#keepersbooklaunch – Keepers Is Here!

In case you haven’t heard, Sacha Black has just released Keepers, the first in her Eden East YA series. Sacha has been a blog friend for a while and I’ve been reading about the progress of this story for the past couple of years, so it’s really exciting to see it finally completed!

Eden’s life is balanced…until her soul is bound to her enemy. When her parents are murdered, the realm of Trutinor is threatened. Then a mysterious human arrives and changes everything. As Eden’s world spirals out of control, she doesn’t need a charismatic Siren from her past returning to complicate life. Now, saving Trutinor is the last thing on Edenโ€™s mind.

Three boys.
Two murdered parents.
One deadly choice.

Whew! I have to say, I’ve read it already, and it’s a great story with plenty of twists and turns, all wrapped up in beautiful cover art. I was lucky enough to attend the launch this past weekend – check out these amazing cupcakes!

You can get your copy of Keepers here. Huge congratulations, Sacha – can’t wait to read book two!


Walking A Tangled Path

img_2083I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front of late. Partly because I think I’m still recovering from the Thirty Day Writing Challenge, partly because I’ve actually been recovering from a nasty lingering cold that’s been running rampant around here (even the Queen had it), and partly because I’ve been trying to untangle the structure of Under Stone, the fourth book in my Ambeth series.

I wrote the first draft of Under Stone more than three years ago. Since then it’s undergone quite a few edits and rewrites, then was sidelined for a while as I worked on other projects. Now that A Thousand Rooms is out I’m free to roam the forests once more, but the path to this story is still quite tangled.

As the fourth book in the series, Under Stone pulls together a lot of the plot lines set out in books one to three, so I’ve had to do a quick re-read of those books and make sure that I’ve covered everything. Even though Ambeth, the characters, their motivations and their plot lines all live in my head, there are small details I’ve added here and there that I need to keep track of. So far, so good. However, the story itself also needed re-ordering, so I’ve been shuffling scenes around and, in some cases, deleting them.

Making this slightly more complex is the fact that Ambeth deals with multiple character viewpoints. I know, right? A six book series told from the point of view of multiple characters. *shakes head* Also there’s a time twisting element, which sometimes is useful and sometimes really annoying (for the writer), as I have to keep track of what is happening when in two different worlds. But oh, I love it. I love the stories and the characters, and I love it when it all comes together and I can feel the flow. I guess that’s part of the reason I write, for that feeling – it’s a little bit like joy.

I think I’m pretty close to being done now. In fact, I’m hoping I might even be able to get it out to beta readers by the end of this month. So I’ll continue to slash and burn, moving branches and reshuffling scenes, forging a new path through the tangles in the hope I reach my destination soon.

How about you? When you write a story, do you then play around with the order of events to get the best flow? And, if you’ve written a series, how do you keep track of everything? (Notes. It’s notes, isn’t it? I really ought to make more notes when I’m writing.)

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


New Release – Hills And Valleys (Ambeth Chronicles #3)


Yay! I’ve been a bit busy these past few weeks working on the final edit and formatting for Hills and Valleys, the third book in my Ambeth series. And now I can happily say…. drum roll… it’s published!

Available on Amazon and part of KDP Select (so you can read for free as a Kindle Unlimited member), Hills And Valleys continues Alma’s story:

‘Sometimes things call to us until we can no longer ignore them. And Ambeth is calling you, Alma.’

After the events of the Harvest Fair, Alma is finished with Ambeth – they can find the missing Cup and Crown without her. But Ambeth is not finished with her. First the mystery of her dead father comes back to haunt her, then the Dark reach out, hoping to trap her once more.

And then there’s the strange power she seems to have…

If you’ve been reading along already, you know why she might be finished with Ambeth. If you haven’t? Well, it’s a long weekend, so head over to Amazon and check out the series ๐Ÿ˜‰


Return To The World


It’s been nearly a week since I returned from holiday, and it seems to be taking a while for me to return to regular life. I still wake most nights wondering where I am, the familiar lines of my wardrobe and dresser taking several moments to register, as though I’ve been travelling far in my dreams and not yet quite returned.

This is somewhat unusual. I wonder whether it has anything to do with the busy nature of my time away, spending two nights here, one night there, waking each morning to realise where I was and where I had to get to that day. Perhaps in my subconscious I’m still travelling, my mind not having caught up to the reality of my body.

I’m not really back into writing yet, either. Sure, there are lots of ideas running around in my mind, as per usual, but I can’t seem to assemble them into any kind of order just yet. Flashes of story here and there, bits and pieces I know I need to add into the third Ambeth book, blog posts yet to write. I am doing a lot more reading than I was, though – I had gone from being someone who read several books per week to someone who hardly read at all, my time being consumed by writing. So I have made a conscious effort to include reading in my day again, having a backlog of books and work to catch up on. So far, so good.

Coming back to the third instalment of Ambeth, I have a question for those of you out there who write series: Do you find you need to go back and read your published instalments again before writing the next one?

I know Ambeth intimately, a world inside my mind. I know the characters and all their motivations, why they do what they do, why they will do other things and, for the most part, where they are going to end up at the end of the series. However. There are small details that I have to continue with, intricacies of the world I’ve created that must be adhered to, especially with the multiple storylines. So, even though I’ve already written book three and am at the structural edit stage, I’m considering reading my books again, just to make sure I haven’t missed anything. Plus it’s a nice way to get back into Ambeth and see the story moving forward.

Perhaps you’re all just shouting ‘Well, of course you need to!’ Or perhaps you’re just shaking your head. Perhaps I’m just stating the obvious. I’ve heard of writers keeping books of notes on all their characters so they don’t forget anything, but that seems far too organised for a Pantser like me. Plus, as I say, the characters live in my head, notes complete. It’s more the storyline details I need to check on, rather than the character motivations.

So I’m just putting it out there. Feedback appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚