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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 (peteandjacmotorbikingineurope.wordpress.com) 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, […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

Blog, Books, Short stories

A Touch of the Sinister

In spring 2013 I visited the entrancing city of Istanbul with my parents. I instantly fell in love with this exotic and history-drenched city. I was less enamoured by the hustling carpet salesmen, but managed to return home without a Turkish rug under my arm.

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Changes of scene

Doesn’t look like much, does it? Just a muddy field in a farm on the edge of the northern Somerset Levels. You’d never guess that under these grassy clods lie the remains of a large second century Roman courtyard villa. In 1998 metal detectorists found a hoard of over 9000 […]

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Beach Walks

So here we are … Christmas has been and gone, and we’re looking 2016 firmly in the eye. How about you – any life-changing body-morphing liver-mending resolves made? Fortunately for my liver, my appreciation of alcohol is correlated to quality rather than quantity these days. The Chief Medical Officer and […]

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NaNoWriMo Inspiration

As I slog through November I’m finding that one of the joys of the NaNoWriMo website are the pep talks by established authors. Here’s one I just have to share, by successful romance novelist Stephanie Walker. She gets right to the heart of what NaNoWriMo is all about: getting that […]