Unforeseen Circumstances

     The Author Marketing Secrets Writing and Marketing Challenge began on the 1st March, but so did the pain in my back and hip.  The pain is often there, but it is normally controlled by my prescribed daily medication.  This time the pain came with a vengeanceimages and has been excruciating.  I bumped up the meds which resulted in me falling asleep so I am not quite on my set target – luckily I did allow a couple of days at the end of this month to cater for unforeseen circumstances, but I didn’t expect to use those days up yet!

     Nevermind, those of you that know me or are following my writing journey will know that I am always determined to finish something I start and will push myself to the limits to get things done.  One of my favourite mottos is, ‘everything is possible’ and the words ‘give up’ are definitely not in my vocabulary.  My motivation and self-discipline will always see me through and I will never let pain or any other unforeseen circumstances win.  If you want to achieve something you have to work hard for it and not allow anything to get in your way.

     I am really enjoying writing my crime detective novel, Dead Eyes, and really can’t wait until it is ready to be published.  The protagonist, Detective Ellen Knight, is a strong character who loves her job as much as she loves her two daughters.  In the first one of the series you will read how she tries to keep her life as a mother and her life as a detective separate but realises that this is not always possible.  There are many twists and turns and I know that it has the makings of a best seller.  I have done a great deal of planning and loads of research for Dead Eyes.  When it is published, I hope that you will enjoy reading it as much as I am enjoying writing it.

     My debut novel, A Few Bad Boys, is selling well.  If you want to recommend it to a friend, here’s the link.  If you have read it, please can you leave a review either on A Few Boys Edit ver 1 jpgAmazon or on (Goodreads Link)  As I have said before, reviews are so important to authors and I would really appreciate your help.  I want my followers to be genuine, so I have been working on encouraging genuine fans.  Off course I could buy lists to make my fan base look bigger than it actually is but I am not interested in fake followers.  It may take longer to build a huge fan base but at least they will be real fans who are genuinely interested with what I have to say.  I have recently received my first fan letter which was quite a surprise.  You can follow me on Amazon and Goodreads and all my social media sites.  My second novel, Survival At Any Cost, is still due for publication in the next few months and I am really excited about it.  I’ll try not to keep you waiting too long.

     Apart from my current project, Dead Eyes, I am also planning to start a monthlyemail-contact-me-logo-red (1) newsletter but I am still in the early stages.  I will have to learn how to use another  software programme and I am leaning towards Mailchimp for my newsletter platform.  For those of you that have read some of my previous blogs, you will know that I am not techy at all, but I have realised that I have to move forward in this ever evolving world of technology.

     My Goodreads reading challenge is still on target.  I have completed reading ‘Missouri Waltz’ by Richard Dunk and the newly released, ‘The Scent of Guilt’ by Tony J Forder.  I read the first in the series of Tony J Forder’s novel, ‘Bad to the Bone’ this year and enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t wait to read the sequel. I am currently reading ‘The Memory of Snow’ by the talented Kirsty Ferry and ‘The Good Widow’ by Liz Fenten.  I have picked up a couple of other books and have decided early on that they aren’t for me but that does not mean that they are terrible books.

I have to go now since Detective Ellen Knight, needs my help to catch a killer.

Remember, don’t let unforeseen circumstances get in the way of your goals.

Until next time – keep chasing your dreams!




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     Recently, I haven’t achieved as much writing and reading as I would have liked, but I have been rather busy, but in a good and happy way.  My son, James, flew over from Norway as a surprise for his sister, Phoenix, since it was her sixteenth birthday.  How I managed to IMG-20180221-WA0005keep this secret, I will never know  Her reaction when she saw him was priceless and although I have it on video, I have been asked not to share it.  We hadn’t seen him since the beginning of November and I am so pleased we had a happy time together.  The worst part is saying goodbye.

     Although I haven’t achieved as much writing and reading as I would have liked, I am not upset about it, since realistically I knew this would happen.  I feel happy and motivated and I’m ready to continue my writing journey.  This is a perfect example of when discipline and organization come into play.  Had I not been so organized and disiplined prior to my son’s arrival, I would probably be in a state of panic now.  I have bravely set my novel, Survival At Any Cost, to one side untilIMG_2418 I receive more comments and more edits about it.

     Since my last blog I have improved my author pages and feel that I am making progress.  I have started reading ‘Author Marketing Secrets’ by Demi Bernice in preparation for the Author Marketing Secrets 60 Day Writing and Marketing Challenge, which begins on 1st March.  Before then I will also watch Demi’s short videos.  The book I will be dedicating to this is, Dead Eyes.  This will be the first in a series and will introduce Detective Ellen Knight.  Between now and March, I will be focusing most of my energy on Dead Eyes and getting to know my new characters.  My target word count is 55 thousand words.  I have wanted to write a series for a long time, so this is a brilliant opportunity to begin.

     I have been very fortunate since I have done some more interviews and author spotlights which I will let you know more about when they are published. Book Bloggers i-love-book-bloggersdo a wonderful job at helping and supporting writers. I seem to be getting more followers which I am pleased about. It does take a lot of effort to build a base of real followers. Obviously my friends follow me, but it is a lovely feeling when people I don’t know start following me. I real enjoy interaction with my readers and hope to do more of it. I am also trying to find the right cover for Survival At Any Cost.

     My entry for the Goodreads Reading Challenge 2018 is on target and I have completed ‘Blood in the Sand’ by Kelly Clayton which had a nice twist and I have almost finished ‘Missouri Waltz’ by Richard Dunk. I am currently reading ‘Memory of Snow’ by Kirsty Ferry and today I am starting, ‘The Scent of Guilt’ by Tony J Forder. I have read the previous book in this series this year, but he has me hooked and since this novel was recently released, I couldn’t resist.

     It is good to read different genres because it’s a whole new adventure.  I am also enjoying reading new authors to me. When I read something that is not familiar to me, itgoodreads-logo does take a while for me to get into it, but I am very glad that I persevere because it is an enjoyable experience.

     By following this link and you can follow me on Goodreads and see the reviews that I leave.

     Being happy is a state of mind.  The more you put into something, whether it’s writing, another profession, getting fit, family life etc. the more you will get out of it and the happier you’ll be.

     My biggest dilemma at this moment in time is whether to start reading, The Scent of Guilt, or get to know Detective Ellen Knight better.  Whatever I choose, I know I’ll be happy.

Until next time – keep chasing your dreams!





     The key to achieving anything in life is motivation and I am fortunate that I can motivate myself and others fairly easily.  Once you really start a project, for example, writing a novel or getting fit, it does get easier provided you get yourself into a routine.  I write and read everyday without fail.  It makes sense really, because the more you dosunset-motivation321 something, the closer you get to your target which is motivation in itself.  I also advice people to start with an achievable target.  It is impossible to write a novel in a day just like it is impossible to lose five kilos in a day.  Writing is quite a solitary occupation and getting involved with writing goups makes you feel that you are not alone.  The groups I am involved with are very supportive to their members.  If members have questions they can ask and there is always someone that will know the answer or solution.  We also motivate each other.  Whatever you want to achieve, I appreciate that unforseen circumstances can crop up that jeopardise you goals.  My daughter is having ongoing health problems and we have just found out that the vertabraes in her neck are not correct.  Things like this obviously take up physical time, but they also add stress to your life, which inevitably slows down your progress.  I have tried to stay as close to my writing schedule as possible but it has not been easy.  When you are weighed down by events such as this it can be difficult to get motivated but you have to push yourself to do it.  It is really important to have discipline.

     In my last blog I mentioned that through one of my groups, For Writers only who want to Write without Fear of Rejection, I heard about a writing competition organised by Writing Magazine, Lulu.com and Authorite and I was contemplating entering it.  Well I managed to meet the deadline with my novel, Survival At Any Cost, and submitted my poster-keep-goingentry.  Now I really must stop looking at this novel because I keep trying to change it slightly which is quite difficult to do since I have submitted the total word count.  There is no time to sit back and relax whilst I wait for the results since I have a number of other projects in the pipeline that are waiting to be finished, and a number of ideas for other novels.  I now have a notebook specifically for writing outlines for future ventures, so I don’t forget them.

     One of my writer’s groups, Author Marketing Secrets, is holding a two month writing and marketing challenge.  This type of challenge is very motivating for those whoIts-Challenge-Time participate.  It will probably start on the 1st of March and I will definitely be participating.  I now have to decide which project I will commit to this.  I think I will start a new project, maybe one from my notebook, so, I before we meet again, I will have an in depth outline of the project I finally decide on and all of its characters ready to go.

    Since we last met, I have finished reading ‘Bad to the Bone’ by Tony J Forder which I really enjoyed.  For a bit of amusement I went on to read ‘More Salsa Than Ketchup’ by pile-of-books-with-heart1Joe Cawley.  Since I have moved to Spain I could really relate to it and could identify a number of characters in it.  I then went on to read ‘Hamelin’s Child’ by D.J Bennett which at first I wasn’t sure if I would be able to read it because of the subject.  Without giving the story away, it touches on crimes that most people try not to ackowledge.  I am over half way through ‘Blood in the Sand’ by Kelly Clayton which is a crime and mystery novel and I am still wondering who the murderer is.  I am also reading ‘Missouri Waltz: A novel of 1917’ by Richard Dunk.  From what I have read so far, it is nicely written and also I am familiar with some of the settings.

     It’s time for me to get back to focusing on my next project and I hope you are all motivated now.

Until next time – keep chasing your dreams!






opportunity      I am a great believer in taking advantage of any opportunites that come my way.  Recently, through one of my wonderful Facebook writing groups, ‘For Writers only who want to Write without Fear of Rejection,’ I heard about a writing competition that has been organised by Writing Magazine and teaming up with Lulu.com and Authoright.  One lucky entrant will receive a complete publishing package which sounds awesome.  Since I have almost finished my re-write of my next crime novel ‘Survival At Any Cost,’ I think that I’ll enter.  I must admit, I am rather nervous since I haven’t entered any writing contestscreative_writing since being an adult, but I have nothing to lose.  I do still have to complete my marketing plan to go with my entry but I am fairly certain that I will get that done in the time remaining before the deadline.  Whatever happens I will have gained valuable experience and my novel will be complete and ready for publication.  If you want to find out more about this competion either for curiosity or entering yourself, please follow this link writers-online.co.uk.

      I am quite pleased that my writing schedule is fairly on target.  The hardest part of my writing journey is marketing and getting myself known.  It is a very slow process but I am getting there.  As I have said before, reviews are very important to write-a-reviewwriters, so if you have read my debut novel, ‘A Few Bad Boys,’  could you please leave a review either on Amazon or /and on Goodreads.  The links for these are Amazon, Goodreads.  If you haven’t read it yet, it is still available free on Kindle Unlimited, follow this link A Few Bad Boys.

      One of the downsides of writing is that you spend a lot of time sitting.  It is so important to keep up with exercises and walking.  My early morning walks aren’t as long as I would like at the moment because it is really quite cold walking by the sea early in the morning – I don’t want to end up with pneumonia.  I look quite a sight wrapped up in so much clothing whilst walking, especially when the other day I saw someone in the sea at 8 in theWho-working-out-can-make-you-a-better-mom-712x500 morning – it made me cold to watch.  Anyway I am sorting out a new exercise routine that will suit me and keep me agile.  My writing den is still a work in process but at least I can get in there now.  I have actually thrown things away and sorted out some, never ending, paperwork.

      I am also on target for my Goodreads reading challenge.  I am trying to read as many new authors to me as possible this year and my target is 50 books.  In my last 1_uyEQLC8Pkf3PZzvHZffgTQblog I was reading ‘Murder on the Oxford Canal’ by Faith Martin which I have finished and did enjoy.  Since then I have read ‘Safari Ants, Baggy Pants & Elephants’ by Susie Kelly.  It is far from the genre I write but it took me on a wonderful safari without leaving home.  I am currently reading ‘Bad To The Bone’ by Tony J Forder.  I am so close to finishing it and am desperate to find out how it ends, but I had to really be strict with myself and put it down so that I could get on with writing.  Every book I read this year I will make the time to write a review.

      I do have a very full writing and reading calendar this year but I am lucky that I have found a calling that I really love.  I think whatever we do in life, we should enjoy it and definitely get every aspect of our life balanced.

Until next time – keep chasing your dreams!




Positive Vibes For 2018

    2018-goals I do hope you all had a fantastic New Year and have set your goals for this year.  Whatever your goals are you must keep working at them and if things don’t go according to plan, use the experience as a way to push yourself forward.  I know from experience, that at times this can seem impossible, but you can do it.  I have been busy trying to sort out my writing den, but like most things it is taking longer than expected.  The area I have declared as mine has been used as a dumping site and I need to find new homes for things and throw a lot of things out.  It really is amazing how much clutter accumulates, even over a short period of time.  I am sure that my den was almost clear in November – so I really don’t know what has happened.

     My daughter, Phoenix, went back to school on Monday, so I am well in the swing2083282-Truman-Capote-Quote-Good-writing-is-rewriting of my new routine.  I have returned to working on my second novel, Survival At Any Cost, and hope that over the next couple of weeks I will confirm when it will be released.  When I first returned to it, I found that Doctor Paul Ramsay from one of my other projects, Fierce Revengekept coming into my head.  It is definitely a sign that he is a strong character, but he will have to wait his turn.  At the moment it is Joe and Chloe Carter’s turn.  Now I have started re-writing, Survival At Any Cost, from the beginning again, and set myself daily targets which seems to be working out well for me. Joe and Chloe Carter certainly have a number of dilemmas that have to be resolved.  Whilst writing I try very hard to stay away from my phone, especially social media.  I usually leave social media for when I have a break, otherwise nothing would get done.

     As you all know I am definitely not a whizz kid on computers, and yesterday my computer decided to have a mind of its own and wouldn’t let me open it or shut it.  I was so frustrated because I was so geared up for working on my next novel and writing my blog.  I do need a new computer but will have to sell some more copies of A Few Bad Boys before that can happen.  It is still available free on Kindle Unlimited, so click this link to get your copy.

     Slowly, I feel like I am getting more organised.  I was under the impression that writing a novel and publishing it was the hard part of an author’s world but I was very wrong.  There is so much other work involved, for example, marketing, social media, blogs, my accounts with Goodreads, Amazon and Facebook.  I have started reviewing my author page on Goodreads and would love it if some of you would reading_challenge_badge-0f31716ab90add103cd6c783646c601cfollow me there Nicole*.  I still have some work to do on it but I am getting there.  I have entered the Goodreads 2018 reading challenge and want to read 50 books this year.  Now that I have a Kindle Paperwhite there should be no stopping me.

     I am currently reading ‘Murder on the Oxford Canal’ by Faith Martin.  It took me a while to get into it, but that is probably because it is the first book I have started reading on my Kindle.  I do still love reading paperbacks but my Kindle has definitely opened more doors to me.  Although I can, and have, read books in Spanish, I prefer to read in English andCquJgCNXgAEeAmI trying to get English books in shops near where I live is very difficult.  I do miss going into book shops in England.  There is something magical about book shops and I used to spend hours in them.  Sadly, when I moved house, I had to let most of my books go because of space.  I am determined that this year I will have a proper bookshelf again but I am not sure how it will fit in my den yet.

     One of my biggest resolutions this year is to be even more organised and to stay on top of every aspect of my writing journey.  I love reading and I love writing so, naturally, I should spend as much time as possible on these activities.  One piece of advice that I give to any aspiring authors is to write and read daily.

     On that note I can hear Joe and Chloe Carter calling me to guide them through Survival At Any Cost.

Until next time – keep chasing your dreams!



Time To Breath

      Firstly, I do hope that you all had a very Book ChristmasHappy Christmas and managed to spend time with loved ones.  The last few weeks for me have been quite a nightmare.  As mentioned in my last blog, my daughter Phoenix was taken ill.  At first the doctors thought that she might have menengitis, but thankfully she didn’t.  She has still been very ill and sadly, missed out on all the Christmas fun at school and is seeing the neurologist in January.  If things couldn’t get any worse, on the Monday before Christmas, my partner Trond, was admitted to hospital in San Juan, Alicante and ended up with another stent being put in.  I cannot express enough how sick of hospitals I am.  My best friend, Caroline, arrived in Spain early to surprise me, and ended up looking after Phoenix and our dog Tinkerbell, whilst I was in San Juan.  We also had to use their car because our car was booked in to have some work done.  It never rains, it pours!  Luckily, Christmas still went as planned, despite feeling exhausted.

      I have looked back on this year and my greatest achievement has to be publishing my debut novel, A Few Bad Boys.  Anyway, between now and 2985294058_ebe202ef0f_bNew Year, I am reflecting on what my goals for next year will be.  Obviously I will have to catch up on what I had planned to do, for example, updating my author pages, sorting out my Goodreads profile and finalising my book trailer for A Few Bad Boys etc.  Putting these tasks to one side, temporarily, I have decided that I am going to create a better writing space in my home.  Although I can write almost anywhere, I think it is crucial for me to have my own den – a place where I am surrounded by all my writing related materials.  My biggest goal for 2018 will be to publish my second novel, Survival At Any Cost.

      I am looking forward to developing as an author, learning more about how to market my books better and improve my techy skills.  Technology seems to change daily and at times I wonder if I will ever catch up, but as long as I improve, I’ll be happy.  It is so frustrating having to keep asking friends and family how to do something, especially when it is relatively basic – I really am not techy!

      I was very fortunate20171227_130331 to receive a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas.  Needless to say I am still trying to work out how to use it.  It doesn’t help that I prefer to read most novel in English rather than Spanish and obviously the Kindle was purchased in Spain.  I can’t wait until I have worked it out, because although I am a paperback lover, my Kindle will go everywhere with me, so I can read to my hearts content even whilst waiting to be called in to see a doctor.  I haven’t yet worked out how I can read and/or write whilst I am at physiotherapy twice a week, but maybe I will just have to accept that.  I adore reading different genres, so please let me know any of your favourites and I’ll have a look at some of them.

     Apart from my writing goals, my personal goals will be the usual one – lose the weight gained over the Christmas season and get fit.  My morning walks have sadly not happened recently since I have been nursing everyone else, but they will resume very soon.  2016GoalsMy morning walks are very important to me, both physically and mentally.  Nothing beats taking a morning walk by the ocean to get my inspiration flowing.  Many people have said that I am an inspiration to them so I want to carrying on inspiring people and help them achieve their goals, whether it is in writing or another field.

      For me 2018 will be the year that I achieve all my goals on my 2018 vision board  (which still needs to be deHappy-New-Year-Images-2018-HD-1-1fined), improve the health of myself, Phoenix and Trond, get rid of any negative energy around me and my family and friends, and continue with my positive outlook on life.  I also hope that my son, James, will really make his mark as a DJ.

      As this year comes to an end, I want to thank you all for your continued support and hope that 2018 brings you all happiness.

Until next time – keep chasing your dreams!



I Did It!

     I am so pleased that I managed to complete NaNoWriMo  (National Novel Writing Month) this year.  NaNo-2017-Winner-Certificate-1I was very late starting my project, Fierce Revenge, and on the final day, my daughter Phoenix ended up in hospital.  Once we finally got home and I got everyone settled, there were only a few hours to go until the deadline.  With only 1,300 words to go, I had to go for it.  Despite being exhausted, and nearly falling asleep at the keyboard, I did it.  When I hit the target of 50,000 words I felt not only relieved, but also quite proud of myself.  With enough determination, you can do anything that you set your mind to.

     My only regret with NaNoWriMoimg_2817 this year, is that I didn’t get as active in the NaNoWriMo community.  I had so much going on, including visitors and illness, but next year I will plan my November more carefully.  Through the challenge, in previous years, I have met some wonderful people and we support each other.  We all have a common goal and interest and try to keep up the momentum.  We give each other advice and help those who hit the dreaded, ‘writer’s block’.  I feel so happy when others cross the finish line.  It is a very tough goal to reach and some of my writing friends didn’t manage to finish, but at least they made a start at a new project.

     My project this year, Fierce Revenge, took me on a wonderful journey and I have noticed how my writing has developed, even under pressure.  Fierce Revenge still has a lot of work to be done on it, but I will put it to one side, until I have finished my second novel, Survival At Any Cost.  I have been asked by numerous people to write a sequel to my debut novel, A Few Bad Boys.  I am sure that there will be a sequel, but at this moment, I am not sure when it will happen.

     Writing a novel is not easy and it7975313_orig does take an enormous amount of time.  When you finally write, ‘The End’, at the bottom of the novel, it is a huge relief, but then you remember that it is the first draft.  You then have to face more research, the re-writes and the edits, get it published and market it.  Like everything in life, if you want to achieve something, you have to work hard.  Although it has taken me a long time to get published, I have enjoyed my writing journey so far, and am really looking forward to all the future adventures that I will have.  It amazes me how attatched I have become to some of my characters in my novels.

     I have SummerReadingBannerdecided that from now until after the 6th January  (The Three Kings, here in Spain)  I will focus on improving my author pages etc, make a plan for 2018, and finalise my book trailer for A Few Bad Boys.  I also want to read more.  I love reading but it has had to be put to one side quite often this year.  Finding a way to rectify the situation is a priority to me, since I feel that I am missing out.  I also find that reading helps me relax.  There are so many books out there that I want to read, but I find it hard to decide where to begin.  If you are looking for Christmas presents for readers, you could get them my debut novel, by clicking this link A Few Bad Boys.

Until next time – keep chasing your dreams!