Monday, 28 January 2013

Sitting Round my Pool - Melanie Robertson-King

Today I have Canadian author, Melanie Robertson-King relaxing round my pool talking about her debut novel, A Shadow in the Past.

Melanie, I know you are along way from home, so relax and enjoy our sunny climate.

Thank you so much for inviting me to beautiful Lanzarote and your lovely home, Pauline. Your patio (or do you call it terrace) by your pool is gorgeous! I hope you don’t mind if I start out sitting in the shade. Coming from the sub-zero temperatures in Canada, I don’t want to get fried right away from too much sun and go home looking like a boiled lobster.

Yes, please, I would love a glass of bubbly. Believe it or not, I had pondered contacting you about Famous Five Plus but kept saying “nae” because your group was strictly indie authors. You can’t imagine how thrilled I was when you e-mailed me and invited me to join #FFP! I can only hope I’m doing the group proud.

Being with a small press – 4RV Publishing
the majority of the marketing falls to me but then even the big houses have cut way back in their marketing budgets. I love my publisher to death and she’s been a great support to me as I try to find new and innovative ways to showcase my debut novel – A Shadow in the Past, without spending scads of time on social media.

Currently, A Shadow in the Past is available in print only so that gives me the advantage of getting into bricks and mortar bookstores and I’ve gotten into three so far – most recently at The Book Nook in the town of Perth. I had sent along the blurb when I made contact with the owner and when I went in to drop off some copies she described my novel as “the Outlander series for young adults.” I’m still blushing after being compared to Diana Gabaldon, although I must admit if it weren’t for her series, I wouldn’t have written my overgrown short story, Sarah’s Gift, that evolved into the novel-length A Shadow in the Past.

Before I leave this wonderful sunshine and warmth, I will say that I am working on book two in the series (tentatively entitled Shadows from her Past) but at this point, I can’t reveal any more than that, lest I create spoilers.

Thanks so much for inviting me. I’ve loved being here. I’ll invite you to Canada and take you on a wee tour of interesting places near where I live but will wait for summer when the weather is far more conducive to such things.

Melanie, the pleasure has all been mine and I’m so pleased you’ve enjoy our little volcanic island and soaked up a few rays too!

Whilst you relax I'm going to take a peek at your fabby video...

Melanie's Links: Where fact and fiction meet...
Visit my blog Celtic Connexions Feature Author and Associate Reader Feature Author
Follow me on Twitter at @RobertsoKing

Friday, 25 January 2013

Trying Too Hard!

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, it still doesn’t work, but then when you don’t really try, hey ho, things happen!

This week I’ve spent many hours trying to re-write the end for one of my characters in Storm Clouds Gathering, but can I get it to work, no! I admit to feeling quite desperate about my inability to make this character’s last chapter work how I feel he deserves it to be. I’ve written and deleted hundreds if not thousands of words in an attempt to arrive at the best ending. I am trying not to panic, but I am!

And whilst I struggle to make and ending work, with little or no effort I have managed to secure three days in the beautiful open air, shopping and entertainment centre, Biosfera in Puerto Del Carmen to sell my books!

An unscheduled meeting with the centre manager enquiring about possibilities for a local author to sell her books was met with great enthusiasm. Within a matter of a few minutes I was offered a stand for three days to not only sell my books, but to do some readings as well. Ok the readings have me shaking, but I’ll have a go! No dates have been set as I have to arrange a quantity of books to be delivered down – past experience is not a happy one, but I have everything crossed there will be no problems this time!

Maybe I should worry less and who knows what might happen!

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Caroline James & Her Amazing Press Trip!

Away from the snow and blizzards of the UK, I have the wonderful Caroline James sitting round my pool and talking about her amazing press trip!
Take it away Caroline.....

Hi Pauline!

How glorious it is today, sitting by your lovely pool, chilling out and chatting.

You've been asking me all afternoon (as we sip the most delicious white wine) to tell you about my job. Well, when I'm relaxing the last thing I want to think about is work but the sunshine and the water and the balmy heady air make me think of a trip I went on a few years ago, under the guise of 'work'…

"Come and do a press trip with me darling!" My client was insistent and I was easily persuaded - how could anyone turn down a jaunt to France to promote a new cookery school? I set off on a murky Monday morning from Manchester and soon arrived in Bordeaux in brilliant sunshine. I skipped through customs and was immediately enveloped in the warm embrace of Helena and Joline - my client and her school hostess who was a large red-head with a bolster-like bosom that bounced as she swept along in her vivid scarlet and yellow layers; a rainbow racing ahead of me! We flew along the highway in Helena's little Citroen and reached the more tranquil roads that led through the tree lined avenues of the Charente. Our destination lay in a curve, set back from the road with a lavender field to the front. I can still remember the overpowering aroma of the lavender. The property was an old farmhouse, formerly the childhood home of President Mitterrand and the gracious lime washed building welcomed us as the afternoon sun sparkled on the glistening water in the swimming pool - just as it does on your pool today. We relaxed and drank champagne as other guests arrived and assembled themselves around the pool. Journalists from around the globe partook of Helena's hospitality and after a languorous afternoon, we retired to freshen up then assembled again for a sumptuous dinner at a long table, laden with flowers from the garden, under the stars in the courtyard.

The next few days drifted by in lazy haze of pleasure. We were taken to local markets in the mornings or a trip to a porcelain factory or winery and in the afternoon cooked alongside Helena and her team, learning all about French cookery and how to make delicious dishes and sauces. Stimulating conversation (much as I am enjoying with you!) ensued at dinner and lasted long into night. On my final day I had to borrow an alarm clock as I was leaving early and Sally Burton, a journalist for the Mail on Sunday, kindly lent me a little gold clock in a red leather case. As I sat up in bed and set the clock, I noticed the initials engraved on the case - RB. I realised that this had belonged to the world renowned actor Richard Burton, for Sally was his fifth wife until his death in 1984. Holding the clock sent shivers down my spine. In the morning, a gentle chime woke me and I climbed out of bed and crossed the cool pine floor to throw open the wooden shutters. Swallows dive-bombed the mirror-like pool and beyond the lavender bushes I could see fields of giant sunflowers - a golden carpet swaying gently in the breeze. At that moment, I felt as happy as I have ever felt - a moment in time to immortalise in my memory bank. Very much like this moment Pauline - sitting with you, re-living the past!

Oh your glass is empty… here let me fill it and listen to you. Enough talk of me and my work. It’s a tough job, but someone's got to do it!

Caroline James Links:

Twitter: @CarolineJames12

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Just Bragging!!

This weekend my humours Sometimes It Happens... is the book cover highlighted on the amazing indieBRAG Facebook page. So I guess, sometimes it does happen!!

Sometimes It Happens... received the great honour in 2012 of being awarded a prestigious B.R.A.G. award.

Thank you so much indieBRAG for showing of my beautiful book.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Meet the Amazing JB Johnston

I am delighted and excited to have the lovely JB Johnston, also known as Jontybabe, sitting round my pool. Yes today it is blue sky and sunny and warm. Now JB, please help yourself to bubbly and then tell us all about your fabulous new site called, Brook Cottage Books and your exciting first editing project…

I am JB Johnston and I am a bookaholic! I have always had an addiction to books and once I began to review books that addiction spiralled out of control. JB Johnston is the name I write under and I like having a little bit of anonymity. I hope someday to find some talent and write something half decent myself. Until that time comes, I work full-time as a social worker and indulge my love of books by reviewing them.

Family life is hectic. I am very happily married for the second time and we have 4 children between us. One of my children has special needs and that can be a challenge at times. Books offer me an escape when life sometimes gets a bit much!

I was initially reviewing books on my personal blog but soon realised that due to the amount of books I was reading and the demand for reviews, I would need a dedicated book blog. Thus, Brook Cottage Books was born. The blog is evolving in ways I had not imagined. Although only launched on 1st December 2012 the blog appears to have become quite popular with daily requests for reviews, author interviews and book tours. I have so many new ideas for the blog and just can’t wait to get started on them. The new blog has become so busy it has its own diary now as I need to keep on top of all the requests I get. I am really loving it and I am at my happiest when I am doing bookish things.

I am a reviewer for and an associate reader for I have also reviewed a number of times on . I support Plum Tree Books and have contributed to two of their anthologies – The Butterfly Effect and Every Child is Entitled to Innocence, which can be bought from to raise funds for Child Helpline International. I am also a Tots100 book blogger.

My plan for the future is to give up social work and find a book related career. I have recently started doing some work for Safkhet publishing and have just been given my first editing project by them. I am hoping to offer a proofreading and editing service through the blog and would like to make this my main income. Who knows what the future holds but I will keep dreaming of a new career.

Anyone want to give me a job?

As always thanks for stopping by and I know you will share with me in wishing JB all the success she richly deserves.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Revealing my Latest Book Cover!

I'm rather excited today as I have just seen the cover for my fourth book, Storm Clouds Gathering. Designed by Cathy Helms from Avalon Graphics, I simply love it. What do you think?

Storm Clouds Gathering is due to be released later this year,  here are a few words on what you can expect...

Set to the backdrop of the mid nineteen sixties, Storm Clouds Gathering is about love, lies and loss, but it will be the cheating and lying, the anguish and the bitterness that will change the lives of three families forever.

For Anne Simpson and Paul Betham, Jimmy and Shirley Burton and Joe and Kathleen Mitchell, the events of the summer of sixty five will mean there can be no going back. To go forward it will take understanding and forgiveness, the question is: Is that possible?

Saturday, 5 January 2013

First Breath 1916 First Flight 2013

On Thursday I spent three hours on location at Montana Tropical in Puerto del Carmen with Radio Tias and the charismatic Jerry Lefever and Sarah English.

Jerry had decided to have a chat to local restaurant and bar owners and had invited me along too to talk about my new book that is coming out later this year, but things went slightly awry!

The previous evening Sarah’s mother and grandmother flew onto the island for a holiday, nothing unusual there, I hear you cry out, well yes there was. Sarah’s grandmother, Mary Grant had never flown before and flying to Lanzarote was her first time flying. What made this flight so very special was that Mary was born in 1916, making her 96!

Instantly Mary became a little celebrity and whilst Jerry prepared to chat with Sarah’s family, then island newspaper’s arrived all keen to learn about Mary’s feelings of her first fight. And like the flight, these moment of fame didn’t faze her!

An amazing lady who demonstrates you are never too old to try new things.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Inspiration a Happy New Year!

Raising my glass to wish you a very Happy New Year. May it be filled with love, laughter and peace.

Thank you for all your support, friendship and kindness throughout the year. Without it I might not have achieved as much as I have.
Thank you!

My latest trailer, Inspiration!