Spring gin anyone?

Okay, so Mothers day was a couple o’weeks back, and my tribe bought me some rhubarb and ginger gin…  

Now, I feel I should say, upfront, that gin is my summer tipple of choice.

(Not winter, gin is far to cold and fizzy for that – winter is a time for red. A good, heavy red.)

Anyway, I got off topic; back to the gin. Now then, is it just me, or does there seem to be something of a gin-revolution sweeping the nation?

Which is fine with me, except there are so many varieties circulating that I find one, I like it, and then I can never find it again! It’s a real trial I tell you.

So I’ve developed a course of action – I’m going to make me’ own.

Yup, I tried it last year about this time, with parma violets.

Yes, you read right 😀 thank the heavens for amazon. I ordered a box of giant parma violets, pulled a large mason jar from the pantry, used regular old gin, gave it a shake every so often, and Boom! Summer deliciousness not to be forgotten.

This time, it’s rhubarb or bust. I’ll let you know how it goes.


I Always Think A Change Is Good.

There’s been much ‘behind the scene-ing’ going on in my little corner of the coast.

My novels have had a wee makeover, and I’m very (VERY) happy to be sharing the news.

They’ve got shiny new covers, and they are now available everywhere. ( Like Everywhere 😀 )

Adam’s story is almost ready to burst into the world – and let me tell you, he’s one hot hombre.

Thunder Moon will be coming at you on the 17th of March, and Hunter Moon is closely following on the 16th of April.

I hope you enjoy reading Thea, Jess and Adam’s stories as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.

So, if romance is your thing, I have just the witches for you.


And without further waffle from me, here is the ❤ gorgeous ❤ new cover for Thunder Moon.


Author Marketing Tips

Happy rainy Bank Holiday Writerly-Folks.

I thought i’d use this grey, Sunday afternoon to share a few things…

On the 19th of May my book, How to Build an Author Platform, was released to the world, and I had a little Facebook party to wish my words well on their travels, and the feedback from the launch party has been pretty great, so I thought i’d take all the marketing tips and hints from the launch and put them all in once place.

This book is a nuts and bolts approach to getting your ‘author self’ out there, I’ve kept it simple, stress free and super cheap.

Because the thing is, we don’t all have oodles of pounds to throw at marketing. Not to mention the fact that i’ve got a better chance of finding the end of the rainbow than getting a bookbub. But I digress…

So, this blog is all the post’s from the Facebook launch. Here we go…


Welcome to the Facebook launch for How to Build an Author Platform, a book for all of us writerly-types who are just trying to reach the Perfect Reader.
Today will be all about tips and tricks — just remember that they don’t all apply to you. As I mention in the book, you only need TWO dedicated social media platforms (that match your audience) for your books and your author self ~ it’s important that we don’t overload ourselves.

Let’s get this boat in the water 🙂



The book is Available on Amazon, Kobo… well, pretty much everywhere.





Let’s spend some time looking at what we can do with all the different social media platforms that are available to us.

And we’ll get the day rolling by talking about Goodreads.


…and once you start to get your goodreads audience growing, don’t forget to post you book updates and vlogs/blogs there, as your followers will see your posts in their feed. After all, Goodreads is the Facebook of the reading world…


Now i’m a youtube junky, i love to talk about writing, moan about writing and panic about writing over on youtube. (I’ve also made a series of videos that go with this book, you can find them here.). I’ve also created a little Facebook Group where i’ll be sharing any marketing tips, and social media changes, to help you all stay up to date. It would be lovely if you’d like to join. I’m aiming to post once a week ~ so no nasty spamming. 🙂


Let the whirlwind tour continue ~ Do you use pinterest? I waste a horrendous amount of time there! ~ but don’t forget to create a pinbaord for your book, make your cover the front image, and put an amazon link in the description box. Include all sorts of images that refer to your story. This is the board for my fiction release earlier in the year, the BOARD has a good number of repins and followers now.


When you’re sharing your book’s link to amazon, don’t forget to get a universal short link first ~ you can choose the tail of the url to match your book, and it automatically links back to the amazon store in the readers country. It looks neater and more professional. You can do this at Booklinker.


If you think that Facebook and Twitter is already taking over your life, and all this information feels like even more of an overload ~ don’t panic, and don’t think you have to start doing everything.
One of the big things I talk about in Building an Author Platform, is creating a structure that leaves you feeling more in control and with more free time, not less.
Our minds won’t be able to wonder to creative places if we are constantly worried what Instagram wants.
We’re still writers…


Okay then, instagram top tip, coming your way ~ don’t hashtag the post, hashtag in the comments box underneath. It’s a lot cleaner, you can put more hashtags in without being annoying, and it get more responses.
I’ve been doing it this way for the last few weeks, and my posts are already getting more l<3 ‘s ~ here’s My Account, in case you were wondering 😉

I talk about hashtags in the book too, how they work and how to use them. It’s important to do a bit of upfront research on which hashtags work best for your genre, theme and the audience you’re trying to attract.


Now, let’s look at social media etiquette, I discuss this in the book too. (And mailing list etiquette.)
Think of the things that gum up your feed. The things that make you unfollow.
Now look at what you post ~ it can be better to not post at all than to panic post, or panic post with wine… (believe me, I know)
The thing that get’s me is a constant stream of cat pictures with cute sayings, over and over again…
I’m a writer, so I’m noisy (occupational hazard) and if I follow, it’s because I want to see what you’re cooking and where you’re going, and once you decide what personal stuff you’re prepared to share, (keep in your comfort zone,) your audience will definitely be interested.


I mentioned mailing lists in the last post, if anyone has any specific questions i’ll try and answer them. But it’s a big topic; I could do a whole launch on that alone. There’s a chapter on just mailing lists in the book; what to put in them, how to manage them, how to get people on them…

But the true fact is; you gotta have a mailing list. It’s a necessary evil.


This next post is about The Facebook Launch ~ how to do them, and what to say, and as it’s more involved here’s A Little Blog about it.

So we’re into the last act of this little launch, I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and that you’ve found some useful ideas in amongst it all. If you have any questions or thoughts on further videos you’d like to see, just let me know.

As writers we’re pretty hard on ourselves, we procrastinate and beat off crippling self-doubt, and nobody understands a writer quite like another writer.
And as one crazy writer to another, i’d like to say thank you so much for coming today.


And don’t forget to come on over to the Building an Author Platform Facebook Group if you’d like more of this kind of crazy 🙂

How to … Using Facebook events to Host a Book Launch.

So, I’m having a Facebook book launch today for my new book, Building An Author Platform. It’s a book full of marketing tips for authors trying to find their Tribe. Without spending a fortune or living Every waking minute on social media…

I’ve had a couple of questions ahead of time, from authors who are interested in how to launch a book on Facebook, so I thought a wee blog might be in order.

First things first, here is a (very) basic video of how to set up The Event on Facebook

Now once you’ve done this, you can have the biggest conniption fit about how the heck you’re supposed to keep people entertained.

And that’s where this blog comes in;

Number one, make your launch two to three hours long – only go longer if you’re comfortable being live on-line for that long.

I’ve set mine for three hours, during the school day ~ I couldn’t think, answer questions, panic about whether I’d understood the question, try and drink a cup of tea, and also try to answer very serious requests for dinner, or where are his other trainers are…

(I’ve actually scheduled my launch to stay open till 8pm, but I’ve clearly written in the description that the launch will finish at 2pm, but will be available until 8pm for people who are working and want to pop in and have a nosey later.)

After the logics were sorted out…I Got Prepared

Panic is the mother of organisation, let me assure you.

My launch today is about author marketing, so I’ve written lots of little tips (on a word document) about things authors can try to do, to reach more people and engage with them. I’ll then copy and paste one status every ten minutes or so, and hope my guests find them useful and maybe ask questions. I’ve created a couple of blog posts too, as I’ve had questions ahead of time (thank goodness), and so I’ve written a more detailed response. I’ve used YouTube and Facebook video where I can. (I’m not brave enough for Facebook live yet — but who knows, by the end of this day, I may jump in)

But if you’re launching a fiction book, here’s some things to thinks about;
Have a list of statuses that you can post every ten minutes or so. (Including website links) It will take the stress out of it.

What era is your book based? Can you choose music that matches? — if so, find the music videos on YouTube, and put them on your page, giving a short, chatty reference about how it relates to your character. Or something like “and we’ll kick today off with this number from the 80’s, when (my character) was born..”

Is there particular food or drink in your book, tag up recipes.

Where is your book based; post some gorgeous photos of the backdrop that inspired you.

Is your heroine a fashionista – post some pinterest photos of the outfits she would wear.

Think about your ideal reader and what would appeal to them? Gardening, walking, trees, stars, horoscopes…

The list is endless, post lots of interesting snippets that will leave your audience desperate to find out about your characters and their journey.

Having the posts prepped up will leave you completely free to chat with people.

Good luck with your launches, Writerly Folks.

J x

How to… The Goodreads Giveaway.

Now the giveaway is a funny animal, books cost money, postage costs money — you have no idea if this person wants to read your book, or if they just want something for nothing. You can’t even guarantee they’ll review it. So what’s the deal?
I’ve done a couple of goodreads giveaways, and i’ve found them to be pretty successful, and here’s why.

They bring readers to you. You are offering them the chance to test you out.

But there’s more to it than that. The giveaway usually helps you to pick up followers on your goodreads profile. It also sees your book getting added to lots of ‘to be read’ shelves.

(Just as a quick aside, to be read shelves on goodreads most often contain THOUSANDS of books, but don’t be disheartened, it’s still helping with exposure.)

If you have a couple of paperbacks that you’re willing to part with, i’d say go for it.

You going to reach a wider audience by including the US, (or Oz if you’re closer.) So be prepared to write off £15.00 on postage for two to three books.

It’s always good to let the give-away  run for a good six weeks, as you get more activity this way. Try to end on catchy date; Valentine’s day, Christmas Day, Easter, a bank holiday – any date that you can call your giveaway something. (It helps with promotion) For instance, Welcome to the Christmas Giveaway for (book title) don’t miss out on a chance to win one of the signed copies up for grabs…
Or something like that.

Goodreads give you some html too that you can put on your website, so you can link your giveaway directly.

My first book was published in January 2017, and i decided to go out under a pen name ~ not for any other reason, than someone else has my name, and my dot.com, and she’s a writer, so I thought better of it ~ So just before Christmas I was setting up new Facebook, twitter and goodreads accounts — all under my new name. I had zero followers.
But my first giveaway was for the UK, Europe and the US, and my profile is starting to pick up…..


And yes, Amazon offers giveaways too, but only in the US. I’ve got one running at the moment, i’ll be back in mid June to let you know how it went. And if you’re in the States and you like Romance with a Dash of Magic and you fancy winning a copy of my fiction title, Thunder Moon, here’s the link…

Amazon.Com GiveAway

The Wonders of Train Travel

So on the train home from London I ended up sat next to a yawner.
And not only was he a yawner – oh no. He was also a spreader – his legs braced so far apart that he had a knee in the isle and a knee in my leg space.

Coupled with the fact that every article he read in the paper warranted an exhalation of “god no,” and “oh bloody hell,” while he continued to shuffle his arms and rattle the pages, budging me further and further against the cold window.

You can imagine the variety and quantity of expletives running through my mind.

He fidgeted and bustled, phone constantly buzzing and beeping, while sniffling and scratching. Seemingly trying to engage every passenger in the carriage in one way or other.
And you know, I’d really like to be able to offer a few constructive words about how being sat in a confined space with 15 other people means that we should make the effort to speak, smile, make eye contact or connect some way.

But the truth is, I can’t. Because we don’t. There are a lot of odd-bods out there, and after the stuffy, noisy and squashed carriage ride, I can tell you this;

most of them travel by train…


Talking about Twitter.

I was invited to go and waffle on about one of my favourite subjects today; the internet!!light-up-the-web-1193828-1279x852

I cannot – simply cannot tell you how much I love the internet. I’m total junkie, want to know something; ask Google. Want to buy something; search eBay….. (I’d better issue a disclaimer here…) Other search engines and purchasing sites are available — truthfully though, it can pretty much answer or find most things.

But to be specific, in my day job i’m a social media consultant, and I was asked to go along to my local writers group, The Lovedean Writers, to give a little talk and answer questions on how to market yourself and use social media as a self-published, or independent, author.

As it turns out i’ve ended up with a few points that seemed to be quite useful, so I thought i’d share them.

Writing can be a lonely life, as writers (myself included,) our little voice can wreck our confidence in seconds, stop us getting words on the page, and dry up inspiration quicker than the summer of ’76. (There was a heat wave that year, for you lucky folks who are too young to remember.)

But with fabulous social media sites like Twitter and Facebook we don’t have to be alone any more…Beware though — social media can be the devil’s own time waster, especially once you discover how much fun it is.

A few years ago ‘networking’ was the in thing, you went ‘on-line’ and networked your a*se off, nowadays it’s more of a dirty word – networking insinuates that you are schmoozing the unwitting, and trying to flog your product.

These day it just wont work — people are smarter than that, they like to know about you, they want to invest in your life and share your highs and lows. (Did I mention that social media is mostly full of nosey people?)

You have to be ‘present’ — and it all depends how you want to interact with people. Facebook is all about longer posts, and running conversations. Twitter is 140 characters — including spaces and punctuation, twitter is the home of the snarky comment and the witty comeback. Both places are great ways to meet other writers, existing readers (if you’re already published) and prospective readers.
But here’s the thing – you remember the guy from that movie, he stood on the corner wearing an A-board shouting that the world was going to end? Did anyone listen to him?


And that’s the thing to remember with social media, it’s not advertising space. If all you do is tweet or post, ‘buy my book, buy my book, for the love of god will someone BUY MY BOOK’ — people will hit the block & delete buttons, and they’ll do it quick.
People expect you to come on-line and ‘be real’ — even Victoria Beckham posts photos of her self being stupid, and dare I say…Smiling. Need I say more?

Now the thought of sharing your life with the world can be somewhat terrifying, but don’t worry, there are ways to cut down the anxiety. So here’s a few cold hard tips…

If you are looking to self publish your book to any of the wonderful self publishing platforms out there; Amazon, Kobo, Ibooks, Wattpad, Smashwords, Createspace, Lulu… (I could go on.) Then you are going to need an online platform from which to launch your book. If you haven’t got an on-line platform get yourself on the boat and play around, it’ll take you time to write your masterpiece and building up your online presence while you’re at it is a great way to start. (Share your writing agonies with the twitterverse, they love it — and they’ll support and sympathise, it really is win-win.)

If you’re worried about what to share, make yourself a ‘comfort circle’; draw a circle and write inside what you don’t mind sharing….Do you fish, garden, play bridge, do yoga in the dark? That can go in the circle. If you have Mum tips, cooking tips, watch Strictly or cash in the attic — put it in the circle. And before you know it you’ll have a comfortable go-to list of things that ‘you’ love that you can chat to the world about.

Now the trick is to not let it overwhelm you — once you know what you’re doing, carve out two 15 minutes slots a day, (preferably different times each day,) and tweet or post to hearts content, make sure you answer people who’ve tweeted you. And you’ll watch your audience grow.

If you’re using Twitter don’t forget to check out whats trending — that’s all the little # signs that you’ll see. It’s called hash tagging; it’s where you highlight the point of your tweet. And it’s a great way to find people who you’d like to follow and tweet with. So if GameOfThrones is your thing shove a # in front of it; #GameOfThrones and the GOT lovers (you can hashtag that too; #GOT) will find you in a minute — and they’re an opinionated lot, so watch out.

Now i’ve already waffled on a lot – and believe it or not, I did talk about more than twitter, (honest). But I think i’ll come back with another instalment — I’ll waffle all about finding beta readers and getting ready to Launch in the next post. You know, I may even take my life in my hands and make some videos on the subject for youtube.

You can find my works page HERE, it was lovely to waffle on, catch you laters.