Monday, 3 October 2016

If You're A Writer, It's Totally Okay To ...

... light cinnamon-scented candles and listen to festive music during a sweltering August heatwave while you work on your snow-filled Christmas book. Equally, you can dream of sunny, beach-filled days to the soundtrack of the gritters trundling past as you pen your summer-themed book during the darkest depths of winter.

... think of your characters as real people. You probably spend more time with them than your family, so it's only natural.

... ignore all the housework. It just is, okay?

... read magazines/watch TV or films and call it research.

... work in your pyjamas. As long as you're working from home. It isn't quite as acceptable if you've decided to work in the library or a café.

... eavesdrop. This is also research.

... stare out of windows and daydream. In fact, it's encouraged. How else are you supposed to plot/develop characters and storylines?

... eat cake at every opportunity. Research, okay?

... fall a little bit in love with your hero.

... snack on chocolate. It helps with creativity. Or something.

... drink so much tea, your blood type is now PG Tips.

... take naps during the day. Research? No? Time to restore creativity and mull over ideas? Brilliant. Let's go with that.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Curl Up With A Romantic Comedy This Autumn...

The temperature has started to drop and there are already leaves on the ground. Before you know it, we'll all be cosied up in warm jumpers on cool, dark autumn evenings. And what better way to spend those evenings than with a fun, romantic book? Throw in a hot chocolate and you've got the perfect evening!

The Wedding Date

Delilah James, singleton and smoothie-addict, has six months to find a date for her oldest friend’s wedding. Oh, and to prove to her ex, best man Ben, that she has totally moved on since he dumped her out-of-the-blue nine months, eight days and seventeen hours ago…

So, with her two BFFs playing Cupid, Delilah launches herself into the high-tech, fast-paced and frankly terrifying world of dating. Luckily there’s the hot new guy at work, Adam Sinclair, to practice her flirting on – even if, as a colleague, he’s strictly off-limits!

Yet time’s running out and date after disastrous date forces Delilah to tell a little white lie – and invent a fake boyfriend! But will her secret crush on Adam ruin everything? Does she even care about Ben anymore? And is it too late to untangle her web of lies and take a real date to the wedding…?

Available from Amazon here

A Beginner's Guide To Salad

Ruth loves nothing more than curling up in front of the telly with a family-sized bar of chocolate. She doesn’t do diets and she certainly doesn’t do exercise. But all that changes when she’s invited to her school reunion.

Bullied at school for being overweight, Ruth’s first reaction is to rip the invitation into a million pieces. But then Ruth hatches a plan. She’ll lose the weight and arrive at the reunion looking gorgeous and glamorous, leaving her old classmates in awe. Especially her former crush, Zack O’Connell.

With the help of her friends and a new, unbelievably hot colleague, Ruth begins her transformation. With six months until the reunion, losing weight will be a piece of cake, right?

Available from Amazon here

Everything Changes But You

Ally Richmond is dreading turning thirty and bidding farewell to her youth. And when her husband says he wants to start a family, she begins to panic.

Is this all that life has to offer from now on? Popping out babies and growing old gracefully? She wants a life crammed with glamour and spontaneous adventure, not one full of dirty nappies and night feeds.

When Ally makes a silly birthday wish for a new, exciting life, her wish is granted.

But when Ally is presented with the freedom and opportunities she craves, she soon realises this new life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and that there really is no place like home.

Available from Amazon here

Monday, 19 September 2016

5 Rom Com Series I Love

I recently revealed my plan to release Book 2 in the Beginner's Guide series, and it got me thinking about film series - rom coms in particular - and what draws me back in for a sequel (or more).

For me, I think I'm just greedy and if I love a film, I want more. I want to know what happens next. Did they live happily ever once the credits had rolled? (I hope they did because I hate a non-HEA, as evidenced in this post)

Sometimes a sequel doesn't work, or the series goes on for too long. But when it does work, it can be wonderful and the joy of its predecessor is replicated and sometimes - but not always - the sequel is even better than the first film. I thought I'd share five of my favourite rom com series with you.

Bridget Jones's Diary

I adore Bridget. She's funny yet flawed, she has both high moments and crying-in-the-bath moments, which makes her feel more real and relatable. The scene at the end with the kiss in the snow is perfect. Fast forward to The Edge of Reason and life for Bridget and Mark isn't quite as rosy as we'd have liked. But, unusually for me, the not-so-happy-ending doesn't have me wanting to hurl the DVD in the wheelie bin (probably because, if you're patient enough, there is a HEA).

Father of The Bride

I love Steve Martin and he plays the perfect dad who is worrying about letting go of his daughter and the cost implications of her wedding in equal measures. Throw in flamboyant wedding planner Franck and you've got an hilarious movie.

But what comes after the wedding? In Annie's case, it's a baby. And a new baby sibling.

One of the things I love about these films (other than Steve Martin and Martin Short) is that the HEA isn't sacrificed. The story moves forward without needing to break up the happy couple.

Looks Who's Talking

For me, the Look Who's Talking series falls into the 'they carried it on too far' category, but I love the first two instalments. It's such a fantastic idea having a film from the perspective of a baby/toddler (but not in a Baby's Day Out kind of way). The films are funny and sweet and even though we have another HEA blip, all works out in the end.

3 Men And Baby/Little Lady

There isn't a romantic HEA in the first film, but the second film continues Mary's story with her three dads and mum, Sylvia and this time there is the added romance.

The first film is brilliant as we watch the three bachelors learn to cope with a baby (men are - hopefully - much more hands on these days, but back then it worked) and I love finding out what happened next with the unconventional family.

American Pie

American Pie could be seen as more of a teen film (especially the first couple of instalments) but we do see the friends mature (sort of) as the series goes on, culminating in their school reunion. My favourite film of the series is the third film, American Wedding (apart from the, um, 'chocolate' incident. I can't quite bring myself to watch that without wincing).

So those are five rom com series I love. I'd love to hear about yours - let me know in the comments below!

Friday, 16 September 2016

50 Reviews, Bridget Jones & Millionaire's Shortbread

I experienced a very proud moment earlier this week when A Beginner's Guide To Salad received its 50th Amazon review. And it was extra special as the review was a 5* - it doesn't get much better than that!

I'm so grateful for anyone who has taken the time to leave a review for any of my books. Thank you!

Another proud moment happened with this tweet:

Did you spot it? Yep, there's my little book, The Wedding Date! *big cheesy grin*

And that isn't all. Book blogger Alba (from Alba In Bookland) made millionaire's shortbread as part of her Bookish Recipes feature, inspired by The Wedding Date. They look SO DELICIOUS. You can see the post (including the recipe) here 

So I've had some fantastic book-related moments recently, all of which have helped to keep me motivated with my current writing projects!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Back To School Day

If you listen carefully, you'll be able to hear the rustle of leaves in the trees or the tinkling of a nearby wind chime. This has nothing to do with the weather - this is the result of me letting out one major sigh of relief. After seven weeks - seven weeks - it is finally Back To School time.

I always start the summer holidays with glee. Lie-ins, relaxing at home, no school runs, fun days out! But reality soon kicks in. Squabbling kids, My Little Pony on a loop (thanks Pop Max for putting that on repeatedly for two weeks), rainy days scuppering your plans for fun days out. And don't even get me started on the dreaded uniform shopping.

By the end of Week 3 I was ready for the return to normality. By the end of Week 4 I was officially counting down the days. By the end of Week 5 I was looking into the costs of boarding schools - and there were still two more weeks to go.

But the day has finally arrived and my little darlings are starting their new school year. We have our routine back and my stress levels should be back to normal pretty soon. I'm already starting to fool myself into thinking it wasn't all bad.

The weather hasn't always been great during the good old British summer, so most of our activities have taken place indoors. I did, however, manage quite a bit of outdoor reading. I didn't read quite as much as I'd have liked over the summer as I was squeezing in writing time whenever I could as I'd set myself the target of finishing the first draft of my latest book over the holiday - and I managed it with a week to spare!

I've had the past week away from writing to give myself a little break, but I'm looking forward to diving back in and catching up with Maddie and the gang!

Friday, 26 August 2016

7 Things I've Learned From Watching Rom Coms

I love a good romantic comedy as you're guaranteed a happy ever after with a few laughs along the way, which is what I try to emulate in my books. Here are 7 things I've learned from watching them over the years:


Forget Paris, New York is the most romantic city in the world.
The streets are jam-packed with will-they-won't-they couples and there are more potential romances in Central Park than squirrels and pigeons combined.


It doesn't matter if you get dumped because he isn't the Real Love of Your Life.
The RLOYL is probably closer than you think. You may work with them or live in the next apartment or they may even be the best friend you've known since you were toddlers. And it doesn't matter how many missed opportunities you have with your RLOYL - you will end up with that happily ever after. Guaranteed.


You can forgive anything of your RLOYL.
Are they your sworn enemy who has made your life miserable? Doesn't matter. Did they run your granny over or steal your promotion at work? All is forgiven because the heart wants what the heart wants, no matter how illogical a pairing it may seem.


Everything is more glamorous with a cracking soundtrack.
Yes, even heartbreak.


Misunderstandings are part and parcel of finding the RLOYL.
You suspect he's a bit of a womanising git and instantly hate him. But wait, is that the wrong end of the stick you have there, missy? I think it could be. This handsome chap has actually been celibate since his fiancée did a runner with the best man and he volunteers at an animal shelter at the weekends. Snap. Him. Up.


It's totally okay to find the RLOYL while you're still in high school.
It saves years of anguish and bad dates, I suppose.


If you meet a bloke on the internet, he won't be a sweaty, bad-toupee-wearing perv who looks NOTHING like his profile pic.
He will be Tom Hanks.

And that, my friends, is what makes romantic comedies so wonderful. Now excuse me while I grab some popcorn and a DVD...

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Female First, The Blossom Twins & #408

So it's been a couple of weeks since I last posted here on the blog (it's the school summer holidays and I'm trying to cram as much writing time in whenever I can so my poor blog has been neglected. Sorry, blog *sad face*) but I wanted to flag a few exciting things that have happened book-wise recently.

Female First

I was so unbelievably happy when I saw a tweet from Female First recently, linking to an article on their site with their top books on weight loss and body image - and A Beginner's Guide To Salad was part of it! I know Ruth would be very proud of her story making the list - and I am too!

You can see the list right here

The Blossom Twins

Do you follow The Blossom Twins on Twitter? You should because they're lovely and their joy of reading is infectious. They recently put together a list of books that have changed their lives and I was gobsmacked when The Wedding Date turned up in there. It was a real 'Oh my God, I'm an actual, proper writer' moment (this is something that I struggle with getting my head around. I felt like a bit of a fraud when the optician asked what I did a couple of weeks ago and I replied 'I'm a writer').

So I was gobsmacked and honoured and proud of Delilah's story as it has helped Kelly to find her writing groove!

Click here to see books that changed The Blossom Twins' lives


This is another achievement for Delilah and The Wedding Date, which recently reached #408 in the Kindle store. This is my best ever ranking for any of my books and I was over the flipping moon to even reach the top 1,000, so top 500 was AMAZING.

It was so amazing, I've made myself a little note of it to pin to my board next to my desk, so when I'm having one of my 'I'm a shit writer, nobody will want to buy my books' days, I can look at it and remind myself that people DO buy my books (and hopefully enjoy them too!).