Best Books Read in 2022: #contemporaryromance #historical romance #crimefiction #reading @LeonieMAuthor @lwestwoodwriter @wurdsmyth @KathrynFreeman1 @SueMoorcroft @NinaKayeAuthor ‘AngelaBritnell @AmattAuthor @pernillehughes @MaggieChriste33 @MarieLaval1 @foreva48

My 2022 Books of the Year

I’ve read a lot of books this year. Mostly it’s been contemporary romances – I know! Who’d have guessed? But I’ve also read in my other go-to genres of crime and historical romance. And after much deliberation and agonising I’ve managed to pick a favourite contemporary romantic read for each month of 2022 – plus 2 from the other two aforementioned genres. All got 5 out of 5 stars from me. They are all wonderful reads.

So, without further ado, here they are.

(Just click on a title to be taken to that book’s Amazon page where you can find out more about the story)

My 5 Star Reads

January

A Match Made in Venice by Leonie Mack (contemporary romance)

February

Moonlight on the Thames by Lauren Westwood (contemporary romance)

March

The Start of Something by Miranda Dickinson (contemporary romance)

April

We’ll Always Have Venice by Leonie Mack (contemporary romance)

May

The Italian Job by Kathryn Freeman (contemporary romance)

June

Summer at the French Café by Sue Moorcroft (contemporary romance)

July

One Night in Edinburgh by Nina Kaye (contemporary romance)

August

Summer at Seaspray Cottage by Angela Britnell (contemporary romance)

September

Bootcamp for Broken Hearts by Joanna Bolouri (contemporary romance)

October

An Autumn Hideaway by Margaret Amatt (contemporary romance)

November

Ten Years by Pernille Hughes (contemporary romance)

December

Christmas in Bellbird Bay by Maggie Christensen (contemporary romance)

PLUS

And my other two books of the year in other genres

Queen of the Desert by Marie Laval (historical romance)

Deception by Helen Forbes (crime)

And that’s it from me for this year. Thank you to all of you who follow my blog and who read/comment on my posts. Happy New Year to you when it comes and feel free to share a favourite read or two of your own in the comments.

PS

Sign up for my newsletter

Go HERE to sign up for updates on my writing (as opposed to this blog). You will also get exclusive access to occasional bonus scenes from my books, previews of the work-in-progress, along with writing challenges for you to take part in, and a chance to take part in giveaway contests. The content of these emails is much more focussed on my writing than the blog.

AND, as a thank you from me if you do sign up, you will also get the chance to download a FREE BOOK – a collection of my romantic short stories.

You can find out more about my books on the Books page here on the website.

Christmas Book Flood: Romantic Fiction for Christmas #reading #romancenovels #christmasnovels #christmasromance #writing @bethcmoran @Heidi_Swain @MaggieChriste33 @SueMoorcroft @PhillipaAshley @SarahMorgan_

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Bookmas!

I must admit the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod (Christmas Book Flood) is one that really appeals to me. This is the tradition where Icelanders give and receive books on Christmas Eve and then spend what’s left of the day and into the night reading their book gifts. In the absence of that tradition here in Scotland, I treat myself to some – ok lots of – Christmas-themed romantic novels in time for the start of my own flood of Christmas reading from early December onwards.

Below (in no particular order) are the six wonderful books I’ve read so far. They’re all lovely and I thought it would be good to share the book love. The first five are set in the UK and the sixth one is set in Australia.

Let it Snow by Beth Moran

A Christmas Celebration by Heidi Swain

A White Christmas on Winter Street by Sue Moorcroft

The Christmas Holiday by Phillipa Ashley

Snowed in for Christmas by Sarah Morgan

Christmas in Bellbird Bay by Maggie Christensen

Your Christmas Reading

Are you drawn to festive themed reads at this time of year? Do you re-read a classic like A Christmas Carol for example? Do you go all in and get submerged in a festive book flood or is it just a nod in the general direction? Please do share your December reading tendencies and good reads in the comments below.

My Writing in 2022

Published this year

This year saw the publication of my latest novel, Baby Steps. It’s been my most successful book so far and is available as a paperback and as an ebook. It’s a standalone contemporary romance but is linked with the Skye series. You can find out more about it on the Books page here on the website or click HERE where you’ll also find a link to buy it.

Currently Writing

The work-in-progress is, you guessed it, another contemporary romance. It has the working title of Happiness Cottage and the plan is for it to be the first of a series set in the Scottish Borders. I’m loving it so far and I’m enjoying getting to know Aidan and Lori the two main characters. Aidan’s a moody, broody Scottish farmer and Lori’s a feisty, upbeat Australian visitor. Safe to say the sparks are flying! Updates and extracts will be available in my newsletter …

Sign up for my newsletter

Go HERE to sign up for occasional emails that will always include news of my writing and life. You will also get exclusive access to occasional bonus scenes from my books, previews of the work-in-progress, along with writing challenges for you to take part in, and a chance to take part in giveaway contests. The content of these emails is much more focussed on my writing than the blog.

AND, as a thank you from me if you do sign up, you will also get the chance to download a FREE BOOK – a collection of my romantic short stories.

Merry December To You All!

Whether you celebrate the festive season or not and regardless of whether it’s winter or summer where you are, thank you for being here. Have a good end-of-year and all the best for 2023 to all my readers.

New Month, New Season, New Beginnings: A look forward and back #writing #reading @AngelaBritnell @portybelle

I like September. Here in the northern hemisphere it marks the start of autumn and autumn is most definitely my favourite time of year. I always enjoying going for a walk but autumn walks are the best.  I love the autumn colours of the leaves, the soft light, the cooler air. And who can resist tramping through those piles of falling leaves as if you were five years old again?

Writing News

I also find that a new month and a new season help me to focus on my writing plans as I tend to sketch out my aims and targets on a monthly and quarterly basis. It’s also a good time to reflect on what I achieved in my previous planning period(s).

Looking back

The looking back part has been particularly rewarding at this point as I achieved two things at the writing desk that I’m proud of.

Newsletter all set up

The first of those was getting my author newsletter set up – something that was a lot of hard work, a steep learning curve and something I’d wanted to do for a long time. So, isn’t this blog enough? I hear you ask. Why have a newsletter? Good questions. Responses below.

Well, firstly, no, the blog isn’t enough – much as I love it. It’s enough as far as fulfilling my aims in setting up. Those aims being to write about my recent reading and writing experiences and to share my reflections on those and occasionally other matters too. I see the blog as a sort of collection of magazine type articles and a chronicle of my life as a reader and writer.

Secondly, an author newsletter is a different thing. It is more specific and it is more tightly focussed. The audience consists of the readers of my books. The content is based on my books – the ones already published, the one I’m currently working on, and my future writing plans. Recipients of the newsletter get a free book on signing up, as well as ongoing occasional special offers, giveaways, sneak peeks into my work-in-progress. It’s a chance for me to get to know the readers of my contemporary romances and for them to get to know a bit more about me.

The newsletter is already proving to be a rewarding thing to do. It’s so good to have this direct link with my loyal audience and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

If you haven’t signed up to get my monthly letter in your inbox and you’d like to, just click HERE and yes, you will be rewarded for doing so with a free book – a collection of some of my short romantic stories.

New Book

The second thing I’m proud of achieving recently is of course the publication of my latest romance novel, Baby Steps. It was my most successful launch to date, sales have been good and the feedback I’ve received has been great. Yeah! You can read what it’s about HERE and you can buy it HERE

You can also read a guest post I did on the wonderful Portybelle’s book blog HERE about how this latest novel took me surprise and wasn’t at all what I planned to write.

Looking Forward

New book, new series, lots of planning

I’m now busy writing the next book. As it’s the first in a completely new series set in the Scottish Borders, there’s been a lot of planning to do. I’ve had to map out a fictional farm, village and town. I’ve had to think about who will be the main characters in subsequent books in the series and there’s also been a fair bit of research to do as well.

But with that all done, I can now crack on with Happiness Cottage and to tell the story of Lori and Aidan.

Reading

As usual I’ve done a lot of reading in the last month – mostly romances and mostly very good reads. So as always it was difficult to choose one as book of the month. But I did it. No surprises that it was a romance novel. It was a perfect summer read.

Summer at Seaspray Cottage by Angela Britnell

What would you do if you inherited a Cornish cottage by the sea?
If you’re Thea Armitage, sell it as soon as possible. Whilst there’s no denying that Seaspray Cottage has its charm, it just holds too many bad memories for Thea to consider keeping it – although at least spending the summer preparing it for sale gives her a distraction from troubles back home in Tennessee.
What Thea didn’t count on was her worst Cornish memory moving in right next door. Local bad boy Harry Venton played no small part in Thea’s decision never to return to Cornwall twenty years before – and now he’s her neighbour! Could things get any worse?
Except Harry isn’t the boy he was, and as Thea comes to realise that her opinion of him was built on lies and misunderstandings, perhaps things will start looking up for her summer at Seaspray Cottage …

Reflecting

In a world that can sometimes seem rather bleak thank goodness for the escape provided by books. Happy reading everyone!

Your comments are welcome below. Feel free to share your own reading and writing reflections and to share this post.