The Vineyard by Karen Aldous
Published 19th May 2014
It’s been five years, and Lizzie Lambert has decided it’s time to try to make things right with her estranged mother. She’s made a success of things in Cannes, she’s bringing up a lovely little boy on her own, and she’s ready to put the past behind her.
But it seems Lizzie’s mother has moved on as well. She’s moved her toyboy – a muscle-bound vintner named Cal – into the family home, and given him the run of the land that was meant to be Lizzie’s inheritance!
Cal’s wine business frequently takes him to France, and suddenly wherever Lizzie goes, he’s already there – meddling, giving unsolicited advice, saving her little boy’s life and stealing her heart. But none of this changes the fact that he’s her mother’s lover…
Praise for Karen Aldous
'...you must read this wonderful debut from Karen, absolutely great.' - Cometbabesbooks
'Not since Peter Mayle has anyone captured the essence of Provence and Karen Aldous does it vividly. Settle back with a glass of wine and experience the Vineyard for yourself.' - Elder Park Book Reviews
'A delightful romantic comedy that tales place amidst the beauty of France, with plenty of wine and laughter.' - cayocosta72
The Value of my Writing Class - Writing Tips
With only my debut The Vineyard and my second novel, The Chateau on its way, I’ve only limited experience of the publishing world but, I know, when you start out as a writer, what it’s like to be hungry for any tips from published authors. I did and still do admire any person who has been published! It has been a dream of mine for so long to be among them.
So what can I offer? I’m going to start with bullet points because that’s how I expand my thoughts:-
* Reading – If you write, you would will know the type of book you want to write by the books you enjoy reading. Those stories and author’s voices that sing to you like your favourite songs. My tip would be to write the sort of novel you enjoy but, with your own voice!
* Novels, short-stories or articles – I started wide but then focused on what I really dreamed of – writing a ‘Bestseller’. I aimed high, yes, but it was my motivator.
* Write alone or with support – This was interesting because much of what I’d written in the past was binned! I wrote alone and never imagined my writing good enough. I rarely sent anything out. So, when I began my mission to fulfil my dream in January 2012, not only did I get a place on The Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Scheme, (often abbreviated to RNA NWS) I was extremely fortunate to also find a local writing class ‘The Write Place’ which is based in the ‘Mick Jagger Centre’ in Dartford, Kent. The weekly classes began to focus my writing. Authors attended giving workshops and advice. Reading my work aloud, all these essential aspects allowed my confidence to grow. And, encouraged by Elaine Everest, the tutor to begin sending out my work instead of putting it aside or binning it, was an enlightening moment.
* Group Support - With two other writers in the class, Elaine Everest and Francesca Capaldi-Burgess, also on the RNA NWS, we attended the events of the RNA together. I got to meet so many lovely authors – and, they really are extremely supportive of one another. Also, the RNA NWS was instrumental in giving me the deadline to send my manuscript for professional critique. I had to complete as much as I could before the end of August. The feedback really constructive. Again building confidence.
* Publisher or Agent – I learned from my classes how to approach both and many of us attended a ‘Curtis Brown’ day where we had the chance to pitch directly to the agent. It was a great experience which again, makes you focus on writing a synopsis and first chapters for submission. I also attended a one-to-one with a Mills & Boon Editor at the Festival of Romance who liked my synopsis and first three chapters and advised me to send my manuscript to CarinaUK once complete.
The rest, as they say is history. Albeit a short one. I received a two-book contract several weeks later with CarinaUK and my second book The Chateau is coming soon…My specific advice would be to write your novel. Get the first draft complete and then work on it from there. You at least have the opportunity to get feedback if you begin sending your work out. Then begin the next. My aim now is
to get better and write more. I wish you all good luck and would have to recommend a similar route to publication.
The Vineyard is available on Amazon or Kobo ibookstore itunes and many other retail and ebook portals Follow KarenAldous_ on Twitter On Facebook Visit her website: KarenAldous
About the Author
Karen gets much of her inspiration from her travels and if she had to choose, France, Greece, Switzerland and Italy would be her favourite. However, wherever she goes, she discovers a new character emerges in 'Karen's World'. She likes to write about strong independent women who can direct their own lives - but struggle to control them! And, of course there's always a gorgeous hunk or two!
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