The Truth About The Other Guy – release day!

It’s formal release day for The Truth About the Other Guy – a short story set at a New Year’s Eve Party. ttatog

When I was a kid, we used to go to Christmas parties organised by my Dad’s old college. They were always held in a cricket stadium in the outskirts of Colombo. My memories are rather hazy but I remember the saris and jewellery of the aunties and, as the night wore on, the dancing. There were always fireworks at midnight (sometimes we little ones fell asleep and were woken up to watch). I moved one of those parties to a church hall in the outskirts of London and used it as the setting for this story.

Aasha’s mother is matchmaking, which isn’t going to go well because her mother doesn’t know the real Aasha at all… or does she?

Those who have read Doctor January will recognise the hero in this story – Vik. After spending all that time with Vik while writing about his mates Beth and Hibs (Dr January), it seemed a shame not to give him is own happy ending. So, when I got the chance to contribute to the Truly, Madly, Deeply anthology published by Harlequin and the RNA (back in 2012), I wrote about Vik.

The exclusivity clause on the story ran out over a year ago, so I decided to self publish it and see what happened. So here you are. The Truth About the Other Guy is available now on all ebook retailers. This link should take you to your preferred sitebooks2read.com/u/mqzJGv

Alternatively, if you sign up to my newsletter this week, I will send you a link to a review copy!

If you do read it, please leave a review. We authors need reviews for all sorts of things (like getting Amazon to notice our books… and to stop us nervously eating chocolate in a frenzy of insecurity).

 

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.

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: 

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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!

Rhoda

Lots of free short stories (including one of mine)

If you’re a keen reader of short stories, then check out this giveaway link: https://ricraewrites.com/short-story-giveaway/

It takes you to a page listing a whole load of short stories, listed by genre, offered up through Instafreebie. My story, The Truth About the Other Guy is in there amoung them.

The Truth About The Other Guy appeared in the Truly Madly Deeply anthology, which showcased the best of British romance writing. It’s probably the only time I’ll be in the same book as Katie Fforde and Milly Johnson! Since it’s been a few years, I can now republish the story. I chose to give it away for free (for a while, at least).

For those of you who read Doctor January and wanted to know what happened to Vic, he’s the hero of this story. 2

Here’s the blurb:

Aasha has spent her life lying to her parents and pretending she’s the good Sri Lankan girl they expect her to be. She’s about to come clean when her mother announces she’s found her a ‘suitable’ man… which is not going to end well, because her mother doesn’t really know Aasha at all. Or does she?

 

If you haven’t heard of Instafreebie – here’s how it works. Authors put up free offers of short stories, extracts or even full books up on the site. You give them your email address and they send you the freebie in the electronic format of your choice. Job done.

A side effect is that you get put on the author’s mailing list. If you read and like the free thing, then that’s fab. If you decided you’d rather not hear from them again, just hit unsubscribe. ALL mailing list emails should have an unsubscribe button at the bottom.

[As an aside,  if you’ve changed your mind about being on the list, or only signed up for the free stuff (it’s fine, we all do that), you should always UNSUBSCRIBE and not hit the spam button. Hitting the spam button means that the poor list owner gets penalised. Hitting unsubscribe means you stop the emails without hurting anyone.]

Here’s that link again: https://ricraewrites.com/short-story-giveaway/

 

 

Pat’s Pantry is FREE on Amazon today and tomorrow (26/27 Jan)

The title says it all, really. My short read Pat’s Pantry is available for FREE on Amazon for two days.

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What’s it about? Well, since you ask… here’s the blurb:

Can you ever forgive your first love?

Jack left Sue when she was eighteen and no one else has even come close to taking his place in her heart. Twenty five years later, Sue is too busy running the local bakery and fighting off competition from the new bistro in the village to have time for romance.

After more than two decades away, Jack is finally returning to the village he grew up in. Seeing Sue rekindles all the feelings he thought were long buried. But will Sue forgive him for leaving… especially when she finds out that his daughter runs the enemy bistro?

Pat’s Pantry is the first story in a series of contemporary romantic comedies set in the rural Yorkshire village of Trewton Royd. If you like small town romances, character driven plots and sparkling dialogue, you’ll love this series.

 

In case I haven’t persuaded you to part with… um… zero pounds, here’s what some of the reviews say:

“It took my mind away from the million and one hassles of everyday life and carried me off to a lovely village”

” it’s hard to believe that so much can be said in just a few pages”

“It made me hanker for a cinnamon bun.”

So, get your copy today. myBook.to/PatsPantry

 

Pat’s Pantry – short novella set in Yorkshire

A little over a year ago, I wrote a long-ish short story for a competition. I didn’t win, but I ended up with a rather nice story that was too long to send out to magazines and too short to send to my publisher. At around the same time, I’d started wondering if I could try this self publishing lark. I’ve always wanted to be a traditionally published author, but… well, increasingly, you’ve got to do a lot of the book promotion yourself. It used to just be stuff like chatting to book bloggers (I like doing that) and messing about on Twitter and Facebook (I quite like that too). But now, Facebook and Twitter algorithms have changed and I end up talking to only a tiny number of people – which is fine most of the time, but if I want to try promoting anything… the message doesn’t go very far. Which means that promotion now requires paying for adverts. Chatting to my online friends, thankfully, still remains free.

All this is a long-winded way of saying that I’ve self published Pat’s Pantry so that I can try new things. If I pay for an ad and sell a few books, then I’ll at least get part of my money back. Besides, it’s cool to be a hybrid author nowadays, apparently.

What was my point? Oh yes. I eventually self published the short novella as Pat’s Pantry. It’s FREE this weekend. Please do download it, if you’re passing through Amazon. It’s a very gentle story about Sue, who gets a second chance at romance when she’d pretty much given up hope. The story is set in a tiny village in West Yorkshire. It’s only about 25 pages long, so you should be able to read it in under an hour!

 

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So yes, Pat’s Pantry. Totally free until Sunday. If you do read it and like it (or even if you don’t), please leave a review. Amazon uses the number of reviews as part of its algorithm. If a book has more than 50 reviews, apparently some Good Thing happens. I’m not sure what that is – I’m hoping showers of sparkles or cakes delivered by drone… but it’s more likely to be Amazon ranking the book a bit higher.

I know some of you read review copies and have left lovely reviews already. Thank you, thank you, thank  you! Incidentally, I love the village in this story so much, that I’m planning on writing more novellas featuring other characters from there. [If you want to be in with the cool kids and get review copies and things, sign up for my newsletter].

Have a great weekend. Hope you get all your Christmas shopping done. 

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.

 

#Bookreview: Please Release Me—when sleeping beauty won’t wake up

What a lovely review! Please Release Me in the context of Fairy Tales.

Barb Taub

Why do we love fairy tales?

Some say they embody universal tropes that pass along the traditions of social messaging. Watch out for those who are different. Fear the unknown. Obey your mother, or the big bad wolf will eat you. Play your cards right, and a fairy (or a prince or an enchanted frog) will rescue you. Follow the rules, and you will live happily ever after.

But that can’t be the answer because fairy tales aren’t actually all that traditional. The ones our grandchildren hear are not the same ones our grandparents told, and they certainly bear little resemblance to their early versions. If the stories don’t change constantly, their meaning becomes irrelevant. All you have to do is go back and look at the original versions to see what I mean. In one of the earliest known sources for many of our familiar fairy tales, Giambattista Basile’s The…

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