Lifes Journey

I open the pages of a book and look at the chapters ahead

The snippets of how our lives are made

The re writes

The words scratched out never to be seen

The plot that was there keeps twisting and surprising us.

The characters that are forming and lesser characters may become so much more.

Sometimes taking out time over the words and forming them, basking in their beauty,

Other times racing through the chapter as it is too dark and scary, wanting to be at the end.

Whichever way the plot then goes you can only read one line ahead.

You do not know where the strands will be pulled taught.

What you do know is there is an end.

So enjoy the journey as much as you can

Summer 2017

I am sitting here, in the living room, with my laptop funny enough on my lap. Husband is watching BBTC (touring cars), he is back to work tomorrow and trying not to think about it. Me, I am sitting here writing up reviews from the very few books I have read over the last few weeks and excited to get back to work. 

Nearly a year on, I am trying to work out which date I got the phone call last August that changed my year from September onwards. It isn't quite a year yet. 

What else has changed? -

Life as always is throwing curve balls, but it wouldn't be life if it didn't. 


The challenge this week is to try and find school trousers at a decent price for son, who is 15 and doesn't fit into the generic school trousers that they have in shops because they finish at age 15-16! and are standard length. So the fun of taking a teen son shopping for trousers he doesn't want to wear in the first place is joyous. Then we will be on to shoe shopping! fun, plain black sturdy and size 12 at least he was last time. 

I have found that now working in the book world, I still love socialising and going to book events, but am going to be more choosy this year to which ones I attend. 

My reading style has changed, where I would finish work and read, and read all weekend... I now find I don't want to, I read during the day for work and need a breather before my own reading. This actually has been a bit difficult as changing jobs was to give me freedom, but I didn't know what else to do. 


We have had two weeks off, one week we spent in Norfolk, and walked, and walked, across the costal paths, along the beaches, through the small towns we visited. This has geared me up to keep up with walking, now I could listen to audible books, but I like the not having to concentrate, so must remember to take my mp3 player instead. OH, and my camera. I have always liked taking photo's and am going to take them for me, for fun. 

I never do anything without purpose so I can't just go for a walk because I want to...I am hoping with the camera and listening to music it will help. 

I am looking forward to the fresh new challenges and seeing what lands in my inbox for reads for Bloodhound Books and what new author's are out there to be discovered this coming year. 

As always September for me Is the start of a "New Year" and it definitely was last year. 

 

Harrogate - Theakston's Crime Festival 2017...

This is only my second visit to Theakstons Crime Festival, luckily last year I had learnt to only do a few panels... and even then when I went off, I knew I was missing out on the socialising. This year, I didn't book panels, but the last twelve months has been a whirlwind of changes.

Last year I sat and explained, I am only a reader, I don't even blog, however I am going to change that and start my blog. This year, I am there as a reader, blogger, book enthusiast, met so many authors since at local, national and international conferences/book events that saying hi and having a catch-up chat was even more fabulous.


AND, just in case you missed it I work for BLOODHOUND BOOKS helping them decided on the books we sign.

I was asked "Is coming here this year different to last, due to it being work related?"

My answer, NO, we were invited to dinner with the Bloodhoud Author's apart from that the weekend was ours to be had, for everyone involved with Bloodhound, okay apart from the official photo shoot for the Meet the Team on the Website, now Crime Fest is known to be the selfie station of events, so you can be formal, goofy or even snapchat pics with authors, but going to the official shoot was not what I was looking forward to.

However, I spent so much time with fellow authors, bloggers linked with Bloodhound and other Publishers, and meeting Kim finally from Bookouture was great.

It is so surreal to look around and see Author's who are the International/National stars.

it is even better when you don't introduce a new friend to an author and get the author's name wrong, Belinda Bauer took it well...and I apologise to all involved!

it is even better when you don't introduce a new friend to an author and get the author's name wrong, Belinda Bauer took it well...and I apologise to all involved!

A quick re cap for the whole event from my experience :-

Thursday

Arrived, settled in, went to the bar to meet the Blog Squad and other bloggers and anyone who walked past that we knew. It was a great start to the weekend, and this was my quiet night, take it easy... okay, it didn't quite go to plan, but I didn't go to Harrogate with one.

 

okay, drinking was on the plan....

okay, drinking was on the plan....

a few cocktails later and we headed back to The Swan, where the main event of Crimefest was being held...

Home/B and B 1.15 am...

 

Friday

While I remember :- I stayed at the Geminian B and B on Franklin Road and I couldn't have wished for a better welcome, room or breakfast. If you are going to stay somewhere in Harrogate I highly recommend here.

Friday was kicked off with going to see Malcolm Hollingdrake, who has a series of crime books set in Harrogate, and I was excited to go along and help promote the launch of his new book Dying Art, which I had read and wanted a signed copy to add to my collection.

It was lovely to meet him and see his books in a row, I received my signed copy and a trickle of fans were soon milling around for signings too....

 

Photo credit to Timea.

Photo credit to Timea.

Then it was time to head off for the dreaded photo shoot, I tell you...you will have to wait for those though! IT actually wasn't that bad, it was the thought of posing and being serious while having your team mates awaiting there turn, the photographer was very patient....

After photo's back to the Swan, the only official duty was done...but, the Bloodhound gang are from far across the globe and we had an informal meeting at the tent, okay we were milling around all weekend, but this was a way to meet and greet if you wanted to.

It was amazing, to put names to books I had read, to meet our Author Dylan Jones, who came from America to be there!!! To chat and just mill around together, this wasn't exclusive to Bloodhound, any bloggers, readers, could come along too.

On Thursday Night, I was introduced to Heather, and we hit it off so well, we were chatting, linked up with Rob Ashman, and the whole afternoon was spent talking on and off, catching an author's eye, going asking for photo's, and a general garden party feel to the event.

the lovely, lovely Elizabeth Haynes, who wrote one of My all time favourite books Into the Darkest Corner, and led me on the path I now am....

the lovely, lovely Elizabeth Haynes, who wrote one of My all time favourite books Into the Darkest Corner, and led me on the path I now am....

Mark Billingham and Heather Fitt....

Mark Billingham and Heather Fitt....

Shell and Joanne, my blogger mates

Shell and Joanne, my blogger mates

with the lovely Sharon B... meeting up again.

with the lovely Sharon B... meeting up again.

We stayed around The Swan for a good while, then Timi, Rob, Heather and I went off for dinner, we found an amazing curry house, unfortunately I don't know the name, but it is well rated on trip advisor, and I shall come back and amend. I ordered a delicious dinner, that was so hot my face was turning red the more I ate...much to the amusement of the others. We did have ideas of clubbing, that soon got knocked on the head and we went back to our respective places to sleep off the curry and drinks.

I actually can't believe we gelled so well and I know Timi and I know each other, but anyone looking on would have thought we had been friends for years, so thank you so much for an amazing sedate, but fun dinner.  

Saturday

Woke up to torrential rain that looked like it was set up for the day... I am sure the whole crowd of Crime fest goers looked in aghast, wondering how to get from A to B - B = the beer tent!!! luckily, it eased off by 11 am and we had glorious sunshine the rest of the day.

 

I do think the weather played a part on a different feel to Harrogate Crime fest, it wasn't as chilled out, mooching on the grass, eyes closed, but it did mean while you were standing and milling around you were more inclined to interact with others! So how amazing is that...

 

I really had a great day on Saturday, chilling out and meeting up with author's I had met before and just well after watching Timi finallyI get the Selfie bug and snap away! as you can see...

 

Then on to Bloodhound Dinner, when invited and the stipulation, if you have something else to do you don't have to come along was given, I hadn't by the way, but it wouldn't have been a contest. The restaurant was ideal, for food choices, drinks, service and we couldn't have gone to a better place.

So a bit thank you to Betsy and Fred for organising, and to the lovely author's that put up with my snapchat filter photo's... Rob Sinclair, not added, but not burned!

As you can see I hadn't had enough of snapchat so we headed back to The Swan where I found some more victims.

I had a great time yet again milling around the Beer Tent and chatting to Amanda Jennings, Tammy Cohen, et al...there was a group of them and they welcomed me to sit and chat for a while.

As much as it is lovely to have the pictures with Lee Child's, Rowan Coleman. I love spending my time with great authors that are happy to be there to talk to there readers in more in depth and having met them before it is always an honour to be invited to catch up with them.

I will admit to flagging a bit, and wanting to go, but Tara Lyon's new book was being published, so I stayed, and celebrated with her, she has come a long way in a year too and it really was a pleasure to be able to be there for her.

 

The night did last until 2.30! it was all drawing to an end, we were shattered, but we weren't quite ready to leave the fabulous atmosphere.

My friend Timi had a long drive back to Manchester at 5.30 am, to then catch a flight out to Hungary, so we finally, gave in gracefully...or not, headed to the kebab shop, as Rob really needed a curry!!! and there wasn't one open.

Sunday

I woke up, tired, and packed up my weekend of books, fun, and headed up to The Swan, just to see who was about and say goodbye to the remaining few...there were still events going on.

It was with a sad heart to leave, but very, very tired....and the sign of a great weekend is not wanting to leave, but really knowing real life is calling and you know what, you really do want to go back. I just didn't want to leave the people, the atmosphere and the fun...

Come to Harrogate Crime Festival and you take away so much, but you do have to put in to it.

If you are a quieter soul, if you are shy, you can be, if you are loud and want a drink and meet everyone, you can do your best to do so.... me, I am friendly, bubbly, but also quiet...so it was a great balance of meeting up with bloggers, authors, and cementing another layer of friendship. it meant the people that I talk to online become my "real normal friends", eh...Heather!

Sunday, was worth going to just chill, have a coffee and say bye....

next year I am investing in sunglasses regardless of weather!!! regardless if I can focus!

was this year better than last? Yes, different, but yes for so many different reasons... was spending time with BHB work, no....I would have gone to Harrogate Crime Fest to meet author's and talking about their books/work so no.
Did I get to talk to other author's? yes, I got to as said chat to author's I had met previously or had connections with friends.... what have I come away with? Tiredness, omg, so tired, but smiling, smiling at the memories, and friends... I made new real life friends and I can't wait to go back and see them and hoping to see some before next July...roll on Harrogate 2018!

What to pay for Books? Especially E Books?

Over the last week I have seen various posts on Social Media, mainly Facebook about the rise in E book prices..

There is a huge misconception that it is easy to upload the file to Amazon or other purchasing platforms, and that is it...

No, it isn't.

There are glitches that often need to be worked out, someone has to spend time still editing, proof reading, having amazing covers as you aren't picking the book up to flick through, surely the eye candy has to be that bit sweeter to catch your eye? Not even mentioning the Author's that have worked their fingers to the bone to get this work out to you.

Okay, my real opinion. I blame Amazon, I blame the fact that to sell Kindles to us, they gave us so many books either free or for 99p and added VAT to these, they sold us an item, they sold us a dream of cheap and convenience.
 

This as a reader, fitted with my life at the time.

I love downloading books to read as and when, I have read so many more indie author's that wouldn't get a look in being published and stocked in a  book shop. Many of these are author's I continue to read works of time and again, I also highly rate them and recommend to family and friends.

For the love of reading it is a book, it is a story, it has been written with intent for you to enjoy. Regardless if it is e-books, paperbacks, audible or hard back.

For me, I love my kindle, and won't do without, I also love paperbacks, and have a collection of them signed, or waiting to be signed. If I feel I want to read the e copy and then purchase the book to be signed. I will.

What I personally am happy to pay for this, is different to what you may want to pay.

However spare a thought to the work that is involved and that an author has spent months if not years working on aspects of getting the book finished,  to be uploaded to the various platforms for you to buy.

If you are unhappy with the price then please visit your library and hope that the author's are signed with the Public Lending Right to make a small income from any books that are borrowed.

Or take your time and read less books. What you decide you think is right to pay for something is always personal circumstances as well as choice, but please spare a thought of how the authors feel when reading these comments.

Book Launch, Jane E James

When life gets ahhhh....and everything, well not everything, but two important events to you clash.

So I had booked to go to Jane's event it is in Peterborough, perfect, happy and confident to go there on my own if needs be, it isn't overly crowded, been numerous times and I lived there so feel confident in going. Yes, I can do this, I can go, I can even go alone without feeling too anxious and then a letter from school.

Parents Evening, now as much as I love books and events, parents evening is always something I have done. It is one of the jobs I took on as a mum, you know your child is doing well at school, you know if they weren't the school would let you know.

You know child has recently had predicted grades, but, BUT! This is one of the silent rules I feel of parenting, if I don't go, I don't look interested and I am interested, but there is a book event!


Of course I go to parents evening, which is like speed dating, three minutes per teacher, not in the same room...so yeah, it works as a system so well.

I manage to talk husband into coming with me, to do the last few appointments, and I said, I will discuss everything in the others, not that you get much chance in three minutes and child is with us so the teachers direct the questions to child... anyway, we go, it is running late we fit all bar the last in. I left son and husband, brisk walked so briskly that I attempted a jog...just don't! not a good look....

I manage to get a lift to the station, the taxi pulled up, just as I had about caught my breath to knock on the door to say I had arrived for my lift...

The train when it arrived was heaving! Totally full to the brim.... we managed to get a seat part way through the journey, but more importantly we had a sneaky toast on the way.

The book launch was for Jane's second book, but first published by Bloodhound books, I may have mentioned them a few times before.... Jane's newest read is The Crying Boy, and boy did she have an eerie feel with THOSE PAINTINGS, the eyes watching you.

Waterstones had a great set up with books displayed, wine flowing and cupcakes with the images of the book cover. Perfect.
The atmosphere was as bubbly as Jane's personality, which you will know is extremely so if you have met her.

Jane with her book, me, Eva (author), and Tracey (who I had met online).

I purchased my copy of the book, and waited inline for Jane to sign it, as well as one for my friend Timi. I have read TCB on kindle, but was worthy of purchasing to have the cover, and is sitting happily on the shelf with the other Bloodhound Books I have managed to purchase and have signed so far.

There were plenty of people to chat to, other author's, bloggers, readers, Jane's publishers who where there to support her.
It really made even the slight attempt at jogging worthwhile to be able to attend.

Thank Jane and Darren for the wonderful after party... such a good night had, and I wish Jane success with this and her next book, that sounds different to The Crying Boy, but equally as intriguing.

OMG Here Goes....

I have had numerous friends, people I am connected with on Facebook ask me recently when are you going to write a story? You would make such a good author?

After blushing, the fear dying down, and really? Can I?
Well, after the year I have had, and now never say never. 

The need to write has been itching away.

I am unsure if I have a full length novel waiting to be written, however previous to my "caking years" when the children were very young. I started to write poems, These were poems about incidents, feelings as a mum. I made them rhyme, some flowed better than others, but that was okay. They weren't ever supposed to see the light of day. They were for me, to me, to reflect on what I was going through.

For approximately 15 years cake making took over the creative space and I lost the art (if it was even that) of writing poems.

After clearing the cake debris from my brain, I have space to pick up a pen and a friend gave me a note book for Christmas and said "Fill it with stories"

So with trepidation and bravery, and angst, If I am going to do this writing lark, I am going to go the whole emotional roller coaster never doing anything by halves!

I am going to use this corner of my blog for me to share with you...

Donna McCarthy, who is a great friend through Facebook, is putting together an anthology of short stories, poems etc...and you didn't need to be a published writer, so I put pen to paper, and have sent off two shorts. Well one is so short, not even sure if it counts as a short. Anyway, it is sat there waiting to be read. I shall know later in the year, so will keep you posted.

In the meantime I am going to just jot notes about events I have been to, poems, ideas, and chat on here...in this corner...and if you would like to come visit, please do.

so here goes, the sharing part.

I wrote this back in October. I did add it to my blog page on Facebook, but shall re write it here.

 

You walked along the deserted beach

Found me nestling in the sand

I caught your eye

You picked me up, held me high.

Saw me glisten in the sunlight.

Clouds scudded across the sun.
 

It was then you saw my flaws

My darkened Soul,

You had been holding me too long

I got jaded, you got weary.


It was then that you splayed your fingers

let me fall

like the grains of Sand where you first found me.

Oct 2016.

Do not analyse, or wonder where it came from. I have no clue.....