Wednesday, 27 November 2013

I'm Not Allowed To Get Excited

I'm not really allowed to get too excited about Christmas yet, even though I want to be.

My son's birthday is on the 4th of December, and so I have always liked to get his birthday out of the way, plus allow his cards to be up for a good week, before the Christmas cards are put up. (I'm trying not to think too much about it being my son's 9th birthday!)

Luckily enough, his birthday is early enough that it doesn't get 'merged' with Christmas.

However, returning from Center Parcs on Monday, where the shops and around the site have been decked out with Christmas stuff because it's 'Winter Wonderland' there has put me in a Christmassy spirit.

I can't believe December is rapidly approaching, I am nowhere near where I want to be in editing my second book and before we know it, it WILL be Christmas.

I have bought my Christmas tree. It will be the first Christmas in my new house, and the lounge is just too small for a real tree, so I've bitten the bullet, gone against the grain, and bought a fake, slimline tree.

You know, if you still want a reminder of Summer, with weddings, Cornish beaches and sunshine... Plus One is a Lucky Number is in the Winter Sale on Amazon (and other good ebook sellers) at £2.99 - just saying ;-)

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Fake Friday with Brigid Coady

I don't know about you but I could do with it being Friday - I'm off to Center Parcs for the weekend. Only problem is I have a mound of things to do before I can get there. Once I am there I can relax. Why was I born such a worrier?

To take away my worries, I have Brigid Coady on my blog today. I had the pleasure of meeting Brigid at the HarperImpulse party back in October - we were one of the last to leave the pub :) And we found a chips! I think we did meet way back in 2011 at the RNA Conference because we have been 'friends' on the internet for a while.

Recently her short story The Last Kiss was released by HarperImpulse. And I have to say, I've read it and it's lovely. The great thing about a short story is that if you only have a small window of time for reading, you can pick it up and finish it there and then, giving yourself a little emotional burst. This short story did just this.

Welcome, Brigid!

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I have always been a big reader and made up stories. I’m not sure I consciously thought about being a writer until I was sixteen and started my first novel. Then it took me another thirteen years to actually realize that writing made me feel complete.

Did you manage to get the first book you wrote published, or is it tucked in a drawer somewhere?

My first book was for Mills & Boon. It is tucked away on my hard drive, I did re-read it recently some of it was good, some of it not so much!

What do you read while you write, or don’t you?

I have to read when I write but I can’t read in the genre I’m writing. Mostly it is because if I do I compare myself and start moping. At the moment I’m reading a lot of George RR Martin and YA novels but as I’m about to start a YA book, I need to change genres.

Do you have a favourite author?

I have two, Georgette Heyer and Dorothy L Sayers. They see me through thick or thin. Good times and bad.

What do you do with a paperback once you’ve read it?

I keep them! Which is why when I moved recently I had to cull hundreds of books. It was like giving away my babies.

What’s the best bit of writing advice you’ve ever received or read?

‘Write Crap’ – it is what Julie Cohen has posted on her desk. It reminds me of the famous Nora Roberts quote ‘You can’t fix a blank page but you can fix a bad one.’

Are you nervous about friends reading your book?

I’m nervous about my family reading it and my non-writing friends. I’m lucky that many of my friends are also writers and have been reading my stuff for years.

Publication date 12 Dec 2013

Tea or coffee?

Decaff coffee or hot water (letting the writer image down)

Starbucks or Costa?

Starbucks, my local one has been the site of many writing days for me

Chocolate or ice cream?

Chocolate ice cream! - Oh, good answer there! Best of both :)

Dogs or cats?

Both. I grew up with a cat that ruled us for 21 years and then spent a few years being owned by a Battersea Dogs Home mutt.

Thank you so much Brigid for visiting my blog! Good luck with the short stories. 

Out now!


‘Poignant, funny, realistic yet romantic, these stories make you relive the good times and sigh over the sad ones. I loved them.’ – Katie Fforde

First kisses are the ones that ever one celebrates, the ones you remember. The ones you hope to treasure as it happened, storing up your memories to take out and relive.
But what about the last kiss?
The first in The Kiss Collection, an exciting new series of short stories from Brigid Coady & HarperImpulse.
Links to buy: Amazon UK  ~ iTunes

About Brigid Coady: 

I was born in the UK but raised round the world and spent most of my childhood with my nose in a book. When I was seven I wrote my first proper story about a magic puddle that flipped up to reveal a secret world underground.

I'm now a non-practicing engineer who works in project management. I write romance and young adult stories. I've been a voice-over and radio continuity artist. I love country music and used to have my own radio show. My boyfriend says I have an unhealthy obsession with Kenny Chesney. I live in London.

You can find me on Twitter as @beecee or on my blog 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Watering Cans and Sprinklers

In the beginning... 
I've been meaning to post on my blog about my garden for like ALL Summer!

Now it's a miserable November, and we are gearing ourselves up for Christmas, I thought I'd cheer us up with some summer sunshine!

Dad has been out there planting bulbs which my garden sorely missed in Spring, so I thought I'd (finally) share the transition of my small garden.

My ever helpful eldest (sometimes)
Can't leave Dad for 5 mins...
I'm still trying to encourage the birds to come in to my garden. I don't know if it's because it's small, or the season is just all wrong this year with the birds... but I will persevere.

I have a thing for watering cans...
Anyway, here is some of the photos I took of my garden as Summer took hold. I would love to share all of the photos I have taken, but I think the post would go on for too long. :)

Apologies for the higgledy-piggledy way the pictures have posted. This is a pet hate of mine on Blogger at times!

Summer House still standing... 
Summer House and new paving. 
Summer sprinklers and garden fun!

View from Summer House. 
View from kitchen door, with washing out!
What a difference the sun makes, too. It will be interesting next Spring to see what bulbs pop up. I have to thank my Dad for this garden. I really can't take the credit.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

It's Fake Friday with Samantha Tonge

Yay! It's Friday... well, sort of, it's Fake Friday :) And today I have Samantha Tonge on my blog to chat about herself and her new book, Doubting Abbey! (Loving the book title!)

Did you manage to get the first book you wrote published, or is it tucked in a drawer somewhere?

It’s tucked under the bed along with the rest - I wrote several novels before getting my publishing deal and learned an awful lot along the way about plotting, character development and actual writing. Yes, the rejection was hard, but now I thank goodness that those early ones never saw the light of day.

Which of your characters is your favourite, and why?

Gemma. She is the best friend every woman should have – guileless with an impulsive sense of humour, loyal and strong. Despite her reservations, she agrees to pretend to be her best friend Abbey for two weeks and swap her fake tan and short skirts for a more conservative life at Applebridge Hall. The subsequent difficult and embarrassing situations she endures mean that Gemma often wants to run away – but she would never let her best mate down.

Are you nervous about friends reading your book?

No, I’m more nervous about strangers reading it because if friends hate it I’ll probably never know! But more seriously, no – I really do feel this book is the best I’ve written, this being backed up by the support I’ve had from my agent and Carina UK. This doesn’t mean I think everyone will love it or that I’ll not get a single bad review – but it does mean I’m proud of what I’ve achieved with the story, and as a writer it’s great to finally conquer just a little of your self-doubt.

Do you love or hate Facebook?

I adore Facebook. And Twitter. Plus recently I’ve discovered the wonderful Pinterest. TOO MANY DISTRACTIONS!

Starbucks or Costa?

Costa, every time - especially for their selection of gluten-free cakes which means my husband can enjoy a bite to eat as well.

About Doubting Abbey

Swapping downstairs for upstairs… How hard can it be!?
Look up the phrase ordinary girl and you’ll see a picture of me, Gemma Goodwin – I only look half-decent after applying the entire contents of my make-up bag, and my dating track-record includes a man who treated me to dinner…at a kebab shop. No joke!
The only extraordinary thing about me is that I look EXACTLY like my BFF, Abbey Croxley. Oh, and that for reasons I can’t explain, I’ve agreed to swap identities and pretend be her to star in the TV show about her aristocratic family’s country estate, Million Dollar Mansion.
So now it’s not just my tan I’m faking – it’s Kate Middleton style demure hemlines and lady-like manners too. And amongst the hundreds of fusty etiquette rules I’m trying to cram into my head, there are two I really must remember; 1) No-one can ever find out that I’m just Gemma, who’d be more at home in the servants quarters. And 2) There can be absolutely no flirting with Abbey’s dishy but buttoned-up cousin, Lord Edward. Aaargh, this is going to be harder than I thought…

About Samantha Tonge

Samantha lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and two cats who think they are dogs. Along with writing, her days are spent swimming, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. A love of fiction developed as a child, when she was known for reading Enid Blyton books in the bath. A desire to write bubbled away in the background whilst she pursued other careers, including a fun stint working at the EuroDisney theme park. Formally trained as a linguist, Samantha now likes nothing more than holing herself up in the spare room, in front of the keyboard. Writing romantic comedy novels and short stories is her passion. Samantha has sold over 80 short stories to mainstream women's magazines. Her work appears regularly in The People's Friend.

Links:  Website ~ Doubting Abbey Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon UK 

Thank you, Samantha! Good luck with your book. Sounds like a fun, flirty read. Yes, Costa all the way! And I agree about Twitter and Facebook being a distraction. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Welcome to FAKE Friday with AJ Nuest

I have soooo stolen this off Fern Cotton on Radio 1. Last Tuesday, during half-term and travelling to my mum's in sunny Surrey, Kiss FM started to crackle out of range, so I switched to Radio 1.

Tuesdays are a bit like Mondays. Meh! And Fern mentioned 'Fake Friday' was coming up. Unfortunately I didn't hear what she exactly did, as the kids demanded Gangnam Style on CD but it was a lightbulb moment. I thought what a good idea :)

So the idea is to try and blog on a Tuesday, and pretend it's Friday... or make it more interesting, like it is Friday! Today I have fellow HarperImpulse author, AJ Nuest from across the pond. Take it away, AJ!

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

For me, there really wasn’t any “want” involved in my becoming a writer. It’s more like I just knew it was something I would eventually do. It’s weird. When I think back to my childhood, maybe when I was seven or eight, I can remember writing poetry, lots and lots of scribbly poetry. Around the time I reached puberty, I began writing stories which would now most likely fall into the YA genre. As I got older, all the way through high school, I kept a journal. So I’ve always had a close relationship with writing. It just comes naturally to me. That being said, I specifically remember walking to work one morning when I was in my twenties. I was sorta imagining how my life would unfold...when I’m this old, I’ll be married...when I’m this old, I’ll have kids, etc., etc. To this day, I remember part of my thought process was...when I’m this old, I’ll be a writer. LOL Sure enough, here I am.

Did you manage to get the first book you wrote published, or is it tucked in a drawer somewhere?

It was published, but the rights have since reverted back to me...which is good because I’ve grown so much as an author since that first book I don’t want anyone reading it. LOL I plan to rewrite the story at some point and submit it somewhere...or maybe self-publish it. Haven’t decided yet.

My Twitter style question: Describe your hero in 140 characters.

Oh, I love this. Okay great. Hmmm... How about
“When the white sorceress of prophecy names Prince Caedmon as Rescinder of the Key, a battle for more than his heart threatens his kingdom.”

My Twitter style question: Describe your heroine in 140 characters.

“A magic mirror? A handsome prince? This must be a joke. Yet the golden key around her neck has Rowena second-guessing her place in history.”

What’s so special about… 
A) your hero that makes your heroine fall in love with him?

I think Rowena falls in love with Caedmon for a lot of reasons—he’s handsome, gracious and pure of heart. But, foremost, is the fact that he tells her the truth, regardless of what she asks him. Even though she doesn’t believe him at first, when she comes to realize he’s been completely honest with her, the epiphany she experiences confirms her growing connection to him...and the fact that her heart is his.


B) your heroine that makes your hero fall in love with her?

Caedmon falls in love with Rowena because she’s so different from the other women in his realm. She’s strong, determined, and doesn’t beat around the bush. There is nothing false about her and he finds this quality a refreshing change from the women...heck, from everyone in his realm. She’s not at all what he expected, and this makes him appreciate her all the more.

Are you nervous about friends reading your book?

We-l-lll...yes and no. Of course I always hope my friends will like my stories, and I always hope for complimentary reviews, but my biggest “issue” is knowing my mom reads my work. I write steamy romance. Can’t help myself. I’ve always been a detailed writer and this eye for description translates into the bedroom. It’s sort of nerve wracking wondering what my mom thinks of my sex scenes. I don’t care how old a person is, that’s my MOM, you know? She always laughs when I bring it up and says she’s incredibly proud of my work, but’s a bit...I don’t know, disconcerting? LOL

Do you love or hate Facebook?

Both. Social networking of any kind appeals to me because I’m social person by nature and the internet allows me to make friends all over the world. I love that. I’ve made so many dear, dear friends via the internet. True friends. Best friends I know I can count on through thick and thin. However, it’s also a complete distraction. It’s easy to spend hours chatting people up when I should be writing. 

Cocktail or shot? If so, what one?

Grey Goose vodka martini with three blue-cheese stuffed olives. I think that qualifies as both a cocktail and a shot. LOL

Tea or coffee?

Coffee with lots of hazelnut flavored creamer. If I could give it up, I’d probably lose ten pounds.

Starbucks or Costa?

I’ve no idea what Costa is, so I’m going with Starbucks.

That question must be more for us Brits, AJ ;-)

Chocolate or ice cream?

Why do I have to pick one or the other? Can’t I have chocolate with ice cream? Pretty please with sugar on top?

Dogs or cats?

I own two of each, so I guess that means both. 

Thank you for popping by AJ! Feels like Friday already. Good luck with your series! 

Rowena’s Key
Book One
The Golden Key Chronicles

Rowena’s Key releases November 7, 2013 through HarperImpulse UK. Pre-orders are available at Amazon and

The Golden Key Chronicles Release Schedule:
Rowena’s Key:  November 7, 2013
Candra’s Freedom: December 12, 2013
Caedmon’s Curse: January 9, 2014
Braedric’s Bane: February 13, 2014

Rowena’s Key:
Amazon Buy Link Buy Link 

About AJ Nuest

I am a multi-published, award-winning author who lives in the middle of a cornfield in NW Indiana. My loving husband, two beautiful children and a bevy of spoiled pets have agreed to stay and, in exchange for three rations per day and laundry service, tolerate my lunacy. While I spend most days happily ensconced in crafting romance across a multitude of genres, an underground coup has been percolating. The dogs just informed me the cat is secretly vying for dictatorship. 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Would You Like To Read My Short Story?

Last night I attended a local writing competition awards ceremony for The SSSC. (Somerset Short Story Competition). I didn't come anywhere in the competition - but then I wasn't sure if I would. I entered the competition to get me back into writing, because this was before I'd been offered my contract by Harper Impulse. 

The theme was 'Lost', and a short story I'd written some time ago I felt fitted this theme, so I entered it - with a bit of tweaking to fit the word count!

I do really like this story, as although I was not in the situation as my character, I did fear that I would not bond with my first born baby, so I had this experience to draw upon.

I'm not sure how long I will keep the story up for or not, yet. However, I thought I would share this story as I want to give it a home. It's not romance, it's certainly not women magazines style of story (I've tried!) either, therefore I don't think commercially I can find a place for it.

I've put it over on my website using its blog feature within it (but I like my blog over here thank you! lol!). That way I can add more short stories if I choose by creating new posts.

Short stories certainly don't seem to be my strength, however the ones I have written usually tend to have a romantic theme amongst them. Therefore, I have sent over three of my favourites to my editor, and hopefully Harper Impulse might be able to use those in some shape of form. (Watch this space). I really hope so, because again, they're lacking a home. (You writers out there will know what I mean!)

If you would like to read my short story, click on the link here: Life After Death. And let me know what you think. It's not gory or anything like that. It's an emotional journey of a woman in labour.

You can leave comments here or on at the website, I don't mind. :)

Right, back to the novel writing... I appear to be better at those.