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The long wait for a second baby, for Mumsnet

To support the Mumsnet campaign for better Miscarriage Care, here’s my story: I had a beautiful toddler son and all I wanted was a brother or sister, a longed for second baby, to complete our little family - three pregnancies later, my daughter finally arrived. Even years afterwards, my children are 16 and 12 now, it’s still sad to think of that very difficult time. I had my first miscarriage at 12 weeks and my second, the following year at 13 weeks, ...

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Take care, girls with phones

  The fire safety officer came to visit my daughter’s school yesterday. She made me hoot with laughter re-telling the best moments of the visit and she passed on some actually pretty essential fire prevention advice. Every girl with a phone needs to read on! First, the class was asked if anyone had been involved in a fire. Two children had and both blazes involved burning things falling out of the fireplace and setting the carpet alight. In one incident it was a ...

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Pink books for girls, blue for boys?

The children’s book reviewer on The Independent has caused a stir by saying she will no longer review books that are specifically aimed at girls or boys. She’s cited the example of The Beautiful Girls colouring in book (pink, cover, you’d never have guessed) versus The Brilliant Boys Colouring In Book (cover, guess what – blue). Now, I have mixed feelings about this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a staunchly equal opps mum and personally I would never buy my daughter any ...

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Reviews for Cross My Heart | A BIG thank you

Dear book bloggers and reader reviewers, WOW, thank you so much, really and truly, for your amazing response to Cross My Heart. Every single one of these reviews has absolutely made my day, over and over again. Writing is a damn lonely job and of course I spend great long stretches of my time wondering: ‘Will anyone like this story?’ ‘Will anyone care about these characters even half as much as I do?’ So to every lovely reader who fell in love with ...

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The Ravensbruck dilemma | Writing about torture and concentration camps for children

                  The hardest scenes to write in Cross My Heart were the scenes where Nicole is tortured and then imprisoned in Ravensbruck concentration camp. I’ve read a great deal about how Resistance prisoners were treated in prison and it’s brutal and terrible. They were beaten, cruelly hurt and fingernail pulling, branding with hot irons and all kinds of unspeakable treatment was routine. I’ve also read as much as I could bear about the concentration camps all over Germany and Poland and Ravensbruck (ravens ...

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Cross My Heart | A story of extraordinary courage, endurance and hope

  For everyone who’s been wanting to know what I’m doing next… here it is, curtain up moment… the heartbreakingly lovely cover of my new book: Cross My Heart. Yes. Gasp! It’s quite a change. No pink, no sparkles, no adventures in fashion-land… this is the story of a 15 year old girl who joins the Belgian Resistance in 1940 during the Nazi occupation. It’s an adventure story. It’s a love story. It’s a story of extraordinary courage, endurance and hope. I am so ...