Hearts & Scribbles

Hooking the Reader + Giveaway with Helen Lacey

I'm thrilled to welcome Helen Lacey to Hearts & Scribbles. And her latest release looks great!!! I just love the cover. :-) 

So please give Helen a warm greeting. BTW, there's a book giveaway for one lucky commenter. The winner will be announced in the comment section of this post. Good luck! 

And now it's time to hand things over to Helen... 


Helen Lacey.jpg

Hooking the reader.….

As authors we hear this expression a lot. From agents, from publishers, from other writers.

Hook your reader.

So how does an author do this? How do we hook our readers, whether that person has bought your book on Amazon or is an agent or publisher reading a manuscript you’ve submitted? Is it a catchy title ? A scathingly brilliant first line? A plot twist? An unforgettable cast of characters. Riveting, well edited writing from chapter one until the last line? Unforgettable chapter endings that force you to read on? Relentless promotion?

Well, it could be all of these things, or some, or even one.

Would Twilight have been the phenomenon it was if it was called Pale Vampire Boy Finds Love With A Really Annoying Girl?  Would Harry Potter have captured world attention without the wonderful Harry, Ron and Hermione? Anyone remember the opening line of the fabulous Lace by Shirley Conran? Check it out if you haven’t and I’ll bet most people will keep reading. And would 50 Shades have been the publishing steamroller it was without the help of social media?  


For me though, it starts with characters. In a romance it’s about the emotional journey between two people, entwined with building physical relationship, testing each character’s virtues and highlighting their flaws. In my latest release Date With Destiny, I have a heroine who, on the surface, seems closed off and often unlikable. The trick was getting readers to invest in her, to give her genuine, believable flaws that could be redeemed. To ‘hook’ the reader by making her ‘real’. Because she was so complex a couple of major plots twists developed organically and by the end of the story she had become a functional, likable character that readers could relate to.

Hooking a reader is really about drawing them into the story. A snappy title will grab their attention, a great first line will get them interested, an awesome first page will draw them in, but I believe it’s actually the whole story that actually is the ‘hook’. An author can have the flashiest covers and titles in the world, and tirelessly promote…but it’s a well crafted tale that will keep a reader reading….and of course ‘hook’ them into reading the next book…and the next one after that.

So, what ‘hooks’ you when you pick up a book?

I have a copy of Date With Destiny to give away to one commenter.

About Helen:

Helen Lacey grew up reading Black Beauty, Anne of Green Gables and Little House on The Prairie. These childhood classics inspired her to write her first book when she was seven years old, a story about a girl and her horse. Although, it wasn’t until the age of eleven when she read her first Mills & Boon, that she knew writing romances was what she wanted to do with her life. Her parents’ love of travel meant she saw much of the world in those early years and she feels fortunate to have had a diverse and interesting education over several continents.

She continued to write into her teens and twenties with the dream of one day being a published author. A few years and careers later, including motel operator, florist, strapper, dog washer, and retail manager, she got the call from Harlequin Special Edition. She loves writing about tortured heroes, both cowboys and CEO’s, and heroines who finally get the love of the man of their dreams. She now works part time in her sister’s bridal shop, where she gets to meet fascinating people, some of whom might one day end up being in one of her books.

From Welsh parents and a large family, she lives on the east coast of Australia in a small seaside town at the southern most point of The Great Barrier Reef, with her wonderfully supportive husband, many horses and three spoiled dogs.

Connect with Helen:

Website    Blog      Facebook    Twitter     Goodreads 


Date With Destiny

DWD Cherish.jpg

 Financier Grace Preston did fourteen-hour days in New York City. She didn't do small towns in Australia. Not since she'd fled almost twenty years ago. But when a personal trauma sent her home-with a secret she couldn't reveal-the last person she needed was her first love.

 Local cop Cameron Jakowski had loved Grace for most of his life. But he wanted marriage and family and she didn't. He was small town, while she was big city-and lived half a world away. But for now she was right here-a walking, talking temptation. One he managed to avoid...until he made one mistake. He kissed her. And reawakened the passion that could change their lives...forever.

Read Reviews

Buy Links

Mills & Boon UK | Harlequin US | Amazon | Amazon UK 

B&N | Powell's Books | BAM | indieBound 


And don't miss her great book trailer: 

Book Trailer