Posted in My Journey, News & Events, The Bookshelf, The Notepad

World Book Day, What I’m Reading & More!

Hello everyone and Happy World Book Day! 🎉🎉🎉

On a day focused on books and reading and all the good stuff, I wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate by doing a little update post.

Last week I visited the Warner Bros Studio’s in London: The Making of Harry Potter Tour for a friend’s hen do. It was my third time visiting however, so much had changed since my last visit, it was like a totally new experience!

I’ve also started taking my 2020 reading goal a little more seriously! 😂 I’ve opted for only six books this year. A small goal, I agree. But I also don’t want to neglect any of my other projects or get a bit deflated when my goal seems waaay out reach come November. (Plus, remember I’m planning the most DIY Bride wedding of the decade! 😂) So six it is!

Last month I finished Sophie Kinsella’s sequel, Shopaholic Abroad. I love Kinsella’s work and this was no disappointment. Cute, cosy and a buddy in book form is always how I’d sum up her words! Moving on to book two of 2020and I’ve decided to go for something completely different. I’m currently reading Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur. I’m only one section in and I’ve already learnt so much. Kaur’s words are powerful. But don’t take my work for it, check it out yourself! This is my edition, kindly gifted to me by my bestie. ❤️

However, the biggest news in my world at the minute is that I’m editing again!!! But the story in question might come as a surprise…

Since my last meeting with my publisher there’s been a few projects we’ve been tickling away at. One of which was sending over some raw drafts I’ve had saved on my computer for a while for Diane to have a look at. The highlight of last month was that, after I’ve put in places some suggested edits, we have a green light! 😍

Some of you may remember for my first ever win of NaNoWriMo I wrote a chick-lit named Rags to Richie about a movie star falling for the coffee runner? Well buckle up guys, because that draft just got a thumbs up! 👍

(P.S: Don’t fret, Hooked is still definitely in the works too. I have my first draft of it in fact! But why only stick to one current project when you can have two?!)

So there we go, the secrets out, your girls editing again! Chick-lit lovers watch this space! 👀

– B xo

P.P.S: What have you guys been reading today? Drop me some TBR recommendations in the comments! 😘

Posted in Hooked, My Journey, Unravelled, Woolly Wonders

New Year and New Adventures!

Hello everyone and welcome to 2020! 🎉 I hope this new year finds you all happy and healthy.❤️

For me, the end of 2019 went by with a bit of a blur. However, from then til now some pretty exciting things have happened. So I wanted to take a moment to fill you all in. I’m pretty sure some incredible things happened to you guys too. So please, let’s catch up in the comments, if you fancy it. 😘

First off I entered and won NaNoWriMo for the second year in a row! 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

I set myself the goal of getting my next novel draft out and down on paper and I only flippin went and did it! NaNoWriMo is such a test on a writer’s ability, resilience and dedication, but such a rewarding experience and my month’s efforts were no exception. Hooked is here! Admittedly in it’s infancy, but nonetheless, it exists and, as I’m sure many of you will agree, that is a huge part of the climb! 🎉

Also during November, amidst Wrimo-ing, I had a meeting with my publisher.

(That’s what I looked like half way through a month of extreme writing! 😂)

I love getting to see Diane. Living so far apart, most of our communication is done online, so getting to see each other face to face is a real treat. I love our energy during those meetings, so creative and exciting. I always come away raring to go with the next project and this meeting was exactly that. We discussed some very exciting things that I’ll be able to reveal more of as the year progresses. But stay tuned guys, it’s going to be a good un!

On the back of said meeting; I joined in with the Black Friday shenanigans by doing a Red Friday Giveaway on Facebook.

One lucky winner got themselves a copy of Unravelled along with one of my exclusive buddles and a copy of the Adrian’s scarf knitting pattern just in time for Christmas. It was certainly not one to miss! In fact it was one of a few giveaways that we’ve launched through Facebook and I think with the success they’ve had, it won’t be the last. So make sure you like my page so you don’t miss out! You can search for @brionymarshallauthor or click here.

Then moving on to December, the Christmas madness hit. However, not without me just about managing to squeeze in everything I wanted to get done. 😅

The most important being finishing the video diary of my best kept secret of 2019. 😂 Last year I set myself the challenge of crocheting my, then, boyfriend a jumper and testing “The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater” (Something I learnt about early in 2019 by reading Alanna Okurn’s book of the same title.)

The idea was that if your relationship was meant to last, it would be able to out last the time it takes to complete a jumper for said loved one. Okurn documented the loss of many a boyfriend before the end of a first sock or snood. However, by the time I completed my jumper, I got myself a fiancé. 😂 For Christmas I gifted him the jumper along with a secret video diary I’d been keeping of the whole experience. The fiancé jumper went down a storm! Such a sentimental gift after such a crazy year. ❤️

And now here we are in the new year! The first of this month officially marked my fifth year on this amazing journey, which sounds unbelievable to say if I’m honest. But one book down and more on the way, I still feel all the love, support and fuzzies I did back then. Just in a bigger quantity! I still cannot thank any of you enough. ❤️ And to top it all off last weekend me and my fiancé went to view our first wedding venue together. 2020 is already coming up Millhouse! ❤️❤️❤️

So there we go, I’m up to date. Can’t wait to read what you guys have been up to.

Cheers to the roaring 20’s and the adventures they will bring! 🥂 Bring it on!

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events

End of Year Wrap Up, New Year’s Resolutions And Blogversary! 🎉

Hello, hello, hello and welcome to 2019 everyone! 🎉

I hope this new year finds you all well and raring to go with the adventures this year will bring.

However, before I get fully stuck into 2019, I want to tie up a few loose ends, let you know my resolutions and celebrate another blogversary! 😱 🎉🎉🎉

The end of 2018 was such a whirlwind of awesomeness that I ran out of time to do my wrap ups! 😂 Therefore on reflection I don’t think they’ll be something I’ll be carrying on with in 2019. However, for those of you who have a good memory will remember, one of my resolutions from last year was the finish what I started. So here I am, doing just that…

SEPTEMBER

I went on holiday.

The annual family holiday was pure bliss. ☀️ Taking little Bobby away with us too was just perfect. It’s lovely to get away just as summer fades to autumn.

I also managed to crochet a top in two days whilst on this holiday and I purchased a lot of wool. 🤫 (What can I say? My Mother is a bad influence. 😉)

I went to Yarndale!

I know I’ve already blogged about this, but my wrap up wouldn’t be complete without mentioning it. What a wonderful day it was! I’m already planning my trip for next year. Who’s with me? If you’re a yarnivore and you’ve never been to Yarndale, I definitely recommend it!

OCTOBER

It was my birthday!

And I was treated like a princess! 👑 Afternoon tea at the RSC, incredibly thoughtful gifts and lots and lots of love. Getting older isn’t so bad when it comes with days like that. 💕 Thank you to everyone who played a part in making my day so special.

I got my first tattoo!

Ever since I signed my publishing contract I knew I wanted a book tattoo. Books have always been a huge part of my life and Unravelled just sealed the deal. However fear had been putting me off for the best part of year. However, with some forward thinking from one of my bestest babes, I was booked in and well, I am utterly in love with the end result. It’s everything I ever wanted and more. ❤️

I finished my second pattern test.

The Grecian Top I crocheted for the lovely homemadebymarcie. 💕 Never have I had such lovely compliments about my body whilst modelling anything. 😂 It was a definitely a confidence booster! You can purchase the pattern for this top now from Marcie’s Etsy store.

I went pumpkin picking!

I ticked another thing off of the bucket list last October by finally going pumpkin picking! It was fun activity gearing up toHalloween and I had a great time picking and then carving a ghost pumpkin!

NOVEMBER

I had my ebook launch!

Again, something I know I posted about already, but this was a fun one. I had a great time celebrating the launch of Unravelled as an ebook during our online party across Facebook and Instagram! Thanks again if you tuned in, we had such a giggle. And remember, if you haven’t got your copy already, Unravelled in ebook format is a bargain price of just £3.99. Available now from the Amazon Kindle Store!

I won NaNoWriMo!!!!

Again this is something I’ve already blogged about but it was such a personal achievement for me that I had to give it another shout out. I wrote a novel in a month. Yes it’s a mess, yes it’s no where near publishable but it exists. It’s on paper, I have a first draft and it’s longer than Unravelled. Now I know what the whole thing entails, I’m not sure it will be an annual affair, but for anyone wanting to give National Novel Writing Month a go I advise a month of dedication! You’ve got to be prepared to write every day. Because I know if I’d have fallen even just one full day behind, I would have been toast! If you fancy reading a bit more about my NaNoWriMo novel, the synopsis and an excerpt are still available on my NaNoWriMo profile.

I completed my Doctor Strange cosplay!

A year’s worth of crochet paid off on the 25th November as I attended the MCM Comicbook Convention in Birmingham in full Doctor Strange crocheted cosplay! I was so proud of myself putting it all on together and I had some really lovely comments on the day. 💕

DECEMBER

December is always a crazy month for me. The Christmas madness kicks in and I always end up disappearing of the radar for a little while. This year was no different, however, I did try my best to fully embrace the festive season as best as I could so here we are…

I crocheted a peacock!

A bit of bizarre project for the time of year, but it was a special request. However, he went down a treat. The pattern I used was from Moji Moji Designs on Etsy, I definitely recommend checking out her store for super cute crochet!

I visited a German Christmas Market.

I had a lovely evening full of yummy food and drink and even picked up a really cute pair of mistletoe earrings. Which swiftly became my staple jewellery piece for the rest of the festive season!

I made a festive door hanging!

I took a couple years away from my annual festive foliage night, however I went back this Christmas, but was terrified I forgotten everything! However, apart from an unfortunate instance of the bottom falling out, I was proud as punch with the result. It’s actually still on the door! It’s just too pretty to take down straight away…

I went to see Elf on stage.

And I got so enthralled in it all that I forgot to take any pictures! 🤪 However, it was a magical experience and really helped me get into the festive spirit. I also got to watch Martine McCutcheon perform live during the festive season. Bonus.

Bobby thoroughly enjoyed his first Christmas and I got spoilt rotten.

Another tradition I’ll be skipping on the blog this year is my Christmas haul. I was absolutely spoilt rotten and a) I think I’d actually make my phone explode with all the pictures but also b) I had such a lovely quiet one that I don’t want to take away from anything by splashing it all over social media and having other people judge. (However, I’m sure inevitably things will crop up on my Instagram feed, so if you genuinely are interested, keep an eye out on there.) All in all it though it was a lovely, super cosy day and I’m actually kinda gutted it’s all over and done with now, if I’m honest. Again, thank you to everyone who played a part in making my Christmas a special one, you’re all angels worthy of sitting a top a tree. ⭐️

And there we have it, all up to date and ready for 2019!

And with the New Year came my 4th Blogversary! Honestly, I don’t know where the time goes. But it’s been amazing to look back and watch my journey unfold through these blogs. 💕 And with another exciting year ahead, I determined to keep it up.

So what can we expect from brionymarshallauthor in 2019?

Well…

As I mentioned earlier, I’m going to scrap the monthly wrap ups this year and instead just blog about something when it’s fresh and happening to keep you all more in the loop.

I also have two New Year’s resolutions that will most likely shape my content for 2019:

    Read more Chick Lit! – The hobby that suffered the most in 2018 was definitely my reading. Plus I definitely feel I could be more well read in my own genre, so I’ve given myself the aim this year of reading six chick lit books. Any recommendations? Be sure to send them my way!
    Write the first draft of book 2! – NaNoWriMo was definitely me joining the writer gym for a month. I knew a new manuscript was on the horizon but I was scared to jump right in after having such a long break from novel writing. However, after my NaNoWriMo success I’m ready to bring it on!

And there was go. I hope you enjoyed this mammoth post! And if you stayed with me all the way to the end then you definitely deserve a brownie point! 😂

So once again Happy New Year everyone and if you have any resolutions of your own I’d love to hear all about them in the comments. 🥳

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, The Notepad

I did it!!! 🎉🎉🎉

Guys, I completed NaNoWriMo!

I wrote a 50k novel in a month! 😱

I am a NaNoWriMo winner!

After years and years of attempts, I finally passed the finishing line and wow! There’s still a part of me that can’t believe I did it. A novel in a month. A novel that is longer than Unravelled and I wrote it in a month. Wowzers.

In November I nailed the art of writer discipline. The only reason I won is because I wrote every day. Even on days where I had plans, I mapped out my time and wrote something. Even if it was only a couple of hundred words, I added something to my word count and it paid off. I’ll be honest, on the 29th I had to play catch up. But I managed it because I planned and persevered and believed. I also learnt to silent my inner editor. This one was most certainly a hard one to crack and took me some serious pep talks from cheerleaders. 😂 But I got there.

Don’t get me wrong, the manuscript needs a lot of work, I cannot wait to read some of the hot mess of words I was writing late at night through tired eyes! 😂, but the story is there. It just needs improvement and that’s the point. So I can’t make any promises for when or how this story will make it’s way into the world. But, for those of you who are interested here is the mock cover, synopsis and excerpt from my NaNoWriMo profile:

Synopsis:

Richard Clarke, or “Richie” as he’s known in the industry, is an actor in his prime. At the age of forty one, he’s been on his journey through arthouse and low budget. He’s played corpses and extras then gradually moved up to evil villains and romantic leads. He’s dabbled in almost every genre, and recently his career has taken an all-time rocket boost and he’s four times winner of The People’s Magizine’s ‘Sexist Man Alive’ Poll. But if only someone could have told that to his soon to be ex-wife…

Penelope James, or “Penny” to her friends, has always loved fashion. That’s why she’s devoted her life to it… or as much as she can. A Levels, University, Apprenticeships, she’s done it all. But the fashion world outside of the comfortable four walls of institutionalised education will eat you up and spit you out in seconds. So Penny currently works in her Auntie’s boutique selling glamourous fashion to the over fifties in a small little town in the middle of nowhere. However, when Penny’s Dad has a friend who knows someone, who’s heard that the big boys are looking for new talent; a very small job role in a huge television production. It might not be exactly what Penny’s after but it would be a foot in the door.

And then Penny meets Richie.

This could be Penny’s big break in more ways than one. It’s a risk, but then isn’t all things in love, and fashion, a risky business?

Excerpt:

“Ready?”

I nodded slowly, was now too late to start feeling a little uneasy about this situation? Next thing I know Win has opened the door and is leading me into the biggest office I have ever seen. At the far end of the room two men are sat opposite each other. On the desk an open decanter and two glasses of whiskey, on the rocks.

Win cleared her throat as we made our way over to where the two men were seated, “Penny this is Carl Wright our Executive Producer, I don’t think you’ve met yet.” The older of the two men turned to face me. He had a kind but stern face. The laughter lines around his mouth and eyes were deeply set, but by the way he owned the chair he sat in  he made you know that he was not the kind of person you would want to cross. He extended his hand to me, showing me a full pearly white smile.

“Hello Penny, lovely to finally meet you, welcome to FBW Productions.” I took his hand, his grip was firm, the practiced handshake of a well accomplished business man.

“Thank you.” I barley whispered. Where had my voice gone all of a sudden?! But luckily Win came to my rescue with a second introduction.

“And this is Richie Clarke. Our star.” She added the last part with a grin, which Richie himself tried to shrug of with a half laugh as he got to his feet to take my hand.

Richie Clarke. I was shaking the hand of Richie Clarke.

My knowledge of popular culture outside of fashion was rather limited, (Remember my current favourite band is Queen?!) but even I knew this guy’s name . The definition of tall, dark and handsome , Richie Clarke has been a household name for a few years now, his specialities being television and romance. If there was a cop show that needed a heartthrob or a romantically challenged criminal mastermind, Richie was your guy. Popping up in many lead rolls across the different television channels for the last five years. Being in his early forties, his wall calendar was the kind of thing you’d buy your Mum for Christmas but secretly something that you, personally, would want on the wall all year round. He was always a firm favourite in the “Sexist Man Alive” polls but also at the TV award ceremonies too. And the last I heard he was happily married, with a baby on the way and breaking a lot of ladies hearts.

“Hey.” His voice was as smooth and as rich as cocoa.

For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is such a beautiful, kind, loving and inspirational non-profit organisation that help and encourage writers of any ability to write a novel in a month. The main event is November. (National Novel Writing Month.) But they do other things throughout the year that you can be a part of. Please take a look at their website and, if you can, help them by donating to their cause and give more people a chance to realise their dream. 💫

I’m off to print my winner certificate now and hang it on the wall along with my Christmas decorations. 😂 I can’t believe it’s that time of year again already?!

Happy Monday everyone.

– B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events, The Notepad

Nanowrimo 2018!

Happy November 1st Everyone and welcome to National Novel Writing Month. For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that Nanowrimo is a challenge I’ve always dreamed of winning but never quite managed it.

Well, after finally finishing a novel length manuscript and with my first draft of book two on the horizon, I thought what better opportunity than to give Nanowrimo another go.

Soo… I thought I better post this here, right now and commit.

I am officially a 2018 Nanowrimo participant! I’ve updated my Nanowrimo profile and I’ve already wrote 500 words. So that’s it, I’m in!

If you’re joining me on this crazy yet amazing journey of words, I’d love to be buddies! You can find my profile and the details of the novel I hope to write here. And… I’m also currently taking applications for cheerleaders! 😂 (I’m gonna need the support!)

If you want to follow my Nanowrimo journey I’m sure I’ll be mentioning it over of my social media. Which you can find here, here and here.

Oh and don’t forget! It’s my e-book launch party tonight where I’ll be answering questions on my FB & Instagram lives, any Nanowrimo questions very welcome!

See you then!

B xo

Posted in My Journey, News & Events, Unravelled

E-book Release Announcement! 🎉

For #throwbackthursday this week I’m pulling this moment from the archives; the moment I sent the final draft of Unravelled to my kindle for my last ever read through before it went to print! 😱

I remember how once the document was open, it felt like I was reading an e-book straight from Amazon, already published, already out there in the big wide world. 🌎I know it sounds crazy, but it was one of the first moments I actually saw Unravelled as a “book”.

Well today, I am very excited to announce that that day dream is about to become a reality. Unravelled’s 1st birthday is coming up and I thought what better way to celebrate than with the release of it’s e-book!

So on November 1st 2018, I will be celebrating the e-book release of Unravelled with an online party across my social media and you’re all invited!🎉🎉🎉 (Expect: wine, q&as and lots of knitting!)

More details to follow over the next couple of days. 👀

– B xo

Posted in My Journey

July/ August Wrap Up 2018

It’s definitely been a summer of creativity for me. So much so, that pretty much everything that happened in July carried through to August. So I decided, again, to put my wrap ups together.

Double the fun!

Enjoy!

JULY

The UK heatwave continued throughout July. ☀️ I loved it, spending most of my time out in the garden, wearing playsuits and sunnies. The only negative really was not having much motivation to work with wool! All my projects at the time were big, heavy and warm. However, what I did instead made me just as happy…

I did some writing in the garden.

I took my laptop outside and did some writing in the garden. This writing in particular was a synopsis for a chick-lit that has nothing to do with any of my current projects. 😂 However, it was an idea I just couldn’t get out of my head, unless I wrote it down. And well, Nanowrimo is just around the corner…

I started reading Unravelled. ❤️

This is something I have wanted to do for a long time, but also something I absurdly kept putting off because of what it might look like to outsiders. There is so much pressure on people these days that derives from what other’s think. With social media literally being a window into our lives it’s easy to get caught up in it all. However, this July I decided to push that all to the side and sit down and enjoy my own work and be damn proud of it too! This book took me ten years to create, so what if my neighbour’s, brother’s, cousin’s dog spots me reading it in Starbucks and deems me self indulgent? More fool them.

I got a haircut!

Okay, okay, so I’ve had a couple of haircuts and hair changes over the years I’ve been doing brionymarshallauthor, however this one was a first… I went short!!! Never, to my memory, have I had short hair but well, the heat just got too much and I decided to take the plunge and …

I love it!

What do you think? Should I keep it short for Autumn/ Winter or let it grow back a little?

I started reading Patrick Melrose.

During the month of July I had a couple of solo train journeys to embark upon and if there is one thing I love about solo train journeys, it’s audiobooks. ❤️ After developing a little CumberCrush recently, I opted for the Patrick Melrose books. Plus, with the DVD on my birthday list, I wanted to try and get a head of the game. Edmund St Aubryn’s writing style is so vivid and his use of imagery is something I aspire to. Although at times his work is a little uncomfortable to digest, it all makes for a story I can’t leave alone.

I visited Northampton.

So about those solo train journeys… I travelled down to visit my friends in their new home in Northampton and what a wonderful couple of days I had. 💕 Not only was I treated to amazing food, shown some really cute places and visited every wool shop in the area, I also got to talk to a lovely group of ladies about Unravelled, after accidentally walking into their Knit and Knatter. The woolly community really is like a secret club, once you know the handshake your in, no matter where in the world you may be. 🤝

I had a day at the seaside and left Unravelled behind.

If you don’t know about the Book Fairies, then I think you better click that link I just left. I’ve loved this idea ever since I first heard about it, so when I was given the opportunity to do a similar thing of my very own, I jumped at the chance. Thus came the birth of #unravelledontour.

On a random day I will take a copy of Unravelled out into the big wide world and leave it somewhere as a present for a stranger to find. Using the power of social media, I will leave hints across my platforms as to where Unravelled may be, but really whoever finds it first will be a mystery to me. I hope that whoever finds it will carry on to document the books’s journey online and we get to see how far Unravelled will roam all using the hashtag: #unravelledontour

Drop number one was a great success! I left Unravelled in a cafe right on the sea front in Wales.❤️ The next day, I was connected with the lovely Michelle, who picked up my book the same evening and after reading my note, thought she’d give it a go. Her story was so lovely to read. It’s amazing what the gift of words can do. I believe she’s planning to pop Unravelled back out into the wild soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that. I’m also planning another drop of my very own, so watch this space. 👀

I became a pattern tester.

As the temperature started to cool, I threw myself back into woolcraft by applying to be a pattern tester. I got in touch with Becs of becspaddockdesign to test her Granny Square Bardot Jumper and she picked me! I was so happy to be picked as I fell in love with the jumper as soon as I saw it and well, it was a huge compliment to my own crochet skill to be picked for my first pattern test! I am so happy with my finished jumper, so much so, that I’m going to wear it to Yarndale later next month. 😁 Thanks again to Becs for picking me to be a part of this jumper’s journey. 💕 If you love the jumper as much as I do, you can now purchase the pattern from Becs’s Etsy Store.

I tired (and failed) to make another crop top.

Do remember the disaster crop top from my previous wrap up? Well it happened again guys! This time my top didn’t look all that bad. it just came out huuuuuuge! (Despite me using the correct brand of yarn and the right hook for my size!) I don’t know what’s going on. I’m definitely going to have to blog about this at some point though. It’s kind of becoming a running theme. 😂

AUGUST

Unravelled went on holiday!

At the end of July/ beginning of August I received some lovely photos from you guys of Unravelled on holiday. On the back of my own #unravelledontour experience, it was great to see so many pics of Unravelled by the sea. The truth is out guys, Unravelled is the must-have holiday read!

Be sure to tag me if you take Unravelled away with you, I’d love to see how far it travels and I’ll be sure to share you pics on my social medias. 😊

I was part of The Quiet Knitter’s Celebration of Indie Publishing.

I did write a full blog post about this here. However, I just wanted to say, upon reflection, Kate wrote a wonderful review of Unravelled and I am so grateful for all of this beautiful, positive feedback. ❤️ I know the internet can be a scary place at times, but I’ve known nothing but love as of late and I’m so thankful. Thank you Kate, thank you everyone, for all your kind words, love and support on this beautiful, crazy journey of mine. ❤️

I celebrated my local wool shop’s birthday! 🎉

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; if you support a small business, then you’re supporting a dream! And having a wool shop practically on my doorstep has always been a blessing for me. Although I may visit wool shops across the land, I’ll always find my way back home to my local, my roots, the place it all began! So of course I headed on down to join in with the celebrations of Beacon Crafts’s Birthday. And really, do we need more of an excuse to have crochet, coffee and cake? I didn’t think so. 😋 Congratulations Helen, nine years of keeping the local community knitted together. 👌

I was asked to pattern test another top!

After the success of my Granny Square Bardot Jumper test, I was so chuffed to be picked again to pattern test. This time it was for the lovely Marcie also known as homemadebymarcie. Currently on my hook is her very lovely Grecian Top. 😍 More on this as it develops.

– B xo