Throughout this blog tour there is a big competition being held by Totally Bound to win a Kindle Fire and a gift voucher to fill it with eBooks. Make sure you enter the competition here: https://www.totallybound.com/index.php?route=information/competition&competition_id=15 and you can also sign up to attend the release party on Facebook on the 28th February where the winner will be announced amongst other games and prizes!
I’m often asked where I get my ideas for stories. The short answer is – everywhere. I like to write about places I know, and I base my characters on people I may have met. Many of the incidents I describe may well have taken place somewhere. I scattered loads of real-life glimpses in The Three Rs, which made it a real treat to write.
Abigail and Cain’s stop-off at The Angel of the North is something I’ve done myself several times. I can’t manage to drive past that spot without detouring off the motorway to say hello to the massive angel. Like Cain, I too love the Northumberland coast. The wildness and uncultured natural beauty are a massive attraction for me, and I’ve spent many hours strolling along the rocky beaches peering into rock pools and collecting coloured pebbles. This is an interest my daughter seems to have inherited, and neither one of us ever manages to come away from a beach without our pockets full of rocks.
The reading recovery techniques described were ones I witnessed as a manager of the social and community stuff in a regeneration programme. Among other things, back then I was responsible for boosting educational attainment, so I went along to chat to a headteacher at a secondary school in the area to ask him what the main issues were facing his students. He regarded my drily, then went on to explain that students entered his school at age thirteen, but the average reading age of his intake was seven. From there on, the National Curriculum was something of a sick joke.
Christ! What to do about that? If our young people couldn’t even read, what chance would they have to learn anything much else. The solution – we trained an army of literally hundreds of volunteers – mums, grandparents, childminders, anyone who wanted to join in, in Reading Recovery techniques. The sort of thing described in The Three Rs. Then our volunteers worked alongside teaching staff to provide one to one help with youngsters who struggled with their reading. The reading skills of the children who got that help accelerated fast, and they soon caught up. Even children who weren’t having difficulty benefited from one on one support from a volunteer so we eventually extended it to everyone. One of my most memorable moments from that whole project was the look of pure joy on one little boy’s face as he worked with a trained learning assistant and the penny actually dropped. He managed to read his first words, it made sense to him at last. There was no stopping him after that, and success stories like that made it all worthwhile.
Most of us take reading and writing for granted. We may not all enjoy it as much as I do, for some it’s just a functional thing, like driving perhaps or walking. But for those who love to read, books are perhaps the greatest source of inspiration there could possibly be. An endless supply of entertainment, learning, information, ranging from the mundane to the absolutely profound. Since people first managed to scratch symbols onto stone and attach meaning to them, the written word has been fundamental to our world, recording our history and celebrating our diverse cultures.
So, that little boy was my inspiration and I often wonder what he’s doing now. Reading, I hope.
Until 2010 I was a director of a regeneration company in Leeds, in the UK, before becoming convinced there must be more to life. I left to work as an independent consultant, and still do some of that though most of my time is now spent writing. At last I’ve been able to realise my dream of writing erotic romance myself. I’ve been an avid reader of fiction for many years, erotic and other genres, and I still love reading historical and contemporary romances – the hotter the better. But now I have a good excuse for my guilty pleasure – research.
In my own writing I usually draw on settings and anecdotes from my own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to my plots and characters. An incident here, a chance remark there, a bizarre event or quirky character, any of these can spark a story idea. But ultimately my tales of love, challenge, resilience and compassion are the conjurings of my own lurid and smutty imagination.
When not writing – which is not very often these days – my time is divided between my role as resident taxi driver for my teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, rabbits, tortoises. And most recently a very grumpy cockatiel. I’m a rural parish Councillor, and I’m passionate about evolving rural traditions and values to suit twenty first century lifestyles.
I’ve completed my third trilogy in the Black Combe ‘family’ which is due for release later this year and I’m well on with writing the fourth. I also have a novella coming out soon, and I have a short story in Totally Bounds Paramour collection, and another in the Jolly Rogered anthology which is due for publication in July 2014. I have a pile of story ideas still to work through, and keep thinking of new ones at the most unlikely moments, so you can expect to see a lot more from me.
The Three R’s blurb:
Perfect strangers don’t just leave you a share in their business. Do they? And even if they do, surely the rightful owner won’t just take it lying down…?
Abigail Fischer is about to find out. When a mysterious letter arrives informing her that she’s inherited a controlling interest in a thriving construction firm Abigail thinks it must be a mistake. Or a sick joke. Until she’s confronted by her new, very angry and very reluctant business partner. Handsome as sin but determined to be rid of her, Cain Parrish is everything Abigail desires – and most fears. Forced to uproot from her safe but dead-end job to help run the firm, Abigail is quickly drawn to her dominant partner. Attuned to her most secret desires, and able to meet them effortlessly, he quickly finds his way past her defenses.
But Abigail is not what she seems. Astute in business and a skilled Dom, Cain can easily demand her submission, but can he find his way past Abigail’s carefully constructed facade to discover the shameful secret she’s managed to conceal all her life. And despite her growing enthusiasm for the new opportunities now facing her, Abigail can’t become something she’s not. Or can she? Is it possible to leave the past behind and start over?
When things start to go wrong in their business, and as Abigail’s blunders threaten to sink their small but up to now profitable enterprise, will their delicate personal relationship survive?
Will Cain forgive Abigail’s mistakes or is there a deeper significance to her apparent ineptitude?
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