Taking a Break

Hi everyone. I’m taking a break from my blog and will be back in the new year on the 8th of January. Hope everyone had a great Christmas and has a fantastic start to the new year 🙂

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Chaos and Planning

It’s the week before Christmas and I have to say things are a little mad around here. The kids didn’t finish school until the 15th so all that has only just stopped, then hubby and I went away for the weekend. The chaos increases when my mother in law arrives and my youngest has an important appointment. Oh and I forgot there are also play dates arranged for Wednesday and Friday and a high tea with my workout girls on Friday morning. Plus I’ve left present shopping to the last minute for some people and everyday life stuff still needs to happen. Where am I going to fit in my writing?!

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This time of year is pretty busy for everyone.

This is the part where I have to be realistic. This type of week doesn’t happen very often and this time of the year is always kinda hectic, but does my writing matter enough or can it be pushed to the side? The answer is yes it bloody well matters. At least to me anyway, I’m sure the rest of the family thinks it could be put aside for the week. So what am I going to do? Put simply I will still write. I will do what everyone else who has a dream they are adamantly pursuing does and that is make time for it. If that means getting up early or staying up late then that is what I will do.

Here comes the realism again though. I can’t do that everyday, I’m just not wired for it. But I have a plan! I’ll be opportunistic –  a 3 hour plane ride on Monday is perfect writing time, Tuesday when I have no choice but to be home and one morning when the chaos isn’t reigning supreme. Saturday I’m leaving open for any last minute things and Sunday is Christmas. Week sorted!

All I had to do was look at it and be realistic about what is going on. And not strive for the impossible. If you want something, plan for it and do it, otherwise it will get put to the side and simply be another dream unfulfilled. Don’t let the chaos of life stop you.

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Knowing it all…not!

When I was a kid I thought that adults knew everything. Now I am one I realise I really know stuff all and the older I get the less I know. A startling revelation  I’m pretty  sure just about everyone has had.

So what is my point? Sometimes you have to fake it. It’s what all the adults of the world do at some stage and lets be honest, as a kid you never knew any different. But also kids are pretty honest if they don’t know something and they trust that someone else will tell them, so why has that got to change now we’re adults?

If you are willing to learn, jump off the deep end and go for it. Who cares if you know nothing, ask questions, that’s how we learn!  Do it, do that thing that is scaring you, that class you want to do but are afraid to because you don’t want to look like an idiot. Newsflash, we all look like an idiot at some point, might as well look like it in the pursuit of new awesome possibilities.

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Go down a different path and see the difference.

If you lack confidence to go after your dreams, fake that confidence and go after them anyway. Fake it but be that kid again, that one that asked questions and wasn’t afraid to be honest about not having all the answers. Don’t be embarrassed about not knowing, you’re human, you can’t possibly know everything. Even computers only know what we program them to.

I’m not talking about chucking in your job and chasing the impossible. Figure out what your dream is and the steps that will take you to it. Take that first step and see how it feels. If it feels awesome continue, if not, perhaps it’s not really for you but at least you learnt that instead of day dreaming about it. Now you have space for new possibilities, ones that you perhaps had not thought of before taking that other step.

So get out there, learn something new, chase your dreams and the possibilities.

Fiona McIntosh, tools and 2 minutes

So on Monday I meet the lovely Fiona McIntosh, author of Myrren’s Gift, The Lavender Keeper, Goddess and numerous other books. She was at my local library to talk about her latest release The Chocolate Tin and I thought it was a good opportunity to see a fairly well known author in the flesh (I swear I don’t have multiple personalities, but she thinks my name is Tracy. Check out my Facebook page to see why).

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She did not disappoint. One of the things I learnt about Fiona is that although her latest release is historical romance, she started by writing fantasy. Be still my beating heart! She also explained about her Masterclasses, which are so popular that they are no places left for next year and 2018 is already starting to fill up. I left her talk feeling inspired and impressed with her work balance. She explained some of her typical work week and I have to say she seems to have the balance working a lot better than I do. She works 4 days with the other 3 for her and her family and friends. This seems like a much better approach than my one of a little bit everyday.

So that night I sent an email inquiring about the Masterclass and the next day I received an email with information. My heart skipped a beat, the cost of the class is pretty much out of my reach right now. The Masterclass itself sounds fantastic and I think I would get a lot out of it, nor do I think she is asking too much, considering what she is offering. I just have a little problem with a thing called money and spending it on myself.

I rang my husband and spoke to him about it and his response? ‘Babe, I spend money on tools to further myself at work, this is the same thing. Save the money and do it.’ (He’s a plumber by the way).

I was blown away and saw the situation in a new light. I take myself seriously as a writer, it is what I want to do with my life and to have him say that and support me made my heart sing loudly with happiness. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m saving for the deposit so I can secure my place in 2018. Yeah, it’s ages away but I’m not changing my mind on writing and the time is going to pass anyway so I may as well do it.

2 minutes is all it took for my husband to make me see things differently. 2 minutes to make me see that he takes this as seriously as I do. It was the best 2 minutes.

To find out more information on Fiona McIntosh’s Masterclasses click here

A Veil of Vines Blog Tour

This modern day fairytale is a romance perfect for escaping everyday life. Read on for an excerpt of the book and a chance to win a signed copy of A Veil of Vines plus a limited edition The Future Mrs Marchesi t-shirt!
To most people, princes, princesses, counts and dukes are found only in the pages of the most famous of fairytales. Crowns, priceless jewels and gilded thrones belong only in childhood dreams.
But for some, these frivolous fancies are truth.
For some, they are real life.
On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, people have always treated me as someone special. All because of my ancestral name and legacy. All because of a connection I share to our home country’s most important family of all.
I am Caresa Acardi, the Duchessa di Parma. A blue blood of Italy. I was born to marry well. And now the marriage date is set.
I am to marry into House Savona. The family that would have been the royals had Italy not abolished the monarchy in 1946. But to the aristocrats of my home, the abolition means nothing at all.
The Savonas still hold power where it counts most.
In our tight-knit world of money, status and masked balls, they are everything and more.
And I am soon to become one of them.
I am soon to become Prince Zeno Savona’s wife…
… or at least I was, until I met Achille.
And everything changed.
Caresa

As my papa’s G5 began its descent, I looked out of the window beside me and waited for the plane to break through the clouds. I held my breath, body tense, then suddenly the burnt-orange remnants of daylight flooded the plane, bathing the interior with a soft, golden glow. I inhaled deeply. Italia.
Fields and fields of green and yellow created a patchwork quilt below, rolling hills and crystal-blue lakes stretching as far the eye could see. I smiled as a sense of warmth ran through me.
It was the most beautiful place on earth.
Sitting back in my wide cream leather chair, I closed my eyes and tried to prepare myself for what was coming. I was flying to Florence airport, from where I would be swiftly taken to the Palazzo Savona estate just outside of the city.
I would meet Prince Zeno.
I had met him twice before—once when I was four, of which I had no memory, and again when I was ten. The interaction we’d had as children had been brief. If I was being honest, I had found Zeno to be arrogant and rude. He had been thirteen at the time and not at all interested in meeting a ten-year-old girl from America.
Neither of us had known at the time that that our betrothal had been agreed upon two years prior. It turned out that the trip my papa had taken to Umbria when I was eight was to secure a forever-bond between the Savonas and the Acardis. King Santo and my father had planned for their only children to marry. They were already joined in business; Zeno’s arranged marriage to me would also strengthen both families’ place in society.
I thought back on my New York farewell of nine hours ago and sighed. My parents had driven me to the private hangar and said their goodbyes. My mama cried—her only child was leaving her for a new life. My papa, although sad to see me go, beamed at me with the utmost pride. He had held me close and whispered, “I have never been more proud of you than I am right now, Caresa. Savona Wines’ stock has plummeted since Santo’s death. This union will reassure all the shareholders that our business is still strong. That we are still a stable company with Zeno at the helm.”
I had given him a tight smile and boarded the plane with a promise that they would see me before the wedding. And that had been that.
I was to marry Zeno, and I hadn’t protested even once. I imagined to most modern-day women living in New York, the process of arranged marriages sounded positively medieval, even barbaric. For a blue blood, it was simply a part of life.
King Santo Savona died two months ago. The shareholders of his many Italian vineyards, the stakeholders in Savona Wines, had expected his son, Zeno, to immediately step up and take charge. Instead, Zeno had plunged himself into the party scene even harder than before—and that was quite a feat. Within weeks my papa had flown out to Umbria to see what could be done.
The answer: our imminent union.
One winner gets a Signed Copy of A Veil of Vines + Limited-Edition The Future Mrs. Marchesi T-Shirt
Enter HERE
 Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.