Saturday, 14 July 2018

Addiction - Kate Rigby

In this special feature about addiction I am truly delighted to have, Kate Rigby sitting in the hot seat talking about her book, Down the Tubes. Please sit back and be prepared to be hooked!

Thanks so much for having me for this important feature, Pauline

Tell us a little about your book

The story is a hard-hitting one, beginning in the late 1980s and set mainly in London, Bournemouth and Hampshire. It is (mainly) dual-narrated from the point of view of Michael, who left home at the age of sixteen to escape child abuse, and from the point of view his mother, Cheryl, who comes to work in the addictions field in an admin capacity now that most of her children have grown up.

Michael aka Dodo, now aged twenty, hasn’t been seen by his family for years but is living with various other junkies in a succession of rundown flats and maisonettes in London until he eventually ends up on the streets with his dog Woodstock.  He is vulnerable to nasty characters who prey on him until he finally goes to rehab in a rural setting to deal with his issues, though it’s a bumpy ride for him as he needs to face his past.

Meanwhile his mother, Cheryl, is ill-suited to working in the addictions field in many ways (though she herself felt addicted to the adoration she got when she had her babies) and ends up working in an admin role at a Drug Project, 484, almost by default, having not been in the labour market for many years. She and Michael’s paths almost collide, and then, when she gets a job at the rehab, she soon discovers Michael has just left. What she discovers there, in the files, she finds quite unpalatable and she herself goes into a kind of meltdown. 

They're each on a journey, but can there be reconciliation as well as rehabilitation?

I better not say too much more otherwise I’ll be in danger of giving the whole story away!

What or who inspired you to write about addiction

It was inspired by working in the addictions field in the late 80s and early 90s but also there were a lot of drug problems in Bournemouth where I lived from the early 80s. A lot of seaside towns do have or have had similar problems. When I worked in the drug services there was a change in strategy for treating ‘problem drug users’ in the light of HIV. So harm reduction services such as needle exchanges and Methadone programmes were being introduced. I met all sorts of different people, both users and workers and they have inspired some of the anecdotes of this novel. But all characters are fictional. 

As part of my work I also did some research in an all-female rehab and what hit home then was the link between problem drug use and child sex abuse.

Tell us a little about you?

I’ve been writing for many years now with a few small successes along the way, the main one being the publication of my punk novel Fall Of The Flamingo Circus in 1990.  Writing is my biggest passion and creating characters, but away from writing (and reading) I love cats, music, photography and LFC! I have an autoimmune-type illness and so my days are restricted but when I can I’m also a keyboard warrior campaigning against social injustice.

A little bird told me you are writing a follow up, are you able to tell us anything about it yet?

That little birdie told you right although I never set out to write a follow up!  It is still very much a work in progress but it’s about Michael’s story two decades on when something momentous happens in his life, which knocks him off course (again) causing him to relapse. There are more family strains as his past comes back to haunt him and new revelations come to light.  He finds he’s not beaten the addiction demons yet after all but the opening event acts as a catalyst for change. Michael is a survivor and hopes to get his life back on track again in his life though perhaps not quite as he thought. At the moment I’ve not decided yet whether Cheryl’s point of view and/or other narrators will be included.  It will very much depend on how it seems as a whole when I’ve finished the first draft and of course anything can change in a second or subsequent draft!

You can find Kate on all these social media platforms…

Details about Down The Tubes and all my other books can be found at my website:

Or my occasional blog:

I would love to connect on social media: - Occasional Unhip Discussions!

I am sure you agree this books is addictive, so please check it out. 
And, don't forget to come back and meet another and their page turning books.

See you tomorrow! 
Until then, have a fabulous day and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.


Brought to you by
 In the Cold Light of Day


Chill Awards for Independent Authors

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Addiction with Mary Grand

In this special feature about addiction, I am truly delighted to have Mary Grand sitting in the hot seat talking about her books, Hidden Chapters and Behind the Smile. Both these books have a theme of addiction. Please sit back and be prepared to be hooked!

Mary, tell us a little about each book

Hidden Chapters, set on Gower, explores motherhood, adoption, and family secrets. In this book Catrin is forced to examine the web of lies and secrets from her past, the unexplained death of her ‘golden brother’, the truths about her alcoholic mother and the relationships she has now with her father 
and husband.

Behind the Smile is about Lowri who moves to an apparently idyllic village on the Isle of Wight. She slowly discovers the secrets people are hiding behind their smiles. One person is hiding a secret addiction to online gambling which is slowly destroying her life.

What or who inspired you to write about alcohol and gambling?

I was inspired to write about alcoholism in Hidden Chapters by adults I have known who grew up with an alcoholic parent. Their experiences were often hidden and yet had a real impact on their adult life and relationships. In Hidden Chapters, Catrin, the main character, must confront her past because of crisis in her family and her marriage. As a result of her childhood, when she was frequently the main carer for her alcoholic mother, she has learned to put the needs of others before herself, has low self-esteem, lives for the approval of others and has lost the ability to feel or express her feelings because it hurts so much. This is her story as she acknowledges how she has been hurt, that she has needs and has a right to love herself and be loved by others.

In Behind the Smile the inspiration came from reading about the growing problem of addiction to online gambling. I was aware of numerous adverts on TV promoting this as a fun activity and offering all kinds of enticements to sign up. On the other hand, I read heart breaking stories of lives ruined by the addiction that is often hidden, even from partners and family. For research I visited online gambling sites and was really shocked at what I found. 

The sites aimed at woman were very “pink”, “sparkly” with cuddly animals and fairies. It was surreal and disturbing.  The sites work at getting people hooked, offering free introductory games with odds inflated to favour the player when she is gambling with play money. Of course, the odds change in favour of the house as soon as real money is involved.

In Behind the Smile, Heather appears to have a perfect life. She starts online gambling for fun, likes escaping into this shiny apparently comfy world that welcomes her back her each time she goes online, and gives her an adrenalin rush each time she wins. However, by the time of this story she is secretly addicted, and no one knows the enormous financial debt she is getting the family into.  Crisis forces the problem into the open, and Heather is faced with difficult choices if she is to find a way to recover.

Tell us a little about you?

I was born in Cardiff and have retained a deep love for my Welsh roots. I worked as a nursery teacher in London and later taught Deaf children in Croydon and Hastings. 

I now live on the beautiful Isle of Wight with my husband, where I walk my cocker spaniel Pepper and write. I have two grown up children.

Is there another book on its way and if so can we have a peek at what is about?
This book is also set on the Isle of Wight. It is about Anya whose husband is killed by a hit and run driver. Slowly she realises that it was not an accident but that the killer is among her closest and most trusted friends.

You can find Mary on all of these social media platforms…


Book links

Short Stories
Making Changes

I am sure you agree these books are addictive, so please check them out. 
And, don't forget to come back and meet another great author and their page turning books.

See you tomorrow! 
Until then, have a fabulous day and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.


Brought to you by
 In the Cold Light of Day


Chill Awards for Independent Authors

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Addicted - Special Feature

This month I am running special posts that covers Addiction.
I will be featuring Authors whose books tell the story of how addiction impacts on their character's lives.
These are compelling reads that will have you turning the pages to find out just how far these characters will go before it is too far,
or maybe, too far will not be far enough!
 So please come back and find out just how far addiction can take you.

I'm too am a little addictive as  my passion is to write about events that happen in life and change everything for those involved as well as those caught up in the maelstrom. I want my characters to sit at your side, steal your attention and sweep you up in their story. Stories that will bring tears to your eyes, have you laughing out loud and sometimes, what they share with you, will stay  in your hearts for a very long time.

Love, lies and gambling!

Bertie Costain has worked hard all his life in the building trade and now owns his own London-based company. In 1967, approaching fifty and still unmarried he enjoys a playboy lifestyle, but when he meets Kitty, an attractive, wealthy widow ten years his senior, he swiftly proposes.

Swept off her feet, Kitty adores him. The happy couple seem to have it all, but Bertie has a secret. Kitty has no idea their home is mortgaged to the hilt, or that the many expensive gifts he brings her come out of his winnings at roulette.  Proud of his apparent success and ignorant of his gambling addiction, she happily loans him large sums of money, ostensibly for his business.

Convinced with each spin of the wheel that his run of bad luck will change, Bertie gambles for increasingly high stakes, falling deeper and deeper into debt until, facing financial ruin and with nowhere to turn, he resorts to fraud. As their lives begin to unravel, Kitty learns the horrifying truth.

In the cold light of day can their love survive the pain and destruction Bertie’s addiction has wrought?

Please join me over the next few weeks to meet these amazing authors and to find out what makes them write about addiction.

Mary Grand

Behind the Smile 

Hidden Chapters

Kate Rigby 

Down the Tubes

Suzi Stembridge

The Glass Class and The Scorpion's Last Tale

Samantha Tonge

Forgive Me Not

I am sure you agree they all look exciting, so do please come back and meet these wonderful authors and their page turning books.

See you tomorrow! 
Until then, have a fabulous day and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.


Brought to you by
 In the Cold Light of Day


Chill Awards for Independent Authors

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Whoa! I'm Doing a Happy Dance...


Forgive me for doing a very happy dance!

Today I saw a new 5 star review on Amazon co uk for In The Cold Light of Day.

1 July 2018
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I do recommend this book. This well-written book will almost certainly grab you because of the strength of the characterisation. It is hard not to emphasise with Kitty but also to be drawn to Bertie, and Flo Watson is a classic! Nor does this book take up pages of descriptive text setting the initial scene, you are plunged straight in at the deep end. Not the most comfortable of subjects. Addiction to gambling frightens many of us and in a way, this is a horror story, but it has been handled so sensitively by the author that in its own right it is a compulsive read with a lot of twists and turns. This is the first book I have read by this author but if her other books are as strong on the complex nature of the human personality, then I will definitely be reading more.

Thank you very very much reader for not only reading my book, but taking the time to write a review. You will never know how much I appreciate this.

 In The Cold Light of Day

is available in
Kindle and paperback
From all Amazon sites

Monday, 25 June 2018

Just Me, Nobody Special - AnneMarie Groves

Sitting round my pool today is a lady that not only makes me smile, but writes thought proving amusing Blog posts.  Her Blog is titled, Just Me, Nobody Special. This could not be further from reality, so please grab yourself a glass of chilled bubbly, take a lounger next to my pool and settle down to welcome my lovely guest, AnneMarie Groves.

Whilst I know you suffer from a muscle wasting condition, Muscular Dystrophy, which confines you to your home these days you have lived a very interesting life. Sailing and working on Tall ships, when not sailing through the seven seas, you’ve been gallivanting around the globe to rock concerts, in particular following and promoting, Stephen Gibb.

Please tell us about your time on the Tall ships and what made you work on these rolling beauties?

Actually they're holidays, Lord Nelson and Tenacious are designed and built to take able and disabled people. You sign on to the "Ship's Articles" as crew, but you've paid to go. You are a member of one of the four watches that 'crew' the ship. That might be setting sails, bracing yards, on watch, at helm or cleaning, taking down the shipping forecast or meterological observations, light maintenance, instructional talks, preparing the crew food etc. I was only going to do this once, so signed on to a biggee Southampton to Gran Canaria 4-weeks.  It was the most terrifying, exhilarating, baffling, encompassing, exhausting yet enlivening experience ever. So I did it another three times, lol. The second voyage, Southampton to Kings Lynn got a little hairy when I nearly went overboard strapped into an adapted dentist chair in the English Channel. My final voyage from Bermuda via Grand Bahama to Miami Florida put us firmly in the Bermuda Triangle, but other than reminding the US Navy in the wee hours that power gives way to sail, it was an uneventful trip.

I've been thrown together with strangers from all over the globe into this unique world, a mixed range of conditions, ages, backgrounds and abilities. We've exchanged life anecdotes and shared much laughter. There are no differences, no one is left out, it is the purest form of all inclusive team work. I kept very detailed diaries of my voyages as a special person once told me, make a note of good memories because you'll be a long time revisiting them.

What is special about Stephen Gibb that you have become quite involved in
promoting him?

It began with a bit of a jest. A friend outside his Dad's studio asked how much to get his (Stephen's) autograph and he replied "A fiver", so my closest friend and I (already fans of his music) sent a five pound note with a photo and he sent back the signed photos and the five pound note. I should explain that Stephen's Dad is Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees. This was in the early 00's and the Bee Gee fans were all squeaky gushy about 'little Stevie', which makes me cringe. Here was this almost twenty year old beefy, tattooed, charismatic heavy metal guitarist with skills and reputation of his own being referred to like some cutesy toddler. We set up a home page and began to properly research the music he had worked on and it was substantial.  That quickly grew into the dedicated site there is today, and it still (I hope) accurately records his work and recordings. He's had the opportunity to be with some amazing people, not because he is a son of, but because he is a very talented, focused, intelligent gentleman.

In 2003 I met him at the studio just a few weeks after his Uncle Maurice had died. Shortly after that he joined a band called Crowbar and they gigged in Berlin, so my BFF and I hopped a flight and surprised him. He took us back stage and told everyone we ran this website about him and joked we were his cyber stalkers. We've kept in touch.  In 2016 I took my Sister to be in the audience of The One Show to see him support his Dad on the promo tour of the album they had written together "In The Now", we had a fantastic chat after while his Dad met the other select audience members.

You once worked for a Baron, what was this about?

My parents owned a business at the edge of the Baronial estate, so the family and estate workers were customers. I went to primary school with two of his daughters. Our paths frequently crossed at various village events, piano recitals, parties, etc. Part of the estate was a tourist attraction, a country park with golf, boating, fishing, heavy horses, falconry, open grounds, gardens and woodland, as well as holiday cottages and event theme days. I was employed as the managers secretary, which really was a very loose title, over the years I did all the admin and accounts, as well as wrangled ducklings out the shop, babysit a poorly hedgehog, dress as a belly dancer for camel racing day, answer endless questions on a whole gamut of subjects. Also report to Lord Somerleyton (the third Baron) and deal with his queries, during this time he was also Master Of The Horse to Her Majesty The Queen, as well as an equerry, so was often away. Working in a family business is very different, and my family and I were so well known by the family they'd often bypass the manager to speak to me. I have many happy memories of days there, as well as conversations with His Lordship that ended 'but you don't need to know that'.  It is not straightforward care taking an historic place, it's supposed to be self sustaining, yet modernising in a fashion that keeps it as it's always been, it's presumed there is cash to spare but repairing Victorian chimneys or rehogging a three mile track are not things B&Q can do.  There is an obligation to keep everything, from Georgian wall hangings to Victorian furniture, you don't have the freedoms to throw away. It has an aura of a privileged life but it is far more regimented with added expectation than you'd imagine, constantly being scrutinised and remarked upon, plus watched by the press.

You live in a rural part of the UK, tell us a little about the area and what makes it special?

Rural is the word. Our family business was on a t-junction, each direction was 7+ miles to the nearest town, no regular bus service, it was a little bit frozen in time. I was the only child, I think the next youngster was at least 8 years older than me, there were a couple in the next village my age but that was a mile away.  It was isolating in a sense that school friends were miles away, there was no hanging out in town, no cinema trips or bowling, no eating out or sleepovers. It was a simplistic, innocent environment, I played outdoors in woodland, or read books, did my piano practice (reluctantly) for the exams, I was in the church choir, we rehearsed at my house because I had a piano and the choir mistress was my piano teacher. Everyone knew everyone, so within the villages it could be suffocating. One time one of the new managers at the country park stormed into the office remarking "Can't I go anywhere in this village without someone knowing you!", lol, nope, that's villages for you.  The village is on the river, and has an ancient priory, I remember going there to see the sows and piglets and scratching their backs, it's a prestigious restaurant venue now.  There is a sense of space and calm there, it's not bustling and noisy like urban areas, where I live now.

You have also created some beautiful and eye catching cross stitch pictures, was this your way of relaxing?

When I was out of work and trying to find a job if you have a disability it is draining, annoying, sometimes humiliating, it takes a long time.  Being home for endless hours I needed something to do. I adore tigers, I came across a cheap kit and on the spur of the moment bought it and did it, then one Christmas my Mum bought me a couple more. I'd sit at home and stitch for hours, sometimes 5/6/7 hours a day slowly revealing these intricate characterful images. Relaxing, maybe, but it appealed to my mathematical puzzling, how to do a few stitches here and a few there using the least thread but not jumping vast areas.  My BFF loves the "All Our Yesterdays" collection and she would buy one, maybe start and I'd finish it. I did an elephant for my Sister, I'm proud of that. The trickiest a four foot bell rope on Irish linen, using single thread embroidery silk, that nearly sent me boss eyed. I haven't the dexterity to do it now, sadly, I've moved to crochet but have to limit myself to an hour or two otherwise my hands and arms cramp up.

These days you keep your Blog up to date with your wonderfully witty and engaging posts, how do you come up with ideas to write about?

Just Me, Nobody Special

The mental meandering that cross my keyboard

I've always got ideas, usually themes, sometimes I wish I could just download my thoughts, be a lot easier, lol.  It all depends on whether I can come up with more than two sentences in my head, often it pops in at stupid o' clock as I'm trying to get to sleep.  If my mind keeps wandering back to it, then I tend to draft a blog post, think of a catchy title and find a picture.  I so do not want it to become a whinging moan fest, which it could with my present mindset. 

Social media is a mine field! It can quickly become negative, angry, attacking and intimidating.  I've had such interactions with music fans especially with my work for Stephen, I've been called all sorts, been threatened with all sorts, had people try and befriend me for ulterior purposes and I've met some genuinely respectful, intelligent people (I even got on a flight to Houston to meet a lovely lady). So I try and make my posts non-personal, avoiding controversial issues, keeping to the subject.  Sometimes blogging feels rather like that tree in the woods, if there's no one to hear it falling does it make a sound, if there's no one to read it does it make any impact. My blog is more like a fly poster, maybe some day some one might notice it, so I'll stick it up here.

I'd like to think my few, so few, readers go "Ohh yeah, never thought that" or just have a chuckle or a smile at a turn of phrase.  Something that counterbalances the stress and pressure of modern technological fast paced lives.  Mind you, I am a stubborn Aeries, so with the blog, like the website, I'm too invested in it to be able to walk away.

Thank you AnneMarie for coming on down, lolling on my loungers and drinking me out of bubbly whilst talking about yourself, I admit to having loved every minute and I am still laughing… honestly!  Though I still argue, you’ve got the title wrong on your Blog!

Haha, no it's not. I'm just me, getting by, almost managing. Thank you for letting me ramble on and slurp these delicious bubbles. Now where is the cabana boy, I think I'll take a cooling dip, if I may?

You can visit AnneMaire’s wonderful Blog by clicking Here.
(P.S. You don't have to register to read or comment *hint-hint* nor do you get bombarded with emails, ta muchly AM).

A HUGE thank you for stopping by and please come back again very soon to see what is happening here next!

Have a fabulous day and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.



Saturday, 16 June 2018

Another New Poster!

My Photoshop continues to pull me and whilst I should be doing many other things, I fiddle with Photoshop instead!
Here is the latest poster I have designed for Storm Clouds Gathering.

You can find out about this emotional read, set in 1965 in a mill town in Yorkshire, by clicking here

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Bronze for 500 Miles!

Yah! I've got my bronze!

I've added 500 miles since 21st April to Making Every Step Count 

Monday, 11 June 2018

Catch Up - June

This month I thought I would try something new and do a monthly Catch Up Newsletter. The idea is to share some of the things that have happened in the last couple of months and to give a sneak preview on what will happen next month.

During the last two months I ran a special West Yorkshire feature. I decided on this as Storm Clouds Gathering is set in a Yorkshire Mill town in 1965 and I wanted to highlight other stories and authors who live in this beautiful part of the world.  It was a great success with a number of wonderful authors taking time out to talk about their passion for Yorkshire and its surrounding areas.  Hebden Bridge, Miss Moonshine’s Emporium, Suzi Stembridge, Andrew Barrett, Liz Mistry, Chris Turnbull and Phill Featherstone    
You can read each of these post by clicking on each author’s name.  

For the next month or two, I am planning to do another special feature, this time the subject is, Addiction!

The Cold Light of Day Can you imagine losing control, sitting on the brink of disaster with everything you believe is yours, including the woman you love, and watching it all crumble and fall apart? Wondering if you have the strength and means to stop the fall out turning your world up side down and into a nightmare, because in the cold light of day you will need every ounce of resilience you posses and more to stop it?  

If you have published a book about addiction and would like to be a guest on my Blog in this special feature, please let me know. Let's get our visitors addicted too!

VLOG! Yes, I said VLOG! A couple of months ago I introduced a new feature, Video Blog. They have been great fun to make even if they have my nerves jangling! You can see the latest VLOG with Canadian Author, Eileen Schuh by clicking HERE. If you would like to do a VLOG with me, please let me know and let’s see what we can do together.

Many of you know one of my other loves is Chill with a Book Awards. This Award Programme as exploded in the last few months with incredible interest from Independent Authors, from all over the world, wanting to submit their books.

If you, your family and your friends love reading, please come and join our reading team. No reviews are required and you read on your Kindle for free. There are books for every reader to enjoy. More information HERE.

OK, let's step on it for the last section of this Catch Up! Back at the end of April I started a new fun challenge, Making Every Step Count! As if I haven’t enough going on… *laugh* However, the idea is to encourage as many peeps to share every step they take to help achieve a 30,000 mile target in as quick as time as possible. OK, it’s round the planet and some, but we can do it.... can't we? So far FIFTEEN peeps have signed up to share every step they take each day. It is a mix team of super peeps from all age groups and achievements. The oldest team member is 85, go you Les! Another member has completed two Ironman challenges and two London Marathons. *Phew*  I'm exhausted thinking about it!  Seriously, it is not about running marathons and more, it is about getting out there and sharing every step you take. What is important is being part of this fun challenge and seeing just how soon we can reach 30,000 miles together. If you would like join in on this fun, fab challenge or want to learn more click HERE.

Yes, I am afraid, we have come to the end of this, my first, Catch Up, and before I go I want to share this picture I took of a tree planter irrigation system that sprung a leak!

A HUGE thank you for stopping by and please come back again very soon to see what is happening.

Have a fabulous day and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.