Scat the Black Cat returns!

Eloise’s reading of her own book is excellent.

You really should click to watch and listen.

Eloise De Sousa is already a top children’s author in terms of quality and stories. It is time for the rest of the world to wake up and realise just how good she is!

E. De Sousa

After a wobbly start to Scat’s re-launch, thanks to C19, Scat has finally found firm footing for his return. Ready to face his readers with a new cover and a revised version of his book, this wily feline feels confident that more children will enjoy his fabulous tale.

Bullying affects everyone. It’s not easy to overcome the sense of helplessness you feel when you are bullied by someone. Nor is it easy to understand that some bullies have their own terrible tales to tell. Scat follows the path of vengeance against his bully but soon learns that there are consequences to every action.

Watch Scat’s story here and share it with your family and friends.

What would you do if you were Scat?

Order your copy of Scat the Black Cat here.

scat front cover 2020

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Book Review: Lilitu by Ina Morata

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Lilitu (Erotic Myths and Sexy Tales, #1)Lilitu by Ina Morata
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read as part of the ‘Erotic Myths & Sexy Tales Boxset Books 1-4’

This is a story of supernatural lust getting in the way of worldly love and lust.

Lilitu has magical and transformational powers. She has a strong desire for a human who is about to elope with his virginal lover. She tries every trick that she knows to capture his heart and, to an extent, succeeds.

There is a happy ending that satisfies all three main characters in the story.

Both the underlying plot and the extremely hot and sexy descriptions of the action are good.
The only reason that this book didn’t quite make it to a four-star rating for me was that I thought that it was far too drawn out. It would have been much sharper and impactful if it had been more concise and punchier.

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Burke in the Land of Silver by Tom Williams

This sound great,

It’s definitely going on my TBR mountain; near to the summit.


Burke in the Land of Silver (James Burke, spy Book 1) by [Tom Williams]

We meet James Burke as he fights the rebellion of black slaves in Saint Domingue. At the time he serves a French master, King Louis XIV. Boukman, a legendary rebel leader, accurately foretells his own death and Burke’s fortunes, telling him that he will have hand in building a new nation. And so the adventures of Lieutenant Burke begin.

Fast-forward through the French Revolution to the Napoleonic wars, James Burke is now in His Majesty’s service, dispatched to Buenos Aires on a spy mission against the French. A gentleman, he finds it uncomfortable to take on the role of a leather merchant and having to learn the ropes from the obnoxious O’Gorman. Burke’s discomfort is soothed by the presence of O’Gorman’s beautiful and intelligent wife, Ana.

Once in Argentina, Burke takes us on a roller-coaster journey through the Andes and many life-threatening exploits. Once you’re there, you will have no…

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Book Review: Going Gently by David Nobbs

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Going GentlyGoing Gently by David Nobbs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is just so brilliant, original, insightful and downright funny.

The main character is lying in a hospital bed, paralysed and awaiting her inevitable death. Unbeknown to her visitors and the hospital staff, she is totally aware of everything that is going on around her, and relates all of that to her long, and eventful, life.

You can read the synopsis for more of what has actually occurred in her life, without giving too much away.

David Nobbs is a very funny man. You can read some of his other books to confirm my assertion.

When I was a small boy in the ‘sixties, he worked as a journalist on the Sheffield Star with my father, Tony Greenfield, and recently departed author, Pete Tinniswood, and he often visited our house. I can remember how he used to make me and my sister laugh until our sides split, with his funny stories and games such as picture consequences. That is consequences where you draw the next part of the sequence and unfold the paper at the end – hilarious!

Anyway, back to this book: I would recommend it to anyone.

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An Interview with Paul Dodgson

This is an interview transcript that I am sure you will enjoy.

Edinburgh crime writer, Val Penny, interviews Paul Dodgson, writer, musician, teacher and radio producer.

Declaration of interest: I am proud that I count both Val and Paul as personal friends.

Val Penny's Book Reviews

I am delighted that writer and musician, Paul Dodgson has found time in his busy schedule to chat to me today. Thank you so much for your time, Paul.

1 Please tell my readers a little about yourself?

I am a writer, musician, teacher and radio producer who has written nineteen plays and stories for BBC Radio 4, drama documentaries for BBC2 and Eastenders for BBC1, plus plays for young people and music and lyrics for five musicals including The Nutcracker at Theatre Royal Bath and Nuffield Southampton. After thirty years of regret and stage fright, I became a singer-songwriter in 2016, went out on the road not taken and wrote a book about the adventure that followed.

2 What inspired you to become a writer/author?

I remember my mum telling me I would be a writer and being resistant to her advice because I wanted to be a…

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Book Review: Killing Eve – Die for Me (Endgame)

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Endgame (Killing Eve #3)Endgame by Luke Jennings
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third book in this series was originally launched under the name ‘Killing Eve- Endgame,’ which is what I pre-ordered. I suppose that the publishers, or the author, changed the title to leave room for yet another sequel.

I loved the way that the characters continued to develop onwards from the first two books, especially Villanelle and Eve. The sub-plots also continue to flow from the authors pen or keyboard in a way that makes the story easy to read and almost impossible to put down even when daily tasks in the real world come calling. The unexpected kept springing out of the pages and hitting me between the eyes.

From the beginning of book one, I have loved Villanelle for her coolness and craziness. There is no way intentionally cross her. I almost envy Eve for her part in their relationship but I was continuously fearing for her safety. The closer you get to a woman like that, the more precarious your life becomes.

Each book in the series is better than the previous. Book three builds to a great climax.

I have watched all three seasons of the TV series which, in my opinion, went in the opposite direction. Season three came as an enormous disappointment.

The books did it for me and I would recommend all three of them. Great writing!

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The Last High and Low of a Mouse

Not long after I started my round as an Ocado delivery driver this morning, this happened. It made me sad. I had to write about it.

Driving my van at half past six
between Grateley and Cholderton
on my way to drop two,
only sixteen more to do.

A mouse scuttles, swiftly, across my way.
I slow. He survives to get to the other side.
He jumps onto the grassy bank.
He survives. Alive! Phew!

Swoop! Flash! Kestrel.
Death. Dead mouse. Bird food.
I am sad. I almost cry.
One thrives as another dies.

Run. Jump. Heart thumps.
Living. Ecstatic. Happy.
Dive. Grab. Talons.
Death. Life. Sadness.

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Book Review: Hunter’s Chase by Val Penny

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Hunter's Chase (Edinburgh Crime Mysteries, #1)Hunter’s Chase by Val Penny
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As you’d expect from the first book in a crime series, there is plenty of character development. I must have met about twenty characters in the first four chapters and my head was spinning. I was tempted to start drawing a character map to keep track. Perhaps that’s exactly what the author did.

The opening scenes describe the discovery of the first body. There will be more! It is found as a young burglar trips over the half-buried corpse as he is pursued through the woods on the edge of an Edinburgh golf course by the victim of his robbery who just happens to be the retired chief of the city’s police force. You can see, already, that this is adding up to be a thriller with plenty of conflicts. And so it proves.

Although this sounds like a contradiction, as more complexity, especially in the relationships between the characters, is introduced, the clearer the various plot lines become.

I must admit that I strongly suspected the murderer about two-thirds of the way through, although I was not entirely certain.

What I liked was that I was cheering on some of the bad people in the story as much as I was the good ones. That’s skilful writing.

It helped that I am familiar with many of the locations in Edinburgh and they brought back fond memories of my youth.

This story, and probably the series, have the makings of a good television series. However, there are so many good crime series on TV these days that it faces some tough competition to be selected.

It certainly made me want to read more of Hunter’s cases, which I believe can be read stand-alone rather than in the order in which they are presented. I would recommend Hunter to any fan of crime thrillers, especially those with any links to the capital city of Scotland.

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Work begins on footway and street lighting

Finally, the work has begun to make the road outside my house safer. I have been campaigning for this moment for nine years.

Here the link to the report in the Andover Advertiser.

Link to Andover Advertiser article about progress on road safety in Andover
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Let There Be Light – Phases Two to Four

Previous post: Let There Be Light – Phase One

On Wednesday 3rd June, Phases 2-4 were completed. The lanterns we placed atop the new poles, the new main was connected and the old lamp posts were removed.

The operation was not without problems. The SSE workers needed to plug their wiring and pipework detector into my power supply and they suspected that the old main might run underneath my garden. Thankfully, it just missed so the garden remained intact.

Phases two and three went without a hitch.

Phase four was difficult for them. The old posts were so heavily embedded in deep-set concrete that they could not be uprooted. The solution was to saw them off below ground level.

I was so very happy, when I returned from work at midnight, to find my street fully illuninated.


Hampshire County Council have informed me that the surfacing of the footway, phase five, will commence on 15th June and last approximately one week.

Local residents and other pedestrians will be able to walk safely.

Once more . . .


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