Thursday, 28 April 2016

Finishing Touches

I have finished the hall and stairs, I've put all the cross-stitch pictures and photo's back up, hung the mirror and the bunting and am feeling pleased. In a blatant rip-off of one of Ginger Dawn Harman's Wordless Wednesday style posts, here are some pictures. (sorry I pinched your idea Ginger!)

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Tales from Norlandia

For those of you that don't frequent my author website, here's an update on my next novel, to be published in September in both e-book and paperback. 

Coming this September, the first part of a story set in a world that's not unlike our own. A country built on Steam and Iron. A people filled with excitement and wonder but with familiar vices and emotions. Science and new inventions are changing the lives of the masses. Some things will be familiar; others will show how our lives might have been.

 To give you a taste of this world, and prepare you for the story, a series of Flash Fiction tales will be released on at regular intervals up to the publication date. Set in the world of the story and connected to it, they will give you a taste of Norlandia. Don't miss the first one, published on May 1st.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

That's enough decorating for a while

 I had another 4-star review for Ribbonworld from an American blogger who I sent a copy a while ago.
You can find the full thing here but this is the main body of it.

The planet Reevis, was full of interesting characters and magnificently described features. The book starts off with Miles being exhausted from his journey to Reevis. He quickly has to cope with dangerous and strange circumstances. Exploring a newly formed Ribbonworld, with multiple groups fighting for what they think is best, was a great way for the story to unfold. The character development was done well, and Miles was a relateable guy that you wanted to root for. I did wish that Miles had revealed his past earlier in the novel. It was frustrating to me when he would refer to his past with other characters, and I didn't know what was happening. 

I was engaged in how the power struggle in the book would turn out. While there were alot of different groups involved, the author incorporated them well into the story. The pacing was done well, so the action and plot twists worked seamlessly. I did feel that the details of the machinery and how certain vehicles operated, wasn't  necessary. Overall however, the well described ice and lava fields of Reevis, led me to visualize all of it's beauty. The technology described of interplanetary travel, vertical farming and transparent holo's added the right elements of  the future, without ever seeming forced. 

A powerful corporation, becoming over run by greed and criminals was not a far fetched scenario for me at all. This is a short book, so I was concerned that there would be lose ends, but everything was addressed in a satisfying ending. There was even some adorable  romance thrown in, that I enjoyed. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy science fiction, and watching mystery's unfold.

On to more mundane things, this week has been marked by the arrival of the new stair carpet,

 and by my efforts at laminate flooring in the porch. I also chalk painted the two chests that sit a the top of the stairs.
But before that, Yvonne made a garden in an old bowl, using some Sedums, a few sea shells and a handful of gravel. It now sits in the front under the tree house that I must repair.

Nice job!!

The chests were plain wood before I started,

I decided to keep the handles plain so I just varnished them, hanging them on a string to make it easy to do.

In the background is another job, my Grandmothers dresser needs a clean up, it has been in the conservatory and faded a little in the light. That's on the list.
Using the chalk paint I told you about before I put two coats on,

One Coat

Two coats
And then I put them back. 

Meanwhile, I started the floor. It was only a small space (5 square metres) and what could possibly go wrong?

Well as it happens, very little, it took me 6 hours, I was careful as I had never done this job before, I've laid tiles on floors and the plastic stick on type as well but this click together stuff had its own idiosyncrasies. And I didn't have that many spare planks (I ended up with 2 full ones and a few short bits)

In fact, I found the hardest bit to be glueing the scotia to the wall when I had done, in the end, it all came together nicely. Of course, we're not allowed to walk on it for a couple of years. And I'm aching all over this morning!

I'm very pleased with the results of all my work over the last few weeks, I'm having a rest for a short while now, there's plenty to do but  it can wait. I'm concentrating on writing the sequel to Ribbonworld for a while. The Rocks of Aserol is just about ready to be published. More details soon.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Painting the stairs and Cottage Pie

Amongst other things, that is what I've been up to this week.

This is how it looked before I started, you can see the new paint colour on the walls

First of all, I painted the ceiling, the last owner of the house kindly wallpapered the ceiling for me? and I had to stick it all back up as soon as the paint dampened it.

Then the walls,

finally, I trimmed the carpet back to paint the skirting boards. 

A new stair carpet will be arriving onThursday, I'm letting the experts fit this one. Then I will do the laminate floor in the hallway.

Food wise, I made Cottage Pie for tonight. I fried Onions, added beef mince and my special ingredient,

in case you don't know what it is,

it gives the mixture a nice flavour.

The meat mixture is topped with mashed potato, not forgetting to save the peels and cook them (as I've said so many times before they are delicious).

Now it all needs cooking for about an hour at 180°C

While the paint dries and the Cottage Pie cooks, I have been sent a picture from London Book Fair, showing my novel Ribbonworld on the Silverwood Books stand.

It looks pretty prominent to me.

The potato peels are cooked, ready to freeze.

and the pie is done.

That was worth it.