The beach was more rocks than sand. He picked his way over the pebbles, irritated when they rolled beneath him, making him unsteady. This sunset walk she’d insisted on was not exactly easy going. 
 He looked back, wondering what was taking her so long. She was stooping. At first he thought she’d fallen. Then he saw the glistening pebble in her hand. She added it to an already bulging pocket. 
 And he realised, while he’s seen them merely as obstacles to be got over as quickly as possible, she’d seen them as individual things of beauty, to be studied as she went. Now he had grit in his shoes, and she had a pocketful of treasures. 


Taking the Goodreads Plunge

I’ve been resisting Goodreads for ages. Even though I knew it was a good way to connect with potential readers. I was just expecting it to be complicated. But, since I’m on holiday this week, it seemed like a good chance to give it a go.
I’m addicted. I love it. I spent the first couple of hours rating books. I now realise I may have clogged up a few of my friends pages…

 I’ve also got a long list of ‘to reads’. And I can support my writer friends. Excited too that one day my own book will be on there! I’m terrified of the inevitable bad reviews, mind. But I expect it will be good for me. 
So far I’ve reviewed Little Men, Longbourn, Jenna’s Truth, The Saltmarsh Murders and If I Stay. Currently reading The Lake House, so that will be next. If you use Goodreads come and find me! 

Ask Me No Secrets

My new series has just started on! Here’s some info for you: 

‘I find it extremely insulting that you’re willing to go to such lengths to avoid marrying me.’

 ‘Well, after all,’ I said carefully, ‘what woman wants a husband who’s always turning up at the most inconvenient moments?’

Lydia Chatton is happy with her debut. Mr Lucas Brand has been marked in his attentions and the conventional marriage she desires seems just a few months away. But things take an alarming turn when she is abducted by a man she’s only spoken to once before.
 It soon becomes clear his reasons aren’t love or money; some deeper plot is involved. Lydia is determined to discover his secret. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.
 A regency romance with a healthy dose of adventure and humour thrown in. 

Things People Say To Writers

The other day, for the first time, when someone asked me what I do I said ‘I’m a writer.’ It was a wonderfully fulfilling moment. However, I soon realised the truth behind reactions I’ve been reading about for years. There are one or two things that are instantly said…

1. ‘Don’t put me in it.’ 

 I can already tell that this will end up being something everyone says. To reassure them, I promise I never write about real people! Though I may take an aspect of someone’s personality, I’ve enough characters in my head as it is to want to take any from my life too. 

2. ‘You should write about that.’ 

 This seems to be said quite often after telling an anecdote. But I’m not short of material and don’t write down stories as I hear them. A spoken phrase may occasionally spark a train of thought that turns into a story, but this can’t be forced. As it is, I have one book being prepared for publication, one book in the final stages of editing, one book about to be published in monthly instalments, and ideas for five more written down. Plus a plethora of short stories, complete and otherwise. I don’t need any more ideas just yet, thanks. 

3. ‘Might I be able to read it?’ 

 Well, yes, that is sort of what publication means… Then I wonder if they’re actually hinting for a free copy. Then I feel bad for being so cynical and unkind when they’re probably just trying to express interest. 

4. ‘What’s it about?’ 

 Ummm… The most natural question, yet the hardest to answer. If you’re a writer, you’ll know this. Even if you manage to cobble some sort of response together, it sounds really lame. I’m thinking maybe I should just carry the blurb around and read it out. 

5. ‘Where did you get the idea?’ 

 This usually comes after the above question. Again, a perfectly natural thing to ask. But I don’t know the answer. I have no clue. But saying ‘It popped into my head one day when I was thinking about something else’ only confuses people and produces more questions. 

So, to sum up, I love identifying myself as a writer. I love how interested and supportive everyone is being. But there’s always some rough to be taken with the smooth. Though really, it’s not anyone’s fault. It’s just there are some things only writers know about writers. 

Quote of Day Three

 This is a bit of a cheat quote as I wrote it! It’s from my upcoming novel, Victoria’s Victorian Victory. To me, it’s the single most important quote in the entire book. Victoria challenges the conventions in her time for girls/women in business. 

 We might assume that the Victorian view of girls is no longer relevant. Actually, looking under the surface, very little has changed! I know for myself, a young woman working as a window cleaner (usually considered a man’s job) I have had to put up with all sorts of patronising comments. If I’m working with my husband some people will make comments about his ‘assistant.’ Clients almost always address themselves to him as the boss. Actually we are partners, I’ve been window cleaning longer than him, and I’m the one who handles all the paperwork. But because I’m a woman, I’m the assistant. 
 I know this isn’t just me. Many women in all kinds of employment face the same sort of thing. So I hope Victoria’s Victorian Victory will encourage girls to succeed in business, believe in themselves, and challenge the still conventional view of women in the workplace. 

 Please join in the Three Days, Three quotes challenge if you wish. Details can be found in my first days blog post. Thank you again to Denise at English Lit Geek for nominating me, I’ve loved doing it! 

Quote Of Day Two

This quote is from one of my favourite books. I love Little Women. In the book it refers to slang, but it always makes me think of the importance of using good verbs. That will mean no adverbs are needed (eg. don’t say ‘walked quickly’. Say ‘trotted’ or ‘strode’). And, in the words of another author, ‘the road to hell is paved with adverbs.’ 

There, that’s two quotes for the price of one! 

Quote of Day One

Thank you so much to Denise Fletcher at English Lit Geek for nominating me for the Three Days, Three Quotes challenge. It seems appropriate to start with the quote this blog is named after: 

Don’t be ‘a writer’. Be writing. – William Faulkner

I can honestly say that this is the quote that has kept me writing, even when no results seemed forthcoming or likely. I’ve always wanted to be ‘a writer.’ This made me see that the most important thing is to actually write. So I did, and the results have followed!

I nominate: 

Kelsey Stone at Tibetan Lemonade

Tracy Erler at Mrs. Writer

Ratika Deshpande at Scribblings of a Story Teller 

3 Days, 3 Quotes Rules:
1.Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you.

2.Post a quote a day for 3 days.

3.Nominate 3 new bloggers every day.
*Note: As always, this challenge is optional, but I do hope you will participate. It’s always interesting to learn new quotes and to read your favorites. Thanks in advance!

Writing To Be Heard


I have a problem with speaking far too quietly. Especially if I’m tired. I think it has to do with being an introvert. I’m often unsure of myself when talking. I know what I want to say, but that’s no guarantee it will come out right or be received as I expect. And when I’m tired it’s almost certain not to come out how it’s supposed to. 
 By about the third time of being asked to repeat myself, I’m cottoning on that I may need to raise my voice a bit. But the pressure of knowing I have to speak loudly makes my throat constrict and volume is impossible. It’s a losing battle and I usually retire defeated. Unless I drink rather a lot of alcohol. Then I get too loud. 
 Please tell me this isn’t just me? 
 The beautiful thing about writing is if it comes out wrong the first time, you can redo it. No one has to see it until it’s as right as you can make it. When I’m writing I can relax and express myself fully. I’m in control. And I don’t have to be around when other people read it.