Bestsellerdom and the power of mailing lists

A couple of my books – Please Release Me and Girl Having A Ball were reduced to 99p over Easter on the UK Kobo site. Amazon was (still is) price matching. And then, earlier this evening, this happened:

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Which means I’m a bona fide bestseller (in fantasy, if not romance). The book has a ghost as a main character – hence the fantasy listing.

Girl Having A Ball, on the other hand, is languishing much further down the charts.

What made the difference? Kobo included the cover of Please Release Me in a message to their mailing list.

Um… there isn’t really a point to this post as such. Just a little squee on the ranking and a nod to the power of mailing lists.

Speaking of mailing lists, you can get a free short story (which is not available elsewhere) if you sign up to mine… hint, hint.

An Evening Out at the RoNA Awards 2017

This post is a bit late, but hey, better late than never. As I may have mentioned before, my book Girl Having A Ball was shortlisted for Romantic Comedy of the Year in the 2017 RoNA awards. I was delighted with this. The RoNAs are run by the UK Romantic Novelists Association and are a pretty big deal. They’re the UK equivalent of the RITAs. Also on the shortlist were some well known authors – Cathy Bramley, Penny Parkes, Ali McNamara and Joanna Bolouri. Here we are (minus Joanna, who was poorly) looking all glamorous.


I rocked up at the fancy venue unfashionably early, so I got to take a picture of it before it was jam packed with glamour2017-03-13 16.06.47. Once people started arriving, I was too busy chatting take many more photos.

I’m always surprised at RNA events how many people there are to say hello to and how genuinely warm and friendly everyone is. Even people who are in competition with each other are friends – I chatted to my fellow shortlistees and liked them. It always takes the sting out of losing, if you like the person who won!

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I wish I was sitting at this table – three of the people there won awards!

A number of my friends were also shortlisted, in different categories, so the excitement factor was running high.

I didn’t win my category (Penny Parkes won, with her excellenet, Out of Practice). But my mates Janet Gover (Epic Romance Category, with Little Girl Lost) and Kate Johnson (Paranormal and Speculative Fiction Category, with Max Seventeen) both won awards. After the official event finished, there was a mass trip out for pizza to celebrate.

I had a totally amazing time at the RoNAs. I might even go again next year.

How to find new authors to read

If you enjoy reading my books, you’ll probably like the work of some of the other UK romance novelists… but how do you find them? Easy, you check out the samples that we’re giving away for free – just click the book cover and download a sample in the format of your choice. All of the books in this giveaway have been shortlisted for the RoNA (Romantic Novel of the Year) awards.



The giveaway runs 1st – 14th of March. RoNA winners will be announced on the 13th of March.

The giveaway includes a sample to my own Girl Having A Ball (which is shortlisted in the Best Romantic Comedy category).

If you find a new writer that you like, everyone’s a winner!

Girl Having A Ball nominated for a RoNA award

Girl Having A Ball is on the shortlist for RoNA awards for best romantic comedy. Look, they sent a fancy graphic of the category nominees:

The results will be announced on the 13th of March, so there’s over a month to wait to find out what happens. The other people on the shortlist are Cathy Bramley, Joanna Bolouri, Ali McNamara and Penny Parkes – all of whom write fantastic books. It’s an honour to be in their company.

If you haven’t read Girl Having A Ball yet,  it’s on special offer for 99p on Kobo,  iBooks (UK) and Amazon until Valentine’s day. If you want a sample, you can get the first 3 chapters for free on Instafreebie

If you have read Girl Having A Ball, I’d be super grateful if you could leave a review. The number of reviews a book has really makes a difference to how well it sells. I know I read reviews before I buy anything, I guess everyone else does the same.

Have a lovely day!


Girl Having A Ball – Release Day!

It’s release day for my fourth book published by Choc Lit. Look at the lovely, lovely cover!

GHAB cover

Girl Having A Ball was published before as Having a Ball. It’s the same girl, and the same ball, but with a few changes to make it even better than it was. It’s the sequel to Girl On The Run and tells the story of Marshall’s sister Stevie. The third book in the series, which has the working title Girl In Trouble, should be out next year. [Doctor January isn’t part of this series, but one of the characters has a teeny tiny cameo in it, see if you can figure out who it is].

sri-lankan-party-foodThere’s an awful lot of food involved in this story. I’ve put together a small pamphlet with some recipes for them, including the delicious sweet coconut filled pancakes that Stevie loves so much. You can get a copy by signing up to my newsletter in the next four weeks.


Girl Having A Ball

What if you had to learn to stand on your own feet?

Although Stevie lost her parents when she was very young, she’s always been able to rely on her brother, Marsh. But now Marsh is married and Stevie feels like she is losing him too.

Determined to prove her independence, Stevie sets about transforming her life, giving up her dead-end job and following her passion for events management.

Her first assignment takes her to a stunning manor house in Oxford where she is tasked with organising a charity ball on a shoestring. Between canapé worries, celebrity guests and trying to keep the hyper-critical Lady Beryl happy, Stevie’s teenage crush, Tom, resurfaces to confuse things even further.

But ‘poor needy little Stevie’ is now ‘Stevie the strong woman’ and she won’t let a man get in the way of her dreams – will she?

News: Sequels to Girl On The Run

I’m very excited because I’ve just signed two contracts with Choc Lit for two books in the same world as Girl On The Run. I’ve bought cookie dough ice cream and some Lego to celebrate. These are both relevant to the books – one of the heroes is a marine biologist and ice cream features rather a lot in all the books in the series.

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The first book (which is currently called Having a Ball, but will probably get a new name) is the story of Stevie – cheeky little sister to Marshall in Girl On The Run. She’s a bit more grown up and trying to set up as a freelance party organiser. By the end of the book she’s a lot more grown up. The hero of the book is grumpy, workaholic Tom. There’s an awful lot about food in this book. Also, a fabulous house which is almost a character in itself, a barmy retired academic, cocky teenagers, a woman named after a European city and at least one disco ball.

The second book (provisionally titled Girl in Trouble) stars Olivia, who is Tom’s best friend and is known as Og for most of Having a Ball. I loved writing her. She’s a grown up tomboy who is outspoken, stubborn and commitment shy. She’s the closest I’ve ever come to writing an alpha male (and she’s not male). The hero in the book, Walter, is a marine biologist who’s scared of spiders. He’s also trying (and failing) to be a good dad to his 4 year old. This book touches on parenthood, voluntary childlessness, spiders, hydrothermal vents and The Octonauts. It is possible that some or all of these will come out in the edits. I hope I get to keep The Octonauts.

Once these are published, I’ll have five novels out in the world. I wouldn’t be able to do it if people didn’t keep reading them, so THANK YOU! I’d offer to share the ice cream with you, but it’s all gone now.


Having a Ball Tour: stop 4 – M’s bookshelf

Continuing on with the Having a Ball Tour, Maryline gave it 4 stars and wrote a lovely review here:

So far, most reviewers have commented that they were interested in how Stevie seems so childish at first. Since I intended the book to track the process of Stevie ‘growing up’, that’s brilliant news for me.


Inheritance Books – Lynda Renham

Lynda Renham, author of books with hilarious titles, is visiting Inheritance Books today. 

Hi Lynda, welcome to Inheritance Books. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Copy of Copy of DSCF4175My name is Lynda Renham. I am the bestselling author of the romantic comedies Croissants and Jam Coconuts and Wonderbras, Pink Wellies and Flat Caps and The Dog’s Bollocks which is my latest novel. I also have a little ditty out titled The Confessions of a Chocoholic, which is a collection of short stories about my mad life.

I live in Oxfordshire with my second husband and our little cat Bendy. I have been writing for 25 years but only had success in the past three, when I decided to write comedy. I have a contemporary novel out titled The Diary of Rector Byrnes which is written under the pseudonym of Edith Waylen. It is very different to my comedy novels.

I love chocolate and music and need both when writing. I have talked on radio and written political articles before turning my attention mostly to novel writing.

I live in the country and absolutely love it. We take lovely walks through our village and I take many photos and share them on my Facebook page.

I love having contact with my readers and love to hear what they like about my novels and which ones are their favourites. I produce a monthly newsletter and anyone can subscribe to it by going to my web page at I’d love to hear from you so please do contact me. I’m on Twitter as well as Facebook and you can always contact me via my website.

Oxfordshire is lovely. The countryside is so heartbreakingly beautiful in the summer.

Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?

IMAG0148The book I have inherited and love dearly for many reasons is The Sea The Sea by Iris Murdoch. My mother bought it many years and gave it to me and so began my love and addiction for Iris Murdoch. I have all her books. And what makes this introduction so special is because twenty years later after being introduced to Iris Murdoch a wonderful film was made about her life based on the book written about her by her husband John Bayley. I discovered after seeing the film that Iris had lived in Oxfordshire and not far from me. I found out from a friend where it was and learnt that John still lived there. I found the house and popped a note in asking John Bayley if I could pop round for tea and see where Iris had written her books as I was such a big fan. The biggest shock was when he answered the note and invited me for tea. It was amazing. I saw Iris’s study and her home and met John Bayley and best of all John read my book The Diary of Rector Byrnes and said it was highly publishable. From a Professor of English that was praise indeed.  That was one of the highlights of my life.

Which book would you leave for later generations? Why?

The book I would leave for future generations is A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. It was recommended to me and is a fine balancebeautifully written novel and so compelling. Absolutely beautiful and I want to buy a copy for all my friends. It is a book that has made me desperately want to go to India. I have many books recommended to me but this one was most certainly the best ever.

Thank you for sharing our Inheritance Books with us, Lynda. All the best with your books.

dogbsLynda’s latest book The Dog’s Bollocks is out now. You can find out more about Linda on Facebook, Twitter or her website.

Having a Ball on Tour – stop 2: Total Book Geek

Here we are are the second stop of the Having a Ball book tour. Today I’m talking to Athena at Total Book Geek about my top ten tips on organising a ball (and sampling some rather nice wine). She gave the book 4 out of 5 stars (phew!) and if you leave your own top tip, you have a chance to win one of two copies of Patently in Love.

The rafflecopter thingy again, in case you wanted to enter using that instead:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a good Thursday.