Opening Lines #YA #TuesdayBookBlog

I read a great post recently written by Cathy from Between the Lines book blog. Cathy shared some of the opening lines from books she’s read over the past twelve months that drew her in. It was a wonderful collection. You can read it HERE.

With the release of my new young adult urban fantasy book, Oath Breaker on the horizon (8th June 2017 with BHC Press) I thought I’d do a twist on Cathy’s post and share some of my favourite opening lines from YA fantasy books.

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Paper and Fire

Every day, Jess Brightwell passed the Spartan warrior statue on his way to and from his quarters. It was a beautifully made automaton, fluid and deadly, with a skin of burnished copper. It stood in a dynamic pose on its pedestal with a spear ready to thrust, and was both a decoration and a protection against intruders.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

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There will be no awakening.

The sleeping woman will feel nothing the next morning, only a vague sense of unease and the unshakable feeling that someone is watching her. Her anxiety will fade in less than a day and will soon be forgotten.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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After a year of slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point. Most of the thousands of slaves in Endovier received similar treatment – though an extra half-dozen guards always walked Celaena to and from the mines. That was expected by Adarlan’s most notorious assassin. What she did not usually expect, however, was a hooded man in black at her side – as there was now.

Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

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I stand at the edge of the crowded square, watching the executioners light the pyres. The two men, dressed for work in red cloaks and charred leather gloves, circle the narrow wooden platforms, their lit torches held high. At the top of each pyre, four witches and three wizards stand chained to a stake, bundles of wood heaped around their feet. They stare into the crowd, determined looks on their faces.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel

London, April 1878.

The demon exploded in a shower of ichor and guts.

Mythology by Helen Boswell

Mythology

We all have secrets. Skeletons that insist on hanging around no matter how hard we try to banish them. We hope they won’t rise up and clatter their bones at the wrong times or in front of the wrong people. Of course, there are the good kind of secrets too – the ones we eventually tell the people we care about. But most of the secrets out there are the real kind, the deep and dark kind. I would know. I can see them.

One Way Fare (Null City Book 1) by Barb Taub

One Way Fare

1972, Seattle

Gaby’s new employee handbook was clear: missing a client appointment was an excellent way to get fired. But it didn’t say a thing about breaking and entering. She’d checked. Over the past hour, she’d knocked, called, tried the house phone, paced and automatically straightened the paintings lining the elegant hallway of Seattle’s Olympic Hotel. Despite the muted voices from within the suite, the brass-bound double doors to the Presidential Suite remained closed.

Awake at Dawn (A Shadow Falls Novel) by C.C.Hunter

Awake at Dawn

“You have to stop it, Kylie. You have to. Or this will happen to someone you love.”

The spirit’s ominous words flowed from behind Kylie Galen and mingled with the crackle and pop of the huge bonfire about fifty feet to her right. The frigid pocket of air announced the spirit’s presence loud and clear, even if the words were only for Kylie’s ears and not for the other Shadow Falls campers standing in the ceremonial circle.

Guardians of the Lost Lands (The Guardian Series Book 3) by Shelley Wilson

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Claws scratched at the cold rock just inches from his bare feet. The twisted limbs of these tormented creatures snaked through the bars of his cell as they tried to reach him. Starved and beaten, the monsters craved his blood.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to add your favourite opening line in the comments below; it doesn’t have to be YA or fantasy.

Inspirational ABBA logoExciting news! I’ve been nominated for the Most Inspirational Blogger Award 2017 at the Bloggers Bash.

The criteria is: Who consistently inspires you? Is there a blogger that’s thought provoking and inquisitive? Or perhaps they have become a muse to you with constant provision of inspirational content or imagery? Who’s the one blogger that’s touched your heart? This is the nomination for them.

I would be eternally grateful if you could throw a vote my way – link HERE

 

The Soundtrack Of My Life #Music #MondayBlogs

The Soundtrack of my lifeMusic has always played a big part of my life. However, I’ve never really nailed down one particular genre, or artist that sums up the soundtrack of my life. I have a varied taste and will pretty much dance to anything!

When I spotted the ‘Soundtrack to My Life’ tag on Em Linthorpe’s blog I knew I wanted to give it a go. You can read Em’s music choices HERE.

Once I started to reminisce about my childhood and teenage years I came up with an eclectic mash of songs, but oh my goodness, it was so much fun to put it all together!

There is no format to this tag; you can list your favourite songs for every decade, follow a timeline of your life, or simply include your all-time favourites. I’ve decided to share the songs that made an impact on me at various times in my life.

My Earliest Music Memory

I was born in the early 70s, but it was the sounds of the sixties that I grew up listening to. My parents loved the Beatles, The Who, Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, and even good old Cliff Richard! Even now, forty-odd years later our family dinners are always accompanied by Cat Stevens, Buddy Holly, or Manfred Mann.

The first song I remember vividly when I was a youngster was Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band, and it turned this little girl into a lifelong Beatles fan.

Naughty Boys in Nasty Schools

Singing along to a song about headmaster’s breaking all the rules, pulling hair and eating dirt was what the 80s was all about. Madness featured in my early school years, and I still get that foot-tapping joy when I hear this tune start.

The Tween Times

The term ‘tween’ is relatively new and covers the years where ten to twelve-year-olds think they know it all! Being a tween in the 80s was no different, but at least we had neon leg warmers, permed hair, and the Wham Rap!

Teenage Tantrums

I hated being a teenager. I was awkward and gangly (the downside of shooting up to 5ft 10inches in height at 14!), but I do remember the discos. A local nightclub by Birmingham airport opened its doors on a Thursday night for local school kids. It was fabulous! Kids poured to Blazers from all over Birmingham, and we danced, laughed, and hooked up with guys and gals from other schools.

I’m pretty sure the song choices would have included Dead or Alive (You Spin Me Round), Starship (Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now), INXS (Need You Tonight), Pet Shop Boys (It’s a Sin), and New Order (Blue Monday).

My love of all things purple began during my late teens, and I always remained a devoted Prince fan.

My Twenties Weren’t a Calm Oasis

My twenties were all about getting married and having my kids. Oasis dominated these years, and my favourite song will always be Wonderwall.

Although this next song came out in 1979, its title was totally perfect for the next period in my life. 2004 was a time of great turmoil, emotion, and fear as I left my abusive marriage and became a single mum to three small children, but it was also the start of a fabulous new life.

Since then I’ve embraced every genre of music from Guns and Roses to Adele, and I love it all.

Music really does feed the soul.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to do a ‘Soundtrack to My Life’ post on your own blog, then go ahead. Feel free to tag me in so I can take a look.

 

Inspirational ABBA logoExciting news! I’ve been nominated for the Most Inspirational Blogger Award 2017 at the Bloggers Bash.

The criteria is: Who consistently inspires you? Is there a blogger that’s thought provoking and inquisitive? Or perhaps they have become a muse to you with constant provision of inspirational content or imagery? Who’s the one blogger that’s touched your heart? This is the nomination for them.

I would be eternally grateful if you could throw a vote my way – link HERE.

#FilmReview Their Finest #WWII #Drama #Romance

Their Finest Film Review 4*

Their Finest

I took my place in the cinema and eagerly awaited the start of director, Lone Scherfig’s latest release, Their Finest based on the book Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans.

I confess I haven’t read the book. I was drawn to this film because I’m a huge fan of Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy and having these two actors in the same picture is bound to be a treat! Continue reading “#FilmReview Their Finest #WWII #Drama #Romance”

You’re Never Too Old to be a Daddy’s Girl #familylife #SundayBlogShare

My name’s Shelley and I’m a daddy’s girl!

I’m incredibly fortunate to have a strong bond with my dad, and over the years he has provided me, and my three children, with more support, guidance, and love than anyone could ever wish for.

Dad celebrated a ‘big’ birthday yesterday. He told me that seventy is the new fifty and he’s sticking with that!

His humour has evolved over the years to put even the most cutting comedian to the test, his fitness levels continue to surpass anyone twenty years his junior, and his striking resemblance to Sean Connery continues to be a talking point for all bar owners up and down the Mediterranean coast. Continue reading “You’re Never Too Old to be a Daddy’s Girl #familylife #SundayBlogShare”

Does Everyone Have a Book in Them? #selfpublishing

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At the beginning of March, I attended the Women In Business Conference in Coventry hosted by the team at Socially Shared. I wrote about the day over on my motivational blog; you can read that post HERE.

As well as attending this empowering event, I was also honoured to run a couple of the afternoon workshop sessions on the topic of self-publishing. Getting me to talk about writing, publishing, or books, in general, is an easy thing to do, but trying to shut me up can be quite a challenge. As it happens, I had forty-five minutes per session to share my knowledge, experience, and tips with my audience, so keeping it brief was a necessity.

Normally, when I attend various fairs and author talks throughout the year, I am inundated with people telling me how they would love to write a book. Some people are still shaping an idea, others have begun getting their story down on paper, and a few have reached the stage where publication is the next step. At the self-publishing workshops, there were only two ladies who were thinking about or had started to write. I was initially surprised by this feedback, but the more we got into the session, the more I realised how difficult it could be for people to know how or where to start.

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As I write non-fiction, it was easy to base my talk on writing to enhance your business. My first two books were based on personal development classes I ran as part of my holistic health business; Meditation for Beginners and Vision Boards for Beginners.

Choosing a section of your business and turning this into a guidebook, a how-to book, or even a memoir can add another income stream to your company. It also works the other way too, as I am now asked to run talks and workshops based on my book How I Changed My Life in a Year.

Talking through the process of publishing via platforms such as KDP, Smashwords, Lulu, and Createspace showed my attendees how easy the procedure could be. We didn’t discuss dominating the best seller lists, or hitting huge sales targets; this workshop concentrated more on writing a book to use as a promotional funnel, sales tool, or a corporate giveaway.

I was delighted at the end of my sessions, to hear the majority of the ladies tell me how inspired they were to write. I was equally excited about the ideas they had unlocked throughout the forty-five minutes I’d been talking.

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Does everyone have a book in them? Yes, I believe that’s true. I’m also fully aware that not everyone has the skill, time, or desire to write. However, it only takes one idea. A concept that can be cultivated into something wonderful, even if it means employing a ghost writer to pen a book with you.

I thoroughly enjoyed running both workshops and received incredible feedback during and after the event. I hope to continue to support the ladies who were inspired, and hopefully, in the future, run more self-publishing and writing workshops.

The photographs included in this post were taken by the event photographer, Faye Green. You can find Faye on Facebook HERE.

Let me leave you with a couple of questions. For the authors – is there a book you long to write but haven’t started yet? For the novice writers – do you believe you have a book in you, and if so what genre would you like to write for?

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

‘Connections’ What does that mean to you? #BloggersBash

Last year I was overjoyed to win the Most Inspirational Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash. I don’t think I stopped grinning for six months! The Bash returns this June, and I’ve already booked my train ticket. Spending the day with fellow bloggers is the highlight of my year.

The Bash has grown in popularity, and as such, it’s going to be bigger and better. For example, this year there’s a Blogger Bash Comp, where we can submit a blog post on the theme of Connections. Never one to pass up on competitions, challenges, and blogging, I’m delighted to share my entry.

‘Connections’ What does that mean to you?

What does the word connections mean to you? For me, it’s that spark of interest among like-minded people, the butterflies in your tummy when you’re with the one, and the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when your kids tell you they love you.

Meaningful connections also exist in the virtual world. I’ve been active on social media for many years, and so my online connections continue to grow. I love the spider web effect of linking up with an interesting character only to find they know your great aunt Maud, or went to University with your brother, or even live next door to your cat sitter! We are all linked in one way or another, and that’s a beautiful thing.

Social media gets a bad rap at times, but once you strip away the trolls, the nutters, and the emotional vampires, you’re left with a ton of special people who delight and enrich your day.

The blogging community is the perfect platform to connect with people from all areas of the globe, with a host of interests. I’ve ‘met’ food bloggers, lifestyle, health, and happiness bloggers. I interact on a daily basis with book bloggers, writers’ and artists. My connections include photographers, witches, painters, and chefs. Travel bloggers fill my head with exciting plans, fashion bloggers teach me to avoid double denim and opt for ugly pants (it’s a thing!).

I learn something new every single day thanks to these connections. I’ve laughed along with them, cried at times, and even offered my advice where needed, but what do I get in return? I get the collective support of connectedness.

No matter how your day or week plays out, there will always be someone on the other end of that invisible current who can boost your confidence, make your day, support your business, or offer a kind word. That’s what connections means to me – the beauty of being able to call on friends, new and old, who live inside my laptop. The voices of reason I hear late at night, and the cheerful chatter I enjoy early in the morning.

Connections can be made far and wide, online, or in person. Each one is special, unique, and appreciated. So, as I prepare to travel down to London and once again participate in the Blogger Bash, I know that my day will be spent in the company of people I love and respect. I’ll mingle with folk who will know what I’m talking about when I mention plugins and understand when I tell them about my failing eyesight due to excessive screen time.

If you do one thing today, make sure it involves connecting with someone. Spend some time chatting with a friend over a choccie mochaccino or message a fellow blogger through Twitter or Facebook. Send a note to someone on the other side of the world wishing them a good morning as you climb into your pyjamas or pop round to an elderly neighbour with a bunch of flowers.

Connections are what we make of them. Nourish the relationships that come into your life and share the love, laughter, and happiness. After all, none of us are getting out alive!

Images: Meeting SuzieSpeaks81, Kim Nash, Lucy Mitchel and Sacha Black, Carol Hedges, Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team, Book Connectors: Linda Hill, Mark West, and Elaina James. Terry Tyler, Mark Barry, Rosie Amber, Julia Proofreader, Georgia Rose, Cathy Ryan.

Grab your ticket for the Blogger Bash 2017 HERE.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

 

Get to Know Me Tag #Author #Blogger #SundayBlogShare

Huge thanks to @TraciYorkWriter for tagging me in on this fun feature, you can read Traci’s post HERE. I’ve enjoyed reading a few of these posts and learning more about my favourite bloggers, so I was delighted to be handed the opportunity to join in.

Get to Know Me Tag:

Share Your Profile Picture

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Who are you named after?

My dad knew he was going to call me Shelley (if I was a girl) as soon as mum found out she was pregnant. He didn’t tell anyone (even mum) just in case someone pinched his idea! He also chose the extra ‘e’ variety of Shelley (not Shelly!) just like Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Do you like your handwriting?

Oh god, no! Years ago I had lovely handwriting, but then I discovered the beauty of typing my manuscripts directly onto the screen. This time-saving tactic was responsible for the demise of my curly script. If I write anything now, it looks like a two-year-old wrote it!

What’s your favorite lunch meat?

That would be chicken, preferably with crisp salad and lashings of mayonnaise.

Longest relationship.

I’m assuming this means romantic relationship rather than the forty-five years I’ve known my parents! Okay, that would be eight years (seven married), and there was nothing romantic about it!!

Do you still have your tonsils?

Yep

Would you bungee jump?

The extrovert me would say ‘hell yeah!’ to this question as I think it would be great fun (done over water in case the bungee snapped). However, the introvert me would run and hide.

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

The only shoes I wear with laces are my trainers, and the only time I wear my trainers is when I visit the gym. Therefore, no, I don’t untie them as I’m never in a fit state to bend over far enough to reach my feet after a gym session.

Favorite ice-cream?

Ooh, controversial answer alert – I don’t like ice-cream.

What’s the first thing you notice about people?

Randomly it’s their height. Only because I’m just under five foot eleven inches tall and it’s a constant challenge to stoop so I can hear what people are saying.

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Football or baseball?

I’m a Brit, so it’s got to be footy – Leeds United FC to be exact #MOT

What color pants are you wearing?

When I first read this question I was a bit shocked (how rude!), but then I remembered that these questions are American and ‘pants’ aren’t the same here as they are over the pond. So, in response, my ‘trousers’ are navy blue, and it’s none of your business what colour my ‘knickers’ are ha ha 😉

Last thing you ate?

Tea-cake (The biscuit base, marshmallow top, covered in chocolate kind that looks like a mini boob).

If you were a crayon what color would you be?

Yellow

Favorite smell?

My favourite smell is from when my children were little. It’s that clean baby smell when you’ve just bathed them. After that, it’s cut grass.

Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

The hospital receptionist – she was very lovely.

Hair color?

Original colour is Brown (now with a smattering of grey. Oh, who am I kidding! If I didn’t dye it I’d look like Helen Mirren!)  Dyed – Browny/red

Eye color?

Brown, or in my writer world, mocha!

Favorite food to eat?

Pizza! Pepperoni with stuffed crust is preferable but I’ll easily demolish any variety so long as there isn’t any pineapple on it – yuk.

Scary movies or happy endings?

I’m a bit of a horror fan, so a good scare is always welcome. However, I have a secret life as a chick flick fan where happy endings are mandatory, but shh, don’t tell anybody.

Last movie you watched?

Snow White and the Huntsman (can’t resist Chris Hemsworth).

Favorite holiday?

Summer. If there is a beach, sunshine, blue sea and a cloudless sky then it’s a favourite holiday. I’m also partial to the odd historical ruin.

Beer or wine?

Tee-total for three years so neither. I can make a mean mocktail mojito though 🙂

Night owl or early bird?

When I was younger, I was a night owl, but once I hit the big 4-0 my bedtime crept towards nine o’clock! I’m up just after six in the morning these days when once upon a time I would have been just getting in.

Favorite day of the week?

I’m a bit of a freak about this, but I do love Monday! It’s a ‘new beginning’ kind of day. The start of a fresh week full of possibilities – told you I was a freak.

Three or (four) favorite bloggers you want to learn more about?

Shaun from Clockwork Clouds

Matt (The Gay Step-dad) NB: I was too late nominating Matt as he already shared his Get to Know Me post – you can read it HERE.

Lucy from Blonde Write More

Terry Tyler – http://terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Who were the last three people to follow your blog?

Linda J. Wolff, Urban Poetry

Phil Taylor, The Phil Factor

Claire Huston, Art and Soul

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest