Posted in Author Blog Challenge, Past Shadows, Sunday Snippet, The Dangerous Gift, Writing Journey

Two Author Blog Challenges – In Five Years? and My Latest Book. #LifeBooksWriting

Life...

 So it’s two posts in one this week from me.  Last week I was involved in the Harper Impulse Readathon- #SummerImpulse, which left me no time to write the ‘In 5 years… Author Blog Challenge post. So I’ve combined it with this week’s- ‘My Latest Book’ and a snippet from my work in progress. Yes I know. I’m two days late but the weeks have been so busy lately, with Family and a new project, which I will be sharing with you in the next few months, not writing related but still very exciting. Now back to the Author Blog Challenge.

 

In 5 Years...

  •  Still be writing books that people want to read…

  •  Manage to write consistently, so I can write four books a year.

  • Still be blogging and keep adding followers to my blog because they like what I write.

  • Be living in a house with a view.

  • And most importantly to be healthy and happy.

    My Latest Book...

 My latest published book was released in February this year by Limitless Publishing and is a romantic mystery thriller set in Texas called The Dangerous Gift. This was my first book I’d written in this genre and I loved writing it. Written as a standalone read, the publishers wanted me to write another, so I am currently writing book 2 – currently titled  Hazardous Knowledge’, which will be set mainly in the UK.

Designed by TOJ PUBLISHING SERVICESwww.tojpublishing.com

Available on Amazon and Free on Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon  Amazon UK 

EXCERPT

 The Dangerous Gift – Jennie – Chapter 3

‘Jared took Harry’s place. “I saw the card. Did you even read it before you ran off? Why didn’t you show it to me?”

Jennie’s face heated. Her stomach churned. She didn’t deserve Jared’s anger. “You seemed busy. Who was at the office door?”

Jared leaned back in his chair. He wouldn’t look at her. “A friend.”

Jennie suppressed her tears. “I didn’t recognize her.”

“Her name’s Darleen. She owns the neighbouring ranch.” Jared’s bored tone implied the information was of no importance.

“You must know each other pretty well.” Jennie wouldn’t be put off. She’d seen them kissing and wanted to know why.

“Darleen worries about me. She didn’t realize I’d gone to find you.” Jared still didn’t look at her.

“Do you think?” Jennie jumped up and leaned back against the porch rail with a sigh.

“We’re just neighbours, Jen…” Jared’s intransigence fueled Jennie’s anger.

“More like friends with benefits.” Now she sounded jealous. Very mature, Jennie.

Jared’s eyes heated, then softened. “She’s a drama queen, like you. She wanted to pay her condolences in person. Nothing more.” Clear blue eyes stared back and dared her to contradict him.

Jared’s image blurred as Jennie’s teary eyes betrayed her. “You kissed her.”

“Jen, don’t do this. Not here.” Jared ran his fingers through his short-cropped hair.

Jennie looked around her, aware they were the focus of avid interest. “Let’s go someplace else. I need some space and privacy.”

Jared took a breath. “I can’t abandon everyone again. This will have to wait until after the wake.” He leapt up and covered Jennie’s hands with his own much-larger one. “If you read the note, it must have scared you. I’ll find out who sent it and make them sorry they did.”

“I did read it. I wanted to show it to you—” Jennie gulped and brushed tears from her cheeks, “—before I saw you kissing what’s-her-name…Darleen. Someone must know about Annie and Ralf’s will. Otherwise, why threaten me?”

“It looks that way. Leave it to me, Jen. I’ll sort it,” Jared said in harsh, hushed tones. “In case you’re interested, Darleen kissed me, not the other way round. I couldn’t push her away. It would have hurt her feelings.”

“You managed it with me.” Jennie turned away, her survival instincts kicking in. She must escape from Jared before she made a fool of herself. “I need some water.”

“Fine. Sit down. I’ll fetch you some.” Jared pointed her in the direction of the swing seat and walked into the crowd of mourners.

Jennie immediately regretted her emotional outburst. What chance did she have with Jared if he was already seeing someone else? She leaned back into the comfy seat and closed her eyes, searching for calm in her troubled mind.’

©Jane Hunt 2016

Past Shadows Cover 2Past Shadows is the latest book I have completed, this is a Regency historical romance with a ghostly twist. I am still searching for the right publisher for this unusual story  or I may self- publish.  Here’s an excerpt…

Poppy - Excerpt

Past Shadows -Chapter 3

“I’m sorry if I make you nervous Mrs. Osborne,” Justin’s arctic smile made a mockery of his apology.

Lucy brazened it out. “Why would you make me nervous Mr. Bracken?” Her expression tinged with boredom, as she smoothed non-existent creases from her dark blue muslin gown.

“Your body betrays you m’dear.” Justin stared at her hands, which still trembled despite her conscious effort to still them. “So if I agreed to abandon my search for the fire setter and agreed to work towards better working conditions for my workforce, what would you give me in return?”

Lucy’s gaze clashed with his, this man was full of surprises. “Why would you do that? To prove how different you are from your father, what could I offer you to compensate such generosity?”

“You…” Justin’s heated stare seared her body from the ends of her hair to the tips of her toes, now curling in her satin slippers.

Lucy ignored the message implicit in his regard and responded to the literal meaning of his words. “Of course, I will help you but why now, when you believe me guilty of treachery?” She spoke quickly, desperate to end his visual onslaught on her aroused body.

“No. I think you misunderstand me Madam, deliberately perhaps?  Make no mistake, I want you, your body to be precise, for my exclusive use for as long as I desire,” he paused to allow the full import of his words to register.

Lucy gasped and fell back against the chair, a distant part of her shocked mind was grateful for its plush softness. “You’re offering me carte blanche, even though you know I’m a respectable widow and your vicar’s daughter, how reprehensible of you.”

“Indeed but you may enjoy it more than you believe. Shall I prove it to you perhaps?” Justin closed the distance between them in one stride, pushing the tea table aside, heedless of the juddering china and the tea splashing, onto the white lawn cloth.

Lucy clenched her hands tightly in her lap and met his amused look. Her apparent nonchalance disappeared with alacrity, as he squatted down and enveloped her tiny hands in his calloused ones. Her mind registered surprise; his hands were hard and obviously work roughened. Perhaps he wasn’t just the rich man’s son; he appeared to be on first acquaintance.  She couldn’t suppress the shudder, as the warmth from his hands flooded into her where they touched. She wanted to see if he felt the same. Their gazes clashed; his darkened to an inky, midnight blue. Arousal her mind suggested, remembering how her sweet husband’s eyes darkened when he kissed her, so long ago now…She drew in a shaky breath, out of her depth, mesmerized by the intent in his stare. He would kiss her, before she took her next breath if she didn’t move, scream, anything to dispel this intimacy between them.’         

©Jane Hunt 2016

Sunday Snippet

 

And here’s what I’m working on now… A snippet from ‘The Silhouette’.

The Silhouette - 1

 

 

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Posted in Author Blog Challenge

My Publishing Journey- #LifeBooksWriting – Author Blog Challenge

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.

Publishing Journey 1

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.

Publishing Journey 2

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?

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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 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.

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Posted in Author Blog Challenge, Inspiration

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

Posted in Author Blog Challenge

Author Blog Challenge – MotivationTechniques

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 Motivation techniques are a popular life skill for everyone, not just writers

Motivation

To achieve something, having the motivation to get there is a given. 

Here’s a few things I use to motivate me to write.

Motivation 2

Motivation 7

Motivation 3

Motivation 8

Motivation 4

Motivation 6

 And finally:

 Take  lots of trips for  inspiration.

I love to visit historic houses, beautiful countryside or fabulous coastline to give me ideas for a new story.

.Motivation 9

#LifeBooksWriting

 

 

Posted in Author Blog Challenge

Author Blog Challenge: Overcoming Writers Block

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Writer’s block is the inability to think of something to write, or continue with something you are writing. This condition is usually temporary and more a state of mind rather than a physical incapacity.

Overcoming writer’s block is always a popular blogging topic for writers but it’s not something I have much experience of.  When I actually get the opportunity to sit  down and write my books,  the ideas are brimming over and it’s usually more a case of writer’s cramp than `writer’s block.

The Dangerous Gift- Teaser 4a

So whilst I don’t purport to be an expert on writer’s block  here are a few ideas to overcome it.

Only write when you have something to say, if the words aren’t flowing, do something else. I know this is difficult, especially for those who must write so many words per day but a short break can work wonders. Let your mind drift and that insurmountable problem will suddenly have an answer.

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My ‘go to’ relaxation is to walk my dogs but a little retail therapy or coffee with friends is often just as good.

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If taking a break isn’t an option then work on something else. Writing is writing after all and a blog post or a book review is just as creative as a chapter of your novel. Once you realise you can still write… Well you get my drift?

So if neither of the above works,  then just write. Even if the words you’re writing aren’t what you really want to say, sometimes just writing helps the creativity. Remember, you can always change it later but you can’t edit a blank page.

 Finally if all else fails, sleep on it. I often problem solve most effectively when I’m asleep and that goes for real life problems too, not just creative ones.

 

If you have your own solutions to writer’s block comment below or tweet me at @jolliffe03 using #LifeBookswriting

Posted in Author Blog Challenge, Inspiration

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.

The Dangerous Gift- Teaser 4a

 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?