Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Planning Book 7: Pinterest

I love Pinterest and spend far too much time filling my boards. I have boards for Christmas pins (several, actually. I love a Christmassy pin), films, crafts and even a board for my blog. I also use Pinterest to collect information, images and links to each of my books and for Book 7 I'm going one step further and using Pinterest to help plan the book!



I've set up a new board and, like a digital mood board, I've been pinning images of the kind of location and themes I'm thinking of for the book. As you can see, I'm going for a summery, British seaside vibe - which is strange as we're nearing winter and Christmas!


I'm enjoying using Pinterest as it's helping me to really visualise the ideas I have floating around in my head. It's especially helpful seeing the sunnier pins as I sit shivering in my jumpers!


Do you use Pinterest to help plan your books? Are you a pinner at all? Let us know in the comments below!


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Oldham Reindeer Parade 2016

Every year, Santa and his reindeer come to Oldham town centre, bringing a parade of festive characters and music with him. It's one of the things I most look forward to during the run up to Christmas!

We go to the parade every year and we've had snow (which was nice as it added to the festive atmosphere), pouring rain and thunder. This year, although it had been quite rainy beforehand, it stopped in time for the parade. The town centre was packed with families waiting to see the big guy and his reindeer.


This year there was a Christmas film theme, as well as different bands to entertain the crowds.


Festive characters, snow and characters from the local panto also added to the Christmassy atmosphere.




And then of course we had Santa and his reindeer 😊


It's lovely to see so many families gathered together for the parade and although we haven't had the Coke advert yet, the festive season has definitely begun for me!

Monday, 14 November 2016

Curl Up With A Romantic Comedy This Christmas


I know it's only November, but I've definitely caught the festive bug; I've started my Christmas jigsaw, stockpiled Christmas magazines and I've even dabbled with a bit of jolly Christmas music. It was the reindeer parade in my local town at the weekend, so out came the Christmas socks (it seemed rude not to bring them out for the occasion) and I've even managed to do a bit of Christmas shopping (although the dreaded wrapping phase won't come until much later).

I love this time of year as the festive momentum builds. We've already had the John Lewis advert (which I LOVE as it's sweet and funny and kicks the man on the moon's arse - it was a bit crap, wasn't it?) and the shops start to sparkle with baubles and tinsel. It's too early to deck our homes in the sparkly stuff, but we know it's jut around the corner.

One of the things that really gets me in the Christmas mood are festive reads. I love a cosy Christmassy story to curl up with, a cup of tea or hot chocolate by my side and perhaps a mince pie or two. I love festive reads so much I wrote my own, packing it with festive baking, family fun and a dash of Christmas magic. I loved writing The Mince Pie Mix-Up and I hope its readers will experience the same joy and festive sparkle!



‘I wish I could live your life. I’d happily swap lives with you.’

’Tis the season to be jolly but for Calvin and Judy the usual festive bickering has already begun! Judy’s convinced that her husband has it easy – no glittery wrapping paper, no playground gossip and absolutely no Christmas baking.

Calvin wishes he could trade in his obnoxious boss and dull nine-to-five job to spend more time kicking back with his kids – how hard can Judy’s life really be?

But after a magical mince pie mix-up, one thing’s for certain – by Christmas Day, life for Judy and Calvin will never be the same again. Perhaps the grass isn’t always greener after all…


🎄 The Mince Pie Mix-Up is available from Amazon now 🎄


Monday, 7 November 2016

Planning Book 7: Blank Pages & Pens


I'm at one of my favourite stages of the writing process again: planning a new book. I love this stage as ideas and characters float around, waiting to be grabbed and put down onto paper. I have a pile of blank pages to fill, an array of different coloured pens to jot down notes (it just wouldn't be the same without the different coloured pens) and my trusty (and now tatty) baby names book.


I have a vague idea for a story but it's all a jumble at the moment and there are gaping holes, but this is my chance to tell myself the story, to create and get to know a whole new set of characters. I don't even know the name of my main character yet, but I'm looking forward to finding out about her. There are no word counts yet, just fun and possibility.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Book Group Read: Geezer Girls by Dreda Say Mitchell

I've recently joined a new book group at my local library, which meets on the last Friday of the month. Our first read was Geezer Girls by Dreda Say Mitchell.



This isn't a book I would normally pick up as I was put off by the title as it sounds a bit... cheesy. But I gave it a go - and I'm glad I did! It took me around 70 pages to get into the book, but once I did, I really enjoyed it.

The book is set in the East End underworld, so it can get pretty grisly at times. I don't have the stomach for too much violence (or peril - I'm a proper wuss) but it was only sparingly graphic and I was actually cheering some of it on by the end. In fact, my favourite moment involved a gun and I was almost leaping off the sofa cheering at it!

I did find some of the rhyming slang cheesy, but the overall story grabbed my attention and kept me entertained. It's true what they say: you shouldn't judge a book by its cover (or title).


Our next read is JoJo's Moyes' The Girl You Left Behind, which is completely different to Geezer Girls. I dived straight into the book on the day of our book group meeting and have already finished it, but I'll share my thoughts next time...