Never look a gift horse in the mouth – Share Your World 2015 #10

Share Your World

I love Cee’s weekly Share Your World challenge, and since I found myself with a few free hours this morning, I’ve been juggling a few posts. One is for a guest spot (thanks for your patience, Eloise), and the other (I do enjoy to state the obvious), is Share Your World – so let’s get on with it!

When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles or turn on the flashlight? How many of each do you own?

I do have a flashlight, or a torch here in the UK, but I usually forget to change the batteries! I could use the ‘assistive light’ on my phone, but I prefer candles. Power-cuts can be fun, and oddly romantic in a way. There’s something to be said about conversing in the glow of candlelight. Of course I wouldn’t be saying that if the power went out halfway through a writing session!

You are given $5,000 and the chance to exchange it for one of two envelopes. One envelope contains $50,000 and one contains $500. Do you make the trade? Why or why not?

The simple answer is, I’m not much of a gambler and I rarely look a gift horse in the mouth!

What’s your first memory?

I don’t remember my exact age, but my first memory (or one of) is trapping my hand in a shop door – it was a large department store. I was taken to a medical room which, looking back, was probably a storage cupboard with a first aid kit. But what I remember most is being allowed to venture into places unseen. I soon forgot the injury and basked in the attention! Let’s be honest, we all enjoy going where we’re not supposed to, or finding an excuse to explore areas normally out of bounds. As an interpreter I get to do that all the time; police stations, theatres, work places – it is certainly a fun part of my job.

What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something?

I suffer from insomnia, so staying in bed to count sheep would probably drive me to commit serious harm – the sheep wouldn’t be simply jumping over a fence! I’m kidding! I normally write, or read, or obsess about my waning brain function.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful I hit my deadline and published Heart of Fire at last! I will be taking part in a blog tour shortly, so that’s exciting. In the coming week I’m looking forward to finalising my other novel for release – The Contract. I’m also working on my new serialised fiction endeavour, the above mentioned guest post, an Arrow recap and my A to Z posts. Somehow I have to find time for my day job!

Thanks for stopping by.


Cake, boardgames, and avoidance – Share Your World #50

I haven’t taken part in Cee’s Share Your World challenge for quite a while, and I’ve missed it. If you fancy joining in the fun, head on over. Cee in warm and welcoming and has some amazing photographs to share.

Do you have a signature dish? If not is their one in your family?

I don’t have a signature dish, but I get a few requests for my strawberry cheesecake! My family also particularly like my parkin* though I haven’t made any for the past few years. My dad used to make an awesome chocolate cake, and that was definitely his signature dish (he was an awesome cook). I miss them on my birthday and at Christmas. We have the recipe, which was passed down, but it just doesn’t feel right to make it – it wouldn’t be the same.

*Parkin or Perkin is a gingerbread cake traditionally made with oatmeal and treacle, which originated in northern England

Do you have a favorite board game?

I love board games, but unfortunately my family do not share my enthusiasm! I usually bribe them to play a few at this time of year, but they complain bitterly the whole time! My favourite is probably Scruples, but I don’t get to play it very often and the last time it caused a family argument! Fun times 🙂

Is there a household chore that you enjoy?

Yeah right! I can safely say that I conduct every household chore like I have a gun to my head – I do it because I have to! If I could give the housework a ‘sweeping glance’ and get away with it, I would. It is better when I have an audiobook on the go, then I get lost in another place and time and before I know it…hey presto – clean house!

 What is one thing you will never care about?

Whether or not I have a ‘fashionable’ wardrobe. I don’t care what’s hot and what’s not – I look smart when I need to, and that’s about as much effort I put into my wardrobe choice.

As for the bonus question, and the things I’m looking forward to – it goes without saying that I’m excited about spending time with family and friends this week. I have a number of books on my wish list and as I’m mostly deserving of my name being in the ‘nice’ column, that means there will be plenty of reading for me!

Merry Christmas, everyone.


Giving Frank Spencer a run for his money – Share Your World #38

Share Your WorldI had a lot of fun with the questions this week. Thanks to Cee for the opportunity to ‘Share my World’.

If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be?

That’s a tough one, because I adore trees and I could certainly pick a favourite. But then I’d start to think about the whole representation thing and what each choice says about my nature, given that I’d assign them personalities. That sets me on a long, dark road which leads to therapy! So I’ll just choose ‘Melissa’ – the plant.

If you could have a servant come to your house every day for one hour, what would you have them do?

An hour…hmmm…feed me grapes, press my clothes, tell me how magnificent I am. Not sure really!

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

My daughters already seem to think there’s an endless supply of food, but if I get to choose, I’d say pie – with a variety of fillings 🙂

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

I worked in a video shop and got to talk about movies all day (Saturday job). At the time I thought I’d won the lottery!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

My daughter broke our bathroom sink a few days ago, by dropping an ornamental stone (don’t even ask why we have ornamental stones) into the bowl. There’s now an extra plug hole, which is actually fist-sized and quite an inconvenience! So, I’m grateful she didn’t do anything worse…like set the house on fire. Her new nickname is Frank. Which is an honorary title I once gave to my brother. But he’s a soldier now and bigger than me, so I don’t get to call him that anymore!

In the coming week I’m looking forward to the many adventures that occur when living with two teenagers!

Thanks for reading


Family Time – Share your world – Week 32


Share Your World

I’d given myself a week off this week, but when I saw Cee’s questions from Share Your World, I couldn’t resist. I’m sure something else will entice me out of my hibernation (some would call it a vacation), but I’ll try to limit my computer time!

Do you prefer ketchup or mustard?

Aside from the sauces which go into a recipe, I’m a strong believer that anything extra is just killing the flavour. My children smother their food in tomato (ketchup) or barbecue sauce and I often wonder why I bother cooking the meal – they can’t actually taste anything except a tangy zing from the sauce on their taste buds. But that’s just me, and I suppose one could argue that moderation is the key!


If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction?


Definitely a comedy. Sometimes I feel like I live in a National Lampoon’s adventure – minus Chevy Chase.


If you could be given any gift what would it be?


I don’t know if it makes me incredibly lucky or incredibly sad for looking a gift horse in the mouth, but I can’t think of an answer to this question.


For potlucks or parties do you cook it yourself, buy from a grocery store, or pay for catering?


Most of the time I cook it myself. I like to cook for people, but as with anything else I’m not very organised and so I prefer to rule the domain! People usually avoid me when I’m in the kitchen and then marvel at the meal I’ve provided – while ignoring the bomb site in the next room. I’m not completely unreasonable though, I do allow people to help me tidy up!


Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?


I’m grateful for my family, even when I feel like nailing their head to the carpet (Chevy Chase reference in case you were wondering). They’ve been entertaining my daughters because I’ve had to work some of the half-term. We’re on holiday together though this week, including my brother and his brood, so I’ll probably need a rest when I get back!


My Pen is my Talisman – Share Your World – Week 31

Share Your WorldIt’s been so long since I took part in Cee’s Share Your World challenge, and I’ve missed it. The questions are always entertaining, and this week I had a blast!

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? (guest can be dead, alive, famous or someone you just know)

Robert Downey Jr. – I find his crazy genius fascinating. I’d probably invite a co-presenter on to ask the serious questions though. Just in case my crush turned me into a mindless zombie incapable of stringing a sentence together. Perhaps he should bring in the suit just in case. 🙂


Bear Grylls – I’d spend the three hours (it is my show), listening to his many adventures and humerous observations on life. It’s the only way I’ll get to experience some of the crazy things he’s accomplished. Maybe I’d have a co-presenter again, in case he challenged me to take part in one of his trials!


Stephen Fry – Without wanting to sound like the mindless zombie, I love his brain. He has such wonderful, dry humour too, and I’m sure he’d have the audience eating out of his hand.

What can you always be found with?

A pen. Not much of a talisman, or a weapon (unless I poked someone in the eye with it), but I’d panic if I didn’t have it with me.

What is the most fun thing you did in school?

I didn’t like school very much, so the most fun was probably the days I managed to avoid it!

What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

I’m really annoying. I rarely use abbreviations, and all my commas have to be in the right place 😉

 Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for my blogging friends. They’ve been particularly supportive this week. Since I began my blogging journey at the beginning of the year, Callum and Miskha, in particular, have been a bottomless well of support and encouragement.


 I have a week off next week, so I’m looking forward to the rest!


Thanks for reading


Do Dinosaurs really love underpants? – Share Your World #20

Share Your World

I haven’t participated in Cee’s prompt for a few weeks, so it’s nice to get back to it. On my other site, in an effort to support a fellow writer, I took part in a blog hop. I’d like to continue to do both, so will alternate them.

So, let’s get to the questions. I had a lot of fun this week, and the enjoyment served two purposes. One being to support the feature, and the other to lift me out of my dark mood 🙂

dinosaurs love underpants


If you could go back and visit any time period, what time would you travel to and why?

It has to be the Jurassic period, so I could collect adventures and share them with my nephew. He loves dinosaurs. Of course that means I’d have to either travel back with a protective shield, or transform into a mean, ass-kicking T-Rex so I didn’t perish before I got home! It would be funny if our favourite book came true and dinosaurs really did wear underpants – I’d have some pictures to show him too (if I can take my camera that is!).

If you could have three wishes granted for you alone, what would they be?  This is a time for you to dream and have fun.

  • More hours in the day, or the ability to freeze time, or a sleep tank which transforms minutes into hours; you get the drift. I never seem to have enough time.
  • My own retreat in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nature, and with all the equipment and inspiration a writer could need.
  • A holographic room, probably near the retreat, where I can bring all my characters to life (at least temporarily) and get them out of my head for a while. It must be similar to how a writer feels when their book is adapted to film.

Wanting something to quench your thirst, what would you drink?

A nice cold glass of Guinness with a touch of blackcurrant (my apologies if you’re Irish and this seems sacrilegious) 🙂

If you watch TV what are your favorite three television shows?

At the moment, my three favourite shows are new ones; Intelligence, Almost Human and Star-Crossed. Unfortunately all have been cancelled by the network, so I need to enjoy them while I can. Having said that, like Cee, I’m a die-hard NCIS fan, so at least I have that to look forward to!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful my house is starting to feel like my own again. Everything is in order (which is a minor miracle), and I’m feeling settled. My girls are with their father this weekend, so in the coming week I’m looking forward to going to the cinema (roll on Friday and the X-men), and getting some writing done in the peace and quiet they leave behind!

Thanks, as always, for reading.


Share Your World 2014: Week 15 – Through the looking glass

Share Your World

It’s time, thanks to Cee’s weekly prompt, to Share My World again.

For your blog do you basically use Windows or Mac, laptop, desktop, pad, or phone?

I’d love to own a Mac, but by the time I get around to buying one I probably won’t have a clue what to do with it! I use Windows. It seems I’m spending more and more time glued to my trusty PC.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a journalist and then I experienced life at a newspaper during college and changed my mind. I’ve always been a writer, it’s who I am, but I’ve skirted around various professions. Though it pains me to say it, I can be a little fickle. I started various routes in terms of training when I left full-time education and never spent more than a few years in any particular field. Interpreting stuck, or it has so far. I’ve been itching to do something new for a while, and one of these days I’ll make the jump.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

I grew up in a mining town, the kind of town people want to leave and those on the outside enjoy making fun of – especially the accent. But it was my home for a while and I thrived there. When people ask me where I’m from, Barnsley is the first thing that pops into my head, though I haven’t lived there for many years. I’m proud of my roots.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

It depends when you ask the question. Most days I feel like a teenager, so you can image my shock when I look in the mirror!

 Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for my sanity! I’m in the middle of moving house, organising schools for my girls, taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo and fitting that around work and a general despondency!
So, in the coming week, I’m looking forward to a few family daytrips where I can soak up the sunshine and celebrate my birthday.

Until next time. Thanks for reading.


Share Your World – 2014 Week 14: What’s in a sign?

Share Your World


I’m especially grateful to Cee’s questions this week because they got me back to the computer again. I’ve been staring moodily at my desk most of the day, as though it were to blame for my restlessness!

So, thanks, Cee. Here are my answers.


DiversionIf you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

This sums it up pretty well. I’ve avoided many things today; writing; packing; cleaning.

I haven’t taken one straight road, but a series of ‘diversions’ to get me back in front of the computer.

I was going to say HEAVY PLANT CROSSING because that one gets me every time. But not everyone gets my humour, so I’ll just leave it with you!

Is your hair short (total neck and ear showing), medium (covering ears and neck), long (below shoulders), extra-long (at least halfway down your back) or bald?

Relatively long compared to a few months ago. I can be impulsive and last summer, someone who I’m sure was secretly a butcher, hacked off my hair. Thankfully my follicles only brooded for a little while and began to cooperate again!

When you are with your friends, do your interactions include much touching—for example, hugging, kissing, rough housing, rubbing backs? Would you like to have more of this? (Note: the answers may vary depending on where you live on this wonderful planet.)

This question made me smile and thoughts of the characters I’m working with sprang into my head.

But we digress. I might be a Brit, but I’m also a hugger! I’m a tactile person so am easy with my affections with friends and family. I’m not opposed to hugging a stranger either, as long as they have no objection to it!

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $100?

A day out with my girls. I’d let them choose the indulgence, as long as it’s not shopping. That kind of activity brings me out in a rash J  

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

For being around to witness my nephew’s first steps. I’m looking forward to chasing him around the house in the coming weeks, because now he’s found his feet there’s no stopping him.

Thanks for reading.


Share Your World 2014 – Week 13. Exploring brave new worlds…

Share Your WorldThanks to Cee, as always, for providing the Share Your World feature.

Here are my answers to this week’s questions.

Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets? 

I believe anything is possible. I also think the subject intrigues writers because the mere concept of life on other planets allows us to unleash our imagination, and dream up a new civilization. It’s empowering really.

What type of pet or pets do you not want to have?

Do bees count as pets? Sherlock Holmes in the show Elementary has a few hives on the roof of his apartment building. I can’t think of anything worse than the amplified sound of bees busy at work. I can hear them just thinking about it…

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

I struggle with the colour questions because my brain automatically goes to yellow. I guess, whatever ‘colour’ I’m feeling on the inside, I’d like to be bright and optimistic and bring a little happiness.

What type of transportation would you be? Why?

If I can choose, regardless of personality or the fact it’s purely fictional, I’d choose the Starship Enterprise. For no other reason than the fact it’s totally cool!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for my beautiful girls, because they are my ‘yellow’ – they bring light and laughter and their own special kind of joy.

I’m looking forward, in the coming weeks, of getting to know my fellow camp mates at Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m unpacked my virtual duffel bag and I’m raring to go. This is the first day of thirty wonderful days of guilt free writing!


Thanks for reading.


Share Your World 2014: Week 11 – Things in moderation


It’s Monday and that means it’s time to share my world, courtesy of Cee and the weekly ‘Share Your World’ prompt.

If you were an ice cream cone how many scoops and flavors would you be and why?

I’d be chocolate fudge with a soft gooey centre and a sprinkle of nuts on top! I’d be chocolate simply because I like it and you have to like yourself, right? The nuts are self-explanatory and we’d better settle on just one scoop. I know you can’t have too much of a good thing, but I believe in moderation and…it’s good to share!

Are you left or right handed?

Right-handed. I can’t write with my left, and believe me I’ve tried. I went through a stage when I was younger and I wanted to train the other side of my brain so I could see the world from a different perspective. I’m good at seeing the bigger picture, but sometimes the devil is in the details!

Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say?Image

Never. I sometimes have entire conversations in my head afterwards ‘what I should have said’ but I never practice (rehearse) because that would make me too nervous. I’m not great on the phone. There are often long silences, and apart from being awkward it distracts me…I find my mind wandering.

How many rings before you answer the phone?

Too many! It’s usually in the bottom of my bag, or under a pile of books/papers and it takes me forever to find it. People who know me, usually send me a text – ‘please call’ or words to that effect!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful I didn’t get stuck in the jungle gym with my one-year old nephew on Friday – they really should make those things more accessible! I did enjoy it though. He’s like a little drop of sunshine, brightening my day.

I’m looking forward to editing my novel over the next week. I’ve neglected it somewhat, spending so much time on my blog. It will be fun to spend a little extra time with the people in my head.

Thanks to Cee, for the questions. They were as fun and entertaining as ever. If you’d like to visit Cee’s blog and Share Your World, click here.

Until next time.