Saturday, October 28, 2017

Happy Birthday Ruby!

Today is Ruby's 4th birthday.

Well, that's as close as we can get to the likely date, seeing as she was found wandering as a lost stray at about 8 weeks old when we adopted
her from the Cats' Protection League.

 She happily posed for her birthday portrait, but Charlie wasn't interested - wake me when you bring out the birthday treats, he said.

 So Ruby got first go at the special tea - and now is happily snoozing in her favourite spot with her head on the Babe Magnet's feet (rather her than me! But she loves the scent of socks and slippers!)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Great weekend in Keele.

What a fantastic weekend - even though I was officially 'working' - running the Writing Fiction that Sells weekend for Relax and Write at Keele, I had so much fun that the weekend just flashed past in learning, laughter, friendship, enjoyment and fascinating discussions. Thank you so much to everyone who joined us and made the weekend a real delight. The only flaw was that sadly Lois Maddox couldn't be with us. She was missed.

So that's it for my teaching for this year. I need to draw breath and look at my own work now! Next course will be at Fishguard in February with WritersHoliday - the Advanced Romance Writing course but that is already booked up!

So the one after that will be a Focus on Writing Romance - a Writing Retreat at Cirencester in April . Again, numbers on this course are strictly limited - and I know  4 or 5  places are already booked. So if you're interested please get in touch with Relax and Write to get your name on the list.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Another teaching weekend.

    Right - after a very busy day  yesterday, planning, sorting, organising, printing, I think I now have everything I need for my weekend course at Keele University this weekend - Writing Fiction that Sells  with Relax and Write,   Setting off today.

     Sadly,  Lois  Maddox won't be able to be there with us, but I hope everyone else will have a great time. Travel safely and I'll look forward to seeing you all tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Sad Loss to Romance

    More years ago than I care to calculate, I went to my very first ever Mills and Boon Author Day - back in the times before we had the Association of Mills and Boon Authors Lunches. I didn't know anyone - except an editor or two. My then editor promised to introduce me to another of her authors, a lovely lady from Liverpool called Jennifer Taylor who, at that time, was writing for the Romance line but later became a real superstar of the Medical Romance

    Jennifer Taylor receiving her award for 75 books.
     Jennifer and ...I -two Northern Lasses - took to each other from that start - and later that day we also made friends with the fabulous Michelle Reid - another writer from up North! Later we formed our own 'Northern AMBA' (known affectionately as the Nambies - with Jacqueline Baird and, occasionally, with Roger Sanderson (writing as Gill Sanderson). Many times we met for a long, laughter-filled lunch at Huddersfield (a point midway between everyone's home towns) and Jennifer always used to arrive in her smart little red sports car, much to everyone's admiration.

     Later the Babe Magnet and Jennifer's smashing husband Bill used to join us - and Michelle's husband - when we got together in London for the official AMBA.

     There were times when life was far from kind to Jennifer, family tragedies, losing Bill, and her own health problems knocked her hard but she always wore her wide bright smile and shared her wicked sense of humour in spite of everything.

    Jennifer wrote 85 medical romance novels over almost thirty years, entertaining millions of readers and capturing their hearts with her heartwarming stories set mainly in GP surgeries, country hospitals, or in the Mediterranean, a place she loved.

     The last time I saw her was when we both met at the Harlequin Offices to meet with our editors last year. She was fighting her illness with grace and courage and refused to feel sorry for herself. Instead she carried on writing and publishing and the legacy of books she left behind are a great tribute to a strong and brave personality who refused to be knocked down. Her daughter and her grandchildren brought an extra sparkle to that smile and it was wonderful to see her enjoying being a grandmother so very much.

    Sadly Jennifer recently  lost her battle with myeloma but she will always be remembered by her family, her friends - fellow writers - and of course the thousands of readers who loved her romance stories.

    Rest in peace, dear Jennifer - you are someone I will never forget.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Another 'grim' day

 I'm  just setting out on  another day as PA the the other half of the 'Crime and Passion' duo. The Babe Magnet is speaking today at the Ilkley Literature Festival - in a discussion about  Crime in Your Back Yard   with fellow Yorkshire writers Liz Mistry   and A A Dhand  (at the Playhouse at 5pm  ).

I'll  be the back up team this week  - next weekend I'll be the one doing the work at the Writing Fiction That Sells weekend course at Keele University.

Looking forward to that, but the treat this week, is that we get to have afternoon tea  at Bettys in Ilkely - no doubt we'll bring home  Fat Rascals (and I'm not talking about DH!)

The weather is supposed to be untypically mild - so long as this storm Ophelia doesn't hit us  so I'm looking forward to the trip.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Tote Bags Day

The 12th of every month is the date that I write a post for the Tote Bags 'n' Blogs  Blog. 
So that's where I have posted today . 
(well - a couple of days ago - I've only just  caught my breath to remember to come and post here to tell you about it!)

Anyway, I've written about being one of two writers in the family and how my DH - aka the Babe Magnet  is a writer of  Local History and True Crime - and the history of Crime.

So you'll find out about him on Tote Bags  - and about his new books coming out - that's Write Your Self.  

And then  The Crime Writers' Casebook with his friend  former Detective Inspector in the murder squad Stuart Gibbon.

This weekend we're off to Ilkley where the Babe Magnet if speaking on writing true crime and crime history at the  Ilkley Literature Festival.  So I'll be acting as PA   then and letting him do the speaking and greeting.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Big News from MIlls and Boon UK

There's an interesting article in The Bookseller  this week - revealing the big news about the complete revamp of the covers and the whole look of Mills and Boon Romances which is coming in January.

Mills & Boon (M&B) has revealed a “huge” relaunch lined up for January, the first face-lift for the brand in a decade. The rebrand features a sleeker logo and revamped covers, refreshed point-of-sale material, a beefed-up book club and the brand’s first engagement with the blogging community. 
There will also be a raft of commercial partnerships and retail promotions for the romance imprint which will go live on 1st January.

If you want to read the article about the relaunch and  get a sneak peek at some of the newly designed covers then you'll find the details here.

And look out for the new covers designs appearing on Amazon/ the Mills and Boon Web Site and in the shops for the new year.

catching up 1

Sorry - I thought I had posted since I was away in Liverpool,  but just checking on things I find that a few posts have been stuck in me  pending tray and I need to  make sure they appear  here as  well as Facebook! Soory!

Had a great weekend in Liverpool at the Jack The Ripper Conference with H Division True Crime Club. So many interesting talks and a special dinner and presentation with Fred Dinenage. Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome.

And of course there was a talk by one Stephen Wade. Lots of books to be signed afterwards too. Just discovered that some of these are now on Kindle for only £0.99 so there's a real bargain.

Next event is the Romantic Novelists' Association Afternoon Tea in York - life certainly has so much interest - and such contrasts!

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