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Murder in Deepest Devon

I’ve come a long way from the Malverns to conduct a bloodbath. My home for this week is the The Court in the tiny village of Sheepwash, Devon. Lovely hosts Debbie and Wendy run Retreats for You in this beautiful sixteenth century townhouse, mainly for writers, but anyone in need […]

Blog, Books, Short stories

The other side of the hill

This blog is usually about my writing, or other authors I love. In case you’re steeling yourself for the crushing disappointment of not hearing about my latest publication, relax.  There will be links to my new anthology at the end. We writers tend to live in a fantasy world of […]

Blog, Book Reviews

Book review: rediscovering Alice

I first read Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice as a teenager. At the time I found it a gripping story, combining adventure, romance, war and an unparalleled portrayal of life in the Australian outback. I have since re-read this slim masterpiece many times, most recently this week. The Rider and […]

Blog, Books, Short stories

Poor little lost souls

I’m really quite an organised person; or as my beloved suggests, I’ll do any form of prevarication to avoid actual writing. So I keep a detailed record – using fab writers’ tool Duotrope – of all my stories and their current whereabouts. Now please don’t be picturing the bereft little […]


Banish the New Year resolutions

The turkey’s all eaten, the Christmas decorations packed away in the loft, and 2016 securely seen out amidst much maudlin remembering of auld acquaintance. Goodbye 2016, hello 2017. It’s New Year, the annual opportunity to turn over a new leaf and generally plan to live a fitter, happier and more […]

Blog, Books, Short stories

Back on your heads

It’s officially autumn. Even our sunflowers have wrapped shawls round their heads against the October chills. I can personally vouch for the season’s change, having caught the Great-Grandmother of all colds nearly four weeks ago. It kept me in bed for a fortnight, and then ruined a week’s holiday in […]

Blog, Books, Short stories

Special moments in history

Readers of my travel blog ( will immediately appreciate the serendipity of the picture above. Tracy Chevalier, my hero and talented author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Last Runaway, and most recently The Edge of the Orchard, was a speaker at the Historical Novel Society’s 2016 conference in Oxford last weekend, […]


Just one (good) thing after another…

Those of you who already know and love the wonderful books of British author Jodi Taylor, including her St Mary’s Chronicles series, will recognise the cheekiness of my title for today’s blog. On Saturday I went to Octavo’s cafe in Cardiff with my lovely daughter-in-law (aspiring children’s author Ariana Carrano), to […]


A wonderful way to spend Saturday morning

Well, I hope that’s how it turned out for the five writers who braved my Write Your Own Short Story workshop last Saturday. It was all part of the Cheddar Arts Fringe Festival. The idea was to add writing to the line-up of arts on display throughout Cheddar last weekend. […]


A moment of madness

A few weeks ago, I went to my local library in Cheddar on an innocent mission of research. I emerged having foolishly promised an enthusiastic volunteer that I would get involved with the upcoming Cheddar Arts Fringe Festival (CHAFF), taking place 29 April to 2 May in my part of […]