If I am honest, I never thought I would be saying those words, because after publishing The Girl on the Beach, The Truth Lies Buried and Christmas at Borteen Bay I was hit by a period of ill health. This included severe migraines, strange food allergies and an excruciatingly painful shoulder. My days narrowed into inactivity, the highlight of my day became an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. If you know me at all, this is most unlike my normal way of being.
My doctor sent me to see consultants.
For the migraines, I was tested for brain tumour, mini-strokes, MS (and this one was scary as my dad had this condition). The last consultant I saw was in danger of me asking him to marry him, (if I hadn’t already been married), because he said he was convinced I was suffering from hormone surges at the end of the menopause and prescribed high doses of Vitamin B2 Riboflavin and acupuncture. I began to feel better almost immediately on the vitamins. Still have the occasional bout of bad heads, but nothing like the incapacity I had been suffering.
For the allergies, I had lots of tests and was said to be suffering with Oral Allergy Syndrome – a cluster of allergic reactions in the mouth and throat in response to eating certain (usually fresh) fruits, nuts and vegetables that typically develops in adults who suffer with hay fever. This consultant also concurred that the changes could be wrought by hormone surges at the end of the menopause. I have an Epi Pen in my handbag, but now I’m cautious around raw fruit, nuts and vegetables, I seem to be fine.
As for the shoulder, one consultant said I needed an operation, the next one disagreed (cue almost marriage proposal x2) – I’d started to see a structural alignment therapist, Ellie, who works with the Egoscue method – designed to get your body working properly – and this second consultant wanted me to continue persevering with her sessions before any drastic action was taken – and they worked, I’m now pain free. You can read more about this therapy on Ellie’s website here.
All in all, I’m in a much happier and healthier place now, but boy what a journey and a consequent gap in my writing career!
So, after thinking I would never write again, I have a three book deal with Choc Lit and my new book is out on 18 August. I had a few dicey headachy episodes during the editing of this novel, but it’s done now and I’m very excited that you will meet my gin distiller, Graham and craft shop owner, Mandy in my fictional seaside town of Borteen.
The inspiration for this book came many years ago when I read an article about a craft gin distillery in my favourite magazine, Landscape. My husband was treated to a tour of this gin distillery for his birthday, thinly disguised as my research trip.
About Sunny Days at the Beach
From party nights at the pub to sunny days at the beach …
Craft shop owner Mandy Vanes has always enjoyed a commitment-free singleton lifestyle — in fact, she’s well-known for her wild ways in her small seaside town on the coast.
But when local teenager, Nick Crossten, turns to her for help, Mandy has the opportunity to prove she can be a responsible adult. Although things get tricky when gin distillery owner Graham Frankley comes to town with some unexpected news.
Could this mean that Mandy the party girl is finally ready to grow up?
You can pre-order Sunny Days at the Beach here.