Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Undertaking Love, path to publication diary

I've started a bit of a diary over on Authonomy to chronicle my journey to publication (how very x-factor speak. If I say 'emotional rollercoaster', somebody shoot me.)

You can read it here if you fancy...

Monday, 3 September 2012

End of summer, back to work...

The edits have arrived for Undertaking Love, another exciting new step in the process for me. :O)

It's been a long, busy summer at home with the kids so writing has had to take a bit of a back seat, but I'm glad to think that more writing time is just around the corner from this week onwards.

Over the last month I've had horrible computer issues to contend with too, but I'm supposed to be collecting my all mended and perfect lap top in the morning. Please let it be fine! I cannot tell you how much I rely on it, or what a fool I feel for not backing up properly.
Thankfully the mac doctor has been able to restore everything this time, but that is one lesson well and truly learned. Back up, back up, back up.

I'm diving into the book edits on Wednesday as soon as the kids are back at school.
I'm excited, and nervous too - these are my first round of actual edits and I really want to make them perfect.

More exciting news - the book is pencilled in to come out early in spring 2013, hopefully in March.

I'm crossing my fingers tightly, because that would be just about the best birthday present ever.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

My book has a title!

Exciting news!

The competition organised by HarperCollins to find the perfect title for my new book ended a couple of weeks back, and i'm thrilled to be able to share the new official title with you now...

it's going to be...


Undertaking Love

Isn't it gorgeous?

Many thanks to HarperCollins and everyone who entered, and especially to Sheena who came up with the winning entry.
It's a great play on words and it shouts out romance, which was what I really wanted.

Next stop the cover. It's going to have my name on and everything!

I think I'll burst with excitement when that happens.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

I feel a title coming on...

We are a whisker away from having a title for my new book, but I can't tell you what it is yet!

Sorry... is that evil?

Bear with.

I'm hopeful that i'll have a confirmed title to share with you all really soon.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Ten days to go!

There's still ten days left to go if you want to enter the competition to name my new book!

HarperCollins are running a competition to find the perfect title for my novel, you can click the link below to enter.

All you need to do is have a gander of the excerpt of my book, then think up a perfect, fabulous title for it - the winning entry bags twenty HarperCollins titles in a genre of their choice:

Click on this link. This one right here!

Word on the street is that there have already been some 'strong' entries - please throw your hat in the ring, i'd really love to hear your ideas.

Ooo err! I've just realised that the competition ends on Friday 13th! Hope that's not portentous...

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

I'm blogging with the Sassy Sisters today...

I'm blogging with the gorgeous Seven Sassy Sisters today about my winding path to publication  - come and say hi if you have a minute?


Thursday, 21 June 2012

BIG News in My World - THE CALL!

 I am so thrilled to finally be able to share my big big BIG news  - i've signed a contract with HarperCollins to publish my debut novel!

They requested the full manuscript after I posted the first few chapters of the book on their website Authonomy, and a couple of weeks or so ago they emailed me with the offer to publish. I cannot tell you how it felt to read that email... it was honestly amazing. From memory, I think I did a five lap victory dance around the coffee table, called my nearest and dearest, and then sat down to email the fabulous, brilliant minxes.

It's been such an exciting couple of weeks! I've settled on Jodie James as the name I will write under, and HarperCollins are running a competition to name the book! How fancy shmancy is that?
I can share all the details with you today as it's been officially announced here:

The official announcement on Authonomy

You know, I believe they may be right when they say that life begins at 40! I'm totally over the moon, it's a dream come true.

The ceremonial signing ceremony...

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Win a copy of Rae Summer's brand new release

Rae Summer's sparkling new release 'Dear Julia' is available now at all good ebook stores.  It's a wonderfully romantic story with a brooding, sexy hero - what more could a girl want?

You can click here to read the opening chapter.

For the chance to win yourself a copy of the book, click here to visit Rae's site and enter the contest.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Free Books!

Heads up - lovely Sally Clements has two books going free this week on Amazon - it's like Christmas in May!

Click here to whizz over to Sally's blog to grab your copies, but be fast, they are only available for the next few days.

Go! Go! Go!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Honeysuckle Jones

I've just uploaded the first chapter of my brand spanking new manuscript, Honeysuckle Jones onto Authonomy, and now, of course, I have that anxious sick feeling that everyone will hate it. I entered this chapter into the recent Novelicious Undiscovered competition and didn't place, so am extra nervous that it's rubbish!
But... I kind of really like it, so i'm persevering with the story to see where it takes me.

It's the story of Honeysuckle Jones, the middle daughter of Jane Jones, a failed actress who blames her lack of success on her plain name rather than her dubious acting skills. When her daughters were born, she was determined that they would have names that made them stand out from the crowd – hence Cherry Blossom, Honeysuckle and Bluebell, born over three consecutive years to three different fathers.
This book tells Honeysuckle's story, and I'm thinking of writing Cherry & Bluebell's stories too, a trilogy of sisters.
Hey, it worked for Freya North...

If you have five minutes, give it a read through and let me know what you think?

Click here to read first chapter of Honeysuckle Jones  

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Lucky 7

I saw this Lucky 7 meme on Julie Cohen's blog this morning. I can't resist these things, and love to read the tiny snippets of manuscripts and wonder what happened next.

Rules: go to p77 of your current work, 7th line down, and paste the next 7 sentences. Then tag 7 others.

My seven sentences are from The Lighthouse, which is about Marla Jacobs, whose little white wedding chapel is facing ruin when Gabriel Ryan rocks up and opens a funeral parlour next door.

This excerpt is from a conversation that takes place in the street outside the funeral parlour on the morning that Gabriel opens for business.

The word made Marla's tongue feel too big in her mouth.
"Your boyfriend?"
"Yes, Gabriel, my boyfriend. As in a man I actually enjoy spending time with, rather than one who is trying to ruin me?"
Okay. Maybe that came out a little more caustic than necessary, but the man riled her something rotten. Why had he instructed his jumped up secretary to lie to her? And God knows he had no business looking so effortlessly cool in a suit,  his barely tamed curls kissing his collar like a flirty Sunday morning lover. 

I *think* I may have cheated and gone to eight sentences there. Don't shoot me.:O)

I'm proper incapable of tagging people, so i'll just pass it on and say have a bash if you haven't already done it - it's fun, but it's also interesting to see if your tiny segment says anything when it's on its lonesome.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

A toast...

Today is a special day - the bunting is out at Minx Manor, and the champagne corks are popping, because...

Fabulous, clever, uber-talented Minx Maya got THE CALL!!!

You know the call I mean.


The life changing, all hallowed 'we love your book and we're going to publish it" call. I couldn't be more thrilled for you Maya, you really deserve your success.

Head on over to Maya's blog now, or swing by Minx Manor tomorrow where we will be handing out champagne and getting giddy.

Congratulations Maya, Harlequin Presents Author! xx

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Way We Were - A Lesson in Romance

So I finally watched The Way We Were this afternoon.It's taken a while - the movie is the same age as I am. I'd seen snippets and read bits and bobs so already had ideas of what to expect, but I got so much more than I bargained for.

It's perfect.

It's understated and beautifully played by Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand - they made my heart ache. It's vulnerable and honest, and even though you sense the whole time that they are wrong together, still you want their love to win out. Because their love is big. HUGE. She is so flawed by her convictions and he is too conventional to handle her, but you know that they will always love each other regardless, because they have that sort of love. The sort of unconditional love that never dies, regardless of years apart or new lives and loves.

I feel as if i've sat in on a masterclass on romance writing. It's truly gorgeous.

Friday, 6 April 2012

A fabulous freebie - but you have to be FAST!

The ever so fabulous Sally Clements is handing out Easter treats today and tomorrow - calorie free but sinfully good copies of her latest e-book Bound To Love.

Free! FREE!

But you have to grab it today or tomorrow, so scoot on over right now...

Click here to buy it from, or here from

I'm lucky enough to have read it already, and can only say RUN! GRAB IT NOW! It's a gorgeous read.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

New author crush

How have I never read any of Lisa Jewell's books before?

Am reading Ralph's Party for the first time, and she had me hooked within the first few pages. I love Lisa's writing style, it's exactly the sort of book I like to get lost in for a few hours.
And then I read an interview she gave to Novelicious, and this is what she had to say about her approach to writing:

I am the most chaotic writer I know. I slightly hate other writers for being so organised with their whiteboards and first drafts and their thousand words a day and then lunch. I come to a book with nothing more than a sense of how I want the book to feel, a couple of characters and a vague idea of what I want to happen to them. I stumble around for the first hundred pages having absolutely no idea what’s going on, spend weeks writing barely nothing, then finally get a light bulb moment and think, aha! that’s what the book’s about, feel elated for about five minutes and then disconsolate again when I hit another brick wall five minutes later. I don't do a first draft. I do a bit of editing here and there, but usually pass on a complete manuscript to my editor which I have only finished the day before.  Writing really stresses me out because I seem to have no control over it. Which is why I so love holding the book in my hands for the first time, because it is proof that beyond all the chaos and lack of planning I have, against all the odds, managed to write a book.

I think I *proper* love Lisa Jewell for saying that. It made me giddy with relief, because it's just how I am too. Up to now i've always feel like a bit of a donkey for not being more organised and plotty, but no more.

If it's good enough for Lisa Jewell, it's more than good enough for me. 

Friday, 30 March 2012

Spring into Romance

I'm really thrilled to have been asked by Maggie Marr to take part in her month long 'Spring Into Romance' celebrations for the launch of Can't Buy Me Love, her wonderful new e-book.

Maggie & I became friends when we were joint runners up in the Mills & Boon competition a couple of years back, and "Can't buy Me Love' is the manuscript that won Maggie her place. Cole & Meg's story is a gorgeous read, i'm so happy to see it hit the e-shelves this week.

Congratulations, Maggie!

Click here to come and say Hi to me over there...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A round up of news...

Have been awol for a little while, it's been a busy few weeks chez moi. (Stay with me. I took the kids to see The Muppets and am now likely to slip into Miss Piggy lingo at any moment).

First off, i've just had a birthday of the significant kind. The drama! I turned 40 on the Leap Year, and much fuss was made of it. My other half is a man of extremes - he gets it so right, and then he gets it so wrong. A few years back, he gave me a 12ft trampoline - there was frost on the ground and I was nine months pregnant. It was, umm, quite a surprise. There have been other random gifts across the years, so my 40th was always going to call for an act of supreme loose cannon-ness. God bless him, he didn't disappoint. I'm now booked in to go gliding over the Long Mynd at some point this summer. GLIDING! It's basically a huge kite, no engine, and no crash helmet. Am not certain, but think he may be trying to kill me.

Writing wise, i'm working on the first draft of my second single title manuscript and enjoying it. Am still trying to hit my groove with it, but I think it's going down okay.
Have also booked to go on the fabulouso Julie Cohen's one day advanced novel writing course in May, which I'm really looking forward to. Am loving the fact that there is discount for home made cake, lol! Cook books at the ready. (Note to self - return booking form...)
I'm also trying to knock a category manuscript into proper shape to send to Entangled. I was super lucky to be selected to send it in from a pitch comp, so need to get that finished and away.

My first single title manuscript, 'The Lighthouse', is complete at 83k words, and I've started the scary, scary, SCARY process of approaching agents. I've read the Writers & Artists yearbook back to front, and have put big pink fluro rings around suitable agencies, as well as scouring the net and Authors acknowledgment pages for ideas. I've agonised over wording for my covering letter or email, and gnashed my teeth over the synopsis - am still sure it's not right, but the damn thing near killed me and I daren't touch it again.
So far have sent out a clutch of submissions,  and am quietly terrified by the idea of my manuscript being read. The responses have started to come in - a couple of form rejections, a couple of kind, detailed rejections, and then a request for the full manuscript, which I posted off with shaky fingers. Am trying to cultivate nerves of steel and failing badly, am a jelly.

Actually, am making jelly this weekend. My biggest guy turns eight on Monday - and I still have that flippin trampoline!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Jenny Crusie's No.1 fan

Have I mentioned that I am lining myself up as Jenny Crusie's number one fan / stalker? I've read a couple of her books over Christmas, and jeez Louise, I am in awe. Am half way through another of her books at the moment and keep reading eeeny miiny little tiny chunks because I don't want it to end.
When she's in the early planning stage of a book, she builds these clever, gorgeous 3d collage / models to help round the story out in her head. (I know this because I am her stalker. Nuff said).
I am toying with the idea of having a go at making one, visual things work for me. I like to create the whole world of my book with pictures, sound tracks, so a collage is right up my street.