Wednesday, 9 April 2014

High Days and Holidays...

It’s April and I’ve been Missing in Action for two months!

I spent all of February and a good bit of March settling into our lovely new house by the river - but that’s not all I did - as Mr JH and I grabbed a last minute ‘late deal’ to celebrate my March birthday by cruising the Caribbean.

We flew to Barbados on the new ‘Dreamliner’ plane and joined the ship ‘The Dream’ on which we sailed to ten fabulous Caribbean islands over two weeks. It was all very dreamy indeed!

A dream Caribbean cruise

Mr JH and I have always loved to travel. As soon as we met, we began planning our adventures together and spent an awful lot of time and energy saving up to fund our dream destinations. We started off with an exciting one week trip to the Scilly Isles, where we took our tent and spent every day scuba diving on eighteenth century ship wrecks. A year later we married, and then spent the next two years saving up to go to our dream destination of Barbados. In 1985 we managed it. Two years after that we went to St Lucia. While on St Lucia, we were caught up in Hurricane Gilbert but despite the winds and rain and decimation all around us, our love affair with the Caribbean was far from over.

When our three kids came along we went to Centre Parcs in the UK and Euro Disney in Paris. Then once they were a bit older, we saved up every penny we had to take them to America. We would much rather save up to take the kids to theme parks and beaches in Florida than to put in a new kitchen or buy new furniture. As you can imagine, it took us many many years to get the house fixed up!

Horton's caricatured at Universal Studios Orlando Florida! 

More than anything, Mr JH likes to scuba dive, and just like chips of the old block, two of our sons are PADI scuba diver instructors. I have tried scuba diving too, but these days I much prefer to snorkel a coral reef or to lie on the beach in the hot sun with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other.

Holidays are important to us and we have always given them high priority. We have been very lucky and have been to some amazing places all over the world, but as we’ve got older and our three lovely sons have grown up, graduated, and made their own way - it not just holidays - but travel and adventure - that calls to us.

Scuba fun!

So this year, Mr JH and I are planning to take a ‘gap summer’. Hence the new blog title! We haven’t actually retired from our day jobs yet of course, as we are both still reasonably young and we need to work, but we are fortunate to both be self-employed. As such, we have shifted our schedules to accommodate taking time out to travel before we do get too old! This will mean we will have to keep hopping home from time to time to check on things but that’s just the way it will have to work this year.

I’m hoping to use this blog over the summer months to record our experiences while we travel, so that our lovely friends and family can see for themselves what we are getting up to and share in our adventures. For the interest of my author and reader friends, I’m also hoping to chart the progress of a book I'm hoping to write this summer. ‘Love Under Construction’ is a contemporary romance novel – itself under construction – which I hope to finish and publish later this year to Kindle and paperback.

So later this month, we are back to the Caribbean: this time to the Dominican Republic – the land of waterfalls and rainforest and palm trees and beaches. I love the Dom Rep: culturally it reminds me of how Barbados was thirty years ago.

Exploring caves and climbing waterfalls in Dominican Republic

During the month of May we will be home in Scotland again, but in June we are flying off to Seoul in South Korea via Dubai to visit #2 son, who lives and works out in South Korea as an English teacher.

At the start of July we are off on an epic and exciting three month long trip, returning to the UK on the 1st October. So where are we going exactly…..?

I’ll give you a few clues. It’s a tropical island that is approx seven miles long and two miles wide. It is surrounded by the second largest coral reef in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia) and it’s in the Caribbean.

Another clue…? Well, getting there is not easy and takes a bit of time as it’s not possible to fly direct. We are flying from Glasgow to London and then from London to Miami. From Miami we have to fly to Honduras, Central America, and then we will take a small plane out to the island….

Intrigued…? Well you’ll just have to keep popping back here to my blog to find out exactly where in the Caribbean our mystery destination is....

Public Domain Map of the Caribbean:

Do please join me on this amazing adventure!
Janice xx

Saturday, 25 January 2014

January - packing up and moving on!

I know, I know…. I haven’t posted since wishing you a happy Christmas but I do have a good excuse, honest! 

Just before Christmas we sold our cottage. We’d had it up for sale for almost a year but with the house market being in the doldrums, we hadn’t attracted any serious interest. That all changed very quickly indeed just before Christmas after a lovely couple came to view, loved it, and offered to buy it straight away!

You may wonder why we would want to sell our cottage, which we bought as a derelict shepherd's bothy twenty five years ago and renovated ourselves. Well, with our three lovely sons all grown up and seeing the big wide world as theirs for the taking, Mr JH and I have decided to sell up/downscale and age disgracefully by having some adventures of our own rather than putting our feet up by the fire.

We did manage to have a fabulous last family Christmas at the cottage. But the moment January arrived we were in packing mode. So now we have packed up and moved out - our exciting adventure has begun. We have very luckily managed to find a place to stay temporarily, until we decide where we’d like to base ourselves. We have moved from our cottage in the hills to a lodge house down by the side of the river. The river is one of the best in Scotland for fishing salmon and river trout and I must admit that I do love the sight and sound of the water thundering past us - from a safe distance of course - here on the river bank!

And the writing? Well, I’m just about to start writing a new full length novel for publication later this year and I can do that just about anywhere – same goes for blogging – so if I’m not here as much as you’d like me to be with my news then please do pop over and Like my Page or Follow me on Facebook or Twitter as you’ll find me online there most days and I’d be delighted to chat and share news.

So what’s happening this week…?

Award winning 'Innovative' Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine - for which I am an associate editor – has a fabulous third issue available now to read online or to download. I like to download it to read on my Kindle Fire in full colour. Find out how to get your FREE copy HERE

January 25th is Burns Night here in Scotland and it is celebrated all over the world. I’m celebrating by offering my bestselling novel Bagpipes and Bullshot at a specially reduced price in paperback. Or you can download to Kindle at £1.90 or $3.00. A wee bargain!

Here’s the links if you’d like to check it out on Amazon UK or Amazon US. Other countries worldwide via Amazon are included in this offer.

You can win a copy of Bagpipes and Bullshot if you are my 5000th Twitter Follower! I'm close to 5K lovely follower peeps and feeling so excited about reaching such a milestone! A copy of my bestselling novel Bagpipes & Bullshot goes to Follower No.5000!

Be a Tweetheart and Follow me on Twitter!

Until next week then…..
Janice xx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Happy Christmas!

A very happy Christmas and New Year to all...!

Thank you for your blog visits and for all your lovely comments over the past year.
See you in 2014 and haste ye back!


Saturday, 30 November 2013

Happy St Andrew’s Day…!

Join the party over at Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine website today!

Over fifty million people around the globe claim Scottish decent and so on the 30th November - St Andrew’s Day and Scotland’s national day - it’s a day to celebrate everything Scottish!
Discover your inner Scot with my fun lifestyle feature over at Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine where you can Test your knowledge of Scotland’s Heritage by taking the Ultimate Scottish Quiz. In the Scots Language Test you can find out if you really know your Sleekit from your Sonsie! Then you can Kilt up and claim your tartan! Plus there are tips on appreciating your perfect dram and some exciting St Andrew’s Day recipes!

Finally, look the part with a Satire ‘selfie’..!



Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Festival of Romance - fun and celebration!

I could have floated back to Scotland on a cloud of bliss after this weekend at The Festival of Romance instead of taking an Easyjet flight. This event, held annually in Bedford England, was three days of excitement and celebration amongst romance authors, readers, and industry professionals.

It was fantastic to meet up again with those peeps I already know and to finally meet those I feel I already know so well online but hadn’t yet met face to face. It might appear weird to throw yourself into the arms of people you’ve never met in real life and practically hug the life out of them – yet it felt complete appropriate to do so when these are people I already loved!

I was in contact with lovely JB of Brook Cottage Books before and during my journey to Bedford, as I was flying in from Glasgow to London Luton and she was flying in from Belfast. She sent me a photo so I’d recognise her when we finally met – and this is us just mere seconds after we did!
Ditto lovely Carol ‘Dizzy C’ (pic below) of Dizzy C's Little Book Blog, the wonderful Kim the Bookworm and fabulous Heidi of ‘Cosmochicklitian’

On the Friday night, Linn B Halton, Mandy Baggot and Sheryl Browne and I went to a fabulous Bedford Italian Restaurant for fun, wine and pizza!
Then at the Saturday night Gala Dinner, just when I thought the festival was only about being amongst fabulous friends, it also became a celebration of our success - when Linn B Halton, Editor in Chief of the emagazine with which I'm an associate editor - was awarded the 2013 Festival of Romance 'Innovation in Romantic Fiction' Industry award for “evolving the author/reader initiative into an interactive lifestyle magazine”.

After receiving her award, Linn said: “Being nominated was a huge honour, but to actually win the award was overwhelming. As organiser of LLm I was thrilled to accept this on behalf of everyone involved. There are thirty-two contributors in total involved with LLm and it is the wide range of articles (including book reviews) that saw our hit counter tip over the 3 million mark a couple of days ago, and we are now at a staggering 3,045,639.”

Huge congratulations to all the winners of all awards at this year's Festival of Romance and thanks to event organiser Kate Allan for all her hard work - what a fabulous weekend!

Innovation in Romantic Fiction Author winner – Linn B Halton with some of the Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine team
Left to right: Carol, Heidi, JB, Linn, Mandy, Sheryl, & myself

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Halloween FREE Book Offer!

Happy Halloween Everyone!


This time last year I was launching How Do You Voodoo? - the first book in my voodoo romance series of novellas – for which I had done some intense research in the spookiest graveyard in Scotland – the Necropolis or The City of the Dead – which features in a central scene. Would you like to spend Halloween in a dark and spooky place like this…?!


Glasgow central looks grey and spooky in October!


This Halloween is launch day for Voodoo Child - the third book in my series of voodoo romance novellas.
Again, it’s available exclusively from Amazon for Kindle.   


Story synopsis: In ‘Voodoo Child’, ex-celebrity UK fashion model Nola and her handsome Haitian husband Louis are expecting their first baby. But as one precious life begins another is about to end. Louis’s beloved old Uncle Sid is dying and has declared his last wish is to see Louis and Nola’s new baby baptised on St John’s Eve – the most important event in the voodoo calendar. The voodoo isn't over yet for Nola or for Louis!
Voodoo Child Amazon Links

Amazon UK and

Special Halloween Offer!
You can download the first humorous romance in this series absolutely FREE TODAY – 31st October!

FREE Amazon Links
Amazon UK and

Have a great Halloween everyone !

Janice xx

Sunday, 27 October 2013

How Do You Voodoo? - FREE 27th to 31st October!

The third book in my series of voodoo romance novellas
'Voodoo Child' is out this week!

It’s available exclusively from Amazon for Kindle
OUT NOW! $1.55 0r £0.99p
Story synopsis: In ‘Voodoo Child’, ex-celebrity UK fashion model Nola and her handsome Haitian husband Louis are expecting their first baby. But as one precious life begins another is about to end. Louis’s beloved old Uncle Sid is dying and has declared his last wish is to see Louis and Nola’s new baby baptised on St John’s Eve – the most important event in the voodoo calendar. The voodoo isn't over yet for Nola or for Louis!  

 But what if you haven't yet read the first novella
How Do You Voodoo?
Or second book in this series
Voodoo Wedding?

Well, from TODAY and for the next FIVE days
(27th – 31st October)
I’m offering the first book in this series absolutely FREE

27th - 31st October incl - FREE!
 These are the free download links:

Other Amazon sites worldwide are included
If you have this book already...?
Feel free to share, tweet, and tell all your friends!
Did you know that How Do You Voodoo? has 25 Amazon UK reviews with an average reader score of 4.6 stars and Love Reading Love Books said How Do You Voodoo? was ‘A Five Star Read’

Voodoo Wedding - Book Two - is also available from Amazon for Kindle alongside Voodoo Child at the fabulous price of just $1.52 or £0.99p so why not treat yourself to a little voodoo romance?
 Something old, something new, something borrowed.... something voodoo!
ONLY $1.55 0r £0.99p

Have a great Halloween everyone and don’t forget
that I love to chat and I'll be on Facebook and Twitter over the next few days promoting Voodoo Child. Please RT me!