Wednesday 30 August 2017

Our Summer Holiday 2017

This year, we decided to have a little summer holiday in the UK. Over the past few years we've been to Florida (twice), New York, Bulgaria and Mallorca, but I was stupidly excited about spending a few days in Blackpool!
We haven't had very good weather for the majority of the school summer holidays this year, so I was worried we'd have yet more rain. Still, I was determined we'd have fun, rain or shine. So I was pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous, sunshiney days we had. The first day was a bit overcast and we had a ten-minute shower on another, but other than that it was lovely!
We were able to spend time on the beach, building sand castles, eating ice creams and having a paddle. Our plan was to eat fish and chips on the beach, but we wimped out when we saw how rowdy the seagulls were being! We still had our fish and chips - but we took our food back to the safety of the flat we'd rented.
While at the arcade, we won enough tickets to claim a kite as a prize. I've never flown a kite before and wasn't convinced we'd get it to fly - but we did! It was a lot of fun seeing how high we could let it go and I'll definitely be taking a kite next time we're at a beach.

Look how high our kite is!
We spent one of our days at the zoo (where we had our ten-minute shower). It's a lovely zoo and not as busy as Chester zoo, which is our nearest zoo, and as it's smaller, we managed to see everything.
Our highlight was the sea lion show, with sea lion sisters Gina and Anya. They were so clever and kept us entertained with their tricks.

We stopped off for an ice cream mid-afternoon. While sitting on the bench, I got freaked out when a peacock wandered towards us. I am an embarrassment.

Another highlight of our holiday was the Blackpool Tower Circus, which was brilliant. The clown and ringmaster are so funny and the acts are amazing. We also had a wander along Central Pier, having a go on the dodgems and eating fresh, hot donuts. Yum!
We had a brilliant time in Blackpool and didn't want to come home - always a sign of a good holiday!

Thursday 24 August 2017

One Summer Can Change Everything

That's what it says on the blurb of The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea, and it's true this year for me!

A few weeks ago, I was getting ready for the publication of my sixth ebook. Summer was just kicking in and the kids only had a couple of weeks left in school before the summer holidays. I'd Instagrammed the books I planned to read during the break with no idea that by the end of the summer, I'd have my very own paperback to hold - and Instagram.

I've always wanted to be a writer from being a child and I always hoped that one day it would come true. So the past few years have been amazing as I've published seven books, both independently and with my publisher, HQ Digital. So when I was told the news that The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea was going to print, it was the icing on the cake. The sweetest, most delicious (and sugar-free) icing ever.

The paperback edition of The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea is out today and it really is true that one summer can change everything. As cheesy as it sounds, this summer my wildest dreams have come true.

As fate would have it, I'm spending the day at the seaside. It may not be as sunny in Blackpool this year as it is in Clifton-on-Sea, but I'm going to build sandcastles and eat fish and chips on the beach anyway.


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!

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Publication Day: A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do

Happy Publication Day to... me! My seventh book is now out in the wild (aka Amazon) and I couldn't be happier that she's now out there. I've been waiting a long time to share this story and I hope you enjoy catching up with Ruth and her friends as much as I did! The response from early readers has been fantastic - which is always a relief!
You can buy the book for £1.99 - or FREE if you're a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.
Over the next few weeks I'll be posting 'Book Extras' - quizzes, fun facts, playlists and more - so do pop back to have a look at those. If there are any book extras you'd like to see, let me know in the comments below and I'll do my best to accommodate :)
Later, I'll be posting a giveaway over on Twitter and Facebook to win some A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do goodies (plus chocolate and sweets) so keep an eye out for that! My newsletter will also be going out around lunchtime, with another giveaway themed around the book - if you haven't subscribed to my newsletter you can do that here
A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do is the second book in the Beginner's Guide series. If you haven't read the first instalment yet, now is the perfect time as the book is currently just 99p - but only for a limited time.

Monday 14 August 2017

New Books & Bargains

Hello! I hope you've had a good weekend and enjoyed the bit of sunshine we've somehow sneaked into the summer.

Tomorrow is an exciting day for me as I'll be releasing my seventh book, A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do, which is the second instalment of the Beginner's Guide series (or 2.5 if you count the free festive short story). I'll be running a giveaway on Twitter and Facebook, plus there are some A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do goodies up for grabs for one lucky newsletter subscriber - sign up here.

If you haven't read the first book - A Beginner's Guide To Salad - you're in luck because the price has been reduced to just 99p at the moment - so grab a bargain and catch up with Ruth and co!

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?

Wednesday 9 August 2017

August Newsletter

It's almost time to send out my next newsletter and I've just realised I haven't let you know what this month's prize bundle is!

With each newsletter, I pick a random winner from my list of subscribers to win a prize, and this month you could win the following bundle, comprising of A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do notebook and magnet, as well as some yummy chocolate to enjoy!

All subscribers are automatically entered into the draw so you don't have to do anything at all to enter once you've subscribed.

Newsletters go out around once a month, with book news, exclusive content and book recommendations. If you haven't subscribed yet, you can sign up here

Tuesday 8 August 2017

An Intro To A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do

The second book in the Beginner's Guide series is out next week, so I thought I'd introduce you to some of the characters. You may be familiar with some of them if you've read A Beginner's Guide To Christmas (short story) or A Beginner's Guide To Salad, but there are also some new characters to get to know in the follow up!


Yep, Ruth is back! We couldn't have a Beginner's Guide book without her, could we?

In the past, Ruth has struggled with finding Mr Right but, two years on from A Beginner's Guide To Salad, she's all loved up and about to start planning her wedding. Ruth can't wait to get married - and she doesn't have to wait long as her wedding is in just six weeks. Ruth is a bit clueless when it comes to planning a wedding, so can she put together her dream Big Day in such a short space of time?

Ruth is still the woman I adored in A Beginner's Guide To Salad - she's still a massive fan of cheesy pop, she still likes to skive off from work whenever possible, and she's still surrounded by a group of fab friends (and Theo). I've loved catching up with her and seeing what she's up to a couple of years later, and I hope you will too!


Commitment-phobe Erin has finally found someone to settle down with, but she isn't interested in getting married, especially when she finds herself caught up in his sister's wedding plans. Lindsay and her wedding planner are organising the biggest, gaudiest wedding and Erin has somehow ended up agreeing to be one of many bridesmaids.
Erin can't see the appeal of all the fuss and faffing that goes with wedding planning - how will she survive the dress fittings and hair and make up rehearsals and, worst of all, the hen weekend from (Erin's idea of) hell?
Ruth's best friend has mellowed a bit over the past couple of years, but she still hasn't lost her edge. She's grown up a lot, but she's still feisty and set in her ways. We get to know more about Erin this time round and I enjoyed digger a bit deeper and finding out what makes Erin tick.


Quinn is Erin's opposite in her views of love and marriage. She believes in the magic of fairy tales and can't wait to find The One, so she can settle down and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, she's hasn't always been lucky in love, but she's still young and her perfect match is out there somewhere - she just has to stop looking in all the wrong places.
We've met Quinn before - though only briefly. Over the past couple of years, her friendship with Ruth has blossomed and she's now firmly one of the gang.


Ruth's cousin Trina has just walked down the aisle and married the man of her dreams, but already things are starting to go wrong. Her new sister-in-law hates her and did Rory always have these workaholic tendencies? Trina is determined to make her marriage work and not end up with multiple divorces like her mother.
Trina is a brand new addition to the Beginner's Guide series and I've loved getting to know her. She's sweet and naïve, which doesn't always work in her favour. Will she get her happily ever after?
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?

Monday 7 August 2017

Writing Tip: 15-Minute Bursts

Writing has been a bit difficult over the past couple of weeks; it's the school summer holidays, meaning my writing time is limited, and I've also been in the midst of The Slump.
The Slump seems to happen with every book I write, usually around the 20-30,000 words mark (but can strike earlier or later than this. The only guarantee is that it WILL happen at some point during the first draft). During the horrid slump stage, the words just don't seem to emerge. It doesn't matter that I KNOW what should be happening in the book (I've planned the entire book out this time, right down to individual scenes), the words won't make it onto the screen.
Add to this the fact I have a deadline coming up mid-September, which puts me in a bit of a pickle. I need to write. I want to write. But desk-time is limited and the words are being stubborn. Ugh.
But last week, I discovered a little trick to help the word count rise: 15-minute bursts.
After wasting my precious desk-time faffing about on social media and looking up the outfits my characters could be wearing online, I decided to set myself a timer, where all I could do was write. No 'research', no checking my book rankings, NO SOCIAL MEDIA, LADY. Once the timer was up, I could do all those things. I could leave my desk. I could have a nap.
Okay, I was joking about the nap. It is the school holidays, after all. There is no napping with kids around.
I decided on a 15-minute timer. 15 minutes is nothing, really. It's a measly amount of time, but when you're at the ripping-your-hair-out-in-frustration stage of The Slump, it seems just about manageable. So, the timer was set and off I went.
And do you know what? I was actually writing! Where before I was stuck, now I was typing - and it wasn't a tweet. It was actual words for my book. My characters were active. They were doing and saying. It was a miracle!
The 15 minutes ended and I'd managed to write 394 words.
Now, stop laughing. I know it's a teeny amount. I aim for 2,000 words per day. Less than 400 words isn't going to get me to my 90,000 words goal by mid-September. But this was just the first 15-minute burst. I did this six times throughout the day, totalling 2,241 words - more than my daily word count goal.
I couldn't quite believe it. For the past week or so, I'd been struggling to reach even half of that. Every writing session was a chore. But those 15-minute bursts had really added up, and none of them were daunting or felt like a chore. With only 15 minutes, you have no choice but to just go for it. There's no time for sneaking peeks at Twitter. There's no time for virtual shopping for your characters. There's no time to stop and agonise over the perfect word. You just have to keep going until the timer ends.
Of course, sometimes you do need to stop and look things up online, and you do need to find the right words, but you can do that later. I mark the spot where I would normally stop with an 'xxx' and go back once the timer has stopped. My 15 minutes have ended so I can ponder the perfect prose, or I can look up the ideal outfit my character is wearing for a posh dinner.
Now, I don't always reach my 2,000 words per day goal, but I'm definitely more productive and my steadily growing word count is proof of that and I don't feel panicked that I'm going through The Slump anymore.

Friday 4 August 2017

A Quick Catch Up

I'm working on the first draft of Book 8, approaching the 60,000 words mark. It's a bit more difficult finding time to write during the school summer holidays, but I'm chipping away at it! My deadline is mid-September, so I'm on the right track.
I'm re-reading two books at the moment. The first is Rainy Days & Tuesdays by Claire Allan and the second is The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann, which I'm reading with my girls. It's my favourite childhood book and we're having the full-on Farthing Wood experience - the book, the magazines (which were out in the early 90s and I've since collected from eBay) and the TV series.

Like a lot of people, I've been gripped by The Handmaid's Tale. I'd recorded it but only started watching them a few days before the finale. I binge-watched them in time watch the last episode 'live'. It was uncomfortable viewing, but I couldn't stop watching!
I've also been re-watching Miranda, just because it makes me happy.
I haven't watched a film for a while, but 13 Going 30 (one of my faves) has been added to Netflix so I'm going to have to watch that soon (I own it on DVD, but it's more of a faff than using Netflix).
I'm listening to a lot of 80s and 90s songs at the moment. They're the best.

Books, writing and Luna:

You can find me on
What have you been up to? Let us know in the comments below 😊

Wednesday 2 August 2017

The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea Quiz: Which Character Are You?

I've put together a little quiz so you can find out which character from The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea you are most like!

Tick either A, B or C 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 :)

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!