Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

July 8, 2013

It's a book! Announcing my exciting news ....

Hello! Wow, it's been a very, VERY long time since I posted here. So long, in fact, that I'm surprised Hot Cross Mum hasn't run off to join the circus. But, there is very good reason for my neglect and absence because I have been hiding away, writing novels and, as anyone who has followed my musings here will know, this is what I always, always dreamed of doing.

A lot of words have been typed since I started this writing adventure of mine four years ago – hundreds of thousands of words, in fact, and far too many to actually count, and it all started here, back in 2009 when I finally plucked up the courage to press 'Publish' on my first blog post. I've had such fun writing Hot Cross Mum and while my boys (now aged 7 and 5) may not exactly thank me for it in the future, I'm so glad I chronicled the trials and tribulations of family life as I struggled to adjust to life away from the boardroom and chased my kids around the garden while I chased my dream of being a writer.

And finally - FINALLY – I am able to write the five words which I have always wanted to write - 
While some of you may have already seen me blurting this out on my new blog, I had to come back here, to where it all started, to also share this news and close a chapter, so to speak. 
I am just SO ridiculously happy to say that I have a two-book deal with William Morrow (HarperCollins) who will republish ‘THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME’ next April and will also publish my second novel ‘DAUGHTERS OF THE FLOWERS’ sometime in early 2015.
There is so, so, SO much I want to say about what this means to me and I owe a million thanks to tonnes of people for supporting me, cheering me on and calmly dealing with my various writing dramas, and I will try and express all that on my Whims and Tonic blog over the next few months, as I blog about my path to publication.
For now (if anyone even reads this blog anymore!) I just want to say a very big thank you to everyone who read, commented and nodded in understanding at my posts here. It helped me realise that I wasn't losing all my marbles and that perhaps, if I stuck to this writing malarkey long enough, I might just get there in the end. It's been a bumpy old, twisty turny road, but then again, no journey is ever that interesting if it just goes in a straight line and although I wasn't always sure if I'd taken the right turn, I just had to hope that I was heading in the right direction. As it turns out, I was!
And because I don’t think I can express my joy any better than this brilliant image which I found recently, I will now leave Hot Cross Mum in peace, raise a large gin and tonic and give you this …

Please continue to follow me on Twitter @HazelGaynor or over at my new blog


January 15, 2013

A Grand Adventure

Where would you go and what would you do if you could have a grand adventure anywhere in the world? This is what the people at are asking in a competition to win £1,000. All you have to do is say where your adventure would be and how you would be frugal in order to make your money last.

'Hmmm, a Grand Adventure,' I thought - definitely a question for my two boys, who visit any number of exotic locations in their imaginations on a daily basis. So, I sat down with them both and while my five-year-old didn't appear to be all that interested when he realised that a trip to the moon probably wasn't possible just yet, my young seven-year-old Indiana Jones was full of enthusiasm. Here is what he suggested for his 'Grand Adventure'.

'I would love to go to South America. First, to Brazil to explore the Amazon. I would go looking for a few different animals that I am interested in, like a jaguar.' [at this point, he runs off to grab his World Atlas and returns with the page for South America]. 'OK,' he continues, in a very serious voice, 'so, I would also like to go looking for anacondas and maybe see a toucan. We could camp to save money - although rattlesnakes might go into your tent so you'd have to be careful. And I might like to go and see a gold mine [random, but why not?]. And I would like to go to Machu Picchu and explore inside it. I think that is where the Incas lived a long time ago. [I explained to him at this point that you have to do a very long trek to get to Machu Picchu. He was OK with this, although I suspect that there would be requests to be carried on shoulders before the car park was out of sight]. Oh, and it would also be great to go to Rio to see the Olympics in 2016 and if I was in the Olympics it wouldn't cost anything at all.  

I would like to bring back a souvenir of my trip, like maybe a key ring or something small. It would also be really cool to see a southern right whale or a humpback whale. And I would like to try some peanuts and maybe go and see a few pelicans and I'm really interested in chinchillas [really?! I did not know that.] I would go by boat most of the way to make my money last, but maybe I'd have to fly some of the way on a jungle plane. I would call this 'My Adventures of Brazil'.'

So, there you go. Sounds like a pretty epic adventure to me, although I'm not quite so sure about encounters with jaguars and anacondas and I have no idea how much peanuts cost in South America, so this could end up blowing the budget instantly, unless, of course, you can buy them for ... erm ... peanuts. Groan.

To enter the competition yourself, visit this link and start planning your own epic adventure.

December 17, 2012

Happy Christmas to me!

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