Sunday, 14 July 2019

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Quest to unlock a puzzle box

Whilst on the hunt for a friend's 30th birthday present in Bath, I chanced upon a shop - Timber Treasures - that sold some delightfully crafty puzzle boxes. At first, I didn't realise what they were and tried sliding off the top of one, but to no avail. Was it broken? Had it jammed? Then I realised what it was.

As well as a pretty box for trinkets and keepsakes, it was a challenge: How fast could I unlock it? Not only did I have to work out which bits were movable/removable, I also had to follow the correct sequence for them.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Nearly there!


Pretty cool, huh?

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Quest to find FINALE's secret cover

FINALE by Stephanie Garber
All games must come to an end, and so it is with Stephanie Garber's CARAVAL trilogy.

FINALE - the third book in the series - released this month and, once again, there's a secret cover hidden under the dust jacket.

Before I reveal which secret cover I have, I'll give you the blurb for FINALE:

Sunday Times and #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Garber takes us once again to the magical world of Caraval, where Scarlett and Tella Dragna must fight for their happy endings. . .

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun - with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything. Welcome, welcome to the Caraval's Finale. All games must come to an end . . .

FINALE's secret cover

'She refused to be afraid. Fear was poison to love.'

CARAVAL trilogy

Their secret covers

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Quest to visit a quirky bookstore

The book I'm currently querying features a bookstore owned by my main character's family, and it was great fun imagining how I wanted the shop to look. A wraparound balcony overlooks the ground floor, and a spiral staircase leads up to where the rarer titles are shelved. It's always rather magical to see pictures of quirky bookstores, even if you never get the chance to pop inside them, but I was fortunate enough to visit a charming bookstore recently, following a recommendation by a friend.

Topping & Company Booksellers at The Paragon, Bath set the tone the moment you step through their doors with their floor-to-ceiling wooden bookcases and the ladders reaching the uppermost shelves. I was surprised how far back the shop extended and the range of books on sale. They hold many author events throughout the year and stock signed editions of their books. Rather charmingly, a lot of books with dust jackets were protected by a cover sleeve.

Who knows - maybe one day I'll hold my own author event there and sign copies of my books for fans! 😄

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Quest to find signs of spring

I'm always happy to see the first signs of spring, and I'm fortunate that my daily walk to work incorporates a brisk stroll through a park estate. Trees are budding and spring flowers are in bloom.

Writing-wise, I've been in hibernation mode over the winter, but sometimes it's necessary to take time out; creative seeds need time to germinate. Now a new season is underway, I'm emerging from my writing hibernation. Time to start plotting my next book!

Do you sometimes hibernate from writing, too?

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

An expanded version of The Emotion Thesaurus

I've long been a fan of the Thesaurus series of books by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, and I'm delighted to help them launch their new book, The Emotion Thesaurus (Second Edition)!

You might know about The Emotion Thesaurus or even have it on your shelf. But chances are, you may not have known a second edition was in the works. Becca and Angela decided to keep it a surprise and only recently announced the book was releasing!

Your Favorite Book Is Now Bigger & Better

The Emotion Thesaurus is known for its powerful lists that help writers show (rather than tell) character emotion through body language, thoughts, visceral sensations, dialogue cues, and behavior. This second edition gives writers more of what they love: more emotions (55 more to be exact!) more teaching content, and more writing tips.

Here are three of the new entries: Euphoria, Vindicated, and Schadenfreude. This book is almost twice the size of the original, so it's almost two books in one.

Anyway, if you'd like to check into it, Goodreads has some reviews up, and you can find more information here

One More Thing...Want to Attend a FREE Writing Conference?

Or a writing retreat? A workshop? Or even have your yearly membership to a professional writer's organization suddenly paid for? 


Angela and Becca have a giveaway on right now to celebrate their release, and one lucky winner will get their choice of the above, up to a $500 US value. There are some conditions so check that out, but this is the giveaway of a lifetime, so hurry over to enter. And good luck!

Friday, 4 January 2019

How many books did I read in 2018?

Tiverton Library
Time for my annual round-up of the books I've read in the previous year!

Once again I concentrated on clearing my huge TBR pile and read a whopping 101 books of my own this year, 46 of which were e-books (I was determined to make a dent in that particular pile). I borrowed a book from a friend, plus twelve from libraries and also did three beta reads, bringing my grand total to 117 books for 2018. Very respectable!

I didn't get in many visits to libraries this year as I have in previous years, but I was able to add a new one to my 'collection' - Tiverton Library - when I visited friends in Devon in September.

I still have quite a few books left in my TBR pile (& several more I have my eye on to buy), so I'll concentrate on clearing those once again for 2019.

How about you? How many books did you read in 2018?