Attempting something scary: The black forest gateau

I’ve wanted to make a black forest gateau for ages but have been putting it off as it looked like it would take hours and would inevitably go horrifically wrong. Lovely friends coming over for dinner gave me the perfect opportunity to try it – they wouldn’t mind if it ended up flat as a pancake…

Ooh, exciting. But wait, what about the rude bits…

I had some incredibly exciting news this weekend – a publisher of romance e-books is interested in my manuscript!  It’s the news I’ve been waiting for for, ooh, about five years and it’s beyond thrilling. I don’t want to say too much at this stage in case they a) decide it’s been a terrible mistake…

Joining the Romance Novelists’ Association

For a couple of years now I’ve been wanting to join the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA).  The Association organises events for authors, established and aspiring, including a summer weekend conference every year where you can attend workshops and lectures held by those in the industry. It’s taken me this long to join because you can’t…

It’s a Mystery, what makes these such tasty reads

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve read two mystery novels, Alpine For You, by Maddy Hunter, and Real Murders by Charlaine Harris.  They were both different in their style but both offered page-turning cliff hangers before climaxing in very satisfying endings (neither of which I saw coming). Alpine For You, Maddy Hunter The blurb:…

Word Crime

Every so often I take a break from fiction and pick up a factual book.  My current factual treat is Dr John Olsson’s Forensic Linguistics.  The leading expert in the field, Olsson details some of the cases he’s worked on and explains how linguistics has helped to solve mysteries and bring criminals to justice. Every chapter…

Loving a Cosy Culinary Mystery

When I was younger I loved a cosy mystery, be it Murder She Wrote, Miss Marple, Nancy Drew or Colombo.  Aside from catching the odd few minutes of Midsomer Murders, in recent years I seem to have forgotten my penchant for a good, harmless crime, where the only people who ever die are those that…

3 ways to improve your writing

I’ve taken a break from writing recently.  I felt I wasn’t really getting anywhere and needed to hone my skills by doing something different, rather than ploughing on relentless. Time will tell whether this detour has helped my writing, but in the meantime I’m enjoying the experience. Here’s what I’ve been doing: 1. Judging Contests…

Who you calling a silly cow, you stupid poo poo head?

Last week my driving escapades stooped to a new level when a fellow female driver felt it necessary to wind down her window and express her displeasure with a verbal tirade, likening my road skills to that of grazing cattle. I was on a narrow road and had just had to do some splendid manoeuvring (if…

Nuts, or creative?

When driving my son home from school this afternoon he declared, “Look, mummy, that cloud looks like a dragon!” And so it did.  There it was with its long nose breathing out smoke, as clear as day over the skies of Worthing. “Yes, but it could also be a dolphin,” I pointed out. “Oh yes,…

Judging a Book without a Cover

Having recently become a member of the Romance Writers of Australia I decided to make the most of my membership.  What a very frightening proposition this was to be as I decided to not only enter one of the competitions, but volunteer to be a judge on another. So I merrily clicked ‘send’ on my…

Books I’m loving – New Recommendations

I’ve been making headway recently on the ever-growing tower of books I want to read. Here are three I’ve loved and would highly recommend – 2 fact, one fiction: Grit, by Angela Duckworth Professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, Angela Duckworth has dedicated her life’s work to discovering what makes someone stick at…