Category Archives: Erotica


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…

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?

The accident!

Still beaten, but at least my emotions are a bit more under control. After a day of not really being with it, I’m still here, surviving. Everything I’ve done today from Pilates to cooking dinner has been an effort, not concentrating on anything in the process, pre-occupied & distant. But life has to go on, the kids need dropping at school, the dog needs walking, there are chores to be done, birthday party supplies to purchase, school pick-up then rushing off to guitar lessons. That was the problem, rushing as well as not concentrating when I heard a crunching against metal. I honestly thought I’d cleared the post in the parking lot, but you know what those places are like, tight spaces next to concrete posts. I could have cried when I saw the damage I’d done. How the hell do I tell the husband?

Actually, he was great about it, not just because he knows I’m having a hard time right now, but because he knows I’m a very careful driver. I park in those spaces everyday, & have done for years, accidents happen & he knew I was being upfront & honest because that is the way I am anyway. The whole thing, of course, made me feel a million times worse – if that was at all possible. Especially when I had a good look at it & saw the amount of paint damage there was… DAM IT!! Clearly I am a liability at the moment, & therefore shouldn’t be allowed out. Sadly that is not going to work.

Maybe it’s because I’m trying to dry out after far too much wine over the holidays. My levels must be dropping so there is now too much water in my alcohol stream. Of course, I know that’s not the answer, and won’t help me feel better; it would be too easy to drown my sorrows in a bottle. Instead, I am trying to write again, novel number 4. So far, so good, 5 chapters down & flowing well, I think. Not sure where it’s going, I’m winging this one with a plan mapped out in my head. Thought I would just go with it & see what happens…

A duet…

At the beginning of last year we all began to learn an instrument. Guitar for the boys, & myself, drums for my husband. Out of all of us I was the only one who’d previously played my chosen weapon – that was 30 years ago & I ended up being the worst musician among us. Needless to say, it has taken me the best part of the year to finally play something vaguely tuneful so that the dog doesn’t leave the room. During this time there have been many occasions when I would merrily chop veggies to the beat of a basic rock groove thundering up the basement stairs – only slightly jealous hubby was learning much faster than me. After only a few weeks of private lessons, he’d nailed it. Meanwhile, us guitarists switched our lessons to a new location because the timing & the teacher were not really working out. It was clear after only a couple of lessons that my younger was well suited to his new teacher, both appear to live in la-la land playing rock songs. My elder & I had the same teacher; we were slowly making progress but still not really gelling with our new teacher. It wasn’t until that guy left suddenly to teach in Ontario that we finally got down to some serious progress with his replacement.

When I first played at school I never really learnt to read the music. This time I was determined to understand what I was actually playing, especially if the kids were learning from scratch, how was I to ever help them or set a good example if I didn’t make the effort myself? I haven’t completely got it yet, but I can certainly recognise a lot more than I used to. So, while the little fellow is belting out that he can’t get no satisfaction & how much he loves rock’n’roll, child number one & I were strumming ‘Love me tender’. Now he can play it without even looking at the music, which is most irritating believe me. It wasn’t until our teacher moved me away from the tedious book we were working through that I really felt like I began to progress.

In early fall he played me a slower version of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking out loud’ & patiently worked through the chords with me. Very quickly all the lessons & the painful practicing began to pay off (even the dog actually hung around to listen). The feeling I got from being able to play along to a song I love was amazing, until finally I could play it at full speed, barely looking at the music – I just need to remember not to try & sing along otherwise it all goes a bit pear shaped! Recently, hubby & I mooted the idea of having a go at doing the song together. His teacher helped him work out the score, which apparently is a very clever groove that has taken a bit to master. Then, randomly today, we played together for the first time…


Ok, so it wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t awful either. The grandparents were there to give marks out of 10, & even they said it was pretty good for a first attempt. Its great playing with my boys & watching them progress, they aren’t always keen to practice, but mostly do without prompting. Now that hubby & I can also practice together a whole new door has opened. It’s going to be so much fun to have a hobby together again, so many others are not possible anymore thanks to ‘it’. However, ‘it’ has forced us to look deeper, try harder & be creative making sure we spend time doing fun things together that we both enjoy.


It’s finally here, and will hopefully stick around for a bit. It’s amazing how warmer weather can instantly boost your mood, and persuade you to sit on the patio with friends and talk the day away – with a nice cold glass of something grown-up of course! Not only this, but getting into the great outdoors is also much more enjoyable. Even if it isn’t clear blue and sunny, we can still enjoy t-shirt trekking through a forest, while the dog stops at every tree, and the kids take the more difficult route so they can clamber over rocks and logs. There is only one real downside to this enjoyable pastime… BUGS! Luckily for me, poor circulation means I’m not worth the effort. My elder son, on the other hand, is the warmest person on the planet, therefore providing a fine old feast for starving critters. The poor thing has been dropped off at school with a tube of Afterbite. Of course, this does not deter him, or us, from enjoying these mini adventures, and it’s the only time the dog gets excited about walking.

Unfortunately, though, I pay the price. An 11 km hike, that had quite a lot of steep up and down, has both mental and physical benefits for somebody like me. However, various parts of my body are now seriously protesting about its increased level of activity. I had only just recovered from the Aquafit class I took the week before. Apparently that was supposed to be good for me, but when I didn’t sleep that night because I was so uncomfortable and in pain, it can’t be good. Not only that, I had never felt so out of place in all my life. Even though I lowered the average age by about 30 years, all the older people were able to move far better than me. I’m not one to get hung up on what I must have looked like, it’s my business why I’m choosing that form of exercise, but on this occasion I felt out of place and very unfit.

This is why I’d just like to stick to walking my girl. The pain and humiliation I felt, to please the all the people who think they know what’s best for my body, just wasn’t worth it. Maybe I was too ambitious? Maybe I shouldn’t have done the full hour? Maybe I should have started with something less energetic? Doesn’t matter now; it’s still put me off. Instead, I have signed up for some one-on-one pilates. so watch this space…

Until then I shall continue to power walk and worship the sunny weather! And plan some more hiking…

A sign of ageing…

For the record, I’m not one of these people who gets hung up about birthdays. However, there are certain things in life that do make me sit back and think, ‘Oh no, that is a sign I’m getting old’. With two very active boys, a fit husband and too many animals, I do A LOT of laundry. My current washer and dryer are over 8 years old, and have been misbehaving on and off since we moved house 3 years ago. I’ve been waiting for the day when I would enter the laundry room to find it completely flooded, or wet washing going round and round in the dryer and not actually drying. Well that day has finally come…

The smell of burning was apparent before I even opened the door to the basement. Yes, stupidly I opened the door; there could have been six-foot flames or anything waiting to greet me (though sadly not a firefighter!). The dryer was counting down and pretending to be doing its job, but unfortunately it was hotter on the outside than in! Why do large expensive household items decide to expire when you’ve just maxed out your plastic on a vacation? How do they know? Do they sit there in their lonely corner of the world thinking, ‘I’ll get her back for all those vomit-covered bed-sheets and soiled potty training underwear. I’m going to pack up now so she has to decide whether they eat this month or have clean clothes’!!

So needless to say, after an overwhelming Google search, it was off the store to replace both, being how the washing machine has also been leaking on and off for a while now. It is hard not to feel ripped off by these places; they know how badly you need their product, and they are going to make it sound like you are getting the deal of the century to secure your business. And of course they did! To be fair to the guy, he actually seemed quite genuine, dissuading me from shelling out another 500 bucks on drawers to raise the height of the appliances to save my ageing back. When it came to selling me sand in the desert, he gave a well-rehearsed speech that was quite impressive… power wash for all those hard-to-clean whites… steam to reduce creasing… a 12 hour cycle that washes and dries overnight for urgent gym kit requirements… a detergent drawer that self-regulates how much it uses (this feature I particularly liked)… basically he spoke my language when it came to selling me something with features that an experienced domestic engineer like myself requires to do her job properly. I was excited, very excited.

Then I caught myself. The purchase of significant household appliances has made me happy and very animated about the advances in the technology. This is clearly a sign that I have crossed a line in the ageing process. I am excited about a new washing machine, not about buying a new dress, or having my hair done, no… a #@*%ing washing machine… I clearly need to get out more!!

The cab of shame…

Why is it that when we’re already emotionally challenged, something else happens and even as an independent, confident adult, we appear unable to think or deal with the crisis on our own?

I am one of those people who hate being late, and rarely break the rules, especially when it comes to appointments and parking. So you can just imagine how dangerously high my stress levels were when I was still trying to find a parking space 5 minutes after my appointment had started. This was a first meeting, so not the greatest way to start a new relationship with a person whom you’re hoping is going to help you deal with your daily stresses in life because of a chronic illness. Now, I’m sure someone put up the sign I didn’t see while I was actually in my appointment. Either that, or a bird or a cloud, or something was blocking it when I did actually park. Needless to say I emerged from my appointment almost 2 hours later to find Mercury – my beloved MINI convertible – GONE!!

As I stood there, starring at the empty space, presumably expecting my car to somehow miraculously reappear, my emotions, already slightly fragile (NB British Understatement) from the appointment, got the better of me and I was suddenly unable to think or do anything for myself. What did I do? Call the husband of course, who was smack-bang in the middle of the operating room, patient on the table, room full of people… and now a blubbering wife in absolute tatters on the other end of the phone. Instinct told me that I had been towed before I saw the sign – you know, the one that they put up while I was in my appointment. The calming and familiar voice of hubby talked me through the steps I needed to take, because remember I was unable to think for myself now, and I finally managed to call the tow company. I couldn’t even give them the correct license plate, but at least I could remember the numbers, just not in the right order. Thank the Lord!! Mercury was safely in the pound, but I now had to go to the pound…

Another phone call to hubby, among the beeping of machines and the voices of busy healthcare professionals. “Excuse me, I know you’re straightening someone’s spine, but I’ve been towed; this is far more important right now”. I was instructed to get in a cab. Luckily for me I was right next to the city’s general hospital, so cabs were ten a penny. I peered into the open passenger side window and quietly muttered the address. A loud Caribbean accent hit back at me. ‘Oh! You been towed?’ Honestly, the shame! He turned out to be really friendly and chatty, as I sat in the back, traumatised. He refused a tip, told me exactly where I had to go, and what I would need to do. I didn’t question how he’d become so knowledgeable in this matter. I sheepishly slid up to the empty window and begin the process of retrieving Mercury, practically offering my right kidney when asked for a method of payment, anything, take anything I just want my car back! At least it was warm and sunny when I finally fired up the engine. I rolled the top down and… oh no, I had to stop at two gates to get out, should have left the roof up! I put my head down instead, in the hope I wouldn’t be caught on camera for my picture to be plastered all over the city. I could almost see the caption: ‘Romance Novelist Busted for Abandoning Her Car Illegally!!’

Back on the blog!

I know it’s been a while, sorry but life and severe lack of sleep has left me barely functioning over the past couple of months. I don’t have a lot of reserve normally, but when I watch the clock all night it’s difficult to get through a normal day of life without adding any extra pressure to it. However, I have managed to keep my 2015 challenges going, with only a couple of days written retrospectively. I’m currently on day 83; that’s 83 quotes, both funny and serious, and 78 journal entries, about all sorts of annotations and personal paraphernalia that I need empty out of my head. I find that if I don’t write down these thoughts and musings, something else will come along and push them right out of my head forever. Often I haven’t known until the end of the day what I will write about. One day I couldn’t think of anything constructive so I wrote about salad! As for the quotes, well I have thousands of those things. I’m afraid I cheat a little when posting them by scheduling them via Hootsuite. Life is just too busy to be dropping everything to pick up ‘Thelma’ and get all philosophical, while juggling homework and vegetables.

So why am I not sleeping?

Well, chronic disease and pain is playing a large part in my insomnia. I have found myself caught in one of these vicious circles that’s difficult to break unless something changes within the cycle. Lack of exercise due to pain and discomfort… unable to get comfortable in bed… tired from everyday life, but not enough physical activity… unable to sleep… gradually coping mechanisms become more and more fragile… more pain and discomfort, less likely to exercise… and so it goes on until finally enough is enough. Yes I have meltdowns, yes I am a ratty old cow, yes I am a raging lunatic when the kids don’t listen to me… yes I am human and sometimes even the strongest people just need someone to give them a hug and tell them that it’s all going to be all right.

Thankfully I have a fantastic rheumatologist who totally understands my plight. I don’t like resorting to pills, I take enough of those as it is, but I guess it is something you just have to learn to accept when you’re in my position. I hate sleeping tablets, they make me feel fuzzy and slow, but a natural remedy such as melatonin has at least given me some more natural sleep. It’s not perfect, I still lay awake for 2 hours a couple of nights ago, but since then I found myself sleeping in – good job its spring break. Hopefully this ‘catch up’ phase will be short lived and by the time I have to drag my sorry backside out of bed even earlier than usual for the school run to do my share of ‘traffic duty’, I will feel and look a little more like me. As for the exercise part, I used to love pilates and swimming. I have agreed to give both another shot, even if it means only doing 1 length of the pool when I was used to doing 1 mile! I know initially I will suffer, but hopefully in time that benefits will outweigh the problems.

I will not be beaten… I will not let it win… it can do whatever it likes on the inside, but letting it show on the outside means it’s won.

You can follow my 365 Challenge on Twitter and Facebook, and check out my 5 star reviews for Bruises on Amazon and Goodreads.

Thelma & Louise – not what you think…

We are sat here, together, trying to figure out what to do. She won’t let me in; it’s driving me crazy. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, it’s wrong. If it weren’t for the fact she is so small and fragile I would get violent, but what would that achieve? I drink my coffee, and gaze out into the sunshine; it really can’t be that difficult, I’m sure I’m right. I text hubby for some help/advice ‘Thelma has lost it again and won’t cooperate… I’m so frustrated I want to scream!’ She’s becoming my new best friend; I don’t want to hurt her…

I know what you’re thinking. I’m sat in my smart MINI convertible, roof down of course, contemplating something dramatic over the edge of a cliff. Yes, my week has not been the greatest, but there is no way I could do that to such a cool ride, ‘Mercury’ as my dream car is known. Who is Thelma then, I hear you ask, and what’s her problem? If I told you that Thelma is only 2 months old, approximately 7ins x 5ins in size, is gold in colour, with a chocolate brown exterior, and goes everywhere with me now, would you get it? Well, she’s my new iPad mini that my hubby has affectionately named Thelma – that shows our age! I have considered having a young Brad Pitt as my lock screen for the full effect, but honestly, he’s never really done it for me I’m afraid, good actor, good looking and all that, but doesn’t blow my skirt up.

So what’s her problem? Well, my very technically minded and security conscious hubby has made sure that Thelma keeps all her secrets safe under lock and key, by installing 1Password for me. All very well and good because I used to be a hacker’s dream; same password for everything, and not a very imaginative one at that. Now I can have all kinds of elaborate combinations of letters, symbols and numbers that I don’t need to remember – I only need to remember one. Now, I swear I was putting in the right combination, but could I access 1Password? No! Ok, so it wasn’t technically Thelma’s fault, and hubby came to the rescue in the end, but I will still maintain I was right!

What else have I been up to this week…

At the end of last week hubby and I had not one but two date nights. Dinner with friends while all our kids bounced around at gymnastics for 3 hours. Then, an evening at the ballet, all male drag kinda thing– hilarious! Check out Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo if you ever get the chance.

Nearly set my neck at the climbing wall when I slipped off while on auto belay, and scared the hell out of myself. Also really strained my arm that was already strained from something so long ago I can’t remember but I keep pretending it’s fine. Needles in the bicep as a result of my stupidity produced some rather choice words.

We finally tackled the playroom and had the grandmother of all hoy outs!

I gave my lovely cleaner a long overdue pay rise because I’m nice like that… sometimes.

Made two pairs of curtains for a friend, and two Valentine cards – one for me to give hubby and the other for him to give me. I know that sounds sad but the shop ones are expensive and nauseous, he likes my cards so why not?

Popped over the border to pick up a parcel and embarrassed the customs officer when he asked me my occupation, and then what I was picking up… ‘Erotic romance writer… and women’s lingerie’ hehe!

Of course all of this is between dog walking, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, school runs, after school activities, drinking wine and keeping up with Thelma!!