Magic O'Clock · Magical Memories · newsletter

It’s life, Jim …but not as we know it!

Hello from a chilly and eerily quiet Spanish street.

How are you all doing? These are strange times, aren’t they? Trust me, for me to use a quote from Star Trek is just as weird. Although, being the geek I am, I double-checked it and found Mr Spock didn’t actually say it! Still, it’s very apt at the moment isn’t it?

Can you believe the last time I wrote to you, I mentioned my story about the Spanish Flu pandemic! 
Freaky or what!
Next time, I’ll announce the lottery numbers …so be sure to open every message you get from me right away 🙂 

While I don’t wish to dwell on the topic, I have to admit to being in a real quandary about the situation here in Spain. Yesterday, we hit a new milestone: 10,000 deaths. It takes your breath away, especially when everyone is trying to be positive about maybe hitting the peak and hopefully a decline. On the plus side, recoveries are doubling, but it still feels bittersweet. 
Wherever you are in the world, COVID-19 will have impacted on your everyday life, and who knows what the future holds. All we can do is hunker down and follow the guidelines. Personally, lockdown is not a huge problem since I already work from home. Now, if you take my WiFi away, then I’d notice 😉 

I do feel a need to be tackling all those jobs that everyone else is doing – sorting out those overflowing drawers, and baking banana bread (I just got baking powder yesterday, so I might get round to that one!). I did find some wool and a crochet hook. The thought crossed my mind to make a mask …although it might be too holey …and possibly suffocating!
Luckily I’m not bored enough to do any of those thing because there’s always Netflix. 
Talking of which, if you have Netflix , have you seen Money Heist? It’s a Spanish series, the original title is La Casa de Papel, and season 4 starts today! Check it out. I can recommend it. 



If that’s not your thing, then I can offer you a couple of short stories for free. Perfect to take your mind off world events while you have a cup of tea or something stronger. 
Magic O’Clock, and the sequel, Magical Memories are both free on Amazon from today until 7th April. Family life in all its glory – sad & happy, heartbreaking & heartwarming! 


You can check both books out here. I hope you do. 

Magic O’Clock


Magical Memories


I’m going to leave you in peace now. I have an article to write about my favourite books in a foreign language.

If you have any recommendations, please shoot them my way. 

Let me know what you’re doing to avoid those chores too – it can’t be just me, can it? 
Until next time, stay safe. Stay at home if you can, otherwise keep your distance, and wash those hands (I forgot to say, I made my own hand sanitiser. Go me! That said, I was a bit heavy-handed on the tea tree oil!) 


PS

Rusty and Toby send their woofs. We had to go and see the vet on the second day of lockdown. At first, they said I would have to wait outside and someone would collect Rusty at the entrance and take him to the cardiologist for his check-up. I did wonder how that would work, especially as …spoiler alert …Rusty doesn’t talk! 
In the end, they let me in too! 😉 
He’s fine, by the way, for a soon to be 16 -year-old. 

Stay safe everyone! Feel free to drop me a line anytime, about anything and everything (apart from cleaning out my drawers!) 

¡Hasta luego!

As always, 

blog tour · Bloggers · book launch · book review · Magic O'Clock · Magical Memories

OMG – All purpled out!

I realise it’s not a word, but you get the gist. I feel the need for a change of colour, which only goes to prove how super fantastic the bloggerverse was again yesterday.

Day 3 of my inaugural blog tour for Magic O’Clock and Magical Memories, as organised by Rachel over at Rachel’s Random Resources, saw purple once more – Woohoo! Thanks again to lots of wonderful reviewers who blogged about my stories, and to their awesome followers who shared and retweeted like a boss!

Here are some more of the glorious reviews:

For Magic O’Clock

What wonderful books these both are. They are written with compassion, honesty and from the heart.

I loved getting to know Archie and seeing him in his element, with all his charm and sense of humour. The descriptions of the Antarctic in his speech were beautiful, and they drew me into what he was saying. There is a little twist at the end of this story which also made me smile.

First of all I have to mention that Magic O’Clock is a short read but oh what a wonderful story it is. There was such a beautiful and emotional pull for me as I experienced both sadness and joy with the characters. I was completely pulled in by this story I think the word I am looking for is captivated!
L.S. Fellows has written a brief but powerful piece of descriptive writing that I’m sure will stay with me for quite a while.

And, for the recently launched Magical Memories

L.S.Fellows beautifully depicts the brighter days amongst the dark and how all the matters in the end is he continuing love that remains and the beautiful memories you’ve made.

I felt all the emotion that went into this story, and was able to feel joy and sadness in equal measure in the same way as the narrator. I enjoyed learning more of Archie’s life through the memories that make up this story.
Magical Memories showed me the value of memory, and its message is one that I will hold with me as I grieve for my own elderly relatives.

After reading Magic O’Clock I was looking forward to picking up Magical Memories and seeing where the story would take me next. I have to admit that there were tears as I read the first part of this story,
L.S Fellows explores what happens after a loved one dies and how anger can pull at you. There is also a wonderful hopeful feeling that balances out with the emotional side although it is safe to say that Magical Memories certainly packs an emotional punch!

I still can’t believe it, but we’re only halfway through the week.

There are more wonderful book reviewers and bloggers to come.

Today, we have another three sites to visit:

Books, Life and Everything 
hayleyreviews10
The Spoonie Mummy 

See you tomorrow.

I hope you enjoy the new colours 😉

 

blog tour · Bloggers · book launch · book review · Magic O'Clock · Magical Memories

OMG! I didn’t believe it could get better

But it did!

Day 2 of my inaugural blog tour for Magic O’Clock and Magical Memories, as organised by Rachel over at Rachel’s Random Resources, was another riot of purple. Thanks again to lots of wonderful reviewers who blogged about my stories, and to their awesome followers who shared and retweeted to infinity and beyond!

Here are some more of the glorious reviews:

For Magic O’Clock

This story shows two sides to dementia; the forgetful side but also the lucid side. A quick enjoyable read that is sad but in a way that shows love and honesty. A wonderful read and a perfect introduction to the next book; Magical Memories.

Somehow, in just a few short pages, L.S. Fellows managed to articulate everything that I was feeling, in ways that I never could.

I was immediately drawn into Magic O’Clock it is written with such honesty and emotion from the daughters’ perspective. If you don’t have any experience of this horrendous disease why not spend a coffee break reading this, it will certainly give you an insight.

And, for the recently launched Magical Memories

This story is emotional and beautifully told, I had to get the tissues out on a couple of occasions. Again a quick read but my goodness did it pack a punch on the heartstrings. A story of loss, grief, happy times, and moving on with life.

In Magic O’Clock, L.S. Fellows captures the emotional strain of loving someone with dementia, and the joy of witnessing the rare moments of lucidity. Magical Memories tells the story of the all too familiar dash to say goodbye to a loved one. These books are a must read for anyone who knows someone with a loved one suffering from dementia, and who wants to understand just how hard it is to watch that person slip away to their own world.

Magical Memories does a very good job of highlighting the difficulties some families endure based around jealousy, grief and control. The author does a brilliant job of including the reader in all the decisions made and I felt I was right alongside them having experienced the same conflicts in my family. Another coffee break style story which will open your eyes and hopefully make you count your blessings. If you love somebody let them know, there may not be a lucid tomorrow.

Thank you to these wonderful book bloggers who gave me such a fantastic start to the week.

Today, why not head over and see what these lovely people have to say.

Wrong side of forty
Portable Magic
Rae Reads 

More news tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep pinching myself 😉

 

blog tour · Bloggers · book launch · book review · Magic O'Clock · Magical Memories

OMG! This was Day 1

With the first day jitters now assuaged, let me share the fab reviews from three wonderful bloggers on my inaugural blog tour for Magic O’Clock and Magical Memories, as organised by Rachel over at Rachel’s Random Resources.

To start with, I’ll just mention that my Twitter feed was overwhelmed by a mass of purple thanks to the blogging community who liked, commented and retweeted throughout the day. I could barely keep up! Such a great problem to have.

Without further ado, here are some of the glorious reviews:

For Magic O’Clock

This is a very short story which tugs at your heartstrings. It is a well-written piece of fiction, but obviously draws from real life, which brought up a lot of memories for me as I read it.

An incredibly powerful, well written and touchingly realistic story.

Magic O’Clock is probably one of the shortest books I’ve read for years but one that packed a punch. Wow.

And, for the recently launched Magical Memories

This is a poignant, fictional story which deals with the emotions associated with losing a loved-one and the grieving process. It is another well-written story, following on from Magic O’Clockwhich had me thinking about the people I have lost and how I and my family have dealt with that.

Again, this story is written sensitively, realistically and exceptionally well and will resonate with most people. Have the tissues handy.

It’s sensitively written with the feelings and emotions beautifully captured within the pages. It’s a book to lose yourself in and to go through the whirlwind that is Magical Memories. The characters despite only scratching the surface of their personalities are brilliantly written and I genuinely got to care for them.

Thank you to the awesome bloggers who gave me such a fantastic start to the week.

Today, the baton passes to

Me and My Books
Mai’s Musings
Ali – The Dragon Slayer

I’ll be back tomorrow with an update 🙂

If you get a chance, please check out these blogs yourself, too.

blog tour · book review · dementia · family · Magic O'Clock · Magical Memories · short reads

It’s a Magical (not a mystery) Tour

My “Magic” stories hit the tour bus today with a whole host of amazing bloggers via Rachel’s Random Resources.

Here’s the line up. I hope you can pop by and visit a few of them over the next week.

Tomorrow, I’ll share some snippets from the first three bloggers, or you can visit them at the links below.

Against the Flow Press
BetweenTheLines 
Katie’s Book Cave

Of course,

you can always discover the magic for yourself and get a copy of

Magic O’Clock and/or Magical Memories from Amazon.

ageing parents · book launch · family · L S Fellows · Magic O'Clock · Magical Memories · short reads · short story · sisters · women's fiction

Happy Publication Day!

It’s true – today’s the day for Magical Memories to be released to the world.

As Archie Royle takes his final breath, his three daughters race to say their goodbyes.
Two don’t make it in time.
I do. And now, it’s all my fault they’re too late. I let him go too soon.
Despite him having dementia.
Despite them not visiting in over a month.

But I won’t let anger win.
After all, we’re all grieving, aren’t we?
Surely, as a family, we can let bygones be bygones.

It’s what Dad would want. Expect.
It’s what he deserves.
We have so much to be grateful for.
So many fond and magical memories to share.

As the sequel to Magic O’Clock, this is another short story in which we finally get to say goodbye to Archie. Of course, there is some personal experience drawn upon here, but maybe not as you might think. That’s the beauty of writing, we get to mix fact with fiction and re-invent situations. But, that’s a different kind of magic.

What you might not release is that Magic O’Clock was first released on my mum’s birthday, and now, on the anniversary of her death, here come those Magical Memories.

I know, I’m a sentimental old fool, aren’t I?

Archie does indeed bear many of the attributes of my dad, but he’s also based on my mum, who was the real dementia sufferer in the family. Dad died far too early in my life, when I was still at school, but I like to think he lives on here. Mum had a great life; she came to Spain with me – which she loved to pieces – and even though she never remarried, she never held back on life. She was the party animal I would never be, so when dementia struck it was all the more shattering. Anyway, before I start blubbing like a baby, I’d just like to welcome you to Magical Memories.

I hope you, too, have them in abundance. Currently, it’s only available on Amazon – but that will change soon.

Early reviews on Goodreads have been positive – Phew! – and I’d like to think Archie bows out with dignity and that you’ll remember him with fondness, even if those of us who are left behind don’t always live up to those same standards.

Magic O’Clock & Magical Memories

are fictional short stories about dementia and loss, told through a daughter’s perspective.

Two father-daughter love stories to tug at your heartstrings.

Thanks for reading!

Casualty of Court · Giveaways · Magic O'Clock · Magical Memories · The Fifth Wheel

Giveaways galore

If you head on over to Facebook this weekend, be sure to check out these giveaways on DM Wolfenden‘s Author page.

Anything from e-books to swag to gift-cards.

Including a couple from me 😉

Click here to win one of these duos

To enter, you just need to like any of the below links, leave a comment, follow this blog or sign-up for a newsletter.

Facebook

Blog

Newsletter

Twitter

Amazon author page

SIMPLES! (in the words of Alexander the Meercat, of course). Each one earns you an entry into a random draw to be held once the giveaway ends next week. Leave a reply to this blog post or on the original FACEBOOK post to be sure of being added to the draw. And don’t forget to see what else is on offer.

Good Luck!

 

cover reveal · dementia · Magic O'Clock · Magical Memories · short reads · short story

The magic goes on

There’s something about Spring that makes me want to freshen things up a little, and while working on the cover for Magical Memories I decided to have a look at its predecessor too.
So, this isn’t just a cover reveal for the second book, it’s a cover reveal for the whole ‘series’ 🙂

I say ‘series’ in the loosest sense possible, since even when book two is out it’ll still only be a two-book series, but …

Nah, I’ve said too much. And I really should stop making rash promises to write more about Archie and his life.

So, back to business and the cover reveal for Magical Memories.

With any luck, this will be available to pre-order soon. The cover depicts a scene in the story, a memory of happier times that the daughter-narrator shares with her father as his life draws to an end. Seaside holidays always have that touch of nostalgia to them, especially ones from our childhood.

Magical Memories is all about those moments that stick like limpets in our minds. Many of those included in this short story are my own memories, but I hasten to add that this is not a memoir, it’s just told in that style.

So, what do you think? Does it evoke any memories for you?

As I said earlier, I’ve been revisiting Magic O’Clock (and not just for continuity issues LOL) and have decided to adopt the same reasoning to the cover too – i.e. using a scene within the story as the cover. Here’s what I came up with:

Of course, it relates to Archie’s “journey” to the End of the World (Tierra del Fuego) and his boat ride through the glaciers of Antarctica whereupon he met his beloved penguins and whales.

I also managed to squeeze in that wonderful IHIBRP Recommended Read badge too, so there was a method in my madness (which isn’t always the case) 😉

There you have it – consider the covers revealed! Ta dah! The Magic is all around us.

Oh, by the way, my hint earlier – the one that may have got lost in the ether – is gaining momentum; a prequel is a very definite possibility. After writing Magical Memories, I feel the need to explore Archie’s life before he became a father, which means getting to know him as a boy and a young man. It might not go anywhere, but sometimes you just can’t shake off a character, can you? I really do want to know more about Lily, the love of his life, so I might just have to follow that path under my own steam.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Let me know what you think of the covers if you get a moment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

A to Z challenge · Bloggers · cover reveal · languages · Magical Memories · Sunday's Scraps

Blogging from A to Z 2018

April is going to be one crazy month – as you’ll find out in due course. Personally, I blame it on the fact that Easter Sunday is on April Fool’s Day.

So, to keep my foolish mind busy  – and to keep me from eating chocolate all day long – April 1st will not only kick off the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, but it also will feature a cover reveal for Magical Memories and the latest snippet from Sunday’s Scraps.

 

So, please join me in my sugar rush and check out my posts. The theme of my A to Z challenge will be “languages of the world”, and I’m aiming to find as many obscure ones as possible (Sorry, it’s the linguist in me – once a word nerd, always a word nerd!)

Thanks for reading 🙂

ageing parents · cover reveal · dementia · Magic O'Clock · Magical Memories · memories · short story

Magical Memories – in production

Last year, when I wrote Magic O’Clock, I hadn’t ever considered a sequel. Writing about the death of a loved one – even in fiction – strikes fear in my bones. Don’t get me wrong, I can kill off a character if needed, usually … but Archie?

Could I do it? Could I even think about doing it?

Despite being a fictional character, there were so many real elements tied up in that story. Glimpses of truth weaved their way into my writing. Because to get into the mindset of the daughter-narrator, I was – unfortunately – most able to draw upon personal experience.

But readers asked for more. They wanted an ending, albeit one that could stir up heartache of their own. Surely, no-one expected him to recover, to beat the illness that took away his most cherished memories, and robbed his daughter of her father – except, of course, at Magic O’Clock.

However, once that seed took root in my mind, I was left to ponder the idea of taking Archie’s story to its inevitable conclusion.

Whew! The thought of resurrecting certain memories brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Memories are not to be feared, to be packed up in boxes and stored in dark loft or cellar. The memories I have of my father evoke all sorts of emotions, but the overriding one is that of happiness. I only had him in my life for a short while, losing him when I was 17 to lung cancer. Nonetheless, the time I had with him was precious, made even more so because it came to such a sudden and heart-breaking end.

So, you see, Archie was not my father in life, but he personified the man who lives on in my memories. Fiction enabled me to give him a longer life, but no less happier or full than that of my own dad.

Could I tell Archie’s final story?

You bet I could … and I will.

Please join me on April 1st – my dad’s birthday – for the cover reveal. At that point, I’ll also confirm the release date, expected to be on another very special, meaningful …and, might I say, most appropriate date later that month.

To whet your appetite, and hopefully to encourage you to stick around for Magical Memories, here’s a brief – and unedited – excerpt:

From the doorway, I poked my head inside. Dad lay on his bed, his arms outside of the cover, fingers laced. So calm. I stared at his chest, to make sure he was breathing, and I gasped as it rose. The room smelt stale, as though the air had been sucked out of it in anticipation of the inevitable. No air meant no breathing. No breathing meant …well, I knew what it meant.

‘Angie, this room is stifling. Can you do anything?’

She looked at me, shaking her head. ‘It’s not the room, love.’

Of course, it wasn’t. The room was climate-controlled. It was me, wasn’t it? I was shutting down. Bracing myself.

‘Lily? Is that you, again?’ Dad asked, turning his head ever so slightly towards my voice. His blue eyes, jaded by fatigue, sought me out and I crossed the room to rest my hand on his, stooping to kiss his warm forehead.

‘It’s me, Dad. Your baby girl.’

His lips curled up—denture-free, as was his preference— and a pink tongue peeked through his pale gums.

Thank you for reading 🙂