/> Witchblood: 2012

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Who Makes Wishes on New Years Eve?

I do!
I really can't be doing with fireworks at midnight... well I don't so much mind them at Midnight it's when people start sending them up anytime from 11pm and then they carry on till 1am and wake up my kiddies! No, for me lanterns win every time over fireworks. I first fell in love with lanterns whilst travelling in Thailand, seeing backpackers setting them off from the beach at night, watching them go higher and higher, get smaller and smaller... magical! In fact I think this is one of my favourite Disney scenes ever. I can watch it over and over again!


So last year at midnight my husband and I went outside our house (which is great for watching lanterns because we overlook fields with the Peak District hills in the background) and set off our own lantern. I wished for my first novel to be successful. In that I wasn't hoping for a 100k publishing contract (I was a single week away from uploading Witchblood to Kindle). I was just praying that someone would like it; that I'd get a higher percentage of 4 & 5 star reviews than 1 & 2 star ones! Putting my first book out there for anyone to pick over is completely the most terrifying thing I've ever done! Anyway the magic worked for me and here I am one year later with two books out there, both of which have an average 4.5star rating.

My husband wished for a new job as his company was making redundancies and guess what... That came true too! It all seemed too good to be true, but this year we have to make some additional lantern wishes. As my mum suggested I better wish for family health this year, after a tough few months recovering from meningitis in the summer... I don't fancy that one again! My mum has also had health problems this year and to finish the year off with a bang my little boy, my husband and myself have all spent the last few days running to and from the loo with this damned tummy bug! So yes mum, health is definitely on this years list!

As for my husband he is wishing for a job again... This time he's going to be a bit more specific and wish for a job he actually likes! Turns out his new job is the job from hell with a hellish 3 motorway commute every day. So I'll be stood there at midnight tomorrow with my husband watching our lantern float off across the hills and disappear into the inky night... Or get stuck in a tree! What about you?

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Vampires...

So firstly I'd just like to say a big huge Thank You to everyone that has supported me, bought or downloaded my books and replied to my tweets or facebook messages. Every review, every message means the world to me, so thank you and I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas!

 
 
Secondly I don't have anything planned for this blog... It's Christmas Eve, my kids are tucked up in bed, there santa sacks stuffed full and the carrot & mince pie waiting for the big man in red :) My bed awaits...
 
But for those who have asked for a...
 
Here are a few of my favourite boys:
 
 
 
Happy Christmas!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Reads

Well now, who likes reading Christmassy books? And who is currently reading a holiday book? I am just about getting into the Christmas spirit and wading through a massive long list of things to do before Tuesday, but I am looking forward to starting a friend's debut novel which is released on Friday, called Christmas is Cancelled.

Now this book is a complete break from the norm. It isn't YA (shock horror)! It doesn't have vampires in it... or witches! In fact it is a regular human romance :) Now I normally don't read romance genre books... for a Cancerian I'm not very romantic... well I don't know maybe I am, but I like my romance REAL... gritty. Yeah Emma, Twilight is SO real LOL! Okay so I don't know what my excuse is, but anyway I am actually looking forward to reading this. So far it's getting some really great 5 star reviews (on the pre-pub copy) and I think it will be great to cosy up with over Christmas. Here's the blurb if you are interested:

Christmas Is Cancelled

Could Tilly's day get any worse? Even Christmas had been cancelled! Will Dean succumb to temptation as he endeavours to make Christmas better for both of them?
 
Matilda 'Tilly' Carter didn't think her day could get any worse, but even Christmas had just been cancelled. The one girl Dean Watson has sworn never to have—never even expected to see again—just flared back into his life and into his home—his sanctuary—like she belonged there. Christmas would certainly be more bearable with Tilly around though... As the chinks in Dean's armour appear, Tilly seizes the chance to win her knight once and for all. She's not about to take no for answer—not this time—but Dean must resist, even as his heart rebels and temptation threatens to undermine his resolve.
Win or lose? Love or honor? Which will Dean choose? Assuming he gets a choice...
 
 
Alternatively, if you fancy vampires for Christmas why not try a fabulous American author's prequel to Vaempires called Vaempires: White Christmas. It takes place before Vaempires: Revolutionary War, but it's best if you read it afterwards. Warning Tom doesn't hold back on the blood and gore, so if you like old fashioned, scary as hell vampires then his books are a must read!
 
Vaempires: White Christmas (The Evolutionary War)
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Witchblood PR Day

So the last three months have been pretty magical watching Witchblood and Witchcraft race up through the Amazon charts. Considering there are over 3million kindle books out there and I have no publishing house or PR team behind me I thought I was doing okay sitting around the 20,000 mark but then I published Witchcraft and I suddenly found myself flying past the 10k mark, and they just kept going up. October was a fantastic month that saw Witchblood hitting no 978 in the US Kindle charts and I was in the Top 100 Fiction/Supernatural Genre & Horror genre for two months.

Then half way through last month it began dipping and now I'm hovering back around the 5k mark which is pretty good, but as the rather wonderful James sings:
If I hadn't seen such riches, I could live with being poor!
So basically what I'm thinking is that I don't want it to fall further down just before my new release next year as I would get a lot more exposure if I could be higher up the charts when WitchLove is published. So I don't ask often and I promise I won't hassle you again until at least the WitchLove launch, but maybe just maybe would you care to join me for a Witchblood PR day tomorrow so we can blast the social networks en masse? I'll be around to retweet any tweets - if you want to link up find me @EmmaMwriter and #Witchblood. I've also posted all the links on the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Witchbloodthenovel?ref=hl

If you have a book blog and you would like to feature me please contact me and I'll happily send you copies to review or write guest posts with giveaways.

And if you want to listen to the awesome track that inspired this post I've added it here - Such a cool song!
 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Let the Editing Begin!

So the book is written and my proof reader has completed the first round of edits. I'm now going to thoroughly read through a chapter a day, editing as I go along and then it goes out to my Beta Readers!
Ann Billing & Laurie Barlow from the UK
Kim Deister & Nancy Allen from the US

And as I need extra readers this time to help check my American stuff I have run all the names left on last weeks blog post AND my facebook page and put them through Randompicker to choose one name from FB and one name from the blog:
Kelli Goodman
Kiearienna Quam
You are my new Beta readers!

I should be done with my 1st round of edits before Christmas and will email the book over to you guys. I can only send in Word format or kindle format and I will need it back by Fri 11th January with notes, comments, correction and any suggestions. Feel free to tell me if I am way out with my American characters or language. After all I am a Brit and I'm getting my American info from one visit to the States, TV programmes, Movies, Google and lots of books :)

Kelli & Kiearianna I will need your email addresses. Email me at emmamills (at) btinternet.com

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Blogoversary Celebrations!

Wow! I can't quite believe it but here I am, one year on and in that time I have published my first two books and written two entire novels!


It was last November that I wrote my first blog post tracking my journey up to the decision to self publish on Kindle and aren't I happy that I did! I uploaded Witchblood on January 6th and began furiously writing the sequel WitchCraft which I uploaded in June. Today I have just finished writing WitchLove, the third and final part in the trilogy, and in doing so completed the NaNoWriMo challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month! Let the editing commence.

Before I started blogging I really had no idea of what it was all about and being a fairly shy person I baulked at the idea of keeping it going, but actually it has been really fun and I've met loads of great people: fellow writers, friends, bloggers and even dare I say it... fans! As I'm writing this my blog count stands at 20,503 hits and currently I'm averaging at about 100 hits day which is more than I ever expected. SO a huge thanks to everyone who has supported me along the way. It means a lot to me.

So to celebrate the end of a great year I promised I'd post an excerpt from WitchLove. You'll find it on the 'Excerpts/Trailer' page by the end of the night... remember it hasn't been edited yet ;)

Also instead of a giveaway I'm looking for another Beta reader to read through WitchLove and let me know if there are any inconsistencies. So if you want to get your hands on WitchLove before the publishing date and think you know the characters from my first two books inside out leave a comment below along with your location and I'll pick a random winner at the weekend. 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Bella's Wish

So what with all my recent Twilight obsessing I have been watching loads of Twilight related YouTube videos and I came across one which was asking Kristen Stewart about her role as Bella. Asking how she related to Bella. Kristen said pretty much what I thought, that 'every girl projects their own personalities onto Bella.' She said 'there was no distinct character she was playing, she was just this girl in this extravagant situation.' I think that is one of the reasons Twilight became so popular, because Bella might be moody, she might be quiet, but she is after all just a normal teenage girl that needs her dad when things go wrong.
I think this is the reason I loved Twilight so much... and I think that is one of the things that got me thinking about creating my own story. I wrote Witchblood after loving Twilight. It wasn't that I thought I could do it as well, and I didn't want to copy it. No, but I what I wanted was to be that girl and know what it was like to be the vampire after she'd been turned. It was Breaking Dawn, that intrigued me the most and left me wanting more.

As soon as Bella found out about Edward and fell in love with him she wanted to be turned and it took her three books to convince him. And why wouldn't she? Vampires are sexy, strong and stay young forever. What I wondered was how many other readers wondered what would have happened if Bella had been turned at the end of the first book. So I went one better I turn Jess in the very first chapter!
Basically I was satisfying my own desires. I wrote Witchblood in first person and whilst Jess is different to me in many ways, in some ways she is similar. So the reader gets to be a vampire (and a witch) through Jess. What surprised me was that it turned out it wasn't all a bed of roses, being turned into a vampire doesn't necessarily solve your problems... in fact in Jess's case it definitely makes more!

So has my Twilight obsession been satisfied with writing my Witchblood trilogy? NO, has it heck! It turns out that a project I started as a kind of fan fiction... have a stab at writing has turned into a full blown career choice. Witchblood has ended up being totally different to Twilight and taken me on a completely different ride... but I still love Twilight! In fact I love Twilight so much that I've recently started to learn the piano... just so I can learn to play the beautiful music from the soundtracks!

Monday, 19 November 2012

A Celebration of Twilight


So I went to see Breaking Dawn Part 2 at the cinema yesterday and I thought that this week I'll devote my blog to all things Twilight, for I owe a lot to Stephanie Meyer. It was her books that introduced me to the genre and gave me the idea of writing my own supernatural UK based fiction. Without Twilight I would be lacking five amazing movies and five fantastic soundtracks from my collections. My bookshelves would possibly have two entire shelves of black covered YA fiction missing... I could go on!

Now books first... which is your favourite and which is your least favourite? I can't decide which one between Twilight and Eclipse would be my favourite book, but New Moon was definitely my worst. I was SO upset with Edward for leaving her in the middle of the woods like that!
Sticking with the books (but okay you can think movie characters too if you like, as one is so firmly entrenched with the other!) Whose team were you on? And did it ever change? Personally I have always, throughout the books and films been a Team Edward girl (even when he annoyed me and disappeared in New Moon!) I know some fans had massive issues with Robert Pattinson playing Edward, but I can't imagine anyone else now, can you? I think he did a fantastic job. They all did... My only issue with casting was possibly Rosalie... I'm not sure.

 
Now talking movies, which movie has been your favourite? I think they did a great job keeping them as close as possible to the books. I absolutely hate it when a film or series is changed completely from the books (*cough cough True Blood cough hate it!) Now I'm finding it hard to answer this one, because after just seeing Breaking Dawn Part 2 I'm totally in love with end of the series! It was amazing and I'm not giving any spoilers here... but wow! The ending was just perfect. I'm sure I didn't breathe for about five minutes, my heart was racing and it was one hell of an emotional roller coaster! There were some amazing shots, like this one:

 
It has the perfect mix of Romance:
 
Humour:
 
and Action:
 
Have you seen it yet?


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Celebrations... and More Writing!

Well guess what, we are approaching my blog's first ever anniversary on the 29th... Apparently this is called a blogoversary and should be celebrated with the respect it demands! So I'm having a think and came up with the idea of a sneak peak and maybe I'll have some prizes too.

So if you're a Witchblood fan and are patiently waiting for the release of WitchLove in February, make sure you log on and find me on the 29th and I'll post an excerpt for you.

WitchLove itself is going really well at the moment. After a really slow October I have to say joining NaNoWriMo was the best decision ever. My word count is now past the 50,000 point and into the final five chapters. Things are hotting up, Jess has decisions to make, battles to fight and friends to save :)

As you know whilst I'm writing the blogging is taking a back seat, but make sure you keep an eye out and come back for the party on the 29th!! Any excuse for a cake!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Witchblood Has Been Nominated!!!

Wow! Well here's a nice surprise. Yesterday I received a tweet asking for my email from one of the organisers at CYBILS saying my book had been nominated for the Cybils award!
CybilsLogo2012-Web-Small
Now I don't expect for a minute to win this thing because for I'm in the biggest category (Fantasy & Science Fiction) against the likes of Cinder, Crossed, Terry Pratchett's Dodger, Insurgent, Pandemonium... and more books published by the likes of HarperCollins & Egmont!
 
If you want to check the page of nominations out, here is the link. Witchblood is towards the bottom of the page as the're split into 'Middle School' and then 'Teen' AND they're alphabetical, so you need to whizz all the way down to the 'W's!!
 
 
 
Still a girl can dream...
 


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Shhh... I'm Writing!

So Halloween is over, my giveaway is done and dusted, and the prizes are going in the post today. I have gone quiet on my blog, you may be wondering... well there is a reason! Mainly because of last month being so busy I really didn't get much WitchLove writing done so this month I have decided to join NaNoWriMo... Crazy I know! 50,000 words in a month... balmy!
 Participant 180x180 (2)
So those of you who haven't heard of NaNoWriMo basically it means loads of writers join up and pledge to try and write a 50k word novel in a month. My Novels are about 70k, but as I already had 25k done I had about 50000 left to write which is perfect! There are forums and regional coffee meet-ups to keep you motivated. I haven't been to a meet/ write-up because I'm not sure how much writing I'd get done! But so far it is working. I worked out that I needed to write 2000 words a day, every day for the month (with weekends off to be with family). It doesn't sound too bad but with other commitments and insomnia raging 2000 words today is proving tricky! So far I've done 1000 and I am helping in school this afternoon!

The good news is that with some luck WitchLove will be completed (in first draft stage) by the end of the month. Which means I can do a read through before Christmas and get it to my proof readers and Beta readers in January.

I know some of you want it sooner... so maybe as a treat I'll blog a chapter excerpt soon. So tell me would you like to read about Jess in Manchester after the explosion or would you like to read about Jess in America meeting her family coven??? And if you want to keep an eye on the novel's progress check out the word count widget on the main page!

Keep tuned!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Giveaway Winners

A massive thank you to all the people who visited my blog this last week. I had a massive 111 entries for the giveaway!

So a big CONGRATULATIONS to Sara Walker who won the Goodie bag consisting of book bag, bookmark, magnet, angel pendant & edited e-copies of both books. Rafflecopter also chose a 2nd winner for runner-up prize consisting of a bookmark, pendant, magnet & ebooks going to Kim Deister.

Contact me and I'll get these parcelled up and in the post this week, enjoy!

Ps Do you like my new vampire contacts? They were bought for Halloween but turned up today... so I'll have to wear them to Breaking Dawn movie instead :)

Friday, 26 October 2012

The Big Halloween Giveaway

So it's the week we've all been waiting for... well who doesn't love Halloween?! I thought I'd post this a little early and leave it up all week because with two small children on half term holidays I am going to be busy next week... in fact I've set myself a new challenge and decided to make a Gingerbread Haunted House (from scratch - no kits here!) So that will probably take up the next few days lol!

So as a big THANK YOU to all my lovely fans who have supported me this year, bought, downloaded and reviewed my books here is a little treat for you. I am going to run a big giveaway which is open INTERNATIONALLY.



The Prize will consist of: Witchblood Book Bag, Bookmark, a WitchLove Magnet & Jess's Obsidian Protective Necklace that she is given in WitchLove!! Also included is the new edited versions of both WitchBlood & WitchCraft.

I have added a Rafflecopter entry form below, please if anyone wants to enter and has problems with this let me know. You can also enter by leaving a comment below or on my Facebook page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 22 October 2012

Scary Reads for Halloween

As it's only 5 days from my big giveaway I thought I'd begin the countdown to Halloween with a post about the scariest books. Now I've not actually read many scary books, in fact I think the scariest book I've read is probably 'We Need To Talk About Kevin' by Lionel Shriver. I read this book last year for book club and it was possibly the most depressing and frightening story I've every read! You've probably all heard about it, as it's now a movie (which I haven't bothered depressing myself with) but the idea of a truly evil child is the worst kind of horror!

Apart from coming up with WNTTAK book I couldn't think of much else so I googled scariest novels and this is Goodreads Top 5:
  1. The Shining - Stephen King
  2. Salem's Lot - Stephen King
  3. IT - Stephen King
  4. The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty
  5. Pet Semetary - Stephen King
As I thought this was a little bias towards the mighty King I did another non-S.K search and came up with Bram Stokers 'Dracula', American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. My husband also suggested The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.

From reading through these lists I can now add that I have read and loved Bram Stoker's Dracula, but it's not particularly terrifying, nor is The Turn of The Screw by Henry James. So I decided to challenge myself to read one of the top 3 by Halloween.

I've chosen Salem's Lot, firstly because I can't get the image of Jack Nicholson from The Shining movie out of my head, and that alone enough to give me nightmares; and secondly because Salem's Lot is about vampires... right up my street! It's also set in New England which is where I am writing about currently in WitchLove, so I thought it would be interesting.

Tell me, what is the scariest book you have read?

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Journey to Paperback

Well I can now happily say that Witchblood is now available on Amazon in Paperback! It has been a long time coming and was a difficult decision to make, but in the end I decided to go for it using Createspace which is free, as I had nothing to lose.

In preparing the book for paperback it has also been given a thorough edit by a professional American editor, Holland House, who I fully recommend to any indie authors out there, also it was rather gratifying to see that actually there wasn't that much that needed changing.

For anyone interested in the paperback process, it is fairly simple to do on your own... just a little time consuming! Createspace takes you through everything step by step. As with the Kindle publishing the most difficult part is the formatting as everything needs to be re-formatted depending on which book size you choose, and then you have to design a front and back cover, and again everything needs to be changed size-wise.



But the end product is worth it, and its nice to know you've done it all yourself... okay I'm probably a control freak, but at least I know I've got the cover I want, the book size I want and everything about it is my decision.

The one thing that surprised me was the print costs. I honestly couldn't get the book price under £6.99 / $8.99 as the print costs actually cost me almost the same. I'm actually not making any more profit on my paperbacks than my kindle copies. So out of £6.99 I get about 30p!!  But I'm not bothered, I just wanted it out there available for the people that don't have e-readers yet. So now if you go to Witchblood on Amazon you should be given a choice between Kindle & paperback.

Next I'm working on Witchcraft and hope to have it ready before Christmas.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A Witches Chant for Halloween

Today I've been writing chapter nine in WitchLove and coming up with some fun spells, so to get us in the mood for Halloween I thought I'd give you the most famous spell of all, read in a really spooky whisper which I love!



1st Witch:
Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.

2nd Witch:
Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.

3rd Witch
Harpier cries:—'tis time! 'tis time!
1st Witch:
Round about the cauldron go:
In the poisoned entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Sweated venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first in the charmed pot.

All:
Double,double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.


2nd Witch:
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blindworm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing.
For charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
All:
Double,double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and couldron bubble.


3rd Witch:
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witch's mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd in the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat; and slips of yew
Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,-
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For ingredients of our cauldron.
All:
Double,double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
2nd Witch:
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.
 
 So I am still running my giveaway month so if you want a Witchblood bookmark leave a comment below and let me know where this chant is from.


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Local Ghost Stories: Part 2

Following on from the Spectre Hound story we have another two stories which abound from the very same area in Hyde, a few miles from me. The first is that of the old woman who haunts an old farmhouse, near to where there have been sightings of the spectre hound. In the same book, 'History of Hyde' it says:

Tradition says that the farm is haunted. In former times it was occupied by a family, the last survivor of which was an old dame, who is said to have been the very picture of a witch. After her death, her spirit, unable to rest in the grave, commenced to wander through the farm at night. Various persons who have at different times resided in the farm, have related strange stories of their experiences of the ghostly visitant. In the dead of night, the doors - even those that were locked - have suddenly opened, footsteps have been heard as though some unseen being walked through the rooms and up the stairs, and then the doors have closed and locked themselves as mysteriously as they opened. Sleepers have been awakened by the beds on which they lay suddenly commencing to rock violently; and at times the bedclothes have been snatched away, and deposited in a heap upon the floor. The ghostly figure of an old woman has been seen moving about from room to room, and then has vanished. Fire-irons have been moved, and have tumbled and danced about mysteriously; pots and pans have rattled, and tumbled to the floor; and there has been heard a strange noise as though someone invisible was sweeping the floor.

(In) 1890 the occupants were startled by hearing a loud noise in the upper rooms. When they entered the room from which the noise came they beheld the curious sight of an old rocking chair, violently rocking itself as though some person might have been seated in it, and the rocking continued unabated for a considerable time. It is said that the old dame, whose ghost haunts the place, died in her rocking chair in that very room; and the belief was that it was her spirit, invisible to the inhabitants of the farm, which set the chair rocking so mysteriously.

To add to the mystery and the uncanny character of the place, there is a certain part of the garden of the farm on which nothing will grow. Some time ago human bones were dug up, and it is said a murdered man was once buried there, and that the place is accursed. Several tenants of the farm have assured the writer that they have again and again tried to bring that spot to the same state of fruitfulness as the rest of the garden, but all to no purpose!!!


Spooky! This tale reminds me somewhat of the film, Paranormal Activity... scary scary! The other ghost story from this area is even weirder and is that of a phantom lorry! This is the story written by a Jeffrey Stafford:

jeff8
jeff9

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Magic of Glastonbury

For those who don't know, Glastonbury is a small town in Somerset England, famous for its music festival and it's Tor. As I live in North England I have never been to Glastonbury before, but when I heard about the Witches Market, being held there this weekend, I knew I'd have to go!

Glastonbury is a magical place with an abundance of fairy tales and myths. The most famous myth of course is that of the Isle of Avalon and King Arthur. In some Arthurian literature Glastonbury is identified with the legendary island of Avalon. An early Welsh poem links Arthur to the Tor in an account of a confrontation between Arthur and Melwas, who had kidnapped Queen Guinevere. According to some versions of the Arthurian legend, Lancelot retreated to Glastonbury Abbey in penance following Arthur's death, and in 1191 some monks claimed to have found the graves of King Arthur and Guinevere in the Abbey.

In the afternoon, with the sun shining we walked up the Tor, which is so beautiful and affords amazing views of the surrounding countryside. The Tor is another magical place in Glastonbury. It has been called a magic mountain, a faeries' glass hill, a spiral castle, a Grail castle, the Land of the Dead, Hades, a Druid initiation centre, an Arthurian hill-fort, a magnetic power-point, a crossroads of leys, a place of Goddess fertility rituals and celebrations and a converging point for UFOs!

Magic is all around. The town centre itself is filled with crystal shops, witches shops and heavenly little cafes. Another favourite place we found was the Glastonbury White Spring Temple. There are two different healing springs in Glastonbury, one touched red with iron and the other white with Calcite and they both rise within a few metres of each other from the caverns beneath the Tor. A temple has been created around an old Victorian well house. It is lit with candles and free to enter and to collect the water... or bathe in it if you so wish!
 
 
The Witches market itself was brilliant and I soon emptied my wallet (& my husband's) on a bagful of faerie books, candles, crystals and cookies! I met some lovely people there, everyone is so friendly in Glastonbury and I hope to blog about them and their work soon. I think I've found my soul-home. I need to live here!
 
The winner of Friday's bookmark is Nancy Allen and if you want a Witchblood bookmark leave a comment below and tell me if you've ever visited a place and felt instantly at home.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Halloween Post 2: Ghost Stories

 
Well, I've been thinking of some ideas for my blog for the next couple of weeks and I thought it would be fun if I researched some local ghost stories. After all, who doesn't like a good old ghost story?! But firstly, seeing as I only had two comments on Monday's post & it's the first halloween post, I'd send bookmarks to both, so congrats Heavyn & Kaylee and thanks for commenting. If you like my facebook page and send me a Direct Message with your address in, I will get them posted out to you.
 
So for today's post here is the story of  The Ghost Hound of Godley Green, which I found in The History of Hyde. It mentions an old farmhouse in Godley which was haunted by the ghost of a woman who was the last survivor of a family which had occupied it. (I'm doing this story soon!) The book then says:
 

'A few hundred yards away from the haunted farm of Godley Green, there once stood another old and picturesque farm which was pulled down towards the end of the nineteenth century. There is a curious legend told of this old building. The legend says that some people were murdered in the house; and that ever since an evil spirit in the shape of a great yellow hound has haunted the neighbourhood. Many people claim to have seen the spectre hound. Old occupants of the adjoining farms have assured the writer that they have been awakened from their sleep in the dead of night by noises in the fields, and on looking through the windows have seen the terrified cattle dashing wildly across the fields, chased by the horrible form of the great ghost-hound.


One well-known tradesman of Hyde, thus relates his experience:
"I was walking down the lane when suddenly I saw the thing beside me. I was not more than a yard from the hedge, and the ghost was between me and the hedge, I struck at it, but my hand went clean through it, and my knuckles were scratched by the hedge. My blood ran cold, and I was terribly frightened. It ran in front of me, and then came back; it did not turn round to do this, but strange to say its head was in front when it returned. As soon as it vanished I took to my heels as fast as I could run and it was a long time before I ventured in that lane again."'
 
Again, if you would like a Witchlood bookmark, leave a comment below. Do you know any good local ghost stories?

Monday, 1 October 2012

Tis the month of Halloween...

October is usually one of my favourite months of the year. I love the changing season, the leaves turning from green to red, the cool crispness in the air that gets you wondering whether to put on a hat... and of course Halloween! I only say usually because this year the only sunshine I've seen was in Greece, and there hasn't been a summer to change from. Winter is pretty much already here!

As I love all things supernatural, real and fictional, and could probably class myself as a little bit wiccan... I just haven't the time available to put into the studying required (plus Wiccans love all nature and I pretty much only love dry nature. I'm not so good with rain and tend to hibernate in the winter unless it's one of those beautiful sunny, freezing days where the sun sparkles on the frost...) But Ghosts... yes I've seen them, Crystals... yes I love them, a female-centric religion which worships goddesses AND gods... much more appealing. Stories about vampires, witches, werewolves and faeries love, love, love, so lets bring on Halloween!

Photo
So, I thought as we are starting the month with September's harvest moon (the last day of the full moon is tonight) and ending the month with Samhain (or Halloween) I'd do a month of Halloween related posts and a month long giveaway! I'll be setting up the grand prize giveaway to run in the final week of October, with bookmarks to giveaway to a random comment each post, starting with this one! So leave me a comment and tell me what you most like about October to win a Witchcraft/Witchblood bookmark.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Problem With Names...

When I first started writing Witchblood one of the things I found most enjoyable was naming my characters. When thinking of names for my unborn babies it was rather more difficult because my husband had to agree with my choices! However naming characters is much more fun. I usually take into account their date of birth, then do some research on popular names around that time, then I take into consideration their personality and supernatural type.

It is only now I'm writing the third book I'm having problems. Firstly I've already used up a lot of favourite names, secondly names of friends or family often spring to mind and then think eek I can't use that because they'll get offended (especially as I have a fair amount of seriously evil characters in my books!)

The main problem I have just encountered is totally my own fault and comes from my start writing and see how things pan out style! I know authors are told to meticulously plan their entire book series but it doesn't work for me. I started out doing that in Witchblood, but then the characters got a mind of their own and started veering away from my plot, so in the end I gave up, let them do their thing and ended up with something better.

Currently I have plot lines for WitchLove up to Chapter ten and I still don't know how it's going to end... well I have an idea but... Anyway, a new character has just popped up and become a main character - Jess's aunt. Now for some reason in WitchCraft I mentioned Jess having an American aunt and without much thought, I called her Sally... and then I forgot about her! Move on five months and here I am writing WitchLove with a great new auntie character I've called Aunt Cora (yes I'm big into Downton Abbey currently!) and then six chapters in I suddenly find out I already named her Sally in the last book! Damnation! Now in my head she's Cora, but due to a couple of thousand people out there having a book that tells them Jess's aunt in Sally, I'm going to have to revert to Sally... and it's too twee. Why oh Why did I not plan?!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

On Making Money...

In a recent Amazon.com review for WitchCraft one reviewer put:

Ms. Mills, you need to charge more for your books. Great series. Likable characters. Fun adventures and much much more.

Now WitchCraft is actually my most expensive book priced at $2.99 or £1.53. Witchblood, the first instalment is only 99c / 77p and I've had many a raised eyebrow from friends and family at this pricing, when they see paperbacks on the shelves at £7.99. However, paperbacks cost a lot more to make as I'm just finding out. Currently I'm looking into using Createspace to turn the Witchblood series into paperback, which will hopefully be available on Amazon by the end of the year. The higher priced paperbacks are also generally well known names, classing themselves as 'published authors,' somehow when you self-publish this accreditation is much harder to come by and I do understand why!

However even compared to other indie authors my prices are indeed low, and especially with Witchblood I barely make any commission at all, but I think it's worth it. Currently I feel like a novice, I'm just learning my trade and hopefully gaining some fans along the way. It still amazes me every day, when I see 10 'likes' on a Wichblood Facebook post, from people I don't know and who live thousands of miles away. I think my writing is getting better with each book, I hope my proof readers, editors and such find less errors... that's the plan anyway! I'm trying to write the best stuff that I can, I'm spending much less time on marketing, twitter etc because I've come to believe that it's pretty pointless. I am much better spending my valuable time writing. You readers are my best chance of success, if you like my books leave me a review - I read all of them and try to learn from all of the constructive ones. Hopefully if you like my books you'll become a repeat reader or recommend me to a friend, and if you don't like it... well you've only spent 77p so it's not the end of the world is it?!


So maybe I will put my prices up a little in the future when I have a larger title list; but for now I'm just happy to have people trying my novels and taking a chance on a new, unknown author.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

WitchBlood Goodies...

Oooo look the WitchBood goodies have arrived! I have already nabbed one of the Witchblood bags and have been using it for shopping and school run. It says 'Half Witch' in green and looks great... In hindsight I should have maybe put the website or series title a bit larger, but never mind!


I've also got 50 bookmarks to giveaway to people which I'm really happy with as they are double sided.

I thought I'd run a Halloween giveaway (and it WILL be international so my friends across the Atlantic are included!) Any ideas? I was also wondering if people would be interested if I included an angel crystal pendant with the 1st prize?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Look Challenge

Well, I've been tagged by the lovely Tom Winship, author of the Vaempires Series I reviewed in my previous post! Basically, he had done the Look Challenge and as part of it you have to then tag another five authors. What I love is that Tom chose me alongside Stephen King... How cool is that?!

Anyway the deal is I have to locate the first usage of the word Look in my current manuscript and then post the surrounding paragraphs as an expert of the book on your blog. Like Tom, I think this sounds like a good reason for a blog post, so here goes... it could be tricky as I'm only 2 chapters into my current manuscript WitchLove, and there is also the possibility of giving away too much... wouldn't want now would we?!

Okay, it's fine. I found a LOOK on the 2nd page of Chapter One so no surprises ;) Also be warned I only wrote this last week, and it's un-edited, un-proof read and was written all in a rush and is liable to change!


Everybody wanted a piece of me, but Luke and Daniel were the only people I felt I could trust and now Daniel was gone.
‘Hey you, don’t you want to wear something a bit more…’ Luke said, as I made it downstairs.
‘A bit more what, Luke?’ I said.
‘Erm… no it’s fine, you just… Well you look a bit…’
‘What?’
‘Tough? A bit Matrix meets Underworld. It’s not you Jess and we want the council to be lenient,’ Luke said, not quite meeting my eyes.
‘Yeah well, I want them to know that I can handle myself, that I kicked that vampire, rapist’s butt and set him ablaze… Well that was before your mate came in and decapitated him,’ I said, feeling the involuntary pull of my lips as they curled upwards. He looked up, met my gaze and grinned back.
‘Fine, come on then, but I’m calling you Selene, the vampire warrior from now on,’ he said, walking past me, intentionally bumping into me and knocking me sideways.

So, there you have it! Hope this has given you a taste for more :) Now I have to tag five authors:

Dianna Hardy
Patricia Lynne
Penelope Fletcher
My favourite Vampire Series Author Richelle Mead
and my soon to be published Romance Author friend Aurelia B. Rowl

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Vaempires Revolution: Review

You may remember that earlier in the year I did a blog swap with Tom Winship, author of the Vaempires series and having a pile of books to wade through along with a couple to write I hadn't got round to reading this series? Well over the summer I took my kindle on holiday and decided it was time to knuckle down, stop being squeamish and give them a go! I was glad I did. Here is my review:
 
Vaempires: Revolution (The Evolutionary War, Book One)
 
Blurb:
 
Cassandra’s boyfriend, Daniel, is late for the party. He’s still outside the city when all hell breaks loose. What he believes is an act of terrorism proves to be a full-fledged revolution. Væmpires—former vampires who mutated into warm-blooded creatures with an insatiable hunger for cold blood—have launched coordinated attacks across the globe, with three goals: the eradication of humanity, the enslavement of vampires, and the ascension of væmpires as the dominant species on the planet.

The vampire and human leaders are killed. Cassandra is missing. Daniel is the acting king. Desperate to find the princess, Daniel and his friends fight their way across the besieged city. With the hopes of the free world resting on the shoulders of four vampire teenagers, væmpires unleash their secret weapons—væmpires with special powers.

What can four teens do against an enemy that can shape-shift, fly, or walk through walls?
 
Review:
 
The vampire/supernatural books I read are generally all YA genre, this book is different. It is hard to class because it has a teenage hero & heroine, but in my opinion it is exceptionally violent, more so than the Hunger Games. This is a YA book written for adults... or maybe not, I'm not sure.

What I do like is the evolution of vampires and the ideas of a new (& very scary) future. The writing was brilliant and highly descriptive. I could imagine every drop of blood spattered and every wail and scream! At some points I had to skim over parts which were too violent for my tastes, but I'm a bit of a wimp and don't like gory action/war films, and this is a book of war. A war like no other. A war between vampires and vaempires.

Somewhere amongst the fighting there is a love story. I would have liked a lot more development of this, but then I like YA romance!

If you like vampires, war and lots of action you will pretty much definitely love this book.


****

Since I got back from my holiday unfortunately my reading has been paused to wite WitchLove so I haven't had time read the prequel, 'White Christmas, but I believe this has all the relationship history of the characters which I will enjoy reading in the near future.


Also for all Vaempire fans out there Tom is set to release the sequel, Vaempires: Zombie Rising next month!

Vaempires: Zombie Rising
Find Tom at:
http://www.vaempires.com

http://www.twitter.com/vaempires



Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Broken Destiny Trailer Release


So, last week an author friend released her book trailer for Book One of her 'Broken' series. She sent me the link so we could have a look, but first the blurb:

An amazing new sci-fi, urban fantasy series begins with The Broken Destiny: Book One of the Broken Series. Ava’s people have been exiled to the planet Poseidon where, through a series of awful events, Ava discovers that their existence has been fabricated by the Council and that she has a Destiny that could save them. Her soul is a key to a secret weapon that has been lost to an ancient race. To live up to her Destiny, Ava needs to go through a sequence of changes that will reveal her true purpose. Throughout her journey she will become what she hates in order to save the ones she loves; and through it all she will find herself – for that is her Destiny. The next in the series, Evanescent, is not to be missed. Carlyle Labuschagne lives in Johannesburg South Africa. She has always been a daydreamer, wanting to inspire others, and now finally her dreams have come true with her debut novel. Follow the author at http://twitter@CarlyleL and www.carlylelabuschagne.com. Publisher's website: http://www.sbpra.com/CarlyleLabuschagne

Here is the books trailer:
 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Voices in my Head

Today two things happened, one good, one not so good. It's not bad exactly...just infuriating. But these things happen to teach us the error of ways and today I have learnt that no matter where I am or what I am doing I should ALWAYS carry a notepad and pen.

So I was driving home from the garden centre this afternoon, mulling over my plot lines for WitchLove and listening to Birdy on my cd player and track 10 came on, 'Without a Word'.
 
 
This song could be written about Jess, her feelings, her pain and what she's about to go through in Chapter two, WitchLove. It's perfect, if only I could use it for my trailer huh?!
 
Anyway, the song got me thinking and before I knew it the voices in my head were chattering away... yes I have voices in my head. I'm not sure yet if that makes me a writer or a lunatic, or maybe both, but as soon as I get any quiet time... well let's just say, I'm never on my own. I'm always joined by the full cast and characters from my WIP. Generally it helps, not so much when it's 1am but who I am to argue, I pop the light back on and write it down dutifully in my notebook. But guess who didn't take her notebook to the garden centre?
 
Yes, I was only 10 mins from home, I told myself I'd remember, but when I got home I did some gardening, then I picked the kids up from school. It was only when I was relaxing in the bath that I remembered my grand idea... except I couldn't remember what the damn thing was! I still can't remember and I spent the full 30mins racking my empty head and trying my best to remember.
 
So the moral of my tale is, Always carry a notebook, or more important, just a pen...you can write on my skin if necessary!
 

Monday, 3 September 2012

Back to School...

 


Well the summer holidays are over, hubbie has started a new job today, the kids go back to school tomorrow and the sun has come out to play... Typical! I hope you've all had a good summer, mine has been lovely actually. I took some time off to relax following my illness last June and luckily it coincided with my husband taking gardening leave before starting a new job, so we've had a lovely month together as a family, including our chilled out holiday in Corfu!

I was worried that my sales would dive bomb with me going AWOL, but instead they have only grown which is fantastic. It is so great to see people buying and enjoying my books. I can't wait to get started on writing WitchLove. I have all the chapter notes on my desk and come 09:30 tomorrow I will be sitting down and starting work! Though I have to say... I don't know about other authors out there, but I hate writing the first two chapters. It fills me with terror as excuses to delay and make more cups of tea, rapidly fill my brain, leaving no room for actual words! So click on Facebook tomorrow to see how many words I actually managed to write, and if it is above 1000 I will be extremely happy!

 

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Being Human: Review

Being Human
 
Goodreads Blurb:
For Tommy, there is only one thing he needs to do: survive.

Only surviving isn't that easy. The hunt for blood can be tricky when humans know to fear the night. Desire sits on the edge of his mind, urging him to become the monster humans think he is. Vampire Forces, a special branch of police, is determined to turn every vampire to ash. Tommy included.

The only human Tommy can trust is his twin brother. A bond connects them, and with Danny's help, Tommy starts to understand the human world he struggles to survive in. He'll learn what friendships means and feel the sting of betrayal, find that sometimes the worst monsters are very human, and come to understand that family means more than blood.

Review:
There are a lot of vampire books out there, mine included, but I believe that Patricia has created another new, but worthwhile take on 'vampires living amongst humans'. I thoroughly enjoyed 'Being Human', a story following the life of a pair of twins, as one of them is turned and one remains human and struggles to stay connected to his twin.

I liked the way the book began by showing you the violent, unemotional side of the vampires. Depicting them as the blood sucking monsters they have always been, and yet by the end of the novel, you are made to question whether the vampires are as monstorous as the humans who hate them.

A well thought out, engaging read.
****
 Stalk Patricia here:
 

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Vampires in Corfu?

No... I just can't see it! It would take a seismic shift of immense proportions to change the beautiful, sunny island bobbing gently in the Ionian sea. Sure there was wifi in some of the cafes, and prices had quadrupled, thanks to the Euro, but not much else had changed since I'd last been there 25 years ago. I had to squeeze my eyes tightly shut and cut out the perfect idyll surrounding me in order to envisage my somewhat darker plot lines developing in WitchLove.


This friendly fellow was as close as I got to anything remotely vampire related, and as he was only about 3 inches long I don't think he was after anything other than a late afternoon drink from the pool!   ;)

However, now I'm back from the lush island of Corfu, back in the freezing cold, soaking wet north of England, I can get back to my writing! I can announce that whilst away I did scribble down several pages of plans for the first 8 chapters of WitchLove, and I intend to get the rest mapped out this week and then when the kiddies go back to school next week my nose will be firmly stuck in the laptop and writing will commence.

So thank you for bearing with me through my idle summer holiday, and to thank you all, and all my new fans for helping me break my sales records for the second month in a row, I have just ordered some Witchblood goodies, and I'll be having a big giveaway as soon as it arrives. It's international as well, so I'm not leaving anyone out this time!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Looking for Alaska: Review

Looking for Alaska


Goodreads Blurb:
A deeply affecting coming-of-age story, Looking for Alaska traces the journey of Miles Halter, a misfit Florida teenager who leaves the safety of home for a boarding school in Alabama and a chance to explore the "Great Perhaps."

The kids grow closer as they make their way through a school year filled with contraband, tests, pranks, breakups, and revelations about family and life. But as the story hurtles toward its shattering climax, chapter headings like "forty-six days before" and "the last day" portend a tragic event―one that will change Miles forever and lead him to new conclusions about the value of his cherished "Great Perhaps."

Review:
I read this book straight after 'The Fault in Our Stars' and I think it lacked something because of that. This book is a very good book... but 'Fault' is better! A theme I see running through John Green's book is that of the intelligent, geeky and slightly outcast teenager. Green voices these characters perfectly and gives them depth and humour, and I love that. 

The problem I had with this book (which I did not have with 'Fault') is that for a large percentage of the book it is all about teenagers pranking each other in school., smoking illegal cigerettes and drinking... it's fun, but I think I'm just too old to appreciate it fully! I got a little bored of them with their teenage dilemmas and dramatics.

However, it does become more interesting in the days 'after' the shocking event, which as a reader you know Green counting down too throughout the first half of the book.  For me the book was worth reading just for the last chapter: Mile's religious studies essay... perfect! All in all I think this is a brilliantly well written YA novel that will appeal to teenagers more than adults like me.
****


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

WitchLove: Love Triangles in YA Fiction

After a couple of semi-negative comments about my Witchblood series having another love triangle in it I thought I'd address the issue and explain my reasons. Firstly I would like to point out that I don't believe I have actually written a true love triangle in Witchblood. There is an ex-boyfriend and there is a new boyfriend. Jess's emotions may overlap on occasion but I wrote this on purpose... not to toy with my readers emotions, but to reflect real life.

We have to remember that Jess is only 17. One reviewer asked why so many YA writers were introducing love triangles, and asked why they couldn't just have one love... Well I don't know about other writers, but for me it makes it more realistic. Part of growing up and becoming an adult is about falling in love and generally six months later falling out of love again! I know I thought every boyfriend from the age of 15 was 'The One', at least for a short time! Ironically my husband was the only one I started out dating, not expecting him to be the one I would marry, and it turned out he was the only one that could offer me everything I'd ever wanted.

So yeah, I don't think it's very realistic to have a teenage girl meet the love of her life at 17 and not be tempted by other relationships. Sure some may marry their first love, but not many. Some may meet 'The One' at 17, but then split up, date other guys and then end up going back to her first love. Sometimes love changes to friendship, and sometimes you have to date half a dozen idiots to realise how good you had it... And in the last book WitchLove I intend to take Jess on that journey of discovery, and her current love prospects may change yet again!