Update June 2023

Glad to say we had a lovely holiday in June and it was the best we’ve had in a long while. I managed to ‘cope’ despite health issues. Also, the week away allowed us to visit a friend’s grave at long last, and to meet up with his wife. We spent a fabulous day together including a wonderful lunch concluded with a cheesecake that was surely death on a plate but truly gorgeous. We also got in plenty of coastal walking, the longest walk of three hours being on the South West coast path.

At long last finished watching Bones having missed the last three seasons on its first televised run. Supernatural (another missed series on its original run) and Dark Shadows is ongoing. Catching up now on Netflix shows, we began the limited series Midnight Mass which, though slow in parts seems to have some memorable moments including excellent dialogue. It’s promisingly spooky, though we’ve only watched 2 of 8 episodes so far.

Have had little time for films. Watched Don’t Worry Darling, which is a modern twist on The Stepford Wives. Good, but nothing exactly new. We also came across 12 of the 14 old Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films, which have been remastered and watched one of those. So short as to be hardly called films today, but we watched one and may watch more. Guess I’m showing my age, but I still like Rathbone’s version of Sherlock and they’re great nostalgia.

I know I’ve been quiet — I feel like I’m forever apologising for breaking my wrist — but I’ve managed a little self-editing and have spoken to my publisher about releasing another older, previously published title, so I will be submitted Wildest Dreams this week.
Stay happy and healthy!
Sharon x

To the Person who left me a Comment

To the person who left me a comment saying they may look like spam but assuring me otherwise, your site looks like… well, spam. You say you’re not a publisher and yet you’re making money selling free ebooks. This is an oxymoron. If you are selling books, they’re not ‘free’. Second, you say you’re not a writer, so from where are you getting these books? Are you selling other people’s free ebooks? If you’re doing so without their permission, you violate copyright law. If you are buying ebooks and selling them on, you violate copyright law. On both counts, I advise you to read the statement re copyright on this site. If you are doing something else that I don’t understand, my apologies, but no, I will not download your report file from a site that says little. For all I know, it could be a virus. I’d advise everyone else not to do so either. This isn’t personal. I’m just being sensibly cautious. Sorry.

Look, copyright law on ebooks is simple. It prohibits the copy, distribute, resale or loan of an ebook. Saying that, most of us wouldn’t object if we heard readers have made a backup copy purely for personal use. We live in a wonderful age of technology, but technology fails us from time to time. We hear of someone selling our work and we’d like to come down on them like the proverbial tonnage. Writers and publishers are getting better at locating piracy sites and law enforcement are finally taking it seriously.

A common question is “If I can resell or loan a printed book, why can’t I, as a reader, resell or loan ebooks?” To be honest, even the reselling or lending of some printed books is a grey area. However, it tends to be overlooked because of several reasons:

  1. Most people hate the idea of printed books being destroyed. If you’re finished with them and cannot pass them on in some way, they are only good for recycling.
  2. When a printed book is passed on, someone may find an author they like and start buying new books by that author regularly. It’s sort of free advertising and yes, perhaps this would apply to ebooks but a major difference and reason exists why this doesn’t work so read on.
  3. Many second-hand books are sold for charitable purposes.
  4. The reader gives up the physical edition of the book and will no longer own it.

Point 4 is the major one. When you give, sell, or loan a printed book, you give away the item you purchased. Even when lending it, you risk not getting it back. You are not making a ‘physical copy’ of that book to pass it on.

When you pass on an ebook (and some people do this in innocence, not piracy, but they are still in the wrong) the reader tends to keep their version and simply send the file on, making a ‘copy’. This is as illegal in both electronic and printed works.

Imagine taking one of Stephen King’s novels, dissecting it, scanning it in, printing it up either by POD, or via the printer at home, and trying to give it away, sell it, or hand to a friend. Should SK find out, do you think he wouldn’t sue? Do you think he’d be flattered?

The point is no one may make a ‘copy’ of any written work, be it printed or electronic. You may (usually) print off an electronic book to read it in that form should you not wish to read on screen, but that printed form has the same laws. You may not sell it or pass it on. If you wish to pass on an ebook, the best way is to buy an extra copy, and what’s so wrong with that? We all have people to buy presents for.

Oh… and to those who think they can file share their ebook library, has nothing I’ve stated sunk in? An individual’s collection is NOT a library and even if it could be, there is such a thing as the ‘public lending right’. This means an author can, if they wish, claim a small payment every time a library lends one of their books.

  • You are not a publisher, and the author has not signed a contract with you. You do not have the right to sell.
  • You are not an official state library. You do not have the right to loan (and let’s be honest — a loan in electronic format means copy and give away).
  • You are not friends with thousands of strangers online that you simply ‘must’ lend your books to (and we’ve already established that you are not lending but copying) and authors and publishers will not turn their back on you giving their work away.

I’m not speaking to those who are deliberately committing an act of piracy. They know they are breaking the law, damaging authors and the publishing industry, and they don’t care. The most we can do is assure them that while there will always be crooks, there will always be those willing to fight criminal activity. I’m speaking mainly to those that do this in innocence, not understanding they do anything wrong. Readers claim to love writers. They claim to love our work. We do work — hard — at this. Most of us have day jobs, families, lives just like everyone. We have to find time to write on top of all that. We often forsake sleep. Many don’t make as much money as people think and even if we did, haven’t we earned it? Readers say they love our characters, our worlds, our stories. They claim to love our work and even to love us. Why do something harmful to someone or something you love?

Update Oct 2022

Hi Everyone!

Made some headway exploring some National Trust parkland. It’s so easy to only visit the houses and listed highlights, but many properties have extensive parklands we’d be stupid not to take advantage of. A strange thing about living in the countryside is city dwellers often exclaim over how nice it must be to live somewhere surrounded by all those fields. What they forget is that doesn’t always make for a walker’s paradise. Those fields are owned by farmers. You can only cross them on a public right of way, and even then that means brambles, and stinging nettles, and cow pats in your path, not to mention the occasional bull if you’re not careful. At least plenty of mud. Living in the countryside doesn’t always mean a ready amount of available and ready walks. It’s necessary also to remember that as far as you walk in one direction, you need to retrace your steps back to the car, or be fully aware of the landmarks of a circular trail.

I’m working on a personal project not for publication except possibly for a few friends, which sounds mysterious, but like I say, it’s personal. I will produce more work next year and all writing is good practice. The amount of work I’ve produced is poor this year, but that’s how it goes sometimes when living with chronic pain.

Stay happy and healthy!
Sharon x


Though famous as a time of harvest, turning, and falling leaves, a drop in temperature, and arguments over when it begins (equinox on 22nd or 23rd September, meteorological on the 1st, or traditionally known to occur on the 21st), the season no longer seems to offer the chill but crisp and sunny walks among crisp leaves it once did. I’m tired of hearing ‘it’s typical autumnal weather’ on the news reports when the weather forecasters speak of a recent deluge. Still, I cannot help but love the colours of autumn, in clothes and in nature, and the fun of Halloween. The weather doesn’t always obey the dictations of my heart, but still for me, autumn shall always remain the best time of the year. For me, ‘Tis the season’.

Update August 2022

With the new-look website, I thought I’d separate my updates from my recommended reads from now on to make things more accessible.


August was a month in which we visited relatives, did a lot of work on the garden, avoided the worst of the heat as much as we could, and complained summer’s almost over when the temperature cooled and the rain at last came, although I much prefer cooler weather. The garden’s complete as much as these things ever are. We got rid of some older plants which had turned woody, planted a buddleia in the ground as it’s had its prescribed two years in a pot, and opened up the gazebo by removing one side panel to the end as we now have established plants. Not buying any more plants. What lives, lives, and what dies, dies. If we absolutely must replace something, it will be with a plant we’ve learned from experience will survive here.


At long last got to see The Sandman from Neil Gaiman brought to the screen courtesy of Netflix. I have loved the graphic novels for years, and Gaiman is one of my favourite authors. I’ve also loved the audio dramatisations of Sandman, and own the bookends, so no way was I going to be disappointed to see it at long last filmed. Though there have been comments on the series being too ‘woke’, sometimes from people who have no inkling of the source material, and granted there were a couple of characters I would have liked to see translated to screen exactly as seen in the books, but overall the series was so well adapted (and certainly better than any adaptation we’ve been threatened with in the past—adaptations which might have seen The Sandman on screen sunk forever), I loved every moment. Part of me can’t help wishing the series was as dark as the books (Cain and Abel anyone? LOL), but I can understand why they softened it to make it more accessible.

We’re also watch the last series of Locke & Key, and while I’ve enjoyed all three seasons of a work again adapted from graphic novels by author Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son for those who don’t know), the characters irritated me somewhat for making stupid decisions a little more often than I’d like. That’s fine for season one when they don’t know what they’re doing and have been launched into a magical world, but characters are supposed to go through a transformation in all forms of literature which means they should have learned by the final season and mistakes should be fewer, not as many or more. I’ve not read the source material, so can’t comment on what Hill foresaw for his characters, and I did like the conclusion.


I’m still deep into a lot of self-editing and just as well. I’ve not been able to wear my wedding rings for weeks owing to a heat rash that came up between two fingers. Despite my best efforts and several creams, if the current one doesn’t work I’ll have to speak to the pharmacist in the hope I won’t need to contact my doctor. In short, it refuses to heal, and I’m having to wear something to separate my fingers, which makes typing difficult, so like it or not for the time being more editing it is, as that requires far less use of my left hand.

Update July 2022

Hi Everyone!

Updating the website and may change the way I blog soon, but I’ll be away from blogging for the next two weeks, so a regular update for July.

Too, too hot a month. We got out for a walk in the woods, but it had to be early to avoid the worst of the heat. Now the weather has broken, the rain’s back, but it’s a relief to be free of the heat. Still got garden furniture to paint, because we’ve been repairing and rebuilding a bench, but at last on the final coat. Will be so glad when it’s over.

We never watched Lost first time around, so have been working through the entire series. We’re now in the last season, and so far… well, I can tell why it was so popular when it first ran. Apart from a few quibbles, we’ve mostly enjoyed it. I know the ending disappointed viewers, so it will be interesting to find out whether we feel the same way. If you hate paradoxes, though, the series may not be for you.

Also, watching the third season of The Umbrella Academy. I think my favourite characters are Klaus and Number Five.

One of the most ultimately disappointing series we’ve stuck with has to be The Blacklist. Although, I’ve loved the show, it’s outstayed its welcome and now in season 9… well, spoiler warning: Although any actor may leave a show, when it affects the underlying big reveal, it’s bound to leave viewers feeling flat. I’ve heard (and hope) season 10 will be the last, but if we ever discover who Reddington is, I don’t think it will have as great an impact, and the character of Liz still been around to share in the knowledge.

The Mangle Street Murders, M.R.C.Kasasian
Best described as a black comedy, the novel deals with a series of grisly murders and a seemingly unsolvable crime, but the most criminal thing about the story is the unrepentant and awful personality of Grice — a detective far more cutting than Sherlock and darkly comic because of it. The type of blunt and terrible temperament, one cannot help but laugh at and cringe while doing so. I loved to loathe him, though loathe is too strong a word. The tale’s told through the viewpoint of his ward, March Middleton, and it is as much about her having to put up with Grice as her strength and determination that makes this book amusing. And like any good detective story, there’s a meandering puzzle that only the warped mind of Grice could easily work out. I’ll be reading more of these.

The Sandman (Volume One), Neil Gaiman and cast (audio dramatisation)
Thoroughly loved this. Maybe you need to be a fan of the source material, but this is an enjoyable and faithful representation of the graphic novels. Some purists may not agree, but I feel this added to my appreciation of the books and Gaiman’s work. With a great cast, including Michael Sheen, Andy Serkis, and Bebe Neuwith, James McAvoy is the perfect choice for Morpheus. It’s a lovely thought that this production also brings the story to the blind.

Tell Me Lies, Jennifer Crusie
Seriously well-plotted romance mystery, which I liked and disliked as I read through and ended up loving. The parts I disliked seemed messy — Maddie not acting as I thought any sane woman would, or people forgiving others where forgiveness might be questionable — but by story’s end I realised it worked because people don’t act as they should, life is messy, and maybe we should all be a little more forgiving especially when no one is perfect. I came to love Maddie’s grandmother perhaps the most — her character sums up the essence of the book perfectly, even though at first that doesn’t seem like an endorsement. Many of Crusie’s earlier work is short, still well-plotted, but light fun. This is all of those things and more, showing that imperfection can be okay, even preferable sometimes, not to worry so much about what the neighbours think, and it’s also fine to be occasionally selfish. And how it feels good to stand up to dominating relatives sometimes.

The Curse of the House of Foskett, M.R.C.Kasasian
The second in the Gower St Detective novels features even more grisly murders and a maze of deception that may leave some heads in a whirl. But I’m pleased to say I suspected the right culprit. A fun series, as I had hoped, with more questions raised regarding Miss March Middleton’s past, and Mr Grice’s background. I shall read on.

The Sandman (Volume Two), Neil Gaiman and cast (audio dramatisation)
Perhaps not as enjoyable as Volume One, though I would say the same for the graphic novels, in that I love the earlier volumes more. There’s still much to love here. Also, it’s impossible to have one collection without the other if you enjoy these dramatisations. A special delight was in correctly recognising more voices. I’ve enjoyed these equally much as the graphic novels and only if my arm were twisted to choose one over the other would I opt for the books and give up these. I’m one of those people who can enjoy more than one version of a thing without it detracting from the original.

I’m editing a lot of my older work, mainly short stories to begin, to see what I can do with them, so I have no immediate publishing plans.
Stay happy and healthy!
Sharon x

Update June 2022

Hi Everyone!


A mostly wet June with little happening. I’ve been painting outside furniture in the garage to protect it from the rain and local cats making a mess of the paint until dry, and local cats from the wet paint, so they didn’t end up looking like felines from Wonderland. We once again had the problem of red mites, which we suffered last summer. Harmless but they like warm surfaces and are annoying as they restrict where you can sit out, mark everything if they get squashed (and they’re so fragile it’s not always avoidable), and make us have to think twice about opening a window.


City of Ember is a pleasant film, visually stunning, and I loved Bill Murray as the Mayor. Has many negative reviews, perhaps justified, perhaps not. I don’t know the source material. A film for the little ones and adults who know no better (I mean that comment in a good way). Dual starring Karen Gillan and Aaron Paul is a hard film to rate. Though slow in places, one could easily dismiss this, yet there was much I liked about it. There’s a lot going on here, though not everyone will see it. Hearing Karen deliver lines in such a rapid monotone becomes off-putting and disturbing — exactly what the film’s going for, I imagine. I rate this science-fiction, replacement clone story as black satirical comedy that’s thought-provoking with a disturbing reflection of life.


The Midnight Library, Matt Haig

Matt Haig has never disappointed me, and The Midnight Library is no exception. One could say that the author’s telling us nothing new in this story about a young woman giving up on life; nothing we don’t already know. But Haig makes us feel this universal truth and believe, or at least want to believe, that life, a new life, potentially begins just around the corner. That everything is one decision away from changing. And for all we know, it might be.

Fourbodings: A Quartet of Uneasy Tales, edited by Peter Crowther, featuring Simon Clark, Tims Lebbon, Mark Morris, Terry Lamsley

Like one of those old films that put together a quartet of spooky tales, this book promises a dip into the same chills and thrills territory, though I’m unsure whether it fully delivers. There’s poor old Gerry who finds an apartment best left unrented; Vic, who can’t leave his friend Paul, to rest, but questions the accident that killed him on a dangerous road; Mary, who’s lived in the wilderness too long, her story leading us to question what’s most poisonous — the belladonna that grows or the man she once knew; and Bridget and Colin, who may have moved to a house with a dark secret. All leave the reader a little disorientated, questioning what is and isn’t there, but the stories also feel somewhat disjointed and incomplete, even though I imagine that’s intentional.

Trust Me On This, Jennifer Crusie

A brief introduction from the author describes this as a screwball comedy. It is, although this led me to expect a more intricate plot with lots of mistaken identities. The book, therefore, proved much lighter than my expectations, but just as enjoyable for all that. This is light summer beach reading and there’s nothing wrong with that. Perfect for lifting the spirits and setting aside stress. My favourite line comes toward the end of the book when it turns out the dog is a deal breaker for the man as much as the man is to the dog. It’s almost a throwaway couple of lines, but I thought too right. Crusie does what she always does here: create great banter.

Casino Royale, Ian Fleming (audio read by Dan Stevens)

I’ve never read a James Bond book. They’re always going to be hard to judge considering the dated attitudes. Though I don’t believe people, and certainly not literature, of the past should be judged by today’s standards, one can’t help a modern view creeping in. One has to disregard the sexism to get any enjoyment from Fleming’s most famous agent. Also, Bond’s meant to be a great secret agent and yet always appears to slip up, leaving the average person in the street shaking heads. Here he walks into a trap to save the woman, but I had to wonder to what use if caught and unwilling to talk under torture. There are good things here: the start of the Bond franchise; a glimpse of a deeper man hidden beneath the appearance of an impenetrable surface, but both Bond and Vesper also come across as emotionally weak. A physical relationship between them could easily be understood, but love? Considering what they had gone through, their relationship seems rather unhealthy. Of course, without giving away the ending, Vesper shows rather more backbone and courage, while Bond reverts to sexist weakness. Bond hurt is a man who buries any possibilities of owning his feelings and turns toward hate, emotionally erratic. Perhaps this was Fleming’s way of creating the cool, hard-shelled agent we know, but it feels cheap. It shows us a man who is not as self-assured as he believes; a man unwilling to be vulnerable, though one has to keep in mind that this story is set in a time of the British stiff-upper-lip. I could go on dissecting the work, but it simply is what it is. Dan Stevens does a superb job of reading and making the book come alive.

The Salt Path, Raynor Winn

Beautifully written with an underlying longing for hope, this book offers a journey that will drag the reader through mires of sadness, love, and optimism. If I have any criticism, it’s that a few dialog tags in places would have helped me more easily work out when it was Ray and when it was Moth talking, but that is a minor point. It also throws a light on what it is to be homeless in a way that makes the reader question the easy statistics governments throw at us. In a world where it’s now even easier for the hardworking to find themselves in a similar predicament, one should feel for Raynor and Moth and ask themselves what they would have done in a similar situation, for both of them turn out to be extremely hardworking people who slept where they slept because they had nowhere else to go. I almost let a few negative reviews put me off reading this. Judging by those comments now, I can feel some don’t get the situation this couple were thrust in. They were not killing time, but trying to find a new direction, working out how to cope with devastating news, and learning and relearning so much about themselves. True, there was one small incidence of shoplifting — for food when they were desperate. Those so easy to condemn need to walk in less fortunate shoes. For those who have a love for the southwest and who have walked any stretch of the path, this will speak to them. Their diet was far from ideal, but there aren’t exactly massive supermarkets along the route, and there’s not much such person can cook on a tiny gas stove. Anyone who questions or criticises the way they ‘survived’ on the South-West Coast path, I can only imagine they’ve walked no stretch of it. It’s not something I would want to do without B&B arranged along the way, and plenty of funds to pay for food. Apparently, the couple now live in Cornwall, do charity work for the homeless, and Moth got his degree.

The Bad Place, Dean Koontz

A re-read for me, which I almost put down a time or two. I can’t claim to like this book because the bad guy is almost comically grotesque in mind, manner, and his origins and ultimately this is a terribly sad story. Also, I found the passages focusing on him and his sisters simply didn’t hold my attention, but the mystery behind Frank, the detectives he hires, and the surrounding characters kept me reading. Of course, as this was a re-read — be it after many years — I knew the outcome, but had forgotten some details. Perfectly plotted, if there’s one big negative in the book is that it feels a little overwritten and could do with tightening to make a more punchy impact. And the somewhat excessively dangerous man and his kin is questionable.


Much the same as last month, only I outlined a brief plot for a story I’ve been wanting to write for sometime. Though I’m a way off starting it, that takes me a step closer.

Stay happy and healthy!

Sharon x