Friday, 28 November 2014

Sitting Round My Pool, Children's Author, Elsa Bridger

Today, I am so pleased to have an old friend join me around my pool. I have known Elsa and her wonderful OH for many years. On 5th December, Elsa’s debut children’s novel, The Magic Book is published. As you can imagine, I couldn’t wait to learn all about it. So please join us for a glass or two of bubbly and meet my lovely and very talented friend, Elsa.  

Hi Pauline, Phew!  It’s lovely to have a chance to put my feet up for a few minutes and have a natter with you beside your beautiful pool, so thank you for the invite. J

Your debut novel is released on 5th December, tell us about it

The girls come across a leather-bound notebook and pen at school, whilst looking for their lost toys.  They soon discover that it’s very special and has come on an urgent mission from Serenia, a world parallel to Earth and home to the fairies.  When Serenia flourishes, Earth flourishes, if Serenia were to fall, Earth will fall too - and the unthinkable is happening!
It’s a race against time as Sophie and Felicity learn that they are our last hope in the race to out-wit The Wicked One, who has wicked plans of her own!

What age group is your book aimed at?

I asked the experts this question - Sophie and Felicity!  They felt a rough guide would be from four to 10 years old, and I agree.  I’ve tried to use some quite advanced words in places, so it’s a book that will need to be read to most younger children,  but will give the older or more confident readers a little more to get their teeth into.  I made the conscious decision to do this as it gave me a chance to broaden my own children’s vocabulary, in a fun way. 

What inspired you to write a children’s book?

It was my mum, who wrote and illustrated a story for me to cheer me up, when my hamster escaped.
Sophie and Felicity were struggling to settle into school life, despite the efforts of their brilliant and caring teachers at their infant school.  I thought if I wrote a story around their school, including their favourite toys, fairies, and teacher (thank you Mrs Vincent!) it might help them see school in a different light. 
The first chapter was a hit!  It also seemed to have the desired effect - partly because I promised to write another chapter while they were there!

There are lots of beautiful graphics in the book, did you do these?

Yes, there is about 40 of them, but I can’t take the credit; my mother, Margaret Alford, is the artist.  She used to make miniatures for dolls houses - the collectable ones for adults, so all to scale and all hand modelled and painted.  She has very kindly returned to her first love - drawing, and agreed to illustrate my books for me - I’m very lucky to have such a talent in the family!

Where can your book be bought?

Presently, it’s available as an ebook at all the main ebook retailers such as Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kimble and can be read on any electronic device with the appropriate reading apps.  I’m in the process of reformatting it for Amazon so you should find it there too within the next week or so - with a little help from my brother, Glenn, my ‘go-to IT man’  I’ll be keeping my Facebook and web pages up to date with the latest news. J
I plan to have hard copies available in the New Year and a copy is with a printers for a quote - so I’m eagerly awaiting their reply right now - I’m very excited!

Is there another book in the pipeline?

Oh yes!  I’ve written two more in the series, both have been meticulously edited by the lovely Coralie Medcalf, as she did for this first one.  Margaret is working on the illustrations as we ‘speak’ so I’m hoping we’ll have those ready early next year too.  I’ll be releasing these two together as they follow on nicely from each other, although all can be enjoyed separately. 
 I’ve just started on the fourth - and the girls have been pleading with me to read it to them - so far I’m managing to hold out!

Tell us a little about yourself.

For some reason this is the sort of question that seems to bring on writers block!  I’ll try and write it so it doesn’t sound like a C.V.!
Well, I have to start by saying I’m happily married to my wonderfully supportive husband, Barry.  Together we have two beautiful twin girls who are of course the stars in The Magic Book series.  I gave up working as a PA to take care of my family, and did intend to go back to work - before I rediscovered my passion for writing!
I love animals, horses in particular.  I’ve ridden casually since I was 5 and I’m lucky enough to own two now. 

I’d quite like to be a ‘girly-girl’, but along with my other hobbies which include gardening roller skating and enjoying the great outdoors with my children, it leaves very little time to don a pretty dress and heels, so you’re most likely to find me in muddy wellies and woollies! 
One of my favourite downtime activities has to be enjoying a good film together, with all four of us (oh, and our cat, Angel) all snuggly squished onto our little sofa at home.  I also make sure I’m never far away from a good book - I LOVE reading, so your new website ‘Chill with a book’  is going to become a favourite destination of mine, Pauline!

 My ebook can be purchased either via Smashwords (where I also have an author page).
or direct from: 
Apple, Kobo, Page Foundry, Baker & Taylor Blio, Txtr, Overdrive, Flipkart, Oyster, Scribd, Library Direct (via Smashwords). Amazon coming soon. 
 Print copies planned, probably will be early next year.
There is a 20% free sample download available, and pre order price of $0.99 (aprox. 75p).

You can find Elsa on Facebook:

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Lovely Blog Award

What a wonderful start to the day as I have been nominated for the Lovely Blog Award by one of the loveliest people I have the honour of calling a friend, Helen Hollick top selling writer of Books and Queens and Pirates, of History and Kings... Thank you so much Helen for nominating me and your kind words, I’m blushing!

 Of course I am delighted and humbled to have been nominated, but the drawback with these kind of things is that they come with obligations:

1.     Link to the person who passed the award on: Helen Hollick, historical writer of Kings and Queens as well as swashbuckling pirate adventures.

2.     Post The Lovely Blog Award logo on your blog

3.     Share seven interesting facts about yourself.

4.     Pass the award on by nominating up to 15 bloggers for the award.

Seven things about me, can’t promise they are all interesting, be warmed!

Taken quite a few years ago!
1.     Me and my gorgeous OH love roller blading and have skated several marathons. We've skated the Friday night skate through Paris. Skated along the Charles River in Boston, USA. Skated to the Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, plus hundreds if not thousands of kilometres on the cycle paths throughout the Netherlands.

Chicken in a honey and mustard rub
2.  Cooking, I love cooking and enjoy making different dishes, including cakes and homemade bread. Each year I make our mincemeat in September ready for our Christmas mince pies.

March 2014 Musical Marathon
3.      I love running, though not a great distance runner, I try to run three times a week for 5kms. I have entered and ran 10.5kms races and though never come in first, I’ve, so far, not been last!

4.      I am not the tallest person on the planet stretching up to 4 feet 12 inches!

5.      Love Rioja wine and the odd bottle of bubbly and not in the same glass!

6.      I admit to being a Corrie fan… well someone has to be. LOL!

7.      Last week I set up a brand new web site for authors to promote their books, Chill with a Book! Hopefully it will attract lots of new readers.

And now to pass the Lovely Blog Award on to:

1.      The fabulous and amazing JB Johnstone at Brook Cottage Books

Magic of the Muses

2.      Eileen Schuh because not only is she top selling author, Eileen has a super blog, Magic of the Muses

Fiction Dreams

3.      Suzy Turner’s Fiction Dreams as it a super Blog

Nikki's Books4U

4.      Nikki Bywater’s great Blog Nikki’s Books4U

Rosalind Adam is writing in the rain

5.      Rosalind Adam who has a truly wonderfully interesting Blog, Writing in the Rain

Crystal Jigsaw

6.      Kathryn Brown's super Blog, Crystal Jigsaw

Once again, thank you Helen for nominating me.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Chill with a Book!

Today I have launched a brand new site, Chill with a Book! It is designed for authors to showcase and promote their books and for readers to stop by and find some fabulous reads to curl up with.

The idea is simple. Authors can have their book covers on display and also send posts about their books, from reviews to special offers.

My desire is that Chill with a Book will turn into a one-stop place for readers and reviewers to choose their next read.

Wish me luck…. Please!

Here is the link, go and take a peek....

Monday, 17 November 2014

A Lovely Review

No matter how many times I tell myself not to check if there are new reviews from readers for any of my books, I do! 

Knowing what a reader thinks about your work is important. As authors we write to produce an all absorbing story told in a way that will take the reader to a new world; a world that is escapism from the routine and worries of real life. So when a reader takes time to share what they think about your book, it makes me feel humbled and honoured. Today I saw a review for In the Cold Light of Day, one that made all the hard work of telling Bertie and Kitty Costain’s story rewarding.

The review can be found on Amazon co uk and here it is….

5 ***** Excellent Story…

I love Pauline Barclay's books, they offer so much variety and give the reader much to think about. This one was no exception, hence the five star review. Such a great story that I imagine is very true in many lives. Main character, Bertie, is a very frustrating, yet somewhat lovable rogue and you can't help but root for him. Whilst Kitty, his wife who is desperately in love with him, is completely unaware of her husband's other life. I find Kitty a particularly likeable character. It is very easy to imagine scenes and emotions in this book because the author has done a wonderful job with her descriptions. Another really enjoyable read from Pauline Barclay.

Thank you lovely reader and thank you for stopping by. Have a fabulous day and catch up again very soon.

Pauline x

Friday, 14 November 2014

Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited is Amazon's latest promotion to encourage more readers to their e-book downloads For a monthly subscription of £7.99 subscribers can read as many Kindle downloads as they wish for free.

This is all new and for it to be interesting and filled with a great selection of books for readers, authors and publishers need to sign up too. Storm Clouds Gathering is now in Kindle Unlimited and is free to download if you subscribe. And even better, I too get a royalty! So far it seems a win win situation.

Here is the blurb for Storm Clouds Gathering to give you the feel of this emotional and at times heart rending story ...

Storm clouds are gathering, silently and slowly, too far away to worry about. Or so it seems. But ignoring what is brewing will have dire consequences for the people caught up in the maelstrom.

Shirley Burton is too busy cheating on her husband, having a laugh and looking for fun to alleviate the boredom of her childless marriage. Kathleen Mitchell is too wrapped up in running around after her beautiful family to worry about her health. Anne Simpson has two things on her mind: her forthcoming marriage to Paul Betham, who seems to want to control her, and her career, which she does not want to give up.

Can Shirley really expect to deceive her husband and get away with it? Can Kathleen hold it all together, and is Anne able to have the best of everything?

Storm Clouds Gathering is a story of human emotion, passion and heart-rending grief. Set against the backdrop of the mid-sixties, these three families will be tested to the limit as betrayal, loss and love threaten to change their lives forever.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Sitting Round my Pool - Victorian Romance Writer, Rosemary Smith

Today, I have the lovely Rosemary Smith sitting round my pool soaking up the rays, drinking bubbly and telling me all about her fabulous romantic books.

Thank you Pauline for inviting me to sit with you by your pool. It is fabulous here, and am loving the champagne!

You are so welcome, please just help yourself to the tapas and wine whilst we chat.

You write Victorian romance / mystery under Rosemary Smith, tell us a little about your books

My books are all set in Victorian times, except for Gypsy Heart, which is set just after Queen Victoria died. I like to set the stories in places I've been to, and particularly love Cornwall and Yorkshire. My books all contain beautiful clothes, sometimes weddings, old houses, secrets, feisty heroines and romance. While I'm writing, I am the main female character, and am living her life throughout the story. Fortunately, I never find it difficult to describe Victorian times, although
it is nearly always the gentry! Each of my books have a happy ending, although there may be discord along the way. I am an incurable romantic!
You have six published books is there a seventh on the way?

There is a seventh book waiting to be published, but I haven't heard yet when it will be launched. It is set in Cornwall, with the usual ingredients. I'm hoping it will be successful.

 Are you an Independent author or with a mainstream publisher?

I do have a mainstream publisher, which is Endeavour Press. I always look forward to seeing the covers, which are always gorgeous, and pleasing to the eye, and romantic! I especially love the cover on Darkwood. I believe Endeavour Press, are the leading publisher for kindle books. I've also written for DC Thomson.

What is your favourite time of day to write?

I am no good at all in the mornings! So I write in the evening, or early hours. I can be still writing at 3am. Which doesn't always please my husband! But I seem to come alive at night, and have my best ideas in the evening. I don't write each day. But work when the mood takes me.

What inspires you to create a new book?

I'm inspired very much by the sea. Old houses and Churches. Anything with a sense of history. Also, supernatural tales can inspire me! Which can help me to write the mystery in my stories. I also love looking at Victorian clothes, especially wedding dresses, and visiting museums. Although I may not touch on things very much, I love all the research.

Do your books have a special theme?

My special theme has to be the build up to romance between two people. Whether it be falling in love in a house, garden, or on the cliffs. Romance is my main theme. But I do like to sprinkle the story with mystery and secrets. And I love the clothes, as I think it important in an historical novel, to imagine what the characters are wearing, especially the ladies. I can't imagine writing in any other genre.

It has been lovely talking to you Pauline. Yes, another glass of bubbly would be lovely. Thank you.

Rosemary, it is my pleasure having you here too. We must do it again!

A little about Rosemary:
I was born in the Finchley Road in London. Our stepfather moved us to Devon, in 1959, when I was 13. So I consider Devon as my home. I live with my gorgeous husband in a chocolate box village, where Sir Walter Raleigh was born, With our dog Alfie. We have 3 daughters between us, (one sadly deceased) 8 grandchildren,
and 2 great grandsons. My career was in book-keeping, when there was no computers! It really was books. Then in 1998 I had a brain tumour removed. My neuro-surgeon advised me to keep my brain active, which is when I started writing, at the age of 55yrs. Never expected it to be successful. At the beginning I did it for

my own amusement. I love History, am hopeless at Geography! My passion is visiting old houses, the favourite being Haddon Hall in Derbyshire. I also love Churches, and gravestones, reading, poetry and opera. Oh, and sitting by the sea!

Thursday, 6 November 2014


What will you feel, anger or compassion, when you turn the last page of 
In the Cold Light of Day?

Bertie Costain has worked hard all his life in the building trade and now owns his own London-based company. In 1967, approaching fifty and still unmarried he enjoys a playboy lifestyle, but when he meets Kitty, an attractive, wealthy widow ten years his senior, he swiftly proposes.

Swept off her feet, Kitty adores him. The happy couple seem to have it all, but Bertie has a secret. Kitty has no idea their home is mortgaged to the hilt, or that the many expensive gifts he brings her come out of his winnings at roulette.  Proud of his apparent success and ignorant of his gambling addiction, she happily loans him large sums of money, ostensibly for his business.

Convinced with each spin of the wheel that his run of bad luck will change, Bertie gambles for increasingly high stakes, falling deeper and deeper into debt until, facing financial ruin and with nowhere to turn, he resorts to fraud. As their lives begin to unravel, Kitty learns the horrifying truth.

In the cold light of day can their love survive the pain and destruction Bertie’s addiction has wrought?

Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Showcase Trailer

Here is a little trailer I produced this weekend.
What do you think?

Thanks for taking a peek!

Pauline x