Saturday, 29 May 2021

May highlights

 May highlights! Seriously? Already? Considering I'm still more or less living lockdown life, 2021 seems determined to fly by and actually, in spite of the dull, damp and wet weather which has dominated this month, the weeks have been productive and filled with some fabulous rays of book related sunshine, as revealed by the screenshots I've taken of my Instagram account!

With A TASTE OF HOME publishing so late in April, it almost felt like a May release and I've had a fabulous few weeks joining in with the Readalong on Insta, watching the wonderful reviews stack up and the sales figures reach an incredible high. The only reason the book didn't hit the Sunday Times Top 10 was because of coinciding releases from Hilary Mantel, Dawn French and some other very big hitters, but I don't mind. You guys love it and are buying it in your thousands and that's what counts for me.

As the images suggest, my month has been filled with some wonderful walks in nature and lots of #amwriting and of course a cover reveal. The lilacs, hawthorn and cow parsley are all favourties of mine and the weather has suited them perfectly.

My writing life has been dominated by the first draft of my summer 22 release, the UNDERNEATH THE CHRISTMAS TREE copy edit and the thrilling cover reveal. I was completely overwhelmed by the love for the cover. It's my first pink book jacket and I love it and I'm delighted you do too.

So, on to a few of my favourite things from May...

What I read

With so much writing going on, I haven't read a huge amount but there have been some absolute highlights in my pile.

This beautiful little hardback, COTTAGECORE, by Ramona Jones, is set to become a firm bookshelf favourite and having read it cover to cover, I'm already dipping in and out again.

It's full of beautiful images and ideas and if you're a country lover at heart, irrespective of where you live, then this is the book for you!

It's just £5.83 on Amazon today. A total bargain!

My favourite fictional read was a digital proof from someone I absolutely love - Isla Gordon. Better known as Lisa (lovely) Dickenson and Lucy Dickens. It doesn't matter which name she writes under, her books always hit the spot and I think you'll love THE WEDDING PACT which comes out in August.

Would you marry a stranger to live the life of your dreams?

August Anderson needs somewhere to live. Dumped by her boyfriend who would rather be alone than move in with her, she has almost given up on happiness. Until she notices that the beautiful Georgian townhouse she's long admired (ahem, *obsessed over*) is looking for a new tenant, and suddenly it seems like things might be looking up . . .

There's just one catch - the traditional, buttoned-up landlord is only willing to rent to a stable, married couple and August, quite frankly, is neither. Competition for the house is fierce and August knows she'll have to come up with a plan or risk losing her last shot at her happy ending.

Enter Flynn, the handsome, charming and somewhat unsuspecting gentleman who August accidentally spills her coffee over. Flynn is new to the area and is looking for somewhere to live, and August thinks she knows just the place, but only if he's willing to tell a little white lie . . .

What I watched

My May viewing has been dominated by things I've seen before. DD and I are very much enjoying a return trip to Hawkins and have so far watched series 1 and 2 of STRANGER THINGS

However, my top May watch was something I've seen dozens of times before but never on the big screen. DD booked us cinema tickets to watch THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. I have to admit, I was pretty nervous about returning to the cinema, however there were only 12 of us in the whole theatre which helped and I thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle.

Believe me, if you haven't seen Aragorn on a cinema screen, you haven't seen him at all!

What I listened to

A new discovery for me this month - THE PAPER KITES - courtesy of a playlist in the Cottagecore book I mentioned further back. I'm listening to them on a loop courtesy of SPOTIFY

I've also enjoyed a guided meditation from the hugely talented artist, WENDY ANDREW.

My ability to 'tune out' isn't great so this gentle guided adventure to meet the Goddess has been perfect when I've needed to relax for a few minutes. I think you might enjoy it too!

The recording is also on SPOTIFY, but I would recommend signing up to Wendy's wonderful newsletter

So, that was May. The sun is now finally shining - a miracle for a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK, so I'm going out into the garden to enjoy it. Wishing you all a wonderful day, whatever you're up to and thank you so much for taking the time to read all about my month. I really appreciate it.

H x

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