Diamond Book Awards Finalists for 2017.

Well! Thrilled to start the weekend with the news that A Thousand Rooms has made the top three in the Diamond Book Awards! Thanks so much, Kev 🙂

BOOKS & MUSIC

Well folks, the time has arrived for the announcement of the three finalists nominated for the Diamond Book Awards 2017… Please join me as I congratulate our finalists! Please feel free to support them by checking their works out on Amazon, up-voting their reviews, and if you haven’t already, buy their books… You’ll be glad you did.

It was a very tough decision as all the books entered for the competition this year were brilliantly penned and made excellent memorable reads. However, after many Mm’s & Ah’s along with scrutinizing my reviews, I finally made my decision by choosing the books which seemed to stand out that little bit more.

Of the three books nominated, I would be very hard put to decide which should receive the Diamond Book Award this year. For this reason, as well as to avoid bias,  I have a panel of at least three people…

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A Thousand Rooms by Helen Jones

A lovely review of A Thousand Rooms – thanks, Jolie!

Read with Me

A Thousand RoomsTitle: A Thousand Rooms

Author: Helen Jones

Publisher: Self Published

Date of publication: October 20th, 2016

Genre: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Number of pages: 270

POV: 1st person

Where you can find A Thousand Rooms:Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

You don’t wake up expecting to die… 

Katie is thirty-two, single, and used to work in advertising. She’s also dead. A lost soul hitching rides with the dying, trying to find her way to… wherever she’s supposed to be. 

And whoever she’s supposed to be with. 

Heaven, it seems, has a thousand rooms. What will it take to find hers?

Trigger Warning: None

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Wednesday Wander – Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, Canada

This is the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, Canada. Suspended over the Capilano River, it’s a well known tourist attraction, drawing over 800,000 visitors per year.The word ‘Capilano’ derives from a First Nations term, Kia’polano, which means beautiful river. Looking down into the gorge at the tumbling waters, it’s easy to see how the place got its name. The first bridge on the site was built in 1888 by George Grant MacKay, who purchased 6,000 acres in the area and built himself a log cabin on the side of the gorge. His bridge was made of hemp rope and cedar, and lasted until his death in 1903, when it was replaced by a wire cable version.

The bridge passed through the hands of several families until the 1930s, when owner ‘Mac’ MacEachren encouraged local First Nations tribes to place their totem poles on the land. Subsequent owners expanded on this idea, and the modern cable bridge was built in the 1950’s.

Now, I’m not that great with heights. I’m especially not great with heights when the thing I’m standing on bounces and moves around, like the bridge does. I don’t care how many elephants or Mounties or whatever the bridge is supposed to be able to hold up – it just doesn’t feel right to me. However, I made it from one side to the other without (too much) incident – I won’t talk about the bit when my now-husband tried to ‘bounce’ us in the centre of the bridge – and here’s the photo taken from the other side to prove it.

When I visited, several years ago, the totem poles were there, as well as the log cabin gift shop with a few touristy photo opportunities ;-D Apparently, there is now also a system of suspended tree-top walkways, and a focus on the First Nations heritage of the area – I’ll have to go back for another visit next time I’m in Vancouver!

However, the forest remains deep and dark – I remember being amazed at the height and girth of some of the trees as we walked the trails, the river rushing white below us, just glimpsed between the branches. It was hard to believe we were only a few minutes from a busy residential area – rather, it was as though we had strayed into a piece of the old time, before Vancouver was Vancouver, when the land was wilder.

Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!


If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

Ironing, Oak Apples and Editing or, How I Survived A Writing Wobble

I had a bit of a writing wobble earlier this week.

I’ve just begun editing Under Stone, the fourth book in my Ambeth series. It recently returned from a professional edit, and so I was taking suggestions and beta read comments on board, polishing the final crevices and tidying up punctuation and prose, ready to go to the next stage.

At least, that’s what I was supposed to be doing.

But something wasn’t right. Even my groaning ironing basket held more allure than playing with words. Even though it’s what I love to do. I mean, editing isn’t my favourite part of the process but there is still something immensely satisfying in taking a book through the final stages before publication, seeing the changes from rough first draft to the end product. So I was ready, I thought.

But I just couldn’t find the thread. The story thread. The Ambeth thread. Whenever I step into that world the voices are clear, the images sharp. I know all of the characters intimately, their backstory, what drives them, where they are going. But, for some reason, they seemed a little… distant. As did the world of Ambeth – the gardens, the Palace, the sighing sea, all felt as though I were viewing them through the wrong end of a telescope.

And so I had a wobble.

After all, it’s been a while since my last Ambeth book, Hills and Valleys, came out. Since then, I’ve published A Thousand Rooms, my standalone women’s fiction novel, as well as almost finished the first draft of Silver and Black, another standalone work. I’ve also started a new job which is taking quite a bit of my time. So I was worried. What if the story, the wonderful story that started me writing, words pouring out of me, had decided to, well, get up and leave? I mean, I had been working on Ambeth – Under Stone was quite a complex book to write as so many threads from the first three books came together, many of them to be resolved in this book. So it was only a couple of months since I’d last visited. But still – it had been a while.

And I couldn’t find my way back into the story.

So instead I fell into a wormhole of sadness and despair. But, after a pep talk from a lovely writerly friend and a good night’s sleep, I decided to approach things from a different angle. Instead of editing, I decided simply to read the story again. And, it seemed to help. A piece of music I associate with the books started playing in my head, and carefully, slowly, I started to wander back into the woods. I’m not all the way there yet but, thanks to music and oak apples and reading and thought, I think I might get through the Gate again.

And that ironing basket isn’t looking so interesting any more…


If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

A Thousand Rooms by Helen Jones: A Rambling Review

A thoughtful post – and a lovely review of A Thousand Rooms – courtesy of Allie Potts.

Allie Potts Writes

Supporting Indie Authors #book review

It is a rare book that makes me care about the characters before the end of the first act. A Thousand Rooms, by Helen Jones – this book, had me crying before I’d even read ten percent.

Repeatedly.

And not just a little. I had to put it down more than once in order to not alarm my family.

What begins as a tale about a woman dealing with her own post-existence, turns into a story about society’s different takes on the word Heaven, how we cope with loss, and the different forms love and acceptance takes along the way. While I may have cried in the beginning, there were reasons to laugh too.

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But what I found most intriguing about the story was the idea that a soul could be stuck waiting for a ride that doesn’t come like a child…

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The freedom to get it wrong

I love this post from Sue – a nice reminder that we each have our own path, our own voice to find, and to never let anything hold you back from the creative process 🙂

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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Watching the fish in the pond this morning, I noticed that although they all swim, as you would expect from fish, they all swim differently. The huge sturgeon glide through the water with no appearance of effort at all. The one poorly fish with suspected dropsy expends huge amounts of effort to get around…yet the fat fish, who is the same size and shape, but just greedy rather than ill, swims as well as the rest of them. The ghost koi use their tails visibly to propel them at a sedate pace through the water…except Happy Fish, who zips around at top speed, jumping and playing for a few minutes then has to rest on a planting shelf for a while.  The orfe, however, use their whole bodies to slice through the water… or power through it when they want to clear the area. They all take a different approach…

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New Release: The Enhanced League by C.S.Boyack #IndieAuthor #newrelease @Virgilante

The Enhanced League, the latest release by Craig Boyack, has just been released! Head on over to read more about it 🙂

anita dawes and jaye marie

Today, we welcome Craig Boyack, a fellow writer, blogger and good friend of ours to tell us all about his new book… Over to you Craig!

Thanks for having me over today to talk about my newest book, The Enhanced League. This is a group of short stories that serves to tell an overarching story when read in order. The setting is a professional baseball league where nobody cares about performance enhancing drugs.

While performance enhancing drugs are allowed in this league, not all the players use them. There are a lot of human stories here, and some come to the Enhanced League for other reasons.

You’ll meet Dyrell Pollard, who can play, but is too tall to be taken seriously in the Major Leagues. Dante Montes is an incredible player, but can’t also can’t find a home in the Majors. He’s a left handed catcher, and the prejudice against…

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