Reflections on 2014

Now’s the time to reflect on what has been an amazing year.

Starting with last things first, I got married in December. My partner and I were able to convert our Civil Partnership into a Marriage. And although on the day we didn’t feel any difference in our relationship, or ourselves, there was a warm glow in thinking ‘hey, I’m married’. Whether society in general likes it or not, same sex couples in England now have an equal right to get married.

Finding the wonderful community of like-minded writers and readers via social media, particularly on Facebook, is another thing that has made this year special. I love the online interactions with people from all over the globe.

But of course, the really big change for me this year has been in becoming a published author. I’ve now had two short stories and a novel published by Affinity eBook Press with another novel due out in May.

The publication of the first novel, Starting Over, was both nerve-wracking and exhilarating. I really didn’t know what to expect, so to receive some wonderful reviews at the outset was encouraging. The book has also been nominated for two Golden Crown awardsDebut Author and Traditional Contemporary Romance. Just to be included on the list of nominees is a thrill – so many books there by authors I admire.

2015 is shaping up to be another exciting year with more words to be written, more friends to meet, and just…well, more…


Wishing everyone the very best for the New Year.

Love me, love my cat!

Finding different ways to promote my book is quite a challenge. So I decided today to let you know – in case you haven’t read it yet – that there are two cats who feature in Starting Over. The cats are called Soames and Fleur. Fleur is the mother of Soames (just to mix things up a bit – Forsyte Saga fans will appreciate this). She’s a tabby cat and is more active than Soames, the ginger one, who can generally be found resting on top of the Aga cooker in the kitchen. I imagine he looks something like this:


Here’s a quote from the novel featuring the two main characters and Soames:

“Ellie was in the kitchen, sitting at the table, Soames sat contentedly on her lap enjoying the sensation of her fingers stroking him; long, leisurely strokes, starting at the top of his large ginger head continuing down his spine and caressing the length of his tail. Both Ellie and the cat had their eyes closed, but only Soames was purring.

Robin watched from the doorway. Lucky Soames. It had been a long time since Ellie had stroked her with such tenderness.”

So, come on, cat lovers – get the book and start reading!

Starting Over is available from: Affinity / Amazon / Bella Books / Smashwords


Christmas reading

I was given ‘A Christmas Carol’ as a present when I was ten. And I still have the very old paperback that only cost 35 cents.

As a writer, one of the hardest things is to know where and how to start your story. So I went back and had a look at this one by Charles Dickens which has lasted a good long time, a story that is still enjoyed today. The first line reads – Marley was dead, to begin with.

And that’s it. Simple, you would think. But, what if there was no comma in that sentence? What if it was changed around  – To begin with Marley was dead – ? Neither of those works.

Six words to begin the story that was described – on the back of this particular book – as “an impassioned plea to humanity for charity, mercy and tolerance.” This book was first published in 1843. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is due another visit, I think.


A book with a similar message and also one of my favourites is ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” It’s the wording near the end of the story that always made me well up…”the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day…” And he charges back down into Whoville to return all the presents and the food he had taken during the night.

Powerful storytelling in both these stories with messages that have stood the test of time…and lessons to be remembered, not just at Christmas.

However you celebrate at this time of year, I would wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday…and some good books to read!

In Praise of Older Lesbians


Mulling this over as I was sitting in a café at the weekend, enjoying a glass of mulled wine on a cold December day, I was encouraged to see that this month’s Diva magazine has a feature article on some very talented and sexy older lesbians including VG Lee and Diana Souhami. This diverse group of women in their sixties and seventies are still living life to the full and making plans for the future. And my plan is to emulate these ladies and carry on growing old disgracefully.

When I began writing ‘Starting Over’ I didn’t consciously set out to write about older women. However, one of the main characters, Ellie Winters, was struggling with the idea of reaching fifty.

As part of her midlife crisis, Ellie has a brief affair with a woman her own age, Dr Kathryn Moss, a professor of archaeology. They share many of the same interests. Ellie taught history at high school level and now makes a living as a potter. They seem to be a well-matched couple and at the beginning of the story it’s Kathryn who is interested in ‘starting over’ with their relationship. But things don’t always work out the way you think. And there are a few obstacles in the way of this reunion.

The main characters in my book are in their mid forties to fifties and as one reviewer put it – they jump in and out of bed “as if they were training for the Olympics.” A bit of an exaggeration, I thought, it’s not like there’s sex on every page. However, they do have their moments.

If you haven’t taken a chance on a new writer and added ‘Starting Over‘ to your holiday reading list, now’s the time to take the plunge and find out what’s happening with the ‘oldies’ at Starling Hill farm.

(Note: ‘Starting Over‘ has been nominated in two 2015 Golden Crown Awards categories: Debut Novel and Traditional Contemporary Romance)

(Available from Affinity, Amazon, Bella Books and Smashwords.)

Introducing Arc Over Time

I’m pleased to announce that the sequel to Starting Over will be published by Affinity eBook Press in May 2015.

Arc Over Time continues the story focusing mainly on the developing relationship between the archaeologist, Dr Kathryn Moss and the journalist, Denise Sullivan— with all the problems inherent in maintaining a long distance relationship.

That’s all I’m going to say for now. More will be revealed in the coming months.


If you haven’t read Starting Over, then now’s the time to check it out and discover how these two characters met and what might be standing in the way of a happy ever after ending for them.

(Available from Affinity, Amazon, Bella Books and Smashwords.)