Friday, 30 December 2016

On the day before New Year's eve

It's the day before New Year's eve and to be honest 2016 wasn't really nice. It looks like it wasn't nice to anyone. But I'm not going to moan. Too much complaining was already done through out the year. Looking back at the twelve months that now passed - actually they passed really quickly, although they seemed to last for just too long. 


So nothing bad in this blog post. Instead of writing what went wrong, I'm going to look for the reasons that made me cheerful this year and the memories of them will make me cheerful for many more. The things/events that made me really happy. The things I don't want to forget. Here they are, some most unforgettable:  

- My son's progress is seen from day to day. The steps he does might seem small, but they are huge for all of us. They are also constant and that's all that matters.

- My daughter reached the brink of puberty and although she makes me go insane from time to time, I'm proud of her daily. 

- I got my publishing rights back in April and I republished my debut novel All That The Heart Desires in June.

- We had such amazing holidays, traveling around Wales. I know I'm still not done with the 'Holidays 2017' blog post series. I left you hanging on in Bangor.  

- While traveling I meet my wonderful friend Katie Phillips. We 'met' through Facebook years ago and this was the first time we met face to face and it we just clicked. All of us.

- I did my first book signing...
- In London I met another amazing friend for the first time - Les Moriarty. I still hold this memory close to my heart. 

- I finished the third draft of my third novel in English and managed to send it to my editor. 

- My family is still whole; no-one is missing...

- Definitely not last and not at all at least - the love, our family have and share, still grows and it's still very strong. 

So, I really shouldn't be complaining at all... right?




Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Proof and a Book Cover Reveal Tour

It's been some time since I told you that my second novel CAUGHT BETWEEN TWO WORLDS is ready to be published.
Yesterday I finally got my proof of the paperback version. 

To be honest - it's not nice from me to write - finally. According to the order being placed to Create Space last Wednesday - it was said that the book would arrive today; 28th of December. And that was the reason why I put my work's address as the delivery address. I wanted to get it as soon as possible.

Due to my son's school Christmas party show, I was off work on Friday. So you can imagine my surprise when I came into work yesterday morning that a parcel was waiting for me in my office. Sure, the first thing that I did was to check from where and from whom it was. It was from Create Space and I learned later that the parcel had already been delivered on Friday - in just two days.

I checked it quickly and so did my colleagues at work... but the real proof read is not something I'm scheduled to do. You are never going to guess who is doing it!

My OH. 

Yesterday as soon as I texted him a photo of the book, he texted back:
"I'm the first one who is going to read it. Can't wait. Come home now!"


Yeah, if only it would be that simple!  
So, today he's home reading and I'm at work - so not fair... :)

You don't know how much I want to show you the beautiful cover that my cover designer Elle J. Rossi from EJR Digital Art did for it. But I can't just yet. Why? 

The reason is that I have booked a book cover blog tour by JB Johnston from Brook Cottage Books and it will be done from 9th of January till 13th of January. 

So until then... a teaser...  a small part of...


p.s. By the way - I took a photo of him reading - but he doesn't allow me to publish it... what a shame...

Seamstress Clara



For the past few weeks months I've been editing my third novel. You read it right – months. The thing is – I needed to go through it quite a few times. But that was not the reason why it took  takes me months. Yup, I'm still not finished.  

Firstly I blamed the months from the edge of hell – end of September and October. Not many good things happened then – and one really bad thing happened – I lost my dear friend and that put everything on hold.


After I managed to process the matter and accepted that it had actually happened – the months from hell followed – November and December right up to 21st. Everything piled up on me: work, home, school, home works,  therapies, etc...


You name them I probably did them. My batteries were close to empty even before the sun went down... I had no wish, no desire, and no energy to even sit down and edit. I tried, but didn't do much.

Then last week, when I finally found some time to sit down and take the manuscript into my hands, everything looked so easy. I managed to go through almost one quarter of it. I looked through the window and there was still sun outside.


And then it hit me. Hard. You could say I had a breakthrough.


You know – here where I live we have a saying – which I'm going to try and translate. It rhymes in my language, but I promise you – it won't in English.


Seamstress Clara – through the night she sews, and rips apart through the day.


The meaning of it is that if you're not careful what you do when you do it – you're probably going to have to mend it.


I felt like Clara. I write / sew better during the night and I can get myself into editing / ripping apart only during the day...


So, recognising and accepting this thing about me – about my writing – I know now, that for my following novels, I'm definitely going to take days off from work until the deed is done.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Our Christmas tradition

Everybody seems so cheerful as soon as Halloween is gone, waiting for Christmas to come. I - on the other hand - am struggling seeing all the Christmas decorations in the stores, all shops already decorated with ornaments two months before... geez... please give us some space to breathe. And the worst thing - I cannot escape this. 
(I love this meme as describes me perfectly - I'm no. 2)
 
Sure, I do my Christmas shopping in December, rarely before. I'm planning to write Christmas cards, but as it happens, they don't go to the post office before the last week before Christmas. You see, time, or better, lack of time, is my enemy.

For as long as I remember, we have put up our Christmas trees on Christmas eve's day. As 24th of December is not a public holiday where I live, I take a day off then Christmas eve's day is all about Christmas. We decorate the tree. We prepare each others gifts - sure Santa is going to bring them. We prepare a nice dinner - with a notion that my son will probably eat something completely different than the rest of us, but we don't care as long as he sits with us and eats. 
And this is what makes my day and my spirit fall into the Christmas mood.

I'm trying to understand that people have different kinds of tradition than my own and that's why I'm not going to share my thoughts about people putting up their Christmas tree the last week in November. But I'm going to be honest too - I'm not going to apologise for them either.

So no matter what your Christmas tradition is - enjoy it in full. Don't let it be put down by anyone. I know I'm not going to. 
 


Monday, 19 December 2016

A week till Christmas

For the past few years I'm noticing I hate time between Samhain and Yuletide - the time between 1st November till Winter Solstice. I do. I can't help it.


The one thing that gets me down at this time is the fact that we turn the clocks backwards at the end of October and that the days become significantly shorter. There's nothing worse than going to work when it's pitch dark outside and coming home - not much different. 

Basically, this is the reason for my 'silence' in the past few weeks. There have been so many things to be done in my 'real' life and frankly some bad things has happened that I had had really no desire to write about them or share them with the world. 

But, this is going to change and soon. The sun will return, the days are going to get longer - bit by bit, second by second and this helps me get through. I know now I'll have to prepare myself next year much better for this... 






Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Bookcase at the Shed

If you're near the Henstead near Kessingland (just off the A12), you can find my novel All That the Heart Desires in a paperback edition in The Bookcase at the Shed CafĂ© in Henstead Arts and Crafts Centre.

You can find there a variety of genres: anthology, poetry, crime, romance and books for children, by following amazing authors : Becky Bishop Tricia Cass Author Terry Tarbox, Sandra Forder and of course also by Suzan Collins.

Can you think of better gift to give this Christmas than a book?

p.s. Don't miss the delicious cakes they offer there too!


Thursday, 8 December 2016

Art

I never thought about being artistic myself.

OK. Perhaps I know how to plot and twist and write stories, but I think I inherited it from my mother. She is a superb storyteller. I always loved to listen to her telling the stories from her childhood... I still do.

But what I never could do, and still can't - is to draw, to paint, even doodling is a sort of mystery to me. And that made me sad - it still does. 
I had a good grade with Art, but... well, I'll be honest - I never considered any of my attempts average. I love paintings. I have my favourites and my taste is my own and I'm not going to explain or apologise for it. 
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And then it happens; I know that for many years though, but nevertheless... 
Today's gift from my daughter Loris (she's 12 yrs old) - for the St. Nicolas (the first good man in December we celebrate) left me speechless... 

#sunset
Unfortunately the photo doesn't do the painting justice.

It's what she's painted at school - in her Art Class. The technique she used is pastel. And the landscape she caught... 
She has the talent, no doubt. I just wonder from who.
Can't wait to see the two others she said she's done...

Friday, 2 December 2016

An Announcement

I know I have been away for quite some time now, but you see... well, no. This is a completely different topic from what I'm going to tell you today.

For the last few months - yes, months - I've been working on edits of my third novel. I must tell you the truth - I wasn't working on it every day as that's not all I do and if I want to do it properly - it takes time. A lot of time.

Right now I can actually see the cloud above your head: 
'Third? How on earth 'the third', when she hasn't published her second one!'

I agree and this is the reason for today's blog post...


With great pleasure I'm announcing to you today that my next full length novel

TORN BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

will be published on 

1st February 2017  
~
INBOLC day 2017 
 
 For a proper book cover reveal - you'll just have to wait a little bit. It's on its way...

Friday, 11 November 2016

Another 5 Star review

...this time again - on Amazon.co.uk.

S.A. Smith keeps it short but she says everything.


Or if you don't believe this snapshot from my mobile - you can go straight here


scroll down to the reviews and you will find it there.

Although the Kindle Countdown is finished you can still read it for FREE if you're a member of Kindle Unlimited.
And if you're going to read it - will you, please leave a review. It doesn't need to be long, but it can be of great help. 
Thank you.



Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Someday I'll see you again...

I'm sad today. Truly sad. I... I've never imagined something like that can happen and so suddenly. I'm still in shock.
I've lost a friend. A friend I had met on Facebook. Haven's knows as I don't remember when we first started to talk, but somehow we clicked and through the weeks, months and years our friendship grew. We shared the same passion - writing. 
He always had time for a chat or serious conversation. It didn't matter to him. We laughed together and we were there for each other when the going was tough...
Finally this summer, when we were in London, we met. We spent an amazing afternoon together. Thank you, Les, for your warm welcome, it was truly fantastic to meet you in person.


I thought in a few days I would be able to write you a happy blog post about our meeting in person instead of that... this horrible news waited for me when I came home. I couldn't believe it. I am still having hard time believing it.

Rest in peace, Les. No matter where you are - I am certain...