Wednesday, 30 November 2011

21 Shopping Days Til Christmas...

And if you need a couple of suggestions for presents, ahem...

How about treating yourself to a copy of Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After? My sister downloaded a copy to her smart phone. Here's the link.

You can read a couple of our reviews here and here and here. The paperback will be out late December/early January.

You could buy the paperback version of Watching Willow Watts by Talli Roland, out today, and you can also read my review over at Novelicious (from 1.30pm 1st Dec).

I've pretty much done most of my Christmas shopping (although I'm bound to have forgotten some) and now I need to start thinking about all the presents I must buy for the birthdays in early January.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Grumpy's New Chair

HIS CHAIR: Yesterday Rob noticed that there was a pink Lloyd Loom Lusty chair up for auction. Naturally, I decided it would be perfect for Grumps to snooze on in the shed and a great replacement for the white, plastic, garden chair he occupies now.

I emailed in my bid and Rob collected it for me today. Here's a picture of Grumps looking decidedly underwhelmed with his present. For some reason, I don't feel that he's as impressed with my purchase as I was!

MY CHAIR: This is my chair. I love it. They almost match and I'm sure he'll be much happier when I put it in the shed next to mine and he can curl up and go to sleep.

Well, that's the plan anyway...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

RNA Winter Party

I'm back at home after attending the RNA Winter Party where I caught up with, and met, so many fabulous writers, agents, editors and generally all round glamorous people. In fact I was so busy chatting that despite taking my camera, I only ended up with one photo of the event. Here's me with the very lovely Denyse Kirkby and Bernadine Kennedy.

Talli Roland arranged a Tweet Up and a group of us met up for a few pre-party drinks. Then it was on to catch up with everyone else at the party. You can find more pictures here at the RNA blog.

So, after all that glamour, champagne and fun, it's time to get back down to earth and focus on the washing, changing beds and dealing with one particularly grumpy Miniature Schnauzer who needs a long walk and a bath. After that though I'm going to treat myself and sit down to read Trisha Ashley's, The Magic of Christmas.

Oh, and did I mention that I have a couple of stories in, Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After (out now in Kindle eformat and in paperback in December). I did? Oh, okay then. Until next time...

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After

I'm so excited *places back of hand against forehead and reclines in chaise longue* that, the Kindle edition of Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After has now been published.

You can buy it on Amazon,

You can make friends with us (and 'like' us if you wish) on Facebook,

You can follow us on Twitter,

Or, simply find out more about the book and authors on our website.

Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After is a vibrant and varied collection of stories from writers who between them have had hundreds of short stories published in women’s magazines in the UK and around the world! Contributors have also won or been placed in dozens of competitions, published novels and written non-fiction for many UK magazines.

As the title suggests, the twenty-six stories encompass the dizzying heights of happiness, the heartbreaking depths of sadness and every emotion in between. Within the pages of this book you’ll meet a housewife with a surprising secret, a beekeeper with a problem and an undertaker with something unusual on his mind. You’ll also encounter angels, ghosts, aliens and many other intriguing characters. And, in the end, you may just find the path to happy ever after.

This is what people have said:

“This anthology has something for everyone. It’s a delight. I only wish I was in it!”
Della Galton

“Like diving into a big box of Quality Street.”
Kate Long

The authors are: Deborah Carr (me!), Karen Clarke, Sarah Dunnakey, Leigh Forbes, Helen M Hunt, Bernadette James, Helen Kara, Jenny Maltby, Kathleen McGurl, Tamsyn Murray, Sally Quilford, Jill Steeples and Cally Taylor.

I hope you enjoy reading our book.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Past & Present

It's my gorgeous daughter's seventeenth birthday this week and although the thought of her driving is a little nerve-wracking, I'm sure she'll love the freedom of not having to wait for buses or for me to take her where she needs to go. She is funny, a little ditsy (like her mother), and truly fabulous. She is special in her own right, but having suffered three miscarriages after my son was born, I didn't expect to ever have her. Happy Birthday to Sx

The day after S's birthday would have been my paternal grandmother's birthday (she's on the left of the picture). She was born in Meerut in India in 1906. Her father was in the 17th Lancers and after he retired they made their home in Cardiff. He died young in 1922 and my grandmother came to live over here after meeting my grandfather while on holiday. She was very beautiful and on the day she died, my sister-in-law gave birth and my youngest sister celebrated her seventeenth birthday. I was holding a party for my sister at my house too. A day of very mixed emotions.

My maternal grandmother was born in 1915 in Kinsale, Ireland and went to live in London when she married. Thanks to the war and constant moving around, her three daughters were born in different counties. In 1950, my grandmother came to live in Jersey with her second husband and it was here that my uncle was born. My son had a special bond with her as, although she was in her eighties when he was born, she looked after him for me many times while I worked. She died seven years ago on 9th of this month.

One grandmother was evacuated from Jersey (apparently on the last boat) with her two small sons and a nephew. She spent the war years in England, living in various places. The other lived in London and worked in a shop during the day and helped fire-watching on the roof of the shop at night. Both were seperated from their children on occasions, either because they'd been evacuated to the homes of strangers, or because they'd been sent to live with relatives. Both had husbands fighting for their country, one in the navy and one in the army. Both experienced the Blitz.

Both women were incredibly strong, supportive and dignified, but most of all I remember their sense of humour. I still miss them both very much, but have so many happy memories of times spent laughing with them that it never saddens me to think of them. I was so lucky to have had them in my life.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

All I Want For Christmas...

All I want for Christmas, apart from having fun with my mad, noisy family, is a few days off from my lovely job to laze about, write and read.

The best Christmas present I've ever received was a typewriter that my parents bought for me when I was nine-years-old. I was so excited and although I don't remember typing anything worth keeping on it, I do remember that I wouldn't let my little sister near it.

The very lovely, Cally Taylor has her second book out today. Home For Christmas sounds like my sort of book and having read, and loved, her first book, I can't wait to start reading this one.

Here's the blurb:
Beth Prince has always loved fairytales and now, aged twenty-four, she feels like she's finally on the verge of her own happily ever after. She lives by the seaside, works in the Picturebox - a charming but rundown independent cinema - and has a boyfriend who's so debonair and charming she can't believe her luck! There's just one problem - none of her boyfriends have ever told her they love her and it doesn't look like Aiden's going to say it any time soon. Desperate to hear I love you' for the first time Beth takes matters into her own hands - and instantly wishes she hadn't. Just when it seems like her luck can't get any worse, bad news arrives in the devilishly handsome shape of Matt Jones. Matt is the regional director of a multiplex cinema and he's determined to get his hands on the Picturebox by Christmas. Can Beth keep her job, her man and her home or is her romantic-comedy life about to turn into a disaster movie?

Sounds fab, don't you think? You can buy Home For Christmas here.

So, what do you want for Christmas?

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Luna & NaNoWriMo

The puppies have now gone to their new families, but I thought you'd enjoy seeing this picture of Luna, the pup that my sister decided to keep.

Luna is cheeky, funny and my sister insists she's the dog version of me! I gather she's referring to the clumsiness of the pup. She breaks into a run (not something I'm known for doing unless: a) it starts raining, b) a shop is about to close and I need something, usually a book, shoes, or chocolate, c) I've been writing and can smell food burning (the most often cause of me breaking into a trot).

Oh, as I was saying...Luna breaks into a run...and then somehow manages to fall over her own feet. Now, this IS something I do at regular intervals at great amusement to my beloved family. She is, above all, cuddy and adorable, although I don't think we share those attributes so much. Adorable, of course (ahem!) but cuddly (other than to look at) no.

You may have noticed (how could you not?) the odd post here, on Facebook, and Twitter about Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After. Please go to Facebook and 'Like' it, if you haven't already done so. Thank you.

Good luck to those of you who are taking part in NaNoWriMo. I thoroughly enjoyed doing it in 2009 and 2010 and found it really helped me get my thoughts down onto the page. How are you doing so far?

Hope you're having a fun weekend. x