Jul 25

Stop press …. Stop press …. Stop press…

Breaking News 300I am delighted to announce that I have recently signed with renowned London literary agent Lisa Eveleigh of www.richfordbecklow.co.uk  who will be taking my novel Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel  ‘to market’.

Wish us well …. Keeping everything crossed!

Jul 15

July in Uppingham

Uppingham Book Shop 300Fabulous day out with husband in Uppingham, Rutland where he went to school, this sign in a bookshop window made me laugh … hope he found a decent book or two, whoever he was!

Jun 20

A Wet Saturday in Leicestershire

My lovely chum Sarah Houldcroft of VAforAuthors, the virtual assistant for authors, had been in touch asking if I had a children’s short story up my sleeve to ‘donate’ for a new book being published in aid of Diabetes. I actually had and guess what, it’s been accepted and I’m totally thrilled! However, they asked if I had an illustration to go with it, I didn’t, but on a wet Saturday in June and feeling inspired following my trip to Lanzarote with my sis, I had bought myself an easel and taken my paints out. So I thought, do one! Here he is, his name is Hercules, and you can see precisely why he is the perfect Manky Unicorn!

The Manky Unicorn 300

The story book is called Windmills and Paper Boats soon to be published by www.ALTLAPublishing.com

May 15

A little trip to Lanzarote

Went to visit my lovely sister Reta in her gorgeous apartment in Lanzarote, time to catch up on a bit of writing, whilst enjoying good food and sunshine. We had a most fabulous time, she is an artist and even had me painting a landscape or two … it was great fun and a real treat.

I wrote a beautiful story called The Adventuress while I was there, and I’m delighted to say it was Commended in the recent Elizabeth Goudge competition held at the Romantic Novelists’ Association conference in Lancaster.

However, when I reached the airport I walked straight into these two chaps! Talk about reminding me to get on with editing my latest, Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel … okay, okay I can take a hint!

 seahorses 300

Apr 07

UPDATE! February Fizz, Fun and Fiction in aid of HOPE Against Cancer

Follow-up to myself and Lizzie Lamb’s February gig at www.kilworthhousehotel.co.uk on behalf of www.hopeagainstcancer.co.uk (see earlier blog post)

Lovely write up in the Hope Against Cancer magazine … thank you everyone for your wonderful support!



Feb 10

February Fizz, Fun and Fiction in aid of HOPE Against Cancer

Lunch at Kilworth House 640

Jan 10

Fairy Tale of New York

Batman in New York

Summer holidays exist to be savoured long after the local wine has been drunk (why does it never taste the same?) and the freckles have faded and it’s true, memories of happy times in sunnier climes keep us going through the January gloom.

Christopher Columbus – and a blue, blue sky!

Christopher Columbus – and a blue, blue sky!

I enjoyed many special times during the summer of 2015 ‒ precious family memories to treasure forever ‒ but I also did something ridiculously, extravagantly splurging and, yes I have to admit, totally self-indulgent! I took myself off to New York to the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference and spent an entire week being something I’ve always wanted to be, an author in one of the most exciting cities on the planet. Now seriously, what’s not to like?

I’d barely mentioned the Romance Writers of America 35th anniversary conference in New York when a couple of lovely author chums, Katherine Garbera (US Today best seller) and Eloisa James (New York Times best seller) asked their mutual friend, Erin Fry, publications editor for the RWA, if I could tag along.

Erin did better than that, she organised a special press pass, so in the blink of an eye, having raided my ‘author’ piggy bank, I booked flights, hotel and was on my way!

Times Square- the energy is palpable!

Times Square- the energy is palpable!

The fabulous Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square was base camp for nearly 2000 delegates primed and eager to make the most of nearly 200 events/workshops/signings and 1-2-1s and of course, the fabulous RITAs and Golden Hearts Awards Ceremony. Delegates could start the day at 6.30am with Pilates and/or Romance Fit Club, followed by a networking breakfast and then straight into the action.

Some of my favourites included: ‘Bollywood Basics: Romance Tips from the World’s Largest Film Industry’; ‘How to Write Sexual Tension that will Knock Their Socks Off’; ‘Dead On, Writing ‘Killer’ Romantic Suspense’; ‘Staying Fit While You’re Writing’; and ‘Oops, the Publishing World Just Changed Again’.

I squeezed into Nora Roberts’ talk, acknowledged as the best selling author on the planet, her ‘chat’ to a packed house was refreshing, honest and hilarious. Nora has written over 200 romance novels – thirty-four Nora Roberts’ titles are sold EVERY minute – she also writes suspense under the pen name J D Robbs, these titles sell pretty well too! Awesome.

During my trip I breakfasted at Simon & Schuster and had cocktails with the team at Hachette Book Group – mixing with writers, editors and agents, all asking lots of questions about the UK and how the market is here.

St Patrick’s Cathedral – made it to mass and found St Anthony in a corner

St Patrick’s Cathedral – made it to mass and found St Anthony in a corner

With the sun shining and so much to see, I took time to walk, New York is easy to navigate, the natives hospitable and happy to chat. Highlights included sunbathing in Central Park with pastrami salad and iced tea whilst reading Steven King’s On Writing; Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral where the celebrant’s singing was akin to Pavarotti and enjoying the movie The Longest Ride over brunch.

Fast forward to the conference finale, the glittering RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony – and I was delighted to see Jo Beverley – a member of the RWA Hall of Fame – present the Golden Heart for Historical to Sara Leyton for her novel The Reunion. I was also delighted and very proud when our own Carole Mortimer received a Lifetime Achievement Award. She has written over 200 books, yet spoke so generously and warmly, she was just delightful.

As the evening came to a close, a gorgeous girl sitting next to me asked if I would take a picture of her and her English chum – turns out the best buddies were also bestsellers, Tasmina Perry and Bella Andre. A quick snap and Bella was whisked on stage to do her presentation, talk about hanging out with the VIPs!

The RWA conference was a real eye opener, a fascinating insight into the business of being an author and what it takes to succeed and New York itself, such a special, fairy tale kind of place for me, it really was an experience to savour. You never know, one day I may return but in the meantime I can dream … after all that’s what gloomy January days are for.

The view from my ‘desk’ in Central Park

The view from my ‘desk’ in Central Park

Dec 15

Oscar Nominated

Myself & Oscar 640

I’ve always loved Oscar Wilde, a fascinating man whose remarkable personal life sometimes overshadows his literary genius. Not for me, he is without doubt one of the greats, stylish, witty and gifted, I return to his work again and again.

Little wonder that during my recent trip to Dublin, I stopped by at this stunning statue to pay homage. One of the characters in Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel is an actor and he quotes the great man whenever he needs just the right quip.

Thanks Oscar, it’s a pleasure to acknowledge you in the credits!

Nov 02

Love Reading Award for latest Novel

Secrets of the Heart by Adrienne VaughanI am delighted to have been shortlisted for the

‘Best Author Published Read 2015’

lovereading logo

Sep 10

Seaside setting for Scandal

Coliemore Harbour, Dalkey, County Dublin 640Dalkey is a beautiful seaside village on the east coast of Ireland about eight miles south of Dublin and has always been a favoured family resort. As a youngster we lived close enough to pack up Dad’s car and head off, stopping at a shimmering golden beach we called ‘Simon Templar Bay’ to watch speed boats buzzing about on sparkling seas while mom sipped a glass of wine and dad enjoyed a Guinness ‒ happy days.

It’s still a regular stopping point for us; the little artisan market set in the Tramyard, with the @TramyardDalkey ‒ all ramshackle loveliness and delicious grub and @FinnegansDalkey ‒ to watch rugby and enjoy a pint or two,. There are bookshops and art shops to browse and long chats with shopkeepers result in buying far more than we can eat before we’ve to return to the UK.

This time, visiting for a special family birthday, we trundled out on the DART on a glorious September day to conduct a bit of research for Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel. We took pictures of Dalkey Island, the inspiration for Phoenix Island in the book and ate a scrumptious local crab salad, very like the one served at the Harbour Spa Hotel, also featured in the new novel.

To ‘seal the deal’ as we say, my lovely husband presented me with a copy of Nights of Rain and Stars by the fabulous Maeve Binchy – Dalkey was her home – more than enough inspiration to finish what (we hope) will be my new best seller!

Open crab sandwich, Guinness and white wine in the sunshine - The Tramyard, Dalkey

Open crab sandwich, Guinness and white wine in the sunshine – The Tramyard, Dalkey

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