Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Best laid plans etc

So I booked today as a holiday day as we were taking eldest belle's little car down to her at her uni. Only the new tax disc didn't come in time and said car failed it's MOT. Cue gulp as had to pay for new brakes. Now we're hoping to drop it off to her on Friday instead and I'm home with an unexpected day. Mr Nell took me and the other two belles out for lunch instead. It was a nice lunch and would have been even nicer if the pub hadn't delivered our extra chips to some other diners by mistake. By the time it all got sorted out lunch wasn't as nice as it could have been. Mine was as I didn't have chips - yes, I'm still following my healthy eating plan and I think I've lost some weight. Yay! I have a landmark birthday next year so this is my year to reclaim myself.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Guest Blogger - Zanna Mackenzie

Many thanks for hosting me on your blog today!

My novel, published by Astraea Press, is called The Love Programme, here’s more details: Thanks to an embarrassing incident involving a wedding and her ex-boyfriend Marcus, Lucy has to leave her home town in a hurry and needs a place to escape to for a while.

Best friend Fiona is convinced now would be a good time for Lucy to get herself a new life with some potential for romance thrown in. Fate seems to agree when Lucy is given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to star in a TV show and be a contestant on The Love Programme - two weeks of luxury living on a grand Highland estate coupled with, she hopes, fun and romance in wildest Scotland.

When Lucy meets Paul - the young, handsome owner of the Highland estate - she thinks she may have found the love of her life but who is the mysterious Hannah and what part does she play in his life? When she discovers that Marcus is planning to follow her to Scotland to win her back Lucy has some serious soul searching to do. Does she have a future with Paul, with Marcus or is she yet to find the man of her dreams?

There’s a sneak peak at chapter one below and the book can be downloaded now on Amazon - Amazon UK and Amazon.Com

Chapter One “I’m so glad he’s marrying someone else,” whispered Lucy, watching the groom shuffle nerv-ously from one foot to the other at the top of the aisle.

“It could have been you up there,” replied Fiona. “How many times did Marcus ask you to marry him?” “Three,” Lucy replied, shifting position for the fourth time in as many minutes. Why did church pews have to be so uncomfortable? “The first time when we were five, then again at twenty and finally,” she paused, reliving the moment in her head, “eight months ago.”

“Well,” Fiona said, as the organ struck up, filling the cold but pretty church with overly loud mu-sic, “it looks as though you’re safe from any more proposals, because I think the bride has just arrived.” Amelie Marchant made her way slowly down the aisle, blonde hair in an elegant chignon, de-signer dress looking a million dollars. Beneath her thin veil it was clear she was smiling, no doubt savouring each precious second of being the focus of everyone’s attention, yet keeping her own attention firmly fixed on Marcus, who was awaiting her arrival at the altar.

Fiona nodded in approval. “She looks gorgeous. Her dress is exquisite.” She nudged Lucy. “Doesn’t the little bridesmaid look sweet in deep pink?”

“Yes, she’s Amelie’s niece apparently.” Lucy let a small sigh of contentment slip from her lips as Amelie reached the altar and stood close to Marcus. Finally she, Lucy Stokes, was going to be free of Marcus Brandon. He was marrying someone else, hallelujah! She would, at long last, be able to live her life exactly the way she wanted to.

The whole reason she was here today was to witness the ceremony for herself. To know it was for real.

Okay, so she and Marcus had been childhood sweethearts. They’d played at the whole boy-friend-girlfriend thing on and off, sometimes quite successfully, for well over fifteen years. When she’d reached her twenties Lucy had sensed they didn’t have a future together, and she’d been trying to get Marcus to realise the fact ever since. When she’d broken it off with him for the last time, to say he hadn’t taken kindly to the idea they were no longer an item was a major understatement. Over time she’d grown used to his persistent phone calls, the fact he often just popped round to see her and casually suggested, if they were both at a loose end, they might go for a drink or to the pictures.

Even when she’d plucked up the courage to attempt to date other people, it had been a complete disaster. Friadon was a small town and Marcus seemed to know every detail of where she went, when and with whom. On more than one occasion he’d tried to talk her out of going on a date, and she suspected, but couldn’t prove, he’d persuaded at least one of her dates to stay well away from her, causing her to be stood up, all alone in the heavy rain, outside the local cinema.

Six months after they’d split up, in a completely misguided attempt to woo her back, he’d gotten down on one knee and proposed to her for the third time at the travel agency where she worked. Armed with a huge bouquet of red roses and a bottle of champagne he’d asked her to marry him one last time. It had been in front of several customers too; Lucy had been pink with embarrass-ment. When, riddled with guilt, she’d gently declined his offer yet again, he’d gone off and met Amelie. Eight months later here the two of them were standing at the altar about to become man and wife.

Realising the ceremony was already well under way and she’d missed the first bit through not paying attention, Lucy tried to focus on what was being said, forcing the memories of Marcus from her mind. Yes, they’d enjoyed some fun times over the years, and she had to admit there had been occasions when they’d been completely great together, but it was all in the past now. His future lay with Amelie.

Clearing his throat the vicar glanced nervously towards the congregation and asked, “Does any-one here object to the marriage of Amelie Marchant and Marcus Brandon? If so, speak now or forever hold...”

“I object.” The words were barely audible but Lucy heard them and fear shivered up her spine. The vicar, looking as though his worse fears were being realised, glanced around anxiously, un-sure what to do or say next.

“I object!”

This time the voice was louder. The vicar grew red-faced and flustered.

“I’m sorry, sir, did you say you object?”

The bridegroom nodded solemnly. “Yes, I’m afraid I did.”

Those in the first few rows of the church heard the faintest of whimpers escape from beneath the bride’s veil and her knees appeared to buckle just a little.

Fixing a stern gaze upon the unwilling groom the vicar muttered, “Why exactly do you object, Mr. Brandon?” Marcus addressed the packed congregation, his eyes scanning the rows, seeming to search for someone. Then in a loud, clear voice he announced, “I object because I’m still in love with an-other woman!” Raising his right hand he pointed to an area, three pews back on the right, just in front of a stone pillar. “Lucy, my love, will you ever take me back?”

There was collective gasp from the congregation; the bride fainted on the spot, sinking to the floor to be quickly swallowed up in a cloud of ivory silk and lace. Lucy, covered in embarrass-ment from head to foot, used her generously proportioned purple feather hat to try to hide her face, clasped her matching purple purse to her chest and ran from the church as fast as her kitten heels would carry her. (C) Zanna Mackenzie 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

Snowy start!

My lovely friends in the USA seem to have had their fun with the snow and now it's back here again too. Why not cheer yourself up by entering the Little Black Dress author's contest to win some free books. Go Here Like our oage and tell us the funniest, chessiest or the most romantic chat up line or proposal you've heard.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Radio Gaga - Cover Reveal!

As you know today is my birthday and it's also cover reveal day for Radio Gaga!
Releasing March 1st from Brierley Rose Press! Over the airwaves everyone can hear you scream! Radio researcher and part-time presenter Chloe Lark is certain her big show biz break is just around the corner. Live it Up radio may not be the big time, but surely - one day soon - fame will come her way. And, if she could convince the hunky guy next door to give her a chance, her love life might improve too. Ex-soldier Ben isn’t sure if his new ‘Z’ list celebrity neighbour is crazy or on medication. Either way he’s looking for a quiet life out of the spotlight. The last thing he needs is an accident prone media hungry blonde complete with mystery stalker. Problem is - Chloe doesn’t seem to have received that particular memo…

Monday, February 04, 2013

Proof reading

I'm busy reading the proofs now for Radio Gaga before the book is formatted ahead of the March 1st release. Look out for the cover reveal on Friday, my birthday! I'm really excited to be sharing this as I think Elaina, my cover designer has done a fantastic job. I'm also busy working on Stormy Vintage - my follow up to Passionate Harvest and my new romantic suspense series - At The Dolphin Hotel. Life is pretty busy at home too with the usual uncertainties over work at this time of year. I have the second family funeral of the year to attend this Thursday and of course Friday is my birthday. My middle belle is in her GCSE year and is busy with her sign language, drama, dance as well as college entry things. A huge thank you to everyone who has sent lovely messages saying how much they enjoyed Lights, Camera, Poltergeist! My fun, spooky valentine novella. I loved writing it and I'm already thinking about a third story for Fae. It's great to see so many of you finding me on Facebook at my author page too. Hop over and join if you haven't already as I have regular giveaways there and sneak previews of my wips! Find me here

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Radio Gaga - release date!

The release date for Radio Gaga is now confirmed as March 1st. Cover reveal and blurb following shortly! I'm so excited about this as it's my first full length single title release since Renovation, Renovation, Renovation!