|Posted by mandybaggot on April 10, 2014 at 3:35 AM||comments (2)|
Wow! I'm still recovering from the best rock gig I've been to since the last time I watched Foreigner live in Portsmouth!
The historic Guildhall
But they weren't alone. Kicking things off were British rock band, FM and Sweden's, Europe.
But the highlight for me was Foreigner.
Lead singer, Kelly Hansen got straight down to business in the crowd.
And from that moment the hits just kept rolling on out!
The whole band are so energetic it's impossible not to get caught up in their infectious enthusiasm. Lady B obviously needed no egging on in this department, I was dancing from the very beginning.
Founder and lead guitarist, Mick Jones played an emotional Star Rider to his home crowd, having just been inducted onto the Guildhall Wall of Fame earlier that day. You thought Portsmouth only had Charles Dickens and Isambard Kingdom Brunel to hail - nope, it was also home to this great band's creator.
With the Portsmouth High School providing the choir for I Want To Know What Love Is and a final foot-stomping rendition of my favourite, Hot Blooded, there was only one thing to do. Get right up close and personal!
An amazing night, a high octane performance, a standing ovation and a grab for drumsticks, guitar picks and hand slaps. We love you Foreigner. Come back soon!
|Posted by mandybaggot on April 5, 2014 at 1:05 PM||comments (6)|
So, what do you think of my new tagline? I've had 'strong contemporary romance and characters you'll fall in love with' and 'strong contemporary romance meets feel-good fiction' but now I've gone for 'hot heroes - emotional reads'.
Last week I spoke to a couple of industry professionals who told me I need to find my place in the market. Unless you've read my books before and fallen in love with my style, you don't necessarily know what you're going to get with a Mandy Baggot book from the outset. I understand this. I write books set in the UK, the US, Corfu etc. There are new characters, unique situations, more than just the romance, so how do I convey that to readers who haven't encountered me before? The truth is, at the moment, I don't really know! But I'm going to try different ways to engage more readers so we don't miss out on each other.
I suppose I like to think that what ties my books together is the hope they are all great reads, but somehow I need to show the readers more. When they see a Mandy Baggot book I want to give them a stronger flavour of what they're going to get. That's why, when I thought of the main things my books have in common, I came up with hot heroes - emotional reads.
So, what do you think? Do you like it? Do you think it tells you exactly what you're going to get from a Lady B novel? Or have I missed something out? I would love to hear your thoughts.
|Posted by mandybaggot on April 2, 2014 at 2:00 AM||comments (1)|
This week on In The Sack I'm excited to have author, Elaine Spires.
BIO: I self-publish because I believe in creating your own future and life's too short to sit around waiting for things to happen, or for a publisher to decide they want you. I always find it hard to classify my books into a genre, so I'll say that I write contemporary novels with humour, sex, love and twists.
Two of my books, What's Eating Me and Sweet Lady started life as stage plays. WEM was a one-woman show which I performed on the London and Edinburgh Fringes and Sweet Lady started life at the Anna Scher Theatre, London where it won Best Play and then I produced it in Antigua, where the story is based. My other two novels, Singles' Holiday and Singles and Spice are part of the Singles' Trilogy. The third book, Single All The Way will be out in December. I worked as a tour manager for a singles' tour operator for thirteen years and this is where I got the idea for the trilogy from. Singles' Holiday has been adapted for the stage and is being produced at the Brentwood Theatre 13-17 October by Melabeau Productions, with myself taking the role of Eve.
I also wrote the HAMA TV series Paradise View and have two pilot episodes planned for filming later in the year, one in UK for Singles' Holiday and the other in Antigua for a quirky little series called the Amazing Adventures of Maisie and Em.
I am happily single, the mother of a beautiful daughter, Melanie and I live in Essex, although I also have a house in Antigua, which I'll spend much more time at once I'm an A-List author. I have been an air-hostess, a drama, Spanish, tourism and English teacher, an aromatherapist, holiday rep and resort manager and owned the first Chinese restaurant in San Antonio, Ibiza.
Singles and Spice is the second in the Singles' Trilogy, the first being Singles' Holiday, set on the Caribbean island of Antigua and the third, Single All The Way, about a singles' Christmas holiday, will be out in December 2014.
In Singles and Spice we follow another Travel Together singles' group as they tour India's Golden Triangle, taking in the Taj Mahal, the pink city of Jaipur, tiger- spotting in Ranthambore and the noisy, crowded streets of Delhi, on a trip that is hot, humid and sizzlingly spicy. Tour manager extraordinaire Eve Mitchell has a couple of familiar faces in her little group of travellers and others that she hasn't met before; sexy, man-eating pensioners, a compulsive over-eater, a constant whiner, someone with their own special secret and a man with a personal problem. And there's a big, life-changing surprise for someone -and Eve- early one morning as the group complete their tour by coach, train, rickshaw, canter and elephant. Eve deals with all the twists and turns the trip throws at her as we come to understand what makes people travel the world with a bunch of complete strangers and appreciate the success that a singles's holiday usually is.
Singles and Spice is available as a Kindle download and in paperback from Elaine's website.
Bought at Rags Boutique, Hamlet Court Road,Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex.
I was passing by and saw it in the window and thought it would go well with two coats I have; one plain black and the other grey and pink. I love quirky things and this shouted "quirky!" at me, especially the shape, the clasp, and the dash of leopardskin with the bow. It's a handy size, too, as even my iPad just fits into it.
WHAT'S IN THE SACK
Purse, hairbrush, reading glasses, indigestion tablets, phone, notebook and pen, plasters and a copy of Singles and Spice.
Thank you for coming on In The Sack, Elaine.
|Posted by mandybaggot on March 20, 2014 at 6:10 AM||comments (3)|
At the moment I'm 60,000 words into my latest novel, What Happens in Corfu... I'm getting ever closer to the finish line and I'm hoping this is going to be ready to launch on you this summer. I do love a tight turn around! If you'd like to get some inspiration for the book I have a Pinterest board rolling along here.
But, while I'm writing this tenth book of mine (yes, I said number 10!) I'm thinking ahead to my next project and I'm pretty sure it's going to take place in Nashville. If you didn't catch my visit to the Harper Impulse blog yesterday you can find out all about my trip to the UK's Country 2 Country music festival here.
You've probably guessed by now, but I ADORE country music and the whole vibe surrounding it. It's where my heart lies and, at the moment, it just inspires me so much with my writing.
But I need your help. What do YOU want from this book? Would you like more from Jared and Honor with some additional characters brought into the mix? Or would you like an entirely different couple to get to know? Leave me a comment below. I can't wait to hear what you think!
|Posted by mandybaggot on March 12, 2014 at 3:00 AM||comments (6)|
This week on In The Sack I'm welcoming Harper Impulse author, Teresa Morgan!
About Teresa Morgan
I live in sunny Weston-super-Mare, trying to hold onto my Surrey accent where I was born and bred.
For years I persevered with boring jobs, until my two boys joined my nest. In an attempt to find something to work around them, and to ensure I never endured full time boredom again, I found writing.
I am at my happiest baking cakes, putting proper home cooked dinners on the table (whether the kids eat them or not), reading a good romance, or creating a touch of escapism with heroes readers will fall in love with.
Plus One is a Lucky Number
Sophie’s going to a wedding where the invite is strictly plus one… but with her single girl status not exactly fitting in with the bridesmaid dress code, and the best man being none other than the ex she would rather forget, Sophie needs a favour and she needs it fast!
Luckily for Sophie, her dreamy but distant co-worker Adam Reid owes their mutual friend James big time…and his gorgeousness more than fills the role of the ‘Perfect Boyfriend’!
As they take off to the sunny shores of Cornwall for the wedding weekend, it’s not long before pretence leads to passion and Sophie and Adam must decide; is their relationship real or is it all for show?
My day-to-day handbag is far from glamorous. I bought it from Clarks – we have an outlet shop locally, as we’re not that far from Clarks’ Village in Street. I tend to get most of my shoes/boots from there as they’re cheap(er), and because of my wide feet, I need good fitting shoes.
I used to carry a larger bag, but got fed up with it. I need something I can sling across my shoulder, so that I don’t get shoulder/back ache. (All down to RSI I’m afraid). I also like to have my hands free. As my kids have grown, I don’t require a massive bag. This is smaller to hold my essentials, now that I don’t need to carry wet wipes, water bottles and various other bits (snacks, toys) to entertain kids with.
I do like it because it does have many compartments.
WHAT'S IN THE SACK
This bag contains:
A reusable bag - because I can’t stand taking a carrier bag if I can help it.
M&S vouchers – so that I have them on me in case.
A watch – I need to get a battery for.
Silk glasses wipe
House keys – it would contain car keys too if I was out.
For some reason two packets of sugar. I think I kept them, to add to my stash for holidays etc. I don’t actually take sugar.
Sometimes there is a notepad in there, but not today.
I was going to change my bag, ready for this blog post, as I was so ashamed of this very practical and highly unexciting black handbag. Doesn’t scream glamorous writer, does it? However I didn’t have the money this month, but I think I need a trip to TK Maxx soon!
Thanks for joining me, Teresa!
|Posted by mandybaggot on March 11, 2014 at 3:00 AM||comments (0)|
It's my turn on the latest Harper Impulse authors Written Fireside! If you haven't been keeping up with the new story, On Valentine's, check out all the parts below before going on to read mine!
She bit her lip as his intense scrutiny drew feelings out of her. Sensual feelings. Sentiments that shouldn’t be escaping now, when she was all alone with a man she barely knew, in the woods. She wasn’t that girl. She didn’t need anybody. Anybody would try to change her. She couldn’t afford to let that happen again.
Jed leant forward an inch and she felt the heat from him. Could she trust again? Should she just...
There was a crash, the door flew open and Makayla landed down on her knees on the floor in front of them.
There wasn’t time to think, let alone act. Makayla’s sobs filled the cabin and, as the dusk light filtered through the open door, a dark figure stepped inside. Paul.
Mongo started to growl.
‘Well lookie here.’ He strutted into the centre of the room, scuffing his boots on the floor, his eyes focussed on Cat.
‘He made me tell him where you were,’ Makayla cried. ‘I’m so glad you’re not alone, I...’
Jed stood up. ‘I don’t know who you are but you’re leaving.’ He pointed a threatening finger at Paul, then looked to the frightened woman. ‘Makayla, are you hurt?’
‘Sit down, jerk-off. This has nothing to do with you.’ He hissed the words at Jed, venom coating his tone.
‘Paul.’ The word had come out of her mouth of its own accord as she’d got to her feet. What was he doing here? What had he done to her friend?
‘Do you know this guy, Cat?’ Jed asked, looking to her.
She nodded, ashamed, humiliated, wanting to rewind the hours that had passed and make a different choice as to where to spend Valentine’s.
‘She’s my girl,’ Paul stated. Everything about the sentence was brutal.
Makayla raised her head and her eyes found Cat. There were tears tracking down her face, her cheeks reddened, scratches down her arms.
‘Is this true?’ Jed had asked the question and she had no idea what to say.
Continuing the story will be Jane Lark next Tuesday!
|Posted by mandybaggot on March 5, 2014 at 2:00 AM||comments (5)|
This week on In The Sack I have Harper Impulse author, the lady with the gorgeous guy on her front cover, Caroline Storer!
Thank you, Mandy for having me here. As a fellow HarperImpulse writer I’ve been following, and reading, Mandy’s books for a while now. Made In Nashville is a delicious read! Like Mandy, I’ve got a real fetish for handbags. I’m not one for clothes shopping (once a year if I can get away with it), but when it comes to handbags I’ve got loads. Birthdays, Christmas and the ever changing seasons are always an excuse to buy one (or two).
I’ve been writing “properly” since 2007 when I decided to take myself seriously as a writer. A few up and downs (that’s life after all) I finally got “The Call” in October last year when Charlotte Ledger of HarperImpulse rang me to say she loved the book I had sent in via their website submission page. I write mainly historical romances, but my laptop currently has several contemporary romances and a futuristic romance begging to be written. I live on the beautiful (but windy) island of Anglesey in North Wales. I’m married to Colin, who luckily for me is a whiz in the kitchen – a boon for a writer on a deadline. I’m an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) by day – which can be quite a challenging job sometimes. But I get to meet a lot of interesting people – all grist to the writer’s mill.
I used to live in London and Essex and that’s where I met my husband – a true Eastender (he was born within the sound of Bow Bells at Whitechapel Hospital). But Wales called me back (my family live on Anglesey) and I returned “home” in 2002. Whilst I’m half Welsh (mother) and half English (dad) I can’t speak much Welsh. But saying that I can understand most of what is being said in the office.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel widely – my dad was in the RAF (which is where he met my mum as Anglesey is home to RAF Valley). My younger brother was born in Germany, and we used to live in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf.
The Roman: Famous charioteer, Aulus Epidius Marsallas wants revenge against Justina Philipus - the only woman he’s ever loved, but who’d betrayed him by becoming his uncle’s mistress. Forced to meet Marsallas for the first time in six years, Justina is shocked at the changes she sees in him. Gone is the carefree youth she once loved, now replaced by a hard muscular stranger. But there is no denying the attraction that still flows between them, and when his uncle dies, Marsallas offers sculptress Justina a challenge – a bronze stature of himself, and his four horse chariot, to be displayed at the Circus Maximus. Justina knows that this commission is just what she needs to make a name for herself, and give her the freedom she covets, so she accepts Marsallas’s challenge. However, Justina is unprepared when Marsallas states one further condition – she must become his mistress. But Justina has a secret, she’s still a virgin, she just hasn’t told Marsallas yet…
When I was younger I used to hate anything pink. Then I didn’t! Now my latest bag is pink, as was the one before that! I spotted it in a local shop just before Christmas whereupon I dropped a lot of unsubtle hints to my better half. Imagine my surprise (not!) when I opened up my Christmas present from Bob (my dog – he’s very good like that is Bob) to find the same pink handbag I had recently admired. It’s quite roomy but not too big - I tend not to buy huge bags anymore as they get filled full of stuff (junk) and I then start to get a serious backache carting it around! It’s not a designer label (unfortunately) but I love it. (I must admit if I ever win the lottery I would seriously indulge my addiction for designer handbags!)
My handbag reflects my day to day life as a writer and an EHO. I also have a Samsung Galaxy phone but I took the photograph with it!
Doggy poo bags. For a small dog, Bob don’t half go through them
Works (very old) mobile phone.
ID and swipe cards for work.
Flea spray – I bet there aren’t many women that carry flea spray in their handbags! Occupational hazard I’m afraid. I go to a lot of dirty houses (well the BBC does make films about us – “Life of Grime” and all that!) I tend to spray myself before I go in any of the houses I visit as a precaution. I do think I have become a bit obsessed over the years, but I once did an inspection of a house and infested myself with fleas! The house had over 20 cats and an eccentric old lady living there among all the squalor – I think you get the picture!
Rubber gloves and hand sanitizer – again occupational hazard.
Tissues. For the obvious, but also needed to stuff up my nose if I go into a particularly smelly house!
Notebook – for writing down ideas for plot holes and new stories.
My pink purse – I kind of like that the colours match. Again my love of pink is reflected in the colour of my purse. Unlike bags I tend to keep my purses until they are falling apart. I’m very fussy about purses. They have to be “right” and hold everything and the kitchen sink before I buy a new one.
Thanks for having me, Mandy. It was fun!
|Posted by mandybaggot on March 3, 2014 at 2:00 AM||comments (1)|
Today I'm welcoming Safkhet Publishing's author Jim Webster to The Lady's Lounge.
When a journalist is shot down in a backward area of Tsarina, Haldar Drom of the Governor's Investigation Office is sent to investigate. He uncovers a hidden medical facility dedicated to the production of Abate, a drug used for population control, as well as evidence of the implantation of pre-created embryos in women brought to Tsarina for the purpose. He also discovers a deeper plot with far reaching political ramifications. A senior member of the Governors family, Doran Stilan is running a personal feud with the major pirate/Starmancer Wayland Strang. Indeed he begins to suspect that Stilan may even be angling to take Stang's place.
The medical facility is destroyed after it is attacked by mercenaries hired by Strang, and Drom has to travel off world to untangle the treads of the conspiracy.
Arriving back on Tsarina, he has to deal with a failed Starmancer attack, punish the guilty and arrange for Doran Stilan to get what's coming without undermining the position of the Governor. To do this, he'll need skill, know-how and a whole lot of luck to ensure that the guilty face justice.
About the book
Sum up your latest book in no more than 30 words!
Nice chap on planet at edge of galaxy, with limited budget, attempts to maintain law and order and keep up standards at the same time.
What was your inspiration for this novel?
It’s a story that just grew. It all came out of the mental picture of a space ship, moving at speed at tree top height following a river. The story grew out of the explanation.
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?
Occasionally I’ll jot stuff down on paper, but I’m a ‘desk top computer’ person, I dislike laptops, perhaps because when they came out they weren’t very good. I’ll mentally chew ideas over, work out what’s going to happen, and then I’ll just sit down and write it. I tend to begin at the beginning and keep going until I get to the end. But what will happen is that I’ll go back and add stuff in, or alter stuff so it fits the changes that have happened since.
If you were in charge of casting who would play your hero in the film adaptation and why would they be the best choice?
This is a tricky one. I’m the sort of person who never watches the film credits, has no interest in actor’s names and doesn’t watch telly, so I haven’t a clue about any current actors.
About the author
Where do you live and who with? Cats? Children?
In South Cumbria with my wife, dog, sheep, cattle.
Favourite band/singer – have you seen them in concert?
Difficult, if we take the albums owned it has to be the Eagles with Fairport Convention a close second. I’ve seen them in concert twice.
TV – are you a drama lover or a soap devourer? Or does comedy tickle your fancy more?
Don’t watch TV and even when I did I didn’t watch soaps. The last thing I made a habit of watching was comedy, ‘Last of the Summer Wine.’
You’re allowed to take THREE items to a desert island – which THREE things could you not live without?
I’d probably want the desk top computer with a good internet connection. I like desktop machines; they don’t follow you about hassling you to check facebook or your email when you’re working. They sit quietly where you left them and allow you to get on with real life. But I’ve got a lot of friends all over the world and this would allow me to keep in touch. I’d also be able to get hold of a lot of books that way as well.
I’d also like decent coffee. I’ll happily settle for a grinder if you promise me coffee growing on the island.
I’m really stumped for the third one. I’ve never been particularly acquisitive. Throw in a decent billhook and a pair of decent dyking gloves (which is what I spend a lot of my winters using) and I’ll probably be able to get by.
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?
Action or relaxation?
Up or down?
Tea or coffee?
Nightclub or wine bar?
Ferrari or Porsche?
No Landrover? I’ll take the Ferrari then
Truth or dare?
Gym or bed?
Flower or tree?
Hot or cold?
E-book or paperback?
Michelle Obama or Nigella Lawson?
Thank you for joining me, Jim!
|Posted by mandybaggot on February 28, 2014 at 2:00 AM||comments (4)|
Welcome to Her Best Four Letter Word Blog Hop, celebrating the publication of two HarperImpulse titles: Eve Devon’s ‘Her Best Laid Plans’ (contemporary romance) and Zara Stoneley’s ‘Love is a Four Letter Word’ (erotic romance).
Look out for the deets for TWO GIVEAWAYS via Rafflecopter and using the comments section on this blog at the end of the post.
ABOUT ‘HER BEST LAID PLANS’ by Eve Devon
Blurb: Love is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans…
The Totally Perfect Life Plan of Amanda Gray
Step 1 – Take total control of own destiny and avoid getting too wrapped up in the details.
Step 2 – Definitely do NOT kiss gorgeous bad-boy businessman who doesn't know how to live life without scheduling it six months in advance, even if he is absolutely irresistible.
Step 3 – Don't even THINK of accompanying him to London as his PA to enjoy steamy encounters in a metropolitan paradise.
Step 4 – Absolutely, positively, whatever you do- do NOT fall in love with him…
ABOUT EVE DEVON:
I love connecting with readers. Find out more about me or stop by for a chat:
ABOUT ‘LOVE IS A FOUR LETTER WORD’ by Zara Stoneley
Take one rich girl who has a thing for the bad boys.
Take one tough guy who thinks possession is nine-tenths of the misery law.
Mix generously with a land dispute and a whole lotta lust…. And what have you got?
Sometimes being bad can be just too good to miss.
ABOUT ZARA STONELEY:
To find out more about Zara and her books, please follow the links:
GIVEAWAY: Goodie Bag Contents: All the perfect ingredients for a girlie reading experience…
10.00£/$ Amazon Gift Voucher (to purchase delicious ebooks)
Her Best Laid Plans Beaded Bookmark (for a touch of book bling)
Love is a Four Letter Word Beaded Bookmark (for a touch of book bling)
Her Best Laid Plans/Love is a Four Letter Word Linen Bag (to keep all your reading experience ingredients together and handy for those urgent date night clothes shopping trips)
Bottle of Bubbly (for if you don’t like hot chocolate/tea)
Hot Chocolate/Tea Drinking Goodies (for if you don’t like bubbly)
Chocolates (no explanation required!)
Nail Varnish/Nail Files (for that break between reading books!)
And it’s all inside a lovely HarperImpulse bag!
Due to the content of the prizes, all entrants must be over 18. If the winner does not reside in the UK, some items may be substituted with others of an equal or greater value due to individual country restrictions
No purchase is necessary, all answers will be available on the publisher’s blog, retailer sites, or the authors’ blogs, websites or Facebook Pages.
GIVEAWAY ONE: Answer Eve and Zara’s questions using the Rafflecopter:
To be in with a chance of winning the Goodie Bag you need to answer the two questions below.
Question 1: What is the hero’s name in ‘Her Best Laid Plans’?
Question 2: What is the hero’s name in ‘Love is a Four Letter Word’?
Don't know the answer? Check out Zara's Facebook page today - www.facebook.com/ZaraStoneley
All correct entries will be put into the grand draw for the Goodie Bag. Winners will be announced on March 6th HERE
GIVEAWAY TWO: Win an iBook Voucher every day of the hop by taking part in:
Her Best Four Letter Word…to describe the best place to read
Leave your best four letter word (no profanity, please) to describe the best place to read in the comments section and a winner will be chosen to receive an iBooks Voucher for a HarperImpulse title (please note if your first choice is not available you may have to pick another!). The winner of today’s competition will be posted at the end of the blog hop on 6th March. Only ONE iBooks voucher is available each day, if the Blog Hop is visiting more than one blog then ALL entries for the day, from all participating blogs, will be entered into the daily competition.
Good Luck and we hope you enjoy Her Best Laid Plans and Love is a Four Letter Word
|Posted by mandybaggot on February 26, 2014 at 2:00 AM||comments (4)|
This week on In The Sack I have the wonderful Harper Impulse author and the brains behind the Harper Impulse Written Fireside stories, Lori Connelly!
I was born and still live in Oregon. Despite being a good student, my teachers complained about my tendency to daydream. The tales dancing through my imagination were frequently far more entertaining than real life. As far back as I can remember I made up stories, to calm my sister after a nightmare, entertain myself in boring classes and write in countless notebooks, many never again to see the light of day. I earned a BS from Eastern Oregon State College and married my best friend almost twenty years ago. I’ve three brilliant, handsome sons, one amazing daughter-in-law, a beautiful granddaughter and two spoiled dogs. When not writing I love to read, hike, camp, rock hound, and take long walks with my husband just after it rains.
Blurb: As sheriff of Silver Creek County, Matthew Marson’s job is to look after his town. But when he fails to protect the most important person in his life, Claire, from an attack, Matt feels as though he will never be able to forgive himself.
Her husband-to-be’s newly found overprotectiveness drives the headstrong Claire from his arms. She can’t see a future with a man who won’t allow her to follow her dreams.
In a small town where everybody knows your name and your business, it’s impossible for the pair to stay apart, especially as Claire finds that she can’t completely turn her back on the lawman that she loves.