Back to Camp NaNoWriMo

27 June, 2016 / 1 comment

Thursday sees the start of Camp NaNoWriMo again, and this year is the first time I’ve done two months of targeted writing, both the April and the July camps.  November is not a writing time for me – it’s editing or getting books out or promoting them for the Christmas market, or getting the blog…

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Blackwater Carr

Double Review | The Snow Tourist by Charlie English & Badgerlands by Patrick Barkham

25 June, 2016 / 0 comments

These books take me back a year to my highly enjoyable weekend of Nature Writing, hosted by the incredible Mark Coker and the more reserved Patrick Barkham, as part of the Norwich & Norfolk Festival 2015.  Alas I did nothing so interesting this year, but you can read more about it in this post from…

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#Flashback Friday | The Legend of the Scarecrow Epidemic

24 June, 2016 / 22 comments

I find I rather enjoy these ‘legend’ stories although I do find them hard to start with.  This one is almost exactly three years old (it’s Flashback Friday, in case you hadn’t noticed – and do visited other flashbackers using the list at the bottom afterwards).  It’s 700 words, and I think only Rebecca saw…

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#Fi50 – The Only Certainty

22 June, 2016 / 4 comments

Our Fiction in 50 words prompt for June is The Only Certainty.  I seem to be stuck in asteroid mining mode at present.  If you’d like to join in on this very enjoyable meme, or see other people’s stories, check out The Bookshelf Gargoyle.  As usual, I’m a few days early. The Only Certainty The pirates boarded…

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Independent Booksellers week

20 June, 2016 / 1 comment

Yay!  It’s National Indie Booksellers week again in the UK and Ireland, and Indiebound has a huge lot of things on its website to do and read. I confess I missed this last year, but I’m glad I’m in time again this. What’s going on? There are events at Independent Booksellers all week, right through…

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Book Review | Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

18 June, 2016 / 2 comments

This is the first book I’ve got of my own accord through Net-Galley.  A few came that way as a result of blog tours, but I picked this one out of the Net-Galley list and I wasn’t disappointed.  It was one of my Clean Sweep Challenge reads. Dear Amy is a first novel by Helen…

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Flash Fiction

#FridayFlash Fiction | The Inspector Calls

17 June, 2016 / 3 comments

Today’s challenge from Chuck is to start with a stranger at the door and write 1000 words.  I fancied a little more Viridian System backstory – you may find referring to my world-building post on Ulric useful, but it’s not important. I’ve decided it has to be… The Inspector Calls “Bang.  Bang.  Bang.” The ponderous noise…

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Post A-to-Z Road Trip [2016]

A to Z Roadtrip 2016 – June

15 June, 2016 / 2 comments

Hi, and welcome to my first stop on the A to Z Road trip this year.  I’m aiming to post every second Wednesday of the month, or sometime near to the 15th of the month, whatever makes it easiest for me. This is an ongoing trip of my own making, supported by those wonderful A…

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Ask my characters some questions

13 June, 2016 / 6 comments

When I asked in the winter what posts you liked best, ‘Character interviews’ came up – and I haven’t done any of those for ages.  So I think I’d better solve that. I’m planning on posting these through July and August, while I’m at Camp Nano again 🙂 Who would you like me to interview?  Pick…

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Review and Blog Tour | The Cursed Canoe

11 June, 2016 / 3 comments

Welcome to another Great Escapes blog tour (and giveaway!), this time looking at the Hawaiian cosy mystery – The Cursed Canoe: A Molly Barda Mystery 2nd Book in Series Cozy Mystery Print Length: 338 pages Publisher: Hawaiian Heritage Press (February 23, 2016) ASIN: B01C5JYVXA Professor Molly Barda investigates a mysterious paddling accident, and realizes it isn’t…

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10 June, 2016 / 0 comments

Apologies to Chuck’s website readers.  Please click the correct story link here Towards-an-Exodendrite-Nirvana  


#FridayFlash Fiction | Towards an Exodentrite Nirvana

10 June, 2016 / 4 comments

Must have a map.  That’s the challenge from Chuck Wendig this week. I was tempted to re-use ‘X marks the Spot‘.  But then I had one of those dreams, as I do when I’m busy writing a book.  This is possibly a spoiler for Book 3 of the Viridian System series.  It could turn up near…

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Jumping Genres in June and Question of the Month

6 June, 2016 / 76 comments

Firstly – It’s Question of the Month time from Mike D’Agostini.  This month: “Of all the places in the world that you haven’t yet been to, where would you like to go next?” That’s a hard one, because I’ve been to lots of places.  Some that I might have liked to visit a while ago are now…

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Book Review | Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time-Travel

4 June, 2016 / 4 comments

Thirteen stories containing time travel that are all so different from one another and yet not a dud among them.  Even the one that slid towards horror gripped me with its mystery.  Some travel to the past deliberately, some to prevent timeline changes; some even do it multiple times making the initial wrong they want…

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Bk5_6 The Inner Courtyard

#Fridayflash excerpt | The Explosive Mixture

3 June, 2016 / 2 comments

I apologise for the lack of an original story today.  What with rewriting, editing and beta-reading, I just haven’t got my flash fiction brain in gear.  Chuck Wendig gave us the challenge to start with a bang, literally, and I thought of one way to do it, based on a dream, but it involved working backwards,…

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Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

#IWSG – is ‘it’s okay’ good enough?

1 June, 2016 / 18 comments

This month’s Insecure Writers’ Support Group gives me a chance to talk about pulling a published book and revising it.  Not necessarily the technical side of it – more the emotional bit.  That is what the IWSG is all about really, giving each other support, and maybe others can learn from your own mistakes.  If you’d…

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The dreaded DNF

30 May, 2016 / 11 comments

How many books do you not finish each year? I seem to go through phases; I don’t know whether it’s what I’m reading or how I feel about the book and other things I have to do.  Sometimes the book has something that irritates me; sometimes it’s written in a way I find too much…

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Book Review | South by South East by Anthony Horowitz

28 May, 2016 / 6 comments

Anthony Horowitz is a very popular kids author in the UK, and I saw a stack of his books in our library when I picked up The Boundless.  I picked up this one, largely because of the plaintive message from one of the characters at the front of the book “This is the third book…

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#FlashbackFriday | Rajah of Nilgiri

27 May, 2016 / 18 comments

I’ve been doing Flash Fiction on Fridays for a long time now, and my first reaction on seeing Michael D’Agostini’s Flashback Friday was to think, no – I do flash fiction then.  But I need to write and edit my books, and doing new flash fiction every Friday detracts from that writing /editing time.  So just on…

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#Fi50 – Mixed Messages

25 May, 2016 / 8 comments

It’s that time again, when I locate the Bookshelf Gargoyle’s prompt for the Fiction in 50 Challenge and set to work on the somewhat difficult task of a good (and complete) story in fifty words.  You can join in any time – just go to Bruce’s sign up and prompt page here. This month’s prompt is…

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Greenhorn poster with laurels-lowres

Update on Greenhorn – book and movie

23 May, 2016 / 5 comments

Three years ago I published a review of Anna Olswanger’s middle grade novel  Greenhorn. I ‘met’ Anna because we were both involved in the Love MG Actually project launched and co-ordinated by Sally Harris, which in turn led to the BookElves project.  Isn’t it fascinating how one thing leads into another? I stayed in touch with Anna (as…

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cloud formation like waves

Sunday science – Kelvin Helmholtz clouds

22 May, 2016 / 7 comments

Clouds that look like waves? These are so beautiful I had to share them with you… … read the whole explanation, with more photos, on the EarthSky website. Picture by Paul Chartier  posted on  These Kelvin Helmholtz clouds were photographed on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Tupper Lake, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains.

fireflies cover

Book Review | Fireflies by Bree Wolf

21 May, 2016 / 10 comments

This book was nominated as a Great Middle Great Reads Book of the Month, in a special edition for indie authors.  I was a little doubtful about the book from the blurb, but got drawn in, and read it in two sittings.  It’s the first of an as yet unfinished trilogy, but it stands alone….

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Flash Fiction

#FridayFlash Fiction | Return to Sender

20 May, 2016 / 4 comments

Back to Chuck Wendig‘s very creative prompts today. I don’t know where he finds these random prompt generators on the internet (maybe I should google ‘random writing prompt generator’ and find out), but this one gave us two descriptions of crime fighters to pair together and, er, do whatever we fancied with them in 1500…

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On reviewing books – and a Clean Sweep update

16 May, 2016 / 10 comments

At the beginning of April, I got a surprise email from Goodreads.  No, it wasn’t a comment, or an update, or a new giveaway notice, not even a newsletter. It was an email from Otis and Elizabeth Chandler, the founders of Goodreads, congratulating me on becoming one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads, and…

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