Monday, 12 September 2016

Cover reveal: Timeless by Crystal Collier

Who-hoo! I'm so happy to be taking part in the delightful Crystal's cover reveal today. Isn't it gorgeous?

TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier #CoverReveal

Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016


In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.

Want the first chapter free? Sign up HERE.


Thursday, 8 September 2016

Baby Moo's Great Escape

Something a little bit different today, meet this little cuite, Baby Moo...

Book blurb:

Baby Moo has a dream. He wants to travel the world and sing on the stage of the Sydney Opera House! While he loves his home at Sunrise Sanctuary, it hasn’t been the same since a piglet named Nathan showed up and stole all the attention away from Moo. Jealous of the new baby, Moo decides now is the time to make his escape and pursue his dream.
But the world outside the sanctuary gates is not quite the fun and exciting place Moo imagined, and he quickly finds himself in big trouble. Moo's friends Missy the dog and Ruthie the cat rush to help him, and land in some trouble of their own.
Lost and frightened, Moo and his friends must rely on each other to find their way back home. Will they ever see Sunrise again?

Release date: September 8, 2016 from Native Ink Press
Check out Julie's blog for the list of places to buy and add on Goodreads

Julie Flanders will donate $1 to Sunrise Sanctuary, home to Baby Moo and numerous other rescued animals, for each copy sold in September.

Share the news by Tweeting:
Baby Moo's Great Escape by @JulesFlanders is here! $1 will be donated to @sunrise_ohio for each copy sold in Sept.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Just a quick note...

... to say that my internet connection is very poor at the moment. I've just had 48 hours without it, and it's randomly come back on. This means I can't visit blogs very successfully - on the few and far between moments I have it, I need to internet bank and send emails with attachments, and all the other things I've come to take for granted.

I've turned comments off, because I probably won't be able to do much with them at the moment. Hopefully it'll be resolved soon - I've tried wishing on eyelashes and crossing my fingers... the next step is to contact a computer guy!

Friday, 26 August 2016

Writers are yellow cars

Every so often, I have a wobble - you've probably been witness to it once or twice: I wonder why I'm even a writer. Because everyone seems to be a writer. Is there really any room for me? I talk to people online, and discover they're writing a book. Or I'll meet someone new in real life, and - guess what? - they're a writer too.

In fact, there seems to be far more writers than readers these days.

#2 son is a budding actor. Today he was telling me about his friends, and they all seem to be part of one acting group or another. As a child, he's drawn to the people who have the same interests, of course - and perhaps acting groups are more prolific for kids these days than when I was at school. None of my friends were actors, and I didn't want to be one - I can't recall any of my non-friends who were actors either.

My husband's first car was a yellow Metro, and I knew how easy it would be to find that car in a multi-storey car park... it would sparkle like a star from a bed of really dull-coloured cars. Until every car seemed to be yellow. Ugh! They weren't all yellow the day before, when we didn't have a yellow car. They were many colours.

Many years later we had an import car - this time, when we met other drivers of the same car on the road, we'd give them a wave. We seemed to be waving an awful lot!

So, perhaps there aren't a limitless numbers of writers oozing out of gaps in the walls or cracks in the pavement. Perhaps, by being a writer, I just notice them more.

This post is brought to you from a really boring bus journey this morning

Saturday, 20 August 2016

No story goes to waste

Having fun on Seaton Beach, Cornwall with Artoo
After working hard on You. I. Us. and turning a novella into a novel for most of this year, I'm now looking back at some of my older stories and wondering if I can create something amazing out of them.

I do this on a fairly regular basis, with various levels of success. One of the stories from You. I. Us. - Redemption - was based on a story I wrote around 1997. The actual story bore no resemblance by the end of the re-write, but it kick-started me, and allowed me to tell the story I'd wanted to initially. Sometimes I find my own improvements as a writer enable past stories to be revitalised in a way that I could never imagine.

I'm currently attempting this process with two stories at the same time. One is basically a piece of description that I'm hoping to squeeze a plot out of, and the other is the first part of my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel.

But I'm going through the whole spectrum of writing within one page. I'll write a sentence I think is perfect, then another which is rubbish, then I'll decide the whole idea is a waste of time, then I'll sweep right back to writing something brilliant again.

This makes it really hard to know if I'm actually writing anything that's any good. In fact, the original title of this post was "How do you know if you're writing a good story?" but that sounded like I was going to give advice and actually explain, rather than appeal for help myself.

(If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you'll know giving advice isn't my forte!)

As far as I can tell, from my own experience, you know when you get that gut-feeling. I've had it many times, and I'm usually right. Which should mean that when I don't have that feeling I should give up, right?

But I won't. Because I'm stubborn.

How do you decide which projects are worth the effort?
Have you ever shelved a story and gone back to it?


In other news, You. I. Us. has been getting some really great reviews recently. Thank you to everyone who's taken the time to leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Whenever I get a good review, I treat myself to some chocolate - and you should know how much I like chocolate by now, so I really appreciate it on a whole new level.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Me and the Doctor

I've been quiet this week, because I've been away. First we stopped off at a very normal and grown-up National Trust property, then we went to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. If you're ever in Cardiff, it's well worth a visit. We spent almost three hours there.

I thought I'd share some photos, because I know some of you are just as big a fan as I am! (Some of these are blurred, and I'm in a few of them... sorry, on both counts.)

Clara's display and TARDIS tribute
The TARDIS from the 70s and 80s -
with the all-important hat stand

The Silence

Me with Eleven, kinda

The TARDIS of Nine and Ten

Some random baddies and the Face of Bo
I really thought I was acting
nonchalant here. Turns out I was
just smiling a lot!

River Song's outfits

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Man Booker time again

It's Man Booker longlist time again, and it looks like a good one.

I was a little uninspired by last year's list, but this year I already had some of the books on my TBR list, so I spent time today adding a couple more.

I hadn't realised it was being announced today until one of my friends on Facebook - the owner of Salt - shared the news that another of his authors had been included, Wyl Menmuir for his book The Many. I wrote about Salt's story in 2012 when Alison Moore made it to the shortlist. You can read my post here - it's an inspiring story in itself.

I love the Man Booker Prize, because I'll be winning it when I'm 56 (it's been a long standing conviction since I was 17, I might have mentioned it once or twice).

Every year, when the prize rolls around, it makes me super focused on my writing. I've been a bit aimless (again... *sigh*) since I finished my WIP at the end of last month, so today I started re-reading a novel I've been submitting to agents, and decided to refresh it. None of the agents have been interested, so it's probably a good time to have another go at it. Beta readers have given it thumbs up, so it might be just a case of jiggling with it and trying again.

It can't hurt, right?

At the moment, I have chopped up/taped back together scenes strewn all over my floor, and I'm fending Artoo off with my foot. So, it's probably time to get back to work.

What have you been up to?
What gets you motivated to write? Do you even need motivating as much as I do?