Sunday 26 November 2023

I love the festive season...

 In December...

(source: Pinterest)

(yes I know we're not there yet but...)

When I was a child, many moons ago we never put our tree up until after my birthday. I'm a Sagittarius. So, December started, then it was my birthday then let's get ready for Christmas. 

I loved it.

It made the whole month seem magical. Full of love, fun and surprises.

The downside of course was if there was what we called a big present I really yearned for, and my parents could afford it, I got it as a joint present.

Don't get me wrong, I was very happy in that I was lucky enough to be gifted a bike or something, but I had to wait until Christmas day for it. Half of which was my birthday present.

Not easy for a five year old!

However, I was fortunate. There was always something to open on my actual birthday, and it was far enough away from Christmas day not to always get one joint present. 

Does that mean I was mercenary? I don't think so. We're not talking lots of expensive stuff here, just the sheer excitement of ripping off wrapping paper to discover what it was hiding.

(Let's be honest, I still get that same thrill)

These days though, the festive season seems to start earlier and go on later.

I put my tree up in December, but before my birthday now. I still have a session of Christmas music playing, present wrapping and a glass of wine as I snip and cut. I still forget someone's present and have to hunt for it in the back of the wardrobe! I srill like the ritual of putting presents out and wondering what Santa will bring.

Yeah, a kid at heart.

But not in November. Call me Ms Bah Humbug, but I enjoy the anticipation of  ohhh soon it will be December and I'll be able to start my advent calendar, we can go and choose a tree, put up the decorations ad play Christmas songs until we're sick of them...

(NB that will be never)

So I'm counting down the days and getting ready...

how about you?

Happy reading,

love Raven xxx

Sunday 19 November 2023

What a difference some days make...

 Hi all, ( or is it one person and their pet?)

(source pinterest )

Sorry about last weeks non blog. It wasn't brought to you due to a severe case of brain fog!

Nor were my edits finished, the crumble made or the washing done.

(pic source: pinterest)

I woke up with a brain that didn't want to work. It was like walking through treacle, trying to fight my way out of a giant cobweb or net curtain.


Luckily it doesn't happen very often and I've learnt to let it have it's way...or is that have its day?

So I had a long bath, with a good book, 

took a ready meal out of the freezer and let my brain take a day off.

By Tuesday it had sulked enough and the edits were finished, checked and sent of to my lovely, long suffering editor, the crumble (apple and blackberry) made and the washing done.

(source pinterest)

What a difference a few days makes.From doing nothing to being productive.

Maybe it was my brain's way of telling me I needed to slow down and smell the daisies ( or the coffee) Whatever it worked. I took time out. I'd been for some walks, tidied my undies drawer, and read. Now I was ready for action.

And I thought...

what should I write next?

I love writing Regency, I love contemp and rom com.

Lots to chose from.

I'll let you know what I decide, when I do. At the moment I'm playing around with one of each... Which is not the best way to get on. Maybe I should draw lots?

What do you think?

Happy Reading,

Love Raven xxx

Ps I better say a big thank you to pinterest. It found my graphics for me this week, big time.

Sunday 5 November 2023

It only takes one word... sound or a scent to make you remember.

To take you back.

What am I rambling on about?

After a delay Cassie and Raven's 2023 Christmas anthology is now out in eBook as well as paperback, and as I stroked my copy, and I read the blurbs, it made me think.

I set my contemporary story, 'Christmas Isn't Cancelled' in Scotland, roughly where I used to live. 

As I wrote about the rain, it was as if I could hear water splashing, the swish of car tyres as they drove through puddles. Smell wet trees and soil, and see the river flowing faster than usual. 

Remembered some of the more unusual Christmas Trees I'd seen.

Daft though it seems, I got a bit choked up as I remembered wet (and also cold and snowy) Christmas's there. I could scent the snow, and remember the warmth of the Aga as we came back indoors after a walk, or making snow angels. The gorgeous aroma of turkey roasting and mince pies cooling on the cake rack. 

Darn it now my tummy is rumbling!

My Regency story is set partly in Rutland and partly in Yorkshire, and this was fun to write as they are both places I know, and I could picture the areas—albeit imagining them as I reckoned they might have been two hundred years ago.

So to celebrate the fact A Wonderful Christmastime is now up and running...

Here's the links (UK) (.com)

and the blurbs... 

Four Festive Stories Of Romance And Love

The Christmas Stocking
Christmas approaches, and the servants who work in Duke Street are beside themselves with excitement when they are given a half-day holiday to attend an impromptu Frost Fair being held at the local park. To add to the festive fun, Daisy has knitted herself a pair of brightly coloured stockings, and when an incident on the ice threatens to leave her face as scarlet as the stockings themselves, Jack saves her from falling and spares her blushes. They return home to Duke Street ahead of the other revellers, but when they do, it’s to discover the house is in chaos. Can Daisy and Jack step up to the plate and save Christmas?

Decisions at the Barking Dog
Lady Isabella Austin has been banished from her home for Christmas. Her mama has been matchmaking on behalf of her elder sister, and Lady Isabella is surplus to requirements. The Duke of Redbourn discovers what’s afoot and makes plans to avoid being trapped in a situation not of his making, knowing his potential bride is as reluctant to marry him as he is her. Can a chance meeting at the Barking Dog Inn change his mind on his determination to never become a bridegroom?

Together For Christmas
The suburb of Patcham is a happy place. Single mum, Zoe Harper, is preparing for Christmas with her son, Brody. Thousands of miles away, Daniel uncovers the first clue in a trail of deceit that will lead him back to England to uncover the truth. An admission of guilt is what Daniel needs if he’s to stand any chance of finding Zoe and meeting the son he didn’t even know was his.

Christmas Isn’t Cancelled
Alison Piper has plans to spend a peaceful, quiet Christmas at her holiday cottage in Scotland, until two stranded travellers turn up at her door seeking shelter. A blast from her past, divorcee Ross Thomas, and his five-year-old son, Aiden. Will Santa know where to find this lost little boy? Alison is determined he most definitely will, and if she and Ross can make it a Christmas to remember for Aiden, it might also turn out to be one they will never forget themselves.

 Happy reading,

love Raven xxx

Monday 30 October 2023

First of all it was going to be...

 Woot look at this...

and then we were going to say...

Soon we can do this...

But as ever there's a spoke in the works...

A certain site where you can buy our books decided we could have this Cassie and Raven Christmas anthology out in paperback early.

So our oohh cover reveal is up and running on Amazon...

and Goodreads

so now here it is on here 

The eBook will follow ASAP.

Meanwhile if you prefer paperbacks now's your chance to read it before it's out electronically. (UK) (.com)

Happy Reading,


Raven and Cassie xxx

Tuesday 24 October 2023

It's that time of the year again...

 The one where we start wondering where we put the wrapping paper we bought in the January sales, where all the excess Chriatmas cards are...

(Istock via pinterest)


Eagerly await all the Christmas stories due out—or already out.

 (couldn't find a non specific Christmas book thingy...)

Over the last three years the lovely Cassie O'brien and I have brought out three Christmas books—so far.

You can find them all in ebook and paperback on Amazon                   it's time for us to sayWhat's next...?
and then say...Watch this space...

Sunday 22 October 2023

On rediscovering somewhere

 Not a very inspiring title is it?


Blame lack of sleep... The rain.. That it's almost November...The...

Okay, I blame me. The culprit. I just couldn't come up with anything better.


(I was trying to find a suitable icon or something here, but nothing grabbed any way)

However, I digress (I love that word no idea why)

I've spent this last week in Rutland, in the English Midlands. The smallest county, in England, with the largest reservoir, Rutland Water. That's the church they had to raise to save it when the valley was flooded. Normanton.

It also has the longest brick built viaduct in the UK. Harringworth Viaduct. You can just see some of it in the background of the picture.

(source pinterest)

I went with a friend, just us two, no partners and lots of books. Which ws just as well when we got hit with the storm.

But before that we visited all over the county—and to bits outwith it. 

It took me back several decades. To places I visited to visit as a child, and then revisited twenty years later with my husband.

And things I've never seen before

(monument at Rutland Water)

And oh boy did the memories flood back. Where I'd paddled, where I'd fallen off a horse and sprained my ankle. Where my dad and I used to cycle to, go for a walk and watch the birds flying around. (And hide our jam sandwiches from them)

Stately homes and thatched cottages. 
Chocolate box charm and industrial terraces.
Such a lot to see. And rediscover.

It gave me ideas. 

Best off all,  I spent a week with a friend and chilled.

Now some of those ideas and memories are about to help with my next book.

I wonder if anyone can guess what it's about?

Happy Reading,

love Raven xxx

Tuesday 17 October 2023

Covers, and clever cover artists. Plus, catch ups, choclate biscuits and clever clogs who are 'always' correct'

 Or some such thing...

I admit this blog is late because I am not a clever clogs, anything but. 

Why do you (or do you not) ask?

Well, it's like this.

Last Sunday I was away with a mate. girls only, no husbands lets put the world to right few (ie each chocolate biscuits and grumble) days. So I sorted out a blog—or so I thought—scheduled it.

You've got it...I didn't.

So here we are

This was the beginning of the blog. Which now as it is late very very late...I've amended.

Over the years I've been lucky enough to have been published, I've been very fortunate to have been given some amazing covers. Every cover artist has gone the extra mile to try and make sure the cover is suitable for the story. 

Not easy when I do tend at times to only give a vague description of how my characters look. After being told once, very firmly, that the man on the cover looked nothing like a reader envisaged him from my description in the book, I tend to stick to things like basic physique (ie NO man boobs) hair colour, curvy etc etc. Nothing too definite (apart from the lack of man boobs) 

This cover by Emmy Ellis is one of those covers where all I said was a red distinctive dress, not of the norm, and she came up with this! Absolutely perfect. Emmy had created me ( and others) some brilliant covers over the years.) (and Ebook)

Apart from my Totally Bound covers, Emmy has also created the covers for and edited the Christmas anthologies Cassie O'Brien and I bring out each year. Look out for the next one, A Wonderful Christmastime, very soon. I haven't got that cover yet of course but...

My first cover artist was also fabulous. Victoria Miller created most of the covers for the books I wrote for the now sadly defunct and much missed Breathless Press

As the books are mainly out of print (though some have now been rereleased elsewhere) I can't show you them easily but I thought Victoria wouldn't mind if I showed you one of them...

We both loved this cover because it was at the time very different from the normal Regency cover.

Then there's Jay Aheer who did most of my Evernight Publishing covers and like Victoria and Emmy always managed to work out exactly what's needed

This is a Dark Isle book written by me as Kera Faire and she's captured the mystique perfectly.

Amy Coveney did the covers for the Katy Lilley, Devon trilogy that is not available at the moment—until I work out how to put them on Amazon myself (I'm not the most tech savvy person in the world) I need to learn, not only because I'd like more people to be able to read them, but also becasue the covers are amazing and yes capture the spirit of the books.

There has been more artists of course. Kelly Martin for the covers for The Romansa Castle series

Erin Dameron-Hill for the Scots and the Sassenachs

I could go one and on, but I'd be sure to miss someone so i'll just say that cover artists are as essential os editors. In different ways of course, but just as bad editing can put a reader off so can an indifferent or irrelevant cover.

So than you cover artists. Like I said the other week, my books would be nowhere as appealing without then and editors.

I must add as well, for me, publishers. I've still to dip my toes in alone as a self publisher writer. Thanks to Cassie sorting out joint books out, I've not needed to but I must try...

(All my books that are still published you can find on Amazon
and publishers websites)

Oh and in case you wonder where the always correct Clever Clogs bit comes in...
ask anyone about my bugbear...Whisky and whiskey

Scotch had no E 

(courtesy of Pinterest, our bottle is mainly empty)

and on that note,

Happy Reading,

love Raven xxx