Meet my character blog hop!

So, I’ve been asked to participate in the Meet my Character blog hop by the awesome Shehanne Moore whose next book, ‘The Viking and The Courtesan‘ hopefully won’t be far from publishing after being signed with Soulmate publishing!

First, a bit of info about Shehanne Moore:


When not cuddling inn signs in her beloved Scottish mountains, Shehanne Moore writes dark and smexy historical romance, featuring bad boys who need a bad girl to sort them out. She believes everyone deserves a little love, forgiveness and a second chance in life. Visit her blog to find out about past releases and hear more about her forthcoming time-slip historical, The Viking and The Courtesan.

Shehanne’s blog:

So first off I have two things to say before starting:

1. I’m VERY sorry to Shehanne who asked me to do this a couple of weeks ago and I just completely forgot, and she was really, really lovely to let me try it again!

2. I’m a terrible blog hopper. Because I actually forgot I had to find people to, you know, hop onto next :D So, I’m making a plea to other bloggers to do this and post a link in the comments? Because you’re all so lovely!

I swear I will get better at blogging one day!

Now onto the questions!

The character I have chosen is Alex Lailand from my work in progress, which is embarrassingly still untitled! :D

What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Her name is Alexandra (Alex) Lailand and she is a completely fictional woman.

When and where is the story set?

The story is a modern day story set in London and Scotland!

What should we know about him/her?

Alex is a very practical woman, and a very confident one. She built her business from nothing to a business that allows her to have a fancy apartment and office in the middle of London.

Though city life is beginning to wear on her, she won’t admit it.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

What messes up her life? More like who messes up her life!

That would be FG, her rom-com obsessed fairy godmother who appeared in her office one day and sent her life spiralling into chaos. FG believes Alex has lost her heart and passion for life including love and business, and she isn’t leaving until that’s fixed!

Though FG’s imagination runs as far as throwing Alex into her own romantic tale, flinging her and her ‘perfect match’ into an assortment of clichés she’s picked up from watching and reading too much romance, which only serve to make things a little awkward for the pair.

What is the personal goal of the character?

To be successful.

Alex is all about getting the win, even if that means focusing only on the hard facts rather than the personal when it comes to her clients.

Is there a working title for this novel and can we read more about it?

There is currently no working title! Which I should probably rectify pretty soon.

I recently posted a short, unedited teaser from the first draft. And of course I shall post more about it the closer it gets to release day (end of September!).


Ok, now is the part where I’m supposed to link to the other bloggers participating in the hop! But like I said, I had a complete blank when it came to this hop apparently! So I really hope someone is willing to join in!

If you do, please post it next Monday and let me know and I will link to the post :) If you want more info, drop me an email and I will send you the details! Email: harliqueen (at) Hotmail (dot) co (dot) uk


Progress Report:

Status of fifth manuscript: Editing first draft.

Books read this month: 0/4

Mid-September Book Review: Currently reading.

Posts to Check Out!

So these are the posts I loved this week! Enjoy! – Some thoughts on fear and procrastination! – Experiencing history in the best way- To go and see it! So true, and just might provide some great inspiration for writing :D – I usually come up with a log line after I’ve finished, but now I think I will be taking Julie’s advice and starting with it. – A really lovely poem. – Some great tips on world building. – I am so excited for this book, the sequel to The Soul! – Good advice! :D – A good view on bad reviews, and a great fun post! – Another cheat because it’s a review of my latest release, Prophecy of Stones! :D – I know I am very grateful for my writer friends :)

Hope you found some new bloggers to follow!

Have you found any great posts this week?

*This is a scheduled post and I won’t be back until Monday to reply to comments and email :) Have a great Sunday! *

Feathered Freedom – Short(?) Piece

Ok, so this has to be the most random thing I’ve ever written :D It’s also a bit long, and I went over my fifteen minute time limit for the writing exercise!

Still, it was fun to write so I thought I’d post it! It was inspired by this picture-

Hope you enjoy it! (It’s an unedited piece, sorry).

Feathered Freedom

Falconry was for men.

That was what Katherine had been told each time she’d taken an interest in it. When her gaze would falter from her needlework to her brothers in the grounds, sending their falcons soaring into the clear blue summer sky, the sun glinting on the birds wingtips, her governess would scold her and yank her back to her more feminine pursuits.

How Katherine wished to be that bird, to be free to fly and glide over the world without any worries. She cared little for the world of Court or of finding a suitable husband.

No, what she wanted was to fly.

One chilly October morning, when everyone was sleeping, Katherine snuck up to the round, stone building where the birds were kept. The roost was a large hut and the magnificent birds fluffed their feathers and cast their sparkling eyes upon her as she entered.

Just once, she told herself, just once she wanted to try.

Grabbing a thick glove from the side, she pulled it on without looking,, grasping a bucket of half rotten rats they used for training with a little difficulty as the large glove kept slipping from her slim hand.

Then to pick a bird.

Glancing over the selection, there were some she’d never seen: falcons with white tipped wings, others with a sheen to their feathers, and even a snow white owl. Her chest tightened at the sight of the birds tethered to their nests, and realised maybe they were as caught as she was.

But that morning she would give one of them a moment’s freedom, before they both returned to their captivity once again.

Katherine took a step towards a delicate falcon which had a collar of lighter brown feathers around its neck, contrasting the dark brown covering the rest of its body. She came to a stop when a shrill call came from her side and a bird ruffled itself, as though it sought her attention on purpose.

When she turned, her eyes widened. It was not a falcon or an owl, but an eagle, one that couldn’t have been native to her lands. Its white head cocked, seeming to examine Katherine, and upon satisfaction of its inspection it straightened itself, fluffing out its strong wings.

The bird was huge, far too large for Katherine to manage on her small arm. Yet, as she turned away, the bird called again, this time more shrill and desperate. Glancing back, the eagle stared at her, its large eyes gleaming in the early sun.

It needed freedom as much as she did.

With the shaking fingers of her un-gloved hand, she untied the bird’s tether, and the eagle stepped onto her arm. She almost buckled beneath the weight of it, having to use both arms to keep it up. When they were both settled, they headed out.

A misty fog clung to the expanse of grassy grounds before them, the early sun spreading through the mist like a golden glow. The eagle gripped tighter to Katherine’s arm, as though excited by the sight, but it did not take off.

Standing beneath the naked branches of a gnarled, old oak tree, Katherine swallowed hard, knowing the trouble she would get into if anyone found out. The eagle shifted its weight, its head turned towards her, the glint in its eyes making her forget her sudden worries.

“Are you ready?” she asked, feeling foolish for speaking to the creature. Yet, it turned its attention back to the dull sky and lowered itself.

Katherine thrust her arms upwards and the giant eagle pushed itself off, its wingspan nearly the size of herself. With three great beats of its wings that made Katherine’s curls scatter over her face, it took off into the grey morning sky, a magnificent sight against the dreary morning skyline.

It circled above Katherine, its head to the wind that sprung up around them, its feathers vibrating against the breeze.

It was a sight she would never forget. She closed her eyes, spreading her arms, and for a moment she was that eagle, wings out and face to the sky with no cares or feelings except the freedom the sky brought. She smiled as the a gust of wind blew over her, her skirt fluttering around her legs, the velvet like feathers against her skin.

The high-pitched cry the eagle gave matched Katherine’s enthusiasm, before a few minutes later it tipped its great body and glided back towards her.

It landed with heavy grace upon her arms and she bounced her knees to take the weight.

The two headed back to the roost and the eagle jumped onto a perch obligingly. Katherine ripped off her glove and threw it on the table, making a couple of the birds squawk in surprise. She turned to leave, a smile on her face and then she halted and turned back.

“Thank you,” she said with a nod of her head. The bird spread its wings, fluffed itself to twice its size and then returned to its original state.

For many years Katherine would remember the moment she and the eagle had shared in freedom, and every time it made her smile.


Kind of random, but still, there you have it! :)

*This is a scheduled post and won’t be able to reply to comments or emails until Monday! Have a brilliant weekend everyone :) *

And it’s done! With bonus teaser!

Photo by Oliver Hammond on Flickr

Photo by Oliver Hammond on Flickr

Yesterday I wrote, ‘The End’ on my first draft of my fifth book!

I have to say, considering it was supposed to be a light novella at under 30,000 words to give me a bit of a break, it kind of took on a life of it’s own!

I did skip a week at the beginning of August where I didn’t write at all (naughty, I know!), so when I realised I managed to pump out over 45,000 words in 3 weeks I was revelling in quite a lot of triumph!

I’m really starting to get my writing routine down and sticking to it :)

It’s always a rather exhilarating moment to finish a first draft, but it does tend to be only for a moment, because then I get the sinking feeling of knowing how much editing there is to do next :D

And I have to say, I was worried about going back and reading this one. For some reason I got it into my head that the writing was terrible and I was going to practically be changing everything.

So, when I started reading through and looking at editing, I was pleasantly surprised it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had told myself it would be! In fact, some parts were pretty darn good, if I do say so myself :D

There is still plenty of editing to be done, but I have to say I’m enjoying the editing a lot more now I realise it’s much better than I thought, especially considering it’s a first draft.

And now, I am going to brave and post an unedited teaser/excerpt from my new book!


“And now, it’s time to get physical,” she said.

“Huh?” Alex asked, broken from her thoughts.

“What you like in a man, in his looks. But I think that’s pretty easy to determine.” FG slapped her wand against the desk’s surface, the bottom drawer flinging open and making Alex almost topple from her chair in surprise. From the drawer floated a dog-eared, well-read romance novel that Alex only brought out when she was certain she was alone.

“No, you can’t have that!” Alex yelled, trying to clamber over the desk to retrieve it. But it was nestled in the fairy godmother’s lap before she even had the chance.

The front cover was a vivid purple, the title, ‘Love of the Best Kind’, emblazoned in hot red, curling front across it.
“See? There is a romantic buried beneath that professional exterior of yours.” FG chuckled but Alex flushed red, sinking back into her chair and hoping it would swallow her whole.

FG flicked open the book, the crumpled pages falling open with ease. Her brows raised as she scanned the words and her eyes slowly widened.

She snapped the book shut. “Well, maybe not so romantic, but certainly passionate.”

Alex sunk further into her chair with a groan, covering her eyes with her hand.


Hope you enjoyed it!

How are you guys doing with your writing projects? Do you dread the editing phase? Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by your own work when going back and reading it over?

*As usual, I will be away over the weekend and back on Monday to reply to comments and emails :) Have a brilliant weekend everyone!*


Progress Report:

Status of fifth manuscript: Editing first draft.

Books read: 5/4

Mid September Book Review: Currently reading.

Is it better to write or type?

Mishka Jenkins:

Good points here and a great post! I had just been thinking lately about how I miss handwriting out all my stuff.

Originally posted on Your Writing Lady:

It sounds like a simple question, but for some writers, it’s a tough one.

I have a sentimental attachment to paper (although not quite environmentally friendly). There’s something intimate about putting ink on a page–something that no electronic device has or will ever have. Typing is much faster, but I find my creativity is boosted by physically holding a pencil and forming each of letter by hand.

Feelings and emotions that are killed by the dull, irritating light of a computer screen spring back to life when I’m scribbling in the evening by the warm light of a lamp.

Which is better? I don’t know. What do you think?

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Books and Reading Wednesday- Review: Sins of the Father by Melissa Barker-Simpson

End of August Indie Book Review: Sins of the Father by Melissa Barker-Simpson


Goodreads synopsis:

As a former Royal Marine Commando, Brad Morgan is among the best of the best. Now heading up his own unit in the private security world, he lives by the same mottos he served by.

When Alicia Gladstone, a star in the entertainment industry, is put under threat, Brad and his team at Morgan and Fairchild must step in to find a killer before it’s too late.

At the peak of physical and mental fitness, all his years of training are put to the test when he is forced into a world artificial by nature, and too distracting for his own good. But it isn’t the environment that poses the biggest threat. It is the past he ran away from, one he thought he had overcome.


I’ve read some of Melissa Barker-Simpson’s work on her blog, where she posts short fiction, which is always of amazing quality and incredibly gripping. Her book was no different! The opening was amazing, and I was instantly pulled in from the very first sentence.

The characters were all written in such a way that they felt truly real, not like characters on a page, with their dialogue flowing like a real conversation that I could hear in my head rather than written on the page.

There are some great action moments written into the book, and although it is described so that you feel thrown into the scene yourself, it was the glimpses into how the character’s felt that made those moments even more intense and exciting.

The romance was amazingly written and gave me butterflies at some points.

Throughout Sins of the Father, you are thrown into an exciting story of mystery and romance that I couldn’t wait to find out what happened, but then didn’t want to reach the end because it was such a great story!

It was a brilliant ending, where I felt satisfied with how the book finished and no cliff-hanger, but I grew to know the characters and loved them so that I can’t wait for the next book from this author.

This book has high quality writing, well-developed characters, and a good flowing story. I would definitely recommend reading it.




Progress Report:

Status of fifth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 2393 (Total word count: 42091).

Books read: 5/4

Mid- September Book Review: Currently reading.

Taking a step back…

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend! :D

I know it’s normally Romance Weekly Hop day today, but due to the bank holiday there is no post this week. Though if you’re interested in checking out the hop, it starts with Nina Mason. It’s all about first kisses!

So, I so have to admit I was really glad for the long weekend as I was completely stuck on a scene in my book when writing on Friday. I had NO idea where to take it and I think I tried to rewrite it in about ten different ways, seeing how it would best to write it in order to move the story and characters forward.

Well, it was hard and it was just not going to happen!

So, over the weekend I didn’t touch my writing. But, as if often the case, I couldn’t stop thinking about :D I went over and over it in my head trying to figure out how to write this rather crucial scene which is a turning point in the story.

All weekend I still had nothing




I was having a slight panic when I went to bed last night thinking I’d have no idea where to go when writing today, and this is my last week to get the first draft finished!

And then at about 3 o’clock this morning it came to me! I was tossing and turning trying to think of this scene and just couldn’t sleep and the solution came out of nowhere. I mean, it was something I hadn’t even thought of, something so completely different to what I’d come up with so far.

And it was absolutely perfect!

It just made me realise what a good idea it is to take a long step back from your writing sometimes if you’re struggling. I think I got myself so focused on the scene and the little picture, that I forgot to look at the whole thing.

So, this morning I sat down to write and managed to pump out about 3,000 words in an hour and half! I was on a roll and it felt really, really good :D

Have you ever been really stuck on a scene? How do you deal when you get stuck? Do you ever have to take a break from your writing to look at it fresh?


Progress Report:

Status of fifth manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 3188 (Total word count: 39698).

Books read: 5/4

End of August Indie Review: Written and ready.