Happy, Grateful and Enjoying Being Back At The Writing Desk #writing #reading #romanticfiction

Word(s) of the Month(s) Joy and Gratitude

This month’s post is a wee bit of a cheat as I didn’t write an April post so this one is doubling up to cover both April and May – hence there are two words of the month.

The reason for April being a no show here on the blog is a good one, and it’s also the reason I chose the word JOY to sum up the month. And what was that reason? It was the joy of having some full on family time.

Yes, for the last month, here at the Stormont residence we have had some very important visitors in residence. The Australia dwelling daughter, son-in-law and their two children – our granddaughter (age 11) and our grandson (age 9) – were back in Scotland for a visit. Due to Covid getting in the way this was their first visit home in 6 years and me and Mr Anne hadn’t seen them since our trip to Australia a year ago.

So, safe to say, everything else in my life, including writing was put on hold for the duration. We had such a good time together – catching up, sightseeing in Edinburgh and other places as we showed the children parts of their Scottish heritage, and just generally making new and special memories.

One of the most memorable moments was when Australian granddaughter and grandson met our other granddaughter, their Scottish cousin (age 3), for the first time – such a special moment.

I was also moved and impressed to discover Australian granddaughter writes a journal, and grandson loves writing stories. Definitely gladdened my writing heart.

We all had so much fun together, catching up and making new memories. It was magic and yes, so very joyful.

And now that our visitors are back home in Australia and I’m left with those lovely new memories for which I’m truly grateful. So GRATITUDE seemed like an apt choice for May. I’m feeling grateful for my whole wonderful family, both immediate and wider, for my amazing friends, for the beautiful part of the beautiful country I live in and for being able to work at my dream job as a writer of contemporary romance novels.

And on the subject of writing, it’s good to be back at the desk once more…


I must admit I had to re-read the 24 chapters I’d already written in the work- in- progress just to remind myself of the story so far. I actually enjoyed the read (which was a relief) and it’s so good to be back with my two main characters – Scottish farmer Aidan and Lori an Australian visitor who is staying in one of the farm cottages. Their journey to falling in love and admitting their feelings for each other is a tricky one but they’ll get their happy ending, I promise.

I’m planning for this book – working title, Happiness Cottage, to be the first of a series set in the Scottish Borders. And I have lots of ideas for the subsequent books already. All in all the writing is as always exciting, joyful, challenging, and blooming hard work. But I do love it and, as I said, I feel so grateful to be doing it.


Despite everything else that’s been going on, I have still managed to find some time to read. There have been a mixture of genres – romance of course but also non-fiction and, most unusually for me, science fiction.

And it’s the science fiction one that I’ve picked as my book of the month. It’s The Space Between Us by Doug Johnstone. It was a magical, uplifting and thought-provoking read and I loved it. I loved it so much I gave it to my husband to read, he loved it too. It then went off to Australia with my daughter – her verdict will arrive in due course.

From the back cover:

Connecting will change everything…

Lennox is a troubled teenager with no family. Ava is eight months pregnant and fleeing her abusive husband. Heather is a grieving mother and cancer sufferer. They don’t know each other, but when a meteor streaks over Edinburgh, all three suffer instant, catastrophic strokes…

…only to wake up the following day in hospital, miraculously recovered.

When news reaches them of an octopus-like creature washed up on the shore near where the meteor came to earth, Lennox senses that some extra-terrestrial force is at play. With the help of Ava, Heather and a journalist, Ewan, he rescues the creature they call ‘Sandy’ and goes on the run.

But they aren’t the only ones with an interest in the alien … close behind are Ava’s husband, the police and a government unit who wants to capture the creature, at all costs. And Sandy’s arrival may have implications beyond anything anyone could imagine…

Other Book News

In other book news two of my lovely writer friends have new books out/about to come out and I can definitely recommend both of these contemporary romances to you.

The first one is Escape to Bellbird Bay by Maggie Christensen and will be published on 11th May (the Kindle version can be preordered now)

From the back cover:

When successful university lecturer Alison Wells’ life unexpectedly falls apart, she follows in her brother’s footsteps and escapes to the coastal town of Bellbird Bay on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Neil Simpson loves teaching and his position as principal at a prestigious boys’ school in Brisbane. But when scandal rocks the school, and he learns his father’s health is failing, he has no choice but to return to his hometown of Bellbird Bay.

Determined not to be a burden to her brother and his new partner, Ali is considering her options when her world and Neil’s collide. Having avoided commitment all her life, Ali is unprepared for the force of her attraction to the man who is trying to come to terms with the upheaval in his own life.

As fate conspires to keep them apart, can this small town work its magic on these two lost souls?

And the second one is Watching from the Wings by Christine Webber and is available now as a paperback and as an ebook.

From the back cover:

Watching From the Wings is a heartwarming tale of devotion, friendship, joy and passion, but also one involving disappointment, duplicity and betrayal. We all have our own journey of love. Katharine’s is more complex than most. And she comes to realise that she has always chosen the wrong door whenever she had the chance to exit by a more promising one. At the age of 62, can she make a fresh start, or is it too late?


It’s indeed good to take time to reflect, to feel the joy and gratitude in life and to use it to build resilience for when times get tough as they inevitable do. It’s one of the reasons that, as it says in the main headline for this put-it-in-writing blog of mine, that I include reflection, along with writing and reading in all of my posts.

And that’s it for this month. But before I go I just want to add my gratitude to you. Thank you for visiting my blog and for taking time out of your day to read this post. I really appreciate it.  As always feel free to comment below, including sharing what brings you joy and/or gratitude.

Thank you again for reading!


And don’t forget, if you want a more intimate round up of my current writing such as updates on the work-in-progress, sneak peeks at same, early notification of publication dates, giveaways and lots more, do sign up for my author newsletter. And when you do you’ll receive A FREE BOOK of some of my romantic short stories as a thank you. Just click HERE and fill in your email address. 


My latest novel is contemporary romance Baby Steps.

Baby Steps is available as an ebook and as a paperback and you can buy it HERE

If you’ve read it already please do consider leaving a review at the buy link above. Reviews no matter how brief are so helpful and I appreciate every one.

To find out more about all of my books just go to the BOOKS page HERE on the website.

4 thoughts on “Happy, Grateful and Enjoying Being Back At The Writing Desk #writing #reading #romanticfiction

  1. How wonderful, Anne to have your family from Australia visit you. I’m sure you thoroughly enjoyed it. Those grandkids grow up so fast! Happy writing and reading. . xo

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