Wednesday, 25 January 2017

At last

A writing post this time.

Way back in 2013, I started a prequel to my first novel Freefall. I had put a comment in to create a certain mood and people asked me to explain it. Although I hadn't planned on writing another Dave Travise story I realised that it would be easier than continually explaining things.

I've just gone through my old files and discovered, to my surprise that the first words of the story were actually typed on March 15th, 2013, which is a bit surreal as I have set a publication date of March 15th, 2017 for the completed work. And I never realised that was the same date, until now!

The story grew into a 75,000 novel, it's been edited three times, formatted and the artwork has been polished. Now it's in the hands of my printer and distributor, once they sign off and I've approved proofs, it will appear on sales sites and pre-orders can commence.

Here's the full cover picture:

I almost can't believe that I've reached this point, I wouldn't have done it without the help and support of Helen my editor, Lin who did the formatting, Cathy the cover layout, Vicki who produced the picture and Alana her model.
Then there were my beta readers, Dixie and Jane, and my long-suffering wife Yvonne. And everyone else who I might have forgotten.

There is a sample chapter available HERE   and you can pre-order the novel at

Monday, 23 January 2017


Where has the month gone? It seems like it was only yesterday that I was getting ready for all the things I was going to do this month and now it's nearly next month!

I really must sort myself out and get organised, I have a book coming out in 6 weeks and there is so much to do, plus I have the front room to decorate, including stripping the floorboards and varnishing them before I paint the walls and woodwork.

We spent a few days with our daughters in Kent, it was Maeve's first birthday last week (another case of where has all the time gone), her mum, Naomi made a special cake for the occasion, decorated in a woodland theme.

Pretty impressive I thought, birthday girl herself was as gorgeous as ever,

and we had a great time.

It was a lot colder in Kent, we all went to the park so that Maeve and Elsa could feed the ducks and the lake was half frozen, it looked peculiar seeing some ducks in the water, next to those on the ice.

Now that we're back in Devon (with the 15-degree temperature difference!), today I'm making rolls, I think that there is Cottage Pie for tea and I have Seville Oranges ready for Marmalade.
And there is a newsletter to write, Facebook and Twitter to attend to and the ongoing adventures of all the characters lurking in my head.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Some wonderful things

First of all, its Maeve's birthday. I can't believe she's one today, where does the time go?

There is a party on Saturday and Naomi has been making a cake, here's some of her icing creations for the top,

More pictures will follow the celebrations.

The next wonderful thing is that one of Yvonne's squares for Lovequilts now forms part of a quilt!

It's being assembled as we speak, all the details are HERE  

 Suffice to say, I'm really proud of Yvonne for getting involved in this wonderful idea.

And the last thing.

Well I sent out copies of "Andorra Pett" to beta readers and the opinions are coming in, I'm pleased to say it has been well received so far, here's a sample,

This was such a good story!!! I loved it! Lol, I'm usually pretty nitpicky when beta reading but this took on a life of its own, and you are right; it flowed beautifully from start to finish. The whole book made sense from one scene to another, transitioned without a hitch, and kept you guessing! I can usually solve a whodunit in a few chapters, lol this one kept me guessing and I was completely wrong on the guilty party! Spelling and grammar were good, pace was perfect, all in all another phenomenal read! Thank you for letting me beta read for you again, can't wait for the next installment! 

And I found Devon's answer to Guinness, it's blooming lovely too!

Image result for south hams brewery black and white

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Photo's (wordless)

Sorry its a bit late, one of those weeks.

Spotted on my walk yesterday, spring is on the way!

And Yvonne has completed a couple more cross-stitch squares for Lovequilts.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The first bake of the year

When we got back from our visit to the family, my sourdough starters needed feeding. I wanted to make some more onion rings with a batter based on the discard and BEER but couldn't find an onion large enough when we went shopping. 

So I left them in the fridge to mature, all except the white.

There is a very useful trick to use this in bread making, even though it is not immediately active, if you give it time, it will raise a loaf for you.

I explored this more fully in this post, the technique is all there so I won't repeat it, just show you some pictures of the stages.

Starter from the fridge
Mixed Dough

Six hours later

Placed in the pot

12 Hours later


Crust detail

I also needed rolls for lunches, either filled or with soup. Last time I made the Cheese and Onion, this time I fancied Wholemeal with Beetroot.

The dough is my basic mix, 500g flour, 25g Olive Oil, 325g water, 10g each Yeast and Salt.

To this I added 500g chopped cooked beetroot and made the dough as usual. I always add everything at first, I've never found it makes much difference and it's easier to get it evenly distributed.

The rolls scaled at 130g each and the mixture made 24, they freeze well so this is a job that only needs doing every couple of weeks.

The beetroot tries to hide when you cut them but it's in there somewhere.

A lovely earthy taste.