Media Diversions


Over the past weeks, anyone watching the TV news, or reading a newspaper, will have noticed two main stories. First and foremost, the fiasco in America concerning the appointment of a Supreme Court Judge, and the allegations of historical sexual assault that followed his nomination. This may well be very significant to people in America, and the story naturally picked up on the #metoo movement that began with the Harvey Weinstein case. I can see that it has a broader appeal, given that it allows abused women to finally speak up, and hopefully stop such things happening in the future.

But it was also the main feature on the BBC News here, every day for weeks. Not only that, but they relayed the entire hearings live, for hours on end during the afternoon. It got so that a newshound like me was wondering if anything else was happening, anywhere on…

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Free book edit contest

Bobbing Around

I’ve been a professional editor since 1999. In 2007, I won the now sadly defunct Editors and Preditors’ contest for best editor.

Several small, independent publishers regularly send me work, and I assist a steady trickle of writers pre-submission.

My rates, conditions, and testimonials from many clients are at

In the past, I have run two “free edit contests,” and am now offering this opportunity to other writers for the third time.

I don’t actually need more editing work, so why am I doing this?

What I need is publicity for my books. I’ve been trying the avenues everyone else tries, with the same results. However, my previous two free edit contests brought thousands of visitors to my website.

So, in a way there is a “payment” for entering in my contest: look around and see what you can see. Check out my books, and they may intrigue…

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Retro Review: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)

Loved this film – one of the best along with 2001.


I have long believed in the possibility of life in other places in our vast universe. And at one time, I was an avid reader of books written by people who claimed to have been abducted and returned. So when I heard about a new science fiction film with this theme, a big-budget production conceived and directed by Stephen Spielberg, I was ready to watch it as soon as it hit the cinemas. The cast included such flavour of the month names as Richard Dreyfuss and Terri Garr, as well as an acting appearance by the famous French film-maker, Francois Truffaut.

The scene is set very nicely. French scientist Lacombe (Truffaut) makes some startling discoveries. A missing squadron of WW2 planes, parked neatly in a desert location in America. A lost and intact cargo ship in the middle of the Gobi Desert, and witnesses describing how they saw a near…

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Great Albums: Solid Air


By 1973, I had managed to mostly avoid Folk Music. With the exception of Bob Dylan, and a few emerging British progressive bands, I rarely listened to either Folk or Traditional music, of any kind. So, I had never heard of John Martyn, a British Folk singer from Scotland. Until one night when I visited the home of a close friend, a man who played guitar in a band himself, and boasted an eclectic taste in music.

He was excited to get me to listen to a new album he had just acquired, and gave me the cover to read, as he lined it up on the turntable. I skimmed over the sleeve notes with little interest, as I had never heard of the man who had made this record. But I respected my friend’s judgement, and sat back to hear what all the fuss was about.

The first track…

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Susan Toy was reading “Setting Free the Kites”

What are you reading?

I say “was” instead of “is” in the title of this post, because I read this book in less than 2 days and didn’t want to stop long enough to write about it on this blog … it was that good!!

I first heard about the book from Will Schwalbe, who you may remember as the inspiration for beginning this blog in the first place … Will had posted on Facebook a few weeks ago a link to Alex George’s novel when it was released in paperback, saying he “loved” it – and that was enough recommendation for me! I was able to borrow the eBook from the library and began reading on Tuesday morning this week, finishing it up last night. And … WOW!!! was all I could say at the time.

Setting Free the Kites
by Alex George

To say I LOVED this novel is an understatement! It…

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Blogging: The ‘About’ Page


Does your blog have an ‘About’ page? Have you added anything to it? Do you allow ‘Likes’ and comments on it? Does it tell readers and potential followers something about you, and why you are blogging? Is there a photo on it? Does it give some idea of the style and nature of what your blog has to offer?
If the answer to any of these is ‘No’, then I think you should reconsider.

In the world of Blogging, the ‘About’ page is often sadly neglected by so many bloggers. Many do not even put any information on it at all, or remove it from their theme. I would like to tell you why I think a good ‘About’ page is important, and suggest that those of you who are new to blogging might want to give those ‘About’ pages a revamp.

New readers can happen across your blog in…

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10 Reasons Why #BookBloggers Refuse to Review Indie Books #MPBooks

My Peacock Books

yes no maybe board ticked no Image from

Before anyone gets upset by the above title, I’m not having a go at bloggers or trying to upset any indie authors out there. Instead I want to write a post to explore the reasons why book bloggers might refuse to review books, and this is especially the case sometimes with indie titles.

Not all book bloggers refuse to review books, not all book bloggers refuse to review indie books, but sometimes they do. And when a blogger does, there’s no point in being upset, if you’re an author, as there are always reasons behind it.

Below are 10 random reasons, some by own, others I’ve found online, for why bloggers might, and I stress might, refuse to review a book. If you’re an author, especially an indie author, it might be worth reading this, and if you are a book blogger, do you agree?


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The Disappointed Housewife is LIVE!


The Disappointed Housewife is alive and well and living in a newly disclosed location:

First of all, please navigate to the site and immediately follow. We need to build a readership in a hurry so that all the terrific, intrepid writers can get plenty of eyeballs on their work.

While you’re there, poke around, read the Editor’s Note, the mission statement, and the submission guidelines. Then sample some of the pieces I’ve gathered for the launch. There’s already some fiction, a number of poems, a couple of essays, and a graphic piece. I already have more things lined up for later in the week too.

You can browse the site by scrolling down the main page. Everything is there. But you can also use the navigation bar on the right to select one of the categories: Fiction, Essays, Poetry, and Faux Forms & Genres. Later the site will…

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Nzarah Trimmingham … What are you reading?

Thanks Susan!

What are you reading?

I’d like you all to welcome our very first guest to this new blog! Nzarah Trimmingham is the granddaughter of an author who happens to own a home on Bequia! Felicity Harley’s writing has been promoted numerous times on my other blogs (see here for her bio). This year, she visited Bequia over Christmas with the entire family, including granddaughter, Nzarah, who already happens to be an avid reader … no surprise there!

When I met Nzarah over sunset drinks at her grandparents’ house, I asked her the big question – What are you reading? She immediately launched into a very detailed explanation about a book, and I just knew that she had to be my first guest on this new blog.

So we decided (Nzarah’s grandmother and I) to organize a date for an interview at my house – an editorial meeting, if you will. And what do editors…

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2017 – the other Best Books I read this year!

Great list!

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

I have already posted a list of some of the authors whose books I read this year and found to be outstanding. You will find that link here.

But I read so many books in 2017, and many were great reads indeed, so I’ve divided the list into two: that first list covered authors I have promoted on my blog,
Reading Recommendations; this second list is everything else.

Because I tend to be an eclectic reader, you will find on this list: old books and newly released books, fiction and non-fiction, children’s picture books, graphic novels, memoir – even a couple of political biographies, and many books about books and reading (because I’ve been researching a series on Reading for my blog). What I have not listed are the classics and cookbooks (yes, I even read cookbooks!) that I read this year. And I read all of these…

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