Posted in Writing

This week Life Playlists catches up with publicist Nikki Bywater as she chooses five of her most memorable music tracks…

When Jo Lambert invited me to very kindly share my love of music over five songs, I thought this would be an easy selection to make, but let me tell you it is so, so difficult. I have a huge back catalogue of music I simply love, and to select just five I found it really tough. I am glad Jo made it easier by wanting music relating to milestones in my life. That narrowed it down to about 750 songs!

So here we go…

I was born in the 1970s and music was always being played in our family home, and in my grandparents’ houses. It is through my grandfather that my love for country music was formed. However it would not be a country song I will select to be my first song. Well, it is the 70s, isn’t it? Also, I was a child back then. So the track I am going to select is from when I first remember dancing. I have always loved to dance and this for me is where it all begun. Now you’re probably thinking Nikki is going to choose some really cool 70s disco hit, are you not? I’m a child remember! So I was getting my groove on back then to the wonderful Wombles and Remember You’re A Womble.

Remember You’re A Womble by The Wombles

I can remember dancing around to this track and it brings back such happy memories of my childhood. I had all the Wombles memorabilia and The Wombles LP was bought at the local Woolworths. I still know all the words to every Womble song.

So for my second track, I am slightly older now. Lets move into the 80s. This is when I did almost most of my education at school, if I didn’t have far more important things to be doing with my time. I wrote my first song aged nine. Happy times at the school disco and WHAM!, the gorgeous George Michael, and to me Careless Whisper is still one of best ever written love songs. So there I was aged eleven, wanting to be cool with my ‘I Heart WHAM!’ bag and hoping high school was going to be more Kids from Fame than Grange Hill. It was at this time WHAM! posters were all over my bedroom wall and ceiling. The teenybopper days went by in leg warmers and on roller-skates, with Sony Walkman headphones permanently attached to my head. By the time I was leaving school this had changed to Pet Shop Boys and The Smiths posters, and being influenced fashion wise between Cyndi Lauper and Madonna. Public relation skills at work even back then as I soon negotiated a place on the back of the school bus! The song I am going to chose for my second track, is a song that reminds me of making decisions back then of what I was going to do once I was a grown-up.

Left to my own Devices by The Pet Shop Boys

Other bands from the 80s like Talk Talk, New Order, Depheche Mode and the fabulous Roxy Music left an imprint on my life, and here we now are in the 90s. In my student days dance music and raving was the scene. Dancing and ‘having fun’ all night long. Having a good time was all that mattered. Non-stop dancing and binge drinking. It was through those good times out clubbing in the famous Batley Frontier club, which was long ago known as Batley Variety club, that I met my husband Andrew and this song for me reminds me of when we first got together.

Never Tear Us Apart by INXS

Still only in our early twenties by the mid 90s Andrew and I were married and our two children Liam and Chloe were born. Now it was time to really settle down and become sensible. Driving around in the car when my children were small we would listen to Travis or The Verve, and from when Liam could first talk he would soon be singing along to songs in the car. It wasn’t until Liam was choosing a song for his prom a few years later, when he was aged eleven that when he asked for ‘The Trucks Don’t Work’ that we realised all this time he had been singing the wrong word along to my next track, which is…

The Drugs Don’t Work by The Verve

My children are now all grown-up and my daughter recently has been through some difficult times, which she has overcome. This is a song we would play and sing together during those times, and it helped get her through. As parents all you want is for your children to be happy, but sometimes under circumstances we cannot control, we cannot protect our children from harm. What we can be is there for them to pick up the pieces and give love and support. I think at the time this song provided a positive influence on going towards my daughter’s recovery. We go back to my love of country music and Chloe is also a huge fan of the TV series Nashville. So it’s the queen of country with…

Hard Candy Christmas by Dolly Parton

So there you have my final five, and never would I have thought out of the many songs that I love that they would have been the ones I would have picked!


48971445_10217724368971859_8746373218069118976_oNikki Bywater’s career in media began as a model and support artist, which lead to small acting roles in film and television. It was through her work in television she was given the opportunity to write. Nikki in her role as a book and script publicist is well-known for giving her time generously to new writers, many of them going on to be published and best-selling authors.

When not daydreaming and storyboarding ideas in Paris, Nikki lives in Cheshire with her husband Andrew and their two grown-up children.





Posted in Writing

It’s 2nd April and publication day for Maybe Baby by Carol Thomas…


Just when you thought you had it all worked out …

Best friends Lisa and Felicity think – maybe, just maybe – they finally have everything sorted out in their lives.
Lisa is in a happy relationship with her old flame, and busy mum Felicity has managed to reignite the passion with her husband, Pete, after a romantic getaway.
But when Lisa walks in on a half-naked woman in her boyfriend’s flat and Felicity is left reeling from a shocking discovery, it becomes clear that life is nothing but full of surprises …

Sequel to The Purrfect Pet Sitter




CAROL THOMASIn the summer of 2017, Carol Thomas was delighted to gain a publishing contract with Ruby Fiction, a new imprint of the award-winning publishers Choc Lit, for her latest novel The Purrfect Pet Sitter.

Carol writes for both adults and children: Her contemporary romance novels, have relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads; while her children’s books have irresistibly cute, generally furry characters young children can relate to.

Carol lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively young Labrador. She has been a playgroup supervisor and taught in primary schools for over fifteen years, before dedicating more of her time to writing. Carol is a regular volunteer at her local Cancer Research UK shop and has a passion for reading, writing and people watching. She can often be found loitering in local cafes working on her next book.