Looking for something to read…..

 

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Fancy a day at the beach? Missing out on live music? Want to meet new friends?

Look no further!

The Silver Lake series offer it all and  goes perfectly with tea, coffee, hot chocolate and wine 😉

 

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

What to do when the pause button gets pressed on the world….

If in doubt, head to the beach….. well, I self-isolate there on a regular basis anyway.

The sun was trying to shine. The seabirds were swooping and crying. The tide was out meaning Boy Child and I were able to avoid the coastal path for most of the way and stay down on the shoreline. Ok, I might have ended up with slightly wet feet but, for almost two hours ,was heavenly. No news updates to scaremonger. No fretting about the days to come. No stressing about whether the supermarket would have milk or bread or loo rolls next time I need to visit. It was simply a walk along the beach on a nice Spring day. with my son. To look at these pictures you’d never know there was anything wrong with the world.

 

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(Yes, a rare picture of yours truly)

 I even managed to pick up some “treasures” to add to my collection.

Stay safe, folks.

 

Fancy a good book with that coffee and cake?…..

Last weekend a message dropped into my FB Author Page inviting me to take part in a “Donated by the Author” community book exchange offered by an independently run coffee shop.

As an indie author, I was instantly intrigued. Well, who can afford to dismiss opportunities to get their book in the hands of a reader?

Over the next day or so I exchanged messages with the owner, took a trip to the local post office and by Monday a copy of Ellen was winging it’s way to join in the exchange programme.

Two things I love are reading and coffee so the thought that these could be combined in a one stop shop was music to my ears!

So, where is this wonderful haven? It’s The Gingerbread Tea House in Widnes, Cheshire, England.

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Being of a curious nature I wanted to know more about and also to show my support for this venture.

So, without further ado, allow me to introduce coffee shop owner and aspiring author, Nicola Duty.

Thanks for agreeing to answer a few questions for me, Nicola. So, can you tell me a bit about the history of The Gingerbread Tea House? (I love the name)

NWhen my kids were little I always used to love baking with them. One of their favourite things to make were Gingerbread. 

When I decided to leave teaching and open my own business, The Gingerbread Tea House seemed fitting for our family business. 

I opened the cafe a little over two years ago. Partly because my husband and I were fed up of being unable to find quality food when out and about. I wanted to offer quality food prepared fresh to order, that’s what we do! It’s difficult at times, especially when it’s busy and I have lots of different orders at the same time, but I love it. 

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What inspired you to offer a book exchange to your customers?

NI’ve always had a passion for reading myself. I love the way you can escape into another world, how you can engage with the characters and be taken on a journey along with them. 

When I was teaching I found that far too many students had no interest in books or reading. The quality of students work suffered as a result. I felt that it was important to do something to help. I had a little space so I decided to use it to start the book exchange. 

Do you cater for children’s books as well as adult books?

NWe have books for readers of all ages, including children.

Tell me about the Donated By An Author piece? Do they just go into the “library” to be swapped around?

NThe “Donated by the Author” section of the book exchange is new, but the expectation is that books will be taken away just like any other book. I have asked authors donating books to make a note on the inside cover stating that they donated the book to us and asking the reader to pass the book on once they’ve finished with it. That could mean returning it to the book exchange or passing it on to a friend or relative. The idea is to get people reading and also get the authors noticed. For authors donating books I create a Facebook post including an image of their book and a profile. 

(Oops…. I might not have added that commentary inside the copy of Ellen I popped in the post. Sorry!)

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You mention in the bio on Facebook that you’re also a writer. What genres do you write?

NI’m more of an aspiring writer. I used to write plays for the kids in my street when I was growing up. In adulthood I’ve tried my hand a few times, but work and commitments and various distractions I never actually finished anything. I am near the end of a project at now. It needs editing and tidying up, but it’s almost there and I feel quite proud of it. 

As for genre, I’d say it’s kind of a mystery.  I already have the idea for my next book, but I don’t want to start it until I’ve finished this one. 

Have you published anything or do you have a blog to share your work ( As an aside, if you have any short stories or poems you’d like me to share via my blog I’d be happy to lend my support. I’ve done the same for a few folk who are just starting out.)

NI haven’t published anything to date, but “Chasing Butterflies” should be finished later this year. 

Hmm… butterflies…another of my favourite things. Consider me intrigued, Nicola!

Who are your favourite authors? Slightly cruel question, I know.

NOh so many! Jane Austin, Patricia Cornwell, Stephen King, I was obsessed with Dean Koontz for a while too. 

Which authors are proving to be the most popular in the Gingerbread Tea House?

N-To be honest it’s difficult to tell which authors are most popular. The books normally come and go while I’m busy in the kitchen! John Grisham seems to be fairly popular. 

Would you consider running a book club in the café where your customers could meet once a month to talk about a particular book? (Just a thought)

NI actually tried to start a writers’ group at the cafe, but sadly those interested couldn’t all come at the same time. It may be something that we look at in the future. 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of running The Gingerbread Tea House?

 NMost of my customers are regulars and many have become friends. Making people smile and providing good quality food is the most rewarding aspect by far.

Now, for a bit of fun, can you tell me:-

1 your favourite food?

NA juicy, rare fillet steak with chunky chips, Asparagus, oven baked mushrooms and tomatoes.

2 your favourite holiday destination?

NI love holidays. I like to try to visit different places. I love Barcelona and Paris, but I also love Portugal.

3 your favourite song or band/artist (if that’s easier)?

NMy favourite song of all time is Creep by Radiohead. It was out when I was in my late teens. As a bit of a misfit it seemed to suit me perfectly. 

I also like Oasis, The Arctic Monkeys, Hudson Taylor, Kodeline and Jake Bugg. 

Thanks, Nicola. I wish you all the best with this venture and many hours of happy reading!

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I’d love to see this community book exchange in coffee shops take off across the country. It’s a quick and easy way to connect readers and the “Donated by the Author” is a great incentive for authors to connect with their readers.

Here’s a sample of the submissions received so far-

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Now, I think it’s time to get the kettle on then sit back and chill with a good book, don’t you?

 

If you want to learn more about The Gingerbread Tea House, check them out on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/TheGingerbreadTeaHouse/

 

Book Baby 6…yes, it’s a work in progress

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It’s been a while since I mentioned my current “work in progress” aka Book Baby 6…ok it also has a “real” title but I’m keeping that under wraps for now.

Book Baby 6 will be the 5th book in the Silver Lake series…and, yes, it will also be the last book in the series.

DON’T PANIC, Silver Lakers, there will be more from some of your favourite characters in the future…. I promise!

A few folk have asked me why I am ending the series and the reasons are simple-

  1. Personally, I feel that 5 books in the one series are enough. I don’t want folk to start thinking I’m kicking the ass out of it.
  2. From an indie author angle, it is getting harder and harder to gain traction from book  bloggers and book reviewers to help promote the books. Getting reviews is always a bit of a slog but getting bloggers/reviewers engaged for book 5 when they perhaps haven’t read the others in the series is tough…very tough! ( If you are a book blogger and are interested in reading and reviewing the series, please get in touch. I have eARC copies available)

So where am I at with the story?

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My best guess is that I’m 25/30% of the way there with the first draft. To continue the pregnancy analogy I’ve used for previous book babies, we’re still in the first trimester! I’m onto the second notebook out of a probable five.

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I’m not the best planner when it comes to writing out the plot, planning the storyboard etc but this time I have a plan, a timeline, key scenes in mind…hell, I even know how it’s going to end!

But, for now, you’ll need to be patient 😉

Ok….I’ll tease you with a little tiny piece of it…

Everything round about him felt warm and familiar. The silky soft Egyptian cotton sheets. The weight of the duvet. The gentle ticking of the grandfather clock in the hallway outside the bedroom door.

He was home…

He glanced to his left and smiled. Lori was curled up on her side still sleeping peacefully, her long golden braid draped across the pillow.

There’s a LOT of work to be done over the coming months!

If you’ve missed the first four books in the series, there’s plenty of time to catch up. I’ll add the sales links at the bottom for you.

Book Baby 6 has a target publication date of “early 2021”. (No, I’m not being any more specific at this stage!).

I think I’ve teased you enough 🙂

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If you’ve missed the start of the series then check out the first four books 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

 

 

 

 

You Never Know Who’s Looking….. and where they are from….

Feb 2020

I rarely look at the viewing stats for my blog. Occasionally I’ll take a look to try to gauge how popular a post has been but, in general, I don’t study the stats page on here.

However, I checked it out recently and was left with an unanswered question- how would someone who lives in Qatar find my wee blog?

That got me thinking (Oh no, here she goes again I hear you cry) Where else is everyone from that has kindly taken the time to view my blog this month?

The results surprised me! 22 countries in just 29 days- WOW!!! (I’ll list them at the end for those who want to know which ones)

Then I began to wonder – what attracts people to a blog? In all honesty, I’d love to know the answer to that one as I’m sure many bloggers would!

That thought devolved into – what is a blog and where did they originate?

Cue a bit of Googling…..

 

The generally accepted definition of a blog or weblog, as they were originally known, is “a discussion or informal website on the World Wide Web (why does that feel like an old-fashioned term?) consisting of discrete often informal diary-style text entries (posts)”

 

I guess that about covers it!

 

Other blog traits are that posts are always displayed in reverse chronological order.

There are numerous blog hosts but WordPress currently hosts around 30% (estimate) of all blogs. I struggled to find any numbers to substantiate this but one article suggested that six years ago WordPress had 75.8million blogs listed.

Weblog is a term coined by John Barger in December 1997 then, around eighteen months later, a gentleman called Peter Merholz jokingly split the word into the phrase “we blog”. Shortly after that Evan Williams of Pyra Labs used the term “blog” as both a noun and a verb   – “to blog”- meaning to edit or post to one’s weblog. The term “blogger” followed on naturally.

So, who was the first “blogger”? That’s a point of debate but two possibilities are:-

1-Justin Hall, a journalist and entrepreneur, who began blogging while he was student at Swarthmore College PA in 1994

Justin Hall

2- Ty Inc are recognised as the first company with a commercial blog, In 1995 this took the form of an online diary where customers could vote for the beanie baby of the month. Love beanie babies!!

ty beanie

As an indieauthor, I’ve discovered blogs are a great way to try out new writing genres, market your books, connect with your readers (well, you’re reading this, aren’t you?) and to introduce the world to other indie authors. It can also be a means to get something off your chest but, on the whole, I refrain from ranting via my blog.

For me, personally, this wee blog had been the keystone in my creative journey. I started it on 29 December 2013 to help me overcome my fears of letting people read what I write. (Here’s the link to that very first blog – https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/deep-breaths-and-begin/ )

As I reflect now on those earlier blogs, I’ll admit some were better than others. Even now, some are better than others!

But, if you’d told me back at the end of December 2013 that people in 22 countries would have visited my blog in one month, I’d never have believed you.

Another achievement in this surreal creative journey.

Thank you – without YOU, this blog would slip by unnoticed.

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Countries

UK

Algeria

USA

Italy

India

Poland

Turkey

Netherlands

Australia

Canada

Brazil

Qatar

Malaysia

Germany

Greece

Romania

Spain

Russia

South Africa

Bangladesh

New Zealand

Argentina

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Impossible Depths

Actual cover pic

1st birthday or 4th birthday – you decide!

 

Four years ago today Impossible Depths, book 2 in the Silver Lake series, was launched.

 

To celebrate this Leap Year milestone it’s FREE to download via Kindle today

 

Amazon.com links –

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Amazon.co.uk links –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

 

 

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An Exercise In Patience (poem)

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Piece by piece
Attention to detail
Testing times or timing the test?
Impatience not an option
Endeavour rewarded
Nearing completion
Congratulations abound
End goal achieved with endless patience

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