Kissing Games is the third novel in the Kinloch series and - cover your ears, my other book children - it’s probably my favourite. The romance between Charlie and Valentina actually began life as a side story in Hollywood Games. I loved the idea of a tattooed, ex special-forces bodyguard falling in love with a hot Hollywood actress, so wrote Charlie Hamilton (Rory’s best mate), getting together with Valentina Valverde who is in Scotland starring in Braveheart 2.
One of the staples of a romantic comedy story is the ‘meet cute’, the moment when our hero and heroine meet for the first time. The more this can go wrong, the better. The ‘meet cute’ in Highland Games goes wrong on many levels for Zoe. She’s been sent to the back entrance of Kinloch castle, to ask the estate manager for some wood to feed her Rayburn stove. However, she isn’t expecting to find a shirtless god, splitting logs, and switching her hormones up to eleven.
Zoe, our heroine from Highland Games, has always lived her life safely. She’s done what she’s been told, never rebelled, and never taken risks. She’s the ‘Queen of Spreadsheets, the Empress of Organisation.’ That is, until her great uncle dies and gives her the wooden cabin he’s lived in all his life. Highland Games opens with Zoe moving up to Scotland, hopelessly unprepared for what she finds, and without having thought anything through. In this excerpt we see her come face to face with some highland cattle.
Hi everyone, I’m Zoe and I’ve decided to do a takeover blog, because, well, quite frankly, Highland Games is about ME and I feel I need to explain myself a bit.
Having a cover designed for your books is one of the most exciting parts of the whole publishing journey and this blog takes you through every step, from initial ideas and inspiration to the finished product. Step behind the scenes and check out the cover design process for Highland Games!
If anyone were to think that all romance books are the same, then please point them towards this month’s blog. I’ve got seven foot blue aliens, a woman in a relationship with two bisexual men, and a Regency romance complete with a Missionary’s daughter, a dangerous bog and a testy peacock. All these books are fabulously written and utterly unputdownable. It doesn’t matter where in time or space the romance occurs, or who is involved. Love is love, and brilliant characters, story and writing will always win my heart.
Tropes are everywhere. In Shakespeare, Austen, everyday language and your favourite TV shows. Tropes are common situations in narratives that help structure a story. ‘Enemies to Lovers’ is a very popular trope which can be found in The Taming of the Shrew, Pride and Prejudice, The Hating Game, and You’ve got Mail. Tropes are commonly used story devices that we all recognise on some level.
This month my books are all debuts from three incredible new authors! Our heroines are a Victorian lady scientist, a Kiwi carpenter, and a young woman on the run who finds safety and solace in a tattoo parlour.
Stella thinks she has a problem, Ellie knows she has a problem, and Alice is helping with Aaron’s problem. This month I’ve got a veritable smorgasbord of issues for you, with a side order of hilarity, and a delicious desert of hot sex.
Every writer has their process, their way of getting from an idea in their head to words on a page. The first draft is one of the biggest milestones in the publishing process and I wanted to share how I got to the first draft of book three in the Kinloch series.