Monthly Archives: July 2020

A timely reminder and a sneak peek into Book Baby 6……..

 

This came up in my Facebook memories earlier today…… it was a timely reminder.

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My primary creative focus these days is Book Baby 6. I have a date in mind that I would like the first draft completed by and it’s going to take all my self-discipline to meet that deadline. It doesn’t get any easier with each passing book, trust me!

Want a sneak peek? No…. stop reading here. Yes….keep reading.

Just a little taste of things to come in early 2021……

 

Gazing out towards the empty stage, Jake took stock. A stool, a table and his four guitars were all in position. There were bottles of water on the table. A row of picks was slotted into the mic stand.

The houselights dimmed and the near sell-out crowd let out a loud cheer. Taking a deep breath, Jake watched for his cue then loped casually out on stage to a wall of cheers from the fans. Flashing a Power smile at them and at the assembled photographers, Jake lifted his guitar, checked the tuning and opened his support slot with an acoustic rendition of Silver Lake’s Dragon Song. In front of him, the fans along the rail were hanging on his every word.

“Good evening, Philly,” he said at the end of the first song.

A huge cheer surged back at him.

“Who’s excited to see Garrett Court tonight?”

Another huge roar hit the stage.

“This next song is another one from the Silver Lake vault. This is Depths.”

A few minutes later as he began Lady Butterfly, Jake saw Riley in the wings standing beside his brother waiting for her cue. He smiled at the height difference between them then noticed that Melody was standing beside Riley, holding her hand. So lost in thought was he that he almost messed up the final verse. Only a few die-hard Silver Lakers in the front row noticed his faux pas. He laughed and felt himself blush.

“Philly, I’d like you to welcome out on stage a very special, very talented, young lady now. Allow me to introduce you to the incredible Miss Riley Johnston!”

Confidently, Riley ran out to meet him, her freshly dyed green hair shining under the spotlights. Several of the fans along the rail had been at the Gramercy Theater show and, recognising Riley, cheered wildly for the young vocalist.

“Folks, this is Miles From Home,” called out Jake.

A second stool had been brought out along with a second mic stand. Nimbly, Riley hopped up on the stool and lifted the microphone from the stand. With a glance at Jake for reassurance, she prepared for their duet. The familiar intro to the Weigh Station classic rang out over the crowd. Keeping her voice low and husky, Riley began the first verse. By the time she reached the chorus, the fans were hanging on her every word. Just as they’d rehearsed, they traded verse and chorus then came together for the final verse.

“Sing this last chorus with us, Philly!” called out Riley, her confidence soaring.

It warmed Jake’s heart to hear the fans respond to the teenager’s request and he could see she was smiling beside him.

“Philadelphia!” roared Jake when the song ended, “Give it up for the awesome, Miss Riley Johnston!”

Jumping down from the stool, Riley took a bow then darted off stage amid thunderous cheers.

The stage lights dimmed long enough for one of the crew to remove the stool and mic stand.

“Folks, that girl’s the future,” said Jake as he slipped the Martin’s guitar strap over his head.

 

 

To be continued in Book 5 of the Silver Lake series.

 

Missed the first four? Plenty of time to catch up. Here’s the Amazon links to help you:

 

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

 

Amazon.co.uk links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

Have you been introduced to Ellen?

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“It’s fine, Rocky,” said Ellen, praying she sounded calmer than she felt. “Luke, I’ll make a deal with you. One error and I’m gone. One from you and the result’s the same. You go.”

 

Want to know more? Download  Ellen  today.

 

Amazon.com link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYHKR44

 

Amazon.co.uk link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FYHKR44

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The One Star Review…..

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So there it sat in all it’s horrific glory- a one star review on Amazon.com.

Well, to be fair, it had to happen one day. You’re never going to please everyone all of the time.

Then I re-read it…. and I re-read it again…. and then I burst into tears.

Ever since I first posted on this blog, way back in December 2013, I have been working on building my psychological resilience. Sharing the words that I write with people still scares me half to death. FACT! It’s a fear I’ve worked hard to overcome over the past six or seven years. To see my book baby described like that was heart breaking for me.

There are three ways that folk react when faced with an adverse situation. It’s known as the Cycle of Resilience. When faced with an adverse situation, folk might:

  • Erupt with anger
  • Implode with overwhelming emotions, go numb and then become unable to react.
  • Simply become upset about the situation.

Only option 3 promotes well-being. This is the approach taken by resilient people.  This is the approach I took. Options 1 and 2 lead to people playing the victim by blaming other people and to rejecting their usual coping mechanisms when faced with a difficult or challenging situation.

There have been numerous studies into psychological resilience and how to develop and sustain your own resilience. Long story short and  grossly simplified, there are four key factors to this:

  • The ability to make realistic plans and being capable of taking the steps necessary to follow through with them.
  • Confidence in your strengths and abilities
  • Communication and problem solving skills
  • The ability to manage strong impulses and feelings.

 

I walked away from the laptop until I had regained control of my emotions then calmly sat back down at the desk and re-read the review again, contemplating what to do.

The review in question was of Shattered Hearts and, to be truthful, it was vile. It was peppered with expletives. It was inaccurate in its description of the storyline. It misrepresented the book. It was offensive.

I slept on the issue then, the following morning, I reported it to Amazon. I did not request that it be removed. I merely reported it as being inappropriate and offensive due to the language used. If the review had been an honest reflection of the book I’d have left it where it was and taken the feedback on the chin.

Amazon removed it within a few hours. Whew!

But…. I know it was there. (I’ve no idea how many other people around the world read it but that’s not a point I dare contemplate for too long and I feel I should apologise if it offended anyone who had the misfortune to read it)

In all honesty it’s bothered my conscience that it was removed almost as much as it distressed me in the first instance when I read it. People are entitled to express their opinions  but it was the right thing to do  to report it to Amazon before it risked offending any prospective readers.

I’d be lying if I said that was an end to the matter. The whole thing has niggled for a few weeks now. It dented my self-confidence. It made me doubt my storytelling ability then I got it all back into perspective. I drew on my psychological resilience. I drew on my coping strategies.

I picked up my pen and went back to doing what I’d like to think I do quite well- I went back to writing and resumed work on Book Baby 6.

 

 

 

 

Have you seen the Silver Lake dragon?…

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His inbox was crammed full of unread mails – most of which were advertising junk. Before this infuriated him further, he tweaked his junk mail filters, then returned to his inbox. There was one email from Maddy that caught his attention. The subject heading was “Silver Lake album and merchandising artwork.” He opened the message, scanning the details about a band meeting scheduled for Friday to discuss the attachments. Jake opened the first of four attachments to reveal the three draft designs for the album cover, each significantly different. Instantly his eyes were drawn to the distinctive signature on the drawings. He opened the other three attachments and found a variety of other designs tagged as t-shirt proposals and miscellaneous. One proposed album design caught his eye – a dragon, with its wings spread out nestled inside an intricate Celtic knot. The twist of its tail reminded him of the Celtic trinity that was in the band’s logo. When had Lori found time to complete this portfolio? Why hadn’t she told him? Suddenly, he desperately wanted to talk to her, but it was four o’clock in the morning. Smiling for the first time since Monday, Jake reached for his phone and turned it on. A barrage of text alerts pinged through – he ignored them for now. Quickly he typed, “Love the designs. Love the Celtic dragon knot. Love you. J x”. He hit send.

 

(extract from Stronger Within, book 1 in the Silver Lake series)

 

If you want to read more then check out the Silver Lake series today

 

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

 

Amazon.co.uk links  –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Happy To Eat My Own Words…

I recently celebrated a “big birthday” as folk would say.

Personally, I felt it was the same size as the rest of them, lasted 24hrs and just happened to end in a 0.

For the curious among you, I turned 50.

I hadn’t given any thought as to what the Big Green Gummi Bear or Boy Child and Girl Child might have decided to do about a cake. In the run up to the occasion, I had said jokingly that I wasn’t buying my own birthday cake and Girl Child promised that she would bring a cake. The day before, as I was heading out to the supermarket, I did ask if I was to buy a cake and was told “No. Girl Child is bringing one.” And that was the last thought I gave it.

We’re not big on fancy cakes in this house. Birthdays are invariably celebrated with a “caterpillar cake” that the Big Green Gummi Bear steals all the smarties off before it’s been cut, regardless of whose birthday it is!

So the big day dawned (ok technically it was the day after the big day but that’s another story). I had been suitably spoiled rotten with gifts from friends and family when Girl Child asked “Are we doing cake now?”

This took me slightly by surprise. Cakes in this household are “done” after dinner and this was mid-afternoon.

A large white box was produced from its hiding place and set down on the dining table.

The lid was removed and sides carefully lowered to reveal the cake inside….and I promptly burst into tears. Happy, shocked, flabbergasted tears.

It was fabulous!

Don’t believe me, then have a look for yourselves.

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It really was the perfect cake!

 

For once in my life, I was happy to eat my own words!

 

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Huge thanks to the wonderful lady who created this masterpiece. (Thank you doesn’t seem enough, Susan)

You can check out her other creations here –

https://www.facebook.com/Soozys-Sweet-Things-272093586166971/?ref=br_rs

Just living is not enough…..

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Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.     

Hans Christian Anderson

Read more: https://www.wiseoldsayings.com/butterflies-quotes/#ixzz6RPtnN7DU

To celebrate 4th July – Stronger Within is free to download today …

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***** Happy 4th July *****

 

To celebrate 4th July, Stronger Within, book 1 in the Silver Lake series, is FREE to download to Kindle today.

 

If you haven’t met Jake Power yet, check him out. I think you’ll like him

 

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Amazon.co.uk links  –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

 

Looking for a new book boyfriend?

Actual cover pic

Looking for a new book boyfriend? Fancy meeting a hot rock star? Then meet Jake Power.

There’s the added bonus of a few days at the beach too.

 

check out the Silver Lake series today on Amazon

 

 

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

 

Amazon.co.uk links  –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

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