AM IN MAURITIUS

Okay, perhaps not literally.

Today, I’m a guest on the beautiful blog of writer Zee Monodee who lives in the stunning island of Mauritius. HERE

The island is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The perfect spot for a romantic interlude – just say’in.

Now I’ve actually been to the island four times a few years ago when we lived in East Africa.

Please stop by and say hi and you might learn something about me you don’t know.

Zee asked for photos of the event and I promised her I’d post them here once Hugo’s scanned them – they were taken a few years ago.

Do you have a place you’ve visited that’s caught your breath?

Share it with us – we demand to know! And if you’ve a romantic tale to share too, even better.

Christine

FIND US HERE http://zeemonodee.blogspot.co.uk/

NORSE GOD WITH A BIG HAMMER

 


 Find him at Debra Kristi’s blog here: http://debrakristi.wordpress.com/

 

Knew that would get your attention!

How can it possibly be back-to-school week already? I mean, I don’t know about you lot but where the hell was summer? I feel really, really hard done by.  And you’ll never guess what that epoch of consumer must-haves (Marks & Spencer) has in their stores? Christmas cards – Christmasssssss caaaaards!  I can’t bear it, seriously.

In the UK we’ve had the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics and now we’re back to our humdrum lives of too early starts, lunchboxes (try getting them to eat quinoa instead of pasta – go on, you try it!) Buying new shoes that I want them to have with thick soles and laces (not ballet slippers, darling.)  Then the morning school run, sigh. I’ve promised not to drive them to school in my pj’s in case ‘I have an accident and some of their friends see me.’ I’m an owl, not a lark. And I’m back to smelly gym kits and remembering tae Kwando classes and taking ground beef out of the freezer, as I’m doing laundry and loading and unloading the dishwasher. AND the dark nights are already coming in and I didn’t have a proper summer – did I mention summer?

So here’s the thing. About six weeks ago my friend Debra Kristi put out a call for some of her blogging buddies (of which I am one) to help her host a blog tour. Now at first sight Debra appears to be perfectly normal and, err, sane if you know what I’m say’n?

I mean, she’s a wonderful wife, the most amazing mom and a writer who lives in her own little world of mythology has an awesome imagination. And Debra happens to have the hots for Thor, the God of Thunder.

Anyway, after saying of course I would be deeeeelighted to host her on my blog I forgot all about it happy in the knowledge that the wonderfully organized Debra would send me her post and I’d put it on my blog and that would be that. Sorted.

But no, dear friends, because two weeks ago I received a face book message from crazy the lovely Debra saying that Thor was going on a tour and since I was his first stop could she please have my postal address. Hmmmmm. Wracking my small brain I tried to recall just what it was I’d agreed to and nothing dinged. So I went back and said ‘Run this past me again, Debra, what is it you want me to do?’

Apparently the God of Thunder was going on a personal tour and coming to my house in leafy Cheshire, England, first. What??? How could this be? Chris Helmsworth is coming to my house. Surely she jests! I was trying to think where I could stash Hugo somewhere far, far away. When I re-read her message and realized the Sex God of Thunder was not the drool worthy Chris, but a plastic action figure.

That’ll teach me to read the small print before I say yes to anything.

Anyhow, last Wednesday a cardboard box was delivered from the United States of America. (Immediately Hugo demanded to know ‘what the hell I’d bought now.’ Cheek.) And since my son was eating bacon rolls at the time, he demanded to know what was in the box. So I opened it and out came Thor, God of Thunder, with a big hammer. When you squeeze his legs together his hammer goes up and down. I will not tell you what the ribald comments were because this is a G rated blog (most of the time.)

Can I just say at this point that I write romance and if I was writing about a Norse hunk with a big hammer, well, I’m sure you don’t need me to paint you a picture.

After howls of gleeful laughter the males in my family went on a hunt for a beast for Thor to conquer before he embarks on the next leg of his journey.

So, here are a couple of photos of Thor in my back garden. And the boys have titled them – Thor’s Rumble In The Jungle.

It’s not often I’m speechless, but Debra’s done what no one has done before. Not only that, to take those photos I had to lie on my back in wet grass holding my breath that Thor and the dinosaur didn’t topple over and then discovered I’d lain in duck poop. Thanks Debra!

Thor’s next stop is the zany Lisa Hall-Wilson in Canada. This boy’s getting about! I’m hoping that Thor finds lurrrrve, but that’s just me. (Shame I didn’t have any Barbie or Cindy dolls, now that would have been fun!)

Do you guys have crazy friends?

Have they ever asked you to do something insane – and did you do it?

And what were your favorite action figure toys?

Mine was Cindy.

You know I adore hearing from you – and this should be a doozy!

RECKLESS NIGHTS IN ROME – FREE!

CLICK ON IMAGE

Hi guys,

Can you believe I didn’t mention here on my blog that Reckless Nights In Rome is FREE .

Smack me now!

Get your FREE copy from your preferred distributor as follows:

Amazon Kindle     Kobo    Barnes and Noble     iBooks      Google

 

THANK HEAVEN FOR LITTLE BOYS…?

 

So, here’s the thing.

It was my son’s birthday yesterday and all the family including my two daughters were all here celebrating in our very green garden. He doesn’t want me to name him or say how old he is in case some of his friends twig that I am his mother.  Of course they know that I am his mother but they don’t know that, and he said this in a voice of utter mortification, ‘His mother has published two steamy romantic novels with ‘good’ bits in them.’ Or that she’s in the process of writing even more romantic stories. Excuse me?

He won’t be saying that when we’re sunning ourselves in Fiji on a beach of sugar white sand sipping cocktails while Sven’s cleaning our sunglasses and serving us fresh fruit. Anyway, I got my own back by reminding him of the twenty-eight hours of labour I went through to bring him into the world. He was three weeks late (started life as he obviously means to go on) and almost ten pounds. I can actually feel all the women reading this wince in feminine solidarity. Thanks girls.

Now I’m used to him treating me like a taxi service, and a portable cash machine. But he’s fine with what I do when it suits him to treat me like a newsagent ‘Do you have the latest edition of GQ?’ And I’m a library, ‘Do you happen to have that copy of A Game of Thrones?’ And new technology disappears into the jungle of detritus that is his bedroom. And he’s actually building a new computer with his friend, so you’d think he’d be helpful with my new Mac. But not a bit of it, ‘This technology is wasted on you.’ I was told in a voice edged with utter disdain. (I should point out that he made the comment because I was having trouble switching it on.)

Why is it that derision and goading comes as naturally as teething and nappy rash used to. There’s nothing my son likes to do more than tell me what to do. Just recently he had a go because I used the word ‘cool’ on twitter. Apparently I’m no longer permitted to use the word ‘wicked’ either. Then his sisters’ got in on the act reminiscing about the time I used to teach Dance Fit and would start to boogie in Gap when a Madonna song came on and ‘totally mortified them all the time in public.’

Hugo just grinned (traitor) and reminded me of a time I really embarrassed myself on a bus when my eldest was a toddler in the days when I didn’t get out much. I was pregnant with my second daughter, (apparently you lose 30% of your brain capacity when pregnant – that’s my excuse) anyway, the toddler was being babysat by the daughter of a friend and I was alone on a bus going to meet Hugo when he finished work for an early dinner with friends. It was a lovely summer evening and since we lived in the country the fields were alive with cows and sheep and fields ready to be harvested. So I was sort of daydreaming and totally forgot I didn’t have the toddler with me. ‘Oh look!’ I cried in a high chirpy voice. ‘Cows! Tell me, what do cows do?’ And I swear to God I will never, ever live this down, at least twenty people on the bus all cried ‘Moooooo.’ They did, along with roaring with laughter.

So a good time was had by all yesterday as my family basically took the mickey. But I got my own back, I asked my son, ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ Hinting that the time was fast approaching when he’d need to start fending for himself. But he just batted the question right back to us. Hugo said he’d wanted to join the army or the police but his eyesight let him down. ‘When I was twelve I decided I wanted to be a nurse or a doctor,’ I said, scooping up a spoonful of birthday cake and thinking nothing of it.

‘Really?’ said my son without an ounce of derision. ‘So what you’re really saying, mother, is that you had more ambition as a child than you did as an adult.’

The sooner he moves into a flea-bitten tiny apartment, living on tins of baked beans and doing his own laundry, the better.

So come on guys and girls. Tell me, have your parents ever embarrassed you? Or have you ever embarrassed them?

Which birthday was THE best one ever?

Share it with us, you know I love to hear from you.

Oh, and the pictures above are of my garden. We’ve actually had three whole days of summer, but clouds are gathering so it might not last. And The Olympic ceremony starts tonight so I’ll put good money on it we get thunderstorms and fat rain over the next few weeks.

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

IF BILL GATES BUILT A CAR, WHAT WOULD HAPPEN?

via reddit & techrepublic.com

Hello, my lovelies,

And how are we today? As you know I never usually post on a Wednesday but I’ve seen this and needed to share – prepare to grin. 🙂

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the
way computers have enhanced our lives, read on:

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared
the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,

‘If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has,
we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the
gallon.’

In response to Bill’s comments, Ford issued a press release stating:

If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be
driving cars with the following characteristics:

1.  For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash………Twice a
day.

2.  Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have
to buy a new car.

3.  Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason.
You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the
windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you
could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4.  Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would
cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you
would have to reinstall the engine.

5.  Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was
reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive – but would run
on only five percent of the roads.

6.  The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would
all be replaced by a single ‘This Car Has Performed An Illegal
Operation’ warning light.

7.  The airbag system would ask ‘Are you sure?’ before deploying.

8.  Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you
out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the
door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9.  Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to
learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would
operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You’d have to press the ‘Start’ button to turn the engine off.

PS: I ‘d like to add that when all else fails, you could call ‘customer
service’ in some foreign country and be instructed in some foreign
language how to fix your car yourself!!!

Haha! So, do you agree with the above? Is the Ford guy being a little bit harsh?  Please feel free to share, this was forwarded to me by the lovely writer Judy Ridgley!

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

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.)

Christine

Why Revisions need LOVE!

When a writer talks about revisions, most of us turn a whiter shade of pale. But the fabulous Harlequin author Ally Blake says she loves them.  Here she is!
She’s actually stated this fact many times before. It’s only now that I ‘get’ what she means by going through the process myself.
Back in the old days, er, a few months ago. My wip was polished, perfect and couldn’t possibly be better. I thought. It was returned with many comments on how to improve it which were worth their weight in gold. Of course, at the time I couldn’t see what the lovely editor meant. But, boy, I do now.
For the last three months I’ve gone back to basics. The work in progress has been re-structured. The emotional conflicts increased to the point of pain, hehehe. Along with lighter moments when my protagonists tumble completely in love in spite of themselves.
Ally, you’re absolutely right. Revisions rock because they catch plot holes, unfinished threads, polish and increase the emotional journey and ratchet up the tension until the happy-ever-after. They teach a writer to work on structure for character development. How to increase, decrease pace and tension.
Here’s the link to Ally’s blog and you’ll see what a positive inspiration this author has been to readers and authors alike. She has a voracious work ethic and I admire her hugely.