Friday, 29 June 2012

Today I'm at FFF!

Yes, the beautiful Cassie Mae has interviewed me over at Falling For Fiction - check it out here! Thanks for having me Cassie!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

CampNaNo Fail, and Mini Blog Tour Update

Hey everyone!

It feels like 100 years since I wrote a new post! Just wanted to say that I have been OVERWHELMED with all the support for the Game On Blog Tour!Thank you so much to all of you who have offered to host me. I actually cannot believe how many people have leapt on board! I will be contacting everyone who signed up this week. Enormous thanks to everyone who has already responded to my emails - you guys are amazing! If you are planning to participate, or just want to show some Game On love, I have created a contest for you, which you can read fill details of here.

I have to confess that I failed at CampNaNo. Probably shouldn't have tried while editing a book and getting it ready for publication, but I do like a challenge lol. However, I do have 30, 000 words so it doesn't feel like quite so much of a failure. That's 30,000 words more than I had a month ago, so I'm pretty happy.

Jesse Shaw's story has been a whole lot of fun to write. I never expected to love this story as much as I do, but I feel a little buzz when I sit down to write it. Honestly, it is writing itself which I love. The one thing I keep finding is that one of my characters keeps rejecting her name. I called her Willow because it really suits her personality, but every time I write her name, I start typing Pippa instead. What is up with that? Do I stick with my original choice, or go with the name that keeps jumping into my head?

Finally, and most awesomely, I wanted to give a shout out to the wonderful Christine Rains. During the A-Z challenge, Christine created the most brilliant story, and soon it will be available to buy! She just revealed the cover for Fearless, which you can see here. Seriously, check it out, it's fab!

Okay, that's enough chatter from me! Have a great day everyone!


Sunday, 24 June 2012

Game On Release Date and Blog Tour Stuff!

Thank you so much for all your help with ideas and offers to help me with my blog tour! I have had a few ideas, and I'm ready to start planning now so...first of all, let me give you the release date!

Game On will be available to download on August 6th! And the blog tour will run from that date for at least a week - maybe two depending on how many people want me lol!

 I thought it would be easiest if I placed a sign-up list here, then I can easily contact anyone who wants to be involved. I'm offering interviews, guest posts, guest posts from my characters, a couple of random silly things I'm still working on, and a couple of giveaways! Also, if you take part in the blog tour, you will have the chance to win one of two $10/£10 Amazon gift cards!

I will be contacting everyone who wants to be involved this week to work out the details - and if you have any questions/comments/ideas,please leave them in the comments! Thank you in advance! For a synopsis and excerpt of Game On - click here. Aaaand finally, because it is football night, I want to say a huge "COME ON ENGLAND" to the boys for their match against Italy tonight!! Let's kick some ass!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

I have been looking forward to today so much! A while ago, Jaycee DeLorenzo and Victoria Smith hosted the Oh, My Hero bloghop, in which we had to interview the male lead from one of our stories. Today, the girls get their chance to respond! So, I present to you Freya interviewing Leah from Game On! P.S This scene isn't int the book, just a little something I whipped up this morning!

"Urgh!" Freya growled as she flung her bag down on the floor and threw herself onto the sofa beside me.

She looked thoroughly harassed. Her blonde hair was starting to slip from her intricate up-do, and her face was distinctly lacking the happiness a first date usually brings.

"Dare I ask?"

"Don't bother. That was the biggest waste of time ever."

I didn't press the issue, just reached over and poured her a glass of red wine. There was really no need to delve any further into what had happened with the persistent journalist who'd been asking Freya out for weeks. He was obviously trying to sniff out some Westberg scandal, and Freya only accepted his dinner invitation in the hope that one date would make him back off.

Freya took a huge gulp from the wine glass. "Cheer me up, Leah. What was the worst first date you've ever been on?"

"Hmm," I began, "There are a lot to choose from. But I think the worst was when I was at Uni. There was a funfair in town, and after going on one of the more daring rides, he puked all over me. That would have been bad enough on its own, but then he thought it was okay to try and drag me into a vomit-tasting kiss."

"Ha," Freya laughed. "That does make me feel better! What is wrong with men? Why don't they realise how easy it would be to make us happy if they just put a little bit of thought into their actions?"

Personally, I thought Freya's biggest problem was that she'd gone on a date with the wrong guy, but I hadn't known her long enough to throw the theory out there just yet so I kept my mouth shut.

"Do you kiss on a first date?" she asked, and I spluttered into my drink.

"You didn't kiss that guy, did you?"

"Of course not! That's not why I asked, I was just curious."

"Okay," I smiled. "And yes, I do like to kiss on the first date. I never really understood the point of putting off something if you both want to do it."

"Me too," Freya said, sighing. "It's finding someone worth kissing that's the biggest problem."

"True story."

"What do you look for in man? What makes you want to date someone?"

That was a big question. I'd gone through so many phases of dating certain types of men. Usually the wrong types. I figured Freya was looking for an answer more sophisticated than, 'Guys who are sexy.'

"I think for me, it's not necessarily about one definite quality," I told her. "It's more about the feelings. If a man can make me feel excited, and make my stomach get all knotted up, then I know he's worth seeing."

An image of Radleigh McCoy flashed into my mind. Men who knot your stomach by being assholes don't count.

Freya looked thoughtful for a moment. "That's a good way to look at it. I was thinking about sense of humour, or huge muscles, but it is the feelings that are most important."


 In honour of Freya's bad date, I choose this song to represent the guy who put her in such a bad mood!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Blog tour ideas?

Okay peeps, I am BACK! Game On will be definitely, properly, no more editing finished today, and I will be commenting on your posts (I've missed you all!) and replying to comments here just like I did before I got swamped with last minute revisions!

In case you can't tell, I am EXCITED! With just a few weeks (ish) until I release Game On, and finally being happy with it, I feel like an enormous weight has lifted off my shoulders. :D

So, now I come to you for advice about a blog tour, because I haven't really worked out how to do it yet lol. I have seen loads of others, varying from people posting book covers and a synopsis, to super cool ones like Elana Johnson's Never Surrender tour which got everyone involved.

Generally speaking, tours tend to consist of guest posts, interviews, reviews ... and all kinds of other things, so I am going to throw it out there for you to help me decide what to do!

I may be ahead of myself here, I don't know how many people will actually want me on their blog (:p) but it never hurts to be prepared!

One thing I know for sure is that I'd like to give away around 5 review copies, so hopefully some of you will be interested in those, but I was also wondering if anyone would be interested in me doing guest posts from some of my characters. During the A-Z challenge, they were pretty popular, so that is a definite option. 

I am open to all suggestions, so please leave your ideas in the comments! Thank you! :D

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

5735 Commas

Yup. After thinking I was done editing Game On for the 327th time, I did a comma count and found 5735. Now, I don't know if it's just me, but that sounds like a hell of a lot!

I have always had a problem with commas. I know how to use them correctly, but I still overuse them by sticking them into sentences where they don't belong. Sometimes they slip in by mistake, some of them are left over from when I've removed or changed words and forgotten to take the commas out, but mostly it's just because I have a weird tendency to hit the comma key like it's my keyboard version of a security blanket.

Please tell me I'm not the only comma whore in the blogosphere!

Today will be the last day of me not commenting on blogs. I will be back to normal tomorrow, I hope you understand that, with the endless amount of editing, I just haven't had the time to keep up with everything and I want to make Game On the best it can possibly be before I let it out into the world!

Thanks for all the good wishes for England's match last night - we won! The game was one of the most boring I've ever seen, but a victory is a victory, and we march on to the quarter finals of Euro2012! W00t!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Erm...pointless, superstitious post ...

I have nothing writerly to say today, but every time I have blogged a good luck message to the England football team, they haven't sucked!


That is all. /dorky

Normal service will resume tomorrow! :D

Monday, 18 June 2012

Review of Construct A Couple by Talli Roland

One of my favourite things about the blogging community is meeting super cool writers, and honestly, I don't think writers get much cooler than Talli Roland! When I first got my Kindle, I was browsing through the Top Sellers lists and a book named Build A Man caught my eye. I downloaded several other books that day, but something about the name Talli Roland stuck in my head. I later realised it was because we both had blog friends in common, and I got kind of star struck lol. After reading Build A Man and following Talli's blog, I realised I was in the presence of awesome, and when I heard that there was a follow up to the book - I couldn't wait to get my hands on it! (Thanks for sending me a copy, Talli!!)

So, Construct A Couple follows the journey of Serenity Holland, an American woman living in the UK, and chasing her dream of becoming a top journalist. So far in her life, she hasn't always gone about pursuing that dream in the best ways, but after landing a job with a "respectable" magazine, she plans to do things right.

All Serenity really wants is to work towards her goals, and make sure her boyfriend, Jeremy, stays in good health. The first part of her plan comes easily. She finds a story, follows it up and impresses her boss. What she doesn't realise is, her story, if published, will have a knock-on effect on Jeremy. The secrets between them lead to all kinds of messy consequences - but can she fix it, and keep hold of her relationship?

The thing about Serenity is, she is very much led by her heart. This is why people love her, but also why, at certain points during the book, my heart leapt into my throat lol! Her sunny attitude, and zest for taking initiative are the same things that have the potential to land her in a whole load of trouble and at times, I was afraid to read on because I couldn't bear the idea of her making another mistake!

That is the true genius if Talli Roland. She made Serenity so real, you feel like you're talking to your best friend and when she messes up, it hurts. You can't not feel for her. On the plus side, when she gets it right, you want to pull her out of the book and take her out for a glass of wine and a Jaffa cake! ;)

If you aren't following Talli, go now! And if you want to buy a copy of Construct A Couple, you can do so here.


As a side note, I want to say ENORMOUS thanks for all your kind words about my cover for Game On, and I really appreciate your offers for blog tour stops! I haven't replied yet because I am drowning in things I need to do for the launch. This is also the reason I haven't been commenting on your blogs as much. Hopefully, by Wednesday at the latest, I should be back on top of things - if not - feel free to tweet me and tell me to get a move on!


Also (sorry for all the sidenotes!) I just found out I won a prize for my first kiss scene in the First Fight/First Kiss blogfest! Thanks for picking me, Jackie!  You can read the entry here.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Game On Cover Reveal!!

Haha, I can't believe I am typing this post! I actually have a completed book, and a front cover and all I need to do now is get it ready for publishing!

My cover was made by one of my best friends, Roberta Leite, who has a super talent for digital drawing. I cannot thank her enough for all the work she put in to it, and for her patience. I am pretty fussy, and I must have driven her insane with all the little tweaks I asked for! :D

So ... here it is...

After swapping her small town life to work for a top U.S soccer team, Leah Walker thought she could finally leave the ghosts of her past behind. However, when she meets serial womanizer, Radleigh McCoy, the memories of her old life come swarming back, and she is forced to ask herself whether she has really changed at all. 

So ... what do you think? Also, let me know if that synopsis is terrible - it may still need a little work before publishing!

I am looking at a tentative release date of July 9th, but that is very much subject to change depending on how things go. I will confirm it as soon as I can, and I'll also be setting up a blog tour, so keep an eye out for details!

And because I haven't done this yet and probably should have - here is a sneaky peek at the first part of Chapter 1:


I stormed out of the locker room, letting out a growl of annoyance. My heavy footsteps bounced off the stone walls, echoing around me, but not loud enough to drown out the sound of his voice in my mind. The clicking of my heels aggravated my throbbing temples until I thought my head would explode.
‘Come on Leah, admit it. You want another chance.’
As if.
I walked up the stairs to the lavish training ground restaurant, where the wait staff greeted me with a smile I was too angry to return. I craved vodka, but alcohol wasn’t permitted, not even after hours. I ordered an orange juice and promised myself a proper drink later. Dealing with such a sleaze every day, I was astounded I didn’t have a fully-fledged drinking problem.
Radleigh ‘Rebel’ McCoy thought that being the star of the Westberg Warriors made him a Big Deal. Maybe to the fans, but to me, he was a royal pain in the arse. If I’d known that signing a contract with the Warriors would lead to this level of stress, I would’ve had second thoughts about scrawling my name on the dotted line.
The restaurant was always full at the end of the day, and the noise of chattering men did nothing to ease my aching head. Instead of going home after five hours of intense soccer training, the players preferred to eat on site. I could only assume the harder they trained, the more energy they needed before getting into their fancy sports cars and driving back to their mansions, where their supermodel wives and girlfriends waited to boink their aches away.
Easy on the snark, lady. Your small town mentality is starting to show.
Chuckling in spite of my rage, I propped myself against the sleek, black bar. If the room hadn’t been so full, I would have rested my flaming cheeks against the cool marble to extinguish my fury.
“Miss Walker.”
Oh boy.
I closed my eyes for a second, hoping I’d imagined the sound of his deep, over-confident voice but I could sense him behind me.
“Mr McCoy.”
“Can I buy you a drink?”
There are only two types of people who would offer to buy a drink for a woman they’d just finished arguing with. Idiots and egomaniacs.
Radleigh McCoy was no idiot.
“No. Thank you. I’ve already ordered.”
A shiver rippled across my skin. Instead of being repelled by the brush-off, he moved closer, his breath tickling my perfectly straightened hair. My impulse was to drive my elbow into his ribs, but I’d already given him more than enough of what he wanted by flipping out at him in the locker room.
Once the bartender handed me my drink, I turned to face McCoy. I use the term loosely though. At six feet four he towered way above me - a mere five feet two inches.
“Are you still here?” I asked, as if I couldn’t feel the imprint of his rock hard abs on my back.
“I was hoping you’d keep me company,” he answered, his piercing blue eyes dancing with amusement.
“Radleigh, I only put up with you because I have to. Am I not making myself clear?”
His lips curved into a grin. “I love how you say my name with that cute British accent.”
Since I moved to America over a year ago, I’d heard that line a lot. It didn’t irk me nearly as much coming from other men though. I stepped around him, making a mental note never to use his first name again.
“Excuse me.”
I breezed across the restaurant as coolly as possible, but anger surged through me. To him, it was all a bit of a laugh. Witty banter to unsettle the new girl. For me, it was a challenge to get through the day without knocking his head off his shoulders.
“Easy tiger,” Will Carter said, spotting the murderous look in my eye as I threw myself down into the chair beside him.
“Why?” I fumed. “Of all the soccer stars in the world, why did I get stuck with McCoy?”
Freya Phillips gave me a knowing smile. “There’s a reason your job was always available, Leah. He is the reason.”
Freya sat opposite Will at the table. They were soccer coaches, and the first people I’d met on the team aside from the manager, Richard Bailey. Freya was pretty much the only reason I’d been able to accept my job. They needed me to start immediately, but when I applied for the position in Los Angeles, I lived in Boston. Sleeping on sofas until I found my own place didn’t appeal at all, so Richard introduced me to Freya. She needed someone to share the rent on her apartment, and I needed somewhere to live. We connected instantly, chatting like old friends, and we hadn’t stopped talking since.
“What did he do?” Will asked.
“On my first night here, he tried to chat me up. You know the story. ‘You have the most beautiful eyes, I’m very rich, want to see my bedroom?’ Blah, blah, blah.”
“And because you turned him down, he’s more determined than ever,” Will guessed, with amazing accuracy. “You did turn him down, right?”
“Of course I did,” I told him, insulted by his insinuation that I would drop my knickers for a glass of wine. “Do you think I’d risk my job for a quick tumble in the sheets with him?”
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry.”
“I don’t understand. Thousands of women would kill to sleep with him, so why bother with me when I’m obviously not interested?”
“He likes a challenge,” Freya answered. “It’s a game to him.”
“Well, I don’t want to play.”
My eyes flicked towards the bar, where McCoy chatted to some of his teammates. Like me, he’d changed out of his training gear. Even if he hadn’t, he would still have stood out among the sea of royal blue and black in the room. He had that elusive presence many men thought they had, but few possessed. The biggest problem was, he knew it.
“So what are you going to do?”.
“Maybe I’ll tell him he needs hydrotherapy, then drown him in the pool,” I mused. “But really, I just want him to back off.”
“You need to be careful. Many women quit their jobs here because of the way he treated them.”
“Please! I may be struggling at the moment, but I won’t be forced out of a job by an over-sexed, over-confident-.”
“I’m serious, Leah,” Will interrupted, halting me before I started swearing in an unladylike manner. “Richard didn’t want a woman taking the physiotherapist job because of how McCoy is, but you impressed him so much, he couldn’t pass you up.”
“He called you ‘feisty,’ which you are,” Freya said, with a grin.
“What I’m saying is,” Will went on, “you’re tough, but so is he. Nobody has ever fought against McCoy and won. The best thing you can do is keep your head down and wait for him to get bored.”


Ooh, I'm all nervous now lol! 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and once again, good luck to England in the football tonight!!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

First Fight/First Kiss Part 2

Time for Round 2 of the First Fight, First Kiss blogfest hosted by Danielle and Jackie! Today, I will be showing you the first kiss scene from my CampNaNo novel! To read the first fight scene - click here. The first post was written from Jesse's POV, but for this one, we we're in Isabelle's. :D Also, don't forget this is still a first draft, so it's a little rough around the edges. ;)


My heart started to beat faster as he put his hand up to my cheek. It made me feel so safe when he did that. Like he was telling me that there was nowhere else he wanted to be, and that nothing could ever hurt me while he was around. Very slowly, he began to lean in towards me. I so badly wanted him to kiss me, I could practically taste him, but panic surged through me and I pulled away.
He froze, his hand still in the air where, just a second before, it had been stroking my cheek. It would have been funny if I hadn’t been so embarrassed for freaking out.
“I’m sorry,” he said, stepping back. “Too fast.”
I shook my head. “No. It’s not … it wasn’t. I just … Jesse, when I said guys don’t normally notice me, I wasn’t lying.”
I didn’t want to have to say it out loud. My name’s Isabelle, I’m seventeen years old and nobody has ever kissed me before. Ever. If that didn’t make him see how lame I was, nothing would. Jesse’s eyes widened as understanding seeped into his brain.
“Wow,” he said, staring at me as if I’d just told him I was from Mars. I thought he’d be surprised, not horrified. So much for him making me feel safe. I glared at him because there weren’t enough words to explain how much of an idiot his look had made me feel. I turned to walk away, but he sped around in front of me, blocking my way.
“Why? So you can keep staring at me like I’m some kind of alien species?”
Jesse took my hands in his. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to look at you that way, but … Isabelle, you’re so freakin’ cute, I don’t understand how nobody has ever kissed you before.”
I didn’t know whether to be annoyed with him for saying it and making my embarrassment worse, or throw myself into his arms for being so sweet. So I didn’t move. I just let him hold my hands for a bit longer.
“We can just slow down if you want,” he said. “There’s no pressure.”
It’s just a kiss, it’s not a big deal!
But it was a big deal. I’d waited this long for my first kiss, and the longer I waited, the more of a big deal it had become. Why hadn’t I just got it over with during a game of Spin The Bottle when I was thirteen like everyone else? Now it held so much significance, it had to be perfect. I’d never felt half as much for anyone as I was beginning to feel for Jesse, and in a way, that made it scarier. What if I disappointed him?
“Let’s just go home,” Jesse said, squeezing my hands. “We’ll eat, and hang out with your family and we can go out again another time.”
“No,” I said, even though I hadn’t quite thought it through properly. He didn’t move, I think he was afraid he might scare me away again. It was a valid concern. As sure as I was that I wanted to kiss him – God, I wanted to kiss him – I didn’t know if I could trust myself not to flip out again.
“You’re making me nervous,” he said.
“Me?” I laughed. “How?”
“I just … this is a big thing. You just have a million expectations of how this should be, and I don’t want to ruin them.”
Silly me. I hadn’t even considered that Jesse was under pressure too. Or at least that he might feel as though it was pressure. If he was a rubbish kisser, how would I know? It’s not like I had anything to compare it to.
“Could we try again now, please?” I asked. “I’m ready.”
His fear had helped calm my own, and this time it was me who reached for him. His waist was firm. Lean, but muscly and I couldn’t help but wonder how he’d look with his shirt off. I imagined a perfect six pack underneath his blue t-shirt, and I allowed myself an internal swoon at the idea of it.
Calm down! You haven’t even kissed yet, and you’re already undressing him in your mind!
I was pleased Jesse couldn’t read my thoughts as he slipped his arms around me again.
“Are you sure?” he asked, looking down at me with concern in his green eyes.
I nodded, even though my heart was banging so hard, I thought it might leap right out of my chest.
Jesse smiled, and this time when he leaned in, I didn’t run away. My eyes closed, and as his lips lightly touched mine, everything else around me faded away. I couldn’t hear the cars, or feel the cold. I could only feel him, warming me with his kiss. 


Huge thanks to Danielle and Jackie for hosting this hop, it's been brilliant! :D If I don't get to your posts today, I promise to do so tomorrow - I am just a little swamped with final (and when I say final, I really mean it this time lol) edits for Game On!

P.S BIG NEWS ALERT! My cover for Game On is ready and I will be revealing it tomorrow!! 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest

Yay, it's blogfest time! Many thanks to Danielle and Jackie for hosting! Here are the details:

Share your 1st FIGHT and 1st KISS scenes in your MS’s or WIP’s. Crack open your current project or dive back into an old one. We want to feel what your characters feel. From the sting of their first fist-to-the-face to the tingling taste of their first kiss.

Today is First Fight day, and I wanted to bring you a small excerpt from my NaNo novel which centres around Jesse Shaw, one of the characters from Game On. It's a bit rough, and a bit vague - mainly because I wrote it quickly, Jesse's voice still needs work, and this fight in full would be packed with spoilers, but hopefully it gives enough info to make sense!  

Just to clear up a small thing - Georgia is Isabelle's twin sister. :) 


“Izzy,” I said. “You know the right thing to do.”
Isabelle looked down at me with those big brown eyes, and my insides twisted with guilt. Right away, I realised that was stupid. I was the one lying in a hospital bed, the future of my career hanging by a thread. It was her choice. She could haul me up, or watch me plummet. I hated that she was put in this awkward position. But I didn’t put her there. Georgia did.
“Jesse,” she said, her voice barely more than a whisper, “I can’t do it.”
Stupid question.
“Because it’ll ruin everything for her. I can’t do that to her.”
She turned away from me, and I knew it was over. She was going to walk out, let me crash and burn.
“That’s it?” I asked. “You’re not even going to think about what this is going to do to me?”
“I have thought about it!” she snapped, whirling around to look at me again. “I haven’t slept since it happened! I’ve tried to look at this from every angle, and I think-”
“You think saving your sister’s love life is more important than saving my career?” I asked, anger beginning to rise within me. I didn’t want to yell at her, I wanted to rewind a couple of days and not go to that stupid party so we could go back to how we were. How could she be so small-minded to think that her sister’s relationship would survive and be more important than the one thing I’d worked for my whole life?
“Jesse, your injury … you know, you might never play football again.”
If it was possible for the knife to twist any further, that comment made it happen. This girl was not the girl I met when I first arrived in England. She’d been replaced by some cold-hearted lookalike.
Maybe it’s Georgia.
“Don’t look at me like that,” Isabelle said. “This isn’t easy for me either.”
“Oh really? Which part is difficult for you? The part where you get to go back to your happy, privileged life? The part where your sister and Elliot skip off together into the sunset? Or the part where you go back to being mummy and daddy’s little angel who stays at home on Saturday nights reading books and playing Scrabble?”
The words hurt my mouth as they flew out at her. I wanted to take them back, but somewhere deep inside me, they’d been stewing for days. I didn’t want to hurt her, but I needed her to see what she was doing to me.
Isabelle’s eyes filled with angry tears. “The part where I give you up! The part where I let you go because I don’t want to be forced to choose between the two people I care about the most! You think this is so simple for me, that the right answer is obvious, but it’s not! It’s not obvious, and it’s not easy. It’s killing me.”
If I could have got out of bed and held her in my arms, I would have. Angry as I was, I wanted to hold her, to block out some of the pain she felt. Pain that wasn’t my fault, but that I’d somehow contributed to by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

 And there you have it! Don't forget to check out the other participants!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Never Surrender Blogfest!

The fabulous Elana Johnson is celebrating the release of her latest book, Surrender, by hosting the Never Surrender blogfest! To participate, all you have to do is blog about a time when you didn't surrender! Easy peasy!

I am going to blog about a very dark time in my life - which sort of sucks because this is meant to be a happy tour! However, it was the most challenging thing I've ever been through, so hopefully it is inspiring in some way.

Around six years ago, I went through a complex break-up. It led to me quitting my job to take some time for myself, and even though I thought I was okay, the situation spiralled until I became agoraphobic. Leaving the house was NOT an option for me. I'd lost all my confidence, and at the worst point, I couldn't leave my bedroom without having a panic attack. It also happened in the middle of summer, the time when I should have been outside having fun, not hiding away.

The road to recovery was slow. The first tentative steps down the stairs to the living room were rough, as was the journey into the back garden. It sounds so ridiculous to say that you're scared in your own house for no reason at all, and it was a while before I felt comfortable again. Going out was an exhausting thing. it took so much concentration to try and hold myself together, that when I got home from a ten minute walk, I felt like I'd run a marathon.

I knew the only way I would ever get better was by not giving up. By forcing myself out of the house, and into the world again. Six years later - I am cool with leaving the house, although I am not good at doing it alone.Looking back, and remembering how I dragged myself from the depths of misery makes me both sad and proud. Sad that I ever got so low, but proud that I got over it.

So there you have it - the time I didn't surrender!

Click here to buy Surrender right now!  Good luck with the blog tour, Elana!

P.S As a quick side note, England play their first match in Euro 2012 this afternoon - come on boys!! 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

IWSG: Am I doing it right? And does anyone care?

Happy IWSG Day! This genius idea created by Alex J. Cavanaugh is a place for all of us insecure writers to gather together to talk about our worries, and cheer each other on. Check out the full list of participants here!

Think right now about your favourite writers. How do you feel when you know they have a new book being released? It's usually something like, "HURRY UP, I CAN'T WAIT ANYMORE!" right? And also, think about when one of your super talented blog buddies announces they've got a book coming out soon. That is even more exciting because it's someone you know, someone you may have seen struggling to reach their goal of publication. Someone you've seen go through the rough times, and have finally made it to where they want to be. I can tell you that when Jolene Perry, or Nyrae Dawn announce a book release - I bounce up and down like a crazy person! These two awesome ladies are writers I absolutely adore for their ability to write so naturally, it's almost like reading a diary.

Then the panic sets in. I have my first book lurking on the horizon, almost ready to go out into the world. Will anyone be excited for my book? I know it's horribly arrogant of me to even hope that someone will be so excited about Game On that they'll tell everyone about the release date (still on its way lol!). But it's what I want, and I am a little - okay, a lot - nervous that the release will just pass by and nobody will even notice. :S Don't get me wrong, I know I have a lot of support - and words cannot ever express how grateful I am for that! But I would love to be one of those people who can create a buzz. I just don't know if I can.

Secondly, now I am working on a spin-off to Game On, it got me thinking. There is still SO much life in all of the original characters. A couple of people suggested that I make it into a series, with each book delving into the lives of the other main characters. That would mean a book about Bree the ditz and her hubby, Leah's flatmate, Freya, maybe one or two others, and finally, ending back with Leah. This wasn't a part of my plan, but I have had some awesome ideas for another book about Leah and so ... I don't know what to do. Is there a right way to do it? Should I just stick with Leah, or, since I'm already doing a book about Jesse, should I go through a few of the other characters too? Maybe if everyone hates Game On, this question will erase itself.

So - that's where my head is at the moment. A gigantic mess of unanswerable questions!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Camp NaNo Update, and details

To begin with, I want to say thanks again to Emily for allowing me onto her blog as a blogging mentor! Being interviewed is always fun, and Emily is awesome!

So, to Camp NaNo! Four days in and I'm still on track! Well, I will be when I finish today's writing. :D

I mentioned a while ago that I was planning to battle boy POV, and I'm doing my best to get through it. However, it is hard, so I decided to turn my NaNo story into dual POV so it will be 50% less difficult! I'm not against cheating to get the work done. :p

Just to give you a quick recap on what I'm doing for NaNo: In Game On, I have a young soccer player named Jesse Shaw, and he proved quite popular during the A-Z challenge. So, I decided he needed his own spin-off story! It's set at the end of the soccer season, when Jesse and his best friend go to London. I don't have a proper synopsis yet, but this is my guideline for now

Soccer sensation Jesse Shaw literally has the world at his feet. After a successful first season in L.A, he heads to London with his best buddy, where he meets the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, Jesse's dream vacation soon turns into a nightmare when a dangerous prank leaves his career in jeopardy.

That is fairly rubbish because I wrote it before I changed the story to dual POV, but it will do for the moment! 

Jesse is a fun character to write - in spite of it being difficult to think like an 18-year-old boy. Finding his voice is challenging, but it's the good kind of challenging, not the kind that makes you want to bash your head against the wall! 

And a quick Game On update: I have announced it's finished twice, and both times, there has always been more work to do LOL! So, I've handed it over to another CP (Thanks Elizabeth!) and now THIS IS IT! After this round of feedback, I need to stop working on it. There is such a thing as over-editing, and I don't want to suck the life out of the story. I hope to have a release date for you in a couple of weeks, and a cover reveal ... possibly at the end of this week, or the beginning of next week!