Blog, Christmas, short stories

Christmas Special Goodwill to All!

A New Story

I’ve had an exciting week! I polished off the last chocolates from my raffle prize to celebrate the publication of my Christmas short story, Goodwill to All. You can find it in a Christmas special published by The People’s Friend dated December 3rd (although it’s been on sale since Wednesday, 30th November).

The Christmas Special bringing Goodwill to All!

I love writing long fiction such as romantic novels and novellas. You can find out more about my earlier work here. Short stories are more challenging to write. Three generations of my family have read The People’s Friend so to have one of my stories included in a Christmas Special is the icing on the (Christmas) cake!

Goodwill to All

Goodwill to All is about a family in trouble. Katie is writing her Christmas cards, but something is worrying her. Every one she chooses reminds her of the hole in her life she can’t fill. I love Tracey Fennell’s festive illustration for Goodwill To All. It brings the season to life.

Goodwill to All, my festive short story.

This festive edition of The People’s Friend is a bumper one, as it’s a Christmas special. There’s fiction from Laura Tapper, Sue Cook, Val Melhop, Jan Snook, H. Johnson-Mack, Alison Carter, Jenny Worstall, Stefania Hartley, Kate Hogan, Lesley-Anne Johnstone, Christine Bryant, Eirin Thompson, Suzanne Ross Jones, Teresa Ashby, and Glenda Young.

There’s also a short story by debut Friend author, Susan Batten, and a new serial from Alison Carter.

You can find details of the other stories contained in this Christmas special edition here. They’re under the heading “Fiction Sneak Peek”. There’s also more information about this week’s magazine as a whole here.

Winter Reading

brown cookies on gray tray
Photo by Georgie Devlin on

Why not read your winter worries away? It’s lovely to curl up with some feel-good fiction. Especially when you can add a hot drink, and a mince pie.

Why not forget your troubles for half an hour?

Happy Reading!

brown wooden desk
Blog, short stories

An Easter Surprise…

I had a lovely surprise this week. My short story The Real Maisey Day appears in The People’s Friend Easter Special (Edition No. 224).

Out Now!

I love writing for The People’s Friend as it’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It was delivered to our house every week when I was little, and most of the recipes and a lot of the knitting patterns were tried out.

More recently, the magazine has been a welcome distraction on trips to hospital with my son. He’s been visiting consultants for multiple health concerns since he was eight years old. As he’s now taller than me (!), you’ll realise it’s been a long road.

While my son would get a comic from the hospital shop, I’d pick up a Friend. The tone of the magazine is optimistic and the stories, whether contemporary or historical, are always thoroughly enjoyable.

I like to think that reading my stories gives people an escape from their worries for a few minutes. It was what I needed during all those hospital visits, so it’s great to be able to give something back.

The Real Maisey Day is a story about friendship, and the very different truth that can lurk behind a public image. I’ve always been a sucker for self-help manuals, and I’ve tried many improving techniques over the years. They’ve all helped me to some extent. My favourite self-help guru is Jack Canfield. He looks so serene, and has a motivating quip for every situation.

My thanks to Mandy Dixon for this great illustration

I thought it would be fun to invent a self-help genius who is anything but perfect—someone who can inspire others, but behind the scenes is as lacking in confidence as everyone she helps to succeed.

Several kind people have contacted me to say they enjoyed The Real Maisey Day, and would like to read more stories about what happened next to the central characters.

I’d love to know what you think might happen to Emma, Daisy, Maisey Day, and of course Pablo, next!

Heart Of A Hostage, My Dream Guy, newsletter, Princes Of Kharova, Romance, short stories, The Wild Rose Press, Writing

This Writing Life—Cover Reveal for My Dream Guy… 
In my summer newsletter, I held a competition for readers to choose between potential covers for my next short story, My Dream Guy. The names of everyone who voted went into a draw to win a preview copy of my next short romance, My Dream Guy, and Emma’s name was first out of the hat. Here’s the cover my subscribers chose. What do you think? 

My Dream Guy is based on a holiday OH booked as a surprise when we hadn’t been together long. I really did not want to go. I was too busy at work, the weather had been foul for weeks and wasn’t forecast to get any better, while to cap it all, this was an outdoor activity holiday. I’d much rather sit in a wood than fly through it on a zip wire, but when you’re first in love, you don’t always say things like that out loud! I was all ready to be a martyr, but I got a big shock when I discovered my own dream guy had hidden depths… 

Emily gets a wake-up call too in my new story, My Dream Guy. The sparkle’s gone out of her relationship with Jack. She’s started hankering after the guy who was her first crush. Back then, Harri was a bronzed, twenty-something farmer who hardly paid any attention to the tongue-tied kid camping in his field with her family. Now Emily’s older, she’s thinks Harri the Hunk’s going to be the best thing about her dreaded holiday to a Welsh campsite, during the wettest summer on record. 
She’s in for an enormous shock—and then her boyfriend Jack springs an even bigger surprise. 
Can Emily’s holiday from hell ever have a happy ending?
There’ll be more about My Dream Guy in my autumn newsletter. That will have all sorts of news about life here at Tottering Towers, including the latest on Heart of A Hostage, the next book in my Princes Of Kharova series for The Wild Rose Press, an update on my bees and the kitchen garden harvest, together with a seasonal recipe, and a competition for subscribers only.
 My next newsletter will be out in the autumn. To get a copy, you can join my mailing list here: