(20+) Winners of Individual eBooks (randomly selected titles)
How I came to be a writer.
I longed to become a writer but this was considered rather an exotic ambition so my parents encouraged me to get an education first. No one in my family had ever stayed on for further education before, so I was elected to blaze the trail. I qualified as a primary teacher and worked for a number of years. I married in 1969 and a few years later we moved to the Lake District with our two daughters. I then ran a bookshop for ten years and secretly wrote late in the night.
Later, when I sold my bookshop, I tried anything and everything. Short stories, serials, a children’s novel, picture scripts and a few Mills & Boon contemporaries, although I gained more rejection slips than cheques. The aim was to send material out faster than it came back, which wasn’t easy. We had a brilliant postal service and all the rejections would come bouncing back with remarkable speed. But at last the day came when I sold my first short story to D.C.Thompson. It was a red letter day indeed. That was also the name of the magazine, now defunct. Following this breakthrough I seemed to develop the knack for I went on to sell many more stories. With renewed confidence I tried again for Mills & Boon, this time with a historical, Madeiran Legacy, which was accepted. I wrote five historical romances as Marion Carr for Mills & Boon which greatly taught me my craft. Only later did I have sufficient confidence to try for the mainstream fiction market, selling my first saga, Luckpenny Land, to Hodder & Stoughton in 1993 on a three book contract.
I was fortunate back in 2010 to get the rights of many of my backlist reverted from a couple of publishers. Hearing about ebooks in the US I set out to learn how to produce them, finally achieved that and regularly self-published some. Sales began quite slowly, which didn’t trouble me as I was also writing for another publisher. But once Kindles arrived in the UK in Christmas 2011, I must say my sales shot up surprisingly well and I was amazed by my success. As a consequence in 2013, I was contacted by Amazon Lake Union for an interview, then later offered a contract by them. My first book with them, The Amber Keeper, soon sold over a hundred thousand, and has now sold more. Such a thrill. Selling ebooks is now much higher for me than print books. My second book was Forgotten Women, which is also doing quite well. Now comes publication of Girls of the Great War, which I loved writing too.
This book was such fun to write, if sad and heartbreaking when Cecily lost the love of her life. She was concerned for herself, and also for her sister Merryn, who was engrossed with a young man Cecily did not approve of. He was not an easy young man.
Excerpt from Girls of the Great War:
Later that afternoon Merryn eagerly hurried over to the Palace Theatre just a short distance away. The young drummer was fully engaged in rehearsal, the bandleader constantly hammering his baton to stop the musicians playing while he issued more instructions to them. She knew she would have to wait a while before he was free, so taking a seat she watched him. He was a cheerful young man with reddish hair, soft grey eyes that were constantly alight behind his spectacles, a slightly gap-toothed smile and a chiselled chin. Being a bit of a joker, Johnny Wilcox was great fun. When finally he was allowed a break, Merryn offered to buy him an afternoon tea at a nearby café.
‘There’s something I’d like to discuss with you over a little tiffin,’ she said with a smile.
‘That sounds good,’ he grinned, his expression filled with curiosity.
As they sat enjoying tea and biscuits, Merryn told him of her sister’s plan to create a small concert party and entertain the troops in France.
He looked a little taken aback. ‘Blimey, that’ll be a challenge. I wouldn’t want anything dreadful to happen to either of you two girls.’
‘I don’t think we’ll be anywhere near the front line where the fighting is going on. We just plan to entertain the soldiers at their bases. I know you appreciated how Cecily discovered her talent to sing. Oh, and by the way, I can play an accordion.’
He gave another wide grin. ‘What a brick you are, a real sport. As you know, I play drums and cymbals, so can I come too?’
Merryn blinked in surprise, amazed by this instant offer, having fully expected she’d need to persuade him. ‘You most certainly can. I was about to ask if you’d be interested, as we’d welcome your support. I doubt there’ll be any wages paid since we’ll be volunteers fed and accommodated by the army.’
He creased his lips into a pout then gave a little smirk. ‘I’ll do my best to accept that fact. You’re a girl with great talent, as is Cecily. I’d love to work with you both.’
The weather being sunny he walked with her to the beach, talking about the music they loved to play and how long it had taken each of them to learn these skills. ‘I’ve been playing drums all my life, ever since Dad bought me one for Christmas when I was ten. It kept me sane when I was suffering his loss.’
‘Oh, how dreadful. How did that happen? I know very little about your past.’
‘I was born in Barnsley in Yorkshire; part of a working class family who became even poorer after Dad was tragically killed in a mining accident. Such bloody bad luck. Following his death my mam worked as a cleaner, earning barely enough money to feed her six children, all of them younger than me. I eventually was able to help by getting myself a job playing my drum kit at a local pub. I was so thrilled with Dad’s present that I was determined to improve it and learn how to play well. Thankfully I succeeded.’
‘Good for you, Johnny, I’m glad to hear that. My father sadly drowned in the Thames when we were quite young, although how that happened has never been explained to us and we have little memory of him. Queenie refuses to say anything on the subject, not even explain why her marriage went wrong.’
‘My mam didn’t talk much about her early life either. Far too distressing for her.’
Merryn decided that they had a great deal in common and could be well suited to work together, both being musicians. ‘I’m delighted to hear that you wish to join our team.’
‘Why would I not, when you’re so attractive?’
Merryn rolled her eyes in amusement, having no belief in her own looks. She saw herself as quite plain, a little too round and simply practical, interested mainly in fashion, sewing, make-up and hairstyles. Cecily had always been the pretty one with talent and plenty of young men falling for her, whereas she’d never found a boy who really took a shine to her. Merryn adored her sister and felt quite proud of her famous mother too, readily willing to deal with Queenie’s problems. His next words startled her out of those thoughts.
‘Can I give you a little kiss of thanks,’ Johnny murmured.
‘I’m not sure that would be a good idea,’ she stuttered. He was a most pleasant young man, if a little flirtatious.
‘I must confess that I’ve always felt the need for more closeness between us.’ Taking hold of her hand he gave it a gentle little kiss.
Cecily Hanson longs to live life on her own terms—to leave the shadow of her overbearing mother and marry her childhood sweetheart once he returns from the Great War. But when her fiancé is lost at sea, this future is shattered. Looking for meaning again, she decides to perform for the troops in France.
Life on the front line is both rewarding and terrifying, and Cecily soon finds herself more involved—and more in danger—than she ever thought possible. And her family has followed her to France. Her sister, Merryn, has fallen for a young drummer whose charm hides a dark side, while their mother, Queenie—a faded star of the stage tormented by her own secret heartache—seems set on a path of self-destruction.
As the war draws to a close and their hopes turn once again to the future, Cecily and Merryn are more determined than ever to unravel the truth about their mother’s past: what has she been hiding from them—and why?
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2wKaX2y
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2rGc528
I was born in a small mill town in Lancashire. My mother comes from generations of weavers, and my father was a shoe-repairer. I still remember the first pair of clogs he made for me. After several years of teaching, I opened a bookshop in Kendal, Cumbria. And while living in the rural Lakeland Fells, rearing sheep and hens, I turned to writing. I wrote over fifty articles and short stories for magazines such as My Weekly and Woman’s Realm, before finding my vocation as a novelist and became a Sunday Times Bestselling author. I’ve now written over forty-eight novels, mostly sagas and historical fiction, my three latest books, including Girls of the Great War, out in May are published by Amazon Lake Union. I spend warm winters living in Spain, and the rainy summers in Britain.
My Blogspot: http://www.fredalightfoot.blogspot.com/
If you wish to be kept up to date on new titles and contests, sign up on my website http://www.fredalightfoot.co.uk to subscribe to my Newsletter: I only send out 4 or 5 a year so your inbox won’t be flooded.
Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/freda-lightfoot-3/
There’s nothing like a wedding to bring the family together….
If not for her baby sister’s impending marriage, Margaret West would never return home. But after six long years, she finds herself a maid of honour who must answer to the people she left behind.
If her parents’ interrogation doesn’t drive her to drink, facing her foster brother, Adrian, just might. To make matters worse, her ex-fiancé is the vicar who will conduct her sister’s ceremony.
Everyone demands to know why she ran off. But the more time she spends at home, the more Margaret realizes even she doesn’t know the real reason.
Length: 32,000 words/118 pages| Content: Contemporary Romance| Publisher: Elizabeth Morgan
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2H3fWf8
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Hzquni
Also available in print from Amazon and Barnes & Noble!
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“When is Aidy getting here?” Jessica grabbed the large bowl of scrambled eggs and brought it closer to her plate.
“I think his flight is due in at three.” My mother placed a dish of bacon on the table and took a seat beside me. “He will be in time for the wedding rehearsal; don’t worry.”
My stomach clenched. “Wedding rehearsal?” I coughed, trying to clear the chunk of toast lodged in my throat. “What wedding rehearsal?”
“Today at four. We’re running through the service.” Jess scooped egg onto her plate. “I told you.”
Nervous laughter bubbled in my throat, and try as I may, I couldn’t stop shaking my head. “No.” I patted my chest. “No, you never mentioned a rehearsal.”
“Oh.” She placed the bowl back in the middle of the table. “I could have sworn I did.”
“Nope, you didn’t. Believe me, I would have remembered otherwise.” I grabbed my mug and knocked the coffee back before finishing my piece of toast.
“Well, it’s no big deal.” Edward took the bowl of eggs and helped himself.
“Just a quick run-through.”
“Will everyone be there?” Forcing a smile on my face, I looked up at them both, hoping like hell my question would pass as innocent and genuine curiosity.
“Anyone who is involved in the wedding itself will be.”
Great. So that meant Jessica, Edward, the parents, and the bridesmaids, plus me. Plus Adrian and…. “Will Vicar Taylor be there?”
Oh, God, did my voice just go higher?
“Yes, Margaret, William will be there. He is the one who is marrying Jessie and Edward, so he needs to be there.” My father skewered some bacon and tomatoes onto his fork.
Grimacing, I reached out and grabbed another piece of toast. “Just a question, Pa.”
A stupid one, but a question, nevertheless…
“It is normal for people to have wedding rehearsals, Margaret. Just because you—”
Jess picked up the coffeepot. “Does anyone want more coffee?”
I straightened, my focus fixed on Pa. “I’m aware.”
My father’s shoulders went rigid. He lifted his head, and our gazes locked. I didn’t miss the way the muscle in the side of his neck ticked. Arguing with my father in front of Jessica and Edward was not an option, so I looked away.
“Please.” I held out my mug, and Jess poured the dark liquid.
I could kick myself. A wedding rehearsal hadn’t even crossed my mind. Having to stand at the altar before William on the actual wedding day would be hard enough, but having to do it twice…my stomach churned.
“So, will Adrian come straight to the church?” Edward cut the awkward silence.
“Yes. He will get a taxi to the church, and then we will bring him and his luggage back here.” My mother held her mug out to Jess.
“Adrian is staying here? Tonight?” I added sugar to my coffee. “Won’t it be crowded? I thought—”
“No more crowded than it was in your childhood.” My father took a bite of his toast.
More and more good news. Of course he would be staying here; it was his family home, after all. I guess it was stupid of me to hope he would go to a B&B, but my parents wouldn’t have allowed it even if he’d suggested it. I hadn’t seen him in six years, hadn’t spoken to him.
And yet, in a couple of hours, I would be locked in the same house with him.
~ * ~
About the Author:
Elizabeth Morgan is a multi-published author of urban fantasy, paranormal, erotic horror, f/f, and contemporary; all with a degree of romance, a dose of action and a hit of sarcasm, sizzle or blood, but you can be sure that no matter what the genre, Elizabeth always manages to give a unique and often humorous spin to her stories.
Like her tagline says; A pick ‘n’ mix genre author. “I’m not greedy. I just like variety.”
And that she does, so look out for more information on her upcoming releases at her website: www.e-morgan.com
Away from the computer, Elizabeth can be found in the garden trying hard not to kill her plants, dancing around her little cottage with the radio on while she cleans, watching movies or good television programmes – Dr Who? Atlantis? The Musketeers? Poldark? American Horror Story? Heck, yes! – Or curled up with her two cats reading a book.
Where to find Elizabeth Online:
Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElizabethMorgan/
Blood Series Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheBloodSeries/
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Stepping Stones re-release also marks my final title being reclaimed and self-published. Yes, that’s right; I am officially, 100% a self-published Author and loving it.
So to celebrate I’m giving two lucky readers the chance to win all 8 of my titles in ebook format. That’s right you can win an ebook copy of each of my following titles and yes, that includes today’s re-release;
On the Rocks
Truth or Dare?
All 3 books in The Blood Series;
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning these titles is leave some entries on the below rafflecopter. Yes, it’s that simple. Thank you in advance and Good Luck!
Follow a bunch of reverse harem romance authors on BookBub to keep up with their new releases and be in with a chance of winning amazing prizes!
Fate? Destiny? Magic?
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Happy Reading (and Happy St. Patrick’s Day, if you’re celebrating it)!
I’m taking part in this amazing giveaway – you can enter for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card! (I’m jealous, actually! 😉 )
To enter, just click the link below and fill in the requested details.