Attending book events – and you’ll know how much I enjoy them – usually involves a train from Leeds to London, the ridiculous costs of parking at the station, and a cross-country drive home in the early hours. Attending an event at Harrogate Library is so very much easier – and having done so twice last week, I can confidently tell you that they’re every bit as much fun. I have John Jackson to thank for his invitation to be part of Promoting Yorkshire Authors (PYA): you’ll find their website here (still a work in progress), but their Facebook group Yorkshire Author Promotions is a great place to find out about upcoming events and their authors’ books, with a separate group for authors. Life has made it a tad difficult to get involved in their activities before now, but when I heard about their event last Saturday – So You Think You Know About Romance? – I just couldn’t resist, as it looked right up my street…
And it most certainly was! The library itself is a beautiful building just a short walk away from the station, with a welcoming interior topped by a glass atrium, and the cafe area is just perfect for events like this. The panel attracted a really good audience – and most definitely not just people who’d wandered in out of the cold, as there were such excellent questions at the end of the session. The whole event was relaxed and welcoming, the panel discussion very ably facilitated by John: there was a wide-ranging discussion about romance, whether a happy ending is essential, and the opportunity to hear about everyone’s works in progress.
And I really don’t need to go into any more detail, because the whole event was captured on video by Paul and Edwin from PYA and can now be seen on YouTube (you’ll find it HERE – just under half an hour, so perfect with your next cup of coffee…). It was such a pleasure to see Jane Lovering and Carol Warham again (and, of course, John), but also a delight to meet Ava Manello (whose passion for the genre was so very infectious) and the lovely Julia Bell.
An additional bonus for me was the company of author Marla Skidmore – although Richard III might not be my usual cup of tea, I was very taken by the ideas behind her book Renaissance, something original and very different (and now added to my kindle). Here are details of all the authors’ latest books, with links to each book in the title, plus their Amazon book pages, websites, Facebook and Twitter:
Christmas by the sea – that sounds romantic, right?
Tansy Merriweather is down on her luck. She’s lost her business and her relationship, and instead of a glamorous London apartment, her home is now a campervan on a Dorset beach. And as if things couldn’t get any worse, a scruffy dog called Brian with a taste for sardines has adopted her.
When Tansy’s new-found friends at the cafe in the bay help her find a job as a location scout for a new TV show, things start looking up. However, when she finds herself babysitting the show’s grouchy star, Davin O’Riordan, she’s not sure she wants to stay around. But when Brian forges a touching romance with Davin’s elegant whippet Seelie, Tansy begins to see another side to Davin.
As Christmas approaches, secrets emerge and Tansy and Davin discover a bond between them. But how will they cope with the storms headed their way – and can they save the cafe from closing?
A few days before the New Year, Carly Mitchell returns home to the small town on the Yorkshire moors. Her intention for the short visit is to make her apologies and offer an explanation for her action. A year earlier, she fled, leaving her bridegroom and friends bewildered.
She’s met with mixed reactions, ranging from curiosity to open hostility. However, when an emergency arises, Carly agrees to change her plans and stay a little longer. Falling in love with the new local doctor, Ben Thornton, was not part of her original plan either. Especially when it appears his past is shrouded in mystery.
Complications and tensions increase during the town’s New Year celebrations and she begins to doubt whether she has done the right thing by coming home.
Can she find the resolution she needs to overcome the challenges facing her, or will she run away again?
Ava Manello – Rebel (Hellion MC Book 1)
Abandoned at birth, Rebel has been raised by the men of Hellion MC. Happy and successful, living the life she’s chosen outside of the MC, everything changes when her mother surfaces on her 30th birthday, desperate to forge a relationship with her daughter.
All is not is as it seems.
Duplicity and betrayal threaten not only everything she holds dear, but her very existence. Forced to decide between the mother she’s always wanted and her MC family almost destroys her.
Who will she choose, and who will she lose?
Julia Bell – When Lucy Ceased To Be
Having lost her mother the previous year, twelve-year-old Lucy Paget tries to make a contented life with her father on their farm in Ilkley, Yorkshire. But her father, Sid, would rather spend his time and money in the public house. One day in a fit of pique, Sid sets her up on a chair and tries to sell her to the men in the public house. There are no buyers until a certain gentleman shows an interest and decides to take up the offer.
Edwin Beaumont has plans for poor Lucy and for the next eight years, she is trapped in a life of secrets and deceit as she adopts the guise of Edwin’s daughter. Meeting her ‘cousin’ Theo Keeton brings some consolation and over time, his friend Matthew Raynor wins her heart.
But Edwin’s deception will not only lead to heartbreak, but Lucy has to face the truth that Matthew might not be the man she thought he was when he is suspected of murder.
John Jackson – Heart of Stone
When young and beautiful Mary Molesworth is forced to marry Robert Rochford, widowed heir to the earldom of Belfield, she finds that her idea of love is not returned. Jealous, cruel and manipulative, Robert ignores her after she has provided him with a male heir, preferring to spend his nights with his mistress. Power-hungry, Robert builds up a reputation that sees him reach for the highest positions in Ireland.
Caught in an unhappy marriage, Mary begins to grow closer to Robert’s younger brother, Arthur. Acknowledging their love for each other, they will risk everything to be together. But Robert’s revenge threatens their lives and tears them apart.
Will Mary and Arthur find a way to escape Robert’s clutches?
Based on real events, Heart of Stone is a tale of power, jealousy, imprisonment, and love, set in 1740s Ireland.
Marla Skidmore – Renaissance
The Plain of Redemore, 22nd August 1485
Richard III – betrayed and defeated!
His gaze sweeps over the bloody carnage surrounding him. A cry goes up: “We have found the king!” He sees Henry Tudor standing triumphant over a mauled and battered corpse and hears him whisper, “It is done. England is mine.”
How can this be, when he is not dead?
With the help of his celestial mentor Father Gilbert, a Franciscan monk, Richard will learn that malign Tudor propaganda has not reigned supreme and that history did not entirely paint him as the child-killer king.
Will he grasp the chance of renaissance and exit the spiritual purgatory that has held him hostage for more than half a millennium?
My thanks to John for the use of the group photo from the event – when I’m enjoying myself, I always forget to take my own! Join me again in an hour to find out about the second event I attended…