Tuesday, 29 November 2016

#NaNoWriMo2016: Week 4

#NaNoWriMo2016: Week 4

November was a good writing month. I took part in the NaNoWriMo challenge and wrote a complete 50k+ words novel in less than a month. In fact, I did it in just 25 days (my new personal best :)). 

This video is a vlog I did through out the month to document the highs and lows. I also share insight into tips and tricks that worked for me:

I beat writers block, dealt with my characters taking over, discovered a system that works for me, and I won!

#NaNoWriMo2016: Winner

#NaNoWriMo2016: Winner

#NaNoWriMo2016: Winner

Did you take part in NaNoWriMo this year? Got some of your own tips to share? Post a comment below.

The Author - Reader Contract: Reader Expectations

The Author - Reader Contract: Reader Expectations

Today I wanted to share with you a recent video I did about the Author-Reader contract and invite you to join in the discussion. 

In this video I discuss reader expectations, author obligations, and diversity in books, among other things. 

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the topics raised in this video.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Learn About Virtual Book Tours For Just $0,99

Learn About Virtual Book Tours For Just $0,99

Today I have a special offer for you. My award winning book Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home will be available to download for just $0,99 from 25th-30th November 2016.

Grab your copy now at

Learn About Virtual Book Tours For Just $0,99

About the book:

Want to know how to sell more books online? This is the book for you! 

Virtual Book Tours are a great way to create a buzz for a new release or to put life back into an older publication. In this book I'll take you through everything you need to know to be able to set up and carry out a successful virtual book tour. 

The book is divided into 4 main sections for easy navigation:

1) What is a Virtual Book Tour?
2) How to organise your own tour
3) Promoting a tour
4) Useful resources

You'll find it packed with links, tips, and advice to help make your tour a hit.

Learn About Virtual Book Tours For Just $0,99

"I thought I knew everything about Virtual Book Tours until I read this book, I now know so much more! Virtual Book tours are a highly effective way to spread the news about your book, I did one for my own book (The Alien Mind) before I read this book and was amazed at how much more traffic and interaction it brought to my website as well as the boosts in sales and reviews. I can't wait to apply the tips Jo shares in this book to my future book releases and see how much MORE of a boost these tips will bring!
I think the next thing I want to try out, which Jo discusses in her book, is a virtual book signing!
Jo Linsdell has blown me away with her new book Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From The Comfort of Your Own Home. This is seriously a book that EVERY author promoting any book absolutely NEEDS to read. You will not be sorry, as a matter of fact, you will want to keep it close at hand for reference. All the steps are clear and easy to follow and there are many tools discussed in this book as well. You will find yourself going back to it repeatedly for marketing advice!" 
Review Written by: Virginia L. Jennings, Author of 'Visionary From The Stars' & 'The Alien Mind'

Grab your copy now at All reviews are most appreciated ;)

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Top 5 Wednesday: Books You'd Like To Re Read

Top 5 Wednesday: Books You'd Like To Re Read

It's Top 5 Wednesday time again! This weeks topic is Books You'd Like To Re-Read. 

Books mentioned:

Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz

Love Etc... by Julian Barnes

Secrets by Freya North

If you'd like to join with the Top 5 Wednesday fun you can join the T5W group at

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

AuthorTube: A Niche Group of BookTubers

AuthorTube: A Niche Group of BookTubers

I've been a BookTuber for several years now, and I recently found out about a niche segment now being called AuthorTube. Technically I've been doing AuthorTube for several years now too, but a new tag has been created to bring us all together. It was also fun to do ;)

If you want to know more about my writing and the types of videos I share on my YouTube channel, then this video is a good place to start.

If you'd like to join in with the AuthorTube Newbie Tag and share you're own answers to the questions, please consider yourself tagged. 

Monday, 21 November 2016

#NaNoWriMo2016: Week 3

#NaNoWriMo2016: Week 3

Wow this month is flying by so fast! Can't believe we're at week 3 already.

This past week has been full of highs and lows... lots of lows...

I got writers block. Yep, the words stopped flowing. I had days where I wrote 0 words. Others when I wrote just a few hundred. It wasn't good. In fact it wasn't until Friday that I actually did any significant writing. Friday was a good writing day.

The Block

A writers worst nightmare. The words just don't come. Those of you that have been following my progress this month will know that I hit a few slow days already during week 2. My characters took over and well, I ended up getting lost. This week I had to deal with the after-math of that.

I ended up doing some serious brainstorming. My antagonist had just turned out to be a whole lot more of a bad guy than I'd originally planned for, and my protagonist now has to face new challenges.

I roped in the help of others (brainstorming with others really helps me organise my thoughts). On Tuesday evening I chatted with a friend of mine about the story and why I was stuck. That in itself actually helped a lot. Explaining in a brief summary how I got to this point was really good for getting my focus back on the story. Together we started to find possible answers for the never ending list of questions that had arisen, and I started to get a better idea about the backstory of my antagonist.

I started to pull together my new ideas for where the story was going. Not great, but a start at least. It was enough to beat the block, and turn things around.

A Good Writing Day

Like I said, Friday was a good writing day. What I call a jet-pack day. I got down over 3K in less than two hours. The words began to flow again. I was back on track!

#NaNoWriMo2016: Week 3

Hitting 40K

On Saturday I reached the big 40K landmark. I have to say this felt pretty darn good :) It's great being able to see the end approaching. 

#NaNoWriMo2016: Week 3

Unfortunately I didn't get time to come up with any NaNoRewards though as my youngest came down with a fever :( 

Sunday was declared PJ day in our house, and the kids and I spent most of the day watching films from our DVD collection. Managed a quick word sprint session and got down 719, bringing my total to 40,719. 

As my youngest is still ill, and therefore off school for the day, not sure how productive I'm going to be able to be today, but hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in a word sprint or two at some point. Fingers crossed.

Monday, 14 November 2016

#NaNoWriMo2016: Week 2

#NaNoWriMo2016: Week 2  #NaNoWriMo #amwriting

Time to tick off week 2 on the writing frenzy known as NaNoWriMo, and what a week it was! (If you missed the week 1 update you can find it here:

Getting lost

I started week 2 by getting lost. My characters took me off my original plot outline, which was fine for a brief moment, but then everything suddenly became hard. Following my scene outlines everything had been going really well. Words flowed and I knew exactly where I was headed. Not any more. Thanks characters! 

So what do you do when your characters take over, and leave you feeling lost? Turns out you just keep on writing. It was that simple, and that hard. I kept writing through it and somehow managed to bring my story back on track with my original story plan.

Allow yourself to suck

A really important thing that helps in situations like this is something that NaNoWriMo creator, Chris Baty, talks about in his book No Plot? No Problem (grab a copy here: In chapter 5, he asks that I let the NaNoWriMo team "Take my inner editor". There is a very good reason for this. The goal this month is to write a first draft of a 50K novel. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be written. 

Knowing that I'm not writing a great masterpiece, but instead building a foundation that can be worked on later, helps. Trust me, I've written some sentences over the past two weeks that are seriously cringe-worthy. I have written over 30,000 words in just two weeks though, some of which are even good.

There is no limit to how rough a rough draft can be.~Unknown #NaNoWriMo2016 #amwriting #quote

Big milestones

On wednesday I reached 25,000 words. The big halfway mark! This is a huge turning point in the challenge as what is written from now on is more than what is left to write in order to reach the 50K goal. It's no longer so much about how much you still need to write, but instead knocking words off the still need to write tally. It feels good.


Let's talk a bit about NaNoRewards. A NaNoReward could be something small like allowing yourself to eat a chocolate after you've written 500 words, or going out for dinner to celebrate hitting a big milestone (yes, both of these are on my NaNoReward list ;)). 

After the high of Wednesday, I gave myself a big, well deserved NaNoReward. I gave myself the day off. Yep, the whole day. A daily word count total for Thursday of 0. It was wonderful. I caught up with other tasks I'd been putting on hold, spent time with family, relaxed... bliss.

Friday was not so wonderful. You see the problem with taking the day off is that you come back with a sense of guilt. You see that big fat 0 on your progress chart and kick yourself. What was I thinking?!

Writing was hard going, and most of Friday morning was very frustrating. The words just didn't seem to flow. Then I remembered what had happened on Monday. I just kept writing... and it worked. I still made good progress. 

Writing with kids

Weekends are always hard for me to find writing time. I have two small children. With the help of cartoons, and video games I managed to squeeze in some word sprints though and met my goals. Don't underestimate the power of those quick 10 minute sessions. It might just gain you 300 words, but it makes a big difference at the end of the day.

#NaNoWriMo2016: Week 2
Current stats as of Sunday 13th Nov.

and then there was this....

Yep, looks like this is going to be a series. Still not sure how I feel about this.

Friday, 11 November 2016

The Days of the Week Book Tag

The Days of the Week Book Tag

I actually did this video back on 30th September but just realised I never got round to sharing with you here on the blog so....

The Days of the Week Book Tag

I was tagged by the Bald Book Geek ( to do the Days of the Week Book Tag (original tag created by Jay Dee Archer at

This is actually the first time I've been tagged in a book tag and so was really excited about this! It was such a fun tag to do too! BTW if you want to tag me to do a book tag, please do. You can find my channel at

I tagged:

If anyone else fancies doing the tag you can consider yourselves tagged too though ;)

The books I mentioned:

Tuscany for Beginners:

Extra Confessions of a Working Girl:

The Kite Runner:

Adrian Mole the Cappuccino Years:

The Final Summit:

Shopaholic and Baby:

More to Life Than This:

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Book Review: Faithful by S.A. Wolfe

Book Review: Faithful by S.A. Wolfe

Disclosure: I got sent a free copy of this book from the publisher via Net Galley.

I'm giving this book a 3 star rating.

About the book:

A bombshell waitress who wants more. A former FBI agent who wants less … except for her.

*This is a standalone novel in the FEARSOME Series.

Imogene Walsh has always been unapologetically confident and ruthlessly opinionated with people, particularly men. No one is spared from her unfiltered mouth, but it hasn’t seemed to deter Cooper MacKenzie. Although he is not the clean-cut, businessman type she’s always thought she should pursue, Imogene is drawn to the sexy outsider who is the hottest topic in town gossip, the fantasy heartthrob women love to speculate about.

She has spent most of her life in the little town of Hera, NY, putting her numerous forgettable relationships behind her and floundering in both her professional and personal life. Work and men—neither have gone well for her. Now it’s reached the point where she wants to stop playing it safe.

It may be time to live up to her tough reputation and take a chance on Cooper, the only man who isn’t intimidated by Imogene’s brash personality. However, it could be a thrilling ride that doesn't end well.

Watch the video for my full review:

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Unboxing: The Bestseller Code

Unboxing: The Bestseller Code

I got book mail! I knew this one was coming but didn't expect it to get here so quickly so it was a lovely surprise.

I was sent a hardback copy of The Bestseller Code (published September 2016 - I said 2006 for some reason in the video but it was 2016 ;)) by St. Martin's Press (Macmillan Group). I'm super excited about this one. I think it will definitely make for interesting reading.

Will review once I'm done reading ;)

About the book:

"When a story captures the imagination of millions, that's magic. Can you qualify magic? Archer and Jockers just may have done so."—Sylvia Day, New York Times bestselling author

Ask most book people about massive success in the world of fiction, and you’ll typically hear that it’s a game of hazy crystal balls. The sales figures of E. L. James or Dan Brown, they’ll say, are freakish—random occurrences in an unpredictable market. But what if there were an algorithm that could predict mega-bestsellers with stunning accuracy? What if it knew, just from reading an unpublished manuscript, not just that genre writers like John Grisham and Danielle Steel would sell in huge numbers, but also that authors such as Junot Diaz, Jodi Picoult, and Donna Tartt had signs of New York Times bestselling all over their pages?

Thanks to Jodie Archer and Matthew Jockers, the algorithm exists, the code has been cracked, and the results are stunning. Fine-tuned on over 20,000 contemporary novels, the system analyzes themes, plot, character, setting, and also the frequencies of tiny but amazingly significant markers of style. The “bestseller-ometer” then makes predictions, with fascinating detail, about which specific combinations of these features will resonate with readers. Somehow, in all genres, it is right over eighty percent of the time.

This book explains groundbreaking text mining research in accessible terms, but its real story is in what the algorithm reveals about reading and writing and how successful authorship works. It offers a new theory on the success of Fifty Shades of Grey. It explains why Gone Girl sold millions of copies. It reveals the most important theme in bestselling fiction and which topics just won’t sell. And then there’s “The One,” the single most paradigmatic bestseller of the past thirty years that a computer picked from among thousands. The result is surprising, a bit ironic, and delightfully unorthodox.

The project will be compelling and provocative for all book lovers and writers. It is an investigation into our intellectual and emotional responses to stories, as well as a big idea book about the relationship between creativity and technology. It turns conventional wisdom about book publishing on its head. The Bestseller Code will appeal to fiction lovers and data nerds.

Watch the video of the unboxing:

Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR list? 

Monday, 7 November 2016

#NaNoWriMo2016: Week 1

#NaNoWriMo2016: Week 1 #WordCount #NaNoWriMo #amwriting #WIP

As you probably all know by now, I'm taking part in the NaNoWriMo challenge this month. Find me at and add me as a writing buddy ;) Read the synopsis for my book here:

Today is day 7, and so marks the end of the first week of the challenge. So far it's going really well. 

Here's my current stat situation:

As you can see I'm a fair bit ahead of the required daily goal. I'm hoping to fit in another couple of word sprints today too in the hopes of reaching 20K.

Why I'm writing so fast

Scene outlines

One thing that is definitely helping is that I did scene outlines before the challenge started. I actually did finished these the night before the event started so don't go thinking I did major plotting in advance. I didn't. What I did do though was break my plot idea down into scenes, and make a few notes about what needed to happen in each scene. This is the first time I've done this for NaNoWriMo, and I honestly say it makes a huge difference. Knowing what needs to happen means I can just write it without having to think about too much. 

This doesn't mean I can't be flexible. My characters took over yesterday and I ended up adding in a scene that wasn't in my original plan. What it does mean is that I know the story arc and so, even, when I get taken on little diversions, I know what I need to work back to.

Word sprints

Second is word sprints. I'm a busy person. I never have a whole day to just sit and write. It's just not going to happen. This is why I love word sprints. Quick little 10 or 15 minute shots of writing frenzy. Seriously, they do wonders to boost up your daily word count. Another one of my favourite word sprints this year is the 1K30 where the goal is to write 1K words in 30 minutes. I don't always manage it but can usually get out a good 800-900 words in that time.


A lot of what I've written is dialogue. I find it's faster to write than descriptions about setting etc... I can go back and add that in later during the revision process. The goal is month is to write the first draft. This mean getting the story down. It doesn't have to be perfect (and trust me when I say mine is far from it), it just needs to be written.

Dialogue is also a great way of revealing things about characters. Whether it's them talking, or others talking about them. 

I'm really pleased with how the challenge it going so far and hope to hit 50K early so I can then switch over to my non fiction manuscript and get that finished this month too.

I'd also like to point out that although I'm ahead, this is the first time I've done NaNoWriMo and been this far ahead. Slow and steady can win the race too, so don't compare yourself of others who have written more than you. NaNoWriMo is really a personal challenge. It's just you against your word count. Not you against other writers. Just keep writing. Whatever your progress, you're closer to finishing your novel than you were at the start of the month. 

How are you doing so far? 

Join me

If you'd like to follow along with my daily progress, and maybe join me on some word sprints, you can join the event page I set up at or follow me on Twitter at

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