Monday, 25 January 2016

Guest Post: Jennifer Joyce - A Day In The Life Of A Book

A Day In The Life of A Book

I know I’m early. My author has to take her kid to school, pop to Asda, put the kettle on, blah blah blah. But I’m eager for us to get going on this. I’ve been sitting in the book folder on her laptop, waiting ever so patiently, but I have my limits, you know.

She’s home! I can hear her pottering about in the kitchen, putting the bread and milk away. There goes the kettle. Cup. Spoon. Teabag. Sugar (she wrote a book about losing weight, you know. And she still has sugar in her tea. Ha! Talk about a work of fiction.) Come on, woman!

At last! She’s sitting with her laptop. Hold on, hold on. Pinterest? No, lady, you need to be opening up your book file (aka yours truly). YOU NEED TO BE WORKING.

Ok, she’s had enough of looking at craft stuff she’ll never be able to make herself. She’s going to close the window and get on with some actual work now. Come on! I am so ready for this! WE CAN DO THIS. Whoa, what are you doing there, missus? Twitter? You have got to be kidding me. I give  up.

Ok, we’re in business. Spotify is on, playing S Club 7 radio (not my choice in music, I can assure you, but what can I do? I’m just a word file). I’m open on her computer screen. She’s going in, people. Let’s do this!

Well, that lasted 38 minutes. She’s off again. What for this time? Facebook? YouTube? Pinterest again? Oh, she’s going to the kitchen to make herself some breakfast. Ok, I’ll let her have that one.

See, this is what happens when you give someone an inch – they take a mile. Or, in this case, 26 minutes. 26 minutes to eat a bowl of cereal? (It was Cornflakes, in case you’re interested). Does she think I don’t know that she’s sneaking back onto Twitter? That I didn’t see her having a quick scroll through Facebook? Come on, slacker. I’m not going to write myself, you know.

She didn’t do too badly for the rest of the morning. There was the odd bout of window-gazing (there is nothing but next door’s car and a lamppost to see out there) and she checked her email (she had no new ones *sniggers* What a loser!) but other than that, she got her head down and we’ve
started to make some progress. I’ve granted her a lunch break now. I’m not completely unreasonable, you know.

We’re back! Jennifer’s had her lunch and we’ve caught up on an episode of Coronation Street. She’s been back on Twitter and Pinterest (shocking, I know) and now we’re ready to get back to work. With NO slacking this time. Hmm.

Tea break (aka Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest/Anything-But-Writing break). Stop faffing, woman!

School run time. See you tomorrow, Jennifer. Preferably without the distractions.

Author Bio

Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. A Beginner’s Guide To Salad, Everything Changes But You and The Mince Pie Mix-Up are out now.

You can find out more about Jennifer and her books at


Book Links: 

A Beginner’s Guide To Salad:
Everything Changes But You:
The Mince Pie Mix-Up:

Friday, 22 January 2016

Publication News

It's been an exciting week.

On Wednesday the first part of my six part guest blogger series was published on Mslexia about my first foray into songwriting at the age of 11. And also the resulting failure. Fortunately, my mother was a strong believer in never giving up. A trait which I seem to have inherited. Even now her instistance that 'if at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again', still repeats in my head whenever something doesn't quite work out the way I think it should.

Plus today my article 'My Writing Day' is out in Kishboo's emagazine. I share my secrets for being an ealy riser and the reasons (or at least some of them) why my colleagues question my sanity.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Weekend Fantasy Verses Reality

Every Monday morning when my colleagues ask me what I did at the weekend I make myself a promise... Next weekend will be different.

Come next Monday I will report back on my exciting weekend, leaving them not only stunned by the dramatic change, but also completely and utterly jealous.

So far, it hasn't happened.

Every Monday my colleagues are admittedly impressed with the sheer volume of tasks that I can achieve in two days, however it's safe to say that they aren't at all envious.

They spend their days away from the office visiting National Trust properties, attending weddings, and meeting friends at restaurants that I haven't even heard of.  In contrast, I spend mine working.  And not always the good kind.

Whilst sometimes I get to spend a few hours in front of my laptop watching the word count of my novel grow, this seems to be a rare luxury. Not that my colleagues find it all that luxurious of course.  However recently my weekends are taken up by less appealing tasks, such as dragging the vacuum around the house, donning a pair of rubber gloves and scrubbing the bathroom, de-frosting and reorganising the freezer, filling in my tax return, decorating, or tackling some random repair job, like this weeks attempt to resolve a leaking exterior PVC door armed with only a tube of frame sealant and a rapidly depleting amount of patience.

On Sunday night I crawl wearily into bed resentful that the weekend has managed to slip by so fast and depressed that come the morning the week will start all over again.  The only saving grace is that I can take comfort in knowing that I have at least crossed off a few items on my to do list.

Frustratingly I then spend the week adding more items to the list, so come the following weekend I don't seem to be any closer to that elusive promise of a weekend of excitement.  Mind you at this point I'd just settle for a chance to put my feet up with a nice cup of tea, or maybe something a little stronger.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Guest Post: Amy Lynch - Self Confessed Bridezilla!

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word Bridezilla as follows: A woman whose behavior in planning the details of her wedding is regarded as obsessive or intolerably demanding.

Now, it wouldn’t be fair of me to take another step before I get a little something off my chest. A teeny confession, if you will. Don’t judge me, OK? You see, I used to have mild bridezilla tendencies. It might explain how I found ‘Bride Without a Groom’ so easy to write. Phew, I feel so much better now that I’ve admitted it! The truth is that ninety nine percent of the female population, at one point or another, has fantasized about what their perfect wedding might look like. And yes, I just completely made up that statistic. Sue me.

You see, for most of us growing up, we dreamed about being a glorious bride one day. It might be because of the brain washing Disney movies we watched over and over, featuring various princesses being rescued by princes whilst singing catchy songs. Or it could have been those bedtime fairy tales, with the happy ever after endings, usually involving wedding bells.

So, in order to complete my admission, I have to fess up to you about the following:

a) At the tender age of seven, I dressed my Barbie dolls in various white lacy frocks, complete with tiara, and staged my very own dolly wedding, complete with handsome Ken and smiling relatives adorning the aisles. Now, here’s where it gets a little unusual. You see, the Barbie games all involved dramatic, wacky story lines. For example, brunette Cindy often made a scene at the wedding, storming up the aisle, and saying that Barbie had stolen her one true love. Catfights ensued. Often, Barbie bossed the shabbily dressed dolls about, demanding that they add more sequins to her wedding frock that very minute, and pouf her hair just as she likes it. Barbie then went on to have an affair with hunky-six-pack-blond-Malibu-beach Ken after marrying sensible brown-corduroy-trouser Ken. Malibu Ken had the red Ferrari and the pony stables, so go figure. Besides, sensible Ken just didn’t understand her. And Cindy was only jealous of her long flowing hair and flawless curves. With careful self-analysis, I have come to the conclusion that I may have been subjected to an alarming amount of daytime TV dramas such as Dallas and Eastenders. It could explain a lot.

b) During my childhood, I climbed on my bed to reach the white net curtains, placed them over my head, bridal style. In my innocent mind, I was only gorgeous, and had an uncanny resemblance to Maria from The Sound of Music.

c) On a loop, I sang ‘One Day My Prince Will Come’ until my sister told me to stick a cork in it, and threw a pillow at my head.

d) In my teens, I attended a family wedding, closed my eyes, and imagined that it was in fact me, and not the real bride, swishing down the aisle in something dazzling.

e) In my twenties, I accidentally on purpose guided my boyfriend in the direction of the jeweler’s window, and pointed at the sparklers, hinting heavily. I then graduated to driving him absolutely potty by constantly asking him to propose to me. He did, eventually. Thankfully, he has yet to divorce me, as I am still driving him mad.

f) During the eighteen months of my engagement, I talked incessantly about wedding dresses, and what kind of bikini I should pack in my honeymoon suitcase.

g) I’m in my thirties now, and am sad that I’ll never get to be a bride again. Friends of mine feel the same way. We have been known to have a night in, order a Chinese, drink cocktails, climb up to the attic and try on the our wedding dress. This is to relive the glory days, and prove that the dress still fits. We then pout in various poses, take selfies, and text these pictures to our husbands. Sadly, I’m not making this bit up.

But, sure, everyone woman does these things… don’t they?!

I’m feeling a bit silly now, so I’ll just add, in my defense, that I never crossed over into full blown Bridezilla territory. Rebecca, on the other hand, goes a step too far in ‘Bride Without A Groom’, by booking a priest, wedding dress and honeymoon before she has been proposed to! Sure, it’s no wonder that long suffering Barry has had quite enough. Who could blame him?

So, ladies, I ask you… is there a bridezilla in you? Even just a teeny bit?

Author Bio

twitter @AmyLynchauthor

Bride Without a Groom is Amy's debut novel, and was launched in May 2015 by Harper Collins UK. the kindle is priced at £1.49 and the paperback is available in selected Tesco, Asda and WH Smith across the UK. Amy lives in Wicklow, Ireland with her husband, two young children and two rescue dogs Bella and Roly, and works part-time for a children's charity.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Book Review: Letting In Light by Emma Davies


Book Summary:

Betrayed and heartbroken, Ellie is looking for somewhere to hide away. Losing the man she loves is bad enough, but his accusation that it’s all her own fault undermines her confidence and leaves her floundering to figure out who she is and where she belongs.

Rowan Hill seems like the ideal sanctuary.


Emma has created a cast of well-rounded characters whose lives intersect in ways that we can’t fully understand at first.  Whilst the story primarily focuses on Ellie and is told from her view point, we get introduced to the people around her and see how Ellie’s presence in their lives changes them as well as her.

The characters have so many wonderful layers to their personalities I was fascinated to delve deeper and didn’t want to put the book down. 

The mysterious Will bares his own scars and his struggle to overcome them puts a strain on his relationship with Ellie and his brother Finn.  When Will’s past is revealed it is utterly heart-breaking.  Emma has handled such a sensitive topic with warmth and compassion.

It's not just the people who are intriguing though, but the place too.  I loved the descriptions of this beautiful old property, with it's narrow hidden staircase, log fires and stunning grounds.  It's the kind of place I would love to live in, if I wasn't quite so fond of my central heating. 

I’m looking forward to reading your next novel Emma.