Saturday, 31 December 2011

Favourite Reads 2011

I have to admit to having the biggest TBR pile in the world.  But in all I've read just over 150 books this year.  So how do I pick some favourites?  I am sad.  I have an excel spreadsheet and a marking system that I will never reveal to anyone.
This is completely random, but the favourites this year have been
Room by Emma Donoghue
I have to be entirely honest and say if I'd read the back of this book in a supermarket I wouldn't have bought it.  But this book was recommended by a friend who told me it didn't have a bad ending.  And with that safe mantra I read it and I loved it.

The Mommy Miracle By Lilian Darcy

This book has a fabulous unique twist on a very traditional storyline.  I absolutely loved it.

Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson
This is cracking debut novel that has been sold all around the world.  The story of a woman who loses her memories every time she goes to sleep is totally captivating all with a dark thread running underneath.

Ordinary Girl in a Tiara by Jessica Hart

I loved this story.  Jessica Hart just makes this story magical!

When One Night Isn't Enough by Wendy S Marcus

I have no idea why this book picture has worked out smaller than the others!  But this was the debut story of one my fellow medical writers and it sizzled!

So what was your favourite story of the year? 

Next year is going to be pretty busy for me.  I'm taking on the role of an editor at the Pink Heart Society blog, as well as writing three new books for Mills and Boon medicals, still working fulltime and trying to keep up with my two sons activities!

So, if I'm thin on the ground - forgive me!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas the Disney way

We're just back from four magical days in Disneyland Paris and if I was struggling to find the Christmas spirit for the book I'm writing before - I'm certainly not now.
Because like it or not Disney do Christmas very, very well.

From the beautifully decorated Main Street, to the huge Christmas tree at the entrance of the Disneyland Park the whole place just oozes Christmas spirit.

And everywhere you turn there is another Disney character - often adorned in Christmas regalia.  And you are surrounded by Christmas music being piped all around you.
Christmas at Disney is definitely commercial, but the spirit is definitely alive and well!
Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

One Perfect Night by Rachael Johns

Today I want you all to help celebrate the release of my critique partner, Rachael John's debut release with Carina Press - One Perfect Night.

And the story is every bit as hot as the cover!  Here is an excerpt.

“Don’t look now, but Mr. McSexy just entered the building.”

“Blast.” Peppa Grant spun round and did exactly what her best friend and colleague Izzy had ordered her not to. Her breathing faltered at the sight of six foot plus of unadulterated male who now towered at the entrance to the company’s function room. An anxious hush fell over the previously buzzing room. As all eyes snapped to him, she tried not to quake in her costume’s fairy shoes.

Until half an hour ago, Cameron McCormac had meant nothing more to Peppa than the new name at the very top of the office food chain. Now he was the man who owned the car she’d sideswiped in the car park tonight.

The dangerously handsome man who was making her pulse spike simply by standing in the doorway. “Oh, God.”

As Peppa pushed her barely touched glass out of reach and let her head fall onto the table in front of her, Izzy giggled.

“It’s. Not. Funny,” Peppa declared when she finally looked up. Her eyes sought the company’s new CEO again and she felt her heart collapse into her stomach.

“You’re right,” Izzy said, reaching out and stroking Peppa’s hair like a mother over a sick child. “If I’d just put a prize-winning dent in the big boss’s red, convertible pride and joy, I’d probably be at Sydney airport boarding a plane or planning to hitch a ride with Santa back to the North Pole.”

“Hilarious.” Peppa shot her friend a sarcastic smile. “Please tell me McSexy has just vanished up a chimney?”

Izzy took a sip of her chocolate mocktail, her sea-blue eyes sparking with laughter as she peered theatrically over Peppa’s head. “No can do. Looks like he’s doing the rounds, handing out candy canes or something to all the children. Molly must have put him up to it.”

Molly, although old enough to be his mother, was Mr. McCormac’s personal assistant. Rumor had it when he did anything remotely human, she’d put him up to it. She’d been with the company longer than anyone and was the brains behind this event, the annual Christmas party for children of Lyrique Recordings’ employees. Peppa had a fleeting fantasy of leaving a message with Molly about her little misdemeanor in the car park but that wouldn’t be right. And she hadn’t been brought up to take the easy option.

“I’ll do it now,” she said, resting a hand on her queasy belly as she pushed herself off the stool and onto quaky feet. Although whether her shakiness was from trepidation or her gorgeous boss’s sexy gait and air-of-confidence, she couldn’t be sure. “Confess before I’m due on stage and then, if he has any sympathetic bones in his body, he’ll let me entertain the kids before the crucifixion.”

“You’re such a drama queen,” sighed Izzy. “The top job pays well. He has enough money to line his undies drawer in gold. You apologize. You give him the details of your insurance company. You get on with your life. Simple.”

Simple. Right. But Izzy didn’t know that Peppa had just switched to a budget insurance provider. As she had never needed to claim in seven years of driving, the switch had seemed a good decision at the time. The upside was low monthly rates. The downside? A mammoth deductible on claims.

Well, that faux-pas may not only have cost Peppa her car and her job, but paying back the damage to the boss’s vintage Lamborghini would seriously endanger her ability to pay her mortgage. Not to mention she’d have to put her plans for an overseas holiday on hold—a holiday that had been all about helping her mind and emotions recover from the battering of the past few months.

“I think he’s looking at you.”

Izzy’s words broke Peppa’s reverie. And of course she looked up, across the room, only to find her gaze colliding with the Head Honcho himself. Her heart hitched a beat. Despite the distance she could see the roguish tilt of his lips, the slight frown of his distinguished black brows and that his devilish licorice eyes were trained on her. Dark-chocolate hair, speckled with naturally sun-kissed spikes, framed a face so chiseled it could have been carved from stone. A man so in-control of his world he had no reason to question it. Heat flooded her cheeks and, not wanting to draw unnecessary attention, Peppa forced herself to break her gaze.

If you’ve enjoyed this excerpt, you can read the first chapter of ONE PERFECT NIGHT at Rachael’s website:

And to celebrate her debut release, Rachael is blogging today at the following places, giving away a copy of ONE PERFECT NIGHT at each spot:

·         Get Lost in a Story (

·         Chick-lit Central (

·         Novel Thoughts (


Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a chronic arachnophobic, a supermarket owner by day and a writer by night. She rarely sleeps. Rachael received The Call from Angela James telling her Carina wanted to publish her book on April Fools Day and, when she told her friends, half of them wondered if it was a big joke. Luckily it wasn’t. As an active member of Romance Writers of Australia, Rachael has finaled and placed in a number of romance writing contests. Each success is uplifting and publication is her dream but even if none of this happened, she’d still write. It’s a much better option than ironing, which she refuses to partake in. Ever.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Australian Cover!

So here it is - the cover of The Boy Who Made Them Love Again from Australia!  I love it!  And the little boy is much nearer the age he is in the story, than the cute toddler on my UK cover. What do you think?

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

My latest heroine...

This is the latest inspiration for my Christmas heroine - Cassidy Rae.  Isn't she gorgeous?  And what about that dress?  You all know I'm a girl that likes red......

I have to admit to not being a particularly big fan of Castle when it first started.  I could take it or leave it.  But it's kind of grown on me.  Like a disease.

And one of the reasons I like it so much now is because of Kate Beckett.  Apart from the fact the woman is extraordinarily beautiful, there are lots of personality traits about her I find intriguing.

There's the obvious - she's smart, she's sassy and she can take care of herself.  But there is also a hint of vulnerability about her.  And a huge lack of ability to actually say how she feels.

So when I was looking for inspiration for my character Cassidy, a nurse in a Glasgow hospital, I found it all wrapped up in Kate Beckett.

I'm at just over 20,000 words so far and taking a little time out this week to make my hero a little nastier.  I wonder who I'll find for inspiration for him??

Monday, 14 November 2011

Christmas Inspiration!

So, I'm writing my first Christmas story for Mills and Boon and I'm really excited about it.  For the last few weeks I've been looking for Christmas books to help inspire me and get me into the Christmas spirit. 
And this is one of the books I've found
And here's the blurb.
Beth Prince has always loved fairytales and now, aged twenty-four, she feels like she's finally on the verge of her own happily ever after. She lives by the seaside, works in the Picturebox - a charming but rundown independent cinema - and has a boyfriend who's so debonair and charming she can't believe her luck! There's just one problem - none of her boyfriends have ever told her they love her and it doesn't look like Aiden's going to say it any time soon. Desperate to hear 'I love you' for the first time Beth takes matters into her own hands - and instantly wishes she hadn't. Just when it seems like her luck can't get any worse, bad news arrives in the devilishly handsome shape of Matt Jones. Matt is the regional director of a multiplex cinema and he's determined to get his hands on the Picturebox by Christmas. Can Beth keep her job, her man and her home or is her romantic-comedy life about to turn into a disaster movie?

So, I finished this book last night and I loved it.  I have two favourite parts - one when Beth is on the recruitment weekend in Wales and one when she attends an ex's family party.  I was literally cringing for her on both occasions, but in fact I was also laughing out loud.

If your looking for a good Christmas read - this is it!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Mills and Boon Author Lunch

So Friday dawned and I got up at 5am and made my way to Glasgow Airport.  And - I got lost twice.  My other half usually drives when we go to Glasgow Airport and when I'm in my car I literally have no sense of direction.  Hence, getting lost twice.
Eventually I made it and flew down to London City Airport and got the train into central London.  First stop was Oxford Street, House of Fraser to see the wonderful Mary Portas store.  I met all the lovely folks who were on her TV show and tried on every dress in the shop.  Then, I sped across to Harrods in search of a Christmas teddy for my new great niece. 

 By 1230 I was suitably attired, if a little red-faced, hot and bothered - and ready for the AMBA lunch at the Charing Cross Hotel.  It was fab.  The speakers were Donna Hayes and Loriana Sacilatto from Harlequin in Canada who spoke before the lunch and answered authors questions.  Followed by Dianne Moggy and Tessa Shapcott after lunch.
Fiona Harper and Lucy Gilmour

Me with my new editor the lovely Carly Corcoran.
Then I went to meet my new editor Carly Corcoran for coffee so we could discuss my latest set of revisions and plans for next books. 
And by 530 we were in the extremely posh Royal Horseguards Hotel for drinks and canapes at the Mills and Boon Author toast, where I met lots of lovely people!

Fiona Harper, Kate Hardy and myself

Heidi Rice and Abby Green
Then I went for dinner with some of my fellow authors India Grey, Heidi Rice, Abby Green, Lynn Raye Harris and her lovely husband Mike.  It was a fabulous night!

Myself and the lovely India Grey who is far too pretty by far!

Lynn Raye Harris and her husband Mike.
And blogger hates me again and won't let me write in the comments section!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Lets start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!

So, while we're all singing along with The Sound of Music tune up above, let us think about where we start our stories.
There have been over 1000 New Voices entries.  Some of the starting points have been good, some have been unusual, some have been mediocre.  Lots of the comments have been around telling people they haven't started their story in the right place.

Do you find it very easy to start?  Do the words just flow easily along?
Or do you have a few hit and misses before you can really get started?

I've done both of these things.

In my first book It Started With a Pregnancy, I wrote the beginning three times.  First attempt had Missy in the shower thinking about what she'd done the night before.  But it was too much tell and not enough show.  Second attempt had her walking into the ward and meeting her one night stand.  But again, too much thinking back to the events beforehand.

But neither of these versions 'felt' right.

Attempt three started in the bar, where they met, left together and did some horizontal dancing.  And the words just flowed from there.

Book number two, The Boy Who Made Them Love Again, started with Abby Tyler having a lazy day in the ER, seconds later her ex Luke Storm shows up with the First Lady in labour in the back of the secret service limousine!  This time the starting point felt right.  There was panic, shock and a very important patient to treat.  Not to mention, Luke finding out Abby has a young son.

Book number three, West Wing to Maternity Wing, starts with Lincoln Adams looking after the President's premature baby.  Seconds later he gets a call to say his heavily pregnant wife has collapsed at the police cordon outside the hospital.  Only problem is - Lincoln Adams doesn't have a wife.  

And Book four starts with John Carter receiving a letter.  He is expecting it to tell him the embryos that him and his wife created for their now defunct marriage have been destroyed.  Instead the letter tells him that one of those embryos has been wrongly implanted, and someone else is now carrying his child.

And Book five?  Right now, I have no idea where it will start.  All I do know is - I always need to start in the right place.  Otherwise things don't flow and the story doesn't progress.

So what about you?  Do you have problems starting in the right place?  Or, does it all just flow easily?  Or, have you ever read a book that you felt didn't start in the right place?

PS  I'm going to the Mills and Boon Author Lunch in London on Friday and can't wait!  Will tell you all about it next week.  Also hoping a friend of mine will share some good news!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Getting your foot in the door

Lots of people have entered New Voices, some of you may still be preparing your entry – last year there were over 800 participants, with a flurry of entries on the last day.
Then we’ll all wait anxiously for the Top 20 to be announced.  But what happens if that’s not you?
New Voices is only the start of the journey.  For some people it may be the first time you’ve dared to submit.  Congratulations on taking the first step.  For others, you may be veterans and looking for some feedback.  And if you weren’t here last  year you should know that after the announcement of the Top Ten (it was ten last year, not twenty), Mills and Boon also published a list of entries they wanted to see more of. 
But for all of you that don’t make it on the top 20 list, and feel all sad and dejected – don’t be.  There are lots of opportunities out there to get your foot in the door!
It you haven’t had a chance to look at the harlequin website now is the time.  The Write Stuff is full of information for aspiring writers.  It also frequently features pitching opportunities – specific to individual lines across the harlequin series.  For those of you who’ve never tried a pitch, you write a brief paragraph about your story.  If you’re lucky enough to be chosen you get to have an online conversation with one of the editors for the line you are targeting.  The chances are they’ll ask you for a partial submission and you’ll have a real live editor to submit it to. 
In March 2010, there was an pitch opportunity for medical romance.  Myself and Wendy S Marcus were successful “pitchers”.  And after some hard work, we’ve both been published.  So, for those of you who are sceptical, it does happen.
The harlequin website also ran a Fast Track opportunity in August last year.  For one month anyone could submit to the medical line and hear back within a few days.  And for anyone that’s experienced going through the slush pile before that is like gold!
If you have a little money you can also join the professional organisation in your area.  Two years ago I joined the Romance Novelists Association.  They have a New Writers Scheme, where unpublished writers can join and submit a full manuscript before the 31 August that year.  Your manuscript will be read by a professional writer in the RNA and you will be given a detailed critique on your work.  If they like your manuscript, it will be sent on for a second read, and could be forwarded to a publisher.  Fiona Harper got published this way.  Her first book Blind Date Marriage was published by the Romance line at Mills and Boon.  Be warned!  The New Writers Scheme is only open to 250 writers every year, place are limited and you literally have to get your application form in on 1 January!  If you live in the US, the Romance Writers of America have a competition every year called the Golden Heart.  Unpublished writers can submit their manuscripts and have them judged.  Many people who have finalled in the Golden Heart and have gone on to be published. Historical author Jeannie Linn is one, and new Medical Author Tina Beckett is another.
And finally, there is the slush pile.  Let me tell you about another new medical author Louisa George.  She entered New Voices last year – didn’t final and didn’t get a mention in the call back list.  But she submitted her three chapters via slush and will be published in March 2012.  Maisey Yates, one of the Modern/Presents authors was pulled from the slush pile too, so it does happen!
So whatever happens in the next few weeks, think of New Voices as a first step, and keep writing!
And not sure whether blogger still hates me or not.  Last week no-one could post on my blog and I couldn't post on any others!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Fabulous Review!

Yesterday blogger hated me and wouldn't let me post and my Facebook author page disappeared.
I'm hoping today will be better, because I've got some news.

I got a fabulous 4.5 star review from Cataromance.  You can read it here.

It made me so happy I was crying!
Here's a quote
"Stirring, emotional and wonderfully absorbing, It Started with a Pregnancy is an impressive debut novel from a fabulous new voice in category romance: Scarlet Wilson!"

Friday, 9 September 2011

Interview at RNA today

Now, here's hoping I've learned a new skill.  I'm being interviewed at the Romance Novelists' Association today and giving away a free book, so come and join me!
Here's the link

Sunday, 4 September 2011

It Happened Again..........

It did!  REALLY!
Someone mugged me and threw a Radley bag at me.  Only this was a PICTURE bag.  How long have I waited for one of these????!!!!!!
Someone really needs to do something about the crime around here.........

Thursday, 1 September 2011

On the shelves!

My book!  On the shelves in Tesco!  I let out a scream when I saw it and scared a pensioner standing next to me.  Then I took out my secret pile of bookmarks and stuck them in all the books.
Then I decided to go to WH Smith and do the same!
Can't wait to see what the Australia cover is going to look like!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

New Voices - are you brave enough?

Well, the time is fast approaching.  So the question is......are you in?...or are you out???????
Some people I know are out - for a good reason - they've been published in the last year.  WHOOPEE!
But others, still have a superb chance to shine this year like a glistening star in a dark night sky.
See, I'm being all writerly.

I have to put my hands up and say, that last year, I read EVERY entry.  Over 800 of them.  And about a quarter of them were uploaded on the last day at about a quarter to midnight!

And I found some entries I absolutely LOVED.  And some that I hated.  And some that I didn't understand.  And some that just made me say....What??????

I also was taken aback by some of the comments.

Now, I don't think anyone can accuse me of being a shrinking violet.  Last year, I registered under a pseudonym and commented on lots of the entries - constructively, or so I thought.  Until someone took umbridge when I pointed out a little mistake in her entry.  And she chewed me up and spat me out.

This year I will look for her and smile sweetly thinking to myself - wait until you're given revisions Missy - that'll sort you out!!!!!!!

Some of the comments last year were nothing short of acerbic.  And as my granny always said, "If you can't say something nice, say nothing at all."  And I was conscious of that.  And I will be this year too.

But most of all I'm looking forward to the chance, once again, to get the opportunity to read loads and loads of first chapters.  I want to find some, that I reach the end and think... NO!!!!!!! WHAT HAPPENS NEXT???????

Some of the other Mills and Boon authors got accused of favouritism last year, or having secret knowledge, when they said they liked something.  But they didn't.   They were there as a reader, just like I was, and simply said what they enjoyed.

So this year I will be brave and will be commenting as Scarlet Wilson.  And letting the world know what I love!  So are you in...or are you out??????????

Monday, 8 August 2011

The Mystery House

So, I went for lunch on Saturday with my eldest son.  And as usual I decided we would go to a farm shop/tea shop.  I'm a great lover of these places, while my son was crossing his fingers and praying for a McDonalds.
As we drove along the country road we passed this house with the turret.  I was so impressed I turned back - not easy on a country road.
What kind of a house has a turret?  This is on a farm road in Ayrshire, in the middle of nowhere.  I was even more intrigued by the big wrought iron gates.  But the absolute mystery for us was the fact that underneath all the foliage on the turret, was a window.  You can just see the bottom edge of it in the picture. 
Now why would you have a house, with such a beautiful distinguishing feature, and let foliage cover the window?  My son automatically started giving ideas - but they were all to do with spies and wizards.
I thought it could be a setting for a lovely romance novel, with a touch of mystery.  What do you think?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Revenge of the Couch Potato

So I finally decided to do it.  There's only so many times I can sit on the couch and watch the kids go out on their bikes with their dad.  Plus, August means two boy birthdays - and both required bikes, so I've become Halfords best customer.   Three days after I bought their bikes I went back - to buy one for myself.

Now, that may not sound like much.  But the last time I was on a bike it was called a Hercules and I was 13.  And I've never ridden a bike with gears before.  I mean, GEARS??  Why on earth does a bike need gears? You get on.  You peddle.  That's it.  What's the big deal.

Heaven help Halfords best salesman.  The colour drained from his face really quickly when he realised the magnitude of the job ahead of him.  He made me cycle around the car park three times, desparately trying to explain gears to me, before letting me cycle home.

And by the time I got home I had to lie down.  I kid you not.  My legs were shaking.

So, now this is me.
Out today on the bikes with the kids.

And shortly after this picture was taken?  I got a puncture.  I kid you not.  I cycled my whole childhood without one puncture. 

So my bike is currently in Halfords getting fixed - after I purchased the years care plan of course!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

How much fun can one girl have?

First of all apologies, I'm due to post on eharlequin medical authors blog and it seems to hate me. So right now the only way to post is to do it here first and then copy to the other blog. Some of you may have already seen this on the Minxes of Romance, so if you have, apologies!

The gala dinner with editor from Harlequin and fellow authors

It didn't start well. The train to Newport in Wales was packed with a variety of dogs and children crawling down the aisles. At one point I ended up with two unknown babies sitting on my lap. However once we arrived in Newport I recognised some fellow women scrambling with cases and shared a taxi with the lovely Freda Lightfoot to Caerlon.

Conference is all the about the people.  Last year I met the lovely medical author Kate Hardy, along with Heidi Rice and Kate Walker.  This year, I met two other lovely medical authors Margaret Barker and Jennifer Taylor.  I also had the privilege of meeting two Present authors India Grey and Natalie Rivers, and the lovely Harlequin Romance author Fiona Harper.

Scarlet with Harlequin editor Flo Nicoll

But then there is also the lectures - to give us all a chance to learn a bit more about the craft.  There was a huge range of topics covered in the programme and the hardest thing was picking what to attend. I have to say that this year I was naughty and ducked out of a few lectures through sheer brain drain.

But the ones I attended were fab. The conference started with Celebrations and this year there were a lot of members with good news of sales. It seems great that when we continually hear about tightening purses and less income, writers are still considered a priority. There was an award winning panel with Louise Allen, Elizabeth Chadwick and Jill Mansell all answering questions on how they wrote. I was amazed to learn that Jill Mansell writes all her books longhand with a Harley Davidson fountain pen! I was even more amazed when Fiona Harper (who writes for Harlequin Romance) pulled out her moleskin notebook from her bag and showed me that she writes long hand too - her next book was sitting right in front of me. I nearly snatched it and ran away!

Scarlet with Harlequin Romance author Fiona Harper

The Harlequin editors delivered a talk on being Unpredictable - their latest buzzword. They want new twists on the old stories and are still keen to acquire new authors.

Jenny Hutton and Anna Baggaley from MIRA and Mira Ink gave an overview for their line, highlighting all areas that sell well in women's fiction and teenage fiction. They also have new websites and

My favourite talk was given by Fiona Harper on getting emotion on the page and keeping it there. You could have literally heard a pin drop in the room while she was speaking. She has promised to put her notes for the talk on her website

The conference ended with agent Carole Blake and her client Elizabeth Chadwick letting us know how they were 'A Perfect Match'. Their working relationship has lasted longer than Carole's two marriages and they were a true doubleact!

It was a perfect end to a great conference and after the long journey home to Scotland I spent the next few days in bed recovering!

But then it was up and off to London with my kids and what did I do?  Something I can never help.  I bought tat.  Lots of it.  My other half cringed in horror when I was let loose in the Harrods Gift Shop.  Any item that had the name Harrods on it - I bought.  And here's the proof.

So what makes a fun day for you?  Attending a conference?  Buying tat?  What will it be??

Scarlet Wilson's debut book It Started With a Pregnancy is out on 2 September in the UK.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Freaking out!

So, as a subscriber to the Mills and Boon reader service my books have just arrived.
Drumroll please......
And my book is amongst them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All of a sudden this seems real and completely terrifying!
People are actually going to be able to read my book and comment on it!  Oh NO!
What if they hate it???
I'm also not sure when I will receive my author copies to give to my family, friends and the people the book is dedicated to.  I'm hoping they won't take long.
In the meantime I will sit here shaking, waiting to see if on the 1 August someone will put a review of my book on the Mills and Boon website.
The thought petrifies me!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Nearing the finish line...

So I am nearing the end, about to cross the finish line.  I'm in my final chapter of book three, around 46,000 words and currently charging towards the end.
I'll finish it this week, hopefully have a quick read through for any glaring errors and then send on to my wonderful critique partners.  At this point, my terrible grammer will be highlighted.  My fondness for particular words will be found.  My glaring medical errors or timescale issues will come to light.  
And the - Oh NO!  You can't do THAT!!!  Will also be open for critique.
But that's what you need.  Often I can't see something that my critique partners will spot straight away.  Often I will highlight a sentence that I've rewritten ten times and say "this just doesn't sound right" and a few taps of the keyboard from a critique partner will show me what I've meant to say all along.
Then there is the missing gaps.
You know - that things that were in my head all along for this book, that have just never made it on to the page.  And I thought they had.
So, I'll get asked the question - BUT WHY????????????  And I'll realise I haven't written it down anywhere!
I'm lucky.  I have another month before I need to send my manuscript to my editor.  So that will give me a few weeks to set it aside - enjoy the RNA conference in Wales - make any amendments my critique partners suggest (maybe even hopefully get to read something of theirs!) and then press SEND.
And while that sounds fabulous, we all know at that point the crows of doubt start to circle......
So, do you like finishing and pressing send??

Friday, 24 June 2011

Oh dear.......

My addiction has struck again. Someone mugged me in Glasgow City Centre yesterday and flung this bag at me!  No - honestly they did!
Radley addiction is a serious business.  Does anyone know a cure???

Sunday, 12 June 2011

My first book cover!!!!!

So, drumroll it is my first book cover!!!!!
This is real, it isn't some wild fantasy I've cooked up in my head or dreamed up at night.  I really DO have a book cover posted on Amazon.
So what do I think?  Well, I am a tiny bit disappointed the writing isn't in red - but that's just me.
What can you expect from someone called Scarlet?

And blogger still hates me.  I can sign in to put up a new post, but it doesn't recognise my sign in for commenting on any pages.  Including my own.  I am now named Anonymous.  I have to go and use someone else's computer for it to work.  So what's wrong with mine?  Can anyone give me a clue?

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

So, thank you Rachael Johns for this award.  Now I need to think up 10 random facts to share with other bloggers.  And since I've done something similar, I really need to find 10 different facts....
  1. My book that is due published in September - It Started With A Pregnancy, is really the book of my heart.  To sum it up, a diabetic midwife falls pregnant and starts to freak when she realises she can't control her diabetes the way she used to.  Been there and done that.  Twice.  For someone who has spent their life knowing when a hypoglycaemic attack is about to hit, and could usually always avert it, to have a total change of condition and have NO signs of oncoming hypos is/was terrifying.  I could have normal, rational conversations with people with a blood sugar of 1.2 (normal is between 4 and 7, hypo warning signs usually show when it drops under 4).  Even my family were freaked by it.  And for a control freak like me, well....
  2. I'm a trained nurse and health visitor.  I've worked in medical wards, orthopaedics and coronary care.  I've also worked as a District Nurse and as a health visitor I was addicted to the smell - yes, the smell - of newborn babies.  You really didn't want me near your child!
  3. My favourite kids were the ones who refused to do the assessments.  The ones who threw the bricks off the wall instead of building a tower.  The ones who you tried to coax to say five single words and all they would say was NO.  The ones who wouldn't draw a circle or a cross but would look you in the eye and take the crayon along the wall.  I like kids with spunk.
  4. As a student I was once asked to put cream on someone's APRON.  I was working in the ward from hell, with the Sister from hell, so I pulled the curtains, armed with my tub of cream and thought "Wherever the apron is I'm going to get it."  The poor patient had cream from the top of their forehead to the tips of their toes.  Incidentally, the APRON is the roll of fat that hangs over your belly!
  5. I once auditioned for ballet school in Glasgow, but wasn't really sure I wanted to go.  I did ballet, tap , modern and jazz dancing until I was 16.
  6. I used to be a good girl.  At school I was known as a goody two-shoes.  I've never done drugs and didn't start drinking alcohol until I was 19.  Please note, I said used.
  7. My radley bag collection (from the last post like this) has unfortunately grown.  I now have 18 bags, and a suitcase (which isn't that great!).  All the bags are absolutely essential and none of them I can do without.
  8. I wrote my first Mills and Boon when I was 17.  It was a medical and was called Hidden Love and involved a typewriter and that horrible tippex white paper for whenever you made a mistake.  Funnily enough I got a standard R, as it would now be known, and took myself off in a huff for a bit.  I didn't write my next one until 2009.
  9. I'm taking my beloved and my kids to Eurodisney this year at Christmas and we are going to stay in the Disney Hotel at the park entrance, all with my M & B advance!
  10. I have two wonderful critique partners for whom I am extremely grateful.  Nancy (Sheandeen on eharlequin) and Rachael Johns, both take a bow.  I am not going to forget that I couldn't have got published without you!
PHEW!!!!!!!!!!  All done!

Now, I would love to pass this on to others.  Feel free to download the pic and participate!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Scottish Hen Nights and How Well Do You Know Your Friends?

It seems that these days hen nights are big business.  It's all limousines or fire trucks or weekends away to foreign climates.
When I was a girl (and I'm not that old!) hen nights involved your work mates making you a coat decorated with L plates and coloured tissues made into flowers.  And they also decorated a potty for you to jump over on your hen night.
Here is the evidence
So, the top two pictures are my sister Valerie and were taken 25 years ago.  The bottom picture?  I'll leave you to figure out who the 10 year old imitating her sister is!

So, recently I had to help organise a hen night for a work colleague.  It was her second wedding and she didn't want a big fuss.  We had booked a table at a local restaurant and decided to organise a few games (we also organised a potty that was full of HRT and incontinence aids!).  One of the games we picked was to ask her friends to reveal a secret about themselves - one she might not know.  And on the night we made her try to identify which of her friends was the secret keeper.
Here is the list

Which one of your friends…………………………..

1. Was asked out by Captain Sensible?

2. Burned a hole in the front of her wedding dress, the night before she got married?

3. Was accepted for music college as a drummer after working in clubs in Glasgow?

4. Worked on a farm and can milk a cow?

5. Featured on a TV production of “My Secret Desire” as she wanted to swing from a trapeze with her teeth?

6. Won a dog in a raffle by the parish priest but had to get it put to sleep after 6 months as it was mad!!!!!!!

7. Did advanced archaeology at teacher training college and as a result had to lead a mock “charge” across Bannockburn!

8. Had elocution lessons in her young days?

9. Went to the pictures with one man and left with another?

10. Frequently travels on the Orient Express?

11. Had lunch with the Bay City Rollers in Tam Paton’s house in Edinburgh?

12. Got married wearing a pair of green boots?

13. Is apparently a red hot Leroc dancer?

14. Husband’s cousin is Jackie Chan’s stunt double?

15. Used to baby sit for Sting?

16. Has secretly written an episode of Star Trek where she is Captain Picard’s daughter?

17. Was a Scottish skating champion?

We had hours of fun with this!  One poor work colleague, Brenda, who hadn't contributed something to the list, was accused of all 17!
I'll let you try and guess which one of the 17 was mine.
Now, what about yours?  Can you reveal a secret you haven't told us about??

Friday, 6 May 2011

Book 2 is sold! and The One That Got Away

So I've had a lovely email to say Book 2 is sold and it's title will be......
The Boy Who Made Them Love Again and is scheduled for December 2011.
Now, it's definitely not a Christmas book, so what do you think about that?  Do you only buy books around that time that have a Christmas theme?
Or by that time are sick of Christmas overload and are looking for something different?
And I was delighted because my editor told me it brought a tear to her eye - you don't get better than that!  Now Book 2 has a different theme.  And the theme is The One That Got Away.
Do you have one of those?  Is there somebody from long ago that you occasionally remember and think mmmm........what if?
I remember reading somewhere that everyone has one of those, whether they admit it or not.
Book 2 also has a different kind of medical theme - it's about the staff from the White House Medical Unit.  It can be difficult to find something that hasn't been used in medicals before but I haven't ever seen this used and was delighted to give it a go.  And I also have a First Baby.

And yes, that is what I meant.  I was inspired one day looking at Michelle Obama and thinking to myself that there, in the White House, for the first time in a number of years we had the potential for a White House birth. 
But my First Lady doesn't want to give birth in Washington, she wants privacy and needs rest, so she heads to Mendocino Valley and Pelican Cove, a quiet little hospital and goes into labour early.  And that's where all the fun starts!
So Book 3 will be a follow-on from this and I'm pleased to say I've agreed a new contract with Mills and Boon and will be writing a few more medicals.  WHOOPEE!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Inspiration for Book 3

So, who is your inspiration for your writing?  Do you actually have someone in mind to play your characters when your book becomes a Silver Screen Film?  Or is it all just in your head?
I've started writing what I hope will become my Book three.  And even though I didn't think I'd ever do it, I'm doing a sequel to Book Two.  There was a really interesting leftover character from that story that really needed a story of his own. And in my head, this is him...
Yes, yes I know.  It's a medical and I've picked Patrick Dempsey.  But I have to, because
a) I love him and
b) this was the picture that came into my head as I sketched out the story.  But Patrick has a new identity, he's now Lincoln Adams, Neonatologist Extraordinaire!
Now this is where you might get mad with me.  Either that or you'll know what I've been watching to death, because here is my heroine
Yes, it's Amy Adams.  and yes I've been watching Enchanted.  A LOT.  However, this is not the princess Amy Adams - this is the hardass Amy Adams.  Who knows exactly what she wants and how to get it.  And her name in the story is........Amy.  But to be honest, I'd already picked my names before I picked my inspirational pictures.  So, it's stuck.
I plan in the near future to use an equally gorgeous picture of Sawyer aka Josh Holloway, who will play a distinct bad boy in a story all of his own.
And for some reason in Books 1 and 2, I find I've been writing LOTS from the male POV.  I wonder why this is?
So who are your current Hero and Heroine?  Share, please.
And finally, for those who were wondering - I went with the Mr Men for the Easter Egg Competition and yes, we did win!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Let's be Frivalous!

So I could post about doing revisions etc but that would just be boring.

I'm starting to get excited.  I've booked my place at the RNA conference in July this year.  The conference is in Wales this year and it's going to prove a little tricky to get to from sunny Scotland.  I think I'm going to arrive just as the opening address is taking place, however I'm happy to go in dragging my case behind me!

So when planning the conference there is a dinner on the Friday night and a barbeque on the Saturday night.  Mmmm, so what will I wear.......
Well my new writing name is Scarlet therefore
Isn't it gorgeous!  And look at the ruffles - they will hide a MULTITUDE of sins!
So that's Friday taken care of.  What about Saturday??
I'm swithering here.  I have two outfits.  One probably a bit too formal for a barbeque and the other?  Well, I'm not quite sure if I'm brave enough!

Wow, that came out bigger than expected!

I've bought the "jumpsuit" but I just don't know if I'm brave enough to wear it!  What do you think?
And finally the RNA conference is all about the shoes.

So what do think of the shoes?  And is there votes for the dress or the jumpsuit for the Saturday night?

Saturday, 26 March 2011

The fiercest Easter Egg competition in the World!

I've been a very bad blogger lately and I know that, but never mind, now I need some help.  Because it's coming up to Easter time again, and let me introduce you to the fiercest competition in the world!
Let me explain, every year at our church we have a boiled egg decorating competition for the Sunday School.  This sounds simple enough - but believe me, it's not.  It takes weeks to decide what your egg is going to be this year.  Weeks to design your "costume" and "set".  This is NOT a competition for kids!
Let me introduce you to Nemo.
This was a winning egg, but it took nearly a week to create.  Let me let you into a little secret of boiled egg decoration.  Car spray paint.  Yes, car spray paint.  It's the only thing that sticks to a blinking egg!
Here's another winner.

Happy Feet.  And yes, that penguin did fall over.  It was propped into place for the picture!
Then there was.....

Ratatouille.  Is anyone seeing a pattern emerging here??????
Yes, I like children's films.  And I always seem to find a character in them.
Then there was last years effort.  And I mean that, an effort.  It was the worst ever!

Daleks.  From Doctor Who - just in case you couldn't possibly recognise them.  Yes, I know they look awful.
Which is why this year I need some help.  Some suggestions.  Some prize winning suggestions.  But remember it has to be a decorated egg - so try and imagine how it should look.
Last year my son wanted to make WWE wrestlers.  Any idea how to make them out of boiled eggs?  No, neither did I.
So, help PLEASE!!!!!!!
All suggestions gratefully received.

Friday, 25 February 2011

News and the Shred

I am in a happy place.  I heard back from my editor today with revisions for book 2.  I am delighted.  This is the book I wrote while waiting to hear back from Mills and Boon about It Started with a Pregnancy.  So, my editor had never heard anything about this story, hadn't seen a proposal and hadn't agreed it at all.  After I got The Call for book 1, I sent this in and held my breath.
So now I am breathing a huge sigh of relief.  I don't need to write something completely different.  I have to make changes, but that's fine.  The revisions seem reasonable so I'm going to bury my head in the sand for the next month and work away on them.
Next, I've joined the Craze.  The Craze for the Shred.  I've heard other people talking about it and finally decided to see what it was all about.  I'm currently only on Day 4 and I'm still at level one of the 30 day Shred.  Apparently if you follow this 20 min exercise routine every day for 30 days you can lose 7-10lbs, change shape and drop a dress size.  Now I hate exercise.  I'm practically allergic to it.  I danced up until I was 17.  Then did nothing for years.  I went swimming for a bit, only because I'm not a particularly good swimmer and wanted to get better.  But it annoyed me.  The grey-haired swimming brigade kept swimming in front of me (going breadth wise instead of length wise - why would people do that?) and as I can't tread water, every time they swam in front of me I sank like a stone.  Recently I've been going to a Zumba class once a week and have quite enjoyed it, but an hour a week is not going to sort out my flabby tum.
So, Shred it is!  I've decided not to weigh myself until the end of the 30 days - so I'll let you know how it goes.
And what do you think of this?  It's my banner for my new website which is being built by a work colleague.  Hopefully it will be ready soon.
Finally a huge congratulations to Leah Ashton, the winner of New Voices who just sold her book to Mills and Boon.  I look forward to reading it!