This girl is on fire as the song goes… She has an amazing back catalogue of books with Choc-Lit so I decided to shake things up abit and do some quick fire questions…
Vodka and Coke or Malibu and Coke
Vodka and coke – malibu is for summer and pina coladas!
Novella or novel
I like writing them both – sometimes my novellas increase into novels after edits. I’ll read either, so long as it’s a good story.
Ruby Lit or Choc-lit
Ha ha! Both! Choc Lit is the home of my timeslips and most of my other series, but Ruby is the home of my Padcock series. I’ve really enjoyed writing the Padcock books. They’re a little bit different from my Choc Lit books and I can have fun with first person point of view by really getting into the main characters of Cerys, Edie and now Flora.
Series or stand alone
Again, I love both. I like picking up a book and really enjoying it, then realising there are other books in the series. Sometimes a book has to be stand alone, though, and I think it spoils it if they do a follow on. I particularly hate where the author spends a novel getting a couple together then splits them up in a sequel. It’s almost like it’s been a waste of a book. This happened to one I was really looking forward to reading last Christmas and when I found out what had happened from my mum who’d read it first, I didn’t bother. It was as if the author didn’t have a way of continuing the story happily and had to completely rejig the spirit of the first one. If I write a series, all my couples will stay together, and I’ll just concentrate on getting another couple together instead.
Nestle or Cadbury’s
Hard one – anything chocolatey will find its way into my tummy. I’d maybe have to plump for Cadbury’s if I was pushed, as I love Dairy Milk and I especially love giant chocolate buttons.
Aldi or Lidl
Probably Aldi. We have both nearby but Aldi sometimes has great craft supplies in like fat quarters or lovely art sets so I’d probably gravitate there. One a few miles down the road has a lovely artisan coffee shop next to it so that’s another good reason to shop there.
Rock music or pop music
I do like rock music – some poppy stuff is fine too, but I grew up in the 80s when Stock, Aitken and Waterman flooded the market and it all got a bit samey so I preferred the power ballads that were around then and I still love singing along to them!
Reality TV or Documentary
Of the two I prefer documentaries, unless it’s Strictly or The Real Dirty Dancing which was great. I hate the celebrity culture that goes along with people in things like TOWIE and Big Brother and I do make a couple of references to non-entity celebs in the Padcock books. They just irritate me so much.
Christmas or Easter
I love Christmas, but I also love Easter – lots of chocolate to be had and the nights are getting lighter, and I need sunshine, chocolate and light to thrive! Christmas is lovely and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are so special – plus they are after the December solstice, so I can kid myself the darkest days of winter are over by then.
Snow or Rain
Probably rain. Rain doesn’t necessarily stop me from driving or doing anything unless it’s really ridiculous, and although snow looks pretty it can be awful to drive in and makes my anxiety hit the roof. It’s nice if I don’t have to go anywhere. The perfect thing would be snow at teatime on Christmas Eve, and it melting by lunchtime on 25th. My birthday is in February and in 2021 in the middle of lockdown I had a big birthday. It was blizzarding all day, but so many of my friends made me part of their essential travel and stood shivering in my porch to see me on my birthday, and it was so special.
Summer or autumn
Summer. I can tolerate autumn until around Halloween but then no thank you, forget it. I don’t like the months from November until March or thereabouts (except of course Christmas and my birthday!)
Santa or the Easter Bunny
I love Santa – the whole thing is magical. We still put a mince pie and a carrot out for him and Rudolph, and a drink of choice. Sometimes, he likes prosecco. However, the Easter Bunny is extremely cute and I love to think of him hopping around delivering eggs.
Six weeks holiday or end of term holidays
End of term. My son is almost 22 so we don’t have to think about the six weeks holiday, and it’s great as he doesn’t need looking after or amusing any more! I go to work and leave him in bed, and he can get up and make his own breakfast and jump in his car and do stuff without us, rather than me stressing about getting him up and ready and getting him to my parents to be looked after. He still gets Easter and Christmas hols from Uni, but he can stay away and be with his friends if he has plans, rather than the accommodation closing and them all scattering over summer. He does like to be home at Christmas, though.
Staycation or abroad
Staycation I think. There are so many lovely places to holiday in the UK that there is loads for us to still explore. I would like to go back to Amsterdam and do Prague and the Greek Islands amongst other places, so maybe one day we’ll go to somewhere like that.
Sunset or sunrise
Sunrise I think. I made sure I got up and watched the summer solstice at 4am in June from a deckchair in my back garden, but you can get some beautiful sunsets too and I can often be found dashing outside with my camera to try and capture them!
Fly or drive (on holiday)
Drive as we tend not to go abroad and can please ourselves if we have the car. If we go somewhere like Glasgow, though, we’ll get the train. I’d like to fly to Exeter and rent a car to travel around down there as it’s a long way to the south west coast and it’s an area I love and want to visit again and I don’t have a lot of patience with holiday traffic on the motorways!
Brown paper or shiny wrapping paper
I know brown paper is more ecologically sound, but I do love pretty wrapping paper. However, the danger is that super-shiny stuff doesn’t stick with Sellotape and all my Christmas gifts sprung open the other year after I’d wrapped them which made me cross!
Early morning or late at night
Once I’m up and had my first coffee of the day I’m usually ok in a morning. Late nights depend on why I’m late. If I’ve been out at the theatre or been to a friend’s it’s nice to come home after enjoying myself and flop straight into bed. I don’t like lying in bed and staring at the clock until it’s really late if I can’t sleep, though, and have been known to wander downstairs at 2am and either do edits or finish my homework from art class.
Freeview or cable channels
Probably cable. I don’t know how to work Freeview on my TV, but from what I understand, a lot of the channels are the same anyway.
Neighbours or Home and Away
Neither I’m afraid. I don’t like soap operas of any description, and have never watched these beyond the first episode of Home and Away which I remember watching at my aunt and uncles house while we were visiting one day!
It was meant to be a romantic Christmas getaway …
Except Flora’s boyfriend Paul is more interested in whether there’s WiFi in their holiday cottage than he is in the pretty village of Padcock where it’s located. It seems he’s incapable of taking time out from his work for gossip mag darling Maxine Marling – or Maxine Marmoset as Flora not so secretly calls her (well, she does look like a marmoset!) – to spend time with his actual girlfriend.
But as Flora discovers the friendly and festive community of Padcock with its eccentric but lovable locals – including dreamy musician Geraint Davies – she begins to question her London life and lots more besides. Especially as a certain marmoset becomes ever more present on her Christmas break for two …
But luckily Padcock is a village where fresh starts happen – and maybe Flora is in line for her own Christmas of new beginnings.
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