Blogmas

Blogmas Day 17

Santa Fun Run

Blogmas day 17 is a recount of an event we went to yesterday. Helston, Cornwall holds a Santa Fun Run every December, but this year was the first year we managed to get to it.

It wasn’t a massive affair, but it was all in the name of charity. A group of huskies even joined in. See for yourself:


My hubby is planning to join in with our kids next year.

Does your hometown do similar events at Christmastime? Do you participate in something totally wacky for charity?


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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Blogmas

Blogmas Day 14

We Got Our Jingle On

Whilst procrastinating on Pinterest, I saw a fun idea that hasn’t really taken off in the UK…yet. ‘You’ve been Jingled’ is a great way to spread some Christmas cheer to friends and neighbours.

I told my daughter about it, and she begged me to start off a jingle train. Our targets… her besties.

We bought a gift bag and filled it with some treats. We made a little poem to explain the concept to the recipients and to encourage them to join in.

When you jingle someone you’re not supposed to be caught leaving the treats. As this was near impossible in our situation, us Mums had a chat before hand, but the children were none the wiser.

We had good fun doing this. It is always a bonus knowing we’ve put a smile on someone’s face too.

If you want to get your Jingle on, here is the poem we created:

‘You’ve Been Jingled!’

We wanted to spread some Christmas cheer,

After all it’s that time of year.

These goodies come from us to you,

With hope that you will do it too.

Leave your treats, but don’t get caught,

Show someone they’re in your thoughts.

Merry Christmas!


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Blogmas

Blogmas Day 12

The Great Sprout Debate

After getting into a debate about the importance of a sprout on my Christmas dinner plate, I decided to do my own research for Blogmas day 12… an Instagram poll, of course.

I know you’re just dying to find out what percentage of people enjoy a sprout with their Christmas dinner.

*Drumroll please.*

Well, there you have it. Instagram has spoken. 71% do enjoy a sprout with their Christmas dinner.

Now, the real debate is how long you cook your sprouts for. I like mine soft, but my husband likes them with a bit of bite to them. (I think overcooked are less bitter). That is a whole other post that I do not have time for. Maybe next year. *Edges out of sight*.


Do you enjoy a sprout with your Christmas lunch?


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Blogmas

Blogmas Day 11

Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

When I saw this recipe on Delish.com, I just had to have a go. My slow cooker is a vital part of my cooking. I love the dump and run idea behind them. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I’m not the best cook, and slow cookers disguise that fact.

I wanted to make this recipe on the night our local Christmas lights were turned on. The lights turn on starts the Christmas season in my household, so topping it off with scrummy hot chocolate was a must.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups choc chips

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream

6 cups whole milk

Mini marshmallows

Combine ingredients in the slow cooker and stir well. Cook for 2 hrs on low.

The recipe calls for the marshmallows to be added 10 mins before serving to allow them to melt a little. I am not a marshmallow fan, so I skipped this bit and simply garnished my husband’s and daughter’s drinks at the end.

Family verdict… O.M.G. It was delicious. I implore everyone to have a go at this recipe (see link above). It was so easy to prep and the result was nommy.

A great way to end a festive night.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Blogmas

Blogmas Day 7

Tree Tour

So, you’re back for day 7 of Blogmas on Writerly Bookish Stuff. Today is the day you get a tour of my tree. All that decoration shopping has paid off.

(Sound on)

We still have to put our new 2018 photos in the photo frames, because at the moment, we have pictures of randoms that came with the frames on our tree.


I hope you enjoyed my tree tour. It may not be as fancy as some you see, but we love it. It’ll look even better with presents under it on the 25th.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Book Reviews

Book Review: How to Make Money Blogging by Bob Lotich

How to Make Money Blogging by Bob Lotich 3/5

Bob Lotich founded ChristianPF.com back in 2007 and after getting laid off in 2008 he took the leap into full-time blogging. Less than a year later he was earning more from his blog than his previous day-job.
While his results are not typical, this book covers all the steps he took to make money from his blog over that two-year period.

Review:

There isn’t anything wrong with this book, it just didn’t offer me anything personally. It covers the basics thoroughly, so if you don’t know the basics, then this is great. I know the basics, and although I blog as a platform for my books and to review, rather than to make my blog my business, I was hoping for some new, innovative ways to grow, even if just a tad.

Basically, time and hard work grows a blog, and eventually, can lead to income, but I’m already aware of that.

However, like I said, this is a good freebie for beginners.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Guest Post

Guest Post: Phil Price on How to Pen Darkness

book review(2)

Today’s guest post comes from horror author, Phil Price. Phil has joined me today to discuss all things horror. Give yourselves five minutes with a cup of tea, and join us for some tried and tested tips on penning horror stories. Perhaps don’t turn off the lights…

Over to you, Phil.


How to Pen Darkness

Of all the various genres out there, horror is the one that excites me the most. As a reader, you want to be able to connect with the author’s story, hoping that the words conveyed spark your imagination. Other genres do this too. A good romance may bring a tear to your eye, or a fantasy yarn may ignite your imagination. However, horror is a genre that preys on your senses. To lie in bed at night, pulling the duvet up to your neck, checking the window for unseen ghouls, is not an easy feat. Plus, there are many types of horror out there. Serial killers, men in masks, vampires, demons, and ghosts, are but a few of the things that lurk in our imaginations as horror.

So, how do you write it? Tough question. I have written three horror books, centred on vampires. The market is flooded with these mysterious creatures at the moment, as it should be. Nothing should get the horror juices flowing like a good, old fashioned vampire. From Count Dracula, to Mr Barlow, for me, that is what horror is all about. Conveying that subject onto a page is the tricky part. Words on a page are just that, words. Turning the words into a scene that will draw the reader in, is no mean feat.

Many of my readers have given me different feedback. Some, said the stories terrified them. Others said they were not scary in the shocking, jump-out-of-your-seat scary sense. More of a creeping dread that settles over you whilst reading. I, like many horror authors, have taken their inspiration from the great Mr King. He has cornered the market on what scares you. Vampires, killer clowns, haunted hotels, apocalyptic worlds – King has done it all. And many of these stories have come from his own experiences. With this in mind, that is what I try to do, weave a tale from what scares me, what excites me, and what will make readers want to indulge themselves into my world.

Setting the scene is always the most important part. It’s very easy to type, “The killer came around the corner and his knife was big and menacing.” Great. There is a killer out there with a big knife, looking to harm us. Does it ignite your senses? Hell no! The environment needs to be just right to convey the fear that the reader yearns for.

So, if you said:

‘The corridor was a darkened funnel, littered with boxes and bodies. A fluorescent bulb, flickered sporadically, throwing shadows along the low-slung space. An over-powering stench coated Tim’s throat, thick and cloying, making him want to wretch. Making him want to run. A noise in the darkness raised gooseflesh on his arms, the hairs on the back of his neck prickling to attention as the noise came again. Far off, a low shuffle of heavy feet, drifted towards him, the edges of the corridor seeming to darken further. A silhouette appeared around the far corner, dark and brooding. As the light pulsed once more, it caught the edge of the object in the figures hand. Shimmering briefly as it ran along the serrated edges of the blood stained knife.’

Now, many readers might not find that scary. However, some may. It should pull the reader in further, almost placing them in the corridor with the next victim. And that’s what I would say to anyone about to start their own horror story. The person reading your book, needs to be in your book. When they are at work, or at the shops, they need to be thinking about the next chapter, hurrying back home to get the next slice of the pie.

I would also say, be brave, be creative. Don’t hold back at all. Think about what scared you as a kid and spill those emotions into your work. Others will identify with it. I hope this has been insightful. I hope above all, that you are reaching for your laptop, inspired to get cracking on the next big thing….

Good luck.


20479607_10155653386104703_7123091821070616518_nPhil Price was born in Sutton Coldfield in 1974. He lived in various places until his family settled in Rednal, Birmingham in 1979. Growing up with and older brother and sister he always flirted with reading as there were always books lying on shelves around the house. Then in 1997 he embarked on a travel expedition that took him from Greece to Thailand, via East and Southern Africa. Sitting in dusty bus stations in Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi gave him the opportunity to ignite his imagination fully. Since those far-off days, he has never been without a book to read.

He toyed with the idea of writing a book in 2009. After writing a few short stories he caught a whiff of an idea in his head. It grew and grew in 2010 until he had enough to begin. Marriage and two children came along, with the story being moved to the back burner for periods of time. However, during those periods of writing inactivity, the story continued to evolve until it just needed to be written down.

The book was littered with places that had influenced Phil’s life. From the Lickey Hills in Birmingham, to the Amatola Mountains in South Africa with other locations, in-between and far beyond. The book was finished sometime in 2014 and was left on his computer, until a chance conversation with an author friend made Phil take the bold step to publish his story, Unknown. Unknown was re-published in 2017, as part of The Forsaken Series. The Turning is to follow on from Unknown, with a third book currently in post-production.

Where to find Phil and his books:

Facebook Author Page

Facebook Street Team

Twitter

Unknown Book One

The Turning Book Two


For use of content featured in this post, contact the author, Phil Price.