Decision made


If you read my blog last week you may be thinking we’ve decided to go to Australia for the wedding, but that’s not the case, the jury is still out on that one. The momentous decision I have reached this week is that I am going to self-publish my first novel, ‘Life’s a Beach and Then…’

There are several reasons. On QVC I can sell anything from beauty products to vacuum cleaners but unfortunately I am not very good at selling myself. My book has been finished since November and I did submit the first three chapters and a covering letter to five literary agents. Although I had some nice comments, none of them loved my book enough to want to represent me.

Most writers would say five rejections is not many and that I should keep trying but I find it time-consuming and stressful composing cover letters. So I sat down and thought about it properly and realised that I want you guys to read the book as I wrote it. I don’t particularly want other people’s input into my story and I certainly don’t want to be waiting nine months to a year for my book to be published. In the end it was an easy decision and I could feel the weight lift off my shoulders. Fortunately for me my friend of twenty-five years, Debs Flint, has already trodden that path and has offered her help.

Debbie Flint and Julia

She came round for lunch on Tuesday – home-made minestrone soup and cheese spelt scones with fresh fruit salad to follow… actually it followed some time later! She took the fruit salad with her in a lock ‘n’ lock as we were so involved in book stuff the time ran away with us!

Debs showed me the Kindle Direct Publishing website for eBooks and also Create Space for printing paperbacks on demand. I have contacted her cover designer as I really like the covers of Debbie’s books and that is the only thing stopping me from publishing earlier as Angela is busy until late April. So I’ve decided on mid to late May for the eBook and probably a couple of weeks later for the paperback.

I feel I can move on with the sequel now that I have made this decision, and that should be finished later this year. I have a few butterflies fluttering around my tummy but they are excitement rather than nerves. Nearer the release date I will put little tasters on here to whet your appetite (or not) and I will run a competition for signed copies… watch this space.

In the garden

Haven’t we had some lovely sunny days this month? It really gives a feeling of positivity and, of course, the promise of spring and summer to come. The first plants to flower in my garden were snowdrops a few weeks back but now this gorgeous pink camellia bush, which has been laden with buds for weeks, has sprung into bloom.

We have white camellias out too and lots of things coming into bud. I do love this garden and it will be even better when we get the area outside my gym fenced and paved. We stopped working on outside to concentrate on the inside of our home in the run up to Christmas but now the weather is improving we’ll be out again.

Someone who would love to go outside is Wilfie, Daniel’s cat. When he first lived with us he was allowed outside but, as Daniel has no garden, he is now an indoor cat and we have to keep it that way for when he moves back in with Daniel. He likes my indoor plants though and doesn’t seem to distinguish between real and Peony.

I have two real phalaenopsis orchids in the conservatory which he loves to ‘tap’. I have been trying to catch him doing this on video as he looks so cute but he always stops just as I point my iPad at him. However, last night he was ‘tapping’ the Peony orchid I have in the lounge and I got him…

Does your cat do this I wonder?

I’m heading in to work shortly, after I’ve had a workout in the gym, for Fashion on Friday featuring Together, one of your favourite brands of the moment, followed at 6pm by Spotlight on Jewellery. I’m hoping that the TSV earrings will be among the Diamonique pieces we are featuring if they haven’t sold out… I’ve been wearing them and the matching pendant all week and I think they’re gorgeous!

We also continue with the Clogau 18th anniversary – it’s been hugely popular this week but we have saved a few pieces for this show.

Clogau Ingot pendant and chain - 642218

Speaking of Wales, I’m off to Swansea tomorrow to see Daniel for a few days and get some writing done on the next novel, so I will be there for St.David’s Day – maybe I should make leek and potato soup in celebration?

Have a great weekend.

Much love,
Julia xx


  1. TINA S February 27, 2015 at 3:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Just got in from visiting my sister as she hasn’t been very well again and had a nice surprise. The B&W Welsh Dragon Brooch had arrived! It is lush and I’m so glad I ordered it. Just in time for St. David’s Day this Sunday and of course the Rugby. Wales are playing France tomorrow (Saterday). So it will be another nail-biting time! I hope you enjoy your visit down here to see Daniel and of course you will have to sport wearing a Daffodil (or leek). When I was in school one of my classmates always had a real leek and she would bring salt with her to eat the leek. She used to stink the classroom out! I used to love St. David’s Day in school as we used to hold an Eisteddfordd where we would have competitions including singing of course and poetry. The best part though was that we used to have a half day for that day.
    The weather had turned chilly again. Hopefully when you visit Wales you should start to see the Daffodils coming out along the roadsides and roundabouts on your way.
    Smiled at seeing the pussy cat! I bet Daniel is missing him.
    Well I’m off to watch the fashion at 5. All the best, Tina S. X

    • Julia Roberts March 3, 2015 at 9:34 am -  Reply

      Hi Tina
      So pleased you like the B&W Welsh dragon brooch – I thought it would be right up your street!
      My car had a puncture on the way home from work on Friday night so Sophie volunteered to drive us down in her little mini – she only stayed overnight but really liked Daniel’s flat … I wish she could get something like it near London for an affordable price!
      I think I’m right in saying that Wales won the rugby? … and Palace beat West Ham so a good sporting weekend for us both.
      Dan is missing Wilfie but it is for the best for now until he’s settled into the routine of his new job.
      Lovely bright day yesterday in Swansea – hoping fr more of the same today
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  2. Annette Roberts February 27, 2015 at 5:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Well done you, getting your novel finished. Its great that Debbie has pointed you in the right direction to self publish, nothing worse having to write letters, followed by rejections, as you’ve said, nobody else has tinkered with it…you’re in control!

    Wilfie is very funny patting the plant and then this little voice in the background, wonder who that could be? I shot a video of Bobby howling in the lounge and you forget about your own voice in the background, thank goodness for the mute button because I hate listening to me. I did catch something else however, lots of orbs, one in particular flying out from behind the TV and over Bobby’s shoulder towards me! I think we counted 7 in total, which doesn’t surprise me because there used to be a village garage on the site of this house…it wasn’t a one off either, I find the whole thing fascinating.

    Hope you have a good time with Daniel and think you ought to make some Welsh Cakes for St David’s Day too!
    Annette x

    • Julia Roberts March 3, 2015 at 9:44 am -  Reply

      Hi Annette
      I’m really happy that I’ve made the decision to self-publish. I’m really impatient, when I’ve finished something I want to move on. I keep remembering the Beatles and Decca … I wonder if their A&R man got fired?! Lots of authors self-publish first these days then get picked up by a publishing company if sales are good. That’s what happened with EL James and Fifty Shades (not that my book is anything like that

  3. Alana February 27, 2015 at 11:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Can’t wait to read your new book, good luck with it. A signed copy would be lovely if there’s anyway of getting one.
    Your clip of Wilfie was funny, my cat Charlie loves plants and flowers and always has to touch the daffodils on the kitchen table!lol.
    You should definitely make your leek and potato soup, I made it last week for lunch to take to work – delish!

    • Julia Roberts March 3, 2015 at 9:49 am -  Reply

      Hi Alana
      I will definitely run a competition to win signed copies but failing that you could send it in to QVC for e to sign … I’m just pleased you are interested in it.
      I had been trying to catch Wilfie ‘plant tapping’ on video for ages – he normally stops just as I start to film. He really is adorable especially when he is trying to ‘clean’ Milo and Milo doesn’t want him to!
      Haven’t done Leek & Potato soup for a while so it’s a bit overdue.
      Julia x

  4. Steven February 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia Just watched your team get a massive win at West Ham. Safety is beginning to look like a real possibility again.

    Hope you have a great rest of the weekend x

    • Julia Roberts March 3, 2015 at 9:54 am -  Reply

      Hi Steven
      We just made it down to Swansea for the start of the Palace match on TV. When you see the stats West Ham had much more possession but couldn’t put away their chances largely thanks to Speroni in goal.
      I heard on Sky Sports that your team has issues off the pitch again? Do you think you will get promotion?
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  5. Joanna Downey March 2, 2015 at 2:21 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia, I’m sorry that I haven’t responded to your blogs for some time, I read every one but I was floored by a virus several weeks ago and my “get up & go” got up slowly and left… Your time away from the Q was very busy and you are obviously still whizzing around. Having read that J K Rowling received negative responses from several publishing houses when she wrote the first Harry book I wonder what they look for – I have seen so many novels that are just a waste of paper and ink. I’m sure yours will be a good read and look forward to getting my copy when it is available. I enjoyed the Wilfie film, I love cats and he looks as gorgeous as ever. When I went on my ‘O’ level Geography field week I returned with a black and white kitten which was a surprise for my mum who was expecting a bag of dirty laundry! Biddy was a lovely girl who was fascinated by any flowers brought into the house, she would pull them out of vases one by one, tear them to pieces and leave the remnants by the front door. On a very unhappy note I had to make the sad but kind decision to have our beautiful cat Bertie put to sleep yesterday. He was seventeen and on Saturday afternoon his breathing became very laboured, he didn’t seem distressed just very tired, he even managed to eat his supper. I couldn’t find him on Sunday morning and had the awful feeling that he’d gone away to die, fortunately our young cat found him at the top of the garden and as soon as I saw him I knew we had to go to the vets. The care they gave to both of us was wonderful and a life well lived was given a dignified ending. He was much loved and will much missed, Col and I buried him in a sunny spot with many tears and stories about our fluffball who had seen both our girls grow up and been a such an important member of our family. Spring is just around the corner so I’ll turn my face to the Sun and take comfort from knowing that we gave him a happy life. Love from Jo x

    • Julia Roberts March 3, 2015 at 10:05 am -  Reply

      Hello Jo
      I am so so sorry to hear about Bertie. I know exactly where you are coming from as we had the major health issue with Poppy last summer. As you said it was almost like she was just overwhelmingly tired of life. I had made the decision that if we couldn’t pull her through with drugs and TLC she would be allowed to go to cat heaven. Well done for being brave enough to say goodbye.
      I loved the story about your return from a geography trip with a cat …. we mums take it all in our stride though!
      Thanks for the encouragement re my book. I guess agents and publishers are a little like QVC buyers in a way trying to second guess what people want … most of the time they get it right but things slip through sometimes. I don’t think I’m a JK Rowling but everyone has to start somewhere.
      I hope you are feeling better now?
      Julia x

  6. AMANDA PORTER March 5, 2015 at 10:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Well done on finishing your book, I look forward to reading it. I suggested on your blog headed I’m back, 6 Feb, the one where I won the Nour jewellery, that you publish a delicious cookery book for a Polio charity, I know you suffer the consequences of that nasty disease, as does my husband. You seem to be on a roll now, so it seems as good a time as any! Hope your time away with Daniel was good, lovely weather for you.
    Take care.
    Amanda x

    • Julia Roberts March 5, 2015 at 5:43 pm -  Reply

      Hi Amanda
      I’ve had a smashing break with Daniel – 4000 words written of my new novel while he has been out at work and lovely evenings in.
      I’m doing a presentation for the British Polio Fellowship in a couple of weeks time but I will certainly have a think about a cookbook to raise money for them.
      Hope you have been enjoying your Nour jewellery?
      Julia x

  7. Janice Bleek March 5, 2015 at 11:06 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia , I always read your blog but have never written one, Will be looking forward to your new book .Good luck. Love from Jan x

    • Julia Roberts March 5, 2015 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

      Hi Janice
      Glad to hear you enjoy reading my blogs and thanks for posing on this one. Fingers crossed you will like my book.
      Do write on here again
      Julia x

  8. Steven March 5, 2015 at 7:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia

    Tomorrow is a big day for my team when hopefully we will get a new board in and get rid of the people ‘running’ our club… running it into the ground would be more appropriate. The people coming in should have the club at heart so hopefully we can start looking up again. I’m not sure we will get promoted to be honest. The long term future of the club is more important.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend xx

    • Julia Robers March 11, 2015 at 10:57 am -  Reply

      Hi Steven
      So what happened? Did you get new owners? Wouldn’t it be great if clubs to just go back to football matters instead of business people trying to make even more money.
      Hope it all works out and at least your arch enemies lost the other day I believe?

  9. Geraldine Carron March 5, 2015 at 8:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia I also love reading your blog and I also love the video of Daniel,s cat Wilfie I have been to the butler and Wilson shop in Fulham road but I didn,t see Simon there I think he might have been busy from Geraldine Carron

    • Julia Robers March 11, 2015 at 11:02 am -  Reply

      Hello Geraldine
      I’m so pleased you enjoy reading my blogs … There is always plenty going on to write about!
      How cute is Wilfie, although I did discover that he has been biting my real orchids in the conservatory… Hope they are not poisonous for cats like lilies are.
      Simon is more often in the South Molton Street shop as his offices are above but he travels a lot too.
      Julia x

  10. Alana March 6, 2015 at 6:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Thanks, lovely of you to offer and I may possibly post your book to be signed as I doubt I would be lucky enough to win a signed copy.
    The photo on your new blog looks lovely, if you don’t mind me asking are you wearing leggings? If so, are they from QVC? It’s so hard to find a good pair of legging that are not see through! Lol.

    • Julia Robers March 11, 2015 at 11:05 am -  Reply

      Hi Alana
      Think positive thoughts and you never know you may just get lucky.
      The leggings I am wearing on the picture at Oxwich Bay are the Assets by Spanx ones we had as a TSV a short while ago – I absolutely love them as they are sturdy fabric, have support and REALLY fit well.
      Check our website to see if we have any
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  11. Steven March 12, 2015 at 7:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia thanks for getting back to me. Yes we got new owners and we have got rid of the crooks that were in. We have a new manager today too – one of our ex players Stuart McCall… really pleased with that one. Hopefully we can kick on now and go and win promotion via the playoffs. Who do Palace play this weekend? Are you going?

    To be honest don’t pay much attention to our arch enemies but they are making hard work of winning the league this season!

    Have you got much planned this weekend? I’m going to see Mr Mccall’s first game in charge at Ibrox against Livingston

    Thanks again for taking the time to reply and speak soon xx

  12. Sally Anne March 25, 2015 at 4:55 pm -  Reply

    Our cat Sophie used to chew the (fake) long grass blades that accompanied the painted wooden roses on display in the kitchen. After that they looked errrmm..interesting!

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