Hello my darlings,

You know, there used to be a time when men were men. They’d do the heavy lifting and we’d make sure a red sock went nowhere near the white wash.

It’s come to my attention that women these days want a man who’s a dork. A nerd! A guy with razor rash. A guy with a bad haircut (if he has hair at all). Why? Well, it’s all that computernerdie Zuckergeek’s fault. There’s even a new name for this type of man – a technosexual! Who knew?

Not long ago we lusted after men in well fitted jeans, who wore tool belts hung like gunslingers and knew what to do with a spanner.  Then there were men like David Hasselhoff, remember him?

imgres-1I think it was the swimming trunks.

Then we went through the metrosexuals like The Gandy or James Bond – men who waxed, have a perfectly sculptured torso and had Ozwald Boetang’s cell number on speed dial. (Savile Row tailor).

Times, girls, have changed. And I must admit that we’ve felt that change in this house. Many moons ago, the break down of domestic chores went like this: I did the cleaning, cooking, gardening, grocery shopping, painting and decorating, looking after the children, organising after school activities, remembering the birthdays of every single relative. H, on the other hand, was chief recycler, anything to do with the cars, man who could pull the cord of the petrol lawnmower, and the man who intimidated teachers at parent’s evening. And main breadwinner. And it worked!

But now technology has come along to ‘make life easier.’ *Snort* Now, I can’t function if my computer/laptop/ipadmini goes down. And what’s with the TV remotes? Eh? With all those bloody trackers and menus how the hell are we supposed to work those? I have to get my son to show me the right button to get the news, again!

Now my repartee with H go like this:

Me: ‘Why won’t Gmail work?’

H: ‘Have you rebooted?’

Me: With an eye roll he can’t see. ‘Yep.’

H: ‘Reboot.’

Me: ‘Is the WiFi down?’

H: Deep sigh. ‘Let me check.’

Me: Screeching like an evil witch.  ‘Now I have no signal!!!!!’

H: ‘For God’s sake woman, give it five minutes!’

And so it goes back and forth until I’m spitting nails at the Mac and showing big sharp teeth at anyone who crosses my path. It isn’t pretty. Of course, the smart thing to do would be to go down into the belly of the beast that lives in H’s study and work the WiFi myself. But I’m banned from the room because, ‘You cause chaos.’ And he’s right – he’s the techie, geeky guy (without razor rash) and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Men, girls, are genetically programmed to deal with this stuff, just like dealing with the trash!

I sincerely believe the basis of a good marriage, especially when life is full on, is to stick to what we’re good at.

So, do you have highly defined roles in your relationship?

Do you put out the trash or does he make fabulous lemon meringues?

You know I adore hearing from you guys!

Christine XXX


By awesome reader, the lovely, Jane Aschtgen Bowen via Facebook

By awesome reader, the lovely, Jane Aschtgen Bowen via Facebook

Happy Valentines Day!

The links to a free copy of Big Trouble In China are HERE!

My thinking behind the title of this post is that the word procreation was a better choice, more polite, than shagging. I could have gone for beget, breed, conceive, create, make, multiply, reproduce, sire, spawn. But since this is me you’re dealing with I went for shag.

According to certain people in the know in the scientific community and certain organised religions, the urge to shag is a primal one, meaning to shag is the reason we were put on earth, which would explain a lot.

Have you ever seen mismatched couples? I see them all the time. As a romance writer, I’m nosy an avid observer of the human condition.

So while I was watching H measure out four ounces of wholemeal pasta per person (we’re on the 5.2 diet) for our pasta and veggie bake he’s making for dinner, I got to thinking about the primal urge.

‘Perhaps,’ I said, ‘This is why a woman can end up with a well padded accountant from Pensacola who’s afflicted with folliculitis (I’ll wait while you Google it, it is not pretty.)’

H just gave me the look. And for authenticity I thought you might like to know that H has a deep, gravelly voice that has been likened to Sean Connery, there’s a lot of rolling of ‘r’s in our house.

‘The reason a woman might end up with a guy like that,’ he said. ‘Might be an overconsumption of warm Pinot Grigio at the office party, which might have resulted in a little surprise.’

Hmm. He has a point, didn’t think of that.

Undeterred, I ploughed on. ‘Okay, but the thing is that today women are not supposed to have hang-ups about shagging. We’re supposed to be able to express ourselves with gay abandon, liberated sexually, living in the new age where men no longer rule with their love muscles. But I don’t think that’s what’s happening at all. It never ceases to amaze me what women tolerate these days.’

He dumped the pasta in frantically boiling water, stirred, turned on the extractor fan before sliding a tray of chopped red onion, courgettes, peppers into the oven.

‘It never ceases to amaze me what I tolerate these days,’ he muttered. I ignored it because he mutters all the time.

While he opened a carton of passata, emptied it into a glass jug, added dried oregano, black pepper and crushed garlic and stirred, my mind was mulling over how couples who’ve been together a looooooong time do it.

‘The reason most couples have been together for years is because they’re fairly honest with each other,’ I said.

His brows rose. ‘This, from the woman who demands honesty in all things.’

‘The odd little porky pie (lie) isn’t a big deal. Look at how men always say, You look lovely, to their wives when their girlfriends are secretly wondering, What on earth were you thinking wearing that? It’s what makes a relationship last. But it’s vital to get the big things out in the open like, No I do not want your mother staying over every weekend. And look at us, we never let things drift! If we have an issue we discuss it.’


‘Look at us,’ I said again. ‘Two weeks after we met, you asked me to marry you. And you were a confirmed bachelor.’ I’ve always secretly felt a bit smug about that.

‘In those days getting married was the only way to get regular sex from an attractive woman,’ came the shocking response that burst my romantic bubble.

Stunned, I just looked at him, the love of my life, and my temper started to simmer right along with the pasta.

‘Are you telling me.’ You might like to know that my tone matched Siberia. ‘You simply married me for my body?’

By this point he drained the pasta, dumped it back in the pot, took out the roasted veggies and stirred. Then he poured everything into a heated oven dish, poured over the passata, added baby tomatoes and grated cheese. Put the dish onto a tray and placed everything in the oven for twenty minutes.

He looked at me, caught the expression and blinked.

‘Among other things,’ he said. ‘Mostly, it was your quick brain and how you made me laugh. You still make me laugh. But, yes, marrying you for your body ticked a big plus in my box. My life is much more fun with you in it. And although it would be a hell of a lot more peaceful, I can’t imagine life without you, so you can lose the face.’

And then there was a romantic interlude. Use your imaginations!

So there you go, my theory is correct, we cannot help ourselves but procreate.

Go forth and shag with abandon on Valentines Day!

And, since I feel nothing but love for you guys here’s a link to a fabulous idea by horror author Samantha Warren, a blind date to match readers with authors of their favourite genres, there are plenty of mystery, psychological/legal thriller, romance – sweet and steamy, paranormal, sci-fi and even a non fiction author too. So pop over and leave your name on the link below and you’ll be matched up with an author. The author will email either a Smashwords code or email a gift of a book to your eReader of choice. Sound good??? The link is HERE


But I want to know what you guys are up to for Valentines day, will it be romantic with its logical conclusion or do you treat it like any other day?

You know I adore hearing from you!

Christine x


Sunrise over the MacKenzie household.

Sunrise over the MacKenzie household.

Good Monday, my darlings.

For those of you with long memories, a few weeks ago I mentioned certain Christmas toilet paper. The response was interesting. I’d no idea you guys would be riveted by such a thing. So when I was in the supermarket (I won’t mention which one since I’ve been outed in our local community) doing a bit of shopping, I happened across the lovely husband of my best friend Mags.

You might remember Mags is a card-carrying feminist and the owner of very clear thoughts and opinions, on men.

Anyway, I leaned on my shopping cart and gave him a cheeky grin. I couldn’t help it because he’s a big teddy bear and was peering through his glasses at row upon row of toilet paper and had a wonderfully ‘confused man’ look about him.

‘Hello, handsome,’ I said.

Oblivious, he didn’t budge or turn around so I called out his name and he jumped like a rabbit under a gun.

Then he gave me a wild-eyed look. ‘Ah hi, Christine. How are you?’

‘Very well. Whatchadoin?’

He waved a hand in the general direction of the toilet paper, then ran it over the back of his neck. Intrigued by this edgy behaviour I moved closer.

‘What’s this?’ I asked. ‘Doing the shopping? Are you a ‘new man’ these days?’

He looked over his shoulder and then whispered, ‘No. I did the shopping yesterday. She made a list. I didn’t stick to the list. I’m in trouble.’ He gulped audibly and by this time I was biting down hard on my bottom lip.

‘What didn’t you stick to on the list?’ I whispered back.

He blushed. And it was soooo cute. ‘Bought the wrong toilet paper,’ he admitted as if he’d broken every one of God’s laws. ‘I had to bring it back to customer services and get a credit.’

By this time my eyes were stinging, honestly that Mags is a monster.

I inhaled a deep, shaky breath. ‘What was wrong with the toilet paper?’

He pulled a crumpled piece of paper out of his pocket and peered at it.

‘It wasn’t white and it wasn’t with Aloe Vera.’

I peered at the list and sure enough there it was in black and white, ‘Supersoft gentle touch with Aloe Vera’ and she’d underlined it, twice, for good measure.


I defy any woman with a heart to abandon a man a such a time, so I scanned the rows and was stunned at how many different toilet paper there is to be had. I don’t do shopping because I’m writing. In this household we go for the best multi-pak deal in white we can find. However, we found what the wife-from-hell wanted and off he went happy as a clam.

Later, unpacking in the kitchen, I was telling H the tale and caught him giving me ‘the look.’

He was leaning back against the worktop, sipping a cup of coffee.

‘What?’ I demanded.

‘You,’ he said in a growly tone. ‘Have a very short memory.’


His eyebrows rose. ‘Don’t you remember the little temper tantrum when I bought ‘the wrong colour’ of toilet paper?’

I did not. Did I? A vague recollection from years ago of bright orange toilet paper made me give him big eyes.

‘It was disgusting. Why on earth you even considered it, I don’t know. We only ever have white toilet paper in this house.’

‘There you go,’ he said. ‘I feel a temper tantrum coming on. You are just as bad as Mags.’ He gave me a kiss. ‘And that’s why we love you.’

He walked out. And I’m still stunned.

I’m not a monster. I’m not. Seriously. I’m not!

Sigh. And that photo at the top of the post is what happened at dawn this very morning. Apparently we’ve a storm coming, blizzards, 70mph gales, yada yada yada.

You know I love to hear from you guys. Has your H ever done the grocery shopping? But more importantly, do they get the right kind of toilet paper?

Christine x




Well, well, well.

Is there something in the water? Something in the air?

Women, dear readers, are behaving badly.

Just look at that Darcey Bussell on Strictly Come Dancing.

Who’d have thought a Prima ballerina from The Royal Ballet who for years lived in a world of rigid discipline, devotion to her craft, with her hair pulled back in a vicious bun and tortured her feet would morph from this  imgres-1

into this!


a woman with a sexy growly purr, flirting and drooling over the, ‘Wonderful leg muscles, yah!’  of Lewis Smith.


Yes, the man has amazing, er, leg muscles, Darcey.

Darcey recently confessed that the show had brought out ‘Her naughty side.’

And she’s not alone. There’s a global tsunami of women in their middle years discovering that age does not hold them back from being naughty. We’re a new breed – setting up businesses, self-publishing romance novels (shameless plug) taking up white water rafting, going on girlie weekends to the Bellagio in Vegas getting up to all sorts of naughty things (probably a tattoo – I’m looking at you, Mags, btw – good job your H doesn’t read this blog.) Check out your nearest Agent Provocateur  store on a quiet afternoon if you don’t believe me; it’s filled to the brim with ladies of a certain age trying on corsets and talking about rampant rabbits and love eggs (you don’t want to know, guys, trust me.) We’re drooling over Joe Manganiello  the werewolf in True Blood and enjoying our empty nests.

Most commenters are putting it down to THAT BOOK, which has become a bit of a clichè and seems to be responsible for everything from global warming to the trend of men in tight black leather trousers showing off their considerable, er … assets.

And look at that Hilary Boyd’s Thursday’s In The Park  the tale of a sixty plus granny who encounters the man of her dreams in the park while she’s looking after her grandchildren. The runaway best seller of what The Times in London said, ‘Move over Mummy porn, it’s time for Granny lit.’ Isn’t it just fabulous? Go Hilary, I say!

But I don’t believe all this naughtyness begins in middle age. Nope. I believe it begins a lot earlier in life and just to prove it I give you one Naomi Wainwright in the Hamley’s toy store in London, messing about with Lego statues of the Royal Wedding. Naomi is a family friend and gave me full permission to use her photo in my blog – you’re infamous now, babe.


Look at that face and that hand! Can you just imagine what she’ll be like in her middle years?

God help us!

So, what have you done that’s naughty?

Please share your stories with us because we demand to know.


Christine xx


2013 card reverse 500dpi

Doesn’t that look cute?

It’s one side of my business card. Hugo designed it and there’s a reason why I’m telling you this.

My first book was published at the beginning May 2012. And although it was an event that thrilled, it also terrified the bejesus out of me. It was a leap into the unknown, a bit like giving birth to my first child.

My immediate family obviously know I’m a romance writer but they tend to keep it quiet and that’s fine.

My youngest daughter mentioned it to her pals and they laughed and said, ‘Are the books like that Fifty Shades of Grey woman?’ As I’ve said before, I get that all the time. And she said, ‘No. They’re better.’ Bless her little heart, how’s that for mother love?

My son just gives me the look which says, ‘As if!’ when I ask him if he’s told his pals.

Fair enough, boys are sensitive, I get it.

Anyway, No 1 daughter has kept the fact her mother is a romance author a carefully guarded secret.

Until recently.

Why she’s suddenly found the need to spread the word in our town I’ve no idea – might have something to do with the fact that her mother’s books were all in the top 100 in iTunes over the festive period. I know, it stunned me too.

So the Thursday before Christmas I was doing the usual female thing of having my hair done at Toni & Guy (shameless plug – Sumin is THE best) and Sumin told me about the fabulous deal for Christmas toilet paper in Marks & Spencer (upmarket supermarket) three packs for the price of two.

Well, I had to have it! I mean, who could resist?

But here’s the thing, it was raining (no surprises there, this is the UK and the way things are going the country is going to float into the Atlantic) and since I’m always prepared, I wore a waxed peak cap to protect the ‘doo (a sleek blonde bob, which comes just above my shoulders for anyone who’s remotely interested).

So, grabbing a basket I surfed through the food section of Marks & Spencer, picked up a few luxury items, including the toilet paper and headed for the check-out. I absolutely refuse to use the self-service check-outs because I prefer dealing with a human. Although after the trauma of what happened next I might change my mind.

Now working at the check-out was a girl I hadn’t seen in ages. She’s lovely and always chats to me, and my daughters when they go in for the odd thing.

As she finished serving the lady in front of me, she looked up and her eyes went really big.

‘Well, helloooooooo you!’ she cried in a very high voice.

I grinned.

What a sweetie.

‘Hello to you too,’ I said. ‘Merry Christmas.’

She stood, leaned over the till and grabbed my hand and squeezed tight. ‘It’s sooooo amazing to see you!! You look fabulous.’

I do? Gosh, I thought, I must come in here more often.

‘Your daughter’s told me all about you!’

‘Did she? Which one?’

‘I can never tell them apart, they’re so gorgeous!’

I grinned again flushed with maternal pride.

By this time there were about six ladies behind me. I glanced at them and gave a nervous laugh.

After all it’s Christmas and like most women they all looked in a hurry and a bit wild-eyed.

‘Thank you,’ I said and tried to take my hand from hers.

She clung on like a limpet and there was a sort of crazy gleam in her eye.

She smiled at the ladies in the queue. ‘This!’ she announced and held up my hand, ‘Is a best-selling author.’

I swear my heart stopped.

A hot flash burned up my neck into my cheeks.


Every woman within twenty yards all turned to stare. I’m telling you I PRAYED for the floor to open up and take me.

‘No, no, I’m not a best seller,’ I whimpered.

‘What do you write?’ piped up a very smart lady in her sixties.

‘Romance,’ I said in a voice that didn’t sound anything like me.

‘Ahh,’ said another woman. ‘Like Fifty Shades of Grey?’

‘Noooo,’ cried the girl serving me. ‘She’s much better.’


‘I do like a good sex scene,’ the lady in her sixties informed the entire store without a blush.

‘So do I,’ said another check-out girl behind mine. She didn’t turn round, she just kept serving a man who looked as if he’d rather be anywhere else except in Marks & Spencer listening to a group of over-sexed women.

During all this my toilet paper was winging its way through the scanner.

Still beaming at me, my check-out girl looked at the queue who were all watching me.

I nodded, gave them big eyes and smiled.

‘We have quite a lot of authors in this town,’ the woman in her sixties cocked her head to watch me hand over my bank card. I keyed in my pin. Her mouth kept flapping, ‘You should do a talk at the library.’

No chance.

‘Good idea. I’d come to that,’ another woman said.

By this time I was trying really hard not to laugh like a lunatic and was putting the card in my purse.

‘Do you have a business card?’ The woman in her sixties asked.

‘I do,’ I said. And handed her one.

‘Please will you autograph one for me,’ my check-out girl begged.


By this time I was pledging never, ever to set foot in the store for as long as I live.

‘Sure.’ I signed it, grabbed my bags.

‘Oh look, she’s wearing a hat! She’s travelling incognito!’ the check-out girl from hell cried.

‘No, no. I’ve had my hair done and it’s raining. Seriously. Can I just say that you’re totally insane?’ I told her.

She just laughed, stood up and grabbed me in a big hug.

‘I’m going to spread the word, tell all my family and my friends.’

I bit down really hard on my bottom lip. ‘You’re very kind,’ I said.

As I hightailed it through the store towards the exit, I couldn’t help it. I cried laughing.

And do you know that three people stopped me to ask if I was alright?

Who says kindness is dead?

I haven’t been back. Not yet. But when I do its dark glasses and a ski cap with a muffler for me, or maybe I’ll use the self-service check-out. Might be safer.

Have you ever been mortified by someone in your life?

Come and share it with us, knowing you lot there’ll be lots of good ones!

Big Hug,

Christine x

Christmas pranks and poo

Unless you’re one of the Bah Humbug brigade, you might have noticed Chrimbo (Christmas) is coming!

And I promised you faithfully that once Rosie was out there normal service would be resumed on this blog.

Come closer because do I have a Chrimbo treat for you.

Meet the beautiful, the talented, the wonderful award winning author Tamara Ward who has come along to talk about Christmas poo. Yes, poo. Tamara’s one of those people who looks perfectly normal, sounds perfectly normal… Until… you read her books. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read one of her heroines and shook my head at the situations she gets them into and howled with laughter. And that’s the thing about Tamara she makes us laugh. If you’ve never read her then you are in for a treat!

Take it away, Tamara!

Tamara Ward

Tamara Ward

I’ve always loved a good prank. Perhaps it was bred into me as I come from a family of pranksters. Having a prank pulled on you meant you were loved.

My prankster training began when I was young; my mom encouraged me to put toothpaste and tape on my father’s face as he napped on the couch. That was before I whipped mud into a glass of water and presented it to my dad as chocolate milk. I remember the moment, my dad outside in the dry New Mexico heat, his face sweaty, the look he gave me when he thought I cared so much for him that I mixed up a cool treat especially for him, his eyes surprised at my thoughtfulness and full of love. (That look made me abort the prank before he tasted the beverage, so instead of getting a spanking I escaped with a glare, my gut twisting with guilt.)

No, I’m not sweet. And it was good that my dad learned this early in my childhood so I could get the disappointment over with sooner, rather than later.

As a teen, my dad and brother ganged up on my boyfriends, feeding them plastic burgers and asking them how they liked them, pulling the boys in a tube behind our boat, promising they’d give the boys a fun ride when really they had the boys clinging to the tube handles while they were hurled around at breakneck speeds. They boys would call me to complain of whiplash when they woke up the next morning! And of course I played along.

After I moved out of my parents’ house, my history of pranks continued and expanded beyond those involving family members. I met a friend who liked pulling pranks as much as me. Once, we taped paper over a cute boy’s apartment door and filled up the space between the door and the paper with popcorn. When he opened the door the following morning all the popcorn cascaded into his living room. Nothing says “I like you” like a mess on the carpet as you’re hurrying out of your apartment late for a class.

As for Christmas pranks, my brother began our family’s tradition of passing the Christmas poo along with a prank holiday gift. Actually, that was his gift to me one year, a Christmas poo on a keychain. That is, South Park’s Mr. Hankey, THE Christmas Poo, on a keychain. According to South Park, Mr. Hankey, the Christmas poo, “comes out of the toilet every year,” visiting girls and boys who have fiber in their diets.

At the time my brother gifted me Mr. Hankey on a keychain, I found that particular episode of the crude, politically incorrect South Park pretty funny. So did my brother. But a plastic turd on a keychain – what was my brother thinking? How could he possibly think I’d want something like that for Christmas? So the next year I returned his gift to him, along with another prank gift. And back and forth it went. One year, my brother gave me a shirt with his photo on it. The poo keychain had been wrapped inside the shirt. The next year I gave him a shirt with a photo of me wearing the shirt with his photo on it, as well as Mr. Hankey.

Another year, I recorded my cat meowing on one of those handheld recorders. (Pepper used to be my brother’s cat, but the cat ultimately chose me over my bro as I didn’t throw it down the stairs and see if he stuck the landing repeatedly.) It took days of following my cat around and working up to about 30 minutes of cat noise. I taped the recorder in a sizable cardboard box and hit the “play button” when I was about to reach my folks’ house. Then I turned on one of those battery-operated balls that rolls around randomly. I sealed the box and pretended nothing was up, stuck the box under my folks’ tree, and watched my brother freak out as he heard the meows and saw the box moving. He really thought I was returning his cat to him! Nope. It was just the Christmas poo.

Another year, my brother returned Mr. Hankey to me by placing him inside my baby’s diaper and having my mom tell me my baby smelled like he needed a change. I opened the diaper, and there was Mr. Hankey! This year, it’s my turn to give Mr. Hankey back to my bro. He and his wife are expecting their firstborn, and in anticipation of this event I kept some flyers I found particularly helpful from when I was figuring out how to handle a baby. One of those flyers is entitled “Poops of the Breastfed Baby” and is a glossy, full-color flyer showing photographs of baby poops. Each photo has a caption explaining what you’re seeing. So there’s, “Sometimes baby’s first poop is black and tarry.” And “Breastfed babies’ poop is often yellow and runny.” There’s at least a dozen photographs. I framed the flyer and taped Mr. Hankey to the glass on the front. 😀 Hope my bro appreciates all the poo that will be coming his way, and soon.

Speaking of Christmas pranks, my latest release features just that (though nothing nearly as disgusting as Christmas poo). In Jade O’Reilly and the 12 Days of Christmas, private investigator Jade O’Reilly thought her worst Christmas dilemma involved finding the perfect gift for her significant other. That was before she agreed to help Agnes Sturgis, the crankiest old biddy in all of Sweetwater, NC. Every day, for the twelve days leading up to Christmas, Agnes wakes up to a yard filled with Christmas decorations. But in Agnes’s opinion, “they’re not decorations; they’re property damage!”

Finding the person responsible for the scenes of yuletide merriment that Agnes demolishes every morning is not easy. With stealth and skill that rival Santa’s elves, the decorator strikes Agnes’s yard and eludes Jade and her surveillance equipment. Will Jade catch the decorator before Christmas morning?

The ebook is available in all formats for $0.99! AmazonB&NSmashwords, Kobo




So, do you have any good pranks, Christmas or otherwise, to share? Let me know! I’ll be dropping by before and after my Sisters in Crime meeting today, and I can’t wait to hear any naughty or nice pranks that have made an impact on those around you!

Drum roll, foot stomp for Tamara Ward, ladies and gentlemen!

Thank you for coming on my blog today. Please come back, we’re a lovely bunch!




Oh Boy!

Do I have a treat for you guys!

Since I’ve been up the wall with editing Run Rosie Run, my very good and dear friend the crazy and insane, the lovely Lynn Kelley sent me a message offering to do a guest post on Fizz & Fangs. And never one to look a gift horse in the mouth I said YES!

Now, I feel I should warn you all now that Lynn is one of those special people who makes people smile just by looking at her and there’s a very good reason for that as you will see.

Take it away, Lynn!

Photo by Rilla Jaggia

Hello, Christine.

Thanks so much for inviting me to guest post today. I thought it might be fun to talk about the real life incident that sparked the idea for Curse of the Double Digits, my children’s chapter book for ages 7 to 10.

My niece was about six and her bangs were way too long to look presentable for a family event. My sister-in-law tried to trim them, but the scissors were blunt, so my brother had a light bulb moment and grabbed his electric razor. . .

To avoid a spoiler here, let’s just say the event made me wonder how a ten-year-old would react. And of course I left the parents out of the scene and had Becky, the main character, ask her best friend Jenna to do the trimming with the electric razor.

It seems everyone has a disastrous hair story, which supplied me with endless possibilities for scenes in Curse of the Double Digits. Hair problems are just one issue Becky has to deal with during a string of bad luck that begins on her magical birthday. Now that the book is published, more people have shared bad hair day stories with me.

Here are a few:

From Cindy Howland-Hodson (Hobo Annie Rambles): “I was camping with a group of friends up in Big Bear, and as we stood around in the woods listening to a campfire speaker, I leaned against a big ol’ pine tree. When I stepped away, my hair was stuck to the trunk!

“Turns out the sticky icky sap had been dripping into my long locks the whole time! It was a gooey mess! Fortunately my McGyver hubby knew enough to coat the mess with MAYONAISE, which softened and removed it! Unfortunately, I smelled like a sandwich for the rest of the weekend!”

 Hobo Annie!  You can see her hair is super duper long!

From Rhonda Hopkins: “When I was about 8, my aunt decided to trim my bangs. Not only were they nearly to the top of my scalp but they were cut at an angle. I cried and cried. Once my nieces were old enough to understand I’d tell them, “If Aunt Dell ever tries to cut your hair, run screaming and tell another adult.” One day, I heard this yelling and my oldest niece came running and jumped in my lap screaming that Aunt Dell was trying to cut her bangs. I thought I was going to bust a gut laughing so hard. Good thing my aunt has a sense of humor.

The following is more of a strange hair story than a disaster hairdo. The saying, “To each his own” definitely applies here:

From Nancy O’Connor: “My nephew, Sean, came to visit one fall. I hadn’t seen him for a while, so I was a bit surprised to see his new hair style. Although he was a quiet and polite kid, he was very proud of his red and blond spikes, which made him look like a punk Statue of Liberty! To make the long spikes nice and stiff, he used Elmer’s glue.

“When I asked him how he ever washed his hair, he patiently explained that when he took a bath, he leaned back into the water and went, ‘Crick, crick, crick, crick,’ bending the spikes back and forth until the water softened the glue enough to shampoo his hair. Then, once it was clean and dry, he started the process over again. When he started looking for a job, he had the audacity to comment on the narrow-minded employers who judged his abilities by his hair style.”

Elmer’s Glue! Who woulda thunk? I think I’ll use some the next time I try a crazy do like this one for my YouTube videos:


Do you have a hairlarious story you’d like to share?


Children’s author Lynn Kelley worked as a court reporter for 25 years while she and her husband, George, raised their four children. Her first chapter book, Curse of the Double Digits, for ages 7 to 10, debuted on October 10, 2012.

Here’s the blurb:

Becky turns 10 on the 10th day of the 10th month!

She expects it to be magical.

 The whole class is invited to her party, including Chad, the cutest boy in the fifth grade. So is Darlenie-the-Meanie.

 Becky wants to look cute for her big day, but all her plans go wrong. Really wrong. The magic of turning ten disappears before she even has a chance to blow out her birthday candles.

 Things get so bad, she refuses to go to her own party. Becky wonders if the Curse of the Double Digits will jinx her forever.


Lynn also coauthors the spooky, fun Monster Moon mystery series for ages 8 to 12 under the pen name BBH McChiller. The highlight of her life are days spent with her grandchildren. Most of her time involves books: either writing books, reading books, or making altered art books. She tries her best to keep her overactive imagination in check.

To buy your copy of Curse of the Double Digits:

Amazon U.S  – Paperback and eBook

Amazon UK – Paperback and eBook

Barnes & Noble – eBook $2.99

Smashwords (formats for all eReaders)

Hope you’ll visit Lynn’s WEBSITE and follow her BLOG if you don’t already.


Haha! Thank you very much, Lynn!

You can come back anytime!

Christine X



Hello, my lovelies.

This was taken in the lovely Cheshire town of Wilmslow last week. I’m a regular visitor, usually with one or both of my daughters where we enjoy a coffee at a French cafe people watching before surfing through Benetton. We’ve shopped at the Benetton store in Wilmslow for over twenty years. And if you just happen to be passing feel free to pop in and say hello because the people who run it deserve a big gold star for customer service and buying choices. The stock is always fantastic. Awesomesauce.

Speaking of sartorial choices, a recent survey came to my attention a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, and this is true, fifty per cent of the men responding to the survey admitted to being dressed by their wife, partner or significant other. For example, ‘helping them choose which tie went with which shirt.’

Hmm. I can hear many of you sputtering over your coffee, ‘Nonsense!’ I hear you cry.

Well, I’ve got news for you. I don’t let mine out of the door unless I’ve cast a wary eye over what he’s wearing. You see mine likes to wear his ‘favourite’ shirt/jeans/cords/shoes etc., until they’re threadbare which is fine as long as I’m not with him. BUT when I go out with him, he’d better be polished, coordinated and a picture of sartorial elegance and that includes zipping up his fly.

Why is it a man can forget to zip up his fly? I remember once walking down the high street in our town and out of the corner of my eye I realised his gate was open. ‘ZIP!’ I hissed and walked in front of him so that he could do it unobtrusively. Can’t call me a passive-aggressive – I’m aggressive all the way.

Anyway, I asked my good friend Mags about this. Mags is a card carrying feminist. Did she dress her husband? I wondered.  She rolled her eyes and said, ‘Of course I do. I’ve better things to do with my time than argue with him about choices. I make it easy and don’t give him a choice. If I left it up to him he’d look like reject from Oxfam.’

‘That’s a bit harsh, isn’t it?’ I said. Her husband’s a big pussy cat and lovely.

She snorted. ‘I draw the line at matching anoraks. Those woollen hats with a pompom irritate the hell out of me too.’

Oookay. Since I’ve been giving the survey much thought (instead of editing the hard bits of Run, Rosie, Run) I reckon being married is why men can’t be bothered. Once they’ve snared won the woman of their heart’s desire, most married men care about their clothes the way they might look after bird seed: with a total lack of care and attention.

However, there is one part of Hugo’s wardrobe that certainly claims his attention. Gilets and cargo pants. He has duck down gilets, quilted, cotton, waterproof and many more and in many colour ways and the reason for that is they have plenty of pockets. It’s the pockets that do it for him. A pocket for his cell phone. A pocket for his keys. A pocket for his wallet. A pocket for loose change. A special pocket for pens. A pocket for his camera lens. A pocket for his glasses. A secret pocket for his secret cigars. (Supposed to have kicked that habit, darling.)

I blame David Beckham for the unfortunate rise in popularity of the woollen cardigan among middle-aged men who should know better. It is not a good look, guys. David is built like Adonis and as much as it pains me to tell you this. You do not.

So, guys, do you allow your wife to dress you?

Girls, do you dress your husband?

You know I adore hearing from you!


PS Reckless Nights In Rome is at varying levels in the top twenty in iTunes across many countries and sales of A Stormy Spring are rocking too. Click on the iTunes link on the top right hand corner of the blog to get your free copy of Reckless! Enjoy!







Think Easy Virtue meets No Reservations

 …She’d wasted enough of her life madly in love with a man she could never have…

Perhaps it was time to give another man a chance…

But now Rosie has two men who want her and will stop at nothing to win her heart…

Which one will she choose…



Hello my darlings,

Just to let you know that Run Rosie Run will be delayed due to revisions/edits/copy edits. The work is technically finished, but I wasn’t happy with a couple of issues and I suspect my target was a leetle bit unrealistic.

But I’ve been receiving so many emails asking where she is that I thought I’d better do a post and humbly prostrate myself before you.

I’m looking at the end of November.

And it’s my wedding anniversary tomorrow – I’m being wined and dined by H.

And have you guys seen this? It is hilarious. A little girl (nearly five) tells her brother how to behave after he’s been very naughty. Reminds me of my eldest daughter when she was five – those were the days!





You may not have noticed, but Halloween will soon be upon us and that got me thinking about things that go bump in the night.

What makes a really good ghost story? What is it about the way a writer tells a story that freezes our blood? How do they do it?

For me, it’s all about sleight of hand. You know what I mean, it’s when a writer has taken your hand leading you down one path while in the other hand he holds a bloody dagger – metaphorically speaking. Quite often the story is about shocking the reader too. And today I’m going to plug an amazing anthology which does just that and more! But first…..

I want to tell you about a true event – the time where I absolutely traumatized a three-year-old girl.

When my son was nine and it was Halloween he’d been invited to hang out and eat at a friend’s house and he was due home around six-thirty in the evening. I’d been shopping in the supermarket and spotted a really cool Morticia Addams long black wig with a white streak at the front. So I used a white concealer stick on my face, painted black liner around my eyes with red lids and hooker red lipstick on my mouth and put on the wig. Even if I say so myself, it looked hot.  I wore black slacks and a black polo neck sweater – cashmere (this is me we’re talking about). I also found a huge cross with red stones attached to a long beaded necklace. Everything was ready, the box of candy and other teeth rotting goodies just at the front door.

The doorbell rang and I opened the door with a deep, ‘Welcome, young man. Please enter.’

My son howled with laughter – it takes a lot to scare my son – and thought I looked pretty cool. By this time my daughters were home and we’d given out a few treats to the ghosts and ghouls who’d come to the door. And as I’d given one or two a bit of a shock I was feeling pretty damn good.

Anyway, I was just about to relax when the doorbell went. By this time I’d bumped up the make-up to look even more scary so I opened the door and screeched like a banshee from hell at an unsuspecting mother and her two young children.

I’ll never forget it.

Her three-year-old daughter almost passed out on the spot and ran screaming for her life up the drive and into the arms of her father. Her mother and older sister were stood before me clutching their hearts.

‘What on earth do you think you are doing? You terrified my baby,’ the poor woman said.

‘It’s…er…Halloween,’ I sort of mumbled trying to smile but if anything their eyes went even bigger. The screams of the three year old could be heard for miles and neighbors popped their heads out of the door wondering what the hell was going on.

There are times when I’m incredibly stupid and this was one of them. I started running up the drive to try and calm the child but she went absolutely crazy and her father yelled for me to ‘Get the hell out of here.’  I felt awful absolutely certain I’d given her PTSD. So anyway the mother and daughter were given tons of tooth rotting goodies and I waved them farewell.

I closed the door to find my son and daughter lying on the carpet, drumming their heels on the floor and crying with laughter. Once they managed to speak they said it was the best thing they’d ever seen in their lives and I was the coolest mother in the world. There you go.  Terrorize an infant and your kids think your amazing. I’ve gone wrong somewhere. Seriously.

Back to the subject at hand – TALES FROM THE MIST – an Anthology of short stories guaranteed to chill your blood, tingle your spine, make you sleep with one eye open and have a sweaty hand clutching the dagger under your pillow – just in case. There are some award winning literary big hitters among this motley crew along with new writers who have a fabulous future ahead of them if these stories are anything to go by.

I read some of them aloud – and I think they’ll work really well if you get a group of friends together with a bottle of wine, light a few candles and tell them a story. It would really help if it’s ‘A dark and stormy night’ too. I’ll leave it to you lot to sort out your own sound effects.

Here’s what some reviewers have said:

Author Aiden James, who penned the Foreword, suggests reading with the lights on.

Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Flesh Eaters and Mutated: “”Tales From The Mist is one of those rare anthologies that gets it right from the first story to the last. It’s a magnificent feast of horror from some of the most assured voices working today. From cold-blooded tales of revenge to Faustian bargains to terrifying journeys into the dark corners of our world, these stories will make the shivers climb your back.”

“Wow, what can I say? Witches, vampire rats, ghosts, a haunted house, shape-shifters and many, many more. It takes a lot to creep me out, but these authors managed it. I’m not going to add to the other reviewers except to say. Wow!”

“While horror isn’t my normal reading material, I found I couldn’t put this book down. It’s the perfect way to start out the All Hallows Eve season and is filled with paranormal stories to fit any mood. From ghosts to rats to tales retold, and things that go bump in the dark of the night, if you’re looking for a scary read – or just a really engrossing book – check out Tales From The Mist.”

So there you go. Don’t say I’m not good to you. Grab Tales From The Mist and organise your own spooky party then come back and tell us all about it it.

What’s your favourite horror movie?

What book terrified you for weeks or months? Mine was Salem’s Lot.

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Tales-From-The-Mist-ebook/dp/B009KRKTIW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349273129&sr=8-1&keywords=Tales+From+The+Mist