Tuesday 16 April 2013


to Ireland....

I've been doing that a lot recently.

And even though my lovely culchie heroine Bridie Browne never made it past 20,000 words (she's still marooned in a grotty hotel near Luton airport - the kind of place where you find public hairs stuck in the plug-hole) I haven't ruled out her having her own story, one day.

Here's a photo of me, bundled up against the cold in a gem of place called Powerscourt House.  The gardens are magnificent.  The distant hills dreamy.  
This is a land of poetry and song.
A place to fall in love with.

And now I'm just off to sing The Wild Colonial Boy!

Tuesday 9 April 2013


Always a pleasure when Mr Postman (and no, I'm not being sexist because I've never seen a female postie here in Winchester) knocks on the door with a parcel full of books.  
Question:  Why isn't parcelful a *real* word, when saucerful is?  

Today's goodie included this rather dreamy cover.  It's a bit 1960's - all bleached and faded summer meadow, with a couple who look like they are sharing a secret (a saucerful of secrets?).  The heroine is holding what looks like a dahlia - a rather old-fashioned flower which my father used to grow.  I was about to comment that you hardly ever see them now, but the Royal Horiculture Society reliably informs me that they are invaluable in the summer border.   So there!

The great thing about this book (other than it's always great to be included in a book with superstar, Lynne Graham) is that my story is called THE UNLIKELY MISTRESS, which has always been one of my favourites.  Opening in the opulent and romantic city of Venice, it features the gauche Sabrina who makes the mistake of falling for a man who is way, way out of her league in just about every way there is.....

So do you like the cover?  
Or maybe you have something to say about dahlias?

Saturday 6 April 2013


It's always interesting when you get the first copy of a book you've written.  It's real!  You can hold it in your sticky little hands and flick through the pristine pages.  You can sniff the gorgeous new-booky smell and read the first line all over again.  And that first line should leap out and grab you.  Hard.  It should capture your imagination and make you hungry to devour those pages....  

Of course, I haven't yet got a copy of A WHISPER OF DISGRACE.  I've simply seen the front cover of the UK edition - and seeing a picture of the characters you've created is weird.  These people have existed in your imagination for so long that you have a very definite idea of what they look like.  Sometimes that idea is matched by the art department and sometimes not.  Long, dark hair means different things to different people.  And a single image of a pair of eyes gives us only a hint of what's going on behind them.

This is Rosa and she's running away.  Running from the truth and a life which has become a lie.  Running straight into the arms of a man who is pure, emotional danger.

 I haven't got a copy of this manuscript to hand, but I remember the first line.  You should always be able to remember your first line.  That sharp, steely hook which grabs you....

The bottle was cold, but not nearly as cold as the ice around her heart.

Tuesday 2 April 2013


ANDY BURROWS is a brilliant musician.  Not just because his dad used to be my GP, or because he he has been known to play at Winchester's finest pub - or even because he was the drumming genius in the band Razorlight.

He is just an exquisite song-writer. 

You (or your children) might have heard his music in this year's eagerly awaited follow up to The Snowmen.  It was was broadcast on Christmas Eve when you were probably simultaneously hanging up your stockings, having a nervous breakdown - and shoving another mince pie in your mouth.

I love the Snowmen graphics so much that I can't resist reproducing another one.  (And the icy elements seem kind of appropriate for this crazy English spring we're having!).

But if cartoons aren't your bag and you're partial to dreamy tunes with luscious strings and a compelling voice which dips and soars - then try this bittersweet love-song: 
Like it?