Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas

It must be Christmas time because...

The decorations are up & even the Christmas lights are working.

I have papercuts from wrapping hundreds of presents.

The house is groaning with food.

I'm groaning from too much chocolate.

I'm smiling from too much mulled wine.

The postman (poor overworked chap who must hate for all the parcels he delivers to this house) is smiling.

The bin men are chirpy.

I have a diary full of people visiting and parties/meals I'm going to.

I have five days off work.

The teenagers are arguing/sulking/bored despite having endless sources of entertainment (laptops, Sky, Ipads, phones that do everything apart from sort their washing or tidying up).

I have written endless cards (despite being determined not to).

I've circled the Radio Times with tv programmes that I will be watching.

The dog is sulking in his bed.

I love this time of year!

Happy Christmas.x

Sunday, 18 December 2011

I'd Like To Thank...

I'm thrilled that the Tears and Laughter team have received fabulous reviews of our ebook, Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After.

The most recent review has been from the well respected and highly successful short story writer, Teresa Ashby. Now, when you ask people to review your book, it's very nerve-wracking and especially so when you ask someone, like Teresa, who is so successful. So, I was very excited to read that not only did Teresa love our book, but that she enjoyed my story too. *happy dance*.

Thank you, once again, Teresa.

Here are links to a few other people I'd also like to thank - very much - for their incredible support of our book.

Kirsty over at who designed a beautiful advert for our book.

Also, here are a few links to wonderful reviews of our book. Don't worry, this I promise to leave my family, friends and Grumps out of my list.

The very lovely: Talli Roland, Louise Graham, Sue as Sue's Book Reviews, Shazjera (aka Sharon Goodwin), Book-Shelf. We also have some fabulous 5* reviews over at Goodreads and on Amazon. So, thank you very much.

At the moment you can buy, Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After in eformat here and soon you'll be able to buy the paperback version of the book. I'll post with links closer to the time (of course). You can also read Della Galton's lovely review on the Tears and Laughter website and keep up with blog posts from the Tears and Laughter team here.

Thank you.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Janice Horton Visits The Plotting Shed

Janice Horton’s new e-book ‘Reaching for the Stars’ is about a Scottish celebrity chef called Finn McDuff who is media stalked and disillusioned after winning his third star and losing his third wife. He decides he’s had enough of all the food campaigns, the TV cookery shows, the constant frenzy surrounding his private life and, after giving up all his accolades and closing down his restaurant, he disappears.

With the enfant terrible of the kitchen missing, two rival newspapers, having lost their media meal ticket, compete against each other to whip up further public curiosity in the missing chef.

Love him or hate him, everyone is out looking for Chef McDuff. Who will find him first and whose side will you be on...?

Scottish author Janice Horton launches her latest book ‘Reaching for the Stars’ this week in e-book format and I’m delighted to be hosting her as part as her blog tour. Janice writes romance novels with a Scottish flavour and I asked her where was her favourite place to write them?

This is the view from just behind my cottage on the side of a hill in Southern Scotland. As I set all my novels here, when the weather allows, sitting up here on the hill overlooking the beautiful Nith Valley is my very favourite place to write.

Here there are no distractions except for the fabulous sweeping views or the call of the birds, so I take a pencil and a notepad and I write freehand. I find it both inspiring and liberating, which is especially useful if I’m stuck or have a story plotting problem.

I’m often accompanied by my two little Westies, Polly and Ruby, and our free range rescue hens. It’s the perfect spot in the summer. In the colder and wetter months of the year however, you’ll find me wherever it is warm and peaceful. I do have a home office but, as my self employed husband uses it too and is often talking to clients on the phone, it’s not exactly conducive to my writing. The kitchen table is a good spot, right in front of the Aga - but not if the kids are home. Then the sitting room is more likely to be the quietest place in the house and it’s often where you’ll find me - and the doggies - right in front of the wood burning fire!

Reaching for the Stars is published in e-book format.
Buy ‘Reaching for the Stars’ now at the special launch price of just 99p
Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Janice Blogs
Janice is a author
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More about the author:
Janice writes romantic novels with humour which are, for the most part, inspired by the beauty of the heather-filled glens around her country cottage. When Janice is not writing novels, she write lifestyle articles and has had work published in national and international magazines and regional newspaper. She edits The Review Chair for the innovative reader/writer website She is also the bestselling author of the humorous romance ‘Bagpipes & Bullshot’.

Thanks for visiting us in the shed, Janice, and good luck with Reaching For The Stars!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas Preparations...

This picture was taken out of my bedroom window a few evenings ago. In the distance is the sea, not that you can see it here, but I love the colours.

I can't believe Christmas will soon be here, but thankfully I'm slowly crossing things of my various lists (events to go to/shopping/things to do). I love Christmas, but some are busier than others. I share my children with their father and this year they will be with me on Christmas Eve and with him for most of Christmas Day/Boxing Day. Next year, when they're with me, I'll be making lunch (with Rob's help) for about 20 family members, and it's always great fun. This year though, it'll be quieter and I feel like I've forgotten something not having to do all the extra food shopping.

The decorations are up, but the worst job of all, the wrapping, still needs to be tackled. Groan. I really should do that this weekend. I've only managed to make a list of people I need to send Christmas cards to, so I should get on with that soon too.

How are your Christmas preparations coming along?

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Confidence Boost

Yesterday, as I sat in the lounge with Grumps - I probably looked grumpier than he did - I wondered if I was just kidding myself that I could ever write a decent book.

Bored with feeling sorry for myself and my stomach ache - a bug I managed to pick up from somewhere - I checked my emails and was thrilled to find one from The Harry Bowling Prize people. They told me that although, Broken Faces, hadn't made the longlist as it '... didn't have an obvious urban setting', they were intending giving ' a special commendation on our website'.

Having read and re-read this fabulous piece of news I did a *happy dance* and decided that maybe I did have it in me to write a book that others might want to read. I've received lots of wonderful comments on Facebook, Twitter and also personal emails congratulating me, and these are much appreciated. I love writing and can't imagine ever stopping, but it is such a relief to receive a confidence boost like this one.

Needless to say, I'm looking much chirpier today. He isn't, but that's his natural expression so he can't help it. I'm sure he's feeling jolly on the inside!

Have a great weekend.