Friday, 4 March 2011

Six Sentence Sunday. Oh my first time was sooo good....

So, its time for the Six sentence Sunday. I had so much fun last week. The response to Written in Stone was so favourable, i have decided to stick with James and Cassie for this week's offering. Here is the blurb as a refresher.

Dumped five days before her wedding, Cassandra Hall decides not to waste the
honeymoon. She sets off to London. What was supposed to be her dream week turns into a nightmare time of introspect, self-doubt. Then she meets James, literally falling at his feet in an attempt to save his Afghan hound from colliding head on with the traffic.
James is witty, charming, too good-looking and also—not available. Despite this,
Cassie is captivated by him. What follows is a week of fun, companionship and a bonding Cassie has never experienced.
James, sensing Cassie’s unhappiness, goes out of his way to make up for her jerk of a fiancĂ©’s rejection. He is drawn to her vulnerability—something he finds disturbing, threatening to shatter all he thought he knew about himself. Cassie, he senses, is falling in love with him. He ought to back away but cannot. Cassie
bravely makes her true feelings known and when he rejects her, he knows he has broken her heart. He is left confused, guilty because…James has a secret.

“It's funny isn't it, how many of us choose partners with whom we cannot share our inner thoughts.”
“I think...” She trembled at the intensity burning in his eyes. “We conjure up images of who we want our loved ones to be. Initial passion clouds our judgment. Their faults are shrouded in a veil we draw over them, and then, when that veil slips away, we're surprised, hurt even, and yet...we have no right because they haven't changed. Only our perception of them.”

Thank you for allowing me to share a little of Cassie and James with you all.


STOP PRESS: This amazing 5 star review just in from The One Hundred Romances Project
I am over the moon with it.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Crap Mother of the Year Award.

Good afternoon, all

Ah, the sun is shining.

Oh dear, the dreaded question has been posed – How do you manage your writing time and family commitments/job? My answer – I doubt very well. My writing takes priority.

I have decided I may be up for crap mother and housewife of the year awards. Not that I am bothered. I have won before. I have to confess, housework and motherly duties come second to my writing. Ok, before you all raise your hands in horror and call up social services, I have to inform you my children are old enough to move out {why don’t they?}. Rafa, of course, is still too young to leave home but he is content with a handful of bunny food and a nice spot by the sofa and, as my literary agent, he does provide a service therefore I do not mind taking time away from the pc to care for him. He is cuddly too.
My life is split into two seasons; winter and summer. Winter is for bumming around the house in baggy pyjama bottoms and my son’s discarded Death Metal t-shirts. I have a horror of early morning rising. I feel physically sick. I was like this as a child. While most kids dreamed of ponies and the latest chopper bike, my wish was to own a mechanical bed that, at the push of a button, would drive me to school and then park up in the back of the classroom so I wouldn’t have to get out of bed at all. I once went to bed fully dressed in my school uniform so I could nab an extra hour of slumber in the morning. My mother was not amused. Needless to say I had to change.
But now, older and definitely not wiser, I am free to set my own time schedule. I drag myself from my bed around ten {ish}, let Rafa out of his cage, shove on the coffee and then, with a huge mug of brew, I switch on the pc. Somewhere around midday, I remember I haven’t got any food in the house,

I need to put on a wash and I better start on the dishes. As for cooking – my family is used to eating a bizarre hours. It could be 2, 3, 4pm. I do actually love cooking. I have been told I am a very good cook but then, with a 5 star chef quality mother and grandmother leading the way, I had no choice. But I am not a faffer. I hate this measuring out malarkey. Cooking should be instinctive.
And so, on to the rest of my day. After lunch/ dinner {whatever it is}, back to the pc. Someone once said to me, you’re ok, you don’t have to work. You just sit at the pc all day. Er – excuse me? As you writers out there know, there just isn’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all we want to accomplish: works in progress, editing, blogging, promo, querying agents/pubs. The dreaded synopsis writing, researching for w.i.p, Facebook…oops, where did that come from. Actually, ladies and gents, we need FB. It is an essential tool, right? RIGHT??? Somewhere around 11-12, I fall into bed and watch some TV. I do love police tales. My fave show of the moment is The Closer. So that is my winter day
Summer is not so easy to balance. I am seasonally employed as a hotel receptionist. Work begins at 2pm and I get home around 10 – 10.30 pm. Every year, I promise myself I will keep up with my stuff at home but it never quite works out that way. Summer, however, is when I will start on a new story. Usually, in the afternoon, the hotel has a slow couple of hours when the guests are down the beach and I manage to scribble down my thoughts on a scruffy notebook hidden under the desk. Sometimes, however, it’s just too damn hot to think straight. Also kinda of difficult to write out a steamy scene when the phone rings or someone comes and asks for their room key. I think, this year, I will get a sign. Do Not Disturb, Genius at Work – Get your own Bloody Key.

{Guests have been known to do this but just don’t tell my boss}.
So, is it really about balance? I think it is more about making a choice. If you want to go out for Housewife/mother/wife of the Year award than all I can say is – don’t take up writing. If you want to be a writer, well, in the words of Marie Antoinette – Let Them Eat Cake. {Or in my case, pitas}. Off to order in. See you all soon.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Winning comment

And the Oscar goes too.....Deborah Gill

Debz said...

It makes me think of: the heady scent of gardenias on warm summers evenings, romantic strolls along shingle beaches, a crystal blue ocean, cloudless skies, the sound of gentle waves lapping against the shoreline, skinny-dipping under the stars, the the Aspi Mera being played in a local taverna, olive groves, walnut trees, the sound of crickets, little lizards scurrying up walls, being young and being in love, laughing (and sometimes crying) with friends, beautiful churches, narrow streets, tanned skin & firm bodies, a small yellow car, a picnic on the beach, a little fishing boat, ouzo with lemonade, and feeling truly content and happy.

Thanks, Debs. A copy of Dreamweek is heading your way.


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Fragile Dreams Wins Best First Chapter

Good evening to you I am thrilled to announce that my single title contemporary romance, fragile Dreams has won best first Chapter, best cover, best first and last line over. It is indeed an honour, especially since my first book in the Dream series, Dreamweek, also won this completion last May. To celebrate, I am running a little competion I will post an excerpt from Fragile Dreams, a descriptive passage that evokes the magic that is Greece. All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me what you imagine when you think of Greece. The best comment will win a free digital copy of Dreamweek. Please check back to my blog tomorrow. I will post the winning comment at 1pm EST.

Godd luck,

. The party had spilled out onto the terrace. Pool-side tables bathed in the soft light of Chinese lanterns, the balmy evening humming with easy chatter and clinking of glasses. Beyond the terrace balustrade, the navy Ionian Sea glittered under the incandescent light of a full moon. The sound of gentle surf rolling onto shore carried up on the kind breeze. Ellie knew where she wanted to be. Slipping off her ridiculously too-high sandals, she headed for the steps leading to the beach below.
The stretch of cool sand was raked and already laid out in fine military style, ready for the morning barrage of eager tourists. Gaudy sun beds stretched out in rows, spaces between measured to an exact inch. Well, it was a German
owned hotel, Ellie mused. From above, the noise and laughter filtered down. Was there no escape?
Shoes in hand, she walked along the shoreline until she reached the colossal black edifice separating the hotel‘s private beach from the picture perfect cove Ellie knew lay beyond. The rocks formed a natural barrier between tranquility and the frivolity going on above.
Ellie paddled in the cool surf, not caring that her expensive designer gown might get wet. Carefully she negotiated the smooth and slippery slabs of flat rock lurking below the water‘s surface. It was worth the risk of falling flat on her face. The tiny cove was heaven on earth, its gold dust sand cool between her toes. Head thrown back, she breathed in, the tangy brine of the sea filling her nostrils. How bitter-sweet. A lover‘s paradise but no lover with whom to share it.
Sighing her regret to the wind, she sank to the ground. Arms folded around drawn up knees, she stared out to sea. The gentle hush of the swell hypnotized, soothing her troubled mind. Closing her eyes, she drifted into her world of make-believe.

Monday, 28 February 2011


My answer to the above is no, not really.Grown ups have too many problems; boring problems. A Monday Musing question was posed - which do you prefer: Adult -or- Young Adult books? Or, both? Why? As most of you know, I write contemporary romance - for adults because sometimes my characters can get a little too naughty to be able to label them Young Adult. I must adhere to the guidelines. No naughty stuff before 18, please {even though we all know 18's and under, especially in this day and age tend to have 'fun'.}
Are the adult storylines too predicatable? Shitty ex husbands, no money, job loss, memory loss, you name it loss.. I suppose they are but then, isn't this what our readers of romance expect? People like to feel safe. I think this can be said for any genre. I love psycological thrillers, detective and lawyer stories but - hey - it does tend to be the same old. As someone once said, there are no new stories, just a retelling of old. As authors we strive to make our interpretation as unique as we can. Even Shakespeare 'stole' Romeo and Juliet but, boy, did he make it his own.
Oh but I do love the passion of the YA heroine.There is more scope for the imagination. Feelings are raw, perhaps more honest. Angst is always at its most angsiest when felt by teenagers. The joy and pain of first love, when the world can can crashing down because of something as trivial as a new crop of spots just before that all important first date. Being the eternal teenager, I love these tales of first love. I think this is where The Twilight saga excels. I felt Bella's pain. Excessive, maybe, but so real. Who doesn't recall feeling that sense of abject dispair?
Of course, in the 'grown up' world, our characters are expected to follow the current fashion for being strong and and sensible. I think this is why I prefer to make my heroines young, late teens or early twenties and always inexperienced in love. This is where my older and not always wiser hero comes in, helping them to grow and become aware of their sexuality. It's more fun.
Saying that'adult' books can be fun. Check out Jilly Cooper's Bella, Harriet, Emma. You will see what I mean