Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Proud Owner of a Fifteen Year Old

As I write this, (yesterday) fifteen years ago, I would have been in labour... I went into labour on the 2nd of December, around 11pm after a day of being on my feet (wanting to bring the baby on), thinking I'd have my bundle of joy on my sister's birthday (3rd of December).

Oh, no... thirty-three hours later...

Ben entered the world as he meant to go on in life... taking his sweet time about it. He's not really in a rush now, at fifteen! He arrived at 6.36am on the 4th December.

He might drive me potty at times, away with the fairies, leaving doors open, lights on but he makes me incredibly proud as he does put a 110% into everything he does.

He loves school, he loves learning and he loves sport! He is like a sponge, always absorbing information and facts.

I'm lucky to have a boy who is academically bright as well as sporty. He is an allrounder. He might not be the best at everything, but he's pretty good at it all... and like I said, he puts the effort in. The school have praised him on his attitude to learning.

Ben is growing up to be a thoughtful. intelligent, easy going young man, even a little profound and mature in his thinking. He is very logical. He may be laid back but I know, through his lack of caring of image and what others think, he shouldn't succumb to peer pressure.

He takes after me, liking posh chocolates and coffee. (I haven't encouraged wine just yet - obviously!) The worrying thing is he is as tall as me now. And I reckon by Christmas, he may even be taller!

Happy birthday, Ben! I love you so much x x x

Thursday, 24 October 2019

How To Help An Author Friend

Not all authors are like J K Rowling (although her struggle was real in the beginning). They actually have a part-time or even a full-time job as they need a reliable monthly income. They hope one day, when they "make it" - like J K Rowling - they can give up the day job.

However, for most of us, it's a reality that we can't ever give up work and become a full-time writer, and having recently talked about this, a friend suggested I put a blog post together to help guild those wanting to support their author friends but aren't sure how.

Firstly, I've found myself explaining how royalties work and that some don't understand the process.

To clarify, the days of advances are long gone for most writers. Authors only get paid if you buy their books. And then it could be something as little as 10p per copy sold depending on the RRP of the book.

Where you buy their books is important, too.

Ebay, for example, is possibly selling used books. Yes, the author would have been paid at some point for that copy, but when you buy a second-hand book, the money is going to the seller and not the author. (And the irony is they'll make more out of the sale of the book than the author ever did).

I will argue at least with a charity shop the money is going to charity. And I would much rather a book exchanged or re-sold than burned! It can be a good way to gain new readers, too. However, we're not talking about your Stephen King's of the world. We're talking about your author friend with the other job to bring in a reliable income...

And by buying second hand, without sounding ungrateful - because it is great a new reader is trying you out - it hasn't helped boost rankings like it would have done if you'd bought the book/ebook new from Amazon. And some ebooks are cheaper than buying the paperback second-hand!

Actually, all other good ebook sellers will have rankings, so whether you've bought from Amazon, Nook, Google Play, iTunes, it would have boosted the books visibility. Authors are just obsessed with Amazon and getting into the top 100 of something!

So if you can, please buy new!

Or borrow from the library! (The author gets paid lending rights and it's not cost you a penny.)

These are the best things you can do for free to support your author friend:

  • Comment on/Like/Share their Facebook posts about their books. This increases visibility and is free advertising for your friend.
  • Tell people how much you've loved your author friend's books (if you've read them - if not, why not?) and recommend they buy one.
  • Leave reviews on Amazon and wherever you purchased the book. Again, this increases "traffic" to your friend's book and helps others decide whether to buy the book or not. It also gives the author something to share and shout about over their social media accounts.
  • Tag them on Facebook and share a photo of you reading their book. Authors like to see the exotic places their books have travelled to, even if  they've not left their front room, let alone the UK in a while... 
  • Support your author friend with local book signings, help spread the word. Bring new friends along to introduce them to your author friend... or be there to drag people in off the street. Either way, your friend will be grateful. 
  • If you want to avoid Amazon and prefer to support local bookshops, order the book from there. Although depending on the publisher, Amazon maybe your only go-to for paperbacks. But if you can order from a local bookshop, and you want to keep them in business too, order your books from them! But if you can't afford to buy, remember, check out your local library. 

Your author friend is not going to suddenly get rich and forget you by these small tokens of goodwill. They're more likely to hug you till you ask them politely to put you down. But if they do become the next J K Rowling, they'll remember the friends who got them there. 😉

Saturday, 12 October 2019

12th Day of Birthday

On the twelfth day of my birthday, I would like sent to me...

A Coffee Machine 

I really, really, really want a bean to cup coffee machine, with milk frother and everything. My old machine gave up the ghost, and deciding pods weren't exactly environmentally friendly, I didn't replace it. Bean to cup machines are far more expensive, so I'm saving up. I keep saying the next book sold, I'm buying a machine with the royalties.

To be honest, I love opening presents! And now my boys are old enough to let me open them, so it's more exciting! Before, when they were much younger, they would open them for me.

Yes, imagine my angry face. But how do you tell a four-year-old you don't need help opening presents!?

Today is my birthday, so I'm hoping to have dinner out with the kids and my best friend, and her children. I have more plans for my birthday month, which I'm sure you'll hear about if you follow my Twitter and Facebook accounts!

Friday, 11 October 2019

11th Day of Birthday

On the eleventh day of my birthday, I would like sent to me...

Tom Hiddleston

I would love to meet this guy in the flesh! My obsession started when I saw a YouTube video of him dancing, and it was instant love for the man! (I then stalked more YouTube videos of this man!) Nothing sexier than a man who can dance - in my opinion anyway.

Brilliant actor, fun guy (or at least he comes across that way). Blue eyes and blond hair! Love love love!

I have a Pinterest Board just for this guy too! He's on my inspirational hero list for writing.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

10th Day of Birthday

On the tenth day of my birthday, I would like sent to me...

A Fiat 500

I swear, I need David Beckham's garage. There are too many cars I'd like to collect. One day, when I no longer need to take the kids on holiday to Cornwall, I want a Fiat 500. New model obviously. I love the powder blue, and I like the idea of a convertible!

I've actually written one into the book I'm currently writing! My heroine, Beth, drives one.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

9th Day of Birthday

On the ninth day of my birthday, I would like sent to me...

A Room With A View

When I attended a writing retreat day the beginning of this year, I was able to work at a writing bureau (see photo above). It was by a window (to the left which you can't see but giving the natural light for the photo) and behind (as you can see in the photo), the door opened, to make you feel like you could be outside.

I dream of owning a house with a room I can use as my writing room, and it will have a view. The view will either be looking out to sea or the countryside. How inspiring would that be?

I also dream of owning a bureau. Every time I visit a National Trust property, I'm always admiring the writing bureaus. This one (below) is at Killerton House.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

8th Day of Birthday

On the eighth day of my birthday, I would like sent to me...

A Holiday

There are many places I would love to visit, but somewhere with sun, sand and sea is a preference. I would just love to go back to Kos with the boys, if truth be told. But I am missing my 'abroad' holiday this year. We had so much fun last year, I yearn to return to a Greek Island.

Just wherever I go, please ensure I have my own personal sunbed which I don't have to get up at 7am in the morning to go claim!

I do dream of visiting different cities, and sitting in a cafe drinking coffee and watching the world go by, soaking up the atmosphere.

Monday, 7 October 2019

7th Day of Birthday

On the seventh day of my birthday, I would like sent to me...


I do have a taste for Champagne, which I clearly can not afford. It stems from my years working for Procter and Gamble, and ordering champagne in business class flights! So yes, Champagne is definitely on my birthday wish list.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

6th Day of Birthday

On the sixth day of my birthday, I would like sent to me...

Henry Cavill 

Oh, how I would love to meet Henry. He's played my favourite superhero and he comes across as just a really nice guy. Henry was also my inspiration behind Harry in Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage.  I would love to meet him. Probably go completely shy, for the first time ever, but even so...

For more up to date images of Henry Cavill... go visit my Pinterest Board. 

Saturday, 5 October 2019

5th Day of Birthday

On the fifth day of birthday, I would like sent to me...

A Ford Ranger 

If truth be told, if I was rich enough, I'd have a garage like David Beckham's with all my favourite cars (and trucks). (I am my father's daughter!) And this would be there. More practical than the Mustang, it'll get me and the boys to Cornwall with all our holiday stuff and some! (I'd have the body cover on the back so it's like an estate car only bigger! And taller!)

Friday, 4 October 2019

4th Day of Birthday

On the fourth day of my birthday, I would like sent to me... (hope you're singing this along to the tune of the twelve days of Christmas).

The Cursed Child Theatre Tickets

My friend lent me the book which is actually a script of the story, and I would love to see this now. Only £75 a ticket, per show. Because of course there are two parts. And obviously I'd like to take my eldest so I'm looking at £300 - and I don't even know if they're good seats! 

Thursday, 3 October 2019

3rd Day of Birthday

On the third day of my birthday, I would like sent to me...


Is it so wrong to want some diamond earrings?

I can't wear earrings anymore, well not cheap jewellery anyway. Gosh, and to think in my teens I wore all sorts of earrings! Now, it has to be real gold or silver, and even then, my ears may complain.

But who doesn't like diamonds?

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

2nd Day of Birthday

Continuing my birthday wish list...

On the second day of my birthday, I would like sent to me....

A Ford Mustang! 

This car is on my bucket list... it's whether I could afford one with a V8 and the fuel... But I do love these cars.

I wouldn't say no to the classic version either...

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Birthday Month Is Here!

It's October. Although I don't like how fast the year is passing, and I dread Christmas will be upon us faster than I can say snow, I still get excited about this month - because it's my birthday month!

Last night, I wondered that because we get the twelve days of Christmas, and my birthday is on the twelfth, why can't I have twelve days of my birthday?

So I'm taking a look at my wish list... the more unrealistic one... and seeing what I'd like for my birthday.

On the first day of my birthday, I would love sent to me...

Adam Levine. 

I would love to see Maroon 5 live. I'm not really a concert goer... but I would love to see this band!

Thursday, 19 September 2019

September News!

My third newsletter will soon be released, updating you on what's been happening in September etc.

If you want to subscribe, click here -- ;Subcribe Now

In the meantime, I'm currently working on book 2 while I wait for edits from my agent. This book will be set at Christmas. I know! This weather and I'm trying to think of Christmassy things... (and my agent wants snow!) and it's the last thing I like to think about, even in September! The sun is still shining after all, even if it is a little lower in the sky.

I like writing summer and sunshine, but I have some fun things planned for this book. I need to work out the conflict between the hero and the heroine. He just likes to put his foot in it.

However, this next book is going to be equally as fun to write, as I revisit old characters (mainly Joe, and a little of Noah) in this second book of the series.

On the 16th July, I had great fun meeting Jane Dare who runs a pop up boutique in Claverham. I've decided this is what I want my heroine to do, as it will fit nicely with the plot I've got planned.

Of course, I had to buy some outfits. I then held a pop-up boutique in my home which was equally good fun. So writing, isn't always about sitting at a desk. Although getting those words down are important. The research can be fun too!

Keep reading the books. You make us authors happy!

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Life's Acupuncture

With the kids off school, I've failed at writing, so today I thought I'd blog about something I've been mulling over lately.

Life isn't treating me badly in the grand scheme of things. I know I'm fortunate. I'm healthy, I've got a job (I think) and a roof over my head - although there is a leak, as water is dripping from my kitchen ceiling when the boys shower in the bathroom. I'm a published author too!

However, small things in life are niggling away at me. Little things keep going wrong. Like the leak!

A prime example is that I had my new sofa arrive yesterday. And it is LUSH. And I can't believe it fits perfectly and goes so well with the room. We can now watch the TV in comfort! And I've not parted with a penny! (I'm paying over 4 years interest free - thank you, DFS!)

However, the bench stool has a crack in the side of one of it's panels on the inside. (It has a storage compartment. In a small house it's all about storage for me.) I didn't notice it until the delivery men had left.

So it has meant getting in touch with DFS, and they're organising a new base to be made. Now it's all fine really, but it's just another niggle of life being annoying. Instead of the furniture arriving and everything is great. I've had to make a call, send off photos etc. I couldn't just receive the furniture with no problems.

And I thought the other day, all these things that seem to go wrong when I could do without it; it's like acupuncture. A needle gets twisted, causing a little pain. That's what these nuisances are.

The thing how acupuncture works is that those needles tell the body where to concentrate on the healing. So are these little pains from life, just making me stronger?

And maybe I'm noticing them because I'm stressed with the worry of making things work out. Is this all just part of the wobble?

I suppose I'd rather these little niggles, than something big going wrong in life, but sometimes it would be nice if something went right!

Friday, 23 August 2019

Two Years Officially Single

Two years ago today, I was put back on the shelf.

I know it's not a bad thing, although at the time it broke my heart, so much so, I had to take myself off to counselling. I couldn't understand why a perfectly good relationship could end so suddenly, and wondered what I had done wrong.

Counselling helped me to discover that the relationship wasn't healthy, because everything had been on his terms. And as soon as I'd gained confidence in the relationship, to start speaking up when I wasn't happy, he'd ended it.

Yes, I am sad. Yes, I do want to be in a relationship. I do miss sharing my free time with someone, to go on mini-adventures with them! But I do not want to be in this kind of relationship. I suppose, in the last seven years of being on and off single, I've learnt I will not settle for anything less than I deserve.

If that means being single for the rest of my life, then that is something I am now prepared to face.

Relationships are hard work, you do need to both work at it. There will be tough times. But predominantly if you love someone, it will work out. There needs to be much more laughter than tears... unless they are happy tears!

If I've learnt anything from my failed marriage, it is exactly that. It does take the two of us to make the relationship work. I am just as guilty at the failure of my marriage. I let it go past the point of  not wanting to go back.

Anyway, today I may feel a little sombre. I do find it hard to believe he did the right thing. (But then that could be my mind having been conned). I will believe it when the right person comes along and I realise that what I had with He Who Shall Not Be Named was nothing in comparison.

I have to believe there is someone out there for me.

If there isn't... I'll just get more budgies...

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Hindsight Is A Beautiful Thing

And frustrating!

For those who follow me on Facebook... Last Wednesday was going so well. I had a date. Which lead to another date, and then spending the majority of my weekend getting to know this date better.

By Monday, and having the shittiest day at work on record. (Or maybe I've just forgotten the other shitty days - but it's why I really want to concentrate on becoming a Virtual Assistant and get the hell out of retail - but hey, I digress...)

I came home and really wanted to hear this man's voice.

I hated myself that I felt like this. I hated this frustrating feeling that I would have to wait as he would be busy with work. I felt needy and impatient. However, I also liked it. It meant I'd found someone again, someone worth caring about. I thought I'd found someone I'd connected with.

You know there's a but coming don't you?

BUT... I never got that call... and maybe there was shit going on in his life too... (so I'm not completely unreasonable about not receiving the call) but what he did send was a text with the implication he wanted to "slow things down".


I am so sick of meeting men on online dating sites that aren't ready for a relationship. So why the fuck are you on there then?

Men hold more baggage than women. I swear. It's a fact! They are the tormented heroes we read about in our romance novels and that I write about, ironically!

They all need counselling! 

And yes, it is a gamble meeting someone. Someone might get hurt. But as long as it's not deliberate, then that's okay. I totally understand if it's not working or it's not right, then it should end.

And after how He Who Shall Not Be Named treated me, I fear it happening again - of course I do! I fear wasting my time on another man not wanting to work at a relationship. But I have to trust the next guy because otherwise I'm taking my shit with me into the next relationship, and that's not fair on them. And definitely will not help the new relationship to move forward.

I met a lovely guy a few weeks ago, and the spark was not there for me, so I had to turn him down for a second date. I hate that I might have hurt him, but I'd have caused more pain if I'd carried it on for longer.

So I'm going to reiterate this one more time... for men and women reading this post:

To attend counselling does not make you weak. It means you are strong. It means that you realise you need help to return to full strength.

Never think attending counselling makes you weak. Far from it!

You can not help those that will not help themselves. By attending counselling, you're taking the first step to help yourself. This is so important.

At least my counselling allows me to know this was not may fault. Nothing I could have done differently to change this man's thoughts. I just feel incredibly stupid, used and gullible because he lied to me. He implied he was ready when he was not. And if he'd been honest, I'd have done things very differently. (And would not be feeling as angry as I do!)

Sunday, 21 July 2019

I Feel A Wobble Coming On

Life is good, I am happy but I am feeling a bit out of sorts. Not sure if it's the full moon, new moon, high pressure, low pressure or what, but I just have this niggle of stress going on. Anyway, I feel a wobble coming on.

It's not helping with a bad back. The exercise and the routine isn't what it should be, which I usually finds keeps any stress or depression in check.

However, I think I'm worrying about my future, especially as I've had my mortgage renewal come through. How fast another school year has passed, it won't be long before the boys are leaving, and I've got to think about my financial future. I need a job.

And I'm working on that, wanting to become a virtual assistant. But with that I am stressing too, that if I get this in motion, will I have enough time to fit it all in, from the writing, the part-time job I have to attend to give me a regular income, and actually feeding the kids and keeping the house clean. Don't get me started on epically failing on the decorating my house again this year. It's a good job my dear old Dad attends my garden.

But will this virtual assistant, as a self-employed job, be a regular enough income too?

I'm trying to be proactive, but it all feels very reactive at the moment. I don't know my future... and it's stressing me out!

Maybe at rapidly-approaching-forty-six, I thought I'd have someone to share this stress with, I wouldn't still be single, my future would be clearer. The feeling of wasting 14 months of my life on the wrong man can get me down sometimes. Even now.

I don't need a man, but one would be nice...

I suppose my biggest fear is that I may have to give up the writing. Or I won't be able to do it as often as I get to do it now. And the writing keeps me sane. It is my happy pill. But even if I get a full time job... I'm pretty sure it won't pay me enough, having been out of 'proper' work for over fifteen years.

And I don't have someone at home, bringing in the regular income. I am doing this on my own.

This is really hard.

I know money doesn't buy happiness, but it does ease financial stress.

So forgive me if I wobble.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Why I Don't Have Time To Date

I've been meaning to blog again the past few weeks. In August, I will have been single two years. I have dated - or tried to - but nothing has stuck. (I really did want one guy to stick, but we just didn't quite have the right chemistry for me).

In these two years I've attended counselling, I've self counselled, and I have got on with my life and made time for my good friends. I've had some lovely mini-adventures, too!

I'm now in such a routine with keeping in contact with these wonderful people, I rarely have a spare weekend to myself. I've a great social life - it would be even better if money allowed!

I've taken the advice of Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, and made sure all parts of my life are full and important. I'm not going to make one person my whole world. From family, to friends and career, I've tried to concentrate on it all that makes me happy.

I don't have a huge quantity of friends, I have a few that make time for me, so I make time for them. And I love them all. These are the friends that have helped me through my lows, and rejoiced and celebrated my highs. These people are important to me and my sanity!

So I'm not going to give that up, right?
A gentle reminder to myself... 

The thing is, I do really want to find that one person to share everything with. There's a part of me who needs to, if only to confirm to me that when He Who Shall Not Be Named ended our relationship, it was the best thing he could have done for me. He set me free!

I know it is the best thing he could have done for me. I mean, who wants to remain in an unhealthy and unfair relationship? However, the way he did treat me, when I thought he was being sincere, is all I ever wanted. I just want to be loved.

And if I don't find that again? What happens? He's the last man I loved? He's the last man who 'loved' me?

It's as if I need to meet someone to make sense of my past.

I hope this is true!
So, I have to believe there is someone out there who will love me so much more than He Who Shall Not Be Named. And imagine how that's going to feel?

I shouldn't let this man have a hold of me, but he does. I want proof there is better out there, and I deserve it. Otherwise it all feels like a fraud... for someone who writes romance, I can get cynical. And I don't want to be cynical. I want to believe there is someone out there for everyone.

A few weeks ago, I opened myself back up to online-dating, only a day or two later to hide my profile. I realised I was just too busy to make a date with these guys - the few decent ones amongst the baggage-ridden dross.

This is great in someways, right? I'm too busy to date. The right guy's really going to need to stick out, yes?

Therefore, do I leave it to fate? Will the right guy come along in his own good time? However, I've actually been single on and off now for nearly seven years.... I'm not sure I'm patient enough for fate!

The way of the world these days, online dating seems the only way to meet new guys. But why does it have to be so time consuming, and sometimes, even feel demoralising?