Tuesday, 27 May 2014


It's that time again.  Hubbie has returned from his Ozzie travels and I'm feeling generous.

For new readers to this blog, 'Diary of a Mummy Misfit' was my first novel, published in 2011.  Many have dubbed it Bridget Jones for grown-ups - I was flattered to say the least.  It tells the story of parents Libby and Ned as they battle to see their only son through private school and is a tongue in cheek look at the 'types'  they meet along the way.

I'm giving you the opportunity to grab a free Kindle copy and then, if you enjoy, you can pop over to Amazon, leave me a lovely review and then buy the sequel.  If diaries aren't your bag, you might like to take a look at my other novels or festive novellas - all chicklit, light, fizzy and with a touch of humour and romance.


Ever felt like you don't belong?

When Libby Marchant and husband Ned made the monumental decision to sacrifice luxuries and holidays to see their only son Max through private education, they hadn’t expected to meet so many unsavoury and dislikeable personalities along the way.

Happily, the cruel jibes of the pompous ‘Meemies’ are made more tolerable by the lasting and loyal friendship they strike up with the affluent Fenella & Josh.

Follow Libby’s journey as she discovers the chasm between the Haves and the Have-Nots in her mad new world of school committees, designer handbags, bitching and botox.

With Fenella by her side, Libby is able to maintain her sanity. But what happens when the credit crunch bites, you’re desperate for another baby and your Asian neighbour is trying to match-make you with her infatuated son? 

GRAB YOUR COPY IN THE UK OR .COM and let me know what you think.

Friday, 23 May 2014

FUNKY FRIDAY - with poet Kela Lewis Morin

This is my final FUNKY FRIDAY - I feel after nine months of fantastic interviews with readers and writers that it's now reached a natural end.  I'm always more than happy to continue hosting authors or reviewers from time to time so feel free to get in touch - it's just that this won't be a regular feature any more.

So ... I met this young man just recently on Twitter and, after reading some of his poetry, I wanted to share his talent with you all and shine the spotlight on him.

So, Kela when did you first start writing poetry and do you also enjoy reading it?

Poetry is an art that has always been a part of me in one form or another. I have always had an active imagination that just wanders off on its own tangent. I have an insatiable thirst for obtaining an understanding of how and why things happen. I am constantly questioning every assumption this world has to offer. The only way I could fully express the thoughts that circle in my head was to jot them down. Then my worded thoughts flowed into poetic streams of rhythm. My mind is riddled with a range of rhythmic paces, elaborate metaphors and double entendres. At first I kept my poetry to myself because I believed it was too personal to reveal. I was totally against anyone reading my work. The idea of uploading and exposing my work online for complete strangers to read petrified me. I was content with just keeping almost like an alter ego protected in the depths of saved documents. I was addicted to the freedom of passionate phraseology but I feared what others would think of me. Until one day someone very close to me rummaged through my laptop and read all of my private pieces. Despite my resentment it felt good to finally be honest about what I love doing.  The word spread around my friendship group and to my surprise I received a vast amount of encouragement. After a flurry of persuasive, peer pressure tactics I decided to create a blog and find out what the world thought about my work. Now after years writing and gaining confidence, I now think I have something different to offer the world. I openly admit that the belief I can have a fruitful career in writing is based on the validation from others. I am only as good as people say.

I love reading poetry because there is an infinite amount of ways to express the same words and sentiments. Art feeds art and all it takes is a couple of insightful words to spark your own train of thought. I see reading other peoples poetry as a constant source of inspiration. I admire poets like Sylvia Plath, William Wordsworth, Philip Larkin and Tupac Shakur because of their intricate world play. Also by the fact although they are no longer physically here, their literal legacy will forever live on. I aspire to have that kind of impact on the world some day.

Big Brother are doing a 'Writers' Special' and they want you to go on it.  Would you accept?

That is an unexpected question but truthfully I would be hesitant to enter. Although I am open with my thoughts, I still like my privacy. I am sure I would not feel comfortable in having my every move televised; I can’t handle that much judgement at once. However, I still consider myself to be very social and forthcoming with my opinions. The irony is I spend my days performing in every environment in order to be accepted. But because the circumstance always changes I know that every performance has an eventual end. Eventually the curtain is called allowing me time I to centre myself and continue. On ‘Big Brother’ there is no intermission period. You are constantly on display for viewers to pick apart and evaluate. I don’t think I could hold up the visage for long and eventually my true colours will show. I am not saying the real me is someone to be revered, but I know I have a tendency to be distant. I can be withdrawn and I do not talk to others because I am already talking to myself.  Being distant does not bode well in these kinds of reality shows. Basically, I am a crazy, abstract mute who occasionally smiles and mutters words to himself. On the off chance that I do happen to communicate the conversation would be disjointed and only end in regret. I would probably end up in a 5 day old man sized nappy, throwing his own faeces at the cameras. If the viewers would like to watch a psychological, reality wild life drama then by all means, sign me up.

What about 'I'm a Celebrity'?  Would you eat kangaroo's bits?

Kangaroo bits? There is no scenario were my name and Kangaroo bits would be included in the same sentence. On ‘I’m a Celebrity’ I would be forced to face my fears in front of the entire population. That is just a multitude of opportunities for me to embarrass myself on an epidemic scale. On second thought if you were allowed to bring your assortment of condiments, then maybe I would consider it. Kangaroo bits drizzled in a peanut and paprika dressing sounds strangely appetising.

Weirdo!  Tell us about your dream week as a poet.

My dream week as a poet would include an indoor work study with a scenic pool side view. I would love to be granted full time to work on my up and coming poetry collection. I am currently a teaching assistant in a local primary school, I specialise in literary and creative writing workshops. Sadly, I cannot financially live of my dream yet but I cannot wait till the day I achieve this. In this flawless instance I would be doing nothing but writing, re drafting and writing. Hopefully I would already have a flourishing career from consistently producing quality books for everybody. I have been working on a science fiction novel for some time now but I wanted to conquer poetry first. This fanciful week would allow me to work on all my writing projects with precision and total commitment. Free from all other ties and obligations, this would be a surreal but ideal situation.

You can follow Kela on Twitter or why not check out his website to see some of his work? I did and really enjoyed.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Muddling through

I've been on a bit of a learning curve this week - it's not been a pleasurable experience (although it has had its moments) but it had to happen and I'll come out the other end a stronger person (or so I'm told).

Things I've found out so far:

Cats will throw up huge dollops of sick when they know you're the only one around to clean it and the mere thought almost results in the possibility of human sick being added to the equation.

I have the best friends in the world.  A blog will follow next week on this but I am truly blessed.

Cars will break down when you least need them to.

Mechanics will flirt with the 'little lady' and touch your bottom in a cheeky fashion.  They will also make sexist comments like, 'Oh, you broke it did you?'

Because you want your car fixed urgently, you let randy mechanic get away with it and then kick yourself afterwards.

The teen is a young man to be proud of and is fantastic company, even when he beats me at Scrabble, poker and just about any other game we turn our hands to.

Recycling is a complicated job and one that I'm not very keen on.

A second bout of weight loss makes your trousers start to fall down as you walk.

Garlic mushrooms on toast with rocket and parmesan are the best things to eat when everything else tastes like cardboard mixed with sawdust.

A glass of wine on a Tuesday lunchtime is a bad idea.

I have a first class honours degree in worrying.

I can throw together salmon steaks on a bed of spinach and tomato with new potatoes for a dinner guest in twenty minutes, even when I have no brain.

Never to watch 'Friends' with aforementioned guest again as he will talk, ask questions and drive others up the wall.  Picture watching something with a five year old and you've got it.

I have the most romantic husband in the world.

Friday, 16 May 2014

FUNKY FRIDAY - with author Jamie T Dougan

This week I welcome a Twitter buddy who I regularly meet in my kitchen for a cider/wine,  cake and a gossip.  (For kitchen, read DM box on Twitter! )

Jamie, put the cider down and describe yourself as a writer in five words.

Novice, learning, descriptive, uncertain, sentimental.

You've been invited on Big Brother - Writers Special!  Do you accept?

Hmm, I think I'd wait and see who else was going in the house first ... and then pass LOL!

It's your dream week as a writer - anything is possible!  Tell us what happens.

I get the week off the day job. My wife and kids go away on holiday for a week and my internet fails. Leaving me no option to write without those distractions. And at the end of the week, one of my books hits No1 on Amazon and I can say na,na, nee nah nah to those out there that have doubted me.

What's the best and worst thing about writing, for you.

The best thing is that writing is my escape from reality and I can live the dreams I didn't achieve through my characters and in the stories I create. Especially with my latest release 'Offside!'. None of the characters in that are based on anyone from real life but in Shane Henderson, the main character, I get to be the footballer I didn't get the chance to be when I was a kid.

The worst thing is selling. Trying to get your book noticed by the right market is hard work and I find it a big struggle.

If you had to take one book to a desert island, which would it be and why?

HG Wells War of the Worlds. I've read this countless times since first reading it at school. I'm a sci-fi nerd in some ways.

If you were offered a squillion pounds to never write again, would you take it?

Nope! Money to me is a necessary evil. The world would be a far better place if we aimed to better ourselves through knowledge rather than financial gain.


Planner or Winger?
Winger. There was no synopsis for Offside! and the synopsis for the next in the series has already been binned.

Night or Morning?
I'm a nighthawk. I write at night when the routine of everyday life is done.

Doer or procrastinator?
A bit of both but it really depends on my mood and what kind of day I've had when it comes to my "writing time".

Writing/first draft or editing?
Editing. I seem to write the story better when I'm editing it.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee ... two and a coo please. You'll figure that out LOL! 

Hmmm ... still working on that one.  Get back to your cider, Jamie and pass the shortbread 'cos you're hogging it.

You can follow Jamie on Twitter, Facebook or at his Blog.

His latest release 'Offside!' can be found, along with his other books, on Amazon.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Stuff happens.

Ain't that the truth?
My next full length novel was due for release in June but sadly, due to family commitments, the joint edit is now unlikely to happen within that timeframe.  Anything is possible of course but I just wanted to let those who were eagerly awaiting its release (yes, there are a few!) that there’s a possibility it could be slightly later than expected.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the title - I hope it tempts you and makes you want to know more.


Coming soon-ish.

In the meantime, you can check out all of my other books in the UK or .com

Friday, 9 May 2014

FUNKY FRIDAY - With writer Geoffrey West

Hands together please for Indie author Geoffrey West as we chat about what makes him tick as a writer.

So Geoffrey, what are the best and worst things about writing for you? 

Best – getting a story finished, feeling that it’s come together properly.  It’s rather like building a house: you can’t envisage the end of the job until it’s actually done, you can only do it in sections. I also enjoy doing anything I can to help other writers sell their books, via RTing or doing reviews of books I like.

Worst – trying to sell books, or any kind of marketing (unless it’s for other people). 

You’ve been invited on Big Brother – Writers Special!  Do you accept? 

Depends on the other guests.  I imagine successful writers can be like successful actors, behaving like ‘luvvies’ and showing off and being precious.  But it would be great to chat to Julian Barnes or Rose Tremain or Sarah Waters, or Dick Francis’s son Felix, so yes, maybe it would be fun. 

You’re going on a chat show to discuss your books.  Whose is it and why? 

Afraid I don’t watch many chat shows, so can’t think of anyone. 

If you were offered a squillion pounds to never write again would you take it? 

Well, er, er. . . Gulp. Maybe I should give the legal answer: I refuse to answer on the grounds it would incriminate me. 

It’s your dream week as a writer, anything’s possible.  Tell us about it. 

Travelling around Europe and maybe even Asia.  Doing all kinds of research into the history, and intricacies of cities all over the world, to use in future novels. 


Planner or Winger? 
Neither.  I don’t wing, but my planning’s pretty hopeless on the whole. 

Night or morning? 
Night night night every time.  In the mornings I am dead. 

Doer or procrastinator? 
Doer.  But a doer that does it slowly. 

Writing, first draft or editing? 
Like it best when I’ve got an idea going, and doing a second or third draft, altering, chucking out ideas and making changes.  My best ideas have come as a result of scrapping an original idea and going on with the second.  But I’d never have got the second idea without doing the first.  Does that make any sense? 

Tea or coffee? 
Coffee every time.  And I’ve grown to hate instant.

* * * *

Geoffrey blogs both as himself and the hero featured in his books, Jack Lockwood.

You can also visit his Website or follow him on Twitter.

Here are the links to his books: Doppelganger and Rock'n'Roll Suicide.

 * * * NEWSFLASH * * *

The solo edit has been completed by hubbie and we are about to set sail on the joint edit.  Eeek! Hissy-fits at the ready.

Fellow Indie, Kathryn Brown is currently selling Kindle copies of her novels for a mere £1.02.  I can highly recommend 'Nightingale Woods' - a right good giggle!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Montana goes Bananas!

How many rainy school holidays are spent as a parent sitting in a cinema watching a 'U' rated film to keep the kids amused?  This classification of films by the BBFC gives us the assurance that our children will be watching entertainment suitable for their age group.

'In order to protect children from unsuitable and even harmful content in films and videos and to give consumers information they might need about a particular film or video before deciding whether or not to view it, the BBFC examines and age rates films and videos before they are released.'

It makes sense, doesn't it?  We wouldn't take our family to see an 18 rated film and, furthermore, we wouldn't be allowed in.  I remember our son being questioned when he was 16 (and with us) as he didn't look old enough to view 'Paul' - rated 15.  Rules are rules and there for a reason.

So how come concerts aren't subjected to the same treatment?

I am, of course, referring to the current Miley Cyrus 'Bangerz' tour.  Hannah Montana she ain't anymore, and if I was the parent of a pre-pubescent child it would be my job to do my homework and - in my opinion - take the decision to put my foot down with a firm hand and say, 'No!  Sorry, I'm not taking you.'

Why would I allow my child to be encouraged to kiss a member of the same sex, make out, take drugs and be taught how to use a microphone for sexual gratification? It's not enough for the organisers to put a 'PARENTAL ADVISORY EXPLICIT CONTENT' warning on the stage.  It's too late when you're there - it should be on tickets along with a classification.

And wouldn't this rating on concert tickets put an end to the thousands of conversations I'm sure have taken place up and down the country?  Everyone knows that one of the laws of parenting is that if you tell a child they can't do something, they'll want to do it even more.  Moral corrupters are driving a wedge between families by exploiting this as a marketing angle to gain more exposure.

CHILD:  But Lily's mum's taking her - it's not fair.

But, if the responsibility can be shifted to the music equivalent of the BBFC, the conversation would change to:

CHILD:  I want to go to the Miley Cyrus concert.
PARENT:  You can't, you're not old enough.  It's for over 18's only.

End of!

But while we have no ratings to guide us, parents should surely be using their own common sense.  In Miley Cyrus' case, they would have had to be living under a rock not to have picked up on the whole 'twerking' controversy before the latest tickets even went on sale.

Would you sit happily munching your popcorn in a cinema and watch this kind of stuff with your little darlings?  I doubt it.  So don't take them to see it live, purely because it's labelled 'music'.

Thankfully, I don't have to deal with these issues any more.  It's with a heavy heart, I wave goodbye to the 18 year old as he heads off to a 'Five Finger Death Punch' concert!

Friday, 2 May 2014

FUNKY FRIDAY - with Reviewer Kim (the Bookworm) Nash

Sorry for last week's FUNKY FRIDAY hiccup but I'm delighted to report that all is now back on track for the final few weeks of this feature.  Today I'd like you to give a warm welcome to my friend Kim Nash.  Kim has been a massive support to me over the years and it is with great pleasure that I chat to her here.

So Kim, what made you decide to start a book review blog?

When I was young, I always imagined myself having my own book publishing company where I got to read books all day, and say which ones were good enough to publish. If only it was that easy!

I read a book called Spring Affair by the wonderful Milly Johnson, I wrote to Milly and told her how fabulous, motivating and inspirational I found it. It was all about clutter clearing and made me immediately go and clear out my cupboards then look at different aspects of my life.  I suppose that moment was the instigating moment that made me decide to do this blog. I was doing a lot of things I wasn’t enjoying and losing myself in books was my escape.  Milly wrote back to me within an hour to thank me for my comments and I kept in touch with her a few times and suggested my idea to her and she told me to go for it.  She also recommended me to a couple of other authors so I was incredibly lucky to have her support.

Four years on, I have recently given up my job in sales and marketing and have set up on my own providing a marketing and publicity service to authors.  I never thought that this would be possible! I can honestly say that I am finally doing the job I was born to do!

For that, I am eternally grateful to Milly. She is a fabulous author and a wonderful lady and I’ll never be able to thank her enough for her kind words and encouragement.

What type of book keeps you turning the pages and up all night?

A book with a great storyline that I tend to lose myself in.  A book that is written well, where you can relate to the characters and quickly imagine the scenes.  There are so many of this type of book out there.  I am so very lucky to have been introduced to some authors that self-publish and some that are published by famous publishing housing.  There are so many incredible authors in the world and I’m so lucky that my hobby allows me to access to them.

As an avid reader and reviewer, would you ever put pen to paper yourself?

Not admitted this to many people but I absolutely would love to.  I did write something not long after I lost my mom.  My emotions were so raw at the time and I felt that I needed to write it down.  I keep threatening to drag out my old computer and find it and read it again, and maybe send it out to a few people to see what they think, although I know it will bring all those emotions out again.  Maybe one of these days ……

What type of books make you want to chuck them at the wall?

The only type of book that makes me want to throw it at a wall is when I get really frustrated by a storyline and find myself wanting to shout at the characters! I just get too involved.

How do you tactfully say you hated a book? Or do you say it as it is?

I have not yet (fortunately) had this happen! I think I would handle it by saying that it wasn’t the right type of book for me, so I’d rather not write a review.  Some people seem to think that they can read a book, then slag off the author and say they hated it.  Why they would go to that trouble I will never understand.  If they don’t like the book, then why don’t they move on.  Whether they like it or not, that author has put their heart and soul into their “baby” and they deserve respect from their readers.  Some people just need to get over themselves.  I don’t think there has ever been a book since I’ve been reviewing that I’ve never finished!

Is there one book you could read over and over again?

Noooooooooo! I could never read a book again because I’d know the ending! I can’t understand these people who read the end of a book before the beginning. I suppose the only type of book I’d read again would be a self-help that I would refer back to.

* * * *

See Kim's reviews on her blog or check out her Twitter or Facebook pages.

* * * NEWSFLASH * * *

This week sees the re-release of my friend Jamie Dougan's steamy football novel, 'Offside!' - it's currently #59 in the Sports section on Amazon for Kindle but don't let that put you off, ladies, it's a saucy romance set in the world of football - go on, give it a go.

The edit of my June release is well under way and I'm itching to get to the joint edit.  I have a stunning cover ready to be worked on and I'm getting just a tad excited.  Details of publication date to follow soon.