…It’s that blasted alarm clock again!  Breakfast time seems to come around every twenty minutes in this house.  In summer, five am is the best time of day, when the sun is shining and the birds are singing.  It isn’t quite so lovely on a wet Wednesday in winter, though.  The first job is to feed and water everything outside – that means plants and livestock (when we have any).  We try and produce as much of our own food as we can, but that’s almost a full-time job in itself.  By daybreak, Jynx the cat has finished terrorising wood mice out in the shed and comes strolling home for breakfast.  That’s my cue to have a cup of tea and catch my breath before the children get up.  Then it’s breakfast and ‘personal admin’ in shifts – oh, for the luxury of a second bathroom!  For the next couple of hours my life is a blur of packing lunches, pouring cereals and getting everyone to the right destination, with the right kit, at the right time.  Luckily, my children are old hands at this routine.  We don’t have too many hitches, although I hope that’s not tempting fate.

I start my ‘second shift’ just after 8am each morning. Writing has been my life ever since I first picked up a pencil. If I’m not working on a Mills and Boon Modern Romance like The Italian Billionaire’s Virgin or Count Giovanni’s Virgin, then I’m developing magazine articles, or short stories.  My non-fiction appears in specialist publications, and the BBC has broadcast some of my short stories.  My writing is fuelled by gallons of tea.  Cake and chocolate feature a lot too, so plenty of snacking goes on until lunchtime.  Then I grab a sandwich, while getting the evening meal ready.  This saves time later.  Working outside with the plants and/or animals is squeezed into any spare moments before the mayhem of the school runs start again.  Then it’s the morning routine in reverse, only worse.  This time, there’s the added complication of after-school clubs, or sleepovers to factor in.  Sometimes, my gorgeous husband and I only catch sight of each other in daylight as we pass on the threshold!

We sit around the table together for a cooked tea or dinner each evening.  The number at this homespun feast varies, as does the time of the meal.  It depends who is going to be at home, and when.  We talk about what we’ve all been doing during the day, and then it’s washing up time.  There’s no room for a mechanical dishwasher in our house – just the tall, dark, handsome sort!  Then, unless there’s baking or chores to be done, we all flop in front of the TV for a while.  I love programmes on architecture, the others like science and technology, and we all enjoy ‘Time Team’ specials on archaeology.  It’s a treat to see somebody else getting muddy, for a change!

I’m usually the first to stagger up to bed, to catch up on my reading.  I love all romance.  It’s impossible to choose favourites, but Kate Walker, Penny Jordan and Anne McAllister are way up among the leaders, for me.  My husband is an avid reader, too.  Mind you, we always make sure there’s plenty of time for the two of us to relax together on a more personal level, if you know what I mean…

Christina Hollis’ Web Site

The Reviews are in:

Count Giovanni’s Virgin


Christina has a copy of Count Giovanni’s Virgin to give away to one lucky winner. Enter to win below.

Find out more about Christina at The Pink Heart Society


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