Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Paper Princess goes to YALC

So this upcoming weekend is a pretty important one in the Young Adult calendar. It's YALC, a really fun, awesome event held in London to coincide with a comic con. Last year I sat at home and watched all the excitement unfold online and wished I could be there. Sadly, I'm unable to attend this year as I'm at a friend's wedding this weekend but I am going to be at YALC. Sort of.

My latest book, Paper Princess, will be at the event. If you head over to Accent YA's stand you'll be able to pick up an exclusive sample of the book along with some other goodies. I mean, how cute do these samples look?


The Girl Who Cried Wolf and Eidolon sound mega exciting! I'm jealous I'm not there to pick up some samples for myself but I'll definitely be getting the books when they come out in August and September.

As for Paper Princess, the book is being released on 13th October and is available for pre-order. Until then you can add it to your TBR over on Goodreads as I've got a feeling there may be some giveaways happening over there in the lead up to the release date ; ) 

If you're lucky enough to be heading to YALC I want to hear all about it! Or will you be following the event online like me? Either way, let me know!

xoxo

Friday, 6 May 2016

Beginnings

My latest book, In Another Life, is released a week today. Release days are always a strange beast; it's both a terrifying and exciting event. I love thinking that another story has flown the nest and is out in the wide world but then I'm filled with the nervous expectation of hoping people like it. 

I had a lot of fun writing Marie's story, mainly because it draws inspiration from two of my favourite things; the movie, Pan's Labyrinth and the TV show, Once Upon a Time. It explores how we could all potentially be the stars of our own fairy tale without even knowing it. 

To give you a little taste of what's to come I've posted the start of the story below. Like what you read? You can pre-order the book for £0.99 and have it promptly drop onto your kindle next week (on Friday 13th ominously, lol). 

And if you like the book please let me know by way of a review online as they truly do make a huge difference and are greatly appreciated! 

Hope you have a great weekend whatever you're doing and that you enjoy the start of In Another Life



Beginnings


The unusually bitter October wind pulled at loose strands of Marie’s hair as she walked briskly along the busy pavement. Checking her watch she noticed with a plunging sensation in her stomach that she was already running five minutes late.

“Damn it,” she cursed aloud as she tried to increase her walk from brisk to fast. Her high heeled shoes clipped manically against the floor creating a sharp staccato soundtrack to her commute.

With as much speed as the six inches of her stilettos would afford her, Marie descended down from the pavement and the ominous grey clouds overhead into the underbelly of the city and the tube railway system.

Despite having lived in London for almost eighteen months Marie still struggled to accept the infiltration of her personal space each time she rode the tube to work. People would push up against her as though she were completely invisible. She’d learnt to use her bony elbows as a weapon against the more persistent of intruders. Clutching her handbag tightly to her chest she boarded her train, moving with the same militant precision as the commuters around her. Everyone seemed to move with such urgency, as though their very being depended on boarding the waiting train before them.

As the train surged in to motion and swept the passengers deeper into the city, Marie dared to remove one hand from her hand bag to wipe wearily at her eyes, careful not to smudge the mascara she’d barely had time to apply.

Marie was tired. The previous night, like all the nights before, the twenty seven year old had struggled to sleep. She lay awake, anxious, as though she were waiting for something though she had no idea what.

It took twenty minutes for Marie’s train to arrive in central London. Not quite long enough to remove her Kindle and delve in to the latest fantasy novel she was reading. She thought about the story as she looked forlornly out of the train windows. Endless miles of nothingness sped by. She missed travelling through the countryside and looking out and seeing endless fields of luscious, green grass. Marie Schneider was a city girl by necessity, not choice. She’d grown up amongst trees and fields not sky scrapers and stop signs.

Every morning as she stood on the tube she wished the same thing; that she didn’t have to go to work that day that instead she could stay home and read and get lost in another world.

“You spend far too much time with your head in books,” her mother would note with disapproval.

“Reading stories won’t get you anywhere,” she’d add callously. Marie would just roll her eyes. Her mother didn’t understand the magic which existed within a great story. She was too pragmatic, existing only in the moment. But Marie dared to dream bigger. She always secretly harboured the belief that she was meant for great things, that her destiny would somehow be wondrous.

Yet as she stepped off the tube and an overweight man in a suit already covered in sweat pushed a little too close up against her Marie realised she was hanging on to her romantic notions of a better life with a very thin thread.

“Excuse you!” Marie exclaimed as the man peeled himself off her and headed towards the escalators. He didn’t so much as turn back and offer an apologetic glance.

“Chivalry is so dead,” Marie muttered to herself as she straightened her blue dress which was adorned with patterns of white tipped daisies. Checking her watch she realised she was still running late, so taking the briefest moment to tuck back any loose strands of hair which had wrangled themselves free of the bun at the nape of her neck Marie headed out of the tube station, back up to the surface.

Emerging in to the dim light of an autumn morning Marie squinted slightly, feeling momentarily as blind as a mole squinting up from the ground. She could scarcely afford even a second to get her bearings. Her boss, Amanda Pickens loathed tardiness almost as much as she loathed those who opposed her right to wear real fur.


When Marie finally pushed her way through the glass doors of the office building where she worked her cheeks were flushed and a slight spattering of perspiration had formed upon her forehead.

Monday, 25 April 2016

I'm a Pet Person

You know how sometimes people label themselves as a people person? Well, that's not me. I'm far too shy to be a people person. What I definitely am though is a pet person. I adore my pets, they rule my house, and me! So I thought that today I'd dedicate my blog post to the two pets in my life; Rollo and Roger.

Rollo will be four this summer. He's my precious boy and I've had him since he was eight weeks old. He is not named after a Nordic king as some people presume (though it does make the origins of his name seem far grander than they really are). Rollo is actually named after a boat from the TV show Deadliest Catch because around the time when we got him my husband and I were flat out addicted to that show. And no, the Rollo wasn't our favourite boat. The Northwestern was, but we didn't feel like that was a good name for a dog!

Rollo is an utter softie. He loves nothing more than being cuddled and napping away most of his day (which suits me just fine). Every time I go upstairs to write he's there with me. And he's quick to tell me when it's time to sign off for the day - he's even learnt where the off button is on my laptop and he'll try and tap it with his paw until I agree to get off the computer.

He is an absolutely gorgeous boy and a huge part of my family and my home.






The other pet in my life, Roger, also turns four this year although a month or so earlier than Rollo. Roger is a guinea pig. And he's a very grumpy little chap. He doesn't enjoy cuddles although he does love singing along to music, the more base the better! Whenever I put a CD on he chirps along with it! Roger is named after a character from one of my favourite TV shows, Mad Men. Originally we had Roger and also Don. But sadly Don died a few years back and Roger's obstinate nature means that he's never going to be receptive to a new guinea pig on the block.

And so for the past three years Roger has been going it alone in the house my husband built for him. Although during this time he has had a faux guinea pig to keep him company. He used to cuddle up to it but then he grew bored of it and just peed on it all the time so it had to go.

Roger is like the terminator of guinea pigs. He's had four major surgeries in his short little life. One to remove one of his eyes. He's been plagued by bad health but he always comes out swinging and against the odds pulls through!



I'm lucky to have two such awesome pets to keep me company all day when I'm at home writing! Do you have any pets? If so tell me all about them! And send pictures! I love pet pictures!

xoxo

Monday, 7 March 2016

Mum's the Word


Since yesterday was Mother's Day here in the UK I thought I'd start the week with a blog post dedicated to all the fictional Mums who I've created in the last few years. Some of them are arguably much more deserving of a pampering on Mother's Day than others...


Isla Connelly

Isla is Aiden's wife in my Avalon series and mother to their little daughter, Meegan. She's had a tough time adjusting to her new life outside of the city and adapting to being a full time Mom. She does her best with her young daughter but sometimes lets her frustrations get the best of her. 

She hooked her basket to the back of the stroller to stop Meegan loading it up with random goods. However, this didn’t stop the little girl, as when Isla looked down to check on her she was holding a box of crackers, a jar of peaches and a packet of spaghetti.
‘Oh, Meegan,’ she despaired, removing the items and trying to find their appropriate location on the shelves. ‘What has Mommy told you about picking things up in shops?’
Meegan just laughed as her mother scolded her and started reaching out for more treasures.
‘Stop that!’ Isla pushed the stroller into the centre of the aisle so that Meegan couldn’t reach any of the items.
‘Kids can sure be tricky,’ a male voice from behind her noted.
‘Yes, they can be very tricky,’ Isla said, turning around. She was greeted by a tall man; she guessed late fifties by the lines on his face and the grey in his hair. He was devilishly handsome though, even more so as he was wearing a pale blue shirt which was unbuttoned enough to hint at an admirable physique.
‘Oh, hello, I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Isla Connelly.’ She offered him her hand and blushed profusely when he kissed the back of it in a gentlemanly manner.


 Angie Trafford

Angie is Mum to Maggie in Dare to Dream along with Maggie's unruly siblings. Like Isla, Angie struggles with motherhood. She regularly feels like she's fighting a losing battle as she tries tirelessly to raise her children alone whilst rubbing two pennies together in the hope of making three.

‘Jack, Kyle! Whichever of you is making that racket, turn it down!’ Maggie’s mother threw the kitchen door open, hot and bothered and clearly annoyed by her sons’ inconsiderately loud music. She glared angrily at the ceiling, brandishing her baking spoon like a weapon. Angie Trafford was in her late thirties but she appeared much older. Raising five children single handily had taken its toll and she looked haggard and her eyes were forever shrouded by dark shadows. It pained Maggie to see her mother like that but there was little that could be done; they had no money and could just about survive day to day.  



Eileen Summers

Mother to Dawn from Sunkissed, Eileen is a broken woman. She's being forced to watch her daughter slowly waste away and sadly Dawn won't be the first child she's lost. Eileen is a product of her time; hardened by the cruelties her life on the frontier has forced her to endure
.
The only respite Dawn had from her ailments came when sleep took her, and in these moments she could find peace once more. Eileen longed for the day when the Lord would be merciful and end Dawn’s worldly struggles, she hated how she had become hardened to her suffering and it was in both of their interests for Dawn to eternally be at peace. Lately, Dawn had taken to sleeping more as her body slowly began to run out of energy, unable to keep fighting against the disease which relentlessly tore through it. She would die soon, and the thought of it gave Eileen some morbid comfort.

Ivy Johnson

Later this year I’ll be introducing readers to my favourite fictional Mum yet, Ivy Johnson. She is an utter gem; the embodiment of kindness, generosity and patience so it’s little wonder her daughter, Tilly, adores her. And hopefully readers will too when they meet her in Paper Princess, the first book in my Princess Trilogy. Here’s just the smallest of teasers from the book;

“Thank you, sweetheart,” Ivy Johnson smiled. Whenever she smiled her features softened in such a way that Tilly’s mother looked like it would be physically impossible for her to ever be mean.

Who are some of your favourite fictional Mothers? 

xoxo

Saturday, 20 February 2016

In Another Life

I'm really excited to share the cover for my upcoming release, In Another Life. The book will be released on Friday 13th May and is currently up for pre-order.  Here's the official blurb for the story;


Pans Labyrinth meets Once Upon A Time in this fantasy thriller from Carys Jones 

Returning home one weekend Marie Schneider’s life changes forever when her car collides with a lorry on the motorway and she is left fighting for her life. Whilst in a coma, Marie awakens in the fantastical world of Azriel which appears to be right out of the pages of a Fairy Tale book. Here, Marie learns that she is their long lost Princess North, and that Azriel is where she truly belongs. 

When Marie eventually wakes from her coma her thoughts of Azriel are still very present in her mind and she struggles to adjust to her 'normal' life. Everyone around her insists that Azriel is just a figment of her imagination but as she tries to recover from her wounds people start approaching her on the street, insisting that Azriel needs her and that she must return there at once. 

Confused, Marie tries to discover which reality is the right one. Could she truly be a long lost princess from another world or is she just losing her mind? As the world of Azriel starts to creep in to her current life it gets harder for her to ignore that perhaps she really is Azriel's Princess after all...


And here is it's beautiful cover;


I can't wait to share Marie's story with everyone. Don't forget to add In Another Life to your Goodreads TBR pile. 

Review copies will be available closer to the release date so if any of my blogger friends are interested just give me a shout! 

Let me know what you think of the cover! Hope you're all having a great weekend.

xoxo


Monday, 8 February 2016

Do the Best Things Really Come in Threes?

Like many people I love a good trilogy. Every Christmas the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit boxsets come out. From Star Wars to Back to the Future three seems to be the magic number. But is it really so great to get a triple shot of everything?

Perhaps it shows that the number three, and trilogies, have been weighing heavily on my mind lately. Should the first book set the scene, the middle one add depth and the third a conclusion? Or is each book/movie a story on its own just set in the same universe?

I guess my curiosity stems from the fact that I am days away from completing the third book in my Princess Trilogy, Plastic Princess. I've spent so much time in the world of the Princess stories that thinking about the characters has become second nature. I half expect one of them to call me or send in a request for a Skype call. But when do you call time on a series?

For me, my characters continue to exist long after I've written the final words on the last page of their story. I've never believed in finite endings. They are too simple, too swift, too unsatisfying. But things do have to end somewhere else I'd never be able to start work on a new project.

So is spending three books with characters you grow to know and love enough? With my Avalon series I went to four books and have planned out the fifth. And still there could be more. Characters, and their stories, are forever unfolding.

As a reader I love the familiarity of reading a series of books and falling back into the pages of somewhere I know. The characters start to feel like friends. But as much as I love reading through a series I love exploring new books and new voices too.

It's going to be hard to conclude my Princess Trilogy. Tilly's story is far from over, but a part of it will be finished for her, I hope.

xoxo

Monday, 4 January 2016

Hello 2016

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a great time over the festive season. I indulged too much and journeyed to both Middle Earth and a galaxy far, far away as a I caught up with some of my favourite films both old and new.

I'm excited to look ahead to 2016. In just over ten days I've got a new book coming out as my vampire tale, Sunkissed, is being released on Friday 15th January and I can't wait. There's a blog tour organised around the book's release date so make sure to keep an eye on my Twitter and Facebook pages for updates.

Sadly it's not all good news though as I've had to pull out of an event I was due to attend in Leeds in March this year. I'm really sorry to anyone who was hoping to see me there. I hate to cancel on people but sadly I've got no choice as due to health reasons I just can't go. But once I'm on the mend and back on my feet I hope to be able to attend more events in the future around the UK.

2016 also sees the release of my book Paper Princess, the first in my Princess Trilogy being released later in the year through Accent YA. As soon as I have an official release date and cover I'll make sure to share them on here. I'm currently writing the second book in the series, Porcelain Princess, so am spending a lot of time with Tilly and her family at the moment.

I hope you all have an exciting and prosperous 2016! Let me know what you've got on the horizon for the upcoming year : )

xoxo