#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for The Christmas Ghosts by G Lawrence @TudorTweep #RBRT #shortstories

I chose to read The Christmas Ghosts as a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team and received a copy from the author but that has not affected the content of this review.

Guardian – Henry is on his way to stay in a cottage with his fiancΓ©e, Billie, when he gets lost on Bodmin Moor in the snow. Help arrives unexpectedly but Henry is even more surprised when he finds out who his rescuer was.

Hot Toddy – This was a lovely story of an elderly woman’s special tradition at Christmas. She has all her family staying with her, or at least nearly all, and this ritual is all about that missing element. Thoughtful and wonderfully written and I really enjoyed this one.

Rodger Reed and the Road Kill Rabbit – Rodger is a horrible, horrible man. He is on his way home for Christmas, not because he wants to see his family but because he wants to make sure his father is leaving him exactly what he wants in his will, as he should. He kills a rabbit on the way with little remorse but lives to regret his lack of care.

Old Man Symmonds – Hayley is having a horrendous time under her new boss, Carol. She leaves and gets a temporary job in retail. Given the task of locking up one night she gets some overtime to clear up the stock room on the strict understanding she is to leave by 7pm. However, Hayley loses track of time, something she soon bitterly regrets.

The Christmas Ghosts – Eloise has made a career out of housesitting and is booked to look after a wonderful Victorian, very large cottage on the Cornish coast. She is a writer working on her first novel and is planning on getting a lot done on it during that month. It sounds idyllic to me – a writers’ retreat, you get paid to go to? What’s not to love!

Eloise was planning to spend Christmas Day with her family but after a row with her mother she returns to the cottage, and is astonished by what she finds going on there.

These stories are all very well written and are an entertaining and enjoyable read I’d highly recommend.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Georgia’s Paperback Giveaway has started! Enter to Win the paperback of your choice.

I have set up a new giveaway on this site for all those who prefer paperbacks to ebooks!

No purchase necessary. International entry.

Check out all the rules by clicking on that link in green below the entry box as that will take you to the full giveaway page.

Good Luck!

 

Posted in Giveaways! | 8 Comments

Accountability Post #25 ~ To Reach that Goal ~ #amwriting #selfpublishing

I’ve had a difficult few weeks for a variety of reasons and have suddenly realised I forgot to post my final accountability post! So here it is. There’s not much to say really. Yes, by the 22nd November I had completed the first draft of Project C. Yay!! The numbers are below.

On the 1st December I started the editing and I intend on having that finished by the 16th January. I love the editing bit so I’m getting stuck into that. I’m also looking forward to sending it off to my editor and distributing it among my beta-readers.

I also spent some time the other evening setting out my writing plan for the next year. It is ambitious πŸ˜€ well, it would probably be doable if I didn’t also have the day job, but hey, you have to push yourself in life, don’t you!

The narrator has finished the recording of the audio version of Parallel Lies and I shall be uploading that very soon. I have listened to the whole book now and I’m delighted with it. I shall do a post about it once it is available and introduce you to the narrator, Henri Merriam. She has done an amazing job πŸ˜€

There is also a new paperback giveaway starting today so if you fancy winning a copy of one of my paperbacks you can do so here.

I’m sure there is more but I can’t remember that now and as you know I should be editing! So, thank you for all your support as I’ve made myself accountable to you over the last few months. I shall give this blog post series a rest for a while now, or perhaps forever, we shall see how it goes.

Project B – Hill of Beans – previously 5532 words – still 5532 words.

Project C – Parallel Lies sequel – previously 66,146 words – now 72,025 words.

I will be starting Project B on the 1st January 2019 πŸ˜€ That’s in the next year’s writing plan πŸ˜‰

Posted in Accountability | 12 Comments

#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for Close Cover by Lexi Blake @authorlexiblake #romanticsuspense

In a bid to read more in what seems to be my genre, romantic suspense, Close Cover by Lexi Blake was my next choice after reading Holy Island by L J Ross which I reviewed here, and it shows just how broad the romantic suspense genre is as it’s completely different to Holy Island. Again it was one I picked from the top of the charts.

This is a novel from the Masters and Mercenaries series (which is a huge one to get into!) and is a crossover novel where authors combine the worlds they have created with those of another author which sounds like a fascinating opportunity for letting the imagination run wild.

Remy Guidry works for McKay-Taggart doing whatever they pay him for and he’s made a solid group of friends there with Declan, Riley, Shane and Wade and I enjoyed their banter.

Everyone in the book seems to play at a BDSM club, Sanctum, started by the founding members of McKay-Taggart, although there is only one visit to the club in this book. The Daley family, also members of the club, book Remy to be bodyguard to the youngest of the Daley sisters, Lisa, but she is not to realise that’s what he is doing.

This is due to be Remy’s final job for McKay-Taggart before he’s due to return to Papillon to buy back the family bar.

The problem is that Lisa and Remy have fancied each other from afar for a long time but after Lisa approached Remy months before and was rejected by him, for perfectly valid, and honourable, reasons, things get off to a sticky start. What follows is a series of misunderstandings and problems caused by the usual lack of communication that happens in relationships.

The sex is definitely not behind closed doors and although some may consider it a little close to erotica when it does happen it doesn’t dominate the book.

Although this was fine to read as a standalone I did feel a little like I’d walked into a party where everyone already knew each other. Settings and characters were already well established and would probably be familiar to regular readers of Blake’s.

This was an enjoyable, easy read with plenty of other books to sink your teeth into if one book is not enough for you.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Retro-fitted #bookreview for Deep in the Bin of Bob by Craig Stone @craigstone_ #TuesdayBookBlog

When I started this writing caper I decided to review everything I read. I posted those reviews to Amazon in the UK and US (you could in those days without having to spend $50 with them first! #JustSaying!) and Goodreads. It didn’t cross my mind to post them on my blog… duh! As I’m aiming to stick to a blogging schedule – oh, how we laughed! – and as I read desperately slowly I shall add in these retro-fitted book reviews when I don’t have a current one to post.

Deep in the Bin of Bob

I was drawn into buying this book because of a very entertaining blog post by Craig Stone. Then having bought it I was a little concerned how I was going to get on with it never having read this sort of book before. However I shouldn’t have been. I found it incredibly interesting and thought provoking. There are many things I shall never think about in the same way again, not least of which is Richard Dawkins! Or as I now prefer Richard Porkins! The writing and settings are strangely weird and beautifully brilliant and I feel that anything else I might now read could seem a little ordinary, a little bland in comparison. I would encourage anyone out there to give this book a go – you don’t know what you might be missing until you do!

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Accountability Post #24 ~ To Reach that Goal ~ #amwriting #selfpublishing

The writing has slowed a little this week, mainly because I’ve pretty much got the story down and this week has been more about filling in little scenes and bits of conversation. I started off sticking to my 2000 words a day target but decided I was writing stuff purely for the sake of getting to the daily total rather than it being anything meaningful. This is a waste of time, in my opinion.

I therefore refocused and simply worked on what actually needed to be added. I anticipate I will be over the 70K mark by the 22nd and that will be the first draft complete. It will be a little lighter on words than I was anticipating. I was originally aiming for 80K but I know that there are some bits that need adding earlier in the story, now that I have got to the end. In the editing process I usually cut about 10% and I think here I will be adding 20%, possibly even 25% – there are some serious rewrites… boo hiss (and that’s before it’s even gone to my editor!) – so I think I shall end up nearer to the 80K.

I’m looking forward to the editing phase, or enrichment, as I like to call it. It’s my favourite part of writing. πŸ˜€ I’ve decided I don’t like first drafts, not at all, but I love having something to craft into shape. I’ve had to be very strict with myself not to start the edits already actually.

In other news, I watched an excellent webinar from Joanna Penn and Mark Dawson this week on Amazon Advertising and got into a right pickle when trying to open up an Amazon Advertising account. And I’ve started doing some Facebook Ads, which I’m incredibly nervous about.

Also, and the biggest news of all, my narrator is recording the audio version of Parallel Lies right now! Again, cue anxiety, and another huge learning curve ahead with trying to launch that, but it should be fun πŸ˜€ I’ll let you know when it’s available!

I haven’t managed to fit anything else into the week, that’s the thing with writing, but I shall be in touch next weekend for the last in this series of accountability posts as my first draft will be done… and I’ll give you all a break.

Project B – Hill of Beans – previously 5532 words – still 5532 words.

Project C – Parallel Lies sequel – previously 55,037 words – now 66,146 words.

Posted in Accountability | 6 Comments

#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for Holy Island by L J Ross @LJRoss_Author #murder #mystery #suspense

I decided recently to read more in my genre so I looked at the top 100 in romantic suspense (which is as near as I can get to defining what I write) and chose this, Holy Island from the Queen of Kindle herself, L J Ross. By chance I also then heard her interviewed on the Self Publishing Formula podcast – The Three Million Book Woman, L J Ross. She came across very well, and her rise to success, by her own admission, has been the stuff dreams are made of. However, since buying this book I have seen it, and her others, everywhere, so someone somewhere has got the marketing very, very right.

When I started reading however I did a double take and went to check the categories the book is listed in – Detective, Conspiracies and Action – Adventure – okay then, romantic suspense must be one of its smaller categories. So, onto the review.

I enjoyed the setting for this story. There is something incredibly intimate about an island, and one that gets cut off from the mainland at certain times each day lends itself to infinite possibilities for story lines.

The story itself starts with death and the discovery of the body. DCI Ryan, a character I liked very much, becomes involved, even though he is not on active duty, but because of his proximity to the scene he’s soon back in charge. I wondered for a while where the romantic element was going to come from but then the lady did indeed appear and settled in well having links with the island anyway. (I should add the sex eventually happens behind closed doors for those that like it that way.)

The bodies soon begin to mount and with them the rise in the belief that they are connected to some type of pagan ritual. Indeed, we see conversations between those involved, without ever finding out their identities, which adds to the intrigue.

This story does have a clearly defined ending, thank goodness, however, there are enough mysteries left unsolved and a delicious twist in the epilogue that will encourage you to continue on with the series if you’ve enjoyed the ride so far.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Posted in Reviews | 7 Comments

Accountability Post #23 ~ To Reach that Goal ~ #amwriting #selfpublishing

I have found out quite a bit about myself this week, or at least about my writing self.

Part of this came about from listening to a podcast on the fabulous Creative Penn. I have mentioned this fantastic resource of a podcast before here but the specific episode that helped me this week wasΒ Self-Publishing 3.0 And How To Build Success As An Indie Author With Orna Ross.

Just going to find this episode, so I could link it for you today, has reminded me that I should really listen to it again. This link above will take you to the transcript of the episode as well so you can read it if you prefer to, or if you don’t listen to podcasts.

Needless to say I haven’t followed any of the advice given in it thoroughly or properly, yet. However, I have felt a little lost in this writing world recently. I’ve questioned what I’m doing, and why, for example, and this episode made me jot down a few things about what I want as a writer and I have to say it has really helped clarify my thinking in several aspects.

When you know what you want out of something it helps in the decisions you make from then on in getting to that goal.

So to give you an idea here goes:

I don’t want to be an author who is turning out several books a year (which is just as well given my poor performance in that area so far!) If I could produce one book a year that would do me fine.

I don’t want to be famous. Nope, absolutely no interest in that.

I don’t want to be a speaker. Ditto.

I want to write what I want to write rather than what is required of me by someone else. Which rather confirms the next point.

I want to be indie! It suits my character and I like the control.

There is also something in my list about how much I’d like to earn a month from my writing, but I’ll keep the actual figure private, for fear you might injure yourself falling off your chair laughing. It might not be possible of course, and given all the things I don’t want to do it makes the likelihood of success in that area all the more remote, but the goal is there and now at least I’m clear on what I do, or don’t, want to do to get to it.

However, this sudden self-awareness doesn’t stop me getting a little frustrated at times. I got feedback from a reader this week. She is reading Parallel LiesΒ  and told me she is loving it. It is so interesting, she added, a thousand times better than a book she’d just read by an author everybody knows. Gahhh, the frustration of struggling to get your work out to a wider audience!!

The other part of finding out about myself came from my actual writing because I have really put the pressure on this week. And I have loved it, mostly…

I have realised that, much like my heroine, Emma Grayson, I am an all or nothing kinda girl. I had tried to fit in doing my writing in dribs and drabs around my day job, with poor results, as long time followers of this blog can attest to. I had to spend so much time simply remembering where I was in the story (or even what story I was telling!) each time I came to it the process was painful.

No, for me, I now know I have to set a deadline, a daily word count and I have to stick to it. Bum on seat, fingers on keyboard – there is nothing else. That is the only way I can fully absorb myself into what I’m writing. This has therefore been something of a ragged week in all other aspects of my life. However, just look at the numbers πŸ˜€

Project B – Hill of Beans – previously 5532 words – still 5532 words.

Project C – Parallel Lies sequel – previously 40,537 words – now 55,037 words.

Getting there guys! Another mammoth week ahead though… wish me luck!

Posted in Accountability | 4 Comments

#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for Christmas Once Again by D K Deters #shortstory #timetravel #romance #RBRT

I chose to read this short story, Christmas Once Again, when it was submitted to Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team. I received a copy from the author but this does not alter my review in any way.

I didn’t do any investigations so had no idea what this story was about, other than Christmas, until I read it. Actually it is not a particularly Christmassy story at all, although it does take place on Christmas Eve.

Madison Knight is broke and working for Once Again Antiques when she gets a call from a Zachary Murdock because his grandmother’s painting has been sold to the shop by mistake and he wants to buy it back.

That initially appears to be no problem until Madison discovers that the painting has already been sold on. The weather is atrocious with heavy snow but Madison goes above and beyond the call of duty to get the painting back.

This is a well-written story with a time travel twist, which I always struggle to get my head around, but it worked well and delivered a nice ending which is just what you want in a Christmas story.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

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Accountability Post #22 ~ To Reach that Goal ~ #amwriting #selfpublishing

I’ve realised I set myself (probably) unrealistic goals. Like the one where I wanted to hit 50K by the end of October… as you will see below I am way behind that. And as my editor pointed out recently it’s only 19 days until that other self imposed deadline of the 22nd November arrives, when I said this first draft will be finished. There’s an awful lot of writing that’s got to have happened between now and then! Hey ho!

Still, it’s coming on. I have one bit that I haven’t quite worked out how, or perhaps why, it has to happen and I’m hoping that will resolve itself as I write around it.

In other news I shall be keeping A Single Step at 99p/99c everywhere for a while as encouragement to try the series so you can get that here if you’d like to. I shall be putting the price back up on Parallel Lies in a day or so (when I have a few minutes) it’s done very well with the little promotion I done and I’ve been really heartened by how many copies have been sold at Kobo – top stuff! So if you would still like a copy at it’s reduced price of 99p/99c you can get it here.

I’ve also launched another paperback giveaway today. This time, in readiness for Christmas, it’s for the whole of the Grayson Trilogy. I’ve signed and wrapped up the series so the winner can either keep it for themselves or give it as a gift. You can click on the image below if you fancy entering.

I have asked my designer, Simon Emery, to come up with the cover already though so I’m looking forward to seeing what he puts together. And, I already have a date in mind for publication… there’s nothing like jumping the gun is there πŸ˜€

Project B – Hill of Beans – previously 5532 words – still 5532 words.

Project C – Parallel Lies sequel – previously 36,639 words – now 40,537 words.

It’s going to be a lot of bum on seat, fingers on keyboard this week… gulp!

Posted in Accountability | 2 Comments