A window cleaner was all I needed

Please don’t drag me out of bed!

Today, I am writing this blog in amongst a flurry of barking and growling. Yes, it’s that time of the month again when the window cleaner comes around and cleans my house’s windows. The dogs, however, believe he is there purely to torment them through the glass (not the case, he just laughs at their barking and jumping). Anyway, this has been the most activity I have seen our pug, Bonya, do today. This morning, she was really lethargic and not wanting to get out of bed (well, more than usual, she never wants to get out of bed). I had to carry her out into the garden for a pee because she wouldn’t go herself. She also didn’t want to come on a walk, so I decided to leave her. I checked her paws and the rest of her to see if she was injured or sick in case that was what was putting her off her walk. Nope, she seemed okay. I took the other two out without her, a little concerned the pug may be sick.

Too tired to come down the stairs.

However, it is obvious, going by how enthusiastically she is barking at aforementioned window cleaner, that the little madam is just being lazy today. Sigh. Worry over!

So, how are you all today? Hope you are well and had a good week. My week has been busy, but the exciting news is that Dusting Down Alcudia is about to become available as an audiobook!! I’m not ready to release it yet, but watch this space for more information!!

Just putting the finishing touches to the second Nina Esposito book (the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia) and am in the process of editing my murder mystery book. It’s all go here at Nelson Towers!

This week I have also been concentrating on drumming up business for my book formatting and editing business. With this ad…

I’ve also taken out some advertising in Writing Magazine, so am hoping to get some business out of it. If you are looking for a book editor or formatter, get in touch: dawn@nelsonauthorservices.com

Other news and I finally finished my binge watching of Peaky Blinders. Was so sad that I finished it but looking forward to series 5. I’ve also been watching a really good documentary on the extraordinary Getrude Bell, a British explorer, traveller, writer and archaeologist. I have one of her books to read, but haven’t yet gotten round to it. The documentary is great. If you like history, particularly of the Middle East, then you’ll enjoy this. I always loved tales from the Middle East and the orient. Hers was a real live adventure.


I also finished my Terry Pratchett book. It was good, I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t one of my favourites. Still, I will add it to the collection and re-read it at some point in the future. I now have the problem – and also great pleasure – of choosing a new book to read. Hmmm, that can be quite time consuming so I will leave that treat until after dinner tonight. Will it be another comedy? A romance? Something heavy? Not sure yet.

Right, enough of this procrastinating. I have the house to clean and washing to put on. Such is the exciting and thrilling life of a writer! 😉 Have a great week and I’ll speak to you soon. Til next time!

Dawn xxx

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Get free books, new FB page, my boards on Pinterest and much more!

The weather is so miserable and cold today that I have decided we need something to cheer us all up. So, throughout this post I have put in pics of cute animals. You are welcome.

Okay, the news from me this week. Well it’s been pretty exciting recently. I have been working a lot on my writing career and here’s what I’ve been  doing:

  • I set up a new Facebook page for me as an author. You can reach me at www.facebook.com/authordanelson
  • I hired a fab book cover illustrator to create the book cover for the newly revamped Dusting Down Alcudia. See more about her here.
  • and I’ve been doing a course on marketing books run by Nick Stephenson…it’s excellent
  • I’ve also set up a group called Dawn’s Diva who get free Advance Review Copies. If you’d like to join that group, email me: danelsonauthor@gmail.com with your own email address and I’ll add you to the list and send you a copy of Dusting Down Alcudia. After that, you will receive Advance Review Copies of future books plus the latest newsletters about my books. You can opt out at any time. Remember, it’s send me your name and email address to: danelsonauthor@gmail.com
  • I’ve been writing a new Young Adult book, but am about to edit the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia soon.
  • I’ve also set up boards on my Pinterest account so you can see some of the inspiration for my books. See my boards here: www.pinterest.co.uk/danelsonauthor/
  • Phew, I have been busy!

So how have things been with you?  What have you been up to? I was through in Edinburgh last Tuesday to attend the AGM of the Society of Authors in Scotland, of which I am a member. I stayed for the lunch and got to hobnob with other authors, a couple of whom know a lady I know. We had a great chat and a good time.

Been out a lot walking the dogs without Bonya, our pug. Unfortunately, she had to get another cancerous lump removed and was housebound for about ten days. Now, anyone who knows our darling Bonbon knows she’s not a great walker anyway. She prefers to lie somewhere comfortable and snooze. However, because she wasn’t allowed to walk, she wanted to go. I felt guilty leaving her, but couldn’t risk burst stitches and infection. She’s doing great. She has recovered really well and is back to her happy wee self. However, apparently pugs are prone to these cancerous lumps and we expect her to have more of them in the future. That’s something we’ll have to deal with as and when she gets them. I hated having to leave her at the vets to her operation, just hated it. She looked so upset, but it was necessary. Hopefully we’ll not have to go through that again soon.

On a lighter note, as I said, she’s made a great recovery and was so well behaved when she got her stitches out. She’s an absolute trooper!

Finished all my  Sookie Stackhouse books. I think there’s one more I still have to read, but I don’t yet have it, so I’ll get back to Why Mummy Swears by Gill Sim and order Dead Ever After (the final Sookie Stackhouse book) from Amazon.

Right, I’m going to go now. Got 1000 words to write before dinner time. Until next time.

Dawn xx

 

 

 

 

Join my Readers’ Team for Free Early Copies of My Book and Other Stuff

**

Well, hello, how are you? All well I hope. I haven’t written a long post for a wee while and it’s because I have been really busy writing, doing repair jobs around the house (they are never ending), decorating my bedroom (pale blue, it’s lovely) and preparing for a small house party last weekend.

With regards to the small house party last weekend, I had some family, close friends and a couple of neighbours around as a kind of extension house warming. I themed it on Alice in Wonderland (hence the figurines and pics of flowers) and spent three days making food for it. By the Saturday, I was exhausted even before one guest had arrived, but once they all started coming and the wine flowed, I got my second wind and had a fab time. The buffet went down well, we had music on so there was dancing, it was nice enough for some to sit outside and when it got dark my dad lit the fire pit. It was a great night and I’d like to thank everyone who came and for all their gifts and  good wishes.

I’ve also been working with my editor, the lovely Graham, to finish the final draft of Dusting Down Alcudia. I am now in the process of hiring an artist to do the front cover and have three quotes to look at already. I am looking to launch the book in November.

***HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN HELP*** I am looking for avid readers who would like a free Advance Reader’s Copy of Dusting Down Alcudia. All I ask for in return is you give an honest review on sales sites such as Amazon. I am currently gathering names just now and if you would like to be included, please contact me at: danelsonauthor@gmail.com

So why read the book? Well, let me tell you about it…

When top archaeologist Nina Esposito finds a famed treasure hunters’ journal, she knows it will lead her to a long-lost Roman necklace.

But when an ex and a rival archaeologist come on the scene, things don’t go quite to plan as the pair battle out for the right to her heart. Added to the mix is the shady character of a local billionaire who will stop at nothing to snatch the jewels from under her nose.

Now she has to navigate through her confused feelings and concentrate on finding the necklace before anyone else does. Failure just isn’t an option.

Fancy reading the book for FREE in return for your honest opinion? Then send me your name and email address to: danelsonauthor@gmail.com

So what else has been happening? Well, our wee pug Bonya has another lump, this time on her stomach. Because she had cancer last year, we had to get it removed and it’s being sent to a lab to find out if it’s cancer or not. Hopefully it’ll be the latter. The poor wee mite is snoozing on the sofa as I write. She’s all woozy and spaced out. Hopefully she’ll be back to near normal tomorrow. She is currently sporting one of those plastic head cones and looks hysterical. The operation went well so we’re expecting her to make a full recovery.

What I am reading at the moment. Well, I was lucky enough to pop along to Gill Sims‘ book launch of her latest hilarious book Why Mummy Swears. For any of you who don’t know Gill, she’s the blogger who brought us the incredibly funny Peter and Jane blog and the Sunday Times’ best sellerWhy Mummy Drinks. This is the sequel and it’s great. Good luck with the book Gill. PS was delighted to get my copy signed!! PPS was also very excited to meet Judgy Dog in person. He’s a lovely wee thing.

The kids went back to school yesterday. I bought the boy’s school shoes on Monday. Talk about cutting it fine this year? I did organise getting all their uniform at the beginning of July, though so my late buying of shoes is kind of cancelled out in the ‘being a bad mum stakes’. And what did mum do when her beloved offspring went off to school? Well I met the aforementioned lovely Graham (my editor) for lunch to talk Dusting Down Alcudia (for about ten minutes) and other books/authors (including the Brontes who we both love, for about two hours). We went to Café Andaluz and had a lovely time eating and talking.

So, there you are, that’s been what’s happening (-ish) over the last two weeks. Of course, more has been happening, but I am sure you don’t want to know about all the housework and dog walking and talking to other dog walkers (for ages, much to the dogs’ disgust) that I have been doing.  😉

Right, I am off to make dinner tonight. I have no idea what I am going to make. Haven’t had time to do a menu for this week yet. Sigh.

Til next time.

Dawn xx

Mamma Mia! There’s lots about dogs in this blog post

 

Hello, hello. How are you? What have you been doing this week Hope all is well with you all. I had a pretty busy week last week, but it’s been great.

Okay, so, here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve been up to:

  1. I continued editing my second edit of Dusting Down Alcudia. I am nearly finished it and am now looking to get the cover done and the whole thing professionally typeset. I am so excited about this. I am aiming to re-launch the book before Christmas.
  2. It was my dad’s birthday this week, so we had a family party at my parents’ house on Saturday. I ate and drank way too much, but had a ball. Nursed a nasty hangover on Sunday, but it was so worth it! Happy birthday dad!
  3. Me and the kids went out for lunch last week with my lovely friend Jane and her daughter. Then we went to see Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again and it was fantastic. I loved the film. Okay, so it’s not the most taxing of storylines, but its a great film if you want to escape the world for a little while and soak in the magic of Abba. We had a fab lunch, saw a fab film and had a fab afternoon. 🙂

Above a gratuitous shot of Bonya looking peeved that I was taking her photograph yet again. You may be wondering why I always show her picture and not so many of my other two dogs. Well, it’s simple. She’s the only one that sits still for long enough to get photographed!

Here’s another of her doing her Princess and the Pea impression on the piled up cushions on my bed:

So, what else has been happening? As usual, I’ve been inundated with washing and housework. The boy and I built our new firepit. Here it is with Casper staring at the flames. He’s nursing a sore paw at the moment. We had him down the beach yesterday and he was running around all full of the joys of summer when he must have stepped on something. He was yelping and limping and holding his paw up. I cleaned it all out when we got him home and it seems fine. Just keeping an eye on it. I have not walked the dogs today to give the cut time to heal. If I went out without him, Casper would spend the entire day depressed!

Was out weeding the front drive this morning. It was starting to resemble a jungle. I can only do it in one hour sessions as my back gets really sore. I haven’t finished digging up the weeds, but I will get back to it tomorrow. Hope they don’t grow back so quickly this time. I would put weed killer on the driveway, but I have green sensibilities and I can’t abide the thought of putting something so poisonous down in my garden. So, it’s manual weeding for me every time! 🙂

What I am reading: I am continuing to read Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books and loving it. Am now on Definitely Dead and it’s great. If  you love great stories, with a little romance, suspense, humour and some supernatural beings, I would really recommend this series.

Right, I am going to finish this blog here. It’s lunchtime and I have lots to do around the house today, so I’ll say au revoir. Til next time,

Dawn xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A small death and some great books on writing

Sam

It is with mixed feelings that I announce the passing of our guinea pig, Sam. Mixed because I was quite fond of the wee guy and am a little sad. However, being the sole caretaker and shoveler of his poo, I will not miss having to clean him out. RIP Sam…you were a good piggy, an excellent pet and a delight when you had your little conversations with yourself.

I buried him in the back garden next to my guinea pig, Darcy. The kids are untroubled by his passing, so we don’t have to deal with any explosions of dramatic grief, thank goodness. They basically ignored him, which is understandable on the boy’s part because he wasn’t his pig. He belonged to my daughter. Anyway, I now live in hope that he doesn’t get dug up by Millie – who has already tried to dig up Darcy. I’ve covered his little grave with a roof tile which is too heavy (I hope) for a small white dog to remove. We shall see.

So, how has your week been? Have you been enjoying the sunshine? I have and I haven’t. Being a northern person, I find the heat too much for me. Plus me and the kids were a bit unwell yesterday (Friday). I think the girl was suffering from a bit of heat stroke – her school had them all out doing PE in that horrendous high temperatures on Thursday. The boy was sick, I don’t know if it was a bug or the heat. I felt yucky yesterday – I think it was the heat. We are all fine now. Thank goodness. It’s a cooler day and we are staying indoors for most of the day.

I’ve been continuing to write the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia. I am planning to re-launch Dusting Down Alcudia before Christmas (watch this space) and the sequel quickly after. My murder book is still on the back burner and I will start my first edit of it soon. I’ve also been continuing to studying marketing e-books and recommend Joanna Penn’s How to Market A Book. It is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to indie publish. The Miracle Morning for Writers by Hal Elrod (Author), Honoree Corder (Author), Steve Scott (Author), S.J. Scott (Author), James Altucher (Foreword) is another great book for would-be writers. It gives you hints and tips on making writing an every day habit and has great advice on getting your book published. If you are wondering why I – as an already published author – am reading these books is because I think all authors should know how to properly market their books. My work background is journalism and PR, which gives me a great start, but I didn’t know enough about other marketing avenues such as how to reach potential audiences, using social media and other great tips.

It’s been too hot to do much of anything so I have been staying inside and knitting whilst I watch telly. Above is a little lamb I knitted for my daughter – well she’s bagsied it! I don’t yet have a name for her (the lamb, that is, not my daughter who already has a name!), so if you have any suggestions, let me know. 😉

Books I have been reading – just finished Eloisa James’ Midnight Pleasures book which is a bodice ripper and was great fun. I haven’t read any romance books for years (unless you count things like Twilight etc) and I loved it. It was a great read. Totally predictable but really enjoyable. Haven’t chosen my next book to read yet, but I have lots. It’s too warm outside to read a heavy book (I leave Dickens and Scott and even Austen to read in the cosy winter months), so it will need to be something lighter.

Plans for the summer – we have none except that we all want to go and see the film Patrick. Yes, it’s partly because we have a pug and know how funny they are. Yes, it’s also because it looks funny. Anyway, that is the extent of our plans for the summer holidays. We aren’t going on holiday this year, but are looking forward to the next six-and-a-half weeks at home. I have bought the kids a new paddling pool (it’s quite large), a slip n slide and other outdoor games in the hope that the weather will hold and the kids can be prised away from their electronics to go outside and have fun. We shall see.

Anyway, I am going to finish my blog here for this week and shall leave you with a still from the aforementioned film. Here is the lovely Patrick (I think his real name is Harley)…

Til next time!

Dawn xxx

 

Lego, Goldman and a Deep Deep Trench

Forgive me readers for I have been bad. I have not written this blog for some time and the only two excuses I can give are: The Gilmore Girls and work beginning in my garden. The former because I recently bought Netflix and have been glued to the Gilmore Girls, all seven series of it and the winter special. Finally finished it last night after around two-and-a-half weeks of watching it in between mum and housework stuff. There were loads of episodes so I blame the tv company that produced it for a) making so many episodes and b) making it so compelling that I quickly became addicted. Am now feeling bereft because not only is Gilmore Girls watched all the way through, but Game of Thrones has finished for this year. Sigh. My tv watching has suddenly gotten very dull. The second excuse is because we’re getting an extension and I’ve been moving things around in the garden. I removed the old metal swingset, laid a new patio in its place (hark me laying a patio and it actually turned out) and then, with my lovely friends (you know who you are, thank you so much for your help, it was much appreciated) moved the potting shed over so that when the extension is up it doesn’t shade out the potting shed. It was a lot of heavy work, but I am so pleased I managed to do it. Been taking on a lot more things this year, things my beloved hubby would have normally done, including cutting our hedge which is a heavy, tiring job. Feeling that I can do most DIY things now (God help us!) and  quite proud of myself. Watch this space for more makes.

Talking of Game of Thrones. Oh. My. God. Was that not the best series EVER or what? If you don’t watch it, you are so missing out on one of the most fabulous telly experiences ever. Do you remember when it first began and no-one (except me, it felt) watched it and I was bemoaning the fact that I had no one to talk to about? Then it was repeated and  loads more folk started watching it and it grew from there. Can’t wait til next year and the final series.

Right, so apart from shunting things around the garden, I’ve also been doing the odd wee escapade with the kids over the summer holidays. Apart from visiting the Riverside Museum in Glasgow (which we Glaswegians will still call the Transport Museum until we die cos that’s what the old museum used to be called), we also popped into Clydebank Town Hall to see the Lego exhibition. It cost me £13 to get the three of us in and, although it was quite cheap, I still don’t think it was worth the money. Don’t get me wrong, the models were great, but there wasn’t that many of them, I expected a bit more. Anyway, here are some of the models…

There was also a massive castle which for some reason I never took a picture of which is a pity because it was really good.

Anyway, I have also been reading a lot over the summer and most recently finished William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood. I love reading about writing and am currently going through a screenwriters’ books phase. Goldman is famous for a number of film scripts and books including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Marathon Man, the Princess Bride and Which Lie Did I Tell?  The book is well written and full of great anecdotes and musings on how Hollywood works (or worked when he wrote the book…it was published in 1982). If you’re looking for an up-to-date book on Hollywood this isn’t the book for you. Instead it talks about the golden age and how things used to work comparing it to when things changed as tv became more prominent and how studio management changed in the 70s (ie how they were managed). Goldman is bluntly honest and self deprecating throughout. He takes a very measured look at Hollywood and is often funny. He’s the type of guy I think would be a great raconteur at a dinner party. Yup, liked this book. Looking forward to reading Which Lie Did I Tell?

What else have I been doing? You won’t want to hear about the boring stuff, the futile attempts I’ve been making to keep the mud out of my house brought in on the little clippy cloppy paws of the dogs. Our pug, Bonya, had to undergo an operation last week to remove a tumour from her leg. The vet doesn’t think it’s cancerous, but we’re going to keep a wee eye on her. She’s made a great recovery and is, as I write, lying at my feet snoring at the same level of decibels as a full grown man. Delicate pugs ain’t.

Obligatory cute pic of Bonya making herself at home on my bed.

 

You leave your phone down and before you know it one of the kids has decorated a pic.

I have a confession. I have not been writing. Again because of the aforementioned reasons, but also cos I’m a bit stuck about how to end the book I am currently writing. I’ve also been writing up ideas for two more books which I will start writing once I have the other book’s story down. I’ve printed off the 65,000 words I have written so far to re-read in the hope that inspiration will smack me in the face and get me back to the laptop. I do have a strong hope that this will happen. I mean, look at me…I’m actually writing my blog again so that’s a good sign! Right?

Okay, I am going to end this blog here. I have three wee dogs to take out for another walk. Because the back garden is off limits and now open to the street,  I cannot let them run about the way I used to. Apart from the fact one of them will definitely make a break for the street (Millie), I fear one or all three of them will end up the trench that was dug for the foundations. This has already happened. It was my fault, I stupidly drank some wine and then late at night fancied surveying the back garden from the kitchen door. I opened it and before I could stop her Millie (our white Jack Chi cross) ran past me and sailed into fresh air. Luckily she didn’t hurt herself and my daughter managed to coax her into jumping (that dog has springs in her heels). The girl caught her and dragged her out much to my relief as I didn’t fancy climbing into the trench. Apart from the fact it was dark and muddy, I didn’t fancy my chances of getting back out having consumed some wine. I had visions of me getting stuck and having to suffer the humiliation of having the fire service come out to rescue me. Luckily that did not happen. The back door is now kept firmly shut and I haven’t touched a drop since! Damn you wine! Millie lost her lovely pristine appearance that night and it was a brown, mud caked dog that I put into the bath that night to shower down. Thankfully she was not injured and was quickly back to her bossy ways. 🙂

Millie – none the worse for her impromptu flight.

Anyway, on that note, I’ll say adieu. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

 

 

 

Holidays and it’s a pug’s life

Okay so I sort of haven’t been around that much recently. Basically, me, the kids, my niece and my parents flew out to Orlando at the end of March, had three full days in Florida before joining a cruise ship at Port Canaveral for a trans Atlantic cruise back to Europe. It was a fantastic holiday, thoroughly enjoyed it and I would have told you all about it last week (we came back mid April) except I wasn’t well…I had a stinking cold for the entire holiday (not that it stopped me enjoying myself – see pic above of me on the upper deck enjoying my daily Bahama Mama cocktail!) and it got worse when we got back. Had to go on antibiotics to get shot of it. I don’t like taking tablets, but I had had this flamin’ cold on and off for five or six weeks. The antibiotics finally cleared the cold at the beginning of this week.

Anyway, regarding the holiday, I have lots to show you and talk about so I’m planning to do it over the next couple of weeks rather than doing a ginormous blog about it.

The other exciting news is that we’ve welcomed a new furry family member. Her name is Bonya (she was previously owned by a Russian lady) and she’s just adorable.

Unfortunately her previous owner had to rehome her, but I’m glad we’ve got her cos she’s a lovely wee dog. My other two dogs were a bit scared of her at first (although she’s the least scariest dog I’ve ever met), but are coming round now. She’s a terrible snorer, loves to give you big face licks (ew…I hate dogs licking me on the face and it’s a fight to keep her from doing it…she’s very determined!) and is very cuddly.

In other news, I took a major leap of faith and gave up my job this week. I feel that life is too short and I want to write for a living, so I’m going to give it a go. I made the decision months ago and it really feels right. I don’t really feel I’ve stopped work yet because I never work on Thursdays, but I think it will start to sink in next week when I don’t have to go. Just want to thank all my friends and colleagues at work for their generous gifts and see you all next week! People keep asking me what I’m going to do with my ‘retirement’, but I don’t view it as that…I am going to WRITE!! I am taking a couple of weeks off to get the house and garden in order and to chill out. Then I’ll start back writing again. Can’t wait.

Anyway, it’s getting late so I’m going to finish here. Til next time…and all the holiday tales to come!

Dawn xx