The Heat Is On

The Blog Tour has started so, it’s official, the sequel is on it’s way! Angie, Patty and the rest of the Mercury Travel crew will be getting up to all kinds of shenanigans (love that word!) as they grapple with a toady new competitor. I mean to say, how dare anyone take on the wonderful Mercury!

It was a little strange sitting down to write the sequel because so many people I’ve met have views on what Angie would and wouldn’t do. It was quite interesting to hear and at one stage (when I was researching a particular shopping trip between Angie & Patty – no spoilers though), it was downright hilarious hearing the views as to who would buy what! I think you’ll spot the scene I’m talking about quite quickly.

As well as the main battle, Mercury continues to take customers around the world and I’ve included some of the places I’ve really loved. It’s great to be able to tell readers about them and I hope the novel inspires some travel.

I’ll update everyone when the novel is ready & available – meanwhile, here’s the list of bloggers taking a sneaky first peak xblogtour

My big year!

Happy New Year to everyone! I know I’m a little late but I’ve spent the first week hiking up in the Lake District. Gorgeously frosty days and toasty nights by the fire; it was wonderful as were the real ales and bottles of wine that accompanied the week! Well – we all need a bit of comfort in January don’t we and as you can see from the photo – Angus enjoyed the week too.

I know that 2016 was a bizarre and difficult year for many but for me it was pretty special. I found a publisher for my debut novel, I wrote my second (busy editing now), I walked 1000 miles and I swam 1416 lengths of the pool in the Channel Challenge (both of which were personal challenges) – so I felt rather chuffed by the end of the year. This year looks like being big, scary and exciting all at the same time. The debut novel launches on March 16th (also my friend Trish’s birthday!!), we have a blog tour set up ready to go and I hope to finish writing the trilogy too.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has launched a debut and has lessons I can learn from. I’d also love to know your new year goals – drop me a line

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A lifetime in book Part Deux

Although I kept a diary throughout my teenage years (and therefore know that TH loved JD – even though I have noooo idea who they are now), I didn’t write about my favourite books very often. I do remember my late teens; they were mainly taken up with reading books from the school curriculum. Like many, I studied Jane Austen and Keats. I loved Keats but wasn’t really a fan of Mr Darcy et al. The literature that really captured my imagination and my heart was french literature. I read L’assomoir at the age of 17 and was blown away. It has the honour of being the first book ever to make me cry. I still remember the pit pony being brought to the surface after a lifetime of being underground. He smelt fresh grass and briefly recalled it before dying. Ah! Tears are forming even now! I read more and more Zola sometimes yelling out to the characters as they were about to make life-changing mistakes. It was never a happy read with Zola but boy was it powerful.

A lifetime in books

I was talking books with my young niece the other day – she’s a prolific reader and it was an absolute joy to discover we loved the same characters. My niece is currently reading Enid Blyton – Mallory Towers and St. Clare’s. They’re inspiring her as much as they inspired me and as she spoke of the mischievous Gwendoline, the tomboyish Alice, the midnight feasts and the tricks they played on the French Mistress – boy those memories came flooding back. It turns out we both wanted to be Darryl – the Head Girl. I remember devouring the entire series, keen to find out what happened next and then re-reading them, not wanting to leave that fantasy world. These books defined my early reading – around the age of eight I think – and I can still remember the characters and the adventures they had. My niece has inspired me to think through the different stages of my life and pick the stories that influenced me most. The next post – teenage school days.