Thursday, July 28, 2011

Paper Doll

Review: Paper Doll – Janet Woods
"An exciting tale of forbidden passion, family secrets and cruel betrayals, Paper Doll is a vivid tale set during the 1920s sure to go down a treat with fans of historical fiction."

As the much-loved only daughter of a rich widower, Julia Howard is used to having her every whim and desire indulged by a father who worships the ground she walks on. Julia’s life is one constant whirl of high society parties and excessive shopping, but the cosseted socialite is unaware of the financial difficulties which her father is in. The toy manufacturing business that has been in the Howard family for generations is experiencing some financial difficulties, but Julia’s father is not ready to relinquish the reins of the company. He will fight tooth and nail to keep the business afloat, so he hires Dr. Martin Lee-Trafford to hopefully turn the family’s fortunes around.

Julia is less than impressed with her father’s choice of manager. For one thing, Dr. Lee-Trafford has got no experience when it comes to running a successful business; and secondly, capricious Julia finds her father’s newest employee to be a conventional stuffed shirt who is old beyond his years. The family’s financial problems, however, have certainly not affected Julia’s social life – or her desire to lose her virginity. However, when Julia’s plans to surrender her virginity go awry, she is relieved to be rescued by suave, sophisticated and charismatic businessman Latham Miller.

Latham Miller had dragged himself out of the gutter and become one of the richest men in England. Now in his forties, Latham is looking forward to settling down and he has fixed his sights firmly on Julia Howard – and on her father’s ailing business. Latham always gets what he wants, and even though initially Julia is opposed to the idea of marrying a man who is so much older than her, when tragedy strikes, lonely Julia finds herself turning to Latham. Accepting his marriage proposal seems like the sensible solution, but the married bliss that Julia had planned fails to materialize…

Latham has got no intention of remaining faithful. Betrayed, humiliated and dejected, Julia turns to her only friend, Martin. Julia quickly realizes that beneath Martin’s aloof exterior lies a kind, caring and gentle man. Julia has now fallen head over heels in love with Martin, but how can the two of them ever hope to have a future together when Julia is wed to another?

One of the genre’s most consistent writers, award-winning author Janet Woods has once again penned another winner with Paper Doll. A wonderfully written and immensely vivid romantic tale, Paper Doll is a gripping tale of sacrifice, redemption and second chances that is sure to hold readers spellbound.
As always, Janet Woods’ creates superb characters that leap off the pages and the heroine of Paper Doll, Julia Howard, is certainly no exception. It is a testament to Janet Woods’ extraordinary storytelling prowess that she managed to transform Julia from a spoilt and cosseted heiress into a strong, sensitive and sensible woman the reader could relate to and cheer for. I also liked the depth and nuances that she gave to other characters, such as Martin Lee Trafford, Latham Miller and Julia’s friend, Irene.An exceptional tale from a true mistress of the genre, Paper Doll is another triumph for the wonderful Janet Woods!

Julie Bonello - Single Titles - * * * *

Paper Doll is about to be released in trade paperback, and is available online from the usual bookshops for £10.00

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Historicals Never Die 2

Not long after I published my last post, my latest e novel from Belgrave House went online and is now available from.

Blurb . . . To prevent the loss of his estate in a wager, Remy St Cyres agrees to abduct and wed the first woman who comes through the inn door. Fleur Russell is that woman. And, her reputation ruined, her brothers—who half kill her abductor—insist on marriage. The son of a Spaniard, Remy is recruited as a spy in England’s war with Spain. A tale of betrayal, revenge and untimely love… Georgian Historical Romance by Janet Woods; originally published by Robert Hale [UK]

Friday, July 15, 2011

Historical Novels Never Die.

Historical novels never die.

As soon as a book is published there is a reaction from family and friends, convinced the author has become an instant millionaire. Some do, but alas . . . not many, and not this author. Writing is not a rags-to-riches occupation for most. When told the truth, non-writers often give a lift of the eyebrow, and a pull-the-other-leg-it’s-got-bells-on, expression.

It’s true. Some talented people do zoom up the ladder to instant fame and fortune, but other, often equally talented people don’t, especially with a first book. Many people who have stories to tell give up too soon. Others plod on.

When my first historical novel was published about 12 years ago I was delighted beyond measure. In manuscript form DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS, which is Georgian Gothic in nature, had been a runner up in a competition run by a women’s magazine. The book was published by a library book publisher a year or so later, one specializing in producing hard-covers. Dollar signs flashed before my eyes.

It was, in fact, the first step on a very long ladder, one whose heights I haven’t scaled yet. As an unknown writer – at its best – my book would have sold about three hundred copies, I imagine. As my first book baby, I saw no fault in this well-produced and attractive hardcover, which turned out to be the first of many.

In 2002 DAUGHTER won the R*by award, which, for those not in the know, is the competition run by the Romance Writers of Australia, for their published writers. This organization is of benefit for anyone writing romance based novels, whether mainstream or genre, well published, or a noviciate. However, I’m not here to plug the RWAus - which at the time of writing is celebrating it’s first twenty years of existence though I do urge budding authors to join one or more of the many writers organizations and E lists available to them in different countries since their aim is your aim – to get you into print through various means.

So . . . back to the progress of one lone book. After it breathed its last gasp on the initial publisher run, the manuscript sat on my shelf, neglected and unread. From time to time a library patron would writes to remind me of its existence, and I’d drag my first born out of its cobwebby corner to gaze upon it with a twinge of pride. Oddly, the female on the cover of the original hardcover version is the image of my middle daughter.

One of the benefits of historical novels is that the contents never die (unless the files corrupt, but that’s another issue altogether!) History never changes - never dates. You never have to re-edit to bring a past era up to date. You never have to add a mobile phone, a computer, a deodorant, a telephone, or alter the length of a hem.

I’ve since applied and received the rights back to what was, to all intents and purposes several dead and forgotten books, though I had to wait over a year from my first request. They are in the process of being resurrected as an E book under a different cover, and have begun to earn their keep at Belgrave House. I’ve also sold other rights to my long neglected first book.

As well as the E book, DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS will soon be available from the Canadian Publisher on audio downloads, IAMBIK. At the moment it’s still being recorded; by a gentleman called Tadgh Hynes. (I’m not quite sure how to pronounce that first name; at a guess, it might be Tayg.) I was invited to audition the voices and pick the reader I preferred. Tadgh Hynes has a lovely Irish-accented voice that’s easy on the ear, and my book has a touch of Ireland stirred in so they’re a good match, I think.

Added to this audio book is the sale of Portuguese language rights to a Brazilian publisher, and more recently, an offer to produce it in large print from Magna. DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS is beginning to earn again after a twelve-year hiatus. And the book will go into libraries to boost the numbers, where it will earn Public Lending Rights while it still exists in hardcover print form.

By exploiting the work as best you can, the earnings will accumulate over time. Although it might not make you an instant millionaire, it can add up to a useful sum over time.