Posted in Writing

TUESDAY TALK chats to Blogger Linda Hill who reveals her favourite holiday destinations and chooses some interesting dinner guests…

Linda's latest headGood morning Linda and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?  Hi Jo. Thank you so much for having me on your lovely blog.
I’m a self retired ex teacher, educational consultant and inspector who lives in a small market town on the Lincolnshire/Cambridgeshire border with my husband of almost 33 years and near to the rest of my family. I love to read (obviously!) and when I’m not reading, I’m usually gardening, travelling or planning the next trip away. I’m also very keen on Bryan Ferry, chocolate and cats, but not necessarily in the order.

What made you decide to start Linda’s Book Bag?
I used to read, review and write resources for books for Hodder for KS3 when I was working and I’ve been a member of the reader panel for years so when I ‘retired’ I thought a blog would be a way to share my love of books. I didn’t realise that in just over a year would be so much a part of my life. I now spend around four hours a day on blog related activities.

Is there any type of book you don’t promote and why?                                                                         I wouldn’t say I don’t promote particular kinds of books although I would be very firmly against anything that might cause hurt or offence to others if it were deliberately racist, homophobic or written to promote another offensive point of view. That would be firmly off the blog.
That said, I don’t read much horror (too much of a coward), fantasy or paranormal fiction so I tend to offer guest blogs and interviews to those authors rather than reviews. I’m not keen on anything too explicitly violent either. I think that we all have different tastes so I will feature books I wouldn’t read myself. I don’t expect restaurants to offer only the food a chef likes so it feels the same with the blog if that makes sense? The blog has evolved to help support authors as well as tell others about books I’ve read.

Out of all the genres you have read which is your favourite?
This is such a difficult question as the genre I like best is usually the one I’ve just enjoyed and read – I’m very fickle. I suppose I’m really pulled towards what might be termed contemporary or literary fiction, but I also love novels with a psychological element, crime, historical fiction and a good old fashioned romance or chick-lit so my tastes are fairly eclectic.

Have you ever been tempted to write a novel?
Not just tempted – it’s partly done. I have a chick-lit style novel planned with 26,000 words on paper and intended to complete it during NaNoWriMo last year but life got in the way. I know it’s said that if you really want to write you’ll find the time but since October my husband was diagnosed with skin cancer and had four operations, my father was life-threateningly ill with sepsis and we had a full term still born child, my great-niece Emma, born into our tight-knit family so whether my protagonist got her man seemed totally irrelevant to my life recently. However, the novel is still fermenting in my brain and it is my intention to write the rest during this year’s NaNoWriMo.

Are you a beach or city girl? Where is your favourite chill out spot?
Can I say yes to both? I adore sitting on a beach or in the garden with a book. I just got back from a trip where there were several hours at airports and on long haul flights with three days at sea around Taiwan too so it was bliss to read for extended lengths of time. I also love the city. My husband is a photographer now and so we do lots of city breaks. When we’ve ‘done’ an area he likes to take even more photos and I’m happy to sit with my kindle and read whilst he does so – it’s a perfect combination.
I do like to sit on a bench in the corner of my very small garden and read too.

If you could invite four favourite celebrities to dinner who would they be and why?
Bryan Ferry obviously. I once asked him the extent to which Tennyson’s poetry has bryan0002influenced his song lyrics, but we only had a brief time to talk so I’d like to follow that up. I have a theory that you can trace the history of poetry through his so I’d like to chat a bit more about that with him.
Next would be David Attenborough. I think he’s amazing and want to be as active and proactive at his age. I’m very keen on wildlife and we take a lit of trips especially wth wildlife as the focus so he’d be fascinating to speak with.
I think Eddie Izzard would be a fabulous guest too. I really admire the way he can do stand-up in several languages and his marathon running for charity has to be admired.
Lastly, although she isn’t conventionally a celebrity (yet – she should be) I’d like to invite author Lindsay Hawdon. I think she probably thinks I’m becoming a stalker but anyone who knows my blog well will know I loved her debut novel Jakob’s Colours, and I was beside myself with delight when she agreed to be interviewed for my first blog birthday. The link is here if readers would like to s I’d like to talk to her in more detail about her writing and her travels.


My blog is and my

Twitter account @Lindahill50Hill (

Posted in Writing

Every Time We Say Goodbye….


Yes, it’s nearly that moment again. I’m currently working on edits and have a deadline of Friday 3rd before my WIP is sent off for professional editing. Which means I’m nearly at the end of another long journey. The story has been completed, it’s all about sorting out any typos, kinks in the timeline and tightening up the prose. The days of working on scenes, deciding on dialogue and moving the story forward to its conclusion are now over. I’m there. And although I try hard it’s difficult not to feel a little sad about saying goodbye to my characters. They’ve seen me through two books and their story has been told so as they say in the movies ‘it’s a wrap’.

Luckily I have a new idea in the melting pot; one which I will be concentrating on developing once a publication date for Watercolours in the Rain has been announced. There will be another collection of characters to meet and a new world to create and become involved in. So although there is a sadness in leaving old friends behind, I’m looking forward to meeting new ones fairly soon. It’s a case of watch this space!


Posted in Writing

New Book Review: Poison in the Water by Marissa De Luna








Career-driven fashion designer Celeste Broady meets the man of her dreams while traveling in Thailand. Alex Renshaw seems to have it all: the charm, the charisma and the wealth. After a whirlwind wedding, they move to Hong Kong and soon become the most glamorous power couple amongst the glitterati of the city. She is living her dream.

But the higher you climb, the further you have to fall. With Alex’s career blossoming, he’s increasingly away from home, and when his hedonistic and philandering best friend Bill arrives bringing with him a yacht and a decadent lifestyle, Celeste is forced to compete for her husband’s attention.

Her confidence in her fairytale marriage soon begins to fade, and when she stumbles over a dark secret, she realises she is in too deep and there is only one way out.


When So Vain Publishing offered me the chance to read a pre-publication copy of this book, I was pleased to accept.  The synopsis promised an interesting read.  What I did not expect was a great story which held me from the first page right to the end.

Clothes designer Celeste meets Alex while travelling in Thailand. She’s from a working class family while Alex is the younger son of Warwick Renshaw, one of Britain’s richest men.  Despite their different backgrounds they fall in love and eventually marry. The couple head for Hong Kong, Alex to manage Renshaw’s Chinese interests and Celeste to set up and manage a new branch of her company there.

Alex and Celeste step into the world of the uber rich; of glittering parties and life in the fast lane.  Alex is frequently absent on business but Celeste has her work and his return always brings an affirmation of their love.  She is aware that his father’s treatment of his mother has left him vowing never to be the kind of man he was, a serial womaniser with many mistresses.  Celeste feels safe and loved.  But the arrival in Hong Kong of Alex’s best friend Bill with his relaxed take on marriage changes everything.

The story begins with a prologue – Celeste is in London at a counselling session. We realise that something has gone terribly wrong with her marriage to Alex.  As she discusses her issues we are taken back to the beginning; to Thailand where they met and fell in love.  As the story progresses we begin to see easy-going Alex  hides a darker, controlling side. But this is only the beginning of the nightmare for Celeste.

I won’t say anymore because it would involve too many spoilers.  All I will tell you is that this book has many levels. It’s a love story, a story of friendship, of betrayal and deception.  An unputdownable read and a must for anyone’s TBR pile.

I would like to thank So Vain publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.



Posted in Writing

Today Tuesday Talk chats to writer Catherine Miller about her dream holiday, favourite author and what inspires her to write…

DSC_5851Good morning and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?

Good morning, Jo, and thank you so much for having me over for a quiet cuppa. The calm is very much appreciated as when I’m not writing, I’m a mum to twin toddlers. They turn 3 in July and it’s safe to say my life can be pretty hectic.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? How did your journey begin?

I’ve written stories for pleasure since my teen years, but I trained to be a physiotherapist and worked for the NHS for several years. It was only when illness meant I couldn’t continue in my job that I decided to pursue my writing dream.


What gives you the inspiration for your books?

Waiting for You came about with a dinnertime conversation about the ideal number of children. It inspired a What If? moment and the story evolved from there. All That Is Left Of Us was inspired by a visit to the zoo. I tend to take moments from the everyday and turn them into something more.

As a busy mum with twins how do you organise your writing time?

I’ve had to make a few sacrifices. Evenings and nap times are my writing time along with two mornings a week when they head to preschool. When the girls were young I reverted to pen and paper and would write when they were eating.

If money was no object what would be your ultimate travel destination?

My top choice at the moment would be to spend a week in Canada in a lodge by a lake and be extremely lazy all week. I daydream about being lazy. I’ve forgotten what it’s like.

Who is your favourite author and why?

I think that has to be Katie Fforde. She was a favourite of mine before meeting her through the RNA and going all fan girl. She is a big supporter of the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and I was beyond honoured that I was chosen as the 2015 Katie Fforde bursary recipient. I love that not only is she a great writer, she also supports new writers having gone through the process herself

What advice would you give to newbie writers?

Don’t wait to get in the zone to write, just write whenever you get ten minutes spare. That way you’ll have a novel before you know it.

Catherine’s Social Media Links
Catherine Miller – Facebook page




Waiting for You cover

You’d never guess that Fliss Chapron doesn’t have it all
All Fliss wants is to see two blue lines telling her she is pregnant with her much longed for second baby. But as the negative tests stack up, dreams of completing her perfect family feel more hopeless every day.
After years of disappointment, Fliss’s husband Ben is spending more time at the office than in their marital bed, and Fliss finds herself wondering who could be responsible for their inability to conceive another child. Yet, where do you lay the blame when it comes to having a child – and can anyone really be at fault…
As Ben becomes increasingly distant, Fliss begins to question whether her desire for a baby is just a sticking plaster to save her marriage. Because in the end, how well can you ever know another person…even the man you’re married to?

Waiting for You – Amazon UK
Waiting for You –

Posted in Writing



Historical Fiction, Regency era
Release Date: May 1, 2016
320 Pages / 5”x7.75”
Promotion: Alberta author events, National review mailing,
online promotion and select advertising
Trade paperback
$19.95 CAD
ISBN 978-0-9866494-4-8
$32.95 CAD
ISBN 978-0-9866494-5-5



Mary Green, obscure orphan and ward of the wealthy Hargreaves family, has always accepted her inferior position with grace, humility, and gratitude. When she discovers that her only friend is to leave the country forever, that her confidence has been betrayed by the unfeeling youngest daughter of the family, and that her very deprivation is the object of the mockery and scorn of everyone she has sought to honour, she determines to cast them off and make her own way in the world. On her twenty-first birthday, free to choose her own destiny, she dreams of peace and tolerance, and perhaps a partner who might be noble enough to love her in all her simplicity. But when an unexpected foray into London society disrupts all her plans, she is faced with an uncharacteristic storm of feelings. Will she grow strong and happy in her independence, or will her character be lost amidst her newfound ambition? Unable to trust the whims of her own heart, Mary is forced to confront the question that has forever plagued her: Who is she and where does she come from?

Chapter 1

The name of Mary Green was so far beneath the notice of Miss Hargreaves and her sister that its bearer hardly heard it spoken except in rare occasions of company. When forced to address the poor girl, it was therefore as simply ‘Polly,’ and most often uttered with resentment at being required to acknowledge her existence at all.

The three young ladies lived at Challey Hall in Oxfordshire, with the late Mrs. Hargreaves’ younger sister, Miss Preston. The house was by no means the largest in the county, but it was not so small that a lady on one floor in the east wing might be expected to hear the call of her cousin on another floor in the west.

“Polly!” cried Miss Augusta from the seat of her dressing table. Though she was a little more friendly than her sister, she was neither so humble as to call Mary by her proper name, nor so selfless as to go in search of her rather than sit and grow angry at Mary’s being so careless of the feelings of others as to be out of hearing distance when she was required.

Augusta called for Polly again, drawing out the sounds in an insistent and desperate holler, unequal to imagining that Mary may have any other engagement but to wait, out of sight of her cousins, for the moment she may be needed by either of them.  Augusta let go an impatient sigh, glared into the mirror and drew a great breath to call again for that wretched little creature when the door of her chamber flew open.

“What on earth do you do, Gussy?” was the indignant reply, for it was not Polly who had burst in and indeed never burst anywhere, but Dorothea, the elder Hargreaves girl, gliding across the carpet to stand over her sister in breathless elegance. “Do not you think how ill it becomes you to shout the whole house down like that? Do you wish people to think you savage?”

“I know not what people there are in this house whose opinions might concern me, unless you mean Aunt Preston or the servants. Clearly Polly does not hear me.”

Dorothea, catching sight of herself in the mirror was instantly distracted and calmed by the thought that she must have a new day gown made, one just like Lady Darlington had brought back from Paris. It would suit her figure so much better than Lady Darlington’s.   She lowered her eyes to her sister’s surly reflection.

“Well, go and fetch her then,” she said, “if you need her so.” She raised her eyebrows at Augusta’s image then turned and strode back across the room. Stopping to look the door frame up and down as if in disapproval, she added, “And if you think the talk of servants benign, I could tell you a sobering tale or two,” and left the room.

Augusta watched her sister in the mirror as she departed, then sat in furious silence. She would not give Dorothea the satisfaction of seeing her follow her instruction to go and find Mary, but neither would she expose herself to further insult by calling out again. After a few moments of internal debate, she gave up and threw herself onto her bed, taking up a novel from the nightstand and attempting to read it while her mind replayed every act of insolent superiority ever perpetrated against her by her sister.

On hearing a knock, Augusta looked up over the book to see the figure of Mary, standing just outside the open door, which Dorothea had not deigned to close upon her departure. “Your sister said you were calling for me,” she said.

“Did she go and fetch you?” asked Augusta. “How like her.” She threw down her book and slipped off the bed and back into place before the mirror. “Will you please come and help me, Polly” she said, beckoning to Mary, who came and stood beside her. “I am utterly distraught over the Westley Ball. All three of the Ingles brothers are going to be there, even Lord Marsden. You do remember him? Of course you do. One does not forget Lord Marsden.” She heaved a great sigh at the thought of being noticed or – dare she even hope? – asked to dance by such a gentleman as the unparalleled Lord Marsden. “But what am I going to wear that can possibly draw the attention of any of the gentlemen away from Dorothea?” She shook her head. “I could not tolerate being outdone by her again. She has allowed me to borrow any of her pieces that I should like,” she indicated a selection of jewels laid out on the table, “yet I know they shall all be of no use to me.”

“That was very kind of her,” Mary offered. “Several of these are among her favourites, I am sure.”

“It is nothing like kindness” Augusta spat. “It is a twisted sort of conceit. She knows I shall never look as well in any of them as she does, and she only proves her own supremacy by allowing me to demonstrate as much. And of course she is right. She shall wrap herself in some torn old rags with a fishing net on her head, and everyone shall announce her the most natural and unaffected beauty in the kingdom. She is so blessed tall; she might wear anything to advantage, just like you. I am the only poor dwarf in this house. I am no less deserving than her and yet I get none of the attention.”

“I may be tall, it is true,” said Mary, choosing the most delicate necklace from the table and fastening it around Augusta’s neck, “but I will always want Dorothea’s grace. I am rather plodding I am afraid, and shall never be as dainty as yourself.”

“Well that is true, I suppose,” Augusta conceded, touching the necklace and turning her head to admire it from both sides.

“Gentlemen like a dainty lady, or so I am told.” Mary took down the gowns that had been hung beside the mirror.

“Let your sister envy you for a change,” she said, “and regret her great, towering form. Here,” she held out a white sprigged muslin. “The subtlety of this fabric would be lost on her, and will flatter you very well I think.”

“But it is so plain,” complained Augusta, who, though not quite so handsome as her sister, was still rather pretty. “I am already so plain. I shall draw no attention in that.”

“Take a little of the lace from this gown,” said Mary, picking out an elaborately embellished silk “and add it to the muslin. You have several days until the ball. I am sure Ellie will be able to accomplish something very pretty in plenty of time.”

“That is a thought,” said Augusta, looking over the two gowns.

“And I am sure we can make good use of some of your ribbon for your hair, and there are some charming little flowers in the gardens just now. No doubt they would be quite happy to be liberated for your adornment.”

“Oh Polly, would you do that for me?” she simpered. “And please tell Ellie just how the gown should be made up. I know I should make a mess of it, and before such company, I should be mortified. I simply cannot allow Dorothea to keep all the gentlemen to herself.”

“Only one gentleman may marry Dorothea,” said Mary, taking up the two gowns. “There will be others left for you, you know.”

“Perhaps, but I should like to be somebody’s first choice, and besides, who is to say they shall not all squander their lives in pining for her if they cannot find her equal.”

“Let us not despair of that quite yet,” said Mary, as she gathered up the gowns.

Augusta eyed her ruffled burden. “I would loan you something to wear but I just do not think anything I have would fit you without irreversible adjustment. I am afraid you must look to Dorothea for that.”

“Something to wear?” said Mary.

“Well, you cannot go in your old house dress. It would reflect badly on us. I am sure Aunt Preston will see it that way.”

“I am to go to the ball?” Mary was all confusion. She was never invited to join the Hargreaves girls on social outings. She was not even a blood relation, after all, though she was always referred to as a cousin. Mary was, in fact, a nobody, and only permitted to remain in their house out of what the sisters regarded as a misplaced sentimentality on the part of their ever absent father.

“I should hope so!” said Augusta. “You were particularly mentioned in the invitation, and I do not think Aunt Preston would take it very well if you were to refuse. It would look like ingratitude.”

“No, of course, I should not wish to give offense, and I have no cause to refuse. I am merely surprised to have been invited.” The honour of an invitation to Westley Park was more than she ever expected to receive, and she felt the thrill and the apprehension of attending such a great occasion as such a humble character. Already she began to think how she might make over a tattered cast-off of Dorothea’s which hung in her closet, though next to the sisters Hargreaves, she knew she would always look the penniless orphan that she was.

“Well, you must not make yourself too pretty,” Augusta scowled. “It is one thing to be outdone by Dorothea, but if you were both to appear more handsome, it would be quite intolerable and I should never forgive you.”

Mary knew Augusta too well to think her in jest, though the notion that Mary could ever be more remarkable than either of her cousins was most ridiculous. “I do not think you need worry about that,” she said. “I shall be the one in rags and no one has ever called me a natural beauty.”

“Oh do not be so self-pitying. It does not become you.” Augusta turned and waved Mary away. The latter bit her tongue as she always did, recounted to herself all her many blessings, and made her way from the room, leaving the other girl to herself and to the misery of her sister’s jewels.




Melanie Kerr studied linguistics, English, and theatre at the University of British Columbia, and law at the University of Alberta. Kerr is a reckless lover of clotted cream, a staunch defender of the semi-colon, and a fierce opponent of unpleasant music. She wooed her current and only husband with false promises of skill at word games and eternally good hair. She lives in Edmonton, where she raises her three young children, sews her own Regency costumes, organizes Regency costume events, blogs on all things old and English, endeavours to take over the world, and occasionally practices law.




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Twitter @MelanieKerrAuth and Facebook as Melanie Kerr Facebook:

Mary Green Facebook Page

The author is doing daily blog posts in the lead up to the read-along which begins on May 13. My first post is about what a read-along is and how it works. You can find it at


Posted in Writing

TUESDAY TALK: Today we welcome author Jan Ruth who tells us about her writing journey and the inspiration she finds in the Snowdonian landscape…

Grey HorseGood morning Jan and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?
Perhaps I should start with my son who has a birthday today – on May 10th – and I can’t believe he’s 29! I also have two adult step-children in New Zealand and two step-grandchildren.
I live in an extremely beautiful, rugged area of North Wales; perfect for walking the hills, horse-riding (still a passion, although at 58 I no longer ride nutty thoroughbreds) and of course the endless inspiration is right on my doorstep.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? How did your journey begin?
The real story began at school, with prizes for short stories and poetry. I failed all things mathematical and scientific, and to this day struggle to make sense of anything numerical!

What gives you the inspiration for your books?
I think there are two major considerations for me. The first is simply Snowdonia and the landscape; plus personal experiences. Some years ago we moved from Cheshire to North Wales. Although Cheshire has its history and pretty rural surroundings aplenty, Wales is far more extreme in both aspects. The castles and the rugged hillsides strewn with stone settlements, druid circles and Roman roads bring out the historical muse in me. To think that I am treading the same path as someone who lived in the Iron Age, is both fascinating and humbling. Snowdonia kick-started my stalled obsession with writing in a very positive way. All this whimsical talk of the past makes me sound as if I write historical-based fiction. Far from it. Much as I admire many other genres I tend to be very much rooted in current times and my work reflects a lot of my own life experiences. But this is where I find the two ideas merge a little because I am most certainly inspired by this Ice Age landscape. What has gone before certainly shapes what we see today, but does it shape what we feel, too?

Are you a plotter or a panster?
I never plot anything. I begin with an idea, usually a strong emotional message and from there the characters must find their own way.

Who are your favourite authors? Have they had any influence on your own writing?
I think the teenage years were my most impressionable and I was a voracious reader: Jilly Cooper, Dick Francis and Winston Graham.

If money was no object what would be your ultimate travel destination?
No where! I don’t really enjoy travel. I’ve done several long-haul flights to Australia, New Zealand, America, Singapore. I don’t especially hanker to go anywhere these days. I think if I had to choose and money was no object it would have to be a luxurious tour of Europe, perhaps taking in the Spanish Riding School of Vienna to get a horse-fix. I enjoy photography, history, good food and wine. I’m not a sun-lover and I can’t sit still for long.

Name four books which are special to you and your reasons for choosing them.
Us, by David Nicholls. I adored everything about this book, such a witty observation of fatherhood and marriage and how we deal with change. Funny, and intensely readable. The Misremembered Man, by Christina McKenna. A strong setting in Ireland and flashbacks to Jamie’s life in an orphanage, and then the present day search for who he is. Poignant, full of powerful authenticity but told with wit and humour too, and the ending was a complete surprise. Mist, by Mary Fitzgerald. This one gave me goosebumps. Set in Snowdonia, it’s a blend of legend and contemporary rural life. I think this novel is a first-class example of why some books might appeal to one person, and leave the next reader cold. Because of the Welsh background I devoured every word. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the landscape, spiritual almost. Me Before You, JoJo Moyes. I’m including this one for sheer originality. A light read, covering an intensely dark subject.




My first novel – written in 1986 – attracted the attention of an agent who was trying to set up her own company, Love Stories Ltd. It was a project aiming to champion those books of substance which contained a romantic element but were perhaps directed towards the more mature reader and consistently fell through the net in traditional publishing. Sadly, the project failed to get the right financial backing.
Many years later my second novel, Wild Water, was taken on by Jane Judd, literary agent. Judd was a huge inspiration, but the book failed to find the right niche with a publisher. It didn’t fall into a specific category and, narrated mostly from the male viewpoint, it was considered out of genre for most publishers and too much of a risk.
Amazon changed the face of the industry with the advent of self-publishing; opening up the market for readers to decide the fate of those previously spurned novels. I went on to successfully publish several works of fiction and short story collections and after a brief partnership with Access Press in 2015, I’ve returned to the freedom of independent publishing.

Fiction which does not fall neatly into a pigeon hole has always been the most difficult to define. In the old days such books wouldn’t be allowed shelf space if they didn’t slot immediately into a commercial list.
As an author I have been described as a combination of literary-contemporary-romantic-comedy-rural-realism-family-saga; oh, and with an occasional criminal twist and a lot of the time, written from the male viewpoint.

No question my books are Contemporary. Family and Realism; these two must surely go hand-in-hand, yes? So, although you’ll discover plenty of escapism, I hope you’ll also be able to relate to my characters as they stumble through a minefield of relationships.
I hesitate to use the word romance. It’s a misunderstood and mistreated word and despite the huge part it plays in the market, attracts an element of disdain. If romance says young, fluffy and something to avoid, maybe my novels will change your mind since many of my central characters are in their forties and fifties. Grown-up love is rather different, and this is where I try to bring that sense of realism into play without compromising the escapism.


Silent Water Cover MEDIUM WEB


(Part Three of Wild Water)

The tragedy and comedy that is Jack’s life; a dangerous web of lies concludes a bitter-sweet end.
Jack Redman, estate agent to the Cheshire set and someone who’s broken all the rules. An unlikely hero or a misguided fool?
In this sequel to Dark Water Jack and Anna must face the consequences of their actions. As the police close in and Patsy’s manipulative ways hamper the investigations, will Jack escape unscathed?
With her career in tatters and an uncertain future, Anna has serious decisions to make. Her silence could mean freedom for Jack, but an emotional prison for herself. Is silence the ultimate test of faith, or is it end of the line for Jack and Anna?


His turn to stare ahead. He started the engine, pulled the seatbelt across and erased everything he’d seen from his mind.
They had dinner in a pub full of roaring fires with real ales and a traditional fish menu, or at least Anna did. Once the food had arrived, the idea of eating anything seemed beyond comprehension and the second she went to the ladies, Jack threw his cutlery aside and deftly removed the huge piece of fish from his plate. Was it unlawful entry if the door in question had been unlocked? Was it forgery if you were doing it for love? Was it normal to hide a battered cod in a coal shuttle? Was it normal if you no longer cared either way?
The evening wore on. At Lottie’s school he managed to drop the letter onto the reception desk while Anna was studying a wall frieze and the end-of-year-photographs. Once in the impressive school hall, they took their seats in the middle of a row of chairs, piling coats and bags onto the empty seat which should have been occupied by James. Hargreaves and Nash made themselves known, nodding at notable parents in the audience and Jack received a tight smile. Then the lights dimmed, an explosion of orchestral music came out of nowhere and the curtain went up to reveal a child’s bedroom, the only light emulated by a street lamp shining through a pretend window. Jesus. Immediately the place felt too warm, full to the rafters with proud parents, grandparents, and younger siblings. Lottie was the Bad Elf and Jack was aware of Anna occasionally laughing and nudging his arm but on the whole his mind was focused elsewhere, mostly in the front bedroom at 19 Church House Way.
Due for release May/June 2016:

Wild Water Box Set_MEDIUM WEB

Posted in Writing


SQ 4Good morning Sheila and welcome. Can I begin the interview by asking you a little about yourself?

And good morning to you too Jo. I live in the North East of England in a small town called Houghton Le Spring, surrounded by family. George the mad hound, a collie retriever cross, who thinks he is the boss.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? How did your journey begin?

Actually my first dream was to be a mountain climber that soon died, as where I lived a small pit village in the fantastic North East, there were no mountains, not even a climbing range. Then I wanted to fly space ships, this was during my si fi stage. Sadly I found out later that I was too frightened to even get on an aeroplane never mind a space ship. The main problem being is that they won’t let me fly the damn things.

Can you tell us something about your latest project?

I am working on another Seahills novel, set in my home town. KILLING ME SOFTLY. Due out at the end of the year, cant say much about it as anything could change at this stage.

If you weren’t a crime writer, is there any other type of fiction you would like to write?

Probably horror. I am a huge Stephen King fan, the man is the best.

What one piece of advice would you give anyone starting out on their writing career

Get Stephen King’s  ON WRITING,  it is the best how to you will ever read. Never trust anyone on line who has never even written a book, and sets themselves up as an expert. When sending something off to a publisher, check that they actually publish your sort of work. The writers and artists year book is a great source of information for this sort of thing.

You’re planning to get away from it all to a deserted island.  What four things would you take with you?

Stephen King’s, The Stand. My mad hound for company, plenty of Chocolate, especially Kit Kats, and Diet Coke plus plenty of pens and paper.











                              BOOK 2: NOWHERE MAN:

                              BOOK 3:THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: