Category Archives: Occasional Posts

Cozy Mysteries? Is it or isn’t it?

ISBN 9780957252080

available on Amazon 

I have just tweeted for someone to explain to me what a ‘cozy mystery’ actually is. A tall order I know in 140 characters. Anyway, a tweeter sent me a link to Wikipedia. I know this may not be the definitive answer but it is certainly a start.

I questioned it because I was wondering if Murder Now and Then’ would come under this category, so let me break this down.



  • Sex and violence are downplayed or treated humourously  ~ certainly there are no explicit sex scenes and the violence is not graphic to the extreme
  • The crime and detection takes place in a small and intimate community ~ in Murder, Now and Then, this is certainly true on the whole and the book has been likened to Midsommer Murders ~ say no more!
  • The detectives are nearly always amateurs ~ No, in Murder Now and Then the detection is undertaken by police officer, although they do not always work ‘by the book’
  • The book revolves around the amateur detective’s hobby ~ not true and yet there is an underlying theme of an interest in family history which binds the characters together
  • The murderers are not psychopaths or serial killers and are usually known in the community ~ true
  • There is little or no profanity ~ true
  •  Emphasis is on puzzle solving and suspense ~ true
  • There is a great deal of humour ~ not true

The verdict ~ six out of nine are true. I believe that readers who love cozy mysteries will enjoy Murder Now and Then even though it does not quite fit into the category.

With 24 good or excellent reviews so far, why don’t you give it a try and let me know what you think?



Filed under Book reviews, Murder Now and Then, My books, Occasional Posts, Reading a novel, Writing

Hooray! The Healing Paths of Fife paperbacks have arrived ~ Queensferry Competition

Hi all

DSCN4172[1]There have been a few glitches getting the paperback version of  ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’ because Eventispress are trying out a new method of distribution. More about that in another post.

Anyway, a box of ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’ has finally arrived. Patience is a virtue they say.

I am giving away two copies of the paperback version to readers in the UK for the best responses in completing the sentence:

I’d like to travel over the new Queensferry Crossing because …..

Responses can be made as comments on this blog, on my facebook page or by email to


All you need to know about the Queensferry Crossing ~ STV News


If you don’t live in the UK and your response is really good then I can send you an Amazon gift voucher for a kindle version of The Healing Paths of Fife instead.

Even better, if you’d like to donate to our new community library in Kinghorn, Fife as well, then I’m only a quarter way to my target fundraising for our walk over the Queensferry Crossing this Sunday.

Here’s the link: Justgiving ~ Kinghorn Library


Filed under Events, Fife Fantasy, Libraries, Occasional Posts, Scotland

‘What a novel idea ~ to talk to each other’ or ‘A Truly Social Media Free Holiday’

For two weeks every year I like to leave Twitter, Facebook and my blogs behind me and have a total break. I’m getting more and more content with this as the years pass. At first I panicked. I wrote blog posts to schedule automatically and tweets to appear through Hootsuite. You can do all of this if you:

a) pay an expert to do your marketing for you

b) have the time to do so

or c) just cannot bear being silent for a couple of weeks or more.

I used to ask ~ Will my followers get bored and desert me? Will I have to start again when I get back? Will the world still turn without me?

It is strange for the first couple of days. I am tempted to turn on the internet using my smart phone. You may laugh here but I have never had Facebook or Twitter or even email on my phone. Too intrusive on real life. The man in the phone shop raised his eyebrows when he saw that I hadn’t even discovered the App Store.

I resisted temptation for the first couple of days ~only just.

By the third day I started to relax ~ to forget the pull of all of these time sucking activities and then I noticed something which made me smile and frown at the same time.

At restaurants while hubby and I were learning to talk to each other again we noticed whole families who sat at their table glued to their phones, sharing the occasional joke or two they’d read from friends back home. On buses and on the beach too! By the end of the holiday we were even feeling quite smug about it.

In fact, we enjoyed talking so much that we have vowed to turn the TV off during supper each night back at home, to sit opposite each other and chat about our day. It’s been so refreshing for our communication skills and our relationship as a couple. You should try it.

What a novel idea ~ to talk to each other!


Filed under Holidays, Occasional Posts, Social Media Networking