Lucy Keeling – Just Friends For Now

Like myself Lucy has been writing a series of books that have been loved and enjoyed by many but now the series is coming to an end and I wanted to catch up with Lucy about writing a series and her newest book “Just Friends for Now.”

Did you plan to write a series when you started out?

I absolutely did and I remember when my publisher offered me a three book contract, I mentioned then that in an ideal world there would be a fourth and here we are. Image

I have no idea when or where my series will end, how did you know that it was time for the series to come to an end?

It was always going to be a book for each person within the friendship group. I knew that Sophie would start us off, then we had Polly, Mya and finally it’s Paige’s turn for a happily ever after. I also wanted to make sure that the series was neatly tied up and finished. Early readers have enjoyed the final book and how it completes everyone’s stories looking at what comes next for them all.

Though there is a same sex couple of “Burning Lie” their sexuality isn’t central to the story. What challenges have you faced writing a same sex couple?

Hmm interestingly the most difficult part was pronouns. Ordinarily I might add in a ‘he said’, ‘she said’ for clarity. But in a same sex couple that doesn’t help. It was important to me that my books show the same diversity as the life around us, and so Paige’s story was always going to be written and she was always going to have her own Happily Ever After, I think I did her justice, she certainly met her match with Melanie that’s for sure.

Your books have been set in vegas where else in the world would you like to set one.

347658106_922951675452401_7373668378742118945_nOne of my friends writes books set all over the world and if you fancy reading her work just look out for Leonie Mack, she’s incredible. But I am not that well travelled myself and would worry that I wouldn’t do it justice. However, if you were to tell me that I could travel there for research purposes before writing then I would say either Norway or Mykonos maybe.

We all have our favourite character’s to write for but whose been your favourite character in the series

I love Sophie, Polly, Mya and Paige obviously. But I will say that we get introduced to Connie in the new book and she might just be my most favourite. Without giving too much away she’s Paige’s gran, searching for husband number 5 and she’s a little bit wise and a little bit of a loose cannon.

Whose been your favourite love interest to write?

Polly and Bailey, no wait, Mya and Smithy. Oh maybe Paige and Melanie I love the contrast between them they are very much opposites attract.

If your characters were to all end up in a tv reality show which one would it be

Oh my days. Ok well if we could make a Manchester version of Made in Chelsea then I would go for a slightly funnier version of that.

How would you say you’ve developed as a writer over the series

Well I would say that if you want to write a series make sure you write a cast list. This is essential. I learned this the hard way. I hope that I have developed as a writer but I’m not sure how. Each time I sit down to write a new book I have to Google ‘how to write a book’. And so far each time I have written it’s needed a different approach as to how much I’ve planned out in advance.


What items would you pick off the Barbarellla menu

I want a Mimosa and probably Bacon and French Toast please.

What would your idea brunch memu be, bottomless proseco or bottomless cake

I do like Prosecco but if I could switch that out for bottomless cocktails AND bottomeless cake then I would be incredibly happy!

I need to find somewhere that serves bottomless cake! or afternoon tea but just cake…. Cs

What next for Lucy, will we get to see the characters we’ve fallen in love with again

For now I’m afraid not. But… There are a couple of characters in there that I think would be deserving of their own stories. But for now I have a few ideas that I’d like to have a look into and see if maybe there’s another series waiting to be written.

413b4KqJ59LJust friends for now . . . but what about later?

Bar owner Paige’s mojo is broken. She’s eternally single and there’s a new Instagrammable bottomless brunch spot in town that’s threatening to steal her regulars.
But she can’t deny that there’s just something about competitor Melanie and her prim and proper librarian look.

There’s no denying the chemistry. But Melanie should be her rival, not her friend. And definitely not anything else.

But when they’re thrown together to work on a local art project, Paige might find that being just friends is going to be trickier than she imagined . . .

Available Exclusively from logo-amazon.svgalso available on Kindle Unlimited

The rest of the series can also be purchased from Amazon or direct from the publisher.


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Meet The Family – Sally Jenkins

Sally’s debut “The Little Museum of Hope” is out in the wide world and with her being new to Ruby Fiction I just had to find out more.

Welcome to my blog “A Story About A Girl” Sally

What inspired you to write “The Little Museum of Hope

Ten years ago, I read a newspaper article about the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb. It’s a place where visitors can leave objects associated with their failed relationships. Sally Jenkins 2022

Little Museum of Hope is a fictionalised version of this Zagreb museum but moved to the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham in the UK.

Donating an object to the Little Museum of Hope helps people to escape past turmoil and to move on positively with their lives. 

Wow, I kinda want to go there now after clicking the link!

If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?

Grow a thick skin to weather the rejections (everyone gets a lot!) but if an editor/publisher/agent takes the time to give feedback (negative or positive), take it on board and seriously consider acting on it.

What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Write only because you enjoy the process – it’s unlikely you’ll ever make any significant money. Non-fiction, especially magazine articles, presents the easiest way to get published. Fiction is a much harder market. Having said that, seeing your words and your name in print will give you a massive high, better than any drug or illicit substance!

If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

If I didn’t write at all I’d still need a creative outlet so I’d want to learn how to paint or craft or cook. I’m not brilliant at any of those things but I do like to have an end product from my endeavours. I can’t imagine a life where I didn’t create anything.

How did you deal with rejections when you started out?

My writing career started with articles and short stories for magazines and I got a lot of rejections or no reply at all. Each negative response hurt but because these pieces, unlike a novel, hadn’t taken months or years to write, it was easier to pick myself up and try

It was many years before I felt confident enough in my writing ability to risk attempting a novel and the onslaught of rejections that would follow.

Over the years I have become more thick-skinned and more savvy about the publishing industry – you can have the best novel ever but if it doesn’t land on the right person’s desk at the right time it won’t be published.

There is a certain amount of luck, as well as skill, needed to be a successful author.

What made you decide to submit with Ruby Fiction?

I loved the idea of the tasting panel where real readers get the chance to choose which books should be published. Generally, it’s the publishing professionals who dictate which books will be a success but, in my opinion, it makes absolute sense to let readers give their opinions. Needless to say, I was delighted when Little Museum of Hope got the thumbs up!

Which authors inspired you to write?

Several authors inspired me to read and, therefore, indirectly to write. Enid Blyton got me into reading as a child – I loved Malory Towers and The Famous Five.

As a teenager my friends and I devoured the early Jilly Cooper novels: Imogen, Emily, Prudence, Octavia, Harriet and Bella.

Nowadays I read a lot of crime, thrillers and general fiction and I’m particularly enjoying Lucinda Riley’s Seven Sisters’ time-slip series. All my favourite books are easy to read stories featuring characters who matter to the reader. And that is the type of book I try to write – a tale that will have the reader hooked from page one and transport her into someone else’s life for a few hours. Hopefully the reviews for Little Museum of Hope will bear that out!

Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

youngbrenda55-year-old Vanessa is the main character in Little Museum of Hope and she starts the museum to counteract the depression around losing her job and her husband leaving her for another woman. Within the museum is the Mended Heart Café where Vanessa listens empathetically to donors telling the stories behind their donated objects. When I was writing Vanessa, I had in mind a younger version of the actress Brenda Blethyn, who plays the TV detective with a heart of gold, Vera.


Do you have any writing routines or rituals, if so what are they?

I fit writing around two part-time jobs and running two reading groups so mostly it gets squeezed into the cracks in short bursts. Morning is the best time for me to write, before the rest of the day’s activities press in on me. The London Writers’ Hour gives me a discipline that I might otherwise lack. This is a virtual, hour-long writing sprint held each weekday on Zoom and it’s free to take part. There are four sessions across four time zones.

The UK hour is 8am to 9am but you can join in with any of the other sessions too. 

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I signed to Ruby Fiction with a three-book contract.

The next two novels are, like Little Museum of Hope, uplifting commercial women’s fiction and are currently with the tasting panel. Fingers crossed they get a positive reaction from the readers too! Until then I don’t want to say too much, in case I jinx them.


More About Juliet Archer

Sally Jenkins lives in the West Midlands with her husband. When not writing and not working in IT, she feeds her addiction to words by working part-time in her local library, running two reading groups and giving talks about her writing. Sally can also be found walking, church bell ringing and enjoying shavasana in her yoga class.


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Little Museum of Hope by Sally Jenkins

A jar of festival mud, a photo album of family memories, a child’s teddy bear, a book of bell ringing methods, an old cassette tape, a pair of slippers …

These are the items that fill the exhibit shelves in Vanessa Jones’ museum. At first glance, they appear to have nothing in common, but that’s before you find out the stories behind them. Vanessa’s Little Museum of Hope is no ordinary museum – its aim is to help people heal by donating items associated with shattered lives and failed relationships, and in doing so, find a way to move on, perhaps even start again.

The museum becomes a sanctuary for the broken hearts in Vanessa’s city, and she’s always on hand to offer a cup of tea, a slice of cake and a listening ear. But could the bringer of Hope need a little help moving on herself?






Book Review: Run to the Blue



It was supposed to be the best day of her career, the day when she was the hero, the reporter whose story put a deadly gangster behind bars.

But as crime boss Ken Lean is sentenced, ace reporter Tess Anderson instead finds herself in the headlines: her husband is exposed as having an affair with a top government minister, and Tess herself faces death threats from the Lean crime family.

With her life collapsing around her, Tess runs to her friend’s villa on the Greek island of Paxos, but soon finds she’s been tracked down by killers and spies. Her only hope of escape is a mysterious, glamorous, and somehow familiar American yachtsman.

Can Tess stay alive long enough to see her pursuers behind bars?

Who can she trust as her enemies close in?

And what is the secret that her husband and his lover are so keen to ensure remains buried?

My Thoughts

At the centre of Run to the Blue is a love story and what make me the Crime and Thriller writer love Phil’s books is the harder outer layer which is the Crime and Thriller story. Think Cadburies Caramel or Cadburies marvellous creations.

Our main character Tess Anderson is on the run and alone, having brought Ken Lean Crime boss to justice after exposing The Care Home scandal. To make matters worse on what should’ve been one of the best days of her career it turns out her husband has been cheating on her with the MP for family values Suzanne Heffle and the news conveniently breaks at the exact same time as the guilty verdict.

Heart broken and devastated Tess runs to hide out in Greece and the island of Paxos where her best friend Jane owns a holiday home that’s empty for the next couple of weeks. Thus begins a cat and mouse game because in Tess’s possession is an Ipad with some very interesting emails on that her soon to be ex husband hasn’t delete and they could be dynamite but what should she do with them. Send them to her boss, forget she has ever looked at them or forward them on to her DI contact back home. Let the game begins.

Frightened and chased through the streets of Paxo, Tess is rescued by an anonymous American Yachtsman who offers her a safe haven on his Yacht but is this just another trap because he won’t tell Tess his name but she recognises him from somewhere…

Phil describes the scenery so vividly that it’ll make you want to jump on the next plane to Greece and find yourself a Yacht / Yachtsman and go sailing. A pure piece of escapism from the grey British weather. What I especially loved about this book was the linkage back to Killer in the Crowd and the concert by Restless Lovers where Tess met her husband originally.

A great thrilling read with a squishy romantic centre wrapped in a thick layer of crime. What’s not to like?



Phil J B&WAs a TV Newsreader, Reporter and Producer for both BBC East and ITV Anglia, P N Johnson covered everything from tracking down criminals in Spain and going on high-octane police chases, to interviewing pop stars, politicians and celebrities. P N Johnson was also the face and voice of
Crimestoppers in the eastern region for many years and created the successful TV series: “999 Frontline”. Now living near Norwich, P N Johnson loves music, travelling, walking, and sailing, and bringing exciting new characters with amazing stories to the page.

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Quick Fire Questions with Joanne Boden

Excited to catch up with Joanne again, and fire some quick fire questions at her….

Vodka and Coke or Malibu and Coke

Malibu and coke because I don’t drink vodka. To be honest if I was drinking coke it would be a diet coke with Tia Maria. 

Novella or novelIMG_20210820_114508277_3

I mainly read novels and they are usually over 300 pages. I can’t remember the last novella I read. It might have been a Christmas novella that I listened to via Audible. 

Series or stand alone

If I had to choose then it would be a series. I like it when you are introduced to characters you’ve previously met and when you are sucked back into the same town or wherever the story is set. It brings me such comfort. 

Nestle or Cadburys

Cadbury’s without a shadow of a doubt because I love Dairy Milk. Other chocolates are available 🙂

Rock music or pop music

Rock music. I love rock music, but Claire you should have thrown country into the mix because then I would have opted for that instead. 

Lidl or Aldi

Lidl. I love shopping at Lidl. With the cost of living being the way it is I shop around and Lidl always has some great bargains. 

Reality Tv or Documentary

Documentary because I don’t really watch reality tv anymore. 

Christmas or Easter

Oh this is a tricky one but I love the magic of Christmas and decorating the tree. 

road-g42a4c6d3b_640Snow or Rain

If I had to choose then it would have to be rain. I like looking at snow but I don’t like being out in it and when the snow turns to ice our village becomes an ice rink. 

Summer or autumn

I love summer. I love the sun and sitting out in the garden and the heat. I miss the heat during these cold winter months. I do enjoy autumn, but summer is magical. 

Santa or the Easter bunny

Santa. I’m still a big kid at heart and honestly, I think there’s something a bit creepy about the Easter Bunny. 🙂

Six weeks holiday or end of term holidays

Six week holiday without a shadow of a doubt. My husband is a teacher so we always look forward to spending time together with the boys during the summer holidays. 

Staycation or abroad 

Staycation as it is difficult for us to go abroad as a family. There are also many beautiful places to visit in this country. We are also very lucky in that we live in a beautiful part of the world with the Lake District only a short drive away. 

Sunset or sunrise 

I love watching the sunrise, there’s something magical about it, about that promise of a brand new day when anything is possible. 

Fly or drive (on holiday)

Drive because that way you can take your time. 

Brown paper or shiny wrapping paper

There is just something about brown paper that I find so lovely. I ordered a blind date with a book from Etsy the other week and it arrived beautifully wrapped in brown paper with a simple red ribbon. 

Early morning or late at night

Early morning, although I don’t really have a choice as my youngest wakes me up at six every morning. I’m used to it now though and make the most of those precious early hours by getting in some reading time. 

Freeview or cable channelsUntitled

Freeview as we don’t have cable. To be honest though, I don’t really watch that much television. 

Home and Away or Neighbours

Neighbours because I will always have a soft spot for Harold Bishop. 


Can two lost souls find themselves in Little Bluewater Bay?
In the space of a single day, Harry Taylor achieves the impressive feat of losing a girlfriend, his London flat and his bookshop job. So, when his cousin Lucas invites him to his home in the seaside village of Little Bluewater Bay to recuperate, Harry jumps at the chance.
Beth Smith works at a diner and is quickly overstaying her welcome sleeping on her friend’s sofa. Overhearing a conversation about Little Bluewater Bay reminds her of better times, and she decides to throw caution to the wind and try her luck for happier memories in the coastal village.
Could a bookish business proposal and oldest new bookshop in Little Bluewater Bay lead to the new beginnings Beth and Harry so desperately need?



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Quick Fire Questions with Anni Rose

My favoutie Ikea DYI NIGHTMARE Cooker buyer has a new book coming out and as she’s one of my favoutie Choc-lit authors (cooker incident) I wanted to make sure I got on this blog tour 🙂


Vodka and Coke or Malibu and Coke

Terribly boring I know, but I don’t drink alcohol, so I’d prefer a cup of builders’ tea every time.

Nothing wrong with a good cuppa tea


Novella or novel

Novel, I like something to get my teeth into. 

Ruby Lit or Choc-lit

Difficult one, I write romantic comedies with lovely heroes, so Choc lit is perfect for my novels, although I’ve read some great Ruby Lit books including yours Claire. I think both imprints have some really super authors and I always look forward to seeing the new releases..

Series or stand alone

Recipe for Mr Ideal is book 4 in my Recipes for Life series. They are all stand alone novels, but are set in the same town and sometimes characters turn up in more than one book. Redford is a fictional town, but feels very real to me. I’m enjoying writing the series, because there are various things that I know stay the same in each book, like the local paper, the pub and the bistro in the High Street. So I don’t need to invent everything every time, although in my WIP at the moment, I’ve just had to send two characters off on a world-cruise, because they’ve similar sounding names to two characters in one of my previous books. 

Nestle or Cadburys

Cadburys – Wispa, Twirl and Chocolate Fingers. None of them would last long in my house. Having said that, I do hate Cadbury Creme Eggs. I find them far too sweet.

Rock music or pop music

Rock of course!

Lidl or Aldi

Both for different things. I seem to have turned shopping into a part-time job these days, because I shop around for bargains far more than I ever used to and we have both within easy reach. 

Reality Tv or Documentary cake

I would have said documentary – I love the real life crime stories, especially the unsolved murder ones. Except I am a Strictly and Great British Bake Off superfan. And in Recipe for Mr Ideal my main character, Maddie, in Recipe for Mr Ideal, is a registrar who watches endless episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress”. You can probably imagine that required a fair amount of research! And my sister’s hospital is being featured in Emergency First Time Medics at the moment, so we have to watch that too. Talking of Great British Bake Off, I went on a dough making course recently – what do you think of my cinnamon buns?

Christmas or Easter

Easter is my favourite day of the year. It comes at the right time, I love spring, the days are getting longer and hopefully it is a bit warmer, and somehow  it always feels so new and full of promise.

Snow or Rain

I was a summer baby, so assume this is why Winter is my very least favourite time of the year. And I don’t drive in the snow, so rain – I guess, but in moderation and provided I’m dressed appropriately. We took the dogs out for a walk on Christmas Day and got caught in the rain, by the time we reached the car, my wellies were full of water and my trousers completely soaked, and my coat was leaking too. But at least the beach was empty and it was an amazing walk!

Summer or autumn

Tricky question. I love them both – Summer for the light evenings  and Autumn for the amazing colours of trees on the turn.

Santa or the Easter bunny

Easter bunny, providing he brings hot cross buns rather than chocolate eggs! They’re my absolute favourite, warm with butter and served with a large mug of tea.

Six weeks holiday or end of term holidays

I’m not sure where I’d go if someone said to me take six weeks’ holiday. Although, providing money was no object I have always wanted to go to Rarotonga, Easter Island, New Zealand and Japan, so would probably head in that direction.

Staycation or abroad 

For anything other than my dream holiday it would have to be a staycation. We live in a beautiful area and there is always so much to see or do. sky

Sunset or sunrise 

Sunrise especially this time of year, when it’s not silly o’clock.

Fly or drive (on holiday)

Drive. I hate spending endless hours at an airport or on a plane. Driving means if I find something of interest along the way, I can stop. I prefer not to use motorways, I’d rather go cross country providing it doesn’t take me too far out of my way. And I like to have an audio book to listen to en route.

Brown paper or shiny wrapping paper

Brown paper.  Shiny wrapping paper promises so much and can often be disappointing. Brown paper, is more anonymous, less ostentatious and far more useful if the contents aren’t unto scratch.

Early morning or late at night

I am of an age where nine o’clock is the new midnight, so early morning for me.

Freeview or cable channels

I’d say Freeview, but having recently had three months AppleTV to try out, I loved Slow Horses with Gary Oldman and binge watched the whole of the first two series. 

Home and Away or Neighbours

Absolutely neither! I’m not a soap fan, well not, since they took El Dorado off the television!


book cover

Would you settle for Mr Less-Than-Ideal for a chance at happily-ever-after?
Registrar Maddie Winter has overseen enough weddings to know that marriage is not just for Christmas (or Valentine’s Day) – it’s for life, and regardless of whether the ceremony involves specially trained owls, dinosaurs or the police, it should be only the beginning of a story that will end in happily-ever-after.

Saying that, Maddie’s own married life is far from perfect – her husband, David, is more interested in his phone than in her, and when he suddenly walks out, Maddie’s long-held beliefs are put to the test.

Except Maddie knows David was never really her ‘Mr Ideal’; that was sweet, funny, motorbike-riding Josh Diamond – although obviously not that ideal, as he did dump her to move to the States. Even so, when Josh unexpectedly rides back into town, Maddie begins to wonder whether her happily-ever-after could still be to come …


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Quick Fire Questions with Helen Bridgett

With her third book in the Professor Maxie Reddick Files recently released I thought it would be the ideal for us to catch up. Helen was new to Ruby Fiction around the time I joined and has gone from strength to strength since. 

Vodka and Coke or Malibu and Coke

Yuk Malibu!!  Although I’m sure we tried it as teenagers! Neither thanks – though I will take a G&T

Novella or novel

Novel please

Ruby Lit or Choc-lit

Ruby have brought my heroine Maxie Reddick to life and I will be forever grateful!

Series or stand alone

Really don’t mind – I’ve certainly enjoyed writing the series as Maxie is my best friend now!

Nestle or Cadbury’s Cadbury-to-launch-dark-milk-chocolate-bars-in-the-UK

Cadbury please – specifically the Dark Milk

Aldi or Lidl

Either and Both!

Rock music or pop music

Always rock ! My dog Angus is named after Angus Young!

Reality TV or Documentary

Generally documentary although I’ve been addicted to Traitors recently

Christmas or Easter

Easter – more likelihood that I can get out hiking

Snow or Rain

Snow – deep and crisp and even please!







Summer or autumn

Autumn – I’m not good in sunshine

Santa or the Easter Bunny

Hmmm – who brings more chocolate?

Six weeks holiday or end of term holidays

Six weeks – the longer the better!

Staycation or abroad

I live in Northumberland which really is very beautiful and hard to beat. However after the past few years, I am venturing abroad soon and looking forward to it.

Sunset or sunrise

Has to be sunset – I’m never up early enough for sunrise.

Fly or drive (on holiday)

I hate flying and love driving so no contest!

Brown paper or shiny wrapping paper cardboard-gb2d4df92a_640

Brown paper packages tied up with string….

Early morning or late at night

Night owl every time

Freeview or cable channels

Can I say BBC iplayer?

Neighbours or Home and Away

Alas – never watched either 



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Quick Fire Questions with Marie Laval

Decided to catch up with my fellow author on the other side of the Atlantic, for some quick fire questions….

Vodka and Coke or Malibu and Coke?

Neither! I am a red wine or Prosecco girl!

Novella or novel?

Novel. I love to take the time to get to know the characters and be involved in the plot. Having said that, I really enjoy writing short stories.

Series or stand alone?

I don’t mind either, as long as the series actually ends and doesn’t leave me all confused and wondering if there’s going to be another book…

indexNestle or Cadburys?

Hotel Chocolat.

Rock music or pop music?

 both, depending on the mood. I actually enjoy all kinds of music, from Pink to Dire Straits, from Ella Fitzgerald to Elvis Presley, from The Rolling Stones to Bach or Madonna… And then of course there are all the French songs I sing to when I’m driving!


Lidl or Aldi

Lidl is great for delicious bread, Portuguese tarts and continental cheeses.

Christmas or Easter?

I love both. Christmas is lovely and cosy and a great time to hibernate with the people I love, but Easter is the beginning of spring when the days are getting longer and the daffodils and bluebells are everywhere.

Snow or Rain?

I am a very nervous driver so driving in snow petrifies me completely. Having said that the hills where I live look beautiful in the snow.

Summer or autumn?

Summer, definitely…I do enjoy spending time in my small garden and looking at all the colourful flowers.

Brown paper or shiny wrapping paper?

Brown paper because it reminds me of receiving parcels from my family in France, with all kinds of goodies inside!

Early morning or late at night?

I always get up early, even at weekends, as it’s when I get the most done. I love the feeling that I have the whole day ahead of me…


ScottishFINALCan a Desert Rose survive a Scottish winter?

The wild Scottish landscape is a far cry from Rose Saintclair’s Saharan oasis, although she’ll endure it for Lord Cameron McRae, the man she married after a whirlwind romance in Algiers. But when stormy weather leads to Rose’s Scotland-bound ship docking on Cape Wrath – the land of Cameron’s enemy, Bruce McGunn – could her new life already be in jeopardy?

Lord McGunn was a fearless soldier, but his experiences have made him as unforgiving as the land he presides over. He knows McRae won’t rest until he owns Wrath, and the man is willing to use brutal tactics. Bruce decides that he’ll play McRae at his own game, take the ship and its precious occupant, and hold them hostage.

Rose is determined to escape, but whilst captured she learns that there’s another side to her new husband – and could her supposedly cold and ruthless kidnapper also be concealing hidden depths?



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Meet The Family – Victoria Cornwall

I’m back with another long termer when it comes to this next issue of Meet The Family. She has published SIX!? novels with Choc-lit and she’s back with her Seventh! Waiting for Our Rainbow!

What inspired you to write “Waiting for our Rainbow

I’ve always had an interest in WW1 and WW2. As I’ve written a novel about WW1 (A Daughter’s Christmas Wish), it was Victoria Cornwall picinevitable that I would write a story set during WW2. Memories of American G.I.s arriving in Cornwall and American tanks being hidden in a local wood inspired me to research this time in Cornwall’s history. Waiting For Our Rainbow is the result.

If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?

It used to advise to edit on paper. However, technology and environmental concerns have moved on since I started writing, so my advice would be to edit on the laptop and then activate your Read Aloud tab to listen to your manuscript. You will be surprised how many errors your eyes have missed but your hearing picks up.

What would you say to someone who wants to write?

I would say don’t give up the day job. Some writers earn a good income, the majority do not. It’s best to go into this profession because you love to write and not because you want to be rich and famous. If you do earn enough to support yourself, then that’s a bonus.

If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

Playing with my grandchildren. I have three all under the age of 2 ½ so it gets quite bus

What made you decide to submit with ChocLit?

One of my self-published novels was a finalist in the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romantic Fiction. I’d decided to self-publish at that time as I was finding it difficult to secure an agent for a historical romance. I became aware of Choc Lit Publishing at the event and was encouraged to submit my next book to them. They liked it so much that they took on my self-published novels too – and every book I’ve written since!

How did you deal with rejections when you started out?

Any type of rejection is painful. Rejections of manuscripts are no different. At the time I did not realise that even the most successful authors have a past littered with rejections. I found the experience crushing and almost gave up writing and submitting. If it was not for the event I mentioned earlier, I probably would have given up. I still find it hard to understand why some books are published and others are not. I suspect there are some brilliant authors who have not had the opportunity to shine. It is no wonder self-publishing has become so popular in recent years.

Which authors inspired you to write?

I would have to say Winston Graham, Catherine Cookson, E.V.Thompson and Daphne Du Maurier


Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

I would rather they were brilliant unknown actors rather than famous stars who steal the limelight from the main story. Waiting For Our Rainbow is about an ordinary American soldier meeting an ordinary young woman in extraordinary times. I would rather the viewer felt it was happening than they were watching a star play a role. However, if Kathryn Bigelow, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola was available to direct/produce it, that would be amazing! I can dream, can’t I?


Do you have any writing routines or rituals, if so what are they?

I do need a morning or an afternoon to be set aside for writing before I can begin to write. I can’t just grab thirty minutes here or an hour there. Writing is a slow process for me and I need to get into the scene before I begin to write. I do plan/plot my books, which is very useful as it helps me to pick up the story where I last left it.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I have more WW2 stories to tell and one day I hope to share them with you..

More About Victoria Cornwall

Victoria grew up on a farm in Cornwall and is married with two grown up children and three grandchildren. She likes to read and write historical romance with a strong background story, but at its heart is the unmistakable emotion, even pain, of loving someone.

Her books have subsequently reached the finals of the NEW TALENT AWARD at the Festival of Romantic Fiction, the RNA’s JOAN HESSAYON AWARD, the 2021 RNA’s Goldsboro Books HISTORICAL ROMANTIC NOVEL AWARD. Her books have also been twice nominated for the RONE Best Indie or Small Published Book Award by InD’tale magazine.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association

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Waiting for Our Rainbow original


Would you give your heart away if you knew it could only end in goodbye?

It should have been a time of romance and excitement for Anne – but it’s 1941 and the war is raging. So instead, she spends her days repairing spitfire wings and reminding herself that the real sacrifice is going on far away from her Cornish village.

When the news breaks that America has entered the war, it brings cautious hope to Anne and her family. And eventually, as the Jeeps filled with GIs roll in, it seems their little community is to play a pivotal role in the next stage of the fight.

But the Americans don’t just bring Hollywood glamour and optimism, they also bring something more tantalising – so when Anne meets handsome Joe Mallory, she has to remind herself of exactly why he’s there; that any relationship between them could only end in goodbye.

But is the inevitability of ‘goodbye’ powerful enough to stop what has already begun to blossom?

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My Top Ten Books of 2022

I’ve managed to read 23 books and a half this year. Thanks to my daughter’s new found interested in football…And one Audiobook. I was going to write this long post about all the books I’ve read this year and that was in December. So change of plan these are my favorite reads of 2022.

The Whole Truth & Hope to Die Cara Hunter

41Ye-iZGV2S._SY346_ I kinda of feel that this is cheating but the fact I’ve gone back to Cara after finishing The Whole Truth says it all. 41KyFaQcJFL The Whole Truth ties up alot of the loose ends and the plot arch that the books before hand had left. So, I was glad to see the end of that storyline, but then releaved that she continues to use the same characters and style in subsequent books. Having previously listened to the first books on audio I can hear the narrators from the books in Cara’s writing. Which to me tells that the two are perfect for each other. I hope there is more to come from Adam Fawley and the team, as I need to know more!

Broken Bones & Dying Truth Angela Marsons

51+78d63UrL._SY346_After many years of missing out reading books from Angela, I’m glad I managed not one but two this year! Angela has always been more of my MOST FAVOUTIE AUTHORS and every year I miss reading one of her books. I was glad I managed to get two in this year. Though the fact I’m on book seven and there are 9 / 10 a head of me tells you how far behind I am. Broken Bones reveals more of Kim Stones’ background and growing up in care homes, and like of all of Angela’s books I found this one a little more heart breaking than the last as it deals with exploration of workers and as well as prostitution. 51grpxXw2qL._SY346_ Then on top of that there’s a young girls who is befriended by someone over the internet who understands her frustrations with her mum, her parents and her life overall. Does she really know what she is getting herself into? Dying Truth deals with a private school and an apparent suicide of a student that Kim doesn’t believe to be true and as in all Angela’s books things are never what they seem! Though there is a sad ending to this book as fan cried out THAT ENDING! and I’m only just finding out why! So I really don’t know what to expect from the next book and how the team will cope!

The Burning Men Will Shindler

51d82Mb1JpL._SY346_I started to become aware of Will after listening to his podcast “The Writer’s Workshop” and when I found out there was a crime book involving Fire Fighters (I’m married to one) I had to find out more. Moreover I’ve given this book to someone who is a Fire Fighters so we can discuss it afterwards (when he gets round to reading it) Very cleverly written, someone going around killing the Fire Fighters who were all at a certain fire call but something else is going on in the background that the Fire Fighter’s inadvertently walk into. I loved the new partnership between the lead character’s and can tell there is so much more to come in future books.

Killer in the Crowd Phil Johnson

This was Phil’s debut novel and since my review we’ve kept in touch since. 41cuzcmXi8L._SY346_ I loved this book, it’s got all the elements of a romance read thrown in with my favoutie genre Crime, with of course some mystery on the side. Plus I found this book to be something “different” I loved this story so much the peak behind the curtain of a rock and roll lifestyle and I’m a sucker for stories when two lonely people end up together (Even though I tend to read crime and thrillers!) I felt a real connection to these character’s who were all betrayed as real people I could relate to, and not “rich people” who were better than me. As I said in my original review I’d give this book a million stars

Demon Matt Wesolowski

41CdDLBJ2fL._SY346_What I love about Matt’s books is that he’s started taking “famous” cases and putting a different spin on it, showing us a different angle of what could have gone on and “Demon” is the same. I love the Podcast format, I love the alternative views of what went on I love Matt’s writing in fact I probably love Matt too! I will read what ever he writes and look forward to the next installment. I am so glad that he has found a new angle to use for his novels and can’t wait to learn which case he explores next.

Shiver Allie Reynolds

This is hand down my favoutie book of 2022, I could not stop turning the pages. I couldn’t find enough time in the day to read 41oUV8ewSHS._SY346_what was going to happen next and I really did find a wow factor with this book. Based on a ski slope, in the snow, in isolation made this an extra haunting read this all these character’s are keeping something from each other STANDARD. Plus they are being haunted by someone they all thought was dead. There is a scene in this book that I especially love, where two of the main character’s get caught in a game where neither of them wants to say stop and of course it ends up sexual. I really could feel the tenseness and the sexual tension as it crackles through the scenes.

Inside Job: Treating Murderers and Sex Offenders Rebecca Myers

41Ud3sThuUL._SY346_I picked this book up through Net galley, which I have a love hate relationship with, especially when it comes to login. This book offered a look behind the scenes of treating sex offenders in prison. Though a lot of the treatment is now out dated and has changed due to budget cuts. But I found it really interesting about how these people are treated and though there isn’t a magic cured what is done to help them. This book was especially heart breaking as alot of the character’s had a tough upbringing, which I can’t help but believe contributed to the crimes they went on to commit. And here’s to 2023’s reading.. XXX

Meet The Family – Juliet Archer

Unbeknown to a lot of people Juliet has been a choc-lit author for quite sometime…. Though she has been lurking in the background she is back with a new book in time for CHRISTMAS and I kinda feel like I should be asking a different set of questions to a Choc-lit pro

Welcome to my blog “A Story About A Girl” Juliet

What inspired you to write “Hope, Mistletoe and a Christmas Promise

Hong Kong itself. For me, it embodies the ultimate East-West culture clash – an idea that inspired the first meeting between Ryan Hawke and Pip Smith, the hero and heroine of my book. Juliet Archer

I’ve wanted to set a story in Hong Kong for a long time. My husband spent the first part of his life in Kowloon, and I felt as though I knew the place – or his version of it! – long before we went there in 2018 and 2019.

If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?

I’d say to myself: ‘Obviously, you care what happens to your characters – just make sure your readers do too!’
What I mean is, I can get so invested in my story that I forget to stand back and get inside the mind of a reader – e.g. ask myself what would make a reader care (or not) about a particular character, or what a particular scene is delivering in terms of their development.

I find it a challenge to be objective and that’s why, at the editing stage, the feedback from Choc Lit/Ruby Fiction’s Tasting Panel is invaluable.

What would you say to someone who wants to write?

‘Go for it!’

Writing is one of the best forms of self-expression I know. However, it is worth thinking about who you’re writing for. Is it yourself, your friends and family – or do you want to reach a wider audience?

9780062720467-ukIf you want to reach a wider audience, then you need to do your research about how best to do that. It’s as much about what you write – that is, what is likely to sell – as it is about the marketing of the finished product. Writing for yourself, or friends and family, brings greater flexibility. And who knows? You might also reach a wider audience with something that you wrote just for you.

Finally, I’d recommend Self-editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. Over the years, I’ve found this an excellent source of wisdom.


If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

My day job is full-on, which means that my non-working hours are precious and tend to get filled with family and friends. So, as with many authors, writing is very much fitted around other things – I just wish there were more hours in the day!

But writing is ‘me’ time and I love it. If I wasn’t doing it, I’d go to the gym more. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

How did you deal with rejections when you started out?

It wasn’t easy, but I just kept working at improving my writing – and my ‘sales pitch’.

And these days there’s so much information out there about different people’s experiences – you know you’re not alone!

What made you decide to submit with ChocLit?

I was Choc Lit’s first author!

My first book, The Importance of Being Emma, was their debut title. It was lucky enough to be shortlisted for the 2009 Melissa Nathan for Comedy Romance, and to win the Big Red Read Book of the Year 2011 Fiction Award.

Since then Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction have gone from strength to strength. They have a wonderful team – it was a no-brainer to send them Hope, Mistletoe and a Christmas Promise!

Which authors inspired you to write?

First and foremost, Jane Austen. She was the inspiration behind my first two books, The Importance of Being Emma and Persuade Me, which are updates of two of her novels. I love her witty insights into the human heart.

Another inspiration is Lee Child. Even though he’s writing a different genre, his books are real page-turners with impressive plotting.

The stories I wrote as a child were usually inspired by Enid Blyton, Lorna Hill and Elinor M. Brent-Dyer (Chalet School series) – and are best forgotten!

Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

Ooh, lovely question! I’m going with an American to play Ryan and a Brit to play Pip – even though these days many actors can put on either accent.

Matthew McConaughey – at least the younger version! – has the same ‘look’ as Ryan, images


I’d go for Vanessa Kirby or  to play Pip. They both have the right height and build – Vanessa would just need to dye her hair, like she did for her Princess Margaret role in The Crown.


As for Jack, Pip’s brother and hero of my first book about the Smith family, One Summer Weekend, the only possible choice is Richard Armitage. Preferably at the age he was when he played John Thornton in the BBC’s North & South, as that was my inspiration for One Summer Weekend!



Do you have any writing routines or rituals, if so what are they?

I get up very early, and that’s often my writing time – although I need endless cups of tea to keep me going! If I’m writing later in the day, a glass of wine (or two) has been known to help.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t get as much time as I’d like for writing. When I do, I’m sure I’ll develop lots of routines and rituals!

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Shorter gaps between books, as I wind down the day job?!

My next book will be my third about the Smith family, the long-promised sequel to One Summer Weekend. This time the focus will be on Jack …


More About Juliet Archer

Juliet Archer writes award-winning romantic comedy for Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction. She has been known to spend many happy hours matching irresistible heroes with their equally irresistible chocolate counterparts – watch out for the dark nutty ones!

Her debut novel, The Importance of Being Emma, won the Big Red Read Book of the Year 2011 Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the 2009 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. Her second novel, Persuade Me, was shortlisted for the 2011 Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read Award.

She has written two books about the Smith family: One Summer Weekend and Hope, Mistletoe & a Christmas Promise. You can also read her short stories: Incense & Insensibility in the Love Match anthology, and Love Rules in the Kisses & Cupcakes anthology (both Choc Lit).

Juliet was born and bred in North-East England, and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and temperamental cat. She has two grown-up children, one in London and one in the USA, and has recently discovered the joys of grandchildren. Her non-writing career has spanned IT, company acquisitions, marketing and project management.

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Hope Mistletoe and a Christmas Promise by Juliet ArcherWhen a Christmas promise becomes hard to keep …

Pip Smith knows she owes it to her family to hold on to the festive traditions that have been a comfort since the year everything changed – but this Christmas she’s going to need a miracle to keep everyone in her life happy.

After she’s dumped by her fiancé, an invitation to visit a friend in Hong Kong in the run-up to the festive season seems to offer Pip the perfect escape – and she’ll be home for Christmas, of course. Except her escape ends up becoming far more complex than she intended, when she becomes involved with arrogant American Ryan Hawke and his niece, Shelby – a little girl whose most heartfelt Christmas wish is for a proper family.

Will Pip keep her Christmas promise – or will it be more of a compromise, with the help of a little hope and mistletoe?

Linked to One Summer Weekend but can be read as a standalone story. This is Pip’s story.



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