Boom Boom

Shopping is always fun

Shopping is always fun

#ccmackenzie #Sugar and Sin


It’s been a while since I’ve put pen to paper but life stuff happened and I needed to take a break, mull things over,  chew the fat, chill out, etc.  I can’t say that everything is back to normal, whatever that is, but something funny happened last week and H said, you really need to blog about that – and here it is:

So the thing is that I love and adore shoe shops. I’ve no idea why this is other than I’m a woman and shoes appear to be hot wired into our DNA. H and I were loitering in the gorgeous Roman spa town of Buxton in the peak district national park. We’d spent a couple of hours chatting and chilling out in a cafe, watching the world go by. (All authors people watch, that’s in their DNA too.)

Anyway, Buxton has THE most amazing shoe shop. It’s one of those places that defy a woman to pass without checking out the new stock, or even better, the SALE!

Now H knew that I’d stop there, like a dog cocking her leg on her favourite lamp-post. And sure enough…..

Like any woman my eyes can scan shelves  like a laser travelling over brand names, discarding the dross and hunting for a diamond. For the first time in years I found nada. I know, it shocked me too. How could this possibly be? So I turned towards the entrance but double backed to check out the stand there, just in case I’d missed something I couldn’t live without.

But nope, nothing hit the spot.

So I backed up into H, ‘There’s nothing here I want,’ I said, and then I half-turned and patted his bottom and felt him go stiff. ‘Let’s go.’

You know how we all have another sense, a sense that says, ‘Hold it! Something’s not quite right here.’

Well, my sense kicked in and I looked at H. Except it wasn’t H!

My eyes went huge and I held out my hand to grip his arm while my other hand slapped my face.

The poor man just stood there grinning at me and had the most amazing twinkle in his eye. Thank God.

‘Ohhh, I am sooooo sorry,’ I cried. ‘I thought you were my husband. And Oh My God, but I patted your bottom.’

In the meantime I was desperately searching for H, and found him leaning against a pillar and grinning like a fool.

‘Don’t worry,’ H said to the man. ‘She does that all the time.’

The stranger just grinned at H and replied. ‘Women! They’re all the same.’

By this time I was crying with embarrassment and H tucked my arm in his as we waved goodbye and walked down the street.

‘What happened?’ he asked.

‘What happened?’ I spluttered. ‘I only patted his bum!’

It’s not often my H is speechless, but he took a deep breath and then howled with laughter.

So there you go, H can’t take me anywhere but I’m feeling up other men. As I type this my face is radioactive.

Talking about radioactive.

Let me draw your attention to something else I got up to over the summer. The lovely New York Times best-selling author, Nana Malone, invited me and four others – Stacey Joy Netzel, Kristine Cayne, Liz Matis and L.C. Giroux – to bring a sample of our work to the masses. The boxed set is titled Sugar & Sin


Click To Read Excerpt

My contribution is Run Rosie Run which fits into the Sugar and Sin part of the deal.

The cover is really cool!

Now what the world wants to know is – what’s THE most embarrassing this you’ve ever done????

(This should be good.)

You know I LOVE to hear from you, please share your story.

Christine XXX

DESERT ORCHID – Coming early 2014 – Get the skinny here

Desert Orchid 900 03 300dpi 1200x

Here’s the prototype cover for my stand-alone adventure romance coming early 2014.

Here’s the short blurb and back page blurb:

Think Memoirs of a Geisha meets Taken.

…An Arabian Queen must marry a wild, wicked and wilful Desert Prince to save her people from civil unrest and protect the wealth of her Kingdom…Charisse never expected to find love…But events in her tragic past threaten to destroy not only her Kingdom but her life too…Can their fragile love survive…

He didn’t want a country. He didn’t want a wife. He wanted whisky. And he wanted to forget.

Charisse El Haribe is committed to her adopted country. But after her husband’s death covetous eyes are turned towards the vast untapped mineral wealth of Onnur. The country’s only hope is for her to marry her husband’s nephew, the wild, wicked and womanizing Prince Khalid El Haribe.

To make amends to his family and to assuage his guilt for the death of his sister, Prince Khalid El Haribe agrees to marry his late uncle’s widow and to reign over the small state of Onnur. However, he’s stunned to find his intended is young, intelligent and beautiful.Their attraction is instant and burns too hot.

But a nightmare from Charisse’s past returns and threatens to destroy not only her, but the man and the country she loves.

Christine x



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: 




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!


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.




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?



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.


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.


Hello my darlings,

How’s Monday treating you? Well, I trust?

Have you ever wondered about your name? Where it came from and why your dear parents decided to give you your handle?

What made them look at a tiny bald infant with a face like a squashed prune and think ‘Hmm, we’ll call him Miles. He looks like a Miles, doesn’t he, darling?’ Or if they had a baby girl with a shock of black hair and jaundice and a face that resembled a squished raisin they thought ‘Oooh, we’ll call her Pebble. She looks like a Pebble, doesn’t she darling?’ Sometimes I look at a person and you just know that his/her parents had been sipping too much happy juice and simply weren’t thinking when they named him/her.

Take my DH. His name is Hugo. I was introduced to him as Hugo and everyone I knew called him Hugo – I met him at work.

So, we got engaged – the ring was so impressive my hand dragged along the floor (jesting) and in a happy haze I was taken to meet his parents up in the snowy mountains far, far up  in the wilds of the North of Scotland. As you can imagine I was nervous. Would they like me? Would they approve? I’m nine years younger; would they think I was too young? What should I wear? Would jeans be too casual? You know all the stuff we always worry about when we’re presented to our future in laws. Before I continue, I just need to make it clear that I am not a stupid person – normally. But nerves sort of got the better of me.

So, anyway, there I was sipping tea with his mother, aunt, uncle, brother and young cousin all staring at me as if I’d just beamed down from Pluto whenever I mentioned Hugo. And they were chattering away in their lovely lilting highland accent, sort of singy songy if you know what I mean. And they kept referring to Kenny and they looked at me as if I knew this Kenny. So I just nodded politely waiting for Kenny to appear. He was obviously an important person and part of the family and this went on for over four hours. I was befuddled, but thought perhaps I’d missed a bit of the conversation and didn’t want to appear thick.

That night I was taken for a baptism of fire to the ‘pub’ (bar) where I happily downed as much booze as his friends could tip down my throat – and they flirted with me too, just say’in. And they kept referring to this person called ‘Shy’ and looking at me as if I knew this person very very well.  Since I’d had a couple of drinks or five I turned to this terribly attractive TDH (tall, dark & handsome) pal of my fiancé and said ‘Who’s Shy?’ and he said, ‘Hugo’s Shy.’  I shook my head because if there’s one thing my DH is not, it’s Shy. ‘No, he’s definitely not shy.’  Mr TDH howled with laughter and said, ‘No – that’s his nickname from when he played football.’ I must have looked confused because he added, ‘It’s what we call a throw in from the touch line at football.’ Oookay. I should mention that I met people called Toots, Frog, Panda & Poogie. (!)

As we staggered on our way back to his mother’s house groping holding each other. I said, ‘Who’s Kenny?’ Hugo just looked at me as if I was incredibly stupid (and believe me I was feeling incredibly stupid by this point) and said, ‘That’s me! My second name is Kenneth and they all call me Kenny because my mother’s never liked the name Hugo.’

So I ask you, seriously, why in the name of the Lord would you name a baby Hugo Kenneth and permit his school friends to call him from the age of eight (yes eight) Shy? So his family was totally at sea when I referred to Hugo and I had no bloody idea who Kenny was. And then in the pub not a clue who Shy was. Wouldn’t you be confused? I tell you the people in the far North are a strange bunch.

For many years – it might have had something to do with War & Peace being serialised on TV – I desperately wanted to be called Natasha or Natalie and I wanted to be Russian and come from Vladivostok. But no, I was called Christine from Glasgow, Scotland. In my class at school there were six girls called Christine  (common as muck) and they all had various nicknames, Chris, Chrissie, Tina, Christie, Two Chins (terrible isn’t it? Bless her) and I was called ‘wee teen’ because I was titchy small. Actually these days I’m 5’5” – hardly a midget! My life was a living hell, good job I could run fast.

So, what about you lot? Does your name suit you? Do you wish you were called Poppy, Fleur, Nanette, Sorcha or Oriole? Or if you’re a guy would you rather be called Adam, Sandro, Tobias or Fabrizio?

Come on, tell us the truth. Or are you one of those sickening beautiful people who love their name and strut around like a peacock proud as punch?

My comments section in this blog is looking pretty piss poor. So I need a response, even if it’s just a 🙂 and don’t tell anyone but my first book is out today and the Amazon link is to the right.

Until next Monday, be good and if you can’t be good be careful and if you’re not careful I’ll buy you a pram. (Old Scottish farewell usually said to a daughter before she goes out for a night on the tiles.)



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.)