Friday, 28 January 2011

Please Don't Stop the Music - Guest Blog with Jane Lovering

Firstly I have to say a big ‘thank you’ to Debs for allowing me into the shed today, although the Lloyd Loom chair is not quite equal to both of us and I have had to stand in the doorway. It’s very nice to be here, and the cup of tea and Nice biscuit were most welcome.

Ow. Hold on, got myself hooked on the door handle. Think I might have spilled some tea on Grumpy, sorry.

Now, where was I? Ah, yes. I’m here, covered in tea stains, to tell you about my latest novel from Choc Lit, ‘Please Don’t Stop the Music’. But first of all, to whet your appetites, here’s the blurb.

‘How much can you hide?
Jemima Hutton is determined to build a successful new life and keep her past a dark secret. Trouble is, her jewellery business looks set to fail - until enigmatic Ben Davies offers to stock her handmade belt buckles in his guitar shop and things start looking up, on all fronts. But Ben has secrets too. When Jemima finds out he used to be the front man of hugely successful Indie rock band Willow Down, she wants to know more. Why did he desert the band on their US tour? Why is he now a semi-recluse?
And the curiosity is mutual - which means that her own secret is no longer safe ...’

I know they say all writers fall in love with their heroes, and I am no exception. Well, Ben is gorgeous and troubled and poetic and all that, but he is also a touch on the unconventional side of good looking. Put it this way, he doesn’t have a face that looks like it’s been hewn straight from a quarry and he doesn’t have shoulders so wide that he has to turn sideways to go through doors. Because I have to admit a certain..ahem.. unconventional taste in men and this tends to rub off on my fictional heroes. Men in real life who suffer ...I mean, who are subject to my attentions, tend to be more on the slender and diffident side. Not for me the alpha male with the bruising kisses and the punishing gaze (always wondered about punishing gazes. Really long eye lashes that can whip you from nine yards or something?). No. My ideal man is a little bit more.... all right.

To give you a taster of my kind of hero, here are a few. Tony Robinson (yes, really). David Mitchell, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi. I hope you can find it in your hearts to understand.

And so, for a chance to win a copy of Please Don’t Stop the Music,
please leave a comment and confess...I mean, tell me about any of your more – shall we call them unusual heroes. I promise not to laugh. Come on, I told you about Tony Robinson....

Oh, and if anyone fancies meeting me in the flesh (and there’s quite a lot of flesh to meet), I shall be signing copies of Please Don’t Stop the Music at Waterstones in York, on Saturday 12th February,2-5pm and I would love to see you there! If you need an additional lure (apart from me, that is) there will be chocolates!

Please Don’t Stop the Music is published by Choc Lit Publishing on 01 February. Jane can be followed on Twitter @JaneLovering, or you can find her at And, usually, behind the fridge with a guilty expression and an empty box of Thorntons' chocolates.

Thanks to Jane for coming by my rather untidy shed and for writing such a fabulous book.

PS, I'm lucky enough to have read Please Don't Stop The Music and have reviewed it for Novelicious. Although I'll link to my review when it's posted, I have to tell you that this is a great book with an easy to fall for hero and definitely a book I'm sure you'll enjoy.

PPS The winner of the copy of Please Don't Stop The Music is Karen. Jane will be contacting you. Congratulations.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to Pauline Barclay for passing this gorgeous award on to me. I love Pauline's blog and also follow her on Twitter @paulinembarclay and was thrilled to receive this.

The rules are that I have to tell you seven things about myself and also pass this on to seven people.

So, let me think. Um... I've mentioned in the past that I write in a shed, can ride side-saddle, my father survived a plane crash and that when I was small I had three cats and called them all Smokey.

1) I used to be the only one of my siblings with darker hair - I know, who would have guessed I'm not a natural blonde - and believed my sister when she told me that I was adopted. Of course, having a wild imagination, I then went on to configure an entire scenario of where I'd really come from, until my mother insisted she'd actually given birth to me and put a stop to my fantasy world.

2) I've been trying to locate a photograph of my great grandfather for years. He died in 1922. My grandmother was an only child and her mother burnt all his photos. His family originate from Stroud, so my next step it to try and contact someone there who may be descended from his family. Not sure who.

3) Having insisted I wouldn't ever get used to an e-reader, I now have a Kindle and love it. I still prefer actual books though.

4) I like my job.

5) My uncle brought the Beatles over to Jersey in the 1960s, but hasn't kept any of the memorabilia.

6) I love New York City & Sorrento, but can't decide which I prefer.

7) I used to put on plays for the family at Christmas time with me getting all the best parts and my cousin Jane always playing 'the crowd scene'. She still talks to me too.

Now I have to pass this on to seven other versatile bloggers:

Talli Roland
Faye over at Summit Musings
Sue at Flowerpot Days
Debs at Bluestockingmum
DJ Kirkby
Kath at The Nut Press
Karen at Coming Down the Mountain: From Reclusive Writer to Published Author

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Zen & the Art of Sleep

Here's yet another picture of my shadow! I didn't know this dog of mine could sleep so much. One of the things about this bug is that I seem to be either tired or asleep and whichever it is, Grumps is always lying next to me, usually snoring.

Thank you for all the wonderful comments on my last post. My uncle is now out of Critical Care and although I think it may take a while, he seems to be on the mend, which is a huge relief. My mother seems fine too.

I haven't done any writing, although I have mulled through various scenes, ways to develope certain characters, so that's something and I've just finished Please Don't Stop The Music by Jane Lovering, which I've reviewed for Novelicious.*whispers* worth pre-ordering this book. Publish date 1st Feb.

I follow Sarah Duncan's excellent blog and subscribe to her daily blog posts. Here's the link to her blog if you don't already have it. Certainly worth checking out for any unpublished writers as there's so much useful information/advice about all aspects of writing.

I'll be spending the rest of the weekend taking it easy, mainly by sitting in front of the fire, as it's back to work on Monday. I'm looking forward to the final episode of Zen (Sunday 9pm). Rufus Sewell is watchable in everything he does, but I'm loving watching him play, Aurelio Zen, an honest detective in Rome. Even my son is watching this. I do hope they commission a further series as it's excellent.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

It Could Have Been Worse...

It's been a strange few days.

On Friday, I received a phone call letting me know that my uncle (a cantankerous but charismatic chap) had been rushed to hospital and was lying in the HDU, and that if it hadn't been for my aunt's instincts getting him there so quickly, he would've apparently died within two hours. As it was, on Friday we were told that it was 50/50 whether he would make it through the night.

On Saturday, my mother was staying with friends at their beach house (in South Africa) and whilst they were on the verandah drinking cocktails and enjoying the warm evening, burglars broke into the house and were ransacking the rooms.

On Sunday, I started to feel achy and realized that my beloved had very generously passed on the virus that's been making him miserable all over the Christmas/New Year period. This was apart from New Year's Day, when he rallied and made it to a friend's house party where he knew there would be the best curries in the island, only to have a relapse the following day!

The positive side - hence the rainbow picture taken two days ago - is that:

My uncle: though still not conscious, is out of danger and we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief and look forward to him being back to his amusing, eccentric self.

My mother & friends: despite losing jewellery, money and various other bits, didn't even see the burglars, which is a relief as they usually carry guns, and so no one was hurt.

Me: I may feel like someone has hit me across the back of the head before bulldozing me, but at least I can spend my time getting better lying in a warm bed with a guard dog snoring next to me, who only grumbles every so often to be let outside.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Grumpy's Disappointment

Just before Christmas a very generous friend arranged for this enormous Fortnum & Mason hamper to be delivered to me.

I can't tell you how exciting it was to open the beautiful wicker basket and unload all the delicious goodies ranging from Turkish Delight, Earl Grey tea, Vintage Marmalade cake, Piccadilly biscuits, English assorted chocolate creams, preserves, the list goes on and on. I've kept some of these delights back and now we've finished off our Christmas food supply, we're going to cheer up a rainy, cold month and enjoy some of these treats.

The only member of the family not to find anything to fit his taste was the grumpy one and as you can see from this picture, he had a pretty good nose around to make sure he didn't miss anything.

All was not lost, as despite his initial disappointment, he was eventually pacified by a dental chew.

PS Please let me know if you like the footprints on this blog, or if they're a bit too hard on your eyes. I haven't made my mind up yet...

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year from the Pink Chair

Happy New Year and Happy Quillers 4th Blog Takeover Day.

This is the'ancient'Pink Lloyd Loom chair that Her Ladyship sits on hour after hour in the shed as she taps away at her laptop.

I must admit that I find her use of the word 'ancient' when she describes me, as a little insulting. I may be between 60 to 80 years old, but I'd hardly call that 'ancient'. Cheek. I think I'm rather beautiful and I know she loves me to bits. After all, she did defend me when Rob was asking how a £27 chair she'd found on Ebay - that's me, I suppose - happened to cost nearly £80 to deliver it to Jersey. Personally, I can't see what his problem is and I doubt she could either by the way she was smiling at me as she spoke to him.

She sits here with that grumpy looking dog next to her and I can just tell by the way he looks at me through those narrowed eyes that he'd rather sit on me than the plastic white chair she covers with a towel for him.

She's a little later than usual today, but I heard her mumble something about staying up until nearly 4am to watch the two final episodes of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, whatever that may be. She's quieter than normal too, so maybe I won't hear her reading out odd extracts of pages she's been writing, or mumbling to herself.

There she goes, off to make another cup of tea, I suppose, and thankfully she's taking that miserable looking dog with her.