Tuesday, 23 July 2013

I Wrote it My Way - Emma Calin

Today I am delighted to welcome Emma Calin who describes herself as a woman eternally pedaling between Peckham and Pigalle, in search of passion and enduring romance!

Born in London in 1962, she now lives part of the year in the UK and spends the rest in France. She has been writing since childhood and has won numerous local, national and international prizes for poetry and short stories.
Emma enjoys writing love stories firmly rooted in social realism (as do I!). She blogs about the contrasts in life on both sides of the English Channel, which she likes to explore on her tandem whenever weather and fitness coincide. Like me, she is a Lifestyle Contributor on Loveahappyending Lifestyle.
She explains:

'I have never been able to write about anything completely imaginary. I admire writers who can create worlds, magic or supernatural beings. I think I would have been very much at home with the books of the 1950s/60's such as “Room At The Top” by John Braine and “Saturday Night And Sunday Morning” by Alan Sillitoe.  These were “angry young men” writers. Both pop legend Morrissey and  group the  “Arctic Monkeys” acknowledge the influence of Sillitoe. Another influence was “Last Exit To Brooklyn” by Hubert Selby jnr. All of these books are social realist accounts of life either at the margins of society or among the proud working class. Social and class structures have changed since then. In the UK, there is no longer a stable blue collar class. Globalisation has swept away the certainties of that period. However, this was my childhood.

In writing the five units of  my newly launched Love in A Hopeless Place Collection  I have tried to catch the spirit of people who work manually in low paid jobs. I have followed a completely haphazard career path among such situations in order to write about them. The colour and resilience of these characters has always overawed me. My stories are a very humble tribute to some genuine true life heroes. The title does indeed come from the Rihanna track because it plays on a car radio in one of the novelettes in the collection. It also reflects the sentiment of the series. I have commented before that the only hopeless place for love is in a cold heart. There are few of those in this collection.

 Each of the five titles in the collection is available as a stand-alone e-book for Kindle, iPad, Android, Mac, PC etc.  on Amazon Worldwide:
Or you can save money and buy the complete 'boxed set' Love in a Hopeless Place Collection 
I would like to thank Miriam for having me on her blog as part of my 'Blowing My Own Trombone Book Launch Blog Tour'. If you would like to find out more about the books in my collection, see some excerpts and even hear me play the trombone.... (yes really!)'
Emma, it is very exciting to have you visit and always fascinating to know more about what inspires writers who are so different from each other. If you take a stroll through Miriam's Ramblings you will see what I mean. What leads authors to their chosen genre and style?

Thanks Emma!
Emma tells me that during July and August, ANGELA, the short story from the collection is FREE – so you can even try one before you buy! Emma will also be having a Summer Sale –  ALL books in her portfolio for 99c/76p/89€ until the 1st August. Such a bargain!

If you'd like to know more about Emma and her books, she will be guesting at the following blogs during July:

17 July Anneli Purchase
20 July Sheryl Browne
21 July Nicky Wells
26 July Patricia Sands
27 July Stephanie Keys
28 July Linn Halton

Emma Calin Links:

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Sunny Surrey Summer Wedding!

Yes, sunny and warm!  Our daughter was married on Saturday, possibly the sunniest weekend of the year so far!! Wedding days are known for being special, and I am biased because it was a family event, but this was truly magical and dreamlike, a Midsummer Night’s Dream. 
My guess is that most guests were feeling sun-deprived, so for that rarely seen ball of yellow light in the sky to shine, was the top layer on an already generously-iced cake. We British can be forgiven for mentioning the weather a few times and it was so surreal I felt I must share it with you.

The venue, a Queen-Anne style country house in the Surrey Hills called Barnett Hill, provided the perfect setting for what we wanted. It was winter when we (when I say ‘we’ this means our daughter, her now-husband, my husband and me) first visited the hotel, the gardens looking bare.

Tension slowly built up to the tune of violins and cello as we waited for the bridal party to enter; broken by the appearance of the chief bridesmaid (daughter) with 19 month-old flower girl (granddaughter) who stole everyone’s hearts; and eventually the arrival of the beautiful bride on the arm of her father who was in tears; the vows, the oohs, the aahs, the sighs and small chuckles …
The string quartet then continued outside on the terrace as we enjoyed canap├ęs and bubbly and the photographer unobtrusively took hundreds of pics. Now, out in the open air, the relief and release was palpable. In the loveliest summery surroundings you could wish for, we could breathe again and relax – it was happening, this was real, this was wonderful. The sun was bright and everyone was exceedingly happy, glasses clinking, eyes twinkling.

The speeches were funny and tender; there were good jokes and some so bad they were great, and many heartfelt expressions of love, thanks and gifts.

We overran but in a good way – we were all having such a good time, so the evening people happily mixed and mingled without us until we all came together.

With the flower-girl long since safely tucked up in her cot, and the cake ‘cut’, the bride and groom had their first dance and some serious partying began – dancing to a six piece band. But the layout of the hotel was such that various other rooms were available, to say nothing of the garden, for chatting, ambling and, making it all very personal, leafing through some amazing photo albums of the bride and groom.
Sunday allowed us an al fresco breakfast we had not even thought would be possible. By half-past nine we wondered if we could take the heat!


How lucky were we?  Had I read this in a romantic novel I would have decried it as totally unrealistic!