Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wearing my other 'hat'

I'm off to Leeds this evening  - to play my other role, that of Mrs Babe Magnet and supporter and PA to  my husband when he's appearing at the Morley Festival this evening.

He's doing his 'Uncle Albert' one man show with readings from his book of Yorkshire short stories by the same name.  (Priory Press) 

This  should be specially interesting though  as he's appearing at Churwell Community  Centre - and Churwell  is the village where he grew up  and the village is the Uncle Albert book is based on.    Should be a real trip down memory lane - both in fiction and reality!

Destined for the Desert King

I'm so glad that everyone seems to like the new UK cover of my December book as much as I do. But I've had some messages asking me to give a little spoiler or two about the story .

So here you are:

A queen of convenience?
There’s no doubt that their marriage is one of convenience and political manoeuvring. But shy beauty Aziza El Afarim secretly hopes that her husband – the boy she once idolised – remembers something of the closeness they shared as children.

Except Sheikh Nabil bin Rashid Al Sharifa is far from the boy he used to be. The weight of loss and power has changed him beyond recognition. Where once there was warmth and generosity, now only a ruthless passion burns. He’ll give Aziza everything…except his love.

But as pressure to produce an heir mounts, can there be more than duty in the marriage bed?
Rhastaan Royals Book 2.

And for those who recognise Nabil's name - Yes he is the  man (youth)  who was supposed to have been Clementina's husband in A Question of Honour. (Rhastaan Royals Book 1)  But this is ten years later - and, believe me - he's changed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

UK Cover at last!

I've been waiting for so long  to be able to share the cover for the UK edition of my next book - Destined for The Desert King - which is out in  December (or the end of November in USA) I wasn't sure what to expect as the USA Harlequin Presents cover is so great I was a bit worried that the UK one might be a bit of a disappointment.

But I needn't have worried.  My authors' copies of the UK edition arrived this morning  in another of those wonderful moments in an author's life  that never gets dull and  I was more than thrilled to find that the great Harlequin Presents cover that I'd liked so much  on the USA  edition was also the one they've used for the UK edition.  And its rich colours and  sensual design look just as good against the UK's blue framing as they do against the Presents white and red cover.

So at last I'm able to share this with you. I hope you like it as much as I do.

As I said, this book isn't actually out  on general sale as yet,  but I've discovered a great site  called   Mills and Boon reviews where a reader who is a real fan of the Modern Romances  reads so many of the books  - and she has a  a review that says this book is:

Exhilarating, emotional, riveting Modern genre Romance a 5* indeed!

So, together the great cover and the great review have just made my day (and it needed a bit of cheering up as it has been so dark  and wet all day that we needed some brightness  brought into it.)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Autumn days

I can tell that it's definitely  becoming more autumnal these days. Not just because  the weather is getting
 colder and the evenings darker. Or because the clocks  have to go back very soon, but because of the extra number of jobs I need to do in the garden to take care of the wildlife and birds who live there.

I've just come in from  sorting things out and making sure that everyone is fed and looked after.  The jobs I had to do included:

1.  Putting down clean straw for the hedgehogs to drag into their  hog boxes to make cosy safe nests for the winter.
(We make sure the hedgehogs have these safe dens so that they don't burrow into any prepared bonfire planned for Bonfire Night)
2.  Clean the water bowl and refill it with fresh water. (The Hecks seem to have been washing their paws in it or something to make it so muddy!)
3.  Clean the plate and replenish it with special hedgehog crunchies for nourishment for the hogs so that they don;t have to go too far in the cold nights to forage for food.  We know there is one very small hedgehog there who will need to be well nourished so that he can be  string enough for a winter's hibernation.
4. Clean the bird bath, disinfect it and fill it with clean water
5. Clean the bird table and disinfect it - apparently too many birds are being killed by germs in the actual bird tables etc.
6. Put out suet cakes and fat balls for the birds who prefer to feed higher up
7. Soak the mealworms in  warm water to make them more enticing to birds (and the hedgehogs if they want some!)
8.  Put seeds and nuts in the ground feeder for birds like robins etc who prefer to feed on the ground.
9. Drain the soaked mealworms  and put them into a ground placed feeder.
10. Put some peanuts out for the mother and baby squirrel who would otherwise steal seeds
etc from the birds.


Then I came indoors to feed the cats to make sure they didn't  ruin my good work by taking over the bird table as Charlie used to do! (He's a bit too big to do this now  - but  Ruby can still fit on to the bird table with ease>)

Friday, October 09, 2015


I'm off  on retreat for the weekend.

I'm running a guided retreat - Focus on Writing Romantic Fiction -  at The Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick  Derbyshire  with Relax and Write. So looking forward to it. While these retreats are, obviously for the benefit of my students,  I also get so much out of them. I get to talk about writing, look at the way I do things in my novels - the ways other people do them - differently but  not wrong - everyone has their own process of writing a novel and it's great to combine ideas in the discussions.

I always come home energized and inspired and usually with a notebook crammed full of ideas for the current book - or the next one -  or the next course.

To those who are coming to Swanwick - see you soon.  Safe journey. I'm so looking forward to catching up with old friends and making new ones on this course or the Babe Magnet's Writing The Past Which is running on the same weekend.

Oh yes - and I'm delighted to hear that one of my students Kim Lain's  (who was on last year's retreat) entry to this year's So You Think You Can Write  - has been picked to be in the top 50 of the entries.  I haven't seen the full list yet but I do know Kim's name is there.

Congratulations Kim!  And good luck for the next round.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

So You Think You Can Write - what if your story doesn't make it?

    With the SYTYCW Top 50 being announced today, there will be  lots of entrants who didn't make the cut wondering what to do with your  submission, how to rework it so that  the editors
    would like to see more of it if you want to submit it  later.

    Rachael Thomas who was in the Top Ten in the contest in 2013   was one of my students on the Fishguard Advanced Romance Writing course with Writers' Holiday.   She now  has  more than five books published  after her first title  A Deal Before The Altar came out in September last year and  just had her latest submission accepted.   She knows what it's like to be successful  - and what it feels like to have a novel rejected - like most of us, she's been there and got the tee shirt.
    Rachael has some great points on the best way to look at something that  was rejected the first time round  so NOW  needs reworking. She has a great blog post about - well, about 3 important things -

     1. Never give up 

     2. Never throw away any story that didn't work because - well, . . 

     3. The 'didn't work ' stories can always be reworked when you've had time to step away from them for a while then come back and rework them so they do work.
    Well worth reading
     I first saw this story as part of the  one to one in the Fishguard Course and  again in full in the RNA's New Writers' Scheme back in 2012 and I'm so glad to see it will now be published. Looking forward to seeing  Destiny and Zafir's story in print.

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