Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Llanstephan Castle

I've often taken the train from my local town, along the Towy estuary and looked at the castle opposite, standing rugged and proud over the ever changing waters. Over time, it's gone from the fortress it was intended to be to ragged ruins which hold the secrets of the past


I've just finished reading Barbara Erskine's Lady of Hay, 30th anniversary edition, a story set partly in rural Wales in 1200's and the images she created of the castles of Wales then, some only just being built, meant I just had to go and explore one. So, I chose Llansteffan Castle and instead of looking and wondering from the train, I took myself, armed with my camera, for a closer look.


I was on the opposite side of the water, looking out from the stones laid many years ago and luckily it was a nice day. The exposed position of the castle wouldn't make for a pleasant visit on a windy and wet day!




I always wonder about the people who made such a place home and try and imagine how it would have once been living within the castle walls.


I'm sure it would have been much better than being on the outside looking up.



Now that I've satisfied my curiosity and seen the castle, it's time to get back to some writing.

Rachael
xx

Monday, 19 September 2016

The Fun and Glamour of London.

I am back home on the farm after a few days away in London. I love being there, but it's even more fun when it's the annual Mills and Boon author's lunch, followed by Mills and Boon's Series Party.

I treated myself to a few days in London - all in the name of research of course! The first morning dawned bright and beautiful so I set off for a walk as the sun was coming up over St James's Park, which was busy with dog walkers and joggers.


I had a look at Buckingham Palace before the crowds arrived. I love being out and about before it gets busy.



After that, I met up with Chantelle Shaw and we stepped back in time to the court of Henry VIII when we visited Hampton Court Palace.


We toured the Tudor kitchens.


Through Anne Boleyn's Gateway

Then into the Great Hall


After that, we got ourselves a bit lost in the famous maze! At least we got back to London and were able to meet up with Kate Walker and Lara Temple for the evening.

On Friday was the main reason for my trip to London, the Mills and Boon author lunch and then the Mills and Boon series party at their offices, near The Shard, with stunning views over London.


Here's a photo of Chantelle and I at the Mills and Boon series party.


As usual, all good things come to an end and by Saturday afternoon, I was back in my overalls and wellies milking the cows!

Rachael
xx


Saturday, 10 September 2016

Exciting New Covers

I love the anticipation of seeing my next cover. Will the hero and heroine look as I imagined them? What will the North American cover look like and what about the blue UK covers I know so well be like? All these questions go through my mind as I wait.

During the last few weeks I've seen several gorgeous covers for my books. So here they are in all their stunning glory.

In Spain - The Sheikh's Last Mistress


Here in the UK, my November 2016 release - Married for the Italian's Heir


In North America, my January 2017 release - A Child Claimed by Gold


I can never decide which covers I like best!

My website has a brand new look, so do stop by and find out more about me and my books.
www.rachaelthomas.co.uk

Rachael
xx




Tuesday, 23 August 2016

From Keyboard to Camera

Last weekend I took a break from my writing desk and armed with my camera, went to the National Botanic Garden of Wales for a morning of photography. Unfortunately, it was wet and very windy and the only outdoor photos I took were of ducks on the pond, which is a shame because it is an amazing place. One I will definitely visit again.


Thankfully we weren't rained off and headed for the Butterfly House or Plas Pilipala in Welsh and there the time just flew by as under the guidance of the photographer leading the morning I got close to the beautiful butterflies. Here's a few of my photographs.




From there we went into the Great Glasshouse - the largest single span glasshouse in the world and I was able to take more lovely photos.




Now I'm back at my desk, revising my latest book, but the day out, focusing on something different allowed my mind to wander through my story.

I hope you have enjoyed my photographs, I just hope I can do as well on my own next time!

Rachael
xx

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Love At The Library


On Monday I was in Brecon, a lovely market town in Mid Wales, for Mills and Boon’s #LoveAtTheLibrary


I was handing out signed copies of  The Sheikh’s Last Mistress and really loved meeting the readers and fans of Mills and Boon.

Thanks to Brecon Library for the use of this photo

The display of Mills and Boon books, complete with bunting, was brilliant and it was lovely to see so many titles there.

Being in the library reminded me of my teenage years, when I would head down to my local library in the city of Worcester. After a look around the museum, which was upstairs in the grand old building, I would head straight for the romance section and Mills and Boon in particular. There I would select the books I was going to rush home and read, never thinking then, that one day, my books would be on the shelves in libraries.

I really enjoyed being in the library, a place I’ve always loved. I watched young children coming in with their parents, all excited about borrowing their next book and getting involved with the library’s summer reading challenge, The Big Friendly Read, to celebrate Roald Daahl's 100th Birthday.



Friday, 1 July 2016

The Billionaire's Legacy

The Billionaire’s Legacy is an exciting new eight book series from Harlequin and I was thrilled to be asked to be part of it. Right now on Harlequin there’s a free prequel, One Night at the Di Sione Mansion by Carol Marinelli and the first book in the series it out now.


Here’s the first four books in the series.





I love the covers. They are stunning.

My book, To Blackmail a Di Sione is the third book in the series and will be available from 23rd August 2016. I can’t wait for you to meet Liev and Bianca as they clash over the  ownership of a bracelet, but very soon realise they want far more than that from each other.


I loved writing this story and working with the other authors, meeting their heroes and heroines and I can’t wait to read the whole series. I hope you’ll join me and lose yourself in the world of the Di Sione family.

Rachael
xx

Monday, 20 June 2016

Writers Guidlines

As some of you may be aware, writing for Harlequin Presents/Mills and Boon Modern was something I was actively writing towards for at least eight years before I got that magic call and became one of their authors.

The dream to be a published romance author goes back much further than that. As a teenager I would spend most Saturdays in my local library getting my latest fix of Mills and Boon. The only books at home were men’s thrillers, so borrowing my mum’s or grandmother’s romance books wasn’t an option, so the library became my favourite place and I would go home with my borrowed treasures only to return a few weeks later for more!

During June and July, some libraries across the UK are hosting Fall in Love at your Library with Mills and Boon. #LoveAtTheLibrary  Because that is exactly what I did as a teenager, I will be visiting one of the participating libraries in Wales. On 25th July I will be in Brecon library, so if you are in the area, do come along and join in the fun.

Just to prove my love affair with Mills and Boon and my desire to write for them goes back a very long way, here’s a photo of something I stumbled upon over the weekend when I was having a bit of a clear out. It’s the writers’ guidelines I requested around twenty five years ago.



There are details for writing for the historical line, then Masquerade, the line I was at that time wanting to write for and a tape recording of what they were looking for. The fact that I've had these for so long is quite scary!

What treasures or memories have you unearthed during a clear out?

Rachael
xx