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Thursday, 7 December 2017

Autism and Writing

Hi, Blogettes,

A couple of children in my family are on the autism spectrum. They are not what some would call severely autistic- they have some learning difficulties and occasional challenging behaviour. They're lovely little boys with amazing personalities, and because of the wonderful support of their parents have enjoyable and fulfilling lives.

It got me thinking.

There must be writers in the Wordiverse who have autism, or perhaps children and adults on the autistic spectrum who would love to write, or who write and aren't sure how to get published. Recently I was offered an opportunity to speak at a writing convention. I'm a shy person and often have to have a word with myself about experiencing something where there will be others present who I don't know. What I do know is that some of those with autism would not have the confidence to take part on these occasions, so miss out on courses, get-togethers, and events for writers.

Perhaps some of the courses could be filmed and sent to applicants via computer so they can take part. The podcasts offered by lots of writers I'm sure are very helpful, but what about companies and organisations who arrange paid events? Shouldn't they be encouraged to make it as easy as possible for those with autism to be part of them?

I would be very interested in your take on this subject.

Lots of love

Valentina xxx


Tuesday, 26 September 2017

New Release Coming Soon...PRIMROSE HILL IS SUDDENLY SINGLE

Hi Blogettes,

My new release, 'PRIMROSE HILL IS SUDDENLY SINGLE' will be available on Amazon for pre-order within the next few weeks. My last pre-order was so successful, so I'm hoping my lovely Valentina fans will do it again!

I love the cover and can't wait to display it on my shelf.
Thanks so much for your continued support. 

Love

Valentina 

xxx


Monday, 3 July 2017

Grit Your Teeth...and Don't Stop Writing

Writing is my passion. I love it. Every aspect of it...the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and more, drafts, the editing, editing, editing. I'm also okay when my readers say, 'Well, actually...' and I know it will be followed by a negative comment. Which is why I ask them to read my manuscript, right? So. It's all good.

I've just completed my eighth book; six are self-published, one is buried under the patio, hopefully never to be seen again, and my eighth is with agents. So...here comes number nine.

Well, not quite. It's taken me three months to get the first page down of the first draft. I just could not decide how I wanted it to begin. I changed my mind so many times, even comforting myself with the saying, 'A person has the right to change his/her mind', began to sound lame. Should I write in the first or third person; at what point should it start; should it be retrospective or should it be in real time. Phew! Conundrums aplenty.

So...I knitted five dolls, one each for my grandkids, cleaned the oven to within an inch of its life, four times, started a new business, helped my husband with his, and wrote up assignments for a student (with editing). Anything, anything, as an excuse.

Then it came to me. A lightbulb moment. The one I'd been waiting for. So I made myself comfortable with my laptop and wrote the first page. And now I have a smile on my face. And I learnt something. The passion never goes. Not if it's really meant for you, no matter what your passion is. I'm glad I waited because the beginning is just what I was looking for. With each doll I knitted, and each corner of the house I swept, it was always on my mind, because writing is a huge part of who I am and I'm so proud it is. I wouldn't be who I am without it, and it's got me through some very difficult moments. Lesson learnt.

Don't give up on your passion. Because no matter how difficult the going may seem, your passion and determination will help you win through in the end.

Lots of love,

Valentina.


PS. Even though I'm rather tardy with this blog, I'm almost at 20,000 visits. Thank you for visiting. I hope we see each other again.




Friday, 24 February 2017

Submitting to Agents

Hi,guys,

I can't believe it's over two months since I last posted. Where does the time go? I'm in a happy place writing-wise right now because I've just completed the third draft of my new novel and waiting for my readers to give me their wisdom. (I always get nervous about this, because it's 'real' people reading the ms and not just me). I am real, by the way.

I've self-published before, but I've decided to contact agents over this one. I feel like I'm going into battle. I can't remember the last time I queried an agent about a new manuscript, so I'm studying it all again to make sure those pesky mistakes don't creep in. The problem is, everything I read about submitting tells me something different. Do I start with the novel name and the length? Or do I jump right in with the pitch, then continue from there? Do I start with my logline? Do I compare my novel to others, or not? Some say do, some say don't. Phew, I'm not sure what the answers are so I'm going to do what comes naturally, and hopefully make it as exciting and readable as possible and keep my fingers crossed. The only thing I'm sure about, is keeping my fingers crossed.
I know how to do that.

Love Valentina xxx

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

A Snuggle Up Christmas Romance Novel for a Sweet Christmas Book 2

THE CHOCOLATE SHOP ON CHRISTMAS STREET is on pre-order on Amazon for 99c and 99p.
Order here for US and here for UK 

Pre-order now for a snuggly romantic read over the holidays. Here's the blurb...

THE CHOCOLATE SHOP ON CHRISTMAS STREET
Rosie Tennyson's dream of owning a chocolate shop comes true when she opens Chocolate Fantasy on Christmas Street. When Rosie's boyfriend of two years, Dale decides to rekindle his relationship with his ex-wife after admitting he'd never stopped loving her, Rosie is hurt but philosophical, much to the surprise of the small community of shopkeepers on Christmas Street who fall in love with Rosie and stick together through thick and thin. Keen to help her take her mind off her broken heart, Rosie's best friend Felicity arranges for her to receive an invitation to display her chocolates at a Christmas Festival at Gainsford Manor, the large manor house where the ancestors of Sir Harold Christmas still live. The festival introduces Rosie to an astonishing new business opportunity, and a gorgeous new customer who turns up at Chocolate Fantasy to buy her artisan chocolates more than is healthy.
Will Rosie learn to love again, and will a secret admirer reveal his identity and mend her heart with sweet romance?
The 2nd novella in the Snuggle Up Romance Series is irresistibly charming, the perfect holiday read for a sweet Christmas holiday and beyond!

Love Valentina xxx


Thursday, 17 November 2016

GIVE AWAY ON GOODREADS - CHRISTMAS AT MISTLETOE ABBEY - With love from Valentina


To celebrate the release of the paperback of CHRISTMAS AT MISTLETOE ABBEY, I'm offering my followers a chance to win a copy on Goodreads. Here's the blurb...

Sophie Trevelyan adores ‘Simply Yummy’, the pretty bistro she opens in London with an inheritance from her grandmother. As owner and head-chef she knows she’s finally found her niche. A place to call her own.

When Sophie’s boyfriend, Bradley decides he’d rather play festive games with the sexy bottle-blonde Santa from the office, Sophie finds herself wondering who she can take as her plus one when she receives an unexpected invitation from her old friends, Laetitia and Jeremy Lucas, to stay at Mistletoe Abbey for Christmas.

On her arrival at the gloriously Christmassy Mistletoe Abbey, Sophie discovers a surprising guest has been invited, and it isn’t Santa Claus. Selena, Sophie’s best friend, is determined to shield a broken-hearted Sophie from the wrong kind of attention, and delivers some news that she can hardly believe. A meeting between her and the gorgeous TV chef, Jack Adams, contrived by a social-climbing Laetitia doesn’t go well, yet Sophie knows there’s a magnetic attraction between them.

Determined to enjoy their much-needed festive break, Sophie and Selena decide to make the most of a disastrous weekend. When they’re called upon to help Laetitia and Jeremy out of a tight-spot, they agree, throwing a reluctant Sophie under Jack Adam’s spotlight.

Struggling to come to terms with the loss of her gran, and Bradley’s betrayal, Sophie finds consolation in Hero, her faithful dachshund, and the utter beauty of Mistletoe Abbey as they explore the fairy-tale, snow-covered woods surrounding the house. Is she the only person to fall under the abbey’s magical spell? Will she be tempted to allow a remorseful Bradley back into her life…or will a spicy newcomer provide the Christmas sparkle to mend her broken heart?

A charming-to-read Christmas romance novella to snuggle up with under a tartan blanket, sipping a glass of spicy mulled wine. Enjoy!

GIVEAWAY BEGINS ON GOODREADS ON THE 21ST NOVEMBER - GOOD LUCK



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Christmas at Mistletoe Abbey by Valentina Hepburn

Christmas at Mistletoe Abbey

by Valentina Hepburn

Giveaway ends December 14, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Monday, 14 November 2016

It's Nearly Christmas! It Really Is! A Free Gift from Valentina Hepburn

Okay, so I thought I'd have some fun and write a Christmas novella. And I did have fun, and I hope you do too.

Because it's 'nearly' Christmas, I thought I'd give you an early Christmas present, so go


for a lovely free copy of...

Christmas at Mistletoe Abbey: A Snuggle Up Christmas Romance (The Snuggle Up Romance Novella Series Book 1) by [Hepburn, Valentina]

until Tuesday 15th November.

or if you would prefer the paperback... here for the UK...and..here for the US
It'll be available in time for Christmas
Enjoy!


Lots of love,Valentina xxx

The Blogettes