Tuesday, 23 August 2016

From Keyboard to Camera

Last weekend I took a break from my writing desk and armed with my camera, went to the National Botanic Garden of Wales for a morning of photography. Unfortunately, it was wet and very windy and the only outdoor photos I took were of ducks on the pond, which is a shame because it is an amazing place. One I will definitely visit again.

Thankfully we weren't rained off and headed for the Butterfly House or Plas Pilipala in Welsh and there the time just flew by as under the guidance of the photographer leading the morning I got close to the beautiful butterflies. Here's a few of my photographs.

From there we went into the Great Glasshouse - the largest single span glasshouse in the world and I was able to take more lovely photos.

Now I'm back at my desk, revising my latest book, but the day out, focusing on something different allowed my mind to wander through my story.

I hope you have enjoyed my photographs, I just hope I can do as well on my own next time!


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Love At The Library

On Monday I was in Brecon, a lovely market town in Mid Wales, for Mills and Boon’s #LoveAtTheLibrary

I was handing out signed copies of  The Sheikh’s Last Mistress and really loved meeting the readers and fans of Mills and Boon.

Thanks to Brecon Library for the use of this photo

The display of Mills and Boon books, complete with bunting, was brilliant and it was lovely to see so many titles there.

Being in the library reminded me of my teenage years, when I would head down to my local library in the city of Worcester. After a look around the museum, which was upstairs in the grand old building, I would head straight for the romance section and Mills and Boon in particular. There I would select the books I was going to rush home and read, never thinking then, that one day, my books would be on the shelves in libraries.

I really enjoyed being in the library, a place I’ve always loved. I watched young children coming in with their parents, all excited about borrowing their next book and getting involved with the library’s summer reading challenge, The Big Friendly Read, to celebrate Roald Daahl's 100th Birthday.

Friday, 1 July 2016

The Billionaire's Legacy

The Billionaire’s Legacy is an exciting new eight book series from Harlequin and I was thrilled to be asked to be part of it. Right now on Harlequin there’s a free prequel, One Night at the Di Sione Mansion by Carol Marinelli and the first book in the series it out now.

Here’s the first four books in the series.

I love the covers. They are stunning.

My book, To Blackmail a Di Sione is the third book in the series and will be available from 23rd August 2016. I can’t wait for you to meet Liev and Bianca as they clash over the  ownership of a bracelet, but very soon realise they want far more than that from each other.

I loved writing this story and working with the other authors, meeting their heroes and heroines and I can’t wait to read the whole series. I hope you’ll join me and lose yourself in the world of the Di Sione family.


Monday, 20 June 2016

Writers Guidlines

As some of you may be aware, writing for Harlequin Presents/Mills and Boon Modern was something I was actively writing towards for at least eight years before I got that magic call and became one of their authors.

The dream to be a published romance author goes back much further than that. As a teenager I would spend most Saturdays in my local library getting my latest fix of Mills and Boon. The only books at home were men’s thrillers, so borrowing my mum’s or grandmother’s romance books wasn’t an option, so the library became my favourite place and I would go home with my borrowed treasures only to return a few weeks later for more!

During June and July, some libraries across the UK are hosting Fall in Love at your Library with Mills and Boon. #LoveAtTheLibrary  Because that is exactly what I did as a teenager, I will be visiting one of the participating libraries in Wales. On 25th July I will be in Brecon library, so if you are in the area, do come along and join in the fun.

Just to prove my love affair with Mills and Boon and my desire to write for them goes back a very long way, here’s a photo of something I stumbled upon over the weekend when I was having a bit of a clear out. It’s the writers’ guidelines I requested around twenty five years ago.

There are details for writing for the historical line, then Masquerade, the line I was at that time wanting to write for and a tape recording of what they were looking for. The fact that I've had these for so long is quite scary!

What treasures or memories have you unearthed during a clear out?



Thursday, 16 June 2016

My Seven Day Nature Challenge

I was recently nominated on Facebook to take part in a seven day nature challenge where I had to post a nature photo - past or present, each day. So I thought I'd share them here.

Day One was blooms in my garden on a lovely sunny morning.

Day Two was the lane along which Poppy and I walk each morning and afternoon, but the morning photo was so very different from the one I took in the afternoon I just had to share them both.

Day three was a photo of a Chaffinch I took last summer.

Day Four was a photo of my favourite flower. I always treat myself to Tulips when I can.

Day Five was again taken on a morning walk.

Day Six was taken in the National Trust garden of Llanerchaeron.

Day Seven was of my chickens enjoying the long grass of summer.

I hope you've enjoyed my photographs.


Saturday, 4 June 2016

Inspiration - its all around us

It's been a busy week on the farm, with silage being harvested in preparation for winter and this means lots of workers to feed and time spent away from my writing desk.

I like to write every day, even if it's only a few hundred words, but sometimes even that isn't possible and I usually find it can be difficult to get back into the rhythm of writing. Procrastination, or faffing as I prefer to call it, usually strikes and as much as I want to get back into my current work in progress it sometimes doesn't happen. The last few days have been like that, so armed with a magazine I decided to give myself a bit of time out over a coffee and almond croissant in my local coffee shop.

As always, I was drawn by the cover and indulged in the lovely photographs of Eva Longoria's and Pepe Baston's wedding. In the article it stated they'd married in their home because they wanted something intimate and private. 

Instantly my mind began working. In the book I'm currently writing, my hero Antonio and his bride-to-be Sadie also want a small and private wedding. From this similarity, ideas began to form in my mind but Antonio's apartment in Rome might not be suitable for their wedding, but being a billionaire, he could buy a beautiful villa that would be perfect!

So now that I've had my little light bulb moment, I can get back to finishing Antonio and Sadie's story. Next time you are feeling a little distracted from what you need or want to do, give yourself some time out. Even the smallest amount of time can help.


Sunday, 22 May 2016

Living the High Life - for a day or two!

Thursday last week was the Romantic Novelists' Association Summer Party in London and the annual award of the Joan Hessayon Award, for which several of my friends were nominated, but as usual I was too busy catching up with friends to take photographs.

I left home early on Thursday and after a quick walk along Aberystwyth sea front, caught the train to London. Quite a few hours later, I emerged from London's underground to the bustle of a city I love visiting.

Quite a contrast from the town I left behind, but there is so much to see and do in London that I never quite know where to start first.

My stories are full of glamour and London always gives me the opportunity of seeing a glamorous city in action. From chauffeur driven cars to the gorgeous shops, it's all very different from rural Wales. This time myself and a few friends had afternoon tea before the summer party -  yet more research!

On Friday morning I set off for a walk in St James's Park before heading back home on the train. At first it was peaceful and quiet and I enjoyed watching the pelican's on the lake.

Then everything changed as the Queen's Guards made their way to Queen's Guard Parade to the sound of their band.

All the excitement made me wish I was staying in London a little longer. Maybe next time!