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My latest blog posts

My latest blog posts

Respect your elders?

In Burning Embers, Coral is reunited with her former ‘yaha’ (nanny) Aluna when she comes back to the childhood home she left in her youth. There is, at once, an interesting dynamic between the two women – one white, naive, young and wealthy who has grown up chiefly in England;

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Music to write books by: Fausto Pappeti

I love music: it has such power to move, to affect, to inspire. When I write at my desk, I often have music on in the background – carefully selected to reflect the mood of the particular chapter I’m writing. In Burning Embers, as well as running a prosperous plantation,

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African recipe: Groundnut Soup

Food has always been a rich source of pleasure for me; I have wide-ranging tastes and enjoy the thrill of sampling a new cuisine. I subscribe to the school of thought that believes a direct connection exists between stomach and heart: an intimate meal between characters comprising succulent, delicious food

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It’s romance, but what kind? Deciding the genre for my novel

I’ve recently been involved in an interesting discussion with my publisher, Omnific, about what genre my upcoming novel Burning Embers fits into. My book is a love story, so categorising it as romance is no problem; but what sub-category within which to situate the book?   The list of sub-genres

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Inspired by nature

The bay at St Tropez on a wild and stormy day – little wonder that after seeing this tempestuous, magnificent power of nature I went home and added a storm to the chapter I was writing.

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The perfect man…

Last month the Guardian reported on an interesting survey undertaken by the Festival of Romance, an international convention on romantic fiction. They interviewed 58 romantic novelists to find out what qualities are important in a man. These were the results: The perfect man, according to romantic novelists (% agreeing), is:

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The poetry of Leconte De Lisle

The seeds of inspiration for the verdant setting of my novel Burning Embers were sown way back at school when I was introduced to the flamboyant poetry of Charles-Marie Leconte De Lisle, better known as simply Leconte De Lisle, who was the leader of the group of French poets called

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Through a child’s eyes

‘Write about what you know’ is the advice given to any fledgling writer, and it’s certainly wisdom I have tried to take on board in my development as a writer. The action in my novel Burning Embers begins on a cruise ship bound for Mombasa. Coral, the protagonist, is gazing

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Favourite places: Dover Castle

The nearest town to my home in Kent is Dover. I love spending afternoons wandering around the magnificent 12-century Dover Castle which stands majestically above the White Cliffs for which the town is famous.

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Favourite films: Out of Africa

Out of Africa is one of my favourite films – I’ve watched it at least fifteen times to date, and it never fails to move me. The film is set earlier in the twentieth century than Burning Embers, but the breathtaking settings (which include Mombasa, where Burning Embers is set)

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My latest blog posts

A new cover for Burning Embers

Have you noticed that my debut novel, Burning Embers, has a new cover? The design is to match The Echoes of Love, and I’m delighted with it because it pulls together so many elements of the book. First, the model. She’s just as I picture Coral, the heroine of the

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A sweet taste: The official partner of romance

You curl up with a good book, and sip a steaming mochaccino. You watch a romance movie with a friend, and share a bowl of popcorn. You have a romantic meal with a lover, and end with a melt-in-the-middle chocolate pudding. You unwrap your partner’s gifts from under the tree,

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Escape to Venice and Kenya this January

Are you feeling the January blues? Is winter chilling you? Well, for less than the price of a coffee you can escape to both Venice and Kenya this month with my novels The Echoes of Love and Burning Embers! The ebooks are available now on Amazon.

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Stepping into a story world

Did you see the recent news story about a real-life Hogwarts, the school at which the Harry Potter series is set? Czocha Castle in Poland was transformed into a ‘College of Wizardy’ modelled on the school in JK Rowling’s books. One hundred and ninety fans from around the world came

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Where the Rainbow Ends by Shirley Worrall

From the blurb: In 1873, Amelia Penrose and her twin brother James are abandoned as babies in a trunk outside a Liverpool orphanage.  Amelia grows up longing for security and, at eighteen years of ages, she marries American sailor, Miles Carter. They exchange England for Seattle, and are soon making

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Losing your first draft: Catastrophe or blessing?

Every writer, surely, has some experience of losing a price of writing. The computer crashes or the coffee spills on the notebook, and the words are gone for ever. It’s utterly devastating, because those lost words were so precious and loved (even if you intended to rewrite them), and because

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The most romantic Christmas song

A very happy Christmas to you! The radio station I listen to while pottering around at home waited until the 1 December this year before digging into its Christmas archives, but since then I have heard plenty of seasonal tunes. But only one makes me stop what I’m doing and

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GrosSouper: A Provencal Christmas Eve

I live for part of the year on the south coast of France, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. One of my favourite elements of life in France is the cuisine. In the morning I go to the town for fresh ingredients from the charcuterie and boulangerie and market, and then

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