Tag Archives: writing

Before And After

Jenna wants a post from us about foreplay and afterplay – but I am going to defer sharing that level of information about Jack and me. Instead, I am going to find a few tweaked paragraphs from my first novel “We Hide What We hate About Ourselves”.

Just to explain the context of this passage….after an absence of eighteen months and very poor communication while away, Annabelle’s partner has returned to visit her. A lot of stress and pain has occured between this couple, and yet they want to try to repair the damage. While Annabelle is still grappling with the shock of Robin’s confessions, he is eager that what the two of them need is some time alone...


In one swift movement, Robin grabbed Annabelle’s wrists and spread her arms outwards pinning her arms down onto the bed. He looked into her eyes. Annabelle hadn’t seen that look in a long time, it always made her insides churn. A look of pity and hunger, as if a predator preparing to devour wanted to check on the well-being of his prey. Annabelle tried to relax as she surrendered to her lover who was taking pleasure in removing her shirt and unclipping the pretty gingham balcony bra she had chosen to wear.

As Robin’s kisses descended further down, Annabelle let out gasps of pleasure. Robin smiled at her flushed face and gazed into Annabelle’s eyes. Stroking her hair he murmured, “Love you.”

Those two words caused a sob came up into Annabelle’s throat, preventing her from expressing her emotion verbally. What escaped from her mouth was a whimper.

“No tears!” Robin kissed Annabelle’s forehead. Annabelle shook her head and pursed her lips together determined to keep control of herself. Robin pulled back and looked at her and sighed. He drew back from the bed. Annabelle watched him, anxious as to why he was leaving her.

Robin began to unbutton his shirt and pulled it off letting it fall to the ground. He unbuckled his belt and tugged down at his jeans. Almost without realizing what she was doing, she loosened the buttons of her own jeans and raised her hips so she could push them down. Annabelle forgot her own nakedness as she kept her eyes fixated on her lover as he walked to the side of the bed and lent forward to kiss her. His hand stroked the back of her head.

Annabelle felt sick in her stomach. She was not ready for this. She still hated what he had done in London. If it was down to her to forgive him, she needed more time. This closeness was too early. Yet, with every look and every touch, her hurt over what he had done faded. Pain gave way to pleasure. The hunger for him swallowed up the resentment. Soon the couple were unabashed in making love to each other with great energy.

That morning spent in each other’s arms, there was very little conversation, but a great deal of communication. The two lovers had no difficulty remembering their first year together before challenges had come along. They both craved to return to that period of excitement and comfort and fun.

There came a point in Annabelle’s mind when she realized that whether she had been ready or not, by consenting to the intimacy between them, she had agreed to let go of the past. There was no question of punishing Robin for the grief he had caused her, after the two of them had re-established this bond. Her insides were nauseous with the awareness that this was a choice she might end up regretting, despite the magic of being with him again.

Robin ran his left arm underneath Annabelle and wrapped her up in his arms. The two of them lay there, whispering to each other, stroking each other. Their legs became entangled, and gradually they both drifted into sleep.  The kind of sleep that two people who trust each other and feel no fear and no shame enjoy.

We Hide What We Hate About Ourselves

Due to my own lack of attention to the scheduling on my blog, I realized I did not have a post scheduled for today. So, I as I had very little time last night when I came home from work, I decided that it was about time CARAMEL’S CORNER reviewed one of my very own books! (I know – how outrageous!!!) Don’t worry, there are lots of reviews from books written by other WordPress bloggers in the pipeline, but I need to finish them off, and work is depleting my mental energy. So today I will tell you a little about my very first novel, “WE HIDE WHAT WE HATE ABOUT OURSELVES”.

I still can’t believe I wrote a book! As many of you knew, I started with one flash fiction post in response to a writing prompt – but it grew. It grew and grew and grew! I found myself putting in a lot of personal thoughts, feelings and experiences. But that was not enough. I started to include conversations I had shared with friends, and some of their experiences and emotional reactions went into the story of my fictional character Annabelle Riley. So although, Annabelle and the other characters are fictional, they are very much based on very real, very personal accounts of my own and of some of my dearest friends.

I guess that is one of the reasons why no matter what I write in the future, I am always going to be deeply fond of how Annabelle’s story is revealed in “WE HIDE WHAT WE HATE ABOUT OURSELVES” (which turned out to be Part One of a three part series). Everytime I scrutinise my manuscript, trying to spot typos and errors in need of correction, Annabelle’s story still pulls enormously on my heart strings.

Anyway….I have not told you much about the story yet! Well, some of you know all about Annabelle…but for those of you who don’t – he is a basic outline of what to expect from “WE HIDE WHAT WE HATE ABOUT OURSELVES”

What started out as a lighthearted romance, ended up developing into a coming of age story of a character who for the first time in her life is really facing up to mental health challenges that she has ignored and tried to hide. We find Annabelle at a sort of crossroads in her life, in the sleepy town of Blackwood in Wisconsin. Chris Ward cannot help but notice the very beautiful and vivacious Annabelle and he tries very hard to impress her. But Annabelle is cautious to allow Chris to befriend her, and gradually we learn more about what has brought her to Blackwood and what she has been hiding from everyone who knows her. This book is much more than a romance, it is the story of a young woman learning about life, learning about forgiveness and real friendships, learning to grow as a person and make decisions regarding her future happiness, learning about trust and about love itself. Annabelle’s story became a true journey of life lessons.

I think that is enough of a teaser for now. Now, I know this is my book, and I am not going to go to town telling you how great it is (even though I am proud of Annabelle’s story), but what I will say is this…most of the feedback I have had from friends, family and others who have read “WE HIDE WHAT WE HATE ABOUT OURSELVES” is that they love the characters. I find it fascinating that of all the characters, it seems that Dean Mathers (you will have to read it if you want to know who Dean is) is the most popular. I had so much fun developing Dean’s character! The really odd thing was, I started writing Annabelle’s story before Jack and I made peace. So when I first mentioned Dean being this person in the past who had hurt Annabelle, I was thinking of Jack. So, when Jack and I got together, suddenly Dean started to become more important to the storyline.

I really really loved thinking of the characters, getting to know their personalities, their habits, their values, their ways of speaking to each other. To me, character development is one of the most satisfying aspects of writing. I drew so much inspiration from friends in developing those characters and put a lot of real life mannerisms into my fictional tale. It’s a very joyful thing to read the story and see these distinct people jump out from the page and interact with each other. I just love Ralph Crabbe and Burt and Pearl Jennings – love them!

I knew that the big debate for some readers would be between Chris Ward and Robin Grainger. I deliberately made sure that both men have their flaws and their lovable points. I loved describing the tension and jealousy between the two men.

Annabelle’s character was sometimes harder to work on. But then I realized why about half way through the story when I was talking to a publisher about Annabelle. The truth is Annabelle is quite lost at times, she is still getting to know herself throughout her story. She lets us in slowly because she is guarded about who she trusts. In the first few chapters it is mainly other characters that explain Annabelle until she starts to find her own voice and slowly reveals more about her life.

She is facing her mental health challenges for the first time, so she is up and down. She has emotional outbursts, she gets stressed and frustrated, she wants fragile at times, but she also is slowly although painfully making some progress and becoming stronger. In fact, Annabelle has a big journey ahead of her as she starts to accept help with her mental health. Book one “WE HIDE WHAT WE HATE ABOUT OURSELVES” is just the start for her.

Annabelle’s story includes some pretty heavy subjects, but I have made every attempt to keep her story overall lighthearted and easy to read, and it is my genuine hope that you will love reading her epic emotional voyage.

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You can find out what Caramel has been reading in her very own little reading corner, as she published book reviews of books written by WordPress bloggers each Saturday.

If you have any recommendations, please leave a message in the comments below.

CARAMEL’S CORNER

Relax, Read, Silhouette, Woman, Dog, Hang, Tree, Pet

My 2021 Diary

Every year I spoil myself with one item of stationary which I will have to look at pretty much every day for the year to come. My diary.

I am rather fussy about my diary. It will be in and out of my handbag, thrown around, opened and closed and opened again. It needs to last some pretty grim treatment throughout the year. I also want int to be something I like looking at it. I do not want an ugly diary!

So every year I have been paying a visit to Paperchase each autumn to buy an A6 magnetic clip, hardbound, lined diary with two days to each page. Normally they have one harback magnetic Ag diary and it is a thing of beauty – flowers, butterflies or other patterns grace the cover. This year, it is mainly purple and has an embossed owl print all over it.

I love a fresh diary. It is a joy to see those blank pages and wonder what the year head will contain (well – maybe our enthusiasm over the year to come is slightly wilted this year! I think I am getting married in 2021. That’s our hope. As to where, how and exactly when, or who will be there with is – none of that is easy to decide right now.

Swinging Sanity

CARAMEL'S CORNER

When I started my blog on WordPress two and a half years ago, I became fascinated by the many other bloggers who had sites full of amazing poetry, fiction and personal accounts. There were so many! But some of them really stood out.

One of the sites that captured my attention and never lost it was stoneronarollercoaster.com. There was a very energetic, charismatic creative force behind each post and it was always exciting to see her latest posts appear in my WP Reader.

It is with great pleasure that I am reviewing the marvellous poetry book from N.F Mirza, “Swinging Sanity“.

This extraordinary collection of poems came from a dark and difficult stage the writer experienced, and yet she has managed to produce something very special. I sensed an intense and dramatic range of emotions at times that were woven into a vivid kaleidoscope of graphic images. Speaking of images – I think the writer’s own artwork (which is featured on the front cover) is one of the best front covers I have seen of all the books I have purchased from WordPress bloggers.

The same distinctive charismatic presence that you find in her blog posts is there from start to finish in N. F. Mirza’s poetry collection. Yes, sometimes there are elements of being on a frightening roller coaster, and in many ways I am glad that the scary side of depression is preserved. I don’t find poems ending with some choking cliche. They distill the raw experience of being in a very dark place.

Model, Beautiful, Woman, People

Yet, a dark place for you may not be the same as a dark place for me. I felt there was something truly personal to N. F. Mirza. I know from her blog that she is a remarkable creative force and that she has a vivid and colourful character. Even at her darkest, the essence, the dazzling display of who she is at heart shines through. Sometimes her emotions race like a pinball machine and other times there is more of a reflective pace.

But I was enchanted and entranced by what is an important, personal record and also a tremendous insight for others how being in a dark place can intensify emotions and leave a person shattered by inner turbulence. How wonderfully N. F. Mirza channels that forceful flow into dynamic verses and breathtaking poetry.

From what I have read on her blog, and most definitely within her collection of poems in “Swinging Sanity“, I think that learning to take deep emotions and harness them into poetic form has been key to helping N. F. Mirza on a personal level. I applaud that. I think that for some people – not being able to communicate frightening inner feelings makes depression even worse. This poet has taken some of the darkest shades of depression and not only verbalised them, but delivers them with astonishing lyricism.

Carnival, Carousel, Ferris Wheel

This is not wishy washy in any sense. “Swinging Sanity” packs a hefty punch – there is energy and drama, colour and charisma, passion and despair, ups and downs on a merry-go-round (or rollercoaster) that I wanted to read and reread over again. I really take my hat of to N. F. Mirza. She has braved taking dark, sometimes disturbing, emotions and turned them into powerful and compelling poetry.

I was left in deep admiration of her as a person, and as a dynamic and very exciting creative force. “Swinging Sanity” is a huge triumph.

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You can find out what Caramel has been reading in her very own little reading corner, as she published book reviews of books written by WordPress bloggers each Saturday.

If you have any recommendations, please leave a message in the comments below.

CARAMEL’S CORNER

Relax, Read, Silhouette, Woman, Dog, Hang, Tree, Pet

Melody Finch – The Writer, Not The Bird

I had a surprise the other day. I was showing a colleague at work how they can find my books on Amazon and next to my book appeared what seems to be a brand new children’s eco-fantasy book entitled “Melody Finch”. I read the description….a girl turns into a bird…and her educational adventure focusing on Australian wildlife.

Now, simply on the basis that they have given their book the best possible name out there, I will be buying and reviewing their book. Look out soon for a CARMEL’S CORNER post devoted to “Melody FInch”, the children’s book!

Anyway, I just want to make clear, I am the writer Melody Finch, I am not a girl who has somehow been transformed into a bird. I am Caramel and I generally write romantic comedy mixed with learning about life, about ourselves, about relationships and about how to overcome challenges and thrive.

You see….that is who I am. Melody Finch – the epic adventurer who seems to have come through challenges with pizazz and not only has lived to tell the tale, but can sing it out with gusto!

Melody Finch books include the following:

First Car Fling

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Passing my driving test was the most amazing feeling on earth! I remember looked in the newspaper to see if there were any cars I could afford. For £300 I had my very own set of wheels.

That night after I picked up my new car, my friend Adrian and me went for a drive. I drove and I drove and I drove. Adrian and I sang our hearts out all the way from Milan in Italy, all the way to Edinburgh in Scotland!!

Woooh hooh! Driving license is the greatest freedom! No looking back for me!

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The short post above was my response to the….

…hosted by Cyranny’s Cove

Wish Upon A Leaf

CARAMEL'S CORNER

This week I am reviewing one of my favourite books written by Teresa Grabs, who many of us know as The Haunted Wordsmith, but has now created The Word Cubby. I own five of Teresa’s books and I have shared a couple of them with the younger ones in my family. I like all of Teresa’s stories, but especially her young reader books.

Wish Upon A Leaf” is ideal for readers aged 9-12 years old. But I loved it. It is a truly heartwarming story. Very early on in the book, I became very fond of the three children, Timothy, Sarah and Edward, who are the main characters in this book, and the more their character were developed the more I wished for them to have a happy ending.

I love the way Teresa builds a vivid picture of the world surrounding the children. I also grew to like the adult characters in the story who were are concerned for the children’s welfare.

Person, Human, Child, Girl, Hat, Book

Even though it is a long time since I was a 9-12 years of age, I found the story held my attention from start to finish and firmly tugged on my heart strings. My nieces and nephews absolutely loved this story.

My own parents were concerned with the content of the books I read, so I think that authors seeking to craft a book that will appeal to children, they ought to be aware that responsible parents/guardians may wish to vet books before their children read them.

I think Teresa has done a fantastic job of crafting a delightful story which will touch young hearts and leave them with an uplifting message. I would be very happy to recommend the story to any of my friends who have children as I think they will fall in love with Timothy, Sarah and Edward, just as I did.

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You can find out what Caramel has been reading in her very own little reading corner, as she published book reviews of books written by WordPress bloggers each Saturday.

If you have any recommendations, please leave a message in the comments below.

CARAMEL’S CORNER

Relax, Read, Silhouette, Woman, Dog, Hang, Tree, Pet

Would You Like A Cup Of Tea?

As promised, Jack and I have read through the entire STORM IN A TEA-CUP Series and I have tried to edit out the typos. It’s hard to read. Jack and I laughed about some of our story, but we also found some of it hard to re-live. Still…all that matters is the happy ending! This was the first part. You may have questions, but remember there are more posts to come. And yes…this post is about Jack and me.

(Brace yourself for a little bit of a weepie…make yourself a cuppa before you read this one.)

He told me that what I had done was courageous.  He said he and I should have talked along time ago.  He said it was the right thing to do.  I had already asked him once three months earlier, and he had made excuses.  He said he should have made time to sit down with me and talk…he regretted he had not.

He suggested we sat down at our dining room table in the huge kitchen dining area. Then those life-changing words: “Would you like like a cup of tea?”  That seemed like a very good idea.  It would give me something to fidget with while trying to hide how terrified I was.

Cup Of Tea

So, for pretty much the first time in three months he did something kind… he made me a cup of tea.  With my tea-bags and my milk.  He made two cups of tea, one for him and one for me.  He even made it just the way I like it…stewed tea – strong enough to make hairs grow on your chest – with a tiny splash of milk.

Here is what followed:

  • He told me that he had been a coward and that I had been courageous. 
  • He told me that he had never felt so close to another woman. 
  • He said he was totally out of his comfort zone, that he had no idea what he was doing. 
  • He wanted us to be friends. 
  • There had been a lot of pressure on him.  Many people had expressed their curiosity in the dynamics of our flat. 
  • Many of his friends and co-workers had been teasing him for months that a romance would develop between he and I. 
  • It had made him very nervous around me. 
  • He apologised for his behaviour and he wanted me to know how bad he felt. 
  • He realized he had made me feel awkward.  He told me that had not been his intention. 
  • He said I should never have been made to feel so uncomfortable in my own home.
  • He paid me extraordinary compliments…beautiful words I had never heard in my life.

My face must have been a picture.  He used expressions I was baffled by!

The man I am telling you about had been making my life miserable for months.  He had been hostile, grumpy, rude, inconsiderate.  He had said some very unkind things about me to his workmates…some of whom sought me out and had told me what he had said.

Who was this capricious man?  At that point he was my flatmate, one of them.  Six of us were sharing a huge flat.

cookies

I remember him moving in one August weekend. I was nice to him and his friend who moved in at the same time and would be sharing a bathroom.  I really was super nice. I went out, I thought the two of them would prefer to be on their own to unpack and settle into the flat. But before I left, I told them they could use my tea and coffee and milk. I even told them they could help themselves to some biscuits I had baked. That was a nice thing to do – was it not?  How many neighbours actually do that nowadays?

We went to a party together that weekend. All six of us were invited to a party in the flat two floors above ours. So many at the party were curious about him moving into our flat. People seemed to be watching the two of us. I tried to ignore it. I tried to act natural.  I think I learnt then that living with a celebrity can become a nightmarish experience.

I remember the first Monday morning…my other five flatmates were up early getting ready to leave the flat for work. I was on late shifts that week (2-10pm) so I did not need to get up as early as they did. But I had overheard him singing at the top of his voice while he was showering. There were only three inches of plaster between his room and mine. It made me smile even though he had woken me. We had not had chance to discuss rules…so rather than wondering around in my nightwear, I showered and dressed before I went into the kitchen to make myself breakfast. 

open french doors

I had a habit of opening the French doors of my room and letting fresh air pour into my room before I made my bed.  I had left the door of my room open while I came into the kitchen.

I heard his voice…he seemed full of excitement to be in a new flat.  Everyone had remarked we were going to be the coolest flat in the neighbourhood and they were expecting lots of parties.  I was sitting at the dining table eating cereal as they were all leaving to travel to work.  He must have stopped outside my door.  He was asking the others where I was? Had I slept in? Was I going to be late for work?  I called from the kitchen.  He came to the doorway and looked at me with surprise. I told him I was on late shifts that week. He looked disappointed. He thought we were going to travel into work together. Maybe he realized that meant I would not be around in the evenings that week.

I think that was the last time he actually seemed happy to be in the same flat as me.  For the next few months I would see him being friendly and jovial and laughing with our friends and coworkers.  Then we would walk into the flat and he would ignore me.  He seemed to be failing to suppress a strong dislike for me, because it was manifest in so many ways that he did not want me in the flat with him.

cyberbully

Looking back, I guess it was mostly external pressure that caused problems. People were saying some really shocking things. In the end I started to note down what I was hearing. It filled both sides of eight A4 pages…most of which admittedly was just teasing. However, a good portion was insulting, degraded comments insinuating he and I had a very “particular” type of relationship.

He was probably just as dismayed as I was at the comments people were making. It is hard to define the perfect way to handle that kind of challenge. How do you shut people down without fanning the flames of curiosity?  I found myself saying things along the lines of that there was no possibility of a romance developing and listing the reasons why.

I used to laugh that putting up with a man whom you are living with but not in a romantic relationship with, means a romance is highly unlikely to develop.  A flatmate who never empties the bins, (I am astonished that every male flatmate I have had believed in the magic bin fairy…oooh I am going to get myself in trouble with any male readers) leaves stacks of dirty dishes around the kitchen sink and is noisy, smelly and untidy…and who brings dozens of other single men round to the flat to add to the general man-stink of the place (apologies yet again to any male readers)…well, for fairly obvious reasons there is a distinct lack of warm feeling growing in your heart towards such a flatmate.  I thought that was both a humorous and logical way to stop people from teasing me about him.  My strategy failed.

I kind of blame him.  When his friends and workmates teased him, his reaction was like a teenage boy at school.  He said, “No way!”  He said, “I think she has OCD, she keeps tidying up after me.”  Even worse, he said, “She is a wonderful woman, but she is not attracted to me.”  I don’t think it was deliberate on his part, but he was actually just throwing fuel onto the fire.  The teasing intensified, the level of interest in everything that went on in our flat was shocking.  Social media websites seemed to be making my life unbearable.

Some of his friends started stopping me when they saw me, to tell me what a nice guy he was and that what he really needs is a good wife who can match his mind but is also happy to tidy up after him.  His manager saw me one day at the flat, and had a quiet word with me in the kitchen.  He said to me, “So you are his future wife”.   I felt tearful more than once because they were talking to me about a man who apparently was repelled by me.  I did not want to let a bad word about him creep out of my mouth…but inside he had me in agony.

Telescope, Binoculars, Guy, To Watch

I think you would either be very entertained or very bored if I related more of the hundreds of comments that were voiced about my flatmate and me.  As I mentioned, they range from cute to crude, from ridicule to outright rude, from droll to dreadful, from silly to slanderous, from vile to vicious.  People seemed to be watching our flat, watching my ex-flatmate and I.  If we looked at each other, someone had a comment or a joke to make.  If we did not look at each other, someone else would pry as to what was going on between us.  It was wearing me down and making me feel desperate, it was making him grumpy.

Sure enough, I asked him very early on if the two of us could talk about it and see what we could do to discourage all of the gossip.  He did not seem to want to talk about it though.  His behaviour towards me made life very uncomfortable.  I did lots of nice things.  I am a great believer that if someone has a problem with you one of the best cures is to cover it over with kindness.  I did wash a lot of his dishes.  I regularly cleaned up the kitchen after he had been a messy puppy.  He seemed to use my tea, coffee and milk all the time, which I never made an issue of.  I baked cakes and biscuits and always made sure he could help himself to them.  I have tidied up after him, even picking his underpants up from the floor when guests were coming.  I have cleaned his mouldy leaky food spills up from the fridge.

venus.jpg

I do not try to subscribe to generalisations (even though some of them are frankly hilarious) – but he is the only man I have ever faced inordinate communication difficulties with – to my Martian flatmate, I really may as well have been from Venus. Or else, he had all the communication skills of a teenage boy (sorry to any teenage boys reading this, but on the whole it is true!).

He seemed to like those things, but he was very strange in his behaviour to me.  Cold, hostile, silent.  Despite that, I sincerely was pleased to have him as a flatmate.  I enjoyed his noisiness, he seemed to be an unquenchable fountain of fun and life.  It was great to come home and find so many people in our flat.  I genuinely was happy to wash up and clean up and tidy up after the messy pup.  I kept on trying to provoke a kindly warm attitude from him.  It did not work…and it started to distress me deeply.  I had never been living with someone who behaved as if they had a huge grievance towards me.

Finally, three months later, there we were.  He made me a cup of tea and we sat down and had the conversation I gave you a few glimpses of above.  Bizarre!

Just think, all I had to steady my nerves was a cup of tea that he had made me.

In case you are wondering whether there is a happy or a sad ending to this story…I have to tell you…that cup of tea was the beginning of the end of me:

(More to come…If you have not already read it…take a look at my post “Peanut-Butter Cookies” which will give you more insight into what was developing.)

Just A Storm In A Tea-Cup

Blonde, Hair, People, Female, Girl

I realize that sometimes bloggers may not realize just why I am so deeply grateful to have Jack in my life. I used to write about the estrangement with him when I first started out blogging, but a year ago the situation was reversed.

Jack and I had a talk recently about some of the posts (THE STORM IN A TEACUP Series) I published about him and I, before we ever made peace. He has read them all in the past.

I asked him if it was time to remove them. He did not see why I should do that. I told him that because I was a new blogger when I wrote them, they don’t look great. They need editing to remove the typos. He said that would be a good idea. Then I asked Jack if he would read my edited versions to see if there was anything he would prefer me to remove. So he did.

Then, after a flurry of questions about Jack and myself, I asked Jack how he felt about the possibility of re-publishing them. That may explain why I sometimes refer to a past drama between Jack and I. He wanted time to think about it. We shelved the idea for a while. But then Jack came back to me and said something that surprised me…why don’t we write a novel together with our story?

I will admit the thought has gone through my mind. But it would be very emotional. I could not do it on my own Jack has suggested we do it together. I was taken aback. It’s a project that we are going to work on little by little. We have only just started.

Textile, Wool, Background, Fabric

But in the meantime, Jack agreed that although we both have so many regrets about the past, our dramatic history is always a reminder to us of how special what we have is. It’s a miracle! So….we are going to re-publish the entire STORM IN A TEA-CUP series! These flashback posts will appear each Friday…just one a week. Some of the longer ones, I may break up into two posts.

The first will be published on the first Friday in October. We think they will last until the end of 2020. Please remember that what you are reading has a very happy ending, and also remember that there are situations that seem hopeless, but sometimes, completely out of the blue, something wonderful happens!

Permission To Promote

ready for rhtaLittle by little I have been scrutinising and correcting the three novels in my LEARNERS AT LOVE series. I have lost track of how many times I have updated the manuscripts of each book. I am so pleased with them. I loved carefully reading Annabelle’s story again. I read part of the third book on the train journey up north, and Jack laughed at me when he saw tears trickling down my face. But it is emotional! I love the way Book Three developed.

Now that I am happier with the three books, I am going to start promoting them more. I have told my family that now I am happier with them, they can tell their friends about them. I am going to get some Vista-cards printed advertising them and I am going to visit local independent book shops and local libraries. Jack has given me lots of ideas. He also now has permission to promote them,, but subtly. I don’t want them on his social media pages, but I said he can mention the books to people he knows, but only when it is appropriate.

He said people might want to buy the books as gifts in coming months. I must say, I do find that exciting. We have so many friends who love reading and the thought of them reading Annabelle’s story sends flutters into my heart.

Books Block

I love the characters, I have been living with them in my head for eighteen months already. I love Annabelle, but I also love Chris, Dean and Robin. I love Burt and Pearl. I love Gina. I love Ralph. I love Stephen and Fiona. I love Maggie and Angharad. All of my friends who have read the books so far come back to me and tell me who their favourite characters were (most love Dean Mathers!) and what they thought of twists and turns in the storyline. I love receiving feedback. It makes something that was very personal something I can share with people I love.