Woohoo! I’m a published author!

Please excuse the proliferation of exclamations marks, but I’m a little excited. Playing for Keeps, the first in the Harford Scarlet series has just been released on Kindle.

Playing for Keeps cover


You can purchase it here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Playing-Keeps-Harford-Toria-Lyons-ebook/dp/B00N85LP8K

It’s currently in a couple of top 100s, look!


If you’ve found your way here through reading PfK already, I hope you enjoyed it. I would love to hear your feedback below.

There’s also some extra information about me on the pages top right, and about the rest of the Harford Scarlet series to come. Playing Around is next, which is the story of Clare.

I have some interesting articles to publish in the next few weeks, so make sure you bookmark this page or follow me on Twitter @Toria_Lyons or my Facebook page. I’ll be adding further details and hopefully an RSS feed later (I need to speak with a techie guy as I’m an absolute numpty at that sort of thing).

I’ll also be adding some background and some free stories for you to read.

Hope to see you soon.


Off to a game, what do you take?

Blokes are lucky. Most of the time, they only have to ensure they have their phone, keys, travel card and beer money to survive the day. And a photo of Barry John*.

For women it’s slightly different. Like it or not, travelling light isn’t so simple. Plus, it’s so much easier to enjoy yourself if you’re comfortable and feel good. And yes, I was a Girl Guide and I do believe in being prepared.20150530 camera download 181

There was a freezing fog this night. It was the coldest match I’ve ever experienced. Luckily, I had brought extra layers and a blanket to cover our laps.

If I turn up to a game after a ride, I’ll only have the basics that I fit in my jersey pockets. If I’m planning to be out the whole day, I have a capacious handbag and it’s tempting to fill it up. That can weigh me down, especially when there’s nowhere to place it except on a dirty beer-soaked carpet (yuck) or urine-dashed terrace (no_words).

So, now I’ve made my excuses, these are my essentials, i.e. what I can’t do without:

  • Aforementioned (fully-charged) phone, keys, travel card and beer/ticket money (cash & cards). Tip – stash spare keys somewhere just in case.
  • Lip gloss and chapstick. For being outside in all weathers.
  • Basic make-up for repairs.  I find the No7 Smoky Powder Eyeliner in brown a really useful bit of kit (it’s brilliant as eyeshadow and eyeliner and doesn’t suffer if you drop it like set powders do). Mascara. BB cream or similar.
  • A small can of spray deodorant – great to freshen up. When it’s freezing outside, some clubs can be unbearably warm.
  • Painkillers & a couple of antihistamines – a pesky bit of pain could ruin your afternoon/evening but can be easily knocked on the head.
  • Tissues – a small, unscented pack. My eyes often run in bright light and raccoon eyes isn’t an attractive look. Plus there’s never any loo roll when you really need it.

For when there’s a little more space:

  • Small emery board – because you don’t want a hangnail to annoy you all day.
  • Small tube of Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream. Great stuff.
  • Tampon/condom – just in case I get unlucky/lucky. *winky thing*
  • Hairband & serum to smooth flyaways. Comb. Because the wind does such great things to your hair…
  • Sunglasses. I have a habit of forgetting and leaving these on my head all night.
  • An extra layer – something like an Icebreaker long-sleeve, merino base layer.
  • My singing voice.

More extreme, to cover inclement weather and going pubbing/clubbing after the game, aka ‘How big’s the handbag?’:

  • More layers plus gloves, scarf, hat and socks. If really cold, merino leggings to slip under jeans.
  • A ‘going out’ top and alternative pair of heels e.g. a pair of strappy sandals.
  • Jewellery to pep up an outfit.
  • FULL make-up kit.
  • Perfume  (my favourite is Angel Schlesser but it’s really difficult to get hold of now).
  • A smaller handbag, so I can check in/store the large handbag and don’t have to carry it around.

And then there’s away trips in a backpack:

  • Reading/writing material – usually my notebook or Kindle (although it’s rare I get them out as we’re too busy chatting). A pen.
  • Extra tissues and hand/baby wipes. Because you really don’t know what the loos will be like where you’re going. Trust me on that one.
  • A bottle of water.
  • Liquid refreshments of a different kind *winky*, and a corkscrew/bottle opener (nothing worse than staring at a bottle of booze that you can’t open).
  • Snacks – sweet and savoury. Nothing too messy, and usually something to soak up the alcohol.
  • Songbooks.

It may sound like rather a lot, but I’ve always found confidence and comfort helps you enjoy your day out even more. Let me know if you think it’s too much, or there’s something you’ve forgotten!


*I confess, I don’t currently carry a picture of Barry John, but have relied on a diplomatic disappearance. I really must rectify this.


Hello, and welcome to the World of Harford Scarlet!

The first novel in my Harford Scarlet series, Playing For Keeps, will shortly be published by Xcite. Yay!

If you’re coming here because you enjoyed PFK, please leave a comment below, as my ego can’t be stroked enough. *winky thing* If you didn’t, let me know exactly why.

The second novel, Playing Around is currently with my fabulous editor, and will hopefully be out soon. I’m currently working on the third, fourth and fifth. Woohoo!

I’ll be publishing some short stories and excerpts on here in the next few months, so please bookmark and keep coming back.

If you want to know more about me, there’s a little bit in the ‘About Me’ section on the top right. Or tweet me @Toria_Lyons, I’d love to hear from you.