Wednesday, 18 April 2012


I've just been tagged by one of my favourite authors, the lovely India Grey (currently writing a BIG BOOK which I'm very excited about!), who has asked me to reproduce this cutesy photograph of a delicious marmalade-coloured gerbera, set against an impossibly blue sky.

And then to tell you about all the things I like best. It's something called the Sunshine Award.... (What do you mean, "why?" It doesn't matter why!).
I love foreign films (particularly dark, French ones) - the sense of being transported to another country and then the credits roll and you realise you're still in Soho. I like variety in most things but especially the weather (rain? hail? bring it on!). I like the feel of silk against my skin or the rousing sound of a live orchestra - especially if there's a choir involved. The nostalgic scent of woodsmoke always gets me (as does the sensual overload you get when you bury your nose in lilac, or lily-of-the-valley). I like the buzz of going somewhere new - and the kicking-off-your-shoes cosiness of arriving home again. I like anything to do with Narnia. Or live theatre. I like intelligence and newspapers and National Anthems. I love cake - both making it and eating it. Ditto, curry. And I love everyone in my life who makes me smile. You know who you are.

Now I'm going to tag the fabulous Heidi Rice and ask her to tell me a few of her favourite things.
But first, I'm wondering what yours might be.....

Thursday, 12 April 2012


A little bit like Maraban (the country I created for my very first Sheikh book: SURRENDER TO THE SHEIKH) - Vietnam is a land of complete contrasts.

Here we have the chaos of the traffic system (you are told that when you wish to cross the road - to turn your head towards the traffic and walk slowly but steadily across the line of moving vehicles, which will then slow and swerve to avoid you! Oddly enough, it seems to work.)

And here we have the unconscious synchronicity of two workers sweeping the leaves in perfect harmony. It really was poetry in motion - and hard to believe that we were only yards away from the noisy roads.

And lastly, one of those amazing temples - full of colour and gleaming gold, where offerings are left and incense burns and the pervading sense of spirituality is hard to escape....gorgeous.

But it's back to "normal" for me after the Easter break. I've removed the last of the chocolate from the house and launched myself into my latest book, which features a Sicilian called Santino Cavallaro who is not behaving as I thought he would behave. He looks different to how I imagined, as well. His eyes are sapphire (blue and green eye-colour are often found on this fascinating island) and he's much swarthier than my usual heroes.

To get myself in a Sicilian frame of mind, I'm reading THE LEOPARD, by Tomasi di Lampedusa. It's brilliant.
What are you reading, and why?