Where does the time go? An apology…

I’ve realised I’ve been neglecting you guys of late, and for that I am really sorry.  There’s no real excuse for it either, other than the pressures of the real world…

Life has been pretty hectic lately, with work and family life conspiring to keep me distracted from this blog, and my writing.

However, I thought it was time to share the news I’ve been harbouring for a few weeks now…

My book, Leah, Book One of the Worlds Apart Series, is no longer published by Taylor Street Books.  Instead, as of later today, it is published by Rose Wall Publications 🙂

The Kindle version will be available to download later today, but as it has had a major new redesign, and a fantastic cover (which I’m giving you a sneak peak of below), it could be a few weeks before the new paperback is out.

I’m offering signed copies to advance orders though, so if you’d like one, send me a message through my webpage and I’ll let you know the details.

This is a hugely exciting time for us, and I hope you’ll enjoy what is to come.

Here’s the new cover image – what do you think?



Castle of Dreams – my own dream…

I use Grammarly for proofreading because… the grammar police can be vicious, especially where “errorists” are concerned;) …


Now I’ve posted that, of course, there will be oodles of grammatical errors in this post!

So, my Castle of Dreams series has had an impromptu hiatus of late, partly due to lack of willing victims, er…, sorry volunteers, but also down to my own lack of time.

You see, I’ve been in a bit of a dream-like state myself recently.

Those (few) of you that have read it will know that my book features one of my own favourite castles, which is just a few short miles from our family home.  The book features dreams, nightmares, magic, and a young girl on the brink of adulthood facing a reality that no-one would ever expect.  Kenilworth is a stunning castle, one of the best of the era that are left, but again I digress.

As any author will tell you, we write stories from our dreams, waking or sleeping, from wherever our minds wander to.  It’s a long journey, and the writing is the easy part.  Once that is done, and you’re at a stage where you’re prepared to admit to it, then you face the arduous, never ending journey of submissions, rejections, picking yourself up again to resubmit, until eventually you are fortunate enough to be accepted for publication, or you decide to self-publish.  The journey doesn’t stop there though, once it is published you have to do the most difficult part – market your work, and by doing so, making yourself a commodity as well, as readers want to know who you are..

Since the last post I’ve been doing just that – posting on various forums, and even giving my first talk at a library, as well as trying to focus on writing Book Two (no spoilers here though!).

But, as I think many of my fellow authors would admit, the thing we desire most from this journey is the feedback that someone, other than friends and family, has bought, read and most importantly, enjoyed, our book. After all, as J K Rowling said in 2012, “no story lives unless someone is prepared to listen”.

Then, in August, I got some incredible news.  “Leah” had been selected to be part of the autumn showcase for The People’s Book Prize.  Now this is just the first step for this prize, and being selected for Fiction in a quarter that also features the prize’s patron, Frederick Forsythe, is a tough group.  The winner of each category for each quarter goes through to become a finalist for the annual People’s Book Prize – and the votes are purely down to members of the public that vote for the books online.

But, to have been selected as part of the showcase of new and undiscovered works is, for me, huge.  Just the concept that someone thinks it is worthy of being featured sends goose-bumps down my arms, and having read the comments from votes I’ve already received, well that really is the stuff dreams are made of.

People have read, and enjoyed my book – if that doesn’t motivate me to write more, then nothing will!

To see the other wonderful books in this quarter’s showcase, and vote, please follow this link

And now for something completely different….

Over the last few months I’ve only really posted the Castle of Dreams series to this blog – I have found reading about others’ dreams, and what castles mean to them really interesting.

It became a bit of a guilty pleasure, as I would read it when it was submitted, and then get to see it through other people’s eyes when it posted and I received all of your lovely comments.

The last few weeks have been particularly frantic – I finished a postgraduate course I was studying (and passed), work has been busy, and my family life is as full as ever, so nothing has been posted for a while.

Imagine my surprise this morning to find that I’ve been nominated for an award for this blog series!

The fabulous Sophie E Tallis, who submitted entries for Week Nine AND Ten, has nominated me for … The Versatile Blogger 

So, here are the rules:

I have to say seven things about myself (if I can think of seven that is) and then nominate fifteen others for the award..

So, let’s get the boring bit over with first, here’s my seven things:

  1. At one stage in my life, I would read more than fourteen books in a single week.  I’m not sure where I found the time, but I did.  I’ve never lost that ability to disappear into a story for hours though 🙂
  2. I once met Ken Dodd , a British comedian, with a love of Notty Ash and Tickling Sticks.  He gave me an award for raising money to safe a local landmark aged 10, and I also got an original Tickling Stick.
  3. If you ever visit Dudley Castle, there is a plaque on the wall bearing my name, and thanking me for raising money at school to help them restore it (we collected aluminium cans in the days when you used to get paid for returning them).  Of course, you’d have to know my maiden name to know it was me… 😉  I loved Castles, even at that young age.
  4. One of my favourite childhood memories is going to visit my Grandparents – Nan and Grandad – on a Sunday afternoon.  Nan would always sneak me a treat of some kind, and I would eventually fall asleep with my head on my Grandad’s tummy.  Wonderful days.
  5. Our first dog was named Lady, after the dog in “Lady & the Tramp” – she looked just like her, and I was four and a half years old.
  6. The first album I bought with my own money was paid for half and half with my older Sister.  It was Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
  7. Last, but by no means least, I chose my University because I fell in love with the Mountains, the Sea, the pebble beach, and its’ own version of a Castle..

I think that is quite enough about me – hey, wake up you there in the back, this is the best bit…

In no particular order (and avoiding fellow bloggers who I know have already been nominated where I can:

  1. Amy Metz – http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.co.uk/
  2. Sarah Fae Graham – http://www.faebooks.co.uk/
  3. Andy Szpuk  – http://andyszpuk.wordpress.com
  4. Gerry McCullough – http://gerrymccullough.blogspot.co.uk
  5. George Polley – http://www.geogepolleyauthor.com/writers-blog
  6. Marj Macrae – http://mamcrae-author.blogspot.com.au/
  7. Hannah Warren – http://www.hannahwarrenauthor.com
  8. Will Macmillan Jones – http://willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com
  9. Megan McDade – http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.co.uk/
  10. Sienna Logan – http://losttobooks.blogspot.co.uk
  11. Sullivan McPig – http://mcpigpearls.blogspot.co.uk/
  12. Amy Sanders – http://www.readtomyhearts.blogspot.com
  13. E. B. Black – http://deathauthor.blogspot.co.uk/
  14. Jo Feliciani – http://writersandauthors.blogspot.it/
  15. RoseBuz – http://www.rosebuz.com/

There are many, many more I could list, but some I know have already been nominated, and I’m limited to fifteen…

But, as a sneaky cheat, I must mention the wonderful Alliance of Worldbuilders where Sophie and I first met.


And finally, Thank You Sophie 😀

Castle of Dreams – Week Eight

Hello again.  Firstly let me apologise for the slight hiatus in this series, “Worlds Apart – Leah” has been on tour, and in fact today is the very last day.

More about that in a separate post, as I’m sure you would like to hear from this week’s guest author.

This week I am delighted to welcome Kay Kauffman, a fellow member of the Alliance of Worldbuilders.  I asked Kay what she would like me to tell you all about her, and I quote:

“A geek to the core, I reside in the midst of a corn field with my husband & four kids, where I pen fantastical tales of twue wuv and procrastinate online.”

I don’t think that needs any further comment, do you? 😀

Kay’s piece comes from the world within her wonderful book The Lokana Chronicles, so without further delay, let’s go straight to it.


Eridani Tolhana wandered through the great palace, seeing it as if for the first time.  Though she had lived in the great walled city of Lokana all her life, everything suddenly felt new and different, and it was all Michael’s fault.

Nothing had felt right since he’d shown up.  His strange dress, his even stranger actions, and the way he somehow knew the secret language that only she and her mother understood made her uneasy right from the start.  But she couldn’t stop thinking about him; everything she saw seemed to remind her of him, making even her home feel…foreign.  It was no longer the comfortable place she had grown up knowing.

Michael’s face drifted through her thoughts as she meandered down the Grand Corridor, and she tried to block it out.  She didn’t want to think about him, especially not after the argument she’d had with her parents.  They’d forbidden her to see him again.  It had been centuries since a princess had been locked away in one of the dungeons in the old stone towers of the palace, but she wondered if her father would keep her there if she defied him in this.  What a silly rule, anyway, she scoffed silently.  The palace may be large, but I’m bound to run into him eventually, no matter how careful I am.  What then?  I can’t avoid him forever.

The painted eyes and stone faces of her ancestors watched her as she passed them by.  The hairs on the back of her neck rose to attention and she quickened her pace.  She hated the Grand Corridor with its memorial to all the rulers of old and avoided it whenever possible; why she had chosen to wander through it today when she didn’t have to was a mystery even to her.  The tapestried walls of any other room or hallway were far more welcoming, she thought, without the prying eyes of the dead watching her every move.

But as she left the Grand Corridor, her thoughts returned to Michael.  Specifically, her thoughts returned to the way his arms felt when they had been wrapped around her and how she hadn’t wanted him to let go of her.  Light spilled out into the hallway from the rooms beyond as she continued on toward the patio near the library.  Maybe some fresh air will help.

Eridani emerged a few moments later into a sunlit courtyard surrounded by flowers and trees.  She loved the palace gardens as much as her mother and grandfather before her and often sought the comfort of nature when something troubled her.  The flower fountain her mother had planted as a girl was one of her favorite features; she used to sit for hours inhaling the sweet scent of the roses as they waved back and forth in the summer breeze.

But today, the roses could not soothe her, and all the sunlight and blue sky in the world were not enough to rid her of the feeling that something very bad was about to happen.


Kay that was wonderful, Thank You.  I’ve always loved reading your work.

I hope you all enjoyed that as much as I did – to read more about Kay and her work, take a look at these links here:

Blog: http://suddenlytheyalldied.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorkaykauffman

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kaysielynn

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kaylkauffman

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/kaykauffman

I look forward to talking to you all again soon.

Castle of Dreams – Week Seven

Hello again!

I hope you all enjoyed Lisa’s Timeless view of an Irish manor post last week?

This week I thought I should treat you all to my very own castle of dreams, or perhaps I should say Leah’s nightmares?

Kenilworth Castle is one of the most magnificent castle ruins in England. An English Heritage site, it combines renovated buildings as well as those left to ruin.

It once stood, surrounded by a man made lake, in an Estate covering over 4,000 acres of predominantly hunting grounds. Owned by many rich and powerful families it was also visited by Queen Elizabeth the First.

So, why is it special to me I hear you ask? Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to live here in Warwickshire for most of my life, and I have many fond memories of family walks, through the dark and brooding ruins, or the grounds with our pet Spaniel frolicking around us. The Boxing Day duck race, and Pooh sticks under the bridge are all part and parcel of the fun. Now it is home to Abbey Fields, one of the best sledging areas in the region when we are fortunate to have enough snow. My daughter is now the one building wonderful childhood memories of Kenilworth, as I hope generations will to come.

To find out more, take a look at their website

Anyone who knows the Castle and town will recognise it easily from my book, but, given that this blog is about dreams, I would like to share a small passage from Leah, showing an unknown side to this magnificent castle..

Worlds Apart – Leah.. An excerpt.

We were back at the castle, in one of my favourite spots with the huge old tree shielding the area from the worst of the elements, and the grass around it continually trying to defy any attempt at cultivation. I looked around, concerned that a member of the public would spot us. How on earth could I explain the appearance of my Mother to another human being? But as I looked at her, I realised that she had transformed, into the familiar body that I loved so much. Unless they knew, anyone watching us right now would simply see a mother and daughter enjoying the ruins together.

Or so I thought.

That is, until Mom walked behind the tree, pressing one of the iron support bolts in the ruins, she opened a doorway into the ruin that I had never seen, or at least never noticed before. As we entered I saw a steep flight of stairs descending in a spiral, and I followed my mother cautiously, wary both of where we were going and what was about to happen.

Although we passed a few more of the Seraphs, none seemed to either acknowledge or be concerned by our presence, and I couldn’t help wondering if the image of my mother that I could now see was some kind of projection – so that humans saw the human image, and Seraphs saw one of their own. I wasn’t going to get that answer quickly though, as we descended further into the darkness.

Finally, she led the way into a small room. Faint daylight streamed through a vent near to the ceiling, but it was not big enough to provide the light that filled the room. I looked around, at the light coloured, gothic style chairs and table. Every flat surface had glass globes standing on it, each one containing what I could only assume was a candle of some sort, as the entire ball was filled with golden light.

She gestured to one of the chairs, and reluctantly I sat down. The last thing I wanted right now was a simple cosy chat. I needed answers, not platitudes.

“Be patient, Leah, all in good time” came her response. I looked at her in surprise, I could have sworn that her mouth had not moved, and yet I’d heard her voice clearly.

“Stop fighting it Leah, you know what’s happening.” There it was again, and this time I knew that she hadn’t spoken, I’d been looking directly at her.

“How…what is happening?” I asked, attempting to follow her lead. She smiled at the attempt, despite the fact it had half been thought, the other half said.

“Take it slowly sweetheart, you’ve a lot of catching up to do. First I need you to drink this, it will help you to relax and access your powers. I shall then take us both on a journey so that you get your questions answered.” She responded.

Despite everything that had happened, and all that I had seen, I instinctively accepted the warm drink that she offered.

The scent of herbs filled my nostrils – I could detect rosemary, ginger, wild mint and a few others that I could not name. It was invigorating at the same time as calming. As I sipped, the warmth coursed through me, every nerve was awake, and yet I did not feel agitated. Instead I felt alive, more alert than I had ever felt before. I waited, expectantly, anticipating a story that revealed the truth. The reality was completely different.


Sorry folks, have to end it there, I can’t go spoiling the story now can I?

If you’ve enjoyed it so far, you can buy the book here:

UK and Europe


My website is here

Or you can follow me on Twitter ( @RoseWall15) and Facebook
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If you’re reading this, you’ve already found my blog, so feel free to follow 🙂

I hope you have enjoyed sharing my Castle of Dreams. See you next week.

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