Friday, 28 February 2014

Winning the Lottery was just the Beginning


After a fabulous month of entertaining great amazing authors and book reviewers, today I would like to introduce Doreen Wilkinson: Bubbly, pretty, in her mid thirties and a single mother.

Doreen's life has never been easy, a laugh at times, but tough. A single mother living in a council flat on the outskirts of London with a seventeen year old daughter who is in to boys big time. With no change in sight to her lifestyle, Doreen sets off for work to clean the grubby offices that earns her enough to pay the rent. Calling in the corner shop, known locally as Mr Greedy's, she buys a packet of cigarettes and on impulse buys a lottery ticket!



Chapter ONE

Nothing in her wildest dreams had prepared Doreen Wilkinson for something like this. But then, nothing had prepared her for winning the lottery either.
Several million. Several million. Eleven million, three hundred and fifty four thousand, two hundred and ten pounds and nineteen pence to be precise.
She had giggled at the nineteen pence. “Break the bleedin’ bank that will!”
The media had made the comment a headline, “19p to break the bleedin’ bank!” splashed all over the Sun and Daily Mirror accompanied by her smiling face and a fountain spray of champagne. She had thought it a waste shaking that great big bottle and letting it fizz everywhere, but the reporters had told her to do it.
Giggling at the memory, dressed in her silk pyjamas, Doreen, stepped out on to the terrace. The warm morning air that caressed her face was in stark contrast to the chilled champagne she was sipping. She giggled again at drinking champagne before the sun had got out of bed. Padding to the end of the terrace, her bare feet absorbing the heat from the ceramic tiles, she looked out in awe over the Villas Bonitas complex of luxury villas. Apart from in films she had never seen exotic plants and trees, meandering tiled pathways and white-walled, red-roofed villas with sprawling private terraces. But then, she told herself, she had never won the lottery or been abroad before either. In fact she had never had a proper holiday full stop.
As the sun began to rise the solar lights that lit the gardens during the hours of darkness began to fade. Doreen watched, mesmerized, as the colours of the neatly maintained gardens surrounding each individual terrace gradually turned from sombre shades to vibrant greens, reds, pinks and yellows, and the shadows darkening the walls of each villa changed to a dazzling white. In the distance she could just make out the silhouette of the volcanic mountains as the rising sun cast its morning rays against their dark, jagged shapes.
Drinking the last drops of her champagne Doreen sighed with contentment. She had not known such beauty existed. Even the air had a sweet fragrance to it. She closed her eyes and inhaled the heady perfume - a high pitched shriek pierced the stillness - startled, she opened her eyes to see a yellow parrot dart past, almost within touching distance, its wings fanning her face. No sooner had the parrot disappeared into the tall palm trees, another, more muted sound rippled through
the sultry, morning, air.
She frowned as she heard it again; looked left and right to locate where it was coming from. Giggled. She had half an idea what was going on and was surprised that such naughty cries could be heard in such a posh place. Grinning she went to sip her champagne, tipping the glass to her lips, realised it was empty. Pulling a face, she ambled back across the terrace and stepping through the wide open patio doors, giggled. “Someone’s enjoying a good time.”
Blinking rapidly, her eyes struggling to focus after the brightness of the terrace, squinting, Doreen looked around the lounge. “Blimey,” she cried seeing glasses and a couple of empty bottles on one of the low coffee tables. A makeup bag, its contents scattered on the dinning table and an open magazine lay on the floor near one of the sofas.
“God what am I like?” she muttered as she reached for a packet of cigarettes and a lighter.
Taking a drag from her newly lit cigarette, Doreen looked at her watch. It was still early, she thought as she paused outside her daughter Trisha’s door. Should she peep in? Her only daughter had gone out clubbing the night before, no doubt got home in the early hours. Her hand half way to the door handle, she wondered, had she heard Trisha come in? She tried to think, but could not remember hearing any sounds; but then, she had been dead to the world, her first decent night’s sleep in weeks.
“Youngsters,” she giggled, “on the go all day, party all night. Don’t know where they get their energy from.”
Shaking her head, still giggling, she wandered to her bathroom. What she would give to be seventeen again!




Sometimes It Happens ... is available in paperback and Kindle, here are the links to go and grab your copy:



Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Thank You to these Fabby Peeps!


A HUGE thank you to some absolutely fabby peeps who took time out this month to join in my sunny special February feature, Shades On! I think we managed to chase away some of those winter blues. 

Here is the list of those super authors and book reviewers, so  if you would like to read their answers to the four sunny questions posed, please click on the Home page and keep scrolling...... enjoy!


Carol Hedges
Colette Caddle
Suzie Tullett
J B Johnston (Brook Cottage Books)
Madalyn Morgan
Toni Anderson
Paula Martin
Marcelle Dube
Carol Wright (Dizzyc's Little Book Blog)
Shirley Wells
Sheryl Browne
Christina Coutney
Jan Ruth
Carol E Wyer
Nicky Wells

AND THANK YOU for stopping by and helping to make the sun shine too.


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Shades On! With Carol Hedges


Throughout February I am having a number of special peeps join me for some warm winter sunshine. All my guests will be answering four simple questions. So slip on those shades and settle down to meet today's fabby guest, Carol Hedges.




Bikini or swimsuit?
Given that I am now sidling up to my 64th birthday, I think one of those Victorian costumes would be appropriate - don't want to scare off the other guests!

Share a memory from your childhood
I remember I used to get the 303 bus home from primary school (those were the days). There was a notice at the front that said 'No Smoking'. One particular bus conductor persuaded me it was really Nosmo King, which was his name. I was an exceptionally gullible small child.

Favourite summer drink and why?
Prosecco, chilled. I love the taste. Actually, it's my favourite Spring, Autumn and Winter drink too.

Poolside or beach for soaking up the sun rays and favourite place?
I'm not a great ray-soaker as I have very fair skin and go red quickly. I think Venice is one of my favourite places - so maybe I'll soak up the sun as I stroll around and leave the pool and beach to the rest of you!




Carol's Links…

Twitter: @carolJhedges


Monday, 24 February 2014

Shades On! With Colette Caddle



Throughout February I am having a number of special peeps join me for some warm winter sunshine. All my guests will be answering four simple questions. So slip on those shades and settle down to meet today's fabby guest, Colette Caddle





Bikini or swimsuit?

Definitely a swimsuit, haven’t worn a bikini since my mid twenties! Two reasons, really. Firstly, I was snow white, seriously, I never got a tan and secondly, as a result of the, the bits that never saw the light of day the rest of the year, burned easily!


Share a memory from your childhood

My father took it into his head to take the family on a foreign holiday and chose Romania, which, at the time, was not the most common of holiday destinations… and that’s putting it mildly. The weather the night we flew was dreadful and the turbulence, really frightening. And nauseating. Yes, I threw up pretty much all the way there. At one stage, the air hostesses – no men in those days! – strapped themselves into their seats and assumed the crash position. Is it any wonder I hate flying?
The nearest airport to our resort was in Bulgaria and crossing the border during the night was quite an experience, especially for a small child. We were all marched off the bus, lined up and surrounded by armed guards as our passports were checked. It was all a bit scary until my dad offered his cigarettes around and suddenly everyone was laughing and joking and we were sent on our way. I’m glad to say the rest of the holiday was uneventful and we had a lovely time.


Favourite summer drink and why?



Anything cold, bubbly and – obviously - fermented!


Poolside or beach for soaking up the sun rays and favourite place?

Oh, poolside, definitely! Beaches are for walking, for thinking and for creating, not for lying on. Water, sun-screen and sand do NOT make a good combination.

My favourite place, oh, that’s a hard one. Basically I am happy if I’m close enough to the sea to smell it, watch it, hear it and walk the beach.




Published by Simon & Schuster and available in paperback and on Kindle


Colette's Links

Twitter                   @colettecaddle
Facebook     Colette Caddle Books
Website       colettecaddle.com



There is another fab peep joining us again tomorrow, so please pop by…. Thanks!


Friday, 21 February 2014

Shades On! With Suzie Tullett


Throughout February I am having a number of special peeps join me for some warm winter sunshine. All my guests will be answering four simple questions. So slip on those shades and settle down to meet today's fabby guest, Suzie Tullett.





Bikini or swimsuit?

Whether it’s lazing by the pool or soaking up the sun’s rays at the beach, it’s a bikini for me. Although I do take a sarong for when I’m up and about; wandering up and down with what I have to offer on show would just put people off their sandwiches! 


Share a memory from your childhood

With three daughters and not much money, our family didn’t do holidays abroad during my childhood. But we did have some lovely vacations in the UK, which naturally meant packing up and jumping in the car to get to our destination. The trouble is, all three of us girls suffered terribly with travel sickness. I remember on one particular occasion, the nausea got so bad my Dad had to keep stopping roughly every twenty minutes just so we could get out for some much needed fresh air. I recall both my parents trying to hide their frustrations, but what else can you do when even travel sickness pills don’t work? Thankfully we got there eventually, but from the minute we arrived my parents must have been dreading the drive back.


Favourite summer drink and why?

I’d have to say Pimms. It just speaks of Summer days and lazy evenings, doesn’t it.


Poolside or beach for soaking up the sun rays and favourite place?

Once of a day I’d have definitely said the pool. The thought of getting sand everywhere just wouldn’t have done. Having spent a few years living in Greece though, be it by the pool or on the beach, I now don’t mind where I soak up the sun’s rays. As long as there’s water to jump into so I can cool down when needed I’m more than happy.





Suzy's Links

Twitter: @SuzieTullett



There is another fab peep joining us again tomorrow, so please pop by…. Thanks!


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Shades On! With J B Johnston aka Brook Cottage Books


Throughout February I am having a number of special peeps join me for some warm winter sunshine. All my guests will be answering four simple questions. So slip on those shades and settle down to meet today's fabby guest, J B Johnston, aka Brook Cottage Books




Bikini or swimsuit?
Well the answer to this very much depends on how fat I am on the day! If I’ve been slimming and feel confident that my belly isn’t hanging out like Buddha then it’ll be a bikini! Otherwise, a swimsuit to hide the stretch marks and flabby bits!


Share a memory from your childhood
I didn’t have a particularly nice childhood but one funny memory that has stuck with me is the day I went out shopping with my gran. She didn’t like children and on this day was lecturing me about making sure I acted like a lady at all times. As we walked out of a shop into the street, the elastic band broke on her giant knickers and they fell down round her ankles. Not very ladylike!


Favourite summer drink and why?
 Oh well now that would have to be Pimms! It’s just so refreshing and yummy. Unfortunately I forget that its alcohol and end up drinking the entire bottle! Then, paracetamol are essential!


Poolside or beach for soaking up the sun rays and favourite place?
 I like the beach as I love to hear the sound of the waves. Unfortunately it’s been 7 years since I have been anywhere near a beach in a nice sunny country – Malta, where we went on our honeymoon. I would love to go back there. If I am honest I am happy to soak up the sun anywhere. I’d just like to see some sun!


Thanks so much Pauline for including me.


Twitter: @jontybabe
Twitter: @BrookCottagebks





There is another fab peep joining us again tomorrow, so please pop by…. Thanks!




Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Shades On! With Madelyn Mogan



Throughout February I am having a number of special peeps join me for some warm winter sunshine. All my guests will be answering four simple questions. So slip on those shades and settle down to meet today's fabby guest, Madalyn Morgan



Thank you for inviting me to share a little winter sunshine with you, Pauline.  It’s freezing and snowing here.  Get the sun-loungers out; I’m on my way …


Bikini or swimsuit?

Ha ha!  It’s been a while since I wore a bikini.  It’s definitely a swimsuit for me these days, with a sarong tied round my waist when I walk to and from the beach or pool. 


Share a memory from your childhood

My most wonderful childhood memory is when I visited America at the age of eleven and lived on an Indian Reservation in Granite Falls, Minnesota, for six weeks.  I was adopted into the Dakota Sioux Tribe and some years later given my native name, Wacantkiya Win.  I believe I’ve already told you about it, so I’ll tell you about another lovely childhood memory that I have. 
For the first five years of my life, mum and dad took me to Brighton for our summer holiday.  We stayed with dad’s aunt Ciss who lived in a lovely garden apartment in a magnificent Victorian half-moon Crescent.  Our days were spent on the beach, or going to other nearby beaches and taking a packed lunch. 



My lovely mum and dad – and me scowling in the middle

In the evenings, when I was about four or five, mum and dad would go to the hotel on the corner for a drink.  Daddy always popped back with a treat, a bottle of beer for aunt Ciss, a bottle of Vimto for me, and bags of crisps and nuts.  Great-aunt and I would play cards, she would read me stories, or we’d listen to the wireless.  Mum and dad were always back in time to put me to bed, even so I was allowed to stay up later than I did at home and thought I was very grown up.  I loved being with my great-aunt Ciss.  Mum used to say, “Be a good girl and look after aunt Ciss,” so I thought it was me who was looking after her.  Of course, it was the other way round, but great-aunt Ciss never let on she knew and let me play at taking care of her. I was probably bossy even then.  Happy days. 


Favourite summer drink and why?   

In England, on the rare occasions that it’s really hot, I like a bottle of Sol with a slice of lime.  When I go with my friend to her apartment in Spain, we drive to Fuengirola and have lunch in one of the little squares.  It’s usually so hot by midday that, having drunk copious amounts of bottled water during the morning, we’re ready for something more interesting at lunchtime.  So we sit outside a small cafĂ© beneath an umbrella, drink cold beer, and watch the world go by.  In the evenings, it’s a glass of chilled white wine on the balcony overlooking the sea, before dinner.  Bliss!


Poolside or beach for soaking up the sun's rays, and favourite place?

I don’t sunbath.  I enjoy being out in the sun, but not lying in it doing nothing.  I love the beach and I love being poolside, for different reasons.  I like walking along the beach in the early evening, or sitting in a beach bar looking out to sea.  I’m fascinated by the vastness of the ocean, it frightens and excites me because I’m drawn to it (which is why I’d never go on a cruise).  However, if I’m relaxing and catching the last of the sun’s rays, it is poolside sipping a glass of chilled white wine.  

I enjoy reading the interviews with your fab friends round the pool.  Having read some of their books, it’s nice to know more about them.  The interview with Geri Dunlop, where she said she was a winter person, reminded me of the last time I was in America.  I am not a winter person, I love the summer, as long as it isn’t too hot.  The English summer is fine for me – when we have one.  The spring and autumn in Spain is even better.  However, I’d like to share this photograph with you. 



Driving a snowmobile – Minnesota – winter 1992

The photograph was taken when I was in the US in 1992.  Winter in Minnesota is very cold.  Out in the country, on the reservation in Granite Falls, the temperature can drop to 40 degrees below zero.  That is cold! 





Foxden Acres on Amazon, Paperback & Kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BCX59LE/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

Thank you for interviewing me, Pauline.  Can I come and sit round your pool again before the publication of my second novel, Applause?  The launch date is March 25th – I’ll bring my shades. 



Madalyn Morgan - Fiction Blog: http://madalynmorgansfiction.blogspot.co.uk/
Madalyn Morgan - Non-Fiction Blog: http://madalynmorgan.blogspot.co.uk/
Madalyn Morgan - Website: www.madalynmorgan.com
Facebook – Madalyn Morgan Author



There is another fab peep joining us again tomorrow, so please pop by…. Thanks!



Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Shades On! With Toni Anderson


Throughout February I am having a number of special peeps join me for some warm winter sunshine. All my guests will be answering four simple questions. So slip on those shades and settle down to meet today's fabby guest, Toni Anderson




Bikini or swimsuit?

Oh, definitely a swimsuit. I haven’t worn a bikini since I was five.


Share a memory from your childhood.

I have so many happy memories from childhood. One of my favourites is when the rest of the family went grocery shopping and I’d stay home with my grandfather. He’d give me a big shiny 50 pence piece and I’d go buy him a Mars Bar, and keep the change. This memory combines three of my favourite things--my granddad, chocolate, and avoidance of grocery shopping!


Favourite summer drink and why?

Gin and tonic. Lots of tonic and ice cubes. Very refreshing! Come to think of it it’s a favourite winter drink too... :)




Poolside or beach for soaking up the sun rays and favourite place?

Beach--always the beach. My favourite place? Crikey, you’re talking to a former marine biologist so it’s hard to choose one spot. Actually for just lying around on the sand I really enjoyed the Florida Keys, also Noosa Heads in Queensland. See, it’s too hard to pick just one spot. Iona, St Andrews, Bamfield...




Find out more about Toni Anderson on her website (http://www.toniandersonauthor.com/) and connect with her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/toniannanderson) or on her Author Page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Toni-Andersons-books/153356538022559).

For up-to-the-minute information on new releases and surprise giveaways join her infrequent newsletter (http://shawwebspace.us6.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=fd00f04415a0aa15a4040818f&id=50c3c7206d).


She also tweets-- @toniannanderson


There is another fab peep joining us again tomorrow, so please pop by…. Thanks!


Monday, 17 February 2014

Shades On! With Paula Martin


Throughout February I am having a number of special peeps join me for some warm winter sunshine. All my guests will be answering four simple questions. So slip on those shades and settle down to meet today's fabby guest, Paula Martin.





Bikini or swimsuit?

These days, definitely a swimsuit, and preferably one with a firm tummy panel! I used to wear a bikini when I was younger, but alas, I am not as slim as I used to be.


Share a memory from your childhood

As we’re by the pool, I’ll tell you about the time I took the son of one of my mother’s friends to the swimming baths for the first time. He was three years younger than me, about nine at the time. I waited for him by the entrance to the boys’ changing rooms, which was opposite where the pool water was about five feet deep. When he came out, he ran straight past me and jumped in! Of course I had to jump in after him, and drag him, coughing and choking, down to the shallow end. His mother and mine were up in the gallery above the pool and saw it all happening, but did I get any praise for saving his life (which, on reflection, I probably did)? Nope, I got told off for letting him jump in where it was too deep for him! Needless to say, I never took him to the swimming baths again. I sometimes wonder if he remembers the day he nearly drowned!


Favourite summer drink and why?

I’m very boring really, because a tall glass of diet coke with lots of ice will suit me fine. But maybe you could add a wee splash of Bacardi?


Poolside or beach for soaking up the sun rays and favourite place?



I love the beach, especially where you can hear the waves breaking on the shore. There’s a small bay in Cyprus (part way between Limassol and Paphos) where I could lie all day listening to that gentle sound, which is so peaceful and almost hypnotic.




‘Irish Inheritance’
English actress Jenna Sutton and American artist Guy Sinclair first meet when they jointly inherit a house on the west coast of Ireland. Curious about their unknown benefactress and why they are considered as ‘family’, they discover some surprising links to the original owners of the house.
With the help of local descendants, they unravel an intriguing tale of a nineteenth century love affair. At the same time, their mutual attraction grows, even though they each have personal reasons for not wanting any romantic involvement at this point in their lives.
Problems arise when a local property agent appears to have her own agenda concerning the house. Other events pull them back to their separate lives in London and America, and friction builds between them over their decision about the house and its contents.
Will their Irish inheritance eventually drive them apart — or bring them together?



Paula's Links:




There is another fab peep joining us again tomorrow, so please pop by…. Thanks!


Friday, 14 February 2014

St Valentine's Day, but Is it Happy Ever After?


It's St Valentine's Day and as hearts beat together is it happy ever after for everyone?



Anne Simpson, beautiful and intelligent is in love with her work as a school teacher and in love with her clever finance, Paul Betham. Anne is idealistic and is determined to be the best teacher for her young children, many who come from poorer homes. Paul is handsome and ambitious, he too is a school teacher at the town's prestigious grammar school. Paul wants not just the best for his pupils, but the very best for Anne and their future and he will go to any lengths to make sure he gets what he wants.




Shirley Burton, early thirties, vibrant and attractive fell in love with the man who not only made her laugh, but found that not only did her hand fit in his perfectly, but their hearts beat together wildly. These days the laughter that rang through their lives, is silent.
Jimmy, Shirley's husband, has never stopped loving his wife, but something he never thought could happen took his laugher away. Instead of holding the hand that fits perfectly in his, Jimmy instead holds a pint of beer. And whilst Jimmy hugs his beer, Shirley flutters her eyelids at sexy Billy Smith? Is this love or lust or is it a dangerous path to destruction? 




Kathleen and Joe are a couple made in heaven with two wonderful children, but their lives are not exciting in fact the complete opposite. Their lives are tough. Money is hard earned and often short, but their love for each other shines through. Nothing daunts the Mitchell family they have the ability to smile when others would despair, so what possible could go wrong?



Storm Clouds Gathering is as much about love as betrayal. It's about the highs of joy and the deep lows of sorrow. It is about human emotions and relationships caught up in the tangled threads of life.

Is available in Kindle and paperback

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Shades On! With Marcelle Dube


Throughout February I am having a number of special peeps join me for some warm winter sunshine. All my guests will be answering four simple questions. So slip on those shades and settle down to meet today's fabby guest, Marcelle Dube




Bikini or swimsuit?

Good grief. Swimsuit, definitely. Beneath a tee-shirt and slacks. Okay, maybe capris.

  
Share a memory from your childhood

I’m the eldest of five kids. When I was little, it was my job to protect the younger ones. One day one of my sisters came home crying because a neighbour kid had hit her. My mother sent me out to punch the kid and teach him not to mess with my siblings. I’m not making this up.

Just call me The Enforcer.


Favourite summer drink and why?

I do love a good lime margarita. Icy cold, tangy and salty, with a bit of a kick. The perfect drink for lounging about on a hot summer day. Does it get any better?


 Poolside or beach for soaking up the sun rays and favourite place?

The beach, definitely. My favourite one is Bennett Beach in Carcross, Yukon. I concede that it may not be the warmest beach in the world (however, it does get to 25 or 26 Celsius for a few days most summers) but it ranks up there as one of the most beautiful. Check it out here or here.




Marcelle's Links




There is another fab peep joining us again tomorrow, so please pop by…. Thanks!