Thursday, April 30, 2009

Indie Day

Tomorrow is May 1st. It's also support an Independent bookstore day. Independent bookstores are a vanishing breed, yet they are to be treasured, offering choices of books that the chains and supermarkets don't carry. If you have an independent book store near you go in tomorrow and buy a book. It can be for you, a present for Father's day, something to tuck away for that friends birthday that you always forget, a present for one of your children, or a neighbours child. Go and buy a book, support a book store they and the author will thank you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Almost May

I can't believe we're almost at the end of April. Where did the year go? I've been in my new day job over twelve months now and it still feels like I just started. It won't be long till Miss La's bithday and she'll be 11. It was bad enough last year when she went into double digits but 11! How did that happen?
On a political note, thank you to everyone who has signed the Gurkha's petition. I hope that someone will soon have the moral backbone to do the decent thing on this issue. Hopefully principles and justice will prevail.
My writing time this week is being eroded and I'm woefully behind where I intended to be so if I become a little bit scarce or my posts become briefer for a while it's because my nose will be firmly attached to the grindstone.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

BBC Radio WM

Well, we're back from our big day out to the big city. We set off like Wallace and Grommitt, me and Mr Nell armed with psycho Sally the satnav. The radio station is situated alongside the TV studios in the Mailbox which is in the city centre. (For anyone not from Birmingham, the Mailbox is so named as it used to be the central sorting offices for the postal service now it's an ultra posh place full of shops which have three items in the window and no prices showing. Plus lots of restaurants and a hotel)
Once we'd mastered Birmingham's road system and Sally's last minute instructions - this involved lane changes and bad words from Mr Nell - we arrived. There was a big dalek in reception which was cool but sadly for our eldest belle we didn't take a picture.
Mr Nell accompanied me into the studio which made for very interesting research for me as I've never been inside a studio before. Big Hi at this point to Joanne, Anna and the lovely lady in blue who looked after us and made sure we didn't get lost. Joanne was very kind and time seemed to fly past. If anyone new is stopping by after hearing the show then hello and welcome to you please don't be shy.
We ended up talking not just about blogging but Animal Instincts and also my day job project managing the therapeutic community agriculture gardens. So radio WM may be visiting us there to meet our staff and see the project which would be cool.
Big hugs to all of you who sent me emails and left messages of support. It was good fun and hopefully I didn't say 'um' or witter on too much.

Here's the listen again link - speed through till just after the 11 am news if you just want my bit CLICK HERE

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nervous - moi?

Okay, so I am, actually I'm slightly terrified. Tomorrow I'm going to be chatting with Joanne Mallin on BBC radio WM at 11am. In a bid to take my mind off it I've cleaned all the bathrooms. Hopefully I'll sound coherent, it'll be too much to hope for that I'll sound intelligent. Mr Nell has threatened, um I mean offered to accompany me. I think that might be a good idea as I have no real clue where I'm headed. You all know I'm geographically challenged. I think we're going to be talking about blogging so if tommorrow some new people pop by here 'Hello' and honestly I'm not as daffy as I sounded, honest, really.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

Everything has been hectic since we came home. The belles have tap dancing exams tomorrow so the house is being turned upside down while they hunt up shimmer tights and skirted leotards.
I'm getting a bit nervous now about the radio thing on Tuesday for Radio WM. Fingers crossed I'll find where I'm supposed to go in the centre of Birmingham and don't make too big an idiot of myself.
I've been sorting out Charlie Darling ready for publication, art forms, contracts etc. I'm so thrilled this story is finally going to be published and very excited to be working with Freya's Bower.
I'm also working on Crystal Clear - aditing and polishing ready to send it off to my lovely editor at Little Black Dress. My deadline is June but time seems to have a habit of running away and I know the ending especially will need tweaking and I have some pacing, emotional kinks to wotk out in the first third - nothing mega but I like to try and get it right before my editor sees it. Especially as Animal Instincts didn't get any revisions - somehow I don't think Crystal Clear will be as fortunate although I'll do my best.
By the way if you live in the UK please go HERE and sign this petition. This gross moral outrage makes my blood boil and I'm ashamed that as a nation we are behaving so badly - this single issue more than any other cock up engineered by government illustrates the lack of true moral fibre in our current government

Friday, April 24, 2009

Some more pics

Here are some more pics from Compton Acres - the garden we visited at Poole and a couple more of Lulworth Cove.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Holiday pics

So here are a few pics of what we got up to on our trip to the New forest.

Easter Sunday we visited these beautiful private gardens just outside Poole.

Easter Monday found us at Lulworth Cove

We also spent a morning at Stonehenge which was a little disappointing.
And we went to Beaulieu - Mr Nell took lots of car pics but I thought you might like this pic better.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Big Yay!

Regular readers here will know about my category length novel Charlie Darling. I'm thrilled to announce that it's been acquired by Freya's Bower, part of Wild Child Publishing. I'm really thrilled it's found a good home and as soon as I know more details I'll let you all know.
I'm downloading my holiday pics - courtesy of Mr Nell - so I'll be back tomorrow with some lovely snaps of the Isle of Purbeck and what we did on our hols. In the meantime I'm celebrating with a mug of coffee and a slice of swiss roll - I'm in work tomorrow so I can't tap anything too strong.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Home! Wow! My inbox is stuffed with emails so if yours is one of them then bear with me, I promise I'll get to them. Already I found that Animal Instincts has been bought for large print! Yay! My Mom will be able to read it. I'm going to be talking live a week tomorrow on the Joanne Mallin show on Radio WM eek!! Little Black Dress books are out in e book format - yay! and drum roll I got another wonderful review for Animal Instincts from the lovely Julie Bonello over at READ IT HERE I'll be back soon with pics of where we've been and everything I've been up to.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Happy Easter

"Jesus said unto her
I am the resurrection, and the life;
he that believeth in me,
though he were dead,
yet shall he live;
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me
shall never die.
Believest thou this?"

John 11:25-26

Happy Easter - I'll be away for a few days leaving our housesitters in command. My net access may be a bit patchy but I'll try to keep you all updated.
PS Mr Nell took the above pic the other day just a couple of miles away,

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Golden wedding

Me and Mr Nell

Cutting the Cake

The Happy Couple

The Belles
My parents had a party today for their Golden Wedding. Their anniversary is actually on Saturday but as a lot of people would be away for Easter (including us) they decided to celebrate early. As my parents didn't have a reception when they were married my Dad thought they should have a cake and a party now so we've just come back from a very nice lunch with lots of my parents oldest friends and a few relatives. My brother unfortunately had to work and I should have been in work but luckily I had so much time owed me from doing the course from Hell that I was able to take the day off.
It was a lovely time and I think everyone there really enjoyed catching up with one another. Next year it'll be mine and Mr Nell's silver wedding anniversary - where does the time go? I'm not old enough for all this.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

On course again

Today is hopefully the last day of the course. I get to hand in my umpteen pages of homework and hopefully there won't be anything else to do. Please don't let there be anything else to do! Tomorrow it's my parents golden wedding anniversary party so I'm taking a day from work as I've accumulated so many hours writing up dreary notes on standardisation so we can go. Thursday I'm in work all day and then yipppee, Friday, seaside here we come!

(The pic is one I took last year and is the view from Marla's cottage in Crystal Clear - I've been there in my head a lot the last few days)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Ta dah!!

I finished the first draft of Crystal Clear - 72K so far. I know I need to make a few changes near the start of the story - those are simply geographical details so nothing drastic and the end will need a lot of polishing and fleshing out when I take some fo the repition from the middle and tweak up the emotional layers but Yay! 14000 words in three days!! I did it. Now I can go on holiday for ten days on Friday and come back to it fresh ready to tackle the final polish and edit so my agent can get a look before I send it to my editor.
Once that's all done I'll turn my attentions to A Scattering of Leaves and see if I can bump up the word count on that as I'd love to finish the rough draft on that for September. That leaves me September to April to write Just look at me now and I have that fermenting nicely in my head already.
Now for some book shopping for nice things to read while I'm away.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

So close

One and a half chapters left to go - okay so the last chapter may be a tad long and I already snuck in an extra chapter. This is already the longest first draft I ever wrote - even longer than Animal Instincts, the book that wouldn't end and this one is heading the same way. I'm hoping this means I'm improving and adding in more layers on my first drafts so there'll be less work in the aditing stage but I have a feeling it's simply because I keep falling too much in love with my stories. Poor Zee is having a tough ride at the moment - living teenage mistakes when you're touching thirty can do that to a girl.
My horse finished yesterday but didn't place - he's one to watch for the future though as he's a young horse. What a race - wow! I was on the edge of my seat with the drama and had a real lump in my throat for the stunned winning jockey on his first National ride on a 100 to one outsider - the stuff of dreams. That's why I love the National so much.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The finish post is in sight

I think I have three more chapters ish to go and the first draft of Crystal Clear will be done. My Grand National bets are placed - one of my picks is Cornish Sett simply because this bit of Crystal Clear is set in Cornwall at the Eden Project.
In other news, some of you may know that I am a huge Red Dwarf fan. Is anyone else counting down the days till we see the new episodes on Dave next weekend? I absolutely loved that show although I was a bit disappointed to learn that Holly wouldn't be in but providing they've ditched Kochanski then it'll be good.
If you have no idea what I'm waffling on about then check this out.The Toaster clip

Friday, April 03, 2009

oh so quiet

The belles and Mr Nell have gone for the weekend so I have perfect peace till Sunday lunchtime - now if I can just write 20k in that time...
I managed 2k yesterday and I have a shape for the ending, now I need to stitch all the pieces together. But first I have to pick my horses for the Grand National. Every year ever since I was a little girl I've watched the National and it's the only thing I bet on. Nothing beats the excitement and heart in the mouth feeling as those incredible horses clear the jumps. I usually get a win or a place every two years out of three.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Planning ahead

I'm hoping that I'll be able to finish the first draft of Crystal Clear over the next few days. I know I need to do a lot of polishing and sorting out my wonky timeline etc but it's so exciting now the finishing line is coming into sight.
The belles are looking forward to a weekend away with Mr Nell in the tourer - they are going to try out the new porch awning. I'm looking forward to alone time with no one demanding food, help with homework, clean socks or a lift to somewhere. I wouldn't like that status permanently you understand but for a little while it's bliss. Thanks to everyone who is helping with the Diva fund for my friend. There are more books to bid for, critques etc.Visit Here!
The romance business is one of the nicest, kindest, most generous group of people and its wonderful that people are stepping up to help a fellow writer who really needs a lift right now.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Help a romance author

Romancing a Cause Auction!

Help friends from Romance Divas support a romance writer who is struggling. She and her husband have lost their home, both lost their jobs, and we don’t want them to lose hope. Be a Diva and have a ball with these awesome books. A new auction every day! Please, only serious bidders. Bidding opens for each day at 12:01 am, EST. Thanks!


April 1 (closes 10pm EST)
The Daffodil Group:
Print copies, signed, of Ravenstar Bride by Jennifer Colgan, Blue Remembered Heels by Nell Dixon, Three of Hearts by Sage Burnett, and Eye of the Beholder by Delia DeLeest!
Buy it now price: $40 (all bidding stops and the books go to the first person to bid $40)
Or email a bid under $40 (you will be notified if you are the high bidder!)
You MUST have a paypal account and please only serious bidders! Email (do not enter into paypal) with your bid! Put the Daffodil Group as the title of your email! This auction closes 10pm EST April 1. If you are the winner, you will receive a paypal invoice!

Eye of the Beholder
Adeline Pierce will do anything to save her critically ill brother, including a marriage of convenience to William Denning, a bitter veteran, horribly scarred, inside and out, from his time on the battlefields of WWI.

Blue Remembered Heels
Life is sweet for con-woman Abbey Gifford until, one ordinary Wednesday afternoon, she’s struck by lightning. They told her she might have some bizarre side effects, but nothing could have prepared Abbey for the fact that, since that fateful day, she can never tell lies again… Truthfulness is a big drawback for a con-woman, especially when suddenly she’s being followed by the suspiciously gorgeous detective Mike Flynn. If only Abbey could stop blurting out secrets every time he asks her a question! And if only Mike knew the real reason Abbey spends her life tricking other people out of their money…

Ravenstar Bride
Princess Ra’Nara Lumina, destined for the throne of Cadeia, has fled her privileged life to escape the dark destiny that awaits her. Slated to be bred with her cruel cousin, Cleus Antioch, she can expect most of her children to die of a genetic illness borne in the genes of the royal family. To save her unborn heirs, she leaves the palace, but as long as she remains untouched by a man, she is still eligible to rule. Pursued by the ruthless Chancellor Kossa, who will do anything to see that succession of the throne is unbroken, Ra’Nara must find a man willing to claim her as his wife. Istrian Merchant Captain Ravenstar Bren finds himself with a strange dilemma. To save the princess and the lives of her as-yet-unconceived offspring, he must claim her as his bride, but can he convince the proud people of his nomadic nation to accept a “land-born” as the wife of their sovereign?

Please consider bidding if you can spare a few dollars or can contribute to this fund. The writer concerned is one of the nicest people I know in the writing world.