Why Christmas starts in early November (and always will).

For the past 14 years (ever since I moved into my own home with my son) our Christmas decs have gone up the first weekend after bonfire night. Purists everywhere are shrieking with horror as I type! 

  
For some reason, I’ve never bothered to explain why. I guess it amuses me that some people react so strongly to something that ultimately has no direct impact on them whatsoever – every year I get responses that vary from the mildly amused, ‘nutter’, to those people who bang on about how it’s ‘just wrong’ (you know who you are ;-)). 

So, my reasons: it’s all about numbers (slightly ironic for an English teacher, I know!). In December, you get three weekends before Christmas. Back in the days where everyone was married and women stayed at home, maybe that was enough to do all the things that people need to do but as a single Mum with a full time job, I quickly realised it wasn’t. 

Things to fit in:

  • Decorate the house. 1 day. It’s great – I make a big deal of this; drink mulled wine, watch A Christmas Carol, have your lovely friend and her kids over for the day.
  • Present shopping. 1 weekend if you’re lucky. 
  • Present wrapping. 1 day (I’m not gifted in the art). 
  • Taking presents around to various friends before the day. Several days depending on who I could afford to buy for that year. 

Now, all of the above could fit into the three weekends of December. It’s a snug fit, but you can do it, just (there’s a reason why Christmas movies always show stressed out parents). However, that means ignoring the fact that December is one of the most fun months on earth. I wanted to fill my December weekends with visits to Santa (Spalding garden centre is hands down winner), trips to see the lights turned on, carol concerts, Christmas festivals in East Carlton park and days with my amazing parents/grandparents. The solution I came up with was to introduce the concept of ChristmasTIME, which begins the weekend after bonfire night with the decs going up. This is a tradition of ours that enabled me to really enjoy everything that Christmas has to offer with my gorgeous boy and has given us some fabulous memories. More important than ever now he is virtually housebound. 

  
At the end of the day, traditions are meant to serve us, not us them. 

So continue to laugh! I don’t care 😁 I will always start my ChristmasTIME in November and everyone else will just have to get over it. 

Seer!

How lovely to land back in the country and discover that the third book in a great series is available! 

I’ve just brought ‘Seer’ by Amy Reece – a review will be here soon. In the meantime, happy reading everyone!

  Buy here

150 DIY Ways to Market Your Book

This is a pretty comprehensive list! I wonder how many I can tick off before the year is out?

A Writer's Path

Books

I am asked quite often the best ways to market a book. The most frequent questions I get revolve around making it as cheap as possible yet capable of reaching the widest audience. For that, here is a list of 150 DIY ways to market a book. I’ll do another blog post next week with some more marketing options. Stay tuned! And most importantly, put it to use.

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DREAMER RELEASE DAY!!!

Highly recommended series – humour, romance, mystery, danger and the paranormal!

Amy Reece

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I’m thrilled to announce the release of the second book in The Seeker Series!

Meet Ally Moran, a 17 year-old who also happens to be psychic. Oh, and she’s getting more psychic with every passing day, so much so that she’s been sent to Ireland to check in with the Seer Council to see what’s up with her freaky new powers.

Jack Ruiz is her 19 year-old boyfriend, a former troublemaker who’s back on track and trying desperately to graduate. His plans did not include falling in love with a psychic trouble-magnet.

Last month they worked together to save a friend in deep trouble and ended up solving a school-wide mystery. But now there’s a new guy at school, Remy Giles, and he seems just a little bit too interested in Ally for Jack’s liking. And why does Ally keep dreaming about a kidnapping? Last month seems like a cakewalk…

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Mailing list?

I have a quick question for any other indie authors out there: do you keep a list of email addresses for people interested in your book? I keep reading articles that mention the importance of having a mailing list, but how do you develop such a list? And don’t people mind if you keep sending them emails?!

As ever, I’d appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

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Cover Reveal!

The third and final cover in the Eshla series is here! Thanks to Renee from The Cover Counts for the whole set. The book should follow in a few weeks; it’s with my lovely editor!

The adventure reaches its conclusion with, The King’s Chamber’…Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00072]

99 pence/cents bargain!

Taking the plunge with a kindle countdown deal on both books! ‘The Lost Heirs’ and ‘The Second Stone’ will be on sale for three days, Saturday 2nd May – Monday 4th May, for just 99 pence/cents.

Discover Eshla, and embark on a time travelling, steampunk, fantasy adventure to a different world.

You will become engrossed in the terrible tragedy of the Arwain family, fall in love with a blue fluffy purram, and follow Eric on his quest to release the lost heirs of Eshla.

Amazon reviewers have stated:

“The world of Eshla is a like an entertaining dream. You know the kind, you wake up only to be disappointed that it’s no longer there”

“So fascinated was I with the Eshla world beautifully created by the author, that I completely lost track of time and like the main protagonist, 14 year old Eric, found myself swept into a another world full of magical adventures.”

“The writing reminded me of Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and even Dr. Seuss.”

“The parallel world is an exotic and interesting steampunk invention, but the part that really grabbed me was the travel back to 1927.”

“Has all the wonderful elements of great fiction authors who have trod this path before…. JK Rowlings & Enid Blyton move aside!”

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The Wilderness…

I admit it – I am lost without the internet. Seven days in our lovely new house and the broadband box still hasn’t arrived (yes, I’m typing at work during my lunch break instead of eating!).

I completed GCSE’s, A’Levels and my degree without the power of the internet – no problem. It was absent for many of the years I spent as a single Mum, and I managed just fine; but this has been the impossible week.

Apart from the practicalities of trying to promote my new e-book with no e-access, I’ve lost count of the amount of times my husband or I have asked a question and we’ve reached for our phones to google the answer! I’ve also lost count of the amount of times one of us has said, ‘I’ll do that when the internet’s back…’

When did I become so dependent?!

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It’s here!

The sequel to ‘The Lost Heirs’ is available to buy now!

How do you disguise a fluffy blue alien in Victorian England? How do you stop your evil headmaster from ruining your exam grades? How do you live down the humiliation of your whole year group thinking you have a teddy bear in your rucksack? Join Eric as he searches for the answers in the next Eshlan adventure.

The quest continues with Eric, Corbin, Rose and Lydia trying to release the next prince from the Bel-Arayba cave. The four friends have some tough decisions to make while looking for the second stone in 1842, and things are getting pretty tricky in their own time too as Lowick Bradwar, masquerading as their head teacher, steps up his plans to get back to Eshla.

Meanwhile in Eshla itself, things are far from peaceful, as the malicious Galed continues her campaign against the Arwain family.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TDR1YRE

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‘The Second Stone’ is the second book in The Eshla Adventures series. Be sure to read the first: The Lost Heirs – a five star Amazon rated, middle grade/YA steampunk, fantasy adventure! FREE for today only…

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NJX2DQY

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