Win Christmas on PayPal


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Whether it’s Christmas dinner with all the trimmings or that must-have gift for the kids, you could win it all back when you pay with PayPal this Christmas.

Click on PayPal’s Christmas campaign banner below to be entered into PayPal’s Christmas prize draw for the chance to win £10,000.

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Mini make-over

Change-200x200My website has undergone a mini make-over.

Please let me know what you think, especially if something isn’t working, or if you feel something is missing.

Thank you :)


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It’s official! I’m a Writer of Wales!

girl_writing-elizabethwinthropMae’n swyddogol! Awdur Cymraes ydw i!*

Literature Wales is the national organisation responsible for developing and promoting literature. It is made up of Yr Academi Gymreig / The Welsh Academy, which is the Society for Writers of Wales, and Tŷ Newydd Writers’ Centre.

literature_wales_logo_400px_wLiterature Wales represents the interests of Welsh writers in all genres and languages, both inside Wales and internationally. It offers advice, support, bursaries, mentoring and opportunities to meet other writers. Read more about Literature Wales and The Welsh Academy here.


I’ve been an associate member of Literature Wales (Llenyddiaeth Cymru) for several years, but I’m now proud to announce that I’ve been added to The Writers of Wales Database.

Johanna Nield
is the pen-name of Gail Metcalfe (nee Nield-Siddall). She was born in St Asaph and still lives in her childhood home of Rhyl on the North Wales coast. Creative writing became a passion in primary school, where she won two national writing competitions; English teachers in high school further encouraged her love of words, language, reading and writing, and that passion has never waned.

You can see the rest of my Writers of Wales Database page here


* It’s official! I’m a Welsh author!



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Something has to go!

During the last four years, I’ve gradually built up a modest online presence via various platforms. As well as this blog, I have a website, a Twitter account, two Facebook pages and various other media through which I’ve been able to engage with some wonderfully diverse groups of readers and writers.

However, for various reasons, I no longer have enough time to devote to all of these online accounts.

So … which one(s) should go?

Please take a look at each of the following, and then tell me honestly which one(s) you’re least likely to visit.

About Me
Book Stores: Wix & Tictail
Google+ Page
Facebook 1
Facebook 2 Vote for as many as you wish, and those with the most votes will go.

Thank you :)

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Tictail app – shopping on the go!

Today, I’m sharing some great news, received by email this afternoon – my Tictail store New Beginnings is now available via the Tictail app!


The Tictail app gives you a wide range of shopping opportunities at your fingertips (including my books!)

Download the app now:


P.S. – telling your friends never hurts ;)




Tictail app image courtesy of Tictail
Tell Everyone image courtesy of Simple Life Publishing via Google

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Late summer mist

Today was a beautiful day: the air was still, hot, and hazy under an almost cloudless sky.

Low sea mist sheathed familiar landmarks in pale grey shrouds, giving much-loved vistas an alien yet still beautiful disguise.

Flat as a sheltered lake, the sea mirrored the pale grey-blue above, enhancing the feeling that the vivid, lush colours of the countryside and shore had been transformed into a pastel-hued Impressionist painting.

Driving to and from work through this ethereal wonderland, I wanted more than ever to stop the car and spend the day walking with my camera.





Photo (Mist and no Wind on the Menai Straits) from Flickr via Google

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Women Make Waves

Women Make Waves – “a network for women by women” – is a visually pleasing, impressively eclectic and very informative site with a wide range of articles and a hugely diverse group of contributors.

My first article as a Women Make Waves author is entitled “What Do You Do?

Please let me know what you think!



Women Make Waves logo courtesy of Women Make Waves
Waves image courtesy of Science Daily via Google
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Authonomy feedback

NBheart3Prompted by the news that Authonomy has had a makeover, I logged in this evening to take a look at the new design (and liked what I saw).

While I was there, I checked my messages and read through the comments from fellow authors on the opening chapters of “New Beginnings” – not recent, but I thought I’d share them here.
maretha wrote:

I’ve read everything you’ve posted and enjoyed some of the incidents in which Tasha finds herself. You’ve managed to convey her feelings, really her unrequited love for her boss, Jamie, quite well. Many of us will certainly be able to identify with her as far as listing New Year’s Resolutions goes.

Fortunately, she felt they were nothing too great or difficult. One wonders where things will end for her at the end of the day. At the funeral, Jamie’s’ mother-in-law made an uncalled remark and I’m not sure where it comes from. After all, is Tasha works for the guy, it seems logical that she would be there to help, considering that most of his family lived far away.

The diary style is a lovely idea, but I’m concerned that in the end, it might stilt the complete development of your story, but these days people are very much into reality things, so perhaps if she uses a pseudonym and writes an open blog where people might actually comment, it’ll give you an opportunity to let us hear her voice through dialogue. Of course, this is just an opinion. Let me know when you upload more. I’m interested to see where you and this very likable, if slightly scatterbrained heroine is going to take us. :-)


Warrick Mayes wrote:

Bloody hell.

It’s not often I read everything someone has posted.

This is done in such a way that it does not feel like a story. It really feels like we’re reading someone’s private blog.

I found no errors. no faults.

What will happen between She and J? It all seems perfectly obvious, they seemed destined to be together. I don’t know how you will better this in chapter two. The problem of not being able to go out with J seems to BE the story, so eventually getting together might even be a disappointment. She’s weedling her way in, and even seems to have won over Beth. It wouldn’t be fair to retreat, but it would also be wrong to take things further – at the moment!

I love the line “Fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck.”


Michael Matula wrote:

Hi, Johanna. This was quite enjoyable for me. I like the conversational tone, and the format of using the blog entries (though I did kind of want the blog to be public, as it feels more like a private journal if it’s not actually on the web), and I thought you handled her inner turmoil well, and I liked the fact that she didn’t attempt to move in on J immediately after the incident. I was a bit concerned early on, as her obsession with J did make me worried for the wife and the daughter (if they hadn’t had a daughter, especially one with special needs, this might have been easier for me to swallow), so I was hoping she would move on of her own accord before the incident happened.

I also wrote down a few notes as I read:
- “give myself somewhere to record my feelings” and “I need somewhere to put down my thoughts and feelings” felt a bit similar to me, and they were within a couple of sentences from one another. I would possibly only mention this sentiment once here.
- I guess I’m behind on my acronyms, but I wasn’t sure what NVQ stood for.
- “their little girl, but a girl can look” – I might change the first one to “their little daughter,” to avoid saying girl twice here.
- “so no drinks night for me tonight” – I would possibly say “so it’s a no drinks night for me.” or go the other way and say “so no drinks for me tonight”
- A couple times, a line felt like it was trying to possibly squeeze a bit too much information in, like with “We took J back to the hospital and we both offered to stay with him but he didn’t want us to, so we left him there and I took Ben back to work because his car was still there.” where I wondered if part of it (like the fact that the car was still there) could possibly be trimmed out.

As I said, though, I thought this was very well done so far, and it felt like a very interesting twist on the genre.


Brian G Chambers wrote:

Hi Johanna
When I read your pitch I thought oh no another chick lit romance, but I thought I would give you a comment anyway.
You had me hooked from the second paragraph. This being the electronic age the blog replaces the diary. This story has you reaching for the tissue box. It is beautifully written. You can feel the emotions all the way through. Writing at its best. I disagree with Wendy Lou’s comment, I think you started her fantasies of J at the right place, it makes it seem all the more realistic.


WendyLou wrote:

Hi. I think the blog (diary) style of writing works well when the person talking is the main event in the book, but I felt it lost it a bit talking about the loss of the wife and subsequent events, as it felt detached from the action. Also, starting with the guy being so devoted made me question the girl’s moral compass and she lost favour in my eyes. Maybe she wouldn’t look so bad if her attraction started AT the time of his berievement?
I think the story has a good subject, that many people will be able to relate to, and being self published – by demand – (I’m jealous!) I’m sure you will find your readership.


I love that these are quite diverse views, with some very constructive and honest feedback. I especially love it when Tasha’s motives or ethics are questioned, because that’s how she was written – she’s not a Goody Two-Shoes.

What do you think of the comments here? Do you agree/disagree? Do you have something else to say about “New Beginnings”? I’d love to read your views :)


My Authonomy page, which includes links to the “New Beginnings” extract and these comments, can be viewed here (you’ll need to join, but it’s free and membership allows free access to thousands of books and short stories).

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You are Good Enough!!


Maegan Provan writes passionately about a recent trend in women’s literature, and echoes my own misgivings about the portrayal of women in the more headline-grabbing romance novels of late.
Like Tricia Drammeh (see comments on original post), I was more concerned with the portrayal of women and relationships in the 50 Shades novels, and I’m heartened to know that I’m not alone in regarding the weak woman / strong man formula both insulting and dangerous.

Originally posted on Maegan Provan, Author:

An increasingly disturbing trend is rippling through the literary world. It can be seen in both self published novels and traditionally published novels alike. It has the ability to change the way that people all over the world view themselves and others… and not for the better.

I can first remember hearing about “girl power” in the 90′s when the world was introduced to the Spice Girls. Of course, as early as the 1920′s, most of us alive today can recount when we first heard about women’s equality and why females deserve to be treated with respect as opposed to servants who are there for a good lay (trying to keep my cursing down for this post) and to cook a hot meal when the man commands it. Women’s liberation has been a force that’s gained a lot of forward momentum over the years. There are still a few bumps…

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Book blogs

Pile of BooksIt’s link-sharing time again, and for this update I’ve collected links to a variety of blogs about books.

They’re mostly review blogs, but it’s an eclectic little mix so hopefully there will be something for everyone – readers, writers, bloggers, and the mildly curious ;)

The taglines are the sites’ own, where applicable

The Guardian Books Blog
- self explanatory

The Book Geek
- “a blog bringing you news and reviews on upcoming and recently released fiction”

- “a place where you can keep track of what you’ve read, review books, organize your books in shelves, express yourself openly and creatively, and engage in group discussions with other readers”

Story Cartel
- “free books in exchange for your honest review”

The Book Blogger List
- “site to help book bloggers find like-minded bloggers and help authors find book bloggers that might be interested in their book”

A Womans’ Wisdom
- “a place to discover fabulous storytellers plus book reviews, life and humour”

- “curious corners of a writer’s cluttered mind”

- “a fun, fast, and friendly way for book-lovers to talk about books on Twitter” (it’s more than that!)

The Mad Reviewer
- “reviews galore, mad rants, crazy posts and more!”

Morning Books and Coffee
- “I am not in any way a professional reviewer I just happen to love books and like share my thoughts and share  good books and book related stuff with others”

Enjoy! Please share any good book blogs that you’ve found: I’m always on the look-out for more :)


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