To Wed a Rebel – OUT NOW!

Have you picked up my latest Regency romance, To Wed a Rebel, yet?

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Really unputdownable! I adored it.’ – NetGalley Reader

“It was done, they were bound, all was finished…”

A fighter, a drinker and a notorious seducer, Isaac Roscoe was the last man that innocent Ruth Osbourne would ever consider as a husband – but that was before Roscoe ruined her prospects and reputation!

Now destitute and disinherited Ruth is faced with an impossible choice, a life on the streets or exchanging vows with the man who put her there. Yet, knowing that marriage was Roscoe’s last wish, Ruth knew her revenge would be best served by saddling him with a reluctant wife.

Determined to punish Isaac for his actions Ruth will stop at nothing to destroy him, body and spirit. Until it becomes clear that nothing she can do will hurt her disloyal husband more than he can hurt himself…

Want to finish a manuscript? Channel your inner-Jedi

Luke and Yoda

“Met today’s word-count, have you?”

Writing is a lot like falling asleep. You need to be calm. You need to be ‘in the zone’.

That means no interruptions.

Banish the partner, send the kids out, shut yourself away from your parents, ignore the flatmate. Once you get annoyed or even the tiniest bit flustered, your calm will go. Annoyance, anger and frustration will replace it. Ever tried to write while wanting to smash your own (or someone else’s) brain into the wall?

It’s impossible.

Channel the Jedi.

Find an inner-calm. The same one that beckons when you’re trying falling asleep or attempting (poorly) to meditate. It doesn’t mean shutting off emotion, it means giving yourself the space to feel what your characters feel, to become fully engrossed in your work, to forget the outside world exists and to carve a new reality.

Seek out that special, private space without constant interruption.

Because writing isn’t sitting down and bashing out a few words and calling it a day. It’s an uphill push, a gathering of momentum, before that flow comes. Once that momentum is disturbed, that big rock you’ve been shouldering will roll down and crush you.

That means starting all over again.

Remember the wise words of Yoda from Star Wars:

“Interruptions lead to anger. Anger leads to frustration. Frustration leads to an incomplete manuscript and a missed deadline.”

Or something like that. The only interruption I can tolerate? A fluffy four-legged one, because I never say “no” to that little face…

Step Back In Time… Cover Reveal!

Last weekend my publisher Carina UK, a digital offshoot from HarperCollins, held a #StepBackInTime social media event. As well as getting Mary Poppins’ Step In Time stuck in my head (and now quite possibly in yours), the glorious cover for my latest historical romance was revealed:

To Wed a Rebel by Sophie Dash

The cover is stunning. As an author, there is nothing better than finding out the cover for your latest story truly matches up to what’s between the pages. For me, it captures a key scene in To Wed a Rebel about love, betrayal, hope and redemption. (Can you tell I really like this story – I think you will too.)

And you can read more about why I love writing historical romance on the Carina UK blog:

A class system to revolt against, delicious scandals to fire gossip and pistols at dawn. While working on my latest historical romance To Wed a Rebel, I was immersed in the regency era. Historical fiction captures our imaginations, makes our hearts beat a little faster, and takes us to a place that’s far enough removed from the modern world, while still holding familiarity.

Here are my five reasons why I love writing historical fiction…

To my fellow writers – why do you love writing historical romance?

And to my fellow readers – why do you love reading it?

Weird deadline dreams where Tom Hiddleston shows up

I get deadline dreams when I’m near to finishing a book. They’re usually weird, there’s a subtle line of stress underneath, and then it all gets barmy. And sometimes The Avengers show up.

Recently I ended up in a long-demolished school building from my childhood, where I was a teacher. I was arguing with another teacher about an art display. Naturally I was in the right – you don’t staple a poor student’s work in the middle of their wonderful drawing, but at the edges. Gosh, you can’t get the staff these days.

I stormed off, arms around my chest, cardigan bunched up at the elbows, to the reception. And there I found Tom Hiddleston waiting for a tour of the school. And his tour-guide hadn’t showed up. Who was I to leave him there, alone, in the drafty room?

There were also no students and then the floor started melting in Stephen King-esque fashion and all the lights went off, but y’know, when an attractive English gentleman turns up, you’re not going to question illogical dreams…

Does anyone else ever have bizarre deadline dreams? Or have you ever dreamt about your own characters?

Sending off the final version of your manuscript is EXTREMELY PAINFUL

There’s always the horrible, cringe-y moment when you approve the FINAL version of your manuscript before it’s published. Because even after all your own hard work, insane researching, the publisher’s amazing efforts and the editor’s fantastic attentions, there’s always doubt. You can’t take it back, you can’t change anything, you can’t think, ‘Maybe I should’ve made the mask blue…

Unmasking of a Lady was published this week. After all that effort, it’s out in the real world, standing on its own two feet:

By day Miss Harriet Groves is a highly respectable lady, and a darling of society with her quick wit and blonde beauty. But by night Harriet dons a disguise, riding out into the countryside as the feared—and often revered!—Green Highwayman.

A life of crime was never the plan, but saving her family from ruin keeps Harriet riding into danger under the cover of darkness. A danger made all the more acute by the arrival of Major Edward Roberts, the man commissioned to unmask Harriet’s legendary highwayman and bring him to justice!

Harriet’s far too clever to fall into any trap the Major sets to capture her alter ego. Understanding it’s best to keep your enemies close, she sets out to thoroughly distract the Major from his duty using all of her womanly charms.

Only allowing Edward closer has unexpected consequences for Harriet. How could she have guessed that time spent sparring and flirting with Major Roberts could inspire an excitement in her equal to the adrenaline surge she experiences on her night-time adventures? It seems the dashing Major is a danger to her life, and to her heart…

Action, adventure, romance and (quite a little) violence is included. I can’t write a story without a few fight scenes, I’ve been brought up on Indiana Jones and The Prisoner of Zenda – there HAS to be swords, pistols at dawn and danger. 

If the description above tickles your fancy, take a glance at Amazon or learn more over at GoodReads. As for me, I’m working on the next regency story and dreading that final, last moment when there’s no more to be done and my baby is out in the big wide world without me to hold its hand.

17 ultimate ways for a writer to procrastinate

notebooks

Look at all these notebooks I am NOT writing in.

I have a novel to write and yet, instead, I’m watching Britain’s Got Talent while eating a chocolate brownie and drinking my weight in coffee. Here’s 17 ways in which I have wasted my Sunday morning, for any who wants to emulate this clearly successful writing style:

1. Stare at your word-count goal for 20 minutes. Write nothing.

2. Eat chocolate.

3. Make a home-made face-mask.

4. Prevent dog eating home-made face-mask from face.

5. Lose cucumber in battle to fend off pooch.

6. Search for yoga tutorials.

7. Do yoga (badly). Drip face-mask on carpet.

8. Forage for lunch. Find Nothing.

9. Discover dog licking carpet.

10. Remember uneaten Valentine’s Day chocolate in cupboard. Eat chocolate. Feel sick.

11. Drink citrus-infused water in the hope that it will cleanse the chocolate from system.

12. Google sugar-free diets and mason jars.

13. Forget am still wearing face-mask while answering the door to neighbour.

14. Contemplate moving house/digging own grave outside/murdering neighbour.

15. Look at word document, cry on keyboard, eat more chocolate and secretly hope the sugar won’t kill you even though you read that internet article saying it was the new killer toxin we’ve been secretly shovelling into our bodies and isn’t butter a carb?

16. Stare at  laptop. Wonder if it’s staring back.

17. Drink wine.