I know this is living vicariously but is it wrong to be so childishly excited when I opened my copy of The Sun (very highbrow of me - don't care) this morning to see a half page ad for WH Smiths promoting the top 100 bestselling hardbacks and a pic of this book was there! I know my tiny little story only fills about four pages and there are hugely famous fabulouso authors in there, plus the lovely Katie's name is emblazoned across the front but even so I still think it's amazing!
By the way if any of you should be in Wombourne this afternoon between 2 and 4 my local writers group are holding a workshop given by Jeff Phelps, author of Box of Tricks (Tindall St Press)Should be good!
Juliet Darling needs a fresh start. With the end to her disastrous marriage, she hopes that moving to the village of Chandler’s Gate—where she landed a job as a practice nurse—will give her and her small son Charlie just such an opportunity. Her ex-husband, however, doesn’t plan on allowing them to escape his clutches quite so easily.
Dr. Neil Forrest finds his quiet and orderly life disrupted both at work, with the arrival of Juliet and her new ideas about what a practice nurse should do, and at home when the accident-prone Juliet and her son move in to the house next door. Neil has deep-rooted insecurities about life and relationships since the premature death of his wife. The loss has left him clinging to his precious routines in an attempt to protect himself from further pain.
It takes a very special little boy, an out of control barbecue and a terrible accident before Neil and Juliet can finally get together and Neil can make Juliet his very own darling nurse.
The official blurb - cover to follow soon and I'll let you know the release date in the next few weeks!
The only problem with holidays is that you come back to loads of work. In my case it's office stuff - invoices, filing receipts etc and more edits for charlie Darling. I've also got to come up with a new title for Charlie Darling. At the moment it's looking like His Darling Nurse. Very Betty Neelish isn't it? Although Dr Neil Forrest isn't Dutch but he is very nice - Jess said he reminded her of Daniel Craig - and Juliet isn't splendidly built. She is however a magnet for disaster and her lovely son Charlie is a real cutie. I'm so looking forward to seeing this released - the cover is hot. I've never had a clinch cover before so it's quite exciting. Once the titles finalised and I get the okay to share I'll post it for you all to see.
I'm home again after a few days break in the tourer. We stayed at Burnham and had a lovely time. We Christmas and birthday shopped at Street and Weston Super Mare and toured the amazing Farley Hungerford castle ruins where we saw medieval wall paintings and lead coffins. We had a wonderful lunch in the atmospheric Hungerford Arms. The weather was kind and I managed to buy a whole load of Betty Neels books and read eight of them while we were away - marvellous! I would have liked to be a Betty Neels heroine - I'm tall and could be classed as splendidly built. I love food and have no objections to riding around in a Bentley or Aston Martin being driven by a wealthy Dutch surgeon - happy sigh.
Yesterday I was at a library event at Central library in Dudley. It happens to be the place where I found and joined my first writers group - I was thirteen. I met a woman there called Betty Warneck. Sadly, Betty is no longer with us but she changed my life completely. Betty was a tour de force, black hair, red lipstick and crackling with energy. She had a gift for making you believe that anything was possible if you wanted it enough and worked at it enough. Thirty years on I still miss her. It was lovely to see that Dudley still has a writers group - now called Castle writers, hopefully they'll carry on supporting and helping young writers with a dream the way i was helped and supported. It's partly why I love beuing involved with Wombourne Writers and I especially enjoy supporting my local libraries. Libraries are such magical places for writers and readers.
Interesting journey on the train to Stoke. (Didn't see Robbie Williams alas) I think there is real evidence of the North South divide on trains. You'll remember my post about the hellish journey south with the glammed up city girls and the loud and busy business. Well, going to Stoke, similar time of day was so different - businessmen were quiet, just conversational chatter. Hardly anyone was glued to a mobile and just a few people on laptops. The girls were dressed normally in simple plain trousers and smart casual tops and sensible footwear. Totally different. My job share partner who took a different train commented on the same thing. We were deciding where the demarcation line might begin - we think Banbury is a candidate.
I've one free day this week and this is it. It's looking to be a really hectic week. Day job on Tuesday, Presenting at a conference in Stoke-on-Trent Wednesday (Do you think I might bump into Robbie Williams?) I'm at Dudley Central Library all Thursday morning for a local authors event along with three other writers and Dudley Carers group. Then Friday it's the day job again. Wednesday night I think we're going to King Edwards college for a look around but since they've changed the date everytime the winds changed I'm not too sure about that. Thursday night we're looking around another sixth form college - both of these are for the eldest belle as she's in her GCSE year, and then Saturday we go away for a few days to the sea. Whew! I am using the term day off loosely today as I want to finish another chapter, do my banking and we're supposed to pick up the new sanitary wear ready to redo the downstairs cloakroom next week.
Remember I got some new jeans, ones that fit and are the right length and everything. I really liked them? Well, there's a slight hitch - everytime I wear them they send my hands blue with dye. Yesterday they sent the bottom of one of my favourite cream tops blue. I'll put them through the machine and see if they're any better after they've been washed. The odd thing is I wore them in the rain and my legs didn't go blue - just my hands - how weird is that?
My day job is kind of cool and very varied. Part of it involves running consultation groups to find out from the public in my area their views on certain topics. Today my jobshare partner and I did three sessions, two in a town centre and one in a pub. We got to talk to lots of different people from all kinds of backgrounds who kindly spared us a few minutes of their time. Thanks to all of those who took part and even the man who said he didn't talk to strange people. We didn't think we were that strange but then again...
I thought I'd had a good idea. I thought while we were away for a few days at half term it would be nice to take down the old cutain fitment and strip the walls in our downstairs cloakroom and paint them with the left over paint from the lounge. This is a small room and half tiled with nice tiles but we haven't decorated in there for fifteen years. I made the mistake of discussing my thoughts with Mr Nell - sigh. So now I'm having a new toilet and basin, a tiled floor, new fitments, the walls painted, oh, and maybe we might need to redo the wall tiles - argh. Sigh, I get to keep my mirror, picture and light fitting.
The sun is shining, I've two days writing time planned and guess what. Yep, I have a sick child home. I swear, everytime I get even the remotest possibility of a few hours peace and quiet to write, run errands and not have to worry about cleaning, or feeding, or taking someone somewhere the universe does this to me. Poor Miss Boo has the cough and heavy cold that has affected the other two belles over the last week. They are better now of course, but as her immune system has never been as strong as her sisters she's downstairs on the sofa sipping juice and coughing miserably. What is it they say? best laid plans and all that?
Most of you know I'm a huge fan girl of Jessica Hart and Liz Fielding - so what could possibly be better than a new book containing both of those ladies story's? Many thanks to Jessica for sending me the latest release from the Romance line, I can't wait to start reading. Sadly however I've another editing round on Charlie Darling to finish first and I need to meet my writing deadlines for this week - now though I might just go a little bit faster with a fab book waiting in the wings for me to read. Also happy Birthday today to another Jessica! My lovely friend, Jessica Foote - Have a fab day!
It's the tenth anniversary soon for Wombourne Writers. Tonight it's our celebratory meal so we're laying down our pens for a visit to the local Italian restaurant. Yum. The group is growing and florishing with several published authors and so many wonderfully talented members. It's a lovely supportive group and I love being a part of it.
If you're anywhere near Heath Hayes library in Staffordshire pop along between 2.30 and 4.30 and say hi to me and fellow LBD author, Phillipa Ashley. By popular demand (well the librarians) we're reprising our Ethel and Lucy twosome. You can hear all about Little Black Dress books, our writing, Phillipa's film and lots more. Come and see us, you know you want to.
Yesterday I went to Bristol by train for a conference for the day job. The journey back was hugely unpleasant as we were packed in like sardines and I had a large lady next to me who occupied half of my seat as well as her own. To add to that she clearly had a stinking cold and persisted in sniffing loudly every few seconds. The nasal piercing added to the morbid fascination. But on the way down, it was early in the morning, 7.15, I was fascinated by my fellow travellers. I realised that I am a) a slob, b)old and c) I don't care. The women on the train were all in a kind of corporate uniform of black skirt suits, knee high boots or high heeled shoes with thick soles that looked hell to wear all day. They all had funky, chunky necklaces and were surgically attached to their mobiles which twinged every few minutes. The men all had laptops and recieved phonecalls in which they discussed what presumably was quite sensitive business and personal information in loud voices for the delectation of the rest of us. Lots of 'well half of me says yes and half of me says no.' 'We should get another quote on the St Andrews hospital job.''Oh, you didn't get a mortgage, what are you going to do?' Fascinating - what can be so urgent or important at 7.30 in the morning? What jobs do these people have? In an aside I swear that as we pulled into Cheltenham Spa on the way back I saw Phil Spencer working on a laptop on the platform while he waited for a train.
Nell is an award winning author living in the heart of the Black Country with her husband, three children, a tank of tropical fish, a cactus called Spike and whatever is left of her sanity. Welcome to her world...