Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Loveahappyending.Com - Launch Giveaway!






Launch Giveaway!

I'm giving three FREE copies of Sometimes It Happens...
To celebrate the launch of loveahappyending.com

Here is your chance to win one of three free copies of Sometimes It Happens... and to be featured in the loveahappyending.com Review Chair.
Now how exciting is that!



Sometimes It Happens... is published in Amazon Kindle e-book format and the free copies will be given in the form of a coupon redeemable from Amazon for reading on your Kindle or other devices with Kindle app.

The Rules are simple:

1. You can enter any time between 29 June 2011 and 3 July 2011.

2. Entries are limited to one per book, but feel free to enter for every book on offer on the loveahappyending.com website.

3. Winners will be picked by the individual Authors themselves, there are no ‘right’ answers – this is fun and ‘luck of the draw’.

4. You need to provide an Email address and by entering, give permission for us to contact you to notify you if you have won; winners will then be contacted again within 3 months to be interviewed for the loveahappyending.com blog. Your Email addresses will not be passed on or used for any other purpose. All winners will be notified by 17 July 2011.

Please refer back to http://loveahappyending.com for more information on the Review Chair and the format of the interview for winners of this competition.

How to enter:


Simply post a comment below and tell me why you want to win a copy of Sometimes It Happens...! Don’t forget to leave a full contact Email address.
Thank you for joining in and I hope you will visit again in the near future.

You can read reviews and also the first chapter of Sometimes It Happens... on my Home Page on my web site
Good luck!

Monday, 27 June 2011

My Guest - Love A Happy Ending!

This week, I am so pleased to have Love A Happy Ending, sitting in my guest chair, Love A Happy Ending is a new and exciting web site for new authors and readers. So please help yourself to a glass of bubbly, sit down in the shade and meet Linn Halton, founder of this amazing web site.

"Hi Pauline,
Thank you so much for inviting us to drop by and the warmest congratulations on the success of your latest novel Sometimes It Happens...! We love following your career and what stands out is that you are having a great time with your writing! Your cover is everywhere and certainly brightens OUR day! And when it comes to champagne corks popping, we do have something in common…….


http://loveahappyending.com/ is a new and innovative, interactive Reader/Author website. It launches on 29 June 2011 with a competition to win lots of our new Authors’ books.
This is all about READER POWER and readers being able to get to know our new Authors and helping to raise their profiles. We have 30 ‘invited’ featured Authors; our aim is to launch their careers so they can vacate their ‘spot’ and another new Author will then be invited to join us.
Readers come forward to ‘link’ with our new Authors as their Associate Readers and help by reviewing their work and using social media to get the author’s name out there! Sometimes Associates will receive free copies of books to review, or may be asked for their opinion on work yet to be published. It’s all about a love of books, having fun and demonstrating that READER SUPPORT can make a difference.
Most new Authors don’t have an advertising budget and are a team of one promoting themselves. Being one of the invited new Authors at loveahappyending.com immediately gives them a network of friends and fellow authors, all going through the same processes. But it is our wonderful network of Associate Readers, whose feedback and support will enable our Authors to grow in confidence and ability. And that is ‘the difference’.

Once Launch Day is over the aim is to attract sponsorship, so that Readers, Authors and Sponsors can work as a team. We will be celebrating our sponsors involvement on our website and a sister website coming in the near future! Not only will their sponsorship buy copies of our new Authors’ books, those books will then be auctioned for charity! Our Readers and new Authors will be using social media to promote our kind sponsors and the loveahappyending.com blog will be reporting it every step of the way!

Our blog will be magazine style and feature articles about the interactive experience, the lives of those involved, plus inside gossip and you can read ‘Shaz’s Stars’ to see how astrological influences affect our new Authors! So lots to see and lots of ways readers can get involved.

So thank you for inviting us Pauline, I know the whole gang will be frequent visitors here! Sometimes It Happens... is going to be a great success and is a brilliant example of how hard work, wonderful writing and an Author with heart is what it is all about!

Visit our web site for more informations and news
http://loveahappyending.com/
You can join us at Twitter and Facebook!
Twitter 
Facebook

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Twenty Four Hours!

Monday morning: The men arrived to repair the pool. The weather forecast put the Island on Amber alert as a heat wave was sweeping in and temperatures of 40c in the shade were expected. And, the Drain expert company came to check the drains! ... and this was just the beginning!

A few weeks ago our swimming pool began to leak, enough to warrant attention, and so we organised for it to be repaired. We were told that it must be emptied on Sunday, ready for work to begin Monday. No problems! Well that is what we thought, what happened next .....

On the Saturday we noted that when we flushed the toilets or took a shower the water backed up and came back. Trying not to panic as it was the weekend, we made several checks our self and realised that things were more serious than we wanted to think about.

Monday - as planned, the pool men got to work, they sanded down the pool, a plume of cloud hovered over the garden, falling down onto everything inside and out! The temperature shot up to around 35c in the shade! And the Drain company told us the drains were blocked and worse the pipe appeared to be crushed - a snazzy camera confirmed this. We needed to start digging to find the pipe. By the end of Monday we had Kangooed part of our tiled entrance pathway (it is normal here to have tiled pathways - they do look nice!) Followed by busting out several centimetres of very stubborn concrete. Hooray we found the pipe. But that was just the beginning.

With little rain on the island, tree roots look for water from any source and it seemed at some point in the past our sewer pipe had a tiny fracture. The desperate for water tree roots were in there and hence the beginning of our problem.


Tuesday - we were told a trench of around three and half metres deep and a metre wide needed to be dug along a long length of the garden to expose the pipe. There are two large trees in that location - the source of the problem as they had wheedled their little noses into our sewer pipe and wolfed not only the water, but crushed the pipe. We now have to take out these trees - the roots are around six to eight inches in circumference and each of the trees has several of these beasties! "Help," we cried, but there was none. Those who we called were too busy and others did  not want to work in the high temperatures. So boldly going where only fools go, we started the big dig and root removal. The temperature yesterday in our corner of digging was 50c degrees. Today, it has not been much better We have calculated that in between our other commitments, sadly we have these! We should have the first trench open and ready for the drain expert to lay a new pipe early next week. Fingers crossed! When I say first, there is a chance we may have to dig up rooms in the villa too!

What a time to have to do all this work when we could not even fall into our pool to cool off. By the way, the pool should be ready next week. I bet the heat wave will have gone by then and hopefully the new sewer pipe laid too!

To add insult to injury, Barney our doggy was ill yesterday and I spent much of the day, in between everything else, cleaning up after him. At 2am this morning he had us both up as he was ill again. After cleaning up we had to bath him. This morning, he his perfectly fine, running around, woofing and being his usual self. Unlike us!


I will end now on a cheerful note, I had a lovely review for Sometime It Happens... from Amanda Rutter of Floor to Ceiling Books. What made this review a little special was that Amanda does not normally review Indie Published (Self Published) books. Sometimes It Happens... was her first into this area, she ended her review saying, "Altogether, I'm pleased that my first foray into self-published works was a success. I was entertained by the story of Doreen Wilkinson, and would recommend this as an easy read on a summer's afternoon."

Monday, 20 June 2011

Perfectly Covered, My Lovely Guest - Cathy Helms

Don't judge a book by it's cover, we've all heard that saying, but my lovely guest this week is an exception to the rule, Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics, designs covers that takes your breath away.

"Greetings Ya'll! I'm Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics writing to you from rural North Carolina, USA. First of all I want to thank the truly fabby and charming Pauline Barclay for inviting me to her blog! It is great to be here and to be introduced to all of her readers.


I met Pauline through a mutual friend, UK author Helen Hollick, who recommended my creative services to her back in April. I am a graphic designer and I specialize in designing book cover jackets, and Pauline was in the market for a fresh cover design for her latest novel: Sometimes It Happens...

My husband and I reside in North Carolina after relocating over a decade ago from Florida (USA), where we both grew up. After years of working in billing and customer service, I finally had had enough of crunching numbers and creating invoices. So I applied and was accepted into my local community college where I earned a degree in Advertising and Graphic Design in 2008. I call the college experience my own version of a 'mid life crisis' since I waited until I turned 40 to further my education. After graduating, I established Avalon Graphics and have been working out of our home growing my design business ever since. And my big break came when I reached out to historical fiction author Helen Hollick after reading her Pendragon's Banner Trilogy with praise for her phenomenal telling of Arthur and Gwenhwyfar. We became instant friends and she gave me the opportunity to redesign the cover for her pirate novel 'Sea Witch'....and I've been working with Helen ever since! She's introduced me to a whole bunch of great folks in the industry, so I owe much of my recent successes to her!


I grew up with a healthy interest in anything related to the Arthurian legends - thus the inspiration for naming my design business. Fantasizing about castles, knights in shining armour and all that frivolity were (and still are!) my favorite pastime. Also, I have always been fascinated with British history; in particular the Dark Ages. I regularly attend local Renaissance Festivals here in North Carolina, and plan to travel to the UK for the first time in 2012.

I am also an fervent digital photographer and often use my own photography in my design work. I grew up with dreams of becoming a filmmaker, or a singer, or an artist, and so I've always considered myself a creative soul. As a teenager, I sang in my school's choir, played the trumpet, and was student director of many school stage productions. I graduated with the distinction of being named Drama Student of the Year in 1985. But it wasn't until much later in my life that I returned to my creative roots. Fresh out of high school, I failed to follow those creative dreams. Instead, I followed the job market earning a steady income for the first twenty two years of my professional life working in dull cubicles crunching numbers.

Besides all things 'Arthurian', I also fell in love with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings novels while still working in the drab office environment. And when Peter Jackson produced the stunning films back in 2001, I found my muse again for imaginative pursuits. I began writing poetry and dabbling in fan fiction writing. And I wanted to create my own computer desktop wallpapers based on the Lord of the Rings and other fandoms.


So after some research into how these digital wallpapers were created I discovered a computer software program called Adobe Photoshop! Years before I went to college to gain a formal education in the medium I taught myself how to create graphics for the web and print media with Photoshop. What my formal education gave me was the technical skills that I would need in order to apply my creative skills in the field of Advertising and Graphic Design. Most importantly, I learned how to prepare digital designs for print and quickly discovered a particular love for book cover design.


How I do it - I am often asked about my process in designing book jackets and my initial response goes something like this: each project is unique and it 'depends....' I know, that is incredibly vague. *laughs* I ask the client about their manuscript first, then ask a few questions about favorite colors, other book covers that they favor and if they have any specific elements they'd like to see on the cover. Then I begin my concepts (in Photoshop, not by hand which usually surprises folks) based on the client's input and largely on my own gut instinct after interacting with the client. I like to work directly with the client in developing a cover design that truly speaks to them and represents the story that they are telling within the pages of their book. While my education taught me the 'rules' of formal graphic design, I like to step outside that box and go for something more unique whenever possible. Not all publishing houses allow free styling in book cover design, but I certainly push that envelope! I fashion myself a photo manipulator with a serious addiction to typography. However, my resume simply says 'Graphic Designer' as that would be the prim and proper title for my profession.

So what I do - offer an array of design services and have geared Avalon Graphics to suit the self-published and small businesses in the market in need of quality design while on a tight budget. I provide full book jacket layouts, marketing materials such as flyers, post cards, bookmarks, web graphics, book trailers for YouTube and even portfolio websites for my clients. I have signed on with UK publisher Knox Robinson Publishing to handle all their book cover needs in 2011 while I also continue to work with many individual authors including Helen Hollick, Richard Denning, John Baird, and Pauline!

I want to thank Pauline again for lettin' me descend on and take over her blog for an entry today. It has been a pleasure!"

Cathy Helms, Graphic Designer
Avalon Graphics (established in 2009)

Home page: http://www.avalongraphics.org/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Avalon_Graphics

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Avalon-Graphics/126803021962

Associate Member: http://www.newwritersuk.co.uk/

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Perfect Holiday Read?

What makes a perfect holiday read? A questions that will be crossing many reader's lips in the coming weeks as the 'getaway & relax' season fast approaches. For many people this will be the only time they will be able to sit, relax and do very little or nothing at all. Reading a good book, whilst sprawled out in the sun, can make a holiday complete, but what is the perfect book?

Are you a book gripper, turning each page carefully as you shadow an evil murderer in a Suspense Thriller? Or do you prefer to gaze into passionate eyes of the hero in a steamy Romance? Maybe the book you are planning to take as your holiday companion is one that makes you feel warm and happy, reminding you of your own wonderful holiday?

I like to think that my latest book is a perfect summer read, there is plenty of sun, romance, laughter and.... yes,of course, that is there too! I'd like to share with you two lovely reviews about Sometimes It Happens... which I received yesterday. Maybe you will then decide if Sometimes It Happens... is the perfect summer read for you and all your friends.

"Sometimes It Happens is a really fun book written by the lovely Pauline Barclay. I read it in just two days and seriously felt as though I had been on a little mini-break in the sun." To read the full review, please click on -> Dot Scribbles , a lover of books and a book blogger.

"There are fantastic characters in this book and all of them were entertaining and their stories funny as well as occasionally sad with several twists and surprises that I didn't expect. I really enjoyed this book and will now have to buy Pauline's other two books". To read the full review, please click on -> Debs Carr, writer and Editor for Women's Fiction



Sometimes It Happens... is available from Amazon Kindle - Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com



 

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Author & Adventurer, Eileen Schuh from Canada


This week my guest is the wonderful, Eileen Schuh from Canada and we are doing something a little special with our Blogs.

Today, Eileen will be sitting here on my Blog, on the sunny island of Lanzarote, sipping bubbly whilst relaxing on a sun lounger at the side of the pool waiting to chat with you. So where am I you ask? I'll be over at Eileen's Blog in Canada, where I hope to spot a bear or two and eat fresh fish I manage to catch myself in a lake nearby.

Seriously, my guest this week is not only a great author, but an amazing adventurer. Please take a few moments to read about this wonderful person and have a chat with her.



Thank you, Pauline, for sharing your Blog and your readers with me. We are both celebrating the release of our novels and what better way to do that than to guest blog for each other!

I read Pauline’s Sometimes It Happens... even after she warned me it was “very English”. I like “English”. In fact, my generation was raised English. We sang “God Save the Queen” at the start of each school day and were treated to such great literature as Curious George, Winnie the Pooh, and Alice in Wonderland.


By Grade 2, I knew what a lorry (truck), a lift (elevator), a flat (apartment), and a boot (trunk of a car) were! Of course Shakespeare and Charles Dickens eventually made their way into our lives, as well.

Canadians often forget that their home land is ‘foreign and intriguing’ to others. Compared to Europe, “the States” and tropical islands, we figure Canada hasn’t got much of interest except perhaps, hockey.

However, my daughter played for me an interview with her grandfather that she taped for a university project. She asked him about his experiences when he immigrated to Canada from Europe. Why did he choose Canada?

“For adventure!” he declared. Back then, on the posters and in the newspaper ads that promoted immigration, Canada wasn’t marketed to Europeans for its economic opportunities, nor its freedoms, nor its vast open spaces—but as a land of great adventure!

Yes, I do live an adventuresome life, compared to those who inhabit the huge cities of the world. I’ve seen bears, shot grouse, cooked deer. I’ve fished icy lakes and climbed in the Rockies. I’ve ridden horses, rounded up cattle, and sat around many a campfire while loons cackled and geese honked. I’ve survived blizzards and felt the warm kiss of a Chinook.

My adventures pale, however, when it comes to the adventures my young heroine undertakes in my novel THE TRAZ. Against the vast and exciting setting of Canada’s prairies, THE TRAZ, a newly released YA novel, is as daring, raw, and spirited as the young heroine.

It’s exhilarating entertainment but it also contains a vital message for those on the cusp of maturity and for the adults who guide them. It addresses head-on the issues behind juvenile delinquency and exposes the adults who exploit these troubled teens.

What is the captivating story through which these life-lessons flow?

Katrina is thirteen, wealthy, grieving, and alone. But she is more than that. She's intelligent, beautiful, and intrigued by the dangers of street life.

Shrug's a giant of a man with a voice of thunder and eyes of granite. He has tattoos, The Traz gang patch, and a motorbike. When he asks Katrina if she wants a ride, she makes a decision that will change her life forever.

Katrina quickly discovers the violent side of life on The Traz compound. However, there is no way for her to escape until she meets Chad—an undercover cop with rich brown eyes, a gentle chuckle, and a plan to rescue Katrina from the clutches of the gang. However, there's a problem.

Somebody is keeping dangerous secrets from them both.


WARNING: if you watch this video promo, you'll want to buy the book!

"TheTraz" Book Trailer

To purchase or sample THE TRAZ visit:
Amazon.com
Amazon.UK
Amazon.de
Smashwords



For more information about THE TRAZ and the author, or to request an interview: mailto:eileenschuh@yahoo.com
I invite you to become a part of my virtual family. Visit me at http://www.eileenschuh.com/
or http://eileenschuh.blogspot.com/

 I’m also easy to find on facebook and twitter.

My other book, SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT, a sci-fi novella, will be released August 2011 by WolfSinger Publications in eBook and print formats.

Courage to you all! May you have many great adventures

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Seriously Cute Blogger Awards!

There are so many fabby Blogger awards, but I wanted to add a new one, I've named it, Seriously Cute Blogger.

And I'm going to make some awards today and for those who accept this Seriously Cute Blogger award, you must tell us the names of five books or films, or TV series you have read or watched in the last 12 months and then pass the award on to at least five other Cute Bloggers.

I'm starting the ball rolling with my five:

1. Film - Shriek all three! - I loved these so much I could watch them over and over again...and probably will as we have the DVDs

2. Book - Presumed Dead, by Shirley Wells, can't wait for number two and three!

3. Book - The Silver Locket by Margaret James, the Golden Chain is on my to read pile!

4. TV series - Downton Abbey we were given the box set at Christmas, loved every single episode

5. Book - Always on my Mind - Colette Caddle

Now for the best part, passing the Seriously Cute Blogger award to some seriously cute bloggers!

Rosalind Adam http://rosalindadam.blogspot.com/
Talli Roland http://talliroland.blogspot.com/
Shirley Wells http://shirleywells.blogspot.com/
Debs Carr http://debcarrs-daydreams.blogspot.com/
Christine Stovell http://homethoughtsweekly.blogspot.com/
Maureen A. Miller http://maureenamiller.blogspot.com/
Suzy Turner http://suzyturner.blogspot.com/
Sara Duncan http://sarahduncansblog.blogspot.com/
Liz Fichera http://lizficherablog.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

That Song!


I don't know about you, but some songs spark of an instant memory for me, probably because they were playing at the time, for instance,

Chris de Burgh's, Lady in Red, as soon as I hear the opening track my mind races back to a beautiful summer's evening when I was driving home from the office in Epsom along the Leatherhead by-pass. The trees had the wonderful canopy of new leaf in the soft green of spring time. The shadows from the trees slipped across the road as the sun filtered through the new foliage.

Gareth Gates, Anyone of Us (Stupid Mistake) sends me back to driving through Voorschoten, the long flat roads surrounded by miles of flat fields, on my way back to our home in Leiden having had cake, coffee and plenty of chatting with my dear friend, Cheryl at the Vroom & Dreesmann in Leideshendam.

Whitney Houston, A Moment in Time, makes my stomach grip with the anxiety as I recall my exams at the Guildford college during my years of studying for a BA (hons) degree with the Open University.



Do you have a song, a piece of music that sends you back to a time, place or event and if so, please share it with us....just to remind me I'm not completely gaga!

Monday, 6 June 2011

My Guest, Janice Horton



It's another hot day here on the island, so I'll just wind up the parasol as my lovely guests makes herself comfortable. Janice Horton, now relaxed and sipping champagne is going to talk about her humorous  new book, Bagpipes & Bullshot and life in Scotland. Take it away Janice...

Thank you Pauline, for inviting me to the beautiful island of Lanzarote this week to be your guest. I’m absolutely delighted to accept. Only, what did you mean about me not actually needing to get a flight over there...?

Hello everyone. I’m Janice Horton and I’m the author of Bagpipes & Bullshot, an entertaining and humorous novel which, for the most part, is inspired by the romantic beauty of the heather-filled glens around my Scottish country cottage.

I must admit that after the last particularly harsh winter here in Scotland, with freezing temperatures and deep snow, the recent photos of Pauline’s beachside home on Lanzarote have made me feel rather envious of her year-round sun-kissed lifestyle, and I have wondered why it is that I choose to live on a Scottish hillside?

Twenty three years ago, when I first came to live in Scotland, I was in awe of its raw wild beauty which was bathed in a strangely diffused northern light. I marvelled at the traffic free roads, the deer ambling past my unlocked door, the rare birds flying overhead. I was captured by the romantic castles swathed in mist and the ancient traditions that mark the seasons, bringing together people in remote communities.

It is a place that has inspired me to write, although I first got the idea for Bagpipes & Bullshot while visiting America, standing on a Gulf Coast beach at sunset, thinking of how the warm breezes, blue waters, and southern lifestyle, were a world away from my life in Scotland. Now, you may think a contemporary novel with a cowgirl and a laird is a little far removed from what it is to be American or Scottish today, and you would be right. However, the premise of the story is about opposites attracting and the emotional, cultural, and geographical differences between two people who come from opposite sides of an ocean.
In Bagpipes & Bullshot the heroine of the story, Orley, arrives from Texas to experience not only the beauty of Scotland but also the harsh realities. The story is, of course, intentionally larger than life and that’s what hopefully makes it entertaining and fun. I’m told there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in Bagpipes & Bullshot!

It’s June and summertime here at last. It’s raining of course, warm(ish) rain, but thankfully the midge season isn’t biting yet. The trees in the forest on the opposite side of the glen are clad in their finest greenery and the hawthorn outside my cottage window is dressed in bridal white. The swallows have arrived back in the garden and during these longest days of the year it doesn’t ever really get dark here. Its dusk at midnight and the sun rises again as early as three am.
So now I’ve conceded all over again that Scotland is a paradise of its own making.
And perhaps if it was always warm, dry, and conveniently midge free, everyone would want to live here - the wild beauty would be gone - and with it perhaps my creativity, my inspiration, my romantic notions, and my heather clad settings?

So I’ll stay after all. But I think I’ll mention to my dear husband how it might be nice to take a holiday, somewhere sunny, dry and warm, like the Canary Islands...?

Bagpipes & Bullshot is available to download from Amazon Kindle and Smashwords






Follow her on Twitter: @JaniceHorton



Janice is a loveahappyending.com author


Sunday, 5 June 2011

At Home With Christine Stovell!

Today, I am over at the lovely Christine Stovell, author of, Turning The Tide, Blog. Whilst I'm there, I'm hoping I'll get a peek at the garden of her gorgeous new house. Please come on over and say hello...Christine's serving drinks and nibbles yay! Home Thoughts Weekly

Friday, 3 June 2011

Canary Day!


May 30th was Canary Day here on the Island and if you ventured into the shops and restaurants you saw the staff dressed in traditional costume. Local produce was laid out on tables for customer to taste and enjoy. In one shop we went into in Tias they had a miniature barrel on a trestle filled with wine...you simply helped yourself. Sadly, I did not have my camera with me, but I managed to capture  a couple of ladies dressed in Canary finery who work in one of the shops along the glorious seafront in Puerto del Carmen.

The local people are proud to be Cannarian and celebrate with many cultural activities; dancing, singing, talking about there heritage. Schools make a special point to teach the young ones about the rich history and culture of the Islands. The Canary Islands consists of seven inhabited islands off the coast of West Africa and although very close to the Moroccan coastline , the Islands form part of the community of Spain. Up until 1402 the islands were independent, then as the Spanish invaded they became part of the Kingdom of Castile 1495.