Tag Archives: contemporary romance

Go find Devan Coultrie @PeaceNovella

 

Retreating to Peace is out thereRTP new swing 2!

It is live, and has been for two days.

I spent the week leading up to release day, pacing up and down, trying to keep sane. This is the fourth book that I have self-published in four years, but the anxiety doesn’t get any less with each one.  There are two other occasions I have felt this nervous. The first, when I paced up and down the night before my A-level Philosophy and Ethics exams. The second, when in 2012, Mama had emergency surgery. Previously, I have stated how this book is different compared to what I have written before, and it felt different writing it.

With that process,  I am embracing the different. You wouldn’t believe it, but even Alan Titchmarh et al don’t write exclusively about gardening.

If we all had the same book list, shelf or idea, there’d be nothing to make us sit up and pay attention. There would be a monotonous sense of status quo, that didn’t offer development, growth and rather inhibited any sense of adventure.

There will be no spoilers about the book, we have had teasers. If you want to know about Devan Coultrie, how he ends up in Peace, you will have to go find him. In Great Britain, that will cost you less than a pound. Across the globe, it is in equivalent currencies.

Read it, review, help spread the word. 

Think not of what Peace can do for you, but what you can do for Peace. 

 

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Where does he live, exactly?

Devan Coultrie is one of Peace, Montana’s newest residents. He lives, slap bang, in the middle someplace.

 

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So, after much anticipation, Devan Coultrie exists as a proper fictional character and not just as a figment of my imagination. He is no longer a series of inky, black, purple and green paragraphs; the back to back cups of tea and assorted versions of ‘Jolene’ have done their thing.  Honestly, ‘Jolene’ is the de-facto theme tune to this book. I had Dolly and Pentatonix on loop for every single step. Right now, Cyndi Lauper and ‘At last’ is bouncing across the kitchen tiles and feels rather apt.

Up next!

You can now await with eagerness, the next two titles. They are both fabulous, and allow Peace to blossom even more.

Already out there:

As you can see, the town of Peace is growing with a very interesting set of denizens milling about it’s boardwalk. I guess that in the same way you have Pokemon, you might want to catch them all.  These series will continue to swell until the  late summer; there is still lots in store for readers. Something for everyone, would describe this series really well.

You can find full details at

Peace Novella series

So what does this mean for my future writing endeavours?

I do have things to write, two things have my focus and will occupy my for the rest of 2018. There will also be a return to gardening, I have three baby chillies on the window sill.

 

Retreating to Peace: Wrote it because…

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In three days time, Retreating to Peace goes live. My contribution to the Peace Series of Novellas will finally be out there, and available to be read. Over the last few weeks, I have been reflecting on the whys, wherefores, whathaveyou’s of having written it.

When first undertaking this writing project, it was a case of why not, what have I possibly got to lose? This could be a really useful learning experience, you might actually get something out of this. I had finished Fragments, and I felt a little listless; I needed to write something else to fill the void left behind.

Having never written a romance before, this was taking a plunge and then some.

In being accepted to participate, I had to then come up with something; I needed an idea! There had be something, that would be plausible with the premise of  a fictional town called Peace in Montana.

I had to think about my own perceptions, experiences, my understanding of fiction, and also the genre of contemporary fiction.What immediately struck me, was how about writing a character that had an Indian background, or a part Indian background. I don’t recall reading a romance, where there was character from a BAME background.

There is BAME literature; it is rich, vibrant and under-rated. It can be found, and it offers a really good insight into realms within literature that are otherwise undiscovered. I dare you to read something by Meera Syal, by Satnam Sanghera, go find Benjamin Zephaniah; read something you perhaps otherwise wouldn’t.

Writing this novella, was about extending horizons, creating awareness and sharing. Sharing and also celebrating diversity. There was also some rebellion in there, in not wanting to write something of a Bollywood drama.

With Retreating to Peace, I have resisted the urge to call it a Bollywood drama. This book is nothing like the telenovellas with all of the Levi Strauss token characters, interesting camera angles and doof doof soundtrack. It does, however, borrow cultural elements that I am aware, that I have experienced within my universe. Even the short-stories that have been Seasonal Peace Spin offs, have had some Indian cultural element in them. I took great pleasure in writing Devan’s Diwali story, and sharing what Diwali means to me, to the characters that I have developed.

What I didn’t want, was to write a novella that echoed what is expected, thought of as being in a Bollywood movie. Whilst writing, I read ‘Devdas’, and recall wanting to throttle the characters whilst trying to process the social, historical and cultural issues raised. I have seen the film, the one with Shah Rukh Khan and not one of the other 13 versions made by Bollywood. I had wanted to read this for years, and it was a real eye opener to eventually do so.

I convinced myself, and felt quite vehement; I didn’t want to write a Bollywood movie in a book. There are no dance numbers or sparkles in this book, sorry, but but no.

When looking at the cover, I remember trawling through images trying to find something, trying to find someone that corresponded to the description and presence of Devan Coultrie and Aditi Rao. (This really was a challenge, and already strained my view of not putting people on the cover.) I found myself re-thinking, questioning what my perception and understanding was of diversity. A process that I had already gone through to some extent when developing Fragments, only it was a bit more focused this time. Diversity in writing, reflecting real life and the society that I live in, matters to me and in turn impacts upon what I produce.

I was really quite glad when the marketing team came up with a teaser that rather made me smile! Looks altogether quite glamorous really.

Punam Teaser 3 (2)

I enjoyed writing and developing Retreating to Peace, and truly appreciative of being accepted into the project. I did want to write something different, and this is definitely different compared to the gardening books and also Fragments.

Forays into Fiction

In 2017, I made my first foray into fiction. Having written two non-fiction books about my allotment, this was something of a challenge in being very different. In all honesty, I really enjoyed writing both of the allotment books; there was a huge learning curve that really did open my eyes. I have learned lessons with each book, and hopefully continue to do so as things progress. No one book is perfect, and there is always someone who will offer you feedback to that effect. The broad plethora of writing out there, would suggest that you are never going to please everyone. Start with pleasing yourself, see what happens.

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That said, seeing and hearing people enjoy the allotment books is a wonderful experience. It is validation, yes. That something I have produced is out there, that it is being engaged with, and there is value to it.

There is a wonderfully romantic notion, that writing is easy; that writers of any description, do nothing but lounge around navel-gazing, smoking cigarettes, drinking tea and occasionally put pen to paper. I can tell you now; that is not the case, that could not be further from the the truth. I don’t smoke, navel-gazing does my head in, but I do like back to back cups of tea.

Then there is the idea of why write?

Well, why not?

There is just something about a pen, a notebook, a day dream and marrying it all together. All that day dreaming is of no use in the depths of my cerebellum; if released from there, it might actually have some use, some one might benefit from it in some shape or form.

I’ve been writing since I was fourteen, and on anything I could get my hands on with rather curly handwriting. Nineteen years later I still have the loose leaves somewhere, and I look back them with lovely, rose tinted glasses. Some of the stuff is in my opinion, altogether strange; however, I wouldn’t change it, I wrote it and for reasons only known to the universe. I still write Star Trek fan fiction; it was and is an wonderful immersion experience. Anyone who tells you that fan fiction doesn’t count as literature, could do with a broader scope on their bookshelf.

 

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In previous posts, I have explored why I wrote ‘Fragments’. I wrote it because of family bereavements, because loss(in  many different forms, not just death) had become a big part of my world and I was trying to make sense of it. Compared to the allotment books, it is bigger, beefier and quite literally not so rosey. Don’t get me wrong, there are happy endings in there; I couldn’t bring myself to write abject, bleak, misery. What I wrote about was being human, or in the very least, trying to understand being a human and the relationships that we form. I’ll be honest with you. There are some parts of ‘Fragments’  that actually make me cry, and I wrote those bits! I can’t read them-I did, when crafting it, I had to force myself to do so-there are others, which make me smile, and I’m glad to have written as not many others might have.

With 2018, I am making my second foray into fiction. I have also broken my own self-imposed rule of not having human beings on the cover; so far, we’ve had insects and pastel art. This next foray, is continued diversification and into contemporary romance. It is actually rosy, unlike ‘Fragments’ so it does have some sunshine like the allotment books. Again, there has been learning; there has been further, very instrumental development and growth.

Over the last three months, I have posted bits and pieces about ‘Retreating to Peace’. I wanted to share the excitement that has been a big part of this project and how much that means to me.  Hopefully, you will have seen the teasers and things.

Yes, this is different. To gardening, to grief. Proper diversification, and then some.

Yes, you read it correctly; contemporary romance.

Romance as a whole, is huge! It is a big slice of the literature pie, the indie publishing pie as well.

Here I am, a minnow-a gardening one-in a big pond, with lots of established fishes.

I couldn’t tell you why I took this plunge. Only, that I wanted to keep writing after having finished ‘Fragments’. I must have taken one week, perhaps two, before stumbling across the Peace Novella Series.  This felt the right thing to do, the universe was sending me signals of some kind.

Plus, as with the other three books, what could I possibly have to lose?

There are some things, that as I was writing ‘Retreating to Peace’ were a big part of my awareness. Things, that have most likely shaped the production of it, and I haven’t really put them out there before.

First, I chose to write a male main character. He’s not that much older than me, he is taller though. Most people are to be honest. Plus, I didn’t want to write a swaggering Alpha Male who saves the universe whilst having a fragile ego broken by a heaving bosom.

Second, he’s of mixed heritage. I would not, do not wish to, label Devan Coultrie as a Person of Colour. That label sets my teeth on edge for a whole armada of reasons that I won’t go into here. I managed to shoe-horn Anglo, Indian and Scottish into development.

Third, not all romance is about rainbows and butterflies. I know, that seems an oxymoron, Thank goodness for Happy For Now.

Fourth, I spent my whole childhood watching Bollywood Movies. There are lots and lots of Bollywood/Indian cultural things mentioned in RTP. This is why, I took great pleasure in writing Devan’s Diwal story. Oh, and I have yet to find a would be Indian inspired romance. Trust me, I know who Meera Syal is as well as Anita Desai and Arundhati Roy. I may never scale their great heights, but a girl can dream, eh?

 

Retreating to Peace: One month to go! @PeaceNovella

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It is one month exactly til Retreating to Peace goes live.

This will be the culmination of a a year long writing project that was ably abetted by all of the lovely fellow writers in the Peace Novella Series. As the 19th January 2018 comes closer, I am hoping that more and more readers will start to dip their toes into this set of books and the reach of the project will get wider and wider.

There have been bits and pieces that I have shared over the last few months, as you can see below.

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Devan Coultrie was at a loss. His world had been shaken, his heart fractured and emptied by death. In search of a way to heal and shake of the damage, Devan sticks a pin a map with the intention of going wherever it lands. Leaving the shores of the United Kingdom, he ends up Stateside, deep in the heart of Montana. With all of his worldly possessions, Devan drives into Peace and onto a plot to land to start life over.

Like him, the farm and its acreage is downbeat, derelict and defeated. When Aditi Rao arrives in Peace, Devan’s plans for himself and his home are disrupted. He has history with Aditi and she’d quite like to write another chapter. Can he show Aditi that his retreat to Peace is more than just a plot of land and on a different continent? Can he find a way to share his home, his heart and a new beginning?

Click here to pre-order Retreating to Peace!

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When you get your copy why pop along to the Facebook event and share!

If you are a book blogger and or reviewer, there will be ARC’s being sent out for Retreating to Peace. If you click here then you can sign up!

It has been fantastic working alongside a vibrant and diverse range of authors. Each and every one brings something different to the series; I have developed and learned so much by being part of these group! You can find full details about Peace on the novella website.

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I have really enjoyed being part of this group. There has been a Diwali story, halloween and thanksgiving too. I know that there is also a Christmas Story lurking somewhere, and there is possibly going to more some seasonal, festive writings next year too. Admittedly, this is something of a deviation from gardening! In a weird and wonderful way, I do think that writing about my allotment, writing the gardening books has lead to this adventure.

There will be paperbacks! Yes, the plan is for all of the ebooks to have a paperback version and there are already some out there!

AHStaggSongsofpeace
A.H. Stagg Songs of Peace
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Krysi Foster Love in Peace

 

Six weeks to go! Retreating to Peace @PeaceNovella

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With six weeks to go, I am counting down the days for when my contribution The Peace Novella Series goes live. Over the last few weeks, you have seen Devan’s Diwali story and also his Halloween Story. Plus there was a Thanksgiving one too. There’s even a Christmas story somewhere!

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Pop along to the Retreating To Peace Facebook Event!

There is also a ThunderClap Campaign, go add your support!

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/65445-january-peace-series-releases/embed

‘Get Stuffed’ Thanksgiving Short @PeaceNovellas

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Thanksgiving kicks off in Peace!

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This is the first time that Devan will have had anything to do with the celebration of Thanksgiving. Being  born and bred in Britain, he is experiencing something rather new and different as he makes his home on Peace. Montana. There will not doubt be some new traditions developed as Devan continues to build his life in Oakview.

 

Get Stuffed

2017 Copyright Punam Farmah

 

You didn’t shoot the damned thing, now did you?” Aditi’s words rose to a squeaky crescendo of incredulity.
Devan tutted, shaking his head. “God, no!” he exclaimed. He had moved his ‘phone from his ear slightly. There was a sharp scratchiness in Aditi’s voice.. “I just drove out to the farm; must have window shopped for at least forty minutes,” he continued closing the ‘fridge with his elbow. He was making tea and needed milk. “Did my best to look for the one that looked the least psychopathic-”
“I want that one!” squeaked Aditi; she was now chortling quite loudly over the line.
“Pretty much,” Devan agreed. “Waited in the café type place; I read the paper whilst it was, you know, despatched.” He pulled a face at the thought of the turkey being sent to meet its maker. He was a dipped in the wool omnivore, but had never thought about what went into killing his dinner before. “All I wanted was fresh turkey. I wasn’t going to get a frozen butterball thing that if I got it wrong, would give me food poisoning.”
Aditi was now laughing almost uncontrollably; her chortling crackled across the miles between them. “Food poisoning versus ethical eating, you’ve lost me on this one,” she said drawing in a deep breath to compose herself. “I once tried to go vegan, only I fell down at scrambled eggs and a full English.”
Devan chuckled quietly as he filled a kettle with freshly drawn water. “That I remember,” he stated placing the kettle on its base and dropping a tea bag into a mug that he had set aside on the worktop. “I deliberately asked you how you wanted your eggs.”
“Wasn’t the eggs entirely, sweetheart,” Aditi chimed in. “I caught the scent of smoked bacon wafting up the stairs from the kitchen, and that was it. It was Goodnight, Vienna. What is your plan then; this turkey day a dry run for Christmas, proper?”
“Sort of,” he replied. “I didn’t plan to use it all, since it’s just me home alone. Might do now, though, all this talking of food. I’m here, you’re all the way over there.” Devan let out a deep, resigned sigh. As he exhaled, he felt the twang of his figurative heart strings. “Christmas proper, would have you being here. You, I would roast the whole stupid thing for, throw in the trimmings. This turkey day is all about being thankful. Thankful, and not in the typical, British, stiff upper lip, tea and biscuits way either.
Devan jabbed a teaspoon into the teabag that swirled around in his mug. Unscrewing the top of a milk bottle, he poured a splash into his tea, stirring it until golden. Clinking against the ceramic, the sound of the teaspoon briefly punctured the silence between them.
“Is there much going on in town?” asked Aditi, her words gently breaking what felt like a cloying heaviness.
“Probably,” Devan replied, lifting his mug to his lips and noisily taking a mouthful. “I haven’t got a clue to be honest. My plan is to stay at home, watch all the Thanksgiving movies that I can find. Eat myself into oblivion; drink my way through leftover bubbles.”

“Hardly thankful then!” shrilled Aditi; there was even a rather loud snort of derision. That’s moping, Devan. You made it through Halloween, give this a shot too. Try being thankful properly. Be thankful, that you and I claimed one another. Be thankful, that the nurses at St.Vincent’s didn’t brain you for being a stroppy patient. Be thankful that you are happy, healthy and have a home in Peace. Dunk that biscuit in your tea, Coultrie.”
“Now that’s an idea,” Devan laughed and put his hand to the biscuit barrel next to the kettle. “And yes, dear, no, dear; whatever you say, dear. Oh, look, a gingersnap.” Smiling to himself, Devan did as he was told. He dunked the biscuit and munched half of it. “I am thankful for all of the above; especially for the item at the top.”
He heard Aditi stifle a yawn across the line. “You, Ms.Rao,” continued Devan, the second half of the gingersnap dunked and thrust into his mouth. He took a moment to savour the flavour being gulping it away. “I’m thankful, and for you. I don’t think I have ever been so thankful for a fellow human being.”
“Not just a fellow human,” tutted Aditi, suddenly sounding very awake. “I’m the one that you pledged your whole life to. Not as romantic as ‘I love you’, but I’ll take it.”
“I do,” whispered Devan, his memory harked back to Halloween. “I love you. More than I can say. Slush and I, Aditi, aren’t exactly bedfellows, hence the clumsiness.”
“No, but you and I are,” Aditi whispered back. “Just keep that in mind for me. I don’t actually have leave left for Christmas, what with the extended sabbatical.”
“Christmas,” repeated Devan. “I hope you do make it, the whole family is coming. You, Aditi, are part of the family, a big part of it. I’ll get through this first. I will practice being thankful. I’ll roast the bird, see how much of it I can eat. You ever had turkey burgers, or turkey curry for that matter?”
“No, yet, no,” there was an altogether way tone in Aditi’s reply. “I will imagine from a safe distance. I will try, Devan, to get to you for Christmas.”
Feeling his stomach flip, Devan could feel a tight knot of sadness form and sink to somewhere near his ankles. “It’ll be lonely this Christmas,” he said softly, “And without you.”
He heard Aditi yawn again and bit his lip. “I should go, and play with the bird,” Devan quickly cleared his throat, once more slurping his tea. “The free-range, not so cuddly one,” he added, closing his eyes tightly as the line crackled with tears.
“Give it a good stuffing,” sniffed Aditi, her words were only just audible. “That much you have my permission for. Provided you save all the cuddles for me. Go, go be thankful. I love you.”
Unable to respond, Devan quickly hung up. He too was about to start sniffling. He knew that Aditi was right. There would be no moping. Draining his tea, he planted his mug firmly down upon the worktop.
“Okay then, turkey,” he said loudly as he rubbed his palms together. “Standby, I am coming to get you.”

~+~

 

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Retreating to Peace Countdown @PeaceNovellas

Counting down #Retreatingtopeace

I have just drafted and finished Devan Coultrie’s Thanksgiving story. I will be writing his Christmas story once I have had another cup of tea and some lunch.  All being well, I will post Devan’s Thanksgiving story when it is officially made public in the coming week. Be sure to check out the Peace Novella Series Page for all things Peace.

This will be his first Christmas Stateside, so I will be reflecting on what it might be like and for him to be so far away from his friends and family.

If you take a look at the Halloween and Diwali stories, you will be able to get a flavour of who Devan is and what is world in Peace, Montana looks likes to him.

Don’t forget, Devan does actually have his own FB page!

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(Does that image remind you of anyone?)

Devan Coultrie was at a loss. His world had been shaken, his heart fractured and emptied by death. In search of a way to heal and shake of the damage, Devan sticks a pin a map with the intention of going wherever it lands. Leaving the shores of the United Kingdom, he ends up Stateside, deep in the heart of Montana. With all of his worldly possessions, Devan drives into Peace and onto a plot to land to start life over.

Like him, the farm and its acreage is downbeat, derelict and defeated. When Aditi Rao arrives in Peace, Devan’s plans for himself and his home are disrupted. He has history with Aditi and she’d quite like to write another chapter. Can he show Aditi that his retreat to Peace is more than just a plot of land and on a different continent? Can he find a way to share his home, his heart and a new beginning?

Punam Teaser 1 (1)

Click on the linked image above to pre-order your copy!

If you happen to be a book worm, a blogger and a kindle-owner, did you know about the Peace Reader group on FB?

If you head to the Peace Reader Group ;join, you will get access to ARC’s and other information. It would be fabulous to see people be part of the Peace Community.

The one request?

Review what you read and help spread the word about this rather nice writing project. 

 

PRE-ORDER! Retreating To Peace @PeaceNovella #RTP #PeaceSeries

Ring the alarm and hold the front page!

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Remember that writing project?

The one that I have talking about, posting bits and pieces about. The one with the romance novella, a whole group of fabulous authors and place called Peace in Montana?

Well, here you go!

This is the cover. Yes, it flies in the face of the whole ‘not putting humans on my cover’ argument, but a girl can change her mind!

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Devan Coultrie was at a loss. His world had been shaken, his heart fractured and emptied by death. In search of a way to heal and shake of the damage, Devan sticks a pin a map with the intention of going wherever it lands. Leaving the shores of the United Kingdom, he ends up Stateside, deep in the heart of Montana. With all of his worldly possessions, Devan drives into Peace and onto a plot to land to start life over.

Like him, the farm and its acreage is downbeat, derelict and defeated. When Aditi Rao arrives in Peace, Devan’s plans for himself and his home are disrupted. He has history with Aditi and she’d quite like to write another chapter. Can he show Aditi that his retreat to Peace is more than just a plot of land and on a different continent? Can he find a way to share his home, his heart and a new beginning?

 

The title will be formally released as an ebook in January 2018. Paperbacks are scheduled for Mid-April 2018.

Make sure you get your e-copy and pre-order today