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I’ve recently been challenged to name the top ten books which have stayed with me, so here they are!

BOOK TITLE                                  AUTHOR

The Secret Keeper                    Kate Morton
Jane Eyre                                      Charlotte Bronte
Persuasion                                   Jane Austin
The Island                                     Victoria Hislop
My Sister’s Keeper                   Jodi Picoult
Me Before You                            Jojo Moyes
Past Caring                                  Robert Goddard
Room                                              Emma Donoghue
Stolen                                             Rebecca Muddiman
The Winner                                  David Baldacci

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Let’s talk genre!

Judging by the reviews of my books, some readers are unsure what to expect from them, so I hope this helps.

I sell my books under the Women’s Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction banner. The plot is usually fairly gritty, so wouldn’t quite fall into the Chick-Lit genre, although many lovers of Chick-Lit enjoy my books too. I write from an emotional perspective, often in the first person which is my preferred style. This enables me to get under the skin of the protagonist, giving the reader an insight into their thoughts and feelings.

My books are ‘Clean’ which is to say that I don’t use foul language; just the occasional swear word, generally in a character’s speech. You can’t have a truly nasty character without some realistic dialogue. And yes, my characters do have sex but my mantra is ‘less is more’ and I set the scene then leave the reader to fill in the blanks!

I don’t write horror, dark fantasy or graphic sex scenes, so if you buy my books hoping for Stephen King or Fifty Shades of Grey, you will be disappointed.

My novels are generally plot led but I do try to make the characters as interesting as possible. For example, in the ‘Maggie Sayer’ novels, each book is a stand-alone novel with its own plot but the character of Maggie has evolved as she ages. The same is true of other main characters in the books, for example her close friend Sue.

In ‘Abduction’ there is one main theme, (No prizes for guessing what that is!) but each chapter is written from the point of view of the characters in the book, even the perpetrator! I hope this has helped to keep the storyline tight and the reader focussed on the plot.

I do try to take notice of reviews, constructive criticism is always helpful, but then many reviews are conflicting. This is due to personal taste, like marmite, my books will not appeal to everyone! I suppose I write the kind of books which I enjoy reading; a gritty plot, believable characters, (goodies and baddies) and generally a happy ending!

The one exception to this is a romantic novella which is to be released in a few weeks time. ‘The First Snow of Winter’ is my first foray into the romance genre. I hope you’ll enjoy it and I look forward to your feedback.

 

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All my books are available in paperback @ FeeDAread, Amazon, Waterstones, and other retailers.

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The Amazing Goose

Have you ever marvelled at a flock of geese flying in a perfect V formation? There is so much more to this than meets the eye and these geese can teach us so much about community living and supporting others. I found the following facts quite pertinent particularly with the current refugee situation in Europe.

They fly in this way for very specific reasons. The flapping of wings provides uplift, easing the workload of the birds behind and extending their flight range by 71%. This enables the youngest, oldest and weakest to share the trip. Together a flock can accomplish what cannot be done alone.

The lead goose sets the pace, cutting through the headwinds it is the first to confront rain, snow and ice on its wings. This bird keeps the formation on target, it is a hard, exhausting and lonely position to hold but the remainder of the flock are dependent on its perseverance for a safe and successful journey.

Just before the lead goose becomes exhausted a space opens up in the formation behind into which he drops and another goose moves up to take the lead.

The old, the very young and the infirm are protected at the rear of the formation. It is there that they fulfil a vital role as the honking section to encourage the leaders. When the going gets tough and the formation is struggling a lone honk sounds from the rear which initiates an encouraging chorus to maintain morale.

When circumstances prevent a goose from continuing on the trip because it cannot keep up or is losing altitude, the gaggle provides it with comfort, nurture and protection. Two strong geese leave the formation, flying with the struggling goose safely between them. They find a sheltered location with food and water, making a home for the needy goose and there they stay until it recovers or dies. They will then fly off to join another formation.

Lost and stray geese are always welcomed into another formation. It is not an exclusive club and birds separated and isolated from on e group are given full family status in their new one. The new formation will alter its plans, reschedule its arrival time and inconvenience itself to accommodate any strangers seeking acceptance. Many newcomers arrive dirty, bedraggled and ill fed but they are never turned away.

Amazing!

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The lovely, inspiring  website, Henpicked have featured my writing journey!

Take a peek @  Henpicked  

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An elderly Chinese man had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the man bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the man one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The old man smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?” “That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.” “For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

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