Now then!

It used to be a glass of lager with a curry on a Friday night. How things have changed!

And while Vodka used to be all the rage, now it’s gin. And not just one type of gin.

I chose Brockmans, a slightly sweet, fruity gin served with frozen fruit. Yum!

Fever Tree tonic water seems to have annihilated the great and once ubiquitous Schweppes. Time for an exciting re-vamp me-thinks, Schweppes!

And the curry was fantastic 😉

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend with those you love.

Susan xx

Yorkshire breathing

Ay’ ‘oop!

Greetings one and all 😀

I can’t shift this cold (if i were a man it would be a bad case of ‘flu) so, adding to my host of ‘cold’ cures, I am now clearing my lungs in the most effective way I know. (this may not work for you if you live in a heavily polluted area – but ‘oop here where it’s just me and the cows, it works a treat.

When I was a professional singer and breath control was all-important I would breathe in for a slow count of 3 through my nose, then hold – though not at the back of the throat – use that diaphragm – for a slow count of 3, and then exhale for a slow count of 3 through my mouth. Repeat for a good few minutes. Now because I’m a romantic novelist, I feel gestures are required…😜

Seriously, this is an accepted way of improving health in some parts of the world (now including the Yorkshire moors!)

Here I go, pushing all the bad stuff out for a slow count of three

And here I am, bringing in all that bracing air for a slow count of three

Does it work?

So far, so sneezeless!

Love to all❣️

Susan xx

PS – my hair only looks decent because I’m off to the hairdressers – I don’t want Rachael thinking I don’t appreciate her stirling efforts to keep me looking spic and span.

I look like this every morning when I sit down to work at my computer, Rachael. Honest!!!!

Um, things appear to have gone severely downhill where the hair situ is concerned…

 

💨☔️💨

😘😘

 

 

 

 

 

❤️🇮🇹Italy 🇮🇹❤️

I’ve come home with so many happy memories of Italy!  One of my favourite occupations is browsing the shops- not the big branded stores, but the small, unique emporiums where you are bound to find something different, quirky and new.

I adored this cuckoo clock, for instance, though resisted the urge to buy it and then have to work out how to pack it in to my squishy hand luggage!


I can’t resist showing you another pic of my special friend 😉 he was just so unbelievably cute

And I couldn’t finish up without at least one more pic of that fabulous beach!

Late September is a fantastic time to visit Italy, as the crowds have left and the resorts are winding down at the end of the season, but whatever time of year Italy will always be special for me.

Wishing you happy times in your special place wherever that might be.

Love Susan xx

 

Tame ‘it’ and ‘that’!

That man!

Curb the use of ‘that‘ unless you need the word to make sense. My ‘that‘ count is always horrendous, and the word is amongst the first things to go when I’m editing.

What is ‘that‘? I always want to know when I’m reading.  Describe your ‘that!!!! Take every chance you get to enhance your descriptions a little more each time.

And as for ‘it’… what is ‘it‘???? Describe!!!! I want to know what ‘it‘ is when I read a book -find a new way to describe ‘it‘. Add some additional facets to your ‘it‘ and watch your story leap into vivid colour. Don’t waste a word. Illuminate and describe, especially in series fiction where the word count is tight, and every word must carry the story along, or it doesn’t belong. Choose your words with care. Remember each word carries its own particular weight.

DON’T WASTE A WORD

Having said that – write bold and free – and only pick up your ‘its‘ and expand your prose, if and when you feel the need in the final edit. Don’t fuss about wasting time that could be better used finishing the book and starting another.

And that’s my lecture over for today!

It’s free! 😉

Christmas Tsar

Grab a Tsar

Love you all. Now get writing!

Susan xx

 

Monday Motivation!

Life looks better with a sheikh in the picture…

It’s actually just so good to be back writing. I left my hero and heroine in a compromising position for several days. Did they blame me, or complain? No. They were amazing, though glad I was back to finish what they’d started 😉

 

Hang-over holiday hat

If you get stuck with your writing, have you tried changing POV? Or bullet-pointing the fabulous scenes you’d like to feature? When you’ve done that, try writing one of them and let the joy of story-telling come flooding back. Failing that, wear a silly hat and swear viciously.

And if that hasn’t motivated you, I don’t know what will 😉

Love to all,

Susan xx

 

 

I’ve missed you!

 

Viva Italia!

 

Twice a year I go away with two lifelong friends for three nights. I used to take my laptop so I could work from 3am until they woke up, but then I realised that this was not only rude to my friends – face in plate, snoring by lunchtime – but also doing me no favours, so now I leave the laptop at home and force myself to unwind. (not 100% sure that makes sense lol! – forced unwinding, I mean!!!)

And yes, those bikes are as heavy as they look, and no, I am not sporty. My explanation to my very concerned family back home whenever they asked if I’d ‘fallen off yet’, was ‘so far, so wobbly’.  I only wish there had been someone around to take a video and then we could all have had a good laugh!

There is a distinct theme to my ‘happy’ places. I have never lived by the sea, but am drawn to the ocean – no surprise when the beach is as fabulous as this!

I prefer to swim in a pool where I can see what’s below me, so paddling’s my thing!

I think it’s time I had a hero and heroine running through the surf, then diving headlong into the waves like dolphins where all sorts of aquatic capers can take place 😉

Viva romance! ❤️❤️❤️ I had the most fabulous time with my friends, as we always do, (mostly laughing the entire time- on occasion at me needing the entire highway to weave along!) but I’m so glad to be back with you and writing❣️

Love to all,

Susan xx

 

Jibber-Jabber Day

 

Sometimes the need for a fresh pesto penne followed by a dish of mozzarella and tomato becomes overwhelming. It’s then I discover that it takes around the same time for me to fly from my local airport to Italy as it does to take the train to London.

And it’s still summer here in Italy❣️

Stay off the roads, though, because the only way to get around is on bikes Miss Marple would be proud of! Viva Forte dei Marmi❣️ Viva Lucca❣️ Viva Italia❣️

Love to all my intrepid readers, who like me, embrace a bit of adventure in their lives.

Susan xx

 

 

 

 

Monday Motivation

Leap out of bed. Ice-cold shower. 500 press-ups. Sweats on. 3-mile run. Juice a carrot, a celery stick, and a bucket of super-beans…

Or…the truth

Grunt at DH, who is a barrel of laughs in the morning and insists on ‘singing’ at the top of his tuneless, though beloved voice as he catapults out of bed and speeds about, showering, dressing, leaping downstairs to take the Betster for her first walk of the day etc etc etc – before stuffing down an enormous bowl of cereal and fresh fruit.

This is NOT good.

I cannot speak or function until I have staggered out of bed and taken a hot shower in the hope that I can wake up enough to switch off the steaming water at some point. I then dress and get myself organised – a couple of hours later – I stumble downstairs, still not in the mood to talk, grab a mug of builders and some porridge, or yoghurt and fruit, before entering enter the study, where I switch on my computer to start work bang on the hour of 7am. Did I forget to mention that DH is an early riser???

Seriously – here is my breakfast recommendation – and sometimes, like normal people, I just gorge on toast with lashings of butter with either honey, marmalade, or apricot jam – but if I am feeling yoghurty – I have to add berries, walnuts, Marks and Spencer granola and a handful of their muesli – no other brand will do. I can’t make my own, because I can’t, that’s all!  Having recently learned that egg yolk is good for eyes, because it contains lutein, which is supposed to block blue light from reaching the underlying structures in the retina, maybe preventing macular degeneration – I’m on a bit of an egg kick too. Poached eggs are my fave – just crack ’em open and dump in a pan of boiling water with a splash of white wine vinegar. Nothing fancy – no swirling or fretting – just drain, trim off a bit of the boring white stuff, and scoff down 🙂

And here’s something totally guaranteed to wake us up!

You haven’t read Christmas Nights With the Polo Player?  Shame on you LOL!

Or watched the video??? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lv3je22Gw1c

What is the meaning of this?!?! 😉

Love to all,

Susan xx

Really?

Sunday: Prepare for the week ahead with confidence and vigour. What was I thinking?

Oh, I know – ‘Stiff Gin’ – that was also mentioned!

I slump before you, ‘broken’, as my eldest refers to her children when they are completely and utterly exhausted. Five grandchildren is the most wonderful blessing, but you definitely need the stiff gin at the end of a 2-day visit. Only then, with your eardrums still ringing, can you contemplate the laundry and clear up to come.

But, fear not, I have a reviver for those of you in a similar situation. It’s called hot, raw sex – and it’s safely contained within the pages of a book. Or, in this instance, in a photograph that may give a clue as to why I love writing about men with iron thighs on board a horse.

Enjoy, ladies! This guy was my muse right through the Acosta series and he never let me down.

Love to all,

Susan xx

 

Dreams

I have the best job in the world. When I was a little girl, when I wasn’t playing the piano or reading, I would sit in my favourite chair and dream. My dreams usually involved horses, and palominos were my absolute favourite. Of course, I would be galloping across green meadows on these fabulous creatures – when I wasn’t flying on Pegasus across the city under a night sky of stars and a lantern moon…

The closest I came to these fabulous creatures was my once weekly riding lesson on old hacks, but I loved them just the same, and couldn’t bear to dismount at the end of the lesson so I used to ride them right into the stable block.

Dreams don’t leave us, unless we drive them away, or neglect them. I write about polo players now, and envy them their wonderful mounts as if they were real animals.

Never lose your dreams. I didn’t get to own a palomino or ride on Pegasus, but my dream gains strength each time I write about the horses I love and the men who ride them. There’s nothing manufactured about my passion. It runs through me like letters through a stick of rock, and I express it as passionately as I can.

Follow your dreams and accept that they won’t always follow the path you expect. Just hold on to them, and keep them close to your heart.

Love from one dreamer to all the other dreamers out there,

Susan xx