Monthly Archives: October 2020

Coral McCallum

Coral McCallum has worked hard to develop her indie author brand. Read more about the importance of social media and which marketing methods don’t work well. 1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it? It’s been about eighteen months since we last spoke. […]

Coral McCallum

This week it’s been all about Book Baby 6..

This week it’s been all about the creativity and the word count.

Normal blog service will resume next week

Author Newsletter..No. 9..slightly later than planned….

Apologies, folks, I appear to have lost track of time and it’s been way too long since I posted a newsletter update.

I’ll blame the fact that 2020 feels as though it’s been one long month since mid-March and there doesn’t seem to be many signs of improvement. C’est la vie!…

Now, where were we?

On the creative front, I’ve been working diligently on Book Baby 6 aka Long Shadows and revealed the cover on my blog on 1st October. Missed the big unveiling? No worries, here’s a reminder:

And, as promised, I also shared a sneak peek inside back in July

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2020/07/28/a-timely-reminder-and-a-sneak-peek-into-book-baby-6/

I’m currently in the home strait with the first draft of Long Shadows and hope to have the first draft completed by the end of November, keeping me on track (by the skin of my teeth) for the planned  publication date early in 2021. Patience. All will be revealed in due course.

Over the summer months I continued to have fun with some acrostic poetry

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2020/08/10/resilience-an-acrostic-poem/

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2020/06/29/lockdown-an-acrostic-poem/

Months of living in lockdown gave me time to reflect on the things that in future I won’t take for granted and I shared those thoughts on my blog in late June (seems a lifetime ago now)

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2020/06/23/ill-never-take-some-things-for-granted-again/

Since we last caught up, I celebrated a “milestone” birthday and was surprised with the most fantastic birthday cake. Check this out! It was incredible and delicious!

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2020/07/13/happy-to-eat-my-own-words/

Last time out I told you about The Gingerbread Tea House and their fabulous book exchange.  The owner has put her own lockdown time to good use and has now published her first novel, Chasing Butterflies, with her second, The China Doll,  due for release on 14 November. I caught up with Nicole Thorne earlier this month on my blog

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2020/10/19/introducing-fellow-indie-author-nicole-thorne/

Like many, I have found 2020 challenging on many different levels. One wise woman in the organisation I work for said a few months back (and I paraphrase) – “don’t think of it as enduring things. Think of it as making history.” And I guess she’s right. Each and every one of us has helped to write history this year and who knows we may still be “making history” well into 2021. Time will tell on that one.

For now, I’ll leave you with a reminder of my mantra. This really has kept me forging forwards this year.

Stay safe, folks

Love n hugs

Coral

PS – don’t forget to check out the Silver Lake series and Ellen. If you’ve read them and loved them, tell your friends 🙂

Book links:

Silver Lake series

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

Ellen

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

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

Stronger Within – book one in the Silver Lake series…come inside and meet Silver Lake

While the adults chatted, Becky used the kid’s entertainment pack to keep herself amused. After a time, Lori noticed that the little girl was quieter than usual.

“What are you drawing?” she asked softly, leaning over to take a look.

“Daddy and my Silver Lake uncles,” replied the little girl seriously. “But I can’t draw the music.”

With a flash of inspiration, Lori showed the little girl how to draw a variety of music notes. Soon the page and several napkins were covered in their doodles.

“Having fun, girls?” enquired Rich, lifting one of the napkins.

Lori laughed, “Yes. Do you want to keep that one?”

“A Lori original,” he teased grinning mischievously. “Will you autograph this original artwork please?”

Without realising what she’d done, Lori signed her flamboyant Mz Hyde signature and passed it back. Rich looked at it, then at her then at Jake.

“Mz Hyde?” he asked, eyes wide. “THE Mz Hyde?”

Lori smiled and nodded slowly.

“Jesus!” cried Rich. “You did our album artwork!”

“Yes,” replied Lori. “I did. That’s what you do to help out a friend or to say thank you or both.”

“I paid a fortune for a signed print of your last album artwork!”

“Well, you better take good care of that napkin, then, Rich,” said Lori softly, mischief twinkling in her blue eyes. “It’s an original.”

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

#SilverLakeseries #StrongerWithin #ImpossibleDepths #BondedSouls  #ShatteredHearts   #bookpromo #kindle #ebook   #romanceread #weekendread #bookworms #bookblogger   #beachread #Rehoboth #rockstar #rockmusic #beach #love #romance   #book #lovestory  #JakePower #SilverLake #amreading #ebooks #lovetoread  #indieauthor #fiction #contemporaryfiction #lovetoread #bookworms   #Amazon   #Kindlefiction #bookpromoishardwork  #ShatteredHearts #tellyourfriends 

Introducing fellow indie author Nicole Thorne

 Some of you may remember that earlier this year I featured The Gingerbread Tea House on my blog? No? You missed it?

Fear not…

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2020/03/16/fancy-a-good-book-with-that-coffee-and-cake/

And then the world went into lockdown……..

Nicole, however, has been a busy lady and, since our first catch up, has published not one but two novels.

So, I’d like to welcome her back to my blog to talk about what she’s been up to creatively this year.

I first “interviewed” you back in March, so how has life treated you so far in this crazy world that is 2020?

Wow! I don’t think either of us predicted how this year was going to pan out. What incredibly strange times we’re living in. I’ve been incredibly fortunate in that none of my loved ones have been badly affected by the virus itself. My 20 year old daughter thought she had the virus back in April, she had heart surgery as a baby so I always worry about her health, but she was fine. I own a cafe, so of course I had to close the business. I was closed for a couple of weeks, but then customers started contacting me and asking for afternoon tea. I ended up delivering afternoon teas and homemade scones all over Widnes. It’s been difficult from the point of view of my business. Not knowing if the business will survive and trying to decide what to do in the longer term is tough. Since we reopened though my customers have been amazingly supportive. The good will i have received has been heart-warming. I live in the North West and case numbers are high again. I’m waiting to find out over the next few days if we are going to be told to close again, but it’s simply a case of waiting and hoping we can weather the storm. Whatever happens I have lots to be thankful for. Lockdown gave me a little time to stop and think. I had been writing Chasing Butterflies for years. Lockdown gave me the chance to pull it all together and edit it before self-publishing. I also managed to start The China Doll before I reopened the business. Your debut novel Chasing Butterflies was published in May this year.

Your debut novel Chasing Butterflies was published in May this year. How did it feel holding your “book baby” in your hands and seeing your name on the cover?

Holding my own book was a dream come true. I have always dreamed of being an author. I have written bits and bobs all my life but completing Chasing Butterflies gave me an enormous sense of satisfaction.

Has Chasing Butterflies been well received? I see it currently has 5 stars on Amazon. Well done!

I have had some really great feedback for Chasing Butterflies. As with most creative people, I really lack self-confidence and I’m my own worst critic. My heart thumped in my chest as I read every word of every review, but i was really pleased with the feedback I got. Readers seemed to really engage with Hope’s story and rooted for her throughout the book.

Without giving any spoilers, what made you want to tell Helen’s story in The China Doll?

After I finished Chasing Butterflies, Helen was still in my thoughts. As a mother myself I felt for her. I really felt that there was more of her story to tell. She was such a damaged character, it seemed a disservice to her not to tell her story and explain how she became so fragile.

Tell me a bit about your approach to your writing. Are you a meticulous planner or do you tend towards letting your characters go with the flow?

My approach to Chasing Butterflies was very different to my approach to The China Doll. I wrote Chasing Butterflies over the course of 5 years. I wrote, rewrote, changed and edited along the way. I wrote scenes as they came to me and didn’t have so much of a plan. With The China Doll, I had a much more linear approach. I set myself word counts for each week and tried to stick to my plan as much as possible. I did deviate in places, but the story was more evolved in my mind before I started to write.

Where’s your favourite place to write?

I own a cafe where we have a book exchange. Following the pandemic we put in bookcases to separate tables. During quiet times I can be found sat at a table in the corner, hiding behind a bookcase and typing away. At home I sit in the lounge on my sofa with a chaise lounge. I put my laptop on my knee and become immersed in the story I am creating. My husband Sean sits with me, often practicing his guitar playing while I’m working.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

I guess the best advice I have been given would be that you can’t edit a blank page. I was terrible when writing Chasing Butterflies for revisiting the same scene again and again to edit it. It really slowed my writing down.

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors out there?

Set yourself weekly word count targets. Keep your targets realistic. Don’t compromise on quality over the quantity of words.

So, what’s next creatively? Are you working on anything else just now?

I’ve started my next project. It’s a stand alone book and not part of the Secrets and Lies series, although I do plan to return to those characters in the future. My next book “My Friend Bill” is the story of Jack. His parents were killed in a car accident when he was a baby and he was brought up by his somewhat resentful grandmother. Feeling unloved and unwanted, Jack develops an unlikely friendship with Bill. But who is Bill and why is he drawn to Jack?

Thanks, Nicole. Can’t wait to meet Bill and Jack!

I was fortunate enough to be given an ARC copy of The China Doll by Nicole Thorne and I loved every word of it.

The prequel to Chasing Butterflies, The China Doll tells the back story of Hope’s mother, Helen. Without giving any spoilers away, if you’ve read Chasing Butterflies, it answers a lot of the unasked questions and makes sense of the past.

If you’ve not read Chasing Butterflies then you’ve time to read book one in this Secrets and Lies series before The China Doll is published on 14 November 2020.

Nicole’s writing is vivid as she paints the scenes in this second book in the series. You can hear the seagulls and smell the salt in the Cornish air. Like the sea itself, this story draws you in and leaves the reader captivated by its beauty. There’s a fragility to this tale but also a huge amount of inner strength to the characters. Both books are making we want to travel to Cornwall and remind myself of its rugged beauty.

Great read! Well done, Nicole.

And if you missed my review of Nicole’s debut novel Chasing Butterflies..

I was drawn into Hope’s story right from the start and my heart immediately went out to her as her world falls apart around her. Chasing Butterflies is well written and, in some respects, flits about like a butterfly as the reader is drawn into Hope’s present and gradually enlightened about her past. No spoilers but I loved how past and present eventually entwine.

You can find both books on Amazon-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nicole-Thorne/

https://www.amazon.com/Nicole-Thorne

You can also catch up with Nicole herself on Facebook-

https://www.facebook.com/NicoleThorneAuthor

When the hand of friendship gets bitten, chewed up and spat back out…..

The above quote appeared in my Facebook news feed the other day. Its appearance was spookily timely….

A day or two before I stumbled across it, I had occasion to reach out to an old friend. For the purposes of this blog, it doesn’t matter who or why, but this old friend has played quite an important role in my world in the past. They still held a special place in my heart.

Admittedly, over time, we had lost touch, but it takes two adults to keep the flame of friendship kindled. Initially, around 17 years ago, I had tried repeatedly. I’d sent occasional messages, I’d sent birthday greetings to them, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year messages but they were largely ignored, and our worlds drifted further apart as their silence grew louder.

I thought long and hard before reaching out to them last week but life’s too short sometimes in my book to waste time. So, having found a number for them still nestled in the contacts on my phone, I sent s short friendly message asking them to get in touch. (There was also an apology included in case I was disturbing a complete stranger in the event the number was no longer theirs.)

I wasn’t emotionally prepared for the short message chain that followed. Their wording was very “cold”. They told me I’d need to do better than that then said I’d only got in touch after nearly twenty years because I wanted something and why should they jump to help me.

I never asked or implied I wanted help or anything else other than to try to re-kindle that flame of friendship.

I was hurt by their assumption that I wanted something. For those who actually know me, you’ll appreciate that that’s not my style! I was made to feel as though I’d been about to ask for their life savings!

Now, I acknowledge that I can be a sensitive soul, but their hostile reaction left me broken and in tears.

I sent a final message saying to let it go, I wasn’t looking for anything and was merely, in good faith, trying to reconnect with them. I apologised for disturbing their day.

As the second half of the quote says, “Our lives are made up of so many people and when people become parts of our lives some parts remain long after they leave.”

This friends introduced me to some of my favourite authors, introduced me to new music that all these years later I still listen to, they danced with me at my own wedding and were one of the first visitors when we brought Boy Child home from the hospital as  a newborn baby. All very important personal memories…sadly all now tarnished thanks to the reaction my innocent, well intended message received.

I’d hate for anyone to be left feeling the way I’ve felt over this sorry incident. So, please remember, friendship – true friendship- doesn’t come with an expiry date. In this case it appears to have had a “best before” date and it seems that’s long since passed.

Their loss…

(credits to the owner of the image -source from Facebook)

Autumn – an acrostic poem

Autumn colours swathe the world

Uncertain times still upon us

Time for resilience

Unknowns…so many unknowns lie ahead

More than I care to contemplate

Now to watch and wait to see what Autumn brings

Can I interest you in a book for the weekend?

When she came out of the restaurant a few minutes later, Jake was standing waiting for her beside the truck. He was smiling and looked every inch the rock star with his tight black jeans, loose black shirt and long blonde hair. Everything about him was the polar opposite to her previous boyfriends. Well, it was time she had a bit of fun she guessed, as she reached the truck. As he lifted her up onto the seat, he leaned forward and kissed her gently on the forehead. She lifted her face and brushed a gentle kiss onto his cheek.

“Thanks for dinner.”

“Pleasure,” said Jake, closing the door gently.

Lori noticed the half full bottle of wine was sitting in the centre console storage box. She also caught sight of a guitar case behind the driver’s seat.

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

#SilverLakeseries #StrongerWithin #ImpossibleDepths #BondedSouls  #ShatteredHearts   #bookpromo #kindle #ebook   #romanceread #weekendread #bookworms #bookblogger   #beachread #Rehoboth #rockstar #rockmusic #beach #love #romance   #book #lovestory  #JakePower #SilverLake #amreading #ebooks #lovetoread  #indieauthor #fiction #contemporaryfiction #lovetoread #bookworms   #Amazon   #Kindlefiction #bookpromoishardwork  #ShatteredHearts #tellyourfriends  

And without further ado….

And without further ado, allow me to reveal the cover of Book Baby 6 aka Long Shadows.

Long Shadows is the fifth and final book in the Silver Lake series.

Publication is set for early 2021. Pre-order details to follow nearer the time.

If you’ve missed the start of the Silver Lake series – where have you been?

No, seriously, if you’ve not been introduced to Jake and Lori and all things Silver Lake, there’s plenty of time to catch up.

Here’s the links:

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

To those Silver Lakers amongst you….patience. Long Shadows will be with you soon.