Tag Archives: Sunshine

Winning a Race and Gaining a Sunshine Award ~ My Lucky Week!

Happy Friday! I’ve had a bit of a lucky week this week, so you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be playing the lottery tonight, LOL. Here’s what happened.

Last Saturday, I completely unexpectedly entered the local model-boat-race… and won (nearly). Photos below!

On Monday, I was awarded the Sunshine Award by my rocking friend, Karen Soutar ~ thank you, Karen, and please find my SUNSHINE POST response and nominations below!

Last but not least, I also won tickets to the Waddington Airshow in a competition at Siren 107.3 FM. This, for the woman who never wins anything! You can see why I simply have to play the lottery tonight…although you might argue I’ve had my lucky three!

Winning the Boat Race

One of my greatest regrets about my time at Oxford University is not having joined the College Rowing team. I had two good reasons, though. One, I can’t swim, so rowing isn’t an obvious pastime for me. And two, I really struggle to get up at 5 a.m.. But as a result, I missed out on all the boat racing fun.

I made up for it last Saturday! Dunholme, a village nearby our home, hosts a fabulous village fete every year, and as part of the fete, they stage a boat race on the little river running through the church yard. Anyone is welcome to construct a boat out of any kind of materials and race it, for a small fee.

Needless to say, the kids constructed massive entries featuring several milk bottles, cereal boxes, egg boxes and what have you. Their boats did well, but they didn’t win.

I didn’t have an entry. I had no intention of entering. But observing the winning boats, I tried to explain to the kids where their constructions had gone wrong and was met with incredulous stares.

“What do you mean, Mummy, a bottle with a sail would have done better?”

Well, there’s no better way to teach than to show. Right? So in between races, I commandeered a soft drinks bottle (empty), four lolly sticks (sans lollies), and one random wrapper. I made two holes in the bottle, stuck the lolly sticks in (two per hole) and fashioned my sail. At the last minute, I remembered to add a few little stones for ballast to ensure my boat would stay upright.

The second-place-winning entry. Yes, I know it's not in the water. I hadn't taken my camera! This wasn't planned!!

The second-place-winning entry.
Yes, I know it’s not in the water. I hadn’t taken my camera! This wasn’t planned!!

I paid my 50p, I entered and….

 second place

I came second place! (I would have come first but there was an interference…anyway, water under the bridge!). I’m mighty thrilled, and I got a mug to prove it!



My offspring were incredulous, but gleeful on my behalf. Will they remember this lesson for next year, I wonder?

The Sunshine Award

It’s been a while since I’ve last been able to accept an award nomination. Here’s a big, heartfelt Thank You to all you lovely bloggers who bore with me when I had to pass on your lovely, kind and gracious nominations over the past few months owing to time constraints, deadlines and other calamities. You know who you are ~ and you know I love you!

However, on this occasion, I had a clear week and I thought it was time to have a bit of fun again!

Therefore, a huge thank you goes to the awesome Karen Soutar for nominating me for the Sunshine Award. A fellow rock lover, Karen and I were introduced on Twitter by the lovely Julie Valerie, and we’ve been rocking and chatting together ever since. We have many things in common, but there’s one crucial difference… which you’ll find imminently.


To accept the award, I have to tell you ten random things about me, and pass the award on to ten fellow bloggers. Here goes!

1. I don’t drive. Weird, but there you have it. I’ve blogged about this some other time, but the upshot is, I don’t drive. Karen, on the other hand, is a driving instructor! So if I do ever get overcome by the urge to pick the steering wheel  up again, I know who to turn to for refresher lessons.

2. I’ve not watched a whole episode of Star Trek since I was a child. And then, I believed quite firmly that all the cast were wearing pyjamas because Captain Kirk’s uniform looked exactly like my Dad’s sleepwear.

3. I can’t swim. Well, not really. I do a hapless little backstroke that keeps me above water, just.

4. I once hitch-hiked across Germany to see a rock band I desperately wanted to see despite having no tickets, or no accommodation at the other end. When my then-boyfriend realized that I was serious about going after this band, he joined me on my trip, much to his mother’s distress. I know, let’s not go there. We got to see the band alright. Sadly, the story doesn’t continue at all like Sophie’s story does, so we’d better draw a veil over this.

5. I’m a sucker for seafood. Everything but squid, eek, no thank you.

6. My favourite fruit is a strawberry.

7. I invented orange-and-cranberry cocktails. I swear I did. I was mixing orange juice with cranberry juice before that notion ever made it into public consciousness.

8. I don’t own any tech gadgets beyond a basic mobile phone and a laptop. No iPad, smartphone, tablet, iPod or other device in my house. (Yet)

9. I’m a member of the society for the appropriate use of the apostrophe, as well as the appropriate use of their vs. there, and less versus fewer.

10. I have a love-hate relationship with serial commas and participle phrases.

And the Sunshine award goes to…

An Author’s View
Brook Cottage Books
Eve’s Chick Lit Reviews
Everything Books and Authors
Forget the Housework
Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Julie Valerie 
Sheryl Browne
The Adventures Within

Okay nominees, how it works:

Use the award logo in this post. Link to the person who nominated you (hey, that’s me! Woo hoo!). Write ten pieces of information about yourself. Nominate ten fellow bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogsphere. Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them about the award. Have fun!

PS ~ if you’re too busy for this award, or if you can’t accept it right now… don’t worry. It’s only a bit of fun, and I won’t mind if you have to pass. Honest! 🙂

Wishing you all a great weekend. Have you ever experienced ‘lucky spates’ like this one? And do small mercies tickle you pink, too?

Ten questions, Sunshine!

It’s the spring season for blog hops and awards, and I’m delighted to take part in two of these today. Are you ready for my 10 questions, sunshine?

Ten Questions Blog Hop
(aka The Next Big Thing)

Jo and Ron over at the Lazuli Portals (Story Telling with Love and Light!) very kindly invited me to take part in this blog hop. I’m delighted to say ‘yes’ even though I missed my nomination to begin with, having been away from the computer for a few days (shocking notion, I know)! But Jo and Ron are extraordinarily forgiving, so here goes…

My task is to answer ten questions about one of my books or projects, and then tag 4 or 5 other bloggers or novelists who I hope will do the same.

Like the badge? There didn't seem to be one so I made one. Feel free to re-use! :-)

Like the badge? There didn’t seem to be one so I made one. Feel free to re-use! 🙂

1. What is the working title of your book or project?

Sophie’s Encore

2. Where did the idea come from for the book or project?

It’s the logical conclusion of my rock star romance trilogy ~ the third and final book in the series (but by no means my last!).

3. What genre does it fall under, if any?

Contemporary romance; chick lit; humour; self discovery

4. If applicable, who would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

I have answered this question many times but I have recently changed my mind. At this precise moment in time, while I’m finishing up the last lot of polishing edits before the masterpiece goes to the publisher, I see in my mind the following people… (they would HAVE to put on a British accent though, pretty please)

Sophie ~ Reese Witherspoon. Or maybe Piper Perabo.

Dan (the rock star) ~ the man himself… Mr. Jon Bon Jovi!!!

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your manuscript or project?

Her rock star is waiting in the wings, but will he get a second chance?

6. Will your book or story be self-published or represented by an agency?

Sophie’s Encore will be published by Sapphire Star Publishing on 5 September 2013!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took me about 12 weeks, but not all in one go as the writing process was disrupted by two book launches (Book 1, Sophie’s Turn, in September 2012, and Book 2, Sophie’s Run, in February 2013), plus a month-long break from writing in December.

8. What other book or stories would you compare this story to within the genre?

That’s a tough one. There are plenty of books out there featuring rock stars but my feeling is that the Sophie series is different in feel and nature. It’s sweet yet sexy, glamorous yet firmly grounded in the real world. I’d say it’s Bridget Jones rocks Notting Hill!

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book or story?

I love rock stars. What more can I say? I am the eternal rock chick, and the modern-day fairy tale (girl meets Prince Charming/rock star) simply captivates me.

10. What else about the book or story might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s not just about rock, nor is it just about love. Sophie’s Encore tackles some deeper issues as it continues the story of Sophie a few years on. Her character has grown; events have transpired that have changed the course of her life; nothing is quite as it seems, new beginnings need to be made ~ if perhaps reluctantly. Sophie’s Encore concludes Sophie’s journey of self-discovery, and this sense of finding oneself in the wider context of the pursuit of happiness has run through the entire series. I hope it inspires as well as entertains!

There. Wow!

This is the place where I’m supposed to tag… and I shall, just after I’ve introduced the next award. Bear with me while I spread some…


My sunny and cheerful disposition (not my words!) has prompted not one but two fellow authors to nominate me for the Sunshine Award. A big thanks to the amazing Linn B. Halton and the wonderful Dana Mason for their vote of confidence and enthusiastic acknowledgement of my blogging and writing endeavours.


The Sunshine Award comes with a few simple rules:

(1) Thank the person who gave you the award in your blog post.
(2) Do the Q&A below.
(3) Pass on the award to 10-12 deserving and inspiring bloggers, inform them and link to their blogs. Here are my answers to the sunshine questions:

Favorite Color: Blue! Without the shadow of a doubt, it’s blue. I love sea blue, sky blue, turquoise, navy. Blue. I dress mostly in blue. My eyes are blue. And I once, very briefly, had blue streaks in my hair.

Favorite Animal: Um. I’m not an animal person. Don’t get me wrong, I love cats and dogs as much as the next person but…I’m just not an animal person. *whispers* Sorry!

Favorite Number: Three. I like to think lucky!

Favorite Non-alcoholic Drink: Cranberry and Orange juice (mixed half and half) over crushed ice with a slice of lime.

Facebook or Twitter: Both! I’m addicted to both and some days, I hang out more on Facebook, others on Twitter.

Your Passion: Rock music. Rock musicians! Writing. Chocolate. Seafood. And, above all, my family. 🙂

Giving or getting presents: Giving. I always feel really awkward about receiving presents, I’d much rather give.

Favourite Day: Saturday. A lie-in, no commitments, a lot of long, unstructured hours ahead. Bliss!

Favorite Flowers: Roses. I had white, red and variegated (if you call it that ~ I’m not much of a flower connoisseur) roses in my wedding bouquet. Roses are some of the few flowers that don’t make me sneeze (I got terminal hayfever, LOL). And I adore that they are spiky.

Passing the baton, sharing the joy!

I’m going to be slightly unorthodox here. Rather than nominating five people for the Next Big Thing and ten for the Sunshine Award, I’m going to list some amazing authors and I’ll leave it up to their discretion whether they’d like to accept one or the other, or both. Some of them have already been tagged for one or the other, I’m sure, so this is my Friday pick’n’mix for them! Rock on:

Carrie Butler

Carol E Wyer

Debbie White

Katie Mettner

Jane Risdon

Jen Tucker

Jo Lambert

Samantha Stroh Bailey

Talli Roland

Tracie Banister

Tonya Kappes

Have Fun, Ladies!

Music Monday goes Holiday #Madonna #Scorpions

It’s Music Monday!

And to celebrate the school holidays and the sunshine, I’ve got a new logo (created once again by my nifty husband, who clearly rocks!) and a fitting song. Actually, make that two! No more need for rainy day songs as the jetstream has finally shifted, it appears. So here goes… a double treat. First, a classic. And second, one of my all-time favourites, even if it sounds a little bittersweet… that’s the Scorps for you!


Now you’ve bopped along happily, check out this, a more mellow tune….


What are you up to in this, the first week of the school holidays? Do the school holidays even matter to you? Where are you headed this year? (More about my plans soon….) XX 🙂