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Debbie Flint

Debbie Flint

Debbie Flint

I don’t know about you, but doesn’t having to make yourself number one, makes you re-evaluate things?

So my first bit of news is, in case you didn’t know already, that I already tested positive for Antibodies. Yes I already had COVID-19. Apparently. Because I have no idea! Apart from feeling completely wiped out for about three days, probably early March I can’t really remember, when the only symptoms they were talking about were a cough and a fever, I don’t know when it was. (I paid for a test in Hammersmith at coronatestcentre.com clinic, With a £100,000 machine, blood test, the proper serology test.) Anyway, during all of this time and since, having followed all of the guidelines and really thought hard about my own needs, it made me realise that it’s time to make some changes.

 

with a £100,000 machine, blood test, the proper Sarah ology test.) Anyway, during all of this time and since, having followed all of the guidelines and really thought hard about my own needs, it made me realise that it’s time to make some changes.

 

I want to have my own place again! So I’m looking at renting somewhere near my sis Linda and my mum in Banstead. The estate they lived on is a converted hospital in Banstead Woods and the grounds are amazing, tennis court, barbecue, Koi carp et cetera. And I think if I move there I will feel like a proper grown-up! Down in Devon they have obviously been no retreats although I hope that the August ones will continue as planned. In the meantime I am looking at putting it onto Airbnb So people can rent it self catering as a holiday home. My daughters place in Wales which is now finished – the one that Nick built – is already booked for much of the summer assuming things change and people can go to UK holidays. So fingers crossed all will be good again.

 

Fingers crossed

 

I hope that

First, happy birthday to my adorable son and before you say it, yes he does look like 'that bloke out of 50 Shades films' and yes, it one hundred per cent RUINED the movies for me!! For obvious reasons. Had a super get together with him and the two year old, who said 'silly nan-nan' and laughed, when I tickled her under the table on her knee. Growing up so fast. Both of them. Am sure you've had that in your life!
 
 
And secondly, Pretty Woman was amaaaazing. Brad was just THREE when Pretty Woman the movie first came out and over the years I've had pretty much every edit of the film, from VHS to DVD to BluRay. Well the theatre production was true to the film and I loved it. Hope to see it again, and highly recommended. Have been feeling a lot happier of late, partly due to all the exercise now I'm 'training it' as my family would say. And the reasons why are all tied up with why last year was such a weird time for me... more of that below.
 
Well I have completed about three weeks now of almost entirely train journeys and left the car in Devon. There is a reason why - bear with me.
 
After three years of lonnnng journeys in the car to and from my new home in Devon, I accumulated one too many points after late night journeys on empty motorways and sudden changes of speed limit.
 
I needed to get lots more steps done more regularly, and obviously lose weight. Mind you, the health scan I have regularly - as part of my work package - at the Nuffield, was okay. Apart from the usual recommendation to drop some pounds, cholesterol was good - really good - blood pressure good, blood measurements good (a couple had had some question marks in years gone by,) Airflow in my lungs, good (despite having had a bit of diary the day before, stupidly! It always makes my chest a little wheezy.) Heart indicators all good.But with my big holiday cruise coming up in May, and everything else going so well, it’s about time I got this in check.
 
One of the things I have to do is make sure I switch off (missus juggler here finds that very hard. I just completed a 'debbie day' as my pal Craig would call it, which consisted of lunch with Brad, in Stratford, then coffee and admin work in Waterstones cafe in Chiswick, then a brilliant film, Dark Waters, then ... work.) So a bit of reflexology never goes amiss. And I must get back to meditation which always helped me no end, from 1991 till around 2005, when I had an awful f***wit boyfriend and lost my confidence a bit, and had a b it of depression. And de-prioritised my me-time. Not a lot of people know about that era - well, social media wasn't around so why would most people know. I recovered and got back my mojo and have been pretty much ok till last year. Without realising it, I'd slipped into a concealed state that I can only now look back and label as some version of depression. Hence, lack of blogs on here. 
 
2019 RETROSPECTIVE
Looking back at last year, it’s interesting to see how things mounted up and I ended up being a little rundown and a lot under the weather. When I eat sugar I feel blue. Simple as that. And running a tea room/cakes/late night drive is where I need sugar to keep me awake/eating pudding is when the guests are at the retreat… It all led to too much sugar for too long. I had a little mini meltdown late November, and had a few days sick off work. That’s so rare for me. The last time was January 2017! And before that, I can’t actually remember being off for an unplanned sickness absence (operation not included.)
 
I knew something was wrong. And now I see that too many hours in the car, eating rubbish, and not enough sleep, made for a difficult combination. Not paying attention on late-night journeys is an absolute no-no of course. So as my points mounted up, I got precariously close to needing to stop driving. Facing six months without a car, I felt panicky. Then I checked myself.
 
I began picturing life where the train took the strain. I would have so much more time to do stuff, loads of stuff, on long journeys to Devon and to see Lauren in Wales. With nothing to prevent me from tap tapping away. I may even finish my book! Getting around in London is a doddle, mainly, since public transport might take longer on the whole but it’s quicker compared to going by car to QVC in Chiswick from South Croydon! So I've started leaving the car in Devon and going places mostly by train. It's an hour to QVC, door-to-door. And we have a company cab after hours to take us home. I’ve been on buses and trams and more trains in the last month then I have in the last 10 years, I think. And it really has taken the strain away.
 
I do updates regularly on my Facebook page et cetera, with the vlogs called 'let the train take the strain' – visit Facebook page to see more and read the regular trip reports! Some funny things happen when you are on the train journey. Some lovely things as well, like the Dawlish train route I took to a conference in Torquay, with the waves barely feet away from the train line. Then I got picked up in Carmarthen in Wales by my daughter, which felt lovely. And family and friends have been marvellous in Devon. By the way Lauren's holiday accommodation cabin which they've just finished is called The Hiveaway and is like a little hobbitses haven high up in a field in Wales - anyone looking for an alternative to travelling near people, please consider this!
 
Instagram Pic - The Hiveaway Glamping
 
 
 
 
Devon is obviously the problem, but there is a very tame taxi firm whom we have an arrangement with for my retreat, so failing all else, that’s what I use. Plus as the weather improves I will use my electric bike. Plus from March onwards there will be someone is living at my place on a trial basis, which will help enormously. On so many levels.
 
Over the past 3 to 4 weeks I have Walked 10,000 steps a day more often than not. One of the measurements of the hill scan was that my waistline was smaller than last year, which I did not expect! And drinking more water means that, with a splash of lemon juice in it, I find myself not having such a sweet tooth. And long late journeys mean I don’t have sweets to rely on.
 
Recently I met my lovely friend Antthony who is fashions we sell on QVC. He said he had been sugar free for three months. We talked about it, me having given up sugar for January, considering my sister was giving up alcohol. We did it together. And I reckon that was a lot to do with why my bloods were as good come February‘s health scan.
 
Finally I have been a lot more cheerful in myself. The perennial, perpetual, paralysing tightness in my Solar plexus, was released, ( having been there, I realised, for a couple of years.) But when had it started?
 
Anxiety over grandbabies, yes. Till my daughter told me off one summer and I let go the responsibility for ALL of their lives! It’s difficult isn’t it, once a mother always a mother, but when your children turn into parents, being a grandparent doesn’t mean you have an extra child, it’s a grandchild. So it should be easier. I’m sure I’m not the only one who got that wrong! And now it’s all great as my kids are fantastic parents.
 
Anxiety over being so far away from people, yes, a bit. Including the anxiety over travelling. Long hours on long journeys alone late at night in the car, when originally I loved it, just got too much for me once I started considering an alternative. My driving muscle (automatic car = numb bum!) always killed me, no matter how many exercises I did. Now I drive so little, it barely registers a twinge! And yes, another signal has been given to me by the universe, prompting me to casually explore other locations for a writing retreat.
 
Thatched house insurance is getting ridiculous – only one insurer will do it for a guesthouse, and we have a wood burning stove. Apparently that is a problem this year, they’ve decided. So if I can’t get insurance for a guesthouse with a thatched roof, I will be forced to relocate anyway. Now there are lots of other places very nearby, affordable as well. Some, like mansions, not that far away either from where I am now. But if I was to relocate, I would be looking at somewhere closer to transport. Exeter/Taunton possibly.
 
I actually fantasised for a bit about the idea of a beautiful old courthouse which literally was a courthouse, dating back to the 1600s, on the market somewhere near Bristol, with bedrooms which used to be jail cells. Apparently It was on '4 in a bed' once. But that would mean a whole new environment and I’m not sure I want to do that right now. So we will see. But for now the train seems to be taking the strain and pulley for me. And life is so much better.
 
I had not realised how I felt so constricted all the time. That’s the only word for it. Not just my solar plexus, but in my daily routine. I actually Watched a programme about being in prison, and that’s how I felt! And freedom is probably my most valuable life attribute, so something had to change.
 
Fortunately for me, the universe generally intervenes and makes things right. And I definitely feel on a better keel now. Regular reflexology is also helping, drinking lots more water is to, and avoiding sugar as much as I can :-).
 
New life/new era/new tearoom lady!
 
Regulars will know that I set up a tearoom in our wonderful place in Devon, but it is only open on Wednesdays at the moment, because I’m building up resources. Last year I had a lovely lady called Pat but she became ill this year and needed to take a break so could not do it. Since I am in Devon three weeks out of four, I figured I could probably do it myself and lovely helper pixie Sian would chip in including when I wasn’t there. So we opened anyway. And lo and behold on the very first day Wendy Green turned up. Well, I've never tasted lemon drizzle like it! Victoria sponge reminds me of the one my Nan used to make, and her carrot cake is to die for. So we are up and running with a lovely new tearoom lady – for now anyway! Thank you universe. And thank you, her hubby Rob, who tends to pop by regularly as well. We will now continue with the original plan to alert people that it is on, and spread the word around Beaworthy in Devon, that we are now open on Wednesdays one till five, with plans to open on weekends from one till five after Easter. Oh and a special opening for Mothers' Day - at Wendy G's suggestion! Possibly if all goes well, she will also help me on Thursdays and Fridays during the summer. So might the new lodger! So that’s that one sorted. Phew.
 
 
 
Another part of the new era is my politics. I have just gained a position in the local Association for whom I love fundraising, and have many plans to contribute over the next few years. More on my politics blog. That makes me very happy and is another reason why I would not move too far from where I am now, for the time being.
 
But, long-term, I can Foresee a time when I would possibly end up somewhere around the M4/M5 junction. Bristol, Bath? I bloody love bath. And how much closer would it be to QVC! I could probably end up getting to Lauren within two hours if I’m lucky, depending on the trains. Which is a lot better than the four hours it takes me at the moment. Anyway that’s for the future.
 
Do feel free to keep up-to-date with my shenanigans, via my blogs on my Facebook page mainly. 
 And I do my best to post fun pictures on my Instagram too.
 
Plus there's lots of info on my Retreat social media too. @retreatsforyou on all platforms and www.retreatsforyou.co.uk website. Recently we had a big occasion that needed shouting about on social media – two fab literary agents from big agencies in London came down to my retreat for a very special 'ask an agent' weekend. It meant that I was able to offer a whole day session with these experts, for six authors who are unpublished and needed tips and guidance. It was so successful they all contributed afterwards with a list of the Most important things they learned. Go here to my retreats for you blog, to find out more.
 
I’m also delighted that a top memoirs tutor got in touch and wanted to run a memoirs week as well. So that has now been added to the schedule here. In fact our schedule for retreats with a tutor, is getting pretty full - and they are selling out fast! Our 'Just Write' weeks alternate most of the year, with extras in the summer. Plus I have some yoga retreats coming up as well. It is nice to have a full house.
 
So everything is working out well. And it’s not long until my big retreat holiday in France assuming nothing happens with coronavirus! Followed by our self Caribbean cruise in May, again assuming nothing happens to stop it. To be honest, I'm thinking it will all be cancelled with every new development and update in the news, but what will be will be. (edited 12th March). And our retreats will remain on until further notice.
 
I have taken the big step of postponing my Women in Business event in Exeter though - March 28th is not good timing considering all that's going on with advice about crowds. It'll now be September 13th if possible. If any of you are near Exeter then, come along and hear my talk about How to Sell on video. More will be here - we will be changing the Eventbrite date soon as new date is confirmed.
 
For those of you who are QVC followers, our new blogs seem to have a fresh look, but have caused a few glitches! But you will find them all here each week on the QVC website 'Stories' pages.
 
 
 
Finally, Ziggy the dog is creating quite a stir - and it's always a pleasure to mention him - here's one example, posted on my Facebook page (cos that's where it's easiest to get things quickly.) I love him! He is an Australian Shepherd - a cross between a sheepdog and a german shepherd, and soooo intelligent! Great to see him when I stay with my brother's family in Croydon.
 
Anyway, am off to see my two kids and their kids on Sunday for our early Mother's Day celebrations, so fingers crossed all goes well and no cancellations. Well, life has to go on on some level, doesn't it!
 
Best wishes
 
Debs
x

Social media all listed here, both QVC ones and personal ones – keep in touch! including

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Here is the new location for my QVC blogs - https://stories.qvcuk.com/author/debbie-flint/

And here on Amazon you will find my four novels, two anthologies of short stories (with other authors) , novellas and non-fiction - go here.

 

In 2019 most of my weekly book reviews took place on the QVC blogs. Hope you can find them there.

qvcuk.com

search - debbie flint, QVC blog

 

(platform changing early 2020)

 

d

New Year, new plan!
 
Very pleased to be turning the page on 2019 - a fabulous and somewhat challenging year for me personally (hence lack of blogs on this website!). More of that below. 
 
Now , many of us make new years resolutions, I’m betting that many of you have ones the same this year as they were last year - if you’re like most of us! I’m keeping mine simple this year. Sleep more, meditate every day, & do Bodyblade regularly. I walk a lot anyway, when I’m in Devon. So aiming to walk more when I’m in London. Hereks my latest long DEVON vlog!
 
 
Plus Drink lots of water. I got the ‘zero’ water filter for Christmas. It reminds me of Penta water, the purest water I have ever drunk, (which I used to import at one stage from America) so I’m very pleased to be using this and tasting the purity again. I’m encouraging my kids to use filters for their babies as well rather than give them chlorinated tapwater. In years to come maybe they will announce what chlorine (mild bleach) does to gut bacteria, especially in youngsters. After all, it’s there to kill bad bacteria, and isn’t picky. So not drinking it on a regular basis has got to be better than drinking it, I would’ve said. 
 
Safeguards
My poor brother Glenn was very poorly just before Christmas with a water infection and sepsis symptoms and spent four nights in hospital till he had had a normal temperature for long enough - 48 hours - before they would let him out. It was lovely to get him back just in time for Christmas Eve although it meant a change of plan - rather than everyone at Glenn’s for Boxing Day as normal. Thirty family would be a major stress overload. So we spread out all over the place in different houses instead and it was nice to have him home after a bit of a worrying time. He needs to drink more water as well, and noticed the difference when I gave him some of my green drink. Another one of my musts every day for 2020 for me. All stuff I used to do years ago when I was super healthy and never got ill. In fact I’ve been more I’ll in the last three years of running the retreat (and coincidentally eating more rubbish! – Tearooms/desserts etc) than ever in my life. And getting less sleep, see below. And even if it was brought on by me e.g. playing netball in Devon - for the first time in 37 years and twisting my knee - which then needed an operation, or writing too much and getting carpal tunnel syndrome, and needing an operation… You get the picture... 
 
But whatever our woes, when you read of the other people in far more difficult situations it puts it all in perspective. 
 
There’s nothing like helping others to make you feel better.
 
Bush Fires Perspective
Wouldn’t it be lovely to help those less fortunate than ourselves, to kick off the new year? There’s a lot of news on the Internet at the moment, but none can be much more scary than the bushfires happening in Australia. I read a heart wrenching piece about the poor burned wildlife - many being looked after by so many kind people, and really hard-working charities, so I decided to give a donation. I gave it to the rescue centres one, on the link below, covering people as well as animals. If you want to donate too, do feel free.
 
New Year New Decade
And, as we pass into the new one, what a decade it was. I was very happy to have a lot of first-time experiences (TiFFTs - try it for the first time club) and memorable moments, list is on my latest QVC blog, link at the bottom of this blog. Hope yours was super as well! From seeing both kids move out then get married, helping them set up home, and mybecoming a grandmother to 2 gorgeous granddaughters. Setting up a new business in Devon with a massive house move which I did not see coming, and which would not have been possible unless my daughter had decided to move to Wales. 
 
As you may know I bought a writing retreat in a picturesque sleepy North Devon village called Sheepwash. Retreats For You has now been running via me for 3 years and I love it. We have great plans this year including expanding the vintage tea room. I am doing a little more refurbishment - including two more ensuite rooms at some stage - but everything has been more or less brought up to date now and replaced and renovated. One of my highlights was looking at a tiny little shoe with nails in the soles for durability, haRd as rock now, and missing the laces. It’s small - probably only about a size 2 - so possibly that of a child. They put them in the thatch of a new building hundreds of years ago when it was being built, apparently. Fascinating.
 
It gives me great joy to welcome writers to their full board retreat with us, even down to my love for the little things, eg setting out the breakfast table for our guests, cooking the home-made bread (thank you Panasonic), and making easiyo yoghurt! Organising everything so it is wonderful for the writers to just shut themselves away and do their writing – topics of all sorts, not just novels. But I do need to make some decisions going forward. And due to the toll all the travelling has taken on me, barely having a proper day off, I am going to look at a rebalance. Maybe reducing my London time a bit - maybe a day or so a month from later in the year - we will see. 
 
The most important thing for each of us, and I know this as well as most, is to ensure that we each get a good life balance. Don’t you agree? And whilst the grandbabies have slid into an increasingly large chunk of my life, over the last 2 years, (and fortunately I don’t have any troublesome partner to worry about!), I must start putting me first. Those who know me well, will know how I will often make sure other people are okay first and foremost. But having had a weekend of exhaustion just before Christmas, I need to redress this.
 
Sleep
 
Sleep is the most important thing for me. If I can sleep then I sleep for England! The book Why We Sleep: the new science of Sleep and Dreams, sheds light on some fascinating facts and rhymes home the need for some good shuteye. So happy there is a good mattress in both of my bedrooms (London and Devon) and I highly recommend the Sealy ones to anybody who will listen :-) (in fact there is a new today special value coming up on QVC today, Saturday 4th).)
 
Found out in the last three years that I suffer from dry eye , (It’s a thing!), and had several bouts of treatment for with antibiotics drops last year. So trying to be mindful of the time my body tells me it needs to go to sleep, and drinking lots of water, using a heated eye compress, regular eyedrops et cetera, has become the daily thing. But sleep above all is the thing that makes me feel better. And a really good green drink, I use one from Barlean’s , which a friend gets specially for me, and it makes a massive difference to my feeling of well being and just feeling on top of rather than under the weather... so I aim to drink some every day I think. Plus my regular supplements, Fish Oils, probiotics et cetera.
 
White Peril
I promised my daughter for the new year I will give up sugar... it’s my nemesis. I don’t do much else, no smoking, drinking, or addictions of any kind. I don’t really ever drink actually. Apart from a little bit of almond milk Baileys for Christmas! lol. So when I see people talking about new years resolutions (like on our presenters video funny, see below) where my colleagues say they’ll drink less, it does not resonate with me. But bring up the topic of cake, and oh my goodness then we are talking. Yes three years of tearoom goodies and homemade retreat puddings and the occasional chocolate and popcorn hour on QVC, have led to a thicker waistline, and I’m a bit sick of it to be honest. Middle-aged apron-tum! You know that feeling? LOL But I know how much better I feel when I have not eaten sugar, especially the morning afterwards when my joints in my fingers do not ache. I always feel a bit down as well, when I’ve had too much sweet stuff. And much happier when I don’t. It’s that vagus nerve connecting the brain to the gut, again. The gut-brain axis, your body’s communication superhighway. Google it. The new frontier of modern medicine, just watch - see how it changes by the end of the next decade!
 
Thank you
So this is my January blog. I’ll report back in February and let you know how I’ve been getting on. And if you made it here from the newsletter , which will now be truncated, then congratulations and thank you. 
 
Thank you to those of you who follow my ramblings on social media, (listed below for those who haven’t yet checked the boxes!) And for your kindness In humouring me and maybe participating in some of the comments and likes Etc Too, it means a lot. (nb and for those of you who share my politics, a separate blog , post election, on my home page. I had huge proportion of people share my politics, judging from the very few posts I shared during the election. But I also know that you will understand if you don’t think the same as me, and ditto in reverse. Anyway I was very proud to be involved somewhat in a very niche way last year, it was another of my personal big achievements. Plus I will be helping out this year as well in a very limited way, helping with events in Devon. Like a countryside clean up etc.j
 
Hope you are enjoying my occasional Vlogs, more this weekend if you have a look on my Facebook page et cetera, as I am away at center parcs.  I’m very much enjoying the R word, relaxation! Note to self: must do more of that in 2020. 

Have a healthy and happy one. Will try to respond to you if you reply to the email of this blog, which goes out to subscribers, and apologies if I missed some last time x there was a big response after such a big gap. I promise here on this website, they will be at least monthly, this year. Don’t forget you can catch up with my weekly shenanigans on my regular Friday QVC blogs, where I also kept up my book of the week recommendations last year. Since most are on Audible, the audiobook app, it’s been easy to look back and see how many I’ve read, and there have been many! Including Lee Child’s new one, Blue Moon. And several from John Grisham. Plus Julie Cohen, my author of the year - her ‘Louis and LouiseK has been optioned for a Hollywood movie! Well done, so well deserved. Very proud to call her mentor. Just need to get my 5th novel finally finished now!
 
biggest ambition of all, that one!
 
best wishes and look after yourself.
 
debs
ps if Xmas was tough because of missing loved ones, do look at the Good Grief Trust. They are so helpful.
XX
 
 
Useful Links and extra info: 
 
 Highlights from the 2010s
– work in Beijing for QVC including a trip to the wall of China
– bathed in the blue lagoon thermal spa pool in Iceland with my lovely friend Gill even though we didn’t see the Northern Lights
– indoor skydiving In Milton Keynes. Loved it.
– Became a medical detection dogs ambassador and did lots of fundraising and had lots of puppy love including naming my lovely sponsor dog Derek x he became a diabetes detection dog.
- had some fabulous birthday celebrations including a surprise party from my sis, and a mega 50th including medieval banquet trips with family and friends – including Craig the Jester. Made my year!
- Got a mention on University challenge as part of a question! (which channel do these three presenters work on? (Jeremy Paxman named me, Simon Biagi and I think Dale Franklin!) cool!
and so many more! See them and photographs of some of the highlights on my main Qvc Blog.
 
Bushfire emergency
 
How about donating just eg AU$18 (about a tenner) to those suffering in the bushfires down under? Koalas & other wildlife, firefighters families’ charities, community pages or general rescue centres. There is a list on the link below. Each has a link to their Fundraising site. We need to help don’t we? Which of the charities listed, will you help, even if it’s just a fiver? 
 
They all desperately need help; my Devon friend Alix comes from Australia and she told me how devastating the raging bushfires have been to the communities there. My niece Chloe, working as a yoga instructor there, sent me a b4 & after picture of the campsite they had previously stayed at , which has now been razed to the ground. Scary stuff. One couple has set up a rescue centre for koalas inside their own home.
You can’t imagine how awful it is for them all at the moment, especially with the huge scale of the widespread fires.  Takes two minutes to donate especially if you have PayPal. Just click here.

 
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MORE LINKS FROM ABOVE BLOG:
 
 

What a lot of books have been written by me and my writing gang, in the 10 years since we all hooked up. The week full of laughter and learning, in Tuscany, featuring a character called Julio dominating the doorway, much pasta, boiling weather, and delightful company, learning bridge, and how to write nails and bones. Fond memories.

 

What a lot of books have been written by me and my writing gang, in the 10 years since we all hooked up. The week full of laughter and learning, in Tuscany, featuring a character called Julio dominating the doorway, much pasta, boiling weather, and delightful company, learning bridge, and how to write nails and bones. Fond memories.

10 years later, and five of us still meet up regularly. My QVC blogs over the last few weeks have included pictures of the get-togethers in London. Well my lovely gang came down to Devon as well, to see Alex you can’t travel easily, and to reminisce. She showed us her gods which she had vanished. For the harvest festival (just in case you wondered what the photograph was!) And we talked it up how many books we had written between us. I am writing my fifth one, but I have two anthologies, Lots of short stories, and four non-fiction as well. The others are now on 16 books (Maureen, not pictured), Caroline has done published about six, and Litty has done a Masters degree in creative writing at city University and written two novels as in and is in and is on the verge of signing a deal for her first. Alex has also published a couple of levels under her pseudonym Mary Jane hello well. I’m very proud of our little gang. And it made me think – what else has changed in 10 Years?

 

years?

 

You know when you reach the stage of life when policeman are not only young enough to be your son, they’re actually young enough to be your grandson… I know, I can’t believe it either! Well anyway, you kind of get used to realising what’s important don’t you. A really good friend of mine has just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and I know she will get through it, I know she will. But we need to start looking after ourselves don’t we? I have my health check coming up in several weeks time, and without cancelling it and making it next year (which means I miss this years altogether!), It looks like I will be fat shamed. Three years of home-cooked meals, puddings, too much cake at the tea room, a bad knee, much stress, and stretchy fabrics… Mean I need to get back to reading my book. One of my main books that has been pivotal in my life is till the fat lady sings. We freedom eating means you just eat what your body once, connected as I have explained previously, some regulars may remember, to the Gut and the micro biome and the gut bacteria. It seems to me as though it would be a new frontier for medicine as and when they realise how intricately collected what we eat is, to the composition of our microbiota in the stomach, to illness.

I always feel much better when I’ve had green drink and fresh vegetables, don’t you?

 

I always feel much better when I’ve had green drink and fresh vegetables, don’t you?

 

I made the most lovely chicken soup this week, I want some more right now actually! And as the rain pours down, having had a couple of bright days here in Devon, And the weather gets colder, and all I wanted a hot water bottle! I need to avoid the cake…

 

and the weather gets colder, and all I wanted a hot water bottle! I need to avoid the cake…

 

To be continued (needs editing and photos to be added. Ed.

 

Deb

 

Hi!

Just a quickie.

Just wanted to say not only did I have a few technical web problems earlier in the year, and then lost my lovely doggie Gracie recently, but grandchildren duties took over, hence the radio silence on this blog. However!

 

I have plans to revamp ...

Firstly. Did you miss me? LOL.

Secondly. How many of you have been following my antics via my weekly QVC blog anyway?

Thirdly. Or have you kept up-to-date via my social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter?

Finally,  perhaps you have seen our regular newsletters on my retreats for you North Devon guesthouse/writing retreat page? I have two spaces left on my yoga week coming up on the 15th of July till the 19th. You don’t have to be a writer, you just need a break, someone to look after you, full board including wine at supper, afternoon tea coffee cake, hot drinks... from £98pppn all in. Yes really. Email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details. Book now tho. 

https://www.retreatsforyou.co.uk/summer-2019-newsletter/

So do take a look on my QVC blog if you want to catch up with my antics of the first part of this year… And standby for regular updates on my website again :-) it’s going to be a busy summer :-)

Best wishes

 

Debs 

x

ps  I thought this might tickle you – a post for throwback Friday, from when I was on the children’s BBC broom cupboard :-) someone posted it recently so I thought I would share it! Enjoy. PS do reply if you like my regular newsletters – do you prefer them to be weekly? Monthly? What?

http://www.thebroomcupboard.co.uk/debbieflint.html

 

 

A fabulous author who has achieved something quite extraordinary in over 90% of five star reviews on this enchanting tale.

I picked this since Claire is one of our regulars down at Retreats for You in Devon. As one of the professional writers, we look forward to her latest books and it gives us great pleasure to report on this one.

"They say three's a crowd but when Boyd moves back into the family home with his now amicably estranged wife, Vita, accompanied by his impossibly beautiful twenty-seven-year-old girlfriend, Honey, it seems the perfect solution: Boyd can get his finances back on track while he deals with his difficult, ailing mother; Honey can keep herself safe from her secret, troubled past; and Vita can carry on painting portraits of the pets she dislikes and telling herself she no longer minds her marriage is over.

But the house in Albert Terrace is small and full of memories, and living together is unsettling.

For Vita, Boyd and Honey love proves to be a surprising, dangerous thing and, one year on, their lives are changed forever...

I look at what fellow professionals say and it includes the following:

"The Last Day is an exquisitely written story of love and loss. With a poet's hand, calm clarity and true wisdom, Claire Dyer paints a picture of real people dealing with very real emotions. Turn your phone off, put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door, and curl up with this gem of a book." - Amanda Jennings, author of In Her Wake

"A tender, beautifully written book about marriage, love, grief and fear: how all can be lost in a moment, and how hope survives." - Julie Cohen, author of Together

And if Julie Cohen says it's fab, then isn't it worth a go if you're looking for a new novel to read this Spring?

Amazon's link for it is here so you can go read the wonderful feedback from reviewers - go here.

Well done Claire! Looking forward to the next one!

Other news -

We are still offering some wonderful retreats at last year's prices. Just £95pppn to come and 'just write' - meaning you can lock yourself away in a cosy room with all meals provided and absolutely no chores! 

You can look up some of the dates on our blog on our website including several with taxi included, several with a yoga session every day to stretch out those aching writing muscles, and a couple of opportunities to come. 

Writers love our 1600s thatched, grade 2 listed house in deepest North Devon, along with home cooked meals, a dash of doggy therapy, or stint in the mini home gym, or a walk in the beautiful North Devon countryside right on our doorstep. Email us for more info!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Here's a summary -

SPECIALIST RETREATS 2019:

  •  Pitch to a publisher weekend – incl talks from Harper Collins commissioning editors Phoebe Morgan (Avon) and Charlotte Mursell (HQ) March 7-11th. Includes talk and one-to-one pitch session afterwards. More info here** £459 now, £489 later)
  • Alison May  – tutored workshop (SOLD OUT June 17th-21st), Second week September 23 – 27th ) Developing Your Novel – for anyone with a novel in progress, or just starting one; incl in depth one-to-one tutorials as well as optional workshops. From £555 if you book before end March 2019. You book direct with Alison – email us to put you in touch or see more here.
  •  Julie Cohen – tutored workshop, November date just announced! November 25th – 29th  – always sells out early – please email us asap to be put directly in touch with Julie or see more here.
  • Also – May 6th – 10th  Developing Your Novel – another workshop for beginners  – tutor is experienced teacher and Jericho Writers tutor, Rebecca Horsfall. Two places already gone so be quick to email us!
  • OTHERS TO FOLLOW – stay signed up to our newsletter to get first refusal and early bird offers.
  • If you are a tutor and would like to run a week using Retreats for You, pls email us.

Best wishes

Debs

x

TIPS AND MY OWN FICTION - 

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, which is also a fabulous resource for beginners. And advanced writers!  Go here to read more.

Also - launched  in 2018, Jericho press is the new name for Writers' Workshop - and their £30 a month subs will get you all sorts of free info about how to write a novel and how to self publish. MORE HERE.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) and Goodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

 

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

 

  

FICTION

 HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

 Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback.

 Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback can be ordered from almost all bookshops. Reached no 79 in WHSmithsTravel charts.

 Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

 

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

 ‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

 The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

 'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

 

NON-FICTION

 Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – originally published in 2000. It was updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do and published on Amazon as TTFLS 2.0

It was followed a year later by Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon which introduced new concepts and latest theories on gut bacteria and the inner chimp plus six guises of Freedom Eater.

 Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Choc-Lit, UK independent publisher, gave it a revamp and put it on order in Bookshops early 2017 - published just as 'Till the Fat Lady Slims' and with a black silhouette cover, it pulls together elements of all the predecessors, and is a good place to begin if you haven't read any of it yet. Go here to get the Choc Lit 2017 Till the Fat lady Slims on Amazon or order in bookshops.

Amazon review - January 2018 - 

This is a great book and so easy to identify with the author. I have been there and reading this book was like a breath of fresh air. I took on board what was written and lost 3 pounds in the first week. I am still losing but I don't dwell on food or think about it all day which is brilliant. I feel I can get on with my life and food is in its proper place. I eat when I'm hungry and because I am hungry, I enjoy the food all the more. If you are struggling and have tried every diet known to woman - like I have - buy this book. You will not regret it. It is turning my life around and I feel so much more positive than I did.

Had a fab Xmas - did you? Just to say a very happy new year to you! I will be seeing out the final hours alongside my lovely mate Miceal, on QVC. Join us between 10 & midnight, with two smashing hours of cuddly Charlie Bears, which I of course have a fair old collection of! 

Meanwhile, I wanted to just point you to my latest QVC blog - it's my annual Review of the Year.

When you look back over the last year, what are the highlights? Mine are listed in this blog - including quite a few which will make you smile, including what has to be one of the best bloopers ever! And a funny vlog link, and some lovely memories of another momentous year. Two grandbabies, making it extra special, and there's a pic of Lauren my daughter her hubby and her bubba (turning the other way of course, not allowed baby's face on social media!) Do go and look - the QVC Review of the year blog is here. Loved being with my own two kids as well, even though they've now got kids of their own - so much changes in a year, eh!

Plus we had some lovely times at my brother Glenn's for an elongated stay over Xmas - Lolly and bubba and hubby also stayed and we took several trips out including to Ikea in Croydon where I was allowed to carry Phoebe around a bit whilst the kids looked at kitchens. They are building a lodge down in Wales and are very excited about it being finished for February. Chips off the old block!

 

So I'm looking forward to the festivities over New year with yet more family get togethers and meals - then it's full steam ahead preparing for my cruise holiday to the caribbean in Feb and unless I want a new wardrobe, a determined steam!

Book recommendations - inc John Grisham's the Reckoning. Had a bit of a lull in doing my book reviews, mainly cos of knee op and then xmas break so didn't drive around as much! Also got wrapped up in listening to podcasts more, incl political ones, since I'm a politics geek! Anyway I've got stuck into the new John Grisham and it's a good one! Go here to see it, and also to find out about some of the top books to watch out for in 2019 - including from my mentor Julie Cohen! 

Lots to do over the coming weeks, including getting all the new dates up online for my retreat down in Devon. If you're a writer or know one, do ge them to sign up for our newsletter via our website www.retreatsforyou.co.uk, as the next one is about to go out with some new dates and exciting info about upcoming events. 

Have a fabulous New year and look forward to some more regular posts in 2019!

best wishes

debs

x

ps My guest house in North Devon has spaces for non-writers too. We are mainly a writing retreat but that doesn't mean we don't occasionally have non-writers.i (£95pppn inc full board and wine at dinner!) Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to enquire about non-writing dates for 2019, and have a little look here -

- stay in touch with me via my social media - go here to see it all

- find out about all my novels and my own books, some in bookshops, some on amazon - check out all my paperbacks together! Very proud. More about my writing is here

 

 

It’s been a while due to not driving so much and being rushed off my feet with Xmas and so on, but here’s the latest novel to grace my audible app/alexa…

John Grisham is one of my ‘must-read’ authors, even though some of his more recent ones have been a bit hit and miss, sounding more like an abridged version of itself, the reviews reflecting that, very often. BUT The Reckoning seems to be hitting the mark and has made me inquisitive enough to find myself thinking about the characters in between sessions…one of the best signs that it’s a good book.

See also below for the Stylist Magazine’s ‘Books to Watch out for in 2019’ list – very glad to see my mentor Julie Cohen’s next novel firmly on that list! Plus info about our writing retreat dates for 2019.

 

The Reckoning.

John Grisham returns to Clanton, Mississippi, to tell the story of an unthinkable murder, the bizarre trial that followed it and its profound and lasting effect on the people of Ford County.

Pete Banning was Clanton's favourite son, a returning war hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbour and a faithful member of the Methodist Church. Then one cool October morning in 1946, he rose early, drove into town, walked into the church, and calmly shot and killed the Reverend Dexter Bell.

As if the murder wasn't shocking enough, it was even more baffling that Pete's only statement about it - to the sheriff, to his defense attorney, to the judge, to his family and friends and to the people of Clanton - was 'I have nothing to say'.

And so the murder of the esteemed Reverend Bell became the most mysterious and unforgettable crime Ford County had ever known

 

More on Amazon here.

 

Books to watch out for

Looking forward to revamping my book of the week feature, after a lull at the end of 2018. This was in part due to re-listening to old books, and to not driving anywhere near as much for various reasons. So apart from my Book of the Week, here’s a nice little round up care of Stylist Magazine.

2019 is already looking like being a brilliant year for ‘watershed’ books – including a long-awaited thriller, a Booker winner and breakout debuts which have already been snapped up for the small and big screens. And amongst them, my mentor Julie Cohen’s next novel, Louis and Louise. This is released on 24th January so will have a fuller review then. For now, if you’re after some stonking new author recommendations, how about the following – here’s a selection from the Stylist list, which took my fancy:

Queenie – by British author Candice Carty-Williams. Being called ‘the one to watch out for’ this novel sounds like being the best anti-heroine antidote to the social media generation with a real life tragi-comedy storyline and proper ‘uplit’ feelgood factor – I will definitely be getting this when out in April.

The Wych Elm – by Tana French. Being called ‘the most highly anticipated thriller, this one looks fascinating. Having already made her name with the Dublin mysteries (must look those up) Tana brings us this stand-alone thriller based on unreliable memories of youth in a PR guy struggling to recover from a horrible incident and a discovery in a tree. Any book Stephen King calls ‘Incandescent’ has to be a must. Out 21 February.

Daisy Jones and the Six – by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This debut has been snapped up by none other than Reese Witherspoon’s book club (Reese ‘devoured it in a day’) and Amazon for a 13 part TV series, it’s very appealing – but do you wait for the TV series? I tend to do that as I prefer to see the TV series first, since the book always has so much more detail it’s better to do it that way round, IMO. Filled with the glamour and excess of the late 70s music scene (yessss!) it’s going to be on my hit list and I hope the TV series is in 2019. Well done Taylor though – great debut.

Louis and Louise – by my mentor Julie Cohen. I am unspeakably proud of Julie and know that this book, which I have yet to read, deliberately waiting till it’s on audiobook, will be huge. This is being called the ‘thinking lit,’ and will be a top choice for book clubs everywhere this year. Out in January, be the first to recommend it to yours! ‘Two lives, lived twice’ is the clever byline, and features the same life told twice – once as a female and the other as a male hero. What difference does sex make to events in our lives? Julie explores this and will have people discussing it for days after reading it. Can’t wait. On pre-sale now.

Cape May – by Chip Cheek. Set in 1957 this book will have you transported to a different era, with shades of Mad Men and Revolutionary Road, apparently. I love the 1950s (the Marvellous Mrs Maisel is my current go to binge watch show, am on season 2) and this one looks fascinating as it’s set in a racy world of money and risky encounters… Because of the setting I would give it a go. Out end April.

The others are listed on the Stylist .co.uk website and are worth looking up if you like dystopia, quirky Richard Curtis type rom-coms and fantasy amongst others. Meanwhile, my own writing has resumed and my new year’s ambition to get my 5th novel finished is marching on apace.

 

Other news

-          Latest dates for the upcoming season being finalised on my Retreats for You website - go to the blog page to see them once they appear.

-          One more place left on our ‘Pitch to a Publisher’ weekend in March – more here.

-          Sold out of Alison May’s June dates, now a second week has been released – Sept 23-27, book soon here.

Writers love our 1600s thatched, grade 2 listed house in deepest North Devon, along with home cooked meals, a dash of doggy therapy, or stint in the mini home gym, or a walk in the beautiful North Devon countryside right on our doorstep. Email us for more info!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

best wishes

debs

x

TIPS AND MY OWN FICTION - 

Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, my basic guide can be found here - beginner's tips for self-publishing - a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on prestigious industry website, TheCreativePenn.com, which is also a fabulous resource for beginners. And advanced writers!  Go here to read more.

Also - launched  in 2018, Jericho press is the new name for Writers' Workshop - and their £30 a month subs will get you all sorts of free info about how to write a novel and how to self publish. MORE HERE.

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs.

My books - For the full list of my fiction and non fiction novels, novellas, short stories - info and links to buy them just go here. or see below.

As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) and Goodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x

 

eBooks - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five fiction titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.

 

 

  

FICTION

 HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

 Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback.

 Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy - now called Take a Chance on Me, with Choc Lit publisher available on Amazon. Paperback can be ordered from almost all bookshops. Reached no 79 in WHSmithsTravel charts.

 Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also available

 

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.

 

SHORT STORIES

 ‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for… also appears in Hocus Pocus anthology.

 The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

Also – for Hallowe’en – an anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors including many new shorts and my When Dreams Return in paperback! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.

 'Battle of the Exes', written for Valentine's Day 2015, features in 'Roses are Red' anthology of six short stories on Amazon ebook and paperback too.

 

NON-FICTION

 Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – originally published in 2000. It was updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do and published on Amazon as TTFLS 2.0

It was followed a year later by Till the Fat Lady Slims 3.0 – Tips and Tale to Inspire on amazon which introduced new concepts and latest theories on gut bacteria and the inner chimp plus six guises of Freedom Eater.

 Go here to get its predecessor (read 2.0 first) Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the When diet on amazon

Choc-Lit, UK independent publisher, gave it a revamp and put it on order in Bookshops early 2017 - published just as 'Till the Fat Lady Slims' and with a black silhouette cover, it pulls together elements of all the predecessors, and is a good place to begin if you haven't read any of it yet. Go here to get the Choc Lit 2017 Till the Fat lady Slims on Amazon or order in bookshops.

Amazon review - January 2018 - 

This is a great book and so easy to identify with the author. I have been there and reading this book was like a breath of fresh air. I took on board what was written and lost 3 pounds in the first week. I am still losing but I don't dwell on food or think about it all day which is brilliant. I feel I can get on with my life and food is in its proper place. I eat when I'm hungry and because I am hungry, I enjoy the food all the more. If you are struggling and have tried every diet known to woman - like I have - buy this book. You will not regret it. It is turning my life around and I feel so much more positive than I did.

 

Last week I had a most wonderful welcome from the ladies at the Halwill W.I. near me in North Devon. Lovely Anne Goodspeed asked me in the Spring if I would come do a talk - and decided the theme would be - appropriately - split lives. It was a very interesting talk because as I began speaking, little snippets came out that I hadn't necessarily planned to reveal, but it felt right, in that intimate atmosphere to go into details eg about my short period of depression in 2006 when my importing business folded. It was very rewarding afterwards when one of the ladies came up to me to ask about that time, as she too was just beginning a period of treatment. We compared notes and I hope to be keeping in touch with her.

I told them stuff I'd never really discussed in any great detail - that citalopram - the drug I was on a tiny dose of - gave me the most amazing 'adventure' dreams, and how normally most of my dreams are about me battling conflict. I used to go to sleep and wonder what drama I'd be in tonight! I also found it adjusted my waking times - I became an earlier riser and got sleepy earlier at night. I was doing office hours at the time so it seemed appropriate. But whilst it helped me cope with bad things, it also muted any good feelings. I called it 'citalopram neutral' and it was a very weird time. Coming off it afterwards, gradually, led to a period of at least two years before I truly felt it was out of my system. But it helped me cope with redundancies, unfair dismissal, all sorts of accusations about my business that were untrue and finishing an abusive relationship. Hey looking back it was a bit of a crap time! But I told the ladies at the WI that I have a motto - 'what can I learn from this' - so everything became a lesson. I talk a little about this concept and its effect on my life, with its connection with food firmly in the frame, in my books 'Till the Fat Lady Slims' - including some of the toughest times in my life, and have had some super responses. (When I'm asked which one to get, as there are several, I say start with the latest one, from 2017, with a black silhouette. The others are numbered so are easier to understand which comes where. Go here to see them all. And the 2017 one is able to be ordered from bookshops as it was published by UK independent Choc Lit.) I actually thank goodness for Freedom Eating, the system of breaking free from food prison mentioned in the book, otherwise I'd be a very unhappy person at the moment having got stuck on the 'wayside' as we call it. Thankfully I recognise  a temporary sugar addiction and some sub-optimal choices that have become a habit in a retreat full of temptations, and I know normal service will be resumed, rather than losing my mind over it and beating myself up over and over again like I did in the old days when the weight wasn't what I wanted.

The overall topic of the talk however, was split lives and once I'd given them the background about being a geek on the one hand and 'laaaaaah!' on the other, I filled them in on the other stuff I do - singing for charity, being a Medical Detection Dogs ambassador, being an author, and of course my new 2018 role of grandmother (it's still weird!) - but I'm happier with ME now than I've ever been, so my London / Devon split lifestyle is truly making me content.

As is seeing how my children's children are growing before my eyes.

I babysat little Blakey on Monday and she was overjoyed to be standing up on her own, including in the bath, where she splashed and had a lovely time. Then Lauren brought beautiful Phoebe - now one month old - to Devon for a few days and we had some smashing times together including a trip to Ikea whilst Nick did some work in my house. Nanny, mother, daughter, sister, friend - I've got many roles and whilst my life's never been so split, I love them all.

And I still get time on all those journeys, to read...

Book of the Week  - I've been looking forward to this one for absolutely ages. Another Jack Reacher - number 23 in fact. Well done Lee Child, you never disappoint. Free sample info and full details and full blog - here.

Over on my QVC Blog  this week, click here,  lots more sneaky peeks of the next seven day's deals - AND the new Elemis massive Xmas #TSV  bundle which looks like being the biggest ever. Go here to see my latest blog and definitely click on the Elemis link which is here is you want to go straight to it! (My next blog will be out on Friday here.)

On Facebook on my main page there have been some fabulous little vlogs of late - and a funny behind the scenes with the lovely Laura Geller and gang here. As you know all you need to do is follow my social media - see below -  in order to be the first to see stuff including top deals that may sell out early, pics of upcoming deals not on my blog, limited offers, and updates on the doggies and life in Devon.

As I| write I'm sitting in a downpour - well, not technically IN the downpour but you know what I mean. The rain is blasting the window high up in the vaulted roof in my kitchen and sounds like a symphony serenading my creativity. And I have yet to finish my novel but I'm getting there. It is, after all, NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) and it seem there's something in the air...

I may actually have time to do some writing when I'm laid up having a knee op. It's only a little one - an endoscopy (is that right?) - cleaning out the debris from a torn meniscus on my left knee. It's one of the reasons I've been less mobile for the last 18 months and that and lifestyle stresses have meant my food choices haven't been my usual ones, and it's showing. So I'll be glad to get back in shape afterwards. I'll have to get more help down here in Devon and face six weeks of rehab and physio but hopefully it'll be worth it.

anyway hope you are well and have a lovely week!

Best wishes

debs

x

Heard about our guest house down in Devon?

Retreats announced

Do go see the latest Retreats for You newsletter which sums up what's happening next year, if you'd like to pop down to a writing retreat at some point. Also there are going to be a couple of non- writers retreats too - check them out here

 

Plus - if you're able to make it down for two nights - December 10-12, why not come to a Xmas special? a wreath making afternoon class on the Tuesday, followed by the Xmas concert which I will be singing at with my super pal, county councillor Barry Parsons, on Tuesday evening, with mulled wine and mince pies in the interval. AND a final 2018 opening day for our tearooms on the Wednesday, with a Christmas theme. email us for the prices and availability - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Do it fast tho!

find out more here on the post and also on the facebook events page, more to follow soon. Tix on sale from Nov 1st.

ps My guest house in North Devon has spaces for non-writers too. We are mainly a writing retreat but that doesn't mean we don't occasionally have non-writers.i (£95pppn inc full board and wine at dinner!) Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to enquire about non-writing dates for 2019, and have a little look here -

- stay in touch with me via my social media - go here to see it all

- find out about all my novels and my own books, some in bookshops, some on amazon - check out all my paperbacks together! Very proud. More about my writing is here

 

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