Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

'Alma' collecting money on the Esplanade, Sidmouth

‘Alma’ collecting money on the Esplanade, Sidmouth


Fresh Air followed by Cakes!

Join me at 2.30 pm today, 15th of November for a short walk round the locations in Sidmouth that inspired ‘Revenge Ritual’ – followed at 3 pm by tea and cakes at the library and a talk about my novel.

Part of Devon Libraries Active Life, Active Minds programme. Tickets are available from Sidmouth Library, which is where we will start.
For the whole programme see


On Amazon Kindle until Saturday 30th of July

It’s a great holiday read :
‘I took this book in my Kindle as a holiday read . . .’
‘Do not expect to be able to put this down.’
‘Set along the beautiful Jurassic Coast in Devon with modern day twists and turns.’
‘Good plot, bringing in 21st Century themes and written with an excellent local West Country feel about it.’
‘I really enjoyed the plot and the unexpected twist at the end. Kept me reading with one eye open.

RR cover from EndeavourRR cover from EndeavourRR cover from Endeavour

Crime Writer M J Hall

Crime Writer M J Hall

We recently discussed M R Hall’s crime novel ‘The Coroner’ at the Sidmouth Crime Fiction Book Group. The book generated a lot of discussion. We shared our own experiences of sitting through a Coroner’s court and although most cases are brief and business like, we agreed that Matt Hall’s experience of being a criminal barrister and his knowledge of the criminal justice system brought real authenticity to Jenny’s courtroom – although we hope that Coroner’s are not in the habit of popping pills in the real Coroner’s Court.

We like Matt Hall’s tense and compelling style of writing and thought he did an excellent job of getting inside the head of a neurotic professional woman, with the proviso that the romance/sex side of the novel seemed a bit more masculine.

Matt Hall will be giving a workshop on ‘Turning Good Ideas into Commercial Crime Novels’ at ‘Creative Thursday’, part of the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival in York on Thursday 21st of July. Sarah Hilary, (see my earlier post) another of our favourite authors and winner of Crime Novel of the Year Award at last year’s festival will also be taking part. I’ve attended Creative Thursday on two previous occasions and found it inspiring and fun. I can also recommend taking the challenge of pitching at ‘The Dragons’ Pen’. It’s scary but brilliant when all four ‘dragons’ want to read your submission.

Sarah Hilary - Theakston prize winner 2015

Sarah Hilary – Theakston prize winner 2015


I’ve just spent a delightful afternoon at the Sidmouth Crime Book Group discussing the sixth in the Kate Galloway series by author Ellie Griffiths. Having read all the books so far it was with great pleasure that I returned to read ‘The Outcast Dead’. I never tire of reading about Ruth and her interesting life full of superstition, archaeological relics and striving to balance her career with her commitments as a single working mum. So I was delighted that everyone else in the group found ‘The Outcast Dead’ as enjoyable as I had.

What particularly pleased the group was the bevy of beautifully crafted characters. We all liked Ruth with her passion for Radio 4 and the Today programme, her guilt trips and refreshing lack of concern for her appearance, but the personalities of the minor characters are also fully drawn and shine through, especially Cathbad the captivating druid. We liked the now familiar themes of morality and guilt found both in Ruth and Nelson’s personal relationships and in the plot of ‘The Outcast Dead’. How ancient beliefs influence contemporary thought, in this case motherhood and absent parenting.

We are all big fans of Ellie Griffiths writing but we agreed the characters were stronger than the plots and that over the series similar plot ideas continue to reappear like the abduction of children. However that didn’t spoil our enjoyment of the book and just like Ruth who takes comfort in listening to the Archers, we took pleasure in meeting up with our favourite characters, and as in all the best soaps in following the lead characters machinations. This was one occasion when we all enjoyed our book group read and those of us who haven’t read the complete series are going to now.

Kennaway House where we meet

A big thank you to all of you who turned out on a wet and windy morning just before Christmas for the launch of the paperback version of REVENGE RITUAL at The Clock Tower Café in Sidmouth.

All set up but will anyone come?

All set up but will anyone come?



They came - and even stayed to listen to the opening.

They came – and even stayed to listen to the opening.

But the ramble round the settings from the book was rained off!

But the ramble round the settings from the book was rained off!


Join local author CJ Browne for the launch of

REVENGE RITUALC J Browne Twitter header

a crime thriller set around Sidmouth.

At The Clock Tower Cafe, Connaught Gardens, Peak Hill Road, Sidmouth EX10 8RZ.

On Thursday, 17th of December, from 10 to 11 a.m.

And afterwards for a short ‘Revenge Ritual Ramble’ – a guided tour of the settings where the action happens.

Come and find out about the scary side of Sidmouth . . .

Copies of the paperback will be available to buy and have signed. REVENGE RITUAL is published by Endeavour Press and also available as an eBook on the Amazon Kindle Site.

For more information email:

Check out Rosie’s #MysteryNovember Book Tour. Just returned from Hong Kong so it is great to see Revenge Ritual up there. Thank you everyone for your comments. Now going to catch up with the other great reads featured on the bus.

Life Writing with my friend Christine Partington

Life Writing with my friend Christine Partington

So many events in the South West I was spoilt for choice. But I chose Sherborne, Yeovil and Bristol. All very inspiring in their different ways. At Sherborne I had a chance to discuss the outline of my new novel with festival ‘Writer in Residence’ Diana Cambridge. Talking it through has really fired me up to get down to writing it. Attending Sophie King’s Life Writing workshop produced more ideas to develop the plot as well as providing a fascinating afternoon listening to the other participants.

Author chat with Yvonne Payne

Author chat with Yvonne Payne

In Bristol I went to the Book Bazaar and Seminars. Learnt loads from Lucienne Boyce’s informative talk on researching historical settings, was inspired by Ira Rainey’s book ‘From Fat man to Green Man’ and enjoyed a lovely chat over hot chocolate with author Yvonne Payne, about the importance of place in writing. Something which is very obvious in her novel ‘Kritsotopoula’ set in the Greek village where she lives. We also talked about book launches. Very useful as mine for Revenge Ritual is all fixed for the 17th of December. More about this later.

In Yeovil, the talks ranged from the full on battle charge of Andy McNab to a quieter but informative chat from Tim Weaver on the latest novel in  his ‘David Riker’ series ‘What Remains’. It was a very helpful discussion on writing serial characters. I shall remember Tim’s comment ‘What happens in the first book of the series will have a long term effect in future books’ but also ‘that the character needs to abide by the rules of the world of the series that the author creates, or readers will be disappointed.’ So far I’m half way through ‘What Remains’ and I can see what he means already. I’ll be reviewing Tim’s book in my next blog post.

Pilates and pause for thought

Posted: May 18, 2013 in Fun
Pilates at Cortico Romero

Pilates at Cortico Romero

I've never felt better

I’ve never felt better

April has been a month of reoccurring coughs and colds and very miserable weather – but right in the middle I found an oasis of calm and creativity on a Pilates Week at Cortijo Romero nestling in the Sierra Nevada mountains in southern Spain. Both my health and my core muscle fitness improved and once home again my writing flowed more smoothly.