All posts in The Long Hard Road

Inside The Mind Of The Author

my familyInside The Mind of the Author

Tell us about yourself: – I’m sixty eight years of age; I’ve been married for almost forty three years to Lynne. We have three grown up children who are all married and have flown the nest! We have four grandchildren, one step grand daughter and a step great grand daughter – so far. I started my working life in a bank, and then joined a tyre company as an accountant. I was made redundant after thirty four years and I took early retirement.

What made you start writing: – A friend asked if the ‘war’ stories I had from my days in groups were written down anywhere for posterity. I replied that they were just in my head; four years later they were in a book. I had always read voraciously from a young age and written stuff while I was at school. Life got in the way of the writing but I’ve always read.

Do you have any favourite authors: – Ian Rankin; Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens. I don’t know whether I’ve been influenced by any of them but I love to read their work. I hope something has rubbed off because it couldn’t hurt could it!

Do you have a strong online presence: – Apart from this website where you can follow my blog? If you check out Facebook you’ll find my Author’s page at
You can follow me on Twitter on
My books are all over the place! Amazon, BooksGoSocial, Orangeberry, Smashwords, Goodreads, World Literary Café and Independent Author Network so there’s no excuse!

Tell us about your latest book: – ‘Unfinished Business’ is the sequel to my first novel ‘The Final Straw’ and it sees Colin Bailey return to the UK after almost a decade abroad. With a new name and a new face he still has scores to settle. His meticulous planning takes him ingeniously across Scotland and the North of England ticking names off his list with the police completely baffled.
DCI Phil Hounsell pitted his wits against Colin before and so he is sent to Durham where he teams up with super intelligent young DS Zara Wheeler; together they track their man to Manchester and then eventually south to Bath.
The final scenes take place on the streets of the Roman city; Phil Hounsell’s family is threatened and in a dramatic conclusion reminiscent of Holmes and Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls, the two men struggle above the foaming waters of the historic Pulteney weir.

What’s your favourite genre to read: – Crime thrillers without question

Which do you do more, read or write and why: – I write more than I read; I research more than I read too! I wish I could find more time to read; there are so many titles I’ve seen in the last four years that I want to get to but writing and trying to get reviews and sales leaves precious little spare time.

Have you ever studied the art of writing: – No fear! I know that technically I could be a lot better but the way I do it now, flying by the seat of my pants, means I enjoy every word I write. Imagine how much of a bind it would become if I had to go back over every sentence or paragraph to see if I’ve broken some ‘golden’ rule. I know it’s not perfect but my writing reflects its writer!

How To Make Your Characters Believable

How To Make Your Characters Believable

When I started writing in 2006 I was merely getting down on paper a series of stories that I had been telling people for years. That book of memories described real people and the things we actually did together. I wasn’t creating characters or setting out to make the people I was writing about ‘believable’ for the reader. Basically, I told it how it was. They were real people and real events.

In December 2012 when I started writing ‘The Final Straw’ I only had a vague idea of the outline of the story. If you have read any of my previous posts from last year then you know what happened next! I typed ‘Colin Bailey was invisible’ as my opening line and that sketchy plan was lost forever. Ninety five thousand words later it was done.

The book dealt with sexual awakening, broken families, hatred, revenge, multiple murders and a few other subjects into the bargain. Some people say that it helps if your readers empathize with your characters and find them believable and enjoyable. If they do then the style in which you present your work and the plot will be more acceptable too. Other people advise writers to try and write about what they know.

It looks like I missed those signposts doesn’t it! Very few of my characters are ‘enjoyable’. Most of them reflect the society we live in and therefore are painted in darker terms rather than light. No matter what my enemies say behind my back there are no bodies buried under the patio, nor is there a little black list of people that I would cheerfully dispose of! So I wasn’t writing from experience! I just try to write about characters we have all read about in the papers or seen on TV; sadly there are plenty of the types of people in my books to choose from!

I try to describe the setting in which the action takes place; I use a light touch as far as possible and the reader can paint their own pictures; there’s nothing worse than reading a description of a building or a person that is so detailed that it feels like the author is dragging you by the ear, leading you to No10 Woodside Terrace and shouting ‘Here it is! This is the where the murders took place! Can’t you see?’

I give some background to the characters so you know where they come from, I tell you their age and what their given name or nickname is. I give you a general idea of what they look like but for a lot of my characters I leave the reader to give them a face. In ‘Unfinished Business’ Zara Wheeler is around twenty five years old, seven stones wringing wet and she wears glasses. Her colleagues have noted that she wrinkles her nose and blushes profusely when she’s embarrassed. They call her ‘Mouse’. She’s super intelligent and lives at home with elderly parents. There are a few other character traits and background that emerge as the story unfolds, it isn’t necessary to lay it on with a trowel when the character makes their first appearance, they can be added as the story line evolves. Even if a character is only a minor one with a brief appearance centre stage, it is important the detail of what they look like and their background is there.

At times I have to give the reader a ‘true’ picture of my characters. On the front cover of ‘Unfinished Business’ you can see Zara, her boss DCI Phil Hounsell and the stone cold killer Colin Bailey. The images match my own ideas of what they would look like and any future books will need to reflect those images as the characters move forward.

Your characters need to be flawed, just like the rest of us and I think that helps them to be believable.



Welcome back! The weather continues to dominate the headlines.

On the Thursday night we had had the worst thunder storm I’d heard in thirty years. On the Friday night I left the bar early after another successful live music fix because I knew another storm was brewing; plus, I needed to be up early, bright eyed & bushy tailed for the birthday girl’s big day. I walked home in a light shower and ten minutes after I lay my head on the pillow the heavens opened & the ensuing electrical storm with Keith Moon leading the percussion section made the previous night’s storm seem like a spell of ‘light drizzle’!

Saturday morning arrived hot and humid; the clouds gathered around us and at ten in the morning we had the lights on! Kim & Mal arrived from South Wales with enough food to feed a regiment around noon. We had already had more thunder & lightning and torrential rain. The rest of the family arrived – more in hope than expectation. ‘Great idea Dad, a BBQ?’

I was too polite to point out it hadn’t been my original choice for the day. At about half past two the younger, fitter family members erected the large gazebo. With about five of our party putting the finishing touches to our shelter, the heavens opened yet again. It was carnage! They were stranded. Despite the fact that the back door was only three strides away, they were cut off; any thoughts of a rescue had to shelved until the rain relented!

As I stood in the safety of our dining room I looked at their shelter. If there are any young soldiers reading this then you may have signed up under our gazebo on a recruiting day! It had been requisitioned by our son in law & still carried the honourable name and crest of the regiment. The rain stopped. Our building crew were brought back to dry land and as three o’clock approached the sun broke through the clouds!

The rest of my wife’s birthday is a bit of a blur; the drink continued to flow; the BBQ food was superb & was supplemented by a few dozen extras that Lynne had thought might be needed if the weather stubbornly refused to play ball. When everyone went home many hours later we thanked our lucky stars that Mal had brought the gazebo. It had shaded us from the sun and prevented the grand-kids’ delicate young skins from getting burnt. Who would have thought that at half past two!

If you recall I was on a trip down memory lane on Monday. David Maunder; Chris Walker; Tony Longdon; Roger Raisey & Peter Vooght had their names taken on the register at The Barge. I joined them about half an hour later than planned. The weather was beautiful; all threat of thunder had receded. I decided to walk from our house to the pub by the canal. I reckoned it would take me forty minutes; but my legs are shorter these days as I get older & it took an hour.

There were a couple of others who had provided a sick note, but would certainly be available if we arranged to meet up again. We six had a thoroughly enjoyable hour or so, chatting and filling in some of the gaps in our lives since we last saw one another in Wingfield Road, Trowbridge all those years ago. Since then we have contacted several more students and although we have stopped short of calling it a ‘reunion’ we will definitely have some informal get togethers while we still can. The search is on for the remainder of the class of ’61!

The book promotions on Twitter through BooksGoSocial and all its associated sites continue apace. The Orangeberry Book Tour is slowing down now but no matter; I have plenty more irons in the fire these days and I’m rejuvenated. Roll on October, when I start writing the next novel!

It’s Friday evening; so I’m off out in a few minutes for an evening of loud rock music. The night is warm and dry. Happy days! Tomorrow lunch time we’re off to have a meal with my brother in law. A late birthday treat for Lynne. Family means so much to both of us and we’re off to Bridport in a week or so to meet up with other family members who we haven’t seen in far too long! Before you know it we’ll be in that holiday cottage in West Wales with Kim & Mal. Tempus fugit! Heck, where did all this Latin come from? It must have been meeting up with all those former classmates.

Keep smiling & I’ll be back in a week or two with all the latest news!



Welcome back! After a few blog chapters where all I’ve had to report was ‘doom & gloom’ regarding my health and my lack of progress on the book front, this chapter has at least some refreshingly upbeat content. So it’s safe for you to read on!

My return to listening to late night ‘live’ music was a success! The band was great and I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening with no unpleasant after effects. I was all set to repeat the medicine the following Friday but unfortunately the band cancelled at the last minute & I was saved from the dreaded disco by a sudden downpour. I decided to stay in to watch the football instead and kept Jack Daniels company on the sofa.

Everything was fine last Friday and another ‘fix’ of hard rock was ready & waiting when I strolled into the bar at half past ten. I finally got the feeling that I was back in the fold! Things are on the up!

I’m looking forward to this weekend; there will be a quick visit to the Parson’s Nose for a listen to the ‘live’ band on offer but I can’t be too enthusiastic on the JD because it’s the wife’s birthday on Saturday. My daughter Kim & I have been scheming for weeks! We planned a surprise meal out with all the family & ‘Muggins’ booked twelve of us into a local restaurant for early in the evening. The best laid plans eh? Not everyone could make it; so we abandoned the meal idea & cancelled the booking. ‘Why don’t we have a BBQ?’ says Kim. All of a sudden everyone can make it again! Happy days! Well maybe; it’s not a surprise anymore for one; Lynne knows about the new arrangements & the weather forecast looks like the thunder storms will hit us fair & square on Saturday.

We could have been watching the thunder & lightning from a safe distance & laughed at the rain lashing horizontally past the leaded windows of a very nice restaurant. Instead twelve of us might well be huddled on our patio, with soggy burgers, singing ‘Happy Birthday to Lynne’!

Timing is everything isn’t it? Last weekend was when I wanted the heavens to open! We still have what they laughingly call a Carnival procession that winds its way through the streets of our town. This year’s procession was pathetic. Despite all the undoubted effort put in by the handful of floats that appeared you couldn’t disguise the fact that the turnout of participants was minimal. It took a long time to pass us by, but this was because of the gaps that built up over the long winding course the procession takes. There were in effect four processions, spread out so that we were stood chatting to our neighbours on the side of the road for forty minutes. If the gaps had been eliminated the whole thing would have been over for another year in ten at the most!

I’m not a lover of Carnival. Now this may have come as a shock, so let me elaborate. When I was a child we had a ‘real’ Carnival; it lasted a week. It was held later in the year, with all sorts of events throughout the town. There was a Torchlight procession one evening in the middle of the week; I suppose Health & Safety killed that off? We had a designated Carnival field with a large fair in place all week. Dozens of side shows and rides, plus an arena where circus and daredevil acts performed to packed audiences.

It was the Procession on the Saturday though that was the highlight. It was the early Fifties and the RAF station was still open just outside town. Five miles up the road there was a Naval shore base where Marines were being trained. A couple of local towns had Brass and/or Silver Bands. A typical procession had seven or eight marching bands on display; there were floats and walking entries from our own pubs, clubs and local organisations together with floats from the local towns who were building their reputation ahead of the ‘BIG’ parade at the County Carnival at Pewsey later in the month. You didn’t have to pad the display out with local firms advertising their businesses & spread the Queen, her assistants, a Princess – oh & a Prince – (Saints preserve us I think we had a Grandmother there too this year!) across a fleet of open topped limousines. The major transport firm in the town provided a flatbed lorry with a canopy in case of a shower or two and the Queen had a proper throne with her assistants at her feet, firmly put in their place. These days they’re all chucked in together & you can’t tell who’s who!

Carnival died towards the end of the Sixties. The nation had moved on from those years of the post war period where we embraced any excuse to celebrate our freedom and the excitement of a new monarch. People’s tastes changed; the vast majority were watching TV, not packing the streets in eager anticipation of a Pram Derby from the top of town to the bottom. Sadly, our little town didn’t get the message; most of our neighbours did and they realised the glory days were well behind them. It all became very parochial; no visits from rival floats; fewer and fewer marching bands; fewer activities through the week as fewer & fewer people cared enough to volunteer to run them. Even the Carnival field was lost; various farmers sold their land to be turned into one more nondescript housing estate after another.

Unfortunately, our town has carried on flogging a dead horse. Maybe after this year’s debacle they’ll see the light. If only the heavens had opened! You can’t turn the clock back & re-create those halcyon days.

And yet, that is exactly what I’ve been persuaded to do by an old school colleague! He wrote to the local weekly paper searching out students from the grammar school in Trowbridge where I spent most of my teens. He wanted to contact as many of the sixty odd students from the ’61 ‘O Level’ year who were still with us & meet up for a glass or three of something palatable to chat over old times. On the Monday after Lynne’s birthday, when the weather will be wonderful no doubt as the storm clouds have disappeared, I shall make my way to a canal side tavern and meet up with perhaps eight to ten people I haven’t seen for fifty three years. What on earth was I thinking? How will I recognise them? I don’t think we’ve agreed to wear short trousers and a navy blue jacket (with ‘Fiat Lux’ emblazoned on it) so it will be a tester!

I’ll report back in my next chapter and tell you how it went. If you don’t hear from me then someone I didn’t get on with at school turned up & my body is in the canal. I just hope they have a decent Shiraz on offer in the tavern so that the lunchtime passes in a comfortable haze.

As far as the book tour goes, you can still follow up the remaining dates via this link:

What a difference a day makes! I’m not sure which day but someone mentioned me in a tweet & as I glanced at the profile of the person who had posted it to see if I knew them (I didn’t) I saw another post which featured BooksGoSocial. Now as you know, over the past three years I’ve chased down dozens of sites which promised the earth and delivered sweet nothing. I’ve given you a ‘blow by blow’ description. There was something about this one that tempted me to follow the link. As you know from the last few chapters of my blog, I’ve been getting a tad disillusioned & wondering whether to stop banging my head against the proverbial.

Ah well, it was too good an offer to turn down! So we’re off on a journey, twelve months into the unknown. Twelve months of promotion for my latest three books starting with ‘The Final Straw’. Watch out for Twitter blasts here there & everywhere. Time will tell of course & you’ll read about the first few steps on the journey in my next chapter.

If you want to check these guys out for yourself, be my guest

Happy days! Back soon!



The past ten weeks have been the most frustrating weeks of my life! Apart from my health suddenly going from ‘fine and dandy’ to feeling like crap inside twelve hours, the road to recovery has also been littered with further annoying obstacles that made me feel it was three steps forward and two steps back all the time! If I was lucky! If not it was the opposite!

I have always enjoyed the summer months and have looked forward to working at school during the examination season. This year though, I’ve missed significant sections of it and that’s been frustrating too. Okay, 90% of the kids we look after for several years as they move through school and their different exam levels leave us & we never see or hear from them again; but a few others remain life long friends. Either way I like to wish them well when they go out into the big bad world. I’ve missed my goodbyes to a helluva lot of this year’s leavers.

The book tours too have had their frustrating moments as has been well documented in previous blog chapters. Because I haven’t felt fit enough to get stuck into much research, nor been inclined to go chasing reviews etcetera, then things have gradually slipped away from me. The reviews via the tours will eventually kick in, as will several from the supreme effort I put in during March and April. Maybe all the stress that built up during that period was the catalyst for the sudden deterioration in my well being. Who knows? Unfortunately though, I don’t feel the payback will be enough to generate the sort of book sales that will encourage me to pursue my dream of writing TWO series beginning this autumn.

Indeed looking towards the itinerary for July and August it feels like a long shot that anything rewarding will come from all the work I have managed to put in. Regardless of which way things pan out, I can hold my head up high and say I gave it my best shot. For the time being getting as fit and well as possible has to take priority.

The book tour has several intermittent stops to make while the Orangeberry Expo is under way as you can see below. Some time in late July and early August a few authors will be rewarded with a nomination for one of the many categories on offer and voting will get under way. For the chosen few their lives will be hectic for a month; just like mine was last year! Perhaps I’ll be fortunate enough to join them again; maybe my turn has come and gone? Time will tell.

If you get a chance to drop in on any of these sites over the next few weeks, I’ll be very grateful:

28th June – Guest Post at Page Turning Books
29th June – Excerpt at Books & Beyond
6th July – (*17)Book Review & Guest Post at Reading My Addiction
13th July- Author Interview at Top Shelf Books
20th July – Orangeberry Book of the Day
27th July – Tweet Me A Storm with OB Book Tours
3rd August – (*18)Book Review & Guest Post at Pages to Covers
10th August – Excerpt at Zoo of Books
17th August – (*19)Book Review & Author Interview at Book Lover’s Dream
24th August – Guest Post at Journey’s thru Books
31st August – (*20)Excerpt at Yesterday’s Book
7th September – Guest Post & Book Feature at Life Altering Reads

I’m off out this evening. Nothing unusual in that you think; well, it’s my first Friday night out to listen to a band in ten weeks! Another challenge! Can I get through the experience unscathed? If I do, then you’ll hear all about it in my next chapter; if not then it will be as soon as I am well enough to post the next one!

Take care of yourselves; enjoy the weekend and I look forward to getting back in touch with you shortly.



I read an article by Tony Parsons the other morning. It reminded me just how important it is that we never forget who we are, or where we came from and that we always stand up for the values our parents instilled in us. The essentials of what he wrote that struck a particular chord with me were as follows:-

‘We are a gentle, tolerant, welcoming people and yet we are ferocious when provoked.’
‘We love animals and hate bullies.’
‘We love freedom and we hate people who aren’t polite.’
‘We love our neighbours but never remove our fences.’

These fundamentally English values have taken a hammering over recent years and there are people in this country, some of them in positions of power and influence, who would seek to dilute those values or undermine and eventually abandon them completely. While we have breath in our bodies these values must never be taken away from us.

I am neither a political nor a religious man. I search in vain for ‘None of the above’ when asked to choose between one political party and another; the same applies when religion raises its ugly head. None of the options available seem to have much to recommend them.

I am not a racist! I have worked with, played with and entertained people from all corners of the globe & I have had no problems with any of them, provided they were good people. If they were, then they were fine by me. After all, as an Englishman I was merely following in the footsteps of my ancestors. As a nation we have welcomed people to our shores for over two thousand years.

Where I take issue with the current state of affairs is that we appear to be happy to let anyone in; good, bad and indifferent. In some extreme cases these people turn out to be downright evil and we have a helluva job getting rid of them when this fact is uncovered!

When I was growing up in post war England, I read about the grip that various criminal organisations exercised on the daily life of people in America’s big cities. The trafficking of drugs was already big business throughout the States, whereas in my neck of the woods drugs were as rare as hen’s teeth. The situation was worse in the major cities admittedly, but it was by no means of epidemic proportions. I shook my head in disbelief at the foreign countries who still thought that domestic & sexual slavery was acceptable; I shuddered at whole continents where the exploitation of children was a fact of life. I thanked my lucky stars I was English and that those horrors could never threaten our shores.

Fifty years on we’re overrun with evil people of all colours and creeds and the police and the judicial system are powerless to stem the tide. How the hell did we let things get as bad as this?

Our cities are being strangled by organised gangs from all four corners of the world. Drugs are in every town and village the length and breadth of the country. My own quiet West Country town has seen reports of domestic slavery & sexual exploitation; when I was a teenager the local paper reported on a man being fined a few shillings for cycling at night without lights! How times change!

Instead of a lot of hot air being wasted on whether we should curb immigration or pull out of Europe surely we should be asking a basic question about the population we have here today.
Are they good or bad? If they’re good people then they should be welcomed with open arms. If they’re bad (and believe me there are thousands for who ‘bad’ doesn’t even come close!) then we have to be strong enough to say ‘enough is enough’ and deal with them. Either we deport them or we jail them for as long as the law permits.

Have you ever tried to get an entry visa to Australia? If you have a criminal record – forget it! (This is quite funny when you cast your mind back. Sadly, it’s the only touch of humour in the whole sorry episode.) They seem to be able to pick and choose who they let in; meanwhile we are fast becoming the world’s dustbin and we need to wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones who can empty it of our rubbish.

A complete switch of topic, now I’ve got that off my chest! My health has improved to the extent that I’ve managed a week at school as we finish off the examination cycle for another academic year. Next week will see a few more ‘mock’ exams for various Year students and then I’ll be on ‘holiday’ until September.

The book tour continues and today sees a Twitter Blast at Orangeberry Book Tours. The rest of the schedule is set out below.

20th June – Twitter Blast with OB Book Tours
21st June – Orangeberry Sidebar
22nd June – Book Review & Author Interview at Working for Books
–Book Review & Excerpt at Nose in Books
– Author Interview at High Class Books
28th June – Guest Post at Page Turning Books
29th June – Excerpt at Books & Beyond

Enjoy the weekend weather; take care of yourselves and I look forward to getting back in touch with you next weekend.



I read this on Monday morning. It was pinned to a notice board in the doctor’s surgery. ‘Tell me about it!’ I wanted to shout. Instead I screamed inside my head and sat in silence along with the other patients waiting for our names to appear on the screen, summoning us to learn our fate.

When I posted my last chapter (Friday 6th) I was feeling as well as I had been for six weeks. Twenty four hours later, with daughter Kim settled in for the weekend, I had just finished a chicken curry, which I had washed down with a glass or two of white wine. As the evening wore on I felt a few aches & pains. I spent a troubled night and in the morning things had moved on to a totally different level. I won’t go into details, but it was clear by early Monday morning that the meal was fine; this was an infection that had some nasty side effects and I was heading for the doctor’s waiting room yet again!

I’m halfway through the course of antibiotics I was prescribed & there are definitely signs of improvement. Not dramatic as yet; but at least I’m in discomfort now, rather than in bloody agony, so I’m thankful and hopeful in equal measure! I’m also not allowed alcohol which has been the norm over the past two months. I am not a BIG drinker; but I don’t like a day to go by without at least one. (Drink not bottle!)

My ‘Unfinished Business’ tour has faltered a few times this week; clearly I have taken my eye off the ball but I had an excuse!. It was difficult to concentrate on trawling through emails, Twitter, Facebook etcetera while in a prone position & feeling like death!

For their part Orangeberry have been pre-occupied too & a few stops along the way got mixed up or mislabelled. Fingers crossed their site details will have all the ducks in a row for this coming week!

You can check for yourself here:

As I write this at 21.00 on Friday 13th June, these are the next batch of sites I’m featured on but as you can see the dates are jumbled around & don’t make a lot of sense. Keep checking back; they have promised to get things sorted out as soon as possible.

I’ve missed a whole week of exams thanks to my poor health! I was gutted! I really enjoy the work and hate letting the school and those pupils down. If I keep taking the tablets I should be back to work on Tuesday morning!

Time to get some supper I guess & wait for Lynne to get home from an evening out with the girls! It’s been so long since I was well enough for a night out I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like! Perhaps I’ll wait up and ask her all about it; or maybe I’ll try to get comfortable & sleep until I hear her trying not to make any noise as she makes her way up to our bedroom.

Look after yourselves! Read the chapter heading again before you go and remind yourself why we say things like that to one another! With a change in luck I’ll be back next week, fully fit and raring to go. Stranger things have happened. Hey ho!



Welcome back! Or if this is your first visit, where have you been for the past two and a half years? I can’t believe that I’ve been doing this blog for that long, but time seems to have a way of slipping by without you noticing doesn’t it?

Two of the book tours are all but over and the reviews will be along in due course; I mentioned before that I’d added my name to a few more sites to get as many chances as possible for exposure. Review Seekers on Facebook turned up trumps for ‘A Sting In The Tale’ with 2 five star reviews in the first week which restored my faith in human nature (and my ability to string a few thousand words together in a meaningful manner!).

I still need reviews for both the novels and I’ve got just under a dozen new leads to follow up over the coming weeks. The ‘Unfinished Business’ tour should provide 20 and those reviewers I contacted in March/April will be posting their impressions as the summer months tick on.

The Video Book Trailers for the two novels are some way off the target views I would have liked by now! Please take a look? It will only take a minute of your time & I’d appreciate an honest opinion. I need feedback to let me know what I should be providing for the NEXT novel. The Final Straw VBT on YouTube Unfinished Business VBT on YouTube

The OBBook Tour for ‘Unfinished Business’ has these stops on it’s journey over the next week or so; keep checking back if the article I preview isn’t there. Depending on which time zone the blogger is in will determine when they post their item and occasionally an additional stop seems to get slipped into the itinerary (if it does it may replace one that I think is next in line; a bit frustrating I know!)

You can check for yourself here:

As I write this chapter at 12.15 BST on Saturday 7th June, this is the next batch of sites I’m featured on:

10th June – Guest Post & (*8)Book Review at Author’s Going Places
Guest Post 2 & Book Feature at Quality Reads UK
– Book Feature at UK Book Club
– (*10)Book Review & Author Interview at Book Professor
– Book Feature at Reading Away Life
– Book Feature at A Novel Design
– (*12)Book Review & Author Interview at Love Books
– Excerpt at Book Bumpkin
10th June – Orangeberry Sidebar
11th June – Guest Post at Page Turning Books
12th June – (*14)Book Review & Excerpt at Nose in Books
13th June – Author Interview at High Class Books
14th June – (*15)Book Review & Guest Post at bit’s ‘n bobs
15th June – Book Feature at Books are Magic

Lynne & I are awaiting the arrival of daughter Kim, as she’s staying with us as part of her trip to London with her sister Louise & daughter Sophie. Monday sees me back at school for another busy week of exams; the new blue specs were met with a mixed reception as I thought! I like them and that’s all that matters.

Time to get some lunch I guess & let you get on with your day! I’ll be back in a week or so with all the latest news & any gossip that comes my way! Take care.



Well here we are again! There is an annoying child in a bedroom across the road (or next door) that is screaming incessantly and doing my head in! Generally, I love kids, certainly my own three and my grandchildren. The rest I could manage without I reckon (particularly this evening!)

Lynne & I went out on Bank Holiday Monday to Lacock with my daughter Louise & family. They had a scarecrow trail with lots of devious clues to the names of countries. It was a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. In the afternoon I went for an eye test. I know, I was surprised to find them working on a Bank Holiday too! There were 4 young ladies to attend to my every need; possibly because I was their only customer. Next Tuesday will be the day of reckoning. I selected a different style of frame for the first time in over thirty years! The three ladies who saw me wearing them professed them to be ‘super’; I can’t help wondering whether the reaction closer to home might be less favourable. In my defence, I felt I needed a ‘pick me up’ after the last few weeks.

The book tours have been in full swing for a while now and I’m getting quite a lot of exposure on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve joined up with a few more sites that help to promote indie authors and provide opportunities for extra reviews.

Quite a few of you will have seen the Video Book Trailers for the two novels but if you haven’t then here’s your chance: The Final Straw VBT on YouTube Unfinished Business VBT on YouTube

The Orangeberry Book Tour itinerary for ‘A Sting In The Tale’ is nearly over. Try to take a look at these last couple to see what you’ve been missing!.

30th May – Author Interview at Reading the Dream Life
31st May – (*10)Book Review at A Novel Design

The OBBook Tour for ‘Unfinished Business’ has plenty of life left in it yet! These are next week’s little gems.

30th May – Guest Post 2 & Book Feature at Quality Reads UK
31st May – (*4)Book Review & Guest Post at Nobody Important
– Book Feature at Top ‘o Mornin’ To Ya
– (*5)Book Review & Author Interview at Me, You & Books
– Guest Post at Gentleman Reads
– (*7)Book Review at My Reading Problem
– Author Interview at UnBiased Book Reviews
– Guest Post & (*8)Book Review at Author’s Going Places
– (*9)Book Review & Author Interview at Creating Imaginations
4th June – Book Feature at UK Book Club
5th June – (*10)Book Review & Author Interview at Book Professor
6th June – Book Feature at Reading Away Life
7th June – Book Feature at A Novel Design
8th June – (*12)Book Review & Author Interview at Love Books

I’ll be back next weekend with this week’s news and the next stop off points for the UB Book Tour! Monday will see me back at school for a busy week of exams; Tuesday sees the new ‘me’ & my BLUE specs. The weekend will see a late Sunday night as I wait up for my daughter Kim to return from a trip to London for a One Direction concert with her sister and my granddaughter Sophie! Happy days!

If you have been wondering what the title of this chapter is all about then you need wait no more! Three book tours, decent reviews, lots of exposure on Facebook, Twitter and beyond and what effect does that have on book sales? Not a lot! There’s a long summer ahead and things could pick up but it looks increasingly on the cards that this autumn will see me with time on my hands; there’s not a lot of point starting on a couple of series of books if there isn’t an audience. Not so happy days!



Welcome back! We had a fantastic day for the wedding last Saturday and the evening was thoroughly enjoyable. It was my first night out in a month and there were lots of friends & family to help things along.

The book tours continue to pick up speed; there are lots of things to read about plus excerpts from the books that I submitted. There will be reviews from the tours in due course but the people I targeted early doors are now starting to deliver their verdict. I’ll keep adding them to this site (good or bad!) and obviously you can peruse them on Amazon, Goodreads and various blog spots around the globe.

You can still watch the Video Book Trailers on YouTube at these URLs: The Final Straw VBT on YouTube Unfinished Business VBT on YouTube or on my Twitter page at

It’s nearly half term and I’ve got plenty of stuff to keep me busy while the kids re-charge their batteries (and revise?) before we get back into it in June. No real highlights on the social calendar this week; just spinning my wheels waiting for the sun to shine again!

The Orangeberry Book Tour itinerary for ‘A Sting In The Tale’ is as follows. Try to take a look at some or all of these; I think you’ll enjoy them.

23rd May – (*6)Book Review& Author Interview 3 at Top o’ Mornin’ To Ya
24th May – (*7) Book Review & Excerpt at Books & More
– (*8)Book Review at Paws on Books
– Guest Post at Books on the Open Range
– (*9)Book Review at Living Books
– Author Interview at Reading the Dream Life
– (*10)Book Review at A Novel Design

That’s about it for the short stories; just a short tour & eventually 10 potential reviews. Well worth the effort though.

The OBBook Tour for ‘Unfinished Business’ has plenty of life left in it yet! These are next week’s little gems.

23rd May – Excerpt 2 at Paws on Books
– (*2)Book Review & Excerpt 3 at Author’s Friend
– Excerpt 4 at Everything 4 Books
24th May – Author Interview 2 & (*3)Book Review at City of Reviews
25th May – Excerpt 5 at Kindle Nook Books
26th May – Excerpt 6 at Dreaming Pages
27th May – (*4)Book Review & Guest Post at Nobody Important
28th May – Book Feature at Top ‘o Mornin’ To Ya
29th May – (*5)Book Review & Author Interview at Me, You & Books
30th May – Guest Post at Gentleman Reads

I’ll be back next weekend with this week’s news and the next stop off points for the Book Tours as we travel ever deeper into the heartlands of the USA and the UK! Have a good weekend!