Scariest book déjà vu ever? Five Days in January by @TheRTLowe #TuesdayBookBlog #SciFi #Fantasy — Barb Taub

As an occasional book reviewer myself, I could instantly appreciate how Barb Taub made me run to Amazon to get my own copy of R.T. Lowe’s “Five Days in January”. I’ll admit off the bat that I’m not a science fiction/ fantasy reader but a good story set in a (scarily) realistic context will win me over. I’m looking forward to reading this (and its debut) novel.

Check out Barb’s review here:
Scariest book déjà vu ever? Five Days in January by @TheRTLowe #TuesdayBookBlog #SciFi #Fantasy — Barb Taub

This is a book which was written last year, and released over a month ago. It’s a dystopian science fiction tale, and yet chillingly prescient, especially for someone reading it as I did—while news reports unfolded of a mass murderer slaughtering innocent people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Thank you, Bloggers Bash 2016! #BloggersBash

Ah! London! Home of the annual Bloggers Bash and Indian food. (Thank you, London, for Indian food!) This blog post is a small roundup of my experience with links to some others’ sites and their roundups.

I had heard about the Annual Bloggers Bash sometime in November or December, and signed up to participate right away–months before I found out someone had nominated this blog, Living in Cyn, for Best Newcomer Blog. (Spoiler alert: that award went to the highly deserving Noelle at Crime Book Junkie.)

Cynthia T. Luna and Sacha Black at the 2016 Bloggers Bash
Cynthia is not used to taking selfies… Sacha is! Must ask her for tips. So great meeting a blogging friend!!

About the Bloggers Bash

Just as Big Ben struck 2 o’clock somewhere near the Thames, I stepped into the second floor of The Driver, where the event was held. (Side note: this is a sexy little gastro pub in the Camden area of London and a place worth checking out for future visits to London.) Smiling Bloggers Bash committee members greeted me there: a purpley-bearded Geoff, an iPhone-wielding Hugh, guardian of the Bash and cash registers, Ali, and lover-of-the-strange-unusual-and-red-soled-Louboutins Sacha.

Bloggers Bash / #BloggersBash / Cynthia T. Luna / Living in Cyn / LivinginCyn.com

To Reblog or to Press This? That was the Bloggers Bash Question…

Besides booze at the bar, bloggers on the floor, sustenance in the forms of cake and gastro fare, there was boundless conversation about blogging.

Luca Sartoni Bloggers Bash 2016
Luca Sartoni, Automattic growthketeer, zeroed in on his targets…

Lance Greenfield Mitchell posed a question about Reblogging versus Press-This, to which Luca Sartoni (an Automattic “growthketeer”, apparent fan of “The Governator and Bloggers Bash special guest) responded, “Wait. How many of you reblog? Why do you reblog?”

It seems that this room, containing a good many rebloggers, was all about sharing the love. (What’s not to heart?) A note to WordPress.com-ers, reach for your Press-This bookmarklet if you’re visiting a Self-hostie. 🙂

Brushing Up Against Bloggers Bash Biggies

Truth be told, I am an introvert, so I had to mentally prepare for this afternoon with a room full of the people who create the posts I follow and admire. Looking back on it all, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t in a daze, and maybe even a little star struck. Among others (I follow a bunch of the blogs featured in the Bash awards), I got to meet some Bloggers Bash celebs:

In no particular order…

  • Suzie of SuzieSpeaks writes posts about a wide array of topics. Somehow, she has her finger on the pulse of what people want to read. I’m certainly hooked. She noted a funny little story about how we ran into each other after the party in her own Bloggers Bash roundup.
  • Lucy Mitchell a chick lit writer and blogger of Blonde Write More. Lately, I have been reading the hilarious diary entries of her fictitious main character, Tina–a slightly crazed aspiring authoress. I find myself chuckling with self-recognition to this series. (I wonder why.) Catch her roundup of bloggers air-bashing madness here.
  • Sacha Black queen bee on the Bloggers Bash organizing/event committee and a prolific blogger to her namesake blog provides writer tips, inspiration and reflections. (In case this is your first time here, Living in Cyn had her on as a special guest.)
  • Icy Sedgwick is a fellow writer and published author who is newly exploring self-publishing possibilities. I met her through the inter-tubes days before the event, so it was thrilling to see her at the Bash. We chatted a lot about book marketing, and she gave me some tips that I’ll be sharing in this blog over the next couple weeks!
  • Ritu from But I Smile Anyway. I just found out that she is also on the verge of publishing a collection of poems. (A word to introverts: Seek Ritu out at a party. She will instantly make you feel like you arrived with a friend!)
  • Helen Jones of Journey to Ambeth. Helen participates in various blog challenges. My biggest fascination with her blog comes from her writing voice. Her observations enchant me, and she stumbles on natural or historical wonders that pique my interest.

Caught on Camera!

Most of the bloggers mentioned above were nominated for a highly coveted ABBA. Many of them (not surprisingly) walked away with a trophy and/or an honorable mention. It was all very exciting. You can see some intros here or by visiting Hugh’s Views and News.

My prize was being in a room full of the very people who keep me company on my lunch hour, during a slow morning at the day job, on Twitter during my long commute, or at any other given time I feel like being pulled away from my “real” life. 🙂

Biggest Bloggers Bash Regret…

I don’t usually leave festive events with regrets–happy to coast on the positive vibrations for hours and days. But I do have one regret this time: Not taking (many) pictures during the event — and later, not having the courage to click away with abandon. Still, I managed to squeeze in a few, just to prove I was there! Next year, I’ll do better–much better!

Icy Sedgwick and Cynthia T. Luna LivinginCyn.com Bloggers Bash 2016
I got to meet Icy Sedgwick and we spoke forever about book marketing and writing fiction. (Not to self, ask Icy for some tips in taking selfies…)

Coming Down from the Bloggers Bash High

The wave of elation and exhaustion is only now beginning to abate and I have another post about London in general that I will post here over the next couple days, but in the meantime…

Behold, the list of bloggers recognized for their various bloggerly talents!

AND…The Winners of the #BloggersBash Awards 2016 Are…

Many Thanks to Everyone…

People at the Bloggers Bash were awesome. I also want to thank you for nominating me to join such exalted bloggerly company. Some of the nominees (and award winners) post new blog posts every day (and some even more than that). Thank you for considering me among them. It’s like qualifying for the Olympics!

You’ll find me in London next year on June 10 at the 3rd Annual Bloggers Bash Awards!

If you like what you read, consider signing up for occasional email updates to my blog posts at LivinginCyn.com. I write about writerly things, mostly–things I learn while marketing my nonfiction book and also more things I learn while writing my first novel!

In the Merde: An e-Interview with L. Phillips on Living in France, and Her New Book, Houses, History & Humour

Amazon US | UK | DE | FR
Amazon US | UK | DE | FR

If you’re anything like me, you are thinking about your summer vacation. (I’m always thinking about my vacation.) Perhaps in reading today’s e-interview with L. Phillips, new author of Houses, History and Humour (A British Estate Agent in France), released in the Fall 2015, your curiosity about things français might be piqued and you might decide on a trip to France, or at least the travel section of your bookstore.

L. Phillips’ book is an adventure into the unexpected, “filled with stacks of amusing incidents and Continue reading “In the Merde: An e-Interview with L. Phillips on Living in France, and Her New Book, Houses, History & Humour”

#Whatif you lived “A Blast from the Past”? (Time After Time, by Hannah McKinnon) — #whatif Blog Tour Sample Pages

Time After Time, by Hannah McKinnon #whatif #booktour
Available on Amazon (US ¦ UK)

How many times have you had a “What if…” moment in your life? There are smaller what ifs–the kind you can hashtag for Twitter, like, “#WhatIf I hadn’t put cream in my coffee…?” (okay, maybe that’s not so small!) or “#WhatIf I didn’t work a day job…?“—and then, there are bigger what ifs, like the one Hannah McKinnon explores in her newly released debut novel, Time After Time:

#WhatIf I could turn back the clock and do things differently?

Hannah McKinnon Writer #whatif #timeaftertime
Hannah McKinnon, author or Time After Time

Time after Time (US ¦ UK), Hannah McKinnon’s debut novel, recently released on June 2, 2016, explores just that question–and I am thrilled to share with you the novel’s first chapter. So, get your cup of coffee (hold back on the cream, your jeans will thank me for that…) and enjoy.

CHAPTER 1 – A Blast from the Past

It was the odd silence that woke her.

Where are the kids?

Hayley tried to burrow back into Sleepland. Fat chance. She’d become too much aware of her tongue that was stuck to the roof of her mouth. It felt like she’d been chewing on a ball of fuzzy felt rolled in a slice of Gouda.

‘Ugh,’ Hayley groaned, her eyes still tightly shut.

She remembered getting a taxi back from Ellen’s but her throbbing head didn’t make sense. They hadn’t had that much wine, surely?  Hayley briefly wondered if her best friend felt equally queasy. Then her stomach rumbled, a sure indication of how late it might be.

Breakfast is going to be fun. Serves me right for getting back so late.

Hayley squinted, barely able to make anything out in the dimly lit room. She looked at her old-fashioned Mickey Mouse alarm clock that ticked loudly. Her parents had bought it for her fifteenth birthday as a joke because nothing short of a sledgehammer ever seemed to wake her. She’d used it ever since.

Mickey’s glow-in-the dark gloves showed five minutes to nine.

Where are the kids?

She couldn’t believe they weren’t up yet. It was total bliss that she’d got an extra hour and a half of much-needed sleep. As she rubbed her head again she heard Rick’s gentle breathing next to her. Her husband had always been a quiet sleeper. She was the snorer – he’d even recorded it once on his phone and played a frighteningly realistic warthog impression back to her with a grin on his face.

It’s not like him to be in bed this late on a Saturday morning.

He usually went out for a run and did push-ups at the park while she got the kids up and made breakfast. He reckoned it was the reason he could still eat Fish and Chips and not turn into a lard-arse.

Hayley thought about Rick’s firm legs and trim waist. She briefly considered slipping her hand down his boxer shorts – they hadn’t had morning sex in months, probably years, even – but that pint of water she’d downed just before she left Ellen’s had turned her bladder into a bouncy castle. She was busting for a pee and wanted to move her legs but they felt like lead-filled sausages. Slowly she started to drift off to sleep again.

‘Yougonnagedup? Gedsumbrukfast?’

God, he sounds rough. I bet he’s coming down with a cold. Oh joy. Man-flu alert.

‘In a minute,’ she mumbled, then remembered their row from the night before. At least an eight and a half on the Richter scale of arguments. Maybe even a nine. Bad enough for her to walk out, fleeing to Ellen’s for wine and moral support. It wasn’t the first time she’d speculated if Rick had found someone else. Wondered if he wanted to leave, then wondered if she wanted him to.

She sighed and decided she should take a few steps towards reconciliation. Besides, she had a brief to finish. Washing to do. Costumes to pick up. Parents to see. And with all of that on her list, it was hardly a practical day to put a bullet in her marriage.

Hayley crawled out of bed, eyes barely open, headed for the door and walked straight into a chest of drawers.

‘Ouch.’ She rubbed her leg.

‘What the bloody hell are you doing?’ Rick’s voice really was rough.

Hayley opened her eyes properly to take in her surroundings.

Hang on a second.

The bedroom seemed smaller than usual. The window was in the wrong place, surely, and she felt carpet under her feet, not hardwood floor. Instead of the door being straight ahead she could make it out to her left. Pictures hung above the chest of drawers. She squinted at them, but couldn’t see them properly in the dark room.

It all had a certain familiarity about it that she couldn’t quite place.

God, we must have got completely trolleyed. But why can’t I remember?

Hayley grabbed hold of the chest of drawers to steady herself and knocked over a vase.

‘I’m trying to sleep, keep it down.’

An alarm bell went off in Hayley’s throbbing head. She spun round faster than she intended, lost her balance and landed on the floor on her bum.

‘Ow. Fuck it,’ she said loudly.

‘What are you doing?’

Hayley popped her head up, quickly brushed her brown hair away from her face, and gasped. The person she’d thought was Rick now sat up in bed, staring down at her. She shook her head and quickly rubbed her eyes. Despite the dim light there was no mistaking him.

No … No way … It can’t be.

‘What are you playing at?’ he said. ‘I didn’t get to sleep until four.’

With wide blue eyes and her mouth forming a perfect ‘O’ of surprise, Hayley stared at the man for so long, she could practically feel the seasons change.

‘Chris?’

Hayley blinked three times thinking that she’d never, ever, cheat on Rick. Never.

And she hadn’t seen Chris – her first boyfriend, her very first love – in over twenty years.

So when … no, how had she ended up in bed with him?


Did that get you thinking about #whatif?

I don’t know how I’d react if I woke up next to my first boyfriend. I shudder to think… I’ll be hanging around Twitter intermittently today (because I’m traveling) tweeting #whatif hashtags, and I’ll be checking into comments if you have a #whatif or #timeaftertime tweet to share.

#WhatIf you could connect with Hannah McKinnon through the interwebs and find out more?

Hannah McKinnon Writer #whatif book tour
Connect with Hannah McKinnon! Chat with us: #WhatIf

Here are some of her details…

Note: There are links on this page that will lead you to Amazon.com. If you decide to make a purchase on Amazon as a result of clicking the link, I receive a small commission from your purchase. Find out more about affiliate links here. Thanks for your support.

Voting Still OPEN for 2nd Annual BLOGGERS BASH Awards!

There is still time to vote, my friends — And in case you didn’t know… this blog you’re following (Living in Cyn) is listed as Cynthia T. Luna under Best Newcomer category!

VOTE NOW! Annual Bloggers Bash Awards NOW OPEN

#BloggersBash
Voting closes at 12pm on the June 9, 2016

You’ve all been asking for it… and now you’re gonna get it! The Bloggers Bash Agenda, that is. I can’t believe that it’s already nearly a year since the very first Blo…

Source: The #BloggersBash Agenda and Who’s Who