Book Review: ‘Write Well’ compiled by Amy Scott Robinson published by Instant Apostle

I have just finished this excellent anthology Write Well which I found an inspiring resource. A varied selection of writers have contributed pieces to this book, which are arranged under three main headings: Section One: Digging the Well; Section 2: Priming the Pump and Section 3: Filling the Bucket. I found the different chapters veryContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Write Well’ compiled by Amy Scott Robinson published by Instant Apostle”

The stories of people who believe they have had strange experiences

Recently I visited one of the locations in my current work-in-progress, Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire to be published by Amberley Publishing in 2022. The subject matter of the book varies widely but is largely about curious events in the physical world, based in known fact; however, the first chapter is devoted to strange and spookyContinue reading “The stories of people who believe they have had strange experiences”

A Visit to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard: HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose, a perfect time capsule that transports us into another world

On a recent trip to Portsmouth, we were absorbed into the lives of the great ships there, and their rich histories. The Mary Rose Museum shone out for us with its immersive experience and its astonishing recovery of details of the sailors’ lives back in 1545. But HMS Warrior and HMS Victory also enthralled usContinue reading “A Visit to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard: HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose, a perfect time capsule that transports us into another world”

Book Review: When This is All Over 2020 -2021: an anthology of writings about the Covid-19 Pandemic

I found this an immensely varied collection of pieces, both prose and poetry. It was very moving to reflect upon how differently people react to the onslaught of Covid-19 upon the world. The range of moods and outlooks among the 220 writers is fascinating: funny, sharply satirical, melancholy, fearful, heartbreaking, hopeful. Some of the livelyContinue reading “Book Review: When This is All Over 2020 -2021: an anthology of writings about the Covid-19 Pandemic”

Book Review: ‘Miss Graham’s War’ by Celia Rees

Today I share my review of ‘Miss Graham’s War‘, the latest novel by Celia Rees, which has been released in a new edition, having spent some time on sale as ‘Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook’. ‘Miss Graham’s War‘ is a very complex and gripping account of life in Germany in the immediate aftermath of theContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Miss Graham’s War’ by Celia Rees”

Thoughts on the Tudors and ‘The Taming of the Queen’ by Philippa Gregory

The Tudors have been popular for the last few years, in books and films and TV programmes. And whatever we think of Henry VIII as a man, he was certainly a gift to history. For he must be one of the most memorable of all characters in the story of Britain. Never mind that heContinue reading “Thoughts on the Tudors and ‘The Taming of the Queen’ by Philippa Gregory”

Book Review: ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens

Today I share my review of this enchanting novel by nature writer Delia Owens. ‘Where the Crawdads Sing‘ by Delia Owens is set in the swampland of the North Carolina coast. Kya, the main protagonist, is abandoned by her family members one by one until, at the age of seven in the year 1952, sheContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens”

Book Review: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Today I share a review of this historical gothic fantasy set in1950s Mexico. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a rich feast for lovers of gothic sinister-mansion stories. Creepy, disturbing, sensuous, all the tropes are here. The story takes our main protagonist, Noemi Taboada, a lively socialite, into a truly menacing setting in a mountainContinue reading “Book Review: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia”

Rescued Maori Meeting House in the Grounds of an English Stately Home

I was fascinated to see this Maori meeting house in the grounds of Clandon Park, Surrey. It immediately attracted me as I loved learning about the Maori culture in New Zealand during my November 2019 visit. I discovered that the original meeting house, Hinemihi, had been sited in an area of New Zealand’s North IslandContinue reading “Rescued Maori Meeting House in the Grounds of an English Stately Home”

Perfect Cottage Retreat in the Surrey Hills

Hello – I write on the first day of the relaxation of the lockdown here in the UK and we have travelled from Warwick in the Midlands to the lovely Surrey Hills, close to Leith Hill Tower with its wonderful views.   This early 18th century cottage was originally a gamekeeper’s cottage and is hiddenContinue reading “Perfect Cottage Retreat in the Surrey Hills”