Here is UNCOMMON RELATIONS – updated news

My forthcoming novel now has its cover.

What is the novel about?

It’s a hefty secrets and lies narrative and your advice to the main character might be: “Be careful what you wish for!”

At 28, Terry fantasises a life more exciting than his marriage or job provide, but then he meets someone amazing on his daily commute and his life is changed forever. He rushes home to tell his wife, Gudrun, but events prevent him. Gradually it’s clear that both have developed some awkward secrets. Terry gets his wish to be more interesting: the Pandora’s Box he’s opened traps him into increasingly bizarre situations. Bizarre can be funny, but also tragic, and this novel offers both, as well as a great deal of mystery.

Will Terry ever discover what he really needs to know? Is Gudrun a heroine, a victim or a packet of trouble?

By the end of this litfic novel, you will be provoked into siding with more than one of the many characters, who range in age from 3 to 73. Here are a few.

Character list – the first few of a large cast

  • Terry Stedforth – our hero, termed ‘Yesterday’s Man’ by his mate.
  • Gudrun Stedforth – his wife, who only buys fair trade and avoids microwaves.
  • Jeremy, self-appointed tormentor, Terry’s line manager – known for his severe halitosis
  • Leon – exuberant software creator, moonlighting as Max Supremo, Illusionist, Terry’s best mate
  • Will and Eileen Stedforth, Terry’s kind but conventional parents who have to withstand shocks to the system as the narrative progresses.

Join my Readers List to find out more.



I wrote in February about the latest draft. Now it’s May, and I hope the even more recent draft really is the last. The only thing is: the novel has become two novels. The title will probably be: Uncommon Relations – Uncovered. and Uncommon Relations – Recovered.

Does that give you any hint of the plot? Terry is the protagonist, if not a hero, and it’s he who does the uncovering. Someone very close to him would rather he did not! It’s a kind of Pandora’s Box. Be careful what you wish for? In the beginning, Terry regrets being so ordinary. By the end, he cannot believe how bizarre his life has become, perhaps even he has become!

This cover is one of the drafts from a designer. I like it, but it will not be the cover chosen. More of that when the designer completes.


Conversations with novel characters

Characters conversing? Isn’t this a great idea, interviews with characters from historical novels? Author Helen Hollick has created such an interesting blog, and this week it is the turn of my character, young Billy, hero of A Relative Invasion trilogy. (You can read about it on My Books tab above). Billy manages his interview with some honesty and aplomb, helped along by chocolate biscuits and orange.

A novel conversation

Do use this link to pop over and read this blog. Helen has also written a book using these conversations. What a creative idea! Billy has more to say below:

I wasn’t that terrified when the bombs started falling, not like Kenneth who shivered in the corner of the cellar. Mother told me to look after him although I’m younger. I wasn’t that worried, only a bit, when I was evacuated with my school. Kenneth was, and he stayed behind. Auntie said she couldn’t manage without him. But I was really, really scared when I was the very last child to be chosen when we walked around the village with the teacher hoping that some kind lady would give us a billet. In the end, I was lucky, although I didn’t think so at first…


computer virus

How have I spent the day?? Not as I intended. As a Mac user you don’t expect to have viruses, infections, adware and malware. I have spent most of today, and several hours yesterday acting to remove same. So I write to you in the hope that you won’t suffer from innocent transactions as I have.

no.1.  There are a lot of apps that depend upon Adobe in one form or another, particularly Flash. It’s a highly trusted name, Adobe. So when you appear to receive its notification that it needs updating, you click accordingly. That was how I gained several infections. 

no.2  Anysearch and creeps in silently hidden in other apps. I don’t know how i got it, but after a very lengthy investigation I successfully got rid of it yesterday. Today’s it’s back via a different source and I have to purge it all over again. At first you don’t notice it’s there. YOu just find you are looking at search lists for longer before you find the name you’d put into the search bar. Your computer also seems to be running slowly and there’s a delay between starting and continuing what you’re doing. To remove it, you won’t find it in Finder. It’s hidden in other files. On one browser I found it in Extensions. On another, I had to grind down many levels to find it on Options. Persist– it’s worth getting rid of.

no 3.  If you can’t trust Mac for goodness sake, what is life coming to? My third infection came from Mac Updater, which I thought Mac had sent me when I updating my ios to Mojave. No. Mac Updater is a crawler. It doesn’t come from Mac.

no.4   I had already realised this cleaner was not a help but a hindrance. MacBooster, MacShiny and MacCleaner and all those with similar names: – AVOID. 

In the end, I was able to download FREE Bitdefender Virus Scanner. (No, I am not affiliated). This was recommended by the Mac store itself. It has done the job. Not quick, but a relief. Btw: once you’ve got the baddies in Trash, it’s important to empty Trash, just to be sure they’re well and truly gone. Heartfelt thanks Bitfender and your developer, unnamed. For £20 you can get 3 devices protected for a year. I may do just that.

I hope I’m not wasting my time writing this to you, but just to show I care. I’ll probably have loads of people telling me all of this is hopelessly wrong.

Quality Indie Fiction

Ghost story; Historical thriller; Epic fantasy; Cosy mystery

Popular opinion is that self-published books must be rubbish.  I have found ill-researched non-fiction from unqualified writers and flimsy plot-lines masquerading under the covers of a promising strap-line.

However, there are many very well-written self-published books in all genres. From time-to-time, I shall list some. Here are four  different genres: GHOST STORIES, HISTORICAL THRILLERS, COSY MYSTERIES and EPIC FANTASIES. Perhaps these suggestions come in time for your Christmas shopping. They are excellent examples of their genre. You won’t be disappointed.


Jennet: book cover

Karen Perkins: writes novels that have a supernatural presence. A Parliament of Rooks, for instance, imagines a story where Emily Brontë, not the easiest of females, has the germ of a romance and ends haunting the cottage of a recently separated artist. This is only one of the gripping novels, of which I’ve enjoyed three. Why not buy the box set? or try Jennet, the latest novel to be published. Now she wants the children. As if she wasn’t scary enough before!


The Fortunate Dead

Set in 15th century Moorish Spain, this series by David Penny presents an exciting and highly niche reading experience. The main character and the six-foot eunuch cement the plot-line of each novel. Thomas Berrington, a surgeon, has his faults and weaknesses, but is an essentially moral force in a sequence of dangerous, sometimes ferocious Moorish intrigue and constant struggle against the Spanish.The latest novel, The Fortunate Dead, perhaps his most telling, is just out. This is Book 6, but you don’t have to read from Book 1 upwards to enjoy it. ..only to enjoy it even more. Prepare to be thrilled and devastated.


This series will enchant you with a delightful character, Sophie, who manages to keep positive attitudes amongst the villagers while involving herself in murderous affairs. It’s a strange feature of cosy mysteries that they have a feel-good factor while some (perhaps not well-liked or -known) character has been bumped off in an early chapter. Debbie Young has this magical touch in hearts as well as spades. Sophie appears in 5 novels so far, in the latest, Springtime for Murder, she isn’t fazed by the fresh body in an open grave!  


The Shard

Your eyes will feast on the piece of art that comprises Ted Cross’s latest book cover, The Shard Chronicles. These novels share the classic theme of an intrepid protagonist facing fearful, evil and magical dangers. Skilful elven daggers, giant trolls, a lurking dragon provide threats that maybe wizardry can tackle. Our noble hero, Midas, suffers all to protect the Known Lands as well as his beloved children. These books are real escapes into the other-world landscapes that become pictures in the mind.  Terrifying threats like nightmares only end when the book is closed. 

Writing now


Curious Men

Now the men are done and dusted. Their public emergence, 7th December, has gone well. 

If you’re wondering whether Harriet did intrude on the men’s book; ssshhh. Yes she did. She had a terrible shock regarding her beloved mattress that jolted her out into the dating world, but you’ll have to discover whether that was a happy experience or not when you read her encounter with a curious or incurious date.


You don’t need the link to the book again, do you? But just in case:  

Let me know if you like one of the stories.



That is the probably title of my work-in-progress. It’s a psychological domestic drama full of unspoken tensions. There is a Mr Everyman who regards himself as too ordinary to matter, but then a huge event propels him into a life which becomes increasingly bizarre…and is this of his own doing? Should curiosity always be satisfied or sometimes is it best left alone?

I’m halfway through what I hope dearly is a final draft. There have been many!