Here we go again – travel meltdown

I’m off again. Portugal, for a long weekend. Never been there. And, as usual a few days before any trip I ever take, I am convinced I will never get there, and should just cancel now and hide under the bed.

It isn’t fear of flying. It isn’t fear of the holiday itself, even though this particular one is a bit weighted on the expectations front, because I have absolutely no idea what will come of it or even – wait for this, from your mature singles guru – what I hope will come of it. It isn’t that I am set in my ways and a little twitchy when taken out of my rut, because frankly my life has been a roller-coaster for three years now and I can’t remember what a rut looks like. They sound peaceful, though.

Just general meltdown. Here we go again. I may be getting too old for this. Never too old! But yup, I could be getting too neurotic.


I’m bracing myself for two, count them, two, impossible connections between flights, and I thought it would soothe me to chat about it a bit. The first, I have just over an hour to make the connecting flights but they are in the same terminal at Gatwick.  It’s a big terminal, I shall probably land at gate 1 and have to get to gate 3 zillion and 20, but surely do-able at a sprightly canter, spots flashing in front of my eyes, cabin luggage bouncing on my hip, as I set a personal best for the half-mile-through-holiday-crowds-sprint.

The second, an hour and a half between flights – piece of cake – until the incoming flight decided to go to the other terminal instead. I tried to book a peace-of-mind second, later, flight to Edinburgh. Turns out, the only affordable flight of the day is the one I’m on, the next one is a breezy three hundred quid more. There are cheaper, later flights, all at least double the price.

Breathe. Ommmmmmm.

Oh, there’s no point to this blog. Did you think there would be?  Just trying to talk myself down. Hasn’t really helped.

On the bright side, I haven’t any panic to spare re the actual holiday bit. I’ll worry about that if I make that first connection. Okay, it’ll be too late by then to worry. So that’s a bit of a silver lining.



Men on understanding women

Well, men don’t. Even mature single men who have known many women over many years have a formula they cling to, and they duck and run when that stops working because they’ve given up trying to understand women. Women don’t always understand women. You’d think as we all got older we’d mellow but it doesn’t seem to work that way, we get a little bit weirder. Or, as we all, men and women, like to think, more interesting.

I like men, some of my best friends are men, and I sometimes envy them their confidence. But every now and then they ask me, usually sounding a bit bewildered, why their woman, (or the woman they would like to make their woman) acts irrationally.

(Okay that sounded like that old joke, “my girlfriend thinks I’m a stalker. Well, she isn’t really my girlfriend yet”)

The thing is, half the time I can only take a wild guess. Women can be bonkers. So can men, but that’s another blog.

I wrote a book about second-time-round (mature) singles which is mainly for women – lots of advice and warnings wrapped up in a story with sexy bits – and you know what, men could do worse than read it for a sneak peak into how women think.

Oh, and if you got here too late for the special in the next blog, click on the cover in the margin – see it? A Second Rainbow? that’ll whisk you off to your closest friendly Amazon. Read the sexy bits, sure, but then re-read the bits about how women think. You’ll thank me. Tell your friends. Don’t tell your rivals.

Ever researching on your behalf.



Setting expectations …

I’ve talked before about setting expectations when you’re meeting someone.  Launching a new book has a lot in common with a new relationship. The writer, for example, is expecting the reading world to fall on the book’s neck. At last, a fun novella about the issues facing the mature single woman who is re-entering the dating world after a long, sedate, and frankly slightly boring marriage!

The reader, on the other hand, has to be coaxed, titillated, seduced, into parting with hard-earned cash to try out a new book by a writer they never heard of.   And an unfamiliar subject – mature. What do mature singles know about sex, breathless excitement, expectations, heartbreak?

Actually, think about that. Long term singles know more than most readers (unless also mature, single and very active) will ever learn!

Not Dorothy, though.  Having spent most of her life being told what to do by the people in her life, she is possibly the most naïve woman you’ll meet, although you know the type – my husband takes care of all that sort of thing.  When her husband starts taking care of someone else, her daughter signs her up on the Yellow Brick Road singles website. Her first date is with a man who calls himself Scarecrowe …

Innocent hopefuls looking for the perfect mate, time-serving singles only interested in the next adventure, the easily-bored, the destructive, men and women who have avoided commitment for years and intend to continue avoiding it:  every character in A Second Rainbow is a common type, tweaked just a tiny bit further to fit the underlying Wizard of Oz thread, and the result is a romp with love, sex, betrayal, tears, determination and laughter.

Right now it’s on a pre-publication special price: put it this way, would you gamble the price of a cup of coffee?

You would? yayThen click on the image below to be taken to your closest Amazon.  The price goes up within 24 hours of launch,

Before you click on the cover, a couple of things you should know:

  • It is only available as an eBook at this stage
  • You’re ordering it for delivery to your reading device on April 14th
  • You can download an app from Amazon which will let you read Kindle books on your computer or phone
  • If you click on the cover image, it will take you to your closest friendly Amazon. It can only be ordered through Amazon

A second rainbow (4)

Three cheers for sensible! Hip-hip-no way

If you’ve read my blogs, I talk a lot about singles, the second-time round variety. Now there’s a book on its way.

Dorothy is signed up on a singles website, the Yellow Brick Road Singles, by her forceful daughter when her marriage suddenly goes phut. The first bloke she meets has the profile name Scarecrowe . . . oh, have you spotted a pattern yet?

laugh Simon Crowe, Tim Mann, Leo, and just in case the point wasn’t already hammered home enough, the book is titled A Second Rainbow. It’s not a copy of L Frank Baum’s book, or an adult version, that’s more of a sub theme. Later on in the book the women start appearing, which required a bit of fudging because The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has only one surviving wicked witch. Instead I collectively call them the harpies. Artistic licence, okay?

Getting the book title was easy. A writer name, not so much. I didn’t want to mislead my EJ Lamprey regulars, some of whom would love it, but some would be shocked. I wanted a name that made it clear this wasn’t a gently humorous whodunit and I learned with Eleven Twelve that splashing warnings in the title, the blurb, and the first page of the book, is simply not enough. Some readers were still taken aback to find they had been misled into buying a genre-crossing Halloween romp, I felt terrible for those who felt cheated. I had tried! (I know. I’m very trying)

Friends threw themselves enthusiastically into the challenge of coming up with an alternative name, and by far the best was Rogers-Briskly. I loved it, but I wasn’t sure the book was raunchy enough for a wonderful name like that. Still, I can resist anything except temptation. Clarissa Rodgers-Briskleigh is the youngest and newest writer in my small stable.

Writing a book about mature singles romping and skipping like lambs isn’t what you’d call a sensible move. As one of my (younger) beta readers said rather sternly, ‘Biff, make all the characters in their twenties and thirties, put the pedal to the metal in the sexy scenes, and this will blow like a geyser.’

uh oh

Maybe. More likely not. There are a lot of those books already out there, and anyway that wasn’t the point. I was enchanted to find out there is a second rainbow, an Indian summer, in life. Clouds start gathering when you’re speeding towards forty, right? Mortgages, career pressures, teenage children, life begins here? What a crock. Those clouds keep building up for the next ten, fifteen, years – and suddenly they clear. The sunshine may be the late summer variety, warm and mellow, rather than blazing brightly overhead, but there’s plenty of it.

I’m on a mission to get contemporaries to realize that, because I wasted a couple of years wondering why I suddenly felt so good without doing anything about it. I’m in no way saying dump the current spouse and rush to the singles websites, if anything the book is a warning as much as a guide! But this is a great age and stage, late middle life.

Celebrate it with your partner, and if you don’t have one, go find one. Read the book first, though. It’s something of a handbook, in its own way. The characters are staying the age I want them to be – your age, too, if you’re my target reader, somewhere between forty-something and too old to care any more. And the sex stays this side of pornography, and isn’t the focus of Dorothy’s story. The main focus is the second timers, the mature singles getting out there and grabbing life in both hands and twisting out every last ounce.  This won’t be a best-seller. But it is an eye-opener.

The countdown starts now. I’m setting the timer tonight. In less than a week you’ll be able to pre-order at a special 48 hour launch price, but don’t worry, I won’t let you forget. roll eyes There will be blogs. Or you could really play it safe and join my mailing list.

Click on subscribe, top right. You can’t miss it.

Nick mountain mist