|Posted by Mandy Baggot on October 2, 2015 at 2:00 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on September 7, 2015 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
Today is a bit of a day in the House of Baggot. After YEARS of writing on my dressing table in my bedroom and working, eating, sleeping in one room of the house, I've finally got my very own office!
Mr Big helped me clear the spare room, managed to get a free sofa bed, a camping table and voila. This morning I wrote my first words of a brand new book in a brand new room.
It feels so much nicer having my own dedicated space that everyone will be banned from! And the view is over our garden and Sting's fields beyond. It's a beautiful piece of Wiltshire countryside that will hopefully be inspiring!
I'm a very happy writer!
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on August 24, 2015 at 5:20 AM||comments (0)|
For a long time now I've had a dream to visit Nashville. I've been a fan of country music since I was tiny when my Granddad used to play it to me. I dined out on Tammy Wynette, Dolly and Kenny, Merle and Roy (we got a signed cassette of them from Woolworths in Salisbury) and Patsy Cline. Then, as I grew, I developed a taste for 'new' country - Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Brantley Gilbert etc.
For the last three years Mr Big and I have been to the Country 2 Country festival at the O2 in London and had such amazing times. We're going again in March 2016 and I can't wait!
Me, Brantley Gilbert and Mr Big
But the big news is my dream is going to come true and it's thanks to you! Since I joined Bookouture the sales of all my books have increased A LOT. Those sales have enabled me to book a week in Nashville with Mr Big in April 2016. I am so excited I might combust before then! So I want to thank you all - everyone that's bought my books or shared my tweets and Facebook posts - I wouldn't be celebrating turning 40 next year this way if it wasn't for you! And I promise, this trip is going to give me so much inspiration for future books. There will be notepads being filled and photos taken in the name of research. And obviously I'll have to sample all the local food and beer to get the whole 360 experience!
I'm also a massive fan of the TV show Nashville and I'm hoping to sit on Deacon's front porch and hope Charles Esten rocks up or Sam Palladio or Jonathan Jackson, I'm not fussy!
So the bright lights of Broadway are beckoning and I'm so ready! I promise to share photos and dodgy karaoke videos on social media because, if I could I would take you all with me!
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on August 10, 2015 at 6:15 AM||comments (0)|
Last week was an exciting one for me because the cover for my 2015 winter book was revealed! Take a look at the gorgeousness that is One Wish in Manhattan!
I am so thrilled with this cover! It's perfect for the story!
Now I know it's still summer, but should you want to be one of the first to grab yourself a copy you can pre-order it on Amazon right now!
It's never too early for some winter magic, right?
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on August 6, 2015 at 2:00 AM||comments (1)|
I'm thrilled to have gay romance author, Liam Livings back in the House of Baggot today promoting his brand new book, Wrong Room, Right Guy.
WRONG ROOM, RIGHT GUY by Liam Livings
Simon’s the wrong man in the wrong place; trying to teach English to kids who couldn’t care less, he’d really rather be a writer – but it’s only when his best friend bullies him into it that he takes the plunge and joins his local creative writing group. Even then things don’t quite work out the way he planned; blundering into the wrong room at the Village Hall he encounters a group of recovering cocaine addicts and he wants to know more … which is the start, for Simon, of a double life and a whole new secret identity, not to mention an intriguing relationship …
Playlist for the book
1. When I Kissed the Teacher by ABBA – Simon is a teacher and I've always loved this song just from pure kitsch value alone.
2. Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush – as an English teacher Simon is teaching his students all about this and other books written by 'those Bronte birds' as one of his students puts it.
3. Got to Give it Up by Marvin Gaye – one of the characters is into retro seventies things – clothes, a car, etc. This is the song involved in the law suit with Robin Thick Blurred Lines-gate. And very toe-tapping it is too!
4. Somethin' Stupid by Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman – the characters are comparing cheesy music taste and they both agree this the epitome of cheese, but in a good way. I love this song too. It makes Christmas for me, in some small way.
5. The Drugs Don't Work by The Verve – Darren in a cocaine addict and I've always like the emotion of this song.
6. Orinoco Flow by Enya – Simon is a writer and he'll need some soothing music to write to. I always find Enya does the job as I don't find myself being distracted by the lyrics.
About the book
Sum up your latest book in no more than 30 words!
It's about how one lie leads to another. It's about how a mistake can lead to something wonderful. It's about following your dream in the most unlikely places.
What was your inspiration for this novel?
The first time I went to my local writers group, held in an Essex village hall, I accidentally walked into a Cocaine Anonymous group being held in the room opposite where I should have been. After asking the men if it was the writers group they pointed me to next door and I was soon joined by women, tea and bread pudding.
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?
I plot on paper, post it notes and pencils. I write first draft direct onto my laptop. I'm a great believer in a sh**ty first draft. Warts and all, I just write write write to get the story out. I take my laptop with me whenever I am travelling and so I try to make productive use of the time away from home. I write from start to end, I don't go back to fix things, I write a row of xxxx THIS IS RUBBISH / NEEDS MORE TENSION as a reminder, but I always write on and on until the end. Sometimes I can't plot the end when I first plot it all. So I write up to the end of the post it notes plot and then plot the end, once I know what the characters would be likely to do, and then I write it on the laptop.
If you were in charge of casting who would play your hero in the film adaptation and why would they be the best choice?
James McAvoy for Simon because he's British, the right age and I could imagine him playing the awkward painful middle class teacher well.
Warren Brown for Darren. He was in this terrible series called Grownups and made a big thing of taking his top off for no particular reason. It more than made up for how terrible the series was, rest assured! That build is exactly right for Darren. And I imagine he'd look pretty sexy in a tracksuit too!
Where do you live and who with? Cats? Children? Hunky firefighter?
I live in a little town, on the edge of London, surrounded by Epping Forest that's part of the Essex Golden Triangle. The Essex Golden Triangle is Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell and Loughton for anyone who wants to know. The area's been made famous by Birds of a Feather, and recently The Only Way Is Essex. I live with my boyfriend and one cat. There's a hunky firefighter under the stairs guarding my chocolate crate.
Favourite band/singer – have you seen them in concert? Have you waited backstage to leap on them?
Rather than picking one, I'm going for three, because I like to buck a trend and I'm all about threes. Abba, Erasure, Kylie. I've seen many Abba tribute bands, but haven't seen them in concert, I was kind of not born when they were still together. I've seen every single Abba documentary if that's any help. I recently saw Kylie in concert for the first time. It. Was. Amazing. It won't be my last time. I reached out when Kylie was yards from me and nearly cried, does that count? I've seen Erasure unplugged live once, and it was a bit of a disappointment, since it's mostly electronic music I think this wasn't a great ideas as far as ideas go. However, I have all Erasure's albums, and they're all regularly played in the car or kitchen during, before and after various occasions at Livings Towers.
TV – are you a drama lover or a soap devourer? Or does comedy tickle your fancy more?
I used to watch Hollyoaks, back in the day when it was on twice a week. Then I dabbled in EastEnders and Corrie for a while, but now I find I don't have time to watch soaps. I prefer a good contemporary drama series: Black Work, The Syndicate, Happy Valley, Looking, Cucumber Banana, Queer As Folk, stuff like that. I do also love a good long-running American drama: Brothers and Sisters, Six Feet Under, Gilmore Girls. Comedy, oh yes, Friends, Cheers, Nighty Night, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Golden Girls. Can you see why I don't have time to watch soaps?
You’re allowed to take THREE items to a desert island – which THREE things could you not live without?
A photo album of my life – a proper printed out album with captions, dates and names, like we used to do pre-digital photos. I like to reminisce.
A magically powered music machine with my whole music library loaded onto it. I love listening to music while I'm doing other things. I also enjoy how music takes you back to a place and time with such strength sometimes taking your breath away.
An endless supply of notebooks, pencils / sharpener. I've kept a diary since 1998 and love writing about my thoughts. With these I'd never be bored.
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 every time. I have a chocolate crate in the under stairs cupboard. I bulk bought 48 box of Snickers because they were on offer. Someone once said something was 'too sweet' this is a concept I don't understand. At the moment I'm really into crunchy peanut butter and apricot jam spread thickly on Ryvita. I'm sure Ryvita didn't imagine they'd be used for that!
Action or relaxation? Relaxation. My ideal holiday is a pool, a pile of paperbacks, lovely food to eat and make, and some people (but plenty of time to read along obvs).
Up or down? Variable. I think life should have up and down moments. I like to celebrate and enjoy the wonder of the everyday in life so you get the ups and downs. When I'm going through a difficult period, I know it's all wrong because I don't have up or down, I just feel nothing. That's when you have to worry.
Tea or coffee? Tea. I can't bear coffee. It's too bitter. I've recently bought a 1 pint tea cup and it's one of my favourite things at the moment.
Nightclub or wine bar? Night club. I love to strut about and lose myself on the dance floor in some good wave your hands in the air dance music.
Ferrari or Porsche? Both over-rated I'm afraid. If I had to choose it would be Ferrari, because the Italian flair wins out. However, given free rein on car choices I'd choose something French, idiosyncratic from the seventies or eighties, because that's the way I roll. A Citroen SM, or a Renault 6, or maybe a Peugeot 204 cabriolet. They're odd and quite showy, and I think that seems appropriate for me!
Truth or dare? Truth. I'm not a gambling man, so prefer to have the certainty of truth.
Gym or bed? Bed. Until relatively recently I did no exercise at all. I hate sport – I'm terrible at them all except skiing and you can't exactly ski in Epping Forest at lunch time. I recently got into walking. But generally bed, with a good book it is for me.
Flower or tree? Tree – meh. Flower the colours are what I love. I love colour with clothes, cars, everything really. Tulips, hydrangeas.
Hot or cold? Hot. I can't bear winter and struggle with it every year. As I'm quite thin I generally spend October to March being cold.
E-book or paperback? Paperback. I spend so much time looking at a screen during the day I love to read on paper for pleasure. Also if I'm reading by a swimming pool or in the bath, I prefer to read on paper too.
Bruce Forsyth or Dick Van Dyke? I don't watch 'that dancing programme' and I'm afraid Brucie isn't for me. He's one of those old-fashioned TV presenters who I don't enjoy watching. Sorry. Dick Van Dyke – Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. That is all. He's blooming marvellous.
About Liam Livings
Liam Livings lives where east London ends and becomes Essex. He shares his house with his boyfriend and cat. He enjoys baking, cooking, classic cars and socialising with friends. He escapes from real life with a guilty pleasure book, cries at a sad, funny and camp film – and he’s been known to watch an awful lot of Gilmore Girls in the name of writing ‘research’.
He has written since he was a teenager, started writing with the hope of publication in 2011. His writing focuses on friendships, British humour, romance with plenty of sparkle.
Liam is happy to giveaway one ebook copy of any of his ebooks by leaving a comment below in answer to this question: What has your best friend bullied you into doing that's turned out to be wonderful?
You can connect with Liam:-
Thank you for coming to the House of Baggot, Liam!
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on July 31, 2015 at 2:00 AM||comments (0)|
Now, as some of your might know, I am a HUGE fan of Sons of Anarchy and so is my lovely author friend, Michelle Betham! But, unlike me (for the time being!) she's gone on to create her own motorcycle club and some terrific characters in a trilogy of books set in this dark, dangerous and sexy world.
The third book in the series, Resurrection is OUT NOW and I urge you to buy all three! I've read number one and two and three are on my Kindle ready and waiting!
Here's all you need to know about Michelle and the latest book about these bad, bad boys and girls!
‘Resurrection’ – Book #3 in The Lone Riders MC Romance Series
Forgetting the past can be dangerous. Re-living it can be deadly…
Someone in the shadows wants Coby Walker dead.
He’s not the only one.
Someone wants to bring The Lone Riders down.
He isn’t alone.
The club is in danger, but even Coby isn’t aware how deep that danger runs. How personal it’s all become. How many lives are at risk because he got distracted…
Ben Salter didn’t want to return to a life he’d left behind.
He was happy.
He was in love.
He was moving on.
But all of a sudden he finds himself thrust back into that world he’d never intended to return to, as the person he’d swore he’d never be again.
He thought he could handle it.
He thought pushing her away would be easy.
He was wrong.
Lines become blurred and loyalties confused as Ben’s need to avenge a past he couldn’t forget intensifies. And as his world quickly spirals out of control, that past starts to threaten his future; truths are revealed that change everything, and a secret is exposed that threatens to destroy the one thing that can keep him from falling apart – the one person who can save him; a secret that leads to a bitter betrayal that becomes a catalyst for an endgame he’d never wanted to play out…
Messed-up loyalties and a dangerous loss of focus puts The Lone Riders at risk; puts their resurrection in jeopardy. And they should have seen it coming…
Michelle Betham is an ex-media technician turned author of hot, edgy, gritty romance, usually involving rock stars, sports stars, and bikers. But not usually all in the same book. Yet.
She is both self-published and published through HarperImpulse, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.
Addicted to binge-watching TV dramas she struggles to think of a life before Netflix, loves rock music, tattoos, spicy food, and Keanu Reeves - a crush that's lasted over twenty years, and one she blames entirely on 'Point Break'...
Her dream is to ride a Harley. And visit Las Vegas. And be able to eat any amount of chocolate without putting on weight...
She lives in County Durham, north-east England, with her husband and West Highland Terrier, where she can be found most days drinking tea and making up stories.
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on July 28, 2015 at 2:00 AM||comments (0)|
I'm thrilled to be taking part in another Written Fireside story put together by the wonderful Lori Connelly!
This story is extra special because it's eventually going to be published with all the proceeds going to the great charity Pets for Vets.
Written Fireside: Can't You See?
Noah Hale is an author suffering from PTSD related insomnia, needing peace and sleep. All he wants is to be left alone. A certain little dog has other ideas.
Amanda Bell, a teacher, is grieving the loss of her sister, Rachel. Caring for her sister’s dog is comforting until a new neighbor moves in the other half of her duplex. Suddenly, the dog starts escaping her yard, running off to the man on the other side of the fence.
Read the first five parts here:-
Part One - Lori Connelly
Part Two - Elsa Winckler
Part Three - Angela Campbell
Part Four - Jane Hunt
Part Five - Charlotte Phillips
Can’t You See? – Part 6
The truth was Amanda knew exactly what Noah was going through. The difference between them was she was coming out the other side.
She’d opted to make cocoa instead of milk. As she made it, looking through into the lounge room where Noah had Gertie sprawled across those taut thighs, she saw the image of herself just after she’d lost Rachel.
He had all the hallmarks of someone living through a trauma and then some! Busy hands. She watched his strong fingers raking through Gertie’s fur, his eyes searching the mid-distance. Lack of mindfulness. Not being present in the moment, mind racing. She would bet anything, laying out on the ground out there in the yard he’d had palpitations, flashbacks, memories of all the things that scared him and had scarred him.
She swallowed, stirring a spoon into the brown liquid in two mugs on the counter top. She didn’t know if she was ready to confront this. Was she strong enough to be of any help to him?
As if hearing her thoughts Gertie let out a woof which drew Noah’s attention out of his thoughts and back to her. She smiled, lifting the mugs up and preparing to join him.
No matter how cute this woman was he shouldn’t be here. What was he doing here? The muscles in his legs tensed and Gertie raised her head, her soulful eyes meeting his. This damn dog. What was wrong with it? Right now they were both being owned by a freaking canine.
Noah watched Amanda stepping towards him with two steaming mugs. How good hot chocolate was going to mix with Red Bull he wasn’t sure but hell, what did he have to lose? Any dignity he’d been holding onto had evaporated the second his ass hit the ground in her yard. The way Amanda was looking at him now signalled she was about ready to host him the pity party of the year. He swallowed. He shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Forming opinions too quickly, linking them to feelings from his past was not how to move on. Mary’s words resonated hard.
Amanda offered a mug towards him and he accepted it, cradling it in his palms and guarding it from Gertie’s open jaws. ‘Thank you,’ he said.
He took a sip, letting the scalding liquid take the skin from his tongue while his eyes watched Amanda sit in the adjacent chair. She folded her lithe legs underneath herself, settling into the cushions. Comfort. He didn’t even know what that was.
‘Do you suffer from PTSD?’
The direct question made the cup jolt in his hands and chocolate dripped onto his pants, just missing Gertie.
‘I’m sorry,’ Noah said, shifting forward. The dog needed to get down now. This was a mistake. He needed to get out of here. Suddenly the room felt stifling. ‘I’ve just remember I really need to get back and…’
‘It’s OK,’ she cut him off. ‘You’re safe.’
Safe. Nothing can hurt you here. Amanda remembered those therapies like they were yesterday. She would never have thought she would be using what she’d picked up on someone else. Was that what she wanted to do? Help Noah? Heal him? Was she completely healed herself?
This time it was a slow build but she could still sense it, trying to escape the corners of her mind, growing bigger and stronger with every passing second. The lights of the oncoming traffic, the sounds of the engines, horns blasting, the radio playing a Blake Shelton number and Rachel singing along. Amanda could feel her heart speeding up like someone had given her a shot of adrenaline. She hadn’t even been in that car but she felt it like it was part of her. No. Her mind was firm. You will not go back to that time or that place. You will not let this loss control you.
Noah was watching her. This was important. She had to tell him. Not for him but for her.
She took a breath and tried to still. Busy hands. She clasped her fingers over her knees, hugging her limbs to her body. ‘I’ve been suffering from PTSD since my sister passed.’ She let the information sink in for a second. ‘I think I know a little of how you feel.’ She swallowed, looking to Gertie. ‘And this girl seems to know just about everything.’
Part 7 will be with Susan Horsnell next week!
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on July 27, 2015 at 4:55 AM||comments (0)|
Did you know that my bestselling novels were written in my bedroom? I know that sounds quite kinky and you might think the love scenes came easy writing in a boudoir, but when you consider how much time I spend writing, to write in the same place I sleep means I live in one room pretty much most of the time!
So, what to do? Well, after trying to find a nook in my house to call mine and mine alone and realising there was nowhere to set up writing camp, there was only one thing for it!
Yes, at the weekend we headed out to Dunster House in Warminster to peruse some possible offices and the one above was my favourite BUT as we toured around and talked to the lovely Grant, I could see Mr Big's eyes getting larger and as they grew so did the size of the log cabin!
In the end we got two quotes. One for the building in the photos above and one for the building above PLUS an extension to it. Mr Big is talking sofa bed, family room, shower and toilet. I closed my ears when he mentioned a pool table. This is supposed to be MY space! A lovely inspiring space overlooking Sting's land at the bottom of my garden, perfect for increasing my productivity and escaping from the children (whoops, getting carried away!). So now we're in a dilemma. Do we spend a bit more money and get a big building with a separate closed off space for me plus an additional room for the family or do we spend less and make it all about me?
I have to say I was very impressed with the cost and design of the buildings at Dunster House and when we've made a decision we will definitely be going back there!
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on July 16, 2015 at 5:30 AM||comments (0)|
I've still recovering from last weekend's Romantic Novelists' Association Conference. It was a hoot and I ate and drank far too much and laughed until my sides hurt! I will be sharing all the gossip, photos and goings on in my August post for Loveahappyending Lifestyle! But to tease you here's one photo from my buddy Rachel Lyndhurst where I look like Michael McIntyre!
I've just finished one round of edits on my next Bookouture release coming in the autumn and I'm about to start working on something new! No details on that because not even I'm sure!
|Posted by Mandy Baggot on June 17, 2015 at 9:35 AM||comments (0)|
I can't believe I'm actually writing these words. Today Truly Madly Greekly hit the dizzy heights of #24 on Amazon UK! It's also #3 on Kobo!
I am absolutely thrilled to bits to have sold this many copies of a book so close to my heart! And I've had so many terrific reviews, emails, messages about how much everyone is enjoying it.
Thank you all so much for your support! Let's keep it going!