Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Unscrupulous people


All week I have been trying to find a topic for the blog this weekend and then something happened on Thursday evening which I realised today would make a good post.

This week I had someone attempt to scam me. This person replied to an advert I’d posted as I was selling a sofa. She was keen and told me that because of health issues she couldn’t leave the house so would arrange for a courier to pick it up and would pay me via Paypal. She asked me to send me a few more pictures. Happy with the pictures she asked for my PayPal details and sent me a payment. My alarm bells started to ring when I saw the email from Paypal with over double that amount. I contacted her, to give her the benefit of doubt to ask why she had paid so much and why I was being asked to pay £98.00 to the Western Union, the money was apparently on hold until I’d paid. She replied to say that the courier was insisting that she pay upfront through the Western Union and due to her health issues couldn’t get out to pay it – so she had put in extra so I can pay it online. Do I look stupid? I send the fake Paypal email to and to the online fraud squad and told her in no uncertain terms what I thought of her.

I can’t understand how people can try to cheat people or use other people for their own use. I happen to believe that you should always treat people as you would want to be treated but for some people there doesn’t seem to be any consideration for how another would feel as a consequence of their actions.


Claudine, is one of the characters in my book Is this Love? is an extremely selfish woman who is only concerned with herself and uses people in order to get what she wants. Her ruthlessness sets off a train of events which has a ripple over the lives of many people. This is a character that I can’t find it in myself to like no matter how much I try.

Is this Love? starts with Claudine Beecham dumping our male lead Theo who is frankly rather relieved when he gets over his initial shock but yet a few days later she worms her way back into his life. Claudine is a cold woman, who is driven by materialistic values. Theo against his better judgement gets back with her, convincing himself that he can make it work, even if he can’t convince the people around him. Eventually, Theo realises that not only can he not cope with the relationship but he actually can’t stand the woman but before he can make a break she springs a shock on him that changes his life. But her deception doesn’t stop there, and her lies almost destroy Theo.

Check out this short excerpt from Theo’s perspective:

When Claudine arrived, I took her straight to my room to guard my privacy. That was my second mistake of the night and as I was about to discover, mistakes, like everything else, come in threes. Claudine greeted me with a hug.

“I’ve missed you terribly,” she crooned into my ear in a crude attempt at seductiveness.

I pulled back, “It’s only been a weekend.”

“Enough time for you to hook up with a tart,” Claudine bit out; her tone dripping acid.

I rushed to Gemma’s defence, “She’s not a tart but I fail to see what business it is of yours.”

“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean that, I’m just jealous.”

     What is going on here?

“Theo, I made the biggest mistake of my life.”

I regarded at this woman who I’d spent the last two years with. I did still retain a soupçon of affection for her. She threw herself into my arms, clinging to me with tears in her eyes. Vulnerable and whispering “I love you Theo.” I still had no intention of changing my mind. Her lips pressed against a sensitive area on my neck, which never failed to elicit a response. She rubbed her warm, soft body against me and God help me, but I’m a man and my body responded automatically. My third mistake was only recognised as such when two sated, sweat-soaked bodies pulled apart to lie back. It was then that my brain kicked in, pissed off at the malfunction created when my cock had pressed the override button, which could have averted this disaster.

She clung to me like an octopus, arms thrown over my naked chest, legs wound around mine, anchoring me in place.

“Thank you for giving me another chance,” she purred and gave me with her most dazzling smile.

Tell her! The voice screamed inside my head. How can he? How about this? ‘Claudine, the sex was good but…or better still, sex was mediocre but it doesn’t mean we’re back on.’ See how easy that was?

I couldn’t be so callous. No doubt Jake and Cass would despair of me, sometimes I despaired of myself. I had no choice. I had to forget about sex with the gorgeous blonde with legs that went on forever and just get on with things as they were.

Thus began my fourth mistake and as they go in threes, it was reasonable to expect two more.

JPG Kindle Cover

Click here to pick up a copy of Is this Love?

Do you want a sneak peek at Claudine’s profile?

Continue reading “Unscrupulous people”

Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Round-up​ of the Week


News from around the world

Something a bit lighter today.

North and South Korea joined together to compete under the same flag as the women’s ice hockey team competed against the Swedish team. The Swedish team beat them 3-1.

News from London

Serial sex attacker John Worboys is believed to have been moved back to HMP Wakefield in West Yorkshire prison having been moved from HMP Belmarsh in south-east London.

Worboys was jailed for a minimum term of eight years in 2009, convicted of 19 offences. Police believe that he may have committed over 100 rapes and sexual assaults. The parole board announced last month that Worboys would be released from prison. Sir Brian Leveson and Mr Justice Garnham will consider whether to allow the mayor of London and two of the victims’ to apply for a judicial review.

I’m a believer that when someone has served their sentence they should be allowed to re-enter society, however 9 years for 19 confirmed assaults, really? Crimes of this magnitude, on this scale, should not allow the perpetrator to see the light of day ever again. That equates to about half a year per victim – or at least all those he was convicted of. When the victims get to live with the effects of the abuse forever then so should the perpetrator.

My News

It’s been another busy working week which has taken up most of my energy and concentration, so much so that I forgot to take my disk lock off my motorbike when I left work on Monday. Needless to say, I ended up lying on the floor in the carpark and my bike suffered a broken mirror. We were both ok though despite the “lovely” gentleman who pulled up in front of us, looked at me and then drove off without even ascertaining whether I was alright.

Managed to get a gym session in, need to step these sessions up though in order to start my training for the half marathon.

I have started redecorating my living room, this is going to be a slow process with so little available time, I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed doing this.

I’m currently reading, and enjoying, “Banker’s Town.” by Joel Hames.

Writing News

This week hasn’t seen too much writing but I have added a little bit more to Illicit Love and I’m getting very excited about where it’s going. If you want to find out a bit more about this series.

Click here to pick up a copy of Is this Love?

Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

What are the key ingredients that make a good love story?

Yesterday I asked the question on Twitter and Facebook what do people think are the key ingredients that make a good love story. The genre ‘love’ comes in many sub-categories now but the basic elements of a good love story should always be the same whether it be historical, contemporary, paranormal or any other in-between.

A couple of weeks ago I released a new novel, a love story which although set in the early noughties is still contemporary. The table below shows the results of the question I asked and as you can see Is This Love? has all the key ingredients that make a good love story. This story isn’t fluffy and light, the love isn’t all hearts and roses, in fact, it’s positively gritty as the characters are hewn from real life not carved from alabaster.

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Check it out for yourself.

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Read the first two chapter #free here: 


Books, Life, Self-publishing

Round up of the Week

 Round up of the Week


Five rescue helicopters were sent to a mountain range in the Austrian Alps when a group of six climbers appear to have fallen together, five of whom were tragically killed and the other seriously injured. The injured person was flown 80km away to Salzburg hospital.

Me: My thoughts and prayers go out to the survivor and to the families of the deceased.


Notting Hill Carnival have released Doves as a tribute to those who died in the Grenfell Tower and the opening ceremony saw the single Bridge Over Troubled Water performed. This is the 51st Notting Hill Carnival and at 15:00 the sound systems were turned off for a minute’s silence.

Me: A beautiful tribute by the community for the tragic loss of so many people.

My World

What a week! I’ve had a lovely week off on annual leave and have managed to get a lot done during that time at home and then on Friday I travelled to Doncaster where I met up with my friend Su (Aka Rose English). Su’s lovely sister Sandra put me up in her beautiful home for the weekend with her two adorable new kittens. Friday night we went for an Italian and then Su and I went to visit her mum Sheila who is real treasure.

On Saturday Su and I drove to Bradford for the second UK Indie Lit Festival which was held in Kala Sangam and I’ve heard that our visitors were in the region of 300 people. This achievement is down to the hard work and tenacity of Dawn Singh who was helped by some other amazing people and an Indie Army. This day wasn’t a fabulous day for me for selling copies of my books but it was an amazing day where I was able to catch up with friends, make new ones and enjoy the buzz created for the day. I later found out that one of our avid readers had our books adorning her nails – shout out to Rainne Atkins.

Later that night Su, Sandra and I settled down to watch Beauty and the Beast film eating Chinese and drinking Rose wine. What a lovely day.

Sunday I caught the 10.36 train from Doncaster and had the pleasure of sitting at a table with a lovely young boy, eight-year-old Thomas and his father Stephen. The plan had been to write but I was swept up by this young boy who was so friendly and delightful – until the sugar rush kicked in – no seriously he was a bright boy and it made my journey so much more pleasurable. After finding out that I write, Thomas asked me if I write for children when I said no he asked me if I would because he wanted to read one of my books. His other option was that he would read A Boy from the Streets when he’s an adult. I wish the world was made up of more charming eight-year-olds.

My Word

As mentioned above I have been to an Indie Book Festival where I sold a couple of books and had a blast. This week has been spent formatting and doing the last proofread for Is this Love? and I have also posted a picture of the new cover which I am incredibly happy with.

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Congratulations to Beverley Ann Hopper who is the winner of the August newsletter e-book prize and will be getting a copy of Crimson Moon by Sherri A Wingler. A fantastic read.



Speak soon

Maria x