Thursday, 12 September 2019

Christmas Child: publication date 23rd September 2019



My new Victorian Saga Romance will be published with Amazon Kindle Unlimited. If you like to read about this era, you may well enjoy Christmas Child. Despite being born into the poverty, disease and dirt of the late 1800’s East End, thirteen-year-old orphan Ettie O’Reilly yearns to help the young waifs and strays at the Sisters of Clemency orphanage. Her loyal friend and protector, Michael Wilson, promises her his help and undying affection, but a cruel twist of fate separates them. Ettie’s respectable new beginnings as the tobacconist of Silver Street’s assistant in Soho, are dashed when a tragedy sends her life into turmoil. Has she enough true grit to make the one decision that will save her?
More info on the first of my Victorian series at Amazon 

Friday, 6 September 2019

Gold medal winner!

For immediate release:
Readers' Favorite recognizes "The Slum Angel" by AnneMarie Brear in its annual international book award contest, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KL4PDXG.
The Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, ranging from new independent authors to NYT best-sellers and celebrities.

Readers' Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the "Best Websites for Authors" and "Honoring Excellence" awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.
We receive thousands of entries from all over the world. Because of these large submission numbers, we are able to break down our contest into 140+ genres, and each genre is judged separately, ensuring that books only compete against books of their same genre for a fairer and more accurate competition. We receive submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants such as Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times bestsellers like J.A. Jance, James Rollins, and #1 best-selling author Daniel Silva, as well as celebrity authors like Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty), Henry Winkler (Happy Days), and Eriq La Salle (E.R., Coming to America).
"When the right books are picked as winners we pay attention. We will be spreading the word about Readers' Favorite." --Karen A., Editor for Penguin Random House
Readers' Favorite is proud to announce that "The Slum Angel" by AnneMarie Brear won the Gold Medal in the Romance - Historical category.
You can learn more about AnneMarie Brear and "The Slum Angel" at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-slum-angel where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.
Readers' Favorite LLC
Media Relations
Louisville, KY 40202

Sunday, 1 September 2019

The first novel in the Reckoner's Row trilogy, I enjoyed writing The Orphan Daughter and getting to know the feisty dockside characters. I hope you enjoy it too :) x 

1947. Evie Kilgaren is a fighter. Abandoned by her mother and with her father long gone she is left to raise her siblings in dockside Liverpool, as they battle against the coldest winter on record. But she is determined to make a life for herself and create a happy home for what's left of her family.




Monday, 26 August 2019

The Favourite Child

To my delight, when this book was first published it was a bestseller and also received good reviews. It is now about to be brought out shortly by Canelo.


The idea for The Favourite Child came about quite by accident. I was working on my novel in which one of my characters needed guidance on contraception, worrying how to stop yet another baby coming. I was telling Ursula, a writer friend of how I’d discovered in my research that there had been a Mothers’ Clinic over a pie shop in Salford in the twenties.

‘I know,’ she said. ‘My mother opened it.’

So began my mission to write this gift of a story. Ursula’s mother was Charis Frankenburg, and unlike my heroine, Isabella Ashton, she was a qualified nurse who had served in France during WWI. But on her move to Salford after her marriage she was horrified to discover the lack of medical help for working women on how to stop the annual pregnancy. They suffered all manner of ills as a result, or committed horrific practices in order to rid themselves of what had often become a life-threatening event.

Charis Frankenburg immediately got in touch with Marie Stopes. After obtaining a doctorate in botany from the University of Munich in 1904, Marie Stopes taught at the University of Manchester and was very much a woman of strength, charm and courage. She saw birth control as an aid to marriage and would save women from the physical strain of excessive childbearing. In 1910 she was back in London, having grown tired of Manchester. But she had apparently been most helpful for Charis, who also had the help of a local politician Mary Stocks, and she set about the task of providing a clinic.

The two women were subject to considerable vilification as contraception was seen as a way for women to ‘prostitute their marriage vows’. They endured bricks thrown through their windows, defamatory reports in the press, and stern lectures from the pulpit issuing severe threats to any woman who dared attend this den of iniquity. Of course, the very opposite of the Church’s intentions was the result. The more the vicar or priest insisted women not attend, the longer the queues were outside the pie shop.
‘How did you hear about us?’ Charis would ask.
‘Oh, we heard about it in church,’ came the answer.

The resulting furore was even worse than that experienced 40 years later with the introduction of the pill. Not until 1930 was birth control advice even grudgingly available at the antenatal, and mothers’ welfare clinics under the control of the Minister of Health.

For anyone interested in learning more about this amazing lady, I would highly recommend they read her autobiography, Not Old, Madam, Vintage, available in the Salford library. It sheds as much light on a remarkable woman as on the noble and worthwhile enterprise she helped found.

The clinic depicted in The Favourite Child is based on the work done by these fine women, and attempts to be true to their aims. But the characters are entirely fictitious. Salford is as real as I can make it. I have dedicated the book to the memory of all the women who were pioneers in the work of birth control and improvements in women’s health care.


Isabella Ashton has always been her father’s favourite, but when she gets involved with the new Birth Control Movement, he is scandalised. A decade has elapsed since the end of the Great War and running a family planning clinic in Salford is challenging but rewarding work. Bella is grateful for the help of Violet Howarth, a generous-hearted woman who takes her in off the street. Before long, a friendship with Violet’s son, Dan, blossoms into the beginnings of love. 

But Bella also crosses paths with handsome ne’er-do-well Billy Quinn, leader of an illegal betting ring, and everything she has worked for is suddenly put at risk. 

This is a bewitching tale of drama, jealousy and the fight for women's rights, perfect for fans of Dilly Court and Nadine Dorries.

Amazon 

Now to be Published by Canelo
Others coming are:
Ruby McBride
Dancing on Deansgate
The Castlefield Collector
 

 

Monday, 29 July 2019

The Effect of Dreams Postwar

I was always a dreamy child, my mind constantly engaged elsewhere in some make-believe world of my own. I must have missed half whatever the teacher was saying, which explains a great deal, and usually resulted in a telling-off. I had a naïve faith in the power of dreams, believing that when I woke up I would no longer be this small, plump, red-haired girl with freckles and glasses, but the more glamorous person who lived inside my head. She always had something witty to say, was good at maths, and had boys queuing to take her out. Hey, it was my dream. I confess to this day I can easily switch off from reality and slip into that world of make-believe, and it is no bad thing. Real life can be tough, and we all need some fantasy world into which to escape. There is something rather wonderful about being alone with ones own thoughts and dreams, where we can play the hero or beautiful heroine, be involved in a romance that is sure to have a happy ending, or an adventure with no risk involved.

Studies have shown that dreaming is actually good for us. It helps us to relax and sleep well, so that we wake up refreshed. Freud claimed that dreams were an expression of our secret desires, allowing us to view the world, and ourselves, in a more positive light. He also said that you can’t make anything up in a dream, and here I beg to differ. For I love to make up my own dreams. Whatever has frustrated me during the day I like to resolve at night in my dreams. My fantasy world is a marvellous outlet for all that pent-up fury against the bank, tax inspector, or the rude person who barged in with her shopping trolley. In my alternative universe I can win the argument I couldn’t hope to win in the real world.

Dreams rebuild our dented egos, replenish our own self-worth. I believe that true dreams, those that we have when we are asleep, can actually solve problems. Not just for a writer working on a knotty plot issue, but real life problems that our conscious mind, inhibited by worries, logic, work, family or peer pressure, can miss. The process of dreaming strips all those blockages away and gets right to the nub of the matter. Then we can wake up having found a peaceful resolution. Bliss! We can even discover, through our dreams, the source of our depression and worries, so that we can then deal with them in a rational way. Dreams also allow us to recall memories that have disappeared from our conscious mind, and what a joy that can be. So, it seems that all those tellings-off I got from my teacher for dreaming were really entirely uncalled for. I was actually resolving my life’s problems, building my self-esteem, quietly growing as a person, even if I remained short, plump and red-haired with freckles and specs.

Books of interest:
Lakeland Lily
The Bobbin Girls
Gracie’s Sin
Daisy’s Secret


And many more, including these coming out soon with Canelo on Amazon: 
The Favourite Child
Dancing on Deansgate
Ruby McBride
Watch for the Talleyman
 

Monday, 22 July 2019

Millie -new release!


The Marsh Saga Series! 
Set in the 1920s, this 4 book series is about three sisters, Millie, Prue, Cece Marsh and Prue's friend, Alice. WWI is over and the sisters are ready to spread their wings and embrace a new world.

Millie, sensible and ready to be a wife and mother, but nothing goes to plan.
Prue, wild and eager to explore the world as her grandmother did, but will it fulfil her as she hopes?
Cece, falls in love with a man who loves her sister. Will she get her happy ever after?
Widowed Alice is a modern woman in a man's world and is determined to make her business as good as any man's.
These strong independent women will face challenges and heartache, and alone they might tumble and fall. However, together, they are a force to be reckoned with! 

The first book is Millie.




Millie blurb

The Great War is over, and Millie is ready to leave her loving family home and be a wife to Jeremy who is everything she had hoped for.
Until…
Not long after their wedding, Millie discovers Jeremy is affected by shell shock and moving into his late father’s cold dark estate escalates the problem. Millie tries to help, but Jeremy grows more distant and befriends a homeless, wounded ex-soldier, Monty, who has secrets...
As Millie’s distrust of Monty grows, a rift is created between her and Jeremy and when he leaves to receive hospital treatment, she is left feeling abandoned. When her family is dealt a terrible loss, it is Millie who must be the strongest. However, just when she feels things couldn’t become worse, she suffers her own heartbreaking tragedy.
Grieving and alone, Millie wonders if her marriage can ever be mended, but she can’t give up without a fight.
Will a new home for her and Jeremy in a foreign country be the answer, or will the events of the past destroy everything she wished for? 


Available in Kindle and paperback: Amazon: viewbook.at/Millie


Friday, 12 July 2019

Historical Characters

Characters for historical fiction are created in the same way as for any other genre, i.e: with a major characteristic or trait, but must be made relevant and connected to the period in which they live. Don’t judge the past by modern standards. Balance your characters with good points and a flaw, which could lead to them making them a mistake about their decision in life and for which the reader will feel sympathy or admiration for them. Always remember the historical mindset.

To make characters believable, they must act as if they are contemporary to that time and place. For instance, they might not know that a war is looming even if the reader does. Anything they are planning might have a poignant threat of hope and interest but possible devastation to it. So long as their motivation is clear and the world in which they exist is a living-breathing place, the reader will accept attitudes and actions they never would need in their own life. It helps to read contemporary novels if you can, to get the feel of behaviour, problems and concerns, attitude and speech. And you naturally have to put words into their mouths, so carefully check the language of that period.

Some characters of the less salubrious kind if it’s a gritty historical, could be guilty of prejudice, prostitution, cruelty or whatever, for which the reader will feel no respect. We live in a world with certain demands of political correctness and moral requirements. Our society disapproves of prejudice and bigots, racialism, chauvinism, sexism, provincialism. Remember your characters are people of their own times who may accept some of these issues. You must allow them to act according to their own standards, not yours. Don’t pass judgment on them by making excuses or being dismissive. Don’t apologize for their mistakes and don’t attempt to make them all into free thinkers who are ahead of their times. You have to be able to see the story from their perspective, even if it offends you. And if they are more of a villain to a mistaken hero, they’ll pay the cost for their dreadful behaviour.

Should you use real historical figures? 
A novel about a famous historical figure may feel exciting and good to write. However, can the facts of their life be changed and fiction added? Can you have a woman marry if in reality she actually remained single or was captured and killed? Are you free to change these characters and the way they lived? It is essential that you make it plain that you are adding fiction to the story of your chosen historical figure. You’re saying - What if she was able to free herself/marry/live elsewhere, survive, or whatever. Wouldn’t that have been better for her? Sometimes you are short of knowledge and have to guess what she did and why, so make that clear too.

The concern is, do these historical people or their descendants still have rights? In theory they do, but if it suits the story you are writing to give them a safer or more interesting life, make sure that you do it well. A less well-known figure may seem easier to write about but may not be as interesting. Using real historical figures can be difficult and demand a lot of research, but fascinating. Readers have their own perception of these historical figures. If you feel it might be a problem to develop them in a way to suit your story, it could be fun and more imaginative to create your own historical figures.

In the end there are no set rules. It’s up to you. But if you do it badly, the critics will slay you as being inaccurate, sloppy & anachronistic, so do it well.

I have written about real historical people in the Hostage Queen Series, The Duchess of Drury Lane, Lady of Passion. But in My Lady Deceiver, The Promise, and The Girls of the Great War,’ I made up characters who never existed in reality. You can find these on Amazon, if you are interested in any of them.


Amazon Lake Union





Monday, 1 July 2019

Competition: Win Audio Book of Belle of the Back Streets


COMPETITION TIME! 

Win the audiobook of BELLE OF THE BACK STREETS read by wonderful northeast actress Janine Birkett. 

To enter simply visit and respond to the pinned post on my Facebook Author Page here.

Competition ends on Sunday 7 July 2019 at 3pm.

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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

A best seller tag from Amazon

I'm one happy author this morning. 
Two weeks after release Beneath a Stormy Sky has an Amazon Best Seller tag! 
It's #1 on Amazon Australia in the Victorian historical category! (The Slum Angel is #3!) 😃

Beneath a Stormy Sky
Surviving a shipwreck was the least of her problems.
#Victorian #historicalfiction