Tuesday, 5 December 2017

A Quick Catch Up

The final weeks of 2017 are really starting to fly past now! My Christmas tree is up, my Christmas shopping is well and truly underway (though I've yet to wrap a single gift - my least favourite part of the festive season) and Isobel has been to visit Santa. Soon, we'll be off to see the panto at our local theatre, the school holidays will begin and the Big Day will be upon us. And I can't wait for it all!

I know we're all super busy right now, but I thought I'd post a quick catch up. Do let me know what you've been up to in the comments below!

I've started the first draft of Book 9, where I'm returning to Clifton-on-Sea (the setting of The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea, though it's focusing on a brand new set of characters) and I'm also halfway through the second round of edits for Book 8 (and I'll have some news to share about my new book very soon!) My deadline for the edits is this Sunday, so I'm busily working away in between all the Christmassy stuff!

I'm currently reading my second festive read of 2017: A Christmas Wish by Erin Green. I'm only a few chapters in, but I'm enjoying it so far and I'm looking forward to the mystery of Flora's birth unfolding!
My first festive read of 2017 was The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop by Caroline Roberts, which was crammed with lots of delicious-sounding chocolatey goodness!


Isobel and I have been enjoying watching Strictly together this year (apart from Aston's elimination - madness!)
I've also been enjoying the current series of Gogglebox , The Last Leg, and The Apprentice, and I've made sure to watch Michael McIntyre's Big Show this time round as I only caught the last bit of the last series.
I've also discovered a little gem on BBC1 in the afternoons: Armchair Detectives. It's a bit cheesy, but I love trying to solve the murder mysteries with the contestants!
Non-TV-wise, we went to see David Walliams Live last weekend, where he read extracts from his books, as well as answering questions from the audience. Isobel high-fived him and is now a proud owner of a signed copy of his latest book, Bad Dad.

You can find me on Instagram here
So, that's me in a nutshell over the past few weeks.
What have you been up to?

Friday, 1 December 2017

Bite-Sized Christmas Reads

It's that time of year again, when there are a million things to do; shopping for Christmas gifts and festive food, wrapping presents, searching the entire house for the kids' advent calendars that you thought you were being super-clever and super-organised by buying back in October but now you can't remember where you put them... There are nativity plays and Christmas fairs to attend, trees to decorate, visits to Santa - SO MUCH. I need a sit down just thinking about it all!

If you're in need of a little break too, why not have a little festive read? I've put together my Christmassy short stories, which are the perfect bite-sized reads when you only have a few minutes to spare during the busy festive period. Click on the covers to read your chosen story. Enjoy!


Thursday, 23 November 2017

Festive Reads for 2017

I'm a massive festive fiend and love a good Christmassy read, so I've been looking forward to compiling my festive TBR. I've picked four books that I'll hopefully get to read in the run up to Christmas (there are NEVER enough hours in December, but I'll do my best).
Here's what is in my festive TBR this year:
(Caroline Roberts)

The snow is falling, the hot chocolate’s warming, and hearts are melting . . .

Emma is the proud owner of The Chocolate Shop by the Sea, nestled in the heart of the cosy seaside village that’s become her home. With Christmas right around the corner, she and her assistant Holly are busy cooking up the locals’ festive favourites.

From cinnamon hot chocolates to reindeer lollipops, Christmas wouldn’t taste the same without a little cocoa magic. And for Emma it’s the perfect distraction from her romantic pains of the past. So when the shop’s miserly landlord threatens to hike up the rent, Emma’s Christmas and New Year suddenly look a lot less cheerful.

With the whole village rallying behind her – and loyal spaniel Alfie by her side – Emma’s determined to hold onto her chocolate-box dream.

The chocolate calendar countdown is on. Can Emma rescue her business and her broken heart?
(Erin Green)
Flora Phillips has an excuse for every disaster in her life; she was abandoned as a new-born on a doorstep one cold autumn night, wrapped in nothing but a towel. Her philosophy is simple: if your mother doesn't want you – who will?

Now a thirty-year-old, without a boyfriend, a career or home she figures she might as well tackle the biggest question of them all – who is she? So, whilst everyone else enjoys their Christmas Eve traditions, Flora escapes the masses and drives to the village of Pooley to seek a specific doorstep. Her doorstep.

But in Pooley she finds more than her life story. She finds friends, laughter, and perhaps even a love to last a lifetime. Because once you know where you come from, it's so much easier to know where you're going.

A story of redemption and love, romance and Christmas dreams-come-true, the perfect novel to snuggle up with this festive season. 
(Sarah Morgan)

She'll risk everything for her own Christmas miracle…

Determined to conquer a lifetime of shyness, Harriet Knight challenges herself to do one thing a day in December that scares her, including celebrating Christmas without her family. But when dog-walker Harriet meets her newest client, exuberant spaniel Madi, she adds an extra challenge to her list – dealing with Madi's temporary dog-sitter, gruff doctor Ethan Black, and their very unexpected chemistry.

Ethan thought he was used to chaos, until he met Madi – how can one tiny dog cause such mayhem? To Ethan, the solution is simple – he will pay Harriet to share his New York apartment and provide 24-hour care. But there's nothing simple about how Harriet makes him feel.

Ethan's kisses make Harriet shine brighter than the stars over moonlit Manhattan. But when his dog-sitting duties are over, and Harriet returns to her own home, will she dare to take the biggest challenge of all – letting Ethan know he has her heart for life, not just for Christmas?

(Christie Barlow)
A gorgeous country house hotel, a liberal dusting of snow, a cosy weekend away…what more could Lizzie ask for at Christmas?

Every Christmas Lizzie promises herself that things will change and she will leap into the new year a new woman. And yet here she is again, at the beginning of December and nothing is different. Her girls have grown up and left home, her husband Henry is slumped in front of the TV and she is alone in the kitchen, seeking refuge in the cooking sherry and talking to her Gary Barlow calendar. She’s also been very diverted by handsome new neighbour Marcus and she knows she shouldn’t be …

So when best friend Ann suggests a weekend away in the country, Lizzie jumps at the chance. Will this Christmas escape give Lizzie some much needed perspective and allow her to mend her marriage? Or will Marcus prove to be too much of a distraction?
What's on your festive TBR pile?

*     *     *     *     *

In my next newsletter, I'll be recommending one of my favourite festive reads.  Plus, one of my subscribers will win a signed copy of The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea - plus other goodies - for themselves AND a friend!
Subscribe here

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Bumper Newsletter Subscriber Giveaway!

As Christmas is approaching, I thought I'd put together a bumper giveaway for my newsletter subscribers! The prize bundle includes:
A magnet selection &
A bag of Maltesers' mini reindeers
Not only will one lucky subscriber win this bundle, they can choose a friend to receive a prize bundle too!
To be in with a chance of winning the prize bundle:
1. subscribe to my newsletter using the form below
2. enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter form
If you're already a subscriber, simply enter using the rafflecopter form! 
The giveaway ends on 10th December.
I will contact the winner via the email address provided.
Good luck!

Subscribe To My Newsletter
* indicates required

Enter The Giveaway

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Christmassy Reads

I love curling up with a festive read during the run up to Christmas. Log fires, snow, mince pies, hot chocolates, a bit of romance... bring it on!

I've started a little festive reads pile that I'll soon be diving into, but I thought I'd flag up a couple of my own Christmassy reads in case you're looking for something festive and fun.

Curl up with a mug of hot chocolate and a warm mince pie for the perfect festive read this holiday season!

‘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 a fun, festive Freaky Friday-style rom com and is just 99p at the moment (at the time of posting. Please check before purchasing).
A festive romantic comedy short story.
Ruth usually spends Christmas curled up on her parents’ sofa, watching feel-good movies whilst being fed festive food and drink until she can no longer move. But Ruth’s perfect Christmas is shattered when her mum receives a DIY-induced injury and Ruth is forced to take over the preparations.

Shopping. Cooking. A house full of hyped-up kids.

Christmas may no longer be the most wonderful time of the year.
A Beginner's Guide To Christmas is a quick read, so perfect if you're short on time (and aren't we all at this time of year?), plus it's FREE (happy Christmas indeed!)
If you read The Mince Pie Mix-Up or A Beginner's Guide To Christmas (or both!) I hope you enjoy it and they make you giggle. I'd love to know what you think, so do pop a review on Amazon as every one helps :)

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Oldham Reindeer Parade 2017

One of the things I look forward to most during the run up to Christmas is the reindeer parade, which is held in the town centre every year. It's fantastic fun and so lovely to see so many families gathered together.

This year's theme was 'A Christmas Day Feast' and there was also lots of different characters and props, bands playing festive music and Santa and his reindeer!

What do you look forward to during the run up to Christmas?

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

A Quick Catch Up!

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted on the blog as I've been busy working on Book 8, but the first round of edits are now done (phew!) so I thought I'd post a quick catch up!

I've been working on the edits for Book 8 for the past month - and it was a pretty hefty edit where I had to rewrite a lot of the scenes/chapters! I sent the book back to my editor early last week and I've had a few days away from writing since, but I'm back to plotting Book 9 now!

I'll hopefully have some news to share about Book 8 soon...
I'm between books at the moment; I've just finished The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (yes, I am lagging behind! I enjoyed it though) and I know my next read will be a festive one but I haven't picked which one yet!
Over the past few weeks, I've also read After I've Gone by Linda Green and This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh.

On TV, I'm loving the return of QI, Gogglebox and The Last Leg, as well as the not-quite-return of Celebrity Hunted ('not quite' because this is the first celebrity version).
I've also been enjoying Strictly, which Isobel has been watching with me for the first time. We like getting snuggled up in bed to watch. Her favourite dance is the jive!
I've just discovered The Good Place on Netflix, which I'm LOVING so far.
At the cinema, I've watched Paddington 2 with the family and we loved it. It's a fantastic follow up for the whole family to enjoy. Highly recommended!

You can find me on Instagram here
I'd love to hear what you've been up to! Let us know in the comments below! Feel free to add any book/TV/Film recommendations too :)

Friday, 27 October 2017

Free Halloween Romantic Comedy Short Stories

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I would flag up three of my Halloween-themed short stories, which you can read here on the blog. And if you enjoy them, why not subscribe to my newsletter and receive my brand new Halloween short story, The Bridesmaid of Frankenstein for free?

Subscribe to My Newsletter

* indicates required

To read the stories, simply click on the covers below:


Monday, 23 October 2017

October 2017 Newsletter

Have you subscribed to my newsletter yet? It's the best way to keep up to date with my new releases and book news as it's delivered straight to your inbox!

My newsletters go out about once a month and you'll find book news, exclusive content and short stories, book recommendations and more. Plus, each month I randomly choose one subscriber to win a prize!

Subscribe to my newsletter

* indicates required


In this month's newsletter you'll find a new Halloween short story, plus there's a chance to win a signed paperback of The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea and a bookish magnet. 

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.
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