Monday, 29 September 2014

Let's talk about love...


I was chatting to a writer buddy this morning about love and romance. Not love of the hearts-and-flowers and grand gestures type, but--what I consider to be--'real love.' You know, those small every day acts that tell us we're loved by our significant other.

For instance, once when I was at a party, I imbibed several too many shots of the old giggle juice. Now, my hubby isn't a drinker. While I was quaffing (love that word, btw! Quaff, quaff, quaff!) glass after glass, he gave me 'the look', but he didn't say anything.

[If you have a delicate disposition, look away now!]

When we got home, the giggle juice swilling about inside my stomach turned sour. I couldn't stand unassisted, and then the 'whirling pits' started. I was in a REAL pickle. I swear, I almost puked myself inside out.:(

D'you know what my lovely hubby did? He held back my hair while I was hugging the toilet bowl and he stroked my back. That's it. He never said A WORD. Not one solitary snarky remark passed his lips. Then, afterwards, when I cold and trembling and smelling of puke, he put me in bed and snuggled up beside me, keeping me warm with his hot cuddly body.

*sigh*

A grim tale, I know, but it perfectly demonstrates what I'm talking about today.

So, now it's your turn. How do you know you're really loved?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

The weakness of the pen...

Good morning campers! :)

What with last night's excitement, y'know Wolverine helping me duel my evil PodFB twin to her sorry doom, I forgot to tell you something... I've started work on a third 'Erde' book.

*nods* Yep. "Work" as in actual words written on paper as opposed to  the mental back-burner stuff.

I know. I'm supposed to be finishing that other project, but I was in the park yesterday with my kiddiwinks, and the sun was shining... I just couldn't help myself. You know how it is... I was all alone, and my notebook and pen were just sitting there... :D

At this stage, I'm not sure if it's going to be a novella or a full-blown novel. It might be a standalone spin-off. We'll see.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Bex 'n' Books: Review: Hemlock by N.J. Layouni

Bex 'n' Books: Review: Hemlock by N.J. Layouni: Hemlock by N.J. Layouni Lynn's rating: 5 of 5 stars I love time travel romances, but I am cautious with them. Not too many authors c...

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

There's ale, and there's ALE...

 Hello, my lovelies! 

I've had some great reviews this week--and if one of them was yours THANK YOU!!! <3

However, one particular reviewer expressed a legitimate concern that I feel I should address here, since it's generally frowned upon for an author to respond directly to any of their reviews. 

As anyone who's read Hemlock or Wolfsbane knows, my characters are rather partial to their ale. In almost every scene, someone's swigging it from a bladder or a tankard, or a barrel!

Well, this reviewer was rather concerned, and rightly so, about the risk of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome-aka FAS. (No spoilers! I'm talking generally here.)

You know what? I considered addressing this very subject during the process of writing both books, but I didn't want to turn the narrative into a lecture or turn Martha into a preacher (because she's obviously the only person in Erde who knows about the risks of FAS, right?)

So what I did, rightly or wrongly, I just kept quiet. BUT... I did leave a few clues here and there to intimate that the everyday ale on Erde wasn't the giggle-making drink we know today. (Martha's only major hangover was after a night on the mead. Seth went loco only after he'd been chugging wine. )

In years gone by, because the water could be rather dodgy back then, people tended to drink ale which they considered safer. Of course, then as now, there were various strengths of ale.

Dear readers, for the record, PLEASE be assured that any pregnant characters you may encounter in either of my books will only ever be drinking the weak and rather watery variety of ale. Well... unless I specify otherwise.

Cool. I'm glad I finally got that off my chest. It's been niggling at me for a LONG time:)


(For more info on medieval drink, follow the link. This lady explains medieval drink far better than I ever could!)

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Ouch! Book hangover!




Status? I am currently suffering from a VERY severe book hangover courtesy of M's Larissa Brown a.k.a. Beautiful Wreck Yes, I finally reached 'The End', and Heirik (a.k.a. Stud-muffin of Viking manliness!) has now left the building... or longhouse.

Tell me, missy, what the heck am I supposed to do now? Harass you until you finish writing book two, hmm? That can be arranged, you know! *twirls imaginary mustache whilst cackling in a menacing manner.)

Sorry? What's that? You're only a quarter of the way through writing the first draft? *strikes a Macaulay Culkin pose* NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

WRITE FASTER, WOMAN!!!

I don't know. Flipping authors, taking their own sweet time when they ought to be delivering the goods. What's the world coming to, I wonder? 


Seriously, though. It's a darn fine read!


Thursday, 18 September 2014

You want a third book? Really?

Thank you for leaving such a lovely review of 'Wolfsbane.'



Tbh, I never planned on writing another book in the 'Traveler' series.' I deliberately left the ending slightly open so that readers could make up their own ending to the story.

However, early indications suggest that I may have to rethink things. It'll be a while, though. I have quite a few other projects to finish before I can rejoin Vadim and co.

Watch this space! :)


Monday, 15 September 2014

Anyone for time travel?

Hands up who'd like to take a ride on my fancy shmancy time machine! Any takers? If so, where/when would you like to go? Will that be a single or return fare? (I'd love to take you for free but, honestly, these high-end flux capacitors are flippin' expensive to run!)

Leave me your requests in the comments below and I'll do my best to accommodate you. :)

Anyway, as you might expect, over the last few months (translation => years!!!), I've spent much of my free time 'hanging' in the middle ages with my book crew. Although it's a fascinating time period to visit, for a long list of reasons, I certainly wouldn't want to make it my permanent home.

The humble loo roll is just one of the everyday essentials I'd miss--that and indoor plumbing.

Bathroom facilities, or a lack thereof, is definitely something to consider when planning your trip across time. Imagine it, stranded in the merry olde days of yore, shut in a stinking privy with only a dock leaf/ball of moss to attend to your nether regions, especially during a lady's... special time of the month! Hardly a very romantic image, is it? *shudders*

No. I'll stay right here in the C21, thanks. How about you? What item would you miss most if you were marooned in your time period of choice?

*Funny. But I believe the Chinese might have invented it a little sooner than this date*

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Ooh! It's so BIG...

Minds from the gutter, people! I'm talking books, of course! :)

It's no secret, ‘Tales of a Traveler’ was originally meant to be just one, standalone book. But when I hit the 400 page mark, and the story wasn't even halfway told, I had to do some major rethinking. My choices were as follows:

-Should I prune the hell out of the story, rip out its innards, and trade depth for a brevity?

-Should I simply publish the whole thing as a 800 page McWhopper?

OR...

-Should I divide the story into two, allowing me to write freely, without constantly looking over my shoulder at the massively inflated word-count?

Okay, so you already know the answer to this one! Just run with me here as I think out loud. :)  

The decision to make ‘Traveler’ into two books came with a HUGE and insurmountable, problem... the dreaded cliffie ending. Dun dun duuuuuuun! :) I had to have one--there was no getting around it--so I ended book one shortly after Martha got her HEA moment hoping the reader wouldn't feel too cheated. I mean, theoretically, I COULD have just ended the story directly after her big, HEA moment. Imagine it...

V: "I love you."

M: "I love you too!"

(Cue snog-fest and soaring violins, roll those end credits...)

Thing is, I wanted to go on. To chase down and tie up all those loose threads that were blowing in the wind, to see where M and V took me. (I do mention on my Amazon page that 'Hemlock has a cliffie ending.)

The decision wasn't about wringing every last dime/penny I could from the lovely folks who bought my books. (Truth be told, I never imagined I'd sell this many in the first place! If I was lucky, I thought I might shift a couple of dozen copies to my family and friends and the like, but that's about it.) It was always about the story.

So here's my question: Would you buy the debut book of an unknown author that weighed in at 800+ pages?

M's Gabaldon: "Well, they bought mine by the ton!"

*sighs* Okay, you got me there, Di’. But I'm talking generally here. I think we can all agree, 'Cross Stitch' is a very exceptional exception. :)

Go ahead. Tell me what you think, and don;t worry about hurting my feelings. I have writerly abs of steel! :)

Friday, 12 September 2014

The Research Files...

During the creation of 'Hemlock' and 'Wolfsbane', I spent quite a bit of time online researching stuff for my fictional medieval world. 

I spent several very happy evenings in the company of 'trebuchets', getting to know these mighty beasts, and listening to them breathe'. Here's one of my favourites. Enjoy! 



Good morning, campers...

... I don't mean to be a self-pimping bore, but this is your last chance to pick up Tales of a Traveler: Hemlock for 99 pennies. (Here's the UK link.) I don't want you to miss out. It's one of those Amazon countdown deal thingies, and we're now into the last 24 hours of the promo.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Seven Deadly Sins...

Event – The Seven Deadly Sins – Tagged by the lovely ladies over at Moonrise Book Blog..
Greed
1. What is your most expensive book?

I don’t usually spend a fortune on books; I usually get them second hand. But a few years ago I was deep into my Tolkien phase, so my most expensive book would probably be J. R. R. Tolkien’s Illustrated ‘Lord of Rings’. Alan Lee’s illustrations are simply lush!


Wrath
2. What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

I don’t do ‘hate’. Well...not with my fellow authors! :) I do get slightly miffed when my favorite authors don’t write fast enough. Unfortunately, though, most of my favorite writers are dead. (J.R.R. Tolkien, Jane Austen et al.) Bet they’re none too pleased about that either!


Gluttony
3. What book have you devoured over and over again with no shame?

What ‘book’? As in singular? Nope. No can do. You can’t make me choose just one book from this list:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte;
Persuasion by Jane Austen;
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen;
Sense and Sensibility by Jane ; (Are you seeing a theme yet?  )
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.

Sloth
4:Which book have you neglected reading due to laziness?

Well, my TBR pile is currently teetering, but I can’t say it’s due to laziness. This year has been crazy busy, what with releasing two books, but I aim to remedy that very soon.

Pride
5: What book do you most talk about in order to sound like an intellectual reader?

Hmm... Not that I ever have, but if I wanted to sound intellectual, I’d probably drop ‘Beowulf’ somewhere into the conversation--although I really did enjoy Seamus Heaney’s version! :)

Lust
6: What attributes do you find attractive in a male or female character?

Ooh! I like my men tall, dark, and handsome. Preferably wearing leather and carrying a sword. And a wicked smile and a pair of twinkling eyes are a bonus sure to get the old ovaries applauding!

Envy
7. What book would you most like to receive as a gift?

Well, I wouldn’t say no to a first edition of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ if you’re offering!

Thanks Moonrise girls! I tag anyone who fancies having a go at this. :)

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Wolfsbane is live!



And it's available right now on Amazon! To celebrate, I've slashed the price of 'Hemlock', the first book in the Traveler series, to just 99 shiny pennies.


Friday, 5 September 2014

'Wolfsbane' giveaway....

...on my Facebook page! Check it out, my lovelies.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/NJ-Layouni/405255156236485

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Cissy and Ada...

Hey guys. Have you ever met Cissy and Ada?

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVLtJxBqtSA] Oh, they do make me titter! Perhaps they never made it over to your side of the Great Pond?

But I digress...the reason I posted a picture of these two gorgeous girls(!) (aka Les Dawson and Roy Baraclough) is because I'm seeing a worrying rise in incidences of a particularly unpleasant disease on my news feeds. Namely, an epidemic of 'Too-far-up-my-own-ass syndrome.'  (Although you might know it better as 'Chucking-Teddy-Out-Of-The-Cot' disease, or 'Handbags-At-Dawn-itis.')

This distressing condition seems to be afflicting more and more authors, causing them to lash out and bad-mouth their readers--the very people who gave them their success--in the most public of places. Not a nice thing to witness.
 
What can we do about it? How an we protect our favorite authors from falling foul of this terrible affliction?

First off, do not attempt to engage the author while she/he is foaming at the mouth. Instead, back away to a safe distance and watch the fallout as it comes raining down. No one is gonna come out of this smelling of roses.

The best treatment is prevention.

Will you do something for me, my friends? If you ever see my ego swelling to an unnatural size, PLEASE stick a pin in me asap or, alternatively, slap me about the face with a wet cod/salmon until I return to my senses.

Just for the record, you can ask me anything, anytime you like, okay? I love talking with you guys! <3

Right. That ends today's sermon. Enjoy the sun, my lovelies!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

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