Wednesday 26 July 2017

On being a 'treat'

Last week I was the Choc-lit Friday Treat. I’ve never been a treat before – it sounds slightly wicked.

For those who have not signed up to Choc-lit’s mailing lists, a treat is a short story – a piece of flash fiction, really, from a Choc-lit author – often someone who has a new book out. It usually arrives in time to be read with morning coffee/tea, which is very civilised.

If you’re signed on to Choc-lit’s mailing list, and to receive the treats, you know about this. If you aren’t signed on, why not? It’s free, and it means you get those little treats arriving in your in box on a Friday – not every Friday – and a monthly newsletter with info about new books, events, the occasional chance to win stuff. If you hop over to the Choc-lit site you can sign up. But don’t go yet. I’ll give you a link at the end. 


Anyway back to my treat. As regular readers know, I’m not much for short fiction. I always blame it on the plotting requirements of romantic suspense, which need more room than 500ish words, which is true, but it’s also that I don’t have a big facility for writing short. It’s not my thing. Except sometimes it is. I occasionally get an idea, and then I enjoy putting it down in a short format. Which is what happened with this one. I wrote it when I was editing Summer in San Remo (a process that took on the proportions of painting the Forth bridge, it had so many stops, starts and beginnings again) which meant that I had it all ready when the book was finally released – which earned lots of brownie points with the lovely Lusana in the Choc-lit HQ (at least, I hope it did) and not a little astonishment.   

It’s a very romantic piece, set in Paris, and I particularly tailored it to include echoes of Cassie and Jake’s story in Summer in San Remo, although it’s not about them. That was quite satisfying to do, a little test of skill, like trying to complete a crossword – I’m not all that good at those, either – I won’t talk about what those were, because it would be spoilers, but if you’ve read both you will probably have picked them up, and if you’ve only read the treat, that’s a little added extra when you come to read Summer in San Remo. I hope you will read it. I think you’ll enjoy it.

To sign on for the treats, you need to email with Treat in the subject heading. If you ask nicely they might even be able to send you mine, if you haven't already read it.

You can sign on for the monthly news letter via the Choc-lit website.

The link to the CHOC-LIT site is HERE

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Launch day and cover reveal!!!

Tarrah! Here it is - the cover of my new e-book from Choclit

Summer In San Remo

Isn't it pretty?

And different?

That's because the book is different. Not the kind of thing I usually write, it's a chase around the Riviera involving confidence tricksters, mysterious strangers, cocktail parties, film crews,  picnics, shopping for shoes  ... A summer fling, if you, will.

Crime, but with a much lighter touch.

Not a dead body in sight.

The chance for some fun, in time for the holidays.

Available NOW from all e-book platforms.


Monday 17 July 2017



On sale on all e-book platforms and of course, the COVER REVEAL.

It's a secret, but I think this guy may know something.

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Research (and romance) can happen anywhere

I ran away to London again for the weekend. It will be the last for a while as my bank balance is screaming at me to step away from those nice hotels with the delicious breakfasts - one of my biggest weaknesses.  This trip was special as it was a reunion for people I knew when I worked in Eaton Square. It was lovely to catch up and see old friends from what was probably the best job of my career (Not counting being a writer, of course.)

As well as the reunion and a trip to see Andrew Scott's Hamlet at the theatre, I also managed a salon at Carlyle's House, in Chelsea, and a trip to the Hampton Court  Flower show. And took pictures.

The evening at Carlyle's House was lovely - a chance to have a brief look at the house, in all it's Victorian  splendor, and drinks in the garden - which had an apricot tree (shades of the Duchess of Malfi) The house would have hosted the likes of Chopin and Dickens in Carlyle's day. We weren't quite so august, but it was a good evening. The talk from Sarah Wise was on the Old Nichol, a notorious Victorian slum in Shoreditch - she had pictures and statistics that prove that you can't always believe the rumours and reputations that are handed down - appealing to me as an historian and a writer.  I prowled the area before the talk too, as it's the part of Chelsea that I chose for Kaz to live in Never Coming Home, and my hero in the novella I'm working on has a flat there. I was able to pick out the sort of place he would have, so that was useful. See - research everywhere.

Then the next day down to Hampton Court, and the flower show. And there was plenty there to attract a romance writer - from the rose of the year, to the vegetable plots, to the food tent with cakes and cocktails. I have a romantic suspense series on the distant horizon that is set in an invented village on the Welsh coast, and I am always on the look out for arts and crafts which might go on there among the normal inhabitants, not the ones who do dark deeds for a living. I collected some good ideas. And, of course, a cake covered in edible petals would be just the thing if there happened to be a wedding ...

This is Carlyle - a bit crooked,
but you get the idea. He was an historian and philosopher.

Carlyle's House. Chelsea. Mr and Mrs C were a Victorian
literary couple, hence the salons.

Hampton Court. I don't know if you can read the caption, but this is a combination of  sweet corn, runner beans and squash, traditionally planted by Native Americans and called Three Sisters - which made me think of the Nora Roberts Three Sisters Island books. Sounds like a very edible mixture too. 

This Alma-Tadema Style backdrop was on the stand with rose of 2017.
Is he proposing and she's being coy?

Rose of 2017 - perfectly named for a romantic novelist ...

... as you can see - Lovestruck.

I loved the colour combination of this. Need to investigate for the garden -
will the slugs leave it alone, though?

The cake with petals from Bee's Bakery - isn't it pretty

Looks like something that would go down
 well with members of the RNA, courtesy of Plants4Presents

I can never resist lavender. The stand from Downderry Nursery was fabulous. All colours from white through pink to deep purple.

Wednesday 5 July 2017

And now for something completely different ...

Cover reveal on publication day 18th July!!!

This is an exciting time for me - my first new book from Choc-lit in ages.

It's arriving on 18th July - Summer in San Remo - just in time for the holidays! One of Choc-lit's secret releases - no pre orders - and no-one sees the cover until it's ready to roll. But I have to tell you, the cover is gorgeous!!!!

 It's a little different from what I normally write. Actually, make that a lot different. It's crime, but not as I usually write it. This one isn't gruesome, or scary. No dead bodies. At all. No one falling from high buildings. 

There is someone falling in the swimming pool ...

Cassie and Jake have history - romantic history. And all the baggage that entails. And that's without some disappearing money and a mysterious stranger. On the Riviera.

You get the picture.

This is me, letting my hair down and having a little fun. Just for the summer. I hope readers will enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

But don't worry - the WIP in progress is back to the dark stuff.

Five dead bodies, and counting ...