This weeks Author Blog Challenge is ‘The Best Holiday I Ever Had’. I’ve been thinking about this and it’s hard to narrow it down to just one holiday. So I’ve decided to highlight my favourite holidays and why, from childhood to my first holiday as a gran.
Holidays weren’t a big feature of my childhood but one that stands out is a holiday in Cornwall in the late sixties, when we stayed in St Agnes Bay and Penzance. I remember making a friend at the holiday camp we stayed at and eating butterscotch, we had a photo at Lands End and my parents bought me the cute cat ornament, which I still have today. Other holidays were in Bournemouth and there were always day trips to Mablethorpe on the east coast of England.
Camping holidays with youth club are the standout memories from my teenage holidays. Camping is not really me, the ground is too hard and I always get cold and dislike sharing my tent with a variety of insects. Nevertheless I always enjoyed these trips, especially the one where I got to know my future husband, we celebrate thirty three years of marriage today, so that was definitely a holiday worth going on.
My honeymoon should be my standout holiday of my twenties and it was lovely. Cornwall again, we went to Newquay, sun sea and lots of lovely memories. I visited a vintage kitchen shop in Penzance and bought some glass storage jars with cork lids and I still have them thirty three years later obviously a good buy!
I was first introduced to The English Lake District in my mid twenties and the scenery and beautiful lakes are still a favourite holiday destination of mine. So much so there are the inspiration for my first book The Dragon Legacy.
My first book inspired by the Lakes
Brighton was the destination of my last twenties holiday with my lovely daughter 8 months old – Such a lovely time .
Holidays with my children
These were certainly fun. Bournemouth and Devon were favourite destinations. We even stayed in the prestigious Sandbanks. Woolacombe was another favourite, great for kids and dogs.
We also had a few holidays in Europe during this time. A camping trip to France’s Verdun region , turned out to be short-lived , after only four days we had to home as my mother was seriously ill. Holidays in The Costa Dorada in Spain and Lake Garde in Italy were more successful, although we did manage to get lost both times driving from the airport, not the best start to a holiday but the rest of it was full of great memories, as you can see from the photos. My trip to Lake Garde inspired the setting for my second book ‘The Revenge Masquerade’.
Regular blog readers will know I love Northumberland, I first visited in 2014 and went again this year with my new grandson Arthur. The weather wasn’t fantastic but we still had a good time.
I’m hoping my next holiday in Woolacombe in September will be full of good memories too. I’m really looking forward to holidaying with my kids and little grandson and Jazz and Oby of course. We’re staying close to the wonderful child and dog friendly beach so look out for more blogs on this in September.
So that’s a whistle stop tour of my holiday memories. Share your holiday memories with me in the comments below or on #LifeBooksWriting
This week’s Author Blog Challenge is ‘My Publishing Journey’. I’m a writer. I like words, so I looked up the definitions of journey and a couple of them really resonated with me.
This is so true of my publishing journey. Firstly I was in my early fifties when my first book was published. I’d enjoyed writing since I was in my late teens but my writing journey stopped and started so many times. Some would say I just wasn’t dedicated enough and that’s true. Writing is a guilty pleasure for me. Something that’s profoundly personal. I’m not good at putting myself at the top of the list, there are so many other people that I consider more important. Looking after my family and earning a living were my focus for many years and writing was something I did when I could find a few minutes.
Secondly, even though I now have three books published, I know I am only at the beginning of my journey and I just hope I have enough years left to establish myself in the writing world. I have no illusions of best seller success but I do want to write books lots of people like reading.
I am a novice writer I still have so much to learn. I have recently been told by a couple of publishers that I have a’real’ talent as a writer but that I need to work on my grammar and punctuation. This has always been a blind spot for me and one that I wonder if I can master this late in life but who knows?
My publishing journey has been a learning experience, after the initial euphoria of becoming a published author , I realised the work was just beginning. Can you write another book? Is it as good or better than the first one? Can you make your potential readers love your books as much as you do?
My first book inspired by the Lakes
My publishing journey to date is relatively short. The Dragon Legacy, my first book published December 2013. The Dangerous Gift, my third book published February 2016. Book number 4 Past Shadows is yet to be published. I have been asked to revise and resubmit by one publisher so I may do that. Whatever happens you’ll be the first to know.
My family definitely believe I’m a collector. I’m not particularly materialistic but I do become attached to my things and find it difficult to get rid of them, even when they’re old and past it.
I’ve never outgrown my love of soft, cuddly toys. I had a vast collection when I was a child, some of which are just about in existence, in a bag in the loft. Every time we move house they appear and my husband says, “shall we get rid of these?” I open up the bag and look at the contents and the memories come flooding back and I can’t bear to throw them away.
I also have a collection of soft toys that my husband and children have bought me over the years, some of these are still on display in my bedroom, they’re like old friends. 🙂
My daughter and to a lesser extent my son, loved ‘Beanie Babies’, a popular collectible in the ‘nineties’. Needless to say I couldn’t part with these either and they are in bags in various storage areas in the house. Maybe my grandson will like them, when he’s old enough?
I love reading and so books are definitely something I like to collect, although it’s rare that I read them more than once. This resulted in numerous bookcases. Then a few years ago. I discovered Kindle and now 99% of my books are eBooks. I still collect and read prolifically but it takes less space, which is fortunate as my current modern house is not abundant with storage spaces.
Waifs and Strays
This is more of a lifestyle choice rather than a hobby. I love animals and since I’ve been married I’ve been lucky enough to have lots of animals companions. Many of these turned up on my doorstep and I didn’t have the heart to turn them away.
When I married in the ‘eighties’, our first house was a terrace in a rundown part of town. Needless to say, there were more than a few homeless cats and they seemed to realise, I wouldn’t be able to turn them away. When I was ready to move to house number two, I had five cats, two adopted from my next door neighbour as kittens and three strays .
Oby my nine year old Border Collie/ German Shepherd cross, is the latest addition to the family. My husband spotted his sad story, by chance, on his social media and once he’d showed me, Oby was always going to join our family and we’re so glad he did. Especially Jazz who’s had a great time over the last three years with his new pal.
So, I think you can gather from this post that I’m a collector, I also love, pictures, glassware and plants. I only have a cottage garden now but its packed full with plants and miniature fruit trees.
What about you? What do you like to collect? Comment on my post or join in on Twitter -#LifeBooksWriting.
So like many writers, I am an avid reader too. I would never have become a writer, if I hadn’t read books, I’d like to have written and these are a few of them.
The Donovan Legacy – Nora Roberts
I loved these romantic paranormal stories about a supernatural family. If you enjoyed the 1990’s witchy TV series Charmed you’ll love these stories too. The romance is easy, the characters believable and the magic is the perfect escapism.
The Dragon Legacy Series
I wanted to write stories with the same mix of paranormal romance and fantasy . I decided to write a paranormal romance after reading this series but it was over ten years later, when I wrote my first paranormal romance; The Dragon Legacy series.
Ashes to Ashes – Tami Hoag
I also love reading mysteries and thrillers, especially those that get inside the mind of the antagonist. Tami Hoag, does this perfectly, especially in my favourite story of hers.
The female lead in this story is perfectly flawed but so easy to empathise with. The villain is pure evil and the suspense to die for. I read this in the late nineties but its still one of my favourite suspense thrillers.
In my current release, The Dangerous Gift, I tried to create the same suspenseful ethos with elements of romance and mystery intertwined.
The Cat Who… Lilian Jackson Braun
My mum loved, what is now termed cosy mysteries and she introduced me to Lilian Jackson Braun and ‘The Cat Who….’ mysteries. These feature a quirky private detective and his two Siamese cats, who are really the stars of the book; Koko and Yum Yum. The stories are simple but full of interesting characters and they remind me of happy times with my mum.
Tangled Reins and Four in Hand – Stephanie Laurens
I have always loved reading Regency Romance and Stephanie Laurens’, ‘Four in Hand’ and ‘Tangled Reins’ are two of my all time favourites Arrogant, sexy heroes. Feisty , intelligent yet vulnerable heroines and a glamorous settings make them great to read.
My love of Regency romance,mystery, suspense and the paranormal, inspired me to write my latest story ‘Past Shadows’ . which I hope to release later this year. Excerpts are on Wattpad under my user name JaneHunt5.
Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe Debbie Johnson
As a book reviewer, I am lucky enough to read stories from many different authors. One of my favourites because her stories never fail to make me laugh out loud is Debbie Johnson. Her latest book ‘ Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe’ is her most memorable tale to date, full of fun, poignancy and some many delightfully, real characters. Definitely a must read this summer.
So that’s my top five books, what are yours and why? Comment below or on Twitter using the hashtag #LifeBooksWriting.