brown bench beside tree

Pocket Novel ‘The Wishing Tree’

Only a short post today as my Pocket Novel, The Wishing Tree is published in the UK this week. I’m in the mood to celebrate by spending some time away from my keyboard!

Something New…

Book cover, The Wishing Tree by Christina Hollis Young couple, old house.

I’ve had quite a few short stories published in The People’s Friend magazine. The Wishing Tree is my first Pocket Novel for them. It’s the story of grumpy Jake and nursery owner Emma. Jake steps in to help Emma out when things get tough, and eventually she discovers his tragic secret. It’s a story of fresh starts and learning to work together, with that all-important happy ever after! You can find out more about The Wishing Tree on my Book Page, here.

I love writing for The People’s Friend. It’s such a privilege. The magazine has been popular for so long that at least three generations of my family have been fans! Throughout his childhood, my young son had appointments with hospital consultants every few weeks. The Friend was always on sale in the hospital shop, offering plenty of optimism and distraction. That was exactly what I needed. It’s great to be able to contribute stories to such a national institution

The Wishing Tree Goes On Sale!

Photo of WH Smith magazine rack showing The Wishing Tree Pocket Novel

I managed to snap this shelfie in Cheltenham to prove it’s not a dream. I needn’t have worried. When this week’s copy of The Friend arrived in my postbox, The Wishing Tree was right there on the front cover. It’s part of a promotion!

I really enjoyed writing The Wishing Tree, and I hope you enjoy reading it. Pocket Novels are only on sale for a very short time. You’ll need to be quick to snap up a copy. The Wishing Tree is on sale in larger branches of Tesco, Morrisons, and other supermarkets, WH Smith and many independent newsagents. Look for it where you buy your copy of The People’s Friend. Catch it while you can!

Blog, books

Exciting Book News

I’ve got some exciting book news to share today.

Royal Passion Is Available On Pre-Order Now!

My first bit of exciting news is that my journey from page to publication is now nearly complete. Royal Passion, the first book in my Royal Romances series is now available for pre-order everywhere online! Click on this link to find out how to order your copy.

Book Cover fro exciting News blog Royal Passion, Greek Beach , romantic couple

More Exciting News

My second bit of exciting news is that my first Pocket Novel goes on sale on Thursday, 31st August. That’s less than a week away! The working title of my book was The Wishing Tree. That may have been changed to fit in with the company’s other published titles. Pocket Novels are sold in larger Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrison stores, WH Smith High Street, Martin McColls, and independent newsagents.

You can read here about how I’ve kept my New Year’s Resolution to self-publish a book. Next time, I’ll start going through the individual steps to publication in more detail. I’ve already updated the My Books section of this site, here.

Thanks All Round

Along my road to self-publishing I’ve had lots of support from the writing community. The Alliance of Independent, the Marcher chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors, and my cover designer Joanna Maitland have all been really helpful. I couldn’t have done it without them.

I hope you will enjoy reading Royal Passion as much as I enjoyed writing it. Don’t forget—you can order your copy now, from Amazon, Apple, Kobo, or Barnes and Noble.

Blog, books

Royal Passion Goes Live!

At last I can say those magic words—I’m an independent author! Royal Passion will be published on 24th October. You’ll be able to order it as soon as all the links are in place and live, which will be within a few days of the date of this blog.

Book cover Royal Passion, Greek beach, sea, romantic couple

From Start—to Finish

I’ve written here about how it was my New Year’s Resolution for 2023 to stop procrastinating and start publishing my backlist. I’ve learned so much in the past six months. So many people—in particular Joanna Maitland and The Society of Authors—have kindly offered support and advice. It’s been a long, sometimes frustrating process, but I felt a real sense of achievement when I submitted the final, final, final draft and the computer said “yes”.

My Books

I’ve already added Royal Passion to the My Books page on here, but at the moment it’s for information only. As soon as I can I’ll be adding clickable links so you can find the ebook on Amazon, although that won’t be the only place Royal Passion will be on sale.

And When Royal Passion Goes Live Online…

I’ll let you know when Royal Passion goes live on all the platforms, ready for pre-orders. By the way, isn’t it funny to talk about “pre-orders”? That’s what we used to call “orders”!


I’ll be sending out my August newsletter this week. Among other things, this month’s email includes a look behind the scenes of the recent Society of Authors Zoom chat, and a seasonal recipe (I’m still trying to decide which is more photogenic, damsons or blackberries). There will also be the chance to win an advance copy of Royal Passion. To find out how to enter my competition, sign up here to receive my newsletter, which will have full details.

landscape view of greece during day time
Blog, books

My new look blog

What do you think of my new look blog? It’s a summery theme to celebrate my latest Work in Progress. I’m going into the self-publishing business!

photo of santorini greece
Photo by jimmy teoh on

I love being outdoors as much as I love writing. This means that whenever the weather is good and I’m working on a writing project, I’m always desperate to get out in the garden.

For the last few months, I haven’t had that problem. The weather has been so foul—cold, wet, and cloudy—that I’ve been happy to stay snug and warm indoors.

It’s exactly the kind of weather that led to me releasing my short romantic story My Dream Guy. That was an early experiment in finding a new channel for my work. Then I was commissioned to write Struggle and Suffrage in Bristol. The research I did for that non-fiction book led me into a whole new career as a mature student.

Clutching my newly minted MA (with distinction!), I emerged ready to plunge back into writing romance. Then I regained the rights to some of my backlist. Self-publishing my work seemed to be the obvious next step—although it’s an enormous one for me.

I’m always saying that technology is not my friend. It’s true. I only use my desktop computer as a glorified typewriter. That means I’ve got a very steep learning curve to climb if I want to self-publish. For example, it took me ages yesterday to set up a newsletter, which I’ll use to give subscribers inside information on my journey to self-publication. Creating the sign up form was another puzzle.

warm coffee drink
Photo by Daria Obymaha on

If you sign up to my new newsletter, you’ll get monthly updates on how my attempt to publish my own work is going, along with cover reveals, giveaways, etc. You and I will than also have the satisfaction of knowing that my hours of bafflement over templates and form creators haven’t been in vain.

You can sign up using the form on the right—go on, put a smile on my face!

Blog, books

My Dream Guy—Free!

What has happened to spring? We’ve got the flowers, but there’s no sunshine and too much rain. As it’s so wet and miserable this weekend, why not curl up with a quick romantic read? My short romantic story My Dream Guy is now available as a free read on Kindle Unlimited, or for £1.99 from Amazon.

I wrote this story when the rain was lashing down outside, and it was freezing inside. That’s the British summer for you! I’ve only been camping twice. Both times it was in a two-man tent with OH, when we were first married. Wales was freezing and wet, while Oxford was freezing and dry. At least we had our love to keep us warm! North Wales had lots of lovely little shops and the Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth, while Oxford had nightingales and..well, Oxford.

As our finances and our family grew, we ditched the tent and started holidaying in chalets. I was so glad to leave the sleeping bags at home and relax in a proper bed.

My-Dream-Guy-Free! Holiday Chalet black trees
Photo by TomTookIt on

Memories of crouching over a tiny gas burner in a howling gale inspired me to write My Dream Guy. It’s about the contrast between what we expect from holidays and the sometimes comical reality.

Here’s a taste of it…

The romance has gone out of Emily’s relationship with Jack. When he books a holiday at a campsite in Wales during the wettest summer on record, it’s nearly the last straw.
Emily thinks the bronzed farmer who was her teenage crush will be the best thing about this dreaded holiday. But time has moved on. She’s in for an almighty shock – and then her boyfriend Jack springs some even bigger surprises.

Can Emily’s holiday from hell ever have a happy ending? Find out in My Dream Guy—Free with Kindle Unlimited.

You can find out more about me here, and see some of my books here.