Thursday, 14 May 2020

Life in Lockdown - The Chicken Diairies

Over the past few weeks we've had a wonderful event happen and we thought you'd like to share in our journey. I'll post a daily update in our chicken diaries each day.
Blondie is my little silkie, we hatched her a couple of years ago ourselves and she's been hand reared. She's supremely friendly and our little darling. But she has an issue... she loves to brood. So a couple of months ago we decided that next time she started to brood, we would let her hatch her own babies.
She laid two of her own and stole eggs from the other girls - eight in total. I marked eggs laid on day one and day two and removed all the rest that she continued to steal throughout her brooding period. She's a little tinker!
And this is what happened. Tune in tomorrow to find out what happened next.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Copycat - My Inspiration and Celebration of 100 years

It’s a strange thing but when I write romance, no one ever asks me what my inspiration for writing the story is. I’m not sure if that’s because they’re frightened of the answer because it might involve … shhh … sex, but I can tell you far more people are interested in your desire to kill.

So I gave some thought to my inspiration to write Copycat and I can honestly say that killing off nurses has absolutely no connection to the fact that my youngest daughter is in her final year of her nursing degree. No connection at all…

Copycat is dedicated to my dad who would have been 100 years old today.

Here's the sentimental bit first. I was only 28, my eldest daughter just one, when we lost him and I still miss him every day.

To my dad, William John Saxon, who would have been 100 on 26th February 2020, the month Copycat is released. A master storyteller himself, it was only in the years after his death we discovered his tales were mainly true recollections of his time in World War II and later as he continued his career in the RAF. Thank you for never putting the brakes on my imagination.

I owe much of my passion for books to him. I can always remember a book on the coffee table beside his chair in the lounge and the first book I sneaked from under his nose at the age of 14 was Wilbur Smith, When the Lion Feeds. Dad thought I was too young to read it, but mum said if it was too much for me, I would put it down. I never did.
My dad was a quiet hero. He fought in World War II and we grew up believing the stories he told us were just that. Stories of battles and hand to hand combat. Rescues in the dead of night. But it turned out they were all true. He’d actually been in a unit in Northern Africa where it was his job to race to any downed aeroplane, fix it and get it back in the air again, all under enemy fire.

Anyway, when dad left the RAF, in his wisdom he thought it may be a great idea to run a country pub. Unfortunately, this idea never quite worked out. Working 100 hours a week each, mum and dad ran The Bull’s Head with a degree of success for a total of three years.
During that time, dad was asked to also manage The Fish another pub a short distance from ours while the manager there was in hospital.

Dad agreed and each evening he would open the pub at 6:00pm and close at 10:30pm arriving home shortly after.

One Friday evening, he locked up as usual and as he was getting the takings out of the till to bring back with him, he heard a muffled noise. I don’t think it phased him to go an investigate and hiding in the ladies’ toilets were two men, we assume waiting for dad to leave so they could steal the takings, the alcohol or whatever else.
Unfortunately for them, dad wasn’t of the same mind. Once he’d half killed them, (I always imagine just using the thumb of his left hand in a casual manner a little like the old James Bond) he called the police and had them arrested, then he ambled home with the takings.

It was casually mentioned at breakfast the next morning, and there was really no fuss made. He didn’t make the newspapers, nothing further was mentioned, he wasn’t hailed a hero, and life went on.

But that encounter, the idea that someone could already be in your house when you’re totally unaware of their presence must have fermented in my imagination over all these years. Not everyone would be brave enough to investigate. Some would run. Some would freeze. Some would stand and fight. Copycat touches on the psyche of each one of these.

Fight or flight.

What would you do?

Amazon UK 

Thursday, 23 January 2020

A Walk in the Fog

The fog this morning was really thick and the dogs and I took our normal lonely route alongside woodland and farmers' fields. Maybe this is why I'm an author, because not only do I have a wild imagination, but I think I also have good instincts.
Skye is allowed to be off lead almost all of our walk because a) She's well trained and really obedient. b) If we see other dogs, she'll circumnavigate them so they don't come into conflict. c) She doesn't stray any further than 10 paces away.
Beau on the other hand, although 90% obedient, he will if he sees another dog a) act as though he's never been trained in his life b) charge over to say hello, even if its a mile in front c) forget all recall.
So this morning on the walk where we never meet anyone and where Beau would normally be allowed free range, my instinct with the poor visibility was to put him on lead.
First we met a man in the thick fog walking in the same direction as us with three dogs. Luckily uneventful.
Second, we crossed paths with a woman with two colllies, which was also uneventful as I had Beau right next to me.
It was the third encounter which reminded me of my writing.
Skye had paused behind me when I heard the deepest growl ever. There is no sound like a Dalmatian growl, it truly is menacing, especially when they're serious! I turned and peered through the fog initially at nothing, and suddenly a man appeared, charging towards us and Skye's growl hit another level of threat. The poor jogger froze (he may have pooped his pants) and only when I called Skye to my side, gave her the command to sit, telling him it was okay did the man move again.
I didn't apologise for her behaviour, she was impeccable. Her instinct told her to protect me and that was what she did. But she was instantly obedient when I gave her a command. I expect it of her and she didn't disappoint.
I've only known Skye react that way once before when my youngest and I were walking in Ironbridge Gorge and two men slid down the hillside in front of us and it was that reaction, that instinct I witnessed then that forged the basis of the storyline for The Keeper.
Who knows where this story line will lead...

Monday, 18 November 2019

My Inspiration - The Loneliness

After dropping off a baby hedgehog this morning at Cuan Wildlife Sanctuary, I took Beau and Skye for a walk along Wenlock Edge, one of my favourite places.

My head has been a little empty of inspiration after writing Copycat in four months and then some really hard editing. I don't classify it as writer's block, but just a need for my brain to rest. This is the place to unleash all those ideas again. In the early morning mist with the sun creeping over the Edge you can simply stand and let the silence pour over you. With nothing but gentle birdsong and the snuffling of the dogs. This is my inspiration.

Amazon UK - -

Kobo -

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

NEW RELEASE - Jeevani Charika

It was the perfect marriage… until they fell in love.

Chaya is a young woman torn between her duty to family and her life in the UK. While her traditional Sri Lankan parents want her to settle down into marriage, what they don’t know is that Chaya has turned away the one true love of her life, Noah, terrified of their disapproval.

Gimhana is hiding his sexuality from his family. It’s easy enough to pretend he’s straight when he lives half a world away in the UK. But it’s getting harder and harder to turn down the potential brides his parents keep finding for him.

When Chaya and Gimhana meet, a marriage of convenience seems like the perfect solution to their problems. Together they have everything - friendship, stability and their parents’ approval. But when both Chaya and Gimhana find themselves falling in love outside of their marriage, they’re left with an impossible decision – risk everything they’ve built together, or finally follow their heart?

Buy link : Universal link (should let the reader choose which store, Amazon, Kobo etc): 

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

A Walk in the Fog - Dalmatian Days

In the days before our big thug of a black Labrador arrived, there was this cute little darling. She's the one in the middle at the back and she was probably around 6 weeks old in this picture. Eight weeks old in the next one on the day we brought her home.

Skye was my inspiration for The Keeper and the book is dedicated to her.

When she was around eight months old, Skye was left for several hours on her own, something we had never done before - and never done since! She provided her own entertainment and quite literally ate our kitchen doors.

And there started the tiny nugget that formed Domino's character in The Keeper. A male Dalmatian, much bigger than Skye, I based him on Skye's dad, a glorious big example so like Skye in looks.

The story of The Keeper formulated some years ago when Skye and I would wander through the deserted woodlands over the far side of The Ironbridge in Shropshire along Benthall Woods. Dark and creepy, the acoustics along the valley give a false sense of security. You can hear the voices of people in the park on the other side of the river at certain times of the day as though they're right next to you. But if something happened, there is no easy way for them to get to you.

It was late in the day, one dismal autumn when Skye and I went for our walk. Ironbridge had an eerie atmosphere that comes when the fog presses down and the streets are deserted. The chatter of the people in the park was subdued and I realised that it probably wasn't a wise decision to take the path I did.

As Skye trotted ahead of me, the hairs on the back of my neck prickled as I felt someone watching me. I froze. Turning my head, I scanned the steep slope of the woodlands above me. There, in the dusky light was a herd of fallow deer. As I watched and waited, they literally faded into the background, their camouflage so effective in the darkening of the day.

I held my breath for so long, before I went on my way not wanting Skye to notice the deer and take chase. But the idea jangled in the back of my mind. What if that had been a man? What if he'd been watching me, waiting...

And so The Keeper began...