Sunday, 3 September 2023

10 Years Published

On Tuesday, I celebrated ten years published as an author. 

Plus One is a Lucky Number, my debut novel, was published on the 29th August 2013.

Can you believe that's ten years and how they've flown! 

I can remember the day the email dropped into my inbox by HarperCollins' imprint One More Chapter (HarperImpulse back then) and offered me a two book deal. It was a good job I was sitting down! 

I now have six books traditionally published, 3 of which are in Audible.

I'm a bit slower than some of my author colleagues but as we say in UW and the personal development that I do, don't compare your journey to others.

Rachel Brimble & Jane Lark
We are all in our own race - if you want to call it that.

Anyway, a massive thank you to all the lovely ladies who could join me on Tuesday. And to those that sent messages. I knew not everyone could come as it was a work day. 

Unfortunately we couldn't go out in the garden as hoped, due to the great British weather. 

It's glorious sunshine today and over 23 degrees.... Of course, the schools go back tomorrow. 

Anyway, here are a couple of photos from the day! But if you head over to my Facebook page, you'll see more. 

Tuesday, 11 July 2023

I Am Happy!

I was speaking to one of my bestest friends on Sunday evening. We catch up regularly over WhatsApp and have a video chat. It's a habit we got into during lockdown, and when we haven't seen each other in a few weeks, we like to have a chat. I love her dearly. 

Anyway, I threw into conversation that I was thinking about going back to online dating. Just to maybe get a date. Nothing serious. Not like before. And she said, "I was just telling Nicola the other day that you're the happiest I've ever seen you. Don't do it." 

And she is right. I am happy right now. I love my life, I love being single and quite frankly, not having unfit middle-aged men that have so much baggage and drama mucking me around.

Don't get me wrong, some days are tough, like everyone, I have my good and my bad days. But generally, I am more than happy sharing my life with my boys, my family and my friends, and even going it alone. I am happy! 

I caught up with another friend yesterday. We lunched in Bristol. She was telling me about her online dating dramas and it assured me that I didn't need it. My mental health is so much better off with not doing online dating. 

It's so time consuming and mentally draining. Mainly this is because the messages you receive, and the lack of quality of men who message you, really starts chipping away at your self esteem. You start thinking is this the best I can do? Do I only deserve to be treated like crap? 

So nope. Not doing it. Not going back there. I love my single life. And quite frankly, if a guy does come along, he really is going to have to be some hot hero to turn my head.

I'll wait for the Universe to provide... (If it could provide a fit 50-something Norman Reedus, that would be perfect... ha ha!)

Wednesday, 5 July 2023

Kittiwake Cove Series Out In Audible

I have some exciting news for the summer. My Kittiwake Cove series are out in Audible

I wasn't able to share this for a while, but it has been my exciting 'writing' news since last year. So this is what I have been teasing about for some time.  (Sorry.)

Cocktails at Kittiwake Cove & Sunsets and Happy Ever Afters were published in Audible on the 8th June.

The 15th June saw the second book birthday of Cocktails at Kittiwake Cove, too! 

Of course I have listened to both of the books and just love the narrator, Catrin Walker-Booth. 

Have you listened to them? What do you think? 

I love the new covers for the audible books, too.

And don't panic, as Mistletoe At The Manor will be out 5th September, ready for Christmas! I'll share the link nearer the time. Although you can pre-order on Kobo. 

They were released out of order as it was felt the two summer books could be read as stand alones. However if you want to read them in order - or should I say listen? - then Sunsets and Happy Ever Afters. 

 Anyway, I have some freebies to give away. But you'll need to subscribe to my newsletter to be in with a chance of winning! There's a subscription form on my blog! 

Sunday, 26 March 2023

My Baby Boy Turns 16


And my other baby boy is all grown up. How has he got to be 16?

Kieran turned 16 on Friday. But my bad, I've just not had a chance to write a blog post, and my RSI has flared up so I am limiting the work I do on my PC. 

Where has the time gone? 

Seriously, I can remember his birth like it was yesterday. He was a lot quicker and easier entering this world, compared to his big brother. And maybe being the second child, I was more relaxed so we took to each other much easier. 

Since he could walk, Kieran has loved kicking a ball. So, still, 16 years on, it's no surprise he's into his football. He's now having to consider playing for a men's team as he's too old for juniors! 

And Kieran has become much more image conscious than Ben. I can't buy him clothes unless he chooses them! (So we had a bit of a shop for his birthday!)

But he's also very thoughtful, liking to buy gifts for me or his dad whenever we're away on holiday. 

He's as tall as me, so it won't be long before he's taller than me, just like Ben. 

Kieran will finish school this summer, and that means no more school-aged children. As of September, he's going off to college to study Sports Science. 

Anyway, my Bubba, Happy Birthday! Even when I'm moody, and cross with you - because you can be quite moody too, I love you to the moon and back... You're working hard towards your exams, and I'm proud of you for that. 

Thankfully, you've lost Kieran The Destroyer instinct... wrecking your toys, and although still adventurous, you're not quite the Kamikazi Kieran we used to know as a toddler... 

Monday, 20 March 2023

The Reality Of Mother's Day

Does anyone else actually find Mother's Day exhausting? 

Although my boys are older now (nearly) 16 & 18, they tend to spend the weekends at their dad's and so Mother's Day weekend was my weekend to have them. 

I made waffles with bacon & maple syrup for breakfast - which was yummy, and I decided to cook a beef roast dinner with homemade gravy (a first for me) and yorkshire puddings. I had to cook the beef to my son's specifications - medium-rare. (I did a good job considering I've not really cooked beef before.) 

As it was sunny, prior cooking the roast dinner, I did get out in the garden and spent a couple of hours with Dad preparing the garden for Spring's arrival. Hard work, but therapeutic. And Ben did help until he had to go off to work.

Luckily, I do have a dishwasher, but I still had a mess of a kitchen to deal with after a roast... and the boys did manage to put their plates in there - at least! 

My eldest had to work so he couldn't help with making the dinner, and well, my youngest, came home from his football match and plopped himself in front of the telly... Man United was playing... 

I barely had time to sit on the sofa and read my book! (I'm not very good at doing 'nothing' mind you.)

I think next year I'm going to actually have the day to myself and not spend it with my kids - or just go out for dinner! - because Mother's Day just reminds me how much I have to work when they're about.

I love them. And they're not bad boys. But it doesn't matter how hard I try not to over mother them... it's still a lot of work. 

Monday, 16 January 2023

I Am Grateful

My RSI is still playing up, even with much rest over the Christmas period, so I'm going to very quickly bash this out but possibly not take too much time over editing... sorry. I'm finding it quite frustrating if truth be told. And I love using my PC, I love my new admin job and I love typing, etc. 

However, it's made me very grateful that I got involved with UW two and a half years ago. If my RSI suffering stresses nothing else, it shows I can't go back to full-time work in an office, even if I love the work. 

I joined UW to fund my writing passion but now I know it also needs to fund me not going back to full-time work. 

But to be honest, I don't want to go back to full time work, and in fact I would love to ditch it altogether, one day! Hence I joined my network marketing business to achieve this. Imagine, my desk time could be just for writing, and I would be able to manage my RSI even better - being my own boss. 

So, if you're like me, you've got a passion that doesn't really pay that well. Or is a bit sporadic. I've not been paid badly this year, but the royalties aren't reliable, and being a single mum, I don't have someone else bringing in a reliable income, so that I can be the full time writer I desire to be. 

It takes a while for some writers to get to the stage that their royalties from their back list are earning them enough to write the next book. Because when you're writing that draft, you're not getting paid. We only really start getting paid from publication day. And how much we get paid will be down to the publisher and their marketing strategy. And the reality for most writers is that we're not paid anywhere near a full time salary.

I'm not really a New Years Resolutions setter... but I'm stealing this from UW. 

My New Years resolution is to help more people save money and/or like me, earn money. And in turn help change people's lives for the better. Imagine that second pay day every month that can eventually be more than your salary. Fancy something like that? If you're in a Journey of Boredom (JOB) each day, maybe it's time to look at making a change. Life is way too short...  Long-term you'll free up time to be able to do the things you enjoy. It won't happen overnight, but if you start NOW, you'll get there quicker than waiting until you're ready, the time is right, or for that lottery win... 

Message me if you'd like a chat friend to friend. No obligation. 

Life is too short to wish every day away.