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Tuesday 29 January 2019

Characters I'd Name A Baby After

This week’s topic on Long and Short Reviews’ blog hop was an interesting one. I can think of dozens of great characters with names I don’t much like (Marian Halcombe from The Woman in White springs to mind), as well as names I like which belong to characters I don’t. My first thought, upon reading this, was to remember how Art Garfunkel named an album “Angel Clare”, leaving me thinking “Why the hell would you name anything after that idiot?”

So who would I name a baby after?

My favourite Jane Austen heroine is Emma Woodhouse. She’s witty, intelligent, confident and yet flawed enough to make her interesting, plus she has the good taste to prefer Mr Knightley over Frank Churchill. I could definitely see myself naming a child Emma if I was going to have one.

Another favourite is Cassandra Mortmain of I Capture the Castle. She’s a woman after my own heart – intelligent and loves to write. I’ve often wanted to write an epilogue to that novel giving her the ending she deserved.

However, when it came to male characters, I struggled a bit. I ended up going back to books of my childhood and landed on Sebastian from the Sadler’s Wells series. Musical, sardonic and passionate – what more could you ask for? I’d have to put my foot down over his nickname, though. In the later books they start calling him “Batty” and sorry, I’m not having that.

While I don't have babies, I do have characters, and I have one I did name after a character in a film. Liam Wilder, one of the heroes in Photograph, whose name is a combination of Willy Wonka (of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) and Gene Wilder, the actor who played him. 

Tara Thornton hasn't spoken to her sister in two years, ever since Azure married the man of Tara's dreams. Tired of the rift, Azure invites her to take a Mediterranean cruise on a friend's yacht and, bowing to family pressure, Tara accepts.

Forced to be in close proximity with the man she still desires, Tara is thrown into confusion. The presence of celebrity theme park owner Liam Wilder and the reality of his marriage to Azure send Tara into a tailspin and, in an attempt to regain control, she responds to the advances of hot fellow guest Ryan Hyde, while determined to feel no affection for him.

But Ryan has a way of getting under her skin, and Tara's plan to get closer to Liam is rapidly losing its importance as Ryan begins to break down her defences. Can she let go of Liam, let Ryan into her heart... and tell Azure the real reason for her silence?

So what would you choose?

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Favourite Things to Do in the Winter

The topic on Long and Short Reviews' blog hop this week is "favourite things to do in the winter", something I'm very happy to talk about.

Winter, at least the first half, is my favourite time of year because of Christmas. Close to my workplace is a German Christmas market, where I absolutely love to go on lunch breaks to try the potato pancakes and fresh pretzels. But it also embodies everything I love about Christmas – dark nights lit with fairy lights, sparkling decorations and hot mulled wine. It’s a wonderfully Christmassy place.

But what to do for the second half of winter, after Christmas is over and we’re left with cold weather and slush? One of the things I used to like was to visit the skating rink. We often have an open-air one in one of the town squares which was fun to try, even though I’ve never been a great skater – I have no balance.

However, I’ve long since lost the urge to spend ages crashing down onto ice, and so my other favourite thing to do in winter is to sit inside with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and watch the snow fall.

So what do you like to do?

Tuesday 15 January 2019

What I Would Do With a Million Dollars

I’ve not been able to blog much this past year due to health issues, so I decided this year I would try to blog more – and what better way than by Long and Short Reviews’ blog hop?

This week’s topic is “What I Would Do With a Million Dollars”. For me, that one’s easy. I would travel. While I don’t love getting from A to B (I’m a terrible flyer) I have dozens of places around the world I would love to see. I have always wanted to visit somewhere decadent and hedonistic like the Maldives, or walk the Great Wall of China. Not cheap, but a fascinating experience.

Another thing I would like to do is a cruise. Possibly around Alaska. The thought of standing watching icebergs pass the boat is amazing – and I would always rather be too cold than too hot.
So what would you like to do?