A Day In The Life of: Helen Buckley

So this morning I got up, tried to get a child up, shouted at said child, husband went to work, shouted at child a bit more and broke the land speed record getting said child to school on time… Though I can’t help wondering what Helen’s day was like….

Signing contract photo further cropWhat do you imagine when you think of an author? Someone getting up late, perhaps sitting at a desk in their PJs with a large mug of coffee, spending the day typing away, or possibly staring out of the window, seeking inspiration?

Sadly, that’s not my experience!

My day usually starts around 5ish. I’m up to make my children’s breakfast and lunches. Then if I’m lucky, I get time to write before the kids wake up. I have two boys, one is nearly 3 years old, and the other is 15 months, so life is very full on.

My husband and I get the boys up and deliver them to their childcare places. Then I start work – my job is being the communications officer for a disability inclusion non-profit called Shaping Our Lives. Fortunately I work from home, so there’s no commute apart from the short drive to drop the boys off at the childminder and nursery.

I work 9-5pm and then the boys come back and chaos is unleashed till they are asleep.

Around 7 or 8pm, all being well, I might try to do a little writing, or update my blog/ social media.

Then I crash into bed at 10pm, exhausted!


So my life definitely doesn’t fit the relaxing image I conjured up in the first paragraph, although I do always have a cup of coffee or tea on the go. But I wouldn’t change things. I’m very lucky to have my two boys (both IVF-miracle babies), and I know one day I will have more time to write when they are a little bigger. Till then I grit my teeth and drag myself out of bed before it’s dawn, and hope to have another book completed soon!




What do you do when your life becomes more dramatic than reality TV?

As the devoted carer for famous antique expert Harold Kershaw, Karrie Morgan was always happy to keep a professional distance from his four spoilt grown-up children, who rarely made time for their father. But then a surprise involving Harold’s Will means Karrie is flung headlong into a press scandal, and into the chaotic world of the surviving Kershaws.

With the support of her trusted childhood friend Andrew, mild-mannered Karrie must face down ruthless ice queen Portia, master manipulator Gabriel, Botox fanatic Arabella, and ladies’ man Rafe, star of reality TV show Raised in Richmond … although perhaps not as fake and flashy as he initially seems?

As vicious rumours circulate and Karrie’s past comes back to haunt her, she struggles to know who to trust. Can she keep up with the Kershaws’ schemes?


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Helen Buckley



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Helen has visited my blog many time and her other posts can be found HERE

Strictly Christmas Spirt – Helen Buckley

Did someone say it’s nearly Christmas? There are only 58 to go!!!!

Signing contract photo further crop


Welcome back Helen, I’m looking forward to catching up with you after an incredible year you’ve had on the book front and talking about all things Christmas and of course your new book


Are you a lover or hater of Christmas Helen?

I LOVE it!!!!!

What do you love about Christmas?

It’s such a fun time of year. I love the food, the lights, the presents, and as a Christian it means a huge amount to me spiritually. I find the whole season deeply moving and deeply joyful

Do you have any Christmas traditions, if so what are they are they carried on from your childhood or have you created your own?

Only one – watching the Muppet Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve. It’s my favourite Christmas film. My boys are really little so they don’t really understand Christmas yet, but I hope they will soon and then we can make our own traditions.


Do you think we’ll have a white Christmas this year?

Hmmm…. Probably not. Maybe a slightly soggy one?

What is your earliest Christmas memory?

I do remember waking up one night, groggy and full of sleep, and seeing someone putting something in the stocking at the end of my bed. Of course it was one of my parents but I just went back to sleep!

What was the best present you received as a child?

I got given a Sylvanian Family house once and I was so happy!

What is the one thing you always wanted but never got?

A horse (lol)


Favourite Christmas song pop or carol?

I really like Shakin’ Stevens Merry Christmas Everyone, and I always cry when I hear Cliff Richard’s Mistletoe and Wine.

What would you buy your main characters in “Strictly Christmas Spirit” as a Christmas present?

I’d buy Emily an organiser – she’s quite scatty and gets stressed out so I think it would help her.


I’d buy Blake a puppy. I feel like it would bring out a new nurturing side in him!


If you were asked to guest DJ on a national radio station on Christmas day what would you play?

All the Christmas tunes again and again and again.





From disco balls to Christmas baubles …

Ex-dancer Emily Williams turned her back on the sparkle of popular dancing show Strictly Dancing with Celebs to help those in need. Now the only dancing she does is teaching lonely pensioners to waltz, and the closest she gets to disco balls is making baubles with the homeless people in her Christmas crafts class.

She’s certainly not star-struck when Hollywood heart-throb Blake Harris is sent to her at short notice for community service, and has no desire to babysit the arrogant actor with his bad boy antics and selfish ways. Christmas might be a time for miracles, but Blake seems to be a lost cause.

But Emily’s reasons for abandoning her dancing passion means she understands the Hollywood wild child more than she’d like to admit. Could their time together, coupled with a dash of Christmas spirit, lead to a miracle change of heart for them both?




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Helen Buckley



ChocLit-logo-Web Check out Helen’s other two books on the Choc Lit website


I previously spoke to Helen as part of Meet the family and Which books, click to read more.

Which Books… Ella Cook

Ella Cook blew us all away with her debut Beyond Grey about Angels and dying, but now she is back with something different! A Summer’s Christmas!!???


Which book do you wish you’d written. Ella dimples

There are so, so many that I’ve thought that about. But I wish I’d written Pratchett’s Discworld series

Which book cover have you looked at and gone that’s amazing.

To be honest, it was probably a book of crochet patterns with intricate mandala patterns as I love working with yarn and hooks, but if you mean ‘Wow, I’m so buying this book!’ then Celia Ahearne’s Book of Tomorrow really grabbed me. And I loved the silhouette work on Kirsty Ferry’s Every Witch Way, which I’m trying to leave a few weeks to enjoy around Halloween… but I think the temptation will win out!


Which book character/s would you protect from the world?

Actually, Summer, the little girl in Summer’s Christmas. Even when writing her story I found myself wanting to wrap her in a blanket and keep her safe.

Outside my own writing, I’ve always had a real soft spot for Veralidaine Sarrasri from Tamora Pearce’s Tortall series – though she’s more than capable of taking care of herself – and anyone else who comes along!

Which was the last book that broke your heart.

The final scenes of Beyond Grey when I wrote them. If I’m honest, there aren’t many books that have made me cry – and I knew writing BG that if it didn’t, I wouldn’t ever share it with anyone, because I would have felt like I hadn’t really done justice to the story.

Before that, The Shepherd’s Crown by Pratchett choked me up a lot.

Which book would you make your child/ren read.

Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree – I think it’s a wonderful thing to believe in magic.


Which book would you rewrite in a different genre.

I always thought Sleeping Beauty would make a really good horror… not sure I’d want to read it though, let alone write it!

If you could write any genre which one would it be?

Other than romance and contemporary fiction? I love fantasy, so epic fantasy with powerful mages, amazing creatures and wonder-filled adventures I guess. So long as I can still write happy endings for my characters.

Which book taught you the largest lesson about life.

To Kill a Mockingbird: I think Atticus Finch was probably the first true hero I encountered in literature. I read it in school, and came away thinking: Wow.

Which three books would you take on holiday in 2021?

Only three? Forget that. I’m taking a whole kindle full


thumbnail_Summer's Christmas by Ella Cook


Bringing the spirit of Christmas to a summer’s day …

Summer by name and summer by nature – that’s how people describe Evelyn’s happy, outgoing daughter. Even if her favourite time of year is actually Christmas!

But Summer has gone through more than any eight-year-old ever should, and that’s part of the reason Evelyn is leaving everything behind to return to her childhood home in the village of Broclington; just her, Summer and Summer’s best friend – a Shiba Inu dog called Tilly. Unsurprisingly, Evelyn is hesitant to let anyone else in, although local vet Jake Macpearson seems intent on winning her trust.

When Evelyn receives the news that every mother dreads, it’s Jake who comes to the rescue. With the help of the Broclington community, could he be the man to bring festive magic to August, and make all of Evelyn and Summer’s Christmases come at once?




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You can keep up with all things Ella related


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RUBY-LOGO-RD-NSAll Ella’s books can be found HERE


The Meet the Family post with Ella Cook can be found HERE


Which Books… Helen Buckley

Helen’s books seem to be coming thick and fast as I am sure it wasn’t that long ago the Strictly on Ice was released. So when I saw the next book in her “in the spotlight” series I just had to get her to sit down with me again for a chat.


Which book do you wish you’d written. Signing contract photo further crop

The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. It’s so beautifully written.

Which book cover have you looked at and gone that’s amazing.

My new novel, Celebrity SOS! I absolutely love the cover ChocLit designed.


Which book character/s would you protect from the world?

Kiara from my first novel, Star in the Shadows.

Which was the last book that broke your heart.

A million dreams, by Dani Atkins. I cried buckets reading it, especially as it’s about IVF and both my boys are the result of fertility treatment.

Which book would you make your child/ren read.

Anything by Roald Dahl.

Which book would you rewrite in a different genre.

It would be fun to do a modern take on Jane Eyre

If you could write any genre which one would it be?

Psychological thrillers. I love reading them but I don’t think I could write one

Which book taught you the largest lesson about life.

I’ve learnt so much from books that it’s hard to single out just one. Jacqueline Wilson books taught me a lot about life, family, and friendship when I was younger.

Which three books would you take on holiday in 2021?

Q, by Christina Dalcher

The Push, Ashley Audrain

A sky full of stars, Dani Atkins

And of course I would fill up my Kindle with lots of ChocLit goodies too!


FInal cover

I’m a celebrity … trying to escape the past!

When Katerina Murphy agrees to take part in Celebrity SOS, a reality TV show where celebrities have to fend for themselves in the Alaskan wilderness, she’s up for the challenge. But then she locks eyes with fellow contestant Finn Drayson of 1Dream boy band fame and realises that the show is going to push her further from her comfort zone than she ever imagined.

After all, Finn wasn’t just Katerina’s co-star in the school play adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s where she discovered her acting confidence, he was also her first love – and the first boy to break her heart. Even years later, the secret kisses and shared packets of crisps on park benches are never far from her mind.

Will award-winning actress Katerina Murphy’s talents stretch to staying composed in the face of Arctic winds and blasts from the past?





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You can keep up with all things Helen related


@HelenCBuckley                            Facebook-Xperia  Helen Buckley Author


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All Helen’s books can be found here.


The Meet the Family post with Helen Buckley can be found HERE


Meet The Family – Helen Buckley

When Helen joined the Choc-lit Ruby-lit family I was keen to sit down with a new member of the family for a chat…

Signing contract photo further crop

Hey Helen, and welcome to my blog “A Story About A Girl” I am really looking forward to learning more about your book “Strictly On Ice ” especially after I had the pleasure of reading it myself and Wow!

What inspired you to write “Strictly on Ice?”

I’ve always been enthralled by the beauty, physical prowess, and artistry of Olympic figure skating, and I’m a big fan of Dancing on Ice too. It was so much fun to write a book about the sport, with lots of drama and romance thrown in too.

What made you decide to submit with ChocLit?

They seemed like a really good match for my books. They are award-winning publishers of romantic fiction, and they are incredibly supportive and encouraging. I’m thrilled to be working with them.

If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?

Start sooner! For years I convinced myself that I couldn’t write a book. To me, it seemed an impossible feat, like running a marathon. Then once I started, I couldn’t stop. I wish I had started writing earlier.

How did you deal with rejections when you started out?

Oddly enough they didn’t worry me too much because I had already made up my mind that I would be rejected – I had low expectations! While I was submitting to agents and publishers I carried on writing, honing my work, perfecting my pitch, and developing my series, which I then successfully submitted to ChocLit.

What would you say to someone who wants to write?

I would say go for it, as you never know what may come of it. Perhaps you have a story to tell that people need to hear? Have a go, take a chance, and good luck!

If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

UntitledMy career background is in the charity sector, but I gave up work to look after my children. I fit writing around looking after two very energetic boys!

Do you have any writing routines or rituals if so what are they?

With two children under two I have no time for rituals. I barely even have space to write. As long as I have my laptop I’ll make it work, even if it’s writing under the duvet in the dark of night so as not to wake the baby, or writing in the kitchen while I cook. I have become a genius at multi-tasking!

Which authors inspired you to write?

Catherine Cookson, Donna Tartt, Charles Dickens, Roald Dahl, Stephen King. An eclectic mix of authors I love and admire.

Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

Tom Hardy for Jamie – he’s got that rugged gorgeous look and could definitely portray a rugby player. Tom_Hardy_by_Gage_Skidmore



There’s an Australian actress called Jessica De Gouw and I think she would be a good match to play Katie.


What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I’ve got more books coming out with ChocLit so keep your eyes peeled! Strictly on Ice is the first in a series of standalone books about romance and fame. The next book is due out later this year, and there’s a sneak preview of it in the back of Strictly on Ice.

More About Helen

Helen Buckley lives in Bedfordshire with her husband and two sons. After working in the charity sector in the UK and abroad, she turned her hand to writing and her first novel, Star in the Shadows, was published in 2019.

She writes any moment that she can, enthralled by stories of fame, romance, and happy ever afters. Apart from being addicted to writing and enjoying soft play with her sons, she’s an avid reader, action-movie fan, and chocolate addict.


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Strictly on Ice final cover image

When falling in love comes with the risk of falling flat on your face …

Former Olympic skating champion Katie Saunders is well known for her ‘ice queen’ persona in the press. On the face of it, perhaps Katie should have forgiven her former skating partner and ex-boyfriend, Alex Michaelson, for the accident that shattered both her ankle and their Olympic dreams – but she just can’t seem to let it go.

When Katie reluctantly agrees to take part in a new TV skating show, it’s only because she’s desperate for cash. What she didn’t count on is the drama – not only is she partnered up with infamous love rat rugby player Jamie Welsh, but one of the judges is none other than Alex Michaelson himself.

As the show progresses, will Katie be shown the hard way, once again, that romance on the ice should remain strictly off-limits?




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