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Tag: Alice Raine

Guest Blog from Alice Raine: What have I learnt since getting my first book published?

I’m delighted to welcome fellow Cariad Romance author, Alice Raine, to my site today to share some of the things she’s been getting to grips with since she entered the mad world of writing!

Over to you Alice,

It’s been just over a year and a half since my first book The Darkness Within Him was published, and I recently sat down to consider just what I have learnt in that time. The short answer to that would be MASSES. So much in fact, that I would need to write an entire series of blog posts to even begin scratching the surface. In no particular order, here are the top things that sprung to mind.


Editing might be dull, but is vitally important

At first I used to glaze over when editing. OK, so sometimes I still do. Reading a sentence, re-reading it, and then re-reading again just in case, can be incredibly tedious to say the least. It is however vital if you want your book at its best for the reader, which let’s face it, we all do.

Editing has taken on particular importance for me recently though, since I discovered that I have a very bad little habit. Unbeknownst to me, it would seem that I am a complete tinker where it comes to leaving words out of sentences. My brain must think of the line quicker than my fingers can keep up and type, because the amount of missing the’s, or and’s I’ve had to add in during editing is phenomenal.

Now, instead of trying to do it until my eyes have dried up and are attempting to leap free from my skull, I break my editing into chunks – fifty pages in one sitting is my maximum.

Holding your book in your hand is the best experience in the world.

All the long hours, knock backs, headaches and stress are worth it when you get to hold the first paper copy in your hands. It is an incredibly humbling experience, and as well as grinning from ear to ear, I’m fairly sure I shed a happy tear when I got the paperback of my first ever book. It is all so very worth it.

Research, research, research

At first, as a newbie I probably lacked research in certain areas, but the longer I write, and grow into my style, the more focus and attention I put on details. Detail is everything, it allows your reader to slide into your novel and get lost in the sensations, smells, sights and stories, which is exactly what I aim to achieve with my books.  I would almost go as far as to say that I am obsessive about research now. If you read about a running route or a taxi journey in one of my books, for example, then you can be sure that it has been plotted out and checked on google maps first. If I mention an amazing cocktail, a fabulous restaurant, or some succulent sushi, then I’ve either sampled it first hand, or used the internet to check menus and read reviews.  Bus timetables, theatre seating plans, park locations, world time zones, the best pancake house in Los Angeles … you name it, I have probably searched for it on the internet!

Deadlines are killers

Writing is a solitary existence, and I’m happy with that, because usually I’m quite sociable outside of my writing hours, but when a deadline is looming I become the most unsociable hermit the world has ever seen.

“No, I can’t come out for drinks, I have a deadline.” **said whilst tugging large chucks of hair from my scalp**

“Go out for a meal? For food? I have a deadline, there’s no time to eat!” **screamed with a disgusted look on my face as I grab my laptop and go to hide under the stairs**

My readers are the best people in the whole wide world

I am genuinely so humbled and appreciative that people are reading my books. I still have to pinch myself sometimes to check that this is all real, and it is, and that is all down to the people who chose to pick up a copy of one of my books. The feedback, comments, reviews and general support I have received is just incredible, and I’ve made it a personal mission to reply to each and every comment, email and interaction.

Hearing someone read my book out loud is the strangest feeling (and not an entirely pleasant experience)

When my first book came out on Kindle I received a call from a male friend telling me he now had a copy of my book. That was lovely, and obviously I was very appreciative of his support. But then, to my horror, he chuckled and started reading some of it out to me down the phone – it was one of the rather spicy parts – which was quite literally one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life! To make it worse, I was sat in a busy sushi restaurant at the time, and by the end of the call (it took me a while to get him to stop), I was as red as a post box.

People need to know about your book

Don’t just rely on a bit of time posting things on Facebook, actually tell people about your books. Do blogs, attend events, and generally promote yourself. I’ll admit that at first I was a little hesitant to tell people about my books – purely because the genre is a little saucy, and I thought people would judge me – but now I just shrug it off, I know the books are fictional so if they judge me that’s their issue, not mine.

Scary, but true: I’m now self-employed

Suddenly my writing was no longer just a hobby for my own personal enjoyment. People are buying my books, reading my words, and so as crazy as it seems, I’m not just a recreational scribbler anymore… I’m a self-employed writer. That is a scary and bizarre concept, and also means I have to consider the dreaded T word. Tax. And Tax returns. Ugh. Just the mention of it makes me shudder. Luckily I have a very good accountant, but I have had to retrain myself to get better at keeping records, stashing receipts and generally talking it all a bit more seriously now.

This Is What I Want to do Forever As cheesy as it sounds, I’ve learnt that I absolutely LOVE writing. Losing myself in a plot, creating characters, settings, and new worlds is incredible. I feel so humbled that people have liked what I have written so far, and it is because of those lovely readers that I get to do what I love every single day now. Losing myself in words is just the best feeling in the world. I wasn’t sure I’d ever find a career that I genuinely loved, but I have now, and I want to do this over and over again, forever.

I could keep on about this topic for a very long time, because I really have learnt so much in this past year and a half, and I have a feeling that that is only the beginning of my learning curve. At this point I’m trying to become a sponge and absorb as much as I can so that this incredible journey can continue for a little while longer.

Thank you for reading.

A huge thanks to Jenny for hosting me today!

Alice xx


Ordering links for Unmasked, book 1 in my new Revealed series:

Alice Raine

Connect with Alice:


Twitter: @AliceRaine1



Many thanks for such a great blog Alice,

Happy reading,

Jenny x

Guest Post from Alice Raine: The Encouragement of Mum

Please welcome the lovely Alice Raine to my site today, with a special Mother’s Day post.

Over to you Alice…

To celebrate both Mother’s Day this year, and the fact that the complete Untwisted series is now available on Kindle, I was asked if I’d like to write an article that described a significant memory of when my mother’s input changed my identity as a writer, or some words of encouragement she gave me which may have inspired me, or a story she read me that inspired my own interest in writing. It’s ended up as a bit of a rambling tale, but here goes …

alice raine book covers

There were always books around our house when I was a child, and Mum and Dad would read to me daily; everything from princesses, to explorers to fire breathing sea monsters, which certainly helped spawn my overactive imagination from a very young age. I wasn’t what you would describe as an engaged writer at school, my interests lay in sport, art, geography riding my bike, and falling off my skateboard (frequently), but at some point I must have developed the urge, because to this day my mum still recalls the day she found a book that I had written in my bedside draw.

By this point I was probably early teens, and yes, I’ll admit it … I had a crush on Kevin Costner. Quite an embarrassingly big crush actually, to the point where I had his pictures blue-tacked to my cupboard door and copies of his films lining my shelves. The film “The Bodyguard” had been released a year or so before, and if you’ve seen it, you’ll know the ending is quite open to misinterpretation – are the two main characters still together? Or have they split up and gone their separate ways? This was the question which must have burned in my curious teenage mind, and already being a bit of a sucker for a good romance story I decided that quite simply, the uncertainty just wasn’t good enough. So I sat down and started to write a sequel.

I got sixty pages in – double sided and hand written in neat lines on that old fashioned computer paper with the holes down the side – before preparation for my GCSE’s got in the way. I’d completely forgotten about it until last year when I was on a phone call with my mum excitedly explaining about signing with Accent Press for my Untwisted series, and mum mentioned that she’d always thought I might end up as a writer after she’d found the book in my bedside draw all those years ago. I have no idea if it was any good, or if my mum read any/all of it, but I suppose that can go down as my first official attempt at a manuscript.

Since then I have written far more prolifically, most of it just for my own amusement and stored away on my computer. I must be slightly obsessive/compulsive when it comes to writing, because once I get an idea I simply have to write it down. I now have stacks of projects on my laptop which have never seen the light of day, some of which run to hundreds of thousands of words, but I can be very self-critical, so I tend to keep them hidden away, happy with the knowledge that the idea is out of my brain and at least in print somewhere, even if it is just on my memory stick!

People often ask me if my mum has read my Untwisted books, and the answer, in short, is no (at least I hope she hasn’t!). Once the series got taken on by Accent I politely requested that she didn’t read it because of its, er … steamy contents … Mum was happy enough to oblige, but asked if I could send her something else that I had written so she could read that instead. As a writer I have an overriding predilection for romance, but not always the darker form of romance that is included in my Untwisted series, and many of the bits and pieces on my laptop are actually Chick-Lit. So I looked through my memory stick and selected one of my favourite gentle romances for her. It’s a light-hearted, comical take on real life, containing no steamy stuff what so ever, apart from a bit of innuendo thrown in here and there. After reading it, my mum said, and I quote: ‘I enjoyed it, but it’s a bit rude in places isn’t it?’ Hmm. I hadn’t thought it was rude at all, so I dug deeper and discovered that she was referring to one of the scenes involving a bit of flirting and innuendo. If mum thinks that’s rude, then I’m certainly glad she has taken my advice and stayed away from the Untwisted books!

As for words of encouragement, my mum is great at them. Even though she hasn’t read the published series, still frequently tells me how proud she is of me for pursuing my dream, which means so much to me, and she even bought me a little number ‘1’ pendant when my first book got published which has pride of place on my bracelet.

All in all my mum is pretty amazing, as is my Dad. Love you both, and happy Mother’s Day to all the mums out there.

Alice xxx

Alice Raine author pic

The complete Untwisted series is available on Kindle now, and coming to bookstores near you in paperback too.

You can also expect the first instalment in Alice’s new series by Summer 2015!

If you’d like to get in touch with Alice, please feel free using the links below:

Twitter: @aliceraine1



Many thanks for visiting today Alice!

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny xxx



Love, Life and Great Women Writing: Come and Meet Katie Fforde, Alice Raine- and Me!


I am flattered, honoured, and delighted to have been invited to be a member of the panel at the following event- with Katie Fforde no less- at the stunning Manor House Hotel, Moreton-in-the Marsh, Cotswolds.

Katie Fforde

Katie Fforde

Diary of Events at The Manor House Hotel, in conjunction with Richard Kemp from Books Yule Love

Thursday 12th February

With a choice between two great guest speakers:

Join Katie Fforde and panel for an evening of Love,

Life and Great Women Writing

Ticket Price £25

Katie Fforde

Ever since Jane Austin first published, novels

of love, life and social complexity have

dominated British reading. Best-selling

Cotswold author Katie Fforde effortlessly

reinvents the modern romantic novel’s appeal

with the light touch and great voice she brings

to each of her works. Award-winning, crosscutting

novelists Jenny Kane and Alice Raine

join their wit, wisdom, wonder and worth to

Katie’s for an unforgettable evening of great

British writing today.

Admission includes a glass of wine and Katie Fforde’s new hardback

‘A Vintage Wedding’. New hardbacks and classic paperbacks from Katie

& co. are available at heart-melting prices for on-the-spot signing!

vintage wedding- k fforde


I have been a massive fan of Katie Fforde since I first read her wonderful novel, ‘The Rose Revived’, so you can imagine how excited I am to be taking part in this event.

With Accent Press manager and owner, Hazel Cushion, hosting the panel, and Alice Raine bringing in a hint of hot romance, it is going to be a wonderful evening in a gorgeous Cotswold setting- so fitting for me after the best selling success of Christmas in the Cotswolds!!

Tickets can be booked now from-

The Manor House Hotel, High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh,

Gloucestershire GL56 0LJ

Tel: 01608 650501 Email:


We would all love to see you there!

Happy reading,

Jenny x

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