After years of searching for the perfect job, I think I’ve finally found it in teaching, especially since changing to part-time hours to leave more space for writing. Let’s face it, where else do you get paid for reading stories, playing with glue and paint and making small people laugh? Over the years I’ve child-minded very contentedly, taught cycling proficiency (forgot to mention at the interview that I was still learning to ride a bike, but they found out quite soon), stamped books in a library, sold second-hand maternity clothes, dabbled in mental health care, to name but a few of my jobs.
When I’m not marking books or writing, I spend far too much time on Facebook talking to other, much cleverer writer people. My ultimate dream is to have children’s books published too.
The rest of my non-writing time is taken up with runningUpstage – a children’s drama group – cooking, eating and walking off the damage. I live with my husband and deranged cats in South Derbyshire but, sea-starved in the depths of the Midlands, I can often be found striding over the Quantocks or wandering happily around Brighton visiting my two daughters and pretending to collect ideas for my next book.
Together since their teens, Molly and Jake have four children, a house in a sleepy village, and jobs that bore them to distraction. Their marriage is an accident waiting to happen. When Nick arrives in Mayfield, young, disturbed and in desperate need of mother-love, Molly doesn’t realise that he will be the catalyst that blows everything apart. Add a headmaster whose wife doesn’t understand him, and Molly’s unpredictable, frustrated best friend to the mix, and the blue touch paper has been well and truly lit.
When dreams and reality crash and mingle, escape can be the hardest challenge of all.
Longing to get away from her troubled marriage, the opportunity to cross America by train seems like a dream come true for Vita Craythorne. But charismatic travel agent Moriarty Miles has other ideas; by replacing their mutual friend Jack on the trip, Vita has unwittingly set herself up as a guinea pig for Moriarty’s mind-blowing and potentially dangerous virtual-travelling project. His plan is to give clients the holiday of a lifetime without ever having to leave the comfort of their own homes. It’s exciting. It’s time-saving. It’s innovative. Maybe this trip is just what Vita needs? That is, if she can avoid becoming trapped inside her own, miraculous dream world.
Suddenly bereaved, Molly White realises that she has never really known her feisty husband Jake when random boxes begin to appear through the post, each one containing a tantalising clue to the secrets of Jake and Molly’s past. Someone who knows them both well, for reasons of their own, has planned a trail of discovery. The clues seem to be designed to change Molly’s life completely, leading her around Britain and then onwards to rural France and deepest Bavaria.
Meanwhile, waiting in the wings is Tom, a charismatic artist who runs a gallery in the same town. Strong, independent and wheelchair-bound from the age of fifteen, he leads a solitary life and has no idea how devastatingly attractive he is to women. When Tom meets curvy, beautiful and funny Molly, he knows that she is his dream woman, but she seems way out of his orbit until the boxes start to weave their spell and the two of them are thrown right out of their comfort zones.
Little Boxes is a story of love in a variety of guises – mother-love, unrequited passion, infatuation and the shadow-love held in memories that refuse to go away.
Books, chocolate and a Jacuzzi: could there be a better combination? Gorgeous Geordie Leo arrives in Clayton-on-the-Bream with a mission to make his mark. When he reveals his ideas for a bespoke bookshop and chocolate-themed cafe, struggling writer Mab can’t resist his plea for help.
However, Leo’s timing is disastrous. Engaged to flighty, super-thin Sophie and knowing that Mab is up to her neck in a mysterious scheme of her own, Leo fights hard to ignore the warm, sensual friendship that is growing between them. When their eclectic mix of family and friends weigh in to help, the dream seems almost possible, but can Leo ignore Mab’s shady past? As they battle with sabotage, jealousy, vindictive neighbours and unpredictable relationships, Mab and Leo find that even chocolate can’t always make miracles happen . . .