Category Archives: Uncategorized

Keeping in Touch

My book Keeping in Touch is available here at a discount between 1st March and 8th March.

A description of the book – we are closer to those further away than to those nearer to us.

A story about communication in the 21st Century. Is Social Media making us unsociable. Are all our heads in The Cloud?

The usage of language fascinates me and I am continually amazed at how many new words/acronyms/initialisms are cropping up in everyday life. There are so many ways for people to stay socially connected and it can become overwhelming at times especially when our comfort zones about sharing information are rapidly reducing.

Although communication has never been easier, it seems we are always trying to communicate with people who are far away to the detriment of those who are near by.

The hero of this story is at the centre of everyone else’s communications whether she wants to be or not. At work, on the bus, or at home, the people who are closest to her are in communication with people further away. She cherishes a conversation on the bus and realises how difficult it is to remove technology from our lives.

Keeping in Touch

My book Keeping in Touch is available here at a discount between 1st March and 8th March.

A description of the book – we are closer to those further away than to those nearer to us.

A story about communication in the 21st Century. Is Social Media making us unsociable. Are all our heads in The Cloud?

The usage of language fascinates me and I am continually amazed at how many new words/acronyms/initialisms are cropping up in everyday life. There are so many ways for people to stay socially connected and it can become overwhelming at times especially when our comfort zones about sharing information are rapidly reducing.

Although communication has never been easier, it seems we are always trying to communicate with people who are far away to the detriment of those who are near by.

The hero of this story is at the centre of everyone else’s communications whether she wants to be or not. At work, on the bus, or at home, the people who are closest to her are in communication with people further away. She cherishes a conversation on the bus and realises how difficult it is to remove technology from our lives.

Keeping in Touch

My book Keeping in Touch is available here at a discount between 1st March and 8th March.

A description of the book – we are closer to those further away than to those nearer to us.

A story about communication in the 21st Century. Is Social Media making us unsociable. Are all our heads in The Cloud?

The usage of language fascinates me and I am continually amazed at how many new words/acronyms/initialisms are cropping up in everyday life. There are so many ways for people to stay socially connected and it can become overwhelming at times especially when our comfort zones about sharing information are rapidly reducing.

Although communication has never been easier, it seems we are always trying to communicate with people who are far away to the detriment of those who are near by.

The hero of this story is at the centre of everyone else’s communications whether she wants to be or not. At work, on the bus, or at home, the people who are closest to her are in communication with people further away. She cherishes a conversation on the bus and realises how difficult it is to remove technology from our lives.

Keeping in Touch

My book Keeping in Touch is available here at a discount between 1st March and 8th March.

A description of the book – we are closer to those further away than to those nearer to us.

A story about communication in the 21st Century. Is Social Media making us unsociable. Are all our heads in The Cloud?

The usage of language fascinates me and I am continually amazed at how many new words/acronyms/initialisms are cropping up in everyday life. There are so many ways for people to stay socially connected and it can become overwhelming at times especially when our comfort zones about sharing information are rapidly reducing.

Although communication has never been easier, it seems we are always trying to communicate with people who are far away to the detriment of those who are near by.

The hero of this story is at the centre of everyone else’s communications whether she wants to be or not. At work, on the bus, or at home, the people who are closest to her are in communication with people further away. She cherishes a conversation on the bus and realises how difficult it is to remove technology from our lives.

She’s Coming For You

She’d loved animals her whole life.

When her friends expressed their sadness that no one was hunting the hunters of animals, she decided to rectify the situation. She was the ideal candidate. In her normal job, as a soldier behind enemy lines, she’d killed animal abusers when given the chance and the animals were given some respite from their ordeals.

Now she was not undercover. She was on holiday, travelling on the trains in Spain and Portugal.

There were no colleagues to back her up. She would have to take risks.

She doesn’t keep a diary of the deaths, but does like to write about the history of the places she has visited. This makes her seem like a normal human being – even when she isn’t.

Let the hunt begin here

Manton Rempville – 6

This is my second homage to the detective story. I’ve always loved mystery stories by Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy L Sayers. I watched many DVDs of detective series from the UK and this was the spark to start the creative process. I have tried to add some humour into the book. The Manton Rempville Murders is the second in the Inspector Knowles Mysteries and reacquaints the reader with Knowles and his Detective Sergeant Rod Barnes, who were first introduced in The Goat Parva Murders.

==========   

“They sound like a firm of undertakers to me,” replied Barnes, “but presumably they’re the gardeners or the chauffeurs or one of each.”

Barnes phone rang and he listened intently for around a minute, while Knowles tried to work out why anyone would shape a box hedge into the shape of a box. “These people have too much leisure time and too much money,” he thought as Barnes finished his call and look at him with a smile on his face.

“That was PC Smythe – she has run some checks on Edward Morgan and guess where he used to work?”

“He was a knife-grinder,” said Knowles, not expecting to be right – he didn’t like it when Barnes smiled at him; he felt like Barnes enjoyed knowing things that he didn’t.

“He might have done something similar in his role as a sub-gardener here at Manton Rempville Hall.”

“When did he stop working as a knife-grinding sub-gardener here at Manton Rempville Hall?” enquired Knowles.

“Three months ago, yesterday. He was dismissed because some money went missing from the house.”

“Really, well I wonder whether he was ever given the opportunity to deny the allegations? I don’t suppose we shall ever know, now that he’s dead.”

As he spoke, Miss Newton returned with two 17-year old boys and a strikingly beautiful red-headed girl of about 19.

“Hello, I am Toby Johnson,” said one of the boys, shaking Barnes by the hand, “this is my friend from Harrow, Basil Fawcett, and his amazing sister Henry. She’s a stunner isn’t she? You must be the police who want to interview us.”

“We are Toby,” said Knowles, “I am Inspector Knowles and this is Detective Sergeant Barnes.”

“Anything of importance?” enquired Basil Fawcett, tossing his head slightly so that his brown hair fell in front of his eyes. He cleared it away with the back of his left hand.

“It’s very important I can assure you,” said Knowles, “and we will let you know in the fullness of time.”

“Come on Basil,” said Henry Fawcett, “Let’s leave the policeman to their own devices and go in to the lower library. By the way, Sergeant Barnes, my real name is Henrietta, not Henry. If you’d like to make a note of that.”

And with that the three walked into the hall followed at an appropriate distance by Miss Newton.

Barnes had turned slightly red. Knowles looked at him and shook his head.

“Have you made a note, Sergeant?”

“No sir, I haven’t – I had realized she was a girl.”

“I can tell, Sergeant Barnes, as I think she could too. Think of a nice cold shower and you’ll be fine.”            

“I wonder who this?” said Barnes, pleased to be able to change the subject, “it’s probably the gardener judging by his gloves.”

“Afternoon, gentlemen, are you the police who require my presence in the lower library?”

“Indeed we are, I am Sergeant Barnes and this is Inspector Knowles.”

“Please to meet you both, I am the gardener, Jim Jenkins, I will see you in there in a few minutes; it’ll take me an age to take my boots off.”

Bio: I am a writer. I love writing mysteries and thrillers, especially on topics close to my heart. A list of my books, both about travel and other subjects, can be found here.

Manton Rempville – 6

This is my second homage to the detective story. I’ve always loved mystery stories by Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy L Sayers. I watched many DVDs of detective series from the UK and this was the spark to start the creative process. I have tried to add some humour into the book. The Manton Rempville Murders is the second in the Inspector Knowles Mysteries and reacquaints the reader with Knowles and his Detective Sergeant Rod Barnes, who were first introduced in The Goat Parva Murders.

==========   

“They sound like a firm of undertakers to me,” replied Barnes, “but presumably they’re the gardeners or the chauffeurs or one of each.”

Barnes phone rang and he listened intently for around a minute, while Knowles tried to work out why anyone would shape a box hedge into the shape of a box. “These people have too much leisure time and too much money,” he thought as Barnes finished his call and look at him with a smile on his face.

“That was PC Smythe – she has run some checks on Edward Morgan and guess where he used to work?”

“He was a knife-grinder,” said Knowles, not expecting to be right – he didn’t like it when Barnes smiled at him; he felt like Barnes enjoyed knowing things that he didn’t.

“He might have done something similar in his role as a sub-gardener here at Manton Rempville Hall.”

“When did he stop working as a knife-grinding sub-gardener here at Manton Rempville Hall?” enquired Knowles.

“Three months ago, yesterday. He was dismissed because some money went missing from the house.”

“Really, well I wonder whether he was ever given the opportunity to deny the allegations? I don’t suppose we shall ever know, now that he’s dead.”

As he spoke, Miss Newton returned with two 17-year old boys and a strikingly beautiful red-headed girl of about 19.

“Hello, I am Toby Johnson,” said one of the boys, shaking Barnes by the hand, “this is my friend from Harrow, Basil Fawcett, and his amazing sister Henry. She’s a stunner isn’t she? You must be the police who want to interview us.”

“We are Toby,” said Knowles, “I am Inspector Knowles and this is Detective Sergeant Barnes.”

“Anything of importance?” enquired Basil Fawcett, tossing his head slightly so that his brown hair fell in front of his eyes. He cleared it away with the back of his left hand.

“It’s very important I can assure you,” said Knowles, “and we will let you know in the fullness of time.”

“Come on Basil,” said Henry Fawcett, “Let’s leave the policeman to their own devices and go in to the lower library. By the way, Sergeant Barnes, my real name is Henrietta, not Henry. If you’d like to make a note of that.”

And with that the three walked into the hall followed at an appropriate distance by Miss Newton.

Barnes had turned slightly red. Knowles looked at him and shook his head.

“Have you made a note, Sergeant?”

“No sir, I haven’t – I had realized she was a girl.”

“I can tell, Sergeant Barnes, as I think she could too. Think of a nice cold shower and you’ll be fine.”            

“I wonder who this?” said Barnes, pleased to be able to change the subject, “it’s probably the gardener judging by his gloves.”

“Afternoon, gentlemen, are you the police who require my presence in the lower library?”

“Indeed we are, I am Sergeant Barnes and this is Inspector Knowles.”

“Please to meet you both, I am the gardener, Jim Jenkins, I will see you in there in a few minutes; it’ll take me an age to take my boots off.”

Bio: I am a writer. I love writing mysteries and thrillers, especially on topics close to my heart. A list of my books, both about travel and other subjects, can be found here.

Something to laugh about?

For less than £1 you can read This book  which describes 40 made-up traditions similar to the real ones in England. This should give you something to smile about when you’re at home longing for a little bit of escapism.

All the stories are distinct and can be read independently; this is a book for the busy individual who has a spare five or ten minutes to discover the secrets of Biscuit Rolling.
Excerpt: Feather Balancing from Rye:

The Feather Balancing contest has been held in Rye every September 7th since 1673 and was originally begun to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the visit of Elizabeth I to the town. The contest was created because of the local fable that one of the Queen’s peacock feathers blew off her costume and was picked up by a local farmer Walter de Groote, who went down on one knee and returned the feather back to Elizabeth. She remarked how wonderful it was that de Groote could balance the feather on the end of his finger. De Groote replied that he could balance a feather on other parts of his anatomy too “if she wulde like to watche.”

De Groote was detained in the Tower of London for 25 years for his impertinence and was lucky to escape with his head. It was rumoured that the ravens kept away from his cell as de Groote would take any opportunity to steal feathers from them to practice his art.

Bio: I am a writer. I love writing creatively especially about subjects such as British traditions, where my made-up traditions are no less ridiculous than the real thing. A list of my books, both fictional and factual (about travel), can be found here.

Office Life

Office Life details 5 Days in the life of an English office. There’s lots of banter and insults flying around in this story. One person goes to the wrong place for the weekend, another has horrible personal habits, and a couple have sex over a desk when no one is watching, but someone is listening. The main character undergoes a transformation after losing a race and feels better for it.

The official category for this book is dark humour, but really it’s a combination of British humour, irony, and sarcasm. If you like all or any of these categories of humour, this book could be for you.

Office Life is available until 28th April at the knockdown price of 99 pence or about $1.50 Canadian.

Julian’s Journeys

Travel is an amazing privilege, you probably realise that now you’ve been deprived of it. I know I do. We should never take it for granted. 

Julian’s Journeys is a collection of 34 travel stories. These stories are part memoir, part travelogue, and part revelation about the effect travel has on me.

The tales are very local – in Italy, the nun at a bus station in Catania in Sicily was incredibly knowledgeable about the local delicacy, mortadella. I was waiting for a bus to the beautiful town of Taormina with views over Mount Etna, the active volcano. Later in the day, the nun’s recommendation proved accurate.
In Bulgaria, I became slowly drunk when a local villager offered me the opportunity to sample his homemade slivovitz in his garden – all the while we wrote down football results on a piece of paper as the sun beat down from a blue sky.
I report a conversation I had with a super-smooth carpet-seller in Istanbul. He was giving me directions to the major tourist sights and, strangely enough, all those directions went past his shop. How amazing is that?