Sunday, 4 December 2022

There's Another Adult In The House

Where has my baby boy gone? All of a sudden I am now the owner of an adult! I don't even feel mature enough to have an adult as a child. 

Happy 18th Birthday, Ben. 

Even when you drive me to frustration, I do love you. I am incredibly proud of your achievements. 

Continue to work hard and follow your dreams, and the universe will provide. But the MX5 might not be an ideal first car ha ha! 

And now for the photos! I know I post this picture a lot (above), but it's my favourite. I could watch him sleep and I just loved that blue sleepsuit on him. It was my favourite. These moments I do miss. 

And then this is Ben off to his first ever football practice, and Kieran would watch from the sidelines until he was old enough to join him. 

I love how Kieran looks at his big brother so adoringly, and yet now, the bickering drives me mad! Hopefully, when they both emerge from their teenage years, they'll be the best of friends again. 

I could share loads of photos as I have LOADS of photos. 

But this is Ben pretty much now. Taller than me, and possibly the spitting image of me (poor boy). Ben on holiday in Corfu. Still only 17. 

He's training to be a civil engineer, and to be honest, it's such a suited job. He's always loved building things with lego. He's loved steam trains, and still does, and once, Grandad couldn't drag him off the seafront, where he was more than happy to watch the cranes building the new Grand Pier after it had burnt down. 

I love how you're afraid of dogs but not swans. I love that you send me funny reels via instagram, some of them proving we both have the same silly sense of humour. I love that you drink coffee. You appreciate nature, the stars, and good quality chocolate. 

You're not perfect. Nobody is. But I do hope that your dad and I have done enough for you to go out into this big wide world, and make it your own. 

Lots of love,  Mum x x x 

Tuesday, 29 November 2022


So I'm now in the last year of my 40's. This is technically, my 50th year... 

The last couple of years has been a dramatical change to my mindset, all thanks to joining Utility Warehouse. I was probably getting stronger already, as I'd dropped online dating. I'd clearly got to the point where I didn't want timewasters in my life anymore and that if I was meant to be with someone, eventually the universe would provide. 

However, the past couple of years has really strengthened my belief that I am more than happy to live on my own. I have enough friends and things going on around me to keep me busy. And I'll never be bored because I will always have writing. 

UW has given me something that I also desired; financial freedom. And the belief that I will have it. 

I am concerned that if I did find someone else in this life, I don't want to lose my financial independence. I will want to own my own house. I don't want to be in a relationship to rely on that person's income. And I definitely don't want to give up on the decision making. 

In my marriage it had been so easy to hand over all the financial reins to my husband. But now I've got them back, I don't want to ever lose that again. 

I was supposed to post this around my birthday... I started writing it in October, the day before my birthday, but opps... I've neglected my blog. 

Anyway, here's to the last year in my forties, and to my fifty things for fifty... 

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Social Media Overwhelm Anyone?

Is anyone else feeling social media overwhelm? Or even overload? 

If you own a business you get told that you need to be on social media. Although, you're not to 'sell' but you need to be showing you, your human side, not some robot. People buy from people and all that. 

On the writer side, I'm on there to connect with readers, but find myself followed by other writers, or book reviewers offering to review my books - for a fee! A few readers connect, but I've not got to the point of being bombarded with fan mail! 

And when I think, right, let's do some social media, but there are so many social media channels... Where do I go first? 

I sit on business networking, listen to all these social media gurus that tell us what we should and shouldn't be doing. But quite honestly, I don't have the time. I'm a fairly organised woman but bloody hell, the last thing I want to do on a Sunday is schedule my social media for the bloomin' week! And it really feels like a life suck sometimes. But once upon a time social media was spontaneous... now it's scheduled... 

And it's not always positive. We're all comparing, and bitching. It's just drama. I try to keep my posts on my social media positive now, but that doesn't mean my life is all rosey. (It's not bad actually, I can't complain. UW has changed my mindset for the better, two of my books are in Prime Reads... I'm happily single... and I'm digressing...) 

It used to be about friends connecting - especially on Facebook - which I do love, because I've reconnected with so many people that I wouldn't have done otherwise. But now Facebook feels like it's an advertising platform - so I see these friends less and less. And then you're panicking if you're still actually 'friends'. 

Seriously, I Google something for research purposes, or take a look at something on Amazon, and the next minute I'm constantly seeing adverts for these things either via Instagram or Facebook. It's a good job I write romance... dread to think what my adverts would contain if I wrote horror or crime. 

I bought a phone case from a company and now all I see is this company! FFS! I've bought the phone case - how many more do I need? Or do phone's need a wardrobe of phone cases now? 

I've tried Reels. But that can frustrate the hell out of me. Take half-an-hour, or longer, just when I should be putting my phone down to go to bed, to create a reel for it to not load, or there's a typo, or it's not quite done what I wanted it to do. Or it's just fucking crashed! At midnight! FFS! 

It's taken me less time to write this blog post - but nobody will read it because it's not a video. I don't even get comments anymore... Do you remember when people left comments on blogs? God, those were the days! 

If you have read this blog post, all the way to the end, thank you! Xxxx I just needed to get that off my chest. 

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Dear Book Reviewer

This may seem a weird blog post but I've decided, as an author who is constantly directly messaged and emailed on a regular basis on this subject, that I would share my thoughts to new writers/authors out there. Just in case you're not really sure on this subject. 

As a writer/author we do not pay for book reviews. 

It's bad enough we don't get paid that much in royalties really - the average author doesn't earn enough to live off. Unless we're selling books in the hundreds of thousands... we don't earn a lot for a year's work (or longer). 

If a "book reviewer" messages you about reviewing your book, you say, "Thank you very much, I would love you to review my book. Here are the places you can buy it. It's only 99p on Amazon!" (Or words to that effect.)

My understanding is that these people just want free books. And then want to be paid to give an "honest" review. But how honest is it if you've given them the book for free and paid them to write a review? 

And quite frankly, if I've given them my book and PAID for a review, it better be FIVE STARS! 

And you have to think, am I going to earn that fee back in royalties? Probably not. 

If a book reviewer wants free books, this is what NetGalley is for - and I have my gripes about NetGalley too, but I won't go into that here. 

I'm really sorry, dear book reviewer, but genuine book reviewers are readers

taken from The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
If you read a book and you enjoy it, you leave a review. Some like to rip it to shreds too. Us authors would prefer they kept those comments to themselves, as we are human and usually blood, sweat and tears has gone into writing our books. 

And if it's traditionally published, therefore gone through editors and a publisher feels it's good enough to invest in, then I believe there is no such thing as a bad book. It just wasn't a book for you. (I agree with Phin in The Family Upstairs.) 

I know for some writers, me included, this may mean that reviews can be few and far between. But dear author, please do not pay for reviews!

Monday, 23 May 2022

Two Books In Prime Reads

I am majorly excited. Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage AND One Fine Day are in Prime Reads and they're doing fantastic in the UK Amazon charts!

Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage was (at the time of posting this blog post) in the top 10 for contemporary fiction and top 20 for women's fiction! That is huge!

Check them out if you don't believe me!

What will Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage hitting over 10,000 sales in eBook... I'm looking forward to see the impact this is also having.

Today has been a good day, because I have also managed to write a 1000 words towards my next novel. I am toying with the idea of writing a sequel to One Fine Day :)

Monday, 2 May 2022

Sunsets and Happy Ever Afters

Exciting news alert! I can now confirm that Sunsets and Happy Ever Afters, the third book in my Kittiwake Cove series, is available to pre-order and will be out Friday 8th July! 

I am also have a publication day party! The invitation is here over on Facebook! All friends welcome! 

We will be having drinks and nibbles from 7pm until the sun sets! (So fingers crossed for sunshine.) 

Here's the blurb to Sunsets and Happy Ever Afters: 

Will Maya ever find the right man for her…?

Having recently gone through a painful divorce, Maya Rosevear has been concentrating on running her mobile beauty business and raising her two young children. Now ready to meet someone new, she decides to give online dating a try.

As she juggles her responsibilities with her love-life, Maya keeps crossing paths with 
Sam Trescott, the father of her daughter’s best friend. Despite initially getting off on the wrong foot, the two bond over their children and form a tentative friendship.

As a widower, Sam understands what it is like to be lonely. Watching Maya launch herself back into the dating world, he questions whether he is also ready to pursue a new relationship.

Seemingly unable to meet the right man, Maya takes solace in Sam’s companionship more and more. And as they grow closer, both begin to wonder whether they have finally found what they’re looking for…

Can Maya and Sam help each other heal? Will they have a second chance at love?

Or will their painful pasts come back to haunt them…?


Thursday, 24 March 2022

Happy Birthday, Kieran!

January 2022
And so Kieran turns 15. And today marks 2 years of going into full lockdown. 

Today has been spent not in school because 2 years on, Covid still affects our lives. He's had to stay home for two days of home-schooling due to a shortage of teachers. At least he did manage to go into school last year, even though we were still in a lockdown. 

He hasn't minded it today. He has done some school work but the sun has been shining so he's been out with his friends playing football. 

A couple of years ago with Rio!

Although a bit grumpy at times - that's the teenager in him - Kieran is my most organised child, and much much tidier than his brother. He's also quite thoughtful, buying gifts for either me or his dad when he goes away on holiday and things like that. 

He also forgets himself sometimes, and has a cuddle, to soon realise he's (now) 15 and shouldn't be cuddling his mum - ha ha! But I do love our sofa time. (Currently watching Superstore which we're finding hilarious.) 

Love my boys. So much. 

We have pizza for tea planned, plus his favourite cake; cinnamon Nutella cake. 

The birthday cake! 

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

My Book and Wine Club - update!


I held my first book club with See No Bounds last Thursday and it was such great fun. 

I wanted to keep it quite flexible and just be a discussion on what books we were reading, whether they be self-development, business development, general non-fiction or fiction.

As a writer, I've always struggled to read the set book for a book club, so I wanted this to be a relaxed discussion about books generally. And it worked! An hour wasn't long enough. 

Also an interesting thing came out of the discussion. And it relates to the passage that is in The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell. (Great book by the way!)

Phin is basically saying there's no such thing as bad books; that if you didn't like a book, it's not that it's bad, but that book weren't for you. 

I wholeheartedly agree with him! (And wonder if this be the point of view of Lisa Jewell too!)

And this topic was highlighted perfectly in my book club. Where I love Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings, a couple of the book club members don't. And it's not that they are bad books, it just proves that they are not to everyone's taste. 

I will be hosting another book club. I just haven't set a date yet, but it's likely to be mid-April some time. (It's going to be tricky with Easter in the way.) You'll be able to register via the See No Bounds website. The event is free and online so it doesn't matter where you are. We'll probably stick to a Thursday (although I'm toying with the idea of it being a Friday) but with the amended time of 7.30pm. 

So watch this space! 

Sunday, 13 February 2022

No More Working Saturdays!

Friday evening, it felt strangely weird locking up the Post Office for the last time, and walking out of the store... if not a little scary.

I've worked for Tesco for over 16 years, the last 8 of which were in the Post Office.

I started back in 2005 when Ben was only 6 months old (he's now 17!) as it fitted around my new 'mum' life.

16 years is a long time. You get set in your ways, your routine.

I'm not sure I will miss the job (or the company) per se, I've had real ups and downs, but I will miss working with some colleagues who have now become my friends. (So it's not really goodbye to them!)

Time to move on to pastures new, the next chapter...

I'm still writing, and still helping people save money on their bills and/or realise their own dreams, but after a couple of weeks off, I will be joining North Somerset Council part-time. Eek!

No more working Saturdays! Yay!

I wrote a goal to find a new job by 31st March 2022 and I only went and done it!

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Hello 2022

It's a good job I haven't put blog more as one of my goals for 2022 because I think I would epically fail. 

However, I have some FAB news and I want to share on my blog (although I know I do have a newsletter that needs writing too!)

I'm not very good at setting New Year Resolutions. I am sure I've told you this before. However, with my new network marketing side show, I am encouraged to set goals, and to write them down and visualize them, as well as say affirmations. I've even recently done a positive coaching session with Liz Doyle who calls them intentions rather than goals. 

So among some business goals/intentions for 2022, I wrote on a post-it note as well as on my little white board to find a new job by 31st March 2022. (I wanted to change my job back in 2020 and then became a key-worker, remember?)

Well, peeps, I've only gone and done just that! 

2022 has started off superbly with Mistletoe At The Manor selling well and remaining a Best Seller for over 2 months (more on that in my newsletter.) But now I also have a fresh start! 

I have only four more shifts at the Post Office and then I'm having a couple of weeks off before I start my new job! It's more hours, and I will be working in Corporate Services for my local council. It'll include some home working too once I am fully trained. 

I will still have time to write (more on that another day) and time to work my home-based business. 

The great thing is no more working Saturdays and no more Christmases in the Post Office! 

So I am now fully onboard with this visualising your goals business because the Universe WILL provide. 

Write them down, make them visible and say those affirmations every morning! You can do this!