Sunday, 30 December 2012


I could rattle on and on about what I wanted to happen this past year, what actually happened this past year, how I felt about it, how others felt about it, blah blah blah, but I would probably end up with a blog post around about half the length of one of my novellas, so I decided to give you a summary of the key events that took place this year.

Two contracts signed with Beachwalk Press
One story published with Beachwalk Press

One baby girl born in June
One wedding postponed, because preparing for said baby girl ate away at all the wedding savings we had for it. Totally worth it though, and probably a good thing, because…

Zero wedding plans. I’m the most indecisive person in the world, and my fiancé is one of those ‘I’m happy as long as your happy’ people, which sounds sweet but is really just a cop out. I want him to actually start helping me with this process. Anyway, rant over.
Two modules of my degree out of the way.

Two pretty good results, which I’m proud of considering everything else I had going on.
25 Blog posts (this one makes 26)….oops, not that impressive a number. But at least I’m trying J

Three (approx) nights I’ve actually had a good night’s sleep this year.
Zero nights out this year. I’ve only just realised this, either I’m getting old or I really need to get a life…either way, slightly depressing.

There have been far too many of these to count – Books read, chocolate bars eaten, coffee consumed, whole soggy biscuits at the bottom of my cup courtesy of my two year old son, days I’ve told myself the diet will start tomorrow, evening spent watching rubbish television because I’m too tired to move.
Still three hundred and sixty four days spent loving my life this year so far, and I’m hoping tomorrow will be just as great.

So, to sum up, 2012 has been a pretty good year for me. It’s been fairly tame, but more amazing than ever. I can’t wait to see what 2013 holds! Happy new year all!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas everybody!

To all my readers, fellow writers and anybody else who might have stumbled upon this, have a great Christmas and I hope Santa brings you everything you wished for. Having my first book released isn’t the only reason this year is very different for me, I also thought it was about time, with two kids of my own, that I relieved my mother and took over the cooking of the Christmas dinner!
I’ve spent a whole two days baking mince pies, a variety of cakes and biscuits, and even made a very extravagant ginger bread house, and so far, there have been no casualties. Given my history in the kitchen this makes me a little nervous, because it all seems a little too good to be true so far, and I really don’t want to screw up the actual Christmas dinner.

I love Christmas anyway, but this year just seems extra magical because my son is just starting to understand what's going on. He’s running around like a mad thing, and it got my reminiscing about Christmas when I was a kid. It used to be great because my parents used to foster children, and so Christmas’s when I was growing up was all about all the people that had moved out coming home, and to say we were full to the rafters would be an understatement. I used to love sleeping bags on the floor, eating off of anything that had a remotely flat surface, family board games and my grandmother keeping an eye on all of us while my parents would fall asleep after a huge dinner. Looking back now makes me realise how lucky we were to have such great Christmas’s and I know I have my parents to thank for that, they wanted to make it special for not just their own children, but to all of the children in their care.
So as you can imagine, I have quite a lot to live up to, and I’m determined to make Christmas’s in our house just as memorable. So to anyone else who faces the daunting task of single-handedly cooking their first full scale Christmas dinner, good luck, and you’re not alone! Happy Christmas everybody!

(P.S. To everybody who hosted for my blog tour, thank you! You guys are amazing! Also, a big thanks to Shades of Rose Marketing, for making my tour so easy and fun!)

Thursday, 20 December 2012

All in a week's work

I will readily admit that I can be one of the most disorganised and hectic of people, but this week I think I’ve been on top of my game. I’ve been struggling over the last couple of months to fit in my writing, which of course, as a writer is kind of the kiss of death. But then I realised last week that if you want something done you can’t just wait around for it to happen, you have to take the bull by the horns and make it happen! And so just by being in the right frame of mind I've been making sure I have quality time to write, making sure I get my work done on time and even making time for all the other little things I’ve been wanting to get done recently. You want to know the odd part? Even though I’ve been doing far more in the last week than in the last few months, I somehow seem to have more free time as well. I think there is a lesson in there for me somewhere!
So what have I achieved with this new proactive style of working? Well I’ll tell you… I am very near completing the third story in the ‘Rags and Riches’ series, as in I have done revisions, chopped and changed drastically for what I hope is the last time, and am going to give myself a couple of days to edit it before submitting it! I never thought I’d be able to manage to get it done before the end of the year but it looks like I will! Yes!

In case you didn’t already know, the first story in this series got released on Monday, find out a bit more about it here!
Thank you for reading!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Tomorrow is release day!

It’s finally here! From tomorrow you’ll be able to get your hands on ‘Business and Pleasure’ the first novella from my series ‘Rags and Riches’! I’m so excited to be able to finally share this with you, so here is a taste of what it’s all about…

Can mixing business and pleasure ever result in a happy ending?

When sexy, rich Lawrence Russo asks Mia to come and work for him in Italy for two weeks, she jumps at the chance. After all, it beats pole dancing, and the salary he offers her is practically obscene.

A relationship quickly begins to develop between the two, but Mia can't help but wonder if Lawrence's feelings for her are genuine or if he feels he's just paying for a service.

Even if their relationship is strong enough to survive her insecurities, what will happen when somebody from her past shows up and threatens to reveal her deepest, darkest secret?

Excerpt: Lucy looked around nervously. "What's wrong?" she asked.

"I…don't know," Mia admitted. Perhaps she was just being paranoid.

"Mia." She heard a familiar drawl coming from the shadows. Her heart raced in anticipation as she turned to see the speaker. He walked out of the shadows and toward them like a jaguar stalking his prey, but Mia didn't feel intimidated, only excited by his presence.

"You shouldn't go sneaking around in the darkness. You could give a girl a fright." Mia laughed.

"I could leave, if that would please you," he purred. She loved the way he emphasized please. He gave no indication that he was going to leave. Mia was glad.

"Er, maybe I'll just go wait around the corner," Lucy said awkwardly. Mia nodded to acknowledge her, feeling a little guilty, because she had actually forgotten Lucy was still there.

"So, what are you doing here?" Mia tried to seem nonchalant, despite the fact that her body was having some kind of chemical reaction to his presence.

As if from nowhere, the handsome man produced the bottle of champagne he had purchased earlier that night. "I do believe we have plans to share this." He took a step closer to her.

"Oh. I would, it's just we aren't supposed to socialize with the clients outside of the club," Mia said teasingly, although it was technically true.

"Tell me, Mia, do you always do what you're supposed to do?" It seemed as though he had expected her reaction.

"No, I guess not."

"I've been watching you, Mia."

"I've noticed." She took a step in his direction and looked challengingly into his dark eyes. "So, do you like what you see?"

They were close enough to touch, and Mia's every nerve was tingling, hoping to feel his fingers on her skin. He swayed forward and, for a moment, she thought he was going to kiss her, but he leaned toward her ear instead. "I have a business proposition for you," he breathed, sending a shiver through her body before he pulled away from her.

It took Mia a moment to compose herself, and his eyes sparkled with amusement, no doubt he was enjoying her confusion. "Business…a business proposition?" Mia attempted to sound as casual as she possibly could.

"I'm returning to my home in Tuscany tomorrow," he announced.

Mia felt her heart sink, but was determined not to let it show. "Oh, it must be beautiful in Italy this time of year. But what does that have to do with me?"

"I was hoping you would accompany me."

So there we go! If that sounds like your kind of thing then  you’ll be able to get hold of from Beachwalk Press or from Amazon!

Thank you so much, and if you do read it then I really hope you enjoy!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Cover art for The Best of Both Worlds

A lot is going on this week with the release of my first story 'Business and Pleasure' but that doesn't mean that I'm not just as excited about the cover art for the second story in the series.

So here it is, the cover for 'The Best of Both Worlds', I hope you love it as much as I do.


This will be the second book in the series 'Rags and Riches', and will be released March next year. This one is set in London and introduces you to Melissa Morgan, an aspiring model, and Riley, the owner of a bar on the wrong side of town. Expect fireworks when Melissa stumbles in there one night after being humiliated by her fiancé...

Monday, 10 December 2012

One week to go!

Well we’re nearly there! Just one week to go before ‘Business and Pleasure’ is released! As you can imagine, right now I’m just a bag of nerves, but beyond excited at the same time! I can’t wait to share this with you all!

 So, on the day it gets released ‘Business and Pleasure’ is also going to go on a virtual blog tour, courtesy of Shades of Rose Marketing! As promised, here’s a list of all the places you can find me on that tour. I'll be doing spotlights, interviews and guestposts on the following blogs:
17th - Ella Jade
17th - Tamaria Soana (Interview)
18th - Savannah Chase (Guest post)
18th - Aimee Duffy (Interview)
19th - New Age Mama
20th - Lacey Wolfe
22nd -  Intriguing Reads - Spotlight

That's where I'll be from the 17th, I hope you'll join me for a chance to learn a bit more about my new release, a little more about me and it's also an opportunity to check out all those great blogs. Thank you for reading!

Monday, 19 November 2012

One month to go...

So I know I haven’t been around for a while. I thought I’d have plenty of time to blog now that I got my exam out the way but the truth is I’ve actually been busier than ever the last month or so. I am very very excited because I realised this morning that I now have just under a month to go before the release of my first story ‘Business and Pleasure’! It gets released on the 17th of December . So it really won’t be long until you can get your hands on it, and I really hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’ll also be doing a blog tour the week that my story gets released. I’ll post all about the dates it closer to the time, but I’m very excited about the opportunity to hijack other people’s blogs! Lol!

If you are a regular to my blog you probably know by now that my posts are few and far between, but this month I’ve actually had a good excuse not to be here. As well as working on the finishing touches to ‘Business and Pleasure’ with my editor, I’ve also been editing the follow up ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ and finishing the third, which I think should be ready to send this weekend. Exciting times for me.
I also have two other projects in the pipeline apart from the ‘Rags and Riches’ series. One is another contemporary romance, which is actually an old story which I’m revamping. It’s quite a bit longer than the others, so it’s taking a while to sort out, but I’m pretty sure it will be worth it in the end, so watch this space. I hope I get to share this one with you all sometime soon. The second project, at the moment, is a lot more of a project than writing, because it’s my first attempt at writing a historical romance, and I’m determined to get as many facts right about the setting as possible, so the research for it is quite a big task right now, but again, it will be worth it in the end.
So I hope you’ll forgive me for not blogging too much recently, but in the run up to the release date of ‘Business and Pleasure’ you’ll be hearing from me a bit more, and again, I just really can’t wait to share this story with you, 28 days to go!

Friday, 26 October 2012

The perks of getting fit!

Everything I seem to do lately, work wise, seems to involve sitting down. Reading, writing, studying, , blogging, tweeting and edits…all at my laptop. Ok, granted, between all this I’m usually running around after my toddler but I don't think that really counts as exercise, and I’ve just been itching recently to get active. I used to be super fit at one point in my life, I’d run most days, do dance classes, yoga and martial arts. But then I had two children in quick succession and now I feel lazy and flabby, and desperately in need of tackling this post baby weight, (you know you need to do something drastic when your fiancé starts hiding the biscuits when he goes to work!). I know I’m not fat, I just feel like I will be if I don’t start getting my act together soon. So, I joined the local gym. Now, I don’t usually ‘gym’ it, I’ve always felt its fake exercise, you know? Why run on a treadmill when you could run outside for free? But since the nights are drawing in, it’s just safer and more convenient to go the gym in my spare time. Also I live in town now rather than on the beach, so no more running on the sands (which, for anybody who’s ever done that, it is NOT as glamorous as it looks, running on sand is the most difficult workout ever!) Anyway, I’m getting carried away. The point I was trying to get to with this is that there are definitely some perks to going to the gym. Eye candy! The local rugby team are always in there. Yes, obviously, I’m very happily engaged, and I am a mother, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t look does it? Besides…I have to get inspiration for the heroes in my stories somewhere right?

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Sorry for the silence

Oh goodness, I didn’t realise how long it had been! Basically I’ve been so caught up with other things I just haven’t got round to blogging. Anybody who follows my blog will probably know by now that this is the story of my life, but I will try and blog a little more over the next few months, especially since the release of Business and Pleasure is getting ever closer! In just two short months you’ll be able to get your hands on this, and I really can’t wait to share it with you.


So what have I been doing these last few weeks that has kept me so quiet on the blogging front? Well, I’m pleased to say that the exam I’ve been going on about is finally done and dusted! Now I just have to wait around for the results. Now that is out the way I get to focus on writing and editing. Yep, I’ve been a busy little bee editing the first two stories in my series ‘Rags and Riches’, but I’ve also been super busy writing the third. I am loving writing this one, and getting a bit carried away with it, but I’m in the chopping/changing and rewriting stage now, which usually takes me longer than actually writing!
I’ve also lifted my self-imposed book ban. I had to torture myself a little this past month because I was getting side-tracked by books every time I tried to settle down to get any work done, since I had a pile of academic books to get through, I had to cut all fiction but my own out of my life for a while, but now I have the biggest backlog of things that I want to read, and that’s before I check out the latest releases. I’m a bit out of touch, so if you know of any great reads that have come out in the last couple of weeks, please let me know!  

Monday, 1 October 2012

The book ban

I now have seventeen day ban on reading anything other than my text books. I know, sad times. It’s just that I really do need to do well in this upcoming exam, and I keep getting side tracked by all the lovely authors out there sharing their wonderful stories with me. I have enough to do with editing and writing my own stories right now to keep me busy between revision sessions, and seriously, I have to take drastic measures to avoid distraction because I don’t think my knowledge of contemporary romance is really going to help me explain the many different ways in which you can categorise Athenian vases!

You might wonder why, at this stage in my life, I have chosen to do a degree. Sometimes, I wonder that too! No, the fact is that straight out of high school it just wasn’t the right time for me to go away to university for a number of reasons, and then even though I tried a few different kinds of courses, I basically just got sucked into the working world and never really got around to going.
The reason I finally decided to do it now was that there are two genres of romance that I love, contemporary and historical. Obviously, contemporary is the most straight-forward to write because it doesn’t require much research in comparison with historical. Now, I could, and do, just read a lot of factual history books to learn about the era’s I want to write about, but then once, when I was surfing the net I stumbled upon the OU, an online university that allows you to do a degree from the comfort of your own home, for those of you that don’t know. When I saw the classical studies degree I thought, why not? It kills two birds with one stone for me really, I get to learn a lot about the history that I want to write about, and I have a qualification to show for it at the end.

So, until the 17th of October is over, I’m afraid I won’t  be allowing myself the luxury of reading and enjoying fiction, but you can bet I’ll have a list as long as my arm of stories I want to read at the end of it. Let’s just hope it’s worth it and my commitment pays off this time around! Thank you all for reading J

Friday, 28 September 2012

Afraid of the dark? Maybe!

Ok, so you know you’re a wimp when you have to stop writing for the evening because you’re scaring yourself! Oh dear. Well, the fiancé has gone out for the evening, the kids are in bed, it’s dark and it’s quiet and so I decide to take the opportunity to do a bit of writing. Problem is, the particular scene I chose to continue with just happens to be one where my character thinks there might be an intruder in her house. So, I’m getting myself in the right frame of mind, imagining the things you’d be listening out for in this situation, imagining the way my character would feel, really trying to create the eerie mood… and then I hear a noise. I’ve just been writing about how my character tries to brush off the noise as nothing, and I do the same. I start overthinking this, and my hands are getting a little clammy on my keyboard. Then I hear another noise and start to really frighten myself. Now, if my fiancé were here, I would tell him to do the checks (he avoids watching horror films with me now because of this annoying habit of mine), but since I’m in the house with only my children I figure I need to get a grip. I walk into the kitchen, where I heard the noise, switch on the light and suddenly there are two glowing eyes watching me in the darkness. I have never screamed so loud in my life! Since you’re reading this post you’ve probably already guessed that I’m fine… yep, it was just the neighbours black cat clawing at the window, wanting to get in out of the rain.
So on the plus side, I suppose I can take comfort from the fact that I successfully managed to write an eerie scene, if I managed to frighten myself with it. Well either that or I have to accept the fact that as an adult and a mother, I might still be a little bit afraid of the dark!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Cupcakes, crafts and word counts

National cupcake week is coming to an end! How sad. It’s probably a good thing though, since my post baby body has been adversely affected by the fact that a whole week has been dedicated to one of my favourite foods! Yes, I have over consumed, but hey, who doesn’t like cupcakes? As I may have mentioned before I’m not the best cook in the world, but although these might not have looked like they came from the hummingbird bakery, they tasted good enough to keep me going back for seconds… and thirds, and… well ok I ate nearly the whole lot.
If you’re a regular visitor to this little blog of mine, you’ll probably be wondering why I haven’t been blogging for a while. Well, apart from over eating, I’ve been testing my creative abilities in other ways than writing this past week. See, I love writing, but sometimes, I spend hours in front of the laptop typing, and hours with my head in a book, and I get a little burnt out. So I have revisited and expanded on my love for crafts this week, I finished a cross stitch that a started when I was pregnant with my first child, thinking I’d hang it up on his wall when he was born. Oops, but better late than never I guess. So now that that little project is finished, I decided to try and teach myself to knit, because I thought it would be sweet to knit a little blanket for my baby daughter. Going by my track record I might finish it in time for the grandchildren. Anyway, I love doing things like this because it’s the type of thing that requires a lot of dexterity and time, but my mind is free to wonder. I try and engage in this kind of activity when I’m suffering with writers block, because I find it helps me think through my plotlines and work out which way to go with them.
So now that we’re back on the subject of writing, I’m currently writing the third instalment of my ‘Rags and Riches’ series (the first of which will be available in December), and these stories were meant to be quite short and sweet, but I am having trouble keeping in my word count for this one, since my characters seem to want to grow and tell readers all about themselves. This isn’t a bad thing I guess, but at this rate, this particular story is going to be far longer than any of the others, which wasn’t the plan. Talking of word counts, as my dreaded exam looms, I’m beginning to realise how much I have come to over depend on my laptop. When I read the exam guidebook that stated I should try and write about 1000 words for each question, I realised that I haven’t actually had to write anything on paper, apart from shopping lists and the like, for years and years. So now I actually have to practise writing, so that I know roughly what that word count looks like when hand written. Thank God for technology!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Summer Roundup

Has somebody flicked a switch? Because yesterday it was hot and sunny and I was all flip flops and ice cream…today, it’s raining and chilly, and I’m stuck inside looking after my son who’s come down with a cold. Britain is known for its erratic weather but I was hoping to hold on to summer for a few more weeks. That was wishful thinking, I know. It seems that winter is just around the corner, so while I’ve been wistfully looking out the window at the rain fall, I’ve had time to reflect over all that has happened this summer, and even though I didn’t get to go anywhere on holiday, it certainly has been an eventful couple of months.

As a nation, we have had the honour of enjoying the Olympics held in London this year. A few events even filtered down to our very own Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, so the fiancé got to experience a part of it without having to travel very far. The Paralympics are just finishing today, I do believe, and my only regret is that I didn’t get to go to London myself, as from what I have seen on the television, it certainly looked like the place to be this year.
It was also Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee of course, and the street parties held all over the country were special. I have to admit, the celebrations that took place in London for that kind of went over my head, because everybody seemed to be celebrating in their own way, and I was having such a good time in my town, but I think that makes it all the more memorable.
Of course, this summer was exciting for me and my little family, of course, as we welcomed our daughter into the world in June. Thank god I opted for a home birth, because I went from first twinge of labour to holding my baby in just half an hour! Scary!
I also got a contract with a publisher, which you probably already knew, this would have been the biggest news this summer if my daughter hadn’t stolen the spotlight. I’m so grateful to my publisher, obviously, but I also have to give a little shout out to my wonderful fiancé here, because I only began to send out my stories after he told me that I had nothing to lose, and that he had absolute faith in me, bless him!
So even though I’ve been stuck at home a lot this summer, it’s been pretty busy, and more than a little amazing, I’ll take that over a holiday any day. I’m looking forward to seeing what the winter brings, especially since my first book  'Business and Pleasure' gets released on December 17th, at Beachwalk Press!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Not quite the domestic goddess!

Another thing that I love to do besides writing is cook. Yep, I’m quite the domestic goddess these days, swanning around the kitchen looking glamorous, taking care of the kids, keeping the house spotless and always having dinner on the table for when my lovely fiancé comes home…pfft! Yeah right, as much as I would love this to be the case, sadly it isn’t and as much as I love to cook, I don’t know if many people would agree that I’m very good at it. I am getting better, but my experiments go wrong far more often than not. In fact, just recently I wanted to make my father some vanilla fudge for his birthday, it’s his favourite, and I thought some home-made fudge would be the perfect gift. The recipe said easy, and that was by so many reviewers that I thought, what could possibly go wrong? Turns out, quite a lot, I ruined a perfectly good saucepan by burning the sticky mass to the bottom on my first attempt, my second attempt saw the end result resembling a platter we could have eaten off…but definitely not eaten. I even dropped it on the floor in an attempt to break it up and it still kept its still stayed solid. What a waste of ingredients. I have tried once or twice to make it since then, and have made edible batches, but they’ve always been crunchy rather than soft…and in case you’re wondering, I resorted to making flapjacks for my father for his birthday; even I can manage that easy recipe. Anybody who has any tips for making the perfect fudge, feel free to help me out!

Other culinary disasters have included… the time the handle broke on my frying pan and the fajita’s landed up on the floor, the time I forgot I had scones in the oven and my fiancé asked me about an hour and I half later why there was coal in the oven, another time I made biscuits that were so hard they managed to chip a friend’s tooth. Then of course, there was the dinner party where I forgot to turn the oven on for the casserole. Thank god for take-away! The strangest cooking experience I ever had was when I tried to make a white chocolate truffle cake, sounds heavenly right? Well it was so heavenly in fact that somehow the sponge base rose up through all the layers and when I went back to the fridge later to check it, I had an upside down cake… another dinner party where I was laughed at. Still, my upside down cake still tasted amazing so, can’t complain really.
So, I hope my writing turns out better than my cooking, because I don’t think I’ll be making a career as a chef anytime soon. Still, practise makes perfect and I promise that if and when I discover some amazing new recipes that are actually easy to make, then I’ll share them with you sometime! Thanks for reading and I hope you’re all having a wonderful day.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Back to normality...kind of.

Last week was beyond hectic, but I finally feel like I’m back in control. There is still the issue of burst water pipes underneath my home, and the impending major work to be done on the house could burst my bubble, so for now, I’m opting to bury my head in the sand.

I am new to this whole getting published thing, so there is a lot I didn’t know about it, and probably a lot more I still don’t know. Because I’m a British author and I’m getting published with a U.S based publisher, there were some lovely forms I had to fill out so that I get all of the money I’m entitled to. Now, when it comes to forms, I am on the dumbest side of dumb. I like things to be explained to me step by step, and even then I have to meticulously read over the instructions just to be on the safe side. Luckily for me, my lovely publisher introduced me to this blog, without it, I’d probably still be looking at the blank forms wondering where to start. So, if you happen to be in the same boat as I was, and you’re faced with the oh-so-exciting W7 and W-8BEN IRS forms, then  that blog is a good place to start. The forms probably aren’t that difficult to work out alone, but if you’re anything like me then I’d definitely check out this post for guidance.
So now that I finally have an ITIN, I am glad to see the back of those forms (cue sigh of relief). But that doesn’t mean I’m any less busy. I’m between edits at the moment so I have a bit of time to get back to my works in progress. I am furiously tapping away at these every spare minute I have right now until the end of the month. Because I have promised myself that September will be primarily for edits and revising for the dreaded exam that’s looming (I’ll probably also have to vacate the house at some point to avoid being knee deep in water while plumbers and builders sort out whatever the hell is going on underneath the floorboards).

I do hope to get around to re-designing my blog at some point too, and I promise to start blogging a little more regularly. Thank you all for reading this slightly rambling post, and I really do hope your all having a wonderful day.  

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Admissions of love, leaks and absolutely no sleep

To say that the last few days have been stressful would be an understatement. I have resolved to try and see the funny side...and I am really trying hard. So, to give you a bit of a back story, if you read my last post you will know that we have been decorating. We bravely changed our boy's room around so that he'd be sleeping in a bed, and in doing so we disrupted his perfect sleeping routine. Throw in a eight week old baby and a huge work load and you can all understand why I've had next to no sleep for THREE nights! 
Now, you should also know that we changed our living room around, we've got it perfect, I love it! We finally managed to put up (and alphabetize, thanks to my fiancé’s OCD) our ridiculously large collection of DVD’s and CD’s. When I say ridiculously large, we could probably start a DVD rental company from our front room. So all this is done, we gave ourselves a pat on the back, and then this morning we had a knock on the door to say a pipe has burst and their going to have to come into our front room and take all the floorboards up. Oh! I took this news with a trembling lip, rolled my eyes up towards the ceiling and though why?!
Within five minutes I had a call from my landlord, informing me that a plumber would be out this afternoon to do the work. Great, so I need to clear out the front room all by myself. And yes, that does include the hundreds of DVDs and cd's that I wasted a good couple of hours of my life alphabetizing yesterday. I’m still on the phone at this point, very distracted and very tired, so when I go to hang up the phone, I accidently tell my landlord ‘I love you, bye.’ I hang up the phone and stare at it, realising what I’ve just said. Just to clarify, I don’t love my landlord, I’m just tired and used to saying that at the end of a phone call with my family or my fiancé. So I’m too mortified to ever want to speak to my landlord again, I just hope he doesn’t take my declaration of love too seriously.
So, I’m writing this blog in the hopes that any moment now the leak will have magically fixed itself, and I don’t have to touch a single thing in my newly decorated room. But I think I might have to accept that that is not going to happen, so suffering from lack of sleep and caring for a grumpy child and a baby, here I go, and in true British style, all I can really do is 'keep calm and carry on'. Thanks for reading, and wish me luck!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

It's all go again

A couple of days ago I breathed a sigh of relief, because I was finally on top of everything. I sat down with a cup of tea and relaxed...for about half hour. Suddenly it's all go again, and although most of it is good, I will tell you about something quite heart-breaking in just a moment.
First of all, the reasons I have been busy are that one, I am in the middle of writing two stories at the moment, both of which I am very excited about, so I keep switching between the two every time I get a new idea. I can't complain about that, after all, you all know I love writing. The second reason I'm busy is because of the work on the two stories I have already submitted. Again, all fine, I'm enjoying that. Third, I finally set up a Twitter account. Now, this is where it starts to get a little bit stressful. I am young, I'm meant to be tech savvy and up to date with social media, but I have been avoiding Twitter for a while because, well, it confuses me. I know what you're all thinking, those of you who have it, what is confusing? That's just me, and it's just something I don't get, but I am proud of myself for taking the plunge, so I'm hoping that in a few days, when I've got my head around it, I will finally have caught up with the rest of the world. Follow my progress here :)

Now it's time for my heart-breaking story. This is not anything to do with writing but my inability as a mother to comprehend that my babies are growing up. My fiancé is upstairs right now putting furniture together because my son is going into a bed, which means that soon enough, my baby girl will be moving from right beside me into a cot in her own room. Ok so I might have been exaggerating when I said heart-breaking, but for me this is kind of a big deal. Anyway, I am now going to spend some time away from my laptop in order to test my practical skills in helping the other half with the furniture making. This could be disastrous; I am renowned for my clumsiness. I'll let you know how this goes!

Friday, 17 August 2012

The hardest thing...

I am very happy to announce that Beachwalk Press have accepted my second story, The Best of Both Worlds, which is the second in the Rags and Riches series. I'm so excited to begin working with my editor on this one, as I am already learning so much from her while working on Business and Pleasure.
As a writer it's so rewarding to see your hard work paying off. Everybody prepares you for the rejection letters that you will inevitably receive when you start sending out your work but the truth is that nobody can prepare you for the elation you feel when you finally get that nod of approval. I think I'm just as excited this time around.
I am working on the third story in this series, and so far I am having a whale of a time writing it, but I was also looking through some of my older unpublished stories, thinking I might revamp one or two of them and send them off. That was when I decided that actually, one of the hardest things about writing, for me, is learning to be self-critical. When somebody else tells you that your work isn't what they are looking for you can console yourself with 'oh it’s just not their cup of tea'. But sometimes you just have to read over your own piece of work and realise 'yeah that sucks' and then hit the delete button. It's a hard and brutal process, but recognising the flaws in my own writing is probably one of the best lessons that I've had to learn so far. As long as it makes me a better writer, it will be worth it.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Who are our characters?

When you’re writing, sometimes your characters seem to take over, and sometimes they even change the story, because even though you might have planned out exactly how things are going to happen in each chapter, sometimes you get to a point and you think ‘no, actually, he wouldn’t do that, it goes against his beliefs’. I actually love it when this happens, when the story kind of runs away with you, because although sometimes it creates problems, I definitely think it makes the characters come to life.

But, where do we get the idea of our characters in the first place? I personally love people watching. Nights out, or day trips to busy places are a great place to just quietly observe and take in people’s little ways and habits. You see people acting in cute ways or sometimes even see them acting badly, and an idea pops into your head about how you could incorporate that into your story, and just like that, you come up with an interesting character.
When I’m reading I love to wonder how other writers came up with their characters. Does the MC act the way the writer does, do they give us an insight into the writer’s life, or the people they know? It really is fascinating, and it definitely adds a whole new dynamic to the story sometimes, especially when characters are open to interpretation. Next time you’re writing, or reading, try it out, try and think where your characters came from, or try and figure out where somebody else got theirs!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Summer time!

It is exceptionally good weather today. Anybody who happens to live in Britain will know that we are not famed for having the sunniest summers, and so on this rare and very hot beautiful day, I have put on my flips flops and sunglasses and headed to... the back garden! Well, it's better than nothing, but with two young children and a heap of work to get through, there's not much point going too far while the fiancé is at work. 
But while I'm sitting here, contemplating making a dash to the beach for some ice cream later instead of concentrating on my work, it’s got me thinking about how I've spent summers in the past.
Last year I lived in a flat down by the sea front, and with only one child to contend with, I loved spending my days on the beach playing in the sand, building sandcastles and the like (all for the benefit of my son, of course). 
Three years ago, pre children, I spent the summer days working, and the summer evenings in a flurry of barbeques, camping and beach-partying, and feeling so carefree and in love that I was pretty much on top of the worlds. 
Previous summers have seen me escaping to sunnier countries. The best holiday I ever had was when I went to Italy, I fell so in love with the country and the people that I swore I'd learn the language and live there one day. The worst holiday I ever had was when I went to Greece, I mean, I still had a pretty good time, but I remember my friends and I pulling up in a bus to the most run-down resort you have ever seen, and laughing to ourselves, thinking 'Pity the people who have to stay here... oh yeah, it’s us!' Still, that holiday provided me with an arsenal of anecdotes which people never seem to tire of hearing, and perhaps I'll share them on here sometime!
Summers just seem to be the days that we look back at as we get older and think, yep, we had good times. I always love to hear about people's holidays, so if you feel up for sharing, you know where to find me. If you're having great weather right now (or even if you aren't) then go enjoy it! Have a great summer guys!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The muses are at work!

This week has been brilliant for coming up with exciting storylines! I really don't know what's got into me but I hope it sticks around. I have begun making notes for, and solidly planning some stand-alone books to write after I'm done with the series I'm currently writing. I really love being so inspired, because it doesn't usually come so easily. I usually have to go looking for inspiration, say a walk, or listening to some new music, that always helps. I bet everybody has their own way of finding inspiration, and I'd definitely love to hear about it.
Talking of inspiration, this week has truly been a week where I am proud to be british. Since it's the big thing at the moment, I think the Olympics definitely deserves a mention. I must admit that usually I'm not that in to watching athletics or sport in general on the television, I'm the type of person who'd rather be out doing it, but I have been watching this years Olympics with a tear in my eye, just watching so many peoples' dreams coming true right in front of you is kind of magical. Not just team G.B for that matter, but everybody putting their hearts and souls into it... well maybe that has something to do with my recent wave of inspiration.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Where's your sanctuary?

Being a writer means that ideally, I'd love to spend an hour or two to myself each day. Unfortunately, that never happens. I'm sure each and every one of you knows how it feels to have deadlines, and to have a million and one other things demanding your attention at the same time.
But sometimes a girl just needs a break, and if I'm having a tough day the best thing I find is just to get out the house, come rain or shine. I'm so lucky to live within walking distance of a beach, and there I find my sanctuary. There is nothing quite like listening to the waves to clear your head, and every time I go down there I'm swamped by memories of many carefree years spent there.
The beach to me is also a place of endless inspiration, whether its quite or busy, hot or stormy, there just seems to be stories waiting for me at the beach just itching to be told. I never leave the beach feeling sad or down, and so it isn't that surprising that in times past, the sea was believed to be a place of healing.
But my personal relationship with the seaside had me thinking about where other people go to find a bit of peace and quite, I'm sure we all have a special place, and I'd love to hear about anybody else's.

Friday, 27 July 2012

So much to do... little time.
I have really been feeling this over the last couple of weeks. June and July have been a bit of a mad rush, but I think I've finally started to get things under control. It is an amazing experience to be working with such a good editor, in a short space of time I've already learnt so much about the way I write and how that could be improved.
I have finally submitted all that I wanted to submit, even if it was a little later than expected, I hope this will give me some time now to really concentrate on my next novella, because this is the one I'm the most excited about.
Outside of my writing life, I really don't know why I chose to do the only summer module of my degree the summer that I was having a baby, because trying to concentrate on studying when you feel like a zombie is not as easy as I thought it was going to be.
It's a good job I'm the kind of person who just loves to be busy! Even so, I'm glad my assignments are out of the way so that at least I have a month or so to really knuckle down and get some writing done. I'm really excited about my next novella. I'll keep you posted on how things progress!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


I had thought that the moment I got my first book contracted, submitting my manuscripts would get a lot easier.
I could not have been more wrong. I have had this manuscript ready to go for weeks, but now it's come to it, I keep re-reading it, and having to re-write huge chunks of it... it seems I have become a perfectionist, or perhaps I am just delaying sending it because I'm now terrified it won't be up to scratch.
Either way, I have now given myself a deadline, and then I will be sending it to the publisher for better or for worse! So keep your fingers crossed for me : )

Friday, 22 June 2012

Little bundle of joy...

So there have been so many exciting things happening in my life recently. It really has been a busy time... and I know its only just beginning. I've got a couple of books that are near completion, and I'm really eager to get them out to publishers as soon as possible, but right now there is a special somebody who has arrived in my life who is taking priority.

I had my little daughter just a couple of days ago...and am writing this post just to update you all. She is healthy and beautiful...and I know that I'm not going to get any real writing done for a couple of weeks if I keep stopping to stare at her like I'm doing right now. Any mothers (or fathers) out there, I'm sure you know what I mean. Every little noise they make or face they pull is just amazing at this age.

I'm also pretty sure the sleepless nights will start taking their toll any day now, because I think I'm still so excited that she's finally here that they haven't quite caught up with me yet.

Anyway, thank you all for reading, and I'll keep you all updated on how my writing is going :)

Friday, 15 June 2012


After finally getting up the confidence to send away a couple of manuscripts, I am delighted to announce that I've managed to get a contract for one of my romantic novella's. It's with an american company called Beachwalk Press, and should be due for release in a few months. What an excellent response, and so quick!

I have a couple of projects in the pipeline right now, so watch this space and I'll keep you updated as to how their coming along. Thankyou for reading.