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Tuesday 15 December 2020

Books that would make great gifts

 It's coming up to Christmas, and there's nothing better than a book as a gift - or so I believe, anyway. So this topic from Long and Short Reviews was nicely appropriate. What would I recommend as a gift for someone?

The first one I thought of was James May's Oh Cook! I watched the show on Amazon Prime and loved it - James May, as a presenter who can't cook, makes cooking complicated recipes seem remarkably easy. I picked up the book shortly afterwards and am planning to try some of the recipes out, so if you have a friend who can't cook and wants to try, suggest this one. Straightforward cooking with a dash of humour.

The second was Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Mr Quin. This would be ideal for people like me who have read all the Poirots and Marples and are looking for something new. These stories put a new spin on standard murder mysteries and introduce great characters in Mr Quin and Mr Satterthwaite.

And, since I'm a writer, I couldn't go without one of my own - Ready For Him.

In the bar at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Jade Bleecker celebrates with her three best friends, all of whom are there to get married - Jade is their bridesmaid, and beginning to believe that three times a bridesmaid really does mean never a bride. Tattooed, pierced and a martial artist, Jade is used to inspiring fear rather than desire in men, and even if she did find one who could handle her - well, no man is worth trusting with her body.


But, as she is leaving the bar, she comes upon a mugging in progress and, with a few swift moves, makes short work of the mugger. Invited up to the victim's room for a nightcap, she is stunned to discover he is Will Vandenmeer - billionaire poster child of the Vandenmeer hotel and casino chain, and owner of The Sanctuary, one of the best known BDSM clubs in New York City.


Jade finds herself hopelessly attractive to the sensual, dominant Will, and when he offers to induct her into the world of BDSM, she accepts... but can she truly give herself to him, and is Will ready for what Jade has to offer?

I picked this one because it's a good introduction to BDSM, so if you've never read it before and aren't sure if you'll like it, give this a try. It's BDSM-lite, if you will.

So which books do you think would make great gifts?

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Monday 7 December 2020

A profession from a book I'd love to try

 Coming close to the end of the year now, and we're coming up to the last few prompts from Long and Short Reviews - so what profession from a book would I love to try? Well, I generally choose professions for my own characters that I would love to try, so I'd say paranormal investigator.

Tamar Steele, of I Heard Your Voice, Tamar Rising and Spiritwalker, is a psychic sensitive who works for a paranormal investigative team. I personally have never considered myself sensitive, but I've always been fascinated by the paranormal, so I would love to try being a ghosthunter.

I did go on one paranormal investigation as research - there are companies such as Compass Paranormal who run investigations the public can pay to join, so I attended one at Bolling Hall in Bradford. Sadly the scariest thing that happened was when my satnav abandoned me on the way there. The resident medium, Barrie John, did his best but very little was coming through, apart from a ghost on the ouija board who told us to go away (and who I strongly suspect was one of the other participants pushing the planchette).

So I'm not convinced it would be a very successful job, but I'd love to give it a go.

So what profession would you like to try?

Tuesday 1 December 2020

An average day in my life

 I'd love to be able to say, as a writer, that an average day in my life consists of sitting in front of my computer creating magic. Isn't that what we writers are supposed to do all day? But sadly my usual days are a lot more prosaic than that, although writing is at least included.

On an average day I'll be working from home 9-5, so I get up at seven to give me time to get things done first. I'll get in an hour of writing and also surf for a couple of hours, making sure I'm up to speed on my email and have my to-do list up to date. Then at about quarter to nine I'll fire up my work laptop. I work as a debt advisor so will spend the day dealing primarily with emails from clients and creditors, along with occasional projects as they come in. At twelve I'll break for lunch - one of the benefits of working from home is I can have a hot lunch every day, since I never did like having to take sandwiches to work.

At about 3pm my husband will come home so I'll have a background of Top Gear and Wheeler Dealers for my last two hours of work, then I'll feed the cats and start dinner. We tend to cook just for ourselves as our schedules are out of whack - my husband doesn't get lunch until about 3 so won't be hungry for dinner when I am - so, as I'm not much of a cook, I'll usually fire up a ready meal. We'll then spend the evening watching either a film or junk TV, which in my case tends to be paranormal or quiz shows. I admit to having a soft spot for shows like The Cube or Tenable.

I'll also set aside some time to plan out my writing for the following day, as I am definitely a planner rather than a pantser. 

So what's your average day?