Round Robin Bucket List

Inlay Taj Mahal

Inlay Taj Mahal

I’ve now visited the Taj Mahal twice. The first time was over thirty years ago – how can this have happened? – and it was far more relaxed than the recent trip in early 2015. Notwithstanding the increase in security measures and the huge press of people, it is one of the most amazing structures of the modern world. So, it’s in my bucket.

Me in front of Taj Mahal

Me in front of Taj Mahal

 The earlier trip was made in the hope we would be starting a family soon and the holiday was to be our ‘big’ adventure before disappearing into the nappies and night-feeds. We chose India because I wanted to visit Sri Lanka. Yes, we did go there after and it was everything I’d hoped for. The niggling wish to travel so far south started when I watched a programme about a boy and his elephant as a child. I thought he was the most beautiful human I’d ever seen and when I discovered he was probably a Tamil and the Tamils still existed, then that was on the list.
Travel has always been a huge part of my life. I love discovering the reality of the pictures, hearing the voices, smelling the smells and sitting for hours waiting for trains lost in the fog.
You’re right. that last was a lie. I hate waiting for lost trains. It is however, part of the journey.
Just as waiting for the breakthrough is part of being a writer. So, what’s on my writing bucket-list?
Well, I really don’t want to be the next JK or EL, but I would like to sell a couple of thousand. Links are below and so is the list of fellow round robin authors who’re also sharing their heart’s desire. Follow me to Beverley Bateman and then maybe test out one or more of the others. We love to have you visit and really appreciate a wee postcard to say you’ve been. Tell us what’s on your own bucket list. All good wishes, Anne Mariah’s Marriage UK Mariah’s Marriage US Bella’s Betrothal UK Bella’s Betrothal US


Christine Campbell Fascinating I Am

Christine Campbell

Christine Campbell







Christine Campbell, novelist, Women’s Contemporary fiction is the first Fascinating I Am subject of 2015. welcome to Novels Now, Christine.

First of all, I have to say, “What a heading to live up to!” I doubt if ‘fascinating’ is an adjective often used of me — but I like it!

Fascinating Fact One:

I don’t have a favourite colour, book, song, child or grandchild.

Just as I love different colours for different reasons because they are all different, so it is with books, songs, my children, and my grandchildren. I think it is amazing how love stretches and deepens. When stretched, it doesn’t get thinner so it can go further. It just grows and makes it possible to love more.

Fascinating Fact Two:

When I was approaching forty, I decided I’d like to trace my birth father. The only thing I knew about him was his name because it was on my birth certificate.

We only met once, so I didn’t recognise him when I found him.

All those years ago, he saw me, but, since I was only ten days old and asleep at the time, I missed the opportunity to see him.

The best thing to come out of it was, when I found him, I also discovered I had a half brother and three half sisters. I feel very close to the oldest of the sisters, and our brother, in particular. Once again, love grew and made room in my heart to fall in love with them too. Things didn’t go so well with the other two sisters, as they resented my ‘intrusion’ into their lives and rejected the sisterly love I offered.

I have been able to draw on the methods I used to find my father in some of my writing. Especially in Family Matters, my first published novel.

Fascinating Fact Three:

There is a theme that recurs in some of my novels, related to the search for my father, and that is my fascination with missing people, tracing people, and finding people.

I have five published novels.

Having always loved books and reading, it is a tremendous thrill to have my own books there on my bookshelf alongside some of my favourites. (Still don’t have A favourite! )

Fascinating Fact Four:

I am 26 years old.

I know, I know, my oldest child is well into his forties, and I have ten grandchildren, but, in my heart, I’m 26 years old.

I don’t intend getting any older, no matter what age I look, no matter the walking frame, the poor hearing, the poor eyesight, the poor health. I am rich in so many other ways.

At a cuddly 4’11’, I’m also tall, slim and beautiful.

Fascinating Fact Five:

I am totally addicted to chocolate.

So there you have it: fascinating is still not an adjective you’ll probably want to use to describe me 🙂


Christine is the author of five novels: Family Matters, Making it Home, Flying Free, Here at the Gate and her latest release,

Searching for Summer

Searching For summer is the first novel in The Reluctant Detective Series.

Searching for Summer

Mirabelle’s daughter, Summer, disappears one Friday night, and Mirabelle would dearly love to rewind that day and live it differently. Instead, she is left not knowing if Summer is alive or dead, went of her own accord or was taken against her will.

Casting all other concerns aside – food, sleep, work, relationships – in her desperate need to find the answers, she takes to the streets of Edinburgh in search of Summer.

Searching along wynds snaking behind old buildings, through ancient doors and tiny spiral stairways, showing Summer’s photograph to everyone she meets in shops, museums and nightclubs, Mirabelle becomes a reluctant detective, gathering clues, trying to make sense of them in order to find her missing daughter.

Set in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland,

“Mirabelle loved living in Edinburgh: loved the atmosphere created by a city whose main shopping street looked across the road to a castle, Edinburgh Castle standing guard over Princes Street, its severe façade softened by the gardens skirting it, the gardens themselves cocooned from the bustle and noise, folded into their own tree-lined valley, with paths dipping into and out of its depths.

She knew the adage, Edinburgh was ‘all fur coat and nae knickers.’ She was well acquainted with its underbelly, its darker side, saw its dirty linen, but loved it anyway.”

Mirabelle leads us through the streets of Edinburgh, up hills and through wynds, into parks and garden, and hidden courtyards. We get to see Edinburgh and Mirabelle at their best and worst as Mirabelle searches for her daughter — and keeps finding other people.

Searching for Summer

Available to buy now

on Amazon

Wolf Hall, or throwing some light on the subject

A new blogger in historical romance, April Munday, says this about darkness and light.

A Writer's Perspective

Like many others I’m really enjoying watching Wolf Hall on the television, but I don’t want to write here about the wonderful acing, or the fantastic buildings, the amazing script or the many beautiful objects on show, although it has all those things. I want to write about the candles.

Most period drama would have you believe that houses in the past were as well-lit as they are today when the household gathered to talk or to eat or to do anything else at the end of the day. I think Cranford is probably the only one prior to Wolf Hall that showed people depending on candles for light after nightfall and gave the viewer an idea of what that means.

Wolf Hall has had two memorable, for me anyway, scenes showing candlelight. In one scene Cromwell’s sister-in-law is putting out candles in the room where he is sitting reading…

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That Dream Date

Harlequin Mills & Boon writers are describing their Dream Date here:

It’s the week leading up to Valentine’s and everybody in the romance world is well aware of it. If they aren’t overdosing on how to work the Fifty Shades thingy into any and every post, then there’s all the rest.

Red roses, lingerie, perfume – or perhaps we need to call it fragrance…

So what was my perfect date?

Curiously, it’s a question I find hard to answer. Less curiously, that’s no bad thing in my book. DH and I have been blessed by many a lovely evening.

One that came to mind recently, however, was created for our wedding anniversary by our daughter and her friend. Aged twelve or thirteen, they set up a dinner date at home. They cooked using ingredients bought by the ‘other’ mum and for which I have the Sainsbury’s bill. They poured us G&Ts which neither of us has ever favoured, but hey, they saw it on tv. They washed up.

In the midst of the ‘children’ years, it was sublime.

So, what was your dream date? What is your dream date? There might be a dislocation.

Essence of…

Mirror work

Mirror work


The essence of a book is sometimes captured in a few words.

MARIAH’S MARRIAGE While Tobias, Earl of Mellon begs Mariah not to quarrel, the reader knows there’s a promise of lots to come:

“Oh, Mariah, let us not quarrel. We will be married within the month. At least your papa’s house contains plenty of books. You may practise throwing them.” anne stenhouse Mariah’s Marriage UK Mariah’s Marriage amazon US

BELLA’S BETROTHAL Charles’s frustration over Bella’s intransigence is very clear in this short extract: 

 …a solitary figure ahead among some gorse and shrubs. Charles thought she made a beautiful picture in her riding habit with the exquisite hat Jenny Menzies wished to inherit. He thought the girl might get it sooner rather than later if he followed his instincts. At that precise moment, he wanted to shake Bella hard. Then he would lock her in the castle in Strath Menzies and hold her forever. anne stenhouse Bella’s Betrothal UK Bella’s Betrothal US


Mills and Boon Masterclass

Mills and Boon are running a masterclass in Paradise Road on 28th February. Price is a hefty £195, but maybe if you live in London that looks like a snip.

Details are here:

I once attended one of their days in Newcastle and found it useful and fun. If you go do report back and tell us all.