Colouring in – a free advent calendar

Hello everyone

Every year, I draw a colouring in advent calendar for the kids – it saves adding to the chocolate mountain. In recent years, I’ve started printing copies out for a couple of work colleagues. We have a little break each day to colour in the character for the day. It’s really very relaxing.

Anyhew, I thought you might like to have a copy, so here it is! Thank you for being so amazing and supporting me in my writing. Feel free to share.

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2015 advent calendar

Oh, and if you’re stacking up your Christmas reading on your Kindle, Please Release Me is on offer for 99p until the end of November.

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Girl On The Run is out! Woo hoo!

My romantic comedy Patently in Love has been rejuvenated, revamped and rereleased under the Choc Lit Lite imprint as Girl On the Run. This is awesome news on so many levels, not least because I’m a ‘real’ Choc Lit author now! I’m so happy I’m dancing around (with Band on The Run playing in my head) – which is probably just as well because I need to burn off all the celebratory chocolate I’ve had…

Anyway, if you want to check it out or just give it a friendly wave,  it looks like this:

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Girl On the Run – romance with a healthy dose of cynicism.

 

In case you haven’t heard me wittering on about it before – it’s about a girl who is hiding from fame, working in a patent attorney firm. There’s pop-stars, gossip magazines, a lot of ice cream and a tiny bit about patents. I had the best fun writing this book. Marshall is still one of the nicest guys I’ve ever made up.

In other news, I read an article in the Telegraph about how French women are turning to colouring in as a stress buster. Since I’ve been doing my daily colouring in every work day this year, I feel rather smug because I’m on trend for once. Here’s this month’s calendar:

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Like an advent calendar, but without the Christmas…

 

The wedding theme was because my friend at work got engaged around the time I was drawing it, so I had weddings on the mind. I leave my calendar on the wall behind my chair at work, which means I have to physically turn my back on my computer during colouring in time. Also, it gives me something to look forward to on the Monday when I have to find and colour in THREE days instead of one. Plus, I like sharpening the pencils (I may need to get a life…).

If  you sign up for my newsletter this month, I’ll send you a pdf of it so that you too and bust your stress with some colouring in each day. I’m nice like that.

 

 

 

The Joy of Colouring In (+ free colouring-in sheet for February)

In December, I came across Alain Moose’s fabulous downloadable advent calendar. It consisted of a calendar full of doodles which you could print out. The ‘calendar’ numbers were scattered around the picture and you had to find and colour in the correct date each day. I pinned it to the wall at work. I have a pack of pencils in my desk at work (for work, honestly!). I keep it next to the emergency chocolate.

I’d forgotten how much fun it is to colour in. Finding the elusive number, deciding on a colour and colouring it in was one of the highlights of my morning tea break. It helped that on Mondays  you get to colour in 3 days worth. By  the end of it, my calendar looked like this:

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Now that Christmas is over, I miss having a bit of colouring in to perk up my dull winter workdays. I looked on the internet for something that would do, but really couldn’t find anything. Not for free anyway. So in the end, I did my own. This is what it looks like today:2014-02-05 13.16.36 Feel free to print out a copy for yourself  from the link below (under a creative commons attribution + non commercial use licence).

Download your free colouring in picture here: Colouring in Feb 2014 2 Do send me a photo once it’s all coloured in, won’t you?

Introducing some doodles

Shocking as it may seem, meetings about intellectual property can sometimes be a bit boring. I have a personal rule that I don’t do any writing when in meetings, no matter how boring it gets. Instead, I doodle. Today I ended up drawing two of the main characters from my WIP – Sally and Grace.  Both women get their own point of view expressed in the story. Grace is basically a nice person. Sally is, frankly, a nutjob. She’s also a ghost. What makes Sally unusual, for a ghost, is that she’s not actually dead. Her body is in a coma. Grace is the only person who can see Sally. The two women are about as different as can be, but they’re forced together because Sally needs Grace and Grace is too nice to leave Sally to be alone. Oh, and both women are in love with the same man.

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The idea for this story came from a single image. Two women, sitting on a bench next to each other. They were very different people, but they had become unlikely friends. One of them was alive, the other was a ghost. The ghost was in her wedding dress.

I suppose I should mention something about the hero, Peter. I rarely doodle my male characters because they never come out the way they are in my head. Peter designs bespoke databases. He’s tall and blonde and very kind. He fell in love with Sally within the first ten minutes of meeting her. Since the accident that put her in a coma, he’s been visiting her daily. She’s been in a coma for nearly a year at the start of the book, which means he’s actually known her for longer while she was in a coma than when she well. It’s not quite how he imagined married life was going to be.

2013-09-11 12.40.04Grace meets Peter through fund raising for the hospice where Sally is being cared for. She’s familiar with the hospice because both her parents were there at various stages of their illnesses. She’s still grieving her  mother, who died about 3 months before.

Here they are, when they first met:

Grace steadied herself with her hands on the back of the chair. “I think,” she said, carefully. “You’re a ghost of some sort.” She didn’t believe in the supernatural. But it was hard to not believe in someone who was standing right in front of her. Ghost was the best explanation she could come up with.

“A ghost? Don’t take the piss. I’m not dead.” Sally looked around the room. “Where is this place? And who is that poor cow in… the…” The sentence ground to a halt as she realised the implications. She walked over to the side of the bed and glared at the patient. “That’s not me.”

A thousand questions clamoured in Grace’s head. What had just happened? How was it possible? Was this woman dangerous? But as she watched Sally’s stricken face, she felt sorry for her. Seeing a ghost was probably nothing compared to the shock of thinking you were at your wedding and suddenly discovering that you were really in a hospital in a coma.

“You could check the chart at the end of the bed…” she suggested.

Sally gave her a short glare and walked over to the end of the bed. “Sally XXX?” She opened her mouth.

“You’re married to Peter,” Grace said.

The frown on Sally’s forehead deepened. She lowered herself into a chair in the other side of the room. Grace wondered if she would fall through it, but she didn’t. She put her head in her hand and was quiet for a moment.

“So all that stuff, in the nothingness. It was real. And now I’m here.” Sally looked up. She gestured towards the silent figure on the bed. “But I’m also over there.”

Grace had to admire the way Sally was dealing with this. No tears. No hysterics. A bit of swearing, obviously, that was excusable in the circumstances. “Yes.” After a moment she added. “I’m sorry.”

“Why? Is it your fault?” The eyes narrowed. Suddenly the face wasn’t so much pretty as scary.

“No. I’m just…sorry. It can’t be nice for you.”

“No love, I’m in coma. Of course it’s not bloody nice for me.”

“No need to snap at me. I just happened to be here when whatever just happened… happened.”

Sally paced back to the bed. “Shit. Where’s my hair gone?” She reached up to touch her own blonde hair. “It looks like crap. All the blonde’s grown out. How the fuck did it get like that?” She leaned forward. “And what the hell is going on with my skin. Jesus wept, it looks awful. Don’t they moisturise people in here?”

Right, best get back to it,  I guess. I’m nearly done. I just need to work out how it ends!

PS: If you can think of a great title for a love triangle involving a woman, a man and the man’s not-quite-dead wife, please let me know. A the moment it’s just called ‘that ghost book’ or worse. You’d really be helping me out.