My Diary – Archive

August 2022

30th July, 2022

Well July was certainly a month to remember. I got Covid whilst on holiday in France and four weeks later am still not over it. We were almost boiled alive with temperatures over 40c– it’s still unnaturally hot for Britain – and instead of complaining about the rain we Brits are complaining about the sunshine. Not often that happens. Despite the fact that when in France on holiday myself and my companions were ill we still enjoyed it and want to go back to the same place next year if possible.
My cat is no longer a kitten and weighs over 10 lbs – more than 4 kg – and is a constant delight. He’s quite different in personality to my lovely Billy Blue who I lost almost a year ago. He is more affectionate, is never out of the house for more than half an hour at a time, and is very vocal. Billy Blue was a quiet cat. My grandson was terrified of Billy blue – he knew it wasn’t rational but couldn’t bring himself to interact with him which was a pity – because he’s known Loki from a small kitten he loves him as much as I do. If my daughter-in-law wasn’t asthmatic then I’m sure he would persuade them to have a kitten. He has a hamster instead.
On the writing front everything is tickety-boo. I do find it rather confusing doing marketing meetings about a book I’ve just handed in, promotion for a book that came out a few months ago whilst writing another one. I’m absolutely thrilled with how well my books are doing with my fabulous publisher, Boldwood. Joining them was quite definitely the best decision I’ve ever made as far as my writing goes. Duty Calls at Goodwill House came out this week and is doing phenomenally well – already has 150 excellent reviews. I can’t believe how much my readers are enjoying this series. My grandson said to me, “You’re almost famous, Grandma. I think you must be the most famous grandma in my school.” Now that’s praise indeed.
I don’t really like hot weather and temperatures well over 40°C just don’t suit me especially when recovering from Covid. I don’t often complain about the weather but we really desperately need rain. Let’s hope governments and those in power finally see sense and do something to stop this catastrophic climate change.
Until next time
Fenella J Miller

 

 

 

 

June has been a busy month.

3rd July, 2022

July 3rd 2022

I can’t believe how quickly June has flown by – it’s  been helped by the lovely weather we’ve been having. My garden is looking fantastic and I’m spending so much time out there, mostly deadheading and watering. I’ve held three barbecues – I think they might be the only three I ever have as it’s just too much faffing about for me. Next time I entertain people for lunch it will be a cold collation unless one of the guests volunteers to barbecue.
My cat, Loki, is now officially an adult cat. He is an absolute joy – very affectionate, very vocal, and funny as well. I’m going on holiday tomorrow and I know he’ll be miserable without me but he’d be far more miserable if I put him in a cattery for a week. My neighbour is coming in three times a day to feed and make a fuss of him. She is also going to water the garden twice so he’ll spend time with her then.
My third book for the fabulous Boldwood is coming out on 26 July – it’s already got literally thousands of pre-orders and thank you if you’re one of those readers who’ve done that. The fourth book – the first of three in the Goodwill House series about land girls – has had its structural edits (very little to do ) and will come out on 6 November this year. I’m already three chapters into the fifth book which has to be handed in at the beginning of October and will be out in January or February next year.
Do you like my new avatar? I look a bit windswept, but very happy, which is how I’m feeling at the moment. I can now look back my beloved husband with love

and fond memories. I’ve been making an effort to get fitter – I doubt I’ll ever get much thinner – and it seems to be working. Three years ago as I was using a walking stick because of the arthritis in my feet but I’ve found a combination of herbal products that have made a huge difference. I can now walk a mile without pain and do so most days with my neighbour and her little dog.
I hope you are all enjoying the summer – unless you live on the other side of the world – and do what Monty Don says – don’t just work in your garden but sit down with a cup of tea/gin/beer/coffee and just enjoy it.

Best wishes

Fenella J Miller

 

1st June 2022

1st June, 2022

Here we are, another month and another diary entry. Are you ready for the Jubilee weekend? I used not to be a fan of the Royal family but now find, whatever my doubts about having them, I admire a woman who works tirelessly until she is ninety-six for the good of others. Therefore, I have put bunting up as you can see. I’m looking forward to the summer – whenever we have one – my garden is looking spectacular and my brother says that he has “flower envy”. My great niece and her fiancé are coming over from New Zealand in the middle of this month – I’ve not seen him for four years and her for over two. They are getting married next year in England and I can’t wait. It’s so long since I’ve been to a wedding. Then at the beginning of July I’m going to St Malo for six days – let’s hope the Brittany Ferry we’re going on is running smoothly as there is holiday transport chaos in the UK at the moment.

I’m on the last third of my fourth book for Boldwood – the first of three in my Goodwill House series which will be about land girls – and this one is a bit different from the others. You’ll have to wait and see how. My third book – Duty Calls at Goodwill House – now on pre-order – seems to be as popular as the previous two. The best decision I ever made was to join this fantastic, award-winning, independent publisher. My only regret is that they weren’t around fifteen years ago when I first started.

I’ve made the difficult decision to stop writing Regency books – they do sell quite well but not as well as they did – and concentrate on writing for Boldwood. I’m now writing four books for them a year and I really like being part of this fabulous company. The last book in my last Regency series, An Arranged Marriage, is now on pre-order and will be out in two weeks. I think it’s the best book I’ve written in that genre for a long time.

The news is grim everywhere in the world – especially for the Ukrainians – and there’s chaos and disaster looming in the UK. His keep my head down, help those I can, and I’m thankful that I have a loving family, friends and my writing to fill my life.

Best wishes

Fenella J Miller

5th May 2022

5th May, 2022

My excuse for not posting this month’s diary on the first is that I had a nasty reaction to my second booster – but I’m thankful to be fully covered at least for the next few months. Also, the third was my birthday and who wants to be working on their birthday?
My third book for Boldwood, Duty Calls at Goodwill House, is now available on preorder and I’ve started writing the fourth book which will be out in November, I think. In future I’m writing just for my publisher – my regencies, although they are still popular with some readers, don’t have the following they used to have. It makes sense to put all my limited energy into my World War II books which are so successful. I’ve just sent my final Christmas Regency to be edited which will come out on preorder in August and the last book in my current Regency series, An Arranged Marriage, will be on preorder at the end of this month.
On the domestic front my lovely British Shorthair cat, Loki, is now flying in and out of the catflap and has learnt to walk along my 6 foot garden fence. So far he’s not falling off and has managed to return safely from wherever he goes. This cat isn’t allowed out of night as I think Billy Blue, the cat I lost so suddenly and so tragically last year, was almost certainly poisoned by something he ate on his nocturnal travels.
On the sixteenth of this month I’m travelling to London for a second time this year to attend my publisher’s first party. I can’t wait to meet the other writers will be

attending I’ll be staying overnight, but this time a Premier Inn and not a four-star luxury hotel next to the Tower of London. I’ll tell you more about that next month.
We had our first rain for weeks yesterday and I’ve discovered that my new garden furniture with waterproof cushions has not lived up to its description. The material might be waterproof but the water still got inside – I suppose I’ll have to make sure I take them inside if it rains next time.
It’s a worrying time in the world at the moment and I expect, like me, you try and concentrate on the good things and ignore the bad news. I count myself lucky to be relatively healthy, to be surrounded by loving family and friends and to be so successful in my writing so late in my life.

Best wishes
Fenella J Miller

 

 

April 2022

2nd April, 2022

Last week we were sitting in the garden enjoying the sunshine today we are shivering inside with snow on the ground. I was hoping to start buying some plants for the summer but think that had better be left until the end of the month this year. My lovely Loki has now mastered the cat flap and is in and out all day. I have to peg it open as he hasn’t quite worked out how to push the flap, but hopefully that will come. The clocks went on an hour in the UK and that meant instead of waking me up at 5:10 he now wakes me up at 6:10 – result!

The government seems to think it’s no longer a pandemic but an endemic – I think they’re wrong as that the moment one in twelve people have got Covid – and it’s causing havoc in schools and workplaces. It’s no longer a legal requirement to self isolate if you have it ,but most people have the common sense and decency to remain at home whilst they test positive. My family have had it but thankfully I didn’t catch it from them.

Three weeks ago I went to the RNA awards in London and stayed at a posh hotel near Tower Bridge and I hadn’t been to London for years – since sometime before the pandemic in fact – and it was wonderful to meet up with old friends and new. It was especially gratifying to meet my new publishers in person as well as several other Boldwood writers. A very kind neighbour looks after my cat whilst I’m away. Next month Boldwood are holding their first party – I’m going to that and lots of us are staying in the same Premiere Inn. It’s just a shame it’s the wrong side of London for me but I’m sure I’ll manage it – a friend I’ve not seen for six years is coming from Portsmouth, another one from Bath, so I’ve just got to get on with it and stop moaning.

On the writing front everything has been going splendidly. My two books with Boldwood, The War Girls of Goodwill House and New Recruits at Goodwill House both have bestseller flags and New Recruits is still on pre-order and doesn’t come out until 7 April. I’ve published the penultimate book in my latest Regency series – A Convenient Wife – and the last book will come out next month. I’m currently writing my Christmas Regency and I suppose that having snow helped me set the scene.

I’m about to start the fourth book in my Goodwill House series as this has to be handed in by July. This will be the first of my World War II books not to feature RAF or WAAF characters – the next three are going to be about land girls.

I can’t sign off without mentioning the dreadful war in the Ukraine. My thoughts and prayers are with those innocent people trapped in appalling conditions as a direct result of Putin’s unhinged behaviour. I hope that next time I write my diary the war will be over and the six million refugees can start to return to their beloved country as its slowly rebuilt with the help of Ukraine’s friends and allies.

Until next time

Fenella J Miller