Tuesday, 16 July 2019

#TeaserTuesday


Lock knows there's a file missing, but she can't work out how, or why, or who. Something is amiss.


BUY NOW: http://www.books2read.com/LOUT


[ID: A graphic of a burnt out light bulb with the title of Lights Out and just below the words: Out Now in paperback and ebook. The excerpt reads:

I knew that he wouldn’t be able to just tell me to me to let it go. If it wasn’t down at the wire, we might have been able to leave it for the day, but with the notices due to go out in four hours, we couldn’t risk someone not getting their due process.
“Are you sure it wasn’t a mistake?” he asked, checking each file as he went down the list.
“You tell me, you said fifteen, which is why you wanted Lana to double up with me,” I said. “I could’ve sworn there were fifteen names yesterday when I left for work and now after the server crash…”


END ID]

Monday, 15 July 2019

5 Facts About My Current WIP: I'll See You Thru


5 FACTS ABOUT MY CURRENT WIP: I'LL SEE YOU THRU

Last week I talked about my other WIP (piece found here) and this week I promised to delve deep into I'll See You Thru, so without further ado, here we go!

I'll See You Thru is a young adult paranormal romance. It tells the story of seventeen year old, Ayla who wakes up one morning to find herself completely translucent. She can't touch or grip things easily and with her first year of A-level exams coming up in a couple of weeks, she's desperate to find the cause and undo it somehow. Unable to confide in her friends, she keeps it mostly to herself. Until she spots a girl she's seen around school, but never really gotten to know. Freya. And the thing that catches Ayla's eyes is that Freya is translucent too.

This book is definitely a standalone and I am loving getting to explore a new world and new characters along the way, so I know you're desperate to know, but here's five facts about I'll See You Thru!

#1 AYLA STRUGGLES TO BALANCE THINGS WITH HER FRIENDS

When she wakes up and realises her life has changed completely, the first thing on her mind is what to tell her parents. It's only when she realises they can't see her translucent state that she starts to calm down a little. She barely gets a chance to think about what it means before she's at school, acting a little spaced out. Her friends, Jin and Dani, obviously notice and want to know what's wrong. Ayla tells them the first lie she can think of, but it soon becomes clear that they don't believe her. She doesn't really know what to do about that and finds herself telling more lies which come back to bite her in the arse. She finds herself distanced from her friends and unsure how to deal with that.

#2 FREYA ISN'T ALL SHE SEEMS

While Ayla has noticed Freya over the years at school, she never really spent time getting to know her. Because of that it takes her a while to break through the protective barriers Freya has. Having been used to being a loner, Freya isn't unfriendly, she's just not sure what she can do to help Ayla beyond telling her what she knows and hoping Ayla won't judge her for it. Along the way, Ayla learns a lot about Freya and finds herself falling in love with her, but she's not sure if Freya has been completely open with her.

#3 NAVIGATING THE PARANORMAL WORLD ISN'T EASY

Ayla never really believed there was a paranormal world before all this dropped in her lap. It's especially hard to process when everything else going on around her continues as normal. She knows what happened to her is real, but even with Freya's help she feels like she's completely out of her depth. Going against people she has no idea about and struggling to save herself, but also not lose Freya in the process.

#4 THE EXAMS ARE FAST APPROACHING

Ayla has never been someone who did well with pressure. Especially when it came in the guise of an exam. She struggled through her GCSEs but now with AS exams, she can't help but feel like she's going to explode from it all. She can't ignore her translucent state and she's not going to abandon Freya when she needs her most, but there feels like there's no end in sight and it's all getting worse with every day that passes. On top of that, her parents are starting to notice just how little studying she does. She's trying to juggle her normal life with the abnormal changes and something has to give.

#5 THERE'S ONLY ONE SOLUTION AYLA WILL USE
Out of everything going on, there's only one solution that Ayla will accept. She wants her life back, but she doesn't want to sell Freya out to get that. She's sure of a lot of things, and that is one of them. The only ending she will be happy with is one that sees them both changed back, the curse lifted and the chance to explore their romance as regular people. Of course the easiest answer is the wrong one, and Ayla will fight tooth and nail for the one she sees as right.

So there we have it, five facts about my other current WIP. Like I said above, I'm loving getting to explore this new world and I'm hopeful that it will all go well. What are five facts about your current WIP? Share them in the comments below!


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Friday, 12 July 2019

Guest Blog - Sandra Robinson



Recently I paid a visit to Claire House on the Wirral.


Claire House Children’s Hospice helps seriously and terminally ill children live life to the full by creating wonderful experiences and bringing back a sense of normality to family life.



This is done by providing specialist nursing care and emotional support they help families smile again when life couldn’t get any tougher.


This is their very welcoming entrance to the hospice.







Claire House has a team of trained professionals who are as passionate about what they do as they are talented at doing it. Their staff includes nurses, physiotherapists, play specialists, counsellors and they also have four dedicated doctors who visit the hospice.












Creating magical memories


But Claire House is about far more than just care. It is a place for children to relax and enjoy themselves, whatever their age. They can have fun in the multi-sensory room, art room, hydrotherapy pool and jacuzzi. There is a separate wing complete with bar, sound system and Xbox for teenagers and young adults.











Whilst their children are having fun, mums and dads get the chance to enjoy some much-needed time off together or the opportunity to spend time with their other children.



Care when and where you need it


Not all families want to come to the hospice, so their team goes out to visit them in their homes and they put on regular trips for brothers and sisters to ensure they don’t miss out on having fun.


Claire House is also there for parents during the toughest of times. Whether they are spent at home or in the hospice, they ensure a child’s final days are memorable and special. They don’t just help with the practical issues of registering a child’s death and arranging their funeral – they provide dedicated round-the-clock support and specialist counselling.


As one family put it: “The best thing about Claire House is knowing that they are always there. From the minute you meet them for as long as you need them.”


Now I have had quite a bit of experience with children's hospices as before I became an author and an event organiser I worked as a children's nurse and Health Visitor. The children that I cared for often visited the local hospice and were always very excited to do so. They would proudly tell me they were off to the hospice for the weekend and that they would be having fun. This generally could include getting their hair done, nails painted and listening to music with their peers.






This is because they enjoyed their visits there. A hospice is for life and for living. making every moment count and making memories. Memories for parents, grandparents, siblings and friends.


The care that children and families receive via either the outreach services or services at the various sites is second to none.



Let me tell you a little more

I spent an entire day visiting the Wirral and was impressed by all that I saw. Everyone wore great big smiley faces. From the staff and families to the children that I met. To be a health professional in these circumstance requires a certain kind of person. The very best kind of person.










When Claire House Children's Hospice opened in December 1998, they were only looking after ten families. Now they support over four hundred! Yet, from research, they are aware, that for every child they reach in their catchment area there is one they do not. Therefore they need help, and funding is the way for us to help them reach more





The history of Claire House

When Claire House Children's Hospice opened in December 1998, as I already said, they were only looking after ten families. Now they support over four hundred!











As the team has grown, they have increased their fundraising activities so that they can look after more children and they now have twenty-five shops throughout Wirral, Merseyside, North Wales and Chester.




Claire's Story




The story of Claire House Children’s Hospice is the story of one special little girl named Claire.


Claire Louise Cain was five years old when she moved with mum Christine, dad Bobby and big sister Tracey from Liverpool to the Wirral in 1985. Life was normal; Claire and Tracey, seven, both settled into their new schools and enjoyed going to Brownies together and in October there was another addition to the family when Jennifer was born.


Two years later, with Christine expecting the Cains’ fourth child, Claire suddenly became seriously ill and was diagnosed as having a malignant tumour behind her nose and eye.


The family’s routine now included regular hospital visits, with Claire refusing to complain despite undergoing months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.




A very brave girl

Even when she lost the sight in one eye, her hair and most of her teeth, Claire kept on smiling and laughing and was happy and positive throughout. When Kevin was born in February 1988 Claire was a very proud big sister, enjoying pushing him in his pram and taking her new baby brother to the hospital to show him off to her friends.


Two months later, at Easter, scans showed that Claire’s tumour had grown and despite undergoing a new type of chemotherapy, Claire died in hospital in July 1989, just a couple of weeks before her 10th birthday, with her mum and dad at her side.


Claire’s final hours led directly to the hospice we know today. With Claire in hospital, the whole family could not be together, as they would have wished; taking Claire home would have meant sacrificing the support they received at the hospital.





The start of a big idea

The determination of the Cain’s, and other local families such as Ann and Stephen Robarts and Olwen and Ron Jones, that families of children with serious or terminal illnesses would not face the same impossible decisions led them to set up the first Claire House committee. Their aim was to raise funds to build a much-needed children’s hospice for the Wirral.


Bobby and Tracey started the fundraising with a car boot sale which raised £96, the family topping it up to £100 and opening the first Claire House bank account.

In the years that followed, Claire’s family and friends organised and took part in fundraising events and dealt with many individuals and groups in the local community from the Brownies to large businesses.


The family’s house was filled with merchandise, raffle prizes and anything else that could be used to raise money, and the fundraising team grew to include one paid fundraiser and a clerical worker, who was supported by an expanding team of volunteers inspired by Claire’s story.



A lasting legacy

Ten years after Claire’s diagnosis, and after many years of planning, committee meetings, fundraising events and location hunting, Claire House opened its doors in December 1998, complete with a bronze plaque designed by Tracey, Jennifer and Kevin.


It is a combination of some of the things that made Claire happy and played a part in her life; music, funny hats, the Mersey Ferry (the last record she bought was Ferry Cross the Mersey), a bucket and spade, Mickey Mouse and much more.


A lasting reminder of Claire, it takes pride of place in the entrance at Claire House and reads “made with love for our sister Claire by Tracey, Jennifer and Kevin”.


The last word, though, must go to Christine and Bobby. They say: “This special place gives families a choice, the choice that we never had when our daughter was ill.


“Claire would be very proud to know that her name and her family have spearheaded the campaign that raised the funds to build the first children’s hospice in our area. She was an inspiration to all of us who had the honour of knowing her.”



Back to happenings for Claire House today

After touring the original hospice on the Wirral I travelled across to the newest addition close to Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool with one of the fundraising team, Cora. 


The location the newest acquisition for the charity is brilliant as it is only a ten-minute walk from Alder Hey itself. An ideal location. It is also a very beautiful old building set in amazing grounds. 










The setting is a former monastery in Liverpool as you can see from the above video and the photos it will prove to be a great asset. See more video footage from the Liverpool Echo here.
















Claire House signed an exclusivity agreement with the
Carmelite Order of Nuns – a silent order – who wanted to leave their monastery
to a good cause.




Tucked away
down a side road that actually runs underneath part of the nearby Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School. It opened in 1905 and
was at one time home to up to 100 nuns. The final six nuns moved out four years
ago. It is still full of fascinating artefacts from its long and secret
history, including many religious signs and an ancient printing press which the
nuns used to print their hymn sheets.

As Claire House fundraiser Dan Halliday said: “Liverpool is like nowhere else because its people take ownership of things – and this place will belong to them. We want Liverpool people and Liverpool businesses to be a part of what we are doing here now and where we are heading.”






















Also hard at work at the new site is Bruce Dodd, head of estates and facilities.


From the majestic rooms and the fabulous artwork, there is no doubt in my mind about the need to support this amazing charity.


We are hoping to have some representatives of the charity with us at our Liverpool signing with merchandise for everyone to buy, in order to further support them.











Join the Facebook group to learn more or show your support by buying tickets for the event on the link on this blog. 




To learn more about Claire house this is their website



Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Happy Release Day - Lights Out!


HAPPY RELEASE DAY!!

 Join Lock on her fight for what's right in a world where aging stops at 25 and all live ends at 60! 

Pick up Lights Out today!


CREDIT FOR GIF: http://www.gifgrrl.com

You can now grab a copy of Lights Out in paperback and eformat!

 



 

Monday, 8 July 2019

5 Facts About My Current WIP: Opaque


5 FACTS ABOUT MY CURRENT WIP: OPAQUE

I thought I'd start by giving you a brief synopsis of the series since this is the fourth and final book in this series and it wouldn't make any sense to new readers if they don't know what's going on. So here we go!

Opaque is the final book in the invisible series. The series is a dystopian/sci-fi genre. It follows Zya and Jonah who both live in the far distant future. England is split up into nine self-governing segments. Zya lives in S-W and Jonah in N-W. Jonah and Zya are still in school and getting ready to sit the Exit Exam. Zya has been disabled for the majority of her life, and because of this is at risk of failing the exam and being sent to Further Training. A place a lot of people with disabilities go, but no one really knows what it entails.

In the beginning of the first book, there are air raids over S-W and N-W. The only two segments attacked and along with bombs that kill many, there's a virus released into the air that has a devastating effect on the people living there. The majority of people over the age of thirty-five don't survive the initial virus infection. Those that do end up with a disability of some kind. Jonah was able bodied until the virus and now he, and everyone else in his shoes, have to adapt to a life that none of them expected.

Opaque picks up at the end of the third book, Visible, and I can't give you too many details because of spoilers. However I will say that while things felt like they were finally going in the right direction, they've hit a curve in the road and are facing a mission than none of them want.

So onto five facts about Opaque:

#1 ZYA AND JONAH ARE READY FOR FREEDOM

They've both come a long way since the start of the series. They've both lost a lot and neither one of them want to stay where they are. They want this war to be over. A war they feel that they've been forced into. They might have, at one point, seen it for the good it could do, but now they're both tired, changed and ready to be free from the chains surrounding them.

#2 ZYA HAS HARDENED

Out of all the characters in Invisible, I feel like Zya is the one who has changed the most. While she has good reason for it, she finds it hard to sympathise with the people around her. She didn't ask for this life and feels like she's done her duty as it were. Now she just wants to get through the mission and move on and past this to somewhere she can maybe call home. Though she's suspicious of the offers given to her because she's learned not to trust anyone, even those she cares about.

#3 JONAH'S ROMANCE IS STILL IN THE AIR
After the events of the other books, Jonah has closely guarded his heart and yet he can't help but notice that other members of the group see him in a way he's unsure about. He made a mistake in trusting someone already, he doesn't want to be that vulnerable with anyone again, but the heart wants what it wants, and he feels like maybe when all this is over, he can see about settling down with someone he cares greatly for.

#4 THERE'S ALWAYS A BETRAYAL AMIDST THE GROUP
The problem they all face is that they've being forced into something they don't quite trust and yet they want to believe that the people around them, those who've survived this journey so far are all on their side. But looks are not always what they seem and some people are easily manipulated into doing things that are against the core group's wishes. Zya and Jonah may be seen as the leaders, but they're not the only ones with an agenda, nor a wish to be free to the chains binding them. There's a snake in the grass and neither one has seen it coming.

#5 THE END IS COMING BUT IT MIGHT NOT BE THE ONE THEY WANT

As with all things, the end has to come, but neither Jonah nor Zya are sure about where they will be when that end arrives. It feels like the war is being fought outside of the segments, that the people within them are unable to see what's happening beyond their walls. It feels like they and the rebels are alone in their fight and none of the survivors are sure of where they stand. They want freedom, they want peace, but no one really knows if they will get that completely.

And there we have it, five facts about my current WIP, Opaque. I am super excited to be writing this book, to be getting closer to the end of the series as a whole. Stick around for next week when I'll be talking about my standalone WIP!


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