Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 highlights and Happy New Year.

2014 was an excellent year for new writing - for the first time in three years I was back to my original output of 4/5 books a year. I continued to sell all my books for Large Print and this means they will eventually appear in the library. However my writing career took off when Amazon introduced KU - and I was a Star Author for two months running. I also got a two page spread in the local paper and the photo was flattering -although the one of my cat was even better. Christmas at Hartford Hall was No 1 on the Regency list for three weeks. The year is ending more on a whimper than a bang - but then - who has time to read in December?
I have a new Regency coming out in January - Lord Ilchester's Inheritance - and am part of a joint venture which will be releasing a boxset in time for Valentine's Day. Very excited about this -there will be more news nearer the time. Happy and peaceful New Year to everyone. Fenella J Miller

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Latest Pocket Novel Release

My latest pocket novel BENEATH AN OUTBACK SKY was released recently in the UK. Hope some of you notice it on the bookshelves!?

And just a reminder that the ebook and paperback editions are on preorder for release in a few days on 30th November on iBooks, Smashwords in all e-formats and Amazon Kindle.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Christmas at Hartford Hall

I am delighted to tell you that a novella, Christmas at Hartford Hall, which I wrote for My Weekly Pocket Novels in 2009 is now recyled and has appeared with a lovely new cover. This is a Cinderella story and ideal for a light read.
This is the cover for the Linford large print.
This is cover it had with Musa -who have just returned the rights.
This is the MWPN cover - note the tree - not around in the Regency, but still a decent cover. Which one do you prefer? Mine is the new one by the wonderful Jane Dixon-Smith. Fenella J Miller

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Barbara's War -The Resolution

This is on pre-order on Amazon at the moment. Barbara's War -The Resolution is the final part of a three book series. The books can be read as stand alone -but would be better read in order. If Barbara's secret is discovered it will destroy her family, but no one can keep a secret forever. Her husband Alex, a Spitfire pilot, would reject her and her marriage will be over. A tragedy almosts rips the family apart and then Alex is posted abroad. Barbara has to learn to live without him. A series of domestic catastrophes, bad news and the unexpected appearance of her childhood friend, John Thorogood, cause her further heartache. Can she find a happy resolution to her problems? I was sorry to say goodbye to the characters having lived with them through three books. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Fenella J Miller

Friday, 12 September 2014

My sweet romance 'To Love Again' is available now

My sweet romance 'To Love Again' is now available from Accent Press, Amazon and other book platforms as an E-Book or in paperback:

Meg and her little daughter Katie, flee to rural Devon to escape her sinister ex-husband Phillip. Here, Meg meets the reclusive artist, Garth Winter and although neither wants to become friends they cannot ignore the magnetism between them. As the threat from Phillip increases, Meg realises she needs Garth's help to keep Katie safe. Set against a backdrop of country moors and busy London streets, Meg must battle to keep her daughter while she falls irresistibly in love with Garth.

Monday, 8 September 2014


I've been remiss and forgot to post when my latest pocket novel WHISPERS ON THE PLAINS was released at the end of July.

Irish teacher, Meghan Dorney, breaks away from her floundering engagement and takes time out by accepting a six month posting to Mallawa in outback Western Australia.
Widowed wheat farmer, Dusty Nash, of Sunday Plains pastoral station, desperate to let go of his heartbreaking past, is instantly captivated by the spirited Irish redhead who has blown into the district with the chilly winter winds.
Thrown together in the small isolated community, each resists their budding attraction while they resolve personal issues and tragedy. When Dusty finally learns the truth about the district newcomer, can he overcome his hurt enough to forgive and love?
From the vast and rustic Australian outback to the jewel green Irish countryside, WHISPERS ON THE PLAINS, takes you on a journey of personal discovery and redemption toward true love.

But never mind, if you missed it, it is now available in paperback and Kindle ebook from Amazon here or paperback from The Book Depository here and ebook from Smashwords here in all formats.

Monday, 1 September 2014



This book has been shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger. First published by Robert Hale in hardback, the book then appeared in large print and was picked up by Harlequin Worldwide for a paperback edition. I have now put Sleeping Dogs on Amazon as an e-book available for download at £1.85. I had to wait until the Hale rights reverted to me before I could publish it myself.

I wanted to make the point that there is more than one avenue to go down with a book. I know there are even more places this book could go to for publication, but I have now got it where I want it to go and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it does well as an e-book. All my books, except one, first appeared in print format before they became e-books, most of them as Pocket Novels. I am one of those people who need to be told my books are worth publishing before I go down the Indie route. A lack of self-confidence on my part, probably, and I know a lot of authors have been very successful with self-publishing alone.

I recently sold the first book of (hopefully) a trilogy to Maggie, and eventually all three will appear in large print and as e-books. I am still trying to break into the magazine serial market and I will get there in the end, but meantime I have no one breathing down my neck demanding a book or two a year. I hate working to a deadline and enjoy being my own boss, but I really admire the writers who are with one or other of the big publishers and maybe even envy them a little. 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Lord Orpington's Wager

I have just released my very last back list novella -originally entitled 'A Reluctant Bride' it's now re-emerges as Lord Orpington's Wager.
These are the two previous covers. Thank goodness MWPN has better covers nowadays. I have no more MWPN novellas to put up now -just six that I will get back from Musa over the next few months. Happy days! Fenella J Miller

Friday, 1 August 2014

New People's Friend pocket novel OUT NOW!!

Delighted to let you all know that my latest People's Friend pocket novel is out today - 31 July - in the UK. Won't be on the bookshelves for long so head on out and grab yourself a copy for a lovely romantic read. This is the first of an Australian outback duo featuring the Nash siblings, brother Dusty on Sunday Plains in Western Australia and sister Sophie on her own property, Casuarina Downs, in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia [coming soon].

"Meghan had travelled to the outback to teach for six months - and to ponder her future. But would she return to her fiance in Ireland or open her heart to the mysterious Dusty..."

Thursday, 22 May 2014

My Latest Pocket Novel sale

Really delighted to announce my latest sale WHISPERS ON THE PLAINS which will be released as a People's Friend Pocket Novel on 31 July. I have posted the following link to a blog post I have done about the novel and its setting in the wonderful outback of Western Australia.

VALE - Mary Florence Elinor STEWART

Many people will know that romantic thriller author, Mary Stewart, died earlier this month. I am posting a link to a blogpost I have done which is just a short tribute to the well known and bestselling novelist.

New large print release GRACE'S COTTAGE


I'm delighted to announce the release of the Linford large print edition of GRACE'S COTTAGE on 1 June. It has a beautiful cover and can be preordered now from the Book Depository.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

A Gallant Defender - new Regency.

Today I am pleased to tell you that the very last of my backlist from Robert Hale is now republished as an e-book on Amazon. This isn't a pocket novel, but is a Regency in exactly the same style as all my pocket novels. In future all my new Regency titles will be submitted to My Weekly Pocket Novels, as well as appearing as e-books and, hopefully, large print with Linford Romance. Eliza Fox, devastated by the death of her father and future husband, recovers by assuming control of the family estate, firmly believing that matrimony has no place in her life. Then Lord Wydale, a notorious rake hell, wins Grove House from her brother. Edmund Fox returns to his older sister hoping she can save their home. Mr Fletcher Reed meets Eliza who steals his heart and she appears to return his feelings. He is her gallant defender – but can he save his beloved and her younger sister from the machinations of the villainous Lord Wydale? Fenella J Miller

Monday, 10 March 2014

Guest Post - Sue Barnard

Sue Barnard is one of the (regular) students on my Pocket Novel/Romance writing courses. She joins us this week to explain how learning to write pocket novels led to publishing success elsewhere.



How learning how to write a Pocket Novel taught me to be a better writer


Back in 2008 I did an online Creative Writing course with the Open University.  It was called Start Writing Fiction, and lasted for about three months.  As part of the course the students were set two tutor-marked assignments, one of which involved writing about an emotion. 


The choice of emotion was left up to us, but were advised by our tutor that it was much easier to write convincingly about a negative emotion (such as anger) than about a positive one such as happiness or contentment.  Having tried both, I very quickly discovered that she was right; my attempt at a “positive” piece sounded trite and shallow, whereas the “negative” emotion produced a powerful passage which was so toe-curlingly harrowing that I still cringe whenever I read it.  But the tutor did give me full marks for it, so in that respect at least I must have done something right.


But for a very long time after that, I found I couldn’t write anything which wasn’t dark, or brooding, or in some cases downright depressing.  This wasn’t, I hasten to add, because of any serious angst in my own life – it was purely and simply because I’d got into the mindset that the only way I could write anything “serious” was by going over to the dark side.  Even when, a couple of years later, I made a tentative start on writing a novel (more about that later) I still found it very difficult to shake off that doom-laden mantle.


Then, in January 2012, I chanced across an advertisement for an online workshop run by Sally Quilford, on the subject of writing Pocket Novel romances.  Romance writing was something I’d never had the courage to tackle, but this six-week course looked interesting, manageable and affordable – and I desperately needed to learn how to lighten up my writing.  Despite (to my shame) knowing next to nothing about Pocket Novels, I signed up.


Before the course began I bought and read a few of the DC Thomson Pocket Novels.  It didn’t take long for me to realise that a Pocket Novel offers a lovely dose of escapism, and is usually intended to be read in a single sitting (ideally whilst either lounging on a sunny beach or curled up in front of a roaring log fire).  I ought to be able to write something like this, I thought.  After all, how hard can it be…?


How naïve of me.


I very quickly learned that writing a Pocket Novel is nowhere near as simple as the experts make it look.  Despite their modest price and unpretentious appearance, Pocket Novels are no less “proper” novels that those costing several times as much.  So much so that they are recognised by the Romantic Novelists’ Association.  No trivial matter, then.


As I’d found during the OU “emotion” exercise, easy reading makes for very hard writing.  The story needs to be light but not bland, readable but not simplistic, and with likeable and credible characters and enough action and conflict to keep the reader’s interest until the last page.  Not easy, when the Pocket Novel Rulebook is (or at least was at the time) a long list of Thou-Shalt-Nots.  All plots need conflict, but how on earth can a writer produce a convincing plot when so many of the usual sources of conflict (crime, infidelity, divorce, death) are totally off-limits? 


And yet, under Sally’s expert tuition and kind encouragement, I eventually began to learn that yes, it is possible – if one regards conflict in terms of a problem that needs to be solved.  This can take the form of (for example) fear, or insecurity, or separation – all of which can be tackled without recourse to any of the traditionally more traumatic themes.  As one of the rules for a Pocket Novel is that the Happy Ever After ending is non-negotiable, the story is all about the journey towards it, and how those problems are overcome along the way.


By the end of the six weeks I had a hero, a heroine, a few secondary characters, a basic storyline and a selection of scenes.  Plus a whole new set of friends and writing buddies – all of whom are every bit as valuable to me as everything I learned during the course.  It took me another few months to produce the rest of the book – during which time one of the characters completely floored me by saying something which went on to change the entire course of the subplot.  Until then I had no idea that my fictional creations could take on personalities of their own!  Clearly I still had a lot to learn.


And that learning curve included one of the hardest lessons of all: rejection.  My pocket novel was turned down by both of the DC Thomson outlets – probably because it didn’t tick all their very stringent boxes.


So the Pocket Novel was relegated to the murky depths of my hard drive whilst I turned my attention back to the novel I’d started a couple of years earlier.  This was a retelling of the traditional Romeo & Juliet story, but a version in which the star-crossed lovers didn’t die.  At that stage I was writing it mainly for myself, because it was the ending I wanted, but I was now able to go back to the manuscript with a fresher and more critical eye, and a better knowledge of what a publisher might look for.  In short, the Pocket Novel workshop taught me how to take my writing more seriously and how to develop a more professional approach.  As a result I was able to fine-tune the manuscript and eventually submit it to a publisher.  The Ghostly Father, published by Crooked Cat Publishing, was officially released (very appropriately, given the subject-matter) on St Valentine’s Day 2014.


So even though my Pocket Novel didn’t manage to jump through DC Thomson’s hoops, I learned so much from the experience of writing it – including one very valuable lesson: no writing is ever wasted, even if it doesn’t always make the final cut.


Sue Barnard

March 2014


Postscript – after Crooked Cat accepted The Ghostly Father, I was inspired to resurrect my Pocket Novel manuscript and submit it to them.  As I was writing this blog post, the email arrived telling me they’d accepted it.  It’s billed as “a romantic mystery.”  Watch this space, folks…


Saturday, 1 March 2014

Big Ebook Sale

Smashwords annual Ebook week promotion is about to kick off. Goes from 2-8 March. All my books are 50% off. HALF PRICE. Head on over to my Smashwords page and enjoy. Happy downloading!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Duke's Reluctant Bride - New Year new title.

The Duke's Reluctant Bride is my first new title by 2014. I'm writing a second series of duke books, but this time keeping them all at 50,000 words so they will be eligible for DC Thompson and Linford Romance. This also seems to be a very popular length in both the UK and the US. I've now written three books since last summer; two regencies and one mainstream World War II historical. I'm hoping to write two further regencies and the final part of my World War II trilogy this year. I also intend to continue to republish my back list – I have the final Robert Hale book to go up in March and three short novellas in the following three months. After that all my titles will be new. Although I go through the old books and edit etc, I wonder if my readers can tell the difference between books written at the beginning of my career and books written now. I hope my writing is now more fluent than my first few books for Robert Hale. Having not written anything, apart from a young adult fantasy romance, in the last three years, to be able to write again is a wonderful thing. Writing five new books a year (as I used to a few years ago) seemed an impossible dream a few months ago – but now I think it's achievable. 2014 is going to be a productive year for me and I hope for everybody else. Fenella J Miller