Heaven Calling – Part 8 #Fiction #RomCom #WomensFiction


Welcome to my weekly blog series – Heaven Calling

This is the final part in this series, so I hope you enjoy it.


Camilla’s enjoyment of heaven life came to an abrupt end after she discovered her husband Gerry was dating back on Earth. He’d spent two years grieving her but in Camilla’s eyes this was not long enough.

With her own team of angel assistants; Anna and Gabriel, some soothing harp music, the use of the weather and God’s help, Camilla is certain she can influence the outcome of Gerry’s dates and get him back to mourning her.

In Part 7 Camilla listened to her best friend Meg confessing strong feelings for Gerry, via the prayer hotline.

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Heaven Calling -Part 5 #Comedy #ASMSG #RomCom

Welcome to my weekly blog series – Heaven Calling. 

Out every Thursday.


Camilla’s enjoyment of heaven life came to an abrupt end after she discovered her husband Gerry was dating back on Earth. He’d spent two years grieving her but in Camilla’s eyes this was not long enough.

With her own team of angel assistants; Anna and Gabriel, some soothing harp music and God’s help, Camilla is certain she can influence the outcome of Gerry’s dates and get him back to mourning her.

Read on to see what’s going on in heaven!

Continue reading

Heaven Calling Blog Series – Part 3 #Comedy #Heaven #ComedyWriter 


Welcome to my comedy blog series – Heaven Calling.

This series is out every Thursday on BlondeWriteMore. 

For Part 1 – please click here.

For Part 2 – please click here.

Quick recap: Camilla’s enjoyment of heaven life came to an abrupt end after she discovered her husband Gerry had started dating. He’d spent two years grieving her.

Two years felt a little short to Camilla. In view of her amazing wife skills she was expecting Gerry to grieve for at least twenty years.

With her own team of angel assistants; Anna and Gabriel plus God’s help, Camilla is certain she can influence the outcome of Gerry’s dates from heaven.

Continue reading

Heaven Calling – Part 2 Fictional Series #Comedy #Marriage #Dating


Welcome to my weekly blog series – Heaven Calling.

This series is out every Thursday on BlondeWriteMore.

For part 1 please click here.

Recap: Camilla’s enjoyment of heaven life came to an abrupt end last week after she made a shocking discovery about her husband, Gerry. He’d decided to start dating after spending two years mourning her. Two years felt a little short to Camilla. In view of her amazing wife skills she was expecting Gerry to grieve for at least twenty years.

As she had a good working relationship with God and her team of angels, Camilla hoped they would be able to offer some assistance to her, in getting Gerry back to a state of mourning.

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Heaven Calling – Part 1 New Fictional Series #Comedy #Chicklit #WomensFiction



Welcome to my new weekly fictional series – Heaven Calling.  

Writing novels is hard and sometimes a writer needs to have a break. This is like a mini break for me. I miss creating a fictional blog series and getting the chance to write a new chapter each week.

This is meant to be a comedy but I am sat here wondering whether anyone will find it funny. If it tanks I will just have to write something else. Sigh.

It will be out every Thursday on BlondeWriteMore.com.

Check out part 1 below.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Camilla and Gerry.

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Author Interviews @JackieMBaldwin1 #WritersLife #author #CrimeWriter

Author Interviews-2

Welcome to my weekly blog series – Author Interviews.

These interviews give me the chance to interview some inspirational authors and glean some useful writing tips.

I am super excited as author Jackie Baldwin, Scottish crime writer and former criminal lawyer is sat on my red interview chair!

This interview is going to be special – I can feel it!

Hey Jackie, tell my readers about yourself and the book / books you have written…

Well, for most of my working life I have been a solicitor, specialising in criminal and family law which was enormously stressful at times. I later retrained as a hypnotherapist.

My debut novel, ‘Dead Man’s Prayer,’ is a police procedural set in my home town of Dumfries and featuring DI Frank Farrell, a former practising RC priest. A local priest, who was responsible for forcing Farrell out of the priesthood, is murdered. Separately, twin boys are abducted from a local nursery. The pressure is on as Farrell must delve into his own past to catch the murderer and solve the mystery behind the abductions before anyone else winds up dead.

When did you write your first book?

I started it with a blurb back in 2005.

How long did it take to write your first book?

A good few years as I have completed various drafts.

What was your motivation to write your first book?

I wanted to be a published author from the age of 7 but hadn’t done any writing at all until around 20 years ago when I started writing monologues and plays because those were the opportunities that presented locally. As for the book, I reached the stage where I felt it was now or never and made a start.

What writing issues did you encounter along the way and how did you overcome them?

I would say I have struggled with self- belief. Being published and having an editor that gets my work has helped me considerably with that.

Did you go through any bad writing patches during writing your book – what kept you going?

Yes, as indicated below, I stopped writing for 3 years. The reason I persisted with the book was because I had become attached to my characters and felt like it would be a kind of death for them never to exist outside my own head and be introduced to other people.

Are you a plotter or do you just write / see what happens?

I would say I’m a plotter because winging it would make me feel too insecure. My plotting isn’t set in stone, however. It probably mirrors my attitude to life. I am not a madly impulsive go with the flow person. I have to plan to be spontaneous!

What is the best thing about being a writer?

Hopefully, having people connect with my characters and the problems they face so that they become as real to others as they are to me.

What is the worst thing about being a writer?

Self- promotion is very hard for me. It is something I struggle with as I am far more comfortable cheerleading for someone else. However, I feel I owe it to my editor, who has had such belief in me, to raise my head above the parapet and do my best. Before all this happened I would describe my profile as low to horizontal. I remember walking down the aisle on my wedding day and all eyes swivelled to look at me. I was horrified!

Have you ever considered quitting writing, and if so how have you worked through this?

Yes, a number of times. You suddenly catch yourself thinking that the time slogging away at the computer could be put to better use doing something else. What is the point of all this hard work when no one is ever going to read it anyway? At one point I stopped for about three years. Work was demanding. When I wasn’t working, my priority was doing things with my kids. But, for me, writing is like an itch and the desire to scratch it again became overwhelming. I sound like I had a bad attack of hives. I went along to the first year of Crime and Publishment, an annual weekend of crime writing master-classes and came home fired up to do one more massive rewrite, which I finished just before X-mas.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

Up until recently, I haven’t really had a typical writing day but I have to be a lot more disciplined now that I am writing my second DI Farrell novel. If it is a day where I am not seeing clients I get up early and go through to my study which also doubles as a consulting room therefore has a nice relaxed vibe. I throw on something comfy that can withstand enthusiastic contact with my two Retrievers and mentally superglue my bottom to the chair at my desk. I would love to say that my fingers fly over the keys of my laptop but I tend to work in fits and starts, like a car bumping along the road in the wrong gear.

Do you suffer from procrastination and if so how do you handle it?

Yes I do. If I am stuck on a thorny problem I procrastinate by making coffee and eating biscuits. I have discovered writing is terrible for the waistline! If it is an extremely thorny problem I run off to the garage and buy a large bag of sweets.

I actually love having deadlines because I think that I am programmed to respect these because of my previous background. In court work if you didn’t lodge something at court on or before 11a.m, for example, the sky would fall in!

Which is more important – plot or characters and why?

I think they are both incredibly important but for me, a story always starts with the arrival of a character rather than a plot in my head. My characters become real and it is like I overhear snatches of their conversation in my head. I would be so scared to say that to a psychiatrist!

What have been your 3 biggest learnings during your writing career?

  • Submit to every opportunity that you hear about.
  • If life gets too busy write little and often. It all mounts up. Consistency is key.
  • Never give up!

How do you manage social media as a writer?

I am on a huge learning curve with that right now. Before I got my publishing contract in mid- March I had never been on Twitter. I didn’t even post on my Facebook Page. I only interacted in one or two small closed groups. I didn’t have a Smartphone either until recently. I have a complete horror of accidentally being rude by failing to do something I don’t know that I’m meant to do. It took me ages to learn to retweet with a quote and share with a post. Doing anything on social media for the first time terrifies me. Really, we are talking rabbit caught in the headlights. I still haven’t got the whole copy a link thing and have to get help with that. I am really low tech yet love science fiction which is a bit of a paradox. On publication day, I was sitting in my dressing gown with all 3 devices pinging at me and totally panicking but I got on top of it. I was really overwhelmed by how lovely and generous people have been. I didn’t think it was possible to make friends online but I am already feeling that connection with some people I have regular contact with. It has been a revelation. This old dog is learning new tricks.

Do you have any tips or advice for budding aspiring authors?

  1. Bash through that first draft. Don’t edit as you go along. It can be polished later. Once you get all the way through the first draft you know you can go the distance and the editing can then begin.
  2. Do not give up. Commit to being in this writing game for the long haul. If you work hard and persevere you will be published.
  3. Once your book and synopsis are as good as they can be, try and let them go. You need to detach from them and start another book while the first book is being submitted. This is a case of do as I say and not as I do. I was incredibly fortunate in having my first novel published but I could have written at least another 3 books in the time I took with this one.
  4. As I am no spring chicken, I do not intend to make that mistake again. I will bury them in the garden to get closure, if necessary!
  5. Join a supportive writing group. Writing novels can be a lonely business. Not only does it make a world of difference to have a gang of writing pals to go to events with but everyone shares information about publishing opportunities.
  6. Start building an online presence. You have probably all done that already but, if you haven’t, take the plunge.

Do you suffer from writer’s block and if so how do you overcome?

I have done in the past but not so much now. I think the best way over that is to try a bit of wild writing where you take a pad of A4 paper, set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes and just write really fast without thinking about it until the timer goes off. You mustn’t think about what you are writing while you are doing it. It doesn’t matter in the slightest if it is incoherent drivel. The aim is to do it in a stream of consciousness way so that your internal critic/editor is switched off. The first time I experienced this at a writing group I had had a really bad day at work and when the timer went off I was shocked to discover I had written a really violent short story where someone was stabbed through the eye. It was not something I would consciously write.

Do you ever think of the next book whilst writing?

I think when you are writing a series character, you have to look ahead. However, now that I can’t tinker with this one anymore, it is as though my mind is more receptive again. I have a few different books simmering away on the stove.

What do you wear to write?

Usually something unspeakably horrible that I’d be black affronted to answer the door in.

If readers want to get in touch how do they contact you?

I am on Twitter @JackieMBaldwin1

I also have an author Facebook page (currently wildly out of control and needing some posts but I’m going to be sorting that out in the next couple of days)  at Jackie Baldwin Author.

Thank you Jackie – fab interview. 

Here are some things I am taking from this interview:

  • I loved how you became attached to one of your characters and felt like it would be a death for them to never exist outside your own head. 
  • I can relate to self promotion being  struggle. Sigh!
  • There is this wonderful sense of grit and determination from you, which comes across in this interview – this ‘never give up’ motto. Love it!
  • I can also relate to the urge to write being like an itch – yes yes yes!
  • Your writing tips for aspiring authors are really fab and deserve to be in own their blog post!

Thank you for sharing these answers with me and the readers of BlondeWriteMore. 

Good luck with the book and the blog tour!




photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/79577679@N00/5448848999″>the chair in the attic</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The Diary of Roxy Collins – OMG He’s a Rat #romance #chicklit #MondayBlogs






8.45 A.M. Two things have come into my life; my ex-boyfriend Dan and my youngest son Toby’s new pet rat ‘Bob’.

I can’t say I am happy with the arrival of Bob and I can’t say my landlord Brian is thrilled either. However Bob has stopped Toby talking to his imaginary friend Malcolm. Big sigh of relief!

Brian, my 67 year old landlord, clutched his chest and went an odd grey colour at the sight of Toby’s new pet. I had no other choice but to leap into action and manoeuvre Brian out of the house before he thought too much about Bob. I promised him that Bob the rat will be properly cared for and will never be left unattended to roam free around the house.

Brian staggered off down the path muttering and shaking his head.

Just listening to Toby chat away to Bob in his cage. Its great for kids to have pets. Sigh!

8.47 A.M. I need to get a wriggle on and pack my overnight  case.

I am back with my ex Dan.

Jake and I were not really suited to each other. He seemed petrified of me the whole time. I never understood why. Dan is not scared. He likes my kind of crazy!

Dan is taking me away for the night to a fancy hotel. It is a chance for us to celebrate getting back together. Shaz, my best mate, says second time around relationships are great.

I am a bit nervous. I don’t know why but I always end up getting into some sort of drama at fancy hotels. In the past I have avoided them. Rob, my ex, refused to take me to a nice hotel as he said I would end up causing a scene.

Mystic Clive, my favourite astrologer, told me that I had to take a risk this week so I accepted Dan’s gift of a night away with him in a fancy hotel.

10.15 A.M. Still not packed my overnight case. Its lying open on the kitchen table, half full with an assortment of clothes and underwear. I can’t decide what to wear for a posh dinner in a fancy hotel so I am packing at least 4 outfits. Decision will be made later.

Arguing with Matilda, my teenage daughter, about her choice of outfit to the local shopping centre with her friends.

‘It looks like a belt [her skirt] Matilda!’ I shriek pointing in horror at the miniscule strip of denim around her waist.

‘Mam its called fashion!’ Matilda yells back at me.

‘You are NOT wearing THAT and those HUGE heels – NO!’ I scream back at her.

‘I HATE YOU RIGHT NOW!’ screeches Matilda.

‘Mam’ says Toby tugging at my arm.

‘Not now Toby’ I say striding after Matilda who is tottering towards the front door.

‘COME BACK HERE!’ I scream at her as she gives me a wink and opens the door.

‘Mam!’ urges Toby.

‘What?’ I snap, still glaring at Matilda.

‘Bob’s gone missing’ whispers Toby.

10.17 A.M. Time grinds to a halt as I flick my head to stare in horror at Toby.

‘Better dash Mam!’ says Matilda seizing her opportunity and slipping out of the door.

‘You promised me he wouldn’t escape’ I say to my nine year old.

‘He was anxious and needed a cuddle’ says Toby.

‘Toby he’s a RAT!’ I scream, ‘rats don’t suffer with anxiety!’

Speaking of anxiety here comes Brian, my landlord, up the path. OMG!

10.19 A.M. Brian has come to fix the loo.

‘How’s the pet Toby?’ he asks as he starts to climb the stairs.

‘He’s asleep in his cage’ I say quickly.

10.23 A.M. Toby and I are on our hands and knees searching the conservatory, whilst calling ‘Bob!’

10.32 A.M. Brian, the landlord wants to see Bob in his cage in the conservatory. My whole body is trembling. If he finds out there is a rat loose in the house the kids and I could be finding another place to rent.

Time for Roxy the actress to make an appearance!

‘Oh Brian I don’t feel very well’ I say putting my hand to my forehead.

‘You do look a bit peaky’ says Brian looking concerned.

‘Think I need to sit down’ I say slumping into a chair, whilst praying Brian will leave the kitchen and not go out into the conservatory to see the empty cage.

I place my head in my hands for maximum impact.

‘Good grief – what is that?’ exclaims Brian.

I can feel the blood drain from my face as I lift my head up, half expecting him to have found Bob the rat in the kitchen.

Brian is stood clutching his chest, looking an odd shade of grey and staring at my overnight case.

To my relief its just my choice of underwear hanging out of the case.

For the second time in a week I quietly manoeuvre my landlord out of my house and watch him walk down the path muttering and shaking his head.

11.10 A.M  Brian has left. We still haven’t found Bob the rat.

Toby is crying at the kitchen table.

Harry my other son is on the floor in the kitchen, waving bits of lettuce and shouting ‘BOB!’

2.00 P.M. Still no sign of Bob the rat.

We have been around the house shouting ‘Bob’. I haven’t even had chance to question whether rats answer to their name.

Toby and Harry are being led away snivelling by their father Rob.

3.00 P.M. Dan is outside in the car. I am off for a fancy night in a hotel.

As we pass Brian in his garden I give him a little wave and he looks away.

4.00 P.M. Whilst Dan is getting our room key I decide to head for the bar. I need a little glass of wine to take the edge off my frazzled mental state.

It has been an emotional day with Matilda’s skirt choices and the disappearance of Bob the rat.

I am also worried about my night in this beautiful hotel. It seems far too posh for me and there is always drama where I am concerned.

If anything goes wrong I will blame Mystic Clive.

4.10 P.M. Dan has joined me in the hotel bar. He gives me a kiss on the cheek and asks me whether there is anything wrong.

I explain that things never go right for me in posh hotels. Dan gives me a cuddle and tells me that we will have a wonderful night.

4.15 P.M. My phone bleeps. Its Rob, my ex, telling me that Toby is inconsolable about Bob the rat.

Here comes the mother guilt. I am sat drinking wine with handsome man whilst youngest son is having a breakdown about a lost pet!’

7.23 P.M. Doing my makeup in our hotel room. Dan has already commented how beautiful I look in my dress. He looks very handsome too.

I am stood in the bathroom trying to recreate Kim Kardashian’s contouring look but failing miserably.

‘Good grief what is that?’ screeches Dan from the bedroom.

I groan. What is it with men and my choice of underwear?

Why can’t a girl (woman in her thirties) have nice….colourful…tiny underwear garments?

I drop my makeup brush and race out of the bathroom. Dan is stood white faced by the door.

My eyes fall upon Bob the rat, sticking up out of my case and sniffing the air.

‘OMG it’s BOB!’ I scream!

‘What?? You know the RAT sticking it’s head out of your knickers ROXY?’ shrieks Dan.

I blame Mystic Clive for everything.


For more Roxy please click here


Tina’s Writer Diary – The Book Club #writers #comedy






1.45 p.m. There are 12,700 words left to write on my new novel ‘Beautiful & Kidnapped’.

The end of my book is proving a struggle for my new assistant, Beryl who, once again, is staring out of the window, as opposed to hammering out the final scenes of my book.

As I furiously post arty images on Instagram of an empty wooden chair with some rope on it (a cunning plan of mine to wet reader’s appetites for ‘Beautiful & Kidnapped’) I can’t help but cast some angry looks across the room at Beryl.

My phone bleeps. It is a text from Pamela, my partner Keith’s mother. She wants to remind me that I am due to attend her Book Club evening tonight.

‘Thx but I may have to take a rain check as I am busy finishing my book’ I text back. I like to keep Pamela on her toes.

‘You mean Beryl is finishing your book!’ texts back Pamela, making me prickle with agitation.

‘I didn’t enjoy this month’s book ‘Ghost Romance’ I text back. It is a lie, as I thoroughly enjoyed it and even gave some thought to writing something from the paranormal literary genre next. Pamela may stop pestering me if she knows the book did not appeal to me.

‘Keith told me you thought it was a quality piece of literature and plan to write the next ‘Sixth Sense’ when Beryl has finished writing your book!  texts Pamela, making me groan.

‘Yes – I will see how things go with my writing tonight!’ I text back, refusing to be controlled by Pamela.

My phone bleeps. ‘It would be good to have a proper author at my Book Club, you can show off your literary skills!’

‘Will be there at 7.20! Thx’  I reply with a huge smile on my face.

4.01 p.m. Beryl has gone home and left me with 12,000 words still to do. I am questioning her commitment to the role of assistant and I am worried ‘Beatiful & Kidnapped’ may not end up the quality piece of literature that I wanted.

7.23 p.m. I have entered Pamela’s lounge to join her Book Club.

7.30 p.m. Pamela is smiling at all the Book Club attendees.  I survey the room.

In the corner arm chair sits Hilary, an anxious looking woman with a bizarre perm. Perched on a chair is Ivy, a large woman with a penchant for interesting knitwear. Today’s jumper has a huge book emblem on the front of it. On the sofa there is Jacky, a small shrew like woman married to a man called Rick who doesn’t talk much and Margo, the long suffering wife of a philandering fishmonger.

“Right then Book Club ladies, have you all read the book Ghost Romance?” Pamela asks, smiling sweetly at all of us.

We all nod at her like obedient dogs.

“Ok, lets begin our book review!” announces Pamela, gesturing for everyone to take a wine glass from the tray.

“Tina, as our real life author do you want to say anything before we kick off the literary debate?” asks Pamela.

I am about to urge the members of the Book Club for intellectual literary observations on Ghost Romance when Hilary interrupts me. “You still writing Tina after your unsuccessful political thriller?” she asks with a look of concern.

“Yes I am just finishing my new book” I say proudly.

“At least you have that fancy office job in town” says Hilary, placing a reassuring hand on my shoulder.

“I jacked in my fancy office job months ago. I am now a full-time writer” I say, ignoring her jaw dropping expression.

Sensing trouble Pamela leaps into action. “Right then, what did we all think of Ghost Romance?” she asks, scanning the room.

“I liked the book!” exclaims Ivy, kicking the session off. Pamela rewards her by topping up her glass with wine.

“I wish my husband was a ghost” mutters Margo, shaking her head with a gloomy expression.

“Oh Margo you can’t mean that!” exclaims Hilary with a look of concern and turning towards Margo.

“Has he been cheating again?” asks Pamela, leaning over to pour Margo a glass of wine.

Margo nods and everyone casts her a sympathetic look. “She’s in her twenties!” says Margo, making everyone gasp.

Margo’s husband is in his fifties so this nugget of info has just made the  Book Club a lot more interesting.

“Is it someone he works with?” Jacky asks, before thanking Pamela for filling her wine glass.

Margo grimaces and then nods. “She works in the Fish & Chip shop next door where he works. Apparently she made a pass at him during his lunch hour, whilst waiting for his chips to cook”.

“I can see why you wish he was a ghost!” murmurs Pamela.

An awkward silence descends upon the Book Club Ladies.

“In the book I thought the ghost was quite attractive” explains Ivy, bringing focus back to the Book Club.

“Oh I agree!” I say, recalling the handsome ghost that the lead female character fell for.

“I don’t know why the author kept mentioning his cold lips” says Hilary, shaking her head of tiny tight curls.

“He’s dead Hilary. His lips are not going to be warm!” argues Ivy, smoothing out her book jumper.

“My husband’s lips are cold and he’s sadly still alive” says Margo, hanging her head.

We all give Margo a sympathetic look and secretly wonder whether her husband’s Fish & Chip shop girl finds his lips cold.

8.33 p.m. The wine is flowing and the book has sparked a lively debate.

Ivy started it by asking  “how do you all feel about the idea of falling in love with a ghost?”

“Oh yes! The ghost would have more to say than my husband Rick!” squeals Jacky with a flushed face and sparkling eyes.

“Can you imagine if the ghost looked as good as the one in the book?” cackles Pamela.

Margo opens another bottle of wine.

10.05 p.m. We are all slumped in our chairs with huge grins on our faces. Margo keeps hiccuping and Jacky is snoring gently.

10.34 p.m. Keith arrives to give me a lift home. He looks bewildered at the state of all of us staggering out of Pamela’s house.

“What have you all been doing?” he asks with a look of horror.

“Debating quality literature” I say, with a slurred voice. “Now get me home I need to finish my novel!”


photo credit: Stocksnap

Tina’s Writer Diary – The Writing Retreat #Writer #comedy





9.23 a.m. Keith, my partner, knows which of my literary buttons to press to get me going.

One of Keith’s mother’s friends has a cottage by the sea, which she occasionally rents out for free to family and friends.

On Sunday Keith suggested that I should go away for a few days, on my own, and finish writing my book ‘Beautiful & Kidnapped’.

I shrieked with joy at the prospect of finally becoming a proper author, who locks themselves away in an idyllic place to finish their novel. All the big literary names do this.

Unable to control my euphoria I leapt up from my chair and launched myself into the air at Keith, lying on the sofa.

After spending a couple of hours at the Accident & Emergency department of our local hospital and hearing a medical professional reassure Keith that his back wasn’t broken, we returned home to give his idea some thought.

Keith made a few phone calls, to his mother Pamela and then to Sandra, the woman who owns the cottage. It was agreed that I would travel down on Thursday and come back Monday, with a completed novel.

I spent the rest of Sunday wandering about in a daze visualising what it was going to be like waking up in my cottage, throwing open the window shutters, greeting the world, bursting into a joyful song and then settling down to write… twenty four thousand words in four days.

The rest of the week has been spent compiling my ‘to do’ list, whilst away at the cottage.

Keith was surprised to see that I was making a ‘to do’ list.

“Do you not think writing twenty thousand words in four days is going to be enough love?” he asked, whilst devouring his Turkey burger.

I shook my head and carried on scribbling.

“What’s on your ‘to do’ list then?” he asked, before taking a huge bite of his burger.

“Write some amazing posts for my blog, which will make out I am a writer who lives and writes by the sea, collect shells, take some arty Instagram photos using the shells and do a night-time skinny dip!”

Keith choked on his Turkey burger. He knew that I meant literary business with this trip.

So, I am on the road.

Keith and I had a tearful goodbye before I left. He was unusually emotional with me going away, however was quick to pack my car and usher me into the driving seat. He even packed my car with fizzy drinks and chocolate, as he knows that I produce my best literary work whilst high on E numbers and sugar.

11.34 a.m. Arrive at cottage, which is in the middle of a quaint seaside town. I leap out of my car breathless and excited.

Wave hello to the neighbours Mr & Mrs Jones, sat out in deck chairs on their front lawn.

“I am a writer!” I cry out. They give me a nod and mutter something to each other. Word has got round that the author of ‘Intrigue at No.10 Downing Street’ is going to be staying here.

2.56 p.m. Have only written 234 words since I arrived. It is not easy being sat next to an open window, with a busy beach in view.

I am also struggling with my main character Vivian, the beautiful one who gets kidnapped.

Vivian’s a bit dull, sat in that attic all day, with nothing much to think about. I need her to be missing something from her previous life. So far she’s been longing for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Something tells me that a quality piece of literature needs to contain deeper characters. As I gaze out of the window I get a flash of inspiration.  Vivian could have a spiritual connection with the sea.

OMG a connection with the sea! Now that’s deep! Yes – Vivian could be into fishing or even a …surfer!  Gasp!

3.01 p.m. Spend the rest of the day lying on the sofa, eating chocolate and watching a surfing film which I found in the DVD drawer.

Tomorrow morning on the beach I will do some more vital surfer research.


7.23 a.m. Struggle to open the wooden shutters.

8.10 a.m. Arm myself with notebook, pencil, camera and a plastic bag for shells. Hurtle across the sand towards a group of surfers.

3.34 p.m. Today has not gone well. Those surfers were not interested in answering my questions about surfing life, surfing language and surfing parties. They were all desperate to get into the water.

No one wanted to talk to me so I plodded home carrying a bag of shells.

Out of literary despair came a new plan. I will just ‘wing it’ with writing about Vivian’s surfing passion. All the big literary names must resort to this. How hard can it be to write about the joy of surfing when you haven’t surfed?

Have been struggling to write. It is not easy writing a literary masterpiece and at the same time taking some arty shots of some shells on a window ledge.

Some pesky teenagers have been making a racket in the road below causing me to scream ‘KEEP THE NOISE DOWN!’ three times. They continued making a noise so I took extreme measures and tipped a bucket of water out of the window. I’m sorry but a successful author needs peace and quiet to write. As they walked away cold and shivering I smiled sweetly and returned to my masterpiece.

7.34 p.m. Vivian sounds a lot more interesting locked up in that attic. It has surprised me how a load of surfing flashbacks have brightened up a dull character.

10.09 p.m. I have decided that its time for a skinny dip. This is something which has been on my life bucket list for years.

Also, the more I think about it, skinny dipping is the sort of thing carefree and sea loving Vivian would have done all the time…before she got kidnapped in a supermarket carpark by evil Frank.

10.11 p.m. The beach is dark and deserted. Under moonlight I tear off my clothes and race into the sea, squealing with delight and imagining myself to be beautiful and carefree Vivian. I love it when I transform into one of my characters.

10.34 p.m. Stagger out of sea. To my horror my clothes have gone. There is a note saying ‘thanks for the shower this afternoon! Enjoy your walk home x!’

10.55 p.m. Roger Jones and his wife Liz were locking up their French windows before retiring to bed. As Roger went to draw the curtains he saw something outside.

“Good grief Liz what is that woman next-door doing!” he exclaimed in horror.

His wife Liz followed his stare. “I knew she was peculiar the moment she stepped out of her car!”

Photo: Stocksnap


The Diary of Roxy Collins – Marcus – Part 29 #Romance #comedy






9.15 a.m. Receive a mixed reaction from the office to my new vibrant red hair colour.

Martin, my line manager, takes one look at me, grips the desk and says ‘good grief Roxy what have you done!’

The nice men on the IT helpdesk give me a thumbs up and then ask me to fake an IT problem so they can spend time with me.

The young trendy girls in the office give me a ‘OMG – cooooooool hair!’

The older women in the office cast me a puzzled look and ask me whether the colour is permanent.

If I am honest, Wayne did get carried away with the colour of my hair. I was left speecheless when he gave me the mirror.

Matilda, my teenage daughter, arrived home from her Cheerleading training session, took one look at my hair and rolled her eyes. I then overheard her, later in her room, making a YouTube video titled ‘When your mother thinks she’s 21 again’.

9.25 a.m. Marcus, my senior manager, walks past my desk and gives me a smile. The weird fluttering sensation in my chest returns.

10.05 a.m. Receive text from Matilda, my teenage daughter, asking whether she can stay over at her new boyfriend Matt’s house tonight.

I am not sure whether Matilda thinks that I am suffering from amnesia. I have been saying no to this request for months. This is not happening. She’s not staying over at a boy’s house!

I text back ‘NO!’

Text back from Matilda ‘relax Mam, it is just like a girlie sleepover but with a boy!’

I text back ‘NO!’

Text from Matilda ‘Lou [her best friend] says her Mum would let her stay over with a boy’

I text back ‘I am not Lou’s mother!’

Text from Matila ‘Matt and I both hate you!’ and eight devil emojis.

10.20 a.m. Sat in a meeting where Marcus is presenting some business statistics.

All the department are sat on chairs in rows. Some of us are listening, some are nearly asleep (Mike from Finance), some are bored rigid, some are staring out of the window and some of us are drooling at Marcus.

For some unknown reason I can’t take my eyes off him; his fitted pink shirt, his grey pin stripe trousers and his styled grey flecked hair.

10.24 a.m. He’s still talking but I have noticed the occasional glance in my direction from him.

10.25 a.m. He’s done it again. Looked at me from across the room.

I am so glad no one else  has noticed this.

I am tapped on the shoulder, from behind, by Helen from Accounts. ‘Why does Mr Hot keep staring at you?’ she whispers.

I shrug my shoulders and keep my eyes firmly fixed on Marcus.

‘Maybe he likes your new hair colour’ Helen whispers, making me nod in agreement.

‘Maybe he fancies you!’ she whispers into my ear. The idea of Marcus being attracted to me starts to take shape. I am consumed by the fluttery sensation in my chest again and I can feel my cheeks heating up.

In an instant my brain runs through how our wedding day will look and whether or not I will invite anyone from the office to the evening celebration.

‘He’s a senior manager Roxy’ Helen whispers. My fantasy starts to crack.

‘Unlucky honey – he couldn’t date you anyway in his position of authority’ she hisses.

I turn around to glare at her face which is taut and twisted.

Helen has never really moved on from the blonde surfer who broke her heart. She hates to see anyone else getting some attention from the opposite sex.

My fantasy with Marcus is broken.

He gives me a look and I smile. The daydream was nice whilst it lasted.

For the record if I did get married Helen from Accounts will not be invited to the evening celebration.

10. 34 a.m. Get back to my desk and see email from Marcus. He wants to me come to his office as he has an update for me.

10.36 a.m. As I walk towards his office my phone bleeps. I casually peek at it and gasp. Its from Shaz, my heavily pregnant best friend.

‘I have pains – think its labour’ Shaz texts.

Quickly I text back. ‘You are four weeks early. Its probably Braxton-Hicks’

‘It hurts’ texts Shaz. She also includes eight crying emojis.

‘How many Snickers bars have you had?’ I text back.

‘Ten – why?’ texts Shaz.

‘Stop eating Snickers bars!’ I text back.

‘Are you still going to be my birthing partner?’ texts Shaz.

‘Yes – always – get some rest!’ I text back.

10. 37 a.m. I sit opposite Marcus and I can’t stop the fluttering sensation in my chest. It must be my breakfast repeating on me.

As he is on the phone I check my bag for some indigestion tablets. I don’t have any so I pop a mint.

10. 50 a.m. He finally puts down his phone and holds my gaze.

‘Roxy’ he says in his sexy smooth voice. I notice that his sea blue eyes are not sparkling today.

‘I am leaving the company’ he announces.

My heart sinks.

For a moment we both sit and stare at each other.

My phone starts ringing.

I let my phone ring. A lump has risen in my throat. I am actually sad to hear Marcus’s news.

‘There will be a formal briefing later. I wanted to tell you myself’ he says, breaking eye contact and shuffling some folders around his desk.

My phone starts ringing again from inside my handbag.

‘I am so sorry Marcus’ I say, trying not to cry. It is not good for your career to cry when a senior manager says they are leaving. All emotion must be kept to a minimum. I just hope I am not asked to sign his leaving card. I struggle with writing comments on leaving cards as my emotions run wild. I have been known to give people the wrong impression. Kevin from Accounts, who left the company, still thinks there is something between us six years on.

My phone will not stop ringing.

‘I think it is my daughter calling to tell me she hates me’ I moan, praying that whoever it decides to stop calling. I just hope Matilda has not taken it upon herself to accept Matt’s invitation of a sleep over and is now calling to tell me.

It will not be the first time that I have to physically remove her from a boy’s house. These teenage years are really hard.

Matilda seems to be a magnet for boys. I think we need to have a mother and daughter heart to heart.

‘i just wanted to say….’ he pauses. He takes a breath and looks away.

‘I will miss you’ the words fly out of my mouth and take me by surprise. I do struggle when my brain and mouth decide to disconnect.

His eyes widen and I watch his mouth fall open.

My phone is ringing. This has to be an emergency. I just hope Matilda is not over at Matt’s house having her own version of a sleepover…during the day.

I check the screen. Its Shaz. Quickly I answer it.

‘I need to go to the hospital Roxy, the pain is really bad’ groans Shaz.

‘Marcus’ I say. ‘I have to go, my best friend thinks she’s in labour and I am her birthing partner’

Marcus looks shocked and runs his hand through his grey flecked hair.

‘Isn’t the father about?’ he enquires.

‘Sadly not, he doesn’t want anything to do with her. It is a long story. He’s a postman’ I explain.

‘Do you have a car?’ he asks.

I shake my head. ‘I will get a taxi’ I say reaching for my purse.

‘Let me help you’ he says, rising from his chair and grabbing his jacket.

Now it is my turn to be shocked.

‘But you are the senior manager’ I say grabbing my bag.

‘I am leaving Roxy’ he says, whilst giving me a huge smile.

11.30 a.m. Marcus is driving at pace through town and towards the hospital.

Shaz and I are in the back of his Jaguar. I am holding Shaz’s hand whilst she groans and mumbles ‘Snickers bar….someone get me a Snickers Bar…help me!’

He keeps catching my eye in the mirror.

I am nervous for Shaz but I am consumed once again by this fluttery feeling.

11.40 a.m. Marcus and I are pushing Shaz in a wheelchair, up to the Maternity section of the hospital.

‘You didn’t have to do this!’ I shout as we race along.

‘I like rescuing you Roxy’ he says and turns to look at me.

We both stop pushing the wheel chair and stare at each other.

The world around us seems to stop.

All I can hear is the thudding of my heart.

‘Really?’ I ask.

‘That’s all I want to do’ he says, holding my gaze.

‘OMG Roxy I am in labour and you are on the bloody pull!’ shrieks Shaz.