Tag Archives: reading

Phew! August was Busy!

August was a very busy month. I managed to finish several projects and one big one that is nearly ready to go – more about that in a minute!

As you may remember I released Fibromyalgia, My Personal Experiences on Audible in June. This book tells a bit about my story and how I cope day by day. I keep a positive outlook and hope that this book will bring a little light to other lives.

Fibromyalgia My Personal Experiences

I am delighted to announce that I have now added two more books to the Audible catalogue with another two to follow shortly!

stress aud

A Self Help Guide to Stress Relief and Stress Management

This guide contains mini quizzes to help you figure out your stress levels and is packed with helpful suggestions to get your life back on track.

iph aud

Irish Paranormal Haunts

For Paranormal lovers! Listen to the background of some of our most exciting investigations. With details of the location histories, paranormal background and my own personal experiences this book is a must for everyone who loves the unknown.

Back to the big one!

I have written the first book in the DS Louisa Williams murder mystery series.

DS Williams is finding it hard to settle into her new job. Her boss, DI Oakes thinks that a woman couldn’t possibly do a man’s job.

As well as problems with her boss, Louisa realises that something else is going on. Could her visions be the result of an injury or is she just sensitive to the paranormal? She knows that she can’t let her boss find out about her extra sensory perception but how can she explain how she knows so much about the murders?

Two women are dead. Can Louisa’s instincts leads her to the murderer before there are any more victims?

Sign up to my newsletter now, so you don’t miss the release date! (Privacy 100% Guaranteed)

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under My Life, Uncategorized

A Little bit of Nostalgia

A few friends and I were chatting about times gone by and laughing about our ‘normal’ compared to what kids today are used to.

me and Noreen

Phones I pick this item first as every kid seems to be permanently glued to theirs.

We didn’t have phones. As simple as that. We knew two neighbours who did and in an emergency my brother and I were sent to ask if we could call the doctor or ambulance. The nearest phone was five minutes walk down the road but unfortunately, it was installed in a holiday home and the owner was rarely in residence.

This meant that after checking here first, we then had to back track and walk across the fields, clambering over ditches, falling into gorse bushes, getting chased by cattle until after almost two miles of struggling, we arrived at our destination.

God help the poor ailing person at home!

We would then hand over our money and watch in fascination as the neighbour wound the handle and then shouted our business to the switch-board operator before finally being connected to the doctor.

Our neighbour would then kindly give us a cup of tea and some home-made bread and jam before sending us back to our parents.

We needed the sustenance for the return journey. If the day was very wet, we would take the easy way out and walk home by the road which added an extra mile or so to our trek.

As we grew older, we moved to a house with a phone already installed! The luxury of it! Now if we were sick we could summon the doctor almost straight away!

The other use of the phone was, of course, the obligatory phone call from the latest boyfriend.

Oh, the days of sitting on the stairs in the draughty hall, whispering sweet nothings while my father shouted from the living room, ‘Don’t be on that phone all night! My family might be trying to ring!’ (This was our version of call waiting.)

And then, there were the days when you had to screw up your courage and ring your best friend (to moan about the latest boyfriend). I became quite adept at this. I quickly realised that if I waited until the start of the nine o’clock news, I would have at least fifteen minutes of uninterrupted chat before my father started roaring about the cost of phone calls.

It was the same in every household and we all grew accustomed to trying to gossip over the shouting of someone’s father.

Water. These days we hear so much about saving water, paying for water, keeping our water clean. In our day it was more a case of, ‘Go and fetch some water.’

Fetching the water didn’t mean going to the tap and turning it on. Oh no! We had to pick our way over a gorse-covered hill, trying not to slip on the alternately muddy and rocky path until we reached the pool of clear water tucked under a fuchsia tree.

My brother and I were usually sent for the water. At five years old, I was too young to go on my own but I still had to carry a bucket back with me.

Me Kerry and Dad

We had to lean as far out as possible so we wouldn’t stir up mud in the shallower water as we filled our bucket.

The walk back down the hill was even more difficult now with a heavy bucket to contend with. We mustn’t spill the precious water or we’d be sent straight back to refill the bucket.

I remember the day the strange man came to walk around the field beside the house with two metal rods in his hands.

I was fascinated and followed him around for ages. Finally, he smiled and turned to my father. ‘There’s a fairly good water source here but there’s a very strong indication on the hill there.’

We all followed his pointing finger.

The drill came a few days later and suddenly we had plumbing!

Well, we had a tap in the kitchen anyway, and water for the cows but it was another while before we had a flush toilet or running water in the bathroom. Hooray! No more soaking in the old tin bath in front of the fire!

Television. Where would we be without our entertainment? Satellite, cable, digital, smart.

We had black and white.

And sometimes green (as the tube failed the picture would get progressively greener until my father announced that it was time for a replacement).

We had one channel. The six o’clock news was the ‘must see’ programme. Everybody sat down after the angelus (the angelus was a bell that was rung and broadcast to the nation at six on the dot to turn people’s thoughts to God for a whole minute and then after blessing ourselves, life would go on) and no one was allowed to speak while the news was on.

I remember when we got the second channel. RTE2. Oh, the excitement! Top of the Pops! Luckily for me, this was broadcast while my parents and brother were milking the cows and I was mostly able to watch it uninterrupted.

In the winter this became a bit trickier as the cattle were fed earlier and there was not much milking to be done but my Dad loved music and if I made him a cup of tea, he would sit and let me watch it.

Then, the most exciting thing of all happened!

My father bought a colour television!

You can not imagine my shock when I saw my younger sister watching Sesame Street and discovered that Cookie Monster was blue! Blue! I always thought he was a murky grey colour!

Music. We were lucky growing up as my parents both loved the music of the time and encouraged my brother to play guitar. He went on to become one of the best guitarists in Ireland and it was a sad day when life got in the way and he stopped playing.

We had our own way of downloading music.

We would sit for hours waiting for our favourite song to come on the radio and as soon as it was announced  – or we heard the first few bars – we would press the record and play buttons on our tape recorders and capture the magic.

Most of our recordings were accompanied by day to day noises in the background and I will never forget my brother’s recording of ‘Mull of Kintyre’ with my father’s voice, ‘Is he one of the Beatles?’ and loud shushing noises over-riding the first verse.

We were fierce high tech with our tape recorders! Previously we only had vinyl and we could not record these. Ask any kid today if they know the difference between 45 and 33 and they will look at you blankly but to us, they were the most important numbers in our lives! (For the benefit of those of you unenriched by the magic of vinyl, singles were played at 45 rpms – revolutions per minute – while albums were played at the slower speed of 33 rpms)

And then, along came the unbreakable, everlasting cd!

Now we would never have to listen to skipping, jumping or scratching ever again!

We all saved up and bought cd players and then! The Sony Walkman! I never had one of these. I worked in the local record shop by this time so I had music on tap all day. Bliss!

To my friends, the Sony Walkmans were revolutionary! Before this if we wanted to listen to music as we walked along the street, we had to carry a ‘ghetto blaster’ with us. As these were usually about two feet by one foot, you can imagine how cumbersome they were! At the time, we didn’t care, but the Sony Walkman changed all that.

Now, we could listen to music privately through our headphones (no ear buds for us!) as we walked along. We could even hang the Walkman off our belts so we didn’t need to carry it!

Me and Dad

The cd sound was so much better than the tape! We began to really appreciate music at last.

Oh, yes, and we were disgusted when we found out that cds don’t last forever either, And that they can skip, jump and scratch too.

It’s fun looking back. It makes us realise just how far we have come.

We have gained so much but perhaps we have also lost a little of the magic too.

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under My Life, Uncategorized

The Start of it All

People often ask me how I first got started on my writing. Well, the truth is, I have always loved reading and writing. There was no particular starting point.

If I had to pinpoint a time, I suppose it was when I saw an advertisement for a creative writing course in my local town.

I jumped at the chance and couldn’t wait for the evening of the first class. The excitement! The joy! The anticipation!

I remember walking into the building and looking for directions to the room. I could feel fluttering in my stomach but I was still excited.

I walked up the stairs and there, in front of me, was the door.

As I reached for the handle, the first doubts began to creep into my mind. What was I doing here? I was no writer! Yes, I loved to put my thoughts down on paper but that was a far cry from being a writer!

I took a deep breath and opened the door.

Ellen, the tutor greeted me enthusiastically and before I knew it, I was sitting among the other students waiting to find out what it was all about.

To my delight, a neighbour of mine came into the room to join the class. At least I knew someone!

By the end of that first class I had already learned some valuable lessons.

Ellen brushed aside my insecurities and made me feel that, yes! I could do this!

As I listened to the first assignment, I suddenly realised that I knew exactly what I wanted to write and I couldn’t wait to get home and begin.

Within a few short weeks, we had become a team, sharing thoughts and ideas while being guided by Ellen’s expertise.

I grew to love hearing her read our assignments and the constructive advice that followed.

That class taught me to discipline myself. To sit and write. To just do it no matter how little time I thought I had. To enjoy it and look to forward to it.

Every week I turned in a new assignment – short stories – and every week I left with a better grasp of how to craft them.

Towards the end of the course, we held a public reading of our works which included a wonderful short play written by one of the students. Carol has since gone on to be a regular contributor to local newspapers and her pieces are well-written and fresh – a joy to read.

I also made a wonderful friend – Ruth, my neighbour. All these years later and I still remember her wonderfully quirky sense of humour which came through so clearly in her writing.

She has a passion for animals and rescued cats ad kittens long before people were aware of the problem. Her calm gentleness and quick laugh are some of the things that still inspire me whenever I sit down to write.

Most of us were in class simply for the love of writing but a few of us have taken it a step further.

Wherever it has led, I still think of that creative writing class as the time in my life when I realised that to succeed, you first have to try.

My Books

My Paranormal Blog

Follow me on Facebook

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Uncategorized

Blah Blah Blah

Been feeling a bit “Blah” lately – probably because of a reaction to the flu jab – so been finding it hard to concentrate.

Started plotting a new novel but it’s not coming together yet – I’ve never actually tried plotting one before – perhaps try again in a week or two.

Did some marketing but lack of funds kind of limits that! Still, did the usual social media whirl etc.

Started a Thunderclap for “A Little Book of Horror” – due for release October 12th

Pre-order Here or Support Thunderclap Here (it’s FREE)

Finally sent off an assignment for a course I’m doing.

Still feeling “Blah”.

Opened up new novel file – I’m twenty thousand words into a new historical romance – and a couple of hours and two thousand words later, I’m not feeling “Blah” any more!

The secret?

Just do it!

Stop procrastinating and just make an effort. It will come. Give it the right time and place and anything can be accomplished!

Must get back to the novel now!

#amwriting #histfic #romance

2016-05-16-22-29-54

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction, Uncategorized

Hot News for Fiction Lovers

With so many great fiction books available where do you begin? How do you select your next great read?

  • Do you pick from authors you already know?
  • Do you subscribe to book marketing emails?
  • Have you joined readers groups on sites like Goodreads?
  • Do you prefer to read recommendations from friends?

Just how to you go about finding some of the amazing reads out there?

Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Amazon’s Most Wished For list

Barnes and Noble Recommends list

Goodreads Fiction Books lists

Other places to search:

  • Facebook – search readers or writers groups.
  • Twitter – search using  #amreading, #readers, #greatreads and try any other relevant hashtags you can find.
  • Pinterest – search books and follow author boards. Pin books you might like to come back to at a later date.
  • Instagram – many authors are now using this platform but also if readers love a book they will post here.

There are many more ways to get connected to your next fantastic book. Try them all and if you have any great ideas make sure you share them in the comments!

Connect with me:

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Amazon

Email

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction