Jennifer Gilby Roberts

Women's Fiction/Chick Lit Author

What I’ve Read This Summer

This was written as a guest post for The Book Corner.

Unlike last time, this year I actually got some reading done on holiday. It was so worth paying the extra money for a hotel with a creche. They also had a great playground for Toddler to run around in and get nicely tired out. My Kindle didn’t even wilt in the heat. So, I managed to attack my rather mixed TBR list. Shame I didn’t have it with me when I got locked in the toilet.

christmas-beach-cafeThe obvious first choice for your summer holiday is a Christmas book. Specifically, Christmas at the Beach Café by Lucy Diamond. I confess I was reading it as research for a Christmas story of my own and chose it because the reviews said it really captured the Christmas spirit. And it did, even in Mallorca in July, although I suspect I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I’d read the novel that came before it. I think I’ll read it again in December.

Georgiana Darcy's DiaryThen I went for something different: Georgiana Darcy’s Diary by Anna Elliott. This is a sequel, of a sort, to Pride & Prejudice, but focusing on the minor characters of Georgiana Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam and Anne de Bourgh. I’d term it a coming of age story, because it’s really about Georgiana and Anne exercising their “girl power” and going after what they want. I really enjoyed it, plus it was free on Amazon. I think it’s permafree, actually, so I’d recommend getting that one.

Cover-SolicitingfromHome-3d-2-e1400770943412I moved from that to Soliciting from Home: 1970s memories of an English country lawyer by Melanie Russell (told you my TBR was varied!). I’ve got quite into memoirs in recent years – mainly those by nurses and midwives. (NB if you haven’t read Call the Midwife and the follow-ups by Jennifer Worth – do. They go way beyond the TV show.) This one will appeal to you if you like a cozy mystery or tales of working motherhood. It started a little slow and I felt the author included a bit more legal detail than was really needed (it made sense to me because I used to work as a legal secretary, but I suspect it wouldn’t to most people), but the stories made it worth reading none the less.

pink wellies flat capsThe final book I’ll mention is Pink Wellies and Flat Caps by Lynda Renham. I first noticed her name in the “also-boughts” on my author page and I downloaded her free book Confessions of a Chocoholic, which was very funny. Pink Wellies was very enjoyable too. My only criticism is that it got a bit too serious towards the end and there wasn’t enough story after that to fully restore the light-hearted tone. I’ll try another of her books and see if that’s the case in all of them.

So, no additions to my all-time favourites list, but some very enjoyable stories. And who knows what the rest of the summer will bring?

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Win a Copy of the The Dr Pepper Prophecies Audio Book

TDPP_audio-book__2I’m giving away a copy of the audio book of The Dr Pepper Prophecies!

You don’t need to be a member of Audible (or join) to get this prize.

Enter via Rafflecopter

Ends 31 August 2014

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My Greatest Holiday

This was written as a guest post for Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams.

AucklandCBDfromRangitotoMy greatest holiday will always be the four months I spent in New Zealand after finishing school. I was old enough to do everything (except hire a car, oddly enough), but young enough not to have to do anything. There was money in the bank to pay for the trip and a hostel bed wherever I showed up that day. Bliss.

I lost a lot of weight that trip, because I walked everywhere. The best travel advice I’ve had is to get a good map in case you get lost and then put it away and get lost. I saw so much more just wandering around the places I visited. Though the treks between bus stops and hostels with my life on my back were a challenge. I remember almost crying when I discovered the hostel in Dunedin was three-quarters of the way up a very steep hill. I did climb Mount Eden, but that was because the hostel I was staying at was most of the way up it. I often walked to the top in the morning to enjoy the view, before heading down into Auckland. One day, I was joined by a coach load of Japanese tourists. Several of them indicated to me that they wanted to take a picture with me, presumably as a genuine New Zealander. I didn’t have the heart to tell them I was English, especially since there was no one else up there. Or perhaps I have a famous doppelganger out there?

Visitors to NZ have to partake in adrenaline sports. It’s practically a condition of the visa. And I did everything on offer. Hand-gliding, para-gliding, para-sailing, bungee jumping, sky swinging, zorbing. I started with skydiving, so everything else seemed no big deal. True, I spent most of the way down slowly losing consciousness and I don’t remember the last few hundred feet at all, but I still did it. Somewhere, there is a video of the dive, but I’ve never dared watch it.320px-Skydiving_over_Cushing

They say you should take half as much stuff as you think you need and twice as much money (good advice, in my experience). This was long before ereaders, so books didn’t often form part of my luggage. Fortunately, every hostel had a ‘take one, leave one’ bookshelf. You read a lot of odd books that way. Somewhere, I’m sure I have a list of everything I read. I do recall picking up a biography of Princess Grace of Monaco, Harry Potter and Victoria Beckham’s autobiography. I also read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, because the second film came out while I was there and, of course, it was filmed on the south island. My biggest regret for the trip is that I didn’t go on the location tours offered. Because I had such an open schedule, when I was tired or ill or the weather was bad, I just stayed at the hostel and read. That trip really reactivated my imagination after it had been ground down by A-levels and no doubt contributed to the writing of The Dr Pepper Prophecies, which I wrote later that year.

It’s a wonderful time of your life. The future stretches out in front of you, packed full of possibilities, and you haven’t started work and had your first reality check yet. After I finished my degree I went away again, this time to Australia, where I wrote After Wimbledon (are you noticing a theme here?), but even that wasn’t quite the same. Sometimes, I long for those days again. But back then it was just me and now I have a husband and little daughter who I wouldn’t want to spend that much time away from. Maybe I should get out all my photos and write a book about it instead…

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After Wimbledon Sale!

After-Wimbledon_99c-saleThe ebook version of After Wimbledon will be 99c everywhere (assuming Kobo play ball) on 23-24 August 2014

 

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The Dr Pepper Prophecies Audio Book is Out!

TDPP_audio-book__2The Dr Pepper Prophecies is now available to listen to!  The audio version, read by voice artist Elán O’Connor, is on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Audible.com, Audible.co.uk and iTunes.  Have a listen to the sample on the page.

If you go through the relevant Amazon page (or Audible in the US), you can get a 30 day free trial on Audible so you can listen to the book for nothing!  You even get to keep it if you cancel after the trial and pay nothing.  (Don’t forget to put a reminder in your calendar to cancel on time).

UK folk who are sure they want to stick with it can go to Audible direct to get the first three months at a discounted price.  Everyone may also be able to get money back on both membership and individual purchases through cashback sites.

(BTW, if TDPP is the first book you borrow when you join Audible (including the free trial), Elán and I get a bonus payment.  Just FYI.)

 

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Work in Progress – August 2014

This month’s report.  Much progress made.  Have Chick Lit, Will Travel is now out and available to buy.  Here’s the rest:

The Dr Pepper Prophecies Audio Book

Finished!  The recording is all done and it has passed the quality check.  We’re now just waiting for it to go on sale, which should happen by the end of the month.  It will be available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes.  Watch this space!

Brittany Book

I’m back into writing mode on this one.  My beta-readers have given me a ton of useful feedback and my enthusiasm for the project has returned after my break.  I’ve already added 7,000 words to the draft and there’s more to come.

Hopefully it will go to be edited in September.  How long it takes after that will depend on the editor’s notes and what ideas they spark off, but I expect it to be out by the end of the year.  I already have the next project buzzing round in my head and I’m looking forward to writing that too.  Toddler is starting nursery in September (yahoo!) so my writing time will finally be increasing.

To get emailed when I release new work, sign up for my mailing list.

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Can Someone Who’s Read Early Daze Do Me a Favour?

Hi everyone.

I want to apply for a promotional opportunity for Early Daze, but it requires 25 reviews on Amazon.com and at the moment it’s got 24.  Could someone who’s read it write me a couple of lines?  Please?

If you haven’t read it yet, look out for a sale sometime in September.  There will also be a sale on After Wimbledon later this month and I’ve scheduled some more paperback giveaways on Goodreads in the autumn.

 

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[Guest Post] Charlotte’s Restrained by Celia Kennedy + Giveaway

Today, author friend Celia Kennedy is sharing the details of her book Charlotte’s Restrained.  I know there’s a sequel to it in the works already, so if you like series add this one to your TBR.

You can win a signed copy of Charlotte’s Restrained or a £15/$25 Amazon giftcard through her giveaway.  It’s also discounted at 99c for the whole of August.

Check out her tour stops.

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Charlotte's_Restrain_Cover_for_KindleNestled at the heart of the French Alps, Charlotte Young and her five closest friends ring in the New Year on a ski vacation in Chamonix France.

With the same idea in mind, many of the world’s celebrities are in town. Including the King of Romantic Comedies, Des Bannerman. Charlotte and friends join forces to help her realize her lifelong fantasy, to meet Des Bannerman.

Using bait in the form of her Sophia Loren lookalike friend to blaze a trail to Des Bannerman, Charlotte finally meets her man. His girlfriend, the latest Bond Girl, proves an insurmountable obstacle. Unexpectedly, Charlotte finds herself happily reconciled to an innocent evening of drinking champagne, gambling, and chatting to the celebrity of her dreams.

With the wave of her well-manicured hand, lighthearted banter turns into tabloid fodder. Lewd headlines and suggestive photographs provide worldwide entertainment. It also leaves Charlotte saddled with a restraining order.

Des Bannerman flees, leaving Charlotte to cope with the paparazzi and feeling very wronged! With her entire life impacted, Charlotte sets about dealing with the fallout of her fifteen minutes of fame. The only problem is, how does a mere mortal make contact with a celebrity god?

Girl meets boy. Boy disregards girl. Girl tracks down boy to get some answers! Along the way and with the help of her friends, Charlotte finds the answers to life’s biggest questions!

Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk

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CKennedySMCelia Kennedy was born in Wurzburg, Germany on an American military base. Her parents’ penchant for traveling the world, via a Volkswagen Minibus with a Porsche engine, sparked her imagination. Staring out the window, sometimes through fog and rain, at other times at sunny blue skies, she began to make up stories for the places and spaces they passed by. The in-between time, the most fascinating to her.

Mark Twain said, “Write what you know.” When combining this concept with her unusual life experiences (working at a nuclear submarine base when Chernobyl blew, testing software Bill Gates kept close tabs on, travelling extensively while quite broke, or falling in love with her boyfriend’s close friend) thinking of what to write about isn’t challenging; there just needs to be more hours in the day. Currently she lives in Washington State with the loves of her life.

www.celiakennedy.weebly.com

https://twitter.com/KennedyCelia

https://www.facebook.com/CMKAuthor

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6965584.Celia_Kennedy

http://www.pinterest.com/celiakennedy

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The Dr Pepper Prophecies – Sale & Giveaway!

The-Dr-Pepper-Prophecies_99To celebrate finishing work on the audio book (available soon!), the kindle version of The Dr Pepper Prophecies will be 99c on Amazon.com and 99p on Amazon.co.uk on 8-9 August 2014.

Giveaway!

Anyone who helps spread the word about the sale by tweeting, re-tweeting, sharing, pinning or blogging is eligible to win a special prize!

Three lucky winners will each get a free copy of whichever of my books they would like (including the box set Have Chick Lit, Will Travel).

Tweets and re-tweets I can track, but please leave comments with links to blog and other posts, so I can be sure to count your entry.

Easy tweet:

Only 99c today – 5* chick lit – THE DR PEPPER PROPHECIES – #mustread #greatbookdeal http://mybook.to/TDPP RT TO WIN! @GilbyRoberts

Just a reminder that The Dr Pepper Prophecies can be downloaded FREE by Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited members.

 

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[Guest Post] Putting the Fun into Promo by Samantha Tonge

Today Samantha Tonge, author of Doubting Abbey and From Paris With Love, is giving her advice to new authors on promotion.

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Picture 014Thrilled as I was to sign my first novel publishing deal last November, with CarinaUK Harlequin, for my debut Doubting Abbey, it came as a shock to realize how much promotional work I would need to do – especially as it is a digital-first book and wouldn’t catch a reader’s eye by appearing on a bookshop shelf. I worked late into the night often, (and that’s with being lucky enough to work more or less full-time as a writer), setting up a special website just for Doubting Abbey, an account with Tumblr, boards at Pinterest and a Facebook author page. Plus I worked on expanding my number of followers on Twitter.

And the time has arrived again to throw myself whole-heartedly into promotion, with the publication of Doubting Abbey’s standalone sequel, From Paris with Love.

Luckily, I love promotion – but I know some authors don’t. My advice? Try to put the fun factor into it. Readers don’t just want to know about your book, they want to know about you, the author. So what are your interests? How about your lifestyle? Try to present yourself as the whole rounded person you are, when on Social Media. This will make the whole process much more pleasurable for you and potential readers.

For example, I am trying to get fit, but love baking, I have two bonkers cats and adore watching movies. So, along with tweeting/creating Facebook posts about my books, I also post cute photos of the moggies and with the hashtag ‘foodporn’ my most unhealthy cakes! I’ll create pinboards about my obsessions, like vampires and zombies, and will blog about my latest attempts to shift the pounds.

One author who very successfully promotes herself is Jane Wenham-Jones. Her strong brand is one of a cake-eating, dieting, wine-drinker, who just happens to write great chick lit (and other books).

And remember, you also need to be true to yourself – you don’t need to have amazing hobbies like skydiving or to be best friends with Paris Hilton. I’m no clothes horse and have little real interest in fashion trends. If I tried to present myself as some designer-clad, glamorous novelist, who did the weekly shop in stilettos, it just wouldn’t work.

So don’t heave a sigh if a book launch is looming. Try to incorporate things that interest you into the promotional work. I always manage to include the theme of food in my launch competitions or chats about hot movies actors who could be cast in the hypothetical films of my books. I love connecting with readers and bloggers on Twitter and it needn’t take much time, if you have family priorities or another job. You can either bob on and off screen for a couple of short spurts, during the day, or dedicate one longer session, perhaps at lunch or in the evening. Try to work it into your routine. View it as a serious, valuable part of your author work – which it is. What is the point of spending all your available time writing, writing, writing, if eventually only very few people are going to hear about your books? You can never start too early – don’t wait for that publishing deal, start creating your own brand and networking now!

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From Paris With Love coverEvery girl dreams of hearing those four magical words Will you marry me? But no-one tells you what’s supposed to happen next…

Fun-loving Gemma Goodwin knows she should be revelling in her happy-ever-after. Except when her boyfriend Lord Edward popped the question, after a whirlwind romance, although she didn’t say no….she didn’t exactly say yes either!

A month-long cookery course in Paris could be just the place to make sure her heart and her head are on the same page… And however disenchanted with romance Gemma is feeling, the City of Love has plenty to keep her busy; the champagne is decadently quaffable, the croissants almost too delicious, and shopping is a national past-time! In fact, everything in Paris makes her want to say Je t’aime… Except Edward!

But whilst Paris might offer plenty of distractions from wedding planning – including her new friends, mysterious Joe and hot French rockstar Blade – there’s no reason she couldn’t just try one or two couture dresses is there? Just for fun…

AmazonUK

AmazonUS

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Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family, and two cats who think they are dogs. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, came out in November 2013.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SamTongeWriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaTongeAuthor

Website: http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

Doubting abbey Blog: http://doubtingabbey.blogspot.co.uk/

 

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