Chilling with Books Corner May 2023, Julia Blake, long roads and hiccups

May came and went far too quickly. I have been caught up with editing and so many other things. The result is I am blogging later than I intended despite a promise to myself about maintaining a routine. Unfortunately, hiccups come at the oddest times and if you let them upset you they take forever to disappear. Everything becomes a long road to travel.

The truth is I didn’t seem to accomplish much at all in May. The hiccups won and the road got longer and longer. Thankfully, I am prone to being inspired by others and that’s why I am here now doing what should have been done – spotlighting Julia Blake. Julia writes in many genres and does it well.

What impresses me even more, is the fact that whilst I sat stationary, staring at the road getting longer, people like Julia have managed book after book. Indie authors rock. I need to absorb this fact and start living it. I let hiccups keep me from actioning or walking the road so I have made myself a promise that I will be spotlighting myself in the near future with my new book.

Julia’s latest book, a fantasy, is a lovely read. She keeps things simple, employs a smooth flow in her writing, develops her characters well and thinks about entertaining her readers. Suited to a younger audience, nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is a thoughtfulness in Julia’s presentation. I think she manages hiccups well and the result is the world of a Mage Quest, Book 2 of The Erinsmore Chronicles.

Barb’s news:

My books

The first round of edits have finally come back, and my novel Unexpected Passion has a head, arms and even some legs. These are in working order if slightly (okay more than slightly) uncoordinated as youngsters tend to be at the early stages. When I sent off the corrections and the second round returned I think I started breathing again. Lexi, my female lead won a heart, her story was liked so I can continue to breathe.

Now to do the changes and send it off again. The process is not an easy one, but I am hopeful things are falling into place. Here’s a small titbit. My hero likes his tattoos. This is one he has on his arm. He has something even better on his back, but he wouldn’t let me take a photo. What a difficult man!

The world around me

Work and tutoring are taking up much of my time, but I did sneak away to Cairns. I went by train, and this was not without some difficulties (a five-and-a-half-hour delay). I did meet some lovely people though, strangers but lovely all the same and then on arrival I had the delightful opportunity to be with my extended family – a wonderful young woman from Japan and the little princess that is her daughter and a dear friend and her little boy whom I have not seen in a long time.

Crocodiles featured on our travels. We met the handsome Cassius. a mere 1300 kilos, a paltry 5.8 metres long and a mere child at a 110 years of age. He did try to eat me but decided my hiccups would drive him to distraction and so he let me go. I personally believe the look on my face scared the poor creature. We also met some birds, spoke to a Koala, and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine although a boat ride had two of us looking green.

I got a tattoo. Relax, it was a fake. Not because I don’t want one but because I am a coward, and both my daughters live too far away to come with me. I do have a tiny butterfly, barely visible at the top the design and it is real but with limited pain tolerance on my part, the retouching of colour has not happened yet.

Between the exhibition of Andy Warhol’s work, some of the great eating places Cairns has to offer and good friends who are family even without the blood tie, Cairns was everything I needed. I am so sad to think how long it may be until I see my friends again.

The train trip home was without a single problem so thank you, Queensland Rail.

Books I’ve read and Films I watched.

I watched very little in May and read as much as I could. It really is my way of researching and discovering what works and what doesn’t. Truthfully reading is relaxing and any excuse to read is swiftly acted upon. Mostly though, I was disappointed. I like escapism but I think I like real more.

Not so long ago, I raved about The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams. In June I am hoping to hear Pip talking about her new book The Bookbinder of Jericho which I currently have in my hot little hands. More on that in the June Chilling but if her use of language is the same in the second book and so far it is, then as a reader I can’t ask for more. Stay tuned for month end.

Alla prossima,


If you are feeling kindly disposed, please feel free to check out my books

 Links below.

Questions for me? Want to share your views and ideas? I’d love to hear from you. A like and a comment will keep me working harder and if by any chance you have read my books or a book I have featured then please leave a review on Goodreads or wherever you originally purchased the book. It helps writers learn to be better writers.

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