Several of my books are enrolled in Smashwords’ ‘Read an Ebook Week’ Promo, which runs until 11th March. Any of my books with a regular price over $0.99 are discounted for the week; if you click on the book, you will see a discount code on the book’s page:
Jess Fielding is Cameron McCallum’s newly-appointed personal assistant. He is due to take over from his father as Laird on their Scottish Highland estate. Used to the corporate world, Jess finds that, whilst the professional demands of her new role are straightforward, the domestic and family dynamics in Cameron’s stately home leave her feeling daunted.
Instantly attracted to Cameron, Jess begins to suspect that her feelings are reciprocated. But the appearance of Alexandra, an old university friend of Cameron’s, upsets their blossoming romance.
Cameron’s father is determined that his son should make a match fit for a Laird. Will Cameron live up to his father’s expectations or follow his heart?
‘Kitty,’ Regency romance, currently free on Smashwords
St George’s Day and the birthday of the Bard seems the perfect time to broadcast the fact that, ‘Kitty,’ my most English of short romances, is currently free to download from Smashwords and its retailers. Intended as an homage to Jane Austen, the story has been praised for its social comedy but it is also very much a sweet romance:
I can’t remember when I bought this book (maybe in my early-twenties) but I do recall attempting to read it in the past and abandoning it pretty quickly. I’m not sure why – maybe it wasn’t what I was expecting at the time. Anyway, I’m really glad that I finally got around to revisiting ‘The Country Girls’ because I found it a very easy and enjoyable read.
The first thing to say is that it’s a short novel but this is no bad thing as you get into the story very quickly and the main characters are very striking. While ‘The Country Girls’ is set in a rural Ireland belonging to a bygone age, the relationship between Caithleen and Baba seems very modern, particularly in Baba’s relentless dominance and abuse of her more socially vulnerable friend. I enjoyed the fact that Baba was a far less sympathetic character than Caithleen.
I felt that the most intriguing aspect of ‘The Country Girls’ was the ambiguity surrounding the first person narrator, Caithleen’s point of view. As this is the first book in a trilogy, perhaps one needs to read the later books to gain a clearer perspective on Caithleen’s real feelings about certain aspects of the past. But from this book alone, I was left feeling unsure about Caithleen’s view of her relationship with ‘Mr Gentleman,’ an older, solvent, married man. The relationship reads as having been exploitative and yet the narrator’s presentation of it appears naïve as Caithleen’s own adolescent interpretation of it was at the time. So the narrator doesn’t appear to be distanced from this episode, whereas she does seem to have an adult perspective on most of the rest of the story she tells. I don’t know whether this is a flaw or a strength of the novel but it was something that left the narrative feeling unresolved.
Overall, I would recommend ‘The Country Girls’ to anyone looking for a relatively short but absorbing read.
New Book Cover for ‘Brizecombe Hall,’ short historical romance
… because apparently books really are judged by their covers!
I have been digesting the advice of Mark Coker (Smashwords Founder and Self-Publishing Guru) and, as a result, have decided to embark on a process of revamping my bookcovers. Having now become a lot clearer about defining my short historical stories as ‘Romance,’ I figure that, accordingly, their covers should be romantic!
First to get the treatment is ‘Brizecombe Hall,’ my Regency / Victorian romance. I acquired this cover from Self Pub Book Covers.com and I’m really thrilled with it. Their site is a great concept, I think, connecting authors and artists and enabling authors to browse loads of designers’ images and customise them.
In other news, I’m delighted that the current promo of ‘Elizabeth Clansham‘ has now filtered through to Amazon.com, where readers have started to download the book for free.
Published well in time for Christmas(!) is my latest short story, ‘The Office Party.’ It’s available to download free from Smashwords and their retailers. Here’s the blurb:
In the run up to their Christmas works’ party, Maria’s colleague, Clair, has her eye on the new guy, Alex. But it’s Maria herself who finds she’s the object of unexpected attention. A short story for Christmas.