February 10th 2016

Well, hello there, Playmates.  There you are. 

I’ve been very busy since my Angel book, THE MURDER LIST, came out last October.  I have finished another Angel called THE LIPSTICK MURDERS which is now due out on May 23rd this year, and I am working on another. 

Some people ask me where I get my ideas from.  The truth is I don’t know, but if I feel mischievous I say, ‘Don’t tell anybody, but I buy lists of them on line for 25p each from a little known shop in Invercockyleeky.’  Some smile and some frown at me and scratch their heads. 

I am still behaving myself.  My weight is static.  I can’t get anymore off.  And I don’t see anything of sexy Linda now.  She’s still with the NHS outfit Change4Life which has changed its name again to something I can’t remember.  She kindly rings me now and again to find out if I am OK, which is very kind.  Now I have to see two big butch chaps who tell me they are only there temporary. 

I remember when everything seemed to be permanent.  I don’t much like temporary.  I remember when dustbin men used to come and pick up our bins when they needed to be emptied, empty them and bring them back.  We didn’t have to wheel two or three bins out to the gate at a certain time on a specified day, hope that they might be emptied that day, then in the evening, wheel them back.  Sometimes with a sticker on saying you’ve put cardboard in the paper bin, or bottles in the grey bin or batteries in any bin, which is a hanging offence I believe.  Sometimes they were not emptied because of the bad weather.  And talking of bad weather, do you remember your school closing because of bad weather?  My school never did.  It was open in all weathers.  It was like the Windmill theatre.  It was open when there was three feet of snow! 

Well, Playmates, that’s my news.  Back to the grind.

Keep well.  Keep happy.  Keep reading. 

October 25th 2015

Hello, again.  There you are.  On Friday last I was weighed by sexy Linda at Change4Life, the local NHS outfit.  And I’m all smiles because in the last 4 weeks, I have lost 2½ lbs.  Now it might not sound much, but it’s a heck of lot considering I’ve been either standing still or putting on a pound or two these last three or four months. 

However  the sad news is that I might not be seeing sexy Linda again.   Over the last five years, she has been responsible for me losing over 5 stones in weight by instructing me to follow a healthy life style and thereby avoiding a nasty operation!  It hasn’t only been dieting.  It has been a real eye opener to me to realise the easy alternatives open to us.  The reason why I might not see Linda again is that the NHS is changing everything again!  Everything is up in the air.  Her job may change.  Nothing in our lives is destined to stay as it is.  Old fogeys like me have to work round all the changes in life made by authority.  It’s a good job I have the queen, who always steers me in the right direction. 

Speaking of the queen, she had been rather ill, and had to go to hospital.  She was there for six days and they did all sorts of wonderful things and she came out fighting fit.  They have also found her a different medication regime to assist her digestion which is suiting her very well. 

Anyway, I want to tell you about I’ve been doing.  I have been very busy.  All my books that have been published in hardback can now also be read on line on a Kindle or any similar electronic reader.  Also another of my books, THE MONEYTREE MURDERS has been recorded (for the blind) and is available at shops, on line and libraries throughout the UK. 

A new idea for short story readers or those who don’t want to wade through a whole book is on website www.pennyshorts.com.  There you can see all sorts of short fiction for 50p a read.  I have contributed a short story to it titled THE TOLLINGTON GHOST.  

A new Angel book, THE MURDER LIST, is coming out this weekend and I have another, THE LIPSTICK MURDERS, being published on March 31st next year. 

Oh yes.  Please note, as from Monday October 26th to Friday, 30th, SALAMANDER is available free from Amazon on Kindle.  It will be good for people who aren’t familiar with my stuff to try me out for nothing.  I do hope those who are Kindle readers will take advantage of it. 

Keep well.  Keep happy.  Keep reading.

June 30th 2015.

My latest Angel book is published in hardback today.  It’s the 23rd in the series.  It’s called ANGEL AND THE ACTRESS.  The eBook edition will be out later this month. 

Now, let me see, what I have been doing since I last wrote this diary…?

Of course I have still be going regularly to the gym and I have stayed rigorously on the Change4Life routine which doesn’t seem so exacting when you get used to it.  After all, you can almost eat what you ate before but in reduced quantities, some greatly reduced.  But there is positively no need to feel hungry.  That I wouldn’t be able to tolerate. 

However in the last few months, my weight has not moved either up nor down.  Last month, May, when I was weighed, I was within a spoonful the same as I weighed in June.  And before that I put back on the half pound I had lost in March.  My mentor through all this is sexy Linda.  She is marvellous.  She has an answer for everything.  And she is totally happy with my performance.  She says I should be satisfied that I am holding down my weight.  I’m not.  She says that I am at probably at my natural, healthy level, and that I will not move my weight any further down without cutting down on what I eat or by exercising more.  I don’t think I can do either.  We’ll see.

Since I last wrote this page, IN THE MIDST OF LIFE, my first Angel book, can now be read on line on a Kindle or any similar electronic reader.  And audio editions (for the blind) THE BIG FIDDLE and THE FRUIT GUM MURDERS have also been published and are in the libraries and the bookshops. 

THE MURDER LIST (this will be the 24th in the Angel series) is being published in hardback in October.  And I am working hard on a new Angel book for early in 2016. 

A reader from Australia sent me an email grumbling that he could not get eBook editions of some of the Angel books.  Well, I was able to tell him that in the next few months, all the Angel books up to ANGEL AND THE ACTRESS and my stand alone novels will be available electronically on line. 

I hope you have a great holiday, whether it’s on a luxury cruise liner, or at home in your own backyard, with a library book.  Enjoy yourself.  Take care.

March 2nd 2015

Hello there.  I’m back.  I know it’s been a long time, but I haven’t been wasting my time.  I’ve been writing like the clappers.  Messing about on the internet or Twittering or writing stuff on my Facebook page doesn’t add a single word to the book I am writing!  And I’m still writing about Angel.  I hope you enjoy reading about him. 

I try to write reassuring entertainment in these dark days of racial intolerance in so many countries.  I am particularly disturbed by the shocking acts of hatred of the British, from people whom we have sheltered, defended, educated and kept healthy.  I don’t understand it. 

My weight is still yo-yoing.  What I lost last month I put back on this month, which considering the amount of time I put in at the gym and what I do without at home, I find rather depressing.  At least, I am not putting weight back on and to be fair I’m rarely hungry.  If I am desperate, I have a slice of wholemeal bread with some reduced salt and sugar Heinz beans.  It rarely happens, but there’s my secret.  It is wholly permitted by Sexy Linda.  However she also says that I might never lose my tummy.  Annoyingly, she has a habit of being right, but I am not yet completely satisfied, so this month I am more determined than ever to take off a few pounds.  My next Change4 Life meeting with her is next Friday.  Cross your fingers for me. 

Well, we are now in March, so in theory, winter is over.  However snow is forecast today for us at the foot of the Pennines.  If there is only a light fall, we are locked in to our house.  There is a hill that it is not possible to get up by car.  As it is a private road, it won’t be gritted or cleared.  We have to wait for a thaw.  The postman doesn’t deliver and the bins aren’t emptied.  However Tesco’s will deliver.  Over past winters, the driver has several times parked his van on the top road and trundled a trolley with our order on it through the snow down the hill to us.  Isn’t competition a wonderful thing! 

Since I posted my last blog, I have heard that ANGEL AND THE ACTRESS will be published on June 30th next, and THE MURDER LIST later this year. 

Also, I am working on another Angel book now which I don’t want to talk about yet for publishing in 2016, I hope. 

By the way, I should point out that if you are using an electronic reader like a Kindle, that an eBook title of mine published recently as DEAD AHEAD, was originally in hardback and paperback and called DEADLY DAFFODILS.  Also MISSING, PRESUMED …was originally in hardback as WILD ABOUT HARRY.  They are both very popular titles.  I only mention it so that if you’ve had it in book form, you may not want it again on a screen. 

Well, there we are.  However you read, whether it’s from printing on a page or an image on a screen, I hope you enjoy it. 

Happy reading.

September 23rd 2014

Hello there. 

Well I hope you managed to get away for a holiday or two during the summer, and that you had decent weather.  Lots of holidays are now spent on cruise ships, and they are giving pretty good value, I hear.  My wife and I didn’t go anywhere.  Between us we have health issues, so it isn’t possible to travel much.  We don’t mind.  We live in a beautiful part of the world.  Except for chores at home that we have to do, we consider ourselves on holiday all the time. 

My excuse for not updating the diary is that I have been writing another Angel book.  It is finished now and I have posted it to the publishers.  It is called, THE MURDER LIST.  It’s a bit of a new departure for Angel and tests his ability more than most situations I have put him in before.  If it is accepted, it will be out in 2015.  I’ll keep you posted.  

The book I finished last May was accepted but the title has been changed.  It is now called ANGEL AND THE ACTRESS, which is a far easier to remember and indicates something about the story.  It will be published late this year or early next.  

Since I last wrote, my weight has been yo-yoing a bit, but overall I have managed to lose only a few pounds.  I am the same weight I was when I was about twenty.  Sexy Linda from Change4Life doesn’t think I should be worrying about it, but I do.  I get weighed again on Friday next 26th, I’ll report back the result.  I’ve still not been able to reduce further the size of my ample stomach, but I am keeping on at it.  I will have to eliminate absolutely my pinching of pieces of fruit from the fridge.  It is the over consumption of fruit that I think is hindering me. 
By the way, did you know that a typical glass tumbler full of fresh orange juice (not the stuff sold in wax packets in supermarkets but literally fresh orange juice with nothing added and nothing taken away) contains 5 or 6 teaspoonsful of sugar?  And I thought it was about the healthiest drink you could have!  As sexy Linda pointed out to me, there would probably have to be the juice of two or three oranges to make a tumbler full. 

I understand the rights have been bought to bring out an audio of THE FRUIT GUM MURDERS, so that the blind can enjoy Angel being read to them by well-known actors.  I believe this book will be read by that famous actor Jonathan Keeble who has recorded some of my other books and catches the northern style perfectly. 

By the way, on Thursday next, September 30th, THE MONEYTREE MURDERS in hardback will be in the shops and libraries.  It’s about some trickery and murders in a TV studio.  I hope you will look out for it and enjoy reading it. 

Wherever you are, whatever your age, enjoy your reading.  And remember, you’re only young once so make the best of it.  Take care.

May 3rd 2014

Hello there.  Glad to be back.

I have been very busy writing another new book tentatively called MURDER ON A THREAD.  I have just finished it.  It’s another Angel book - that’s what my publisher wants, and where would we be without publishers?

Don’t answer that.

My dear wife is proof-reading it and I hope to submit it in a few days time, and we’ll see what happens.

Oh dear, I have to report that last time I was weighed, I had put on 1½ lbs, having lost 2 lbs the month before.  I know that ½ lb isn’t much but considering that I go to the gym 5 days a week and do without all sorts of things like pies, sausage rolls, Yorkshire pudding, chocolate and goodness knows what else, I should be losing a stone a month not ½ lb! 
I believe that the intake of fruit - particularly pineapple - is the cause.  I tend to pinch chunks of it while I am in the kitchen and preparing meals.  Sexy Linda from Change4Life doesn’t think it is anything to get into a tiz about, but I’m not pleased. 

I was complaining to a friend about the protuberance and size of my stomach and she said, ‘Well, maybe it’s comfortable where it is?’  I had to laugh.  I’m certain it’s comfortable where it is, but I am still going to try and move it.  I’ll let you know how I go on. 

Since writing last December, a few things events have happened.  In February my book SHRINE TO MURDER WAS PUBLISHED in eBook form so that it can be read on Kindles and similar.  On March 31st my book, THE FRUIT GUM MURDERS was published in hard back, and my book, THE MONEYTREE MURDERS is coming out in September next.  So you see I am not wasting my time. 

Wherever you are, whatever your age, enjoy your reading.  The summer sun is coming soon.  Watch out for it. 

December 9th 2013

Hello there. 

Well, I’ve finished THE CLOCKWORK MOUSE MYSTERY all about the activities of a Scotland Yard Police Inspector in 1912, surrounded by murder and crime of all description.  I am so excited about it, I might put it straight out as an eBook thereby save a lot of time.  I will make some inquiries about that. 

There is one very strange thing about VAT.  Did you know that a printed book is VAT free, but an eBook is subject to VAT?  How strange is that? 

I was weighed last Friday and I’ve lost 1 lb in a month.  Sexy Linda was delighted.  She reasoned that if I maintained all the modifications initiated by Change4Life, I could confidently expect to weigh a stone lighter next December.  Now that would be magic!  I think she’d forgotten that Christmas is coming.  I simply love Christmas pudding and brandy sauce.  Anyway, I get weighed next on January 3rd.  I’ll let you know the result in the new year.

It is too early to report on the eBook sales of THE BIG FIDDLE released on November 29th, but I do know that we can now afford turkey on Christmas day.  We had planned on having sausages. 

I have a new title, THE FRUIT GUM MURDERS, another Angel book coming out in March 2014.  Then there's THE MONEYTREE MURDERS, the 22nd Angel book, which I hope will be out by Christmas 2014.

Well, I’ve finished writing the Christmas cards.  There are a few locals I have to deliver by hand and a few friends from Church that I will take there next Sunday.  Then we have to decorate the house and get out the tree.  I love the twinkle and bright colours of the fairylights which we put across the sitting-room windows, especially during these long, dark nights. 

I hope that you will have a lovely Christmas.  If you are on your own, I hope you will find comfort and hope in the re telling of the nativity.  If you are a crowd, maybe some of you could check up on neighbours who are on their own.  And say a prayer for your loved ones and yourself. 

Anyway, whoever you are, wherever you are, have a great Christmas, and a very happy New Year. 

 Happy reading!