Kidstales Summer Reading Event

This year here in the UK we really are finally getting a summer!! And It’s a very hot one! Serves us all right for complaining so much in previous years about the weather!

But, with the risk of sounding old, I have to say it reminds me of summers when I was a kid. The summers always seemed hot and sunny back then. One thing I liked about my summers when I was young was having more free time to read. Although neither of my parents were great readers they instilled in us kids a respect and love of books.

So when I came across Kidstales Summer Reading Event on Facebook I wanted to get involved if I could. I think it’s very important to encourage children to read, especially these days when there are so many hi-tec distractions for them. Kidstales is providing a  summer reading program challenge for children of all ages. They are giving prizes for the reader’s achievements, offering give-aways and competitions and much more. So really a lot of fun to be had and enjoyed.

This week I’m thrilled and honoured to have been selected as their sponsor of the week. Candice Simpson who is masterminding the event has some of my bookmarks and a very cute small cat I sent her up for grabs. So If you’re signed up for the event make sure you take a look at what you need to do to try and win one of them. I also know she has a couple of unicorns and a couple of copies of my book Vortex to give as prizes as well, so make sure you keep reading!

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The RONE Awards 2012

I’m very excited at the moment! Vortex has been nominated for an award!!!! AND it’s a very big one too!! It’s The RONE Awards 2012 . They are being run by Ind’tale Magazine in connection with the Romance Novel Centre and the winners will be announced at the RNConvention in Las Vagas in August!!! So saying I’m very excited is really a massive understatement!

In order to be nominated for this award you have to have received a four star or higher review in Ind’tale’s on-line magazine. (Vortex got a glowing five star review in the magazine!!) and then you are put through to the second round which involves a public vote. The voting has been split up into sections over six weeks and Vortex is in the Paranormal section in week 4. Week 4 Started yesterday Friday 10th May and runs through till Thursday 17th May.

I would be thrilled and very grateful if you would consider voting for Vortex and I! If you don’t want to register on the site there is an option to send in a PDF ballot form with your vote on it. (the link is on the page). Both ways to vote can be found here.

This is a very prestigious award and I feel very honoured to have got this far and to be included in the nominations! If you haven’t visited Ind’tale magazine before I strongly recommend you take a look as it’s a great magazine full of useful and interesting articles and lots of great indie book reviews too. The same goes for the Romance Novel Centre especially if your looking for a stand out cover for your next book!

  

 

 

 

‘I Love Books’ Blog Hop

Oooh Valentines day is here again and I’m thrilled this year to be taking part in the ‘I Love Books’ blog hop. It’s going to be a lot of fun so don’t forget to check out the other blogs taking part too! You can find them all here:

As it is Valentines I thought I’d ask Sam, one of my main characters from Vortex, about the love of her life, Damian. They’re deep into they’re second book, Wicked Game, at the moment and things aren’t going too well for them so she won’t want to stay long.

Me: Welcome Sam, thanks for agreeing to answer a few questions for me, I know you’re very busy at the moment.

Sam: Yes, I’m in hiding, please don’t tell anyone where I am.

Me: No I won’t I know you’re having some major problems! I’ll get straight to it then so you can get back before Damian starts to panic!

Sam: Thanks he’s under a lot of pressure and I promised I wouldn’t be long.

Me: Okay, is it true you didn’t really like him when you first met?

Sam: He frightened me! I’d been having some awful nightmares about him, I thought he was after me, then when he turned up in real life, following me, I got really freaked out. He has these silver eyes which appear to be almost on fire, I thought back then they were very creepy. I tried to run away from him, but I fell and knocked myself out. He took me back to my room and tried to look after me, but I thought he was holding me prisoner or kidnapping me. To be fair it’s not surprising I didn’t like him at the time.

Me: So what changed your mind?

Sam: He did. As I got to know him a little I started to see a very vulnerable side to him. He’s incredibly strong and tough, but there’s a big weight, a kind of guilt pressing down on him, something in his past I don’t know about, but it haunts him. All he wants to do is help people, I think he’s trying to make amends for something. I came to realise how committed he is to his adoptive family, friends and his home. A lot of people don’t understand him and are frightened by him, but if they would just give him a chance they’d see how good and loyal he is.

Me: How do you feel about him now?

Sam: I love him. I can’t imagine my life without him in it. He makes me feel so safe and warm, I know now how much he loves me. I feel like he’s part of me or I’m part of him, it’s like finally feeling whole. 

Me: Thank you Sam for coming and being so open.

Sam: Is it okay if I go now? Only he’ll be really worried, we’re in a bit of a bad situation and I promised I’d get back quickly. Don’t forget not to tell anyone where we are.

Me: We won’t, thank you Sam and good luck.

Well Sam’s gone racing off so I thought I’d give you a small taster from Vortex:

Sam squirmed as flat as she could on the seat, pulling him down with her. He was pressed tight against her, she could feel the heat radiating from his skin and the warmth of his breath on her face. The fire and spice smell of him washed over her and a wave of heady dizziness blocked out everything but him. His untidy hair was hanging down, brushing against her forehead. She gazed up into his eyes, just inches from her own, smouldering in the darkness. He was staring down at her with such intensity it made her gasp. Her heart was doing somersaults in her chest and she lifted her face up closer to his just as a torch shone in the car window. There was a pause for about ten seconds while Damian’s eyes glowed down at her in the torchlight. Then there was the sound of someone knocking on the glass.

Well thank you for stopping by and I hope you have an exciting Valentines day!!

Please check out all the other awesome blogs taking part in this hop you can find them by clicking on the link below:


The Flight of Fantasy Award for Me!!!

 Hot on the heels of my Very Inspiring Blogger award I was nominated by my friend Sophie E Tallis for this fabulous award too!! To say I’m thrilled would be an understatement. Sophie is a good friend of mine, an amazing author and a brilliant blogger. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet you’re missing out! What makes this award extra special to me is the fact it’s Sophie’s own award and I’m one of the very first recipients!

Sooo about this award, this is what sophie says:

This award is specifically intended for fantasy writers only – creators and destroyers of worlds, fantasy authors who inspire us, who thrill us with their dark imaginings, ignite our dreams and fuel our imaginations. They can be writers of urban fantasy, high/classic/epic fantasy, comic fantasy, dark fantasy, fantasy horror, paranormal fantasy (ghosts are fine but no vampire stuff please) and sci-fi fantasy.

If you are lucky enough to be nominated for this award, then CONGRATULATIONS you officially ROCK!!!

The Rules of the Award are as follows:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 11 things about yourself (it’s a Spinal Tap thing!), including why you love fantasy and your first or favourite fantasy book.
  4. Nominate 7 bloggers for this award and link to them. (If you want to link back to me as well, that would be lovely but isn’t required!)
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Right then, here’s 11 things about me:

1. Why I love fantasy? What’s not to love about a genre that allows you to ride dragons, use magic, travel to other worlds/ time zones/planets/etc. and generally get lost in your own imagination! I love adventure, romance, dragons, unicorns, the list goes on and on, but I think it’s the pure escapism of it that really excites  me.

2. The first really epic fantasy book I read would have to be Shardik, by Richard Adams. I was in my mid teens and it was probably the longest book I’d read up to that point, but it gripped me right from the start.                                        Shardik is a fantasy of tragic character, centered on the long-awaited reincarnation of the gigantic bear Shardik and his appearance among the half-barbaric Ortelgan people. Mighty, ferocious, and unpredictable, Shardik changes the life of every person in the story. His advent commences a momentous chain of events. Kelderek the hunter, who loves and trusts the great bear, is swept on by destiny to become first devotee and then prophet, then victorious soldier, then ruler of an empire and priest-king of Lord Shardik-Messenger of God-only to discover ever-deeper layers of meaning implicit in his passionate belief in the bear’s divinity.

Sounds really heavy doesn’t it? It’s a great adventure though and well worth a read.

3. A much more recent fantasy series I’ve read (all but the last book) and enjoyed is The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris d’Lacey. This series follows a student, David Rain, as he takes lodgings with Mrs. Pennykettle and her daughter Lucy. Liz Pennykettle makes pottery dragons which she sells in a local market. Well some she sells and some stay living in the house with them. With out giving to much away, these are very special dragons because Liz and Lucy are special too. As the series progresses you find that no one is quite who they appear and mysteries and danger are everywhere. It’s a very gripping story and well worth a read. I also have a collection of Pennykettle dragons living here with me, bought to life by the real Mrs. pennykettle, Val Chivers. Val is the real life inspiration behind Chris’ Elizabeth Pennykettle and makes the most wonderful pottery creations.IMG_0949
4. I do have quite a few different dragons living with me, some I have to say aren’t as well behaved as others!!

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5. I was born in Stratford upon Avon.

6. I try to avoid dairy products as the lactose tends to clog my head up. Unfortunately some of the nicest stuff is full of cows milk, like chocolate, cheese and ice cream, which means I am clogged up most of the time! 😦

7. I do love archery, not that I’m any good. I think my handicap last year was 73, don’t ask me if this is any good or not because I don’t understand it at all, I just shoot for fun.

This picture was taken on a very cold winters day last year on one of our field shoots. I would just like to point out we only shoot paper targets and plastic/foam animals! No living creature is ever harmed in any way!! 🙂

8. I am hopeless at house work! As I sit here typing the dust is building up around me to such an extent I think I may have difficulty in breathing soon.

9. I am the Chairperson of our local village hall committee, only because I was daft enough to say, “well if there really is no one else who’ll do it.”

10. I prefer winter to summer, even though it’s cold and dark most of the time. The sun hurts my eyes when it’s glaring down on a hot summer’s day and I always feel so lethargic. In the winter there’s the promise of snow and lovely, crisp frosty mornings and you can just put more clothes on if you’re cold.

11. I’m off to Las Vagas next summer to the RNConvention!!! Very excited 😀

Now I need to nominate some recipients for this wonderful award:

Sophie E Tallis because she deserves more than anyone to win her own award!

J C Rutledge another wonderful dragon person

Zookie Chris d’Lacey’s inspiration dragon who writes lovely blogs, but has been a bit quiet lately, I’m hoping he’s busy helping Chris with some more fantastic stories!

M T McGuire 

TRM, the Dark Lord!!

Valerie Willis

Davie Graham

That just leaves me to say another great big sugar coated thank you to Sophie for nominating me for this fantastic award! 😀

Inspiring Twice!!!

Inspirational blogger award

Well, I’m truly honoured because in the last few weeks I’ve been nominated twice!! Yes twice! for the same award! My first nomination came from my friend, Wordbuilder and fellow dragon Sophie E Tallis. Sophie is the very talented author of the fabulous White Mountain, book 1 in the Darkling Chronicles series. Then, a few days ago I received another nomination from Joleene Naylor. Joleene is the awesome author of the Amaranthine series of blood tinglingly brilliant vampire novels. Thank you so much to Sophie and Joleene for nominating me.

So here are the rules:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

7 random things about me:

1. I have naturally curly hair, which I find impossible to style! People always say oh, you’re so lucky I’d love curly hair. I unfortunately always wanted straight hair, but then I think you always want what you haven’t got. I recently bought myself a set of straighteners, so watch out hair!!!!

2. I love Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, especially Baked Alaska, which is strange because I’m not a fan of white chocolate. I think it’s those little polar bears, they’re so cute!!

3. I rarely go to bed much before 2 in the morning, even though I know I should get some sleep. If I do go to bed earlier I will often wake up after a few hours and then lie awake for most of the rest of the night.

4. I love teddy bears, I still have almost every teddy I’ve ever bought or been given.

5. I really don’t like spiders! 

6. Just the smell of coffee makes me feel sick.

7. I’m going to Las Vagas in August to the Romantic Novel Convention, but I’ll tell you more about that in another post!

And now to nominate some wonderful, inspiring bloggers to receive this award:

Rooster Lady Says

Andrea Baker

John Lucas Hargis

J C Rutledge

Laura A. Diaz

AFE Smith

Ella Medler

David M Brown

Mott’s Ruminations

The Cabin Goddess

S Z Wordsmith

Lisa Wiedmeier

Sam Dogra

Tamara Hickman

Steven Vaughn

 

Dream Castle

Recently my friend,  fellow worldbuilder and wonderful author Andrea Baker asked me if I would like to write a guest post for a series she is running on her blog called Castle of Dreams. I was thrilled to bits and knew immediately which castle I wanted to write about, Shrilan Castle. Shrilan Castle is the home of Etienne and his family from my Return of The Effra trilogy. My post is now live on Andrea’s blog so please drop by and take a look.

A massive big thank you to Andrea for inviting me, it was great fun! 😀

Orangeberry Big Bang Tour!!

 

I’m really excited to be taking part in Orangeberry’s Big Bang Tour which started on 2nd January. There are loads of fantastic books and authors featured throughout the month and a Kindle Fire giveaway too!! Here I the dates I will be featured:

8th January – Author Interview at Peace from Pieces

9th January – Book Feature at Bunny’s Review

10th January – Book Review at Mommy Adventures

11th January – Book Review at Quality Reads UK

12th January – Book Review at The Next Big Book Thing

13th January – Twitter View with OB Book Tours

14th January – Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours

Please drop by these fantastic blogs and check them out! Also take a look at Orangeberry’s Big Bang Tour pages to see what other great books are being featured!

Also checkout the Big Bang’s Goodreads Listopia list, all the books on the tour are listed and you can vote for your favourite! (Vortex would be grateful for your vote! :))

Rooster Lady Says

I must apologise for taking soooo long getting around to this!! A few weeks back Marisa  Meissa left a comment on my post ‘One Lovely Blog‘. She asked if I would nominate her friend Rooster Lady for this award. Well I have to say I am a follower and a fan of Rooster Lady who blogs about books, shopping and life. I think she really deserves this award for her wonderful, interesting and insightful blog and so I would love to nominate her for the ‘One Lovely Blog Award!’

So Rooster Lady Many congratulations and this is what you need to do:

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

 

Orangeberry Trick or Treat

I am really excited to be taking part in Orangeberry Book Tours Trick or Treat event! I will be featured first tomorrow on Pandora Poikilos’ blog Peace from Pieces were she will be doing a book feature on Vortex! and then on the following 5 days I will be featured in interviews and listing my top 10 Halloween favourites all to tie in with Halloween! Here’s a list of where I’ll be appearing: 

23rd October – Book Feature at Peace from Pieces

24th October – Author’s Top 10 at Mommy Adventures

25th October – Author Interview at Bunnys Review

26th October – Author Interview at The Book Connoisseur

27th October – Book Feature at Gimme the Scoop

28th October – Twitter Blast with Pandora Poikilos

There are all together 51 books feature by 47 different authors check them out here! There are a wide variety of books from all genres so something for everyone! There’s also a competition for a Kindle Fire!! and loads of book giveaways so get yourself over there and check it out!!

Then on the 13th of November I’m being interviewed by the lovely Kriss Morton on her Cabin Goddess blog. She is doing a set of interviews with some of the authors taking part in the Trick or Treat Tour, there will be delicious recipes too! She’s calling it Make Mine an Orangeberry. It’s going to be loads of fun so please remember to drop by!  😀

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