Category Archives: Contemporary Romance

ISBN

WOW! Has it really been 2 years since my first novel was published?

Today my publisher contacted me because they needed to renew the ISBN for each edition of the book. Although it isn’t a number one best seller I still get people asking where they can buy it. I often just give them one from my stash because then I can sign it, which I know is not good for sales but I still maintain it isn’t about the money it’s about the achievement. I renewed the ISBN’s for both paperback & ebook (not the hardcover) if anyone is still interested in helping out a trashy romance writer. In the meantime I’m working on a novel I wrote about 18 months ago, one that my beta readers say is my best one yet. I would like to follow the traditional route of publishing with this one, but we’ll see. This is not something you can hurry, & I’m willing to be patient & not give up.

Watch this space…

Stove envy!

My apologies for missing yesterday, my BFF has relatives staying with her at the moment & it’s proving to be very challenging. I went over with good listening ears in the hope that if she offloads enough I won’t be visiting her in jail!

Yesterday I popped next door to my lovely neighbour after an ‘over the wall’ conversation with her about how her kitchen makeover was coming along. I have been watching her over the last couple of weeks, cleaning, painting, sorting etc. probably prompted by the fact her stove of 25 years finally gave up on her. She also has relatives arriving from all over the world in preparation for her younger son’s wedding – probably the real reason for the makeover.

I’m not fond of my stove, I’ve used electric since moving here 12 years ago, but until then I’d always used gas – which I much prefer. It is top of my list of changes I would make if we ever renovate our kitchen, & now I’m wishing that it was sooner rather then later. My neighbours new range is beautiful, very shiny stainless steel,which frankly I never find to be stainless. It has a large double oven that if you open by the top handle you can only use the top third of the oven, but then if you open by the side handle you can use the whole oven. It thought this was pretty smart as I often don’t need a full oven. Then, on the front, there is a digital/computerized display with all the knobs & buttons, which is very fancy, but of course it was the burners that I was the most taken with. Gas of course, 4 main burners, 2 large, 2 small, & it even has it’s own cast iron stand for your wok! Then in the centre it has one large oval burner with a cast iron grill which can be used for searing or removed for to use you own griddle or large pan. It was rather fabulous & I must confess to being a little green with envy.

I then came home to my ‘used to be white’ regular, not very fancy stove that only my cleaner can get clean (I don’t ask how because I’m sure what she uses is illegal). I’m used to it & I’m a pretty good cook so I manage, but I do live in the hope that one day I will get to design & install my ideal kitchen… so if about a million people could buy my book that would be awesome – thanks!

We don’t always need a sequel…

I wrote a sequel to Bruises because it was simply a two-part story, & if I ever have it published readers will discover that it is actually a better book – according to those who have read it of course. Really both books needed to be put out there together but unfortunately that wasn’t possible at the time. I personally think that a lot of the trilogies out there today are dragged out, but people read them. I too am guilty of wasting away hours only to get to the end & think it could have all been packed into one decent sized book. Then, we have all read books that we didn’t want to end & one of my favourites is ‘Me before You’. I re-watched the movie again last week (twice actually because I love it), partly because it had just been released, & partly because I was reading the sequel ‘After you’.

I finished it yesterday & honestly it was a sequel that didn’t need to be written, in my opinion. Moyles should have just left us with the book hangover that we suffered when Me before You ended. Of course we all wanted know that Louisa spread her wings & used the potential that everyone saw, but we didn’t really need to read about it. I kept waiting for it to get going, but the plot was weak till the end. Yes there were a couple of storylines that had the potential to be interesting, but I won’t spoil the surprise in case you want to read it & make your own mind up. However, they became a bit far-fetched & frankly not very believable in the end, & don’t even get me started on the accident at the beginning – that was just stupid.

So why did I read it? I expected more of the same I guess, just different circumstances of course. It lacked the humour & chemistry that you experience between Louisa & Will. It felt like she was milking the previous success by knowing we would read it away, & therefore it didn’t have to be as good. I don’t think she really thought about the plot carefully, resulting in a jumbled up novel of mundane life events & completely ridiculous incidents. Sorry JoJo, you didn’t do it for this time some books just need to stand alone.

Today I chose to…

  • be sensible & rest my poor knee
  • do some stretching to help my aching SI joint
  • do all the laundry so that tomorrow is free
  • practice my bar chords over & over again because I’m going to bloody well nail then if it’s the last thing I do!
  • make some cards
  • Eat salad for dinner so I can then eat a Hagen Daz ice cream bar & not feel guilty (I am a size 0-2, this is not something I have any business feeling guilty about)
  • relax in a hot bath & finish by book!
  • Build my Lego

Today was a good day!!

An emotional pile…

I would love to have the ability to write a book that captures every one of your emotions & leaves you absolute tatters, but feeling good about them all. Who knows, maybe one day I will. I do have a story already written that might fall into that category, but it needs some work before I can release it into the wild to be torn apart. I believe that it’s my best to date, that is until I write the story that is still a little too close to my heart to even consider putting it down on a page.

There have been several books over the years that have caught me some way or other. I think the first book I read as an adult that I couldn’t put down was ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ by Louis be Bernières. My husband always remembers when I was reading it, while on vacation in Africa. Stunning terrain & wild animals passed me by & all I could see were words on a page. Then there was the weekend we spent in Whistler. I stayed up till the wee small hours to finsh ‘Room’, & of cause one of my recent favourites, both book & movie, is John Green’s ‘A Fault In Our Stars’. They are all beautiful stories, but today I was reminded of another favourite. One more to add to the pile of emotional feel good books that just affect you in a way you can’t describe.

While in Chapters picking up the remaining novels on my book club’s reading list I noticed they were once again promoting JoJo Moyles. On closer inspection of the display I saw that ‘Me before you’ had an updated cover with real people on the front. Usually that only means one thing – it’s now a movie. Now I’m not normally a fan of books being turned into movies, very few of them are done well & often distort the story, or just don’t capture the soul of the author’s writing. I loved everything about this story, the way it was written & its sensitive nature was not only ambitious, but also very poignant. Moyles addressed an issue that will always make for heated, & often divided, dinner table discussion, & clearly turned it into a love story.

When I checked out the movie trailer it left me wanting more, even though I know the story well. So on this occasion I will have to get over my self & go see it. If it’s anything like ‘A fault In Our Stars’ I will not need mascara but a large box of Kleenex instead!

Why purple?

It was time for a change & I thought it would be quite fun to look like an animated Disney character!

I feel like I have very little control over my body now, but the one thing I can control is my hair & the way I look. It keeps me positive if I look good on the outside I can deal with what’s going on on the inside.

So what do you think?

A ‘purple’ Thursday…

03.00 – Urgently required Tylenol. I don’t ever remember having a sore throat this bad.

06.15 – Really? That time already!

06.50 – Hubby leaves with elder child to drop him at running club for 7am (The only way I would ever run at that godforsaken hour is if a bear were chasing me, & we all know how that would end!)

08.00 – I drop younger child at school then on to the park with the dog. I feel a bit washed out but I think a walk will do me good.

09.05 – Back at the car I’m knackered & my knee is hurting.

09.45 – I have 1 hour before I leave for Pilates. So, laundry, switch my industrial winter sweater collection with tank tops & shorts, get dinner out of the freezer (& tomorrow’s too, how efficient is that?), organize 3 guitars for our lessons in the afternoon, & have a drink & snack while flicking through FaceBook – OMG! I discover the great purple one is gone!! What the chuff is going on this year? That’s one hell of a super group that’s being put together up there in the clouds.

11.00 – I love Pilates. Even though my knee is still not right, my instructor always finds a way around it without irritating it more. At some point during my class my phone whistles 3 times in a row while my legs are strung up like something out of a Fifty Shades scene. I am sure its just hubby, but my instructor was worried that it was important because it doesn’t normally go off that much. She hands me my bag… I dig out the phone… the only text that I see is the last one he sent… ‘Blimey. Now symbol is dead too #howmanymore’. My instructor asks is everything all right (We had just been talking about the sad loss of Prince), I reply with the words of hubby’s text. We actually both laughed, he clearly thought it was vital that I know this.

14.00 – In less than 2 hours I have done two more loads of laundry, sewn 2 buttons on a shirt, repaired a pair of school pants, cut out a BBQ & stuck down it’s fire pit, then stamped & embossed the word ‘RETIREMENT’ for our principal’s card.

14.30 – Today I started learning bar chords & will now need to practice for 4 hours a day everyday so I can string at least 2 of them together by next week.

15.10 – The usual mad dash along the road to school to pick up the boys & then back to the music shop for their lessons.

15.30 – I chill out in the little sitting room for half an hour & catch up on my Twitter feed, pin some cards to make, & play two rounds of patience almost beating my personal best.

16.30 – The boys are quick to do their homework so they can go outside & shoot some baskets. I fire up the BBQ for the first time this year & cook some rather delicious chicken that I promptly leave because both my throat & appetite refuses to let me enjoy it.

18.00 – I am very fortunate that even after a days work my husband will muck in & help with clearing up after dinner & sorting the kids out for bed – especially as I am not feeling that great by this point.

19.30 – There will be no wine tonight!

Tired & painful Thursday…

02.20 – Hubby’s pager goes off & they called the wrong person!

03.20 – Still awake…

04.20 – Pain in my knee & lower leg is nagging so much I consider getting up.

06.20 – Must have fallen asleep at some point because the radio wakes me up.

06.40 – Hubby brings me a bucket of tea as part of my resuscitation strategy. He takes elder child to running club.

07.35 – Younger child & I leave for school early because I have volunteering duties.

07.55 – Dog abandoned in the car – which is parked in the cool underground parking lot. I leave the sunroof open for her & she curls up for a nap, which I’m very jealous of. I pack younger child off to his classroom & greet elder child as he returns from his run – he wants to hug me but he’s very sticky and gross!I don’t want to discourage this sort of affection in public so I cautiously hug him.

08.00 – The head honcho of the parent support group & I set up our donation table. This year we are having our first family fun night & have asked people to donate good quality, gently used stuffies & unopened toys for our prize table, which I am in charge of. As grand prizes we already have a 5ft monkey, dinosaur and frog – & I am praying desperately that neither child of mine is fortunate to win one of these hideous creatures!

08.30 – We have had a great response & have sold a stack of tickets. I leave to take the dog to the park.

08.45 – The park is sunny & beautiful so for the first time in forever I am just in a sweater & no gloves. The walk is painful, and tiring for me, but it is something that not only needs to be done but I really enjoy doing it.

09.30 – Home to grab water bottle, send a couple of emails, get some chicken out of the freezer for dinner, then out for Pilates.

11.00 – 12.00 – I have the best instructor. She is sensitive to the fact I’m not in great emotional shape but somehow manages to motivate me. She is doing everything she can to avoid any more complications occurring because of my knackered knee, & so far so good.

12.30 – Home for lunch while reading the chapter I finished last night, I make some changes & send it to my beta readers. I then pack up 3 guitars, grab drinks & snacks for the boys, & go to my guitar lesson.

14.30 – Great guitar lesson, again my teacher somehow manages to keep me focused & I play a song I’ve been struggling with for a while.

15.05 – Drive to school

15.15 – I meet the boys at younger child’s locker (we do this every Thursday, older picks up younger from his classroom & meets me at the locker to save time) we grab his stuff, & then head back to the car to get back to their guitar lessons for 15.30. My elder child & I have the same teacher. Younger child has someone who appears to be from the same planet as him.

15.27 – I open the door & push them out so they can start their lesson while I find parking.

16.00 – I’ve had 20 minutes to look at my social media and play a game of patience!

16.20 – Home, feed animals, do homework & reading.

17.20 – I’m about to start dinner because hubby should be home soon but my next door neighbor wants to come & look at my new craft room. She doesn’t draw breath for over half an hour, so when hubby gets home at 6pm my ears are bleeding I haven’t started cooking yet.

18.30 – I moan & complain about the pain. Hubby puts wine in the fridge for me!

19.30 – I write a reply email to my doctor which I haven’t sent yet because I have a good old moan to him about my pain & I’m not sure if I should be laying it on with a trowel so thickly – I’ll ask hubby to vet it first.

20.00 – I need a soak in the bath & a large tub of ice cream to go with my wine.