Pre-Made Book Covers

One of the projects that I’ve been working on over the last couple of weeks is Pre-Made Book Covers that I hope to be able to sell to authors just like me. You can see them all here.

I created the cover for my first book, Reality is in a Dream, and I absolutely loved the experience. I used all of my own images, so it got me out with my camera too. I wasn’t so lucky with my second or third books. I over-thought the process and just couldn’t get the covers right. That’s when I found a fabulous book cover designer on Fiverr.

Lauren Mayhew Author - Book Cover Designer

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Mobile Apps – An Addiction?

[Everything in this blog is my opinion and based on my personal experiences. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t download these games, I’m just saying that they weren’t great for me.]

Miobile Apps - An Addiction - Lauren Mayhew AuthorThere are so many things that I could be doing during my lunch break and spare time at home – writing, blogging, book cover design, reading – and yet I sit and play games on my phone for hours on end, wasting my life. I know I should be doing something else, but I can’t seem to drag myself away from the screen. It sucks me in and doesn’t want to let go.

It’s only recently that I started to have a problem with the amount of time that I spent on my phone playing games. I’d be sat at home after work with the TV on, dinner about an hour away. I could be doing research for a writing project, I could be designing a new book cover, I could be reading, and yet I’m not. I’m sat on my phone playing one of the various games that I’ve downloaded. And then once I’ve eaten my dinner, I’ll finish where I left off and start the game cycle again. It’s an addiction that I’m going to cut off – cold turkey.

Here’s a list of my main problems with games nowadays. I wonder if you agree with any of them? Continue reading

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge - Lauren Mayhew Authorthe lie tree – frances hardinge – 3.5 stars

Blurb: Faith’s father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree.

The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.

The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter . . . Continue reading

Book Cover Design – Finding My Style

The Wolf - Lauren Mayhew Author Book CoversIt’s been a little while since I wrote about my new found love of designing book covers, and things have definitely changed a bit since then. Before, I was mainly using stock photos to create bold book covers, but now I’m attempting to create my own artwork with Photoshop.

It’s something that I always thought was out of my skill set, but it turns out it’s a lot easier than I ever imagined, and now I just can’t stop! I have so many ideas in my head, I just need the time to get them all done.

One of the newer designs you can see above. The Wolf took me hours to create, though there were many distractions around me when I was creating it, so it might not have been as long as I thought! It’s almost a cartoon like style, but very serious at the same time. Does that make sense? Continue reading

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff - Lauren Mayhew AuthorBeautiful boy – david sheff – 4 stars

Blurb: What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted every moment of David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic Sheff became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. 

David Sheff traces the first subtle warning signs: the denial, the 3 A.M. phone calls (is it Nic? The police? The hospital?), the rehabs. His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself, and the obsessive worry and stress took a tremendous toll, but as a journalist, he instinctively researched every avenue of treatment that might save his son and refused to give up on him. Beautiful Boy is a fiercely candid memoir that brings immediacy to the emotional roller coaster of loving a child who seems beyond help.

It took me quite a long time to read Beautiful Boy, but not because I didn’t like it. I either couldn’t find the time to pick the book up, or the story was getting too harrowing that I couldn’t bear to read on for that day. I must thank my boyfriend for chucking this book at me, (almost literally), and telling me to read it. I never would have found it if he hadn’t read it previously.  Continue reading

60 Miles in One Week – Final Update

60 miles in one week - day 1For those of you who are reading this for the first time, you can read all about this challenge by following these links here, here and here. However, if you don’t have that much time on your hands, and don’t want a truly fabulous reading experience, I’ll give you the short version – my boyfriend challenged me to walk 60 miles in one week for a night out at Zizzi’s (96.56km).

The last blog I wrote covered the majority of Day 5. Since the end of writing that blog, I only added 0.11 miles and I’d hit a grand total of 28.9 miles; 1.1 miles off my target for the end of Day 5. Here’s how Days 6 and 7 panned out. (Apologies, this is gonna be a very long blog!) Continue reading

60 Miles in One Week – Update 2

60 Miles in One Week Day 3A quick update again for those of you that haven’t read my previous two blogs – I’ve been challenged to walk 60 miles in one week, approximately 96.56 km. My boyfriend challenged me, I’m not entirely sure why, I have a feeling he thinks I can’t do it! Anyway, if I complete the challenge, he’ll take me out to eat at Zizzi’s. You can read my previous blogs here and here.

I left the last blog halfway through Day 3 with a prediction as to what my mileage would be at the end of the day. I wasn’t far off as you’ll see below.

The picture above was taken on my walk to the pub on Wednesday. It’s an air hanger in the middle of an industrial estate, right next to the airport. It look pretty when it was all lit up, so I just had to take a photo.

DaY 3 – 23rd January 2019 – End60 Miles in One Week Day 3 Stats 2

I left my last update with 3.55 miles on the Fitbit and an estimation of 5.25 miles by the end of the day. Well, I did a tiny bit better with 5.43 miles.

The walk to the pub was freezing and very dark. Luckily, there were still plenty of cars on the road and lots of people walking their dogs, so I didn’t feel too vulnerable out on my own. I did get a lift back though which meant I missed my target, but I’d rather be safe in a car with someone I know than out for a walk with strangers in the dark.

Day 4 – 24th January 201960 Miles in One Week - Day 4 Stats

I did OK at work again with the extra steps and managed to get home with just under 2.5 miles on the counter. I didn’t go straight out for a walk this time though, I decided to go for a longer walk later on with my boyfriend.

After dinner, we walked to town and got some chocolate. Walking without chocolate is a massive no-no, so it had to be done. I realised once we’d got there that I wasn’t even going to reach 6 miles if we walked back the same way, so we took a bit of a detour.

It was cold again, but at least it wasn’t raining or snowing this time. We just kind of meandered around Farnborough and should have ended with a 9 mile walk under our belts, but we unexpectedly had to turn around and walk back home a different way. Still, 7.49 miles is an achievement for the middle of the week.

This means that the total for Monday to Thursday is 24.69 miles. That’s 0.69 miles more than I needed to walk.

Day 5 – 25th January 2019

I knew that today was going to be a tricky one. Between leaving work and driving to my boyfriends place, I needed to pack for the weekend, go food shopping, wash my hair and have a shower. I think it’s obvious to say that I so far haven’t reached my 6 mile target, and it’s unlikely that I will. I’m only 4.1 miles in and I doubt I’ll be going for a walk this evening, as I really want to save my legs for our mammoth trek tomorrow.

After all the miles this week, I have about 30 miles left to walk which I’ll fit in over the weekend. I have a 20 mile walk planned tomorrow through The Chilterns, and whatever’s left over will be done on Sunday. I’m really hoping Sunday doesn’t have to be a 10 miler or more! I’m definitely going to be doing lots of stretches over the next two days. I have a problem with pulling my groin muscles when walking long distances and that bloody hurts! Fingers crossed it all goes well.

Until the next time,
Lauren x

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60 Miles in One Week – Update

60 miles in one week - day 1So, if you’ve read my previous blog, you’ll know what all of this is about. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you go here and have a quick read to familiarise yourself. If you don’t want to go there, I’m walking 60 miles in a week for free pizza – that’s the short version.

I’m only three days in, but I feel like I’m doing ok. The majority of these miles are going to have to be done at the weekend, but I’m hoping to be able to skip a 30 mile weekend by adding a few more in the week! I’m not sure my poor little feet can take it.

I’ve run out of data on my phone, so it’s not like I can track any of the walks that I’ve been on properly, I’m purely relying on my Fitbit to give me my mileage. I know it’s not going to be 100% accurate – it thinks I take steps when I’m whisking batter – but it’s better than nothing. It can’t be that far off either. I definitely know it’s close to a 3 mile round trip to town and back and that’s what it records when I walk that way.  Continue reading

60 Miles in One Week – A Challenge

60 Miles in a Week - A ChallengeMy boyfriend has set me a challenge to walk 60 miles in one week. We both like walking, and our weekends together tend to turn into one big walk, so he decided to set a challenge for me. It’s going to be tricky, but I’m sure I’ll step up to the challenge. (Pun officially intended.)

I’m quite looking forward to it actually. Obviously, there is one big incentive for me – dinner out at Zizzi’s. I’ve never been before, but I do love pizza, so I know it’s going to be a winner.

I tend to average about 28 miles in a week, which is an abysmal 4 miles a day. With this challenge, I’d have to walk an average of 8.57 miles a day. That’s more than double what I do now, so it’s definitely going to be tricky! I love a challenge though, so I’m totally up for it. I’m probably going to be disappointed if I don’t get pizza, so I’ll just have to do it.  Continue reading

Dusting off the cobwebs…

Dusting off the cobwebs - Lauren Mayhew AuthorSo… it’s been a while. I’m not even sure how it happened this time. Once the September show with my theatre group was done, I should have had so much more time on my hands to write, and yet I’ve done nothing.

I’m rarely free at weekends anymore, as I spend most of that time with my boyfriend. During the week, I’m rarely at home in the evenings, so blogging can only really be done during the day when I’m at work.

Seeing as I do have some spare time at work, that should be easy, and yet it isn’t – except today. I’ve been working on so many other projects that are distracting me from the keyboard, one of which I’ll explain in more detail in a few days or you can follow this link to see a small preview. Continue reading