Here's lookin at you kid...

Here's lookin at you kid...
The eyes are the windows to the soul...

Thursday, 26 April 2012

When Opportunity Knocks...

What do you do? Do you open the door, invite it in, make it comfortable, offer drinks, biscuits, cake?

Or do you grab your coat, lock the front door and follow Opportunity wherever Opportunity wants to take you?

I've grabbed my coat and we're now on the way down the street to goodness knows where.

Opportunity knocking on my door in this case is a metaphor of course... it was actually a phone call.

I'm excited... almost too excited to type out this blog yet, here I am, containing my excitement, tapping the keys to let you all know what I'm up to - just in case you're interested.
I'm about to launch into a direction of my career that quite frankly, I could never have foreseen. I'm not a presenter, I'm not a researcher, I'm not... well actually, instead of saying what I'm not... how about I say what I am!
I've done a few video interviews with a few very interesting people.
So, it's possible that I could be a presenter.

I've researched lots and lots of history, facts, figures and events and I put a lot of time into research for my books.
So, it's absolutely right that I'm a researcher.

I'm a novelist, a politician, a mother, grandmother, wife, biker, ex-bouncer and manufacturer of Robbie Williams' Rock DJ pants. I've raised money for charity, I've written a play (that shall be glossed over because it's VERY tongue-in-cheek and risqué) and I've acted in that play. I was the Wicked Queen and a few (a lot) of my friends have made mention that there was actually no 'acting' involved... I've 'performed' a few 'dance routines' in front of a LOT of people (around 800 at a time) and as they're all bikers and sometimes very scary people (yeah, ok, not really) it was quite a feat to stay on the stage and continue to the end.

Now comes a change of direction in my career. It's scary to think about it - BLOODY scary. But that's something that I have to get over, I think. It's something that I can't change, it's something that those that matter to me wouldn't want me to change and so I have to come to terms with it. I can't change my appearance. I've never been confident in the way I look. Yes, that's right, I'm NOT confident of my appearance. I never have been really. But now, I have to either get confident or blag it and hope that one meets the other in the middle.

The new and exciting project I have is to do a series of documentaries with Reality Entertainment. Wish me luck... this is the Deep End and I don't think I have my rubber ring to hand!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Dusty - one of my characters

On Sunday I released the 6th in my Dusty the Demon Hunter series. I've not blogged about her before but she's an interesting young woman/demon. She rides a motorcycle, throws a mean Unicorn rope, hefts a beautiful blue-bladed sword and is what you might call a 'Kick-ass Teen'. I like her - a lot.

I remember the first time I 'met' Dusty. I was sitting at my computer one Saturday evening and it was almost as though she came in, sat right by my side and began to dictate her story to me, the tale came to me so easily.
Before the evening was over, I'd done almost 8,000 words and I had ventured into a whole new aspect of writing, one that I never thought I'd be able to write - Young Adult.
The first scene is rather steamy and I was very worried about whether it would pass for YA - my daughter said that it most definitely would NOT be suitable for teens so I calmed it down a little.

After six stories about Dusty and her adventures, I've begun to think about a full novel about her. I think I can pull it off because there are a lot of demons in the world for her to be dealing with. I've got it all mapped out in my head. There are going to be a few more short stories involving the Demon Hunter teen but while I'm writing those, I'll also be writing her full story, with a good back-story to go with it.

So far, Dusty has met an incubus, another half demon teen, harpies, vampires, Santa, a doppelganger or two, goblins, a cacodemon, mega-maggots and the devil himself. Who knows what's going to be in Dusty's future? The only thing I'm certain of is that she's never going to lead a dull life.

Perhaps an Autumn release for her then? We shall see.

I've included the first part of Dusty's first story, just to whet your appetite so to speak.

She felt him approaching her from behind – as he always did. She was tense with excitement and shaking as he got close enough to touch her. The first touch from him was electric and her skin tingled wherever his fingetips stroked. His lips brushed her neck and she closed her eyes and leaned her head back on his shoulder. His arms snaked around her and folded her into his embrace. His lips were replaced by his teeth on her tender and sensitive neck; the nips were gentle yet insistant. His breath was becoming laboured as his passion rose to match hers and he pressed himself against her. She could feel his excitement and she gasped. Her mouth opened to allow her panting breath an escape route and she moaned involuntarily. He stopped nibbling but held his teeth close to her neck, his tongue flicking out between them as he listened to her sighs. She was impatient for him to re-start his seduction but he knew that he was in complete control and he made her wait.
His hand went up to her throat and gently traced from her chin down... the tension was excruciating and almost beyond her endurance. She wanted to take his hands and place one on her breast and the other between her legs but she seemed unable to control her limbs. Her hands and arms were immobile and a fleeting thought crossed her mind “Oh no, not again!”
With that thought now embedded in her mind, his caresses and strokes became more invasive and she still could do nothing but moan her passion. Her mind was screaming her protest but her body, her trecherous and lustful body was urging him on!
As he laid her down she closed her eyes because she did not wish to see the person that was pleasuring her and yet violating her night after night in her dreams. She knew that he was aware that she was protesting inside her mind. He knew that her free will was locked away in the dream-state. He knew and he took full advantage of her instincts to mate.
As he lowered his body onto her, she gasped again for his flesh was ice cold, almost painfully so. She could not move her arms to stop him but it seemed that her legs were under no such restrictions; they wrapped themselves around him. He was the consumate expert in seduction and he controlled himself perfectly. The rhythm was steady but exquisitely slow. He continued to work his magic upon her and she wrapped her suddenly movable arms around his neck to pull her up close to his body. 

Friday, 20 April 2012

Thursday 19th April 2012

Yesterday's date. Nothing special about it? Well I thought so too up until around lunch time (or just after).
My son, Haydn phoned on the house phone (unreliable HTC/Virgin & Blackberry/Orange connections which work when they feel like it). He asked me to go to his house and get Tammy (his girlfriend). Tammy is pregnant and had a bit of a scare at the weekend when she started bleeding. She's a month away from her due-date so we're all on tenterhooks at the moment of course.
I pulled up outside their house (scraped my wheel on the kerb too, damn it!) and went inside to fetch her. She was taking her overnight bag just in case and off we went to hospital.
Tammy was doing ok, the pains weren't too bad but it was a bit hairy on the way there, avoiding as many potholes as I could (and there are A LOT) so that she'd be a bit more comfy. My car, I forgot to mention, is a little sports car, low to the ground, so it's difficult for a pregnant lady to get in (and out) of and it 'feels' the bumps more.
We had to queue to get into the car park (a great system that is!) and my anxiety was rising, but I hoped that it didn't show.
We chatted about waters breaking, Tammy didn't think hers had, I told her that she'd know when they did.
Up in the maternity ward, we were told to wait. We waited for more than an hour and Tammy was doing brilliantly. She was calm and patient. She was keeping track of her contractions and telling me how close they were (2 every 5 mins is close, right?) They'd slow down a little and she'd let me know that too.
Finally, Jane, the Mid-wife came and fetched Tammy. We went into the assessment room where Tammy was hooked up to a monitoring machine.
After a while, Tammy said: "Oh, my waters just went." and they had!
Then it started to kick up a gear. Tammy was getting more uncomfortable, but she didn't complain, not once! Her back was hurting, so I rubbed it and tried to comfort her as best I could.
The Mid-wife came in and wanted Tammy to walk down the corridor to the birthing room. That was not going to happen. She couldn't even sit in a wheelchair, the contractions were only increasing in intensity.
After wheeling the whole bed down to the birthing room, things started to settle.
The new Mid-wife asked what the result of the examination was - there hadn't been time to have an examination and she realised that if Tammy wanted to push, then that was ok because she was ready.
Tammy wanted Haydn with her but he was on his way back from London and was trying his very best to get to her on time.
It really was touch-and-go. We wanted Haydn there but the baby wanted to be there too!
Finally, Tammy couldn't hold back any more and she began to push. She was so very brave and still never complained.
At around 5:30 on the evening of April 19th, Mia Rose Gent made her appearance in this big, scary world. I was asked if I wanted to cut the cord and Tammy nodded her head wearily, she was exhausted. Mia was introduced to her mummy and a few minutes later, Haydn got there. He'd missed all the action but was in time to make Tammy feel a lot better just by being there with her.
Mia, I must say, is the most adorable, beautiful little baby girl. She gave us a little bit of worry being so early, but she's strong and determined, like her mum.
Not only will Tammy make a wonderful, caring mother, I think this experience will have strengthened our friendship too. I love Tammy to bits anyway but going through this together has made me really appreciate her strength and willpower and I have a new and higher respect for the beautiful young woman that has taken hold of my son and turned him from a kid into a man, Mia's dad.
Well done Tammy, very good job!

Yesterday our lives changed. Today the lives of my family will never be the same because our family has grown by one. Though she's the smallest one in the family, and the newest, she has altered everything. She has brought two families together and joined them in an unbreakable blood bond.

Mia Rose is amazing. She's done all of that before she is 24 hours old, what is she going to achieve in her lifetime?

Thursday, 19 April 2012

At the London Book Fair

On Tuesday, we went to the London Book Fair. It's quite a trek all the way to the 'Big Smoke' in torrential rain and rush-hour traffic. We tried to set off at 7am but that didn't go too well and we eventually started off properly at gone 8.
There was no stress though, we didn't have any appointments or expectations, we were going more for a day out together than we were for anything professional.
Last year we had our visit cut short by Trev, my husband, collapsing and being admitted to Charing Cross hospital. He had kidney stones and was in utter agony. He had to stay the night because of the medication he had been given and I had to find my way out of London without a clue where I was going. The sat-nav on my phone was no help because the battery had died - just typical! I went past Charing Cross hospital at least 4 times before I finally found the pointer towards the M4 (it was close enough by that time).
Anyway, back to this year. We arrived, booked in and started wandering around. We had a few ideas on what we'd like to look at but unlike last year, we had not made any plans - we didn't want to tempt fate again!
We drifted towards Helen Hart's stand where she was showcasing Silverwood Books. We do like Helen, she's a very kind and knowledgeable woman.
We got to talking, as you do, about past businesses and experiences and a few things came to light. Apparently, in our time together, Trev and I have done some pretty amazing things.
I started a business from scratch and sold to multi-million pound companies, such as Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Everton FC and the like (loads more football clubs too). I also sold merchandise to a company that worked with The Rocky Horror Show (the stage production). Because of my contact with them, when they got a new, up-and-coming Pop star on their books, they asked if I could make men's underwear.
Yes, I know, it's rather a strange request but as I'd been making garters and such for football clubs, it's not too great a stretch is it?
I told them that I could and was asked to send in 3 pairs of identical men's briefs. So, off they went and I thought nothing about it until I received one pair back with a sparkly design on the front. 'How odd' I thought.
It wasn't until later that I got the surprise of my life. My children were watching TV when a new release for one of my favourite singers came on. Robbie Williams was singing 'Rock DJ'. It was a rather unusual video, he was standing in the centre of a roller rink, being ignored by the female skaters. Robbie desperate to gain attention began to remove his clothes.
OK, now I was interested.
He took off his jeans and what did I see... Yes! You guessed! The very same underwear that I had made!
Of course, excitement reigned in our household and even now, I can still say that I had my hands in Robbie Williams' pants!
What a claim to fame!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

My first rant.

I've read this article:

and I've got myself all worked up - whether it's over nothing or not, time will tell, I'm sure.

As I can see it, the 'Big 6' are refusing to pay Amazon their asked for promotional fees. The thing is, like it or not, Amazon is one of the largest (if not by now the largest) market on the internet.
The 'Big 6' don't like having to pay to advertise their titles? Really? No, I mean REALLY? Well exactly how do they expect to get their titles promoted? By the good grace of a company that's in the business of selling for a profit? Would the 'Big 6' do that? I seriously doubt it.
I have an idea. Why not put all the titles published on a level playing field and see which ones get to the top of the best sellers lists. I concede that there would be still a large number of the 'Big 6's books up there but I would bet that there would be a lot more Indie works up there alongside them. Make the playing field level and let's see who sells what in what quantities.

The 'Big 6' complaining about prices for promoting their titles going up doesn't seem quite right to me, after all, you gets what you pays for, don'tcha?

I'm afraid that Amazon is calling the shots now because, right at the beginning, the 'Big 6' gave concessions to allow Amazon to get it's foot under the table and now it's not just a foot under the table, it's a great big hungry behemoth, all over the table.

'Big 6' - lookit! You may not have created the monster, but you certainly helped feed it.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Meeting new people

I like meeting new people and on Saturday, we went to a 60th wedding anniversary. Frank and Evelyn have been married for an astonishing length of time and I was proud to have been invited to celebrate with them.
Of course we arrived late. I can't manage to get to any event on time it would seem.
We found a couple of seats on a table and we were the youngest on that table. I sat next to a lady and eventually we got chatting. What an AMAZING woman she is.

She had a motorbike at one time, she can't remember what it was, except that it was a Honda. She rode it to keep her daughter company.
The lady's name is Joan and she apologised for talking so much. I told her not to worry because her stories were fascinating. I wasn't paying lip-service either.

She has been to visit the mountain gorillas in Uganda and after they'd been there, they went on to Mt Assisi to see Noah's Ark. She has visited New York in an original 1923 Rolls Royce to take the trip that the car took when it was first bought. The trip was well documented and the person that owned the car invited Joan to go along. I'm not surprised that she said 'yes'. I do believe that if there's adventure to be had, she's up for it!
Last year Joan was in Pakistan and she and her companion went all the way to the Afghani border to see what's what!
She's recently been skiing and she told me that on the trip, part way down the mountain, she felt a little breathless so she made her way to the nurse's station at the bottom of the mountain. She was a little dismissive when they said that they should call an ambulance, she didn't really want to bother anyone to that extent. Joan was then taken from the resort back to England where she had heart bypass surgery. She did offer to show me the scars but laughed at me when I told her that I'm a fainter and it probably wasn't a good idea.
She had to go early because she was still under the nurse's care and she had someone fetching her from the party - she doesn't drive now.
Before she went, she told me about the day she went to the Mall to see the Queen on her wedding day. She admitted that she became very overwhelmed and could hardly see anything.
She told me that she was going down south to visit her daughter this week and that she would be swimming in the outdoor pool (it's heated). I don't think it'd be one of my options this week, the weather has reverted to normality.

Joan was married on the same day as Frank and Evelyn and they have remained firm friends since then but her husband died a long time ago. She did seem sad when she told me that and I wondered if that was one of the reasons that she had packed so very much excitement and adventure into her life since, to ease the ache that he left.

Joan is 89 years old and I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Thursday, 5 April 2012


Yes, everything changes. Maybe it's the coming of spring, a new season, a new beginning.
The frogs have been making out in our ponds for weeks now and we have a healthy crop of frog spawn - we are going to have hundreds of little hoppy things soon - if the pond doesn't dry out (I must keep my eye on that again this year).
But other changes have been happening in our household lately. My children have all but moved out (again) and my son and his partner are due to deliver us with a brand new grand daughter in a few weeks - EXCITED!
My husband has just had news that his work shifts will be altering and so, in keeping with his work pattern, so will mine. My late-night writing will cease and I'll have to discipline myself into getting up with him at 04:00 to write when he goes to work and the world is silent.
Last year I was frustrated in my writing because of noisy neighbours and I'm determined that they will NOT make a difference to my work this year.
This year, I've quit all game-playing on FB and the like and since I quit, I've seemed more productive (to myself at least). Promoting my work online is time consuming of course but if I am to be a full-time writer, then it just has to be done.
I have always thought that everything happens for a reason and I'm going to go with the flow. We've done this before, we can do it again. Onward and upward!