Writer of historical fiction, blogger, mum, pet lover :)


February 2018

Beautiful Libraries Around the World

I have to share this! Fabulous libraries around the world….

It’s Tuesday, Savvy Readers. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be spending the day in a library (Don’t tell my boss!). So we’ve gathered up a list of the most beautiful libraries from around the world for you to dream about. WARNING: These places are *stunning* and will cause an extreme desire to pack your bags (and books!) and travel there. Proceed with caution!

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Reading fest

I’ve been confined to my bed this last week, having caught a nasty bout of flu. I havn’t felt much like doing anything, just watching endless shows on Netflix! (I would wholeheartedly recommend Alias Grace, based on a Margaret Atwood novel, and Fargo is pretty good too.)

Nevertheless, in between my lemsip drinks and soup, I’ve managed to get some reading done! Reading, for me, is always linked to guilt – that I havn’t done anything around the house, or studied, or written. An illness then, is an ideal time to stay in bed, read and recover.

The images show what I’ ve been reading….

1.Stephen King. This book is always with me. It is dog-eared and well worn, but I refer to it constantly.

2. Philip Pullman & Jodi Picoult with Samantha Van Leer. These are both YA books, and are needed for my Masters as I’m specializing in Children’s literature. The Picoult is a fairy tale whilst Pullman is an expert at writing adventure stories. Love both books!

3. Emma Donoghue. Loved her book Room, and Frog Music is equally as good. I’ve read a few of her books now, including historical fiction book The Wonder.

4. AJ Finn. The Woman in the Window. This is a new book, a psychological thriller that’s a Hot Read in my local library.📚 I’m half way through it, its a real page turner, it reminds me of that classic Hitchcock film Rear Window so it has the seal of approval from me!

What’s everyone reading/watching this week? Any recommendations?

Have an awesome week, the weekend is close! 😊

#reading #bookaddict #netflix #fiction #books 📚

Book Review: Stephen King/Owen King, Sleeping Beauties

I’ve finally got around to finishing the latest epic horror from the King stable – and what a read!

I’m delighted to give this one a review. Firstly, at over 700 pages, it certainly isn’t a light read. It also has themes of misogyny, domestic violence, feminism and has references to the current President mixed with the regular horror genres that King has become so famous for.

It has a list of the main characters at the start of the book, just in case you get lost ( easily done! ), that include ‘a fox, between 3 to 4 years,’ who plays a pivotal role in the story.

The main character, Clint Norcross, pops out of the pages, as does his wife, Lila. Clint is the psychiatrist at the local women’s prison while Lila is the sheriff of the same town – the fictional town of Dooling.

A sleeping virus, called Aurora after the sleeping beauty of the fairytale, is sweeping across the world, causing chaos and destruction in its wake. But it only affects the female population, who, when they sleep, get covered in a coccoon. When the men try to prise open the coccoons, the horror starts…..

Don’t wake them.

The book will certainly appeal to King’s fans – his Constant Readers – and there is a refreshing tone to the writing that maybe Owen King’s contribution.

Either way, it is an epic read, and I compare it to The Stand and Insomnia.

My only criticism is that they could have explored Evie Black more, the main plotline of the story – maybe a separate book about her ?

Loved it – 5*

#books#reading #readingrainbow #stephenking #bookreview 📚

Book Fest

This is my pile of books from LifelineBookfest. They hold the Fest a couple of times a year…and I ‘ve been to every one!

People queued for hours to get first dibs on the thousands of book laid out there at a fraction of the price. The books here cost me less than $30. I love bargains!

My first read? It has to be the Alexander McColl Smith book…have heard many good things about his books and yet to read them.

What’s your favorite author?

Please share!

Have a great writing week!😊

#writer #writerslife #reading #bookaddict

Write what you know


“Write what you know.”

I really didn’t know what that meant until recently.

Write what you know?

What if you wanted to write about someone in outer space?

Or a solitary man cast on a desert island?

How about an Egyptian Queen during the Roman Empire?

Mmmm…. 🙂

Then I learnt that ‘Write what you know’ means to write about that universal genre  –


Human emotion transcends anything you care to write about, especially if you want your readers to connect with your characters.

Love, hate, jealousy, bitterness, regret – these can occur in any setting, place or time.

Even on an island in the middle of the ocean (it worked for Daniel Defoe, didn’t it?).

Whether your character is knee deep in aliens on a corrupt spacecraft, or winging it solo in the Wild West, they all have inner desires, goals, heartaches and motivation that drives them forward in the story.

It’s what makes them human after all.

And really, that’s what you want to achieve if you want to produce well rounded characters that have human traits – be it good or bad – just like the rest of us!

Happy writing! 🙂

#writing #writerslife #writingtips #writewhatyouknow


How to Kill a Character

Thanks for great tips here 🙂

Inevitably there comes a time when a character must die. It’s often easier to kill off “evil” characters than “good” ones, but both are necessary to bring “balance to the force”.

I came across author Lucinda Hawks Moebius’ tips recently and wanted to share them with you as a reminder of the basics to keep in mind when deciding to kill or not to kill 😉

Lucinda Hawks Moebius

Happy Writing!

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Happy Birthday Mr Dickens and Congratulations NSW State Library and the NSW Dickens Society

Happy birthday Mr Dickens! Honored to share this post 🙂

Write or Wrong

Today is Charles Dickens’ birthday and the State Library of NSW have celebrated by making a big announcement in conjunction with the NSW Dickens Society. Sydney has won the bid to host the Dickens Fellowship Conference, it’s now in its 112th year. Last year was held in Cararra, Italy and the year prior Aberdeen, Scotland. The 2018 conference will be held during Australia’s glorious springtime from October the 25th through to the 30th in Sydney.

The announcement was made in Centennial Park beneath the life-sized statue of Dickens as part of the birthday celebrations that the NSW Dickens Society have arranged. As it turns out, NSW doesn’t just love Dickens, he loves us too. He reportedly encouraged people to move to NSW and sent his two sons to live here. Consequently Charles Dickens holds a special place in our hearts.

Dickens enthusiast and Booker Prize winner Thomas Keneally…

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Beachy weekend

Nothing beats having a break from the humdrum of life than a trip to the beach. Sunday morning was particularly glorious, and cooler than last week. With a creative morning under my belt (already over 1,000 words of my new book written), I felt smug emough to blow away a few cobwebs and walk the dog along the seashore.

Here’s few pictures I took, borrowed from my daughter’s mobile. It was windy down there but after the stifling heat coming off the mountains where we live, we were glad. A few windsurfers had the same idea, and there were kyakers braving the choppy waters of the Broadwater.

Have a creative week, fellow bloggers! 😊🙏🐶🌊

#writerslife #writer #broadwater #australia

How to create tension in your story

A story, any story, needs tension. Without it, a story will stagnate and die, become like a wilting exotic flower in need of some water to survive. It will fail to move forward, to progress. Creating tension drives the story along, enabling your characters to reach their goals and desires, leaving your readers pleased to have read it.

I’m just at 30,000 words into my book, a contemporary crime mystery (not quite a ‘thriller’ yet, but I’m getting there), set in southern England. I have a strong female character and an equally weak male character, plus a sprinkling of characters on the sidelines that have yet to be fully developed.

Thriller – classed as a broad genre of literature, a story-line that has many twists and turns, keeping the reader on the ‘edge of their seats.’ A thriller usually has several sub-genres; suspense, action, anxiety, resolution, that allows the reader to feel thrilled and satisfied until the very end of the story.


In order for my story to progress, it needs a level of tension, or CONFLICT. Otherwise, the reader will think – what’s the point of that? when they read your story – and may even throw all your hard work in the trash. Heavens forbid!

So, I have a few tips for creating conflict in a story:

  1. Give your characters a purpose. They have to have some goals/desires that will drive the story forward. Maybe its a quarrel with a neighbour? A land dispute? A love conflict? Make this your story – arguments create plot lines!
  2. The conflict of Man against Man. In a time old way, creating tension between strong male characters is a well used formula that works. The classic Love Triangle scenario has been used time and time again, and still makes for an interesting story, working equally well in different genres such a Romance, Crime, and YA fiction, which has become so popular today.
  3. Remember ! Too much conflict can be exhausting for the reader. Feed them a little conflict at the start between two or more characters, so that they know where the story is going – then drip feed conflict, mix it up with some humour or romance – and you can’t fail!
  4. Keep the characters ‘on edge’ in your story – but not all the time! By the same token, don’t make their lives too safe, too complacent – otherwise, where’s your story?
  5. Give your characters opinions. In real life, people have disagreements all the time- family and friends simply can’t fall into each others wishes- its human nature to agree/disagree! This is the same for storytelling and makes your characters human.
  6. Have a bad character that does bad things in the story but a good character that does good! This creates conflict – but remember to give the baddie some good traits (ie loves and cares for his mother) and the good character bad traits (ie hates animals)  – and you can’t go wrong.
character vs character
Character V Character

Lastly, and bear this in mind – enjoy writing your story!

 Have a great weekend. 🙂

#writing #writerslife #iamwritingabook #tipsforwriters #conflict

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