Surprising fact day


Trying – and massively failing – to look cute for your editor, won’t work, Susan. (did you check if she’s allergic to cats?!?!)

Today’s surprising fact, is more of the ‘And now I’m a gibbering wreck’, day, because my ed returns from her annual break today. Picture the scene as she cheerfully logs on, in full expectation of, yes, a full manuscript from yours truly, only to discover that there ain’t one.

 (I just put this cover up for no better reason than to remind me how lucky I am to do this AMAZING ‘work’ and share my dreams with you)

I’m not being deliberately slow with my writing, it’s just that I discovered I’d left out a scene (please don’t ask why as I don’t have a Scoob) – thankfully, I found it on another draft and was able to put it back in – but at the expense of getting in to a muddle with what I had already said, what I should say, and what I might want to say. And putting all that right takes time.

Another hunky-chunky to soothe our frazzled nerves…

Yep. We’re all frazzled about something.

And yes, I make mistakes – hundreds of them. And yes again, I get revisions – loads of them. Anyone who says they sail through life – or writing – without a hitch, is a) more insecure than you and me, so has to big themselves up, and actually needs our support, or b) has undergone a medical reality-avoidance procedure.

Basically, they’re just kidding themselves, so take heart.

Will this pic help?

We can have as many hot men up here as we like, ladies, so I’m not going to stint!

Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you’re not keeping up, or your kids aren’t keeping up. Believe me, we’re all the same little ducks, paddling like crazy beneath the water in an attempt to keep up – it’s just that some of us (not me, I hasten to add!!!) manage to look a little more ‘swan-like’ while we’re doing it.

Love to all, from a slightly more frazzled than usual, Susan.

Well, I really don’t like to let anyone down, but sometimes life gets the better of me too 🤓

But not for long 💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃


Crazy for Christmas❣️

Too soon for Christmas? Nonsense!

It’s never too early to start planning. I hit the sales each year on the 26th – which has led to an overload in the loft – Apparently I’m NOT allowed to put any more Christmas stuff up there…8 trees at the last count.

OK. So I have this nifty cupboard in the snug, full of…well, I can’t even remember what it used to be full of, but whatever it used to be, is long gone.

I do have an overflow shelf in the drinks’s cupboard for sparkly Christmas mats 🙂

And I have another nifty cupboard up on the landing for Easter stuff… and there was a bit of room there, so…

Now I have to find a new hidey-hole for all this stuff before DH discovers I’ve been Christmas shopping again…


Not sure I can hide it away in this drawer…

And of course 😀

I’m being a rebel this year. I used to live in a village where, believe it or not, coloured lights were not allowed. Apparently, they are very non-u – whatever that means. Well, I’m going all out this year with coloured lights Ev-Er-Y-Where! So there! 😜

And please can I start putting things out on the 1st November? Or it will be like last year when my Christmas seemed to last for around five minutes before the decorations came down again ☹️

Is anyone else completely crazy for Christmas? 🤶🏻🤶🏻🤶🏻🤶🏻🤶🏻🤶🏻🤶🏻🤶🏻🤶🏻🤶🏻🤶🏻🤶🏻🤶🏻

Love and happy Christmas every day!

Susan xx



Magnificent Monday!

Always excited to sit down at my desk and think clearly and write without interruption (apart from ten thousand phone calls, which I love to receive) 😀

Having left my 🕺and 💃 in the most compromising of positions, it’s time to take them on from ‘Oh!!!!’ to ‘Oh dear me!’, culminating in a blissful happy ever after.

‘And here’s my lovely neat desk waiting for me’, she lied.

And here is the truth…



Not scarily neat as my lovely friend and fab author, Kate Hardy suggested, but a cunning ploy to focus tightly on the screen so none of the chaos that surrounds me, (both above and below, where I have to rootle through the mess to find a place for my feet), can be seen. But it all makes sense to me 😜

Wishing you an amazing Monday that delights and surprises you with lots of good news and good things.

Love Susan xx (who is off to do battle with ‘a very bad man’ – this time thankfully, kept safely within the pages of a book. Enjoy❣️

Prepare for the week ahead with confidence and vigour?


Feeling floppy this am, so there’s only one thing for it: write a list. Challenge yourself, I tell me firmly. Then, get it done!

Meanwhile, ‘What are we going to eat today,’ rings out plaintively from across the room

Do you have a Scoob, ladies? I don’t.

Another plan to make. If I feed the ravening hoards they might actually allow me to do some work today 😉 which means I will get my book in – sort of on time – flu did get in the way 🤧🤒🤧

Excuses Excuses!

The Sheikh’s Shock Child, opens dramatically eight years before the drama begins. My heroine is just fifteen at the time, but Millie’s character is already strongly drawn, as is the hero of this book. If Khalid thinks he can seduce the beautiful Millie to salve his conscience when a chance meeting brings them together eight years later, he’s in for a big surprise. Though Millie does have her own battles to fight…

She couldn’t think straight, or calm down, and it wasn’t anger driving her now, but emotion she’d kept contained for far too long. It was almost as if she’d been hypnotised by the sheikh, and he’d turned her feelings for him from bitter disappointment, even hatred, into something that left her racing toward an unknown destination at a pace beyond her control.

Well, I hope your weekend doesn’t fly away at a ‘pace beyond your control’ and that you enjoy every single second of it.


Susan xx

What do we dream about

Seriously, I used to dream that the song, ‘Some Day my Prince will come…’ was totally written for me – and that my prince would come to find me – cantering in on a white horse, obviously, (which I reluctantly learned to call a grey later in life when my horse education became a little more refined)

Two things here:

1) I was an only child, so I did a lot of dreaming

2) I loved the song and the singers who made Disney songs so memorable and unique


1) My biggest ambition was to find that prince and build a tribe

2) I made singing my first career

There is nothing more important to me than family. Never was, I suppose, though from small beginnings dreaming in my ‘special’ chair, (that I later discovered had one leg propped up on a copy of Grimm’s fairy tales – but that’s a whole ‘nother story),  that family has now grown into a clan so big, I no longer have to worry if anyone ‘will come to the party’- they just have to turn up and there’s a ready-made crowd 🕺💃🕺💃🕺🕺💃🕺💃🕺😃

Never was a truer word spoken *see above*

And yes, I did find my prince – or he found me…signing me up for life with the disgraceful taradiddle that his car didn’t have any petrol. Of course it didn’t – it was a diesel car.

Ladies, as Bridget Jones would say….’there are some very bad men in this world’ and he’s one of them 😀

Wishing you a wonderful weekend with those you love,






Get it sorted!


Thinking back on my Blog yesterday and the hunt for a dental hygienist who a) didn’t frighten the bejesus out of me b) is good at their job and c) is actually a pleasant and engaging person, it made me think. Why should we settle for 2nd best?

I know. We don’t have time to mess around. Take what you’re offered and get on with it. I have to admit that’s how I react more times than not. But…I would never accept that for one of my heroines. In fact, when I’m writing romance my heroines would turn themselves inside out, rather than accept second best.

And you know what – in the long run, taking that extra amount of trouble at the front end is worth the world of angst that follows if you don’t.

No second best for us, ladies!

Get it sorted!

Love to all,



Someone needs your warmth and encouragement today 😃

‘Smile, though your heart is aching’

Wonderful lyrics – and with such meaning. Hearts can be soothed by a smile.  I should know. Off to the dental hygienist today 😉 Having searched the country for someone simpatico, I have settled for – you guessed it – a hygienist who smiles. It’s impossible to sit in The Chair shaking when someone is so upbeat, so good at their job, and so encouraging.

Here’s some inspiration for you!

And if that doesn’t work, try this…

Or this…

Note how happy, enthusiastic and approachable Mills and Boon editors Flo and Megan are * get writing, squad!!

Or even this…

(pulling faces obviously runs in the family!!!)

Wishing you a wonderful smiley day!


Susan xx



Surprising fact day


Yep. I did…

I received a detailed rejection letter from Mills & Boon 20 years, yes, 20 years before I was eventually signed. Thinking the length of the letter mirrored the hopelessness of my case, I put my dreams to one side and concentrated on taking my Masters in Music and carried on teaching – all of which was super-great, by the way, even if it did leave one dream in limbo. Thank goodness fate made my path cross with that of the legendary Penny Jordan, who convinced me to try, try again!’

Here’s the actual moment we met. My long-suffering husband had just bought a day with Penny at an after dinner auction in aid of a local hospice at a Pride and Prejudice ball. If I look completely over-awed in this pic, that’s because I was. We did go on to become the closest of friends once we discovered that we were both dog-crazy – I had 3 dogs and Penny had 4. Our jeans had matching dog slobber the next time we met. A match made in dog-crazy-lady heaven 😉

And thanks to Penny’s encouragement, it led to this:

Moral of the story?

Yeah, you know it – ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

Have a wonderful week working toward making your dreams come true.

Love to all,

Susan xx



Everything in apple pie order

There are a few apple pies/cakes/crumbles etc etc here, thanks to my friend’s orchard.

I belong to the ‘if it can’t be made fast, it don’t get made at all’ brigade.

I throw everything in to the mix – though I do rough-chop the apples and toss them in finely grated rind of a lemon and lemon juice – and put them to one side before starting the cake batter.

Having weighed the eggs, every other ingredient, barring the sprinkle of baking powder has to be the same weight as the eggs. I cover them with the dry ingredients to prevent curdling and add the fat last.

Whip ‘em up for a minute or so, depending on how fast your whizzer whizzes, and then fold in the apple.

I bake in the Aga baking oven for 45 mins – then put a tray on the shelf above to prevent the cake top burning and bake for another 10 minutes.

I serve with creme fraiche, but you might prefer cream, custard, or nothing at all!


Love to all

Susan xx

Comfort over fashion

Flat out on the floor to do up my jeans? Yep. I used to do that. Mini-skirts in dead of winter? I once wore the top half of a suit without the trousers. Payback? I spent years of my miss-spent youth suffering from cold-induced cystitis.

Here’s a pic from the archives- my first summer break from the Royal College of Music, where I studied piano and classical singing. Aged 17 I landed a job in Summer Season, which opened my eyes to an entirely different world of showbusiness. Steep learning curve? You could say that. I couldn’t possibly comment😉

My first experience of theatrical digs (and leaving home) was to be my first in a long line of wonderful adventures. I turned up neatly dressed in a suit and low heel shoes to have the door opened by a man in a leopardskin catsuit with smudged make-up left over from his act the night before. This most wonderful landlady opened my 17 year old eyes to the rich diversity in our world, which is why I embrace every variation on a theme – to quote my musical background- with the utmost open-mindedness and enthusiasm.

You’re right! There has to be a book at some point…

Now it’s all about comfort and Clinique moisturiser, which also happens to be the only face cream I’m not allergic to.

Oh, and bedsocks and a comfy bed.

And there’s one last thing…

My ‘I can’t live without this’ item on my dressing table

My curly-wurly heated hairbrush❣️

Go forth and curly-wurl,  ladies!!

Wishing you comfort, good health, a happy life with those you love, and contentment,


Susan xx