Category Archives: Uncategorized

Introducing Shattered Hearts…..it’s launch day

Well, today is the day.

After months of writing, typing, spellchecking, proofreading and editing Book Baby 5 aka Shattered Hearts has finally been published.

If you’d told me a five years ago that I’d be publishing my first never mind my fifth novel I’d have told you that you were mad. This truly is a dream come true.

Writing the story is the easy bit. Pulling it all together is the hard bit and marketing it is the impossible bit! As ever, I couldn’t do this without the help of some wonderful people, my Infamous Five and my Cavalry. (You know who you are.) Thank you will never be enough for you guys.

Right, without further ado and before I get over emotional, allow me to introduce you to my fifth Book Baby, Shattered Hearts.

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red broken heart on wooden background – dark and moody

 

Happy reading!

 

Amazon.com link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Amazon.co.uk link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

You can drop into the all day launch event on my FB author page via the link below

https://www.facebook.com/coralmccallumauthor/

 

 

When The Planets Align…..The Nightmare Before Christmas

Sometimes the planets align and you are lucky enough to experience something magical – a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I experienced one such moment earlier this week thanks entirely to a special friend. (You know who you are)

Christmas came early and I was fortunate enough to find myself seated next to my friend in the SSE Hydro preparing to watch the Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas 25th Anniversary concert. Not only that but Danny Elfman, the composer, was about to reprise his role as the singing voice of Jack Skellington alongside other original cast members.

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Now, I appreciate that not all of you may be Tim Burton or Danny Elfman fans….oh…you don’t know what you’re missing!

Ok, I’ll calm the enthusiasm for a second.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, The Nightmare Before Christmas is an animated dark musical fantasy film conceived and produced by Tim Burton. The film is based on a poem written by Tim Burton when he worked as an animator for Disney

 

It was late one fall in Halloweenland,
And the air had quite a chill.
Against the moon a skeleton sat,
Alone upon a hill.

He was tall and thin with a bat bow tie;
Jack Skellington was his name.
He was tired and bored in Halloweenland –
Everything was always the same.

I’m sick of the scaring, the terror, the fright.
I’m tired of being something that goes bump in the night.
I’m bored with leering my horrible glances,
And my feet hurt from dancing those skeleton dances.
I don’t like graveyards, and I need something new.
There must be more to life than just yelling, ‘Boo!'”

Then out from a grave, with a curl and a twist,
Came a whimpering, whining, spectral mist.

It was a little ghost dog, with a faint little bark,
And a jack-o’-lantern nose that glowed in the dark.

It was Jack’s dog, Zero, the best friend he had,
But Jack hardly noticed, which made Zero sad.

All that night and through the next day,
Jack wandered and walked.
He was filled with dismay.

Then deep in the forest, just before night,
Jack came upon an amazing sight.

Not twenty feet from the spot where he stood
Were three massive doorways carved in wood.

He stood before them, completely in awe,
His gaze transfixed by one special door.

Entranced and excited, with a slight sense of worry,

Jack opened the door to a white, windy flurry.

Jack didn’t know it, but he’d fallen down
In the middle of a place called Christmas Town!

Immersed in the light, Jack was no longer haunted.
He had finally found the feeling he wanted.
And so that his friends wouldn’t think him a liar,
He took the present filled stockings that hung by the fire.
He took candy and toys that were stacked on the shelves,
And a picture of Santa with all of his elves.
He took lights and ornaments and the star from the tree,
And from the Christmas Town sign, he took the big letter C.

He picked up everything that sparkled or glowed.
He even picked up a handful of snow.
He grabbed it all and without being seen,
He took it all back to Halloween.

Back in Halloween, a group of Jack’s peers
Stared in amazement at his Christmas souvenirs.
For this wondrous vision none were prepared.
Most were excited, though a few were quite scared!

For the next few days, while it lightninged and thundered,
Jack sat alone and obsessively wondered.
“Why is it they get to spread laughter and cheer
While we stalk the graveyards, spreading panic and fear?
Well, I could be Santa, and I could spread cheer!
Why does he get to do it year after year?”
Outraged by injustice, Jack thought and he thought.
Then he got an idea. “Yes…yes…why not!”

In Christmas Town, Santa was making some toys
When through the din he heard a soft noise.
He answered the door, and to his surprise,
He saw weird little creatures in strange disguise.
They were altogether ugly and rather petite.
As they opened their sacks, they yelled, “Trick or treat!”
Then a confused Santa was shoved into a sack
And taken to Halloween to see mastermind Jack.

In Halloween everyone gathered once more,
For they’d never seen a Santa before
And as they cautiously gazed at this strange old man,
Jack related to Santa his masterful plan:

My dear Mr. Claus, I think it’s a crime
That you’ve got to be Santa all of the time!
But now I will give presents, and I will spread cheer.
We’re changing places I’m Santa this year.
It is I who will say Merry Christmas to you!
So you may lie in my coffin, creak doors, and yell, ‘Boo!’
And please, Mr. Claus, don’t think ill of my plan.
For I’ll do the best Santa job that I can.”

And though Jack and his friends thought they’d do a good job,
Their idea of Christmas was still quite macabre.

They were packed up and ready on Christmas Eve day
When Jack hitched his reindeer to his sleek coffin sleigh.
But on Christmas Eve, as they were about to begin,
A Halloween fog slowly rolled in.

Jack said, “We can’t leave; this fog’s just too thick.
There will be no Christmas, and I can’t be St. Nick.”
Then a small glowing light pierced through the fog,
What could it be?…It was Zero, Jack’s dog!

Jack said, “Zero, with your nose so bright,
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”

And to be so needed was Zero’s great dream,
So he joyously flew to the head of the team.

And as the skeletal sleigh started its ghostly flight,
Jack cackled, “Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a good night!”

Twas the nightmare before Christmas, and all though the house,
Not a creature was peaceful, not even a mouse.
The stockings all hung by the chimney with care,
When opened that morning would cause quite a scare!
The children, all nestled so snug in their beds,
Would have nightmares of monsters and skeleton heads.
The moon that hung over the new-fallen snow
Cast an eerie pall over the city below,
And Santa Claus’s laughter now sounded like groans,
And the jingling bells like chattering bones.
And what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a coffin sleigh with skeleton deer.
And a skeletal driver so ugly and sick,
They knew in a moment, this can’t be St. Nick!

From house to house, with a true sense of joy,
Jack happily issued each present and toy.
From rooftop to rooftop he jumped and he skipped,
Leaving presents that seemed to be straight from a crypt!
Unaware that the world was in panic and fear,
Jack merrily spread his own brand of cheer.

He visited the house of
Susie and Dave;
They got a Gumby and Pokey
From the grave.
Then on to the home of
Little Jane Neeman;
She got a baby doll
Possessed by a demon.

A monstrous train with tentacle tracks,
A ghoulish puppet wielding an ax,
A man-eating plant
Disguised as a wreath,
And a vampire teddy bear
With very sharp teeth.

There were screams of terror, but Jack didn’t hear it,
He was much too involved with his own Christmas spirit!
Jack finally looked down from his dark, starry frights
And saw the commotion, the noise, and the light.
“Why, they’re celebrating, it looks like such fun!
They’re thanking me for the good job that I’ve done.”
But what he thought were fireworks meant as goodwill,
Were bullets and missiles intended to kill.
Then amidst the barrage of artillery fire,
Jack urged Zero to go higher and higher.
And away they all flew like the storm of a thistle,
Until they were hit by a well guided missile.
And as they fell on the cemetery, way out of sight,
Was heard, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

Jack pulled himself up on a large stone cross,
And from there he reviewed his incredible loss.
“I thought I could be Santa, I had such belief…”
Jack was confused and filled with great grief.
Not knowing where to turn, he looked toward the sky,
Then he slumped on the grave and he started to cry.
And as Zero and Jack lay crumpled on the ground,
They suddenly heard a familiar sound….

My dear Jack,” said Santa, “I applaud your intent.
I know wreaking such havoc was not what you meant.
And so you are sad, and feeling quite blue,
But taking over Christmas was the wrong thing to do.
I hope you realize Halloween’s the right place for you.
There’s a lot more, Jack, that I’d like to say,
But now I must hurry, for it’s almost Christmas Day.”
Then he jumped in his sleigh, and with a wink of an eye,
He said, “Merry Christmas!”, and he bid them good-bye.

Back home, Jack was sad, but then, like a dream,
Santa brought Christmas to the land of Halloween.

The END

 

(credits to the owner Tim Burton – copy sourced via Google)

 

I love Tim Burton films!

I love Danny Elfman music!

 

This was sure to be a night to remember – and it was!

 

Both my friend and I were a little unsure of what to expect…..

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Below us the stage was prepared for the arrival of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. There were three video screens above the vast stage.

It struck me that I was more accustomed to standing on the rail in front of the stage….not tonight though. This was an entirely seated event. Very civilised.

The show opened with the RSNO playing The Nightmare Before Christmas overture while the screen showed a selection of Tim Burton’s original drawings.

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To cut a long story short, we then watched the film but, when it reached a musical number, this was performed live on stage. Aside from the incredibly talented and animated Danny Elfman, we were entertained by Catherine O’Hara as Sally and Ken Page as Oogie Boogie plus five other vocalists who included comedian Greg Proops (remember him from Whose Line Is it Anyway?)

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Like all theatrical performances, there was a short interval at an appropriate moment in the film.

Following the intermission, acclaimed violinist Sandy Cameron was invited on stage to perform the Elfman Violin Concerto. WOW! That’s all I can say…WOW!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35jRufnM-Kg

(credits to the owner via YouTube)

sandy cameron

When the film ended to rapturous applause, the various performers took their bows then Danny Elfman returned to the stage to treat us to one final number. He performed Oogie Boogie’s song as he’d originally envisaged it in a Cab Calloway style. This performance above all others showcases just what an outstandingly talented entertainer he truly is. Loved it!

 

Sadly, all good things have to come to an end….

 

How many sleeps till Sandy Claws comes?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry7PcYtKPhA

(credits to the owner via You Tube)

 

(images sourced via Google – credits to the owners)

 

The Clock’s Ticking…..Book Baby 5 is almost here…..

The clock’s ticking and the To Do list is growing with last minute things…. Yes, it’s almost Book Baby 5 “birth” day.

I literally have a To Do list for the week…. don’t believe me? Here it is:

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That’s the simplified version! The rest of it is still in my head.

 

So, with just over a week to go till Book Baby 5 aka Shattered Hearts arrives, am I ready to let it fly free?

Eh….maybe……

Shattered Hearts release date promo pic

 

The Kindle e-book version is complete and uploaded (still to double check that…) It’s also available for pre-order via Amazon – links are at the bottom. I set myself the target of obtaining 25 pre-orders and I’m still a few short… just saying 😉

 

The final paperback proof has arrived and I am still checking the corrections I made. Once that’s done, I need to upload the final document to Amazon.

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eARC copies have been circulated to various book bloggers (If you are a book blogger and wish to review Shattered Hearts please let me know.

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The book launch day is almost, kind of, sort of planned out- I still need to finalise that then source the necessary photos to accompany it before scheduling all the posts on my author page.

Missed the invite? Not to worry, here’s the link. Please feel free to drop by on the 6th December.

https://www.facebook.com/events/411240452895257/

Book promotion is an ongoing challenge so I’ve been promoting Book Baby 5 while continuing to promote the other books in the Silver Lake series plus standalone spin-off Ellen. I find book promotion soul destroying, if I am being honest. It is the toughest aspect of being an indieauthor. So, in the interests of ongoing book promotion, the purchase links are also at the bottom.

Over and above, I still have this blog to write plus gig reviews to post, two social media fanpages for a real live rock star and the day job to do. (Yes, I work full time)

Oh and I’m a writer so there needs to be some time set aside to write…..

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And so it goes on…..

This is where my mantra really comes into play

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These last few days, like the last few days before the arrival of any baby are stressful and filled with expectation. I just hope that the “birth” of Book Baby 5 is painless!

 

 

Shattered Hearts

Amazon.com link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Amazon.co.uk.link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

Silver Lake series

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

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

 

Ellen

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

 

Amazon.co.uk link   http s://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FYHKR44

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Introducing Harper Maze……..

I am delighted to welcome a special guest author to my blog this week.

Allow me to introduce you to Harper Maze.

Harper recently published her debut novel, Life After?: The Coming of Age Story of a Girl with a Difference ( Kayleigh Summers book 1).

The book was launched to coincide with Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Awareness, 20th November 2019. The author is donating $1 from every sale to transgender youth charities.

Transgender Awareness Week is held annually during the second week in November and culminates in Transgender Day of Awareness which honours those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

If you wish to find out more about this, please refer to the information links at the foot of this post.

Now, though, it’s time to find out a little more about Harper Maze herself.

Tell me a little about yourself and how you came be to an indie author

As a fossil, I have written for years mainly for friends, but also in magazines years ago. I tended towards short stories because when attempting to write novels, I would lose focus in the middle. Recently I discovered a new plotting system, by John Truby, and it changed my mental approach to storytelling. I have begun to dust off my old drafts and concepts, and write new material, and plan to release at least two novels a year.

Do you write under your own name or a pseudonym? And if so, why did you choose the name you use?

I write under Harper Maze, which I chose because it sounded young and contemporary, ideal for writing strong female characters between 18-25. It was also available on almost all social media outlets, including the .com, which is essential for building an online presence.

 Tell me briefly about your latest book (no spoilers). What is it about, and what inspired you to write it?

‘Life After?’ is an old project, general fiction with an LGBT/’Coming of Age’ edge. It was the only one I had the idea from a dream, at least for the setting. However, the moral and psychological aspects of the book I added as part of the plotting. The book has an ironic, self-deprecating voice, which I think helps to break up some of the painful items the story includes.

Where do your ideas come from?

It varies for each story.

My inspiration for ‘Life After?’ was talking to so many young people who reached their goal and faced a void after because they didn’t consider long-term plans. As such, the story only briefly touches past events.

 My Dystopia Sci-Fi project is based on a near-future Earth after fracking has caused mass seismic and volcanic activity. It’s an old idea but plotted using the new system, and from beta-reader comments, I hope it will do well when released in 2020, June or before.

 Finally, my Action-Thriller came from watching a TV programme. I got annoyed when some of the characters would be killed off, and then came back for no reason other than to appear in the next season. We call these plots “spanners”, from ‘spanner in the works’. I got infuriated enough to write my own.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I work full time, 9-5, and my writing time is before 9 am, 6 or 7 days a week. However, my mind never stops thinking about plots, scenes or ideas.

When did you first realise that you wanted to write?

 I was not that good at English at school. I am a storyteller and struggle somewhat with grammar and sentence structure. That’s why we have editors and editing tools. My method is to plot and write the story, fix the story weave and the basic flow and continuity, then have someone edit the final version.

 Where is your favourite place to write?

 I write in a few places. I have an office at home, with a cat bed underneath the desk. But I also write on the sofa or the train. I find it relatively easy to block out noise or distraction, and I have headphones if the train grows too noisy.

What was the first book you read that had an impact on you, and what was it about it that made such a lasting impression?

It would be Lord of the Rings when I was in my teens. I had read many books by then, but the world-building and craft of Tolkien was a new level of brilliance. It’s still the benchmark in a lot of reviews and often used in comparisons and pitches.

 If you could invite five fictional characters to dinner, who would you invite and why?

 I like Vin from the Mistborn Trilogy (Brandon Sanderson) and have returned to those books several times. She is independent, fiercely loyal and diminutive, yet bluntly spoken and driven. I am also a fan of the Hunger Games, so Katniss Everdeen too. By contrast, I would include Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes. As a master villain, I am intrigued by his motivations and drive, and have added in a worthy antagonist in my Action-Thriller. For a complete change of pace, Rick Deckard from Bladerunner (PK Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep) is of interest because of how he tries to balance the necessity with what he is doing. For the 5th character, I would like to introduce Savanna Steel from my Best Served Cold book to see how she stands against the others. She is so much fun to write, and perhaps has a little of each in her nature.

 What one piece of advice would you give to any aspiring author to motivate them? And what’s been the best piece of advice you’ve received in connection with writing?

You don’t have to do everything all at once, so writing small and regularly, and developing a habit of writing can help you long term. Don’t be afraid to write through an issue and edit later too; it’s more important to finish than to continually revisit.

 I read John Truby’s ‘Anatomy of Story’, and it changed my whole approach to writing, so the best advice was to read his book.

 And just for a bit of fun, tell me five random facts about you.

I live with my wife and two cats. I have played premier-level female football and professional pool but never took up a martial art (many of my characters do). I tell lots of (often bad) jokes, and I listen mostly to Skater and Punk Rock music.

Thank you, Harper. Delighted to meet another cat loving indie author 🙂

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Life After?: The Coming of Age Story of a Girl with a Difference ( Kayleigh Summers book 1).

Synopsis

Kayleigh Summers fought for her dream most of her life but made no plans for her future afterwards.

Unsure what to do after life-changing surgery, Kayleigh receives an unexpected offer from a sports entertainment company to become their latest star and relocates to America.

Set in the backdrop of a training academy full of glamorous people, Kayleigh recounts with self-deprecating irony how she struggles with her self-image, relationships and her confused sexuality.

Bursting into the limelight, Kayleigh becomes burdened by the pressures of her sudden fame and turbulent love life and finds herself on the brink of a breakdown.

After a drunken night where she breaks her most sacred rule, will Kayleigh be able to face the consequences of her actions before her new future crumbles around her?

 

Want to learn more? Yes?

 

Please see the purchase links below:

Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Life-After-Coming-LGBT-Romance-ebook/dp/B081FJCV79/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=harper+maze&qid=1574276937&sr=8-2

Amazon.co.uk

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-After-Coming-LGBT-Romance-ebook/dp/B081FJCV79/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2NURZ73NNR0P8&keywords=harper+maze&qid=1574276891&sprefix=harper+ma%2Caps%2C162&sr=8-1

Social media links

http://harpermaze.com

https://www.amazon.com/Harper-Maze

 

Information links:

https://www.glaad.org/transweek

https://www.stonewall.org.uk

http://www.lgbtconsortium.org.uk 

 

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Making Woodland Friends

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If you go down in the woods today…….

Unexpectedly, I found myself with a few minutes to spare earlier this week so I seized my chance to get the daily step count up and took a short woodland walk.

Even on a cold damp November afternoon there was beauty to be found.

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and playing in among the trees and fallen leaves

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And in a flash he was gone, leaving only the blur of his tail…….

 

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But…… he couldn’t resist a final glance.

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Shattered Hearts now available to pre-order on Kindle

Shattered Hearts release date promo pic

**** now available to PRE-ORDER on Kindle ****

Five years older. Five years wiser.

Five years down the road, we reconnect with Jake and Lori.

Over the years since Bonded Souls, the Silver Lake family has grown and the band have seen their career go from strength to strength.

Fresh off the road after a gruelling tour, Jake has high hopes of enjoying a relaxing summer at home with his family.

An unexpected tragedy and an act of betrayal shatters all hopes of that and throws their plans into disarray.   The combination of both results in Shattered Hearts for Jake and Lori and the Silver Lake family. Can they recover from this?

 

Shattered Hearts, book 4 in the Silver Lake series will be published 6 December 2019

Shattered Hearts can be pre-ordered here

Amazon.com link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Amazon.co.uk.link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

#SilverLakeseries #ShatteredHearts #StrongerWithin #ImpossibleDepths #BondedSouls #ebook #kindle #Amazon #KindleUnlimited #book #rockromance #contemporaryromance #romancenovel #rockmusic #tellyourfriends #sharingiscaring #bookpromoishardwork

 

Enjoying sunrise from 3000 miles away

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Three things in life that I love are the beach and watching the sun rise and set. Actually managing to achieve these becomes more of a challenge at this time of year however I have a secret weapon – well, a virtual secret weapon.

There is one beach that I love but, unfortunately, it’s 3000 miles away from the place I call home. This is the beach that I have based my Silver Lake books around and its been way too long since I sank my toes into its sand.

And my secret virtual weapon – a local webcam.

One morning last week, the blue light of early dawn ( the photo above) caught my eye as I logged onto my laptop. It was 11am in the UK and 6am at the beach( or was it 7am – the clocks changing has me confused about the time difference!) .

For once I had time to spare and therefore  the time  to watch the sun rise over my beach. Want to see?

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and finally at 9am the town of Rehoboth Beach was starting to come to life and go about its day.

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I might not have physically been there but I could taste the salt in the air, hear the waves lap up on the shore and sense the town of Rehoboth Beach coming to life. It might have been a chilly October sunrise but it warmed my heart.

 

Sometimes all you need is a little imagination and you’re there……

 

 

 

If you want to check it out for yourself, here’s the webcam link

https://www.livebeaches.com/webcams/rehoboth-beach-boardwalk-webcam/