The Summer of Getting Fat

That’s what we should call this summer… the summer of getting fat.

I’ve nearly hit five months of the pregnancy, and to be honest I’m just grateful for every day that passes and things keep going well. However, as is usually the case with me, my penchant for carbs is having an adverse effect on my waistline. Why do I have to develop an aversion to protein and salad but develop a deep craving for peanut butter on toast?

I’ve also developed an obsession with blueberries. Well that’s quite healthy I hear you say. Yes for me and the baby, not so much for the bank balance. No one tell my husband, but I’ve spent twelve quid on blueberries in the last week. . . and the irony is that I don’t even like them that much when not pregnant. Not unless they are encased in a muffin and being washed down with a mocha latte.

This post isn’t just to moan about how fat I am getting, but also to give a little update on what else is going on at the moment.

I don’t think it’s going to be a huge surprise to anyone to know that I’ve been on a bit of a break. I’ve been off social media and all promoting for the last few months. Mainly because I wanted to concentrate on the baby and my family but also because I felt so rough in the early weeks that I was falling asleep at every available moment. There wasn’t much time for tweets, status updates, or giveaways.

So I decided to have the summer off and reread some of my favourite books. So far I have read ten books since the beginning of the summer holiday, which has been amazing. I haven’t had the time to read this much in years and it’s been comforting spending time with my favourite characters again.

However this is me and I can’t ever stop writing for long, so I’ve actually started a new project. I’m about a third of the way through a first draft and I’m loving the whole thing. It’s a departure for me genre wise and it’s been exciting pushing my imagination in new directions.

I’ve also got the Four Brits Book Fest, Birmingham signing coming up next June so I am putting some ideas together for swag giveaways . I’m guessing I’m going to be a bit busy in the spring so as much prep as I can do now the better.

Before the end of the holiday I will post my Re-Read Summer list and share with you all the great reads I’ve had over the last month, and obviously I will update on the new project as and when I can.

But for now, I’m wishing everyone a happy remaining summer holiday.xxxx

Hurrah for Release Day

It’s finally here, This Love released today and I couldn’t be more proud. I’ve written about many things over the last few years, damaged teenagers, drunk twenty-something’s but this is my first foray into writing about something that I know and do on a daily basis but still don’t totally understand — being a parent. Although lets be honest I know a reasonable amount about being drunk too . . .

Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered and purchased today, it’s still an overwhelming experience to realise that readers are waiting for my next book. I will probably never get used to that fact, so it’s an erstwhile thanks that I send.

The Blog Tour starts tomorrow and there’s a pretty big giveaway along with extracts from the book and other posts. We are also going to have signed paperback giveaways on the FB page so pop along for a chance to win.

Here is a little reminder of This Love

This Love 2Amber’s always planned to leave her overbearing mother and their stifling small town behind as soon as she graduates. That is until her car breaks down outside Bale and Son’s mechanics and she meets Freddy Bale. A boy who’d rather live in the moment than make a five-year-plan.

Ignoring her friends’ warnings, Amber puts all dreams for her perfect future on hold, and dives into the romance heart first. On their last day of school, however, Freddy decides to call off their relationship, and Amber does the only thing she can think of: Run away and never look back. Just like she’d always planned.

Ten years pass before Amber sets foot in town again, only returning to look after her ailing mother. While Freddy wants to make amends, Amber is confronted with her own wrong choices from ten years ago. Choices that could change the lives of everyone she’s ever loved.

When first love is given a second chance and the secrets of the past come hurtling into the present, will Amber and Freddy be able to lay their mistakes to rest and make this love the strongest one of all?

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Exclusive Extract

It’s a silent trip home, both of us lost in our own thoughts; I’m thinking of him maybe falling in love with me, I’m thinking of his dad and the obvious effect losing his wife has had on him. I’m wondering why I didn’t know about any of that. What sort of village is this? But most of all, I’m clutching his locket tight in one hand and his hand in my other as the car turns down the silent dark lanes.

When he pulls up outside my house, he gets out of the car and opens my door, ever the gentleman. I’m beginning to realise this goes far deeper than car doors and polite manners.

“Thank you,” I say again, still clutching my locket.

“Merry Christmas, Amber French.” He leans in swiftly and plants a short kiss on my lips.

“Merry Christmas, Freddy Bale,” I whisper back.

Upstairs in my room, I open the locket and see that inside there is a picture of us taken that first day back in the snow when he said he thought we could be something. The picture is blurry and low grade from the camera phone he’s snapped us with. I don’t care, the memory will sit for all eternity protected by it’s engraved silver casing.

It’s as I sit in the dark, willing the two days of Christmas to be over, I understand we could be not just something, but everything.

New Novel Announcement: THIS LOVE

Today I am very proud to announce the release date of my new novel THIS LOVE.

Releasing on 2nd June 2015 THIS LOVE is available for pre-order on Amazon now (Links provided below)

I’m thrilled with this book, I loved writing it so much and it gave me a huge amount of joy to help the story take shape and give a lease of life to my characters. A tale of second chances it’s about family and relationships and how discovering just what true love is can change your fundamental understanding of that simple four letter word: love.

THIS LOVE

Amber’s always planned to leave her overbearing mother and their stifling small town behind as soon as sheThis Love 2 graduates. That is until her car breaks down outside Bale and Son’s mechanics and she meets Freddy Bale. A boy who’d rather live in the moment than make a five-year-plan.

Ignoring her friends’ warnings, Amber puts all dreams for her perfect future on hold, and dives into the romance heart first. On their last day of school, however, Freddy decides to call off their relationship, and Amber does the only thing she can think of: Run away and never look back. Just like she’d always planned.

Ten years pass before Amber sets foot in town again, only returning to look after her ailing mother. While Freddy wants to make amends, Amber is confronted with her own wrong choices from ten years ago. Choices that could change the lives of everyone she’s ever loved.

When first love is given a second chance and the secrets of the past come hurtling into the present, will Amber and Freddy be able to lay their mistakes to rest and make this love the strongest one of all?

Pre-order links (SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICE $1.99 – just over a quid for us Brits)

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Writing Song of the Day

I haven’t posted a writing song in ages. How slack of me.

This is my inspiration song from the last few days and the tune I’m using to shape my ideas for the book I’m about to start (re-start actually!) I’m heading back to Cornwall for my next storyline.

I don’t think I’ve heard as beautiful a song as this one for a very long time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sticking to a Plan

For the first time in my life I’ve stuck to a plan. As a rule I’m not a fan of plans, they’re confining, restraining and generally a pain in the arse.
The reason I feel this way is because I normally can’t stick to even the vaguest plan, I’m more of a act on a whim kind of person.
However this year I set out with clear plans in place. Guess what? I stuck to one…. hello…. this must surely make me a grown up. I said I was going to do something and I did it. Hurrah! Round of applause please.

I wasn’t going to write for the first half of this year but then on New Years Day I woke up and completely changed my mind (this happens a lot). I started to write that day with a promise I would have a first draft of a new book finished by Valentines Day. I did it. Eighty thousand words, a serious headache, my house falling to bits around me, but I stuck to my plan. I even knew what I was going to write instead of winging it which is my usual style.
Something about the new storyline really fired my imagination. One couple, two relationships, ten years apart. It’s a tale of second chance love. The youthful mistake of making bad choices but then getting a chance to try and fix it later in life.
The whole of last year I kept starting and then restarting a rekindled romance storyline but it just wasn’t there no matter how hard I tried to tease at the edges and pull it together. Then BAM there it was. I think it may have had a lot to do with finally getting a good grasp of my new characters Amber French and Freddy Bale. You will hear much more about them in the coming months.
I’m not going to reveal the title yet or release date, not until my second draft is smoothed out and it’s in the hands of my editor but I did want to shout from the roof tops just how excited I am by it all.

Big yay for sticking to a plan!
Further updates and info coming soon…

Goodbye 2014 and HELLO 2015

It’s time for the New Year round up again! Didn’t that go crazy fast? Anyone else left wondering what happened to most of 2014?
Anyone with super observant detective skills might have noticed that I haven’t been on social media, or on my blog at all since the summer, and this is because 2014 has been a very mixed year for me and I’ve had to take some time out to rest and spend a little bit more time being the real me. By real me, I mean the mother, wife and terrible housewife who has a family to look after.
2014 started with the release of The Art of Keeping Faith in April, and whilst I know Delilah McCannon and her crazy behaviour drives readers crazy, I am still very proud of that book, and of the character. Even up to the release point, and in fact a year ago exactly I was already working on my next novel, Gone, which meant I was effectively editing one manuscript whilst writing another all at the same time. I had some huge decisions to make about whether I wanted to continue with my publisher or go Indie, and the stress of it all was quite intense. I stand by my Indie decision and know it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made so far in my writing career.
Then came the shocker, a few days after Gone released I found out I was pregnant, which I wasn’t expecting at all. My children although young are way passed the nappy and sleepless night stage and my entire world just came to a grinding halt as I tried to work out how to be a mother, wife, terrible housewife, writer and look after a baby all without going crazy.
Sadly the worry was taken out of my hands when the pregnancy ended at nine weeks.
The end of the year has been such a blur for me, and I found it impossible to go on twitter or facebook and act like all was okay, because the truth is I wasn’t okay. I was heartbroken.
Since then we’ve lost another pregnancy, just before Christmas, but this time instead of feeling heartbroken, I’m beginning to realise that some things aren’t meant to be. There aren’t always happy endings and you don’t always get what you want.
This last week I’ve really tried to finish 2014 on a positive note. I’ve decided to end my writing break and have already started working on a new release for 2015 (and it’s so exciting I want to tell everyone about it now, but I’m restraining myself). I’m loving being back in creative mode, and realise just how much I enjoy that part of my life. I love to create stories. It’s a simple fact but true.
I’m not going to lie, I’m not that sorry to say goodbye to 2014. It’s been a very odd year. But, I am so excited for 2015; midnight tonight can’t come quick enough!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the support I’ve been given this year. The readers who love Lilah and Ben, or Rebecca and Josh, or any other character I write, make it all worthwhile. The friends I have made mean a lot to me, many who started out as writing / blogging buddies are now true friends and that means so much.
I hope everyone has an amazing 2015 and has all their dreams come true.

Anna.xxx

Finding Rebecca Walters

I just have to post this super quick (I’m supposed to be writing, but seem to be wasting time on the internet).  I’ve just stumbled across a picture that looks more like Rebecca Walters that I ever would have thought possible.

I’ve never seen this portrait until tonight, so have in no way used it in inspiration for my writing, but this is exactly how I visualise Josh seeing Bex when he looks at her. Beneath the make-up and the attitude is just fragile vulnerability, light instead of dark.

I will probably get in trouble for not accrediting this beautiful photograph properly so I shall try my hardest. Taken by Paul Apal’kin you can find the original here. I just think it’s beautiful and I hope you do to.

Rebecca Walters - Portrait

 

Anyway, back to the writing otherwise the next book will never get released!