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Archive for the tag “Slick Deals”

Christmas Update

Hello and Happy Christmas to all my lovely readers and fans,

xmas xnoopy reading

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL

As we are nearly at the end of the year I wanted to bring you up to date with all the latest news and developments about my books.

In the USA, all my current novels, including THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET (Lavender Road book 5), are already available as eBooks, and LAVENDER ROAD itself, and (very shortly) SOME SUNNY DAY, have now also been published as paperbacks. So do seek them out if you are looking for gifts for friends! The other books will follow these two into paperback over the next few months.

All five Lavender Road novels are also now available in the USA as audio books read by the wonderful British actress Annie Aldington, and are available from bookshops, libraries and on Audible.com.

In the UK, THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET has just been released as a paperback, like the others, published by Headline Books.

All five books are also available as CD audio recordings in the UK from libraries or for sale from ISIS Soundings, but unfortunately not yet on Audible.co.uk.

Other UK news is that earlier in the year LONDON CALLING, the fourth in the series, was shortlisted for the RoNA Award, Best Historical Novel.

But the BIG NEWS is that coming on the 19th April next year (2018) in the UK and the USA will be the sixth book in the Lavender Road series, VICTORY GIRLS.

VICTORY GIRLS will sadly be the final novel in the Lavender Road series. It will bring the story up to the end of the war. It was a poignant moment for me when I typed the last few words. But I worked out that readers who have read all six books will, by the end of VICTORY GIRLS, have read over a million words about the characters of Lavender Road, and I felt that was enough!

The VICTORY GIRLS covers for each region have just been revealed. Pre-ordering is already available in the UK and will be available in the USA in the New Year.

Victory-Girls-1000x625px

USA Edition

victory girls

UK Edition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know many of you are eager to get your hands on VICTORY GIRLS and I’m sorry it is such a long wait but I hope you will feel that the wait has been worth it!

In the meantime, if you haven’t read them already, there are two other Helen Carey novels available, SLICK DEALS, a pacy, fun, contemporary thriller, and THE ART OF LOVING, a light, sexy romance set in Germany.

Wishing you a VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS and a NEW YEAR filled with lovely things,

 

Helen Carey

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Romance is in the air

Everywhere I go at the moment there are hearts and roses. Love is in the air and we might as well enjoy it. Some of us are lucky enough to have our own Valentine waiting for us at home (!) but whether we have or not, reading a romantic novel is another great way to celebrate!AOL0-600

As an author I am often asked about my favourite books and whether they have influenced my writing. I have always been a big, and eclectic, reader. My reading has definitely influenced not only what I write about, but also how I write it. I might add here how amazed I often am when I talk to other writers (especially wannabe writers) and discover how little they read.

I’m convinced that analysing how successful authors structure their stories, how they create characters and achieve that all important ‘page turning power’ is the best training a writer can have. ‘But I get far too engrossed in novels to stop and analyse them,’ people say. But of course it is exactly those extra-engrossing novels that we should be learning from – so read them twice! Certainly all the novels on my favourite romantic reads list below are ones I have read at least twice.

Stone Virgin by Barry Unsworth – a very clever, beautifully written, literary novel set in Venice in three different periods of history.
The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif – a sweeping desert adventure set in N Africa, wonderful writing and compelling story.
Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough – a big Australian saga about impossible love. Choose this for a long and engrossing read.
Eightsome Reel by Magda Sweetland – an intensely emotional sweeping Scottish saga.
The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye – a hugely satisfying romantic historical saga set in 19th Century India, amazing sense of time and place.
Frederica by Georgette Heyer – a Regency romance with humour, elegance and style, one of her best.
The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller – if you are short of time, read this and weep!

My own books all have elements of romance in them too, Some Sunny Day is probably the most emotional of the Lavender Road wartime series. The Art of Loving is specifically designed to make you laugh and cry. And of course Slick Deals contains the enigmatically sexy Nick Jardine!
Enjoy!

Beating the Bounds – living history rather than fictional history

I imagine that it is not every day of the week that a young boy is beaten by a mayor on top of a mountain! But before you start to reach for your telephone, please be re-assured,  no children are harmed in this ceremonial event (apart from a few sore feet perhaps).

No, this now purely symbolic assault on a young lad takes place during the annual August re-enactment of an ancient tradition – the perambulation, or ‘beating’ of the bounds of the Barony of Newport, our local town. 

In his book, ‘The Ancient Borough of Newport in Pembrokeshire’, local historian Dillwyn Miles explains:

‘The custom of perambulating the boundaries of a parish is said to date from the fifth century when the incidence of plague and tempest prompted the Bishop of Vienna to lead a procession chanting litanies and imploring divine protection on the three Rogation Days preceding Ascension Day. The custom continued with the parish priest being followed by the parishioners and children, all carrying white willow wands bedecked with the rogation flower, the milkwort and ribbons. The procession halted at boundary marks where small boys were beaten so they would always remember where the boundaries lay, and they were afterwards rewarded with cakes and sweetmeats.’  

These ceremonial perambulations ceased in 1888 and it was not until 1964 that the custom of beating the bounds was revived in Newport. The full circuit is about 26 miles but nowadays a slightly shorter route has been adopted. So each year a band of walkers and horse-riders congregate in the town square in order to follow the Barony flag for a (mere) 9 mile ‘perambulation’.

Heading off first along the beautiful, rugged coast path, the group then climb up through ancient lanes and fields to the wilds of Waun Fawr common. It is at the Bedd Morris boundary stone that some poor unsuspecting youth is ceremonially beaten by the Mayor and the perambulators are offered ‘cakes and sweetmeats’.

Thus refreshed, the party then heads on up over the remote heather, gorse and sheep covered hillside to patrol the boundary behind the dramatic crags of Carn Ingli (Mountain of Angels – the location of one of the key scenes from my novel SLICK DEALS), and finally back to Newport.

Everyone who completes the circuit is rewarded with a Certificate presented by the Court Leet (a body of ‘Burgesses’ and ‘Aldermen’ who traditionally serve the Newport Barony). Participants also take away an abiding memory of a walk (or ride) undertaken with a sense of purpose and of being part of living history.

Last year about 35 walkers, a dozen or so riders and a selection of dogs successfully ‘beat the bounds’ on a particularly lovely August day.  

If you are in the Newport, Pembs area do join us this year. We will meet in Market Square at 1 pm on Friday 17th August. Young boys are especially welcome!

Romantic novels to cry for …

Everywhere I go at the moment there are hearts and roses.  Love is in the air and we might as well enjoy it.  Some of us are lucky enough to have our own Valentine waiting for us at home (!) but whether we have or not, reading a romantic novel is another great way to celebrate …

As an author I am often asked about my favourite books and whether they have influenced my writing.  I have always been an avid (and eclectic) reader. My reading has definitely influenced not only what I write about, but also how I write it. I might add here how amazed I often am when I talk to other writers (especially wannabe writers) and discover how little they read.

I’m convinced that analysing how successful authors structure their stories, how they create characters and achieve that all important ‘page turning power’ is the best training a writer can have.  ‘But I get far too engrossed in novels to stop and analyse them,’ people say. But of course it is exactly those extra-engrossing novels that we should be learning from – so read them again! Certainly all the novels on my favourite romantic reads list below are ones I have read at least twice. 

Stone Virgin by Barry Unsworth – a very clever, beautifully written, literary novel set in Venice in three different periods of history.

The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif – a sweeping desert adventure set in North Africa, wonderful writing and compelling story.

Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough – the big Australian saga about impossible love. Choose this for a long and engrossing read.

Eightsome Reel by Magda Sweetland – an intensely emotional sweeping Scottish love story.

The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye – a hugely satisfying historical saga set in 19th Century India, amazing sense of time and place.

Frederica by Georgette Heyer – a Regency romance with humour, elegance and style, one of her best.

The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller – if you are short of time, read this and weep! 

My own books all have elements of romance in them too, Some Sunny Day is probably the most emotional of the war series. The Art of Loving is specifically designed to make you laugh and cry. And of course Slick Deals contains the enigmatically sexy Nick Jardine!  

Enjoy!

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