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