Saturday 24 December 2011

Signing off for 2011 - Merry Christmas!

The last few items are being loaded into the car as I type, ready to head off and spend Christmas with family.  I doubt very much I'll be back on here before the New Year so would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas.

I hope your 2012 gets off to a good start and that the new year brings lots of joy and happiness into your life.

Best wishes,
Laurie (AKA Aurelia)

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Progress update for 'Love in the Aisles' (3)

It's been a while since I did an update but it's for a good reason... work on my complete redraft is going well and I have now re-written the first two chapters, averaging 4,400 a chapter.

I also had a 'hallelujah' moment today where the rest of the plot became clear to me, all thanks to delving into the characters a bit deeper to figure out how I could REALLY upset them.

Oh, and if you didn't spot it at the weekend, I have also pinned down my image of Karen as I imagine her, and that has also helped the words flow.

All in all, I'm chuffed with how it's all progressing for now.

I'm slightly dreading being away from a computer over Christmas and New Year so may have to resort to writing long hand and typing it up when I get back as I just know I'm going to be hit with ideas for scenes whilst I'm away.

Anyway, my bed is calling so that'll do for now.

Merry Christmas everybody, just in case I don't get back on here.

Sunday 18 December 2011

Introducing 'Karen' from 'Love in the Aisles'

I don't know why but I've found Karen even harder to pin down than Scott for 'Love in the Aisles'. I really wanted to get it right and be able to really visualise her, which I was struggling to do.  Even the name felt wrong without an image to match it to.

I wanted somebody sweet but sexy, dainty but strong, someone the girls would really like and the boys would lust over - no mean feat I tell you - but thankfully, inspiration struck this morning.

With the help of Google, I can now introduce you to Karen...

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Critique panel and BETA readers required

As you may have seen from my New Year's Resolutions, I am determined to have my first manuscript drafted by the end of 2012.

Having gone back to the drawing board with 'Love in the Aisles', I am now busy behind the scenes making revisions and trying to work with alternating points of view from my two leading characters.  Tricky stuff!

As a result, I will not be uploading further chapters onto this blog but I am looking to set up a critique group (to help keep my writing on track), as well as BETA readers group (to let me know if my story is any good) so if you would like to volunteer and be a member of either of these groups, just complete the form below and I'll be in touch...

Tuesday 13 December 2011

New Year's Resolutions for 2012

It's coming up to that time again when I think about my resolutions for the New Year so I suppose I should assess how I got on with 2011's ones before I leap ahead into next year's ones.

So, what were they and how did I do?

I only made two resolutions this year so this will be brief - the first was to shed the extra 2-stone I was carrying post-baby (that I didn't manage to shift in-between pregnancies either); and the second was to read 50 books during the course of the year.

Monday 12 December 2011

Who is your guilty pleasure?

I have a confession to make...

I have a crush on Zac Efron, even though I'm over a decade older than him, and he is most definitely my guilty pleasure.

It is my children's fault, of course, as they are already obsessed with High School Musical and play all three on the TV regularly. I have therefore watched him grow from the young adult into a rather fine man!! #blush

Feeling lucky: I've done it again!

Well, what do you you know... after years and years (and years...!) of never really winning anything, I've done it again and been lucky enough to bag another book within a matter of weeks!  Yay me!!

With many thanks to Wendy S Marcus, I now have a copy of 'Once A Good Girl' winging its way to me very soon and can't wait.

If anybody else fancies a copy, here are a couple of options for you...

< Mills & Boon or Amazon UK >

Book Review: Christmas in the Village (4-in-1) by various authors

Score: 4 out of 5

< Mills & Boon or Amazon UK >

Saturday 3 December 2011

Introducing "Scott" from 'Love In The Aisles' (updated)

You need to use your imagination now and pretend you can hear a drumroll.

When writing the character of Scott, I make a big deal of the character's eyes... and as I was writing some of the scenes, I recalled some photos of a friend of mine.  With his kind permission, I can now share a couple of pictures with you.

Are you hearing those drums yet?

Well, here he is!

Progress update for 'Love in the Aisles' (2)

Evening all,

It's been over a week since my last update so I thought I'd fill you in with the latest.

Work has had to slow down for the moment because I have a large admin project on the go for a client, but 'Love In The Aisles' is never far from my mind. Chapter 3 is progressing well but I have also been writing some other scenes that are out of sequence and have already written over 11,000 words and am therefore one-fifth complete (yeah right - until I start the revisions and cut loads!).

I emailed my manuscript to my Kindle today so that I could read it at my daughter's ballet lesson this morning and it looked SO unbelievably good and felt amazing to see my own words on there!!  So, with my Kindle in one hand and my HTC in the other, I made some revision notes for when I eventually come back to those chapters.

Friday 2 December 2011

Free Kindle books in 'My Amazon'

I am gradually adding a load of free Kindle books into the 'Kindle Freebies' section in 'My Amazon' (see tab above) as I often go looking for them to download onto my own Kindle.

I am in no way recommending these titles; some of them I have read, and many others I haven't or just aren't my cup-of-tea in the first place, but they might be perfect for you.

Book Review: Peachville High Demons series by Sarra Cannon

Book 2: Inner Demons
Book 5: Rival Demons
Book 6: Demons Forever (not yet released)


Book Review: Ava Delaney series by Claire Farrell

Book 1: Thirst
Book 2: Taunt
Book 3: Tempt
Book 4: Taken (not yet released - expected Summer 2012)


Book Review: Spellbound by Jane Green

Score: 4 out of 5

Book Review: The Rae Wilder Novels by Penelope Fletcher

Book 1: Demon Girl
Book 2: Demon Day
Book 3: Demon Dark (not yet read but on my Amazon wishlist)
Book 4: Demon Boy (not yet released - Summer 2012)

Thursday 1 December 2011

Mills & Boon: did you know...?

Here are some fun facts that you may not know about Mills & Boon...

  • A Mills & Boon book is sold in the UK every 3 seconds.
  • (Ed's note: Yikes!!!)
  • 10 million books are sold each year in the UK, of which over 7 million are romance novels. 
    (Ed's note: so over 70%, nearly three-quarters, of all books sold in the UK are romances!)
  • Harlequin Mills & Boon is a UK Top 10 adult fiction publisher.
  • UK monthly readership over 1.3 million. 
  • Approx 70 titles published every month in the UK including more than 50 brand-new series titles. 

Monday 28 November 2011

My Lucky Day!

This morning started off as a pretty average Monday morning and deteriorated... youngest child (nearly 3) was grumpy and whingeing a lot and eldest child (nearly 5) was not helping by winding her up and being a bit of a nuisance... you can probably picture the scene!

Much to my delight, an email came in from one of my favourite romance authors Liz Fielding announcing good news. As part of her 'Black Friday' promotion, I had entered a giveaway to win her Beaumont Brides series published by Mills & Boon; having already read one of the three titles (a freebie on the Kindle!), I knew I would enjoy these if I won. And...

First draft of 'Love in the Aisles' - Chapter Two

If you have arrived here looking for a sneak preview of my debut romance novella, I must report that I have since taken it right back to the beginning to re-work, changing the writing style and switching between points of view.

I have left up my very first workings of my very first draft, which you are more than welcome to read, but they have already changed enormously since...

Chapter 2

As soon as her hand touched his, she felt the same tingle shooting through her arm as before.  Shutting the front door behind him, she enjoyed the close proximity to him as they stood in the entrance, able to smell the lingering scent of day-old aftershave on him.  “Can I take your jacket?” 
“Thanks,” he said, shrugging out of it.  The space was so confined that he couldn’t help but brush against her by accident, triggering a cluster bomb effect of goose-bumps wherever he happened to touch her.
“After you,” she said, ushering him into her front room whilst she hung his jacket up on one of the coat hooks, secretly grateful for having such a small entrance porch.

First draft of 'Love in the Aisles' - Chapter One

If you have arrived here looking for a sneak preview of my debut romance novella, I must report that I have since taken it right back to the beginning to re-work, changing the writing style and switching between points of view.

I have left up my very first workings of my very first draft, which you are more than welcome to read, but they have already changed enormously since...

Chapter 1

Karen’s head was banging, forcing her to concentrate even harder as she navigated the roads that would take her back to school.
“So much for my girl’s night out!” she muttered bitterly to herself. 
Instead, her glamorous fun-filled evening out with her sister and friends now had extra-strong painkillers, meal for one, a huge bar of chocolate and a bottle of chilled white wine stamped all over it.
Her outfit was still all laid out on her bed from where she had started getting everything ready.  She had been looking forward to tonight for weeks, months even, and she was finally going to get to wear her gorgeous new designer shoes for the first time too.  It had been a silly dream of hers to own a pair of ‘real’ designer shoes one day, but she had saved up for months until she had enough to buy a pair in the sale and had just been waiting for the right occasion.  Goodness knows when she’d get to wear them now. 
And it was all her son-of-a-bitch ex-husband Rob’s fault! 

Friday 25 November 2011

Progress update for 'Love in the Aisles' (1)

I am delighted to say that the words are still flowing freely for my romance story 'Love in the Aisles'. So much so, that I have since abandoned the idea of it being a short story of 15,000+ words, having written over 8,000 already, and am now going for 50,000 words so that I have the option of submitting the full manuscript to Mills & Boon.

If you've been following this blog or my facebook page, then you will have been among the first with the chance of reading my first draft of Chapters One and Two, right here on this very blog (available for a limited time only so get in quick).

A huge thank you must go out to everyone who has already given me feedback. It has given me fresh hope that I can, maybe, pass myself off as a writer after all. My biggest fear before starting this writing journey was that I wouldn't be able to make my characters come to life, or create a scene, or emulate emotions, or write effective dialogue, or... well, you probably get the idea. So...

Friday 18 November 2011

Oooh la la, Stephen King huh?!

Based on the first 1,100 words drafted for my romantic short story, 'Love in the Aisles', the analyser came up with this...

I write like
Stephen King
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Based on today's blog entry...

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Kindle anyone?

I have never a been huge fan of electronic book readers, despite my love of gadgets, as I love the feel and even the smell of a 'real' book. Six weeks ago, however, I succumbed and asked for a Kindle for my birthday and I have to confess that I love it!

This is the one I went for, a refurb Kindle Keyboard...

So what made me change my mind?

Back in May, my family and I went away for a bargain holiday - only a week in a Eurocamp tent in Spain - but we decided to try and manage just taking hand luggage only. Some feat when you have two children aged 4 and 2, the latter still being in nappies, I can tell you! Anyway, we did it with two trunkies containing all of the kids clothes and toys, a small suitcase and a holdall, phew!

Monday 14 November 2011

My 50 book reading challenge for 2011

This year I have been taking part in a reading challenge and the idea is to read fifty books over the course of the year. All books count, be it novels, text books, books you've read before, etc. The only rule is that you have to have started and finished the book during the current year.

Here's how I'm getting on...

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