Thursday, 10 October 2019


"Where do you get your inspiration from?"

I get it wherever I can find it.  On a train, a bus, a plane.  Eavesdropping is the writer's greatest ally, that and watching people's faces when they think are unobserved.  My daughter is always saying, "Stop staring, mum!"

Of course, other times - I just let the sheer other-worldliness of a place soak into my skin.  For a while I live a completely different life, and I had one such experience recently.  We stayed at the fabulous Villa Joya in Portugal, courtesy of a charity auction held in aid of Action Against Hunger.

It was sublime.  I love Portugal (even if the language is pretty impossible).

Blue skies and palm trees...

Lunch by the pool (with not a cheese & pickle sandwich in sight)

Flowers everywhere...

Course after course of fancy food, served in teeny-tiny exquisite portions...

And romantic sunsets which must have been set up by Central Casting...

And now it's back to the train...

Wednesday, 7 November 2018


Here you go:

Stunning Neapolitan architecture 

And scrumptious Neapolitan pizza:

Just because I love this amazing city soooo much.
Who else has visited here?

Thursday, 1 November 2018


I'm just back from an amazing olive-picking trip to Umbria, where this year we broke the record by harvesting over 17 crates of beautifully-coloured fruits (at least, I think they're called fruits..).

The days (although we sometimes had to dodge the showers) - were spectacular and enlivened by luscious pomegranates still hanging from the trees.

Later that evening we played dress-up...these are the kind of clothes I would wear all the time, if I could!

Though not quite so sure about whether you could get away with wearing these...

Did you do anything exciting over the Halloween weekend?

Tuesday, 30 October 2018


Okay, I know it's still November but already in the shops I can see twinkly lights, stars - and cards with impossibly green triangular-shaped trees.  So, do you love Christmas, or are you like my latest hero, Salvio de Gennaro - and hate every minute of it?

I've just fulfilled a long-held dream and visited the beautiful city of Naples.

Naples has 366 churches and the best sea-food and mozzarella in the world.  (Oh, and properly juicy tomatoes).

I've gazed on Mount Vesuvius and seen the famous bay.....

I've eaten the most delicious pastries known to mankind (sflogliatelle).  In fact, you can read an earlier blog post on this very subject.  

And I've watched the vibrant and colourful life of this unique and spectacular  city....which brings me to my latest book THE ITALIAN'S CHRISTMAS HOUSEKEEPER, which is set in Napoli.
The hero is a once-famous football star who's known his share of bad times.  He isn't looking for love - but then he finds Molly and suddenly, all bets are off.
If you want an emotional roller-coaster - if you want to remember all the things you love best about Christmas - then look no further than this seasonal read of passion and heartbreak.



Thursday, 16 March 2017


I love every book I write and get to know my characters so well that I miss them when I finish the story.  Every hero makes me shiver with pleasure and envy the heroine her future life with him, but I have to say that Zayed Al Zawba is one of my favourite heroes of all time.

Well, see for yourself...

He's flawed.  He's arrogant.  And proud.  He doesn't want to marry until he's sixty or seventy, when he plans to take a young virgin for a bride as custom allows.  Trouble is, he needs a bride right now - and the only way he can contemplate a short-lived marriage is to choose a woman who doesn't attract him, so that the union won't be consummated.

Enter Jane.  Plain Jane Smith - the earnest academic who hates Zayed almost as much as she loves his rich and historic country.

It's an explosive combination of two strong-willed people who have no desire to be together, but who cannot deny their growing desire for each other...and you can win an advance copy by contacting me directly (see contact details on home page of this blog) and telling me which heroes you like best.  Italian?  Brazilian?  Greek?
And good luck!

Thursday, 20 October 2016


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....


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