Saturday, 30 April 2011


Afternoon to you all.

A good week, a romantic week. William and Kate gave the world a day in which, for a brief moment, we could leave our troubled lives behind and share in their joy and revel in the majesty of a Royal occasion. No one does it quite like the Brits.
It was also a good week for me as I finally settled on a title for my recently finished ms. It is now officialy A Private Place. Also, for services to the British crown, my agent, received a knighthood. He is now known as Sir Maximus Rabbitus but, of course, still goes by the name of Rafa to his friends. You may have all seen him at the wedding, hiding behind Beatrice and Eugene's hats.

So on to my six of the week.....
I thought today, I would choose a six from my work, Past Undone. This m.s is doing the rounds as well a A Private Place so fingers crossed....

“Miss Jamison, there is a vast difference between being in love and loving someone. The first is often mere infatuation, a manic desire to possess the subject of one’s affection, mind, body and soul but it is a selfish love. On the other hand, loving someone, truly loving someone means giving them a part of you. It means promising to cherish and protect them for as long as you may live. It requires total unselfishness. This love needn’t be sexual but it’s a love that breathes life into your soul; a love you would willingly die for.

I leave you with a blurb and excerpt from Past Undone...


Sometimes Sofie Jamison wishes her father were a plumber. Her life certainly would be less complicated. At nearly twenty-one, she is a little tired of paying the price for her Director father’s caped crusader routine. She wouldn’t mind so much but the bodyguards he periodically hires to protect her possess as much charm and wit as Colonel Kaddafi.
Nik Lloyd is no exception. Mr. Lloyd has one simple set of rules: do as I say and don’t speak unless spoken to. Sofie wants to hate him on sight but it’s a little difficult when every time she looks at him, her feet leave the ground and she spins on an emotional roller coaster. Hidden away together in his beautiful Greek island home, Sofie soon realizes Mr. Lloyd is an ‘international man of mystery’, and a man, if his housekeeper is to be believed, who is hiding dark secrets. The housekeeper claims he is a tortured soul. The livid scar on his back convinces Sofie she may be right. Who does he cry for at night? It looks as if it will turn out to be one helluva weird summer. And just who is the mysterious young girl, Bella, who turns up out of nowhere, latching on to Sofie with all the tenacity of a limpet?


“So, you took the job.”
Nik Lloyd closed the door and expelled a life-weary sigh. “Lily, you can’t keep barging in like this.” Ducking his head to avoid the scarred and pitted wooden door beam, he stepped down into the sitting room. The room was small, with a gentile shabbiness that betrayed its age. Nik loved it. The unsophisticated, rustic lines appealed to him. Disordered – like his psyche.
“Sorry.” Lily followed his every move, her eyes wide, innocent – too trusting.
“I would have lit the fire but…. You know how it is.”
Her smile dazzled him, turning his dark world into a place filled with love and - if not exactly joi de vivre - something close.
Not trusting himself to respond to her initial question, he crouched in front of the cast-iron grate and put a match to the already laid logs. Apple-scented wood spat and hissed into life, filling the room with their pleasing fragrance.
“It’s cold.” Wrapping arms around her wraithlike form, Lily shivered.
Nik smiled; Lily was always cold. Straightening up, he stretched his arms high above his head. His chin itched from two-day stubble. More than anything, he craved a long, hot soak, accompanied by a stiff measure of bourbon – or make that two. He’d cut down, his drinking now under control, but he knew Lily watched him like a hawk. That’s why he loved soaking in the tub. As audacious as she was, she abstained from sharing his bath time.
“So aren’t you going to tell me?” Graceful as a swan, she followed him into the tiny annex masquerading as a kitchen.
“Nothing to tell.” Avoiding her probing, he opened the fridge. Not much greeted him. Oh well, so be it. He was becoming pretty nifty at flipping omelets.
“You should shop more.” Lily sniffed in that irritatingly superior way of hers. “Your cholesterol must be sky high.”
“Lily,” Nik banged the frying pan down onto the unhealthy looking stove, “you should go. I need to be alone. I have to think this through and I can’t do that with you around.”
Silence brushed the back of his neck; a silence pregnant with hurt and rejection. Would he ever stop hurting her? He loved her. He always would but sometimes…. “I’m sorry, Lily.”
“No. Don’t apologize. I’m so tired of you doing that. I’m leaving. I know I am a pain but I worry about you. You know how much I care.”
Nik closed his eyes, her essence flooding his soul. Her warm breath caused the hairs on his arms to rise. Two years on and she still held him captive under her spell. Emptiness replaced the warmth in his heart. He knew she’d left him. Appetite gone, he turned off the gas and made for the tiny staircase tucked away in the corner of the cottage. He needed that bath – and drink – more than ever.
Negotiating the uneven steps, he pondered on his future. Was he doing the right thing? Common sense told him yes. It was time to pick up the reins of his damaged life and move on. If only he could shed the cruel mantle of guilt torturing his every waking moment, rendering sleep a distant memory.
Lily. Cranking up the thermostat dial on the upper landing wall, his old friend, sadness, crawled over him. Would he ever be free of her? Would guilt allow him to cut the fragile thread binding them together?

For more great Sunday Sixes check out this link
Viviane Brentanos!/pages/Viviane-Brentanos-Author-of-Womens-contemporary-Romantic-fiction/78109311746

Thursday, 28 April 2011


Morning all, from the glorious island of Corfu. Yes, even here, wedding fever has struck. I did receive my invitation but, I decided not to go as there is a good movie on the box that day and I look stupid in hats.
so, on to the blog hop question of today Becoming an author, being a new author, and aspiring to be one is a confusing time. What is the most “difficult” hurdle you’ve encountered on your journey to fame and fortune.

Mmm - let me see. I think my biggest hurdle was sorting out all the paper work involved in setting up my Caymen islands bank account.

I mean, the assistent I hired to held me deal with the trials and trubulations of literary fame and fortune turned out to be useless. She ran off with the local pita shop man.

Of course, when I first put pen to paper, I never imagined it was so difficult to get published. The writing is the easy part - that is , if you have a pc and a working knowledge word and formatting etc. I didn't. It was something I had to teach myself.

I was also under the impression that agents and publishers alike would be falling over each other in the desperate race to snap up my first manuscript. I believed more was the name of the game.

My intitial effort stood at a grand total of 170,000 words of messy, pov and head hop mistakes. I loved it. It is the tale to which I have most conennection. Now, as I have grown as a writer {ha ha ha}, I have dug out this wondrous epic tale and slashed it down to 80k and fixed, I hope, all the glaring faults.

I digress, [as usual}. Back to my hurdles. I soon learned it is almost, if not more, difficult to find an agent than a publisher. Simple; I hired my rabbit, Maximus Rabbitus, to be mine. He is wonderful. Always loves everything I write and takes no cut of my amassed fortune. Initially, I was going to keep him on a private retainer but I believe he is now open to submissions. He is only looking at works from all herbivours but will consider unusual material from dogs and cats.

Okay, so I have my agent and, bless his little white paws, he has managed to land me contracts with MuseItHot Publishing.

The next hurdle in my journey to superstardom is the promotion - the bane of most authors. Newbies out there - you can't get out of it. It will take up of your time but it can be fun and I quite enjoy it. My problem is I also hold down a full time job during the summer months and this can oft frazzle my writing brain. Oh but please don't think I work because I need the money {remember Cayman islands}. It is purely for research purposes that I put up with four months of abuse from irate tourists who complain that they haven't a jacuzzi in their room even though they paid a grand total of 10 euros a night half-board.

Back to being a writer. I suppose I ought to stick to the question and answer what I believe to be my biggest hurdle. I suppose, I would have to say trying to educate people. It's a hard task convincing folk the that era of the ereader is upon us and that authors published with smaller presses are just as talented as those who have contracts with the big boys. And then, of course, up goes the cry - are you going to be rich? Why can't folk understand that we write because.... well....we can and we love it. Anything on top is just frosting. Nice frosting, yes, but it isn't what drives us. Yes, Mrs Harry Potter hit the big time, as did Mrs Twilight and Mr. Davinci Code but, as well as having talent and damn good stories {a must} they were in the right place at the right time. Publishing is a highly subjective field. I once wrote a blog thst likened it to dog showing.It went something like this....

Basically the pub game reminds me so much of dog showing.
She has gone mad, I hear you all say; too much Greek sun and retsina. What do I mean about dog showing? Let me explain, my children.
Back in the 80’s, I showed Afghan Hounds and rather successfully. We had 3 dogs in the ring but our high flyer was a silver blue brindle that did extremely well at championship level, making it to Crufts two years running. {well I have to brag} He was a beautiful specimen of Afghan, adhering to the breed standard. He became known on the circuit for having the perfect head.
In a championship level show, there can be as many as 50 dogs in each class - all equally of a very high standard. How does the judge pick a winner? At the end of the day, when faced with a sea of breed perfection, it all comes down to showmanship, presentation and the judges’ personal preference for a certain line. I soon learned this.
William was always groomed to perfection. Daily road work ensured he possessed Spartan muscle tone. I made sure his lead’s colour accentuated his coat colour. I made sure I wore dark trousers to show off his silver coat. I spent hours lead training him so that when he strode out the crowd gasped. I dtudied the judges past record and didn’t bother entering under a judge who I knew didn’t like my dog’s particular breed line.
Is submitting not the same? Its all about catching an agents or readers eye, I have read many extracts on the various promo loops and while some of the story lines are not to my taste, all have one thing in common. All these authors can write. It is a matter of finding that magical ingredient that will catch an editor’s eye. This is something, I believe, can be learned. I know it took me a while.
When I think of the initial query letters and synopsis I sent out, I cringe. But I learnt from my mistakes. I learnt about showmanship and now I have found 'judges' who appreciate my " pedigree".
See? I am not loopy after all - well not much.

The point of this rant - writing is not for the faint hearted. Are you ready for the long, often demoralising road? Do you write because you love it. If you want instant fame, well...I'd give Simon Cowell a call.Not a bad idea; I shall write to him and ask him to setme up
Have fun.
Join in the blog hop here

Monday, 25 April 2011

Monday Muser's Mad Question Time

So, I am a tad embarrassed. My guest for this week did not show. Rather than upset my question schedule, I am opening the question as a free for all. Anyone who wishes to post an answer to this week's wacky question, go for it. Prize for best answer will be a free download of my Dreamweek.

Here goes....

You have just landed the job of Simon Cowell's assistent. His new project is to form a boy band. Your goal - to find him five contenders to take a spot in the band. Easy? Here is the catch. You must choose from the world's most important leaders to find your five. Have fun