Have you met Jake and Lori?

Jake watched her from the distant vantage point of the boardwalk. He had headed for the beach after the end of his shift at the pizza parlour. It had been a roughday and he had decided to walk off his black mood before heading to meet the guys. The last thing they needed was him turning up in a foul mood, stinking of tomato sauce and cheese. He had walked to the south end of the promenade and had just turned back when he saw the girl walking down on the sand. It was the sun catching the golden highlights in her hair that had attracted his attention. He never noticed her crutches at first. Watching from a distance, he had kept pace with her, then stopped to watch as she turned towards the boardwalk. When he saw her stumble, he regretted not following his instincts and going down to walk on the sand with her.

“Shit,” he muttered. “Shit.”

There were no breaks in the fence nearby, so he jumped over the wooden palings into the dune grass and ran towards her, sand immediately filling his shoes. By the time he was close enough to call out to her, she was sitting up and looked to be unhurt. He almost turned away but decided against it and continued to walk down the beach.

“Hi,” he called out. “Are you ok?”

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

Long Shadows – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RR1FGLG

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

Long Shadows – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08RR1FGLG

An Inky Elephant’s Tale

Some of you know, some of you don’t, but I have two, usually well-hidden, tattoos.

Yes, I know I wrote a blog on here about seven years ago about whether to ink or not but, in my defence, in that blog I did say “never say never.”

Moving swiftly on to January 2020 and I had this wee guy added. (Thanks to @tubithetattooer)

Cute, isn’t he?

There’s a tale behind him that I thought I’d share with you.

His tale begins back in 2016 when I decided that I was going to be a big brave girl and travel on my own to Nottingham to see a band called Alter Bridge play live. (Anyone who knows me personally knows what a big deal that was for me.) I decided to go the whole hog and bought the VIP Meet and Greet package. The show was the day before front man, Myles Kennedy’s birthday so I decided to buy him a small gift. He has two majestic elephants inked on his chest (incidentally, the prompt for the original blog post back in 2015 about tattoos). I chose a small silver elephant charm on a cord to give him as a gift. When I bought it, I actually bought two of them and kept one for myself.

When the moment came during the meet and greet, I rather shyly passed over my card and gift, wished Myles a happy birthday for the next day and genuinely thought that that would be the last I ever saw of the elephant. Let’s face it- why would a rock star give such a small gift a second thought? I mean…come on!

Wrong!

A few short hours later as I stood leaning on the rail, Myles emerged on stage wearing the elephant necklace. My night was made! He’d not only actually opened the gift but had cared enough to wear it…and he continued to wear it for the rest of the tour and again in 2017 for Alter Bridge’s appearance at Shiprocked.

I’ve no idea what became of that one. I’d love to know. I’d like to think he still has it.

My wee elephant though came to symbolise a few things for me. He reminds me of the confidence I found to make that trip to Nottingham, reminds me of the friends I made that day, reminds me of Myles himself and an awesome gig. In general, it reminds me of happy days.

Move on to 2019 and, sparing you the details, I had a bit of a health scare thing that rumbled on for more months than my nerves would have liked. In an effort to keep those nerves at bay, I wore my wee elephant to all my appointments. He became my good luck charm, my “All Ends Well” talisman. Wearing him reminded me of good times. He made me smile.

I decided during that journey, much to The Big Green Gummi Bear’s disgust, that I would get him tattooed on the inside of my right ankle so that he was always with me. That wee elephant became my symbol of strength, health, and happiness. (Yes, I was wearing him as the tattoo was done.)

Now, after two years of living in this Covid ransacked world and of dealing with the various curve balls life has thrown my way, he’s still there (obviously) to remind me not only of better times but that I have the strength to handle whatever comes my way.

I read somewhere that there’s an inscription on an ancient Greek tablet that reads, “Plato told me that everything I need to know about life can be seen in elephants.”

There’s a lot of truth in that.

Want to spend the weekend at the beach with a hot rock star for free?

Hi. I’m Jake. I don’t believe we’ve met yet.

If you fancy spending a few days at the beach and feel like listening to some good music 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

Long Shadows – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RR1FGLG

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

Long Shadows – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08RR1FGLG

And the title of Book Baby 7 is……

One year, one month, one week and one day after I first put pen to paper I am thrilled (excited and terrified) to reveal that Book Baby 7 is…… Riley.

All things going to plan, Riley will be published during Autumn 2022.

Woman – an acrostic poem for International Women’s Day

Who am I?

Or who do you think I am?

Meandering through life

Achieving quiet recognition as I go

Now comfortable in my own skin.

Looking for a new book boyfriend this weekend?

The weekend is the ideal time to find a new book boyfriend 😉💖🎶

Introducing the Silver Lake series. From their first encounter on the beach in Rehoboth Beach, DE, Jake Power and Lori Hyde form a strong bond. Stronger Within (the first song Jake writes for Lori) sees their friendship and relationship blossom as well as the career of rock band Silver Lake taking off. There are tears and heartbreak for Jake and Lori and the Silver Lake family in Impossible Depths (named after Silver Lake’s second album) before there are tears of joy and happiness in Bonded Souls (another beautiful Jake Power ballad). Emotions and relationships share a roller coaster ride in Shattered Hearts (the title track from Silver Lake’s fifth album). Will Jake and Lori find their happy ever after or will Long Shadows (possibly a Jake Power solo song) be cast? Read the series to find out.

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

Long Shadows – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RR1FGLG

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

Long Shadows – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08RR1FGLG

Happy World Book Day 2022!

The first Thursday in March is World Book Day in the UK and Ireland. (It’s celebrated on 23rd April across the rest of the world).

Books have played a huge role in my life ever since I was a wee girl. The childhood dream was to become an author when I grew up and to see my name on the cover of a book. (The growing up bit never happened – that’s bad for you!) It is a dream that I have been fortunate enough to see come true.

I’m an avid reader with wide and varied tastes. Yes – I have been known to buy books just because I liked the cover. (The same philosophy has been applied to choosing wine too- love a good label!)

As an indie author, I am a keen supporter of reading fellow indie authors’ work. As an indie author, I can totally appreciate the hours of blood sweat and tears that go into each book.

So, to honour 25 years of World Book Day, I thought I’d share 25 random book related “facts”-

1- I write all of my first drafts longhand. That’s a lot of notepads and pens!

2- I love a book with a “good” house in it. (My mother shares the same love) The house in several of Anita Shreve’s books is the perfect example.

3- The book I have gifted most often is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Love it!

4- I introduced my Wee Gran to the delights of reading when she was about 80 years old. She started off reading my Enid Blyton books before graduating to Mills & Boon once my mum got her some library tickets. She loved a good doctor/nurse romance.

5-I read Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg to my kids so often I could recite the whole book from start to finish word perfect. “Each peach pear plum, I spy Tom Thumb……” Precious memories.

6- My aunt introduced me to Dr Seuss by reading me The Cat In The Hat when I was 4 years old, creating a lifelong love of Dr Seuss. (Yes, I even have Dr Seuss Converse)

7-When I was in high school and we were “told” read a book for our exams, I never read any of them until my senior year. Recommend a book to me but please don’t tell me to read one. It doesn’t work! ( For the record I got A’s in my English exams)

8- I was 42 years old when I sat down to start writing the story that evolved into the Silver Lake series and was 44 years old before I found the courage to publish it. It’s never too late to chase down that dream.

9- Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien is the best written book I have ever read (in my humble opinion.)

10- The last book that made me cry was It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover.

11- I love Paulo Coelho and have read The Alchemist numerous times. My favourite though might be The Devil and Miss Prym.

12- Magic Kingdom For Sale. Sold by Terry Brooks remains one of my favourite fantasy novels. Questor Thews is an under-rated magician!

13- I cried when I held the first proof copy of Stronger Within in my hands. That was the dream come true moment. My name was actually on the cover of a real book!!!!

14- I read every night before I go to sleep.

15- Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt is another favourite. Must visit Savannah one of these days.

16- Writing the “blurb” for the back cover is the hardest part of a book to write. (Ask any indie author!)

17- If you hope to earn your fortune from writing books be prepared to be sorely disappointed. Royalties for the vast majority of indie authors would barely cover the cost of a coffee once a month.

18- There are approximately 7500 new books per day published on Amazon’s Kindle platform.

19- When I’m in the mood for a historical novel, my Go To’s are Barbara Erskine, Kate Mosse and Diana Gabaldon.

20- My Silently Watching serialised dark angel fiction started life as a bit of joke, having just finished reading Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni back in July 2014. Almost eight years later and its still going strong.

21- The first Stephen King I read was Firestarter.

22- My mother accidentally introduced me to the more “adult” side of fiction when I was 14. (something she has never lived down LOL) The book in question was Goodbye Janette by Harold Robbins.

23- I don’t have a favourite book – that’s a cruel choice for a book lover! There’s so many favourites!

24- I’ve self-published six books so far (with the love and support of my Infamous Five and my Cavalry) and I’m proud of every word.

25- You can never have too many books 🙂

Happy World Book Day 🙂

Save the date….

Watch this space for news about Book Baby 7……

Still Haven’t Found You – latest novel by Sarah M Reed

Just over a year ago I introduced indie author Sarah M Reed to you all. 

Did you miss it? Nevermind, here’s the link to that introduction:-

Introducing Sarah M Reed | Coral McCallum

On 11th February, Sarah released her latest novel Still Haven’t Found You.

To quote the book’s description –

He is what her dreams are made of, but she is the one he never saw coming…

After Cade Lawson is discharged from the Army, he comes home with more than just physical scars. Losing his best friend, Blue, was like losing a limb, and he doesn’t know how to move forward. Isolating himself from others, he vows to keep his solitude for the rest of his days. Until she comes along and ruins his plans…

No stranger to grief herself, Clara Stewart has been on a quest to find the mysterious stranger haunting her dreams for nearly a year. When she finally finds him, he is nothing like what she expected. A giant of a man, Cade is gruff and unapproachable, but Clara persists, believing in a bigger purpose behind their meeting. As they discover how their lives are inexplicably intertwined in more ways than one, they begin to realize how they each may be the only one who can truly save the other…

A slow burn, brooding romance about love, loss, and starting over, with a guaranteed happily ever after.

This book does not disappoint!

I found myself with several hours of reading time last Saturday night and devoured this book more or less in one sitting. No spoilers from me, but very quickly I was invested in both main characters. This is a slow burning romance as Sarah describes in her blurb but the chemistry is clear for all to see from the very first time Cade and Clara meet. That smouldering chemistry is the key to the success of this tale. Sarah’s description of Cade’s home also captivated me. I could see myself there!

On a personal level there were aspects of Clara that tugged at my heartstrings; there were aspects of Cade that tugged at my heartstrings. The main thing though is that they were both believable characters who by the final scenes felt more like friends than fictional characters.

Loved it! Can’t wait to read Aaron’s story and see where that one leads.

This book gets 5 * from me

If you don’t believe me, you can check out Still Haven’t Found You and Sarah’s other novels on Amazon worldwide.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarah-M-Reed

https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-M-Reed

Snowdrops – an acrostic poem

Silently meandering

No one watching or listening

Only the sounds of nature for company

Wondering what is to come…

Daydreaming of long light summer nights

Reflecting on the dark days of winter

Open to new possibilities

Praying for better days as I

Silently meander.