Don’t want to

(Image by Jill Heyer from Pixabay) I’m a bit demob happy this week, as we break up for a week’s holiday on Friday (first holiday in more than two years!). I’ve also been feeling a bit demotivated. I think the two may be connected, and it might be why I try not to get too excited too soon too often about things. However, I suppose I haven’t had a bad couple of days. Tuesday 24 August 2021 I did it again. For two […]

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I need to be more prolific

(Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay) Friday 20 August 2021 Friday was one of those busy days where you don’t stop all day but by the end of it you don’t know what you’ve done. You have nothing to show for it. I deleted the paid-for newsletter on substack (not the free one) because by the time I’d filled it with about 50% of the material for the first issue, I was getting a warning that it was too long. Apparently, there […]

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Book Review: The Thursday Murder Club

This feature is in association with NetGalley. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Many thanks to both NetGalley and to Viking for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of The Thursday Murder Club. This was Osman’s debut novel, introducing us to members of the Thursday Murder Club who live in a rather deluxe retirement village in Kent. Of course, being mostly elderly characters, the residents also have their quirks and eccentricities, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all […]

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Down a dark hole

(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay) (I love this artist’s work!) Not a rabbit hole this time, but it does feel as though the week has vanished down a dark hole! Anyway, look at this! I’m creating my first regular blog post on the new site and I didn’t have to make sure I selected ‘classic’ from the menu first. That’s not going to take as long getting used to as it did remembering to choose it before. Thank you […]

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Time out

(Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay) I love this picture above. It’s the feature picture I use on Trello for my NetGalley board. Friday 13 August 2021 On Friday I forgot to mention Slimming World. It was only another flying visit to get weighed, but I’d lost a pound, bringing the current loss to 6½lb. Just half a pound more (or less, whichever way you look at it) and I’ll have lost my first half a stone (7lb). In real life, […]

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Book Review: The Art of Dying

This feature is in association with NetGalley. The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry Many thanks to both NetGalley and to Canongate Books for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of The Art of Dying. Ambrose Parry is a collaborative husband-and-wife partnership. One is an established mystery writer, the other is a consultant anaesthetist. I really enjoy these historical medical mysteries, to the extent that I have even started to read the books written by the husband half of […]

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Project Management for Writers: Gate 1 is DONE! 🥳

(Scrivener screenshot) Thursday Instead of making handwriting the first job of the day on Thursday, I wrote a call-to-action blog post for Project Management for Writers: Gate 1. This was because I had to fire up the computer to (a) add a featured image to a blog post, and (b) see if the gardener was coming. There was nothing from the gardener, so I finished my first Pomodoro in my dressing gown! I never, ever work in my dressing gown. […]

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Burning the midnight oil (again)

Image by Vinson Tan ( 楊 祖 武 ) from Pixabay Monday So, on Monday, I made it to my desk by 10am! (Yay!) I’d already checked social media before getting up, and I read a couple of chapters of my NetGalley book over breakfast. This meant that by the time I did him my desk, I didn’t have any faffing to do. Or not much. I didn’t start with the handwriting on Monday because I still had a lot […]

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I published another paperback!

It took the best part of a week, but with the help of the support team at Draft2Digital, I finally published the second paperback in the Twee Tales series. Twee Tales Too is now available on Amazon. I also created a mock-up in Photopea for today’s post illustration, and I saved the featured images for the next three plan/wrap-up posts. Friday Before I landed at my desk, however, I finished the current book I’m reading for NetGalley. That was one of […]

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Book Review: Looking for the Durrells

This feature is in association with NetGalley. Looking for the Durrells by Melanie HewittMany thanks to both NetGalley and to Harper Collins UK/HarperInspire for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of Looking for the Durrells. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I loved the setting especially, and it evoked memories of Corfu. I think it’s been beautifully written whilst also addressing the difficult topic of bereavement. I liked the way the story stayed firmly in England for the prologue, and […]

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Book Review: Song of the Nile

This feature is in association with NetGalley. Song of the Nile by Hannah Fielding Many thanks to both NetGalley and to London Wall Publishing for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of Song of the Nile. I wanted to love this story, I really did. I already loved the cover and the title, and it did look like a nice, interesting read. In fact, I settled down for a good session of escapism. But I have to admit that […]

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Book review: Pug, Actually

This feature is in association with NetGalley. Pug, Actually by Matt Dunn Many thanks to both NetGalley and to HQ Digital for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of Pug, Actually. Well, what can I say? When I started to read this book and saw that it was written in the present tense, I wanted to hate it. Despite that, the story, or rather the narrative, drew me in and I was hooked. I loved this story. I love […]

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Book review: Legacy

This feature is in association with NetGalley. Legacy by Nora Roberts Many thanks to NetGalley, Little Brown Book Group UK, and Piatkus for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of Legacy, which is one of three recent/soon-to-be releases with ‘legacy’ in the title. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, which starts when the main character Adrian (female) is only seven years old. It touches on her life for the next ten years, and then the following ten years in more […]

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Book review: A Daughter’s Return

This feature is in association with NetGalley. A Daughter’s Return by Josephine Cox with Gilly Middleton Many thanks to both NetGalley and to HarperCollins UK for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of A Daughter’s Return. I’m always a bit dubious about reading a ‘famous name’ novel that has been ghostwritten. I’m a bit old-school in that I prefer the name on the cover to be the name of the person who wrote it, and not a hook to […]

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Book review: Murder at the Mill

This feature is in association with NetGalley. Murder at the Mill by T.A. Belshaw Many thanks to both NetGalley and to BooksGoSocial for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of this cosy mystery, and to the author. This series debut is set in 1939 and introduces what are likely to be the main recurring characters. It was nice to see Alice as her younger self, but I don’t think the reader needs to read the author’s first book featuring […]

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Book review: The Adventures of Maud West

This feature is in association with NetGalley. The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective by Susannah Stapleton Many thanks to both NetGalley and to Pan Macmillan for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of this excellent and amusing biography. When I was first sent this book to review, I could not open it. The publisher very quickly rectified this and sent me another version. However, it was still difficult to read due to layout problems, and so the publisher […]

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That was the week that was

I didn’t have a great start to the week due to a rough night on Sunday and a long lie-in on Monday. However, I did manage to get some things done. Monday One of the things I wanted to do was see if there was any other editing or proofreading work coming up. I checked the job board, and of the 5 jobs I selected, 4 had already hired and one wanted a Canadian/American English speaker only. I can do […]

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Publicity

I was having a bit of a rummage through NetGalley to see if there were any new reviews for The Life of Richard Cadbury. I couldn’t see any for that one, but there were a few new ones for the first book, A History of Cadbury. First job of the day for yesterday, then, was collecting 5 of these reviews and creating flyers out of them. Number 1 is above, and the other 4 will follow when I can’t find a different […]

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Jobs are like buses

So my book is still “temporarily out of stock” on Amazon, both here in the UK and in the US. That’s very odd for a book they’ve had on pre-order for weeks. They’re billing it for release in January 2021 in the States … Hmm. The Beast Within I struggled a bit yesterday with The Beast Within, not least because I wanted to write something for Catch the Rainbow. I think, though, it’s because I was writing the murder scene, which is […]

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Progress

Monday went by in a bit of a whirl. In case you didn’t notice, my book The Life of Richard Cadbury was finally published. There then followed a frenzy of marketing activity that mostly consisted of creating flyers and mockups in Canva and Photopea respectively. Then I went through Facebook, Twitter and MeWe and added links and images to all the groups and pages I belong to on those. I also made sure to respond to every single person who wished […]

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Book review: The Forgotten Gift

This feature is in association with NetGalley. The Forgotten Gift,  Kathleen McGurl Thanks to NetGalley and to HQ Digital for an advance copy of this book. The Forgotten Gift by Kathleen McGurl is a dual timeline story. While I did enjoy the two different timelines, I’m not sure that I like that they alternate. I’d much sooner have a bigger chunk set in each time, several times if necessary. But the constant flicking backwards and forwards interrupted the flow, for me. […]

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Book review: Fall Down Dead

This feature is in association with NetGalley. Fall Down Dead,  Stephen Booth Thanks to NetGalley and to Little, Brown Book Group UK for an advance copy of Fall Down Dead by Stephen Booth. I’m a massive Stephen Booth fan and I know that this book was completed while the author was recovering from surgery. However, that doesn’t detract from the storyline or the character development. And I do think there is some character development in this story, particularly in the […]

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Using a murder board

The murder board My murder board isn’t up yet, but every time I open this tin of bits that go with the murder board, it cheers me up no end. I think it’s all the colours. The murder board is a large whiteboard that goes on every wall in every office I ever have. Whenever we plan an office, we always choose a place for the murder board. It’s called a murder board because I write crime and mystery stories, […]

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Hello, Finningley!

For the past two weeks we’ve been moving house (again!), and now we’re in the village of Finningley, which used to be in Nottinghamshire but is now in South Yorkshire. It’s amazing how borders can change like that. There’s an airfield here that used to be RAF Finningley and for 35 years the airfield hosted a famous air show. During the Second World War, Finningley was briefly associated with RAF Bomber Command where the air crews finished their combat training. […]

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Squeezing the work in

This morning I finally started the next book for NetGalley. Well, actually, I re-started it as I’d already read a couple of chapters and I wanted to refresh my memory. The work came in from Hong Kong. The publisher has worked so hard to get this material to me this week rather than next week. He sent across 11 articles for his next magazine, which I saved and printed. I’m going to do those in between other jobs. The other […]

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Clearing the decks

I realised that we get the keys to the new house next Wednesday. That’s just over a week away. So I’ve decided to close the office on Tuesday. I won’t be able to concentrate properly after then anyway, so I may as well. The first thing I did was notify all of my regular clients that my last day of business will be next Tuesday and to tell them when I expect to be back up and running again, which […]

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Lockdown easing

For more than 3 months, this country has allegedly been on lockdown. Although, if you see how many people have been walking past our remote bungalow and how they walk right at you when you’re out, it’s understandably difficult to believe that anything changed. My work didn’t change. If anything, I became more busy. But wages did slow down in some areas. Fortunately, the poet was furloughed and has been doing all of the household chores, allowing me to just […]

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Book review: The Christmas Lights

This feature is in association with NetGalley. The Christmas Lights, Karen Swan Thanks to NetGalley and to Pan Macmillan for an advance copy of The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan. This story begins in 1930s rural Norway, then skips to the present-day South Pacific. It jumps back to the fjords, and then we’re in present-day Norway. It follows two sets of characters: a bunch of milkmaids and goatherds in the Norwegian countryside; and a trio of vloggers dashing from one […]

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Thursday 14 November 2019

Hmm. Not only is the old classic WordPress interface much easier and quicker to use, it also posts when I schedule it to. The new editor isn’t exactly on a winning streak at the moment … Yesterday was a good working day. I got up on time, was at my desk on time, and I finished all of my daily admin jobs and household chores early. If ever I don’t have any client work in, mornings are now spent doing […]

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Wednesday 13 November 2019

As it happened, I did remember to schedule yesterday’s post for 8 o’clock in the morning, but for some reason, it didn’t. I have today checked the settings, and the only thing that was incorrect was the local time. But that was an hour earlier than what it actually is, so it still should have posted by 8am at least. How curious. Anyway, it posted in the end – well, I forced it to via the mobile app. But I will […]

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Tuesday 12 November 2019 (list alert!)

I had a busy week last week removing most of my self-published books – ebooks and paperbacks – from Amazon KDP. I’m setting up a proper publishing schedule and re-releasing them all on Draft2Digital, initially just as ebooks for now.  I’ve heard so many horror stories about Amazon and how they display their authors’ books (or not) and about them removing reviews. They also want exclusivity, and I don’t like that either. If I decide to publish hardback books again, […]

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