Friday, 13 September 2019

My Favourite Board/Family Games



Who doesn’t like a board or family game? Gathering the family together to play, hoping it doesn't come to blows as competitive streaks emerge and sore losers vent their frustrations (or is that just me? I’ve been known to resort to mild violence/threats of). Whether it’s a whimsical game with plastic mice avoiding capture or a battle of wits, board games are the perfect medium to bond and have fun with your friends and loved ones (unless you’re playing with someone like me. My best advice in this situation is to duck). Board/family games feature quite a lot in The Accidental Life Swap, so I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you!




Trivia and a board game in one. What’s not to love? I have to admit I’m not a fan of the pesky sports questions (I haven’t a clue about any sport. My only strategy is to have a guess at Tiger Woods for all golf questions, Andy Murray for tennis and Manchester United for football) and my georgraphy knowledge – or lack of – is scary. But you can buy specialised packs of questions now – no more pesky sports or geography – wahoo!



For the most fun, you need one of the older versions of this game as the new ones don’t launch the pirate out of the barrel with nearly as much force. It was always hilarious when the pirate clunked somebody on the head on the way down, and it was even funnier if the poor sod hadn’t moved away in time and the pirate thwacked them in the face.



A classic that can go on for hours or even days (and that’s just deciding who has to be the banker). Rubbing your hands together with glee when somebody lands on your property pimped up with a hotel. The euphoria of landing on Mayfair – and having the money to buy it – when you already have Park Lane. Picking up a Get Out of Jail Free card. Of course, it isn’t as much fun when you’re having to hand over your hard-earned cash, but it’ll be your pay day any time now…



Even the name is fun. Kerplunk. It is probably my favourite name of all the board/family games out there. Kerplunk. It isn’t so fun having to set it all up, but once those straws are all in place and you’ve managed to get all the marbles to stay inside the tube, you’re in for a treat.



Another classic. Highlights include making multiple words in one go, using high-scoring letters on triple word tiles and finally getting rid of that Q.



I loved this as a kid, even if the timer grated on you. The only downside is the blind maze that is probably the most rage-inducing element of any game, ever. In the end, you just have to wiggle the lever until that bloody ball finds its way out. I’m angry just thinking about it.


So those are my favourite board/family games but what are yours? Let us know in the comments below!






Sometimes one moment can change your life forever…


Rebecca Riley has always been a bit of a pushover. When her glamorous boss, Vanessa, asks her to jump, she doesn’t just ask how high… she asks if her boss would like her to grab a coffee on the way back down!
So whilst overseeing the renovation of Vanessa’s beautiful countryside home, the last thing Rebecca ever expected was to be mistaken for her boss – or that she would even consider going along with it! Far away from the bustling city and her boss’s demanding ways, could she pretend to be Vanessa and swap lives, just for a little while?


Thursday, 5 September 2019

The Accidental Life Swap: Meet The Characters


The Accidental Life Swap is out now and I thought I'd share a quick intro to some of the characters:




Rebecca is feisty on the inside but a bit of a wet lettuce on the outside (sorry, Rebecca, but it's absolutely true). She knows what she wants from life, but she lacks the ability to go for it. When her boss asks her to take over the project management of her new holiday home, Rebecca can’t say no and so she finds herself in the middle of nowhere, in charge of a refurbishment and without a clue of how to manage the project or its builders. 



Rebecca’s boss, Vanessa is feisty inside and out. She knows what she wants and doesn’t care what she has to do – or get others to do – to achieve her goals. When the project manager of her holiday home development is unable to continue with the task, Vanessa has no qualms about sending Rebecca to take her place. Rebecca has no experience in project management, nor any desire to carry out the role, but this is irrelevant information. Vanessa has a deadline that must be met and it’s now Rebecca’s responsibility to make sure it all goes to plan. 



Stacey has lived in Little Heaton all her life and now runs the animal sanctuary next door to Vanessa’s holiday home. She’s grateful for Rebecca’s help when she arrives in the village, but how will she react when she finds out the truth about her new friend? 



Led by Vincent, builders Harvey, Oliver and Todd have been working on the development for the past few months but they’ve fallen behind schedule. With Vanessa’s non-negotiable deadline, can they finish the job on time under Rebecca’s leadership? 



Emma is Rebecca’s best friend. She’s a bit of a gossip, but she has a heart of gold and is always willing to lend a hand wherever she can. 



Sonia is Rebecca’s workplace nemesis; they started working at Vanessa Whitely Events at the same time but brown-nosing Sonia is climbing the corporate ladder at a pace while Rebecca is still dithering at the bottom, deciding whether it’s safe to take a step up to the next rung. But if Rebecca can pull of the refurbishment, she may finally catch up.






Sometimes one moment can change your life forever…


Rebecca Riley has always been a bit of a pushover. When her glamorous boss, Vanessa, asks her to jump, she doesn’t just ask how high… she asks if her boss would like her to grab a coffee on the way back down!
So whilst overseeing the renovation of Vanessa’s beautiful countryside home, the last thing Rebecca ever expected was to be mistaken for her boss – or that she would even consider going along with it! Far away from the bustling city and her boss’s demanding ways, could she pretend to be Vanessa and swap lives, just for a little while?



Sunday, 1 September 2019

Writing Book Ten: Part Fifteen - Happy Ebook Publication Day To Me!

I'm keeping a diary of the writing process of Book 10, from the first words to publication.




It's here! Publication Day for The Accidental Life Swap has arrived (for the ebook, at least. We have to wait a little bit longer for the paperback and audio).

It's always a mixed bag of emotions when it comes to publication day; on one hand it's incredibly exciting that all the hard work you and the publishing team have put into the book has paid off and you have an actual book for people to read, but on the other hand you have a book for people to read. And THAT is incredibly nerve-wracking. I don't know how writers end up with any fingernails left at all by the time publication day rolls around!

I have had some lovely reviews already from early readers, which is fabulous and I can let out a teeny sigh of relief that at least a few people have enjoyed the book - and hopefully more will too!

Although I finished writing the book a while ago, I've still been working on extra content in the meantime, and I'll be posting the 'Book Extras' here on the blog over the next few weeks, from my dream cast, the book's playlist and more. I've also been putting together a newsletter (if you're a subscriber, it should be in your inbox right now), with a subscriber-exclusive giveaway of a gorgeous little house pendant. When I was looking for a prize, this pendant jumped right out at me as I think it fits perfectly with the book.


If you haven't subscribed to my newsletter yet, you can sign up here


While I was writing the book, I asked for help naming some of the animals on my Facebook page, so if you took part you might recognise some of the names used. Remember, if one of your suggestions was used in the book, your name will be in the acknowledgements, so look out for that!