Author Blog Challenge – My Dream Writing Space

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Having  a dedicated writing space  doesn’t work for me because I don’t like being shut off from the rest of the family. I like noise and interruptions. If I’m in the mood to write, then I can write anywhere. I  have already shared my current writing space; in a previous Author Blog Challenge post. You can read this by clicking here.

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 A comfy sofa, a view of the garden and the company of my dogs and the ever present laptop is all I need to write.

 However, inspiration for my stories is another matter. I need wide open spaces and visual stimulation to come up with ideas. As I have mentioned on more than one occasion , setting for my stories is always one of the first things I decide on. So, my  dream inspiration space would be  somewhere with a view.

#LifeBooksWriting

More from Northumberland #Inspiration

Now I’m back from my holiday in Northumberland. I have a few more memories to share with you. The weather was less than perfect but we still managed to get on the beach with our dogs. In the evening the open fire kept us lovely and warm.

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I really do love this part of England, the coastline is rugged and wild and the castles are imposing and  full of memories of years gone by.

I particularly enjoyed staying at Letterbox Cottage , West Burton which used to be a farm worker’s cottage. Originally it was only one storey with three rooms but another level was added in 1942.

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There was a lovely walled garden, which the dogs loved and lots of wild birds came to visit. Wagtails and Jackdaws, both favourites of mine, were frequent visitors.

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The windows had views of Bamburgh castle and lots of fields with horses, cows and sheep. It was beautifully rural and lovely to see animals in the fields as they should be.

 

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#Loving # Northumberland

 

 

Loving Northumberland – #Inspiration

Northumberland: sun,sea and sand.

Jazz and Oby are loving it.

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I plan to get lots of writing done. On the beach, perhaps?

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Kitchen window view at 5 am.

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Wild countryside and rugged coastline. What could be better?

Northumberland,the perfect place for …

Inspiration and relaxation.

Author Blog Challenge – Character Inspiration – #LifeBooksWriting

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Last week turned out to be virtually technology free for me. My family and I stayed in Devon for a few days in a lovely  cottage in the Dartmoor National Park.  I knew it didn’t have a dishwasher and a tumble dryer and I was prepared. It did have a fabulous walled garden, lovely and safe for my dogs, so I was prepared to make the sacrifice.

However, what I didn’t bargain for was the almost total absence of internet. Not good when I had posts to share on my blog. So last week’s author blog challenge on  ‘6 Book Marketing Tips’, never happened.

 This week’s author blog challenge is Character  Inspiration.

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 Visual stimulation is important for me as a writer.  I plan out my story initially in my head, rather like watching a film or TV programme and as I write, I visualise what I’m writing. This makes my story very real to me and its one of the reasons having other pairs of eyes to read your work is so important. What makes perfect sense to me, may not be clear at all, to my readers, so having other people read it is essential.

Character Inspiration

 

My characters spring mostly from my imagination. I usually think about what they look like first and then  add in their personality traits. This is usually only an outline, very similar to the plot outline I have and then I start writing. The characters’ outlines develop, as they are faced with conflicts, meeting new people and situations. Once I have written the first few chapters, I read my work back in detail to make sure the characters are behaving as I thought they would and that they are consistent.

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There are of course other things that inspire my characters. For their physical appearance I use Pinterest. I create a new board for each book and pin likely heroes, heroines and antagonists, as well as setting and other key factors as they occur to me.

I’ve met lots of people in the course of my life and  the memorable ones stay in my head. Some of these I use as characters or part of characters. Observation is a core skill in character inspiration and who doesn’t love people watching?

 

 

 

 

Christy Newton – Guest Post and My 5*Review: A Guide to Love

7124038Today I have the lovely Christy Newton on my blog talking about the inspiration behind her latest books. I got to know Christy during my first ‘So You Think You Can Write’ contest in 2012 and I’ve read and enjoyed all her books.

Check out my reviews of Christy’s books here

Over to you Christy…

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Hi! I’m Christy Newton, author of over ten novels. I’m a wife, mother and book lover. Thank you, Jane, for having me on your blog. I have to say I’m a little jealous of where you live. Visiting the UK is a dream of mine. Maybe someday if I can sell enough books. Anyway, I’d like to tell you a little about the inspiration I had for writing my two newest books.
T25366832he first, Naturally Enchanted, is a paranormal about witches of Mango Cove Island. This book was always inside me—probably from the time I was a little girl and adored the TV show Bewitched. I would even play witches with my Barbies. And if only I could cast a spell on my pesky little brother hehe, sorry Johnny.

When I started writing four years ago, I knew someday I’d write a witch story. When I finished Naturally Enchanted I knew I had not only wrote this for my fans and family, I wrote it for myself.
27830980My newest book, Breaking Free, is a young adult romance. Here again, is something from my childhood. I don’t talk a lot about my past, but like Elin, I had an evil stepfather. Having two teens myself now, I wanted to write a book that dealt with the serious issue of abuse that a lot of children have experienced. I also wanted to write about how strong a person is who can overcome that abuse.
The one thing every one of my books will have in common is a feel good theme with a happy ending.

 

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A Guide to Love:
Genre: Contemporary Romance

The love ship sailed long ago for Daphne Pepper…

Feisty native of Sand Crest Island, Daphne has everything she needs… or so she thought. Until she meets handsome Remy Rosetto who is on a mission to complete his grandfather’s request in order to earn his inheritance.

Remy hires Daphne to be his tour guide for an unheard of amount of money and she is more than happy to take his cash then send him away. Which is fine with Remy, who wants to get back to his penthouse in New York.

Daphne loves her island and will not even think of leaving her family and friends, but as Remy falls for this island beauty he has other plans.

Can they both find more than they ever wanted or are they too stubborn to compromise?

Winter Buy Links

Amazon 

Amazon UK

Winter My Review

This is fun-filled sweet romance set on an island, in the Bahamas. Daphne loves her family and her home and even gave up her chance for love to stay there. She lives an ordinary life filled with work, friends and family and a lovely cat. The humour in this story is there from the first page and you can’t help but like Daphne’s outlook on life. Island life is a lot like village life in the UK, everyone knows everyone’s business and they look out for each other.
When Remy arrives on the island to fulfil his Grandfather’s wishes and claim his inheritance,
Remy and Daphne’s attraction is instant and grows, when she becomes his island guide. The mystery of the letter keeps the two in close proximity and inevitably passion overtakes them. They say opposites attract and these two are opposite in many ways. A Guide to Love offers the chance of a happy ending and a mystery to solve, perfect escapism; an easy to read, light-hearted story perfect for couple of hours on the beach.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Other Books by Christy Newton

More Than Treasure Trilogy
(Stolen Hearts#1, Something to Treasure #2, Treasured Hearts #3)
Genre: Romantic Suspense

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Jewels, deception and adventure…

Twenty-two year old, Cammie Adams knows one thing for sure… life isn’t fair. She’s still a wreck from the tragic loss of her parents seven years ago. Right after she gets her PI license she is not only robbed, but abducted, only to find her life was all a lie. When she finds her mother’s diary she discovers she was only a pawn in her mother’s dangerous game. Now she must get back what is rightfully hers from the man who murdered her mother.

Hot and mysterious Simon Fisher has really only loved one thing… jewels. This ex-jewel thief, now bodyguard, doesn’t even know what hits him when he rescues Cammie as a favor to her father. Simon must protect her, but soon finds where there is trouble, Cammie isn’t far behind.

She will not only steal his prized jewel, but his heart.

Buy Links

Amazon

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Murder, jealousy and treasure…

When Cammie Adams, determined novice PI, gets an urgent call from her ex, she is compelled to take his case. Miles, a luxury hotel owner and an upstanding citizen of Upton Hills, finds one of the maids dead. He turns to Cammie for help to keep his beloved hotel from being tarnished. With her partner and boyfriend, Simon, she takes on a case that might just be their last. Her ex’s hotel is an eighty-year-old building that has secrets of its own.

Can they catch the murderer to save the hotel and her ex’s reputation or will the case take a turn that will leave them lost forever?

Buy Links

Amazon

Amazon UK

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Spies, weddings and new beginnings…

Ready to get back to work after a long leave from their PI business, Simon Fisher and Cammie Adams take the first case that comes their way. Someone is selling company secrets and it’s up to them to find the spy. But when they get their answer, they uncover much more than espionage.

After attending recent family weddings, Simon has become an expert at dodging Cammie’s hints about giving her a certain piece of jewelry he has always secretly feared. Simon doesn’t know how long he’ll be able to keep his girlfriend satisfied without giving her the one thing she still desires.

As they work their case, will Simon and Cammie discover another fortune or will they see that the greatest treasure of all is the one they already have… love?

Buy Links

Amazon

Amazon UK

Begin Again Cover

Genre: Contemporary Romance

What if one night changed your life forever?

Maisie Scott lost not only her husband and unborn child in a tornado two years ago she lost her will to live. Keeping busy is the only way she can get by. This small town waitress won’t let herself get attached to anyone… until Ryan, the new veterinarian for exotic animals, starts making regular trips to her diner. As hard as she tries not to feel anything, Ryan ignites a spark in her broken heart.

Ryan Tucker craves a happy family of his own more than his Momma’s apple pie. Getting over his fiancée leaving him six months ago, he moves to Pleasant Valley for a fresh start. When he meets Maisie and notices the sadness in her eyes he is determined to put a smile on her pretty face.

What starts out as innocent flirting turns into two people finding something they no longer want to live without. The problem is Maisie has deep scars inside and out. Showing Ryan that part of her may just be too painful.

When another dangerous storm hits, Ryan stays by Maisie’s side. She fills the missing piece in his heart, but will Ryan share his secret? Can Maisie move on from the past and learn to begin again?

Buy Links

Amazon

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Genre: Contemporary Romance

Once broken, can the heart really trust again?

Dreams of escaping her small town brought Ellie Oliver to New York only to find that life there wasn’t all she’d hoped. Seven years later, she is returning to Pleasant Valley, Indiana with new hopes and secrets. She wants nothing more than to fade into the slow pace of small town life and forget about the demons of her past.

Jacob Jones is at loose ends. At twenty-six, a man shouldn’t be starting his life over from scratch. Finding himself out of work, Jacob looks for a new home in Pleasant Valley. He is ready for the single life just enjoying the company of close friends. All that changes when he takes a job remodeling the town’s toy shop and comes head to head with its new owner. Ellie turns out to be sweeter than the candy she sells in her store.

Ellie and Jacob bring out feelings in each other neither were looking for, but both can’t deny. Can they truly trust again or will their shattered hearts refuse to mend

Buy Links

Amazon

Amazon UK

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Genre: Romantic Suspense

Julianna Fox was made for her job. Or so she is told. The only memory Julianna has of her past is after the explosion. She was a nameless victim until a man pulled her out of the darkness and gave her new life. A new purpose, because anything is better than being no one. When she is about to eliminate her next mark something stops her. The moment Julianna makes eye contact with Reid Castleton, she has a flashback of her forgotten past. How does she know the man? And why can’t she follow through with her assignment?

Expert assassin, Reid Castleton, has been told to kill the only woman he ever loved if he wants to live. When he finds his fiancée, he can’t go through with the hit, even if it means losing his own life. Either she can’t remember who she is or is damn good at acting.

Neither one knows who to trust. Both make a truce until they can find out why the leader of ETE 7 wants them both dead. What they uncover is a long line of lies and deception that started the moment Julianna was conceived. Will love conquer all or will fear make them do the unthinkable?

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Amazon 

Amazon UK

Genre: Contemporary Romance

After a tragic accident that brought the small town of Wynter Haven to their knees, Claire Belmont and Nick Lewis went in opposite directions coping in very different ways. Three years later, Claire gets a call urging her to come back to help her friend move past his grief.

It will take more than a little hot cider, gingerbread and mistletoe to bring back Nick’s holiday spirit. He hasn’t celebrated Christmas since his twin sister died. In fact, he’s mastered locking up his feelings so he will never be hurt again.

Claire has a secret and hopes that somehow she and Nick can both get a Christmas miracle this year. After all, Nichole would want them to be happy and cherish the holiday that had been their favorite. Maybe a little bit of Christmas is just what they both need.

Buy Links 1

Amazon 

Amazon UK

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Genre: Paranormal

Ezra Ravenhart has lived with the rumors of her family’s witchcraft her whole life. Too bad she doesn’t believe them – she’d conjure up a boyfriend. But the thing called love remains as mysterious as her Grana’s herb shop on their tropical island.
As a struggling journalist, Owen Cooper has to make a name for himself, and a tip that a real-life witch is living on Mango Cove may just lead to the big story he needs. Undercover as a shipwrecked tourist, he worms his way into Ezra’s family – and their secrets.
But how will he handle the fact that Ezra has found the magic answer to his heart when his body belongs in Chicago? And is their love strong enough to survive the evil stalking their every move?

Paranormal Buy Links

Amazon 

Amazon UK

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Genre: Young Adult

Being sixteen is hard enough without Elin Skye pretending to be a new person over and over again. On the run with her mom from a psycho stepdad, who happens to be a deputy sheriff, her life sucks. She’s determined to sever Wyatt’s hold on them even if it means breaking all the rules.

Sawyer Knight’s summer is doomed when he’s unjustly grounded and must stay with his pain in the ass older brother to earn back his parents’ trust. Things start turning around when he meets a pretty but odd girl trying to kill a vending machine. After Sawyer learns the truth about Elin he has to help her no matter the consequences.

Two teens on their own with little money could be dangerous, not to mention life changing. In order to be free Elin must do something her mom never could—stand up to the monster who made them his prisoners.

Buy Links

Amazon 

Amazon UK

Author Bio

Christy Newton is a hopeless romantic and writes many genres of romance. She just might be the only author out there who doesn’t drink caffeine, but dark chocolate is her must have. She falls in love with each of her heroes and hopes you will too! Christy is the author of over ten novels.

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Hello Summer

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Oriental Poppies in my garden. (June 2015)

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Romantic Red Roses

It’s so lovely to  find a few minutes  to spend on my blog. Overwhelmed with house renovations and requests for book reviews. I haven’t had time to share my thoughts on anything else with you.

As Summer has finally made an appearance this week in Pleasley, I thought  I would share some recent photos.

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Oriental Poppy

 After much planning and deliberation we have started our renovations, hopefully  they will all be completed before my little grandchild arrives in October.

 Living in a new house meant nothing,  thankfully needed doing before. Now I spend more time painting than writing, which is a shame but  it’s worth it. 🙂

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Buttercups on the trail

Jazz my lovely dog celebrated his birthday last Sunday, he is now 11 and still full of fun.

Jazz is now 11
Jazz is now 11

 As I finish writing this  it has started raining …. so much for Summer then. 😉

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The Dragon Legacy – The Revenge Masquerade – Inspirations For a Series

Inspiration

Dragons, Lakes and Murder Mystery are the main inspirations for ‘The Dragon Legacy’.

The Dragon Legacy Series DSCN0618Dragons are my favourite mystical creatures. They are powerful,intelligent, a source of ancient knowledge and magic.

Lukas Draco, my hero in The Dragon Legacy is the embodiment of all these things. One of the ancient dragons. He exists in two dimensions; our world in his human form, whilst his true dragon survives in a parallel world, living in deep still water until Lukas requires his powers. The dragons are champions of good and fight against evil demons to protect humanity.

DSCN0783The Lake District has always been popular holiday destination for me. A few years ago I visited Lake Ullswater. In the surrounding hills, it’s easy to imagine paranormal creatures hiding in plain sight. This setting inspired me to write the first book.

Murder Mystery at Hallows HouseMy fascination with murder mystery is the final inspiration for this story. I love the drama of these events, the dressing up and adopting a new character. My shy Fleur becomes the street wise business whiz, Megan and manages to ensnare herself a dragon.

The original draft of The Dragon Legacy contains more scenes devoted to the murder mystery event. I intend to rewrite and post these as flash fiction on #wattpad soon.

The Dragon Legacy Buy LinksAmazon

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All Romance E-books

THE REVENGE MASQ-LARGE Readers inspired me to write ‘The Revenge Masquerade’ about JasmineJasmine, an independently minded young woman, destined to be guardian witch and Zane, the street wise wolf shifter. It’s great readers wanted to know what happened to these characters after they met them in The Dragon Legacy.

The setting for their adventure is Italy. Lake Garda is somewhere I have holidayed in the past and its beauty and charm stay with me. Venice is a romantic city with historical palazzo and piazza ,which provide the perfect setting for mystical worlds to impact on contemporary society. Its hundreds of canals are the perfect media for dragons and it’s famous for masque balls and masquerade that feature in my story.

Lost love, Reunion and facing one’s destiny are all explored in the story.

The Revenge Masquerade Excerpt 2The story starts one year after Zane leaves. Jasmine is in the Lake District with a new companion and strange mystical dreams.Whilst Zane reaches the final stop on his mission – Venice and is confronted with a new evil. Can he save Larna (Lukas’ the dragon lord’s sister)? Should he contact Lukas and risk the safety of the infant dragon Tarriannah? Has he really seen Jasmine in Venice? There’s lots of fast paced action, mystical occurrences and romantic heat.

The Revenge Masquerade Excerpt 1

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My New and Nearly New Projects – Past Shadows

 

Pleasley Vale Inspiration for Past Shadows

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Pleasley Vale - Inspiration for Past Shadows Past Shadows is a Gothic, historical romance inspired by Pleasley Vale,mills in Derbyshire. The  area is steeped in history. Past Shadows, which I started last year in NaNo is the first  of three books inspired by the area. The old mills are currently used as commercial/industrial units and form part of a lovely walk, which is how I first discovered them.2013-05-26 13.16.12

 The second book as yet untitled has Pleasley Pit as its inspiration.

Pleasley Pit

 The third book is inspired by Hardwick Hall and Estate.

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 I am really excited to be exploring one of my favourite romance genres.

Guess Who Came For BreakFast?

DSCN1532 (2)This morning when I gave Jazz and Oby their breakfast I noticed  lots of small birds flying around my house. This is not an uncommon sight, since I live close to Pleasley Pit Nature Reserve and Country Park.  There are always lots of birds and  wild flowers to be admired.

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 It was the sheer number of birds that caught my attention and their fascination with the eaves of my neighbour’s house. Although I love birds, I’m no expert. I think they’re from the ‘Martin’ family.

A special structure has been constructed, by the large lake in the park, to encourage Sand Martins and these maybe from there. Any ornithologists out there, please let me know if I’m right. 🙂

DSCN1533DSCN1541 As it was warm this morning compared to recent weeks, I guess they wanted to eat the small insects basking in the sun. Sometimes they looked as if they were trying to make a home under the eaves. They stuck around for a couple of hours but they’ve all gone now. I wonder if they’ll come back tomorrow?DSCN1542 DSCN1543

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The Last Flowers of Summer? – Hardwick Hall

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Hardwick Hall and Gardens

 Earlier in the week I blogged about my visit to Hardwick Hall and Gardens. If you read my Tuesday post you’ll appreciate I got more than expected when I visited the house. 🙂

 My earlier visit to the beautiful gardens was I’m happy to say uneventful but enjoyable. In late August the flowers were not at their peak but there were still lots of beautiful flowers to be admired.

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There was also an exhibition of modern sculpture in the gardens depicting ‘The Men who Built Hardwick’.

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What I loved about the gardens was how family friendly they were. Children were encouraged to play on the vast grassy areas with hula hoops. ball games and skittles. A far cry from visiting stately houses when I was a child when ‘Keep Off The Grass’ was the most common sign. 😉

Continuing the activities for the young at heart there was some very cute trees with their own small doors for any Fae or small creatures that lived in the gardens.

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 If you prefer something more classical, these ladies should appeal?

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Definitely plenty of inspiration for a historical romance here?

Thanks to my lovely husband for taking the flower, house and statue photos for this post x