Wednesday 21 December 2022

The Last Georgia Pattison Mystery and harp seals...

Fledging a book is quite a process. Not just the enjoyable creating the story bit, but the sometimes less than enjoyable editing. Then more editing. And just another edit, until the author is sick and tired of seeing/reading/hearing about the wretched book.

I decided it was time to send my first serial detective, early-music soprano, Georgia Pattison, on her final adventure. Why? Because new writing avenues beckon. 2023 is already planned and there isn’t room for our intrepid heroine. There may come a time when I fancy bringing her out into the cold light of day again.

In Who Wants To Live Forever, Georgia gets what is possibly the biggest shock of her life. It leaves her conflicted enough to put everything good in her life on the line in order to find this particular killer. And she believes that all her past experience in helping DCI Hamilton find killers, has led up to this one case. It is the one she cannot walk away from.

If you would like to read more about why some authors are like harp seals, you can find my blog here:

If you would like to buy the book, you will find it here:

And if you would like to find out more about April Taylor:

You can find me on FacebookTwitter Amazon UK

Friday 9 December 2022

53 Words, No More, No Less

Winston, the Press 53 mascot

The small indie publishing house Press 53 runs a monthly writing competition, offering a different prompt each month and inviting short stories of exactly 53 words. I often enter the competition, for the fun of devising a new story within the word limit.

This is the first time I have won, with a retelling of the Philemon and Baucis legend. I’m convinced it would have been the husband who jumped in and asked the gods that the couple might die at the same time. Trust a man to go for the grand gesture. Whereas the wife would have asked for something more practical. 

Photo by David Tip on Unsplash

You can read my story here.

Madeleine McDonald enjoys the challenge of writing flash fiction. Her short stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio and published in various anthologies. Her novels include the contemporaries Enchantment in Morocco and The Rescued Heart, and the historical A Shackled Inheritance.

Friday 9 September 2022

The mystery of the missing Mystery – Out now! The paperback of THE FOREVER HOUSE


Global Link to The Forever House in paperback & ebook, and free to read with Kindle Unlimited

The paperback of The Forever House is finally live. It is a psychological suspense novel, 
 “...a gripping mystery full of twists and turns…”

Caroline Haynes and her husband are serial house renovators, never enjoying the fruits of their labours, always selling on their completed properties to start afresh on a new project. The Forever House was built in the early 1920s, and was to be their final project, their true home.

But life happens, and things don’t quite go according to plan. While scraping away wallpaper in a bedroom, Carrie uncovers a poignant message from the past. Yet, the more she thinks about it, the darker the connotations become. Family members believe she’s making something out of nothing. Carrie believes otherwise and determines to discover the truth of it. But who is there to ask, except the house itself? She starts with the Deeds, if she can find them.

...Reading the inked imprints of a manual typewriter was like going back in time: the conveyance between the builder and the first buyer, the landowner and the builder, the faded copperplate handwriting of a previous land conveyance, J. Tunstall, Esq, Farmer. The names of vendors and purchasers were all present, just as they would be on the deeds to this house. So where were the deeds to this house?

As anyone who has bought a property in the UK will know, the Deed of Title is kept electronically by the Land Registry – there is no need of the historic documents marking its journey through time. When we bought our 1950s house, our solicitor asked us, almost as an afterthought, if we wanted the historic conveyances, otherwise they would be destroyed.

Destroyed?! Apart from my intake of breath being heard in the next town, I couldn’t get my hands on them fast enough. And I was right to claim them. The depth of information they hold is fascinating.

When Carrie Haynes is gifted information about The Forever House, more questions are generated than answered – some causing echoes closer to home, and far closer to the present.

The Forever House is now available as an ebook to purchase, is free to read within a Kindle Unlimited subscription, and finally to read in good old, dependable, paperback.

Enjoy your reading - Linda Acaster

Friday 12 August 2022

Newsprint and Coffee

Photo by Ron Porter on Pixabay

Newsprint and coffee are my way of waking up to the world. When my husband was alive, we took two newspapers. This allowed early mornings to be a companionable time of rustling the pages, refilling the coffee pot, and grunting comments to each other on what we read.

Apart from providing a relaxing start to the day, newspapers are a treasure trove of ideas for writing. I read the paper cover to cover, absorbing not only the headlines but the snippets of information contained in the filler paragraphs.

A robot lawnmower escapes through a hole in the fence, council workers dig up the wrong driveway, a householder is fined for an extravagant display of Christmas lights. The list goes on.

Fact is often stranger than fiction, but facts provide a springboard. Disputes over wills, parking wars, over-zealous officials, there is no shortage of material to inspire stories or scripts.

That’s my excuse anyway when the postman or milkman finds me perusing the paper, still in my dressing gown past nine in the morning. 

 Madeleine McDonald


Madeleine has work in a plethora of fiction anthologies as can be seen from her Amazon page

She also writes historical & contemporary Romantic Suspense. Her ebook Enchantment in Morocco is now available via Kindle Unlimited.

Friday 8 July 2022

The Value of Community Journalism.


Often overlooked, hyper-local newspapers, journals, zines and radio provide a vital information source to rural communities. With the aim of providing access to local news, these often free publications boost the voice of clubs, grass root projects, art events and community groups.

Image of newspapers and magazines Just Beverley and Hornsea Community News

They’re important to communities because they raise awareness of local issues. Many focus on good news and informative articles. With editors adhering to a code of conduct and avoiding dramatic, misleading headlines, they build trust with their listeners and readers.

Advertising within these pages allows businesses to harness this for their own benefit, too. By aligning themselves with a positive message it supports the production costs.

For authors, it is well worth sending press releases to editors of these local sources. It can reach a readership who, for whatever reason, don’t use social media. Radio stations will often have a book feature interviewing authors or discussing book club novels.

But these outlets are also another way to see publication.

Hornsea Writer Karen Wolfe provides knowledgeable monthly amusement and anecdotes for Hornsea Community News exploring everything relating to dogs. Her articles regularly lift the spirit with a smile. As well as being informative, they are topical and naturally tie in with her Dogsbody novels.

Shellie Horst writes for Just Beverley, giving voice to the fictional antics of two beavers Bev’n’Ley. These short, locally researched pieces are designed encourage reading with children. They fit nicely around her other commitments. 

REMEMBER!  Hyper-local news outlets are not to be confused with advertising booklets. These can often be thrown away without consideration, meaning it's a waste of author’s funds.

Here's a few local to Hornsea outlets for you to consider.

Hornsea Community News

Seaside FM

Just Beverley

Beverley FM

Friday 10 June 2022

An Undeserved Accolade


Oof! My book is finally live on Amazon Kindle, at

After the rights reverted to me, I tackled the fiddly process of commissioning a new cover, proofreading my original Word document, and formatting the lot in accordance with Amazon’s rules.

Time to relax, and raise a glass to myself.

But – what’s this?

Amazon has ranked my book number 5 in ‘Caribbean and Latin American Poetry’, ahead of Derek Walcott, no less. In fact, I asked for it to be included under ‘Historical Caribbean and Latin American Fiction’ and some poor, underpaid pen pusher in Amazon’s sprawling empire has ticked the wrong box on his list of categories.

According to the marketing gurus, picking the right categories and keywords is vital to self-publishing success. Yet navigating the maze of 4000+ categories is no easy task. I congratulated myself on unearthing strings identifying ‘Women’s Fiction’ by theme, only for Amazon to inform me that those categories applied to print books, not ebooks. Go figure.

A celebratory half-glass then, before I ask Amazon to correct their error, and lose my undeserved number 5 ranking.  




Friday 13 May 2022

Announcing #psychologicalthriller THE FOREVER HOUSE

Member Linda Acaster’s novel, The Forever House, is now available for pre-order via Amazon – global link:

The Forever House is Linda's eleventh title. She has used psychological suspense as an element in other works, but this is her first novel to fully embrace its genre.

Resisting family pressure to sell the too-big house Carrie and her late husband began to renovate, she is determined to carry through their shared project to prove she can manage alone.

And she can, until a discovery beneath old wallpaper chills her to the bone.

As her need to know more becomes all-consuming, Carrie’s family fears she's tipping into irretrievable obsession. Can she be dissuaded, or must she take that final step?

How far is too far to right a wrong? 

Early readers are calling it ...deeply moving... enthralling read...

The novel launches on 30 May in ebook format to purchase, and to read via Kindle Unlimited if a subscriber. A paperback will closely follow.

Asked how the idea for the novel originated:
"Simple. I was decorating, removing old wallpaper, and..."

And...? Ah, that would be telling.

Reserve your copy now:

Okay, if you want to know a bit more, hop across to Linda's website.

Friday 15 April 2022

A Writer's Journey Through Covid

Follow the trail of a writer's journey through covid:

Happy Easter to everyone.

READ MORE from Penny Grubb

Friday 25 February 2022

Writers - Are Your Books Available in Libraries?

If you are a writer with books available for loan from public libraries, you are eligible for payment.

In order to access this payment, you need to register your books with a PLR (Public Lending Right) scheme, or for overseas libraries, with a Collecting Society.

To learn how to access PLR, CLICK HERE.

Friday 18 February 2022

Kings of A Dead World - Exclusive Online Event


This Feburary 22nd Hornsea Writer Shellie Horst will be chatting with Jamie Mollart, the author of  Kings of a Dead World.
In a relaxed and informal online event, interested writers will be able to learn about Jamie's writing processes, influences and challenges of writing the Speculative Fiction novel Kings of A Dead World, published by Sandstone Press. 
Set in a world where climate change has caused drastic measures to maintain life, the  novel took five years to write. An Amazon Rising Star of 2015, Jamie Mollart used all of his experience from self publishing to create a story that binds literary and genre styles into a gripping read.


Friday 4 February 2022

A Reminder to Writers - Don't Miss Out

If your work has been published in a magazine, a journal, a book, it is potentially earning secondary royalties, and there are people and organisations all around the world who are out there collecting that money for you.

They will try to find you but it's much easier for you to find them and tell them about your work.

CLICK HERE  to learn about Collecting Societies and how to access your secondary income from writing.

Friday 28 January 2022

RICK SUMNER: a charitable man.

Christine & Rick Sumner

In 2021, we said goodbye to Rick: friend, fellow-author and founder member of Hornsea Writers.

A former miner, trawlerman and community leader, Rick and his wife Christine moved to the east coast supposedly to retire. Which didn’t happen. Before you could say ‘miners’ strike’ both were heavily involved in projects within their adopted community. 

Christine and her fellow volunteers established lovely gardens from neglected areas. Following the closure of the Hornsea lifeboat station, Rick, inspired by his lifelong love of the sea, was instrumental in the creation of Hornsea Inshore Rescue, an organisation which has saved many lives at sea. Dedicated fund-raising over the years has enabled the volunteers to purchase, crew and maintain the lifeboat, along with its boathouse and popular visitor centre.   

Always good company, and with a wealth of jokes and stories derived from his eventful past, Rick was politically active, a champion of the underdog and a man with a social conscience. Rallies and fundraisers apart, he hit upon the idea of harnessing his writing ability in aid of a cause: sales of his ‘Kilby Welfare’ cassettes raised thousands for ex-miners and their communities. This most amiable of men had little time for politicians, and he never forgave Margaret Thatcher for the pit closures. Hopefully he’s still giving her hell! 

The 2020 HRI Charity Swim - fancy dress optional.

Each New Year’s Day, we remember Rick, one of the Ideas Men behind the event, as the annual Hornsea Inshore Lifeboat charity swim gets underway. Viciously cold mountainous seas would daunt the bravest, yet hundreds take part (282 swimmers in 2022.) The event is always fun, a showcase for the rescue services, attracting hundreds of visitors and raising incredible amounts for the HIR. A lasting tribute to Rick and his hard-working friends.

So thank you, Rick, for the jokes, the stories, the fun…and for making our little piece of Yorkshire a better place. 


A bit more on Rick and his life can be found HERE

Friday 21 January 2022

Online Wellbeing and Writing Sessions


Hornsea Writer, Shellie Horst, has teamed up with the region’s NHS Recovery College to deliver free writing sessions to help boost creativity and well-being. 

As writers, our cognitive ability to juggle all our characters’ needs (yes, they want to be heard!) on top of those of family, work, and home is precious. Thanks to the move to working from home and limited opportunities to hide in an author’s favourite coffee shop doesn’t do good for the word count. 

But we are more than authors, we’re human beings. 

Most people overlook the importance of taking time for themselves, especially with the impact of the pandemic. Now many of us are racing to pick up the pieces we happily set down for the sake of our loved ones, wondering how we managed it all before. Our well-being affects our mood, and as writers, our creativity.

The nation is still recovering from the stress and strain of being confined to our homes, standing on one too many Lego pieces, and being able to fathom what rules apply to us from week to week. There’s only so much TikTok and sourdough a person can consume before it reduces them to a twitchy mess. Now more than ever, we have to be kind to ourselves.

Of course, we as writers know just how difficult it is to find time to write. Sessions run every Thursday from 1pm until 2.30pm. Each session merges the need to set aside that time with exercises to spark a story and journaling to help get you on track. 

Journaling is a technique authors often used to capture the essence of a mood and it can often prove useful when developing characters or honing your descriptive skills.

Regular attendees will discover how to grow stories and prepare them for publication. Not everyone writes for publication, but those writers who wish to see their work published will then be able to see their work in print as part of the course. 

You can join in using your computer’s web browser, or Teams. No knowledge of the software is needed, just your favourite writing tools.

The sessions take place at 1pm until 2.30pm on Thursdays, online. Click here to see more from the College

The Recovery College offers a range of self-paced e-courses and live video-call sessions on our e-learning platform. It’s at your pace and without pressure. So whether the writer in you needs to stretch physical muscles, the writing ones, or chat with other creatives, there’s a session to help. 

You can find out more about Shellie and her explorations into enabling creativity and equality on her website or follow her antics on Facebook or Twitter