Precious Moments – Numbers 3 and 4

The Romaniac Mini has been on tour again.

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Laura started off the ‘Precious Moments’ posts (Precious Moments 1) (Precious Moments 2) and as I’ve been a bit greedy and had two Precious Moments this week, I thought I’d share them in one post.

Last Thursday I met up with the very lovely Romaniac, Jan Brigden.  I was heading for London that day for an authors’ event with my publishers so it seemed the ideal opportunity to arrange to meet Jan.

photo (97)Jan hopped on the train just outside London, I had text ahead to tell her which carriage I was on and that I was saving a seat for her. Throughout the journey I tried to look as mean and menacing as possible to put people off sitting next to me. My tactic worked, although I did have to employ full scowling mode the closer the train got to London and the more passengers got on.

We had a lovely pub lunch of good old fish and chips and didn’t stop talking once – not very lady like when you’re eating, but it was a precious moment and we had lots to fit in – food and words!

My other Precious Moment was with the equally lovely Romaniac, Laura, and her family having a day out to visit me in West Sussex.  Again, I don’t think there was a moment where one of us wasn’t talking and time just flew by.

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We had a walk along the seafront at Felpham and lunch at The Lobster Pot. It was a bit too chilly and breezy to do much sightseeing, but I did slow down at one point and wave my hand in the direction of Blake’s Cottage (home of the poet William Blake)  for Laura to look at as she followed behind in her car.

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It was great to see Laura and her family – I was sad to see them go.

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Sue

x

Tuesday Chit Chat with Caroline Kirkpatrick

Today we’re delighted to welcome the lovely Caroline Kirkpatrick, from Piatkus Entice.

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Hi Caroline – great to see you here on the Romaniac sofa. Coffee? Tea? And the chocolate cake is just out of the oven…

Ooh lovely! A cuppa sounds great, and I won’t say no to the chocolate cake too!

Was a career in publishing ever on your list of dream jobs when you were at school?

I always absolutely loved English language and literature at school, and studied English at A Level. But then my life took a different path and I’ve trained and worked as an actress, as well as living in Dubai and working as a flight attendant for the Royal Family of Dubai. I then got into publishing when I began working as a personal assistant at the Darley Anderson agency.

Who has been the most help to you in your career so far?

So many people. Friends and colleagues in the industry have always offered me great advice. My mum has been a brilliant support too.

What books do you read for pleasure?

My favourite authors are Catherine Alliott and Marian Keyes. Rachel’s Holiday is one of my favourite books ever. And I love the gritty realistic crime of Martina Cole.

Do you write yourself, and if not, do you think you will?

I haven’t tried yet, but I have thought about it. Perhaps one day I will. For now though, I’m very happy editing other people’s work.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

Buying a new author and making their dreams of publication possible.

And the reverse of the coin – what do you find stressful/tedious at work?

Nothing tedious, but it’s a busy department and there are often not enough hours in the day!

Which famous authors would you most like to have dinner with?

Can I go back in time? Would love to have Charles Dickens over for dinner. And from the present day, Hilary Mantel.

What is your most unusual ambition?

To work with endangered orangutans

Thanks so much for dropping in, Caroline – please have some more cake or I’ll be forced to eat all the leftovers. Good luck with the latest Piatkus Entice publishing competition. Looking forward to the results at the Festival of Romance next week. See you soon…

Truth or Dare? by Laura E James. Published! Play the game, if you dare!

There is much excitement at Romaniac HQ today; party hats are on, balloons blown up and plenty of cake and fizz to hand. We are so proud of our Laura – her gritty contemporary novel TRUTH OR DARE?, published by Choc Lit UK, is now available! A split era story where love is a dangerous game and, sometimes, the wrong thing is done for the right reason.

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To celebrate this, we’d love you to join in with a game of Truth or Dare?.  Here’s how to play:-

Choose one of the questions below to answer truthfully. Leave your answer either in our comments section or on Twitter using the hashtag #ToD.

If, however, you feel you cannot answer truthfully, then take the dare! Simply click on the curtain to reveal your dare. Again, leave ‘evidence’ of your dare either in our comments section or on Twitter with the hashtag #ToD.

We will be joining in too and can’t wait to see your answers.

Question 1

What is the worst excuse you have given for cancelling a date? 

TRUTH

OR

Dare 1

Question 2

If you had the chance to make one of The Romaniacs your slave for the day, who would it be and why?

TRUTH

OR

Dare 2

Question 3

What is the longest period of time you have gone for without either washing, brushing your teeth or not wearing any deodorant?

TRUTH

OR

Dare 3

Question 4 :

If you could go on a romantic dinner date with one of your colleagues, who would it be?

TRUTH

OR

Dare 4

Question 5:

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you, ever?

TRUTH

OR

Dare 5

HUGE congratulations, Laura.

Truth or Dare? is an absolutely fantastic read. Wishing you every success you deserve.

Choc Lit
Laura E James
Author of Truth or Dare?

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Truth or Dare?

Love’s a dangerous game … 

Kate Blair’s sick of unrequited love. She’s quietly waited for Mickey for the past six years and finding a compass-carved heart, with their initials scratched through the middle, only strengthens her resolve: no more Mickey and no more playing it safe.

It’s time to take a chance on real love and Declan O’Brien’s the perfect risk. He’s handsome, kind, and crazy about her so it’s not long before all thoughts of Mickey come few and far between.

But old habits die-hard. Kate may have started to forget … but has Mickey?

 

Thank you to everyone who joined in with the fun. So you can still see the dares and responses, we’ve copied them all below : –

DARE 1

 

8 thoughts on “Dare 1”

Aggh – I chickened out on all the above, and now I have to riverdance in my kitchen! But my kitchen has big glass doors and outside that are three (hunky) builders putting up a conservatory for me. Please, I don’t have to do this in front of them… do I?! Later, she promises, when they’ve gone! Laura – I wish you loads of success and I’m really looking forward to reading Truth or Dare (much more than I am doing a river dance!).

  • The Romaniacs

24/10/2013 at 11:38 am Reply(Edit)

Thank you, Kate – you’ve made me lol in my kitchen, where there are no hunky builders, just a doorstop. I’m looking forward to seeing your dance  Laura xx

I’ve taken the dare! I blame The Romaniacs! #ToD @TheRomaniacs @sherylbrowne #lahe http://youtu.be/mLn6j8yq2VU PS. My postman thinks I am officially mad! GOOD LUCK, LAURA!!  xx

  • The Romaniacs

24/10/2013 at 11:41 am Reply(Edit)

I want you at every party I ever hold, Sheryl! Laura xx

I did the dare. Well I had to really, I’ve never cancelled a date (call me needy) and anyway the dog enjoyed it (the riverdance – not the date, what sort of woman do you think I am??) tsk

  • The Romaniacs

24/10/2013 at 11:44 am Reply(Edit)

Thank you, Cathy. Nothing like an early morning workout. Was it anything like an early morning workout? Just asking Laura

Still in bed at the moment and my teenage daughter would be too embarrassed to see me doing that so have to bottle out I’m afraid!

  • The Romaniacs

26/10/2013 at 4:48 pm Reply(Edit)

I bet you’d pull it off though, Cara  Thank you for popping in. Laura xx

Dare 2

DARE 2

2 thoughts on “Dare 2”

Why are there no pictures? Hmmm, maybe I’ll post mine tomorrow….

  • The Romaniacs

24/10/2013 at 12:18 pm Reply(Edit)

I’ve seen pictures, Beverley – they may appear here later… Laura x:-)

Dare 3

DARE 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dare 4

 

DARE 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dare 5

DARE 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Dare 5”

I took Dare 5. Rather than divulge my most embarrassing experience, I ate curry powder. Go to https://twitter.com/Laura_E_James to see

 

Precious Moments – Number 2

On Weymouth Beach
On Weymouth Beach

At the beginning of July, I wrote a post called ‘Precious Moments’, when Celia and I managed a rather lovely cake-filled meet-up. It can be read here.

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A few weeks ago, Sue Fortin climbed into the Romaniac Mini and spent the day with me in Weymouth.

I took Sue to the Oasis Café, on the pebbled end of Weymouth beach. This café, although not named in the book, features in Truth or Dare?. We had a wonderful fish and chip lunch, and then chatted away as we visited the Victorian beach huts, and Greenhill Gardens.

Victorian Beach Huts
Victorian Beach Huts

Fish at Greenhill Gardens
Fish at Greenhill Gardens

We were lucky with the weather – I enjoy showing off my home town, especially when the blue of the sky is reflected in the colour of the sea.

Now to plan the return trip…

Laura and Sue
Laura and Sue. Trouble. With a capital ‘T’. That is not a halo.

Laura x

Stealing Lines

Well, it’s a first for The Romaniacs, or at least, as far as we know, it seems we have a thief with us at HQ today.

[Don’t worry girls, I took the precaution of locking all notebooks, WIPs and valuables, such as cake and wine,  safely away beforehand.]

So, in the time honoured tradition, Romy Sommers, Stealer of Lines, over to you …

RomyI have a confession to make.

I’m a kleptomaniac. A word kleptomaniac. If I see or hear words I like, I write them down and (shhh…don’t tell anyone!) sometimes I use what I steal.

TV shows are especially good fodder for my addiction. They are to me what a pair of high-heeled glittery Louboutins are to a shoe fetishist – a temptation impossible to ignore.

My books are littered with stolen words. A phrase here, an image there, a snatch of dialogue – I use them without compunction. And until those sneaky TV writers stop writing such good words, I don’t know that I’ll be able to stop.

My only regret … there was this one conversation from Haven I haven’t yet managed to work into any manuscript – I may have to write an entire story just so I can use it!

So here’s a challenge to anyone who reads my new book The Trouble with Mojitos: if you can spot the image I shop-lifted from Hunter S Thompson’s The Rum Diary, I’ll gift you a copy of my first book, Waking up in Vegas. (Heehee – though that does mean you have to read both books first!)

The Trouble with Mojitos by Romy SommerThe-Trouble-with-mojitos250x382

Turquoise blue waters. Sandy white beaches. Mojitos… Film location scout Kenzie Cole has found herself in paradise. Working in the Caribbean for a week is just what she needs to escape the long line of exes in her closet. Though the last thing she expects is to be picked up at the resort bar by a disgraced former Prince!
Luckily for Kenzie, exile is suiting the man formerly known as Prince Fredrik very well. And it’s not long before his rugged, pirate charm is proving hard to resist.
But Rik’s been spending his time in paradise exorcising demons of his own and he has danger written all over him. If Kenzie was sensible she’d run a mile instead of lose herself to lust – although, they do say sometimes you have to get lost before you can be found….

The Trouble with Mojitos is published by Harper Impulse, a division of Harper Collins, and is available from the following online retailers:
Amazon
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iTunes
All Romance eBooks

About the Author:

I’ve always written stories for myself, but didn’t even think of being an author until I realised that being over thirty and living in a fantasy world was a little odd. Writing those same stories for other people makes it a lot more acceptable!

By day I dress in cargo pants and boots for my not-so-glamorous job of making movies but at night I come home to my two little Princesses, in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I live, and I get to write Happy Ever Afters. Since I believe every girl is a princess, and every princess deserves a happy ending, what could be more perfect?
You can follow Romy on Twitter, Facebook,Goodreads or on her blog.

Excerpt:

“A mojito, please.”

Kenzie sagged against the bar counter, not caring that her order sounded desperate or her body language suggested impatience. She needed alcohol, and she needed it now.

The benefit of an empty bar was that the drink came reassuringly quickly, poured from an ice cold jug ready and waiting, and complete with swizzle stick and paper parasol. She ditched both and tossed the drink back.

“Rough day?” The dreadlocked bar tender leaned on the scarred wooden counter.

“You don’t know the half of it.”

“Want to talk about it?”

“Thanks, but I didn’t come here to talk.” She’d done enough of that all day. Talk, talk, talk, and still nothing to show for it. Now she understood how used car salesmen felt. Used.

It was enough to drive a girl to drink. Or at least to the resort’s beach bar, since hitting the mini-bar in her hotel room was just too sad to contemplate.

She didn’t drink alone. For that matter, she didn’t usually drink. Not these days.

Beyond the thatched cabana, the sky flamed every shade of pink and orange imaginable as the sun set over the white sand and surf. But here inside the bar was dark, shadowy and strangely comforting after a day of white-hot heat.

“She’ll have another.”

She turned to the wryly amused voice, and wished she hadn’t as she spotted the dark figure at the shadowy end of the long bar. Great. The resident barfly, no doubt. As if she needed another reason to hate this resort, this island, and the whole stinking Caribbean.

“I can order my own drinks, thank you.”

The shadowed figure shrugged and turned his attention back to his own drink. “Suit yourself.”

What was it with the men in this place? Didn’t think a woman could order her own drinks, didn’t think a woman could do business, wouldn’t even give her the time of day. She ground her teeth, the effects of the first drink not quite enough to blur the edges of her mood. “I’d like another, please.”

She ignored the deep-throated chuckle down the other end of the bar as the barman removed her glass to re-fill it.

The second drink followed the first a little more slowly, and this time she took a moment to savour it. Now she felt better.

But she was still screwed.

Neil had known it when he sent her out here. He’d known she’d be stone-walled, he knew he’d set her an impossible task, and still he’d sent her. He’d expected her to fail. Perhaps even wanted her to fail.

There were days when her past seemed very far behind her. And then there were days like today, when it seemed she’d never escape the follies of her youth.

“Sod him!”

“That’s the spirit.” The stranger at the other end of the bar slid from his bar stool, out of the shadows and into the yellow lamplight.

In another time and place he might have looked gorgeous, but in low-slung jeans that had seen better days, black long-sleeved tee, with hair in drastic need of a cut, several days’ worth of beard, and darkly glittering eyes, he was devastating.

Pirate devastating. Bad boy devastating.

Kenzie swallowed. Double great.

Follow Your Dreams …

It was a very exciting day for me last week – my contemporary romance novel ‘United States of Love‘ was released by Harper Impulse.

It is set in the lovely historic towns of Chichester and Arundel, both local to me. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some photos of the settings and scenes for my main characters, Anna, Tex and Mark.

ARUNDEL

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Arundel Castle where  the creepy curator works

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Swanbourne Lake where Anna and Tex find themselves in a nightmare situation.

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Arundel High Street looking up towards the castle.

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Public garden alongside the River Arun, looking up to the cathedral

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Bottom of the High Street

CHICHESTER

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The Cross, centre of Chichester where Mark makes Anna an offer she can’t refuse.

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An unwelcome surprise awaits Anna in Chichester Cathedral.

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Chichester Cathedral from Bishop’s Palace Gardens

And this photo is of my daughter, taken a couple of years ago, which I think speaks for itself. It certainly worked for me and my publishing dream.

Follow your dreams
City Walls, Chichester

Thank you everyone for your support.

Have a great week.

Sue

x

Alison Morton and Perfiditas

We are delighted to welcome back to Romaniac HQ, Alison Morton, who last visited in May, chatting about her first novel in the series, Inceptio. (here.Today, Alison is telling us about the second book, Perfiditas. Take it away, Alison.

Alison Morton 2

Thank you, Laura and Romaniacs, for inviting me back on a very exciting day – publication of my second book PERFIDITAS.

When you start writing, you are often learning about not just the techniques behind producing our novels like structure, goal-motivation-conflict, characterisation and narrative thrust, but about publishing, book promotion and networking. When somebody asks, “How’s the book coming along?” there is only one book. You might have planned, even drafted the next one, but at this stage you’re focusing on the book – your heart’s darling.

Your website reflects the glory of that book, your blog concentrates on its progress, you seek professional advice, polish more, put it through the NWS, polish it more, decide on your publishing route and set off on that path.

On publication and launch days, you glory in the excitement of success, your friends, family and writing colleagues celebrate with you. You go off on a blog and or real tour and your book is in the market. You’re an author.

Then out of the shadows comes that whisper, “So, next book?” It could be from your publisher, friends, fans or yourself but you know you have to disconnect from the first one and concentrate your energy on creating or refining the draft of the second book. But as you settle down to it, you receive a request for a talk or piece about your first one, or it was submitted for an award and it’s been shortlisted. So you switch back with a smile to talk about the first book, your brain a little fuzzy as the details of the story are, unbelievingly, fading. If you’re writing a series, you have to remember not to blurt out what happens in the second that could spoil your article on the first one. Ditto if you give a talk or sell your first book at an event.

This is something I didn’t think about when I launched INCEPTIO. I’ve had to do some rapid running around to make sure my petticoat wasn’t showing when bringing PERFIDITAS to market.

But on the plus side, I’ve learnt that I can write a nearly 100,000 word story and not to collapse internally when I realised I needed to rewrite the last third with a completely different ending to the original (rather stupid) one. I’ve learnt about how to take and use criticism, some technical tricks when editing and a little about the publication path.

But the best thing about the second book is that you are starting from a base you established for the first one. You have gathered some lovely friends and supporters around you who have seen what you can do and who become your champions. That’s almost as good for its own sake as the buzz of getting that first book out.

And now? Fans have kindly asked, “When’s the next one out?” Well, here it is…

Alison Morton Perfiditas Cover

PERFIDITAS, the second in the Roma Nova thriller series comes out today, featuring heroine Carina and her adventures, not least her complex relationship with the enigmatic Conrad.  Rebellion is in the air, but even Carina can’t foresee the ultimate betrayal…

More about PERFIDITAS here: http://alison-morton.com/blog/perfiditas/

Oh, and there’s an exciting trailer: http://alison-morton.com/blog/perfiditas-book-trailer/

Laura says: From what I’ve heard, if it’s anything like the first in series, INCEPTIO, it’ll be a great read. Alison tells me that historic authors Simon Scarrow and Jean Fullerton, and writer and broadcaster Sue Cook have endorsed it, so I think I’ll take a look! 

You can buy PERFIDITAS through your local bookshop (paperback) or here via Amazon http://viewbook.at/PERFIDITAS as an ebook or paperback.

Kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/PERFIDITAS-Roma-Nova-Alison-Morton-ebook/dp/B00FXY4GEE

The PERFIDITAS Kindle version will be on 50% special publication offer price £1.49, until 23rd October. 

You can read more about Alison, Romans, alternate history and writing on her blog: http://alison-morton.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlisonMortonAuthor

Twitter: @alison_mortonAlison Morton Logo

Fanfare for Sue Fortin and United States of Love

USL HI

This is a terrifically exciting day for our very own Sue Fortin (and consequently for all the rest of the Romaniacs too, as we bask in reflected glory and slap each other on the back a lot. I slapped Laura so hard she fell over earlier…she obviously needs to eat more cake.)

Anyway, Sue’s contemporary romance novel ‘United States of Love‘ is released in digital format by Harper Impulse on this very day, with paperback to follow shortly, so we thought we’d celebrate our lovely Sue’s success by giving you a few thoughts on our favourite subject – love. We hope you’ll add yours too, but for now, crack open the virtual champagne and help yourself to a scone.

Champagne

Celia: Love is:

Lighting the candles even though it’s only soup for tea.

Being told off by your daughters for laughing too much in bed (don’t ask).

A hand to hold in front of the fire when Downton gets serious.

Fire

IMG_4309Laura : Love is:

Being given a daily limit by your mum as to how many times you can speak the name of your new man.

Supplying Minstrels and making coffee to help maintain the writer.

Pretending to be ill in the honeymoon hotel bidet, whilst your newly-wed wife is bent double over the loo, because ‘We’re married now, and we do everything together.’

Sue : Love is :photo (94)

Not having to worry about the state of your legs quite so often during the winter months.

Being able to name all the players in your beloved’s beloved football team, what positions they play and how many goals they’ve scored. Not only that, but you find yourself attempting to discuss the off-side rule with some degree of authority.

Your partner not batting an eyelid when you call him by the name of your fictional hero.

Morning SnugglesCatherine: Love is: Double diaper changes without a nose peg.

Eating Christmas pudding in October because your OH loves it.

Morning snuggles with two babies nestled in between you.

Lucie: Love is: Giving you free reign over the biscuit tin, and not saying ‘diet’s going well then?’, when you are emotionally drained from that last scene you wrote.

Not calling you crazy when you pull the car over just to write down that all important idea that simply cannot wait five minutes until you get home.

Understanding, and accepting, that if you try and talk to me when I am writing, you are more than likely to either be given a one word answer, get a completely random response or, if you’re lucky, be totally ignored. 

Vanessa: Love is: Bringing me a cup of coffee in bed on a Sunday morning and leaving me to sleep even when it’s really your turn for a lie-in.

Never doubting for a second that one day I will get there with my writing…

Making me laugh until I cry.

Jan: Love is: Gamely stomaching your beloved’s first attempt at French onion soup when he’s clearly confused his teaspoons of salt with tablespoons (or rather, ladles!) 

Never complaining when my characters get more attention than you…

Not being able to imagine my world without you in it…

Debbie: Love is: candyqueendesigns

Being in charge of the remote control.

Not having to get out of bed to turn out the light.

Finding the one who makes your heart smile.

Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.

~ Mother Teresa

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.

~ Sophocles

Love is friendship set on fire. ~ unknown

Sue Fortin: author of 'United States of Love'
Sue Fortin: author of ‘United States of Love’

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Lightbulb Moments

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Paloma Faith. Bournemouth June 2013

Laura: One of our recent group blogs focused on which songs assist us when writing hot scenes.

As I was adding my humble offering, I was reminded of songs that have helped me solve plot problems, and wondered what other inspirational moments have happened that moved your writing on.

Now, this is a little tricky, as I can’t give away the plot that Paloma Faith solved for me, as it is part of the final scenes in Truth or Dare?, but as a huge fan of the brilliant lyricist, singer and performer (can you tell I’m a little obsessed?), I listen to Paloma’s albums with teenage regularity. It was as I was listening to Black and Blue, from Fall To Grace, that the plot issue was solved. I wonder if you’ll work out which line it was…

In my current novel, Follow Me, I was in the car when Money, The Flying Lizzards played on the radio. The line about the best things in life being free leapt out at me, and suddenly, I had a believable solution to a plot problem I’d been trying to resolve for a couple of months.

This must happen to writers everywhere, not just with music, but maybe your neighbour said something, or your child brought a picture home from school that made you think, ‘That’s the answer!’

We’d love to hear about your lightbulb moments. What or who flicked that switch?

Laura x

Hello Gorgeous.

Hello Gorgeous. Yes you, with the beautiful smile and sparkling eyes. I’d really love to know you. Email me – we could start a wonderful relationship. Message me your phone number …

Choc LitLaura: There’s been plenty of discussion lately on Facebook, about that message file named ‘Other’. From all the statuses and comments I’ve read in the last week – and I don’t dispute this fact – we writers are the best thing since sliced bread. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone has been told that, too.

I delete my messages, but I always read them first – they brighten my day. Is that wrong? My messages are all about the smile …

Here are some of the ‘other’ lovely compliments we’ve received:

Lucie: Well apparently I have ‘beauty beyond words‘ and quite a few people want ‘to get better acquainted,’ oh and I have even had a couple of offers of becoming ‘soul mates‘. It is lovely, really it is, but it is not the reason I am on Facebook. My profile quite openly states that I am married and

I don’t believe I ever put out statuses of the ‘would like to meet‘ genre. However, some of these messages that we all get may well be genuine, but some may not. With the ever growing world of trolling and viruses, you can never be too sure of who you are speaking to. So I generally delete the messages I am unsure of. Like Laura, I read every single message that is sent to me, I love chatting to people, but if I am unsure of the source, I will delete.

Another massive pet hate of mine when receiving these messages is when the person gets my name wrong. I don’t have a difficult name, really, I don’t. Yes, I know I spell my name slightly differently to the normal ‘Lucy,’ but you would not believe some of the variations I have had in the past. It doesn’t bother me when people write ‘Lucy‘ as it is still my name – and was actually the name I was born with, until I changed it in my teens! – but when you start calling me completely different names, it doesn’t incline me to accept the friend request.

But thank you for taking the time to tell me I’m beautiful – that never gets old! 🙂

Sue Fortin profileSue :

My recent one, which I later to found out was received by several other Facebook friends (Oh, the two-timer!), said I was more beautiful than Venus. Why, thank you, kindly stranger from the ‘Other’ message box.  Ten out of ten for originality.  This rates alongside the message where the sender wanted to swim in the sea of love with me.  

I find them quite amusing, if I’m honest, but then I do have a warped sense of humour at times!

Pub   Celia :

This one’s my favourite this week – the Venus man passed me by, sadly.

“Hello Pretty, The world is a beautiful place with the shinning of the morning sun which makes the day. But this world is incomplete without the presents of beautiful ones like you to make life complete. Without someone like you around in the world i thinks life is incomplete. Please if you don’t mind can we be friends and get to know each other slowly. Are you single?”

I would love to say the shinning practice had been successful but the drainpipe was slippery, and anyway, I was too busy looking for my presents. i thinks life is incomplete without presents.

Jan: Well, I humour myself by imagining all our super-friendly “other” contributors have graduated from the  ‘flannel & supposed flattery’ academy – where they’ve either attained level 1 status (hopeless case), level 2 (shows promise)  level 3 (extraordinaire). My level one experience went something like… “Hello lufly lady, you are beautiful and simple…” Cheers, pal! Level two made slightly more effort, “Hello Queen, What a nice and sparkling smile. I wouldn’t trade that smile for anything. I don’t know you, I was searching for an old friend, when I stumbled on your profile. I got entangled in that wonderful smile…” Entangled? Level three did ‘the academy’ proud! “Your eyes shine like bright stars, your smile warms me like the sun, your beauty is unmatched. I live in hope that you will see me as more than a friend and allow me to share your beautiful world. Please be single for me…” I ask you, could I possibly feel any more special? 😉

Debbie: And here’s me, thinking I was the only one getting these types of messages! I wish I’d kept some of them now as I’ve had so many I’ve forgotten some of the cheesiest lines and believe me, there have been some very cheesy ones; ‘You have the most amazing eyes,’ ‘Just looking at you makes my heart sing!’ and I’ve even had two marriage proposals. I presumed I was attracting the wrong type as my status is divorced but then it occurred to me (and I’ve checked and double checked my privacy settings) no-one, except FB friends, should be able to access my profile and definitely not my photos! Quite how they can see me and approach me I’m not sure. I’ll be honest, if I’m messaged now by a ‘suspect’ male, I don’t even open them any more. This lady is nobody’s fool and after being through a divorce and round the block a few times, I can spot a man looking for a British Passport a mile off!

Catherine: Quite frankly, I’m miffed. All this talk of ‘other’ men in their lives. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong – maybe it’sCatherine Miller and the Girls having a baby on each shoulder – but I’m not attracting the same level of unwanted attention in my ‘other’ inbox. I seem to get them once in a blue moon and when I do they are Romaniac cast offs. For example, I have a friend request at present who I know was chatting up my friend Debbie some months ago. MONTHS! Imagine how many women he’s attempted to chat up since! Off to check my other inbox… Sweetness, you are so fly, the goddess Venus, seems to be less beautiful. Wait an effing minute… It’s only the same bloke that emailed the ‘other’ girls before me. What does a gal have to do to get some unwanted attention?

Don’t be shy. We’d like you to share your ‘other’ messages, and tell us what it is that draws these people to you. xx