The Next Big Thing – blog hop

Hello, it’s me! What do you mean, who? Me!

Yes, I know I have been very quiet of late, I blame it on the time of year! But I thought I’d squeeze in a last blog post of the year and seeing as I was tagged by the lovely, Charlie Cochrane, to take part in The Next Big Thing challenge I thought, why not!

You can read Charlie’s post about her book, Angel in the Window, here.

I am still in the ‘playing around’ stage of my current WiP so I thought I’d talk about my other WiP which I’m editing – yet again – and of which is my first complete full length novel. Some of you may know bits about this book from the times when I have rambled on about it.

So, here goes…

What is the working title of your book?

Head Over Heart.

It’s kind of got a double meaning for me. Firstly it is the predicament that my heroine, Sophie, is in; she must decide whether to go with her head or trust her heart. Secondly, it kind of plays on the phrase, ‘head over heels’, which is exactly how she falls for the hero.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

A dream. I actually had this dream sometime before I began writing this book, but it stuck in my mind and actually played on it. I couldn’t shake it off. I dreamt about being in a car crash. I was in the passenger side and there was a man in the drivers seat, but I didn’t know who he was. We were driving through a wooded area and the man lost control of the car and spun it off the road. And then all I remember is falling.

This man then became Robert, and I was Sophie. And Head Over Heart was born.

What genre does your book fall under?

I think it would be classed as Contemporary Romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

Anne Hathaway. Image courtesy of http://www.whitegadget.com

This is a great question as I’m quite visual when it comes to characters. I like to have people to reference to and say, ‘Oh, so and so has those qualities.’ It is quite hard to pinpoint a single person for the roles, though. I find my heroine, Sophie, quite easy to cast as I think Anne Hathaway would be perfect for the role. She’s very pretty, but not in an obvious, in your face way. A bit, girl next door. She’s quite timid, but can have a voice if need be.

My hero, James, is much harder to cast. My obvious choice would be Gerard Butler as I think he’s gorgeous and has the sexy, smoldering look down to a tee. However, I think he looks a tad too old for James. So maybe someone like, Kellun Lutz….

Kellun Lutz.
Photo courtesy of http://www.shineon-media.com

What is a one sentence synopsis of your work?

I’m not very good at one-liners! Here goes…

Dealing with grief is hard enough, without having to battle love too; the story of a young widow fighting to keep the memory of her husband in, and her love for another man out.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

I don’t know. I haven’t currently got any representation for it but I would like to think that one day I will. I am working on another edit of the MS at the moment and will re-submit to agents and publishers hopefully next year. Failing that, I may consider self publishing in the future but it’s not right for me at this moment in time.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Just the first draft? About a year, I think. I’m hoping that will speed up as I practice more!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That’s a hard one. Erica James writes about everyday life and how it impacts love so I would say I was similar in content to her books.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired to start writing this book after seeing a clairvoyant.  I had been thinking about starting writing for a while but never actually did anything about it. Then I went to a Clairvoyant reading at a friends pub and the lady said to me, ‘something you have been thinking about doing, do it! You’ll be good at it.’

She didn’t say anything about writing or books, but that’s what I interpreted from it and so the very next day I signed up with the London School of Journalism on a Novel writing course and my first novel was born.

What else about your book may interest the reader?

The story not only speaks of the love between the hero and heroine, but of the love between the heroine and her late husband and the strong family bond with her children too. It is love in many forms and how they impact on one another.

There are also a couple of secondary characters who have a strong presence on the page and really make the story what it is.

After taking a break from the story, it’s nice to have spent some time delving into the world of James and Sophie again.

I now have to tag some people to keep the chain going, however this challenge has certainly been doing the rounds and I am not sure who has completed it or not. So I shall tag a few people in the hope that they will take part.

Those lucky so and so’s are:

Kathryn Eastman

Sarah Callejo

Sally Quilford

Apologies if these ladies have already completed.

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Why my Romaniac buddies are my F.R.I.E.N.D.S

The past few months have seen me gradually lose my ‘writing mojo’ again. It has been awful! Those of you that have followed me for some time will know that this isn’t the first time that I have misplaced it. For a little while, I had no energy to get up and find my mojo. And after a bit, I realised I needed to find out why. After much thought and deliberation, all I could come up with was loss of confidence, lack of time and pure laziness!

So how did I remedy this? Well, one word – Friends! (Cue The Rembrandts ‘I’ll be there for you’ song)

My eight other Romaniac buddies have been a HUUUUGE support in the last year and have really kept me going. And after the very very quiet patch I have just been through, their unwavering encouragement and support has, yet again, reunited me with my ‘writing mojo’ and rekindled my love for the written word. It’s always been there, but sometimes, when times are hard, it can get a little lost. But there were my Romaniac buddies, shining a huge light for it to find its way back.

Here’s how they help me:

Joey Tribiani – ‘How you doin’?

Whenever times are hard and there’s just no words or ideas milling around in my head, they are always there to ask how I’m doing. If I’m struggling with a piece that I’m working on, I’ll have regular ‘how’s it going?’ from them – this comes in very handY to keep me going. And even when it’s just a bad day due to illness, or there are more personal issues, a simple ‘How you doin’?’ from them just lets me know they are thinking of me.

Phoebe Bouffet – ‘Smelly Cat’

Now this in no way applies to the pride of cats that between us, we all moan, praise and laugh about. There are a few other pets thrown in for good measure but feline friends definitely take the ruling out of the nine of us.

No, what I mean by reference to Phoebe is the music. We recently spoke on our blog about how we connect to emotions and use them in writing (here) and music was one thing most of us agreed on. Whenever we are stuck, or down, or even just feeling happy and want to share it, we paste links of music to eachother. Laura being the one to do this more frequently! 🙂

Monica Gellar: SUCK IT UP!

See, I’m sure you all think, ‘oh those Romaniac ladies are very nice, aren’t they pleasant,’ and yes, I like to think we are. But behind closed doors, we can also be right bossy little madams! This is a good thing, honestly. And I think this is a huge reason as to why I’m normally only wallowing and not writing for short spaces of time – otherwise they shout at me! Whilst nice, gentle encouragement is good and can help steer you back in the right direction, sometimes a short, sharp, ‘stop wallowing and get on with it, woman!’ is needed. And those girls aren’t afraid to say it.

Ross Gellar: Study and learn

Ross is a professor and teaches students. He values the importance of learning and working hard. This is something I think us Romaniacs have in common. We all love to learn new skills and we regularly try to attend lots of workshops, events and conferences to help us craft our skill and better our writing. If I want to know something, I can ask these girls and between them all, I will get sent links to websites and blogs to help me either find out the answer, or attend a workshop where I will learn it. We live all over England, none of us are particularly close in where we live, so it is really handy when one girl says, ‘ooh, so and so is doing a talk/workshop near me,’ – it’s also handy to have a sofa/bed/floor to kip on if that talk is particularly far away!

Chandler Bing: Jokes!

Whether you are feeling down, bogged down with work or running around doing errands, us girls always have time for a joke. It lightens the mood and just makes everyone feel happy. Sometimes they are random jokes when one of us is feeling weird – which happens alot! – and other times it may be linked in with something one of us has said that has followed onto a joke. Quite a few times I have been the butt of the joke….this links in with…

Rachel Green: Ditsy love!

The reason that I am normally the butt of a joke or comment is normally when I am being ditsy – this happens a lot. I am one of the youngest of the group, and maybe a little less worldly wise, and I often say/do things that are, shall we say, a little ditsy. I am the most naive out of the group and take a lot of things at face value. I am gullible and ALWAYS the last to ‘get’ the jokes! Even when I am the butt of them!

But they all still love me and because I can be a bit ‘airy fairy’ sometimes, they mother me and look out for me.

And that’s why I love each and every one of them so much. I owe my persistence  my confidence and my slightly crazy nature to every one of them.

Thank you girls!

(Now they are probably going to yell at me for procrastinating and writing this blog post when I should be drafting the plot outline to my WiP!)

RNA Conference in Penrith – Preparation

I can’t believe it has been nearly two months since I last posted on my blog! Yes, it really has been that long. This is down to two things. One – I am a member of the very lovely writing group, The Romaniacs, and I blog over on our group blog sometimes and contribute to the group posts. And two – I have been on a major writing low and have not been feeling very inspired.

But this is about to change – I can feel it!

This Friday, I shall be taking a little road trip with Sue Fortin and travelling up to Penrith for the RNA annual conference. This will be my first conference and I am both excited and terrified! However, so many of my friends will be there and a huge amount of people have assured me how lovely it is and how friendly and welcoming everyone is, so excitement is definitely the bigger emotion. 

As I said, I seem to have misplaced my writing mojo again and I am hoping to hunt it down at the conference and wrestle it back into my head. With the amount of workshops, talks, general socialising and encouraging peers, I’ve no doubt I will come home feeling inspired and ready to get this second book done. I have notes upon notes of ideas for Book Two, but just no get up and go to organise it. Saying that, I recently sent my first book, Head over Heart, to a number of friends (Including my first male reader!) and have received some incredible feedback. Now I know they are my friends and they will of course say they enjoy it anyway, but some of their words of encouragement and the sheer pride in their responses was amazing and has really made me feel like I do have at least some talent there. And even though my male reader said it wasn’t his cup of tea and was a bit too girly, he enjoyed the story and said it was good, so that has made me smile. I now know what I want to tweak with it and how I want to develop it so it is just making the descision as to whether I start working on it again, or knuckle down with another book and go back to it later. I’m not sure yet. 

And so, in preparation for this weekend, I have started to pool together bits of my work to take and work on. I’ve made a list of what I need to pack and I’ve made a list of the things I need to purchase. I will be sharing a block with 6 other Romaniac buddies, which I am sure will prove to be a lot of fun, and I already plan to be having early birthday drinks with them and whoever else wants to join in the celebrations. We will also be toasting our lovely Sue, whose debut novel, United State of Love, is out tomorrow! Image

Lots to celebrate – it’s going to be a great weekend! Hope to see lots of you there 

xxx

To Turn Full Circle Interviews – Seth Jago

Life in Devon in 1909 is hard and unforgiving, especially for young Emma Le Goff, whose mother and brother die in curious circumstances, leaving her totally alone in the world. While she grieves, her callous landlord Reuben Jago claims her home and belongings. His son Seth is deeply attracted to Emma and sympathises with her desperate need to find out what really happened, but all his attempts to help only incur his father’s wrath.

When mysterious fisherman Matthew Caunter comes to Emma’s rescue, Seth is jealous at what he sees and seeks solace in another woman. However, he finds that forgetting Emma is not as easy as he hoped. Matthew is kind and charismatic, but handsome Seth is never far from Emma’s mind. Whatever twists and turns her life takes, it seems there is always something – or someone – missing.

*****

 To Turn Full Circle is a wonderfully, well written love story about a girl called Emma Le Goff. You can read my full review of Linda’s book, here.

There are two potential heroes in this book, and over the course of the next few weeks, various blogs will be interviewing both heroes, the heroine, Emma, and Linda herself. Today, I am very pleased to host potential hero number one, Seth Jago.

Hello Seth, so lovely to have you here. How are you?

Hello, Lucie, it’s good to meet you – and thanks for inviting me along. I’m very well, thank you.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Tell you a little about myself? I can’t believe a woman has asked that question because aren’t men always accused of talking too much about themselves? Especially about their love of football. You’ll be pleased to know I can’t stand the game. Give me rugby any time – not that I’ve played since I left school.

It’s been said – although I’m not going to tell you by whom – that I am poor little rich boy. While I might be better off than most, I’m not little at just over 6 feet tall in my socks. I’m not skinny with it, either – I was prop forward in my school rugby team, so if you follow the game you’ll know I’m well built.

I haven’t got salt running through my veins the way my Pa and brothers have, although I don’t think I could ever live far from the sea – there’s something about the light that’s so uplifting and the promise of far off lands when I gaze at the horizon.

I like a pint – oh all right, two or three pints – as well as the next man. You could call me a traitor to my sex in that I’ve only ever been drunk once in my life, but I’m in no hurry to experience the hangover I had afterwards ever again, thank you very much.

I love Emma Le Goff more than life itself, but then I expect you’ve guessed that.

 What are your ambitions in life? Where do you want to be in five years time?

My ambitions for life? That’s a tough one. I was never encouraged to think beyond a career centred around fishing which is what generations of both sides of my family have done and I’ve gone with the flow of that. But I would like to find something I really want to do and could make a living at. I was always good at art at school – always top of the class in the subject – and there’s always been this little niggle at the back of my mind that I ought to pursue that talent. But don’t spill the beans to Emma, will you? – because I haven’t told her about my artistic ambitions yet. I want to surprise her. Paint her. She’d be a wonderful subject if she could sit still long enough.

Where do I want to be in five years time? I’ve never thought that far ahead before in my life. But one place I don’t want to be is in fishing, that’s for certain.Canada appeals – there are some fantastic views there to paint, I should think. Oh yes….it’s coming to me now. A log cabin inCanadawith Emma and two or three children – that will do nicely.

 You have a little bit of a bumpy relationship with your father and your brothers, has it always been like this? Do you wish things could be different?

A bumpy relationship with my Pa and brothers is an understatement if ever there was one! Carter and Miles are quite a bit older than I am – I was an afterthought, I suppose. They’ve called me Mummy’s boy (when they weren’t beating me up) for as long as I can remember but I don’t know where they get that idea from because I was only seven when my Ma died so I’ve hardly been molly-coddled. I think, after my Ma had her accident falling down the cellar steps, that I was a liability to my Pa that he didn’t know what to do with. It was left to dear old Mrs. Drew to be a surrogate parent for the hours she was in the house cleaning. No violins, please – I’m a man and men don’t dwell on the emotional stuff too much.

Do I wish it had been different? Is the Pope a Roman Catholic? But I’m wise enough to realise that our experiences – and how we deal with them – shape us; our pasts inform our futures.

 You are good friends with Emma Le Goff, describe her to us in your own words?

Describe Emma Le Goff? I’m not sure if you mean physically here, or her character, or both. And I’m not sure I’m the right man to be asking because loving her as I do I’m biased somewhat! So, I’ll start with her looks. She’s about 5 feet 6 inches tall I’d say, although I’ve never asked because we don’t spend our time asking one another questions like that. She’s tall enough that I don’t get a crick in my neck kissing her anyway. Her hair’s conker-coloured with gingery bits in – not carroty red ginger, but …oh heck, men find all this sort of thing so hard to do. She’s got dark brown eyes – the colour of brown boot polish. I know, I know …that’s not a very romantic description but if you’ve ever bought brown boot polish you’ll know exactly the colour I mean. Emma’s slender, but she goes in and out in all the right places, if you understand me. She’s funny and she makes me laugh out loud with the outrageous and irreverent thinks she says sometimes. She’s ambitious, too. God help the man or woman who gets in the way of her running her own business – I’m certainly not going to and will help her all I can. Emma will make a success of it if anyone can. She seems to court trouble, though. I’m not saying she goes looking for it – she doesn’t – but it seems to find her somehow. Life’s never going to be dull with Emma around, that’s for sure – and I want to be part of that.

What did you think of Matthew Caunter when he first arrived in town?

It’s not so much what I thought of Matthew Caunter the first time I met him, but what I wanted to do to him – put him on the first boat out again with a one-way ticket. He was very sure of himself – able to stand up to my Pa in a way I hadn’t learned how to at that point. I suppose the short answer is jealous – green as grass jealous. But I got over it!

 Crystal Cove is a special place for you, isn’t it? What makes it so beautiful? Do you have any other favourite places around where you live?

Crystal Cove is an amazing place and I’m not giving you the exact location. Neither will you find it on a map because Crystal Cove’s the locals’ name for it. It’s a place best seen as the sun rises because the cliff has a seam of quartz crystal in it and when the low sun catches it, it glows. There’s hardly a view around here that isn’t stunning but none of them will ever be as dear to me as Crystal Cove because that was the first time Emma and I ever……well, best censor that bit, eh?

Do you think you will ever be able to travel on the boats without getting sick? Is it something you would consider to try and overcome or do you prefer your feet firmly on dry land?

Ah yes – me and seasickness. I’m fine with heights – I once climbed onto the church roof to rescue the Vicar’s cat and I didn’t feel giddy at all. And I have no qualms about going into mines – we went to a tin mine inCornwallon a school trip and I loved it, which is more than the rest of the class did. I love looking at the sea – it’s just being on it and what it does to my insides that’s the problem. My friend, Olly, thinks it’s a huge joke that I come from a long line of fishermen on both sides of my family but never go to sea. I’ve been known to be sick standing on the pontoon in the harbour. So, it’s dry land for me.

I think I know what you’re getting at with this question –Canada’s the other side of a very big ocean and only accessible by boat. And I would like to go there very much, so if you’ll forgive the pun, Lucie, I’ll cross that ocean when I have to.

Thank you for talking to me today, Seth, it really has been a pleasure.

I’ve enjoyed my time with you, too, but I’m going to have to go now. Emma said she was experimenting with a new tart filling and you know what they say – the way to a man’s heart and all that….

****

 To Turn Full Circle is out now on Kindle and the paperback can  be pre-ordered on Amazon, here.

*****

Linda and those lovely people over at ChocLit are offering a prize in the form of a box of Devonshire Fudge. All commentors on this post will be automatically entered into the draw to be in with a chance to win those delicious fudges.

Here is where Linda and her characters will be over the coming weeks:

Monday 14th May – Hero: Seth – Lucie Wheeler

Monday 21st May – Hero: Matthew – Book Babe

Monday 28th May – Heroine: Emma – Jera’s Jamboree

Thursday 31st May – Author: Linda Mitchelmore – Novelicious

Thursday 7th June – Author’s Corner – ChocLit Blog – PUBLICATION DAY!

*****

Linda has had just over 200 short stories published worldwide. She has also won, or been short-listed in, many short story writing competitions – Woman’s Own, Woman & Home, and Writespace to name but three. In 2004, Linda was awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary by the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and has a story in their 50th Anniversary Anthology, ‘Loves Me, Loves Me Not’. Linda also won Short Story Radio Romance Prize 2010. Having started her writing career doing a short story course with Writing Magazine, she has now come full circle and is a preliminary judge for their short story competitions.

*****

Kate Johnson’s blog tour – Run Rabbit Run

 

Sophie’s in trouble. Must be Tuesday.

Sophie Green’s an ex-spy, or trying to be. You wouldn’t believe the trouble she’s in. An MI5 officer has been shot with her gun, her fingerprints all over his office. And no, she didn’t kill him. But she has gone on the run. Now Sophie’s desperately seeking whoever’s trying to frame and kill her. She’s being forced to work with the least trustworthy man in Europe, MI5 is following her every move, and she’s had to leave the tall, blond, god of a man she loves behind.

Luke Sharpe works for MI6. Or did, until his girlfriend became a murder suspect. Doing nothing wasn’t an option, so he started investigating. Who cares if it means jeopardising his career? Sophie’s everything he used to say he never wanted. Young, irresponsible, bright and mad. Now she’s just everything – and she has to live.

 She will live, won’t she?

*********

The lovely Kate Johnson has stopped by my blog today for a little Q&A session with me about her new book. Here is what she had to say:

Hi Kate. Thanks so much for dropping by on your blog tour, it’s lovely to have you. Hope you are well?

Hi Lucie, it’s great to be here. I’m getting rather excited about the imminent arrival of two special babies at Easter: not only is my first niece/nephew due to be born, but also, of course, Run Rabbit Run!

Oh, congratulations on both counts! Run Rabbit Run is your next book out with ChocLit. Where did the initial idea for the Sophie Green mysteries come from? How many books do you have planned for the series?

I seem to recall sitting in a cinema an unfeasibly long time ago with my best friend, watching the trailers (I love watching movie trailers at cinema, can’t be having with them on a DVD!) and an advert for the first Johnny English film came on. It had the tagline “He knows no fear. He knows no danger. He knows nothing,” and I commented idly, “That’s what I’d be like if I was a spy.” My friend replied, equally idly, “You should write a book about that.”

I honestly can’t tell you which film we saw that day. I spent the entirety of it thinking about this young, blonde, accident-prone spy. By the time I sat down to write this character of Sophie had definitely bullied her way to the front of my imagination. Except that, if I recall correctly, she was originally called Sally. Funny how that just doesn’t work at all, isn’t it?

What kind of research went into planning this book in particular? Do you enjoy the researching part of writing a book?

I actually wrote the first draft of this book years ago. At the time, I’d recently finished working at Stansted Airport (which is the job Sophie had before she became a spy) and remembered a lot of the technical info from it, which is just as well as if I hadn’t put it in that first draft I’d never remember it now! Updating it took a bit more time, and I have to say if the security services are reading this, then all the search history on my browser is research, okay? That’s why I want to know if you can evade facial recognition technology. It’s for the book. Honest.

How much of yourself do you put into your heroines? Are you more like Eve or Sophie?

Well, from the above you’d probably infer I’m more like Sophie! But that was really just a starting point, to take a girl of my sort of background and throw her into these ludicrous situations. But after all she’s been through, Sophie has evolved into a person who’s not all that much like me any more. She was always a lot braver, and a bit cooler too, but after all the murders and gunfights and car chases and fighting for her life, she’s a lot harder than me too. As for Eve, well her life has been pretty different from mine too (I will categorically state I’ve never been on stage in lime green hotpants. Although I did do a friend’s music video in a very tight pink dress) but I suppose you can’t help but put a bit of yourself into a character, even if you don’t realise it. What Eve gets from me is probably my argumentativeness!

******

Let’s have a little quick fire round:

1/ You are stuck on a desert island and can only pick one thing from each category, what do you take:

*Drink – Margarita. Three tequila, two lime, one triple sec, shake it over ice and don’t forget to salt the rim.

*Food – You know what, I’ve got an obsession with crisps at the moment. It’s not helping my waistline.

*Person – Now, who’s going to be surprised if I say Richard Armitage?

*object- My iPad. Is that really shallow?

2/ Kiss, marry, avoid – David Tennent, Hugh Jackman, Richard Armitage?

What? That’s impossible! I want to kiss and marry all of them, and avoid none! All right then…er, I think Hugh  is already married, so I’ll avoid him cos I don’t want to get into a fight with his Sheila; kiss Richard (can I do a bit more than that?); but for day-to-day life, I reckon the most fun to be around, the most entertaining, and certainly the one kids would adore the most, I think I’d have to marry David Tennant.

3/ Heels or flats? Oh, don’t be mean, I can’t chose! I love my heels, but I couldn’t wear them all day. My favourite footwear is actually my really old, beaten-up brown biker boots. I love them so much I’ve got a spare pair for when these finally die.

4/ Sex or chocolate? Well, sex doesn’t make you fat…but you can always get chocolate from the corner shop. It’s consistently more reliable.

5/ Red, white or rose? Rose in summer, white if it’s chilled and crisp, otherwise red.

6/ Car or motorbike? Mine’s an Aston Martin.

********

Rabbit Run is out as an e-book now and is released as paperback on 7th April 2012. Pre-order your copy here.

You can also buy Kate’s first book with ChocLit, The UnTied Kingdom, here.

******

Kate Johnson writes romance novels, both contemporary and paranormal, for ChocLit. She also writes erotic romance novels under her smuttier alter ego, Cat Marsters. She lives in Essex with her pride of cats and her ever growing love for Richard Armitage. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter and also has a blog and a website.

******

Kate’s blog tour continues. Here is a list of where she has been and when she is set to visit next:

Monday 5th March  – Sharon Goodwin at Jera’s Jamboree – www.jerasjamboree.wordpress.com

Monday 12th March – Kath Eastman at The Nutpress – www.nutpress.co.uk

Monday 19th March – Catherine Miller at Katy Little Lady – www.katylittlelady.com

Monday 26th March – Tara Chevrestt at Book Babe – www.bookbabe.blogspot.com

Monday 2nd April – Lucie Wheeler at Lucie Wheeler – www.luciewheeler.wordpress.com

Saturday 7th April – Author’s Blog at Choc Lit website – www.blog.choc-lit.co.uk

******

Kate and the lovely ChocLit team are offering a prize in the shape of a 200g Lindt chocolate bunny to one lucky person picked at random. All we want you to do is tell us what YOU would take to a desert island from the following categorys:

Food, Drink, Object & Person

Good luck! And thanks to ChocLit and Kate

Kate Johnson – Run Rabbit Run blog tour

Sophie’s in trouble. Must be Tuesday.

Sophie Green’s an ex-spy, or trying to be. You wouldn’t believe the trouble she’s in. An MI5 officer has been shot with her gun, her fingerprints all over his office. And no, she didn’t kill him. But she has gone on the run. Now Sophie’s desperately seeking whoever’s trying to frame and kill her. She’s being forced to work with the least trustworthy man in Europe, MI5 is following her every move, and she’s had to leave the tall, blond, god of a man she loves behind.

Luke Sharpe works for MI6. Or did, until his girlfriend became a murder suspect. Doing nothing wasn’t an option, so he started investigating. Who cares if it means jeopardising his career? Sophie’s everything he used to say he never wanted. Young, irresponsible, bright and mad. Now she’s just everything – and she has to live.

 She will live, won’t she?

*********

The lovely Kate Johnson has stopped by my blog today for a little Q&A session with me about her new book. Here is what she had to say:

Hi Kate. Thanks so much for dropping by on your blog tour, it’s lovely to have you. Hope you are well?

Hi Lucie, it’s great to be here. I’m getting rather excited about the imminent arrival of two special babies at Easter: not only is my first niece/nephew due to be born, but also, of course, Run Rabbit Run!

Oh, congratulations on both counts! Run Rabbit Run is your next book out with ChocLit. Where did the initial idea for the Sophie Green mysteries come from? How many books do you have planned for the series?

I seem to recall sitting in a cinema an unfeasibly long time ago with my best friend, watching the trailers (I love watching movie trailers at cinema, can’t be having with them on a DVD!) and an advert for the first Johnny English film came on. It had the tagline “He knows no fear. He knows no danger. He knows nothing,” and I commented idly, “That’s what I’d be like if I was a spy.” My friend replied, equally idly, “You should write a book about that.”

I honestly can’t tell you which film we saw that day. I spent the entirety of it thinking about this young, blonde, accident-prone spy. By the time I sat down to write this character of Sophie had definitely bullied her way to the front of my imagination. Except that, if I recall correctly, she was originally called Sally. Funny how that just doesn’t work at all, isn’t it?

What kind of research went into planning this book in particular? Do you enjoy the researching part of writing a book?

I actually wrote the first draft of this book years ago. At the time, I’d recently finished working at Stansted Airport (which is the job Sophie had before she became a spy) and remembered a lot of the technical info from it, which is just as well as if I hadn’t put it in that first draft I’d never remember it now! Updating it took a bit more time, and I have to say if the security services are reading this, then all the search history on my browser is research, okay? That’s why I want to know if you can evade facial recognition technology. It’s for the book. Honest.

How much of yourself do you put into your heroines? Are you more like Eve or Sophie?

Well, from the above you’d probably infer I’m more like Sophie! But that was really just a starting point, to take a girl of my sort of background and throw her into these ludicrous situations. But after all she’s been through, Sophie has evolved into a person who’s not all that much like me any more. She was always a lot braver, and a bit cooler too, but after all the murders and gunfights and car chases and fighting for her life, she’s a lot harder than me too. As for Eve, well her life has been pretty different from mine too (I will categorically state I’ve never been on stage in lime green hotpants. Although I did do a friend’s music video in a very tight pink dress) but I suppose you can’t help but put a bit of yourself into a character, even if you don’t realise it. What Eve gets from me is probably my argumentativeness!

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Let’s have a little quick fire round:

1/ You are stuck on a desert island and can only pick one thing from each category, what do you take:

*Drink – Margarita. Three tequila, two lime, one triple sec, shake it over ice and don’t forget to salt the rim.

*Food – You know what, I’ve got an obsession with crisps at the moment. It’s not helping my waistline.

*Person – Now, who’s going to be surprised if I say Richard Armitage?

*object– My iPad. Is that really shallow?

2/ Kiss, marry, avoid – David Tennent, Hugh Jackman, Richard Armitage?

What? That’s impossible! I want to kiss and marry all of them, and avoid none! All right then…er, I think Hugh  is already married, so I’ll avoid him cos I don’t want to get into a fight with his Sheila; kiss Richard (can I do a bit more than that?); but for day-to-day life, I reckon the most fun to be around, the most entertaining, and certainly the one kids would adore the most, I think I’d have to marry David Tennant.

3/ Heels or flats? Oh, don’t be mean, I can’t chose! I love my heels, but I couldn’t wear them all day. My favourite footwear is actually my really old, beaten-up brown biker boots. I love them so much I’ve got a spare pair for when these finally die.

4/ Sex or chocolate? Well, sex doesn’t make you fat…but you can always get chocolate from the corner shop. It’s consistently more reliable.

5/ Red, white or rose? Rose in summer, white if it’s chilled and crisp, otherwise red.

6/ Car or motorbike? Mine’s an Aston Martin.

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Rabbit Run is out as an e-book now and is released as paperback on 7th April 2012. Pre-order your copy here.

You can also buy Kate’s first book with ChocLit, The UnTied Kingdom, here.

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Kate Johnson writes romance novels, both contemporary and paranormal, for ChocLit. She also writes erotic romance novels under her smuttier alter ego, Cat Marsters. She lives in Essex with her pride of cats and her ever growing love for Richard Armitage. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter and also has a blog and a website.

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Kate’s blog tour continues. Here is a list of where she has been and when she is set to visit next:

Monday 5th March  – Sharon Goodwin at Jera’s Jamboree – www.jerasjamboree.wordpress.com

Monday 12th March – Kath Eastman at The Nutpress – www.nutpress.co.uk

Monday 19th March – Catherine Miller at Katy Little Lady – www.katylittlelady.com

Monday 26th March – Tara Chevrestt at Book Babe – www.bookbabe.blogspot.com

Monday 2nd April – Lucie Wheeler at Lucie Wheeler – www.luciewheeler.wordpress.com

Saturday 7th April – Author’s Blog at Choc Lit website – www.blog.choc-lit.co.uk

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Kate and the lovely ChocLit team are offering a prize in the shape of a 200g Lindt chocolate bunny to one lucky person picked at random. All we want you to do is tell us what YOU would take to a desert island from the following categorys:

Food, Drink, Object & Person

Good luck! And thanks to ChocLit and Kate

Lucky 7 award – Novel extract

Firstly a huge thank you to Anita Chapman who awarded me ‘The Lucky 7 Meme’. Anita blogs over here and is an amazingly supportive and encouraging writer.

Here are the rules for this challenge:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP

2. Go to line 7

3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written.

4. Tag 7 authors

5. Let them know

My current WiP hasn’t reached page 77 as yet, so I will be taking this extract from my first novel, which is still technically a WiP as I am sure there is more needing doing to it. This novel is contemporary romance and is currently called Head over Heart.

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Even though she was about to let him into the most vulnerable part of her heart, she felt she needed to create the physical space to protect herself. She could smell the faint singe of wood from the open fire and took some comfort from it. It smelt homely and safe. But she knew she needed to get it over with and actually say the words.

 ‘There was a deer in the road. We were down a country lane so Robert was going maybe a little faster than he needed to be, and this deer, it just ran out from nowhere and stopped in the middle of the road.’ She shook her head, her face creased with disbelief. 

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And the 7 lovely people I am passing the award onto are as follows:

Liz Crump

Jude Roust

Sophie Duffy

Catherine Miller

Nikki Wells

Sarah Tranter

Victoria Lagnehag

As Anita said on her post, please don’t worry if you do not have the time to participate.

And thanks again, Anita! 🙂