Posted in Cornwall, CUMBRIA, Happy New Year, Holidays, Norfolk, Update, Writing


So here we are, facing the final few days of 2022. For me, it’s been not only one of the speediest but probably the most challenging. So what exactly has been happening?


The plan had been to publish my WIP in August, a month I usually work to for publication. Unfortunately, due to issues which will come to light later in this post, it’s now been rescheduled for the end of January 2023. I’m nearly there, but it has been a long journey, one which has had a knock on effect and caused the start of my 13th novel to be delayed. On a positive note, maybe the beginning of this new year is a good time to launch a new project, who knows? Anyway, in anticipation of the new title, here’s the banner advertising the now completed Cornish trilogy.


The good news is I’ve had my last post Cancer CT scan and once again, thankfully it was clear. All that is left now are two six monthly CEA blood tests and then that’s it. Having experienced the big C, caught at Stage One (for which I am eternally grateful) it has given me a nudge with regard to diet and fitness and I’m not only careful what I eat now, but exercise (mostly walking) regularly.

If I had thought that was it and I could get on with life, I was to be disappointed. In January, I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation, something which affects around 1.4 million people. I was put on a small dose of beta blocker and a blood thinner. This worked for a while but gradually I began to feel light headed and breathless. I got to a stage where I couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs at home without struggling for breath. Back to the doctors and a blood test showed I was severely anaemic and needed a transfusion. After that my iron levels went back to normal as did my breathing. However, the general consensus was that I must have an internal bleed. So began the investigation. To date, I have had a Radioscopy, Colonoscopy and a tablet pill. The latter is swallowed on an empty stomach and takes intermittent pictures of your upper digestive track. All very sci fi and when you think about it, truly amazing. This took place on 13th November and there is an 8 week wait for results – which means I should get them in about two weeks from now. I’ve also had an echocardiogram which takes an ultrasound of the heart. Am happy to say both Radioscopy and Colonoscopy were both clear and the echocardiogram showed no problems. So at the moment, everything hangs on the camera pill results. As for me, I’m feeling well, breathing is fine and energy levels good. I believe if anything was terribly wrong I would have been told by now.


We spent a week in May in Cumbria which due to my health problems wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been. However, it’s such a beautiful part of the country and sitting in the car it was easy to forget my situation and simply enjoy the scenery.

June, post transfusion, I was back to normal for our trip to Suffolk. We had been here in 2019 and watching The Dig starring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes made me realise I’d missed out on Sutton Hoo. Our trip took place on one of the warmest days of the holiday and we both enjoyed the day there, even if I chickened out of climbing the observation tower. I really don’t do heights! We also did a lot of walking, met up with old friends and enjoyed eating out at some great restaurants and pubs. All in all, a perfect week.

In September we returned to Fowey. After all these years I still find Cornwall a magical place. We stayed in our usual apartment in The Old Stationmaster’s House, within sight of the Boddinick Ferry. The weather was a little disappointing, probably because we’d not been able to book our usual first week of the month, which still manages to hold onto most of August’s heat. Instead, we arrived on the 17th to a chilly breeze and drizzle. There were some brighter days, of course, but a planned trip across on the ferry, followed by a walk along the coastal path to Polruan had to be postponed. I’m sure we’ll get to do that sometime in the future though, as we will definitely be back.


I set my Goodreads Challenge at 45 this year, and having just finished my final read for the year, ended at 71! Because hospital appointments meant I continually had to dip in and out of my writing, it was good to take a break and relax with a book. I’ve already set up for the first six months of 2023 with 17 books. However, I do realise it is important to put my own writing first and that’s something I definitely plan to do in the new year. The trouble is, there are so many good books out there!

Here are a few of my favourite titles for 2022.

And so that’s about it. Another year beckons. New places to go, people to meet, books to be written (and read). So it’s goodbye for now and wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. Tomorrow it’s my turn to cook for friends. The day will be busy with food prep and it will be all about making sure everyone enjoys their evening and raises a glass to the incoming new year.

See you in 2023!

Posted in Writing


A bit of a white rabbit moment ‘I’m late, I’m late for a very important date…’. This post should have been published a few days prior to the end of last month, but sadly got held up. However I’m here now with some big news.


Yes, at last my twelfth novel and third part of my Cornish trilogy has moved a step forward. I can now reveal the cover for The Secrets We Keep. Set, as the other two novels have been, in the fictitious estuary town of Kingswater on the south Cornish coast, it’s sad to be leaving. I’ve enjoyed my time there and will miss them all. But new situations and characters beckon and I’m eager for a fresh challenge.

A special thanks to Jane Dixon Smith, who has designed an amazing cover. There will be more news about the publication date and pre-publication purchase options soon. Watch this space!


Can it only be a month ago that we were celebrating Guy Fawkes on 5th November, and fireworks were bursting across the night sky? Now it’s all about Christmas markets, festive food lists and writing and posting cards.

November has been a quiet month. Mostly there’s been rain; lots of it, which thankfully didn’t affect us as we live on a steep road, so no flooding. Nevertheless, it left its indelible print as the leaves came down and settled in soggy piles on the lawn. Thankfully, in those last days of the month we were able to clear them away and get the garden ready for winter.

The Christmas Market opened in town in the last week of the month and as usual, is busy. It does bring in a lot of visitors as well as locals and is one of the big events of the year.

My writing journey is almost at an end. It’s one of those times which pulls in a mixture of sadness that I’m leaving my characters and relief that the project is complete. On this occasion, I am doubly sad as this is the third and final book in my Cornish series. I have enjoyed writing these three novels, which in the beginning was only planned as a single book. However, once Shadows On the Water had been published, it occurred to me that there were two more individuals who had their own stories to tell. As my central character Ava Warren’s two closest friends, I felt they deserved their own ‘fifteen minutes of fame’.

The first, featuring Ava’s childhood friend, Keira Merrick, was an easy journey. Progress was good and A Kingswater Summer published in August 2021. The third and final instalment of the series, which ran with a number of titles, but finally ended as The Secrets We Keep featured single mother Hayley Young, another of Ava’s friends. I wrote this during the winter months, hoping to finish it and publish in August 2022. Unfortunately, some unexpected health issues interrupted the writing, turning the whole thing into a stop-start, and completely disrupting my progress. I can’t remember a more frustrating time during the years I have been writing. But never one to give up, I knew I really needed to complete this series. Now I’m looking forward to getting down to novel number 13 after Christmas. This time, I’m coming home. I’ve set books in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall and now it’s the turn of Wiltshire, the county where I was born and raised. Can’t wait to get started.


And lastly, my review reads for the month

So that’s it for November. Holidays are over for the year, there’s all the organising for Christmas to get on with. I have only had one read and review for December, which has been a blessing with so much else to do. I’ll catch up with you again as we look forward to 2023 and all that brings us. Take care and Merry Christmas to everyone!