I'm so glad you've found my blog! This is where I share what's going in my life, and where you'll usually find the most up-to-date information on my latest releases. For more detailed information on my books, check out my backlist. And be sure to check out my contest page so you don't miss out!



Wednesday, 31 December 2008


We went away for Christmas this year, staying in a hotel in Devon. We did lots of walking after every meal so neither of us have put any weight on – which has to be good. Therefore no need for a New Year’s resolution to lose weight (except that I really could do with losing a few pounds) And now I have my head down trying to finish Vidal and Elena’s story – still half a book to go and my deadline is the end of January. With my rate of words per day it will be hard going. Nevertheless I’m sure I shall deliver on time.

I’ve also vowed to myself that I’ll try and blog more frequently than I did in 2008. Even if it’s only to tell you my word count for the day. And any time now I’ll be setting a new contest.

So – Happy New Year to everyone, may it bring you peace and happiness.

Monday, 22 December 2008


May I wish everyone of you a Very Merry Christmas
and peace and happiness during 2009

Friday, 19 December 2008

Writer's block

I had to smile last night when I was watching a re-run of an old sit-com. Mother was sitting at her lap top, staring at the screen. She is apparently trying to write a novel. Daughter comes in. 'Stuck, are you?' Mother promptly answers, 'No, I'm not stuck. I have writer's block.'

Tuesday, 16 December 2008


I'm feeling much better now and have managed to get back into my writing - which is good - except that I'm not halfway through the story yet and it's deadline is the end of January. I'm facing a big black hole in the middle. I wish the Christmas fairy would wave her magic wand and help me through it. I know how it's going to end but what's going to happen in the middle is still a mystery. At least Vidal and Elena are happy in their m-o-c. Perhaps that's the problem. Are they too happy? I think it needs some deep thought.

Friday, 12 December 2008


I’ve not been feeling well all the week. I caught a bug that’s spreading across the country, starting off with sickness and a stomach ache, turning into a cough and cold that will not be shaken.

I’ve done no writing so have nothing to report. Poor Elena and Vidal must wonder what’s happened to them. They’re stuck on the second day of their arranged marriage wondering where it’s going to take them.

I must get back to them soon.

Monday, 8 December 2008

It's all or nothing

Some weeks I receive several parcels of books and at other times there are none. Last week was a good week. Together with copies of my new book THE ITALIAN’S RUTHLESS BABY BARGAIN due out in the UK in February I received two copies of BEDDED AT HIS CONVENIENCE in Greek. How I wish I could read their language – it looks so fascinating.

And then on Friday I received a copy of an old book of mine POWERFUL PERSUASION – first published in 1996 – in Japanese comic form. It’s wonderful. My heroine, Celena, has such large eyes – and when I say large, I mean LARGE. And Luciano – a Sicilian aristocrat – is quite dashing although he looks a bit younger than I imagined. It must have taken someone ages to draw all these hundreds of pictures – unless it’s computerised. Does anyone know? I’ve only ever had one book published before in comic form so it’s quite an event.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

I've just received my advance paperback copies of THE ITALIAN'S RUTHLESS BABY BARGAIN which is due out here in the UK in February. I always love to look at new books and to feel them and smell them. And of course the excitement is increased when they're actually mine! Books that I have written and slaved over and hopefully brought the characters to life...

This is the story of Penny & Santo. Penny begins working for him as a nanny but it isn't long before he has seduced her - and got her pregnant! You can read more here

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


We’ve just spent an amazing few days in Devon. Before we went I thought, Devon? In November? What’s the weather going to be like? On the day we went and the day we came back it poured with rain. While we were there – the sun shone! Totally amazing. It was sometimes windy, and a bit cold, but it was fantastic weather for the time of year.

Most evenings I tried to work on my book. If you remember I sent the first four chapters to my editor and although she liked the story she had reservations about how it began. So before we went away I did a revised version of Chapter 1. Chapter 2 would be easy, I thought, I already knew where I was going – but for some reason I couldn’t work out how to get there. I made copious notes and I even wrote some dialogue between Elena and Vidal (without thoughts or descriptions of any kind). I was very disappointed in myself.

But as soon as I sat down at my computer here at home it began to flow again. The dialogue became real and I’m back in my stride. I guess it’s the familiarity of my computer. I feel comfortable and happy here.

I was working on an Alpha Smart. I’d heard so much about them that I borrowed one off a friend – but I couldn’t really get on with it. I’m the sort of person who has to constantly read back over what I’ve written and with such a small screen it became too much of a chore.

I really do need to knuckle down now, but with Christmas fast approaching and no presents bought as yet, I fear the book will have to go on a back burner once again.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Slowly does it

I’ve finally reworked the first chapter – only three more to go to get back to where I was in the beginning! My deadline is the end of January but what with Christmas coming up and a few days holiday we intend taking as well it’s still going to be very tight to get it finished on time.

Vidal is a much stronger character this time round I’m pleased to say. And Elena, well, although she knew him when she was growing up she is finding him a very different person now. It’s fun to watch the sparks fly between them.

How I wish I could write more quickly. A very good day for me is 2000 words. But the norm is more like 1000. Sometimes the book will flow, at others I deliberate over almost every word, reading it through time and time again before I’m satisfied.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Spanish book

I now have the story for my new book sorted. Originally it was going nowhere, but having submitted the first four chapters and a synopsis to my editor, and having received her comments - (it looks like being a fantastic story – but!!!) - I am back to working on chapter one again. But I’m very hopeful and upbeat about it now so I thought I’d introduce you to my characters.

My hero – Vidal – who is absolutely gorgeous. I’m already in love with him. He’s a banker – but he’s not stiff and starchy – he’s human and sexy and I’m going to have great fun getting to know him better.

And this is Elena. Also a banker’s daughter but running her own wedding planner company.

The problem is her parents bank is in trouble and the only way out is with a merger – and marriage. Elena to Vidal.

Is she happy about it?
Is he happy about it?

I’ll leave you to guess.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

First Book

My DH went up into our loft the other day, looking for the box of – wait for it – outdoor Christmas lights! Who needs to be reminded that it’s galloping up on us with the speed of a scared rabbit?

Actually, it’s not such a bad idea. He always puts them up before the weather has turned really cold. Wise man. Then we have a grand switch-on nearer the time. He usually gets a famous romantic novelist to do it! (His words not mine)

But – this is what I really wanted to tell you – he came down with a box labelled:


It’s 35 years old and still here after three house moves. It is the one rejected by HM&B (and Robert Hale) and the box is now sitting in my study looking at me, daring me to open it – and to actually read it!

I will, one day, I promise. And I’ll let you know what I think of it.

Meantime back to the current WIP which is proving very non-co-operative.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Contest winner

My contest for October/November is now closed and I’m happy to announce that the winner is:

Carol Thompson

Carol, many congratulations. A copy of The Billionaire’s Blackmail Bargain will be in the post to you this week.

Thursday, 30 October 2008


Only two days left to enter my contest. So if you want to be in with a chance of winning a copy of my latest book The Billionaire’s Blackmail Bargain, just email me your answer to this question. Where in the world is this book set? The answer is on the books page of my website, and the clue is it’s in the southern hemisphere.
Good luck!

Monday, 27 October 2008


I don’t normally welcome proofs, especially when I’m working on a new book. But on Friday the proofs to The Santorini Marriage Bargain arrived – my other MofC story. And when I read them through over the weekend I was happily reminded that it is nothing at all like the one I’m writing now. So my mild panic is over. It doesn’t mean the story is going to be any easier to write, but at least I’m reassured.

Also there were only three minor corrections – which is a first. I’ve known proofs with lots and lots of corrections.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Brick wall

Two chapters in to my current book and I’ve hit a brick wall. Usually if this happens it’s much later in the story, so this is a worrying brick wall. I’m sharing this to give newer authors hope, so that when and if it happens don’t worry. It’s part of the game. It happens to all of us sometimes no matter how long we’ve been writing or how many books we have written.

My first impulse today is to forget the book and go and do something else. (Actually I have a husband at home who I delegate jobs to – he’s cleaning windows at this very moment). But that never works for me. So what I intend to do this morning is give myself a question and answer session. Why isn’t the story working? Do I know enough of the character’s history? Is the hero too nice? (This is so easy to do when you fall in love with him yourself too soon in the story) Do I have enough emotional conflict? Yes, yes, yes, is the answer to this last question. My problem lies in that this story runs along vaguely similar lines to my last one and I obviously don’t want to make it the same. It’s a marriage of convenience where the couple need to marry for the sake of the business.

So it’s head down today and hopefully I’ll sort myself out. I’ve had a busy week this week with not much writing done. I hate interruptions when I'm working on a book, so I really need to get back into the swing of it.

Also, a reminder that there’s only one week left to enter my current competition for a copy of my latest book The Billionaire’s Blackmail Bargain. The question is, Where in the world is this book set? The answer’s on my website so email me here for a chance to win.

Monday, 20 October 2008

I'm blogging over on We Write Romance today about how I became a romance author and the fact that I fall in love with every hero I write about. Do take a look and let me know whether you too fall in love with the heroes in Presents books.

Thursday, 16 October 2008


Chapter one completed. Vidal is absolutely dishy. I’m going to have a wonderful time exploring his character, falling in love with him myself. He’s a full-blooded, fiery Spaniard and already he wants Elena in his bed. Whew! I’m expecting my daughter any minute with my adorable grandson and that means writing will stop for the day. On the one hand I’m sorry, on the other I have my new little hero to play with.

Monday, 13 October 2008

New book

We have lift off. My blank screen is no longer blank. The story of Vidal and Elena is about to be told. I know it will take me some time to get into it as I’ve had a longer break than normal between books, but I’m feeling quietly excited about this new story. There’s going to be an aristocratic feel about it as both hero and heroine move in high circles – something I’ve not tackled before, at least not from the heroine’s pov. I don’t have any photographs of my characters yet, but when and if I do I’ll be sure to post them.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


I'm running another idea by my editor so while I'm waiting I thought I’d share this. It’s from the instruction leaflet that came with a tube of gel prescribed by my doctor.

Remove the tube from the carton and unscrew the cap... Then it goes on to tell you how to apply the gel, finishing with: Replace the cap on the tube and return the tube to the carton.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or feel insulted. Who writes this stuff?

Thursday, 2 October 2008


The waiting is over and it was not good news. My ed had grave reservations about my synopsis – so it’s back to the drawing board. We talked over some ideas and I’m going to spend the weekend fleshing them out and hopefully get back to her early next week. I suppose the fact that the story had gone no further in my mind during the waiting period should have told me that it wasn't a brilliant idea in the first place. Nevertheless it's disappointing.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Mountain climbing

I’m still waiting to hear about my synopsis – doesn’t time go slowly when you’re waiting. My editor’s been in touch because I need a new contract but she hasn’t had time yet to read my ideas. And that’s all they are at this stage. I haven’t fleshed out the story. I suppose I should have been looking at it but there is always so much to catch up on when one book’s finished and the next is nothing more than an idea.

We’ve been laying down some turf , making life easier with less flower beds to weed. But we’ve also been out enjoying ourselves. One day we took the mountain railway to the top of Mount Snowdon in Wales. It was quite an adventure. It was a glorious sunny day and the views were breathtaking. We expected it to be cold but it was actually pleasantly warm – until the clouds descended. The drop in temperature was dramatic but it added another exciting dimension to the landscape. The only downside was that we hadn’t taken a camera.

On our way back down we descended into sunshine again. We really could not have picked a better day. Some people walked up, some took the railway up and walked down, and some even ran the whole way.

Friday, 19 September 2008


I’ve been waiting to tell you the good news – that my Greek book has been accepted. I guess the excitement never goes away when a book is finally approved. I’ve known for a week but I was waiting for a call from my editor with a title and publication date.

The title is THE SANTORINI MARRIAGE BARGAIN and it will be published here in the UK in July 2009.

So now to the next book. I’ve already sent in a brief synopsis but I have to play the waiting game again to see what my ed thinks about it.

Tonight we’re off to the theatre to see an Abba tribute band. We should all be tapping our feet and singing along…

Friday, 12 September 2008


Between books is usually the time to de-clutter my desk. Except that sometimes other things get in the way. Amongst other things I procrastinate a lot by reading lots of blogs and I came across one today that I hadn’t seen before – The Writing Playground – and I found a discussion on just this topic. It would appear that most writers have this same problem. Full of good intentions but something more enjoyable always gets in the way.

In this house we have one desk along the whole of one wall in what we call the study – which is in reality the third bedroom – and my DH and I share the working space. (He doesn’t actually use his computer while I am writing – for which I love him dearly) But you should see his half of the desk. It is always unbelievably neat and tidy, not a thing out of place. Whereas my half is cluttered with research notes, scrap paper, pens and pencils in different colours for different purposes. Bills that need to be paid but get put on one side for the more important job of writing. And so on and so on.

DH is tidy in every way possible – a throwback to his days in the forces I believe. His clothes are always hung up every night, his shoes tidied away. Everything is always put back in its proper place so that he knows where to find it the next time. It’s the same in the garage, in his car, in his garden shed. Need I go on?

I'd lvoe to know if anyone else has a husband like this?

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Revisions and Reviews

The revisions are finished and are now with my editor. Molly’s name has been changed to Rhianne and I feel happier with this. So all I have to do now is sit back and wait. I’m feeling quietly confident but you never know…

Meanwhile The Billionaire’s Blackmail Bargain is now on the bookshelves in the UK – or it should be! My local W.H.Smith still has the August books on their shelves. I was going to have a word with them – which I have done in the past as they’re always notoriously slow – but then I thought, if August is having a few extra days shelf life then perhaps the September releases will as well. So for the moment I’m saying nothing. I’ll simply keep my eye on them.

Julie B. from Cataromance has written a wonderful review about this book and I’m so thrilled that I’m copying it here:

Review: The Billionaire’s Blackmail Bargain by Margaret Mayo
Cade Dupont has never forgiven Simone Maxwell for cheating him out of his inheritance and he vowed to one day get revenge on the woman who had stolen his heart and then crushed it under her designer stiletto heel. And the day that he has been waiting for has finally arrived…

Simone Maxwell used to have the world at her feet: she was rich, beautiful, intelligent and the darling of the Australian social scene. But with her father gambling and drinking away what little money the family have left, her mother in a nursing home and the family business in ruins, Simone’s life is in constant chaos. However, Simone is no pushover and she’s determined to keep on fighting to ensure that the family business rises like a phoenix out of the ashes and triumphs once again. Unfortunately for Simone, nobody seems willing to take a chance on the business and invest some much needed capital into the family firm - until Cade Dupont comes back into her life with a shocking proposition which she is in no position to refuse: he’ll invest in the business only if she agrees to be his mistress!

Cade was Simone’s first love and the only man she’s ever allowed to get close to her. She’s never managed to forget the steamy summer they spent together - nor has she forgotten his devastating betrayal when he accused her of being the one who had swindled him out of his legacy. Time might have passed since the two met, but the flame of desire still sizzles between them and when Cade informs Simone that the only way she can save her company is by sleeping with him, she accepts, very much aware of the fact that she’s still attracted to this ruthless man who is holding her future in the palm of his hand!

In his bed, Simone realizes that she’s still passionately in love with Cade and the more time she spends with him, the more she realizes that the man she fell in love with years ago, still lurks beneath the arrogant, autocratic and sophisticated exterior. But can they ever have a relationship when they do not trust one another? Or will passion finally lead Cade to realize that the only man he can be happy, is by having Simone by his side as his wife?

Margaret Mayo is a terrific writer of romantic fiction who sprinkles her stories with red-hot passion, heart-tugging emotion, steamy erotic tension and dramatic sexual chemistry. In her latest release, The Billionaire’s Blackmail Bargain, she sweeps her readers off to the glamorous and exotic location of The Whitsundays, and makes them fall head over heels in love with her gorgeous Alpha hero, Cade, and her sassy, independent and feisty heroine, Simone.

A beguiling tale of business, power, pride and passion, The Billionaire’s Blackmail Bargain is another triumph for a wonderful novelist whose books never fail to entertain, enthrall and delight.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


My editor has got back to me regarding Molly & Zarek’s story and she says that Molly gave in too easily when Zarek suggested a marriage of convenience – so Molly’s returned home and begged me to change her story a little. While I’m at it I’m going to change her name. I’ve dithered so long over this one that I’m going to take the opportunity to finally change it. I feel that by refocussing, almost giving her a new persona, that it will help strengthen the story. I'd actually been working on an idea for a new book - but that's now being put to one side while I sort Molly & Zarek out.

Also - My July/August competition has now closed. If you remember I asked which location was your favourite. Interestingly Italy came out top. To my surprise almost everyone said Italy. My DH has picked a winner - and it is - Karen Davies.

Karen, many congratulations, and if you email me your address a copy of THE BILLIONAIRE'S BLACKMAIL BARGAIN will be in the post to you.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Holiday disaster

We had a lovely holiday in the Canary Islands with our grandson – perfect weather – perfect location – until two days before we were due to come home when our apartment was broken in to.

It’s not nice when you come back after a meal and a pleasant walk and discover that all your cupboards and drawers have been turned over. Our real valuables – like passports and money – were in a safe, but whoever broke in took a camera – with all our wonderful holidays snaps which we were going to put on DVD for our grandson to show his mum and dad – a mobile phone, a watch, sunglasses, and an e-reader (which always goes on holiday with us, it saves carrying so many books around)

It was a disappointing end to the holiday and has caused no end of a nuisance. Nevertheless it was an experience that might find its way into a book one day. Heroine’s place is broken in to, hero to the rescue, sort of thing.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Blog on i-heart presents

We managed to get away on a last minute holiday with our grandson – what an event that was – more tomorrow.

Meanwhile I’m blogging over on I-heart presents today about how I came up with the idea for The Billionaire’s Blackmail Bargain which – dare I repeat it? is on sale in the UK in September. So if you’d care to pop over and take a look…

Monday, 11 August 2008


I’m still feeling empty with Zarek and Molly gone. I finally decided to keep the name Molly – by the time I’d finished writing her story she became Molly. So all that angst was for nothing. Thank you again to everyone who commented on the name.

We’re having our exuberant twelve year old grandson for the rest of his school holidays so we’ll be here, there and everywhere and I probably won’t have the time or the energy for blogging.

And hopefully by the time he goes back to school my editor will have read my book.

Friday, 8 August 2008

It's gone!

Molly & Zarek’s story has made its way to my editor. Hurrah! Now all I have to do is sit back and wait!

I love the feeling when a book is finished, it’s almost as exciting as starting one. What will my editor think? Will she love it or hate it? Will I have many revisions? How long will it take for her to read it?

On the other hand I feel empty. I like sitting at my desk. I like creating stories. I much prefer it to housework! But there are jobs to be done that I’ve neglected. My study to tidy for one thing. I seem to gather so much research stuff when I’m writing, far more than I ever use.

Is everyone the same?

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

September book

My September book THE BILLIONAIRE’S BLACKMAIL BARGAIN is available from the Mills and Boon website now – a whole month before it hits the shops!

It’s Cade and Simone’s story, set in a stunning location in Australia’s Whitsundays. Simone was unknowingly instrumental in Cade losing his inheritance – and now he’s back in her life and intent on revenge!

Don’t you just love revenge stories?

If you fancy your chances of winning a signed copy of this book then why not enter the contest currently running on my website? All you have to do is email me and let me know your favourite setting for a Modern/Presents/Sexy story. It might be a major city, an island, a country – the choice is yours. The winner will be picked at random at the end of August so you still have plenty of time.

Incidentally one country is already an out and out winner. I’m not saying which it is yet because it could easily be overtaken – I’ll let you know when the contest closes.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Greek book

Fifty two thousand words and finished – the first draft that is.

I’ve added and taken away in various places from notes I’d already made, but I’ve deliberately not read the whole book through. I want to do that with a fresh eye. So I shall leave it until after the weekend. Probably Tuesday as I’m having my hair done on Monday.

It’s taken me three months to write this book so a lot of what I’ve written I haven’t seen for a long time. I’m actually really looking forward to reading it. All I hope is that I don’t come across any nasty surprises.
The above photos are of Zarek when Molly met him, and then with his hair cut short for the wedding.
(Will someone please tell me how I can put the photos in the places that I want them?)

Tuesday, 29 July 2008


We went down to the south coast this weekend to visit my son and daughter in law. And as we haven’t had much of a summer this year we couldn’t have picked a better time – the weather was scorchingly hot. We enjoyed a boat ride around Poole harbour – which is the second largest natural harbour in the world – and admired the yachts in their moorings. One of the biggest boat builders is situated there and I stood for long moments admiring their craft – imagining my hero owning one of them.

Actually in my book THE BILLIONAIRE’S BLACKMAIL BARGAIN, Cade is a boat builder and I did use this company’s website – amongst others – to get some ideas.

I was back at my desk today working on my final chapter – which always holds mixed blessings. Relief that I’ve almost finished, but something of a headache as well because I need to make sure that I have tied up all the ends. I already have a list of amendments – things that have occurred to me as the story progressed but I didn’t wish to lose my momentum by going back and adding them. This is somewhat unusual for me because I usually try to correct as I go along. It will be interesting to see how it works out.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Digital books

I was excited to receive an email from DailyLit over the weekend – a digital publisher who emails entire books in short daily instalments - telling me that they are featuring my following three books in their list:

Bedded at his Convenience
Her Husband’s Christmas Bargain
The Rich Man’s Reluctant Mistress

These are part of a growing romance collection that DailyLit hope will help give lovers of romance a place to connect on the web. Even if you’re not into romance it’s worth taking a look at their website as they publish in many different genres.

They also let you read the first two instalments for free – so why not take a look?

Friday, 18 July 2008

Cataromance interview

I’ve been interviewed by Cataromance so why don’t you pop over and find out how I actually became a writer and what my working day is like?

Three pieces of good news today. My lounge is back in order. Zarek and Molly have finally made it into bed. And I have my car back. Guess which one I’m most excited about? Zarek and Molly? Wrong! Getting my car back.

It was on May 28th that someone ran into the back of me and I’ve been waiting all this time to have it repaired. The cost to my insurers was just over £3000 and the guy who caused the accident hasn’t even had the decency to answer any letters from them. Thank goodness it’s their problem and not mine.

Happy motoring!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

What's in a name

Poor Molly and Zarek have been stuck in a time warp between getting married and their first night as man and wife. They’ve been married three days (in my time) and haven’t yet reached the bedroom door. Yesterday we repapered the walls where the old fireplace and shelving was taken out, today my daughter and baby grandson are visiting, and tomorrow we’re having a new carpet fitted. I’m trying to sneak in an hour’s writing now. But it isn’t much time for Zarek to persuade Molly that she should share his bed. She thought she was doing him a favour by marrying him and wasn’t prepared for this part of the deal.

I’m still having problems as well with Molly’s name. Sometimes if a name doesn’t suit a character the right one will jump out at me while I’m writing. It hasn’t this time which would suggest it’s the right name, yet I still have the feeling it’s too old fashioned. Maybe because I went to school with a girl named Molly and that was more years ago than I care to remember.

Does anyone have any thoughts whether Molly would suit a modern miss?

Friday, 11 July 2008


The WIP is coming along nicely. I’ve reached 35,000 words and Molly and Zarek are getting closer and closer together. I’ll be writing the wedding scene today.

That’s if I can write with the noise going on in the other room. We’re having a new fireplace fitted, one that goes partly into the wall, so there’s a lot of knocking out of bricks going on. Our old fireplace, with a brick surround that wrapped around three walls, dated back to the 60’s, so it will be nice to be modern once more.

Briefly, the reason for the fireplace (not discounting the fact that we’ve never liked it, it was one we inherited when we moved in) was that we needed a new central heating/hot water boiler which has been installed in the loft. The old fire had the boiler at the back so that had to come out. Hence the fireplace, hence a new carpet because there’s now a gap all the way around the wall, hence a new shower because our other one didn’t work with the replacement boiler. Talk about one thing leading to another…

Let’s talk about pleasanter things – like a review I’ve had for THE RICH MAN’S RELUCTANT MISTRESS which is out in the US now.

Margaret Mayo’s many readers will devour in a single sitting The Rich Man’s Reluctant Mistress, a powerful tale of passion, emotion and romance that will leave them breathless! Fast-paced, intriguing, intense and riveting from start to finish, The Rich Man’s Reluctant Mistress is the latest in a long line of spellbinding contemporary romances by a terrific writer who gets better and better with every book!

You can read the full review here

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Latest book

I’ve just received the advance copies of my September release The Billionaire’s Blackmail Bargain. It’s always a thrill to see the words that I have laboured over for a good part of three months actually in print, and I have a set routine once I’ve opened the parcel.

First of all I need to smell the book, I love the smell of new books. There’s something exciting about it. Here inside these pages is a story. Mmm, another sniff. Yes, a story I want to read and savour.

Then I study the cover wondering whether the embracing couple truly reflect my characters. In this instance, yes, I think they do. Auburn haired heroine, dark haired hero. He might look a little younger than I imagined, but he has a gorgeous naked torso which more than makes up!

Then I read the blurb on the back and this is what it says in this instance:

The arrogant billionaire and his convenient mistress

Simone Maxwell will do anything to save her family’s business; it’s her pride and her passion. But she certainly doesn’t expect her lifeline to be Cade Dupont, the man who broke her heart years ago…

Billionaire Cade knows Simone is in a vulnerable position – which is exactly where he wants her. She owes him big-time, and here is the perfect opportunity to settle his dues in the sweetest way possible…with Simone in his bed and at his command!

Read more here

Finally I’ll read the first page to check that I’ve made it tantalising enough for the reader to want to find out what’s going to happen. It’s a bit late if I haven’t achieved that objective, but it’s something I always automatically do. I think first pages are the most important part of the book. It’s the defining moment whether a reader purchases it or not.

The next event for me in this book’s life is to see it on the shelves of my local bookstore. What a proud feeling that is.

Thursday, 3 July 2008


Hardly any writing done this week, but I would like to share this.

A new block of apartments has gone up at the end of the road where a friend of mine lives, called Vivaldi Court. At first I couldn’t think why they should have named it after a famous composer, but then I realised that my friend lives in Spring Lane, other streets nearby are Autumn Close, Winter Road and Summer Avenue. The pub that was on the site before the housing development was called Four Seasons.

Clever thinking.

It particularly appealed to me because, as I’ve mentioned before, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is one of my favourites pieces of music, one I often play when I’m writing.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Half way

Half way through the book now. As usual I'm having a lot of interrupted days, nevertheless it's all going well. And today is grandson day so I doubt any writing will get done. I've had a bit of a makeover on my website as well, so do take a look.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Strange sight

I live in a village which has a few shops as well as its own doctor’s surgery so we’re pretty self sufficient – it was one reason why we chose to live here. Once a week I walk to my art group in the village hall and I have to pass the surgery on the way. Imagine my surprise this morning when I saw a farmer’s tractor parked in the car park. Even as I did a double take the farmer – or a farm worker, I’m not sure which – came out of the building and coolly drove away. It certainly brought a smile to my face.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Word count

The word count is building slowly. On good days I usually average about 2000 words. Not much by some writer’s standards, but I’m happy with that figure. So far, with this book, though, I’ve never reached it and I’ve been trying to analyse why. I’ve decided it’s because that even though, at the end of play today, I’ve reached nearly 20,000 words, which is a good chunk of the story, I’ve not really had time to immerse myself into it without any distractions. Which means that I don't have the flow that I get when I’m writing for several hours each day without interruption. It’s what comes of having workmen in to do various jobs. I’ll perhaps tell you more about that later because the project's still ongoing. Meanwhile I’m going to enjoy my weekend and I hope you enjoy yours too whatever you’re doing.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008


I’m being interviewed today over on the WeWriteRomance website, so for anyone who wants to take a look here is a direct link


Despite the good news from my editor saying she loves the first three chapters of my Greek book, the writing is nevertheless going very slowly. I put it down to the fact that I’m not yet into the swing of things. Having a three week break hasn’t done me any good at all. And then yesterday, just as I’d started to write, my daughter turned up with baby Oliver. So what could I do? Cuddle him, of course. Devote all my attention to him. He’s so gorgeous. And he gives us the most beautiful smiles now.

This morning I attended my local art group, which I never miss if I can help it. And now I’m supposed to be writing but I’m doing my blog instead. Talk about procrastination...

Saturday, 14 June 2008

The go ahead

I have good news from my editor. Zarek’s passed the test. He’s been sitting waiting for three weeks to see whether she likes him enough to let me write his story. And now that she has met him, now that she knows what a fantastic guy he is, she can’t wait to read the rest of his story. Actually I’ve spent so much time away from him, some days not even thinking about him (how bad is that?) that I shall need to reintroduce myself.
Zarek the Greek. He’s totally gorgeous and Molly is going to fall for him in a big way. I might even be jealous of her. On the other hand I always play the part of the heroine personally. I become that woman. Which means I’ve had dozens of fantastic lovers over the years! I wonder what Zarek will be like?

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Foreign editions

I've received several foreign copies of my various books recently but the one that interested me most was this Israeli one of THE RICH MAN'S RELUCTANT MISTRESS. The absence of the hero intrigues me. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a lovely cover and I've had it sitting on my desk for days now so that I can keep looking at it.
Incidentally this same book is being released in the Presents series in July in the US and it's already for sale on Amazon.com. It's the story of Lucinda and Zane. Lucinda used to work for Zane and considered him an arrogant, womanizing playboy. Now she runs her own interior design business and is shocked to discover that her latest client is none other than her former boss. She's determined not to become another statistic, but ends up battling to resist him.
As far as my current book's concerned I'm still in limbo. The fact that we have some workmen in at the moment doesn't help either.

Friday, 6 June 2008


My May contest is now closed and my DH has chosen the winner, who is:

Christine Ince

Congratulations Christine. If you email me your address my Classic Romances 2 in 1 book will soon be winging its way to you.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Shaken not stirred

We had a lovely week with our grandson, taking him to different places – he’s such a joy to be with and we’re making the most of it because we know that when he gets a bit older (he’s going on thirteen) he won’t want to come out with us. But actually I was fortunate to be with him at all. I was on my way to pick him up, waiting to turn right, conscious when I slowed down that there was a car in the distance behind me. All of a sudden, just as the road in front was clear and I was about to turn, I felt an almighty bang on my back end. For a moment I couldn’t think what was happening. I was shunted across the road onto a grassy area and narrowly missed a tree. The driver of the car following me had applied his brakes but because the road was wet his car didn’t stop.

To say I was shaken is an understatement. But I wasn’t hurt, which is the main thing. And nor was the other driver. My car’s pretty sick but still driveable. His had to be taken away on a tow truck. This was my first ever accident in 45 years of driving. I’m just glad it wasn’t my fault.

I read an interesting article in Romance Matters (The Romantic Novelists Association quarterly magazine) about chapter endings. The aim of a chapter ending is to make the reader want to read on and in Sarah Duncan’s article she said that she loved it when people complained that one of her books had kept them awake long after they intended, so compelling was the need to read just one more chapter.

One of my nieces once said to me that she wished I’d make my chapters shorter, because she liked to finish a chapter before turning out the light. (Do we all read in bed at night?) Actually in my earlier books the chapters were longer, so I took on board what she said.

In the article Sarah Duncan also said that she never puts her novels into chapters until the final draft, which means she has to finish every scene end with a page-turner – just in case!

It’s an interesting take on chapter endings. What does anyone else think?

Friday, 23 May 2008

First chapters

I’ve sent off the first three chapters of my Greek book for my editor to take a look at – under the working title of The Greek Tycoon’s Marriage Proposal. (I think I told you it’s going to be a marriage of convenience story.) I’ll work on the rest of the book while I’m waiting to hear what she thinks – and at this point I always cross my fingers in case she feels it’s not going in the right direction. I have some Greek research to do as well. I’m setting it in Santorini – so anyone who’s been there, any info would be welcome.

The schools break up today for their half term holiday and our grandson number one – baby Oliver’s cousin, who is twelve – is coming to stay with us, so we’re planning to do lots of things with him. Therefore no writing will get done, and probably no blogging either. Oliver is seven weeks old today – time has flown – and he’s grown! We have taken loads of photos but I won't bore you with them, as much as I'd like to.

Friday, 16 May 2008


As I haven't so far had many entries in my latest competition I've decided to extend it to the end of this month.

You'll find the details here. So good luck everyone. Don't forget, the prize is a two in one book.

And, by the way, Molly & Zarek are beginning to get to know each other better. Since she's lost her job he's invited her to come and work for him. Will she, won't she?

Thursday, 15 May 2008

What's in a name?

So far my heroine is still Molly. I’m actually getting quite attached to it. I remember many years ago when I couldn’t think of a suitable name for my heroine I temporarily called her Jane Brown. Funnily enough Jane Brown she remained – with one exception. Jane became Jayne, and Brown became Browne. Jayne Browne. Both sounding the same but looking so different on paper. It’s important, I think, for them to look right as well as sounding right.

I used to keep a list of names, jotting them down whenever I saw one I liked, I had different pages for different nationalities (the Olympic Games was good for discovering foreign names) but I’ve long since exhausted it. This was before the Internet made it easy to look names up. Now all I have to do is use Google.

Friday, 9 May 2008

New beginnings

I can't believe it's taken me two weeks to write the first chapter of my new book. Usually the beginning virtually writes itself and I have no idea why this one has taken so long.
It's a Marriage of Convenience story and my hero is Greek and his name is Zarek. I'm posting a photo of him here but I have a whole batch of them stuck up on my pegboard in front of me as I write so it could be that I've spent my time drooling over him!!! I'll share one or two more with you as the book progresses.
My heroine's name is provisionally Molly. I christened her this in my synopsis thinking I'd come up with something different once I started the story but actually it's beginning to suit her. I did think of Freya. What does anyone else think of this name?
I actually went to school with a girl named Molly. My heroine looks nothing like her though. This Molly has rich auburn hair which hangs in curls and waves over her shoulders, and fantastic blue eyes. Zarek was smitten from the very beginning.
But Zarek and Molly? Or Zarek and Freya? I think I know which one will win. Just typing them out now it's startlingly obvious.

Thursday, 1 May 2008


I had a scary experience yesterday. I had a puncture. Not scary? Maybe not, but the position I was in couldn't have been worse. I was on a fast dual carriageway and had just rounded an island which is slightly offset so vision of the road ahead isn't clear until you're on the straight.

The worst part was that I had my daughter and my new little grandson with me. We scrambled out of the car and walked several yards away. Fortunately there was a grass verge so we were able to stand well back from the road while we waited for the emergency services to come and change the wheel.

Cars were coming so fast that several times I thought my car was going to get smashed as the ones in the nearside lane edged their way out. In particular there was a single decker bus who almost ran straight into it. I think he was looking at us, wondering what we were doing standing there and didn't see the car until the last minute. I've always treasured my little car and have hated the thought of anything happening to it, but while I stood there I thought I don't care what happens so long as the three of us are all right.

And guess what - Oliver slept all the way through it!

Friday, 25 April 2008

Book Titles

Remember Penny & Santo’s story? The book I finished a few weeks ago. I now have a title for it. THE ITALIAN’S RUTHLESS BABY BARGAIN. I’m not sure Santo was entirely ruthless, I wouldn’t like to think so, but hooks sell books so I dare not question it. It’s coming out in February 2009 which, as usual, seems a long time to wait. Looking at it another way, THE BILLIONAIRE’S BLACKMAIL BARGAIN which was accepted in October last year and is due out in September also seemed a long way away. But this year is rushing by so quickly that September will be upon me before I know it.

I now have the pleasure of meeting a new hero and heroine and I intend to spend this weekend getting to know them. I’ll maybe introduce them to you next week. They don’t have names yet but they will, I can’t write without a name, even though I sometimes change it part way through the book. Some names simply don’t suit some characters. It’s weird the way that happens. In one of my books I found myself calling my heroine a completely different name to the one I’d given her. I hadn’t even consciously thought about it. She just became that person.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008


Time is running out for my latest competition. If you want to be in with a chance of winning a copy of my two in one book TRAPPED and A TASTE OF PARADISE then you’d better get those entries in.

The competition’s running on my website but in case you haven't seen it here is the question again: On what date did I begin my writing career?

For the answer you need to read my bio, so take a quick look and email me your answer.

Good luck!

Friday, 18 April 2008

All sorts

My new grandson is now 2 weeks old and I've spent a lot of time this week at my daughter's as her partner has had to go into work. Oliver is such a joy. I've had the most wonderful time. I could go on about him all day - but I won't. I'll spare you the baby talk.

I'm still waiting to hear from my editor about my new synopsis so I'm not doing any writing at the moment. It feels strange and if it hadn't been for the baby I'd have most definitely been back at my desk doing something writing related. I-Heart Presents have asked me to do a blog later in the year so I could have been preparing that. And my book that has just been accepted (which so far does not have a title) is my 75th so I need to do a Dear Reader letter. And it's that time of year when the tax man will be expecting his accounts (the least enjoyable job).

I have a question. Yesterday I received two copies of Bedded at His Convenience in Afrikaans. I'm always interested in the titles different countries choose and I wonder if anyone can translate this one for me? Wraak in die bed.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Book challenge

I’d just like to add a reminder to everyone out there about eHarlequin.com’s 100,000 book challenge. Following on from last year’s success when the target was 10,000 books, and readers read an amazing 24,440 books, the plan now is to get 100,000 books read and reviewed. The actual challenge is to read 100 books in a year, 50 per cent of which should ideally be Harlequin romance books. But whatever number of books is read and reviews posted on reader’s blogs during 2008, Harlequin will donate the same number of books to the National Centre for Family Literacy. The aim of the NCFL is to promote learning and reading for disadvantaged children and parents so it is a very worth-while cause.

Here’s the link for anyone who is interested mailto:http://community.eharlequin.com/forums/book-challenge/how-add-book-review-100000-book-challenge

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

New baby

I’m bubbling over with excitement. I have a new baby grandson. I already have a step-granddaughter aged 19, a grandson aged 12, and now my daughter, who I thought would never have any children, has finally given us a grandchild. I wouldn’t be a doting grandmother if I didn’t say he was adorable. He is. He’s so cute that I have to share. Here he is at two days old.

Friday, 4 April 2008


This is dawn in Barbados on the first morning of our cruise. Unfortunately we were never up early enough to see another spectacular sunrise!

I’ve just loaded all my photographs on to my computer and looked at them as a slide show. Our daughter bought us a digital photo frame for our anniversary, so what I’m going to do now is copy them on to a memory stick and insert it into the photo frame so that we can sit in our lounge and watch the display whenever we feel like it. I love watching photographs as slide shows because it brings back so many memories. I even have my screen saver set up as a slide show and it goes through every picture on my computer.

The alternative, before such technology, was getting out photograph albums – which is something I rarely did. So in this instance I embrace technology.

Thursday, 3 April 2008


In all the excitement recently I’d forgotten about my contest. So apologies to all of you who were waiting anxiously to see if you’d won.

The question was: In which country is my September 2008 book – THE BILLIONAIRE’S BLACKMAIL BARGAIN – set? And the answer is: Australia.

I’ve persuaded my DH to wear a blindfold and pick out a winner. And the winner is…

Suzanne Bischoff

Suzanne, email me your address and I’ll send your prize – which is a copy of BEDDED AT HIS CONVENIENCE. The story of Keisha and Hunter and a marriage that went sour – and a reunion!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008


Amongst other things these last two weeks I’ve been away on a Caribbean cruise which I shall remember for a long time to come. The last time we did this was for our 40th Wedding Anniversary so it wasn’t an entirely new experience. What can I say about it? The weather was glorious, the food superb, the ship glamorous, and the islands exotic. I’ll be posting a photo now and then so you can see what I’m talking about but all I need now is sleep, and plenty of it. We flew back from Barbados overnight so were without sleep for twenty four hours; add jet lag on top of that and you can see what I mean.

While I was away I managed to jot down a few ideas for my new book, so I’ll be working on that in the days ahead. At the moment though all I want is my bed.

Friday, 14 March 2008


I’ve just received copies of The Rich Man’s Reluctant Mistress in Italian. It was published there in January but I thought I’d share the sexy cover with you. The book’s set in the Caribbean and Lucinda is an interior decorator. Zane has flown her out there from England to put the finishing touches to his newly acquired property – but judging by the cover he has other things on his mind!

This morning I took a bag full of foreign editions to my local library – then when I got home there were three copies of this book waiting for me. And I’ve just checked my shelves and found that I already have a copy. If anyone knows any Italians who’d be interested…

But even better news – my editor has read the revised version of my Italian book starring Penny & Santo and is really happy with what I've done. So it’s all systems go. As soon as I have a title and publication date I’ll let you know.

For the next two weeks or so I’m going to be busy with more celebrations of our 50th so apologies now if I don’t blog very often. One thing I will be doing is updating the news page on my website - so do look out for that.

Monday, 10 March 2008


The party’s over – and a good time was had by all. I worried unnecessarily that everything would go according to plan. But the venue, the food, and the music (a ceilidh band – pronounced kaylee for anyone on the other side of the world who is not familiar with the word – were all perfect.) Ceilidh is Scottish and Irish dancing and we had so much fun doing it. We had ninety guests ranging from one year to eighty six years old – and they all got up and danced the night away. It was a truly memorable occasion.

On a different note, did you know that a Mills & Boon Jigsaw has been developed by Ravensburger Puzzles? It features 10 titles chosen from each of the 10 decades M&B have been publishing. Any jigsaw puzzle fan – and especially Mills & Boon reader/jigsaw puzzle fans - can buy it here

There is also a card range being launched by The Greetings Card Factory with wonderful retro book covers from past classics which have been given a humorous makeover.

So many exciting things are happening in this Centenary year including a UK-wide tour Exhibition, starting in Manchester in June. Also Literary Festivals in Oxford, Manchester, Stratford upon Avon and Lincoln. So do look out for those.

Thursday, 6 March 2008


If you’ve visited my website you’ll know that our 50th Wedding Anniversary is fast approaching – on Saturday to be exact. We’re throwing a huge party in a splendid venue and I can’t wait. I can’t actually believe that I’ve been married for fifty years. Where has the time gone? We’re busy at the moment with all the last minute arrangements, keeping our fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong.

On the writing front I’m still waiting to hear from my editor about my Italian book – and I’m crossing some other fingers that she won’t want any more revisions. Meanwhile in between party planning I’m thinking up a new plot. I have my hero but not my heroine yet. And I sort of know what’s going to happen to them but not how they meet up. As you can tell, a lot more thought needs to go into it yet.

Also don’t forget, my contest is still running. Just to remind you I need to know in which country is my September 2008 release THE BILLIONAIRE’S BLACKMAIL BARGAIN set? My clue was that it was in one of my December posts. It was December 30th to be exact and prior to that on November 4th. But perhaps it’s a bit cruel asking you to search back like that. So I’m giving you another clue. Simone and Cade are Down Under. Easy uh? Send in those emails for a copy of BEDDED AT HIS CONVENIENCE

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Empty Feeling

It’s a strange feeling when you send a book off. I feel empty. Happy yes, satisfied yes, but it’s as though part of me is missing. It’s been a big part of my life for four months and now that I’ve finally emailed the revisions to my editor I have no reason to sit at my desk each morning and immerse myself in Santo & Penny’s story. And that’s what I’m missing.

There are lot of things I could be doing, tidying my desk, cleaning the house, catching up on paperwork – but none of them are as enjoyable as writing. It takes me into another world – and for the Presents series that I write it takes me into a world of glamour. Of billionaires with their own private jets and beautiful houses in different parts of the world. My hero is usually a workaholic – he wouldn’t be a billionaire if he wasn’t a hard worker – but my heroine has rarely tasted such luxury. She might run her own business, or have a highly paid job, or she might be just an ordinary working girl. In the book I’ve just finished she’s a nanny. But no ordinary nanny. This is the first paragraph:

From the first moment Penny looked into Santo De Luca’s eyes she knew she was in trouble. They were the deepest, darkest brown she had ever seen, framed by long silky lashes, set beneath a pair of equally silky black brows. And they appeared to be looking into her soul, trying to find out what sort of a person she was before she had even spoken.

I think you can tell this is not going to be any ordinary nanny/employer relationship.

So for the next few days I’m going to feel sad that they’ve left me – except that I have other exciting things on the horizon – nothing to do with writing. If you’ve visited my website you might know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t – watch this space!

Monday, 25 February 2008


I’m surfacing briefly from my revisions. Santo & Penny’s story has of necessity taken a different twist and it’s taking me far longer than I thought it would to re-write the last few chapters. Actually I have written them but in doing so I’ve lost 4,000 words. If anyone knows where they are…
Yesterday, my DH persuaded me to take a day off and we drove to Blackpool – mainly to see the wrecked cargo ship Riverdance. It’s not actually on Blackpool beach, but a few miles further north. It was hit by a freak wave in gales at the end of January and it’s been there ever since – becoming quite a tourist attraction. There were still crowds of people taking photographs.
It will eventually be floated again but it will need a very high tide, and I understand they’ll need to take some of the fuel off before they do so. One amusing thing I heard was that thousands of packets of McVitie’s chocolate biscuits have been washed ashore. How sad is that for all us chocolate biscuit lovers? Salty chocolate biscuits anyone?

Monday, 18 February 2008


Thank you to everyone who said such nice things about my new website. I cannot thank the wonderful Heather enough for creating it.

But the excitement is over. My birthday flowers are dead. And it’s back to reality with a bump. Revisions. A long email from my editor. She was really upbeat about it – she called it a wonderful story – which I’m happy about. But she had reservations about the last few chapters – so I’ll have to re-write them.

I’ve read through her suggestions and I can see exactly where she’s coming from – it’s amazing that I can never see these things for myself. It’s because I’m too close to my work. Unable to see the wood for the trees. I know that when a manuscript is finished it’s wise to put it on one side for a while before giving it it’s final read through, and I did leave this one for a whole week but because of a deadline I couldn’t afford to leave it any longer.

I think it worked though plotting the book out beforehand (which is something I rarely do) and then just going for it without constantly re-reading what I’ve done. So I shall be immersing myself in revisions this week.

Thursday, 14 February 2008


The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
-Helen Keller

Apparently there are over a billion Valentine’s cards sent every year. How amazing is that? So if you’ve either sent or received a card I hope you’ll enjoy this special day.

And of course I’m more than happy to be sharing this Valentine’s Day with the launch of my new website.


I hope you’ll find the time to take a look and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008



February 14th

But isn’t February 14th Valentine’s Day? And in that case wouldn’t it be V-Day?

Yes, it would, but I’m sharing the date. W-Day is something very different and far more exciting.

February 14th is the launch date of my brand new website. Website-Day! Those of you who have looked at my website before (or should I say sites because I’ve tried two different ones) will know I’ve had problems with them - simply because I was trying to be clever and build them myself. How self-deluding was that?

Now I’ve had a new one designed for me and it’s being launched on – yes, you’ve got it. Valentine’s Day.

So watch this space for the web address and after you’ve had a look around it let me know what you think.

Sunday, 10 February 2008


I’m back from London, exhausted but happy. Lunch with my editor went very well. We talked about what she wants from me in the future, and she was sorry she hadn’t read my book yet but things have been manic at the office. I showed her my new synopsis but she wasn’t exactly thrilled with it so that’s going on a back burner for a while.

I met an extremely handsome Scotsman in a kilt in the hotel and I’m wondering whether I can weave a novel around him. Well, not him exactly, but you know what I mean. He certainly had the looks and the build for a M&B hero. I’ve actually not seen many over the years who I’ve thought would be good hero material. There was just one who I once interviewed because I set my book on a stud farm and he owned one. But although his looks were right – he was a very shy man. Definitely not a M&B hero.

And then there was the Centenary Cocktail Party – which was incredible. We were met at the door of The Wallace Collection – where it was held - by stilt walkers dressed like pink flamingos, and then greeted inside by handsome waiters offering glasses of champagne which flowed freely throughout the evening. We were all given long-stemmed red roses, and it was three hours of drinking and eating and talking. So many familiar faces, so many new ones. It’s something that will remain with me for a long time.

It was actually my birthday on that same day and waiting for me in my hotel room when I returned from exploring the new Pancras Station – which is so beautiful – and walking along the Embankment – the weather couldn’t have been better – was a most beautiful flower arrangement from Mills & Boon. I did wonder how I was going to carry it home, but I managed, and it looked lovely, though the flowers are beginning to fade a little now.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008


London is calling. Lunch with my editor. The cocktail party. A little bit of glamour in the life of a writer who spends most of her time tapping into her keyboard.

This afternoon I have the task of entering a whole batch of phone numbers into a new phone we’ve bought. Can you think of anything less interesting? It was lovely and sunny this morning and now it’s pouring down with rain, which doesn’t make the task any pleasanter.

Tonight, though, we’re off out to dinner at my daughter’s. She’s cooking a meal for my birthday later this week. So all in all, apart from the unenviable task of entering phone numbers, it’s going to be a lovely week.

Sunday, 3 February 2008


When two become one – and I’m not talking about marriage. I’ve been working on a new plot, well two actually because I wasn’t getting anywhere with the first idea. I have them both in the same document and this morning I was working on the first one again when I realised that what I was typing related to the second one. What an idiot, I thought - until - Eureka! This works! So I’ve merged the two plots into one, done a few hatchet jobs here and there, and have a hopeful beginning. I’m going to run it by my editor when I lunch with her next week – so fingers crossed that she likes it.

Some other exciting news as well. My new website is almost ready! So watch this space for the launch date.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

New Plot

Here was I feeling sorry for myself because I have a rotten cough and cold but then I began my usual daily reading of other authors’ blogs and discovered that I’m not on my own. The thing is I rarely have colds - one every couple of years – and so I’m feeling particularly low. At least I’ll be better for the Mills & Boon cocktail party next week – which is something to be thankful for.

I’d planned to spend my time this week working on a new plot – but I don’t have the energy or inclination for it, so I’m just going to be delightfully lazy. Reading, watching TV, letting my DH wait on me! I fully expect that he’ll catch my cold and I’ll be cosseting him next, so I don’t feel in the least bit guilty.

Sunday, 27 January 2008


We’ve had such wet windy weather recently that it was a pleasure to wake up to blue skies and a gentle breeze this morning. It was tempting enough to go for a walk. We went to a favourite place for walkers which is a preserved wooded area criss-crossed with pathways and we have never seen the car park so full; I think everyone had the same idea.

Surprisingly, even with so many people there we were virtually alone the whole time. It was blissfully peaceful. All that could be heard was the birds in the tall pine trees, and the occasional drone of a light aircraft from a nearby private air field.

I recalled when I came to this same spot a couple of years ago with my art group. We sat painting for hours, had our lunch in the small picnic area provided and said we must do this again. But we never have. Perhaps one day…

Now I’m back home, I can smell my Sunday roast cooking, and I know it’s going to taste much better after my outdoor trekking. The forest was far more interesting than my treadmill! I meant to take my camera but I forgot. Next time I will and I’ll post some photos.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

It's finished!

Good news. The book is finished and winging its way to my editor at this very moment. Well within my deadline. Santo and Penny are no longer a part of my everyday life, and I’m going to miss them. And I’m going to miss writing. It’s strange how empty I feel.

Do you remember me saying that when I like my book my editor always picks it to pieces? Well, when I read this book through – and don’t forget I wrote it more quickly than usual (without constantly revising) – I really liked it. I mean, really really liked it. I needed to make hardly any alterations. So what does it mean I ask myself? Will she, won’t she? The waiting game is about to begin.

But I have all sorts of things to look forward to during the next two months. The first one being Mills & Boon’s Celebration Cocktail Party for their authors on February 7th. (In case you’ve missed it it’s their 100 year anniversary this year.) It meant a spending spree, of course, for something to wear and I found a gorgeous jade green top and a long black skirt. But then I needed something to go over it so I bought a black cape. It wasn’t what I was after but when the shop assistant suggested it and I tried it on, it completed the outfit perfectly.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

The End

It's a good day, I’ve finished the first draft of my book. Well in front of schedule. Such a liberating feeling. I’m going to leave it a few days now before I read through it. I worked slightly differently this time. Usually I go over each chapter as I’ve written it, perfecting it time and time again. On this occasion I’ve not read it through at all, just the last few paragraphs each morning to remind where I left off. The reason being that my deadline was looming and I didn’t have time. So I’m either going to find some glaring mistakes or it’s going to be the best book I’ve ever written!!! Actually I don’t know which of my books has sold the most – not off the top of my head anyway. I could look at my records but it’s all time consuming stuff and I have a desk to clear and bills to pay and a thousand and one other jobs that have been neglected. Does anyone else keep a record of which of their books sell better than others?

Thursday, 10 January 2008


I’m still here. The reason I haven’t posted in the last few days is that I’ve got my head down writing. But you probably guessed that. Another ten thousand words to go – roughly three chapters. It doesn’t sound much but the end is of necessity always harder than the beginning because there are always a lot of loose ends to tie up. Nevertheless it has a sort of satisfying feeling to it.
Tonight we’re out with friends for a meal in a nice waterfront restaurant, so I might even imagine that I’m with Penny and Santo. Perhaps I’ll choose an Italian dish to complete the scene.
Actually in one of my scenes Penny & Santo dined in a coastal restaurant that had a balcony jutting out over the cliffs. It was a fantastic place where they sat and watched the sunset over the Mediterranean. It was very conducive to romance. And how I wished I’d been there.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Back to Work

Today is the day I start back to work. The holiday’s over. I’ve been on my treadmill this morning, done my brain training, and now I’m ready. At least I thought I was. I’ve read through my last chapter and I’m raring to go. So why am I finding it so difficult? Why am I procrastinating and writing this blog instead? It’s always the same after a break, it takes me a long time to get back into the flow. Let’s hope it won’t take too long with my deadline zooming ever swiftly towards me.

One other piece of news, I’m having a new website designed and it should be launched by the end of this month. So keep watching this space.

Meanwhile happy reading or writing, whatever you happen to be doing.