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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Important message from Anniek and Suze

Dear With Love for Books readers, 

Due to unforeseen circumstances Anniek and Suze will be offline at least until the end of 2018. 

Anniek's father is gravely ill and he's been admitted to the ICU. Suze has been ill for a while now and a team of bright doctors has taken up the challenge to make her feel better again.

All current giveaways will continue to run. Emails won't be replied to for the time being. 

They told me to say that they love you and miss you already.

Best wishes, 

Friday, December 7, 2018

What Makes My Heart Beat Faster by Karen Gregory - Guest Post & Giveaway

About Karen Gregory

Karen is a graduate of Somerville College, Oxford, and a project manager by day who’s become adept at writing around the edges (strong coffee and a healthy disregard for housework help). A confirmed bookhead since early childhood, Karen wrote her first story about Bantra the mouse at the age of twelve, then put away the word processor until her first child was born when she was overtaken by the urge to write.

Karen lives in Wiltshire with her family and is represented by Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge & White.


Books by Karen Gregory

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What makes my heart beat faster 
Guest post by Karen Gregory

I could choose something joyful, like catching the autumn light falling on my children at the playground and knowing how completely I love them. Or something fearful; any one of a number of scenes from Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House would do the trick (the car jump scare! That reveal at the end of episode five!) Today though, as I have a deadline looming, I’m going to talk about the peculiar mixture of excitement, hope and dread which comes with getting feedback on your writing.

That first feedback, from someone you trust and respect, is always the scariest part for me. Over the years, the person at the end of the manuscript has changed, but the following steps seem to remain pretty constant.

1. What have I done? This feeling hits roughly five seconds after you hit send on a manuscript. This happens to me every time, no matter how hard I’ve worked, how many times I’ve revised, how much I’m convinced I’ve done all I can and it’s ready for feedback. Each time I send something it feels like a leap of faith.

2. The Nervous Wait, aka the time when you know you should be writing something else, yet can’t bring yourself to, because you’re convinced everything you write is terrible except maybe it’s kind of OK, but actually no you’re circling right back to ‘What have I done?’

3. The Verdict. That’s the point my heart pounds the most, wondering whether things have landed how I want them to. It doesn’t ever seem to get any easier. Then the feedback arrives and there’s the initial rush of taking it all in and picking out all the nice parts while totally glossing over the rest. There’s the joy of knowing you’ve connected and while it’s always nice to hear the things that are working, inevitably there also things that don’t quite hit the mark just yet. The best feedback always makes me think very hard.

4. Blind panic. It’s not that I don’t agree with the feedback; if my editor raises a question, I know it’s because something needs looking at and I think I’m pretty good at not taking it personally. It’s simply because at this point, I literally have no idea how I’ll manage to fix the problem. This is not fun and can last anywhere from minutes to weeks. It’s the hardest part for me to handle and so far, the only thing that seems to work is to wait while all my anxiety and doubt gathers itself up ready for stage five.

5. Meltdown. I have spent more than one evening sobbing to a friend over edits!

Meltdown is invariably followed by the first spark of an idea on how to fix something. I have no idea why it works that way for me. If I could skip it and just get to work without all the angst and naval-gazing I really would. I’m sure my friends would thank me for it! One way or another though, it seems I have to process emotionally before the ideas will come. Perhaps it’s just one small bit of one scene to start with, but after that, it feels like dominos falling. And my heart beats faster all over again because this is the best part of the process; the click as ideas slot into place. The knowledge that the feedback is going to make your book a million times better. Then I can start fixing things. I actually love it, even if can take a while to get there!


Three very lucky readers of With Love for Books will receive a signed Skylarks postcard from Karen Gregory.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

What Makes My Heart Beat Faster by Eve Devon - Guest Post & Giveaway

About Eve Devon

I write sexy heroes, sassy heroines & happy ever afters...Growing up in locations like Botswana and Venezuela gave me quite the taste for adventure and my love for romances began when my mother shoved one into my hands in a desperate attempt to keep me quiet during TV coverage of the Wimbledon tennis finals!

When I wasn't consuming books by the bucketload, I could be found pretending to be a damsel in distress or running around solving mysteries and writing down my adventures. As a teenager, I wrote countless episodes of TV detective dramas so the hero and heroine would end up together every week. As an adult, I worked in a library to conveniently continue consuming books by the bucket load, until realising I was destined to write contemporary romance and romantic suspense myself. 

I live in leafy Surrey in the UK, a book-devouring, slightly melodramatic, romance-writing sassy heroine with my very own sexy hero husband!


Books by Eve Devon

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads Bookdepository
What makes my heart beat faster
Guest post by Eve Devon

Okay, so there are two things guaranteed to make my heart beat faster at this time of year … Christmas and Books!

Thinking about it, they may actually be one thing because they go together so perfectly. I truly believe that there’s a perfect book out there for everyone. You just have to know where to find it. Luckily you can start with those fab book lists and charts that all the newspapers and magazines put together about two months before the Big Day. You know the ones I mean? They’re titled things like:

Books that Make the Perfect Christmas Present 

The Top Ten Books for the Jumper-Wearing Log-Felling Ballerina in Your Life

100 Famous People Recommend Books for Brunch

I devour these lists and before I know it my heart is beating faster because suddenly I want … need … crave every single book on the list. I want all my Christmas presents to be books and then I want a month off to sit surrounded by them, reading them, while snuggled in a cosy armchair by a real fire with an endless supply of hot chocolate.

Confession: I’m super-nosy. Opening a book and peeking inside feeds this affliction like nothing else. If you put a book in front of me and asked me not to look at it, I (literally!) wouldn’t be able to stop myself. The subject could be paint-drying and I’d get one look at the cover, feel the book-jacket in my hands and before I knew it I’d be opening it up, wanting to know more. I’m the person that asks to borrow the perfectly placed coffee-table book in your lounge because I started reading it while you put the kettle on.

Then there’s the six degrees of separation issue on the ‘Famous People Read’ lists. Harry and Meghan stay up reading J R Hartley’s ‘Fly Fishing’ every year at Christmas? I do that too! We could start a club! I’ll make Christmas biscuits. Because let’s face it, the only thing better than getting a book as a Christmas present is being in a room with others who love reading too.

All of which brings me to my penultimate heart-beating-faster Christmas Books love: Jolabokaflod. This loosely translates as Iceland’s ‘Christmas Book Flood’ and it’s where its publishing industry releases all their new titles in the months before Christmas. The most fabulous tradition born from it sees family exchanging book gifts on Christmas Eve and then staying up all night to read them. The partaking of hot chocolate is heavily encouraged! How could this not be heart-beating-faster Christmas perfection? Especially if the book you received happened to be one of those gorgeous, scene-setting, get-you-excited-for-the-big-day Christmas romances?

For me there’s only been one thing better … and that was getting to write my very own rom-com Christmas romance!

If you love laugh-out-loud romantic comedy set at Christmas then ‘Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green’ is guaranteed to make your heart beat faster. Meet Jane-Austen-loving match-making mixologist Emma Danes and Whispers Wood’s very own Mr. Knightley as the countdown to the grand opening of Cocktails&Chai @ the Clock House begins …

To set the Christmassy mood, I’ve got one signed paperback to giveaway …


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback of Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green by Eve Devon.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.