Thursday, 20 October 2016

NO NIGHTINGALES* BUT PLENTY OF POLICEMEN

When people ask where I get my ideas from, I always mention that I like to do as many quirky and adventurous things as possible.  No, not skiing.  I mean, doing things which are completely different from the things I do in my own life.  Which is how I found myself in Belgrave Square this morning, for a visit to the Argentine Ambassador's residence.


It's situated in one of those leafy London squares which thrum with behind-the-scenes activity.  You can sense the presence of a zillion hidden CCTV cameras and there are London *Bobbies* prowling around everywhere.

Inside, it was gorgeous.  High ceilings, lots of paintings, tapestries, souvenirs from South Africa and a shiny dining table which seats 24.  I particularly liked this mantlepiece in the Ambassdor's office:




And this (rather kitsch but very beautiful) Italian light, which features the Madonna and child plus lots of little cherubs.



But the weirdest thing of all is that when I wrote my one and only story with an Argentinian hero (THE HOUSEKEEPER'S AWAKENING), the book opened with my heroine making the hero's favourite biscuits, which are called Alfajores.  I even made some myself (to add a little authenticity to my story) and wrote a blog post about it.  

So imagine my delight (and surprise) when I was offered a biscuit to have with my coffee when I arrived - and the biscuits just happened to be....


ALFAJORES!

Spooky, or what?

* And the title of this post refers of course, to the dreamy old-fashioned song: A NIGHTINGALE SANG IN BERKLEY SQUARE, sung here by Vera Lynn

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

THE STORY OF SEXY DANTE DI SIONE

is out right now. 
It's a book I loved writing with a heroine who's had a lot of stuff thrown at her but it's made her strong and it's made her determined.  

Willow Hamilton has been protected from the world for most of her life and finds herself longing for adventure.  The man she picks for her particular adventure ( can you guess what that might be?) is possibly the world's worst candidate for a naive innocent like her.  
He's powerful, he's tough and he's dangerous - in an emotional sense of the word - the trouble is that he's also irresistible!

The book is released this week in the USA and UK and features some amazing settings - from a crumbling stately home in the English countryside, to a luxury mansion on Long Island - with a Caribbean island thrown in for good measure.  It's part of the billionaire's legacy mini-series  and although it's a stand-alone novel, there are seven other great books for you to enjoy - including the story of Dante's twin by Caitlin Crews.  

Hope you like it.  






Tuesday, 18 October 2016

TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF*

Although the only leaf* I can see right now is an aging one, amid lots of others which are just starting to display a blaze of gold, copper and bronze.  I do love autumn and am lucky enough to live in Winchester, where (I'm sure I've mentioned this before) Keats famously wrote his beautiful and evocative poem: Ode To Autumn).

I've been very lazy with this blog - but I'm not alone.  I scan the websites of my fave authors to discover a dearth of info.  Do you think social media has made blogging a redundant pastime?  Yet I love reading brilliant blogs.   Which ones?  Well, The Spike is always worth a look and makes me want to buy up whatever is featured there - clothes/bags/things-I-never-knew-I-wanted-but-can't-live-without.

Have just discovered that my entire back-list is available on iTunes and am KIND OF EXCITED ABOUT THAT!   

So will leave you with a picture of the leaves outside my writing room while I get back to Ariston and Keeley, who are about to get married (she doesn't want to) and the words of that gorgeous poem.  And the question:  to blog, or not to blog? 





SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,         5
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease;  10
For Summer has o'erbrimm'd their clammy cells.
  
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;  15
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twin├Ęd flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;  20
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.
  
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barr├Ęd clouds bloom the soft-dying day  25
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river-sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;  30
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.