17 July 2014


by Georgette Heyer

Georgette Heyer wrote British historical romance but she also wrote detective fiction in the golden era of whodunnits.  Envious Casca is one of them.  First published in 1941, its setting is Lexham Manor, an English country estate where family and friends have gathered for traditional Christmas festivities.  It isn’t long, however, before the guests find themselves suspects in a murder investigation.

This book is a traditional detective story with a few witty elements and an interesting plot.  It reminded me of Agatha Christies stories about Hercule Poirot that were set in the same era.  The characters were well developed, believable and came with their individual idiosyncrasies to the point that I felt I was sitting in the drawing room with them.

An enjoyable read that kept me guessing 'whodunnit' until the very end.  I shall read more of Georgette Heyer's books.

11 July 2014


As you may or may not be aware, navigating your way through an eBook can be painstaking without a Table of Contents.  This being so it makes a lot of sense to add one to your book file before you upload it onto Kindle Direct Publishing.  If you have already published your eBook then you can upload a revised file with the TOC included.

If you haven’t had any experience making a TOC it can be a bit confusing but don’t despair, once you get the hang of it, it’s not that difficult.  Following are some easy to follow instructions:-

Step 1
Create Bookmarks for each of your Chapter headings.
Click Insert
Click Bookmark
In the window that comes up, type the name of your Bookmark, for example, Chapter_1.  (Note that there is an underscore in this heading.  This is because you can’t have spaces in your heading.)
Click Add
Repeat this until you have bookmarked all your chapter headings.
Next, make a Table of Contents bookmark.  You can call this TOC, if you like.

Step 2
Create a Table of Contents list, for example:-
Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

Step 3
Create Hyperlinks for each chapter heading
Highlight your Chapter 1 heading
Click Insert
Click Hyperlink
On the left side of the window that appears, click on Place in this document. Your bookmark list will then appear.
Click on your bookmark TOC
Click OK.
Your chapter heading will become
highlighted in blue.
If you press Ctrl and click on your Chapter heading, you will be taken to your Table of Contents list.
Repeat the above for all your chapter headings.  When you have done so, all your chapter headings should take you back to your Table of Contents list.

Step 4
Create Hyperlinks for your Table of Contents list to your chapter headings
Repeat what you did for the chapter headings only this time doing it from your TOC list. For example:-
Highlight your first chapter heading in your TOCs list
Click Insert
Click Hyperlink
From the bookmark list choose Chapter_1
Press OK

This will connect each chapter in your list to its individual chapter.  To test it, press CTRL click on one of the chapters in your list, and you should be taken straight to that chapter.


20 June 2014

SELF PUBLISHING - Promoting your eBook

Even before you have published your eBook, you should give some thought to how you’re going to promote it.  After all, it won’t sell unless potential readers can find it.

To help you on your way, I have listed a number of web sites that you can use to advertise.
If you have joined the KDP Select Program on Amazon, and are planning to do a Kindle Countdown Deal or use some or all of your allowable FREE days, then advertising on the following sites will help to boost your sale.

eReader Cafe

Kindle Book Review

eReader News Today

Bargain Booksy

Book Goodies


Fussy Librarian

eBook Booster.com

Indie Book Of The Day

Book Bub

World Literary Cafe

8 May 2014


First of all, I'd like to thank, Malla Duncan, for inviting me to participate in this writing process blog hop.  Malla is the author of a string of psychological thrillers, including Fat Chance, a humorous murder mystery set on the Amalfi Coast, and Dark Sanctuary, a chilling thriller, set on the Yorkshire moors.  You can find all Malla’s books at Malla's Amazon Author Page
and visit her blog at http://malladuncan.wordpress.com

I find writing an all consuming activity to the point that I’m sure my subconscious mind is still working away when I’m fast asleep.  In the day time, however, I’m in charge (I hope) and the following is my writing process.

What am I working on?

My work in progress is the fourth book in the Fitzjohn detective series. The working title is, The Silver Cane. 
The story opens with the discovery of a man’s body during a function at the Sydney Observatory.  The victim is an uninvited guest, and a stranger to all those in attendance.  DCI Fitzjohn's only clue is the man's silver handled cane.

How does my work differ from others in this genre?

Perhaps my work differs from others in a detective series because although my books can be categorized as police procedurals, they can also fit comfortably into the cozy murder mystery slot.  However, as you’re no doubt aware, most cozies have an amateur sleuth with settings in country houses and/or villages whereas I have chosen a professional sleuth who works in a large city.

Of course, Detective Chief Inspector Fitzjohn doesn’t fit the mould for the majority of police procedurals either.  He’s a detective from the old school and his methods are thought, by some, to be archaic, but he does get his man - or woman, whichever the case might be.  His pastime, when he isn’t on a case, is tending his greenhouse full of orchids.  His nemesis is his immediate superior, Chief Superintendent Grieg, and his biggest annoyance in life is his neighbour, Rhonda Butler.  There are no guns being fired, no swearing other than the occasional “damn”, and no explicit crime scenes.  Just a mystery to be solved.

Why do I write what I do?

I write what I do because I enjoy creating puzzles for the reader to solve.  My challenge is to keep the reader guessing until, almost, the last page.  If I can do that, I have been successful.

How does my writing process work?
I've never given it a great deal of thought, but I guess I’m a bit of a Pantser - I start with an initial idea and see where it takes me.  I write in the third person, and I usually have two point of view characters.  I keep a time line of all my characters so I can see where everyone was at the time of the murder(s).  I also keep a character table to remind myself of each character's specific details.  It wouldn’t do for their hair to change color or to suddenly lose 100 pounds.  I use a laptop computer as well as pen and paper and I usually work in my study but am notorious for writing just about anywhere - trains, planes, airport lounges, coffee shops - in fact, wherever I can sit down.  Am I obsessed?  Probably.

Fergus-overseeing the writing process

My constant companion is Fergus, my cat.  He's rather bossy, but he is very beautiful, with large yellow eyes.   He’s what you would call an ‘indoor cat’ although the back patio is also part of his domain.  If he isn’t sitting on my printer or laptop he sits at the window keeping an eye on the sparrows in the birdbath outside.  He growls at them.  It makes his day!
And then there's Mozart - another feline friend!
If you would like to check out a few other authors here are three of my favourites:-

Anna Mullins, author of  Confessions of a Crazy Fox, a memoir.  Visit Anna at


Denise Moncrief, writer of romantic suspense and author of  Deceptions of the Heart. You can find Denise at http://www.denisemoncrief.blogspot.com

Roxanne Barbour, is a SciFi writer and the author of Alien Collection http://roxannebarbour.wordpress.com/about-2

Paul Hollis, a suspense/thriller/mystery writer, is the author of The Hollowman Series.  You can catch up with Paul at the following web site http://thehollowmanseries.com