The Far Reach of Fifty Shades
I thought I would share with you all, a rather amusing story that I heard in work the other day.
Whilst a work colleague waited in line at our local Post Office, a lady in front of him went up to the counter.
“How much would it cost to send a parcel to Zimbabwe?” asked the lady.
“It would depend on the size and weight of the parcel,” answered the clerk. “What is it you want to send?”
“Okay, are they paperback or hardbacks?” she then asked .
“I have them with me,” said the lady.
“Okay! If you set them on the scales, I should be able to give you an idea of how much it would cost.”
The lady proceeded to set her bundle of five books on the scales. Whilst three of the book spines were facing the clerk, two of them were facing the people in the cue. Much to my colleagues surprise, the two books were Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker.
How wonderfully refreshing it is to know, that ladies all over the world enjoy a good erotic romance.
At the weekend, my husband and I treated ourselves to a short weekend break in County Donegal.
We have both lived in Ireland all our lives and sadly have to admit there is still a lot of our beautiful country that we haven’t seen.
As I’ve mentioned before, I am a bit of an afternoon tea fan and anytime we are away, we usually try to find somewhere that serves it. While searching through local places to visit, we came across the café attached to Glenveagh Castle. If you ever find yourself in Ireland, go see the castle, it is well worth the visit.
The castle which was originally built as a hunting lodge in the 19th Century is located within the vast grounds of Glenveagh National Park. Over the years, it has had a number of owners but the most notable have all been American.
Under the ownership of Henry Plumer McIlhenny – the third and final owner, the house saw many famous visitors, including the actors Greta Garbo, Clarke Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Rosemary Clooney and Marilyn Monroe. The famous American violinist Yeheudi Menuin was also a guest (the locals having difficulty pronouncing his name referred to him as Hugh McMinn).
Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures of the inside 🙁 but if you click here, it should take you to a number of images of the interior of the castle. The room with the pale blue walls was the room Greta Garbo stayed in, when she visited during the summer months.
As well as the amazing castle, the gardens that surround it are spectacular and the tea house which was what lead us to the venue, serves delicious scones and cakes, yummm!
I think I will definitely have to use this magical venue in a future book.
A Big Thank You
Firstly, a very Happy New Year to you all. I know I’m a bit late but you know what they say, better late than never.
Now that our lives have returned to some semblance of normality, I would like to this opportunity to thank all those people who offered support and kind words in what was probably one of the most difficult times of my life.
Special thanks have to go to my fellow authors, Vanessa Brooks and Carole Archer and to two lovely ladies Carol and Kat. All these wonderful people kept me going with encouraing emails, letting me know that I was in their thoughts.
Just before things went pear shaped, I had successfully found another publisher to take ‘A Legal Education’ and was about to start the editing phase. I have since checked with them that they were still interesed and I am happy to report that this is the case. So very shortly I will begin the editing process.
Best Christmas Present Ever!!!
I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and like myself are enjoying a few days well earned, time off work.
Now as I mentioned in the title, this Christmas I got the best Christmas present I have ever received and am every likely to receive. As you know, in August my husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma. This was a devastating shock as it seemed to come out of nowhere.
Following six cycles of chemo therapy every two weeks which he took surprisingly well, he had to wait a further six weeks for the chemo to leave his body before he could have his scan. So six weeks to the day after his last chemo, we made the journey into Belfast, to the Royal Victoria Hospital to have it done.
One week later on 22 December, we attended Antrim Hospital to meet with the consultant to get the results. We had to wait an nerve wrecking hour in the waiting area (because they were running behind), before we got to see him. We both sat down on the chairs in his office and he asked my husband how he was, while he scanned in the barcode on his file, to pull up his information. While he looked through the results of the scan, my husband and I squeezed each others hands tightly, waiting to hear the results that would determine what kind of Christmas we would have. Well, I am delighted to report that the scan came back clear and he is now in remission. As I’ve mentioned before,
Best Christmas Present Ever!!!
I know it has been a while since I last did a post but I promise I have a very good reason.
In late July my husband was admitted to hospital with what they thought was an abscess in his upper thigh. Following a short stay and surgery to drain it, at which biopsies were taken, he was discharged from hospital. A week later, he was readmitted as it appeared that the abscess had filled again.
This time dermatology were brought on board and a different diagnosis was discussed. Just when we thought we were getting somewhere, another department was brought on board, Haematology. As I lost my mum to Leukaemia, the Haematology Department were people I was quite familiar with and alarm bells started to go off in my head.
My worst fears were confirmed whenever my husband was given a diagnosis of Cancer (Aniplastic Large Cell Lymphoma). Whenever you hear the words Cancer the next thing you want to hear is Stage 1 and early.
I was devastated with the news and so frightened that I was going to loose him that my sister had to come stay with me (I really don’t know how I would have coped without her). She had to continually drum into my head that he was going to be okay and even now I am still so worried.
A week after his diagnosis, he had his first Chemotherapy in the hospital and two days later I got him home. It was a very emotional time for us both. I can honestly say that I can count on one hand the times we have been apart in our 19 years of marriage, so simple things like being able to say goodnight face to face rather than by text were wonderful.
He has been exceptionally lucky with the Chemo, other than the inevitable hair loss, he has escaped the side effects rightly. A grumbly tummy and a little fatigue are the height of his symptoms. In fact because he has been tolerating the Chemo so well, he has been able to have the cycles every 2 weeks instead of the usual 3 weekly.
This coming Thursday is the final in his planned 6 cycles and depending on whether or not he has to have Radiotherapy, 6 weeks after that he will have a scan to determine whether or not the Chemo has been successful.
Today is our wedding anniversary and I hope to have many, many more with him.
I promise I’ll keep you posted once I have more news.
Hyperion Legacy Update!
Just a quick update! The Hyperion Legacy books have disappeared for a short spell, while they get a much needed re-vamp. As well as receiving new covers, titles and blurbs, we will get the chance to fix all those annoying little errors that escaped our attention the first time.
In the meantime, I am busy working my way through the third book in the series which I hope will be released later this year.
I promise I will keep you informed of any updates whenever they are available.
Mount Stewart House
Over the weekend, we had friends to stay and among the many activities we did together, my favourite by far, was a visit to one of the local stately homes.
Mount Stewart is an 19th-century house and garden located in County Down, Northern Ireland. It was once the summer retreat for the 7th Marquess of Londonderry and his wife Edith. Although the National Trust now own the property, Lady Rose Lauritzen, the great granddaughter of the 7th Marquess still resides there 6 months of the year.
Having had £7.5million invested in it by the National Trust, it has been restored to it’s former glory.
The entrance to the
just one of the many amazing gardens
designed by Lady Londonderry herself
The above lobby was my inspiration for Blackstock’s Demesne
in the Hyperion Legacy Book 2
Mount Stewart saw many famous visitors over the year, including guests like WB Yeats and Prime Ministers’ Neville Chamberlain and Ramsay McDonald.
Opposite is a sample dinner menu, written in French (because all the best menus then were).
This is just one of the many magnificent pieces on display
Somehow, against this travel vanity case, my wash bag seems quite pathetic
The Spanish Garden
Another of Lady Londonderry’s beautiful gardens
Our visit to Mount Stewart has given me great food for thought while I work on Book 3, especially the amazing gardens. Before I go, I thought I would leave you with pictures of some beautiful roses that I came across in my tour.
The Barbarian & the Princess
In case your wondering, no this isn’t the title of my latest book, it is instead a miniature wargaming figure that I thought I would share with you.
On one of the many hobby sites my husband follows, he stumbled across this little gem and shared it with me.
The sculpted figure which is approximately 7cm high, is entitled “The Barbarian & the Princess”. It comes as un-painted figure but the individual who has beautifully painted this one as you can see, has added a little blush to the princess’s cheeks.
Now what do you think has happened to cause those reddened cheeks? I know what I’m thinking.
Familiarity or ESP?
My husband and I have been married for over eighteen years and with that has come a certain amount of familiarity.
For some time now we’ve become very aware, that on a regularly basis, one of us will say what the other is thinking. Some things are very obvious and it is easy to see how we both came to that line of thinking but others are so completely random that neither of us can come up with a logical reason as to why or how this has happened.
In the past I can remember having a few drinks one evening and my husband didn’t but the next day he woke up with a horrible hangover. I have had a similar experience with period cramps too. I had it pain free and he was doubled over in pain. With the possibility of pain transference I think my husband is probably relieved that we didn’t have any children.
So my question is, are we just so familiar with each other that it seems that we have ESP, or is there something more interesting at work?
P.S. I promise that I am still writing and I will share with you soon, my latest work in progress. So please do drop by again.
Hero’s come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. The movies are filled with them. Let’s face, who doesn’t love Captain America [Sigh]?
In these epic adventures they arrive in the nick of time to save the damsel in distress from some calamity, that is often man made or in a lot of cases self made.
Now everyone who knows me will know that I don’t like creepy crawlies and at the top of that list comes spiders. I can remember being prepared to sleep out in the hall as a teenager because there was a spider in my room. Thankfully on this occasion my sister very kindly allowed me to sleep in her room with her.
In our house we have two glasses which permanently reside on our window sill (in case we get more than one spider at a time, if we get three, we are royally screwed). Any normal person walking into their house and seeing a glass upside down in the middle of the floor would probably be asking “What the heck?”. In our house, my husband doesn’t even bat an eyelid. He’ll just find me, wherever I am and say one word.
“Spider?” Once he has confirmation he will put the beastie out.
Now, last night I was awakened with a sore back. After tossing and turning for a while, I decided to get up and get some pain killers. I went into our kitchen acquired the tablets and took them. Walking back through the living room on my way back to bed, much to my shock, there was this enormous spider (my husband will tell you it wasn’t that big but in my world, it was huge) blocking my path. To make matters worse, it was between me and the special spider catching glasses.
I tried calling him but having had a pretty stressful day, which is another story, I didn’t get any reply. What could I do, I was desperate and if I continued to shout for him, I probably would have awakened the next door neighbour too? In my moment of blind panic, I forgot that our phones had an internal dialling function. Grabbing the phone which thankfully was on my side of the room and not the monster spider’s side, I called him. Having had an emergency phone call at 6:30am the previous morning, I’m sure that the sound of another call at 2:30am was not a nice thing to be woken by.
Anyway, he answered the phone and in a panicked voice, I quickly told him my predicament. He came down the stairs to find me perched on the end of the settee with my feet tucked up below me (I was terrified that he would walk through the door and startle it and it would then run in my direction). Well apparently not even a man over 6ft tall could startle this spider as it didn’t move. Calmly as ever, he lifted one of the glasses and popped it over the spider and using a handy piece of card, slipped it under the glass and transported “Syliva” (he’s started naming them all) to the next door neighbour’s garden. Crisis averted it was now safe to go to bed.
I know that in the grand scheme of things, what my husband did would not be seen as particularly heroic but in my little world, he is my hero.
Love you honey,