Sunday, 30 June 2013

Crafty Misfit

I was recently asked to take part in an 'upcyle' challenge by Groovebulb.  You can check out their website here or follow them on Twitter @Groovebulb.

From their website:  "Groovebulbs use the latest LED technology, which means they are super efficient and much cheaper to run. They are bright instantly, dim beautifully and last for a very, very long time; 25 years in fact."

I love a challenge and I am always turning my hand to crafts, so I was delighted to be asked to join in.  They are currently looking for new crafters to have a go, so why not get in touch?  You'll receive a free light bulb in sturdy packaging and then all you need to do is get your thinking cap on.

This is what you'll have to work with.

I knew I needed to make a pen pot (would a writer see anything else?!) and I wanted it to have a Mummy Misfit theme so I gathered my bits and set to work.

Here's the finished product. I also used the cut off part of the tube to add a little paperclip tray.

So, crafty people.  Fancy a go?  What might you come up with? Contact them now and have a bit of fun.  You can see the full post on Groovebulbs website here.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Getting Steamy With Michelle Betham

Today I welcome to the blog my good friend and fellow Indie writer, Michelle Betham. To quote from Michelle's blog:
"I write books for the beach - pure escapism, total fantasy; mainly sexy, but sometimes humorous, contemporary romance. And sometimes with more than a nod to my northern English roots."

Her latest novel is the first in the 'Striker' trilogy where the world of football is combined with glamour, romance and saucy sex!  Let's get comfy with Michelle and find out a little more about what makes her tick.


You tend to write novels on the steamy side.  Do you ever get days where you can write other scenes but the sex just isn't happening?  A 'headache day'!?
Yes! Definitely! In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m having one such day!

I know your husband is very supportive of your writing and helps with all the technical stuff but has he read any of your work and, if so, what does he think?
To my knowledge I don’t think he has read any of my work, even though he has copies of all my books on his computer, so if he wanted to he could read them without me actually knowing. They’re not really his kind of thing, though, which makes me slightly relieved in a way! He does, however, recommend me to his customers. Which is nice.

Where do you see yourself (in your dreams!) in five years time?
I’d like to see me still writing, still enjoying it, and still with lots more ideas and stories left to tell. In my dreams, I’d like to see me on the sofa opposite Lorraine Kelly telling everybody about my latest bestseller that’s just about to be made into a movie… starring Bradley Cooper…  Well, you did say “in your dreams…”

As your Striker trilogy is football related, have you ever had the desire to be a WAG?
God, no! I’d be the world’s worst WAG! I’m useless at shopping, have no desire to have a massive chandelier hanging from my hallway, and I can’t even walk in a pair of heels so I’ve failed before I’ve even begun! I’ll take the extraordinary amount of holidays they seem to go on, though…
I know I’m generalising a bit there, and I’m sure not all WAGs are quite so stereotypical as the high-profile ones we’re used to seeing, but watching ‘Footballers Wives’ really did put me off ever wanting to be one, believe me. I could never marry a footballer. Mind you, I did have a bit of a crush on Gary Lineker when he played for Everton back in the 80s, so I suppose if he’d asked me then I’d have been quite happy to be his WAG. Maybe… not so sure now…

I'm coming to your house for dinner and a gossip.  What will you cook me? 
Oh, now, let me see… I’d probably cook you something like salmon with garlic, chilli and ginger, some noodles and vegetables on the side, and a nice bottle (or two!) of something white and sparkling. I’m no Nigel Slater (I’m far prettier than he is, but his kitchen's nicer than mine!) but I think I could knock up a pretty decent dinner for us. But, if it all went wrong, and I have been known to have disasters in the kitchen, the Chinese take-away down the road is very good.

Money is no object.  What's your ideal day/night out?
Ooh, this is actually quite a hard one. I’ll have to think about this… I know! If money was no object I would love to fly over to Ibiza, hit the old town for the morning, and check out the shops and the market. Then it would be lunch by the beach and an afternoon lying by a poolside somewhere before pre-dinner drinks at CafĂ© del Mar watching the sun go down over the Mediterranean – that in particular is something I’ve always wanted to do. It would be the perfect end to a chilled-out day. I’d have to give clubbing a miss, though. Getting way too old for all that!

Tell me a really embarrassing story - one that makes you cringe to this day!
Falling on Simon le Bon. It was back in the early 80s when I was a teenage Duran Duran fan with a massive crush on Mr. le Bon, so when we heard he was coming to the North East for the opening of band mate Andy Taylor’s bar ‘Rios’ in Whitley Bay, we were there! I was front of the barriers (I was a very determined fan!) but when he and the other band members who’d turned up were walking up to the bar’s entrance I was pushed forward and just happened to fall on him, grabbing a handful of his hair in the process! He was very nice about it, and I got a lovely smile from him, but at the time I was mortified! I could have thought of much better ways to get me hands on my-then idol… Every time I see him now I still remember that night, and cringe just a little bit.

If you weren't a writer, what would your dream job be?
An actress. No doubt about it. It’s something I have always wanted to be, but never had the nerve to do. Even when I was on my Performing Arts course I chose to concentrate on working behind the scenes rather than out there on the stage or in front of the cameras because I’m just so shy! Believe it or not… 

Thanks for popping by, Michelle.  It's always good to chat to you - although on the phone we do tend to go on a bit!

'Striker' - Amazon link.
'Striker' - Kobo link.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Wetting Lottie's Head

Last night I was treated to a book launch dinner at our close friends' house.

As one of themes of 'Lottie's Luck' is her dog walking business (hence the foot attire which features on the cover),  I was highly amused to arrive for the evening to see wellie wearers!

Of course the evening had to begin with the teens playing with the dog in the garden.

I was given some beautiful flowers but I looked dreadful in every photo of me holding them so I won't share with you.  Suffice it to say they were pink, yellow and cream roses.

Instead, here I am proudly showing off my book with friends (our husbands were too busy gossiping)

A well deserved glass of wine.

Hubbie and friend
God-daughter engrossed in the new book.
First book she's read in years and she took it off to bed with her!

Me with my boy and my new 'Lottie's Luck' balloon.

The decor was pink and white with bunting, pom-poms and 
toadstool fairylights.

We had thai green curry and this was the remains of the offending
chili which rendered me speechless for ten minutes.

Delicious Eton Mess
(but I opted for the chocolate tart and some very stinky cheese)

Looking very smug!

We had party poppers and champagne blowers.

I always seem to end up decorated with the poppers innards!

It was great to have the teens there - they did disappear to do their own thing but not before we had a game of 'Would I Lie To You?'  What a great bunch of liars we are - we all fell for my friend's story about how she was poked in the face with a Mars bar which appeared from a hedge she was passing!  But rather worryingly, we had hoped that my God daughter's story was a lie but it turned out that it wasn't.  She said she was about five and walking along the road holding Daddy's hand but suddenly she found she was holding an old lady's hand and not Daddy's!  'Daddy' got in a bit of trouble from 'Mummy' for that one last night!

Another 'lie' from my son had us chuckling.  He said he was about seven and in a playground at the park when a swan chased him out, pecking at his bum.  Now, I am infamously known as the most paranoid mother ever to walk this earth so one question from my friend's husband, 'Where was Mummy when this happened?' revealed the lie.  Son answered, 'She was at the coffee shop.'  ''Nope!' Friend's husband answered. 'Not Amanda!  Would never have happened!'

When I revealed that I had once had a wee in one of the guests' gardens when he was out, they all said I was lying. It was, in fact ... the truth!  Bear with and I'll tell you why before you judge me.  Said friend lives in a huge house in the middle of the country and we were on our way to his son's wedding reception which involved passing the house.  We'd been stuck in traffic for ages and I was desperate - no pubs, no secluded bushes anywhere.  Now I know this friend often leaves his front door unlocked so we pulled into his driveway in hope.  Locked!  I was near to tears now, so I sneaked to the side of the house and weed in his bushes, accompanied by his very confused cat.  The friend said he will never look at the yellow patch of grass in the same way again.

So, 'Lottie's Luck' was launched in style with good friends, fine wine, yummy food and bucket loads of laughter.  I can't wait til December for the next one.

My new novel can be found at Amazon UK and - only £1.97 for Kindle - or in paperback at Lulu.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Launching 'LOTTIE'S LUCK'!

Little bit excited here at Misfit house as today is the release of my fifth full-length chicklit novel.

Want to see my lovely cover?

And for those who missed it, here's the blurb:

I’m Lottie Truman
and this is my story.

My life was simply tickety-boo
until a neighbour’s prediction
seemed to coincide with
my luck running out.

Join me on the path
I needed to take to get me
to where I am now.

But don’t judge me.

Because sometimes you have to
make a few diversions to allow fate
to push you in the right direction

I ran a competition for a couple of weeks in the lead-up to the release and all those who retweeted me on Twitter went into a draw to win a free Kindle copy.  About 140 people were 'in it to win it' and I thank each and every one of them for helping to spread the word. I decided one giveaway seemed a bit mean given the response so I decided to go for three and, after giving each their own number in a hat, I asked my trusty teen to pick them at random.

Congratulations go to:




If you DM me your email address on Twitter I will get a Kindle compatible copy to you as soon as possible.

For those who are still interested in reading about Lottie's adventures you can buy your Kindle copy in the UK here, USA here (for less than the price of a coffee!) and paperback copies at Lulu (slightly more than a coffee but you can hug it and sniff the pages - always a bonus, I think.)

Today will see me mostly celebrating (and checking sales!) and also getting ready for my first group-girlie night out in years!  I also have my book launch dinner to look forward to on Saturday, courtesy of my lovely partner-in-crime 'Fenella'. Blog to follow soon after.

Once again, thanks to all my loyal and supportive readers - I hope you like this one.   If you should buy a copy today, why not tweet about it, using the hashtag #lottiesluck.  And if you enjoy, please leave a review - your words help sell mine.

You can find all of my other novels here UK and here US.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Another Book on the Shelf

With the release date for 'Lottie's Luck' looming (June 19th) I'm now very proud to see five novels and a novella on my bookshelf.  I wrote those and people buy them!  How weird is that?

I'm often asked how I managed to produce so many books in such a short time.  Well, of course the truth is I didn't 'Diary of a Mummy Misfit' was released in June 2011 but it was actually completed four years prior to that and was sitting in a drawer having a sulk.  Likewise, 'The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit',  which was released in December the same year, was already half written on the instructions of my then agent.

My other novels have come to life through pure hard graft - the only way to get from Chapter One to The End.  My bum goes on my seat at about 8.30am and most days stays there until about 4pm.  Yes, there's lots of dipping in and out of Twitter but that's one of the tools I use to sell my books and I need to have some sort of a life outside of my characters or I'd be a madder woman than I already am!

When I'm not writing, I'm thinking about writing.  I believe writers work 24 hours a day - ideas will strike when you least expect them.  A writer's brain is their main tool and, sadly, we can't switch them off along with the PC.  Some of my best ideas come to me just as I'm going off to sleep and I will often find that a problem will be solved overnight.  Likewise, I can wake with the clarity of knowing I've done something wrong and need to do a re-write.

So who would have thought that all those years ago, when my agent told me I would need a 'stable of books to be a viable published author', that I would now be looking at a shelf of six of them with another Christmas novella due in October and a full length novel in December?

And I will keep on keeping on!  As long as I have stories to tell, readers who love them and the need to keep writing, why would I stop or slow down?  Maybe one day an agent or publisher will see that I'm not just a one book wonder and decide to take a chance on me, but my days of seeking them out are over.  I need to use that time for writing.

Remember all of my books can be found here - check out my 5* reviews!  And if you'd like to try 'Lottie's Luck' for FREE, leave me a message here or RT one of my tweets (mummy_misfit) and you can go in the draw for a chance to win a Kindle copy on publication day, June 19th.

Now, back to that chapter I need to finish ...

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

You've Got a Friend in Me

The theme of friendship is one that I hope comes across strongly in my novels.

Friends come into our lives for all sorts of reasons, don't they?  Often from the most unexpected of places and those who stay with us the longest are sometimes the most unlikely.

My two closest friends are both very different but I know that they will always be there for me with either a shoulder to cry on, a friendly ear or lots of giggles.

Friend #1 has been around since I was 18.  She was the year above me at drama school and I always thought she was so in control and grown-up (I soon learnt that was just an act!).  She'd moved from Scotland to live in London and she just seemed so worldly-wise. She was (is) also a Tourette's sufferer and (perversely) I found this fascinating.  At 18, she was just so DIFFERENT to anybody I'd ever met before.
A drink at the pub after a rehearsal one night and we were soon inseparable.  I'd often be found at her piddly bed-sit (read 6ft x12ft servant's loft room in Notting Hill Gate) 'topping and tailing' in a single bed and talking through the night as we tried to remember all the characters names in 'Crossroads' or the lyrics to a Bay City Rollers' song.

Never able to afford cabs back from parties or clubs we'd simply pick up a shopping trolley on the way and take it in turns to push one another home.  To this day, we can still be seen sticking out a thumb to a discarded trolley and shouting 'Taxi!'

Thirty one years later we are still friends - she moved back to Scotland and married, having a son two years and two days after I'd had mine.  We've spent good times (and bad times) together as families and, although I have some issues with the way she is choosing to live her life at the moment, I know we will always be there for one another.

Friend #2 came to me via my son's best friend from prep school. She's my 'Fenella'!  Chalk and cheese in so many ways and yet so alike in others.  She really is the 'Have' and I am the 'Have Not'!  Think a city version of 'The Good Life".

It was a cheeky ciggie that brought us together at a parents' quiz night many years ago.  Finding the company of the other parents a little too over-powering, I'd sneaked out to the front of the school for a nicotine fix and some peace only to find that she'd had the same idea.  As we started to chat it began to snow - huge magical flakes were beginning to surround us - by the end of the conversation we were ankle deep in snow and she'd invited me for dinner.  The rest, as they say, is history.  We often laugh about how our coupling happened because we'd both felt so out of our depths with the other mums and her favourite line to me is 'You had me at the snow!'

That was eleven years ago - our boys, having changed schools, have still remained friends and I am also Godmother to her lovely daughter.  We have also become close friends with her ex-boss and we share dinners, drinks, family celebrations but, most of all, laughs.  She (and her husband) have been more supportive than I could ever have imagined all those years back in our Winter Wonderland fag break.  Yes, she holidays in the sun, has beauty treatments, shops till she drops and thinks nothing of having cocktails, a theatre trip and a meal all in one night, but we just 'click'.  We get one another and I know that we will be friends for life.

Another of my closest friends came about in a strange way.  I was friends with her (now) husband first, and she was actually my sister's friend before mine, but thirty-four years later we have stayed close and meet a couple of times a month usually for a huge meal and some silly games - I was the person she called in panic when her husband suffered a heart attack and I was pleased that we could be there for her.

Others have moved away - our dear friends who were caretaker and teacher at my son's prep-school (again a union made from 'not belonging'!) went back to Oz but we chat on the phone and they stay with us whenever they pop back to the UK.  It's thanks to them that I have my lovely little antique writing desk and my Kindle - constant reminders of a shared affection.

My closest gay friend took his life four years ago and is still sorely missed.  I can never replace the friendship we had and will often see or hear something that I know would appeal to his bitchy sense of humour and I have a little smile for him.

And of course my best friends EVER are my lovely husband and my mum - I couldn't ask for better.  The love and support they give me are priceless and I count myself truly blessed.

So what do you look for in a friend?  Are your friends similar to you or totally different?  Do you choose your friends for different reasons?  Who's your oldest friend?  Could you live without friendship?

I'll end on this song purely because I love it and it reminds me of my other little buddy's growing up years - my son.  It was also once played, by accident, on a loop at a school assembly until it drove us all mad.  My son's Headmaster stood and said, 'Well, it's just as well I like that song!'