January 2 2016

Pull Up a Chair

#RRBC Who is “SPOTLIGHT” Author Lizzie Chantree? @Lizzie_Chantree

Who is “SPOTLIGHT

Author Lizzie Chantree?

 

LC Author Photo

An inventive author!

Lizzie is a wife and mum, who is also an accomplished inventor, businesswoman and artist. She founded her first company at the age of 17 and has been creating products ever since!

She went to a design and advertising college, called The School of Communication Arts, which was based in London. They took only a handful of students each year from all over the world, so she made the most of the opportunity by learning everything she could about how to create products, advertise and package them.

After college she started her own business opening her first retail venture. She designed and sold her own brand of products to customers all over the world. This business grew to two shops and a wholesale business, including a retail gift catalogue, which Lizzie ran for over 20 years.

During this time she also invented a product called Runaway Spray, which is a lipstick size spray, perfect for a ladies handbag, that prevents further ‘ladders’ or ‘runs’ in stockings or tights. She became one of Fair Play London's Female Inventors of the Year. She also won business awards and the ‘Livewire’ competition, run by Shell UK in association with The Prince’s Trust. She was asked to return the following year as a ‘Livewire’ competition judge.

Lizzie’s daughter had been unwell for two years and to keep herself awake at night, she wrote her first novel, Babe Driven. Five years later, when her daughter’s health improved, she had it professionally edited and happened to read a magazine article about a well known author who was self-publishing his novels. She discovered a brilliant book club called RRBC, (you should join!) and this helped her along her way as an author.

Currently Lizzie has written three books;

A sizzling beach read-Babe Driven:

A medical romance story-Love’s Child:

LC Book CoverHer latest book, which has just been released on Amazon:

A mystical romance-Finding Gina:

All of Lizzie’s books have strong central characters and a sprinkling of humour.

Reader quote: ‘This is a really compulsive read and not easy to put down; but quite light hearted.

The characters are really fun, engaging and believable.

I am really looking forward to the authors next Novel... Give it a go!!!!’

Excerpt of chapter two from Finding Gina:

‘There’s something strange about that girl,’ hissed Rachel to Tom, her aunt’s resident baker, who was hands deep in flour as he stretched a batch of dough for the next day’s quota of cakes.

‘What do you mean?’ he asked quizzically, shaking flour dust from his nose and almost making himself sneeze. He looked at Gina through the glass door to the tearoom and thought she looked kind of cute!

‘I mean that she is always smiling and I’ve never seen her here with the same person, other than my aunt a few times. It’s a bit like she picks up waifs and strays, but she’s also a stray herself. Do you know what I mean?’

Tom raised his eyebrows at Rachel’s views on their customer. She was always offering an opinion on everyone that girl; from the delivery boy, to that unfortunate young mother with the face full of spots!

Rachel waited for Tom to reply, then raised her hands into the air in surrender and grabbed the next order that was sitting ready to be delivered to table three, slapping the plates together and almost covering a pretty cupcake in coffee as it sloshed onto the saucer.

Follow Lizzie Chantree on Social Media:

Twitter handle: @Lizzie_Chantree

Facebook address: https://www.facebook.com/lizziechantree/

Website address: https://www.writewithsydney.co.uk/

Any additional means of contact: Blog: https://www.lizziechantree.com/


Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books - May 7, 2016 @huckfinn76

May 7, 2016

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My name is Andrew Joyce. Patricia asked me to write something for her blog just as I was on my way out of town. I didn’t want to disappoint her, so I asked my friend Jim to fill in for me. Jim’s a good guy. He lives up in Montana on his ranch. I don’t know what he’ll be writing about. I just hope he keeps it PG.

Kelly

Howdy, the name’s Jim Bridger and I’ve got me a story to tell. It ain’t no shoot ‘em up western tale, though it does take place in the west. It ain’t no detective yarn, though something is found. And it sure as hell ain’t no love story, though a love blossoms. I reckon I best be gettin’ to it.

I rode the rodeo circuit all my life, started out as a snot-nosed kid handling stock. Then I was given a chance to break horses for the promoter I worked for. And I was pretty damn good at it. So I saved up the fee and entered myself in the bronco event when we set up in Salinas. I came in second and that was all she wrote. With the prize money, I bought myself a pickup truck and started to follow the circuit. I was never the best, but I made out all right. It wasn’t long before I was entering other events. I was particular to bull riding and steer wrestling. Of course, I had to do chute dogging first to prove myself before I could do any steer wrestling.

I broke my fair share of bones, and nowadays when I wake up in the morning, it takes me ’bout an hour to work out all the kinks before I can walk straight up. I never had no social life. It was just movin’ from town to town, mostly sleeping in my truck. I reckon the only thing I was ever close to was my horse, a gray dun that I had named Tex. I had to put him down five years back when he got the colic.

When all the broken bones and the other abuse I had put my body through finally caught up with me and I couldn’t compete no more, I became a rodeo clown. Then even that became too much for my old bones. I was offered a job handling stock, but that was where I started out thirty years earlier. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I hit the road in my twenty-year-old pickup looking for something, although I had no idea what. I was fifty-five-years old, had a hundred and twenty dollars in my pocket and a half a tank of gas in my truck.

I picked up day labor here and there. It kept me fed and gas in my truck, but one Sunday morning, a year after leaving the rodeo, I found myself out of gas, out of money, and out of hope. There was a gnawin’ in my stomach. I hadn’t eaten in a day. I was outside of Blythe, California, just across from the Arizona line.

The truck coasted to a stop and I looked about. The country looked as desolate as my spirits felt. There was only one building that I could see; it looked like a small farmhouse, but then I noticed the sign. It read: KATE ARCHER, VETERINARIAN. With nothing to lose, I decided to go up and ask to trade some work for a meal. It being Sunday and all, I figured no one would be about, but it was my only option.

As I approached the house, my heart sank. It was in disrepair; it looked as though no one had lived in it for a while. Then I saw the corral. There was a single horse in it, a skinny pinto. I knocked on the back door, which was immediately opened by a woman of about fifty.

“Yes?” she asked.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry to disturb you on a Sunday mornin’, but I was wonderin’ if you might have some work that needs doing in exchange for a meal?”

She took so long to say something, I thought she was gonna slam the door in my face. But finally she told me to come in, that she was just fixin’ breakfast.

“Ma’am, if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather do the work first.”

She smiled and said, “I can tell you’re hungry, and a man can’t work on an empty stomach. God knows there’s plenty that needs doing, so don’t worry, you’ll earn your meal.” Then she stood aside so that I could enter.

While she busied herself at the stove, I sat at the kitchen table and we introduced ourselves. Her name was Kate Archer, and she was a veterinarian as the sign had suggested. We made small talk until the food was ready. Nothing never looked so good. As I shoveled eggs and bacon into my mouth, Kate said that it was good to see a man enjoy her cooking.

The short of it is, Kate told me there were some shingles that needed replacin’ on the roof, and that there were a stack of ’em in the lean-to out back. I thanked her for the grub, found the ladder and shingles and got to work. Four hours later, just as I was finishing up, she called me down to lunch.

While we were eating, she asked, “So, what are your plans?”

“Reckon when I git done with this here fine food, I’ll walk into town and look for work.”

She looked shocked and asked, “You’ll walk to town? Don’t you have a car?”

“I’ve got a truck, but it’s kinda outta gas.”

Then she wanted to know what kind of work I did.

“Whatever needs doin’. ’Ceptin’ I don’t do no doctorin’ of animals, nothing like that.”

She smiled at my little joke and said, “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s a lot of work that needs doing right here. I can’t pay much, but I’ll feed you and you can sleep in the lean-to.”

I didn’t have to think on it long.

I pushed my truck into the yard, put my kit in the lean-to, then went up to the kitchen door and knocked. When she opened it, I said, “All moved in, ma’am. What do you want me to tackle first?”

“First, I want you to call me Kate. Then I want you to get comfortable. That lean-to needs some fixing up if you’re going to live in it. So why don’t you work on that for now. At dinner I’ll give you a list of things to get started on and you can get to them in the morning. It’s Sunday after all, a day of rest.”

That’s how it started. There were always things that needed looking after, both inside the house and out. And somehow, I just never left. But after almost two years, I had the place looking pretty good and a few dollars in my pocket, so I reckoned it was time to move on.

Generally Kate was gone during the day making her rounds. So I was alone out back at the corral replacing a cracked board when Kelly trotted into my life. She was a black mustang . . . not much more than a foal. Of course her name wasn’t Kelly then. She was just a scrawny little filly looking the worse for wear. I gave her water and some oats and put her in the corral, then went about my work.

When Kate got back that night, a troubled look crossed her face. I was rubbing the mustang down in the lean-to and talking to her gently. “Hello,” said Kate. “How did she get here?”

I was startled for I had not heard her drive up, probably because all my attention was on the mustang. But I recovered quickly and answered her question. “I don’t know how she got here. She just came into the yard, trotted right up and nuzzled me. I think it was love at first sight on both our parts.”

“Well, we have a problem. That horse belongs to John Middleton and he’s not a very nice man. It’s likely when he learns she’s here, he’ll swear you stole her and have the law on you.”

I stopped rubbing the mustang and said, “Hang John Middleton! This horse has been mistreated and if I ever meet up with the man, I’ll beat the tar outta him. This horse goes back to him over my dead body.”

Kate sighed and said, “Put her in the corral and come inside. We’ll talk about it.”

As I sat down at the table, a name flashed in my head. KELLY!

Kate made us a drink of bourbon and water and sat down opposite me. “Jim, we’ll talk about the horse in a minute. But first I want to talk about us.” She saw that I was uncomfortable, so she hurried on. “You’ve been making noises over the last few weeks about leaving. I just want to ask you, aren’t you happy here?”

I sipped my whiskey and told her the truth. “Kate, when I showed up at your door, I was a broken man. I didn’t have a dime to my name and my prospects were zero. You fed me and housed me. For two years now, this has been my home. The only home I’ve ever known. I never told you, but I was an orphan. I ran away from the place at seventeen, and in all these years, you are the only person that showed me any kindness.”

I noticed that my glass was empty and stood to pour me another shot. Seeing her glass was still half full, I sat back down and continued. “I can’t stay here. If I do, I won’t have no self-respect. There’s no work here anymore.”

Kate sighed, downed her drink in one gulp, and said, “Make yourself useful. Pour me another one, no water this time.”

When I handed her the drink, she put it down, leaned back in her chair, and stared at me for a long minute. She shook her head before saying, “Now you listen here, Mister Jim Bridger. This place was worthless until you showed up. It’s now worth three times what it was. You work all day and then if I have a night call, you drive me. You have a way with animals. There were many a time if you had not been there to calm a sick and scared horse, I might have been trampled. I figure you earned your way into a partnership. And I dare you to say otherwise!” With that she downed the entire contents of her glass.

I didn’t know what to say. I’ve never seen her like that, I mean angry. She stood up and retrieved the bottle from the counter, saying, “This will save steps because we’re not leaving this table until we work things out.”

There was nothing to say to that neither, so I sat there with my mouth shut. But Kate sure had more to say. “For two years now, every single day we’ve eaten our meals together. We go shopping together. We talk on the porch in the cool of the evening. And not once, Jim Bridger, have you ever made a move on me. What’s wrong with me? You make a girl feel unattractive.”

She was so wrong. I thought her the most beautiful woman in the world, at least to me. There were many a night I lay in my bed and I thought of her. How I wanted to say something to let her know how I felt. But a man with nothing has no right to speak of such things to a woman.

There we sat, across the table from each other, neither one of us speaking. Then Kate got up, came over, and plopped herself right down on my lap. She put her arms around my neck and gave me the longest, deepest kiss I’ve ever had. It took me a few seconds, but then I returned it.

When we broke apart, she said, “Now that we have that settled, go get your things and move them into our bedroom.”

“I will. As soon as you get up off my lap.” She laughed and told me that she might not ever get up.

With her arms still around my neck, I asked her what we were going to do about Kelly. Kate tilted her head sideways and said, “Kelly?”

“The filly out in the corral.”

“Oh yes, her. Middleton is a son-of-a-bitch, but he owes me money. I’ll tell him I’m taking the horse as payment. If he gives me any trouble, I’ll report him for animal cruelty. What is her name again?"

“Kelly.”

“A nice name.”

That was the day I got me two first-class fillies. A year later, we sold the house, Kate sold her practice, and together with Kelly, we moved to Montana. We bought a small cabin and I built a heated barn for Kelly.

Now when it snows, Kelly is content in her barn. And Kate and I are content in each other’s arms.

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AndrewAndrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written four books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, RESOLUTION. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, YELLOW HAIR.

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. He now lives aboard a boat with his dog, Danny.

Website ~~ Twitter

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Resolution-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

It is 1896 in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The largest gold strike in the annals of human history has just been made; however, word of the discovery will not reach the outside world for another year.

By happenstance, a fifty-nine-year-old Huck Finn and his lady friend, Molly Lee, are on hand, but they are not interested in gold. They have come to that neck of the woods seeking adventure.

Someone should have warned them, “Be careful what you wish for.”

When disaster strikes, they volunteer to save the day by making an arduous six hundred mile journey by dog sled in the depths of a Yukon winter. They race against time, nature, and man. With the temperature hovering around seventy degrees below zero, they must fight every day if they are to live to see the next.

On the frozen trail, they are put upon by murderers, hungry wolves, and hostile Indians, but those adversaries have nothing over the weather. At seventy below, your spit freezes a foot from your face. Your cheeks burn—your skin turns purple and black as it dies from the cold. You are in constant danger of losing fingers and toes to frostbite.

It is into this world that Huck and Molly race.

They cannot stop. They cannot turn back. They can only go on. Lives hang in the balance—including theirs.

Amazon ~~ Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

iTunes ~~ Kobo

 

 


Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books - May 7, 2016 @_BookMistress

May 7, 2016

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Stop Stealing Our Books!

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Ok, so unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have seen all the brouhaha about people “stealing” books thanks to Amazon’s returns policy and their own bad manners!  It’s a funny thing, but authors tend to have the same experiences and often we feel like we’re alone in it all, but then there will be 1 post that will just explode and suddenly you realise that not only is it not just you, but it’s everyone!

That’s what happened recently when an author shared a message she go t from a fan, complimenting her on an amazing book and saying that she’d just returned it for a full refund.  There was more, including that authors should just “give their books away”. *Thud*.

Seriously?? What is this person on? This same person probably buys coffee or takeaway lunch a few times a week, possibly to the tune of $30 or so and they’re going to complain about $1, $3 or $5 for a book?  Seriously, a book is non-fat, diet friendly and eternal... your coffee – not so much!  Also, while we’re at it... it took us a lot longer to produce that book than you had to wait for your coffee, so you should be grateful that we don’t charge you what we’re worth in hours J

Let’s be honest... authors spend months writing, editing and polishing a book. If we don’t have a publisher willing to shell out for the necessary, we then have to cough up money for editing, layout and cover design... probably some marketing or advertising and then we have to pray that we sell a few copies.  Lord knows that we’re unlikely to recover our financial investment, let alone crack a profit, but we keep trying because we love it and you never know! What shoots us in the foot is when retail giants like Amazon say that it’s perfectly ok to return an ebook that you have rad 100% and get 100% refund. Once or twice, maybe, but these thieves – because that is what they are – are doing this daily. Aren’t there any alarms ringing at Amazing HQ?!

Clearly not!

Ultimately, between pirate sites and unethical readers, authors are suffering daily. For many, an investment of $1 000 or more per book is normal... so no, I will not give my book away for free. This is not a hobby, something to tinker at... this is my job. You want my book for free? Tell me where you work and let me see how much you’ll do if I take your salary out of the picture... no? Well, fair is fair.

Until next time...

Domino x


Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books - April 29, 2016 @huckfinn76

April 29, 2016

 

Guest Post

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Patricia has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new novel RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure. I think it’s a good book, but what do I know? Anyway, I’m kinda shy about tooting my own horn. So I think I’ll turn things over to my dog Danny—Danny the Dog—to toot it for me. He always has an attitude and usually does not speak highly of me. But please understand that we co-exist as the old Soviet Union and the United States once co-existed. We tolerate each other. So without further ado, here’s Danny.

Danny on CouchAndrew took me away from watching reruns of Lassie to help him out here. For a person who works with words for a living, he has very little to say in real life. He wants me to tout his book for him, but I don’t think I will. Instead, I think I’ll tell you about my girlfriend who came to visit me last week.

Her name is Lisa and she and I had a lot fun together. Of course, we had to let Andrew tag along, but enough about him. I want to talk about Lisa and all the fun we had.

First of all, she took me to the park and walked with me. I was so proud to be seen with her. All the other dogs were jealous. Then we went to a place that gives you sandwiches. How cool is that! Lisa and I had something called a sub sandwich. Andrew had a salad; he is such a wuss.

That night we went to my friends’ boat, Mike and Beth. They cooked for us and everyone enjoyed themselves except Andrew. He was put out that I was spending all my time with Lisa. But hey, I live with him. Lisa was going to be here for a few days only.

Of course, I was the star of the party. There were many humans there. Some guy called Gonzo rubbed my fur. And another human named Crabby Mike gave me a bone to chew on. And Beth hugged me and told me I was beautiful. I already knew that, but I let her say it anyway.

After the party, I was sad. Lisa walked me back to our boat and said goodnight. They don’t let dogs in where she was staying. Something called a hotel. So Andrew and I went to bed. I don’t know what he was thinking about. But I went to sleep thinking of Lisa. She smelled so nice—a pleasant change from Andrew.

Beth has a brother; his name is Lloyd. He’s not too bad as far as humans go. And he happens to be a great cook, and, of course, he’s my friend. Anyway, he took one look at Lisa and invited her and me to his house for dinner. We tried to leave Andrew behind, but somehow he got in the car. It didn’t matter. Once at Lloyd’s place Lisa and I communed, and I’ve got to say for a human she’s alright.

Then the next day she went home. I wanted to go with her so badly. But she told me she has a dog of her own. I told her . . . no problem . . . just let me at the little monster. For some reason she didn’t take to that idea.

So here I sit with Andrew, missing my friend Lisa.

That’s about it for now. Oh yeah, I almost forgot—go out and buy Andrew’s new book and make the old guy happy.

This is Andrew again. On behalf of Danny and myself, I would like to thank Patricia for having us over. It’s been a real pleasure.

 

About the Book

Resolution-800 Cover reveal and PromotionalIt is 1896 in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The largest gold strike in the annals of human history has just been made; however, word of the discovery will not reach the outside world for another year.

By happenstance, a fifty-nine-year-old Huck Finn and his lady friend, Molly Lee, are on hand, but they are not interested in gold. They have come to that neck of the woods seeking adventure.

Someone should have warned them, “Be careful what you wish for.”

When disaster strikes, they volunteer to save the day by making an arduous six hundred mile journey by dog sled in the depths of a Yukon winter. They race against time, nature, and man. With the temperature hovering around seventy degrees below zero, they must fight every day if they are to live to see the next.

On the frozen trail, they are put upon by murderers, hungry wolves, and hostile Indians, but those adversaries have nothing over the weather. At seventy below, your spit freezes a foot from your face. Your cheeks burn—your skin turns purple and black as it dies from the cold. You are in constant danger of losing fingers and toes to frostbite.

It is into this world that Huck and Molly race.

They cannot stop. They cannot turn back. They can only go on. Lives hang in the balance—including theirs.

Purchase Links

Amazon ~~ Smashwords

B&N ~~ iTunes ~~ Kobo

 

Meet the Author

Andrew

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written four books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, RESOLUTION. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, YELLOW HAIR.

Connect With the Author

Website ~~ Blog

Facebook ~~ Twitter


Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books - April 23, 2016 @_BookMistress

April 23, 2016

 

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What's in a Name?

The naming of characters is a serious business. Usually, genre plays a huge part in determining how wacky, weird or wonderful your names can be... Or how historically accurate. After all, you're unlikely to have a Britney or a Kandi (with a K and an I if you please) in London in 1753!
With romance, you find that names become even more important because a name can set your character as the lead or the backup very quickly. Now, it could just be me, but over the past few years of writing, I've been taking notes while reading and I have to say... Some names just aren't "sexy".
For example, Damian, Michael, Sean, Joe, James, etc are your leading men. Eugene, Theodore, Barry, etc are the best friends, secondary characters. They might be great men, but clearly Eugene isn't the romantic lead. It's true of women too... Bella, Claire, Madison, Sarah, Danielle, etc are the desirable women... Norah, Gladys, Mary, etc are not.
The reality is that in the real world there are some incredibly sexy Eugene's and Norah's... But when it comes to romance, it seems that we just don't "buy" it. Of course, it also depends when your story is set... After all, in the 1920s, Gladys and Pierre would be amazing!
Last names are important too. No good having a hunky Damian and then saddling him with Baddlesnit as a last name... She isn't going to say yes to happily ever after with THAT in her future!
image1This means that as an author, the chances are that you will spend far more time naming your characters than you probably did / would spend naming a child. You'll agonize over the "hotness" of the name, desirability of a surname and the musical rhythm of the two together... You'll search for names that compliment each other and that have cute nickname potential so that your characters can be all adorable with each other.
You may pore over baby name books or have a browser history filled with sites offering insight into the meanings or origins of names and eventually, you'll find the perfect combo.
An effort that your average reader will neither notice not even appreciate.
But God help you if your lead characters in a modern romance are Eugene and Ethel!
Until next time...
Domino xx

Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books - April 20, 2016 @Modernize

APRIL 20, 2016

Create a Writing Room That Invigorates Creativity

We all wish writer’s block was a one-time occurrence—something we became invincible to after the first run-in. But that’s unfortunately not true, and we at Modernize understand the struggle of not being able to focus or find inspiration. Your writing room can go a long way to inspire you and kick-start your creativity. Here are a few ways to design the perfect space to create your next masterpiece.

via Design Sponge graphic

via Design Sponge

 

Establish Peace and Quiet

If you’re having trouble staying focused or inspired, it may be due to a number of distractions. Family members and roommates, while we’re fond of them, can disrupt us right in the middle of a breakthrough or surge of inspiration. Noises around the house or even outside can pull us away from the task at hand. The first step in creating your writing room is to find a private space. A spare bedroom with a door is ideal. Communicate with loved ones that you should only be interrupted for emergencies during your writing hours.

As for outside noises, we recommend noise-canceling headphones or a speaker system to play soft, inspiring music. Sometimes listening to movie soundtracks or any of the focus stations on Spotify or other streaming music apps can boost your productivity and mood. You can also set up a fountain to enjoy the soft flow of water, which is relaxing and may reduce your creative stress.

via Residence Magazine graphic

via Residence Magazine

 

Decorate for Motivation

What inspires you? Every writer is different. Some are motivated by quotes from their favorite authors, like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and Harper Lee. Some are more motivated by art pieces that channel their aesthetic, or set them in a scene from their work in progress.

For example, if you are writing a novel set in France, you would probably benefit from a French country-chic decor, or at least a few photographs of the country. If you decide to decorate according to what you’re working on, make sure these elements can be switched out when you change projects. That’s why we recommend wall art and accessories, rather than major purchases. You can also create an inspiration board and change it monthly to revive your passion.

Use a vinyl decal or a framed piece of art for inspiring quotes, or hang pictures of your family and friends, especially if they influence your work. Flesh out your writing room’s design with accessories like a rug, lamps, knick knacks, bookshelves, and more. Make sure you have a desk large enough to house all of your reference materials, journals, and computer accessories.

via Skona Hem graphic

via Skona Hem

 

Let Light Shine

Natural light can boost your mood and productivity, so make sure you have plenty of windows in your writing space. Position your desk near natural light to stay focused and inspired. It’s also nice to rest your eyes after a writing sprint and gaze at nature, which may further feed your inspiration.

In the evenings and at night, you’ll want to rely on soft light from reading and floor lamps. A well-lit space will fight off gloom and improve your mood. You can play up this concept even more with bright colors, like crisp white, yellow, cyan, and even a vibrant green. Colors that perk you up will keep you energized throughout the creative process.

Don’t let writer’s block defeat you. Attack it head-on with the perfect writing room as your army, and enjoy the inspiration your newly design space provides. Remember, no one can write your story but you!


Prescott Lane's Charity Donation from Layers of Her Novella @prescottlane1

April 12, 2016

A Letter from Prescott Lane to her Readers at the end of her Layers of Her Novella

Author Pic

A Letter to my Readers

Rape. Just typing that word makes my gut tie up in knots. And that’s part of the problem. Because it’s so uncomfortable, we don’t want to talk about it. So it gets buried at the bottom of the newsfeed or forgotten altogether, like the backlog of untested rape kits.

Last March, I released Quiet Angel in which the heroine is a survivor of childhood sexual assault. A few weeks later, my husband became gravely ill, and we spent the rest of the year (5 long hospital stays and 4 long surgeries) fighting to regain his health. As I sat in the hospital chair next to his bed night after night, I got messages from women about how my book touched them. Some shared their reasons, and others didn’t.

I came to learn that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. How could I not know that? I’d just released a book on the very topic. Yet I didn’t see one post about it on any of my social media accounts.

Early this year, I began writing Layers of Her with the intent to spread awareness and donate all of April's profits to charity. I was nervous when I started, and I still am. I mean, how much will the profits be? Will readers assume I’m a survivor or I know one? Will I do the topic justice? Why am I doing this? It’s a whole lot easier to stay silent. But that’s the whole problem, isn’t it?

I work in a field, in the genre of fiction, that is mostly comprised of women, where sexual assault is one of the most common tropes. And with each passing page, we pull for our broken heroes and heroines to heal, find love, forge a new path. That's all we want for them. We need to do the same for the real life heroes and heroines, those brave souls who fight the real fight every single day. So join me this April in making some noise to raise awareness, not only for the survivors but for those who love them.

Prescott Lane

 

LayersOfHer_FrontCover

 

Campbell

People always say it’s what’s on the inside that matters.  If that’s the case, I’m screwed.  On the outside, everything looks put together — blonde hair, blue eyes, tall and lean.  By society’s standards, I’d be considered attractive.  But f*ck society, I know what I am.  I know what I’m made of.  The recessive genes that reared their heads and created a decent looking package on the outside don’t make me who I am.  What about all the evil lurking inside?  What about all the other parts of me that aren’t so easy to see?  Some of the most beautiful animals are also the deadliest.  Take the polar bear, for example.  Cute and cuddly on the outside, but it’s really a predator that will bite your f*cking head off.  That’s a dangerous combination.

And that’s exactly like me, exactly who I am.  Bad — and once you go bad, you can never go back.

WARNING:  This book deals with the harsh reality of rape that could be upsetting for some readers.

Purchase Link

AMAZON


Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books – April 9, 2016

April 9, 2016

 

Books, books everywhere!

Hi, my name is Domino and I'm a book addict. It's been about 39 minutes since my last bout of reading and with your help... Oh, who am I kidding? I have no intention of quitting :-)

I will confess though that I recently fell off the book buying wagon. Badly! I haven't bought brand new books in a few years - not since I discovered I could feed my reading habit by supporting charity book sales - but then I caved in and bought the first book in the Outlander series. In my defense, I had eventually watched season one of the TV series and was hooked and since the show was so well done, it seemed only right that I should read the books. The only problem was that I couldn't find any 2nd hand copies... So, I decided that I  would buy book 1 and just hope that it was poorly written or not really that great.

image1No prizes for guessing that I was wrong!

Well, I didn't get more than a quarter of the way into book 1 before I realised that I was in deep trouble and before I knew it, I had placed an order for the next 5 books in the series. It cost more than I care to admit, but I had a reassuring pile of reading material to see me through for a while... Wrong again!

Less than two weeks and was at the end of book 6. Disaster and depression loomed before me. Then - a miracle - book 7 landed in my hands via a friend, but that only added 4 days of carefully rationed reading to my week.

Tonight, as I write this, I find myself hovering dangerously on the edge of buying book 8 in Kindle format because - Lord help me - I simply MUST know what happens next!

After that, I swear, I'll be a good girl. Really!!

(And no, I really don't want to know about all the other, smaller books in the series!)

Until next time...

Domino xx


Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books – March 26, 2016 @_BookMistress

March 26, 2016

Books and Coffee and Chocolate – Oh My!

This weekend is Easter and because of that, we have 4 blissful days of weekend. Can you hear it?  That is the sound of my body unwinding and settling in for sleeping late, relaxing and ignoring my work emails until Tuesday!

The other great thing about the Easter weekend is the almost childlike delight I take in knowing that I can overindulge in chocolate to my hearts' content and there's nothing anyone can really say about it... after all, it's the one holiday largely devoted to the worship of the cocoa bean. In the interest of not being flogged by my Momma, I do actually celebrate the traditional Christian side of the holiday, but it's not really relevant to this blog post, so I'm focusing instead on my absolute delight in all things chocolatey!

So, naturally being too... mature... for the Easter Bunny to still visit my home (despite copious quantities of carrots and even good whiskey as a potential bribe), I now have to buy my own chocolate supplies. This year, I decided to treat myself to 2 small "slabs" from a handmade chocolate shop and I can't wait for Sunday to enjoy them, but while chatting to a friend about the problems associated with being abandoned by the bunny, she mentioned that this year she has a different plan.

IMG_4360Don't panic, she is still having chocolate, but she suggested something different to members of her book club.  This year, they have decided to do "Secret Bunny" and instead of buying chocolate for the person that they've picked, they will give the gift of a book.  Not just any book.  The idea is to give the recipient a copy of your favourite book.  This is a great way for someone to find out more about you and for you to share something that you love with a friend.

I really like this idea a lot! It's not original, by any stretch, but I like how they've adopted it for this celebration.  Made me wish I was part of her book club *grin*.  Since I'm not, I've planned out my Sunday... Choc chip pancakes with maple syrup and coffee, followed by a blanket and the sofa and a book. After lunch, I'll indulge in some chocolate and if it's cold enough, some minty hot chocolate and then after dinner, I'll have a chocolate choc chip cupcake in a mug before bed and the rest of my book.  If any carrots come calling, I'll be available on Monday for healthy foods *wink*

I'd love to know if you could pick a favourite book to give to someone... what would yours be?

Have a great weekend!

Until next time...

Domino


Pull Up A Chair on Room With Books – March 19, 2016 @_BookMistress

March 19, 2016

"Life Happens"

 

Hi Everyone,

It's been a crazy few weeks. You won't know this about me, but I work as an event manager in my day job and I had a huge charity fundraiser last weekend. As is the way of the world, all my best laid plans to juggle that and blogs fell apart in a whirlwind of deliveries, confirmations and last minute troubleshooting.

That brings us to this week. The week after the event... it's finally starting to calm down and now the voices in my head are starting to sulkily make their feelings known. To put it politely, they do not like being ignored and after 2 weeks of me steadfastly refusing to take their calls, they're not shy about letting me know.

The truth is that no matter what you planned, life has a funny way of stepping right into your path and uprooting those plans. The important thing is to realise that it's not only happening to you and to forgive yourself. No one is perfect. I promise... not one, single person. The only thing that you can do is try to stay on top of the important stuff and when you can, you pick up all the pieces of your plans and start again.

It's the same when it comes to trying to write while holding down a full time job or being a full time parent. You won't always be able to write when you plan to. Life happens.  The trick is to not quit. That is how every book eventually gets written... the author didn't quit.

Now, it's time for you to listen to your voices and write. Capture that great sentence that doesn't have a paragraph yet or that monologue that doesn't have a book yet. Grab a notebook, laptop, napkin... whatever is nearest to you and just begin.

Here's to the week ahead. Let's hope it's a productive one.

Until next time...

Domino x