Thursday, 27 December 2012

Sometimes It Happens... is in the Top Ten!

As we begin the count down for the New Year, I see some people are already sharing their year. Book Reviewer, Carol Wright has already revealed her top ten reads for 2012 and to my surprise and delight, B.R.A.G. award winner, Sometimes It Happens... is there!

Thank you so much Carol, I am honoured to be in your top ten of 2012.

You can see all the books that made Carol's top ten by visiting her amazing Book Blog site.

And, you can also watch the exotic, Sometimes It Happens... trailer here!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

A Chat on Radio Tias!

Today I was invited to chat on Radio Tias about my three books with presenters, Jerry Lefever and Sarah English. The other two guests where Mike & Julie Cliffe-Jones from Lanzarote Information.

It was great fun and Jerry certainly made the hour long live show very entertaining and I could be invited back!

Sarah also brought in some delicious mince pies she made earlier from her English Cakes Lanzarote business... scrummy!

Thanks Jerry and Sarah for inviting me!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Bake Off with Joanna Lambert

As part of my Christmas Bake Off, today author, Joanna Lambert shares her delicious white chocolate and raspberry tart. This is to die for…..

White Chocolate and Raspberry Tart

Hands-on time 35 minutes, plus chilling. Cooking time 30 minutes

Serves 12

150g(5oz) Plain Flour

Pinch of salt

65g (2.5 oz) cold, unsalted butter, diced

100g (3.5 oz) ground hazelnuts

25g (1 oz) sugar

1 large egg, beaten

250g tub Mascarpone

200g (7 oz) good quality white chocolate, such as Green & Black’s

150ml carton double cream

400g fresh raspberries

Golden icing sugar to dust

1. Sift flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and whiz until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add hazelnuts, sugar and just enough egg to bring the mixture together – use the pulse button to help you. Shape the pastry into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

2. Roll out pastry; press into base and sides of a 20.5cm (8 in) fluted tart tin. Prick base all over. Line with baking parchment and top with baking beans. Chill until firm. Pre-heat oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5.

3. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes. Removed beans and parchment; bake for a further 5 – 10 minutes until pastry is dry and slightly sandy to touch. Cool tin on wire rack.

4. Melt the mascarpone and chocolate together in a heatproof bowl set over gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Don’t stir, otherwise the mixture will thicken into a sticky mess.

5. Remove bowl from pan and set aside to cool completely. Lightly whip the cream, then fold into the chocolate mixture. Spoon into the pastry case; chill.

6. Top with raspberries; dust with icing sugar before serving.

Per serving: 408 calories, 33g fat (11g saturate), 30g carbohydrates (14g total sugars)


Here are Joanna Lambert's links

Writer of Modern Romantic Sagas
twitter: @jolambertwriter

As always thank you for stopping by and here is my Christmas video Merry Christmas


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

My Christmas Bake Off with Anne's Swiss & Olive Spread!

As part of my Christmas Bake Off, today the wonderfully talented Janet Beasley shares one of the delicious recipes from her Maycly cook book.

More Than Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup.

Ann's Swiss & Olive Spread

6 oz finely shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 c chopped pimentos-stuffed green olives

1/3 - 1/2 cup mayonnaise (depends on how moist you prefer your spread)

1 tsp prepared mustard

1 tsp olive brine

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1 loaf of party rye or pumpernickel bread

Mix all ingredients together and serve with party bread.

Refrigerate leftovers

Click on the recipe title for more scrummy recipes!
Sounds scummy…. Do enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and here is my little Christmas thank you for all your support this years.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Christmas Wonderland!

I'm slowly getting in the festive mood and I hope you are too. Today I want to share my Christmas Wonderland Video Trailer with you as a way of saying a HUGE thank you for all you amazing support.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Christmas Bake Off with Rum Truffles

As part of the run up to Christmas, I’m having a Christmas Bake Off and sharing with you some fabulous recipes sent in by friends.

So get you aprons on, here is the first recipe Rum Truffles, sent in by Gilli Allan

Rum Truffles

4 oz (113 grams) dark chocolate

1 oz (28grams) fine dry cake crumbs (I use a sponge flan base which I put in the oven for half an hour before I crumb)

3-4 oz (85 - 113 grams) sieved icing sugar

1 oz (28 grams) ground almonds

1 oz (28 grams) unsalted butter

Few drops almond essence

Dark (Navy) rum to taste - aprox 3 tablespoons. ( Any alcohol can be used. I sometimes use brandy instead)

NB. I do a batch of these every Christmas but I often do double this quantity and then have enough to give some away as gifts.

Break up chocolate, cut butter into small squares and melt together in a pudding basin you’ve placed in a pan of boiling water. Stir together until melted.

Remove basin and gradually add cake crumbs, ground almonds and almond flavouring and rum, stirring together. Then gradually add the icing sugar and continue stirring until mixture is stiff and well blended.

Put into fridge for half an hour. Remove and mould into balls. (This sometimes has to be done in batches as the mixture gets too warm and sticky ) Then liberally coat with icing sugar or cocoa powder or those little chocolate squiggly things.

Thanks Gilli for this fabulous recipe!

Stop by again for more delicious mouth watering delights!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Snowballing in Lanzarote!

Okay so you think I'm kidding, well only just, but we do have snow!

Lanzarote is not well know for snow or cold. The island is famous for sunny beach days all year round, but this year we have a new attraction , The Snowglobe. It took my eye when I headed into the Biosfera in Puerto Del Carmen and I just had to take a peek.

Here it is and anyone who wants to get that special festive feeling can step inside and play snowballing!

If you live in Lanzarote or are just visiting you can enjoy the magic of snow without freezing, and you can still wear your beach gear. Now how cool is that!

Away from the magic of The Snowglobe, I've been busy editing my new book, The Summer of Sixty Five which is due out in 2013. It's going slowly as I've a lot of changes to make, but I am sure it is all for the best. Importantly, I am still enjoying the story and the company of the amazing characters that bring it to life. Like most characters they like to take over and take the lead part!

As I can hear the characters calling, I'd best be away and as always, thank you for stopping by and I hope if you can you'll visit our wonderful Snowglobe.

Until next time, sending sunny smiles and let's catch up again soon.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

IndieBRAG Holiday Give Away!

As you know, Sometimes It Happens... was honoured earlier this year with a B.R.A.G. Award.

For the holiday IndieBRAG is running a fabulous competition and you could win a Kindle Fire or a Nook Tablet.

Plus your choice of two participating B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree books....

Yes, Sometimes It Happens... is participating!

To have a chance to win this fabulous prize visit Bragmedallion Xmas 2012    Good Luck!

The competition is open to - as stated in the official contest rules, the giveaway is only open to citizens, or legal permanent residents, of the USA and Canada but the books can be from any participating author. Please note that we are considering doing a similar event in the UK in the future.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Wined & Dinned!

It’s been a hectic week, but one that ended with plenty of celebrations. The 16th was my birthday and one that celebrated the end of another decade – don’t they come round so fast! As it fell on a Friday we decided to celebrate over the weekend too. So we’ve wined and dinned until there is no more room left for a morsel of food. Chatted and laughed with family and friends, read emails and comments on Social Media and realised how very lucky I am. It seems getting older is not always that bad!

The picture above is a hand painting of our Barney from our lovely, talented friend, Karen Morris. Isn’t it gorgeous?

And if all of this was not enough, I received a beautiful 5 star review on Amazon for Satchfield Hall.

“I loved this book, couldn't put it down, and recommend you read Satchfield Hall for an endearing love story; read it for the brilliant creation of a memorable villain, someone who blights everything he touches; read it for a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat….”
You can read the full review on Amazon com and Amazon UK

I hope your week has been a good one, a happy one and one where laughter filled the air. As always, thank you for stopping by, sending sunny smiles from our little pebble in the ocean.

Saturday, 10 November 2012


What a week it’s been, sadly one that saw more lows than highs. A week that I felt crushed and had to take a back step. I felt I’d been pushed out of a plane without a parachute

We all have weaknesses and strengths, sometimes the weaknesses over shadow the strengths and this week my strengths were not only over shadowed, but deserted me. Although the free fall from the plane was painful, thankfully I eventually landed. I’m back and smiling again.

I’d like to thank the lovely, Audrey Hawkins for being a special friend.

My week can be summed up with my playlist on my Ipod

Anyone of Us – Gareth Gates

You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry and the Pacemakers

Crocodile Shoes – Jimmy Nail

Footprints in the Sand – Leona Lewis

The Great Pretender – Freddy Mercury

Hallelujah - Alexandra Burke

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel

Madama Butterfly – Puccini

O Mio Babbino Caro – Puccini

Someone Like You – Adele

Sound of Silence – Simon Garfunkel

Stranger on the Shore –Acker Bilk

Theme From Harry’s Game – Clannad

What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you’re having a fabulous weekend.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy 1st Anniversary to Famous Five Plus

I'm in celebratory mood today because it is Famous Five Plus's 1st Anniversary....!

The year has flown by and I can't believe that  Famous Five Plus is one year old. What a year it has been and what achievements have been made.

FFP started with just 6 authors today there are 25 great writers from all over the globe; USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Portugal, Italy, Quatar and even the Canary Isles! There are dedicated readers to the Group and 3 supportive sponsors.  But what has made FFP  different is that everyone cares and shares and works together to make a difference.

Please join me in raising your glass to Famous Five Plus.

Congratulations to everyone in this amazing Group

Find out more about Famous Five Plus and you can also read their fun spooky anniversary story over at

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Lanzarote Music Marthon Festival & So Much More!

Yes, I’m drinking a small beer having done my teeny bit in this year’s Lanzarote Musical Marathon Festival.

The Musical Marathon Festival is organised by Veteran event organizer, Kenneth Gasque who has teamed up with a number of professionals on the island of Lanzarote to organise this fantastic community event.

This fun race event takes place at the end of October each year and is an amazing event for everyone. It is also a lively social street event featuring a 1/2 Marathon, 1/4 Marathon, 1/8 Marathon and a 1 mile and 1/2 mile race for children. It is organised for everyone who wants to get involved.

The event takes places along the fabulous Avenida de las Playas in Puerto Del Carmen. The entire course is lined with bands playing an amazing mix of music. For everyone who takes part it is a great way to run or walk the course and wave at the hundreds of spectators. Two years ago OH and I completed the half marathon on our rollerblades, but the course surface is now a little questionable so we decided to have a go at running. We are not runners, but wanted to participate in this wonderful event and this year we signed up for the 1/8th marathon. The atmosphere is electric and the event is all about participation and fun. And although we set of at 5:30pm it was still very hot, around 30c! On completion we not only received our medals, but plenty of water and food and a voucher for two small beers! Well worth a sprint down the road, don’t you think?

As well as having fun along the seafront, the other highlight this weekend was that my latest MSS, titled, The Summer of Sixty Five, now 107,000 words went off to my editor. I am excited and nervous in equal measures. A million thoughts are racing through my head; will it read like rubbish, will she throw it to one side and wonder what the heck I am thinking of or…..! I dare not even go to the or!

On a more positive note, this next week, 31st October is my Famous Five Plus’s first anniversary. I know where did the year go? To celebrate we have a very special story to tell. The first of three parts will be published tomorrow, Halloween Hysteria, I do hope you will pop by to see what it is all about and partake in a glass of bubbly!

I hope you’re having a fabulous Sunday and as always, thank you for stopping by….. catch up again very soon.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Spellbindingly Fun Spell!

Today I'm joining in with Janice Horton's Spellbindingly Fun Blog Party to celebrate the revealing of her new bookcover,  – whow!

It's free to download today, Friday 26th from

But voodoo does it all mean? Well I have to cook up a spell, a new spell that will be fun, no naughty nasty spells allowed... tut tut!

And to make sure my spell is guaranteed to make you smile and feel all bubbly this is what I'm adding to the pot, feel free to stir it!

Petal brew and Stardust too
Northern Lights to make it bright
Magick Crystals and Pixie Dust, believe you me they are a must!
Stir, stir keep it swirling and watch the vapour now unfurling
Full of bubbly, full of sun a perfect spell for everyone!

Wishing you a sunny and bubbly day!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Cover reveal – Mandy Baggot : Security

Before Bond, meet Regan...Nathan Regan

The new Bond film, Skyfall launches tomorrow - but why wait until then for a military intelligence hottie? Let me introduce you to the lead male in Mandy Baggot’s new romantic thriller, Security and reveal the eye-catching 007-style book cover!

Lies hurt, but the truth can get you killed

Autumn Raine is a pop vocalist at the very top of her game. She’s a style icon, the paparazzi’s darling and everyone wants to be her friend. But when her safety is threatened, her whole life starts to unravel.

Enter Nathan Regan, an ex-elite soldier who is assigned to protect her. He’s a good man doing bad things but what drives him? Passion? Madness? Or grief? Demons from his past are threatening to consume him. Can he win the fight alone or will he have to admit he needs help?

As the threat deepens, Autumn starts to find out who she really needs in her life. Is there still room for personal assistant Janey or rapper boyfriend Rockweiler? When everyone around her is feeding her lies, how does she work out the truth? Does her record producer know more than he’s letting on? What is her mother, the British Foreign Secretary’s involvement in the situation? And can Autumn put her faith in a forty-something Jamaican woman who handles an automatic weapon as expertly as she cooks?

Eluding kidnap and trying to stay alive, can Autumn find the strength to be the person she longs to be? And can two people, poles apart, forge something strong enough to survive anything?

Security is coming from Sapphire Star Publishing on 4 April 2013! If you can’t wait until then to find out more here is the link to the teasing trailer!

Find out more about Mandy’s books at or check out her author page with Sapphire Star Publishing

Collect the Bond film titles and WIN a signed paperback copy of Strings Attached!

FIVE paperback copies of Mandy's novel Strings Attached are up for grabs! All you have to do is collect the Bond films. On each of the websites featuring the Security cover reveal there will be Bond film mentioned (NOT Skyfall). Once you have all the titles, drop Mandy an email and you will go into the draw for one of the books! Easy! Here are the website links you need!

Oh yes! Competition end 1st November!

Mandy Baggot
Kim Nash
Stephanie Keyes
Melanie Robertson-King
Nicky Wells
Sharon Goodwin (Jera's Jamboree)
Rachel Lyndhurst
Carol (Dizzy C's Little Book Blog)
Sheryl Browne
Bonnie Trachtenberg
Richard Holmes
Kate (Me, My Books and I)
Sue Fortin (Love Reading, Love Books)
Lindsay Gentles (TTP Book Reviews)
Eve Chong (Eve's Chicklit Reviews)
Pauline Barclay (Moi) - The Living Daylights
A L Jackson

Louise Graham

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


I know I don't usual post on a Tuesday, though thinking about my posts of late, I don't seem to post often enough! Must make a mental note to remedy this!

Today, I decided to write a post, for three reasons, firstly, my latest book, The Summr of Sixty Five will be having its cover designed this month and I've already been talking to Cathy Helms at Avalon Graphics. Of course I'll be sharing it with you, try keeping me quiet... laugh!

Today, I've also moved a step closer with my edits and again I need to keep the momentum going as The Summer of Sixty Five goes to my editor next month. Sylvia Dyer is taking the reins for my fourth book.

And today, I know I really shouldn't talk about it here, but as you know me by now. Yes, I'm donning my Famous Five Plus top hat, it's that kind of day that warrants a special hat! Because today I've secured another sponsor for the FFP Group. Volkan-Watches. Sersiously extreme designer watches and you can find out more about them and what they will be doing for FFP over at

Now you know why I've posted on a Tuesday. Have a fabulous day and as always thanks for stopping by and here is a glass of bubbly for you to enjoy! Cheers!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Sunday Breakfast & Good Read!

Already heading into October the weather is beautiful, hot and sunny. The weekend the temperature in our garden slipped over 30c as we sought to sit in the shade.

With the wonderful backdrop of the island I continue with my posters for 2012. October's poster is a photograph I took on Sunday 7th. Taken at Farione's Hotel where we we sat out an enjoyed a champagne breakfast with our friends who are on holiday to the island.

Today, it is back to reality and more edits for The Summer of Sixty Five, though the champagne may not be flowing, the sun is shinning.

Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

My Wonderful Guest Maureen A Miller Talking about Beyond

Today I am so delighted to have the amazing Maureen A Miller sitting around my pool, drinking bubbly and eating stuffed olives. Now whilst we are gorging ourselves of these scrummy delights Maureen is going to be talking about dreaming and her fabulous new book, Beyond. So please join us for a glass of bubbly as we sit in the hot sunshine talking with my special guest… take it away Maureen!

We all daydream. Right? You don't have to be young to daydream or fantasize. Sometimes it is as simple as picturing yourself in a hammock on a tropical island. Maybe you envision yourself as a powerful giant capable of taking that smirk off your boss's face with one swipe of your granite hand.

As a child I used to fantasize that a space ship would come take me from my back yard and whisk me on exotic adventures in the stars. And of course there would be a young, handsome space soldier up there that would fall madly in love with me.

Well, that fantasy never quite came to fruition for me. :) But why can't it happen for my character? Isn't fiction a wonderful thing? It turns fantasies into least for 300 pages.

Did you have any childhood fantasies?


It is the day after Aimee Patterson’s high school graduation. College beckons, as does her dream of becoming an engineer. On an early evening walk, her cocker spaniel charges into the woods on the other side of the pond. Aimee trails after him, and in the stillness of that forest the unthinkable happens. She becomes paralyzed and watches in horror as her hands vanish before her eyes.

Waking to the sound of voices, Aimee realizes that she has been kidnapped. Little does she know how far away from home she is, though. In an attempt to flee her captors, she launches from their confines only to freeze at the view outside the window. The sky is black and filled with stars, and in the distance is a familiar blue globe. The planet Earth.

A group of humans forced to flee their planet after an epidemic destroyed their civilization now travel the galaxies in search of an antidote. Retrieving samples of plant life from every solar system, on this occasion Aimee was accidentally seized instead.

Aimee must learn to avoid the advances of an awkward young scientist who seems intent on dissecting her, as her own fascination turns to the exotic young warrior, Zak. Having fallen in love with Zak, she is now torn with the decision to return to Earth or live beyond the stars.

You could win a kindle or Nook copy of Beyond, just leave a comment why you would love to read Beyond

You can also buy Beyond in Kindle from
Or from

Visit Maureen on her web sites at:

-- - Founder

Monday, 1 October 2012

Not A Lot Of People Know That!

Today I'm over at the lovely web site of Novel Kicks talking to Laura about my other passions, Famous Five Plus... not a lot of people known that...!!

Pop over if you've time as it would be great to see you there.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Sometimes It Does Rain!

This week we had rain, yes rain not something we are used to these days. The last real rain was eighteen months ago, so the island is parched. We were out with our little the doggies when the heavens opened, we were soaked to the skin, but for the first time I can remember, it didn’t matter. The smell of the rain was amazing. I never thought I would be pleased to have rain.

The rain did disrupted things as we are all used to having hot sunny days so life exist on knowing this. You decided to paint, it dries, you peg the washing out, it dries, you cook and eat outside most of the time because the climate is perfect for this. You wear sandals not shoes, you never were a coat and as for an umbrella, the only one you normally need is one to keep the sun rays off, but for a few days, it changed.

The change in weather did keep me at my desk longer, which was a good as I ploughed on with my edits for my latest book, The Sumner of Sixty Five. I enjoy this part of writing, polishing and shinning before it goes to my editor in November.

Whatever your week has been like, I hope it was filled with friendly people and sunny smiles.

As always thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Greetings & Sunny Smiles!

Just look at these fabulous greeting cards Cathy Helms from Avalon Graphics has designed for me! Aren't they gorgeous?

And of course, I will be sending these to fabby peeps who have a birthday or just need some sunny smiles.

Have a great weekend and I hope it is a sunny one for you. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

And Yes I'm Still Bragging!

A few months ago I was delighted when I received a B.R.A.G. Award for Sometimes It Happens… After I had floated back down to earth, I did some checking up about these awards and was impressed at how Indie Bragg arrived at their decision. Because at the end of the day, I want to be able to brag about my award and know that it is an honour to be proud off. I can tell you I am very proud of my B.R.A.G. award and receiving the email below from the President of Indie Bragg explaining how important their awards must be seen only added to my honour of being a B.R.A.G. Honouree.

“I thought I would forward to you an email we have sent our readers around the world. It explains one of the most important rules at indieBRAG. I hope you can see the importance of this and how it means so much to the honor your books have received-

"To all of our wonderful readers -

"Thank you so much for all the hard work you have done for indieBRAG!

"We have been getting so much wonderful press about our medallion and the number of authors wanting to be a part of this has exploded.

"I light of the recent "sockpuppeting" and reviews scandals that have come to light, I need to remind you of a couple of things. If you don't know what "sockpuppeting" is, you can find out at:

"One of the things that as impressed the industry most about us is that our decisions are untainted by our readers having any vested interest in the books they read. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that our readers not be in contact with the authors. You are to remain anonymous - this protects you from being harassed by unhappy authors and also from being accused of working with authors in order for them to receive a medallion. If after the book is honored you wish to post a review on your blog or online book sites, you certainly may but you may not mention you read if for indieBRAG or that you are a reader. I hope you understand how important this is to maintain our integrity.

"I hope that you take a minute to visit the website and see the wonderful books we are honoring - you have made some deserving authors very happy!"


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Paperback, Sunrise & The End!

The heat isn’t abating here yet and there is still no sigh of rain. I heard the other day it has been sixty years since the island has been this dry. The last real rain was March 2011!

Because of the heat we are out early in the morning with our two little doggies; normally around 6:45 which means we will be back home by 8:15! It’s dark when we set off, but as we meander along the seafront and as the dawn slowly arrives we are greeted with amazing sunrises. This was one that greeted us the other morning. Worth getting up early for wouldn’t you say?

On the writing front it has been a brilliant week, my latest WIP now feels like a real book as I typed the last two works; The End. The Summer of Sixty Five is 102,000 words. And although I edit as I write, I now need to start from the beginning and go through the MSS a few more times before it can go to my editor. I love the editing part of writing, checking it all hangs together, no head hopping, no author’s voice and hopefully no mistakes. I want my MSS to be as polished as possible before my lovely edit takes it under her wing.

Another snippet of excitement this week is that Sometimes It Happens… is now available in paperback as well as Kindle from Amazon. Now all my three books are in paperback and Kindle.

That’s my news for this week, I hope your week has been as been a great one too and as always thanks for stopping by, have a fabulous day.

Monday, 27 August 2012

I've Bagged It!!!

Today, I'm over at Famous Five Plus talking about this beautiful bag!

Pop over if you can, it will be great to see you.

Have a fabulous day and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

A Lovely Review for Magnolia House

I’ve just seen this lovely 4 star review for Magnolia House on Amazon uk

This was a lovely, snuggly novel. And Pauline illustrates how a novel can be a page-turner without having to be action-packed. Magnolia House was, however, absolutely bursting at the seams with emotions--from those that come with the grief of death to those that come with the joy of birth and everything in between. All poignantly and skilfully intertwined in this very enjoyable book.

Having signed over half her house to her son, Ben, widowed Jane Leonard suddenly finds herself with no option but to sell her beloved Magnolia House--her home for many years--when Ben's wife insists on claiming the value of his share. It's a home where Jane has experienced love and happiness and, sadly, more than a human being's fair share of tragedy. Her efforts to put prospective buyers off comes to an abrupt end when Sally and Steve Bingley fall in love with the property and are determined to be undeterred by Jane's tactics in order to pursue their desire to open their very own B&B in this perfect house.

Misunderstandings, coincidences, kindness, and fate all play an important role in the future of the wonderful cast of characters: some pathetic ones, some tragic ones, some infuriating ones, some amusing ones--all varied and very credible. It's said that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person through a chain of six people, and Pauline brings this into play in this book--albeit in the same little village!

I love Pauline's style. This is a delightful book that's wonderfully easy and effortless to read, straightforward, yet expressive and heartfelt. It brings a smile to your face and not just because of the sometimes gentle humour. I liked that the ending was not in the slightest bit predictable; Pauline instils a clever and compelling element of `I wonder how this is going to end' right to the very end.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope the sun is shinning with you!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Lovely Ali Bacon talks about her Debut Novel & her Publishing Contract

I am delighted to have the lovely Ali Bacon sitting round my pool sipping bubbly whilst talking about her new novel, A Kettle of Fish and her new publishing contract with Thornberry Publishing. Cheers Ali, the stage is all yours….!

First of all a big thanks Pauline for inviting me to your blog. Like so many others I’ve been enjoying your sun-filled Tweets and I whizzed through Satchfield Hall on a flight to Dubai. A great read. But however much I envy you your climate, I still have a lot of affection for my home town in Fife - grey skies and sea mists make sunny days all the more special, and childhood holidays spent on the coast were a big inspiration for A Kettle of Fish (my second novel – the first is getting very comfy in its drawer!) due to be published in October.

The book has been a while in the writing, first of all I had to decide exactly where the story – and my heroine - were heading (yes, I’m of the ‘pantser’ fraternity!) Then there were the redrafts and changes to satisfy my wonderfully perceptive writing group, but eventually – maybe a year ago? I was pleased enough with it to send it out to agents and publisher. With agents I wasn’t optimistic, because I sensed the omens for a new writer of mainstream fiction were not good! However I did have lots of encouragement, particularly from small publishers who liked it a lot but couldn’t fit it into their current lists.

By this time I had learned a lot about self-publishing and armed with a new Kindle was becoming a devotee of e-books. While I dithered over the decision of whether to go it alone, I gave my MS to a writer friend for proof-reading. She liked it a lot and suggested I submit to Thornberry (her own e-publisher) which I did, and they liked it too - so much that they didn’t ask for any changes! – a great bonus and boost to my confidence. I briefly considered still going it alone, but not for long!

I was already impressed by the Thornberry ethos and the other writers on their books and when we got down to business in a face to face meeting (another bonus) they were very open to discussion. The contract is even quite comprehensible! From now on all I have to do is provide the final MS. They will format it and let me see ‘page proofs’ then deal with everything else, including cover design – and royalties of course. In fact they will also accept cover art from the author if it’s up to standard, so I’m currently having some fun looking at designs with my daughter who is a graphic artist. This is more work (or self-indulgence?!) for me, but it’s nice to feel a hands-on, safe in the knowledge that if it doesn’t work out, Thornberry will do the job. (And Ellie and I will still be friends!)

They are also very supportive of my issuing the book in print (the contract is e-book only) and will provide me with necessary files. However much I love my Kindle I know there are lots of people out there who prefer a ‘tree-book’ and then there’s the whole vanity thing of seeing my book ‘in the flesh’.

Publication is due for October, which seemed a long time ahead but is now whizzing towards me very fast and I’m trying to give some thought to my online launch. Earlier this summer I was recruited into the Love A Happy End team who have already been fantastically supportive. Otherwise expect to see me Tweeting and blogging like mad from now until Christmas!

Ali’s website:

An excerpt from A Kettle of Fish at

Thornberry Publishing:

Saturday, 18 August 2012

A Write Review!

It’s been a busy week with one thing or another, but I have found enough time to continue with my latest book, The Summer of Sixty Five and I am now writing the last chapter. It’s exciting and exhausting in equal measures, though today, I feel my energy reserves renewed thanks to the wonderful five star review I have just read on Amazon for Sometimes It Happens…

So I apologise in advance for adding this review, but it captures so much of the story and I wanted to share it with you, well to be honest I want to shout from the roof tops how happy I am. It makes all the hard work worth while when you receive lovely words like below. Because for all of us, sometimes it happens!

Sometimes it Happens by Pauline Barclay - reviewed by Francine Howarth

Sometimes it Happens is one of the funniest - and by that I mean hilarious - books I've read in a long while. The protagonist, Doreen Wilkinson, is a down to earth working class mum who has won the lottery, and when you got a whole load of dosh you might just as well enjoy it in style and that's what she does. But when Doreen and her daughter descend on Villas Bonitas, a place where the pretentious middle-classes take their holidays within a luxurious gated villa complex, Doreen feels a tad out of place. A little daunted by her good fortune she can nonetheless smoke and drink herself to oblivion if the fancy takes her, but how can she capture happiness and hold onto it?

Whilst Doreen comes to terms with the reality of...
wealth her daughter is getting down and dirty with local talent, which in turn draws a rather observant nosey character into play. Tensions, snobbery and secret assignations abound as the villas fill with an array of occupants of differing moral standards. As individual cameos and sequences begin to play out a reader quickly gains insight to the lives of Doreen's neighbours. And it's not long before Doreen is faced with the reality that she may be a long way from England but the World is merely a global village, and as blasts from the past step forth she has to face up to a past mistake that needs righting: but how?

Sometimes it Happens is a light fun read but a few of Doreen tears are shed along the way, and each villa has a story to tell all of its own. Ms Barclay plays on the senses as she paints a delightful paradise setting with words, and the characters are bold, sometimes brassy and cheeky with it. A recommended read to brighten any miserable day (meaning English weather).

I admit to shedding a tear or two at this great review... sniff!

As always, thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day.

Saturday, 11 August 2012


Today, I'm over at the Indie Author site, Famous Five Plus for HUG A BOOK day.

If you get a moment slip on over because there is a chance to grab a Kindle copy of Sometimes It Happens...

Hope to see you there, yes of course I'll be serving cool drinks!!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

No To Thumbs Up!

I haven’t read a book in nearly two years, when I say I haven’t read a book, I mean a paperback book. Since buying my Kindle I have downloaded more books than I care to count, but I do love my Kindle. One of the reason is that I can make the font large enough to see without needing my reading glasses, ok call me vain, but I think we all are when age creeps on, or races on as it as a tendency to do. So, why am I reading a book again? I hear you ask.

Well, the lovely Carol E Wyer sent me a paperback copy of her latest book, Surfing in Stilettos. The reason for sending me this book, no not to review, I don’t do reviews, well mainly because I’m not really good at them, I know what I enjoy, but that is not about reviewing. Whoops, sorry, I digress. Carol sent me a copy of her book because, to my surprise, she has mentioned me in her acknowledgements and wanted me to see this. I am deeply honoured on both accounts, the wonderful mention and receiving a copy of Surfing in Stilettos.

The book is just my cup of tea, it is filled with laughter, surprises and is beautifully written, which gives me even more reasons to feel honoured to be mentioned! I’m actually reading the book because I just couldn’t wait until the Kindle version comes out in September, but reading a book does present problems. I am trying desperately not to crease the spine, I don’t know about you, but special books I hate to mark, I want them to stay new forever! And as well as trying to keep the spine perfect, I hold the book across my hand, I never hold any book with my thumb in the middle of the pages. This practise harks back to my junior school days when we not allowed too read a book holding it with our thumbs in the middle of the pages. The teachers swore it would ruin the book held this way. I can still hear down the passages of time, one teacher bellowing at a boy who dared to hold his book with his thumb and I still tremble! Of course those teachers could be right, but I will never know, as I still cradle my books the way it was instilled into me. Though I wonder if this rule still applies today for those who read paperback books?

How do you hold your book?

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you’ve had a great week. Wonderful how many medals including Gold medals TeamGB are collecting, it makes you feel proud. It always gives me a feeling of pride when I see such hard work and dedication rewarded.

As always sending sunny rays your way! Phew it is very hot here!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

A Moment to Stop and Grow!

I love cactus plants and this beautiful flower appeared yesterday on one of the cactus in our garden. The flowers do not last for long, but to me they are always a surprise and I love their vibrant colours.

Cactus reminds me a little of writing. The plants vary in size: their colours can be vivid or pale, their spines can be like fine hairs or hypodermic needles that pierce the skin with pain! And then they surprise you with beautiful flowers. Writing can be a little like the cactus at time. The new book you’ve had racing around your head for so long begins to grow, a small seed that germinates and grows as words flow rapidly tumbling out faster than fingers can hit the keys or ink can scratch the paper, and then without warning, like a drought the flow stops. You look around and search manically for those droplets to feed your new plant, but nothing. The pain at the loss of word flow is a pain that grows and then when you thought you had nothing but spikes piercing you, tormenting you to keep searching, unexpectedly a flower emerges and opens: vivid and bright and suddenly there is a new flow of words. It seems that nature just needed a moment to show you, your mind needed a moment to stop, rest and grow.

My week has been like my beautiful cactus, a tad spiky at times, and yet a flower has emerged as I now have the working title for my latest book:
 The Summer of Sixty Five.

What happens in the summer of sixty five will change the lives of three families forever. Love and lies can destroy, but it will need love and forgiveness to rebuild shattered lives.

I’ve not yet managed to get to the point that I can type The End, but I’m closing in and I know when I do type those two words, it will be like the vivid flower on my cactus.

Thank you for stopping by and as always, sending sunny smiles from our steaming hot island!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Much More Than Hot Air!

We seem to be having some seriously hot temperatures at the moment and as I write it is 36.4c in the shade in our garden. But what makes the heat unbearable is the hot air, which remains long after the sun has gone down and throughout the night.

We are around 70 miles from the Moroccan coast so if the wind direction is from the east or south we have a amazing hot winds. To give you some idea how these winds feel, it is like having your fan oven on maximum temperature then opening the door just as the thermostat clicks off! The heat that rushes out is not unlike the hot air that has been circulating around the island this last week. Hence why I am in my office writing a post with the doors firmly closed and ceiling fan whirring away, and no, we don’t have air-co!
Though for the tourists who have arrived on the island for the summer holidays, they are very happy indeed! Perfect beach weather!

Despite the heat, the week has been another busy one. On the Famous Five Plus front, there have been three great Indie authors join the Group, bringing the numbers to 27. FFP is truly international with authors from Australia, USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Portugal & Qatar. There is an amazing list of titles from these great writers from thrillers, memoirs, humour, sagas, war, Young Adult, fantasy and more. FFP really has something for every reader.

On my book front, Sometimes It Happens… should be available in paperback by the end of August, making this B.R.A.G Medallion Honouree available in Kindle and paperback.

My fourth novel, title yet to be confirmed, mainly because I haven’t agreed on one yet... sigh, is progressing well as the word count nears 80,000, though the end is still a few more chapters away! The story is set in 1965 in the north of England and I will reveal more as soon as I’ve written the two most important words: The End.

It looks like our hot weather will continue and so must my writing! So whatever your week has been like I hope you found time to sit in the garden, chill and read a good book.

Have a fabulous day and thanks for stopping by to catch up.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Tragic True Story Behind Magnolia House

Today, I'm over at the Indie site, Famous Five Plus talking about the tragic true life events that inspired me to write Magnolia House.

Hope to see you there

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Mmm I'm Still Bragging!

As you know  last week Sometimes It Happens... received an Honoree B.R.A.G. Medallion Award, and I've done nothing but brag about it since. LOL!

Today, I'm off again as B.R.A.G. have added a wonderful 5 star review on to support their award... here it is!

2012 B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree, July 4, 2012

By RARC This review is from: Sometimes It Happens... (Kindle Edition)

***** This 2012 B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree is a love story, a mystery and British humor at it's best! It is certainly worth a readers time and money-
Okay, I'll slope off now and try not to smile too much!
Have a fabulous day and thanks for letting me share my good news with you!