Sunday, 31 May 2015

Two Minute Beach Clean Up #Springwatch

I'm back from my holiday! Did you miss me?

This blog post has a bit more of a serious message with fun pictures of our holiday.

Every year (it was my 11th year) we spend May half-term in Polzeath, Cornwall, and every year we watch the first week of BBC SpringWatch  There are two more weeks of the series, but I always forget to put it on, as real life tends to get in the way, and I want the boys in bed earlier as it's a school night. (Will try harder this year to remember!)

Last week they had some guy (I'm sorry I can't remember his name) on talking about a two minute beach comb. Basically, I was astounded by the micro plastics and how they're in our waters because they are so small to get caught by the sewage system. They're in things like body and facial scrubs etc. In fact, I was looking at my dishwasher tablets and I think they're in them too. The scary thing is I think they're in just about everything!

Anyway, this guy says he does a two minute beach comb after he's finished surfing on the beach to eliminate some of the plastics and rubbish that gathers on our beaches. (Clearly you won't be able to remove the micro-plastics!)

Micro Plastics, Big Problem 
Plastic will never go away.  It can be broken up into smaller and smaller particles, but are called microplastics. Millions of tonnes of these tiny pieces are in our oceans. Investigative reporter Sonali Shah discovers that plastics found in beauty products are killing our marine wildlife, and asks what can be done about a problem that's affecting the whole of the food chain.
Taken from BBC SpringWatch website 

Well, the following day, I did two minutes, and could have spent two hours, if not more, going along the shore line and seeing the rubbish that was tangled among the seaweed.

This human race of ours is really on a self-destruct mission. It angers me the amount of rubbish that is left on our beaches. Some has come from boats out in the ocean, to visitors on the beach that day!

If we don't do something about these plastics in our waters, it will enter the food chain - if it hasn't already! It's killing wildlife, and the waters. And eventually it will kill us!

So the next time you're on a beach, as you walk off, spend two minutes taking rubbish and plastics, old bits of rope - all sorts you'll find - off the beach. Plus your own rubbish, of course. Stop it going back into the water and potentially harming a creature that has every right to be in that ocean.

I urge us, as consumers, to choose the products we use wisely. I'm certainly going to be looking out for micro-plastics in the products I buy from now on. It's better to spend a little bit more money on a product that doesn't cost the Earth. I buy my facial scrub from Lush, which is ground almonds as the 'scrub'. These products don't harm our Earth.

The scary thing is I think this is a much bigger problem but at least do your two minute beach clean! And watch SpringWatch.

Anyway, that's my rant over. As usual, the week went too fast. We ate plenty of ice creams, pasties and cream teas. We went for plenty of walks, made boats in the sand, surfing, and did our usual cycle along the Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Padstow.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Happy Birthday, Mum

I want to wish my mum a very happy birthday, and tell her how much I love and appreciate her.

Sometimes, I don't know where I'd be without my mum. I know that we live further away now, but she's always at the end of the phone. I know I probably cause her worry, but deep down she knows she made me strong. And I am. Because of her.

I feel really blessed because I have a fantastic relationship with both of my parents who support me in different ways. My dad supports me physically, with the house and garden, but my mum is awesome because she's there for me mentally with her advice and encouragement. And I know I can confide in her about anything. My mum taught me not to take crap - particularly from men. She has certainly provided me with my strong will.

She can drive me a bit bonkers at times - usually when trying to feed my children - her grandsons - with copious amounts of chocolate. And she loves a bargain, to the point of OCD! But I'm sure I drive her nuts at times too.

My mum will not do anything by halves.... and I certainly know where I got the crazy from!

Happy birthday, Mum. Love you so much! I hope that my younger siblings don't wind you up too much on your special day, and you're spoilt rotten. x x x

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Moving On Into May...

Oh My God! There are only two weeks until half term - which means it's only two weeks until I go on holiday!

And I've done nothing to work towards this!

And the weather has turned pants!

With the past couple of weeks being busy with the #HIFortnight I thought I would give a quick update. Soon I will be able to announce the winner from IHeartChickLit  #HIFortnight blog post. A signed copy of One Fine Day will be winging it's way to one lucky reader!

I continue to write book three - when real life chooses not to get in the way. I've had to edit the first few chapters, and re-jig the timeline a bit because after talking to a fireman, I realised the police would need to get involved. He gave me great advice on how to create a fire in a kitchen - for my book obviously! I needed it to be arson. Luckily, a mum I know works for CSI and investigates house fires, so this has all been very useful too. But it meant changing a few things within the timeline. I hope they don't mind, because as I write, if I come across something I'm not sure of, I'm firing over an email with my obscure question to either one of them.

Last week, I also met a fellow romantic novelist who lives locally. She's not published yet, but is submitting her first novel out to agents and publishers. It was lovely to sit in Costa and talk about our books, and characters - the voices inside our heads - and it all be accepted as normal. We have agreed to meet up regularly.

I am coping with my singleton status. Each day does get easier. But when real life goes quiet for me I find myself still missing him, bizarrely enough... I have moments where I'll pause, and wonder what he's doing, feeling, thinking... It still feels odd that he's no longer a part of my life.

However, after feeling so miserable for weeks, I think I've found a ray of sunshine. I'm a tiny bit worried it's all a bit too good to be true at the moment - actually that's an under statement - I'm worried A LOT! I'm not sure how long it will last, but it has kept my focus on me, and having fun. A lot of fun. My anxiety lies in that this ray of sunshine may have come too soon, so I'm trying not to over think things (which is incredibly difficult for me) and take each day as it comes. I am trying to just let fate take it's course, while keeping my heart protected so I'm better prepared next time for the fall. What will be, will be...

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

#HIFortnight - Do You Remember? by Mandy Baggot

Recently I finished reading Mandy Baggot's Do You Remember? And so for part of the #HIFortnight I thought I would give Mandy Baggot a HarperImpulse Author Spotlight post.

Do You Remember? - First Love. First Loss. Last chance?

2005 was the most traumatic year of Emma Barron's life. It was the year her mother died and the year she met Guy Duval. Eight years on, she's an English teacher with a doting boyfriend and a young son. Life's been hard but now it's comfortable. She's settled and why would she risk it all for another chance with the man that broke her heart?

Guy's an international renowned footballer newly signed to a top UK team. But behind the confident facade is a man determined to drown the horrors from his childhood with fame, success and money.

Unable to confide in her best friend, Ally, Emma tries to hold her life together as her heart is pulled apart. Did she turn her back on love too soon? Neither of them know what really happened on 5 September 2005 and as events are slowly revealed can anyone cope with the truth?

My short and sweet review - 5 stars! 

What a gem of a read with some lovely twists. :)
I loved the past and present stories of Emma and Guy entwined. This worked really well in my opinion. Easy, enjoyable read.


Mandy Baggot is a romantic fiction author. In 2012 she won the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Her self-published title, Strings Attached was also short-listed for the Best Author Published Read award.

Also in 2012 she signed with American publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, who produced her novels, Taking Charge and romantic suspense, Security.

In June 2013 she signed a two book deal with Harper Collins' digital first romance imprint, Harper Impulse.

She is a regular contributor to writing blogs and on-line magazine, Loveahappyending Lifestyle

Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, World’s Strongest Man, travel and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor.

Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and cats, Kravitz and Springsteen.


Amazon UK:

Amazon US:




Loveahappyending Bookshelf:

Monday, 4 May 2015

HarperImpulse Author Spotlight - Wendy Lou Jones

Entering the second week of #HIFortnight, today I have Wendy Lou Jones on the HarperImpulse Author Spotlight.


My name is Wendy Lou Jones. I was born and raised in West Sussex, England and moved to Birmingham to study Medicine at University, where I was lucky enough to meet my husband. We now live in a little village in Herefordshire with our two grubby boys. I discovered a love of writing not long after my youngest son started school. And if you were to ask me what it was that made me make the switch, I’d tell you quite simply, that it started with a dream.




Amazon buy link:

Multi-store buy link:

By My Side – blurb

Betrayed by her boyfriend and best friend, Lena is left empty; trapped under a weight of guilt and loneliness. Then, at her lowest point and when she needs it most, a mysterious stranger comes into her life with a tale of friendship, family, and finding love in the most unexpected of places…

Katy Heath is definitely not thinking of love when she comes across consultant, Adam Elliott, berating some poor patient on the ward one day. In fact it is Dr Peter Florin who quickly has everyone’s hearts aflutter with his easy smiles and practised charm.

Yet Katy comes to realise that there’s more to Adam than his determination to push everyone away and it’s not long before she finds herself longing to reach out to touch the man within, healing the pain of his past.

As Lena is drawn into Katy’s story, she begins to learn – just as Katy does - that the course of true love never did run smooth.

Wendy has a book trailer for her third book... Check it out below!

Friday, 1 May 2015

HarperImpulse Author Spotlight - Caroline Roberts

It's Friday! And today I have HarperImpulse author, Caroline Roberts for #HIfortnight spotlight.

Caroline is one of the new kids on the block with HarperImpulse, with her debut novel “The Torn Up Marriage” out in e-book in March and the paperback due very soon on 7th May! She can’t wait to hold that real copy in her hands and say I DID IT!

Book Blurb “The Torn Up Marriage”:

"The Torn Up Marriage” is a powerful and poignant contemporary novel about love, loss and betrayal, and that key instinct to protect your family. But what happens when you tear that family apart? Kate and Michael are about to find out as they cope with the crushing fallout of his affair, whilst trying to protect their two young daughters.

Set in the historic town of Alnwick, Northumberland, with its stunning backdrop of castles, golden sandy beaches and moorland hills, this story of love and family takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions along with Kate and Michael. Can they find a way back and fight for their battered yet enduring love?

What would you do if it happened to you? Could you betray? Could you ever forgive?

Author Bio:

Family, friends, food, a glass of bubbly and, of course, a good book make me smile. I love writing emotional stories about love, loss, betrayal, and family, that explore how complex and yet beautiful love can be. I also like to write romantic comedy, letting the characters have a bit of flirty fun too! I believe in following your dreams, which led me to Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and a publishing deal (woop!) after many years of writing. Stunning Northumberland is my home – sandy beaches, castles and gorgeous countryside that have inspired my writing.

Look Caroline up on Twitter: @_caroroberts Facebook: or on her Blog about her books and her writing journey:

Caroline’s debut novel “The Torn Up Marriage” is published in e-book with HarperImpulse from March 2015, the paperback is about to be released on 7th May! Here’s the Amazon link: