Tuesday 26 February 2008


Now this has got to be the most fabulous idea EVER for saving space.

It's a combined bookcase-staircase. You can see the whole thing here.

If it was my house, I think I'd probably end up living just on the stairs.

Wednesday 20 February 2008

Cambridge Chapter Lunch

All writers feel the need to procrastinate from time to time, and what better way than to meet up with people of similar needs for lunch?

The Cambridge Chapter of the RNA comes in terribly handy for this sort of thing.

You get informed, writerly chat, the chance to catch up with friends, nice food - and you don't even feel guilty about it afterwards.

As you can see, it proving too difficult (even after moving a very nice couple's table a foot to the left) to get everyone in one picture, I resorted to group photos.

Wednesday 13 February 2008

Viggo was robbed!

Sometimes I really don't understand my fellow members of the Romantic Novelists' Association.

They recently took part in a poll to find our favourite celebrity hero - and Viggo Mortensen wasn't on it!!!

It's true - I have scrutinised the list, I have checked out photos (just in case he was in disguise, you understand), and he simply isn't there. How? I know I voted for him. I based my hero in Stage by Stage on him. Forget Arwen, I'd give up immortality in the blink of an eye for him.

So, sorry Viggo, you were robbed, but at least it means I get to keep you all for myself, right?

Oh - if anybody would like the top ten celebrity heroes list, it's here:

Members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association have voted Johnny Depp as the Number One Perfect Romantic Hero in a poll to mark Valentine’s Day. According to these authors, a romantic hero should be gorgeous, deliciously sexy, intensely masculine and have a commanding presence.

The top ten male celebrities voted the Perfect Romantic Hero were:

1. Johnny Depp
2. Daniel Craig
3. Sean Bean
4. Richard Armitage
5. Hugh Jackman
6. Colin Firth
7. Alan Rickman
8. Pierce Brosnan
9. George Clooney
10. David Tennant

And in the over-fifties category:

1. Pierce Brosnan
2. Harrison Ford
3. Ranulph Fiennes
4. Bill Nighy
5. Liam Neeson
6. Sam Neill
7. Sean Connery
8. Peter O’Toole
9. Clint Eastwood
10. Omar Sharif

Tuesday 12 February 2008

Cambridge - and an Awful Warning...

Ran away to Cambridge on Saturday to have lunch and a catch-up with my friend Elaine. Slight disappointment that the balconies at the side of the Galleria weren't open, but we sat as close to the window as we could get upstairs and were rewarded by a nice view of the river and a surprising number of be-sweatered punters. Being as how this is early February, I do hope they stayed in the punts...

Elaine is a reviewer of some note, so I have lent her my copies of the RNotY winner Pillow Talk by Freya North and the RNA Romance Prize winner Breakfast at Giovanni's by Kate Hardy. (If you're there, Kate - she loved the title!) And before the royalty-police start tutting, the amount Elaine routinely spends on books keeps the
bank managers of various independent bookshops very happy indeed.

I made it home afterwards without incident (except I did have to let my belt out a notch following the sticky toffee pudding), but poor Elaine - well, you need to read about it here. Suffice it to say that neither of us are going anywhere near that really very nice Lakeland shop on our next excursion to Cambridge.

Wednesday 6 February 2008

RNA Awards Lunch 2008

What a lovely day! Having had to get up at stupid o'clock in order to be able to park at Cambridge station, I arrived at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington High Street in plenty of time to help turn

into this.

In no time at all - or so it seemed - we were having pre-lunch drinks, toasting the shortlisted Romance Prize authors

and the Romantic Novel of the Year finalists

and then there was lunch and catching up and more catching up and then Trisha Ashley awarded the Romance Prize 2008 to Kate Hardy for Breakfast at Giovanni's.
Once the ecstatic applause for that had died down (and Kate made a speech which brought a lump to everyone's throats), we moved on to the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Comedienne Helen Lederer
had us laughing within seconds of taking the microphone. She then summed up all the shortlisted books before announcing that the winner for 2008 was Freya North with Pillow Talk.

Two wonderful books. Two worthy winners.