Friday, 23 November 2012

NaBloPoMo #7 : Special Black Friday E-Book Deals

This week it’s “Black Friday”. 

What does that mean? Well, for our non-American fans, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, so it is like Boxing Day – which is when our Christmas Sales traditionally start in the UK.  It is THE busiest shopping day of the year! It’s known as Black Friday because it’s the day many of the smaller stores hope to move their accounts from the Red to the Black – and turn a profit.

Everyone loves Christmas so to get you in the mood to start your Christmas shopping, we are pleased to be offering all our Amazon Kindle e-books at a special discounted price for a limited period of time. On Black Friday, ALL our e-books including the recently released  'Breaking the Circle' by Althea Barr and 'Trouble Rides A Fast Horse' by Elizabeth Sellers be available at the bargain price of:

$2.99/ £1.94/E2.60

How can I buy the e-books?

Firstly, click on the links provided for the small selection of our e-books provided below which will take you to the Amazon product page where they can be bought and downloaded to your Amazon Kindle or any other device that supports the Kindle app such as Smart Phones and PCs. To find out more about our other e-books, please visit the main Sunpenny website here.


'Breaking the Circle' by Althea Barr

NEW- released on 2nd November!

'Trouble Rides A Fast Horse' by Elizabeth Sellers

NEW- released on 1st November!

'Bridge to Nowhere' by Stephanie Parker McKean

'Far Out' by Corinna Weyreter

'Uncharted Waters' by Sara DuBose

'The Skipper's Child by Valerie Poore

Make sure you don't miss out on these fabulous deals and please let us know what you think of the books!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

NaBloPoMo #6 : Sunpenny at the Bedford Festival of Romance!

Festival of Romance

This weekend (Friday 16th – Sunday 18th of November), we were at the Bedford Festival of Romance! As you may have heard, if you are one of our Twitter followers or Facebook fans, the Festival of Romance was a weekend designed to celebrate romantic fiction in all its forms with over 40 romantic fiction authors taking part over the weekend.

It was a wonderful weekend and we really enjoyed everything – attending the award's ceremony, meeting loads of romance authors, sharing cupcakes with visitors at our book stand, and watching romantic Regency dramas! 

Read on to find out more about our experience…


After driving up from Sunpenny HQ in Stoke, our MD Jo and Marketing Co-Ordinator Louise, attended the Festival of Romance Award Ceremony in the gorgeous Harper Suite. The awards ranged from Reader Award for Best Romantic Read to Literary Agent of the Year and it was lovely to see the mixture of shock and joy on the winners' faces. Congratulations to them! However, the highlight for us was presenting the awards for Best Romantic Film and Best Romantic TV Drama and we are pleased to say that the winners for these categories were Jane Eyre and Downton Abbey.


The day was spent at the Rose & Crown/Sunpenny stall at the Romance Fair held in the Howard Room after I (Steph) joined Jo and Louise in Bedford. This was one of our favourite parts of the weekend because it gave us the chance to get to know and chat to romance readers, authors and publishers alike! Thank you to everyone who stopped by to chat, nibble on one of our romance themed cupcakes or bought one of our books. 

It was great to be joined by Althea Barr, the author of the newly released Breaking the Circle and Beverly Lemmer, author of A Flight Delayed, too. In the afternoon, Althea also took part in the Romance Readathon in the nearby Harper Shopping Centre where she read an extract from Breaking the Circle to shoppers.
Photos from the Romance Fair

The scrumptious cupcakes on their stand and the banner for our Rose & Crown and Blue Jeans imprints.

Louise ready for the opening of the Romance Fair after setting up our books.

The pretty red table cloth and our books for sale.

Regency gentlemen visiting our stand.

Watching the romantic Regency drama performance.


The first event on Sunday that we attended was 'Pitch Your Novel', where authors pitched their unpublished novels for live feedback from a panel of publishers which included our MD, Jo. It was particularly interesting to note the variety between the pitches and the creativity of the plots as read out from the authors' synopses. 

In the afternoon, we were at the Romantic Fiction Conference and were treated to a fascinating array of speakers and panellists talking on topics such as, 'E-citing Times for Romantic Fiction' and 'After Fifty Shades: Where next for Romantic Fiction?' 

Jo was invited to be one of the speakers and spoke about our Rose & Crown imprint on the topic of 'Inspirational Romance in the UK'. We were surprised to find out how many romance readers and industry professionals were unaware that inspirational Christian romance isn't just a US phenomenon and hope that we helped people to understand more about the genre.

Thank you

The Festival was great fun and we all loved getting to meet lots of new people to do what we do best: chat about books, of course! Thank you very much to the main organiser, Kate Allan, and the rest of the team  for all their hard work in organising the weekend. We hope to be there again next year. =)

You can find the official photos for the Festival of Romance here. They give a great flavour of the weekend. 

Monday, 19 November 2012

NaBloPoMo #5: Photos from Stephanie Parker McKean's tour for her novel, 'Bridge To Nowhere'

Recently, Stephanie Parker McKean, author of Rose & Crown's Bridge to Nowhere, went on a tour promoting the book, which is her debut Christian romantic suspense novel. Stephanie's whirlwind tour took her across the USA, from Alabama to Texas, stopping at many interesting places to do book signings at schools and other venues – including the restaurant that was the inspiration for the 'Spanish Tile', the seafood restaurant featured in her book!

About 'Bridge to Nowhere':

Bestselling author Mike spends her days shut up in her office, churning out detective stories for her publisher. When a beautiful stranger appears, masquerading as Lynette Clarissa Greene, begging her to help investigate the murder of her sister, Mike is soon embroiled in a mystery which includes the entire town. From the simple-minded Clint, who sheds light on Lynette’s true identity, to the talented Nat, and the orphaned Jared, Mike soon finds herself immersed in the illicit subculture of Texas Hill. From dog fights to kidnappings, her life is thrown into chaos by her incessant need to track down culprits and bring them to justice.

            In amongst the drama she finds herself wrapped up in is Mike’s relationship with retired film star and rodeo champion Marty. Used to saving her from the troubles she finds herself unwittingly caught up in, Marty is her hero. As the story progresses, Marty comes around to Mike’s qualities and they grow closer both professionally and personally. Will they finally settle on a date and keep it? Or will the drama continue to obliterate any progress they are making in their relationship? 

Photos of the tour, commentated by Stephanie Parker McKean:

OST stands for Old Spanish Trail. The OST is the longest continually operating business in Bandera, closing in on 90 years. In Bridge to Nowhere, Miz Mike frequents the Spanish Tile, a restaurant very much like the OST. Alan and I had our first date in the OST. It was touching to visit there with our books!

My favorite breakfast! An Arkey Blue special, named for Bandera Hall of Fame musician, Arkey Blue. It consists of two cheese enchiladas covered in chili gravy with an egg of any style on top, garnished with jalapeno peppers! Great stuff! Miz Mike would have loved it!

Grace Worship Center in Montgomery, Alabama, the first stop on the book signing tour! Folks showed up to support us. We had snacks in the back and everyone enjoyed visiting. Alan was invited to preach at Grace Worship Center on both Sundays that we were in Montgomery. The remaining Sunday, we were in Austin, Texas, at the Texas Book Festival--along with thousands of folks!

After he was converted, Methodist preacher Pollicarpio Rodriquez built this chapel by hand, using huge limestone rocks. He was one of the first Hispanic settlers in Bandera County. Preacher, Indian Scout, Texas freedom fighter, explorer, surveyor… an amazing man who built an amazing chapel which is still used for services today.

Book signing for Bridge to Nowhere at Lakehills Library, Lakehills, Texas.

A report about the tour and book signings in a local paper.

Alan and I were able to visit an elementary school in Laredo with our books and talk to teachers and children.

Sunpenny authors Stephanie Parker McKean with Bridge to Nowhere and Sara DuBose with Uncharted Waters were able to enjoy a visit and chat at Bill's and Sara's lovely home in Montgomery, Alabama.

Thanks for the commentary on the photos of the tour, Stephanie. It looks like you and Alan had a wonderful time!

Rose & Crown Books

'Bridge to Nowhere' is available to buy on Amazon UK, Amazon US and The Book Depository.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

NaBloPoMo #4 Competition: Win a signed copy of 'Brandy Butter on Christmas Canal'

We can't believe that it's only just over a month until Christmas! Autumn has flown by so quickly and all of a sudden we're inundated with Christmas adverts on TV and faced with the difficult decisions of what to buy our family and friends.

To get you in the spirit for the run up to the festive period, we're launching a competition to win a signed copy of the soon to be released Christmas romance, 'Brandy Butter on Christmas Canal' by Shae O'Brien, published by our brand new imprint 'Blue Jeans Books'.

Firstly, let's explain what the book is about:

When Liliane Montgomery inherits her grandparents' narrowboat, it comes at a turning point in her own life, so she thankfully moves aboard. Unfortunately, someone else has the same idea – and he's not willing to share! Ben Derby has been left the boat too – or, as the solicitor explains to the bristling pair, they have been left half each. But in order to stake their claim, they must live aboard for three months without being off the boat for more than forty-eight hours at a time in any two-week period. At the end of that time they can choose for one to buy out the other's share. 
Neither will give an inch, determined to sit it out, each hoping the other will cave in first and leave the boat, breaking the rule and losing their share. In fact, at some point Lily realises that if she can be maddening enough, she could get Ben to stay away for more than the permitted two consecutive nights, and lose.

Lily is broke, thanks to being cheated out of her home by an unscrupulous ex‑boyfriend, and this boat is her only hope for getting back on her feet again. Ben, likewise, is without abode or finance; he's been travelling rough around the world, hitching and riding buses along the way, working for his keep, and now he's back – and is not letting go of the only thing he owns. Let the battle commence

The two have very different natures, and a narrowboat, they discover, is an intimate habitat – at times far too close for comfort. Ben’s ever-present intrusion into her life, his calm dry humour and constant taunts, drive the volatile Lily to distraction at times – what were her grandparents thinking?! Which of the two will finally succeed in pushing the other so far as to leave, and concede the prize?

How to enter the competition to win a signed copy:

If you would like to enter the competition, please send us a favourite recipe of yours that has been passed down to you from your grandmother, or another member of your family. It doesn't have to be a recipe for brandy butter... but if you do have a recipe for it, please do share it! However, please don't send us a recipe copied from a book – we are avid cooks and will recognise it!

Please send your entries to: 

(Replace 'AT' with the @ sign before sending.)

We look forward to salivating over your recipes – thank you to everyone who enters!

Meanwhile, look out for more information on 'Brandy Butter on Christmas Canal' in December.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

NaBloPoMo #3: Our Pick of the Best Autumn/Winter Reading Places

We're almost halfway through November now and with the chilly weather starting to set in here in the UK, we think it's the perfect time to start curling up by the fire with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate. Sounds heavenly, right?

Here are some images of reading spots that look lovely and snug to inspire your winter reading:

Who wouldn't want one of these? Lovely for
relaxing outside in the summer months and
inside during the winter.

I want to live here.
A great place to hide away in whilst tucked up
under a warm fluffy blanket.

When working with tight quarters, design spaces that are multipurpose, such as this reading nook/napping spot/overflow bedroom. Curtains in a cheery print add privacy when the space becomes a guest bedroom.
Very pretty decor!

This outdoor tent looks lovely and homely but
maybe a little cold…

Beautiful and feminine bed/reading nook!
This reading place is my favourite because of the fairy lights.
Another cute reading teepee.

If this reading nook was jazzed up with fairy lights,
it would be set to snuggle up in!

Reading nook tent
This is a fantastic way to make your reading space
separate from the rest of the room. It looks fun
for children to curl up in to spend time in their own
little world with a book.

More cool and coat
Doesn't this just look so quaint?

Sunday, 11 November 2012

NaBoPoMo #2 We're going to the Bedford Festival of Romance next weekend!

Next weekend (Friday 16th – Sunday 18th of November), we're going to be at the Bedford Festival of Romance! As you may have heard, if you are one of our Twitter followers or Facebook fans, the Festival of Romance celebrates romantic fiction in all its forms with over 40 romantic fiction authors taking part over the weekend.

We are so looking forward to meeting loads of romance fans, as well as launching our BRAND NEW Blue Jeans imprint, and generally surrounding ourselves with all things romantic and lovely :-). 

What's Happening?

  • On the evening of Friday the 16th November, Sunpenny's Rose & Crown is very excited to be presenting the award for the 'Best Romantic TV Drama' at the Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner. Don't forget you can still vote for your favourite drama here.
  • On Saturday the 17th November, we will be manning our stall at the Romance Fair, displaying our Rose & Crown romance books as well as books from our other imprints, along with cupcakes and other goodies! Do come and meet us and have a chat, buy some books and maybe even meet an author or two!

  • Which brings me to my next point – meet some of our authors! We are delighted that Beverly Lemmer, author of A Flight Delayed, and Althea Barr, author of soon-to-be-released Breaking the Circle, will be joining us at the festival to meet readers, do some book signings, and also take part in the Romance Readathon at the Harpur Shopping Centre.
  • We can't wait to launch our newest imprint, Blue Jeans Books. Blue Jeans is a sister imprint to our Rose & Crown imprint, and will be based around wholesome romance of all kinds. Our debut book, which is to be released very soon, will be Breaking the Circle, by Althea Barr. Breaking the Circle is a beautiful story about a young teacher who chooses to go above and beyond the call of duty to help a family break away from a circle of abuse, and along the way finds herself falling unexpectedly for a new friend. So come and have a cupcake at the stand and find out all about it!
  • On Sunday the 18th November, we'll be attending and taking part on the panels of various workshops, including the Pitch Your Novel workshop, in the Howard Room at the Corn Exchange (10:00 – 11:30), where you can pitch your unpublished novel to the panel and receive live feedback.

Sound tempting? There are still tickets available here and we'd love to see you at the festival – so book your place now! You can find out more about the wide range of events planned for the weekend, including author workshops and the Romance Fair, on the festival website.