– Need your suggestions on where to go for a 70th/50th Big BD treat
- ‘those’ ‘Debbie Does Sheena Easton’ pics from Stars in Their Eyes!
- Tips on how to self-publish your own book with the Oxford Author Courses
- And ‘Oblivion’ – Tom Cruise’s latest cinema outing, in the film review.
All this plus a funny from Kathy Tayler, and a sneaky peek at John Barrowman’s new hair care range, ‘HER’, which is responsible for how my hair looked last week when I was wearing my Kim and Co top! (see top pic).
And don’t forget if you’re reading this before the 22nd – still time to enter the book comp to win a copy of ‘Security’ – Mandy Baggot’s latest romance about a pop superstar and her dangerous bodyguard! (go here to see author blog ).
Altogether – ‘we’re walkin’ on sunnnshine, we-e-elll…’ Ohhhh sunshine! Nicer weather, nicer walks… yay! At last. Just right for my imminent weekend away in sunny Devon seeing a pal! I have been out and about a lot more, exercising, and taking longer dog walks.
BUT some new arrivals have led to the need to do a detour – just take a look at this straggly gaggle of funny-looking, long-haired young cows which have appeared in the nearby field.
They’re very hippy-looking – in fact, they look like joke cows.
Showing my ignorance here, of course, but if you know what they are, let me in on it? Perhaps Farmer Amanda has chosen long haired ones this year ‘cos they’re more hardy in the colder months we’ve been having? No sign of the sheep and lambing tho’ yet – guess they’re in the warm somewhere!
Anyway daughter Lolly and I avoid the cows, as they’re pretty young and are more than a little inquisitive about Labradors on leads! It’s been nice to have my girl staying with me till she gets a place with her man who joins her when he moves jobs and comes down here permanently (Godalming way) in middle of May. Whoopee! I loved Bath but I’ll love her being nearer even more! Shopping and coffee shops! Yay!
Mind you, she’s threatened to disown me if I don’t stop embarrassing her – like when I was trying to get a nice pic of the two of us when we went to son Brad’s for dinner last Sunday – the caption on the left would read ‘get off mother!’ as I tried to lean my face near hers for a cosy shot! Then you can guess your own caption for the pic on the right – so funny – it was my pay-back time! Haha! Her face was a picture when she turned round and saw what I was doing. But then it always is, she’s very pwidee my girl. #ProudMummy!
Talking of mummies, I need your help this week! Suggestions please – for a nice way to treat Mum and sister Linda for their 70th and 50th birthdays in November and December this year. Any ideas?
Should I repeat Center Parcs holiday – Hot tub, DVD fest, bowling and girlie day trips to the AquaSana spa? Or something else completely? Adrienne Cleasby (our Grip to Me hangers guest) was saying she and her female posse of pals had had a lot of fun at a Butlin’s weekend break, for instance. Have you ever been to one? Help me decide!
One of our other guests is treating her mum to a premium luxury journey in the Orient Express across Europe from London to Paris, Prague, Venice then a stay, then a flight home. Now that’s the sort of landmark holiday treat I would like to be given one day myself! What about you? (click here to see more)
Holidays – It’s nice that I’m away soon ‘cos it’s been hectic of late, specially with all the Holly-dog vet shenanigans. (See below). In fact, apart from a weekend in a Yurt (yes really!) I haven’t got much else booked this year so far. (Or maybe I could just give mum the weekend in a yurt… Or maybe not. Lol.) I’m thinking maybe a good break for me this year would be to go to Italy to learn Italian and find out how Italian’s do stuff – in more ways than one.
That would at least mean I’d be able to surprise Ginetta (our Veronese jewellery guest) by speaking some of the lingo if maybe I went to see her again in Arezzo with fellow presenter and BFF, Craigy – like we did last year! Anyway, if you have any great ideas for the birthday treats, do please leave me a comment below. Also, do tell me about your own favourite holiday surprise from years gone by…
STARS IN THEIR EYES – THE REPLAYS CONTINUE!
The reminiscing continues this week. Am bowing to demand, and this time posting pics – since so many of you tweeted me and then Facebooked to say Challenge TV were yet again repeating the (very) old Stars in Their Eyes. Now that’s what you call a ‘before and after’…! And now you can see why I always say it ‘sounded like Sheena Easton and looked like Eartha Kitt!’ Mind you, if I ever go on again, I could do a mean ‘Santa Baby’…! Lol.
What do you think of the impression? Here’s Sheena herself, singing Modern Girl, circa 1981 (click here) and here’s me doing my version on series 2 of Stars in 1991 (click here) – but when you sit down to listen in order to compare, why not do what they do on The Voice and close your eyes to judge it! Lol. I remember it being great fun dressing up as her anyway, and ten years after the Gen Game it seems I still had the game show bug, even tho’ I was working in telly at the time.
I was actually presenting Children’s SSVC TV back then (‘86-‘96 I did kids telly links, including reading out birthday cards, for children in Forces’ families on the army bases abroad. Were you one of them? Guess who was? Our new guest Stephen on Yankee Candles! How bout that! Lol) Which star do you look or sound like? Anyone? Or know anyone who has ever been on it? You know what to do – comments box is at the bottom!
Still to come – sneaky peeks from John Barrowman’s new haircare range, and a blooper from lovely Kathy Tayler!
READ IT WRITE IT SELL IT – my weekly look at all things book!
For those that don’t know, I’m about to publish my very first novel, a somewhat steamy contemporary romance set in Hawaii, and have been writing it for three years!! Long time coming eh! Anyway, this weekly book corner (well, less of a corner and more of a ‘middle bit’,) is dedicated to some of the relating topics! And there’s more news on my book below!
One of my favourite authors – as regulars will know – is women’s commercial fiction writer Julie Cohen. Well her latest book is just out – on hardback and Kindle – and it’s called Dear Thing.
It’s a departure from her normal relationship based, adventure packed romances. This time it’s all about the perfect couple who can’t have their own baby, who employ a friend to be a surrogate.
Trouble is the friend is secretly in love with the husband… ooo! (click here)
And here are Julie’s 10 Rules about writing – this is the type of thing she teaches on her own short courses – www.julie-cohen.com if you want to find out more!
And here’s the article on Goodreads, where you can – if you’re quick! – enter a comp to win a copy (click here)
I attended a new course myself this week. As mentioned in the last blog, I went to the thoroughly enlightening one day seminar run by Oxford Author Courses and heard from a really pro-active ‘tell it how it is’ West Virginian literary agent called Christine, from Bookcents, and a rather debonair French publisher called Stephane, from Bragelonne publishers (both pictured here with me).
It was all about how to write for a US audience, and a French one, plus quite a bit on self-publishing, which seems to be ever on the increase. One of the most interesting aspects of the seminar were some of the statistics, and for the authors out there – some fascinating facts –
- French publishers almost never use agents. Almost everywhere else ONLY uses agents!
- Romance is 50-60% of the book market in the US while in France it is only 6% . Harlequin (Mills and Boon) represents 80% of the romance market in France.
– The biggest genre in France is crime/thriller.
- Self-publishing worldwide is increasingly being used to build the brand – eg serials. In the US market they are beginning to break an 80,000 word story into 10 or more parts and issue them month by month and then also make the novel available at the end as one complete book.
They are planning to run some more courses and are not ridiculously dear, so do find out more here (www.oxfordauthorcourses.com). And thanks to my lovely Tuscany mate Mags for helping to organise!
DEBBIE’S FIRST NOVEL- HAWAIIAN AFFAIR – UPDATE
Well the yahoo group continues to grow and many people have now taken delivery of their free first chapter – I want feedback on my chapter one, you see! If you know your women’s commercial fiction – and romances in particular – and would like to join in, just email me at
Planned launch date – on Amazon eBook and paperback – looks like being end of May – bank holiday weekend. (to be confirmed!) Right now, I am just investigating the exciting topic of the science of book covers. What a precise art this is! The right book cover can increase your sales loads! Am picking up lots of little snippets, like where to find a cover designer. Have found there’s a handy little ‘crowd sourcing’ site where you put up your request and designers bid to win your job, apparently (starting at £199 per cover) – it’s http://99designs.co.uk/book-cover-design
More next week, meanwhile, Here’s another little review from a kind beta-reader – remember it’s a little bit steamy!
‘LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Debs you're a genius! I need to know what's going to happen next! Your descriptive powers are enviable, and you have very much created a 'page turning' effect! The characters are likeable and intriguing and you have probably illustrated a situation in these first few chapters that many of us have been in or would very much have liked to have been in! You're not giving too much away … You're leaving us wanting…. Not just that 'Sam' has her night to remember, but wanting to know where this will go and if they have a chance of making it. Well done!…
Alison Keenan, QVC presenter’
Next week on Read it Write It Sell It – a short interview with Lynne Connolly – one of the top Brits in the ebook world, who writes ‘sexy, sophisticated romance’, including ‘romantica’ – an interesting little category on the back of E L James’ success!
KATHY TAYLER BLOOPER – It’s only a little funny, but a worthwhile one! Keep going to the end if you can – these things happen sometimes in live telly! Lol! Bless her. Bless them both! (Click here)
CASTING FOR COUPLES – And from ‘Stars in Their Eyes’ as we were discussing earlier, to ‘Your Style in His Hands’ – and a call for contestants to take part in a new makeover show. Click on the pic for more info, if you fancy being dressed up BY your man, instead of FOR your man. Or woman! Made me think – do you trust your other half to choose your clothes? Let me know below.
Fascinating all these things going round now. I’m a willow and a moonstone – one of my favourite stones!
-ANTTHONY! In the countdown to our talented designer Antthony’s return visit – a marathon from 3-5 May when he’s with lots of different presenters, (I’ve got the finale), he’s been posting some funnies. I just loved these two pics! The second one is him, if he was a dog! Lol!
-MY DOGGY UPDATE – Poorly Holly – had to have second lump out in another op this week – fortunately lump is nothing serious apparently. They did find some cancerous cells in her blood, but aren’t investigating further as she’s quite old so probably to be expected.
Nothing wrong in her abdomen, lungs, stomach or other ‘bits’ so she’s just recuperating – again – as we speak! Getting some proper TLC wrapped up warm in her doggy blankets bless her!
Thanks to the lovely team at Denbies vets in Dorking for caring about her so much.
How chuffed was I to read this! Thanks Renee and likewise, for your fab outfits!
- FACEBOOK FUNNY -And finally, this facebook funny doing the rounds – OMG did I giggle – way to go, bus-stop lady! You have to watch this clip – keep with it cos it gets even better at the end. Talk about make you smile! Well done her! (Click here)
– This week, my review segment focusses on the latest from Tom Cruise – sci fi epic ‘OBLIVION’. Actually it is a pretty complicated twisty-turny story, which at one point had my plot-predictions so wrong-footed that I thought I’d be giving it a nine! (that’s huge for me!). BUT… shortly afterwards a few pretty huge holes appeared in the plot, and weren’t answered – or I missed them.
Based on an original graphic novel, it may have got lost in the translation. Either way I’d say this is definitely a film to get on DVD, so you can rewind and repeat to your heart’s content. Very good in all other aspects tho’ – including the effects, and the performances – especially Andrea Riseborough as Victoria, one of Tom’s leading ladies (makes me want to see DVD now of her performance as Wallis Simpson in ‘W.E.’).
I’m not going to tell you anything other than it’s one of several ‘dystopia’ films out now, or out soon. In fact, Kerena my cinema pal and I commented that nearly every film in the previews this week was all about destruction and ends-of-worlds scenarios! Shows you what was popular as a theme for scripts being sold, around-about two years ago eh! They follow a trend, do Hollywood movie-types!
Anyway after much deliberation, I give it 8 out of ten. Must re-watch it tho, to find out those answers I missed! Lol.
QVC – SNEAKY PEEKS
– Well I used it and liked it – and didn’t my hair come out a treat! (see top pic) . After the huge success of his ‘HIM’ male skincare line, our QVC favourite John Barrowman has developed a very effective volumising hair care set which I used when I took the pic at the top of this blog.
There are some nice, fresh scents in his products too and knowing John, some interesting stories about their creation. Watch out for them coming soon.
QVC – DATE FOR THE DIARY – alpha H fans – midnight on 6th/7th May!
QVC HIGHLIGHTS THIS COMING WEEK
- Well as you may recall me saying last week, I’m off to see a writing pal in Devon so won’t be back on air till Tuesday evening, when I’m on again, including for a lovely hour of Lesley Ebbetts With Sleeves dresses at 5pm. But in the meantime, look out for LISA SNOWDON’s JEWELLERY, SUNDAY 4PM, with Dale (click here for a look at the promo with the lovely lady).
Plus look out on Thursday 25th for the return of Heidi Daus and her amazing show stopping, vintage-inspired jewellery ( like this one- 301002).
Then, do join me Thursday evening (25th, 7 and 10pm) if you have back and neck problems – we have one of Marjolein’s amazing neck products on offer – if stocks last! (400350)
Have a great week! Come back next time to find out about what happened in my Devon weekender! And what new topics I’ve discovered about self-publishing your novel! Don’t forget to pick a subject from above and leave me a comment below! And enter Mandy Baggott’s book comp if you haven’t already!
Best wishes Debs X
P.S. Here’s all the usual facebook and twitter info – do follow me for behind the scenes updates about upcoming bargains etc!
Twitter- @debbieflint - follow me for updates, secrets and insider info on upcoming bargains!
My QVC facebook page – click ‘like’- https://www.facebook.com/DebbieFlintQvcUk
Or leave a straightforward comment below – just post and there you go! Easy! Looking forward to hearing from you!