30th December 2015
Do you ever get to that point where everything gets on top of you and then you flip? My flipout day was today. Several small issues were okay to deal with, but there's always one that tips you over, right? So, after a damn good cry and a chat with a very dear friend, I'm now okay and all is right with the world. I just wanted to say that it's okay of this happens and the best thing is to let it all out.
27th December 2015
Hope you all had a great Christmas :D
I finished final edits for books 6 and 7 today and feel absolutely shattered. All I need to do now is to send the corrections in. Think I'll leave that until tomorrow evening to give the eyeballs a rest :D
Who knows, I may even finish poor Leah's Story by New Year, but I won't hold my breath just in case...
23rd December 2015
Went to see the new Star Wars movie on Monday. I hope it was going to be like the last three movies, which I didn't like that much, and it wasn't. I loved it and was glued to the screen from start to finish. I'm so pleased I saw in in 3D IMAX, it really warranted it.
Okay, so I've been trying to finish Leah's Story for goodness knows how many months. Each time I get stuck in, something else comes along and on the back burner it goes. Got stuck in to it again yesterday...until I received emails from my publisher in the US this morning. Book 6 and 7 in my Atlantean series now need their final edit before going to the copy editor. Both over 80K words, so going to take a bit of time. Sorry, Leah's Story, you'll have to go on the back burner once again. Next time, I will finish the story...
20th December 2015
What a busy week!! Makes me wonder how I actually managed to work and do everything else!! Still, I'll worry about looking for a job in the new year.
So, Wardens of Stargor is now complete and to my surprise, I discovered a few pages already written for the third book. So, it looks like I'm good to go.
Desire Unleashed, book 8 in the Eternal Love of the Seekers series, has now had its final edit and and been emailed to my editor. So happy that I decided on book 9 now, and I am certain there will be a few more to come before I'm done with my Atlanteans. It was fortunate that I had a really bad case of insomina last night/this morning as I used it to complete the edit :D
Next on the list has to be completing Leah's Story. With any luck, I'll get that done by the end of the festive period...unless anthing else comes along to disrupt my plans :D
Friday 18th, I travelled down to Wembley to see Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Black Star Riders. Now, those of you who know me won't be surprised by what happened on the train to London. I got on, put my case in the rack and sat in my seat...where the hell was my wallet with the tickets in? In true Toya style, panic set in and I searched everything frantically. I'm almost certain that my fellow travellers thought I'd gone crazy. I sat down wondering what the hell the ticket collector would say when I lifted up my bag and yup, you've guessed it...there sat the offending wallet!
Met some really friendly people at the hotel. I always find that rock fans are some of the friendliest people. I always go on my own because if I didn't, I'd never get to see such amazing bands. The gig was fantastic and the atmosphere was electric. I had a standing ticket because that was all I could get. I won't make that mistake again! I stood with some chatty people but as Def Leppard came on, some idiot decided to give us a beer shampoo. I gues it could've been worse...if you get my meaning!
Had an uneventful journey home, even managing not to misplace my tickets this time :D
For the rest of today, well I thnk I'll go for a walk after lunch and then I'd better catch up on social media :D
14th December 2015
My poor eyes are bulging at the moment. I've finished revamping one book and part way through editing the second in the series. Then I guess I really should start thinking about book three, which isn't even written yet. Let's hope I don't get a job anytime soon because it will get in the way :D
All Christmas presents were wrapped at the weekend. It was beautiful paper but glitter came off the reindeers in clouds. I actually looked like one of the Cullens from Twilight, the stuff was shimmering off me :D
I'm reading a book at the moment and really enjoying it. I shall be writing a review, as I always do, after reading one. I cannot stress enough how important it is for an author and a way for potential readers to decided whether to purchase a copy or not. So please, lovely readers, give a writer an amazing Christmas present and leave a review :D
8th December 2015
I have electronic copies of Dangerous Revelations, due to be released 2nd January 2016, on offer in exchange for honest reviews. If you're interested then please get in touch via the contact page on my website, DMs on Twitter, or PMs on FaceBook. It's part four of an ongoing series so if you want to see excerpts and book blurbs on the others, check out my author page on Red Sage website at the following link: www.eredsage.com/store/ToyaRichardson.html
Finally, my ankle is good enough that I can now go out for long walks. I've done so for the last two mornings and it really makes a difference to me and I feel so much better.
Being off work has been a godsend for me in some ways. I have the freedom to do as much writing and editing as I want, while keeping up to speed on Twitter and Facebook too. It will be a culture shock when I have to look for work in the new year and I certaily won't look forward to it. As I've said before, most writers feel the same but work is a necessary evil unfortunately. Let's hope for a big lottery win :D
Yesterday evening, I had a chat on Facebook with two fellow Little Bird Publishing House romance writers. We were discussing questions we'd received from romance readers. It was a great time and good to interact with fellow authors. So Hazel Robinson and Jo Richardson, thank you so much for the fun chat last night about our favourite subjects, love and romance :D I'll let you know when and where you can see this chat when it's ready to publish :D
5th December 2015
Just updated my blog with the Berlin trip. I didn't take my laptop with me for such a short time, so I wrote it in a notebook instead.
We are so lucky living in the UK to have such amazing places to visit right on our doorstep. I think I should take more short breaks and get to see many other wonderful places. Finland is on my bucket list and it's only a short hop on a plane. Who knows, perhaps that will be where my next adventure will take place :D
3rd December 2015
We were not being picked up by the coach until 6pm, so we had plenty of time for another wander and to pick up any last minute items. I bought some beautiful decorations for my Christmas tree and will be looking forward to hanging them up when I get home.
The time appeared to go very slow while we were there but before we knew it, we were queueing up to get on the plane back to Stansted. It was a fabulous trip and I am certain I will return one day.
2nd December 2015
Had a day trip to Potsdam today where the conference was held after World War2. The house, Schloss Cecilienhof, where the meetings took place was beautiful. It was divided into three sections for the UK, USA and Russia. Then there was a meeting room with a round table where the conference took place. It was a very interesting piece of history.
Saw so many beautiful buildings to and from the journey to Berlin. There are also quite a few buildings which were almost derelict. Apparently, they have been that way since the wall came down, 25 years ago, and they are going to be renovated. It was the same for some of the beautiful old buildings which are now museums etc, so Berlin is a little bit of a building site at the moment. Would love to go back when it's all complete, I'm sure it'll be fantastic.
Moved on to Potsdam itself, a very pretty town which also has a Brandenberg Gate. We decided to check out the Christmas market, it was very much along the same lines as the one near our hotel - there are quite literally hundreds of them across the country.
1st December 2015
We had a tour of the city today, which was all part of the package. I didn't realise that some of the wall was still intact. It is now called a gallery and has some amazing paintings on it. For some reason, I imagined the wall to be so much thicker than it was. But I guess with no man's land in the middle, it didn't need to be.
Saw the Brandenberg Gate, which was very impressive. It's not far from all the government buildings and apparently it is closed off more than it is open because of all the activity. We hit it just right because as our coach left, there was a massive cavalcade of cars and police vehicles. It's also right near to the French embassy and was extremely touching and sad to see all the candles and floral tributes outside for the Paris victims.
Visited Checkpoint Charlie but I didn't like the fact that it has been turned into a tacky photo opportunity for tourists to pay to put on a hat and have a picture taken with guys wearing uniform. They were shouting and larking around and I'm afraid I found it rather disrespectful.
We arrived back at the hotel and took a walk around the Christmas market almost outside the back of our hotel. It was getting dark and all the stalls were lit up which gave it a magical vibe. There was Christmas music playing and the smells of Gluhwein, cinnamon and other delicious scents too, I loved it. I'm now a convert to curry Bratwurst. Don't knock it until you've tried it, it is very tasty and so was the waffle with Kirsch cherries on top :D Oh, and not forgetting the Gluhwein and egg nog :D
30th November 2015
After 7.50am flight from Stansted to Berlin, we arrived at our hotel around 11.30am. It was massive and right in the centre of everything, which is just what we wanted. Plenty of shops, markets, bars, restaurants and places of interest to visit. Something to suit everyone here.
We had a quick look around the area and then back to the hotel. Everywhere we went we had to pay for the loo, even in the hotel! It became a standing joke with us in the end.
After a delcious meal and massive stein of beer in a proper German restaurant, we headed back to the hotel for an early night after our early start. Oh, and if you ever order a stein, make sure you have the muscles to hold it up because they are very heavy.
29th November 2015
Right, caught up on social media and case packed for my Berlin trip tomorrow. Will chill out for the rest of the evening as I have a 3.45am start in the morning.
The laptop won't be coming with me, so I'll be catching up on website and social media when I return :D
27th November 2015
Now finished editing Secret Desire, my ninth in the Eternal Love of the Seekers series, and very happy with the outcome. I have so many ideas for other plot lines, but have promised myself to stop if I feel they sound too much the same.
This now leaves me time to finish Leah's Story. I went back to it and deleted the last chapter I'd written as I didn't like the way the stroy was headed. Now, it's much better and I'm looking forward to completing this in the next two weeks.
Grr, went to doctor this morning and am being referred for a bone scan to check that I haven't got osteoperosis, due to my fracture. Then I had to see the nurse for a blood test and she took four vials, lol think I still have some left!
Out for a Christmas meal with friends tonight. Haven't seen them for a while so I'm looking forward to it.
I've seen two 5* reviews one for Flame and one for Rise of the Chameleons. I've posted the links below. It's always heart warming when a reader takes the time and effort to review and authors work. I always really appreciate it :D
Rise of the Chameleons: http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1M8VH94TUQQ1G/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B0160DNG8S&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=341677031&store=digital-text
24th November 2015
I went back to work yesterday and was informed that I'd been made redundant. It came as a bit of a relief to be honest and it's been in the pipeline for a long time.
I look at this in a positive light because I can focus on my writing for now. Sure, I need to find something else and I will do but I guess it'll be in the new year.
22nd November 2015
Back to work tomorrow, even though I don't think my ankle is quite right :( I do have a physio appointment after work so I'll see what he has to say about it.
My head is all over the place at the moment, with so many projects going on. I haven't even touched The Wardens of Stargor yet because I'm in the middle of a final edit for Secret Desire, book nine of my Eternal Love of the Seekers series. Just waiting to receive the contract.
I've also discovered that Dangerous Revelations, book 4 in the Eternal Love of the Seekers series is due for release on 2nd January 2016...my birthday! Happy book birthday indeed :D
And as for poor Leah's Story, I still have to complete it. I will get round to it soon, so i don't leave Leah and Neil hanging for too long.
There's now a project for Little Bird Publishing too. They've asked if Hazel Robinson, Jo Richardson and myself host a question and answer session. It'll all be based around romance so if you have any questions you'd like to ask us, here's what you have to do...Send it in a tweet to @LittleBirdPub #littleromance
15th November 2015
Defender of Stargor has now been reworked and I'm pleased with the outcome. I shall put an excerpt in my book section soon. Now about to start on book two, The Wardens of Stargor. I love writing so much, I honestly don't know what I'd do if I didn't have one or two projects on the go.
11th November 2015
Being off sick with my broken ankle has given me time to think about lots of things. Yesterday, I made a decision that I hope will be a good one. Back in 2011, I wrote a YA book called Defender of Stargor, the first part of a trilogy, and decided to self-publish. I paid an awful large amount of money for the privilege and now that I have learned more about the publishing business, I realise that it was a huge mistake.
So, I have asked for it to be taken down by the self-publisher I used so that I can rework it and try to submit it to publishers who may be interested. Book two, The Wardens of Stargor, has been written and will also need to be reworked - book three is yet to be written. Fingers crossed!!!!
7th November 2015
What a mad couple of days!! Went to doctor on Thursday and he wasn't happy that my ankle hadn't been strapped in any way, so he sent me back to A&E. After a five hour wait I was given a support type book to wear - they were surprised I hadn't been given one earlier.
Then three hours back at the fracture clinic and then physio department at the hospital yesterday. But hey, what I have is minor compared to many people with severe injuries and it is easing much more now :D
Now about to tackle some editing and then, hopefully, some fresh new writing :D
3rd November 2015
Battling the Demons has Book Spotlight over at Love, Lust and Lipstick Stains. If you have a few moments, please check it out :D http://www.lovelustandlipstickstains.com/search?q=toya+richardson
1st November 2015
Release day is finally here for Battling the Demons, always excited and nervous when they are available for anyone to read :D
No time to sit back and rest though. I'm going to be knuckling down with editing book nine in The Eternal Love of the Seekers series in a few minutes.
Leah's Story will have to be put on the back burner for a couple of days.
29th October 2015
It's 10.15pm and contemplating whether to stay up or go to be. My damn ankle is really uncomfortable when I get in bed and last night I was up at 2am and didn't go back to bed until 6am.
The one bonus is I have had two books back from publisher to go through one final time, so at least I can utilise the time to go through them.
Still gutted about missing the Crue gig on the 6th Nov :(
26th October 2015
If you want to know what makes me tick as a writer, check out my interview with author Dante Craddock at http://bit.ly/IntrvwbyDante dated 25th October 2015 :D
25th October 2015
Okay, don't think the Unverse has quite finished dumping on me yet. Yesterday, on my FB account, I noticed several lewd porno pics. It looks like someone I follow has been tagged in on them which means they appear on my damn timeline too. I've got that sorted but still all little angry, this is one of the reasons I held off using FB for so long. Don't get me wrong, most people on there are great and I've reconnected with people from my past, but the other side of social media stinks.
To cap it all, I had a Eureka moment a little while ago and got a great idea for a magical romance. So, I jumped up to grab pen and notepad and hit, yep you've guessed it, my bad ankle *ouch*. But hey, I'm still smiling - just! - and am now going to write about hot, caring heroes and their amazing heroines...that should do the trick :D
23rd October 2015
Doctor signed me off for another two weeks, which means I defnitely won't be going to see Motley Crue. To say that I'm gutted is the understatement of the century, but there's nothing I can do about it :(
Trying to focus on writing, which is normally my happy place but still on a bit of a downer. Guess I'll pull myself out of it at some point. Just wonder why the universe always dumps rubbish on you in one big lump, making it harder to deal with. Okay, I've been here before, time to fight back ;D
20th October 2015 2nd Entry
Oh dear, I received a call from the hospital today. Apparently, I have a hairline break in my ankle which was missed when they first looked at the Xrays. It really isn't my week is it!!
20th October 2015
You should see my lovely leg and ankle now. Such a pretty array of multi-coloured bruises, good job it's autumn an it's covered up!! Thank goodness the swelling has gone down a bit, but I don't think I can even attempt putting a shoe on it yet.
The one benefit of this sorry tale is that at least I can catch up with some writing whilst I'm incapacitated. So, there really is a silver lining in my old black cloud then :D
17th October 2015
Oh holy moly what a nightmare couple of days I've had! I slipped over in Primark yesterday due to rainwater in the floor. One ankle turned over on the inside, the other went backwards, I went down heavily on one knee and smacked the underside of my chin on the way down, causing me to bit the inside of my cheek forcefully!! Went to A&E today as I cannot bear any weight on my left foot, whch is massively swollen and a myriad of pretty colours! I have badly pulled ligaments so keep it elevated, cold compresses and painkillers, bummer :(
I was going to do a blog about depression and how it's affected me, but honestly cannot summon up the energy for such a heartfelt talk...will leave it until I feel stronger.
I have managed to get all edits back to my editor for book six in my Atlantean series, but I'm afraid my re-tweets on Twitter are going to have yo wait.
10th October 2015
I've been in my happy place today. As I've caught up with my editing for the moment, I've been able to continue writing Leah's Story. It's been great to write about some of the wonderful places I visited in NZ and OZ and relive my times there.
Then I guess I should really take another look at book nine in my Seeker series and decide upon a title for it. I've already got ideas for book ten, but then I have all the ideas from my visit to Cornwall too. I really wish I could devote more of my time to writing and spend less time at work. But then I guess it's the same for most authors out there isn't it?
7th October 2015
Can't believe that Rise of the Chameleons has been out a week already. No time to breathe though because Battling the Demons is out on 1st November, it's all go here :D
I've been happily writing some some material this evening whilst I wait for more editing to come back to me. I've also decided not to go to the cinema this weekend and spend the time chilling and writing, the perfect combination for me :D
4th October 2015
Cornwall seems a lifetime away. The whole week went by so slowly and then all too soon you find yourself back to reality. I will always have my happy memories of that idyllic time away and as soon as I have a quiet period with no editing to do, and I have finished writing Leah's Story, I intend to start on a story which St Ives gave me
3rd October 2015
I went for a last early morning walk around St Ives and up the the Fishermen's Chapel to reflect on what a wonderful and peaceful week away I'd had. All too soon we were on the train back to our homes. We were all very tired, but had had a wonderful time away.
All of the week was absolutely amazing but as always there were highlights. First had to be spending time away with friends who all understand each other and chatted and laughed for a lot of the time. Penlee House was fantastic and I could almost feel Amberley and Greg from my novel Flame when they visited there. There was also the boulder I discovered which could have been where they sat and declared their love for one another. There was also the sense of peace and calm which I felt as soon as we arrived. I can honestly say that I have never felt such peace before.
I will definitely return :D
2nd October 2015
Wow, meal at Hobblers Restaurant was amazing. I had Lemon Sole for my main course, never had it before but will definitely have it again it was delicious.
We all decided to have some time to ourselves this morning. I went for a long walk early in the morning and then came back to our house to do some editing. I then went for a walk along the harbour and stopped off for a lovely meal with fresh mackerel and salad, oh and a crisp glass of wine:D But whilst their I wrote copious amounts of notes for a magical, mystical romance set in and around St Ives. I cannot wait to get started properly on it, but have so much else on at the moment that it will have to be put on the back burner for the moment. But I have loads of photographs that I took and will have then to refer back to. I have the feeling that they could well turn into a series :D
When we met back up we went for a cream tea and then afterwards visited a pub for some scrumpy and a good old chat about what we'd done with our free time.
We decided to eat all the remaining goodies in our accommodation that night and sat and talked about all our happy times in St Ives and then watched a DVD.
1st October 2015
Rise of the Chameleons is released today. It seems such a long time since book one, The Atlantean Birthright, was first out. And now they'll be coming thick and fast. It was lovely to see it actually on Amazon now. And if just one person sits down and reads it and enjoys the adventures of my Atlanteans I'll be very happy.
Now off for another walk so I'll be back later to write a little more :D
Walked up to the fisherman's chapel and the views over the sea and cliffs were fantastic. Got some amazing shots of a Cormorant on the rocks. Also given me more inspiration for stories. Went to Barbara Hepworth museum which was interesting. Her grden and sculptures have given me yet more inspiration for books. I've taken loads of pictures so I'll have the inspiration to look at.
Off for a meal at a sweet little fish restaurant tonight. Looking forward to it. Will report back tomorrow :D
30th September 2015
Up early this morning to take a lovely walk along some of the beaches here. Hardly anyone was about and I saw the most amazing sunrise. Had a paddle in the sea, although it was rather bracing. One brave soul was actually swimming!
Had a wonderful walking tour around St Ives yesterday and learned an awful lot about the history surrounding this beautiful place. There were only six of us on this particular your so you felt is was much more personal than if it had been a larger group.
Sat in a lovely little garden and ate our lunch. So peaceful and because it was off the main drag, hardly anyone uses it. That's the beauty of going on a walking tour, you discover little gems like these. It's called Trewyn Garden. I actually took pictures of it because it felt magical to me and I have some ideas for another story because of it :D
29th September 2015
Very emotional day for me today. We took a bus trip to Penzance and then on to Penlee House art gallery and museum. It was where a scene from Flame took place. The painting which is detailed in my book is now no longer shown in the gallery. One of the volunteers checked where it was, came and found me and allowed me to see it. What a wonderful gesture and one I'll never forget.
Had a long walk around the seafront and saw St Michaels Mount, which also has a mention in my book.
Finished the afternoon back in St Ives with a proper pint of scrumpy. Now chilling in our cottage and off out for a meal in a little while.
28th September 2015
Had a great day exploring more of St Ives today. It was really blistery down by the habour but so invigorating. So many lovely little independent shops and galleries. I'll definitely be taking a picture or two home with me.
Went to the St Ives museum and it was jam-packed with lots of artifacts and information relating to the area. Only £2 to get in and so much better than the Tate gallery, and much more value for money!
Finished the afternoon with a massive cream tea which was delicious, but do not think my thighs will recover!!
27th September 2015
After a great lie in and a delicious brunch we walked down into the the town and then to the harbour. It was beautiful, so peaceful and lovely and warm for the time of year. It's a really buzzing place with loads of great restaurants, cafes, bars and shops. Went to the Tate gallery which is located right by the beach.
It seems weird for me not to be writing or re-tweeting. I really need the break though and it is good to walk away from it for a short while and do nothing but chillout and laugh, walk and talk with friends.
26th September 2015
Today was a very long journey but well worth it by the time we reached St Ives. I was a jinx with the travel and those of you who know me will understand that it doesn't come as any surprise. We got on the train at Ipswich only to be told we'd have to get off at Colchester because it had a fault. By the time we got to Paddington we'd missed our connection to St Erth by thirty seconds. We had a two hour wait, but it wasn't so bad and we went and had a drink in a cafe to while away the time. The train was wonderful, made even better by the fact that we had first class travel. The journey from St Erth to St Ives was wonderful and right by the sea. The sun was shining and the water was bright blue and the station at St Ives is right by the sea.
Our accommodation is lovely and just a few minutes from the town centre. I've got the bedroom right at the top of the house and can see the sea from my window. Spent the evening chilling and filled with lots of laughter.
25th September 2015
I can't believe the trip to Cornwall is finally here. Early start tomorrow morning, but very excited about visiting the places where Flame was set. Knowing me, I'll end up weeping because I'm a bit of an emotional soul. I'm sure my friends will take care of me :D
I've almost finished my re-write for Retribution and am happy that the story flows much better now. I changed the scene at the start of the book because when I re-read it, I didn't like it too much. The re-write is much better :D
I'll be missing from Twitter next week and I am certain I'll have a mountain of RTs to catch up on. I'll do my best, but it may take me some time to respind to all of them.
Rise of the Chameleons is released on 1st October while I'm away so I'll have to do a few posts on social media. Already nervous because it really is like sending your child to school for the first time. lol that's my anaolgy and I'm sticking to it.
Time to sort out my suitcase I guess, bye for now :D
19th September 2015
So, where on earth did that last week go? I had fully intended to update my blog mid week and bam...it's the weekend again :D
Love and Deception is done, so now waiting for book 6 to come back to me to start the whole process all over again.
Island Love has now been submitted to another publisher for consideration, so the nerves have set in once again. It's like sending your baby off for their first day at school. You've loved them, prepared and nurtured them and then send them off out into the big, wide world and what happens next is out of your hands.
I'm off to Bury St Edmunds a little while later to have an evening out with friends. I've never been there in the evening before so it will be something different and good to catch up with people I haven't seen in a while.
This time next week I'll almost be arriving in St Ives, Cornwall for a week away to chill and visit the places where Flame was set, could get a little emotional. I tend to have a full week's break from editing and social media. Although I will be posting a little as Rise fo the Chameleons is released on the 1st October. I also hope that I may get some more inspiration to write too, so will be travelling with my trusty notebook and pen :D
12th September 2015
Doing a happy dance today. I finished Desire Unleashed yesterday and today, I got book 5's edits - Love and Deception - back to my editor today, much quicker than I'd hope. Such a relief, but it'll only be temporary as I'll be expecting book 4 - Dangerous Revelations - back from the copy editor soon for the final read-through. No wonder my eyes ache lol! I had hoped to start work again on Leah's Story, but I think it'll have to be put on the back burner until my Atlantean series is sorted.
But for now, I intend to chill for the rest of the weekend and tomorrow, hopefully I'll be able to read something for a change!! :D
6th September 2015
Am feeling quite happy with my progress today. I have finished revamping Dangerous Temptation and have sent it back to my editor. Today I started work on what was effectively part 2 - now called Desire Unleashed - so am further forward than I'd hoped. I love it when a plan works out well.
Now managed to catch up on Twitter too, I always like to support people who have re-tweeted for me. I've also written a review for a book I read last week and cleared up the garden. Not bad for someone who is still full of cold, wish it would go now.
3rd September 2015
Well, it looks as though I am going to be super busy for the forseeable future. Book 7 of The Eternal Love of the Seekers series - Dangerous Temptation - is going to be split in to 2 books because it's quite large. This will mean that new scenes will have to be added to both. My favourite Atlantean couple feature heavily in this story, so it will be a joy to do so.
It will mean putting on hold other writing projects that I have and I may not be able to get on Twitter as much as I normally am, so won't be able to do masses of re-tweeting. I will try my best because i have had tremendous support from loads of lovely people on there. Bear with me everyone, I'll try and do what I can for you :D
2nd September 2015
You know when you have one of those days when you wished you'd stayed in bed...well yesterday was one of those for me. I had a rejection email for my Island Love book submission, work was absolutely awful, my bus didn't turn up and then it started to rain! I just thought, okay onwards and upwards.
I had a check on Amazon today, I do every so often to see if I have any other reviews and guess what, I discovered a wonderful 5* review for Flame. That pleased me no end and yesterday was soon forgotten.
If anyone's interested, please follow the link http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flame-Ms-Toya-Richardson/dp/1507773536/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1441218213&sr=8-3&keywords=toya+richardson
30th August 2015
I guess you've all heard of the phrase "best laid plans" well I certainly know all about that! I had my four day weekend all mapped out with plenty of writing, reading and then some reviewing. But no, the fates decided to change that for me.
I have spent almost three days editing two of my Atlantean series - book three Battling the Demons and book four Dangerous Revelations - and both over 80K words long! I am now pleased to say that the mission is complete :D Battling the Demons is with my publisher and Dangerous Revelations is with my editor. Then I had to catch up on four day's worth of Twitter RTs which took about three hours and then a quick catch up on FB. And now, after completing my blog entry, I intend to write, read and do a little bit of reviewing. I have a bottle of prosecco chilling nicely in the fridge and I think I deserve a glass or two of that :D
Looking forward to my holiday in Cornwall at the end of September with my two amazing friends Bridget and Dom. I hope to visit a couple of places where my Romance/Thriller Flame was set. Also while I am away, Rise of the Chameleons - book 2 in The Eternal Love of the Seekers series - is released on 1st October. All go at the moment :D
23rd August 2015
Middle to the end of last week wasn't particularly good for me. Struck down with a migraine, nausea and blurred vision. It really is debilitating and washed me out for three days. Thank goodness it's now gone! I couldn't even contemplate using my laptop so got very behind on writing and social media, but now catching up :D
I did feel well enough to go to a friends on Saturday which was wonderful, just a group of ladies chilling, chatting, eating bbq food and enjoying the sunshine. I stayed at my friend's overnight and we chatted until the early hours. We all lead hectic lives but even if we don't meet for a few months when we do, it's like we were only together the day before.
Not looking forward to tomorrow and work, but then I guess that's the same for most of us isn't it? I definitely fall in to the category of work to live and not the other way around. Let's hope it's a good week ahead for all of us :D
16th August 2015
Had a busy few days and just about caught up with Twitter and Facebook after a short break. It's incredible just how long it takes to catch up even after only two days away.
My lovely editor Zee sent me edits for Dangerous Revelations - book 4 in the Eternal Love of the Seekers series - and I once again I thoroughly enjoyed working on them and feel happy with the suggestions that she made:D
Went to a family wedding yesterday which was held at The Boathouse near Ormesby, which is on the Norfolk Broads. The ceremony was held outside right by the water and the weather was just perfect. We had free use of a lovely little boat called the Gentleman Jim and went for short rides on the Broads. The sunset was breath-taking and I took loads of amazing pictures. It was a truly beautiful place and one which gave me inspiration for maybe another one or two romance stories :D
11th August 2015
I had a real boost today, just when I needed one the most :D My lovely editor at Red Sage, Zee, is now editing book No. 4 in The Eternal Love of the Seekers series - Dangerous Revelations - and she said she's enjoying the read and thinks that I am getting better and better with each book in the series. That really made my day and for the record, working with her is an absolute pleasure and her support is awesome :D
I've submitted Island Love now, but have decided I am only going to try one publisher at a time. I am in no hurry and I have Leah's Story to get on with, as well as editing my Atlantean series. I really could do with not working so many days, it really gets in the way of my creativity. But then most other authors in the world understand exactly where I'm coming from.
9th August 2015
Well I finally did the ice bucket challenge yesterday - even though it was about a year late. A very dear friend of mine was raising money for a local hospital ward and held a charity event at her home for close friends and family. I donated a couple of copies of Flame for a raffle and subjected myself to being doused with ice cold water. To be honest it was such a hot day that I welcomed it. There is photographic and video evidence of the event on Twitter and facebook :D Well over £200 was raised on the day, so well done to my lovely friend Bridget Hughes - and her sister Jane - for hosting the event and all their hard work in setting it up.
I am just about ready to start the submission circus once again. Island love is waiting for a publisher to fall in love with the story as much as I did. I love everything that I've written and each and every character and storyline are special to me. Thhis one, hoever, comes straight from the heart and has a little bit of me in it. As I've said before as soon as I got off the ferry on Waiheke Island I fell totally in love with the place. The inspiration was flowing so fasat from my brain that it was hard to get everything down. As always, if it doesn't get picked up, I have had he pleasure of creating yet another story and that's the most important thing for any writer.
I hope to upload and excerpt sometime later today. I understand that you're all very busy people but if you do have time to take a peek, let me know what you think :D
3rd August 2015
There really never seem to be enough hours in a day at the moment. It's so frustrating when all I want to do is write all day and unfortunately work and housework get in the way!
Mind you it's just gone 9.30pm and still 20 degrees here, so I see a sleepless night ahead for me. Note to self, "take laptop to bed with you...just in case."
28th July 2015
Lovely author Marcia Carrington invited me to appear on her blog today. If you want to see what I was chatting about check it out at https://marciasbooktalk.wordpress.com/
26th July 2015
Yet another week has disappeared from view and that was after I'd decided to try and update my blog at least twice a week. That didn't pan out too well now did it :D
Battling the Demons, book 3 in The Eternal Love of the Seekers series, has now finished with the edits and am now waiting for it to come back from the copy editor to see if anything else needs changing. Soon to start on book 4, I think that will be around 10th of August. This leaves me free to carry on writing Leah's Story and I have to say it is going extremely well. By writing her version, I will be able to include various places in the book which I was unable to in Island Love. I may well give Island Love one final polish and then submit to publishers.
I think I may start looking for work where I can have two full days off a week as I am finding it increasingly difficult to fit in as much creativity as I'd like to. This is easier said than done with part time work seemingly hard to come by. Still, I am not one to give up and will keep on trying. In the meantime, I shall just have to do as much as I can in the spare time that I have.
19th July 2015
I was getting increasingly grouchy because I hadn't written anything new for a while and then a thought came to me :D I decided to write a novella based on the best friend's point of view from my Island Love story - the one which takes place on Waiheke Island. It will simply be called Leah's Story. It got me thinking how she felt about being separated from her best friend and all the dilemmas that she had going on in her life. And I also wanted her own love story to be told, so this is my next project and I'm happy to say that the grouchy phase has gone.
I found another amazing 5* review for Flame on Amazon, it gives you such a happy and warm feeling to know someone has loved your work and taken the time to leave a review. It's located on the Amazon US site if you fancy taking a peek.
I've just finished reading Evitable Destiny by Izabela Monick and trust me, it is well worth reading. I was supposed to be editing yesterday but go so engrossed that I had to finish the story. It's her debut novel and I gave her a 5* rating because it was so good.
Okay, time to get going in the garden and then the rest of the day will be free for writing :D
13th July 2015
Had a great time in Norwich with my friends. We don't get to see each other too often because we all have such busy lives now. But it's uncanny that as soon as we meet up, it's as though we'd only seen each other the day before. There was lots of talking, shopping, eating and drinking, a wonderful couple of days :D
9th July 2015
On Tuesday I went to a relative's funeral. It broke my heart when her husband cried because they had been married for 70 years. It was wonderful though to meet up with my mum's side of the family and reconnet, I am hopeful that we will stay in touch. My cousin Ray is 75 years old, but he still has a twinkle in his bright blue eyes and is very sprightly, such a lovely man.
Today, I am excited because I managed to get tickets for the Motley Crue and Def Leppard gigs at Wembley later this year...I cannot wait!!!
I've just received Battling the Demons back from my editor - it's book 3 in my Eternal Love of the Seekers series - so I'll be busily ploughing my way through that. It may seem like a weird title for a Paranormal Romance, but the demons they're battling are the ones inside their heads, the ones that keep them from enjoying a loving relationship.
I'm away on a girlie weekend to Norwich this weekend too, so it's all go for me!!!!
5th July 2015
I've seen a couple of films over the last few days and loved them both, for very different reasons. Terminator Genysis got a slating in the press, but I have to say it was awesome and edge of the seat stuff. Then I saw the new Magic Mike film, this was hot...for obvious reasons ;-) The storyline was pretty weak but hey, with those sexy bodies on show who cares? Very shallow of me I know but it's true. One of the dance scenes near the end was extremely hot and sexy and the song used was Closer by Nine Inch Nails, one of my favourites!!
I am keeping my fingers crossed. I should hear tomorrow whether I've managed to get tickets for the Def Leppard and Motley Crue gigs at Wembley :D
I expect to be busy towards the end of this week as my lovely new editor Zee should be sending me Battling the Demons to work through. It's book 3 in my Eternal Love of the Seekers series. People may think it's a weird title for a Paranormal Romance book, but the demons being battled are the mental demons, dues to physical abuse. It's heartening how two of my female characters learn to come to terms with what has happened and as I'm a romance novelist, it does have a good conclusion - enough said.
And so, while I have a bit of calm before the storm - I am actually reading, which is an absolute pleasure for me. Of course writing is my biggest passion, but I am also - when I have the time - an avid reader.
I also want to say how proud I am of my son, Dale, he's just passed a sign off at his work and is now a fully fledged manager. He's worked hard for this so he deserves it :D
30th June 2015
Today would have been my wonderful mum's birthday. I did what I always do and shut myself away to watch one of her favourite films - Shirley Valentine -with a glass of wine. I miss her so much, even after six years, and the pain is still palpable.
She was my mentor, best friend and confidant and that is why each book that I am fortunate enough to have published will be dedicated to her. Without my mum's encouragemtn I would never be writing as much as I do today. So wherever you are, Mum, I wish you a Happy Birthday and wish you were still here with me.
28th June 2015
I have no idea what I've done to my ankle but it's really painful and I had to get an ankle support for it yesterday. Extremely frustrating as I cannot do my speed walking until it's better :(
Am waiting patiently for the next round of editing for books 3 & 4 to commence, methinks this is the calm before the storm! I've finally caught up with FB and Twitter now, it's surprising how long it can take to re-tweet etc when you haven't been on there for four days :D
I popped down to the Felixstowe Book Festival yesterday and donated a few copies of Flame to the book swap event. I hope they all found homes and the readers enjoyed my story. If you did, and you're reading my blog now, could you please spare a few minutes to leave an honest review on Goodreads or Amazon, it will be greatly appreciated :D
25th June 2015
Okay, so here I was patting myself on the back for getting my final draft of Rise of the Chameleons done - and not too many errors spotted either - when I receive and email to say that books 3 & 4 in ther series have to be sorted by end of July and book 5 by end of August. OMG, I am going to be crazy busy!!! I'm sure my editor and me can do it but it's going to be completely manic, not mention going to work, running a home and trying to keep up with social media. I also have several other finished writing projects which need to be edited and as for new work...I'm afraid all that will have to be put on the back burner. Thank goodness I love writing or I think I might go out of my mind with the tasks that await me :D
24th June 2015
I have received the final draft of Rise of the Chameleons from the publisher. This is the final time I'll get to look at it before it goes to the copy editor. I have to go through the whole novel with a fine tooth comb and check for any errors. I don't work Fridays which is a help, but I have taken tomorrow off too so that I can focus wholly on it. This is why I desperately need another day off during the week instead of having to use up my annual leave.
I had an email from St Ives Library in Cornwall today. I'd donated a copy of Flame to the library because the book is set around that area. It was to thank me and to let me know that it was being catalogued and then would be put on the shelves. I hope that if anyone reads it that they enjoy the story :D
20th June 2015
It's been a bit of a weird week for me. I have been waiting since February to find out whether I can change my hours of work and am finding it hard to comprehend what's taking the time. A yes or no answer will suffice.
One of my mum's cousins passed away in the week and although she was in her 90s it is still very sad because it's yet another link to my mum that has gone. On the same day I find out an old friend has bladder cancer, it's such a sad piece of news...I'm still waiting for bad news number 3 to rear its ugly head. I had to actually do more running this morning as I feel on a bit of a downer. It helped a bit and I have thrown myself into editing and social media to take my mind off things.
One bit of good news though, I have got a ticket to see Black Stone Cherry next February and I can't wait. I've already booked a hotel room at the place I stayed last year when I went to see them.
Let's hope for happier news for next week, the only way is up :D
14th June 2015
The weekend came and went like a whirlwind because I've been quite busy. On Friday I went to the cinema to see Jurassic World. I very rarely watch on the IMAX screen but si glad I did for this one. It was action-packed and had me on the edge of my seat. Had dinner with friends and then went to the Ipswich Beer Festival. It was held at Ipswich Town's football ground and was a really good location. It was a shame that it rained though. One of my mates works in marketing and suggested that I get in contact with bloggers who blog for the genres I write in, so that's something I have to look in to.
Staurday I met friedns for coffee and a catch up. One of them had asked me to bring a copy of my book Flame for her and two others have now asked if I could bring them copies next time we meet :D I went to see Spy afterwards. It was an absolutely hilarious film although I did have one complaint. I am not a prude, but the amount of bad language was overkill and it wasn't just me who thought so because I heard several others make the same comments. I then went home and spent several hours catching up on social media.
Today I ahve edited over 100 pages, finished reading and reviewing a book and then mor etime on social media. Think I'll be going back to work for a rest. I have to admit though that everything I do connected with writing is a labour of love - a passion - and when I'm at my happiest.
10th June 2015
Just a very quick entry but had to share. I went out for my usual early morning speed walk and came face to face with a beautiful deer. Unfortunately I couldn't get to my phone quick enough to take a picture. Unlike me it had grace, elegance and speed, soon disappearing into the woods.
8th June 2015
It's all happening here! I have a new editor who will be working with me on The Eternal Love of the Seekers series. Firstly I'd like to thank Rosie for all her help with the first two in the series and a big welcome to Zee who will be with me on books 3-7. I look forward to working with her.
I'm almost at the end of edting book six and then it will be the monster. Book seven, Dangerous Temptation, is 127K words long and will take a while to get through. It's my favouite in the series though and the main characters are my favourite couple - although I love all of my characters. Looking forward to reconnecting with them. As I've said before I have written book 8 and thought that would probably be the end of it, but after going through the books again...I now have loads more ideas :D
I had a wonderful tweet from fellow author Lelani Black and I quote "Toya, you really are one of the nicest, hardworking and talented supportive authors I've had the pleasure knowing" I was really touched by her words. All I try to do is support other authors with re-tweets etc. and write reviews for books that I've read. As a fellow author, it's the least I can do :D
Changing the subject, if you fancy seeing a hilarious, romantic comedy go and see Man Up, it was a very uplifting film :D
1st June 2015
Well, it's been a crazy, busy time for me. Lots of editing to be done and I am enjoying the process. It's also wonderful to reconnect with my Atlanteans for the Eternal Love of the Seekers series. I hadn't realised just how much I'd missed them. I have written book 8 but it also requires editing and by going through the other stories it has given me ideas for more books in the series...I think I've spawned a monster :D
I did manage to see 2 films last week as well. I watched San Andreas which was a great action movie and the special effects were awesome. I was bitterly disappointed with Mad Max though and felt the storyline was extremely weak. Such a shame really as I was looking forward to that movie more than San Andreas.
Now that I have caught up with my blog and social media I think it's time to get back to some editing. I hope to update the books section of my website in the next week or two...editing permitting :D
21st May 2015
Looks like I'm going to be very busy for the next few weeks at least. I've just received Rise of the Chameleons - book 2 of The Eternal Love of the Seekers - back from my editor. I have work to do on it and it's then dues for release October 2015. Then the next five books in the series are due to be released one a month after that. I guess I shall have to put my other writing projects on the backburner for now. But of course, if I get the time, I will work on them too.
Ironic really because I was only thinking today about another project. I had another idea which has come out of my newest writing project and will make a wonderful story, oh well at least I won't run out of ideas!! It's at ties like these that I really wish I didn't have to work, because I desperately want to focus full time on my writing career.
19th May 2015
At last the cough and cold have gone, so relieved about that!
Saw Spooks at the cinema last Friday, it was a really good film and had me on the edge of my seat. I thought it was miles better than the series.
Now finished the second edit of my newest novel. Will now have a break for a few days before giving it a final read-through. If anyone has ideas about how I can find a trusted beta reader, I'd be very grateful for any advice. I had thought about sending it to a proofreader, but I cannot afford it.
15th May 2015
Well it's half past midnight and I'm still wide awake!! Have a cough and cold and each time I nod off I start coughing again, happy days. So, I thought I'd catch up on social media and start the second edit of my latest work. Went to see The Age of Adaline at the cinema last Friday, what a beautiful love story. It was unusual and I loved it, about a woman who never aged and was scared of falling in love as she didn't want to see her partner die while she lived on. It has a wonderful ending and well worth a look.
I am happy with the way my editing is progressing and will probably do one more complete edit after this one. Then I really have to try and find a beta reader who I can trust.
6th May 2015
Exactly five weeks after starting my new writing project, I have just finished it. The word count so far is 73,477. Now begins the hard part...editing! I shall leave it for a day or two before I start that process as I like to put a little distance from the story. I always find I look at it with fresher eyes by doing that.
5th May 2015
I can honestly say that this Bank Holiday was wonderful. I spent most of the time on my new writing project which is now up to 66K words and I have achieved that in just under five weeks :D Not bad considering I work and run a home etc. Our Sky TV broke down too, which was fantastic for me as I could sit and write in peace and quiet.
Still laughing at the fact this story was going to be a novella, should have known I wouldn't be able to stop at around 40K words. I should have it finished by the end of the week, so I can start on the editing process. The story is a beautiful, sweet contemporary romance and it makes me smile as I write it. Long may my happiness with writing continue!
30th April 2015
And that's another week that's vanished and gone by so quickly!
I went to see the new Avengers Age of Ultron film last Friday and it was brilliant. There were quite a few funny one-liners but I found it was also quite dark. Going again tomorrow but will be seeing it in 3D on the IMAX screen this time.
Last Saturday went to the Theatre to see The Crucible which was performed by the Wolsey Youth Theatre. My goodnes they are an extremely talented bunch. The play was so professional that you forgot that they were teenagers and not adults. Then went on to have a meal at Frankie and Benny's all to celebrate a lovely friend's birthday with her sister and a good time was had by all.
I've sold a few paperback copies of Flame recently and had very favourable and honest reviews, it always makes me smile to think that someone has been engrossed in something that I have created. As a writer it makes you feel like oyu have a warm glow inside. And speaking of writing, my new project is up to 49K words, so all thoughts of it being a novella have gone right out of the window. I just can't help myself, I always get carried away with the story. So pleased it's a bank holiday weekend because I don't have much on and intend to write, write, write :D
21st April 2015
It's been a busy few days and I hadn't realised just how long I'd gone without writing my blog. I have just hit the 40K mark with Island Desires, although I think I may well change the title because I'm not certain it's right for the book. Crazy isn't it that you can write page after page and yet a simple book title can elude you, although it is still very important. I'm sure it'll come to me...eventually. At present I'm editing what I've written before I go any further and it never ceases to amaze me how many mistakes you pick up just by doing a read-through. No doubt I'll find more when I go through it again :D
I've seen two films in the past week, John Wick and The Woman in Gold. I enjoyed them both for very different reasons. John Wick was quite a bloody action film, something you could watch without having to overthink things. The Woman in Gold was about one woman's fight against the Austrian government to retrieve paintings hanging in an Austrian gallery that had been stolen by the Nazis in WW2. It was a heartwarming film and one that's definitely for the DVD collection.
I had two very good friends over for dinner on Saturday night. It was a fun-filled time for of lots of laughter. We are off to St Ives in Cornwall for the week at the end of September and are all very excited about the trip. Flame, my contemporary romance/thriller was set in the area and I am looking forward to visiting the nearby Penlee Museum & Art Gallery where one of the scenes on my book is set. It seems a long way off at the moment, but I'm sure it'll come around quickly.
12th April 2015
I have been home from my holiday for almost two weeks now. Where on earth did that time go? I've been busy writing and since last Sunday I've written 27K words for my new writing project, Island Desires. So much inspiration from my holiday that my muse has been working me hard and I've loved every minute of the experience. I sit at the laptop and my fingers positively fly over the keyboard and sometimes I have to drag myself in order to eat etc. Have posted several pictures of my inspiration on Facebbok and Twitter. I have loads more which I will also upload eventually.
Dropped a few copies of Flame at Woodbridge Books on Friday, fingers crossed that someone will buy a copy. It will be great for me and also important for the indie bookshop.
6th April 2015
I cannot believe that holiday time is over and I will be back at work tomorrrow :(
I've been thinking about the highlights of my trip to NZ & OZ so okay here goes and in no particular order...Falling in love with Waiheke the moment I got off the ferry, the beautiful sunsets on Waiheke, Glenelg & Rottnest, seeing Hobbiton for the very first time, meeting Ruby in Melbourne, stroking a koala, speed walking around Sydney city centre at 6am and the Australian GP. There were so many others that are listed in my blog, all the people I've met and the amazing places that I've visited.
Most importantly, it gave me the inspiration to write another contemporary romance. Some of it is wishful thinking on my part and from some of my personal experiences too. Whatever the outcome, I've written 15K words for Island Desire and am loving every single minute of the process.
2nd April 2015
Had a bit of drama when we returned to Heathrow Airport on 31st March...my son's suitcase was still in Dubai!! It almost made us late for our coach but we just made it after a last minute mad dash!!! The case was sent by courier and returned yesterday evening so no harm done.
I didn't really feel jetlagged which was good, although now I am starting to feel a bit run down and think I have a cold on the way :(
After much nagging from people I decided to tak the plunge and have set up an Facebook account. I have to admit that it's much easier than Twitter and I think I'll be spending more time on there. I do enjoy Twitter, but I don't have the time to spend on all the retweeting and although I love it on there, I will have to slow it down. I find that it takes me away from quality writing time and I really do need to get going on that again.
30th March 2015
Had one last soak in the hot tub - we have to get one of these!! Just time for a bbq before we have to go to the airport for our flight home :( I have much to do when I get home, catching up on Twitter, writing another contemporary romance and then getting started on FB. It's something I need to do to network with more authors and meet new people. Hee hee, took me a while to get used to Twitter so be patient with me.
29th March 2015
Cannot believe this is my last full day before flying home, I really don't know where the time has gone. Had a lovely lunch in a pub called the Woodbridge today, weird because we live 3 miles away from Woodbridge in the UK. Time now for chilling in the hot tub and reflection on all wonderful things we've seen and people we have met. Fly home late tomorrow afternoon so after I've been back a couple of days I will say what my highlights have been.
28th March 2015
Went to Crawley which is on the banks of a beautiful river set in lovely countryside. It's on the outskirts of Perth and you could see it and Kings Park over the other side of the river. Had a barbecue by one of the public cooking areas, it really is another world out here and I am not looking forward to coming home...although I do have a wonderful story that I shall write when I get back full of romance :D
27th March 2015
Spent the day at Rottnest Island, it was beautiful like a piece of heaven on Earth. We caught the ferry and spent time touring around the small island soaking up the tranquil atmosphere and all the powder soft sand and crystal blue seas. Took a wonderful picture of a sunset and it was glorious. They have funny little creatures called Quokkas that are like a kind of large rodent and so soft and friendly. Also came up close to a Manta Ray, they are huge!
26th March 2015
Started day off in the hot tub...but with a cup of tea this time! Then went to explore Perth and book tickets to go to Rottnest Island tomorrow. For those of you who know me you will now roll your eyes lol. My son found a shop selling all manner of things with skulls on so bought a T-shirt and an awesome blouse covered in skellies.
25th March 2015
Had another busy day in paradise :D Drove out to Swan Valley and had coffee by a lake watching the pelicans. Then went to a chocolate factory and had lots of free samples, very yummy. After lunch went to Kings Park in Perth, such a magnificent open space with so much to see. Was amazed by the spectacular views over the city and the harbour. And to finish it off went back to our friends and sat in the hot tub drinking bubbly and chilling. Do I want to come home...no!
24th March 2015
Started off the day extremely well with a relax in our friends' hot tub at 8am. Then went off to Fremantle which was a beautiful place with lunch by the water. Then a ride along the coast road and a stop off at so many beautiful beaches it was glorious. Cannot believe that this time next week I will be back in the UK.
23rd March 2015
Arrived in Perth yesterday and I think all the time differences has caught up with me and I was in bed by 8pm!!
Today went to an awesome car museum and saw some amazing old cars. Then on to Caversham Wildlife Park and I got to storke a Koala, a wombat and fed and cuddled kangaroos, always wanted to do that so am a happy bunny :D
21st March 2015
Walked along the beach with my mum in my thoughts today. She has been gone for six years and it has been really hard and although you find different ways of coping, you never get over it.
20th March 2015
Arrived in Adelaide yesterday and have a beachfront apartment in a lovely seaside resort called Glenelg. Went for an early morning walk today by the water and then along a pier where I got up close and personal with a pelican who was waiting patiently for fishermen to feed him tasty treats. Didn't realise how big they were.
The boys got complimentary tickets for cricket in Adelaide so I had a blissful few hours writing and reading on my balcony looking out over the sandy beach and glorious blue sea.
18th March 2015
On Monday we went to the Sealife Centre as my son loves penguins and it was such an awesome place to see them. They are really quite tall and are very friendly little creatures. Also went along the South bank which has loads of places to eat and drink, such a relaxed pace of life and something I could really get used to.
Yesterday...Tuesday, we went to St Kilda beach and although it rained for some of the time it was a lovely and peaceful place. Had a bit of a paddle but was a shame that it wasn't a little bit warmer. Had an evening meal in a tapas bar and it was really weird that when I looked at the drinks there was a cocktail could Flame and it was really yummy here is are the ingredients...vanilla vodka, chambourd, galliano, vanilla, apple juice, lime juice and mint leaves :D
Today was awesome. After taking the free tram around the city we had lunch and then chilled in the apartment. Later, I met a lovely lady called Ruby who I met through Twitter and even though it was only a short time, I was so glad that I met her and can't wait to see her again :D The boys have gone out for a last beer in Melbourne as we are on our way to Adelaide tomorrow. I am having a quiet night in with some wine and a good story. Will report more when I can :D
16th March 2015
Okay, so the GP didn't go Kimi's way and such a shame that he conked out right opposite to where we were sitting :( But I still think that the Ferraris are looking tasty this season :D I loved the vibe around the whole weekend and sorry Silverstone, but they really have the whole weekend sussed so much better :D
Had a meltdown though as I realised it was Mother's Day and I missed my mum so bad that I was in tears by the end of the day. The 21st March will be bad as that is the day she passed six years ago. I don't think it's something that I'll ever get over.
Went to Sealife Centre today and say lots of amazing sealife, plus the penguins were amazing. Then chilled out along the riverbank, so may fab places to see. Off to the beach tomorrow :D
14th March 2015
The travels continue :D On Sunday we went to Manly, which is a 40 minute ferry ride from Sydney and it was a beautfiul seaside resort. The beaches were soft sand and the sea a beautiful blue, such a peaceful place. Sat and read my kindle on the beach and listened to my music, life doesn't get much better than that. Yesterday we flew to Melbourne and are right in the heart of the city, so much to see and do. Today we were at the Grand Prix for qualifiers and I was happy that Kimi was 5th for tomorrow's race. It is in a beautiful setting at Albert Park and there is so much going on, I have to admit the set up here is so much better than any circuit I've been to in Europe.
We walked loads today too and it was baking hot. There was a free tram to the circuit, but then I think we walked all around the actual race track and then back into the city afterwards, so my feet are aching now. Looking forward to the race tomorrow, should be a good one!
11th March 2015
My son saw a Chris Hemsworth lookalike yesterday and took a picture of him. Poor guy must have wondered what was going on, but I have to admit that he was a real dead ringer for him :D
Have been out for a buffet lunch today and have never seen one like it before. The food was all fresh and set out beautifully there were salads, Indian food, Chinese food, seafood, Moroccan, English, soups, Italian, cheeseboard, so many desserts that I lost track and so much more! My poor tummy is still groaning hours later after the amount I ate. Good job I was up at 6am this morning speed walking around the city of Sydney!!!
Now chilling for the evening and reading a little. Have also made heaps of notes for yet another contemporary romance. I'm only writing by hand in a notebook at present and will be typing them all up when I get home.
There's a storm brewing here at the moment. Hope it goes soon as we are off to Manly Beach tomorrow by ferry. It's supposed to be beautiful so let's hope we're blessed with sunshine!
10th March 2015
Left New Zealand yesterday and I was really sad to go. It's such a wonderful country and I felt at peace and at home there. On 8th March, our last full day there, we went to Pihau - sorry if I've spelt this wrong as I cannot find my map atm! What a wonderful, beautiful and wild place it was. Great wild waves and volcanic sand, such an inspirational place and extremely unspoilt. Also went to some nearby waterfalls and had a walk around some of the trails, I have never been so taken by a place in my whole life. Having to leave NZ was a huge wrench for me and I shall definitely be going back.
Arrived in Sydney yesterday and it was about 30 degrees, phew! Went on a cruise around Darling Harbour today with lunch included that was lovely and got up close and personal with the bridge and opera house. Afterwards went for a walk around the rocks, with loads of shops, cafes and bars. It's a busy, vibrant place, but have to admit that I am still missing NZ.
7th March 2015
Well I survived the long journey from the UK and arrived in New Zealand on Wednesday afternoon. I did worry right at the start of the journey though because our coach broke down halfway to Heathrow airport. Those of you who know me will know that I am indeed a travel jinx :D We were given a taxi for the rest of our journey and still arrived at the airport with heaps of time to spare.
It seemed forever to get to Dubai, then Sydney and then on to Auckland and I felt as though I'd been living in the air for years! I must admit though that the cabin crew were fantastic and looked after us very well. I saw so many films that my head is now on overload. I did manage to read a bit, but couldn't focus that much.
We arrived in Auckland and just chilled for the afternoon and had something to eat and then I crashed and slept for hours.
Thursday we took a 45 minute boat ride to Waiheke Island and it was like paradise. We had a coach tour around the island and then stopped off at one of the beaches for a few hours and chilled. I couldn't get over how warm it was...and yes, I got sunburn :( We had a meal in one of the local bars and again, we were struck by how laidback and friendly everyone was. If was younger, I could see myself living somewhere like this. I hadn't planned on writing while away, but the island has given me some great ideas for maybe a short story or novella. It was only a small island but I think there were about 20 vineyards on there and the local wine was lovely. Sailed back just as the sun was setting and it was absolutely magical.
Yesterday was a fantastic trip for me. Went to the filmset of The Hobbit. As a big Lord of the Rings fan this was a very special and emotional trip. Hobbiton itself is still maintained and I felt as though I had been transported back to Middle Earth. Bag End was a wonderful Hobbit Hole, it was a shame we couldn't look inside, but then it would be ruined by people tramping around in it. We finished off the day with a drink and food in The Green Dragon pub and I dressed up in some Hobbit clothes :D
Today I am going to see a cricket world cup match. Not into the sport but it would be crazy not to go while it's on. Not sure what we'll do tomorrow and Monday we will be flying to Sydney, so will try and catch up when we get there.
1st March 2015
One last little entry before I set out on my travels tomorrow :D Case is all now packed, just a few Tweets to catch up on and then I will do some writing. Keep an eye on my blog as I am hoping to put some entries on here about what I've been up to.
Also, I am having a Book Blast and Giveaway over at Tasty Book Tours on 12th March. Pop over and take a look :D http://www.tastybooktours.com/#uds-search-results
28th February 2015
Had a busy weekend so far. On Friday had a friend over for lunch, it was great to catch up and we mustn't leave it so long next time :D Went out in the evening with friends for a few drinks and the obligatory karaoke. One of my friends and I had a bit of a shock when we asked for A Whole Lotta Rosie and the DJ put on A Whole Lotta Love...we did okay though:D
Met a friend for breakfast today and then went to see The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, it was a brilliant film and I thought much better than the first one. And as Fifty Shades was on not long after that one finished, I went to see it again too :D
Think tomorrow will be spent packing for the holiday and I hope to get some quality writing time too. Have to make certain the house is also tidy for when our house sitters arrive :D
Right, now caught up on Twitter and my blog so I think it's time to chill :D
23rd February 2015
I have achieved a big step forward for me today...I actually managed to transfer money form my bank, to my Paypal account and then on to another account! May not seem like much but I really am hopeless with technology :D
I don't know where the last few days have gone, I have been rushed off my feet with various things. Took myself off to Norwich for a few hours shopping on Friday and then went to see Blackhat. I guess the film was okay but a bit too hitech for me, but Chris Hemsworth made it all worthwhile ;D
I haven't done any writing for a few days and now starting to get a bit tetchy, this always happens when I don't do even a little in a day. So tired now that I think it'll be Wednesday before I get any done as I am out after work tomorrow. When I get back frm my holiday things are going to change that's for sure.
20th Februrary 2015
I AM PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE COVER REVEAL FOR COOKIE CUTTER BY JO RICHARDSON
Author: Jo Richardson
Publisher: Little Bird Publishing
Genre: Contemporary RomCom
Release date: March 23, 2015
Iris Alden and Carter Blackwood couldn't be more different. Change-averse Iris likes her life neat and organized, while Carter's itchy feet mean he doesn’t plan to stay in the same place for long. When Carter moves into the house across the street from Iris, to renovate it, she fights the disruption it causes in her life. Before long, though, it's not simply the house Carter's rebuilding, but Iris's heart, too.
“What are you doing here?”It’s Carter freaking Blackwood. Of course.He smiles that ridiculously bright, white smile of his and lets out a soft snicker. “I’m fixing a floor for a friend, what are you doing here?”It’s completely obvious what I’m doing here, seeing as I’m carrying two huge trays of sugar cookies in my arms.“A friend? You just moved in. How do you have friends already?” I say it a bit harsher than I probably should but honestly, how does he have friends already? James and I were here a good six months before people started really talking to me. It was a year before I could call any of them friends. The edges of Carter’s mouth turn down and his head dips to one side as his shoulders hunch then settle.“People like me, I guess.”The smug look on his face is enough to make me want to slap it. Or kiss it.Wait. Not kiss it. I didn’t mean kiss it. Why am I staring at his lips?“People who don’t want to kill me that is. Are you okay?”I blink, and search my brain, but I’m still not quite sure what to say to him, so I extend my arms. “I brought cookies.” As soon as I say the words, I hear them. I sound ridiculous and Carter’s bright eyes crinkle with amusement.He closes his lids and he breathes the baked goods in. Then hums. The sound of his voice sends a vibration through me and I shiver. I am eternally grateful that he doesn’t see it happen.His eyes open slowly. When they reach mine, I’m glued to his stare like a deer in headlights.“Those cookies smell really fucking good, Iris.”The bedroom eyes catch me off guard and my mouth falls open so I snap it shut. I’m a buffoon with no ability to speak.“Can I have one?” He reaches out and I balance the platter with one hand, then slap his fingers with the other while I find words. A word that is.“No.”“Ow.” He pulls his hand away, like a child getting reprimanded, only when we make eye contact again, he doesn’t seem child like to me.I wouldn’t say he’s angry. He doesn’t exactly laugh, either. And his eyes gleam as he stares at me. I hate his eyes almost as much as I hate his teeth. Maybe more. Dammit, I’m staring, again.“They’re for Ally’s class,” I tell him. “Fundraiser, I mean bake sale.” I fumble my words. He’s so frustrating.
Other works by Jo:
Cursed be the Wicked, a paranormal mystery romance, released March 2014 through Soul Mate Publishing
AMAZON |B&N |GOODREADS
Lost in Christmas, a short story included in Soul Mate Publishing’s 2013 Christmas anthology
AMAZON | GOODREADS
A movie fanatic, a writer of stories, a lover of life.Jo grew up in Maryland with four siblings, three parents and an endless number of cousins within the vicinity – but it was too cold up North for this thin blooded girl. So today, she lives in Florida with her two girls and a husband that shares her same sense of humor and basic take on life as we know it.Life is too short to put dreams on the back burner.Jo tells contemporary stories with romance, humor, the supernatural, the paranormal, suspense, mystery, action and anything else she can think up.In 2012, she wrote Cursed be the Wicked, a character driven, paranormal mystery romance that was picked up by Soul Mate Publishing and released in March of 2014. Since then, Jo has also written a couple of short stories and her recently contracted contemporary romantic comedy, entitled Cookie Cutter, is set to release on March 23, 2015 through Little Bird Publishing.
18th February 2015
I don't know whether I'm coming or going at the moment with so much going on. I've been making enquiries about holding a book signing locally for Flame and the owner has also asked for a copy of Defender of Stargor to read too! I am keeping my fingers crossed that something could be arranged for both, who knows :D
I am in the process of ordering some paperback copies of Flame and have to have a Paypal account in order to do so. I am not the most technically minded of people and have had a nightmare trying to link my bank account to Paypal so I can transfer funds!!! I am going to have to admit defeat and pay a visit to the bank to ask for help, what a pain :(
I have now gone over the 30K mark with my new project and it's coming along like a dream at the moment. It makes me feel so fulfilled and happy when I am writing, I only hope that I can do it full time one day :D
I'm also very excited about a trip I am taking with two close friends later in the year. We are going to St Ives in Cornwall for a week, it's around that area where Flame is mostly based. It will be wonderful to see all the places in my mind come to life, I can hardly contain myself. Although the village where Greg lives is all made up in my head, some of the places are very real. Probably be a very emotional trip for me.
14th February 2015
I have now seen Fifty Shades of Grey twice and I think the film is great, so much better than the books. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan were great in their portrayal of Anastasia and Christian. It was very tastefully done and the sexual tension leading up to the hot scenes was brilliant. Forget the books, forget what the critics have said about it and just go and enjoy it.
Still busily working on my newest writing project - still no name for it yet! I was concerned that I was getting a touch of writer's block as I started to find it a struggle to get the story down. Thankfully, it was only a slight blip and I am now back on track. Always at my happiest when I'm writing so feel calm once again :D
12th February 2015
My sleeping pattern seems a lot better now thank goodness, nothing worse than bnot being able to sleep. I've been in touch with a local indie bookshop, so I'm hopeful that they might be interested in holding a book signing for Flame :D
It has sold really well in its first week and I am just happy that people were interested in reading it and hope they all enjoyed what I wrote.
The book I am working on at present has hit a bit of a brick wall and writer's block has set in. I swear part of it is because I cannot write whenever I want to - that's the trouble when you have to have a "day job" too. Hopefully the muse will soon be back with me.
I bought the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, not normally my taste in music but it's really good. I read all the books before the hype and even then, I didn't think they were particularly good. I'll be seeing the film tomorrow, so hoping it will be better.
9th February 2015
This is starting to become a very annoying recurrence, yet again I have an attack of insomnia. It is now 1.34am and I have to get up for work in less than five hours but am still wide awake! Wouldn't be so bad if I was writing full time for a living as I could sleep when I need to. Unfortunately, like most fellow authors, I still have to work to pay the bills...frustrating or what???
7th February 2015
Oh my gosh I am so completely blown away right now that I don't know what to do with myself. Flame went on sale yesterday and sold so well that I still cannot believe it. This book is so very important to me that I cannot stress how emotional I am right now. This was all about my mum, money and everything else has nothing to do with it. I miss her so very much right now that I can't put it into words. Mum, if you're watching, this is for you. You gave me life, nurtured me and was there for me every, single step of the way. It's becaue of you that I write and because of you that I have done so well. Love you!!
Went to see Jupiter Ascending yesterday and left the cinema feeling totally and utterley confused! The special effects were great, Sean Bean and Channing Tatum both looked totally hot but as for the story...well, if anyone can explain it to me I'd be eternally grateful!
Going to see 50 Shades next Friday, don't think anyone will have to explain that movie to me ;-) Didn't particularly enjoy the books, which I read before all of the hype, so hope the film will be better.
4th February 2015
Monday night I couldn't sleep again and then came down with flu symptoms and didn't sleep for over 24 hours. Still off atm but have had lots of sleep which is a godsend. I have one bit of advice for people today, if you're full of bugs and still going to work, you really are not being kind to your colleagues who will also end up with it :(
If you want to check out what my Eureka moment was, follow this link :D http://awesomegang.com/toya-richardson/
2nd February 2015
I am feeling really bog-eyed atm. I have been busily promoting Flame, tweeting, filling out interviews on free blog sites, asking people I know to promote it on Face Book and goodness knows what else. For aspiring authors one bit of advice I forgot to put when being interviewed...you really have to be prepared to push yourselves and do a lot of marketing. The days of publishers doing everything for you is a thing of the past. I have learned to push myself forward and go for it. Being basically a fairly shy person, this has really made me come out of myself. It's very exciting, but tiring at the same time too.
Okay, time for me to veg in front of TV for a couple of hours now :D
31st January 2015
Would you believe it I had yet another bout of insomnia last night and it was 4am before I got finally to sleep! I caught up on my tweeting so at least I did something constructive with my lack of sleep :D
I am aboout 10K words in to the new book now. I've decided it's more fantasy/romance than paranormal and loving every minute of it. Always exciting when you start a new writing project and get to know and love your characters and live their story with them.
Saw The Kingsman yesterday, it was a really good film and quite funny in places. A kind of different take on the normal run of the mill spy tales: I'm looking forward to watching Jupiter Ascending next week, that looks really exciting.
25th January 2015
Yet another night of wonderful insomnia and this time, it was almost 4am before I got to sleep. I hope I sleep tonight as it's work tomorrow which means I get up at 5.50 am *groan*
I submitted Retribution to Little Bird Publishing House yesterday, so I have fingers crossed.
Today, I started on a new paranormal/romance writing project and have written almost 4K words, so very happy with that. Can't think of a title for it yet, but that will come in time I'm sure. Not certain which direction the story is going either so I'll let the characters take me where they want to go.
24th January 2015
It's 2.45am here and I'm having a bad attack of insomnia. I have no idea why I should be wide awake at this time, but I've made the most of it by editing a lot of Retribution. At least it'll give me some time for reading over the weekend as I will need to write a review to go with it.
Had a fantastic idea for a new paranormal romance book on the bus home from town on Friday. And as I didn't have a pen a notepad with me, I sent the idea in a text to myself. LOL, thank goodness for technology.
Saw Ex Machina at the cinema too on Friday. It was quite a thought provoking film and made me think about what might be in the future.
18th January 2015
Very busy and fab weekend I've just had. Firstly, Flame is to be released on 6th February. Please see details at the following link http://www.thelittlebirdbookstore.com/toya-richardson.html I am extremely excited about this release :D
Went to London on Friday with a great friend, a treat for my Christmas & Birthday present, and we stayed in Covent Garden. I came back today and it seemed to go so fast that I cannot believe I'm now home again.
We travelled by train 1st Class and we drank Prossecco on each journey to celebrate. Friday night we went to a brasserie called Boulevard and had the most wonderful meal, it was amazing. Saturday night we went to Belgo, which is a Belgian restaurant where the staff dress up as waiters. It was underground and a really fun place to go.
I have no sense of direction and on the Saturday night we left our hotel to meet my friend's nephew and his partner at a bar we know really well in Covent Garden...we ended up completely lost! We were so busy talking that we took a wrong turning and ended up outside Holborn tube station!!!! Anyway, we got there in the end. But then it got worse, I went to the loo in the restaurant and yep, you've guessed it...I got lost in the restaurant and couldn't find the way back. lol thank goodness our waiter saw me and came to my rescue!
The rest of the time we spent doing lots of walking and chilling out in bars and cafes. It was a wonderful treat and we had a fantastic time. Looking forward to out next trip whenever that may be :D
13th January 2015
Finished the first edit of Retribution yesterday and am pleased with how it went, although it will need to be looked again. I don't think it matters how many times you edit, you will always find mistakes that you've missed before.
I have updated an excerpt for Flame under books, contemporary romance/thrillers, and also added a book blurb and small excerpt for Retribution. If you have the time, please check them out and leave a comment for me in my guestbook, it will be much appreciated :D
11th January 2015
It's been a very productive weekend for me, I've mananged to edit 180 pages of Retribution and happy with the result. Hope to finish the first edit tomorrow.
I'm thinking about various ways to promote Flame too now as the release is less than a month away. As I've said before I love all my work, but this one is extremely important because of the connection with my mum.
My hands are now covered in scratches as I've been tidying the garden up. It was in a bit of a mess which is unusual for me as I like to keep on top of it. Trouble is I have been so focused on writing and editing that I had let things slide a little. Happy to see that it's now looking much better and must keep it this way until I can get planting in April.
7th January 2015
I've finally finished the first draft of Retribution and I'm very happy with how the story developed. I never know which way it's going to end because I let my characters drive the direction of their story. I'm going to have a break from writing until the weekend now. I like to have a rest before going back to edit my work, it helps me look at it with fresh eyes.
Waiting to see the final draft of the cover art for Flame, what I've seen so far is gorgeous and I'm very excited about it.
3rd January 2015
First of all I'd like to wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and peaceful New Year.
I cannot believe that my time off has gone so quickly but it's true that time does fly when you're having fun :D
There are a couple of sad bits of news though. Two of my friends have lost a parent over the festive period and my thoughts are with them at this very sad and trying time. It makes you put everything in to perspective and you have to do things that you want to. It's no good keep putting them off, if you want to do it then go right ahead as life is really far too short. Carpe Diem!
Christmas Day was a quiet affair as it always is and Boxing Day evening was spent with friends. My poor god daughter is heavily pregnant and I hope that her baby is safely with her and her family soon.
On 27th, I went with two friends on our annual pilgrimage to the Ally Pally to watch the darts championship. As always, it was a great day out which was rounded off by visiting a beer keller and pubs around the London Bridge area. Looking forward to going back next year already.
I've been to see Night at the Museum 3, which was quite sad really as both Robin Williams and Mickey Rooney are no longer with us. I also went to see the biblical epic, Exodus, Gods and Kings. It's a fantastic film and I loved every minute of it, the special effects were amazing, especially the parting of the waves and in my opinion it's well worth a look.
I've spent a lot of time writing Retribution and hope to have the first draft finished within the next week or two. I have ideas for another trilogy too, so thank goodness that the ideas keep on rolling in. Such a shame that the day job gets in the way. I realise that I have to work, but I really wish I didn't have to.
New Year's Eve was spent having a lovely meal at friends' house, but I don't honestly like New Year's Eve, I always find it a little depressing if I'm honest.
2nd January was my birthday - what a terrible time of year to have one! - and I went out for lunch during the day and then spent the evening with friends. We were going to take part in good old Karaoke, but we were so busy laughing and chatting that it was midnight before we knew it.