Haven Holidays Last Minute Deals

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My Ideal Writing Day

I dream of having time to indulge my writing passion without distractions. Here is my ideal writing day. What is your ideal day?

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There are far too many domestic distractions while my children are young, but it is getting easier now that they are growing. Where previously I snatched an hour while they napped, I now have the school day in which to work. Unfortunately, my freelance business takes precedence, alongside my new reiki therapy business, and it takes a lot of time to create social media content and make my name known in the right places. And don’t get me started on the never-ending battle to sell books.

My current day goes like this: I am in the habit of sitting up late due to our being in lockdown and not having to leave the house. Sometimes I work on my laptop at night, doing tasks that don’t require a lot of thought but that still need doing. I wake up around 7am, make packed lunches for school, get dressed, wake the children, get them ready for school, take them to school. Return home and take the dog for a walk. Spend an hour or so doing ‘motherly’ and ‘housewifely’ chores which include doing the laundry, tidying the kitchen and whatever housework takes precedence on that day. I attend to our life admin, booking necessary doctors, dentist, vet appointments, order groceries and home supplies, or visit the shops for them depending on what is possible during the pandemic.

When I finish the mundane chores, I usually have a couple of hours to do what I call my ‘proper work’ before I collect the children from school. I am lucky that they have one day each week with their grandparents so I can drop them off at school and not see them until their dad brings them home at bedtime. The rest of the week is all about my fitting in what I can. I might get stuck into a task, take a break to do the afternoon school run, come home and resume my task for a couple of hours. I can’t work too late because the children need to be fed and sent to bed at a reasonable hour. If I’m not too tired I might continue working in the evening.

It’s an easy life, I know, and I am fully aware that my time for writing will come in a few years’ time when my children can leave the house unattended and prepare their own meals. I am in no way complaining or feeling sorry for myself. Indeed, I am proud of the fact that I managed to write so many novels when the children were infants, and the only reason I don’t do much fiction writing now is because I got busy with my blog and other activities. Reiki practise takes a lot of dedicated time and is important to me. I am thankful to have a career that is fulfilling, even if the income is a little sketchy at times.

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15% off Your Cocktail Delivery

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#ReadMe – Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel) by Catherine Green

Happy Hump Day! Today’s excerpt is from my first novel Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel), and we celebrate 10 years since its publication. Wow!

Excerpt

I was barefoot, and almost slipped down the stairs in my haste. I stood on tiptoes, looked through the peephole and saw the top of Jack’s head. He must be looking down for some reason. I flung open the door, and then gasped in horror. He was leaning against the doorframe, his face covered in blood from what looked like a large gash above his right eye, and several scratches and cuts on his cheeks and chin. His clothes were dirty, torn, and bloody, and he fell through the door into my arms.  Instinctively I tried to catch him, and fell to the floor with a cry, trying to support his weight. 

“Jack!” I cried, “Jack can you hear me? Speak to me!” 

#TheRedcliffeNovels

The Redcliffe novels series follow the adventures of bookshop owner Jessica Stone as she meets a man and falls in love, only to discover the hidden werewolf secrets of her close friends. That includes Simon Bunce, manager of the Ship Inn, who turns out to be lieutenant to the Redcliffe werewolf pack, and lover to the wolf alpha Danny Mason. He fights to protect his master from the ethereal animal familiar who threatens to claim their pack. Who knew the Cornish coast could be so deadly?

Click here for more details about the Redcliffe novels series.

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Free Biscuits from Whittard

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Chronic Voice Link-up: Keeping it Real in My Life

Welcome to April and our monthly Chronic Voice blog link-up. I am balancing my chronic eye disease and the associated pain with my need to move forward in life. Here is my response to the monthly writing prompts.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

SPRINGING

As we move into Spring, I feel like a weight is lifting after the long, cold winter. My garden is coming alive with new shoots and pretty flowers, the trees are growing leaves again, and somehow life doesn’t feel quite so dreary anymore. Despite a recent flare-up with my eye condition that left my face swollen and my vision blurred, I am cheerful about what we have to look forward to.

GROUNDING

While it is easy to forget my problems and my chronic pain on a good day, I am always aware that life goes on, good and bad. A good portion of my reiki lifestyle practice involves grounding work to ensure I stay connected to and aware of the world around me. Life can’t be all sunshine and flowers. Sometimes we work in the shadows too.

LUXURIATING

I decided to treat myself to some new bath and skincare products and so I am luxuriating in the scents and sensations of different bath oils, shower gels and moisturizing creams. When I take a little time with my shower routine and focus on my body, I do feel better. Sometimes all I need is a little time for selfcare and a nice home spa on a chronic pain day.

DAUNTING

We have endured a tough year during the pandemic, and it is not over yet. While we are moving out of lockdown and beginning to socialize, we now face the daunting task of being out in crowds of people again. It seems unthinkable after what has passed, and I have decided to take small steps back into socialising again. I never felt comfortable in large crowds anyway, so this “new normal” might be easier for me to cope with when we have to limit social interaction.  

SUSTAINING

I am currently separated from my husband and stuck in some kind of limbo with our relationship. He refuses to accept our situation and I am trying not to make it any worse for our children, meaning I have to spend time in his company. We do get on as friends, but I struggle with my feelings about all that has passed. I am trying to sustain as healthy a relationship as possible, but I don’t know how much longer I can continue when he refuses to repair the damage he has caused.

Chronic Voice Link-Up

I joined the social network for A Chronic Voice because I needed to find people who understand what life is like with chronic illness, people like me. Today I have written a post using the April link-up prompts, to show my experience of living with a chronic pain disorder. Click here to find other blog posts from fellow chronic pain sufferers, or #spoonies as we call ourselves online.

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Happy Easter! #EasterWeekend

Happy Easter! And Ostara Blessings. How are you spending the Easter weekend?

It’s another strange one this year. Last year we had been abruptly thrust into lockdown and were still processing the enormity of the coronavirus pandemic. I was grieving for my grandad and trying to support my children as their lives suddenly ended and they couldn’t be with their friends. We did some crafts at home trying to recreate what they should have done with Brownies and Rainbows and what they might have done at school.

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This year is much the same. We are emerging from our third UK lockdown but this one is slower and steadier. It is only this week that the “stay at home” order has been lifted by government and we are finally allowed to travel outside our hometown for leisure. It means we can visit my mum, although we are currently only allowed in her garden or a public park. Since she is disabled and rarely leaves home under normal circumstances it will have to be the garden. We might see my dad at some point but by now we are feeling cautious and don’t want to rush back into socialising. I think we have become used to staying at home, so it feels strange to be with other people again.

If the weather is nice, we will most likely be in our garden and might go for a walk or a drive out somewhere. Perhaps we could visit a beach? That would be marvellous. We haven’t seen the sea since August last year, highly unusual for us. Stay safe, everyone. Let’s take it slowly as we ease out of lockdown.

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

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Vampire Seduction Games in The Darkness of Love

Today I share an excerpt from my Victorian vampire novel The Darkness of Love. In this Gothic adventure we learn how Marcus Scott (from the Redcliffe novels) became the man he is today.

Excerpt

Gregory smiled as he surveyed the poor, helpless young man in Amelia’s bed. She reported that Marcus had been excellent, strong and compliant, and extremely invigorating. Now he lay staring at Gregory with a mixture of terror and defiance on his youthful face. He swallowed nervously, unsure whether to speak, and he pulled the bed sheet higher as though to try and conceal his obvious state of undress.

“Good morning, Marcus,” Lord Stockton said as he approached the bed, “I understand you are feeling ill.”

Marcus nodded.

“I apologize, my Lord,” he replied in a hoarse voice, “this appears very improper, and it will not happen again.”            

“Do not fear me, Marcus, at least not yet” Gregory replied briskly, “You may rest for a while until you are strong enough to return to your room. I do not require your assistance today; I would rather you regain your strength. Now rest, and I will send a maid with clothes and food for you. I am sure this is simply a lethargy and will pass within the day.”

“Thank you, my Lord,” Marcus replied weakly, “I am indebted to you.”  

“No matter,” Gregory said, “I am aware of Amelia’s activity, and I understand that you were totally at her mercy. We will not speak of this again.”

Buy the Book

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Terry’s Fabrics Easter Sale

Easter Sale Now On!

Our Easter Sale is now on with amazing discounts of up to 78% OFF ready-made curtains, up to 72% OFF Roman blinds, up to 70% OFF Made to measure curtains and blinds and up to 59% OFF Fabric. These deals are available on over 3,000 products but are only available from 27th March – 11th April, so be quick before they’re gone!

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How to Use Social Media as an Author

Do you tweet? Do you share posts on Facebook, have a Facebook page, Facebook group, Instagram account, Pinterest, Linked In… the list goes on. How do we effectively use social media as Indie authors?

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I cannot answer this question. I am very much using the “learn as you go” technique when it comes to social media. I did an online training course several years ago that taught me about the importance of a mailing list and which platforms were more effective to promote and sell my books. Since then we have experienced the emergence of Instagram as a serious player in the business of selling products. Where I used to spend a lot of time trying to cross-promote other authors on Twitter and Facebook, gradually I realised it was a pointless task. I was wasting my time. I didn’t know what else to do and I don’t have the funds for a comprehensive marketing and advertising plan, so I had to muddle through and experiment.

More recently I am turning to Instagram as a platform to demonstrate my books. I just need to learn how to find my audience and where to find them. I look at bestselling authors and wonder how the heck they manage to gain hundreds of thousands of dedicated followers that love every single piece of content they post. It is a mystery, known only to the industry specialists.

You see, that is where my problem lies. I am a bloody good writer. I haven’t yet found a large publishing company or a decent agent that likes my books. I was offered a publishing contract many years ago from one of the big publishers, but they charged a large amount of money for the service. I simply couldn’t afford it at the time. The bookselling game comes down to one thing: Money. If you have access to funds, then you can sell millions of books. If you don’t, then you splash around in the shallows and never quite reach that magical island of fame and fortune. I refuse to give up. I may be focusing my work on the lifestyle blog and my reiki business right now, but my novels will always be a part of me. Redcliffe is not finished yet, and neither am I.

What advice can you give to this confused and frustrated author? All comments and personal experiences welcome…

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