Goodbye, Authonomy


I originally joined Authonomy in 2010, back in the days when I had the time and energy to engage with a very busy community of authors. An early extract of ‘New Beginnings’ received heaps of favourable and constructive feedback, all of which led to the version which was subsequently published.

I closed my Authonomy profile when my Open University studies began to take up a large chunk of my spare time; unfortunately I forgot to save all the comments and reviews that my novel had attracted. I re-joined in 2013 because I missed the discourse with and support of other writers, but I over-estimated my ability to participate and have been inactive there for most of the intervening period.


Because Authonomy will be closing on 30 September, I’ve copied (verbatim) the comments that the first few pages of ‘New Beginnings’ had attracted from my fellow Authonomy authors:

 • WendyLou
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.
Good luck

• Brian G Chambers
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. I wish I could put it on my shelf right away but for now I will have to eject someone from my WL. It sure is worth all the six stars that I’m giving it.

• Michael Matula
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.
High stars.
Arrival of the Ageless

• Warrick Mayes
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.”
Best wishes
“Sleeping With God”

• maretha
New Beginnings by Johanna Nield
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. :-) Many stars for now and all the best on authonomy.
African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends


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6 months of magic and mayhem…with more to follow!


I’m reblogging Sophie’s post here because it deserves a huge audience (as does she) ;)

Originally posted on Sophie E Tallis:

Today’s post is a rather reflective one, so apologies for getting a little misty-eyed and overawed!

Six months ago on the 1st December 2014 my debut novel, White Mountain, the first of my Darkling Chronicles trilogy, was gloriously published by Grimbold Books & their imprint Kristell Ink Publishing. I knew at the time that the merry-go-round of madness was about to begin, but boy what a rollercoaster ride it’s been!


White Mountain, as most of my friends, family and supporters know, was a complete labour of love that took over ten years to write, research and worldbuild (yes, I am a VERY slow writer! I promise that Book 2 WILL be finished and ready next year, so no decade to wait!). All my interests in ancient history, world mythology, geography, geology, natural history, ecology, anthropology etc., etc., dripped into the history and worldbuilding behind the story of White Mountain

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Author spotlight

My Author Spotlight page on has been given a little make-over:

AuthorSpotlightWhat do you think?

Interesting* fact: when I’m logged in to Lulu, my books are displayed in order of publication and the prices are quoted in sterling, yet when I’m logged out the page is displayed as shown above.

*I realise this may be interesting only to those of us who are puzzled by such anomalies (sorry!) ;)

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ME and me

I’ve recently been diagnosed with ME/CFS.

These are extracts from the ProHealth section on this condition:

   The best known symptom of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & ME (ME/CFS) is an unrelenting, persistent loss of energy that physicians call “fatigue.” However, the profound loss of energy experienced by ME/CFS patients is nothing like the fatigue most people experience at the end of a long day or following a strenuous workout. It cannot be relieved by rest or sleep. In fact, patients may awaken feeling just as fatigued as they did before they went to sleep.

The hallmark of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is wide-ranging symptoms that wax and wane. These symptoms can affect any part of the body and any system, including the nervous system, the endocrine system, the digestive system, and the immune system. That is why ME/CFS is called a “multi-system” illness, and why fits into the category of neuroimmune illnesses – illnesses that primarily affect the immune system and the nervous system.

Healthy people also experience fatigue, muscle aches, digestive disturbances, and insomnia, as well as many other symptoms, but what marks ME/CFS symptoms is their severity and frequency. Patients with ME/CFS experience symptoms virtually daily, and to the point that they can become incapacitating.
Source: ProHealth

The website lists 55 primary symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Myalgic Encephalomyelitis; 36 of them currently affect me.

Not all patients experience the same symptoms, and not all experience the same severity of illness. As with any other disease, symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe. Patients often rate themselves on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being bed-bound, and 10 being fully recovered. In addition, there are three general levels of illness: mild, moderate, and severe.

Mild: Patients are mobile, can care for themselves, do light housework and work part-time, or even full-time with the curtailment of all other activities.

Moderate: Patients have reduced mobility and are restricted in all activities of daily living. They have usually stopped work or school.

Severe: Patients are unable to do anything without assistance. They spend most of the day in bed and are sensitive to light and noise.
Source: ProHealth

I consider myself very fortunate: I’m at the mild level of illness. I’m (reluctantly) learning my limits, and I have a lot of support, both personally and professionally.

You may be wondering why I’m sharing this with you, and why here? There are several reasons:

  1. To raise awareness of this condition, which affects far more people than you’d think.
  2. To show that anyone can have what’s known as a hidden illness.
  3. To encourage discussion, invite advice and suggestions, share experiences with those who have (or care for someone with) the same condition – especially, but not exclusively, fellow writers.
  4. To explain why my online activity, already sporadic, will probably fluctuate wildly from now on.

InvisibleIllnessTARDISAs well as being published on my blog, this post will appear on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.  I welcome comments on all platforms.

Like Someone with ME image source
Invisible Illness image source

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I’ve recently joined the iAuthor community, where my books are listed in the Romance section.

They’re also featured in two of the innovative Themes sections: Contemporary British romance, and Indie Books Looking for Reviewers (read more about the latter below)

iAuthoriAuthor is an interactive book discovery platform, global in reach and vision. Through ultra-immersive book samples and crowdsourced themes, iAuthor connects READERS to BOOKS. We aim to give the publishing world something unique: a hub for serendipitous discovery.

Are you a reader?
iAuthor is transforming book discovery. Through a theme-driven approach, iAuthor recreates the serendipity of the bookshop. From New York Times bestsellers to edgy indies, you’ll stumble upon books you never knew existed! Read enticing book samples straight from your browser. Buy in a format of your choice. Feeling creative? iAuthor lets you create your own book Themes ‒ then share them with the world.

More information can be found here and here.

Indie books looking for reviewers

My comment on this iAuthor page:

I welcome all reviews – good, bad, indifferent – as long as they’re honest; they help me understand what my readers like and don’t like about my work.
NEW BEGINNINGS is a contemporary British romance with adult themes; it’s not chick-lit and it’s not sweet and fluffy.
If you’d like to review any of the three titles in the series, please get in touch here, or via Twitter or Facebook.
Thank you.

iAuthor has something for writers and readers alike. Why not take a look?


You can find my iAuthor book pages here:
New Beginnings
New Beginnings: Moving On
New Beginnings: Starting Over

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Xmas-themed taster: Sunday 21 December


Sunday 21 December
I’m tired and I’ve got a sore throat, so I’m going to bed soon. I’ve got a horrible feeling that I may be catching the flu, or at least a cold, and I really don’t want to be ill over Christmas so on Friday I started taking Vitamin C tablets and tonight I’ve just taken some Night Nurse and I’m hoping to sleep it off. I’m going with Bridget and the girls to Byford tomorrow for their ‘getting to know you’ visit, and I’m driving so I’ll need to have my wits about me as I haven’t been there before.

We’ve had a lovely weekend, much more relaxed than I’d thought it would be. Jamie and I put the Christmas tree up on Friday after work. We’ve bought a fake one, just a small one, with some simple decorations for it. He told me that they used to buy a real tree each year, and there’s a box in the attic that holds the decorations they’ve used for years, but there was no way that I was going to put him through all that so I asked if he’d mind if I got a new one and he was fine with it. He was awfully quiet while we were putting it up, and it was obviously difficult for him, but he’s trying really hard to not get down about it all. I’m doing all the present wrapping and card sending (they’ve all been posted now) but I’ve been showing him what I’m doing just so he’s not out of the loop. I know he can’t drum up false enthusiasm for it all – wouldn’t want him to – but he’s doing okay.


Extract from New Beginnings: Moving On

Xmas tree photo courtesy of Tesco


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Merry Christmas From AWW – Free eBook Lucky Dip Giveaway!

This gallery contains 27 photos.

Originally posted on A Woman's Wisdom – The Book Blog For Lovers Of The Written Word:
A Woman’s Wisdom is almost two years old and it’s nearly Christmas so what better way to celebrate these two momentous events than…

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How EU VAT changes affect eBook pricing

I received an email from Kindle Direct Publishing last week, with regards to the new eBook pricing system which will be introduced from 1 January 2015.

ebook_transition_ebook-x-com-hello-worldThe gist of it is that VAT will be included in the sale price of eBooks from 1 January, which will affect the minimum price at which those books can be sold. I’ll share the important bits here, but if you want to know more then please ask and I’ll happily show the entire email.

On January 1, 2015, European Union (EU) tax laws regarding the taxation of digital products (including eBooks) will change: previously, Value Added Tax (VAT) was applied based on the seller’s country – as of January 1st, VAT will be applied based on the buyer’s country. As a result, starting on January 1st, KDP authors must set list prices to be inclusive of VAT. We will also make a one-time adjustment for existing books published through KDP to move from VAT-exclusive list prices to list prices which include VAT. We’ll put these changes into effect starting January 1st; you may always change your prices at any time, but you do not need to take any action unless you wish to do so.

One-time Adjustment for Existing KDP Titles
Starting January 1st, for any titles already published in KDP, we will make a one-time adjustment to convert VAT-exclusive list prices provided to us to VAT-inclusive list prices. Subject to minimum and maximum thresholds, we will add the applicable VAT based on the primary country of the marketplace to the VAT-exclusive list price provided. For example, if an author had previously set £5.00 as the VAT-exclusive list price for, the new VAT-inclusive list price will be £6.00 because the applicable VAT rate in the UK is 20%. Please note, if an author had set a consistent VAT-exclusive list price for all Euro based Kindle stores, those prices will now be different due to varying VAT rates for the primary country of each Kindle store. For example, if an author had previously provided a €6.00 VAT-exclusive list price for,,, and Kindle stores, the list prices including VAT will be €7.14 (19% VAT), €6.33 (5.5% VAT), €7.26 (21% VAT), and €7.32 (22% VAT) respectively.

Minimum and maximum list prices for the 35% and 70% royalty plans will now also include VAT.
Learn more about the new minimum and maximum KDP EU list prices here

You currently have one or more books in the 35% royalty plan that will not meet the new minimum list price requirements. To make sure that your books still meet the minimum list price required for the 35% royalty plan after January 1, we’ll adjust the new list price that includes VAT in order to meet the minimum for 35% royalty.

  • For ebooks less than or equal to 3 megabytes, the new minimum list price requirements are £ 0.99 and € 0.99
  • For ebooks between 3 and 10 megabytes, the new minimum list price requirements are £ 1.49 and € 1.99
  • For ebooks equal to or greater than 10 megabytes, the new minimum list price requirements are £ 1.99 and € 2.99

VAT-300x199_accountancy-edge-co-uk-tag-vatWhat this means is that the digital version of all three books in the ‘New Beginnings‘ series will be increased in price from 1 January, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

If you’ve been thinking of reading one or all of them, I suggest you treat yourself before the end of December! ;)


eBook image courtesy of ebook extreme
VAT image courtesy of accountancy edge

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Win Christmas on PayPal


Fancy the chance to win your Christmas shopping, paid for this year with PayPal?

Every time you pay with PayPal between 1st November and 24th December, you could be one of five lucky people to win back your Christmas shopping, up to the value of £1000 every week*.

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.

Click Here

* Terms and Conditions Apply
Full details at PayPal

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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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