- Summer brunch with my lovely son
- Superheroes and heroines ahoy!
- A date with Devon drizzle then a dazzling Dartmoor diversion!
- A fabulous Bruno Tonioli funny blooper
- And win a little Liz Earle haircare prize!
Also this week – more in Read It Write It Sell It – what’s your definition of ‘steamy’!?
SUMMER SHOWERS, SUPERHEROES AND STAYCATIONS
First this week, what a lovely Saturday brunch I had last weekend! Had a fab get together with my boy Brad (pictures above and left) and daughter-in-law-to-be, Kari, in a pub called The Anchor in Wisley. It's right on the canal, so it’s very picturesque, and it was hot – 28 degrees when I arrived! But within a couple of hours the clouds came.
Lovely place to go, though, if you are passing by on a nice day! They do trips up and down the canal as well – never been on a canal – that'd make a good 'TiFFT' wouldn't it! **
Then it was overcast by the time I left – to go to my niece's fancy dress garden party, where it promptly poured down! Typical! Can you guess the theme from the pics below? Lol. It was going to be the final shindig in the house we grew up in as kids, so I made sure I went along.
Quite a few of the early birds had made the effort to dress up, but I’d gone straight there from lunching, so I borrowed pal Alison’s costume – GI Jane eat your heart out … not! Hehe. But it was a pretty colourful crew in front of me. Hulk had to win the prize for the easiest get up ever, right? But everyone looked fab and the kids loved it!
And then midweek I had another ‘staycation’ with my writing group pal, Alix – on the edge of Dartmoor (not Exmoor, like I initially tweeted – silly Debbie, got my ‘moors’ mixed up!)
I don’t know about you, if you’re an author, or you want to be, but I’ve found that if I take myself completely away from everything, that’s when I can fully immerse myself in my writing. There’s something about being away from home that makes me more able to ignore the usual distractions (well most of them – facebook and emails excepted!) and just get on with it. As the experts say – first rule of writing – WRITE! LOL. So off to write I did, and Alix as ever was a lovely hostess!
Well, I did get a three day break this time, so lots of hours in front of the computer scribbling (metaphorically scribbling!) and have now got nearly 20,000 words of my next novel. Yay.
It’s the prequel to Sadie and Mac’s Hawaiian Affair, in case you didn’t know, and it’s going to elucidate how my heroine ended up going on an international adventure in the first place, including some juicy confrontation scenes with her soon-to-be-ex-husband, and introducing her sister Helen. And how lovely, to add another 8000 words in such picturesque surroundings.
And yes, it rained – but the village is even pretty in the rain! Sometimes you get to see ponies wandering past and apparently there are lots of foals just meandering in and out of the village with their mothers at this time of year too. So I went out on a walk, pony-hunting… And all I got was.. Wet! That'll teach me!
Just my luck after the great weather we’ve had recently, that the few days I visit Alix, the drizzle returns! Boo. Still, in her old granite cottage, it's never too hot nor too cold – no matter what it's doing outside. Very relaxing. I could get used to this life. Then, when we did venture out, even the traffic jam was unique…
Yes, the very next day, the sunshine was back and Alix and I did take a little break to make a journey to nearby Chagford, which is apparently steeped in historical significance – eg it was the first town to the west of London to have electric street lights. And it’s got a haunted 16th century Inn, the Three Crowns (find out more here). Well I never!
And what a testament to the English countryside it is, to see such sights as these native wild ponies, plus we saw cows and sheep, all roaming free as you drive through beautiful landscapes. Just lovely. So glad I went.
Anyone else lived in a busy city AND in the country? Got an opinion on where is best?
Leave me a comment below!
Still to come – vintage video review, Liz Earle competition, flaked out puppy pic and lovely photo of me and daughter Lauren…
BLOOPER – Bruno's kitchen mishap!
Oh how funny! If you saw my kitchen show during our Great QVC Summer Sale on Monday night, featuring some brilliant Bruno Tonioli bargains, you'd have seen this funny moment! He is a wag and no mistake – tee hee! What's left of his clearance stock is still on our website – go look. In fact, don't forget Clearance Tuesday each week on the web.
PS did anyone see what he got up to with our poor Jackie Kabler earlier in the day? What happened with the pepper pot, exactly? Or shouldn’t I ask…?!
READ IT WRITE IT SELL IT
RiWiSi – My weekly look at all things book…
Book of the Week – ‘Sailing Solo’ by Emily Harvale. Emily’s latest is out! One of my fellow Tuscany writing group colleagues has achieved great things on Amazon – and her fun romances are always in the top 50 humour charts.
Well her fourth book is now available (have ordered the paperback so she can sign it for me, as she’s been a bit of a mentor!). This light-hearted story about a woman who takes a solo sailing trip (natch!) and finds love, might be a perfect next read. Plus, she was asked by amazon (whoop whoop!) to allow them to feature her third book ‘The Golf Widows Club’ in the 99p offers in their summer sale extravaganza – so do try her out! And if you leave a review, say you heard about her on here!
Click here to find out more.
For Writers – So what’s it like if you do manage to get a fairly high profile publishing deal? What happens with all the publicity you have to do? An interesting article appeared in the Guardian this week – it's either an eye opener regarding what timid authors wanting publicity should expect from journalists, or it's a clever piece to draw attention to the coincidental launch of this writer's first book! Either way, it's quite a funny piece. Out of interest, though, has it made you buy her novel?
‘Hawaiian Affair’ – It’s All in The Definition
Seems my ‘steamy’ first novel on amazon has finally divided readers! I always read the reviews on all my different versions currently available – it’s fascinating and educational after all. (Am overjoyed that there are now 102 five star reviews out of 110 – so chuffed I can’t tell you!) But one lady didn’t like it at all – ‘I know this is the steamy version but it was too much for me, I binned it,’ she said.
And gave it a one star review.
On the same day, I had this review – ‘I've just finished Hawaiian affair, I enjoyed it, it was a good book, … being really honest it wasn't what I expected though, … I don't think it was steamy, really!’
And gave it four stars and said ‘if it hadn’t said steamy and it wasn’t, I would have given five for being great chic lit!’ Apparently this lady 'eats shades of Grey for breakfast’ so that's why she thought mine was tame!
Doesn’t it just go to show how much perception depends on a definition – in this case, of 'steamy'! Interesting huh?
So what did you think, if you read it? On a 'shades of steamy' chart, how many 'shades' is 'Hawaiian Affair' in your opinion? I joked and said it's about 7 or 8 rather than 50. But of course it’s all down to what you’re used to.
Takes all sorts, tho’, eh?
(And if you haven’t got it yet – form your own opinion via this link – click here for steamy version!)
PG Version – BUT don’t forget the PG (non-steamy) versions of my novel ARE also available on amazon in serialised instalments right now, (of parts 2 and 4.) And from August Bank holiday weekend – drumroll…! Fanfare….! The complete PG version in eBook will also be uploaded! On a very temporary, very special offer! I do hope that the one-star lady tries that one!
More news about the special price deal next week!
Pam Ayres-esque? – Talking of ‘steamy’, you may not have seen it yet, but it’s doing the rounds again on facebook – an Ode to 50 Shades of Grey, Pam Ayres style. Following in the footsteps of ’50 Sheds of Grey’, and soooo funny! But turns out it’s not by her at all! It’s by a guy called John Summers. So what did Pam have to say about it?!
For the full lowdown, go to my RiWiSi page on my website, where you’ll also find the full poem. Plus, there’s a summary of the last few months’ writing news, which I originally posted in this book-related blog segment.
JK Update – finally this week, the latest on the J K Rowling pseudonym saga. For those who claimed it was all just a publicity stunt, JK was this week awarded damages in court over the leaking of her new pseudonym, proving it wasn’t deliberate, as some thought. (For those who missed the news, see my recent blog for more.)
Good for her – even more so, since she’s donating the profits from her sky-high sales now word is out that Robert Galbraith is really her, towards the soldiers’ charity – they’d helped with her research for ‘his debut novel’ The Cuckoo’s Calling. Not read it yet, but it’s awaiting me on my kindle! Read the full story here.
- Wow how amazing is this – seriously – if you're a history geek like me, do click on this link and find out more about some of the newest discoveries from the Neolithic era in the UK.
Halls of the Dead as they called them, showed how our ancient ancestors in the final part of the stone age, c.4000-2500 BC, treated the remains of their loved ones – bringing the bones out for special ceremonies etc.
So unthinkable now, but completely normal back then. And we're descended from them! (ps the vid at the top of this link is not connected but still interesting!)
- Come say hello! A reminder about the little charity tea rooms event I’m helping to run in a local village near Dorking (behind the Wotton Hatch pub RH56QQ) on Sunday next week – 11th Aug – 11am till 4pm.
Do come along! I may even have some copies of 'Hawaiian Affair' to sign, since some of my lovely beta-readers will be joining me! Gluten-free cake is on the menu too I’m told! Whoop! : – )
- In case you didn’t realise it, there was an extra blog this week about Leighton Denny’s fab value new TSV – join me Monday night for the midnight launch.
It's a whopping £80-odd value for thirty-something pounds! The balm comes in very handy for cuticles if you want to stop flip-flop-dry-toe this summer! Set also includes shimmery taupe shade and classy cocktailing colours for chameleon nails – don't miss it!
So loved my Labradors having their litters – and seeing the little pups was definitely one of my kids’ best childhood memories – they remember cute bundles of fluff with 'puppy breath' even now. Soooo cute! Chilling in the hot weather – bless him. X
LIZ EARLE COMPETITION
As promised last week – here’s a little extra treat for all you Liz Earle fans – if you heard us waxing lyrical about her fab hair serum recently, here’s your chance to win one, plus a small shampoo and Normal conditioner.
All you have to do is leave a comment below by Thursday 8th at 6pm saying that you’d like to be entered in the randomly drawn competition, and you’ll be in the draw. Simples! Winner announced here in next week’s blog – full T&C’s here.
I must say I love the smell of this oil, and when I use it, I also genuinely get that shine and manageability, plus I do feel it cuts drying time somewhat too! Good luck if you enter!
Ps If you love it too, do add a comment below to tell me what your experience is of using it!
(NB item number 203089 is amazing value – the hair oil on its own is about £15 – and you get lots of face and body care too!)
WATCH – Brief Encounter – vintage video review. Now not a lot of people know this, but I’ve been doing a lot of research for a story set in the 1920s and 30s lately – and watching some pre-WW2 films in their entirety on youtube – fab resource, that is!
Anyway, with a head full of black and white classics, sharp dressing and impeccable manners, I found myself looking for more and realised I adore movies of this era. I feel drawn to those decades, maybe I had another life then, what do you think?! So what better to feature in my occasional series of Vintage Film Reviews, than one of the all-time classics – 'Brief Encounter' set in 1938 but released in 1945. The ‘Bridges of Madison County’ or ‘Shirley Valentine’ of its day (sort of), it took the box office by storm and helped to cheer up a nation’s citizens in a country ravaged by war – it was released just as the second world war ended.
David Lean’s direction, Noel Coward’s screenplay (it was based on his 1936 one-act play 'Still Life') and Celia Johnson’s Oscar-nominated performance as the frustrated housewife whose life is turned upside down by a chance meeting in a railway station tea rooms, make for a fascinating snapshot of a moment in time. There are some wonderful little scenes capturing Britain in that bygone era – from the cars to the fashions to the speech to the behind-closed-door-morals – I blooming love it!
A whopping 9 out of ten for me – one of my top films ever, and it appears regularly in others’ best movie charts too (eg BFI 1999 top 100 – it came second). Does it top yours? If you’ve never seen it, and you adore old movies, do watch it. And leave your ‘best bit from Brief Encounter’ suggestion in a comment to me below!
QVC – SNEAKY PEEK
SHHHHHH! And a wonderful extra sneaky warning for your diaries, Red Carpet Manicure is back for some fab shows on August 23rd x
QVC THIS WEEK –
Well it’s another exciting week of bargains ahead of us, people! Weekend watchers, don’t miss the clever Archos smartphone (above left) – which I’ll be bringing you straight after my 7pm Bobbi Brown show on Saturday evening (3rd).
Don’t forget to catch Dale and Charlie’s famous jewellery special – they’re on again this Sunday at 5pm! Laugh! Then more fashion on Monday and a StriVectin TSV (above right) on Thursday next week! (8th). Amongst much, much more!
Come back next week for results of the Liz Earle competition winners and I’ll be telling you what I got up to when QVC put me up for a night in a hotel near the studio, cos the whole of my town is closed for (another!) cycling event on Sunday 4th!
Ps – * TiFFT =try it for the first time club!
Don’t forget to leave me a comment below!
P.p.s Keep in touch! Do follow me on Twitter for behind the scenes updates about upcoming bargains etc!
Twitter – @debbieflint
My QVC facebook page – click ‘like’- https://www.facebook.com/DebbieFlintQvc
Via my new website – sign up for regular email newsletters – www.debbieflint.co.uk
Or leave a straightforward comment below – just write your comment, leave your name and your email (kept private), post and there you go! Easy! Looking forward to hearing from you!