Wednesday, 19 March 2014


Today I'm over on  where I'm talking about inspiration and mysterious lakes like this

And I'd like you to drop by and tell me about places which inspire you...

Monday, 17 March 2014


I love St Patrick's Day.  When I was little, a brown paper package ("tied up with string") was sent over from Ireland, containing masses of shamrock.  For some reason it doesn't grow in England - though that didn't stop us trying, year after year.  
I also had a brooch in the shape of a beautiful golden harp ("The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls").
So I'll leave you with that particular tune, which I guarantee you'll know….


Tuesday, 4 March 2014


One of the most beautiful places I've ever visited is the Cinque Terre - consisting of five exquisite little villages which cling to the rugged coastline of the Italian Riveria.  
It's difficult to access by car (which I love) - but the train takes you straight there, and after that you can board one of the boats which hop from village to village.  
(Read some of the quotes about this magical place here)

This is Vernazza, which you can also reach by foot - to be greeted with a view like this….

Make your way down into the Central Casting surroundings of the village and feast on fresh fish, as the sun warms your skin and your eyes focus in dazed disbelief on the dazzling view.  

If you're interested on a day-trip like this - sandwiched in between learning how to write best-selling romance while sitting in a rose-garden beneath the mountains - then go to where you'll find a couple of places left on my northern Tuscan course, May 2014.

Go on.  Get booking.  You'd be mad to miss it…

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


I have always loved the flair and style of Portugal's ace footballer Luis Figo and have used him as the inspiration for many of my heroes.  For the controversial PLAYBOY SHEIKH AND THE VIRGIN STABLE-GIRL, he was the template for the deliciously wicked Prince Kaliq.  You can see why, can't you?

Sportsmen and women are easy to admire….all that talent and discipline make for a potent combination.  Who is your particular favourite, and why?

Tuesday, 25 February 2014


….wants me to show his picture.  So here it its!

Sometimes book covers are a million miles away from how you imagined the characters to be - and sometimes they are spot-on - like this one.  This IS Gabe Steel.  Every steely, honed, hard and muscular pore of him.
Princess Leila in her wedding dress is pretty accurate, too (she rejected white, in order to wear cobalt blue.  Felt that the virginal colour would be a mockery!).  The only thing missing are the crimson roses she carried…

SHAMED IN THE SANDS is out right now in the UK and North America 

Sunday, 2 February 2014


Want to write a novel which sells?
To be inspired by mountains and Central Casting cities, and delicious food?
Would you like to step off a plane, knowing you won't have to worry about a thing - except soaking up the atmosphere and creating a story?

Then what are you waiting for?
There are still a few places left on my May 2014 Tuscan writing course.  Come and join the band of rapidly growing published authors who have attended in previous years, and have yourself the experience of a lifetime… 
You can find details here:
A presto!

Friday, 31 January 2014


Today I'm over at iHeartspresents, talking about the inspiration for my latest book.
And here it is…

A copy of the painting used to hang on my bedroom wall when I was a teenager, and I used to imagine that I was The Lady Of Shalott.  
It wasn't much of a life, was it?
Pacing that small room.  Looking in that mirror and seeing the reflection of the man she loved, who didn't even know she existed.  Giving into the irresistible temptation to feast her eyes on him properly and then listening to the sickening sound as the mirror cracked from side to side and the web flew out, like a horrible dark spectre of a curse.  
I imagined the east wind straining as she made her way down to that boat, probably freezing cold in that lovely white dress and getting mud on her delicate slippers (though we're not actually sure what she was wearing on her feet).  I thought about how heavy the chain must have felt as she picked it up to loosen it, before laying down on the hard wood, with her blood growing cold in her veins as she floated down the river….

And do you know what used to make me madder than anything?
The fact that Lancelot - the man she had died for  - could give such a wimpish response when he saw her corpse bobbing its way into Camelot.
  But Lancelot mused a little space;
  He said, she has a lovely face;
  God in his mercy lend her grace,
  The Lady of Shalott.

I was like, IS THAT ALL?

Anyway,  the book it inspired is called SHAMED IN THE SANDS, and you can read more about it here

So what inspires you?