New release! Kindred and Affinity is out today.

I pre-ordered, so I’m reading it.

Rebecca Bryn

Launching a new book title is always an exciting time, fraught with possibilities of doom and failure. Kindred and Affinity is my eighth title, and I’m altogether too relaxed about it. The fact is that readers who like my books will probably try it, and those who don’t know my writing probably won’t. It’s a little more romance based than most of my books, but like the others, it has a bittersweet twist and is firmly based in the history of the time, which in this instance spans 1873 to around 1915.

The title is live today, so there is now a ‘look inside’ at, so you can see if it’s something you might like to read, and if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, it’s free.

It’s a tale inspired by snippets of family history that stuck in my mind from my childhood. It’s entirely fictional, but is…

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Books I haven’t Loved and Why!

Readers’ Favorite reviewers see books they wouldn’t have bought!

Make sure yours isn’t one of them. Comments from other authors on this post would benefit us all, so please add one.

Common Mistakes Made by Fiction Writers

Have you ever wondered why your work isn’t selling? You have a great cover and a tempting description, which leaves Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature, where you have seconds to persuade a potential reader to click “Buy”. Consider which opening would interest you most.

1. Janet was blonde with long wavy hair and a curvy figure, and her beauty did tend to attract unwelcome attention. For that reason, she preferred to take taxies, but tonight, she’d opted for a breath of fresh air. If anyone she didn’t like approached, she could put her self-defense training into practice.

2. Janet walked faster, and the footsteps behind her speeded up too, the thumps of heavy shoes on the sidewalk echoing the pounding of her heart.

A hand grasped her long plait, and a hot breath scorched her ear. “Keep quiet and I might let you live.”

Ignoring pain when blonde hairs came out by the roots, she turned to face her attacker and kneed him hard in the groin. “Get lost, scum.”

Head-hopping confuses readers. This means opening with, for example, Janet, but showing the thoughts of her attacker. Janet can assess them from what she can see and listen to what he says to keep the story going. What the author must not do is state the thoughts in the attacker’s head, like this >> The bitch had hurt him, and if she thought she was getting away with it, she was wrong.

So, you’ve hooked your reader. Amazon allows books to be returned for fourteen days.

Too many POV (point of view) characters make it difficult for the reader to remember them all. Told in the first person, there will only be one POV character, but most authors choose to write in the third person. Two characters are very easy to handle, particularly if one is male and the other female. Six or seven must be brought in at intervals. Some books have huge casts, but it is possible to show the majority from one of the POV characters.

Research is vital. Everything from the name of the transport system in Chicago, and the hours it runs, to whether you can drive past the statue of Eros in London’s Piccadilly, and don’t rely too heavily on Google. Join Facebook – an important platform for an author – and make friends all over the world willing to answer questions.

“A car” tells the reader nothing about its owner. Think about the information imparted by “a rusty old Ford Focus with a missing wing mirror and brake lights that didn’t work” or “a black Lamborghini coupé polished until he could see his face reflected in the paintwork.”

Editing, and this includes traditionally-published authors; mistakes do slip past professional proof-readers, but the buck – the returned book and the poor review – stops with the author. Always reread your work yourself. “But I had a 5-star review from Readers’ Favorite”. All that means is the typos were too few to draw the reviewer out of a great story. One poor Amazon review can stop sales dead for months.

Depressed readers – go to Books I’ve Loved – they avoid most of those ghastly mistakes.

Royal Command Family Saga, plus bonus story!

Have you ever wondered what happened after the sizzling end of Sweet Temptation: the Agony and the Ecstasy of Passion?

If you would like an ARC of all but the new story, please join my reviewer group. Members will also benefit from the preorder price of 99 cents or its equivalent worldwide. The bargain of the year in exchange for an honest Amazon review.

Book Description

When the celebrity lifestyle goes horribly wrong, who will stand by the Diamond Superstar, and who will seek to profit from his downfall?

Michael, a poor wannabe actor, puts hopes of a career above romance, until he meets and marries Elspeth, only daughter of a wealthy Scottish laird. She persuades Clement, a musical impresario, into offering Michael a starring role and, later, the pair have an adulterous affair.

Lisette, Michael and Elspeth’s eldest daughter, influenced by a literary heirloom, indulges in a taboo practise by seducing her charismatic father and bearing his child. Determined to keep her family out of jail, Elspeth contrives to give birth secretly to Clement’s son, Kit, and the babies are registered as her twins.

A rejected boyfriend guesses the truth and blackmails Lisette. Michael involves the whole family, risking everything, to rescue her, but the seeds of a newsworthy scandal are planted, and they flourish to result in dangerous rebellions, illicit relationships, and murder. Does The Spy, a journalist who will stop at nothing to get a story, reveal the truth to the world?

A woman of two halves.

Rebecca Bryn

Well, actually, more than two halves if that makes any sense, but I’m talking about the artistic me, and the fact that I’m split between my two loves, writing and painting. Having completed my latest work of historical fiction, Kindred and Affinity, a romance – I swore I’d never write romance – inspired by my somewhat dubious family history, I’ve been turning my attention to my painting. But first, Kindred and Affinity is available to pre-order at It’s not as dark as some of my other historical fiction, concentrating as it does on the lives of ordinary men and women in my home county of Northamptonshire, but it does explore how young women were prey to their fathers’ social and religious convictions, and their husbands’ good nature, and not all my forebears have been men (or women) of good moral conviction – and there hang several other tales already…

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When the sun comes out…

Rebecca Bryn

When the sun comes out my spirits soar. Yesterday, it rained all day. Rained cats and dogs, and dog and I got soaked walking. It wasn’t that I didn’t have enough to occupy me indoors so much as that the dreary light sapped my resolve, and my husband and I sat around moaning about how cold it was for June, and how tired we felt.

This morning, the sun woke us shining through the bedroom door. I was up and out early with yesterday’s wet pooch – we walked along the lane, up the slate track, and round the field at the end. I stopped when I got back to the lane to wait for said dog to catch up – she’s twelve and getting slower – and was delighted to see a bank vole scuttle across the lane. It’s been a couple of years since I last saw one…

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Rubbing shoulders with monsters…

Reblogged to read on “down” days. We all have them, but allowing them to win is a choice, and I choose not to… usually… with the help of my friends. Where would I be without you all?

Maxpower's Blog

Sorrow is its own master. It galvanises all the sources of pain waiting in the wings to create the perfect storm, leaving you undone. It is as ruthless as it is all consuming. There is seldom an easy route to safety and like any mighty storm, the only way past it is through it.

My own nature is to be melancholicbut I have always found ways to disguise this to the world. Perhaps my only true reveal is in my writing. It shouldn’t have surprised me(but it did) when my heart stopped a few years back, I recognised what was happening and instead of the oft purported life flashing by, for me I was overwhelmed only with sadness. I felt the burden of all the sorrow that would befall the loved ones I was leaving behind. I came back from the light, a tad darker perhaps.

I guess the true…

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Who writes fiction and can it be taught?

The answer to that question must be a qualified yes. Given the opportunity, every human being can learn to communicate. From stories passed from generation to generation in words to cave art, to writing, printing presses, and computers, men and women have always told stories. Those tales have changed from history, or magical explanations of the, at the time, inexplicable, to deliberately make-believe novels intended to entertain. It is to those novels that I refer when I ask, “who writes fiction and can it be taught”, and I don’t mean correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation – school – evening classes – proof-readers –

I told stories before I could hold a pencil, and a collection of dolls and teddy bears acted them, or did they? I had my favourites – the good guys who had families they cared about– and the ones I wished one of my aunts had never spotted pre-Sarah’s birthday. One doll is definitely reincarnated in a character an Amazon reviewer said made Cruella de Vil look like Mother Theresa.

I made plans – nowadays, they are called taglines and plots – and those dolls and teddies did exactly as they liked. Days out at the seaside –paper painted blue with a yellow strip for sand – didn’t end with my happy family piling into their car – sorry, doll’s pram. Oh no! One of the villains would have pushed a small bear into the sea, so he/she was now wet and upset. If I’d known about drowning back then, a funeral would have followed.

It still happens. Like most authors I know, my first few chapters rarely survive intact, or even at all, to publication. Take the Richard and Maria trilogy. I placed Richard carefully in County Durham, where I live, for “local appeal”. What does he do? Make it impossible for him to stay there, so he moves to London. Yes, I know and love London, but it meant mountains of research to see what might have changed since my last visit.

Maria, the “waif”, is no better, but why would she be? Adoption is one thing: a teenager heartlessly dumped on a stranger’s doorstep quite another. She doesn’t know who to trust, or if anybody will ever love her, so she feels a burden to the man landed with her.

As for the dog! I chose a Jack Russell terrier because readers were likely to recognise the breed, and he was conveniently small. Too late, I discovered Ben had all the characteristics of my current rescue dog and being terrified of being left alone anywhere but in my car was the least of them. She… SHE… is a massive Weimaraner, but she and Ben coexist in an imaginary body.

So, who writes the books? If a character is psychologically sound, he or she will behave accordingly, and the plot plan changes so much I’ve given up writing them.

Can creative writing be taught? Many Internet sites claim that it can and charge vast sums to the gullible who haven’t investigated almost free sources – writing groups. Further Education classes may or may not be free but are rarely expensive. Universities charge, but they provide a degree if you pass at a reasonable standard.

Personally, and you know this is my opinion or you wouldn’t be reading the article on my website, I don’t believe teachers can tell students how to write. After all, if their methods worked, they wouldn’t waste their time; they’d be too busy writing their next New York Times best-seller. Writers are born. Fame and fortune are down to publicity, and that can be taught. If you want to write, do it, and spend your money on learning how to tell the world.

One tip! Awards do help. My sales took off with a Readers’ Favorite Medal, and the 2019 contest closes on June 1st.