Silly Saturday on Sunday – Rave Reviews

There have been rave reviews for my latest novel At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream; from my mother, that chap at writers’ group, the husband of someone at knitting group, someone at knitting group, the young chap next door, a friend whose review was rejected by Amazon… I could go on and on… Of course you won’t see these reviews as they are by word of mouth, but you can take my word for it.

And I must not forget to thank Baz the Bad Blogger who posted a one star review on Amazon and Badreads, my first one star review, I was so excited, though it is true that Baz gives every book he reviews one star, as none of them are a patch on his first and only novel I Zomboid.

Here is his review.

Not Enough Zombies. I started reeding this novel, whose title I keep forgetting, when it came out in November 2019, I couldn’t put it down and had finished it by August 2020. I usually take a couple of years to reed a book. The plot was a bit complycated for me and two many karacters, I prefer stories with too characters. There wur not enuff zombies and hardly any violence, but apart from that it was a great reed and I past it on to my mum who loved it and said it was nearly as good as my novel.

I don’t know how Baz managed to get his review accepted as in recent years Amazon has rejected almost every review I have written. Therefore I think we can safely assume Amazon must be rejecting the thousands of reviews readers have written of my novels.

My novels are not for the faint hearted, though I can guarantee there are no zombies. You never know what may happen or how long they might last, but if you are as brave as Baz download a copy or order a paperback for your Mum.

Read more about the novel here at my website or visit Amazon.

In the summer of 2013 Annette Bethany Brown went missing without trace. Her boyfriend Toby Channing was the last person to see her, the only person who knew where she had spent the previous days. In February 2014 Tobias Elliot Channing, private investigator, was still roaming the country, a camper van detective specialising in missing persons; hoping to discover why so many people go missing. He was visiting every place that had a connection with Anna, there were still no clues to her disappearance.

Four on Fact and Fiction

Sharing reviews helps all writers, especially Indie Authors. Here are four books I’ve recently read on my Kindle and reviewed on Amazon. I also put reviews on Goodreads, a site popular with many readers looking for a good book, it also acts as a digital library so I have a record of all the books I have read.


At home I have a pile of paperbacks waiting to be read and on my Kindle lots of TBRs I have downloaded after reading reviews or author interviews on line. Part of the fun of reading is deciding what to read next and I like to choose a different time, place or genre from the previous book.


Long or short? Personally I like reading and writing short reviews; I don’t want to return to school days writing long essays on the book we’re ‘doing’!  But others will like reviews that tell them plenty about the book and the author. What do you think?



The Neighbours  by  Hannah Mary Mckinnon

on 27 April 2018
I enjoy stories where we go back and forth in time, especially if we are told when and who is talking. This is a good story to keep you on edge; the unthinkable has happened to Abby and then a new unthinkable event occurs to ensure the past cannot be forgotten. Nate and Nancy have each married on the rebound, though they don’t know it yet, that is a poignant second story line. How well do we get to know the characters and how well do they know each other? Secrets abound and I only half guessed the twist at the end. I’m not sure I actually liked any of the characters, except Nate. One aspect that jarred in the novel, I didn’t get a sense of place. As soon as I read neighbors with the US spelling in the early chapters I assumed we were in the USA and any English names mentioned could have been their US namesakes. It wasn’t till Wales was mentioned I realised we had been in England all along! This is a story that could be set in any modern suburb in any country, so perhaps that doesn’t matter.

A Kiss In The Dark  by Christine King

on 27 April 2018
Deliciously scary, what an assortment that leads us up the garden path, turns fairy tales upside down, gives us a very unreliable narrator and leaves us alone in the woods… and that’s just the first three stories. And then a poem, I loved ‘Click’. Enjoy ghosts, dragons and the gods of ages, a train journey and of course a graveyard.

Living In The Past   by Jane Lovering

on 27 April 2018
I have never been on an archeological dig and I’m sure I would be as lacking in enthusiasm as Grace… This is an enjoyable read, as you would expect of a Choc Lit. Time Travel? Why not, people do disappear off the face of the earth and who’s to say they haven’t gone back in time? What would we find if we arrived in the past and how would we get on?
Duncan’s life has been blighted by his girlfriend going missing without trace and never being able to prove his innocence.
Grace has had her happiness cut cruelly short.
Two people who have nothing in common are brought together on the muddy Yorkshire Moors and dislike each other as soon as they meet; the stage is set for an unusual romance.


African Ways  by Valerie Poore

on 28 April 2018
I really enjoyed reading this book. I have never been to the African continent, so my knowledge of South Africa is limited to people I have met and new friends on the internet. These are the memories of one family’s three year experience living in Natal, in the most beautiful place they will ever live. Bringing up two very young children was very different from the experiences I and my friends were having in the same time period! This is not a linear story, each lyrical chapter describes an aspect of their lives and the rich characters they became close to; the author obviously embraced her new life and the reader enjoys the humour and drama of a country so different to ‘back home’. Poignantly this chapter of their life had to close and I would love to read about the family’s further adventures.

A Novel Experience

Catching up with family and friends is always very pleasant, especially if it involves eating out. It is even more enjoyable for a writer if some of those present are reading or have finished one’s latest novel. But if someone says they have read the second in your trilogy, but could not find the third volume on Amazon, it is embarrassing to admit you haven’t finished writing it.


Often the reading experience is out of our hands.  A friend has finished your novel after at last finding her Kindle charger. It was lost during the process of moving; she thought that may have been why the middle part of the book seemed to move slowly.
Whether your readers have a real paper book or are dependent upon electricity, they bring their own experience to the novel, it is out of the author’s hands. Sadly we can’t expect every reader to take a week off work and live undisturbed in isolation, so they can give our novel the attention we think it deserves. Those who devour a book in a week and get ‘lost’ in it are the writer’s dream. In reality people drop their paperbacks in the bath, can’t read their Kindle on the bus to work because it makes them feel sick, or lose their book down the back of the sofa. They read at bedtime and fall asleep after one page, or they wake up in the middle of the night with raging toothache and read their Kindle to try and take their mind off the pain, so that your novel is forever associated with misery.


Outside factors may encroach; family dramas involving lots of form filling take over just as they reach chapter three of your novel.
Even if reading is proceeding well, each reader has memories and moods; they read your words through a prism of their own.
An author whose novel is turned into a film may see his book as others see it. We have all seen a film and thought it unlike the book. I saw a film after enjoying a well known novel and thought the film was rubbish, felt indignant on behalf of the author. I was later surprised to hear him talking on the radio about how pleased he was with the film adaptation.
Despite your readers’ experiences and the impossibility of seeing into their minds, if they say they loved your novel and were left stunned by the ending you know they’ve read it ‘properly’.


If you are feeling strong enough, visit my Amazon author pages for a glimpse at my novels.


Frost and Fireworks

It’s that time of year when writers look forward to getting more writing done. Northern Hemisphere days grow shorter, helped by the man made device of putting the clocks back to Greenwich Mean Time. My Australian relatives are now eight instead of seven hours ahead, making that very modern tradition, Skyping, more complicated. All our traditions at this time of year go back further than we imagine; from Diwali to Bonfire night it is light we cling to. Imagine our ancestors in the long nights; when they looked out of their huts or caves they would see nothing but impenetrable darkness – no Kurling up with a Kindle for them.

Halloween, Monday October 31st, the day after the clocks went back, was a day  of brilliant sunshine, winter had never felt further away. Enjoying an outing to Kingston Lacy, a National Trust owned house and grounds, the sun was blissfully warm on my face, the autumn colours beautiful. On Friday we had a journey to make from south coast to east coast; it rained heavily all day long, it was hard to tell when dark day turned into early evening, but the car lights shining in the teeming rain had a certain beauty of their own. Saturday found our family gathering freezing in the garden for fireworks. Anyone too cold used the excuse of going back in the kitchen to comfort scared dogs or children. Sunday brought bitter but exhilarating winds on the beach.

Back home, Monday night brought the first frost in our area.The weather had changed so much in one week, but this was not a surprise; accurate satellite weather forecasts are broadcast endlessly and even before you get out of bed you can look at you smart phone. If mine  says ‘Bournemouth Rain’ I know it will be a good writing day, even if it clears up later there will not be time to get out in the garden to plant spring bulbs before it gets dark again.