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Five things I’ve learnt about writing from reading Dorothy Dunnett #IDDD

Back in April this year, my friend Lucy recommended the Lymond Chronicles to me.  I’d been moaning to her about how hard it is to plot a series of books and she recommended that I learn from the expert and read Dorothy Dunnett.  I went home, downloaded Game of Kings to my Kindle and started … Continue reading Five things I’ve learnt about writing from reading Dorothy Dunnett #IDDD

Samhain – the Celtic New Year

Autumn is the time of year when the earth’s energies are waning, when the harvest is gathered in and winter is round the corner.  For the Celts each new day started in darkness at sunset and similarly their new year begins in the period of greatest darkness before the winter solstice. For them, Samhain was … Continue reading Samhain – the Celtic New Year

Celebrating autumn

Is it just me or does the run up to Christmas seemed to have started even earlier this year?  It was mid-September when I saw the first Christmas books released and Christmas gifts appearing in the shops.  It’s as if the world’s forgotten there’s a whole season in between. A season that’s particularly lovely and … Continue reading Celebrating autumn

Stopping to take stock

For the past few years I’ve had what people call a ‘portfolio career’. As well as writing, I’m a consultant, an external examiner and a creative writing tutor.  That takes a lot of swapping of hats and this week has been particularly hectic.  Monday morning saw me at an important meeting in York, Monday afternoon … Continue reading Stopping to take stock

Going Back to Find Something New

I’ve been coming to Glastonbury (the town not the festival, as I’ve explained a lot in the past few weeks) every year or so since I started writing Beltane six years ago.  It’s become a kind of spiritual second home and I love it for its quirkiness, its willingness to embrace the alternative and the … Continue reading Going Back to Find Something New

Top Reads of 2016 #Books #AmReading #TuesdayBookBlog

Absolutely delighted that ‘Beltane’ is included in Cathy’s list of her top reads for 2016! There’s some great recommendations here and quite a few that I’ll be adding to my TBR pile for 2017. Happy Reading!

Between the Lines ~ Books’n’Stuff

It’s that time again! This year has gone so quickly and it’s been filled with really great reads. Narrowing down favourites is a difficult task but here they are. As always, they’ll be either 4.5* or 5* and clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon UK. 

28111823Dead Is Dead ~ Thriller

Private investigator Jack Bertolino, previously an inspector with the NYPD, is employed as technical advisor, consulting on a movie being made of his last case. His job includes protection for the female star, who is being targeted by a disturbed, out of control stalker. Susan Blake is beautiful, haunted by a past that she can’t lay to rest.

During filming there’s an actual shooting several blocks away, which results in the accidental and tragic death of little Maria Sanchez and also that of known drug dealer, Tomas Vegas. Cruz Feinberg, the technical wizard in Jack’s company, knows…

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Ness of Brodgar – Uncovering #Orkney’s Neolithic past

I’ve been fascinated by the Neolithic period in a very unscientific kind of way for years.  Stones circles are a bit of an obsession of mine and I’ve driven down many tiny lanes in search of sites that are marked on OS maps but don’t have a single sign post. I love the mystery of … Continue reading Ness of Brodgar – Uncovering #Orkney’s Neolithic past

#Fridaybookshare – War for the Oaks by Emma Bull #Book Review

This is my first attempt at a #Fridaybookshare review so I hope I get all the right bits in and hopefully in something like the right order.  Here we go… War for the Oaks is urban fantasy with a touch of romance. First line: By day, the Nicollet Mall winds through Minneapolis like a paved … Continue reading #Fridaybookshare – War for the Oaks by Emma Bull #Book Review

Remarkable machines, feisty heroines and tea – 5 reasons why I love #Steampunk

With the publication of my first Steampunk novel, The Dirigible King’s Daughter yesterday I’ve been thinking about what first drew me to write steampunk. Like many people I suspect I came to it via Gail Carriger and then realised that I’d already read some steampunk books like The Golden Compass.  I’d also been to Whitby … Continue reading Remarkable machines, feisty heroines and tea – 5 reasons why I love #Steampunk

Willing Suspension of Disbelief: The Dirigible King’s Daughter by @alyswestyork #Steampunk #RBRT #AugustReviews

My steampunk novel, The Dirigible King’s Daughter will be published tomorrow and today it’s being review by Barb Taub on her fabulous blog.

Barb Taub

“disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business”—Tom Robbins

"That willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith." —Samuel Taylor Coleridge [image credit: Steampunk by Mike Savad] http://fineartamerica.com/featured/steampunk-blimp-airship-maximus-mike-savad.html“That willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith.” —Samuel Taylor Coleridge
[image credit: Steampunk by Mike Savad]

The first and most basic thing any artist asks of their audience is the willing suspension of disbelief as they approach the artist’s version of reality. In theaters, audiences watch a boy teach three children how to fly to Neverland. Movies feature animated rodents who sing, do housework, and sew wedding dresses without ever pooping on anything. Readers follow the adventures of a boy wizard, all the while wondering what’s become of their own letter from Hogwarts. Fans of the Chicago Cubs and the Norwich Canaries buy seasons tickets, sure that this will be “their” year. American voters actually cast ballots for Donald Trump. [It’s possible that last one represents not so much a willing suspension…

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