Bravo Victor – the cover and giveaway

April 2, 2014 / 54 comments

It is all Victor’s fault that I chose the NATO alphabet as my AtoZ Challenge theme this year.  Apart from V for Victor, there is also B for Bravo.  And as book 6 in the Princelings of the East series is almost upon us, I’m pleased to reveal the cover to you today – a…

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A Quebec book review

April 19, 2014 / 1 comment

Here we are at the letter Q already – and blogging through the NATO Alphabet requires that I talk about Quebec.  But then again, it’s Saturday, and that means a book review.  I didn’t come up with too many books with Quebec in the title, and I didn’t want to feature a guidebook – after…

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P is for Papa and Flash Fiction Friday

April 18, 2014 / 10 comments

Our writing prompt guru Chuck Wendig decided to do an opening line challenge this week.  In theory we write the opening line for today and next week we pick one and write the story. So I wrote: Nobody in her right mind would leave her spacesuit in the airlock. [interesting shift in dramatic possibilities changing…

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O is for Oscar

April 17, 2014 / 13 comments

Oscar is the phonetic word for O in the NATO Alphabet.  I suppose what most people think of first is the Oscars – the awards from the Academy of Motion Pictures.  I bought a replica of the statuette on my visit to Hollywood and awarded it to a friend of mine – a stage actor,…

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N for November for NaNoWriMo

April 16, 2014 / 19 comments

For many people, November (the phonetic word for N) is the National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo. When I first started writing and blogging, I saw these references to NaNoWriMo and wondered what on earth it meant.  Three years on I’ve done two Camp NaNos – ‘lesser’ events that happen in the early and mid-summer (northern…

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Tuesday haiku – Mike

April 15, 2014 / 10 comments

M is a challenge. Mike is hard in a haiku And M is for Mike! Well, I’m really stretching it here!  Mike is not an easy word for a discussion anyway – do you go for the abbreviation for a microphone, or the man’s name Michael?  Michaels I have known?  Yet M is Mike in…

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April 14, 2014 / 12 comments

Lima – capital of Peru and the word for L in the NATO alphabet. I’ve been to Lima.  Only for about half an hour, but I have at least been there.  I may even have a stamp in my passport to prove it. I was expecting to stay there for most of a day before…

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K is for Kilo – and a book review

April 12, 2014 / 16 comments

A kilo, or kilogram (kg), is the SI unit of weight, equivalent to 2.205 pounds (lb). Actually it’s the unit of mass, weight varying depending on what the local gravitation pull is (acceleration due to gravity).  It’s also the word for K in the NATO Alphabet. My dictionary says the international standard kilogram is kept…

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J for Juliet and Flash Fiction Friday

April 11, 2014 / 27 comments

The tenth letter of the NATO Phonetic Alphabet is J for Juliet.  Since this is Friday I need to write some flash fiction for you, involving Juliet.  Well, that really brings just one thing to mind.  And since Chuck Wendig, whose prompts I follow, asked us to “write a story about Hell”, making it as…

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I is for India

April 10, 2014 / 33 comments

I first went to India on one of those package tours where you stay in a tourist class hotel, get ferried to the sights in a coach, and your only contact with the people is pushing through the beggars and hawkers.  I hated it, but knew it was the bubble we were wrapped in that…

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H for Hotel

April 9, 2014 / 22 comments

I’ve stayed in a lot of H for Hotels in my time.  5 star, no stars – posh city ones, nice rural ones, cheap B&Bs and hostels.  I had a job where I travelled around lot and where we had meetings abroad quite often, but travel was also my preferred recreation. My top 3 hotel…

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Tuesday haiku – Golf

April 8, 2014 / 30 comments

To play well, relax. It’s not how, it’s how many. Just get ball in hole! Golf is a very frustrating game.  I sometimes wonder why it was chosen as the NATO word for G.  Golf sounds like Gulf, which is Golfe in French.  Does it matter what it means as long as people hear it…

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F for Foxtrot

April 7, 2014 / 26 comments

Continuing my trek through the NATO Alphabet, today’s letter, F is for Foxtrot. According to Wikipedia, the foxtrot is a smooth, progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor. It can also be a horse movement (although I’ve never heard it used with the fox bit), a film, a tv series,…

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Echo & The Girl Who Dreamt of Dolphins

April 5, 2014 / 13 comments

When I realised today’s NATO Alphabet word was Echo I became obsessed with echolocation and talking about dolphins.  I don’t really know why, but it did also give me the chance to read and review another book for the usual Saturday feature. Dolphins are just one of the family of toothed whales that use echolocation…

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D for Delta and some Flash Fiction on Friday

April 4, 2014 / 18 comments

As usual, Friday is Flash Fiction day.  I use the writing prompt from Chuck Wendig (AC).  This week we have five random words to weave into a 1000 word story, any genre.  My words were Topaz, Casket, Djinn, Acid and Hound, to which I have to add DELTA – my NATO Alphabet letter of the…

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April 3, 2014 / 21 comments

I feel a proper Charlie, trying to decide what to post about for Charlie, the third word in the NATO alphabet. Charlie is My Darling – a Scottish folk song of the Jacobites (Bonnie Prince Charlie) Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker – jazz composer/saxophone player extraordinaire and a founder of bebop Charlie Potheen – a racehorse of…

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Tuesday haiku – Alpha

April 1, 2014 / 47 comments

A is for Alpha α The first letter of the Greek alphabet.  The root of alphabet along with the second Greek letter, beta. Another way of indicating a first rank – my school divided its years up into three classes, labelled 1, A and Alpha, indicating none was any better than the other.  I was…

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Stand by for take-off!

March 31, 2014 / 9 comments

It’s the last day of March.  Tomorrow we jump headlong into the madness and mayhem that is the A to Z April Blogging Challenge.  You haven’t heard of it?  Where have you been the last two months – I’ve done little else but talk about it! Here’s the plan: I’m blogging daily through the NATO…

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Guernsey Lit Soc

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

March 29, 2014 / 8 comments

This delightful book was sprung upon me by my book club and I don’t regret it for one minute!  I probably would have picked it up if I’d read the blurb on the back cover – but I might not have picked it up thinking the cover was too ‘romance’.  It is slightly romantic, but…

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Flash Fiction

Friday Flash Fiction: Lois stretches out

March 28, 2014 / 6 comments

~~~**~ My 500th post on this blog! ~**~~~ “This week’s challenge is simple in description, but perhaps complex in execution.”  So said Chuck Wendig as he unveiled this week’s challenge.  We have to write a 1000 word story in 10 chapters. “Maintain brevity but increase scope”.  Yes, ok, Chuck.  Bemused, I stole an idea from…

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Tuesday Haiku – Clocks

March 25, 2014 / 4 comments

Vernal equinox And soon all over Europe The clocks go forward. Although I thought we’d got it sorted out in the northern hemisphere, the USA went on to Daylight Saving a couple of weeks back, whereas European countries got their act together some years ago to do it all on the same day – this…

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Wordle BV pale

On Author Websites

March 23, 2014 / 4 comments

Another in my occasional posts on the technical side of being an author-publisher. This is a follow-up to my post on being one’s own webmaster really.  Many WordPress users have been suffering from gremlins recently, and it seems that about ten days ago things came to a head and WordPress Fixed Things. In the course…

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Death by Ice Cream

Book Review: Death by Ice Cream by Rebecca M Douglass

March 22, 2014 / 9 comments

Regular readers of this blog will know that Rebecca M Douglass is the author of The Ninja Librarian and Return to Skunk Corners, both of which have been reviewed and thoroughly enjoyed by me!  Now Rebecca has leapt firmly into the cosy mystery genre, with her latest blockbuster: Death By Ice Cream Meetings of the…

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A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal!

March 21, 2014 / 101 comments

All over the web, people are signing up for the A to Z Challenge – which starts April 1st.  Blog from A to Z starting with A on the first, B on the 2nd… take Sundays off and end at Z on the 30th. I’m proud to be part of the great A to Z…

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Flash Fiction

Friday Flash Fiction: Hijack!

March 21, 2014 / 4 comments

In this week’s Chuck Wendig Challenge we have to write 1000 words in a ‘something’-punk subgenre of our choice – a made up one, not a standard one like steampunk.  I ducked the opportunity to devise a new one and turned to another development in my fruitpunk world of the Princelings of the East.  This…

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