Monday, 30 May 2011

Taking It Easy

I've spent the last few days holed up in The Plotting Shed with Grumps trying to finish edits so that I can forward them on to someone who's very kindly agreed to read through this 'dirty' draft and give me feedback.

Now the email has been sent off I'm taking it a little easy and making the most of the last day of the long weekend. I did intend sunbathing, but that's not going to happen, cloudbathing doesn't quite fit the bill, so I'm going to take the freshly bathed Grumps for a walk on the beach and then put my feet up in the conservatory with The Provence Cure For The Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher.

Only a few more days until the public voting ends for the Shed of the Year 2011 competition and if you haven't yet voted and would like to here's the link

Thank you so much for all the votes and comments I've received so far, even if we don't (Grumps and me) get anywhere it's been great fun taking part, even though the picture of my chair is a little distorted and must make you think that I have an exceptionally bad case of 'writer's bottom'.

Have a relaxing Bank Holiday.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Sue Moorcroft & Reviews @ Novelicious

There's a lot to see over at Womens' Fiction Thursday on the Novelicious site today.

Sue Moorcroft tells us, 'Why Heroes Aren't Born On Page 1'
Cesca Martin - @CescaReviews - has her fab review of To My Best Friends, by Sam Baker up on the site, and
I've reviewed Sue Moorcroft's latest wonderful book, Love and Freedom.

Please go and have a look.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Please Vote for The Plotting Shed (Shed of the Year 2011 Comp)

Some of you may remember that my shed was a Category Winner in the 2009 Shed of the Year Competition. Well, voting has now started for the 2011 competition and I'd be grateful (as will His Grumpiness) if you could vote for The Plotting Shed (aka Grumpy's Palace) HERE

Please feel free to leave a comment if you like. The public voting ends at noon on 5th June 2011, when the shed in each category with the most votes will go through to the judging panel (including Sarah Beeny and Simon Mayo) and one will be crowned Shed of the year 2011. The winner will be announced during Shed Week from the 4th July 2011.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Amo Sorrento

Rob and I had a blissful few days in Sorrento last week. We spent the time relaxing, walking (a lot), eating (too much), drinking and I spent rather a lot of time trying not to panic over the heights of various things, ie balconies, steps, etc.

This is the view I woke up to each morning.

This is the view from our balcony down to Marina Grande, one of those old-fashioned places that inspire countless stories.

I love it there and we'd go down in the morning and have a drink while watching the fishermen bringing in their catches.

We took the boat to Capri for the day on Saturday and took the funicular up the side of the mountain to the main town, which had the most incredible shops, Hermes, Roberto Cavalli, Prada, etc. We stopped for lunch and then had a drink in the main piazza. Needless to say I only window shopped in Capri.

Me outside the hotel gazing at Versuvius on the other side of the Bay of Naples.

As we knew we wouldn't be driving anywhere whilst on holiday, Rob hired Francesco Marrapese to collect us at the airport and take us to Sorrento and also for the return trip and if you ever need a driver for Sorrento I can heartily recommend him!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Busy Bee

This is a picture of me on our balcony overlooking Marina Grande (one of my favourite places and used in a scene in one of my books). You'd never know I was afraid of heights, would you? Then again, if you'd seen me grasping hold of handrails and bracing myself several times over the course of the trip, it would've been fairly obvious.

I'll post more about our fab trip in a few days, but today I'm linking to Novelicious where over the course of the day you can find three reviews written for Women's Fiction Thursday, by Cesca Martin and moi!

The reviews featured today are:

Catch Me A Catch by Sally Clements, shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award for New writers
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
The Beauty Chorus by Kate Lord Brown

Please pop over and maybe leave a comment, or two, or even three.

Monday, 9 May 2011

66th Anniversary of the Liberation of Jersey

Today is Liberation Day in Jersey.

Liberation day was celebrated yesterday in Guernsey as they were liberated the day before we were. Around the island people will hoist their Jersey flags - I took this picture a few moments ago of ours - and spending the day taking part in the 66th anniversary celebrations which take place all over the island.

Some of the parish churches allow you to go and take turns ringing the church bells. I've done this at our parish and it's a little nerve-wracking climbing the ancient stone, narrow steps to get up to the ropes.

Various German bunkers will be open for visitors to go and have a look around and as always there's the fascinating, but haunting Jersey War Tunnels which is definitely the place to go if either the Occupation or WW2 interests you at all.

There's also been a four day Liberation Music Festival running from 6-9 May, in fact when Rob and I were at Gatwick going to our Gate to Sorrento, we passed Gate 55 (usually the one to Jersey) and saw James and Ola Jordan who were coming over for the Jersey Music Festival for L'Histoire du Tango at the Jersey Opera House.

So Happy Liberation Day to everyone who'll be celebrating, whether they can be here in the island today, or not and to James especially x

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

International Chick Lit Month, Kindle Downloads & an Award

May is International Chick Lit Month and Novelicious will be taking part together with Chick Lit Is Not Dead and Chick Lit Club sites. There's going to be so much happening throughout the month of May at these sites, so please make sure you check them out.

Talking of fabulous girly books, I was excited to find that the lovely and talented Christina Jones has now got two Kindle books for those of you with e-readers. I've already downloaded them to my Kindle and you can buy them here and here

Thank you to Lucie Wheeler and Rosemary Gemmell for my Versatile Blogger Award.

I have to tell you seven things about me that you don't already know, so I'll try to think of something... um, here goes:

1. I can't bear not to have nail varnish on my toes, usually red or pink
2. I used to do aerobics four times a week and run the other three days, but now you're lucky if you can get me to leave the shed and walk as far as the kitchen to the kettle.
3. I love to sing, but I'm tone deaf - or so my children tell me.
4. My favourite films are pretty much anything by David Lean.
5. My parents sent me to have my ears tested when I was small because they thought I may be a little deaf - noisy child - the specialist told them to listen to me occasionally and maybe I wouldn't be quite so noisy.
6. My first wedding was a major production, with a huge meringue - dress, that is, not the cake - and people flying from various countries to attend. My second wedding was at the Registry Office with a lovely summer dress, with the children and a party at home afterwards - much more fun too.
7. I wanted to be an actress when I was younger. Not sure what happened there, but the only audience I have now is The Grumpy One.

I'd like to pass this award on to anyone of you who would like it, but please let me know if you do take it, so that I can make sure I don't miss your own list of seven things.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

May Already & I've Burnt My Thumb

I love May with the garden starting to blossom and all these bank holidays to enjoy.

We have an extra Monday off this year as we celebrate Liberation Day on 9th May, so the flags will be hoisted again, in my garden too, and hopefully the weather will stay sunny and warm on all these long weekends.

As I mentioned, I've burnt my left thumb. Not badly, but being a little dopey, I accidentally touched the hot hob. I won't do that again in a hurry, hopefully.

I've been reading my mss outloud in the shed. Either Grumps doesn't understand a word I'm saying, or it's incredibly dull, because he's been snoring for most of the time. I suppose it could be worse, he could be pestering me to let him out.

My daughter is revising for GCSE's, in between enjoying her social life, and is back to school on 3rd for a few weeks before being allowed off for study-leave.

Ouch, I think I need to run this damn thumb under the tap again...