I’ve been a bit quiet. I know, this is as rare an occurrence as a “blue moon” and, personally, I blame John Donoghue. If you doubt how distracting the antics of a front line police officer with a wicked sense of humour can be, read my reviews here and here. Being a dog-lover and foster mum to a straggle of odd dogs with disabilities ranging from blindness and spinal injuries to missing limbs, I couldn’t resist diving straight into another of his books, Shakespeare My Butt!, which turns around our hero’s first foray into dog-ownership and the arrival in his life of his BFF, Barney. Keen to implement correct dog-training techniques, John’s read the manuals. He’s even created his own list of rules, his Ten Commandments, setting boundaries and reinforcing himself as top dog within the family the dog will see as his ‘pack’. Cue arrival of “rolling, barking, nipping” eating machine that ejects food from one end as fast as it goes in the other.
So what do we think?
As usual, John Donoghue has me glued to the pages, thus my silence. The man is pure therapy, I can’t remember laughing so much (except at myself, joining in the general merriment as a girlfriend wet herself laughing whilst regaling our bemused then boyfriends with tales of my general accident-proneness. Never was she going to let me forget walking into a bollard at the Three Counties Show. It was midriff level, but lower. Or the time my ancient Ford Escort self-combusted on the motorway. It was summer. I was on my way back from aerobics. Dress code: Lycra leggings and leotard. No coat. Eat your heart out Olivia Newton John, or possibly not).
Anyway, “I digress”. Back to Shakespeare. So, Barney has arrived. He will know his place in the pack hierarchy. He will obey simple, one word commands. Get too verbose and you will confuse him. He’s a dog. Ye-es. No spoilers (I hope) but ‘the surprised’ game in the mornings? The grimace whilst JD and companion search for place name signs? Again, no spoilers, but I am wondering whether the calendar the names would be adorning was actually age appropriate? This is another must-read from Donoghue. A lovely, uniquely witty story of father, daughter (and dog) bonding, with a sprinkling of entertaining historical facts thrown in. Talking of entertainment, how does it work?? The grey elephant thing? I’m still pondering that one.
Would I recommend it? Yes, highly. I defy anyone, even those with a sense of humour bypass, not to snort wine, hooting with laughter reading these books. Save time, order a job lot, tuck up and enjoy is my advice.
Right, suitably re-energised, I now have to resurface and get on and put myself about a bit, again. Blowing my own wee trumpet (it’s not very loud. I shall have to invest in a new one!), I have not one but two imminent releases. Towards the end of 2014, I was signed with Choc Lit for my upcoming contemporary romance. This development is all the more special because the book was brought to the attention of Choc Lit’s MD, Lyn Vernham, by Head Fiction Buyer at WH Smith Travel, Matt Bates. Matt read the manuscript after we met at the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Annual Conference, and recommended it as a good fit for the publisher’s list. I am soooo glad that he did.
COMING in May 2015 from Choc Lit
The Rest of My Life – Two damaged hearts, a sizzling sexual connection. Can love find a way to bring Adam and Sienna together?
Other breaking news: I also have a new thriller due for publication with Safkhet Publishing, the title of which was suggested by a chief constable, no less, who also kindly offered me some advice around forensics and police procedural. Death Sentence is due for publication in June.
After too many years writing (I’m a little insane, can you tell?) and a pretty awful start to the year which saw my partner undergoing two ops (he was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2014 and is doing amazingly well, still sharing his progress with Prostate Cancer UK, encouraging other men to seek help early. I am slightly in awe of him, I have to say), I’m at last feeling as if my efforts have been worthwhile. That’s mainly down to readers, reviewers, and those who have believed in me. Thank you. It’s hard out there – and it would be an awfully lonely place to be without my friends.
Finally, I’ve been playing, making videos. Here’s a sneak peek of Death Sentence. I hope you likey!
Keep safe all!
Lots of love,