Harper Impulse author of Secrets In The Shadows, Hannah Emery, offers us an inside look on what inspires her:
The Age of Innocence
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I used to read constantly and then try to somehow recreate what I’d just read. I talk about the Sweet Valley series a lot when I’m asked about what started me writing, because these were really the books that inspired me the most. I think it was because I wanted to be a part of the world in those books, and writing my own version of it seemed to get me even closer than reading about it. I could never read a book without wanting to write my own and I’m still the same now.
Brave New World
Once I’d grown up and been to university, I tried writing a full novel. But then I got to the point where I knew it wasn’t good enough and didn’t know how to make it better. So I enrolled on an online writing course. I’d heard about the terrors of giving someone your work to read for the first time: the tears of agony that ensued when the criticism thundered into your inbox. But actually, I quite liked the constructive comments from my tutor, and I got a kick out of someone else discussing my characters. When the course ended, I felt a bit lost. I needed a new goal, and my tutor gave me one: she told me to join the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
The Pursuit of Love
They say the road to love is never smooth. It’s true: the RNA New Writers’ Scheme was full the first time I tried to apply, and I had to wait another year to join. I went to an RNA conference anyway as a non-member, and felt out of my depth but massively inspired and excited too.
A year passed, and I managed to join the RNA. This time, when I went to the annual conference, I booked a short slot with Charlotte Ledger from the new imprint, Harper Impulse. But true love hadn’t conquered all yet. A broken down train, my appalling sense of navigation and a morning so frenzied it actually hurt meant that I almost missed my slot with Charlotte.
Ah, but I didn’t miss the slot! I ran a lot, was way too hot, went the wrong way and paid an extortionate taxi fare, but I made it on time! Charlotte loved the chapters I’d sent, and wanted more. I tried not to scream in excitement, preened my final draft, emailed it off, waited and, if I’m completely honest, secretly stalked Charlotte on Twitter a little. Then I finally got an email asking if I’d like to chat about my submission…
When Charlotte called me, she offered me a two book deal with Harper Impulse. Since then, there’s been a lot of champagne, a lot of writing and a lot of amazing online excitement such as this: blogging, tweeting, and chatting about all things writerly with fabulous people who I didn’t even know existed a year ago.
I always saw being published as an end goal, when really it’s clearly only the beginning. It’s probably not quite Utopia, because I can’t drink champagne all day, and I sometimes struggle to fit everything in that I want to do.
But it’s pretty close.
More about Hannah-
I love writing about how fragile the present is and how so much of it depends on chance events that took place years ago. I studied English at the University of Chester, England and I now work in a College where I mentor degree students.
My favourite things in life are my family, my friends, books, exciting makeup products, champagne and dinner dates, zoo trips with my little girl, cosy weekends away and watching things like Gossip Girl and Sex and the City.
You know the Saybrooks. Everyone does. Perhaps you’ve read a profile of them in People or have seen their pictures in the society pages of Vogue. Perhaps while walking along that choice block on Fifth Avenue, you’ve been tempted to enter the ornate limestone building with their family name etched into the pediment above the door.
The only thing more flawless than a Saybrook’s diamond solitaire is the family behind the jewelry empire. Beauties, entrepreneurs, debutantes, and style mavens, they are the epitome of New York City’s high society. But being a Saybrook comes at a price—they are heirs not only to a dizzying fortune but also to a decades-old family curse.
Tragedy strikes the prominent family yet again when thirty-four-year-old Poppy, the most exquisite Saybrook of them all, flings herself from the window of her TriBeCa office. Everyone is shocked that a woman who had it all would end her own life. Then her cousins receive an ominous threat: one heiress down, four to go.
Was it suicide… or murder? In the aftermath of the tragedy, the remaining heiresses—Corinne, the perfectionist; Rowan, the workaholic; Aster, the hedonist; and Natasha, the enigma—wrestle with feelings of sadness, guilt, and, most of all, fear. Now they must uncover the truth about their family before they lose the only thing money can’t buy: their lives.
A fantastic read! Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars. I seriously could not put this book down. Sara Shepard never disappoints with her well rounded, relatable characters and spooky murder mystery plot lines. Exactly what I was hoping for from her latest novel. I really hope she turns it into a series because the ending sets it up for one. At least a sequel, please!
I recommend this book for Young Adult and New Adult lovers, although those who enjoy Women’s Fiction will probably like it also.
After graduating high school, Olivia “Ollie” McKenna leaves her small town roots in Summerville, Georgia, to pursue her dream of becoming a professional singer. With her best friend and older sister in tow, wholesome Ollie travels to the big city to compete in singing contest Atlanta Idol.
There she meets nineteen-year-old Jack Bradley, a fellow country singer who quickly becomes a close friend. The connection between them is magnetic and an opportunity to sing together
could change their lives forever. But what about Ollie’s mama’s fear of the music business? She’s been burned by the lures of the bright lights before and doesn’t want Ollie anywhere near that world. And Ollie’s growing feelings for Jack as more than just a pal could ruin everything. Despite her own doubts, Ollie is determined to win. Can she make her dream come true or will she return to her hometown empty-handed and brokenhearted?
Review: Nancy Scrafano has written an adorable book! American Honey is a quick and easy read with a like-able main character (not to mention the title is named after an awesome song). A lot of the book took place in the next town over from where I live, so i was interested to see how Nancy described the area of North Carolina.
I would, recommend this book to readers of Young Adult and New Adult.
For more on Nancy, you can check out her Twitter page @NancyScrofano or check out her Goodreads page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5784909.Nancy_Scrofano
For those of you who haven’t read my review of Almost Royalty, Courtney is a fantastic writer from California.
Written just for me- here is Courtney’s worst New York dating story!
I, Courtney Hamilton author of “Almost Royalty” was on my way back from Brazil (just like Amalia Hastings in Chase 2), and decided to stop off in NYC to see some friends. (BTW, “Amalia”– I had a great time in Brazil, especially in Bahia). While in NYC, I looked up a guy who I kind of always had a crush on and he asked me to come over to go out with him. When I got to his apt. he was there– looking very great–and so was this other guy in a torn tee-shirt and dirty jeans. It turned out that this was his brother, who had seen my picture, and really, really wanted to meet me. The three of us went out together to a club– it was a little weird, and of course I should have left ASAP– and the brother then asked me if I would go to a party with him the following evening, that he promised would be really amazing– I thought, whatever, this is NYC, and it will be fun to go to a party. The following evening I met the brother (my cute friend had disappeared), and we went to “the party”. When we got to the party, the guy got these keys out, opened the door and there was no one there– just an empty apt. I said “What the hell?” and the guy confessed that this was the apartment OF HIS GIRLFRIEND and she was away (he was taking care of her cat for her), and he was hoping that we could have a “nice evening” together. I left ASAP and somehow made it back to the place where I was staying on my own.
For more info on Courtney, check out her GoodReads page! https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7374257.Courtney_Hamilton
I’ve also decided, like Michelle, to give my main character a voice of their own, and let them tell you more about her. Amalia was a little nervous to show herself, so she chose a picture of the person her physical attributes were based on So without further ado, I turn the page over to miss Amalia Hastings.
What is your name and profession? Are you real or fictitious?
My name is Amalia Hastings, and I am a graduate student at New York University. What is real anyway? Isn’t everything you see, smell, touch, and taste just a perception that your brain is conjuring up?
When and where is your story set?
My story is set in present day New York City in the good ole U.S of A.
What should we know about you?
I’m a native New Yorker who just started her first year of grad school at NYU. I have a boyfriend named Nicholas who I believe is my soul-mate, but I still get butterflies in my stomach whenever my friend Michael walks in the room. I have a best friend named Cassandra and another close friend named Olivia.
What’s the main conflict in your life?
Ugh I have to pick just one? *rolls eyes*. Well I think I may be in love with my friend Michael, who has a girlfriend. Even though they are long distance and he hardly ever see’s her, he hasn’t broken up with her yet. It’s my first semester of school and my grades are slipping, I’m drinking way more than I should, and my roommates are more than a little weird.
What is your goal?
My goal is to graduate from NYU in one piece, stop letting my dating life define who I am, and ultimately be happy with myself and the choices I have made.
What is the title of the book you are from?
The book was originally called Chase but has now been renamed “What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan?” The book is being re-released on July 24th by Harper Impulse, HarperCollins. You can pre-order it here! (Ignore the August 8th release date, that’s wrong!)
Hey everyone! Check out this awesome contest hosted by one of my favorite authors, Courtney Hamilton! You can follow Courtney on Twitter - @ecochaindating
Courtney Hamilton’s “Worst Date Ever” Contest (U.S. Only)
Courtney Hamilton is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a signed copy of her novel, Almost Royalty, to the top 5 winners! To enter, all you have to do is tell her:
What is your “Worst Date Ever” experience? Share your story in the comment section below.
Courtney will personally read every participant’s entry and pick the top 5 best stories. The winners will be announced through Courtney’s Facebook page, Twitter, and blog. This contest will hosted on various blogs, social media sites, and forums.
In honor of the “Worst Date Ever” contest, Courtney is also having a Velveeta Kindle Special. For a limited time, Almost Royalty is only $2.99 for the Kindle. Download the novel here: Amazon Kindle Store (need updated Kindle Link)
Participating Websites: Want your blog to host future giveaways? Contact Amanda at email@example.com. The full list of participants in Courtney’s “Worst Date Ever” Contest is available on her blog at:Eco Chain of Dating
Courtney Hamilton’s Worst Date Story:
I went to a party and met this guy—he was 31-32—I was 17. The guy called me and asked me to come to dinner at his “new house” and—could I bring a friend? I begged my roommate to come with me and told her that it was going to be a fun, sophisticated evening with “older guys” and a “special meal” in their brand “new house.” We had to drive over an hour and a half to get to there. When we got to the address, there wasn’t a house there—it was just the wooden frame of house, just the skeleton, on a cement foundation—this was the “new house.” I walked around the back and the guy and his friend were sitting around a cement fire pit with a six-pack of beer. The guy said, “You thought we were going to make dinner or something?” My roommate and I left in about 90 seconds. I don’t think she ever forgave me.
Terms and Conditions for Entry Eligibility
No purchase necessary to enter. Sponsored by Forrest Thompson Publishers. Giveaway ends June 16, 2014 at 11:59 PM (PST). Open to U.S. Residents only. 18+ years of age. Void where prohibited. Winners will be announced on Courtney Hamilton’s blog at www.Ecochainofdating.com/blog. Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or their winnings will be forfeited. By entering the giveaway, you give Courtney Hamilton and Forrest Thompson Publishers permission to repost your story or recite it in a video for media purposes. Forrest Thompson Publishers reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this contest at any time without prior notice.
In honor of the “Worst Date Ever” contest, Courtney is also having a Velveeta Kindle Special. For a limited time, Almost Royalty is only $2.99 for the Kindle. Download the novel here: Amazon Kindle Store
Here is the link to post your Worst Date Stories!! http://ecochainofdating.com/blog/?p=1495
Day 1: Take one loaded commitment-phobe explosives expert, embarking on the impossible–a challenge to have ten dates with one woman.
Day 5: Add in a fiercely independent and feisty burlesque teacher who has sworn off men.
Day 10: She’s so not his type and he’s so not in her life-plan. But the heat is sizzling and the attraction is explosive. And they’re fighting it all the way….
I don’t usually read romance novels, in fact this is the first one I have ever read, but I must say this… Jane is a fantastic writer.
Her descriptive writing style makes you feel like you are right there with the characters themselves. The story is great and the book itself is an easy read. It’s one of those books that when you are reading, you don’t even realize how much time has passed. She is truly a gifted and talented writer and I can’t wait to read more from her.
I would recommend this book for anyone who likes romance novels.
Jane Linfoot writes fun, flirty fiction, with feisty heroines and a bit of an edge. She lives with her family and pets in Derbyshire, UK, and loves hearts, flowers, happy endings and all things vintage.
For more information on Jane or to buy her books you can check out her websites-