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!



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.


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.)



Today is Monday.

Since it’s my sworn duty is to make you guys smile my thoughts quite naturally led me to the emotional minefield that is the dating game.

Just last week I understood for the very first time that dating in the United Kingdom and dating in the United States is approached by horny interested people in a totally different way.

In the UK if you go out with someone once or twice and ‘like’ them, you’re dating. You don’t date anyone else. You are exclusive until you break up. This means people in the dating game are put under a huge amount of pressure, especially if they live in a small community where everyone knows everyone else’s business. This can make girls in particular very reluctant to date at all. I know this because I have two daughters at the dateable age and they find the whole thing ‘stressful’. I wonder if this is why we have a huge surge in internet dating sites and speed dating.

However, in the USA, it’s perfectly acceptable to go out with two to three people at once until you’re sure you want to go steady. Once you start dating exclusively it becomes a very different thing. MAKES SENSE TO ME. And I think we should import this brilliant idea to the UK.

However, I foresee issues ahead. If a girl was seen out with three different men in the same week she would be called a certain name, not a nice name, which in the USA is called ‘ho and in the UK would be a slapper. And if a man was seen out with three different women in the same week he’d be called a ‘player’.

In my novels I’m not shy in using certain real events mined from my kids and their friend’s experiences. They’re enough to make your hair curl! I put the protagonists through the dating wringer and when people say to me, ‘Oh, that would never happen in real life. Who would jump out a ladies’ rest room window in a hotel bar to get away from a blind date?’ I have no problem replying, ‘my daughter did. Twice!’

All I can say is that things were a lot different in my day. I dated a right couple of dozy buggers before I met my DH, who proposed within two weeks of meeting me – this is the God’s honest truth btw – he was thirty and I was twenty one. That might seem young today, but when I had my second daughter at twenty four I was regarded as an ‘elderly mother’ (We work fast in this family!) Anyway, as ever, I digress.


How do women/men girls/boys in the USA overcome this issue? Are they upfront that they’re casually dating?

How many frogs did you kiss before you found your prince/princess?

Tell the truth, what have you done to avoid an awkward scene/moment in the dating game?

Any tips/advice from you guys out there dipping your toe in the dating pond?

You know I love to hear from you, so please leave a word or twenty, below.

And don’t forget – Episode two of Desert Orchid here on Friday. Come and meet Charisse.