Monthly Archives: April 2016

Meet author Maighread MacKay

Maighread and I have used the same publisher for our latest books. Solstice PMargaret Hublishing is based in America, but encourages its writers to share ideas and information via a closed Facebook group. So although I have never met Maighread, we have ‘talked’ a lot in the group and she’s beginning to feel like an old friend.

 What is the title of your latest book? 

 Stone Cottage.

It asks the question “If you could plan your life before you were born, what could that life look like?” A young woman seeks a place of sanctuary to heal from anxiety. She finds an old stone cottage where she feels at home. What she doesn’t know is that the ghost of the former owner still lives there. What happens when these two meet and why have they met? A story of healing and love.

 What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer? And the most rewarding?

 The most challenging aspect of being a writer for me is presenting new concepts in an interesting story.

The most rewarding part of being a writer is when a reader approaches me and says “I really love your book. It’s a great story and helped me in so many ways.”

What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?

 Make sure you get a great editor to help you make  your story the best it can be.

 What are you working on at the moment?

 A murder mystery from the ghost’s point of view.

 What do you like to read?

 I am a very eclectic reader. I love J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, C.S. Lewis, the old classics, mysteries, chic lit for light-hearted reading and writers such as Robert Schwartz, Neale Donald Walsch, and Wayne Dyer to expand my mind and soul.

 Where can readers find you book and more about you? 

Amazon book page: top cover


 Amazon  Author Page:




Everybody Reads YA – Girl Friends


HappGirl Friends - covery Everybody Reads YA Sunday. Today I’m sharing an excerpt from my new YA novel Girl Friends which is being published by Solstice and will be available to pre-order from Amazon on 29th April (release date 6th May). Girl Friends is a contemporary  coming-of-age adventure story about  friendship, dating, sex, and ambition (and the dangerous effects of mixing these last two).




       “It’s a push up bra. I need one just to look as if I have a bust at all. On you—you’ll look like a Page 3 girl. Come on—get that T-shirt off.”

       I do as she says and put on the proffered bra. It is massively uncomfortable and I feel like a trussed chicken. But one glance in the mirror shows me in a completely new light. A cleavage worth dying for, I think. Then feel that, with the accompanying discomfort, I probably will.

Blurb: Nothing is working out for Courtney, and even Grace, her beautiful best friend has no time for her now she has a boyfriend who has promised to get her a modelling contract. Courtney senses something is wrong – what is Grace getting herself into? And can Courtney and her new-found friends rescue Grace before it is too late?

Links: The direct link for this book on Amazon will be available from the 29th April. It will also be available from the links to my Amazon author page, where you can find out about other books I have had published,

Meet author Karen King

I have been lucky enough to meet Karen on a couple of occasions. I have also taken part in one of her workshops for writers. Karen has written countless children’s stories and books for young adults,Karen KIng and an increasing number of romantic novels. Here she talks about her recent work.

What is the title of your latest book?

 My latest book is a chick lit novel titled ‘I Do? – or do I?’ which will be published by Accent Press on 12th May.  It’s about a local journalist Cassie who is getting married to hot-shot, reliable Timothy and his mother Sylvia nicknamed ‘Monster-in-Law’ wants to plan the entire wedding. When Sylvia books the exclusive ID Images to take photographs of the extravagant do, Cassie has no idea what she’s walking into.

The elusive JM, ID Images’ newest photographer, just so happens to be Jared, Cassie’s first love and ex-fiancé, who broke off their engagement to travel and take photos of far-reaching wonders. He’s back to pay for his next wild adventure.

Cassie decides it’s best to pretend not to know him, but when she’s asked to write an article for her newspaper, she’s tasked with a column surrounding all things wedding related. When Cassie jokingly writes a column meant for herself depicting her situation, a co-worker submits it in place of the real article and it’s soon making headlines, with readers asking the age old question – Who Will She Choose?

What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer?

The most challenging thing is finding time to do anything else. Writing can tend to take over your life. For me, the most rewarding thing is getting a message from a reader saying how much they’ve enjoyed reading my book. That makes my week!

 What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?

Know your market, know your reader. I think it’s important to know the genre you’re writing and who will be reading it. A psychological thriller has a completely different tone to a romcom, for example.

What are you working on at the moment?

My third chick lit novel for Accent Press. They contracted me for three books and are republishing my romance and YA back list. I feel amazingly lucky. I’m also about to start on a YA for them.

Wearing my other hat, as a children’s author, I’m working on a series for 6-8 year olds and a couple of picture book texts. I always have a few projects on the go.

 What do you like to read?

Mainly light-hearted, pacey books by authors such as Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes, but I was gripped by Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Before I go To Sleep by S.J.Watson.

 Where can readers find you (Amazon links etc)?  Website

Amazon Author PageI Do (3)

Karen King Romance Author Facebook

Karen King Children’s Books Facebook



 Amazon link for ‘I Do – or DO I?

 Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog, Margaret. 

Everybody reads YA

Happy ‘Everybody Reads YA Sunday’ #SundayBlogShare. Today I’m sharing an excerpt from my new book, Girl Friends which will be available to pre-order on Amazon from 29th April and is released on 6th May. Girl Friends is a contemporary coming of age novel and is not just about two girls, Courtney and Grace,  who are friends, but boyfriends too.


When I wash my hands, I catch sight of myself in the mirror. At first I don’t realise it is me—just someone with the same baggy top. The face is quite different; harder, older, more sassy and, I peer more closely, definitely more sexy. Not the Courtney I have known and lived with for nearly sixteen years, but I’m not displeased. I’ll go along with this face this evening anyway, if only to please Grace. I can get back to the real me tomorrow.


Nothing is working out for Courtney, and even Grace, her beautiful best friend has no time for her now she has a boyfriend who has promised to get her a modelling contract. Courtney senses something is wrong – what is Grace getting herself into? And can Courtney and her new-found friends rescue Grace before it is too late? It is a race against time …..

Girl Friends - coverThe direct link for Girl Friends will be available shortly. meanwhile you can check out some of my other stories via my Amazon author page. Some will be available on promotion later this month.

Meet author Ann Evans

When I started this blog I said that I hoped to feature  other writers here from time to time. So I am delighted that my very first guest is the acclaimed writer of children’s books, and romances, Ann Evans. Ann has also written ‘how to’ books on writing, runs regular writing classes, and has been a source of encouragement, advice, and inspiration to me since I started out as a writer. Ann Evans and books


  1. What is the title of your latest book? 

My latest full length book is a YA time slip thriller entitled Celeste.  It’s set in Coventry (my home city) in the present day and the Medieval past.  It’s about a girl – Megan Miller who moves to Coventry with her parents and starts a new school. She soon starts to get feelings of deja vu. Things become more worrying when she starts to have fragmented dreams and flashbacks to a past life. To a time when she had been called Celeste.

And then Megan believes some ominous presence is haunting her, following her, whispering in her ear. And always the same question, where did you hide it?

Megan becomes entwined in a frightening and heartbreaking world as she slips uncontrollably between her present life and her medieval past. She’s afraid that a new friend is actually a past enemy – and evil has followed her through the centuries.

I’ve also been busy writing books for reluctant readers, published by Badger Learning. There’s been Kicked Into Touch and Spend Like a Celebrity, plus I’ve had the fun of writing some horror stories: Nightmare, Red Handed and Straw Men. Also a heart-rendering story called By My Side, which has everyone in tears – even me!

  1. What are the most challenging aspects of being a writer? And the most rewarding?

For me the most challenging thing is finding enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do. And the most rewarding is seeing the finished product – a book or a magazine article published. And it’s also incredibly rewarding when someone tells you that they’ve read and enjoyed your book.

 3. What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?

Persevere! Never give up. If you want to be a writer, then write and keep on writing regardless of the rejections.  I had seven books rejected before my first one was published. I would also say read as much as you can and learn from other authors.

 4. What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve got a number of projects on the go. I write regularly for various magazines, so I’m always working on articles. But fiction-wise, I’m writing two more reluctant reader books. I’m also working on a romance, a children’s book and what I hope will be a psychological thriller. 

  1. What do you like to read?

I have a wide taste in books, from crime to time slip and romance to autobiographies. Amongst my favourite authors are Lee Child – who comes from my home city of Coventry, and Barbara Erskine who inspired me to write a time slip novel.

 6. Where can readers find you?

My website:




Buy links: Celeste paperback: AC_Celeste_1400x2100 (1)

Celeste Kindle:



Ann’s books for reluctant readers are available from Badger Learning, Amazon and all the usual outlets.

By My Side Badger Learning



Everybody reads YA

Happy everybody reads YA Sunday. Today I’m sharing an excerpt from my short story Chains of Magic, based on the Shakespeare play, Othello.


She gasped and sat up straight in bed. Love! What was she thinking! Othello, The Moor of Venice, could have no thought of marrying her, a mere slip of a girl – and white as a lily too. Besides, she had been too shy to speak to him that evening, and would never be allowed to be alone in his company. Nor did she know anyone she could confide in, or use as a go-between.


OthelloChains of magic charmed Desdemona into running away to marry him, right? But what if it was the other way round?




Why join a writers’ group?

When you first shyly, eyes firmly on your shoe laces, whisper that you fancy becoming a writer, one of the first bits of advice you get is to join a writing group. I didn’t take this advice straight away – surely they’d be full of – well – proper writers, and I didn’t know if my prize for a story I wrote for the Brownie magazine several decades previously would quite count. So I sat down and wrote a novel. I’ve never tried to get it published – it’s at the back of a cupboard somewhere, and I’m too embarrassed even to look at it again. But what I proved to myself by writing it was that I could start a piece of work and keep going to the end. That is to say, I could write! So I joined the local writers’ group nearly five years ago and still go regularly.

We’re a mixed bunch, age range 18 – 80 plus, 50:50 male:female, some well established writers and poets,  some just starting to get published, some still looking for publishers or experimenting with self publishing, some only writing in response to exercises set at the meeting, some just coming to listen. Skills within the group, apart from writing, include proof reading and editing, printing and publishing, marketing and using social media. There are two essential ingredients to making the group work: a willingness to ask for (and accept) advice and criticism, and a willingness to share information if something has worked for you.

Those with experience are pleased to share their knowledge and experience with, for example, workshops on dialogue, or writing cover letters and synopses, among many others. Together we have produced, printed and marketed two anthologies: Coventry Tales and Coventry Tales 2.  Coventry Tales 1

Both available via my Amazon page: or

We have also taken part in the local literary festival for several years, which is a great way of finding out if your work sounds good to an audience. The group meets every month and I still pick up useful tips every time I go, which is why I keep going.

Sometimes it’s not so much what you know as who you know. At our last meeting, Ann Evans a much published children and romance novel author, and founder member of the group, brought her writing friend, Karen King. Karen also writes for children of all ages and romance novels for adults and, like me, has had a YA novel published by Solstice.

Apart from joining in the general discussion and offering constructive criticism to those of us reading out from our new works, both Ann and Karen have agreed to feature on my blog during April. So look out for them here over the next few weeks.
Front Cover