Coming Soon

Monday 11 December 2023

Gifts for people who are hard to shop for

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews reflects something that used to be an issue for me, but no longer is.

My husband, you see, is hell to shop for because when he sees something he wants, he buys it. He's also very good at finding gifts hidden around the house even when he's not trying to, so I've given up attempting to surprise him and I just ask him what he wants instead. Believe me, it's easier. My usual fallbacks of gift cards, wine and mugs aren't going to work on him.

However, I did manage a good one once.

On one occasion a friend asked me in exasperation "What do you get for the man who has everything?" and I jokingly replied "A box to put it in." This turned out to be a great idea. My husband collects watches, and while I can't afford the sort of watches he likes, I could easily afford a leatherbound watch box for him to keep them in. And he loved it - so much that now he has several.

I'm keen to know what everyone is going to suggest!

Monday 4 December 2023

My winter holiday traditions

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews was a good one, although whether I could call what we do "traditions" is open to question. 

For a start, having anything Christmassy in the house is limited until at least the second week of December. I always have an advent calendar (actually I have two this year) but the decorations don't go up until later because my husband, who is the one to put them up, is not a Christmas person. There are houses in our area that cover their entire place in lights, but we generally just stick to a tree and lights in the windows.

On Christmas Day we go over to the local working men's club with my in-laws for a drink before going back to theirs for Christmas dinner. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are incredible cooks, so generally everyone eats enough to keep them going for about a week.

As far as presents go, this year we're doing a Secret Santa with my husband's family, so I'm only buying one present for family plus one for my niece. My husband and I will swap presents before we leave - mine will usually involve at least one surprise as I love surprises, but my husband is always well aware of what his presents are because he's not bothered - plus it's impossible to hide his presents around the house.

For New Year we go out to dinner and then usually go to the working men's club with my in-laws to ring it in. Apart from one year when somebody started a fight on the dancefloor, it's usually a great atmosphere to spend New Year in.

So what are your winter holiday traditions?

Monday 13 November 2023

Criticise my favourite book, show or movie

 I love this topic from Long and Short Reviews. For many years my favourite film was "Heavenly Creatures", and I still do love it. More recently I discovered "Hell House LLC" and its sequels, and those now take precedence. However, the one point of criticism I have for "Hell House LLC" also applied to "Heavenly Creatures" - the director's cut is better. yet harder to find.

"Hell House LLC" uses the mockumentary/found footage format to great effect and manages to evoke real dread, even though from an analytical perspective it's probably quite simple. It does, however, tread a fine line with how much it reveals of what's really going on, and possibly falls slightly on the side of not revealing enough. The director's cut does a better job, as it reveals a little more without going over the top, and as a result is scarier than the original - however, the director's cut has only just become available on Shudder after waiting ages for it, and the DVD and blu-ray are US only.

The film also has one issue which annoyed me the first time I saw it - every haunted house film has to have a good reason why they're not leaving the house, particularly when it's found footage, but in "Hell House LLC" they literally turn the camera off for this conversation and then switch it back on to say "You're right, we can't leave." The reason is revealed in a later film, but this seriously irritated me at the time. 

I'm interested to see what everyone else is going to come up with!

Monday 6 November 2023

Something I believed, but found out wasn't true

 I'm back on the Long and Short Reviews hop after a short break, and this topic took a bit of thought since I was trying to avoid the standard Santa/Tooth Fairy/etc stuff. However, it did remind me of something that was a fond memory from when I was a kid.

We, like a lot of suburban neighbourhoods, had our own Santa who would come round the local streets on a float. As a kid I didn't believe that the various Santas in shops were the real one, since even I had noticed that there were several of them, but for some reason I did believe that the one on the float was the real one. Needless to say, it took me a couple of years before I realised that if I told him I wanted something but neglected to tell my parents about it, I wasn't getting it.

I did also, at one point, leave a note under our Christmas tree as I'd forgotten to ask for something and wanted to see if Santa had one going spare. The next morning there was another note under the tree saying he'd run out and to ask again next year. No, I didn't immediately realise the note was in my dad's handwriting, although I really should have. 

So what did you believe that you found out wasn't true?

Tuesday 17 October 2023

Favourite scary monster

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews was quite appropriate, because I watch a hell of a lot of horror and my preference will always be for something paranormal. I don't mind a slasher film, but don't find them all that scary. I also don't like possession films much - they tend to cover the same ground over and over - and find zombie films quite dull.

The sort of monsters I do like are ghosts, and my absolute favourite is the onryo.

I love J-horror (not always the American remakes, although "The Ring" was good) and will always find an onryo scary. Admittedly they're a bit overused now and "The Cabin in the Woods" proved that, but I will always remember Sadako/Samara crawling out of the television and being absolutely terrified. As were the teenager girls sitting in front of me, who screamed hysterically and then ran out of the cinema.

So what's your favourite scary monster?

Saturday 30 September 2023

HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN GIVEAWAY


October 1st-13th


Goodies Given Away Every Day Totaling $210


https://ellenmint.blog/halloween-giveaway/ 


Every day is Halloween in this paranormal romance giveaway. Thirteen authors have teamed up to bring you the hottest and spookiest October. How does over $210 worth of prizes sound? 


The ghouls and goblins are throwing a huge Monster Mash and they want you to join them. With each new day, they’ll open another door or window in this haunted house to reveal who’s partying and what prize you can win.

Head to Ellen Mint’s website giveaway, click on the haunted mansion, and it will reveal the newest prize you can win.


The giveaway is sponsored by these wonderful authors:


Ellen Mint • AE Lister • Robin Jeffrey • Tanith Davenport • January Bain • Megan Slayer • H. M. Gooden • Letty Frame • Rosanna Leo • Seelie Kay • Tabetha Waite • M.C. Roth • Angela Addams • V.J. Allison


Monday 25 September 2023

How I shake off a bad mood

 I'm back on Long and Short Reviews's blog posts after a break (thanks to being in hospital with a collapsed lung) and this one definitely seemed appropriate. The NHS is a wonderful thing but being in hospital isn't exactly fun - the food is terrible, going anywhere takes ages when you're hooked up to things, and sleeping is virtually impossible when you're constantly being interrupted to take vitals.

So how did I cheer myself up when I finally got home? The three Cs - cider, cheese and cats.

I don't have much of a sweet tooth so I made sure we had plenty of blue cheese in the house. Cider, frankly any brand will do. And, of course, my two cats Dash and Spot, who I like to think missed me a little bit even though they were as aloof as always.


So how do you shake off a bad mood?

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Three fun facts about myself

 I liked this topic from Long and Short Reviews. I've often played "Two Truths, One Lie" during icebreakers, so I had a couple of facts to fall back on.

I had dinner with an actor from "Hollyoaks". It wasn't a date - it was for my brother-in-law's girlfriend's birthday dinner, and he was friends with my brother-in-law. I won't say who it was, but he was completely different from his character (he played the local comic relief, whereas in person he was very much the ladies' man) and he managed to get us into the VIP room of a nightclub afterwards.

I was on an episode of The Chase. We didn't win, but I did bring four thousand pounds back to the table after my Cash Builder. Our chaser was Anne, and while many people have asked me what Bradley Walsh was like off-screen, I can honestly say I don't know since he had his game face on from the moment he walked on set.

Until I was 21, I had taken off in a plane but never landed in one. I used to skydive between the ages of 18 and 21, but had never been on a foreign holiday so had never been up in a plane that wasn't designed to jump out of it. I eventually went on my first proper holiday after I finished my Masters, and exited that plane by the normal method.

I'm very interested to see what everyone else is going to come up with!

Monday 14 August 2023

When I Look In The Mirror blog tour!

 I'm now touring for my new release "When I Look In The Mirror" and I'm giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter, so please stop by!


August 14: Kenyan Poet
August 14: Full Moon Dreaming
August 15: Erotica For All
August 16: Sandra's Book Club
August 17: Fabulous and Brunette
August 18: Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books! - review only
August 18: Long and Short Reviews
August 21: Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess
August 22: The Key of Love
August 22: Author Deb Bailey
August 23: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
August 24: Dawn's Reading Nook
August 24: Westveil Publishing
August 25: The Avid Reader

A documentary I liked

 I had to think a moment for this topic by Long and Short Reviews. I haven't watched many documentaries lately, I have to admit. However, I did remember one which stood out for me.

"Blackfish".

For those who haven't seen it, this is the one which is a searing indictment of SeaWorld's treatment of its orcas, and the multiple deaths caused by orcas in their care. 

While it makes for uncomfortable viewing at times - particularly the section where a young Spanish-speaking woman is in tears describing the death of her fiance - I'm glad I watched it, because I've been to these sorts of shows before and, at the time, enjoyed them. I daresay I would have enjoyed going to a SeaWorld show had I not seen this film and discovered how terribly the orcas are treated.

It's definitely worth watching, but will probably make you cringe.

So which documentaries have you liked?

Monday 7 August 2023

The strangest dream I've had recently

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews was an interesting one. I often have very vivid dreams and keep a notebook beside the bed so I can write any good ones down, as I've often used them to inspire my writing. My novel "Photograph" was inspired by one dream, and "The Hand He Dealt" by another.

That said, I haven't had any good ones lately, so instead I'll tell you about the one that inspired my upcoming new entry in the "Rock My World" series, "Get Out Of Here".

In the dream I was at a motorway service station. From what little I remember about the layout, it was probably Woolley Edge (which will mean nothing to those who don't drive down the M1). As I walked out of the services back towards my car I was stopped by a group of men who made it clear they wanted to abduct me.

Just as I started to panic, a voice behind me said "Hey! Stop bothering my fiancee!" I turned round to see an attractive man standing behind me, someone I had never seen before but who had obviously decided to step in and save me. It worked, too, because the men all disappeared, at which point I woke up.

That was definitely one to write down, and it inspired the opening of "Get Out Of Here", which is due out in February 2024.

So what strange dreams have you had lately?


Monday 31 July 2023

A Job I Wouldn't Be Good At

 When this topic from Long and Short Reviews came up, a story from my past immediately came into my head.

When I was a kid, I went to my primary school summer fair and encountered a stall which claimed to tell your future using numerology. I got a printout with various predictions on it, most of which I can't remember, but one was "With a sharp and technical mind like yours, you would do well in a career like engineering."

Right.

While it's nice to be told you have a sharp and technical mind, even as a child I knew this was absolute nonsense. While I got a double A* in my GCSE Science, that was primarily by sheer determination and my chemistry and biology scores dragging my physics score up. Physics and maths, which are the sorts of subjects you need for engineering, are definitely not my strong subjects, and while I'm good at using a computer I'm certainly not technical. I would be utterly terrible at engineering.

It's probably just as well I can't remember the rest of the predictions, because if that one is anything to go by they weren't worth remembering. I think it did suggest I would get married in my thirties - I was 27, so they got that wrong as well.

So what job wouldn't you be good at?

Monday 17 July 2023

Share one interesting fact you know

 I really had to think about this topic from Long and Short Reviews, because while I know quite a few useless facts, how many of them are interesting is open to question. For instance, the fact that First Lady Dolley Madison's favourite ice cream flavour was oyster is one that has stood me in good stead at quizzes, but isn't likely to do much more than raise an eyebrow at any other time. (I know a lot of junk about US presidents and First Ladies, and none of it will ever do me any good unless I get accepted to go on Pointless.)

One that did come to mind recently, though, was when I was discussing the Brontes with a friend. I've always been a great fan of Anne Bronte and we were talking about visiting her grave in Scarborough, where she is buried apart from her family as she died while on a trip there. My friend's comment was "It's a shame she's not buried in Haworth near that curate she was so in love with."

Oh yes, the story of Anne Bronte being in love with William Weightman, which was a huge part of the Bronte canon for years.

My friend was utterly amazed when I told her that Anne was not, in fact, in love with Weightman. There is no evidence whatsoever that she was - the only thing it's based on is a throwaway comment from Charlotte about Weightman eyeing Anne up in church and Anne ignoring him, which doesn't seem unreasonable in the circumstances. I had thought that this had been disproved some time ago, but apparently it's still a thing.

So there we are - it's not a thing. Anne Bronte was not in love with her father's curate.

So what interesting facts do you know?

Wednesday 12 July 2023

Making It Hard review tour starts today!

 Today my review tour for "Making It Hard" begins - all the stops are below:



July 13: The Avid Reader
July 13: The Faerie Review
July 20: Country Mamas With Kids
July 20: Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm
July 27: D.S. Dehel
July 27: The Reading Addict
August 3: Maggie Blackbird
August 3: Iron Canuck Reviews & More

Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card, and happy reading!

Tuesday 11 July 2023

Release day!

 It's Release Day for "When I Look In The Mirror"!


When hairdresser Tatum Fox takes part in a séance at a party, her only thought is of the attractive man sitting beside her, the mysterious Zack, who appears in her dreams that night and who she hopes to see again. However, when she begins to experience paranormal activity and finds herself confronted by an unnerving client at work, she discovers that the séance summoned a demon – and Zack may be the only person who can free her of him.

Zack reveals himself to be an angel, and shows Tatum that she also has the power to battle supernatural creatures – a power that is increased through sex with him. Their connection soon strengthens, but is Tatum strong enough to defeat the demon with Zack by her side – and can there be a future with an angel, or is their passion doomed to end?

Books 2 Read: https://books2read.com/u/bOPO7W

Amazon US:  https://tinyurl.com/28sjjkcr

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Look-Mirror-Tanith-Davenport-ebook/dp/B0C9XNDJ6K/ref=sr_1_66?qid=1689075452&refinements=p_n_date%3A367747031&rnid=367744031&s=digital-text&sr=1-66

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/when-i-look-in-the-mirror-2

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1417354

I hope you enjoy it!

Monday 3 July 2023

How I stay cool during heatwaves - and new pre-order

 Ugh. This topic from Long and Short Reviews is definitely appropriate at the moment. 

I live in the UK, so most houses don't have proper aircon like they do in the States, and we're simply not prepared for this sort of ridiculous weather. It's not too bad today admittedly, but I've been spending my days dressed as little as possible while I watch my two cats melt into the carpet. So how do we try to stay cool in this sort of weather?

I open all the windows and doors to try and get a draught through the house.

I drink as many cold, iced drinks as I can.

And, at night, we have a ChillMax box which we can put ice in to create a wave of cold air across the bed. It's not perfect, but it helps.

I also tend to avoid certain posts on social media, because whenever we have a heatwave in the UK certain people in hotter areas will go "Pfft! That's sweater weather for me!" That's nice, I'm roasting.

And while I'm here, I have a new book on pre-order.


When hairdresser Tatum Fox takes part in a séance at a party, her only thought is of the attractive man sitting beside her, the mysterious Zack, who appears in her dreams that night and who she hopes to see again. However, when she begins to experience paranormal activity and finds herself confronted by an unnerving client at work, she discovers that the séance summoned a demon – and Zack may be the only person who can free her of him.

Zack reveals himself to be an angel, and shows Tatum that she also has the power to battle supernatural creatures – a power that is increased through sex with him. Their connection soon strengthens, but is Tatum strong enough to defeat the demon with Zack by her side – and can there be a future with an angel, or is their passion doomed to end?

Books 2 Read: https://books2read.com/u/bOPO7W

Amazon US:  https://tinyurl.com/28sjjkcr

So how do you stay cool during heatwaves?

Monday 19 June 2023

Things I like and dislike about the romance genre - and NEW RELEASE!

 Since I write erotic romance, this topic from Long and Short Reviews was an interesting one. I was never a reader of romance until I began to write it, primarily because I grew up in the era of the too-stupid-to-live heroine, which frankly put me off. I'm very glad that these days we're getting strong, intelligent heroines who are capable of living their lives without constantly having to be rescued by men.

My favourite element of romance is, of course, the happy ending. Unless you're reading Nicholas Sparks, happy endings are a given with romance and - in spite of the fact that I also enjoy horror, which is famous for having nasty endings - I do love it when a love story ends happily. I read quite a lot of fanfiction in the past where they tried to subvert expectations by throwing in an unexpected sad ending, and it always led me to refuse to read any more of that person's stories.

There are, however, two things I hate about the genre. One is "tears before bedtime", which is unfortunately necessary to keep the plot going, but I always hate it when the hero and heroine are parted by something that could have easily been resolved if they talked to each other. I usually try to twist things by having a different type of conflict point, such as in "Photograph" where my heroine got shot right after fighting with her sister. 

The other is a trope that I always avoid in my writing, which probably has a name but I'll call it "How dare you be a virgin!" I've seen this pop up in a lot of books, where the tough guy hero has sex with the virginal heroine and is utterly shocked and horrified to discover he's deflowered her. How dare she not tell him this first! Now she's going to have Expectations! Ugh! As a result, my heroines are never virgins and my heroes never ask these sorts of questions as it simply isn't important how many people she's slept with.

And while I'm here, I can't resist announcing my new release, "Making It Hard".



He wants her. She wants him – but she’s going to make it hard for him.

Vlogger Angel Metzler likes to create content on her two favourite things – rock music and classic cars. So when lead guitarist Judah Kallam approaches her at a car show and asks her to do some promotion work for him, she accepts – and when she notices someone filming them as he’s flirting with her, she kisses him, hoping this will result in good publicity.

Judah tells her he plans to quit his band Vegas Dreams to go solo and is happy to get any publicity he can by any means necessary. Irresistibly drawn to him, Angel agrees to make public appearances with him, but knows it will go no further – she has made a private vow never to date musicians, having been let down by too many in the past.

But when the press attention grows too much to handle, Angel and Judah are thrown closer together and the heat growing between them tempts Angel to break her vow – but will Judah still be interested when the promotion is done, or is she just a groupie to him?

 

Books 2 Read: https://books2read.com/u/3LjDQ1

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Making-Hard-Rock-My-World-ebook/dp/B0C2ZPPM3M/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2OKPIPKD3H2SZ&keywords=tanith+davenport&qid=1685260801&sprefix=%2Caps%2C47&sr=8-1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Making-Hard-Rock-My-World-ebook/dp/B0C2ZPPM3M/ref=sr_1_17?crid=3OJ2KOG5XE5UA&keywords=tanith+davenport&qid=1685260829&sprefix=%2Caps%2C162&sr=8-17

So what do you like and dislike about the romance genre?

Monday 5 June 2023

Older books more people should read

 While I liked the sound of this topic from Long and Short Reviews, I did twitch a little at the word "older". I'm constantly being reminded that now that I'm past forty I'm considered "older" myself, so I'm dreading seeing books listed that I don't think are old at all.

The ones I'm going to list, in any event, are the "Ring of Bright Water" trilogy by Gavin Maxwell, and "Gavin Maxwell: A Life" by Douglas Botting.

I discovered these in my teens, reading the biography first and then moving on to Maxwell's books. Gavin Maxwell was a complicated man and I certainly didn't agree with everything he did during his lifetime, but he cared deeply for animals and was an amazing writer. 

So which older books do you think more people should read?

Tuesday 30 May 2023

Someplace I'd Love To Visit Someday

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews took a bit of consideration, because I love to travel (or rather I love visiting new places - I hate the getting there part, I'm a terrible flyer) and there are still many places I would love to see. Realistically I'm not great in extreme heat or humidity so if we're looking for somewhere perfect it would have to be within Europe - much as I would love to see Mauritius, I think I'd collapse after a day.

So I eventually settled on Venice in Italy.

I've been to Rome and the Amalfi Coast, but would love to visit Venice. It's probably not going to happen because my husband thinks the place is an open sewer. But to me it feels like an extended version of Amsterdam with all the canals, and it's always felt romantic to me. I'd love to give it a try, even for a long weekend.

So where would you love to visit someday?

Sunday 28 May 2023

I'm With The Band - blog tour upcoming!

 My blog tour for "I'm With The Band" starts on May 30th, with great thanks to Goddess Fish Promotions for putting it together.


My tour will be stopping at:

May 30: Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
May 30: Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess
June 6: Sandra's Book Club
June 6: Travel the Ages
June 13: Country Mamas With Kids
June 13: Maggie Blackbird
June 20: Beverley A Baird
June 20: Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm

I'm very much looking forward to it, and I'll be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter, so make sure you enter to win!


Tuesday 23 May 2023

Favourite YouTube video

 I'm now back from my holiday and found this topic from Long and Short Reviews to be very interesting. I watch a lot of YouTube and follow a lot of different channels, including CinemaSins, Jay Exci, FoundFlix and The Birdman, plus a lot of others on film in general.

My favourite video at the moment is this one from Your Movie Sucks: Oldboy

Your Move Sucks do some great videos on good and terrible films alike, and this one is a direct comparison between the original "Oldboy" and the American remake. I've seen both and considered the original to be the best by far - much as I love Elizabeth Olsen, the remake has a tendency to copy scenes from the original without understanding the context, and as a result they make very little sense.

It's also an hour and a half long, so plenty to get your teeth into.

So what's your favourite YouTube video?

Monday 8 May 2023

I'm With The Band - on sale now!

 My new release "I'm With The Band", the third in the Rock My World series, is now on general release!


His only regret was letting her go.

When filmmaker Tawny Michaels is asked to make a documentary about recently re-formed band Greycomet, she already knows who she’ll have to face – her ex-boyfriend Marsh Kilmer, lead singer of the band. In the ten years they’ve been apart Tawny has been happy with nothing but flings, choosing to avoid relationships, but Marsh’s only regret is losing her – and he’s determined to win her back, no matter what.

Knowing the production company is in the financial hole and finding herself still attracted to Marsh, Tawny decides to go along for the ride, but their passionate reunion hits trouble when the documentary attracts a stalker who has been relentlessly chasing the band. Tawny finds herself hiding out with Marsh, fighting to keep her business afloat while keeping herself safe – but soon realises her safety is the last thing on her mind. Can she forgive Marsh the past and trust him with her heart?

 

Totally Bound: https://www.totallybound.com/book/im-with-the-band

Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Im-Band-Rock-My-World-ebook/dp/B0BSHFW9F9/ref=sr_1_3?crid=Z4LC2NXGI8JE&keywords=tanith+davenport&qid=1680155575&sprefix=%2Caps%2C50&sr=8-3

Books 2 Read: https://books2read.com/u/bPL9jr


Tuesday 25 April 2023

Films to watch when you're having a bad day

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews was surprisingly easy, as I had a bad day a few weeks back and immediately turned to one of my favourite films to lift my mood. 

I'm not normally a comedy film lover. I don't find a lot of them funny as I'm not into gross-out, public humiliation, romcoms or watching straitlaced people being slowly driven out of their mind, which covers a lot of them. However, my absolute favourite comedy film is Blazing Saddles.

Blazing Saddles is non-stop humour, brilliantly scripted and has a great performance by Gene Wilder, who was one of my all-time favourite actors. I could watch it any day of the week, but it's perfect when you're in a bad mood and need to let off some steam.

So what film do you watch when you're having a bad day?

Monday 17 April 2023

A piece of advice I'll always remember - and COVER REVEAL

 While considering this topic from Long and Short Reviews I came up with an answer quite unexpectedly. It was something said to me when I was a teenager and I've said it to other people since, even though for the life of me I can't remember where I heard it from.

The last time I said it, in fact, was when my husband made a comment about how all my ex-boyfriends were weird. (Which is true enough - my husband is the only man my father ever liked. He definitely thought all my exes were weird.) He was wondering, in that way of his, how I had managed to land a man such as himself when I apparently had such strange taste in men.

My response? "You've got to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince."

I can remember being cheered by this after breaking up with my second ex back in sixth form, since it amused me to think of him as just another frog. And it was decent advice, too, although luckily I didn't have to kiss many more frogs before I met my prince.

So what piece of advice will you always remember?

And while I'm here, I'd just like to reveal my new cover:


He wants her. She wants him – but she’s going to make it hard for him.

Vlogger Angel Metzler likes to create content on her two favourite things – rock music and classic cars. So when lead guitarist Judah Kallam approaches her at a car show and asks her to do some promotion work for him, she accepts – and when she notices someone filming them as he’s flirting with her, she kisses him, hoping this will result in good publicity.

Judah tells her he plans to quit his band Vegas Dreams to go solo and is happy to get any publicity he can by any means necessary. Irresistibly drawn to him, Angel agrees to make public appearances with him, but knows it will go no further – she has made a private vow never to date musicians, having been let down by too many in the past.

But when the press attention grows too much to handle, Angel and Judah are thrown closer together and the heat growing between them tempts Angel to break her vow – but will Judah still be interested when the promotion is done, or is she just a groupie to him?


Sunday 2 April 2023

Sports I've tried and what I thought of them

 Looking at this topic from Long and Short Reviews, my first thought was "None."

Okay, maybe that's not accurate. I am categorically not a sporty person, and spent most of my high school years trying to avoid doing PE. I'm surprised I didn't get sent to the nurse for the number of times I got out of swimming by claiming I was menstruating or had an ear infection. As far as I'm concerned, swimming is what you do when you fall in. The only one I wanted to try was tennis, and somehow our class never got to do that one.

However, when I was a little older I got into dangerous sports. I've bungee-jumped and I've also skydived. Much more up my street.

I don't know if I'd bungee-jump again - it was a lot of hassle for ten seconds of bouncing around - but I did enjoy skydiving. There is nothing quite like floating down to the ground from a great height, and few things more beautiful than seeing another parachute in the air with you. It is, however, an expensive hobby, and I ended up quitting for that reason, though I would certainly think about doing it again.

So how do you feel about sports?

Tuesday 28 March 2023

Best non-fiction book I've read

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews was an interesting one. I read a lot of non-fiction in various areas, most often Richard III or on America - I've just finished Kate Andersen Brower's books on the presidency and they were excellent. However the one that came to mind here was "The Brontes" by Juliet Barker.

"The Brontes" isn't a quick read - it's a tome, but Barker's research is in-depth and fascinating. I live reasonably close to Haworth and the Bronte Parsonage, so the Brontes have always interested me, and Barker puts a lot of effort into debunking a lot of the Bronte myths and bringing unknown facts to light. She also gives my favourite Bronte, Anne, her due by going into plenty of detail about her life and writing, which a lot of previous biographers tended to skip over.

So what's the best non-fiction book you've read? I'm always open to a new one.

Tuesday 21 March 2023

A famous book I've never read and why

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews took a bit of thought. I went through a phase many years ago of trying to catch up on my classics, so I got quite a lot of famous books under my belt in those years. I can, however, come up with one I've never managed to get through.

"Tom Jones" by Henry Fielding.

I tried, I really did. I even had a go at the Clandestine Classics version Totally Bound brought out. But it was no good - I just couldn't do it. It's so wordy and so little seems to happen that I simply gave up.

I did initially consider mentioning "Nicholas Nickleby" for this as well. I like some of Dickens, but I prefer his more deeply psychological books like "David Copperfield". I found "Nicholas Nickleby" to be too heavy on the comedy.

So which famous book have you never read?


Tuesday 14 March 2023

Favourite historical personage to read about

 Firstly, I love this topic from Long and Short Reviews, just because I love the word "personage". We don't hear it enough these days.

In any event, I love history, and in the past I would definitely have said Henry VIII for this. I spent a lot of time reading about him and his wives - it was a remarkable period in history and all six of his wives were interesting to read about, especially Katherine Parr. However, after I started reading further back and got into the Wars of the Roses, I changed my mind about my favourite historical figure.

Now it's Richard III.

Richard is becoming better known in recent years and there is a lot more debate as to whether he genuinely did kill the Princes in the Tower. Personally, as a staunch Ricardian, I don't believe he did it. I'm leaning towards Henry VII myself, although there are some interesting theories about one or both of the princes possibly escaping and surviving into adulthood. Until we're able to test the bones found in the Tower we'll never know for sure.

It also helps that I have scoliosis myself, so that's something I share with Richard III.

So who is your favourite historical personage to read about?

Monday 6 March 2023

Something funny that happened to me

 I had to think about this topic from Long and Short Reviews. I had a few funny things that had happened to me at work, but figured it was probably best to avoid mentioning those in case former bosses got annoyed. So I eventually remembered something which wasn't particularly funny at the time, but did make me laugh afterwards.

I used to drive a Kia Soul Burner. These were fairly unique in that they only came in black with a dragon decal down each side. It was very rare that I saw another one, and if I did, the other driver and I would often wave to each other. Needless to say, they were very distinctive, which proved to be useful one very hot Saturday when I had popped to the supermarket.

I got back to the car, went to reverse out of the space and found the gears had got stuck. No matter what I did, I couldn't get it out of reverse, neither could I get the car to move in any direction (which was probably for the best given it was in reverse). So I called the RAC and explained where I was.

For some reason they were really struggling to locate the supermarket on their system. For pity's sake, it's a huge Asda, it can't be that difficult. They then wanted to know how they would find the car, since it was one of many in a large car park. I told them it was a black car with a dragon down the side, so they couldn't miss it.

Then, since it was a scorching hot day and the car park was fairly empty, I stretched out on the car blanket in the next space and sunbathed.

They showed up ten minutes later and, wouldn't you know, had no problems finding me. I don't know if it was the dragon or the blue-haired freak lying in a parking space, but they came straight to me. They also managed to fix the gearbox without having to take the car away, so I made it home about half an hour later.

My husband's comment was "It could only happen to you."

So what funny things have happened to you?

Tuesday 28 February 2023

My favourite subject in school and why

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews brought back a few memories. I hated school, but was very academic, so loved to study and there were a lot of subjects I was good at, whether I liked them or not.

I was good at English and languages and loved them (although for some reason I didn't get on with a lot of the English teachers - I think they'd be quite surprised to hear I was a writer now) but my favourite subject?

Drama. Or Theatre Studies, as it was at A'Level.

At the time I wanted to be an actress, so I was always going to take that subject, even though my dad was ripping his hair out because he wanted me to take another language. I can remember working on monologues and duologues at A'Level, spending hours on the devised piece (a group piece written entirely by the students, and stressful as hell) and doing an abbreviated version of "The Tempest", which awakened my love of Shakespeare. But the other part I loved was getting to go and see plays all the time. We had to write reviews of them afterwards, but I was fine with that. I still do it now to a degree, although only a few lines in my journal these days.

So what was your favourite subject?

Tuesday 21 February 2023

The first website I remember visiting

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews took me back. I didn't go in the internet much when I still lived with my parents, as they had dial-up which was incredibly slow, but as soon as I got to university I was online all the time and checking out every website I could find. Which led me to this one.

Soup Central.

For the life of me I can't remember how I found it. I think it was on a site which had given links to places you could get freebies, which sounded good to a skint student. All I can remember about Soup Central was that you could order, among other things, a sample box of powdered soups which was completely free, even the shipping (not bad when it was coming from the US). So I ordered one to my parents' house.

A few weeks later I got a very confused call from my dad. The order had arrived and he was trying to figure out if someone had sent him a box of anthrax. He wasn't much less confused when I told him what it was, but at least he didn't think someone in America was trying to kill him.

I did try one of the soups when I next visited home, but I wasn't impressed, and the rest went in the bin.

So which websites do you remember visiting?

Monday 13 February 2023

My favourite food

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews was definitely a tough one, and I'm still not convinced I've got a straight answer for it.

Whenever people give me that question about "If you could only have one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?" I get stuck, because my favourite food varies all the time. I usually just stick to a cuisine for the answer and pick Thai, because I absolutely love Thai food (although not curries, because I can't stand coconut). 

And if I'm asked for a favourite dessert, it would probably be lime cheesecake. Lime is one of my favourite flavours, and it's never a bad day for cheesecake.

However, my favourite meals at the moment in general are probably pizza - usually a meat feast - or fish and chips. It always amazes me that apparently they don't have fish and chips in the US. Believe me, you're missing out.

So what's your favourite food?

Tuesday 7 February 2023

Books that pleasantly surprised me

 I had to think about this topic from Long and Short Reviews, as it's been a while since any book has pleasantly surprised me. When I choose a book I tend to read reviews first and also download the sample, so I don't buy it unless I'm sure I'm going to like it. It's more likely that I'll be deceived by the sample and end up unpleasantly surprised.

However, I will admit to one.

Other than Agatha Christie, I'm not one for crime fiction, even cosy crime fiction. However, when I heard Richard Osman had written a book, I decided to give it a go. I took a chance and pre-ordered "The Thursday Murder Club" and crossed my fingers it would be good.

And I'm now three books in and have the fourth on pre-order. It was that good.

I'm still not into crime fiction. But the characters in Osman's series are so engaging and the plots so entertaining that I make an exception for him.

So which book were you pleasantly surprised by?

Monday 30 January 2023

What I eat in the average day - and COVER REVEAL!

 Speaking as someone who works from home most days, this topic from Long and Short Reviews should have inspired me to come up with all sorts of exciting recipes I cook. I wish that was the case. I am a terrible, lazy cook, I admit. Everything is quick and easy.

Mornings? Boiled eggs, mostly.

Lunches? Something I can put in the oven and ignore for thirty minutes. I'm fond of ready meals as they're nice and straightforward, and I almost never use the microwave because those meals tend to come out terrible.

Dinners? Much the same, although I may switch it up and do burgers and chips. It would probably help if my husband and I cooked together, but as we eat separate things, it hardly seems worth making a big effort for one person. In the past I've made resolutions to learn how to cook, but I simply don't have the patience, particularly when every recipe is for 4 people.

And, of course, I will snack on crisps all day.

Yes, I agree I'm unhealthy.

So while I'm here, I just have to reveal my brand new cover for "I'm With The Band".


His only regret was letting her go.

When filmmaker Tawny Michaels is asked to make a documentary about recently re-formed band Greycomet, she already knows who she’ll have to face – her ex-boyfriend Marsh Kilmer, lead singer of the band. In the ten years they’ve been apart Tawny has been happy with nothing but flings, choosing to avoid relationships, but Marsh’s only regret is losing her – and he’s determined to win her back, no matter what.

Knowing the production company is in the financial hole and finding herself still attracted to Marsh, Tawny decides to go along for the ride, but their passionate reunion hits trouble when the documentary attracts a stalker who has been relentlessly chasing the band. Tawny finds herself hiding out with Marsh, fighting to keep her business afloat while keeping herself safe – but soon realises her safety is the last thing on her mind. Can she forgive Marsh the past and trust him with her heart?

"I'm With The Band" is now on pre-order from Totally Bound and will be on general release on 9th May 2023.

So what do you eat in the average day?

Monday 23 January 2023

Something I'm proud of doing

 An interesting topic from Long and Short Reviews this week. I can think of two things I'm proud of doing, and both are things that take up a lot of my time.

During the day I work as a debt advisor for a charity. It can be stressful - you can probably imagine the sort of things we hear from clients, particularly during our current cost of living crisis - but it's also very rewarding. Debt can sneak up on anyone at the worst possible times; all it takes is a divorce, a death, a huge medical bill or the loss of a job. Knowing that the work we do makes a genuine difference in the lives of people who are struggling makes it all worthwhile.

And of course, outside of work I am an erotic romance writer, and yes, I am proud of that. The romance genre is often dismissed as "slush" or "trash", and the erotic romance genre is even more often dismissed as porn - I have been called a sex worker before by people who really should know better. But I'm proud of what I write and nobody is going to convince me otherwise. There's nothing wrong with wanting a bit of fantasy and a happy ever after.

So what are you proud of doing?

Monday 16 January 2023

New things I've tried recently

 I thought this would be an easy topic from Long and Short Reviews, as - previously discussed on my blog - I make resolutions every year to watch new films, read new books and try new foods all the time. However, I have to admit I was struggling for anything I'd tried recently. Possibly because the Christmas period was spent running around like a headless chicken in work and out, I didn't have time to do much that was new.

So the best I can come up with is the new foods I've tried recently.

My husband and I tried out a new Indian restaurant we'd been meaning to give a go for ages, since they have an interesting menu with items I'd never seen before. I ended up with a keema paneer dish, a combination I'd never had, and while it didn't taste quite like I expected (somehow I expected the cheese to melt, but it was mostly solid) it was delicious.

I also discovered blue hen's eggs recently while we were having an egg shortage at our supermarket. They didn't taste any different from non-blue eggs, but apparently they smelled different, as our two cats were utterly baffled by the shells.

So what have you tried recently?

Tuesday 10 January 2023

What I think of New Year's resolutions

 A nice topic to follow on from last week. As I said then, I tend to use the same resolutions every year, simply because I know I'll do them.

I used to decide things like go to the gym, work out five times a week, lose weight and learn to cook new recipes. These always went nowhere. Like many people, I would quit the gym at the end of January, would never remember to work out inside the house, and while I did occasionally manage to lose weight, the cooking of new recipes would never last either. I think I managed one, it came out terrible and I gave up. I am not a cook.

So I stick to challenges that match what I enjoy so that I'll definitely do them. Reading more, watching more films, going to the theatre more, trying new foods. They're all things that I do anyway so it doesn't hurt to do more of them. I'm also challenging myself to finish off Agatha Christie's catalogue - I've read most of them now (including all the Poirots, Marples and Tommy and Tuppences) but have a few left still.

So what do you think of New Year's Resolutions?

Tuesday 3 January 2023

My goals for 2023

 I always love this topic from Long and Short Reviews. It's nice to give some thought to what my goals are for the year, writing-wise and otherwise. I have a set of resolutions I set every year, but I always try to think of others as well.

My usual resolutions are to read one book, watch one film and try one new food every month. Last year I managed 30 books (as tracked by the Goodreads challenge), 45 new foods and I don't know how many films, but it was definitely more than 12. I hope to do the same this year - and since I've watched 3 films already, I think that one is well on the way.

I also plan to see as many plays as I can and try to finish off my list of Shakespeare plays, as I'm aiming to see all of them on stage at some point. I have tickets for about five at the moment, so that one is going well.

As far as writing goes, I plan to write more in the Rock My World series and possibly branch out with a couple of new writing challenges. We'll see how those go, but I've just started a new one, so fingers crossed.

So what are your goals for 2023?