Wednesday 27 July 2022

In a mood

 Looking for a new small casserole dish last week - an apparent impossibility, they all seemed designed for feeding families of at least ten - I noticed a line of cookware from Le Creuset that was called Riviera. Bright, colourful and illustrated in use with pictures of some very nice food. Now as you know, my current series is also known as Riviera. It made me think about the power of a word to conjure an image, a feeling, maybe an emotion. My first stop on words is always the dictionary and the definition of Riviera from the Cambridge on-line edition is an area of coast especially with beaches where people go on holiday.  It's a popular term as Wikipedia, while pointing out that the conventional use is for the French and Italian Riviera, lists a large number of other places in the world that also use the designation - including the Torbay area in the UK.

Looks like we are all plugging into a mood here. 

The two aspects that I'm going for are coast and holiday. If they sum up my current series of books I'm happy. The word also says glamour to me - sea and sand yes, but also sunshine, beautiful buildings, fast cars, flowers, gorgeous food and drink ... That's a lot of freight for a single word.  

It's not the only word that does this. Think of beach hut - two very popular words in books titles and illustrations for summer reading. What does that conjure  - sand dunes, picnics, sea swimming, maybe surfing and watersports, family gatherings ...

At the other end of the spectrum gothic gives me shadows, candle light, menace, cold, that classic picture of the woman in the nightdress descending a staircase ...

Words are wonderful things. They are my trade. So many of them come with so much baggage. Endlessly fascinating. 

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Holiday reading event at Griffin Books

 If you are looking for some holiday reading - or advice on travel destinations - they will be available at a fab event at Griffin Books in Penarth on 29th July. I will be there, along with two other Welsh romance authors to talk about the books you might be packing in your suitcase - or taking into the garden if this year the choice is a staycation. I'll be there with Laura and Helga and Jo and I'm looking forward to a fun evening. It all kicks off at 6.30, there is a small fee and a glass of something bubbly. Hope you can join us.  

Dust off your favourite holiday outfit and head to Griffin Books for a very special party in the shop. We'll be joined by authors Helga Jensen, Laura Kemp and Evonne Wareham who will introduce their latest books - all perfect for packing in your suitcase this summer. Plus, we'll be picking the brains of local Travel Counsellor Jo Baldwin, and sharing some of our own staff recommendations for the ultimate summer read.
We might not be sipping margaritas on a sun-kissed Mediterranean beach, but we do have more books than you can shake a cocktail umbrella at - and that's much better, right!
Friday 29 July | 6.30 pm
Griffin Books, 9A Windsor Road, Penarth
Tickets: £5.00 - includes a glass of prosecco
or soft drink on arrival



Wednesday 13 July 2022

Best laid plans

 Well - this week was meant to be a social week - a reward for getting the manuscript for Riviera 4 to the publishers at last. Afternoon tea at The Ivy in Cardiff with fellow members of the lovely Cariad Chapter of the Romantic Novelists' Association and then off to Telford for the RNA conference. 


An unforeseen  medical  issue has scuppered all that. Plenty of doctors, not too much social mixing. None at all actually. But I am doing OK, so no worries. Getting a lot of odd jobs done - shortened two pairs of trousers and let out a third, half constructed a cupboard for the bathroom, kept my workmen in tea. The back wall is slowly being renovated. Going to look good when it is finished and no more threat of an avalanche.

Some reading, some sleeping, no writing. I will get back to it, but not yet. 

I have some public appearances on the horizon, which will be fun. More details of that next week. 

Wednesday 6 July 2022

The answer is a lemon...


Well, Riviera 4 has finally gone to the publisher. Now we have to hope they like it. It's not like anything else I've written, but they never are. 

Now that's over I have a whole mountain of jobs to be done, from the kitchen floor to the dismemberment of large cardboard boxes so that they fit into pieces about a foot square so they go in the recycling  bag. Always  a fun job.  

As I have said before, work is happening in the house - well, actually outside it. New roof is fine, but now it's the retaining wall on the lowest  tier of the garden. Messy and expensive and potentially detrimental to the things I wanted done inside the house. 

I am having fun day dreaming interior looks and researching things like paint colours. Not sure now that I'm going to get that new bedroom carpet though. Apparently the look of the moment is "coastal grandmother" I can manage 50% of that, so hope that's enough. It seems to be beach house sort of style, which suits me. Also apparently the look features ginger jars and bowls of lemons. Despite the picture and I don't know what I was doing with 3 lemons, I don't DO lemons. The only ginger jar I have is about three inches tall.  I can do while walls, lots of books and fancy cushions. I have that already! Not sure about the laid back lifestyle that supposedly goes with it. See kitchen floor and cardboard boxes, above. And if there are going to be deadlines in the near future certainly not laid back. 

I just need some more time to day dream paint charts. Did you know how many shades of white there are?