Jennifer Gilby Roberts

Women's Fiction/Chick Lit Author

The Reality of Breast-Pumping

One of the reviewers for Early Daze wondered if it was realistic to have Jess hand-expressing in the early days after Samantha was born.  I can promise you that it is.  Although fortunately I didn’t have milk-production issues, all the rest of Jess’ pumping journey is drawn from personal experience.  Of course, there’s likely to be variation between hospitals and countries in what happens, but this is how it went for me:

Knitted boobOn the day my daughter was born, one of the nurses brought round an instruction sheet and a knitted boob to show me how to massage my breasts.  Basically, you knead them.  You make a fist, press down and move your hand from your chest to your nipple all around the breast.  Then you form a circle with your hands (thumbs and first fingers touching), put that over your breast with the nipple area exposed and squeeze.  Milk comes out of the nipple and you do indeed pick it up with an oral syringe.  In the first days after birth, you make only a tiny amount of very concentrated milk known as colostrum, so this is a viable method.  After a day or two, you move on to an actual breast pump.  You can get manual, or electric ones like Jess uses in the book.

The candy floss milk?  Fact.  Apparently it’s quite safe for babies to drink, however much it freaks out the mother.  The Fenugreek smell?  Fact.  And it really does affect your urine as well.  I had a damaged nipple, a nipple infection and mastitis (twice).

In terms of research, you can’t mess with Early Daze.  While it may not be that way for every mother, it was for this one.

Leave a comment »

Welcome to #sunathon…

Blogger Emma Louise is organising a readathon this summer. Although it’s aimed at book bloggers, it’s open to everyone. So if you’ve got a pile of books you want to read, make a date with sunathon.

Sunathon

From the 21st to the 27th July, book bloggers from all around the world will be taking part in #sunathon.

What is #sunathon?

For that particular week in the gorgeous sun (or rain in you’re in the UK), we’re going to read.

It doesn’t matter how much you read, as long as you make time for reading.

There are a lot of people around the world who are blind to the magical world books and it’s a shame. More of us should read.

I’ve decided to make it a full week: Monday-Sunday because a lot of book bloggers have full time jobs and they squeeze reading in between. I’ve made it longer, just for them.

Use #sunathon to follow book bloggers around the world talking about it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the UK, or America, or Malaysia (waves to Kev) or Germany – it’s about all of us…

View original post 79 more words

Leave a comment »

Writing books and playing tennis

Parallels between tennis players and writers: very apt since Wimbledon is happening right now.

Tim Vicary ~ Author

Every summer I swear I will waste no time watching Wimbledon, and end up glued to it. What is the connection, if any, between the activity of an independent author trying to write a novel, and tennis player trying to win a championship?

The difference between writers and tennis players are obvious. The tennis player is an athlete, supremely fit, sprinting around the court in the sunshine while the seat pours off him and his muscles ache with fatigue. The author sits like a slob at his desk, staring at a blank screen and typing for hours until his muscles are so stiff  he can hardly hobble to the bathroom for a pee.

And yet perhaps there are a few similarities, after all. Firstly, both authors and tennis players are self-created. Tennis is an individual sport, just like writing. No one asks us to do this, we choose it for…

View original post 429 more words

Leave a comment »

Last Few Days to Enter to Win a Paperback Copy of Early Daze

My Goodreads giveaway of two paperback copies of Early Daze will be ending soon, so make sure to get your entries in before 30 June.

To enter the giveaway you need to be a member of Goodreads, but you can sign up for free.  You’ll then need to go to my giveaway page to enter the draw.  While you’re there, come friend me!  And please add Early Daze to your ‘to-read’ shelf.

Good luck everyone!

Leave a comment »

[Guest Post] Another Place on the Planet by Theresa Munroe

Something a bit more serious for this week’s guest author post.  Theresa Munroe is telling us about her women’s fiction book Another Place on the Planet.

~~~~

T.A. Munroe photoAnother Place on the Planet is Book One of my Lilyland Trilogy of women’s fiction, which chronicles the growth of Lily Mayfield from the widowed survivor of spousal abuse to her late-blooming and successful career as a popular film director. In Another Place on the Planet, Lily meets Charlie Winston, a Hollywood bad boy and accomplished director. The wounds of their pasts make for a rocky start to their romance. The series is also the story of their relationship.

You’ll like this book if you like:

  • Cinderella stories. Kicked down and anonymous, Charlie’s attention spurs Lily into developing into someone bigger and better and eventually famous.
  • Films and Hollywood. Set largely in Los Angeles, Lily finds herself on a film set and among movie stars, producers, and others that get films made.
  • Real people struggling with faith issues. One thing that attracts Lily and Charlie to each other is their shared but floundering Christian faith. This, however, is NOT Christian fiction. Although they both desire closeness with God, their behavior sometimes is more consistent with fleshly interests than with the teachings of their church-going days. The novel depicts this. If it were an American movie, I’d rate it R for sexual content and language.
  • Hopeful endings. The possibility for happily-ever-after exists but is not guaranteed. Kind of like life.

Touching on topics from domestic violence to celebrity, Another Place on the Planet is designed to be not only a romance but also a thought-provoking read that I hope will impact the reader on several levels. On the lighter side, who doesn’t want to think about old dreams coming true?

Extract from Another Place on the Planet

I woke up in a bed. Alone, fully clothed, except my shoes. It took me a few seconds to remember where I was. Charlie’s house, the master bedroom. Right. We danced and drank another bottle of wine until he ran out of fire wood. Then we came in where he walked me to his bedroom, kissed my nose and left. He hadn’t seemed like he hoped for an invitation to share his bed with me.

I used his bathroom and went to look for him. I found the kitchen first where I met Karen the housekeeper who was putting away items we hadn’t gotten to the previous evening. She said she would start the coffee, and Charlie was sleeping in the office.

And he still was, stretched out on the couch. His face was scrunched up some, as if he couldn’t escape his worries in his sleep. I wanted to touch him, kiss him, but didn’t want to wake him. I wandered further to the table and looked at the screenplay in the binder. A stack of drawings on copy paper was part of the storyboard.

I lowered myself onto the task chair as Charlie moaned and repositioned himself, remaining asleep. He just wore a t-shirt and biker briefs. Holy cats, he had an enormous erection. I fought the puritanical urge to leave, and simply smirked and focused on the screenplay.

I read a short scene about the husband/father named Kevin who waves a carving knife at his wife Lizzie in their kitchen, while he curses at her and accuses her of being with another man. He’d phoned her during the day, and she didn’t answer because she’d gone to pick up a sick child at school. Then Lizzie points out their children watching. The oldest daughter says, “Daddy, please don’t hurt Mommy.” He calls his wife a disease-ridden whore in front of the children, slaps her hard across the face and stomps off camera.

I let go of the breath I had been holding. At least Annie was no longer living with us when it became visibly bad. And at least Mike waited until she left for college before he started beating the life out of me. I bent over, leaning my forehead on a page of the binder. I hoped they would do a good job with the movie so it would help people.

Charlie moved. I watched from the corner of my eye as he rubbed his crotch and groaned. I giggled and turned my head away. I didn’t want to see anything.

“Lily?”

“Sorry,” I said. “I forgot you guys get those things in the morning.”

He muttered something incomprehensible as he pulled on his jeans. He said good morning with a kiss on my head.

“Good morning,” I said. “You always sleep in here?”

“Yeah. You sleep all right?”

“Perfectly. I was just looking over your screenplay.”

“No problem. How about I meet you in the kitchen in 20 minutes. I’ll ask Karen to make some breakfast.”

“Sounds good.” I flashed him a smile as I left.

~~~~

APP sunset cover

Barely surviving her abusive marriage, Lily is finally forced out of her self-imposed exile by her therapist. In a film class, she meets Hollywood director, Charlie Winston. They had met before…

They strive to bring out the best in each other, including their flagging but shared faith. But Charlie is damaged, too. Their romance, besides bringing out the best of them, also brings out the worst.

Charlie invites Lily into his life, where she thrives, even after his choices force him away for a while. Will Lily be able to build a new life in Los Angeles without him? Will she have to?

Another Place on the Planet is Book 1 of the Lilyland Trilogy, telling the story of Lily’s metamorphosis from obscure and beaten down to famous and thriving, and her provocative relationship with Charlie.

Author’s note: This is NOT Inspirational fiction.

Available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and others.

~~~~

Although the veteran of several career paths in public education including lunch lady, substitute teacher and 6th grade teacher, T. A. Munroe is perfectly content spending solitary hours crafting novels. Hobbies include reading, sewing, drawing, movie watching, screenwriting and letting her puppy in and out. A highlight of her life was the four months she spent in Great Britain as an exchange student in Brighton. When her star as a best-selling author rises, she plans on returning for a time to live in a cottage to write and execute pub crawls throughout the UK. Currently, home is the Sonoran Desert just outside Phoenix, Arizona with her longsuffering husband, two bad cats and her hyperactive puppy. Her two children live in Pennsylvania where they write poems, songs and stand-up comedy. Another Place on the Planet is her first novel to reach publication status.

Find TA Munroe at her blog, GoodreadsFacebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

2 Comments »

Deleted Scenes from Early Daze #3

SPOILERS

In this last deleted scene from Early Daze, Jess and Gwen discuss Ben.  This one takes place after the other two.  The remaining part of this scene actually appears in the book.

~~~~

I call Gwen later.  Partly to check she’s got home safe.  Partly to talk about Ben.

‘So… you turned Ben down?’ I ask tentatively.

‘Yup.  I take it you didn’t.’

‘No.’

I half smile.  ‘It’s funny… out of all of us, you’d think you would be the most likely to… well…’

‘Cheat?’ Gwen asks shortly.

I wince.  ‘I was going to say “make a mistake”.’

Gwen sighs.  ‘You know, I do get very tired of people assuming that being bisexual means you’ll shag anything with a pulse.  I doubt I’m any less selective than you.  I’m only attracted to a tiny proportion of the people I meet.  It just so happens that some of them are male and some are female.’

‘It’s not that…’ I start.  ‘Well… I guess maybe that’s part of it.  For some people.  And I’m not saying that’s right, just that… that’s how some people think.’

Including me, not long ago.

‘It’s… you’re always telling stories about crazy things you’ve done.  Impulsive things.  Stuff most people wouldn’t do.  And I think… that gives people the impression that you’ll just do anything.’

Gwen purses her lips.  ‘You may be right,’ she says reluctantly.  ‘And I hate that.  Just because I’m capable of being spontaneous doesn’t mean I have no impulse control.  I choose to say yes or no.  I don’t cheat.’

I kick the sofa.  ‘And, apparently, I do.  Does that mean it’s your turn to judge me?’

‘I could, but well… it’s this place, isn’t it?  It’s a marathon.  And none of us trained for it, so we just fall down and struggle to pick ourselves back up.  We’ve all got our coping mechanisms.  Some people eat.  Pretty sure some drink – though hopefully not the pumpers.  Some people get obsessed with how much milk they’re making or how much weight they’ve lost.  And I run around trying to convince all the other mums that life isn’t so terrible, in a futile effort to convince myself.  Let’s face it, you’re just one of a bunch.’

That makes me feel a little better.

‘Should I tell Ryan?’

‘Dunno.  What do you think?’

‘I don’t know!’ I say, throwing up my hands.  ‘That’s why I’m asking you.’

‘Well, I don’t know him.  I only know you to a limited extent.  Morally, you should.  But it depends on what impact you think telling him will have.’

‘Like what?’ I ask, feeling uneasy.

‘Well, if you tell him, will he leave you?’

I consider this briefly.  ‘No, I don’t think so.  We’ve been together so long and now we have Samantha.  And I don’t think he’s all that keen on change.  And…well…’

‘Well?’

I shift awkwardly.  ‘When he proposed…  Well, he said he’d always known I was the one for him.  And we started going out at fifteen.  And Ryan… he doesn’t say stuff like that.  He must have meant it.’

Leave a comment »

After Wimbledon Will be on Sale at 99c/99p on 20/21 June 2014

After Wimbledon is going on sale!  You can get it from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk, and other Amazon sites for 99c/99p.

Organising a sale at other ebook stores is more complicated, so if you have a different ereader you can get it from Smashwords during the same two days for the same price using coupon code XG77K. I would be very grateful if you would post your reviews at the main sites, though.

Leave a comment »

[Guest Post] When Alice Met Danny by TA Williams

Over the next few weeks, some of my fellow chick lit authors from the Chick Lit Chat group on Facebook will be joining me here to tell us about their latest books.  Here’s the first:

Every so often, someone ponders if men can write chick lit.  Well, yes, they can.  And here’s one who does, TA Williams, to tell us about his latest book, When Alice Met Danny.

~~~~

TAW readingWhat would you do if you bought a house full of poo?  

You’ll like my book if you’ve ever dreamt of chucking the whole thing in and starting again.

Life can be tough. We’ve probably all hankered for a reset button to press from time to time. Whoosh…no more problems with work, relationships, landlords, mother-in-law… whatever. When Alice Met Danny is a book about one woman who got that chance. All right, it came as a hell of a shock at first. Losing her high-flying job in the city just before she hit 40 shook Alice to her foundations. But she picked herself up and grabbed the opportunity for a new start.

Where better to go for a new start than a sleepy Devon village where she meets an intriguing collection of people? There’s the local vicar who can’t get a date because she isn’t supposed to go out with her parishioners. There’s the body builder who sets out to emulate the Chippendales. There’s the big Canadian who buys doughnuts in packs of twelve and, of course there’s Danny. And another Danny. And another Danny. And, let’s not forget Daniel. Soon she is collecting Dannys at every turn.

When I set out to write this book, I wanted to write about the place where I live. I think rural Devon takes a lot of beating and all of the characters, one way or another, have been inspired by people I know down here. I have got a thing about history, and I hope you will enjoy the way that creeps into the story in the shape of yet another Danny. And, of course, the book had to have a black Labrador in it. No prizes for guessing his name.

There’s one thing that may come as a bit of a surprise. I’m a man. As such, choosing to make my main character a woman was a challenge, and a risk. I hope I’ve managed to think my way inside Alice’s head convincingly. I’m sure you’ll tell me if I haven’t!

This isn’t a book that will leave you drained of all emotion. Reviewers are describing it as an easy read and I’d go along with that. It has its sad parts and its funny parts and I hope you will enjoy the way Alice deals with all the problems life throws at her. And there are some big ones. Like the house full of poo, for example…

Extract from When Alice Met Danny

‘So you bought it without viewing it first?’ Sally was aghast.

Alice looked a bit sheepish. ‘It was at auction, and it was so very cheap. I thought I’d got nothing to lose.’ In fact, she acknowledged to herself, she had been caught up in auction fever. Although she had registered, she had only intended to view the different lots as they went under the hammer. But then when this one had appeared for so little, she had decided to put in a bid. To her surprise, nobody else had followed, and she was now the owner of a terrace house in East Devon.

‘So what are you going to do now?’ Sally still sounded very dubious.

‘I suppose I’d better go down and take a look at it. Then I’ve got to pay for it. Plus I’ve got to arrange insurance and all that stuff. I suppose I’d better get it surveyed as well. While I’m at it, I could look for a place to rent until the other one is finished.’ She swilled the last of the cappuccino around in her cup before swallowing it. ‘I don’t suppose you fancy a trip to Devon some time soon?’

‘I’d love to, Al, but I’ve got my boys to look after.’ Her boys were two Yorkshire terriers and a husband. ‘If I take Cain and Abel on the train, they’ll probably throw up. Come to think of it, Adam might throw up as well.’

‘How is your perfect man?’ Alice had always liked the big, quiet man that Sally had married. For a while they had even tried to set Alice up with his brother, but to no effect. She had always been far too busy.

‘My perfect man is no doubt sitting in a fire station somewhere, rubbing baby lotion on his muscular body after rescuing a few old ladies and a pussy cat.’ Her eyes became positively misty before she returned to the real world. ‘As for Adam, he’s fine. He’s joined a gym because he reckons he’s getting a bit porky.’ She lowered her voice. ‘Between you and me, he’s right. Anyway, how about you and men? Any on your radar, now that you’ve got the time to dedicate yourself to their pursuit?’

‘I haven’t had time, yet. First things first, I need to get my new life on track. Then I can think about men.’

‘What about that tall boy from your office?’ Alice looked blank, so Sally elaborated. ‘You know, the one you introduced me to in that pub that time.’

‘You’re going to have to be a good bit more precise, Sal.’

‘Tall, blond, good-looking, races yachts or something.’

The penny dropped. ‘You mean Danny. He doesn’t race yachts. At least, I don’t think so. He does a lot of windsurfing, though. And, no, he’s just a friend.’

‘A handsome one.’ Sally was doing her best to get Alice fired up.

‘I can’t say I’ve noticed.’ That wasn’t strictly true. Only the other day it had occurred to her, but theirs was now a business relationship. ‘Actually, he’s renting my flat from me once I move out.’

‘With his bronzed Australian windsurfing girlfriend?’

‘Not so far as I know. He says he lives on his own. At least, that’s what he told me.’

‘What a waste.’ Sally glanced at her watch. ‘Well, got to go. I daresay you’ll find yourself somebody suitable once you are down among the haystacks. I can see you in a few months time, plucking cows, milking chickens…’

‘Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.’

~~~~

Alice Danny coverWhat’s in a name?

Devastated after losing her job, eternal pragmatist Alice leaves London for a new start in Devon. It’s there that she meets Danny.

Then she meets another Danny.

And then she meets Daniel – Danny to his friends…

In fact, there seems to be a Danny at every turn! Her neighbour’s a Danny; there’s little baby Danny; there’s a vicar, a windsurfer, even a dog called Danny! And whether it’s laughter, comfort, a flutter of romance or a walk along the beach, they each bring something special to Alice’s new life.

You might say it’s a coincidence. Alice certainly would… at first! But when she suddenly risks losing not just one Danny, but all of them, she begins to wonder: might there be more in a name than she ever guessed?

Available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and other sites.

~~~~

I write under the androgynous name, TA Williams, but my name is really Trevor. As my books have a romance element, it was felt best to keep my sex a secret. I’ve been writing for years and years, but it was only last April that I got my very first publishing deal with Carina UK. This tiotally revitalised my writing career and since then I have written four books for them. Fifth book is in full gestation stage at present. I live in Devon with my Italian artist wife. The old Labrador died a few years ago, but I stick him in all my books.

Find TA Williams at his websiteGoodreads, Twitter and Facebook.

1 Comment »

After Wimbledon is now on Kobo!

After weeks of waiting, Kobo has finally approved After Wimbledon for sale.  Canadian readers (and anyone else using Kobo), get it here.

Leave a comment »

Work in Progress – June 2014

Stage: Nearing the end of the second round of editing.  I’ll probably go through it at least once more before I send it out to beta-readers to look for major issues.

Expected length: 3040k words (novella).  Right now it’s about 35,000 words, but goes up and down as editing continues.

Expected publication date: Autumn 2014

What: A spin-off from The Dr Pepper Prophecies, centering on Mel’s sister Brittany.  It starts a few months after TDPP ends, when Brittany has moved down to Cornwall with her husband and son.

In this book, Brittany sets out to expand her life by getting a job.  But an awful lot more changes are in store for her…

Will Mel show up?: Yes.  She will visit and chat online with Brittany, as they work on rebuilding their relationship.  And, Mel being Mel, she’ll even indulge in a little “helping.”

~~~~

If you’re not subscribed to this blog, you can get this monthly update through my newsletter, as well as progress reports on the The Dr Pepper Prophecies audio book and details of any giveaways/sales I have planned.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: