Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot...




















Aims for 2009-
Bichok more. Dedication all the way.
Out with low self esteem. In with persistence and determination.
Just get the books finished.
Savour life and just 'go for it'.

Happy New Year!
All the best to you and yours.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Reasons To Be Thankful

2009 will soon be upon us and 2008 is almost complete.

I'm particularly excited about this year. 2009 brings some lovely things...

Being mentored by the wonderful Michelle Styles! I'm still pinching myself and as much as pressure sometimes scares me I am determined to make the most of this gold dust opportunity. It's honestly like a writing lottery win and even if I never achieve the dream, this chance to learn is wonderful in itself.
Watching my mini dd turn into a bustling, chortling toddler. I really thought I'd hanker for the baby days but the older she gets the more I just love each development. Even the 'new' tantrums have a funny upside. She's a poppet and I just feel so lucky to have her in my life.
Great pals---this year I've shared good times with some great pals who I'm determined to have as 'keepers' (no matter how far across the globe they may soon stray!) My friends have made 2008 great, helpful, supportive and worthy of hugs. They even make turning 40 in 2009 much more bearable.
Opportunities for my dh to broaden his job---he so deserves the breaks. Hard working, patient, good humoured, never gets crinkled around the edges even when the kids are bed-hopping and he's offered to do the ironing while I write. What a guy!

And grateful for 2008's learning curve:
Getting some balance with our eldest---we've all had some tricky nettles to grasp in first year of school, but the good news is that we now have some equilibrium and a much happier little girl who I love so very dearly.

2009 Wish List -
To attend the RNA Conference in Penrith. Fingers crossed. I can dream can't I?
To sub to Mills and Boon again and maybe even to get to grips with something totally new.

Wishing you hearty happiness and good times in 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Goodies

Did you have a good Christmas? Hope you had a wonderful one.

I got some particularly apt gifts this year (hmmnnn, some a bit worrying though):
Perfume - Inspiration by Lacoste - now if only you could buy bottled writing inspiration too ggg!
A kitchen clock in the shape of a large vase of flowers. Sometimes I do feel my days are driven by the kitchen clock, so this at least will make looking at it a lot nicer! Even if my days still speed by. Very pretty!
A book called The Secret Life of A Slummy Mummy - my husband gave me this. It's a very funny book, highly recommended. But what does it say about what my dear beloved really thinks of me!?!?! "It looked like your kind of book," he said by way of explanation. There's a pic of a woman glugging wine straight from the fridge on the cover. Herumph!!

That'll be the Christmas cheer over with then.

jx

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tidings of Comfort & Joy

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes.



Right now I'm immersed in tackling re-writing of a book, reading a very addictive splendid one too (Julie Cohen's Honey Trap). And the kidlets are getting more and more excited about Christmas by the day. Today dd1 goes to Christmas Camp to do lots of crafts and games...whilst youngest and I wrestle with a queue for turkeys in Marks and Spencers.



Thanks for dropping by this year and---I'll see you in the next!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Stop The Fat Lady Singing!


WELL...
What do you know? Just when I was proclaiming myself an LBD wannabe writer, pushing aside my Harlequin Mills and Boon dreams with a trembling lip. Something wonderful happened today.
I'VE WON A COMPETITION.
For critique and mentoring by the wonderful Mills and Boon Historical author - Michelle Styles who I am so very in awe of I'm having to pinch myself. I was the lucky name from the hat (makes me quite glad I've always missed out on all luck-related things---until now!)
To quote the Pointer Sisters. I'm so excited.
And it feels like I'm being thrown another chance to get on the Mills and Boon pony and try, try, try yet again! Yippeee.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Phew!


Non stop around here.

Here's the deets:
Presents purchased (though not wrapped yet, can I even remember where half of them are hidden?)
M&S food order in.
Christmas cards finally written.
Xmas decorations finally emerged from storage in garage.
Xmas parties a go-go for social butterfly daughter with taxi driving mum in tow.
Concert and party week goes full turbo gear next week.
Toddler 'paint a bauble' Xmas party next week also (search out oldest clothes!!)
Toddler into everything - especially proclaiming 'WOW' loudly at every fairylight she sees.
The hunt is on for both daughters to spot their favouritest Xmas garden display. It's hotting up. The more light reindeer the higher the point score.
Constantly trying to supervise baby dismantling Xmas tree. A never ending job.
Constantly trying to stop 'that handbag is mine' fights between daughters who've only now started the territory wars, arrrrrrgh!

Things still to fit in:
Read as many Xmasy romances as possible (large precarious pile by bed)
Watch as many indulgent rom/costume drama movies as possible.
Fit in the entire series of Little Dorrit (awaiting watch in movie pile)
Wrap presents
Buy more chocolate
Deliver presents.
Major food shop in hideously crowded store (don't even mention that one)
And that's just the start. Need I go on....

So no writing being done around here. Whatsoever.
But that's okay.
2009 brings a new direction. I hereby admit, I'm going to have a new phase in the new year---trying my luck writing a LITTLE BLACK DRESS book. Hurray! Exciting innit.

jx

PS I INTERUPT THIS POST TO NOTE THAT ELDEST DAUGHTER HAS JUST WALKED INTO THE ROOM HAVING PAINTED LARGE RED INDELIBLE INK 'MOUSE WHISKERS' ON HER FACE USING HER DECORATE A PLATE PENS. Nice work. Where's the carbollic soap?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Itchy Fingers

Early in 2009 I will be celebrating a 'significant' birthday. Sigh.

My lovely hubbie has bought me my pressie early - because the bad thing about an early Jan birthday is that the shops are always full of 'sales tat' when I go to spend birthday dosh.

Value for money is all well and good, but crap choices from returned Xmas stock isn't quite as exciting as pre-Christmas spangles.

So colour me happy. I have a lovely new laptop (upstairs in its box, tucked away from view). I like it very very much. Can't wait to write on it. It gives me a lovely warm glow just thinking about it with anticipation. My hubbie is a gem cos I always promised I would not buy a laptop til I sold a book. But I figure having your beloved buy it is just as zazzy.

Joy, joy, joy! Almost worth celebrating a mature birthday for. Almost.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Learning Curve #3

I'm coming out of lurkdom because I realised that ages ago I started the learning curve posts and didn't quite finish them.

This learning curve should have been titled !-()!!!---()()()(!!! Because when I first started writing I soon discovered (thanks to the wisdom of good crit) my biggest failing was dash/brackets/exclamation points overuse!! See I even used the good old bracket habit in the sentence above, sheesh.

And man oh yeh did I overuse them. Big time. Getting rid of them was a priority because the market I was aiming for had clean, easy to read language and style. So began the purge, and it proved harder than I thought. Especially when I felt it had me fighting with my voice. Writing as I felt it and then having to go back and 'sanitise'.

This was a hard nettle to grasp for me for the simple reason the way I write makes me go off at tangents, write asides in brackets etc etc etc.

Anyhoo. The boo-boos are now gone. Banished. Just like the jokes-frenzy banter style, it's all about calming down and enjoying the ride! Well, that's the plan.

And yes those lovely authors who first read my work and told me honestly what they thought are right. A smooth clear flow easily beats a messy, rat-a-tat machine gun punctuation carnage fest any day.

Of course now I've tamed them, I just need to write a good enough book!

Going back to lurkdom again but may post some weeny posts each week.

There could be another craft one soon too! And there may be an important 'Jude's new direction' post soon!!!


Special Notice: Moonlit Romance and By Grace Publishing will cease to be at the end of December. This is really sad news as Unique Enterprises has some of the loveliest authors and editors and they'll be sorely missed. So please note, TAKING THE LEAP and THE CONFETTI COUNTDOWN will only be available until end of December. Ideal stockingfillers both, so stock up now before they become collector's items! Use the buy it now links in the sidebar for purchase.

A special note of thanks and appreciation here to Sheila and Laura for all their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Gone!

I'm going underground for a while so I'll bid you a wee adieu. Don't know when I'll be back, but hopefully before the pre Christmas festive rush.

I want to finish this book properly, rewrite and refocus etc etc etc. So I hereby vow to depart the blog for a bit until it's done. That way no blog writing, no blog surfing distractions (well, that's the plan!) AND EBAY IS OFF LIMITS TOO.

Both my wee girls are being particularly 'cute and wonderful' at the moment so I'm enjoying it. Little one now just has to look at a window at dusk and says 'wow wow wow' and claps hands a lot. She's copying big sister's exclamations on seeing all the fireworks displays this week. It's very funny. And sweet.

They've both also mastered their own very amusing dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Kids. They just make you smile.

Bye for now!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

NaNo

After a long absence and no crows they all came and pecked me at once.



I've got a lot to do on the current wip to lick it into shape. So I'm using NaNoWriMo to do it. November is national novel writing month --- so here goes.



I fully intend to blitz this book and get it right.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Hills Are Alive


Currently I'm reading this...


It's fabulous on many counts -

The Sound of Music references - especially the goatherd ones

A gorgeous vet in breeches and wellies

Fab secondary characters...Polish hairdressing waitress and superman suit wearing nephew

And of course - a heroine called Liesel! What's not to love.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Caw Caw



Book is off my desk. Hurray!

I've worked hard. Slogged. Layered. Edited even harder.

I'm now waiting for the crows...so far so good.

When will they sweep in and land...bets anyone?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

And relax...kind of

I'm basking (exhausted) in the glow/amazement/relief of having finished final self edits on the current WIP. A surprise sub for Harl I didn't expect to happen.

Next week it goes off for crit and of course that's when the crows come to stay with big smiles on their faces, taunting me...!

Luckily it's school October break so I won't have too much time to mooch about it.

And already a new storyline (set in the sexy old highlands - hurrah) is whispering in my head. This hero is something else and I am drooling after him already!! Why won't my writer's brain ever take a break? I blame hot showers, that's when it always happens (in my brain I mean!)

Maybe I should just go dirty and flannel wash instead?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Learning Curve #2

Back in the mists of time- way, way back - I foolishly thought that it was enough to want to write a book. Surely I could just sit down and plop it out fully plump and rounded and throbbingly readable non?

The fact that I didn't know what it was really about - other than a love story set in a highland hotel - didn't really bother me as much as it probably should. I was an artist, in love with this new found ability to paint word pictures on the page.

About as comprehensible as Tarzan Boy (see above).

The thing is as a reader we want a point. We want to fathom the mystery and be led on an enticing journey and if the author is kinda Baltimora-style-clueless-storyteller-headed about what that is - well, let's just say the manuscript ain't gonna fly (other than through the air!)

These days I've worked things out a touch better. I've read about beat sheets. I know about character arcs, emotion, keeping pace and heroine and hero on the page, digging deeper.

Back then I just wanted to bichok and write a story. Surely I could write what I wanted if it was mine!! Luckily I got some early pro crit that slapped my hands and sent me back to the treehouse to rework my Tarzan calls and vine swinging technique.

Learning Curve #2 - Have a point, a storyline and get to know what's at the heart of your characters! I know, most people do this already, I'm just strange that way. I like to take the slow road.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Learning Curve #1





I've been navel gazing a bit lately as life's been tough and it's a means of contemplating the meaning of life...and writing etc. I don't imagine I'm a particularly great help to any aspiring writers out there - but I have one thing to offer, I've been on a long apprenticeship with a big learning curve.

So I thought to myself - why not write some blog posts about what I've learned since I started writing. It's been over six years now since I first sat down with the vague idea of trying to writing a romance book. So far I've had two published with Moonlit Romance (and another one coming soon). I've also had lots of Editor feedback that said 'great, keep going, just not quite right yet'. I still have dreams and aims and goals unreached. But why not reflect and ponder on how things have changed in the way I write? So here goes...

Learning Curve #1
When I started out I kept thinking about voice. Voice is all - you need to stand out to an editor right? I can do that, I thought. So I showed off, showcased (or so I believed at the time) banging all my jokes and showy stuff out splat, splat on the page. I enjoyed this - I guess I like to show off *gg* Maybe I just like to laugh at my own jokes!

Here comes the learning curve part - two fabulous authors made me wake up and smell the coffee on this one, both wonderful LBD authors (the lovely Julie Cohen and the enticingly fragrant Phillipa Ashley). Julie once said to me - slow down and enjoy the ride! Fantastic advice. There I was going at it like a turbo jet with such force and gusto that the reader just couldn't keep up quite frankly. Julie liked my jokes but I think I made her head spin (oops!) Pip, on the other hand said, just tell the story (forget the alliteration and fancy stuff and acting like a crazed copywriter in heat - gg).

It's taken me a long time to finally get the gems of this advice. And I guess it's only in the last year or so that I've finally calmed down and taken this to heart.

Voice is great (but voice lurks deep there anyway). Nobody wants to dance with the guy with the pint-glasses, loud Homer Simpson tie and fluro suit even if he is one of the sexiest funniest guy in the room! Er yes Pip, I have just read Just Say Yes and it's showing - gg!

Back to my point...We want to dance with the guy in the faded jeans and t who has the amazing assets, killer lines and quirky wit but doesn't shout about it...the one who makes us melt with a smile and yearn to discover more. That way we're hooked.

So - I guess I've finally put my pint-glasses and neon catsuit away, thank the Lord.

First lesson learned. CALM DOWN THE VOICE and JUST TELL THE STORY.
Thank you Pip and Julie - hi fives!
It just took me a while to do it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Finito

Yes. The winter book is finally done.
And now I have a croaky sore throat voice akin to an alien life form from Dr Who. From one challenge to another.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More words...

I'm over word count - but it's okay. 112% and one more chapter to complete. Tomorrow is another day. So while I'm at it, here's a reminder of the hero. I think I first fell for Richard E Grant when I heard him on a chat show talking in Swahili...hmmm. Maybe I'm just odd.


Monday, September 08, 2008

Word Worm Race

84% - I'm hard at it! Writing that is...let's hope it goes up again tomorrow!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Jason Lee In German

Jason Lee works even better in German. Wow.

Me and Dave...


Sorry I've been absent. I'm having some tricky times at home and I'm busy writing this Winter book. Anyhoo


On a lighter note - I was reading Julie Cohen's blog about her crazy obsession with certain kids' TV characters.


Thought I'd come out of the closet on mine - Dave aka Jason Lee from Alvin and the Chipmunks. You know, I genuinely love it when daughter insists we watch it. He's my fave hero inspiration of all time - cookie, nice, flawed around the edges but so darn yummy at heart you just want to call up Amazon and order him by courier delivery! Maybe I am super-strange fancying this guy - but it feels so good I can't help it. P.S. Don't google image him - you will get some seriously UNHERO worthy pics that will give you the shudders. But Alvin and the Chipmunks is well worth the WATCH! You may just fall for the hero yourself!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bring On The Fun


Never have a I had such fun writing the start of a book - hmmm this could be a bad thing. Indulgent moi?

Anyway the reasons for this fun are threefold - Carmen Miranda on You Tube (for research), a hero dressed up as a sexy pirate and a rather large courgette. Bring it on!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Something New...


Okay here's what happening -


  • Winter book is at mid point and still going okay though I've had an enforced break last week because of baby teething/sleepless nights and daughter's birthday/going to school preps!

  • I have a NEW book in my head. And guess...this one is for a publisher I haven't really ever targetted properly before (I did once send them a mss that had been rejected my another publisher). Anyway - I wrote down the start of the first chapter and it's gotten me really excited!!! I am mega keen to get writing on it. And I did a bit of major realisation lately - the reason I've been holding back from subbing to them is 'lack of confidence'. Don't cringe but I read something in my stars in a mag at the hairdressers that said just that - wake up to what you really want, admit it and just go out and do it. You've hidden it long enough it's time to go and make it yours!!!!!!!! Spooky huh! And actually...I can't wait to try subbing it. I'm feeling like it's time for a complete change! Way-hay!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Ripping Back

The story is still moving ahead. Good news.
Bad news - I had to delete and dump the original 16,000 words I'd written.
I'm feeling so glad I did. But it hurt too.
Anyone else ever have to use the 'ripping down knitting technique' with their writing?

Maybe it's progress? Because I'm recognising when my story isn't gelling, going where I hoped it would lead and I'm taking action to amend?

The good news is that in future I won't be so fearful of sending in the word skip and starting afresh.

j

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Muse Is Back In Town...





Funnily enough, right after posting about The Book Not Ready To Be Written (see earlier post) - the muse took control, banged on the front door, marched right in and grabbed my winter book by the throat. She's not letting go either - can't get it down fast enough!

Freaky. Even stranger the hero has morphed into unconventional hero - Richard E Grant.

I know - strange! Though I do think he's lovely and he fits the bill a treat.

As does heroine Rachel Weisz.

I am very grateful to the lovely muse. Let's hope she hangs around until The End. Must keep her here with chocolate bribery.

In other news - the lovely Nell should be getting some itsy bitsies in the mail soon for coming by with her comments.
J - Going back to the slog hungry muse in action!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Burn Baby Burn


Okay - if you haven't seen it already, there's a FANTASTIC contest on for all wannabe Mills and Boon Modern Heat writers. See it here - along with loads of gold dust snippets from the current mega stable of Heat authors.

So naturally, I've been doodling with a story first chapter. Enjoying the thrills and the ride.

But suddenly chapter one is done and BAM. There's a story burning in my brain. The rest of the story. And it wants me to spend some time teasing it and giving it a good old inquisition. And it shouldn't be doing this. I'm not ready to write it yet! It's not fair.

Anyway Tony isn't helping...eyes right. NCIS has a lot to answer for because suddenly Tony Dinozzo is featuring largely in my brain as the central character of The Book I Am Not Really Ready To Write Yet. He's lovely. Very inspiring too.

How inconsiderate of him to invade my brain. At not the best moment in time.

Friday, August 01, 2008

And The Winner Is...

KAREN HANNA!!!!! You've won!

Congratulations Karen, the goodies will be flying off to you shortly. Again - the input to that contest was awesome. So awesome it's inspired me to ring some changes (cough cough - ta-ra!) My website has a lovely new look. I may even draw a door prize for any poignant commenters who care to tell me what they think?? Name out of the hat gets something nice (probably candles and something that smells yum!!!)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Applause!

Big round of applause to everyone who entered the Weepie contest Natalie Anderson and I have been running. So many fabulous entries...loads of great films. We're seriously in awe of the input. And it looks like Love Story comes up top of the pops on your Weeptastic Poll! Today's the end of the month - tomorrow a name comes out of the hat for the goodies. Stay tuned. I smell a winner...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ouch!


Sorry I've been blog absent. Busy, busy.
This post is dedicated to my poor pal Lorraine who unhappily managed to break her leg in two nasty places thanks to a tumble/fight with her staircase. THUMP. Not good. However on the up side she's doing well and popping in for tea making and chin wags is a tonic (for me, if not for her). Here's hoping she recovers soon.

P.S. I promise to catch up on movie weepers later this week. Deadline for the contest is nearly over - it's not too late to enter to win fabby prizes!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lord of the Rings: Hungry Eyes

Fab - it's back to the WEEPIES time and we're onto action movies that move you.

So I'm thrilled to post this FANTASTIC/FUNNY excerpt from Lord Of The Rings (with Dirty Dancing accompaniment!)

I really wanted to post the Meg Ryan bit of TopGun - maybe I'll post that anyway soon...cos that makes me teary! But I've loved this Aragon/Legolas vid for AGES.

So what's up for grabs in this weepie contest?

Nat's latest release (a fabulous read that you cannot miss - my that lady can WRITE)
Brides and Bouquets with my current novella The Confetti Countdown
Delicious handmade Scottish highland soap in rose and ylang ylang (wedding theme smells - hmmm)
Also Yankee Candles in Wedding Day scent
And some Scottish Goodies just for fun!

It's not too late to enter - send us your fave all time weepie film moments by the end of the month. The googies could still be yours!

j

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Three Snippets

Life's been good:
1 - I won a prize and it's the fabulous Nell Dixon's new LBD release - Blue Remembered Heels. How groovy is that? You can check our her launch party - and buy her book via her blog here.
2 - I went to see Mamma Mia on Tuesday night. It's fab - I loved the theatre version and though I really wanted to see the flick...well ya know, you always wonder if it'll be okay etc. It was. And I even cried...I know, happy movies really get me that way (hence Dirty Dancing). In fact I sometimes think I cry more over happy stuff than really sad stuff.
3 - I'm firing ahead with the book - and even though it's roughish draft - it's okay. Hope it continues. More news soon.
j

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Titanic Trailer

Okay, it's back to the weepie list...today we're on stories based on real life events. Titanic - an epic by anyone's standards.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lassie Come Home trailer, Original 1943 Lassie movie

Pets and animals. We love our furry companions and they're a surefire way to get us all churned up. You love them too and they feature in your movie choices.

So here's a wee tribute to a famous one -Lassie. My, how I cried as a kid...I even used to get misty at the Lassie book I had and I remember tracing pics of the icon canine into my sketch book...what an amazing pooch.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Finding NeverLand Trailer

If you're still sobbing from Lorenzo's Oil on Nat's blog - then these inspirational kids will get you going all over again...

Finding Neverland.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Writing again...

If the blog goes quietish...worry not. I'm writing again, slowly getting the flow going. Check out word meter (eyes left - 7000 words). Anyway, I'll be back soon with weepie movie news, plus contest prize info so do visit again won't you. jx

Friday, July 04, 2008

Braveheart Trailer

This movie is ranking highly on your 'most wept at' list. Is it any wonder why?

"Go back to England, and tell them there that Scotland's daughters and its sons are yours no more!"

My wee Scots heart is fairly beating.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Excerpt Time


Ever had a tempestuous relationship with someone who pushes all your prickly buttons at once? That’s how it is for Felicity Truro and Rod McAllister. One step forward fifteen backwards in a huffy rage. Which is more than a teeny glitch when Flick happens to be chief bridesmaid and Rod’s best man. Erk, this wedding’s set to test everyone’s mettle!

Oh - and the reason behind the 'weepie film' theme contest. Flick spends rather more time than usual having all her emotional buttons pressed. She's experiencing testing times - and some of it opens up old wounds...


The Confetti Countdown by Judy Jarvie
Part of By Grace Publishing’s Brides and Bouquets Anthology 2008


Felicity Truro’s diary is fast filling up with problems. First there’s the ugliest bridesmaid’s dress in the world, then there’s her sick aunt’s serious secret. But it’s Rod McAllister, the handsome firefighter best man with attitude, who’s melting her willpower and frazzling her nerves the most.
Can Flick survive being a bridesmaid for the eleventh time whilst falling for the groom’s aide for real? And how will she cope when Rod needs a stand-in and she’s promoted to top of the candidate list?


Excerpt From The Confetti Countdown:

To: FelicityT@netbunnies.com
From: rodmcallister@natfiresquad.com
Dear Flick
Thought I’d give you a cyber hi-five as Linda gave me your
email and asked me to say hi. Mack tells me you’re chief
bridesmaid, which is great news, so I just wanted to let you
know, how thrilled I am. As you know, I’m best man and I’m
enthusiastic and positive we’ll be a great team. As long as
we both don’t end up wearing lime and purple accents, eh?
Seriously though, Linda’s an interior designer, so I’m sure
we’re home and dry on the ‘taste side.’ Hope to see you at
Crimpley’s CafĂ© for the ‘wedding get-together lunch’ next
week. Catch you then.
All the best—Rod (McAllister, Mack’s friend and best man
in training)


To: rodmcallister@natfiresquad.com
From: FelicityT@netbunnies.com
Dear Rod
Hi-fives backatya. Ditto to the fabulous news. Linda will be a
stunning bride and I’m so delighted for her and Mack.
Hope you’ve started work on that speech. No pressure, but we
want it to be a Pulitzer Prize number! Joke. Seriously
though—speeches are important and quite hard to write. I’m
certain you’ll do a marvellous job, though. It’ll be up there with
Harold Pinter (I’m told you’re very exacting in everything you
do).

But if you do need help, just shout. We’re all dying to hear it. See
you next week. I happen to think lime and purple accents would
suit you. LOL.
Felicity
P.S. Don’t call me Flick. I got rid of the nickname after school,
thanks. Didn’t you know? I’m surprised Linda didn’t tell you
that.
P.P.S. Is it Roderick or Rodney? Just curious.


To: FelicityT@netbunnies.com
From: rodmcallister@natfiresquad.com
Dear Felicity
Thanks for your input, but the speech is well in hand. In
fact, it’s coming along a treat. My mother’s an expert
speech writer, and she’s been giving me pointers. She
gives talks to the Ladies’ Forum on speech etiquette and
impeccable manners.
The thing about being a best man is you actually have quite
a bit of responsibility and input into the wedding. Though I
suppose being the ‘glamorous bridesmaid’ must be nice,
too. I’m sure you’ll look gorgeous in your dress—lime and
purple would bring out your eyes. Joking.
Are you planning on attending any dance lessons as a
warm up? Just wondered. Rod
P.S. I’m a very good dancer. If you need a hand or are
worried about being rusty, please give me a call. I could do
you a refresher.
P.P.S. It’s Roddy. That’s on my birth certificate. Why d’you
ask?

To: rodmcallister@natfiresquad.com
From: FelicityT@netbunnies.com
Rod
Dance lessons would be superfluous; I’m an experienced
bridesmaid. I also have certificates in Modern and Jazz to Level
Five. Are you thinking of getting instruction yourself? You say
you’re very good, do you have any certificates you’re keeping
quiet about then?


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Movie Madness

So entries are flooding in via eharl - thank you!!! And keep them coming please!

Here's a weepie movie that's featuring prominently on your appreciation list...P.S. I Love You. A great movie - and I did actually see it at the movies too rather than waiting for DVD because my social life is so limited. Anyway, it was well worth the trip.

Great pick. I'm particularly happy about this as Gerard Butler is a particular fave of mine. So here's a little fan montage of the movie for you to enjoy.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Blub-A-Rama!

Welcome to the Blub Fest if you've headed here from Nat's blog after weeping your wee peepers out at her vid clip from Truly Madly Deeply.

Yes we're having a Tear Jerker Movie Tribute and combining for a fun contest - you can win our books, some fabby smellies and other treat items. But you have to open that heart to enter by emailing Nat and spilling your alltime fave weepie movie! We want to know why it hurts - emotion, emotion, emotion!

And so to begin...I cry at lots of strange things. Old movies get me going. Some very bad movies make me cry too. It could be a very long list but I'll hold myself back.

Anyway, I could only kick things off with the one that makes me howl the hardest!

THE PIANO. In fact I won't even try to detail why...everything about it makes my lip tremble and my eyes brim. First of all I'm a sucker for costume drama but this one...well it's just in another league. From the amazing Sam Neill, Holly Hunter and Harvey Keitel - to the pathos of the situation, (a non speaking mail order bride), her love for her daughter, the love affair itself and the passion with music, plus don't get me started on the dramatic horrific climax. I'll be in pieces all over again! Enjoy the vid - just make sure you have a packet of Kleenex at the READY!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tagged

Apologies to Jess who has book-tagged me ages ago. Anyway I’m currently reading a fabby book so I’m using it for my response…
1. Pick up the nearest book.2. Open it to page 123.3. Find the fifth sentence.4. Post the next three sentences.5. Tag five people and post a comment to the person who tagged you once you've posted your three sentences.Kathleen Korbel’s Dangerous Temptation has me utterly gripped so here are the relevant sentences:

Sorcha nodded. “And in all this time, why is it you are the last to know
that you can’t escape the truth in your music?”
“What truth?”


This is actually a pivotal sentence in the book because Fairy Princess Nuala has unwittingly displayed her deep love of a mortal to the whole Fairy Court through her harp playing and singing. It spells danger for the entire fairy realm.

This fabulous Silhouette Nocturne is set in a wonderful faerie world with an anthropologist hero who just has me sighing wistfully and a wonderful fairy heroine whose shoes I’m loving walking in! A much recommended read!Whoever else wants to do it – please go ahead and share your current great read!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wedding Invitation - RSVP

Hurrah! Today The Brides and Bouquets Anthology 2008 is released by By Grace Publishing - currently available in e-book and soon in print too. So rush there and get your copy now!! If you love weddings, this book's a must!

You'll get a book with an amazing cover and two other fabulous wedding stories by wonderful authors Laura Hamby and Sherry Jones - their stories go alongside mine, The Confetti Countdown.

Doesn't a wedding just get you in the mood to celebrate?

Coming up will be a fantastic competition - in partnership with my 'releasing' and Lovely CP Natalie Anderson. Stay tuned for some 'weepie film' fun - we're talking hankies at the ready girls - and your chance to win our books and other goodies.

The wedding's on - and you're invited....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Swoon!


How gorgeous is this cover?


We're talking Grade A lickable and yummy.


And happily my wedding novella is one of the wedding stories featured in this fabulous By Grace anthology. See, the name is there on the cover...excited moi? Just a tad.


More news coming soon on the novella itself AND regarding a joint contest that will be running with my lovely CP Natalie Anderson (squeee!) to celebrate our Summer releases.


Thank you Sheila Holloway - your cover is just beautiful! Divine.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

1 Today!


Today the babe is One! How time flies when you're having fun. So rest assured we are surrounded by unfathomable toy assembly instructions and birthday wrapping! Happy days.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ooooooh yum!


Isn't it always the way! You get good news on one project and yet all you do is hanker to hear about the one that's in limbo. But that's typical of me. Always wishing away on 'if onlys'.

But hey just lookie here...isn't it gorgeous! I so love the Nocturne and Nocturne Bites branding it positively makes me salivate!!!!
And makes me want, want, want it even MORE!


Monday, June 09, 2008

Back Again

I'm back from a fab break - hot, beautiful scenery, great views. Very much enjoyed by all.



Good news is my Non Fiction project has a green light - yey!




This week it's baby's FIRST birthday - how can a year go so FAST?




Stay tuned for news of a CONTEST to coincide with the release of my weddings novella this month - let's just say the Highlands of Scotland provided some scrummy, worth having prizes! Come back soon - haste ye back for more details! Especially if you like gorgeous smells and body delights...










Thursday, May 29, 2008

Submissions In!


My submissions have been sent...pif paf poof and the send button has done its magic.
So that's one Nocturne Bites done and dusted.
And one non-fiction off to the lovely agency to consider.
Currently I'm holding off the crows of doubt and instead manically packing for our family trek to Glencoe. One of my favourite places, and here's why...



Awesome! Here's hoping the amazing scenery helps me dream up fresh story snippets!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

About to Sub!


Hurrah - I am finally finished my Dark Novella and intend to sub it lickety split! Yey. I'm pinching myself that it's actually finished in time for my hols next week in Glencoe. The words can't and wait are regularly leaving my mouth!


And just to whet your appetite here's a pic of the heroine...tasty!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Purse Those Porridge Lips



Jess asked for pic proof that Esme can do Les Dawson. So here it is -
In writing news the Weddings novella has been approved and passed by the lovely editor. Yippee - I intend to sub my dark novella soon too, just doing last round of revs. Busy, busy, busy!


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Don't faint - I'm back!

Soz it's been a long break, but I'm finally back.

Reasons for long absence include window fitters and carpentry stuff everywhere plus a looming deadline on my non-fiction book/guidebook. Good news is that both the windows and the book are finished. Oh I do love completion.

I'm still tinkering with the dark paranormal but will hope to sub it soon.

And then there's a new novel lurking - with bobbing characters already shoving their noses into my brain. I'm hoping to get teeth into that soon. I'm already burning 'ambient' Yankee candles to inspire me (it's a winter theme book about a coffee cafe girl so there's yummy scents in my burners to evoke the mood!)

Quick update on baby while I'm at it: standing a lot (then crying when she forgets how to sit back down); finally proper crawling instead of belly sliding everywhere; got her first pair of proper shoes this week (even got her photo taken in shop); also pursing lips in a very funny Les Dawson type manner when being fed (plays havoc with getting food between lips) and now engaging in lots of clapping and sitting doing boogie boogie on the carpet or having long rambling conversations that make absolutely no sense at all a la The Fast Show. It's all quite baffling.

But it's just LOVELY to witness too!

Anyway enuf of my nonsense - how are you?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fabby Review

I'm delighted to say I received my first review of Taking The Leap today - and it's a lovely one.

"Taking the Leap is a great story. It addresses many issues that both women and men must deal with in order to maintain a healthy heart and soul. Some humor is peppered throughout the story, rounding out the smooth flowing plot to a complete, enjoyable read. I found Max to be worth swooning over and Anya a strong woman. They were a couple just meant to be. Take the time to stop and read this book. You will not be sorry you did."

Click here for the full review. Thank you Coffee Time Romance!

Monday, April 07, 2008

As Blondie Once Sang...

"Dreaming is free!"

So imagine with me, if you will, that my dark novella is of remote interest. Humour me here. Do you think I need a new dark name too? To fit the departure in the writing?

This one is 'otherwordly' and totally different from anything before. So do you reckon I need a new ID?

I'm thinking...wait for it...wait...

JUDE DESTRO?

Whadayareck? Comments highly appreciated.

P.S. Now if only I was a writer with two brains. That would boost the productivity surely.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

There is nothing sure in this world...

I've done some writing at LONG LAST. My dark novella is done. Phew.
Here's the inspiring toon that's kept me going at it. Is it just me or is Billy quite gorgeous in a strange way? Alpha alpha alpha.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

AWOL

Sorry I've been absent for a while. A quick recap on life lately:
  • Baby crawling/sliding around at speed of knots. Scary.
  • Baby in love with Little People's Farm toy and the noises it makes. Also hypnotised by In The Night Garden. Down side - teeth are hurting on a regular basis.
  • Judy - getting no writing time and it's getting her down.
  • Obsessively checking the Instant Seduction info on I Heart Presents since they announced they'd picked winners. Not that I'm in the least thinking it could ever be me - I'm just an obsessive about announcements!
  • Reading Silhouette Nocturnes for a nice change.
  • New windows coming soon (please get rid of this 'orrible windy/rainy weather first or we will all freeze for a week!)

Happy Easter to all.

I'm off to catch crazy crawling baby. jx

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Two Facts

Two facts (one exciting, one not so exciting) -

Good fact - My baby is just cutting her first tooth - yey! I found it yesterday. What a clever baby.

Not So Good fact - I'm just about to spend an awful lot of money on crazily perfect windows to replace crazily imperfect ones. Glazing nightmare. Let's just say I'd like to have very stern words with the 'rubbish' builder of my rather new house. Big financial ouch.

No other news - but I LOVE Pip's idea about a hen lit novel about Ebay-itis. Pip - you are inspired! (Big air kiss) Can I pinch it (in order to finance my windows)? lol

jx

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Ebay

I've just sold several baby items on the wonderous thing that is Ebay. A breastpump, a baby bather and a bumbo! Aliteration all the way.

I always punch the air in excitement when I get an email informing me I've sold - is this the rush that gamblers get when they win on a slot machine? And am I subconsciously seeking affirmation/cheap thrills by selling my old wot nots?

The point of this post is threefold -
1 - Babies go through things way too fast
2 - I have a hunch that there are a lot of postmen who secretly curse the burden of Ebay (one of them is currently lugging my baby's Ex Bumbo).
3 - Do I need to get out more and stop surfing the web?

Don't answer the last one.
Thank you.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wellie Boots On


Sadly I haven't had much writing time since submitting my Instant Seduction Contest entry and my latest novella sub - however I have been busy...


GARDENING.


Hard but satisfying work.


Pulling out all the dead wood, having a forage to see what's got life and what's best forgotten and generally breathing fresh oomph into the place.


Much like a good hard edit and polish :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lordy Lordy!

Just read Fiona Harper's English Lord, Ordinary Lady - wistful sigh! 'Twas fab. Go read it.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Free Read!

The Unique Enterprises Blog is currently featuring one of my SHORTIE stories to celebrate the LOVED UP month of February.

I'm loving dabbling in short short stories right now. I figure it's good for honing the craft, writing short - and it's huge fun dipping into new characters.

Click here for a freebie Valentine-linked read.

jx

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Tagged

I promised I'd share some snippets on my current project. The novella - working title Wedding Fever - is virtually done, at final final polish stage and should be on the tick as done list come end of the weekend.

So what's it about? Well it's aimed at the sister publisher of the lovely company that released Taking The Leap and it's hopefully for an anthology. It's the story of Flick - desperate bridesmaid who's tripped down the aisle in a supporting role no less than ten times before. It's also the story of Rod - novice best man and fire truck driving hunk. The two of them spar from the off, but then in true romantic style - sometimes the people who get under our skin the most...are the ones we most want to have come out to play with us.

Anyway it's been a hoot writing it and I'm crossing my fingers that it'll hit the marker. P.S. A big thank you to a special person called J for helping poke me into action with the first chapters.

The lovely Jess tagged me - ouch. Read below for more info:


Here's my TAG requirements below (only I'm cheating on the last one and not tagging six others because I'm a Billy No Mates ggg and will suffice with - if you read this and want to do it I'll send you a treat if you do it and tell me about it, and that's a promise):

Rules:
Link to the person that tagged you
Post the rules on your blog
Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
  • I regularly eat cheese (cheddar) and jam (strawberry) on a sandwich. It's yummy - though my husband shudders (just as I do at his marmite habit).
  • I'm a bath-a-holic since getting pregnant. The baby LOVED her bathing bliss time. And I just crave having a nice fragrant soak - it also helps me unwind character and plot knots (Marcy can attest to this one oh yeah).
  • I've turned into a smells nut - have to use the same essential oils soap, my fave bubble bath and my fave Yankee Candle *Willow Breeze* to unwind in the evenings...I'm turning into a very rigid creature of habit (which scares me!)
  • When I was 16 I used to model my hair (for hair mag photos) Cringe, I know. But I have very strong thick dark hair that gel can scuplt like araldite.
  • I have a thing for dark pink roses - love 'em to bits. And at the garden centre you'll usually find me among the David Austin roses umming and ahhing. Dead heading my garden is a nightmare though. I like to think of my roses as 'a confection of pinks'.
  • Some places that stir my wee beating heart are - Provence, South of France and Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands. I also long to visit Vienna (so that I can listen to Ultravox on headphones, have whipped cream hot choc and take in the ambience!)
So I'm done. Now back to polishing. That's writing polishing - not the furniture variety (which will have to wait gg).

Friday, February 01, 2008

Projects A-Go-Go

I've a lot of things to do right now.

A novella that's finished in draft and needs a really good hard polish. I'll post some info on it once it's done, dusted and causing me less grief (it is fun though - gg).

A non fiction piece that's been given a semi go-ahead and needs me to get stuck in soon.

And a manuscript half way through that needs dedicated time.



Help me grasp the nettles!



Eyes down for pic of new glasses...hmmm they're still growing on me.


Sunday, January 27, 2008




I'm busy writing. And using this as inspiration...glasses pic will follow soon. Coo I'm a tease.

Speaking of teasers - do pop here to check out the movie trailer for Mamma Mia The Movie (out Summer 2008). I'm in supreme excitment just watching the snippets!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Baby it's cold outside...


Esme dressed for the elements...




if you're really lucky I may post a pic of my new glasses soon. Such delights! not.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Wha da ya know?


Whilst flicking through my bookshelf...I happened upon a book a pal of mine bought me in a Chesham book shop (for a laff because I'd long said I wanted to write romance).
It's called Passion's Fortune - the story of Mills and Boon.
Anyway...for some bizarre reason I looked it up on Amazon. And guess - it's going second hand for £50-£150!
Read that again!!! That's a lot of money.
So should I sell it? Or hang onto it and one day get it out in front of David Dickinson (the British debonair antique expert) ?- What do YOU think?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Contest gone!

My contest entry is in - even had a 'confirmation' email auto responder to prove it.

Oh and I'm working on a Bridal theme novella - it's 5000 words in and I'm having a blast. Because it's a bit mad around the edges. Must get back to Grant and Neesha on the WIP tomorrow though. The novella is light entertainment in between.

jx

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Welcome!

Welcome to the world - to my friend's lovely new baby girl - MOLLY. I love that name! Born on 8th Jan (a smidge longer and we'd have shared birthdays) to proud parents Emma and Jason. All the best - much love and joy to you all!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ice Ice Baby

Went for a Sat afternoon walk to our local country park today - it was beautiful. Hardly anyone there, smelled of pine trees and the adults got free rein on the rope swing *me and hubby - yeeha*.

There's a big loch there and the ice was totally frozen over apart from one small area where the ducks were chilling themselves silly. Scary small boys were throwing ice chunks right across the stretch of ice competing to see whose went the furthest. One - can you believe this - asked if I'd let my daughter go on the ice because he bet she'd get to the other side... Daughter's face lit up - she'd never encountered an icy lake before.

Here's my answer - NO! Step back. Keep away from it and don't even think about getting any more adventurous with your IceCapades than throwing things from a very safe distance! They dispersed soon after. But at least I knew it wasn't going to spiral further.

We got nice pics.

Funnily enough my Aunt in Canada lives right by a lake - she told me this week she watched a whole family walk from one side of her lake to the other.

Gulp!

Icy lakes are beautiful - just not very safe.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What's Another Year?

Today is cough, cough mutter my birthday. Won't say how old (clue: next year is a biggie and don't want to think about that yet thanks)! Anyway I've had a lovely day:
  • Lovely cards from the girls - aah
  • Nice pressies - Ortak amber necklace and new glasses from hubbie (cue woo-ooooo noise). The necklace is v tasteful and gorgeous and the glasses much needed! And scrummy Arran Aromatics perfume from dearest parents. Nice!
  • Finished my contest entry for the I Heart Presents Instant Seduction Comp - you gotta be in it to win it (as they say)
  • Re-reading some much loved books Fiona Harper actually and a new fabby Modern Heat by Susan Stephens (i love this lady's writing!)
  • Got loads and loads of quality chocs - guess what I'm doing lately.

Oh and we have gales up here in the frozen north. Bad ones - nearly lost the buggy to a tornado this morning so won't be going out with baby without car in gales again. Hopefully by the morning we will still have a roof *we are the highest point for miles and can even see Edinburgh castle right over the River Forth from the end of the road in our village*. Scary winds are brewing.