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Showing posts from October, 2017

Out and about

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We didn't venture far while we were on Skye. We went to Dunvegan village a couple of time to pick up supplies at the general store and passed several soaked walkers on the way. They couldn't have got any wetter! and, as you might expect, they looked thoroughly miserable. Decided that if we were to walk anywhere I would pick the time very carefully. I always check maps before I set off anywhere and  decided an unfenced track across open land would take me to the sea coast. We set off, all three of us, one in huge excitement and pulling like a train on his lead because of all the new smells. We got half a mile down the road, turned off to the gate and there was the dreaded notice. Dogs on leads or will be shot. Disappointment all round. Tim wasn't on his muzzle head collar, so walking him for three miles on a lead was unthinkable. We turned around, came back home and explored the hillside behind the house. Didn't matter to Tim - he loved it. At least we still had arms a

A week in the west

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Came home early from a week on the Isle of Skye. Caved in the relentless rain and 40-50 mph winds that moaned and howled around the house. We did have snatches of time when it was not raining and hurried out to enjoy our surroundings and take a few pics. Tim had to be walked, of course, regardless of the weather and our day began with me walking him the  400 yards down the curving track to the rubbish bins situated at the junction with the single track road. The track was unfenced with woods on one side and a hillside on the other, so he galloped around freely until we neared the road. Once I'd deposited our rubbish we headed back, and then if it wasn't pouring down, we ventured off-piste as it were and scrambled around the open land around the house. Little tracks led every which way through the knee high tussocks and bracken, possibly rabbit or deer tracks - we surprised two deer sheltering in the wood one morning and they scampered away, leapt the fence and set off acro

Disturbing tv

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A lot of what I see on tv disturbs me. What sort of things am I thinking of? So many comedians who are not funny. So called “Celebrities” who vie with each other to wear the least clothing in public and then put the photograph on social media.  Reality programmes that use nastiness of one kind or another to grab an audience. The way the media leads the public into thinking what they say is news when it is so often prefaced by the phrase “We understand that….we are told that…we think that…” The way someone’s views are routinely shouted down, mocked, talked over or cut off in most tv interviews these days. The way interviewers ask questions that politicians can’t answer; politicians who won’t answer even if they can. The cowardly people who use Twitter to annoy, vilify and abuse others. Dramas, films and soaps where people are horribly tortured, mutilated, beated and raped. The obscene amount of money that is bandied around in football and most other sp

Book Covers

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Received my first review for Alba is Mine -  Vasiliki said on 14th October: "I didn't know what to expect when I bought  this book, and I got a really pleasant surprise. It's packed full of detail with finely drawn, likeable characters and loads of intrigue. The world building/historical detail and description seem to me to be well researched and accurate (I covered a tiny bit of this era during my degree in Archaeology) but the author does not overdo it, keeping a light touch so that the story doesn't get bogged down with it. The writing is very good, and it is well edited so the reader isn't distracted by errors. Overall a very good read, that packs a lot in for the price." All authors love to get reviews and I'm no exception. This one brightened my day and spurred me on with the writing of my next book. Here's hoping I get many more! For a little amusement (and because I can't bare to delete them usused!) this is a cover I played around

Location, location, location

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I like researching locations for my stories. Contemporary stories in a foreign location are easily researched with tour guides, travel books and all the resources of the internet, but set the story in the past, and it’s a little bit harder to visualise. Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian locations are not too hard here in England as many of the streets and buildings are still extant, but when I made a 4 day trip to Dublin and found that the street I had set my heroine’s home on was still there I was surprised and delighted that I could walk up and down it. Why was I surprised? Because I had set my story in the eleventh century – almost a thousand years ago. (The fact that the street looked nothing like the scene I had envisaged didn’t spoil things for me. There might be fairly ordinary brick buildings there now, but the shape of the street was the same, I could see how steep it was, whether I could see the river or the sea from there, and it led to the cathedral that was being built a

Fashion and cosmetics

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 Anyone who knows me knows I am not a follower of fashion. I like to be clean and look neat and tidy, (except when I'm walking Tim, because he doesn't care what I look like - he loves me anyway!) but beyond that, comfort is my watchword. Ridiculous heels are not for me, though I will agree they are a miracle of engineering. But trust my ankles to them? No way! I cannot actually remember when I last wore a skirt. Dresses, perhaps, when going out for  meal. But skirts? They seem to be a thing of the past, probably because few of us have waists anymore! I grew up wearing nice tweed skirts and crisp white blouses, and still think they look great. Tweed doesn't have to be hairy; it can be the softest, smoothest fabric ever and I love the intermix of so many soft colours. Jagged flashes of black and red or dresses so full of overblown flowers that remind me of wallpaper fashions are not for me. Leggings, jeggings, joggers, opaque tights - an expert is required to tell the dif

One of those days

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This has been one of those days when lots of little things either don’t happen or don’t get fixed. Nothing major, nothing life changing but mildly annoying all the same. For example, my trip to the chemist to pick up my repeat prescription was foiled because it hasn’t been made up yet, which reminded me that I have not yet contacted the surgery to have an annual blood test done, the results of which will dictate the medication I take for the rest of the year. (This may be the reason the prescription was not ready for me!) So I came home and tackled the online system for the surgery only to find that I can make an appointment with a doctor online, but not the nurse practitioners who do the blood tests. Picked up the phone to make said appointment only to be told that the surgery is closed until tomorrow morning. Surprising, since it was only four in the afternoon. They have half days? Who knew? Our local supermarket did not have a copy of Writing Magazine which I wanted to p

Alba is Mine

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Publication Day yesterday! Sad to say I may have caused a temporary problem for anyone trying to buy the book - I made a typo in the original book description on the KDP pages and have tried to alter it more than once while it was on pre-order. Yesterday I tried again, and once I'd done it, I realised that I'd effectively put the system out of action until they'd re-processed it. Here's what I want the description to say: - BLURB In 1034, the fuse has been lit that will change the kingship of Alba. When his place in the succession is rejected, Finlay of Moray rebels against his grandfather the king and sides with half-brother Thorfinn of Orkney. With his intended bride married off to his cousin, his boyhood friend joining the opposing side and the threat of war looming, there is little happiness for Finlay. Wanting to cement the bond between them, Thorfinn badgers him to marry his beautiful sister, but Finlay, reluctant to abandon hope of his first love, griml