Welcome

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!

Margaret

seperator

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Twelve-Month Marriage Deal


I know I wasn't going to blog again until the New Year but I've just had CataRomance review on The Twelve-Month Marriage Deal which is on sale in the UK now, and of course from Amazon or the Book Depository and I was so pleased I wanted to share:




Margaret Mayo deftly blends intense passion, steamy seduction, nail-biting drama and searing emotion in her latest sensational Modern romance for Mills and Boon: The Twelve-Month Marriage Deal! Margaret Mayo brings her characters vividly to life and readers will adore feisty Elena and the deliciously sexy, Vidal. A fabulous tale of secrets, scandal and seduction, The Twelve-Month Marriage Deal is the latest intoxicating novel from this much-loved writer of romantic fiction!




My Christmas just got better!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Happy Christmas


I would like to wish everyone a Very Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year! And a great big thankyou to everyone who has taken the time to comment on my blog, enter my competitions, read my books, and everything else that keeps me happy and makes me want to continue writing.


And as I will not be blogging again until after the holidays here's a quick reminder about my contest which finishes on Christmas Day. Briefly, the question is, What would be your perfect way to spend Christmas? Email me with your answer to be in with a chance to win a copy of my latest book.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Blogger Bundle


It’s getting closer to the release of Harlequin’s latest Blogger Bundle selected by We Write Romance. If you love Presents this would be the best New Year’s ‘present’ to yourself.


I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that Harlequin Presents stories have it all: strong, sophisticated heroes and sensual, endearing heroines fighting to find love in exotic, romantic places.


This blogger bundle would be perfect post-Christmas reading.


The line up for the Bundle is:


The Twelve-Month Mistress by Kate Walker

Lessons from a Latin Lover by Anne McAllister

The Brazilian’s Blackmailed Bride by Michelle Reid

Surrender to the Millionaire by Margaret Mayo

Monday, 14 December 2009

Happy!

Why does something that sounds so simple become so major? Change one scene, my editor said. It took me all day! I worked from 9am to 11pm. Admittedly I took time off to eat, to shop (a necessity), to watch my two favourite soaps (another necessity). I was brain dead by the time I had finished but I had increased my output by a thousand words as a consequence, so I was happy. And all my Christmas shopping is done, so I'm happier still.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Good news

It's good news. My editor likes my partial. So Zander and Kara can continue happily with their story. Thank goodness, because I'm on Chapter 8 and I would have hated to put it to one side. The trouble is at the moment that Christmas is kind of getting in the way. I'm pretty well organised but I think my writing will have to take a back seat until after the holiday. Last year we went away for Christmas but this time we're having a quiet one at home. If Christmas can be quiet!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Heroine

I thought you might like to see a photo of Kara, my latest heroine. (She's actually a model by the name of Eliza Dushku - isn't she gorgeous?) How can Zander not fall in love with her? It's a pity he's off women altogether. No, that's not strictly true. He's just sworn never to get married again after a painful divorce.



Thursday, 3 December 2009

Foreign editions

It seems to be the week for foreign editions. I’ve had Polish and Czechoslovakian. Italian and French, as well as Japanese. It’s intriguing to see all the different covers and how I wish I could read the translations.

Christmas is fast approaching and I need to go and shop but I don’t want to leave my writing. I am being persuaded, though, to go out tomorrow – but only on condition that I work on Saturday. Time will tell if it works out.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Review - The Twelve-Month Marriage Deal


The Twelve-Month Marriage Deal is in the shops now here in the UK, and also on-line.

It's the story of Elena taking her sister's place as Vidal's bride in order to save her parents' bank. And I've had my first review from The Pink Heart Society.


Margaret Mayo has succeeded in bringing two characters together who challenge each other from the first page, ensuring this story is a one sitting read. I literally couldn't wait to turn the pages to see how they were going to react to the situations they found themselves in. The ending was beautifully done, with each character realising their marriage was full of sparks - but for all the right reasons.


You can read the rest of the review here and don't forget you can win a copy by entering my latest contest.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Christmas Contest

Just a reminder that there is only one month left in my Christmas contest. If you want to be a winner check it out on my blog. Or in case you’re feeling lazy and don't want to go there all you have to do is tell me what would be the perfect Christmas for you? Money no object. I think that for me it would be if I didn’t have to cook dinner. I’d like all my family around me but I’d like to be waited on hand and foot. Your answer need not be this simple. You might fancy being on a desert island with your hero. Or a trip out in space, looking down at the earth with all its Christmas lights. How fantastic would that be? Go on, surprise me.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Fingers crossed



I cleaned the windows inside this morning before I began work. Then coincidentally the window cleaner came and did outside. And now I can hear my dustbin being cleaned (every six weeks this guy comes and cleans and perfumes it, following the bin men around. We have to pay, of course, but it’s worth it) So everything is sparkling today – except the weather. It’s been pretty grim the last week or so with torrential rain – especially in Cumbria – my heart goes out to the people who have had their homes flooded.

But in my writing world all is well. I shall be sending off four chapters to my editor later today – so I want you all to keep your fingers crossed for me. If you remember my last two books were both rejected at this stage. And it’s not good for my moral. At the moment I’m feeling fairly confident. In fact I love my new Greek hero. I also feel sorry for him because he’s had problems in his life. Hopefully they will be overcome when he falls in love with the beautiful Kara. Not that she doesn’t have her own problems.













Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Harrumphing

Has anyone ever used the word harrumphing? I typed it today and then wondered whether anyone would know what it meant. I guess it's a very old word because I can't find it in any of my dictionaries and yet my spell checker didn't pick up on it. I've changed it now to snorted. But it got me thinking about how words have gone out of fashion. My grandson is always coming up with words that I have never heard. And I remember the first time my son called a girl fit. I thought he meant physically fit - until he explained.
Oh, well. Back to the writing. I'm on a roll at the moment. (which doesn't happen often I can assure you)

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Greek hero

Not managed as much writing today, only 1300 words. No sprinting!! But everyone of them was important - I'm setting the scene for much heartache later on. My hero is Greek and I've given him the name Zander, but I'm not sure that it suits him. Any other suggestions?

Monday, 16 November 2009

Speed writing

Over the weekend I read Nicola Marsh’s blog about Sprinting. Sprinting with regard to writing. A fifteen minute writing sprint without stopping. It apparently increases your output so I thought I would give it a try this morning. But did it work? Not really. Before five minutes was up I’d stopped to read back through what I’d written. I guess it’s not in me to keep going. I need the reassurance that what has gone before is OK. I can’t seem to carry on if I don’t perfect as I go along. When I do have sprints, albeit mini ones, it’s because I know exactly where I’m going. At all other times I feel my way – every inch of it, every word, every sentence. How about you, are you a sprinter or a plodder?

Oh, and by the way, despite not sprinting I managed just over 3000 words today.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

New beginnings

Today I wrote the first thousand words of my new book. I always think this is the exciting part, introducing the characters and setting the scene. My hero is Greek and gorgeous, I guess that isn’t surprising, and my heroine is – well she’s a bit of an alpha woman, owning her own business, quite successful in her own right, adequately capable of standing up to the Greek. Except when he sends her dizzy with desire! I’m really looking forward to getting to know them better. I’ve lived with them for a week or so now as I’ve worked out my plot, but there’s still a lot for me to find out.

Friday, 6 November 2009

e-books


I have some exciting news to share. We Write Romance are sponsoring an e-book bundle of four back-list Presents books – and my Surrender to the Millionaire is one of them. The collection will be available from January 1st so if you prefer e-books then make a note in your diary now. Other authors in the bundle are the fabulous Kate Walker, the inimitable Anne McAllister, and the lovely Michelle Reid. So all in all it will be an excellent read.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Christmas contest

Two more days and I shall be able to concentrate on my writing again. Meanwhile it's time for a new contest which will shortly be up on my website.

So here it is, with a Christmas theme - because, whichever way you look at it, Christmas is fast approaching.

November/December contest

As Christmas is just around the corner how would you like to tell me what would be your perfect way to spend Christmas?

Perhaps you’d like to go away, get away from it all, be waited on for a change?

Or maybe you just love a traditional Christmas with your loved ones around you?

Or would a perfect Christmas be where money is no object, where you could throw the biggest party ever, buy whatever you like and not even have to think about the expense?

I’d love to hear from you. A copy of my December release The Twelve-Month Marriage Deal, together with a little extra surprise, will be on its way in the New Year to whoever succeeds in catching my imagination. And who knows, it could form part of a story some time – especially if there’s a gorgeous, handsome hero somewhere on the scene.

If you want to enter e-mail me your answers here.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Apology

Sorry I haven’t blogged lately. It’s because I have my son and d-i-l staying with me, prior to their move to the US. Everything is chaotic at the moment, what with visiting relatives to say goodbye, decisions on what to leave behind because of baggage allowances (several boxes have already been sent on ahead) My house isn’t my own and no writing or even planning my next book has been done. Actually, that’s not quite true, I am making notes, usually sitting up in bed at night before turning out the light. So all is not lost…

What do you think of my new blog design? I'm completely harmonised now thanks to the wonderful Heather who has done all the work.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Thoughts

I'm still thinking!!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Here we go again

Some you win, some you lose. I’ve said that before, haven’t I? And not too long ago. And now another story has bit the dust. It’s back to square one. To say I’m disappointed is to put it mildly, but I’ve picked myself up and dusted myself down and I’m eager to go again. I have my son and d-i-l staying with me for the next two weeks so that will give me time to think up something new and wonderful that my editor won’t be able to resist.

So if you don’t here from me you’ll know what I’ll be doing – thinking!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Notebook


I have a notebook which is so well used that it’s held together with an elastic band because almost every page is loose. It dates back to pre-computer time. And I used it today because it has lists of both Christian and surnames in different languages. I was looking for Greek.

These days I use the computer for this sort of thing, but, actually, looking in my notebook was so much quicker. And nostalgic if the truth’s known. It must be nearly thirty years old. I garnered the names from all manner of places. The Olympic games was one of them. Newspapers was another. As well as names I have indexed places, plots, titles (when we were allowed to choose our own) It’s an amazing wealth of information.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

word count

I beat my word count today of 2000 words.

I did 2001!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Progress

Three chapters are with my editor. I can’t believe I wrote three chapters in five days. But now the impetus has slowed and I’m back to my normal half a chapter a day, around 2000 words.
Nevertheless I’m having fun with Blake and Kate. Poor Kate’s just sprained her ankle and Blake’s having to care for her. You know the sort of thing, carry her from one room to another – even though it may not be strictly necessary. He has his head screwed on, that man!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Isn’t it funny how names don’t suit characters? You choose them so carefully in the beginning but as you begin to write you realise that it is all wrong for them. My Robyn has now become Kate. For no other reason than because Blake called it her. I had chosen Robyn because I’d wanted a name that could be mistaken for a man’s name – but it’s not really important to the story, so Kate she is. (If you’re reading this Kate Walker, please let me know if you mind)

It’s happened to me before, this changing names thing. I was wondering whether it had happened to anyone else?

Now to the exciting part. The winners of my last contest. They are:

Carmella Hathaway
Jackie Wisherd
Elaine Seymour

Congratulations. I'll be sending a book from my back list to each of you.

Jackie & Elaine I have your address. Carmella, can you please email me yours.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Covers




I've just received copies of The Billionaire's Blackmail Bargain in Italian. On the cover of my original Cade was bare-chested, but now he's been given a shirt. I actually like this new cover better. I feel it has a more sultry image. What do you think? And incidentally the title has been changed to Luxurious Blackmail. Lovely!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Fresh start

The new story has started off at a fair pace and Blake is beginning to make his presence known. Robyn is well able to stick up for herself, though. I think I'm going to have fun with this one. We've moved temporarily from the Scottish Castle to a Greek Island - owned by Blake! I don't want to give the plot away but it's a marriage of convenience and this is their honeymoon. Not the normal run of the mill honeymoon, of course!

My contest closed today and I'll be announcing the winners on Monday here on my blog.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Some you win, some you lose

I'm having to relegate the two chapters and numerous synopses that I've written over the last weeks to the waste paper basket. And start again.
I wish I could say it's been angst free but it hasn't. But I'm resigned to the fact that my story wasn't going anywhere.
So now I've made a fresh start with fresh characters. I ran it by my editor today and she approves, so let me introduce Blake Benedict, a hotelier, and Robyn Diamond who lives in a small Scottish castle which is facing ruin. I wonder who's going to help whom?

Monday, 28 September 2009

Contest

A quick reminder that there are only three days left if you want to win a copy of one of my books. Just hop over to my website and let me know the title of my very first book.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Tips

It's back to normal now. I wish I could say that I've got my head down writing, but it is not to be. My ed promised me an email outlining her thoughts on my two chapters, 'cos she still has reservations, and I'm anxiously waiting before I carry on. At least it's my art group tomorrow. I love going there because as well as painting I get to talk to lots of other people - quite the opposite to my normal days spent in isolation. Actually I do have gorgeous heroes to keep me company so I shouldn't complain.

While I'm waiting I thought I'd share a tip with you. It was given to me by my sister in law and works perfectly. To stop bananas ripening too quickly wrap each one individually in cling film and store in the salad drawer of your refrigerator. They last at least two weeks, often longer.

Go on, try it, and let me know how you get on. Meanwhile has anyone else any tips they would like to share?

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Celebrations

I’m back from four days in London, exhausted but happy. I seem to have done nothing but eat and talk – though I did a lot of walking as well and amazingly when I weighed myself this morning I’d lost a couple of pounds. I definitely need to keep up the walking!!!

DH came with me but he did his own thing while I sat through three very wonderful meals. The first night ten of us had dinner in the hotel, which was Victorian built and full of elegant splendour. The wine flowed and most stayed up until one thirty chatting – but I had a man in my room! – so I left about 11.30.

The next day was the annual AMBA luncheon (The Association of Mills & Boon Authors) where again it was excellent food in a very atmospheric setting, (thankyou Michelle and Sharon for organising it). Which was followed by a champagne toast to the authors where Karin Stoecker presented me with a very beautiful silver Tiffany key chain in recognition of my 75th book.

And on Friday, Karin took me out for another celebratory lunch in Richmond with my editor Meg and my previous editor Emily (who still edits some of my books) We went to an Italian restaurant and the food was superb. I left feeling like a queen. It was a wonderful few days.

To top it off DH and I went to see Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych Theatre on Friday evening. A superb show which followed very closely the theme of the film. I loved Patrick Swayze in the film – such a shame he is no longer with us. He was a fine actor.

And that’s it. It’s now back to reality. To fighting with a book that is refusing to be written.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Damson jam

Rafael says thanks to those who chose his new name. He likes Rafe. He's now waiting for his surname.

I've been making damson jam today, religiously stirring it every quarter of an hour or so. Until Rafael held my attention for far too long and it boiled over. Just minutes before a gas engineer was due to arrive for an annual service of our appliances! I managed to clean my cooker with seconds to spare.

He made me smile, though. He said that he was one of six children and when they were young they had to take it in turns to clean their mother's cooker. He hated it. But it stood him in good stead today because he (yes, the male) cleans their cooker now after every meal.

OK, so you're all going to shout at me and tell me that your husband cleans your cooker!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Rafael's plea

This is Rafael here, Margaret’s new hero. At least that’s the name she’s given me. She decided I was going to be Spanish but I’m not, I’m English, and I want an English name. She has written two whole chapters calling me Rafael and I hate it. So I need some help, guys.

I run a global chain of hotels and initially I was Raphael De Souza. But I think she told you that De Souza is already the name of a hotel group. So I not only need a Christian name, I need a surname that will look good and impressive on all of my hotels.

Can you get your thinking caps on for me? I’ll be eternally grateful.

Eureka!

We have a network system for our computers so that either DH or I can print without having to change plugs. This was the last task for DH’s new computer. I’ve always had someone else to do the networking but this morning I DID IT! I was so pleased with myself because I spent ages on it last night without success. It was quite simple in the end, just a case of knowing where to look. And possibly because I'd got a fresh mind. After a day struggling with my hero and heroine, sorting out something like that was the last thing I wanted to do.

So now I’m settling down to my writing again with a smile on my face.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Success

I had a better day on my book today - at least I worked this afternoon. This morning was spent with the technical guys again when I had trouble setting up AOL and McAfee on DH's computer. Fingers crossed all is now well. Why does he always leave it to me? Don't tell him but it makes me feel good when he thinks I know these things better than he does.

Changing the subject, I'd given my new hero the surname De Souza - and he owns a chain of hotels world wide. The De Souza chain - I thought it sounded pretty good. Until I did a search on the internet and found there's just such a group in Goa. Thank goodness for computers, that's what I say.

Computer

My DH's computer gave up the ghost - at least the mother board did - and it's only three years old! Hence he has a new computer. And now we're having problems trying to set up our AOL Broadband on it. It's very time consuming, so again another day without writing. I'm beginning to feel that this book is doomed.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Pampering

I managed to make a few notes over the weekend and looked forward to starting Chapter 2 tomorrow - until I remembered a chiropodist appointment and a hairdressing appointment. Do I prefer being pampered from top to toe? Or would I rather carry on with my book? I'll leave you to guess.

Friday, 4 September 2009

It's a start

I've managed 1000 words today. Not a great deal but it's a start and I've finished the first chapter.

Sadly it's the weekend and I never work weekends - so all I can say is, roll on Monday.

I was annoyed yesterday. The gas service engineer was supposed to be coming for our annual check - any time between 12 and 6pm. I telephoned at six to complain and made a new appointment for a couple of weeks time. They tried to contact the engineer but for some reason he wasn't answering his phone. We left at 6.20 to take our grandson home and then visited friends, returning home finally at about 11.30. And guess what, there was a note from the engineer saying he had called at 7.00. 7pm! What sort of hours does this man keep? My question is, why couldn't he have phoned and said he was running late? Arrgh!

Back to work

Peace reigns in the Mayo household. Grandson number two came visiting today – he’s 17 months old. So between my two grandsons there wasn’t a moment’s peace – not that I’d have it any other way. But now it’s bliss, and tomorrow I’m planning to spend the whole day writing. I need to get this book off the ground.

My fear is that the best laid plans, etc.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Life

Sorry I haven’t blogged recentl;y. We have our grandson staying with us and as usual when he’s here life’s pretty hectic. He’s going home tomorrow so hopefully things will get back to normal. I’ve done about three pages of my new book and I’m beginning to panic. I feel withdrawal symptoms. I like writing, I like sitting at my desk and creating. I hate it when life gets in the way. Does anyone else find when they have a break from writing that it takes ages to get back into it again?

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Connection problems

I've had no network connection for the last day and a half. I spent half an hour on the phone with the techie guys yesterday at AOL checking my set up - I was eventually passed through to some other guy who told me that British Telecom were having trouble with their broadband line. BT had kindly let AOL know. They'd been working on it for fifteen hours and would get it up and running asap. The guy actually gave me the time in hours, minutes and seconds :-)

Last night we were having a meal with friends and on our way out of our village (we live right out in the countryside) we saw three or four BT vans parked on the roadside. So the problem was apparently there. A strange place, but still. Anyway, it was nearing midnight before we returned home, and the vans were still there, with two deep holes dug on the grass verges either side of the road, bright lights shining into them. So we stopped and asked - and the answer was that some mindless vandals had dug down, cut into the copper wire, and pulled a whole lot out to sell. Copper must have a high price. We were told it's happening all over the place.

My thoughts are, how do the culprits know where to dig? I guess eventually the copper wire will be replaced with fibre optics, but meantime, how often is this going to happen?

On a brighter note, I have the go ahead for my book. I wrote two pages yesterday, so at least it's a start.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Third Time Lucky

I have today sent another revised synopsis to my ed. If this doesn't work I shall give up on the whole idea and start again.



Now I have proofs to read of my last book. It will be published in March next year with the title of Married Again To The Millionaire. I'm hoping that by the time I've finished them I will have heard from my ed and it will be all systems go. I'm getting withdrawal symptoms from not writing.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Troubles

The netbook internet connection has been solved, after about two hours on the phone to the techie guys. Both AOL and Dell. I had a headache by the time I had finished. But now I'm happy.



I'm not so happy though that my ed still has reservations about my synopsis. Basically the whole story could be resolved by a conversation. Apparently! Am I losing the plot? I'm going to take another look at it over the weekend and then if it still doesn't work, I'll bin it and start again. At least I have another idea sitting waiting to be looked at. One that excites me.



Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

New Contest

I feel in limbo waiting to hear from my editor, but the good news is that my new contest is now up and running - until the end of September.

It's very simple. What was my first book called? I thought that after 75 books you might find it interesting to see what sort of titles the books had way back in the 70's. You'll find the answer on my website (all you have to do is email me with the words August/September contest in the subject line) and the first three names pulled out of the hat on October 1st will receive copies of one of my back books.

I didn't get any further with Skype as my sister in law forgot to get in touch. So another time.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Computers

I'm playing about on my computer while I'm waiting for my sister in law to get in touch on Skype. Then we'll see what happens. We have it set up on my DH's computer and he's having sound problems with it. A loose connection somewhere I think. There always seem to be problems with computers and for someone who's not computer savvy it's a headache. I've just invested in a netbook, which I thought would be better than carrying my heavy laptop around whenever I'm away. Now I have the problem of setting up an internet connection. It doesn't have a disk drive to add my AOL to it - and external ones are pretty pricey. There must be a way around it, so that's another headache on the horizon.

And by the way I'll soon be running a new contest on my website so do look out for that.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Skype

This is a plea for help. I've recently downloaded Skype so that we can talk for free with my sister in law in Australia. She has downloaded it too. Now all we have to do is fathom out how it works. Does anyone out there use Skype? Can you advise me? I guess I would figure it out eventually but thought a little help from my friends might be an easier way of doing it.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Plots again

You would think that after writing for all these years that I’d be able to write a synopsis easily. The truth is, I can’t. I’ve always written ‘into the mist’ and I find having to plot out the whole story beforehand is a time consuming and frustrating experience.

I keep reading about how other authors write their synopses, and Nicola Marsh’s method which she blogged about last week was excellent. As was one by Heidi Rice some time ago. So why can’t I do it?

I guess I’m more interested in writing than plotting.

Does anyone else struggle with synopses or is it just me?

Monday, 10 August 2009

Plots & synopses

I’ve spent the last three days tackling the weeds that have dared to grow over the last couple of weeks. Plenty of rain and sunshine really did it’s job, but all is looking good again and I’m back to struggling with my new synopsis.

My thoughts are that if I’m finding it difficult now will the story work overall. With a bit of luck I’ll complete it today and send it off to my ed. She did say it had potential – it’s a matter of finding it.

So fingers crossed everyone.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Fun while it lasted

I'd forgotten how much energy thirteen year olds have. Two weeks in his company and I'm worn out. It was fun, though, and the house is very quiet now that he's gone home.

I religiously kept away from my computer, knowing full well how much time it takes up. Then found I was snowed under with emails. Which I have still to read. I've sorted the good from the bad, so that's whittled them down. But there are so many that need my attention that it looks like being a few days before I actually get down to work. By work I mean writing. I'm in discussions with my editor regarding my recent synopsis. She has reservations, so it might be back to the drawing board!

One piece of good news. I've been told that Bought For Marriage was number three in the Borders best seller list last week.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Idea

You won't hear from me for a week or so as we have our number one grandson staying with us and we shall be out and about. I've just sent my editor an idea for my next book so keep your fingers crossed that she likes it.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Australia


My Santorini book is out in Australia in August, and here's the cover.

Don't you just love the fact that they're called Sexy?

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Santorini Marriage Bargain

Julie Bonello at CataRomance has just put up this fabulous review. I’m so excited by it that I’m posting it in full.


Review: The Santorini Marriage Bargain by Margaret Mayo

Margaret Mayo celebrates 75 books with a compelling Modern Romance that you will devour in a single sitting: The Santorini Marriage Bargain!

Rhianne Pickering is having a very bad day: she’s been made redundant and she’s just walked in on her fiancé having sex with her best friend and flatmate. Heartbroken, upset and angry, Rhianne doesn’t know what she is doing – and almost ends up under the wheels of a car! The driver, Greek billionaire Zarek Diakos, is certainly not amused!
Zarek has got enough to worry about without adding Rhianne’s problems to his plate. His beloved father is at death’s door and his poor mother is going out of her mind with worry. Yet, something about the vulnerable Rhianne strikes a chord with him and he soon finds himself inviting her to his hotel room! After hearing about her problems, Zarek finds himself compelled to offer Rhianne a job in his firm as his secretary, replacing his current PA who has gone on maternity leave. Rhianne soon proves to be a more than an adequate replacement for his former secretary. But little does she know that Zarek has got another job for her. A job that will change her life for ever…
When Zarek asks her to accompany him to the beautiful Greek island of Santorini, Rhianne is initially taken aback, but she concedes to Zarek’s request. However, little does Rhianne expect to be introduced to his parents as his fiancée!
After breaking off her engagement with her fiancé, the last thing Rhianne wanted or needed was a relationship. But Zarek needs a wife if he is to inherit his father’s business and Rhianne cannot risk breaking the heart of the man which she has grown to love. Yet, Zarek makes it clear that theirs can only be a marriage of pure convenience. But will Rhianne manage to change his mind?

Modern Romance readers have a great treat in store for them with Margaret Mayo’s seventy-fifth novel for Mills and Boon. The Santorini Marriage Bargain is a compelling, emotional and heartwarming tale featuring a gorgeous Greek hero and a refreshing heroine who is strong and lively. Spiced with sizzling sexual tension, nail-biting emotional drama and tender love scenes, The Santorini Marriage Bargain is another triumph for one of the most reliable names in category romance: Margaret Mayo! Here’s to 75 more fabulous stories from the pen of this talented storyteller!

If you want to purchase it it's available at Amazon or from Mills & Boon

OR

The first person to post a comment will get a free copy.

Monday, 13 July 2009

West Side Story

We went to a wonderful performance of West Side Story on Saturday. A youth group performed it, no one over the age of 18, and it was spectacular. I've seen humorous shows by them before but never anything serious. My friend's young granddaughter is joining the group this year, she's only seven, and she's really looking forward to it. Most of them remain until they're 18 and some go on to become actors. It's good to see youngsters putting their heart and soul into doing something like this.

Friday, 10 July 2009

The Santorini Marriage Bargain

Good news! My London book has been accepted. I don’t have a title or publication date yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

Meantime here is the Pink Heart Society review for the Santorini Marriage Bargain.


I was delighted when asked to review Margaret Mayo's 75th book for Harlequin Mills & Boon. What a truly wonderful achievement.

By the first chapter I had fallen madly in love with the hero, Zarek who was both courteous and chivalrous whilst remaining an utterly gorgeous alpha male. Rhianne had experienced a terrible personal setback but Zarek helped her to take control of her life back - first by employing her and secondly by helping her to regain her confidence.

Although Rhianne had experienced a heartbreaking incident prior to the book beginning, she was in no way sorry for herself or overly emotional. Rather, she took the chances life and Zarek offered her with both hands.

The book begins in london but we are soon whisked away to the island of Santorini to meet Zarek's family. Although Zarek's father was seriously ill, I was impressed with the way this delicate subject was handled - just the right amount of sentimentality without becoming maudlin.

Zarek finds out he needs to be married in order to inherit his father's estate when he passes. Rhianne is the perfect candidate, yet she does not easily give in to Zarek's wishes. This story shows a strong hero with a heroine that matches him every step of the way despite her vulnerability. It is beautifully written by a prolific author who is a true inspiration to aspiring authors and a delight to her many readers.


Thursday, 9 July 2009

In limbo

My accounts are finally done – whew! It’s the worst job. I’ve not heard from my editor yet about my book which is disappointing. I feel in limbo. I’m now about to go out into the garden and frighten away some weeds that are daring to reappear. My DH is at this very moment spreading weed and feed on the lawns. And the birds in the nest are growing very quickly. We’ve had some heavy rain these last few days but so far this morning it’s lovely and sunny so I’m looking forward to working in the garden.

My mind refuses to tackle thoughts on a new book. I have some vague ideas but I think I need the other one put to bed before I can really let my mind free to work it out.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Disappointed



At the weekend we thought that we would take a ride on the mountain railway up Mount Snowdon – which is the highest mountain in Wales, (higher than any in England too) and visit the new café that has been built there.

The weather was glorious when we set off but the closer we got the more cloudier it became. The clouds turned to rain clouds and it poured down. There were so many walkers huddled into their wet gear, heads down, that we felt sorry for them.

We decided not to go up the mountain in the end because we wouldn’t have been able to see anything. Another time perhaps.

Last year we went up (the café wasn’t finished then) and it was beautifully sunny, but even as we stood and admired the view the clouds came down. I guess it will always be a gamble.


Thursday, 2 July 2009

Waiting game


I'm still waiting to hear whether my book has been accepted. I hate this waiting game. I feel on edge, not able to settle down to anything else. I still have accounts waiting to be done and an office to tidy. It's soooooo bad! I printed some bookmarks last week to slip into my books in local bookshops advertising the fact that I'm a local author. And could I find them this morning. I looked everywhere. Think logical, I told myself. I knew they had to be in my office. And, yes, I found them eventually, under my dictionary, which was in the wrong place.


And then I went down to our local town and proudly looked at my books. And with permission I inserted a bookmark into each. I wonder if it will help promote future sales. I'd like to think so.

Surprise

Do you remember me telling you that we had a visiting hedgehog? Well, he seems to have stopped coming, but yesterday we had another surprise.

We were thinning out the shrubbery in our secret garden, hacking away merrily, a robin playing at our feet. We’ve had two robins around for quite a while. And then what did we find? A robin’s nest.

Oh, my goodness. If we’d known we wouldn’t have cut quite so much of the bush away. But luckily the chicks didn’t seem bothered, they simply opened their beaks wide wanting to be fed. And the mother wasn’t disturbed either. So now we’re leaving it well alone.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Ideas

Yesterday’s post seems to have disappeared into the ether (and I didn’t keep a copy) So here I go again.

On Thursday my American daughter in law was sworn in as a British Citizen. DH and I attended and it was a marvellously patriotic ceremony. DH filmed it and we’re going to put it on a CD for her to show her parents next time she goes home. It was the sort of occasion that I’ll never forget.

Kimml – you’ve won my latest contest, so email me your address and your copy of The Santorini Marriage Bargain will be on its way to you.

Sadly that was the last week of my contest celebrating my 75th book, but I do have one more book to give away. This is not a contest as such but I’ve been trying to work out a new plot and I’m not sure in which direction to go. A marriage of convenience, a revenge story, amnesia (which I haven’t done in a long time) and I’ve just done the secret baby story, so that’s out.

How would you like to tell me which are your favourite plots – one of the above or something different. And if I choose one of them for my next book then I’ll send whoever came up with the idea a copy of The Santorini Marriage Bargain or The Italian’s Ruthless Baby Bargain. The choice is yours.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Empty

I feel totally bereft now that my book has gone. I should have spent time today working on my accounts but I couldn't face them. So I worked in the garden instead. Weeding is very therapeutic and now that it's all neat and tidy it's a pleasure looking out at it from our lounge windows.

Our grandson visited - with his Mum and Dad, of course. Oliver is now 14 months old and is taking his first faltering steps. I think I may have to put him in one of my books. I have a four year old in the book I've just sent off and I wrote that he liked sausage sandwiches for breakfast - which is my eldest grandon's favourite. So it just goes to show that we do put little bits of real life in our books. If you can call eating a sausage sandwich real life!

The four year old I'm writing about also fell down and cut his head and I had help from Anne McAllister whose granddaughter had done the same thing. In fact it was Anne mentioning it on her blog that gave me the idea to put it into my story. So if you're reading this Anne, thanks again for all the info.

Does anyone else use snapshots of real life?

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Hurrah!

Hurrah, the revisions are finished. They were not as bad as I thought and I’ve read the book through twice to make sure I haven’t missed anything. Now all I have to do is wait and see.

I have two lucky winners for my June contest. My DH has picked Maureen to win a copy of my 75th book The Santorini Marriage Bargain, and Penney you get a book mark. If you’d both email me your address I’ll get them in the post straight away.

Now another week starts. Comments = prizes. If you don't comment you can't win. It's that simple. I have one more book to give away and loads of bookmarks.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Plots


I'm still deep in revision hell. But at the same time I'm idly thinking about my next plot. Not that I have one, but I'm sort of tossing options around. Remember this photo of Sienna in my current book? Well it was from a page I tore out of a magazine. I have no idea now what the article was about but printed on the same page were the words: 'Tom is charismatic, sexy and good-looking, but very intense and serious.'

I plan to print these words out in large print and pin it up in front of me. I want to know who Tom is and why he's intense and serious. I'm hoping it will prove a first stepping stone to my next story.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Best Seller


Yesterday Bought for Marriage was No 6 on eHarlequin’s top ten daily bestsellers. It doesn’t take much to make my day!

And last night I went to Kate Walker’s talk in Derby. Brilliant!

But now it’s back to the revisions…

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Reviews


The first review is in for The Santorini Marriage Bargain and I'm delighted with it.




Check it out here.

And don’t forget that if you want to win a copy just add a comment

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

James Bond


We had a drive into Wales over the weekend. The weather was glorious and we found a lovely little cove in Cardigan Bay with golden sand and a headland either side. There was no parking at the bottom and we had to walk down a steep hill to it. Going down was OK but coming back up!!!

Talking to a man on holiday he said that the last scene in the James Bond movie Die Another Day was shot there and as my DH is a James Bond fan and we have most of his movies on DVD we found it out and religiously watched it last night. We recognised the bay instantly. We waited the whole movie for it – and it was on for about six seconds!

Pierce Brosnan was James Bond. Apart from Sean Connery I think he was the best James Bond by far. Seriously sexy. Does anyone else share my opinion or do you have other favourites? Or perhaps you don’t like James Bond movies at all?

Monday, 15 June 2009

Book covers

I’ve received copies of The Rich Man’s Reluctant Mistress in Dutch, and also The Billionaire’s Blackmail Bargain in the same language. The intriguing part is that although The Rich Man’s Reluctant Mistress has the same cover photo the one on The Billionaire’s Blackmail Bargain has been changed. Could it be because it originally had a bare chested hero?

I’ve just been on the Harlequin Holland website so that I could upload a copy of the cover but it’s not there. And nor is my name in their list of authors which I find extremely disappointing considering the numbers of years I’ve been writing.

The second week of my contest is over, and Abby’s name has been plucked out of the hat (of only two commenters – where are you all?) so if you email me your address, Abby, I’ll send you a copy of The Santorini Marriage Bargain. Michelle, if you also let me know your address a bookmark will be on its way to you.

Week three now begins and I’d be delighted to send another copy of this my 75th book to a lucky commenter (is there such a word as commenter?) and a bookmark to everyone else.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Ideas

I spent the morning yesterday weeding the front garden. We’ve had so much sunshine and rain recently that the weeds have flourished. Then I spent the afternoon making a start on my accounts, as well as submitting books for PLR. This is the side to writing that is no real pleasure. Unfortunately it has to be done.

I’m going to spend today dreaming up a new plot. This is much more exciting. (I might make start on the weeding first in the back garden but it’s not actually calling to me.) At this moment I have no ideas whatsoever. I thought I’d jotted some plot ideas down somewhere, but can I find them? Perhaps when I’ve tidied my desk they might come to light.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

It's finished!

The book has gone and is now awaiting my editor's comments. And I have a desk left to clear that at this moment's looking as though a tornado has hit it. There's such an empty feeling inside me as well. This was my baby and now it's left home. My DH is pleased because he will see more of me but I feel lost. There's lots to do though - and the biggest is my accounts. They sit staring at me and my accountant's letter asking for them is leering menacingly. This is one of the worst parts of a writer's life.

So let's change the subject. A friend of mine was saying last night that it is always book covers that attract her first. Not authors, not titles, but covers. Especially books set at the end of the nineteenth century where little boys wear short trousers and have socks wrinkled around their their ankles, and women wear long dresses.

Whenever I'm browsing bookshops - at the airport for instance - I look for titles. I do have my favourite authors but if I'm looking for something different it's a title first - something that grabs my attention. Then I'll read the back blurb, and then the first page. If they all come together I might buy the book. If not it goes back on the shelf.

What do you look for when you're browsing bookshelves?

Monday, 8 June 2009

winners and losers

It’s crunch time. One final read through and my book will be winging its way to my editor. My only problem in tightening the story is that I’ve lost rather gained a number of words.

I hear of so many authors who have to cut their word count that I’m envious. What a luxury that would be.

So let’s have confessions.
Who struggles to reach 50,000 words?
Who struggles to cut their word count?

My June contest is still running. One week over – and no comments on my blog, so unfortunately no winners.

If you’d like a copy of my 75th book The Santorini Marriage Bargain – then just add a comment and email me your address, It’s as simple as that. Each week one name out of the hat will win a book, everyone else a bookmark. Rhianne and the gorgeous Greek, Zarek Diakos are anxious to hear from you!

Friday, 5 June 2009

The End

The first draft is finished. Adam and Sienna have resolved their differences. All I have to do now is go through it again and tighten it up. (And add about 500 words because it's come out a bit short)

It was due by the end of this month but my editor has asked for it asap so I guess I'll be working on it over the weekend - which is usually 'me' time. Not that I'm too worried because the weathermen have forecast rain for the weekend.

And if my editor wants it - then that has to be good. I certainly have a feel-good factor today.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Presents Extra miniseries


I’d almost forgotten that I have two books being published in July. I was so excited about my 75th book that I almost forgot Bought For Marriage is coming out in the US at the same time – in the Presents Extra miniseries – Forced to Marry.

Bought for Marriage is one of my favourite books, I loved writing about Dione and Theo and I’ve been waiting for it to be published in the US. The back cover blurb goes like this:

Dione Keristari will do anything to help her sick father. But begging gorgeous Greek billionaire Theo Tsardikos for cash is more than she bargained for. Now he’s demanding a marriage contract in return for the money! She has no choice but to agree. However, inexperienced Dione can’t handle the attraction between them, and she vows not to share Theo’s bed.

But Theo’s a master in the ways of loving, and soon he has his temporary bride at his bidding – and she’s pregnant….

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

More about the hedgehog

Eddie the hedgehog is very fussy. We put out cat food tonight and he's turned his nose up at it. We are wondering now whether to leave it out all night, or take it in in case it attracts field mice. Do mice like cat food, I ask myself. Let’s hope not.

Good news on the writing front, I have only one more chapter to go. Sometimes last chapters can be as difficult as first ones because of all the loose ends to be tied up. Actually I’m quite excited to be at this stage. There were times during the writing of this book that I thought I would never get here. But it’s all coming nicely together.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Do you want to be a winner?

The hedgehog has been back, every night, and we’ve decided he must be able to squeeze himself under the gate. I try to watch for him to leave but always I miss him. At the moment he’s foraging in the shrubbery and my DH is keeping watch.

But now, forget the hedgehog, forget the nail biting final of Britain's Got Talent on Saturday night, forget the scorching weather here in the UK.

To celebrate the publication in July of my 75th book – The Santorini Marriage Bargain – each week for the next four weeks I’ll be putting the names of every commenter into a hat. The first one to be drawn out by my DH will win their very own copy of this special book.

And…

Everyone else will receive a bookmark if you email me your address with the word Santorini in the subject line.

To entice you this is the first page:

Rhianne heard the screech of brakes before she saw the car. By then it was too late. Lost in her own world of misery she had not thought to look before she stepped off the pavement. Urged on by the front fender of the car she spun across the road and for a few moments lay curled in blessed silence. It was as though everything in the whole world had stopped. No traffic noise, no voices, no birds singing. Nothing except a strange calm. She wasn’t even hurting.
Then came the voice. A deep, gruff male voice. ‘Why the hell didn’t you look where you were going?’
Why the hell didn’t she look? Rhianne struggled to turn her head and glare at the owner of the voice. He was clearly the man who had knocked her down. Beyond him was his car with the door still open, the engine still running. ‘Why didn’t I look?’ Her tone matched his for hardness. And why shouldn’t it when he was behaving as though she was the one at fault. ‘Why the hell didn’t you look? Call yourself a driver. This is a busy main road. You should have had your wits about you.’
‘Are you hurt?’
The belated question angered her still further. She closed her eyes needing to shut out the handsome face that had come a little too close. The man was on his haunches now, peering at her, making her feel like an insect under a microscope.
‘Hello. Can you hear me?’
So he thought she’d passed out! Rhianne snapped her eyes open again and scrambled to her feet. She felt wobbly but nothing appeared to be broken. At least she didn’t think so. Her legs still held her up and she could move her arms. Her hip felt a little sore and she guessed she’d be bruised tomorrow, but other than that she was OK.
No thanks to Mr Fast Car Driver.






Thursday, 28 May 2009

Hedgehogs

I had just settled down to watch last night’s semi-final of Britain’s Got Talent when my DH said to me, ‘Come and look. Quick, come and look.’ He was pointing out of the French windows on to our back garden. My first thought was that he wanted me out of the chair so he could sit in it. It wouldn’t have been the first time he’s done that. But when I got up and looked there was a hedgehog wandering along our patio. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

A few years ago we bought a hedgehog from a hedgehog sanctuary but our garden is fenced in with no escape route so we had to leave the gate open leading to our side garden where he could get under the fence – and we never saw him again. So how had this hedgehog got into the garden?

It’s a mystery, unless he sneaked in some time when we had the gate open. But that’s only when we’re working in the area and surely we would have seen him. And aren’t hedgehogs nocturnal? Perhaps he was just an early riser? It was half past eight.

Eventually after many tours of the patio and the tubs of flowers he climbed on the wall that separates it from the lawn, walked along it, then explored the bed at the side of the lawn before disappearing into the shrubbery at the top.

We didn’t see him again. Why didn’t I take a photograph?

The Santorini Marriage Bargain



Don’t you just love the cover of my new book? This is Rhianne and Zarek’s story. Rhianne is English, Zarek is a gorgeous Greek. They met when he nearly ran her over and she blamed him even though she’d stepped out into the road without looking. I’m on her side, though. She’d just found her boyfriend in bed with her best friend. It’s enough to make anyone walk deliberately in front of a car.

This is a very special book because it’s my 75th (shame there isn’t a mention on the cover) and next month I’ll be running a competition to celebrate, so if you want a copy for free watch this space.


The back cover blurb goes like this:

From the Greek’s secretary…
When fresh-faced Rhianne Pickering agrees to work for masterful Greek Zarek Diakos she knows it’s a mistake – no man has ever made her heart quicken and her body quiver like this! But with her life in tatters she needs a job.

To his convenient wife!
Zarek thinks Rhianne makes the perfect secretary. But on a business trip to the beautiful island of Santorini he decides her skills are undervalued. He’s in need of a bride: under the warm Mediterranean sun he’ll show Rhianne it’s a position she can’t refuse!

Next time I’ll give you the excerpt that’s in front of the book.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Unusual step

We’ve had wonderful weather over this Bank Holiday weekend so the writing has taken a back seat – once again! And now, because I know how I want this story to end, and because I’ve hit yet another stone wall, I’m going to take the unusual step (for me) of writing the end next.

I’ve heard of other writers doing this but I’ve never actually done it myself. It should take about two chapters because there’s a lot to sort out, and as I reckon three chapters should finish the book I hopefully won’t have much to fill in. With a bit of luck I might not even need to fill the gap, it might sort itself out beautifully.

So fingers crossed everyone!!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

I went to my art group this morning and whether it was because I’d got my creative juices flowing I don’t know, but the words began to flow once I got back. I even forgot about lunch. And now I’m hungry, I’m going to make myself a cup of coffee and a sandwich (DH is out which is a help) and come back to my desk and hopefully the muse will still be there.


Someone once said that when you stopped writing for the day it was best to leave it in the middle of a scene so that you knew exactly where you were going the next time you sat down to write. There’s a lot to be said for that because I usually finish a scene, don’t know where I’m going next, and the inevitable happens.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Brick walls

Why is it that two thirds of the way through any book I write I could easily end it? I’ve spent two days writing very little, thinking a lot, getting myself twisted into knots. I’ve made copious notes, a lot of them repetitive, and I’m still not sure which path I’m going to take. I now have another 17,000 words to write and my H&H are getting too close together for comfort.

Usually my subconscious works. Not on this occasion. I feel as though I’m hitting my head against a brick wall. And it hurts!

I do have a ‘black moment’ on the horizon so maybe I should bring it forward!

When I consider how many books I have written – and that book number 75 is being published in July – you would think that I wouldn’t have such problems. So any would-be writers who are reading this, take heart. It’s not plain sailing even for experienced authors like me.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Busy weekend

We’re about to have a lively weekend. Grandson number one is visiting. At the age of thirteen he is already taller than me (and I am five feet six). He has a wicked sense of humour, taking after his grandfather! And I know that between them I’m going to be terribly tormented.
Unless, of course, it’s meal times, or inbetween times. When his stomach is craving food. Then he butters up to me. He’s a real pleasure and we’re both looking forward to taking him on holiday later in the year.

Last weekend grandson number two visited. He’s thirteen as well – but only thirteen months and he so entertaining. Hasn’t time flown? It seems like only yesterday that I posted a photo of him when he was only one day old.

Happy weekend everyone.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Pencil and paper

I’ve had three days of good writing, no, correction, three good days of writing. Who knows whether it’s good or not at these initial stages? I’ve written two thousand words each day, and now I’ve come to a full stop. Is it because the weather’s changed and it’s miserable outside? Does sunshine help? Is it because Adam & Sienna are getting too close together too quickly? Or is it because I need more careful plotting? Or is it even because we went out for a meal last night with friends and I drank more wine than was good for me? The creative juices certainly aren’t flowing this morning.

Last weekend I sat down with a pencil and paper and worked out where I was going next. I’ve now reached the end of that and need to get my thinking cap on again. So perhaps it’s back to pencil and paper?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Heroes

I’ve been reading with interest Kate Walker’s series of blogs on Alpha heroes. I have just such a hero in Adam. He can be irritating and he can be kind. He can be arrogant and he can be romantic. He’s also something of an enigma. There are things Sienna never knew about him even though they were married for a few years before they split up. It is only now that he is back in her life that she is finding out exactly what makes this man tick.

DH has gone out so that I can get on with my writing but as usual I’m procrastinating. Why is it that when he’s at home I work harder? Is it because when he’s out I can get on with all those little jobs that are hard to do when your man is around the place?

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Inspiration


You never know where you might find inspiration. I’d come to a place in Adam’s and Sienna’s story where I felt it was going flat. Then I read Anne McAllister’s blog about an unfortunate accident that happened to her little granddaughter. Poor Ellie fell and cut her head and was rushed to hospital. This could happen to four year old Ethan, I thought. And with Anne’s kind permission I’ve used a similar situation to up the tension, taking me in a direction I had never planned.

Many thanks, Anne, and I hope Ellie continues to recover.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Still slow going

I’ve not written as much as I’d hoped this week. Not because I haven’t had the time, but because my characters won’t behave themselves. Adam wants to take Sienna to bed but I daren’t let him, not at this early stage. He should still be mad at her because he’s found out that he has a four year old son he knew nothing about. But is he mad? Is he heck. He's got over it far too quickly.

I really need to do some serious thinking about this story.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Slow going

Despite the promise I made to myself I didn’t get very much writing done last week. The weather was too nice and my DH and I went out most days. But now it’s turned to rain and is much cooler so I’m back at my desk. I’m having to read myself back into Sienna and Adam’s story and it’s like all Monday mornings – hard going.

We had a visitor one of the days while we were away. A visitor who took all the fish out of our pool which had only the week before been restocked. And the visitor was? A heron! The decoy heron didn’t do his job, neither did the electric fence we’ve had put around the pool. (You can tell we’ve lost fish before)

The fence is only a tiny low one with enough voltage to give a tingle, but it’s enough to scare away a heron if he touches it with his chest. The guy we employed to install the fence says he’s heard of two cases recently where a heron has landed right in the pool rather than trying to wade in or reaching down from the edge. They’re getting cunning!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Busy

I know I haven’t blogged much recently as I’ve been out and about, and I’m going to get my head down this coming week on my new book which is going much too slowly for my peace of mind. So if you don’t hear from me you’ll know why.

Meanwhile I’ll leave you with another thrilling review on The Italian’s Ruthless Baby Bargain from WeWriteRomance which you can read here. Santo and Penny are thrilled too that their story is causing excitement.

I don’t have a date for the Presents publication yet, but rest assured I shall tell you as soon as I do, and meanwhile it’s available from Amazon.co.uk or the Book Depository where p&p is free to anywhere in the world.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Definitions

I've just returned from visiting my son in Dorset. Enjoying a pub meal one evening I began reading all the witty sayings that were painted on the walls. Such as these definitions:

Normalise - 20-20 vision

Polarise - what penguins see with

Myth - a female moth

But the one that caught my attention was:

Heroes (and you know why I looked twice at that one) - what a guy in a boat does

But who knows, my current hero might take my heroine out on a rowing boat - after all he does live close to the Thames. Or maybe it would be a luxurious cruiser. Time will tell.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Writing place

Whenever I go away for a few days I always take my laptop with me, fully intending to do some writing. But the strange thing is, even though I sit down with good intentions I can never get anything meaningful down. I’ve even tried a borrowed Alphie.

Then as soon as I come home and sit at my desk the words begin to flow. It’s as though my inner self is comfortable only in this one spot. This is my writing place, it says, how dare you try to write anywhere else.

Does anyone else have this problem?

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Spring

I’ve been proof reading today – the first day back after an escape to the Lake District. I took lots of photographs and my DH has been trying out his new camcorder, but this is by far my most favourite photo. Forget the stunning landscapes. This is a real sign of spring. Oh, and we found the place – supposedly – where Wordsworth saw his host of golden daffodils.

.........


Annoyingly I can't get my photo to upload. It was of a tiny inqusitive lamb who came right up to me to see what I was doing.

Monday, 23 March 2009

The go ahead

I’ve now heard from my editor regarding the first three chapters, and I’m so glad I sent them in because she has suggestions to make which changes things. If I’d gone on to write the whole story then it would have been a massive re-write at the end. I know some authors wait until they have a complete manuscript, and I used to do that myself, but over the years I’ve learned that it makes life much easier to get an editor’s input in its very early stages.

So its going to be head down now for a little while.

Did I show you a picture of my hero? I know I showed you Sienna – with the hat! I can’t somehow see her having an occasion to wear such a hat, but it’s still going to be the same girl.

In case I didn’t, here he is: Richard Armitage as Robin Hood – oh, those eyes!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

To tie or not to tie

How many ties is too many?


My DH bought a new tie on Saturday – chosen by our 13 year old grandson who was staying the weekend. ‘I really must throw out some of my ties,’ said DH as he was putting it away. So we had a clear out yesterday. We discovered that he had 44 ties. (He used to work in a men’s outfitters so always wore a tie for work) Out of those we binned 5 and sent 17 to charity. Which means he now has only 22 in his wardrobe!!!


The thing this is that he only wears a favourite few. I guess it’s like us women with handbags and shoes. We always go back to our favourites.


Does anyone else’s husband have a wardrobe full of ties? Or is he simply old-fashioned?

Thursday, 12 March 2009

First chapters

Phew! We’ve had our daughter and grandson staying with us for the last two days. Our grandson is eleven months old now and has totally worn us out. I can tell you I’m happy to be sitting back at my desk.


Prior to their visit I had just finished the first three chapters of my new book so today I’m going to read it through in printed form, add a further synopsis for the rest of the story and send it to my editor. Adam has remained Adam, but Eve is now Sienna. I rather like the name Sienna and it suits my heroine perfectly.


While Adam and Sienna are waiting patiently on my editor’s desk I shall do my VAT returns and I also need to start thinking about my annual accounts. Actually I don’t think I’ll get any further than thinking for the moment! It’s a necessary evil and one I hate. The sensible thing would be to start at the beginning of each tax year and enter items daily, or even monthly, instead of hiding them in an ever bulging folder. Perhaps next time…

Friday, 6 March 2009

Question Time


I’m answering questions this weekend on our fabulous Australian author, Nicola Marsh’s blog, about The Italian’s Ruthless Baby Bargain. This book is on sale in Australia now and don’t you just love the Sexy cover.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Contest winner

The winner of my February/March contest is:

Joy Isley

Many congratulations, Joy, and a big thankyou, as well as commiserations, to every one else who entered.

Joy wins a copy of either The Billionaire's Blackmail Bargain or The Italian's Ruthess Baby Bargain - I'm leaving the decision up to her.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Character versus Plot


What gorgeous weather we’ve had over the weekend. Snow is forecast for later in the week so I guess it’s been lulling us into a false sense of security. Nevertheless it’s nearly 16 degrees in the sun outside my window. Not bad for March. And don’t you think it always makes you feel better when the sun is shining?


We actually spent time clearing up the garden, which is usually unheard of at this time of year. We have a bed where a wayward tree prevented us weeding properly so that’s now been taken out, the whole bed cleared and we intend putting in new shrubs and maybe extending the lawn a little so there won’t be quite so much weeding to do in future.


I’ve also spent time working more on my new hero and heroine’s characters. Nicola Marsh, in her blog, suggested that writing a character driven story instead of a plot driven one – or vice versa – can give your writing a fresh approach. As I’ve never written a character driven story, and as my current plot is very slender at the moment, I thought I’d give it a go.

Friday, 27 February 2009

We have lift off.


Friday afternoon, one chapter finished, and it’s taken me a laborious three days. I’ve been trying to weave in the back story little bit by little bit so that it doesn’t take anything away from the present. I believe it works, though I still have more to do in the next chapter.

I can’t believe it’s the end of February already. It seems like only yesterday that we were all wishing each other a happy new year. Where does the time go? It must be because we’re having fun. I certainly am. Writing can be both frustrating and fun. But it’s always the fun part that wins out.

The weekend is here so I will not be writing for two days. Roll on Monday I say.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Contest



I've started my book - slowly - only twelve hundred words yesterday, but at least it's a start. Still not sure of names, but it's early days.

And don't forget, only two more days left if you want to win a copy of either of my latest books.

Visit me here and look for my contest page.




Tuesday, 24 February 2009

What's in a name?

I’ve just finished an energising game of Wii Tennis with my DH. Did I say energising? I mean exhausting. Because, for the first time ever, I beat him!

We’d both eaten too many pancakes – yummy with sugar and lemon – and needed the exercise. But for me to win? Wow!

While I’m on a winning streak I’m going to start my new book tomorrow. I’m still debating on hero and heroine names. I’m toying with Dominic, Cristian, or Blake for my hero, and possibly Bella for my heroine. On the other hand it might be none of these. I’ve given them temporary names of Adam and Eve (yes, I know it’s corny) until they adopt names of their own. I've been adding to my character profiles over the last few days, but now I'm raring to go. I don't have a middle and an end to my story yet, but that's nothing new. I always write into the mist.

Friday, 20 February 2009

New plot

In a week where I have had ideas for two new plots, and submitted one of them to my editor, I have already been given the go ahead. So it will soon be all systems go. I don’t have names for by hero and heroine yet and I still have a little work to do before I start writing, but the urge is there…

Part of the fun of writing is creating new characters and new situations. Sometimes I find it difficult, sometimes my editor doesn't like my suggestions, but this time everything came together beautifully.

What I need to do now is create myself a New Plot folder. Because - when I was tidying my desk recently I came across some scraps of paper with ideas on them which I must have jotted down months (or dare I say years?) ago. I've not used any of them this time - so my next project is to locate them (again!) and put them safely into a new folder.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Reminder

I’m busy working on a new plot at the moment, but thought I’d remind you that there’s only just over a week left before my current contest comes to an end.

So if you fancy a copy of either my current book, The Italian’s Ruthless Baby Bargain, or my earlier book The Billionaire’s Blackmail Bargain, then here is the question.

What is the name of my hero in The Italian’s Ruthless Baby Bargain?

You’ll find the answer here and you can email me your entries here

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Good news!

Elena and Vidal's story has been accepted. It's coming out in December this year under the title of The Twelve Month Marriage Deal.

Needless to say I'm delighted. For some reason I struggled with this book, nevertheless I shall be sorry to let Elena and Vidal go. Elena does have a sister, though, and Vidal a brother, so they might turn up in another book some time.

I'm having lunch with a writer friend tomorrow, both to celebrate and to toss around new ideas. I'm feeling quite excited about starting something fresh.

Monday, 9 February 2009

No news

Did I tell you that The Italian's Ruthless Baby Bargain is in the shops now?

Just thought I'd ask!!

I thoroughly enjoyed my four days in London. It was c-c-cold, but mainly dry. I thought snow was going to prevent us going, but apart from an initial hiccup we got there safely. We did lots of walking, saw two shows - Billy Elliott and Stomp - both excellent, and also celebrated my birthday!

No news off my editor yet, but it's nearing that time of year when I have to do my annual accounts so I'll have plenty to keep me busy.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The revisions are done. Vidal & Elena’s story is back on my editor’s desk.

And I’ve just received an excellent review from CataRomance on The Italian’s Ruthless Baby Bargain.

So despite the fact that there’s thick snow on the ground and it’s freezing cold I’m feeling very happy.



Nanny Penny Keeling knows that working for Santo De Luca is going to be anything but easy! Not only does the autocratic Italian expect her to be on call seven days a week and twenty-four hours a day, but he also makes it quite clear that he does not like his staff to have boyfriends!

Romance is the last thing on Penny’s mind! After getting her heart shattered by a philandering boyfriend, Penny vowed to invest all of her time and energies into her job and to forget about men for the time being. But one forceful glance from Santo’s penetrating brown eyes and Penny starts wondering whether she has been too hasty in turning her back on the male of the species! But a man like Santo, a billionaire who is frequently photographed by the paparazzi with stunning supermodels on his arm, could surely never be attracted to an ordinary girl like her? Could he?


You can read the rest of the review here, but this is what the reviewer said:


I couldn’t put The Italian’s Ruthless Baby Bargain down! Margaret Mayo has written a terrific contemporary romance featuring a sexy Alpha hero and a feisty and independent heroine which readers will just adore. The Italian’s Ruthless Baby Bargain is the latest in a long line of captivating romantic tales by a writer who never fails to deliver sexy, sparkling and spellbinding contemporary romances!


On that high note I’m going to pack ready for my London trip.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Revisions

It’s revision time. My editor got back to me far more quickly than I expected. She loves Elena and Vidal’s story, but… There is always a but. But can mean anything though. In this case it means my story will be a lot stronger.

So it’s head down for the next few days, including the weekend if I’m to get it done before we go to London.

If you don’t hear from me you’ll know why.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

60 years of Harlequin



Congratulations Harlequin!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Coincidence

I visited one of Duncan Bannatyne’s Health Clubs this morning – not because I’m a fitness fanatic, I’m more of a couch potato, but my DH was seeing a physiotherapist there.

While I was waiting I picked up a copy of Esquire and lo and behold there was an article about the man himself, Duncan Bannatyne – he of Dragon’s Den fame. It told of his beginnings as an ice cream salesman – and how he now runs the largest chain of independent health clubs in the UK. He’s apparently worth £310 million.

My kind of hero, I thought. Do I feel another book coming on?

Friday, 23 January 2009

The End

Elena and Vidal have finally made their way to my editor's desk. I've had my head down since Christmas finishing this book and I now need a break. Actually it feels strange not to be writing. I went out shopping this morning and the first thing I did when I got back was put my computer on. Happily there was an email from my editor acknowledging my book -now I have to play the waiting game.

I also have a trip to London to look forward to early next month and we're busy planning what show/s we'd like to see. It's a birthday treat from my DH.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Book

Happily I’ve reached the end of my book. I’ve printed it out and I’m going to give it a read through today.

Unhappily it’s 2,000 words short.

So I have a problem.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Quick contest


I’d like to introduce you to the heroine of my next book. I don’t have her story yet, or even any ideas. (I have another book to finish first!) But when I saw this photo I immediately knew that she was going to be my next heroine.

So I thought I’d run a quick interim competition, for seven days only. (My January/February contest is still running on my website)

My question is this. Why is she wearing a hat? Could it even be a man’s hat. Is she going somewhere special? Is she looking straight at my hero and flirting? Does she already know him? Or do you have ideas of your own?

Go on – get your thinking caps on.

I’ll carefully consider all of your suggestions and whoever submits the idea I decide to incorporate into my next book you’ll receive a prize of your choice from any one of my back titles.


Friday, 16 January 2009

Almost there

I didn't wake up until nearly nine this morning so it was a slow start. The previous night I'd had little sleep for some unknown reason - probably the excitement of going to the cinema! Which is a rare treat. Or sitting there for three hours and getting cramps again in bed. (Marilyn - the lip pressure works sometimes but not always - not when it's dire!!!)

So I'm busy writing now with only 5500 words to go. Here's a reminder of what Vidal and Elena look like.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Resolution

Oops! I haven’t blogged for two days so I’ve already broken my New Year’s resolution. At least I didn’t resolve to diet – even though I could do with losing a few pounds. My excuse – family visiting Tuesday, hairdressers and dentist yesterday – followed by a visit to the cinema to cheer me up as I’m having a tooth problem.

DH and I went to see Australia. I’d heard so much about it and I didn’t feel let down. I loved it. It had humour and gravity, sadness and drama, tragedy and romance. And of course Hugh Jackman. How could you not like a film with him in it? Not sure I liked him with a beard – but even so – that body!!

Now it's back to the writing. Two chapters to go, eight thousand words. And two and a half weeks before my deadline. Not forgetting that this is the first draft. I shall need all that time to go through it with a fine toothcomb.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Weekend

Grandson Number One spent the weekend with us and how we treasure those moments. We keep thinking that any time now he’ll not want to come. He is after all thirteen and I’m sure he enjoys time with his mates much better than with his grandparents. So we count our blessings.

He’s such a joy to be with, he has a great sense of humour, inherited from my DH. They both delight in teasing me. It seems quiet today. DH has gone out so that I can get on with my writing but, like any Monday morning, it is refusing to flow.

Friday, 9 January 2009

New Contest

A new year, a new competition!

If you want to bag a bargain email me the name of my hero in THE SANTORINI MARRIAGE BARGAIN - you'll find the answer on my website.

I'll be drawing the winner at the end of February and one lucky person will be able to pick her own bargain from THE BILLIONAIRE'S BLACKMAIL BARGAIN or THE ITALIAN'S RUTHLESS BABY BARGAIN. I'll even throw in bookmark.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Good day

Much better day yesterday. I did over three thousand words which means I caught up on the day before. Unhappily it's a slow start this morning. I once read that you should always leave your work in the middle of a scene so that you know where you are going the next time you start to write. Unfortunately I stopped at the end of a chapter, and I woke up late, so I'm struggling a bit.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Second thoughts

What was I thinking – 5 words minute? How about my thinking time – which is always far longer than actual writing time?

I guess I must have spent five hours out of those six thinking. It’s strange, I never think of my writing time like that. It almost sounds crazy.

Today I really need to get on with things because tiny, adorable grandson visited yesterday and stopped all work.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Word Count

Happily I reached my 1500 word goal again yesterday – in fact I wrote 1728 words so I was very happy with that. We went out for a meal with friends during the evening and after drinking half a bottle of red wine I was even happier! Until I lay in bed unable to sleep and began working out my word count – one of those useless things you do when you can’t sleep.

I had written for six hours, so if I took my word count up to say 1800 to make it a nice round figure, divided by 6, it meant I’d written 300 words per hour. I then divided that by 60 to see how many words I had written in a minute and came up with 5.

FIVE WORDS A MINUTE!

I stopped thinking at that stage.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Progress

Saturdays and Sundays are non-blog days. I never write at the weekend. If I do go on the computer it’s for pleasure. So it’s Monday morning and I’m back at my desk. I did my full word count of 1500 words on Friday. Most of it, I have to confess, was a scene where Vidal was making love to Elena. Poor girl. This is a marriage of convenience. What is she doing enjoying it? Note to myself: Make sure their pleasure doesn’t last.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Sloth

I must confess that I’m not very good when it comes to exercising. I have a treadmill which I rarely use despite buying it with the very best of intentions. When I do exercise, even if it’s walking, I usually end up with cramp in my legs and feet when I go to bed.

Over Christmas we did a lot of walking – for instance a three mile trek along a coastal footpath which included some quite difficult hill climbs. If ever I’d expected to get cramp it was then. Did I? No, not the faintest twinge.

Yesterday we visited friends, which we do every New Year’s Day, sitting around indulging, the only exercise lifting the odd glass of wine, and last night I had cramp in my toes off and on for about two hours. My usual remedy, apart from walking on a cold floor, is Magnesium Phosphate tablets – which melt on your tongue in an instant – but even they didn’t work.

So I’m making a plea - does anyone have a good remedy for cramp?