Friday Five – Five Things I Do Besides Writing 

1) Read

Reading is one of my absolutely favourite things to do. Some of my favourite characters feel like old friends, I love spending time with them. And I never get tired of being transported to different times and places and worlds. 

2) Bake


I’m not that keen on cooking (maybe because I have to do it every day) but I love to bake. 

3) Strength Train

The past month I’ve really got into strength training. My gym runs a class based in the training ballet dancers do and I love it. 

4) Walking the dog

Ever since we got out dog, last year, I’ve come to love our daily walks. I’m really grateful that he gets me out the house twice a day, everyday. Especially in winter, as it would be really tempting to curl up indoors. We walk in the same wood and I love seeing it change as the year progresses. 

5) Crafts

This is more aspirational. I love Pinterest and I wish I could make Pinterest worthy things, but most things I make are a bit wonky🙂 Luckily my son doesn’t mind and we have fun making stuff together. 
What other things do you do to keep busy?
I’m joining J. M. Kelly (a.k.a Joelle Anthony) in posting a Friday Five every week. Next week’s Friday Five is Five People I’d love to meet. I hope you’ll join in. 

Friday Five – Five things I love about Spring 

The lovely thing about Ottawa is that after the long (and I mean long), cold winter spring arrives overnight. And spring here is the same as an English summer, but with less rain. Yay Canada!

So here’s  the top five things I love about Spring in Ottawa. 

1) Sandels and pretty toes.


2) BBQ’s  & Picnics – As Eind Blyton always said, food tastes better outside. 

3) Tulips. My all time favourite flower. 


4) Pimms. It’s the taste of spring. 
5) Early morning walks with the dog, without having to bundle up in a thousand layers. 


I’m joining J. M. Kelly (a.k.a Joelle Anthony) in posting a Friday Five every week. Next week’s Friday Five is Things I do when I’m not writing. I hope you’ll join in. 

Currently #7

I’m joining Katy Upperman in posting a Currently update every other Tuesday.
You should join in.

Loving

Spring! It’s finally arrived. This weekend we had a BBQ. I also made trifle, which was delicious, but isn’t the most photogenic dessert, so here’s a photo of my Pimms (best Spring/summer drink) and my current read instead.

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Reading

THE WINNER’S KISS by Marie Rutkoski, it’s so amazingly good.

Watching

A Game of Thrones, it’s completely addictive, even if I do have to close my eyes and cover my ears on occasion. I just wish the episodes were longer, I’m not getting enough time with my favourites!

Listening To

YEAR OF YES by Shona Rhimes . I’m enjoying this book immensely. I must admit to having no idea who Shona Rhimes was when I started and I was completely baffled the first few times she mentioned Shonaland! I completely see why she owns Thursday night TV though, this book is funny, smart, and endearing. I’m loving following Shona through her Year of Yes. She reads the book too and is amazing. It’s like having a really great, albeit one sided, chat with a friend.

Anticipating

Starting THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater. I can’t wait, but I almost don’t want to start, because then it will be over.

Making Me Happy

The gorgeous painting my son did for me for Mothers’ Day.

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What’s making you happy today?

Friday Five – Places I want to set a Novel

I love being transported to other worlds, by a novel, be they real or imagined. My favourite books all have wonderful settings. 

I’m working hard to create a strong sense of place in my own writing. These are five places I want to set future books. 

St Michael’s Mount


My SNI is set here. This place definitely has a magical feel, perfect for my MG fantasy. 

New York, USA


I love New York. It’s so frenetic and round every corner is an iconic building. 

Cambridge, UK


Cambridge is another favourite city and I have lots of happy memories here. It’s so beautiful. I especially love the rooftops. I can imagine my characters clambering  across them. I just have to work out why they would be on a roof🙂

Washington, D.C. USA 


I lived in Washington for four years, it’s a wonderful city. I have a possible idea for a story set here. 

Paris, France


If I ever write a pure love story I’m setting it in the City of Lights. 
I’m joining J. M. Kelly (a.k.a Joelle Anthony) in posting a Friday Five every week. Next week’s Friday Five is Things I love about Spring. I hope you’ll join in

Currently #6

Currently (2)
I’m joining Katy Upperman in posting a Currently update every other Tuesday. You should join in.

 

Loving

Toronto!

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We visited last weekend and had a marvellous time. We went up the CN Tower, visited the aquarium, and wandered around the harbour. We also did a day trip to Niagara Falls which was breathtaking.

Reading

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I just finished Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens. Which was a marvellous mixture of Miss Marple and Mallory Towers. I really loved it, but I was quite surprised to find a murder in a middle grade book.

Watching

I’m counting down to watching A Game of Thrones tonight. No spoilers please!

Listening Too

The Dirty Dancing Soundtrack. They were playing Hungry Eyes in Farmboy (home of eightiestastic hits) and so I downloaded the album. It’s bringing back so many memories.

Anticipating

YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp! I love bootcamp and I’m hoping it will help me finish this revision. If you want to join in you can sign up at YA Buccaneers.

Making Me Happy

My son got a speaking part in the Spring Concert and he is so excited and proud of himself. It’s lovely to see.

Let me know what you’re Currently up to in the comments!

 

Friday Five – Five Authors I Love That You May Not know About

This topic was hard, I feel that the authors I love are pretty popular and everyone’s heard of them. Maybe I need to expand my reading a bit. Here are five that you may not have heard of though and who are definitely worth reading.

Jaclyn Moriarty

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I adore Jaclyn Moriarty’s books and I wish she was more widely known. Her Ashbury/Brookfield books are just a joy; funny, sad and insightful. They perfectly capture the years when you’re on the brink of being an adult and everything is changing. Feeling Sorry for Celia is my favourite, but they are all fantastic. The Colours of Madeleine is also wonderful and so unique and creative. She’s definitely an author to check out.

Frances Hardinge

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Frances Hardinge book, The Lie Tree, just won the overall Costa Book of the Year Award, so she’s pretty well known in the UK now. Before it won I hadn’t heard of her, so maybe you haven’t either.

The Lie Tree is definitely worth picking up. It’s fantastical, deliciously creepy and smart.

Annabel Pitcher

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I read Annabel Pitcher My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece with my bookclub. We all loved it. It’s beautiful and heartfelt and a moving portrayal of the way we demonise others without getting to know the actual person. It also made me laugh out loud and sob.

April Linder

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I loved April Linder’s Jane, a retelling of Jane Eyre. She did a marvellous job staying true to the original while putting her mark on it. I also love the idea of Mr Rochester as a rock star.

Robin Stevens

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I am only half way through Robin Stevens A Most Unladylike Murder, but it is love! English boarding schools, secret societies, murder, and two thirteen year old Sherlock and Watson wannabes. I’m delighted to see there are more Wells and Wong books out there. I highly recommend this one.

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Five – New (to me) Authors

Emily Henry

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I picked up The Love That Split The World after seeing it recommend on quite a few blogs and I completely fell in love with it. The writing is gorgeous, the love story is beautiful, and the whole premise is just so well done I completely believed in it. I’m looking forward to what ever Emily Henry writes next.

Nina LaCour

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Somehow I’d never read Nina LaCour, then I heard her interviewed on First Draft with Sarah Enni. She was so delightful I knew I would love her books, and I was right. She’s a beautiful writer, her characters are complex and believable, and she writes about friendship and love so well. Happily I can now dive into her back list.

Ellie Marney

The minute I heard about this book, featuring a teenage Sherlock Holmes and Watson, I was in and Ellie Marney’s debut did not disappoint. James Mycroft and Rachel Watts are both wonderful characters, vibrant and unique. And the chemistry between them is explosive, I adored every single interaction.

Claire LeGrand

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Another author I read after hearing her interviewed on First Draft with Sarah Enni. I choose to start with The Cavendish School for Boys and Girls because the cover was so amazing. The inside was pretty amazing too. I loved Victoria and her aims for perfection, as well as her steely resolve, and ability to tell it exactly like it is. This book was incredibly creepy though, and as it’s middle grade I’m not sure how I’ll cope with Claire LeGrand’s Young adult.

Cressida Cowell

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I read these to my son, but even if you don’t have an appropriately aged child you should read the How To Train Your Dragon books. They are very different from the films and much better too, (and I love the films) and they keep getting better with each subsequent book. I plan to write a whole post on our year reading about Hiccup, Toothless, Fishlegs and Camacazi, but for now I’ll just say Read Them. Or if audio is your thing, listen to them, because David Tennant reads them brilliantly (although my son says I do a better Toothless voice).

I’m joining J. M. Kelly (a.k.a Joelle Anthony) in posting a Friday Five every week. I hope you’ll join in. Next week’s topic is Five Authors I Love That You Might Not Know About.