LICKING MY MAN INTO SHAPE

Okay now, children, settle down. (I knew the title would get you all going.)

Every now and again it’s shake-down time in this house and the red mist of temper descends. You all know what I mean. It usually follows the unparalleled agony of standing on a tiny Lego figure in your bare feet, the air turns blue and every red blooded male runs for the hills because we women have finally hit our limit (an event that tends to be cyclical) with the chaos that now reigns in our domain, all thanks to the men in our lives.

It happened this week and my son and Hugo still haven’t recovered from the tornado that was Christine as she tore through kitchen, bathrooms and (Oh My God) the biological hazard that was my son’s bedroom. I’ve promised next time I will name and shame him.

The salad drawer in the fridge was shocking with something that might have been a baby carrot in a previous life, tomatoes which had dried out without the aid of the sun – withered chorizo anyone?

The breadbin offered up a ping pong ball, one chocolate button and a burger bun that was evidently taking part in some weird Year 6 science experiment.

The oven needed two full cans of Mr Muscle.

The microwave – well – all I’ll say is I cried, readers, I cried.

I found three socks, not matching, empty chip packets, car keys that went missing three months ago and six one pound coins down the side of the couches in the lounge.

Then just to compound the horror, I decided to clear out my closet. Why, Christine? I hear you ask. Don’t you have enough to do with editing two books at the same time as well as writing a weekly serialised story on your blog and have a new book coming out this week, along with social networking and guest blogging. What are you doing, woman?

In my defence all I’ll say is I was demented by this time, so I set about shovelling through T-shirts/vests/leggings/hoodie. Pointless, thankless task. The wonderful streamlined look will last for all of three days, max. No matter how fabulous and liberated you feel after a mammoth clear out, as you survey the six bursting black bin bags, colour co-ordinated T-shirts, sweaters and neatly folded jeans, within a couple of heart beats your favourite best silky top is trapped under a stool, and two sweaters and a pair of pants are found stillborn on the floor.

It’s the same with shovelling clearing out the cars. I’ve tested this in the past: as soon as the last apple core is cleared out from the glove compartment, the melted candy from between the seats, 48 hours later it morphs back into a dumpster on wheels.

Or is this just me?

Sometimes I worry and promise to do better.

Friends of mine are always smart and very well put together. And I’ve seen their kitchens, they (or their cleaners) must spend hours scrubbing the white grout between their tiles with toothbrushes. And I bet their ovens are sparkling and their microwaves are a thing of beauty.

So here’s my ‘will do better’ list:

Hang up and put away.

Do not leave clothes in a scrunched up ball on the floor.

Wear matching bra and panties and not just for visits to the GP/hospital.

I will do a little and often (cleaning that is).

I will stop terrorising the men in my family and ask them nicely to please clean up after themselves (they asked me to put that in btw.)

Anyway, peace and tranquillity has now returned to the household. It’s all looking sparkly with the surfaces gleaming and glass glistening.

Hugo’s just stepped out of his study (a room I never set foot in because the dust bunnies on the floor are breeding) and he put his arm around me.

‘Don’t worry, honey. Your friends might have cleaner houses. But they can’t tell a story like you can and bring sheer entertainment to the masses.’

And do you know something? He’s absolutely right, no wonder I adore him.

What’s more important, my readers or my oven?

No contest really, is there?

You know I love to hear from you guys, tell me I’m not alone and share your dirty little secrets with us, we won’t tell a soul!

And chapter sixteen of Desert Orchid is up. This story’s nearly at THE END.

AND A STORMY SPRING IS OUT ON MONDAY! YAAAAAY!!!!!

WHY HUSBANDS COME IN TWO VARIETIES

My friend, Jeanette, has a very interesting husband.

I’ve thought so for quite some time. You see, he gives her unsolicited advice on what to wear and when to wear it and has even bought an entire outfit for her when she wasn’t with him.

This made me realise that husbands come in two distinct varieties. The first type roll through life tremendously interested in bikes, iPads and the latest football score, without unduly bothering about what’s living (or hiding) in their wives closets. Fortunately for me, I’m married to this first character, and I must admit, it’s a very good thing. I can surf from new shoes to new purse to cooking spaghetti bolognaise to an evening dress to my ripped jeans and he’ll never notice, unless I leap into his line of vision and SHRIEK about the absolute fabulousness of my NEW DRESS. Otherwise, I could walk into the house carrying twelve shoe boxes, teetering under the weight and he’d say, ‘Hey, babe, have you seen the remote?’ Or, ‘Did you know we’re out of chips?’

Of course, there are one or two disadvantages to being married to type one. He wouldn’t notice if I ran around the garden naked, shouting ‘Hello! Here I am, wearing nothing but a silver bracelet and ready for luuurrvvve.’ But most of the time, it works. If I had a husband like Jeanette’s, I’d be spitting nails and swearing like a trooper.

Her husband watches her like a raptor, always wittering on about what’s appropriate attire for the trip to the supermarket or that the plunging neckline is not suitable for the pub quiz night. He even buys her underwear not kidding, and usually red or black. Jeanette appears thrilled by all the attention and lovely gifts he bestows on her. It would drive me to drink. I don’t know about you, but I feel a man who’s interested in woman’s clothes is well, odd. I’ve never met a straight man for example who can genuinely understand the brilliant cut of Victoria Beckham’s clothing line.

In my humble opinion, a woman’s closet should be a very personal space, a place where she can simply be herself, where she doesn’t have to follow anyone else’s personal agenda.

To be honest, I don’t think my husband even knows what’s in my closet or even where it is. He certainly has no idea I have ‘fat’ clothes and ‘thin’ clothes, ‘winter’ and ‘spring’ clothes.

Which is why I was not at all surprised when Jennifer Lopez divorced the odd Marc Anthony due to his endless enthralment with what she wore and when she wore it. According to those in the know (miles of gossip fodder) he threw all his toys out of the pram because her clothes were too sexy (hello, this is J.Lo!) and not ‘appropriate’ for a 42year old mother of twins. I know exactly why she did it – she was saying ‘Up yours! I’ll wear whatever the hell I like!’ If I had a body like hers I’d be shaking my booty up and down the red carpet. Just try stopping me.

However, all this being over particular about what your wife wears is an insidious form of control in my honest opinion and can only end in tears. Just remember, marriage is about devotion not about ownership.

And J.Lo’s moved on and we’re seeing a great deal more of her amazing body – you go girl!!

So tell us the truth women (and men). Does your nearest and dearest buy your clothes?

Does he know the difference between boot cut and skinny jeans?

Does he know if you’re an Apple or a Pear?

Does he buy your knickers in packs of five from Wal-Mart or pure silk from Victoria’s Secret?

Tell us! We demand to know!

You know I love hearing from you! Don’t be shy, you’re among friends and we won’t tell anyone – so come and share your closet secrets!

Oh, and Episode fifteen of Desert Orchid is out and Khalid in on his knees. Just say’in!

DESERT ORCHID EPISODE 10 AND OLYMPIC TORCH THROUGH MY TOWN YESTERDAY

 

 

Hello my darlings,

 

As promised, here’s the Olympic Torch on its way through my town yesterday in the rain (typical). The torch was handed over to various people who contribute a great deal of their time  to serve our community. There was an elderly man and various others along with this girl, a star who’s overcome many hurdles to help others.

 

Aaaaand, Episode Ten of Desert Orchid is in pages and the whole pdf file is available to download too.

 

I’ll post pictures of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations being held over the next four days. The UK is coming to a grinding halt while we all celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s sixty years on the throne. Wow!

What are you all up to? Please come in and share!

 

Right, diving back into the writing cave.

DESERT ORCHID CHAPTER NINE

 

 

Desert Orchid

Desert Orchid

 

Hello my darlings!

The heat is definitely on with the temperature here in the UK a balmy 89 degrees and rising!

After the wettest April in living memory the gardens resemble plants on crack cocaine and the poor bees are starving because of no flowers, ie no food.

I took a few days off from writing and tweeting and  facebooking and blogging. My friend, August, calls it taking a mental health break and I absolutely get what she’s saying.

Reckless Nights In Rome is still ticking along. A Stormy Spanish Spring is ready to rock for a July launch and Desert Orchid is rocking. The things I do to this pair has had me crying (in a good way) and I LOVE Khalid who Charisse calls the ‘Rock Star’.

How are things with you guys? What are you working on and how are you doing? How’s the weather with you? Hot, cold, wet or dry? Is it just the Brits who care about the weather?

Next weekend is the Elizabeth II, the Queen’s 60th Anniversary of when she took the throne and the whole country is having a party. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to celebrate a wonderful woman who put her country and duty before herself.

Then the UK is hosting the Olympics at the end of July this year and the torch is running through my town this week! I shall post photos!

DESERT ORCHID EPISODES SEVEN AND EIGHT

Hello my darlings,

Episodes seven and eight are posted on the Desert Orchid page and also in the pdf files.

Having amazing fun with this and the discipline is a great lesson. I’m also working on my work in progress, editing a novel and writing a couple of other short stories and a novella. It appears that writing daily is sparking my creativity, so I’m making the most of it!  Reckless Nights In Rome is holding its own without any promotion at all from me and that’s interesting isn’t it?

What are you guys up to?

 

Christine

MANIC MONDAY – DESERT ORCHID EPISODE SIX

 

Hello my darlings.

 

Since I’m up the wall writing my work in progress and received requests to post larger episodes of Desert Orchid and I live to serve, I’ve added another 6,000+ words to the story today.

The next two episodes will be posted on Friday.

For those of you interested in stats, over 180 peeps are reading Desert Orchid on their phones (!) via the pdf file which I find mind boggling. A Reckless Night in Rome is clicking along and again most peeps are reading on phones or Kindles and downloading direct to their devices rather than going through their computers. Who knew?

As I said many are asking for more of the story at least twice a week and since this is the first time I’ve done this I’m happy to oblige. I should mention that this story it literally taking shape as I write and goes against every single engrained word of wisdom on how to write, so don’t do what I do. At the very least have some sort of outline. Having said that I do have a rough idea of where I’m going and found the notes I made on the original concept way back in 2009. What’s interesting to me are the different names I gave the characters and the animals! It’s like meeting an old friend! I can’t say how long it’s going to take to get to THE END! But at least I have an ending and now need to merge the work.

Enjoy!

Christine

FREEBIE FRIDAY

Episode Five is up at the bottom of pages and you can download the story so far in pdf to read later!

I’m up against deadlines and writing like a crazy person!

Reckless Nights in Rome is doing great and I want to thank every single one of you who purchased the story, you guys seriously rock and I’ll keep you posted on what’s coming – A Stormy Spanish Spring – where we meet Bronte and Nico  (from Reckless Nights) again in the latter part of this book. The feedback for Reckless has been amazing and I’m thrilled you guys enjoyed it.

Christine

 

FREEBIE FRIDAY

Desert Orchid

Desert Orchid

Hello my darlings,

Episode four of Desert Orchid is on the next page.  You can download the pdf too for later.

AND the big announcement is that Reckless Nights is on a two day special promotion and free on Kindle – sweet dreams are made of this, trust me! Grab it here.

So if you fancy a sensual read, pull up a box of chocolates, light some candles, pour a glass of wine and relax with Nico and Bronte.

A short and sweet post today because I’ve just shot my heroine in my wip and loved every second of it!  Hmm, I feel a post coming on. I need to get her into a military helicopter with the medics before she bleeds to death. Can’t have that!

You know I love hearing from you guys and what I want to know is what you’re all up to? What are you writing? What are you reading?

WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO MY BURGLAR….

 

Good Monday morning, my darlings!

In the incredible journey of life, we’ve been burgled twice.

The first time was when we went on holiday for a couple of weeks with my girls when they were small. Because of a spate of thefts from garages, we brought our petrol lawn mower into the house thinking it would be safe there. In those days petrol lawn mowers were terribly expensive and we had a large corner plot with much grass so we were very attached to the machine (which was a temperamental bloody thing with one of those cords that you pulled. Never started for me but batted its eyelashes at Hugo and leapt to attention when he pulled it. I called it The Bitch) but I digress.

We took all the usual precautions before going on holiday, cancelled the milk, the neighbours had a key and they picked up the mail and switched on the lights and kept a general eye on the place. Anyway, the low life scumbags – forever known as LLSB’s – entered via a side window (I won’t tell you how they did it in case some wannabes read this – why give them help? and they should remember payback’s an evil witch called Christine.)

So when we came back from a break in Ibiza all bronzed and mellow with our livers pickled in Sangria it was to find my dear friend and neighbour, Linda, in tears and totally devastated. (For that alone I hope Karma has inflicted mucho pain.)

After forensics had made an even bigger mess, Linda asked the boys in blue (police) if she should clean up the place and do a bit of tidying because she couldn’t bear for me to come back to the disaster that was my home and they said to go ahead. I should mention at this point that I’m known as the woman in whose house you can eat your dinner off the kitchen floor, just say’in

So although it was a shock it could have been worse. The LLSB’s took my late grandmother’s engagement ring which was all I had of her. She died shortly after I was born. Along with various other bits and pieces of jewellery. The LLSB’s had piled packets of flour, sugar, salt and tons of other things on the kitchen work surfaces – apparently in readiness to trash the place. The boys in blue surmised that they’d been disturbed by something and had left the way they came.

The fingerprint teams were the one thing that seriously spooked me because they’d been all through my underwear drawer – where I kept valuables and items special to me. I’m a girl, we do stuff like that – and the black powder took days to clean off. I felt totally and utterly violated that the LLSB’s had been through personal letters, bank statements (this was in the days before online banking) and other items.

But do you know what really, really &%%£$$!! me off?

The LLSB’s had gone through every single CD and took all MINE and left HUGO’s. How the hell is that fair? Not only did I lose The Corrs, Enya, Elton John, David Bowie, Roxy Music, Enigma, Paula Abdul, Bon Jovi (I cried over him) Meatloaf, Whitney Huston (bless her) and Mariah Carey.

But they left me with Delbert McClinton, Waylon Jennings, The Nitty bloody Gritty Dirt Band (!) Garth Brooks and The Texas Tornadoes … the list is endless but you get the picture.

This was the last straw that broke this camel’s back. I cried. I wailed. I sobbed like a baby with Hugo rocking me telling me to ‘Hush.’ And that ‘Everything would be fine.’  To this day I feel bitter. GIVE ME MY MUSIC BACK YOU S.O.B’S.

Sigh. So come on, what have you had purloined from you? Share and we can all heal together. And let’s see if we can beat last week’s amazing comments – you were all totally awesome!

The second time we were burgled is a whole other long story and you’ll need a box of tissues for that one.

Oh, and just in case your wondering, The Bitch was untouched. Snarl.

DESERT ORCHID – EPISODE THREE KHALID AND CHARISSE MEET

Sea from the Desert

Hello my lovelies,

It’s Freeby Friday here today and episode three of Desert Orchid is posted on the next page. Just click the ‘Desert Orchid’  link next to ‘About’ on the menu bar above to read it. The episodes run consecutively so scroll down to find number three.  If you prefer, I’ve posted a pdf file with the three episodes for you to download to  Adobe reader or Calibre and will update it each week. Thought that was a better idea for you to read it later at your leisure rather than 2,265 words in one go.

The tale is about to enter a whole new phase now that Khalid and Charisse have met. They’ve no idea of the challenges ahead, bless them. A beta reader told me I’m a cruel witch which is very true. No point in having a dark and brooding hero if he’s not tortured is there? Hehehe.

Keep me posted on how you’re enjoying this story – I LOVE to hear from you guys.

That’s it! Short and sweet since it’s been a manic week in this household and my brain’s been through the Kindle blender.