The Break-up

Wow, this is a great short story to sit and read as you enjoy your fresh cup of coffee. Having only recently ‘ followed’ Karina, I have to say how very pleased I am to be doing so.

Karina Magdalena

Break-Up LitNet illustration

It was an awkward situation. I was standing there, in front of my best friend’s door, with a cardboard box and an old suitcase in my arms, feeling foolish. I could hear her drying her hair inside. Taking a deep breath, I pressed the bell.

“Coming!” Marlene shouted, switching off the hairdryer.

When she opened the door, the dark hallway of the flat building was flooded with sunshine. It was the beginning of a hot summer day, the humidity in the air promising rain later in the afternoon. Marlene’s damp red curls looked on fire in the bright morning light.

She hovered in the doorframe, staring at the box and the suitcase, twisting one of her curls between a forefinger and a thumb.

“Hi,” I volunteered.

“Hi, come in.” She disentangled her fingers from her hair and swept her hand aside in a gesture of welcome. The flimsy bathrobe she…

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Barbie got real

Can you believe it, Barbie has had a make-over!  She comes in all different sizes now, curvy, petite, tall and so on and so on.

What do you think?

I can’t help wondering how many little girls will notice the difference. Or will it be more the mummy’s nodding and sighing, and agreeing or not?

Photo – Twitter feed


curvy barbie cover

Goodreads readers are not experts

Well there you have it. Ellah Allfrey – literary editor, critic and Booker Prize Judge – has said Goodreads readers are not experts.

She is a fan of Goodreads, but said “. . . the only problem with that kind of a website is that the readers are not experts and you have to go elsewhere to find experts . . .”

If you’d like to hear the entire clip, yon can do so by clicking on the BBC Open Book link HERE

Now I’m sorry, but I do not agree with her regarding Goodreads readers not being experts. And for that matter what makes a reader an expert? Does one have to be an academic, well read, or an elitist of sorts?

Every person who takes the time to read a book in my eyes is a winner, and it matters not what the genre be, or the intellectual level, or anything else for that matter. What counts is a reader takes great joy in reading, and then takes the time to share both objective and subjective reviews, which influence or not, or leave an impression on those who choose to read their reviews.

I say well done to you Goodreads readers.

I salute you!

istock book cover





Updated myself – 2016

I’ve been blogging for so long now I think I might have just been out of nappies when I first hit the keyboard and put myself out there. During this time I’ve had 2 gravatars, a little bunch of flowers – from my garden


And a dear little bird – so wish he had been mine – not in a cage, but as a garden resident

I feel so silly in this hat

And now it’s time to update once more. Here I am, my new gravatar. Little ol’ me, in the flesh, no hiding allowed.

author photo

Hoping to spend more time blogging and visiting this year, because while the nappies have long gone, the need to write, read and eat lots of chocolate remains

Readers Panic 2016

Phew, so many books, so little time.

Home of Jedland

I’ve been looking through the many sites where bloggers have listed the books they will read for 2016. Have to say I am mighty impressed, and applaud all for doing so.

As for me, well I wouldn’t know where to begin with creating a list. My Want to Read shelf on Goodreads is updated every now again, as is my Amazon Wishlist. But list the books to read for a year. Phew, I just couldn’t.

It would be like making a list of what to wear each day for a month. Or what to eat for a week. The mind would shut down.

Readers panic perhaps?


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Highlight of 2015 retaking our vows



Picking up our buttonholes

Hubster and I have been married for close to 18 years. I say close, because for the life of both of us, neither can ever blooming well remember the year. Although funny story, we lived next door to a couple who were married the same day, same year as us, and thankfully they are on hand to remind us.

During these years I’ve tested him, mostly as he’s been about to hit the slumber button, or better still, arm and knee dip in the garden – no pressure you see :) –  with a “do you think we should get married again?”

It’s a bit of joke for us, and when he is more alert than I realise he says NO! Mostly I get the YES though. Regardless, we have a laugh and move on.

At some point this year after asking and receiving the YES, I said WHEN.

“When we go to the UK in May,” he said.



So we did. The only conditions being, nobody was to know, and only the two of us would be going to church. It was our moment.

I’d set my heart on doing this at The All Saints Church in Leighton Buzzard, where I’d spent most of my childhood.  I sent them an email, and my goodness, they could not have been more accommodating if they had tried. Excitement grew.

All Saints Church that morning


Leaving for the UK then, we had a new frock for me, and a smart suit for Hubster in our cases. We needed only to pick up some buttonholes, and we would be sorted.

Arriving early for our 11am service, we were directed to the church tea room to have a cuppa while we waited. There we sat in our finery, with other tea and cake drinking folk – actually I think there were a fair few fried egg sandwiches, or at least toast happening there – who neither cared, or were intrigued by us and our buttonholes.

Then we were called. Up we went to the chapel, where only Hubster, I and Canon Grant, the delightful, ruddy cheeked, resident Vicar took care of business.

That moment was quite the most special moment I had experienced in a long, long time. There we stood, facing each other, holding hands, taking the plunge once again.

Done and dusted

2015 was a lot of things for me, good, bad and challenging. And yet asked to pick one moment that will mark the year for me, I can honestly say that renewing our vows was the best of the best.

And just in case you were wondering if we went on to celebrate. Well yes we did. Here at The Stag in Mentmore. Prawns, salmon and Bubbles. Perfect in oh so many ways


Lovely view of the village of Mentmore


I think he looks pretty dapper, waiting on the bubbles


All photos mine :)





Ebook 50% Promotion

For a short period I’m running a 50% promotion on the ebook versions of Jedland and A Good Wife

What’s great at Smashwords is that you can download any ebook format to suit your reader – Kindle, Nook, Android, Apple, Tablet, the lot.

Happy Reading #amreading

When you purchase A Good Wife, be sure to add this coupon number:
LB88G – use   THIS LINK to get there
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When you purchase Jedland, be sure to add this coupon number:
EE85C – use  THIS LINK to get there
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Have a great one

This time of the year I tend to run out of energy, both physically and mentally, leaving me to wonder where the year has gone.

And what doesn’t help all that much is reading  yesterday.

“Life is a one way journey, there is no going back.”

Astute maybe, but symbolic none the less.

Without finding myself in a quagmire of reflection then, would I want to take back 2015?  Probably not.

Are there things I wish I’d done differently, not at all, or done anyway? No doubt the answer is YES.

Will I let it bother me?

NO I will not :)

If you are celebrating Christmas and New Year, may you have a blast. If you are not celebrating, may you too have a blast.

Catch up with you all in 2016. Until then though, relax, take a seat and enjoy every moment you are given




Iconic Ladybird books for Adults

For the life of me I can’t work out if these Ladybird Books for Adults are really going to be published by Ladybird or not. I’ve checked their website and not found a link, but with the little bug on the top right corner of the book covers, I can’t see why they are not.

Anyway, be that as it may. Have you heard about them?

Image courtesy online Guardian

ladybird for adults

I’m quite amused and intrigued by them. I mean, who wouldn’t want a book on The Hangover, or The Husband, and even The Mid-Life Crisis?  However, my money on the best seller would be the Ladybird Book on Dating. Me thinks many a Christmas stocking will have this one poking from the top this year.

Having not had a peep inside, I can only imagine what this gem will have. “Brush your teeth and not too much perfume.” – “Avoid excess alcohol, better still for the ladies have a spritzer.”  – “Be polite, prepare some casual questions before you arrive, but best avoid politics, religion, ex-partners, step-children, money, food intolerance, latest surgery, miserable colleagues, spotty backs and most importantly bowel movements.”

Not sure if Ladybird would consider a little X-rated tip of “make sure you have clean undies on because you never know how well the evening will go.” But you never know, do you.

First dates are awful aren’t they? Well they used to be for me. Not that I’ve had to endure one for nearly twenty years now. Crikey, that makes me how old, two-hundred-seventy-three?

Having to take the plunge into single-dom once more, there is no doubt in my mind I would revert back to those younger days of blushing, being tongue tied, wearing clothes so tight to show off my curves that it’s impossible to breath, and of course badly applied eye make-up. The one thing I would not revert back to are heels and or strappy shoes. Nope, not happening, My feet need comfort these days. No matter what I’m wearing, my feet demand a wider frontage and small heel. I did tell you I was two-hundred-seventy-three?  I tell you, ball gown, slinky dress, the lot, want to take a photo of me, well best you don’t include the shoes!

Ladybird book for Dating then. Winner or Loser, and what do you hope it would include?