Ten years of novel writing and a big reunion lunch

Had another packed week full of get-togethers. I really have had a year full of socialising, which has been great! I took one my lovely close friends,  Gill, for a belated birthday afternoon tea cruise down the Thames, setting off from Thames Pier that was near the Tower of London. Gill has known me since I was 19 and we have been on some adventures together. But never yet been to one of these. She is a very busy and successful entrepreneur, so it was nice that we could fit this in. Great fun and happy belated birthday Gilly!

Then, it was a glorious 10th anniversary get together with my writing friends. Almost 10 years ago exactly, at the end of last month, I met my best buddies from the world of writing novels. Alix I see all the time down in Devon (as regulars will know), and she has written two or three books herself. But on my day off this week, I went for a catch-up lunch in London with the others, who have all been my solid writing buddies and allies in the world of publishing for the last 10 years. I met with lovely Litty Williams, who has done a Masters in creative writing and is about to get a deal for her first book. Carolyn Mahony who is very prolific and writes fabulous crime novels among other things. And Maureen, aka author Merryn Allingham, who has written about 14 or 15 books in those 10 years, some with major publishers, some bestsellers, including a super wartime series. It puts my five novels to shame! And it all started with a ‘How to Write a Mills and Boon’ one week course over in lovely Tuscany, Italy, which we attended and bonded over story arcs, subtext, and ‘show, don’t tell.’

We became ‘the ladies of Posara’ and have had the Yahoo group ever since (Maureen does not do WhatsApp, although she is very good at technology and has just created her own audiobook of one of her stories!) We had a lovely lunch just off of Oxford Circus, and it was fabulous to catch up.

We were talking about what we would do differently. I wrote a trilogy and self-published it, around 2014. Steamy novels mostly. (You know the joke, now I am post-menopause, I always say I used to write steamy novels but now I just read books about people killing each other!) I must admit I would have published just one version at the start. Of course, I have now taken three years to get 70,000 words written so far of my fifth novel ‘French or Dutch’, and have yet to finish it. I decided, I told them, I only write when I take myself away to writing retreats! Ironic considering I now own one down in Devon 🙂 But we are very proud of our success and I am very proud of my writer pals. Here’s to the next 10 years.

This weekend’s highlights

Friday – go here to see and buy the latest Lola Rose delightful jewellery offer, semi-precious gemstones set into Nikki’s pendant and bracelet set. Great value. And find out more about the lovely Nikki Gewirtz herself on the QVC podcast, as you’ll see below.

Saturday – it’s a big Christmas shopping weekend, and the Saturday night gift show is back at seven. I have a packed show with six or seven of our key guests, so it will be fast moving and inspiring I am sure – do join me. The day’s deal is from Skechers, it’s the Glacial Ultra suede lace-up boot. It turned quite cold this week, so just in time!

Sunday – our annual Liz Earle irresistible array of skincare. Ends Sunday at midnight. Go here to see and buy the massive Liz Earle bundle, featuring their brand new fragrance. It is a winner, in my opinion, and definitely has a lovely freshness to it. Basil and Bergamot in the Beauty of Botanicals gift collection, saving you a fortune. Long shelf-life as well, so do stock up and don’t forget only £1.95 postage for six full-sized items! Well worth a try.

It really is transformative beauty from one of the best in the business. Caroline will guest as usual, and the tried and tested formulas will continue to transform people’s skin. Like my daughter Lauren, she discovered she was allergic to sodium laurel sulphate, but only when she was a teenager. She uses Liz’s body wash, which doesn’t have any SLS in. Highly recommended and I am looking forward to my Gift of Great Skin hour at 5pm on Sunday. Followed by a fun hour of Butler and Wilson with Simon himself, I am looking forward to it.

There are several other fabulous Butler and Wilson shows coming up in the next week or so, and in the run-up to Christmas this is going to be the best way of jazzing up a plain dress or jacket, don’t you think? Go here to shop the whole collection.

Big deals old and new

This week’s Big Deal’s – ending Sunday

Aimee Kestenberg Road Trip multi-pocket satchel

Decleor two-piece Christmas Cica Balm and Oil collection with bag

HoMedics Ellia Gather ultrasonic aroma diffuser with oils

Bose Home Speaker 500 with Alexa

Go here to see and shop them all

Next week’s Big Deals

Marc Fisher Client ankle boots

Asam Reservatrol Premium Essence of Youth collection

Vagabond long hot water bottle

Wilf’s Pies 12-piece Welsh Steak and Chicken Pies collections

Blake’s handbag obsession

Looked after my lovely little granddaughter Blake, who will be two-years-old in January, on my day off this week. We had a long walk home with her on her little trike, the one that I can steer. Plus we played in the playground as usual. She has a routine now, but was most miffed to discover we could not go on her usual swing because of a bird leaving a rather large deposit! She is so funny now and really able to use the equipment. Then we went home and Blake decided it would be great fun after dinner to excavate my handbag. So cute, curious, but also chaotic! She thought it was most amusing to put my dry eye drops in for me (pretending) and now says ‘eyeee’. She understands that some things are for her and some things are not. Thank goodness!  This was her in the lovely little pyjama set that I got her. She is growing so fast!

I also got permission to post a photograph of my other granddaughter, one year old Phoebe, playing in the tent I bought her, on the latest blog I have finally got round to posting. Thank you Lauren! Phoebe loves it. Spending time with these two little humans is one of my most favourite activities. Happy times.

Brad and me

Blake’s lovely dad, my handsome boy Brad, took me out for lunch when I went to see him and see where he works. He is project development director for a big building project near the Olympic Park, and we went for a walk around the area, among the beautiful autumn colours. We had some delicious sushi, even though I was picking it out of my teeth for hours afterwards ha ha. First time I have been to the shopping centre there. It won’t be long before it is time for my annual Christmas shopping excursion in Shepherd’s Bush with Bradley. My goodness how time flies. P.S. I wish I had a pound for every time I said that on this blog 🙂

New podcasts coming our way!

Following the enormous success of the ones so far, including with some of our major guests and presenters, look out for the new ones going live soon. On Monday 21st October, it will be the turn of Judith Williams and her wonderful skincare range. Then, the week after, our very own Jackie Kabler gets the podcast treatment! It’s like listening to friends chatting and it’s something you can do while doing other activities as it’s just listening. If you didn’t know, a podcast is basically listening to an interview or a chat. Search for the podcast app on the App Store and download it. Then open it and search for the QVCUK podcasts. You can also review them on Apple! You can also listen here. Go for it 🙂

Book of the week

“Sweet Sorrow” by David Nicholls. This came highly recommended to me this week by one of my writing friends, and I downloaded it a little while ago. David Nicholls wrote one of my favourite books/films “One Day”. His next one was not quite as good as I thought it would be, but this latest one is definitely setting people on fire. It’s funny, filled with nostalgia, and follows what happens among young members of The Company – it sounds like a cult but it’s much worse than that – it’s a drama group! An enchanting novel about the power of first love. Looking forward to the audiobook that I am assured is read really well!

Watch – Joker

I have to tell you this is one of the most disturbing, powerful, mesmerising and brilliant performances I have ever seen in my life on the big screen. Joaquin Phoenix is just gobsmacking. No other word for it. He transformed himself into a tortured and mentally unstable loner in pursuit of a failed stand-up comedy career. He gradually becomes Batman‘s nemesis, transforming before our eyes from a doting son to arch villain. Some of the scenes are not easy watching. When I was going to see it, Alison Keenan said to me “are you sure you want to see it on your own!” (I often do spur of the moment movie trips, because I have an unlimited film card for my local cinema). Some people think it is too scary. But it’s not a horror or supernatural film, I generally avoid those, and as I have seen most of the Batman franchise, I wanted to see this one. I’m so glad I did and will probably see it again, it was that good. He lost 52lb in weight too, to play the crown prince of crime in Warner Bros latest blockbuster DC comic movie. Dark, moody, really well-made – and fits into the timeline of the Batman Genesis.  9 out of 10. Just be prepared and know what to expect as it is not lightweight viewing 🙂

Vlog of the week ...

A countryside walk and a great British baking question!  

This week on QVC

MondayJoules Gosling padded fur trim hooded jacket. Last one sold out, so be ready for this one.

TuesdaySilentnight return with their Breatheasy quilted topper. Get one of these before you get a new mattress just in case this is all you need for a great night’s sleep.

WednesdayKorres skincare is here with an incredible 12-piece set – the Ultimate Gift of Hydration collection, very low pricing and a great one to snap up whilst P&P is still £1.95 until Christmas.

Thursday – Ninja’s 8 in 1 cooker is here – perfect for those bigger dinners come Christmas or for someone on their own. It’s a pressure cooker, air fryer, slow cooker and so much more.

Also on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 2pm my lovely friend Patrick from Quacker Factory is back for a little mini-series of one of your favourite fashion ranges. I’m sure he will have some of his classic Christmas costumes as well 🙂

Friday – a fab set of three pop up lanterns from Securebrite.

Plus Friday at 9pm – tech expert James Murden brings the first look at the ultimate Samsung smartphone gift – the Galaxy A80 128gb sim-free model with a case voucher. Wonderful to have this now, as it will be on a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee if it is opened on Christmas day, as with all of our gifts. So take advantage while it is this extra low price.

Also – GTech will be on early bird order link probably from midweek – a fab vacuuming bundle including the classic AirRam K9, plus the handheld version together with a fluffy accessories kit! Amazing value – tell your friends. And watch out for the video for me on my social media during the week and in next week’s blog.

Next week

I will be down in Devon with two of my lovely writing friends who are coming as my guests. And what a week in politics it has been. I don’t write about it here, but I will be very busy down in Devon no doubt. With the Christmas season clicking in as well, plus lots more charity work helping to raise funds. Well you know what they say about “ask a busy person and you’ll get things done” 🙂 Just need to get ‘that’ book done now!! So have a great week.

Best wishes


Ps – Keep in touch on TwitterFacebook or Instagram

3 Responses

  1. Loved reading your blog
    Your such a busy lady but they say keeping busy keeps you
    young good luck with your new book your writing look forward to
    reading it love and hugs

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