Monday, December 12, 2011

Just Getting Out The Duster

I can see cobwebs growing over the door and in all the corners of my blog! So I thought I'd get out the duster and do a little dusting.

It's been a hard two and a bit years where I saw my world come to a horrifying standstill. On one hand, it feels as though Meg was diagnosed with Leukaemia only yesterday, and on the other, it feels like a lifetime ago. I guess you can say it's been a lifetime. Everything--life!--as we knew it imploded that October just over two years ago.

And now finally we are at the end. In approximately eight weeks Meg is scheduled to finish her chemotherapy, praise God! Sure, we have a whole heap of other hurdles to leap over, but it's a small price to pay for her well-being.

With the end so close, I find myself looking to the New Year with quiet anticipation and a whole lot of trepidation. Will I ever get back into the swing of writing again? It's been so long since we've been able to plan ahead I've forgotten what it feels like to make plans and be sure I'll be able to follow them through.

I'm looking at Indie publishing, but so far I've been deterred by my absolute lack of time to market and promote my work. Perhaps with the New Year I'll have a better view on that option. But then I've had quite a few ideas for films and TV series. I think I'd like to spend some time exploring that area of my arsenal. To tell you the truth, I think I'll be far better suited to screenwriting than novel writing since I much prefer the idea of quietly writing in an area where I don't have to worry about spending hours each day marketing but instead can spend my days writing. As a screenwriter no one needs to know who you are in order for people to go to see your movies.

I really like the anonymity of screenwriting. But I guess I'll see once the New Year blossoms.

I hope all of you know where you're going and that you get there without too many stumbling blocks.

In case I don't get around to dusting the place before the New Year, I pray you have a very Happy Christmas, Chanukah (Hanukkah), Happy New Year!

God bless! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

When You Can't Please Everyone

I have a confession. I've been sitting on my hands for a few months now. Yes, I've been writing, but not as much as perhaps I ought to be. I get so far, put the story aside, and start another one.
After writing several half stories I had to ask myself what gives? Then it finally came to me. Each day I begin my writing day with one glaring thought—I'm not good enough. I mean I can't please every reader, so that must mean I'm really not that good, right? Sure, lots of readers love my stories, but I still lack total faith in my talent—much like every other author out there.

Recently I started looking at reviews for the authors I admire. I won't name names for the simple fact that I discovered, much to my surprise, all of these authors fail to please all of their readers. They all have hundreds of reviews which range from five stars to one star reviews. The one star reviews usually come from disappointed readers who bought the book on the strength of the five star reviews then found the books lacked what they were looking for.

This made me realise that if even the big name authors can't satisfy every reader of their books, why do I think I should hold back until I can achieve this impossible task? I may be slow in coming to this raw fact but it is indeed a very real reality that you just can't please all of the people all of the time. You can only hope to please some of the people some of the time and, for me, this is a freeing insight. I can only push ahead and do my best. And pray that my stories bring joy to the majority of my readers.

It's liberating to forge ahead with the decision that I'm only aiming to please some of my readers. Those who love my work will come back and those who don’t will find someone they love instead.

I'm finally okay with that.

This sounds simple, but I like people to like me, so to come to the acceptance that not everyone will is indeed a huge physiological step to scaling the wall I’ve been running into for a while now.

If the big name authors can put out book after book even though they know their books aren’t well received by everyone who reads them, what makes me any different?

The only difference is they are doing their job and putting out books while I am not! Time to change that I think cos I discovered something—when you find you can't please everyone, it's okay just to please yourself!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Scary Beast Called Book Marketing

With four months to go until my little girl is finally finished chemo I find myself looking at my writing career once again. It was in 2009 that Meg was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Needless to say the diagnosis totally turned my priorities on its head. Before that, I had a great plan--which fell by the wayside for the last two years.

Now I can see light at the end of the long chemotherapy tunnel I realise life will soon return to normal...what's that again? Before I know it, she'll return to school fulltime and back to her independent self which will leave me free to get some serious work out into the world.

And with that comes the need to market. I am the world’s worst self-promoter. As an introvert I always feel vain talking about my books and operate under the belief that people will somehow happen upon my books, read the excerpts and of course buy the books--cos, well, after all...they're is every other books out there, right?

Since this belief system hasn't worked for me up to now, I've decided I need to learn how to market my books and myself. I've been learning lots from Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn. This woman is amazing in her diligence in providing the information she has for writers. Right now, she is my number one resource and I absolutely love her! She has tons of audios on her site, which works for me since it allows me simply to listen rather than having to read hundreds of posts. Did I mention I love her?

If you get a chance, pop over to The Creative Penn. You won't regret it.

On the other hand, if you have any great marketing advice you wouldn't mind sharing with me, please leave a comment. Thanks :)

NOTE: The links take you away from this site. If you pop out to visit Joanna, please pop back here and leave a comment. I'd really appreciate it--thanks again.

Monday, September 5, 2011

If It's Good Enough For Films, It's Good Enough For Books!

Recently I found myself appalled by the stuff that's making it onto the book market. There are certain things I don't want to read. I'm not speaking of genre--we all have our preferences--I'm speaking of language. For many years I stuck closely to Harlequin Mills & Book Modern Romance because I knew when I picked up one of those romance novels, I was assured a clean read. I loved the sexual tension, banter, emotion, characters etc and I knew I could relax and simply enjoy because I felt assured I wouldn't encounter my absolute pet hates--the use of the F word or having to read blasphemies. I can't stomach the use of my Lord's name as a curse word!

So you can imagine my shock when I happen across not one--but two! HMB romances which used Jesus' name in this way. Needless to say, it ruined two stories I'd been enjoying and I instantly stopped reading the novels. I can't bring myself to purchase any of the new stories for fear of the same thing happening.

That said, I've been looking at the indie stuff at Amazon and was amazed by some of this stuff--and not in a good way. Thankfully, as I read the reviews of one particular book I was about to purchase, I noticed a couple of readers complained about the over use of the F word. These reviews saved me wasting my money.

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against authors who feel they lack the necessary vocab to express themselves or their characters; I just don't want to read that sort of stuff. I am aware some authors cater to the market and I'm sure these books sell by the ton.

But there are still a few of us who like clean reads. I'm not jumping on a soapbox to blabber on about flooding the market with bland books. I won't buy them either! Cos I like my books sizzling, emotional and feel-good. What I am saying is: please, oh, please can we find a way to give books a rating?

As I inspect my DVD shelf, I see BBFC ratings on every single one!

When you look at any DVD case you’ll see a rating symbol on the front and back of the case. This is the film’s classification or rating. In the UK films are rated by The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). And in America it’s The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

Film classification gives viewers a guide to the age requirement of the viewer and an idea of the film’s content. Why can't we have something like this on our books? And, like DVDs, give a reason for the rating.

I grabbed a few random DVDs from my shelf and had a look. Here is what I found:

Knight And Day {(12) Contains moderate violence and one use of strong language}
What Happens In Vegas {(12) Contains moderate sex references and language}
Cougar Town {(15) Contains frequent moderate & crude sex references}
Dream Girls {(12) Contains one use of strong language and hard drug references}
Something's Gotta Give {(12) Contains infrequent strong language and moderate sex references}
The Lake House {(12) Contains mild language and accident scene}
Red {(12) Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over}
Two Can Play that Game {(15) Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over}

I can keep going, but I'm sure you get the idea. The fact is, I can read the DVDs' blurbs, look at the ratings, and decide whether I wish to go ahead and purchase/watch these films.

I then look at my bookshelf and grab a novel. I read the blurb and it looks like a fantastic story. I can't wait to snuggle down and start reading! I want to get lost in this story and it does not disappoint. Then bam!! Without any warning, I'm knocked sideways by something I consider to be offensive. Had that book a rating/warning I would've been able to decide whether I wanted to read it or not.

I'm not asking writers to change what they write, I'm simply asking for the opportunity to buy or leave books based an informed choice. I feel we seriously need to have books rated. If it's good enough for films, why, pray tell, isn't it good enough for books!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Do You Want Writing Romance Question Forum To Return?

I've noticed I'm getting a lot of hits on the WRQ Forum post. I wonder whether this is out of curiosity, or because writers are genuinely interested in this forum.

I started the forum because I had a brainwave and thought it would be something every aspiring writer would be interesting in, but it didn't go down as well as I'd hoped.

We had some fabulous authors, editors and agents on the board to answer questions and more amazing authors, editors and agents scheduled. I ended up shelving the forum because only the same few writers bothered to participate and it was stealing way too much of my time.

I am, however, willing to get the forum up and running again if enough writers are interested in participating.

Please note, I've made every effort to keep the board private. Meaning the various forums are password protected. Therefore, everyone who joins must let me know--via private message on the board--which forums they are interested in joining and I will forward the relevant passwords.

This must be done in good time to allow you to be added and your passwords sent.

In the past a few members would join, don't bother to read the instructions, then complain when they couldn't get into the forums. This boggled my mind--what part of This Is Important Information You Need To Know translated as Please Ignore Then Bellyache!

If you are interested in having the chance to talk directly to your favourite authors, editors and agents. To have the opportunity to ask them everything you wanted to know about the world of writing, I urge you to leave a comment letting me know. If enough writers are interested, I'll start that baby up again! :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Left Brain Interruptus

"Pat you head and rub your tummy!" said my little girl to me.

An instant memory of my playground days flashed to mind. I used to be brilliant at this feat. Somehow I doubted I'd still be able to do it. I mean, it's been more years than I care to admit since I'd attempted to pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time.

But if it entertained her, I'd give it a go. To my amazement, it was like no time had passed at all. With easy dexterity I patted and rubbed, then reversed direction and, just to check, I swapped hands and got the same smooth a result. 

Needless to say, Meg was very impressed and I was so shocked I had an epiphany!

For years I've been bemoaning the fact that I just can't shut up my internal editor (what I call left-brain interruptus) and spend all of my writing hours fighting and resisting the need to make sure each word is perfect, every sentence constructed clearly, and all the other editorial tasks that ensures a great read, which, let me tell you, slows output right down. I'm not talking about the editing, simply the resistance that grinds creativity to a halt. 

It was only while patting and rubbing that something dawned on me. To achieve this simple childhood exercise you must be able to use both sides of your brain simultaneously. So while I'm completely right brained, I am super-capable of multitasking--to the point where I get compliments for it. In case you don't realise, you use both sides of your bran when multitasking.

Anyway, back to the point. 

The point I'm making is, it's possible to write and edit and still write fast IF you embrace left-brain interruptus as you natural way of writing. I've always had to write and edit before I can move on--you can see where the trouble came in if all I did was fight myself. I was convinced I had to write an entire first draft before starting all over again with a second draft and on and on until I had my story polished to a high sheen--well that's what the experts would have us believe, isn't it?

But what if we go crazy and write and edit as we go? We may not finish a first draft in six weeks, but when we do finish the MS in two to three months it will be completely finished and polished! To my way of thinking, we can have two authors: Author A and Author B. Author A writes at a cracking pace and finishes an entire novel in no time at all. But she has to start all over again and write another draft and another and another and... Then we have Author B who writes--to her mind--at an excruciatingly slow pace and finishes a novel in three months. But once she types The End she's finished. Perhaps she'll go back and tinker-- because that's what she does--but her novel is finished.

By this time Author A is also finished.

Both authors took the same length of time to write their books, they just took different routes to get there. So whether we write one draft after another, or accept our super ability to polish as you go, chances are two authors starting from the same point, but travelling in opposite directions to an end point, will finish at the same time.

This is my theory, anyway. <*grin*> 

Want to know what I learned while trying to entertain my daughter? I learned not to fight myself ever again--to embrace my natural ability to multitask and allow myself to write the way my mind works! I bet this alone will increase my output. 

Do you suffer from left brain interruptus?

Perhaps you, too, might consider embracing your gift and using it to excel. At the very least, your writing day will be a LOT less stressed!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Free Read Romance Story


It's the middle of the year and I suddenly realized it's been ages since I last gave away a story. I LOVE-LOVE free reads, I'm sure you do too. Free anything and I'm there. My two eldest kids have made it a joke. One will say to the other, "What's mum's favourite price?" And they'd croon in unison "Freeeeeee." Yes, it's very my expense. But nonetheless true!

To my way of thinking, EVERYBODY likes *free*. So I've beavered away this week and came up with a lovely romance story for you. It's a best friend story about finally taking that step. Sometimes you just have to be ditched at the altar in order to discover that the person who's been there for you through it all... wants you forever!

I've also put up my first free read story. You can download both of these stories by clicking the link to my Free Reads page just above my blog posts.

Please look out for other stories. I hope to add to my collection of Free Reads in the coming months.

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

How Fast Do You Write?

It's been a while!

What have I been up to? I hear you ask. Apart from my screenwriting course, which was just a fab learning process, I've been doing a lot of learning and trying to nail down the illusive skill of writing a successful category romance.

But most recently I've been trying to figure out how some authors manage to churn out words at the speed of light while others--like myself--take a good three months or longer to finish a 50,000 word book. I've heard authors say write a bad first draft then re-write. What I'm curious to discover is whether authors who write 20 pages in two hours do that. Do they write total nonsense then re-write until it makes sense?

See, I don't get that. Surely it makes more sense to stop and think about where your story is going and get it right the first time rather than toss out any old pants then try to fix it. Another thing I'm wondering is: is it possible to write a word a second?

I ask because I've become fixated on this subject, if only because it's another handy stick to beat myself with. But if you look at this logically--1 manuscript page is somewhere around 250 words. Therefore 20 pages would total approximately 5000 words. Okay so, 5000 words written in 120 minutes would give a writing speed of  about 42 words per min. which would require a typing speed of around 0.7 word per second continuously!

WOW!! Some people can think super-fast!

I'm no typing slouch but there is no way I can think that fast to come up with dialogue, sexual tension, conflict, back story, portray traits, characterization, motivation, create sensual emotive love scenes, emotion, quirks, scars, weaknesses, strengths, etc, etc in continuous seconds without stopping to test whether these story moments make any sense or are even remotely entertaining.

To do that, you'd have to write without thinking. I'd love that gift, I can tell you! Or do these authors spend hours planning and prewriting each scene before they transfer words to keyboard? It takes me a whole day to write 1000 words, so do forgive me if I'm a little sceptical about such claims.

I'm not saying it isn't possible to write a word and a half a second, I'm simply saying....hmmm...I might need to train as a Stenographer...

How fast do you write? And can you tell me how? I've made it my goal to increase my output. I'd love you to share your tricks with me.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Divorce Etiquette Is Now On Kindle

I'm please to share the news that Divorce Etiquette is now on Amazon Kindle!

Divorce Etiquette
by Monique DeVere

A Contemporary Romance (Reunion/Second Chance Romance) available from The Wild Rose Press and several other online book stores including and


They're breaking every rule of divorce etiquette!

Sometimes, a whirlwind marriage doesn’t lead to happily-ever-after…Nor does a quickie divorce.

Turnaround expert Andrew Boston can turn any failing business into a huge success, but he couldn’t fix his marriage. A family tragedy left Andrew unable to commit to fatherhood, but he can’t let Michelle walk away. He’s determined to win her back and prove a relationship between the two of them can work perfectly well without bringing children into the equation…

Corporate lawyer Michelle Boston divorced Andrew two and a half years ago—and for good reason. She learnt a whirlwind marriage did not mean happily-ever-after. Nor, unfortunately, did a quickie divorce. 

Especially when neither Andrew nor Michelle can stick to the first rule of divorce etiquette: no kissing!


He hunched down next to her chair, leaned in a couple of inches to add intimacy to his deep rumbling tone. "I have a few rules of my own."

Michelle gulped. This was going to be harder than she thought. "You're breaking the second rule."

"Am I?" He was so close her stomach did a little flip. She wanted to lose herself in his beautiful smoky gaze. "You made five rules. I want five too."

"You do?" What restrictions could he possibly put on her? She was completely innocent in this. If he would just keep his distance, she could move on, and everything would be fine.

"Rule six," he began, his gaze roaming over her face. "Stop looking at me as if you'd like to lick ice cream right off me."

Michelle gasped under the shock of his evocative words. A memory of her doing just that hit her low in her belly.

Before she could recover, he continued, "Rule seven. No wearing sexy little hipsters that flash your underwear when you bend over."

That did it. Her gasp turned to a splutter, her face suffused with heat that had nothing to do with the warm sunshine.

"Rule eight," he continued, as though she wasn't about to suffocate under the weight of embarrassment. "Don't wear your hair down. It makes me want to bury my hands in it.

"Rule nine. No wearing little black dresses--they make me want to see you naked."

His cultured voice reverberated through her until every nerve in her body jangled, her bones melted, and a shuddering sigh escaped her.

"And ten, no more crying." He didn't even seem to notice she'd practically dissolved at his feet. "It makes your mouth pouty and far too kissable." He stood and took the Maplewood chair opposite Michelle's, his knee brushing hers as he sat down.

Obviously, rule five meant nothing to him.

View Trailer on YouTube or on my Author page @ or

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pull Up A Chair With Mon: Characterize Your Characters

Let's Talk About: Characterizing Your Characters

I'm not a very faithful blogger, am I? But I hope when I do get time to blog you find the content worthwhile.

Today I'd like to give you a quick tip on characterization. I know-I know, everybody and his dog talks about characterization, but I'm hoping you find a gem in here somewhere.

Don't worry; I'm not going to suggest you spend hours interviewing your characters so you can "get to know them". I value my time—as I’m sure you do too—and can't stand anything that waste it. This is why I've never been able to bring myself to interview my characters. By the time I've filled out one of those arduous character profiles, I've lost the will to write! 

The way I see it, if I have a scene where I need to know my character’s favourite ice cream, or most embarrassing experience, she or he will tell me when I need the info. I'm happy to write on a need-to-know basis. As far as I'm concerned, any information I have on my character that isn't necessary for the reader to know can only mean I've got lots of padding available should I get lazy and decide to bore my reader with nonsense. 

But I hasten to add: this is my opinion!

I take my hat off to anyone who enjoys interviewing their characters and filling out 100 Qs questionnaires before putting finger to keyboard. If this is your way and you're happy with it...(I tip my hat).

However, if you are a busy author and recognize the need for effective writing tools, stick with me, I'll tell you how I characterize my characters.

Have you ever written a scene and your CPs point out that your POV character is behaving out of character? The reason is most likely you didn't take the time to give your character traits. Yes, character traits are an amazing way to ensure your character always stays in character.

Character traits are characteristics, which makes your character special. Things like habits, likes and dislikes, values, manners, personality, behaviour. For example a hero who is: daring, unpredictable, creative and a terrible timekeeper. Or a heroine who is responsible, work-orientated, guarded and generous.

I believe you only need a few things in your character profile to bring your character to life: 

Ø  Give your main characters three or four basic character traits. Having one subtext trait as well would add another dimension to your character.

Ø  Ensure your character has a GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict).

Ø  Make your character interesting by giving them a paradox to their personality. (ie the supermodel who is a gourmet cook. The tough footballer who has a marine biology degree). Paradoxes create fascinating characters that will continually surprise your readers. Give your characters a paradox if you want your characters to be unique and memorable.

Ø  Does your character have a secret he or she is hiding? Secrets can add depth to your story as well as your character and provide opportunities for subtext, suspense, and surprise.

Ø Give your character a flaw—nobody is perfect! Flaws make characters more human.

Ø  Is there something special about your character? This is the one thing that completely separates your character from every other character—even those with similar personalities.

Keep your characters in character by making sure you have them act and react in relation to their traits.

That's my handy tip for today.

Join me again soon when I'll be talking about subtext and subtext traits.

Character Profile Recap:

-Three or four traits
-Character Paradox
-What makes your character special

If this helped you, or you would like to share your own method for characterizing your characters, please leave a comment.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why It's Difficult For Some Writers To Write And Listen To Music

Have you ever wondered why some people can listen to music and write, while others can’t?

I’ve heard many writers tell how great it is and how they love to write to music.

I’ve lost tract of the times I’ve tried to mellow out and listen to music while I write, only to get frustrated when every thought seem to dangle out of reach in the back of my mind. Or I end up so distracted I don’t write a word for hours!

I was convinced something was wrong with me. Everyone else could do it, why can’t I? Why couldn’t I concentrate while my favourite song played? In fact, music seemed to have a very negative effect on my writing day. I put on some great pop music and all creativity stopped dead. I tried turning it down low so it wasn’t so in my face, but that didn’t work either. Even my favourite, beloved Josh turner, didn’t do it for me.

Finally, I discovered why. And boy did that breakthrough make all the difference to my ability to write with music playing in the background.

If you’re reading this because you just can’t make yourself write while music plays read on. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you’re about to find out.

Music is a right-brain function.

Yes I know you know that. But did you know that speech is a left-brain function?

Therefore music with words will actually stimulate your left brain, making it impossible to create if you, like me, are right brained. The words in the song will keep pulling you back to the left hemisphere and disrupting your right hemisphere creative flow.

It took me a while to realise why listening to music while I wrote was counter-productive. But I love music and wanted to enjoy the creative stimulation listening to music brings, so a little research brought me to the finding that I could indeed listen to music while I wrote as long as it was soft INSTRUMENTAL music—string or classical, or my absolute joy, soft sax.

You are correct if you guessed that I ran out and got some wonderful romantic sax music! I can now listen to music while I write without it stemming my flow.

If you find yourself unable to write while listening to songs, chances are you’re right brained. Try listening to music without words. It just might turn things around.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Why Backstory?

Every novel must include some background explanation on your characters—everybody has a past that shapes who they are. I know many people don’t like background because it tends to stop the forward flow of a story. And no one wants that, right? But background information is essential for the reader to understand the story, or your character’s reason for a certain choice, behaviour, or attitude.

However, the trick is to find clever ways of working background information into your story so your reader hardly notices it’s there.

Backstory adds characterization, story dimension and helps to draw the reader into the story. Therefore, whenever possible, cut background information into bite size pieces so your reader isn’t smothered under a heaping dump of info. Pare down the information so the reader gets only what’s necessary for the story to make sense right now. And find ways of presenting background information through dialogue, because dialogue is far more active than narrative.

Not only does giving the reader small tasters of backstory make the information less intrusive, it also helps to build suspense and can move your story forward, making your reader anxious to know the rest of the backstory.

Drip-feeding your reader background raises questions in the reader’s mind—questions the reader must keep turning the pages to find answers to. So you look for ways to withhold background information in order to create a question which pushes your reader through you story.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Resurrection Weekend!

It was near the dawning of a new morning, the morning of a new day destined to be a great day. While yet dark there come a number of women out of the city gate toward the tomb where Jesus' body had been laid. They carry spices and ointment. With woman's ever tender thoughtfulness they are bent upon some kindly service for that precious body.

They had followed up the burial and noted the arrangements with a view to this morning's early service. Their whole thought is absorbed with a tomb and a body and a bit of loving attention. They wonder as they come along whom they can get to roll the heavy stone over into its groove at the side of the opening. Mary Magdalene is in the lead. With her in the darkness is her friend Mary, the mother of John and James. Others come along a little behind, in small groups.

As they get near to the place the keen eyes of Mary Magdalene notice at once with a quick start that the stone is rolled away. Somebody has been tampering with the tomb in the night.

Leaving her companion, she starts back on a run into the city and finds Peter, and tells him that the Lord has been taken away, and they don't know where He has been laid. Peter, too, is startled. He gets John, and the two start back on a run.

Meanwhile the other women have gone on toward the tomb. As they approach they are startled and awed to find a man there, with the glorious appearance of an angel, sitting upon the stone. To these awe-stricken women this angel being quietly said, "Do not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. He is risen, as He told you. Come and see the place where He lay." And as they gaze with wide open eyes, he adds, "Go quickly and tell His disciples, and be sure you tell Peter, that He is risen from the dead, and lo, He goeth before you into Galilee. You will meet Him there. Lo, I have told you."

Monday, March 28, 2011

POLICE INFORMATION:This Info Could Save Your Life!!

Hi, guys,

When this arrived in my email, I almost didn't read it. The only reason I bothered was because it was from my mum and she never sends me nonsense. When I read this, it made me shudder.

Please take a moment to read this information. I will educate you and can save your life!!


The first bit is mainly for women, but gents , please read it and send it on to any women you care about. The second bit is a warning to all of us! Some sound advice for us all, as we all sometimes forget to take our commonsense with us when we go out.

This is from Northants Police.

Women......Please read, and pass on!

An important message from the Police - please pass this along to all the women you know.....This actually happened a few weeks ago on the M3 FLEET SERVICES!!!

It was early evening, and a young girl stopped to get petrol. She filled her tank and walked into the store to pay for her petrol. The cashier told her, 'Don't pay for your petrol yet......walk around the store for a while, and act as if you're picking up some other things to buy. A man just got into the back of your car. I've called the police, and they're on their way'.

When the police arrived, they found the man in the back seat of the girl's car and asked him what he was doing. He replied, he was joining a gang, and the initiation to join is to kidnap a woman and bring her back to the gang to be raped by every member of the gang. If the woman was still alive by the time they finish with her then they let her go. According to the police that night, there is a new gang forming here, originating from London . The scary part of this is, because the guy didn't have a weapon on him, the police could only charge him with trespassing....

He's back on the street and free to try again.

Something similar to this happened at the Tesco garage on Cardiff Road in Newport recently, but luckily the cashier saw the man get into her car. Please be aware of what's going on around you, and warn your family and friends.

LADIES, you or one of your family or friends could be the next victim. Please forward this on to everyone you know.  Please do not discard this message; it is very important that everyone knows what is happening. Please be careful when leaving your vehicle, and make sure it is ALWAYS LOCKED to prevent this from happening to you.


In light of the recent kidnapping and now murder of Leigh Mathews, I think it is important to read the following info for your own safety. Things women should know to stay safe:

Please take the time to read these pointers. There may be just one or two you hadn't thought of. After reading this, forward it to someone you care about. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. if a robber asks for your handbag, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you..... He is probably more interested in your handbag than you, and he will go for the handbag. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. if you are ever thrown into the boot of a car: Kick out the back tail lights, and stick your arm through the hole and start waving. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc, and just sit (doing their cheque book, or making a list). DON'T DO THIS! A predator could be watching you and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, and attack you. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in car park:

a) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, look at the passenger side floor, and check the back seat.

b) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most attacker’s surprise their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

c) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the shop, or work, and get guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the lift instead of the stairs.Stairwells are horrible places to be alone, and the perfect crime spot.

7. if the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT BE A VITAL ORGAN.

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women, He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

9. Another safety point: >Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her, 'Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.' The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, 'We already have a unit on the way. Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.' He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes, thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls from women saying that they hear babies' cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.

I'd like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life.

A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. Send this to any woman you know who may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it, and it's better safe than sorry.


Warning!!!! Be aware of new car-jacking scheme ..You walk across the car park, unlock your car and get inside. Then you lock all your doors, start the engine and shift or put into reverse. You look into the rear-view mirror to back out of your parking space, and you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you shift the gear stick back into park or neutral, unlock your doors and jump out of your car to remove that paper, or whatever it is that is obstructing your view.

When you reach the back of your car that is when the car-jackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and takeoff!! Your engine was running, you would have left your handbag in the car, and they practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.


Just drive away, and remove the paper later! It is stuck to your window, and be thankful that you read this email. I hope you will forward this to friends and family, especially to women! A handbag often contains all identification, and you certainly do NOT want someone getting your home address. They already HAVE your keys!


Monday, March 7, 2011


I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted to my blog! You probably wondered where I disappeared to. I've been buried under loads of learning with a screenwriting course, and I love it.

For as long as I can remember, I've had people suggest that I should write scripts. I have to say I resisted for a long time, then a few months ago something happened to make me reevaluate my choices and my future as an author. Have you ever had that moment when it suddenly hits you that what you're doing is no longer doing it for you? Well that's what happened to me and I spent some time in a funk, not sure which direction to go. Then a series of events occurred and it was like bam-bam-bam--things just sort of fell into place.

And now I'm on a whole new journey. Don't get me wrong, it's mega hard work but I'm loving it. It's by far the best decision I've made for my career. The funny thing is, several years ago I has a dream where I was handed a Comedy & Tragedy Masks trophy. How cool is that? I now wonder whether that dream was trying to tell me something all those years ago?

Have you ever had a dream that seemed strange, then you later discover it to be a glimpse of your future? Have you experienced a crossroads in your career? How did your decision turn out? I'd love to hear about your change in direction.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Is He The One? Ten Ways to Be Sure!

I saw this article and it's so spot-on, I simply had to share it! Do you agree with the article? How did you knew your beloved was The One? Do leave a comment and share your romantic stories with me...

Part time fling or long term lover? It's the eternal question. He's cute, funny and your friends love him, but is that enough? How do you know he's 'the one'? Here are 10 factors to consider and if you can meet at least nine of them then hold tight because he might just be the one you've been looking for.

He makes you laugh until you cry

A sense of the humour is one of the most appealing qualities in a man and sharing the same jokes will keep you close, whatever comes your way. It doesn't matter if no one else finds you funny, as long as you can make each other laugh out loud.

You want the same things out of life

If you want to settle down and have a family and he wants to travel the world with no commitments then you are not on the same page. Although all couples have to make compromises you should essentially want the same things out of life and be able to work towards them together.

He likes you best with no makeup on

Yes, you may think he is lying but the chances are that he really does prefer you au natural. He loves you for you, not for the clothes you wear or the make up you doll yourself up in. If he tells you you're pretty when you are cuddled up in your pyjamas then chances are that he means it.

You love him because of his flaws

It is wrong to think that to be ‘the one' your man has to be perfect. Nobody is perfect. He is ‘the one' when you know him well enough to see all his flaws, accept them for part of who he is, and love him just as much anyway.

He supports you in everything you do

Whether you are going for a job promotion or planning a night out with your friends - he should be your biggest cheerleader. He may not agree 100% with all your decisions but he will never stop you doing anything, will be there to offer advice and pick you up when things go wrong.

You trust him implicitly

If you have been hurt in the past it can be difficult to trust again, but it is an important part of any relationship. Your partner should earn your trust by proving that he always keeps his word and treats you with respect. No, you can never be 100% sure he won't stray but 99.5% will do.

Even your dad/best friend/dog likes him

OK, it shouldn't matter what other people think of him, but it is still nice to know that they approve. Your dad and best friend are only looking out for your best interests and it is difficult to convince them that somebody is good enough for you. If your boyfriend manages to get them on his side then you are probably on to a winner.

You wake up and feel lucky each morning

As you roll over in the morning and see him lying next to you, you are struck with a great sense of contentment. Here, out of everywhere in the world, is where you most want to be. You feel lucky to have him in your life and can't imagine sharing it with anyone else.

You stop noticing the cute guy at the coffee shop

Of course you are still going to find other men attractive but it is amazing how much less you notice them when you have found ‘the one'. Think about it, have you met anyone recently who really got your juices flowing? No? Then chances are he's right in front of you.

You just know

Sometimes there is no defining factor or moment that confirms he is ‘the one' - you just know. When your life is brighter with him in it (even with his annoying habits and football obsession), when you feel happy each morning and can't imagine your life without him, when you smile thinking about him - you just know.

Thanks to

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Check Out More Than a Playboy

More Than a Playboy
by Monique DeVere

A Sweetheart Romantic Comedy Rosette. Available from The Wild Rose Press.

Purchase Links: Buy More Than a Playboy from The Wild Rose Press
On Kindle from
On Kindle from


She has a shield...he has one too...and they’re both hiding secrets.

Serious-minded Sandy Donovan has one unbreakable rule—never fall for a rich playboy. Falling for a playboy destroyed her mother and ruined Sandy's childhood. She's determined never to let the same thing happen to her. Unfortunately, the only man to make her hormones sit up and take notice is a playboy who doesn't know the first thing about taking life seriously.

A lonely, miserable childhood taught Cameron Berkeley-Scott to hide his feelings in humour, but his comic nature is pushing away the one woman he wants to draw near. She thinks he’s a playboy—a title he has no desire to have—and ignores his outrageous flirting.

Now it’s time for Cameron to show Sandy he isn't the irresponsible pleasure-seeker she thinks—but will she run when she finds out who he really is?


Cameron came up behind her, covering her shoulders with his jacket in a gesture so caring it forced the tears she'd been fighting, as she’d thought of her mum, to her eyes.

He didn't remove his hands from her shoulders. "Why can't you, Sandy?" he asked on a low voice snatched away by the breeze. If he weren't standing so close, she would have missed his words. "I know you want me as much as I want you. We've been dancing around this attraction for three years and I'm ready to move to the next level."

"There isn't a 'next level'. What we have can never go anywhere."

He turned her to face him. "Why?"

She dropped her gaze to their feet. Her strappy red high-heels were only a couple of inches from his shiny black dress shoes. "Because it can't." Even to herself, she sounded defeated.

"It can't or you won't let it?"

She moistened her lips, raised her gaze back to his. "It's the same thing."

His eyes, dark with desire, dropped to her mouth. "I disagree." He held her chin with one hand while his other hand gently stroked her cheek. "Can't suggests something outside of your control stops you. Won't implies internal conflict. Which is it, Sandy? What’s really stopping you?"

How could she tell him she had a father wound so wide and deep she feared she'd never heal enough to let any man in? Taking a deep breath, she said, "You are,"

His brows shot up. "Me?"

"You're nothing more than a pretty-boy with daddy's millions to play with. I can't be with someone like you."

Snaking an arm around her waist, he drew her against him. "You're wrong, sweetheart...I'm so much more than that." In a smooth move, Cameron dipped his head and settled his lips on hers.

View Trailer: YouTube
Purchase Links: Buy More Than a Playboy from The Wild Rose Press
Or on Kindle from
Or on Kindle from

Friday, January 7, 2011

Do You Speak The Language of Love?

Recently, while procrastinating, I happened upon a comment on the Internet where someone had said they didn’t like that some romance stories no longer have the hero and heroine saying “I love you”. This resonated with me, since I too have been finding this same change in some romance books rather sad. It’s almost as if saying “I love you” is out of fashion when reading about falling in love is why most readers pick up romance novels.

That said, as romance authors, we are continually looking for ways to convey our characters' journey to falling in love. It is such a quest that brought me upon a book entitled The 5 Love Languages® by Dr. Gary Chapman, a practical guide on powerful ways for couples to express love. This book has inspired me to use these “languages” to communicate my hero and heroine’s ever-after, eternal love. Here is a brief description of the five key categories or five love languages to help you build your Hero/heroine’s romantic relationships. And boy am I juiced that saying “I love you” is #1!:

#1. Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

#2 Quality Time

In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

#3 Receiving Gifts

Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.

#4 Acts of Service

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

#5 Physical Touch

This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

According to Dr. Chapman, everyone has a primary way of expressing and interpreting love—their own “love language”. He says, too, that people are often drawn to others who speak a different love language to them.

I’m curious to find out which love language I am, how about you? I thought you might be!

Okay, go ahead, learn your love language. Take the fun quiz below.

With thanks to