Friday, 30 August 2013

Sometimes It Happens!

It’s been an incredibly busy week in more ways than one! Home life and commitments take up time, but need to be done. On the writing front, I’ve successfully gone forwards and backwards in equal measures as I have deleted as many words as I have written!  And though I feel a tad daunted at ever getting to the end of this story the characters are keen for me to tell you all about them. So I will persevere!

My other baby, Famous Five Plus has been busy too with two new members joining the Group and another lovely author asking to join. It all makes FFP dynamic and exciting and adding more sparkle to the Group.

Twitter this week not only made me smile, but made my day. Last weekend a reader tweeted that she had bought Sometimes It Happens… and Storm Clouds Gathering in paperback. By the beginning of the week, she was tweeting as to where she was in her read of Sometimes It Happens... and how many pages she had left to read. By Tuesday this is what she wrote…..

It makes all the deleting of words and the worrying worthwhile. Thank you lovely reader!

As always, thanks for stopping by, have a fabby weekend and enjoy the sunshine because I am sending hot rays to you NOW! Shades on!

Friday, 23 August 2013

A Celebration with Beautiful Food!

This week it was Mr PB’s birthday and like all events we make a celebration of the occasion. Part of the day includes, going out for champagne breakfast then sipping a few drops more around the pool before going out for dinner in the evening.

This time we went to a new restaurant and we had a great meal there and because of this I wanted to share another of the fabby peeps from our little pebble in the ocean!

Kristian’s restaurant is situated in Calle Tiede in the Old Harbour in Puerto del Carmen.
Proprietors: Chris & Eimear King

As I’m not the biggest eater, I tend to steer away from starters and save myself for the rare occasion of a desert. However, my plan fell at the first hurdle!

Having ordered a bottle of Rioja – but this was no ordinary Rioja as Chris and Eimear go to the vineyard in Spain and select their wines and have it bottled with their own label!

Now with the wine poured and our order taken, Eimear, once again appeared at our table this time with a complimentary starter from the chef – Amuse bouche, homemade vegetable soup with a fresh selection of bread and scones by their pastry chef, Alan Lock.  

For our main course we ordered, and yes I had room! A trio of fresh fish – salmon, seabass and prawns.

But could we leave without sampling their homemade deserts? Of course not and we ordered, rhubarb crème brulee.

And if that was not enough, chef came out and not only had a chat, but brought two glasses of champagne!

What a brilliant way to celebrate Mr PB’s birthday. The meal was fabulous and the owners, very nice people. Will we go again? Of course, just need to make sure the calendar is filled with celebrations…. Not too difficult, I don’t think!

If you live or visit Lanzarote, then add this little Bistro to your I must try list.
To get your taste buds going, here is the web site….. Mmmmm!

0034 628 65 62 29

0034 657 65 92 17

Friday, 16 August 2013

Sitting Round My Pool - Claire Upton

Today, I have the lovely Claire Upton sitting round my pool, sipping bubbly whilst talking about her debut novel, Twisted Fate…. Cheers Claire!

Pauline: I know you live in the UK, but which part?

Claire: I live out in the sticks between King’s Lynn & Wisbech.

Pauline: A fab part of the country and still rural enough to feel away from it all. As for your book, I love the title. Is Twisted Fate your debut novel?

Claire: Yes, Twisted Fate is my debut novel, even though it was written 10 years ago I have only just made the plunge to publish.

Pauline: So pleased that you have published your novel, but what inspired you to write Twisted Fate?

Claire: I was inspired by a farm my family & I visit every summer. It is farmed in the traditional way and it has a truly magical feel to the place. The rest is fiction built on the place and people I have met along the way.

Pauline: Now having felt the rush of adrenalin with your first book, are you working on a new book and if so are you prepared to share a few details?

Claire: My new book is underway & I am hoping to have it released this autumn. It has a slightly different feel to it than Twisted Fate but I’m hoping it will be as equally enjoyed. There is not much to share at the moment as I tend to just allow the story to carry me through so the events are as much a surprise to me as they are the reader.

Pauline: Please help yourself to more bubbly and then tell me what is your favourite food?

Claire: Oh thanks, if you don't mind. Hmm, favourite food, that's a tough one. I think if I had to choose I would say ice cream, or chocolate.

Pauline: Tempted as it might be, you can not include yours here, so please name three books you have enjoyed reading in 2013

Claire: I’m currently reading ‘Me & Mr Jones’ by Lucy Diamond. It was a must buy as my tutors from the degree I have just completed were two of three Mr Jones’ brothers, so the title made me giggle. The book is fantastic though. My youngest boys & I read at bedtime and are working our way through ‘The Wind Singer’ trilogy by William Nicolson. I also read Cathy Kelly’s ‘The Honey Queen’.

Pauline: Let's do a little dreaming, what is your favourite model of car? It can be one you would love to own!

Claire: I always wanted an old shape Toyota Celica because it seemed like a cool car to own when I was in my twenties.

Pauline: They did seem cool I agree! Let's dream more, what would be the third thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

Claire: After having my house renovated and buying a house for each of my children my third thing would be a huge clothes shopping trip for us all, no more charity shop/sale/hand-me-downs. However, I’m not sure I would not habitually flick through the sale rails.

A little more about Claire…

Author, Claire Upton, is a mum to four lively children aged 9-21, this fact still shocks her!  She is a huge fan of Cathy Kelly, Adele Parks and Sue Welfare amongst many.  So as an avid reader and after boosting her confidence by completing a Psychosocial degree over the past three years, she decided to dig that novel out she once wrote.  Now only a month after leaving University she has the paperback version on sale and book signings set up.  Nervously she is about to take on the world… well offer her books to friendly looking people!   In between those events she is spending the summer at home with the children and sneaking off to write more of her new novel.

Her Facebook page is a great place to keep up with the upcoming events and offers… and of course, the new releases.

Twitter and Goodreads still confuse her but she is doing her best.  And if all else fails pop over to her Amazon page which magically has the twitter feed on it.

Here I am at the Bookstop Café in Lincoln with my book on a proper bookshelf! Proud moment.

Claire’s debut novel, Twisted Fate

The Blurb!

It is 2001 and Natalie Walsh is successful in her career, has great friends and subsequent social agenda. She is not looking for love but serendipity takes a hand and leads her towards Matt Samson, a down-to-earth Farm Manager. Fate however steps in and twists her life into an unrecognisable form. How will she put her life back together or more's the case, does she want her old life back? If she does, is it possible after her course has changed?

A heart-warming story of love, loss and acceptance. You will laugh and cry your way through Natalie's trials and tribulations. And at points wish you could just reach into the book and give her a supportive hug.

Claire enthuses that, "I hope readers enjoy reading my book just as much as I loved writing it."

Claire’s Links:

Thanks Claire for taking time out of your very busy life for chilling round my pool, it's been fab having you here. Do let me open another bottle, it is a tad hot today!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Making a Noise a British Red Telephone Box!

When I wrote Storm Clouds Gathering, set in the mid sixties, where it was normal to go down the street to a phone box to make a telephone call, I had not imagined I'd see one of those famous British telephone boxes here on the island!

Situated outside one of Lanzarote’s Estate Agents is one red telephone box. Surprised I stopped by and asked one of the owners, Gilbert Sharrard why? 

‘Clients who phone will often ask where are you? So now I tell them our address and point out that we are right in front of the red telephone box. It is proving not only useful as a focal point, but we had one couple pop in and ask for change so they could make a call! It’s not connected. In fact inside is a palm tree and parrot!’

Possible Gilbert they needed to make a trunk call!.... sorry, but big thanks for sharing your fabby phone box.

Hopefully there are no storm clouds gathering here, just blue sky and hot sunshine, but you never know what is around the corner even if it is a red British telephone box!

Links for Gilbert

Tele: 0034 636 366 609
Email: gilbert@gilbertsharrard

Monday, 5 August 2013

Goodreads & Geckos!

They say that if you have geckos living in your home it is lucky, we have several, though we don't see them that often. They are small and remind me of tiny crocodiles. They will not harm you and they eat all the little bugs, I like to think we don't have bugs, but that would be a fib! Living on a semi tropical island means, like everywhere, there are little bugs waiting to be a meal for our geckos!

We have several different geckos that make an appearance, some are grey, others with more than one colour and one that is very light. This weekend as we carried out some maintenance to our deck patio and on lifting the wooden tiles, these two little fellows scurried out. They are rather nice, don't you think?

As for the luck of having these prehistoric creatures sharing our home, I not too sure about that, I've not seen much luck of late!

The other wonderful thing I want to share with you today is that Storm Clouds Gathering reached the dizzy heights of 11# on Goodreads 2013 Summer Reads. I was not only totally thrilled, but very very grateful to the fabby people who took time out to vote for my latest book.

Maybe those geckos are lucky after all!

Thank you for stopping by and a very BIG thank you for voting for Storm Clouds Gathering.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Hippie Shake with Joanna Lambert

As my latest book, Storm Clouds Gathering is set in 1965 I thought it would be great fun to take a peek at that amazing era. This week, author, Joanna Lambert joins The Hippie Shake and shares some of the memories and pictures that represent that wonderful era, the 1960’s.

Growing Up in the Sixties

What do I remember about the sixties?  Well for a start I spent a good part of the decade at school.  In the early sixties there was nothing you could really define as British music.  Cliff Richard was an English version of Elvis and most of the singing stars wore sports jackets and trousers, emulating their American counterparts.  It was either ballads or rock and roll.  Then came the Beatles and shortly after that the Rolling Stones.  We were absolutely blown away with not only their music but also the accompanying Mersey and Manchester sounds which followed in their wake.  Every chart topping band seemed to be English: Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, The Hollies, The Animals, Freddie and the Dreamers, The Troggs and Dave Clark Five to name but a few.  The UK had suddenly become ‘where it’s at’. I do remember my mother having this hate thing for the Stones.  She saw them as the devil incarnate.  My mum’s tastes were quite specific : Ken Dodd and Matt Monroe – oh and Jim Reeves of course! And she would never miss Perry Como’s Christmas show!

When I was fifteen the Beatles were filming ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ locally.  Their train passed each morning through one local station where pupils were waiting.  It brought excited girls into class telling of of glimpses of our idols and waves as the coaches passed through.  Although you had to go to Bath to see the real stars, my own town’s cinema hosted a ‘one-night only’ with Herman’s Hermits, Freddie and the Dreamers and Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas.  Most of us had no voices by next morning!

 When miniskirts arrived we rolled up the waist bands on our school skirts to shorten them,  much to the annoyance of our Headmistress.  Regularly each month all the girls had to stay behind after assembly to listen to one of her pep talks.  No nail varnish, hair which was collar  length or longer had to be caught up in a ponytail and at any trace of make-up she would freak out!  She was an absolute Rottweiler when it came to school uniform as well, it all had to be regulation, no cheap substitutes and hats or berets had to be worn once we left the school gates.  To break this rule meant detention.

At sixteen I left school spending the summer working in the local Woolworth.  It was the first time I had earned my own money and was able to buy my own clothes.  I was in seventh heaven.  One local businessman bought his daughter a boutique for her twenty-first birthday.  The small provincial West Country town I lived in had never seen the like - you could choose from a huge selection of dresses for under £5!  Life was now all about dressing up and looking good.  Woolies sold Rimmel make up, everything in the range was 12p.  I used to occasionally spoil myself by going to Boots and purchasing a Goya perfume stick – Timeless was my favourite!

The world seemed to be awash with ferocious supervising women – first our headmistress and now Beryl, the Chief Supervisor who ran our local branch of Woolies with an iron hand.  On Saturdays we would get visits from young guys who would wander around the store, usually a little worse for drink, and ask for stupid things like left handed cups and sky hooks and striped toothpaste (you could only get white toothpaste then).   Hawk -eyed Beryl would have them out of the store in no time!

Once the autumn came I started my Business Diploma at college.  I stayed on at ‘Woolies’ as a Saturday girl, earning 70p for a  day’s work.  It doesn’t sound much but it went quite a long way in those days.  When my first year at college ended some of the girls suggested we get summer jobs with Ross, which was a similar company to Birdseye.  They had a local factory and five of us ended up working six weeks in the despatch department where the chicken were weighed, bagged, sealed and put into crates before being wheeled into a massive freezer.  Another section made cardboard boxes and once the birds had been frozen they would be boxed up and shipped out in freezer lorries to another warehouse.  This work earned us the princely sum of £8 a week – we thought we had a fortune!

College was also a time for boys.  Boys at school somehow didn’t cut it but now to be in an environment with those who were much older saw the beginning of dating – and with the advent of longer hair and fashion there were so many gorgeous men around!  Getting a boyfriend with a car was a real coup!  At the time a car, even a second hand one, was far beyond the purchasing power of most young men.  I met my first husband at college; he was lucky enough to have been bought a car by his parents – a two tone grey Singer Gazelle with leather upholstery.  Those were the days when cars had bench seats - a bit of a strange phenomenon in today’s motoring world.

Local music venues were extremely tame – we had Top Twenty Club where although you could dance to all the latest hits the only refreshment was Coca Cola!  To experience anything more risqué you had to travel to Bath where just outside the city the Keel Club was the place to frequent.  There was a strict dress code there (no jeans) and my husband tells me that very often after an evening’s drinking they would turn up at the club only to find someone had forgotten and was wearing them.  The trick was that those with trousers would go into the club and one of them would hand his trousers out through the gents’ toilet window - luckily they were all more or less the same size!  The club was so dark that once in there no one noticed who was wearing what!

Looking back I guess the sixties for me were fairly tame and provincial.  London was the happening place and we only saw glimpses of places like Kings Road and Carnaby Street on TV. The only knowledge I had of drugs was from college where you could get hold of purple hearts (ampehtamines) but I didn’t ever come across anyone who used them. I think most people where I lived viewed drugs as a celebrity thing and used more in places like London.  Mostly everyone indulged with alcohol; although women going into pubs on their own or in groups was seriously frowned on.  Pubs were still very much a male domain where I lived!  In fact even when we reached the early seventies, a friend and I were refused entry to a pub because we were wearing hot pants – oh how times have changed!

More about Joanna

Jo Lambert grew up in rural Wiltshire. She originally trained as a secretary. In the 1980s she successfully completed a Higher National Certificate in Business and Finance. She has had a full time career since the age of 18, starting in secretarial roles and moving into management. She currently works part-time as an Administration Manager at her local hospital which allows her to make time for her great love - writing. She is the author of four books - The Behind Blue Eyes Trilogy and a sequel, Between Today and Yesterday. Jo is currently working on her fifth novel The Other Side of Morning which is due for publication in 2013. She lives in a village on the eastern edge of BathSomerset with her husband, cat Mollie and a white MG Midget which she calls ‘her husband’s other woman.’

Joanna's latest published book

Other titles by Joanna

When Tomorrow Comes
Love Lies and Promises
The Ghost of You and Me

twitter: @jolambertwriter