Thank you… and why I love Kobo

Kobo - May 2018 Distribution Downloads

Greetings from a boiling hot Cheshire!

We’re in the middle of the hottest spell of the year, so far, and I thought it might interest you to see the world map of my Kobo sales. Kobo give publishers a very nifty monthly map of an author’s global reach. The one above is for May 2018 (and June’s is rocking). In May I had downloads of my books in over one hundred and fifty countries via Kobo, how cool is that? I love Kobo for many reasons, but one of them is how they work closely with authors to bring their books to readers. Remember, the Kobo App is free and was voted the Best Reading App and is compatible with Android and iPhone, so go grab it. Don’t forget to sign-up to Kobo’s weekly free book deals. Each book is curated and recommended by a Kobo editor and spans many popular genres.

Check out my CC MACKENZIE page for steals and deals on Kobo now.

And I want to thank each and every one of you for the fabulous reviews of HITCHED TO THE ITALIAN

hitchedtotheitalian3newcoverwithitalianromance

***** “OMG. I just loved this so hard…”  ***** “Wow, CC’s done it again…”  ***** “I don’t know how Christine does it…”

Don’t forget there are two episodes of Desert Captive coming tomorrow and the story’s hotting up, a bit like the weather here.

Christine X

Desert Captive, episodes 11 + 12….

DCAPTIVEOLDWAYSWILLNOTOPENNEWDOORS

Happy Friday, dear readers,

It’s been a hot, sunny and busy week what with the impending new release of HITCHED TO THE ITALIAN on Friday 15th June – pre-order available everywhere. I’ve had builders in tool belts climbing all over the roof. Tomorrow a very large ceiling is being plastered and the decorating work can commence. This author’s work is never done…

Talking about work, here’s the next two episode’s of Desert Captive… Oh, Sarif, what the hell is the matter with you?

 

DESERT CAPTIVE

by CC MACKENZIE

Copyright © C C MacKenzie 2018

 

 

EPISODE ELEVEN

 

While Arabella was violently ill, Sarif punched the internal alarm button, his heart thundering wildly against his ribs.

The vehicle screeched to an emergency stop.

The blacked out dividing window slid down and he saw the fierce dark eyes of one of his personal security detail take in the scene at a glance.

Arabella lay boneless in his arms, her head lolling on her shoulders, but worse was the thin line of blood oozing from her nose. Her skin was cold as ice and deathly white.

Sarif felt something like a helpless wave of sheer panic wash over him.

The door was flung open and his team of military medical personnel, a permanent part of his convoy, moved in.

When he felt her belly contract and go hard beneath his hand, his gaze snapped to a medic.

“Is she in labour?”

The medic placed his stethoscope on her belly and listened.

“The child lives.” Then he listened to Arabella. “She is in cardiac arrhythmia.”

Another medic stuck his head in the doorway.

“My Lord, we have a helicopter ready to take Her Royal Highness to the Royal hospital in Dhuma.”

The speed of action the emergency evoked, plus the traumatic journey that followed, the landing and rapid reaction of medical staff, was beyond harrowing for a man used to being in control of all things in his carefully constructed existence.

Well, he wasn’t in control now, Sarif accepted as he showered in the male doctors’ facilities. He changed into dark blue medical scrubs, which were a little snug over his wide shoulders.

 

When he emerged, he was directed to Arabella’s room.

He found her surrounded by beeping machines and a flurry of efficient medical staff who all seemed to know what they were doing.

The doctor in charge turned to him.

He was trim, in his mid-fifties, with intelligent dark eyes and the hooked nose of his kind, Tuareg.

“From initial blood and urine samples it appears she has been poisoned from a tincture of a purgative plant or plants. Our lab technicians are working on an antidote. However, our concern is for the health of the child. If he is delivered now, he will not have a fighting chance. His lungs are immature and he is small for his gestation. And we are having great difficulty stabilizing your wife’s heartbeat. It is possible, Lord, that we may have to make a choice between mother or child or we may lose both.”

Sarif’s hands gripped his head as he studied the woman lying, helpless, on the hospital bed. A woman, he knew, did not trust him to do the right thing by her. And why should she? Hadn’t he accused her of considering to abort his son? And now here he was faced with the horrific choice of who lived and who died?

Too many pairs of eyes were upon him now, awaiting his decision.

He had no one to guide him.

No one to turn to for advice.

And why was that?

Because he’d been too stupid and too stubborn to speak to his father, his mother, or his brother to ask for help when it came to his relationship with Arabella. It was as if a veil had been lifted from his eyes. He could see every single blunder he had made. All he had done was to make one bad decision after the other in a fit of pique, anger and a need for vengeance.

He turned to the doctor.

“No one dies this night.”

The doctor nodded.

“I hope Allah will be kind and give Her Highness time to recover. But if the mother or the child deteriorate a decision must be made.”

Sarif could not tear his eyes from Arabella’s face.

He knew the final decision must be his and his alone.

He needed to do his duty to his people and to his country.

He nodded.

“Save my wife.”

As he strode from the room and the noise of those infernal machines, he told himself if the worst came to the worst, there would be more children.

He’d make sure of it.

Even so, his eyes stung and he knew he could not hold it together for much longer. He waved away his security detail and blindly entered the first door he came to, a dark room. The smell of bleach and disinfectant told him it was filled with cleaning equipment. He shut the door, rested his weary head against it and closed his eyes.

All he could think was that he had failed.

Failed to keep safe the woman he had all but forced to marry him.

Failed to protect the child she carried.

But along with the sense of how badly he’d mishandled the entire situation, was another—anger.

An anger that all but obliterated every last sense of personal failure.

He had a traitor in his midst.

Someone close.

And that person would pay the ultimate price for treason and betrayal with his or her life.

The brisk knock on the door had him take a deep and steady breath.

He swiped his wet face.

Tears were for the weak.

He wondered if the interruption meant the worst had already happened and his son was dead.

However, his personal protection officer stood there.

He kept his eyes firmly on the door behind Sarif’s head as he said, “My Lord, King Abdullah has arrived with Queen Janaan.”

Sarif kept his face expressionless as he nodded, even if inside his mind he groaned loud and long.

Great.

This was all he needed.

How was he going to explain away how he was a married man and, God willing, soon to be a father?

And yet, as he was led to a private room, Sarif had the plunging belly of a man about to face some unintended consequences of his actions.

 

EPISODE TWELVE

 

“The last time we sat in a room together under somewhat similar circumstances, I might add, I was the one doing the explaining,” King Abdullah said now.

Dressed in a dark business suit, handcrafted in Savile Row as were the blindingly white silk shirt and striped tie, his father surveyed Sarif from beneath a slash of ebony brows.

There was nothing luxurious about the functional room with it’s single desk of polished wood and three leather armchairs.

The place smelled of hospital.

It was painted institutional pale grey, the floor a polished ivory tile.

His father continued, “You might imagine our… surprise… to discover that not only are you married, but that we are about to become grandparents. If the child survives…”

Sarif closed his eyes tight and ran a hand across the rasp of his jaw.

He reckoned he’d just gone through one of the worst twelve hours of his life.

The last thing he needed was his father on his case.

He shot a glance at the haughty profile of his beautiful mother, at the raised chin and the way her mouth was a thin line of deep displeasure—with him.

His mother wore flat pumps by the house of Chanel.

He reckoned the skinny silk pants, matching tunic that fell to the knees, sleeves tight to the wrist, were by the same designer. Her black hair was covered by a matching silk scarf. The only jewelry, she wore, was the huge diamond of her wedding ring, and single carat diamond earrings.

“And this is the second attempt on her life you say?” King Abdullah drummed his fingers on the arm of his leather chair the color of clear honey.

“And on the life of the child she carries,” Queen Janaan muttered in her slow Texan drawl. Abruptly she stood and paced across the shiny tiled floor. “Poison is the coward’s weapon of choice. There is a good reason why Khalid has Charisse protected by a ring of steel around the White Palace.”

“Onuur is an easier country to manage than Quarram,” Sarif pointed out what was to him glaringly obvious.

However, by the flash of annoyance in his mother’s dark eyes, he reckoned he should adjust his attitude and keep his big mouth shut.

“And you did not think to invite your family to your wedding?” his mother asked in a soft tone that didn’t hide the hurt in her voice or screen the bewilderment in her eyes.

“Time was not on our side,” Sarif said now and wondered how the hell he was going to dig himself out of this unholy mess. The El Haribe family were close. Always had been. They stuck together. His parents had every right to be angry and upset at not being there to welcome Arabella into their family. Plus, his mother was very fond of his new wife, especially after Bella and Queen Janaan had worked together to keep Charisse safe following an attempt on her life.

“So, the only time she had anything to eat or drink was on the plane?” The King asked.

Sarif nodded and took a shaky breath to try and calm his scattered thought process and failed.

The way Arabella’s body had purged itself of a toxin designed to instigate premature labor was something that would give him night terrors for the rest of his life. Her body had been racked with pain. The blood oozing from her nose and mouth had left him helpless to do anything except hold her. Even now, although dressed in clean soft scrubs, her blood was trapped beneath his fingernails.

“We have been down this road before with Charisse,” his mother said briskly. “We again have enemies within. We received help before, and we need that help now.”

Sarif nodded.

“I agree.”

His mother shot him a toothy smile that did not quite reach her narrowed dark eyes.

“Well it’s a good job we brought the Monroe brothers with us then, isn’t it?”

For the first time Sarif felt a sense of relief.

The Monroe brothers were ex British special forces, fluent in a variety of indigenous Arab dialects and as tough as they came.

However, they were also very close, both professionally and personally, to Arabella and that thought made him wonder exactly how friendly they were going to be towards him.

He didn’t have to wait long to find out.

The brisk knock at the door heralded the arrival of the eldest of the brothers, Captain Bruce Monroe.

Built like a tank Bruce stood six four in his bare feet.

Right now he wore black combats, a Kevlar vest and was armed to the teeth.

His hair was black and shiny as a raven’s wing.

Bright blue eyes found Sarif’s and held without blinking.

Bruce stalked into the room.

“Well now, isn’t this a fine mess you’ve gotten yourself into, your Royal Highness? Wanna explain to me why the fuck you had Rupert Faulkner, your nineteen year old brother-in-law—for those among us who have no idea who the hell he is—tossed in jail?”

Queen Janaan sank slowly to the edge of a chair and all the while her wide eyes stayed glued in a sort of horrified fascination at her eldest son’s face.

“Omigod. Sarif, did you blackmail poor Arabella into marrying you?”

He had not.

“No. She agreed to marry me before…”

“Before you needed to use your ace in the hole?” Bruce growled the question.

Well, no one had ever said the Monroe brothers were stupid.

Sarif lifted his noble chin.

“I have given orders for his immediate release. As we speak he is winging his way home to England.”

Sarif knew he sounded defensive, but he had done what he thought had been right at the time. As far as he was concerned a wrong decision by him had been put right.

Within two strides Bruce Monroe was in Sarif’s personal space, grabbed him by the neck of his scrubs and jerked him to his feet.

“Wrong. The convoy carrying Rupert Faulkner was attacked this morning. Right now, the boy is in the hands of Yusuf Hassam Nazari.”

Stunned by the magnitude of this disaster, for a moment Bruce’s furious face faded in and out of Sarif’s focus.

Nazari was a sociopath, people trafficker and head of an organized crime syndicate that had spread around the globe.

He was also affiliated with the worst terrorist organization known to man.

“We will get him back,” Sarif growled and took a step back as his personal protection team entered and went for their weapons.

Before lethal forced was used, Bruce released him, but then tested the nerve of his personal protection officers by going nose to nose with their King.

“You fucking betcha we’re gonna get him back. And let me put it this way, his head had better be attached to his shoulders when we do or your wife will personally remove yours from your royal shoulders, Your Highness.”

***

 

Oooooooh, Sarif is in deep excrement.

I’m writing up a storm with this story….. Stay tuned….

Christine X

Inspiration and where it comes from…

Reader Question:  Christine, where do you get your ideas for your characters and stories from?

Answer:  Mostly from real life. True. I remember when Reckless Nights In Rome was first published, a reader said that she couldn’t believe any girl would jump out of a window to avoid the blind date from hell and that she preferred REAL LIFE. Well, it DID actually happen to a close relative of mine, not once but twice. When I was told the whole sorry saga, and after I’d stopped laughing, I remember thinking that it would be a great hook for a story… and the rest, as they say, is history. And no, I’m not telling anyone her name.

Anyhow, to get back to the question where my ideas/inspiration comes from…

I write things I’ve been through, seen, understand, lost, loved, hurt, hated, endured, and I place all of those life experiences inside a world that does not exist but mirrors the real world. Does that make sense?

I use those experiences to build and create real characters readers want to root for and care about, even when they make the wrong choice to try to fix a problem (especially the guys) and end up in an even bigger mess. And along with mirroring real life my characters are fun, sometimes insane, and when they make me laugh out loud, I can be pretty certain they’ll make a reader laugh, too.

In the old days when I was submitting stories, I remember an editor telling me to tone down the laughs, the family with the kids and the dog. Hmm. I hope she’s read SEAN because you guys laughed out loud at all that.

Most of all, I write from the heart.

I write about family, whether created by non-blood friends (like Nico and Bronte who embrace many into their fold), or the vampyres who are battling the greatest evil to save our world. At the core of all my books is the bond of family.

Speaking of family, we’re on the road to wellness after pneumonia and getting better every day.

Big hugs,

Christine X

Good News – it’s been a Witch of a day!

Big Trouble In China in Amazon's Best Seller Paranormal List

Big Trouble In China in Amazon’s Best Seller Paranormal List

Good morning, boys and girls!

Today’s been a good day in the hectic life of this author. I was alerted by a fan that Big Trouble In China, book 1 of the Vampyre Legal Chronicles has hit Amazon’s Best Seller Paranormal list for Witches and Wizards at #8 in the top 100!

 

It’s doing well on Barnes & Noble and iTunes too. 
To update readers on book three of the series – I’m way behind – Gia’s Song will be out at the end of May.
At the moment I’m knee-deep in edits for The Trouble With Coco Monroe, book 4 of The Ludlow Hall series. I’ll keep you posted on when she goes live. Then I’m working on the re-write of Desert Orchid as well as working on Book 5 of The Ludlow Series, The Fall of Jacob Del Garda and book 4 of The Vampyre Legal Chronicles, which doesn’t have a title yet.
All of the above is why this blog has been neglected and for that I ask your forgiveness!
Do you get the feeling I’ve bitten off more than I can chew?? 🙂
If you visit iTunes, check out the review numbers for Reckless Nights In Rome, book one of The Ludlow Hall series – I’m thrilled that it’s now received 336(!) 4.7* reviews. Woot! And on Barnes & Noble Reckless has 103 4.6* reviews. And as you know it’s finalled in the Indie Romance Convention Readers Choice Awards for 2013. Voting is open until the end of April – the link is on the right hand side of the blog. So if your fingers are feeling twitchy, please feel free to vote and spread the word. I’m up against some big guns. But to be nominated at all has been the highlight of this amazing journey.
One of the things I’ll never, ever forget was the night almost a year ago to the day when we pressed the button on Amazon for the book to go live. I’ve never been so terrified; sweaty palms, palpitations, excitement, dread and that, ‘What the hell am I doing? It’s not good enough. It needs more work. Mwahahaha!’ feeling. It’s been a roller-coaster ride and it’s still going.
Talking sales numbers is something I avoid, but I can say that sales on Barnes & Noble over the past four months are in the five figures. Amazon I hit four figures last month alone as I did in the last quarter with iTunes. Downloads in Reckless Nights In Rome are in the hundreds of thousands across five distributors and cover something like fifty countries. Big Trouble In China is rocking too, as you can see.
I’d never in my wildest dreams believed it was possible for an independent author to do this. To reach hundreds of thousands of readers, to meet them live on-line, to have them email, FB message, Tweet me or for wonderful fans to set up a street team for me. I still can’t believe these wonderful women take time out of their busy lives to care so much about the books that they promote them far and wide. If you’d like to join The Ludlow Girls street team just click HERE or send me a message. It’s a closed Facebook group and we have a lot of laughs and fun, plus I give them out takes of the stories, character inspirations, cover reveals/choice, competitions and news. But I also want to say that every single person who’s emailed or messaged me will also receive alerts when the next book goes live.
But none of the above happened without a support team. First up is H, he does all the IT technical support including all formatting, dealing with the distributors, keeping an eye on trends, the financial side, spreadsheets, and he does the covers! I have a team of editors and beta readers who are amazing.
I’m a member of fabulous writer’s groups, WANA – We Are Not Alone – run by the awesome Kristen Lamb just click on the link if you want to learn more about the craft and social networking, Kristen is the hot mama to go to.
I’m also a member of DeeDee Scott’s amazing The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing WG2E author group. WG2E also has an awesome Facebook Street team for authors. It is a closed group, so again if you want to join just message me.
However, the people who are at the front and centre of every single thing I do is you, the reader. Without you none of this would have happened. The way you’ve embraced my work has thrilled and humbled me.
I love you guys.
Christine xxx

RUN ROSIE RUN Soundbite #6

ROSIE SAID

ROSIE SAID

 

A very good point, Rosie. And so typical!

We’re reading Run Rosie Run on all the Ereaders. Interesting how what can work fine with one doesn’t work for another. And I’ve a notebook crammed with polishing changes which will be done later tonight. A final read through and then we’re (hopefully) good to go!

Feedback on these sound bites has been great, so thank you guys!

Christine X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDWARD WHO?

 

 

As you know I’m a sucker for a well written burning hot vampire.

My perfect vampire hero would be a bad boy who takes the heroine right to the edge. And guys, do I have a doozy for you.

Meet Kane Malloy and boy is he bad to the bone. Woo Hoo!

My hardcopy of Blood Shadows arrived last Friday and cannot tell you how excited I was to receive it. This series first found traction during the New Voices romance competition where for two successive years author Lindsay Pryor reached the final four. I believe her reader comments during the competitions numbered in the high hundreds. For a paranormal author this was an amazing breakthrough where hard-core romance readers crossed romance genres to fall in love with Kane. And that says a great deal about the quality of Lindsay Pryor’s writing.

 

Since the fall of 2010, where I first read Lindsay’s work, I’ve followed her progress with huge interest. Lindsay had never let anyone, and I mean anyone, read her work before she entered the first competition. What she had been doing over fourteen years was to learn her craft and guys, she learned it well.

I finished Blood Shadows at 3.30am this morning. Yep, I couldn’t put it down and as for ‘Who’s Edward?’ I’d say, ‘Who’s Christian?’ because Kane Malloy kicks that bad boy’s ass (or as Kane might say, ‘arse’.)

Here’s the blurb:

For vengeance – would you trust a vampire?

For justice – could you betray your family?

For love – are you ready to question everything you believe in?

Gifted with the ability to read the shadows of ‘third species’ beings, Caitlin Parish is the Vampire Control Unit’s most powerful agent. Despite that, her mission to hunt down Kane Malloy – a master vampire – comes with a death wish. Many have tried, but few have survived.

For Caitlin, tracking Kane is about more than just professional reputation. With her parents both mysteriously killed 7 years apart to the day, Caitlin knows that without Kane’s help she is next.

She has four days to make a deal with the wicked, the irresistible, the treacherous Kane Malloy. The vampire who despises everything she stands for.

Or die.

Blackthorn: Book One
Brought to you by Lindsay J. Pryor – powerful, absorbing, intense paranormal romance.

“Lindsay J. Pryor easily earns a place alongside Paranormal Romance’s best writers!” Michele Hauf

“An incredible voice for paranormal.” Rhyannon Byrd

Now as you can see Lindsay’s already found an impressive list of famous fans.

I’m not famous but I know a literary diamond when I find one and Lindsay’s a shining, brilliant new talent in the paranormal genre. Her writing is fluid, lyrical with sensual descriptive prose which hits the spot. The dialogue between Kane and Caitlin sparks.

Here’s an example:

 

 

One of the most challenging aspects of a paranormal author’s work is world building. And a dark dystopian world is a particularly tricky thing to pull off. Lindsay’s lived with her world, her characters, for many years which means she writes them with a confidence, an authority, that makes the reader believe they are real and the events which happen plausible and feasible. And that skill is what makes a talented writer a great one imho.  And Blackthorn is a dark, claustrophobic, almost gothic world where nothing is as it seems.

What struck me when I first read Lindsay’s work and especially after reading this book from cover to cover is the intelligent exploration and development of the love story. It’s hot, it’s passionate and it’s compelling, it’s even fiercely intense, but most of all Caitlin’s vulnerability and her courage in the face of that vulnerability – and how Kane copes with it – make this a fabulously valid emotional arc.  I loved it.

And there’s more to come, thank goodness.

To say I’m utterly thrilled to be able to write this today is an understatement. My emotions are all over the place; pride, joy and a lovely tickle in the gut that I was RIGHT, lol!

Oliver Rhodes of Bookouture (for authors click the link) has done a great thing by publishing Lindsay, a great thing, and he should take a bow while I give him a round of applause. Oliver’s had many years in publishing romance. The man knows his onions and he’s bridging a much needed gap between self publishing and publishing and given Lindsay the freedom to tell her story her way. A man of vision one might say and I for one wish him every success.

So what’s next for Lindsay Pryor? Want to see what she looks like? Here she is. I think she looks cute but she tells me she was channeling her evil side. Nope.

 

Book two, Blood Roses is out in the Spring of 2013 and Book three is out in the Fall of 2013.

And she’d better be well on the way with books four, five and six or I’ll want to know why – no pressure!

And finally, here’s my daughter (she’ll kill me for posting her but I do it with love) with her copy of Blood Shadows to buy it just click any of the title links:

 

 

I’ll keep you all posted on Lindsay’s progress, but if she doesn’t end up with a film/tv deal tripping along the red carpet with the rich and famous then my crystal ball’s faulty. And as you all know, there’s nothing wrong with my crystal ball!

I’ve missed you guys, but Rosie’s well, just being Rosie!

Have you found a new writing talent?

Big Hugs,

 Christine X

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/

BEHIND THE QUILL – I’M A GUEST WITH THE LOVELY JENNIFER OLIVER

 

A Stormy Spring

A Stormy Spring

Hello, my darlings,

It’s been a busy week.

Today the lovely Jennifer Oliver forced invited me to her blog to torture interview me since she’s under the delusion I know something about writing romance.

When I read the list of questions I thought, ‘This girl knows how to winkle out the nitty gritty.’

So please, I beg you, (I need all the support I can get) drop by and leave a comment – it doesn’t even have to be a nice comment and it’s not often you’ll have me on my knees before you so I’d make the most of it if I were you.

You can find us HERE and did you really think I’d not have something to give you? Yes, a lucky commenter will win the grand prize of a copy of A Stormy Spring! I know, it’s bribery and I have no shame whatsoever. I always admit to my many failings.

Christine

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.

GOALS! WHY OH WHY?

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.

Via media-cen.pinterest.com

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.)

Christine