Whatever Happened to Small is Beautiful?

In the main, I agree with Sheila.

The odds are set against that breakthrough coming along when one is battling alone. Very occasionally, it DOES happen.

I keep my faith and I hope.

My dream is that somebody influential notices the review comments that say, “This would make a great movie.” I cannot afford to make the film of either of my novels, so I need an established movie director to come to the understanding that “Eleven Miles” could be the next award-winning blockbuster.

In the meantime, I must get on with writing the sequel.

SC Skillman Blog

In 1993, E.F. Schmacher published a book entitled Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered. Small-Is-Beautiful-CoverIt was well received, and promised a potential revolution in ideas for capitalism and for the consumer society.

Recently I saw a plea from a Christian charity for us to invest in poor (“small” in economic terms) countries and help them develop their economies within their own culture. The benefits of this will radiate out to encompass all of us. The truth behind this is one that philosophers have clearly seen and expressed (in particular John Ruskin) yet it continually seems to bypass the greedy, the corporate, the leviathans of our consumer society.

I found myself relating it to the situation of the “indie” author.  Our society does not yet fully honour the idea that it is good to invest in small indie writers and help them in their businesses (comparable…

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Review: How the Marquis Got His Coat Back

How the Marquis Got His Coat Back
How the Marquis Got His Coat Back by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story is absolutely crazy!

When I was about twelve years old, I watched the psychedelic animated cartoon of Yellow Submarine by the Beatles. This story reminded me of my feelings as I watched that cartoon.

As the recently dead, but now recovered, Marquis De Carabas makes his way to from the Floating Market in the Tate Gallery and the strange Mushroom People, via the Mortlake, lake of the dead, to meet the dangerous shepherds of Shepherd’s Bush, we share his very psychedelic trip. He is lucky that he can rely upon the combination of his own guile and the occasional appearance of his mysterious brother.

His main objective, as the title implies, is to retrive his missing, magical coat.

You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens and the other strange events that happen along the way. I can guarantee that you will be amazed and entranced, and you will have a lot of fun.

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Well on my way!


I just wanted to share my joy with you all. I have just picked up my 400th follower on my blog. That may not seem very many to you, but it means a lot to me, so please rejoice and celebrate with me.

In my 2017 New Year Resolutions, I set myself a target of 500 followers by the end of this year. I feel that I am well on my way to achieving that goal.

You can help me by spreading my words wider. Please re-blog some of my time-travelling coach tours or my book reviews, or share the fun of the shorties contained in my Titbits tab. The main objective of my blog is to promote my novels, so I shamelessly beg you to pass on the links to Eleven Miles and Knitting Can Walk!

I extend a big thank you to all of my 400 loyal blog followers!

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Review: More Than You Can Say

More Than You Can Say
More Than You Can Say by Paul Torday

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first part of this story is totally ridiculous and my thoughts were that none of this could possibly ever happen. However, as the story unfolds, it becomes more and more plausible, until, eventually, I began to think that these events could really, actually happen. That is what I would call very clever story telling.

Paul Torday is an incredibly imaginative author. I liked this book very much indeed and would recommend it to any of my friends.

All that stopped me from awarding five stars was that it tended to ramble in places. In an action packed thriller, that can be most frustrating! Don’t let that put you off though. It is well worth reading.

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Review: The Toy Breaker

The Toy Breaker
The Toy Breaker by Roy Chester

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story moves along at a nice pace that hooked me from the start. The characters are very well introduced and developed throughout the book In fact, they are still being developed towards the conclusion, which sets up Dr Hannah Nightingale and her fellow protagonists for the sequel.

There is the classic line that the seasoned police officers are very skeptical, at first, about the introduction of a psychological profiler, but gradually become convinced of her value to their investigations. By the end, of course, she proves to be absolutely vital. That storyline is hardly original, but the author manages to make it convincing.

The pace is maintained by good, strong dialogue and the dilemmas that face at least two of the main characters.

There are a few twists and turns and surprises throughout, although the main surprise was not a shock to me, even though it seemed to leap out of the blue at the two detectives and the profiler. I was expecting one major twist at the end that didn’t actually happen, so I lost my personal bet with myself.

The tension in the end play was expertly managed and I was swept along by it. A very good conclusion.

The only element that grated slightly with me was the infusion of Americanisms. Most of the narrative is in British English, and there is even a “Glossary of English Slang for US Readers” at the end of the book to help our trans-Atlantic friends. If I were American, I would have preferred this to be at the front of the book so that I could become aware of it before I started reading the first chapter.

I thoroughly recommend The Toy Breaker to any fans of the psychological thriller.

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Review: The Christmas Promise

The Christmas Promise
The Christmas Promise by Sue Moorcroft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had the privilege to attend a class at the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in 2016 which Sue Moorcroft delivered. There were two topics that she covered which made an impression on me and which I bore in mind as I read this book.

That might make me slightly over-critical.

The first was “point of view.” It took skillful writing to give me a good feel for the points of view of each of the main characters rahter than just the main protagonist, Ava. I enjoyed that.

The second was on how to end chapters. Sue’s instruction was to try to end each chapter on a note that would make the reader want to read on rather than put the light out go to sleep. On this point, The Chrsitmas Promise only scored 50%. My thoughts are that this was due to enthusiastic editing rather than the author’s own intentions.

Back to the book itself.

The storyline is very good and is captivating. After a slow start, during which there is much house and party hopping to get to know the characters, the narative rolls along at a good lick. I enjoyed it and was always wondering what would happen next.

All in all, this is a fun read with a happy ending. I recommend it.

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Let The Blood Run Free

Thoughts by Mello-Elo

5am. Just as the birds have decided on which song to sing to welcome the day, she barges into my bedroom, crying.

“Muuum! I can’t breathe!” she gurgles, a hand held to her nose.

Thanks to many years of being woken up by a child running into my room in the middle of the night like the bogeyman has come to visit, I automatically wake up, ready for action.

“What happened? Did you throw up again?” I ask, dreading the answer. I’ve also had years of practise scrubbing carpets in the middle of the night.

A mumbled response followed by a deep cough which sounds like a knife wound to the gut. There’s a slippery wet sound to it as blood collects in the throat.

Her next words confirm my gut instinct. “By dose ith bleedin’,” she chokes.

Her little body comes into focus and I notice the droplets down…

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