Sunday, 29 November 2015

Christmas is Coming............RUN!!!!!!

We're in the build up to the big day and I know what I said last time about not starting too early but its just about December now and everyone else is getting in the spirit so I may as well join in. And I'm getting excited about the family reunion.

 We are visiting all the craft and food fairs that seem to pop up at this time of year and having a look around at all the stuff without which no Christmas is complete.(Apparently)

In amongst all the overpriced and over-packaged is the odd gem, such as these liqueurs,

and these Chutneys, made by my good friends at Honest Foods. (I make the crackers they use for tasting) 

Of course we have to do a bit of quality control on all the foodie things we get, I can honestly say that the above passed. Or passhhed, hic, in the case of the liqueurs.

Other than that, I have decided to shut the Bakery from Dec 17th till Jan 5th, which has created a panic in some parts, with the possibility of freezing and larger orders in the last week. As if I didn't have enough to do.

Book wise I have my first sale in the USA and a few others in this country as well. My guest blog post attracted a bit of attention, the book has been published a month now, it'll soon be time to think about the next one. 

I have 4 stories on the go at the moment, at varying stages of completion, one at 70K words, one at 40K and one each at 20K and 10K. I need to decide which one to finish and put in motion for publication. You might think its strange having so much work in progress but I find that bits pop in to my head for one or the other all the time, its just a case of putting it in the right file when it does. Doing it this way, it's surprising how quickly a story takes shape. Plus if I get bored with one, there always another to work on. 

Two of the story's are sequels and one a spin-off. The other is a new departure and introduces new characters and setting.

I also got a royalty payment for my first novel "Freefall," today which has made me feel pretty good. Its not a huge seller but every now and then a payment pops up, one of the works in progress is a sequel, or more properly a prequel to it. Written at the request of a couple of early readers (its been out over two years) who spotted a couple of things and felt that they needed a bit of expansion.

So here are the two books side by side, the covers, although done by different people go well together.

Over on  my author website, I've put the last piece of my "How I Write" series up, this one is about plot development. Its here.
And we have Roast Beef today, my favourite; with Roasted Sweet Potato and Steamed Broccoli amongst other things. I'll slow cook the meat, about four hours in my Cast Iron casserole at 140°C should do it. The smell as it cooks fills the house and sets you up nicely for the meal.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015


My friend Helen Hollick, who has done a lot to encourage and support my writing (and has bought BOTH of my books - Thanks Helen!) has given me a guest spot on her blog today. I used it to talk about how random things have changed my life and how I (or my alter ego Richard Dee) write.

You can find the post here, please have a look around while you are on her site, there's some fascinating stuff on it.

Not only that, her writing is top class, I've enjoyed her pirate series immensely.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Ahead of the Game

I have this foolproof method of working out if it's Christmas or not. I ask myself 'Is it December?' If the answer is NO, then it's not!!

Other people however, seem to have a  different method, it involves the end of July, or at least that's how it appears to work.

Not that I'm against the principle in any way, but I do think that it's nice to get Halloween out of the way first.

Having said that, I do enjoy the day itself. Fortunately we have just about all the gifts sorted before the rush, although nothing much has taken my fancy so far. I'm not really that bothered about things, I've got less materialistic as I've got older which makes me a nightmare at Christmas and Birthdays. Sorry everyone.

I was in a local bookshop yesterday and spotted my book on sale, a really proud moment, if your local shop doesn't have a copy, ask! 

They can get it from all major suppliers, or you can buy it from Silverwood Books direct here. If e-books are more to your liking it's on Amazon here. It's getting good reviews as well.

My website has part three of my "How I write" series, in this part I give my characters personalities. You can find it here.

The reason for our trip was a Groupon for Fish and Chips, £9 for two people. Now I don't know if you've ever tried Groupon deals but they are pretty good. Here's one of the portions,

Yes that's TWO fish fillets each, with excellent chips and peas. Also included was a pot of tea for two and some bread and butter. A proper seaside lunch. 

I spotted my new bread delivery van on facebook, where can I get one of these?

Bread wise, this week was the monthly Spelt Crumpet order, a little diversion from making loaves, they are just Sourdough Starter and salt, sugar and Bi-Carb.

I was also asked for Spelt Sourdough battered Onion Rings, Why not I thought, I used some local beer in the batter as well and made a few for me (quality control) they freeze well and will go with just about anything. As well as the beer; the batter is made from Sourdough starter and a bit of flour and salt.

Lovely with steak or sausages or just with a dip. As you can see, there are more hiding underneath these.

Monday, 16 November 2015

And more

I now have four reviews for Ribbonworld on Amazon, three are 5* and one is 4*, I'm really pleased that people are enjoying the book, I have three more blog reviews pending, fingers crossed. 
My author website has part two of my thoughts on creating fiction, in which I talk about the technology of my future worlds. You can reach it here. Next time I will be discussing either the personalities of my characters or developing a plot, depending which one I finish writing first.

We're getting busy now with Yule approaching at a frightening pace. Georgina will be coming home from Australia in the next fortnight, it will be the first Xmas we have had all the family together since 2008 and its sure to be a great celebration.

Since we lost our dog Fliss, we have been taking our other dog Tizer out as much as possible, he's coping well we think, he has such a sad face anyway so its hard to tell. Last Sunday he had a swim off Breakwater Beach in Brixham and really enjoyed it.

Food wise, I have tried a few new breads, including Sweet Potato Focaccia, which was delicious.

And now I have increased orders for Well Bread products, this week I'm making Sourdough Digestive Biscuits, Spelt Sourdough Crumpets and Spelt Sourdough Beer Battered Onion Rings, as well as the usual breads.

For myself and Yvonne, we have had various comestible concoctions, including prawns on Rye bread,

Lamb mince Moroccan Style (tagine spices and cous-cous)

and Yvonne's Chocolate and Orange Cheesecake, with mini Jaffa Cakes  and mandarins on top.

That was served with Clotted Cream! (Obviously)

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Another review.

I found this in my inbox yesterday, 

From: Don Sloan
Sent: 10 November 2015 17:13
To: Richard Dee
Subject: Your Book Review From Don Sloan

Hi there:

Below is a link to the review of your excellent book posted on my Just Free And Bargain Books site, which has a much bigger following than my other site. Feel free to forward to your friends on social media and encourage them to scroll to the bottom and share with others.  I also posted to Amazon and GoodReads. Again, good work, and keep writing!

PS. If you ever choose to promote your book on KDP Free days, please feel free to use the free links on this page:


To save you the trouble, I have pasted the review below,

There’s something funny going on under the big dome on the planet Reevis. There’s rampant suspicion of Off-Worlders, an ex-con journalist and, oh, yes, that dead body shoved inside the bathroom of a cheap hotel.
This fast-paced book has all the necessary ingredients for a first-rate whodunit — with the added element of being set on a lonely, isolated planet where a local saying sums up the world’s inhospitable nature: “You may use it, or live on it, and even make money from it, but never forget it can snuff you out without a second thought, or even be aware of your passing.”
Miles Gorham originally came to Reevis — also known as a “ribbonworld,” due to an odd swath of barely habitable land that rings the planet — to do a travel piece on a luxury hotel. But his focus quickly shifts to survival as mysterious forces move into play against him.
Who murdered Nic Stavriedies, the local developer who built the hotel Miles has come to review? Who kidnapped Balcom Industries heiress Layla Balcom? And why are the mayor of Reevis City and the earliest planet pioneer so eager to see Miles on the next transport off the strange new world?
The author shows a fine, practiced hand at describing the stark surroundings and the extensive efforts that have been undertaken to make the overall living conditions as close to Terran as possible — right down to the waving fields of wheat growing under the adjoining farm dome.
Miles falls under direct attack while visiting the farm. He and the farm overseer are literally run off the road and are rescued by a passing prospector, a feisty, independent lady who warms up to Miles back at the hotel a bit later in a romantic side plot.
Meanwhile, the nefarious Balcom people, who control everything and just about everybody on the barren world, are busily scheming to take full command, bribing government officials and falsifying documents in partnership with an organized crime syndicate.
Miles is smuggling secret data that will nail the bad guys, but can he get off the planet without getting killed?
This sci-fi story moves quickly, and the technology that supports the domes, and the desolate yet beautiful environment, play major roles during the non-stop action. The writer is almost cinematic, describing the intricacies that keep the residents of the artificial environments alive and productive, providing even rain and gentle breezes.
In the end, justice is served, but not in a way you’ll expect. The author’s talent for storytelling ties up all the loose ends, and mystery and conspiracy buffs will be well-satisfied.
Five stars to Ribbonworld, an ambitious glimpse into a place our great-great-great grandchildren might very well see.
I'm rather pleased with that one, to see what it's all about, go here and get a copy for a great Christmas gift. PayPal accepted. I'll post it to you first class for £7.99 (£5 less than Amazon)

Saturday, 7 November 2015

On the other channel

Over at my author website I've started a blog series where I try and explain how and why I write what I do.

It's a small start but maybe better than the usual boring blog post that I have been putting up there just recently, really they were only the details of the impending release of my second novel. 

Now that's happened, I thought a bit more content was called for and this post was the result.

In other news, I have my first review on Amazon, and I'm knocked out! Here's a screenshot,

I'm still waiting with baited breath for the return of reviews on the copies I sent out to various book bloggers. I know they said a month so there's a way to go yet, I just hope that I'm not disappointed, it's a very exposed feeling opening yourself to criticism.

On the bread front I made a couple of experimental loaves today, a Potato and Beetroot loaf and an Apricot, Prune and Almond loaf. Full details on my bread blog but here are some pictures to give you the idea.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Bread Talk and Book Launch

Two big events this week, my masterclass in Oats Healthfood shop and the launch of Ribbonworld.

First then, the masterclass. I chose to talk about easy bread making and tried to dispel a few myths on the way. Especially about kneading (you don't need to knead!) and the use of extra flour for dusting (DON'T)

I had a 12 hour pre-ferment which I used to make a loaf, and I also did some rolls from scratch, all in 90 minutes. The people who came along had a taste and as there was nothing at all left from the loaf or rolls I guess that they enjoyed the taste. 

Hopefully I have inspired people to have a go. Here's a few action shots from the evening.

If anyone wants the recipes, please comment below and I'll send you a set.

Next we had the publication and launch of Ribbonworld on November 2nd. That date was a quiet day, the next was the official launch at Millie and Me's cafe in Brixham. 

Despite Roadworks, maximum 4 hour parking and heavy rain the event was well attended and I sold a few paperbacks, signed of course! I also got pledges of several ebook sales as well and a message from George in Australia to say she had bought it.

She's been advertising it in the Barkly Homestead where she works, here is the postcard on the counter by the till.

The following pictures have been seen on twitter and facebook but here they are again, I'm quite proud of them.

Here's me with Sophie who owns the cafe and put the event on,

and me with Caz Greenham, another local author,

You can get a copy for yourself either from here or if you want a signed paperback (and who wouldn't?) from here

My website has all the latest news so if your interested in my journey as a writer and for news of my next novel that's the place to check out.