Posted in Blog Tour

In The Company of Strangers by Awais Khan @rararesources #guestpost #inthecompanyofstrangers

Hope you’re having a fabulous Tuesday! I’ve got another fantastic book to share with you all today!

In The Company Of Strangers

Mona has almost everything: money, friends, social status… everything except for freedom. Languishing in her golden cage, she craves a sense of belonging…

Desperate for emotional release, she turns to a friend who introduces her to a world of glitter, glamour, covert affairs and drugs. There she meets Ali, a physically and emotionally wounded man, years younger than her.

Heady with love, she begins a delicate game of deceit that spirals out of control and threatens to shatter the deceptive facade of conservatism erected by Lahori society, and potentially destroy everything that Mona has ever held dear.

Purchase Links

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2HkyWHn

THE BOOK GUILD: https://www.bookguild.co.uk/bookshop-collection/fiction/in-the-company-of-strangers/

WATERSTONES: https://www.waterstones.com/book/in-the-company-of-strangers/awais-khan/9781912881482

FOYLES: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/in-the-company-of-strangers,awais-khan-9781912881482

Author Bio – Awais Khan is a graduate of Western University and Durham University. Having been an avid reader and writer all his life, he decided to take the plunge and study Novel Writing and Editing at Faber Academy in London. His work has appeared in the Missing Slate Magazine, Daily Times and MODE, and he has been interviewed by leading television channels like PTV, Voice of America, Samaa TV and City 42, to name a few. He is also the Founder of The Writing Institute, one of the largest institutions for Creative Writing in Pakistan. He lives in Lahore and frequently visits London for business.

Social Media Links – Instagram: @awaiskkhan @thewritinginstitute

Facebook: @thewritinginstitute

Guest Post

How to land a Literary Agent

The truth of publishing is that the majority of publishers require you to go through a literary agent if you want them to take a look at your work. Having said that, literary agents are not just a means of filtration. They are literally the gatekeepers of the publishing world and all the treasures that lie within, so to speak.

It may seem like there are a lot of agents out there, but that isn’t true. Yes, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, spread across the US, UK, India, Europe etc, but they are not enough. Most of these agents are getting hundreds of submissions from authors every month, and at most they may sign on a handful of new authors every year. That doesn’t sound too good, does it? The good news is that if you follow a few simple rules, you can not only get an agent to notice you, but even consider signing you on.

The first rule is to make sure your work is up to the mark. Literary agents hate it when they get distracted from the story by grammatical errors and typos that could have been corrected by basic proofreading. Some agents simply abandon reading the material, no matter how compelling, if they feel that it contains too many typos. If you want an agent to give you some of his/her time, you need to make it worth their while. They expect a well edited submission, and a writer should make sure that they provide them with that.

Once you are sure you have done your absolute best in making sure the work is top notch, research some of the agents you are interested in, and check whether they actually represent the genre you’ve written. If yes, proceed to look at their submission guidelines. I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of adhering to submission guidelines. If you follow them all correctly and provide the agent with well edited initial chapters, there is a very good chance that the agent will give you due consideration. This is how unknown writers end up being represented by top agents. They follow the guidelines, write a compelling story and edit it properly. Since their submission ticks all the boxes, the agent reads it, and before you know it, you have a full manuscript request from that agent.

Even when you follow all the guidelines to the book, you will still receive tons of rejections. That’s basically due to the fact that this is a very subjective market, and not everyone may like what you have written, but there will definitely be someone out there who will. It is just a matter of finding the right agent.

Posted in Blog Tour

Heathcliff by Sue Barnard @authorsusanb @rararesources #Heathcliff #excerpt

Happy Tuesday!

Have you read Wuthering Heights? Don’t tell anybody but I haven’t🤫 but I do know there is a character named HeathCliff and this is his story!

Heathcliff

It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now…”

Cathy’s immortal words from Wuthering Heights change Heathcliff’s life. At just seventeen years of age, heartbroken and penniless, he runs away to face an unknown future.

Three years later, he returns – much improved in manners, appearance and prosperity.

But what happened during those years? How could he have made his fortune, from nothing? Who might his parents have been? And what fate turned him into literature’s most famous anti-hero?

For almost two centuries, these questions have remained unanswered.

Until now…

Purchase Link – mybook.to/heathcliff

Author Bio –

Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet whose family background is far stranger than any work of fiction. She would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

Sue was born in North Wales but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester. She speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.

Her mind is so warped that she has appeared on BBC TV’s Only Connect quiz show, and she has also compiled questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” The label has stuck.

Sue’s first novel, The Ghostly Father (a new take on the traditional story of Romeo & Juliet), was officially released on St Valentine’s Day 2014. Since then she has produced five more novels: Nice Girls Don’t (2014), The Unkindest Cut of All (2015), Never on Saturday (2017), Heathcliff (2018), and Finding Nina (2019).

Sue now lives in Cheshire, UK, with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.

Social Media Links –

Blog: http://broad-thoughts-from-a-home.blogspot.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/suebarnardauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorSusanB

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/suebarnardauthor/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Barnard/e/B00IF4ZJJU/

RNA: https://romanticnovelistsassociation.org/rna_author/sue-barnard/

Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Heathcliff (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494260/?

Excerpt

In this extract, which comes very early in the story, Nelly Dean describes her conversation with Cathy.

I really don’t understand what Miss Catherine can be thinking of. The only possible explanation is that she must have lost her mind.

Earlier this evening, she came to see me in the kitchen, almost in tears. During the afternoon, whilst Mr Edgar was visiting her, she behaved appallingly towards me and young Hareton, and she even slapped Mr Edgar’s face. Goodness only knows what he must have thought of her. When she first appeared I wondered if she might have come to say she was sorry, though I’m well aware that this is not in her nature.

What she did say almost knocked me sideways. She told me that Mr Edgar has asked her to marry him, and that she has accepted! Then – incredibly – she asked me if she was doing the right thing.

As if I could give her an answer! But in any case, it certainly isn’t my place to tell her. If she really is doing the right thing by marrying Mr Edgar, she would know in her own heart, and wouldn’t need to ask anyone – let alone the likes of me.

I asked her if she loves Mr Edgar. She said she does, because he’s “handsome, and pleasant, and young, and cheerful, and rich.” And also because he loves her.

My first thought, on hearing this, is one which I would rather not repeat. My second thought was Heaven help poor Mr Edgar… I managed to control myself and tried to reason with Miss Catherine, suggesting that she might be marrying him for all the wrong reasons.

But even though I could see she was already beginning to have doubts about it (she even admitted that in her heart and her soul she was convinced she was wrong), she wouldn’t listen to me. Not that I’m surprised. She was always a wilful and headstrong thing, even as a child.

Then she told me that she’d once dreamed she was in Heaven, but she’d been so miserable that the angels had thrown her back down to earth. It made me feel very uneasy, to be honest, until she explained that she had no more business to be in Heaven than she had to marry Mr Edgar.

But then she said, “It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff.”

I was so taken aback at this that at first I failed to notice a slight sound from behind the settle, and possibly the creak of a door. I glanced up, and imagined I saw a faint movement in the shadows. But Miss Catherine, who was sitting on the floor with her back to the door, went on talking.

If I thought she was crazy before, what she said next convinced me of it. Her next words, after saying it would degrade her to marry Heathcliff, were “…so he shall never know how I love him”.

Oh dear God in Heaven.

I opened my mouth to say: “Love is a great leveller, Miss Catherine. So if you really love Heathcliff, then the question of rank or status wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, enter into it.” But before I could speak she just carried on, saying her soul and Heathcliff’s were one and the same, whereas hers and Edgar’s were as different as they could possibly be.

Yet another reason why marrying Mr Edgar is the worst thing she could possibly do.

When she finally paused for breath I held up my hand for silence, saying I’d heard the sound of Joseph’s cart in the yard, and it was likely that Heathcliff would be with him. At that point, she panicked, clearly terrified that Heathcliff might have any suspicion of what she’s done.

“But Heathcliff doesn’t know anything about love, does he, Nelly?” she declared.

“How can you be so sure of that, Miss Catherine?” I replied. “Is there any reason why he shouldn’t know? Let’s just suppose that he does – and that you might be the one he loves. Can you even begin to imagine how he might feel, once he finds out that you’re going to marry Edgar Linton?”

“But we’ll still be together,” she protested. “Don’t you understand, Nelly? Nobody will ever separate us! Edgar will understand, once he realises how much Heathcliff means to me.”

My face must have betrayed my horror at this point, because she carried on: “Nelly, I know you must think I’m a selfish brat. But has it not occurred to you that if I married Heathcliff, we’d be little more than beggars? Whereas if I marry Edgar, I can help Heathcliff to better himself.”

I was aghast. “With your husband’s money, Miss Catherine? Do you honestly think you can get away with that? And, begging your pardon, I think that’s your worst reason yet for agreeing to marry Mr Edgar.”

“No, it is the best reason of all!” she shouted. “Don’t you see how unselfish I’m being? I’m doing this for Heathcliff, not for myself or for Edgar! Don’t you understand?”

“No, Miss Catherine, I’m afraid I don’t understand.” By now I had run out of patience with her. “As far as I can tell, either you have no idea of what is expected of a married woman, or you are just a spoilt, unprincipled child. Please spare me any more of your ramblings.”

At this point the door opened and Joseph entered, effectively bringing our conversation to a close. Miss Catherine slumped into a seat in the corner, whilst I moved to the stove to continue preparing the supper. As I passed round to the other side of the settle, I spotted a small pale object on the floor underneath the bench by the wall. Bending down to retrieve it, I recognised Heathcliff’s clay pipe.

I recalled having heard the door creak. That was when I realised what had happened: Heathcliff must have overheard the earlier part of our conversation, up to when Miss Catherine said it would degrade her to marry him – at which point, he’d got up and left.