I write. I read. I review. #FridayReads #NonFiction #YA

Reading is a favourite hobby of mine, not just as a way to escape the daily grind but it also helps evolve my skills as a writer. It was Stephen King who told us “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others. Read a lot and write a lot.”

Losing yourself in a good book is the perfect way to relax and unwind. It’s thought that reading for just six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by 68%.

Sharing the wonderful books I’ve read and reviewed is the highlight of my blogging life. When a book touches my heart or reduces me to tears, makes me laugh out loud, or shudder with fear, then I know I’ve found a masterpiece. Continue reading “I write. I read. I review. #FridayReads #NonFiction #YA”

#BookReview Cursed Love Blues by Kate Wickens #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT

Title: Cursed Love Blues

Author: Kate Wickens

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Cursed Love Blues by Kate Wickens

My Review:

Cursed Love Blues has it all; gods and goddesses, lots of sex, music, and even vampires! The author doesn’t hold back with her descriptive prose, and this novel is, therefore, far from a clean read. Continue reading “#BookReview Cursed Love Blues by Kate Wickens #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT”

Review of the #SelfPublishing Conference hosted by @matadorbooks 

On a beautiful spring day in April, I joined approximately one hundred and twenty fellow delegates at the Stamford Court Conference Centre, the University of Leicester for the 5th Self-Publishing Conference hosted by Troubador Publishing.

Self Pub Conf 1

I had wanted to attend this conference for some years, but life stuff inevitably took over, and the date never worked. However, 2017 was the right fit, and I was eager to dive in and learn as much as I could. Continue reading “Review of the #SelfPublishing Conference hosted by @matadorbooks “

#BookReview Gathering Frost by Kaitlyn Davis #YA #TuesdayBookBlog #Dystopian

Title: Gathering Frost

Author: Kaitlyn Davis

Rating: 4 Star

Gathering Frost by Kaitlyn Davis

My Review:

Gathering Frost was a pleasant distraction from real life, exactly what I was searching for in a young adult fantasy book.

Following an earthquake, New York City merges with a fairy tale realm when a castle and its magic splinters through into the real world. Queen Deidre casts a spell over the land, feeding off the inhabitants emotions while keeping them subdued and, in effect, turning them into moving statues. Continue reading “#BookReview Gathering Frost by Kaitlyn Davis #YA #TuesdayBookBlog #Dystopian”

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”

Guest Post by @RSinclairAuthor #BlogTour @Bloodhoundbook

I’m delighted to host a guest post by popular author, Rob Sinclair as he tours the blog-o-sphere with his latest release, The Red Cobra.

Rob Sinclair Blog Tour

A typical writing day

When I was given the idea of writing a blog about what constitutes a typical writing day for me – about three weeks ago now – I was in a good run of form drafting my latest book. At that point I thought I new exactly what I’d write about; the process I go through to draft a new book. Now, though, three weeks later, I’m struggling a bit because I’m just not sure that ‘typical’ is really the right word to describe what I was going to say.

The answer I’d intended to give, and the one I often give to people when they ask about how I write a book, is this: Quite a long time ago I decided on setting myself a word target each day. 4,000 was the number I chose. I really can’t remember why now, perhaps it was from my first couple of drafts, a daily average I’d noticed emerging. Wherever it came from it stuck, and I’m still using that target now, in the middle on my eighth draft. Targets like that aren’t for everyone, but for me it’s a great motivator. When I hit the target it always give me a real sense of satisfaction, and it really helps to break down the writing process into manageable chunks. Starting on day one with 80,000 words left to write is really daunting, so just taking it one day at a time helps a lot. 4,000 words a day might sound a lot, but I’ve found it easily achievable when I’m in the zone, usually taking me 4-5 hours of solid writing, followed by 1-2 hours of read through.

You might compute, therefore, that if I write 4,000 words a day, for five days each week, aiming for a draft of 80,000 words, that I could write thirteen books a year!!? So why am I only planning on writing two this year? Well, firstly because of editing. 4,000 words a day is just my drafting stage. Before publication I’ll go back through a book maybe as many as ten times, editing and re-editing and sometimes re-writing. Each of those read throughs can take anywhere from a week to a month. Still, that should equate to more than two books, surely? Maybe three or four at least?

But then you need to factor in that BIG missing ingredient; life. And by that I don’t mean playing golf and watching movies (well, not just those two things, anyway)…

The thing is, I’m not just a writer, I’m a stay at home dad as well. I have two sons, six and four, and my wife works full time. I (usually happily) pick up virtually all the childcare duties during the working week, whether it be breakfast, school runs, dinner, bedtimes, school holidays, sick days, teacher training days etc etc. That right there is a big chunk of my available time in the working week gone. When there’s no pre or post school club for the kids to go to my working hours are immediately cut to 9am-3pm. Suddenly 4,000 words a day becomes a bit more of a challenge.

Then there’s everything else that comes with being in the house all day, everyday. Cooking, cleaning, washing, gardening. That’s just the usual stuff. Oh, last week we were burgled, so I spent a whole day the day after organising new locks and security upgrades and talking to insurance and the police. The week before we had a carpenter putting in some new doors so I spent three days afterwards painting and finishing everything off. Today I’m writing blogs for the blog tour of my upcoming release of The Red Cobra. I do my own taxes, and keep my own business records, which takes time all the time. We’re in the process of remortgaging, which I always think will be simple, but which never is, and I’ve lost count of how much time I’ve lost, sat listening to the same music on hold to the bank the last couple of weeks. My phone broke the other day, cue 3 hours trying to get the new phone I bought to take the iPhone back-up without any hitches. We had leaking pipes outside. I’ve tried my best to fix it all – still monitoring as to whether or not I managed it. Today we’ve got a leaking toilet! Guess that needs sorting tomorrow. Plus please don’t forget the very important ‘me’ time I allow myself every now and then; exercise, reading a book, watching a movie. Oh yeah, and it’s a lovely sunny day today, I think spring has arrived. I’m expecting the annual list of the jobs that need doing in the jungle… I mean garden, to come from my wife any day now. Walls will need to be built, or repointed. Patios slabs cleaned – probably grouted too. Paint will be needed out there somewhere. Trees and hedges cut. Lawns mowed. And there’s always LOTS of digging involved.

But please, don’t think I’m complaining about any of this. It’s the life I’ve chosen. I really enjoy being a writer, setting my own rules, and writing when I want to (and can), but at the same time keeping the house and family together, and having the time to do all of those odd jobs in and around the house to make sure weekends are still free for the wife and kids. Plus, at least I’m not stuck in an office all day, like I used to be, working to someone else’s agenda. I never got along with that.

Coming back to the main point, then, is that when I think about the question at hand here: What does my typical writing day look like? The best answer I can give is that there’s no such thing as a typical day for me. And that’s perhaps the thing I love about being a writer the most.

Rob Sinclair

Author Bio:

Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series of espionage thrillers featuring embattled agent Carl Logan, with over 200,000 copies sold to date. The Enemy series has received widespread critical acclaim with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.

Rob’s fourth book, the pulsating psychological thriller Dark Fragments, released by Bloodhound Books in November 2016, has been described as ‘clever’ and ‘chilling’ and an ‘expertly crafted’ story, and became an Amazon UK top 50 bestseller soon after its release.

Rob’s forthcoming James Ryker series follows on from the Enemy books, with the first novel, The Red Cobra, being released in April 2017.

Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.

Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.

Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.

Rob Sinclair Red Cobra final
Amazon UK | US

Book Description:

Carl Logan dedicated nearly twenty years of his life to the Joint Intelligence Agency. Now living in a secret location, under the new identify of James Ryker, he wants nothing more than to be left alone, the chance to start a new life away from chaos, violence, destruction and deceit.

It’s not long, however, before Ryker’s short-lived idle is destroyed when he is tracked down by Peter Winter, his ex-boss at the JIA. Winter brings with him news of the murder of a woman in Spain, Kim Walker, whose fingerprints match those of one of Ryker’s former adversaries who’s been missing presumed dead for years – an infamous female assassin known as the Red Cobra.

A cyberattack at the JIA led to the Red Cobra’s profile being compromised, and Winter believes JIA agents may now be at risk too, Ryker included. But Ryker knew the elusive Red Cobra better than anyone, and when he sees the grisly pictures of Kim Walker’s corpse, he has news for Winter – she isn’t the assassin at all …

So just who is the mystery dead woman? And where is the real Red Cobra?

The Red Cobra is a fast-paced thriller filled with twists and turns and intrigue that will appeal to readers of big-hitting thrillers by the likes of Lee Child and David Baldacci, and with echoes in its plotting and breadth of the globe-trotting spy thriller I Am Pilgrim.

You can find out more about Rob and his books on Facebook, Twitter, or via his website.

 

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

#TuesdayBookBlog Inspirations behind the Reading Group by @DellaGalton #GuestPost #Romance

I first discovered my next guest between the pages of Writers’ Forum magazine many years ago, and her sound advice has helped shape my writing ever since. As well as teaching me so much about the skill of penning a novel, short story, or article, I have also thoroughly enjoyed reading her fiction work.

So, I was delighted when my stalking paid off, and she agreed to write a guest post about her latest release, the next instalment in her series the Reading Group. It is my pleasure to introduce author, Della Galton.

Della PArker

One of the Inspirations behind the Reading Group

I really enjoy writing about friendship.  It’s a theme that runs through many of my books.  In the Reading Group series the focus is on female friendship. I have some amazing female (and male) friends. Some of them have been in my life for over forty years and some are newer, but they are all very important to me.  Although I don’t ever transport real people lock, stock and barrel into fiction I do use elements of them and I do write about the issues that affect them.

            Serena, the Main Character of The Reading Group April is a lady who struggles because she doesn’t fit into her family – she has always felt that she is not quite good enough.  I have one or two friends who feel like this – in fact it’s surprisingly common.

            And of course if your family aren’t supportive it makes friendship massively important. So Serena needs her friends more than most.

            The Reading Group is about a group of friends who meet to discuss a classic novel each month and discover that – spookily – one of their lives mirrors the plot.          

            In April they are reading Jane Eyre and Serena, who’s headmistress of Poppins Private School, is half hoping that reality will echo fiction, as it has before, and she will meet her own Mr Rochester.

This doesn’t stop her from being slightly alarmed when her secretary arranges an appointment with Mr Winchester, the father of a troubled pupil.

It would appear that Mr Winchester has an ex wife who is also rather troubled (or possibly completely deranged!). To add to the drama there is turbulence (as there usually is) in Serena’s own family too. Serena begins to wonder if being a romantic heroine is all it’s cracked up to be

trg-april

The Reading Group April is out on 30 March.

The Reading Group Summer Holiday is out 27 April. 

You can pre order both now.

You can find Della on her website www.dellagalton.co.uk or on Twitter, or you can find her on Facebook.

You can read my #review of The Reading Group: December HERE

Reading Group - Bookends 2

 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