This is my result when I visited the link below [see in italics]. Try it for yourself and let me know what the holidays mean to you!
Some of the best Christmas presents I ever received were from an Austrian neighbour when I lived in Risca. Money was scarce, so she made biscuits for her neighbours to hang on their Christmas trees. The inside of each biscuit had a shape cut out like a star or bell, etc. She'd melted boiled sweets in the centre of each, so they had the effect of looking like stained glass windows in church.
Eva also made some mini iced cakes, beautifully presented in a white box, tied with a red bow. And the best part of all? She had made me an handmade card with picture of the Madonna and Child on the front.
That, to me, was the true meaning of Christmas. The spirit of Christmas was well and truly alive that year Eva surprised me with those gifts.
For you, the holidays are about emotional connections and bonds. You are happiest being around those you love.
You celebrate the holidays in a natural style. Homemade gifts are your favorite, and you can't stand imitation Christmas trees or wreaths
During the holidays, you feel magical. You love all of the decorations and how happy people are. You like to sit back and take it all in.
You think the holidays should be nostalgic and sweet. The holidays bring out your inner child.
Your best holiday memories are of childhood foods and traditions. You secretly still wish you believed in Santa Claus.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
This is the cover for my new romantic suspense novel due out at The Wild Rose Press early next year. It's a romantic suspense. Here's a taster:
She paused for a moment to catch her breath. She'd lost her bearings in the deep woods. Should she turn right at the end of the clearing or left? The trees were so thick and dense she couldn't even see the lake house in the distance to gauge her general direction. It had been a long time since she'd been in the woods. Her childish recklessness had made her brave back then. Now, a sense of panic threatened to overwhelm her. Damn the man!
As a child, she'd known the woods well, and even though her parents warned her and William to keep out of them, they hadn't listened. They'd preferred pretending they were in their own little world where they might be jungle explorers or space travellers discovering a new planet.
Hearing a sharp crack behind her, like a twig snapping, she spun around.
No one there. Of course not. How foolish of her to think Sebastian would come after her to apologise.
Reassuring herself that it was a squirrel or rabbit, she took the left turn, which brought her into another wooded area. She was going to arrive some place soon. Common sense told her so. Her father had said that this particular stretch of woods was half a mile long. If she was headed in the right direction, she would arrive back at the house. Otherwise, she would end up at the lake where she could easily find her way home. She would arrive somewhere safely soon, wouldn't she?
She was beginning to feel like a small child again, like the time she and William played hide and seek. No matter how hard she looked, she couldn't find him. After ten minutes, she burst into tears, and William, being the lovely cousin he was, heard her sobs and came immediately to her side. Only now, as the tears finally rolled down her cheeks, there was no one to rescue her.
She heard the noise again. The hairs on the back of her neck rose. This was starting to seriously spook her out. Big time. How she wished she'd never stormed off in the first place. She should have known better and realised her employer was a man in pain--emotional pain--and made allowances for that.
She caught a breath and slipped behind a tree, its gnarled trunk damp and mossy to her touch. There was someone out there, she was sure of it. If it was Sebastian, he would rescue her, but she couldn't guarantee it. In any case, she knew he didn't have a lot of time to spare to play games.
As she held her breath, she heard the unmistakeable sound of feet crunching on twigs and the sound of heavy breathing. Someone knew she was here...had followed her. Her heart started to beat like a drum beneath her clothing, her mouth dry with fear.
In the distance, she saw a man dressed in a hooded jacket with a rifle slung over his shoulder. Letting out a breath, she relaxed. It was probably Phil, the game keeper. Perhaps she should call out to him? But her voice was choked from the sobbing.
At least she now had some idea of the general direction to go. She would wait a few minutes, then follow the path he took.
Before she could act on her decision, she felt a gloved hand clamp over her mouth. She struggled to free herself, but her assailant's grip was like steel, dragging her backwards. The sky and treetops above her spun around and around until they became a blur. Coloured spots blinded her vision. Her breathing came in short bursts as she gasped for air. A pungent smelling cloth came over her nose and mouth, making her woozy. She imagined she heard someone call out her name. A swirl of colours danced before her eyes, then everything faded to black as her body hit the ground.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Welsh author, Lynette Rees, has written this guide because when she started out ‘trying’ to write romance, very much by trial and error, she would have loved to have had a concise guide that put it all in a nutshell for her.
Instead, she did it the hard way – read many how-to romance books and taught herself the elements of writing romance by writing her own short stories and eventually, a romance novel.
Not that this is a bad thing of course, but if you are someone who would appreciate the facts, right now, then this is the guide for you!
Lynette has put together a system that is so successful she always gets customers emailing her with their thank yous and congratulations. All you need to do is see her reviews below to see how successful this guide really is.
"No other instructor has compared to the attention Lynette gives to a new writer."
T.Widemire ~ Ohio
"I have won first prize in a short story competition with the added bonus of £150.00 in prize money! Please give yourself a massive pat on the back, Lyn, because I know I couldn't have done this without your fantastic tuition!"
R. Brimble ~ United Kingdom
These are just a sample of reviews. Trust me you will not be disappointed!
Lynette has developed a package that is so successful, so easy to understand, so carefully written that any writer could come up with a romance story within weeks. Just check out the sort of things this guide will give you and soon you’ll be confidently writing your own romance story.
|What you will learn|
|Learn how to craft the romance story|
|Discover the tricks of professional romance authors|
|Learn how to compile a successful submission package|
|Useful web links|
|Learn how to hook the reader in|
|How to avoid a sagging middle to your story|
|How to construct a successful black moment|
|How to write a satisfying ending|
|And so much more!|
Remember, this is over 50 in-depth pages created by a top writer.
Lynette recently had one of her romance novels published in e-book format at Samhain Publishing, entitled: "A Taste Of Honey". This will be available as a paperback shortly at Waldenbooks/Borders and at the number one online book store Amazon.
Lynette also has two more books due out this year at The Wild Rose Press! “It Happened One Summer” and “Return To Winter”. That’s three novels in a short space of time.
If you read this guide, in time you might be able to say the same thing too!
This could be the step up you are looking for. Lynette Rees has put together the key points that she found difficult when she began to write romantic novels.
She has also featured interviews with 3 top authors including Maggie Shayne.
Below are some of my published articles, please feel free to view them.
• Romance Readers' Pet Peeves
• Seven Ways to Inject Suspense into Your Novel
• Develop a Kick-Ass Plot!
Are you ready to begin?
Today for just $15.00!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Back in September, I checked my bank statement and was flabbergasted to discover that two online sites called:
had both taken unauthorised payments of £9.95 from my bank acccount.
I just didn't get it as I hadn't signed up for anything and hadn't even heard of either of them. I checked out the links and didn't recognise them as any sites I had recently visited.
On closer inspection, I realised that both sites had connections with vistaprint.com
I had ordered large postcards, fridge magnets and business cards from this company a couple of months previously and had been satisfied with both the quality and the price. However, what I hadn't bargained for was that Vista Print had passed my details on elsewhere without permission. This appears to be happening everywhere at the moment. All you need do is Google the words Vista Print + Scam to see what I mean!
Anyhow, I tried contacting both Club Prem and V P Rewards [which I later discovered stands for Vista Print Rewards] and fair play, I heard back from Club Prem and they refunded the amount taken. However, V P Rewards did not, nor did they answer any of my e-mails.
I visited my bank who assured me that if my debit card was changed, the problem would stop. It did not. The following month the same thing happened, so I took another trip to the bank. This time the girl phoned head office to put a stop on the company taking any more money. End of story, you would think. But no. Vista Print were at it again the next month. So I rang them and spoke to some foreign guy who sounded totally disinterested and who appeared to be reading from some script. He told me the money would be refunded to my account within 7-10 days.
When I asked why it was taken in the first place, he informed me I had taken an online survey. I had not. I know that for sure as I hate those kinds of things.
The upshot is that the money was never refunded and so yesterday, I called to my bank, yet again. The account was closed down. I only lost £30.00 overall as I spotted it quickly . Unfortunately, many are not so lucky and lose hundreds of pounds before noticing these unethical withdrawals.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Today I read an article about a young girl in my town whose first book had just been published. Yeh! Whoo! Hoo! and all that. But wait just a minute, the article made it sound as if this young person, who is nineteen years old had done so well for herself. Well maybe she has, it depends which way you look at it.
I Googled the name of her book and the author name and found it was published by a company I hadn't heard of. So, I Googled that too and felt dismayed for the girl that she has parted with around £800.00 to see her book in print. It's a vanity press.
I've just taken a look at the contract at the website and for that price the author gets five free copies of their books! Excuse me while I cough a moment. I make that a cost of £160.00 per copy. Extortion if you ask me. Not only are the books that expensive, but if she wants it properly edited the contract says she has to pay the editor £35.00 per hour. All of this adds up to a tidy little sum for the company but not for the author.
I know her book will now get an isbn number and that it will be reproduced by print on demand but how many books would she need to sell to break even. Her book costs around the £8.00 mark [without postage and packing], so she needs to sell more than one hundred copies.
It makes me sad that people don't try the traditional publishing route. I don't mean they have to submit to a large publishing house because few new authors sell to those anyhow. Some smaller publishes will accept a book if it's any good and at no cost to the author.
I made the mistake of getting my first book published by a company that charged me a $90.00 set up fee [around £45.00] but even that amount seems small potatoes compared to the amount the young lady is being charged.
Before you think I'm anti self publishing, I'm not. I've published a couple of books via Lulu.com who don't charge the kind of fees that young lady's publisher charges.
I expect she'll live and learn as I did last year. Luckily, I've left the publisher in question and have got two superb new publishers who haven't charged me a penny to see my work in print.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I was going through one of my e-mail boxes just now, [this is an e-mail address I don't use that often as it gets inundated with SPAM], and I had to look twice. There was a post marked 'FAR It Happened One Summer'. It was dated 10 days ago. I can't believe I missed it.
Anyhow, the upshot is that it's my first new review for this book since it was updated and re-released by The Wild Rose Press. Here's what the reviewer had to say[she gave it four angels]:
It Happened One Summer by Lynette Rees is good enough that it kept this reader up almost all night turning the pages. I was glued to this story, almost hypnotically. It’s suspenseful enough that I jumped when the dog smacked her tail on the floor! I anticipated what chased Sandy chased me, too!
Sandy and Matt meet when he comes into the shop where she works. Purchasing an item sort of like the customer from Hell, he irks her at the start, especially when he chastises her, then informs her he’s the new area manager for the store. They get past their initial impressions of each other, and become very close. But when odd things happen at Sandy’s cottage while she’s not home she’s convinced someone may be trying to keep them apart. How to explain a stalker to someone she’s just met? Matt’s feelings for Sandy make an immediate explanation a moot point. His main goal is to keep her safe.
This is a very thrilling read, especially when I imagined Sandy’s stalker could be at a dinner party with her. That idea was creepy enough to give me goose bumps! Sandy and Matt seemed like an improbable couple at first, what with the way they met, but as the story progresses his compassion for her and the stalker situation is obvious. He cares, and it shows. In turn, it makes the reader care. I wanted Sandy to be safe, and I wanted Matt to protect her. I won’t say how this turns out, but I can practically guarantee readers will keep turning pages long after dark on this one. I know I did, and it was worth losing sleep over!
Reviewed by: Carly
Thursday, September 06, 2007
I was sitting in my garden last night under a star filled sky just contemplating, when I saw a star fall in the sky. I haven't seen one of those for years but remembered the old saying about how when that happens, you'll hear of a death. I told my husband about it.
Then this morning he woke me up with breakfast in bed [okay I don't get that every morning] to tell me Pavarotti had died. Of course, it's probably a coincidence, people are dying all the time. But you have to admit the man was a star.
I felt the same when Diana, Princess of Wales died, as if a star in the heavens had somehow stopped shining.
Perhaps Luciano is standing at the Pearly Gates singing Nessun Dorma as I write this.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
A year ago, I left my old publisher. I won't mention the name here as I don't want to get sued but let's just say the parting was amicable. I wanted to leave and I suspect after all the fuss I made, they were glad to see the back of me.
You see, I knew they weren't serving my needs as an author. There was a distinct lack of communication from them, plus I was expected to pay a set-up fee for the privilege of publication. I got to thinking I deserved better as an author. So as soon as I was released, I sought a new publisher.
Following my experience with that publisher, I had certain expectations I wanted to see fulfilled from my new publisher. The first one, I wanted good communication. The second, they would respect me as an author, so I could keep my particular Welsh voice and British spellings. The third requirement was that they would spell my name correctly, the last publisher hadn't even managed to do that.
I had heard about The Wild Rose Press from somewhere, I can't remember where it was now, probably an online writers' group or something, and thought I would give them a go.
I was delighted when It Happened One Summer and Return to Winter were accepted for publication.
I have to say that The Wild Rose Press has exceeded my expectations as a publisher. Communication is fantastic. If I send an e-mail to one of my editors or anyone else on staff, it's answered within a reasonable amount of time. Unlike my old publisher where I tried to contact three members of staff one week on an urgent matter and not one of them replied!
I have been treated so well as an author by everyone. Today, I sent off the contract for my third book, Watching You, for publication next year. I was just as thrilled to get this one accepted as I was last year with the other two.
My romantic suspense editor, Ally Robertson, has gone above and beyond the call of duty as an editor. She's inspired and encouraged me and Watching You is dedicated to her.
The Wild Rose Press is an exceptional publisher in my eyes.
Three cheers for The Wild Rose Press!!!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I got two good pieces of news over the weekend. When I arrived home from shopping on Saturday there was an e-mail in my inbox from the new editor of Writers' Forum magazine. He's interested in my proposed article about last year's charity book launch. So I was thrilled with that.
Then within an hour, I received an e-mail from my romantic suspense editor at The Wild Rose Press accepting my manuscript, "Watching You" for publication. I probably won't get to work on edits on this book until early next year as TWRP are getting a lot of submissions at the moment.
Monday, August 13, 2007
I just opened my e-mail to find a nice message from the reviewer of my book at Two Lips Reviews named Lindy. She sent me the link to this review:
Title: A Taste of HoneyAuthor: Lynette ReesPublisher: Samhain PublishingGenre: Contemporary Romantic ComedyPublication date: April 2007ISBN: 1-59998-071-1Pages: 155Series:
|Fran works for the Peace of Mind agency, setting “honey traps” to catch cheating husbands in compromising situations. Unfortunately, she’s not very good at her job. She really doesn’t want her family to know where she’s moonlighting, especially her overprotective brothers. She’s on assignment when she meets Travis and publicly accuses him of cheating, but it’s a case of mistaken identity.|
For unlucky Travis this is just one more piece of bad luck in along string of unfortunate events. When Travis is hired as head chef in her family’s Italian restaurant, the situation is uncomfortable but Travis is pretty desperate for a job. Fran is dealing with problems of her own, including a scheming ex-fiancé who betrayed her with her best friend. Travis may be just what Fran needs: a real-life knight in shining armor. Can she trust him to protect her secret? And what about her heart?
This is a very sweet love story of difficult times, family loyalty and building trust. Travis is the ultimate underdog; his luck goes from bad to worse, and you just want to hug the poor guy. Fran needs some help in the luck department too, so when they finally get together, you’ll really be cheering them on. Lynette Rees has done a fantastic job of portraying a couple learning to trust each other, and she creates a solidly heroic character in Travis. As an interesting aside, this story is full of idioms and local flavor that’s a real treat for American readers. An excellent read, very highly recommended.
** For anyone interested, you can purchase the e-book here:http://tinyurl.com/2vth8t
Thursday, August 02, 2007
To be a great writer you need to be a good reader. I'm often suspicious of the kind of folk who claim not to read but say they are good writers. I got to thinking, who has influenced my writing the most over the years?
Now, I can't just say it's any one particular author, more an amalgam of many.
The first author who made a huge impression on me as a child was Enid Blyton. I credit Ms. Blyton with being the person who made me the avid reader I am today. I enjoyed tales of The Famous Five and The Secret Seven, Six Bad Boys [and horror of horrors, a book that doesn't sit well with today's politically correct climate, The Three Golliwogs!]
From Enid Blyton, I progressed to Irish author, Edna O'Brien. I was a tender seventeen years of age when I went to visit my Swedish penpal, Anna Enliden, in Jonkoping. The only English books they had in the house were by this author. I think Anna's mother must have been studying her texts years back in college. I was immediately hooked on Girl with Green Eyes and The Countrygirls. What I loved about both books is that there were written in the first person and were way ahead of their time. They were originally published in the 60s and probably the forerunner for Chick Lit as we know it today. O'Brien was scandalised in Ireland at the time and book burning parties took place by local priests. Even the author's own mother took a black marker pen to her books!
Fancy having such an impact on society!
If there was one author I would love to be compared with, it is this lady. She is so ballsy. Sometimes I think she writes like a man. I love the way she brings in organised crime and villains to die for. She never writes at the computer, always in longhand.
I wouldn't be surprised if she carried on writing until her dying day!
Another influence of mine has been Rosamunde Pilcher. She of The Shell Seekers fame and Winter Solstice. I love the way she paints pictures with her words. I feel that I can see the surroundings she conjures up whether it's on the Cornish coast or the highlands of Scotland.
My most recent influence has been, Karen Rose. She writes mystery/suspense. I love the way she goes into the thoughts of her villains. I have tried this myself for my most recent novel and it's really brought the plot to life!
I think writing like this gave my novel a whole other dimension. I don't know as I write this, if the book will be accepted for publication, but I feel it's my best work yet.
Opening our minds to new styles of writing is good for us as authors. I watch The Richard and Judy bookclub and sometimes choose works by authors I have never heard of before and have been surprised to discover a new author whose work I might not have otherwise tried.
So, my question to you is: which authors have influenced you?
Monday, July 30, 2007
Here's a short article I wrote some time ago that might inspire some of you:
Seven Ways to Generate Plot Ideas From Magazines
So, you’re stuck for an idea to write a short story? There’s an easy way to come up with some great plot ideas by hopping across to your local newsagents, or leafing through an old magazine. Women’s magazines are the best for this, if you are targeting that type of a market. By looking through one of my old magazines that cost the princely sum of 68p (less than a dollar), I’ve come up with the following ideas:
1. Reader Real Life Stories
A double page feature entitled “My wife was 6 months pregnant with our twins when she left me for another man.” We often hear of married people running off with one another, but rarely when they are pregnant with their husband’s babies. Another real life story has the title: “Is this the worst slimming club in the world?” It goes on to explain that the members of the club have failed to lose weight and most of them have actually put it on. When it’s someone’s birthday they bring in pork pies, scones and cakes. No wonder they can’t lose weight! There could be a great humorous story there!
2. The Health Pages
Here we have a case history with the heading: “I’ve had 18 strokes and I’m only 24.” What must it feel like for someone to have a brain haemorrhage at such a young age? To end up in a coma for days and now to live their life in a wheel chair?
It’s all in the stars. There are 12 plot ideas here from Aquarius to Capricorn! Chose your own birth sign reading and write it up as a plot idea. If you don’t like yours very much there are another 11 to choose from. For example Leo reads:
“Full of bright ideas, you’ll be dashing around, keen to make your mark. But the Full Moon at the lowest point of your chart hints that you need to draw back from too much work. Slow down and enjoy just ‘being’ for a couple of days. You’ll receive a surprise invitation.”
What plot idea could you generate from this horoscope reading? How about someone who works for an advertising agency who is a very creative person? She has been working hard on a particular project and is ‘burnt out’. She is ordered to take time off from work by her divorced boss, who pops around to see her with 2 tickets for a night at the theatre. Will there romance in the air?
These are great for inspiring ideas. A blurb is a couple of sentences that describe what a short story or article is about. For example I found these embedded within articles and features in the same magazine;
“It finally sank in - I’d been deserted.”
“After weeks of misery and indecision, the Peacocks are finally a happy family...”
“The words can also signal commitment and that can scare some men.”
“I fell in love with a cottage and three weeks later I’d moved in.”
“I nearly died laughing...”
“Hurting myself made me feel better, but who would understand why?”
There are six possible short stories from these blurbs, there were many more I could have chosen from the magazine.
5. Problem Pages
The problem pages from a magazine are great for plot ideas as they involve conflict. There are 5 readers problems on the page in front of me: a woman who doesn’t fancy her husband anymore; a woman who has 2 failed marriages and met a man who was 12 years younger; a mother who can’t stand her son’s girlfriend; a widow who is about to marry for the second time but has doubts; a woman who had a date with her postman but now he has cooled off. Any one of these problems would make a good story.
6. Short Story
We all know that we can’t plagarize another’s work, but how about reading a short story, then writing another from a different character’s viewpoint? Names and settings need to be changed, but with a little skill you could come up with an entirely different story. For example, a story where a mother in law is being difficult, seen through the eyes of her son’s wife, could be turned around so that it is viewed through the eyes of the mother in law.
7. Writing from photographs
They say that every picture tells a story. How about looking at the photographs in a magazine to see if you can come up with a plot. For example here are some photographs I see in the magazine in front of me:
A teacher leaning over a desk to talk to 2 boys in what looks like a science lesson.
A young girl sitting on the beach. A boy and girl sitting behind her are talking to one another.
A woman on a swing.
A man and a woman carrying a desk into a removal van.
A woman sitting in a field where 2 young boys are playing football.
So we could have at least 5 possible story ideas here:
A teacher who is thinking of giving up the profession maybe? A young girl who feels excluded, as her best friend now has a boyfriend? A woman sitting on a swing thinking back to her childhood? A couple who are having to leave their home? A single woman who has to look after her nephews for a week as their mother is in hospital?
The permutations are endless. You could switch points of view, come up with different ideas, and so on. So next time you are stuck for a story idea pop over to the newsagent or get out all your old magazines and get writing!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
The only thing I can think of that makes any sense, is that reading romance novels can give the reader a sense of well being. The Happy Ever After ending is the normal prerequisite in this type of novel, so consequently, this might make the reader feel more content with life which in turn stops them dipping into the biscuit barrel.
On the other hand, I suppose the reverse could happen. What if a woman is married to a couch potato who belches, scratches his balls and refuses to get off his backside as she serves him hand, foot and finger. What if the lady in question reads of this fantastic, have-a-go hero with rippling muscles and a well toned torso who f***s like a dynamo. She glances at the couch potato, realising she's spent her best years with a man who cares very little for her.
Does she do a * Shirley Valentine and go searching for her own hero or settle for what she's got, pull out a packet or two of potato chips, a box of chocolates, a bottle of Strongbow cider and join her Mr. Couch Potato [ala Wayne and Waynetta]?
I plan to give the * Romance Reader Diet a go. I intend to read as many romances as I can lay my sticky little fingers on over the next couple of weeks and I'll let you know if I end up like Waynetta Slob or Winona Riding.
Watch this space...
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I was pleased with the review I got today from The Long and Short Reviews blog:
When Stephanie Baynham comes home to Wales , the lover she ran out on nine months ago, Dylan Pryce-Jones, is waiting at the airport for her.
Will he understand why she left him without warning, during the afternoon of Matt and Sandy's wedding celebration?
Later, she returns to her apartment and finds a threatening message scrawled on her mirror: "You're Dead!" Could her life really be in danger?
(176 pages) Spicy Return To Winter is a contemporary romantic thriller. There is a cleverly British setting that offers that a bit of old-world flavor, since a big part of the setting is in a castle. Yet, the setting comes with a very contemporary twist, as the castle is home to commercial "Celtic-style' wedding ventures.
From the start, the main character's concerns and actions are intriguing. In the earliest pages, readers will believe they can sort through these webs of love, admiration, and danger, but it is quickly apparent that this is a far more complex tale than it seems. The setting may be old but the threat is most definitely modern and presents an ever-increasing danger. There are some sharp, emotional contrasts between the evil intentions of the bad guy and the warmth of the holiday spirit surrounding those desperately striving to get away from him. And, as much as one roots for a certain romantically involved pair, one cannot help but feel badly for the one lost along the wayside.
This story moves ahead quickly with just enough description to give it an authentic air (like sponge pudding for dessert, piped-in Celtic music at the reception desk, and the like) although one does wish for more physical descriptions, at times. This story is carried on excellent dialogue and unpredictable action, and those who and enjoy the odd steamier scene will not be disappointed either.
Reviewer: Nancy Lindley-Gauthier
Saturday, July 21, 2007
“I don’t know if I can take much more of this, Matt.” She stood in the doorway of the bedroom behind him, like a little girl lost—a far cry from the strong, confident woman who sent him out shopping for her dinner party that morning.
“This person may just want to knock you off balance in some way. I think it may be an idea if you went along with these e-mails. It may help the police catch the culprit.”
“You mean I should try to get into a conversation with the Grim Reaper?” He nodded. “I don’t know if I can. I just want to switch the computer off and not check my mail ever again.”
“I’ll tell you what... how do you feel if I pretend to be you? The author will have no idea it is me responding, will they? And you don’t even have to look at any of these e-mails.” He wanted to spare her any further trauma, but he had to find out who this person was before they got to
He got up and held his arms wide open for her, “Come here...” She didn’t hesitate to go into them, as if they were her sanctuary. Heck, he wanted to tilt up her chin and lower his mouth to her lips, to lose himself in a kiss with her. But he knew that wouldn’t be the right thing to do—the timing was all wrong. She was vulnerable right now, and he had no intention of playing on that fact.
“No, don’t do that. Look, one of your guests could be the Grim Reaper. You know what they say: Keep your friends close, your enemies closer. He felt her shiver in his arms. “I’ll be here to support you. I won’t be drinking and I’ll be keeping an eye on everyone.”
“But suppose it is one of my guests. How would they have my e-mail address?”
“It’s not as difficult as you might imagine. I found an old pal of mine when I came back to
Friday, July 20, 2007
It Happened One Summer releases today in digital format. It will be published in print on 12th of October.
Here's a short excerpt:
Matt was dog tired. The constant worry about
Sandy’s safety was getting to him. He took a soak in a cool
bath and went to get a nightcap downstairs. He hadn’t
drunk alcohol since before the dinner party, but he needed
a whisky tonight.
As he poured the drink, he felt like he was being
watched. He couldn’t see anything outside in the garden
from the kitchen window, and told himself it was his
imagination playing tricks.
He put on some classical music, Vivaldi’s Four
Seasons, and flopped down on the sofa in the living room.
The whisky tasted good. He placed his glass on the coffee
table; his eyelids were getting heavy. He was almost
asleep, but not drowsy enough to miss the clatter outside.
He jumped out of the settee and made for the back door.
Whoever it was would get a clout around the head for
their trouble. He’d had enough of this palaver. They,
whoever they were, were messing with the wrong guy!
He sensed the person was still outside. There was no
way they could escape without him seeing who it was. He
switched on the outside light and walked outside carrying
a baseball bat.
The garden was quite small. He could see the shed
was still locked and the metal dustbin lid lay on the floor.
This was no cat or dog out here; this was a human being.
“Show yourself, whoever you are!” he shouted so loud
he frightened himself. “Come out, you coward.”
Matt watched the person come out from behind the
shed, put down a package and hold up their hands as if
they were about to be shot.
“Well, well. Look who we have here. Our mystery
Thursday, July 19, 2007
When you write a novel, do you plot it out thoroughly from A to B, fly by the seat of your pants, or perhaps combine a mixture of both methods?
I use a mixture of both. Because I'm a character driven writer, in that I allow my characters to tell their own tales, I tend to not want to know too much before hand. I usually have a beginning in mind, perhaps a situation the protagonist finds himself/herself in and I often have an ending in mind, but other than that, I have no idea how I'm going to get from A to B.
I love the element of surprise. So often I find myself gasping in horror when a character decides to kill another character off, or the heroine does something foolish.
I once tried to plot out an entire novel before hand. A well known romance author taught me to do this during an online writing class. On paper, the story looked fantastic with its twenty outline points. I think the plot was an interesting one too. But do you know what? It's been two years since I outlined that novel, I even had a title for it, character charts the lot, but I've yet to write the damn book. I think creating that outline zapped a lot of my creativity and spontaneity.
I think I'm better off sticking with what I know and that is, I don't really want to know too much in advance.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Imagine your book causing such a furore that it was put under guard. And what if your book was so successful that school children eagerly read it upon purchase! That's what's happening with yet another of J. K. Rowling's books, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".
Security guards have been hired at one of Barnes & Noble's warehouses in the U.S. to ensure staff aren't trying to get away with free copies. The firm reckons their staff don't have time to take a peek, oh yeah, who are they kidding? Someone there must have taken a look to find out who Rowling has killed off. And if Potter lives or dies.
The nearest I have got to this as an author, are my counselling clients [and people my mother know] enquiring when my next book is due out. They've enjoyed the previous two [the ones sold for the cancer charity] and now would like to get their hands on a third. That makes me ecstatic. Especially when I know that some of them are cancer sufferers who have got some enjoyment from my books.
One lady, has sadly passed since reading my book but I got the message she enjoyed it, and another who has cancer but is nothing to do with out centre, [she's a relation by marriage], sent me a nice card when It Happened One Summer was released last year. The card read: "Thanks for a cracking, good read!" That means more to me than all the money in the world.
Another of my clients told me she read it through in one go last Easter on a nice sunny day in the garden. It got her back into reading again.
I'm happy for J. K. Rowling but I'm even happier that my books are touching people out there.
Monday, July 16, 2007
|You Are 100% Psychic|
You are so very psychic.
But you already predicted that, didn't you?
You have "the gift" - and you use it daily to connect with others.
You're very tapped into the world around you...
Just make sure to use your powers for good!
Friday, July 13, 2007
I just completed another suspense novel and sent it off to the publisher this evening -- so fingers crossed!
Watching You is a bit different from my previous suspense novels. This time I go into the mind of a serial killer. As well as the hero and heroine's point of views, I use the killer's.
I had an absolute ball writing this book.
Here's a short blurb:
Angeline Hamilton is devastated to discover upon the reading of her father's will that not only has she lost her inheritance, but she has lost her family home too -- Tarrington Manor. She approaches the new owner, Sebastain Tremaine, under the pretence that she has applied for a job at he house.
Someone is watching Angeline's every move and wants revenge. He aims to get it the night of the masked ball...
What transpires is a tale of secrets, seduction and a simmering love affair that is further complicated by the losses in the lives of both lovers and the evil stalker they have to keep at bay.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
The Rod Stewart concert at The Millennium Stadium Cardiff last night, was fantastic! When we arrived in Cardiff, we immediately bumped into a couple of old friends who were also going to the concert, so we had a drink with them and something to eat before the show.
Rod was supported by The Pretenders, who were good, but I couldn't make out one word Chrissie Hynd was saying to the crowd!
Rod was in fine form for an old age pensioner of 62. He belted out the old tracks like Reason to Believe, Maggie May, Sailing etc. He has so much energy. Fatherhood appears to keep him young, he's hardly changed throughout the years.
The most touching part of the show was when he sang Cat Stevens's, Father and Son. A moving film of himself with his father and his own son growing up was shown behind him.
Rock on Rodders! I still want to listen to you crooning when you're in your eighties and nineties!
Thursday, July 05, 2007
So far, there have been so-called sightings in Troedyrhiw, Merthyr Town Centre, St. Mellons in Cardiff, Tredegar and now a possible one in Brecon. I'm beginning to get very skeptical about it all.
I was just about to dish up Sunday lunch last weekend and we had a few special visitors to join us when Colin disappeared in the car. I found out that some kids had rung claiming they had seen Danny. He got there within minutes and found the children but no dog. When they gave him the description, he sounded nothing like Danny at all.
All these sightings are so vague and upsetting to be honest.
The type of call I have been waiting for since putting up posters and it going in the paper, is either: "Mrs Rees we believe we have your dog. We thought he was a stray and have been looking after him." Or: "There's a man living down the road who has recently taken a dog in fitting that description." Not something like: "I saw a dog twenty miles away two weeks ago that might have been Danny." I say: "Did he have one long pointy ear and one floppy?" "Er, I didn't notice." Believe me, mate, that's the first thing you would have noticed about him.
So for now, I am not going to keep logging into the missing dog website several times a day. All these leads [pardon the pun] are far too vague for me.
There has to come a point when I bring closure to this for my sanity's sake. There will always be well meaning dog lovers who will keep logging in and posting messages to Danny's page to say they think they have seen him.
I'm going to do as Ed kindly suggested, write a story with an ending about what really happened to Danny that night. I'll probably make it a happy ending, even if that isn't really the case.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Yesterday, was exactly a year since the book launch for It Happened One Summer took place at the castle. I had no idea back then that I would have flown away from my publisher and found a new one! The new publisher is The Wild Rose Press, who I have to say are treating me very well indeed.
The coincidence is that yesterday, I was sent the galley from them for the same book.
I am so glad I took the decision to step out, taking the risk with another publisher. My old publisher did not treat me well, that's why I left. I felt they didn't have my best interests at heart. I'm also now a Samhain author, who are also treating me well as an author.
Writers, I would say to you: Don't settle for second best, otherwise that's all you can expect.
Monday, July 02, 2007
I'm thrilled that Return to Winter is now available in print!
And here's an excerpt:
Stephanie sat in Dylan's armchair next to the fire place and kicked
off her boots. It was eleven-thirty. She must have dozed off as the
next thing she knew she was opening her eyes and the clock showed that
it was almost midnight. That was odd. Surely it wouldn't take Dylan
half an hour to fetch a couple of bottles from the cellar?
She slipped back into her boots and walked down the corridor in the
direction of the cellar. When she got there, the door was slightly ajar.
"Dylan!" she cried out, her voice echoing into the abyss. There was no
answer, so she pushed the heavy, creaking door until it opened fully.
She searched for a light switch but failed to find one. Perhaps if she
walked down the steps, there would be a switch at the bottom.
It was ice-cold as she descended the stone steps that had probably
been there for generations. Somewhere down in the very depths of the
castle, she heard a faint dripping sound.
Putting both palms on the wall, she scaled her way down in the inky
darkness. Good, she found a wooden rail she could hold on to.
Something brushed against her face and she almost cried out with fear.
Just a cobweb, she reassured herself. You're losing it, lady. Maybe
this was a daft idea and she should retrace her steps back up to the
top. But what if Dylan was lying at the bottom injured? That thought
was enough to spur her on.
Finally, she got to the last step and found a switch and the light
came on. It was very dim, but at least she had some illumination. She
searched around and found a small, dusty table, on top of which was a
candle holder and a box of matches. She struck one and lit the candle,
just as the light bulb fizzled out.
Shadows flickered in the cellar, casting an eerie impression. "Dylan!"
she cried out again. But all was silent. There were rack upon rack of
bottles down here. They must be worth a fortune, she mused.
It was no use, she couldn't find Dylan. She was about to go and then
let out a gasp, the hairs on her neck standing on end as she saw a
woman coming towards her carrying a lighted candle. Then she relaxed,
and let out a long breath when she realised it was only her own
reflection in an old bar room mirror on the wall.
How silly she was being, imagining all kinds of things. She composed
herself and made for the stairs. The cellar door slammed shut and the
candle blew out. Terror gripped her as she fought to keep in control
of her senses. The thud in her ears deafened her as she heard her own
heart beat as loud as a drum. What if no one found her?
"Help!" she tried to shout, but fear made her voice sound weak.
"Someone please help me!" Then she put her hands out in front of her
to try to find her way out.
Stumbling over something, she tripped and fell, hitting her head
against a wine rack. She put her hands out for something solid to help
her to get to her feet and touched something soft and warm. It was a
human leg, someone was standing by her side.
"Dylan, thank goodness. Help me up."
Two strong hands came towards her and helped her to her feet. Then
they forcefully grabbed her from behind, one hand slipping over her
mouth. This was her worse nightmare and she had no idea who it was.
Trembling, she feared she would black out and then what would happen?
Her legs felt like they were going to give way. I have to do
something. She tried to scream but the large hand was firmly clamped
over her mouth...
Friday, June 29, 2007
Putting our home phone number in the local paper when advertising Danny's disappearance might be a bit of a two edged sword. So far I have received two calls regarding him:
The first one was last night. A young woman rang saying she thought she had seen him last week between Abercanaid and Troedyrhiw on the canal bank. I immediately thought: If he was that near why didn't he just come home? She said she was walking along and the dog joined her and kept running off and laying down on the floor. Didn't sound like Danny's behaviour at all. So I asked her if the dog she saw had one long pointy ear and the other floppy. She said she hadn't noticed. Now his ears are so prominent you couldn't possibly miss them! Not only that there was a very clear picture of him and his ears with a written description in the paper. The final clincher for me was when she said he was wearing a red collar. Definitely not Danny.
The second call came when I had just come in from work this evening with piles of shopping to put away, I hadn't even got as far as taking my coat off. A male voice I would estimate to be in his 60s started talking to me in a familiar way. "I read about your dog missing in the paper..." At first I thought it might have been my father or my uncle, but then it was obviously not. This man, as well meaning as he was, was just ringing to find out if we had found Danny! GRRRR! I felt like saying to him: "Well that's why I thought you were ringing me not the other way around!" Instead, the penny dropped and I asked him if he had any information. To which he replied "No."
To cut a long story short, he proceeded to tell me all about his dog and how it might need an operation. I didn't lose my temper, I just sympathised with him when I really felt like saying: "Why on earth did you bother ringing me?" One good thing though, I found out from him that he'd read about it in the local Rhymney newspaper, so the article is appearing further afield than I thought.
Another thing I noticed about both phone calls is that they were both withheld numbers. Perhaps they were people who just wanted to chat about dogs in general. Those kind of phone calls I can do without right now.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
So I shall be waiting with baited breath to see if anyone rings here.
I'll keep you posted.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I'm finding it difficult to write at the moment. I don't mean in this blog or anything, I mean the novel I am in the midst of. I've changed the title to 'Midnight Shadow'.
It's a romantic suspense thriller and this book is a little different for me in that this time I have included the thoughts of the villain. I've read several books like that by big name authors that have intrigued me. It makes the read more 3 dimensional, I think.
I find I'm writing in short spurts at the moment. I can probably only get down a page or two every day, whereas last October, I managed to draft a full novel in less than one month. I'm lacking focus and in general I'm not really myself. There is still no news about Danny. I rang The Merthyr Express this week to check to see if they have received the second press release from the press officer at http://www.doglost.co.uk
They appeared to know about it and so, I'm hoping, it will go in the paper this week. I feel this is our best hope of getting him back if someone is looking after him. If not, then I am going to have to draw a line and bring about some sort of closure for myself. Some of my family think I have been too optimistic about getting him back, but reading about some of the success stories of dogs being reunited with their owners on the doglost site has given me some hope. Some have been missing for months.
The sad thing is that these days a lot of dogs are stolen. I think one of the sadest tales I read there was of one dog who had been stolen with its owner's van and then dumped by the motorway by the thieves. It got killed by a car. This dog was the part of someone's family and to do something like that to steal something of material value beggars belief.
I sent off for two dog tags on the weekend with our address and phone number on, they arrived this morning, so I have attached them to Milly and Shelley's collars. Perhaps if I had got one for Danny, someone could have returned him to us. It might sound naive but it didn't really occur to me before, even though we've kept dogs before. The dogs are walked regularly and are not thrown out into the street, so I thought it wouldn't happen to us. I was wrong.
My hope is that someone is taking care of Danny and will give him lots of love, my fear is that he's dead. The worst part is the not knowing.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
I found this post on Ms. Creativity's blog and have adapted it for this blog. So do you wanna be tagged?
INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so:
Next select five people to tag:
What were you doing 10 years ago?
Just left college and didn't have a clue what I was going to do!
What were you doing 1 year ago?
Just had my first book published and waiting for book launch at Cyfarthfa Castle.
Five snacks you enjoy:
1. Cheese and tomato toasties
2. Cheese and onion crisps
3. Chips and gravy
4. Beans on toast
5. Sausage roll
Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:
1. Waterloo - Abba
2. Angels - Robbie Williams
3. Without You - Nilsson
4. Someone Saved My Life Tonight - Elton John
5. Living on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1. Divide some of my fortune up between close family
2. Give a proportion to charity
With the rest I would:
4. Take a nice holiday [probably the
5. Buy a writing cabin in the woods
Five bad habits:
3. Not keeping in touch enough with people
4. Looking on the black side
5. A quick temper
Five things you like doing:
1. Trying something new
2. Getting a book or article published
3. Walking in the woods
4. Getting into a clean bed
5. Catching up with people at Christmas
Five things you would never wear again:
1. A mini skirt
2. A bikini
These are from my childhood:
1. Walking talking doll
2. Tiny Tears
3. Handmade dolls house [made by my grt uncle]
4. Sleigh [made by my grandfather]
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I found this image of my school sports day at the Old Merthyr Tydfil website and was amazed to see myself on there. I think I might have been about 10 at the time. I have no idea who sent the picture in or any recollection of that particular race. However, what I do remember is I never used to win. There were always better sprinters than me. I used to try very hard though. I never came last probably somewhere half between.
I think I reached my peak with school sports at the age of 15. I was a good cross country runner and not too bad at the high jump and hurdles as well. In 1976 I was due to captain the red house team for the girls [Caradog House], but alas, I never got my moment of glory. As my father was a postman, we used to take our holidays at different times and often I would have to take a week or two off school for the family holiday.
Now the question is...which girl am I on the picture? [Click on picture to enlarge]
I'll give you a clue: I'm the one with a very determined look on her face!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Return to Winter will go into print on June 29th. I got quite a nice 4 star review for the book from Annie at Euro-Reviews:
Stephanie Baynham returns to South Wales from a nine-month stay with her grandparents in Italy, where she fled from her feelings for Dylan Pryce-Jones. Stephanie and Dylan became close--intimately close--at the wedding of Matt and Sandy, held at Dylan's establishment, but Stephanie's fear of abandonment impelled her escape, leaving Dylan distraught and puzzled. When she returns, she is astonished to discover, first of all, that Sandy is expecting in a few weeks; and second, that Dylan appears to be engaged to his manager.
Christmas at Dylan's castle inn is certainly going to be an uproar for Stephanie.
Much worse, when she returns to her apartment block, the words "You're Dead" are scrawled across her mirror. Stephanie runs again, this time in fear of neighbor and former boss Lawrence Black, nightclub owner and general sleazy type, whom she suspects of killing one of his female employees, in his apartment across the way from Stephanie's. She is right to fear Lawrence,but what she doesn't yet understand is that she has more to be terrified of than just him, including others who wanther out of the way, and her own emotions toward Dylan. Stephanie and Dylan, along with the reader, are in for a roller-coaster ride of suspense, emotions, intimacy, and general uproar!
Return to Winter reprises as secondary characters Matt and Sandy who made It Happened One Summer such a delight to read. In this volume, however, this reviewer found Stephanie a much less appealing character. Ms. Rees performs excellently at delineating Stephanie's insecurities and underlying fear of abandonment. Dylan, the hero, is also well-designed and his parents, and their separate paths, are intriguingly constructed, keeping readers' attention on that sub-plot. The plot will entice readers' notice and keep all guessing. Kudos to Lynette Rees for her ability to twist the plot around unexpected corners and deliver constant reader surprises.
Annie ~ Euro-Reviews
I walked quickly up the road only to discover it was Milly [Danny's mother] who was out. I was so annoyed with Colin as I realised he had left the back door open [he's always doing that].
My neighbour apologised and I told her not to worry as if she hadn't called me we could have had two missing dogs on our hands.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
http://www.doglost.co.uk/ who phoned me this morning for more details and a pic of Danny.
They have posted up the details and created a poster for helpers to display:
I'd be over the moon if I got my little boy back. It really helps to know there are other dog lovers out there supporting me.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Since then I have been feeling worse and worse. Today I am particularly bad. My son and I had a talk last night and we both concluded that the unthinkable has happened, I don't want to even say it here.
Everywhere I go, whatever I do, I am reminded of Danny, it's awful. I picture him sitting on the garage steps, or lying on his favourite chair with his paws crossed.
I've been trying to register him as missing on various pet websites for about a week or so now, only some of the free ones I've joined, once I upload the details, for some reason they won't go through. A good one I found this afternoon though, charges £24.99 and they don't do much more than we've done ourselves already, such as sending posters to the vets, dog wardens, rescue shelters, etc.
Finally, I found one that worked and doesn't even charge, not that I mind paying if they do something different to what we've already done.
I just sent Danny's details off to this missing pets website along with his picture:
This is killing me.
March 9th, 2006, I saw Millie give birth to Danny, I helped wean him, I nursed him. I spent every day with him. I find myself talking to him, but he's not here anymore and it bloody hurts. It hurts like hell.
Friday, June 08, 2007
I just received a phone call and at first I thought it was someone with information about Danny, but it was the local dog warden asking if we had found him. He told me it might be worth contacting the dog warden for Rhondda Cynon Taf. We are living near the Aberdare mountain, so Danny may have gone over that way.
I rang their offices and someone asked the dog warden over there. It doesn't sound as if they have him, although, I did explain that although he is a Border Collie, he doesn't particularly look like one. They told me the dog pound is open tomorrow morning between 10 and 12, so it might be worth a visit.
Well it's been one week since Danny went missing and we are still no closer to finding him. We've done just about as much as we can to find him. Most of the week on and off I have been in floods of tears. I was okay yesterday, but today, now it's a week later, it really brings it home to me.
This time last week, I went into work a little later than usual, so I had time to walk the dogs before I left, instead of asking someone else to do it. Danny was still here then. I took the three of them over the tip and we played with the ball. He wasn't quite as quick as the other two at getting it, so I tried to make sure I threw it in his direction so he got a chance to bring it back to me.
When I returned from work that day, I brought their usual Friday treat for them. I had got into the habit of buying them a little something from the pet section in Wilksons every week. There are two bone sort of dental sticks in each pack and I would buy two. The other dogs took their time over theirs, but Danny always ate his so fast, that I would end up giving him the extra one as well.
It's strange, that I had been thinking how happy and lucky I was to have three great dogs. One of my neighbours had only commented a few days before how healthy the three of them looked. How was I to know when I went to bed that night, leaving my husband to walk them, it would the last time I would ever see Danny?
I feel in my heart, and I have felt this from the first hour he went missing, that I will never see him again. I hope I am proved wrong.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
The local farmer has been informed and the country ranger. So we are doing all we can. It's awful without him. It got me thinking to how the bereaved feel when a loved one has died. I can quite relate to addressing him and realising he is no longer here, and to constantly looking for him around the house. I just keep hoping when I wake up in the morning, he will be sitting outside the front door as if nothing has happened. If he shows up, he is going to have the longest hug ever and the biggest meal he has had in his life!
My daughter made up a poster:
Danny went missing in the vicinity of Gethin Woods [near the bridge at the rear of Anthony Grove], at around 11.00 p.m. on Friday 1st of June 2007.
Danny is 15 months old and very friendly. He is quite slim, short haired and his coat is mainly black. He has very distinctive ears - his left ear points upwards and his right ear is floppy.
If you have any information regarding Danny, please contact:
01685 373073 / 07891596350
There is a £100.00 reward for Danny's safe return.