Thursday, 31 May 2012

Guest Post from author Sandra Peut: 'A Sense of Place'

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Today I am pleased to have Sandra Peut, our Rose and Crown author on the blog today with her guest post 'A Sense of Place' on how she made the Pacific Island setting of her inspirational romance novel  Blue Freedom come to life. Thank you to Sandra for her insight into her writing and her great tips!


About Blue Freedom:


Bella
 Whitman is a freelance health and fitness writer with a tragic history. When she is offered a dream opportunity to undertake a writing assignment which will take her on a journey across the South Pacific islands, she grabs it, despite her misgivings about the arrogant but handsome editor in charge of the magazine, Ethan Gray - and Jay Hinkley, the contract photographer Ethan has hired to travel with her. Despite a rocky start, Bella finds herself being drawn to Jay as they work and travel through the islands. But can this relationship develop into more than a friendship, when he already has a woman in his life? And with a dangerous hitman trailing their every move, can Bella and Jay finish their assignment - despite the shadowy motives of their employer Ethan - and survive a deadly rendezvous with a Thai drug consortium in a nail-biting climax?

Through this fast-paced adventure, Bella is able to find healing from past pain and discover emotional and spiritual freedom.



About Sandra Peut:

Sandra Peut began writing stories for her school friends when she was a young girl. A trained dietitian, she has worked in the fields of nutrition and women's health promotion. Her writing experiences include being a senior writer for an Australian girls' magazine, and involvement with print media in a public relations role. She and her husband have four children aged 8-and-under, and live in regional Queensland, Australia - just a short walk from the beach. Blue Freedom is her first novel.

Welcome, Sandra:
Have you ever read a novel or watched a movie where the setting almost seemed to be another character?
I recently saw The Lucky One, based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks (author of the bestselling The Notebook). The beautiful scenery of Louisiana – with its lush wooded areas and meandering streams – weaved its way into the plot, taking on a life of its own.


You don’t need whole paragraphs (or pages!) of descriptive prose to help establish the setting of your novel or story. Even just a few well-chosen words or sentences can help transport your readers directly into the scene.
I sought to do this in my own novel, Blue Freedom. Researching the various locations – including New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Thailand – on the internet gave me an idea of different aspects of the cultures, people, and landscapes.
I then tried to imagine what it would feel like to be really there:
The tropical humidity hit Bella as she reached the plane’s open door and descended the stairs onto the blazing tarmac… Her senses were assaulted by the bright colours of the islanders’ clothing, the sound of throngs of people talking all at once, the feel of a slight breeze wafting through the open windows and doors.
I can almost smell the tropical flowers and the wafting aroma of delicious dishes from the nearby street market J.

Following are some tips to help you create compelling settings in your writing:
1)    Research: you can use the internet, look for relevant books or videos, try travel magazines and brochures – or better yet, go there!

2)    Use your imagination to place yourself (and by extension, your characters) in the scene.

3)    Engage all your senses: think about what you would see, hear, smell, touch (and even taste).

4)    Keep it brief: a few well-placed sentences help to create the right ambience, but don’t slow down the pacing of your story too much.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s over to you =) :

What are some of your suggestions for helping to ‘set the scene’ in your writing?
Can you share some examples of books/authors/movies that demonstrate this aspect particularly well?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Special Weekend Kindle Deal: If Horses Were Wishes is FREE today!



This weekend marks the opening of the British Museum exhibition The Horse: Ancient Arabia to the Modern World which displays the epic story of the horse over 5000 years of human history from their domestication in 3500 BC to modern times. It will run from 24th May-20th September 2012. You can find out more information about it here -it definitely looks worth a visit if you live near London.

To celebrate the opening of this fascinating exhibition and the role horses have played in our history over the centuries, we are treating you by offering our young adult novel for horse lovers,

'If Horses Were Wishes by Elizabeth Sellers'


for FREE  download on Amazon Kindle todayonly!

Even if you don't have an e-reader, you can still read the book by downloading the free Kindle reading app from Amazon for desktop and devices such as phones and Ipads.

DOWNLOAD HERE:


About If Horses Were Wishes:


Katy Robinson, an unhappy young foster child, daydreams constantly – of a proper home with her parents, of having good friends, and of being as popular at school as Sandra Magill. Sandra has an enviable lifestyle in the countryside, with her parents and her horse Tommy, and is always surrounded by friends. But when Katy dreams of doing something admirable to impress Sandra, the results aren’t quite what she had in mind! Her initial shock at waking up to her new status as a horse gradually grows into acceptance. Being cared for by Sandra’s posse, and becoming friends with Tommy, all help. But Katy-the-girl is officially missing and being looked for by the police – and when Sandra and her friends decide to undertake to find their schoolmate, Katy finds she is able to lead them in the right direction. Through various adventures, including putting the school bullies to flight, unexpected friendships and discoveries develop, and the question is – will Katy decide she prefers being a horse, or will she try to find a way to become a girl once more?


Praise for If Horses Were Wishes:

Elizabeth Sellers - If Horses Were Wishes - Book Launch

"If Horses Were Wishes" is delightfully imaginative, entertaining to follow,
and the life-lessons presented therein - about friendship, self-worth,  and how to
recognize what’s truly meaningful - are readily absorbed. This novel is sure to
become a favourite on the shelves of young people who love horses.'

Karen Molson, author & biographer


Captivating, Stimulating and Educational. Sellers writes from her heart and her 
experience. She describes in detail the very soul of the young teenager, as well 
as the spirit of the horse.
Sheila Pennington

My younger sister, 'Managed to power through more than 150 pages in one day, putting aside the fourth Harry Potter book that she had been previously reading though.'
Mary- Goodreads review


Happy reading- don't forget spread the word about the offer and leave a review if you enjoy reading it!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sunpenny has joined Pinterest!



Pinterest is the social network that everyone's been buzzing about recently since it was announced that it drew a third of traffic on social networks this March behind Facebook and Twitter. For those of you who haven't heard of it, it's a virtual pin board where users post and repin their favourite images. With all the pretty pictures from there that have been popping up on our Twitter feed, we decided to join the pinning fun too!

You can find our boards and subscribe at: http://pinterest.com/sunpennypublish/

 Our board names




Stacks and stacks of books- heaven!


Blissful and relaxing reading!


What a glamorous bookshelf!


Arriving outside Earl's Court.


Home is wherever my books are <3

We hope you enjoy browsing our pins (we have 100 so far.) Let us know if you're on Pinterest so we can check out your boards!


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

If Horses Were Wishes by Elizabeth Sellers book signing in Ottawa, Canada!


We have exciting news for if you live in Ottawa, Canada!

Elizabeth Sellers, author of If Horses For Wishes will be at Books on Beechwood  on Beachwood Ave this Saturday from 1am- 11pm. All are welcome to come along to hear her talk, say hello, and ask her to sign your book =).


Elizabeth Sellers - If Horses Were Wishes - Book Launch
Elizabeth signing books at the launch.

About If Horses Were Wishes:

Katy Robinson, an unhappy young foster child, daydreams constantly – of a proper home with her parents, of having good friends, and of being as popular at school as Sandra Magill. Sandra has an enviable lifestyle in the countryside, with her parents and her horse Tommy, and is always surrounded by friends. But when Katy dreams of doing something admirable to impress Sandra, the results aren’t quite what she had in mind! Her initial shock at waking up to her new status as a horse gradually grows into acceptance. Being cared for by Sandra’s posse, and becoming friends with Tommy, all help. But Katy-the-girl is officially missing and being looked for by the police – and when Sandra and her friends decide to undertake to find their schoolmate, Katy finds she is able to lead them in the right direction. Through various adventures, including putting the school bullies to flight, unexpected friendships and discoveries develop, and the question is – will Katy decide she prefers being a horse, or will she try to find a way to become a girl once more?


Praise for If Horses Were Wishes:

"If Horses Were Wishes" is delightfully imaginative, entertaining to follow,
and the life-lessons presented therein - about friendship, self-worth,  and how to
recognize what’s truly meaningful - are readily absorbed. This novel is sure to
become a favourite on the shelves of young people who love horses.'

Karen Molson, author & biographer


Captivating, Stimulating and Educational. Sellers writes from her heart and her 
experience. She describes in detail the very soul of the young teenager, as well 
as the spirit of the horse.
Sheila Pennington

My younger sister, 'Managed to power through more than 150 pages in one day, putting aside the fourth Harry Potter book that she had been previously reading though.'
Mary- Goodreads review



Get a free sample of the book through Pay With A Tweet:

If you would like to read a sample of the first few chapters of If Horses Of Wishes, you can download a PDF by posting an update on Twitter or Facebook in payment. Simply click on the button below where you can sigh into your account through the site's safe server to post and then you will be given the link to the sample. Please ask if you have any questions.




For those of you who don't live near Ottawa, you can still get in touch with Elizabeth Sellers to ask her any questions you have about her or her book through her Facebook or Goodreads pages by clicking on the links. She would love to hear from you. You can also buy the book here:


Amazon UK - Amazon US - The Book Depository

Spread the word- we hope to see some of you there!