#authornotwriting. Is it time to step down?

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I’m a writer. I love writing. I’ve been writing since I was seven. My first poem was published shortly after my seventh birthday. That was over thirty years ago. So, for me to consider not writing is a huge deal. But that’s what I’ve been considering the past year and most certainly in a big way the past few months.

Why, you ask? Are you running out of ideas?

No, in fact I have many ideas but no inclination to write them. The final straw came when I read on Facebook that Amazon have begun to remove reviews from author’s books; the reason seeming to be that the reviewer knows the author and therefore the review cannot be genuine. If you’re not aware of this and have written reviews for your favourite author, then do check to see that they are still there.

I interact with my readers. I have friended many of them on Facebook. It seems this may have to change and that upsets me beyond words. This is not the only reason I’m disillusioned. But let’s go back to where the disillusionment started.

Some time ago and I can’t put a finger on when it happened I got sucked into what I term ‘The Chart Race.’  I’m referring, of course, to the Amazon charts.

I use to sell books at £1.99. I never wanted to sell books at 99p. I was adamant when authors reduced their books to a low price that I never would. I also said that if it continued many of us would have no choice but to sell books at 99p. But low priced books continued to be seen on Amazon. Many authors sold their work for as little as 77p. You couldn’t buy a magazine for that. Readers then expect cheap books. Why wouldn’t they?

What does that say about an author’s work? It takes six months to a year to write a book, providing you are serious about it. It takes months to edit. Authors put their whole being into a story. To sell your work for less than a cappuccino in Costa coffee is degrading. It also under values your work, your time and commitment. I find it painful to say I’m only worth 99p. I’m worth a hell of a lot more. Why were books cheap to begin with? I believe it was so authors could race up the charts. The chart war began. Everyone wants to be in the charts. That’s clear because of the FB posts telling us where authors now are in this chart. Books are released at 99p every day. It is impossible to compete and I have decided I don’t want to. The prediction that 99p books would damage the book business has come true. The reason Amazon are now removing reviews is because the business of posting fake reviews is real. Sock puppeting is a term for the practice of faking favourable reviews on Amazon, in an attempt to inflate ratings of the author’s own work. It’s clearly unethical. But now it is almost impossible for Amazon to differentiate between genuine and fake reviews, so they are removing all that seem even slightly suspicious. So, a loyal reader who has enjoyed a relationship with their favourite author is now being penalised by having their reviews removed.

This is the fault of the ‘Chart Race’ A no holds barred quest to climb the Amazon chart.

Social media, of course, has the ability to make us all too aware of how well others are doing. It produces a sense of failure in many of us. We begin to question everything. Do we have a good family life? Are we successful? Do we have enough Facebook friends? Why doesn’t my husband buy me bouquets of flowers? Why hasn’t that celebrity followed me on Twitter too? Why is my hair not that gorgeous? Why can’t we afford to drink champagne on a Friday night? Why am I not that high in the Amazon chart? Why, why? Am I useless? Am I failure? And finally, if you’re an author, how can I get my book up in the chart? The answer: Drop my price.

I’ve seen authors fall out with other authors because of the chart race paranoia.  

Of course, I will be called bitchy. Or people will say ‘sour grapes’ No! I just want to write good books and sell them for a price I know they are worth. I’m worth more than 99p. I don’t need to post constantly about how well I’m doing. I don’t write for praise. I write because I love it and I love it when a reader tells me how much they enjoyed it. If they now are unable to do that, then it no longer feels like a business I want to be part of. I’m moving away from the chart race. It doesn’t interest me. I’m interested in writing good books. If readers only want 99p books then I guess they won’t have mine. I have to see it as their loss not mine.  

My latest book ‘When Archie Met Rosie’ is currently 99p on Amazon but that will go up in price soon. It’s worth far more than 99p.

I will link to my books below if you are interested. If you have bought read and reviewed my books, I thank you very much and I hope you will think £1.99 is a reasonable price to pay for a book.

https://goo.gl/PN9wcJ

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Easter, Novels, Stress and Building Work

AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD ON 5TH APRIL.

YOU CAN PRE-ORDER TODAY. ONLY 99P/99C

Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe how long it has been since I last chatted to you on here. I do mean to post but things have been so hectic with writing that there just hasn’t been the time. I’ve also been contending with building work but more about that later. Not my building work, I hasten to add. I would hire decent builders to do my work. (Note to self. Calm down before blood pressure rises … again.

The exciting news and that most certainly isn’t about the builders but about my new book. It isn’t about me murdering a builder, in case you were wondering. That’s for my next novel. You see, I can’t seem to stop talking about builders. It’s like I’m suffering from builder overload. There must be a medical name for this. BST, I imagine. Builder stress disorder. Anyway enough of this, I digress and that’s no good.

So, my exciting news.

 I have a new book out. It is the third thriller. You may know me for my romantic comedy novels. Then again you may not know me at all,which is fair enough.

I was in the middle of a romance when this thriller came to me and the characters Libby and Ewan just wouldn’t leave my brain so I knew I had to write their story. I’m so pleased I did. I enjoyed writing it so much and I so hope you enjoy it.

I’m giving you a little taste of the novel in with this blog post. I hope you enjoy that.

Here’s the blurb.

Ewan Galbreith is out of prison. Libby Owen is scared. Fifteen years earlier she saw Ewan murder her aunt and uncle with their own shotgun, and now he’s coming for her.’

The novel is currently available for Pre Order at the promotional price of 99p/99c so get yours before the price goes up. The audio book will be out later in the year and the paperback is out on the 20th April. BUT the kindle version is released this coming Thursday 5th April. Hurrah. I can’t wait for you to read it.

There will be a romance out in the summer so keep your eyes peeled for that.

So, it’s been a difficult book to write as the cottage next door ‘has had a few repairs’ Those are the words of my neighbour, not mine. I have a word for those few repairs. it’s Gutting.’ I have a word for the builders too but I won’t use it here.

This whole episode has been very disappointing to me. I had a wonderful neighbour. She was American, highly intelligent. She had a doctorate and could debate any subject. I miss her terribly. They loved their old cottage which was originally an old pub. The cottage still had the old doors with lounge and saloon printed on them. There was beautiful oak panelling in one of the rooms and there is still the old pub sign outside. I live in a very quintessential English village and it’s in a conservation area which means there is a limit to what you can do so as not to ruin the beautiful aesthetics of the village. My neighbour died and left the house to her American relatives. They love it (they say) they love the history (they say) So with this in mind they proceeded to remove the lovely panelling and knock down walls. They neglected the old pub sign and knocked down an outhouse that was an old urinal from way back when. Heaven knows what else they are doing as the builders are now boarding up the windows so no one can see. Meanwhile my little cottage trembles with the thuds and the drilling as they break up floors, knock down walls, install a modern kitchen and plastic windows The builders are often rude when we ask questions. They block off the road outside our cottages, even though no one owns the road, so no one else can park there. They’ve been working on this cottage for six months. I’ve written a whole novel in that time and am halfway through another. How have I written it with the constant drilling and hammering? By putting in earplugs and then headphones on top of those. Madness!! I think perhaps I work better under stress. I remember I wrote Pink Wellies and Flat Caps when we were having our own extension. Which I have to say was much quieter by comparison. Still, on a positive note, let’s hope we get lovely new neighbours when the house is sold.

Phew … end of building work chat. Except to say it has had a detrimental effect on me and I have had to watch my blood pressure which has a tendency to go up. Onto nicer things. I hope you have a fabulous Easter with lots of chocolate. I’m attending Slimming World so no goodies for me. An Easter goodie for you. ‘Remember Me’ is 99p as a special Easter promotion. So two novels for £1.99 which can’t be bad.

REMEMBER ME https://goo.gl/Y6jSJQ

WATCHING YOU  https://goo.gl/JYytX9

HERE’S YOUR SAMPLE

‘WATCHING YOU’

Prologue

1st January 2000, 1 A.M.

 

Her bare feet pounded the gravel, the sharp stones cutting mercilessly into her skin. The wind whipped cruelly at her hair and played with her new chiffon dress until her legs became entangled within it. She pulled herself free from the material without once slowing her pace, her heart drumming in her chest. She could hear the blood pulsating in her ears like a wild war dance. Her scalp tingled. Something had touched her. She fought back a scream. It was a branch, just a tree in the blackness of the night. Keep going. She couldn’t stop. A firework boomed and lit up the night sky. She tripped, scattering the detestable gravel. A small sob escaped her lips before she dragged herself up and continued on. He’d seen her. He’d seen her. That’s all she knew.  Keep running. Don’t look back. An orchestra of colours exploded in the sky and lit up the tall iron gates of Greystone Hall ahead of her. She thought back to the house and nausea rose up in her gut. Soon she would smell the pungent odour of seaweed. Her heart beat a steady rhythm now. She knew the beach wasn’t far away. Excited voices and the sound of drunken laughter broke through her pulsating eardrums. People were partying on the beach. It was the beginning of something new, something exciting, a new start.

‘Happy Millennium,’ someone shouted.

She tripped in her haste to reach them. Her mouth connected with cold sand, it scratched her skin.

‘Help me,’ she choked. ‘Please.’

‘Had too much?’ said a voice.

There was laughter from a small group huddled around a camp fire.

‘Hold on,’ said another. The voice concerned.

She felt someone touch her.

‘Fuck, she’s bleeding.’

‘Call the police,’ yelled another.

There was scuffling and someone wrapped a coat around her. It was warm and comforting.

‘Christ, what happened?’ he said.

‘Someone shot my Aunt and Uncle,’ she moaned, trying to get up. She couldn’t. She was exhausted.

‘I think they’re dead.’

 

The downside of Facebook & other much nicer things!

HUNTERAt last I’ve found time to write a blog posting. The days do rush by don’t they? I can’t believe that I’m thinking about Christmas already.

I’ve been quiet for one reason and that is I’ve been engrossed in writing a new novel. I’m really excited to talk about it, so more on that later.

I’ve also discovered a new hobby. But first I want to talk about social networking and how I feel about it at the moment. I’ve been on Facebook for a long time and always enjoyed the interaction I got on there, but recently I’ve become very disillusioned with it. There have been several occasions where I have been extremely upset by what I’ve seen on there. A few weeks ago I scrolled through my newsfeed just before going to bed and a horrific photo of animals being abused was thrust into my face. I was distressed beyond words and couldn’t sleep that night for thinking about it. I couldn’t even face going back to report it because it meant I would have to see it again. I began to be afraid to scroll through my newsfeed for what I might see. So, since then I have barely been on FB. I post a few things and that’s it really. So, if you are on FB and I haven’t been commenting or wishing people a happy birthday, then that’s why. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds these kind of photos distressing. I’ve tried to understand why people post them. I’m sure it is to raise awareness. But I am aware. I know these things go on. I know what charities to support. I know bad things happen. I’m aware children get abused as well as animals. I just don’t need graphic photos to hammer it home. So, for me, FB is not somewhere I want to be that much. If you want to follow me and I hope you do then you can find me on Instagram under Lynda Renham. It is a far nicer place I find. I’m also on Twitter but not so much. But I’m also here at the blog. So feel free to join me. Do let me know your feelings about distressing pictures on FB. I’d like to hear your feelings.

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Now, onto something else, something much nicer. In between writing I also discovered the fabulous art of crochet and I am addicted. So much so, that in the next few weeks I hope to set up my crochet and knitting blog. It will be dedicated to just crochet and all the hand crafts that are such fun to do. It will focus on my crochet journey. So, keep an eye out. I’m in love with this hobby. It’s so calming and relaxing and makes you feel so calm. If you’re stressed in any way then I would recommend it. I taught myself by watching You Tube videos and I’ll be recommending many of those in my new crochet blog. I started last December and have so far made two blankets, a shawl, and lots of squares which I plan to join together. I also made a cushion cover and am currently working on another blanket for a friend. I’ve found a renewed interest in knitting and have made a teddy bear and am working on a shawl. It’s fabulous. I have bought numerous books and will share those on my new blog too. If you’re into any craft then please let me know. I’ll be sharing my new blog posts on FB, Twitter and Instagram. I hope you’ll join me when I do. There are CAL’s  (crochet alongs) which I hope to take part in too and I’m looking forward to going to some yarn festivals too. As you can see I am truly hooked (so to speak) I hope I have fired some of you into looking into this wonderful, calming craft. It’s not hard once you get the hang of it.

I’ve left the best for last. Coming on the 12th September is my new novel ‘Hunters Moon’

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It’s a psychological thriller and I so hope you enjoy it. It has been a long time in the writing. I’ve enjoyed it but I’ve also decided that the next book will be much lighter and funnier than the previous two. Thank you so much to all those that bought ‘Remember Me’ It did exceptionally well, especially in the USA. So well in fact that it is coming out as an audio book next month. I will post links when I have them. Also ‘Perfect Weddings’ is coming out as an audio book too and should be available for Christmas, I hope.

Here’s a little about the new novel ‘Hunters Moon’

‘Hunters Moon, set in the little English village of Penlyn, promises to be the dream home for Flora and Adam McIntosh. Adam’s career in politics has taken a turn for the better and the only thing left to complete the couple’s happiness is a baby. Flora believes the new home will help her overcome a recent miscarriage but she soon realises the house is not all it seems. What are the villagers of Penlyn hiding and does Hunters Moon hold a dark secret? Flora soon finds herself entrapped in a web of deceit with no one to turn to. Her dream home becomes her nightmare as Flora fears for her life.’

I’m very excited and can’t wait to share this with you. I hope you enjoy it.

Well that’s it until next time. I hope I hear from you.

Much love

Lynda

x

You’re Invited to Perfect Weddings

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Hi everyone,

I thought I would never get over here. Things were manic on my Facebook and Twitter page yesterday because … hurrah it was the launch day for my new novel ‘Perfect Weddings’

I’m so excited about this book as everyone is saying they think it is my best one yet.

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I love the cover thanks to Katie Grace Klumpp, who is so talented, you have to agree. Click her name to check out her work.

 

I hope you enjoy ‘Perfect Weddings’ If you like weddings then you are bound to.

Do you remember Amy Perfect who wrote ‘A Christmas Romance?’ Well, my bit of fun was to name the main character in ‘Perfect Weddings’ Amy Perfect too 🙂

A Christmas Romance Design!

 

And by the way, while we are talking about ‘A Christmas Romance’ it is now 99p. It is the first in the Little Perran series and it doesn’t have to be Christmas to enjoy it. So why not treat yourself to both. That’s only £2.98 for two books. What can you buy for that these days? Go here for ‘A Christmas Romance’

So what is ‘Perfect Weddings’ about?

‘Every bride wants a perfect wedding and that includes Georgina Winters. Amy Perfect is the crème de la crème of wedding planners so who best to plan Georgina s wedding… except the man Georgina plans to marry is the same man who jilted Amy three years ago. Will her plan to give Georgina the most imperfect wedding backfire on her? Is this the chance for Amy to win back the love of her life, or will insufferable Ben Garret put a spanner in the works? Arab princes, spoilt brides and wedding catastrophes make Perfect Weddings a page-turning romantic comedy that will keep you guessing until the very last page.’

I do hope you enjoy it. You can get yours here

http://goo.gl/Vp78vS

Much love as always

Lynda

x

Woo Hoo, Christmas Is Coming

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Christmas is not far away. I love this time of year. Lot’s of great things happen don’t they?

So, what better way to celebrate than this!

Today for one day only my new Christmas novella ‘A Christmas Romance’ is only **99p**

I couldn’t let Black Friday and Cyber Monday come and go without doing something special could I?

So hurry over to Amazon here and get yours.

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Coming soon is my Christmas newsletter. So if you haven’t signed up for that then please do. Just go to the right hand side and scroll down to the newsletter subscription and simply click.

Meanwhile here is a little extract from the Christmas novella … Enjoy.

 A Christmas Romance

Lynda Renham writing as Amy Perfect

Chapter One

Frankie opened the oven door and gently prodded the fruit cake, the rich aroma making her mouth water. Fruit cake was her favourite. She wiped her hands on her apron and began cracking eggs into a bowl. There were just the fairy cakes to make now; the mince pies to go into the oven and the filling into the sponge, and she would be finished. She turned from the bowl and stopped to drink in the view from her kitchen window, the smell of a freshly baked Victoria sponge wafting past her. The tree in the garden twinkled under the dusting of snow that had been falling gently all morning, and she reminded herself to get some Christmas tree lights to go around it. This was going to be one of the coldest winters in years. The weather forecast predicted a white Christmas and Frankie was looking forward to cosy evenings by the fire with a hot chocolate and a good novel. The kitchen was lovely and warm with the heat from the oven but she still shivered at the sight of the falling snow. Then, not for the first time, she wondered what Paul was doing right now. Of course Christmas in Australia would be very different from Little Perran. Frankie couldn’t imagine Christmas on the beach. It seemed unnatural. She shook her head, irritated with herself for thinking about Paul, and turned back to the bowl of eggs. She didn’t need a man in her life. She was coping very well, thank you very much. Her eyes fell on the small Christmas tree in the corner of her living room. Buster slept happily underneath it. It was no good telling a dog that only presents go under the tree. I wonder if they have a Christmas tree in Australia, she thought idly. Of course they do, she reprimanded herself. After all, it wasn’t the back of beyond was it? She beat the eggs angrily. She must stop thinking about Paul. He was most likely sunning himself on the beach with …

Her thoughts were halted by a tapping on the back door. Birdie popped her rosy cheeks around it and sniffed appreciatively.

‘Primrose Cottage always smells good,’ she said, quickly closing the door. ‘It’s bitter outside. I went to the library but you weren’t there.’

‘I took the day off to bake cakes for the Christmas fete.’ Frankie felt the cold air brushing against her bare feet.

‘And fabulous they look too,’ said Birdie, pulling off her wellies and throwing them outside the back door.

Birdie’s thick brown hair had been wound into a tight plait which she had secured at the nape of her neck with a hair pin. Her cheeks were rosy from the cold and her lips pink where she had applied some lip salve.

‘I’m knackered. I’ve been cleaning out. That’s the trouble with having the animals inside. And the tractor is knackered too. Ben has asked Joe to come and look at it for us. Aren’t you glad you’re not a farmer? I wish I worked in a library. Mind you I’d be reading all day.’

Frankie laughed.

‘You’d be bored to death. You know how you love the outdoors.’

Birdie spotted the Christmas cake on the kitchen counter and gasped.

‘You’ve made it?’ she said, looking at the cake admiringly.

‘That was the easy bit. I’ve got to ice it now. I’m nervous about being too experimental though.’

‘Don’t be silly. It will be great. I so want you to win. I heard Cynthia is hiding hers.’

Frankie felt her heart sink.

‘I bet it’s lovely. That’s why she wins every year.’

‘A bit of cheating helps,’ scoffed Birdie.

‘Birdie, I’m sure that’s not true.’

Birdie nodded.

‘As sure as eggs is eggs, it’s true,’ she laughed.

Frankie carefully pulled a sketch pad from the kitchen drawer and opened it.

‘This is a rough plan of my theme, Santa falling down the chimney. What do you think?’

Birdie’s eyes widened.

‘Oh Frankie, that’s amazing.’

‘It will be if I can recreate it with icing,’ Frankie said worriedly.

‘You can do it, I know you can. Any chance of a cuppa and a piece of that sponge?’ she smiled licking her lips. ‘We should celebrate.’

‘No.’ Frankie wagged her finger. ‘That’s for tomorrow’s fete. But I have some chocolate cake?’

She opened a Quality Street tin. Birdie peeked inside and sighed.

‘I love your chocolate cake. Now, I have some exciting news. But I think you already know don’t you?’

Frankie’s heart skipped a beat. Was this something to do with Paul? Of course it wasn’t. When would she stop thinking about him? It had been almost a year now since he broke off their engagement. When would she accept that he wasn’t going to come back to Little Perran? More to the point did she even want him back?

‘I don’t know what you’re talking about Birdie.’

‘Really? I had a feeling you didn’t know. Otherwise I’m sure you would have told me. That’s why I popped round really. Make a cuppa and sit down. I’m not telling you until you do. I don’ want you going into a dead faint.’

‘Ooh heavens, what is it?’ asked Frankie, her hand poised to whip the eggs. Maybe it was to do with Paul after all. Her heart fluttered in her chest.

‘Sit down. Leave those eggs for a minute, they won’t go off.’

Frankie did as she was told and sat down. It was a relief to get off her legs. She pulled the scrunch out of her curly auburn hair and twisted it neatly into a bun before securing it again.

‘Okay,’ said Birdie, tapping a drum-roll with her hands. ‘The Biggest heart-throb ever is only coming to live at Little Perran. He’s moving into Briar Lodge in a few days’ time.’

She looked at Frankie with wide eyes.

‘Briar Lodge, are you certain?’ asked Frankie.

If anyone was coming to live at Briar Lodge then surely she of all people would know.

‘Isn’t it exciting? He’ll be here for Christmas. Every single woman in the village will be after him, except me of course, as I’ve got Ben, but I’ll be tempted.’

Frankie stared at her.

‘Well, what do you think?’ asked Birdie, pouring water into the teapot.

‘You haven’t told me who it is?’

‘Oh, I thought I did. I’m so excited that’s why. Roux Lockhart, can you believe it?’ said Birdie slicing into the chocolate cake.

‘Roux Lockhart, the film star do you mean?’

‘In the flesh,’ Birdie swooned.

‘But why is he coming here?’

‘They’re making a movie. He’ll be staying here for the filming. I’m not supposed to be telling anyone this yet. It’s top secret. The parish council will be delivering letters today. I’ve brought yours. We’re not to talk to the press, or anyone outside the village who asks about him. Only a few of us have been told he’s staying at Briar Lodge. I thought you of all people would have known.’

Frankie felt her blood boil.

‘But Aunty Rose never mentioned renting out Briar Lodge while she was in the States.’

‘Oh dear,’ said Birdie, her face flushing.

‘I can’t believe it,’ exclaimed Frankie, jumping up to beat the eggs.

‘Were you planning on using the Lodge over Christmas?’ asked Birdie worriedly.

Frankie grimaced.

‘Don’t be silly Birdie. You know I’ve got no one coming for Christmas.’

‘You can come to us, you know that? We’d love to have you.’

Frankie forced a smile.

‘I know, but I don’t want to leave Buster.’

‘He’ll be okay for one evening.’

‘I’ll see. I just can’t believe Aunty Rose didn’t tell me about Roux Lockhart. I’m supposed to be watering her plants. How could she forget to tell me a famous film star was coming to stay?’

‘Ooh you’ve got a good excuse to go over there then,’ Birdie grinned.

‘All the same she might have told me.’

‘I think it was all done very suddenly. Your Aunty Rose told the parish council. You know what she’s like. She probably thought she had told you. Can you imagine though? He’s got pots of money. I bet Stella will be round there before he’s even got the kettle on.’

Frankie laughed.

‘I bet he’s got pots of ego too,’ she said, rescuing the fruit cake from the oven.

‘I wonder if he’ll go to the Christmas ball?’ said Birdie thoughtfully. ‘Hey, he can be your date.’

‘Very funny.’ Frankie hurriedly dropped the hot cake onto a place mat. ‘Anyway, I’ve decided I’m not going to the ball this year.’

Birdie’s mouth dropped open.

‘But you always go.’

‘I’ve always had a partner,’ Frankie tried to keep her voice upbeat but felt sure she was failing miserably.

‘You can still go without a partner,’ insisted Birdie.

‘I’ll see.’

‘I’m going to put that on your tombstone,’ laughed Birdie, getting up. ‘Right I’d better get back. Ben will want to fix the tractor. You’re still coming to The Hand and Shears tonight aren’t you for pre-fete drinks.’

Frankie nodded, although the truth was she didn’t really want to go. She’d got into the habit of staying home these days with Buster for company. In fact she quite liked cosy nights in Primrose Cottage, doing her cross stitch while watching some rubbish on the tele. Honestly, she couldn’t get more boring if she tried. She’d be drinking Horlicks next and going to bed at nine o’clock.

‘Great see you later,’ waved Birdie, stepping into her wellies.

Frankie cleared away the dishes. It occurred to her that she ought to check Briar Lodge. Maybe leave a couple of mince pies there. At least someone famous in the village would stop her thinking about Paul. With that in mind, she placed the mince pies in the oven, switched on the radio and forced herself to sing along with the Christmas carols.

To read more, get your copy here.

 

 

 

 

High Price not a £5 bang on the street corner.

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It’s here! ‘Fifty Shades of Brown’ and what a battle it has been to get it here. There was a frightening moment when it almost wasn’t here at all. In fact there was a shaky moment when it looked like there would never ever be another book.

I started ‘Roxie Brown’ about four months ago and during this time I had family move in with me. There is much to be said for having a young child in the home. They bring great pleasure. There is also a great deal of disruption. As it is I shed enough tears writing a novel. It became pretty clear I would be shedding more while writing this one. I’d been used to silence during my writing day. Now I was contending with toilet chains being pulled, bathroom doors banging, footsteps up and down the stairs, the sound of laughter from below my writing room and the clashing of pots and pans. And so the tears would come, partly out of frustration because the book wasn’t going the way I wanted and tears of stress from dealing with the noise while trying to write.

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To top it all I’m  OCD about the house and do prefer things just so. Occasionally I would pop downstairs for a drink and see the lounge was a tip where my little grandson was playing and my kitchen turned upside down as stepson cooked dinner. I’d creep back upstairs, shed a few more tears and continue with Roxie. So with all this going on it was not sensible of me to look at the Amazon charts as well was it?

I’d recently been signed to an agent, the lovely Samar Hammam who previously handled Bernard Cornwall among others. She was keen to represent me. I was keen to be represented. Then came the disappointments. Large traditional publishers are struggling to sell romantic comedy as so many self published or digitally published authors are selling e books for pennies. I didn’t want my e books to be sold for pennies. I work hard six months of the year to produce a book. I make my living from writing. When I worked part-time and wrote novels I was never able to produce two books a year as I do now. I wanted to continue as a full-time writer. A traditional publisher was interested, she said, but the advance would be very small. I checked out their authors on Amazon and saw again that their books were selling for pennies. I, then, stupidly checked the charts again and saw that the low-priced e books were high and mine were dropping.

I didn’t write for several days. I thought things through and told the doctor aka Andrew, my lovely husband, that ‘Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown’ would be my last book. I was not prepared to compromise myself. I couldn’t sell my books cheaply. Samar suggested the occasional offer to promote sales. I was reluctant. I couldn’t understand readers not realising that a writer can not survive if they sell books for 99p or less. I saw readers putting their argument forward for downloading books free from a website by saying that they are not ‘all rich and comfortable’ like us authors. Hello! I wish I was. The only stinking rich authors are the likes of J K Rowling and E L James.  But all the same, you wouldn’t nick a bag from Debenhams would you? And that’s what free download sites are doing. Stealing authors hard work and giving it away. That was it! Roxie Brown would be my last book. I vowed never to write another. I stuck to this. I emailed a few close friends and close author friends and told them of my decision only to have them throw up their arms in horror. ‘You can’t stop writing, that would be madness.’

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I know it is not readers fault that the books are so cheap. It is e publishers and other writers that lower the prices. I bet Sylvia Plath never had this problem.

My husband chatted to me. A good friend chatted to me. I finally, albeit very reluctantly, changed my mind. But I have now decided that the charts don’t bother me. I’m not going to compete with 99p or less authors. I won’t drop the price of a new book to reach number one. I like to think my ego is not that inflated. I love my readers, I love interacting with them. They are good friends. So I will be writing for them. If new readers come on for the ride that is great.

I do believe that low-priced e books will eventually crash the market. Writers and publishers cannot survive. Everyone wants their pound of flesh and there isn’t much left out of 49p 89p and 99p. You can’t buy a roll of loo paper for that. It’s wonderful for the reader but I hope they realise that eventually the authors they like may stop writing simply because they cannot afford to. Imagine what they must earn per book by the time they have paid their publisher, Amazon and of course the damn VAT that is now slapped onto them. 10p a download maybe is what they may be getting. An author may as well go out into the street and ask ‘Do you want six months of hard work for free!’

I’ve worked long and hard for this. I won’t do that. I’d rather stop. I will allow the odd special. A past book for 99p or maybe the odd free promotion but I won’t sell new books for less than £1.99. I sometimes think that is too cheap. As an author friend once said to me ‘I’d rather be a high-priced call girl than a $5 bang on the street corner.’ I couldn’t agree more.

So, enjoy the new book and here’s hoping there will be another. I expect there will be. I find it too hard not to write.

Meanwhile ‘Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown’ is available here

‘Croissants and Jam’ is on offer for a short time here

And you get all my other books at a reasonable price here

Thanks for you fab support. I love you all

Much love

Lynda

xx

Miss Wrong And Mr Right

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Hello Peeps, how are you? 

I’m beyond excited. I don’t think anything can excite me more than having the brilliant Robert Bryndza on my blog. Not only is he a fantastic writer but also a good friend. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also a fab cook. I managed to talk him into bringing along one of his famous apple crumbles, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. Maybe I can steal a couple of his recipes before he leaves.

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Robert preparing the apple pie.

Anyway, less of my waffle and more from Rob, not that he ever waffles. He may make them though. Ooh, I wonder if he’s got time before he goes.

Hi Rob, thanks so much for coming onto the blog today and more importantly thank you for the apple pie, it’s delicious, especially with this custard you brought along. 

Hello Dame Lynda, it’s wonderful to be visiting you on your website, thanks so much for welcoming me here today!

Well, if you bring lovely food you can come whenever you want.

I have an exclusive extract from my new romantic comedy Miss Wrong and Mr Right. First though, here is a short introduction to the book…

Natalie Love has worked hard to have it all: she runs a successful theatre in Soho that’s about to host one of Hollywood’s leading stars. Her biggest supporter is her eccentric Hungarian Gran, and she even has the ‘perfect’ yoga teacher boyfriend – Namaste!

Life in the bright lights of London has always been Natalie’s escape from her chaotic country family in rural Devon and Jamie, the childhood sweetheart she left at the altar 15 years ago. And then he turns up at her theatre door…

With rivalry clouding old feelings, events in Soho bring Jamie and Natalie together in hilarious ways. Gran is loose in the city once more, it seems to be raining sandwiches and records are broken for Burlesque flash mobs. If she can keep her world together, will Natalie discover who is really Mr Right, and that perhaps she isn’t Miss Wrong?

A delightful new romantic comedy, from the Number 1 best-selling author, Robert Bryndza…

 

The following extract is when Natalie takes Anouska, her Gran, for a routine bunion operation…!

 The roads were quiet as we drove towards Guy’s and St. Thomas’s Hospital. It was a grey day and a light drizzle covered the windscreen. I turned on the wipers and they dragged across the glass with a squeal.

‘If I die on the operating table, I vant to be buried in my green dress,’ announced Gran.

‘Don’t be daft. You are not going to die,’ I said remembering my dream, her dead face talking to me.

‘And I don’t vant a vash and set. Some morticians just know how to do one kind of hairstyle. I don’t vant to be lying there looking like any old biddy…’

‘Gran…’

‘And you vill do my make-up. Chanel red lipstick, Givenchy powder, and eye make-up like yours.’

‘Gran!’

‘I’m putting it all here in the glove compartment,’ she said pulling out a little clear make-up bag and popping it in. ‘And if I die before they finish, make sure they sew my foot up. I vant to be buried in heels… you promise.’

‘Gran, please,’ I said my eyes beginning to well up.

‘Promise me, Natalie!’

‘Okay. Yes, I promise. But you are not going to die!’ I insisted.

 I found a parking space and then we made our way into the hospital. When Gran was settled in her cubicle on the ward, a doctor appeared and closed the curtains behind him. He was very handsome with dark eyes.

‘My, the NHS has improved since I was here last,’ said Gran sitting up and patting her hair. The doctor took out a felt-tip pen and explained the operation. How he would cut out the piece of protruding bone in her big toe, which was causing the bunion, and then reset the foot.

‘It’s a very simple, routine procedure, so nothing to concern you. One of the nurses will phone you after the operation,’ said the doctor. Then he moved onto the next cubicle leaving Gran with a scribble of felt tip pen on her foot.

‘Natalie, look at that,’ she whispered.

‘At what?’ I asked.

‘That big toe he has drawn on my big toe…Is that how my new toe vill look? It’s crap, even I can draw better…’

‘He’s not an artist, he’s a surgeon.’

‘Thank God he’s not doing my tits! Imagine the kind of tit he’d draw?’

‘Gran, it’s fine,’ I said.

‘No, I vant to vear all of my nice shoes after this operation. Vat if I end up vith a huge toe like a Cumberland sausage? Go and find him, bring him back…’

With a red face, I called the doctor back. He was very nice, and explained that the toe he’d drawn was just for guidance, and that as well as being a surgeon he was a keen amateur painter. He summoned a nurse, who removed the felt tip ink from Gran’s foot with an alcohol wipe, and he then redrew a much neater toe.

‘Perfect, a toe Sophia Loren vould be proud of,’ smiled Gran admiring his handiwork. The doctor grinned and went back to the next cubicle.

‘I still vouldn’t buy one of his paintings,’ muttered Gran in a low voice.

‘Do you want me to stay with you? I can take the day off work,’ I asked.

‘Don’t fuss Natalie,’ said Gran, settling down and opening a copy of Vogue. ‘They knock me out, do the operation and I vake up. Bobby’s your uncle. Now go to vork, I’m fine.’

 Miss Wrong and Mr Right is available from Amazon as an ebook and paperback. You can also read it for free as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription, and with Amazon Prime;

Click here for Amazon UK

Click here for Amazon US

About the Author

Robert Bryndza was born in the UK and lived in America and Canada before settling in Slovakia with his Slovak husband Ján. His debut novel The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard became an Amazon bestseller and two best selling sequels have followed, Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding and Coco Pinchard, The Consequences of Love and Sex.

When he’s not writing Rob is learning Slovak, trying to train two crazy dogs, or watching Grand Designs – all in the hope that he’ll be able to understand his mother-in-law, build his dream house, and get the dogs to listen. You can find out more about Robert at www.robertbryndza.com

Sign up to Robert’s New Release Mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/UITxz (Your email will never be shared and you will only be contacted when a new book is out.)

To win a signed copy of Miss Wrong and Mr Right dedicated to you, enter at the rafflecopter widget on the right hand side. Just scroll down.

Thanks so much for coming on the blog Robert, you must come again soon.

Thanks again fabulous Dame Lynda Renham for hosting me on your blog!

Isn’t he lovely? Don’t forget to buy the book. Currently only 99p.

Dame Lynda

x

Fudge Berries and Frog’s Knickers. Sign up for the tour…

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I can finally reveal the big news.  The title and cover of my new novel. I’m dead excited. I love the title so much and the cover is just brilliant. I don’t know how my illustrator Katie Gracie Klumpp keeps doing it but do it she does. It’s titled ‘Fudge Berries and Frog’s Knickers’ and it has been hard work. It was not my greatest year in more ways than one and I’m determined to make 2015 a good one, book wise. I’ll be on a book tour from 23rd Feb to the 8th March. Book bloggers if you’re interested, sign up today. Go here to take part. We’d love to have you.

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Fudge Berries and Frog’s Knickers

‘Poppy Wellesley is rich. In fact Poppy Wellesley is very rich, so when her fortunes change from riches to rags Poppy has to start a whole new life. Put yourself in her Guccis as she swaps her penthouse apartment for a run-down houseboat on Regent’s Canal. Meet her dippy friend Chelsea, the infamous Jack Diamond (see The Dog’s Bollocks) and her hunky boat neighbour, Taylor. Will Poppy hold on to her millionaire fiancé or will Pug-face Pandora steal him from her? Can she avoid the advances from Balls (Lord Balthazar Wyndham-Price) or does she find true love on the canal? Fudge Berries and Frogs’ Knickers is a romantic comedy roller coaster ride that will put a smile on your face and a cheer in your heart.’

You can purchase the e-book on the 23rd January from Amazon, Kobo and others. The paperback on the 14th February. The paperback will be available for pre-order in a few days.

If you would like to review a copy of the novel for your book blog please let me know. You can contact me at review@renham.co.uk

Enjoy and join us for Facebook fun here.

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And the Bride Wore Prada

 

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Hello everyone and a very Happy 2015 to you all. I’m starting my New Year postings with a guest spot. There will be a lot of fab books out this year and one of them will be ‘And the Bride Wore Prada’ by Katie Oliver.

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I met Katie when she first joined my author page and tweeted a lot about my own novels. It was a while before I realised that she was also a novelist. But you know how long it takes me to realise things.  Katie and I became good friends and I am delighted to welcome her onto my blog. Fortunately for us, Katie loves writing romantic comedy as well as reading it. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and three parakeets, in a rambling old house with uneven floors and a dining room that leaks when it rains. It sounds a bit like our cottage before the renovation.

Katie has been writing since she was eight, and has a box crammed with (mostly unfinished) novels to prove it. Katie and I could be twins. One day we’ll have to meet and swap boxes.  In the meantime I will hand over to Katie so she can tell you more about herself, going for walks and her own Mr Darcy. Catch her on her book tour this month.

ATBWP Blog Tour Banner

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. – Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

I love to take walks. And it appears I’m in good company.

Not only do plenty of people elect to walk (or ride a bicycle) these days; many fictional heroines did the same. 

Jane Eyre met Mr Rochester astride his horse while walking alone across the moors, and Mr Darcy shared more than one stroll with Elizabeth Darcy in the gardens of Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s estate.  And who can forget Mary Lennox and her outdoor rambles at Misselthwaite Manor, which led to her discovery of the sadly neglected secret garden?

As I walked our dog one day last December, and waited for him to do his business, I breathed in the cold air and admired the snow on the ground. Normally we don’t get much snow in the Washington, DC area, especially not before Christmas.  So I was pretty excited (chuffed, as you Brits would say).

Duke and I resumed our walk, and my imagination kicked in. I was no longer on a dead-end street in Northern Virginia with my Belgian terrier, but wandering somewhere in the snow-covered Scottish Highlands with a pair of deerhounds at my heels…

…returning to the family castle after a long, invigorating walk.

My thoughts moved as quickly as my feet. I had something to tell my family, something big. Something that would upset their lives, and mine, forever…

As I followed Duke down the hill, I had an epiphany.  Well, not an epiphany, exactly, but an idea for a new book. What if two of my characters – Natalie and her new husband, Rhys – are invited to Scotland to spend the Christmas holidays with Nat’s old friend Tarquin Campbell and his wife, Wren?

And what if a blizzard wreaks havoc with their travel plans, and they barely make it to the Campbell castle before the roads become impassable?  And what if there’s a gruff and mysterious groundskeeper, and a dark family secret, and-?

I was off and running (figuratively, not literally – Duke and I are far too lazy to run), and I eventually finished “And the Bride Wore Prada” a few months later and typed “The End” (which, as any writer knows, are the two sweetest words in the English language) and sent it off to my editor.

Last year, after I finished writing the first three of my ‘Dating Mr Darcy’ ebooks – Prada and Prejudice, Love and Liability, and Mansfield Lark – I honestly thought I was done with those characters.  Finished.  I had nothing more to say.

Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.

But thanks to that early snow, and Duke, and the necessity of walking (not to mention my very overactive imagination), the book – which kicks off a new series, ‘Marrying Mr Darcy’ – is soon to be published.  It’s a prospect at once daunting and exhilarating.  I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Wishing everyone a very happy New Year filled with love, laughter…and lots of good books!

 The Marrying Mr Darcy series.

What could be more romantic than Christmas in the Scottish highlands?

The first book in the Marrying Mr Darcy series, “And the Bride Wore Prada,” finds Natalie and Rhys Gordon headed to Scotland to spend the holidays with Tarquin Campell and his wife Wren. A mix-up at the Inverness airport leads Natalie to offer a ride to stranded rock star Dominic Heath and his fiancé, Gemma.  A blizzard soon makes the roads impassable, and the foursome barely make it to Draemar Castle.

When tabloid reporter Helen Thomas’s car slides off the road, she seeks shelter at the castle as well. She’s after an exclusive story on Dominic and Gemma’s not-so-secret upcoming wedding. But Helen finds a bigger story when she discovers Tarquin’s brother, Andrew, drowned years before. His body was never found. Is it possible he’s still alive? Her investigation yields more questions than answers.

Could Colm MacKenzie, the gruff groundskeeper with more than a passing resemblance to the Campbell family, be the missing piece to the puzzle?

Natalie and Rhys are recently married and blissfully happy…until Nat receives unexpected news that changes everything. Hurt by Rhys’s less-than-enthusiastic reaction, she wonders if their sparkling new marriage is over before it’s even begun…

You can find Katie by following the links below.

Website: http://www.katieoliver.com

Blog:  http://katieoliver.com/ko/?page_id=27

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/KatieOliverWriter

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/katieoliver01/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/katieoliver

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7565829.Katie_Oliver

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@katieoliver01

Big News

Big News!

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The biggest news of all is the new book. Another reason I have been quiet of late. I’ve been slogging over the new novel. Of course I can’t tell you much yet except to say the heroine is named Poppy. I think we have a title but we’re still throwing ideas around. But I’ve been told I’m not allowed to reveal it until the book is ready to go to print. I’m bursting though. The good news is it won’t be long before you will see the cover which I know is going to be brilliant and I can’t wait to share it. We’re going to have an online launch party which will be a blast. I’m thinking of ideas already J

I’ll share a little something with you. Do you remember the three Jacks who were in ‘The Dog’s Bollocks?’ I hope you do. Well, they make reappearance in the new novel and are as clumsy and funny as ever J

As usual I can’t have a new book out without a competition or two. So read on, dear readers to see how to enter.

Back to the novel. I got to The End today so I am very thrilled. I love it and I hope you do too. Keep your eyes on my author page on Facebook because there will be regular announcements about the new release.

If you want even more news on the novels sign up to my newsletter by emailing me at lynda@renham.co.uk

 

 

 

Prizes prizes prizes

mug

 

 

YOU DON’T NEED A COPY OF ANY OF MY BOOKS TO WIN A ‘IT HAD TO BE YOU’ MUG…
Here are the competition questions. To find the answers you can look at the sample of ‘It Had to Be You’ on Amazon by clicking the ‘Look inside’ on the cover. Below is the link. Or better still get your own copy.
The questions are
‘What does Ben Newman have on his nose?’
‘Where does Binki keep her M&M’s!
‘Who wrote the Round Robin that annoyed Binki so much’
Then PLEASE put a message on you Facebook page saying I have just entered the ‘It Had to Be You’ comp by Lynda Renham and the link to the book. Plus Tweet if you’re on Twitter. Thank you and good luck. xxx

Send your answers to the three questions
to mug@raucouspublishing.co.uk
The winner will be pulled from a hat… and there will be a keyring runner up prize.
Here is the sample link
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Had-Be-You-Romantic-Comedy-ebook/dp/B00ICRVC2S/ref=sr_1_6_bnp_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392369553&sr=1-6&keywords=renham

9780957137288 - Copy

It Had to Be You (Kindle Launch)

9780957137288 - Copy

It only seems a few months ago that I was telling you that my new book was being released. Of course, now I look back, it was actually September.

Thank you to everyone who bought ‘The Dog’s Bollocks.’ It actually made number one in the Australian Amazon chart. Very cool. It is now number 8 in the UK humour chart. I am thrilled.

So with Valentine’s Day looming, I thought you would enjoy the new one and what great timing than to have its Kindle release today. It’s titled ‘It Had to Be You’ and here is a little taster for you. Do enjoy and if you would like to receive my newsletter, do subscribe in the box on the right. Scroll down and you can’t miss it.

Love Lynda xx

Chapter One

 

Don’t you just hate Christmas bonuses? Well maybe you don’t and generally I don’t either, so when my boss drops a subtle hint about giving me one I didn’t for one minute imagine he was talking about a quickie up against his desk. Well you wouldn’t would you? A bonus normally smacks of a little brown envelope with a nice wad of crisp new notes inside doesn’t it? Well it does from my experience but maybe it smacks of a quickie up against a desk for you. I avert my eyes from the developing bulge in his trousers and scan the desk for the said brown envelope.

‘It’s Christmas,’ he says, like I’ve somehow overlooked the fact, and takes my hand, rubbing it erotically over the bulge. God, I feel sick. I fear the overload of Christmas sausage rolls, turkey sandwiches and mince pies that I had guiltily consumed thirty minutes earlier at the office Christmas lunch will burst forth and decorate the lovely oak desk I am pressed up against.

‘I’m not sure what that’s got to do with it,’ I say hesitantly. Well you have to agree I do have a point. The boss is supposed to give me the present isn’t he, not the other way around? Although, on reflection perhaps he considers a quick shag over his desk on Christmas Eve is a good present; I’d much prefer a Body Shop voucher to be honest, or a family bag of M&Ms.

 ‘Goodwill to all men and all that crap,’ he whispers, launching his open mouth towards my neck like a vampire, engulfing me in champagne fumes. I think a vampire would be preferable, at least it would be over quicker. I don’t believe this is happening. I mean, this sort of thing doesn’t happen to women like me. Don’t get me wrong, when I say women like me; I’m not saying I’m twenty stone with unsightly moles on my face. Not that there is anything wrong with being twenty stone of course, or having moles on your face come to that. If you’re happy that’s what counts right? But you know what I mean. I’m just your standard size fourteen, ordinary looking woman. I wouldn’t call myself a blonde bombshell by any means. That’s the thing with Christmas, isn’t it? Things happen in offices that would never happen at any other time of the year. When else would you consume alcohol at lunchtime and it be deemed acceptable to continue working half-pissed for the rest of the day? Not to mention that secret Santa thing. I always get unstuck with that bugger, and this year has been no exception. I usually pay over the odds too. Well, what can you buy for a fiver these days? And what happens? The one who was supposed to buy my present didn’t bring it in and is now off sick, with a hangover no doubt, which means I go home empty-handed. Obviously I shrug it off as no big deal and I don’t really mind, but I know I won’t get anything now and it does seem a bit unfair. I’m Binki Grayson by the way, and that’s Binki with an i by the way. I don’t mean I only have one eye obviously. I most certainly have two and I’m not off the telly. I live in Notting Hill which I assure you, is very different to Chelsea. Just as nice you understand but different. I may as well tell you this now while I’m pinned up against an office desk by my sleazy boss as I may not get a chance later. You’re probably wondering how I came to be in this pickle, and I’m wondering that too. My boss, who I have to say is very much a wolf in sheep’s clothing, has taken me totally by surprise. I never imagined he had it in him. I’ve worked at Temco Advertising for five years now. Three of those I was a junior sales assistant but the past two years I have been working as the senior sales assistant directly under Ben Newman; not literally under him you understand, that would be a bit gross. In all that time he has never had me pinned up against a desk. I’ve worked really hard to get here too. I don’t mean pinned up against Ben Newman’s desk with an unsightly bulge pressed against my thigh, just in case you thought I did. I mean, I’ve worked hard to climb my way up in the company and this is the last thing I need. I am, after all, a soon-to-be-engaged woman. At least that is what Oliver has been hinting. I know he has visited Hatton Garden on the quiet because my friend, Muffy, saw him there in her lunch break last week. I’m expecting him to propose over the Christmas holiday, and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am. Oliver is my boyfriend by the way, but I expect you guessed that.

‘I’ve wanted you for months,’ Ben Newman mumbles, salivating so much that I feel sure that’s a dribble running down my neck. I shudder and attempt to duck under his arm but he pushes me back and I feel the desk cutting into my buttock. His hand slides up the inside of my thigh and I start to panic. Good heavens, this has never happened to me before in my life.

‘You know you want it,’ he says huskily. He releases one hand to yank down the zipper on his trousers.

‘Your gorgeous silky blonde hair and cute little dimpled cheeks really turn me on, and that tight little arse of yours. Ooh sugar, you drive me crazy.’

‘Oh,’ I hear myself squeal. I don’t think I have ever driven a man crazy in my whole life, and that includes my boyfriend Oliver.

‘I’ve seen you giving me the come on,’ he slurs.

He has? I wonder when that was. I hope he isn’t mistaking me for someone else. I don’t know if I should be relieved or insulted if that is the case. It is rather flattering to be lusted after, it’s just a shame I couldn’t do any better than Ben Newman.

‘You want it don’t you?’ he dribbles as his hand swoops down the front of my dress and grabs a breast.

I’ve never wanted it less in my whole life.

‘Surprisingly enough I don’t,’ I say firmly as my elbow squashes a sausage roll that sits drying up on his desk.

What is it with these creeps? And what does he imagine I find so irresistible about him? He surely can’t think it’s his disgusting alcohol and tobacco breath, or his greasy floppy brown hair? Or maybe he thinks it is his enormous erection that I want so desperately. I can’t think of anything worse than being rammed by that awful … Oh my God, he’s got it out. It’s all purple and veiny. Now I am going to be sick. I slide sideways and get a prick from a cocktail sausage stick. It seems pricks are everywhere but this one is way out of control. I so wish I was back, thirty minutes earlier, at the lunch eating a cocktail sausage rather than being pricked by one.

‘You can’t tease me all these weeks and then start playing Miss Prim,’ he hisses as he tugs at my knickers. ‘You know you want my thrill drill in your pussy. I know you’re gagging for it.’

Oh purleese, thrill drill? I’ve heard it all now. I really can’t imagine being thrilled in the least by this veiny looking drill. I bring my knee up and thrust it roughly into his well-exposed groin. He falls back groaning and I quickly pull my panties up. Oh dear, I somehow feel this is not helping my job prospects.

‘For fuck’s sake, what was that for?’ he cries, clutching the pink and now very soft appendage.

I can’t believe he has the cheek to even ask.

‘You can stick your thrill drill somewhere else Mr Newman, Christmas or no Christmas,’ I say haughtily, straightening my dress.

He gives me a filthy look and zips up his trousers.

‘Playing Miss Innocent are we? I tell you what, why don’t you think this through, we’ll discuss it again at the New Year’s Eve party,’ he says breathlessly, tucking in his shirt before taking a brown envelope from a drawer.

I don’t think we will. He leans towards me and I back away. God, he’s so ugly I swear he would win the world finals of the Ugliest Man competition. I mean, that wart on his nose, what’s that about? He scoffs and flicks his hair back with his hand.

‘Here’s a little bonus, but I expect you to work harder next year. Do you get my drift? Put in a few extra hours, that kind of thing.’

I seriously don’t believe this. Christmas Eve and I’m about to throw my job in. What else can I do? I can’t have this moron drooling over me for the whole of next year, it doesn’t bear thinking about. I snatch the envelope just to be on the safe side.

‘Mr Newman, I really can’t do any extra hours. Forty hours a week is more than enough, and my boyfriend would be really unhappy.

His hard eyes meet mine and I realise, right there right then, that I really have no choice but to resign.

‘I think you will do extra hours Miss Grayson. I really wouldn’t want to tell the powers that be how you threw yourself at me, a happily married man with two children, on Christmas Eve because you couldn’t hold your drink.’

What a pig.

‘They would never believe you,’ I say lamely, knowing full well they would. He’s a bloody director after all. He gives me a smug smile and I cave in.

‘Under the circumstances, I think perhaps you should find yourself another sales assistant for the New Year,’ I hear myself say and cringe inwardly. What am I doing? Oliver and I have only been in the new luxury apartment in the most sought-after residential area of Notting Hill for two months. I’m twenty-nine years old with ten months on a tenancy agreement. I’ve a gorgeous boyfriend who is climbing the surveyor’s ladder and is most certainly going to ask me to marry him over Christmas because men do that at Christmas don’t they? I mean, they do, don’t they? All I need is to be out of a job now with a wedding coming up. I hold my breath, you never know, Christmas may just bring out the good side in my boss.

‘Well, if that’s how you feel Binki,’ he says, leaning forward and reaching for the envelope.

I quickly push it into my bag and head for the door.

‘Thank you very much,’ I say shakily. ‘Shall we say it is for services rendered? Or shall we take our chances in court, sexual harassment and all that. What would the wife say?’

‘Why you …’

The thing is I can’t stay, can I? He’ll make my life unbearable and the last thing I want is the stigma of sexual harassment. Everyone at work looking at me and thinking, maybe she asked for it. Like anyone would choose to throw themselves at wart-nose Newman but all the same, you get my drift don’t you?

I dive out of the office faster than you can say Father Christmas and wonder if I offer Oliver sex when I get home he’ll take the bad news better. Maybe he’ll even storm up to the office and punch Ben Newman’s lights out; then again, knowing Oliver and his bad back, maybe not.

Available here from Amazon. In book shops from March.

Steamy Sex, Tuscany, and much more with Debbie Flint.

So it’s the day of my big interview with Debbie Flint (Debbie Flint is a TV presenter (formerly BBC, currently QVC UK) and writer whose first novel was self-published in June. She lives in Dorking, Surrey and has just published her second romance novel.

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 I’m interviewing her! It’s very exciting. I don’t know what to offer her with tea. Surely someone like Debbie Flint wouldn’t want Hobnobs. I think maybe I should get the best china out. I so want to impress. It occurs to me that a Lady Gaga greeting would be great when she arrives. It would certainly get some attention, and I could tip off a few local newspapers. But then again I don’t want to send her flying when I tumble off my fifteen inch platform shoes as I go to hug her, do I? Maybe a Lady Gaga greeting is a bit adventurous; I’ll just be myself. Oh dear, that’s infinitely worse.  I’ll just give her a cup of tea and a fig roll and crack on. Oh, I hear she has arrived. Here we go.

Hi Debbie lovely to see you. Oh and do help yourself to a fig roll. Well, obviously you can have two. We don’t ration here. So exciting times with your new book coming out. I’ve got a few questions for you, so that readers may learn more about you and your books.  So how are you?

 To be honest – knackered! NaNoWriMo has a lot to answer for – it inspired me to get my second book done by the end of the month! I wrote 54000 of the 86000 words, plus edited proofed and uploaded it all, in the last three weeks. Crazy! Sadly for my sanity, it did involve a lot of late nights, dozing off at the keyboard and waking up to birdsong only to delete lines and lines of  sdfjnsdvhdkfjhfffgjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjzzzzzzzzzzzzzzj.

(God, I hope she doesn’t nod off.)

 But now it’s up on Amazon, well done! What’s it called and briefly what is it about? And how does it fit in with the first one – they’re part of a trilogy aren’t they?

Thank you! Yes what a relief! Already doing well so I’m so pleased to have got it off my chest as it were! It’s Hawaiian Escape – and it’s the PREQUEL to Hawaiian Affair, which was my first book and took three years of ‘off and on ‘writing. It came out last summer and was my first ever finished novel. It’s a bit steamy! Unless you buy the PG option! Lol.

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‘Hawaiian Affair’ follows Sadie, the rookie businesswoman who needs an investor, and her adventure with Mac, the playboy billionaire who won’t mix business with pleasure. They travel the globe, from a luxury yacht in Monaco to the magic of Hawaii, with just 30 days to seal the deal and stay out of love.

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‘Hawaiian Escape’ is what happened BEFORE that.

It started off as a short story in response to readers’ requests – they wanted to know more about Sadie’s background. But a funny thing happened when I started writing – out tumbled Helen, Sadie’s more feisty older sister, who’s facing a crisis in her own life. She needs to manifest her own destiny instead of fixing everyone else’s, but something mysterious is going on, taking the sisters from Surrey to New York to Tuscany in pursuit of the prized escape to Hawaii. With Helen’s secrets causing a few hiccups along the way…The third book in the series I’m bringing out next summer – it will be called Hawaiian Retreat – what happens to Helen afterwards as she goes round the world with something called Try it For the First Time Club.

I’m having great fun doing this writing lark, I must say, and the response has been tremendous. But they don’t tell you about the back ache and caffeine addiction do they, these novelists!

 What made you become a writer?

 Usual story really – always loved doing it – even now I say ‘when I grow up I want to write movies and live in LA!’ Lol. Did a couple of short kids’ stories for Buena Vista children’s telly back in the day when I’d just finished presenting on children’s BBC and Forces Television and I was at home with my kids (now twenty six and twenty four.) But apart from the first 50,000 words of a steamy novel that never saw the light of day, I’d not really done anything till I began lots of courses and conferences four years ago. I then joined the RNA new writer’s scheme, also seeing friends self-publishing successes recently kick-started the dream to see my own work in print. Whoop!

 Tell us about the steamy version of ‘Hawaiian Affair’. What made you produce a steamy and non-steamy version? Great idea I have to say.

Ooh well I guess I always had it in me … (er, well not lately but that’s another story, hehe)… seriously, when it came to writing the sex scenes, I found the censor in me was switched off! I’d been reading a couple of books from the raunchy Harlequin imprint ‘Blaze’, so it just followed on that I wrote a bit more detail I guess. Then when I began getting it beta read, a couple of ladies said they wouldn’t usually go for this type of book, as it was too steamy. Or that they loved it but couldn’t give it to granny. I said that depends on the granny! But with that in mind, I edited a ‘PG’ version – primarily to see what the FIFTY SHADES EFFECT was having on the demand for women’s fiction. The answer was –eight out of nine wanted steamy!

I serialised Hawaiian Affair initially, because an agent suggested it – and parts two and four were the steamy bits, where people could opt for either PG or HOT versions! Now the serialised parts are no longer available it’s just the compete novel and sales on Amazon overall are staying about the same – eight x Hawaiian Affair (steamy) for every one x Hawaiian Affair (PG) in either paperback or eBook! 

The new book Hawaiian Escape is hot, but not shocking, so granny should be ok. Unless she doesn’t like vanilla… J

Who do you consider your greatest help in writing during times of strife? I know for me my husband is the rock at times like that.

Well my last partner is a script writer and we’re still pals so he’s quite helpful if it’s plot angst, but having a fabulous group of lovely Facebook readers online in a group called – imaginatively – ‘Debbie’s Readers’ – lol – is a real life-saver sometimes and the lady Sharon who runs it is amazingly helpful and a good pal.

If you mean life-strife, then my sis and my kids! I’m one of five – I also have three brothers –  but in ‘Hawaiian Escape’ I must admit there’s a fair bit of me and my sister Linda – who’s also on QVC – she’s a guest for a gel nails product – and some of the scenes could be me and her talking! But which of us is which, well, you’ll have to guess!

 What made you decide to go the self-publishing route as opposed to traditional publishing?

 Instant access, speed, control as well as some of the success stories I was hearing about from writing friends who had taken the plunge. Plus the odds of getting taken on by one of the big six publishers in the traditional way, are as minuscule as they ever were so it’s not as though it’s an active choice right now! Never say never, but I’ve only had meetings with one agent so far – a guy who I think was a bit put off by the steaminess in my first novel! But I’m happy to build a brand meanwhile. Plus as you’ll know, the corporate guys are now using self-published charts as their slush pile – we’ve heard many stories about that, too, haven’t we?

As long as your MS is edited properly, and proofed, plus you get a proper cover designed, I think self-published/indie-published turns out just as professionally as traditionally published books. You’re not in bookshops obviously, but considering the horror stories we hear from some published authors, that’s ok for now. For instance, one indie friend has – in the first half of this year – sold over 30,000 copies of her rom-coms, (four of them) – making the 70% royalty per copy (price varies but it’s often around £1.99). By contrast, another friend said that she’d heard a sad story from HER author pal – whose traditional publisher sold 12000 copies of her book into a major supermarket and all the author got was £360. Interesting isn’t it?

I love that so many major authors are now going down the self-pub route too – ideal if you already have a following for sure. Jackie Collins, even, who was on QVC recently with her newest book, and did a blog posting recently about her decision to issue a self-published book. And on Xmas day, the legendary Lawrence Block issues his first self-published tome – I can’t wait – called ‘The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons’! (Russell Blake’s fab blog (www.russellblake.com) will have an interesting author interview about it in December.)

Plus I’m a bit geeky and I love being able to access immediately all the statistics from my own self-published sales on Amazon – like on day one, my book went straight into the top 15 of the humour chart and I could see how many sales that equated to! And on the same day! Ahhh statistics! Lol. And you don’t want to know about my excel docs .., although I’m not as bad as Sadie because they’re not laminated…!

Lap top or pen and paper?

 No contest – laptop every time – I was one of those kids who always came home with ink over everything… Mind you, I do keep a journal which I write every night, and that’s with ink. No-one can read my scrawl but me though! And I have dark bed sheets… Lol.

Where is your favourite place to write?

 Los Angeles in an all-night diner, or coffee shops out there in LA, where you can be amongst people but totally left alone at all hours – in the choice of air con when it’s blazing hot or sitting outside in the balmy evening breeze. Corrr! Here in the UK it’s @retreatsforyou in Sheepwash, Devon, where lovely Deborah the owner runs a cosy B&B. I went there start of November with one of my fave authors Julie Cohen when she had her little writing workshops. Julie’s going to do some more in the future, but you can just book in yourself direct for one or two nights, if you like to get away and concentrate. Otherwise my kitchen table with my four Labradors reassuringly snoring away nearby. They put up with a lot when I was frantically finishing the new novel, bless them. It wasn’t unusual for them to be fed at 2 pm because that’s when I was getting up after late nights!

 How can we get your new novel because that is what we are most excited about?

 All on Amazon – eBook or print-on-demand paperback for normal cost. A couple of people have said ‘but I don’t have a Kindle’ but as you’ll know but some don’t, there’s a free kindle APP so if you have any smartphone or tablet or laptop you don’t need an actual Kindle or eBook reader. Anyone can read the eBook, or there’s paperback option to order online.

Hawaiian Affair (Steamy) is here

Hawaiian Affair (PG) is here

Or new one – Hawaiian Escape  – click here

I hear there is a steamy extra download which you’re planning for Hawaiian Escape though? When is that out and how will we know?

 Haha – yes! Again, by popular demand! I just had to go behind the bedroom door for one particular night of passion in Tuscany but didn’t want it in Hawaiian Escape so it can be gifted easily without too many wink-wink-nudge-nudge’s! So mid-December there will be a free download via my website, or it’ll eventually be on Amazon as a short story.  

Best thing is to sign up for the little newsletter I send out every so often and you’ll be notified when and how to get it. www.debbieflint.com has all the info! Anyone who’s purchased the original will be sent the extra scene in a download. Yay!

Otherwise I’m on Facebook or Twitter, as you know Lynda – we keep each other busy don’t we!

And what else do you like doing?

 Well apart from family stuff – my son got married in October and I was a very proud mummy I can tell you. Then there are the four dogs with all the walking that entails and so on. I also love doing family tree stuff. I’ve found an ancestor called Fanny Flint! And her maiden name was ‘Tidey’ – hehe! I’m also working on a new dating concept that I’m trialling provisionally called ‘The Box’ which may or may not lead to another pet topic – finding a man. But it’s nice having the time to do what I want without worrying about anyone else, most of the time. Said ex-boyfriend and I are actually writing a fabulous TV pilot together – well, he writes it and I say ‘ooh that’s good! You’ve missed an apostrophe’… And of course I do my weekly blog on QVC UK which is like a magazine, with bloopers and film reviews etc., and a book segment called Read It Write It Sell It (where your book was book of the week recently!) What else? Well, my work means I get to test out products as a pastime too – you should see my junk room and bathroom shelves! One day I’ll ‘clear out my crap’ as my daughter calls it! I think she secretly wants it herself though. I also attempt to cook. I do try my hand at new recipes, not that they’re nice all the time. If I stick to a recipe, like baking or soups, it’s fine. But if I go ‘off-piste’ – well, what can I say – not even the dogs wanted my most recent ‘raw vegetable smoothie’! lol.

There is a competition to win signed copies of both her books on Debbie’s current QVC Blog here – closes midday Thursday 5th December.  Or keep in touch via Facebook or Twitter @debbieflint

Or find Debbie here www.debbieflint.com

Have a fab Hawaiian Christmas.                                          photo-002

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Party time. It’s here…

To celebrate the launch of ‘The Valentine Present and Other Diabolical Liberties’ I have released a bargain box set of all my romantic comedy books. Here it is for the bargain price of £3.99. On Kindle only.Image

It is a fab bargain and only available for a limited time.

The Valentine Present and Other Diabolical Liberties is released today in paperback and to wet your appetites here is an extract.

Thank you to the eighteen reviewers who have so far given it 5 star ratings I am thrilled.

Enjoy the extract. The Diamond’s are everyone’s favourite as they are mine.

Thank you Lady Gaga for all the inspiration

The Valentine Present and Other Diabolical Liberties

Chapter One

 Julian slams the door of his Mercedes van, juggling a freshly iced birthday cake in one hand and a card in the other. He pauses for a moment to admire his new vehicle. Spotting a tiny mark on the bonnet he rubs it with the sleeve of his jacket and, after satisfying himself that the mark has gone, rushes to the communal door of the flats. God, he’s so late. Not even time for a shower. He lets himself in and places the cake onto the kitchen table. That will please her. He will hide it on the top shelf of the cupboard and present it to her on her birthday. He saunters into the bedroom and smiles when he sees the morning suit laid out on the bed for him. He is just about to pop on the bow tie when he hears the front door open. Thinking it is his girlfriend he strolls out of the bedroom beaming.

‘I thought we were meeting at the ch …’

He stops instantly. The smile freezes on his face and his mouth opens and closes several times with nothing emanating from it. Two burly men stand in his living room. The room normally looks small but now it seems miniature. A smartly dressed man walks between the two men and smiles at Julian. Julian’s eyes lower to the man’s left hand and the missing little finger.

‘Ello Julian, ‘appy Valentine’s Day,’ says Jack Diamond. ‘I’ve come to deliver your Valentine’s present,’ he smiles, revealing a gold tooth.

‘Yeah, and it ain’t a Valentine’s card either,’ says one of the younger men.

‘Ow rude of me,’ continues Jack. ‘Where’s me manners? I didn’t introduce me lads, Babyface Jack and Mad Jack Junior.’

He smiles while slapping his hand on the shoulder of each son in turn.

‘But it’s not Valentine’s Day,’ says Julian.

‘I like to be early,’ smiles Diamond.

‘Yeah, I like to be early,’ repeats Babyface Jack.

‘You needn’t have worried,’ mutters Julian.

‘Cat got your tongue Julian?’ asks Jack as he winks at Mad Jack Junior.

‘Of course, we could arrange for you to lose your tongue,’ says Mad Jack.

Julian struggles to lick his lips, not wanting to expose his tongue for too long so as not to draw attention to it. Oh God, this is a nightmare. His mobile rings and he tries to ignore it but it continues incessantly.

‘Someone loves yer,’ laughs Jack Diamond.

‘Yeah, someone loves yer,’ repeats Babyface Jack.

‘It’s been three months Julian, and you ain’t given me nothin’.’

‘Yeah, it’s been three months,’ echoes Babyface Jack, ‘and you ain’t given me nothin’.’

‘You’re taking a diabolical liberty you are,’ says Diamond.

‘Yeah, a diabolical liberty,’ repeats Babyface Jack.

‘It’s just I haven’t had it to give to you Jack …’ Julian looks from one Jack to the other, unsure of which Jack he should be addressing. Christ, how can they all have the same bloody name?

‘The restaurant has only just opened and things have been difficult,’ he apologises.

‘And yet I still make an effort to come ‘ere and give you a present. With Valentine’s Day coming up, ‘ow could I not? But I thinks you wanna give me your present first don’t yer Jules?’ says Diamond menacingly with a twitch of his shoulders. Julian cringes.

‘I, well … The thing is …’ begins Julian, his mouth growing drier.

‘That cake looks a bit of awright. Is that for me? I’m touched.’

Julian nods dumbly. Jack sighs.

‘Shall I remind yer what your little present should be? And it ain’t a frigging iced cake.’

He beckons to Babyface.

‘Yeah, shall we remind yer what your little present should be,’ says Babyface, giving Jack the note.

‘Will you stop frigging repeating everything I say,’ growls Diamond.

‘I’m not frigging repeating everything you say.’

Jack sighs.

‘So Julian, it’s been three months now and …’

‘I’m only behind with one month,’ breaks in Julian.

The three Jacks stare at him menacingly.

‘You disagreeing with me mate?’

Julian shakes his head,

 ‘So, you owes me, with interest …’ He glances at the piece of paper and Julian holds his breath as Jack reads from the note.

‘Two chicken breasts, a tin of tomatoes and a pint of milk?’

Julian looks up questioningly.

‘What the hell is this Babyface?’ demands Jack.

‘Sorry, that’s Mum’s shopping list, she said …’

‘I don’t give a toss what she said.’

Jack slaps him across the head and the man whimpers. Julian winces and takes another step back. They all wait while Babyface Jack composes himself and produces the right note.

‘Kids, you see how I indulge ‘em? Now, you owes me twenty grand plus interest, which is?’ he looks again at Babyface.

‘I dunno but I bet it’s a lot,’ says Babyface, turning to Julian. ‘You scumbag, we should cut off your ear and send it to your mother for not paying us.’

Jack Diamond grunts.

‘I’ll cut off your sodding ear and send it to your bleedin’ mother if you don’t give me those sodding figures,’ he snarls at Babyface.

Babyface Jack pulls a mobile from his pocket and punches numbers into a calculator. Jack Diamond fidgets uncomfortably while they wait and Julian wonders if he can make a run for it.

‘Well?’ asks Jack.

Babyface wrinkles his forehead in concentration.

‘The creep owes us, with interest, thirty thousand quid and ten pence.’

‘We should smash your skull in you tight-fisted loser,’ says Mad Jack, kicking over the coffee table.

Jack Diamond sighs.

‘Ave some respect Mad Jack, now pick that up. Sorry about that Jules. I blame their mother. You should see ‘er in a temper. It’s bleedin’ worse than an ‘orror film.’

‘That can’t be right,’ says Julian. ‘There is no way it’s that much even with the interest. You’ve calculated it wrong.’

There is silence.

‘What I mean is, I don’t owe the ten pence,’ Julian adds quickly.

‘You saying you owe us less, you pilchard,’ snarls Babyface. ‘You saying my phone don’t know ‘ow to add up?’

‘You saying my son’s an idiot? No one calls my son an idiot, Julian.’

‘You do Dad,’ argues Babyface Jack.

‘Shut up,’ snarls Jack, clipping him round the ear. ‘That’s different.’

Mad Jack Junior sniggers as Jack Diamond pulls a penknife from his pocket. Julian swallows.

‘I’m not calling him an idiot,’ Julian adds frantically, ‘in fact, I think he is a genius.’

‘You do, do yer,’ says Babyface, pulling his shoulders back. ‘You got a death wish or something?’

Jack pushes Julian back against the wall and holds the knife to his throat.

‘No one calls my son a genius, do you understand? Not even me. And Christ knows if he was one I’d know. So, don’t insult my intelligence.’

‘Bloody hell,’ groans Julian quietly. They’re fucking lunatics. He begins to move and Diamond grabs him again.

‘I’m giving you twenty-four ‘ours Julian. But I need a present now.’

‘Oh God, not my ear, please don’t send my ear to my mother.’

‘I was thinking more of that nice shiny motor you’ve got outside and we’ll see what else we can find in this lovely little flat of yours shall we?’

He turns to his sons.

‘Trash the joint.’

Mad Jack opens a gym bag and removes a baseball bat.

‘Oh Christ,’ groans Julian.

He lifts it high into the air and is about to bring it down onto the glass coffee table.

‘Aven’t you forgotten something?’ Jack asks exasperated

‘No, I don’t think so,’ replies Mad Jack.

‘We don’t wanna upset the neighbours do we?’

‘You want me to slit their throats first?’ suggests Mad Jack Junior.

‘Oh God,’ groans Julian.

‘No, I want you to put on some music so no one will ‘ear you doing the ‘ousework.’

Mad Jack nods as Diamond pulls a shaky Julian into the kitchen.

‘How about a nice cuppa and a piece of that cake you made me Jules? Did I ever tell yer about the nice tea party I ‘ad with Fat Tessie when he owed me money?’

The booming strains of Lady Gaga drown out Jack Diamond’s words but Julian hears enough to groan Oh God one more time.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Don’t you just hate people who are always on time? Even worse are those people who aren’t only on time but fifteen minutes early. Totally unexpected buggers aren’t they? There you are in the middle of a quickie and they turn up on your doorstep, and you’re staring at them with that post orgasmic flush on your face as you accept their bunch of carnations and bottle of plonk. Not that Julian and I often have quickies before people come to dinner you understand, just in case you think we do, but you know what I mean. The only quickie you’ll catch us doing fifteen minutes before guests arrive is sieving lumps out of the cheese sauce. Lumpy cheese sauce is a speciality of mine. As for me, I am late for just about everything. I just can’t seem to get anywhere on time no matter how hard I try, and believe me, I try. I’m trying pretty hard right now. Julian, however, is one of those people who is always on time and I imagine he is well on his way to the church by now.

‘I’ll meet you at the church. Try not to be late,’ he had said with a wink, knowing full well I would be.

Meanwhile, I’m desperately trying to bungle Celia Blakely out of the laundrette where I work so I can finish my shift, change, and get to my friend, Silvia’s, wedding.

‘So, I said to Mr Newman, you know Mr Newman don’t you?’

I don’t know Mr Newman in the least and I am beginning to wonder if I actually want to.

‘He lives just up the road. His wife was …’

She leans closer and I shift slightly so I can hear her while continuing to unload the dryer.

‘Having it with Mr Douglas from number thirty-three.’

‘Oh,’ I say, folding the towels and placing them into her laundry bag.

‘She went to the Isle of Dogs with him. Well, I said to Mr Newman she can go to the dogs a woman like that. We don’t want the likes of her here in Battersea do we?’

I shake my head and glance at the clock. I’m going to be so late. I find myself wondering if Julian and I might have it later. A wedding always gets you in the mood doesn’t it? Lots of slow dances and champagne, and Julian in a nice fresh smelling shirt and I can see myself getting quite turned on. After all it seems like ages since we have.

‘Where’s this wedding you’re going to?’

‘St John’s Wood, it’s a bit of a posh one. My mum used to clean at their house when I was little and I used to play with their girl. I’ve got to get the bus when I clock off here.’

She grabs the washing bag and hands me ten pounds.

‘Here’s a little extra. Get a taxi. I know you’re struggling with that café and your studies.’

Café? God, Julian would have a hundred canary fits if he heard the restaurant being called a café.

‘Oh no, I couldn’t Celia.’

‘Don’t argue, just take it. It’s your birthday soon, ain’t it?’

‘Yeah, tomorrow actually. Thanks Celia, I’ll pay you back. Honest.’

She tuts.

‘I wouldn’t want it back.’

I see her to the door and rush to the back room to change, tapping Julian’s number into my mobile as I go. It rings and rings and finally goes to voicemail. Shit, he is probably at the church already. I pull off my stripy laundrette overall and study myself in the cracked back room mirror and slip on my new scarlet satin dress. It’s not strictly new of course. I bought it at Oxfam, but it’s perfect. I expect Alistair will quip something about The Waltons when he sees it. A quick shake of my shaggy blonde hair and a stroke of mascara transform me. I look critically at my reflection and sigh. Not enough time to achieve my normal Kate Moss look. Who I am I kidding? I clip a diamante slide into my hair and swipe Sugar Kiss Red lipstick over my full lips and stroke Rosy Red blusher onto my cheeks and sigh. Not bad I suppose. Of course, I’m sure I could look sensational if I had that Bobbi Brown stuff that Fiona uses. I’m so knackered. The last thing I need is a wedding, and a posh one at that. I slip on my trainers, as they are easier for running, and throw my red satin sling backs into a carrier bag. Clutching my woollen shawl, I open the door.

‘Bye Maud,’ I shout to my boss.

 My mobile trills and I fumble in my bag. It’s Sid, my landlord.

‘Harriet, I hate to phone you darling. I’ve tried Julian but I’m not getting an answer. I’m sure it’s a silly mistake. Just a bloody oversight but as it happened last month I just thought I should check all is okay.’

What happened last month? I look down the street for a taxi.

‘Sorry, what’s that Sid?’

‘Julian’s bank isn’t paying the standing order for the rent. I’m sure it’s a mix up again, like last month.’

I feel my stomach lurch.

‘Last month?’ I say my voice rising.

I sense his embarrassment.

‘Not to worry babe, I’ll try him again. We’ll get it sorted. He said he would settle last month‘s rent and this month by the end of last week, but I think he must have used the wrong account again. Not to worry huh?’

‘I’ll speak to him. We’re at a wedding today. But I’ll get him to sort it tomorrow for you. I’m sure it’s just a mix up like you say.’

I hang up and push the conversation to the back of my mind. Sid’s right I’m sure. It’s just a silly mix up. Right, all I need now is to hail a taxi and that’s no mean feat. I’ll probably have to flash them. Oh well, there’s a first time for everything.

 

* * *

 

 ‘This is it,’ I tell the taxi driver as I slip on my new Shoezone stilettos.

‘That’s twenty quid darling.’

‘What? You’ve got to be kidding. That’s bleeding extortion more like,’ I quip fumbling in my purse. ‘What a liberty.’

I reluctantly hand over the money and dash through the church gates, struggling with the strap of one of my sandals as I go. That will teach me to buy cheap. I wobble on one foot and fiddle with the strap when I feel a hand on my arm.

‘Can I help with this?’

I turn to the voice and come face to face with a very striking man. In fact, he is so good looking he sends an ache through me. He’s wearing a dinner suit and his white shirt complements his tanned skin. His warm hazel eyes twinkle with amusement and a small smile flickers over his face. His voice is soft but clear and seems to have a hint of laughter in it. Is he mocking me, or is it just his manner? He holds out his arm and I lean gently on it and adjust my shoe strap while trying to ignore the fact that my breathing has quickened. His arm feels warm and sends a tingle down my spine.

‘Ta very much,’ I say gratefully, removing my hand as quickly as possible before I end up ripping off his shirt.

Blimey, I haven’t felt this randy in months. He nods towards the church where the organ is playing softly.

‘I think they’ve started,’ he says in his soft cultured voice.

 I do believe I have lost the power of speech, bloody hell, that’s a first.

‘Shall we?’ he asks, heading towards the church.

Ooh, I’d love to but I’m not so sure a church is an appropriate place. For a split second I imagine him without that white shirt and feel myself go weak at the knees. I follow meekly, slipping in quietly at the back. I spot Fiona and Alistair but Julian is not with them, and I can see no sign of him. I love the smell of churches. I couldn’t tell you why. They are kind of sweet and musty all together. Although right now this church smells of Chanel perfume, Pierre Cardin aftershave and rose petals. There is also a faint smell of baby vomit which I am trying to ignore. I love weddings too. I don’t care where they are, I just like the atmosphere. Church weddings are best of course. The atmosphere in a registry office is nowhere near as holy is it? I’d like to get married in a church, not that Julian and I have ever talked about marriage even though we’ve been together for three years. And let’s face it, we can barely afford to eat at the moment, let alone plan a wedding. We never seem to have time to discuss our relationship. Either I’m dashing out to work, or panicking to finish a study assignment and you don’t normally bring up the subject of marriage as you’re tumbling out of bed or flying through the kitchen waving a piece of Marmite-smeared toast. Julian is working hard getting his restaurant going and if we are both home at the same time we are so knackered that we barely exchange more than twenty words. When it’s time for bed we are normally out for the count in seconds. Our sex life isn’t riveting but then whose is after three years? Mind you, my sister Caron and her boyfriend are at it nine to the dozen, or so she would have me believe, and they’ve been together for four years. It would be exciting though, I don’t mean not going at it nine to the dozen, although that would be pretty exciting if I could just get up the energy. No, I mean getting married would be exciting. I look down at my dress and feel my head again to check the diamante slide is still there. All the other women are wearing huge hats and fabulous dresses and I feel just a touch underdressed. I’m not good at top hat and tails weddings. I love my friends but I feel so out of place with some of them. I bet these guests didn’t buy their outfits from Oxfam. I pull the dress gently from my newly pierced navel and adjust my bra slightly. I love Oxfam. I don’t know what I would do without it, not that I want people to continually starve, I mean that obviously goes without saying, but charity shops are a godsend to people like me. It’s just a shame they don’t sell cheap food.

The wedding march roaring from the organ snaps me out of my daydream. I turn to see the bride enter, but am acutely aware of the good-looking man beside me and the fresh clean smell that comes from him. I gasp as Silvia glides down the aisle in her beautiful Vera Wang wedding dress.

‘She looks amazing,’ I sigh.

‘She looks okay,’ says the man beside me.

I gape at him.

‘You’re kidding, that’s a Vera Wang dress. I’d die for a Vera Wang dress.’

Oh God, I sound so shallow. I give him a sideways glance and try to guess his age. I’ve never been good with ages but at a guess I’d say he was early thirties. I wonder if his wife/girlfriend and Julian are stuck somewhere together. There is absolutely no way this sex god is single.

‘I like your dress,’ he says softly, looking into my eyes.

‘You do?’ I say surprised. ‘It was a fiver in Oxfam …’ I bite my lip. What am I saying? I don’t need any help in making a bad impression do I?

‘Alistair always thinks I look like crap. He’s dead embarrassed to be seen with me,’ I whisper.

‘Is Alistair your boyfriend?’

‘Heavens no, I’d rather slash my wrists …’ (heavens instead)

He must think me so common.

‘He’s my friend’s partner,’ I say, pointing at Fiona a few rows ahead, ‘but he’s a bit rude. My boyfriend Julian hasn’t arrived yet,’ I say quickly, although I’m not sure why.

‘I’m Brice Edmunds by the way.’

Brice? I should have known he would have a sexy name.

‘Harriet Lawson,’ I reply, wishing it were something much grander.

There is a hushed silence as the vicar begins the service. It is so unlike Julian to be late. Forty-five minutes later and it is all over and we are applauding Silvia and Hugh as they leave the church. I make my way outside and wait for Fi and Alistair while searching for Julian. Brice passes me and smiles. He could stop hearts with that smile. I spot Fiona and Alistair and head towards them. My God, his flies are undone. I’m so preoccupied with Alistair’s trousers that I send myself sprawling as my heel tangles in my dress. Fiona catches me and wraps me in a tight embrace. Thank God for a familiar face, (goodness)although it would have been much nicer had it been Julian’s.

‘On time as always,’ Alistair quips sarcastically. ‘There is something c-c-comforting about your consistent lateness.’

 ‘Hello Alistair, you look nice, like the Y-fronts.’

Fiona follows my eyes to Alistair’s zipper.

‘Christ Alistair, your flies are undone. Do something before that Jeremy guy sees you.’

‘What Jeremy guy?’ Alistair asks while fumbling with the zipper.

‘Over there. He’s a Lord or Sir or something. Anyway, zip your flies up for Christ’s sake.’

I peer at the man.

‘I don’t think he is,’ I say.

‘Are you sure? He looks familiar,’ she says.

‘That’s because he’s the parking attendant at Homebase,’ sighs Alistair.

I narrow my eyes.

‘He’s right you know,’ I say.

‘Are you sure? What’s he doing here?’

‘P-p-parking cars,’ huffs Alistair. ‘I wish you would wear your contact lenses. Honestly you’ll be curtsying to parking attendants before we know where we are.’

 ‘I do wear them. I’m just so tired and they make my eyes sore. I was sure my glasses were in my bag. I feel like I’m jet lagged. You know, that ‘when you’re not here’ feeling?’

‘I’m rather wishing I wasn’t. I feel like a sodding wallflower,’ I say looking around desperately for Julian.

‘A scarlet w-w-wallflower,’ sneers Alistair. ‘It’s a w-w-wedding you know, not a b-b-bloody period drama.’

What a cheek, some people just don’t appreciate individualism do they?

‘Bloody things,’ he mumbles yanking the zip up.

‘You look lovely,’ Fiona assures me. ‘I love the snap pearl buttons on that dress.’

‘You don’t think it’s a bit, you know, Little House on the Prairie?’ I say feeling self-conscious.

‘A little bit?’ sneers Alistair. ‘That’s an understatement.’

‘Ignore him, he wouldn’t know style if it bit him on the arse,’ Fiona says glaring at Alistair.

‘Have you seen Julian?’ I ask. ‘He should have been here ages ago. I’m sure he left well before I did. You know how he likes to be on time.’

‘Most people like to be on time,’ says Alistair.

‘I can’t see anybody without my contacts,’ moans Fiona, ‘let alone Julian. He’s probably got held up at the restaurant.’

I shake my head sending a pearl drop earring flying.

‘I’ve tried the restaurant, and his mobile, and he isn’t answering either. I’ve only brought a cheap card with me. He’s supposed to be bringing the present.’

‘I imagine he’s still bombing it down the A40 in your Mini,’ says Alistair casually.

I stare at him.

‘What?’

‘That’s just the thing. Alistair swears he saw Julian bombing it down the A40 in your Mini. I said that’s not possible. It’s completely the wrong way, and your Mini won’t do more than forty,’ says Fiona.

‘Not with an empty tank it won’t. That’s why I got a taxi here. I forgot about petrol. I don’t mean I forgot that the car takes petrol, of course. I’m not that dippy.’

‘That’s a relief,’ quips Alistair.

I shoot him a dirty look.

‘I just forgot I was on the red and I’m flat broke. Bombing it down the A40, are you sure he was in the Pooch? The thing will blow up.’

‘I don’t think it is p-p-possible to mistake your Mini. You know that distinctive whining sound that says Harriet’s Mini?’

Why on earth would Julian be ragging the Pooch down the A40 when he’s got his new van? I hope the wheels weren’t nicked from it. That’s all we need. The past nine months have been shit. Every single penny going into Julian’s dream of setting up a French restaurant which, so far, has not done very well at all. If it wasn’t for our friends eating there we wouldn’t have broken even. I’ve seriously started considering selling a kidney. Julian’s obviously, not mine. I’m not that crazy. After all, we could survive on three between the two of us. In fact, maybe I could sell off bits of Julian’s body until he has the restaurant up and running and I have all my studies paid for. Although, strictly speaking, not all our money has gone into the venture. I have been secretly squirrelling away some of my earnings. I decided from the start that one of us needed to put a little by and I’m so glad I did. I need to pay for the next part of my tuition fees as I am not planning to work in a laundrette all my life. I can’t help worrying though, what earthly reason would Julian have for racing down the A40 in my Mini? Come to think of it why is he ragging it down the A40 at all when the church is the opposite way? Still, Julian always did have a terrible sense of direction. All the same, it’s a bit odd. Julian would never be late unless there was a good reason.

‘It’s not like Julian to be late,’ I say voicing my concerns.

‘There’s a f-f-first time for everything,’ says Alistair.

‘It’s dead posh this wedding isn’t it?’ says Fiona, breaking into my thoughts. ‘There are Lords and MPs and everything. It’s a real high-class do isn’t it? They’re all big knobs.’

‘Is that a fact? Perhaps you should keep an eye on that zip Alistair. You don’t want people making comparisons,’ I laugh.

Fiona snorts and quickly turns away. Alistair scowls and storms off.

‘God, what’s wrong with him?’

‘He’s tired. He’s putting a lot of hours in at the office. We both are. Honestly, what with the rent and food …’

‘What’s food?’ I quip.

‘Oh come on Harriet, things aren’t that bad surely.’

I sigh.

‘No, that’s true. There are my mum’s scraps after all.’

‘C-c-come on,’ calls Alistair.

‘He’s not stammering much today, that’s good isn’t it?’

‘He’s taken a Valium,’ she says with a sigh and grabs my arm. ‘Come on, lead me to the reception. I can’t see a sodding thing beyond my hand without my contacts, and you know how I hate wearing glasses.’

 

 

 

A little t-t-taster. ‘The Dog’s Bollocks’

DogsBollocks

As  ‘The Dog’s Bollocks’ is about to be launched, I thought I would write a piece for my blog about stammering. One of my characters has a stammer and at one time so did I.

I know exactly how awful stuttering can be and find that most things are easier to cope with if we laugh at them. After all it is better than crying right?

Having a stammer is no fun. I remember the days when people finished my sentence rather than have to bear that awful long wait while I tried to get the words out. Of course they always guessed wrong and I was left stammering for England yet again. My stammer started as a child. I was an emotional wreck even then 🙂 Nothing changes. I remember reading classes in school as the worst ordeal I ever had to endure. The teacher would go around the class getting each child to read a small passage from a novel. I would try to work out which would be my paragraph and scan it quickly to see how many B’s or F’s or M’s were in my piece and as it drew closer and closer to my turn I would quickly put my hand up to be excused to the toilet. Having an argument when you have a stammer is very frustrating too. The angrier you get the more you stammer. Believe me you never win an argument. You never get the words out in time. Or when you have good news to share and the excitement just bubbles over in you? Well, it certainly doesn’t bubble over in words, I can tell you. By the time you get the great news out, the fizz has all gone. My stammer never completely left me but in my late teens it certainly eased. But even now, when I get excited or angry I begin to stammer again. Sometimes a word is so difficult to get out that I have been known to pretend I have forgotten it and people help me out, thinking they are being my memory (oh, the deceit)

So, my new novel is dedicated to all fellow stammerers. We may find it hard to say the words but God knows we have plenty to say. It just takes us a bit longer to say it.

So here is a small taster of the latest novel and meet Alistair my fellow stammerer.

Chapter One

Don’t you just hate people who are always on time? Even worse are those people who aren’t only on time but fifteen minutes early. Totally unexpected buggers aren’t they? There you are in the middle of a quickie and they turn up on your doorstep, and you’re staring at them with that post orgasmic flush on your face as you accept their bunch of carnations and bottle of plonk. Not that Julian and I often have quickies before people come to dinner you understand, just in case you think we do, but you know what I mean. The only quickie you’ll catch us doing fifteen minutes before guests arrive is sieving lumps out of the cheese sauce. Lumpy cheese sauce is a speciality of mine. As for me, I am late for just about everything. I just can’t seem to get anywhere on time no matter how hard I try, and believe me, I try. I’m trying pretty hard right now. Julian, however, is one of those people who is always on time and I imagine he is well on his way to the church by now.
‘I’ll meet you at the church. Try not to be late,’ he had said with a wink, knowing full well I would be.
Meanwhile, I’m desperately trying to bungle Celia Blakely out of the laundrette where I work so I can finish my shift, change, and get to my friend, Silvia’s, wedding.
‘So, I said to Mr Newman, you know Mr Newman don’t you?’
I don’t know Mr Newman in the least and I am beginning to wonder if I actually want to.
‘He lives just up the road. His wife was …’
She leans closer and I shift slightly so I can hear her while continuing to unload the dryer.
‘Having it with Mr Douglas from number thirty-three.’
‘Oh,’ I say, folding the towels and placing them into her laundry bag.
‘She went to the Isle of Dogs with him. Well, I said to Mr Newman she can go to the dogs a woman like that. We don’t want the likes of her here in Battersea do we?’
I shake my head and glance at the clock. I’m going to be so late. I find myself wondering if Julian and I might have it later. A wedding always gets you in the mood doesn’t it? Lots of slow dances and champagne, and Julian in a nice fresh smelling shirt and I can see myself getting quite turned on. After all it seems like ages since we have.
‘Where’s this wedding you’re going to?’
‘St John’s Wood, it’s a bit of a posh one. My mum used to clean at their house when I was little and I used to play with their girl. I’ve got to get the bus when I clock off here.’
She grabs the washing bag and hands me ten pounds.
‘Here’s a little extra. Get a taxi. I know you’re struggling with that café and your studies.’
Café? God, Julian would have a hundred canary fits if he heard the restaurant being called a café.
‘Oh no, I couldn’t Celia.’
‘Don’t argue, just take it. It’s your birthday soon, ain’t it?’
‘Yeah, tomorrow actually. Thanks Celia, I’ll pay you back. Honest.’
She tuts.
‘I wouldn’t want it back.’
I see her to the door and rush to the back room to change, tapping Julian’s number into my mobile as I go. It rings and rings and finally goes to voicemail. Shit, he is probably at the church already. I pull off my stripy laundrette overall and study myself in the cracked back room mirror and slip on my new scarlet satin dress. It’s not strictly new of course. I bought it at Oxfam, but it’s perfect. I expect Alistair will quip something about The Waltons when he sees it. A quick shake of my shaggy blonde hair and a stroke of mascara transform me. I look critically at my reflection and sigh. Not enough time to achieve my normal Kate Moss look. Who I am I kidding? I clip a diamante slide into my hair and swipe Sugar Kiss Red lipstick over my full lips and stroke Rosy Red blusher onto my cheeks and sigh. Not bad I suppose. Of course, I’m sure I could look sensational if I had that Bobbi Brown stuff that Fiona uses. I’m so knackered. The last thing I need is a wedding, and a posh one at that. I slip on my trainers, as they are easier for running, and throw my red satin sling backs into a carrier bag. Clutching my woollen shawl, I open the door.
‘Bye Maud,’ I shout to my boss.
My mobile trills and I fumble in my bag. It’s Sid, my landlord.
‘Harriet, I hate to phone you darling. I’ve tried Julian but I’m not getting an answer. I’m sure it’s a silly mistake. Just a bloody oversight but as it happened last month I just thought I should check all is okay.’
What happened last month? I look down the street for a taxi.
‘Sorry, what’s that Sid?’
‘Julian’s bank isn’t paying the standing order for the rent. I’m sure it’s a mix up again, like last month.’
I feel my stomach lurch.
‘Last month?’ I say my voice rising.
I sense his embarrassment.
‘Not to worry babe, I’ll try him again. We’ll get it sorted. He said he would settle last month‘s rent and this month by the end of last week, but I think he must have used the wrong account again. Not to worry huh?’
‘I’ll speak to him. We’re at a wedding today. But I’ll get him to sort it tomorrow for you. I’m sure it’s just a mix up like you say.’
I hang up and push the conversation to the back of my mind. Sid’s right I’m sure. It’s just a silly mix up. Right, all I need now is to hail a taxi and that’s no mean feat. I’ll probably have to flash them. Oh well, there’s a first time for everything.

* * *

‘This is it,’ I tell the taxi driver as I slip on my new Shoezone stilettos.
‘That’s twenty quid darling.’
‘What? You’ve got to be kidding. That’s bleeding extortion more like,’ I quip fumbling in my purse. ‘What a liberty.’
I reluctantly hand over the money and dash through the church gates, struggling with the strap of one of my sandals as I go. That will teach me to buy cheap. I wobble on one foot and fiddle with the strap when I feel a hand on my arm.
‘Can I help with this?’
I turn to the voice and come face to face with a very striking man. In fact, he is so good looking he sends an ache through me. He’s wearing a dinner suit and his white shirt complements his tanned skin. His warm hazel eyes twinkle with amusement and a small smile flickers over his face. His voice is soft but clear and seems to have a hint of laughter in it. Is he mocking me, or is it just his manner? He holds out his arm and I lean gently on it and adjust my shoe strap while trying to ignore the fact that my breathing has quickened. His arm feels warm and sends a tingle down my spine.
‘Ta very much,’ I say gratefully, removing my hand as quickly as possible before I end up ripping off his shirt.
Blimey, I haven’t felt this randy in months. He nods towards the church where the organ is playing softly.
‘I think they’ve started,’ he says in his soft cultured voice.
I do believe I have lost the power of speech, bloody hell, that’s a first.
‘Shall we?’ he asks, heading towards the church.
Ooh, I’d love to but I’m not so sure a church is an appropriate place. For a split second I imagine him without that white shirt and feel myself go weak at the knees. I follow meekly, slipping in quietly at the back. I spot Fiona and Alistair but Julian is not with them, and I can see no sign of him. I love the smell of churches. I couldn’t tell you why. They are kind of sweet and musty all together. Although right now this church smells of Chanel perfume, Pierre Cardin aftershave and rose petals. There is also a faint smell of baby vomit which I am trying to ignore. I love weddings too. I don’t care where they are, I just like the atmosphere. Church weddings are best of course. The atmosphere in a registry office is nowhere near as holy is it? I’d like to get married in a church, not that Julian and I have ever talked about marriage even though we’ve been together for three years. And let’s face it, we can barely afford to eat at the moment, let alone plan a wedding. We never seem to have time to discuss our relationship. Either I’m dashing out to work, or panicking to finish a study assignment and you don’t normally bring up the subject of marriage as you’re tumbling out of bed or flying through the kitchen waving a piece of Marmite-smeared toast. Julian is working hard getting his restaurant going and if we are both home at the same time we are so knackered that we barely exchange more than twenty words. When it’s time for bed we are normally out for the count in seconds. Our sex life isn’t riveting but then whose is after three years? Mind you, my sister Caron and her boyfriend are at it nine to the dozen, or so she would have me believe, and they’ve been together for four years. It would be exciting though, I don’t mean going at it nine to the dozen, although that would be pretty exciting if I could just get up the energy. No, I mean getting married would be exciting. I look down at my dress and feel my head again to check the diamante slide is still there. All the other women are wearing huge hats and fabulous dresses and I feel just a touch underdressed. I’m not good at top hat and tails weddings. I love my friends but I feel so out of place with some of them. I bet these guests didn’t buy their outfits from Oxfam. I pull the dress gently from my newly pierced navel and adjust my bra slightly. I love Oxfam. I don’t know what I would do without it, not that I want people to continually starve, I mean that obviously goes without saying, but charity shops are a godsend to people like me. It’s just a shame they don’t sell cheap food.
The wedding march roaring from the organ snaps me out of my daydream. I turn to see the bride enter, but am acutely aware of the good-looking man beside me and the fresh clean smell that comes from him. I gasp as Silvia glides down the aisle in her beautiful Vera Wang wedding dress.
‘She looks amazing,’ I sigh.
‘She looks okay,’ says the man beside me.
I gape at him.
‘You’re kidding, that’s a Vera Wang dress. I’d die for a Vera Wang dress.’
Oh God, I sound so shallow. I give him a sideways glance and try to guess his age. I’ve never been good with ages but at a guess I’d say he was early thirties. I wonder if his wife/girlfriend and Julian are stuck somewhere together. There is absolutely no way this sex god is single.
‘I like your dress,’ he says softly, looking into my eyes.
‘You do?’ I say surprised. ‘It was a fiver in Oxfam …’ I bite my lip. What am I saying? I don’t need any help in making a bad impression do I?
‘Alistair always thinks I look like crap. He’s dead embarrassed to be seen with me,’ I whisper.
‘Is Alistair your boyfriend?’
‘Heavens no, I’d rather slash my wrists …’
He must think me so common.
‘He’s my friend’s partner,’ I say, pointing at Fiona a few rows ahead, ‘but he’s a bit rude. My boyfriend Julian hasn’t arrived yet,’ I say quickly, although I’m not sure why.
‘I’m Brice Edmunds by the way.’
Brice? I should have known he would have a sexy name.
‘Harriet Lawson,’ I reply, wishing it were something much grander.
There is a hushed silence as the vicar begins the service. It is so unlike Julian to be late. Forty-five minutes later and it is all over and we are applauding Silvia and Hugh as they leave the church. I make my way outside and wait for Fi and Alistair while searching for Julian. Brice passes me and smiles. He could stop hearts with that smile. I spot Fiona and Alistair and head towards them. My God, his flies are undone. I’m so preoccupied with Alistair’s trousers that I send myself sprawling as my heel tangles in my dress. Fiona catches me and wraps me in a tight embrace. Thank God for a familiar face, although it would have been much nicer had it been Julian’s.
‘On time as always,’ Alistair quips sarcastically. ‘There is something c-c-comforting about your consistent lateness.’
‘Hello Alistair, you look nice, like the Y-fronts.’
Fiona follows my eyes to Alistair’s zipper.
‘Christ Alistair, your flies are undone. Do something before that Jeremy guy sees you.’
‘What Jeremy guy?’ Alistair asks while fumbling with the zipper.
‘Over there. He’s a Lord or Sir or something. Anyway, zip your flies up for Christ’s sake.’
I peer at the man.
‘I don’t think he is,’ I say.
‘Are you sure? He looks familiar,’ she says.
‘That’s because he’s the parking attendant at Homebase,’ sighs Alistair.
I narrow my eyes.
‘He’s right you know,’ I say.
‘Are you sure? What’s he doing here?’
‘P-p-parking cars,’ huffs Alistair. ‘I wish you would wear your contact lenses. Honestly you’ll be curtsying to parking attendants before we know where we are.’
‘I do wear them. I’m just so tired and they make my eyes sore. I was sure my glasses were in my bag. I feel like I’m jet lagged. You know, that ‘when you’re not here’ feeling?’
‘I’m rather wishing I wasn’t. I feel like a sodding wallflower,’ I say looking around desperately for Julian.
‘A scarlet w-w-wallflower,’ sneers Alistair. ‘It’s a w-w-wedding you know, not a b-b-bloody period drama.’
What a cheek, some people just don’t appreciate individualism do they?
‘Bloody things,’ he mumbles yanking the zip up.
‘You look lovely,’ Fiona assures me. ‘I love the snap pearl buttons on that dress.’
‘You don’t think it’s a bit, you know, Little House on the Prairie?’ I say feeling self-conscious.
‘A little bit?’ sneers Alistair. ‘That’s an understatement.’
‘Ignore him, he wouldn’t know style if it bit him on the arse,’ Fiona says glaring at Alistair.
‘Have you seen Julian?’ I ask. ‘He should have been here ages ago. I’m sure he left well before I did. You know how he likes to be on time.’
‘Most people like to be on time,’ says Alistair.
‘I can’t see anybody without my contacts,’ moans Fiona, ‘let alone Julian. He’s probably got held up at the restaurant.’
I shake my head sending a pearl drop earring flying.
‘I’ve tried the restaurant, and his mobile, and he isn’t answering either. I’ve only brought a cheap card with me. He’s supposed to be bringing the present.’
‘I imagine he’s still bombing it down the A40 in your Mini,’ says Alistair casually.
I stare at him.
‘What?’
‘That’s just the thing. Alistair swears he saw Julian bombing it down the A40 in your Mini. I said that’s not possible. It’s completely the wrong way, and your Mini won’t do more than forty,’ says Fiona.
‘Not with an empty tank it won’t. That’s why I got a taxi here. I forgot about petrol. I don’t mean I forgot that the car takes petrol, of course. I’m not that dippy.’
‘That’s a relief,’ quips Alistair.
I shoot him a dirty look.
‘I just forgot I was on the red and I’m flat broke. Bombing it down the A40, are you sure he was in the Pooch? The thing will blow up.’
‘I don’t think it is p-p-possible to mistake your Mini. You know that distinctive whining sound that says Harriet’s Mini?’
Why on earth would Julian be ragging the Pooch down the A40 when he’s got his new van? I hope the wheels weren’t nicked from it. That’s all we need. The past nine months have been shit. Every single penny going into Julian’s dream of setting up a French restaurant which, so far, has not done very well at all. If it wasn’t for our friends eating there we wouldn’t have broken even. I’ve seriously started considering selling a kidney. Julian’s obviously, not mine. I’m not that crazy. After all, we could survive on three between the two of us. In fact, maybe I could sell off bits of Julian’s body until he has the restaurant up and running and I have all my studies paid for. Although, strictly speaking, not all our money has gone into the venture. I have been secretly squirrelling away some of my earnings. I decided from the start that one of us needed to put a little by and I’m so glad I did. I need to pay for the next part of my tuition fees as I am not planning to work in a laundrette all my life. I can’t help worrying though, what earthly reason would Julian have for racing down the A40 in my Mini? Come to think of it why is he ragging it down the A40 at all when the church is the opposite way? Still, Julian always did have a terrible sense of direction. All the same, it’s a bit odd. Julian would never be late unless there was a good reason.
‘It’s not like Julian to be late,’ I say voicing my concerns.
‘There’s a f-f-first time for everything,’ says Alistair.
‘It’s dead posh this wedding isn’t it?’ says Fiona, breaking into my thoughts. ‘There are Lords and MPs and everything. It’s a real high-class do isn’t it? They’re all big knobs.’
‘Is that a fact? Perhaps you should keep an eye on that zip Alistair. You don’t want people making comparisons,’ I laugh.

.’

Roll up roll up

roll up

A quiet word in your ear, just in case you haven’t heard…

The popular and successful ‘Croissants and Jam’ is practically being given away on Amazon. TEN Day 99p AUGUST SPECIAL PRICE. OFFER ENDS ON 10th AUGUST. Pop over and get yours now.

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Not only that… My very serious novel (just as good) ‘The Diary of Rector Byrnes’ is also on offer for 99pbyrnes

Go on treat yourself.

 

Now! The best news of all. I’m so excited on the 1st September my new novel ‘The Valentine Present and Other Diabolical Liberties’ is released on Kindle. The paperback will follow and will be available on Oct 1st.

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Keep an eye on this blog and my Facebook Page and Twitter page for the online launch on 1st September. Lots of Giveaways and fun, so do Join me. LOOK OUT for the free extract coming soon.

Don’t forget that is 1st Sept and just in case I will be reminding you.

 

Lots of love

Lynda

xx

 

 

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Snickers, Fairy Cakes and Pink Willies-Whoops, Wellies

I met a lovely author recently named Sue Watson. Sue has written a very funny book titled ‘Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes’ Check it out here. Sue invited me over to her blog for cake and coffee and this is what happened…

‘Pink Wellies, Flat Caps and Someone Else’s Snickers Bar’

 I recently read a very funny book – Pink Wellies and Flat Caps and just knew that the author would be my kinda gal. So having enjoyed a lovely session of book chat, coffee, cake (and a ‘mix-up’ over Maltesers) at her place, I invited the fabulous Lynda Renham over to mine. My mission was to discover her writing secrets, over copious coffee and cake.
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Lynda’s latest book is the best-selling ‘Pink Wellies and Flat Caps,’ and tells the hilarious tale of Alice Lane, who has everything; a wonderful fiancé, a responsible job and a lovely flat in Chelsea, but after a bra fitting her life goes tits up. Homeless, and with just a sparkling engagement ring as a memory of her previous life Alice accepts a live-in farm manager’s job and discovers that things actually can get worse. I was intrigued to know how Lynda saw Alice, so my first probing question was;

Lynda, I love Alice who is feisty, funny and bright. The character is so well written I felt like I was alongside her during her adventures in the country. So if Hollywood called tomorrow and optioned the book for a film, who would you like to play the part of Alice?
If Hollywood called tomorrow, the lost likely scenario is that I would drop dread from a heart attack and would never get to shout ‘Emily Blunt.’ In my mind I have no doubt that it should be her. I adored her performance in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and she is so versatile. She would be perfect and of course we would become best friends J Most importantly she is British and would understand the British humour.
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Yes, I can definitely see Emily Blunt in the role, she would encapsulate the vulnerability, intelligence and fun of Alice.  It seems you have always been a writer, and were writing stories as a child. So when was the moment you decided to write your first novel?

When I was nineteen and I still have the original draft copy in a chest in our summer house. I have written many since then and have numerous unpublished novels knocking about the house. The moment I decided to go for it with comedy was after my humorous blog took off. I had just returned from Turin where I had gone to attend a wedding and where along with my mother in law we transported a wedding cake. From this whole experience a small germ of an idea was transplanted and later became ‘Wedding Cake to Turin’ My first comedy romance.
What a lovely story and around Italy too – such a romantic setting. So, your next book can you tell us what it’s about, what’s inspired you to write this, and when we can get our hands on a copy?
Ooh, always reluctant to talk about WIP. But I can say that there is a monkey involved, a few East End Gangsters, lots of misunderstandings and a touch of Downton Abbey and of course a gorgeous hero.
Sounds great! I know what you mean it’s always difficult to talk about a new book because you don’t want to give anything away – yet at the same time you can’t wait to share it with everyone. But with all that potential hilarity and a delicious hero, it sounds like a winner already.
The hero is definitely the most gorgeous yet I think…the book’s out in September and of course it also contains a huge amount of comedy.
I can’t wait! So while you’re slaving over a computer and spending afternoons busy with gorgeous heroes at your writing desk, what do you nibble on?
Whatever I can get my hands on… I even stole the builder’s Snickers bar from the fridge when they were building our extension.  I would also buy them doughnuts and then steal one or two for myself. Shameful but necessary for the creative juices to flow…
Absolutely! And as I always say, if it’s someone else’s chocolate it’s someone else’s calories.
Gma + Gdad's 70th 356Stolen Snickers Bar


So apart from other people’s food calling from your fridge what keeps you awake at night? 

Guilt at the number of doughnuts I’ve eaten that day and whether a spider may run over my face, as happened once, and oh yes the plot of my novel, of course…
Ah yes, doughnuts… but let’s not be side-tracked by soft dough yielding to wickedly sharp yet sugary sweet raspberry jam – as can so easily happen. No we’ll stay with writing…we will… for now. Back to books; a plot can cause many sleepless nights until it’s firmly nailed down and what with a fear of spiders and Snickers calling from the fridge I can see you may have your work cut out. So who is your favourite writer? Have any writers inspired your own pen?
I have many. Iris Murdoch I particularly admire as was lucky to meet her husband John Bayley and see her study. A new favourite writer is Kimberley Chambers, a good friend. I am a huge fan of Salman Rushdie, Jo Carnegie, and Ronni Cooper. My writing has been more inspired by films than by books and Richard Curtis I admire greatly.

Yes I am also inspired by films and as a writer of romantic comedy I can see how Richard Curtis films (Bridget Jones, Love Actually, Notting Hill etc) would be the perfect inspiration for you. Me too!

Do you have a favourite book or books?

Several. ‘The Heart Listens’ by Helen Van Slyke. I never forgot the main protagonist Elizabeth Quigley. ‘End of the Affair’ Graham Green. ‘Calico Palace’ by Gwen Bristow and ‘Blood Secrets’ by Craig Jones. I also loved ‘The Feud’ by Kimberley Chambers and ‘The Sea The Sea’ by Iris Murdoch.
Talking of favourite books, one of mine is Stephen King’s psychological thriller, ‘Misery.’ Paul Sheldon the novelist in the book has various rituals while writing and on completion of each novel indulges in a cigarette to celebrate. Do you have a special treat you enjoy when you finish that final sentence?
Not really because it is quite a worry knowing if it will be received well…But if it does go well, however, we would celebrate with some bubbly.
That sounds perfect! So until the new book is completed and you open that bubbly, more coffee? It’s been so delicious sharing cake and some of your writing secrets Lynda so while I put the kettle on, here’s a final, silly but extremely vital question; if you were a cake, what would you be?
A fruitcake, in fact sometimes my husband thinks I am one!
Ha ha… that reminds me, do help yourself to another fairy cake… and thanks so much for joining me.
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To read more about Lynda go to her blog here.

https://lrcook.wordpress.com/tag/lynda-renham/

Follow her onTwitter https://twitter.com/Lyndarenham

And if you want to know more about Pink Wellies and Flat Caps (how could you not?)  Then pop over to Amazon

Lucille Ball and Hijinks

Brilliant review by Blog Critic

If Lucille Ball were alive today, cookie cakes, she’d be devouring Lynda Renham’s madcap romantic comedies like Cookie Monster devours cookies. When it comes to screwball storytelling the delightfully talented Renham sets the gold standard in penning hilarity.

The characters in Pink Wellies and Flat Capsand their dialogue are charismatic, sharp, and witty. Renham’s latest is brimming with engaging,

 

 

energetic, and flawless entertainment.

Alice Lane has it all; a magnificent fiancé, a responsible occupation and a charming flat in Chelsea, however after Alice has a bra fitting her world turns topsy-turvy. In a nutshell, her life goes tits up. Adrift with just an iridescent engagement ring as a token of her former life Alice agrees to take on a position in Cornwall as a live-in farm manager and learns her situation in fact can indeed get worse. The appealing Alice finds exactly what she is made of as she wrangles to handle her temperamental employer. Nevertheless can Alice forego love and repel the dynamic Dominic or will the past come back to astonish her?

Alice sparkles brilliantly as she tackles life and her new career. side-splitting laughter, amusing adventure, and feel good awesomeness is flitted throughout this delightful tale.

At moments heart-wrenching, at moments raucous, at moments zany enough to tinkle from the hijinks, at all times engaging and satiating,Pink Wellies and Flat Caps earns a read if you’re a romance comedy enthusiast.

Article Author: Diane Morasco

Diane Morasco created The Book Resort in 2009. In 2011 she founded Morasco Media and in 2012 Morasco Enterprises. Ms. Morasco is the Founder and CEO of Morasco Media(MM) and Morasco Enterprises(ME).

Pink Wellies and Flat Caps – extract

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Hello my friends.
‘Pink Wellies and Flat Caps’ is now available on Kindle at £1.98. Go here for yours

Here is a little taster…

Chapter One

Don’t you just hate men’s timing? Only a man could drop a bombshell on you while you’re sitting in a fitting room with your tits hanging out. Not that I spend a great deal of time sitting in fitting rooms with my tits hanging out you understand. My friend Georgie had convinced me that if I am going to buy some new underwear then I really should have a proper bra fitting. It’s not like I’m Dolly Parton or anything and I hasten to point out as such.
‘Hidden Beauty is the place to go when buying a bra. They really know how to fit a woman,’ she argues.
‘But I really don’t need a fitting,’ I protest feebly.
‘You can’t just buy a bra off the peg,’ she insists, dragging me into one of the most exclusive lingerie stores in London.
I assure her that I can and that, in fact, on an NHS salary it is all I can afford.
‘You’re marrying a well-paid advertising executive in a few weeks. Your breasts are important to him. He would want you to take good care of them,’ she grins.
Important to him they may be, but in my experience Charlie has been more interested in getting bras off me than seeing me in them. I am also quite sure with his tight budgeting schemes he would, without doubt, balk at the prices in here. As it is he gets all agitated and red in the face if I leave the lights on in the flat.

I glance at the tag and try to look nonchalant as I search for a price. Just about everything is printed on this tag, and in about fifty languages. Okay a slight exaggeration, but how is it that they can get everything on this small piece of card except the price? Hidden Beauty has hidden prices it seems. This does not bode well for yours truly.
‘Lovely isn’t it?’ whispers Georgie as she strokes the lace. ‘I bought two of these last year and they were worth every penny.’
‘How many pennies exactly?’ I whisper, trying not to sound too panicky.
The Enya music in the background is doing nothing to calm my nerves. Between us, Charlie and I had just spent a small fortune on our forthcoming wedding. I really can’t afford to be extravagant.
She laughs carelessly.
‘About a hundred pounds each. Don’t worry. Enjoy your day off.’
Don’t worry, is she crazy? Georgie has no concept of money or more to the point, no concept of the lack of it. Georgie has a fantastic job as a fashion buyer for Harvey Nicholls where she is spectacularly overpaid and not in the least overworked. She always looks glamorous and toned. Two mornings she goes to the gym before work, and one evening to Pilates. With her sculptured bone structure and long thick black hair she could be mistaken for a model. Unfortunately, her (enviable) successful life also includes a prick of a boyfriend. That is if you can call him her ‘boyfriend’ seeing as he is someone else’s husband (not enviable). But Georgie is mad about James and there seems little I can do to dissuade her. She is convinced that he will leave his wife any day now, and has thought this for the past year even though I keep telling her he never will. When she is not thinking about James she has her head in a crime novel. In stark contrast I am scandalously underpaid in what must be the most unglamorous job on the planet. I am the deputy practice manager at an NHS doctor’s surgery. The truth is I am so shattered in the evenings that I can barely make it to the shower, let alone Pilates, and the only thing I do before work is hyperventilate. My stress levels are so high that I feel sure that just one session at the gym would be fatal. I would give myself a cardiac arrest just by releasing all my pent-up emotions. Even now I can feel the adrenalin rushing through my body, tinging my cheeks pink and brightening my eyes. However, I do have a lovely fiancé and a fairy-tale wedding booked. In just under a month I will be Mrs Charlie Marrow and I cannot wait.
‘I can’t pay a hundred pounds for a bra. I don’t spend that much on my highlights,’ I protest and make for the door but Georgie pulls me back to face the assistant who is rushing towards us swinging a tape measure.
After one look at me she grimaces and says,
‘Well, already I can see you’re wearing the wrong size bra. Just look at how you’re hanging.’
Good heavens, what happened to Good morning madam? That works better for me than look at how you’re hanging. I hope they don’t greet men with that when they pop into their posh underwear shops. Mind you, a man might be flattered to be told how he is hanging. I’m Alice Lane by the way, thirty-two, living with my successful fiancé, soon to be married and therefore respectable by all accounts, but not hanging at all well apparently.

Both Georgie and I look at my tits in a whole new light. Don’t you just hate shop assistants who know it all? I’ve been wearing this bra for years. Is she telling me I have been hanging wrong all that time?
‘She has a point,’ says Georgie while looking critically at one breast and then the other. ‘You’re definitely hanging lopsided’.
What does she mean I’m hanging lopsided? Surely a bad-fitting bra wouldn’t have me hanging lopsided. I feel an overwhelming urge to flee the shop but before I can, the assistant, who introduces herself as Justine, has pulled me into a fitting room. I grab Georgie for support.
‘If you really want to focus on bra nirvana it is better to come in alone,’ Justine says firmly.
Nirvana or no nirvana there is no way I am going in there alone with Justine, and I’m not sure how I can find any kind of nirvana if I’m going to bare my boobs. With Georgie’s encouragement I remove my jumper to reveal the offending bra. Justine tuts knowingly and touches it reluctantly with her finger.
‘It’s quite saggy and very unsupportive,’ she says grimacing.
I hope she is talking about the bra, and not my breast. I feel a desire to defend my saggy unsupportive brassiere but refrain.
‘Turn around,’ she orders.
I’m beginning to wonder if this is a bra shop or an army barracks. Blimey, she’ll be strip-searching me next. I do as I’m told and come face to face with myself in the fitting room mirror. Good Lord, I actually do look a little lopsided. I’m convinced they do something to the mirrors in these rooms. I am glad to see that everything else looks acceptable and not in the least lopsided. My complexion is clear, glowing in fact, and considering I was dragged out by Georgie before I had time to put my face on I look okay. My blue eyes are bright and shiny and I look altogether healthy. The light in the fitting room brings out my blonde highlights just a little too well though and I can see my roots are well overdue a treatment. Just as well I am having a complete overhaul for the wedding. But apart from hanging a little lopsided I think I look rather good for a thirty-two year old.
‘Yes, as I thought. You have it on its tightest setting. No wonder you are hanging so badly.’
‘Shame on you,’ sniggers Georgie.
‘Remove it please.’
Justine whips out her tape measure with great flourish and I jump out of my skin. I reluctantly remove the trusted Marks and Spencer bra and wonder if Justine will find fault with my breasts also. This is all becoming very cringe-worthy, so when my mobile bleeps I am quite relieved. I push my hand into my bag and Justine sighs so loudly that I remove it instantly.
‘Arms up.’
Georgie sniggers again and I throw her a dirty look.
‘Just as I thought, you’ve been wearing a 34B while you are actually a 36C.’
Georgie gasps.
‘Oh no,’ she squeals, ‘that’s all you need on your wedding day.’
‘But I’ve always worn 34B,’ I protest. ‘My breasts have been cushioned in a 34B for as long as I can remember.’
Justine scowls.
‘And look at the state of them.’
I’m starting to feel like a circus freak. She’ll be ordering breast surgery next. All I wanted was a bog-standard bra.

Justine disappears with a swish of the fitting room curtain to fetch an armful of 36Cs and I hastily retrieve my mobile. I’m about to read the text message when Justine breezes in again, and in one smooth movement whips the phone out of my hand and throws it into my bag and has my arms in the air before I can say Playtex.
‘There,’ she declares, turning me to face the mirror. ‘Look how perfect they hang.’
I take the catalogue she hands me and look at myself admiringly in the mirror.
‘You look fab,’ smiles Georgie. ‘Wait till Charlie sees you in your 36C.’
I’m actually quite impressed. It feels ten times more comfortable. However, after a glance at the prices in the catalogue I feel a little giddy.
‘I can’t possibly pay that,’ I stammer.
‘You would be mad not to pay it,’ responds Georgie in her usual nonchalant fashion.
‘There is absolutely nowhere else on earth where a woman should buy her bras, and you must buy two. You have to look good in your wedding dress.’
Buckling under the pressure I pull my credit card from my bag and see my phone flashing with the text message from earlier. The card is snatched from my hand and Justine strides to the cash desk. I follow, clicking into the text message as I do so. It is from Charlie.
‘Alice love, I am so sorry …’
Justine’s voice pulls my attention away.
‘That will be one hundred and thirty pounds madam, and may I say you won’t regret a penny of it.’
I hate to tell her that I am already regretting every penny of it.
‘Well, I may not eat for the next month, but at least I won’t be hanging lopsided,’ I joke.
There is nothing from the stony-faced Justine except for the immortal words Please enter your pin madam. I am given a free pair of G-string undies which, gratefully, Justine doesn’t insist on measuring me for. I look at my text as Georgie picks up the bag.

I can’t go through with the wedding. I should have told you before. I’ve left the flat and moved in with Geoff …’

What! What does he mean he has moved in with Geoff? Good God, my fiancé is a closet homosexual. He’s left me for another man. This could only happen to me.
‘Where do you want to go for lunch?’ chirps Georgie, opening the door and setting off a delicate chime.
‘Charlie’s gay,’ I blurt out, dropping the phone and falling onto the chair outside the fitting rooms and grabbing two tissues from the complimentary box that sits on the table.

I stare at the large sign above the till which reads, put your breasts in our hands. I’ve just spent one hundred and thirty pounds on two new bras after well and truly putting my breasts in their hands, and now Charlie tells me he is gay. He could have told me before I spent all that money. Good heavens, what am I thinking? Does it matter about the bras? Charlie has left me for another man. What will my mother say? What will my friends say? What will the vicar say? What about the wedding and the invitations? How can I tell people that Charlie prefers a man to me? Why couldn’t he have left me for another woman? In fact, why did he have to leave me at all?
‘What, you’re surely not serious?’
Georgie takes the phone and studies the text.
‘You mad bitch, you didn’t read it all … Here.’
I grab the phone. Oh thank God.
‘He isn’t leaving me then?’ I ask, relief flooding my body.
‘Well, I wouldn’t say that exactly.’
What does that mean? She pulls a face and gestures to Justine for some water.

… just until we get things sorted out. I promise there isn’t another woman but I’m not ready to settle with just one, at least not yet. I know I should have told you before. I’m so not ready for marriage. I’m so sorry Alice, please forgive me. This is the worst way to tell you, I know that. Forgive me. I’ll phone you in a few days. Of course you can keep the ring, no question.

The assistant hands me a glass of water and the tears I had been struggling to control burst forth.
‘He said I can keep the ring,’ I sob.
‘Oh well,’ says Georgie sarcastically, ‘that makes everything okay then.’
‘It can be an overwhelming experience when you purchase your first perfect fitted bra,’ smiles Justine while handing me another tissue.
‘Oh do shut up woman,’ snaps Georgie. ‘Your bras aren’t that bloody fantastic. Her fiancé just ditched her.’
Great, thanks a lot Georgie. I grab two more complimentary tissues and hiccup my way out of Hidden Beauty. All I did was buy a bra and now my life has gone tits up.

Pink Wellies and Flat Caps

PAW1001_Kindlecover_nobleed_198x128Hello all,
It’s so good to be back blogging. I have very much missed my blogging buddies. It has been a crazy six months. It very much felt like my life as well as my home was overtaken by builders, plumbers and electricians. You can be quite sure that many a blog posting on builders is certain to follow. I have also been writing like crazy. The past few months have seen me almost strapped to the lap top and at times nearly dozing off. But finally the new novel is finished and will be shortly with my editor which means, it will shortly be with you, the reader. I am so excited about this novel. I had so much fun writing it. I think it is the funniest so far and certainly the most gripping.
The cover is Fab and I am mad about it. Thanks to Gracie Klumpp who is superb. She always manages to produce exactly what I picture in my head. How great is that? Do let us know what you think also. You can see more of Gracie’ work on her web page here http://www.gracieklumpp.com

Now for the really exciting news. ‘Pink Wellies and Flat Caps’ will be released on Kindle on March 1st and the paperback will be available for Pre-order from Amazon on Valentines Day.

Competition

Meanwhile there will be a competition for three lucky readers to win a signed copy of the book. For more details Pop across to my author page here
The three main rules are.
1) Sign up to the author page
2) Like my author Facebook page
3) Finally answer the three questions that are related to my two novels and send your answers to Pinkwellies@renham.co.uk

Good luck… And keep your eyes peeled for more news on ‘Pink Wellies and Flat Caps’