0)|
As an author, most of my research is done from the comfort of my home, using Google, dipping into websites, exploring areas of the globe virtually. However, for this particular work in progress, I knew I needed more!
As my delicious hero is a firefighter, a lot of the action takes place at the fire station, at incidents, in fires. Sounds exciting doesn't it? I needed help. I needed to call the emergency services!
Salisbury Fire Station came to the rescue and Red Watch invited me to come for the day and see what they do, what the fire house is like and just how unlike my favourite programme, Chicago Fire it all is.
The very first thing we did was leap up into the appliance (that's a rather non-sexy name for fire engine I am going to try and avoid using as it sounds like it's white goods that should be in a kitchen). We were on an important mission that I can't possibly divulge here and I was tucked up in the back with three strapping fellas clutching my flourescent tabard. It's a tight fit for six (one driving, one riding shotgun and four of us in the back) but it's so cool!
Next was a chance to conquer a fear. Years ago, when I was about seven, my primary school went on a trip to the local fire station and we were allowed to try on the breathing apparatus (BA). Having a fear of astronauts and anything gas mask-like I didn't want to do it. My teacher then forced it on my face and I had a serious meltdown with screaming and tears. This was my chance to put that episode behind me and take control. And here I am! On first go, no panic, job done!
One of the most important things I wanted to get from my day was how the firemen were as a unit. I was paying close attention to the eating and drinking in the Mess Room, the banter, the comraderie etc. The five guys in Red Watch were brilliant, letting me ask them all the questions I wanted, even close-to-the- bone ones about dealing with the aftermath of situations and how it may seep into their home life.
Then, after a quick question of 'how was I with heights?' I was trussed up in a harness and flying up to 30 feet on board the Rhino (much sexier name than the official one!). I had a brilliant view of Salisbury from up there and even got to drive us out and over a roof, turn it around (in turtle mode!) and then bring us back down to Earth.
But that wasn't the end of the action! Next was the cutting equipment. I got to handle these bad boys and cut off a car door!
The station was a lot bigger than I'd imagined. There are offices, sleeping quarters, kitchen, mess room, rec room, drying room, TV room, lecture room, gym and most important, two poles.
It was one of the best experiences I've ever had and they've invited me back. In a couple of weeks I will be joining Green Watch...wonder if they'll let me loose with a hose this time!
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on November 6, 2014 at 2:00 AM||comments (0)|
Today at the House of Baggot I'm delighted to welcome HarperImpulse author, Debbie Johnson.
Debbie Johnson lives and works in Liverpool, where she divides her time between writing, caring for a small tribe of children and animals, and not doing the housework.She writes romance, fantasy and crime - which is as confusing as it sounds!
Her first humorous contemporary romance, Cold Feet At Christmas, a seasonal tale of snow-bound fun, is released by HarperImpulse on Nov 6. Best-selling author Jane Costello described it as 'fun, sexy and fabulously festive...I enjoyed every minute of it'.
Her supernatural crime thriller, Fear No Evil, featuring Liverpool PI Jayne McCartney, is out on October 27 through Maze/Avon Books.
Her first novel, urban fantasy Dark Vision, was published by Del Rey UK in March 2014, with a follow-up, Dark Touch, out in 2015. Reviews of Dark Vision included: 'A deftly told entertainment that shows there is certainly room in the world for a Liverpudlian Charlaine Harris' (The Guardian); 'a vibrant and sexy fusion of urban fantasy and Celtic mythology' (Starburst), and 'must read' (Daily Express Saturday magazine).
About the book
Sum up your latest book in no more than 30 words!
A tale of cheating fiances, a secluded cottage hidden away in a Scottish snowstorm, and finding yourself stranded on Christmas Eve with a man so handsome you nickname him ‘God’...
What was your inspiration for this novel?
I was out walking my dog in a vast snow blizzard – so much white stuff that reality was completely obliterated – I could have been anywhere, in any reality. I started thinking of being out there without the 17 layers of clothing and the boots. About being in something totally inappropriate – like a wedding dress and high heels. And what would happen next...
How do you write? Are you a pen and paper person or a laptop lover? Do you write from start to end or merge scenes together as they come to you?
Laptop, definitely – I feel like my legs have been chopped off if there’s ever anything wrong with it! I usually start with something simple: a vivid character, or scene, or even a title, and work it out from there. I tend to just start without any idea of what will happen next – I’m not one of life’s planners!
If you were in charge of casting who would play your hero in the film adaptation and why would they be the best choice?
I'd go for the Italian actor Raoul Bova - as to why, just google him!
Where do you live and who with? Cats? Children? Hunky firefighter?
I live on the coast, near Liverpool, with my husband Dom – a hunky librarian! – and my three children, who are 17, 9 and 7. Plus an elderly Golden Retriever and a tortoise.
Favourite band/singer – have you seen them in concert? Have you waited backstage to leap on them?
I worked for 10 years as a pop writer on the local paper. Most of it is a blur, but I did get to see some amazing bands. I think my favourite would be Pulp – and no, I’ve never met Jarvis Cocker. In fact I deliberately avoided him – you should never meet your heroes!
TV – are you a drama lover or a soap devourer? Or does comedy tickle your fancy more?
I love a good crime drama, or a solid supernatural – usually American. So, Sons of Anarchy, True Blood, Dexter, True Detective....and NO soaps!
You’re allowed to take THREE items to a desert island – which THREE things could you not live without?
My kindle. My kids. And cake.
Quick Fire Quiz
In my novel ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’ Kate and Joel take part in a relationship contest a bit like ‘Mr & Mrs’. I thought it would be fun if you could answer their quick fire questions and readers of the page can make what they will from your answers! Choose one from the following pairs e.g. savoury or sweet based on your gut reaction to the words. Remember it’s quick fire!
Savoury or Sweet? Sweet
Action or relaxation? Relaxation
Up or down? Up
Tea or coffee? Coffee
Nightclub or wine bar? Nightclub
Ferrari or Porsche? Porsche
Truth or dare? Truth
Gym or bed? Bed
Flower or tree? Tree
Hot or cold? Cold
E-book or paperback? Paperback
Bruce Forsyth or Dick Van Dyke? Brucie!
Thanks for joining me, Debbie!