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Things I’d like to tell my former self

As I hurtle into 2017 I’ve been thinking about the last few years slogging away on my laptop trying to actually write something worth reading. Here’s a few things I wish I’d known in 2009, when I first put pen to paper to anything other than my checque book.

1, Buy a decent coffee machine, it will become your new best friend.

2, Always save your work to somewhere else other than your drive. Been there, done that, lost the book…

3, Writers, alongside coffee machines are nice people. Be nice back.

4, Don’t believe everything you hear about the humble adverb. It has its place.

5, Show not tell means very little to the new writer – it comes with experience.

6, The writer without a cat is a rare thing and someone to be very wary of 😉

7, Social Media will sap your strength and fill your mind with other people’s junk;  treat it like medicine – necessary in small doses.

8, Writing is a solitary occupation but hygiene and actually getting dressed are a given.

9, Although it’s hard to believe cake and chocolate aren’t actually super foods…

10, Drooling over notebooks and pens is perfectably acceptable. Trips to Paperchase will become a real treat.

11, When your laptop goes in to be serviced it is necessary to tell the repair person that searching for the best ten ways to kills someone with a toothpick is perfectably acceptable as is how to land a flying horse on the tube 😳.

12, When your other half catches you checking out that good looking bloke it is all in the name of research – honest!

13, It is perfectably acceptable to write about people you know, and even kill them off if they annoy you that much. But remember to change their name, their looks, their personality and character traits and any other identifying marks or details.

14, The delete button. You know; that thing on the top right covered with dust? Use it liberally.

15, Same goes for  Roget’s Thesaurus.

16, If you don’t enjoy reading, writing and spending long periods with only your cat and coffee maker for company writing may not be for you.

17, Discussing plot ideas with your cat is sensible and not the first, second or indeed the last sign of madness. It only gets freaky when they answer you back.

18, You don’t need to cause physical harm to make someone cry, a pen works just as well with the right words.

19, Never be scared to write – just do it.

20, Good writers know there are no rules when it comes to writing. The best books break all the rules…

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5 ⭐ The Christmas Promise: Maxine Morrey 

Book Blurb

Professional organiser Kate Stone has never – NEVER – been tempted to hit a client over the head with a snow shovel, but Michael O’Farrell is the most obnoxious – and heart-stoppingly gorgeous – man she has ever met. If he weren’t her best friend’s brother, she would not have waited on his doorstep in the freezing cold for five minutes, let alone an hour. Kate knows, however, that her job isn’t just about tidying up, sometimes she needs to be part therapist too, and Michael clearly needs her help to declutter his heart as well as his home.

My review

I bought this because of the cover, I didn’t put it down because of the sterling writing and laugh out loud plot. The Christmas Project is to help handsome but stubborn, set In his ways even Irish architect sort out his pig-sty of a house into a welcoming home to host his family’s Christmas party. Michael is the archetypical Alpha male with all the personality and physical characteristics needed to curl up with on a cold night, figuratively speaking or course. Kate is the organiser put upon by her best friend, and Michael’s sister to help him turn both his life and his house around.

I adore Christmas books at this time of year, well at any time of year really. This is about the twelfth I’ve read and it’s right up there as a good solid read that ticks all the boxes for a few hours out of reality and into another person’s life where a Happy Ever After is a given. To purchase click here

About the author

Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten. Coming in first, she won a handful of book tokens – perfect for a bookworm!

As years went by, she continued to write, but ‘normal’ work often got in the way. She has written articles on a variety of subjects, aswell as a book on Brighton for a Local History publisher. However, novels are what she loves writing the most. After self publishing her first novel when a contract fell through, thanks to the recession, she continued to look for opportunities. In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK’s ‘Write Christmas’ competition with her romantic comedy, ‘Winter’s Fairytale’. Her next book, ‘The Christmas Project’ is out in November 2016, and available for pre-order now. Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words, can be found tackling her To Be Read pile, sewing, listening to podcasts, and walking.

About Jenny O’Brien

To find out more about me and my books, click here