Happy Insecure Writers Day @TheIWSG #IWSG


Every 1st Wednesday of the month we all come together to support each other in our writing endeavors. You can join the blog hop by clicking Here

We all looked after by Alex Cavanaugh and his trusty co hosts Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

Sorry I missed last months 😦 in the past month I have almost re written my novel and resubmitted it to the publisher and I am wading through a two week wait for feedback… I’ve also been trying to plot book 2 and failing I brought a book but I think my problem is I don’t have a central hero which I think is making everything so much harder! am i writing from different POVs like my current novel or can I keep it all one story. Why can’t I just bloody write it!? though most of it is already written then look for advice. BUT I don’t want to have to go through everything again that I have with this one!

Why do novels need structure!? Because aren’t I telling a story? and if I was to make up a story and have to read it aloud off the top of my head I wouldn’t be worrying about plotting and structure!!!

This months question:

 It’s been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don’t enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

So pre being brought a kindle I did write something that was full of teen angst!!! a YA I hear you ask!

As I heard on a podcast every story written these days is combining themes. In the beginning mine was the love of the bill and spooks in the modern day.

Reading C L Taylor and Mark Edwards re ignited my want to write, so would I have ever got this back if I hadn’t of been brought a kindle!? Plus I’m writing crime and from reading ALOT of Cally I can’t really see how my work is a mixture of hers or in the fact Marks?

I was always told at school, my spelling and grammar issues were because I didn’t read much..

Maybe we should just stop worrying and thinking about it all and just write…


Book Review: Daisy Daydream the Nursery Rhyme Bus @JayJayBus @rararesources #Daisy #childrensbook

Book Review: Daisy Daydream the Nursery Rhyme Bus @JayJayBus @rararesources #Daisy #childrensbook

Daisy Daydream

The Nursery Rhyme Bus

Daisy Daydream Cover

Daisy was a happy red bus who loved travelling the busy streets of London.

When newer and shinier buses came along, the older buses like Daisy began to disappear.

would Daisy become one of the forgotten buses, or was something else planned for her?

Our Thoughts.

As always great story, great illustration and always plenty to spark my six year olds imagination!

I have written other reviews for Sue’s books so everything I have said in the past most certainly still applies. So check them out below…

Jay-Jay and The Carnival    Jay-Jay his island adventure and where it all started Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus




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Sue tells us about herself…..

I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.

For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.

I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.

This story has now been followed by five more picture books.

I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.

The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.

Facebook-Xperia     Author Page      logo_thumb800Jay Jay Bus



Jay Jay Bus books  fotohttps://www.suewickstead.co.uk

Giveaway to Win 1 x Paperback copy of Daisy Daydreams bus rhymes and joke book (UK Only) 

Daisy - Giveaway Prize maxresdefaultEnter Here

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

24 Unread Messages @24unreadmessage #zine #FlashFiction @TiredPsych @CalebEchterling @AmandanWrites @MMcGill09 @TomLeeski @AnnaSanderson86 @JoWithers2018 @TheMissDecember @TheCasey @McMichaelCarter @JHardacre1 @LCramer29 @JaniceLeagra @StandonDog

24 Unread Messages

An emotional journey into all the things we wish we could say but never did…

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Back late last year, I came across a post from someone who was trying to put a zine together, wtf is a zine I thought to myself. I want to know more and on this day if not months before Jamie began to ask for submissions of those emails that you’ve written and never sent.

Jamie says this is a one off but, trust me when I say I bet he has enough content to make this a regular release.

We’ve all written those emails, mostly telling out bosses where to stick it, but we’ve also written those personal ones that never get sent. In my case telling someone that we are sorry and that we still love them and always will…

In this 24 page booklet there are so many emotions from so many different people, letting us into there lives some of the time and what they have most wanted to say.

My personal favorite is the one to IT Support message six, as trust me we have all been there.

The zine is also a steal at £3.00! It’ll be the best £3.00 you’ve spent in a while trust me!

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Order Here

Friday Fictioners – Killer Plant #100words #flashfiction



“It’s coming to get me,” I said as I felt the fear rising up inside me.

“What do you mean?” He asked looking from me to the plant and back again.

“Did you never watch little pet shop of horrors?” I tell him as I remember the theme tune in my mind.

“It started out as a nice house plant and then it started to grow arms so I move out of reach, but it just kept growing and now….”

He looks at me and just laughs “It’s just a plant hun” he says berating me.

“I swear it’ll…”


Friday Fictioners is organised by the amazing Rochelle A 100 word challenge, where we write something based on a prompt. Why not join in one week.

Been very hit and miss with FF, I always look at the picture and then never get round to it.

The little pet shop of horrors has been shown in many formats over the years on the screen and as a kiddie television programme. I only really remember the carton though…

Little Shop


Lifes A Banquet by Robin Bennett @bookguild @rararesources #memoir #GuestPost

Lifes A Banquet by  Robin Bennett @bookguild @rararesources #memoir #GuestPost

Lifes A Banquet

Lifes a banquet cover

If life gives you lemons, add gin

Life’s a Banquet is the unofficial but essential ‘guide book’ to negotiating your way through life – through education, family life and business, to relationships, marriage, failure and rejection.

Aged 21, Robin Bennett was set to become a cavalry officer and aged 21 and a half, he found himself working as an assistant grave digger in South London – wondering where it had all gone wrong.

Determined to succeed, he went on and founded The Bennett Group, aged 23, and since then has gone on to start and run over a dozen successful businesses in a variety of areas from dog-sitting to cigars, translation to home tuition. In 2003, Robin was recognised in Who’s Who as one of the UK’s most successful business initiators. Catapulting readers through his colourful life and career, Robin Bennett’s memoir is an inspiring tale.

Buy Lifes a Banquet below:



UK                  USA


Robin tells us a bit more about himself below:

Aged 11, my idea of culture had been limited to what was on TV for kids for two hours a day. I loved television in a way that you love a morphine drip after an amputation. Charles loved it too, but for the other twenty-two hours a day, when he wasn’t beating me to death with his plastic light sabre, my brother liked nothing better than sitting down with a good Hornblower book or almost anything by Alistair MacLean. I couldn’t see the point. All efforts to get me to read up until then had utterly failed, with no exceptions.

Reading meant concentrating on something inert, it meant sitting still and, above all, it meant not talking.

In short, there was nothing – to my way of thinking – that recommended books.

However, it took a move to France, terrible TV I couldn’t begin to follow and abject boredom to lead me to the one activity I can enjoy to this day that is entirely simple, blameless… and quiet.

I’ve learned with our children that telling them they have to read something is the absolute slayer of any actual desire to read. The only way is to leave enough books lying about the place and hope. And read to them before bed.

My own reading career started with leafing through my mum’s old copies of Country Life and the romance stories in the back of The Lady. Armed with a thorough knowledge of the housing market and flawed, yet terribly attractive men, I moved on to fiction.

Now I don’t, as a rule, like animal books – especially those written from the point of view of an animal (usually a dog, or a cynical cat), but White Fang literally grabbed me by the scruff of the neck. I picked the book out of the bottom shelf of the bookcase in the hall because it was a large hardback with a yellow spine and hard to miss. I then read it through in less than two days. I’ve never read another Jack London since… but, reader, he was my first.

After that, I moved on to Len Deighton, Jack Higgins, and I borrowed my brother’s Alistair MacLeans when I could. I quite enjoyed all of them, but it wasn’t until I discovered Dick Francis that I found an author I could stick with. If I’d been a more careful reader, I would have realised that he had mastered the most important trick of all in writing: character. Create someone the reader cares about and you could have them stacking shelves in Tesco’s for the next two hundred and forty-two pages and it would still work.

My parents, who had always read a lot, noticed that with a book in my hand I became less annoying and so started plying me again with stories they thought I should read, which was more a reflection of their tastes than anything else: this meant I went through a lot of Daphne du Maurier and Jerome K Jerome before I rebelled and regressed.

This took the form of reading all the books I was meant to have read at seven. Around the age of twelve I was comfort reading James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr Fox, Danny the Champion of the World (with whom I felt a strong affinity on several levels) and anything else I could lay my hands on by Roald Dahl.

I hadn’t learned a word of French (outside of school) but, ironically, France taught me to love the English language.

Thank you for the insight Robin

Lifes A Banquet - Facebook Graphic

 Robin Bennett lives in Henley on Thames, Oxon. He is an author and entrepreneur who has written several books for children and books on the swashbuckling world of business. His documentary, Fantastic Britain, about the British obsession with magic and folklore, won best foreign feature at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards.

Robin says, “When the world seems to be precarious and cruel, remember that the game is to never give up – there’s everything to play for, and it will all be OK.





The Fault by Kitty Sewell #TheFault #KittySewell @honno @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #Q&A

The Fault by Kitty Sewell #TheFault #KittySewell @honno @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #Q&A

The Fault

The Fault - cover

Chilling thriller set on Gibraltar – at the heart of The Rock are secret tunnels, hard to navigate and even harder to escape. Sebastian is a civil engineering prodigy and his latest project is his most ambitious to date: to build a new city on the sheerest face of The Rock.

His fiancee, Eva, a diver, is entranced by the penisula’s hidden depths and concerned that her lover doesn’t push himself beyond human limits in his desire to see his dream realised.

Mimi, still in her teens, is desperate to spread her wings and chafing at the limits placed on her movements by her overprotective older brother. When Mimi gets into a relationship with a neighbour intent on fighting the new development, Sebastian’s precarious mental health spirals out of control putting them all in danger.

When Mimi is lost amidst their twists and turns the race is on to find her before the water rises.


Hi Kitty,

Can you tell us about any research you carried out for The Fault?

All my novels are set in interesting and/or exotic locations. Either I have already lived there (like the Canadian sub-Arctic in Ice Trap) or the place fascinates me and I spend time there to immerse myself in the atmosphere (like Ladakh and Dharamsala in India for Cloud Fever) I find out every little thing about the place, and the really interesting facts and aspects get worked into my writing somehow.

In The Fault, I had to research everything about Gibraltar, the tunnel system, the Neanderthal findings, the diving treasures, the people and their fascinating history, their quirky language, the battles that took place there going back millennia. You have to knock on a few doors and explain you need information for a novel, so you can’t be shy. I had to find out a lot about structural engineering to make Sebastian Luna a credible genius. I can build the darned bridge myself after all that!

Where do the ideas for your plots come from?

Normally my plot ideas come to me at night, in that twilight state of half sleep. Plots need to be developed however, so from an initial idea I do a lot of thinking and trying out the plausibility of the plot strands and its resolution.

Do you have any rules for writing?

My best rule is discipline. Don’t let more than two days go by without sitting down to serious writing. How many hundreds of thousands of novels never get finished due to lack of discipline and perseverance? Don’t join that sad lot.

My second rule is, start your novel with a bang, a passage that will totally capture the reader (including prospective publishers)

Let interested friends and family read your work and really listen to their comments, especially the negative ones. Immersed in your writing you really benefit from outside perspective, bringing glaring inconsistencies to light.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Time for developing something worthwhile is limited, so stop faffing about worrying about appearances, your body shape, getting a tan, getting hooked on TV series, what your buddies are doing when you are not around, etc etc.

Practice that guitar, study, stay fit, meditate, learn a new language, develop your painting and sculpting ….write that novel… In other words: be grateful for your talents and develop them.

Do you have any advice for first time writers?

Start with short, short stories. Go on a course or do a workshop. Buy Robert McGee’s “Story” and Sol Stein’s “Stein on Writing” and read them (you can get them on audio, so you can listen to them all day and get immersed in their wisdom and brilliance).

We’d love to know more about your writing space. What’s it like?

Ha ha… Did you ever see Tracy Emin’s sculpture My Bed? Mine is not quite that bad, nor dirty, but I do a lot of writing propped up on pillows. I don’t recommend this appalling habit. Sometimes I write sitting on my sofa with a view of the incredibly lush botanical bonanza that is my garden, the Mediterranean in the background. Sadly, I cannot write out of doors where I am most happy.

What hurdles have you had to cross?

The hurdles of life certainly inspire my writing. Discovering that my (then) husband had sired a child he  knew nothing about, was personal hurdle in my life and marriage and it inspired my first novel Ice Trap. The fact that I was writing from a deeply personal experience clearly made the story so much more poignant and real, making the novel a bestseller. I think all the hurdles in my life have had their hand in my writing. Escaping a tyrannical and psychopathic father, made it easy to write Mimi in The Fault (in her case a mother). I just had to remember the hurdles I had to cross in my gradual transformation from rebellious and troubled teenager into a thinking and balanced woman.

The best hurdle to tackle in your path to become a writer is to have psychotherapy. Finding out what makes you tick will help you create believable characters with depth.

Can you tell about any movies or music that have inspired your writing and how they inspired you?

I was very inspired by South American music in my youth, a favorite being Atahualpa Yupanqui, who sang his astonishingly beautiful poetry and played wonderful guitar. I had the privilege to once sing and play guitar with Joan Baez, at a workshop during the Toronto Folk Festival. I was totally in love with that era’s music with its meaningful lyrics, some of which actually spoke to your soul. Also very moved by my own country’s (Sweden) balladeers, such as Ulf Lundell and Evert Taube. I am more inspired by art and sculpture where my writing is concerned, the act of sculpting is akin to sculpting prose with words.

Movies rarely inspire my writing.

What are your five favourite novels?

I often read psychological suspense novels, because it is good to see what the competition has to offer. I also learn a bit from plots that surprise me, and certainly what not to write. I blow hot and cold with Ian McEwan’s novels but I was very impressed with Enduring Love, absolutely brilliant! I learned a lot from it about plot. Peter May’s Hebrides trilogy was superb. Couldn’t put them down.  I thought the recent Apple Tree Yard was the best I had read in ages and ages. A book that stayed with me for a long time was Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls. Some say it was badly written. If that is the case, it wins hands down for emotionally connecting me to a work. It inspired and informed my novel Hector’s Talent for Miracles, a story set partly in the Spanish Civil War. Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man was my favorite for many years. I don’t dare to reread it, just in case it disappoints.

Do you have any quirky approaches to writing (for example, I know of one writer who, in her first draft of her first novel, hadn’t decided if her main character was going to be male or female so used ambiguous names such as Sam, Alex, Charlie etc).

I do occasionally talk to my characters to see if they like me and if we could have a friendship or relationship (that can be disappointing). Sometimes I pretend I am one of the characters, usually female but not always.

Houses are very important to me, and every one of my novels have an unusual house, or as in The Fault, an apartment. These dwellings become like a characters in themselves with a history and a personality.

Modesty aside, I think my ability to create very atmospheric setting has a lot to do with my relative success as an author.

Thank you Kitty

Grab your copy below!!!!

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Published in paperback and ebook formats by Honno Press on 18th July 2019.


kitty sewell


Kitty Sewell was born in Sweden, and has had four successive nationalities, living in the Canary Islands, Central and South America, Canada, England, Wales and Spain where she now lives in the mountains of Andalucía. She is a successful sculptor, and bestselling author. Her books have been translated into 15 languages and she has been short-listed for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award, the Wales Book of the Year, Winner of the “People’s Choice” BBC Radio Wales Prize, and the Bertelsmann Book Clubs International Book of the Month. She also writes as Kitty Harri. With Honno she has published Ice Trap (2005, later bought by Simon & Schuster) and Hector’s Talent for Miracles (2007) as Kitty Harri.

foto https://kittysewell.com/

The Oshun Diaries @DianeLEsguerra @EyeAndLightning @rararesources #Q&A

The Oshun Diaries @DianeLEsguerra @EyeAndLightning @rararesources #Q&A

The Oshun Diaries

The Oshun Diaries Cover

High priestesses are few and far between, white ones in Africa even more so. When Diane Esguerra hears of a mysterious Austrian woman worshipping the If a river goddess Oshun in Nigeria, her curiosity is aroused.

It is the start of an extraordinary friendship that sustains Diane through the death of her son and leads to a quest to take part in Oshun rituals. Prevented by Boko Haram from returning to Nigeria, she finds herself at Ifa shrines in Florida amid vultures, snakes, goats’ heads, machetes, a hurricane and a cigar-smoking god. Her quest steps up a gear when Beyoncé channels Oshun at the Grammys and the goddess goes global.

Mystifying, harrowing and funny, The Oshun Diaries explores the lure of Africa, the life of a remarkable woman and the appeal of the goddess as a symbol of female empowerment.


Doesn’t this book sound really atmospheric.. AND there is a book trailer too HERE : ) I love a good book trailer.

Hi Diane,

What inspired your to write Oshun Diaries?

My desire to share what I’ve learnt from Oshun, the goddess of love and female empowerment, and her amazing high priestess.

Which Authors inspired you to write?

While I admire many, many writers I can’t think of one that has ‘inspired’ me as such. The urge to write, to express my creativity, was so great it just burst out of me!

If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece of advice would you give yourself ?

Live in the moment: enjoy the actual process of writing – the wonder of creativity; worry less about how others will judge your efforts.

What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Just do it!

What are your writing routines?

If I haven’t been able to write for a while I become agitated. As hard as I’ve tried I’ve never been able to achieve a set routine. I write when I’m in the mood – which, thankfully, is quite often

If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

Seeing clients as I’m also a psychotherapist – but I’d rather be travelling.

Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

Well, as this is a memoir I guess I’m the main character. I’d love to say Angelina Jolie, but Olivia Coleman would be a more likely candidate!  I see Beyoncé as Oshun.

How many rejections did you get before you got a publishing deal?

I tried about thirty agents before one agreed to represent my first book. An agent is always the best bet as many publishers won’t touch unsolicited material. It then took her about six months to find a publisher.

How did you deal with them when you started out

For a number of years I made a living as a play and scriptwriter so I learnt pretty early on that rejection is part and parcel of being a writer – and it’s ongoing. It comes in many forms – a lousy review is kind of rejection, too. I taught myself to build up rejection resilience. Something the writer Harold Pinter said after his first play was thoroughly panned by every theatre critic in London has always inspired me: ‘Even though they all hated my work I continued to believe in it myself.’

Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know?

Like many writers I have a rebellious nature. I went to eight different schools before the age of eleven and hated every one of them – then left home at sixteen!

Grab your copy below!!!!

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Alternatively Readers can order the book from the Lightning Books website at 30% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOUROSHUN

Lightning Books


Diane Esguerra is an English writer and psychotherapist. For a number of years she worked as a performance artist in Britain, Europe and the United States, and she has written for theatre and television. She is the recipient of a Geneva-Europe Television Award and a Time Out Theatre Award. She is previously the author of Junkie Buddha, the uplifting story of her journey to Peru to scatter her late son’s ashes.

She lives in Surrey with her partner David.





Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of The Oshun Diaries (UK Only)




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*Ts & Cs –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.