Monday, 23 December 2013

Mother Christmas

This Christmas day will be the 50th I’ve spent with my lovely mum - well, that’s if you include the one when I was in the womb.  Fifty Christmas days!  I count myself truly lucky as I only shared eighteen with my dad before he did the dirty on me and packed his bags before hotfooting off to heaven.  But the eighteen I had with him were all good, all special in their own way and all jam-packed with love.

As I prepare for my 50th festive season with my mum, I’ve been reflecting on how things change.  This year’s been a difficult one for us as my mum broke her pelvis in September and that’s made getting out virtually impossible for her and in turn doubled my work load.  I’m tired and sometimes my patience can be slightly lacking but I always try to remember that it’s not easy for her either.  Our relationship has changed - she was the one who always cared for me and now she relies on me for nearly everything.  The circle of life, huh?

But every year is another that I count my blessings - another Christmas to spend with her - and who knows how many there may be ahead of us?

Life changes, families change but I know I have the one constant in my life - the much loved lady who brought me into the world and who I have so much to be grateful for.

So at this special time, after all my mum has been through and continues to struggle with, I’ll be raising my glass to her and thanking her for everything she’s done for me and the strength she still continues to display when times are hard.

There’s a lot I can’t change for her but I can still make sure she has the happiest Christmas Day I can give her.  She deserves a whole lot more but the rest is out of my hands.

Happy Christmas to the best Mum ever.

Nanny Misfit
(not bad at 86!)

And a very Happy Christmas to all my readers - thank you for your support.

Friday, 20 December 2013

FUNKY FRIDAY with reviewer Donna Trinder

Today I welcome to my sofa for coffee, cake, chocolates and wine (yes, we like them all!) one of my oldest Twitter buddies and a very supportive reader of my books, Donna Trinder.  I've been secretly jealous of Donna for a LONG time - she has her own reading and writing shed - she is one lucky lady!

So Donna, as an avid reader and reviewer, I know you are currently working on your first novel.  Can you tell us a bit about it and how it's going?

I love writing - I love it so much I have two different manuscripts on the go. One I have changed so much it is on its third incarnation, that started out as a YA, now I’m not sure it needs a label (because I’m not sure what that label would be any longer!) but it’s about a group of people, ‘watchers’, protectors of an old sector of witches. That WIP is my baby, my true love, but I’ve complicated it so much I’ve basically written everyone into tight corners and I think another overhaul is needed. That’s when I get bogged down and pick up my chick-lit WIP. All about a posh ex-boarding school girl out for revenge on the tormentors that made her life miserable and learns a lot about her life on the way. I feel that one will be finished way before the first!

I have to say, as the creator of Mummy Misfit, I love the sound of the posh girl chicklit!  Can you tell us how you sweeten the pill if you hate a book that you are reviewing?

Gah - that’s the worst! I give it as long as I possibly can, sometimes that will mean finishing it (to see if it gets better, and sometimes it can pay off!) and sometimes it means the second or third chapter and I can realise it really is not for me.
If I have to admit defeat I would always contact the author/PR and just explain that I can’t go any further, but be polite and just explain *kindly* why. It normally falls down to either far too much bad language/content or the genre.

How do you think you'll cope IF you get a bad review for your debut novel - sulker or shrugger?

I’m very conscious that some reviewers on Amazon clearly don’t know what they’re doing! I’ve read awful 1* reviews that stated delivery was slow, or the book wasn’t their genre (why buy it???), so those kind of reviews would undoubtedly irk me but it would be water off a duck’s back - but real readers that disliked it, well, I think I would be devastated! I don’t think I’d sulk but I’m sure I would feel quite crestfallen! As long as there was enough good to outweigh the bad I’m sure I’d cope!

Dream time. Ultimate dinner party? You can have anyone dead or alive there - who would you have and why?

This is a subject my husband and I often talk about, mainly on long journeys - it passes the time!

Right, firstly it would have to be David Beckham. As well as being incomprehensibly gorgeous, I think he would just be a kind and interesting person to talk to. I’d have to make sure there were adequate napkins to contain the drool. There would be no plus one extended there...

Sarah Millican would be a definite! She makes me laugh like no other and I also think she’s a really lovely person. We could watch cute cat videos on YouTube and probably talk about cake.

JK Rowling. I need to interrogate her on why, oh why, did she have to kill Sirius Black. Also, Remus and Tonks ... they didn’t need to die. That was a travesty.

My old English teacher and Senior Girls Mistress back in the days of my grammar school life, Mrs Valerie Dobbs. The woman was a legend in the true sense of the word, anyone who went to my school throughout The Dobbs Years has some kind of story to tell about her, not all of them positive, but still ... I read that she had passed away last year and I felt so upset. She helped me through an extremely difficult time when I lost my father at thirteen and she really was the most inspirational and knowledgeable woman I could imagine. I’d love to see her now and have to opportunity for her to look over my work!

I think lastly I would have to invite The Great British Bake Off team of Hollywood and Berry (under no circumstances must Mel and Sue tag along - they annoy me immensely). My husband, who of course needs no invitation, would love to chat to Paul Hollywood - also Mary Berry I would imagine - and I think myself and Millican would also be keen to talk cake and baked goods with them.

Killing two birds with one stone it would also be pudding sorted!

Big Brother have invited you on their new show (humour me, it involves books, readers, writers etc) Would you accept?

My gut instinct was unequivocally NO. But thinking about it, if it was just sitting round reading and writing with my favourite authors and other readers it might not be so terrible. If all the tasks were writing and book related and there was unlimited food. And cake, lots and lots of cake. Also probably family visits and wi-fi. Although I think I might be mistaking the Big Brother house for a writing retreat?

You almost made Big Brother sound like somewhere I'd like to go!  OK, if someone offered you big money to write their plot for them, could you do it?

Integrity aside, I honestly don’t know. My purse is feeling abused and delicate today as after the very expensive school uniform shop was completed (or so I thought) Junior decided to ambush me for more football boots, shin pads and all manner of different sports accessories. So on days like today, and if the price was right, I might possibly just say yes. After all, principles don’t keep the roof over your head and your children in school!

No, Donna they don't - and don't I know it?!


Planner or Winger?
Without doubt, Winger.

Night or Morning?

Doer or procrastinator?
Procrastinator. I’m world class.

Writing/first draft or editing?
Editing. Love it.

Tea or coffee?

Thanks for joining me, Donna.  It's been great to chat ... and eat ... and drink.  So glad that your husband made all those yummy cakes for us.

You can find out more about Donna by reading her blog or viewing her Facebook / Twitter pages

* * * NEWSFLASH * * *

My latest full length novel 'TABBY & KAT'  is doing well sales-wise and I'd like to thank you all for your support.  Please don't forget to leave reviews on Amazon if you've enjoyed it.  Tonight I'll be wetting my new baby's head.  I raise my glass to you all - I couldn't do it without you.

Last week I had a sexy footballer on my sofa - check out the interview with Shane Henderson from Jamie Dougan's 'Offside!' here.

My FIRST EVER Twitter/Indie buddy celebrated joining Harper Impulse and I am SO proud of her.  You can buy her Christmas novella here.

I hope to write a Christmas blog post before the big day but time is running away with me.  In case I don't have a chance, I wish you all a peaceful and happy festive break and hope the fat guy brings you all you wish for.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

On the Sofa with Shane Henderson

On my sofa today is footballer Shane Henderson. Shane has just recently returned to his boyhood heroes, Milton Keynes Rangers after a few years away, playing with local rivals Daventry United.  You can read his story in Jamie Tucker Dougan's novella 'Offside!'

So, Shane, your friendship with Mia, your new boss, is very close. Have you ever considered taking it to another level and do you think she has? 

[*Turns red and shuffles on the nervously on the sofa*] I better watch what I’m saying here… Yes, I have… and I know she has too. But our lives took different paths and other than that one special time we shared, we’ve been happy being very close friends.

April is clearly a good looking lady - if she was an animal, what would she be? What would you be?

She would be a fox, sexy but equally sneaky. I guess I would be a dog. A good friend and mostly loyal.

What would a favourite night out be for you and April?

Well that's a bit hard to answer. We have different ideas of a good night out. April likes the party atmosphere and being the centre of attention in a crowd, so nightclubbing would be her favourite night out. I tend to shun the spotlight and media attention that follows Premiership footballers. A quiet night away at a country hotel and a nice meal suits me more.

You grew up very close to Mia's family - do you think that would have been the case if you'd been closer to your own?

The Rodrigues family are a lovely family. I think they’d welcome anyone. But I was like the son they never had I think. If I’d been closer to my own family, then things might have been different. I don’t think the age gap between Lewis and I helped the relationship we had. But we’re making up for that now.

When you hang your footballer's boots up, what will we see Shane doing next?

I think I’ll definitely stay in the world of football. Maybe management, I quite fancy being the Boss of MKR one day.

Would you appear in 'Big Brother' or 'I'm a Celebrity'? 

Definitely not ‘Big Brother’, I couldn’t cope being penned in with a load of attention seeking divas. I get enough of that with April!
I’d love to do ‘I’m a Celebrity’. Creepy crawlies don’t bother me and I’d be up for any Bush Tucker Trial.

Is it hard to abstain from fleshly delights before a match and have you ever ignored the rules and regretted it? Does it really make a difference? 

Ah, are you asking if I’ve broken the pre-match sex ban that some managers impose? Well, that would be yes. All I’ll say is that if you’re fit enough, then it makes no difference.

Talking of fit, what are your thoughts on David Beckham and would you like the fame and fortune that football has brought him or are you just in it for the love? 

David Beckham is a great ambassador for the game and for sport in general. He’s good role model for youngster starting out in the game too. As for his fame and fortune, well I’ll pass on the fame. I play football for the love of the game, nothing else. The fortune, well I’m a Premiership footballer. I have all the fortune I’ll ever need.

Thanks for joining me Shane - an afternoon on the sofa with a sexy footballer was just what the doctor ordered.

You can follow Shane's creator on Twitter @JamieTDougan
Read his blog here and buy his other books here

Friday, 13 December 2013

FUNKY FRIDAY - With Book Reviewer Monique Mulligan

Today I welcome avid reader and book reviewer, Monique Mulligan. You can find her at Write Note Reviews.

Monique, what made you start a book review blog?

I started blogging about January 2012 after I left my job as a newspaper editor. I’d been fortunate enough to review books while working in media, so I just made a few calls to my contacts and went from there. I was looking for a way to combine two loves - reading and writing. At the time I thought book blogging was such an original idea, but I quickly discovered my mistake! Now I review regularly for about 10 publishers in Australia.

What are your favourite books to review and which type make you want to chuck them at the wall?

I really enjoy contemporary women's fiction and crime/suspense/thrillers, and lately I've been loving historicals. I don't enjoy sci-fi and rarely read fantasy. Books that are poorly written, repetitive, try too hard or contain gratituous violence annoy me. I started reading a new release by an incredibly successful writer at the weekend and you know what? I'm not going to finish it. It's repetitive, overly descriptive and I just can't get into it; the formulaic writing style annoyed me and yet, how do I argue about writing with someone who has made millions? I also find books written in the present tense irritating ... I don't know why.

How do you sweeten the pill if you hate a book or do you say it as it is?

I usually request books from publishers that I think I'll like, but sometimes I do get it wrong or the book doesn't live up to what I expected (either from the blurb, other reviews, hype or so on). We all have different tastes - sometimes a book just doesn't work for you. If the book is OK and there are good and bad points, I'll say what I liked and note a couple of things I didn't, but in a respectful way. Respect is important because a lot of work has gone into it. If I have nothing nice to say at all, I don't say it. Then again, I probably wouldn't finish a book I really didn't like. In that case, I'd choose not to review it and consider a Sunday Shout Out to the publisher.

As an avid reader and reviewer, would you ever put pen to paper yourself?

Yes, that's the plan. Still working on that goal ...

Tell us about your ideal week as a reader/reviewer.

My first thought was that I'd be able to read and review whenever I wanted without interruptions, but then I would miss out on all the other wonderful things in my life. If I could establish a routine, that would be ideal, but since reviewing is a hobby, it has to fit in with the rest of life (and sometimes take tenth place to all the other priorities).

If you were offered a squillion pounds to never read another book again, would you take it?

No. I couldn't.

Thanks for joining me today, Monique. It was good to chat.

Check out Monique's website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

* * * NEWSFLASH * * *

OK, not so newsy any more, but just to remind you that my latest novel, 'TABBY & KAT' has now been released into the big bad world. Have you got your copy yet?  If so, let me know what you think - or, better still, please leave a review!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Hoorah! Another Book Launch Day!!

Today sees the release of my sixth full length novel - ‘Tabby & Kat’.

If you fancy a piece of giggly chicklit with a hint of mystery and a very cute parrot, then this is the book for you.

For those who missed it, here’s the blurb:


Fifteen minutes from here
in large, airy house with garden.
Mad enough to share with
fun loving party animals?
(1 male, 1 female, 1 parrot)

Things are changing for Tabby and Adam.

With their friend Polly leaving the 'Thunky Three’,
who will fill the void in their cosy house share?
Enter … Kat
... and a whole heap of trouble.

You can download your Kindle copy on Amazon NOW for just £1.97 here in the UK or at elsewhere.  Also available in paperback at Lulu.

Want to try before you buy? Use the 'Look Inside' feature on Amazon or read the first chapter I posted here.

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, 6 December 2013

FUNKY FRIDAY - with author Mandy Baggot

Today I welcome one of the queens of chicklit as we chat in our chicken suits.  Yes, really.  More of that later.  Welcome ... Mandy Baggot.

So, Mandy, what are the best and the worst things about writing for you?

The best thing is when you get lovely readers emailing and messaging you telling you how much they loved your story. We love creating our worlds and characters but it’s no good if the readers don’t like them!

The worst thing is not having enough hours in the day to get everything done a writer needs to, as well as spending time with the family and keeping the house tidy. I usually don’t bother with the house!

I'm so with you on that!  OK, you've been invited on Big Brother - Writers Special! Do you accept?

Absolutely!! There isn’t much I wouldn’t do in the name of publicity! You’re speaking to the lady who dressed up in a chicken suit in the name of promo!

… and here's the proof!

You're going on a chat show to discuss your books! Whose is it and why?

Graham Norton! I actually said this in a talk at the Romantic Novelists’ Association conference. We had to write a short newspaper ad - like a Lonely Hearts column - searching for a publisher. I wrote ‘Award-winning author seeks publisher to get her on Graham Norton. Must join in tweets about food.’ I think his show is fun and I might get the chance to sit next to someone like Bruce Willis!

I have to say that my first choice would be Alan Carr - so much so that I blogged about my imaginary interview here!  Right, moving on.  If you were offered a squillion pounds to never write again would you take it?

No. Actually that depends. If I was given a squillion pounds and warned if I wrote again I would get kidnapped and tortured I wouldn’t take it. If there were no threats I would take it ... and write under another name! It’s hard to stop a writer writing!

It's your dream week as a writer - anything's possible! Tell us about it.

No husband. No children. Just me, my latest WIP, a cupboard full of instant mash and a fridge full of wine ... I’m easily pleased!

Oooh, instant mash!  Really?  


Planner or Winger?
Winger ... I know no other way!

Night or Morning?

Doer or procrastinator?

Writing/first draft or editing?
Writing ... does anyone like editing?

Tea or coffee?

You can buy Mandy's latest release on Amazon here. The book I can highly recommend is 'Knowing me Knowing You.'  Oh, it made me chuckle!

And here are her other links:

Thanks, Mandy.  It was great to chat.  Can I take the chicken suit off now?
***** NEWSFLASH *****

My own latest book 'Tabby & Kat' is all ready to go and release date is next Thursday 12th December on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback at Lulu.  You can see my yummy cover and read the first chapter here.

My Twitter buddy Jamie Dougan has released his novella, 'Offside!' you can download your copy here for just 77p and I'll be featuring an interview with the lead character Shane within the next week.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Drum roll .... my new release!

It's just over a week away until my latest full length novel hits the shelves.  My test readers have all enjoyed and even gone so far as to say that they think it may their favourite so far!  High praise indeed and I guess we'll have to see what everyone else says.

So ... the date for your diary is Thursday 12th December (my lovely mum's 86th birthday).  You'll be able to download it on Amazon for under £2 or, if you prefer a paperback copy, you'll need to go to

Presenting ... TABBY & KAT

 Here's the yummy cover:

 And here's the blurb:

Things are changing for Tabby and Adam.
With their friend Polly leaving ‘The Thunky Three’,
who will fill the void in their cosy house-share?

Enter … Kat

... and a whole heap of trouble.

And just to drag you in a little bit more, here's the first chapter.  I really hope you enjoy!

Chapter One


Fifteen minutes from here
in large, airy house with garden.
Mad enough to share with
fun loving party animals?
(1 male, 1 female, 1 parrot)

It suddenly all seemed so final as I positioned the advert in the shop window and then went outside to check that it was straight and fully visible to the passing public. Polly had really left and Adam and I had to find a newbie to fill her slot at the house.  The ‘Thunky Three’ were splitting and I felt a mixture of sadness and giggles as I thought back to how we came up with our ridiculous name.

Of course it had involved too many cheap bottles of cider and gut-rot wine as we celebrated our moving in together and Polly had balanced herself precariously on the coffee table with her full glass spilling everywhere.  As she threw a very drunken arm up in the air and ground her hips to whatever beat we were listening to at the time, she toasted our new living arrangements.

‘Whoop!  To the Thunky Three,’ she’d shouted.  She’d then guffawed, fallen off the table while expertly managing to save her booze, and added as she landed, ‘Ooops! I actually meant Funky’ - but I do believe I’ve just made up a lovely new word which should be inserted into the Oxford Dictionary forthwith.’

Adam and I had fallen about with laughter as she went on to tell us that she loved the words ‘inserted’ and ‘forthwith’ so very, very much (said with a drunken slur) and then proceeded to put them into various madcap sentences.

‘My rumbling stomach demands that we order some take-away pizzas and insert them, forthwith.’

‘I demand that you insert your manhood forthwith, Mr Darcy!’

And so we became ‘The Thunkies’ - even our large circle of friends would refer to our trio as such.  We’d met at Uni, instantly hitting it off and deciding that when our time was done with our studies we’d hot-foot back to London and share a place together - it just seemed the natural progression for us.  From then on, any invitations which plopped on our doormat were addressed to ‘The Thunky Three’ and texts or email would ask if The Thunkies would be at such and such event.

And now we’d split.

After nearly four years of living in each others’ pockets at Uni and another five in London, Polly was off to get married (and pop out a sprog!) and I was bereft and delighted in equal measures.

Of course Adam was a little bit upset that she was going but, as I’d just broken up with ‘Codface Callum’ he saw it as an ideal opportunity to make his move on me - again.  Suddenly there could be just the two of us in the house and Adam liked that idea - he liked that idea a lot.

You see, Adam had been in love with me for as long as I could remember and he made no secret of showing it.  And I loved him too - just not like that.  We’d had a couple of drunken snogs at parties over the years and (from what I could remember) they were good - really good.  You know, the type that get you thinking, ‘Wow!  If I could just let this go a little further this could be something quite mind-blowing’.  But I just never would … you know, let anything go too far.  Because Adam … well, he was Adam!

Don’t get me wrong.  He was no gargoyle.  He was incredibly good looking with his floppy, messy chocolate brown hair, eyes to drown in and a fine pair of long legs (oops, I may have made him sound a bit like a Labrador there - but I guess if you combine the looks with the faithfulness and fun factor, he was a bit like a loyal Lab!).  He was kind, thoughtful, had the most amazing sense of fair play and everybody said he was the nicest guy they knew but … well … he just wasn’t for me.

I went for the bad boys - you know, the ‘Say They’ll Pick You Up at Eight and Don’t’ type.  The ‘Living on the Edge’ type.  The ‘Sod Paying the Bills, Let’s Blow our Gas Money down the Pub’ type.

I liked the thrill, the danger, the excitement - and in a perverse way, the many broken hearts that came as part of the package.  After the upbringing I’d had, it was all I knew really - settling with a kind and sensible man just didn’t seem an option.

Now, if that made me sound like a troubled child from an East End council estate with a drug-pushing dad and a street-walking mum, it couldn’t have been further from the truth.  I grew up in a beautiful village in Surrey with my parents, brother and sister.  But there was never a dull moment in our home - no peace, no normality, no calm - and, weirdly, we all thrived on it.

My mum and dad were artists - crazy, flamboyant, and both mad as a box of frogs.  They loved one another with a fierce passion, fought like Taylor and Burton but always made up quickly.  Mum taught at the local art school and I remember a childhood filled with various waifs and strays being brought home for tea or supper - which was always burnt, always unidentifiable and always made with the enthusiasm of ‘This time it will work!’  Dad painted massive canvases for swanky London houses and made a small fortune ‘extracting the urine and their cash’ as he liked to refer to it.  He would lock himself away for an hour, fire up the spray cans and come out triumphantly proclaiming ‘That’s another pile of shit for The Titty-Farquhars that’ll cost them a cool ten grand.  Pour us a port, someone - I’m shattered!’

Of course, there were no clients by that name but that was what he called all those who coveted his ‘art’ - the people he loathed for their stupidity and vulgarity.  No one had ever wanted his delicate watercolours which took weeks of craft and thought - we’d have been a starving family had he not jumped ship and gone where the money was.  ‘The Titty-Farquhars’ might have paid his bills but they also robbed him of his true passion.

‘I’m prostituting myself!’ he’d cry out after too many ports or bottles of Burgundy.  ‘A whore.  I’m nothing more than a paint-splattered whore!’

This would usually be the moment my mother would grab a feather boa or stick some sparkly nipple tassels onto her pinny and run through a Burlesque routine to cheer him up.  My mum was sixteen stone of gorgeousness but boy did she know how to move it, so it usually had Dad chuckling and slapping his knee (or her fine rump) and forgetting his woes.

We’d sit by and watch in bemusement - me and my siblings - when we were younger. There was love in our house, we knew that, but it was sometimes a drain living where emotions always ran so high.

My brother, Tadge, was the eldest - a ballet dancer and straight to boot.  He could be prone to bouts of self-doubt or crippling worry, but since he married Flo he’d been much more settled.

My sister, Ophelia, was the youngest - a poet (or so she claimed).  I loved her to bits but she drove me up the wall with her weeping and wailing sometimes.  Still living at home with Mum and Dad, she was a slip of a thing who dressed in bits of lace and Victoriana fripperies on the outside but was a lazy, spoiled cow on the inside.

Then there was me, Tabitha, or ‘Tabby’ as I preferred.  I too was a struggling artist but I refused to sacrifice my dream of working in oils or to sponge off my parents so I supplemented my meagre income by helping out my friend Mims in her trendy gift shop.  Sometimes I thought I was  the only sane one in my family, but I guess the wildness of my upbringing must have taken its toll or I wouldn’t still be looking for ‘Mr Bad Guy’ and the thrill of the chase - I would have settled for Adam, wouldn’t I?

Which was never gonna happen!  So we had to get a new housemate, quick sharp, before he got any ideas about us becoming a couple.

‘The Thunkies’ might have disbanded but things couldn’t always stay the same, could they?  And who knew, maybe things would be even better?


I’d noticed a young woman of about my age watching me as I finished putting the sign in the window of ‘The Treasure Chest’ when I got to work that morning.  There was something vaguely familiar about her but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it - she was probably a regular customer or one of the punters at our local pub, I thought as I returned to the counter and Mims.

‘Coffee there for you, Honey,’ she said as I tidied some greetings cards on a rack.  ‘So the wedding’s this weekend is it?  Polly all sorted?’  Mims dunked a chocolate Hobnob in her mug and quickly brought the biscuit to her mouth before it disintegrated.

‘Yep,’ I sighed.  ‘Saturday at two.  She’s been gone for two weeks now and Adam and I are heading down on Friday after work and staying in a B&B near Polly’s parents’ place.’

‘In separate rooms, of course,’ Mims joked.

‘We might share a house but we certainly don’t share a bed, Mims, and you know it.’

‘Well I think you’re bloody mad.  Before I met Tim, I’d have killed for a bloke like Adam - what’s not to like?  But the trouble is, he has eyes for no one but you, so you just take it for granted.  I reckon if you took him up on his offer of paying two-thirds of the rent and ditched the idea of looking for a new housemate, you’d be an item within weeks - the temptation would just be too great.’

I began to sort through some paperwork and orders in an attempt to block Mims and her babble out.  She was a hopeless romantic at heart and wanted nothing more than to see Adam and me together.  When I’d told her of his plan to pay extra rent to save us from replacing Polly, she’d been beside herself with excitement.

Of course, it would have been great to not have to bother interviewing a whole heap of strangers to decide who would fit in best but I didn’t want to give Adam false hope by taking him up on his offer.

‘Tabby, I can afford it,’ he’d stated very simply.  ‘Business is booming and it’s no great hardship for me to pay a bit of extra dosh.  Give it some thought, please.  No strings, I promise.  Just two old buddies sharing a house.’

It was true.  His web design business was booming.  He worked from home in one of the spare rooms and already paid a little extra for that privilege.  Mr Organised was in charge of all the bill paying, housekeeping and any odd jobs that needed to be tackled.  He’d never been in any sort of debt or financial instability as he always lived within his means and was now reaping the rewards.

In short, he was everything I wasn’t.  Mims had once joked that if Adam suddenly announced that he hadn’t got his rent or that he’d blown his savings on a motorbike, I’d drop my drawers in a flash because he’d suddenly become everything I usually looked for.  Not true.  He was my friend, that was all, and I’d hate anything to ruin that.

Mims broke into my thoughts again.  ‘Hey, supposing you get some gorgeous floozy move in and Adam falls for her instead of you?  Would you be upset?’

‘Don’t be so daft!’  I sipped at my coffee and thought about her question.

‘What?  Don’t be so daft because it wouldn’t bother you, or because you’re so sure it would never happen?’  Mims flicked me with an elastic band she’d found by the till.  ‘You be careful who you decide on, Miss Tabby.  You take in a looker, and the gorgeous Adam might not stick around and wait for you forever.  Then you’ll be looking for two replacement housemates!’


I guess Mims’ words must have got to me more than I thought because whenever any sexy, nubile bit of stuff came in the shop and enquired about the house, I told them the room had gone and then ushered their pert little bottoms to the door.  I then had to contend with Mims’ knowing looks and smirks.

‘Yeah, good move there, Tabby.  That one was way too sexy to have floating around in a G-string, seductively munching on a croissant every morning, eh?’

The trouble was, I could control the applicants who enquired in the shop but I had no control over the list that Adam was compiling from the calls he had on his mobile - all female, or so I heard.

‘He’s doing it to wind you up, Petal,’ Mims soothed as we began checking off a delivery of gift bags and paper.  ‘He’s going to pick the best looking girl and hope that you crumble and relent on his suggestion.  Trust me.’

‘Yeah, well that’s fine.  I’ve had some pretty hot blokes come in and ask for details too - a couple of really cute Aussies and a French hunk who could offer me his baguette any old time.  So, I’m ready for his plan - and we have to agree on who we take in, so it’ll be fine.’

The shop had been quiet that day, with only a handful of customers coming through the doors, and I was suddenly aware of a small cough from the corner where we kept our tiny teddies.  I was almost certain it was the young woman who had watched me as I’d put the ad in the window and, as she saw me turn to her, she replaced the bear she’d been considering and left the shop in a hurry.

I didn’t know her but there was something about her that made an involuntary shudder run right through me.

She had poker straight blonde hair, I had flame red flowing curls - chalk and cheese - but there was something about the eyes.  People often said I had cat’s eyes and in many ways I agreed - green, keen and slightly slanting.

In that brief moment when our gaze met, it had been like looking into a mirror - a mirror which reflected a little piece of me.

I continued to work through the huge delivery and pushed the thought to the back of my mind.  Plenty of people had a similar look.  And what did it matter anyway?  I was just over-reacting.


‘So we’ve got three lined up for Monday night - your losers.  And three lined up for Tuesday night - my little honeys,’ Adam told me as he scooped more Chinese takeaway onto our plates.

‘And we promise that we both have to agree wholeheartedly on who we give the room to - based on our strict marking system and gut feeling?’ I asked as I struggled with my noodles and chopsticks.

‘Yep.  And if none of the six are suitable, you’ll concede that my idea was the most sensible one all along.  I’m not spending weeks interviewing no-hopers, Tabby.’

‘It’ll be fine, Adam.  I really think you’ll like Jean-Charles.  He’s got a Porsche and works in advertising.’

‘I hate him already.  I’ll match your stinking, garlic-munching frog with a rather tasty Swiss girl called Eloise.  She emailed me over some rather saucy pics this morning - most accommodating of her, I thought.’  He winked and grabbed another prawn cracker from the bag.

This was not going to be easy and I sighed into my egg foo yung.  We had a lovely summer wedding to go to and yet the prospect of finding a new housemate would be hanging over us the whole time.

Maybe I should have just taken Adam up on his offer and become ‘The Thunky Two’.  Platonic, of course.

Nah!  We’d see what the applicants were like and decide from there - how bad could interviewing them and finding out a bit more about them really be?

Sunday, 1 December 2013

My Growing Stable

It's 1st December and I'm a combination of nerves and excitement as I prepare to bring out my next full length novel on the 12th.  Yes, aside from my two Christmas novellas, I'll soon have SIX books on my shelf.  Pretty cool, huh?

Want to know what it's called?  Want a tiny clue about the plot?

Well, you'll have to wait until Tuesday when I plan to post the blurb, first chapter and reveal my yummy cover.

Until then, let me tell anyone visiting my blog for the first time about the other books I've written.  All of these are priced under £2 and I'm told are packed with laughs and the occasional tear too.  If you'd like to read a preview of any of these, simply go to the link, hover over the book cover to the left and click to "Look Inside".

First up, we have DIARY OF A MUMMY MISFIT - a kind of grown up Bridget Jones for any woman who's ever felt that she doesn't belong.  Join Libby at the school gates with her buddy Fenella and grab your handbags at dawn as they discover the difference between the Haves and the Have-Nots.

The sequel, THE DARKER SIDE OF MUMMY MISFIT, continues to follow Libby as times get tougher and her integrity is questioned.  More laughs but a few sobs too.

I then moved on to my first work written in novel format rather than diary.  COMPLETING THE PUZZLE tells the story of Fee as she hits mid-life and discovers that she's about to enter a whole new and exciting chapter.

Next up is STILETTOS & STUBBLE - a romcom set in a drag club, where larger-than-life Persephone finds out  'it's what's inside that counts.'

This summer's release was LOTTIE'S LUCK - what happens when your luck runs out and fate takes control?

My two Christmas novellas (at just 77p) are CHRISTMAS DELIVERANCE  - all families have secrets but how deep do they run?

And CINDERELLA'S BUTTONS - can a panto wake up the sleepy village of Tideswell and help the inhabitants find love?

So there they all are - my babies.  Let me know if you have a favourite and please pop along on Tuesday for news of my latest book release, hitting the shelves on 12th December.

Friday, 29 November 2013

FUNKY FRIDAY - with author Kathryn O'Halloran

Friday's don't get much funkier than this as I chat to an author who has turned her hands to many things.  Read on ... and learn!

So, Kathryn, you've had some interesting jobs aside from writing - phone psychic and community television star, to name a few!  (please explain)  Would you ever incorporate these into a book?

I hadn't before but I am now! The phone psychic job was actually really depressing.  I thought it'd be a hoot but about 90% of the calls were "I'm in love with a married man.  Will he leave his wife for me?"  You don't need to be a psychic to answer that.  I'm sure it could be worked into a much more fun scenario than that.

As you tend to write the raunchier side of things, what happens when you have a 'headache'?!

I think about food! Like a chewy, fruit macaroon with creamy filling ... you get the idea.  Then take all those emotions and put them into sex. Other than that, I guess it's like anything.  How do you write an action scene when you can't be bothered getting off the couch?

What's the worst thing about writing for you?

The marketing side.  I wish someone would do that for me.  Someone who doesn't charge a fortune.  I don't even want them to do it for me, to be honest.  I'd be happy if they told me what to do.  Or people could just buy my books and I wouldn't need to do anything.

Dream time.  Ultimate dinner party?  You can have anyone dead or alive there - who would you have and why?

I'd probably have to get some celebrity chef in so they could do all the cooking instead of me.  That way everyone would make it out alive and I could relax and drink wine.

Jensen Ackles because he's so pretty!

Helena Bonham Carter because she's awesome.

And maybe someone who knows the secrets of Amazon's algorithms so I can ply them with alcohol and find out all the secrets!

Now, I'm definitely with you on that!
Could you ditch the saucy stuff and write slushy romance for the right price?

Hells yeah! For the right price I'd write just about anything.  Except maybe lactation porn.

Oooh, felt just a little bit sick there!  You need to distract me and describe yourself as a writer in five words.

Sassy, whimsical, risque, evocative, redolent.


Planner or Winger?

Night or Morning?

Doer or procrastinator?

Writing/first draft or editing?
First draft.

Tea or coffee?

Kathryn’s book 'The Bad Girls' Club' is available on Amazon / (Amazon UK) and Goodreads.  You can also visit her Facebook page, blog or follow her on Twitter.

Thank you for joining me Kathryn - it was fun.  Aside from the lactating!

* * * NEWSFLASH * * *

Before I get to book-related stuff, I’d like to introduce you to a lovely lady I met on Twitter last night (@maggiewatts).  She’s on a mission - with a subject very dear to my heart.  Pancreatic cancer still continues to be the silent, speedy killer and very little time or money goes into research.  PLEASE read her story and sign the government petition here. Go on - do your bit, and make the Misfit happy!

My twitter buddy, Jamie Dougan (who likes to party in my virtual kitchen with his cider!) is releasing his latest novella, this weekend.  'Offside!' is a footballing romance with a bit of steam. You can buy it here, for just 77p. At that price, what have you got to lose?!

My December novel is ready to go for the 12th and has a yummy looking cover - watch this space ...