#BlogTour #Review Motivation Matters by Wendy H Jones @WendyHJones #LoveBooksTours

Title: Motivation Matters by Wendy H Jones

Date Published: 21st May 2019

Genre: Non-Fiction

Description:

Has your motivation to write flown out of the window? Do feelings of self-doubt creep in and haunt your writing day? Looking for a way to beat the doubts into submission? Award-winning author and writing coach Wendy H. Jones shows you how, with 366 glorious exercises you can use to boost creativity and change the way you think and feel about your writing. Techniques that can easily be incorporated into your day, becoming part of your writing routine. It’s time to change the way you think and feel, in order to set your creativity free.

You Can Buy Your Copy Here:

https://amzn.to/2IsnOu2

motivation-matters

Review:

I want to thank Kelly over at Love Books Tours for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Motivation Matters is a fantastic book packed full of little tips and tricks to help break you out of that creative rut.

There’s 366 tidbits of advice, written in a fun friendly style that almost makes you think that you’ve got your own little personal coach, egging you on. You can dip in and out or work through them on consecutive days, it’s really up to you!

Like most writers, I struggle with procrastination and self doubt, Motivation Matters helped me step back a little, relax and not be so hard on myself.

Of course there’s going to be a bit of trial and error as you work your way through the book, not everything is bound to work for you but this book is really about helping you find out what does work.

I’d recommend Motivation Matters for anyone who needs that extra boost of inspiration to help you reach your goals.

About The Author:

Award Winning Author Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series WendyHJones2018featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy, she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent travelling around the UK, and lands much further afield. As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer’s Countdown is her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series. Killer’s Crew won the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2107. There are now six books in this series with Killer’s Crypt being released in August 2017. The Dagger’s Curse is the first book in The Fergus and Flora Mysteries for Young Adults. This book is currently shortlisted for the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award Book of the Year. She is also a highly successful marketer and she shares her methods in the book, Power Packed Book Marketing.

Twitter:

@WendyHJones

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#BlogTour #Review The 365-Day Writer’s Block Workbook by Morgen Bailey @morgenwriteruk @BOTBSPublicity

Title: The 365-Day Writer’s Block Workbook by Morgen Bailey

Genre: Non Fiction/Writing

Description:

Over a thousand sentence starts, three per day, with writing tips at the end of each week to motivate and inspire, providing kick-starts to avoid the dreaded ‘writer’s block’. Useful for any writer at any level, whether they have 10 minutes or 10 hours, to start a new project. Also an ideal tool for writing groups.

With a combination of six first-person, six second-person, six third-person and three non-specific point of view starts per week, there are plenty to choose from. Beginning at ‘Day 1’ this book has been designed to be started at any time of the year, and regardless of whether the sentences are used in order or not. With a choice of three per day a writer can select one, two or all and see where it leads them.

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Review:

A huge thank you to Sarah Hardy at Books On The Bright Side Publicity for inviting me on this blog tour and providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The 365-Day Writer’s Block Workbook is a great book that really gives your creative spark a boost!

As the title suggests there are 365 days worth of writing prompts. You can do an exercise every day if you want to or like me dip in and out when you need that extra bit of assistance.

Each day you’re given three lines, in a different tense or point of view which you can use to start a story. The great thing is you can use as many lines as you want, you can even change the POV or names or tense, mix and match lines from different days, there’s endless possibilities!

When I got my hands on this book I was really suffering from maybe not full blown writer’s block but I’d really hit a wall with my writing. I used a couple of the prompts and while the stories I wrote were not the best, it really helped me get back into writing.

The 365-Day Writer’s Block Workbook is a fab little book that every writer should have in their toolbox.

Author Bio:

Morgen Bailey – Morgen with an E – is a multi-genre author, freelance editor, writing tutor, writing competitions magazine columnist and judge, blogger, and speaker.2 Morgen July 2017

Her website is www.morgenbailey.wordpress.com, email is morgen@morgenbailey.com, she is morgenwriteruk on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Her books can be found at Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Morgen-Bailey/e/B007SNIBF8, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Morgen-Bailey/e/B007SNIBF8 etc.),

Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/morgenbailey) and wherever books can be ordered.

 

#FlashFicitonFriday Waiting by LJ Cassidy #amwriting #writerslife

Olivia settled back into a comfy chair in the living room, opening up a book. With every noise outside, her eyes travelled from the page to the window overlooking the street. After ten minutes of reading the same sentence over and over, she threw the book down.

She hated waiting for things.

Getting up, she checked herself in the mirror over the fireplace. The blonde bob framed her heart shape face nicely, glad she’d decided on a quick haircut the day before. She smoothed the lines of her flowered dress, not her outfit of choice but she had to look good today.

There was a huge slam that reverberated through the house.

Rushing to the window, she saw the familiar sight of a grey van. It looked a little like a delivery truck, except this one had steel reinforced sides and bullet proof windows.

There was a heavy knock on the door, she almost thought it was going to come off its hinges.

Walking out into the hall, she took a deep calming breath before opening the door.

Olivia was faced with someone distinctly male looking, dressed head to toe in bulletproof armour topped off with a helmet.

The helmet’s black tinted visor was down so Olivia couldn’t make out a face.

He was carrying a long cardboard box under one arm.

Excitement coursed through her, she reached for the parcel but a gloved hand clamped around hers’ squeezing tightly. It felt like every bone in her fingers were going to snap.

Malcolm, let her go,” said a woman sternly, who appeared from nowhere carrying what looked like a clipboard. “Sorry about that, can’t get the robots these days. Are you Mrs Olivia Dawson?”

The robot obeyed the woman and let Olivia go.

Yes,” she replied, rubbing the feeling back into her hand.

I’m Agent Buckley.”

She turned to look at the woman, dressed in a sensible navy blue suit and white shirt. Olivia spied a black holster sitting snugly under her arm, the butt of a gun just visible.

Can we come in?”

She swallowed, her throat suddenly dry. Not trusting herself to speak, she nodded at Agent Buckley, moving out the way for them, trailing in their wake into the living room. The agent’s eyes travelled around the cosy room with large squashy sofas and bookcases lining the walls. It looked more like a library.

Where’s your wife?”

Oh, she got called into work suddenly,” Olivia said nervously. “She’s a doctor after all.”

Would they not give her the package? They wouldn’t take it away, would they? She was so close.

She frowned. “Most irregular. Anyway we just need a DNA sample to confirm your identity.”

Olivia placed a sweaty hand on the clipboard, which turned out a tablet, to give a sample.

The robot set the package on the floor.

You can leave us now,” said Buckley waving it away. The door closed after it with a mighty crash.

Can I see?” she asked excitedly.

It’s against protocol but I don’t see why not.”

Buckley pulled open the cardboard to reveal a sturdy plastic box that looked a bit like it was holding music equipment or something. She flicked open two catches and heaved up the lid.

Inside, lay the most beautiful baby Olivia had even seen.

She’s just to your specifications,” said Buckley reading from her tablet. “Blonde hair, blue eyes, rosy complexion.”

She picked up the sleeping baby gently. She was seven when natural reproduction was outlawed by the world’s governments, to curbed the swelling population.

She still remembered being wheeled into the sterile theatre and the pain in her stomach that lasted for weeks after they ripped out her womb.

Five years ago, the government told her that she wasn’t ‘stable’ enough to have a child whatever that meant. She had so much love to give, they didn’t understand.

Olivia was going to prove them wrong, she would be good for this child.

Hold on,” said Buckley frowning. “There seems to be a problem…”

Buckley went for her gun but Olivia was too quick. She pulled out the gun she’d been hiding behind the cushion on the couch. She shot the other woman in the head before she finished her sentence.

It was the same weapon she’d used to kill real Olivia and her wife earlier.

Somewhere in her brain it registered she was doing something wrong but she ignored it.

She was a mother now.

Thank you for reading!© LJ Cassidy

#ShortStory Bedside Confession by L.J. Cassidy #amwriting #writer #writerslife

So one of my resolutions for 2018 was to write a short story or piece of flash fiction for my blog each month, and here’s the first.  I hope you enjoy it and I’d love to hear what you think!

I nodded absently, adding the odd ‘mm I suppose,’ as my dad rambled on. I don’t know when he decided that every bowel movement, or lack thereof, deserved an in depth discussion but I suppose there wasn’t anything much else to talk about. At eighty-three his body seemed to be giving up on itself, and now he was confined to living in a nursing home where the only sources of entertainment were reading or staring mindlessly at the TV. Well, unless he overheard one the care staff dishing some salacious gossip, but that had gotten less frequent of late, now his hearing was as he described it ‘like having his ears stuffed with itchy cotton wool’.

Today was especially bad. After the simple task of getting out his chair had caused him to take a tumble two days ago, he’d confined to his bed to rest, which mean he didn’t even have the company of his fellow residents to break the monotony of his day.

His bedroom wasn’t much bigger than your average bedsit. A wardrobe, a chest of drawers, a single bed and a chair had been crammed into the tiny space. It was making me claustrophobic sitting next to his bed.

I remember as a child thinking how tall and indestructible he seemed now he looked so small and shrunken tucked up under his duvet cover. 

My eyes hovered over the bruise just above his eyebrow, covered most of his wrinkled forehead was turning from purple to a yellowish green, which was a good sign but the cut running the length of his forehead that I was more worried about. It had turned an ominous shade of black.

This was the man who used to make bad jokes, always telling me and my sister tall stories of when he was a pirate or a spy or some other such nonsense that kept us enraptured…

Kerry?” said dad, his weak voice breaking through my thoughts.

Yes, dad?” I replied.

You’ve got that look.”

What look?”

That worried look.”

I don’t mean to,” I sighed. “It’s just…how did you fall again?”

It was my dad’s turn to sigh. “I told you. I got up to go the loo and my legs decided they didn’t want to do that and I fell. Hit my head on old Bertie’s chair.”

Nobody pushed you?”

No, this is a good place this, no abuse here.”

Okay, then,” I replied, not entirely convinced.

Your mum was always a worrier when she were alive. I was a couple of hours late home one night, she called the police, the coastguard and she was trying to get hold of the army when I walked in.”

Down the pub, were you?” I smiled. I knew most of his stories and they always seemed to involve the pub in some way, shape or form.

I noticed him shift uncomfortably under his duvet cover.

Don’t tell me you cheating on mum?”

Your mum was the love of my life, I would have never done that,” he snorted indignantly. “It’s just well…it’s not something I’ve ever told anyone before.

Oh, go on,” I replied, “it can’t be that bad.”

He looked at me for a long moment, his bloodshot eyes staring me down.

Alright then,” he said eventually. “It happened when you were small, seventy four I think, the autumn or was it the winter…”

I could see him getting agitated, so I placed a hand on his arm. “It’s okay dad, the date doesn’t matter, just carry on.”

Anyhow, we were living in this lovely street, well, it was lovely apart from this one little sod. Matthew Carter.”

I nodded, wondering where this trip of nostalgia was heading.

I mean real scum of the earth. Couldn’t hold down a job, too bone idle. Beat his wife up, she was young too. Little slip of a thing. Always drunk and having fights with strangers in the street. I broke one up once, which was a mistake because that set me firmly within his sights.”

What happened?”

He started by shouting abuse in the street. He and a mate jumped me on the way home from work once too. Luck for me I could defend myself, him and his mate ran away with their tails between their legs, I can tell you. He didn’t like that. A week later he put a brick through our window, missed your sister Sue by an inch, she was only a baby at the time too.”

Didn’t you call the police?”

Could do anything, unless they had proof and nobody would testify against him.”

That’s terrible.”

Aye. Then I found out he’d been dealing drugs…selling them to kids too..” he said trying stifle a yawn.

Maybe you should have a rest dad, tell me the rest of the story later.”

No, no,” he replied. “I need to get this out. Anyway I followed him one day, determined to get proof, photographic proof, so I could take it to the police. He went down an alleyway and this girl came up to him, she must have been about fifteen at the most. She had that emaciated look that druggies have. She was obviously trying to buy something from him, I heard him say that she didn’t have enough. She begged him for the stuff. He replied saying that there were other ways to pay for things.”

As the kids say, eww.”

Exactly. But she was made of stronger stuff that girl, she refused but Matthew decided to not take no for an answer. She stand a chance against him.”

I gasped. “Did he…?”

I didn’t give him the chance. There was an old tire iron someone had dumped, picked it up and hit him, again and again and again until there wasn’t much left of his head.”

I could feel my mouth drop open. Did my dad just confess to murder?

What about the girl?”

Bolted,” replied my dad, his voice fading a little. “Never saw her again. I kept waiting for the knock on the door from the police….”

His head drooped forwards. I quickly leapt forward to check his pulse. It was still beating steadily.

He emitted a small snore.

I sat back down heavily, accidentally knocking into his bedside table sending some things flying.

Automatically I picked them up placing them back on the table.

My dad’s a murderer? I can’t believe it. What should I do?

I picked the last item up. A book. The cover caught my eye. It was of a man holding a tire iron. I checked the back. It had a strangely familiar synopsis. It was pretty much the same story my dad had told me.

I couldn’t believe it, he’d just told me the plot line of the book he was reading. He’d been having me on this whole time, just like when I was a kid.

I bent over his bed and kissed him on the forehead.

You got me dad,” I whispered.

I swear he smiled in his sleep.

Flash Fiction: The Date.

Okay so I’ve been trying to stick to a regular Tuesday and Friday upload schedule for this blog but I didn’t have a book review to post, so instead I thought I’d post another piece of flash fiction.

Originally I wrote this trying to break into the woman’s magazine fiction scene but I could never get it to fit the guidelines so I posted it on Wattpad.  Unfortunately nobody really read it there, (chicklit is not my usual genre of choice), so I took it down.  I done a few minor adjustments before posting it here, I hope you enjoy!

The Date.

As usual the Snack Stop Café was packed with the lunchtime rush of shop and office workers. The aroma of the day’s special, Chicken Korma reached Kylie’s nose. She was so hungry she could have eaten everything on the menu plus a chair or two. Perhaps even a table.

It was all because of this stupid blind date Amber, her best friend, had set up. She claimed Kylie needed to ‘get her back in the game’ whatever that meant. All Amber would tell her about him was his name; Alexander. It was an intimidating name, not Alex or Al but the whole Alexander. She immediately tried to back out but Amber wasn’t taking it.

But he’s perfect for you,” Amber pleaded. “Do you know how long I’ve been working on setting you two up?”

Immediately Kylie felt annoyed and guilty at the same time. Yes, she’d been making excuse after excuse to get out of the date yet she didn’t want to let her best friend down…but what if he looked like Piers Morgan?

So much to her chagrin, she let Amber drag her shopping to find the perfect outfit to dazzle him into ignoring all obvious her flaws. Kylie had spotted it right away. The ideal shade of purple that made her eyes look more blue than grey, her pale skin glow and brought out the golden highlights in her otherwise mousy brown hair. Only one minor problem, it was a little bit too tight and the last one in the shop. She was determined to drop a few pounds but only had three days to do it.

So she dieted and exercised and drank green tea until it came out of her ears all for tonight. She had to admit her skirt did feel a little looser.

Her stomach rumbled.

Whoa,” said the man who had just appeared next to her. “Is there a bear in here?”

She turned to face him. A large pair of glasses and a cheesy grin met her. He wore a novelty PAC-Man t-shirt and skinny jeans more suitable to a twenty-something than the almost pushing forty as he was. More annoyingly he was lean, in a I-can-eat-what-I-want-and-not-get-fat-kind-of-way.

God I hate him.

Kylie rolled her eyes at him and returned to the menu.

He wasn’t giving up

Kylie?” He said reading the name tag her boss at the bank insisted she wear. “Were you named after Kylie Minogue by any chance?”

Maybe if I ignore him, he’ll go away, she thought.

No such luck.

So, what’s good here, apart from the gorgeous company, of course.”

Look I’m really not in the mood for your bad chat up lines, so just move along,” she snapped.

Okay,” He put his hands up in mock surrender, “if I don’t chat you up, can recommend something good to eat? It’s my first time here.”

Oh,” Kylie pursed her lips feeling a little bad for snapping at him. “The burgers are good.”

Or the ham and cheese panini.”

Or the tuna bake.”

Okay, that’s a lot of choices,” he snapped his fingers. “I tell you what, I’ll just have what your having.”

You’ll be disappointed, I’m probably going to have the chicken salad.”

Kylie’s stomach rumbled again even louder.

Is there a reason you’re starving yourself?”

I have a date and this dress. It’s a little small…”

Does the dress have magical powers?”

No.”

Then why can’t you wear another one?”

Really?”

Well, if I was your date, I prefer if you didn’t look like you were about to gnaw my arm off.”

As oppose to a date that was bursting out of her dress?”

I’m not opposed to that,” he said winking.

Kylie stifled a smile. She looked at him again, properly this time, behind the glasses were a pair of warm brown eyes and his smile wasn’t as cheesy as she first thought.

Sorry, flirting. Won’t happen again,” he smiled, not sounding remotely sorry.

I’ll make you a deal, you eat anything you like and if your idiot of a date doesn’t find you utterly irresistible,” he grabbed one of the café’s menus and wrote something on it, “here’s my number. Do you know, you really do have beautiful eyes, when you’re not rolling them at me, that is. So sorry, flirting again.”

Kylie felt bloated. After her mystery lunchtime friend had left she’d eaten a burger, chips, a muffin topped off by a chocolate milkshake. Now, she was sitting in at a table in the fancy restaurant that Amber had picked for her date, fidgeting with the hem of the black dress she’d hastily pulled on after the purple one didn’t fit.

Damn that stupid man, she thought

His number was still crumpled in the front pocket of her handbag. She just checked on it five minutes ago to make sure it hadn’t disappeared.

Kylie?”

She turned round to see her lunchtime friend dressed in a grey suit had taken the seat opposite her.

He actually looking like an adult, a debonair, James bond kind of…then she caught a sight of his socks. They were bright green with dinosaurs on them.

What are you doing here? Actually doesn’t matter I’m waiting for my date.”

That would be me.”

You? You’re Alexander?”

I prefer Xander if that’s all right with you.”

Okay Xander,” she replied, her voice laced with disdain.

She grabbed her bag, getting up.

Xander grabbed her hand. It felt warm and soft.

Okay, confession time,” he said nervously, “I kind of followed you to the café, I mean, not here. You see I’ve never been on a blind date and I was nervous…”

So you stalked me?” She snapped pulling her hand away from his.

You call it stalking I call it research,” He replied cheekily.

Kylie’s mouth dropped open.

I can’t believe you just said that.”

So, is this the dress?” he said trying to change the subject.

Oh what, no, it didn’t fit.”

Shame.”

What?”

I really wanted to see you burst out of it.”

She raised an eyebrow, trying to stifle a smile.

You look really pretty when you smile. Sorry flirting won’t happen again.”

Isn’t flirting what you’re meant to do on a date?”

So, you aren’t going to storm out of here and tell everyone you know that I’m some sort of weirdo?”

She hesitated a little. “The night is young.”

Xander’s stomach growled.

Whoa, is there a bear in here?” Kylie said repeating his words from earlier.

They laughed.

She looked at Xander as they sat back down and thought;

I may not have been wearing the prefect dress but who needs perfect anyway?

© LJ Cassidy

The picture is not my own.

The Whispers – Flash Fiction

This is a piece of my own original Flash fiction I’ve been playing about with for a couple of weeks.  I hope you enjoy it! Also the image at the top of the page is not my own.

Night had fallen. The darkness was complete. Not even the moon, in all its silvery glory, shone. The people of the world had blotted it out.

Mia dragged her duvet cover up over her head with one hand, while the other clutched her tablet and headphones. Her finger hovered over the on switch.

Her mum’s voice filled her mind;

Beware, beware,

The whispers that aren’t there.

There must be no light, no light,

If you want to survive the night.”

Mia frowned, she never quite understood that rhyme. How could whispers be ‘not there’? And why was it just at night? The sun was out during the day wasn’t that like light? Why didn’t the whispers come out then?

No adult would explain it to her. Whenever she asked about it, everybody just looked scared and told her to go play or something.

She was ten now, practically a grown up, why wouldn’t they explain it to her? It just wasn’t fair.

Mia didn’t mind the whole no light thing, in the summer that was, when the sun didn’t set until nine or ten o’clock. But today was the middle of winter and the sun had gone down at four. There was nothing to do. You couldn’t even read a book. Her family mostly went to bed but she was still wide awake and bored.

That’s when she thought of her tablet.

It wasn’t a light, so she wasn’t breaking the rules, she had reasoned.

Her heart beat faster as she switched the tablet on, the glow of blue light illuminated her face.

Nothing happened. No whispers. No sound whatsoever.

She peeked her head out from the duvet cover, just to check nobody was there. Her door stood wide open. She saw out over the stairs, both her brother and her parents doors were shut tightly.

She clicked on the YouTube icon, plunging her headphone into her ears.

She pulled up a video of funny cats and began to watch, clamping her hand over her mouth to stifle the giggles.

Suddenly Mia felt cold. She turned over to see her duvet cover was being dragged from her body. It landed with a soft thump by the side of her bed.

She sat bolt up right.

That’s when she saw it. It was a long tangled vine with nasty looking thorns. It looked like one of those weeds that grew outside her house, actually outside everyone’s house. No matter what people did they always grew back again. She had always ignored them.

Mia pulled off her headphones and edged her way to the end of the bed to take a closer look at the plant.

That’s when she heard the whispers.

But they weren’t voices.

It was the sound the vines made as they crawled up through the windows and over the walls. In the dull glow from her tablet screen Mia could see her whole room was covered with them. They looked like a writhing mass of snakes.

A terrifying though entered her mind; nobody lived when they heard the whispers.

Mia clutching her tablet like a teddy bear scooted further and further up her bed until she hit the headboard.

One of the vines shot out from the rest wrapping around her leg, the thorns digging into her skin.

She tried to scream but another vine wrapped itself around her mouth.

They pulled her from the bed. She landed on the floor, with a jolt, sending waves of pain up her back. Her tablet flew from her hand. Another vine wrapped it’s way round her leg. She tried kicking, thrashing but the plants were too strong.

The plants wrapped themselves around her body, covering every inch.

Mia had never felt pain like it, the thorns dug deeper into her flesh. She almost passed out.

The screen of her tablet went off.

The darkness was complete again.

The plants loosen their grip and began sliding away until she was all alone lying on the floor.

Mia was too scared to move even though she could feel blood oozing from small cuts all over her body. She curled up in a ball and didn’t move until her mum found her in the morning.

© LJ Cassidy