Enchanted Forests cover reveal!

Today, I’m super excited to share the stunning cover of Enchanted Forests with you!

Enchanted Forests is the follow up to my 2021 anthology, Enchanted Waters, which features eight authors telling ten stories of mythical water creatures and magic, whilst also raising funds for an ocean conservation charity.

Enchanted Forests will follow in EW’s footsteps by raising money for woodland conservation by featuring stories by eleven authors that focus on the magical creatures and folk who inhabit the woods.

Ready to see the cover?

What do you think? Didn’t Emily’s World of Design do an incredible job? It was a really collaborative process in which we all got to make suggestions and give feedback, which was really fun. And I’m so happy with the final result.

In addition to the EW gang of me, Astrid V.J., Alice Ivinya, Jennifer Kropf, N.D.T. Casale, Sky Summers, Elena Shelest and Ben Lang, we’ve been joined by a few more authors for this next anthology, including Ashley Steffenson, Xander Cross and Fox Rogers. I’ll be introducing you to these awesome indie authors soon.

I’m so excited to share more about my story and the rest of this collection with you over the next ten months! If you’re already sold, you can preorder the book now for the special early bird price of 99c/77p, just click here or on the cover to go to Amazon and prepare to find EF in your Kindle on 1 July 2022.

Not quite sold yet? Here’s the official blurb:

If you go down to the woods today…
You’d better not go alone…

Discover the secret world between the trees where fairies, unicorns and even monsters dwell. Take a stroll through enchanted woods and dance with pixies and dryads by the light of the stars. Escape Baba Yaga and fall in love with a prince in disguise. Taste the fruit at the goblin market and be whisked away on a magical adventure.
Between ancient trees, find beauty, danger and adventure in these enchanting short stories by award-winning, best-selling, and up-and-coming fantasy authors.

Enchanted Forests is fully illustrated by the talented Elena Shelest.

All profits from this anthology will be donated to charity to support woodland and forest conservation.

Alternatively, if you’d love to get an advance review copy, you can join our Facebook fan group and sign up to be on our review team! The form for ARCs will be released a little closer to release day, so join us now and we’ll keep you in the loop.

Thanks friends! We’re excited to share these stories with you and the incredible illustrations Elena is creating to complement each story.



P.S. If you haven’t snapped up your copy of Enchanted Waters yet, hang on a couple more days, because it’s going to be on sale from 18 Aug!

Writing rituals to get you in the mood

Writer friends – do you have a writing routine?

I struggle with routines as my life is a touch chaotic at this moment in time. Working full time, raising a very willful and somewhat maniacal toddler, forging a self-published author career and surviving through a global pandemic do not make for an easy environment to form new routines.

So instead of creating a strict, or even flexible, writing routine, I’ve taken to creating writing rituals instead. Ways to trick my brain into switching from mum, or wife, or employee mode, into writer mode.

My writing rituals

Here’s a little list of steps I take to prepare for a writing session.

  • Make a cup of tea (or coffee, or another beverage of your choice).
  • Fill a small bowl with snacks (nuts, pretzels, chocolate, whatever you fancy) and either eat throughout my session or check emails and do prep until the bowl is empty, and then the writing MUST start.
  • Light a scented candle (the scent doesn’t matter, but if you have one that reminds you of your current WIP, then all the better).
  • Play music that creates a mood without being distracting (for me it’s folklore and evermore by Taylor Swift, every time)
  • Mute my phone (set your In Case of Emergency contacts and make sure they can still reach you when in mute mode)
  • Choose a word count or time goal and try to focus until I’ve reached it
  • Allow breaks, allow my mind to wander, allow a drink and snack refill if required
  • Be kind to myself if writing isn’t going well today, and be proud of myself if I hit my goal

That’s it. I don’t have a set time that I write, some days I’m a morning person, others (most others) I’m decidedly not. Some days I want to hit 1k words, other days 500 will absolutely do. Some days I can’t face writing at all, so I watch TV with my husband or read a short story and don’t beat myself up for needing a break after a long, stressful day.

What little writing rituals do you observe? Do you have a strict writing routine or more of a set of rituals to get you in the writing mood, like me?

Are you taking part in Camp Nano this April? I’m trying, as I always find NaNoWriMo gives me a motivation boost and I come out with more words than I usually would, but I’m being kind to myself and not making myself write every single day.

Good luck with your current WIP! Tell me about it in the comments.



Beautiful People – August Edition

Well, hello there beautiful people! (Geddit.) My July Beautiful People post was pretty late so, lucky you, here’s another one in very short succession.

If you’ve never heard of Beautiful People, it’s a linkup for writers where we delve into our characters’ minds and answer ten questions set by the lovely and magnanimous Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further up and further in. Hop over to these fabulous ladies’ blogs if you want to join in!

Beautiful People linkup for writers

As my finished MS is currently waiting in the wings for a Pitch Wars mentor to fall in love with it and choose me as their 2017 mentee, I’ll be using my new WIP, Cockle Shells and Silver Bells for BP.

My MC’s name is Em, she’s an orphan who grew up on her great uncle’s farm in North Yorkshire before inheriting a seafront mansion on turning 18. Cockle Shells and Silver Bells is a YA magical realism reimagining of The Secret Garden.



What are they addicted to/can’t live without?

Books! As an orphan who was home schooled because the nearest school was miles away, Em lives to read and uses them as an escape from her sheltered, quiet life in the remote Yorkshire moors. It’s all very Bronte.


Name 3 positive and 3 negative qualities about your character.

I’m not sure I can really separate them into columns of positive and negative, but I’ll give you a few of Em’s personal traits.

  • She’s shy and hates big crowds, she much prefers solitude after years roaming the moors alone.
  • She’s very closed off from others after losing her parents in a car accident ten years ago, she doesn’t open her heart easily, only her great uncle Archie has found his way in and even that took years!
  • She loves animals and wanted to be a vet when she was younger, she’d still love to work with animals, but in a career that doesn’t involve having to put them down.
  • She has buckets of creativity and always has a project on the go, whether it’s her gender bent Pride & Prejudice fanfic on Tumblr, redecorating the family estate, or tending to the garden.
  • She’s lead quite a sheltered life so far, but she’s open to new experiences and just needs someone to show her the way.
  • She loves learning and was a very keen student when she was being home-schooled. She did exceptionally well in her exams and would still like to go to university one day, but she decided to take some time out to experience life and accept her inheritance first.


Are they holding onto something they should get rid of?

Only fear and grief, nothing physical. She lets the pain of losing her parents as a child stop her from making new friends or really letting anyone in. Hopefully by the end of the book she will have learnt from that!


If 10 is completely organized and 1 is completely messy, where do they fall on the scale?

Like 9 maybe, she’s not perfect and can still be a normal, messy teen at times, but she’d definitely more sensible and organised than your average 18 year old.


What most frustrates them about the world they live in?

That bad things happen for no reason at all, and often to good people, while great things happen to terrible people too.


How would they dress for a night out? How would they dress for a night in?

She’s a big lover of comfy pyjamas and onesies for nights in, preferably with animals all over them and fuzzy slippers. She’s never been on a night out, but she does have some pretty cute tea dresses from the vintage shops in York and Harrogate.


How many shoes do they own, and what kind?

Not many, and most are wellies or walking boots. She’s got a couple of pairs of Mary-Janes for special occasions, but she’s not a big fan of heels.


Do they have any pets? What pet do they WISH they had?

She has the farm animals, and when she moved to the Haigh Manor she discovers a white cat who visits regularly and prowls around the gardens. Em names her Clemence and put water out for her.


Is there something or someone that they resent? Why and what happened?

She doesn’t really know who to direct her anger at from her parents’ deaths, but she wanted to stay in France where they lived, she didn’t want to be taken away from their home and her friends. She was mad at Archie at first when he picked her up and brought her back to Yorkshire with him, but really she knew it wasn’t his fault. She’s just mad at the world for what happened, she can’t understand the random chaos that is life and prefers to protect herself from ever getting hurt again.


What’s usually in their fridge or pantry?

At the farm the kitchen was well stocked with their own produce – dairy products, eggs, freshly baked bread and various meats. At the manor, the pantry is similarly filled (shipped over from Archie’s farm before she arrives), with added jams and preserves, handmade by the housekeeper Maggie. Em isn’t a huge eater, but she is partial to a spot of tea with bread and jam.


And that’s all folks! Did you enjoy learning more about Em and my new WIP? She’s a salty one, I’m really looking forward to spending more time with her while I write this novel, it’s been on  hold for a few weeks while I prepped for Pitch Wars, but I think I’m ready to dive back in.

Watch this space!