Monthly Archives: May 2016


Happy everybody reads YA Sunday. Today I’m talking about a SolsticFirst Lovee Publishing Anthology – FIRST LOVE.

The anthology is full of short stories about the pleasures and anxieties of a first teenage love – that first kiss, the anxious wait for a phone call ….

Below is an excerpt from my own story that is included in this anthology – SLEEPING BEAUTY.


“Sorry,” he replied, unabashed. “The note on the parcel says I’ve got to deliver it into her hands personally.” He sidestepped the nurse and continued towards me, and placed the small package on my bed. “My, isn’t she pretty?” he added, as he pressed my hand over the parcel. Again I felt my fingers tingle. “Pretty enough to kiss, even if she is asleep,” he went on, bending down and placing his lips firmly against mine before anyone could stop him. I’d never been kissed like that before. I’d certainly never expected to be kissed like that in front of Mum and Dad. I gasped, and opened my eyes.

BLURB for Sleeping Beauty:

sleeping beauty

Dawn has been in a coma for a year and is visited in hospital every day by her devoted father, occasionally by the ghost of her dead mother, and once by her vicious stepmother. Unable to move a muscle she monitors their coming and going and relives the events that lead to her accident. She yearns to wake up and live like a teenager again, but nothing so far has been able to rouse her from her deep, deep sleep. Then, on her fourteenth birthday she is visited by a mysterious delivery boy with a strange package.


LINKS: First Love Anthology

Sleeping Beauty:









Have you ever been stumped for a single word to describe something? You find you can write a phrase or a sentence, but the English language is strangely deficient in providing you with the exact sentiment in one word? Well a recent article in the Journal of Positive Psychology by Tim Lomas may come to your aid. In this he records over 200 words from other languages for which we have no equivalent in English.

For example, how many times have you wanted to describe those wonderful plans you come up with whilst drunk? Check out the German – Schnapsidee! 

Or you want to describe that loveP1000134ly feeling you have when you’ve dined with friends, the food has all been eaten, but the conversation is still flowing. The Spanish have just the word – sobremesa.

Or you want to tell people that you got up early this morning to listen to the dawn chorus? How about gogotta (Swedish)?

True, there are some words in the article that you may feel you will never have the need for. Fargin, perhaps – a Yiddish word indicating how you take pride in the success of others. Or mbuki-mvuki, a Bantu word describing the act of shedding ones clothes to dance wildly (though some people may think we should try this more often).

I have two favourites – the Japanese word Seijaku, meaning100_0605 serenity in the midst of chaos, and Kreng-jai,  the Thai word that Tim Lomas translates as not wanting to trouble other people with your burdens. A fitting sentiment for a Buddhist nation that cheerfully decorates dinosaur sculptures with father Christmases in December!

Makes you want to gigil doesn’t it? (A word from the Philippines to describe when you want to squeeze or pinch someone because they are loved).

Everybody Reads YA Sunday

Happy Everybody reads YA Sunday!

I am excited that print copies of my latest contemporary YA novel, GIRL FRIENDS, have just arrived in the UK and will be in local shops shortly. So today I’m sharing anther excerpt. It is (almost) the very last paragraph of the story.


Jenny has been round to see Mum a few times. It seems an odd friendship, but it turns out that Jenny works in adult education and Mum has told her she regrets missing out on her education by having Jason and me when she was so young. So now, she is planning to go to night school when I start at the college. If she sticks at it, she’ll be swotting for her GCSEs whilst I do my A-levels. Who knows, she’ll be following me to university next. Mum. School. Wonders will never cease.                                                                                                          And Laurence? You may be asking yourself why I haven’t mentioned him yet. What’s happened to that budding relationship?  (You will have to read the book yourself to get the answer!)


Nothing is working out for Courtney, and even Grace, her beautiful best friend has no time for her now she has a boyfriend who has promised to get her a modelling contract. Courtney senses something is wrong – what is Grace getting herself into? And can Courtney and her new-found friends rescue Grace before it is too Girl Friends - coverlate?

Links: This novel, and all my other books and short stories, is available from my Amazon author page. Or you can go direct to GIRLFRIENDS on this link:


A new book by author Elle Marlow

Today I am featuring Amazon best-selling author Elle Marlow’s latest work  The Black Raven, White Dove. Here she speaks candidly about the book.

The idea for Black Raven, White Dove was introduced to me by Captain Ice. HElle Marlowis image came to mind, and even though he showed himself as a pirate, I could only see the goodness within.  A good man living a hard life deserves a love so powerful and pure, that the only woman for him would have to be a lovely girl he met as a child.  Bianca Paloma, aka, White Dove is only fragile on the outside.  Inside, she is a strong, capable woman who finds her greatest strength through her faith.  They make an unlikely pair as they navigate the Atlantic on the ship that is home to a slew of old sea dogs.  This book has some humor, some sadness, but it is really about finding one’s own worthiness and having a little faith that you are where you need to be.

This is my first Inspy romance.  I fell in love with the genre.  There will be more. Perhaps another pirate tale aboard the Raven?  We’ll see.


The Black Raven, White Dove is a Christian Inspirational Action Adventure Romance White dove

“Welcome aboard the Raven, Miss Paloma.”


 The Blurb: Known as the Ice Pirate, Stefan Ice captains the Raven. A wicked ship filled with treasures and haunting secrets. What’s missing from the Raven’s coffers is revenge, what’s missing from Stefan’s life is love.

Bianca is the jewel in her father’s crown. When she is captured and bound on the Raven, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a feud between her father and the dark pirate. With every rock of the ship, Stefan steals her heart and unravels their tangled and
tragic past. Bianca will need to rely on her faith and her heart to find God’s purpose for her life. Is with the legendary pirate?


Where to find Elle Marlow’s titles.



Black raven


Everybody reads YA Sunday

Happy “Everybody Reads YA” Sunday.

Today I’m sharing another excerpt from my recently published contemporary novel GIRL FRIENDS. The story is told by fifteen year old Courtney who is worried about the new boyfriend her best friend Grace is spending all her time with. Or is she just jealous?


Kal glances at his watch. “Well,” he says, “time to get going.”“Where’s the party?” asks Grace.  “Never you mind,” he responds, quite sharply I think. “You trust me don’t you?”      I think it’s an odd question to ask; But Grace simply gives him a quick kiss and replies: “Of course, just asking.”  “Well, don’t.”  There is a pause, which I break. My voice comes out all childish and squeaky but I can’t help it. “What about me?”  Grace looks at me. “You’re coming with us, of course. Didn’t I tell you—we want you to meet a friend of Kal’s?” This is the last thing I want to hear.


Nothing is working out for Courtney, and even Grace, her beautiful best friend has no time for her now she has a boyfriend who has promised to get her a modelling contract. Courtney senses something is wrong – what is Grace getting herself into? And can Courtney and her new found friends rescue Grace before it is too late?

Link: Friends - cover












Do writers write every day?

Do writers write every day? Received wisdom is that any aspiring writer should put pen to paper on a daily basis. There are some very famous names who say they follow this advice – Hilary Mantel for one. Georges Simenon would reputedly write 60 – 80 pages a day.  As he wrote over 500 hundred books under various names, which included serious psychological novels as well as detective stories, and countless articles, there must be some truth in it. (He also claimed that he had sex with over 10,000 women as well as being a husband and father – one wonders when he found the time to write.)

On a more modest scale, several authors will set themselves a minimum word count for the day of, say, 500 or 1,000. By contrast a contemporary poet (whose name I won’t mention) says he writes every day – but refined this to admitting that on same days he can spend the morning taking a comma out of a poem, and the afternoon putting it back in. Some celebrated writers, like Solzhenitsyn, have been imprisoned and unable to write at all for years, but ideas for their work have been formulated whilst incarcerated, and books based directly or indirectly on their experiences have flowed  from their pens on their release.

Deadlines help, as well as torment, the ‘jobbing’ writer – ask any journalist! And many established writers have one or more outlets that really like their work – but need the book or article they commission to fit in with their timetable for publication.

And me – do I write every day? Well, yes – if you count emails, Facebook, blogging, and twitter (and shopping lists). Yes, if you include re-working existing efforts to try to make them print – worthy. And yes, if I’m researching a topic and making notes. But I’m not sure of any of this will count for the purist.

The first novel I wrote was written at a steady rate of 500 – 1,000 words a day. But I was writing primarily to see if I could actually accumulate enough words on paper and maintain a storyline long enough for my effort to be called a novel. I did, but it is a piece of work best kept tucked away in a drawer, and I’ve never tried to find a publisher.

These days I caCauchyn say honestly that nearly every day is taken up with writing related matters. But life is full of distractions – like my dog is now barking at me as he thinks it’s time to go and play football in the garden. I will do as he orders (of course). And who knows, inspiration for a new story may come whilst we’re out.

There have been times when I haven’t written for a few days,because I can’t think of how to take a story forward, or am stumped for a new idea, or just too ‘busy.’ I can start to feel a bit agitated in these circumstances and to calm myself I resort to a simple writing exercise I learnt some years ago.

You CAN try this at home!

1. Pick up a document – almost anything will do, but newspapers and magazines are best. Take any article at random and count ten words. Write down the tenth word (unless it is ‘a’ or ‘the’). Then count the next ten and write down the twentieth word. Ditto for the thirtieth word.

2. Without thinking anymore, write a short story using these three words in any order. Write for exactly five minutes. Then stop.

You may be surprised with what you’ve achieved. Some of the mini stories I have come up with have become proper stories that have even been published. One formed the basis of a short play.

(PS: It’s also a good exercise to try if you find you can’t sleep. Beats counting sheep!)

Everybody Reads YA


HappyGF card Everybody Reads YA Sunday – again! And I’m going to share an excerpt ftom my newly released YA novel – again!! It is set in the present and told through the eyes of fifteen year old Courtney as she and her best friend Grace come of age along very different routes that test their friendship to the core. Boyfriends, school exams, dating and sex, drugs,  ambition, parents (or lack of) and sisters, all feature in this story that takes the girls into a very dark and dangerous world.


To look at, you would think Grace would be the centre of everyone’s circle—especially the boys, rather than messing with me. But I know why she isn’t—she’s been in care since her mum killed her dad, and her gran—her father’s mum—found her too difficult to handle alongside her husband who was going potty—Alzheimer’s or something.

Grace hates being in care, gets lippy and aggressive with the other girls in the class if they mention it, and I think the boys see her as too frightening. Maybe they think being a murderess is some kind of disease that runs in the family.


Nothing is working out for Courtney, and even Grace, her beautiful best friend has no time for her now she has a boyfriend who has promised to get her a modelling contract. Courtney senses something is wrong – what is Grace getting herself into? And can Courtney and her new-found friends rescue Grace before it is too late? It is a race against time …..

Links: Friends - cover