Friday 30 December 2011

It's My Birthday!

I'm twenty five today! So much has happened this year, it's been absolutely crazy. I've moved house, started blogging, self-published, become a foster parent and started preliminary work on my PhD. Plus, I've been busy writing my follow-up books.

I've been promoting my book for the past few days, and it's been modestly successful.I'm not sure that I want to get much more aggressive with my marketing tactics - there's nothing more annoying than a hard sell - but I decided that if I was going to indulge in some shameless self-promotion then my birthday would be the day to do it.

So yeah, for today only I'll be promoting heavily on twitter. At midnight GMT I'll stop. Don't worry, I'm not going to turn into one of those twitter authors who tweets about their book on a fifteen minute loop. I mean, if you can't irritate people on your birthday when can you irritate them?

I'm hoping that I'll be well enough to go for lunch today with my husband, and maybe raid a make-up counter or two. If not, I plan to sit in and watch Spooks with an espresso martini and some heat pads. Rock 'n' roll, eh?

That's today. Tomorrow I have to draw up a list of New Year's resolutions that mirror the tasks of Hercules in scope. I also have to catch up on comments, I'm hopelessly behind. But today I'm also over at Hart Johnson's blog talking about real life inspiration.

Have a good New Year's Eve Eve!

Thursday 29 December 2011

Reading Lists

Feeling a little better today! It's a rainy day here, so I'm planning on spending the day curled up on the couch with Polly, a large mug of coffee and my kindle. I'm currently reading Richelle Mead's Dark Swan books, if you like urban fantasy they're well worth a look.

Of course, I read lots of different types of books and another big draw for me is chick-lit, which is why I'm over with Talli Roland today talking about why I love the genre.

Hope you're all enjoying the holidays!

Wednesday 28 December 2011

Some Belated Scroogery

Well, the good news is that I'm actually selling copies of Storms. I was really nervous about putting it out, but now that it's published it's not actually that scary. Well, until I start getting reviews in which will be very scary indeed.

The bad news is that my cough has progressed into a full-grade body-wracking rumble that makes me sound like I'm auditioning for the role of over-enthusiastic-consumptive patient #3 in a Victorian era drama. Not only is the cough itself painful, but I've coughed so hard that I've inflamed the muscles between my ribs, and it hurts to breath, move, hold things or, you guessed it, cough.

I also haven't had a full night's sleep in over a week, which has taken my already 'pale Irish' complexion down to 'living undead'.

The fact that this has happened over Christmas just adds to my general feeling of joie de vivre. I have friends home from the UK, I have family occasions that I want to go to, and I've missed them all.

The worst thing is the guilt. I feel like I'm letting everyone down. I'm not sure that everyone understands my illness at the best of times, but when I get another infection on top of it it makes everything more intense.

Sometimes, I'd just like to be able to plan my life without factoring in fibromyalgia. I'm really fed up today.

This has been an awful self-pitying post. Luckily, I'm over at Caitlin Lane's blog today, being a bit more upbeat and talking about writing for a living.

Promise I'll be in a better mood tomorrow!

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Feeling Festive

Wrapping presents may have chipped my 'indestructible' purple Shellac manicure, but I'm still in the festive mood. So much so that I'm over with the wonderful Kimberly Montgomery talking about why I love Christmas.

I have a family party this afternoon, so I must run and get myself, husband and Polly suitably dressed and out the door. Once again, my book is now available on sale at Amazon in e-book format. Paperback will be available in February.

I promise, once I get past the 'official launch day' on my birthday on Friday, I'll ease up on the shameless promotion. Promises.


Monday 26 December 2011

Happy St. Stephen's Day!

I know in some parts of the world Christmas is just one day, but in Ireland St. Stephen's Day on December 26th is as much a part of Christmas as the day before. It's like the big day itself, but mellower. Really, Christmas here stretches into New Year, right up to old Christmas Day on January 6th.After the 6th, kids go back to school and the trees finally come down. Nowadays lots of people go back to work before Old Christmas Day, but festivities in Ireland stretch into the entire fortnight.

Did everyone have a good Christmas? I had a lovely one. Mostly because it's my favourite time of year, but also because my husband bought me a Kindle! I've waxed lyrical before on this blog about how paperbacks hurt my wrists (because of illness, I'm not the whiniest twenty-something year old in the world) and it was a really thoughtful present. I love it so much I'm posting a picture - as if you didn't know what one looks like.

My novel Storms in Teacups is out now, and is available in all Amazon Kindle stores.Today I'm over at my ABNA buddy Dwight Okita's blog, talking about being afraid of failure.

To those who've liked my Facebook page thank you so much. The link is here if anyone wants to spread some festive goodwill. Karma people, karma.

Off to cook the St. Stephen's Day ham! :)

Saturday 24 December 2011

T'was The Night Before Christmas...

Yes, it's that time of year again. By some dint of a miracle I have all my presents in, and can finally relax with the holiday box of chocolates and a gin and tonic. Good times.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all my blog followers for reading  and commenting on my posts since I first joined Blogger in March. I've met lots of great people and writers through the blogosphere, and I'm so happy that I jumped on board when I did.

I've been absent for a lot of December - putting the finishing touches on Storms, minding a baby, setting up a new (albeit unfinished) website and buying Christmas presents has made for an insane month. Hopefully January will be a more laid back one.

But it's been worth it! Storms in Teacups is now available to buy from Amazon! I'm equal parts scared and nervous.

Finally, if anyone is in a particularly giving mood and fancies giving me a (free) present, I'd really appreciate it if you'd like my new author page here. My reluctance to tell anyone that in my real life that I've written a book  means I have only a handful of likes, and I need 25 to get a stable URL.

Hope that wherever you are you have a fabulous Christmas/holiday season!

Tuesday 20 December 2011

He's Climbing In Your Windows...

Sorry I haven't been around much. As well as preparing for Christmas and the release of Storms I'm also setting up a new blogsite. As well as looking after a baby. Really can't wait for a break over Christmas.

I meant to catch up with you all yesterday, but as those of you who follow me on Twitter may already know I got distracted when someone tried to break into my house. In an urban neighbourhood. At 11am in the morning.

I was feeding Polly Pocket in the living room, when my dog jumped out of her bed and ran to the front door and started barking. Now, despite being a large dog with a large bark my dog is afraid of her own shadow. She doesn't bark very often, and when she does bark in fright at something she usually runs back and hides behind me.

When she didn't stop, I walked into the hallway with the baby, thinking she'd gotten spooked and needed calming down.

Not so - there was a gloved hand coming in my letterbox and trying to reach up to the latch (the letterbox is very close to the latch in my door. He tried to pull his hand out after he heard the dog barking.

I ran in to the living room to put Polly down, but by the time I made it back to the door he was gone. There were some people on my street, but I had no way of identifying which one it was. None of them seemed to be hurrying.

I was kind of calm at the time, but it freaked me out a little bit later. If Roxie had been in the back garden, he might have gotten into the house before I'd realised what was happening. I guess it's just a sign of the times, economy is getting worse and the run up to Christmas is a tough time for everyone. Though unless the burglar has a penchant for paperbacks or craft beers, there isn't much to steal in my house.

I do have the best dog in the world though. She's definitely on Santa's good list. And yes, her favourite thing in the world is teddy bears.

Thanks to everyone who offered support on Twitter and Facebook. You are all stars, I really appreciate it :)

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Storms In Teacups Book Blurb and Cover!

I'm in the Christmas mood, but there's so much that I still have to do before the festive season is upon us! In some fit of insanity, I decided to release my book at Christmas, so life is even more hectic. Here's the blurb (back jacket copy) for Storms, and my cover which I think is really simple but effective.

ALEX is a journalist who has always dreamed of working for a glossy women’s magazine. Instead, she finds herself working for Dublin’s most notorious tabloid newspaper, rewriting press releases and covering for her colleague Jodie, a well-connected neurotic who still hasn’t figured out how to use an apostrophe

ROSE thinks that she has life sorted. She loves her job as a teacher in a disadvantaged school, and has just moved in with her gorgeous actor boyfriend, Daniel. The only clouds on her horizon are a headmaster with a passion for new-age team-building and a stack of envelopes that she refuses to open but can’t quite bring herself to throw out.

SHANNON feels like she’s stagnating. When she graduated at the top of her class from drama college everyone thought it would be just a matter of time until she got her big break. Instead, she pays the bills with parts in small plays and some low rent television shows. Now she’s in her thirties, is it time she gives up on her dreams and get a proper job?

When a scandal shakes up the lives of all three women, will they manage to stay true to their dreams? Or will the betrayal of one man change their plans for good?

Hope all your holiday preparations are going well! :) 

Friday 9 December 2011

Anyone want to host me? Want a blogging holiday for the holidays?

I've already had lovely offers from Hart and Julianna (thank you so much) to help me promote my Christmas Kindle release Storms in Teacups. Which I'm planning on shamelessly taking them up on. But I wondered if there was anyone else who would like to host me on my Twelve Days of Christmas Blog Tour? It runs, predictably enough, from December 25th to January 6th. So if you want to take a back seat on your blogging over the festive season and would be interesting in scheduling a guest post or interview with me, I'd be so grateful.

Even if you're blogging over Christmas but just want to take pity on me - that's cool too. I'm not above pity, or above using Tiny Tim eyes to try to persuade you. Don't do it for it for Tiny Tim.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Diplomatically Speaking...

These two pandas are called Sweetie and Sunshine, and they were a gift to the people of Scotland from China.

They're not just any pandas though. Because they are a gift from the Chinese government they are an instrument of diplomacy. Meaning? They have diplomatic immunity.

How cool is that? Admittedly locked up as they are in Edinburgh Zoo they can't really do much with it, but it's still pretty sweet.

They are pretty cute aren't they? Is it wrong that I'd like to have their job?

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Editing Until My Eyes Go Funny

I'm doing my final edits before I upload my book to Createspace, Smashwords and Kindle. At this point I've edited it so many times that it's hurting my brain.

I have a cover, which is pretty exciting. I'll post it next week. My husband is a journalist and an editor and he's fairly handy with photoshop, so we managed to come up with something that we're happy with.

I was very nervous when I made my decision to self-publish, and my stomach was in knots when I thought about people actually reading my book. Now though, I'm really excited. It's going to be a lot of hard work, and I'm not expecting that my book will be a bestseller. But it beats sticking it in a drawer and waiting until the economy recovers, like agents told me to.

So yeah, can't wait now!