For Readers of Women’s Fiction and Romance/Suspense

Another book promotion featuring a book by one of our blogging friends, Stevie Turner. Romance and Suspense, so probably something for everyone on this occasion.

Stevie Turner

There’s a BookFunnel promotion running until the end of January that features 53 books and free samples for fans of Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Women, and Romance/Suspense. One of those 53 is my family drama ‘The Daughter-in-law Syndrome‘, and you can download a free sample by clicking on the link below:

‘The Daughter-in-law Syndrome’ won a Readers’ Favorite silver award when it was first published.


The Daughter-in-law Syndrome investigates the complicated relationship causing much friction between Grandmother Edna Deane and her daughter-in-law Arla. In addition it focuses on the sometimes tumultuous partnership between Arla and her husband Ric.

Arla Deane sometimes likens her marriage to undergoing daily psychological warfare. Husband Ric will never voice an opinion, and puts his mother Edna up high on a pedestal. Arla is sick of always feeling that she comes in at only second best to her mother-in-law, who much to Arla’s…

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The Modern Salonnière

Pippa has let us know the sad news of the death of Sarah Vernon. Accomplished actress and artist, and one of the cornerstones of our blogging community for many years. She published the sites Rogues and Vagabonds, First Night Design, First Night History, and First Night Art. One of the first bloggers I followed, and someone I am proud to say I counted as a good friend.

Pippa Rathborne's SCRATCH POST

This is a post from 2013 dedicated to my great friend, Sarah Vernon, who died last week.

Through bad health and bad luck, Sarah’s acting career was cut short. Like many actors’ children, she could never be sure if she would have gone into the entertainment industry if her parents had not been actors. It wasn’t an industry for Sarah: it was a romance and an art. Being an actor wasn’t a job for Sarah: it was body and soul, an act of love uniting emotional aspiration with technical accomplishment, a child’s dream of perfection made real. Don’t put your daughter on the stage.

Sarah could have been a casualty of the devil’s profession, but she had a brain, a life-sustaining sense of humour, and other artistic and literary talents. She engaged in the present and the past with equal intellectual force, she was computer and internet savvy, and…

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For Fans of Paranormal Romance on Kindle Unlimited

57 books on KU in this unusual genre. Including one from Stevie Turner!

Stevie Turner

Do you belong to Kindle Unlimited?

If you do, there are 57 books (and free samples) in this BookFunnel promotion for fans of Paranormal Romance.  My Time Travel novel ‘Partners in Time’ is part of the promotion, and for non-KU readers it is just £0.99/$0.99 until the end of March.

Here’s the latest review from Phil Huston, who gives honest reviews and doesn’t sugar-coat anything!

4 out of 5 stars The Title and the Cover are only to suck you in to a not handholding and bouquets romp Reviewed in the United States on December 13, 2020

First, I don’t read books like this. It requires no more suspension of disbelief than any other genre, but ghosts and vampires and sex and all that? I leave it to experts. Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. Did I agree with it? No. Did I find the characters…

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Significant Songs (79)

Reblogging a post from 2015 about a very old song that I love so much. Apologies to those who have seen it previously.
I was thinking about this song today, and it is in my head.


Pennies From Heaven

This song originated as the feature track from the 1936 film of the same name. Originally sung by Bing Crosby in that film, it was later recorded by almost every famous singer since. The list of those who covered the song is too long to write here, but it includes Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan. For me, this is best heard sung by a ‘crooner’, and the sadness underlying the central message of hope comes over well if it is recorded in a somewhat plaintive tone.

In 1978, the BBC produced a landmark television series of the same title, written by Dennis Potter, and starring Bob Hoskins, Cheryl Campbell, and Gemma Craven. The song featured heavily of course, and the version used was by Arthur Tracy. This was also made into a -best forgotten- Hollywood film adapted by and starring Steve Martin. The TV series…

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For Readers of Romance (FREE TODAY!)

A romantic novel by Stevie Turner available via a link on the original post. Free on Sunday the 10th only.

Stevie Turner

BookFunnel are running a promotion for January which features 53 books/free samples for fans of Romance. I have added a FREE sample of ‘A Rather Unusual Romance‘ to the promotion, which you can check out by clicking the link below. The book itself is FREE just for today on Amazon:


Erin Mason, divorced and with two teenage sons, finds her world begins to fall apart when she undergoes what is termed a “life event”, and is diagnosed with cancer. Not too far away somebody else, Alan Beaumont, is also suffering a similar fate. Their paths slowly come together in this inspiring and humorous tale which is partly based on actual events, and shows how love can flourish in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Review on Amazon by Thom Stark:

Stevie Turner’s A Rather Unusual Romance is exactly that. It’s unusual because its primary characters are middle-aged…

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Significant Songs (4)

I am reblogging this 2014 post because other than Jude and Sarah, hardly anyone has ever seen it. I still love this record!


Woman Trouble

In the year 2000, I was 48 years old. I had just moved to Camden, and was living alone, for the first time in ages. I had a new car, and like many tracks featured in this series, I heard a record on the radio in that car, that I had had not heard before. I couldn’t keep still in my seat, and found myself jiggling around, oblivious to strange stares from other drivers, in the heavy traffic leading out to Brent Cross. I didn’t really catch the name of the song, as I was too busy humming along to it, and car-dancing like a fool, to listen to the announcement at the end. I wanted to listen to it again, straight away, and felt empty when it had ended.

I had to endure the embarrassment of going into a record shop in Central London the next day…

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Hanukkah 2020

As usual, I forget these religious festivals, and have to rely on Kim to remind me. So this time, I am reblogging her post.
Happy Hannukah, everybody!

By Hook Or By Book


Tonight marks the first night of the Festival of Lights and I’d like to wish all my Jewish friends Hanukkah Sameach! I’m also turning this annual post in one a little more humorous this year so I hope no one minds.








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The Rizla+ experience.

A post from 2013 that I think only Eddy has seen. My claim to fame, ‘Reinventing the spliff’!


In late 1972, I applied for a job as a company representative for Rizla, the manufacturer of cigarette papers. The LaCroix family had been involved in paper production in France since the 16th century. As early as the late 17th century, the company began to market papers specifically targeted at the emerging hand-rolling cigarette market, which was beginning to become an alternative to pipe smoking. By modern times, they were the the leader in the distribution of cigarette papers, and even though there seemed to be other brands available, they were probably a subsidiary. In effect, they had a European monopoly of these products. The foundation of the paper is rice, hence the name; RIZLA+.  Riz is French for rice, and the La Croix family name was shortened by the use of the cross symbol.

I was successful, and employed to cover the areas in the East; Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk…

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Geriatric Acne

A post from eight years ago, when I had not been blogging for very long. It is reposted for the benefit of new followers, as it appears that only one person ever saw it. 🙂


I was lucky as a teenager. I missed the spots and acne that plagued so many of my contemporaries. Can’t say why, it just didn’t happen. They were all busting spots frantically, or being scarred for life along their necks and backs, and I just had a nice tan, and hay fever instead.

A life spent in a city, with traffic, smog, pollution, and fumes. Working all sorts of shifts, eating and sleeping erratically, stressed out like an over-tuned violin string. You would think that all of this would have played havoc with my skin. Smoking heavily, drinking lots of wine, and almost never enjoying fresh air and relaxation; surely the breeding ground for spots and associated blemishes? Apparently not.

Give up work and move to the countryside. Enjoy the freshest air you have ever known. Walk the fields and forests, stress free, and unworried by work and time commitments…

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MarySmith’sPlace ~ Writing under lockdown

Please read the full link, to see if this book is something you would like to buy. In years to come, it will be a fascinating history of a small part of Scotland during the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020. (Kindle version available too)

Mary Smith's Place

I’m excited to be a contributor in a new anthology which provides a unique record of life in my Galloway, my own wee part of Scotland, during the first 12 weeks of lockdown.

Writedown: Lockdown in the Galloway Glens at the Time of Covid brings together the work of 22 writers, each with a Galloway connection. It is a collection of prose and poetry, hopefulness, hopelessness, anger, humour and quiet endurance in which the writers tell the story of a community dealing with life in unprecedented times.

The idea behind the project came from author Margaret Elphinstone, when her writing classes could no longer meet. Inspired by the Mass Observation project which encouraged ordinary people to keep wartime diaries, she invited anyone interested to contribute – 22 of us did.

Margaret said: “In times of trouble people want to be together but with lockdown people had to isolate, sometimes…

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