On Sunday 2nd April I’ve been invited ‘into the spotlight’ on the “We Love Memoirs” Facebook page where I will be revealing for THE VERY FIRST TIME the title, cover and publication date for MY NEW BOOK!

If you are a reader and don’t already belong to that page you may like to join it, because whatever your taste you will find something to enjoy. There are hundreds of titles from authors like NYT best-seller Victoria Twead, Joe Cawley, Jacky Donovan, Frank Kusy and Beth Haslem (and me!) and many, many more.

There are memoirs that will lift you up, shake you up, take your breath away, make you laugh and make you cry as authors open the curtains on their lives of adventure, misadventure, survival, laughter and joy, from dog lovers in Dubai to a dominatrix with her own London dungeon.

With almost 4,000 members it is a fun and sometimes rowdy but always super-friendly group, offering frequent giveaways, competitions and opportunities to relate directly with the authors.

I’ll be on-line from 11.00 am local (French) time to chat and answer questions about my books, thermodynamics and the meaning of life.

Click on image to go to the We Love Memoirs Facebook group.





Yesterday my trusty No. 1 computer collapsed. 😦

No. 2 has been brought out of retirement while No. 1 goes in for treatment. Prognosis unknown.

No. 1 doesn’t owe me anything. I bought it from Ebay for 180 euros about 3 years ago. It’s a Dell and has given excellent service. Until yesterday.

Usually these things seem to happen at the worst possible time, but in this case the timing was fine, because my latest book – a collection of my favourite very quick, easy, meat-free and (mostly) healthy recipes – was published on Monday, after I’d completed all the edits and saved them to Dropbox. 🙂

Of the nice reviews so far, I particularly love this one from a gentleman in America:

Recently I switched to a diet that would keep the pH of my body in a more alkaline state. I am not much of a cook, but I realized that to make sure I get the diet I wanted, I will have to learn to prepare the meals myself. In addition, I have a cultural problem with cookbooks. They make me think of science experiments that I will likely fail at because I lack the right equipment, ingredients or intelligence to implement correctly.

Susie Kelly’s book addresses all of these issues and it is now my top choice in vegan or vegetarian cookbooks.

Her recipes are vegetarian, including fish and eggs, with notes on which recipes are vegan or gluten free. This helps me focus on the vegan recipes which are closer to the pH diet I want.

The ingredients and equipment are easy to come by. I don’t need fancy kitchen gadgets. She doesn’t use them herself.

The recipes are simple which lazy cooks, and inexperienced cooks like myself, need. The recipes are also easy to find in the book.

Perhaps most of all, she enhances the recipes by enclosing them in entertaining stories which make them memorable. This got me thinking that recipes may be closer to favorite poems or stories that one re-tells rather than science experiments.”

I’m not a bragger, honestly, but that one made me glow. 🙂


Cover design by the brilliant David Lewis @davidlewiscartoons.com

Available immediately as digital download or in paperback from Amazon worldwide.

PS  If anybody would like to volunteer to wind the handle, that would be very nice.

And the audiobook winners are ……

Rafiki needed some encouragement to do her part in choosing the winners. She was more interested in trying to bite through the lamp cable.

She’s a little self-conscious at the moment. We left her with a friend while we were away on holiday, and it’s the first time she’s been away from the house for 20 years. Parrots are very sensitive, and she may have suffered from stress being in an unknown environment. She shed all her chest and back feathers, and instead of replacing them with new ones, has only managed to grow some fluffy down. Hence she looks as if she’s wearing a little white woolly waistcoat. At her next moult, she will hopefully regrow her proper plumage.

She was finally persuaded to take her pick from the 20 names on the dish, and the two winners are …….

Ladies, you will  be receiving the necessary code to download your copies, and I really hope you will enjoy listening.

I’m so sorry you couldn’t all win, but thank you very much for participating.








No such thing as a free lunch, but ………….

…. there is such thing as a free audio book from Audible!

Absolutely free, no strings.

Just leave a comment or smile below. Using my ultra high-tech selection method, I will write your name on a little slip of paper, fold all the slips up tightly and put them into a bowl and let Rafiki, my parrot, choose two. The two selected names will each receive a free audio copy of Best Foot Forward, exquisitely read by Anne Day-Jones. You can listen to a sample here.


There are two copies available. Entries accepted until Monday afternoon, 3rd November at 14.00 French time, and the two winners will be named on Tuesday.

Good luck. 🙂


Time is running out

Today is 12th March.

By 11th April, it will be too late to enter the Good Life France’s Writing Competition with the chance to win a 10-week writing course from the acclaimed Writing Classes.co.uk as well as a choice of best selling books all featuring France. The rules are simple, see them here:

The Good Life France Writing Competition 2014 trophy The judges of the competition include Janine Marsh, the editor of The Good Life France, which, incidentally, is THE website for learning everything you need to know about France.

Julia Stagg, author of the hilarious and best-selling Fogas Chronicles inspired by her own bewildering experiences running an auberge in the French Pyrenees.

Stephanie Zia, writer and editor of Blackbird Digital Books

Kimberly Petyt, Paris-based author of The Paris Wedding, and doyenne of French wedding style

Deborah Lawrenson, author of the highly acclaimed mystery-thriller The Lantern and

last and least, moi-même.

I believe you’d have a hard time finding a nicer bench of judges, myself included. 🙂

Judging will be completely impartial, but just to say that anybody who sends me a large box of white truffles (not the chocolate kind), will probably win. Don’t forget to include your name in the large box 😀

So take up your plume and parchment, and write. Anything at all with a French theme. Send your entry to  editor@thegoodifefrance.com before 11th April.

Good luck to everybody, and may your muse be with you.

Sunset and a Fussy Librarian

The sunset was incredibly vivid last night, with giant purple clouds boiling up all around. It looked both beautiful and slightly menacing.


And by the way, nothing at all to do with sunsets, my latest book “I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry” is being featured on Monday 28th October at The Fussy Librarian, a new website that offers personalized quality ebook recommendations. You can choose from 30 genres and indicate your preferences about content. If you like sex and violence, you can have it. If you don’t, you won’t be offered it. The Fussy Librarian gets to work and sends you daily suggestions suited to your personal reading taste. It’s pretty cool — check it out! www.TheFussyLibrarian.com

“I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry” is a memoir of childhood in Kenya, the breakdown of our family which would have repercussions for decades, and a small grey pony called Cinderella.

Ever decreasing circles!

It’s been crazy-mad-silly-busy here over the last three months. So much happening socially, domestically, workwise, writing-wise and we’ve both had health problems. Some days I get up and spin around in circles for a few minutes trying to decide what to do first. 🙂

But slowly, slowly things are getting under control and I’m now racing against time to finish the manuscript of Swallows and Robins by the 15th of this month.

After weeks of horrible heat and drought, we finally found time to get away for three days in the caravan, with the dogs, our first holiday for – crikey, I can’t even remember when. Some years at least. And the funny thing was that having prayed for rain for all those long, hot, dry, sticky weeks, we got (sorry, Mrs. Ling, I know “got” is a forbidden word, but I felt a bit rebellious just then) it for the three days we went away! It was like living in a car wash. The rain beat and lashed and slashed and hammered onto the awning and van, but very obligingly it stopped twice daily so that we could take the dogs for some wonderful walks through the forests and fields. They loved exploring new places, and even met a gang of new friends. And as soon as we got had returned home, the rain stopped. 😀

Despite the weather we really did enjoy the break, and in fact it made it even more relaxing because we didn’t feel we had to go out and do anything. Sitting cosily reading all day – it wasn’t at all cold – punctuated by the aforesaid walks and some rather good meals that I created – was very refreshing.

And while I was away, Stephanie at Blackbird Digital Books had been in collusion with the amazing David Lewis (check out his website, marvel at his talent, note that he has worked for THE QUEEN), resulting in:

Swanking (don’t see that word much these days, do we?), me? Never. 😀

Anybody who has read it will recognise the significance of the cuckoo and the boxer dog!