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Why set a book in the Amazon?

Okay, I know I promised I would blog more regularly this year, but it didn't go as planned. Instead, I spent my time writing books - lots of books! :) And the first one coming your way is Ransom, Benson Security Book 4.

Ransom tells the story of a couple who're kidnapped from a celebrity wedding at a high class resort and taken into the Amazon jungle while a ransom is demanded. They know the kidnappers have no intention of letting them go unharmed, so they escape into the jungle. Where they're hunted by the kidnappers, the wildlife and Benson Security. It's nail biting stuff folks!

So why pick the Amazon?
Well, many years ago, when I was young, fit and unencumbered by kids and animals I spent a year working with a charity organisation in Peru and Bolivia. And part of my time there was spent in the rain forest. The experience changed my life and I have to say, I've been pining to return to South America ever since. In fact, every year I try to get my husband to mo…
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Throwback Thursday - Walking in Scotland (how not to do it!)

Last year, I wrote about my experience walking in Scotland. I still have nightmares about it. Read on to find out why! :)

Walking in Scotland (how NOT to do it!)
I just read that the new walking path, John Muir Way, celebrated its first birthday this week. The path goes from the west coast to the east coast of Scotland. That's 134 miles of stunning Scottish countryside. It takes roughly a week to do the walk. And I have NO plans to do it. Ever!


The reason I'm anti-walking in Scotland is experience. Years ago, my husband and I decided to walk the West Highland Way. The route goes from Glasgow to Fort William and is ninety-six miles long. It normally takes about 5-7 days to walk the route, although my over achieving sister ran the damn thing in about 20 minutes. (I can't remember exactly how fast she did it, it gets shorter every time I think about it.)

Anyway we attempted the walk during that rare time on the Scottish calendar - a week in summer where the sun actually shone…

Reader Question: How do you choose which character in a series will get their own book?

Ooooo, this is a hard question! 
Sometimes, I know who will have their own future book before I write them as a secondary character into someone else's book. This was the case in the first three Invertary books. I knew before writing Lingerie Wars that the heroine's best friend would get her own book at some point. And she did, in Goody Two Shoes. I also knew that the Goth shop assistant in Lingerie Wars would get her own book, and she did too, in Magenta Mine.
Other times, I come up with an interesting character for the story I'm writing, and once they're on the page they become way more fascinating than I thought they would be. That happened with Isobel's sisters in Rage. Once I started to write about the different personalities of the sisters, and the dynamic within the family, I knew I wanted to tell their stories too. Hence, the upcoming Sinclair Sister Trilogy.


I guess the main reason for giving someone their own book, is that they become interesting enough for …

Throwback Thursday - Man vs Magpie

Welcome to Throwback Thursday. This week, we're looking at one of my husband's many, many obsessions - magpies! I wrote this a couple of years ago and have to say, nothing's changed since! He's still out there fighting the same damn bird. Enjoy! :)

Man vs Magpie
My husband's latest obsession is of the bird kind - at least he's moved on from cutting down trees. We couldn't afford to lose anymore buildings! Anyway, back to the bird. There's a magpie on our hill that keeps attacking Hubby. No matter what he does to deter it, the bird keeps coming back.

I was going to post a movie of the ongoing fight between hubby and the magpie, but I can't get one without camera shake - I laugh so hard. It's pretty clear that the magpie is winning the war. Yesterday, the bird swooped my husband and flew away with his hat. The hat he'd painted with eyes to keep the bird away.

Today, in an escalation, hubby borrowed an air rifle from the neighbour. He's spe…

Reader Question: How do you come you come up with your ideas/story lines?

Okay, answering this could get weird, you have been warned! :)

Sometimes, ideas for stories just walk into my head. They arrive as fully formed characters in situations that are out of their control. This often happens when I'm doing something else - like driving. And is also the reason I often end up somewhere I never intended to go! 

Take my latest book, Rage. I thought I had Callum's life all figured out. I knew who he would fall in love with. I knew the story line. All I had to do was write it. So I sat down to do just that, but instead of writing what I'd planned, four women appeared on the page standing around a dead body, and I knew Isobel was the woman for Callum. Where did this come from? I have no idea. But I think there's a version of Invertary's evil Betty living in my subconscious. This woman has a big stick and she stirs up everything that's gathered in my mind, once it's swirling, she dips her hand in, grabs something at random and throws it at…

Throwback Thursday - the goat ate my manuscript...

I wrote this post about 18 months ago and very little has changed! Enjoy. :)

The Real Life Struggles Of A Romance Writer
Like all writers, I deal with constant interruptions in my work. Most of these are normal, everyday interruptions that are part of the package of working from home - kids playing in my office while I write, hubby doing every freaking DIY project he can find that's right outside my office door, cold callers, people at the door and cats. Seriously, cats are a big problem, just look at all the posts on Facebook with photos of cats sitting on a manuscript and you'll know what I'm talking about. ;)

But some things have interfered with my work over the past few years that just don't fit into the usual list. I thought I'd share them with you:
The goat ate my manuscript This has happened three times now. You would think I'd learn from my mistakes. Apparently not. Anyway, my pet goat is adorable. And she eats everything. Twice I've thought it would…

Reader Question: Can you give us any hints about future Benson's Boys books?

Right, Amanda, you asked for it! I just hope the answer makes some sense. :) 
Next up in the Benson Security world is Elle and David. For those who don't know, Elle first met David in book two of the series, when he turned up in Peru to help them out of a sticky situation. As soon as the two of them met, sparks flew and I knew I had to get them both together for longer than a scene of two. In Relentless (book 2), David challenges Elle to find out his real identity, and who he works for, and she's been searching databases with his DNA sample ever since. But she's still no closer to an answer. Now, if you've read Rage, you'll have noticed that not only are things heating up between Elle and the mysterious David, but our Elle has a secret. Something in her past she wants to remain hidden. So, in Elle and David's book, we find out what's in Elle's past and also, we find out who David is and who he’s working for. It should be an explosive read!

After Elle, I p…