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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Blog guest: Deadra Krieger with 'Ruff Love'

If you've had your eyes peeled the past couple of days, you'll have seen me over at Deadra 'D.F.' Krieger's blog to chat about my dog, a rescue mutt called Buddy.

Well, today, I am delighted to welcome D.F. over to my blog to tell us about one of her very special pets. But be warned... if you get emotional over pets, you may want to grab a tissue before you proceed ;-)

So, D.F, put your feet up and make yourself at home, it's over to you...


It's no secret I'm big into animal rescue, and I have the household to prove it. Five cats, 2 dogs, 2 ferrets, a gerbil, and various fish fill any spare moment I have with antics and the need to clean. Every single one of our cats comes from a rescue situation, but one cat in particular will stick out the most when we have visitors...If you can find her.

Lady LeFaye, also known as Faye Cat, is one of rescues whose circumstances left physical marks on her instead of just emotional ones. You see, Faye was found on the side of a road having seizures when she was a kitten. Uncertain what was wrong with her, and without the vet facilities to check, the animal control took her back to their facilities and tried to make her as comfortable as possible. They didn't expect her to live til the morning.

The next day Faye was still alive. The entire left side of her body, plus her tail was paralyzed, but she was fighting hard to get up and move around. A foster for the animal control volunteered to take her home and work with her. For a few weeks they put her through aquatherapy where she regained use of her back leg, most of her tail, and some of her front shoulder. But, like most animal controls, her time was limited and her number had been called. She had only a few days left to find a home or be euthanized.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Christmas is Cancelled: Book Trailer

The past couple of days, I've been trying my hand at creating a book trailer for Christmas is Cancelled.

For the whopping great outlay of £0.00(!!), I must confess I'm rather pleased with the results. Obviously it's not 'professional' but I'm hoping it's better than not having one at all.

So, here it is, I hope you like it...



And if you want to know how I did - completely for free - then maybe that can be the subject of a future post?

Saturday, 24 November 2012

IWSG: What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to the ISWG page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

The Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Can anybody tell me this though...

If Thanksgiving stems from an old English tradition (see wikipedia), why don't we still celebrate it here? Or has it been combined with Harvest Festival and Guy Fawkes Day? 

Regardless of the whys and wherefores, I wish all my US friends and family a very happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Introducing... the Peer Pressure series

Coronet - Duke
I am delighted to say my Peer Pressure series is coming together very nicely indeed. I've even come up with my titles I love as well as the running order of the first four, seeing as I haven't ruled out additional titles.

Coronet - Marquess

The Peer Pressure series is a modern twist on a common historical theme; the stories are based on the lives and loves of Lords and Ladies of the British peerage in the twenty-first century.


Coronet - Earl
To add a little fun to the theme, I have come up with variations on nursery rhymes and songs, yet also managed to leave a cryptic clue to what the story is about. I imagine it will be a lot of fun when it comes to designing the cover art. (Incidentally, book 2 was originally 'The Masquerade Must Die'.)


Coronet - Viscount
Book One: Bye Bye, Black Sheep
Book Two: Pussy Kat, Pussy Kat (Where Have You Been?)
Book Three: Sing A Rainbow Too
Book Four: Rock-a-Buy Baby
Book Five: The House that Jack Built


Coronet - Baron
As mentioned already, I can imagine this series growing (Miss Polly Had a Dolly maybe, or how about Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star) but if I get too hung up thinking about other books, the many other stories, I'll never actually get around to getting these four written.

It is somewhat ambitious but I would love to get the first two written and published next year, maybe Spring and Autumn, and then the next two the following year. By deciding to self-publish, the buck stops with me and I can choose my own publishing schedule and ensure it fits around my family and their needs.

Rest assured, you can follow my progress here, and I will be shouting it from the rooftops when I finally have a likely release date for the first one.

I am so excited by this series and cannot wait to share these stories with you.

18/11 - ETA: Book 5 is now added.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Doesn't the time fly?

A year ago today, I created this blog with the idea of documenting my mission to becoming a writer, following my dream of becoming a published author.

With two publishing contracts under my belt - and not forgetting I turned down a three-book publishing deal - to say I'm chuffed would be a massive understatement.

So, now seems like a good time to announce the release date for my debut story, Christmas in Cancelled...


If all goes to plan, Christmas is Cancelled it will be released on December 21st, just in time for Christmas to help you get in the festive spirit. It should be available for pre-order before then so keep your eyes peeled for my updates.

Then, in March, my debut writing as Allie A Burrow comes out. My short story, For One Night Only, will be featured in a Serviced (military-themed) anthology. Adults only though ;-)

What's next?

I have to say, I am unbelievably excited by the project I'm working on at the moment!!

I am working on not one book, not two books, not even three books, but a contemporary romance series consisting of FOUR books. A modern twist on a common historical theme, the series is based on the lives and loves of Lords and Ladies of the English peerage in the twenty-first century. The working title for the series is 'Peer Pressure' but it's not set in stone by any means.

And even more exciting, I am planning to self-publish it, putting me firmly in the driving seat. I've made enough contacts now to have access to editors and cover artists, and I'm no slouch when it comes to computers so foresee no issues with the formatting and uploading to the various portals. By self-publishing, I will also be able to offer a print option as well as digital format, and would love to see my books on the shelves of the local bookstore and beyond.

Not only is this my biggest project to date, pushing all my other projects down the pecking order, it will also be my most challenging. I need to create a group of characters who will each get their stories told, with the fourth book in the series being a male/male romance. I only hope I can do it justice because I would love to see more 'mainstream' non-erotic male/male romance stories. With the issue of civil marriages and courtesy titles for gay spouses of peers having been in the news this year already, it felt like I would be cheating my series by not exploring this as a potential storyline.

And at least I only have to please myself (and my Beta-readers) if I'm self-publishing...

I'm still in the midst of NaNoWriMo, as blogged yesterday, but with the introduction of new characters and a fourth book to foreshadow, I'm at a scratching-my-head point whilst I figure out how to handle the curveballs I've been thrown. Instead of sitting here blogging, I should be outlining and getting some writing done. Oops!

Thank you to everyone who follows this blog regularly!

The next year will also see the introduction of more guests and interviews, and hopefully more giveaways so I'd love it if you stuck around with me a while longer.

And now it's back to work...

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

NaNoWriMo: Week 2

As week two draws to a close, I thought you might like to see how I've been getting on. With the aid of NaNoWriMo's stats tab, I can do exactly that...



So, as you can see, I won't hit the 50K words by the end of the month on current form. Do you know what though? That's okay. Honestly...

Thanks to NaNo though, I now have over 16K words that are being lapped up by my beta-readers and getting really good feedback. That's the most productive fortnight I can recall, and the story is actually rather good even if I do say so myself. If the first draft is written by the middle of December, as projected, I'll be a very happy writer indeed.

I haven't ruled out catching up with NaNo and being a 'winner' but... assuming I don't... if I can still get Bye Bye, Black Sheep finished before the end of the year, I'd count that as winning too.

How is everybody else doing? Still going?

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Reading List: October 2012

Oops, sorry. This post has been sitting in my drafts and it's only just occurred to me that I hadn't published it yet. D'oh!



Thursday, 8 November 2012

NaNoWriMo: Lessons Learned #1

So we're already over a week into November, and therefore over a week into NaNoWriMo - you know, write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days - and already, I'm learning more about my writing style.

I already knew I was combination of plotter and pantser (as in, writing by the seat of my pants) but now I also know that....


I HAVE TO EDIT AS I GO!!!!



Er... yeah. Whoops. Sorry for shouting.

For the first few days, I tried to ignore my inner editor - I really did - but it nigh on killed me.

Akin to chewing off my own arm (even though that would be cannibalistic, and not only that, I've also been vegetarian for over twenty years), the prospect of having to come back to it filled me with dread. I couldn't move on until I'd got the words right, until the sentences flowed the way I wanted them to.

My muse abandoned me, throwing a tantrum until I agreed to let my editor play. It transpires they are a tag team, they need each other, and who am I to argue? I'm just the medium that types the words into the laptop.

Signing up to NaNo was always a last minute decision, almost a whim, a tool to get me back into my writing. Whilst I am still striving to reach the 50,000 word target, I'm not going to be too disappointed if I don't get there. I'd much rather have 30,000 quality words, than 50,000 words of drivel that needs completely re-writing come December.

December for me is all about promoting and celebrating my new release, and of course, getting ready for Christmas. Woo hoo!

Speaking of my new release, get ready for the announcement of my release date... coming soon!

If you are also taking part in NaNo, how is it going for you?

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Gatecrasher Giveaway: And the Winner is...

Thank you to everyone who took part in my anniversary giveaways, and congratulations to all of the lucky winners. If you haven't yet claimed your prize, please get in touch.

And so onto the winner of the final 'gatecrasher' giveaway...


I am delighted to announce that the winner is.... Katrina Day-Reilly, who tweeted about the giveaway. Please get in touch to claim your prize!

I currently have it in PDF format but if you require it in a different format, I will have to get in touch with the author. She's on her jollies at the moment so could be a couple of weeks

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Over To You

My first blogiversary is rapidly approaching and I'm going to be trying something new.

Starting later this month, I am opening my blog to fellow authors every other week to stop by, either to write a guest post or for an interview. Seeing as I already have a few guests lined up, I thought I would seek your input...



Rather than simply ask the same old-same old, are there any burning questions that you would love to be able to ask?

What would you actually want to know about an author?

What questions are you tired of seeing in guest interviews?




This is your chance to nominate the questions that appeal to you, so please comment below with your suggestions and then keep your eyes peeled to see if your question is used.


Thursday, 1 November 2012

NaNoWriMo: Let the Madness Commence

National Novel Writing Month - or NaNoWriMo as it is commonly referred to - started today, the aim to write an entire 50,000 word novel over the course of November. Yes, that's right. 50,000 words in just ONE month.

AureliaBRowl
For weeks, I have been rejecting suggestions about joining up for NaNoWriMo. I had an entire armoury of excuses and reasons about why I shouldn't do it. And it was fine, I wasn't pushed. Nobody tried to coerce me. But then the big day arrived and one of the stories in my head has been getting louder and more disruptive these past few day and my finger "slipped" and...

WHOOPS!

If my blog and social network pages go quiet, at least you'll know why.

So who else is in it this year?