Saturday, 28 January 2012

Follow Friday Feature (Though It's Saturday)

I got this from Rebecca Bradley's blog and thought I'd join in the fun. I'm participating in a blog hop. Full rules for the hop are on Parajunkees blog and is co-hosted by Alison Can Read. Featured blogger this week is Book'd Out.

There is always a question to answer - this week's is: 

Q: Which book genre do you avoid at all costs and why?

I'm open to any genre really - in can be set in the past, present or the future, or another world! I'll read it. And although I want to write romance, I like to try different genres just for the whole experience of story telling and writing - and to break up the romance reading. 

I think "who" I avoid the most is the likes of Stephen King. I read On Writing, which is brilliant, but at the end he describes his accident, and to be honest, it made me feel sick. I'm just worried he'll scare the hell out of me through a book. So, I tend to avoid thrillers that are a bit close to reality, just because they can happen in real life. (I will avoid films of this genre too!). I'll avoid things that will play on my mind too much and will upset me. I like books to have a happy ending, or a satisfactory close to it. For example, I did enjoy reading (for its story) 'The Lovely Bones' but for me it didn't end how I wanted it too - it didn't give me a satisfactory close with the murderer. I ended up loping off a 'star' in my review because of it. 

Not sure if that quite answers the question... but hey ho.

Okay, well, I'm a bit late with this blog hop, but feel free to join in! Remember to read the rules... I think I've followed them. Might have to save some of my hopping until tomorrow now though.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Book Review: Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

Labyrinth (Languedoc Trilogy, #1)Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a long book. And I've marked it as historical as well as contemporary as two stories are told side by side. One of Alais in the 1200s and one of Alice in 2005.

The author at times probably delves too much into the history (I'm assuming it's correct, I know little of French history to my ignorance), and I felt myself reading, but not really worrying about taking it all in - which makes me wonder if it were necessary - it's nearly 700 pages long, and I do wonder if it could have been a lot shorter.

I did want to see how it ended, as it truly wasn't a bad read, but I could see how others would give up quickly, it being so long. The story is around the 'myths' of the Holy Grail, and takes a very interesting, unique side to it. 

I found Alais's story the most interesting. And it was only to the end of the book I started to care more about the characters. (It wasn't one of those books that had my thinking about it while I wasn't reading it - if you know what I mean?). I did enjoy the ending. For me it satisfied me, and rounded it up nicely. I must say that.

There were a couple of frustrating bits where both women (who are linked through history) were more stupid than they should of been, to be convenient for the plot. Alice forgetting her bag (at one point), for one, just made me tut with frustration!

Not sure if I'll worry about reading the other two books in the trilogy though.

View all my reviews

This isn't the first book I've finished this year! I actually finished Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets with Ben last weekend! So this is my second book read so far for 2012. Glad I got it out of the way. Knowing it was so big, I thought I'd get it over and done with in January. Now for some Mills and Boon I think, to help me catch up and get back on Book Target.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A New Job Thrown Into The Mix

It all happened a bit quick, but I've got a new job. The role is Lunchtime Supervisor aka dinner lady at my boys' school. I don't dish up the food, I just supervise them eating and then out in the playground.

Today was my second day and I survived! And LOVED it.

Dear God, you have to have eyes in the back of your head! You can not relax even for a second. Seriously, do not turn your back on them. I was monitoring approximately 60 5-6year olds (Year 1). The knees scraped, 'play' fighting and so-and-so won't let me play with them that goes on is constant! Thank goodness it is only for an hour and ten minutes. I have to say, hats off to teachers!

I might need to arm myself with wetwipes or something though. Some kids get soooo messy, and I get stressed with my two not sitting at the table properly lol! I amaze myself at how patient I am with other people's children. I'm terrible with my own.  

The only thing that will annoy me about this job is the stupidity of parenting I'm afraid. The amount of junk fed to kids....(when the school actually specifies no crisps or chocolate in the lunch boxes!) Don't they realise they are our future? Anyway... that's another rant which I won't go into here.

This week has been manic, too, because I've been doing some overtime at my other job (I'll be rolling in it February with extra cash - she hopes), - some training. So not much writing (during the day) is being achieved. I have sat here tonight and done a couple of hours of editing thought...

I went for the job with the school because it wasn't as if I couldn't do with the money, and the fact that it's in school, it's term time only and all that. Plus I never knew if that job would ever appear again in my lifetime (they are like gold dust) so had to go for it. It will work perfect around the kids. Who knows, I might be able to give up my Friday shift at Tescos some time in the future...

So next week, I'm hoping to get myself into a better routine and work around this shift that will be in the middle of my day - it'll be an hour and a half by the time I've walked there and back I suppose. It's three lunchtimes a week; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but I've managed to be collared for doing Mondays too for the time being. (So Tuesday is my only FREE day - so will be designated to writing me thinks!).

Anyway, this week with all the manic-ness of it all (working in *my* time that is), I don't envy mothers who work full time. Who does their housework? (And believe me, I'm not someone who scours the house everyday with bleach - I do the bare essentials). Or have they got a special man slave? One that looks like Adam Levine would be nice.... He could sing while he dusts!

I posted this on Facebook (well shared from another source). A cheeky looking David Beckham... some of you may approve.  I've got mixed feeling about how heavily he's tattooed his arms. But he's still sexy.

I wonder if he'd do my hoovering... 

Friday, 20 January 2012

What? Friday Already!

Does anyone else find it a bit freaky that Friday comes around far too quickly?

Most people, who work during the week, love Fridays. I used to be one of those people too. It means the end of the week, the beginning of the weekend. To me it means Work. Only three hours this afternoon but they are the slowest three hours of my life. I may have told you this before.

This weekend is my weekend off, but I'd put myself down for three hours overtime (nice 9am-12 number), which has since turned into six hours and getting up at 5.30am. Boo! (Just think of the money, Teresa!)

I've just come back from a job interview at the school - Think Victoria Wood's Dinner Ladies :D

Although working in the week means eating into my writing time, I do need the extra cash and it would be 1 hour and 10 minutes out of my day three days a week. Okay, it'll turn out more than like an hour and a half by time I've walked there and back etc.

I have been fretting recently. On one hand I need to make some money, so wonder should I concentrate on short stories and articles. They're quicker, get more out and likely to get a higher hit rate. But you do need to buy magazines and read the content to get the ideas flowing! Or, do I stick with the novels? I enjoy writing the novels, but the reward maybe very long term, and a very long way off. Having joined the RNA NWS, I have to concentrate on novels anyway, as I need to send one off before 31st August.

I've spoken to some friends and they say write what you love. And to be honest, I think it would show in my writing... so I'll stick for the novels, get it set in my head my reward will come, but it may take a few years... and stick at it with Tescos and (hopefully) with the school if I get the dinner lady job for the cash I need to carry on 'living'.

In other news, I have added an F to my name, as you may well see on this blog and on Twitter. I wanted to distinguish myself from The Other Teresa Morgan.

I don't have a middle name, so the F stands for Frewing - obviously! But as Jane Holland kindly pointed out in my last post, Frewing is not a romantic author name. (Which is a real shame because it's bloomin' unique). So, I've decided, maybe, as long as I keep Teresa, I'm going to just make up a surname. So if you have any suggestions for romantic surnames, drop them below in the comments box. What goes nicely with Teresa?

I quite like Hart. But imagine there are zillions of romance authors with Hart as their surname. (Edit: You will never believe this, just spoken to my dad, and my Grandmother's maiden name was Hart!)

I'm going to find out my grandmother's maiden name and maybe use that. My Nan's is Gore, my mum's is Habicht. Neither of these scream romance. Frewing sounds more romancy than them two put together!

Or maybe I could find something to double barrel with Morgan? Morgan-Hart, Morgan-Gray, Morgan-????

Answers on a postcard please... or comment below (as it's cheaper).

And here's your reward for reading my blog...

Oh wet muscular bodies are the best!
oh, what about Teresa Bradley-Cooper :-P

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Do I Stay Or Do I Go?

Over 20,000 pageviews peoples! Whooo hooo! Thank you, thank you, thank you. And this will be my 254th post since I started blogging. And this is not why I was going to blog tonight, but just had to share.

Actually, I'm going to share a dilemma, as I don't think I've done it on my blog yet. We have discussed on Twitter, and even a bit on Facebook.

Sometime before Christmas, my good writing pal Becky Black spotted another Teresa Morgan, self-published on Amazon. 

This is NOT me! I repeat NOT me!

My dilemma is, after securing my blog name and a website url ( - which is still a WIP and why I haven't advertised it too much - do I stick with calling myself Teresa Morgan? It's my real name!

My maiden name is Frewing, and this is on Facebook in brackets, because I've put it in my profile people can search for me under Frewing. (I am now thinking of a way to get this in my blog too, to work in search engines - how do search engines work again?). Unfortunately it won't fit on Twitter in my username - gutted!

I don't have a middle name. I used to think that was really cool as no one could take the mick out of me at school for having some dodgy middle name like... actually I won't say - I could offend. So, do I start putting the word about using a pseudonym? I was always going to use one (not sure what yet) if I got into selling erotica or something like that (not that I've written anything for that genre lol!). But my contemporary romance that I am writing I would have liked under *my* name. 

Do I make up a middle initial? It could be a mystery what it stands for... I'm imagining the media now... or do I just use an F for my maiden name?

Teresa F Morgan

Or do I go with Teresa Frewing. No bugger will have it, if they do, then I know they've nicked it from me. Trust me, there is only one Teresa Frewing!

Since being married, and finding I don't have to spell out Morgan everytime I tell someone it, like I did Frewing regularly, I was quite happy to leave my maiden name off. Besides, Becky Black had convinced me Teresa Morgan had a really good romantic novelist ring to it. My best present ever from another friend, funnily enough called Becky, also proved how good it would look on a book cover. (This is a notebook and I love it!)

However, now, with someone using my name (I'm not sure if it's her real name or not) I wonder whether to start creating a new name, a new profile. Or do I stick it out and if I'm lucky and get accepted by a publisher, see what they say?

The annoying thing is this blog and my website are "Teresa Morgan." If you Google/search Teresa Morgan, you'll find me first! (I am rather proud of that). My 'twin' is on twitter but hasn't tweeted anywhere as much as me. Opps - not sure if that's something to be proud of, she's probably writing while I'm bloody tweeting! 

So, is there room for two Teresa Morgan's in the romance market? Or should I start marketing myself (in the hope of selling a book) as someone else?

I'm depressed... I need something to cheer me up! Oh, look - Adam Levine. (I have Maroon 5 now in my car - it's great for inspiration - I love his voice).

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Votes For My New Blog Look

What do you think? I have to thank @biscuit_zombie for the banner. Which I'm also using on my Facebook profile. But I do have to thank again, Kerry J Photography for taking the photos in the first place!

Next will be the website updated :D

Anyway, do you like? Therm, as her other alias, made it pink and I thought WOW! We'd (well she'd) been playing with the black and white photos, and I'll go with one of those for my website, but this I thought was jazzy for my blog. But it didn't go with the hearts, so I've been trawling Hot Bliggity Blog to see if I can find one of their fancy patterns to suit.

So what do you think?

Or are you too busy looking at him? --->

Thanks to Becky Black posting, I read this blog post (How not to blog) and its advice - I recommend it by the way! No white text on black, and keeping posts short and sweet, and all that. I was glad to see I was getting a lot right! Another thing it mentions is setting days for blogging. This is something I haven't done.

Sometimes I'll blog once in a week, if it's December I blog every day. Would you prefer a set day for me to blog?

I find, with blogging, I can be sporadic. I think of something and have to tell you about it - right away! So I personally don't like setting myself to a set day. And what if I miss the set day? That will just add to my stress. And what if I've got nothing to say to post on the set day? Even worse!

I would be interested on your thoughts, as you're my readers.

I was also concerned, wanting to raise my followers, but it suggested not to get hung up about that. Quality not quantity, remember? Better to have less followers but they are readers, than lots of followers that don't actually read your blog.

Thank you for reading! Or are you still looking at Alcide?

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Resolutions, Goals And A Little Inspiration

I'm rubbish at New Year Resolutions. It will only stress me out, and they are usually forgotten by February. I will try to eat more fruit, and I want to beat my five writing hits from last year (actually it could be six as apparently I was in Friday Magazine 30th December but I haven't been sent the links... and I couldn't find 'me' by myself.)

I'm not great at setting goals. I am a very organised person generally. I was a secretary by profession. I actually like admin though depending what it is, it can soon bore me senseless as I pick things up quickly. But since becoming a mother, and finding that the routine can so easily be disrupted, I find goals hard to set. I'm better off writing a to-do list for the day sometimes.  All I know is my goal for this year is to start submitting The Wedding Favour (ASAP) and to get my second novel, Perfect Isn't An Option finished and sent to the RNA NWS (by 31st August). Any short stories and assignments achieved will be a bonus. Plus try to beat my running mileage for last year which was 282 miles. Oh and read another 40 books.

I suppose I will try to make sure this blog remains entertaining... and therefore posting hot pictures of men writing inspiration like this one:

 or this one.... 

I have a book idea for a fireman - so all relative, honest. It might be next book (3) I get to write. Who knows?

On another subject, I might try to calm down my posting on Facebook.

Does anyone else get comments from their non-writery friends that they comment too much on Facebook? I've had a couple of friends tease me about how much I'm updating it. They joke I update my status about my running, but their statuses will discuss the football. That doesn't interest me, but I don't tease them about it.

Maybe it's because I am at home all day usually, and something will enter my head (while doing that mundane thing called housework) and I feel the need to share. If I'm honest, I'll try to think of something funny to see if someone will hit the like button. But who doesn't?

I know some of my writery friends update their wall regularly, and it doesn't bother me because I use Facebook in the same way. I've now found, like Twitter, with Facebook if I miss something, I miss it. I don't get too stressed over not seeing someone's update. (Though I worry slightly if it might be an important one - writery news). I've got over 300 friends now, but a lot of those have become writing friends (so now I have to watch what I put on my wall lol!). Admittedly, I was never really intending on making friends with 'strangers' (because I post stuff about my kids) though they are not really 'strangers' in the writing world. (Please don't be offended if you're one of those 'strangers'). But I don't want to make an author page yet... I may not be superstitious, but I do believe in jinxing things. The irony would be I make an author page now and never become an author ;-) Plus, I might not be Teresa Morgan in pen name yet . (That's another blog post).

With the teasing though, I have found myself a little conscious about what I post. Maybe they notice me more because they might not have as many friends, and then the friends they do have, not all post. Some are just watchers, some have an account and never even go on it - luckily I have those friends too! So little ol' me who switches her PC on first thing in the morning and updates regularly, (and is addicted to social networking) probably looks like I'm there all the time. I am not. I do have housework, and writing to do... plus running around after the kids.

So, before I break the blogging rules and make this post way too long (which I fear it already might be but I wanted to discuss Facebook) do you have resolutions? Do you get teased about how much you update Facebook?

Monday, 2 January 2012

A Good Start To 2012

Happy New Year, everyone! 

The new year means trying to join the Romantic Novelists Associations New Writers' Scheme. I decided to give it a go, especially after being at the conference last year and meeting so many wonderful Romantic Writers.

The rules stated you could not send your email before 00:01 2nd January 2012. Which meant I was up until midnight last night, waiting for my PC's clock to click over to 00:01 to send my prepared email.

My friend Morton Gray was also doing the same, and we were messaging via Facebook, reassuring each other that we weren't nuts, and confirming we both felt a tiny bit nervous and sick about pushing the send button.

Morton heard early this morning that she was in. I therefore feared the worse, as I checked my inbox every five minutes there after and saw no email! At 13:11 today, finally I was put out of my misery. I'm in! I've got a place on the New Writers Scheme. Whoooo hoooooo! *does Joey from Friends happy dance*

This now means I need to knuckle down and get writing. Admittedly I do have The Wedding Favour finished, which I'm slowly editing - and now need to speed up on -  but I would like to send Perfect Isn't An Option to the manuscript appraisal system. This so far stands at 33,000 words (as my little box to the right indicates). I've just ordered Rob Lowe's autobiography which comes out in paperback 19 January - this is research for Steve, my hero. I think January will be tidy up and finish The Wedding Favour, and February start concentrating on my second novel. If I do 1000 words a day again, I'll get it finished by end of March latest. I've got till the end of August, so I won't start panicking yet.

This has also made a decision for me. I need to concentrate on the novels. I will try to get a short story written and entered into competitions etc. occasionally. But I really need to make sure that I'm on track with both of my novels before other things get in the way. (I will send my short story off to the Choc Lit competition though, as that's almost ready!)

Anyway, it's been a big plus today for me. I'm going to take this acceptance into the RNA NWS as a good sign for 2012!