Thursday, 22 March 2012

A Walk to the Post Box

It's half a mile to our post box, just right for a short walk and there's always lots to see.

No donkeys today, however, ... they seem to be hiding.

Badgers are lovely to look at, but not very popular here.  This one didn't make it.

There's a lovely view from this quiet spot in someone's garden.

 The tops have been taken out some nearby trees.

So the rooks have had to build new homes.  You have to be careful walking under them.  I took a chance looking up to take this!

The daffodils in our bank are still looking good.

As is the gardener!  Time to make him a cup of tea.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Move Over Darling

Sorry, I can't help it... I will stop soon, but I just like looking at it...

Thursday, 15 March 2012

If you have a minute...

Do have a look at a great site Novel Spaces where there's lots to explore and where I'm a guest today.

Oh, and then there's what I think is a great sight.  My new cover on the Choc Lit blog today!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A Spot of Sunshine

Lovely Juliet Greenwood whose novel Eden’s Garden, published by Honno, is officially launched tomorrow, has kindly nominated this blog for a Sunshine Award. Thank you, Juliet and congratulations - the postman should be delivering my copy of Eden’s Garden very soon, I hope! Juliet has asked me to post some random facts about myself, but I’ve also seen bloggers posting about things that make them happy in response to this award so, as it’s been one of those days, I’m writing about random things that have made me happy today.

At this very moment, as I type this, Turning the Tide is #1 in Kindle Store Books Contemporary Romantic Fiction which, I can tell you, has made me pretty jolly happy.

…especially after a rather bruising online incident at the weekend when my fellow Choc Lit authors rallied round me, picked me up and dusted me off again. I haven’t met all of the Choc Lit team and I’ve hardly met any of the friends I’ve made through social media, but the kindness and support of people I only know through the internet, astounds me and cheers me up every time. Thanks to all of you. On that subject Novel Racer friend Liane Spicer, our own Wordtryst, has invited me to be a guest at Novel Spaces ‘a universe for writers and readers’ and I’m honoured to be appearing there tomorrow.

You'll notice from the ad on the Amazon screenshot, that I've been searching for something to wear for my daughter's wedding. I am what Susannah and Trinny would have called a cornet shape ie I have wide shoulders and slim hips. In practice this means that any dress that clears my rib cage flaps like a sail round my hips. It also means that I’m beginning to panic about whether the shops make Mother of the Bride dresses for freaks of nature. Finding the right outfit so I can stop worrying about it would make me very happy indeed!

I was putting a card together for Ma’s birthday last week when I came across the above photo. It’s probably the earliest picture of me on a boat (and no, it wasn’t when dinosaurs roamed the earth, although you could be forgiven for thinking so from the photo!). That’s me on Ma’s lap, with my uncle on the right and two of my cousins!

After three days of being blanketed in fog, the sun’s just come out! Hurray!

AND FINALLY… This morning, I saw the cover for Move Over Darling and it’s bee-yoo-ti-ful! It’s Wednesday Hottie time on the Choc Lit blog today, so the big reveal will have to wait until tomorrow. Do come and have a look if you’ve got time.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

At Home and Away

Lalalaa! March 1st, my wedding anniversary, we’re off for a mini-holiday and I’m happy. So happy, in fact, that I feel a sudden urge to hula-hoop before hopping in the shower. So what if I’m in my nightie – who’s going to see? And, yes, since I’m now quite proficient at this hula nonsense, let’s pump up the volume – Lana Del Rey, in fact, Off to the Races, whilst I channel my inner Rihanna. Then - dear Lord - I get the feeling I am not alone. A male neighbour (not many of them about round here, I can assure you – but I’ve found one) is looking utterly traumatised by the horrible spectacle, so I gather up my hoop and make a dash for cover – not easy when you are wearing something resembling an enormous crinoline.

Luckily for me, Tom and I are off on our mini hols at The Quay  thanks to the girls and their partners. Deganwy in North Wales is a three hour drive away, meandering through the mountains and some very beautiful scenery. In some ways I’ve got a bit used to beautiful views, but the location of the Quay is truly stunning. The weather’s glorious too; we walk in the sunshine, swim in the hotel pool and round off the day with an excellent meal in the  restaurant. All the staff we encounter are friendly and helpful, but I am especially charmed by the lovely Spanish waiter who greets us at breakfast (which, incidentally, is truly delicious) with a cheery ‘Hello Couples!’
View of the Liver Building from inside the Tate

Since we’ve come all this way
we’ve decided to pop over to Liverpool, a first-time visit for me. The drive up along the North Wales coast is fascinating and takes us through places like Llandudno which have previously only been names on maps to me. Reaching the Wirral, where we’ve booked into a Premier Inn, I’m delighted to spot Port Sunlight village. I’ve cited this in so many history essays as an example of Victorian philanthropism that it’s good to see it at last! In Liverpool we explore Albert Docks, visit the Tate, look at the shops… and bump into Tom’s brother… who lives in Surrey but is here on a business trip. Amazing!

We’ve packed a lot in, but one thing I forget to pack up as we leave is my make-up bag so I would like to say a huge thank you here to the amazing Pam at the Premier Inn Bromborough who sent it back to me First Class. Thanks, Pam – you’re a star!

And talking of stars, look at this lot; the 2012 RoNA winners including Choc Lit’s very own Christina Courtenay, winner of the RNA Historical Romantic Novel of the Year 2012 and Jane Lovering, winner of the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year 2012. Congratulations to all of them! And if you’d like to help decide who will win the overall prize of Romantic Novel of the Year – and be in the draw to win an iPad2 you can vote here!