Feb 3

As many of you know, I absolutely love romantic comedies–reading them and writing them! So I’m thrilled to have a fellow romantic comedy writer and good friend visit my blog from way across the pond in England. She’s here to tell us about her life as a RomCom author and to present her latest book. I love the title and look forward to reading A Little Bit of Madness. Welcome to the very talented and lovely Sheryl Browne!

Hi Bonnie!

Thanks so much for inviting me along today and helping me launch A Little Bit of Madness, my fourth Romantic Comedy published through Safkhet Publishing.

So, why four books in the genre you might ask? I’m not quite sure would be the honest answer, other than I can’t seem to write without injecting humour into my story.  I like to write romantic comedy because I hope to allow people a little escapism and also to leave the reader with that all-important feel-good factor.  I do, however, like to write about real people, dealing with real life events, someone the reader identifies with and wants to get to know.  A ‘boy meets girl, boy gets girl, despite all obstacles’ story portraying characters readers can relate to and hopefully laugh with as they fall over life’s little ‘obstacles’ – because the reader is empathising with the character, because they’ve been there.

Bearing in mind real people then, along with changing population demographics, in A Little bit of Madness, I aimed for a multigenerational read.  Alongside my hunky but flawed hero and my feisty yet vulnerable heroine, therefore, I’ve starred a cast of people of the Queen’s generation, or as Celia – our heroine – prefers to call them, her elderly independents: people who have life skills you couldn’t possibly learn from a book and who still have lives to live and something left to give.

I’ve written the book.  My publisher loves it.  Now comes the nervous nail-biting bit.  Will the readers love it, too??  I hope so. Having seen a sneak peek of an upcoming review, I think so.  He’s a teeny snippet: This book had me laughing so hard at the antics of the elderly characters…’  I won’t say more for fear of spoilers.  I have, however, popped the blurb and a brief excerpt below.  Ooh, I do hope you enjoy!  Thank you so much for reading!


A Little Bit of Madness Book Shot


A Little Bit of Madness

No rest for the wicked

Saving Charlton hall will burrow into your heart.

Celia Summers, intrepid mother of two, is too cuddly for sweatpants, she suspects. But then, her class at The Harbour Rest Home are similarly clad. Celia loves her work as an art therapist. She’s proud that she gives her elderly independents something to look forward to, even if her partner, Martin, disapproves of her efforts. He also has other things on his mind – telling complicated lies to Celia so he can sell Charlton Hall, his mum’s house, to pay off his debts.

Meanwhile, Celia fights to secure gallery space for her geriatric charges’ artwork, and to keep The Harbour from being closed. She’s even ready to abseil from a church steeple to bring attention to the plight of her old people, no matter that she might fall and end up splattered all over the flagstones. When she does fall, however, it’s much more painful – in love with PC Alex Burrows. Will he be her white-knight-in-blue and ride to her rescue?


‘I think I might be able to assist. Excuse me, dears.’ May squeezed between them, potty in hand. ‘There,’ she said, opening the window and chucking the contents out. ‘That should cool their ardour.’

‘Oh my  God.’ Celia gawked. ‘May, I can’t believe  you just did that!’

Eleanor laughed. ‘Relax, Celia. He hasn’t been assaulted quite as rudely as you think. It’s tea, not pee.’

‘I’ve been practising.’ May nodded importantly. ‘It’s not as easy as it looks, you know, making huge potfuls and getting it right, especially when it’s orgasmic.’

‘Organic, May.’

‘Oh, don’t be such a baby,’ Celia shouted through the window, as Martin gave an outraged screech and clutched his shirt from his chest. ‘It was tea, not pee.’

‘It was bloody hot!’ Martin looked up, po-faced. Appropriately, Celia thought. ‘She could have seriously injured me, the silly cow. Come on, Celia, see sense and come out before something awful happens.’

‘It already did, Martin. You happened.’

‘Fine. Have it your own way,’ Martin snapped, ‘let’s see if the police can persuade you, shall we?’ With great fanfare, he flicked open his new mobile, and whoosh, in an instant it was gone—swept away on a cloud of fire extinguisher foam.

‘Yessss!’ Celia did a little twirl on the landing. ‘Well done, Eleanor!’

‘That is it!’ Martin shouted through a face-full of suds. ‘I’m going to find a public telephone. The police will be here in minutes, Celia. You’d better get out under your own steam, while you still can!’

‘Do what you like, Martin,’ she called, as the two men in suits climbed from their vehicle, now parked behind Martin’s Jaguar. They’d had the good sense to stay out of the line of fire until now. ‘We’re not budging. We’re not even prepared to talk until we get assurances no contracts have been exchanged!’

Let him chew on that for a while, Celia thought as she turned away. Damn! The bailiffs! She realised they could split up at any moment and bolted downstairs, missing the last step from the bottom to land in a heap.

‘Ooh bloody, bloody Martin.’ Celia crawled up the banister and limped on, sure at least one of the bailiffs would be trying to gain entry at the back by now. ‘Batten down the hatches,’ she shouted, stumbling into the kitchen.

‘All battened m’dear. Blighters won’t get in here,’ the colonel assured her, walking stick ready to thrash any hand that might nudge through the cat-flap.

‘Mum,’ Luke yelled from the front hall, ‘it’s Alex.’

Oh no. Celia’s heart plummeted. Why, why, why, if he cared about any of them, couldn’t he have turned a blind eye, bunked off work, done anything but be involved in their eviction?

‘Where?’ She raced back toward the front hall, ready to dish out the same treatment to him as they had Martin, except, um, it seemed someone already had.

‘Here,’ said Alex, meeting her in the hall looking disarmingly Colin Firth-ish. Shirt plastered to his chest, his new shoes sloshing water as he walked, his expression one of total exasperation.

‘Who let you in?!’ Celia stared at him flabbergasted.

‘Luke,’ Alex supplied. ‘On the condition I told the bailiffs to back off and in the hope I wouldn’t drown, I imagine.’

‘Good God!’ The colonel blinked his monocle-free eye. ‘Not raining is it, lad?’

Alex sighed. ‘Torrentially. You might want to point out to May that hosing down policemen isn’t the best way to proceed if she wants to avoid a visit to the station.’


Sheryl Browne Photo



Sheryl Browne grew up in Birmingham, UK, where she studied Art & Design. A partner in her own business, a mother and a foster parent to disabled dogs, Sheryl has also been writing for many years, the road along the way often bumpy.  She was therefore thrilled beyond words when Safkhet Publishing loved her writing style and commissioned her to write her debut novel.

RECIPES FOR DISASTER – combining deliciously different and fun recipes with sexilicious romantic comedy, is garnering some fabulous reviews and was shortlisted for the Innovation in Romantic Fiction Festival of Romance Award.  Sheryl has since been offered a further three-book contract under the Safkhet Publishing Soul imprint. SOMEBODY TO LOVE, a romantic comedy centring around a single father’s search for love and his autistic little boy, launched July 1. WARRANT FOR LOVE, Blackmail, lies, adultery, entrapmentthree couples in a twisting story that resolves perfectly – released August 1 and A LITTLE BIT OF MADNESS –White Knight in Blue rescues the Harbour Rest Home – releases Valentine’s Day 2013.



Sheryl’s Website

Safkhet Publishing



Author Facebook     

Romantic Novelists’ Association

Sheryl is a loveahappyendingfeatured Author and Editor.

Twitter: @sherylbrowne


Apr 20

Some people birth babies; I launch them. True, I don’t have stretch marks, but the agony and bliss I’ve experienced while ushering my newborn out the door is just as real. I joke that if I’d given birth to a human child, she’d be fitted with a leash and helmet every time she left the house. Unfortunately, you can’t fasten those safety devices onto a new book. Once it goes live, it’s vulnerable to all kinds of things: reviews, comments, chatter; and as an author, so am I.

In this new day of publishing and social marketing, authors enjoy close contact with their readers and this has many wonderful benefits. Forging that one-on-one communication can be a fulfilling connection for both sides. Readers are able to ask questions, relay the elements of the story that spoke to them, and get a more personal perspective on the book and the person who wrote it. Authors can see how their characters and story affected readers: who they loved and related to, and what made them laugh, cry, seethe, or tremble. When appreciation for your work is expressed in such a direct way, it’s a very gratifying experience. After years of investing your blood, sweat, and tears, this is your big pay-off, even more, in my opinion, than any monetary reward.

But, inevitably, there is another side to this dynamic. Any writer or artist of any sort who puts their personal masterpiece out for human consumption will eventually find those who do not appreciate, relate to, or “get it”. I say this is inevitable because it is humanly impossible for the same book to appeal to everyone. When you think about it, each reader has a unique personality, a special set of likes and dislikes, religious or spiritual beliefs, political ideals, personal preferences, and so on. They come from myriad backgrounds and sport a variety of temperaments. So how can we possibly expect each of them to love the same book (or painting, or sculpture, or poem, or movie, etc.)?

I remember reading that Vincent van Gogh’s paintings went totally unappreciated by almost everyone when he was alive, and that included his mother! I try to keep that astounding tidbit in the forefront of my mind as I release my second baby, Neurotically Yours. The anticipation of letting go can be excruciating, but as long as there continue to be those readers and book critics who do “get it”, who do appreciate your stories in the ways you intended, then any negative commentary from others is worth bearing. I remind myself that I’ve done my best job instilling all the right stuff into my “baby” and now I just have to trust she’s going to do just fine out there on her own!

Neurotically Yours launched on Wednesday, April 25th at the World Literary Cafe and has now commenced a month-long blog tour:

Allison Merritt interviews me on her website: http://bit.ly/I54gCQ

Read my WLC post Who Among Us Isn’t Just a Little Bit Neurotic? http://bit.ly/Jnrg3H

Elizabeth Cassidy interviews me about neuroses and my new book: http://bit.ly/JvXJCt

Cheap Kindle Daily features me and my new book: http://wp.me/p1ZmHB-iM

Gina’s Library reviews Neurotically Yours,  (5 STARS!): http://bit.ly/JBtDBu

Digital Book Today interviews me: http://bit.ly/IEdPMT

Great review of Neurotically Yours and interview on Emerald Barnes’ Blog:  http://wp.me/pASRe-m2

My interview with Elizabeth Cassidy is featured on Skirt!: http://bit.ly/Ioar8R

My interview with Karen Baney on her blog: http://bit.ly/KmNrmY

Meet the funny heroine of Neurotically Yours in this great character interview! http://bit.ly/JTvkWm

My interview with Kathie Shoop on her blog:  http://bit.ly/II4vna

My interview with Micheal Rivers on his blog: http://bit.ly/Kc5Gll

Christine Cunningham reviews Neurotically Yours: http://bit.ly/Iqs58c

Kaira Rouda hosts my post How I turned Dating Hell into a Romantic Comedy: http://bit.ly/o89YaB

I talk about writing from my life experiences on Wendy Young’s blog: http://wp.me/p1JRnw-bS

I talk writing, reading and NEUROTICALLY YOURS on Amy Manemann’s blog: http://bit.ly/IU7HQA

Everything is copy. I’ll tell you why on Matt Patterson’s blog: http://bit.ly/ILbr8t

Read a funny excerpt from NEUROTICALLY YOURS at the WLC: http://bit.ly/Ji35Rm

Find out the top 10 reasons virtual book tours blow actual ones away on Peter Adler’s blog: http://bit.ly/JOWwZX

Get to know what makes me tick and much more on Keith Weaver’s Blog: http://bit.ly/JJhCaW

I ‘m Living to Tell the Tales (and what tales!) on Linn B. Halton’s website: http://bit.ly/K1zuw4

I talk Romance, Comedy and Me on T.M. Souders’ blog: http://wp.me/p1AxLQ-b2

I answer three great questions on Van Heerling’s blog: http://bit.ly/Kya65g

Love a Happy Ending celebrates NEUROTICALLY YOURS! Read an excerpt: http://bit.ly/KsAoCD