Sunday, 13 July 2014

Cover Reveal!

Isn't it lovely when you see the cover for your new book for the first time??!

Apparently Mr Fussy Artist has still got some tweaks to make, but this is more or less it!  

I love it, it's got just the feel I was looking for - a bit like a fairy tale.

Here's the blurb again (that will have some tweaks before publication later in the month, too!)
(I wrote a post about what gave me the idea for it, HERE)


Four Valentine cards – from four different men!

Sophie Heron’s fortieth birthday is looming, and she is fed up with her job, her relationship, her whole life – not to mention her boyfriend’s new ‘hobby’, in which she definitely doesn’t want to get involved…Back in 1998 she had the choice of four men, and now she can’t help wondering how her life might have turned out if she’d chosen differently.
The person to whom Sophie had always been closest was her beloved Auntie Flick, her second mother, friend and advisor. Before her death in 2001, Flick said, “when I’m up there having a cuppa with St Peter, I’ll have a word with him about making me your guardian angel, shall I?”

As Sophie’s fortieth birthday draws near, she visits her aunt’s special place: a tree by a river, hidden from the world. Here she calls on Auntie Flick to show her the way forward – and help her look back into the past so she can see what might have been….

I'm getting excited about it now!!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Twitterly thoughts

If I see 'Contributed tweets are provided by @SomeCrapApp' on your timeline, I don't retweet you. Why? Because it means you can't be bothered to actually look on Twitter and see what a person would like retweeting, or what might be of interest to your followers. Half the time you just retweet my conversation; I retweet people, not robots. Alas, you will never read this because you are rarely actually ON Twitter, so you don't read people's blog posts, either.

(ps, I know there are a few very busy people who use @SomeCrapApp but also do Twitter in real life.  I do not include you in this!!!)

If you want your tweet to be retweeted by some of these group RT things like Monday Blogs, authorRT and wwwblogs, please do retweet others on the timeline, don't just stick the hashtag on your tweet. It's the retweets that make these hashtags a good thing. The point of such things is that you share others' posts with YOUR followers, too - that's how it works!

I won't write anything else - I'll just recommend that you buy TWITTER FOR WRITERS by Rayne Hall ~ no Twitter using writer should be without it!  Click title for UK link. US link HERE

ps, I am not on commission, and have no vested interest in the book - it's just really, really good!

Friday, 4 July 2014

Round And Round ~ forthcoming release!

Yes, I have a new book out soon!

After the lengthy and complex tome that was Kings And Queens, I needed to write something short and light, before embarking on the sequel - so here it is!

Round And Round is a novella of approximately 36,000 words, which means it's about a half to a third of the length of a novel. 

This isn't the cover, but when it's done it'll be a bit like this - I just love this picture, it's my current wallpaper on my laptop.


Two things gave me the idea for the story.  

In the early 1990s I had to make two decisions that had a huge impact on the rest of my life.  A few years later, I had a dream in which I'd chosen the other fork in the road. When I woke up, I just thought, "oh, so that's what it would have been like".  That dream has always stayed with me; it was so vivid and I never doubted for a moment that it was showing me 'what if...'

The other thing was kinda weird - you'll like this one!  In early 2001, my then-husband's father died.  A couple of months later Alan suddenly said, out of the blue, 'get some batteries for the smoke alarm'.  We'd been in our new house about nine months; neither of us had ever looked at the smoke alarm. I don't think I even knew where it was!  I got some batteries, anyway. That night we had too much to drink, I put something under the grill and forgot about it, and went to bed.  I was woken up by the smoke alarm a while later. As it was, we had to get a new cooker and have the kitchen redecorated.  I dread to think what would have happened if I hadn't heard that alarm (though I did have a houseful of firemen at five in the morning, ladies, so it wasn't all bad!).  Alan always thought it was his father who put the smoke alarm batteries idea into his head ~ a guardian angel?

Here is the first draft of the blurb for
Round And Round ~

Four Valentine cards – four men…

Sophie Heron’s fortieth birthday is looming, and she is depressed about her job, her relationship, her whole life – and her boyfriend has taken up with a new group of people with whom she definitely doesn’t want to get involved.

Back in 1998 she'd had the choice of four men, and can’t help wondering how her life might have turned out if she’d chosen differently.

Sophie’s Auntie Flick had been her second mother, friend and advisor. Before her death in 2001, Flick said, “When I’m up there having a cuppa with St Peter, I’ll have a word with him about making me your guardian angel, shall I?”

The two of them had a special place, a tree by a river, where they would go together. Now, Sophie visits this idyllic spot whenever she wants to talk to her aunt. As Sophie’s fortieth birthday draws near, she calls on Auntie Flick to show her the way forward – and help her look back into the past so that she can see what might have been….

Thus, romance with a touch of the paranormal!

It should be out later on this month, cross fingers and touch wood and all the rest of it ~ I'll post the cover on here as soon as it's ready!

And I hope you enjoyed the lovely pictures, too!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

1960s/70s rock band picture quiz!!!

Well, I said to my husband, I said, I don't think it's a very good idea for a blog post, the audience for it would be strictly 50 and over, probably having been or still being a bit hippy-ish, with a silly sense of humour.  Kinda limited. He said, "well, it just entertained us for half an hour, didn't it?"

So here it is, for daft people who will never see 49 again - my picture quiz... 

Name the 1960s/early 1970s rock band (answers at end!)


They get more difficult, I promise!


I saw the above chap (not the whole group!) (is that confusing?!) at Leeds Roundhay Park in 1982, supporting the Stones.  Top stuff!






















14.  This is a country music one, but it made me laugh - yes, it was my husband's idea!


14.  Saving the best 'til last...

Well, it passed a spare 10 minutes!!!

Here are the answers:

1.  Atomic Rooster  2. Python Lee Jackson  3. Nazareth  
4.  Grateful Dead  5. Chicken Shack  6. The Faces
7.  The Small Faces  8.  Uriah Heep  9. Humble Pie
10. Velvet Underground  11. Vinegar Joe
12. Thunderclap Newman  13. Black Oak Arkansas
14.  Johnny Cash!  15. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Friday, 20 June 2014

No Sex Please, We're British - and no vomiting, either!

I was talking to two Twitter friends about this yesterday, and felt compelled to put rant to blog, as it were!

Why does every single drama/crime/thriller series on television these days have to include graphic humping scenes?  You never seem to get past the first 20 minutes without seeing a bare male bum thrusting up and down, or see the female character's legs wound round the male character's back, with full sound effects, complete with noisy climaxes, facial expressions, the lot.  Ordinary dramas show scenes that used to be restricted to soft porn films; the only thing you can't see is the actual penetration. 

Somehow it's not so bad on shows like Game Of Thrones, which is fantasy, and at least the actors are, for the most part, pretty good looking, and it's all artfully filmed and idealised - but I really, really don't want to see people like Kevin Whately on the job.  Please, just don't.

Kevin, mate, you're a good actor, but I really don't want to see you rogering the Mrs

Look, we all know that grown-ups have sex. Ordinary looking people, fat people, old people - but do we need to see it?  Couldn't we just be shown them talking, afterwards?

Which brings me onto something else.


If someone is throwing up, it's enough for us to see them bend over, to hear them retching.  We don't need to SEE IT COMING OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS. Or the spittle round their mouths afterwards.  Oh, and I don't want to see anyone taking a dump, either.  Last night, in Fargo (excellent series!), we saw Billy Bob Thornton sit on the loo, and we heard the sound as - well, you know.  What's next, Glorious Smell-o-Vision so we can get the full effect? 

Everyone has bowel movements, snotty noses, everyone vomits, but showing it in all its glorious detail doesn't make the character or the scene more real, it's just - well, a bit revolting, really.  As for the realistic sex scenes - well, most people look pretty daft when they're doing it, don't they?  Porn films are carefully edited to look erotic.  I just hope this current trend doesn't filter into soap operas - I badly don't want to see Owen and Anna's 'making up' scene in Corrie.....

Owen and Anna on Corrie - no! please no!

Yes, yes, I know, they couldn't because of the 9pm watershed - though it actually means nothing anyway, as everything is available on 'catch

All comments most welcome, and please feel free to add to this!

Monday, 16 June 2014

All you need to know about punctuation!

Do you worry that your punctuation is not perfect

Someone just sent me this amusing piece on an email - it's all you need to know!

"We commas are nice wee friendly chaps with pointy chins. We jump into sentences to make you take a pause. Don't be putting us at the end of a sentence, mind!   Our chums the full stops have big black tummies and tell you to STOP reading for a second; they're the canny fellows ye need at the end!   Exclamation marks are usually tall thin girls who make you say OOOH AAAGH LOOK AT ME!!! We all get together and help clever people to write ikky little stories. And you know what? They could nae do it without us. Nor could they do without clever blog posts that tell them how to use us!"

Well, actually, we could, Mr Comma... but if you didn't pay attention in school, or if you struggle with dyslexia or have a few problems with the rest of it (like the difference between quotation and speech marks - quotation marks are the ones with  - oh, never mind) it doesn't matter - the proofreader will sort it all out!

Bite-sized memoir - childhood illnesses

The 'Bite Sized Memoir' blog hop was started by Lisa Reiter; please read her original post HERE, and feel free to take part!

In brief, Lisa gives a different topic every week, and you are invited to write either 10 x 'I remember' statements, or a 150 word piece of prose or poem.  You then post your article on Lisa's comments (NOT mine, I'm just partaking!), she very kindly posts it on Twitter - and you can read other people's!

Here are my 10 memories about childhood illnesses:

1.  Daring to peep into my little brother's bedroom and being highly amused that he had a huge moon face - mumps!

2.  Daddy not being allowed to go near my brother, because he'd never had mumps - and you know what happens to adult men who get it....!

3.  Mum covering my itchy chicken pox back with calamine lotion.

4.  ..... crying because they itched so much!

5.  How the illnesses would always start when you were really looking forward to something you would have to MISS - like going to a pantomime.

6.  That lovely moment when Mummy said "I think you'd better stay off school"

7.  The wonderful dreamy time-out-of-the-real-world bit when I was ill enough not to have to get up/go to school, but well enough to enjoy reading in bed all day.

8.  Minadex.  Bright green, horrible medicine.

9.  Craving ice cream, or tomato soup - and getting it!

10.  Feeling a bit deflated when it was all over.....

I have not included anything to do with being sick, as I find the subject of vomit loathsome!  Please tune into Lisa's blog each Friday, as she gives some great subjects to write about....