Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Guest post, Raven MCALLAN

I have a great guest post :) It's a little different than the other Christmas promos, but a lot of fun! Please welcome the savvy and very prolific Scottish author, Raven McAllan, one of my fav new peeps I've met this year since becoming a published author at one of the houses she publishes through.
Oh what a lovely year.


Or—ohhhh…ooohhh…hoooo, Merry Christmas


And a very happy all year!


Because boy has it been a very happy year for me. I started the year with one book under my belt and will end it with…*drum roll*…*ducks rotten veg and ignores catcalls of greedy. I agree sorry but hey ho*… 17 stand alones, 7 anthos, 3 print, 3 free reads, and numerous flashes. (and 6 YA and a print under a different hat.)


Now before you all leave the blog, let me say how bloody lucky I feel. I never ever thought I'd get one book published let alone all these. They aren't all full length; in fact a lot are between 15-30k. A nice quick fill an hour read, something I enjoy.


It's not been easy, and there has been times I've wondered why the hell I was putting myself through it. But do you know? There is no way I couldn't. I have to write, and once I get to know my characters, that's it. I have to tell their story. Often I have no idea what it is until I start, and even then it can be nothing like I envisaged. The joys of being a pantster.


Take Stephen in The Perfect Gift. Did I know he was what he was? Did I heck. I thought his and Judith's story was a sweet romance. Ha, ha, ha. Once I began I realized it was no such thing, but oh boy I enjoyed writing it. It seems my Ladies of London (La Bella Isabella. The Best Man's Bridesmaid, and The Perfect Gift) are not so sweet and innocent as they seem.


Holly in Deck Mac Hall, is unsure of what she wants, or will accept but she knows the only person who can help her decide is Mac. If only he'd stop procrastinating (sounds like me on an oh-I'm-stuck day) and get on with it.


And once Christmas is over, I've a story in a very special book. Wine & Nine which is published on 28th December. This book was conceived (sounds rude, I assure you it isn't—well not too rude anyway) around my kitchen table, way back in April when my lovely crit group met up. Over a very boozy few hours we decided to write an anthology, set in a pub in rural Scotland. Eight women on Magic Mac and his Mystery Tour's coach.  Because we all lead such busy lives, It's taken until now to sort it all out, but look for it on Amazon then. The cover is by a new very talented cover artist called Nicole Calder. I foresee we'll hear a lot more about her in the future. ( )


Looking at my books and their blurbs, I seem to like feisty take no prisoner heroines. And hot, hot, hot, dominant men. I wonder if it has something to do with where I live? The land of brave warriors and not at all helpless lassies.


I live on the edge of a Scottish forest, in an area full of fairy stories and romantic novels. There's ony DH and me left at home, the children are off forging their own lives. Well we do have two cats, whose ambition in life is to kill the lap top and regain my lap.


I love all things Christmas. In fact I was considered a bit of an oddity… no agreeing thank you, in that I always asked for the tree to be put up before my December birthday. Then it was a tree for me as well as Christmas. I never minded waiting for a 'big' joint present on Christmas Day. We weren't well off and it was a way for me to get a bike, record player (yeah, that's how old I am) or watch.


Nowadays I'm lucky, I get two special days within a few weeks. And yes, I'm very thankful for all I get. I love presents but its not the cost, it's the fact they are made and or given with love.


However, the most important part of Christmas, is family. Sadly we can't always all be together, but I cherish any moments I have… (okay enough of the maudlin, or I'll be crying in the gin, and I was told that can't be the best part of Christmas…the gin not the crying.)


We have our traditions, and even the year all the kids were in various places around the world DH and I kept to them.


Dressing the tree with carols playing and a glass of Fizz in my hand…well nearby anyway. I do a wee bit of decorating each day for a week, until every room is decked in some Christmas finery. Yeah okay, overload, but hey it's Christmas.


Then on the day…

Fire lit, fairy lights on, Christmas music playing as we open our presents, turn and turn about. Then Bucks Fizz and smoked salmon for brunch. Dinner when I've cooked it. A chill-out count my blessings day.


(Okay I'll tell you a secret, I usually disappear for a few minutes and have a wee cry for my mum and dad who are no longer with us, and any friends and family I miss as well. It's my way of remembering them. Darn it I'm welling up as I type this …sorry)


And then it's boxing day, leftovers and hopefully a walk in the forest to make room for more…


Wherever you are who ever you're with or miss, peace and love to you all.

And I always remember the late, great comedian Dave Allen, who signed off with…


"May your gods go with you." Very Apt


Love R x


Oops Leona asked for a list of books out this month… feel free to talk amongst yourselves


I've started this list on 29th November, because my free Christmas read from Evernight Publishing came out then… and there are so many due to all the delays and pitfalls the best planned publication dates can fall foul of…


Where There's A Will 29th November (free read, Evernight Publishing


The Best Man's Bridesmaid 30th November (Breathless Press)


Vanilla Free Christmas (anthology) 3rd December (Evernight Publishing)


The Perfect Gift 7th December (Breathless Press)


Deck Mac Hall 21st December (Breathless Press)


Teaching Teacher 28th December (Breathless Press)


Wine and Nine 28th December (The Nuthouse Scribblers, available on Amazon)


That's it folks…







Thanks Raven!

Lovely woman, even better writer. Here's her author page for Breathless Press :)







  1. Love your Christmas celebrations, Raven!

  2. We'll be doing the smoked salmon brunch as well, Raven, but Mrs Nostromo won't allow good fizz to be contaminated with orange juice so it's champagne for us. Merry Christmas!

  3. ha it's the only day the orange juice touches the fizz believe me1

  4. Amazing to think what you have achieved this year! You are am inspiration! Xxx

  5. I shed a few tears for mam too and it'll be worse this year now I have the kids that she would have adored.

    I am so proud of you and honoured to know you Raven, I also owe you a huge pile of thanks for helping and encouraging me in getting my own dream of being published a reality. You rock xxx

  6. now i'm all a teary, thanks guys xxx

  7. Hi Raven, at the risk of getting you more teary, have to say, you have been an inspiration indeed,in sticking to your guns and writing your own thing and always being encouraging to others. Wish you many more successes in future!

    Hi Leona, great to visit here!

  8. Well done on an amazing year, Raven!

  9. Ah thanks Kiru and Summer. Yes, one i realized this is me, it was write, write, write!

  10. Yes, Raven has had a spectacular year! When she asked if I thought her post was okay, I had to be thankful we were chatting via keyboards and not phones as I sniffled a bit as well.

    Hi everyone, and *waves enthusiastically at Summer* thank you! Glad you enjoyed yourself.

  11. So, so happy for you love! I always knew you could do this, but then I'm one of your biggest fans! And I know more great things will come your way in the new year. ;)

    Heya Leona! Here's wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

    I look forward to reading more from both of you ladies! :)

  12. Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to you as well :) To all of you. Thank you all for your kind words for/to my guest, as well as myself. They are much appreciated and a greater gift than many understand.