Happy Valentine’s Day

holding onlove in a rainy street

Happy Valentine’s and I hope that those of you in relationships are having a lovely day. My husband and I went for a wonderful walk from our house – beautiful sunshine although a very chill wind! One or two friends have posted on Facebook that the day is crummy because it was a pagan festival taken over by Christianity and St Valentine somehow linked to it. But after all, Christmas is the same and if we felt that way we would rule out most of the jolly celebrations of the year. I love all celebrations which were, of course, whether pagan or not, designed to cheer people up, especially in the long cold winters of northern/western Europe. And anything that’s for love and romance is fine by me! Of course we need to express our love every day but what’s the harm in having a “special” day for it too?

However, I do think of those without a special someone on Valentine’s. That’s sad, and I sympathise and empathise, because I was one of those folks for years after my first husband left the family and I was struggling to bring up my daughters alone. But I never felt that nobody else should be happy and romantic, that everyone else should be alone and sad too! So, to all those feeling bad today – your time will come and things WILL get better, believe me. And love to all xP1010494

In the meantime do sign up for my newsletter by clicking on the sign-up on the right side bar – and take afternoon tea with me and let’s chat about books. All the best to you.

My Newsletter

sign up image for website

I’m starting a new venture – a quarterly newsletter! It will contain news, writer-ly and reader-ly stuff, interviews, events, author tips, and maybe a competition every now and then! If you would like to see what I and other writers are up to, the latest books in the genres I love to read (romance, contemporary, historical, time-slip, fantasy, crime and thrillers), and events for writers and readers, as well as my take on life,  then please sign up on the side-bar of my home page (look for the image above to click on!).

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AFTERNOON TEA WITH JULIA

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See you soon,

Julia   x

 

Having fun with posters

My grandson started me off with a poster of my books so far …

all books poster

 

(a little blurred, I know, but lovely!) … and then I got the bug. A friend told me about photofunia and so the addiction began …

Books gallery photofunia

This  is fun – my book covers as artwork in an exhibition. What else could I do …

 

 

 

Drumbeats and Walking poster PhotoFunia-

 

Maybe posters along a wall down an urban  street …

 

 

Drumbeats pic PhotoFunia-

 

Someone actually enjoying reading my book! So relaxed and peaceful.

 

 

PhotoFunia-1444664744

 

And, me …

Midsummer Dreams

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In celebration of the e-launch day for my lovely friend and co-conspirator in the RNA,  Alison May’s wonderful brand new romantic comedy, Midsummer Dreams  (buy link http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00XJOEJTM),  I’m posting today on the theme of all things dream-related. So, bearing in mind that the t-shirt I’m wearing today is (delicately and classily, of course!) emblazoned with “Beautiful Dreamer” (in silver), here goes:

 I had a dream…of Africa (goodness, that’s the opening of Out of Africa by Karen Blixen (one of my favourite books and films, especially with Robert Redford in the movie!). Ghana, to be precise. A dream, a memory. My novel, Drumbeats (the first of the Drumbeats trilogy – ha, see what I did there?!) reflects the time I spent in Ghana myself, and takes my 18 year old character, Jess, there on a gap year, where she struggles to “find herself”. She’s feisty, adventurous and kind, but she meets the danger of civil war, the confusion of  a new romance with Peace Corps officer Jim, while she dreams of the love for Simon who she has left behind in England. The story abounds with drama: love and danger, joy and tragedy. And all the time, Jess’s dreams in Africa are haunted by the drumbeats of the bush villages. Why? Find out at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_14?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=julia+ibbotson&sprefix=julia+IBBOTSON%2Cstripbooks%2C247

 

Drumbeats Berni

 

I had a nightmare… and so does Jess in the sequel Walking in the Rain (just out on Amazon). She returns to England and eventually marries the man of her dreams, but it all turns out to be nightmarish. The gorgeous handsome exciting guy she vowed to love forever  is not the man she thought him to be. Who is he really? Find out at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_14?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=julia+ibbotson&sprefix=julia+IBBOTSON%2Cstripbooks%2C247

WALKING IN THE RAIN_300dpi

My dream for the future…is to find out what happens to Jess in the final novel in the series, provisionally called Before I Die – although I’m now swerving towards the more appropriate title of “Finding Jess”. I’m considering running a book on which title I choose! After all the trauma in her life so far, Jess has to discover who she is, remembering the feisty, adventurous young girl she was when she went off to Ghana for her gap year. Is she still that girl? And what did happen to Jim, and the romance they shared that year so long ago? What were the haunting drumbeats telling her? She needs to return to Ghana to find out. Discover the answers when the last in the trilogy of Jess’s life is out next Spring.

Have some beautiful dreams this summer, especially with Alison May’s Midsummer Dreams …

Do check out Alison’s new novel and download it onto your kindle for a great summer read!

MIDSUMMER_FRONT

You can download the kindle edition of Midsummer Dreams here: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00XJOEJTM

About Midsummer Dreams

Four people. Four messy lives. One party that changes everything … Emily is obsessed with ending her father’s new relationship – but is blind to the fact that her own is far from perfect.  Dominic has spent so long making other people happy that he’s hardly noticed he’s not happy himself.  Helen has loved the same man, unrequitedly, for ten years. Now she may have to face up to the fact that he will never be hers.  Alex has always played the field. But when he finally meets a girl he wants to commit to, she is just out of his reach.  At a midsummer wedding party, the bonds that tie the four friends together begin to unravel and show them that, sometimes, the sensible choice is not always the right one.

Happy reading, whether on hols round the pool or at home dreaming of sunshine and balmy evenings!

Solar eclipse and spring equinox

The solar eclipse aligning with the new moon and spring equinox augurs well for us Pisceans I hear, so let’s hope I can get myself more organised. Apologies for the lack of posts lately; I’ve been so busy with completing Walking in the Rain for publishing, starting my RNA NWS novel, and of course my day job at the university. Time has flown by and before we know it, winter has turned into spring and it’s the end of March already. Primroses are blooming in the garden and the daffodils are nearly in flower. I’ve been meeting and making friends with other authors, mainly from the wonderful RNA and have been scooting off on the train to Birmingham, Leicester and London for events. And a break in the gorgeous city of Venice.Soon it’s Nottingham for a writers’ conference and York for a get-together. But now – a weekend of writing to make up for the few days in lovely Venice with my husband, for my birthday! Went over to the islands: Murano, Burano and Torcello, walked miles and miles through the little alleyways of Venice, and puttered up and down the Grand Canal on vaporettos. Went to the wonderful modest Accademia and found breathtaking paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, Bellini and Canaletto. Wonderful old hotel right on the Grand Canal owned by an old Venetian family: great food and wine! (and a maitre d’ who seemed to have an eye twitch – or was he winking?) And found a super little Venetian bar in the back streets where they cooked the most gorgeous seafood risotto, tagliattelli with mushrooms, and tomato salad – oh, and lovely fresh coffee (where the gondoliers go!). Oh dear, now back to writing – got to catch up! But here are some images that remind me of Walking in the Rain, my latest book which will be out very soon! love in a rainy street holding onhold mebreaking up

New book soon out: Walking in the Rain, sequel to Drumbeats

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The second in the Drumbeats trilogy: Walking in the Rain due out very shortly, in time for Easter! It continues Jess’s story from Drumbeats when she returns from Ghana to the UK, and sees her through her marriage to someone she believes is the love of her life. But what happens when she realises that he is not the man she thought he was?

Tragedy and danger stalks Jess’s life. How will she cope?