Monday, August 8, 2011

Embrace Books closes

I resigned from my position as Executive Editor at Embrace Books in July 2011, in order to fulfil my own writing commitments elsewhere. To the best of my knowledge, Embrace Books has now closed.

Please contact the Directors at Salt Publishing for further details.

I'd like to thank all the writers with whom I have worked so closely over the past year, both for your professionalism and for the warmth of your friendship. It's been a privilege and an honour to edit so many exciting and well-written novels, and I know you will all continue your fabulous careers with other publishers, who will be lucky to have you aboard.

Jane Holland
Former Executive Editor: Embrace Books

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rachel Lyndhurst on being a virgin again:The RNA Conference 2011

Being published as a launch author for Embrace Books in February this year enabled me to join the Romantic Novelists' Association as a  full member and attend my very first conference in Caerleon, Wales this weekend. Newbies like me are affectionately known as conference 'virgins' (no sniggering!), and are taken special care of. This year it was  Anna Louise Lucia's turn to keep an eye on us and she was wonderful, so many thanks to her.

I was only able to stay for part of the conference, but the experience has me wanting to sign up for the next one immediately. It would be impossible to condense everything I learned into one blog post, so I'm going to focus on the impact of the digital age on my own experience and pass on some juicy tips.

Firstly I had to get there, and not being one for motorways and toll bridges, the train was the way to go, so I did it all online. I planned the journey, got the timetable and ordered my cheap advance tickets from the comfort of my own home. Easy!

On the way to Newport the Twitter hashtag #RNAConf11 kept me amused. I could visualise  the delegates streaming into Wales from all over the world just by the messages going backwards and forwards. I also used it for the live tweeting on my journey home and soaked up the information as it came in. On arrival, we were informed at registration about Wifi access codes and cables for our rooms, which was just as well, there were netbooks, tablets and smartphones everywhere!

The first session was held by Lizzy Kremer of David Higham Associates who gave a very informative talk on contracts. There's one thing she said that really struck a chord will me: 'eBooks are not going to go away.' I think we're already seeing changes in traditional publishing that reflect the rising popularity of digital media. Readers are quickly realising they can get instant gratification. They want a certain book and they want it now - they don't want to wait or pay postage. They want cheaper books too. Authors and publishers can't afford to ignore this. I was interested to see that my novel Storm's Heart had a rise in sales over the conference weekend - predominantly the eBook version. Makes you think, doesn't it?

Following Anne Ashurst's welcome to the conference Jan Jones read out a list of 'celebrations'. It was a thrill for me to be sat between two RNA award winning authors during this. We'd met before, but it went to show just how much sparkling talent there was in that conference room. Here's me and Charlotte Betts with my dear friend, India Grey on the other side of me and Liz Fielding's hand! (photo courtesy of Lizzie Lamb).

And guess what? The market isn't as dire as some would have you believe. Judging by the amount of people standing up and telling their good news, RNA members are selling big time. With hard work and dedication your future as an author can be as bright as you want it to be. Just don't give up! Bestselling author Jill Mansell winner of Romantic Comedy of the Year told us how she would have stopped submitting if the third agent she approached had rejected her. Fortunately they didn't, but there's a lesson there!

And then, of course, came the important bit, the bar! I got to talk and hug lots of gorgeous people I've met through blogging, Facebook and Twitter over the last year, including a squirrel! It's because of these connections that I wasn't in the least bit nervous about attending this conference on my own - I knew I'd be surrounded by friends. This couldn't have happened without the Internet and I'm wondering how  different it would have been for me five years ago when we didn't have a computer at home.

Here's me with the lovely Rachel Brimble (who was asked for a 'full' by Mira a few hours earlier!) and Alison Knight (courtesy of Lizzie Lamb again):
We only had a couple of units of wine ...

There were ten minute editorial pitches with some big names in publishing too. There's something you should know if you don't already: if you submit, you will be Googled. An active online presence is vital, so get yourself out there and make yourself visible. It's a fact. No shrinking violets!

I've only scratched the surface of all the things I learned at the conference, but the highlight for me was when Wild Rose Press author Stephanie Cage tracked me down to say how much she loved reading Storm's Heart. And then she asked for my signature! It really was a very special moment indeed, the highlight of my writing career so far. We authors are nothing without our readers after all.

As a special conference treat, I'll leave you with an iconic and very exclusive photograph of the Executive Editor of Embrace Books in the bar. What a woman!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Embrace announces the launch of THE DREAMERS: a beautiful romance from Tanwen Coyne

Tanwen Coyne is a vibrant new young writer from Wales, and this is her first publication. A ghostly romance set in a remote Welsh cottage brings two young women together from different times and different walks of life. A strikingly unusual story, beautifully written.

Buy it today at Kindle Amazon UK. 

Buy it today at Kindle Amazon US

Congratulations to Tanwen Coyne on her first publication!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Getting Published - Embrace Author Cody Young Tells Her Story

Hi everyone. Getting published wasn't easy. Here's what worked for me:

Wanted to write a book.
Wrote a non-fiction book.
On the third submission, I got picked up by a university press – hurray!
The university press got ‘restructured’ - didn’t want my book anymore.
Wrote a novel for a competition.
Got bad scores.
Wrote another novel.
Self-published it, against all the advice. Was told I might as well have flushed it down the toilet. (The person who said that has since seen the chain of bookstores he worked for go into receivership).
Started another novel.
Pitched it to an agent, and she liked it – hurray!
A year later. The agent is still thinking about it.
Decided there had to be a better way to use my talent.
(Yes, I still believed I had some).
Started submitting to slush piles.
Started to get some ‘encouraging’ rejections. Who want's one of those?
Felt increasingly impatient about the long wait times with big publishing houses.
House burnt down (mine, not the publishing house – though I was tempted).
Moved to a rental property while house was being rebuilt.
Wrote a lot, to take my mind off it.
Submitted a novella to Embrace Books, UK.
Got a letter saying it was probably too short.
Submitted a story to ‘So You Think You Can Write’ at Harlequin.
They liked it and asked for more. 
Wrote like the wind for six weeks.
Many months later, they are still thinking about it.
Meanwhile ...
Was accepted by Embrace Books and signed a contract – hurray!
Jane Holland at Embrace Books became ‘my editor’. I love that phrase.
Did revisions on the novella to make it longer (and better).
‘Scandal at the Farmhouse’ became one of the launch titles for Embrace Books! Success!
Started writing another book …

For more true confessions about becoming an author, come visit me at

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Savage Sun gets a Reviewer's Top Pick!

Hello, Embrace lovelies! I'm very excited to announce, my western romance, Savage Sun, received a Top Pick at Miz Love Loves Books! The reviewer felt every emotion I intended in this controversial western of interracial love in the old west, and I can't be any more thrilled about it. :-)

Here is a little snippet of her review:

"Oh wow, what a beautifully written book. Savage Sun highlights the atrocities of times gone by when slavery was a memory still too close."

For Miz Vamp's full review, and some juicy details, please visit here:

Purchase Savage Sun from Embrace Books:

Purchase from Amazon:

Thanks! And have a fabulous week. :-)

"Romantic fiction with Erotic flavor"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Royal Wedding - Not Long To Go!

Kate and Wills will tie the knot on Friday, witnessed by two billion of their closest friends. Westminster Abbey is ready. The Archbishop is standing by. The trumpets have been polished for the fanfare, and the guests have bought their outfits. The cake (only slightly smaller than Buckingham Palace) has been made, and the dress – oh, the dress! – is under armed guard. 
     I hope she didn’t want a quiet wedding. Wouldn’t it be awful if Kate decided that all the fuss is not for her? What if she turned to Wills and said ‘I’ve changed my mind. I want to get married on a beach - barefoot and wearing a white bikini - with just a couple of witnesses and a plastic ring out of a Christmas cracker.’
     It’s not as crazy it sounds - such a wedding could be profoundly romantic. If, for the sake of argument, the happy couple had found the ring in a cracker on the night they fell in love - it could be a moment full of significance and romance.
     Don’t worry, she won’t cancel on us – we’ll get our Royal Wedding, fingers crossed. When the engagement was announced, Kate assured us that her hubby-to-be is ‘a true romantic’. But is he, really and truly? Well, avid romance readers, let’s take a long hard look at Prince William, and see how he measures up!
     The story of the courtship is certainly the stuff that fairytales are made of. Our hero had the pick of any number of princesses and heiresses and yet, he didn’t. Instead, he saw the extraordinary beauty in an ‘ordinary’ girl – his college sweetheart, Kate. So far so good.  The prince has wealth and pedigree that puts Mr Darcy in the shade. And like the much-loved hero of every romance novel he has more than a little twinkle in his eyes and a slightly rakish air. But the archetypal hero – is tall, DARK, and handsome, and our hero, Wills, is fair? Did you know that the vast majority of the men on the covers of romance novels have dark hair? It’s a miracle Kate gave him a second glance!
     However, she looked and she loved, and pretty soon we got used to seeing images of the young couple here, there and everywhere. So much so that many of us were stunned when they had their ‘black moment’ and everything seemed to be lost. Pictures of Kate, looking wan and bereft, appeared in all the glossies and the tabloids, and the tight-lipped prince refused to comment on the split. The nation held its breath. The fairytale looked grim. No wonder there was much rejoicing when love conquered all. 
     So now we wait, impatiently, for the spectacle to begin. Waiting to see the prince to pledge himself to his lovely bride. Hoping for a wedding full of beauty and romance. Is the prince a ‘true romantic’? I think so, and here’s why: in a world where love is fragile and often doesn’t last, where relationships often end in heartbreak and anguish, and even William's parents split up – he is still saying he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. There’s the romance. A man who hopes that love will last. A radiant couple vowing that their happy day will usher in their happy ever after. I for one will be watching the wedding, tissue box at hand, wishing them the best. Lucky things!

Monday, April 25, 2011

What's Your Hero Type?

  If you're like me (and if you're reading this blog you probably are), you've read a lot of books, especially romances. One of the hallmarks of a good romance is how much you feel for the characters. In my very favorite books, the hero and heroine are absolutely unforgettable. I've noticed that the characters that stick with me are usually of a certain type, and I've come to realize that I prefer a certain kind of hero.

  Romance has become a very diverse genre, and you can find all sorts of heroes out there. What I'm specifically referring to here is the difference between polished, wealthy heroes (think CEOs and lawyers) and everyday men with more typical jobs, who usually work with their hands (think construction workers and cops). Both types are popular, and either either can make a sexy alpha male (or if you prefer, a beta). And there is good reason to love both types. Many readers enjoy the fantasy-escape aspect of a heroine who falls in love with a suave, classy man (and the millions don't hurt either!). And many readers also love to get caught up in a romance that seems especially realistic to them because involves the sort of everyday man that may remind them of men they've known themselves (or maybe hope to meet).

  Personally, I've always enjoyed reading stories with everyday, hard-working heroes. Not surprisingly, those are the sort of heroes I tend to write, too. Heroes I've written have included construction workers, cowboys and even bank-robbers, to name a few. No millions required! I'll take a hero with a typical career and an extraordinary personality and looks any day. ; )

  What about you? What's your hero type? Do you prefer a classy man with the world at his fingertips or an everyday sort of hero?


Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to make a book trailer ... for free

Getting your book published is the best feeling ever, it's what you've been aiming for as a writer for so long, but the hard work isn't over yet. Now you have to sell it, as promotion is most likely going to be down to you as a new author. Prepare to be busy!

You have your blog, your Facebook page and your Twitter account and it hasn't cost you a penny - excellent! This is just as well since you may have spent all the housekeeping money on your launch party and your royalty cheque is months away. It's time to get creative.

I discovered I had Windows Movie Maker already installed as part of my standard software package, so I used this program to create my book trailer. All you need to do is open it up, import pictures in from your hard drive and create a 'storyboard'. Then you need some music to layer over it. I downloaded from a royalty-free website . You add in your own titles and narrative, tweak about with the pictures to fit the length of the music and that's it!

It really was easy, it took me a few hours to learn and produce my first ever book trailer. Next time I might get really flash and add video content or do a voice over. Such fun! So here it is: Storm's Heart the movie:

What do you think? Are you going to have a go yourself?

And if you now feel inspired enough to buy a copy of Storm's Heart in paperback or digital format you can do so from, , Salt Publishing and all good online book stores.

I'd love you for it!

(And many thanks to Kathryn Brown who was generous enough to tell me how to do all this in the first place! You can never have too many friends.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sally Clements visits "Catherine, Caffeinated"

One of our marvellous Embrace authors, Sally Clements, whose suspense romance "Bound To Love" is available in both print book and ebook, has been talking to Catherine Ryan Howard today over on "Catherine, Caffeinated".

You can grab a Kindle copy of "Bound To Love" on the US Amazon site here, or on the UK Amazon site here.  The paperback is also available via Amazon UK.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Kindle Candy: Have you grabbed yours yet?

Just a reminder that our seven fantastic and delicious launch titles for Embrace are available to buy very cheaply on Kindle, for those with either the reader itself or a Kindle programme for reading on your computer (such as Kindle for Mac, where you can download titles straight onto your laptop).

These include 'The Lady Soldier' - reissued in digital form with previously deleted sensual scenes! - from the experienced writing team of Kate Allan and Michelle Styles


the hot 'n' quirky 'Nanny Behaving Badly' with plenty of sass from Scottish romance writer Judy Jarvie.

Right now though, one of our top-selling titles is the stunning and sensual Regency romance 'The Reluctant Marquess' from multi-published author Maggi Andersen.

Grab your copy of 'The Reluctant Marquess' on Kindle today - and see what all the fuss is about!

Back soon with news of our forthcoming Spring Releases!

Jane x

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Embrace talks about romance, sexuality and rejection

This week, Embrace Books gave an interview to the popular website for books by and for independent women, For Books' Sake.

When you've done reading what we had to say about sexuality, romance, and how to deal with rejection, check out the rest of their site, for more writing features, events, book of the week, and a shop that sells For Books' Sake T-shirts and tote bags, no less.

Some of which caught my own eye, I must confess ... !

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What would you do if you were Taken Hostage?

Embrace Books announce the acquisition of a super-hot new title for their steamy After Dark series.

“Taken Hostage” by US writer Ranae Rose will be published in summer 2011.
Tiffany is taken on the run as a hostage after the bank she works at is robbed. 
When the gorgeous gunman offers to let her return to safety, Tiffany realizes there are many things she wants to do to him, but walking away isn’t one of them.
Ranae Rose has been an avid reader and writer all of her life. Romance is her genre of choice, and she strives to write gripping, passionate stories. She lives in the US with her husband, child, dog and horses.

“Taken Hostage” will be published by Embrace as part of our After Dark series in Summer 2011.

For currently available After Dark titles, click here.

Connect with Ranae Rose on Facebook.