Wednesday, October 31, 2012


 Happy Halloween from a little witch!

Tomorrow, November 1st, starts my first attempt at NaNoWriMo. Basically, during the month of November, writers of every discipline, genre, traditional or indie published can get together online and bang out 50,000 words. That is 1,667 words per day.

It'll be tough but I'm looking forward to it. I have my writing space (spare room) all ready to go and in the next month my hair may go grey! When I was finishing Bleeker Avenue I was spending all my free time writing. As soon as Beth went to bed I'd go straight to the laptop. I plan to do this again. I remember coming out of these writing marathons dazed. It took a while to come round to reality again.

The project I'm working on is called Diary of a Trolley Dolly. It's just a working title. It is about a woman who leaves her home town to become cabin crew. I did this myself almost 10 years ago but the story will be purely fictional. There will be lots of sex, drugs and turbulence. A lot more exciting than my own experience!

A little witch ready to fly to a Halloween party this morning.

We had wings for a bat too but went with the witch in the end :-)

Hope you all have a spooktacular day!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In The Irish Times Today

Single mum, would like to meet...
Another article in The Irish Times today by yours truly. It's all about dating as a single parent. The difficulties of meeting people and why I'm not rushing into anything!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Christmas Cake Recipe

There is no nicer smell than that of a Christmas cake in the oven. 

175 g (6 oz) Glace Cherries
225 g (8 oz) Raisins
75 g (3 oz) Currants
150 g (5 oz) Sultanas
50 g (2 oz) Chopped Candied Peel
100 ml  Whiskey/Brandy
225 g (8 oz) Softened Butter
Finely Grated Rind Of One Lemon
225 g (8 oz) Soft Brown Sugar
4 Eggs, Beaten
30 ml Black Treacle
225 g (8 oz) Plain White Flour
5 ml (1 tsp) Ground Mixed Spice

I'm slightly allergic to nuts so I left the next ingredients out:

125 g (4 oz) Roughly Chopped Brazil Nuts
50 g (2 oz) Ground Almonds

1. Wash the cherries in cold water, make sure all the syrup is off. Chop them into quarters. Chuck them in a bowl with the raisins, currants, sultanas and candied peel. Pour over the whiskey, cover with a tea towel and leave overnight to soak.
2. Line a 20 cm (8 inch) round deep cake tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper.
3. In a big bowl, beat the butter with the lemon rind until pale and very soft.
4. Gradually beat in the sugar until completely blended. Add the eggs a little at a time. Then add the treacle. Make sure everything is evenly blended.

5. Sift the flour and mixed spice together. Add half to the mixture (add the nuts here if you are using them). Fold in the fruit gently. Then add the rest of the flour. 

6. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin, level the surface and tie a double layer of brown paper around the outside of the tin.

7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 2 (150°C) for 3-3.5 hours or until a fine skewer can be inserted into the middle and come out clean. I usually check it after 3 hours. If it needs longer I place a sheet of brown paper over the top so it doesn't burn.

8. Leave cake in the tin to cool for about an hour then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Prick the top with a fork and spoon over about 45 ml (3 tbsp) whiskey. Allow to soak in.

9. When completely cold, cover with greaseproof paper, then with tin foil and leave in a cool dry place. It needs to mature for at least 2 weeks or up to 3 months before icing is applied.
I'll be icing the cake about a week before Christmas. Beth wants to decorate it with snow (royal icing), snowmen and Santa. That'll be fun!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Free today!!

Tell everyone!! The Secret Beneath Bleeker Avenue is free today on and

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Free Kindle ebook

The Secret Beneath Bleeker Avenue is free on the 16th and 17th of October (Tuesday and Wednesday of next week). Please take the opportunity to grab a free copy as the three months of Kindle Select Publishing ends soon.

I was on the radio a few weeks ago talking about life as a single parent. You can listen to the interview here

I miss the sun!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cala De Mijas (I Love Mondays)

On Beth's actual 3rd birthday my sister, Beth and I flew from Dublin to Malaga. We then took a bus to a gorgeous small village called Cala De Mijas along the coast of southern Spain. It was eight nights spent in a fantastic 4* hotel situated right beside the beach. The room was lovely and spacious, the breakfasts were amazing (buffet style and lots of it) and the facilities were second to none. However, the staff, in particular the reception staff, were often rude and always unhelpful. In truth though, it did little to dull the week. 

The unfortunate element to the week was Beth's cold. She was often narky and tired. The photo above was taken five minutes before she dropped an orange juice all over herself. Thank God she had a swimsuit underneath. In the 30 degree heat the dress was dry before we finished our drinks. Poor pet just wanted to be home in her own bed but we did our best to keep her happy. So much so that now that we are back she is being really cheeky if she doesn't get her way! 

Roughly 1 minute before the juice incident :-)

Besides the little hiccups we managed to have a good time but I think I'll wait a few good years before taking Beth away again! And yes, both of us are still as pale as we were leaving rainy Ireland :-)

It's back to writing full steam today. I have a short story in my head bursting to get out. When I've a first draft I'll get back to the sequel of The Secret Beneath Bleeker Avenue. I'm hoping to have it finished by December and ready for self-publishing in the new year.

Have a lovely Monday! :-)