Friday, 22 May 2015

Please welcome Author Janice Horton.

I am delighted to welcome Janice Horton on to my blog today.  Janice is the author of five contemporary romance novels.  Her latest book, Castaway in the Caribbean has just been released.

Castaway in the Caribbean

More fun than you'll find in any travel brochure!


Available exclusively from Amazon for Kindle

Castaway in the Caribbean
Vacationing on the beautiful Caribbean island of Antigua, Janey Sinclair is persuaded by her magazine editor boss to do a quick island hop in order to supervise an impromptu photo-shoot for the front cover. With no flights immediately available, Janey is directed to the harbour.
Captain Travis Mathews hates tourists, although he’s not above making a bit of money off a prissy and sharp tongued young British girl when she’s desperate to get to the neighbouring island of Tortola.
After striking a deal, they set off together in Travis’s weather-beaten old boat. When the vessel comes to a sudden full stop in the sea, the mismatched pair end up as castaways on an uninhabited island.
In this fast moving romantic adventure about a vacation that turns into a tropical nightmare there’s more fun than you’ll find in any travel brochure.

 A message from Janice:

I was incredibly fortunate to spend most of last summer in the Caribbean, writing and researching my latest novel Castaway in the Caribbean. I found it challenging only in the respect of being continually distracted from the manuscript by the tropical sunshine, the white sand beaches, the warm aquamarine sea, rum cocktails, and the fabulous social scene on offer. Many of these distractions are well documented on my website at and on my blog and Facebook page too, if you are interested in reading the details and seeing the photos!

For the purposes of proper research for Castaway in the Caribbean, I traveled to and explored many Caribbean islands and, despite my tendency for sea sickness, I also spent a lot of time in boats. I even got to sail around Tortola, the larger of the British Virgin Islands, in a restored schooner that had been used in the filming of the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

The Virgin Islands inspired me with the modern day setting for this romantic adventure novel because, of this chain of around ninety small islands, islets, cays and rocks in the Caribbean Sea, many are uninhabited.

I eventually settled down to write this romantic adventure story on the Caribbean island of Utila, the smaller of the Bay Islands, just off the coast of Honduras. Likened to the Key West of long ago, Utila is a quaint, unspoiled and laid-back little island. Sitting on the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, it is also a paradise for scuba diving, which is exactly what my husband was doing every day while I was busy writing this story.

Research is a valuable tool for a writer, so I do hope all the fun and adventure I had in the Caribbean has found its way into the pages of Castaway in the Caribbean.

The Virgin Islands inspired me with the modern day setting for this romantic adventure novel. I even got to sail around Tortola, the larger of the British Virgin Islands, in a restored schooner that had been used in the filming of the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Do you recognise the above rock formation from the opening scene in the movie?

Researching Tortola – The British Virgin Islands

Janice Horton writes contemporary romantic fiction with a dash of humour and a sense of adventure. Look out for Janice’s new release for 2015 Castaway in the Caribbean and her Amazon Kindle bestselling books Bagpipes and Bullshot and Reaching for the Stars and her fun Voodoo Romance series of novellas. Her nonfiction guide to online promotion How To Party Online is recommended reading by publishers. Janice is a senior editor at the award-winning Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine (Llm)

Browse and Buy Links:

Browse Castaway in the Caribbean on Amazon UK
Browse Castaway in the Caribbean on
Other Amazon sites are available

No Kindle? No problem. Amazon provides a FREE to download Kindle App for all smartphones, tablets and computers. You can read this title for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Author Spotlight... Liz Fenwick

I am thrilled to have Liz Fenwick as a guest on my blog today.  Liz is the author of three must-read novels, The Cornish House, A Cornish Affair and A Cornish Stranger.  Her  fourth novel, Under A Cornish Sky has just been released by Orion, and I can say with all honesty, it is a fabulous read.

Liz very kindly took time out of her busy schedule to share some thoughts on why she finds the Cornish countryside so inspiring.

The land of myths and legends and, well, the land of Poldark…Cornwall is the setting for all my novels. I wish I could properly describe how the landscape inspires me but it’s something just out of reach. And to be honest I don’t want to investigate or question too much because it is touched with magic. 

I’m sure you have been to places that you have felt connected to…stood in awe looking out on a view. When I do that in Cornwall something twists and turns inside and story ideas begin to flow.

It can be the landscape or an old house or the sight of sailboat rounding a headland. Or it can be the blood moon casting its ghostly light through the bare branches of an oak tree. This timeless world provides the setting for my characters - to dance and cry, to break and heal, to lose love then find it again. After all who isn’t a little be in love with Cornwall and if not Cornwall then Ross Poldark?

You can find out more about Liz and her forth coming release, Under A Cornish Sky by visiting any of the following sites:

And her author page on Orion  

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Why Writing Skills are so important...

There is no getting away from the fact that we live in the digital era.  Letter writing is going out of fashion - in fact I can not remember when I last received a hand written note from a friend.  It is quicker and easier to text or send an email.  Yet it is still important to be able to communicate well, and perhaps more importantly to have good writing skills.  If you are applying for a job, one of the first things a prospective employer sees is your application letter or resume.  Mistakes can be costly, lead to misinformation, and unemployment.

Nikolas Baron, a member of the Grammarly marketing team in San Francisco has some very interesting facts on the correlation of writing well and monetary reward.

Grammarly, a company that develops and distributes professional writing software, was interested in knowing if the accuracy of a writer’s Elance profile affected the writer’s candidacy, earnings, and reputation. To this aim, the company surveyed the profiles of some 450 professional freelancers on The study yielded this interesting result: There is a strong correlation between the highest-rated writers and the accuracy of their profiles. In fact, four- and five-star rated writers offering services on the online staffing platform have something in common. Can you guess what it is? No, it is not college degrees or years of experience; some freelancers are self-taught, and others are just entering the world of writing. What is it?

Grammarly found a positive correlation between the accuracy of the freelancer’s profile and their ratings. The highest possible rating on Elance is five stars. Of the writers evaluated, the ones who received at least four stars for their completed projects had a lower number of errors in their profiles than freelancers who received less than four stars. In other words, contractors with few errors in their profile statements were more likely to receive high ratings on the jobs than writers who had less grammatically correct profiles. Why do you suppose this is? We have three theories.

Theory One:  They Spend Time Writing a Good Profile
One idea is that writers with high ratings take more time to write their profile. They invest the time and effort necessary to create a complete, well-written description of their experience and talent. If this quality transfers to the jobs that they perform, these writers spend more time writing documents for the client. This careful diligence, in turn, leads to high ratings and satisfied clients.

Theory Two: They Are Meticulous about the Details
A meticulous person pays attention to details. Therefore, writers who possess this quality proofread their profile several times after writing it. They may use professional tools such as an automated grammar checker to screen for mistakes. When hired for a job, they spend as much time as is necessary to ensure the documents they author are as accurate as possible. They take care to fulfill all of the job’s requirements. As a result, the clients are happy and give the writers high ratings.

Theory Three: They Command More Respect
Clients use profiles to decide which contractor is best suited to complete their project. Writers with well-written profiles impress clients with their skills before hire. When the contractor’s work lives up to the profile, the impressed clients may be more likely to translate their satisfaction into stars.

What is your theory? Why do you think the highest-rated contractors have the fewest errors in their online profiles? Do you have a profile on an online freelancing platform? If so, you might want to test the first two theories. Take a few moments and review your profile. Complete all the relevant sections. Update your experience and education. Finally, clean up any spelling or grammar errors. Soon, you may see your ratings improve!


Nikolas Baron discovered his love for the written word in elementary school, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at Internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, traveling, and reading.