Guest Post with Francine Beaton

Rugby meets romance

What has Fourth of July, rugby and romance in common?

The obvious answer should be, absolutely nothing. It was, however, what led to the writing of the Playing for Glory series. On 26 February, I’ll release the third book in the series, and the first I’ve ever written, Leading from the Front.

A chance meeting with a rugby player from Jersey on a Fourth of July boat cruise on the Hudson planted the seed although I didn’t know it then. Before, and even during that meeting I not even dreamed about writing a novel, so a rugby romance was out of the question. It was only on the long flight from New York to Johannesburg while struggling through another rugby romance, the seed was planted.

I’m not mentioning the writer or the book, but it was absolute garbage. It felt as if the author knew nothing about the game, fitting in sex scenes on every second page to cover for the bad storyline. I suddenly thought that I’m sure I can write a better rugby romance than that. When we arrived in Johannesburg, I already planned a series. I’ve never written a book before and never dreamed of writing one either. It was just a random thought. But it seemed that I unpacked my muse along with my dirty laundry. Two days after our return from New York, I started writing. That was the end of July 2016.

I wrote non-stop for the next six months, finishing about six novels during that time. The first ones were just as bad as the one I read on the plane. It didn’t stop me though. In May 2017 I attended a Romance Master Class in Cape Town with writing coach Sarah Bullen of The Writing Room. Just before that class, I’ve finished the seventh novel in the series I called Taming a Buffalo. I took that book called Under the Mistletoe along to the course. During the course, Sarah read parts of the novel and encouraged me to continue. Over the next three months, Sarah helped me to polish the book. She also advised me to change the names of the books and the series name to something that relates to sport. Under the Mistletoe changed to Eye on the Ball, which was first published in April 2019 by Roane publishers who had closed their doors at the end of 2018. Since then I’ve got my rights back and started to self-publish. 

The series Playing for Glory, as well as the prequel series called Kick-Off, consisting of three books, all deals with the players and management of a fictional rugby team based in Pretoria. Because rugby is a professional sport, I had no choice than to create my own team called the Buffaloes, playing in a fictional series called the International Club Challenge. 

The Playing for Glory series was supposed to be typical sports romances with sizzling sex scenes. It didn’t stay that way. My characters seem to follow their own destiny and it doesn’t matter how hard I tried, they stay true to themselves. I still blame it on Jakes in Eye on the Ball. Although Jakes had the looks, the physicality, macho male image, the intelligence and other attributes to make him an alpha male, Jakes wanted to highlight important issues that had nothing to do with his looks. With Eye on the Ball I wanted to show the readers that even though men like Jakes are physically tough, playing a hard and physical game, they may struggle with the same insecurities other people suffer from. They may be emotionally vulnerable and that is okay. It is, however, important to talk about it, and sometimes show your sensitive side before it is too late.

Leading from the Front is my ninth book. Two of those nine books are in Afrikaans, my home language, and the rest in English. Leading in the Front was supposed to be the first book, but again Jakes had a different idea.

 

LEADING FROM THE FRONT

Temptation can come in any form.

 

As long as it wasn’t Melissa Roux. Daniel Cooper had known that since the first moment he’d seen the new physio for the Buffaloes. As captain, he had to set an example and falling head over heels for the feisty blonde with the endless long legs wasn’t the way to do it.

 

Melissa knew Daniel was going to be a problem from the first day she walked into Buffaloes Stadium. There was no way she was going to risk her career for an arrogant chauvinist who called her a blonde bimbo. For that, she worked too hard to get her dream job.

 

Neither had reckoned with the undeniable chemistry between them and the famous Cooper curse. When he couldn’t hide it anymore, Daniel made a simple request which had more repercussions than he expected. In his quest to find the truth, he made another error in judgement, risking not only Melissa’s career but also the loyalty of his team and the Club.

 

Daniel and Melissa both had to make important decisions: what’s more important? Your career or love? 

 

https://amzn.to/2TLBbZd

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FrancineBeatonAuthor/

Instagram: https://http://www.instagram.com/francinebeaton_official/

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/BeatonFrancine

Goodreads: https://http://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomfrancinebeaton

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Francine-Beaton/e/B07BJH92HR

Bookbub: https://http://www.bookbub.com/authors/francine-beaton

An Easter gift from me to you. :D

Happy Easter to all followers of Lucy’s Lit Lovin’ Blog! I haven’t had a book sale for a whole nine months! I’ve been so busy with writing Kissing Cassie that I sort of forgot about poor Teagan and her wonderful adventures.

I hope you’ll indulge her. I’m making Falling to Pieces FREE. Falling into You is just 99c/99p. Both are available on Amazon, on sale/free, for a limited time only. Don’t miss out!

FTP review quotes

Amazon.com: http://goo.gl/AmQIPl

Amazon.co.uk: http://goo.gl/ZOD3f8

FIY review

Amazon.com: http://goo.gl/iltJFH

Amazon.co.uk: http://goo.gl/S1Cx5V

All links will open on a new page. I sincerely hope you’ll enjoy the books! As always, remember to leave a review!

HAPPY EASTER!

London Author Fair 2014

On Friday the 28th of February I took the long, grey, and drizzly journey to Covent Garden in London. After falling on top of a man on the tube (he didn’t seen to mind) I arrived at the hospital club, poised and ready to learn.

 Image

Who did I feel the fair was aimed at?

LAF was pitched as being aimed at every author. I would say that the primary focus was new authors. Manuscript ink still wet and no idea what to do with it. That isn’t to say that the majority of attending authors fell into that category. The people I met seemed to be in the same situation as myself. A book or books already out there. They were mostly self-published as well.

Luckily, I only went to meet people and get marketing ideas. If you’re a new author and didn’t attend you almost certainly missed out on your chance to pitch to a literary agent as well garner lots of information about other routes.

I went to meet other people, network and basically have a weekend off from endless streams of washing, ironing and housework. Shush, don’t tell my husband.

That isn’t to say that I didn’t learn anything though!

What did I learn?

I learnt that there are some lovely and talented people in this industry. I was pleasantly greeted first thing in the morning by a long time Facebook follower and author, James Minter. It’s great to meet the people you interact with on-line in real life. Well….some of them anyway. I’m happy to say he was one of them.

I learnt about a completely alien concept to me. Crowd funding. The lovely ladies at Pubslush pitched the idea to a small group at a workshop. They talked about their company and the success stories they’ve had and relevant ideas. I’m pleased to say my campaign is set up and live. Please take a look at my rewards, there’s something for everyone.

http://pubslush.com/books/id/1913

There were things I didn’t learn from, but I had fun anyway. Like attending a workshop about social media. For one, I got to watch the very handsome and gifted Ben Galley talking about tweeting as I tweeted, whilst standing next to someone tweeting.

Did I get my say?

Absolutely. I got my chance to express my annoyance towards the shipping costs for UK authors purchasing copies of there own books. I was assured that Amazon had received much of the same feedback all day.

Apparently they are looking into it.

The author sitting next to me, the very lovely Luke Talbot also expressed his annoyance that US authors can gift copies of their book whist UK authors remain powerless to gift specific titles. I agreed wholeheartedly due to the fact it leaves us open to piracy. 

How did it all end?

The day was rounded off with a panel including literary agents, founders of self-publishing platforms, independent author Polly Courtney, and traditionally published author Adele Parks.

They came up with some worrying comments, well worrying for me anyway. They agreed that the ratio of writers will be the same as the amount of readers. This inspired a comment from Adele that the reader will go back to traditionally published books due to the lack of quality in the indie book world.

If I’m honest I took offence to that. There are authors out there, such as myself who realise the importance having full structural edits and great cover design. I was glad that Polly also seemed to take offence. She pointed out that whilst, of course, there is some crap out there by way of independent authors, there are also some amazing books and writers. 

The After Party.

Possibly the best part of the day. Pubslush provided my lovely and much needed wine following the day’s events.

Luke Talbot and James Minter asked me to dinner, for want of a better offer, I accepted. (Just kidding guy’s it was a pleasure, except when you took pictures of yourselves with my phone…I trusted you.)

We had some great chats with Polly Courtney and Ben Galley (did I mention he is easy on the eye?) 

More lessons learnt…

I have to admit I caused a marital dispute for a work colleague of mine that one -hundred per cent believed that her colleague would never dupe her.

I posted a picture on my FB page with Luke Talbot and a Russian author called Grigory Ryzhakov. He has an uncanny resemblance to the actor that plays spider man. I can vouch he’s a great guy! But sorry folks, the guy in the picture is not Tobey Maguire.

 Contact the people I’ve spoken about:

Ben Galley

Website: www.bengalley.com

Twitter: @BenGalley

Books: http://www.bengalley.com/#!books/cnec

Luke Talbot

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/keystonethebook

Book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Keystone-Luke-Talbot/dp/0957601913/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1394178134&sr=8-1

James Minter

Website: http://www.jamesminter.com

Books: http://amzn.to/JRuxfa

Grigory Ryzhakov

Website: www.ryzhakov.co.uk

Books: www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Right-Wrong-romantic-comedy-ebook/dp/B00C76XMV4

 

 

Why all authors living in Britain should attend the London Author Fair.

I’ve always felt very envious of my American counterparts.

Why? I hear you ask…

It’s all down to the fact that I feel that they have more resources than us authors here in Great Britain. We typically have a tiny room crammed full of authors and ‘wannabe’ authors at The London Book Fair. Thats it!

If you take the time to google ‘Author events 2014’ and see how lucky the Americans really are! I’m green with envy when I see the NOLA author event and cutely named conferences for authors. I pout and get stroppy when I see what amazing times my FB friends have had at these events. Not only that, but they get to meet each other too. I for one am looking forward to meeting the authors I’ve made friends with on-line.

Being an author can be a lonely world. I only know one other writer ‘in real life’ and she has yet to publish anything. I can tell you that I’m practically chomping at the bit to be surrounded by like-minded and creative people. 

Author events and book fairs in simple terms give writers the unmissable opportunity to network, promote and gain information. Thats the bottom line.

The London Author Fair is hosting literary agents, successful authors, marketeers, Amazon, Create space, Kobo, Nook, Blurb…the list goes on. It’s definitely the place to be.

A few people have turned their noses up at the original ticket price of £150. Admittedly, I was in a bit of a panic of how I’d be able to afford the hefty fee. On the other hand I realised that I wanted to be surrounded by genuine writers and not those just popping in ‘for a laugh’. Also, the event is being held in a prestigious central London private members club, they’re hardly able to charge a small amount for that. They have realised that perhaps, £150 is a little out of some authors reach and dropped the ticket price to £95 and refunded the difference back to those who had already purchased a ticket at the original price. I think this clearly displays that the organisers of this event (Authoright) really want the event to work out. If that means lowering the ticket price to get people to attend then so be it.

I’m also determined for this event to work. I have waited for a long time for an event like this to be available to the authors of the United Kingdom. 

At this moment I’m working on the second book of ‘The Falling Series’, so I’m not in a position to pitch to agents or publishers. I will have written my next planned novel by next year, so this year is a trial run. Please make this event work so they do one next year! The only thing I want to gain from attending LAF 2014 is new friends.

I really hope to see you there! Let me know if you’re coming. The countdown starts now, and I’m very excited.

More event info and tickets:

http://www.londonauthorfair.com

https://www.facebook.com/LondonAuthorFair