Monday, October 30, 2006


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, including the following details.
Plus, go to 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


Jessica's book is now available! Haunted Heart's is a wonderful book by my very talented cp Jessica Raymond. Available now from 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 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


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 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


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


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


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