/> Witchblood: January 2012

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Witchblood Blog Tour

Sorry that I've been a bit negligent with updating my site last week! I have had a hundred and one things on my plate and been desperately trying to arrange a short notice blog tour for Witchblood! Usually these things have months to prepare, but due to WB being published as a last minute decision in January, I've been learning things as I go along!

I thought a blog tour would be the ideal follow-up to the fantastic publicity I had in the newspapers last week, but subsequently I didn't want to wait too long as in the spring I need to start on the promotion for Witchcraft, the sequel!

So here it is my first attempt at making a promo poster with Gimp (like Photoshop but free!) and my first attempt at using layers and messing with gradients! Hope you like it!

I will be doing a post for each of the listed blogs on the dates shown above. There will be an interview with me, Location inspiration, my brand new (it's currently in the making) drum roll...Book Trailer, my favourite YA books and characters, hopefully a fabulous review and lots of chances to grab a free copy of Witchblood! So get googling the fabulous book blogs above and check out their great sites, and I will see you there on the 10th! (Some of the sites may have buttons down my sidebar.)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Media Promotion...I'm in the News!

Wow! Today I am in the M.E.N, which stands for Manchester Evening News, and is the regional newspaper. I'm extremely happy to be published in this paper, as it has a huge spread and the feature writer has done a lovely article on why I chose to start writing. The link to the online article is:

Amazingly, I am also featured on the front cover and page 3 of our local newspaper, The Glossop Advertiser. This article, although not quite as well written is brilliant for exposure, although a tad embarrassing when I do the school run, and everyone has seen me in it LOL! The link for this one is:

So, for any newcomers, that have found there way here via the newspapers, take a look around. My debut novel Witchblood is only 77p on Amazon or Smashwords, and I'd really love any feedback you care to give me! There is also a free competition to win your name in my sequel, so check it out and answer the polls.

Fantastically, I had another TWO 5 star reviews posted on Amazon today...I can't believe it. So I'd like to thank my readers and fans for being such an amazing support over the last two months as I've been getting this off the ground!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Why Manchester?

They say to write about what you know...so setting Witchblood in Manchester seemed an obvious choice. Part of my motivation for writing Witchblood was to write a YA paranormal romance that was British; when so many popular YA's out there are American.

I grew up in South Manchester and then went to Manchester Metroplitan University, so by the time I was twenty I knew the city centre like the back of my hand. Even now, married with two kiddies I may have moved out into the surrounding hills, but I'm still only 30 minutes away when I want a shopping spree!

I thought a post about Manchester, for those who don't know the city might be good. So here's a snap shot of my favourite parts of the city, and the things it's famous for.

P.s the sky is very rarely blue - you are more likely to get rain that sun, so don't let the photos fool you! ;-)

But, Manchester is a beautiful city with a great fusion of historic and modern, culture and entertainment; two premiere league football teams vying to be No1, and a reputation for producing some of the best ever bands!

Later in the week I will be posting another Manchester blog; but this time I'll be showing you locations from the book. Photos that gave me my inspiration writing Witchblood, and places I imagine Jess & Daniel hanging out. So keep an eye out!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Writing & Ranking

I've been good this week and done some writing every day, following Mr King's advice as much as possible! Yesterday, I wrote another 1000 words and finished chapter three. Today, I had a 'down' day and only managed to write the first 500 words of chapter four, but the house was beginning to look like a rubbish dump, and in the afternoon I had to help out in school.

This evening my spirits have been lifted with a bit of retail therapy, I need a new phone (now I'm a published author -tee hee hee- a smartphone will allow me to keep in touch and promote when I'm out & about), that's my excuse anyway! I've always lusted after the HTC Desire and I could never afford one...well guess what? I've just found a mega deal with cashback too! Isn't it pretty? :-D

However the main reason for my high spirits is, I've just checked my Amazon page and I have sold another book in the US today and another 2 here in the UK. This has bumped my Kindle Sales Ranking from somewhere around 700,000 9 days ago to 12,074 today! It's no Amanda Hocking equivalent, but I'm quite happy!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Witchcraft...in progress!

Today I sat down and took Stephen King's advice and wrote all morning! In the summer I read his book 'On Writing' and found it really helpful and interesting.

The first half of the book is a quick autobiography. It's funny, self-deprecating and fascinating. I had no idea about any of Stephen King's past or childhood and found it riveting, which is probably largely to do with his excellent writing! Still, he's got thirty years on me, so hopefully with experience I can catch-up! Following the autobiography is what he calls a writers 'tool kit' - a section dedicated to whipping would-be authors into line and telling us a few fundamental tips. The two that stick out in my mind are:

Reading is the creative centre of a writer's life. I take a book with me everywhere I go...The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing. The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor.

This is great news to me, as an avid reader. I can only hope that it is true and I don't make a fool of myself with my writing!

By the time you step into your writing space and close the door, you should have settled on a daily writing goal... I suggest a thousand words a day, and because I'm feeling magnanimous, I'll also suggest that you take one day off a week, at least to begin with. No more; you'll lose the urgency and immediacy of your story if you do.

However obvious this advice may seem to those sensible types out there, to me this was a revelation! It also explained the negative feedback I'd received from my agent in the summer, regarding a new YA I'd started - she said it felt disconnected. This was probably due to me doing exactly what Stephen King tells you to avoid - I would write a chapter one weekend, send it off and then wait two weeks for feedback, before starting the the next! No wonder it was fragmented!

So at 09:20 with this piece of advice in mind, I cleared the kitchen table, made myself a large mug of tea and
sat down in front of my laptop to make a start on WITCHCRAFT! First I re-read the 6000 odd words I had previously written, split it into two chapters, typed 'Chapter Three', and got to work!

By 11:00 I had the 1000 words required so I made another mug of tea and decided to do another hour before CSI came on! By twelve I had 1575 words, not bad for the first day back!

This is the last thing I wrote today:
‘Is that how little you think of me Eva? Yes, she got the book. She sucked us into some kind of vortex thing, and I risked everything to save that book by jumping out of what she called ‘ley-lines’. That’s how I broke my arm. I dislocated my shoulder too, but that went back,’ I added with a retch, as I remembered the sickening crack as it clicked back into place.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

My First Amazon Review

Well, Witchblood has been published for 5 days now and I've got my first Amazon review! 5 stars, I'm so thrilled! Here is what it says:

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner !, 14 Jan 2012
This review is from: Witchblood (Kindle Edition)
A refreshing change to have a vampire book based in the UK and such a fresh take on the genre.

The prologue hooks you instantly and the book does not disappoint. Witchcraft and vampire powers collide in this teen fiction based in Manchester with the main character, Jess, torn between her old and new life. Her humanity struggles are wonderfully unravelled throughout the book as we learn more about her past and what her future may hold as she rebels and fights and discovers who she truly is.

A worthy strong heroine who I hope we can follow into the next book! I will be awaiting the next one........

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Book Review: Peachville High Demons Bk 1 & 2: Sarra Cannon

Harper Madison isn't like other girls is the tag line from Beautiful Demons, book one in the Peachville series; and this is certainly true. Harper has magical talents, which even she doesn't know how to control, but while Harper may not be like other girls, she is the girl you'd want to be (forgetting her traumatic history!) She is beautiful, but down-to-earth, smart, sassy and  fearless. The plot is fast paced and keeps you guessing enough to keep turning those pages, as Harper joins Peachville's cheerleaders and sets out to discover the towns big secret!

Inner Demons is book two in the series, and is just as enjoyable. Harper is now an offical member of the cheerleading squad in Peachville and finds herself embroiled in magical training, secret rituals and sleepovers with a difference. Her eyes are opened to a new world, yet is she seeing everything she should?

I can happily recommend both books to readers, as they both compelled me to buy the next in the series and keep reading. I'm looking forwad to reading Bitter Demons, which is next on my list!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


Just to let everyone know that Witchblood is now also available on Smashwords for 99c (it's a U.S site but thats the same 75p as Amazon) and you can download on any format you like: mobi / EPUB / PDF etc. So no excuses you can read Witchblood anywhere...except on paper...currently! So perfect for Ipads, smartphones & laptops! Heres the link:

Monday, 9 January 2012

Hey, hey...I'm Published!

What a day! It took me six hours sat at my laptop today, eating Oreos & drinking tea, to re-format, view, re-format, view, re-format, view... you get the idea before finally uploading onto the Kindle Direct Publishing site.

I thought I was able to set a date for publication - 20th Jan, to enable me to have a week to sort things out - but apparently not! Three hours later I logged on and it was live on Amazon!

I can't quite believe it; it's been such a long process and an emotional rollercoaster...and it's only just started! Now I have to organise a blog tour, reviews, and at the same time I need to write the sequel 'Witchcraft' by the summer!

A HUGE thank you to those friends who have already uploaded Witchblood and for those who haven't the link is below. It's only 77p, so surely worth a read?

If you don't have a Kindle, don't worry as I am uploading to Smashwords asap so all those friends without a kindle can read it on their ipads, iphones, laptops whatever!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

The Time Has Come...

Wow! I've got my manuscript back from being proof-read, I've made the necessary changes, the copyright, dedication and acknowledgements page have all been added in.

I'm ready to go! So tomorrow, after the school run, I'll be logging on to Kindle Direct Publishing and uploading my manuscript. Hopefully my formatting will be ok and it will all be finalised within a few days. I still need to sort out some promo, and with Caitlin Lomas from http://thecaitfiles.blogspot.com/ kindly helping me to arrange a blog tour, that should be all going ahead very soon.

I'd be really happy to hear from any other book bloggers, who might be interested in taking part in the blog tour or reviewing Witchblood. Just comment here or tweet me.   

Friday, 6 January 2012

Cover Reveal

It's ready! Yipee! I'm really excited about this cover. It's completely different to my last attempt (which I loved, but was having issues getting copyright and finding a good replacement girl image.)

I came across this image on deviantart.com and fell in love with it. I think the girl looks perfect, as there's a depth and sorrow in her expression, which fits perfectly with Jess' story. The image belongs to the lovely Laura Zalenga who is kindly letting my use her image. You can find her website at www.laurazalenga.de

I hope you love this cover as much as I do, I'm looking forward to reading your comments!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Books, books and more books!

What do you do with £30 to spend from Christmas? Obviously...buy books! Luckily for me I got a 'Red House' catalogue through at the beginning of the week with bargins galore, shortly followed by a 'Book People' catalogue! Time to catch-up on some of the YA books I should have, but haven't got round to reading yet!

And the Red House ones arrived today. Yey!

I'm really looking forward to reading The Poison Diaries, as they've got some great reviews already, and have a more unusual plot!

So these seven can be added to yesterdays reading list...along with the 3 'Afterlife' books from Tamsyn Murray, I've ordered from Book People! That will keep me going a while :)

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Oldest Book On The Shelf Challenge 2012

Yes, I've joined another reading challenge...but it ties in with the other two so I don't need to read separate books LOL!

This one is about reading all those books you've bought with good intentions, and then never got around to reading! For obvious reasons, they can't be published this year, but as I have a backlog of 2010/11, or even earlier, books that's fine for me!

The books that come immediately to mind are Scott Westerfeld's 'Uglies' quartet. I've had the first three: Uglies, Pretties & Specials, sitting on my bookshelves for at least a year!!

If anyone else would like to join in, the URL is:

Off the top of my head my list currently stands at:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
The Immortals: BlueMoon - Alyson Noel

And waiting on my Kindle are:

Demon Day - Penelope Fletcher
Inner Demons - Sarra Cannon

Monday, 2 January 2012

Short Stories?

Recently a friend had posted some links on facebook, to the submission guidelines, for selling short stories on several women's magazines. As you can earn about £400 for these, I thought it could be a good sideline, to earn some money to support my novel writing.

However, once I'd actually read the articles, I saw the flaw in my plan! These magazines really do want 'short' stories, ie 1500-2000 words!  Now, I couldn't imagine being able to get a whole story into 1500 words, when it's taken me 73,000 words to write witchblood...but I thought I'd have a go!

Last night I changed my mind. It's simply not going to happen! The reason is this, last night I realised I needed to put an excerpt from the sequel, 'WitchCraft', in at the end of 'Witchblood', when I publish.

Now, I had already partially written chapter 1 last year, so I was mainly editing and playing around with it, along with adding some new bits and finishing it off. In the end the 'adding of new bits' took quite a while and whilst I was happy with my final read-through, I was also quite surprised when I did a word count...6769 words!

And that's just one chapter... I would never in a million years be able to get a whole story in 1500 words! It must be a real talent; a talent which unfortuantely for my bank balance is not one I currently have! So instead I'm going to get cracking on with my sequel, 'WitchCraft'.