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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Book of the Month: Christmas Fairytales by Nora Roberts

Deck the halls with bows of holly, fa la la la la, la la la la .... So I'm in the spirit of the season... It's Christmas and I usually love Christmas. I'm not a crazy loon who decorates every square inch of my house inside and out... in fact, for the last couple of years ... I've kind of lost the Christmas feeling and I haven't decorated at all ... (shush... don't tell anyone). This year we've plans to actually redecorate the living room so the Christmas tree and the decorations are remaining in the attic until we're finished... but they WILL go up before Christmas eve.

I was given a little extra help this year by Christmas Fairytales from Nora Roberts. Its three classic love stories rolled into one feature length novel and is part of the MacGregor Series. I particularly like the fact that I haven't read a single novel from the MacGregor Series and I didn't need to.

Christmas Fairytales: The Basics - Daniel MacGregor is the conniving and interfering, yet loving, head of the MacGregor family who wants to see his granddaughters Laura, Gwen, and Julia settled down, married and providing his wife (actually himself) with great grandchildren. So he finds them the ideal man and schemes to get them to fall in love.

Three nice stories:
a little humour, a little heartache
but I found the stories lacking in someway.

In both Laura's and Gwen's stories lacked the firework show at the end, the story ran along pleasantly and they all lived happily ever after with no real threat or danager, just the ambigouity of a general 'he loves me? he loves me not?'. In Julia's story, I put the book down twenty pages from the end and was in no hurry to pick it back up again. However, I connected with the characters, they were three unique heroines with three equally unique heros each one of them struggling to come to terms with falling in love and everything that entails and the story lines moved a long nicely.

Sitting on the fence with a non committal 3/5.

I enjoy her writing style, so I have decided to go on a quest to find a Nora Roberts novel that truly captivates me 100%. Any recommendations?


Read the poem Fighting A Losing Battle and more Poems written by Erin Cawood at

Reviews you may have missed

Cocktails For Three - Sophie Kinsella writing as Madeline Wickham
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
Nora Roberts - Risky Business

Monday, 20 December 2010

Have You Seen My Christmas Tree?

My beloved little angels, niece and twin nephews, had a decorate a christmas cake competition this year. It was for a fundraising event that got cancelled in the recent really bad weather. But the cakes were all sold and this is their entry.


Read the poem Fighting A Losing Battle and more Poems written by Erin Cawood at

Saturday, 4 December 2010

And They Wonder Why I Want to Write? - Burrrrr!

So here in the UK, where experience yet another really poor winter. Last year's winter was really bad with tempretures plummeting around the country for weeks on end. This year they're predicting the same. This snow is just going to keep coming.
So let me tell you a little bit more about how inconvenient this bout of snow is.

Remember how I had a cake to make and get to school for my niece and nephews? Well, I was called into work early because the buses were stopping running due to the ridiculous conditions. Traffic had come to a complete standstill and taxi services had completely stopped operating. I don't blame them. But I had to walk 2 mile in calf high snow that was only getting deeper to school carrying a cake then a further mile to work. And they closed the school on the day of the fair!

And they wonder why I'd rather be a writer, so I can work in my toasty warm home office and choose when I want to experience this weather. My God! My hair was frozen by the time I got to work it was that bloody freezing out there... Burrr!


Thursday, 2 December 2010

A Review of Nanowrimo 2010

My followers told me about NaNoWriMo in 2009. Its 30 days and 30 nights of literary abandonment. Anything goes as long as you hit a target of 50,000 words. Last years event bore the fruits of Devine Intervention, which has now developed in the last twelve months into a series. If I thought achieving this goal with a temporary promotion, additional responsibilities and very sick grandmother was easy in 2009 then surely 2010 was going to be a walk in the park. 

Far from it. 2010's attempt at National Novel Writing Month hadn't even entered my head until the middle of October. I'd finished my redraft of Life's A Ball? and listening to a line in I think it was a Saturdays song and suddenly I had an idea for a character who worked the night shift and All Night Long was born. But I was days away from flying to Cuba and had decided to leave my netbook at home just incase I had any problems with the Cuban authorities.

I began All Night Long with nothing more than an idea for a character who worked the night shift in an airport bookstore and she was going to fall for a customer. Last year I learned that Freemind is the essential planning tool for something as crazy as writing a novel in 30 days. The month started well, I was fully rested from the holiday and had evening and weekends to myself I was well ahead of scheduled. But as we went into the second week I began working shifts and then suffered a migraines. Suddenly I was struggling to hit my daily target. The migraine set me back not only in terms of nanowrimo but also I don't get sick pay, and my performance against my targets are affected. I needed to put in the extra hours to catch up at work, earn back the loss of income... nano was becoming lower and lower on the list. by day 29 I'd suffered a second migraine and was 5,000 words off target. That's when I remembered I'd promised my niece and nephews a cake for their school fair.

Day 30, I'm up and I'm writing, a cool 2,000 words before I head to work for a 9pm finish, the first part of my lunch break was spent heading to the buy the ingrediants for both a christmas cake and a sponge cake. I still have know idea what I'm going to do until I'm standing at the cake and nut supplier in the market. That's when it hit me. I'm going to make a Christmas Tree. I get home at 9:10pm whip together the fruit cake ingrediants and almost die when I see it takes 4hours to cook. By now I have just over two and half hours to write 3,000 words. I've done it before I tell myself. 11:55pm: I update my status on the Nanowrimo website. My breath catches as I await the word calculator: I sigh with relief 50,033 words. But there's now rest for the wicked.... I've a sponge cake to bake, decorate and get to school by 12:00 noon tomorrow.

I got less than 5 hours sleep that night but I loved it! Bring on Nanowrimo 2011


Read the poem Fighting A Losing Battle and more Poems written by Erin Cawood at
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The Legal Bit

All characters have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone baring the same name. They are not inspired by an individual known or unknown by the author and all incidents are pure invention.

The articles, excerpts, and other written work published under the pseudonym Erin Cawood are copyright protected by the author. Guest articles are published by arrangement and also copyright protected by the guest author.

Images of Erin Cawood are provided by Paul Miguel Photography.

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