Wednesday, 31 October 2012

November is National Novel Writing Month!

November is National Novel Writing Month!

Yep - NaNoWriMo time is upon us again.

I was persuaded by an author friend to give it a go this year.
I am not entirely sure this is a good idea though! ;-)

The goal is to write (no editing, all tatty and raw) a novel of 50,000 words or more and upload it to their website by midnight on 30th November!

Sounds easy, doesn't it?  
Pah!  That's an average of 1,666 words per day!  Including weekends... no rest for the wicked!

So, I have officially entered and here is my official word count to date...  

Well, of course it says 0 words!!  It's still October! ;-)

(But, if you keep an eye on it throughout November you will be able to see my live word count tally!)

All that's left for me to say is Happy Halloween.... and all the best to my fellow NaNoWriMo participants!

Wish me luck! :-)

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A tantalising excerpt and a sneaky peek at the paperback cover!

A tantalising excerpt and a sneaky peek at the paperback cover!


Those of you who keep your eyes open and have caught my posts on Facebook will have seen that I now have to go-ahead for the 2nd edition of Charlotte - Pride & Prejudice Continues to be published in paperback!!

I am so happy about that as those of you with Kindles have had the 2nd edition since August, and those of you who prefer to have a paper book in your hands have had to wait.

So without further-a-do here is the mock up cover for the new paperback edition!! :-)

Don't you love it?!  I do - well, I guess I am biased.  

Unfortunately I haven't yet had a real copy in my grubby hands yet, but as soon as I do I will take oodles of photos and post them for you all to see! :-)

As promised I said I'd share an excerpt with you....  
Here we see that Lady Catherine de Bourgh's constant presence is beginning to grate on Charlotte's nerves... poor woman!  ;-)   


The day passed with the usual occupations of having returned from a journey, and soon the bell rang, and the maid gave Mr Collins the expected invitation from Rosings in his book room.  With the arrival of the invitation, Charlotte’s spirits sank, and she found she could not abide the thought of taking tea at Rosings that day.
“My dear Charlotte,” Mr Collins declared happily as he entered the drawing room, “Lady Catherine always gives little attentions to those of her acquaintance that are deserving.  We are exceedingly honoured.  Indeed we are.  As I expected, it has arrived not too soon and not a minute too late.  You see,” he waved the letter at her; “an invitation has arrived from Rosings asking us to take tea with Her Ladyship.  What say you to that?”
Charlotte had no desire to go to Rosings to deliver a minute account of the entire proceedings of the wedding of her dear friend.  She stated as much to her husband. 
“My dear, surely you are unwell.  Indeed you must be, for I cannot believe you would be so unkind or unjust to our cherished patroness!”
The term cherished irritated her, and she gave her tongue free rein.  “Indeed I am not unwell.  Why did she not attend the wedding if she is so interested in it?  I do not like gossip, I do not like gossips, and I will not ruin the memory of such a delightful event and week as we have just enjoyed by giving into such activities.  Please, William, you must see it is not becoming.”
“My dear Charlotte, I cannot see that any fault or injury should arise from informing Lady Catherine of the happenings of a wedding!  There is nothing of gossip there!”  
Charlotte was not to be placated.  She sat down heavily on the sofa, and he, seeing her distress, joined her.  “Charlotte, I have not convinced you.  Indeed, you are discomfited.”  He was uncomfortable too now; Charlotte did not usually counter him, and it disconcerted him exceedingly. 
“William, I believe that our behaviour could be seen as wanting.” 
Mr Collins was taken aback.  “Our behaviour?  Whatever could you mean?  Honestly, Charlotte!” 
“A family of our close acquaintance suffered a tragedy: a daughter eloped; Mr Darcy found her; and fortunately, then she married.”
“Yes, it was a terrible situation.  Lydia is a stupid, thoughtless girl!”
His statement piqued her even more.  “I would have said the same thing about the conduct of the clergyman who related the entire situation to someone wholly unconnected with the family.  Someone, I might add, who had no rights whatsoever to know such information.  Had the information been withheld, then after the resolution there would have been little or no damage to the family in question.  However, the said clergyman, having told the greatest gossip in all England the exact facts of the matter, did more damage than he could have imagined to that family’s reputation.” 
He sat agog listening to his wife. 
She did not want to say these things. She knew they would hurt his pride, but she did not have the willpower now to prevent herself.  “Do you not realise that the blessed events, which we witnessed at Longbourn this past week, might not have taken place because of gossip and the damage arising from that gossip, Mr Collins?”  A tear escaped down her cheek, much to her embarrassment, which she quickly wiped away. 
“I see what you are endeavouring to do.  You mean to put me on my guard.”  He blushed, profoundly humiliated by his wife’s scolding but refusing to take her words seriously, and, making light of the situation, continued, “But my dear, it is done, and no harm has come of it.  Truly, no harm, I am sure, can ever come from relating any events or circumstances whatsoever to Lady Catherine.”  
Charlotte looked at the man she had married and watched in disbelief as he continued to ignore her remonstrance and persisted in praising Lady Catherine.  
“Indeed there is no greater woman in all of England with such a kind, generous heart.  She would never act out of selfishness or malice.  Dearest Charlotte, you must not make yourself uneasy on behalf of the Bennets.  Indeed, you must not.  I insist upon it.  Come, let us make ourselves ready to go to Rosings.”  With that, he rose from the sofa and quitted the room, leaving his wife to weep desperately.
She knew that crying in such a way would give her a headache, but was glad of it.  She was a little ashamed of the way she had spoken to her husband, even though she had told him only the truths she thought he needed to hear; she knew she could have done so in a more sensitive manner.  The headache, when it came, she was glad of. It gave her an excuse not to be part of the conversation that evening at tea

Who are IndieBRAG and why does their medallion mean so much to me?

As you know, I was recently honoured with a BRAG Medallion.  I am very proud of this accolade for my debut novel Charlotte - Pride & Prejudice Continues.  I thought I'd share with you a little bit about IndieBRAG from their own website

Who We Are is owned and operated by indieBRAG, LLC, a privately held organization that has brought together a large group of readers, both individuals and members of book clubs, located throughout the United States, Canada, and the European Union. The word “indie” refers to self or independently published books, while B.R.A.G. is an acronym for Book Readers Appreciation Group. By their nature, our readers are passionate about all books, but for the purposes of the service we provide, we focus exclusively on the work of self-published authors of print and digital books.

What We Do

Our mission is to recognize quality on the part of authors who self-publish both print and digital books. As such, we are constantly on the lookout for the work of talented men and women who have written indie books across a wide range of genres. Our primary focus is fiction, however, we selectively consider non-fiction books as well.

How We Do It

From the large and rapidly growing library of indie books that are available today, we select those that we believe deserve to be considered. These books are then read and evaluated by members drawn from our reader group. The readers judge the merits of the books based on our proprietary list of criteria. The single most important criterion that we ask our readers to use in judging a book is whether or not they would recommend it to their best friend. Once a book meets this standard of quality, we award it our B.R.A.G. Medallion™, and along with other medallion recipients, it is presented on this website.

And here Charlotte - Pride & Prejudice Continues is on their website.
IndieBRAG LLC is an independent, broad-based and reader-centric source to advise the public which indie books merit the investment of their time and money.  This is why it is important to me, as an independent author.  All my hard work has been recognised and I am proud to display the B.R.A.G Medallion on the front cover of Charlotte - Pride & Prejudice Continues!!

When Charlotte Lucas married Mr Collins, she did not love him but had at least secured her future. 
However, what price must she pay for that future? She once said she was not romantic, but how true is that now after almost one year of marriage? 
Mr Collins is submissive in the extreme to his patroness, and his constant simpering, fawning and deference to the overbearing and manipulative Lady Catherine de Bourgh is sure to try the patience of a saint, or at least of Charlotte. 
As Charlotte becomes part of Hunsford society, she discovers she is not the only one who has been forced to submit to the controlling and often hurtful hand of Lady Catherine. 
She feels trapped and realises her need for love and affection. She is not as content as she once thought she would be. The easiest thing to do would be to maintain the peace and do as she is told. But as Charlotte witnesses the misery around her due to her inimitable neighbour, she must decide to remain as she is or to begin a chain of events that will change not only her life but also the lives of those around her in the village of Hunsford forever. 
But...after all, doesn't every girl deserve a happy ending?

10 Quick & Easy Things You Can Do To Help Your Favourite Amazon Author!

10 Quick & Easy Things You Can Do To Help Your Favourite Amazon Author!

by D.M. Andrews

Want to show some reader love to your favourite authors on Amazon? Here are ten quick and easy things you can do to help make your beloved authors more visible on Amazon!

In the points below we will mainly be looking at the product page. This is simply the page you arrive at when you click on a book in the charts, categories or via a search. So, for my middle-grade novel, The Serpent in the Glass, the product page on is

Of course, you can repeat the activities below on and on other Amazon sites where the book exists. You should also make sure you are logged into Amazon for most of these, too.

So let’s get to helping out your authors! ......


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Review: Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi

Book Review

Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi

4 Stars

Carol Tibaldi’s Willow Pond has all the elements of a great story.
It also has more than its fair share of possible dilemmas.  A divorced couple, a selfish actor, an aunt who runs a speak-easy and not to mention her connections with the seedy gangster underworld, set the scene for this tale. It has a whole tribe of characters, a few of whom you just want to slap!  Put all this together and you have the makings of a fabulous romp through the rich 1930’s New York society.
It is, however, a heart-rending kidnap of a little boy – Todd, which really rocks the boat and sets the story going, but I admit it was slow going.
The book is set in 1930, and I wasn’t sure about that until the author actually mentioned the date.  The roaring 20’s had just ended and the world was changing after the crash of ‘29.  I would have loved to see the author write more of the history that she knows so much about.  It would have added more to the story to be immersed more into the period.  The Author clearly knows her stuff, history-wise, writes well and I particularly loved the gangster side of this book.
The characters weren’t too developed, unfortunately, by the time the kidnap took place, so I hadn’t built up a rapport with the main character Laura.  In fact, she irritated me a lot by doing things that I believe were out of character for a mother.
However, her Aunt, Virginia, is fun.  She’s edgy and a little bit dangerous.  She’s the kind of girl that can handle herself and a gun!  I would have liked to have seen more of her.
Philip, the father and ex-husband is an actor and stereo-typically irritating and self-centred.  I wanted him to be the one who was thrown in jail, simply because I didn’t like him!
The narration moves you slowly through the tale, leaving you suspecting each character in turn and egging Erich on to find the kidnapper.  There are parts that made me mad, some that made me laugh or smile, and others that surprised me (such as a distraught mother going out on a dinner-date).  I’m glad I read this book, and Carol Tibaldi is someone to watch out for in the future.
I am giving this a 3.5 star rating – it has all the ingredients, it’s well written, but it just doesn’t come together somehow.  I do, however, look forward to more from this author!

(I was given a copy of the book to review by the author.)

Click here to buy Willow Pond from!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

May love and happiness fill your homes and lives! 

Monday, 1 October 2012

Part of my research for my one of my works-in-progress.

As you know, when we write a book we have to do a lot of research.

My latest book is based in England during World War II.
As part of the research for this work-in-progress I have had to read many documents and first-hand accounts, and listen to some very moving speeches.  Many of them are very famous, especially the ones given by Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

However, I want to share with you this speech.  It is the speech given by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on 3rd September 1939.  It is the declaration of war.
I cannot read the transcript nor listen to this without getting goose-bumps.

I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to sharing more about my work-in-progress soon.

Extract from the radio broadcast Prime Minister Chamberlain made on 3 September 1939, declaring war on Germany.

"I am speaking to you from the Cabinet Room at 10, Downing Street. This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note stating that unless we heard from them by 11 o'clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.
You can imagine what a bitter blow it is to me that all my long struggle to win peace has failed.

Yet I cannot believe that there is anything more or anything different that I could have done and that would have been more successful. Up to the very last it would have been quite possible to have arranged a peaceful and honourable settlement between Germany and Poland.

But Hitler would not have it. He had evidently made up his mind to attack Poland whatever happened; and although he now says he put forward reasonable proposals which were rejected by the Poles, that is not a true statement. The proposals were never shown to the Poles nor to us; and though they were announced in the German broadcast on Thursday night, Hitler did not wait to hear comments on them, but ordered his troops to cross the Polish frontier next morning.
His action shows convincingly that there is no chance of expecting that this man will ever give up his practice of using force to gain his will. He can only be stopped by force and we and France are to-day, in fulfilment of our obligations, going to the aid of Poland, who is so bravely resisting this wicked and unprovoked attack upon her people.

We have a clear conscience. We have done all that any country could do to establish peace, but a situation in which no word given by Germany's ruler could be trusted and no people or country could feel themselves safe had become intolerable. And now that we have resolved to finish it, I know that you will all play your part with calmness and courage."

"At such a moment as this the assurances of support that we have received from the Empire are a source of profound encouragement to us.

When I have finished speaking certain detailed announcements will be made on behalf of the Government. Give them your close attention. The Government have made plans under which it will be possible to carry on the work of the nation in the days of stress and strain that may be ahead. But these plans need your help.

You may be taking part in the Fighting Services or as a Volunteer in one of the branches of Civil Defence. If so, you will report for duty in accordance with the instructions you receive. You may be engaged in work essential to the prosecution of war or to the maintenance of life of the people—in factories, in transport, in public utility concerns or in the supply of other necessaries of life. If so, it is of vital importance that you should carry on with your jobs.

Now may God bless you all and may He defend the right. For it is evil things that we shall be fighting against, brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution.

And against them I am certain that the right will prevail."