AND THIS WEEK'S GUEST IS...
The delightful, Nell Dixon.
I first met Nell at the Romantic Novelists' Association conference in Leicester a year or two ago. We missed a train together, then travelled to Birmingham, talking about writing, family life and other stuff. A charming companion, the journey passed much too quickly.
Nell wasn't published then, but not long after her book Marrying Max was published and the following year won the Romantic Novelists' Association Romance Prize/Betty Neels trophy.
I wasn't there, but her present editor, Cat Cobain of Headline, told me when I met her at the Women's Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, that Nell's acceptance speech was so moving that their whole table of hardened publishers was moved to tears and they made a vow then and there to "sign her up".
They were not just talking through their champagne. This month Nell's book, Blue Remembered Heels is published by Little Black Dress and all round the UK romantic novelists are cheering to the echo. And I had my email from Amazon to tell me that my copy was despatched today. Hooray!
I can’t believe Liz has her fiftieth title out this year. She doesn’t look old enough for a start. When I decided six years ago that it was time I made good all those promises I’d made to myself when I was younger about someday writing a book I looked at the authors whose books I loved reading the most. Needless to say Liz was one of those authors. I’ve always envied the way she can add her own unique stamp to a story. Even without her name on a cover, I could probably tell it was her voice. From Gentlemen prefer Brunettes to the classic, The Bridesmaid’s reward, I love Liz’s books and her sparkling sense of humour that all her heroines appear to possess. I knew that was the kind of writer I wanted to be. Since then I’ve been fortunate to achieve my dream and become a published writer.
This month sees the appearance of my debut book for Little Black Dress. Called Blue Remembered Heels, it’s the story of sisters Charlie and Abbey – both accomplished con artists, their brother Kip and what happens when a freak accident turns your life upside down. When Abbey is hit by lightning out of a clear blue sky one ordinary afternoon she discovers she can’t tell lies anymore. A bit of a snag when the man she’s falling in love with happens to be a police officer.
I got the idea for the story after reading in the newspaper about a man who was hit by lightning and suddenly found he could speak fluent French. Blue Remembered Heels is a suspense filled romp through dog whispering and footballers wives as Abbey, Charlie and Kip try to stay one step ahead of the law and find their happy ever afters.
Out on July 10th, you can order from Amazon or from any good bookstore.
Stop by at my website or my blog to find out all my news and to read more excerpts from my books.
Here’s a taster from Blue Remembered Heels, where Abbey has her first close up encounter with Mike:
Manydown was a typical country village. It boasted a pub, church, bakery, general store, butcher, greengrocer, ironmonger and a couple of clothes shops. I parked the minivan in the small car park behind the church and trotted across the street to the bakery.
Of course it was shut. I’d forgotten about it being Sunday. The small general store at the end of the road looked as if it was open so I headed down the street in the hope that they would at least have some crisps and chocolate.
At first glance it looked pretty deserted when I stepped through the old-fashioned door complete with jingly bell. A middle-aged woman at the counter served an elderly man with whisky and cigarettes while the rest of the shop appeared to be empty. I picked up one of the battered wire baskets from the end of the counter and looked along the shelves for something to keep my stomach quiet on the journey home.
The tinkle of the shop bell signalled the arrival of another customer right before I spotted some tubes of Pringles right up on the top shelf.
“Allow me.” A masculine arm reached over my head and handed me a tube of “Cheesy Cheese” flavour.
“Thank you…” The words died on my lips as I turned to look at my snack saviour. Holy crap, it was the same man who’d been in the hotel bar when Charlie and I had been setting up the sting on Freddie!
“You look familiar. Have we met?” Dark brown eyes the colour of melted chocolate gazed into mine. A shiver ran down my spine and I knew he was being sarcastic. He knew damn well where he’d seen me before.
“I saw you in a hotel bar once.” Crapity, crap, crap - why couldn’t I regain control over my mouth? Charlie would kill me and we were all going to go to jail if I didn’t learn to zip it. He smelt delicious though, masculine and woody. I knew I was in trouble and not just because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.
His eyes narrowed and I guessed my openness had caught him off guard. “Yes, you were with a very pretty dark-haired girl.”
“My sister, Charlie.” I smiled at him even as I cursed myself for being unable to stop blabbering like an idiot. Typical - even the coppers fell for my sister. That idea dampened my spirits somewhat.
“And a Mr Freddie Davies was with you?”
“Are you and your sister friends of Mr Davies?” His tone was casual but I knew a cop interrogation when I heard it. The problem was I couldn’t disengage my mouth from my brain.
He might have a very sexy voice for a cop, but all the same I had to get out before he could ask me anything else. I’d said far too much as it was.
“Nice meeting you but I’ll have to go; my brother’s waiting for me.” I squeezed past him. The heat from his body shimmered into mine in the confined space of the aisle and I bolted through the tinned goods section to the till. Thank God I had cash. I plunked my Pringles in front of the cashier and added a couple of Crunchie bars from the display next to the till.
With the change in my pocket I made for the door only to find Mr Sexy Voice waiting for me.
“Don’t I even get to know your name?” He pulled the door open.
“Abbey Gifford.” I stepped outside, praying he wouldn’t try and follow me.
“Mike Flynn. Perhaps we’ll meet again?” Cute little crinkles formed at the corners of his eyes as he smiled.
“Maybe.” I was flirting with the enemy. That bolt of lightning had a lot to answer for.
I have a signed copy of Blue Remembered Heels to send to the person I pick from the comments who I think confesses to the worst/funniest fib that they ever told.