One Lovely Blog Award

Nearly a fortnight ago the wonderful Joleene Naylor author of the Amaranthine Darkness Eternal blog, awarded me the One Lovely Blog Award! I was very thrilled as you can imagine! I would like to thank Joleene and say if you haven’t visited her awesome blog yet than you should pay it a visit very soon and discover all about her many wonderful books, you won’t be sorry!

Here are the rules:

Include the blog award logo in your post
Thank the person who nominated you
Provide 7 random facts about yourself
Nominate 7 other blogs, and let them know you have done so

Soooo 7 random facts!

1. I have a dragon living on my roof!!


2. I’ve lost my memory twice, once when I came off a horse going over a jump and the other time I flew sideways out of a moving vehicle. Both times I landed on my backside, makes you wonder where my brains are!!

3. I love the snow! Every year I hope for a white Christmas, which doesn’t happen very often where I live 😦  I doesn’t bother me how cold it gets,  winter is my favourite time of the year.

4.  I love haggis!

5. I never wear make up!

6. I love swimming, this was the fabulous pool we swam in, on our holiday in Tuscany!

7. I am a terrible procrastinator, I used to have a plaque on my kitchen wall that read ‘If it wasn’t for the last minute nothing would get done!’ and unfortunately it is very true!

Now I need to nominate 7 other great bloggers for this lovely award, so in no particular order:

Sophie E Tallis

Kay Kauffman

Kate Jack

Andrea Gerber

S.Z.W. ordsmith

Lisa Wiedmeier

Will MacMillan Jones 


The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing… we all like to think we will be.  I suppose there can only be so many Twilight’s in a lifetime, but you never know… right?

We are blog hopping our way through some new reads.  For those who aren’t familiar with a blog hop… To me it’s kind of like a treasure hunt – once you find something on one blog you hop on over to the next blog link for more treasure.  In this case, the treasure is a wealth of new and exciting books.  Some are still being written, some are just being released.  Either way, for fiction lovers… It’s a treasure and I’d like to thank Victoria Danann for tagging me to participate.

In this particular hop I answer 10 questions… you get to learn about my current WIP (work in progress), some of the characters I’ve come to think of as real, and how I got to the point of being nuts enough to write down over 70 thousand words worth of what the voices in my head have been whispering to me.  When it’s all said & done… comments and questions are always welcome.

What is the working title of your book?

‘Vortex,’ it is the first book in a trilogy called Return of The Effra. I am currently writing the second book which is called ‘Wicked Game.’

Where did the idea come from for the book?

It came from a number of places. It is set in our world where Sam comes from and in an alternative parallel universe where Damian is from. Damian’s world has been in my head since I was a young teenager, but the story itself was influenced mainly by music I listen too. At the time I had the idea for the story I had just bought Muse’s album ‘Haarp‘ which I love and I while googling Magi I discovered a Swedish group called Grand Magus, who I really love too. I tend to have music playing continuously and I’m always listening out for songs that I think go with the stories I’m writing or maybe dreaming up stories that go with the music I’m listening to!

What genre does your book fall under?

Definitely fantasy, it also falls into the YA genre though it could also be described as fantasy romance, paranormal or paranormal romance!

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I haven’t found anyone for Sam yet, suggestions would be welcome! 😀


When I started to write Vortex I had a very definite idea what Damian looked like. After I had written around a fifth of the manuscript I had also been reading Eragon and I took out the film to watch. Half way through the film the character Murtagh turns up and he looked exactly like I had imagined Damian would look. So I would definitely cast Garrett Hedlund as Damian.



There is only one actor I can imagine playing Etienne, Rutger Hauer . He is one of my favourite actors and he played a character called Etienne Navarre in one of my most favourite films from when I was a young ‘Lady Hawk‘. Well worth a watch, if only for the scene near the end with the horses in the cathedral!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Sam must overcome her distrust, fear and disbelief in order to help Damian save his world from ours.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I have self published Vortex as I wanted to be able to make my own decisions. I originally sent my manuscript to a few agents, but at the time it still needed work. After I had revisited it and sorted out the issues I then made the decision not to resend it. I set up my own publishing company and set about publishing it myself. I have to admit to making plenty of mistakes, but I’m very proud of the final result and have to say I have enjoyed the whole process, it has left me with a great sense of achievement.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The first draft took me around 18 months, but I was only writing for pleasure and when I had time. When I started I didn’t imagine I would ever get round to finishing it, so I hadn’t given myself any time scales. I have to say I was quite shocked when I actually did finish it!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

To be honest I can’t think of any books I have read that compare to Vortex, but that is because I haven’t read many books in this particular genre

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

When I read books I get so absorbed in the story that I feel lost when I arrive at the end. If I feel the story doesn’t have a satisfactory ending I feel let down. I had just read such a book before I started ‘Vortex’ and it made me wonder whether I could write a story and then I would be able to have it end how I wanted it to.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Unlike a lot of other stories in this genre Vortex is told in the third person from two points of view. The greater part of the story is told from Sam’s point of view, but it is interlaced with chapters told from Damian’s point of view too, so you get to see the story unfold  from both sides. Vortex is not only a romance, but an adventure with a race against time, there’s mystery and distrust woven around a struggle against evil and all tied up in fate and an old prophesy.

Now to tag some fabulous blogs to follow on next week!

Kay Kauffmen – Suddenly They All Died

Corina Lombardi – Pink Fluffy Hearts

Jodie Pierce – The Vampire Queen

So far I have only found three blogs to tag so there is space for another two. If you would like to take part just let me know!

Thanks again to the lovely Victoria Danann for tagging me, if you haven’t visited her awesome blog yet then go here and check it out!!

Man to run 70 miles for Charity!!

Yes it’s true, a neighbour of mine is planning to run a 70 mile marathon on Sunday 16th September 2012 in aid of Kettering General Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit.

Chris Hanson is the proud father of Holly who was born nearly three months premature last September. 

She was so tiny and had to spend two and a half months in the special care baby unit at KGH. It was very worrying as Holly was quite poorly at times, but with the help of the wonderful doctors and nurses Holly pulled through. During the time Holly was in the special care baby unit Chris and his wife Jo obviously wanted to stay with her. The SCBU has a parent’s suite for families of the babies in its care and Chris and Jo practically moved in for the time Holly was there so they could be by her side.

Holly is now happy and healthy and looking forward to her first birthday.

Chris says “we are eternally grateful for excellent care and service we all received as a family and can not thank the staff on SCBU enough for everything they did for us!”

Chris is a keen marathon runner and has decided to retrace holly’s steps and run from their home near Alcester, Warwickshire to the hospital in Kettering a total of 70 miles! to raise money to help renovate the parents suite, so that other parents (particularly those who don’t live locally) can be with their babies as much as possibly too.

We obviously all think he’s mad! But we are all very proud of him too and will be following his progress and cheering him on all the way. He is planning to set out at 6am in the morning and is hoping to reach Kettering at around 7pm in the evening.

If you would like to make a donation to help Chris on his way he has set up an online fundraising page: 

From Chris, Jo and Holly thank you 🙂




Cover Competition

I was excited and thrilled to learn earlier this week that Vortex had not only been given a five star review in InD’tale magazine but has also been entered into their weekly best cover contest!!

InD’tale is a monthly magazine and informative website for independent authors full of cutting edge information, honest, professional book reviews, interesting, and entertaining articles and educational columns to answer any questions. It is well worth checking out here

Vortex is reviewed on page 55 in the magazine and on the website here. Its a great review and I was thrilled to bits that they had given it five stars!!

I’m also really excited they have chosen Vortex’s cover as one of four they’ve entered into their weekly competition. The winner gets a quarter page advert and is put forward into their monthly competition. The winner of this competition gets a half page advert! I am at the moment lying in second place, so if you would like to vote for me, please  pop over to InD’tale Magazine and join their site then check out their Fun Stuff page and vote! thank you 😀      

Baby Birds

A few weeks back I mentioned how the baby swallows who had hatched in my stable roof had flown the nest. I thought that would be the last batch of babies for this year. I was wrong, another pair of swallows has built a fresh nest and hatched a clutch of eggs. But it is now September and all the other swallows are starting to gather for their migration south. I’m worried these poor babies won’t be out of the nest and strong enough when it’s time for them to leave. The parents are working flat out to feed their babies, but time is running out!

I shot this video with my Iphone, please forgive the way it wobbles, my arms started to ache after a while of holding my phone up in the air!!

Thank you for watching 😀