Hi Guys,

Rhonda Hopkins invited me on her blog today to participate in her Authors Give Back Tuesday.

The subject we’re talking about today is very close to my heart, The Dr. Susan Love Foundation, breast cancer, and in particular prevention.  The number of women, especially young women under thirty five being diagnosed with the disease is on the increase. So this is a call to arms to all women, no matter how old and to their husbands and partners, to be vigilant.

You never know, what you read today just might save the life of the one you adore and who’s at the centre of your life.

What better gift of love to give her?

Please join Rhonda and I at her blog to help spread the word.

We need all the help we can get! Did I tell you that you guys seriously rock?


Since that amazing moment over a year ago when Pippa Middleton’s bottom went planetary, I’ve found myself inspecting the derrieres of everyone from the postman to the guy in Starbucks to the girl at the check out in the supermarket.

What makes a great one? What characterizes Pippa’s bottom – lovely though it is, especially in that dress – from the butts of the average person?

And I’m not being critical here but men appear to be the ones drooling over PM’s posterior more than women. Do they prefer a muscle-butt rather than something more substantial? Is this what they’re looking for in their perfect partner? Don’t they prefer something curvy that could sit on a knee and not leave a crease?

A bottom, like a breast and a narrow waist is a symbol of fertility in a woman, and over millenia men have been attracted to plenteous, competent, well-disposed buttocks; buttocks that can do the job nature intended.

While pondering the meaning of this – in one of those moments when I should be editing and coming up with a brilliant blurb for my new book – it occurred to me that what women want from their own bottom is very different to the expectations placed upon it by a man. Not that I’ve a great deal of experience (she says), but men appear to prefer a handful, something to grope pinch, perhaps something with a jiggle, and a big spoonful of lurve, women, as ever and how pathetic are we, want something skinny.

We want a bum that can wear skinny jeans without trying to burst forth and break loose. A bum that rocks a bikini bottom. A bum that ‘never looks big’ in this. We want peachy and lifted and taut.

If I could choose my bum, I’d want Brooklyn Decker’s bottom which is as close to perfection as you can imagine without belonging to the prestidigitization of the airbrush. It’s pert, high and powerful.

In the interests of understanding my subject, I asked my girlfriends if they liked their bums and NOT ONE said they did. One or two liked their feet, hands, their boobs or their hair, but every single one hated her bottom. And I know three of them said they sobbed in changing rooms with those God awful surround mirrors when they saw their bum. I even know some who wear tops that cover their bum in the sea or in a swimming pool.

I have a flat bum, it used to be toned and pert, but due to the number of hours it’s perched in my chair as I type like a fiend my next best-seller (I can dream) I’m afraid it’s let me down very badly and is an extraterrestrial to me now. If I happen coup d’oeil, usually by accident, I’m always sincerely shocked, certain it must belong to someone else and then I hit the lunges and squats for a week, which means I can’t sit down without whimpering in agony.

So to sum up, women are not happy with what they’ve got and men are more than happy with whatever they can get.

Does this mean that men (for once) are right? They love Pippa’s bum simply because it belongs to a woman?

Hugo’s just yelled, ‘Result!’ Hmm, might need to inflict pain on him later.

You know I adore and need to hear from you guys – Do you love your bum? If you’re a guy do you love your honey’s bum and if so what does it for you?

We need to know!

Due to a book launch, guesting on a blog and being driven insane by the foibles of my new shiny Mac! Desert Orchid is late this week – normal service shall be resumed as soon as possible. (Hugo’s just posted a note above my Mac – THIS MACHINE HAS NO BRAIN – USE YOUR OWN! I feel a D.I.V.O.R.C.E. coming on!)

Oh and on Monday my book, Reckless Nights In Rome is here – one of fifteen chosen, all sales on Amazon on MONDAY 16TH JULY 2012 shall be donated to the ‘Sell Books For Steve Day’ for thriller author Steve Brown’s Bone Marrow Transplant treatment. You might find a new author you like! Please spread the word around the ‘net on Monday – you guys seriously rock!


Via Lynne Carmichael

Hello, my lovelies!

Today we’re talking goals. Losing weight, getting fit or accomplishing our writing goals isn’t as easy as it sounds otherwise we’d all be skinny, lean and mean writing machines.

First of all we need to decide about what we want, then work out how we’re going to get there. Sounds easy doesn’t it? But it’s not, especially if you’re new to attempting weight loss, getting fit or writing a sentence never mind writing a novel.


This week, I’ve fallen off the writing wagon and I’ve plenty of excuses as to why. A friend was buried. The brick wall my writing crashed into isn’t even cracked never mind damaged. My hero is being a stubborn B******d! And my heroine needs a smacked bottom – no, it’s not kinky (looking at you Myndi, Deborah, Rachel FH and Karen McF) so it’s been shoulder rolls and knuckle cracking time to sort this pair out. The emotional tension needs ratcheted up and he needs less simpatico and more edgy/attitude as well being empathic – not a lot, just a little (I don’t ask for much from my heroes, do I?) And this is at the end of the first draft so why I expect the thing to be perfect God knows – see what I mean about expectations? I know all first drafts are crap so why do I expect mine to be perfect? Why?

Having goals and working towards them is fantastic. But we need to prepare for the unexpected. So we need to constantly re-evaluate our goals and ask ourselves these questions.

  1. Are they realistic?
  2. Are they adaptable?
  3. Are they workable?
  4. Are they achievable?

We can never stay motivated 100% of the time. We need to block out our inner critic and it’s harping voice of negativity. We need to think about what we HAVE achieved and to do that we need to keep a log of what we write/research/mull-over every single day. Keep a diary, or jot it on a wall planner, of your progress and make a note of how what you’ve done, foods guzzled, yards walked, word count etc. Then, when times are tough we can look back and see what we’ve achieved already. Seemples!

And we need to build ourselves a team. Which those of you who are members of We Are Not alone (WANA) already know (link here for you guys who’ve never heard of the Queen of Blogland, Kristen Lamb.) Weirdly, she’s just been talking about teamwork – spooky or what – I think she could be a witch BUT DON’T TELL HER I SAID THAT.

Don’t underestimate the importance of having friends! They help you to celebrate the highs and hug/kick ass during the lows. Remember true friends do not envy you your success – they support you. Teammates can help you with the ‘sticky bits’ on our journey to weight loss, better fitness or publishing success.

And remember 90% of people give themselves IMPOSSIBLE goals, so make sure yours are baby steps. And once you’ve achieved your goals. Do Not Give Up. Keep Going. Set a new goal, even if it’s maintaining what you’ve already done. The wonderful James Scott Bell has written The Art of War for Writers and it’s brilliant for keeping us on track. I love that man.

Are you adaptable with your goals?

Are you part of a fabulous group of like minded people? If so, who are they and can we join too?

Do you wanna be part of WANA? Join here!

Do you celebrate the good times as well as the bad?

I adore hearing from you guys. Seriously, I get all warm and fuzzy when someone stops by and says hello. And sob heart brokenly into my pillow if you don’t. (I’m not above a bit of emotional blackmail.)


Writing, feel the fear factor.




I’m in the middle of reading the wonderful Kristen Lamb’s ‘Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer’ – I also follow her blog.  In the first chapter she talks about how our feeeeeeelings can sabotage our writing habit, and she is absolutely right.

We’ve all done it, had that extra glass of wine that’s tipped us over the edge and meant we can’t write.  Followed by the feeeeeling of guilt we haven’t reached our 3,000 word goal of the day (we wish.)  Followed by the feeeeeeling we’re useless, write crap and will never get there.
Followed by the feeeeeling to give up.
Followed by the … get the picture?

Or, we’ve had a domestic with our other half, or our boss is a pain in the ***, or our friends don’t understand that the muse is a fickle beast.  Of course, all of these events affect our feeeeeelings and those, in turn, affect our writing.

Kristen says ‘feelings can be the enemy and steal your dreams’ I love that statement.
Feeeeeeelings LIE!

What to do?

Set goals.  I should say, set achievable writing goals.  Every single day.

My list of writing goals for today are:


Revise competition entry

Read last scene of wip

Write next two scenes of wip

It might not look a lot, but I’ve learned the hard way to have no more than four things on my list.  I don’t know how long it’s going to take to revise that competition entry because of the copious notes I’ve made and I’m not sure if what is in my head will work.

Reading yesterday’s work isn’t straightforward either.  We’ve all done the fiddling and
faffing about, even though WE KNOW not to go back until we’ve finished the
first draft.

Then the planned scenes might not gel, or the characters might – hopefully – grip us by the throat and we end up writing reams of stuff.  Isn’t is great when that happens?

And sometimes, out of the blue, a new idea springs to mind.  If that happens, we stop what
we’re doing and make a note in our ‘ideas’ book, don’t we?

However, that all sounds wonderful and organised, disciplined and writer savvy, right?
Well, yeah, but it never ever turns out like that.  Why?  Well, because we’re not perfect people.

We are writers which means for most of the time we inhabit a place that is not real in our psyche.  Our characters talk to us ALL the time, they make demands and insist on
telling the story in their own way and doing stuff that can cause no end of headaches.  The outline we sweated over for four long days our characters totally ignore and that is a scary feeling (ah,ah, see?  Fear has just popped in to
say hello, how ya doin, so you think you can write?)

In my opinion, fear is a writers greatest enemy and it takes many forms.

Fear of failure

Fear of making mistakes

Fear of other writer’s opinions

Fear of being mediocre

Fear of being laughed at

Fear of success

Hmm, one of my critique partners accused me of the last one when I edited my voice and joy out of a piece.  And she was right.

Fear steals our joy of creativity, it throttles it and kills it, if we let it.

What to do?

Embrace it!
Seriously, because when we get that sliver, that tickle in our gut then it might mean we’re on to something big.

Our intuition knows that we are on the right track.  We’re doing something wonderful,
something that could even be the next step to SUCCESS.

What holds you back? Do you have an inner gremlin chuntering in your ear?  How do you get
rid of it?

Links: Kristen Lamb’s blog

And “Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer.”