Friday, 28 December 2018

Just because it's 'TwixMas'...

here are some lines to amuse…

The Wife's Eptaph

To follow you I'm not content.
How do I know which way you went.

Inscribed on a Pint-Pot

There are several reasons for drinking,
And one has just entered my head;
If a man cannot drink when he's living
How the Hell can he drink when he's dead?

On Taking a Wife

'Come, come,' said Tom's father, 'at your time of life,
There's no longer excuse for thus playing the rake.
It's time you should think, boy, of taking a wife.'
'Why so it is, father. Whose wife shall I take?'
                              Thomas Moore

And finally, some Limericks

A simple youg fellow named Hyde
In a funeral procession was spied.
When asked, 'Who is dead?'
He tittered and said,
'I don't know.  I just came for the ride.'

There once was a person from Lyme
Who married three wives at a time.
When asked, 'Why a third?'
He Replied, 'One's absurb,
And bigamy, Sir, is a crime.'

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Merry Christmas...


It's the time of year when I take a rest from the blog so that I can enjoy this very special season with family and friends.
I will be back in the New Year and there may be a little surprise waiting for you for the days between Christmas and New Year - so do remember to check back!
Lastly, I would just like to say thank you to all you readers out there who take the time and trouble to read the posts.  I also want to say a very special thank you to everyone who has reviewed my books.  Reviews are vital and your comments are always appreciated.

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Please welcome, friend and author, Rosie Travers... my blog today.  Thanks for visiting and Rosie is here to tell us about her latest book...
My debut novel, Theatre of Dreams tells the story of an unlikely trio of characters united in their desire to save a historic local theatre from demolition.  Kitty Keaton, owner of Hookes Bay pavilion and former all-round entertainer, recruits a hapless young actress to play a part in her elaborate scheme to defy local property developers, while a dedicated conservationist works behind the scenes on a more legitimate plan to save the building.
Choosing a theatrical setting for my novel was like opening up a box of delights, providing the opportunity to create a wonderful cast of characters.  I am not a theatrical person, in fact, any form of public performance would have me running a mile, but that’s not the case for other members of my family.
My daughter Ellen is a natural born performer.  She started ballet lessons at the age of four and eventually studied at the Royal Academy of Dance.  Ellen took to the stage without any qualms at all and I suspect she inherited her love of performing from my grandmother.  Grandma Mary hailed from Yorkshire and passed away when I was just 18.  She was a big fan of the music hall.  Without a doubt, she modelled herself on Gracie Fields, and although she didn’t follow her idol into a professional career on the stage, as an amateur, she performed well into her seventies.
Old photo of the Lee Tower
When it comes to writing, I’m a pantser, not a plotter and I always start with a character.  I’d been toying with the idea of a story about a gritty, gutsy veteran performer loosely based on Grandma Mary for some time, but I didn’t quite know what to do with her until I discovered the existence of The Lee Tower entertainment complex in the quiet Hampshire seaside town of Lee-on-the-Solent.
After reading about the building – a vast art deco pavilion constructed in 1935 and demolished by the local council less than 40 years later, I wondered why it hadn’t been saved for prosperity, which led to further research into building conservation campaigns. I realised I had found a cause for my elderly ex-performer.  She was going to save her family’s historic seaside theatre.
I’ve seen from my own daughter’s experience how tough you have to be to make a career on the stage – Ellen eventually opted for teaching over performing.  During her training, I encountered numerous dance tutors and professional performers.  These people were dedicated, disciplined and quite ruthless.  I knew Kitty would have to be a tenacious, resilient old bird so I gave her a colourful past, beset with personal tragedy.  But like a real trouper, the show always had to go on. 
I threw in a young actress to provide some cross-generation banter which then developed into a whole new plot twist, and introduced a handsome conservationist-cum-architect as my leading man.  With a quirky supporting cast and the addition of a traditional villain or two, The Theatre of Dreams was born.

...about the book  Musical Theatre actress Tara is down on her luck and in desperate need of a job.  When terminally-ill octogenarian Kitty invites her to take over the running of her former dance academy in the old-fashioned resort of Hookes Bay, Tara thinks she’s found her guardian angel.  But it soon becomes very clear Kitty is being far from benevolent.  Too late, Tara realises helping Kitty will signal the end of an already tarnished career unless she can pull off the performance of a lifetime.

...about the author  I grew up on the south coast of England and after initially training as a secretary I juggled a career in local government with raising my family.  I moved to Southern California with my husband in 2009 and began a blog about life as an ex-pat wife which re-kindled a teenage desire to become a writer.  On my return to the UK I took a part-time course in creative writing and following some success in short story competitions, I joined the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers’ Scheme.  My debut novel, The Theatre of Dreams, was published by Crooked Cat Books in August 2018.  My second book, Your Secret’s Safe With Me, will follow next year.

You can follow Rosie on her  Website on  Amazon Twitter. Facebook and Instagram

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Friend and author, Stephanie Cage returns...

... to my blog this week.  Hi, Stephanie, thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to be here again and I believe you have a surprise for us...

SC   Yes I do. Today we meet Holly, the heroine of Paris Proposal.
HG  Hi Stephanie.  I’m Holly Gardiner.  I know, don’t laugh.  I don’t know what my parents were thinking.  Well, I do – they weren’t thinking.  They’d expected a boy so when I came along they plucked a name out of the air – there was a holly bush outside the hospital window and my Mum thought it was pretty, so that’s what I got.  Sometimes I tell people my name’s Helen instead so I don’t have to listen to them snigger about the whole plant thing.  None of my friends want to change their names when they get married, but I can’t wait!
SC   Married?  Is there a wedding coming up?
HG  Well, now, that’d be telling!  There might have been a few hints, but I’m not going to count my chickens – that didn’t work out too well last time.  
SC   How do you mean?
HG  Last year, my ex-boyfriend Ryan bought tickets to Paris for my birthday.  Well, obviously he wasn’t my ex when he bought them.  We’d been together at uni, and then I went to work for his Dad’s law firm.  Mistake.  He booked us a weekend in Paris at New Year, and like an idiot, I thought he was going to propose, but by the time it came around he’d turned his attention to the new receptionist at work.  I don’t suppose he actually meant to dump me in Paris, but that’s how it turned out.
SC  Wait what?  He took you to Paris and then dumped you?
HG  Yup.  It was a pretty weird relationship all around, looking back.  Can’t say I miss him.  But it was pretty heartbreaking being in Paris on my own on New Year’s Eve.  Not that I stayed on my own.  I figured I might as well at least see Paris, so I went out clubbing and ended up getting a bit tipsier than I intended.  I met a group of guys and told them the story and then one of them, a gorgeous guy who said his name was Jean-Luc, pulled a ring out of his pocket and asked me to marry him, so I did get my proposal, in a manner of speaking. 
SC   Okaaay, this is getting even weirder.  A guy you’d just met that day proposed to you?
HG  Well, yes.  I don’t think he was completely serious.  But he said I was beautiful, and he wasn’t lying about that.  He was lying about pretty much everything else, but that’s another story…
SC  So Jean-Luc had some secrets?  Tell me more!
HG  Nope.  You’ll just have to read the story. 
SC   How about a sneak preview?

"Do you believe in destiny?" Luc asked.
Then he frowned.  That question wasn't the kind you asked strangers in nightclubs. At least not in his usual world, but then, this was a long way from his usual world.
"Destiny?" Holly's eyes crinkled as if she was peering hard at a distant object, trying to discern his meaning.
"Yes." Luc hoped she wouldn't ask him to explain. He didn't think he could.
"I don't know. I suppose some things are meant to happen. Is that what you mean?"
"Something like that."
"Maybe I do. I'd like to think my life is more than just random."
"Me, too. I would like to think perhaps Ryan was meant to be, so you would be here tonight, because otherwise, how could I have met you? And how could I have done this?"
If she'd said she didn't believe in destiny, he would have finished his wine and gone home. But
now she'd given her answer, however cautiously, the words kept on flowing. Before he could rethink, he pulled the ring box from his pocket and dropped to one knee.
"Beautiful Holly, Holly Gardiner, will you marry me?"

SC  You can’t stop there!
HG  Sure, I can!  I have a business studies degree.  I know about marketing and I know when to end with a good hook.  If you want to know what happened next, go and read the book.
SC   If you insist.  Where do I find it?
HG  The ebook is at all good online booksellers.  The Amazon UK link is: Paris Proposal
SC  Thanks, Holly.  And good luck with whatever’s next.  Don’t forget to invite me to the wedding!

You can follow Stephanie on Facebook  Twitter on her  Blog and on Amazon