Wednesday, 24 May 2017

To Award or Not To Award

Most of you know I am the founder of Chill with a Book Awards: Awards for Indie authors. Within three months the Awards went international with Awardees from Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK and Europe. Each book accepted into the Award programme is read by an equal number of readers. Chill’s readers are scattered all over the world; USA, UK and Europe. Readers have to answer five question about the book they have read and add comments if they wish too. Few authors and readers know I am an author too so you can image the surprise I had when an email dropped in to my in-box from a Chill reader...

“... I realized I had not spent time investigating your blog. I went to Facebook & liked/followed Chill, of coarse, but then went to your blog. Silly me, I did not know you were a writer; I thought you were a reader interested in promoting Indie writers.  Naturally, I was excited and ordered The Wendy House. Talk about a "page turner"!  My God, Pauline, this book is tremendous!...”

This email more than made my day, but nothing like th email I recevied today...

"..Couldn't resist "submitting" my "evaluation". “

And this is the evaluation from a Chill reader...

 Were the characters strong and engaging?

            • Yes, very!

Was the book well written?

            • Yes! ...and especially considering the difficult topic!

Did the plot have you turning the page to find out what happened next?

            • Yes, absolutely!  I have never read ANY book in two days. And not because it was an "easy read". It was not a "simple" or "light" book; it was compelling.

Was the ending satisfying?

            • Yes, very. I don't think I've ever been so satisfied with an ending."

Have you told your friends about it?

            •  I'm about to post the Amazon link on my facebook page. Any one that has a daughter needs to read this book- as well as teachers.

Comments Optional
Thought it would be fun to give you my "evaluation" in this format, Pauline. 😃
As you surely must know.... this book is exceptional, and in many ways. Not only is all of the above true,  but considering the delicate topic, it is quite beyond words. How you could create this story (based on fact, partial fact, or pure fiction) and present it with all the complexity that a young victim experiences is truly a great accomplishment. Every parent that has a daughter NEEDS to read this book. I am so very sorry that your friend or acquaintance (the inspiration for this story) had been abused in this manner. I hope she has found her way through the mire, and is at peace.
......You really deserve many "Chill awards" for this book, Pauline!  Excellent writing!

This left me speechless and very happy. Of course, my own books can’t be awarded a Chill with a Book Award can they? What do you think?

As always a HUGE thank you for stopping by. I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.




Sunday, 7 May 2017

Featured at Being Anne

Today I am being featured at the wonderful Being Anne's Blog talking about all sorts of things including Chill with a Book Awards.

If you have time please pop along... thank you.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Top Ten in Discovering Diamonds!

Goodness me! 

Satchfield Hall is in the top ten of of the most Popular Books Reviewed for all time on Discovering Diamonds and the Top Ten Most Popular Books of the current month? 

That's taken my breath away! 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Helen Hart from SilverWood Books

I am delighted to have Helen Hart, Publishing Director at publishing services company SilverWood Books, sitting round my pool. Helen started SilverWood ten years ago, in 2007, to offer assistance to authors who wanted to self-publish…but didn’t know where to start.

SilverWood is a small, friendly, expert team that helps authors who don’t have the technical expertise, knowledge, or confidence to DIY self-publish. Many writers use our services if they don’t have the time to learn how to produce a book to professional standards, or because they want to focus on their writing rather than on running a publishing project. 

We work with great attention to detail, and over the years SilverWood has a established a solid reputation for high standards and a caring approach — we don’t publish everything that is submitted to us, but instead assess every manuscript in detail and work out how to help individual authors achieve their aims in publishing a book. If we don’t think the work is ready to publish, we’re honest about it and don’t hesitate to recommend other organisations that can help.

Every author that works with SilverWood is assigned a publishing assistant who will work very closely with them at every step, from the enquiry stage where a writer might ask, I’ve written a book — is it good enough?” through to the time a finished book is launched and promoted. SilverWood authors are supported with a range of services such as editing, proofreading, book design, wholesale and retail book distribution, and ongoing advice and information. 

Why should authors consider using a company like SilverWood?

Many authors find that, in the long run, working with the right company saves time and can be more cost-effective than going it alone and learning ‘on the job'. For many authors, trying to reach professional standards in a constantly-changing industry can be hard work, distracting, and expensive (both in terms of time and money). Working with the right company means you benefit from expertise, advice, and hand-holding, and you avoid snags and potentially-expensive pitfalls. 

Historical novelist Kathryn Gauci has just signed up to publish her second book with SilverWood. “When I decided to self-publish, I discovered that it’s not as easy as one might think to find a reputable company to go with. When I contacted SilverWood I felt an immediate rapport. Helen Hart and her staff were there for me the whole way, guiding me whenever I needed it to produce a well-edited, top-quality product equal to anything a good traditional publisher would do. The SilverWood team are also there for their authors long after the book has been published, and foster a great sense of community with their authors.”

It’s been wonderful having you here and sharing how SilverWood works, thank you Helen.

If you’d like to see whether SilverWood can help you, please contact Editorial Assistant Rowena Ball (email or browse their website at

Follow us on Twitter @SilverWoodBooks
or catch up with us on Facebook

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Over at Katrina Marie's Blog

Today I am over at Katrina Marie's fabulous Blog talking about what and who encouraged me to write The Wendy House and Chill with a Book Awards for Indie authors.

I hope you will be able to pop along and enjoy a glass of bubbly... see you there.

Monday, 10 April 2017

In the Spotlight!

Today I am in the spotlight over at Portobello Book Blog I hope you will be able to swing by as Joanne has a fabulous blog.... see you there.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

A Discovered Diamond!

Today I learnt that Satchfield Hall has received a DISCOVERED DIAMOND Award. More than excited to receive this wonderful review award.

Find out more at Discovered Diamonds

Monday, 27 March 2017

Busy or Chilling!

I love to keep busy… don’t you? I confess to being a person who is at my best when I am very busy. So when I am not writing, promoting, running, snapping at everything that moves or doesn’t, with my camera, playing with my Photoshop, cooking and more… I run my latest project, Chill with a Book Awards.

I have always been passionate about supporting authors, especially Indie authors and that is why I developed an Award Programme for Indie authors. Since it went live in September 2016 it has been more than well received with authors, from all over the globe, submitting their books; Australia, USA, Europe and UK. Within weeks the Awards were international.

There are now four Awards, Readers’ Award, Book of the Month Award, Book of the Year Award and a special PB Award. You can find out more about the Awards here. My passion is to promote some of the best books published by Indie authors.

To see some of the Award winning books, please visit

Huge thanks to all the readers at Chill, all the fabulous Indie authors who have submitted their books and to those who have joined the exclusive Chill family.

Until sometime soon, have a fabulous day and I hope the sun is shining in your heart and on your face.



Saturday, 11 March 2017

Visiting the Past!

Today, I am over at Jo Barton's Blog talking about a part of my childhood that inspired Storm Clouds Gathering.

I hope you will have time to pop along and say hello to both of us.

As always, thank you, not only for stopping by, but for all your wonderful friendship and support. 

Thank you!

I hope the sun is shinning in your heart and on your face.


Friday, 10 March 2017

Sitting Round my Pool is Daisy James talking about...

Today I have a fellow Yorkshire girl, Daisy James sitting round my pool talking about her latest book. There’s Something about Cornwall. To make you feel at home, I have opened a bottle of pink bubbly as I know it is your favourite tipple. Please help yourself to a glass and then we will settle down on one of the recliners.

Cheers Daisy, it’s all yours….

First of all, a huge thank you for featuring my brand new release – There’s Something About Cornwall - on your blog.

Location is always very important to me when I’m writing. It’s almost as though it’s another character that requires just as much attention, just as much crafting, as any other. My first novel – The Runaway Bridesmaid - was set in New York. I enjoyed an amazing trip there a couple of years ago, for a milestone birthday, except, instead of spending five exhilarating days taking in the sights, because of Hurricane Sandy we ended up being there for eleven. Everywhere was closed, even the Broadway shows, so I grabbed a pen and some paper and started writing and my first published novel was born.

When I began researching my fourth book, I wanted my characters to have a fabulous backdrop for their story, so it had to be Cornwall. The scenery is so beautiful and diverse, not to mention the fact that the sun always seems to be shining. There’s Something About Cornwall follows Emilie Roberts, a food photographer, who takes a culinary road trip around the whole county as she works on a photoshoot for a celebrity TV chef working on her next cookery book.

Emilie’s epic journey starts in Padstow where she meets Matt at a beach party. He becomes a last-minute replacement driver for an orange-and-cream vintage campervan they’ve nicknamed The Satsuma Splittie. There’s plenty of stops along the way and lots of baking and tasting of the delicious Cornish food that is being photographed.

I wanted to showcase not only the local recipes, but also the wide array of artisan beverages that Cornwall is famous for. So, in Truro, they visit an apple orchard where Emilie photographs the Cornish Cyder Cake and Apple and Caramel Loaf, but they also indulge in a few pints of the local Scrumpy.

Apple & Caramel Loaf

During my research, I was amazed to find that vineyards flourish on south-facing slopes and fabulous white and rosé wine is produced in Cornwall. The county is also the only place in England that grows tea – Tregothnan Tea - it offers a whole new meaning to the label English Breakfast tea!

I also came across the Southwestern Distillery, run by Tarquin Leadbetter, which produces not only Cornish Gin but also Cornish Pastis. The pastis is a modern take on the classic French aperitif and the first of its kind created in the UK. It is made with gorse flowers foraged from the Atlantic clifftops and fresh orange zest finished off with a touch of liquorice root. Tarquin also grows his own Devon violets for use in his Tarquin’s Gin.

I hope readers will enjoy escaping to our southernmost county when they read There’s Something About Cornwall.

For a chance to win a book on the history of the much-loved, iconic camper van, a mug and a coaster, just follow Daisy James and retweet the pinned tweet. The prize will be drawn on 31st March 2017 (UK only).

Daisy James links:
Also on Instagram.


A knight in a shining camper van!
Life is far from picture perfect for food photographer, Emilie Roberts. Not only has her ex-boyfriend cheated on her, he’s also stolen her dream assignment to beautiful Venice! Instead, Emilie is heading to the wind-swept Cornish coast…
Emilie doesn’t think it can get any worse – until disaster strikes on the very first day! And there’s only one man to rescue this damsel in distress: extremely hunky surfing instructor, Matt Ashby.
Racing from shoot to shoot in a bright orange vintage camper van, Matt isn’t the conventional knight in shining armour – but can he make all of Emilie’s fairy tale dreams come true?

Thank you Daisy for sitting round my pool, and I know There's Something About Cornwall  is going to be a runaway success

And thank you, my lovely visitors for stopping by and meeting Daisy.
Until the next time, I hope the sun is shinning in your heart and on your face.


My first love

My other love

Monday, 6 March 2017

Five more Stars for The Wendy House

Award winning, The Wendy House has another 5 star review on Amazon... trying not to be so excited, but it is difficult.

"Something completely different again from Pauline Barclay. Once again I was transported into someone else's life, feeling the anguish of an innocent little girl and the pain of the damaged woman she became. Wanting to "shout out" for her when those around were oblivious to what was happening. Pauline has never disappointed before and this story was no exception. Loved it !!"

Available in paperback and Kindle

As always, thank you, not only for stopping by, but for all your wonderful friendship and support. 

I hope the sun is shinning in your heart and on your face.


Monday, 27 February 2017

Calling all writers from Julia Ibbtoson

Today, I have sitting round my pool, the lovely, Julia Ibbotson talking about her exciting new services that are aimed at helping all writers and published authors and maybe you!

Ok Julia, I’ve opened the bubbly and poured into the largest champagne glasses I could find, so cheers me dear…. Take it alway….

Thanks Pauline, cheers!

Have you ever thought: I wish there was someone I could ask about this part of my narrative, or my research report? Does it work for the reader? Does it make sense? Is it accurate - or are there errors?
It doesn’t matter whether you are a new aspiring writer or an experienced, already published one … whether you are an Indie author or have a publisher to whom you’d like to submit a really polished manuscript.

I’m a published author who likes to get her manuscript just right without relying, in the first instance, on my publisher’s editorial team.

I also have over 30 years editing, mentoring and tutoring experience up to university (doctoral) level, supervising and supporting students, fellow authors, and my critique buddies. So I’ve been persuaded to start an online 1:1 editing support service. It’s called Archbury Consultancy and I aim to tailor support to my clients’ individual needs:

I can edit your work and point out where it could be improved, with tracked changes.
I can provide support materials to enhance your writing, or even a course or mentorship over a number of weeks (including Skype meetings if required) as you advance and improve your work.
I aim to help and support online, with editing, structuring, language and expression, and all the areas that so often let us down as writers. Sometimes we just need someone to be a critique buddy, a mentor, someone who can provide some support and encouragement with ideas for developing our work to make it the best it can be.

Often we would like to know what went wrong and to learn how we can avoid the same errors the next time, so that we don't have to keep paying editing fees!

Even when we proof read and edit ourselves, it's easy to miss spelling errors or punctuation problems, structural inconsistencies, or expressions that don't come across well to the reader, even though they may be perfectly clear to us in our head.

I'd be glad to help you. I aim to keep my fees as low as I can (because I know you have lots of other expenses!). As an introductory offer, for example, the fees for a full 85,000 word novel would be around £200 for a basic tracked-changes edit/critique;

£250 for a mentoring programme to run over 4 weeks and to include 4 online sessions and 2x30 minutes Skype session (if required);

£350 for the mentoring programme and a full final ms edit/ ms developmental critique after 4 weeks’ tutoring.

But I can tailor our partnership according to your needs, so email me for details at:

Hurry, because the introductory offer won’t last for ever! I look forward to hearing your enquiry.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

How Do You Promote Your Book?

As most authors know promoting your book is one of the hardest part of the whole process of being a writer. Planing, plotting and writing, even on a bad day pales into insignificance when faced with getting out there and shouting about your latest baby

I do say shout, though if I am honest, my voice would not carry that far, though it can be persistent! But, no matter how loud or persistent your voice is there are hundreds if not thousands of voices that are much louder and can drown out what you are trying to say. Like most authors, I use Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. It does helps, but it is not the overall solution. What is the solution you might ask? Well apart from having your book in every High Street bookshop, supermarket and in airports, I haven't got an answer and that is where being published with one of the top six makes a difference. These authors books are there in shop windows, display cabinets in full frontal. So your book is not joining the mass at WH Smiths, but you still need to bang your drum.

In the absence of my books adorning books shops across the land, I produce posters to splash across Social Media. They are fun to produce and I still live in the hope they make a difference... we can dream. Remember having an over imaginative mind got us into this position in the first place! So what do you do to make a difference to your books visibility? 

As always, thank you, not only for stopping by, but for all your wonderful friendship and support. 

I hope the sun is shinning in your heart and on your face.


My first love

Friday, 10 February 2017

Friday, 20 January 2017

A B.R.A.G. Award for The Wendy House

I'm sooo excited to announce that my latest book, The Wendy House has been honoured with a B.R.A.G. Award I can’t begin to tell you how seriously happy I feel.

I never get over that nervous feeling, despite having six books published, when my baby is set free into the big wide world. I know it is the same for many authors when, having cherished their hard work from conception and then letting it take flight.
I always feel honoured when readers leave a review either publicly or via an email to me personally, so receiving a B.R.A.G. Award is not just the icing on the cake, but the cherry too.

Here is the blurb from my Award winning book…

When Nicola changes overnight from a bright, happy young child into a sullen, rebellious girl, ceasing to show interest in anything or anyone around her, her parents struggle to understand why. As she develops into a difficult, troubled, hostile teenager they put it down to hormones, believing it will pass. Yet Nicola goes from bad to worse and no matter how much her mother tries to reach out to her, it seems she is hell bent on self-destruction. When she leaves home at seventeen, rushing into the arms of a man ten years her senior and quickly becoming pregnant, her despairing mother almost gives up on her. A decade later, the events that stole Nicola’s childhood and changed the course of her life threaten finally to destroy her. She knows if she is to cling on to her sanity she must tell her mother the dreadful secret she has carried all these years, but her fear that she will be met with disbelief, hostility and branded an evil liar drives her to the edge.

A heart-rending story of betrayal, secrets and gripping fear.

This Dedication and Special Thank You is added to both Kindle and paperback versions of The Wendy House.

This book is pure fiction. The people and places are from my imagination and bare no relation to anyone living or dead. However, I could not have written this book without the help of a special person I met some years ago. What this lovely, brave lady shared with me, not only broke my heart, but will live with me forever. Yet despite the pain of her years of abuse, she wanted me to write a book on this subject. For this courageous, beautiful lady, I dedicate, The Wendy House.
This is for you lovely with all my love.

Thank you, not only, for stopping by, but for all your wonderful friendship and support. Without you I may never have been able to write this post.

I hope the sun is shinning in your heart and on your face.


My first love

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Discovering Diamonds with Helen Hollick

Today, I have the lovely, bestselling author, Helen Hollick, who I am proud to have as a friend, talking about her fantastic new project, Discovering Diamonds.

Launched to a full gun salute on 1st January, Discovering Diamonds is a new Review Blog site, but it is not just any ordinary Review Site, Helen please tell about this exciting new venture.

We review historical fiction (and maybe the occasional non-fiction, but that will be by invitation only). By ‘historical’ I mean anything that has 75% of the story set pre-1950 (this is because I was born in 1953 and I refuse to be thought of as ‘historic’!) although at our discretion we will review something history-based set in the 1960s. We might even consider something contemporary if it has a very strong historical connection – I am thinking specifically of time travel, or Alison Morton’s wonderful Roma Nova series, which are modern-day thrillers, but with the theme that the Roman administration survived, which I think readers of Roman-Age novels (especially mystery/thrillers) will find fascinating.

From those submitted to us, we select which books to review which means just because you submit a book it doesn’t mean we will automatically review it. A novel has to be a very good 5 star read to reach the status of a Discovered Diamond!

The books that are not quite 5 stars – the 4 stars – will also get a review, and occasionally a new debut author will also receive a review by way of support and encouragement. These latter reviews will usually have a certain amount of constructive criticism included – maybe another edit will be suggested to pick up some missed typos, or perhaps a note to watch a tendency to ‘head hop’.

Let me stress that we are not a critique service, but our view is that potential good authors (especially indie authors) need support to start the climb up that long, steep, ladder, and I, and my ‘team’, take great pleasure in seeing these new authors improve and grow as they write more books. But to do so they often require that little bit of courage and confidence to keep going, a thing that is so easy to destroy if enthusiastic encouragement is not given.

We also accept any historical sub-genre: romance, fantasy, GLBT, alternate… even erotica. Nor do we differentiate between traditional mainstream or indie – a good book is a good book whatever its sub-genre and however it is produced. The emphasis, though, is on the word good. We are looking for quality produced books that are value for money to buy, and are suitable for recommending by ‘word of mouth’ (the best way for authors to sell books!)

How does Discovering Diamonds work?

With a lot of hard work from myself and my wonderful Review and Admin team! It is fairly simple: fill in the contact form on the blog’s sidebar (or just email me) and you will receive detailed instructions of where and how to submit your novel.

We primarily only want e-books (mobi or e-pub preferably) not hard copy paperbacks or hardbacks, this is because we do not charge a fee of any sort (we are all volunteers!) so there is no funding to cover forwarding books to various reviewers, nor do I want to give out personal addresses. In some cases, if there is no e-book version, or there are complications we can arrange to receive a paperback edition. We do not accept gift vouchers by the way – they are too complicated to use when other reviewers are involved.

Once received our e-book editor, Nicky Galliers, sends the files to our network of reviewers, who read the book and if they enjoyed it, write a review, which is sent to me. I edit, add links to Amazon and a cover image… and off we go!

Note: no books are passed on, all are deleted once read.

We also have some interesting additional pages – a regular slot for reader’s to have their say or comment on a selection of monthly topics on our Reader’s Voice page, or our Guest Spot will have tributes to special authors or books – we started with my own personal Best Author, Rosemary Sutcliff. In February we have a tribute to |Bernard Cornwell.

I see there are several awards on offer, tell a little about them.

For the books we select to review we give some nice logos for authors to use as and where they wish to promote their books. The basic two are the Discovered Diamond and ‘this book has been reviewed by Discovering Diamonds’. Then there is the Book of the Month and Book of the Year – which are somewhat self-explanatory!

We also include the Indie BRAG medallion logo and the Chill With a Book Award for novels that have achieved these honours. (But authors must tell us about these, we do not have time to go looking!)

How often do you post reviews?

Thanks to the ability to schedule posts… everyday, except Sunday.

How can readers / authors make sure they keep up to date with what is happening on Discovering Diamonds?

Fill in the subscribe by e-mail form is probably the best and easiest, and you will automatically receive notification of new books reviewed every day. Alternatively, ‘like’ our Facebook page or look for the hashtag #DDRevs on Twitter.

I see there is a monthly award for the best book cover can any author put their cover forward for this?

Yes, this has kindly been promoted by graphics designer Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics, and there will also be a Cover of the Year at the end of 2017. Authors cannot enter for this, though – Cathy selects a shortlist and an eventual Cover of the Month from the books we have reviewed. So maybe your novel was reviewed but didn’t quite make it as an elite Discovered Diamond … but it still might be chosen as Cover of the Month!

Where do you see Discovering Diamonds in a year’s time?

I must be honest, once we get established I would like someone else to take over the every-day running and organising, although I’d still like to keep an eye on things (and maybe have more time to do some actual reviewing!) Volunteers welcome to contact me!

I am hoping the site will keep a nice, steady, tick-over of submissions and reviews and reaches a status of having your book reviewed by #DDRevs is a sought-after achievement. I want this accolade not for myself, but for the wonderful authors we review. I want an author to be able to boast, with pride and pleasure, ‘Look, my book has the great honour of being selected as a Discovered Diamond – reviewed by one of the best UK-based review blogs on the Internet!”


Helen Hollick moved from London in 2013 and now lives with her family in North Devon, in an eighteenth century farmhouse surrounded by thirteen acres of fields and woodland. A variety of pets include horses, three Exmoor ponies, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks and geese.

First published over twenty years ago, her main passion is her pirate character, Captain Jesamiah Acorne of the nautical adventure series, The Sea Witch Voyages.

Helen became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK) – the story of Saxon Queen, Emma of Normandy. Her novel Harold the King (titled I Am The Chosen King in the US) is a re-telling of the events that led to the 1066 Battle of Hastings. While her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy, set in the fifth century, is widely acclaimed as a different telling of the Arthurian Myth.

She has written two non-fiction books, Pirates; Truth and Tale and as a supporter of indie writers, co-wrote Discovering the Diamond with her editor, Jo Field, a short advice guide for new and novice writers who are interested in self-publishing.

Helen is published in various languages including Turkish, Italian and German.

Cath Helms : (Graphics Designer and Cover of the month judge)

Twitter: @HelenHollick #DDRevs

Helen Hollick :

Thank you Helen and I know Discovering Diamonds is going to be a runaway success.

Thank you for stopping by and finding out about Discovering Diamonds and I hope I will be seeing your books sporting one of the fabulous logos.

Until the next time, I hope the sun is shinning in your heart and on your face.


My first love

My other love