Taking A Break

Hello, lovely fellow bloggers!

I know Wednesday is usually when I take a Wander, but instead I’ve decided to take a break.

I’ve been blogging for the past four years, written over 700 posts, and made some wonderful friends along the way. However, I have a few things I need to focus on at the moment, which mean I’ve not been able to be as present in the blogging world as I’d like to be.

So I’m going to take a break.

I’ll still pop in and out when I can, just to see you all, but won’t be writing posts on a regular basis (if at all). It’s (probably) not forever, just for now.

Thank you all for being so lovely!

See you…

xx

 

Bloggers Bash Writing Competition!

The Bloggers Bash writing competition was so popular last year that the committee is bringing it back (with a slight difference) for 2018. 

As you may have noticed, there’s another exciting event happening in London the same day as our Bloggers Bash. Although it won’t be as much fun as our event, the news of a Royal Wedding has undoubtedly given us a lot to think about. 

So, the Bloggers Bash Blog Post Competition 2018 is on the theme of ‘Royalty.’ You’ve got a maximum of 300 words to share a flash fiction story, anecdote, poem, or another piece of work or writing on the theme of royalty. You might be inspired by Harry and his princess, or by the venue of this year’s Bloggers Bash (George IV). Or you might have another idea in mind. If you’re a photographer, then publish a post that includes photos of what ‘Royalty’ means to you. 

The Cost: £5 per entry or £8 for two entries – all proceeds go to funding The Bloggers Bash, payment accepted through PayPal only, at the bottom of the post. 

IMPORTANT – How to submit: Publish your entry(ies) on your blog and then drop an email to annualbloggersbash@yahoo.co.uk with the following information: 

  • The link to your blog post(s) 
  • The word count of all the words (excluding the title) in your post 
  • Your name 
  • Your Twitter Handle 
  • The identification number on your PayPal payment. 

 Use the email subject title: BB Blog Post Competition 

Prizes 

1st prize is a £100 Amazon gift card and a winner’s trophy 

2nd prize is a £30 Amazon gift card 

3rd prize is a £15 Amazon gift card 

We welcome entries from all over the world. The competition is open to all bloggers, regardless of if you’re coming to the Bloggers Bash or not. 

This year, we’re delighted to announce that our judges for the competition are Kaisha Holloway and Jo Robertson. 

Kaisha Holloway blogs at The Writing Garnet 

Kaisha won the top award for Most Inspirational Blogger at the 2017 Bloggers Bash and continues to inspire readers all over the world with her incredible book blog. She supports authors by promoting their books and helping with their social media presence. Her passion for all things book related is evident in the number of blog tours she participates in every year. 

Find Kaisha on Twitter: @kaishajayneh 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thewritinggarnet/ 

Joanne Robertson blogs at My Chestnut Reading Tree 

Jo won second place in the Hidden Gem category at the 2017 Bloggers Bash and through her fabulous book blog she shares many hidden gems with her readers. She set up My Chestnut Reading Tree in 2016 and enjoys sharing crime and psychological thrillers as well as women’s fiction. As a Top 55 Amazon reviewer, you can rely on Jo’s reviews to guide you towards a great book. 

Find Jo on Twitter @jocatrobertson 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mychestnutreadingtree/ 

The Small Print – Important, Please Read Before Submitting Your Entry 

  • Only entries with the identification number of the PayPal payment and sent by email to annualbloggersbash@yahoo.co.uk will be entered into the competition.
  • Up to two entries per person are allowed. Anybody found to have entered the competition more than twice will be disqualified.
  • Members of The Bloggers Bash committee and judging panel are not eligible to enter. 
  • The competition closes at 23:59 GMT on Thursday 1st March 2018. Entries received after this date will not be included. 
  • Your entry must be a maximum of 300 words (not including the title) and can include: pictures, photos, videos, and artwork. 
  • The competition is only open to adults aged 18 and over. 
  • Winners must agree to have their full name and winning entries published on the blogs of the Bloggers Bash committee. 
  • No alternative prizes are available. 
  • The judges’ decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into. 
  • By entering the competition, you agree to abide by these rules. 
  • Click here to make your payment for entering the competition. 

Winners announced at The Bloggers Bash on May 19th, 2018. 

GOOD LUCK! 

Click here to buy a ticket for the Bloggers Bash. 

NEW Bloggers Bash Website COMING SOON! 

 

Join Us on Twitter for #BlogBashChat!

HAVE YOU DISCOVERED THE #BLOGBASHCHAT TWITTER HOUR YET?

Every Sunday evening between 7pm and 8pm(BST) bloggers from across the globe unite and take part in the Bloggers Bash Blog Bash Chat using the hashtag #BlogBashChat

It’s an hour of introductions, learning, connecting with fellow bloggers, and fun. The Bash Chat following is growing and the engagement is incredible. One of our dedicated bloggers is Australian and gets up at 5am his time just to take part!

We don’t want you to miss out on this fun interaction. It’s just an hour out of your Sunday (which goes very fast!), but the possibility of finding answers to your blogging questions, making new friends, and discovering alternative blogs to follow is worth your time.

WHAT IS THE BASH?

If you’ve never attended a Blogger Bash event before then you’re in for a treat. Created by Sacha Black and aided by her intrepid committee of eight bloggers, the Bash is open to any blogger, regardless of age or niche. Previous events have included speakers, competitions, a panel, and attendees from all over the UK, Europe, the US, and Canada.

There will be an opportunity to network, eat cake, and meet some amazing online friends inperson! The event takes place in a single day, and you’ll be guaranteed a fantastic time and a sore face from all of the smiling you’ll do!

Timings and the exact breakdown of the day will be available closer to the event, but it will start mid-morning and end in the evening. We announce the winners of the Bloggers BashAwards, which you, the blogging public, vote for. You can see last year’s winners here.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Join your Blog Bash Chat host, Suzie and other members of the committee every Sunday on Twitter https://twitter.com/BloggersBash– don’t forget to use the hashtag! #BlogBashChat

NEW Bloggers Bash Website COMING SOON!

Journey To Ambeth And Beyond…

Have you ever wondered why I decided to call my blog, `Journey To Ambeth’?

Ambeth is the fantasy world I created as part of my Ambeth Chronicles – however, when I started blogging a little over three years ago, the books were just drafts and I hadn’t published anything. A friend was starting a blog and I thought I might too – I saw it as a chance to write regularly, and to document a process that was new to me, as well as share anything I learned along the way. I remember hitting publish as I shared my first post, the fear and exhilaration that my words were out in the world for anyone to read.

My early posts were all about writing, in one way or another, and most of my early followers had something to sell. But eventually, I made real connections that have now developed into friendships I value greatly, despite the fact we may never actually meet. And when we do meet? You only have to read my Bloggers Bash posts to see how much fun we have, and how it feels like walking into a room of friends, rather than people I’ve never met before.

A journey indicates travel of some sort, moving from one place to another. Those places do not necessarily have to exist on a map for such a transition to take place. For me, the journey started as one of writing, but has evolved.

Now, of course, Ambeth is just one of the fantasy worlds I explore and my blog is about so much more than writing. It’s a place where I can share snippets of my days, interact with other bloggers, respond to writing prompts and of course travel, on my weekly Wednesday Wanders. But at its heart, it is still documenting a journey – thank you to all of you who have decided to travel with me.

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend!


You can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

Wishing Everyone A Happy New Year!

This was the first dawn of 2016...
Photo taken on the first dawn of 2016…

It’s the last day of the year and so, as is tradition, I’m taking a look back at my blogging year. Oh, I won’t be sharing stats or anything like that – rather, just revisiting some popular posts and summing up my 2016 blogging experience.

For it has been an experience indeed! This year I’ve met some wonderful new bloggers, many of whom have chosen to follow Journey to Ambeth. Thank you to everyone who decided to take the journey with me – your comments and input are so very appreciated.

I also released two new books this year; Hills And Valleys, the third in my Ambeth series, and A Thousand Rooms, a standalone novel. I was amazed by the support of the blogging community, who shared, commented and reblogged, helping me to reach an even larger audience. Thank you so much!

In June I attended the second annual Bloggers Bash in London. I’d attended the original Bash in 2015, where we’d all bonded over lunch in Pizza Express before heading to a local pub. This year we had a room to ourselves in (another) rather nice pub, more than double the number of attendees than the previous year, and the charming Luca from WordPress giving a talk about blogging. I reconnected with old blogging friends and met new blogging friends, as well as being nominated for an award. (I didn’t win, but it was awesome just to be nominated!) Here’s to the the 2017 Bash – can’t wait!

In September I spent a magical weekend in the hills with Sue from The Daily Echo, then November saw an evening of laughter, magic and writing talk with the fabulous Suzie from Suzie Speaks, Lucy from Blondewritemore and Sacha Black. To say that blogging has changed my life would not be an exaggeration – I’ve made some truly wonderful friends and really enjoy being part of such a wonderful online community.

So, as the year winds to a close, here are the ten posts that seemed to resonate most with readers:

Memory Box – I wrote this post way back in January, about a chance discovery during a new year house clean.

Stuck Writing Your Author Bio? Try The (Totally Not Serious) Author Bio Generator – Probably my most popular post of the year, I wrote this as a bit of a piss-take after reading several rather, shall we say, overwrought author bios. However, turns out the Author Bio Generator actually works! Try it and see…

Thinking Aloud – this post was a close second to being most popular, and was written as a response to the idea that, as artists, we should be happy to work for free to gain ‘exposure.’

Hills and Valleys – New Release – self-explanatory, really. However, a very popular post, for which I’m extremely grateful.

Old Meets New, With Bonus Orb – this is one of those posts that just keeps on going. I think I had someone like it just the other day. It was written after a trip to London with a friend, where we were struck by the juxtaposition of architecture in the oldest part of the city. More fun than it sounds, I promise!

What Happens Next? – This post was inspired by a comment Craig Boyack made on one of my Thursday Door posts. He started a story based on my photograph, I wrote a short response, he kept going, then we decided to open it up to everyone. The resulting story was published, in all its glory, in the follow-up post The Crypt – Completed.

Circles Beyond Time – Arrival. This was the first post in my series about a weekend away in the Peak District with the Silent Eye. It was an extraordinary weekend for many reasons…

When The Forest Calls – this was a rambling, stream-of-consciousness sort of post. I’d had a day of doing this and that, but was trying to decide what to write about. And the forest was calling…

Published! A Thousand Rooms – one of the most popular posts for the year, and I’m so grateful to everyone who shared it around.

Under The Moon – this was one of Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompts, and I wrote a piece of prose about a woman and her dream under a full moon. Or was it a dream…?

Wishing each and every one of you a healthy, happy and bright new year – may 2017 bring us all that we wish for! Looking forward to seeing you all in blogland and beyond…  xx


If you enjoyed this post, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon.

 

 

Cover Reveal! A Thousand Rooms

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-09-25-592Ta da! Here it is, the cover for my latest novel, A Thousand Rooms. I wrote the book about two years ago during NaNoWriMo – since then, I’ve been editing and rewriting to get it ready for publication. I’ve had some wonderful beta readers along the way, including Ali Isaac, Louise Allen and Angelika Offenwanger – thank you so much for all your valuable feedback! Esther Newton lent her editing expertise to give it a final polish, and my brother, Rich Jones at Turning Rebellion, took my photo of red shoes and created a cover which I think perfectly captures the spirit of the story – thank you!

I realise the above paragraph sounds a little bit like one of those award show acceptance speeches, but I do think it’s important to acknowledge how many people it can take to produce a book. I feel very fortunate to have found such a wonderful group of authors and bloggers around the world, and really appreciate your support.

So, what’s the book about?

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?

I’m just finalising the formatting, with a view to publishing, hopefully, within the week. And, once I have published… you’ll be the first to know!

 

Tangles

IMG_1384

Today I am trapped in a thorny tangle of structure, as I pull apart the first few chapters of Hills and Valleys in an attempt to get them into some sort of order. The book is written, the plot set, and I have a (self-imposed) deadline to get the MS to my editor. All sorted, right? Yes, except for the fact that I cannot get the first few chapters to read as I would wish, hence the de-tangling exercise.

Plus there is a tumble of ironing to be done, a plethora of presents to be wrapped and the myriad other responsibilities that make up my day. So this blog post will be short, yet (hopefully) still sweet. In an attempt to deflect you from my literary shortcomings, may I lead you to a few other places in the blogosphere, all of whom are offering some festive goodness? In the meanwhile I shall shuffle papers and mainline spiced almonds in an attempt to find order.

Ali Isaac is weaving legend and history to tell us about the Five Sacred Evergreens of Christmas

Mick Canning is sharing a Christmas story with a twist 😉

Sally Cronin’s Christmas Grotto is full of all kinds of books and gifts,

Hugh over at Hugh’s Views and News is having a charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge

Marjorie at Kyrosmagica has found her Christmas spirit while working in retail

And Sue over at The Daily Echo has a post (via Barb Taub) about completely impractical gifts for writers

So there you go. Happy Tuesday all! I’ll see you tomorrow for my Wednesday Wander.