Tapestry – out and about

Hey there,

I’m so looking forward to taking part in the event Short but Sweet at Portobello Book Festival tomorrow, (6 October 2018, 12.30-1.30pm) where I’ll be joining fellow writers Rosemary Gemmell and Jane Tulloch to talk about short story writing.

The event is free and, if you’d like to come along, you can find out more here.

In 2015 I published a collection of short stories, Tapestry, and I’m excited to be able to talk about it with friends, old and new. 😀

If you’re at the event tomorrow, please come and say hi!

Elle xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websites

In hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

Tapestry – the stories

Never-ending

Imogen is unhappy in her brief marriage. She feels guilty because there is no “acceptable” reason to leave her husband, but she still wants to go. One day when Neil leaves for work she resolves to make her decision once and for all. Can she break free or are the ties of her marriage too strong?

Crush

Gemma’s love for Nicky is unrequited, but everything she does, she does with him in mind. Her feelings for him have ruled her life for years, any happiness she feels is short-lived because she recognises and is ashamed of her predicament. What will it mean for Gemma when Nicky finds out how strongly she feels?

The Letter

Maggie’s life collapsed when her daughter, Mia, was sent to prison. Her marriage crumbled under the strain, she was unable to face Mia or deal with her guilt. But when she receives a letter from Mia explaining she is due for parole, Maggie cannot hide from her daughter any longer.

Fifty pence for the first step

Gemma turns to her boss, Andrew, for advice when she needs direction. Despite much soul-searching she finds that, sometimes, the most insignificant event can be the catalyst for positive action.

Never Let Go

Andrew may have given Gemma good advice, but he is unable to recognise the obsessive love his ex, Leanna, feels for him. Leanna is determined to get Andrew back from his new girlfriend, Merin, but what lengths will she go to?

Not Everybody hurts

Nilbreaks is a fast acting wonder pill that cures and prevents broken hearts. Violet despairs that, as a result of taking the pill, no one actually cares about anyone anymore. She resolves to get Nilbreaks taken off the market but meets resistance from her friends and colleagues.

Again

After the end of her marriage, Freya finds love unexpectedly with Aidan and feels her life has begun anew. Everything is perfect until Aidan’s ex-girlfriend, Melody, returns to his life leaving Freya’s future uncertain. Again.

I hope you get your rabbit

A teenage mother makes a heart-breaking decision about her new born baby. This is her opportunity to tell him why.

Meeting Eric

After years of waiting, Kate nervously prepares for the day she will finally meet Eric.

Lost

Gerry is the love of Chrissie’s life, but they didn’t stay together. She thinks of him a lot, her past is always in her present and she expects it to stay that way. That is until her friend turns up with news of Gerry. What happens to the future when your past isn’t there anymore?

Living Without

Claudia starts to become her own person after years of living in her parents’, then husband’s and children’s shadows. She has her own flat; her professional life is going well, but is her newfound independence all that she expected it to be?

The Beginning

No matter how hard life gets, there is always hope and the memory of what love can be like, especially what it’s like in the beginning.

 

Summer reading

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far.

I read a Book Riot post recently about creating your own summer reading syllabus. I usually have a rough idea which books I want to read next but recently, because I’ve been setting up the business, reading regrettably has taken a bit of a back seat. When I read the post, it reminded me that I would probably benefit from a bit of forward planning. And taking the whole summer as the timeframe allows for flexibility around everything else that’s going on.

As for many of us, there are a TON of books in my TBR pile, mainly fiction. The Book Riot post reminded me to think about the non-fiction books that I’ve been meaning to read, so I decided to build them into my list. This is what I’ve come up with:

Non- Fiction

Digital Photography for Dummies – Julie Adair King

I’ve had this book for a couple of years and have dipped in and out, but I’d like to make a concerted effort to understand my camera better. I’d like to be able to do my own product photos and generally keep a better pictorial record of our family life.

Mindfulness – Mark Williams and Danny Penman

Although practicing Mindfulness has been very popular for years now, it’s not something I’ve looked into before. When I wanted to find out more about it, my first reaction (obviously) was to buy a book. This too has been sitting on the shelf for a bit, so it’s on the list!

Mindfulness

A field guide to Fabric Design – Kim Kight

In the not too distant future, I would like to incorporate textiles into the business in addition to the stationery. Anything I can read to improve my skills in this area and I’m in!

Yes, please – Amy Poehler

I bought this after watching Parks and Recreation on Amazon Prime. The reason I haven’t read it yet is I feel the text is so blimmin’ small! If there’s one thing that will get my goat about a book, it’s when I find the text uncomfortably small to read. I’ll see how I get on, but I think it might be a struggle.

Fiction

The Little Flower Shop by the Sea – Ali McNamara

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned before on the blog, but one career I’ve thought about pursuing a few times in my life is floristry. Any books about flower shops, therefore, are likely to be up my street, so I’m looking forward to reading this.

Us – David Nicholls

Like the rest of the world, I really enjoyed One Day so I have high hopes for Us. I know I’m very late to the party with this one, but hey ho.

What are your summer reading plans? I’d love to know, so please get in touch either here or on Twitter!

Enjoy the rest of your day.

Elle. 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

 

Who do you auto-buy?

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far.

This statement won’t come as a surprise to you – I buy a lot of books 🙂 .  Since I’m starting my own business and expect not to have an income for a while, I’m trying to rein it in a bit, but there are some people whose books I definitely don’t want to miss out on. I thought I’d let you know who I auto-buy when they bring out a new title. Although I do read the blurbs of their books, I wouldn’t need to before it goes in either my real or virtual basket.

The list below is in no particular order. I’m deliberately leaving out the writer buddies whom I feel I know. They are definitely among my favourites, but they know that already. 🙂

So here we go:

Jojo Moyes

I think the first Jojo Moyes book I read was The Last Letter from Your Lover which I enjoyed, but it was Me Before You that put her on my auto-buy list. I’m sure this is the same for a lot of people. I haven’t yet made my way through her backlist, but I will.

Miranda Dickenson

I read Miranda’s It Started with a Kiss first and then immediately picked up her first two books. She’s been an auto-buy ever since because her stories are so gentle and positive. It’s impossible not to feel uplifted and, due to the normal timings of her releases, it usually means that Christmas is just round the corner.

Jenny Colgan

Again I love the gentle and feel-good nature of Jenny’s books. The first one I read was Meet Me at the Cupcake Café. I think my favourites are the Rosie Hopkins series, although who wouldn’t love their own puffin after reading about Neil in the Beach Street Bakery books?

Kate Morton

If I remember correctly I think I found out about Kate Morton because The House at Riverton was a Richard and Judy pick. I love the settings of Kate’s books and they’re quite long – really books to get immersed in.

Katherine Webb

A TV book club recommendation, I first read The Legacy. I enjoy books set in two time periods and a considerable amount of secret uncovering never hurts! My favourite of Katherine’s so far is A Half Forgotten Song. It’s quite dark, about obsessive love, but it’s set in a couple of time periods with some good old secret uncovering, so what’s not to love.

Toni Jordan

It was while I was reading Addition that I decided, after many years of faffing about, that I was definitely going to write a book of my own, so it has a special place in my heart. There was nothing specific about the book itself that made me think that, I just enjoyed it and thought “I want to be able to do that.” Perhaps it was a timing thing, but it meant I immediately picked up Toni’s next book, Fall Girl, when it came out. It became, and remains, one of my favourite reads. In Fall Girl the main character, Della, is a professional con artist. I find that Toni Jordan’s storylines are a little bit different and this makes for a very entertaining read.

Emylia Hall

The Book of Summers, set in Hungary, was the first book of Emylia’s that I read. I read it not long after I’d been to Budapest, so I loved reading about a different Hungarian setting. My favourite, though, is A Heart Bent out of Shape, set in Lausanne. It’s a coming of age book about first love, growing up and the events that can shape a life.

Liane Moriarty

What I love about Liane Moriarty’s books is the way she observes and writes about ordinary lives and situations, proving that nothing is actually ordinary at all. It’s hard to pick a favourite but, if I had to go for one, it would be What Alice Forgot about a woman who hits her head and loses a decade of her life. Eep.

What do you think about this list of authors? Who do you auto-buy? Not that I need a bigger TBR pile, but I’d love to hear your recommendations!

Enjoy the rest of your day.

Elle. 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

Reading habits

Hey there,

Hope your day is going well so far. I thought I’d do another tag post, this time about reading habits. Once again I first saw this on Portobellobookblog – Joanne takes part in good tags!

IMG_1681

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

No, not really, although on the settee in the living room, I suppose. I mainly read when I’m not at home, either on the bus or at lunchtime. Occasionally I snatch time in the evening, but not often.

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Bookmark. Random bits of paper would upset me.

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop at the end of a chapter/a certain amount of pages? 

I try to stop at the end of a chapter but sometimes I have to stop wherever because it’s time to do something else (like get off the bus).

Do you eat or drink when reading?

Yes, if I’m at home or work. Not on the bus!

Multitasking: music or TV whilst reading?

No. I don’t mind it being on in the background, but it’s someone else’s doing, not mine.

One book at a time or several at once?

One at a time. Occasionally two, but one of them would then be non-fiction.

Read at home or everywhere?

More often outside than at home. I can’t read while walking down the street like some people manage to do, though.

Read aloud or silently in your head?

Silently.

Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

Hmmm. I’d love to smugly say no, but occasionally I do have a quick look ahead. I always feel guilty, though.

Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

It doesn’t upset me if I have to break the spine of a book, but I don’t do it as a matter of course.

Do you write in books?

How dare you. 😉

If you join in the tag, please let me know so I can check out your reading habits!

Much love,

Elle. 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

 

Five for Friday – Christmas reads 2015

Hey there,

Happy Friday!

I’ve been homing in on my Christmas reads, so in this year’s final Five for Friday, here they are:

The Art of Christmas – Jane Lovering

Christmas at Cranberry Cottage – Talli Roland

Cora’s Christmas kiss – Alison May

How to stuff up Christmas – Rosie Blake

One hundred Christmas proposals – Holly Martin

What are you reading this December? I’d love to know so please get in touch to tell me either here or on twitter!

Have a great weekend.

Elle. 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

How will your weekend go?

Hey there,

Happy Friday!

Today is a very exciting day. It’s debut novel publication day for the very lovely Jan Brigden from award-winning writing group The Romaniacs. Jan’s been one of my online buddies for years and I was so happy to finally meet her in person earlier this year at the Romantic Novelists’ Association summer conference. 🙂

Jan’s novel As Weekends Go is published today by Choc Lit following her success earlier this year when she won their search for a star competition. I’ve been looking forward to reading As Weekends Go for AGES and now I finally can. So excited. 🙂 🙂

As Weekends go

What if your entire life changed in the space of a weekend?
When Rebecca’s friend Abi convinces her to get away from it all at the fabulous Hawksley Manor hotel in York, it seems too good to be true. Pampering and relaxation is just what Rebecca needs to distract herself from the creeping suspicion that her husband, Greg, is hiding something from her.

She never imagined that by the end of the weekend she would have dined with celebrities or danced the night away in exclusive clubs. Nor could she have predicted she would meet famous footballer, Alex Heath, or that he would be the one to show her that she deserved so much more …

But no matter how amazing a weekend is, it’s always back to reality come Monday morning – isn’t it?

As Weekends Go is available here. Sounds a good ‘un, doesn’t it? Gazillions of congratulations, Jan, and I wish you EVERY success! xx

I know how I’m spending my weekend, with my nose in a book, as it goes.

Much love,

Elle. 🙂 xx

It is where you start and where you finish

Hey there,

Blog buddies! Can I ask you a question about books?

Great! Thanks.

It’s about prologues and epilogues and, really, it’s just this:

Prologues and epilogues – yes or no?

I’ve heard and read much criticism, particularly of prologues – that they are forgotten by the time they become important to the story, that they jar with the first chapter because the reader is whipped from one thing to something completely unrelated or that they are used as an information dump to support a weak beginning. Similarly, epilogues are criticised for being a way to tie up loose ends that the writer wasn’t able to do in the main body of the story or are used because the writer doesn’t know how to stop.

It sounds, then, like they don’t have much going for them. But that’s not the fault of prologues or epilogues, just prologues or epilogues that are not used well, and that’s not the same thing.

The reason I ask is that I don’t have anything against them. I would go so far as to say I actually like them.  Prologues can add a bit of intrigue and, if well done, you can see the point of them emerging as you go along. Or they can be useful for orientation. In the case of epilogues, I like to get a bit of information about what happens “after”. If I have a gripe about a book, one of the things it might be is that it finished too abruptly. I appreciate this is in an attempt to “finish when the story’s over” which is the right thing to do but, sometimes, I feel like someone took my plate away before I finished the last mouthful of my lunch.

This could be debated at some length, I know, but I was really just wondering:

Prologues and epilogues – yes or no? What say you?

Thanks!

Elle 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry. A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

 

Tapestry

Hey there,

Happy Tuesday! Hope you are well today.

This is a big day for me! It’s over a year since I started seriously considering self-publishing a collection of short stories and today, it’s happening. Tapestry, a collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love, is available now.

TAPESTRY

In hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love.

Available now. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

Thank you so very much to everyone who has supported and encouraged me about Tapestry’s release. You’ve been lovely, joining in my excitement over the past few weeks and helping to spread the word. I have the best blog buddies. 🙂

Much love,

Elle xx

Tapestry – the stories:

Never-ending

Imogen is unhappy in her brief marriage. She feels guilty because there is no “acceptable” reason to leave her husband, but she still wants to go. One day when Neil leaves for work she resolves to make her decision once and for all. Can she break free or are the ties of her marriage too strong?

Crush

Gemma’s love for Nicky is unrequited, but everything she does, she does with him in mind. Her feelings for him have ruled her life for years, any happiness she feels is short-lived because she recognises and is ashamed of her predicament. What will it mean for Gemma when Nicky finds out how strongly she feels?

The Letter

Maggie’s life collapsed when her daughter, Mia, was sent to prison. Her marriage crumbled under the strain, she was unable to face Mia or deal with her guilt. But when she receives a letter from Mia explaining she is due for parole, Maggie cannot hide from her daughter any longer.

Fifty pence for the first step

Gemma turns to her boss, Andrew, for advice when she needs direction. Despite much soul-searching she finds that, sometimes, the most insignificant event can be the catalyst for positive action.

Never Let Go

Andrew may have given Gemma good advice, but he is unable to recognise the obsessive love his ex, Leanna, feels for him. Leanna is determined to get Andrew back from his new girlfriend, Merin, but what lengths will she go to?

Not Everybody hurts

Nilbreaks is a fast acting wonder pill that cures and prevents broken hearts. Violet despairs that, as a result of taking the pill, no one actually cares about anyone anymore. She resolves to get Nilbreaks taken off the market but meets resistance from her friends and colleagues.

Again

After the end of her marriage, Freya finds love unexpectedly with Aidan and feels her life has begun anew. Everything is perfect until Aidan’s ex-girlfriend, Melody, returns to his life leaving Freya’s future uncertain. Again.

I hope you get your rabbit

A teenage mother makes a heart-breaking decision about her new born baby. This is her opportunity to tell him why.

Meeting Eric

After years of waiting, Kate nervously prepares for the day she will finally meet Eric.

Lost

Gerry is the love of Chrissie’s life, but they didn’t stay together. She thinks of him a lot, her past is always in her present and she expects it to stay that way. That is until her friend turns up with news of Gerry. What happens to the future when your past isn’t there anymore?

Living Without

Claudia starts to become her own person after years of living in her parents’, then husband’s and children’s shadows. She has her own flat; her professional life is going well, but is her newfound independence all that she expected it to be?

The Beginning

No matter how hard life gets, there is always hope and the memory of what love can be like, especially what it’s like in the beginning.

Tapestry, a collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love. Available now.

Additions to my TBR pile

Hey there,

Happy Friday! It’s nearly the weeeekend! 🙂 🙂 🙂

I’ve stocked up my TBR pile! Not that it needed it, but I couldn’t resist. That happens, right? 😉

These lovely fellas are in my sights for the next few weeks:

IMG_1444

 

The Little Flower Shop by the Sea – Ali McNamara

The Best Thing I Never Had – Erin Lawless

The Great Village Show – Alexandra Brown

Us – David Nicholls

Plus on my kindle:

Please Release Me – Rhoda Baxter

After You – Jojo Moyes

A Parcel for Anna Browne – Miranda Dickinson

They should keep me out of mischief for a bit.

I’m sure your TBR pile is sky high too but, if you have room for one more *coughs and shuffles feet* can I interest you in Tapestry? Just a thought. 😉

Happy Reading!

Elle 🙂 xx

TAPESTRY_front150dpi copy Amazon and websitesIn hope, in pain,

we lose, we gain,

but always and forever

the human heart braves life

in light and in shade.

Tapestry, available 29 September 2015. To pre-order, click here. 🙂

 

Please release me blogsplash

Hey there,

Hope you are well today.

This is a different sort of post from me, but I’m very pleased to be taking part in Rhoda Baxter’s blogsplash for her new novel, Please Release Me, which is out today. You can find out more about Please Release Me below – it’s heading straight to my TBR pile and leapfrogging its way to the top because it sounds to me like a great read. 🙂

The three main characters in Please Release Me are stuck in some way, so Rhoda tasked her blogsplash participants with writing a post inspired by this. She kindly left the remit wide so, for a bit of fun, I thought I’d try something new. I appreciate I’m unlikely to become Poet Laureate but, Rhoda, I hope you like my own take on feeling stuck. 🙂

Stuck

 

PLEASE RELEASE ME

PLEASE RELEASE ME_high res mini

What if you could only watch as your bright future slipped away from you?

Sally Cummings has had it tougher than most but, if nothing else, it’s taught her to grab opportunity with both hands. And, when she stands looking into the eyes of her new husband Peter on her perfect wedding day, it seems her life is finally on the up.

That is until the car crash that puts her in a coma and throws her entire future into question.

In the following months, a small part of Sally’s consciousness begins to return, allowing her to listen in on the world around her – although she has no way to communicate.

But Sally was never going to let a little thing like a coma get in the way of her happily ever after …

myBook.to/PleaseReleaseMe