New Beginnings

New beginnings as we move from the USA back to the UK. Previous book has been completely re-released and news on the latest SciFi book.

Apologies to you kind reader but I have been remiss in my ability to post a new blog the last few weeks. We decided to return from the USA to the UK and so our time has been consumed by selling our home in the US, organizing flights for us and the pups, booking AirBnB’s, buying cars and desperately passing all of the COVID tests and paperwork need to travel internationally. Good news is we all made it safe and sound.

We stayed in our old home town of Southport for a few days and picked up a second-hand Mini Cooper which, so far, is working out great. We then headed towards Ripponden in Yorkshire and are now in a tiny cottage on the Adwell estate south of Oxford. Hopefully the house we bought (mostly sight unseen) will be ready in November so until then we are gypsying it around the UK.

There are new beginnings for my last book as well this week. I took some advice and renamed and re-packaged the book, so “Surcease of Sorrow” is now called “The Haunting of Edgar Allan Poe.” It is the same book, although the title, blurb and cover convey the topic in a much clearer way I think and recent book orders would seem to agree. I took advantage of a Beta program offered by Amazon and released a hard cover as an option too. I don’t expect to sell many, as the publishing costs are significant and the margins for the author are low, but hey, who knows?

The Haunting of Edgar Allan poe

The latest Work in Progress (WIP) is progressing too. I have spent a lot of time focussing on the character ARC of Layla who is the lead protagonist in the story. I don’t think I focussed enough effort on this aspect with Haunting, and while Joseph does develop as a character it is almost accidental. Like I have said in previous posts, every day is a school day and the main thing for me is to just keep developing the craft. BTW – for any budding writers I would highly recommend a book by Libbie Hawker called “Take off your pants”. It really delves into story creation and development.

I have received some lovely reviews from strangers and many have agreed to join me on the journey by following my Facebook page which is extremely motivating!

If you did buy a book – I thank you from my heart. Please keep me away from the welfare office by leaving a review on your local Amazon store, and if you enjoyed the blog, please follow along and subscribe to the newsletter.

While my Guitar Gently Wept

Some dear friends bought me a guitar today as a leaving present.

I say they bought it me today, but in reality, today was merely the day I took receipt of her.

She had enjoyed a journey of over twenty thousand miles over a period of twelve months for us to be finally united in musical disharmony. As a humble acoustic guitar she may be the most well-travelled instrument outside the entourage of a world famous internationally touring rock band. On her journey, she has obtained Diamond Platinum status on British Airways, Delta and Virgin, and accrued more air miles than most of us who travel a lifetime.

She began her journey in Maryland USA, where she was purchased and tastefully customized with a silver rose inlay on her delicate lower frets. She was sent with love and letters to a remote villa in Altea Spain, but her seductive curves attracted the sharp, but predominantly heterosexual (and almost definitely pervy) attention of the customs officers in Madrid. She sat there for a long time, imprisoned, as we in the villa were planning our Covid inspired escape to England. Sadly, when she was finally released and delivered we had already left.

In her ever deteriorating packaging she took a long detour back to MD; weary mail hub by weary mail hub she was rudely handled and sorted and stamped and scanned. She rattled along in the backs of vans and jostled in packed crates in the airless and frosty holds of 747’s until she turned up unexpectedly on the doorstep of the original sender, who stood on his doorstep, reading all of the airline and customs stamps with his head tilted, scratching his beard and straightening his pork pie hat with an odd and quizzical expression.

Off she went again, this time with confident certainty to arrive at her intended destination, Somerset, England. Back in the cradle of the 747 she streaked across the Atlantic. She quickly cleared customs in Heathrow, where the customs officers were immune to her sexy tonal roundness in the way only the British can be. The British Mail van that sought to deliver her turned the corner onto West Street just as we pulled out of the driveway of the cottage and headed in a cab back towards where she had originated, Heathrow.

Undelivered once more, her packaging ripped and rent, and cheekily revealing more than a bridge too far, back she went to Heathrow. At some point I like to think that me and my beauty were within the same terminal, star crossed lovers, separated by mere feet from a romance to challenge the ages. We may have been on the same 747 that blistered the skies back towards America. But I was destined for Atlanta and you were returned to an ever increasingly startled bearded man in MD.

With an indefatigable spirit not seen since WWII, his pork pie was once again straightened and back to the UPS office he strode with steps never more resolute. This time to mail the seductive curves of the twangy (yes, twangy, the guitar has an amazing tone, but I am not the maestro you believe me to be from my profile picture) goddess to an address in the USA.

And that’s where I finally found my leaving present, twelve months after the start of our combined journeys, from the USA to England, across Europe to Spain, back to England and finally a return to the USA. This beautiful, huggable beauty was waiting for me in my garage this morning. Sent by incredible lifelong friends who would not cease in their efforts to unite us. The most travelled and seductive guitar in the world (and her incredible airline status gets me access to first class travel whenever I am with her 😉

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Mistakes were Made

Available now in the Amazon stores worldwide.

In a year that most of the world would spend in pyjamas, we decided to give up great jobs, sell our house and everything else we owned, and move from the United States to the Mediterranean idyll of Spain, all amidst the deadliest global pandemic since 1918. This short story describes the exciting, tragic and humorous rollercoaster tale of how our family was forced to constantly react to the changing whims of international governments, virus hotspots and quarantine zones, as we battled across Europe making ever increasingly knee-jerk decisions to try and keep our dream alive and our family safe.

Read about our adventures in this short story here: