Friday, 27 January 2012

Affaire de Coeur Magazine

Here's a neat resource for both readers and authors of romantic fiction. You get interviews, teasers and peeks at first chapters. A good way to decide if you want to give a different author a try.

Check out their website at There's a teaser up there for my novel, A Class Apart, and you get to read the chapter where the hero and heroine, at loggerheads, share an expensive meal in a flashy French restaurant. The heroine desperately needs to sweet talk him into funding her business venture but can't seem to help picking fights with him. Go figure!

I'm dashing off now. Flying back to London overnight and thence to the Isle of Wight to visit my aging mother.


Saturday, 21 January 2012

New Beginnings by Rebecca Emin

Today is the official publication date of New Beginnings by Rebecca Emin.

Join us over on Rebecca’s blog Ramblings of a Rusty Writer to find all of the details of how she is planning to celebrate today, or you can read some reviews of the book itself on or

About New Beginnings
Sam Hendry is not looking forward to starting at her new school. Things go from bad to worse as the day of truth arrives and all of her fears come true... and then some.

When Sam meets a different group of people who immediately accept her as a friend, she begins to feel more positive.

With her new friends and interests, will Sam finally feel able to face the bully who taunts her, and to summon up the courage to perform on stage?

Rebecca Emin lives in Oxfordshire, with her husband and three small children. Her debut novel, ‘New Beginnings,’ will be published by Grimoire Books on 23 January 2012. Rebecca has finished her second novel ‘When Dreams Come True’ which is also for older children.

Rebecca enjoys writing flash fiction and short stories and has had several flash fiction stories included in fundraising anthologies. ‘A Knowing Look and Other Stories’ is a collection of Rebecca’s short stories which was published in November 2011.

Rebecca is also an author for Ether Books who publish short stories and essays to mobile devices via the Ether app.

Good luck with the new release, Rebecca.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Alzheimer's - The Scourge of Old Age

We’re leaving Florida at the end of January to spend a couple of months back home in Europe. Our first stop will be the Isle of Wight – home to my entire family, including my 86-year-old mother. I haven’t seen her for some months – not that she’d be aware of that, but I’m acutely aware of the passage of time and the things I’ve never said to her.

Mothers traditionally hold families together, often at the expense of their own aspirations. Everyone’s mum is special, and mine’s no exception. I can’t remember a time when she wasn’t active. She always had a duster in her hand, a pot simmering on the stove, a shopping list on the go – not to mention a demanding part time job looking after old people. My mum was the epitome of multi-tasking before it became fashionable.

                                          My Mum and me, taken last summer.
She often came home from helping her old folks, saying how distressing it was to see them losing their marbles. Well, those weren’t her exact words, but you know what I mean. She SO didn’t want that to happen to her but none of us ever thought it would. She did everything right. Never touched alcohol, (not sure where I get it from – it certainly wasn’t through parental example!), never smoked, ate healthily and walked absolutely everywhere. Not a lot of choice about that since for most of my childhood we didn’t own a car.

She spent years nursing my father through a long illness and when he died eight years ago we thought that, at last, that Mum would get to lead her own life. But the opposite happened and her mind started to go. It seemed like she’d lost her purpose and had given up.

She’s in residential care now. We had to sell her house to pay for it, (don’t get me started on that one!). She still doesn’t like to sit about but the staff understand that and are so patient with her. They let her help clear up the tea things, (which probably means the job takes twice as long!). She found a carpet sweeper and insisted it was her job to keep the carpets clean so the staff went to the trouble of giving her her own special sweeper with the brushes removed. It brings a tear to my eye whenever I think about that. At what point do our parents become our children?

Anyway, I shall see my gentle Mum in a couple of weeks. They’ll tell her I’m coming, that way she’ll remember who I am. Several times, when I’ve arrived unexpectedly, she’s looked up at me with vacant eyes, smiled and asked me who I am.

It’s heart-breaking and she so doesn’t deserve this.

See you soon, Mum.


Monday, 9 January 2012

The Spoken Word

I walk every day with my dog and seldom see another person – albeit jogger, dog walker, cyclist or the like, who doesn’t have ear phones plugged in. And what about long car journeys? They’re seldom undertaken in silence, either.

In walk/cycle/journey entertainment doesn’t have to be restricted to music and now that e-books are an established part of our lives, people seem to be catching on to audio books. Well, I hope they are because my first contemporary novel, A Class Apart, published by SirenBookStrand, is being released by Audiolark as an audio book in June this year.

It’s very exciting being involved in the process. I listened to a demo voice the other day, speaking my words and bringing them beautifully to life. It made me shiver and, don’t laugh, left me wanting to know what happened next!

My first love is historical romance and I have—I think it’s nine books—published in that genre. Hardly surprising then that my first shot at a contemporary features modern-day aristocrats. Yes, we still have them in England – think Wills and Kate. Unlike our lovely new first couple, a lot of them behave very badly!

In A Class Apart The only way for Lady Octavia Radleigh’s grandfather to pay off crippling debts is to sell their ancestral home. Octavia vows that Jake Bentley, a self-made financial guru, will never get his hands on Radleigh, and she sets about turning it into an upmarket hotel. All she has to do is persuade Jake to finance the venture.

Jake dislikes everything Octavia stands for, but he's backed into a corner and has no choice but to finance her crazy scheme. When someone sabotages Octavia’s efforts and she turns to Jake for advice, they finally discover release for their pent-up passion in one another’s arms.

Embroiled in a bitter tangle of resentment and paranoia, Jake must race against time to save Octavia from her own folly before Radleigh is lost to them both...

A Class Apart available as an e-book or in print from SirenBookStrand or

And, from next June, as an audio book from Audiolark

There really is no escape!


Sunday, 1 January 2012

A Satirical take on the Obesity Epidemic

It’s scary to think that this little planet of ours is already home to seven billion people. By 2050 make that nine billion. Poor old earth is sinking under the strain, struggling to sustain those of us already here. So how come one third of Americans are obese and another third overweight, with the UK heading in a similar direction?
What’s to be done?

Well, here’s a radical suggestion. How about putting a limit on individual BMI’s? Over 30 and you’re…er, chopped liver. Would that we with or without onions, sir? Personal trainers would be a thing of the past. Nothing like a little incentive—like staying alive—to focus the mind.

Yep, anyone who let’s themselves go beyond that limit should be food for the rest of us. Just think, a six foot man, nicely rounded, could support a family of four for a week. Yum, yum. Factor in the food he’ll no longer be eating himself and we’re already turning the tide. They’ll be plenty of ribs, nice juicy breast, loads of fat thigh, flabby belly and plenty of heart for all. Form an orderly queue now; there’s plenty for everyone. Not too sure what we’ll find to chew on in the brain department but there’s a downside to every arrangement.

What about the kids, I hear you ask? Podgy little loves abound. They’re everywhere; have you noticed that? Seeing the state of them is enough to put you off ever eating again. Still, I’m not totally heartless, (pun intended). They’re not to blame for the junk they get away with eating. Personally I think there’s nothing wrong with a clip round the ear to remind a kid who’s boss. Bring back the birch—never did me any harm. But allowing one’s chubby cherubs to gorge on stuff that will shorten their lives considerably and make them unhappy by being permanently overweight for that shortened lifespan—do you really want to know what goes into chicken nuggets?—well, that really is child cruelty.

Answer, barbeque the parents on a slow spit for just under two hours until golden brown, season well, add vegetables, a good dollop of decent red and spices to taste…

Er, in case you’re wondering, I’m joking…I think!

Happy New Year!