Interesting Times

As Douglas Adams says, “Don’t panic!”

Having said that, we do need to be more careful than many are managing. Looking at what’s happening in Italy at present and seeing the same pattern of increased cases in the UK, self-isolation needs to be a serious practice. It’s difficult to do when hoarders are causing a supply shortage as well.

Many authors are offering free books to help you get through the self-isolation. I’m taking part and have offered up the combined volume of my available books.


No need to sign up or give any information about yourself. Just choose your format, download and have a good browse through your preferred genres for more books to read during these trying times. Mine can be accessed here.

For myself and other authors offering their books for free, it is a way of giving back to our beloved readers.

There are many ways to give back to your community. If your job has dropped hours or completely taken a moratorium, the supermarkets are crying out for shelf-stackers. It’s not a glamorous job, but it’s only temporary and some of them pay well. It also puts you on the front line for supplies for your family.

Now is a good time to remember all those grandparent stories about WWII and the ways in which everyone pulled together for the greater cause. Differences in ideology become less important when everyone needs to survive together.

We need to find the best of humanity within our own hearts to get through this. Try to keep your groceries a month ahead by topping up, but don’t hoard and leave others without. There is no food crisis except what is caused by panic buyers.

Stay save and look to all those things you’ve been wanting to do at home if you only had the time.

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Filed under Covid-19, Dickensian, Victorian Christmas, Weekend Reads

A Long Overdue Update

Oh dear, I seem to have been remiss in keeping up my blog again. I blame it on encroaching age, though I’m not yet forty.

Time has a nasty tendency to fly past when you live a busy life. A good intention to write a blog post gets put off for a few days and suddenly the span can be measured in weeks, even months!

So, what is happening on the writing front! I’ll tell you about one project I’ve been wanting to do. A book of ghost stories in the Victorian style. Ghost stories were popular in Victorian Times, especially around Christmas.

VictorianGhostStoriesHowever, I’ve been piecing this one together one story at a time. The two projects commanding my attention when I do get a chance to write are novels of course. One was requested by readers, which makes it dear to my heart. The further adventures of Reg Dawkins feel natural as something that must exist.

Reg is sort of my own personal Dodger. He fills a literary role for me that I felt Dickens left vacant when he sent Jack off on a prison ship, never to be heard from again. It’s only natural that a young man at the turn of the twentieth century should travel to the European continent to fulfill the grand tour so often enjoyed by the well-to-do in those days that I believe that Reg, with his special talents, simply must enjoy such an experience in his own way!

VictorianGentlemanI seem to be continually distracted by the project I was working on when Reg’s next appearance was suggested. This one is not one of my own characters, but one who was too little heard from in another Dickens story.

There are many secondary characters in the master’s stories who imply fascinating stories of their own. Some of them have been dealt with by other writers and I’ve enjoyed reading various interpretations of them.

Have I teased you enough yet? I’m afraid the mystery must continue a little while longer. Perhaps on my next blog I’ll be close enough to publication to release the title, and therefore the character of whom I speak.

It’s a story that I feel strongly must be written.

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A Busy Life

Time does fly when you’re busy, doesn’t it?

Suddenly it’s Christmas again and I find I haven’t made a blog post in far too long and I haven’t set up any Christmas deals. I also haven’t finished any new books, though I have two in early draft stages.

DainesAudioBooksDespite my lack of marketing, the audiobooks seem to be going very well, especially the Christmas story. I find it interesting that they are outselling the much cheaper e-books.

Paperbacks are, of course, the most convenient for giving as gifts but I’ve left it rather late to offer a sale. So, I’ll tell you what, I’ll make it a January sale! From today until 31st January 2019, both Jack Dawkins and A Christmas with the Dodger are 25% off direct from


I hope you all have a wonderful Victorian Christmas!

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Great news! Jack Dawkins has just been released on Audible! You can find it on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

And soon A Christmas With The Dodger will also be available on audio! Well in time for Christmas! The final touches are being put on it now and I expect release by the end of September.

Both are expertly narrated by actor Tony Cleary, who has a flair with accents and characterisation that suits the stories well.

This is an exciting new development in the adventures of both Jack and Reg. More adventures are to come, so if you haven’t already, do follow my blog for updates! I post infrequently, so your inbox won’t be inundated with trivial day-to-day nonsense.

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A Weekend Sale!

Both Jack Dawkins and A Christmas With The Dodger are on sale this weekend for .99 on and Amazon UK.

This won’t be a regular occurrence so it’s worth grabbing a copy quickly!


It’s only for a few days!

Come adventure with Jack and Reg. You won’t be sorry.

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Filed under Christmas in July, Weekend Reads

Another New Book Cover!

I’ve had it in mind for some time to change the cover on my Christmas book. I loved the Christmas Tree, but despite the purple background being in keeping with Victorian preferences, it somehow didn’t seem to work.

A suggestion was made that the sepia effect of the book cover for Jack Dawkins could become a theme for my Victorian era books and the result is the new design for A Christmas With The Dodger.

Dickens Christmas

What do you think? My thieves Christmas Tree has been preserved, but the background and font feel much more Dickensian as a result of the change. I have two more books to finish within this era. One by request, about the further adventures of Reg Dawkins, and another that I feel compelled to write about another Dickens character who deserves further exploration. The cover designs for both become simplified by establishing a theme, with the Christmas book having a few minor differences like choice of font and shape of the burnt paper frame.

Now all I need is the free time to write the books!


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A Resounding Success!

My first Amazon sale had very encouraging results. Jack Dawkins did especially well on Amazon UK and although I only looked at progress sporadically, I noted that it got as high as number 30 in the top 100 under Classic Literature and occasionally slipped just into the top 100 Historical Fiction on occasion, floating just inside or outside the 100 mark.

I find it interesting that it was so much more successful in the UK than the U.S., when it has mostly been American readers who have occasionally contacted me to ask if there will be more adventures for Jack or Reg to come.

The question is, will sales always produce such results, or is it only that the book is new to this avenue? Time will tell. I will leave it in KDP Select for the moment and see what happens next time.

In the meantime, I believe I will go ahead and unpublish my Christmas book from Smashwords with a view towards submitting it to KDP Select as well. I’ll put them both back eventually, perhaps just before Christmas or just after, depending on how the dates fall on my KDP obligations. Perhaps a new cover design for the Christmas book is in order as well.

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New Paperback Cover, Kindle Unlimited and A Sale

I thought I might try using some of Amazon’s promotional tools to give Jack Dawkins wider exposure, so I have joined KDP Select. This means that for a limited time, Jack Dawkins is available on Kindle Unlimited.

I expect to go back to wider distribution, but for three or perhaps six months, I’m giving this a whirl. Meanwhile the paperback version of the book now has the new cover to match the Kindle version. This will be reflected at the various outlets in due course.

For those who read on Kindle, Jack Dawkins will be on sale for .99 from 28 April to 2 May, just in time for May bank holiday weekend! You can find it with the reduced price on and Amazon UK.


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New Cover!

I wasn’t expecting it so soon, but my designer got back to me yesterday with a new cover for Jack Dawkins.


What do you think? I rather like it myself.

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#BlackFriday and #CyberMonday

The two biggest shopping days of the year are coming soon! So, I’ve decided it’s time for a sale on Jack Dawkins, which is about to get a new book cover.


Let’s ignore all the silliness in politics plaguing our world and have a brilliant Christmas in the best way readers know how, with a good book.

On Kindle at Amazon

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