Saturday, 9 June 2018

Taking a Break

I'm having a short break from the blog for the next week (or thereabouts) while my husband recuperates from a major operation. It's like having a holiday at home so I'm going to make the most of it with him - apart from being nurse, gardener, cook and chief homemaker, for the moment at least. It's lovely having time to chat to each other and I'm so grateful I still have that opportunity.

Thank you to all who supported the launch of my summer novella, Venetian Interlude - it's been very well received and is now also available in print. I'll use a little of the time to update and organise my files and get ready to continue with my next novel. Sometimes, we just need a little space, although no doubt I'll pop into Facebook and Twitter every now and then!


Friday, 1 June 2018

Launch Day for Venetian Interlude!

This is the first time I have had a book on pre-order so it seems a little strange that my new summer novella is only released today!

I do hope you might be able to join in the fun on Facebook but I'll post some items on here as well at some point. Meanwhile here's the cover and blurb.

Venetian Interlude

Scottish art historian Livy arrives in Venice for a short break before picking up a cruise. The last person she expects to meet is Seb, the handsome half Italian, half Scottish guy she first met and fell for at university before their worlds diverged. Then after a gap of several years, they met for the second time three years ago at a friend's wedding before parting again.

Now, Livy is still single and Seb is even more appealing and apparently unattached, both happy to renew their long friendship. But their unexpected meeting in Venice convinces Livy he is the only man she cannot forget. Will it be third time lucky for their relationship? Or will their lives diverge again after their Venetian interlude?

Amazon UK; Amazon US

The best way to arrive is by motor boat towards Piazza San Marco!

Venice is a popular location for films - this is one of the creepier ones, Don't Look Now! Please don't give away the ending if you've seen it...

Plenty of narrow alleyways and canals in Venice for darker films!

A more uplifting film set in Venice is the 1950s Summertime, with Kathryn Hepburn and Rozanno Brazzi - this is a little scene where they first meet at what is probably Caffe Florian!

Here a couple more of my photos.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Ten Questions on Portobello Book Blog!

I'm honoured to be featured on the lovely Portobello Book Blog today where I've tried to answer Ten Questions about me or my writing!

I was also delighted to have my essay about The Yellow Wallpaper published on the Thresholds site after being longlisted in their recent competition.

Getting organised for the launch party of Venetian Interlude on Facebook on Friday 1st June - please join in if you can! The novella is only 99p (99c) on pre-order until after the launch.

Hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather.


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Summer Novella on Pre-order!

I'm delighted to reveal the cover for my new sweet novella, Venetian Interlude! It is now available to pre-order from Amazon at the special price of 99p (99c) until just after its release on 1st June.

Venice is one of my absolute favourite places and I've been wanting to set a story there for ages. I have so many photos that remind me of its fascination to so many people and I'm grateful that I've visited a few times, including actually staying there for five days.

Here's the blurb for anyone who might be interested in this book!

Olivia (Livy) arrives in Venice from Scotland for a short break before picking up a cruise. The last person she expects to meet is Sebastian, the handsome half Italian, half Scottish guy she first met and fell for at university before their worlds diverged. After a gap of several years, they had met for the second time three years ago at a friend's wedding before parting again.
Now, Livy is still single, Seb is even more appealing and apparently unattached, and both are happy to renew their long friendship. But their unexpected meeting in Venice convinces Livy he is the only man she cannot forget. Will it be third time lucky for any kind of future together? Or will their lives diverge again after their Venetian interlude?
Launch Party

Please join me for the launch party for Venetian Interlude on Friday 1st June which will officially be on Facebook, although I'll post some of the photos and so on here as well. I'm hoping everyone will get involved, posting photos or entering the fun competitions.

Meanwhile, grab the chance to pre-order the book from Amazon from today before the price goes up! You won't be charged until it drops onto your kindle on 1st June.

Amazon UK; Amazon US and also available from Amazon worldwide.

Look out for my newsletter in the next day or two.


Saturday, 19 May 2018

New Sunday Snippet

Regency Wedding Dresses

This week for my Sunday Snippet, I’ve chosen a short section from what was my first published novel, Dangerous Deceit. Set in the Regency of 1813, I was reminded of it by the Royal Wedding today as some of it takes place in the town of Windsor!

Here’s the blurb:

Lydia Hetherington is uninterested in society balls or marriage, until her brother's friend, Lord Marcus Sheldon, rides into her life to unseat her from her horse and unsettle her heart.

An undercover spy for the government, Sheldon is equally unsettled by Lydia.

Complicated by a French spy, her friend's unrequited love for Lydia's brother, James, and a traitorous villain, Lydia gradually finds her emotions stirred by Lord Sheldon. But what is his relationship with the beautiful Lady Smythe and his part in an old scandal?


Lydia swung round, expecting to see Agnes after all, only to find Lord Sheldon surveying her with what looked like admiration tinged with concern. She grabbed the discarded dress and held it in front of her, feeling the hot flush creep up her neck and face.

“Oh, I do apologise, Miss Hetherington.” The deep voice sounded less apologetic than Lydia would have liked. “I was certain this was the room I was directed towards. Pray forgive me.”

Lydia forgot her blushes as she saw the amusement in his eyes and was determined to remain unconcerned. “Think nothing of it, my lord. I am used to strange men bursting into my room uninvited. Did not James bring you up?”

You can read lots of snippets from other authors in a variety of genres on Weekend Writing Warriors.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Writers and Afternoon Tea

I missed the Sunday Snippet this week as I was too busy out enjoying myself! On Saturday, members of the Scottish Chapter of the RNA (Romantic Novelists' Association) had one of our occasional meetings in real life, rather than only interacting on our Facebook group.

This time, it was a lovely Afternoon Tea at the Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh. As well as a delicious array of sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, a tiny trifle, and yummy cakes, it was great to catch up with old friends and to meet a few new members. We all appreciated the beautiful marble staircase in the hotel as well as the exclusive use of the drawing room.

It's such a valuable way to keep in touch with other romance writers and to share knowledge and information. I probably won't get to the main conference this summer so this is another reason why the regional chapters are a good idea. We're so spread out from the south to north of Scotland that it's more difficult to arrange our meetings but all the more worthwhile when we do get together!

Now trying to get my new novella finished, edited, and available for pre-order. Watch this space...


Sunday, 6 May 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors Sunday Snippet

It’s Weekend Writing Warriors Sunday snippet again – don’t forget to check out the other lovely authors on the website!

Welcome to my blog. I’ve been posting snippets from my Scottish dual timeline novel, The Highland Lass. The first was from a historical chapter where Highland Mary becomes aware of Robert Burns. The second snippet was from the first chapter of the contemporary section when Eilidh meets Lewis Grant.

This week, I’m offering another little snippet from both periods of the novel. In the first, Mary Campbell (Highland Mary) has now received the attention of the poet. In the contemporary snippet, Eilidh Campbell has thawed towards her handsome travelling companion.



His speech is not as rough as the other lads and I remember he is a man of some education as well as being a farmer. He is determined to have me answer him. I look up, into eyes that are mischievous with laughter, and possibly admiration. What maid could resist attention from such a man?


She noticed his deep blue eyes and slightly greying black hair that betrayed his Celtic heritage, as well as his vaguely unshaven look, relaxed manner and seeming good humour. She smiled despite herself.

“Thanks, it’s kind of you to care.” This time she was rewarded by a devastating lopsided smile.

“Lewis Grant. Pleased to meet you.”

I’m featured on Nancy Jardine’s blog this week if you want to find out more about the historical background to The Highland Lass!


Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Writing Away from the Desk

As many of you know, I love writing with pen and paper whether in cafes or on trains. Fortunately, I travel by train into either Glasgow or Edinburgh quite regularly and I was struck again at how many words get written this way.

It surely must be something to do with being away from the desk and computer. On one forty minute journey I was amazed to find I'd written nearly a thousand words when I came to type them up. Perhaps it's the only way I ever get anything finished!

The current work in process, a novella set in Venice, has mainly been written while out and about, although I need to finish it and then add all the finer details. This time, I'm aiming to write it all the way through before worrying about filling in the blank spaces, which ensures I complete it without any more procrastination.

Meanwhile, I've had one poem published in a lovely little print journal (and been paid for it), an article will be published on a university website later this month, a short story will be broadcast on a talking newspaper for the blind, and another Scottish historical article has been accepted for The Highlander magazine in the USA. All encouragement to keep writing.

The photo of the steam train is because I love those most of all!


Sunday, 29 April 2018

Snippet Sunday

I enjoyed taking part in my first Snippet Sunday last week so I’m offering another this week! I forgot to give the blurb for my dual-timeline novel, The Highland Lass, so have put it below.

Eilidh Campbell returns to her Scottish roots from America with one main aim: to discover the identity of her father. But her mother’s past in Inverclyde is a mystery with family secrets, a book of Robert Burns’ poems with a hidden letter, and a photograph link to the Holy Loch at Dunoon when the American Navy were in residence.

Staying with her childhood friend, Kirsty, while searching for answers, Eilidh begins to fall in love with handsome Scot Lewis Grant, but just how free is he? Together they trace the story of Highland Mary and Robert Burns, with its echoes to her mother’s story.

In short alternate chapters, Highland Mary tells her own story from 1785-6. From Dunoon to Ayrshire and culminating in Greenock, Eilidh finds the past is closer than she realises.

Snippet #2 is from the first contemporary chapter when Eilidh is on the transatlantic plane to Scotland where she meets handsome Scot Lewis Grant:

 “You do know we’re in the air now, don’t you?”
Hearing the amused, rich Scottish tone, Eilidh frowned and opened her eyes. She hadn’t paid much attention to her travelling companions, apart from a cursory glance to acknowledge they existed as she’d been too busy worrying about take-off. She glared at the owner of the voice, indignant at her thoughts being interrupted. For all he knew she might have been in a deep sleep.
“Yeah, thanks, I was quite aware of that.”
He had the cheek to grin. “That’s fine then. I could see you obviously didn’t like the take-off and I wanted to reassure you.”

Check out the other authors on the Weekend Writing Warriors website or the FB group.


Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Computer Problems

For the past few months I've been having computer problems - not what a writer with loads of work and hundreds of photographs wants to deal with! The worst of it is, the desktop computer itself is under a year old though fortunately still under guarantee.

After the ongoing saga of a new motherboard and several hours on the phone while Microsoft tried and eventually managed to fix the subsequent Windows problem (phone call at their expense), it broke down again.

Today, after the company where we bought it intervened, we've been told it will be taken back and our money refunded. Hurrah! Although I'm currently using husband's old reconditioned laptop, I need to decide on a new one for myself to keep this laptop as a back-up.

So... do you have any suggestions as to what make of computer you're happy with, whether desktop or laptop? I realise we might have been unlucky with this new one but I'll be more careful what we buy this time.

Any advice will be gratefully received, even if we end up with something completely different!


P.S I'm purposely not naming supplier or computer make on here, except to say it's not a Mac.