I admit I love all things Christmas including the build up which this year has included a jolly, bargain-filled trip to Bluewater with my niece Jess, a festive fete at the lovely school where my niece Marie Claire teaches, a rip-roaring panto (Cinderella – it was brilliant) with my best friend Clare at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon plus all the usual pre-Christmas gatherings, present exchanges, and mulled wine, choccies and mince pies by the dozen.
I do fully appreciate that both Christmas and New Year can be a very emotional time, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for sad, and that not everybody relishes the festive season.
I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing this Christmas, you find peace and some comfort.
Thank you all for your ongoing cheerleading for me, my blog and my novel. The sequel to As Weekends Go will be released in 2020 (hooray!). I truly value your support and friendship.
May 2020 be a peaceful, healthy and joyful year for us all.
May’s a month of merriment in our family. Birthdays galore. My niece, my brother-in-law, my nephew’s girlfriend, and last but most definitely not least, lovely Mr B, who’s never been one for fuss and fanfare around his special day, but I still spoil him!
It fell on a Friday this year and our original plan to go out for some tapas at a nearby restaurant fell flat when he didn’t arrive home from work until later than planned.
So … we had a takeaway and a bottle of fizz instead, both of which were delicious 🙂
May also welcomed two new arrivals at Brigden Towers. No, not those sort of new arrivals … a nice new matching two-seater sofa & sofa bed. Our old ones, bless them, were so creaky and sunken, you needed a stepladder to climb out!
They did us proud, but as the old saying goes, all good things come to an end.
Here’s a pic of the replacements.
Amidst all the birthdays and sofa deliveries, I gave my first author talk this month as part of a panel on behalf of our publisher Choc Lit who are touring various libraries across the country. I hardly slept the two nights beforehand, I was so nervous, but am happy to report that all went well, mainly thanks to the love & support and encouraging words from Mr B, my family and friends. I wrote a detailed post for our Romaniacs blog Life Cycle of a Writer feature which is here, should you fancy a read ~ The jitters and joys of my first author talk
Here’s a snapshot of our afternoon in pictures. We were in Southampton and had a great audience. Plenty of chocolates too! 😉
I also featured on two blogs in May, one was a Q&A post with lovely Kelly Lacey of Love Books Group which you can read here ~ Q&A LOVEBOOKSGROUP
The other fab blog I appeared on was Annette Hannah’s Sincerely Book Angels. She has a great feature called My Favourite Things. Here are mine ~ My Favourite Things
I’ve been working hard on my sequel to As Weekends Go, so didn’t manage much reading in May. I have, however, just started reading independent author Lizzie Lamb’s new book entitled Girl in the Castle. I’m a huge fan of Lizzie’s writing and am happy to report that I’m six chapters in and thoroughly enjoying it. I shall give more details in my next update!
Much love to you all.
October? Really? Not that I’m complaining, I love October, but I’m still grinning about what September blessed me with.
In a nutshell:
The paperback release of my debut As Weekends Go, a special moment, not to mention emotional. Tears flowed, as did the laughter, cake and fizz and I was overwhelmed by all the lovely messages I received. I even got a congratulatory retweet from Crystal Palace FC 🙂
Here’s a gorgeous banner my lovely publisher Choc Lit created for me.
And a second banner by my good friend Laura James along with the fab publication day blog post she and my other fellow Romaniacs composed for me here: The Romaniacs Blog
Another hugely proud moment was when I learned my novel was being featured on Lovereading UK as one of its debuts of the month. A Weekly Staff pick too. Double delight!
Cue more fizz & chocolate (naturally!) and the added bonus of sunshine …
The support and good cheer I received throughout the month from all my writing buddies at Choc Lit and beyond, especially from my fellow Romaniacs, plus lovely readers and bloggers was brilliant.
Here are some guest posts, promo posts and Q&A features I took part in during September – thank you dear bloggers!
Choc Lit Blog ~ Memorable weekends of mine.
Jera’s Jamboree ~ Q&A
Jo Lambert ~ Launch Day promo post.
Linda Hill ~ Guest post on the importance of doing your research.
Whispering Stories ~ Q&A
Being Anne ~ Guest post on stereotyping & my fictional footballer (plus Anne’s wonderful review of As Weekends Go).
Towards the end of the month I attended an author/blogger meet up in London which gave me a great chance to say hello to faces both new and familiar. A good time was had by all, with much writerly chat and laughter. We were also blessed with glorious sunshine again and a fabulous view of the Regent’s Canal.
All in all, a month to remember.
Bring on October! 😀
Love Jan x
In tribute to my fabulous award-winning publishing team, here are seven fab things I love about Choc Lit.
1~ The name. Choc for chocolate and Lit for literary. Who could fail to smile at that delicious combo? I mean, books and chocs? Heaven!
2~ The logo. Warm, welcoming and instantly recognisable. Love it!
3~ The team at head office and beyond who offers its readers and bloggers such variety, some darker issues, others lighter, but all with romance at heart. And to its authors, from manuscript submission to editing to publication day and thereafter, that family feel, passion for our books and professionalism.
4~ Those stunning covers. I’ve had so many compliments about mine and heard so many people raving about others too. Big cheer for our very special designer Berni Stevens Lucky us!
5~ Camaraderie and encouragement among the authors. Lotsa love, laughter and literary cheerleading and advice.
6~ The Tasting Panel ~ a dedicated team of independent readers who assess each manuscript. We also now have our Choc Lit Stars; fans of our work who help spread the word about us.
7~ Choc Lit Spread ~ our online magazine packed full of news, views, comps and fab deals. And our Choc Lit treats – short stories published online by our various authors, all with that taste of romance running through them.
I could go on and on and on …
Here’s to another seven years.
Cheers, Choc Lit! Happy Birthday!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and for those of you who find this time of year particularly hard, that you received plenty of loving support and inner peace.
I spent Christmas Day with my husband and my parents. We don’t have children of our own so on Boxing Day it was fun and games all the way with our two youngest nieces (both teenagers, so not so young anymore!) and merriment aplenty, not to mention fizz and choccies.
Santa was very kind to me this year and delivered several writerly presents; some with sentimental value, others more practical that will help spur me on to crack on with the sequel to my debut As Weekends Go, published earlier this month.
Here is a small selection …
Love Jan X