Here’s a wake up call…

I hate giving away the product of my hard work!!!

Have We Had Help?


…for all the wooly-headed dreamers out there who fervently believe that giving away dozens of copies of any book they’ve written is the way to attract readers. Think again idiots! All you are doing is depriving yourselves of the hard earned pittance you as published authors are entitled to, known as royalty payments!!

Over a two day period (last Thursday and Friday) I deliberately offered my archaeological adventure for free. As a result eighty-seven tightwads/skinflints/cheapskates (take your pick) now have a copy, thanks to my generosity of spirit.

Deliberately giving away the product of a hell of a lot of hard work on your part is never a good idea.

About the only good thing I can say about the exercise is that the book’s ranking briefly improved over the two days. Back in 2012/13, thanks to selling (not giving away) slightly over 250,000 copies, it ranked in the top…

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Review: Free to Trade by Michael Ridpath

Review: Free to Trade by Michael Ridpath



First published by William Heinemann, 1995

This was Michael Ridpath’s first novel, and I still rate it very highly.

Recently I was sent a copy of Ridpath’s THE DIPLOMAT’S WIFE, and it gripped me as Ridpath’s books always do. I read it, and will supply a review shortly, but before I do that, I was grabbed only recently by FREE TO TRADE. Why? Because during the elections two weeks ago, I spent a very quiet day waiting for some eighty-odd electors to come and vote for their local Police and Crime Commissioners. It made for a very slow fifteen hours. However, the polling station was held in a delightful village hall, and in that hall was a library, which held a number of authors’ books, free to borrow. Naturally, as an author who depends on people buying books from bookshops, I don’t like such ideas generally, but it was useful…

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Here’s another…

A lovely review?

Have We Had Help?


It would appear that what I said at the end of yesterday’s post has done some good.


on June 29, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Before I read Jack Eason’s historical fiction novella, Autumn 1066, I knew nothing about Britain’s entry into the Middle Ages. I had no idea there was an end of Anglo-Saxon dominance. My interest centered on other well-known war histories. All of that changed reading the first pages of Autumn 1066. His introduction to two warriors, Aldred and Cynric brought the story to realistic life. Eason’s description of various army leaders in fierce competition for the throne set up the background for why the battles took place. The intrigue and intertwining of the characters relationships and motives to win kept my interest. Eason moved the story along with…

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Mother 💖

Aladin’s beautiful mum 😉


It’s been almost a week since Mother’s Day, and honestly, I didn’t want to write anything this year. I don’t know why? Maybe because this year it was on Sunday and I was not in a good mood! (Although it’s never minded which day it is, the mother always remains in the heart.) But it has changed my mind when I saw on Monday, exactly one day after Mother’s day, one of my dearest friend Deborah Gregory announced that her mother had passed away. It hit my heart! First, it’d happened on Mother’s Day. Second, she had just got the news and wasn’t there with her. Of course, I know nothing about her mother and their relationship, but only this point that she couldn’t be by her side to say goodbye, it must take the heart apart. I hope that she’ll stay well and strong. 💕

My mother was not…

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My Wish…

All my life since I was a small boy my dream was to one day go to the Brooklands Museum inside the iconic oval racing track to see just one very special vehicle. I got taken there back in 2002 by a mate. I give you the Napier-Railton Special (see above).

If it was at all feasible for me to be granted just one wish, it would be to actually drive this magnificent beast on the Brooklands track where she broke the track record at 143.44 mph in 1935, driven by John Cobb. She was built two years before Cobb set the record. World War Two put an end to anyone else ever attempting to break his record.

To borrow from Wilkipedia – The car is powered by the high compression version (6.1:1) (RAF specification) of the naturally aspirated Napier Lion, a W12 of 23.944 litres (1,461 cu in) capacity, producing 580 brake horse power at 2585 revolutions per minute (recorded at 5, 000ft – performance at ground level may be different).[citation needed] The 12 cylinders are in three banks of four (broad-arrow configuration), hence the triple exhaust system, and the engine has standard aerospace features such as dual magneto ignition. The non-synchromesh crash gearbox (named for the horrible noises caused by a mis-shift) has 3 ratios. The fuel tank, located in the boat-tail behind the driver, has a capacity of 65 gallons and fuel consumption was approximately 5 mpg. Although capable of 168 mph (270 km/h) the car has rear-wheel braking only. She has no electrical system. Nor does she have a reverse gear. The second missing component means that if you drive off the track, thats it until help arrives…

If only I could drive her just once. Sadly only four people are allowed the priveledge.

I least I can day dream…


“The Pharaohs’ Golden Parade”: the ultimate journey of the royal mummies?

More fascinating Egyptian history from my friend Aladin


The gods Set (left) and Horus (right) blessing Ramesses in the small temple at Abu Simbel. The bas-reliefs on the side walls of the small sanctuary represent scenes of offerings to various gods made either by the pharaoh or the queen.[6] On the back wall, which lies to the west along the axis of the temple, there is a niche in which Hathor, as a divine cow, seems to be coming out of the mountain.

The Pharaohs of Egypt have compared themselves with the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, as the story tells. But in the history of human’s archaeology, there are many attempts to make a big show of it. For example, before the so-called Arab Spring, Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s former antiquities minister, had tried many times to make such shows which went wrong sometimes. He is a famous man, not just because of his shows, here, but…

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No More MS Office!

Sorting out writing platforms…

Have We Had Help?


Ever since I started writing seriously back in 1995, I’ve spent a lot of money buying the newest edition of Microsoft Office. Earlier this year I bought myself the latest version of MS Office. Big mistake! After spending around £70 it downloaded with relative ease. The trouble was that when it came to livening it up, Microsoft had linked the whole process to their website, requiring me to open a specific Microsoft account for the purpose. Even after I’d fully complied, the damned thing still refused to register and start. As far as I was concerned that was the last straw! I finally decided enough is enough and removed all traces of all versions of MS Office from my laptop. Goodbye MS Word, been nice knowing you – not.

If asked, my fellow writer and WordPress blogger Michael Jecks will always wax lyrical about a purpose built writing platform called…

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A Break With Routine

More from Peter…


I am the man you pass in corridors, or walk by on the street: an unassuming example of conformity, avoiding challenge if he can, and letting duty rather than expression be his guide: a man who knows his wife, as much as it is safe to do so; shares routines with her, loves documentaries, weekend walks and is thought of by her, as far as he is aware, to be a kindly man. boring  to a fault, and so I  have always been: year on year.

The train journey was unusual can we say. I was travelling down to London for some meeting to do with work, armed with a newspaper, and glancing blankly at the scenery until the train began to slow, before stopping at a next station. The carriage was fairly crowded, but somehow I still had an empty seat before me, and thanked the fates for granting…

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Why bother to write?

I remember when the product of many hours writing was appreciated by the readers. No more…

Have We Had Help?

Have you ever thought what motivates someone to want to write?  A few mercinary individuals write for purely business reasons and monetary gain, plus to inflate their egos.  Most don’t. Personally I write the kinds of stories that I would like to read and that give me endless pleasure. If other people like them, it’s a bonus.

All of my life I have read and enjoyed a broad mix of literary works. Granted most of them were written by so called ‘established writers’, or to put it another way, the chosen few seen as cash cows to be milked mercilessly under contract to one or other of the ‘big five’ publishers to churn out X number of books for Z amount of money.

One of my favourite series by a major publisher was the “Gunner Asch” collection of stories written by the German writer Hans Hellmut Kirst

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Review: Last Days in Cleaver Square

Review: Last Days in Cleaver Square

Another great review – not mine…


A new book by Patrick McGrath is, I am assured, one of those writers who can pull apart our darkest fears and expose them to us without making us flee them, to paraphrase New Statesman.

I can see why his work is popular. In this story, an old man, Francis McNulty, is coming to terms with the realities of his 1970s life. His daughter is finally moving out. Gillian lives with him in Cleaver Square, the old house McNulty inherited from his father, but she is going to marry, and will move to live with her husband. And since her father is growing more irrational, foolish and drunk, she doesn’t think he should live there on his own. He should join her and her husband in their new, pleasant house in Lord North Street. Sounds like a plan.

Except, of course, it isn’t. McNulty has history in the place in…

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