Posted in Writing

Tuesday Talk welcomes writer Mick Arnold talking about his writing journey and the inspiration behind his debut novel The Season For Love…

Hi Mick and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Hi Jo.
Firstly, may I say a big thank you for having me today and I’d like to wish you a pre-emptive Happy Christmas.
For the first half of my working life I was in the Royal Air Force when I travelled the world, remembering some of it, and had a pretty good time without actually doing that much, in all honesty.
I’ve been an unashamed Trekker (yes, not a Trekkie) for all my life and can still quote too much of any of the series. Thank god there are no pictures of me in fancy dress as an albino Horta!
I love watching movies and have a secret addiction for the Sharknado films, but don’t tell anyone! My other addiction is to Disney/Pixar films as I find good animation hard to better.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer and what were the first steps you took towards this?

I don’t recall having had any aspirations on trying to write before I was persuaded to read a novel by Annie Sanders, The Xmas Factor. I’d never read a romance/woman’s fiction story before, but it was Christmas so I read it. Then I read it straight away again and the morning after, I got out my laptop and started to tap away, getting down an idea for a story about a lady in denial and her best friend from school who lived on a narrow boat with a psychotic cat. That story remains locked up, but it’s where I got the bug to write.

How important has the RNA New Writers’ Scheme been to your writing career?

Very. I can’t leave this as just being a one word answer, no matter how much that one word covers everything.
I believe I came across the NWS scheme whilst I was doing some online research, came across the RNA website and the information on this scheme. Once I was lucky enough to join, I found a group of like-minded people who were full of support for each other’s attempts. There was nothing anyone wouldn’t do for you if you asked, and there was, and still is, no back-stabbing.
Of course, the option to have a manuscript critiqued is an invaluable service too, though I would always come back to the support network the NWS scheme provides as its most valuable resource.

THESEA-4_finalWhat inspired you to write your debut novel The Season for Love?

I woke up one morning and I had a ‘scene’ going round and round in my head that ended up being the last few paragraphs in my head. So, I wrote that down as quickly as I could and then sat there wondering if there was anything I could do with it. From there, I essentially story-boarded the story in reverse, which was quite interesting but frustrating, until I found myself writing what was going to be the first chapter. I find that a lot of my ideas for stories come from either dreams or from a song I hear on the radio.

What would your advice be to new writers?

I’ll get the obvious one out of the way first. Read, read and read some more, preferably in the genre in which you wish to write. Join a writer’s group if there’s one near you, but don’t go if you don’t get along with the people there. There’s no point in upsetting yourself, try something online instead. There are plenty on Facebook for example. Most importantly, develop a thick-skin as you’ll likely need one. Unless you’re utterly brilliant, you will get rejection emails. Don’t take them personally as you should be able to take something from most of them. If you do reply to them, be polite as you never know when you’ll run into that person again. Lastly, write for yourself, for the pure joy of the thing.

And finally, you’ve been invited to take part in I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here. Name four celebs you would like to be taking part with you and why.

Now here’s a strange one for me. I may be one of the few people who don’t watch any ‘celeb’ type programs (Strictly Come Dancing does not count please), as they annoy the hell out of me. So, can I pick four celebs actually people you may have heard of instead of the majority of non-entities you hear going on these shows? Here I go:
First, I’m going to group the whole cast of ‘Made in Chelsea’ just so I can pour buckets and buckets of scorpions over them and then leave them there. I don’t know if that’s something you can do in the program, but if it isn’t, then it should be, to at least one ‘celeb’.
Second and I’ll have three bods whom I really like for these last three, Brian Wilson who’s the main songwriter of The Beach Boys. He’s my musical god whose ear should be preserved when he dies. His harmonies are to die for and I love writing with his songs playing in the background.
Third. Terry Pratchett. Yes, I know he’s not alive, but this is my wish. I’m a he fan of his Discworld series and badly miss my yearly fix of his books. No writer can make me laugh out loud as consistently as he can. The world he created is simply magnificent.
Fourth. I’m pushing it here, but the actor James ‘Jimmy’ Stewart. I adore his movies and he’s one of the most underrated actors ever. I challenge you not to laugh at his comedy timing in ‘Harvey’ or not to hold your breath with the suspense of ‘Vertigo’. Wonderful stuff.

 About the Author

FB_PicMick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England, and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Air Force, before putting down roots, and realising how much he missed the travel. This, he’s replaced somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and writing a regular post at the blog site.
He’s the proud keeper of a cat bent on world domination, is mad on the music of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, and enjoys the theatre and humouring his Manchester United supporting wife. Finally, and most importantly, Mick’s a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, with the publication of this, his debut novel, The Season for Love.

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Posted in Writing

Tuesday Talk welcomes writer Carol Thomas who chats about her writing journey, romantic holiday destinations and chooses some interesting dinner party guests.

Hi Carol and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Hello, thank you for having me on your blog. I live on the south coast of England with my husband, four children and lively young Labrador. I have been a playgroup supervisor and taught in primary schools for over fifteen years, before dedicating more of my time to writing.

In 2017 I was delighted to gain a publishing contract with Ruby Fiction, an imprint of Choc Lit, for my romantic comedy novel, The Purrfect Pet Sitter.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer and how did you begin?

I have always had a fascination with words and studied creative writing as part of my degree. I had an idea for a book, so in 2012, when I was taking a break from teaching, I decided it was a now or never situation. My contemporary romance novel, Crazy Over You was published via Matador in 2015.

What makes a good heroine?

I like to read and to write about relatable heroines. Female friendships tend to be central to my novels. When bringing these women to life, I like to juxtapose either their character type or their stages of life.

Name one of the most memorable things that have happened to you?

The birth of each of my babies was special, of course. But the experience of having my third daughter was particularly memorable as my husband delivered her. It was two weeks before Christmas, the tree was up in the living room, and it was a frosty morning. Labour started and progressed quickly. The ambulance and midwife couldn’t make it on time, and so my husband delivered our daughter with instructions being given over the phone from the hospital. With just us, our other two daughters and our, then two, Labradors in the house, it was very special.

You’re a dog lover, and canine friends feature in ‘The Purrfect Pet Sitter’. Are you planning to include them in any future books?

I am indeed. As I’ve had Labradors in my house for the last eighteen years, they are very much a part of my everyday life. As a result, they sneak into my books too. The sequel to The Purrfect Pet Sitter sees a return of Jack, the wonky-eyed black Labrador, and I am twelve thousand words into my current WIP, and what do you know, a dog has snuck in already.

What would be your most romantic holiday destination and why?

CAROL 1Hmm, this is tough because I do like Venice and honeymooned there. But last year I convinced my husband to take me on a research trip to the French Alps. We stayed in Verchaix, it was just the two of us, snowy, magical and very romantic. The trip inspired scenes in The Purrfect Pet Sitter.



And finally, you’re planning a dinner party. If you could choose four celebrity guests (past or present) who would they be and why?

Gary Barlow, Chris Hemsworth, Aidan Turner and Keanu Reeves. I’d like to point out that this dinner party is strictly for research purposes into character types for writing male heroes, honestly! 😉



 Introducing Lisa Blake, the purrfect pet sitter!

When Lisa Blake’s life in London falls apart, she returns to her hometown rebranding herself as ‘the purrfect pet sitter’ – which may or may not be false advertising!
But being back where she grew up, Lisa can’t escape her past. There’s her estranged best friend Flick who she bumps into in an embarrassing encounter in a local supermarket. And her first love, Nathan Baker, who, considering their history, is sure to be even more surprised by her drunken Facebook friend request than Lisa is.
As she becomes involved in the lives of her old friends Lisa must confront the hurt she has caused, discover the truth about her mysterious leather-clad admirer, and learn how to move forward when the things she wants most are affected by the decisions of her past.

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Ruby Fiction

Buying Links
Ruby Fiction:
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About the author:

CAROL 2Carol writes contemporary romance novels, with relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads.

She also writes for children. Her children’s books have irresistibly cute, generally furry characters young children can relate to.

Website and Social Media Links:



Posted in Writing

Monday 3rd December – Publication day for Christmas at the Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell…



A festive feel-good holiday read. Highly recommended.

What if you had nowhere to call home for Christmas?
When Fee Winter books a winter break at the remote Black Cherry Retreat in the small town of Pine Ridge, Tennessee, it’s with the idea that the peace and quiet will help her recuperate from her hectic life as a photographer.

But what she didn’t bank on was meeting Tom Chambers and his huge, interfering yet lovable family. With them, could Fee finally experience the warmth and support that’s been missing from her own life – and maybe even find a place to call home in time for Christmas?



Angela RONA Award Pub PhotoAngela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee. A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. After more than three decades of marriage to her American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after. Over the last twelve years she’s been multi-published and sold over 25 novels. She also writes short stories for women’s magazines. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers.