Confessions of a Take That fan

I remember listening to ‘It Only Takes A Minute’ on repeat in my bedroom. I was just at the start of the longest crush of my life. Soon, posters started appearing in that same room, covering every surface including the ceiling and even around my window ledge.

I had t-shirts, necklaces, books, stickers, scrapbooks, videos… I went to concerts and nearly wept just knowing that I was breathing the same air as Gary, Robbie, Mark, Howard and Jason. I was crazy for them. I knew every lyric. I thought about them all the time.

Then I matured a little. When they split up, I didn’t cry (honest). I did get excited when TT got back together and I’ve seen them several times as an adult (albeit I screamed just a little less than I did in the ’90s and didn’t get quite so giddy).

But I grew up a bit more, and got a life, and although I still adore Take That (as a 5-piece, or 3-piece or as solo artists), I’d say my fandom is now rather healthy. I love them, but I’m not obsessed.

So, sound familiar? Did you have a teen crush that you still admire?

Well, so did Ellen, the heroine in my new book.

The Truth About EllenFour Ape were the band she adored as a teen, and she particularly had a thing for gorgeous Jasper Ryan. When the band split up and went their own ways, she continued to follow Jasper’s solo career. One day, age 21, she even followed him all the way to his hotel room.

Now, she’s 28 and to her utter delight she meets Tom, another band member. They start dating but Ellen decides not to tell him she was a huge Four Ape fan. Or that she’s spent an evening with his ex-band-mate/ex-best-friend. He doesn’t need to know, right?

But then Jasper comes back into Tom’s life and the truth about Ellen could potentially ruin everything she’s ever dreamed of…

The Truth About Ellen is released on 19 May 2015 :)

The Truth About Ellen – my new chick lit novel

My next book The Truth About Ellen is released next month, hurrah!

So, what’s it all about, I keep being asked. Well, that’s what I’m here to tell you…

Ellen became a fan of the pop/rock band Four Ape when she was 13. She went crazy for the band, saw them in concert and plastered posters of them all over her bedroom wall. Jasper Ryan, the lead singer, was her favourite and she had a huge crush on him.

When she was 18, the band split up and Jasper launched a huge solo career which Ellen continued to follow. She even got to meet and spend an evening with him… but that was a long time ago.

Now Ellen is 28, and she meets another band member – Tom the bass guitarist – during a weekend away. It doesn’t seem important to mention that was she is super-fan, or that she’s met Jasper before, as they’re just going to have a fling. Tom hasn’t seen Jasper in years, and surely Jasper wouldn’t remember Ellen anyway.

But when the fling turns into something more serious, Ellen wonders if Tom should’ve been told the truth from the beginning. Especially when Jasper arrives back in Tom’s life, and everything gets turned upside down.

Ellen’s living the dream, but will the truth ruin everything?

The Truth About Ellen will be released on 19th May 2015 :)

Moving house stress

So, I’ve been a bit quiet these past months; the reason being is that I’m in the process of moving house.

Life seems to have revolved around decisions, viewings, forms, packing, cleaning, yet more forms, calls to estate agents and/or lawyers, more bloody forms, cardboard box gathering, more packing, another blooming form …… then a big delay … I think there’s some light at the end of the tunnel, but wow has this been a roller-coaster of stress and ups and downs.

Also; my thought for the day – how weird is it that I’ve spent in total 20 minutes, maximum, in this house I’m about to purchase. I spent far, far longer deciding where to go on holiday last year, and that was just a fraction of the cost.

But: it’s going to be worth it. It better be.

Tomorrow I’m going to blog about my new book: The Truth About Ellen – out on 19 May. Hurrah!

Have a lovely long Easter weekend, chums!

Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes has a bit of a bad reputation, which for the most part, is pretty unfair. So here’s a blog about my hometown:

Common myths about Milton Keynes:

  1. It’s a concrete city – no way! MK has loads of parks, lakes, and more trees than any other city in Europe.
  2. It all looks the same – maybe from the road, but come and look closer, and you’ll see it’s not.
  3. Milton Keynes is boring. Nope. We’ve got indoor skiing and skydiving, night clubs, tonnes of restaurants, an amazing theatre, a football team, Europe’s longest shopping centre, water sports, museums … to name but a few.

What it does lack, I admit:

  1. A bit of character – everything is new and modern.
  2. Mountains or hills with a view … it’s pretty flat around here.
  3. Infrastructure (they’ve built all these houses but the hospital and other facilities cannot cope)

Great things about MK:

  1. You’re never more than 15 minutes away from whatever you need.
  2. It’s in the middle of the country, so it’s easy to visit London or travel north.
  3. Some amazing people live here ;)

Ramble over.

One hundred facts about me

I have stolen this idea from someone else’s blog and now I can’t remember who (apologies if it was you – great idea and thanks!)

100 facts about me:

    1. I was born in the early ’80’s
    2. in Northampton, England.
    3. My parents are Rob & Jackie,
    4. they gave me a great upbringing.
    5. Although, my first word was ‘shit’. Seriously.
    6. I’m left handed,
    7. and I love giraffes.
    8. I have a brother
    9. and his name is Dan.
    10. Plus three step-siblings,
    11. 23 first cousins,
    12. lots of in-laws, aunts, uncles,
    13. and eight nieces and nephews.
    14. I have lived in Milton Keynes my whole life.
    15. As a teen I was mostly in love with Take That
    16. and Boyzone…
    17. I know all the lyrics to ‘Let’s get ready to Rhumble’ by PJ & Duncan.
    18. I’m surprisingly unashamed of number 17.
    19. I left school age 18.
    20. Since then I’ve had some very boring, dull jobs,
    21. And a few good ones too.
    22. Right now I work in Marketing Communications,
    23. for a company that’s considered a ‘Superbrand’.
    24. I started dating Nathaniel Smith when I was 21.
    25. I married him when I was 22.
    26. He’s my best friend and
    27. I love him.
    28. I have a 14 year old step-daughter,
    29. and she wants to be a chef.
    30. She’s another of my best friends.
    31. I also love to cook,
    32. and you can find some of my favourite recipes here.
    33. I subscribe to BBC Good Food magazine.
    34. I love to walk my dog.
    35. Her name is Poppy
    36. and she’s a golden retriever.
    37. I also have a cat
    38. and her name is Amber.
    39. I am always dreaming about my next holiday.
    40. I’ve been to France several times,
    41. and the USA,
    42. Greece,
    43. Belgium,
    44. Spain,
    45. Switzerland,
    46. Italy,
    47. and a few more.
    48. My favourite place so far is the Swiss Alps
    49. or maybe the Grand Canyon.
    50. I really want to go to Austria.
    51. Last year I went to NYC,
    52. Washington, D.C.
    53. and Niagara Falls.
    54. It was a pretty awesome trip.
    55. I love yellow
    56. and purple.
    57. And my favourite foods are lobster,
    58. and crab,
    59. and good quality chocolate.
    60. I’ve met a few famous people,
    61. like Zach Braff,
    62. Ronan Keating from Boyzone,
    63. and Chris Moyles.
    64. There are more, but I don’t want to bore you.
    65. I have a microprolactinoma.
    66. I love books.
    67. My favourite genre is Chick-Lit.
    68. My favourite author is Jane Austen.
    69. Followed by Paige Toon.
    70. I also love to write.
    71. I have been writing stories since I can remember.
    72. In 2012 I finished my first novel.
    73. It’s called Amy & Zach.
    74. Which is written in the first person,
    75. and alternates between Amy’s voice and Zach’s.
    76. It was published in January 2013
    77. by Crooked Cat Publishing.
    78. My second novel is called Izzy’s Cold Feet.
    79. This was also published by Crooked Cat.
    80. It’s about a girl called Izzy
    81. who’s not sure about marrying her fiance, Greg.
    82. She thinks a lot about the boyfriends in her past
    83. maybe she should marry one of them instead?
    84. You’ll have to read it to find out.
    85. My third book came out in September 2014.
    86. It’s called Independent Jenny,
    87. and it’s about a woman whose husband cheats,
    88. sending her into emotional turmoil.
    89. It’s mostly set in Bath
    90. and the Isle of Skye.
    91. I love both of these places.
    92. Now, I’m working on my fourth novel.
    93. The main character is called Ellen.
    94. I’ll tell you more about her soon…
    95. I really think I should blog more,
    96. and read more,
    97. and dance more often,
    98. and eat more raspberries.
    99. I bloody love raspberries.
    100. I quite enjoyed doing this.

Book spotlight: That Old Black Magic by Caroline Fardig

Today I’m featuring some info on Caroline Fardig’s new novel: That Old Black Magic. Looking forward to reading this one! :)

That Old Black Magic 

That old black magicLizzie Hart is back—snooping, lying, and chick-fighting to uncover the truth, hoping not to break any hearts along the way…especially her own.

 That Old Black Magic…will it put Lizzie under its spell?

 Lizzie Hart hoped her first day back at work after nearly being killed would be uneventful. No such luck. Before she can finish her morning coffee, Lizzie and her co-workers find a dead body on the rooftop of their office. Media vultures that they are, the Liberty Chronicle employees are psyched to have first-hand news to report. Lizzie, however, is devastated when she realizes that the victim is her ex-boyfriend’s brother.

When evidence begins piling up against one of Lizzie’s friends, she reluctantly dons her detective hat once again, determined to find the real killer. She’s not thrilled about chasing another psychopath around, but she’ll do anything for a friend. Lizzie’s love life is rapidly becoming a hot mess, too. Her latest attempt at sleuthing isn’t leaving much time for her budding romance with town hunk Blake Morgan. Add that to the fact she’s hiding a secret so big it could rock the very core of their relationship, it’s no wonder that Lizzie’s in a tizzy.

Poor Lizzie ends up juggling a murder investigation, a wacky Wiccan coven, and two men vying for her attention—all while nursing injuries left over from the last time she decided to play Nancy Drew. It’s a good thing she always has a few tricks up her sleeve.

Buy from Amazon UK >

New book spotlight: And The Earth Moved

Today I’m featuring some info on Zanna MacKenzie’s new novel: And The Earth Moved – Amber Reed CCIA Mystery Book One, having read two of Zanna’s other books I can’t wait to read this one! :)

“Romantic comedy meets celebrity murder mystery”

and-the-earth-movedAmber’s making up the horoscopes for the local paper and wishing for some excitement in her life when she gets a phone call offering her just that. It could change her life forever and plunge her into a world where she’s quickly (and scarily) out of her depth.

The call? Heartthrob actor Ennis McKarthy, her old uni boyfriend, begs her for a favour. His brother Joel has been found dead – in very suspicious circumstances.

Desperate to keep the story out of the newspapers and solve the mystery of his brother’s death as fast as possible, Ennis has called in the specialists in the shape of the CCIA. The Celebrity Crimes Investigation Agency has just the man for the job – their top agent Charlie Huxton.

But Ennis, stalked by journalists and paparazzi, doesn’t trust a stranger to handle the case on his own and keep quiet about what he might discover so he pleads with Amber, wanting her to shadow Charlie throughout the investigation.

Much to Amber’s surprise Charlie eventually agrees, leaving her wondering why. What’s he up to?

Charlie and Amber delve into Joel’s death and soon have their hands full with questioning potential suspects and the victim’s irate ex-girlfriend. Then they discover they’re battling something far more dangerous than they could ever have expected… and it’s not just their growing attraction for each other.

Maybe Amber’s life is about to get too exciting…

Find the book on Amazon UK

Find the book on Amazon USA

Extract:

“What kind of excitement are Gemini’s going to have this week?” I ponder, tapping my fingers against the keyboard.

I’m a third of the way through making up the horoscopes for this week’s local paper. Aries are going to get news of a fantastic job opportunity. Capricorns will receive some kind of windfall. But what about Gemini? I always like to give my Madam Zamber horoscope column an upbeat feel – after all, nobody reads their star signs to get depressed right?

My fingers hover over the computer keys as I debate on Gemini’s fate. I’m a Gemini so this one better be especially good; it’s been a rough week.

My phone, nestled somewhere in the depths of my bag, starts playing a chart tune at full volume. When I eventually find it I check the caller display and see Ennis’ name.

Ennis and I haven’t spoken for a while but I know he came home last week after he’d finished working on his latest movie, he sent me a text. He probably wants to meet for a coffee and a catch up. It’s strange; to me Ennis is, well, just Ennis. I don’t think of him as a heartthrob actor, just my ex, my university boyfriend, who I meet up with for a chat whenever he’s in Palstone.

Time for a little break from the horoscopes. I hit the answer button.

“Hi, how’s things?” I ask, leaning back in my chair.

There’s nothing but silence on the other end of the line.

“Ennis?” I sit up, instantly concerned. “Are you there? Is something wrong?”

His voice is so quiet I can barely hear him. “Joel’s dead,” he says.

“What?” I shout, leaping to my feet and earning myself a look of curiosity from the other two members of staff at The Palstone Courier. I lower my voice. “How? What happened?”

“We don’t know yet,” he replies, his voice heavy with emotion. “But the police are saying he died in suspicious circumstances.”

I gulp. “You mean murder?”

“Look, Amber can you please come over?” Ennis says. “Now? Please? I need to ask you a huge favour.”

I grab my jacket and bag. “On my way.”

Find out more about Zanna at:

www.zannamackenzie.blogspot.co.uk

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