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Saturday 17 January 2015


Today I have the honour of being the guest of fellow Crooked Cat author Nancy Jardine, talking about writing, reading, and books in general.  Hop over to her blog and take a peek!

Thursday 8 January 2015

AND THE EARTH MOVED - a guest post by Zanna Mackenzie

Once again I have the pleasure of welcoming fellow-scribe Zanna Mackenzie to my blog.  Zanna has just released the first in a series of cosy crime novels.

I had the pleasure of reading a preview copy of And The Earth Moved - and it did not disappoint.  If you like your mystery novels spiced up with a little romance, you will love this.

Over to you, Zanna - can you tell us a little more about the book?

When celebrities need a crime solving quickly and discreetly they call in the specialists, the Celebrity Crimes Investigation Agency , otherwise known as the CCIA…

One desperate phone call is all it takes to turn Amber’s day from boring to completely crazy.

The call? Her old university boyfriend Ennis, now a heartthrob actor, begs for Amber’s help.  His brother Joel is dead, and Ennis has to discover the truth about his death before the world’s media hear about it and batter his door down demanding answers.

The CCIA has already assigned its top agent, Charlie Huxton, to the case.

Amber’s mission?  Ennis doesn’t trust a stranger to keep quiet, so he pleads with Amber to shadow and help Charlie throughout the investigation. Ennis was her first love and she still has a soft spot for him – how can she refuse?

Scarily out of her depth Amber knows she needs to somehow get Charlie on side with her involvement in the case – and fast.  But once she's plunged into the world of crime, Amber finds herself battling something darker and far more dangerous than she’d imagined – and it has nothing to do with the equally scary chemistry fizzing between her and Charlie.

Will Charlie agree to work with her to find out how and why Joel died?

Can she help uncover the truth before word gets out and an already distraught Ennis is hounded by story-hungry journalists?

Just as importantly, can she keep her sanity and still be alive when the mystery is finally solved?

Find the book on Amazon UK

Find the book on Amazon USA

You can read Zanna's own blog here.

Tuesday 6 January 2015


Christmas with the Crooked Cats, our seasonal serving of poetry, short stories and non-fiction pieces, continues on Facebook until January 9th.  Thank you, dear readers, for all your support and kind words throughout this farrago of festivities and frolics.  You will doubtless be relieved to hear that this is my last contribution.

Today (January 6th) is traditionally the twelfth day of Christmas, and also the day when the Christmas tree is put away for another year.  

Christmas may be a time for giving, but some people - even with the very best of intentions - can go overboard with the gifts...


On the twelfth day of Christmas
it's time to put away the decorations, 

along with all the presents.

Twelve Drummers,
all making a terrible noise,
but it wasn’t quite loud enough to drown out

Twenty-two Pipers
(some with bagpipes, others with Pan Pipes,
and one weirdo dressed entirely in red and yellow)
all getting in the way of

Thirty Lords,
leaping around as though someone had laced their underpants with itching powder,
and chasing round after

Thirty-six Dancing Ladies.
One for each Lord,
plus six who seemed to prefer the company of

Forty Milkmaids,
each with her own highly-productive cow.
I don’t think the milkman will ever forgive me
for cancelling my daily order.
I used to be one of his best customers.

Forty-two Swans.
Goodness knows what I’m going to do with them.
They’re protected, aren’t they?
And don’t they all belong to the Crown?
I suppose I could always despatch them to Buckingham Palace
and let HM deal with them.

Forty-two Geese,
on the other hand,
all producing a regular supply of fresh eggs,
might give me some small income
(especially if I can manage to undercut the local deli).

Forty Gold Rings.
Lovely idea,
but unfortunately none of them fit.
At least I can put those on eBay.

Thirty-six Calling Birds.
I think I’ll have to take these to the park,
release them,
and just hope that they don’t have a homing instinct.

Thirty French Hens.
See Forty-two Geese, above.

Twenty-two Turtle Doves.
See Thirty-Six Calling Birds, above.

Twelve Partridges.
I wonder if the local poultry & game shop might be interested?

Twelve Pear Trees.
I don’t even like pears,
even when they aren’t covered in partridge-droppings.

What on earth 

could the Significant Other 
have possibly been thinking?

Now – where's the Yellow Pages?
I need a cleaning firm
which specialises in shifting cow-dung
and bird-poo...

Thursday 1 January 2015


I've lost count of which day it is of Christmas with the Crooked Cats, but I do know that it's Day One of a brand new year.  May I take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for 2015.  May it bring everything you have ever dreamed of.  Apart from that nightmare about being molested by a giant mutant earwig.  

In the meantime, I hope you have more success than this:


Each year in December I say the New Year
will, for me, be a brand new beginning,
but years of experience make it quite clear
that whatever I try, I’m not winning.

Three years last December I promised myself
that I’d try to be kind and forbearing,
but when that old biddy barged into the queue
it was all I could do to stop swearing.

Two years last December I made a firm vow
that I’d concentrate more on my writing,
but as the rejections which flowed in implied,
it needs to be made more exciting.

A year last December I firmly resolved
that I’d lose weight and get myself fitter,
but less than a week without chocolate or chips
left me ravenous, twitchy and bitter.

Last year in December I vowed to cut down
(I don’t smoke, so that bit wasn’t hard),
but when the champagne toasted in the New Year
it caught me completely off guard.

With so many failures, I know very well
that my will-power just goes to the wall,
so on this occasion I’ve firmly resolved
to make no resolutions at all.