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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Author Interview with #1 UK Author Rachel Abbott

I'd like to thank Rachel Abbott for doing an interview with us today. Her book, Only the Innocent is the #1 book on Amazon UK currently. A link to the review of her book: ONLY THE INNOCENT Review Of course, I gave it 5/5 stars--and I'm not alone. It has excellent reviews!

As a debut author, Rachel has shown how it should be done. ONLY THE INNOCENT is a psychological thrill that will keep you turning pages from the first page to the dramatic conclusion.

Your book is #1 in the UK Kindle Store. What did you think when you woke up and saw that ranking?

Actually, it got to number 1 at about 9 o’clock on a Saturday evening. It had been rising up the charts all day, and so I was checking rather a lot! I was delirious with excitement when I saw that it was at number one, so went to tell my husband - who had fallen asleep on the sofa! I tried to wake him, but failed. So I was not in the best of moods. To be fair to him, he had spent his day shoveling through six foot snow drifts, and was pretty exhausted! So I had another glass of wine and a piece of chocolate, and just sat there feeling pleased with myself (if not slightly shocked).

Did you do something special to promote it?

I don’t know what I did. I have completely ignored all of the special deals to promote it - such as the KDP Select with free days, and the Kindle Daily Deal - which almost every day takes a book to number one from right outside the charts, simply because it’s being promoted. I don’t think I would personally have got much satisfaction from that, but I fully understand why people do it. So I just plugged away. I am going to be talking on my blog about the things that I did in the hope that they help somebody else, but I’m not sure that there is any magic ingredient. Just a lot of hard work.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Manchester, England - but now I live in central Italy - the Le Marche region. My husband and I bought an old derelict monastery about eleven years ago and had it renovated. It’s not as huge as it sounds - but it is twice as big as we wanted. We just fell in love with it so that was it. Heart ruling head, I’m afraid. But it’s lovely living here - even if we usually only use about a third of the house until we get inundated with guests during the summer months!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I didn’t actually consider myself a writer until after I had finished Only the Innocent. I wanted to write, but I didn’t know if I could do it. So I just sat down, planned with great care, and then started to write. It all flowed from there. When I had finished, I thought - yes. I’m a writer.

What inspired you to write your this book?

I heard about a woman who was being tried for murder, and I wondered what it would take to make a normal, rational woman into a cold blooded murderer. What set of circumstances would be so severe that there was no other way? I didn’t want my murderer to be somebody wicked. I wanted her to be somebody like you and me - but the circumstances gave her no choice. It took me a long time to work out what those circumstances might be.

How did you come up with the title?

A very interesting question. It was originally called “The Only Option” - but then I thought that this sounded a bit uninspired. So I changed it to “Screaming in the Wind”. When it came time to publish, I decided that this wasn’t the right title. It doesn’t give the right impression of the book. So I went back to “The Only Option” only to find that in the intervening couple of years (yes - that’s how long it sat on a shelf) the name had been taken. I had this feeling that the title should be unique. So I sat down and put three headings at the top of a piece of paper. One was Victims (because one way or another, there are many victims in this book), one was Motivation, and one was Emotion. I then thought of all the words that could be used under each of those headings in relation to the story. Innocence stood out, based on the very ending of the book, and it went from there. Unfortunately about a week before I published, another book was published with the same name - but it’s in a completely different genre and it’s more of a novella - so I relaxed a bit. I’ve been in touch with the author to apologize for stealing her great title, and she was really good about it - she even helped promote my book!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I think Only the Innocent raises a number of questions - but I don’t know that I have the answers. I have posted discussion points for reader groups on my website, because there has been quite a bit of controversy about the ending. All the blurb says “should the guilty be punished, or the innocent protected” and some people disagree with the ending I’ve chosen (even downgrading their reviews in a couple of cases because they thought it was the wrong choice!). And one lady actually had a far more extreme outcome than I had chosen. So I think it gives plenty to talk about and think about. If there is a message, though, it would be that things are rarely how they seem on the surface.

How much of the book is realistic?

I think it’s all realistic, and perfectly plausible. When I write, I put myself into the position of the characters and think about how I would behave. Then I add in their own personality traits. The only person that I can’t relate to is the victim. He is killed for a very good reason, and I suppose I am basing his character on just about the lowest that a person can sink to.

Are there any other new authors that have grasped your interest?

I read a book called “A Real Piece of Work” by Chris Orcutt which I gave a 5 star rating too. It’s a good book, and I know he’s already written the next one so I’m looking forward to that. I also had to review a book called “Faith Creation - all Lies Revealed”. I thought this was going to be a religious novel, but it wasn’t at all. This was by Christine Dougherty, and some of the best writing I have seen in a long time. I couldn’t actually give her five stars (which I partially regret) because I thought she left information out of the first book that will be revealed in the second. For me, the book has to be complete in itself, unless it is clear that it’s a trilogy or whatever beforehand. But her writing is superb.

Are you working on a new project?

Yes, my second novel is well under way. Not the writing, but the planning. I find the writing the quickest part of the process. The planning, however, takes me ages because I need to really understand in detail the characters that I am involving in the story. And then the editing takes a long time too, because I write long and have to strip out all the irrelevancies.

Do you see writing as a career?

I do. It will be my second career, because I ran a business in England for about twenty years, and when I sold that I effectively stopped working. One of the advantages of that was that it gave me time to write. So I now see writing as my new career.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The most challenging thing for me is thinking in a sufficiently devious way for my villains! I have no problem getting inside the heads of the other characters, and each of them feels like somebody I know well. But the villain is where I have a problem. I come up with a plausible storyline for them, and then think “no - surely nobody is that bad?” - so I have to force myself to think the worst.

Who designed the covers?

My cover was designed by Alan Carpenter - who used to work with me in my old company. He came to work for me straight from university, and he’s now the Design Director of a huge UK company - so he’s done really well and I’m very proud of him. He gets really mad at me if I try to design things myself, and insists that he will do the work without being paid. But I make sure he gets plenty wine to compensate.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Lots of writers have asked me what I did specifically to get to #1 on Amazon. I have said many times that I don’t think that I have a specific response to that, because I did lots of things. But I am going to be sharing everything that I did in the hope that it helps others. I’m not going to produce a “how to” book and sell it, which has been suggested. I’m going to put it all on my blog. I don’t believe that I have a magic formula, you see, and to try to sell a book based on a few things that I tried that seemed to work doesn’t seem quite ethical. So it’s going on the blog. The address, for anybody who is interested, is HERE

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you! I love the fact that you have taken the time to read my book when there is so much choice out there, and I absolutely love it when people take even more time to write a review. I have had quite a few emails from readers, and chat with several of them on the Goodreads and Amazon forums, but I am thinking about starting a forum on my own HEREto start discussions on some of the aspects of the book - just as you would in a “real” book club. I would love to know if people think this is a good idea. But basically - I just want to say thank you!

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
Rachel's Website
Rachel's Blog

Be sure to comment below with your email--one lucky winner will get a copy of ONLY THE INNOCENT from Rachel Abbott (epub or kindle) Just answer these questions:

2. Who does this blog belong to?
3. Does Rachel consider writing a career?
4. Who designed her cover for ONLY THE INNOCENT
5. Extra entry for following this blog and Rachel's blog (so a possible 5 entries)

Each question, 1-4 is worth one entry. #5 is worth two. Just post in your comments that you're going to follow the blogs :) We work on the honor system.

All entrants will be entered in -- commenter one will have 1-5, 2 will have 6-10, etc. Lots of chances to win.

Contest ends on 3/29 11:59 PM EST

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Weekend

Ah, weekends.

All day tv. I can read all day if I want. Play on the Internet. I love weekends. Even though I write full-time now, I still consider them my 'day off' and try to have some fun.

It seems like every day of the week I'm busy either writing or promoting or reading books for my review blog.

So, the weekends are for me now. I'm going to do fun things that I enjoy--whether it helps promote my writing or not.

Today,I'm watching a HOUSE, MD marathon. I love House.

Tomorrow? Hmm..think I'll read some books just because :) Not for reviews. Not for learning. Just because they are ones I've been wanting to read.

So, there's my weekend. What are you doing with your weekend?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Interview with me on The Kindle Romance Author Site


I did an interview today on Kindle Romance Authors. It was fun to answer questions about my work.

Wow, did I pick a bad day to sleep in, hmm?

In honor of the interview, I'm having just a little contest to run with the interview. Answer the following questions to be entered in a contest to win a $20.00 gift card for Amazon - open til 3/30. Winner will be drawn 4/1. Be sure to check back to see if you won. The winner of the $20 gift card must have the maximum points. This grand prize winner will also win copies of all three of my titles. This winner will have the choice of a PRINT copy of LINKED or an e-book copy. (Print title to arrive by end of April)

But there is more to win...just in case you miss one or two...

All correct answers will be entered by number to and one winner will win a signed e-book version of LINKED and my other two titles, Forbidden & Once Bitten, and The Storm Within.

There is a new technology out there that lets authors sign their books and personalize them. I will be happy to do that if you'd like a signed book.

A second winner will receive TWO signed e-books of mine of their choice.

A third winner will receive any ONE signed copy of my titles, their choice.

Ready? Ok, here we go.

1. What book did I promote on the site?

2. What paranormal abilities did I want?

3. Who is my ideal reader? (The one that will like my work)

4. Who has been my biggest supporter?

5. Who did the cover for LINKED?

Now, for 3 extra points,be sure to follow my blog, follow me on Twitter, and 'like' my Facebook page. Links to all are on the side.

Bonus Question for 5 extra entries...

In my book LINKED, there is one character that is not active much in the story--but is absolutely paramount in solving the ancient prophecy. Who is she?

So, it's possible to get 13 points in this contest. All entries with correct answers will be entered. Number of points each earns will correspond with the number of correct answers.

If you've read my books, please be kind and leave a review on Amazon. Pass along books that you enjoy by letting readers know what you liked.

Thanks to KINDLE ROMANCE AUTHORS for having me

BONUS: You have to have read this far to know this: Tweet me with the phrase "@hopewelsh I want to win free books" You can earn 5 extra points!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pay It Forward -- The Romance Reviews

Hello Readers!

I'm an avid believer of the "Pay It Forward" philosophy. If you saw the movie, Haley Joel plays a boy that has to do a project in school. He chooses to pay forward nice things done.

To 'pay it forward' when someone does something nice for you--you in turn do something nice for someone ELSE. Not just the original person that was nice.

When I sent my book to The Romance Reviews to be reviewed, I actually had two of their reviewers choose to review my book, Linked. I got 4/5 stars. Now, if you're not familiar with this review site, let me just say--they are awesome.

Not only are they wonderful with their reviews, but they are also great to their authors. I can't recommend the site enough if you're an author or a reader. The reviews are unbiased and honest.

Next month, they will be one year old

For their anniversary, they are doing a huge give-away. I'm sending 5 of my books for it--and hundreds of other prizes will be available, too. Don't miss out on the party! Be sure to check out their contest page while you're there. I'm giving away books there, too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What Do You Think?

Hello All

In honor of Valentine's Day--a bit late--LINKED is on sale on Amazon for 99 cents. For the next little while, it's only available on Amazon. It's free to borrow if you're an Amazon Prime Member.

You can enter the contest in the post below if you'd read it. Who can't use $20 worth of books?

I've spent the last few days doing a lot of reading. I think I read 5 books over the weekend. I'll be putting up reviews to them all on Books2LoveReviews in the next few days.

I admit, I'm a voracious reader! I read daily.

Now, I have a question. If you read an author review--do you want to hear about writing, the current book, or would you prefer to have an interview with a character from the book being discussed? Answer that little question for a chance to win any of my titles in e-book format. Open until the end of February--11:59PM 2/29 EST. All posters who answer will be entered in Winner will need to check back here on 3/1 or there about, so I can get your contact information to send your book.

I've been asked to do a character interview, and I'm interested in what readers and other authors think of the idea.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Read LINKED for FREE and enter to WIN a $20 Amazon Gift Card

So, I decided to join the KDP Select program for Kindle Prime members to borrow LINKED for free.

In honor of this, Saturday, 2/11/12, Linked will be FREE for ALL--but just for 24 hours.

If you like a book with shifters, telepathy, empathy, ghost and an evil curse, you just might love LINKED

LINKED can be found at the link provided here.

All the answers to the questions below are in the free sample of LINKED on Amazon.

The Evil One is watching, and TIME is running out!

To ENTER the Contest, answer the following questions about LINKED.
(It is not necessary to answer all correctly, all answers correct are worth one point. All answers can be found in the Prologue and first chapter. (Free to preview on Kindle)
1. Who is the HERO
2. Who is the HEROINE
3. What is the name of the ancient evil creature? (Yes, it's in the Prologue)extra point for both his names.
4. Who is the ghost?
Bonus if you know her name 5. What does the HERO do for a living?
6. Who warns the heorine of danger?
7. Why is the HERO stopping at the local convenience store?

You can earn 3 bonus entries for following me on here, Twitter at @HOPEWELSH and by following me on Facebook

This contest will run from now (for those that have already read the book) til the end of the month, 3/31/2012 at 11:59PM EST

All eligible entrants will be entered and a winner picked by

The Winner will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card

Below is the TRAILER for LINKED Please let me know which you like better :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

On Reviews.....2 New Review Site

Hello All

I've decided to keep this blog mostly about my writing, not my book reviews. I've started a new blog,

Please check it out and add it to your list of blogs! I have several books to review and they will be posted shortly on the site.

Need a review? Check the site for more information!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On Reviews.....


I admit it; I'm a book junkie. If it's romance--any genre--I'll read it. I love romance. I love parnormal and urban fantasy even more than traditional romance these days.

So, when I'm not writing--I'm reading. I read a lot. Probably a book a day. I generally leave a book review on Amazon of every book I buy there, as all authors know that reviews are important. And not just the professional reviews. The reviews of the readers are every bit as important, if not more so.

The pro reviews are what let the reader know to buy the book--but the reader reviews are what let us, the authors, know what is like and what might need work.

As an author, I tend to look at reviews as learning tools. What could I have done better? Did I make the plot involved enough? Are my characters three-dimensional? Is my story entertaining?

Those are the things that make me a better writer. We learn, hopefully, and grow as writers.

I write full-time now. My daughter does, too. It's what we love. If you can do what you love, why not, right?

But, I also want to give back to other authors. So, with that in mind, I'm going to start doing a series of reviews and author interviews. Different genres, but mainly focusing on my love--romantic books. I like that HEA. I also love YA novels. I never thought I would. Authors like James Patterson are the ones that started me on the YA Love journey.

So, if you're an author and want a review, just drop me a line. If it's in my preferred genres, I'll likely read it and review it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What have you been reading?

Hello Friends

I just finished two books from Linda Wisdom, 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover and Wiked by any Other Name. They are part of her Hex series.

I absolutely loved them. If you love paranormal/urban fantasy romance that's funny, this series is a must read. In 50 Ways, Jazz, a 700 year young witch has the most unusual pets...a pair of fanged bunny slippers. I couldn't resist having my daughter photoshop me a pair to email Ms. Wisdom.

I've read thousands of books over the years, and many stick with me, of course. Over time, one tends to forget characters. I don't think that will be the case with Linda's books! Who could forget a kick-ass witch who cast spells with the phrase "because I said so, dammit!" instead of "so mote it be" and slippers that talk and are addicted to chocolate?

The entire series, along with the first two of the spin-off Demon series are available on Amazon. You can enter here for a contest to win her latest in the Demon series--there are two copies; so you may enter as long as you leave a copy for me to win! LOL

So, what are you reading?