Blog Archives

Publication Day Cheer

I’ve been so looking forward to sharing this post with you all.

Today I celebrate the ebook publication of If I Ever Doubt You, the sequel to my debut As Weekends Go.

It’ll be just me and Dave celebrating at home so we’ve made sure we have fizz and chocs aplenty. Yes, it will be different this time round, but to be honest I’m just grateful our nearest and dearest are all safe and well and able to share in my good news.  I thank you all for your continued love, encouragement and support.

Huge cheer of thanks to my lovely publisher Choc Lit Proud to belong to such a top team.CHOC LIT LOGO

MORTON POST IIEDY

 

Here’s the blurb:

She might have scored a celebrity footballer, but the game isn’t over yet …

Rebecca Dunning should be blissfully happy – after a whirlwind weekend, she and top footballer Alex Heath are still going strong. But as the murkier side of the celebrity lifestyle reveals itself, so does the creeping doubt.

Rebecca finds herself isolated in the fake, flashy world of toxic WAG cliques and ruthless reporters, and when a mysterious online admirer follows Alex’s every move, she struggles to cope. Can she keep playing the media game for the man she loves, or will she have to admit defeat?

Sequel to As Weekends Go.

Here’s the link should you fancy a read.

Amazon

Also available to download on Kobo, Nook, Google Play & ibookstore

I hope you enjoy it.

Much love,

20150927_115918

Jan x

From My Home to Yours …

I hope this post finds you and all your loved ones safe and healthy and well. Such a  strange, scary, unnerving old time for everyone, isn’t it. Bless those poor souls who have lost their lives. My heart goes out to their families and friends ❤

I was re-reading my previous blog post (written pre-lockdown) about how I’d be reporting back to you on the various family events coming up in April, always a mad month birthdays-wise in our family. As is May.

Little did I know at the time what the next few weeks would bring and how much they would impact all our lives.

Yet for all the negatives and sadness and worry –  perfectly understandable –  I have been reflecting on all the good in my life, who and what is really important. Counting my blessings. As I’m sure a lot of us have.

 

Obviously my husband, strong marriage,  family and friends are at the top of my list of things to be thankful for. I’ve also appreciated the importance of my home. Dave and I live in a maisonette in a densely populated town, albeit on the “slightly” quieter and greener fringes of that town. We’ve lived here a number of years, seen huge changes, met and waved goodbye to various neighbours and witnessed countless dramas.

51579170_10215771268808320_144329910670852096_o

Over the last few months I’d begun to feel a bit restless, agitated, less tolerant of the litter, mindless periodic car vandalism the ever-growing traffic, beeping car horns, hollered expletives and general lack of consideration of one or two of our fellow residents. I actually uttered those immortal words to Dave one evening, “It’s not like it used to be round here.”

And then came lockdown.

Now, I’m not saying all of the aforementioned niggles will magic themselves away when things return to normal, whatever normal may be, but I do know that during the extra time we’ve spent indoors and especially the time spent going out for our hourly walks for exercise, or sitting in the garden, that my love for our home and its surroundings has reignited.

Indoors, we’ve had a good old declutter, spring-cleaned and had a mass filing and shredding of paperwork session. Outdoors, we’ve tackled the garden. Dave, unable to work at the moment, has dismantled our decking with plans for a new shed to take its place. Our walks have taken in new local routes I never knew existed. Bridleways and woods full of foliage and blossoms. Hopscotch patterns chalked on pathways, pictures of rainbows in windows, the background sounds of birdsong and children’s laughter as they splash in their paddling pools or play in their gardens, between homeschooling sessions. Less traffic. Fresher air. Bluer sky. An abundance of butterflies (one landed on me – I was so chuffed!) and bumble bees aplenty. Majestic trees, one of which we pass on a certain route, is home to a woodpecker who we now listen out for every day.

Obviously it’s a godsend that we have social media and phones and video calling, etc, so we can all stay in touch, but it has also been wonderful to slow down, give the brain a rest and appreciate those things we either take for granted or never notice.

I know for sure that I’ve been more creative, writing blog posts and a Christmas novella and a few comical odes and ditties . I’m looking forward to the publication of my sequel to As Weekends Go later this month.

Published by Choc Lit, it’s entitled If I Ever Doubt You and here is the blurb and the glorious cover.

She might have scored a celebrity footballer, but the game isn’t over yet …
Rebecca Dunning should be blissfully happy – after a whirlwind weekend, she and top footballer Alex Heath are still going strong. But as the murkier side of the celebrity lifestyle reveals itself, so does the creeping doubt.

Rebecca finds herself isolated in the fake, flashy world of toxic WAG cliques and ruthless reporters, and when a mysterious online admirer follows Alex’s every move, she struggles to cope. Can she keep playing the media game for the man she loves, or will she have to admit defeat?

MORTON POST IIEDY

 

The beautiful blooms below are dedicated to our brilliant NHS and carers and key workers for whom we’ve been clapping and banging our saucepan lids in appreciation of the invaluable work they are doing throughout this pandemic and for all they do in general.

No applause will ever be loud enough. clapping-hands

Thank you.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone ❤

Much love,

20200414_134923

Jan x

 

So pleased to accept a Sunshine Blogger Award – Nominated by Jessie Cahalin

Sunshine-Blogger-AwardNominee

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award allows bloggers to highlight and celebrate their fellow bloggers’ creativity and positivity within the blogging community.

I am thrilled to have been nominated, along with ten other bloggers, by Jessie Cahalin of the fabulous Books in my Handbag blog. Jessie was herself previously nominated. Congratulations!  I love Jessie’s gem of a blog with all its entertaining and engaging features and  value her friendship and support.

Below are the 11 questions set by Jessie for her nominees, with my answers :

Which three photographs would you present to capture your life?  Feel free to include these in this post if you can.

I believe laughter is one of the best tonics in life.  When was the last time you could not stop laughing?

At home last week when Briggy almost did the splits springing off the sofa with cramp in his  lower leg. 

Explain the last act of kindness you showed to a friend or stranger.

Listening to a lady in the hairdressers whose older sister had recently passed away. She just wanted to talk about her.

Do you prefer the winter sun or the summer sun?  Explain your response.

Ooh, that’s a close one, as I do love crisp blue-skied sunny winter days, however, being on holiday in Spain and sitting outside on a terrace, people-watching, on a warm summer’s evening with a long, cool drink in my hand, gets my vote. 

Describe your perfect Saturday evening.

Cozied up on the sofa watching TV with Briggy,  a Chinese takeaway, a bottle of wine and some choccies on the side for afters.

What sorts of characters do you prefer to meet in novels?

Multi-layered ones – open-minded,  fun to be with, resilient and self confident, but able to laugh at themselves and not be afraid to show their emotions. Big-hearted and kind. I don’t want much, do I?  😀

Give one sentence of advice to yourself when you were sixteen.

Know your worth.

Is there a friend from the past you would love to get in touch with and why?

Not really. I think I’m still in touch with most of them in some way or other.

What is your food heaven and food hell?

Food heaven is one of Briggy’s fabulous Sunday roast dinners with extra crispy roast potatoes and all the trimmings. Food hell would be anything garlicky.

Share your favourite recipe.

I wish I could say I enjoyed cooking but truth is I’m not really that adventurous or experimental. I do bake a mean Victoria sponge though. Briggy would also sing the praises of my cauliflower cheese (extra thick sauce with added chopped leeks).

The cake recipe I follow is hereBBC GOOD FOOD

If you could travel back in time where would you visit and who would you take with you?

Being a huge fan of the film Grease, I’d love to experience being a teenager in the 1950’s, like my parents. The music, the fashions, the lack of cars on the roads, the sense of hope and new beginnings after the second world war. A new Queen.  Obviously it wasn’t all sweetness and light – what era is? – but it did seem a safer, more innocent time to be alive. Obviously I’d take Briggy with me. I could teach him to jive!

 

I nominate these lovely people for a Sunshine Blogger Award 🙂

Sunshine-Blogger-AwardNominee

 

Christine Stovell

Sharon Goodwin

Elle Turner

Rose McClelland

Sue Fortin

Kathryn Freeman

Morton S Gray

Nicola Cassidy

Heather Smith

Samantha Tonge

Sharon Booth

Big cheers for you all.  I love your blogs and you fully deserve  recognition for your  supportive, engaging, inspiring, creative and motivational posts. Please don’t feel obliged to respond, but if you do choose to accept the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination, there are a few little rules:

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your blog post.
  • Nominate 11 new bloggers & their blogs. Do leave a comment on their blog to let them know they received the award and ask your nominees 11 new questions.

 

Here are the 11 new questions for my nominees:

 

What are the best and worst gifts you’ve ever received?

Who is the celebrity you’d most like to share a 100 mile taxi ride with and why?

If you could interview any author past or present, who would it be and why?

What’s the most nerve-racking thing you’ve ever done in your life?

What’s your idea of the perfect holiday?

What do you find best helps you to relax, de-stress and re-focus? 

Which song triggers happy memories for you and why?

Who is the fictional hero you’d most like to spring to life before your eyes?

Which city in the world would you most like to visit?

What’s your favourite food treat/indulgence (however big or small) ?

Which three words best describe you?

 

Until next time,

With much love,

20150410_101851

Jan X

 

 

My mad year so far (as in crazy, busy, celebratory mad) Well, mostly!

I kept trying to pen a news blog prior to this. January and February flew past and as with my novel writing, the will and the want were there but sadly I couldn’t convey any actual words, or at least the right words.

Having finally opened up over the last few months to my loving family and closest friends, my patient supportive publisher and equally supportive GP that I’d been struggling to cope, the relief has been enormous and as much as it sometimes feels a bit two-steps-forward- three- steps- back , the mixture of medication and therapy, including a confidence workshop, has given me some clarity about my priorities going forward. It’s a work in progress as we say in the writing world but one that I’m hopeful is moving in the right direction.

What has been fabulous about 2018 so far is the catalogue of uplifting family events and celebrations we’ve enjoyed.

A special birthday for Mum kicked off the month of March in style and although we were thwarted by the snow and ice that day, we made up for it at the weekend with a lovely family lunch and much cake and fizz.

Mid-March saw the arrival of our dear little great-nephew, Henry David, and I know I’m biased but take a look at this beautiful face!

 

So wonderful for Mum and Dad to become Great Grandparents in their Diamond wedding anniversary year. 60 glorious years. Such an achievement and a congratulatory card from Her Majesty the Queen which thrilled them both. We’re all so proud of them.

 

M&D 2

Naturally, we celebrated this momentous occasion with a great gathering at my younger sister Karen’s with family and friends, a delicious spread of food, bubbly aplenty and lots of laughter. Mum and Dad received some delightful gifts and cards including a fantastic memory book our niece put together with written  contributions and photos from all the family, some funny, some sentimental, but all created with love and gratitude for the influence and impact they have both had on us all.

 

April brought more excitement with a glorious family wedding to celebrate the marriage of our lovely Nephew Andy and his beautiful bride Alison. What a great day we had. Dressed in our finest threads and willing the weather to be fine, which it was, the venue and setting were superb ~ Surrey National Golf Club  ~ and with an evening reception to match, I haven’t danced so much in ages and it was good to catch up with people we hadn’t seen for a while. A triumph of an occasion for sure.

 

We’ve still some celebrations to come with a big special birthday looming for Dad at the end of April which I shall report back on next time round.

I’ve not done much reading lately but two books I did want to mention, one fiction one non-fiction, are the following:

 

 

That Summer At The Seahorse Hotel by Adrienne Vaughan  ~ The title alone made me want to dive into the story. Adrienne’s talent for creating engaging, entertaining characters, some of them warm, some witty, some wonderfully wacky, but all memorable, gets stronger with every book she writes. The stunning Irish setting and grandeur of the family home holds lots of hopes, fears and secrets and the drama, whether recounted from the past or firmly in the present, never lets up as each story thread unravels. Loved it!

 

Clarity  by Jamie Smart ~ A lesson in how to de-clutter the mind in order to  reduce stress levels, improve confidence and to think and communicate more clearly. It’s one of those books which I read straight through without trying to analyze every detail as I went and found so inspiring and helpful it really brought home to me how your thoughts can control you and leave you either dwelling on past events you cannot change or pondering the future to the point where you can miss out on appreciating the present. Something about the simple, non-baffling way the writer of this book explained things really resonated with me.

A bevy of blooms I’ve delighted in these past few weeks, some sent to me, some observed, some bought, all of them loved and appreciated …

 

Well, that’s all for now. I told you lots had been happening.

Until next time.

With much love,

JANNERS WEDDING

Xx

Good wishes & a message of thanks from me to you …

I confess I love all things Christmas, from the festive foliage, to the decorations, to the advent calendar (no, you didn’t read that wrong!) to the carols and good cheer our family get togethers always bring.

I also fully appreciate that both Christmas and New Year can be a very emotional time, sometimes for happy reasons, sometimes for sad, and that not everybody relishes the festivities.

I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing this Christmas, you find peace and some comfort.

May 2018 be peaceful, healthy and filled with love & laughter for us all.

Thank you all for your wonderful support for me, my blog and my novel this year. I truly value it along with your friendship.

20161201_195924

 

Much love,

Jan X

Big Cheer for Choc Lit – 8 great years!

It’s a very special day for my lovely publisher Choc Lit   they are celebrating their eighth birthday. I’m very proud to be part of the family and want to give a huge celebratory cheer of thanks to the whole team for all your hard work and support for us authors and our books.

There will be fun, prizes and, no doubt, chocs aplenty all day over at Choc Lit HQ, so be sure to keep an eye on the tweets/Facebook and join in the celebrations.

Here’s to another fab year!

 

Sip Sip (3)

 

Love Jan X

As January ends …

Blimey, blink and you miss it sums up my January. I swear it was only a couple of days ago Mr B and I  saw in 2017 with our friends down the pub over a few glasses of fizz while the spectacular fireworks  lit up the London skyline on the TV behind us.

It’s been an up and down old month and although I’m pleased and relieved to have rediscovered my writing passion, I’m still behind where I wanted to be with Book 2 – my follow on from As Weekends Go. Life doesn’t always play ball, as they say, but I’m a huge believer in the ‘everything happens for a reason‘ theory and about the importance of timing, so on we go.

Having said  all that, any words on the page are better than nowt, so that has to be a positive and with each new chapter of Book 2 written, my excitement grows at the thought of submitting it and (fingers, toes and anything else crossable crossed) eventually seeing it side by side with my debut novel.

I had some lovely news from my publisher this month in that I and several other of my fellow Choc Lit authors had been selected for the Kobo UK New Voices in Fiction promotion. The effect on downloads had me jumping up and down. At its best As Weekends Go flew high at number 2 in Contemporary Romance, number 12 overall in Fiction & Literature.

Thank you, Kobo, Choc Lit and dear readers.

 

kobo-kobo

 

I’d joked with Mr B that I was going to run around the block in my sparkle boots to celebrate but then looked out of the window early that morning and saw this …

 

Maybe not …

I do love the snow but the ‘soft, thick easy to walk in‘ variety, not the ‘turns to ice the minute it hits the pavement‘ kind.

20150113_132249

The famous sparkly boots!

 

January Reads 🙂 This terrific trio kept me thoroughly entertained.

One Dark Lie by Clare Chase – a mystery about the unexplained death of a Cambridge academic. Lots of secrets, action and a lovely dose of romance made this a top read for me.

Fur Coat & No Knickers  by Adrienne Vaughan – A fab selection of  engaging short stories, some adventurous, some romantic, some mysterious, all featuring characters who left me wanting more. Some great poetry included too.

Search Inside Yourself  by Chade-Meng Tan – I’m a big fan of mindfulness and meditation and anything that aids both mental and, in turn, physical wellbeing. I found this book both interesting and informative. Easy to follow too, unlike some mindfulness books that occasionally stray into the ‘too technical or scientific to fathom‘ bracket ( for me anyway!) Some good exercises to practice too.

 

 

Thank you, January!

Love Jan x

 

Thanking you and wishing you a very merry Christmas!

It’s no secret that I love Christmas. Our flat looks like a grotto, I still have an advent calendar (I know!), and I attend the carol concert every year even though I can’t sing for toffee! 😀

I know Christmas and New Year can be an emotional time, sometimes for happy reasons, sometimes for sad, and that not everybody relishes the festivities, so I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing this Christmas, you find some comfort.

May 2017 bring us all peace, good health, love and laughter.

Thank you all for your wonderful support for me and my novel this year. I truly appreciate it and value your friendship.

 

Please take one and pass them round! 🙂

b9almjuieaaspj1

Merry Christmas!

Love Jan x

What a month that was!

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.

jan-awg-promo-banner

 

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

 

jan-promo-banner-5

 

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!

 

jan-promo-banner-2

 

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! 😀

 

Jan 20150927_115045

Love Jan  x

 

 

 

 

 

 

One week countdown and an exciting delivery …

 

I have the most enormous grin on my face and it shows no sign of sliding away any time soon.

You see I’ve reached that point where no matter how hard I try to concentrate on writing book 2 or tell myself that I really should be chasing up those research queries, all I can think about is next week’s official paperback release of my debut As Weekends Go.

Even more so now I’ve taken delivery of some copies from my lovely publisher Choc Lit. Honestly, I almost launched myself at the poor courier when I realised what was in the box he was holding.

Here they are, looking all glam and glossy.

 

 

To hold my book in my hands really is a dream come true. Such a sweet moment. One that I will treasure forever.

I’m so looking forward to publication day on September 7th.

I think there may be chocs and fizz aplenty! Enough for us all 😉

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Love Jan