Friday, 26 February 2010

Bookcases, Storms & Being a First Aider

I had a phone call from my mother this morning - she lives in South Africa - telling me that she'd seen this post showing a photo of my tbr pile of books in the hallway leading to my room and was horrified. "I showed it to the girls in the office," she said. "They couldn't believe how many books you have stacked against that wall."

She then went on to tell me that she's buying me a bookcase so that they can be stored neatly and my hallway won't look like a stockroom any more. Little sis has been given the job of locating this for me, so who am I to argue with such a kind offer? Thanks Ma.

According to the dark-haired weather girl (probably called something far more PC now) on GMTV, the Channel Islands are 'in for a pasting' this Sunday as the storm that caused so many problems in Madeira is on it's way up to us. So, liking nothing better than an excuse to get into the garden, especially after months of very little happening, Rob has announced that he has jobs for me to do out there. One of the jobs is to help him prune my apple and lilac trees. I do wish he'd leave them alone, but he insists they need doing before the storm. Groan.

I'm a First Aider at work. Now, before you think that this is because I'm a generous and kindly person, think again. My motives behind the original training course were simply to have two days out of the office with my good friend Rach. Now I need a refresher course and will be going for a days training on Monday. I have already told them that I will not be giving anyone the kiss of life. Unless of course, Richard Armitage happened to visit the office and pass out in a dead faint. Highly unlikely, of course, but a girl can dream. Or, maybe Gerry Butler may need a Trust Officer to tend to a small injury? No? Thought not.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Novelicious - Little Black Dress Day

It's the first Little Black Dress Thursday over at Novelicious and to celebrate this new feature we're offering four readers the chance to win a set of six Little Black Dress books.

So, please go here to find out how you can enter this fab competition. The competition closes at Midnight (uk time) on the 25th February.

You can also read my reviews for:

I Do, I Do I Do, by Samantha Scott Jefferies

The Bachelor and Spinster Ball by Janet Gover

As well as reviews I'll also be bringing you news and reviews, so please don't forget to keep visiting.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Novelicious Returns

Novelicious, the brilliant website dedicated to woman's fiction including chick lit, hen lit, YA, bonkbusters, romantic comedy and lad lit is relaunched today and I'm delighted to be part of such a great team.

To find out about all the exciting new features, including up-to-date news, competitions, author interviews and reviews, not forgetting my reviews of Little Black Dress books where every Thursday is a Little Black Dress day, go here.

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook or email

As you can imagine, my 'to be read' pile' is worse than ever because I've been spending so much time enjoying the Little Black Dress books the publishers have been sending me.

So, what are you waiting for? Please go and have a look at the updated site and don't forget to visit each Thursday to check out which Little Black Dress books I've read and reviewed.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Thank You, Alice

I recently signed up to take part in a swap organized by the very lovely and talented, Alice. Today, after a particularly, um, shall we say stressful, no maybe testing, or even downright awful day at work, I arrived home to find my postman had delivered these beautifully wrapped gifts.

The themes we were to follow were: Home, Vibrant, Scented, Natural and Delicious, and we were to send gifts using our own interpretation of these themes.

Here are my gorgeous gifts unwrapped.

Home: A beautiful homemade booklet with photographs of Alice and her beautiful family
Vibrant: An exquisite handbag made by Alice - I told you she was talented - I can't wait to wear this during the summer, and am so excited to have it.
Scented: Wild flower seeds, to sow around my shed.
Natural: Treats for His Grumpiness made with natural ingredients.
Delicious: Home made chocolate truffles. I know these are delicious as I've eaten several already.

It's strange to think that someone I haven't actually met could know me so well. So thank you once again, Alice for my thoughtful and much appreciated gifts.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Romantic Novel of the Year Awards

The Romantic Novelists Association (RNA) have announced the creation of their Pure Passion Awards consisting of The Romantic Comedy of the Year, The People's Choice Award and the RNA Romantic Film of the Year in celebration of their Golden Anniversary.

You can read more on the RNA blog
and also at the RNA's gorgeous new website. Read the shortlists here.

The winners of these awards, as well as the Romantic Novel of the Year Award and The Love Story of the Year Award will be announced at the Awards Luncheon being held at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington High Street on Tuesday 16th March.

I was sitting at my computer checking flights for 16th, and was unable to shift a nagging feeling that this date rung a bell somewhere in my subconscious. I then realized that one of my biggest clients is travelling to the island on 16th and I'm having dinner with him and a couple of Directors, followed by a meeting the following day with them and advisers who will be flying over to join us.

So, guess who won't be able to attend the lunch. I have to admit that I'm still arguing with myself as to whether I dare attempt to go, but know that I'll have a lot to prepare for these meetings, and can I possibly chance my flight being delayed and not being able to make the meal?

Ah well, if I really can't make the luncheon, at least I'll still have my copy of Loves Me, Loves Me Not, the RNA Anthology filled with over 40 stories from such eminent authors as Christina Jones, Katie Fforde (RNA Chair), Joanna Trollope, Victoria Connelly and Anita Burgh. You can buy your copy here.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Fire Hazards & Book Reviews

"That damned pile of books outside our bedroom is nothing more than a fire hazard," moaned Rob the other evening.
"How ridiculous," mocked self, trying to picture how bad they must look.
"They are mum," said Sas. "And it's not as if you ever read those books."
"I do."
"Well the pile never goes down," she said raising an eyebrow in typical know-it-all teenage fashion.
"She does actually," said Rob. "It's just that as she reads one, she replaces it by buying at least two more."

Cheek. Although, much as I'd like to argue with them, I have to see their point. These are the books that I don't have a bookcase for. All the others are in various bookcases throughout the house, and on shelves in the shed. I think the solution is simple. I need another bookcase.

Just thought I'd let you know that you'll find a new review over at Bookersatz, written by yours truly, about Sue Moorcroft's lovely book, Starting Over.

Right, I'd better get back to the cooking. It was cook lunch, or help Rob in the garden planting potatoes, and I have to admit that I got the easiest job out of the two, especially as I can keep coming and going from the computer/tv/book to check on it as it simmers/bakes/cooks?

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Cakes, Incidents & Lovely Awards

On Sunday, I decided to take my dad (the handsome chap in the photo with my younger sis and self) a scrumptious toffee cake, as, like me, he has a very sweet tooth. Usually I take Grumps in with me because he loves visiting there, but this time I left him in the car as my brother and his young daughter were at the house and she is terrified of my naughty, yappy dog.

I was only a couple of minutes and just as I kissed my dad goodbye, I heard a clunk. Yes, clever clogs, Grumps had locked himself in the car. Thankfully, I only live a short distance away, and so I phoned poor Rob, who did his Sir Lancelot impression and rescued the drama queen from the car (no, not me, the dog).

I have been awarded two lovely awards and one Meme, so thanks go to:

DJ Kirkby for this blog bling award
The rules are:

1. List 10 things that make you happy.
2. Try to do at least one thing on the list today.
3. List 10 bloggers who brighten your day.
4. Those of you to whom I give this award are to link back to my blog and perpetuate the happy with your own lists and recipients and whatnot.

This Circle of Friends Blog Award was kindly given to me by Carol and Graeme
I have to write five things that I like to do and then pass this award on to ten friends....well, like Carol I've never been very good at rules so I'm going to pass this to all the lovely bloggers that feature on my side bar.

So, I'll give you 10 Things That Bring Happiness to Me/That I Like To Do:

1. Laughing with my long-suffering husband and exhausting, but fun children
2. Grumpy, as there's never a dull moment with him around
3. Outings/parties with my extended family
4. Writing - mainly my books and short stories
5. Walking with Rob and Grumps on the beach, especially when the children can be persuaded to join us.
6. Lying in the bath - reading
8. Going out for lengthy lunches with girlfriends
9. Lying in the sun - reading, again
10.Shopping, but only for books, shoes and chocolate.

I've been tagged by Nickie The rules are:

1. Name a song that makes you happy - The song that always makes me smile is: Say A Little Prayer For You. It reminds me of my good friend Cindy. We sat opposite each other at work and one day she must have been bored, and shattered the silence of the office by bursting into song and singing, "The moment I wake up, before I put on my makeup, etc" I giggle every time I think if it.

2. Post an image that makes you smile - This photo always makes me laugh, because it's what Grumps does every time he gets into the car, so he can see where he's going. He even does it when the car is stationary in the garage! - I'm going to tag Lilys to carry this meme on.