Books, Life, Uncategorized

Insecurities & Misconstruction


Most of us have insecurities, whether it be about the way we look or in our abilities as parents, partners, as authors, our abilities in the workplace or a whole host of other reasons. From those insecurities we can create a situation or a belief that something that is said or done is aimed at us as we already have a sensitivity in that area. We hear what we think has been said and often that couldn’t be further from the truth. This miscommunication can often be highlighted by the male/female perspective and what we hear is not what is meant.

For example: You feel that maybe you aren’t achieving as well as you should at work, maybe you are but your expectations are too high. So when you hear a colleague being praised for good work it becomes a personal attack on you as what you are really hearing is that you yourself are not so good. I know I have a tendency to want to be perfect and hate making mistakes at work, even minor ones. As a result if I do make a mistake I feel as though the boss, colleague or person I’m dealing with will see me as incompetent.

Maybe you have an issue with your weight and when you hear someone pay a compliment to someone else it feels like a barb to you.

What we see and the reality is sometimes very different. I’m not saying that we hear everything wrong but stop and think before you take a comment to heart. Is this something that you are particularly sensitive about? If so, take a look at the compliment that someone else has been paid. Is it true? Did they do a good job? Are they looking nice? If the answer is yes then maybe you need to take it at face value, acknowledge it and not make it about you. (When I say you, I mean me too!)

We seem to be, and have bred generations of people whose faith in themselves is built on sinking sand and who find the tiniest of excuses to put themselves down. I tackled this very slightly in my latest book.

In A Boy from the Streets, Jose at the age of twelve finds out that he is adopted and has a twin brother whom his adoptive parents want to find. His relationship with his father is such that he believes that he wants to swap him due to his dissatisfaction of him as a son. Nothing can be further from the truth but this insecurity he has and the misconstruction that Jose places on the conversation he overhears leads him into a dangerous and potentially life threatening situation.

So if we can learn anything maybe it should be, none of us are perfect but perhaps you are more perfect than you think. And the chances are that the person you hold up as a shining example of perfection has a whole host of their own insecurities. Cut yourself some slack and if you can’t manage to love yourself, see if you can start by liking you.

Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Goodbye 2016 – Hello 2017

2016 has been on the whole a great year for me, there have been ups and downs but I can honestly say that it has been more positive than negative.

I started the year in one job where I wasn’t happy and in November got a new job which is in walking distance (three minutes door to door). Although I am still learning the ropes in this new field my stress levels are so much lower. I’m sleeping at night instead of waking up at ridiculous o’clock worrying what the next day will bring. My health had started to be affected by my job and now I feel as though I am getting back to where I was before. We spend so much time at work that its important that we enjoy it, when you realise that you are dreading it you know the time is ripe to move on.

I look forward to getting to know more about my new job in 2017 and feeling like I know what I’m doing. My previous role was in the motorcycle industry and I am moving into investment and acquisitions predominantly dealing with property and construction. I think this will keep me interested for a while to come.

In 2016 I was lucky enough to get some motorbike training on a 600cc motorbike from one of the instructors, Tony, who has also moved on to another company. In 2017 I hope to do some more training and hopefully take my full licence.

I was lucky enough to go on two fabulous holidays this year, in May I went to Portugal and in November the Dominican Republic. For anyone who knows me they will know that holidays are my main priority, foregoing many other things in order to get my fix of holidays. Each holiday gives me the chance to relax and unwind. I love to explore new areas and spend time reading and writing in the most beautiful of settings. I was very fortunate with the Dominican Republic holiday being upgraded from a 3* to 5* hotel with premium service. The room was bigger than my ground floor at home. I had a hot tub on the balcony which looked out over the sea which was lucky as they had unusual weather with 5 out of 10 days being solid rain. Needless to say I spend a lot time writing. During my time there I went on an adventure excursion which included a zip wire, this was quite a challenge for me as I hate heights but loved it so much that they allowed me a second turn.

I published another novelette this year, which I wrote for an anthology for the first UK Indie Lit Festival but decided to publish when I received such positive feedback on it. The festival was a blast and was a chance to meet up with the fantastic authors that I have been talking to online. We have now forged strong bonds and the support network is phenomenal in particular my friendship with Su Echo Falls S’ari (aka Rose English). We have formed a partnership for book signings and online parties, Roses & Dreams which goes from strength to strength.

In 2017 I have signed up for The West Midlands Book signing which is being held on 4th February and the UK Indie Lit Festival later on in the year, date to be confirmed.

My new book (novel) A Boy from the Streets is with my editor now and will be published as soon as is humanely possible. I am very excited about this book and can’t wait to share it with everyone.


A few little teasers:


I have two more novels lining up for 2017 as well as about thirty other ideas in various different stages.

‘Is this Love?’ and the sequel ‘Illicit Love.’

Last but not least I have spent quality time with my family who are as always amazing, the biggest blessing in my life. I am proud of each and every one of them and look forward to spending time with them next year.

I look forward to seeing where 2017 will take me in all areas of my life.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017.


Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Advent Book Teaser Calendar – Day 8 – The Storm Creature

There are seventeen days until Christmas and for each of them I will be sharing a short teaser from my novelette ‘The Storm Creature’.


Tune in tomorrow for the next instalment or if you can’t wait then you can pick it up on Amazon.


Print copy: £3.50/$5.00

Kindle: 0.99

At eighteen, Lucy had everything going for her: a supportive family, a rapt audience, and her dream of becoming a published author about to be realised.
A single moment in time on a dark, rainy road changes things forever.
That was then, but this is now. Lucy has suffered through eight years of haunting visions and thoughts with every raging storm thanks to a tempestuous storm creature who torments her. What does the baleful creature want with Lucy? Will the troubled woman ever be able to let go of the past and forgive herself?
Or will she sacrifice everything she holds dear?

Reviews so far:

5.0 out of 5 stars Small story…Big impact, 20 Aug. 2016
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Paperback)
This is the second book I have read from Maria Gibbs, and what a great story it is.
I have to be honest that it was nothing like I expected it to be…but saying that I loved it nonetheless.
The Storm Creature tells the tale of Lucy – an author who’s life turns upside down in the blink of an eye.
What this book does is make you think.
Maria Gibbs has certainly packed a large punch with a short story, and I will certainly be recommending this book to everybody.
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and suspenseful, March 17, 2016
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
This story had a great opening and hooked me in immediately. It was well written, easy to read, and the evocative descriptions created a creepy and intriguing atmosphere. I enjoyed reading the story as it unfolded, telling the tale of Lucy’s tragic past and how it has affected her years later. I especially loved the huge unexpected twist at the end. This story goes to show how one tiny mistake can drastically alter so many people’s lives. This was a fantastic paranormal short story and I found it to be an engrossing read. I really enjoyed it!
Lesson of the story – never try to use your mobile phone while driving ……
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic and Compelling Short Story, July 5, 2016
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
The Storm Creature is just a short story, but what a thought-provoking and fascinating short story it was. I haven;t read anything from this author before, but I guarantee I will be checking out more of her work in the near future.
The Storm Creature focuses on the mental suffering and delusions of a young woman who is riddled with guilt over being the survivor in a car accident, she felt she was the cause of.
The writing is superb and the tension is well created by the Author. I won’t give any of the plot away, but this was a stunning, little tale. I know it was a short story, but still, I couldn’t put it down for a second until I knew just how it played out. Well done to the author!
5.0 out of 5 stars You many well shiver as you experience this stormy short., 15 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)

At eighteen years of age Lucy is following her dreams. Her first book is published ‘As Dreams are Made on’ which has been warmly received. Her family are supportive, she is happy, with a wonderful life ahead of her.

Then one dark and stormy night, as Lucy makes her way home, along the quiet wet, winding country lanes, one tiny decision she makes, sees her dreams washed away in the lashing rain.

Eight years on and Lucy has turned into a recluse, her family once close, barely know how to deal with her. She now lives alone in a small cottage in the woods; barely ever does she venture out, and she hardly ever sees anyone.

This troubled young woman is tormented by the events of that stormy evening and is constantly taunted by the presence of the ‘Storm Creature.’ Lucy is petrified by thunder and lightning but this crazed creature revels in it. She dances in the lashing rain, as the author says ‘… laughing and spinning, her arms waving like an Indian goddess… possessed of multiple limbs.’

Maria Gibbs has a wonderful way with words, almost lyrical at times. Check out the opening lines:-

‘The rain danced against the pane of glass, wild and wicked until the tempo changed, curling and writhing into a beautiful sensual rhythm.’

The atmosphere is set so you become embroiled within the story, you may well shiver as you are drawn in, experiencing the stormy nights with the rolling thunder. I sat tense on the edge of my seat wandering what was to come next upon the turn of the page. I was not disappointed.

For a short story this psychological thriller sure packs a lot in, with unexpected twists as you near the end. I don’t wish to share anymore because it is a story you need to experience for yourself, and in my view the author certainly does make you experience every event.

5.0 out of 5 stars Quite thought Provoking, 1 July 2016
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)

The Storm Creature wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it’s a poignant story that made me think more about life. It also reminded me that it is never too late to change your mind.

Maria’s words show us that the way we see things is not always as they are in reality. Sometimes it’s good to take stock before it is too late. It’s not a happy story, but it teaches us to be happy and to dance in the rain.

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story, 10 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
OMG this short story was amazing. Once I started reading this book i couldn’t put it down. Thank you to the
author, looking forward to reading your next book.

Very Highly Recommended.


5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars, 29 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
Loved reading this book, the words flowed beautifully with a gripping storyline.
4.0 out of 5 starsDeath has more than one victim, April 15, 2016
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
A nice little story that’s almost a character study.
A moment’s thoughtlessness, an accidental death and so many lives are changed forever. Lucy’s life is shattered in a single moment, but it’s the slow disintegration of her being that keeps the story moving.
It seems the person least affected by Adele’s death is Adele.
5.0 out of 5 starsreminiscent of James Herbert at his best. More please, 24 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
Another impressive vignette from Ms Gibbs. A creepy tale masterfully told, reminiscent of James Herbert at his best. More please.

5.0 out of 5 stars Meaningful, 19 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Paperback)
Fantastic short story, creative, easy to read, well written and meaningful. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this and the unexpected twist at the end look forward to more by Maria Gibbs.
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down, May 30 2016
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
Excellent! The story grabs you right at the beginning and keeps you guessing right up to the end.
4.0 out of 5 stars Open the letter Lucy…, 25 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
Lyrical prose which suits the character of Lucy who loves writing and for whom writing becomes her only escape from the terrible event that can never be atoned for. An emotional rollercoaster that propels you towards a shock ending. But I did expect to hear Adele’s story; perhaps her tale will turn up as another story by the author. This is a poignant story, because such tragedies do occur and we have all wondered how we would cope and empathise with Lucy, yet at the same time we are willing her to reach out to others, to open the letter….
4.0 out of 5 starsBeautiful!, April 1, 2016
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)

Having read “As Dreams Are Made On,” I was really looking forward to another beautifully written novelette by Maria Gibbs, and that is exactly what I got! This author has a wonderful talent at both storytelling and writing in her own unique way.

The only thing I found a bit uncomfortable was that the protagonist of the story is supposed to be the author of another novelette by Gibbs, which makes it awkward when she writes about her own work.

With that said, “The Storm Creature” has a creative plot, executed well through the use of poetically written prose, and really has something to say, which is important when a great deal of fiction nowadays is devoid of meaning. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading “A Lifetime or a Season” next

Life, Self-publishing

Life throws a curve ball – watch this arc

It started with a lump, well maybe it didn’t quite start there. The roots probably go further back, but I am starting this life journey at the lump.

This year I fulfilled a lifetime’s dream of publishing my writing. I bit the bullet and self-published. I have two short stories out there, one soon to be in print and at least 8GB of brain memory filled with new ideas.

I started writing as a child, one who read voraciously. Enid Blyton was my hero, followed by J.R.R Tolkien a few years later. A whole host of amazing authors have made their mark on my brain, and my favourite author as an adult is Sharon Penman.

I have spent -gasp- 13 years working on a novel. Life got in the way, and when I thought it was finished, I discovered that it was a long way off, by about 70,000 words. In that time though I have worked on many other projects and have a list of WIP that rival the normal person’s TBR list.

Last year I met a man who has become a friend, a man who inspired me and woke me up from merely existing. I followed his advice (not to the letter) and in January I published ‘As Dreams Are Made On’ followed by ‘A Lifetime or a Season’ in February. I have learned so much in that time, made changes, paid for a professional to design my covers. (A Lifetime will be receiving an overhaul imminently) I have been able to take this experience though and put it into the changes that I need to make with the novel.

How did I meet this guy? He turned up to do a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training Course) for Motorbikes at the place I work. I also met another man there who came to do his full bike licence with us and after chatting he gave me the details of a friend of his who is also an author. She gave me some great advice when I started out, and it is through her that I came to employ the services of the amazing woman who provides me with the most beautiful book covers.

So, I can hear you asking “Where does the lump come into this?”

I woke up one morning some years ago, stretched -as you do. As I lifted my arm up above my head, I discovered a lump under my arm. This wasn’t a little limp that you had to use a magnifying glass to see. This was a lump of epic proportions. I eventually had it nicknamed my ‘third boob’. I’m sure you can all imagine the fear I experienced, the C word reverberated around my head. Imagine my fear when the Consultant ran across the hospital to see if he could get me booked in for an emergency scan. Mmm yes, I haven’t seen many doctors running outside of A&E.

It turned out to be a Lipoma (a benign tumour of fatty tissue). I was given the opportunity to have it removed straight away, or I could leave my third boob in place ( Rival Anne Boleyn’s finger count!). Of course I wanted it removed, sunbathing with three boobs was just weird. It tucked in rather nicely under my arm until I lifted it up and then the thing sat bold as brass. The Doctor was straight with me and said it is only cosmetic but because of the placement of it I could risk losing the use of my left arm if the surgery went wrong. I made the only sensible decision: so my third boob stayed.They told me to monitor it and if things got worse it would be removed.

A few years later, the tumour spread. I got to the point where I was in pain and couldn’t really move my neck easily. I returned to my local hospital where I was patronised by a different Consultant and had to wait ages to get an appointment for the removal. I went to my GP and was then referred to The Royal Marsden one of the best cancer hospitals in the world. The treatment I received was second to none though I felt slightly fraudulent when I saw the patients with ‘real cancer’. The operation was a success, but I had to take two weeks off work and wasn’t allowed to ride my scooter or lift anything heavy for three months.

In that time, my CBT bike licence expired as did my insurance, so my brother wheeled it into my back garden to wait my return. When the three months was up, and I knew my arm was strong enough, I booked myself in for a CBT. If my insurance and CBT hadn’t expired, I would have taken my bike to the training centre. Instead, I took my helmet, jacket, gloves and trousers. (Gear that other people have worn stinks to high heaven!) My instructor’s name was called Lewis. I was one of those students who pipes up with all the answer and an array of anecdotes and jokes (probably very annoying!). It transpired that Lewis’ mum lived locally to me, so I cheekily said “Give us a lift home.” He did. We chatted a while, and he told me that he and a friend Terry were setting up their own business. I knew of Terry, he also lived around the corner from me.

A week or so later I bumped into Terry, and we also talked about this new business venture. I was ready for a new challenge, so said if they were looking for admin then let me know.

It was about a year later that Terry turned up on my doorstep asking “Are you still looking for a job?”

I said “Potentially, come on in.”

So that is how the lump that scared me, that had me envisioning all sorts of dire ends brought me to a new job and meeting two men who in their own ways helped me in my self-publishing journey.

So maybe the moral of this particular story is that even when life is as bleak as it can get, it might just be a stepping stone to the life you are destined for. I look forward to continuing to pursue my dreams. At the moment I’m not living the life I love but I am on the path.