Friday, 13 October 2017

DIY Wedding Favour Cupcakes, Plus a Handmade Wedding Giveaway

In A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do, Ruth loves the idea of making her own handmade wedding favours, so I thought I'd share a couple of the ideas she likes the look of, starting with Love Hearts Cupcakes.

They're easy to make, plus you can customise them to match your own colour scheme. Plus, if you add a tag, you personalise them, even using them as place settings!

 
The recipe makes 12 cupcakes.
 
You will need:
 
125g butter (room temperature)
125g caster sugar
125g self-raising flour
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Icing Sugar
Food colouring (optional)
Flavouring (optional)
Love Hearts Sweets
Other toppings/sprinkles (optional)
 
Cellophane bags
Curling ribbon
 
 
To make:
 
Pre-heat your oven to 180C and line a 12-hole bun tray with paper cases of your choice.
 
Cream the butter using an electric whisk. Add the caster sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
 
Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Once beaten, add to the sugar and butter mixture a little bit at a time, making sure you beat well each time.
 
Add the vanilla extract. Sieve in the flour, folding it into the mixture until you can no longer see any flour.
 
Spoon the mixture into the cake cases, filling them to about two thirds full.
 
Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes and then cool on a wire rack.
 
 
 
Once the cakes are cool, make up the icing sugar according to the packet. Add the food colouring of your choice (or leave white if you'd prefer). You can also flavour the icing at this point if you'd like to.
 
Cover the tops of the cakes with the icing sugar, smoothing and spreading with the back of a spoon. Pop a Love Heart sweet in the centre, adding any additional toppings before the icing sets.
 
 
Leave to set, then pop each cupcake into a cellophane bag, adding curling ribbon for decoration.
 
 
 
ABOUT THE BOOK
 
http://amzn.to/2i6lw8Q
 
Three women. Three weddings. But who will say I do – and who will say I don’t?

Ruth can’t quite believe she’s managed to snag The One but when he proposes, she can finally accept that she’s found her happily ever after. But when Ruth finds herself booking her dream church for just six weeks away, she starts to panic. You can’t plan a whole wedding at such short notice. Can you?

Trina has only just walked down the aisle, but she’s already starting to question whether they can make their marriage work. Will they survive the honeymoon period, or have they just made a very big – and very expensive – mistake?

Erin has somehow found herself agreeing to be a bridesmaid for the tackiest wedding known to man. With drunk hens, ridiculous outfits and a terrifying wedding planner, just what has Erin signed up for?
 
 
 
 
I'm giving away a copy of Mollie Makes Weddings, which is filled with handmade wedding projects, including crochet and knitting, sewing, felting and paper crafts.
 
 
 
The prize bundle also contains A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do magnet and notebook set, plus a signed postcard.
 
To be in with a chance of winning, subscribe to my newsletter and enter using the Rafflecopter form below. If you're already a subscriber, go ahead and enter straight away! 😄
 
Good luck!
 


 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

A Quick Catch Up

I can't believe it's October already (but I'm not complaining - it's a great month, full of falling leaves and Halloween). Here's what I've been up to over the past few weeks:
 
 
I sent the manuscript for Book 8 to my editor mid-September so I'm now working on my next book while I wait for the edits. I'm in the planning stages of Book 9 at the moment and enjoying getting to know a whole new set of characters. I love this stage of the writing process, where it's all shiny and new anything is possible!
 
I'm going back to Clifton-on-Sea (where The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea is set) but it's a brand new story with different characters (though I'm sure a familiar face or two will pop up!)
 
If you fancy helping me to name one of the characters, pop over to my Facebook page to join in my search!
 
 
 
 
I'm reading Sophie Kinsella's My Not So Perfect Life at the moment. I'm only a few chapters in but enjoying it so far!
 
 
Over the past few weeks I've also read Liane Moriarty's Truly Madly Guilty and Lisa Jewell's I Found You.
 
 
 
 
There's been some pretty decent dramas on TV recently; Strike - The Cuckoo's Calling and The Silkworm, Victoria, Cold Feet, and Liar. I'm a bit late to Happy Valley, but I finally caught up on Netflix a couple of weeks ago.
 
I've also been enjoying the return of Only Connect and Police Interceptors (I am the COOLEST, obviously) and, of course, Strictly! I've also been re-watching Goodnight Sweetheart on Gold, which is just as fab now.
 
 
 
 
[you can follow me on Instragram here]
 
 
So, what have you been up to? Any book/TV recommendations? Let us know in the comments below!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do: Take the Quiz!

If you've read A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do, you can now take the quiz over on Goodreads (you can take the test even if you haven't read the book, though you'll have to wing it).

Take the Quiz


How much can you remember? Let us know your score in the comments below, or you can tweet it or post on my Facebook page!


ABOUT THE BOOK
 
http://amzn.to/2w84WrB
 
Ruth can’t quite believe she’s managed to snag The One but when he proposes, she can finally accept that she’s found her happily ever after. But when Ruth finds herself booking her dream church for just six weeks away, she starts to panic. You can’t plan a whole wedding at such short notice. Can you?

Trina has only just walked down the aisle, but she’s already starting to question whether they can make their marriage work. Will they survive the honeymoon period, or have they just made a very big – and very expensive – mistake?

Erin has somehow found herself agreeing to be a bridesmaid for the tackiest wedding known to man. With drunk hens, ridiculous outfits and a terrifying wedding planner, just what has Erin signed up for?

Three women. Three weddings. But who will say I do – and who will say I don’t?
 
 
 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Free On Kindle Unlimited

 
If you're a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can download three of my books for FREE.
 
If not, they're just £1.99 each!
 
 
ABOUT THE BOOKS
 
http://amzn.to/2ybCshd
 
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?
 
 
 
*     *     *
 
http://amzn.to/2f6kt40
 
Ruth can’t quite believe she’s managed to snag The One but when he proposes, she can finally accept that she’s found her happily ever after. But when Ruth finds herself booking her dream church for just six weeks away, she starts to panic. You can’t plan a whole wedding at such short notice. Can you?

Trina has only just walked down the aisle, but she’s already starting to question whether they can make their marriage work. Will they survive the honeymoon period, or have they just made a very big – and very expensive – mistake?

Erin has somehow found herself agreeing to be a bridesmaid for the tackiest wedding known to man. With drunk hens, ridiculous outfits and a terrifying wedding planner, just what has Erin signed up for?

Three women. Three weddings. But who will say I do – and who will say I don’t?
 
 
 
*     *     *
 
http://amzn.to/2xcLDkG
 
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.
 
 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Win! The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea

 
Do you fancy winning a signed paperback of The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea and a matching magnet? If the answer is yes, you're in the right place!
 
Enter your details in the Rafflecopter form below. You can choose any - or all - of the entry options.
 
Good luck!
 
 
 
 
ABOUT THE BOOK
 
 
One summer can change everything…

Mae has no time for men in her life! Local vet Alfie might be totally gorgeous but she’s far too busy looking after her young daughter and running her little bed & breakfast by the sea.

Willow is in the middle of building her dream home with her husband, Ethan, when disaster strikes. And with every month that passes she secretly worries that her happy ever after will never come true…

Melody only intended to stay in the bustling seaside town for a few days. But when she meets Hugo – the charming man in the ice cream van – she decides to stay a little longer.

It seems the little bed & breakfast is full of surprises!
 

Monday, 18 September 2017

A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do: The Playlist

 
I always put together a playlist for my books, and for A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do, I decided to focus on Ruth's wedding reception. I've picked the songs she'd choose, so expect lots of cheesy pop in there!
 

 
 
ABOUT THE BOOK
 
http://amzn.to/2x7OZVW
 
Ruth can’t quite believe she’s managed to snag The One but when he proposes, she can finally accept that she’s found her happily ever after. But when Ruth finds herself booking her dream church for just six weeks away, she starts to panic. You can’t plan a whole wedding at such short notice. Can you?

Trina has only just walked down the aisle, but she’s already starting to question whether they can make their marriage work. Will they survive the honeymoon period, or have they just made a very big – and very expensive – mistake?

Erin has somehow found herself agreeing to be a bridesmaid for the tackiest wedding known to man. With drunk hens, ridiculous outfits and a terrifying wedding planner, just what has Erin signed up for?

Three women. Three weddings. But who will say I do – and who will say I don’t?
 
 
 
 
I'm talking wedding songs on my Facebook page - pop over and share your own wedding song (or a song you'd like to have as a wedding song in the future) - or perhaps you've been to a wedding with a unique choice for the bride and groom! I'll be giving away sets of A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do magnets and signed postcards, so do join in :)

Friday, 15 September 2017

A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do: Fun Facts


Fancy a peek at some of the behind-the-scenes stuff of A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do? Here you go!

Bridesmaids

Apart from Erin, Lindsay’s bridesmaids are inspired by the character names from the film, Bridesmaids.
 

 Victorious


The names for sisters Trina and Tori were inspired by the sisters in TV show, Victorious which my oldest daughter watched A LOT while I was writing the first draft of the book
.

 Changing Names

Wedding planner Ingrid’s original name was Greta. I wrote the first draft of A Beginner’s Guide To Saying I Do between drafts of Everything Changes But You, which I realised also had a (different) character called Greta.
 
 
Drafts

I wrote the first draft in 2014, the second and third in 2015 and finally worked on the edits in 2016.
 
 
Points of View

While the book covers the POV of Ruth, Erin and Trina, the first draft covered Ruth, Erin and Jared’s POV. It didn’t feel right so I ended up cutting Jared’s chapters (around 1/3 of the book) and bringing Trina in.
 
[I'll be sharing a deleted scene from Jared's POV in my September newsletter - subscribe here if you fancy a peek!]
 
 
Trina

Trina was a minor character who popped up only a handful of times, along with her sister, Tori. But she kept jumping up and down and trying to get my attention. When I knew I had to rewrite 1/3 of the book, I knew I wanted to fully explore Trina’s story.
 
 
Working Title

The working title was A Beginner’s Guide To Weddings.
 
 
Recurring Places

Libby’s wedding dress boutique is located in Hartfield Hill, which is the setting of The Mince Pie Mix-Up, as well as some of my short stories.
 
 
Recurring Characters

Karaoke host Keith Barry can also be found in Everything Changes But You.
 
 
 
ABOUT THE BOOK

http://amzn.to/2f86nTu
 
Ruth can’t quite believe she’s managed to snag The One but when he proposes, she can finally accept that she’s found her happily ever after. But when Ruth finds herself booking her dream church for just six weeks away, she starts to panic. You can’t plan a whole wedding at such short notice. Can you?

Trina has only just walked down the aisle, but she’s already starting to question whether they can make their marriage work. Will they survive the honeymoon period, or have they just made a very big – and very expensive – mistake?

Erin has somehow found herself agreeing to be a bridesmaid for the tackiest wedding known to man. With drunk hens, ridiculous outfits and a terrifying wedding planner, just what has Erin signed up for?

Three women. Three weddings. But who will say I do – and who will say I don’t?
 
 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Have You Subscribed To My Newsletter?

 
My newsletter is the best way to keep up to date with my writing and latest releases as it arrives directly in your inbox. Plus, you'll receive newsletter-exclusive content and the chance to win a prize every month!
 
My September newsletter will be going out next week, so there's still time to subscribe and be in with the chance of winning a notebook and magnet set, a signed postcard, and chocolate. All subscribers are automatically entered into the prize draw each month, so it couldn't be simpler!
 
  
Subscribe To My Newsletter

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do: Which Character Are You?

 


I've put together a little quiz so you can find out which character from A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do you're most like!

Tick either A, B, C or D and then tot them up at the end to see which letter you agreed with most to find your character. Let us know your results in the comments below :)




 
ABOUT THE BOOK
 
http://amzn.to/2xYosYD
 
 
Ruth can’t quite believe she’s managed to snag The One but when he proposes, she can finally accept that she’s found her happily ever after. But when Ruth finds herself booking her dream church for just six weeks away, she starts to panic. You can’t plan a whole wedding at such short notice. Can you?

Trina has only just walked down the aisle, but she’s already starting to question whether they can make their marriage work. Will they survive the honeymoon period, or have they just made a very big – and very expensive – mistake?

Erin has somehow found herself agreeing to be a bridesmaid for the tackiest wedding known to man. With drunk hens, ridiculous outfits and a terrifying wedding planner, just what has Erin signed up for?

Three women. Three weddings. But who will say I do – and who will say I don’t?
 
 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Back To School


We've had a fun summer, but today is officially Back To School Day (one of my daughters went back yesterday, the other today. This did not go down too well with the former).

Back To School Day is also Back To Writing Day for me - I have been squeezing in writing time during the school summer holidays, but now it's time to go back to working all day, which is a bit of a relief, to be honest. It's quite hard cramming everything into a short space of time each day, and it means dragging my weary body to my desk in the evenings when all I want to do is slump on the sofa and relax. I also find it difficult to switch off after writing at night, which means I'm awake longer than I want to be!

http://amzn.to/2xO2esB

Lots of exciting bookish things have happened over the past few weeks of the summer holidays; my seventh book, A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do was published, and the paperback of The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea was released. I've also been featured on The Write Stuff With... over on Shaz's Book Blog and shared 10 Things I'd Like My Readers To Know About Me on Female First. I've also started to post the 'Book Extras' for A Beginner's Guide To Saying I do here on the blog - and there will be more over the next few weeks.

http://amzn.to/2w5UCPK

But now it's time to knuckle down and get the first draft of Book 8 finished. My deadline is looming and it needs a good tidy up before it goes off to my editor! I'm so close to The End now - just two more chapters to go!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

What We Did This Summer

I know it isn't officially autumn yet, but the summer holidays are pretty much done and dusted (I have one child back in school and one returning tomorrow) so I thought I'd look back at the last couple of months.
 
It's been quite a busy couple of months for me, with two book releases; A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do and the paperback publication of The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea.
 
http://amzn.to/2wDDfIf
 
The second book in the Beginner's Guide series was published mid-August and I've been busy planning lots of book extras to put up on the blog. I've been working on the book for a long time (since 2015!) so it was exciting finally releasing into the world of Amazon.
 
http://amzn.to/2iYh9Ns
 
The ebook edition of The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea was published back in June, but the paperback was released on 24th August, which was an amazing moment as it's my very first paperback. It was a surreal moment popping into my local Sainsbury's and seeing it on the shelf!
 
I had to wait a week to actually see the book on the shelf, as I was on holiday at the time of release and it sold out at my local Sainsbury's on the first day. I had to wait until they'd restocked before I go and see it 'in the wild' and have a stroke/sniff/take a shelfie.
 
 
The weather hasn't been too good during the school holidays, but we did manage to get out to Uppermill for a day out of feeding the ducks, going on the barge, and eating ice cream, and we went bowling and to the arcade which was fun (and dry).
 
 
Thankfully the weather improved for our holiday to Blackpool. We decided to stay in the UK this year and have a few days at the seaside, which was a lot of fun. We built sandcastles, flew a kite and had a paddle at the beach, spent the day at the zoo and went to the Tower Circus. You can see my blog post about our fun here
 
 
At the beginning of the school holidays, I gave Rianne and Isobel a little gift each; their own copy of Colin Dann's The Animals of Farthing Wood for our summer read-along.
 
 
It's my favourite childhood book and I couldn't wait for us to read it together. As well as the book, we also had the magazines to read (which were out in the 90s and I've collected from eBay) and the DVD to watch.
 
 
We didn't quite manage to read the whole book over the summer, but we've only got a few more chapters to go.
 
 
As well as The Animals of Farthing Wood, I also wanted to re-read some other books over the summer. I chose Kiss Him Goodbye by Victoria Routledge, Rainy Days & Tuesdays by Claire Allan, and Snap Happy by Fiona Walker.
 
 
I also read Vicky Pattison's My Sister's Wedding and I'm currently reading The Angel at No. 33 by Polly Williams.
 
The summer has been fun (even if there's been far too much rain this August) and it passed way too quickly!
 
What did you get up to this summer?
 

Friday, 1 September 2017

A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do: The Cast

As with all my books, I've had the odd daydream where I've cast the actors who would play my characters from A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do on screen. Some of them I already had in mind from 'casting' A Beginner's Guide To Salad (see this post for the full list) but there are some new characters to consider for this book too.




 



 
ABOUT THE BOOK
 
 
Ruth can’t quite believe she’s managed to snag The One but when he proposes, she can finally accept that she’s found her happily ever after. But when Ruth finds herself booking her dream church for just six weeks away, she starts to panic. You can’t plan a whole wedding at such short notice. Can you?

Trina has only just walked down the aisle, but she’s already starting to question whether they can make their marriage work. Will they survive the honeymoon period, or have they just made a very big – and very expensive – mistake?

Erin has somehow found herself agreeing to be a bridesmaid for the tackiest wedding known to man. With drunk hens, ridiculous outfits and a terrifying wedding planner, just what has Erin signed up for?

Three women. Three weddings. But who will say I do – and who will say I don’t?