#coverreveal – Dare to Dream – by @tiny_dancer85 @REUTSpub

I am delighted to welcome my friend and fellow author Carys Jones to my blog today to reveal the gorgeous cover of her latest novel Dare to Dream. I can’t wait to read this one! The blurb is intriguing and gives me goosebumps just thinking about what the mysterious events could lead to. Over to Carys! XXX

dare-to-dream-front-cover About DARE TO DREAM:
The world was going to end. Of that, Maggie Trafford was certain.
Fourteen-year-old Maggie Trafford leads a normal life. Well, as normal as being crammed in a three-bedroom house with four siblings and a single parent can be, anyway. But despite being somewhat ignored at home, Maggie excels, earning top grades, a best friend who would do anything for her, and stolen looks from a boy in Maths.
It’s not until the dreams start that Maggie realizes “normal” is the least of her problems. Every night, she lives the same nightmare—red lightning, shattered glass, destruction. But nightmares are just that, right? No one believes her when she says it’s an omen. At least, not until the already mysterious pillars of Stonehenge start falling.
No longer alone in her fear, Maggie and the world watch with bated breath as one after another, the historic stones tumble, like a clock counting down. But only Maggie knows what it means: when the last stone falls, destruction will reign. And when the world ends, there’s only one option left—survive.
Horrifying and raw, Dare to Dream is equal parts tragedy and hope, detailing the aftermath of apocalyptic catastrophe, the quest for survival, and the importance of belief.

Pre-order DARE TO DREAM by Carys Jones today!

About Carys Jones:

cary jones author photoCarys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader’s imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.

When she’s not writing, Carys likes to indulge her inner geek by watching science-fiction films or playing video games.

She lists John Green, Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews as her favorite authors and draws inspiration for her own work from anything and everything.

To Carys, there is no greater feeling then when you lose yourself in a great story and it is that feeling of ultimate escapism which she tries to bring to her books.
Find more of Carys Jones on her website, like her on facebook or follow on twitter.

A Good Day…attitude of gratitude. :-) #happiness #time

Stairway to heaven ©Depositphotos/joruba75

Today has been a good day in many ways and I’m working an attitude of gratitude.

Here’s why:

I have a husband I adore.

I have the best children in the world.

I am healthy and my loved ones are too.

I have two dogs and I always wanted dogs. We get to take some fabulous walks and it helps to keep me fit.

I have some great friends across the social networks from authors to editors to book reviewers to readers.

I am 12k into my WIP which is a different genre and won’t be published under MAW as it’s not erotic romance but I’m really enjoying writing it.

I just got an acceptance on a manuscript. It’s always a wonderful feeling.

And that is why I am working my attitude of gratitude.

What are you grateful for today?

Hugs! xxx

Live every day…

©Depositphotos/joruba75

©Depositphotos/joruba75

This is a different kind of post for me. It’s been a while since I’ve posted about my ‘real’ life. I’m always so busy rushing from one thing to another, whether it’s looking after my family, dealing with the day job or trying to squeeze in writing and promo. But I feel the need to express my current feelings.
This week, the advice ‘live every day like it’s your last’ has become all too real. I lost a dear friend. Unexpectedly. Suddenly. Shockingly. I won’t divulge the details because it’s unnecessary and unfair to her family but her sudden passing has left me stunned and hurting. I’m not wallowing in self-pity – her family are going through hell right now and her loss will be overwhelming for them. But I am wondering how life is going to be without ever seeing her again.
She was too young to die. She had energy and enthusiasm that I wish I had, even though she was older than me. She was very pretty and…classy. I wouldn’t describe many women as classy because, well, they’re not. They might be beautiful, handsome or even sexy, but she brought elegance into the room whenever she entered. She was funny and did so many things that made me giggle for hours. She was one of the first people I contacted when my debut novella was accepted and her excitement and pride equalled my own.
How will the world be without her around to share those memories?
Ouch! 😦
I’ve lost close family before and it’s agony. The loss of a parent is terrible and the pain never goes away. But I’ve never lost a friend before and it’s just really, really strange. I didn’t see her every day, but I knew she was there. Now I know that she’s not…but I can’t really take it in.
So how do I deal with this?
At the moment, I’m not sure. I’m moving between anger and grief. When I can, I treasure the good memories and smile at the lovely things she did for me – like buying me daffodils to keep on my desk at work this time last year. They brightened my days and every time I see a daffodil, I think of her. So, I guess, she will always be strongest in my memory in the spring.
I will think of her when the spring bulbs appear and daffodils will remind me of her kindness and her smile. This is only the start of a long road, I know that. I’m so sad that she will never do the things she loved ever again and that her family, especially her husband, will have to live without her. The people around us, our family and friends, are so precious and we must remember to always treasure them. We should all live every day as if it’s our last because then we will be more open to appreciate exactly what we have.

Good night my sweet friend. I miss you and always will do. I hope that you have found peace.
xxx

©Depositphotos/designpicsinc

©Depositphotos/designpicsinc

It’s beginning to feel a lot like…Christmas?

©Depositphotos/exinocactus

©Depositphotos/exinocactus

Well, Christmas really is just weeks away. I can’t believe we’re already in November. I wish I’d written a Christmassy tale this year…but maybe next year! It has been a busy one anyway and I have several projects coming to fruition, so 2014 will be a busy year! 2013 has been great in a lot of ways – debut novella released, developing professional relationships with publishers and other authors and, of course, spending precious time with my family.

I have little Christmas rituals I like to perform each year, such as making mince pies, tracking Santa on Norad (I LOVE doing this with my kids) and at least a dozen others which I’ll post about as the festive season draws even closer. But one of my favourites is reading at least one Christmas novel. There’s nothing like cuddling up in the warm with a mug of hot chocolate – or a nice glass of wine – and reading a good festive novel.

So here are two recommendations to get you in the Christmas mood this year:

Number 1

A Scandalous Regency Christmas
This is an anthology featuring a story by one of my favourite authors Barbara Monajem, as well as some other fabulous authors – Christine Merrill, Marguerite Kaye, Annie Burrows and Linda Skye.

Browsing the Mills and Boon section at a supermarket deep in the heart of Wales yesterday, I found this one on the shelf. My husband thought I was mad taking a photo!

Xmas books

Number 2

Wicked Wonderland written by another of my favourite authors, the lovely Lisa Whitefern.

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This is a delightful combination of adorable characters, festive magic and vivid menage romance. Ms Whitefern creates intensity throughout with internal and external conflicts which keep the reader turning pages.
Lilly is a strong yet vulnerable love, Nick is smoking dom hot and Kris is the man you’d want as a bfwb! Add to this delightful trio the evil sibling, the fascinating birdmen (conjured images of the winged men from Flash Gordon) and the heat that happens just about everywhere (Xmas cards with pics of Santa’s sleigh will never look the same, nor will rooftops) and you’ve got a thoroughly enjoyable combination!

So there you have it! My two reading suggestions for the next few weeks.
Why not check them out then let me – and the authors – know what you think?

Did they get you in the Christmas mood?

Is it beginning to feel a little…or a lot…like Christmas?

Molly xxx

The Immortality of Significance

I wrote this poem when I was at university. It summed up a lot about me then and I guess it still does now.

The Immortality of Significance

From where does the loneliness come
After the partying stops?
In the moments of solitude
When we crave freedom from company
Yet hate to be alone.

Sharp reality strikes a despairing blow;
Our frail bodies yield their realities.
We are mortal…feathers tossed about on the winds of life
Insignificant yet desiring the immortality of significance.

We gather together in groups and try to bond,
Find similar interests and laugh together in a futile hope for invincibility…

I want to hear the music again and dance,
It is a temporary escape from the burden of knowledge.

Molly Ann Wishlade

©Depositphotos/ sborisov

©Depositphotos/ sborisov

Summer of Love

Summer 2013 was the Summer of Love but not, perhaps, in the way you might be thinking.

My husband’s grandfather’s British bulldog gave birth to four puppies!

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What does that have to do with love? I hear you ask.

Well, we fell head over heels in love with the gorgeous babies and we have spent every spare minute there helping out. It’s not just the fact that his grandfather is 78 that has taken us there – although that factored into it enormously. It was also due to the fact that the puppies (and their mum) are such funny, sweet and adorable bundles of fur.

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Bulldogs are a breed that I wasn’t previously familiar with but they are great family pets and really bright and inquisitive dogs. They like to interact with humans but they also – at times – exude an air of superiority which suggests that they will listen to what their owner says but not always take heed. Each dog has its own distinct personality and there is a big difference between the males and females. The latter tend to be gentler and more affectionate whereas the males tend to be bursting with mischief and a desire to be involved in EVERYTHING!!!

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The puppies are almost six weeks old now and will soon head off to their new homes. It will leave my husband and I broken hearted to see them go because we’d dearly love to home them (and several rescue dogs) ourselves but fulltime employment means that it wouldn’t be fair on the dogs.

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Like all canine companions, bulldogs need their owners around to comfort and entertain them. If you’re lucky enough to have one or more, then I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that they are a great breed of dog and that they make wonderful additions to any family home.

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For now, my DH and I will have to hold onto the memories of the summer of love and hope that one day we can have our very own baby bulldog to adore.

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Not enough time…

Not enough time…

Recently, I’ve read a few blog posts where busy writers talk about how they fit their writing in around their extremely busy lives and I’ve empathised with every single one of them. I’m even guilty of using the rather ridiculous “I need more hours in the day!” I know it’s not possible, of course, and even if it was I don’t think I could cope with any more hours because I work flat out in the ones I already have.

From rising at 6am until falling into bed at 10.30-ish, I’m busy. I wouldn’t have it any other way because I love my life but I wouldn’t mind a bit more time to do the things I really want to do – like writing.

I admitted to a dear friend of mine just this week – you know who you are you lovely lady – that I’m a perfectionist. Now, in a life where many things aren’t perfect, that makes me my own worst enemy. Unfortunate! My wonderful husband constantly tells me I’m a great wife, mum, daughter-in-law, friend, teacher, etc. But do I listen? Of course not! I nod my head, smile, accept his hug then wander off and reprimand myself for not completing everything perfectly that day. If I could just relax a bit and let go, I know it would be good for me. My dear friend told me that it would be better to strive for excellent and relinquish perfect. Good advice, right? I’m trying…

I wonder how many of us, especially women, are guilty of setting ourselves such high standards. From dawn til dusk I want to know that my husband and kids are well fed – was it nutritious enough, did I make sure the salt content was low enough, did they have enough variety….Then are their clothes right – warm enough, properly ironed, colours not too faded, whites bright and shiny… Have I given them all enough quality time? Ooh, I’m not sure…do they all feel loved enough, praised enough? Arghh!!!

You get the idea!

A typical week day involves: 8am we leave the house, drop the kids with my angelic mother-in-law then head off to teach until 3.30 – 4.30, depending on whether we’re running extra lessons. Arrival at home involves making dinner, sorting the bearded dragons, helping kids with homework and doing my own marking, planning and general household duties. When kids are tucked up in bed and I finally feel that everything might just be finished to my ‘high standards’, I write. How I LOVE that time!

Now, the past few weeks have seen a slip in my writing pattern due to having extra work – we have a school inspection next week. (Oh the horrors of it! I really wish they’d just come in unannounced and take us as they find us because the build up to it is worse than the actual experience of it, believe me!) So my lovely time in the evening, my precious writing time has been reluctantly handed over to extra school work. And lesson planning – that’s no easy feat for me either! A power point to accompany a lesson can take me hours because it has to look just as good as it is in terms of activities!

However, once this week is over, next weekend is MINE…ALL MINE!!!! *CRAZY LAUGHTER*

I intend to resume normal activities and to reclaim my writing time. I have a work in progress which is currently eating away at me (the characters need to be released: to live, laugh, love, cry – they won’t give me any peace at the moment, they keep whispering in my ears and they really are haunting my dreams) and so many other ideas developing in my busy brain that I’m not sure which one will escape next!

So…I had to squeeze in a blog post because my brain needs to vent…just a bit!

Come visit with me and tell me how busy you are. I love hearing other people’s stories!

Now, if I can just get through this coming week…