Sunday, December 31, 2006

Year's end

2007 is beckoning just around the corner. 2006 has been so good to me writing-wise it's hard to believe that this New Year can be better. Yet I know it can. I have so many plans and hopes for the coming year. Mills and Boon have the full ms of Charlie Darling, Moonlit Romance has the full ms of Dangerous to Know.
Books are scheduled for release:
Be My Hero - Moonlit Romance on the 20th of Jan
Marrying Max (large print) - 1st of March
Making Waves - Moonlit Romance - May 07
Marrying Max - ebook - Samhain publishing June 07
I have other stories started and planned, a new medical partial to write, Places to Go to finish plus a little file full of ideas for new stories.
2007 will see my first review in the Romantic Times - scary! and like an idiot I entered Marrying Max for category romance of the year, so in Feb I should know if it made the shortlist or not.
I wish I could be as optimistic about my other job - things can't get any worse there than they are now. I have meetings planned in Jan to discuss how the caseloads can be managed but something needs to be done and fast.
I hope my parents and the rest of my family stay well in the coming year and my lovely cp has her own happy event to look forward to in the summer with the birth of her first baby.
Happy New year to all of you, may the next twelve months find you well, happy and fulfilled.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Good way to end the year

Yesterday I got a box from Lightning Source with my author copies of Things To Do. Wow! I have to admit I cried when I took the top one out of the box. It looks fantastic, so shiny and glossy and just downright gorgeous.
I also got two fabulous reviews -
Fall in Love was reviewed by Gray at Romance Reviewed and September Song (My surfer story aka Yo Dude) Got five roses! http://romancereviewed.blogspot.com to read the rest of the review and Jess's wonderful reviews on there too for Little shop of Dreams and Haunted Hearts.
From Darkness was reviewed by The Romance Studio and scored four hearts. My story, Cue Me In, was mentioned as the scariest! http://www.theromancestudio.com and go to reviews to read more.
I'm guestblogging today too at http://www.srnauthors.blogspot.com if anyone wants to drop by. This is a great resource site for sweet and sensual writers.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Eek!

I'm typing this on the new computer after 6 hours of transferring files, addresses and favorite stuff. I also appear to be on the new version of Blogger -sigh. I held out as long as possible but got forced into changing today.
Charlie Darling is off to Richmond and I've 3.5k to go now on Making Waves. I've also done a load of editing on Be My Hero ready for when Laura sends the tweaks through.
One more day at work and then I have the weekend off - whoohoo. I'm looking forward to pottering around the house tidying up and having a break.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ready or not...

I finished checking Charlie Darling today. Did the last of my tweaks and printed it out. Now it's all parcelled up and ready for the post office, requested material written on the outside and my treasured compliment request slip nestled on the inside. Just have to cross my fingers and hope for the best now.
I've 4k left to write on Making Waves and I really want to finish that as soon as I can so I can prepare my next medical partial. My dh has finished preparing my new laptop so I can start to transfer all my favourites and adresses and 'stuff' from this one to the nice shiny new one for the new year.
Still waiting for Things To Do to go up on Amazon but I got a kick out of finding Marrying Max in large print for preorder at Waterstones. Next excitement will be the release in January of Be My Hero from http://www.moonlitromance.com

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Aftermath

How was your Christmas?
I'm back at work tomorrow and my house looks like Santa stampeded through it. The belles loved the gifts the guy in the red suit left for them. My prezzies were pretty good too. My dh has bought me a new laptop. This one is worn out, there are no letters left on the keys, the battery won't hold any charge, the hinge on the lid doesn't latch properly and the screen fritzes out every now and again. He bought me this older one just under three years ago for my fortieth birthday saying he was investing in my writing career.
He says this new one is to help me sell to M&B and get on the NYT bestseller list - (with or without talking parrots).
Jessica gave me some yummy chocs and the M&B Christmas annual - which I'd been looking to buy but hadn't seen anywhere.
My friends gave me Bailey's, books and white wine. The belle's gave me socks and cute stuff. My parents and in-laws gave me money toward my RNA fee's and towards my website upkeep.
Fantastic!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Almost Christmas...

The presents are wrapped, the last few cards will be exchanges at the Christingle service tomorrow. The veg rack is groaning under the weight of the food and my kitchen counter is loaded with bread.
The really nice thing is not having to go anywhere now other than Chapel tomorrow. I've re read Charlie for the millionth time and I'm almost ready to do the print out ready to hit the post office after the big day. I still have just a couple of bits I want to tweak but they're tiny little things.
Making Waves will hopefully get finished before New Year - I've just four and a half k to go.
The nicest news is that my friend Julie Cohen has had her baby, a bouncing baby boy! How fabulous is that!
Merry Christmas to everyone, eat too much, drink too much and have a generally wonderful time.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Things To Do is out in print - you can order from Barnes and Noble or buy from http://www.samhainpublishing.com  Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 18, 2006

Why I never ask...

...my dh to help with plotting.
I was staring vacantly at my computer testerday thinking about conflicts for my new medical and he asked what I was doing. So I told him - big mistake. Ususally his first question is 'is there a dog in it?' and he then outlines the plot for Lassie come home. Yesterday the conversation took a different tack.
'Is there a parrot in it?' dh
'It's a medical romance.' me
'you could have a talking parrot in it.' dh
'why?' me
'well, they could go to a house and somebody dies and one of them could inherit a talking parrot.' dh
'what happens then?' me
'I dunno, you're the writer.'


p.s for the record I don't think my new med will feature talking parrots

Friday, December 15, 2006

Tag - I'm it!

Four things
Michelle Styles tagged me with the four things meme
Four jobs I've had:
1.Shoe sale girl
2. Hand model
3. Checkout girl
4 writer (Plus loads of other jobs but I figured you all knew about the medical ones)
Four places I've lived:
1. The Black Country
2 Um, haven't lived anywhere else
3
4
Four favorite foods:
1 Steak
2 cheese
3. moussaka
4. fish (Is coffee classed as food? Cos you know it would be in there!)
Four movies I could watch over and over:
1. Seven Brides for Seven brothers
2. Houseboat
3. Cat on a hot tin roof
4 The St Trinian films
Four TV shows I enjoy:
1. X Factor
2. Big Brother
3. I'm a Celebrity get me out of here
4.My Family - (Hey, I never claimed to be deep!)
Four places I've traveled:
1. Paris
2. Jersey
3 Corfu
4. Spain
Four places I'd like to visit:
1. Boston
2. New York
3. New Zealand
4 Pompeii
Four websites I go to daily:
1. e-harlequin
2 The Pink Heart Society
3. Miss Snark
4. various friends' blogs
Four people tagged:
1. Jessica Raymond
2. Liz Fenwick
3. Fiona Harper
4. Phillipa Ashley

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sale at Samhain!

Things to Do is on sale at Samhain. $4.68 for the e book! Bargain - so if you've been holding off give yourself an early Christmas present ahead of the print release on the 19th December!
http://www.mybookstoreandmore.com/product_info.php?products_id=198

Monday, December 11, 2006

My early present.

I got a request for the full manuscript of Charlie Darling today, my medical partial. Maddie Rowe, who I would love to work with, has asked to see it. I am so excited. I met Maddie at the RNA conference in the summer and she is so lovely. She's also the editor of some of my friends and I've never heard anything but good things about her.
I'm going to be reading, re-reading and polishing yet again ready to send. I love this story so I just hope Maddie will love it too!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Launch!!

http://www.srnauthors.blogspot.com

is launched today. Go visit, read and post, great prizes to be won and some fabulous authors taking part. Plus - it's a home for sweet and sensual writing so you can send a link to your gran, your mum, the church, your daughter, grandaughter without worrying that they might stumble on something that might give offense.
Tell everyone, add it to your bookmarks and come and enjoy some sweeter moments.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm almost done

with the wrapping and writing. I need to pack up another couple of parcels and stick stamps on my envelopes then that will hopefully be my last trip to the post office before Christmas, unless of course I get a request for Charlie - but I'm not holding my breath.
Things To Do still hasn't listed yet on Amazon but hey, it gives me something new to obsess over. I'm still trying to work out a good and cheap way of marketing Things To Do since most promo tips include 'call in your local bookstore and introduce yourself as a local author, offer to sign their stock'
Um, that one might prove tricky. Oh well, guess I'll have to rely on what my middle daughter calls word of earmouth. But if any of you knows a good promo tip, feel free to share.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Busy, busy...

This week is so hectic. Tomorrow morning is our Christmas brunch at work. It sounds posh but basically it means we meet for a bacon sarnie. Then tomorrow night is our local writers group Christmas meal, so you can see me waddling by Thursday morning.
Thursday night is Boo and La's school nativity play. Then Saturday we've a party to go to. Phew! Normally I never get to go anywhere much.
This all means I probably won't get much writing done this week, but I'm on schedule for what I need to get done by Christmas. No news from M&B or Moonlit yet on my submissions. Things to Do is due to make it's print debut in 2 weeks time - eek! Still not listed on Amazon although my Samhain friend, Kim Rees, another UK based writer has found hers there. My other writing buddy, Donna Alward, who also has a release at the same time isn't listed either yet.
I've had so many people contact me to tell me I'm listed at Tesco.com it's really great. First Tesco and then the world!!!!! Bwahahahaha

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ready to post?

I'm halfway done. Tomorrow I'll go to the post with my overseas cards and parcels. I've nearly written the rest of my cards and they'll go at the end of the week. I love Christmas cards. I love choosing them and writing them out trying to match them to the person, some people get a little newsletter from us if they haven't seen us all year. I love recieving them too, especially if there's a snippet of news or a picture inside them.
The cards get more valuable to me as I get older. I love keeping in touch with my friends and extended family. It seems to be fashionable now to sponsor things instead of sending cards and that's very worthy but it doesn't touch the heart the way a card does and how do you know someones sponsored a goat on your behalf?
I buy a lot of charity cards because that for me meets both the requirements and I sponsor a star at the local hospice every year as our family donation.
What do you think?

Friday, December 01, 2006

In surprising places

Sometimes things crop up in the most unlikely places. My latest game seems to be finding Marrying Max in places I never expected. Tonight I discovered him at Tesco.com in large print as coming soon. Once I'd picked myself up from the floor I got quite excited.
I loved writing Marrying Max and I'm thrilled so many people will have the opportunity to read it. For readers in the US that opportunity will arise in the summer when Samhain release the 'e' book version.
I'm halfway through writing Making Waves and loving this story. It's bringing back so many happy memories of sunshine and summer.
My tbr pile is on the verge of teetering over at the moment though as I haven't had chance to read much the last few weeks. I'll have a lovely time working my way through them over Christmas. I've lots of goodies in there and I'm itching to get stuck in.
My village had it's annual light switch on tonight. Now most places have celebrities to turn on their Christmas lights. The bigger the place the betterknown the celebrity.
The celebrity for my village is a shire horse. Yes, a horse performs our big switch on and then gives rides to the kids. It's kind of sweet.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Good things happen...

...to nice people. My friend Lis, has won a crit by Dierdre Knight! How cool is that? Romance Diva's held a little draw and Lis's name came out top for a three chapter crit.
No news on either of my submissions but Making Waves is going well. I'm really having fun with it and I think Cassidy and Josh will be a really good couple once she stops being uptight and he stops being too laid-back.
My edits are due anytime for Be My Hero, my January release from Moonlit Romance. It'll feel wierd working on it again as I finished it in March and haven't touched it since. Nathalie's story was so emotional for me, I'm hoping the time it's spent resting will let me see it with fresh eyes and Laura is wonderful at picking out where I need to tweak.
I can't wait to see my cover. If you haven't checked out the Moonlit site then go look at the covers there. They are so beautiful. Patti and Joann have a wonderful one again for their December release, Goody-two-shoes and the Grinch. Go and see, Sheila does such a great job with them. http://www.moonlitromance.com
Today was unusual as my student was with colleagues and I was on my own for the first time in a while. I had to go to Kinver this morning and it was so lovely driving through the woods this morning in the sunshine. Pools of gold lit up foliage with that glorious bronzy-pink colour that only happens in Autumn. The Silver Birch shimmered against the fir trees like ghosts and squirrels played on the grass verges. The sky was blue but with a misty quality that made the folds of the hills seem crisper in a landscape fresh from the hands of God.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sweet Sunday

A little while ago I joined a group called Sweeter romantic notions. It's a wonderful group for readers and writers who love non-erotic fiction. We welcome erotic writers as members but it is for those of us who love sweet and sensual romance. There have been a lot of interesting points raised there lately about making the voices of sweeter writers stand out more. Hopefully there are some interesting developments in the pipeline that I'll fill you all in on as things get off the ground.
I polished and sent Dangerous to Know to Laura, my Moonlit editor so when I get any news I'll let you know. I also just sent chapter 2 of Making Waves to Jessica. I guess those couple of days break did me good.
I spent my days of completing tasks from my Christmas list. I have a few more things to arrange then I think I'm sorted. Just the wrapping and writing etc to complete, although I've done about half of my cards already. I signed up for the Romantic Times bookmark exchange though so now that's an extra bundle to write and post.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Spending time

I booked this Friday and Monday off from work. I really need the break and it's chance to clean the house ready for Christmas and do my big preparation shop. I'm working down my lists of what needs to be done and so far I'm on track and hopefully on budget.
I've had a couple of days break from writing just to let my brain percolate and so I can do some research for a couple of things I'm planning.
I've also been doing some thinking about where my writing is headed and what I'd like to achieve next year. It's quite scary but exciting at the same time.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Reasons to be thankful

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my U.S friends and readers, have a wonderful day.
I have many reasons to be thankful this year:
My mother's cancer is in remission.
I have my children and my husband, a loving extended family and wonderful friends.
I have my writing - this year has been the most incredible adventure of my life and I am so grateful everyday to all my publishers for taking my books, my readers who have sent lovely e mails and notes and my writer friends without whom I wouldn't be published.
My brilliant cp, Jessica and Lis who gives me so much support. Allison who is so close to being published, Pip, who always makes me smile. Kate Walker and Liz Fielding who have given me so much support and good advice. The witches, who I love to bits and wished they were a bit nearer!! Michelle Styles, Olivia Gates and Julie Cohen, Anna Lucia and Biddy. The ladies from subcare, the med romance girls and my friends at The Pink heart society, The romance diva's and the wonderful bats at the batcave.
I'm grateful to be well after years of not being well.

Monday, November 20, 2006

5 more things

Grace has tagged me to do five more things you don't know about me. (Well some of you might)
1. I had nine pregnancies to have my three girls.
2. I can speed read.
3. I'm scared of heights and once froze on a rope bridge on an assault course and had to be rescued.
4. I once drove a Sinclair C5 and crashed it into a tree.
5. As well as being allergic to tinsel and other stuff I'm allergic to adhesives.

P.S I finished the first chapter of Making Waves tonight and sent that to Jess too.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The end

Dangerous to Know is finally finished. I sent the last two chapters to Jessica, now I need to let the whole book sit for a while before I give it a thorough polish and edit. Once I'm happy with that I'll send it over to Laura and keep my fingers crossed that she'll like it.
Now I can focus on Making Waves, unless of course I hear from M&B on Charlie Darling. I've ideas for several medicals but I don't want to go down that route unless I know I stand a chance. So, my plan now is to complete Making Waves before Christmas and send that in, then I've a little holiday project called The Twelveth Knight, which I want to do over the Christmas break.
In the new year, I've Places to Go to finish and a secret project I'm researching at the moment.
Marrying Max (large print) is up for pre-order on Amazon already! eeeekkkk! Things To Do should also be listed there soon, as it's out on December nineteenth in print!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Broken glass and happiness

We went out for a meal last night with friends. We don't manage this kind of thing often enough and we were really looking forward to it. Our friends parked their car on the road at the top of our drive. We live on a tiny estate of aprox 100 houses on the arse end of nowhere. We left to walk to the pub which is a few hundred yards away at 8.30 we walked back at 10.40 and sat in our lounge which face the street drinking coffee and chatting. The lights were all on, the curtains open. At just after 12 our friends went to leave and some one had smashed the passenger window and stolen the sat nav from the glove box.
We can't believe none of us heard anything or saw anything or that the car alarm didn't go off. The car is a company one as is the sat nav and no one was hurt but it spoiled what had been a really lovely and much needed break for all of us.

Happiness came in the form of a postcard this morning from my large print publishers telling me that Marrying Max will make its large print debut in March 2007 with the isbn 978.184617.680.7

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Roll on the weekend!

Less than 1k to go on Dangerous to Know, then I can let it rest while I write some of Making Waves. Once I've left it alone for a while I'll give it a thorough edit and send it off to my lovely Moonlit editor who's waiting patiently for it to arrive.
Just for a laugh I think I'll share the following converation from earlier this evening.

La 'Mom, I'm not going to do maths after this year. I don't like it.' - She's 8.

Me 'You don't have a choice, the school says you can't not do it. Besides you'll need it when you're older.'

La 'No I won't. I don't want a job where you have to work a till. I want to groom dogs and you don't need maths for that.'

Me 'But you'll need to know how much to charge for grooming the dogs. Besides, you really don't have a choice.'

La 'Can I stop when I'm in year 6?'

Me 'No, you have to do math till you finish school and take an exam.'

La 'That is so unfair, no wonder they have Children in Need.' - (said with a heavy sigh.)

Clearly, I've passed on my love of things numerical to my children.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back from no-net land

My net provider has been experiencing difficulties over the last four days. It's been like trying to track the invisible man. It would go off for hours then spring into life for ten minutes or so and I would grab some emails then it'd be off again. So I wasn't ignoring anyone - just couldn't get on here, or anywhere, for that matter.
In the meantime c9 of Dangerous to know is done and hopefully with Jessica. I'm 1k into tha last chapter, just 2k to go and the book is done - well, except for a major polish and edit. I'm 1k into Making Waves and having fun with that.
Still nothing on Charlie - although Jessica has a vibe that I'll hear something soon. I do hope so. My lovely friend Pat has a book out called Prescription for Happiness. It's a Peoples Friend Story collection book so call into WH Smiths and grab a copy while it's on the shelf!
My big news is that From Darkness is out at Fictionwise - yay! That gives me three titles on there. If you missed the taster first time around here it is!

“There’s the castle.”
Fae braked at Flash’s words. They stared into the darkness at the building before them. Half of the castle was clearly uninhabitable. Fragmented stones stood like jagged broken teeth along the broken battlement. Mist twisted around the surviving tower and range of buildings. A couple of the windows cast yellow light in to the blackness and Fae breathed a sigh of relief. There was someone home.
“Right, let’s get this show on the road.” Fae eased the car into the courtyard of the castle. As she cut the engine, an eerie baying sound echoed around the stone walls.
“Wow, a welcome committee.” Flash leaned forward into the gap between the front seats, his dark head next to Fae’s.
“I expect living alone up here, miles from anywhere, they keep dogs,” Izzy snapped as she picked up her bag from the footwell.
Fae swallowed hard. She hoped Rhodri Morgan would be the kind of man who was susceptible to feminine charm. In her mind she’d pictured a stooped, elderly antiquarian who, on meeting her, would instantly change his mind and grant her free access to film the castle and its secrets.
The baying grew louder when Fae opened the car door. The next thing she knew, she was pinned to the side of the Mini by the biggest dog she’d ever seen in her life. A large paw was planted on each side of her shoulders as the dog breathed stale meat-breath in her face.
She twisted her head to the side and saw an archway of light appear on the far side of the courtyard.
“Help!”
Izzy and Flash remained in the car, round-eyed and open-mouthed with shock.
“Nice doggy.”
The hound responded with a lick down her face, covering her with drool. She heard the sound of footsteps crunching across the yard in the darkness.
“Down, Fang.” A firm male voice with a hint of accent came out of the mist. A shape loomed out of the darkness illuminated by a storm lantern. A large man’s shape.

© Copyright Nell Dixon 2006 From Darkness anthology
available from http://www.bygracepublishing.com
and http://www.fictionwise.com

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Party hardy

I promised Boo, my almost 10 year old I'd take her and a couple of friends to the pictures and then to Pizza Hut for her birthday next Sunday. Now on paper this seemed a great plan, what could be simpler? Loads of films out for kids, right?
Er, well no. There are films out now but they all finish on the 13th or the 16th. The Christmassy films don't start till December. Result - complete absence of kid friendly films over her birthday - sigh.
So we went today and saw Hoodwinked - which was very funny - and ate our body weight in pizza.
The net has been rubbish now for a week, very slow and then not up at all. Writing wise I have 1k to go on c9 then it's the last chapter of Dangerous to Know. I'm running behind but it's been a busy week.
I heard from a researcher too this week, apparantly she read on here about my tinsel allergy. At least she didn't crack tinsel jokes lol.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thurzzzday

5K to go on Dangerous to know, I fully intended to write tonight but I'm struggling to stay awake. Work is still being a PITA but I won't bore you all with a whinge.
Instead I'll tell you about my ebay experience. Last year I won a vacuum cleaner in a raffle at my daughters dance school. I've never used it as it's really meant for a workshop or car valet type work. So I decided after falling over the box yet again that I'd put it on ebay. Now as you all know I am so pushed for time and so plain knackered I didn't want to post it - it's a big box - so I put local collection only.
Simple, huh? Except apparantly - No.
I have been asked to post it to Lancashire, Yorkshire, and the one which really stumped me - Norway!!!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

And the winner is....

Drumroll please...

Making Waves - thanks to everyone who came up with ideas. It really helped and it was so nice to hear from everyone. Bamabelle, please drop me an email to helen@nelldixon.com with your snail addy and I'll sort out something nice to send you :)
I finished c8 of Dangerous to Know and I'm onto chapter 9. I'm also 500 words into Making Waves (formerly LOTR ggg) Cassidy and Josh are about to get a big surprise!

Work is still being a PITA but I've decided my boss gets paid way more than me so I'm just going to smile sweetly, say no and give out her name and phone number when all these people try giving me more stuff to do that really isn't my field. I am not a social worker, I am not a doctor, I am not a paediatric nurse, geriatric nurse or psychologist.
I am also not superwoman - I know I shattered a few illusions there, but trust me, I'm really not, and if things don't get dealt with then I'm going to be ill and my health isn't terrific at the best of times.
I feel bad that some of my clients are not going to get a service but I can't run such a big caseload over such a big area without making cuts. So to ensure the most vulnerable get care I've had to bite the bullet.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Any More?

Last chance today to come up with a title for my beach read, (scroll down to see the earlier post) Some good suggestions so far but none that feel quite right. I will give out a prize for the best suggestion though.

This weekend has been taken up with fireworks and dance exams. La has tap and ballet exams and the other two belles have ballet exams. Naturally they are all at different times, so by the time they'd done lessons yesterday and I'm done schlepping them around today my writing time will have been eroded.

I'm halfway through chapter 8 of Dangerous to Know and I've done a little bit more on the waiting for a better named beach read.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Tag!

Christina has tagged me, I'm supposed to reveal five things about myself which you may not have known before. It's supposed to be grist to the writers mill as explained in the note at the bottom of the post.

1. I'm a qualified Start-rite shoe fitter. I did the course when I was sixteen and working as a Saturday girl in a shoe shop. Comes in very handy when the kids need new shoes.

2. I love Blake's Seven, which was a really naff sci-fi series in the early eighties. I fell in love with Paul Darrow who played Avon. The arch villain was played by Jacqueline Pearce who tried to take over the galaxy every week wearing a different chiffon evening frock. Alas, she too was in love with Avon who thwarted her plans week after week.

3. I owned every Agatha Christie book she wrote and some of her romances. She wrote six romances in total and even a childs story book on ancient Eygypt.

4. I met the Duke of Edinburgh when I was fifteen and my picture was in the local paper. He arrived by helicopter at the local playing fields where we were all doing these little demonstration things for him. I was demonstrating first aid with my friend, Elaine. He was grumpy and disinterested and we weren't very impressed.

5. I am allergic to all kinds of really silly things but by far the most ridiculous is Tinsel. Yes, I'm allergic to the shiny gold and silver stuff you put on Christmas trees. (Please, no tinsellitis jokes!) I only have to touch the stuff and my skin comes up in itchy red hives.

A note from Sharon, the creator of People Collection posts: "PLEASE LEAVE THE FOLLOWING IN ALL ‘PEOPLE COLLECTION’ POSTS:Remember that it isn’t always the sensational stuff that writers are looking for, it can just as easily be something that you take for granted like having raised twins or knowing how to grow beetroot. Mind you, if you know how to fly a helicopter or have worked as a film extra, do feel free to let the rest of us know about it :-)"

So now you know - I tag Jessica and Lis!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Blog contest and runes...

Okay, I admit defeat, my mind refuses to come up with a title for my beach read story. So help me out. Come up with a title that is better than my dorky working one of 'Love on the Rocks' and I'll send you a prize. To help you out here's the blurb:

Cassidy Jones needs a holiday and the free loan of her friend, Tammy’s cottage in the small surf town of New Bay sounds perfect.
Battered and bruised from losing her job and her fiancĂ©, Cassidy’s looking forward to some time alone to regroup and recover her confidence.
Josh Parker is also looking forward to a much needed break. Since he set up his on-line consultancy business eighteen month’s earlier he hasn’t taken a holiday. His friend Tammy’s cottage will be an ideal venue for much needed R and R.
The fly in the suncream? Tammy forgot to tell Cassidy and Josh they would have to share.

I'll keep this open till next Sunday - leave your ideas in the comments trail.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about the Runes - my friend Joanna, who has a great book out on Amazon at the moment on reading runes drew a rune for me last night. Now some of you might remember she did this last year when I asked if I would be published.
This year I asked if I would ever sell to M&B. She drew a great rune which said I had to wait for my hard work to mature and a project from last year would come to fruition with great success. Mmmm, here's hoping she's right!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

News and a spooky contest.

First, my news. Remember I had a secret submission that I was waiting to hear back on? Well, today I heard that Samhain want to buy Marrying Max as an e book! Yay!!!!! I am so pleased.
Now the new contest Jessica and I are running.

‘Tis the season of Halloween, and to celebrate this auspicious time of spirits and spookiness, you could win two – yes, two! – signed books, From Darkness: An Anthology featuring Nell Dixon and Haunted Hearts by Jessica Raymond. Your prize parcel will also include pens, notepads, fridge magnets, bookmarks and some spooky candy!


Cue Me In, a novella by Nell Dixon, features in From Darkness, a spooky anthology published by By Grace Publishing.
Fae Heath wants to be on TV, but not just in any show. She wants to become one of the presenters on Ghost UK, the leading show on supposed paranormal activity. With the reluctant help of her sister Izzy she intends to win the TV company’s competition to find a new presenter. Tall, slim, blonde and with a fabulous pair of kick-ass leather boots, how can she fail?
Haunted Hearts by Jessica Raymond is a romance novel with paranormal elements, published by Moonlit Romance. When Beth Albright comes to Hoblington Grange to perform a paranormal investigation, she is blissfully unaware that her client is Sam Aston-Wilkes, her first love. In the gathering storm that greets her, the house she has come to examine seems almost alive, and the terrible pressure only grows when Sam reveals the heartbreaking truth about why he broke up with Beth. He seems determined to protect her by any means, even if he can't protect himself, yet she still just wants to solve his problems. Beth's doubts about whether she can fix the shattered heart of the man she never stopped loving begin to increase as the forces of the Grange, both past and present, close ranks to influence Sam and Beth's destiny. Will they make it through the storm, or, as those before them, will their love be doomed to fail?

To be in with a chance of winning this spooktacular prize, just answer the following question:
What car does Fae drive? (check the excerpt on my website for the answer)
Send your answer to mail@jessica-raymond.com, including the following details.
ANSWER
NAME
MAILING ADDRESS
EMAIL ADDRESS
HOW DID YOU FIND US?
Plus, go to http://www.jessica-raymond.com and answer her question to gain an extra entry into the contest.
Good luck – and Happy Halloween!
Contest closes November 25th

Monday, October 23, 2006

Proof-reading and other woes

Finished proof reading the print galleys for Things to Do. Due to the formatting problems it took 9 hours and I have 23 pages of corrections. But, it will be available in print from December 19th so if you're in the US or Canada and would like to preorder it, here is the ISBN 1-59998-285-4. (I hope!) Things To Do should be available at Borders and Barnes and Noble (fingers crossed) and hopefully, Amazon.
From Darkness should be released this Friday from By Grace publishing. Fingers are firmly crossed for no more technical glitches.
Now I just need to push on with Dangerous to Know. 10k left to do. I also need to come up with a good title for my beach read book - The one I'm using at the moment is dreadful. Mmm, I might have a contest on my blog this weekend if I'm still struggling.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Whoo-hoo

Jessica's book is now available! Haunted Heart's is a wonderful book by my very talented cp Jessica Raymond. Available now from http://www.moonlitromance.com Go and get your copy!

Also going on this weekend is a free workshop:
Unique Enterprises Writers' WorkshopUnique Enterprises, parent company of By Grace Publishing and Moonlit Romance, is proud to present our Writers' Workshop interactive website. We will be offering workshops on writing romance on a quarterly basis.Our first workshop will start Friday, October 20, 2006, and will conclude on Sunday, October 22, 2006. Our topics for this inaugural workshop are self-editing, writing techniques and characterization.The site of our workshop is http://ueworkshop.wetpaint.com/. Wet Paint websites are designed to be interactive websites, but you must be a registered user with Wet Paint. You may sign up to be a registered user by going to the website given above and click on "join this community" in the page toolbox located in the upper right part of the site.This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the craft of writing, get your work before Unique Enterprises editors and network with other authors of romance.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Achieving a dream

When I started writing seriously again, three years ago after a ten year break I had a list of ambitions.
To be published.
To write for Peoples Friend and Mills and Boon.
To have a review in the Romantic Times.
To be on a best seller list.
To walk into the Asda where I worked and see my book on the shelf.
At the time I had no idea if I would ever achieve any of these, they were just dreams...
I've achieved some of them, others I'm still working towards. I've seen one of my books on sale at Asda, I've been published and sold to Peoples Friend. This weekend I'm a step closer to another one on the list, seeing a review for Things to Do in the Romantic Times. Thanks to two wonderful people (Tiana and Jean Marie) Hopefully Things to Do should be reviewed in the March edition. To say I am terrified and excited all at the same time is a huge understatement. It's like being on a rollercoaster when you've been cranked up the slope and are poised ready for the first exhilerating drop.
I have the print proofs to read for Things to Do this weekend and a new print date of December 19th. Eek!!
Now about those other ambitions......

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Shoe success

I took my Mother-in-law out tonight to a shoe party at my Mom's chapel. It was in aid of McMillan nurses so it was for a good cause. By some miracle I won the door prize, I never usually win things, ever. So my middle belle, Boo, will be taking some very cute and expensive slippers to camp with her this weekend.
I also heard from Laura, my Moonlit editor on the partial for Dangerous to Know and I need to get that finished up as she really loved it. Yay!!!!! I had a big surprise when I came home and discovered I was the featured author over at the Moonlit blog. The blurb is up for my January release, Be My Hero. This was the book that made me cry when I wrote it. Nathalie has to make some hard decisions and her happy ever after has a bitter-sweet edge.
Here's the blurb.

Nathalie Mayer is thirty-four. On the surface she is an attractive, happy, single, successful woman running her own bridal business. Despite her line of work and her obvious delight in other people’s weddings, including that of her twin brother, Nate. Nathalie has always declared that a settled relationship is not for her. There has only ever been one man whom Nathalie felt she could love.
Evan Davies is back in town after a six year absence. Last time he was here, he and Nathalie had tentatively begun to take their friendship to a different level. Now he’s home again and has the reason for his sudden departure from six years ago with him - his daughter, Polly.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Half-term

I can't believe it will be half-term on Friday. After that the pre-Christmas madness will descend on everyone. I hope to use my Flylady planner, like last year where you follow Fly Lady's steps to 'cruise' through the holidays. I've used it the last two years and it works brilliantly for me. I intend to simplify my gift giving this year as I haven't any free time for shopping, plus I'm finding mentoring a colleague, teaching a student nurse, running my own caseload and absorbing another half-time caseload rather tiring.
The belles have dance exams coming up soon too, My eldest is en pointe for ballet for the first time.
If anyone has good gift ideas for people who have everything they want please feel free to share, I could use some inspiration.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Ups and Downs

Today has been one of those up and down days. On the down side, due to my inability to access my bank account, no cashpoint card means I can't check my balance, can't bank on the net as it needs a number password and now I can't phone bank because of the number to dial, acct number etc that you have to tap in, I had a nice chat with a human bank person today. Hi Karen, if you read this.
On the upside Karen has managed to sort out sending me a weekly statement and saved me £16 per month.
I heard from Crissy at Samhain that Things to Do may be slightly delayed going into print due to a technical glitch.
On the upside, I should get my readers fees from the RNA which will help a touch with my cashflow problems.
Also on the upside I now have 150 newsletter subscribers.

I'm also launching a special offer for my readers - if anyone's purchasing Things To Do, either as a gift for someone or as a treat for themselves before Christmas drop me a line at helen@nelldixon.com and I'll send you a little bag of goodies, pen, magnet, postcards, so you can make your gift extra special.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

When I grow up

I want to be Jenny Crusie or Jessica Hart. I read Jessica Hart's latest book in the newly revamped M&B romance line, Business arrangement bride. I made the mistake of starting to read it at quarter to midnight, I should know by now this is not a good idea. Of course I couldn't put it down till I'd finished it, at twenty past one. I loved the story, great premise of an older hero and heroine. I love that her people are so real, the heroine isn't skinny or beautiful, the hero has character rather than good looks.
It also, as usual gave me the light bulb moment I needed with Dangerous to Know as it tied in to the great discussion on eharlequin about plotters vs pantsers where something my friend Michelle Styles had said had given me another of those ah ha moments. It was all to do with external plot and emotional conflict.
I can see both Dangerous to Know and my planned Beach Read much more clearly this morning.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bat's

I have amazing friends. One particular group of friends are the Bat's from eharlequin's Bat cave. These are the most amazing and talented group of people. I count myself very lucky to have them amongst my friends.
I was stuck earlier tonight trying to figure out how I could get a copy of Things to Do printed, bound and in the hands of the Samhain author co-ordinating the arc's for Romantic Times by Oct 27th.
Thanks to the bats I think I have the solution.
Today hasn't been a great day workwise, I have some clients with major problems and my job gets more untenable every day. I don't even know if health visiting will still exist in a years time it's that bad. The proposals for the new structures came out today, all chiefs and no indians. I think everyone except me will have the word 'director' somewhere on their badge by Christmas. I worry about my clients and my babies when the service is being cut even further. Tomorrow is yet another meeting, I figure I might be unemployed by summer.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dangerous to Know

Jerome is a real bad lad and is the elder bother of Nate and Nathalie from Be My Hero and The Cinderella Substitute. Here's an unedited snippet of the story so far and you can judge for yourselves what he's like!
Remember at this part of the story they're camping in the lake district for a wildlife photography shoot.

A stiff breeze blew across the clearing, making the canvas of the tents flap against the poles.
“We should move inside.” A raindrop splashed down on to the ground as he spoke.
Gemma picked up the biscuits and her mug.
“Come inside my tent.”
She paused and raised an eyebrow. “That’s not much of a line.”
“I’ve a pack of cards. They’ll while away the time.” He ducked inside his tent and scooted towards the back to make room for her.
She’d just joined him when the clouds burst and the rain began to beat down in torrents on to the canvas.
“I think ‘I’ve got a pack of cards’ is on a par with ‘come up and see my etchings’.”
The soft, spicy aroma of her perfume tantalised him as she eased closer in the confined space.
“You think I’m losing my touch?” He watched the fine pulse in her neck flutter.
“Any touching and I’m going in my own tent.” Her words were brave but her voice sounded breathy. Jerome allowed himself to imagine touching Gemma, of snuggling down with her on the puffy softness of his sleeping bag.
“I’ll get the cards.” He shuffled around to get them, glad of the excuse to avoid her gaze for a moment. He suspected she might well have guessed what he had been thinking if she’d looked him in the eyes right then.
(c) Nell Dixon 2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Wine

Had a lovely time at Phillipa's launch party last night in a wonderful underground wine cellar. Yummy food and lovely drinks. It was great to see Jess and her other half and to share a wonderful time with Pip. I now have my signed copy of Decent Exposure settled on my growing TBR pile. I also have Jessica Hart's Business arrangement Bride, did I mention that when I grow up I want to be Jessica Hart or Jenny Crusie? ggg I think that might be my treat read tonight. Just need to get a nice big bag of Malteasers and my wine nice and cold and I'm all set.
I really need to get more done on Dangerous to Know - I've left my luckless couple on a wet mountainside with someone shooting at them.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Ok, I know I'm a sad and addicted person but Bryan Adams has friended me on my space. I realise he has a gazillion other equally besotted fans and it's not like we're going out to dinner friends, or calling at the pub for a beer friends but - sigh, it's made me a really happy woman tonight. Posted by Picasa

Bichoking

Still no news on Charlie Darling but I've pretty well done polishing, at least for the moment. I'm working on Dangerous to Know as Laura said just to write it and send it to her - yay! I've scribbled down the opening scene for my beach read which has the tentative title Love on The Rocks. My plan is to finish Dangerous to Know and Love on the Rocks by Christmas. Then in the new year I can carry on with Places to Go.
This is the plan - but you know how good I am at getting side-tracked.
This Saturday I'm meeting Jessica at the book launch of another friend's book in Lichfield.
Phillipa Ashley's Decent Exposure is out now from Little Black Dress, so we're planning to help her celebrate!

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I think this is a pic of the new James Bond. Jessica thinks he looks like Evan, the hero of Charlie Darling in this pic.  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Contest

Fall in love with all things English. To celebrate our wonderful English set anthology, Nell Dixon and Jessica Raymond are holding a contest. You could win a hamper of goodies, including a signed print copy of The Fall in Love anthology, chocolate, English tea and a host of surprises. Visit http://www.nelldixon.com and http://www.jessica-raymond.com and answer our questions to be in with a chance to win.
Contest ends on the 20th of October.

Have fun and good luck!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Knickers

Those of you who know me well will remember that when I'm stressed or depressed I resort to the comfort buying of consumer goods. For some women this is shoes, or bags, or perfume, or lipstick, or chocolate.
I buy lingerie. The last time my husband complained about me comandeering all the bedroom drawers for my stash I checked out my addiction and discovered I had 140 pairs of knickers. This didn't include the new, still tagged stuff in my other cupboard.
What can I say? I suppose a psychiatrist would have a field day, but then again they probably would have that with me anyway. Still, it tells you something about my stress levels when I tell you I went shopping again yesterday and guess what I bought?
I'm claiming this as research - the first scene for my new planned beach read book involves the hero and lots of ladies underwear!
In some good news I got a letter from the taxman - I get some money back!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Guestblogging across the universe

Well at the Pink Heart Society blog. Jessica, Rebecca and I are talking about winning the Fall in Love contest and we have some tips and hints for anyone thinking of entering a writing contest. Come over and join us! http://www.pinkheartsociety.blogspot.com

Monday, September 25, 2006

More polish

Congratulations to Jessica Raymond, my wonderful cp on her sale and imminent release of her brilliant book Haunted Hearts. Moonlit Romance will be releasing it on October 6th. For details of her call story visit her blog.
I'm still polishing Charlie Darling. I think it's already reading much more fluidly. I haven't heard anything yet but to quote my grandmother:
Patience is a virtue,
posess it if you can,
it's often found in women
and seldom in a man.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Author Day

I have an author day today 1-5 est, 6-11 gmt at http://www.lovesromancescafe this is a yahoo group. If anyone is heading that way I'd love to see you.
BTW a certain author has big news breaking on her blog later today http://jessicaraymond.blogspot.com
Have a great Sunday! Next week is a busy week for me as my colleague of the last 11 years leaves on Friday.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Coffee and writing

As most of you know I am a coffee addict. I don't have blood in my veins, just neat caffeine instead. So today I got to combine my coffee addiction with meeting up with Allison Littlehales for one of our irregular get togethers. It's always wonderful to talk about writing with another writer and we spent a happy few hours eating, drinking and talking.
Last night I got to talk to my lovely Moonlit editor, Laura, on i.m and somehow I seem to have sold her an idea for a project that Jessica Raymond and I had been planning together. So then I had to call Jessica and break the news that I'd roped her in for writing a duet with me for a summer beach read book.
I think once she'd recovered from the shock that she took it quite well.
Fall in Love is now available in print!!! Yay! http://www.moonlitromance.com

My first release from By Grace will be out in October. Called From Darkness, it's a duet with Sheila Holloway and features a welsh castle, a ghost and lots of bumps in the night.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Polish

I did my first read through tonight of Charlie Darling. I've let it sit for over a week so I could look at it objectively. I added 300 words tonight just on my first pass through, expanding a few things, removing some minor anomalies and smoothing a couple of lumpy transitions. I love the story, Juliet and Neil are a great couple and I'm happy with the basics, whether it's medical enough, I'm not sure. It reflects real life at a surgery. I know that, I'm a health visitor, I see it and live it every day but I don't know, because I'm not a good judge of my own work, if it's what the line would feel works for them. It's real and authentic but.....
I know, Michelle and Anna's crows of doubt are busy pecking on my front lawn.

More polishing and depth coming up.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Fall in Love is out! E book version is up at $3 per download. Paperback details will be through soon. Posted by Picasa
Here's the blurb!
Fall in LoveSeptember Song by Nell Dixon
Erin came to New Bay on her year out from college, keen to experience the lifestyle of a vibrant seaside town famous for its surf and its surfers. Attractive and fun-loving, Erin doesn’t expect to be left with a very expensive spare ticket to the hottest concert in town.
Her boss Kelly’s solution is to recruit Dan to take the ticket off Erin’s hands and to escort her to the concert. Ex-champion surfer Dan soon accepts the offer. But why would Erin want to go on an enforced date with the geekiest looking guy in New Bay? And why doesn’t Dan surf?
Autumn Splendor by Rebecca Ruger
What happens when an artless little country miss meets an infamous rake from London? Folklore tells Isabelle Covington that the circumstance of their meeting means this man will be her mate. Christian Noble, the Earl of Somersby, presumes nothing more than a dalliance while visiting in the country.
But something funny happened in the little hamlet of Sudbury and the earl finds himself beginning to believe what Isabelle and her legends are telling him... that this must be love.
The Little Shop of Dreams by Jessica Raymond
Tess Worthington has finally achieved her dream of opening a gift shop in an Oxford shopping centre despite emotional struggles and debts, so when the handsome stranger she’s noticed around the mall asks her out, her happiness seems complete. Property consultant Mack Brady falls hard for Tess the more time they spend together, and after a magical Halloween celebration, he just knows she’s The One.
But when the property deal Mack is brokering at the mall turns sour, Tess fears that not only has the man she’s just fallen in love with broken her heart, but he might also have taken her dreams—Little Shop and all.
avaolable from http://www.moonlitromance.com

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Jessica and I were talking about hero inspiration so here's my favorite pic of Bryan Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sale stories

The only thing that feels as good as selling a book yourself is when someone you know sells theirs. Huge congratulations to Michelle Willingham who sold her hunky irish warrior book to Mills and Boon historicals yesterday. I've followed Michelle's epic struggle towards publication through subcare at eharlequin and vicariously through my other hopefully, soon to be published historical writer friend Allison Littlehales.
Michelle's story is a testimony to hard work and courage. She's holding a celebration over at her blog, go over and congratulate her. http://www.michellewillingham.com/blog

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Blimey!

Things to Do got another review - this time from Ecataromance.com Wow! I am just stunned.
I got five stars! and the reviewer said:

you think that all stories are alike? That nothing new can impress you? Well, you HAVE to read Things To Do!

Ms. Dixon has written a story that can be compared to Bridget Jones and Devil wears Prada without fears. I absolutely loved the strong characters of her story, loved their flaws and their qualities! Wait until you meet Rob or Gilly and Robbie, Mr. G, her boss and Fiona, her sister! Each character has is own life and Ms. Dixon penned their story in a unique way. The story can be read in one evening but you will want more!

I'm gobsmacked!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Blog links.

I'm working on updating my links as you may have noticed. So if you visit me regularly and have a blog, give me your link and I'll add you if I've missed you off. I'm also going to be adding some more website links on my website. If you want your website on there and it isn't there already then email me at helen@nelldixon.com
Much as I love my friends that write the really hot stuff, I can't add you to my website but if you blog and visit me then I can add you to the blog links. (My daughters visit my website and I know my eldest belle has showed my site to her R.E teacher)
I'm back working on Dangerous to Know. Hopefully I'll complete the partial by the start of next week. Then I intend to reread and polish Charlie Darling.
BTW Did I mention Fall in Love is out soon from http://www.moonlitromance.com ?

Monday, September 11, 2006

A review for Things To Do

Appearing on Sept 25th in Romance Reviews today:

THINGS TO DO - Nell DixonSamhain Publishing - www.samhainpublishing.comISBN: 1-59998-136-XSeptember 2006Romantic Comedy/ SuspenseLondon, England - Present DayMarry in haste, repent at leisure. It's an old saying, but boy does it resonate with Emma Morgan, who impulsively and secretly married Marco, a bartender she met while working abroad in Antigua. Quickly coming to her senses, helped along by finding Marco in bed with another woman not too long after the wedding, Emma leaves him and returns to London.In high school, Emma's career desire, dismissed by her counselor, was to be an international spy. Working in a travel agency doesn't quite live up to the goal, but after returning from Antigua, Emma still hasn't quite figured out what she wants to do with her future. But life has a way of throwing curves when you least expect it, and Emma soon finds herself awash in complications as her sister is jilted, her boss starts dating her mother, and a pampered pooch gets dog-napped.
Emma's Things To Do: Wax legs Lose weight Oh, yeah, tell family about Marco
Bridget Jones meets Dangermouse in Nell Dixon's THINGS TO DO. From the night her estranged husband reappears in her life, Emma Morgan is on a roller coaster ride she can't seem to get off. British humor abounds in this entertaining tale of a young woman dealing with life's ups and downs. While Emma is the core around which the plot is centered, it is her wacky family and friends, and the situations they embroil Emma in, that give the story depth. From her sister's charity event where Emma agrees to squeeze into a small fairy costume to following her husband to see what he's up to, Emma is up to some interesting hi-jinks, whilst always improperly shod.Check out THINGS TO DO for a very Bridget Jones-like romance.
Kathy Samuels
Romance Reviews Today

Lots of people mention Bridget Jones but the funny thing is I've never read the book and only seen about half of the film -(It has Hugh Grant in and I don't like him)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Highs and Lows

Charlie Darling is finished! Yay, I just typed The End and sent the last chapter to Jessica. I'm about 1k under the word count but when I edit and polish and layer in some more emotion and description in a few places that'll soon work itself out. I'm just so happy it's done. If M&B do want it I can have it ready quite quickly and if they don't it'll be winging it's way to other places.
The low part of this means I can't put off the dreaded tax returns any longer. Be prepared for much moaning and gnashing of teeth as I try to navigate the forms once again. Hopefully I'll be able to afford an accountant by next year. I'd hoped it would be this year but it wasn't to be so the inland revenue will have to try to make sense of my wonderful math skills once more.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

All-clear!

My mom got good news today - her cancer is in remission. Many thanks to all of you who have been supporting me through this, I can't tell you what it's meant to me knowing you guys were out there.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Thanks to Jessica for sharing the news that the BBC are to start showing the original Dangermouse cartoons again. As you know Things to Do features Dangermouse. Here is a picture of Silas Greenback aka in Things to Do as Emma's boss, Ian Grebe. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 04, 2006

Something's coming

Today has a very strange feel to it. The feeling you get before a storm, I don't know what it is but it's very unsettling. I woke, like everyone did this morning to the news of Steve Irwin - The Crocodile Hunter's death. I feel so terribly sad for two children who will grow up without their father . Also for Terry, his wife. The world will be a greyer, duller place without him.
My Mom is due to go back to Liverpool this Thursday to see the professor treating her retinal cancer. Please keep her in your thoughts that we get good news.
The Belles go back to school tomorrow, this is a mixed blessing as it means dance classes start up again, eating into my precious weekends, Brownies and Guides are back too, so Mom's taxi will be shuttling about the place once again.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Aftermath

The belles arrived home a little while ago so I got them to draw the comment trail door prize winners from yesterday.
Barbara - aka Hotbat and Guanna! You both won. Let me know your snail mail addys and I'll send you your prizes. If you'd prefer a gift cert for Samhain let me know.
Today I've finished my first round edits for Cue Me In, this is a fun spooky story for By Grace publishing. It'll be out in October in the From Darkness anthology. It has a Welsh castle, a howling hound and a ghostly green lady.
Next stop is to finish Charlie Darling, I'm halfway through the last chapter and I know where I need to go back and what needs to go in to complete the story. I had one of those writerly revelations this morning while I was buying veg at the farm for Sunday lunch.
My fingers and toes are crossed that I'll get good news on the partial from M&B, especially as I had a great idea for another book. Oh, and a fabulous title for a story. Now, if someone would just invent a 36 hour day....

Saturday, September 02, 2006

coffee, orange kitkats and a winner

Thank you to everyone who's taken the trouble to drop by and post today, it's been fantastic! I loved the comments, and thank you to everyone who entered the contest for the Samhain gift certificate - the winner is.....
Julie aka Tilly - drop me a line with your email addy and I'll sort that out for you.
I'll draw the comment trail door prizes tomorrow so anyone coming late gets a chance to win something. I have some really nice door prizes!
Thank you for a day to remember! xxxxx

Party Contest, anyone?

This dreadful photo was taken a few weeks ago on a boat, not as glamerous as the one in Things to Do. So, how about a contest? Prize will be a gift certificate for Samhain, naturally, it would be lovely if the winner spent it on Things to Do, but, choice will be theirs!
I'll keep it simple, what cartoon character is mentioned in the blurb for Things to Do? email me at helen@nelldixon.com I'll draw a winner at 9 pm tonight GMT which is I think about 4pm EST
And I'll post another excerpt. Posted by Picasa

Time to mingle and an excerpt

I'll let my belles, La, Boo and Shaggy show you all around. Here's a small taster from Things to Do. This bit really gives a big clue to Emma, the heroines, personality. Posted by Picasa

Let's get the party started!

H and welcome to my blog open house party to celebrate the release of Things to Do. http://www.samhainpublishing.com I'm Nell and the little chap on the book cover is Robbie the dog. The party will be rolling all day and if you've not been to one of these before here's how it works - I'll be putting up excerpts, information about the book throughout the day. Drop by, leave comments, and at the end of the day I'll be picking random numbers from the comment trails for door prizes and I may have a quickie contest question for a Samhain gift certificate too!
Who knows you may even want to buy the book!!! ggg
For now though introduce yourself, tell me if you're a reader, writer, both and your favourite ever book and I'll be back with the drinks and food. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 01, 2006

Party!

Today is a party at http://www.pinkheartsociety.blogspot.com Spot prizes, excerpts, the chance to become a reviewer. If you love category romance then come by and join in the fun! Never tried it? Then you're missing out, there's something for everyone.

Tomorrow you're all invited to another party - here on my blog. To celebrate the release of Things to Do there'll be excerpts, prizes, and fun all day, so drop by tomorrow!

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Things to Do is available from http://www.samhainpublishing.com at a bargain$4.95 Go buy my book!!!! Excerpts available at the Samhain site and my website Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Passing the parenthood baton

I'm home, Dave is staying with the belles for the next few days while I'm at work and sorting out all the things ready for the new term.
I also need to steam clean my three piece suite before my friend needs her steam cleaner back! I just started the last chapter of Charlie Darling, hopefully I'll get that finished soon and then begins the big edit and polish while I wait to hear if M&B want to see more. I also need to get on writing Places to Go and Dangerous to Know, plus my editor just called for my spooky novella that's due out in October for By Grace.

Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm off again

Not very far only to Worcester. I'm taking the girls for a few days of girly things before school hits us again - whenever that is - I'm still not sure. Chapter eight is done on Charlie Darling and we're heading for the home stretch. My word count is coming up short but I always underwrite so I have lots of wriggle room when I edit it all and make some sense of it hopefully.
Another colleague gave her notice this week so I'm starting to feel like an endangered species. If you haven't bought Sela Carsen's book, Not quite Dead. Why not? It's a really good read and no Sela, I'm not just saying that because your my friend and I lubs ya! Go to My book store and more at the Samhain site, there is a huge sale and special offers on all kinds of books, print and e books, there are prizes to win and a draw for an e book reader. Go take a look and remember Things to Do is out on Tuesday - eek!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My book shop and more.

The book shop is back up at the Samhain site, it's now apparantly much better and faster. Several of my bat friends have books out this week so why not head over and check them out, you won't be disappointed. Look for Meg Allison, Sela Carsen and Amelia Elias.
I'm getting nervous now as Things to Do makes it's debut on the 29th of this month. So far I've no reviews so I just hope people will like the very English humour in the book. As soon as I know about a review I'll give you all a shout - assuming it's any good that is.
Charlie Darling continues apace, 16k to go, half way through chapter eight. I got my chapters back from Jessica so I've edited and incorporated her suggestions. I finished my NWS Crit but I want to let it sit for a day and read it cold so that I can be certain it's as it should be before I post it off.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Still writing!

I just finished chapter seven of Charlie Darling, 18k to go. I know I'll need to go back and rewrite some chunks when I edit, but the plot is working and the middle of the book is holding up nicely. I think I'll need to look more deeply into the medical content and make sure there's enough there but I'm fairly happy with how it's going.
Thanks to everyone who's been so supportive as I've whinged and angsted my way through this.
I'm getting the belles stuff ready to go back to school. They all have new shoes, haircuts, and uniform. Nit to mention lunch box's and bags. The only slight snag is I'm not sure exactly when they do go back. Neither of the school websites has the details. I have Monday 4th doem for Boo and La but they never usually go back on a Monday so I'm worried I may have that wrong and there's nothing down for Shaggy. Sometimes dyscalcula is a big pain in the neck - guess I'll have to find out from the girls friends when they're supposed to go back. It wouldn't be the first time I've sent them back too soon.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

wooowooowoooowoooo

Cue the spooky music and X-files lighting. Okay, now you know I told you I get premonition dreams? and yes, I know that it's a bit freaky. Well, remember I said the editor who'd opened the letter was called Susan and Michelle said she didn't know of a Susan?
Jo Carr put up a new list of the editors at Mills and Boon today on the eharl board. There's a new name with the initials SH the same as my reference number and her name...... duhduh duuuurm

Suzanne Harding

Okay, are you freaked yet?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

One Book.

Michelle Styles tagged me with this and as I need a break from Charlie here are my thoughts:

1. One book that changed my life: The Nurse. This was a ladybird book I was given as a child and yes I still have it. It influenced me in my career choice, I fell in love with the ‘glamour’ of nursing.
2. One book I have read more than once: In Pleasant Places by Joyce Grenfell. This is an amazing book, it’s really an autobiography of an amazing woman who had a very, understated British courage.
3. One book I would want on a desert island: Assuming I already had the bible (you can keep Shakespeare – I’m not a fan) It would have to be Little Women by Louisa May Allcott. I never tire of this book. It has everything, laughter, tears, love and the ability to transport me to another world. Sometimes I’m Jo, the tomboy, sometimes I’m Meg and falling in love, sometimes Amy or Beth, and then there’s Laurie.
4. One book that made me laugh: Argh, there are so many! But Can you keep a secret by Sophie Kinsella is my top pick.
5. One Book that made me cry: I cry at loads of books, I am a real soft heart. But it has to be Susanne’s diary for Nicholas by James Patterson. If you need a masterclass on emotion then read this book, I defy you not to cry.
6. One book I wish I’d written: This is hard, I think it would have to be The Bridesmaids reward by Liz Fielding because she and Jessica Hart are the kind of writer I aspire to be and I loved this book to bits.
7. One Book I wish had never been written: This was hard, Lord of the Flies was bad, The Old man and the sea, Animal Farm, I hated all of those but I’ll go for The Andrew Morton biography of Princess Diana. This caused a lot of pain to many people and was a blatant attempt to cash in on sorrow with no thought for the consequences.
8. One book I am currently reading: Manhunt by Jennie Crusie, it’s wonderful, go buy it.
9. One book I have been meaning to read: Inkheart by an author whose name I can’t spell. My daughter beat me to it so I have to wait my turn but it looks good.
Now to tag – Jessica Raymond, Lis and Julie Cohen
I just got my letter from M&B to say Sheila Hodgson has my partial - eek.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wow

I'm 2k into chapter six. I can't believe I've written over 11k since Friday evening. The most amazing thing is I'm fairly happy with what I've written. The last time I wrote something so fast was when I had the request for Marrying Max and I wrote 16k in 3 days. I vowed then I'd never do that again. Oops!
I had a weird dream last night about Charlie Darling. I dreamed an editor called Susan at M&B had the submission and was debating whether to ask for the full. Is there a Susan at M&B??? I don't know of one. I worried a bit about it because I do get premonition dreams but I'm not convinced this was one of them.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Going with the flow

Completed chapter five and I'm onto chapter six. Whoo hoo! That means I'm half way through the first draft which is great! I know I'll have to add some more layers in and some description but at least the bones of the story are there.
The best news though is that my friend's little grandson is starting to recover from his accident.
p.s. My foot is recovering too! I can get my shoe on now.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

When it's good.

Sometimes a story just flows, pours out of my fingers and onto the paper. I struggle to keep up with the pictures in my head and if forced to take a break I drive everyone nuts till I'm back on my laptop and in my own little world. Other times a scene will flow so slowly I'll do anything rather than write. I'll play spider solitaire, flit around the boards, tidy my files, anything.
But when the magic happens there's no other feeling quite like it, I'll read back what I've written and be amazed that it came from my head and my hands.
Charlie Darling is turning into one of those magic books at the moment, I just sent Jessica chapter four.
(Next week I'll probably be back playing spider)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Submitting

The first two chapters are shiny, and Jess is casting her expert critting eye over c3. The synopsis is done and I've a new ink cartridge ready for the printer, so with any luck Charlie Darling will be out of the door by Friday.
I've started chapter four and plan to get as much done as I can by the time I hear back one way or the other on Charlie Darling.
Work is still busy as my colleague is on holiday, plus it looks as if I'll be having a student again from the start of October up till Christmas. There are so many problems at work it's hard to know where to begin at the moment. It's not just our trust but nationwide, I've never known staff be so demoralised and fed up as they are at the moment. My job is secure till June 2007 and thats as much as I know.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Things to Do

I'm just about to look at the corrected galleys for Things to Do and I suppose because of events in the last few weeks it's made me feel reflective today.
Things to Do has a very special dedication. I dedicated it to a woman who sadly is no longer here but in my youth she was both my friend and my mentor.
I met Betty Warneck when I was 13 at my local writers group, right from the start we hit it off. She was a woman with immense personality, larger than life and full of energy. She was one of the first people to believe that I could write and she took an interest right up until her death. A writer herself she wanted to publish a book which told the story of her son, Paul, and his battle to overcome spina bifida.
She succeeded. Betty believed you could achieve anything if you applied your talent, were prepared to learn and worked hard.
Things to Do is for her, with love.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Normal service is resumed

I'm settling down a little now after everything thats been going on here over the last few weeks. I'm sure you can guess its not been very easy.
Writing wise I finished chapter three of Charlie Darling and thats now in Jess's in-box along with my re-tweaked versions of c1 and c2. I really appreciate having another pair of eyes looking at my work, Jessica often sees things I don't, did I mention I "heart" my cp?
I've also finished checking the galleys for Things To Do which is out on the 29th of this month. Samhain have jus sent me the corrected version so I can double check that they've made all the fixes (not that there were many)
I'm hoping to submit to Mills and Boon next week and then keep going on Charlie Darling until I hear one way or the other if they are interested. I may also do some more on my other twp projects. Places to Go and Damgerous to know if I get the chance.
I still have the medicals I bought to read. I started Gill Sandersons latest and I'm really enjoying it. I also just finally got chance to read Julie Cohen's Being a bad girl which I absolutely loved! If you haven't read it yet then try and get a copy - it's a modern extra so it's quite hot (I don't want to shock any of my lovely tender/sweet romance readers here by recommending something they might not be expecting!)
For now though back to cleaning out the Belle's wardrobes - a task which is not unlike painting the Forth bridge.
Many thanks for all the comments and emails I recieved following the loss of my grandmother in law, it has been much appreciated.

Friday, July 28, 2006


This is the chair, it's where Agatha Christie used to sit and write her books. She wrote Death on the Nile and many of the Poirot stories whilst sitting here looking at the river Posted by Picasa

Agatha Christie's house, Greenaways, as seen from the Dart Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Postcard

It's very hot and I'm typing this from a shady spot under the awning looking at a beautiful view of the sea. The girls are all at the pool trying out their new floating toys so I'm making the most of the quiet. So far we've visited Paignton zoo and the coast to coast penguin attraction, Totnes Castle and had a river trip along the Dart to see Agatha Christie's home, Greenaways.
I read part of one of the medicals I bought before throwing it down in disgust, it's been a long time since I read anything I hated more. I'm hoping I'll like the other one better - I'm sure I will, it was just that this one had no romance, was entirely from the heroines pov and that was shallower than a puddle. Plus, this woman was a real Jonah, everyone she knew or ever met became ill and usually with something rarer than hens teeth.
I'm still working on Charlie Darling, I've started c3 and tweaked a load of tiny bits in c1 and c2 but where my jitters had started to fade they're back with a vengance.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Five go to Devon

Yep schools out so we're off. I'll be posting occasionally as I get net access. Jessica has c2 of Charlie Darling to look at and groan over. I plan to write c3 and tidy up the synopsis while we're away. Hopefully I'll then be able to polish and send it off to M&B by Mid August. If I can get more done while I'm away I will. Laura, my Moonlit editor was generous enough to look at c1 as I have been having major jitters as Jessica knows over writing this book and she likes it so that made me feel better. I've lots of M&B med romances in the tourer now ready for me to read as research so I'm looking forward to that.
I'll try and put some holiday pics up while we're away - see you all soon.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cool news!

Today I had an offer for Marryong Max from Linford Romance. This means it will be printed in large print and distributed to libraries in the UK, commonwealth and USA.
Many thanks to Michelle Styles who gave me such great info.
I also got my advance from Samhain. It's small but it feels like another little step on the road! Samhain are such a great company to be publishing with, I can't wait to see Things to Do on the shelves.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What I think I learned

Someone asked yesterday what I thought I'd learned from the M&B editors workshop.
Well, what I think I discovered is that I'm doing some things right. I have good character arcs and I can show the growth in my characters as they go on their journey. I also have deep conflicts, not just external plot problems but psychological conflicts which mean my characters have to dig deep onside themselves for their resolution.
Things I need to work on, are making my heroines as strong as my heroes. Something the editors mentioned was that heroes need to be strong, not necessarily ultra alpha but as strongly pertrayed as the heroines.
Now to start chapter two!

Friday, July 14, 2006

And there's more...

The workshops I attended at the conference were as usual both informative and entertaining. Kate Allan gave a wonderfully useful workshop on marketing and I already plan to photocopy her handout before I lose it. Just as soon as I can access the copier (Jess, I haven't forgotten I owe you some info) The Peoples Friend workshop was very informative and although I'm pubbed by them I'd never actually had a formal copy of their guidelines. As their lovely edtor was speaking it dawned on me that when she talked about authors pushing the envelope I had been one of those authors as anyone who reads Marrying Max will discover. Penny Jordan gave a very interesting talk about her work and I could happily have listened for longer. The M&B editors also gave an excellent workshop which helped clarify in my mind the things I'd be doing right and also where I needed to be better. Interestingly, their views coincide perfectly with those of my Moonlit Romance editor. The editor from Triskellion gave a fascinating talk on e publishing and I finally got to see and hold a proper e book reader as they aren't sold here and the company isn't permitted to export them, which is wierd. What else? Oh yes, Jessica Harts wickedly funny workshop and a lady from the US talking about her life as a reader for Warner studios. She was another speaker I could have listened to for a lot longer.
I wish I could have stayed for the Sunday afternoon but as it's Leicester next year I might manage it then.
P.S I've finshed the first chapter of Charlie Darling. Mmmm,

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Part two

The best part for me about the conference is meeting old friends and making new ones. It was lovely to see Julie Cohen and her blossoming baby bump, Anna Lucia, Biddy, who has promised me she will write her teddybear story because I want to read it and I'm so jealous I didn't think of it, Allison who has a request for a full from M&B historicals, Amanda Ashby who I wish I could see more often but she lives too far from me and is planning on moving further. Was it something I said? Melinda Hammond and Kate Walker, Eileen Mason, the lovely Sophie Weston and Jan Jones, Henri from New writers, Fiona Harper who recently sold to M&B tender and Liz. New friends include Ray-Anne who had the misfortune of being roomed in our block, Kate Walker's soul sister, the lovely Michelle Read and the wonderful, I am not worthy, Jessica Hart.
Regular visitors here will know how I rave about Jessica Hart's books (along with Liz Fieldings) It was so fantastic to meet her and attend her very funny workshop. For once too I avoided turning into a gibbering starstruck idiot (unlike when I met my other writing goddess Erica James last year)
I'll post more about the workshops and the gossip as the week goes on but I need to write this medical - I'm halfway through the first chapter and have a synopsis, Michelle!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Conference - part one

Some of you will have heard the rumours that I am about to try my hand at a medical romance. Stop sniggering and saying told you so, Michelle, Pat, Amanda, Jess and Janet.
This is as a result of my chat with the lovely Linda Fildew, senior editor at Mills and Boon. I’m really not at all sure that I can do this let alone write in the style needed for the line. But you know me, I can’t resist a challenge and this last year has seen me writing lots of things which I had previously never thought I’d be able to write.
I’ve also given my word to Michelle Styles that I would write it so I’ve started. Remember Charlie Darling??? Well it’s now going to be a medical, the rough synopsis is done and I’m kicking off on the first page.
Linda told me she was going to tell Sheila, head of the medical line to look out for a partial from me in the next few weeks so if my posts become a little brief you’ll know why.

Monday, July 10, 2006


Many thanks to Janet for this pic! Marrying Max is out - yay and I love the cover, the artist has captured Thea, my heroine, really well. Posted by Picasa