Summer has arrived in Yorkshire and I’m excited to share my review for a summery read, The Summer Island Festival by Rachel Burton. I have read a few books by this author and was attracted by the promise of
Book review: The Summer Island Festival by Rachel Burton
Title: The Summer Island Festival
Author: Rachel Burton
Release date: 4th March 2021
When Willow walks out on her own wedding, there’s only one place she can go…
Growing up in the island village of Seaview, Willow always dreamed of a bigger life. Then her childhood sweetheart Luc betrayed her and she ran, resolving never to look back. Now, twelve years on, her glamorous London life is a mess and the island is her only option.
But she’s not the only one back for the summer. Luc is now a world-famous heartthrob musician, and he’s finally come home to headline the Isle of Wight’s annual music festival.
As Willow untangles her messy past, she stumbles on a secret that could destroy her family, the island’s fragile community – and her second chance at love…
There is nothing like a runaway bride to draw me into a story because it leads to many questions which I need to know the answer to. Once I connected to Willow, I was hooked. I needed to know her story. It was the same with Luc and Cathy. There were many secrets and threads in this summery nostalgic read which kept me turning the page.
The characters all have intriguing backstories to explain their actions but it was Cathy’s past which captivated me most and it was cleverly blended in with Willow’s and Luc’s present. This novel may appear to be a light, romantic read but it has a deeper thread of how people change themselves to fit in, the effects of childhood on adult decisions and mental health issues.
The Isle of Wight seaside location was perfect, as was Cathy’s mandolin workshop. My father-in-law is a luthier and has made mandolins. Rachel Burton captured the unique smell of the workshop with its varnish, stains and woodchips and the magic of this instrument. I was there, and it made me homesick. It was a complete contrast to the darker side of the music industry described in Cathy’s story.
Would I recommend?
Yes, it has all the elements you need for a summer read whether you’re on a sun lounger on a sunny day or curled up watching the rain on a soggy one. It’s pure escapism with the seaside location, the characters to love bundled up with folk music and secrets. I can’t wait to read more from this author.
Rachel Burton has been making up stories for as long as she can remember and always dreamed of being a writer until life somehow got in the way. After reading for a degree in Classics and another in English Literature she accidentally fell into a career in law, but eventually managed to write her first book on her lunch breaks.
She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and their three cats. She loves yoga, ice hockey, tea, The Beatles, dresses with pockets and very tall romantic heroes.
Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @RachelBWriter or follow her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….
Today I’m excited to share my review for the first in a new series by Victoria Connelly, The House in the Clouds. I first became aware of this author during a blog tour last year, for the delicious The Book Loversseries and I fell in love with her world building. This title and blurb offered a beautiful and whimsical read. Scroll down to see if this novel matches my high expectations.
Book Review: The House in the Clouds by Victoria Connelly
Title: The House in the Clouds
Author: Victoria Connelly
Publisher: Cuthland Press
Genre: Women’s fiction
Release date: 8th June 2021
Artist Abigail Carey has always dreamed of a life in the country and, when Winfield Hall comes up at auction, she’s desperate to make the place her home. The only trouble is that businessman, Edward Townsend, has exactly the same idea.
With its position high on the Sussex Downs, Winfield is a stunning house, but it hasn’t been a home for a long time and there’s a lot of work to do to restore it to its former glory. It’s going to take a lot of time and money, so Edward and Abi decide to take a risk and share the house, each living in their own wing.
But can these two strangers agree on a vision that suits them both? And will free-spirited Abi ever get the rather reserved Edward to reveal the secret he’s been hiding for so long?
The House in the Clouds is the first novel in a brand new trilogy from the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and The Book Lovers series.
What a lovely welcome to Winfield House; it was a beautiful pleasure to read and a strong start to this new series. Victoria Connelly has a talent for painting locations, characters and scenes with her words and brings them to life as showcased in this novel. She uses all the senses in her descriptions, making reading her work a very holistic experience. I could taste the food, breathe in the refreshing air of the Sussex Downs and visualise the stunning house through Abigail’s eyes, making me fall in love with it, too. As an artist and designer akin to Emma Bridgewater, Abigail’s point of view is amass of texture, light and hue. Her bohemian relaxed nature is a contrast to Edward’s view of the world where his emotions are held close, but when snippets of his true nature slip through, the chemistry between the two main characters is a joy to read.
The plot is emotional, heart-warming, and it deals with mental health issues sensitively. I wasn’t sure how sharing a house with strangers would work but it does and Winfield Hall provides a stunning location that grows in the imagination. The walled garden is somewhere I would love to own myself. I kept reading to discover the reasons behind both the character’s actions and the revealing of secrets but also for the enjoyment of the prose, setting and company. I was disappointed to reach the end because I needed to know more. With several threads left open and the introduction of side characters who I need to get to know better such as Abigail’s sister, Ellen, I can’t wait to read the next in the series.
Would I recommend?
Yes! It’s beautiful and is a wonderful escape from the hassles of life. Like the The Book Lovers series, this novel will be on my forever shelf so I can return to Winfield Hall again for companionship and contentment. It’s perfect for a sunny day lying in the garden or cuddled up under the duvet when the seasons change.
Victoria Connelly lives in a 500-year old thatched cottage in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, The Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in Germany. Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.
Is prophecy real; can Arridia and Joss defeat a god?
Evil never sleeps, and neither can the fire spirits who have guarded Kesta and her family so faithfully for more than fourteen years. United in a desire for peace, the four lands beneath the sky have enjoyed relative stability, but under the surface stirs unrest. Greed, ambition, disquiet, rebellion; and the ever-present threat of Geladan’s crazed god discovering she has been fooled.
Quiet Arridia is a Raven Scout, dedicated to the principles and hopes of her parents. When an opportunity presents itself to come home, she grasps it, longing to settle and find the love she has patiently waited for.
Fun-loving Joss is drawn to the court of Elden with all its colour, noise, and intrigue; but has he taken on more than a young man can survive?
Raven Fire is the final part of the breath-taking Fire-Walker saga.
If you could, would you dare to change the world?
Book Extract: Raven Fire by Emma Miles
This extract is taken from chapter four, where we follow young Joss – son of Fire-Walker’s protagonist, Kesta – as he navigates the dangerous court of the King of Elden. With him is his faithful adopted brother and bodyguard, Alikan.
Joss swallowed back his ale and smoothed down the front of his dark-blue jacket. His training kicked in as he surveyed the room before stepping further in. King Bractius sat at the high table, laughing loudly with the Jarl of Southport. Bractius was drinking from a large, ornate tankard carved from the bone of an enormous animal and traced in gold. Joss startled, his eyes narrowing. Had the king forgotten it had been a long-ago gift from the murderous delegation from Geladan? Bractius’s astute brown eyes travelled around the hall even as he joked with his subordinate. He’d allowed his sandy beard to grow long, plaited and held by silver beads. Queen Ayline was standing apart, Eleanor at her side. The young princess was wearing an elegant gown that hugged her slender figure, and Joss raised an eyebrow.
Alikan nudged his arm hard, and Joss only just avoided splashing ale over his expensive clothes.
‘Keep your eyes in your head.’ Alikan scowled.
Joss grinned. The king’s hall was an array of very tempting young woman, but Elden wasn’t the Fulmers, as his parents were fond of reminding him. There was a sudden buzz in the conversation, and many turned toward the main doors. A man strode in with a retinue of Borrowmen warriors on his heels. Bard of the Borrows and captain of the Undine, Temerran’s striking red hair seemed untouched by grey despite the years he’d accumulated. His green eyes sparkled with mischief as he bowed to both men and women on his way to present himself to the king. Temerran’s first mate, Nolv, was a more sombre figure, in practical loose clothing of salt-splashed grey.
‘Your majesties.’ Temerran gave a low and flamboyant bow. The man never forgot to include the queen, and despite her dislike of the Borrowman, Ayline flushed and smiled.
‘Temerran.’ The king gave the Bard the courtesy of standing but didn’t move to greet him. ‘How good of you to come.’
‘It honoured me to be invited,’ Temerran replied.
Movement caught Joss’s eye, and he turned to see his parents slipping in quietly through a side door. As ever, his father wore perfectly tailored black, but his mother had chosen a bright red, and unlike the women of Elden she allowed her long dark hair to fall loosely around her shoulders. Despite their discreet entrance, they stood out like hawks in a flock of doves.
Doroquael gave a sudden squeal and flew out of the torch in which he’d been hiding. Joss’s hand twitched, readying to draw power, before he realised the fire-spirit was excited, not alarmed. Alikan took a step forward, putting himself between Joss and the room.
‘It’s okay, Ali.’ Joss’s heart beat just a little faster as he squeezed through the crowd, hurrying toward the main doors through which Doroquael had vanished.
One of the king’s stewards loudly announced, ‘The Icante of the Fulmers.’
The Icante stepped in, wearing a pale cream dress with a sky-blue cloak wrapped around her shoulders. Unlike her daughter, the ruler of the Fulmer Islands had her steel-grey hair coiled artfully about her head. The warrior Gilfy flanked her, along with the Fire-Walker, Eidwyn. Her new apprentice, Vivess, and the formidable scout, Heara, followed behind. Despite being in her sixties, Heara moved with energy, her bare arms still tight with muscle. As far as he could see, Heara was the only one who’d dared bring weapons into the king’s hall; her two long knives tucked into her belt.
Joss appraised his grandmother’s new apprentice before moving forward again to meet them. Vivess had lighter hair than most of those in the Fulmers, a dark chestnut, almost red where it caught the light. She was about Joss’s age and had one grey eye, one green.
‘Joss.’ Dia’s serious expression melted into a joyful smile and she halted to hug him. ‘Are you well?’
‘I am.’ Joss waved a hand at Doroquael. ‘Calm down!’
The fire-spirit ceased his noisy buzzing and made himself small, coming back to Joss’s shoulder.
‘Did Grandpa not come?’
Dia’s smile faded, and anxiety squeezed Joss’s heart. ‘Your grandfather was a little unwell. Joss, I’ll catch up with you as soon as I can, but it would be rude of me not to go straight to the king.’
‘Oh, of course.’ Joss’s face warmed, and he glanced around, realising many eyes were directed his way. ‘I’ll find you in a moment.’
Dia Icante smiled, then turned to continue to the high table. Heara gave Joss a huge grin and a thump on the arm as she passed. Alikan ducked in time to miss the scout’s hand as she tried to clip him around the head.
Despite his laughter, Joss felt uneasy. His grandmother had seemed worried.
I often get asked when I knew I was a writer; the answer is always. A writer is what I am, it’s in my soul. There have been times in my life when I couldn’t write, and times when my writing has been the only thing that kept me going. I think I always longed for something deeper from life, something more meaningful, and I found it in my imagination and in the music of words. It was poetry which first caught my attention, and whilst my younger cousins called for ghost stories it was animals I first wrote of. I think I gravitated toward fantasy because of the freedom it gives, I could create my own worlds and decide my own rules. My Wind’s Children trilogy was born from an image that came to me whilst daydreaming, of a young man sitting alone below a bridge. I didn’t know who he was; it turns out neither did he, but we found out together. I’m now working on my eleventh book and love writing more than ever, it’s an addiction, an obsession, but one I now share with my wonderful writing family. My beta readers, my editor, and you, my readers, having you with me on my journey means the world to me. I write as much as I can around work, but I also try to squeeze in a ridiculous amount of hobbies! I’m a wildlife photographer and do a little archery. I paint, sculpt with clay, withies and driftwood, preferring to be outdoors if I can. I still have a love for the theatre, having started out in life studying backstage crafts, and a great love for language. I speak a little French, Romanian and Italian, ma non molto bene!
Thanks for reading this. If you read any of my books and love them, please come say hello and tell me, you’d be surprised at how much that means to an author. Take care of yourself. Em x
I’m so excited to be involved in a cover reveal for The Secret Notebook by Julia Wilde.
So first here is the blurb to tempt you.
When Izzie Dean’s beloved nan, Molly Blackshaw, passes away, Izzie returns to the Blackpool bungalow where she grew up, to say goodbye once and for all. When Izzie’s homecoming reunites her with her first love, Justin Swift, every emotion that Izzie has repressed since the day he broke her heart comes rushing to the surface. But then an unexpected discovery changes everything.
Between the pages of the battered secret diary Molly kept during WWII, Izzie discovers a story of love, heartbreak, and the incomparable hardship of life in a world at war. Reading her grandmother’s words soon puts her own story into perspective, and suddenly Izzie realises that the only thing holding her back from happiness, might be herself. Now she just has to convince Justin that they deserve a second chance at forever…
So are you ready? Here is the cover for The Secret Notebook by Julia Wild.
It looks beautiful, intriguing and I’m adding it to my TBR list.
Lancashire born, I moved to Bedfordshire in the late seventies, married and started a family. I’m a past Hon Sec of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, have been a member since 1993 when I joined their New Writers’ Scheme as a probationer. That came about after winning a week’s historical writing course on the strength of the first chapter of my third Poldark-era romance. The tutor on the last day loved the story and handed me details of the Romantic Novelists’ Association – she said I absolutely must join as they would be able to help me towards publication.
Some four years later my first published book, Dark Canvas, won the RNA’s New Writer’s Award in 1997, the sixth, Illusions, won the RNA’s Romance Prize in 2003.
After working in the local library service for 18 years, during library cut-backs I took the leap to become self-employed as a writer and worked on releasing my backlist as eBooks for Kindle.
Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing Charlotte Ledger when she pulled me from the writing wilderness and have now signed a three-book deal with One More Chapter.
The weather in Yorkshire has been glorious the last few days, giving it a holiday feel on the run up to this Easter weekend. The sunny days suited a summer read so I’m pleased to share my review for Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point by Sarah Bennett. This is the first novel I have read from this author but it won’t be the last. Scroll down to see why.
Book Review: Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point by Sarah Bennett
Title: Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point
Author: Sarah Bennett
Publisher: Boldwood books
Release date: 25th March 2021
‘Delightfully romantic and touching.’ Phillipa Ashley
Laurie Morgan runs a café in the small seaside community of Mermaids Point, named after the beauties rumoured to live in the waters a few miles off the top of the point. When a hazy image is posted online of what appears to be a mermaid, the café and the village are soon full to bursting with curious sightseers.
The most eye-catching of the new arrivals is handsome author, Jake Smith, who has rented a cottage for the summer while he works on his new book. Or so he says. In fact, he is a journalist, burned out and disillusioned with life, whose editor has sent him on a crack-pot hunt for mermaids…
Jake quickly finds himself drawn to village life, and to the gorgeous woman who runs the local café. But he soon suspects there’s trouble lurking beneath the idyllic façade, and when it looks like Laurie’s family might be involved, Jake faces a difficult choice. Pursue the truth, or protect the woman he’s beginning to fall in love with…
Warm, escapist, feel-good and altogether brilliant story-telling from bestselling author Sarah Bennett. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley and Milly Johnson.
This is a beautifully written romantic novel that takes you to Mermaids Point, a small coastal town that is suffering from the lack of tourists visiting. It is a stunning location. The detailed descriptions capture the atmosphere of the town perfectly and drew me into the story. I fell in love with the setting and all the characters especially Laurie and her family. Jake was rather swoonsome too. The mention of cake and other tantalising food made my tastebuds zing, and I felt homesick for the family Sunday dinners from my childhood.
With a relative simple plot about an investigative reporter searching for mermaid, it shows you don’t need complex story to give you hours of pleasure and pure escapism, just wonderful imagery, well written prose and delightful characters blended with romantic chemistry.
Would I recommend?
Yes. It is an uplifting, and emotional novel which is full of warmth. It was like going on holiday while curled up under the duvet. I didn’t want to leave Mermaid Point behind and am happy to see another is on the way in October.
Sarah Bennett is the bestselling author of several romantic fiction trilogies including those set in Butterfly Cove and Lavender Bay. Born and raised in a military family she is happily married to her own Officer and when not reading or writing enjoys sailing the high seas. The first book in her new Mermaids Point trilogy for Boldwood will be published in Spring 2021.
I’m pleased to share my review for Miniskirts are Murder by Des Burkinshaw. This is the second investigation with Porter and The Gliss who I discovered during the Dead and Talking blog tour a couple of years ago. It is an investigative series with a difference so I was thrilled to be asked to catch up with the characters again by Rachel’s Random Resources.
Title: Miniskirts are Murder: A Porter & The Gliss investigation: Book 2
Author: Des Burkinshaw
Genre: General fiction, paranormal
Release date: 14th March 2021
Porter Norton, his friends and his sarcastic spirit guide, The Gliss, are on the trail of a young actress who went missing in Soho, London, in the Swinging Sixties. Still recovering from their last adventure in the battlefields of WW1, the gang are confronted by a transatlantic conspiracy.
I fell in love with the Porter, The Gliss and others in Dead and Talking so it was a joy to catch up with them again. This book had a different feel to the previous one as it leapt from bringing justice for soldiers from the First World War to digging into a missing person’s case from the 1960s. The Gliss took a back seat as the talents of the other four characters stepped forward to solve the case and I missed him. He is there with his sarcastic humour but there is less supernatural this time for him to get his teeth into (if he had any). That said, this case allowed the friendships between the members of the unlikely team to grow and the reader to discover more about them. Each one has their own issues to contend with and by coincidence, these themes fit with the recent events trying to make streets safer for women, the #MeToo and the Black Lives Matter protests. The people who the team meet highlight the racism and misogyny rampant in the 60s and how it is still seen today.
There is humour throughout the narrative and banter between the character’s which breaks up the complex storyline that twists and turns. This global investigation deals with the era of spies, the Cold War, gangsters and the film industry, so there are many threads to keep the reader guessing.
This novel could be read as a standalone because there is a comprehensive recap at the beginning, but I would recommend you read the first one for the joy of it.
Would I recommend?
It is a highly enjoyable, topical read from a talented author with memorable characters. Like Dead and Talking, I can imagine it would translate well to the screen.
Des, 52, is a former Times journalist/BBC TV producer. Miniskirts are Murder is the second in the Porter and The Gliss Investigations series, following Dead & Talking in 2019. Des likes to live out as much of the stories as possible and spent 3 months in the US researching this novel. He runs a film school in London and has just been commissioned to write a limited season TV series intended for Netflix. He is also a keen musician and through work has jammed with people like Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson and Jeff Lynne. He is married with 1 daughter.
I’m happy to share my review for All You Need is Love by Jessica Redland which combines my favourite things bears and the sea. Scroll down to see what I thought of this romantic novel set in an unique place a shop specialising in bears.
Book Review: All You Need is Love by Jessica Redland
Title: All You Need is Love previously published as Bear with Me
When you’ve loved and lost, how do you find the strength to let love in again?
Jemma thinks she’s found the love of her life. Scott is everything she ever dreamed of and she can’t wait to begin the next stage of their life together. But just as she is heading for her happy ever after, a shock revelation shatters Jemma’s life as she knows it. Left to pick up the pieces, Jemma’s friends and family rally round to help her find the courage to move on.
Sam think he has his future all worked out. A thriving career, lovely home and an amazing fiancée. But when tragedy strikes, he finds himself alone, far from everyone he cares about. Did he do the right thing by running away and trying to rebuild the tatters of his life alone?
This is the story of Jemma and Sam. Two lost souls, desperately trying to find closure and happiness. When a chance meeting brings them together a friendship is formed, but the guards are up.
Will it finally be their turn for a happy ever after? Or will the secrets from their pasts prevent them from moving on?
Escape to Whitsborough Bay for an emotional, uplifting story of love and friendship from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.
This book was previously published as Bear With Me.
As you know I have read and reviewed several books by Jessica Redland but this is my favourite one yet. Not only does it have Jessica Redland’s classic warmth and depth, it has bears. Lots of bears and as a fellow actophile I enjoyed Jemma’s enthusiasm for them and longed to spend time with the hugs in the museum and shop. Besides books, they are one of my favourite things. Before dystonia hit, I used to make miniature bears and began selling them with dreams of becoming a famous bear maker like Julie, so this story was always going to have an extra special place in my heart. The Bear Pad is the ideal setting for a love story.
This novel deals with heart-breaking subjects of death, relationship breakups and the life-changing illness, Parkinson’s disease in a sensitive manner. As a spoonie, it was refreshing to read about chronic illness in a way that is part of the grander plot and seen as part of life rather than inspiration porn. The more we see disability in books like these, the better because it raises awareness and normalises things. It also helps readers see the character’s daily challenges behind the ‘I’m fine’ facade many spoonie present to the world.
Jemma is someone I could spend hours talking to about bears and life. She is honest, friendly and well-rounded. Like all Jessica Redland’s books, I slipped into a friendship group where I felt I belonged. There was chemistry and warmth between Sam and Jemma who both want a relationship, but the obstacles mean the risk is high.
Would I recommend?
Definitely. It is one for my forever shelf, and when I get a physical copy, it will be well thumbed with rereads. This emotional romance deals with grief and heartbreak surrounded by bears and is a joy to read. It provided a wonderful relief from lockdown’s loneliness, is highly visual with plenty going on to keep you turning the page. It would make a great film. So, grab your favourite bear to cuddle, a cup of tea and escape to the coast. Just keep your tissues handy.
Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough, she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.
It’s a new week and I’m happy to be part of a one day blitz tour for A Prescription for Madness by Linda Fawke.
A Prescription for Madness by Linda Fawke
Title: A Prescription for Madness
Author: Linda Fawke
Genre: Book club fiction
Release date: 9th September 2018
When successful business-owner Kate Shaw realises she is pregnant, after a fling with a previous lover, she has life-changing decisions to make. She needs to be in control of her life. Pregnancy in her fifties was never part of the plan. It becomes her secret. The risks of having a baby at her age are clear but she struggles with the idea of an abortion. No-one understands her increasingly erratic behaviour as the preoccupation takes over her life. Her marriage is precarious; the relationship with her former lover uncertain. Is this the way to madness?
This is a gripping story about dark choices, gnawing discontent and the uncertainties of love.
Linda Fawke is an arts person who studied science but always wanted to write. Now retired, she indulges this passion, writing fiction and non-fiction, even occasional poetry, preferably late at night. She has now written two novels, ‘A Taste of his own Medicine’ and its sequel, ‘A Prescription for Madness’ using her background in pharmacy as the setting of both. These are easy books to read, suitable for Book Club discussions. ‘ A Prescription for Madness’ is more serious than the first book, dealing with such issues as pregnancy in later life and Down’s Syndrome.
She has been a winner of the Daily Telegraph ‘Just Back’ travel-writing competition and has published in various magazines including ‘Mslexia’, ‘Litro’ online, ‘Scribble’, ‘The Oldie’, ‘Berkshire Life’ and ‘Living France’. She was a finalist in the ‘Hysteria’ short story competition.
Last year, I reviewed Mariëlle S. Smith gratitude journal here so was thrilled to be asked by Rachel’s Random Resources to review her latest journal, 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner, Vol. II
Book Review: 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner, Vol. II by Mariëlle S. Smith
Title: 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner, Vol. II
Author: Mariëlle S. Smith
Genre: Writing Self-help
Release date: 21st Nov 2021
‘With this book by your side, anything feels possible.’ Jacqueline Brown
Tired of not having a sustainable writing practice? You, too, can get out of your own way and become the writer you’re meant to be!
52 Weeks of Writing:
makes you plan, track, reflect on, and improve your progress and goals for an entire year;
helps you unravel the truth about why you aren’t where you want to be; and
keeps you writing through weekly thought-provoking quotes and prompts.
With this second volume of the 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner, writing coach and writer Mariëlle S. Smith brings you the same successful strategies to craft the perfect writing practice as she did in the first journal. The only difference? Fifty-three different writing quotes and prompts and a brand-new look!
A printable PDF is available through: https://payhip.com/b/0YgJ Get 50% off until 31 March 2021 by using the coupon code 52WOW during checkout.
I’m in love with this journal and even though I’m only a few of weeks in, as long as I can keep reminding my grasshopper brain to keep filling it in, I know it will help keep me focused on my long-term goals of being a writer and encouraged to keep going. It will also help me explore and dig deeper into my writing and the reasons for doing it.
The journal’s objectives are clearly explained in the introduction and Mariëlle S. Smith is encouraging and friendly, making it feel you have someone on your side. I was excited to begin. I have the pdf version which can be printed out, but a physical copy is also available. The layout of the journal is clear and being purple, which is my favourite colour, it felt personal even before my stickers and coloured pens came out to personalise it some more.
As the title suggests, it covers 52 weeks and each week begins with a writing quote to motivate you and ends with optional writing prompts and exercises. Recently, I was introduced to general journaling and was amazed at how liberating and revealing it was to free write on topics. This is a superb extension of that. Some prompts will push my boundaries, not only in respects to my writing but my emotions around it. For example, the second week deals with fear. Fear is a large part of why I procrastinate, but exploring this helped put it in perspective, silence my inner critic and move forward even if I will need to be reminded about it again and again.
In the first week long-term goals for ten years, five, down to 3 months are set. This made me focus on where I wanted to be and gave me a boost to get cracking. The journal checks in on these goals every three months for you to reflect on and see if you are on track or need to adapt. The empathise is that these goals are fluid, which helps relieve some pressure I know as a writer I can put on myself which can end up being of being counterproductive. One failure at hitting a goal can snowball into nothing getting done because of guilt and emotion. The aim of this journal is to keep things realistic.
Would I recommend?
Yes, if you want something to keep your goals, thoughts and plans in place while being urged to explore your writing more. It would suit writers who love journaling. It provides a helping hand to keep things grounded and prevents you being overwhelmed.
Mariëlle S. Smith is a coach for writers and other creatives, an editor, and a writer. Early 2019, she moved to Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, where she organises private writer’s retreats, is inspired 24/7, and feeds more stray cats than she can count.
It’s Valentine’s Day, the day to celebrate love and their is a new romance book to enjoy with the release of Photographed in the Writer’s Room by Michelle L.E Price.
Title: Photographed in the Writer’s Room
Author: Michelle L.E Price
Release day: 14th February 2021
Former TV star Brandi Tyler’s big screen debut crashed and burned amid rumors of an affair with her married co-star… Now, she wants nothing more than to quietly slink away from Hollywood. When she’s offered an opportunity to get out of town and work on a project involving the photographer that launched her career, it seems like the perfect escape! Unfortunately for Brandi, her famous face makes hiding out even a huge city like Houston a little tricky.
When the celebrated photographer’s son offers to let her use his home for privacy, it seems like everything is falling into place. Little does she know that Michael Ames a gorgeous best selling author, and he comes with the package! As Brandi makes her way through old photographs and new scandals, Michael struggles with his next project, and they both fight the growing attraction between them.
Maybe a posse of new girlfriends, some Texas-sized boozy brunches, and a little private time in the writer’s room will help this leading lady find her path back onscreen. And, if she can just picture it, maybe this time she’ll even find love?
Born in Montreal but raised in New England, author Michelle L. E. Price has been writing as long as anyone can remember. An avid reader who was on the verge of losing her mind as a mom to two small children, Michelle began writing her first book, Hidden in the Writer’s Room, as an escape… at least her characters would do exactly what she told them to do and she could always count on a happily ever after ending. She also enjoys wine, re-watching 90’s sitcoms and occasionally running, but heavily relies on writing to stay sane. Michelle is a firm believer that laughter and love are the best parts of life.