Book Review: Blue Monday by Nicci French

Blue MondayBlue Monday by Nicci French
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an amazingly gripping psychological crime thriller; but only from about half way through. Up until that point it just plodded along, and actually dragged along for a while. There was just too much background building and not enough tension building.

Once it got going though, it really took off and became unputdownable. I had to curse at the stupidity and naivety of some of the characters at times, but where would a good crime thriller be without those silly mistakes?

I would recommend this one to my friends, but I have a feeling that the second in this series will be better than the first.

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Book Review: I Heard That Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark

I Heard That Song BeforeI Heard That Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just what one expects from a Mary Higgins Clark formula: a few possible suspects from the outset, some twists and turns, and a fairly predictable ending. This is her formula. I always enjoy trying to predict the killer within the first twenty pages. Occasionally, I begin to doubt myself as I turn the pages, but I am usually right with my initial prediction. But this is what makes these books such fun to read!

Almost two days of my reading time on the beach were taken up with this one, and I don’t regret that. I enjoyed the book, and would recommend it to any MHC or crime fiction fan.

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How To Survive Your Writing Friend Quitting Writing #SundayBlogShare #Writers

There is so much to reflect upon in this article. It is very well written, and there is much that resonates with me from my own experiences.

One point that we should all hold close to our hearts, is that the quitting, writing friend will be back. It may take a while, but be patient because their return is a certainty. Do not grieve or despair. Your writing friend will come back to you!


Writer friends are special human beings. Let’s all take a moment to think about writer friends.

Writer friends understand your creative side, share your writing passion and know all about the emotional turmoil that goes hand in hand with writing a book. You share work regardless of quality / state, give each other feedback and are happy to talk writing for HOURS.

This shared understanding forges a deep bond between you both, especially if you have felt misunderstood by non-writers for years. Suddenly you have someone who gets the creative side of you! This is powerful friendship stuff.

So when your beloved writing friend decides that writing is not for them anymore it can be pretty painful for both of you. Your creative sidekick is no longer there, as they are busy finding some other life path to follow and you are left clutching your notepad and pen feeling a little…

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Although I bought my ticket as soon as they became available, there is a chance that I may not be able to make it on Saturday. I’d say that it is about 50:50 at the moment. I’ll be sad if I can’t be there. There is no doubt in my mind that it will, as always, be a fantastic event!

If you’re reading this, and haven’t been to ABBA before, get your ticket now and go! I thoroughly recommend it. Great people, great discussions and lots of fun!


Are you coming to this year’s Bash? It’s on the 19th May and there are no competing attractions, however keen you are on Royal Weddings and FA Cup finals. I’m mean, seriously? Competition? Pah!

If not, why not?

Here’s where you can get tickets.

If you are booked, then this is what you need to know.

The Bash is held this year at The George IV pub in Chiswick. Here’s a link to said welcoming hostelry. We will take over the Boston Room for our glorious meet up.

The fun starts at 10.30 and runs until 4.30. Here’s a link to the agenda post with details.

Before I get into more details on travel and admin on the day there’s one big thing I’d like help with. As there will be a fair few of us coming and we are in a pub that serves food, the options for…

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Knife Crime in USA

Whilst I agree with President Trump that knife crime in London is a problem, his statement that the floors of the hospitals are flooded with blood is blatant fake news.

His proposed solution of arming all citizens with guns, possibly assault rifles, is even more ludicrous, but it is no more than we have come to expect from the Chief Tweeter.

However, I have observed that knife crime in the USA is rife.

I have been shocked by the sight of Americans using their fish knives to spread butter on their rolls. I have observed diners using their steak knives to portion their gateaux. Even worse, I have seen our trans-Atlantic cousins cutting their meat into small pieces which they scoop up with a mouthful of vegetables on a salad fork before shovelling them into their mouths.


Fortunately, as you’d expect, all efforts to carve a filet mignon with a butter knife met with failure.

One thing is certain, knife crime in USA is epidemic.

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So, You Want to be Rich?

My very good Batswana friend, Boikanyo Trust Phenyo, has just published her first book. It is available, right now, on Kindle and will soon also be available in paperback format.

In this book, she describes how she has become rich by doing exactly what she loves to do. And that is embodied in the title.

How I Got Rich

Boikanyo was the real life lady who inspired me to write my own first novel, Eleven Miles. She, herself, walked eleven miles to school each day in order to gain an education which would take her on to achieve her greatest dreams. She now funds a school bus to take the children from her home village to the school in town, eleven miles way, so that they don’t have to endure the same dangerous trek. The proceeds of my novel have contributed a large proportion of the funding required to buy and maintain that bus.

Boikanyo asked me if I would write the forward to her book, and I was delighted to do so. You can read my foreword by clicking “Look inside” on the Amazon link.

Boikanyo is an amazing woman and I am sure that she will go on to reach even greater achievements in her life. She has already been recognised by Queen Elisabeth II and by His Excellency Mr Mokgweetsi E.K Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana.

So, what are you waiting for? Click on the link to download your copy of How I Got RICH Doing What I LOVE!: Its easier than you think!

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Fishing for Jobs

Station PosterMy job search reminds me of days when I went fishing on the banks of the River Tay at the North Inch in Perth. I used to go out before dawn and spend all day casting my flies out onto the rippling surface of that beautiful river. There were times when I would be there until the early hours of the following morning and my concerned grandfather would come to find me. I had lost all track of time. I was lost in my own wonderful, peaceful world.

It never bothered me if I went for hours without a bite. I was certain that I would eventually run into frenzy of bites and I was usually right.

My last day of full employment was 13th December 2017. Since then, I have tried every channel that I can think of to find myself a new employment. I really need to work for my own sanity as much as for  the necessary income.

This morning, I tried something different and I ran into a frenzy of bites. From six o’clock, I stood on the London-bound platform of Andover Railway Station, with a poster advertising my availability and asking commuters to request a copy of my CV. Five people took a CV and a few exchanged contact details with me. When I got home, just before eight o’clock, I already had two emails from people who would like to meet up with me ‘for a chat.’

So, what inspired me to get out and do this? Since attending the M3 Job Club in Basingstoke, one snippet that I picked up on from a session run by Maxine Hart of Wote Street People, was that we should “advertise ourselves.” I took he literally.

I have had a lot of positive reaction and have since been interviewed by The Andover Advertiser, followed by Love Andover Radio and have been live on BBC Radio Solent. You can hear my interview here! (scroll to 1:49:30)

I have been following up on these leads all day and still have more to try. These are exciting times. Perhaps it won’t be long before I reel in the big salmon of a job that I’ve been hunting for four months! I hope so.

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