Tag Archives: rom-coms

My BIG, SPARKLY Secret is out!

I have been waiting to tell you this for ages – and it’s finally time! Here it is: my big, exciting sparkly secret…

Christmas in St Ives COVER.jpg

IT’S A CHRISTMAS NOVELLA! CHRISTMAS IN ST IVES is published as an ebook on 19th October but you can preorder right now. It’s my first ever published Christmas story and I had an absolute tinselly blast writing it!

But there’s more – CHRISTMAS IN ST IVES isn’t just a lovely Christmas story set in the most gorgeous place in Cornwall, it’s also a prequel to my next novel, Somewhere Beyond the Sea which publishes in June next year. This means you’ll get to meet the main characters from the novel in this festive treat – and as the first chapter of Somewhere Beyond the Sea is included at the end of the novella, you’ll be able to read it eight months early!

Everyone thinks I write Christmas books because my novels have often been published around that time, but this is the very first time I’ve published a Christmas story and I’m over the moon with it. I’ve packed my love of St Ives, Cornwall and Christmas into this story, with a huge dose of love, laughter and more than a touch of sparkle. I really hope you’ll fall in love with CHRISTMAS IN ST IVES as I have – and that you’ll want to find out what happens to SerenCerrieKieran and Aggie next… xx

Heading home…

Well, I’m writing this at San Francisco International Airport as Bob and I wait for our flight home. I can hardly believe we’ve done our San Francisco trip!

We’ve packed so much into our six days and I’m coming home with a million ideas for Book 5. I can honestly say San Francisco has stolen my heart in ways I could never have foreseen. The neighbourhoods, the colour, the relentlessly positive atmosphere and the melting pot of cultures are a heady mix and it will take a long time for it all to properly sink in.

If you’ve enjoyed my daily Book 5 Adventure blogs, don’t worry – there’s more to come! When I get home, I’m going to post the photos WordPress wouldn’t let me upload in San Francisco and will be doing a post a day for the next week at least, so please keep watching… I’ll tell you a story about each post and hopefully bring you some of the sights we have enjoyed this week. And, of course, watch out for this week’s vlog (on Saturday), where I’ll show you some of the places we visited.

It’s been completely wonderful to visit the city Nell will escape to in Book 5. I’m going to pour everything we’ve experienced in SF into the novel, so I hope you’ll get a sense of just how fantastic the city is when my book is published in October. In the meantime, keep watching this blog!

More soon! xx

Fortune cookies, vintage trams and a sparkly end

I can hardly believe we’ve reached our last full day in San Francisco, but Bob and I are determined to squeeze every last drop of time out of our visit.

This morning we walked up from Union Square into Chinatown, the entrance to which is a large Oriental arch. When you pass through it, it is like stepping into another world. Chinese buskers playing traditional instruments sit on street corners (although one man was happily playing Clementine, Happy Birthday and Hotel California on his Huqin, which totally sums up the kookiness of this city!) Red lanterns for Chinese New Year are strung across the narrow streets and every sign is written in Chinese and English. As you cross the roads at each block, you glimpse the skyscrapers of the Financial District, which seem so at odds with the quaint Chinese-inspired frontages of the Chinatown streets. But then that’s San Francisco: distinct neighbourhoods nestled shoulder to shoulder with each other.

We visited the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie factory down tiny Ross Alley which is said to manufacture half of the world’s fortune cookies. Instead of a large building, we found a tiny, narrow unit with five ladies hand-moulding fortune cookies while a very enthusiastic man at the front showed us all the different varieties they made. I hope there’s another big factory somewhere so that those poor ladies don’t have to make all of them!

From Chinatown we walked down into the Financial District and into another world again. Now all the buildings were high rise concrete monoliths, there were coffee shops on every corner and everyone passing by was wearing expensive suits. Dominating the skyline pretty much everywhere you look in San Francisco is the distinctive Trans America Pyramid, which you can walk right by. At its base is a lovely little park planted with giant redwood trees, with sculptures and a fountain, where office workers eat their lunch or pass the time. In a city of so many contrasts, this made complete sense!

At the edge of the Financial District is the Embarcadero, with the Ferry Building looking out towards the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island and Oakland beyond. It’s really odd to see the skyscrapers right by the bay and the Ferry Building’s beautiful old architecture surrounded by palm trees. Inside the Ferry Building are lots of artisan food shops, selling everything from herbs to mushrooms, olive oil and ‘salted pig parts’! We wandered around for an hour and then took a takeaway coffee from Peet’s (a San Francisco coffe chain) to wander along the dock of the bay (yes, really!) to look at the lovely expanse of the Bay Bridge.

From there, we caught the F-line tram to travel the length of the waterfront piers. This line is served by vintage trams from all over America and beyond, that were built in the 1920s and 1930s (including one from Blackpool!). It’s not just a tourist attraction, either: people who work in the Financial District use them to get to and from work, which is a really fun way to commute and sums up the quirkiness and fun of the city.

Last thing, we hopped back on the F-Line at Market Street to go back to the Ferry Building at night to see the new light installation along the Bay Bridge. It looked spectacular, with shimmering white lights moving across its structure and reflecting in the waters of the Bay. With the lights of the city all around us, it was a breathtaking end to what has been an amazing, surprising and completely love-inspiring trip to the City of Lights. Thank you San Francisco, it’s been a blast! xx

Miranda Writes 6: A big trip and writer’s block tips!

All this year I will be documenting the writing, editing and publishing of my fifth novel, giving you a unique, behind-the-scenes look at my life as a writer. This week, I announce the third of your suggestions for Book 5! Which CUPCAKE FLAVOUR will Nell be making in the book and who will be get a thank you in my acknowledgements? I’m getting ready for San Francisco and also give my top tips for beating the dreaded writer’s block…

Your suggestions for a CUPCAKE FLAVOUR for Nell to bake have flooded in this week and I’ve been like a kid in a cake shop choosing the winner – thanks! Find out in the vlog who will see their suggestion written into the story and their name in the thank-yous!

I’m getting ready for my exciting research trip to San Francisco – and I’m so excited! In my vlog I’ll tell you the innovative way I’ll be using the trip to create Nell’s discovery of the City of Lights. I also give my tips for overcoming writer’s block, including a visit to the pub…

So here’s the vlog – hope you enjoy it!

p.s. This week’s YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, ‘Ooh for the wiiiiings…’!