Thank you, 2019… and our 2020 vision!

We’ve had an amazing year in 2019 at Fabrian Books, being joined by a couple of new authors, having another bumper crop of best-sellers and lots of other highlights in our writing careers that some of us would love to tell you about, along with our hopes for 2020… so here goes!

 

Jen Sumner

2019 has been quite the ride for Jen Sumner – a new writing team alter-ego for Jennie and Steve Dunn. We’ve written and released four books throughout this year, all Feel-Good Romances which comprise the first four entries in the well-received and-reviewed Luxmore Park series. Part 5 is already being written, with a prequel now in the works too. Fans are already asking for more, describing the characters as “old friends”, and Luxmore Park as somewhere they wish they could visit in real life. We are already developing ideas for future series too. Many more adventures to come! In the meantime, you can enjoy Annie and Seb’s stories here for only 99p per book! Merry Christmas.

 

Merryn Allingham

My highlight of 2019 has been the success of books I wrote nearly five years ago! Strange but true. When recently the publisher brought out another six thousand copies of each title in the Daisy’s War trilogy, they sold within months, and the kindle editions rose in the charts. In an era of fast fiction (as well as fast fashion), that was comforting. And a confidence boost, as I’m embarking on a new series,The Tremayne Mysteries – this time comprising five novels. I’m not sure if that’s bold or insane! Each book in the series will focus on a different crime in a different location, but the three main characters are a constant and their developing relationship will be as important as the crime. The first in the series is already out — The Venice Atonement on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Kobo.

 

Linda Huber (aka Melinda Huber)

My 2019 has two main highlights. The first, in March, was the publication of Stolen Sister, my eighth psychological suspense novel. This one’s set in my old home town, Glasgow, so I really enjoyed writing it. Then in summer came the fifth and final novella in my Melinda Huber ‘…in Switzerland’ series, Wedding Bells in Switzerland, set just metres from my home on the banks of lovely Lake Constance. As you can guess by the title, there’s a wedding involved – but it doesn’t quite go to plan… You can find out more here.

Apart from these two big events, the most important items in my writing diary are always the meet-ups I have with my little group of writers here in Switzerland. Alison Baillie and Louise Mangos are crime writers; Cass Grafton writes romance, I wouldn’t miss these for the world – we brainstorm ideas, encourage each other, cry on each other’s shoulders (nobody ‘gets’ it like another writer) and celebrate our successes with a glass or two of prosecco. And my biggest wish for 2020 is to do something similar with the other Fabrian books writers – cheers, all!

 

Deirdre Palmer (aka Zara Thorne)

My highlight of 2019 has to be the publication of The Wife’s Revenge by Darkstroke (an imprint of Crooked Cat), written under my real name, Deirdre Palmer. This was my first foray into the psychological thriller genre, and exciting to write, though challenging. It’s available in ebook and paperback form, here. My plans for 2020 are modest, but again, challenging, as I’m planning a new psychological thriller. I’ve also begun a new ‘Zara Thorne’ book, a romance called When I First Saw You, which will be published early in the new year. If there’s time, I’d like to write a new Christmas book for next year, too.

 

Laura Wilkinson (aka Cheri Davies)

The end of another year – another decade! If I’m honest, 2019 has been a tough year for me, but I’m not going to dwell. The highlights… finishing another ‘Laura’ novel and finishing a Cheri novel – The Manhattan Effect, the sequel to The Prosecco Effect, part two of Felicity and Orlando’s story in which our gorgeous, troubled duo head to the Big Apple (the clue’s in the title! It’s not just a drink 😊). Designer Jules is currently working on a revamped cover for The Prosecco Effect after which she’ll be beavering away on the next cover. I can’t wait to show it to you. Similarly, I’m looking forward to publishing The Manhattan Effect under the Fabrian banner early in 2020 (I do like the look of that number). As for my hopes for the coming year… I hope to find more readers for Cheri’s books and find a home for my Laura novel. I hope to read even more fabulous books than I did in 2019 and from the looks of what my fellow Fabrian authors and others are up to that won’t be difficult! I hope to continue being grateful for my relative good fortune, and to make the most of each day – the good, the bad and the downright ugly. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! You can check out The Prosecco Effect for yourself here.

 

Sharon Booth

I’ve been looking back over the year and thinking that I really hadn’t achieved much at all in 2019. In fact, I’ve been giving myself quite a hard time over it! So I decided to double check to see what I’d actually done, and I got a pleasant surprise. I clearly haven’t been faffing about as much as I thought!

I’ve released my first two audios books with WF Howes, as well as combining the first and second books in the Skimmerdale series as a collection, releasing my second Witches of Castle Clair book, adding new novels to the Bramblewick and Home for Christmas series, and achieving several best seller flags. 2019 has also seen the release of the first four Bramblewick books as paperbacks, with some of them also coming out with my large print publisher, Ulverscroft. To complete 2019, the final Bramblewick novel, Christmas at Cuckoo Nest Cottage will be published in mid-December.

I think I’m going to stop beating myself up about not doing enough this year! But, before I get too complacent, I have to think ahead to 2020, and there’s a lot to do there! I have more collections to publish, more paperbacks, and at some point, I’d like to produce more audio books. Next year, for me, will be about finishing off my ongoing projects. The spring will bring the final Witches book, for instance. I’ve loved working on all my series, but I have so many new ideas jostling for their turn that I do feel it’s time to move on. 2021 will find me in my new settings which, trust me, are just as beautiful and filled with as many delightful characters as Kearton Bay, Skimmerdale and all the other places we’ve visited together. There’s a lot of work to do before I can leave my old friends behind, though, and that includes writing at least five books next year. Is it achievable? Ask me again this time next year!

You can find all my books here, sign up for my newsletter or check out my website.

 

Jo Bartlett

This year has been amazing, but it seems to have flashed by in the blink of an eye. I’ve released books 13, 14, 15 and 16 and I’ve been lucky enough to receive best seller flags for all four. I was also thrilled to make the overall Kindle top 100 this year, and win three Amazon All Star awards for being a Top 100 most read author. Somehow those pinch myself moments still don’t seem real! The biggest highlight of 2019, though, has been the feedback I’ve received from some of my readers. Being told that I’ve made someone’s holiday extra special because they loved escaping into one of my books so much, or that it’s helped get them through a difficult time, of illness or bereavement, by providing an escape to a feel-good story, really makes it all worthwhile. My hopes for 2020 (like Laura, I love the look of that date!) are for more of the same and hopefully to achieve something new with a second writing identity… I’ll keep you posted on that one, but in the meantime I hope you have an amazing Christmas and that all your dreams for 2020 come true too.

 

Alys West

During 2019 I have been hard at work completing my third novel, STORM WITCH (the second book in the Spellworker Chronicles) which will be published in March/April 2020. The book is set in Orkney and picks up the story six weeks after the end of BELTANE. The first chapter of STORM WITCH is available to read here.

I have also been busy teaching creative writing at the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of York. If you’re in Yorkshire then you may want to check out the courses I’m teaching in 2020 which are on self-publishing, writing suspense and preparing to submit your manuscript. You can find out more here.

In 2020 I’m looking forward to working with more writers to develop their work through my book whispering and mentoring services. I’ll also be starting work on a new historical fantasy novel set in Whitby.

 

Jackie Ladbury

I never really feel in control of the stories I write as I’m more of a muddler than a planner, almost surprising myself when I actually finish writing a book, so am quite proud that in 2019 I had two books published: The Potters Daughter and Happy Christmas Eve by Ruby Fiction. I recently started writing another historical almost as a vague idea I was toying with, but before I knew it I had thirty thousand words down. Another 60,000 and it will be finished (gulp!) I still want to write contemporary romances too, and am a very tentative 10,000 words into A Sorrento Summer (working title) which is on the back-burner at the moment. Christmas Kisses on Hollywell Hill took almost two years to write, on and off and I’m especially proud of it, as I wasn’t even sure if it was any good until people started telling me that it was their favourite book of the season – I still adore the cover too. So, hope you all have a Happy Christmas and if you’re going to read one Christmas book this year make it Christmas Kisses on Hollywell Hil Emoji You can find out more about me and my books on my website.

 

Pat Posner

My writing highlight of 2019 has been setting up a new Facebook group for all those people, including my loyal and lovely readers, who remember the prefab era with such fondness. It’s been great sharing photographs and memories, and being transported back to a time when life seemed so much simpler. If you fancy joining in with the fun, you can find the page here. In 2020, I’ll be releasing a new set of stories from the popular Broome Park Prefab Village series and, in the meantime, if you fancy a Christmas visit to Broome Park, you can find a wealth of feel-good stories in Christmas Roses.

 

Helen Phifer

2019 has been a very busy year with so much going on that I can hardly believe we’re nearly at the end! There have been a few writing related highlights for me this year. The first was striking out and doing something totally different, in setting up a book club, which takes place at my local Costa. Anyone who follows me on social media, or knows me in real life, will be aware that I’m a bit of a Costa coffee addict! I set up the group to encourage me to read more widely across different genres, as I think there’s so much to learn from all of them. It’s a been a great way of doing that and, of course, meeting lots of lovely like-minded new friends. My other highlight was the release of my new series with Bookouture. The series follows the personal and professional life of pathologist, Beth Adams, and the first book ‘The Girl in the Grave’ has been really well received by readers and reviewers alike. So I was excited to release book 2 The Girls in the Lake this week and I can’t wait to hear what readers think! In 2020, I’ll be working on a new writing contract and the details of that will be announced soon. I also hope to go back to my first love of writing horror, but I just need to find some more hours in the day first Emoji

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We hope you’ve enjoyed reading  our highlights of 2019 and our plans for 2020. The Fabrian Books’ team would like to wish all our readers the very merriest of Christmas seasons and a wonderful New Year!

 

 

Beltane – New Cover Reveal

Alex Beltane ebook coverI’m delighted to announce that my supernatural fantasy romance, Beltane, has a gorgeous new cover.  The cover features a rather good looking Green Man.  I’m rather taken by his lovely eyes and how it’s clear that under those leaves there’s a really interesting and (let’s be honest) downright sexy guy.

Now if you’ve not read Beltane then you might be thinking, what’s with the Green Man.  I’m afraid to answer that question would need a spoiler alert so I’ll just say that the Green Man is a very key character in the book.

My original title for Beltane was The Green Man but after one too many person said, “Sounds like a pub” I decided Beltane was a better option. It’s taken me a while to find my perfect Green Man for the cover and, since I published the book, readers have very kindly sent me Green Men that they’ve found on their travels.  I’ve now got pictures of Green Men from all over the UK so I thought I’d share a few with you.  There’s stone ones, wood ones, knitted ones and even ones on biscuits!

IMG_0703Green Men have been around for many centuries but that name wasn’t used until 1939 when Lady Raglan coined it in an article about ‘The Green Man in Church Architecture’ which was published in the Folklore Journal.  Before that they were known as foliate heads being essentially heads surrounded by foliage.

Green Men are surprisingly ancient.  There are Roman examples of the Green Man and carvings from Mesopotamian in present-day Iraq.  Surprisingly, as he’s (probably) associated with fertility and nature, he’s found in many mediaeval churches where you’ll find him carved in wood or stone.  He had a bit of a revival in the nineteenth century when he was a favourite of the Gothic revivalist and arts and crafts movement.  Since then he’s been interpreted by artists, had a festival named after him and a lot of albums (I’ve just discovered, and I have to say it seems somewhat unlikely to me, that Mark Owen of Take That’s 1996 solo album was called ‘The Green Man’) and given his name to a Morris side (which my Morris dancing friend tells me is the technical name for a group of Morris dancers).

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Green Man biscuits

The Green Man is sometimes confused with Jack in the Green (the trickster character of English May Day parades), Green George (who it turns out is a leaf covered young man in mummer’s plays), John Barleycorn (a character in a folk song which personifies the life cycle of barley) and Robin Hood (yes, the robbed from the rich to give to the poor Nottinghamshire outlaw).  But he predates all of them.

Interestingly, with all those images of him there’s no clear understanding of what he represents. The experts aren’t one hundred percent sure which means there’s lots of different theories.  Some believe he’s a symbol of death and rebirth, others that he’s a symbol of fertility and others that he’s a symbol of life and nature.   For me, it’s the last one that rings true and that’s why he’s important in Beltane.

Knitted green manI hope you’ve enjoyed looking at my Green Man photo gallery.  They’re all remarkably handsome in different ways.  If you’ve got a photo of a Green Man or if you see one on your travels then I’d love to see it.  You can add a comment below, tweet me at @Alyswestyork, post on my Facebook page @alyswestwrites or visit my website at www.alyswest.com

If you’d like to know more about Beltane click here

Endings and Beginnings

We’re edging towards the end of 2016, and at Fabrian Books we’ve been looking back at a great year, during which we’ve published some amazing titles.

Eden for Susanna's blogOur year began in April, with the release of Sharon Booth’s romantic comedy, This Other Eden. Featuring a sexy sheep farmer called Eliot, an ageing rock star and his spoilt princess of a daughter, a cheating politician, and a rather confused young woman called Eden, it was described by one enthusiastic reviewer as “a hugely entertaining jaunt of a novel through the Yorkshire Dales”, This Other Eden is the first in Sharon’s new Skimmerdale series.

 

beltane-newistJune saw the publication of Beltane, the first of Alys West’s amazing fantasy series, The Spellworker Chronicles. It’s  set in mystical Glastonbury, and follows talented artist, Zoe, who is plagued by strange dreams. Working in Glastonbury, she encounters the rather gorgeous Finn, who seems disturbingly familiar to her. Dark forces are gathering around the two of them, and it’s no wonder one reviewer admitted she “couldn’t put this novel down”.

 

tdkd-coverIn August, Alys turned her hand to a different genre, with the release of her steampunk novella, The Dirigible King’s Daughter. Set in an alternative Whitby, this gorgeous story features feisty heroine Harriet, and the utterly charming Charlie, as they face a race against time to clear Harriet’s name, when she’s accused of a rather serious crime. Described by one reviewer as “a tale of romance and peril against the background of the thrilling flights of the dirigibles and escapades on steam-powered omnibuses” it’s “terrific fun and a lovely romance story”.

 

51uc3fcsfslSeptember brought the publication of the third in Sharon Booth’s Kearton Bay series. Once Upon a Long Ago is set in the gorgeous former fishing village and smuggling stronghold of Kearton Bay on the North Yorkshire coast, and, this time, it follows the adventures of stubborn, practical Lexi Bailey, and the sweet-natured, gentle lord of the manor, Will Boden-Kean. Will has been in love with Lexi for many years, but she’s never even noticed. Unfortunately for Will, she quickly notices his rather handsome cousin who arrives in the village when Will’s father passes away. Secrets, lies, hidden treasure, and a hero from the past,  plus a beautiful stately home, and a cute chocolate Labrador called Buttons, all feature in this story, which one reviewer described as “Downton Abbey meets Upstairs Downstairs with a touch of Cluedo!” Another hailed it as “Another super read from the pen of Ms Booth”.

 

baxter-ebook-coverOctober saw the release of not one, but two new books – both feel-good novellas, and just 99p each. The first was Sharon Booth’s Baxter’s Christmas Wish. Starring Baxter, the boisterous Boxer dog, it’s a tale of love, home, and second chances. As one reviewer put it, “This is a lovely, warm and fuzzy love story with a wonderful dog and a little boy who adores him at the heart of it”.

 

gmyad-ebook-new-version-finalJo Bartlett’s October offering was the lovely Give Me Your Answer Do. Set on a farm overlooking the English Channel, and featuring lots of cake, weddings, and the world’s naughtiest donkey, it would be difficult to find anything not to love about this story! The reviewer who wrote “a completely charming read which is as enjoyable as a slice of Ellie’s Mum’s Victoria Sponge cake” clearly agrees.

 

a-holly-bay-christmas-ebook-cover-v2Finally, November brought our last release of the year – Jo Bartlett’s Christmas novella, A Holly Bay Christmas. Another Fabrian feel-good book, priced at just 99p, this tells the story of Maddie, who runs a combined bookshop and tearooms in the Cornish village of Holly Bay. Maddie is completely devoted to her business, but when a handsome stranger arrives in the village, she finds herself drawn to him. But Ben has a secret, and when Maddie founds out what it is, it looks as if her budding Christmas romance is over before it really began. But, after all, it is Christmas…A Holly Bay Christmas became a best-seller just days after its release!

 

So that’s our round-up of this year’s Fabrian releases. But we’re not just looking back. Oh, no! We’re also looking forward to a glorious 2017. We’ll have new books from all your favourite Fabrian authors, but we’ll also be welcoming new authors into the fold, and releasing their amazing stories into the world. We’re very excited about them, and we’re sure you’re going to love them, too!

In the meantime, we’d like to thank you all for supporting Fabrian Books, and to tell you how much we appreciate all you lovely people who have bought, read and maybe even reviewed our stories. We’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.

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