Book review: Murder in the Med

This feature is in association with NetGalley. Murder in the Med, Peter Mayle Thanks to NetGalley and to Bloodhound Books for an advance copy of Murder in the Med by the late Peter Mayle. I really enjoyed this story and think it's a great, quick read to accompany anyone on their summer holiday. For a... Continue Reading →

Diary of a Novel: special characters – part 1

Now, when I say "special" I don't mean "special" as such, I mean "other important characters not mentioned already". According to Ron D Voigts and Writing the Killer Mystery, these "special" characters consist of the following: sidekick opponent supporter My "sidekick" was easy. That's going to be Woody (aka Mark Palmer/Woodstock) from Night Crawler. He was... Continue Reading →

Diary of a Novel: the suspects

The intention was to take The Beast Within away with us on our recent holiday and do some work here and there ... Unfortunately, we were so busy enjoying ourselves that the story was completely neglected. Fortunately, before we went away, I did some extensive work on my suspects. The first of my suspects was always going... Continue Reading →

Back off our hols

We had a fantastic three weeks off work. We went camping for only two of them, but we were determined to have a break from everything else as well, and so we stayed away from everything for three whole weeks. We certainly needed it. When we arrived in Welsh Wales for the first leg of... Continue Reading →

Diary of a Novel: the killer

I had a lot of fun working on my killer this week. Wednesday was the day I did this work, and I didn't even reach the end of the chapter in Writing the Killer Mystery for creating the killer. I was itching to get creating. This story, The Beast Within, has been stewing for many... Continue Reading →

Book review: The Quartet Murders

This feature is in association with NetGalley. The Quartet Murders, JR Ellis Thanks to NetGalley and to Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy of The Quartet Murders by JR Ellis. This is the second in the series of Yorkshire murders for JR Ellis, and once again I really enjoyed the setting. It's nice to... Continue Reading →

Diary of a Novel: the victim

Details of the victim have been percolating in the back of my mind this week, while I did other stuff. When I finally came to sit down and write the ideas up, I was surprised at how much I'd learnt about her. (I'm not throwing out any spoilers, remember. This will be on the book... Continue Reading →

To defect or not?

I have been a Windows gal for as long as we've been using Windows. I remember when the first Microsoft products started to come out. I started off on WordStar for word processing and Lotus for spreadsheets, and I graduated to WordPerfect, which did everything I needed it to. I remember when the monopoly began.... Continue Reading →

My (new) fat year: hiatus

Oh my goodness. Was it really 5 February when I last posted about my (new) fat year? I think it's fair to say I've been having a bit of a … hiatus. (Keep reading!) We were doing really well on the high-fibre diet. We were eating at meal times only – mostly – and feeling... Continue Reading →

Diary of a Novel: the sleuth

I didn't get very much work done on the novel at the weekend as we did shopping and gardening on Saturday, the poet had a gig Saturday night, and we were out all day Sunday, walking. Saying that, I did start work on the characters on Saturday morning, writing 85 words. This was mostly writing... Continue Reading →

My legs are screaming

We finally caught up on “I is for ...” yesterday, for the alphabet adventurers. It's been a long time coming – 6 months since our last outing – and, boy, could we tell. It was already a struggle getting up, as the poet's band had a gig the previous evening, and that usually means a... Continue Reading →

Diary of a Novel: Great beginnings

I didn't do any more work on the novel on Tuesday, so I wrote the grand total of 197 words, bringing my running total to 464. Instead, I carried on with the edit that I'd started on Monday. I worked on that all day Wednesday as well, and most of Thursday, submitting it yesterday teatime-ish.... Continue Reading →

Diary of a Novel: 2 April 2019

Having abandoned – temporarily – Catch the Rainbow, yesterday I started work on The Beast Within: a Marcie Craig mystery. Marcie Craig is the main protagonist and amateur sleuth in my first novel Night Crawler. Whereas that novel was set in a pub where she works as a rock DJ, this story is set in... Continue Reading →

“Orbiting” projects

Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply to last week's post – here, on Facebook and elsewhere. The general consensus is that I finish the book and, on the whole, I agree. But while the case continues, I think I'll leave it on ice. I have other stuff I can be getting on... Continue Reading →

What took them so long?

*** AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION REQUESTED *** For the past four weeks there has been an inquest into the Birmingham pub bombings of 1974. Much of my book, Catch the Rainbow, was set against that period. Some of the plot hinged on speculation and suggestion behind the atrocity on my part. So far, quite a lot of... Continue Reading →

Cutting your losses

After much hand-wringing and some discussion with friends and colleagues, I made a tough decision and sent a particularly heavy edit back to the author yesterday. It was taking me too long and I couldn't really do it any justice, as I was struggling to work out what the author was trying to say on... Continue Reading →

Chicken rustling

I had a relatively productive day yesterday. I stuck to my schedule and kept on top of the household chores. I did some writing work, a blog post, and some editing work. And I was able to finish work on time, or not long after. This morning I managed my first two Pomodoros on Catch... Continue Reading →

Starting a new editing job

I didn't have chance to do any writing on Thursday evening, as the poet had band practice and I had to do the shopping. So we had a quick tea, and then we both went out. The band had a new PA system they wanted to set up, so it was a slightly later than... Continue Reading →

Book review: The Mistress of Pennington’s

This feature is in association with NetGalley. The Mistress of Pennington's, Rachel Brimble Thanks to NetGalley and to Aria for an advance copy of The Mistress of Pennington's by Rachel Brimble. I quite liked this story. It was like a twist on the Mr Selfridge story. I found that the department store came to life... Continue Reading →

Still windy, still working offline

We had a relatively still night. When the wind drops, it's actually fairly mild – currently around 11 degrees Centigrade, but with plenty of sunshine during the day. However, at around 7am, the wind started to pick up again, and we can expect winds of up to 51 miles per hour by mid-morning. So I... Continue Reading →

Writing without power or internet

We're in the midst of another massive storm here in the UK and my internet connection keeps blowing out – on the phone and on the broadband. Fortunately, I can still do a lot of work when this happens, I just can't submit it or collect any new stuff. On Monday, for example, while we... Continue Reading →

More lovely publicity

The Cadbury book has certainly stirred up some interest. Not only did I get a photo-splash in the Daily Mail, but after I posted last time, the Daily Telegraph also featured the book! I am absolutely over the moon. See the Daily Mail feature here. See the Daily Telegraph feature here. There are others popping... Continue Reading →


I was feeling overwhelmed last week, and started to steadily work through my outstanding piles of work. One of the jobs I did was send out a book proposal on Friday. I already knew the publisher was interested in the topic because we had discussed it, and others, a few weeks ago. But they'd asked... Continue Reading →

Getting out of the doldrums

I was feeling a tad overwhelmed this time last week when I posted about the various piles of work I had. But sorting them out and discussing it with the poet really helped. The first thing I did was finish the big proofreading job that was already in. That was completed yesterday and I nipped... Continue Reading →

My (new) fat year: weeks 2 & 3

The more reading and research I do, the more I realise that losing weight shouldn't be the main objective. Plus, my doctor assures me that I'm not worryingly overweight. However, I do feel that I should lose some weight, if only for the benefit of my knees and hips. And my digestive system. I'm not avoiding... Continue Reading →

A distraction-free week

I've had a very busy week, but it's been a good one. I've been working at a desk in the corner of the living room away from distractions on the computer, such as the internet, Facebook, playing games, etc. A while ago I turned off email notifications on my mobile phone. At first I was... Continue Reading →

My (new) fat year: week 1

Four years ago, when we were preparing to get married, the poet lost around 2 stone (24lb) and I lost about half a stone (7lb). At our first weigh-in of the new year last week, the poet had gained half a stone (7lb), and I had gained about a stone (14lb). 😳 Last Monday we switched,... Continue Reading →

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