Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Fun

Okay, since a few of you wanted to know what yampy meant I think the next few Fridays will be devoted to teaching you all Black Country.
The Black Country dialect is one of the oldest in Europe, it is very similar to old german and the english that was spoken in the middle ages. Many scholars have said that if Chaucer were alive today he would have no trouble communicating in the Black Country. The dialect varies a little from village to village with Darby End and my village of Gornal having the strongest dialects.
Many words still end in -en as in gooen meaning going. The A sound is often pronounced as an O. Man becomes Mon for example. So here are some words and phrases to start you off.
Bin - this is not a receptacle for rubbish but instead means been. So you may be asked 'Where have yow bin?' which means 'Where have you been?'
An answer might be 'Ah've bin ter Brummagem' This means 'I've been to Birmingham.'
A good example of old english words that are still used would be the words Midden or miskin. In anglo saxon it meant a dung heap but was often used to mean rubbish heap. Today it means the outside bin or rubbish as in 'Ah threw it on the midden,'
Next Friday I'll post some more about the Black Country and our dialect with some pictures.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Row, row, row your boat...

It's still raining here. The brooks and pools are full to bursting and many of the lanes are flooded. It makes reaching many of my clients interesting to say the least. We're avoiding the fords at the moment.
My good friend Kate Hardy is holding a party on her blog to celebrate her 25th book for Mills and Boon. Kate writes medicals and Modern extras. Call over if you have chance in the next couple of days and help her celebrate. There are prizes!
Eight weeks now on Charlie and the RNA conference is looming nearer. It would be good to hear one way or the other before then as I know Maddie is going to the RWA conference in America just after that.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The infinite nature of time

It never fails to amaze me how elastic time can be. Waiting for an answer on Charlie time seems slow, dragging. I look at my word count for Blue Remembered Heels and all the work I've done in that same period, 21k written, major edits, galley proofs, three books to promote and time has hurtled past me at a scary speed.
Only four weeks until school breaks up for the summer and then once the holidays are over Christmas planning will begin with hardly time to draw breath in between.
Sometimes I wish I could stop the clock, hold the hour for just that beat longer. My children are growing up so quickly. In September my eldest begins her options year, my middle daughter enters her final year at primary school and my baby will be year five.
Where did that time go?

Friday, June 22, 2007

I've been clever - maybe

Downs and ups

I learned today that I'd clearly made it as a romance writer - yes, it's finally happened, I was reviewed by Mrs Giggles. As I don't write the kind of stories she enjoys I was surprised she'd bought a copy of Marrying Max and much less surprised that she didn't enjoy it.
Oh well, such is life. Now if I find my books on an e book pirate site that will be the topmost accolade.
On the up side I visited Romance Junkie's readers for my daily visit and found my cover of Marrying Max up on their front page. Whoo hoo! I was so surprised and excited.
It's still very, very wet here and many of the country lanes I have to travel as part of my work would be impassible if I didn't have Baby. The garden is very green and jungley at the moment with water dripping off my Magnolia and the wisteria. It gives quite a tropical effect.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Just a note

To say I'm blogging at Kate Walker's blog today. Go and help Kate celebrate her 50th book for HMB. I'll be drawing a winner from the comment trail over there on Friday to win a signed print copy of Things To Do.
Hope over and tell me which book you've read this year that you'd give an award to.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rain, rain go away

We still seem to be having crazy weather. Mr Nell had planned to take the caravan and a couple of the belles away this weekend but has had to change his plans due to the rain. This means that my planned weekend of just me and my middle belle, Boo, have had to be altered. We had an exciting weekend of cleaning and girly shopping in mind.
My toe is a very unlovely shade of yellow and black. At least the swelling has diminished but I'm still hopping around.
Blue Remembered Heels is still going well, the more I can get done the better before my pitch at the conference. No news from M&B.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Marrying Max is out today!

Available from

Winner of the Romance Prize 2007

Mr Right Now meets Ms Forever. Some matches need a lot of work.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Toeing the line

Congratulations to my fabulous cp, Jessica Raymond on the safe arrival of her beautiful baby boy, Charlie, on Saturday!

In other news I think I may have broken my toe. I fell over an empty laundry basket and my fourth toe is now an interesting shade of purple and black. It's also very ouchie when I walk or drive. I'd have gone to A&E but it seemed silly when all they would do is strap it and I'm allergic to tape plus it helps if the toe they strap it to is straight and my toes aren't. I hate my feet!

Marrying Max releases tomorrow from Samhain!!!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

To all the Dads. Especially to my own dh, Mr Nell. He puts up with life with four females in the house. Permanent bathroom occupancy, jewellery and make-up and shoes all over the place. He waits outside Claire's accessories and Monsoon while the girls disappear on shopping missions and helps ferry them to parties, school and after school activities.
So, Happy Father's Day!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Talk to the hand!

It's been that kind of week. I won't bore you with my work woes but just when it seems there's a chink of light in one direction there's a dark pit in the other. I feel as if I'm swimming against a tide. It would be lovely to just tread water for a while but I know if I stop fighting I'll drown.

The weather has been fun here too talking of drowning. Did anyone see the pics of the tornado on the news? That was five miles away from me. Luckily I'd left my temp base and gone back to my other clinic before the storm broke or I might not have made it home. As it was the journey was horrific, lights out, phones dead and two feet of water in places. Thankfully my trusty car, Baby, is a 4X4.

I'm looking forward to the RNA conference in a few weeks time. It will be so lovely to meet up with old friends, make new ones and take part in some great workshops. I have a pitch session booked too with the editor for Little Black Dress - eek! Better write some more of Blue Remembered Heels!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Oh, baby, baby.

Congratulations to Judy Jarvie and her family on the birth of their lovely new baby girl! Esme Kate - gorgeous name - has made her appearance. So, one of the things I was waiting on has arrived! (big grin)
Tonight is weightwatchers again - it'll be interesting to see if I've lost any weight this week. I hope so, I've been very good.
Work is still manic but the end is nigh for my covering the extra work that I've been doing for the past nine months. Yay!!!!!! Just a few more weeks and hopefully I can hand it over.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tum ti tum ti tum

I'm guest-blogging today on the Samhain blog, looking at Sleepers - those books that take a while to hook you in and Keepers, how many of these turn out to be books you can't bear to part with. For some reason it posted twice on there - argh - I find their blog really hard to use for some reason. I don't think it is really, it's just that I'm crap with anything vaguely technical.
Still waiting on baby news from Judy and medical news from M&B.
This week is really testing my patience gene for some reason - I don't know why. I know that the editors are really busy and it's always a bit crazy at this time of year. I've been trying to keep busy writing Blue Remembered Heels. I can't do any more on my med partials until I know something one way or another. One, I might be repeating an error if they don't buy Charlie and two, my writing time is so limited I can't afford to spend it on a speculative sale when I've other publishers and agents interested in new material. That's why I thought the more I get done on BRH, then if M&B do want Charlie my time will be free then to carry on the meds I have outined and part written depending which story they'd most like to see first.
So I'll carry on trying to distract myself and perfect this patience business.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Yay! Be My Hero is at 19! My lovely editor i.m'd me last night while I was brainstorming with Lis to tell me. She also said The Cinderella Substitute had re-entered at 103 - wow! Cinderella got to 13 first time around so that's amazing.
Lots of meetings and audits this week - sigh. Hoping to get more writing done. I'm 21k into Blue Remembered Heels now so thats good. No other news to report on Charlie. Marrying Max is out next week as an e book - very excited about that. Remember you have till the 18th if you haven't entered Mine and Jessica Raymond's contest for A Taste of Summer yet. Drop by our websites and enter.
With Jessica and Judy's babies imminent I'm waiting on baby news as well as book news!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I 'heart' fictionwise

The last couple of days have been really busy. I've been on my own at work again and it's tiring covering someone elses work as well as your own. Then I heard that my December release had been put back til January. I know it's only a month but it was a bit disappointing.
No news on Charlie - almost 6 weeks now and my nerves are in shreds.
But then I looked at Fictionwise to see how Be My Hero was faring and it's at 21!!! Yay, holding it's own against some very big names.
Plus, the nicest part, was all the votes from readers were great and good!!!
Now my day seems much brighter.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Be My Hero

Be My Hero is out on Fictionwise! Currently it's at number 35 in the romance chart and yesterday I got a fabulous four cup review from Maura at Coffeetime Romance. You can read the full review here:
She said 'I really enjoyed this story of love lost and found. Tali, especially, is a great character. She survived her heartbreak of years before, and tried to get on with her life. Evan is a less likable character at first, but makes every effort to overcome Tali’s fears. He left without a word six years before damaging Tali’s confidence and really in effect ruining any chance she had of having a child. Her medical condition has progresses to a point where she is going to have a hysterectomy and it cannot be easy to see Evan and his six-year-old daughter, the daughter that they should have had together. The other characters of the story are well written and Polly is especially likeable with her princess fixation. I really enjoyed reading about how this couple overcomes their past to find a happier future.'
This is a story that meant so much to me, I cried as I wrote it and it's dedicated to the very special people at Birmingham Women's Hospital and my consultant Mr Afnan.
Be My Hero is available at fictionwise or at
P.S A special hello and welcome to all the Colin Firth fans who've been stopping by.

Monday, June 04, 2007

In search of Mr. Darcy - part two

Monday's weather was still mixed so we decided to leave Tenby for another day and went to Pembroke instead. Pembroke castle had the knights of Longshanks there wearing armour and staging fights. The sun came out and we had a lovely day.

Then our quest resumed - were the rumours true? We headed to Tenby in the beautiful sunshine to find out.

(Photo's from The Western Telegraph) The house seen above was apparantly used for some interior shots for the film and the other pic is of Cillian Murphy on set. We roamed around Tenby on our search but couldn't find the filming or any proof re: The Colin Firth rumour. There were people who'd seen Sienna Miller and Keira Knightly though.

The males in our party were not very fussed about looking for either of those two ladies and when we couldn't find Colin the females kind of lost interest too, and we abandoned the quest. So, is Colin Firth in the film? I really don't know but it was fun looking for him.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

In search of Mr. Darcy - part one

We arrived in Wales to the news that Keira Knightly and Colin Firth were filming a new movie about Dylan Thomas just down the road from where we were staying. Naturally in a party made up of eight females and only two males the vote was quickly decided that we should investigate. The latest rumour had the film crew at Newgale beach - unfortunately the weather on Sunday was atrocious but when the rain lifted for an hour on the evening guess where we headed. Not that we expected to see them but just to see if there was any sign of a film crew around there. We trudged along the sands in the most incredible evening light, shafts of sun radiating through the clouds onto the cliffs and sand. No sign of Mr. Darcy. When it began to sleet we went to the Mariners arms and consoled ourselves with hot chocolate.
Rumours persisted however that the filming was still going on and there were some mentions of Tenby - so guess where we went next?
To be continued

Saturday, June 02, 2007


I just got home from Wales to the news that my good friend, Phillipa Ashley has won the Joan Hessayon New Writers award for her wonderful debut book, Decent Exposure. Jessica Raymond and I had the great pleasure of attending the launch party for Phillipa's book and she, along with Allison Littlehales is one of my coffee and cake writer buddies. There were eleven books up for the award including Jessica's Haunted Hearts, Judy Jarvie's Taking the Leap (A great showing there by Moonlit Romance!) and my other writing friend Anna Lucia's debut book from Medallion press.
I'll blog about my hols tomorrow and my quest for Mr Darcy in Tenby but I couldn't wait to congratulate all the nominees and especially Phillipa!