Family Reunion

Screenshot 2023-01-22 at 15.08.44My story ‘Family Reunion’ is in the current (February 2023) issue of Take A Break’s Fiction Feast. (My original title was kept for this.)

As you can probably guess from the illustrations, the family concerned is a canine one. They’re a rescue litter who are thankfully all found good homes and then helped their respective owners to make friends with each other. My thinking was that people who’d take on the responsibility for caring for a rescue dog would all have good qualities and things in common.

Screenshot 2023-01-22 at 15.08.57This story is set in Little Mallow – a fictional village I’ve created on the Hampshire coast, very near where I live. Quite a few of my stories have been set there and I’m now working on a series of cosy crime novels.

I’m not sure how many of the characters from this story will appear in the novels, but the rescue shelter already does.

Now I’ve seen these illustrations, that dog in the circular inset will be included too. How could anyone say no to those eyes?

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Wednesday Word Of The Week – Guaranty

guaranty is an undertaking to meet a payment or other obligation on behalf of another. It’s usually made in writing. More than one are known as guaranties and they’re made by a guarantor.

guaranty can also be something used as security for a guaranty.  So a guaranty should, in theory, guarantee that the guaranty is met.

Confused yet? If so, don’t worry about it and stick with guarantee. That can be used instead of guaranty as well as meaning a formal promise or assurance.

Hey, that was mine!

Screenshot 2023-01-22 at 15.08.18‘Hey, That Was Mine’ is my original title for a story in the current (February 2023) issue of Take A Break’s Fiction Feast.

Editors quite often change titles for a variety of reasons. In this case I suspect it was something to do with page layout.

The story is about Sarah being fed up with her friend taking something of hers yet again – and putting a stop to it.

The editor has made a slight alteration to my story too, by adding a slice of orange to the cocktail’s decoration. That must have been to fit in with the excellent illustration. The drink itself hasn’t changed – it’s still a pina colada. I’ve not had one in years. Maybe I should to celebrate the publication of this story?

All the formats

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My tasty collection of 25 short stories, Coffee & Cake is now available in every format I’m able to offer it. That’s ebook, regular paperback, audiobook, large print paperback and large print hardback! You can buy direct from Amazon, using the links supplied, read through kindle unlimited, or order through bookshops (physical or online) or request it from your library.

Is that enough options?

Here’s the blurb –

We eat and drink for more than mere survival. Food comforts and reassures, connects us with others. A mug of coffee wakes us up in the morning. A cup of tea can calm us down.

Cakes are great for celebrations, birthdays in particular. Making one specially for someone shows how much we care. The same applies to learning to make their favourite dish, or passing on your signature recipe

The food and drink choices we make expose aspects of our personality. What we give to others, and the care we take when doing so, can be even more revealing.

Sharing food helps build, or repair, relationships. It creates and recreates traditions and brings back memories – if that’s what we want.

Whether you prefer unsweetened black coffee, or milky tea, rich sponge cake or something savoury, this collection of 25 stories provides the perfect snack.

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Travel of a different kind

You know me, out and about every chance I get. This time I’m off visiting the Frost magazine as the opening article in their writers on the road series. You can read it here.

Could I use this?

IMG_0281Our first campervan adventure of 2023 started in 2022 and took us to Stonehenge, where we spent the night. The weather wasn’t great, and we noticed a few people giving us amused glances. Why? There were hundreds of other people doing the same thing – the official car park had 16 coaches in when we arrived there and the camping spot was equally busy.

IMG_0287Looking at the photos of us in our matching, hooded waterproofs I wonder if they thought we were part of a very small, slightly peculiar religious sect. One that’s only just discovered selfies.

I often observe people doing apparently weird things, make up my own explanations and put them in stories. As I’m aware that some of our exploits look strange if you don’t know us and what we’re up to, maybe I should try seeing them from other people’s point of view and do the same?

Happy New Year!

IMG_0299I didn’t have the best start to the New Year. A planned visit to friends was cut short because I had to return home for emergency dental treatment. That’s gradually taking effect, so hopefully things will just keep getting better for 2023. One thing which helps me believe that could be true is that I arrived home to find a copy of Ireland’s Own containing one of my stories in.
Whatever kind of start your year got off to, I hope the rest of it is even better.

Careful What I Wish For

I have a story in the current issue of Yours Fiction. The title is Careful What You Wish For. The warning in the post title is because, although I wish I could show you the illustration I’ve not yet tracked down a copy, and so am using that as an excuse to share some photos from our recent trip to Scotland. These were all taken in the grounds of Culzean Castle.

Book Fair

Book FairI’m taking part in a book Fair in Newbury on 3rd December, where I’ll be signing copies of Acting Like A Killer (and a few other titles). If you’re in the area it would be lovely to meet you. No hard sell, I promise!

Autumn Mist

Screenshot 2022-11-19 at 15.23.12One of my stories in the current (December) issue of Take A Break’s Fiction Feast is Autumn Mist.

I quite like mist. Not such think mist as Kelsey got stuck in, but the sort which hides part of the view and turns the familiar into something else. I know that when the weather changes everything will be back where it was, but until then it allows me to look at things differently – which sometimes means thinking differently.

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