As Weekends Go – Jan Brigden

Jan Brigden AWG PB Publication



What if your entire life changed in the space of a weekend? When Rebecca’s friend Abi convinces her to get away from it all at the fabulous Hawksley Manor hotel in York, it seems too good to be true. Pampering and relaxation is just what Rebecca needs to distract herself from the creeping suspicion that her husband, Greg, is hiding something from her. She never imagined that by the end of the weekend she would have dined with celebrities or danced the night away in exclusive clubs. Nor could she have predicted she would meet famous footballer, Alex Heath, or that he would be the one to show her that she deserved so much more … But no matter how amazing a weekend is, it’s always back to reality come Monday morning isn’t it? 2014/15 Winner of Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.


Write An Amazon Review Month. Guest Blog from Terry Tyler.

August 2016 is Write An Amazon Review Month!

By @TerryTyler4 #AugustReviews

On Monday 25th July, book blogger Rosie Amber wrote this post encouraging readers and writers alike to post a short review on Amazon for any book they’ve read and enjoyed ~ following this up, Terry Tyler is starting this initiative along with other writer-bloggers including Rosie, Cathy from Between The Lines, Barb Taub, Shelley Wilson and Alison Williams.

The idea is that, from August 1st, everyone who reads this uses their Amazon account to post just one review on one book that they’ve read (but feel free to carry on if you get in the swing!).  You don’t even have to have read it recently, it can be any book you’ve read, any time.  The book does not have to have been purchased from Amazon, though if it is you get the ‘Verified Purchase’ tag on it; however, if you download all your books via Kindle Unlimited, as many do these days, they don’t show the VP tag, anyway.

Remember, this isn’t the Times Literary Supplement, it’s Amazon, where ordinary people go to choose their next £1.99 Kindle book.  No one expects you to write a thousand word, in-depth critique; I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to read one short paragraph or a couple of lines saying what an average reader thought of a book, than a long-winded essay about the pros and cons of the various literary techniques used.  Yes, those are welcome too (!), but no more so than a few words saying “I loved this book, I was up reading it until 3am”, or “I loved Jim and Vivien and the dialogue was so realistic”, or whatever!

Why should you write a review?

They help book buyers make decisions.  Don’t you read the reviews on Trip Advisor before deciding on a hotel, or any site from which you might buy an item for practical use?  Book reviews are no different.

If the book is by a self-published author, or published by an independent press, the writers have to do all their promotion and marketing themselves ~ reviews from the reading public is their one free helping hand.

The amount of reviews on Amazon helps a book’s visibility (allegedly).  If you love a writer’s work and want others to do so, too, this is the best possible way of making this happen.

It’s your good deed for the day, and will only take five minutes!


Off we go, then!  A few more pointers:

If you need any help with writing your review, do click on Rosie’s post, above.

A review can be as short as one word.  The shortest one I have is just two 🙂

You don’t have to put your name to the review, as your Amazon ‘handle’ can be anything you like.

No writer expects all their reviews to be 5* and say the book is the best thing ever written; there is a star rating guide on Rosie’s post.

Would you like to tell the Twittersphere about your review?  If so, tweet the link to it with the hashtag #AugustReviews ~ and thank you!  I will do one blog post a week featuring these links: The #AugustReviews Hall of Fame (thank you, Barb!).

If you have a blog and would like to spread the word about #AugustReviews, please feel free to copy and paste this blog post, provide the link to it, re-blog it, or whatever ~ many thanks, and I hope you will join in to make this idea a success 🙂


From Laura:

If you’ve enjoyed a book, a review is an excellent way to let the writer know they’ve connected with you, too.

Here’s my latest review for Jane Lovering’s I Don’t Want To Talk About It. I’m a big fan of Jane’s writing and it’s a pleasure to leave a 5* review.

Jane Lovering I Don't Want To Talk About It (2)

Another wonderful novel from the talented Jane Lovering. Winter Gregory is a complex and interesting character – a writer who leaves city life to seek refuge from her ex-boyfriend and editor, Dan, who has an issue with the way Winter keeps in daily contact with her twin, Daisy.
Basing herself in a small Yorkshire village, Winter befriends young horse-loving Scarlet, who, having lost her mother now lives with her uncle, Alex, a man attracted to Winter.
When Dan catches up with Winter to check on the progress of her new book, the life Winter thinks she’s left behind also catches up with her.
A brilliantly flawed heroine, two gorgeous but troubled heroes, and an eight-year-old girl who loves her hobbyhorse with a passion, makes I Don’t Want To Talk About it a great read. Highly recommended.


Laura x

In Recovery

In Recovery

Lancaster Uni Campus
Lancaster Uni Campus

I have almost recovered from the whirl that was the 2016 RNA conference. Held in Lancaster, a seven hundred miles round trip, I left Dorset at 02:45 on the Saturday morning, 9th July, and arrived at the university at 08:30, just in time to help with The Romaniacs Sparkle Spotlight interviews, all of which can be viewed here:

Pens, Pals & Pompoms
Pens, Pals & Pompoms panel
Pens, Pals & Pompoms Crowd
Pens, Pals & Pompoms pals

The following day I was a member on The Romaniacs panel – Pens, Pals and Pompoms – which was a high energy discussion on the highs and lows of writing, with a few cheerleading moments thrown in to celebrate the successes of everyone in the room.

Over the two days I attended workshops and panels all of which were informative, interesting, enlightening and fun. The journey home was shared with my good friend and fellow Romaniac, Catherine Miller, whose company always makes long journeys appear brief.

An excellent weekend of socialising, laughter, information, friendships, pens, pals and pompoms.

Catherine & Lucie
Catherine Miller & Lucie Wheeler

Now it’s head down and on with book four.

Take care.

Laura x

The Novelty of Writing a Novella

The Novelty of Writing a Novella

My novella notebook.
My novella notebook.

A week has passed since I submitted my first novella, and I’ve spent that time catching up on household admin, reacquainting myself with my family, and watching a new-to-me series on Netflix – American Horror Story – compelling viewing, full of twists and turns and dark storylines.

I like writing twists into my novels and with my writer’s tag reading, ‘Romance without the soft edges,’ my storylines have dark elements. I have the luxury of one hundred thousand words with which to explore the issuses that move me.

As a writer who enjoys a large cast, a variety of subplots, and difficult, sometimes taboo issues, writing a novella within the word count of twenty thousand to fifty thousand was a challenge and I had to keep reminding myself to hold back on the subplots, concentrate on the main characters, and not to delve too deep into the issues  – keep it as tight as possible.

The novella came in at forty-seven thousand words. And four dead pens.


Had I written the ending I originally planned, I suspect the final word count would have been in the sixty thousands. As it turned out, the characters drew the story to a natural conclusion and their timing was spot on.

I enjoyed the whole process, from seeking advice from established novella writers to keeping the plan as tight as possible. The tone is lighter than my novels, but I do touch on a couple of issues. It seems that’s the way it is with my writing.

Now it’s time to head back to Book 4, a full length novel, which is currently sitting at sixteen thousand words. I plan to write one thousand words a day, excluding weekends, so I should have a first draft down by the end of September, maybe October, taking the school summer holiday into account.

I’ll keep you posted.

Take care

Laura x



Exciting times! I have two books currently involved in promotions.

Click on the images to go straight to the deal.

The first ends this Thursday, 12 th May 2016. This is a Kobo UK offer:

FMFY Kobo UK 3 For 2 Sale May 2016The second is the Amazon May Madness event, which ends 22nd May 2016.

WDKY Pebbles May Madness



If you’ve read and enjoyed any of the Chesil Beach books, each linked, but standalones, would you consider leaving a review? That would be lovely, thank you 🙂

Take care,

Laura x

May Madness!

May Madness!


I am delighted with the news that my third novel, What Doesn’t Kill You, has been chosen by Amazon UK for their May Madness offer.

From May 1st – May 22nd 2016, WDKY can be downloaded at the bargain price of £0.99p.

It’s the first title under Choc Lit’s new Dark imprint, and it’s received wonderful reviews, which have taken my breath away. Rachel’s Random Reads gave it five stars when it was reviewed in February, here, and has gone on to choose it as a top pick from the entire Amazon May Madness selection.

What a wonderful start to May!

ToD DarkThis follows on from last Thursday’s Amazon Daily Deal for my debut, Truth or Dare?, which hit the Amazon top 100. It was quite a day. My mum used to say everything happened on a Thursday. (There might be a title for a book there …)

And I met one of my all-time favourite authors, Erica James, last Thursday. Along with my fellow Romaniacs, I blogged about the event here.
I’m currently experiencing technical problems with adding new photos to my site, but hope to have this fixed soon. In the meantime, have a great Bank Holiday, and happy reading.

Laura x



The Middle Distance Writer

The Middle Distance Writer.

My writing shoes.

I’m in the throes of writing my first novella. It’s quite different to anything I’ve written in the past. It’s not quite the sprint of flash fiction, nor the thrice round the track with a 1500 word short, (Bitter Sweet) but neither is it the long distance 110,000 word novel, such as What Doesn’t Kill You. Having sought advice from my fellow writing friends I understand the novella should have one main plot, as the writer does not have the luxury of a large word count to explore sub plots; to keep the cast to the main players and concentrate on developing them; to make every word earn its place.

There are more pointers, but these are the three that stuck in my mind and the ones to which I keep returning. My inner editor is having a field day highlighting where I’ve gone off topic, or questioning whether or not I need to introduce another character. How important is this person to the plot or hero and heroine?

I’ve never been able to silence my inner editor and I accepted two books ago it’s how I write. My first draft is rarely a true, dirty first draft as I’ve cleaned it up day-to-day. I don’t submit the first draft to the publisher, as there are always things to improve, but I’m hoping the second draft of the novella will be up to submission standard. I call it a second draft, but I’ve usually redone so much as I’ve gone along, three or four, maybe more times, it’s probably a fifth draft.

So, I’m heading back into the work in progress, and flexing my previously unused middle distance muscles and loving every minute.

Take care.

Author Pic 5

Laura x


50 Copies of What Doesn’t Kill You Available

50 Copies of What Doesn’t Kill You Available.


My lovely publisher, Choc Lit, is offering 50 Kindle copies of my latest novel, What Doesn’t Kill You, in exchange for an honest review.

To request a copy, email Choc Lit at: Please insert ‘What Doesn’t Kill You Offer’ into the Subject heading. If you claim a copy, you will need to read the book and write an Amazon review for it.

What Doesn’t Kill You is the first title in Choc Lit’s new Dark imprint – compelling, emotional, hard-hitting novels. Not your typical romance story. An intense, emotional, heartbreaking story.


What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – but how strong can one person be?
Griff Hendry knows what it is to be strong. After a turbulent past, he’s dedicated himself to saving lives, working as a coastguard along the breath-taking shores of Dorset. It’s Griff’s belief that everyone is worth saving – which is why he can’t forgive his father, Logan, for what he did.
Griff’s future is plunged into uncertainty when his wife, Evie, tells him she wants a separation. The revelation is a shock and leads Griff to question what Evie could possibly be hiding – and she isn’t the only one holding back. Griff’s troubled stepdaughter, Tess, also harbours a dark secret.
As the truth is uncovered, Griff is forced to accept that perhaps he’s never understood what real strength is.                     


Today I’m in Choc Lit Corner defending book covers. Is it a crime to judge a book by its cover? I state my case …

Laura x