Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who's stopped by, left messages, emailed me or called. I'm overwhelmed. I've sent off my revisions to Maddie at M&B so Michelle can put down her whip.

For everyone who has asked about getting hold of Marrying Max. It's available from Amazon in large print. You may be able to order a copy from People's Friend, it's issue 555. Also it's coming out as an e book from Samhain on June 19th.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Here's a pic

Many thanks to Fiona Harper and Allison Littlehales for the pictures.


Marrying Max has won the Romance Prize 2007. Typing it still doesn't seem to make it any more real. Yesterday was one of the most amazing and surreal experiences of my life.
Allison and I met as planned at the station and had a nice journey into London, talking about our books and who we hoped to see at the lunch. We took a taxi to the Savoy and got there just a little early. This turned out to be a good thing as it's a very large place and it took us a while to find our bearings. Fortunately we were spotted by Roger (med author Gill Sanderson) and Jan Jones who rescued us and pointed us in the direction of the cloakroom and the bar.
I was too nervous to risk alcohol and I'm not much of a drinker anyway, so Allison and I stood with our glasses of water in this very large and impressive room trying not to be overwhelmed by the whole thing.
I had a lovely chat with Maddie Rowe about the revisions she'd asked for on Charlie and fortunately we seem to be in complete accord about the improvements. Then we were called through to the luncheon by the toastmist
The River room is beautiful, all cream and gold ornate plasterwork and the tables looked gorgeous with silver candleabra on mirrored plates. Allison and I didn't really know anyone very well on or table but we were fortunate to be seated with some very lovely people and we soon broke the ice.
The lunch was delicious, I mean really wonderful. Then it was time for the awards. The main award - The Romantic Novel of the year was first. This was won by Rosie Thomas for her book Iris and Ruby. She gave a superb speech.
Dame Tani Grey-Thomson presented the award and she was also a very moving speaker and her love of books really shone through.
Then it was the Romance Prize. The books short-listed were all so good as the chair of the judges talked about each one I just thought wow - that one will win. Then she said they had shortlisted them to three and Marrying Max was mentioned.
The lady next to me was smiling at me and I thought, no way do I stand a chance. Then I vaguely remember hearing my name and lots of excitement in the room.
I couldn't move. Allison was urging me to stand up and Michelle Styles came over and pushed me out of my seat to go up to collect the Betty Neels rosebowl.
I don't know how I walked across that room and onto that stage.
Then, horror, I was expected to make a speech -
I have no clue what I said.
I know it was short.
I hope I remembered to thank everyone.
After that it all went a bit crazy. I had the rosebowl on the table and I said to Allison -'how are we going to get this home on the train?'
She was grinning like a cheshire cat and said 'I've got a rucksack.'
The agent, Darley Anderson, came over to give me his card and asked me to send him something.
All my friends at Mills and Boon came over to the table and it was just crazy!
The next few hours just flew by. I had to call my husband and my mother and Jessica, my cp.
It felt so unreal - heaven knows what the photos people took of me will be like as I was still in shock.
It wasn't till Allison and I got out of the taxi back at Euston that it started to sink in and I remember saying to Allison - 'I won, didn't I?'
She just gave me a hug and steered me towards the train.I really do need a keeper when I'm out.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

All set...

My hair is tamed and hi-lighted, Charlotte at Cheryl's Tan 'n' Talons has worked minor miracles on my nails. I've lost another half a pound at weightwatchers, my bag is packed with the tickets, my phone is on charge and a small present for the Fecklet has found it's way into my bag. (I love buying for babies), so I'm all set.
I've re-read Charlie through and made myself some notes ready to tackle the revisions. It'll be nice to say hello to Maddie tomorrow. Cross your fingers that Virgin trains will run to time, I can stay upright on my shoes, not drop my lunch down my suit or otherwise show myself up.
I'll be back with a full report after the event!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Cue the spooky music again...

About five or six posts back you might remember I said I'd had one of my premonition dreams. I dreamt I saw a revision letter from M&B for Charlie Darling. It asked for four points, two minor and two more major. I also saw email which I interpreted as needing to email them back.
Today I got an email from Maddie Rowe, the editor at M&B who has Charlie. Attached was the letter for revisions, set out as I 'saw' it with four revision points. Two minor and two involving more work.
Sometimes I scare myself.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Confuse and look

The marvels of the NHS under labour. The Choose and book system, except there is no choice and they cancel the booking and just send you an appointment anyway. Today Boo should have seen a paediatrician for one of her ongoing medical issues (the joys of being prem) Except her appointment, the one it took four phonecalls and twenty minutes on line to book, was cancelled at the last minute. It took thirty minutes on hold to various departments to try and rearrange it - they failed. They then had to make two calls back to me in order to rebook it.
I finished my first round of edits for Samhain, so now I have to wait for second round edits. Edits are also due anytime from Moonlit. I caught up on some of my other admin stuff for my publishers, now just the new author spotlight to post on my blog and a new contest to sort out.
I'm writing my new med partial and Blue Remembered Heels.
Still panicking over the Savoy. At least all this is helping to distract me.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Life and Lemon Meringue

I met Allison Littlehales and Phillipa Ashley for lunch today at the tea rooms. It's always a pleasure to meet up and we really should try and do it more often. As usual we talked non stop about writing, books, and our current projects. I have a lovely good luck card from Phillipa with a picture of Jane Austen's house on it and she and Allison have managed to calm my nerves a little about Friday.
I still don't know if Dave will be able to come with me to the Savoy. He's just started a new job (today) and his manager won't be in till Monday. They've had all the dates for our holidays and things but until he sees them he doesn't know if he can get the time off. This is not helping so the lemon meringue assisted beautifully today in calming my angst. I'm trying not to think how many points it is on the weightwatcher thing. I lost three pounds on Thursday and I'd love to lose another two by the Savoy date as this would mean I'd lost a stone.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's getting closer...

The Savoy date is looming closer. Today I'm guestblogging with Jessica Hart at If you visit here regularly you'll know that when I grow up I want to be Jessica Hart or Jenny Crusie so you can guess how excited I am.We're talking about contemporary heroes and we'd love some thoughts over there.
Yesterday I had another post over at the eharlequin, look who's blogging RNA thread about the preparations for the big day.
Tonight is weightwatchers - I'm hoping for a weightloss, preferably more than the pound I acquired during my holidays, then later I'm practising walking in my Savoy shoes. This is harder than it sounds. I haven't worn heels since I had my eldest daughter so I've lost the knack from my pre-baby catwalk days. I don't have much luck with shoes, in fact, if I could have plastic surgery anywhere on my body it would be my feet. Unlike the rest of me they are long and skinny. They are also pointy-shaped. Now you can get long shoes, you can get wide shoes, you can get long wide shoes. You can't get long skinny shoes with pointy toes.
My Savoy shoes need an insole to take up some width but they are very cute turquoise suede with a button over strap and skinny heels. Very lovely - but I look like an elephant on eggshells at the moment - more practise is dafinitely called for.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Marrying Max - The new cover!!!!

I love this cover - Vanessa Hawthorne at Samhain has done a fabulous job. The release date is now set for June 19th - so for all my overseas readers who couldn't get Max when it came out in the UK, here it is in e book. Every lovely award nominated bit of it!

I know, I'm boasting - well if I can't, who can? lol

Time flies..

I'm still home feeling crappy. My voice is returning much to my daughters' dismay and I'm still dosed up on meds. While I was away I got the plot in my head for a new medical so I've had to jot down the scenes in my head. I'm also ready to get on with chapter three of my new single title. The devotional chapter is done and just needs polishing and Samhain and Moonlit are getting ready to send me edits. Samhain for Marrying Max and Moonlit for Making Waves for the A Taste of Summer duet.
The Savoy date is drawing closer and my nerves are getting worse. Luckily Phillipa and Allison are meeting me for coffee on Saturday at the tearooms so that will help enormously.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Holiday postcards continued...

We also visited Branscombe, the pretty picture postcard village that was on the UK news a few weeks ago due to the sinking of the Napoli. The Napoli can be viewed from the beach and still seems to have some containers on board. Branscombe beach has only recently re-opened to the public after the village was swamped by salvagers looting from the containers that had washed up on shore. In the news this week the Isle of Wight had also started getting goods from the Napoli washing up there now too. It must have been horrendous for the villagers as the roads down to the bay are tiny and not at all suitable for the volume of traffic the wreck generated. The beach is pretty well clear again now and we walked for about a mile on a cool and bracing day.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Spring fever

Or in my case, tree pollen. I'm dosed to the eyeballs with antihisitimines and have lost my voice. The girls think this is hilarious as it means I can't nag at them. Michelle emailed methis morning to say my blog post was up at eharlequin, look whose blogging RNA thread. It served to remind me that the Savoy is less than two weeks away now - eek!
I'd put a pound on when I went to weight watchers this week after the holiday but I swear it's all the crap in my nostrils from the trees.
I spent yesterday at work cleaning out cupboards. It was a bit like cleaning out the attic of an eccentric great aunt. Dusty, spidery and full of mysterious objects that no-one knew who they belonged to, how they'd got there or what they were for.
The officeswap is virtually complete, and to be honest, I really don't see that it was worth it for anyone. The other team are still cramped. We have to keep going to another room to get our equipment all the time, the nurses are disgruntled because we booted out their stuff to make room for ours and the cleaners seem to have cornered the market in yellow bags. The main hall is full now of rubbish that needs to be tipped and the gents loo is full of stuff to be sent to store or redistributed.
I have no nails as I broke them cleaning so combined with my red eyes, stuffy nose, croaky voice and general fluffiness I'm going to be the pictre of glamour at the Savoy.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Powderham Castle

We spent Easter Sunday here.

This is Powderham Castle, home of the Earl of Devon. We toured the house which was great fun. The last time I came here I was on honeymoon so it had been a few years!

The girls enjoyed decorating eggs and rolling eggs. We did two treasure hunts and toured the secret garden. The picture of the kitchen is especially for Michelle. It's a genuine victorian kitchen with a lead sink so when a plate was dropped whilst being washed hopefully the china wouldn't break.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Well, I'm back from my holiday. Lovely weather and beautiful scenary. The hottest day was good Friday, which we spent at the beach at Charmouth. La and Boo spent most of the day in the sea.
I had one of my premonition dreams while I was away. I 'saw' a letter from M&B asking for revisions on Charlie. 2 minor ones and 2 more major ones and a request to email the changes back asap. Nothing in the post yet though.
I did get an email from the cover art dept at Samhain though and I've seen a preview of the cover for Marrying Max (the e book) It looks gorgeous. While I was away we went to Dawlish yesterday afternoon. On the green there were a number of stalls selling things to raise money for charity. One of them had a copy of Marrying Max (the People's Friend version) Somehow I ended up signing the copy and leaving them with some of my bookmark cards. I hope they'll raise lots of extra money with it. We certainly drew more people to the stall.
I'll post more about the trip and try and get some photo's on here for the next few days.