Friday, 24 March 2017

Happy 10th Birthday, Cheeky Monkey

I can't believe my youngest is now also into double figures!

Where did my baby go?



My mischievous, comical, cheeky yet helpful monkey has transformed into this:


Happy 10th birthday, Kieran! Keep your spirit, laughter and cheekiness - unless I'm telling you to do as you're told. Love you, even when cross x x x

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Sainsbury's To Stock Wisteria Cottage

I received some fantastic news on Monday - Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage paperback is going into Sainsbury's! 500 of their stores!

This mean the release date for the paperback has been pushed back to the 20th April 2017 now. But this is just such exciting news.

However, my excitement was squashed (just a little) by the fact that I'd thought I'd lost my current work in progress which is 30,000 words in. I have never felt so sick. Amazingly I didn't cry. But I didn't feel like celebrating Monday night :'(

Luckily, a friend's husband, who I will forever thankful for, managed to retrieve the documents off the memory stick (which meant today I could continue working on it).

It's been one hard lesson, but my MS is now filed in all sorts of places, including Amazon Drive and MS OneDrive. I have decided I will save my royalties to upgrade my PC as it's getting antiquated now, and I could do with the latest version of Office etc.

Anyway, back to Sainsbury's! I would love to see 'Shelfies' of my book and I am considering running a competition, but more on that later.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Wise Words

Lately, I've been really struggling with life. I'm not suicidal, but I just feel I haven't been coping with the mundane and the repetitiveness of nagging my kids.

It's the shitty little things in life that will frustrate me the most sometimes, and try my patience, or lack of it, when I feel I only want to do something once... not twice, or three times, because it wouldn't happen the first time.

It all feels like it's deterring me from doing the thing I most enjoy: writing.

I saw this meme on Facebook today and did share it on my personal profile, but I wanted to put it on my blog too. For those also suffering with that feeling of 'life's got to be better than pairing socks' moments we need to breathe.

We should be thankful for our health, and our lives. I know that. And most of the time life treats me pretty well. But I suppose it makes us human if we get frustrated, saddened, or angry at times. We can't always be happy. It can't always be easy. Sometimes we're allowed to have that bad day, and handle it badly. Xx

Monday, 6 March 2017

Walking 10,000 Steps For Cancer Research

6th March Steps
I've been posting pictures like this daily to my Instagram (which shares to Facebook and Twitter) my steps - as proof - that I'm walking 10,000 steps a day.

I've signed myself up to walk 10,000 steps a day, for the whole of March, in the Walk All Over Cancer campaign by Cancer Research. 

The days I work are the hardest as I'm cooped up in a very small office. But instead of sitting down in those quiet periods, I've been standing up and pacing the minuscule office. I felt like a polar bear in a zoo, pacing that office!

Why am I doing this?

Ever since my sister was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2010, and with everything she's been through, I've wanted to do things to give back - to Cancer Research and CLIC sargent. I'm not going to run marathons (I would epic fail!) so I give blood regularly and try to be a Dryathelete in January, but this year, I thought I'd take on the challenge of walking 10,000 steps a day instead.

She's been amazingly brave, and is happy and healthy to this day! We have a lot to be thankful for.

This is my fundraising page if you would like to sponsor me: Cancer Research Fundraising Page


Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Next Project

And so, while I await the launch of my third book, (Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage - 6th April 2017) I am cracking on with the writing of my fourth novel. This one is going to be based around online dating as I have plenty of material from my own personal experiences to use.

It's a shame I can't actually take my heroine through the last four years of my life; she's going to have a mini squashed down version of my experiences.

Today, though, while writing Maya (that's my new heroine's name), I realised this character is the closest based on me. All my others have been younger, single women, with no children, searching for their one true love. Maya is on a different journey. I didn't want to make her a divorcee, so I've made her a widow. She is in her late thirties, but the dreaded forties (which we all know when we reach them isn't so bad after all) are on the horizon.

When her husband died she was very much still in love with him, so her journey is going to be harder, haunted a little by the ghost of her husband, having him high on a pedal stool in her memory.

I've chosen children that are of similar age to my own too. Only because I'm not sure how teenagers properly act yet - having not got one (yet) - and although I remember my children younger, they're better as research at this age, because I can see what they're doing. Maybe I can even blackmail them... "do that and it'll go in a book!"

This morning was a trying day with my kids, I'd lost the plot... the will to live... And the emotions of an intelligent single mother, fed up with the nagging and mundane repetitiveness of the day to day stuff rubbed off onto Maya. She drinks wine, too. Maya's story is coming easily to me.

I've got the hero in mind, and I will need to weave some online dating adventures of his own in. Luckily I've been given some male perspective on this too. At the moment I just can't decide what he does as a job but the good thing about writing is, I can weave it in later. In the meantime, I'll just try to write 3000 words a week, and aim for this first draft to be finished by the summer.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Backdrop To Wisteria Cottage

I write stand alone contemporary romance stories, not sequels. I have been asked if I'll write a sequel to Plus One is a Lucky Number (Cassie really has a story to tell) and One Fine Day (Ruby and Brett's story could be expanded...) but as yet, I haven't got to those... if I ever will.

However, I did set Meet Me at Wisteria Cottage in Tinners Bay which is where Plus One is a Lucky Number is set. In fact, there are a couple of characters from Plus One who feature in Wisteria Cottage. My main antagonist in Plus One is a bit of thorn in Harry's side in Wisteria Cottage.

And to tie in my other novel, I have Maddy's parents based in Clifton, Bristol, which was the back drop One Fine Day. Sadly no cameos there though.

Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage is available to pre-order on Amazon here... it releases 6th April. So if you haven't read my previous novels, you could always read those while you wait for the 6th April!

Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage blurb:

Is this a chance for a fresh start?

After her house is set on fire, Maddy Hart’s gorgeous neighbour, Harry Tudor – ex-firefighter turned landscape gardener – comes to her rescue. He invites her to stay at his place during the investigation, but living with Harry soon has Maddy hot under the collar!

Wary after a bad experience with her ex-boyfriend, Maddy decides to slow things down with Harry by moving out. She can’t believe her luck when a friend offers her the temporary haven of Wisteria Cottage, but somehow she’s not surprised to discover Harry’s been employed to landscape the cottage’s garden. Is fate is trying to tell her something?



Thursday, 2 February 2017

Cover Reveal: Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage

Yesterday was the cover reveal of my third contemporary romance, Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage.

It's a available for pre-order, and will be released 6th April 2017.

Excited! Much!


Meet Me at Wisteria Cottage ebook: http://amzn.to/2kZkE2h
or paperback : http://amzn.to/2kUTi1b

Thursday, 12 January 2017

New Year New Book

This is what I think I should do to plot a book... 
New Year, new resolutions and all that.

I'm not very good at making those, but I have started writing my next book.

What with my four years of online dating experience, I have been urged (by my current beau #TheBoss - who I met through online dating) to write my online dating story. I mean I have so much material!

I've noticed writers say they're going to write 1000 words a day, etc. and for me that's no good. It's not possible. I'd be failing before I even started. There's no point setting yourself something unachievable. It's not motivational.

I work part-time, so on the days I work, I don't tend to get to write. I have two kids, so I try not to write during the evenings, and use that time to relax and read. And now I have a new man - who takes up my weekends, so there's no way I can sit down every day and bash out 1000 words.

Anyway, I got to thinking; what if I try to reach 5000-7000 words a week. I have three days a week where I try to set aside writing. Although even I don't get write on all of these days sometimes.

At the moment I don't think even this is possible, as I am in the throws of researching (which I tend to do a bit as I write because I'm the pantster type writer apparently...) I'm just not very good at the whole plotting thing. I just end up writing and research as I go. I make notes, don't get me wrong, and make sure I put the main points I need to get into the book, but I like how the story comes to me from my head through my fingers on the keyboard, and onto the screen.

Then I got to thinking, well what if worse case scenario, I only got 3000 words written a week, in those 3 days... How long would it take me to write approximately a 90,000 word novel. So I did the math.

Basically, it would take 30 weeks, which is around 7.5 months (if they're all 4 week months!). Well that's not so bad. I could be looking at by the end of July having the first draft finished.

So that's my plan. It might be a bit longer than that as we need to factor in school holidays - but some weeks, once this novel really takes off, and I don't have to think up new names, or sneak off to the internet for some research, I'll get more than 3000 words written a week - easy.

I do use a spreadsheet to see how many words I write a day, so I can monitor my progress and see if I'm on target. I've marked off the 90th day. So let's see if I can do this.

Currently it's working title is The Golden Rules To Online Dating.