Ballets Russes in Paris

It’s been busy-central here and I’d like to get you up to date with happenings.

July is just around the corner and I’m super pleased to let you know that BENEATH THE PARISIAN SKIES is now up for pre-order. Woo hoo! Here’s a little more about the story:

A sweeping saga about love, truth, grief and passion–and what it takes to fulfil a dream.

Paris, 1917

Ballerina Viktoriya Budian narrowly escapes Russia with her life. She arrives in Paris, determined to start fresh with the famed Ballets Russes but her newfound success is threatened when her past returns to haunt her. Forced to choose between love and fame, Viktoriya’s life spirals out of control and the decision she makes seriously affects the lives of many for years to come. 

Paris, present day

Australian dancer Lily Johansson returns to Paris, the city that broke her heart and destroyed her ballet career, hoping to move past her fiancé’s death and to make amends with her estranged sister Natalie, a ballerina with the Bohème Ballet.

Terrified of loving again, Lily nevertheless finds herself becoming entangled with talented composer Yves Rousseau. Lily has many reasons for keeping Yves at arm’s length but as he recounts the drama of the Ballets Russes in Paris, the magic of this Bohemian era ignites a spark within her.

Meanwhile, vying for the role honouring Ballets Russes dancer Viktoriya Budian, Lily’s sister Natalie develops an unhealthy obsession. Natalie’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic as elements of Viktoriya’s tragic life resonate in her own. Lily fears for her sister’s safety and sanity so when Natalie goes missing, she and Yves set out on a desperate quest across France to find her and, along the way, battle their own demons.

Could the search for her sister, lead Lily to realise that ballet—like love and life—should not be abandoned so easily?

Beneath the Parisian Skies high resAnd you can find the links to pre-order here for AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND:

HARLEQUIN

BOOKTOPIA

BOOKWORLD

DYMOCKS

iBOOKS

AMAZON.COM

GOOGLE PLAY

KOBO

AMAZON.COM.AU

 

Now, for those outside this region, don’t worry as you’ll have your chance to get your hands on the same book, but different title and cover! Kensington books are publishing this edition and it will be available from 25 July. You can pre-order here:

Under the Parisian SkyAMAZON

iBOOKS

GOOGLE PLAY

KOBO

BARNES AND NOBLE

 

 

 

 

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Behind the Story: Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape

Sue 2.pngToday I am delighted to introduce you to not one, but two amazing writers. Sue Featherstone is a former journalist and public relations practitioner turned academic. Her career started in local newspapers before switching to PR to become internal communications manager with a large utility company. She completed a degree in English Literature as a mature student and subsequently moved into higher education, teaching journalism to undergraduate students at Sheffield Hallam University. At the beginning of 2017, Sue left Sheffield Hallam to focus on her writing.

Together with her friend and writing partner Susan Pape, she has written two successful journalism text books – Newspaper Journalism: A Practical Introduction; and Feature Writing: A Practical IntroductionTheir first novel, A Falling Friend, was published by Lakewater Press in 2016 and a sequel will follow summer 2017.

They now write about books at https://bookloversbooklist.com/

Keep reading for more information on Sue and Susan’s special give away …

What makes a successful work partnership?

Don’t ask me.

Nor, my writing partner Susan Pape.

Neither of us has a clue why our partnership – 27 years and counting – works so well.

Especially as, initially, our relationship was a marriage of convenience rather than a love match.

I don’t even remember much about our first meeting but I was so desperate I would have teamed up with anyone with the requisite number of typing fingers.

And, I think she was beyond being over-fussy either.

We were introduced by Susan’s partner, now her husband, who did some freelance work for the company where I managed internal communications.

I’d just returned to work after maternity leave and was looking for a job share other-half.

Susan, whose local newspaper and PR background was similar to mine, wanted to return to Yorkshire and her chap suggested we might be a match.

We quickly discovered our complementary skills – did I tell you she’s incredibly organised? – made for a dynamic duo.

And, although in theory, as job share partners, we should have worked opposite ends of the week, the nature of the job – writing, editing and producing a range of internal communications projects – meant it was often sensible to double up at busy times.

It was a very happy time.

Susan Pape (left) and Sue Featherstone

Susan Pape (left) and Sue Featherstone (right)

Eventually, however, we decided to move on – and both ended up as mature students. Different universities but both studying English Literature.

After graduation we both freelanced at a mix of PR and journalism jobs and then both gravitated into teaching journalism. Me at Sheffield Hallam University and Susan at Leeds Trinity.

Of course, we’d kept in touch and, one day, over lunch – we lunch a lot, usually with a glass of wine – we were both bemoaning the lack of a decent, simple, how-to write like a journalist text book when one of us said: ‘Why don’t we…?’

I’m sure it was my idea. Susan probably thinks it was hers.

We approached four academic publishers and had positive responses from three. Our first book Newspaper Journalism: A Practical Introduction was published by Sage in 2005 and the follow-up, Feature Writing: A Practical Introduction, also published by Sage, came out a year later.

Both are still on the reading lists of many university journalism courses. (There’s even a Chinese edition.)

That’s when Susan came up with her BIG idea. ‘Let’s write a novel.’

Between us we came up with a rough synopsis and, after several drafts and much re-writing and editing and long periods when we didn’t write a single sentence, our novel A Falling Friend was published by Lakewater Press in 2016. 

Please note: although our main characters work in the local media and post-1992 universities, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.

Honestly.

We’ve had some decent reviews – we were named as a Yorkshire Post top five book and as a book of the month by the Book of the Month Club http://booksofmonthclub.com/a-falling-friend/   – and, though we haven’t set the world on fire, yet, we’re happy.

And, we’ve both particularly enjoyed speaking at book clubs and other events where we’re always asked: ‘How do you write together?’

I don’t know, we just do.

How do other people write on their own?

It must be so lonely without anyone else to bounce ideas off.

Or to talk you up when you hit a brick wall.

I did once start a novel without Susan – but, after half a chapter, I decided it wasn’t much fun so I winged an email with my opening pages and asked her to join in.

A Falling Friend coverWe haven’t completed that book yet because we’ve been too busy putting the finishing touches to a sequel to A Falling Friend so we’re saving it for later.

And we have absolutely no plans for a divorce.

You can find Sue Featherstone on Twitter –  @SueF_Writer

And you can get a copy of A Falling Friend HERE.

A little more about the book:

“CHIC LIT WITH ATTITUDE!” – Amazon Reviewer
“A FAST, EASY POOLSIDE READ” – Goodreads Reviewer
Chosen as The Yorkshire Post’s Top 5: Pick of the Best Books!

This “witty and pacy” character-driven masterpiece is “reminiscent of Bridget Jones” and proves that there really are two sides to every story.

After spending her twenties sailing the globe, making love on fine white sand, and thinking only of today, Teri Meyer returns to Yorkshire – and to studying. That’s when she discovers John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester, and poet of all things depraved. What she doesn’t realise is even beyond his grave, his influence over her is extraordinary. To hell with the consequences.

Having gone out on a limb to get old friend Teri a job at the university at which she teaches, it doesn’t take long for Lee Harper to recognise a pattern. Wherever Teri goes, whatever she does, every selfish choice she makes, it’s all setting her up for a nasty fall. But Teri’s not the sort to heed a warning, so Lee has no choice but to stand by and watch. And besides, she has her own life to straighten out.

GIVE AWAY TIME! To celebrate the one year anniversary of A FALLING FRIEND, Sue and Susan are offering THREE (yes, you read that right!) e-book copies to three lucky readers. All you need to do is comment below is tell us who you would like to be in partnership with on any project you wish (you don’t need to leave their full name if you don’t want!). Winners will be announced May 10.

Cover reveal and pre-order available!

I’m am so, so happy to show you the new cover for my July release with Harlequin Australia! Once again, I’ve been blessed by the cover fairies with such a gorgeous cover.

Here’s a little about the book (and I’m going to make you wait before the cover is revealed!):

A sweeping saga about love, truth, grief and passion–and what it takes to fulfil a dream.

Paris, 1917
Ballerina Viktoriya Budian narrowly escapes Russia with her life. She arrives in Paris, determined to start fresh with the famed Ballets Russes but her newfound success is threatened when her past returns to haunt her. Forced to choose between love and fame, Viktoriya’s life spirals out of control and the decision she makes seriously affects the lives of many for years to come.

Paris, present day
Australian dancer Lily Johansson returns to Paris, the city that broke her heart and destroyed her ballet career, hoping to move past her fiancé’s death and to make amends with her estranged sister Natalie, a ballerina with the Bohème Ballet.

Terrified of loving again, Lily nevertheless finds herself becoming entangled with talented composer Yves Rousseau. Lily has many reasons for keeping Yves at arm’s length but as he recounts the drama of the Ballets Russes in Paris, the magic of this Bohemian era ignites a spark within her.

Meanwhile, vying for the role honouring Ballets Russes dancer Viktoriya Budian, Lily’s sister Natalie develops an unhealthy obsession. Natalie’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic as elements of Viktoriya’s tragic life resonate in her own. Lily fears for her sister’s safety and sanity so when Natalie goes missing, she and Yves set out on a desperate quest across France to find her and, along the way, battle their own demons.

Could the search for her sister, lead Lily to realise that ballet—like love and life—should not be abandoned so easily?

And it’s up for preorder! Oh yes it is! Also, keep an eye out for a special announcement next week …

Harlequin: http://bit.ly/2ncQo9H
Booktopia: http://bit.ly/2o4WfN3
Bookworld: http://bit.ly/2oEYCHr
Dymocks: http://bit.ly/2oF3PPy
iBooks: http://apple.co/2p2STIe
Amazon.com Kindle: http://amzn.to/2oFfJJ7
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2nFT7no
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ncZZx4
Amazon.com.au: http://amzn.to/2oDyo8C

Beneath the Parisian Skies high res.jpg

Behind the Story: C.C. Wiley

profile.jpgToday we have the super talented C.C. Wiley, who lives in Salt Lake City with her high school sweetheart of over 35 years and their four wacky dogs. When given a choice, she prefers a yummy, well-written, historical or contemporary romance that is chock-full of hope, love and a Happy Ever After. She believes there are courageous characters waiting for someone to tell their story. It’s her hope that each adventurous romance she writes will touch the reader and carry them away to another place and time, where hopes and dreams abound.

C.C., please tell us about your story behind the story …

Whether in art or in writing, I love telling a story. When my painting skill came to a point where I couldn’t express the picture in my head, I turned to writing and began painting with words. Sometimes events that have touched me in some way find their way into the tale. And sometimes a bit of traveling will inspire a story.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to travel to England, and while touring through Bath and Bristol, I stopped at a cathedral. The sights and sounds, the scents, and richness of history came to life. I noticed a knight and his lady, their effigy caught in stone, were laid side-by-side for eternity. I couldn’t help wondering about the strength of their relationship. Did they love each other? Was it a love match? My imagination took hold, and I had to know more about medieval knights and the women who captured their hearts.

I like research. I adore a story that brings together, love, history, and adventure. Even if I have a story outline I am still researching while I write. The desire to learn more has the power to carry me down one path and then another. The ‘What if’ list continues to grow. Over the years I’ve had to rein in myself with the promise of keeping notes of what interests me. You never know. It might be that one idea that takes off.

The Knights of the Swan series came about while doing my research. I discovered the Dunstable Brooch. It was found in the Dunstable Priory, hidden in the mortar of the wall. No one really knows who it belonged to, where it came from or why it was there. This caught my attention. Then I learned there was a swan connection through Henry V’s mother. I asked myself, what if his mother set about protecting her son and ensuring he arrives on the throne unscathed? And since he was on the battlefield at a very young age, he would need extra protection that had to reach beyond all the struggles for power.

And from there the secret brotherhood, Knights of the Swan, was formed. I like to think of them as King Henry V’s Secret Service of the Middle Ages.

This band of brothers, formed in childhood, now serve King Henry V in secret. They are his eyes and ears of the court and of the land. While they are about the task of protecting their king and England, their lives are touched by strong women; women who capture their hearts.

I love it when history comes to life, but in the end, I believe it is still the characters’ personal story and a happy- ever-after that is most important.

In KNIGHT SECRETS, Sir Ranulf, Lord of Sedgewic, is a member of a secret brotherhood, Knights of the Swan. Ranulf fears he has seen and done too many things in the name of his king to be worthy of love. His fate is to be a lonely Knight of the Swan. Like Rapunzel, the emotionally abused Lady Clarice Margrave dreams of being rescued by a knight who vows to love and respect her. But those dreams are shattered and are nothing more than broken fairy tales. Her quest for the truth plunges into the world beyond the Margrave walls and forces her to look closely at what she truly wants: To love and be loved at least once.

The next book in the series, Knight Quests, is scheduled to release July 25, 2017.

READER GIVE AWAY!

C.C. has kindly offered two Knight Secrets: Knights of the Swan series e-books to give away to some lucky person who comments. Contest will be open until 13 April, 2017 11.59pm AEST. Good luck!

Knight Secrets_FINAL.jpgSworn to protect the crown, a Knight of the Swan must never surrender—not even to love . . .

England, 1415. Ordered never to leave the lonely tower on her family estate, Lady Clarice Margrave is suddenly set free when her home is plundered. Now she is determined to discover the truth behind her father’s alleged treason. But an act of daring only propels her into a new prison, with the very knight who destroyed her home as her keeper. Sir Ranulf, Lord of Sedgewic, is ruthless in his inquisition, though there is a searing tenderness in his touch. Is it possible her bold jailor is the Red Wolf of whom her father spoke—and the one man she might be able to trust?

As a knight, Ranulf never questions his troth, but his beautiful prisoner stirs his heart and mind like no other. Clarice is achingly vulnerable—and extremely closed-mouth about her possible ties to the plot against the king. Duty demands he keep his distance, though he yearns to take her to his bed and adore her until he discovers what lies within her heart. And he would—if he weren’t in danger of losing his own . . .
Buy links:

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/34414

https://www.amazon.com/Knight-Secrets-Knights-Swan-Wiley-ebook/dp/B01HWKNJEO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489533939&sr=8-1&keywords=9781516101009

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/knight-secrets-cc-wiley/1124064084;jsessionid=A86802F94FB56B81ED19AC197B3418F4.prodny_store01-atgap10?ean=9781516101009

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/knight-secrets

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/knight-secrets/id1153379728?mt=11

https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781516101009&c=books

You can find more about C.C. below:
Website: www.ccwiley.com
Twitter: @AuthorCCWILEY.  
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CCWileyAuthor