Monday 31 December 2012

Happy New Year…!

It’s been a very happy Christmas at Horton HQ this year. There hasn't been any snowfall on our part of Scotland over the holidays so it's not been quite as seasonally scenic - but it has made it so much easier and safer for family and friends to visit us at the cottage for a few days. The only thing we have been without is an internet connection, but I’m happy to say that seems to have been resolved and so, as we say goodbye to 2012 and welcome in the New Year, I can now take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU for all your support in visiting my blog over the past year: for commenting and sharing, for taking part in my virtual parties and for generally being great fun friends. Thank you also for buying my ebooks and thank you to those who took the time to read and review them.
In the past few days, you may have noticed there has been an exciting flurry of Book Reviewers and Book Bloggers listing their ‘Top Reads of 2012’ and I’m thrilled to have two of my novels nominated.
‘Reaching for the Stars’ has been nominated on Dizzy C’s Little Book Blog as one of her ‘Top Reads of 2012’ and ‘How Do You Voodoo?’ is listed on Love Reading Love Books  as one of her ‘Five Star Reviewed Books of 2012’. While Bagpipes & Bullshot has remained a popular choice with readers over the holiday period by being my bestselling title. As an author, I couldn’t be more excited about such high praise, which has filled me with joy and enthusiasm to get back to my Works In Progress for 2013 ASAP!
I recapped over my blogging year in my last post here but today, the magazine style website over at, which I’m involved with both as an author and an editor, has also put together a sparkling roundup - which shows how much has been achieved over the past twelve months by this fabulous collective of authors, readers and publishers. You can click HERE to pop over and catch up with

I’m so looking forward to seeing what 2013 has in store for us all and as we bring in the New Year, I want to wish you a very Happy Hogmanay and best wishes for the coming year!

Love, Janice xx


Friday 21 December 2012

Wow - What A Year…!

Looking back to this time last year, I was in the middle of launching my celebrity chef novel ‘Reaching for the Stars’ and hosting the Wish I Was Here’ Blog Party before revelling in the champagne soaked aftermath. What fabulous fun that was!

Reaching for the Stars launched December 2011

This year December has been a far more sedate in comparison, which has put me in something of a reflective mood. So I thought this final blog post of 2012 should take a look back over my blogging year.
During the early part of 2012, here at JH HQ we explored many writerly themes – like naming characters and selecting settings, to choosing book titles and ‘Arresting Your Reader’. You can click on the text I’ve highlighted to link and rediscover those oh-so-interesting posts!
In March, my birthday month, we explored castles together and also celebrated my blogiversary – my gift that day was seeing ‘Reaching for the Stars’ at Number Two in the paid Top 100 Amazon Bestseller Chart for Women’s Fiction!

Reaching for the Stars reached #2 in the paid Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers Chart
A highlight of the Summer for me was being asked to speak at the Summer Audience, a reader/writer event that took place in the lovely Cotswold town of Tetbury in Gloucestershire. This was the first time I’d ever done a public speaking event and I was a wee bit nervous as I flew down from Scotland to Bristol. I stayed with Linn B.Halton author and founder of over the weekend and Linn and I (who first met on Twitter) met for 'real'! I had the most fabulous time. The event was a great success and Linn, as well as all the other authors I met for the first time at the Summer Event, were all lovely.

Speaking at the Summer Event in Tetbury, Glos

Another highlight of the summer came just one week later, when I was asked to speak to writers at the Creative Arts Business Network Conference (CABN) at the Urr Valley Hotel in Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway. My talk was on independent epublishing, not the nuts and bolts of how to do it, but rather how to go about promoting your book once it’s up there on Amazon. The key speaker of the day was award winning author Nicola Morgan (or The Crabbit Old Bat, as those on the blogisphere and Twitter know her best!) It was a fabulous and inspiring day and, once I got over my initial nerves, I really enjoyed it.

At the CABN Writer's Conference with Nicola Morgan

Then back on the blog we looked at ereaders vs paperbooks and discussed marketing ‘tags’ – the ones we authors use to identify our ‘brand’ – so that readers know what to expect from us and more importantly from our books. From this I settled on ‘Scottish Fiction with Humour and Heart’ as my own tag.
This topic was followed up with a light hearted look at Men in Kilts which was one of the most popular posts of the year – so I had to mention it!
Then in July, I posted a roundup of The Romantic Novelist’s Conference that I attended in Penrith Cumbria. This was such a fab weekend. Friday to Sunday I got to catch up with friends, meet the lovely virtual peeps that I knew from Facebook and Twitter and Blogland in real life, and forge new friendships. On top of that of course was the business of writing and I was interviewed by BBC Radio Cumbria while on site – discussing romantic fiction, of course!
With fellow RNA and Loveahappyending author Sue Fortin at Penrith
With my bloggerland friend and author Talli Roland in Penrith
Kim & Gilly from BBC Radio Cumbria
August is the month that hosts the Edinburgh Book Festival and this year saw the inaugural Edinburgh Ebook Festival, to which I was delighted to be invited to take part. You can find out more about this fabulous online event from my blog post here.
In September I put work on my next full length novel aside to began working on a novella entitled How Do You Voodoo? which I planned to launch in time for Halloween. This is a romantic and humorous story about a loveless fashion model Nola Nichols, who thinks being beautiful is a curse; that is until she is cursed and her looks begin to fade just a week before the most important photo shoot of her career.
One of the central scenes in How Do You Voodoo? takes place in a graveyard in Glasgow – the Glasgow Necropolis or City of the Dead as it is known - hence my idea to launch at Halloween although the story can be enjoyed at any time of the year! ‘How Do You Voodoo’ has been very well received and reviewed and will be followed up on Valentine’s Day 2013 with its novella length sequel ‘Voodoo Wedding’ and later in the year ‘Voodoo Child’.
The research I did in Glasgow’s City of the Dead produced a voodoo blog post both here and on the blogs of the Romantic Novelist’s Association and
Researching a spooky spot at Glasgow's City of the Dead
The October  ‘Spellbindingly Fun Blog Party’ to launch ‘How Do You Voodoo?’ was an absolute blast! Lots and lots of bloggers signed up to join in the fun and cast fabulous spells on their blogs. I was amazed how poetic and imaginative everyone was as well as wonderfully supportive and generous!
In November, another exciting venture was the launch of the Loveahappyending Bookshelf where you can find exciting new authors and the publishers who support them, together with independent authors like myself, who are trying to make their mark. To keep in step with this, I have launched a new venture of my own in connection with the website. I am now editing a twice monthly brand new and tartantastic ‘Bookshelf Reviews’ feature to support the authors and publishers involved.

It’s been a truly fantastic blogging year. I’ve blogged every Friday throughout 2012 and in between my own posts I’ve featured some fantastic authors on my Author Showcase. I’ve also played away, guesting on lots of other writer’s blogs and have made lots of lovely blogging friends. I’ve really really enjoyed myself. But to end the year on an ever higher note, I’m astonished and delighted to have been awarded the Blog of the Year 2012. You can read all about this here (last week’s blog post). So all that remains now at the end of 2012 is for me to say Happy Christmas and wish you a very happy New Year. Do join me in 2013. I’ll be here every Friday and will update my author Facebook page regularly. You can find me on Twitter @JaniceHorton
Stop Press: I'm talking about Christmas over at Dizzy C's Little Book Blog's Festive Fun Feature - here

‘Lang mae ya’ lum reek’ – as we like to say in Scotland!

Love, Janice xx


Tuesday 18 December 2012

The Blog of the Year 2012

I’m SO excited and thrilled to be awarded The Blog of the Year by my lovely and talented writing friend Rosemary Gemmell at Reading and Writing Blog

The rules for this are:

1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award.

2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen - and ‘present’ them with their award.

3. Please include a link back to this page Blog of the Year 2012Award - and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.

5. You can now also join the Facebook group.

6. As a winner of the award — please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award — and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars… Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once — this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ’1 star’ award — and every time you are given the award by another blog — you can add another star! There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

I'm passing this on to these fabulous and innovative bloggers:

Carol at Dizzy C’s Little Book Blog as she is such a terrific support to writers and for her fabulous Festive Fun feature that she is currently running every day up to Christmas!

Sharon at Jera’s Jamboree Book Blog as she is also a fabulous support to writers and has recently set up her own book promotion business called Fiction Addiction Book Tours which she is so qualified to do that I’m sure it will be fantastic success.

Kim Nash at Kim the Book Worm is an avid reader, book reviewer, and a generous supporter to writers. As well as her amazing blog, this year Kim has been a radio star with her weekly Book Club programme on Stafford FM talking about her favourite books (and kindly mentioned my latest release!) Together with her co-host, Lee, she has now set up a new Book Club/Podcast feature on Facebook. What a woman!

Rea at Rea Book Reviews blog who says that she is a bookaholic and who I think is one of the loveliest and most enthusiastic book bloggers out there. Rea has a fantastic list of reviews on her blog and is a great support to all writers. – this innovative magazine style blog (with which I am a featured author and associate editor, I have to say!) is the brainchild of talented author Linn B Halton and is supported by a team of authors, book reviewers, and publishers. It has interesting and fun features posted up by Linn and her associate editors three or four times a week and I love it!

And finally, Rosemary Gemmell, who gave me this award and to whom I’d like to pass it back - so that she gets another well-deserved star award for her blog Reading and Writing - for her generosity and in appreciation of her market expertise in advising writers on suitable markets for short stories and articles. In fact, she has written a feature on this subject for the magazine of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, Romance Matters, this very month.

Thank you so very much for this award – which means so much to me.

Please DO visit the other blogs awarded this accolade and spread the word!

I have one more blog to post for this year - on Friday 21st December - which will be a fun round up of the events that took place on this blog over the past year. I’m looking forward to it already so please do pop back and join me.

Until Friday then, Happy Christmas everyone!
Oh, and did I mention that you might also like my regularly updated author Facebook Page 
and that
I love to Tweet at @JaniceHorton

Monday 17 December 2012

Author Showcase - Glynis Smy

Author of 'Ripper, My Love', Glynis Smy, is celebrating the launch of her second novel today. 'Maggie’s Child' has been born into the world of ebook and paperback.

When farmer’s wife Maggie Sawbury gives birth to her fifth child, the only one that has lived and the result of an extra-marital affair, she is heartbroken and desperate. Maggie knows her joyless life with a bully of a husband is not one a child should endure, and she leaves the baby at the roadside to be found by passers-by.
Her money-driven husband announces he has found her another job in the village of Redgrave, aside from the many tasks she has on Windtop farm. He is totally unaware the position comes with a secret. One that frightens and yet brings joy to Maggie. She is to become wet-nurse to her abandoned child.
Love, and the possibility of incest, threaten to open old wounds, and Maggie has several decisions to make. However, will they be the right ones? If she tells all she knows, it will bring about the destruction of three families. Equally, her silence could be just as destructive. She shares her secret with another, the result changes her life, and a death brings with it more secrets. Will Maggie stay or will she walk away and find the love she craves?
The ebook will be available at a Christmas - New Year price of 99c via Amazon
Want to win a paperback copy?
If you can tell Glynis the name of the prostitute friend in her novel, Ripper, My Love, you will be put into a draw for a prize copy of 'Maggie’s Child' in paperback format. The email address you need to send the answer to can be found in the sidebar of NEW BOOK BLOGGER.

Glynis Smy, (nee Honeycombe), was born and raised in the coastal town of Dovercourt, near Harwich, in the county of Essex, England. She married her school sweetheart, Peter, in 1979 and they produced three amazing children, Darren, Nicola, and Emma. The long hours of a nursing career, and running two pharmacies ended in 2005, when she and her husband moved from the UK to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Glynis spends her time writing historical novels, poetry and various other projects. When she is not tapping at the keyboard she makes greeting cards to sell for charity, or enjoys a spot of cross-stitch on the back porch. Failing that, she and friends sit chewing the fat over a glass of village wine.

To find out more about Glynis’s books: Books by Glynis Smy
Meet and Tweet with Glynis:. @Ghunibee
Facebook Page: Glynis Smy
Author Blog: Glynis Smy


Friday 14 December 2012

Author Showcase - Sheryl Browne

Sheryl Browne grew up in Birmingham, UK, where she studied Art & Design. She wears many hats: a partner in her own business, a mother, and a foster parent to disabled dogs.  Sheryl has been writing for many years, the road along the way often bumpy.  She was therefore thrilled beyond words when Safkhet Publishing loved her writing enough to commission her to write for them.

Sheryl's debut novel, Recipes for Disaster - combining deliciously different and fun recipes with sexilicious romantic comedy, is garnering some fabulous reviews and was shortlisted for the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the Festival of Romance.  Sheryl has since been offered a further three-book contract under the Safkhet Publishing Soul imprint. Somebody to Love, a romantic comedy centring around a single father’s search for love and his autistic little boy. Warrant for Love, bringing together three couples in a twisting story that resolves perfectly and A Little Bit of Madness which releases on Valentine’s Day 2013.
Hi Janice! Thank you so much for hosting me! I’m thrilled to be here on your beautiful site! Today, I’m sharing the seventh of eight excerpts from Warrant for Love. I hope you enjoy!  Please do leave your comment and (appropriate) suggestions as to what YOU might do if you found yourself in Lee’s situation.
‘Now hold on a minute, Jade.’ Richard struggled from prostrate to standing. ‘I can understand you wanting to get your hands on my body. And the massage was great.’ He flicked a droplet of oil from one of the two hairs on his chest. ‘Messy, but great, as aperitifs go. The reflexology, however, I think I’ll pass on. My feet are fine.’
Jade’s bemused eyes travelled from Richard’s sexy leopard skin thong to his pristine white sports socks. ‘My appetite’s also fine,’ he assured her. ‘In fact, I’m ravenous.’
Jade’s eyes almost stood out on stalks as Richard the Lion-heart flared his nostrils and roared. She was torn between tittering and outright snorting at his prowess, until he pounced, leading with his tongue, to lick the length of her neck.
Oh, hell, thought Jade, panicky. ‘Oh, Richard,’ she said sexily, ‘do you know what you do to me?’
‘I turn you on, my little pussycat.’ He slurped in her ear.
‘Mmm, yes.’ Jade made sick-making gestures, then manoeuvred him around, sure Nicky would prefer his dimpled buttocks in shot to her own dismayed face. ‘You do turn me on. I’m hot, hot, hot.’ Jade rolled her eyes at the ceiling and clutched a handful of posterior.’ But you’d turn me on more if you did it to me.’
Richard stopped his frenzied feed on her earlobe. ‘Did what to you?’
He smirked, eyebrows in smutty overdrive.
‘Reflexology.’ Jade twirled him around, forced a smile, and him down on the sofa. ‘Toes, Richard, are what really do it for me.’ She planted a pedicured foot on his chest. ‘So, why don’t give it your all, big boy? And suck.’
‘Suck?’ Richard curled a lip. ‘You must be joking. I’m into straight-sex, not that kinky toe-sucking stuff.’ He folded his arms petulantly.
‘Oh, dear,’ Jade baby-talked, ‘doesn’t Wichie want to pway anymore?’
‘Oh, but Wichie does want to play.’ Richard heaved himself from the sofa, sending Jade sprawling. ‘Wichie wants to play properly though, so Jadey’d better stop pissing about!’
He advanced towards her, eyes narrowed.
‘Oh, no you don’t, Dickhead!’ Nicky snarled, then tripped over the window ledge and fell through the blinds. She stood with all the dignity of the Queen. ‘Actually, this is where it stops, Richard.’
‘What the… ?’ Richard gulped and glanced around, panic-struck. ‘This is not my doing,’ he said quickly, obviously realising he’d been caught with his trousers down. Not that he cared what they told Lee, Jade imagined, were it not for the fact that she still had his PC, ergo possible access to investment details he didn’t want anyone to see.
‘She threw herself at me,’ he protested. ‘Plagued me with calls. I came to tell her it was no dice, but…’ Richard faltered, looking desperately around for his clothes.
Trousers located, he blustered on, ‘She set me up!’ he insisted, scrambling around for his brand-new loafers, glancing at Nicky… at Jade, both standing with arms folded, faces deadpan.
‘Oh, shit.’ Glancing back at Nicky, Richard paled fast. ‘What’s she doing here?’ It apparently finally occurred to him to wonder how Nicky came to enter the living room from the balcony seven floors up.
‘Christalbloodymighty, you have set me up. You… bitches.’ Richard searched manically now, for strewn-about socks and shirt. ‘Very good, Nicky,’ he snarled, stumbling towards the door as she played demonstratively with her mobile. ‘I suppose this is your way of getting back at me for upsetting little sister. So, what does it prove, exactly?’
‘I think proofs might be more appropriate, Richard.’ Jade examined her nail extensions. ‘I’ll email you with details.’ She eyed him levelly.
‘What proof… Sh-i-t!’ Richard stared disbelieving as Nicky drew back the blinds.
‘You’re very photogenic, Richard.’ Nicky smiled sweetly.
‘You bloody bitch!’ Richard’s complexion turned fast from pallid to puce as he stepped towards her, fist clenched.
‘I wouldn’t if I were you, sunshine,’ an angry male voice warned. Richard looked over in utter disbelief to find a policeman looming in the doorway. ‘Unless you fancy spitting teeth for a week.’
Warrant for Love… love, blackmail, lies, adultery, entrapment.
Three couples in a twisting story that resolves perfectly.
Life for Paul sounds like your typical country song. He comes from a broken home, his wife is divorcing him, he's got no place to live, he's losing custody of his son, and his sergeant, who's sleeping with his wife, is a loud-mouthed braggart who won't let up on him – not even at work.
Leanne's caught her (now) ex cheating on her again, but before she can give him the what-for, she's wrongfully arrested for soliciting – by Paul and his partner. One thing leads to another and things could be looking up for Paul, except for Leanne's friends – quarrelling mom Nicky and financial goddess Jade – have it out for her ex.
Leanne wants closure, Paul wants a home, and Nicky and Jade want revenge. Blackmail, lies, adultery, entrapment. Will it all work out in the end or will Paul uphold the law? It sounds like he needs a Warrant for Love.
Finding footprints on the windscreen for her boyfriend’s car as evidence of his infidelity was worst case scenario for Lee. What would YOURS be?  What would you do about it?  Witty but NOT too rude suggestions, please.  One name will be randomly selected from the blogs taking part to receive a copy of Warrant for Love.
Find out more about Sheryl:
Sheryl is a loveahappyending featured Author and Editor.
Twitter: @sherylbrowne

Thursday 6 December 2012

A Busy ‘Babbity’ Week!

You may think that as it’s been both St Andrew’s Day and Scottish Book Week since I did a personal post that I’ve been skiving - but actually I’ve been very busy indeed!

This past week, I’ve braved the first snows of a Scottish winter to go out Christmas shopping and I’ve also ventured to Glasgow to meet up with the wonderful Writers Scotland Group for our annual Christmas lunch at Babbity Bowsters restaurant.

Writers Scotland Christmas Lunch in Glasgow


Online, I was interviewed for the wonderful and you can read my answers to such questions as why I set my novels in Scotland, if I think I have a particular writing style, and about my writing plans for 2013 HERE.


I also took part in a couple of online discussions with fellow authors on The first was about what authors might do to prepare for Christmas sales in light of the release of the Kindle Fire. You can read this article HERE. The second debate was a look back to what we, as authors, had learned over the past year and it makes for interesting reading. You can catch this post HERE.


There have been some wonderful 4 and 5 star reviews for Bagpipes & Bullshot, Reaching for the Stars and How Do You Voodoo? over the past couple of weeks and I want you to know how much I appreciate the time and trouble it takes to write a review when you have enjoyed my books.


Suzanne Turner, an reviewer, said of my new novella ‘How Do You Voodoo?’ “I was so desperate to know what happened to Nola that I devoured the book in a matter of hours (I even read while vacuuming which isn’t easy!)"


It made me giggle to think of Suzanne with the vacuum cleaner in one hand and her Kindle in the other!


Also this week, a kind Tweep on Twitter said that the tartan covers of my novels make them look like they are all wrapped up for Christmas!


So if YOU are lucky enough to unwrap a Kindle this Christmas please do consider downloading my fun romantic books. All are at low prices for December and January. Of course, if you are a Kindle Select (Prime) subscriber you can borrow all my ebooks for FREE!

There is so much happening over the next few weeks and I’ll continue to post here once a week on a Friday - but did you know that I update my Author Facebook Page several times a week with all my writerly news and views and would love you to ‘like’ my page? Just click HERE

See you next Friday when I have a very special guest showcase
Janice xx