For all Carol's books online AMAZON.CO.UK - or from all good bookshops like Beccles!
I love to receive posts and pics from my readers, but imagine the surprise when one very brave lady went to her local bookshop ‘Beccles’ and ordered no less than TWELVE of my books! Chris White from Lowestoft, Suffolk, had her photo taken as she carried out this weighty armful and I am very proud to post it on my website and social media! Chris tells me her husband knows the area of London I write about, deep in the heart of the East End - and has even read my books! What a lovely husband! So my thanks go not only to Chris and her other half but to the awesome Beccles bookshop too who took such trouble to order my novels. I think it’s fair to say this is a first “twelver” for me and Chris will know what I mean when I say that tonight I’ll be settling with my mug of cocoa or hot chocolate, to escape into the world of fiction - which I simply cannot do without before I sleep! Thanks and love to you Chris and to all my dear readers — I might even see you in my dreams! Thank you for the pleasure of sharing and of course, happy reading as always, Carol XX
For all Carol's books online AMAZON.CO.UK - or from all good bookshops like Beccles!
Carol Rivers writing East Enders before "Eastenders" - gritty historical London family sagas and dramas! xx
There was once a canny boxer by the name of Charlie Brown. He was also a sailor and adventurer but he chose to run a pub in Limehouse called the Railway Tavern. This was in the late 1800’s and the pub built itself such a reputation that everyone simply called it, Charlie Brown’s. He was so hospitable that he went out of his way to display his regulars’ trophies from all over the world. Jaws dropped when you first walked inside for Charlie’s became a legendary emporium of mystery magic and occasionally mayhem. I conducted an imaginary tour whilst I wrote Lizzie Flowers and the Family Firm for Charlie’s was to be my blueprint pub, The Mill Wall. I even had Charlie’s in mind with the design of the cover. My granddad told me stories to curl my toes of the shrunken heads and shaman’s lucky bones he’d seen hanging on the cobwebby shelves spilling with souvenirs from across the globe. Didn’t know then I’d write about my own pub The Mill Wall in the East India Dock Road, (pics above) but I guess out of all my stories, I’d love to have met Charlie the most. Still, I’ve honoured the Railway Tavern the best way I know how, with my own story of mayhem and magic in Lizzie Flowers’s latest escapade, Lizzie Flowers and the Family Firm.
Go to AMAZON for all editions of ebook, paperback, large print and audio.
I loved writing Bella, my main character in Christmas to Come because after the second world war, London was full of ambition as Bella was, attempting to aspire to something different, to be different, to choose peace instead of war, to take life and not fight or repress it, but make love instead. Bella doesn't hesitate to take her chance of happiness. She is ready to sell her soul in order to capture the fleeting moment.
The 1950's had it all! Espresso coffee bars, the Kray twins, illegal hooch, London night clubs, racketeers, crime capers, escorts, post-war glam waving goodbye to utilitarian austerity. Rationing was just a shadowy memory by the time the 60s dawned. And what a decade that was to be! Icons by the dozens; Elvis, the Beetles, Rock n'Roll, Flower Power, the Pill - you name it. These glittering years offered an abundance of the X Factor, although at the time, Simon Cowell was light years away from his unbelievably successful creation.
Christmas to Come spans the war years, the forties and the fifties and into the sixties, three Christmases with very different outcomes. I hope you enjoy them all for nothing can stop Bella - as it didn't stop us.
Read all about Christmas to Come by visiting AMAZON
I’ve written three books now in the Lizzie Flowers series and have another in the pipeline, though each book can be read as a standalone. I like to think of Lizzie as a special mum, even though she has no children of her own (yet) she’s a wonderful adoptive mum and has brought up her step-daughter Polly with all the love and protectiveness that makes Lizzie the strong character she is in her East End community.
But time is moving on fast for Lizzie and her family and Polly will soon be in her teenage years, going through the typical angst and joy of teenagers. Lizzie will have her hands full, but being a woman of her times - and actually - a very modern woman, she’s multi-tasking her new business, the ups and downs of family life with Danny her partner and their adopted son, Tom - and facing the prospect of wartime London, with her usual gutsy tenacity. One thing she can count on is Danny’s support. They’ve been through the mill together and have each other’s backs no matter what.
But the onset of war brings new challenges. This time they face not the thugs and criminals of the East End, but a far greater enemy threatening to invade Britain. How will the Flowers family cope under such pressure? Well, I’m eager to find out myself and can’t wait to write their story. Meanwhile if you haven’t read any of the Lizzie Flowers books, why not treat yourself and try one for Mother’s Day? Here’s how the series goes - each one can be read independently of the other - but the popular characters and places always return in each book.
Book 1 Lizzie of Langley Street
Book 2 The Fight for Lizzie Flowers
Book 3 Lizzie Flowers and the Family Firm (also in Kindle Unlimited with the ebook reduced in celebration of Mother’s Day!)
Here’s the AMAZON link for all my sagas. I do hope you enjoy browsing them. Love as always, Carol
January sweeps in with gusto, glittering icy pavements, white lawns and a definite affinity to a warm bed! Time perhaps, in the evenings to cosy up with a book or two?
I’m excited to say that LIZZIE FLOWERS AND THE FAMILY FIRM has been discounted on Amazon to £2.99 for a short time. This gritty 1930’s East End family saga can be read as a standalone although it’s the third book in the Lizzie Flowers series. I’ve plans to write a fourth, set in the wartime era. So if you haven’t tried any of the Lizzie Flowers books yet, and you like a strong series or even prefer gritty standalones, then the Lizzie Flowers sagas might be for you. Just make certain you’re comfy and warm and ready for a tour de force with Lizzie and her struggles against crime and injustice - and of course, her quest for love. Happy hold-on-to-your-seats reading! Much love to you all, Carol XX
DOWNLOAD HERE ..
Don't forget, if you'd like some freebies to add to your library, or you want to know more about what is in the writing pipeline, just subscribe HERE for my newsletter or visit the HOME page link above.
Almost the end of the year and I’m happy to say that Lizzie Flowers and the Family Firm (book 3) published in July is still buoyant on Amazon. I suspect, because of being a third book in the series of Lizzie Flowers novels, a seriously gritty set of sagas. A little on Lizzie’s background and where the idea came from.
My teacher always referred to Charles Dickens as Charlie Boy. She was cool ahead of her time and translated his writing into bite-sized proportions for bored students, stuck with the staple school diet of Jayne Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Great romantics of course, but I was looking for gritty.
Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley and Fagin were all up my street. I lived (and died) Edgar Allan Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum, Fall of the House of Usher and Murders in the Rue Morgue. So maybe it’s not surprising that my sagas have a tough edge. I hope they have an inner softness too, as did Pip from Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol’s Bob Crachtit to name but a few.
Lizzie, like Bob, discovers that Christmas can be a tough time. Knowing Lizzie, I think she would have understood Bob’s predicament and done something to remedy it. Still, Scrooge had that honour and good luck to the old boy. He shows us that it’s never too late to change for the better.
I hope, if you’ve read the series of Lizzie Flowers books, you enjoyed them, either in series or as standalones. I plan to continue Lizzie’s story into wartime but I must complete a couple of other projects first. Thank you so much for your patience and support. Also, a 1000 thanks for your reviews on Amazon; they are unbelievably important to a writer. And I do hope this Christmas you’ll find a ton of good books under the Christmas tree.
Now I’m off to write. And drink more tea. I’ll post again before Christmas so if you’ve any more burning questions, let me know.
Love and humbug,
Nearly November 29th and Molly’s Christmas Orphans is published in paperback! I’m excited that Molly has hit the Kindle charts top fifty and category number #1 spot, and so grateful to all the fabulous readers who have left such lovely reviews. I hope you are reading this, for it’s the only way I can say express my thanks. On the day a few weeks ago when my sample books arrived from Simon & Schuster in that lovely brown box, I was helping with redecorating. Chris took the pic, trying to avoid the ladders and paints. I hope though you can see how happy I was, for the first feel and smell of the paperback is just wonderful. The reviews mounted and today I think there are mostly four and five stars, from generous readers who have taken the time and trouble to leave their comments on Amazon and other distributors. I’m so happy you enjoyed Molly and the story of her wartime family. THANK YOU! Love Carol xx
Just when it doesn't seem very Christmasy at all, after enjoying this beautiful sunny weather, Amazon have entered 'Christmas to Come' in Prime Reading, consequently throwing one of my Christmas titles, into the top of its category. I wasn't expecting this but it's a lovely surprise even though we are only in September. However, I am mad keen on Christmas stories and plan to put more attention on reading (and writing) the seasonal books I love so much. Charles Dickens was a master at nostalgia. My fav book ‘Great Expectations’ followed closely by ‘Oliver Twist’, are my inspiration. Nothing like a cosy fireside read - and tonight, in celebration, I’m in ScroogeMood! Anyone else started Christmas early? Why not try a Christmasy read to float you away into the land of dreams? Worth a try! Lots of love and hugs Carol xx
here to edit.
London is such a great multinational city and I love all its ancient history. My family comes from the East End; a vast cockney tribe of costermongers, dock workers and dressmakers. When my husband and I go back to the city now, it’s as sightseers, and a chilled weekend on the London sightseeing bus.
As a child, I loved the East End parties; the sing-songs, the bawdy drinking and the not-so-discreetly confided secrets as the atmosphere became charged with chemistry. I’d huddle with my cousins “under the dining table” as there wasn’t much room to move when the knees-up got going. There was an endless supply of newspaper boats full of greasy fried chips and bottles of fizzy ice cream soda to keep us occupied.
A listener and voyeur at a very early age, I turned my observations into a career. Love, lies and secrets are my stock in trade. Though I hasten to add all my books are works of fiction! The Rivers women are forces to be reckoned with and never to be underestimated. As the late, great Jackie Collins insisted, heroines are there to kick asses - not to have them kicked!
I like to re-read my old favourites and at the moment it’s Harry Bowling. Like Dickens, Harry and Catherine Cookson chronicled stories from the places and people they knew best. They told it all without fuss, elaboration or boastfulness. They used the vernacular of the street combined with an instinctual skill of diarists that make them mesmerizing. They wrote with the voice inside their heads. Dickens with his keen observance and compassion, Harry with his humour, Catherine with her candid honesty. What wonderful teachers we find between the pages of books. And, like Del, Rodders and Granddad, they are all uniquely ours and eternal.
I’m very happy to say that the Amazon ebook of Lizzie Flowers and the Family Firm, the 3rd book in the Lizzie Flowers series, will be published in just a few days time on Wednesday 18th July. Publication has seemed a long wait, but I wanted to make this story very special. Lizzie’s romance with Danny Flowers hasn’t run smoothly. After her traumatic experiences in The Fight for Lizzie Flowers, (book 2), she has to dig deep to face her most feared adversary of all, a masked man known as The Prince. A misnomer for a very dangerous character indeed!
The Kindle ebook is on Amazon’s shelves for preorder at £2.99 but will be £3.99 as from publication on the 18th. So there are just a few days more if you’d like to check out the discount.
The paperback, large print and audio will follow in due course. If you’d like to sign up for my Newsletter I’ll make sure I give you the dates well in time.
Just to remind you there are some freebie short stories on this website; there’s no subscription - they are there for you to enjoy. (Hopefully.) But if you want to receive my Newsletter I would love to include you on my email list. Leave your email address on the Home page at www.carolrivers.com
I write about once a month, telling you of any news on the Rivers Turf. I love to hear from Readers. You can always email me or find me on Google+ Twitter and Facebook. The links are at the top of this page.
Lastly, thank you so very much for following Lizzie Flowers, her family and friends, through the years between the two world wars, 1919 - 1935. I’ve a suspicion that Lizzie book 4 may well be on the way, sweeping Lizzie and her loved ones into wartime London. Until then, much love to you all and happy reading.
Wishing you all lots of lovely sunshine and great reading!
Love as always, Carol x
Hi dear readers! What is the question I am most often asked as a writer - this is not difficult to answer. "Where do you get your ideas?"
Better for me to post an example, a photo showing Mum and Dad and Dad's family at Buckingham Palace on the day he was awarded his D.S.C in 1943. Mum said she wore red, but a red that clashed with the velvet seats of the Palace. My nan and Dad’s sister my Auntie Vi stood to the right, his older sisters, my Auntie Alice and Auntie Jess to the left. Dad did a full five year tour of service in the navy during the war, including the Russian conveys and the Sicily landings.
Mum and Dad’s home was bombed during the Blitz of the East End. Dad never showed any fear. He was an unassuming man and appears in my book Cockney Orphan as Vic Champion. Grandad had died just before this event and is the costermonger who appears as Bill Flowers in the Lizzie Flowers books. All my other East End books are linked to family in some way. So perhaps I’ll post more pictures that sparked the stories if you are interested to find out more? Let me know what you think.
This poignant article is by The Daily Telegraph’s ‘Taffrail’ who wrote about Dad’s Sicilian landings of his little fleet of LCI’s led by LCI 179.
“We hung by our eyelids,” began Dad. (Skeels) “And many were miserably sick.
It was worse by far than the long swell of the Atlantic.”
Taffrail continued; At 4.45.a.m. on the day of 179's great experience, dawn was beginning to break and objects on the hostile coast ahead were beginning to take shape. Filled with troops she was on her way ashore with a concourse of other craft. Soon after daylight shells from a coast defence battery were falling unpleasantly close. 179 beached herself and landed her troops, still under fire. Disembarkation was completed by 6.40.a.m. and the ship hauled off. Almost at once she was hit amidships on the port side of the waterline, the shell making a hole about three feet by two and a half feet. She tried to make water so was re-beached. The enemy battery had meanwhile been silenced by a destroyer; but not before the First Lieutenant and four ratings of 179 had been slightly wounded by shell splinters. It was surprising there were no more, as between twenty and thirty shells had fallen within twenty yards and the ship had been peppered all over by splinters. Lieutenant Skeels then set about repairing his ship. As a temporary measure the large shell hole was filled with blankets, duffel coats and fenders, anything they could spare, beg, borrow or steal. It wasn't very satisfactory so they asked another ship to cut them a steel plate and having borrowed a drill tried to heel the ship over to get the hole out of the water. With his ship still on the beach that was found to be impossible. But extemporising a diving helmet for working under water out of a service gas mask, with air supplied by a hand foghorn like an exaggerated bellows, they managed to bolt on the plate somehow. It was while this work was in progress that they found the shell - unexploded - still inside the ship.
"Then we hauled off and took her out for a trial," ended Dad. "It was quite successful; a good deal of water came in but it could be kept under by the pumps. However, to make quite certain, I went alongside a ship and they built us a cement cofferdam inside. Then we went to Malta who took a look at us, but said they'd plenty on their hands, that we would do for the time being and sent us on to Bizerta where we were finally repaired by an American repair ship. Those chaps made a thundering good job of it, welding on the big patch and the 275 small ones. The old ship looked like nothing on earth when they'd finished.”
Next week I'll post the pic for the inspirational real life characters for the Lizzie Flowers Family. XX
I hope you are all enjoying a lovely sunny Sunday and finding time to read some super books. My current reading is Lena Kennedy's MAGGIE and I'm going to sit outside this evening, in a lounger, feet up, turning the pages of a wonderful book by an authentic born and bred London author.
But this is the best news! I'm so happy to tell you that the Kindle version of my July book is now up on AMAZON's shelves, ready for pre-order at £2.99. Lizzie Flowers and the Family Firm is book three in the Lizzie Flowers series
1934: Lizzie Flowers has been mother and protector to her East End family, the Allens of Langley Street, since she was fifteen. Even when her doomed marriage to Frank Flowers collapses, she fights back, sacrificing her own happiness to keep the family united. Right or wrong, she vows she's in for the long haul.
But when Lizzie buys the infamous dockland's pub, the Mill Wall, she discovers she's bitten off more than she can chew. Long-time love Danny Flowers abandons her, a close friend is murdered and her adopted child Polly is threatened. The word on the street is that Lizzie Flowers and her family are finished - but are they?
The fact is, Lizzie is tough and resilient, determined to fight for survival in a dark world of prostitution and protectionists. Without Danny to help her, she calls in favours, refusing to be intimidated and determined to keep her turf clean. But even her friend and ally, the canny south London Irishman, Murphy, is overshadowed by the most infamous crime lord of them all. He's known as the Maltese Prince, but Salvo Vella is far from royalty. His currency is women, trading them like cattle and he will stop at nothing to conquer the Mill Wall.
It's said that where there is muck there's money. But when Lizzie's success comes at a cost of loosing her family and friends, a pact with the devil, Salvo Vella, may be the only way to go.
If you would like to know more just go to my home page (above links) and you'll be able to subscribe to my newsletter, get three free short stories and an excerpt of Lizzie Flowers and the Family Firm,
Pre-orders from AMAZON
What does February 14th mean to you? A chance for giving a special gift, an excuse to say I love you, an opportunity to dine out, visit the theatre, watch a romantic movie - or just hang out in a fountain (like the couples in this 1940's pic of V.E Day!
In medieval times the knights wore the colours of the lady they championed on their sleeves. Hence the saying “wearing your heart on your sleeve”. How much more romantic can you get than risk being knocked for six by a whopping great lance in front of a zillion spectators? Other suitors were less adventurous and drew a name from a pail to find their potential true love. A couple of hundred years later, out came the bell, book and candle, with a love potion to rival any vintage Dom Perignon.
Perhaps the cutest historical Valentines were simple “X”s that even now we use to signal our affection on paper. This tradition is said to originate from the times when folk couldn’t read or write. The X was used as a signature, which was then ‘kissed’ to polish off the deal.
Today’s technology allows us to send Gifs, Jpegs, digital cards, emoticons with symbols and as many variations of mood changes on FB as it’s possible to think of!
Imagine one of our medieval hotties riding his charger into the 21st century on Valentine’s Day and finding a world of flashing cell phones and virtual reality! Well, anyone can dream and perhaps that’s the message of this very special day - an escape route to love and romance - in someone’s arms or between the pages of book - plenty of scope then, for passion.
I love writing a strong romance; love holds the book together just as it does in real life. So guys and gals, happy reading romance and smooching with your fella. Make the most of Valentine’s Day 2018 and spoil yourselves.
As my own little homage to the goddess Aphrodite, I’ve reduced my book ‘Christmas to Come’ to 2.99 for the week only. Even though it has a Christmas title, out of all my books I chose Bella Doyle’s story because she is to me, the epitome of a woman who refuses to give up on her man - no matter what! So happy Valentine’s Day one and all - have an awesome Wednesday - and just for the record, LONG LIVE LOVE!
Just over two weeks to go until Christmas and what a year it has been! I have heard from so many of you via Facebook, Twitter and my website. Our fortunes have been mixed. There have been highs and lows and times when you tell me you have struggled even to read a book. Health issues, family domestics, work related problems, marriages, bereavements, christenings, falling in love - and out; separations, reunions - I have joined you in many of these - from afar.
Words of commiseration sometimes failed me as I heard your stories, and all I could do was to send out thoughts for a positive result. At other times, I babbled on out of sheer joy from sharing some of your achievements, and your hopes and plans for the future. Most overwhelming of all has been the love and affection you’ve shared with me. Honestly, I feel so privileged. And so I have written a short story for you, with my love.
My short story Shades is dedicated to a dear friend, Steve Harrison, a talented musician and creative who passed this year. His beautiful song ‘Christmas Carol’ is very special and I hope in some way my story will reach him on his journey.
My two central characters are orphans of a world to come. Brother and sister Zar and Mia are the last humans on earth’s crust (like we feel sometimes when things go wrong. Perhaps isolated and alone at what is for others the busiest time of the year.) The two children are my symbols of Hope in times of great distress.
Lastly, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. Take care of yourselves and I’ll look forward to posting to you all in 2018.
With all my love at Christmastime, Carol X
Download this Free short story ‘SHADES’ (No email or subscription required.) A gift!
Carol’s Free Starter Library of short East End stories and Newsletter.
Carol’s books on Amazon
Carol’s FB page
This year’s book has one of my favourite covers and the gorgeous model with her lovely floppy hat is perfect for Molly. Both the ebook and hardback are published on the same day with the paperback to come next year. Molly’s story starts in 1940 amidst the onslaught of the London Blitz. Here is a short book description;
Molly Swift, at 27, has already suffered the tragic loss of her two-year-old daughter Emily, to the flu outbreak of 1935. Now she waits for news of her shopkeeper husband Ted, who volunteered at the outbreak of war, for the British Expeditionary Forces.
Molly is intent on running the general store with the help of her retired father, Bill Keen and ex-proprietor of the business. But after the building is hit during a bombing raid and Bill is severely injured, Molly faces difficult times. Alone in the hospital corridor as Bill is treated, Molly tries to keep positive. But the Blitz is well underway and she is forced to take shelter in the hospital’s basement. It’s here, as the bombs fall around docklands, that Molly meets Andy Miller and his two young children, Evie and Mark. An unlikely friendship begins as Molly offers the homeless group safe lodgings for the following night, and soon their lives are entwined, bringing unexpected joy and heartache for them all.
The tale is about lost love, healing and courage and I hope you will really enjoy reading the book as much as I did writing it.
Some links below for easy browsing;
Join me on social media where I shall be celebrating - of course! See you there, lots of love,
Things go right and things go wrong when you’re writing. Some mornings your character voices (in your head) are indistinct, right down to a whisper. So you sit there and look at your screen and place your fingers on the keys. And you wait. And wait. Then you type something and it’s all wrong. Your characters are up to mischief. They hide, are devious, play games in your mind instead of coming to life in the scene you know you want/must/need to write. Even stoked to the ears with caffeine and digestive biscuit, turning three times in a circle and saying abracadabra doesn’t help.
And then I remember. Look at the pictures!!
I have amassed a library of wonderful, evocative digital photos over time, each bearing a relevance to the story I’m writing. I even have personal photos, browned and torn, but doubly beautiful in their own tarnished way because they are unique. However, two of my favourites are these. The watercolour is one that Chris painted for me some years ago. The other is from a recent Google search. Both represent Terry Doyle, Bella’s poor little brother from Christmas to Come. These two street kids and their fight for survival are what the story is all about. By a happy accident or coincidence or fate, the coloured one was painted for a character I had not yet written. But when I found the black and white photo some time later I KNEW exactly what my story was going to be. Weird isn’t it, the magic that fate has in store for us?
Lots of love as always, Carol x
Today, Friday September 1st 2017 - is publication day of my first self-published saga, Christmas to Come. You can imagine the excitement in our house! I tell East End stories of long ago, from the first half of the 20th century, in the same streets famed for Jack the Ripper, Sylvia Pankhurst’s breakaway movement, the East London Federation of Suffragettes, the Blitz, and the early migration of Huguenot refugees, Ashkenazi Jews, Irishweavers and Bangladeshis, the Pearly Kings and Queens and port labourers from all over the world, including Lascars and the Chinese - just a few examples of the dockland culture that made this part of the capital so famous - and infamous.
My dad’s first professional game of football was played for Walthamstow Avenue in the 1930’s. His dad took him to Limehouse to learn the game of Mahjong at a very early age. His family were Costers - not coffee makers, but costermongers, marketeers of fruits and vegetables. My grandfather raced greyhounds at White City. My mum’s family were seamstresses and dockside factory workers. My whole family evacuated from London during and after the Blitz. It’s this fabulous, colourful, chequered, rich history that I write about and every one of my stories has a link to a personal experience that I learned as a child from my family, although they were usually enjoying a knees-up too much to realize their experiences would be documented in the Millennium.
So today is very special, as Bella is one of a kind. Bella Doyle is my central character in Christmas to Come and a true Eastender. Her story is gritty and sometimes heartbreaking, but isn’t that just life for all of us at one time or another? Life isn’t perfect, but there’s no turning back. My mum’s favourite saying was just this; make the most of what you have and you won’t go far wrong. Bella senses at eight-years-old, she has to make the most of what she has - her younger brother Terry and a friend who she can call on in times of trouble. If she doesn’t, it’s all over for her and her already damaged brother. And she knows it!
So if you read Christmas to Come, remember that from somewhere in this little street kid’s life, comes the true nature of survival. Perhaps more for Terry even, than for herself, Bella makes a life-changing decision. I hope you enjoy her story - launched to today with AMAZON and published with a cover that accurately represents my Bella, just as I wrote her.
Happy reading everyone!
Love Carol x
It’s just under a week since we created our free Starter Library of East End (of London) stories. And what a week it has been! As saga readers we tend to think that the historical genre is quite evident, either by the book cover or the author’s name, or Amazon’s book description. However, I’ve learned over the past year that not everyone recognizes my little niche of Eastenders before Eastenders. (My catchy name for what I write - or not!!)
So my aim was to give everyone a free taster before buying a book. Everything was cool as we created the free Starter Library - or at least we thought so! We were on a high, having mastered the complexities of technology, patting ourselves on the back and expected a modest handful - at most - to take us up on the offer.
I would have been over the moon at five or six, and fifteen would have sent me in search of a non-existent champers bottle! Imagine our (me and techie-half-Chris) shock/panic/hysteria, when the subscribing machine went crazy and continued over the week until we realized we had to get proper links going to handle the onslaught!
We needed to have a book distributor who would make a seamless sign-on for our readers. When we realized we’d muffed it up completely and recovered from the faint and glued ourselves back to our computer chairs, common sense (at last) prevailed. We found salvation in the form of “Bookfunnel” (I love you Bookfunnel) who send your ebooks directly to your readers and all their many devices.
It takes a bit of working out and being in the pit of despond didn’t help. But it finally worked. And the purpose of this blog is to thank all you wonderful, patient, amazing readers who took up the offer and literally saw us through till the bitter - or should I say, better end! FB chums, Twitter pals, Google gang, you are BRILLIANT. You not only took up the offer of the Starter Library but have got in touch after ‘the debacle’ to say you either love it, or have suggested I leave the country! (Not too many of these thankfully…)
I can’t thank you enough, you have saved my marriage and sanity.
Love and hugs as always, Carol xx
In 2007, one of my first sagas called Bella of Bow Street went to number ten in the Booksellers Heatseekers charts. At the time I was a saga newbie and hardly had a toe in the door of the publishing industry. But I loved writing this book, and always wanted to write a sequel, but knew I had to add extra material to give Bella that oomph! before making a series. Sadly, I got so busy with all my other sagas, that I didn’t return to her story. But now I have! Bella is published independently in Kindle ebook form and is on AMAZON's shelves for pre-order. Publishing date September 1st 2017. Like my Lizzie Flowers books, I hope Bella will grow - and grow!
Here's the AMAZON book description;
For eight-year-old Bella Doyle and her five-year-old brother Terry, Christmas is something they can only dream of. It’s December 1940 and the London Blitz has provided them with one essential; scraps of food they scavenge on the debris of bombed buildings. There’s no love and little for them to eat in the derelict dockside slum they call home. This is a danger area and to Bella almost worse than the Luftwaffe’s nightly raids. Their mother is a drunkard and earns her meagre living on the streets, turning a blind eye to the abuse her boyfriend dolls out to the two unwanted and neglected children.
It’s left to Bella to protect Terry, who has endured so many beatings he is mentally scarred. Bella has learned at a young age who she can trust and who she can’t. Micky Bryant, a good-looking, streetwise teenager, is the one person she truly believes in. And it’s to Micky that Bella turns in her desperation, unaware that her decision will have serious consequences in the years ahead.
So if you'd like two traditionally English Christmas ebooks for your stocking list, then perhaps Molly's Christmas Orphans and Christmas to Come, might fit the bill!
Check out my AMAZON page for details.
Lots of love, Carol x
Picasso I am not, in fact I’m pretty useless at most things, except telling stories! And I wouldn’t be telling them without YOU guys. So this is my way of saying ‘thank you’ to those lovely, supportive people who have Liked, Shared and commented on my FB, Twitter and Google pages and at Amazon.
Chris and I (for those who don’t know, Chris is the techie/artistic half) have recently published a new line of romances to balance the gritty East End sagas. They could have dive-bombed, for these countryside romances are quite the opposite material to my usual books. Instead, you have all been there with us every bit of the way, giving reviews and subscribing to the newsletter and just generally taking an interest. You’ve blown us away with your patience and encouragement.
I’ve so much admiration for you; mums and dads with young families to rear, enormous challenges at work and in the home, ailments and health predicaments, bereavements and losses that tear at our hearts. But we meet in this amazing community of on-liners and discover we’re all human beings, with the same things happening to us, striving for the best for ourselves and our families. So where do we escape for relief? Often to a story, to a book, where we can relate to others in the same or similar situation.
I owe so much to the authors of some of the books I’ve read - and I would like to give back. I try to, in each of the stories I make. They are only simple tales, but they are created for YOU, in the hope that perhaps they can offer a quiet space where it’s most needed in your busy lives.
So it really is a Love and Thanks from Carol. Whether you’re reading one of my sagas or countryside romances, I hope it gives you what you are looking for.
Have a wonderful summer! I hope some gorgeous books, uplifting movies, trips to the theatre, holidays, inspirational happenings, family get-togethers, seeing good friends and enjoying the part we play in this am-a-zing universe — all this fills your lives and rewards you for the good people you are.
Big hugs as always, from Carol x
Why write a series of heartwarming medical romances?
Writing a book with engaging characters and plot lines + chemistry and tension, means that the fictional people and places a writer creates might be the first step to a series of works that takes the reader into a completely different world.
I hope that my Dishy Doc series, about small town country doctors, their staff and patients, with a fly-on-the-wall commentary on their personal lives, provides this cocktail. The books all have medical themes as opposed to my gritty historical sagas. I'm just working on my fifth series book to be published later this summer.
ENGLISH NURSE, PLAYBOY DOCTOR is the 1st of my Dishy Doc series and on sale at Amazon for 99p.
I promised myself that if I could make the writing and selling of the books fun and cost effective for the reader, then job done! Books take us into a different world and sometimes a life-saving world where we can just switch off! I hope you guys can do just that when you read a Carol Rivers Dishy Doc! xx
AMAZON WEBSITE TWITTER FACEBOOK
Hi guys, if you’re a subscriber to my Newsletter, you will already have received an alert from me about forthcoming promotions. But I thought I’d blog about them too, so that no one will miss out on the special offers I know you value so much. MOLLY’S CHRISTMAS ORPHANS, this September’s book, is on pre order at Amazon for the super-cheap Kindle price of £3.99. This is a great offer, as the books usually come in at £4.99p or more. MOLLY’S CHRISTMAS ORPHANS will be auto-delivered to your Kindle at the pre order price and you will only be charged on 7 Sep 2017. So if you fancy reading the new book, the pre order is definitely worth a punt.
The other promotion is the boxset of the Dishy Doc Series medical romances. The ITALIAN DOCTORS, books 1-2, are on Amazon countdown on Friday (16th) as from 10am. The boxset containing the two full-length romances, will stay at 99p for two days. Then £1.99p for two days. Then 2.99p for 2 days. Great value from Amazon, as the boxset is usually £4.99p. Perfect timing for a holiday read! So don’t forget to check out this link on Friday after 10.am for a big discount. IF YOU WOULD LIKE AN EMAIL REMINDER FROM ME ON FRIDAY MORNING PLEASE CLICK HERE
Above; Dad and his mates aboard light cruiser H.M.S Sheffield, just before they set sail on a North Atlantic run to Mermansk.
My September saga, MOLLY'S CHRISTMAS ORPHANS is set during World War 2 and against the backdrop of the Merchant Navy. Many unsung heroes lost their lives because of our badly defended merchant ships. Light cruisers and sometimes destroyers tried to protect them as they ploughed through the freezing North Atlantic, sitting targets for the famed wolf-packs of the Kriegsmarine,. Christine Davies wrote to me and with her permission I'm sharing her poignant story, one which mirrors the journey of many of those brave mariners.
"My father was in the Merchant Navy because he was blind in one eye so wasn't accepted in the armed forces. He was a stoker at one time on the Queen Mary. He also sailed on many other ships. He was at a stop once in Australia, and did some work on land while his ship was being repaired and came upon a farm to ask for work the farmer turned out to be a friend of my father's eldest brother who had emigrated before the war started. You don't realise the hardship soldiers went through till you read about it in these books. I know my father had his hair and eye lashes and brows burnt off when a bomb went off near his ship.. The people in Barry in the Merchant Navy were ship wrecked 5 times. A friend of my mothers hated the sea in the end. And many of the men from Barry walked to Birmingham after the war looking for work. Very hard times were had in those days. My mother was in the ATS. I wish I had listened more and took in what they told me when I was a child, we listened but couldn't imagine the horror that was going on in the world." Christine Davies.
An incredible story, Christine. Thank you.
Below is a beautiful pic provided by Getty Images of men at war taking a rare few moments to themselves. I wonder what they were thinking? I guess we'll never know, but in my book I ask the question they were perhaps thinking. Will I survive to see my family again? Family, friends and the people they loved was all that mattered. And for whom many gave they lives.
Check out AMAZON for MOLLY'S CHRISTMAS ORPHANS
SIMON & SCHUSTER
I didn't expect to be writing a second blog before May is out. But when I checked the contemporary romances on Amazon.co.uk this afternoon, I had to look twice. (At least.) The ITALIAN DOCTORS series stands at no 4 and no 5 in category and ITALIAN DOCTOR, SINGLE MUM has two reviews, 4 & 5 star. This development called for a cuppa and cream scone and a big smile, as when we published our own romances, we had no idea how they would go. And gone they have. THANKS TO YOU GUYS! Honestly, I am so chuffed and Chris is over the moon that his covers seem to work. Above is a screen shot for ITALIAN DOCTOR SINGLE MUM. (I'm keeping it forever!) If you want to go in to Amazon and browse, just CLICK HERE.
THANK YOU AGAIN. The placing is all down to your support of this cheery little series of romances. (I'm half way through writing ENGLISH DOCTOR, PLAYBOY DAD, book 2 (and the heat is burning my fingers).
Much love and hugs as always, Carol X
If you have never chanced reading historical novels, you might enjoy these East End sagas set in the first half of the twentieth century. You may be surprised to find you can relate to the cast of characters, all striving with issues and challenges that we still face today. Hope springs eternal so it is said - as does love and kindness - even in the darkest of times. Good luck and happy reading! Carol x