Happiness ….a slippery little blighter to hang on to

Standard

I wrote this post a year ago but didn’t publish it…Reading it now, I can sense my own disappointment and fear…house on the market but no offers, weeks and months ticking by, feeling like my dream will never be part of my reality….So, I focus on all the positive aspects of my life, the things that make me smile and make me happy and guess what? There’s a happy ending.

 

Every day since 2013 began I’ve tried to remain positive and keep happy whatever life has thrown at me. Some days have tried my patience or rendered me a useless blob as depression clouds my thinking. Other days have been smattered with tiny pockets of happiness, silently crushed by despair in minutes.

This month’s new moon received my full attention and I worked on myself, relaxing, calming and revitalising my tired, sluggish chakras and, once full of energy, sending healing to those in need. The new moon is a time of creativity and new ideas, it opens doors onto paths unthought of previously. So, pinning the happiness down has been the problem and I’ve been knocked off my path and bombarded with difficulties.

But now I’ve stopped trying…to be happy that is. I’ve decided to just be and make the most of the things that make me happy…..dancing with my Tribal Unity sisters…

Dancing is a great way to be happy and, because I have the support and love of such amazing people, I stay happy when I think of them or receive a text.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My children…every time I feel frustrated and restrained from doing what I want to do, I think of the three wonderful human beings I brought into the world who bring joy to my life every day. I may feel my life is in limbo but they continue to grow and blossom into amazing adults. This photo was taken on Mothering Sunday 7 years ago.

 

 

 

 

Friends… I’ve always struggled to make friends but my dancing friends are always there for me. A message from a friend I’ve not heard from in a while is a wonderful boost to my day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My man…. a hug from him will always make me happy. This was taken at Dunwich in May last year. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive partner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My cats…both Tiggy and Ollie pictured here love a good cuddle and a tickle and their contented purring makes me happy too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, I’ve dared to look to a brighter future……….in Wales.

 

 

One year on!

Standard

It’s a year today that we arrived in Wales. We went from a tent m_summer 2013 and tent pictures 440 to a caravan …and finally moved into our house Wales to May 2014 011

 

We’ve achieved an awful lot in physical terms…we have a bath and a flushing toilet and our chimneys are lined and wood burning stoves installed…but how does it feel emotionally after a very different year?

Though I miss so much about Essex, my tribal sisters and family, I’m blessed with wonderful neighbours (just picked up the key to feed a neighbour’s cat this weekend and received a jar of blackcurrant jam and a rhubarb one that I’m told is very moreish!), live in an amazing place and I’m teaching and getting to know a fab bunch of ladies in my dance classes.

Honestly, emotionally, I’ve been to the peaks of the mountains and the very depths of these lush green valleys. Out of routine for so long, I feel like a leaf, shaken from the tree, swirling in the maelstrom…sometimes I latch onto a bank, take a breather, try to work out where I’m going and then I’m flipped into the chaos again….but I’m living, really living and I’ve never felt more alive.

Sometimes I bemoan my middling years, wishing I had youth on my side but age is just numbers, not a rule to guage life by. My body aches most mornings, injuries acquired reminding me of their presence but the determination to make each day a good one keeps me going as well as the knowledge that I am lucky, truly blessed. I have my health, the love and support of my friends and family, my books are selling and my dance classes blossoming and on top of all that, I have the love of a great partner.

Follow your dream….don’t expect it to go to plan, expect everything to take twice as long as you imagined and cost twice as much but don’t panic…enjoy the journey. You’re allowed to have days where you’re angry and frustrated (gaining planning permission would make a saint scream!) but remember, each day is part of your dream and you can choose how you spend it.

Now follows a short advert….

If you haven’t grabbed your copy of my new novel Wrath of Angels, you can find it here:

If you are unfamiliar with my non-fiction book Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles – 101 ideas for a happy year and a happy you, you can find it here:

………….and if you’re in the Mid Wales area and want to join me to dance, you can find all details on the Tribal Unity Website http://www.tribalunity.co.uk.

Thank you to everyone who has supported my writing and dancing over this year and I look forward to another exciting year in Wales, my new home.

 

 

 

One step forward……two steps back

Standard

Our planning application to return our farm house roof to thatch was handed into the Council Office on Wednesday but on Saturday, we had to put back the tin on the front of the roof as on Friday, the tarpaulin couldn’t cope with the downpour of rain. Roof problems for both the house and the attached cattle byre began in February 2014…..

As the wind and rain hammered the British Isles, we did our best to protect our property….Wales 2014 044but as the wind blew up the valley from the south, it entered the byre and lifted the roof frame from the house, spilling tin sheets onto the ground. In a lull between storms, we attached metal struts across the top of the roof in an attempt to hold it down but as the wind picked up, we watched as the roof lifted and sheets fell to the ground.

Wales 2014 051 There was nothing we could do…not even a temporary roof over the byre would have saved it from such a violent storm and would probably have lifted off and caused even more damage. The force of the wind pushed in the front of another barn…Wales 2014 056 but it did save our caravan from being blown down the hill to the bottom of the field! The river rose to the highest point we’d seen it but didn’t burst it’s banks…..Wales 2014 059 and our neighbours in the water mill below us, escaped from being flooded out.

The house roof coped well and we had enough buckets and bowls to cope with the drips and the waterfall running down the chimney breast upstairs.

Once the weather eased, we secured a local conservation architect to work on plans for the house and the byre. Our original plans were not to work on the byre in this first stage of work but the storm damage necessitated a quick response in order to preserve an already damaged building. As far as we knew, all was going ahead and at the end of April, the scaffolding arrived for the thatchers to begin at the beginning of May. Wales to May 2014 004 The thatchers arrived soon after but unfortunately, our desire to press on with making our home water tight, to preserve the stone walls topped with clom and the amazing cruck frame roof structure was met with refusal by Listing. The front tin had been removed to ascertain which purlins and common rafters needed replacing before thatching could proceed and this act was deemed ‘criminal damage’. We just escaped without a fine but all work was stopped until full planning and approval by Listing could be obtained.

We managed with buckets upstairs for a while but the wind and rain began to creep under our tarpaulin. New purlins were inserted in the roof ….trunks cut from our own land….Wales to May 2014 028Wales to May 2014 035 and we set up a new funnelling system to catch the rain water…Wales to May 2014 021 which worked well….Wales to May 2014 024 until now so, the tin is back on…Wales to May 2014 011

We await planning and Listing’s pleaure as to when we can have a roof on our house and our dream of a water tight home has taken….one step forward…two steps back.

 

Wrath of Angels is here!

Standard

It’s been a long time coming, I know, but my second book in the Lilith Trilogy is available in kindle and paperback…I was very excited when the proof arrived………..Wales to 21st June 2014 013

After 8 months hard slog at the house and on the land, we decided to hold a Summer Solstice get together for all the lovely people we’ve met since we arrived here, to celebrate the longest day and to say ‘thank you’ for all the kindness and support we’ve received.

Wales to 21st June 2014 020 Kind neighbours lent us their gazebo to set up the food and made the floral decorations. Tiggy liked the food tent…..Wales to 21st June 2014 021

and the sun shone down on our Welsh decking, only ducking behind the trees late into the afternoon……Wales to 21st June 2014 022 As evening fell, with curry warming in the oven, we broke out the drums…..Wales to 21st June 2014 023 before lighting our Solstice fire and consigning to it all the negativity of the past six months before looking forward to the next exciting months.

It’s been a roller coaster at the house….first, we made a bathroom……….Wales 400 One wall had to be lime mortared, one replaced and one rubbed down before finally…….Wales 435 a flushing loo, sink and bath. We made a temporary kitchen……….Wales 337 acquired another cat…………….Wales 434 and finally, after much hard work and freezing temperatures, the chimneys were lined and the wood burners went in…….we had heating! Wales 2014 037Wales 2014 040 So when the storms hit the country in Feburary 2014, at least we were warm and we’d achieved tent to house heated by our own wood in six months.

More news to come in the next posting but for now, I leave you with Wrath of Angels……..

Angel Parsons – wife, lover, entrepreneur and witch – is back and though she strives to put her past behind her, Lilith the Dark Goddess has other ideas.

Angel has the power at her finger tips. The choice is hers. Will she evoke her wrath to take her revenge on Lilith or will she summon nature’s forces and the strongest emotion on earth to put right the wrongs of the Dark Goddess?

 

You can find all of my books on my Amazon author page

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1365459567&sr=1-2-ent

 

http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

I hope you enjoy the new book and will continue to follow my postings as I settle into my new life in Wales.

 

 

 

29 days and counting

Standard

The mood has been low at the Crazy Cat Camp, very low so yesterday, we went for practical solutions and built a bed off the floor and levelled it out. We’d been sleeping on a 1:6 hill we worked out so, last night was positively luxurious…though we were awake half the night as the rain and wind battered the tent.

Some evenings are beautiful though and we’ve enjoyed sitting outside until either the rain, cold or insects drive us in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, we’ve got our sleeping conditions as best as we can and our attentions will be turning to the awning where we are cooking. At the moment, we’ve a double burner on a low table with plastic legs and it’s served us well but it’s buckling. The ground slopes even more than the sleeping tent so Mike wants to lay a floor(!) and build some shelving which will accomodate the cooker and the sink.

We’ve had lots of one pot meals tarka dahl, stir fry and vegetable curry. I’d bought two jars of curry sauce but we’ve only eaten one and I’m now cooking from scratch, having located a box with some spices in. Keeping food cold is a real problem (a kind neighbour refroze our blocks once but we feel awkward keep asking) so food has to be bought and eaten quickly. Mike’s almost given up on milk in his tea and we’ve abandoned cereal as we can’t get through a pint or a carton of soya milk quick enough.

Mike is The Toast King (thank you Lisa and Deana of Tribal Unity for our camping toaster…and replacement) and we have toast with everything. Weight watchers tomato soup has been my saviour while Mike enjoys mushroom while dessert has been restricted to frozen mixed berries with meringues or chocolate. We bought a box of salad today and ate it all for lunch.

Meals depend on the weather and how we feel. We adore jacket potatoes and sweetcorn cooked in the fire but, if the wind is too strong, the cinders and ash are blown out of the fire pit and leave nothing to cook on.

The photo is of hazelnuts, abundant in the hedgerows but already being scavanged before they are ripe, which is a shame. The blackberries are also beginning to grow, though we munched a couple on a walk the other day and they’re very sour.

We’re washing ourselves in a large purple trug and it works quite well though it’s only just possible to sit down in it. The sun needs to be on the tent though or you’re shivering too quickly. I can wash my hair in it too and there’s a clothes line up in the awning which dries towels really well.

At the moment, we’re washing up outside and putting clean stuff in the trug before drying…as we’re on a slope, everything slides off the outdoor table and if the wind is blowing, you don’t stand a chance!

We’ve been really lucky with the weather through August but now September is here, the evenings are getting colder.

The cats are loving snuggling up with us and have been exploring all around the farm, especially Rowan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiggy prefers the bed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything takes twice as long to do in a tent. We fetch our water from the dairy down by the front barns and the kettle is boiled often and our flasks filled. There’s been many evenings we’ve realised the sun is setting (about 8.30pm here) and we haven’t had dinner…or washed up from lunch so we end up blowing out dinner and having soup and toast instead! Washing ourselves needs even more planning as you need two flasks full and a kettle plus cold water to execute the full works.

We’ve found a fabulous shop in Lampeter that does service washes and they wash and dry our clothes and bedding in a day and are very reasonable. I’ve done washing in the trug twice but you need a really hot day to get the clothes dry and jeans were hanging in the awning for days so I’ve given up on that idea.

So, what do we do in our tent? If we organise our power, we can get an hour or so on the internet each day, sometimes more so, we can watch an episode of QI, a spot of athletics or I can get online here. We’ve played cards and yahtzee but not scrabble as the cats love to join in. We’ve joined the library and are reading oodles of books.

Next time I hope to have uploaded more photos from my new phone and can show you the new bedroom so do join me again.

 

We’ve arrived!

Standard

Many apologies for the delay in getting these posts to you but it has taken us a while to balance technology in our field. I’ve powered the laptop up on a trip to and from our nearest town, Lampeter, fifteen minutes away, this morning and the dongle was powered overnight from the car battery.

 

So, we arrived in our field at 8.30pm on Friday 9th August after a six hour journey. We put up our tent and unpacked some of the car so the cats could see what we were doing and at 9.00pm, opened the back door of the car. Three wide eyed cats slowly emerged, ignored the food we’d put down for them and began to explore. Tiggy found a lap to sit on while Olly and Rowan, sniffed and skitted in the grass as new smells and noises bombarded their senses.

We were soon off to bed…and the cats joined us.

 

Moving day had been a long one, up at 5.30am to hopefully feed all three cats and get Rowan into Mike’s Mum and Dad’s spare room for the day…we knew Tiggy and Olly would stay close to the house and would come if we called but we knew Rowan wouldn’t so this was the only way to ensure we took all three cats to Wales.

The move went well and we would recommend Reliable Removals as they were friendly, fast and efficient. All went smoothly until 1.30pm when a friend arrived, the new owners arrived and we realised how much was still left to pack into the car and clean…and then we had to gather the cats.

Our original plans had been altered so we only had one car to pack camping and cats, the removal van not arriving until the following Monday afternoon so it was a bit of a squeeze. The new owners were really patient as we ran around and then attempted to get three cats into the car at the same time. It was stressful but, with hugs and tears from Mike’s Mum and Dad and Dan, Mel and Emmy, we finally set off at 2.30pm.

We were so relieved to all arrive in our field but there are some downsides to camping with cats….

A tent is a cat’s playground….this is Tiggy the next morning, attempting to carve out for himself a cat hammock between the two layers of the tent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cats like to be as high as they can so they will sit on anything. This is Rowan on my coat and Olly on Mike’s guitar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cats take up all the bed… we’d forgotten how restrictive cats on the bed are and, as we are sleeping on a slope, covers and cats tend to gravitate to the bottom leaving Mike and I quiltless and on the floor. They snore too and are in and out all night. Having to leave the inner tent flap part open also invites insects (I’ll expand another day on what I’ve disliked most about camp living!)

 

 

 

Tiggy thinks he is ‘people’ so even with the whole bed to lie on, he insists on getting up close…and trying to eat our meals. We’ve been feeding the cats first, the opposite of home, in an attempt to eat our meals in peace. We’ve been lucky to eat most outdoors on our laps but a couple of times we’ve had to come in and, because we are effectively on the floor, the cats are bemused as to why our plates, therefore, are not for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

During our first week, Reliable brought up our possessions, my great mate Peter Jones brought my car up and Mike drove him back in his car with a borrowed car trailer, to collect his old Triumph Vitesse and we added to our camp.

We began with one tent…the house we are buying is to the right of this photo….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expanded by erecting our old campa van awning for cooking in which, as you can see, is on even more of a slope than the tent (when we viewed the house this field was chest high with grass so we didn’t realise how sloping it was!) We expanded again…

 

 

 

 

…with an awning. We were really disappointed with the quality and knew immediately that it wouldn’t make the ensuite bedroom we had hoped but we thought it would be good for storage and drying the washing…

 

 

 

 

 

So The Crazy Cat Camp looked promising…

 

 

 

 

 

 

…for one day! We had a windy night and the gazebo poles snapped. We were gutted, all our plans gone, but the silver lining is….the poles will make a great frame to put netting over when I start growing soft fruit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, we’re down to two tents, both holding up to the weather (and cats!) pretty well but what is it really like to try to live in a tent? How does it change the things you normally do? How do your priorities change? Join me again and find out.

 

 

 

The final days…

Standard

This moving lark is hard work. Physically, it’s tiring but emotionally, I’m starting to wobble.

Last week I mixed box packing with visiting friends and family and though it was sad knowing I wouldn’t see my tribal sisters and loved ones so regularly, it didn’t feel like ‘goodbye’ but ‘see you later’.

This week, as the final boxes came down from the loft, I was confronted by a life time of memories.

We keep treasure boxes in our house. We each have a box in which to keep our memories in which we can drop a concert ticket, special stone or photo. Resurrecting my boxes and repacking them for safe storage in a barn took me back….first baby outfits and shoes, letters, photos, Mother’s Day cards and little notes have emerged having sat for fourteen years below the roof.

As I repack them, I’m looking to the future….when will these treasures emerge again?

But I’m not alone on this adventure. My partner Mike and I have taken time to look back at the wonderful times we shared with the children and our friends and family in our little house…the birthday parties and Christmas celebrations, the addition of kittens and the loss of beloved old cats, achievements made and lots and lots of fun.

So here is a small selection of the past fourteen years and we hope some of you remember these occasions, people and animals as fondly as we do………………..

 

 

 

 

 

Our beloved Ronnie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

….and Merlin, now together chasing butterflies in the Summerlands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaz’ first dance show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the beach at Borth, Wales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mothering Sunday Walk at Warley Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Mum and Dad in their garden in the sunshine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fancy dress birthday party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belly dance

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first ever bellydance class celebrating at our Christmas Hafla.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas….

 

 

 

 

 

 

…Dad singing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy days with Tribal Unity

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy camping…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…more happy camping….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

….and more……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swanwick Writer’s Summer School….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Destiny of Angels arrives in paperback

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and finally, Penlon Capel Isaf……..our soon to be new home in Wales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This will be my final post until after we move but please pop back to read more on  ‘living in a tent with three cats’ .

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Sinfully Delicious to Naughty Delights

Standard

In April this year I interviewed Kameron Brook who, working with her man Dirk Taylor, are the driving force behind Razor Edge Press. They publish erotic short stories for adult readership and I gave you details of the Sinfully Delicious series ….and now there are more! Let me introduce you to ……………Naughty Delights!

 

 

……………..and here’s a taster for you!

 

This is it, Elizabeth thought as she pushed through the door to deliver a large batch of chocolate and vanilla sugar cookies to the display case. It was grand opening day for Guilty Pleasures, and she couldn’t be more excited or more nervous. Years of scrimping and saving had accumulated to this day. In a matter of minutes the bakery would be open for business, and their city would officially have their first taboo sweet shop.

Elizabeth took one final look around, making sure everything was perfect, when Felicia, her business partner and friend, appeared next to her, chomping on a fornication cookie.

Out of all the sugary creations crafted for the shop, Elizabeth and Felicia would agree these were the most fun to develop. They spent many wine-filled nights brainstorming and researching ideas for the inserts.

What’s it say, babe?” Elizabeth asked, nodding toward the paper in Felicia’s hand.

Felicia laughed and read the naughty message, “Two heads are better than one, but three, now that’s what I call a party!” As she tucked the paper into her back pocket, she asked, “I forget. Was this yours or mine?”

I actually think your man deserves credit for this one.” Grinning, Elizabeth grabbed the sampler plate off the counter and walked toward the front door, turning to take one final look around before the place filled up. She couldn’t be any prouder of the decor in her little slice of heaven. She glanced to her left and smiled proudly as she admired the photos on the wall.

The food photographer they had hired did a fantastic job capturing the beauty and sexiness of several corset cakes available for purchase. But the icing on the cake, so to speak, was the mural to the right of the entrance. A local artist painted “What Are Your Guilty Pleasures” but the letters were actually naked people in compromising naughty positions.

Felicia giggled. “Oh yeah, it’s all coming back to me now. We definitely drank way too much that night.”

Nodding in agreement, Elizabeth turned on the neon sign and opened the doors for business.

Already, a few eager customers were waiting by the window. They actually applauded when Elizabeth stepped out of the shop door. She greeted them with a smile and offered them their choice of iced cocks or boobs. She wasn’t surprised the guests blushed when they made their selection and bit into the cookie. She expected to witness many rosy cheeks in the hours ahead of them—giggles too.

As the streets began to fill up with people going to work, Elizabeth tried to coax even more passersby into the shop with her funny shout-outs such as: “I bet our peckers taste as good as your man’s. No wait, even better!” And, “Our breasts are fantastic and all natural.”All the while she held up a naughty treat.

After the bell dinged behind her a couple dozen times, she realized the humorous approach to draw in customers was working like a charm. Now with them inside, she had no doubt every person who’d entered the shop erected from her dreams would be a repeat customer. And with this thought, she knew the many dinners of Ramen noodles were well worth the discomfort it cost her over the years.

I’ve just purchased my copy and you can download yours here…

http://amzn.com/B00DELSA9K or for UK readers http://www.amazon.co.uk/Naughty-Delights-ebook/dp/B00DELSA9K/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374505442&sr=1-3&keywords=naughty+delights

Here is all the contact information for Kam and Dirk …

Blog: http://www.dirkandkam.com
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/DirkandKam

Goodreads’ links: 

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5781386.Kameron_Brook

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5120666.Dirk_Tyler

Amazon Author Pages:

http://amazon.com/author/kameronbrook

http://www.amazon.com/Dirk-Tyler/e/B00A8IDHMC/

 

…and look out for my review of Naughty Delights. Enjoy!

Meet the Author Maggie Cobbett

Standard

Welcome to another ‘Meet the Author’ and today I would like to introduce you to Maggie Cobbett who I met at Swanwick Writers Summer School (http://www.swanwickwritersschool.co.uk)

Maggie lives in Ripon, North Yorkshire with her husband and two elderly feral cats, Thomas and Tabitha. She has two grown up sons who are frequent visitors to her home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like all sensible cats, Tom and Tabitha have shunned the radiator cradle they’ve been bought and prefer to lie on hot metal!

 

 

 

So now you’ve met Maggie and the cats, let’s find out more about her….

 

 

1 How do you write? Is everything planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

It depends what I’m working on. Non-fiction generally lends itself to a pre-made plan, although I don’t follow it slavishly. Travel and local and/or family history are favourite subjects, although I’ve also written about the pros and cons of computer software for language teaching and translation, working as a film & television ‘extra’ and family matters. Local amateur dramatic and operatic groups sometimes call upon me to review their shows as well.

 

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

I like to be comfortable when I write, which generally means wearing an old pair of jeans and whichever casual top is appropriate for the temperature in the house. I don’t exactly meditate but I do a lot of thinking with my eyes shut and probably drift in and out of full wakefulness at times.

Tea is, of couse, essential and I have a stock of big colourful mugs with their own lids from a Chinese supermarket in Leeds. They keep the drink inside hot for a long time, which saves a lot of running up and downstairs.

As often as not, I have at least one cat beside me on the desk to bounce ideas off. Humans, on the other hand, are definitely persona non grata when I’m writing and I have a fierce sign on my study door to warn them off. Fortunately, I have an understanding family.

 

3 Aside from writing, what make you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

That’s a tough one because I don’t know how much you’ve gleaned about me already from the Internet. I like to think that I could have been the next Barbara Taylor Bradford or Jilly Cooper if my parents and headmistress in Leeds hadn’t dissuaded me from leaving school at 16 to join the Yorkshire Post as a cub reporter. As it was, I went into teaching after university and spent more years than I care to remember teaching modern languages and EFL in classrooms at home and abroad. Amongst several other jobs, I’ve also spent time as….

a camp counsellor (US spelling) in a resort very like the one depicted in Dirty Dancing

an interpreter/tour guide in Germany and Morocco

(very briefly and disastrously) a cocktail waitress

My current day job as a ‘village regular’ on Emmerdale is somewhat different, as I’m sure you can imagine, and I’ve also taken part in one off television dramas, a few rather unmemorable films, the odd commercial, The Weakest Link and many episodes of Heartbeat, The Royal and A Touch of Frost.

I’m still a fan of trad jazz and some folk music but salsa (the dance, not the sauce, although I like that too) has become a passion in recent years and is popping up increasingly in my writing nowadays. For example, my eBook Had We But World Enough includes a story about someone who comes back from a salsa holiday in Cuba with far more than she bargained for.

I’ve been a regular Swanwicker since 2006 when I won a free place in the poetry competition and I was lucky enough to win again in 2008, that time in the children’s story competition.

 

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

A docile young cow. I’m vegetarian but not a vegan.

One of Trevor Baylis’ wind up radios in case I’m close enough to land to get a signal.

A guitar and playing manual. I’ve always fancied learning how to play properly but never managed to stick at it long enough to master more than a few chords.

A First Aid kit.

A selection of everyday medical remedies to keep me going until I learn how to make my own (See below)

 

 5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

Robinson Crusoe and The Swiss Family Robinson for inspiration and to keep me optimistic. Also ‘how to’ books on animal husbandry, cheese making and natural medicines.

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?

Ian Hislop. Behind that innocent baby face lurks one of the keenest intellects and sharpest wits of our time.

 

7 Your current writing projects?

I’m working on my third eBook collection, some new ideas for women’s magazine stories and dusting off a novel I’ve been writing for several years. Set partly during the German occupation of WWII, it explores the repercussions of that tragic episode in French history for the guilty, the innocent and the generation yet to be born.

8 Other published work and links…

Most of my writing so far has been for magazines, newspapers and journals – read one week and used to line the hamster’s cage the next. That is why I decided at the beginning of this year to group some of my many short stories into collections and upload them to Amazon as eBooks. Both these include some previously published stories and competition winners and are available from any Amazon website. The UK Links are below:

 

Anyone For Murder? also includes some stories inspired by my days on set. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anyone-Murder-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B00AW28FOE/ref=pd_sim_kinc_1

 

 

Had We But World Enough focuses on people moving, some willingly and others not, to new countries. Some of the backgrounds and characters reflect my own experiences, although I’ve added many a twist to the original events. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Had-But-World-Enough-ebook/dp/B00BKPRB9C/ref=pd_sim_kinc_1

 

 

I am indebted to my son Richard for putting my stories into a suitable format for uploading and also for the cover designs of both books.

 

 

My website is www.maggiecobbett.co.uk and I tweet as @MaggieCobbett

 

 

 

Thank you so much Maggie for sharing with us. Please check out Maggie’s website and her wonderful collections of stories.

 

 

 

 

 

Author Interview – Kameron Brook

Standard

Today I’m interviewing the author Kameron Brook who I met on Facebook a few months back. She and her man, Dirk Taylor,  are the team behind Razor Edge Press, publishing erotic short stories for an adult readership.

 

Read on to find out about a couple who work and play together….

 

 

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever

 

change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

 

 

(KB) It depends on the story. Sometimes, we type and tweak after it’s completed. Other

times, we plan out what we want to happen and when.

 

 

 

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing

 

trousers?

 

(KB) Dirk and I usually sit on the sectional, tv on, and type what comes to mind. A bowl of popcorn is close at hand for me. Him, a dew.

 

 

 

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we

 

probably don’t know.

 

 

(KB) I love to read and review other people’s stories. It keeps me motivated.

 

 

Five things people don’t know about me? Hmm, I’m really an open book. I will say jack in the boxes and gnomes freak me out. I’m addicted to the food network channel. Oh and I can’t wink.

 

 

 

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5

 

items would you want with you?

 

 

(KB) Since people are not items, I will want the following.

 

 

1. Razor- for sure! When I get rescued, I don’t want to look like Sasquatch.

 

2. Body wash

 

3. Cell phone with a signal. That way help will arrive sooner than later. 

 

4. Any book so I will have something to read while the rescue team arrives.

 

5. An air mattress because I hate sleeping on the ground.

 

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

 

(KB) Picking five authors would be easier than selecting only five stories.

 

Pamela Palmer, Lara Adrian, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kresley Cole, and Lora Leigh.

 

 

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

 

 

(KB) Male – Joe Manganiello Female – Ellen DeGeneres.

 

 

7 Your current writing projects?

 

 

(KB) We have two. “Jasmine’s Delight” – sequel to “Sinfully Delicious” (M/F erotic romance) and “A Weekend in the Burbs” (M/F, F/F and M/F/F erotic romance)

 

 

 

 

8 Other published work and links….

 

 

Sinfully Delicious – Dirk and Kam (newest release)

 

 

Christine’s been without a man for far too long, so she lets her BFF Jasmine talk her into speed-dating. Unfortunately, far too many of her dates are romantic non-starters — in the worst way. But all it takes is one… and when the right man comes along, he’s Sinfully Delicious.

 

 

Buy from: [changeling]

 

Goodreads Link

 

 

Dreams Really Do Come True – Kam & Dirk

 

 

Angi didn’t plan on sleeping with her co-worker. She was still getting over a failed relationship. However after a night of movies, and too much wine, Angi passed out and then the most vivid dreams occurred. When she woke, she didn’t fight the spark brewing all night. Angi took the initiative and made her dreams come to life.

 

 

Buy From: [kindle]

 

Goodreads Link

 

 

Welcome to the Neighborhood – Kam & Dirk

 

 

Whit and Miguel are happy together, but when Meaghan moves in next door they decide they’d like to add a third to their household.

 

 

Buy From: [kindle][nook][changeling][ARe]

 

Goodreads Link

 

 

New Beginnings – Dirk & Kam

 

 

Eileen and Mitch have a happy marriage, but they’ve decided it’s time to spice things up. Ashley and Travis seem like the perfect match.

 

 

Buy From: [kindle][nook][changeling][ARe]

 

Goodreads Link

 

 

Girls’ Night Out – Kameron Brook

 

 

 

Emily’s never been the daring type. Nor the kind of woman who does public displays of affection. But Neeka’s order awakens the thrill-seeker hidden deep inside. For three long weeks, Emily has kept her crush on Neeka a secret. Tonight she’s going to act out her fantasies and claim the woman of her dreams.

 

 

Buy From: [kindle][nook][changeling][ARe] [kobo]

 

Goodreads Link

 

 

 

Voyeur – Dirk Tyler

 

 

After a long day at a business conference, Nate meets Jay over drinks. Then Brooke, Nate’s wife, gives him a devilish idea. What happens next is beyond anything Nate could have imagined. Brooke’s sexy, playful mind sets the stage for an encounter Nate and Jay will never forget.

 

 

 

Buy From: [kindle][nook][changeling][ARe]

 

Goodreads Link

 

 

 

 

Contact information for Dirk and Kameron

 

 

Blog: http://www.dirkandkam.com
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/DirkandKam

 

Goodreads’ links: 

 

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5781386.Kameron_Brook

 

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5120666.Dirk_Tyler

 

 

Amazon Author Pages:

 

http://amazon.com/author/kameronbrook

 

http://www.amazon.com/Dirk-Tyler/e/B00A8IDHMC/

 

Fantastic News! “Sinfully Delicious” is now available at Amazon and B&N.

(kindle) http://www.facebook.com/l/tAQG4DuBiAQGEGZXKTce6KV9Tnl3zyhcTzy0HH_qS7zbguQ/amzn.com/B00CHBZ3AC
(nook) http://www.facebook.com/l/7AQF6O4UqAQGoao0UMbYGjNEfqefEd1Y8AKeIwzdcw2c3OA/www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sinfully-delicious-dirk-tyler/1115164188?ean=2940016695990

 

 

Thanks so much Kam for sharing with us today…I can’t wink either! Do check out Dirk and Kam’s website, pages and work and watch out for those new releases.