Progress So Far

  • Romance writer - Historical. Contemporary and Intrigue
  • 2 books written for HarperImpulse

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

What'da get for Christmas?......

....Hope it was what you wanted.

I did! DH brought me a Kindle. Just the bog standard one - that's all the technology I can deal with! But it's enough! I LOVE it!! I didn't get a chance to play with it on Christmas Day - way to busy cooking and looking after guests and flying around all over the place. But since then I've downloaded and read the following:

Lethal - Sandra Brown
The Perfect Concubine - Michelle Styles
One Perfect Night - Rachael Johns
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (quarter of the way through) and
Dracula - Bram Stoker (not yet read) - but I downloaded it 'cos it was free!

I can see I'm going to have to keep a reign on how much I'm spending - but my excuse is that they are a lot cheaper than buying a hard/soft copy from the shops. And I'm also going to have to keep an eye on the reading - I can see it stopping me from writing! Hey ho - see ya. Caroline xx

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Sad today...

.....sorry I haven't been around for a while - there has been a lot going on.

I lost my gran today. She was 93 and I was there when she passed. It was a blessing in the end as she was suffering with pneumonia and it was sad to see her struggling so. I was so lucky to have a gran like her and for so long - I'm 48 now. She didn't have a bad bone in her body and will be much missed by all of her family.

Other news? Ehh not a lot really - except I did celebrate my DH's 50th birthday on the 14th. We had a great day - and he was well chuffed with the surprise prezzie I bought him.

Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and a propserous New Year. Caroline x

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

I may be gone some time...

...well like I said on my last post, I'm trying to knuckle down to some serious writing. Hence my attempt at giving NaNo a go this year.

As you may, or may not know, NaNo kicks off today, so I've given myself a SERIOUS talking too about the amount of time I spend blogging and not writing. I'm limiting myself to half an hour of blogging a day (yikes!) and then it's knuckle down time on the WIP.

I've decided to go with the "Viking" book. This particular book has been "calling" me to write it for over 2 years now, so I think it deserves to be written! It has a working title of "Viking Temptress." It's a Viking story with a twist (I hope) in that the Heroine is the Viking who is captured by an Anglo Saxon Hero. Like I say, a slight twist on the normal "Vikings" which normally have the Viking as the Hero.

Anyhoo....drum roll please......So far (and bearing in mind it's only the 1st of November) word total is.....2449 words. Not bad Caroline, not bad. The only thing is...can I keep it up? I'll stick my neck out and say that I'll post a weekly sub total through out November so you guys can keep me on my toes! Caroline x


Monday, 24 October 2011

It's about time.....

....that I buckled down to some *serious* writing. 2011 has been a very poor output year. Yes I can (and frequently do) make excuses - but the upshot is that I've hardly written anything this year.

So...what am I going to do about it? Well I'm going to attempt NaNoWriMo - it starts in November and I'm going to have a go. 50k words in a month! More than I've done in about 2 years I'm sure. It is dooable - I have written that amount before - but it was a while ago. But I need to do it - for my sanity if nothing else.

I've got all these books fighting to get written. But which one? The "Viking"? The "Romantic Suspense"? A "Contemporary Romance's" - a choice of 3 of them! Perhaps another "Roman" or how about the "Regency" that's been brewing? I've even got a "Christian Romance" up my sleeve! Anyone got a favourite that you think I should start with? (((SIGH))) Let me know - if not - it's the Viking that's calling me at the mo.

Caroline xx p.s it goes without saying that the blogging is going to have to STOP!!!!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Pssst. My New Voices entry is up....

.... and I would love it if you could have a look see and pass on any comments you may have.

It was hard pressing that "send" button I can tell you and I nearly chickened out! Nerve wracking more like - like airing your dirty laundry for all the world to see.

But it's done now. So if you fancy a read (and would like to vote) you can find my entry here. Just in case I cock up the link - it's on the New Voices (Romance Is Not Dead) website - in the Historical section and it's called "Mistress to the Roman." Thanks - Caroline x p.s as I'm a coward I entered it under my married name of "Caroline Hartin" ;o)

Sunday, 11 September 2011

10 Random things about me...

Thanks to Teresa for for nominating me for this. So here goes....

1. I got my motorbike licence before my car licence. One day I aim to get another motorbike (or trike) and become an eccentric old lady.

2. I spent most of my early years living in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf.

3. I'm really bad at grammar - a trait that brings constant frustration in my urge to be a writer.

4. The "Teresa" link is the 1st time I've managed to insert a link into a blog; and only because my step son is sitting next to me as I type this and showed me how to do it! So, in essence, I'm rubbish at technology!

5. Since 2001 we have moved house/flat 9 times! The latest was in Feb this year. I've now laid the law down and said this is the last time!

6. I love Spitfire aeroplanes and one day would love to fly in one.

7. I love the mini series "Band of Brothers" and I've watched it every year since it came out - notably on the 6th of June each year - D-Day.

8. If the TV exploded I wouldn't be bothered one bit. But if my computer exploded....well that's another matter.

9. I love motorhoming We have an old 'van - and go to our favourite campsite whenever we can. The fact that the campsite is only 10 miles away is irrelevant. Once we are "away" we are away and on holiday!

10. I used to be a slavish follower of heavy metal and in my 20's and spent all my money going to concerts. I still love rock music. My one regret was that I never saw Led Zepplin.

Thanks Teresa. I'm now going to nominate anyone who wants to have a go Caroline ;o)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Loser Part II...

....went to FatClub tonight (aka WeightWatchers) for my weekly weigh in. I've been a good girl since I started (with a bit of help from a nasty stomach bug this weekend , not to mention a bereavement which saw 5lbs off!) I joined on the 29th of March and as of today I've shifted 30.5lbs of fat. I've been averaging 2/3lbs a week and I've only had one "weak" moment where I put half a pound on one week.

So I'm feeling quite pleased with myself. I've got to set a target weight. The DH doesn't like "skinny" and to be honest if I lose too much weight I look ill. But I'm still holding too much flab around my middle - always the danger zone so the doctors say- so I need to shift this. I'm thinking another 10lbs to target.

Of course as any woman will tell you - the hardest part is keeping it off and maintaining goal weight! But I want to do this - not so much for vanity - more for my health. I'm nearing a major "0" birthday (the one after 40 but not before 60) and I need to consider my long term health.

Speak soon - love Caroline xx

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Sad Today...

My lovely, brave mother-in-law (Rita) passed away yesterday. She was 71 and had been suffering with cancer for over 2 years - often in terrible pain.

Cancer is a horrible disease, and Rita fought a long and hard fight against it. She was initially diagnosed with bowel cancer about 3 years ago. She had that treated and was living with the after effects (colostomy bag etc.). Then about two years ago she went back to the doctors saying the cancer had returned. She was referred back to her original consultant. Without going into too much detail Rita and this consultant had been a loggerheads over her original cancer treatment and when he said rather arrogantly that he didn't think she had cancer, saying it was probably just a hernia Rita wasn't best pleased! She told him she knew her own body - and that it WAS cancer. Cue lots of tests and guess what? She was right - it had returned - a massive tumor on her kidney which subsequently spread. Guess who had to eat humble pie?!

My husband and I are so glad she is out of pain now - although we'll miss her terribly it was SO hard to see her in pain all the time. People say it is a blessing, and I think they are right. But we will miss her. I'm already dreading Christmas, birthdays etc. poignant reminders that Rita is no longer with us. I've been asked to do a reading at the funeral. If anyone knows a fitting bible passage (I do have some up my sleeve) then please let me know.

Thanks for listening. Caroline x

Saturday, 9 July 2011


...sorry if I've offended anyone - but it's what every editor says - "get them with the opening hook so they want to read more."

Did it work? Probably not!

Anyway there is a bit of truth to the title - I can't believe it's over a month since I last posted a blog! Where does the time go? Not to mention that Blogger has been misbehavin' like no-one recently. Can't comment, or if I can, then only as "Anonymous" - very disconcerting.

Have I been a good and done lots of writing? Ehh no! Just 2 short stories. Pathetic really.

I heard that New Voices (the HM&B Writing competition) is going to be happening soon, so I might give it another go. Not sure what genre to tackle this time. Last year it was a Historical - but the old grey matter is toying with a mystery thriller of some sort and I've been searching the web logging onto the FBI, CIA and DEA websites and downloading information. Yikes! Can I do that? Download information from their websites? I might find myself on some "list" or some such. So if I mysteriously disappear and you never hear from me again assume 1) I've won the Lottery or 2) I'm being interrogated by MI6! You heard it hear first...

Until next time...if there is a next time.....Caroline x

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Tag You're It!

The lovely Teresa Ashby picked me to list some things about me - so here goes -

Q1 - Do You Think You are Hot?

A - Of course I do! I'm going through "the change" - I'm always hot. Night sweats gotta love them...

Q2 - Upload a picture or wallpaper you're using at the moment

A - Uhh sorry - no can do! I can't upload anything - I'm pathetic at tecci stuff. The picci on my blog site sidebar was done for me! Also that thingy where you say "to read more of this go here" and the "here" is one of those links to another blog site - duh - STILL don't know how to do that either! So take pity on me will ya and at least tell me how to do that simple task!

Q3 - When did you last eat chicken?

A - If there wasn't already a book entitled "100 Ways With Chicken" - I would have written it. We eat chicken ALL the time. Hubby loves the stuff. Tonight it was chicken jalfrezi. Nuff said! Tomorrow it is chicken pasta bake. It's a good job I like it to...

Q4 - The Song You listened to recently.

A. I don't listen to music CD's (shock horror, I know, I know) but I do like to listen to the Radio. There is a song being played at the moment that has struck a chord - of course I can't remember what it is called - but every time I hear it played it gives me goosebumps.

Q5 - What are you thinking as you do this?

A - I need to swiffer - there's a load of dog hairs on the floor! Sad I know - but sometimes housework has to intrude on my love of blogging!

Q6 - Have you any nicknames?

A. My brother (who's 16 months younger than me) could never say my full name when he was a toddler. Instead of Caroline he used to say Caca" which as some of you know is another word for poo! Thankfully, he grew up and now calls me by my proper name. But my dad, bless him, still calls me Caca. Also I go by the nickname of Caz.

That was fun to do! Thanks Teresa for nominating me. ;o) Caroline x

Thursday, 28 April 2011

I'm a loser.....

....but not in a horrible way! I have (for the first time in around 10 years) managed to stick to a diet! No mean feat I can tell you. I've joined WeightWatchers, and although I was a bit skeptical about their new ProPoints system (I've done WW many times in the past!) I have to say this time round I'm finding it much easier to stick to. So far I've lost 10 pounds (in 5 weeks). Shock horror I even managed to lose 2lbs over the Easter festivities. Hopefully, I'll be able to stick to it. I've taken "before" photo's of my very large rear end straining at the seams in a pair of stretch jeans, and when I hit my target weight I will post "before and after" pictures on line for the whole world to see! How's that for a challenge!? Wish me luck peeps!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

My shiny new office!

I promised a picci of my new office - so here it is! Like I said in my last but one post, considering how lovely and cosy it is I've done very little writing! Bad Caroline. Must do better. So this weekend it's a short story for me - I need something "simple" to get me back into the swing so to speak. Caroline x

Thursday, 7 April 2011

My 1st *EVER* Sale!

.....before you all get too excited it's not for a book, but for one of my short stories. But that doesn't stop me from being cock-a-hoop. The reality is - someone likes my writing, enough to *pay* me for it. Not enough to give up the day job ;) - but enough to treat myself and the DH to a nice meal somewhere nice!

The short story is entitled "What Friends Are For" - and it's going to be published in The Weekly News (not sure when). I wrote this story in about an hour to sub to my on-line short story writing critique group. To be honest I didn't think it was that good! I've subbed short stories (that have been rejected) that I have thought were a lot better. But hey - what do I know about what editors really want/like!?

So where do I go now? Well to be honest it's kick-started the muse which has been seriously lacking of late since I've moved house. I'm going to tweak some short stories and sub them off, as well as check out Carina Press submissions guidelines. I might send off one of my "Romans" to them. Take care. Caroline x

Friday, 1 April 2011

Yay I'm back....

....after what seems like light years I've finally got back online. BT put our landline up yesterday - although it was a close thing as the BT engineer was a bit of a "jobs worth". "Ummm can't go in loft's -health and safety" - then promptly climbed a ladder outside and connected the telephone wire to the telegraph pole! Don't ask!

Anyhoo. Have I missed blogging? Umm those that know me will shout a resounding "YES!" Oh yes indeedy, at times it was a close thing deciding if I did actually have some sort of addiction to it as my withdrawal symptom were obvious (apparently) to my DH. He's convinced that at one point he thought I needed meds to cope! Only joking. I was able to get my fix at work at lunchtime to be honest. I could read all my favourite blogs, but somehow (work cyber police perhaps?) I couldn't actually "post a comment".

So what have I been up to? Here goes:

1. We moved house - and all the trauma that goes with it - successfully. We are now ensconced in our lovely (damp free) bungalow.
2. I've had severe bronchitis for 3 weeks - which is rather ironic really considering the fact that I moved to get away from damp/mould spores!! What's that all about?!
3. MIL is very poorly and we've been down to Essex to see her. She has terminal C, but she is fighting it all the way.
4. I haven't won the Lottery!
5. I've enrolled on WeightWatchers.

And have I done any writing? Considering the amount of time I've had not blogging you would have thought that I'd have done a ton of it! Errr no. Sorry - don't know why, maybe it's a combination of 1, 2 and 3 above impacting on me, but I've not been near the keyboard since we've moved. Not really much of an excuse I know since we've been settled for weeks now. But I need to kick start myself soon or my mojo will go forever. But saying that, having been reading my favourite blogs for a while now I have detected a bit of apathy out here in blog land. Am I right or is it just me?

Going now. Next time I'll post a picci of my brand new shiny office. The office that I've done absolutely NO WRITING IN SINCE I'VE HAD IT! Shame on me..... Caroline x

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

48 hours to go....

....before we complete on our new house! And it's only 24 hours until I go off line until 31st of March. So apart from reading and blogging whilst at work during my lunch hour I'm going to be a bit in the wilderness blogging wise. Cripes what will I do!? I'm addicted to blogging. Hey ho. Caroline x

Friday, 4 February 2011

We've Exchanged Contracts.... 12 noon today! Yay! We've to wait another week until next Friday and then the new house is ours! Doubly Yay! I'm well happy today. But never let it be said that moving house is easy! I've been rushing around like a headless chicken. Yesterday spent the morning cleaning the new house of plaster dust and general builder's leftovers before the carpet fitters arrived. It was the hardest 3 hours work I've done for a long time! Great for workout though as I'm trying to get a bit fitter.

I've also been having to do most of the other (myriad) of things that need doing when moving house as my poor DH has a very nasty bout of food poisoning (Campylobacter). It started on the 20th of January, and like most men, he thought it would "get better". Last Friday I finally manged to get him to the doctors, and they confirmed Camplyobacter earlier this week. This is now his 3rd week of incapacity. Read between the lines - but the poor DH is housebound if you get my drift!!! Anyone out there know what to recommend? The doctor said he couldn't give antibiotics and he has to avoid dairy products and drink lots of fluid. But as of today - he's as bad as he was 3 weeks ago!! This is making for a lot of lost sleep for both of us! So any tips gratefully received. Fingers crossed he's better next week as we've a marathon move ahead of us.

Hands on heart - I've done very little writing - life is just too, too hectic at the moment. I've a big court case on at the mo, work wise, so my poor brain is addled to say the least. However I do find blogging helps me relax though - so I've not given that up ;)

Anyway - enough rambling - got to do some more packing!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Blinky Blimy!

Where does the time go I wonder? It's 2 weeks since I last posted and it only seems like yesterday. It's been a bit hectic here is Chez Hartin. We are (fingers crossed) about 3 to 4 weeks from completion on our new house. So we've been packing boxes galore and generally clearing stuff out! It never ceases to amaze me how much clutter/rubbish/crap one accumulates over the years. It's quite liberating clearing out stuff that you'll never use again.

If I'm honest, writing has taken a back seat somewhat. But saying that I have had some excellent feedback from Michelle Styles. I entered her mentoring contest and submitted my 1st 3 chapters. Michelle, very kindly, said I had a good "voice" and that I did have talent - and that my ms has potential. I need to rework it a bit - no make that a LOT - lol! But Michelle's advice has been invaluable, and I am *so* grateful that she took time out of her busy schedule to write such a detailed critique. So armed with all her advice I'm going to spend a bit of time on this ms and then "send it out there". But before that, I need to do a good query letter and synopsis as most of the agents only take email subs these days with a query letter attachment and synopsis. Happy writing everyone! Caroline x

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year Everyone!

Hope everyone had a great New Years Eve. NYE is either party, party, party, or a "quiet one in". We were in the latter camp - mainly because I'm on-call today! But to be honest I'm all for a "quiet one" these days.

I hope 2011 is going to be good for all my pals in blog land. It's an interesting time for me and the DH. Hopefully we should be moving in January - maybe early February - so it's going to be a busy time for us. I'm looking forward to commandeering the third bedroom and having my very own study! Can't wait to post a picci of that when I can. I love to see where writer's write!

But our joy of moving is tempered by the fact that Colin's mum is very poorly. She was in hospital before Christmas but asked to be let out over the festivities. Thankfully they let her, but she has to go back in on the 4th for more tests and MRI scans. They have found a "mass" near her kidney so we can't rule out the dreaded "C" which she has only just recovered from in the past year. Here's praying that they can do something for her.

Trying to be +ve here, so I'm going to go to bow out now by saying that I completed my 3 chapters for Michelle Styles mentoring competition. I edited them to death. Upped the emotion and sensuality and *tried* to focus on just the H/h. So fingers crossed.

Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year. Caroline xx