What I’ve Been Up To

The simple answer is, writing – so I’ve seen a lot of these lovely sunrises from my window, but not much else. Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, and I have been working on our second book together, so for the last few months there’s been barely a day when we’ve not spoken, emailed or WhatsApped – and recently all three every day. I’m thrilled and relieved to say that the draft of A MOST INTRIGUING LADY is now with our editor – and that’s all I’m going to say for now!

However, on the subject of books with my friend and co-author, I was delighted to receive two foreign editions of HER HEART FOR A COMPASS a couple of weeks ago. And just in case you weren’t on social media on Friday, the cover of the paperback has just been previewed (out in the US and the UK in May) and it’s very different, but I love it. What do you think?

I wish I was one of those authors who could leap into writing their next book while waiting on feedback on the one they’ve just finished, but I’m not. Instead, I’m turning to my gigantic todo list, top of which is getting ready for the April release of LADY ARMSTRONG’S SCANDALOUS AWAKENING, which is the second full-length story in my REVELATIONS OF THE CARSTAIRS SISTERS Victorian series. You might recognise the name Armstrong in the title – yes, I have pillaged the family once again for characters, but Henry, Lord Armstrong is not the hero. My hero is a Glaswegian engineer called Jack Dalmuir, and he’s in London to install the engines that work the new pumping stations – because you know, I didn’t get enough of sewage and plumbing into the first book in this series! There will be lots more from on this book soon, including some surprise previews of the locations I’ve used and of course some giveaways, so watch this space.

Next up writing-wise will be the last in the Carstairs Sisters series, with another Armstrong – this time Isabella, who will be my heroine. THE LADY’S YULETIDE WISH will be in a duet (UNDER THE MISTLETOE), with the other story written by Bronwyn Scott, who I love to work with. It will be released in December this year, so I guess I’d better get on with it!

I’ve not had a lot of time for sewing, not even for Christmas presents. I did make Baby Sis an apron using some fabulous fabric from my local shop, Jinty and Baa, which is actually meant for quilt backing. When my mum saw it, she demaned one the same, and you can’t refuse your mum. Then one of my other sisters saw it and gave me the petted lip, but I’d run out of the purple spiral stuff, so back I went to Jinty and Baa and got some loveheart fabric. Then my niece saw my sisters’s apron, but I had to make the ruffle from some leftover red fabric that I’d made a dress for myself in. Now I quite fancy one for myself!

As you may have noticed, I love to sew and I cannot resist fabric, even when I’ve no idea what I’m going to make. I am also very fortunate in having such an amazing fabric and yarn store in the village a ten minute walk away. Even I would admit though, that I should start sewing with some of this stash before buying more. Then again, fabric is like shoes and bags and books, isn’t it – you can never have too much.

So what else? I’m heading south in April to cat sit for Simba again, and hoping to get some inspiration for new books. I bought this book of Victorian Walks a while back, and am looking forward to trying it out.

In the meantime, back to the todo list and waiting on that all-important revisions email.

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  1. Seeing Simba there reminds me to share that I’ve finally gotten my own kitty companion, a orange tabby named Butters. He even has a ringed tail! LOL. He is absolutely delightful and curious about -everything- – I never thought I’d see the day when I had to childproof anything, but it really is like having a nosy toddler around! According to Twitter, it looks like you had a lot of fun cat-sitting for Simba, and I hope you also had a good time trying out those walking tours!

  2. How lovely, and what a fabulous name for a cat, it really gives you a sense of his personality. I am totally prejudiced from having my own sadly-missed ginger cats, but I do think they are the best. Simba is not a friendly cat, but of course that makes it all the more rewarding when he deigns to keep you company. I did have fun thanks, and am going to get round to posting more about my various walking adventures soon.

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