Sunday, 23 November 2014


Sometimes things happen that seem to be a little more than mere coincidence.
Take this morning for example - the good lady was in the play-room sorting out some of my late Dad's stuff to take to the charity shop, when she came across a copy of 'The Practical Home Handyman'.

Nothing special in that, I guess - my Dad had collected hundreds and hundreds of old books and signed books from charity shops and the like over the last few years and stored them in the back bedroom-cum-library - but what's worth bearing in mind is that the choice of my wife bringing these particular books home a week or so ago was completely arbitrary; my wife and my Mum needed to clear some space to get at some stuff in the cupboard above the stairs, and these old books were in the way.

Anyway, as my wife is putting all these old books into bags to put in the car, she happens to open up 'The Practical Home Handyman' - no reason really, she just suddenly felt a compunction to look inside it (interestingly, page 43 tells you how to make a wooden clothes horse).
Inside the front cover is written, in pencil:

NOV 1948
85 Preston Old Road
Cherry Tree

Again, nothing special in that - people are always writing their name and address on the inside covers of books.
Except...John Simpson (of said address) is, somewhat spookily, my wife's grandfather!

Cue the following:

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Aoife Sheridan Blog Tour

This is a bit of a first for me - I'm helping out a fellow author by hosting a 'blog tour' by Aoife Sheridan, who is promoting her new book, 'Hunters'.
So, over to Aoife...

What is the name of your character?
The Name of my Character is Abigail Thornton. She’s Nineteen and a Demon Hunter.

Is she fictional or a historic person?
Demon Hunter? Fictional I would say. LOL

2) When and where is the story set?
The story is set in our world (Earth) most of it is set in England and the rest in Rome.

3) What should we know about her?
Well Abigail has no living family, she witnessed the death of her mother, then her father and brother but she was saved by Daniel. Abigail has lots of her own demons but she found a way to deal with them, Alcohol. After being taken in by a priest he teaches her to become a demon hunter, and she’s good at what she does. O did I mention that she can see ghosts. J

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?
Her feelings for Daniel really cause serious problems; he’s her best friend, her savoir in ways.  Yet she won’t let him see how she feels. Abigail’s main fear is of losing one more person that she loves, so she chooses to keep people at arm’s length. Her past comes back to haunt her also, when ghosts start attacking her, and her brother makes an appearance, she can’t cope so she turns to drink but soon everything starts to spiral out of control. So her life is pretty messed up.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?
To understand what really happened to her family.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
Yes it’s called Hunters (Hunters #1). The first chapter you can read for free at

7) When can we expect the book to be published?
The release date for Hunters was the 1st of October 2014.

Purchase Links:

To contact Aoife you can email her at 

This tour sponsored by

Sunday, 9 November 2014

When words just aren't enough

Some days, the words just don't seem to want to co-operate. No matter how hard I try, no matter how many combinations of them I create, they simply refuse to say what it is I want them to say.
Usually, it's my fault. The inability to craft them into sentences which exactly convey my thoughts and emotions is more often than not down to my own lack of skill and proficiency in manipulating them.
But I don't think that's the case today. You see, every now and again there comes along a situation where, no matter how good someone is with words, they still aren't able to put down in text exactly what it is they want to express.
Well, I think it comes down to that old adage - words just aren't enough.

You see, as well as writing sci-fi, there is another genre of the written word that is dear to my heart - the world of rhyme.
And my love of rhyme is down to my Dad, who was sadly taken from us this week.
Starting with 'The Happy Land of Dogenpuce' (best heard in a Scottish accent!), my Dad's poems were the catalyst for a lifelong fascination with the art of crafting rhyme, something I still enjoy the challenge of today.

Now I did think about trying to write a poignant little rhyme within this post, thanking my Dad for everything he'd given me, telling him how proud I am to be his son, remarking on how much I'll miss him and how much I loved him.
But the words...well, they just won't come.

So instead I'm going to point you in the direction of a page where I hope you'll take a bit of time to read and enjoy what I think is the best thing my Dad ever wrote - and remember, it's best read with a Scottish accent!

Campbell's Revenge by John Ritchie