Enter – Two Ordinary Detectives

When I wrote Aunt Bea’s Legacy, I intended it to be a one-off; a gentle sort of ghostly mystery in a house that I once lived in many years ago. I had loved the house and wanted to write a story about it, albeit fiction. It’s a story that’s been read and loved by many people and they tell me how much they love the country setting, the jams, scones and cakes that Lucy bakes and the whole laid-back feel of the book, not to mention the ‘is-the-house-haunted-or-is-something-else-going-on’ thing. Also, there’s the ‘will-she-end-up-with-Jim-or-not?’ thing too…
Anyway, hot on the heels of the end of that book, came the idea for ‘By the Gate’, born out of the picture that appeared in my mind of Farmer Price finding a skeleton as he dug a hole for a new fence in his cow field. So begins an investigation into a seventy year old murder – re-enter DI Dan Cooke and DS Grant, who barely featured in the first book. ‘Tis true it was they who discovered the answers behind the mysterious happenings at River View, but I’d never intended for them to become ongoing characters. It seemed they had other ideas; once they’d come into being, they weren’t going to go away, and so, as from the second book on, they became more ‘front-line’ characters and Lucy took a step back, although she features heavily in all the books, as does her family and the village of Sutton-on-Wye.
Thing is, I now had a series of books that featured two investigating officers who were – well – featureless. DI Dan Cooke is married to Linda, a physio-therapist working in Hereford hospital and they have a loving and easy-going relationship. DS Graham Grant is just a hard-working detective who is DI Cooke’s shadow. A single man thus far, he meets the love of his life in the second book while in North Wales during the course of their investigations. She is a police constable. What’s wrong with that? Well…nothing. Except most crime stories involve detectives who are tough, determined fellows with lots of baggage, are hard drinkers, or maybe something from the past they have yet to resolve – and here am I with a pair of detectives who are normal men simply doing their job. Can readers believe in them? I hope so. Can readers cope with having detectives without dramatic background stories? Again, I hope so. Because if not, Dan and Grant need to bow out of my life and leave me peace…

My Review of Rosa by Jeanette Taylor Ford

Wow! I’m blown away by this review of my book, Rosa, by fellow writer, Katrina Marie

Katrina Marie

My Review of

Rosa by Jeanette Taylor Ford

I found Rosa both terrifying and emotional. The bond between Elizabeth and her grandfather spoke of love and how far one would go for those they love to save them from hurt and pain. I thought the author did a great job of keeping me as a reader on my toes. I couldn’t work out if the violence bestrode on Elizabeth with really the spirit of Rosa trying to find peace, or something more human and dark assaulting her in her sleep. Either way this book was very well written and I didn’t expect to have tears in my eyes by the end of the story.

The story itself follows Elizabeth as she leaves her job in the city and moves in with her grandad. However, soon she becomes a curios young lady and asks her grandad about a secret room in…

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The Dark Knight

A wonderful poem for the Summer Solstice




Whisper by Burak Ulker, from Deviantart

(Please click on the photo to see more of his work)

On midsummer’s eve dance, under the moonlight,

I met a dark man who stole my heart,

he held my hand to his lips,

and on the dance floor gave me a kiss.

A raven perched upon his shoulder, and said until daylight.

His black costume fitted like a glove,

at first look I’d fallen in love,

mesmerizing dark eyes held me captive,

the way he spoke was so attractive.

The raven came by and said lovers should not part.

He poured summer wine from the flask,

and told me stories from strange lands.

When he asked me to go there with him,

I accepted on a whim.

The raven flew over us and said now it’s time to depart.

I said, one moment, to bid farewell to my hosts,

when I…

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It’s Cover Reveal Time! Shelf Life by Rob Gregson

A long awaited work by my author friend, Greg

Mirror World Publishing

Rob Gregson is a new addition to the Mirror World family and we are ever so pleased to bring you his comedic fantasy/literary mashup, Shelf Life: The Book of Better Endings.

This book has it all: action, adventure, comedy, other worlds! And it’s another one of those books that really encompasses what we’re all about here at Mirror World. It’s a wacky adventure through the realms of literature that is both funny and thought provoking. And it all starts with bookseller, Cathy Finn.

Young bookseller Cathy Finn is having a bad day. First, there’s the assassin’s bullet. Then comes the realisation that she’s been living in a work of fiction. Worse, she wasn’t even the main character.

Cathy’s quiet, bit-part life may be over, but her troubles are only beginning. Her last day on Earth is also her first as a citizen of New Tybet. For over four hundred…

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A Crime Writer? Who? Me??

When I started writing in 2010, I did what many of us do, I drew on my personal experiences in life and came up with The Sixpenny Tiger, which was about a little boy abused by his step-mother. I set the book in Hereford, which is where I’d worked in a children’s home in the late 1960s.

Hereford wasn’t my first home; I was born and raised in Cromer, on the Norfolk coast, so I wanted to write a book set there and so my novella, Bell of Warning came into being. There followed Rosa and the Castell Glas Trilogy – The Hiraeth, Bronwen’s Revenge and Yr Aberth (The Sacrifice) – all of which were sort of ghostly but in different ways. And then I wrote Aunt Bea’s Legacy, which was a kind of mystery/romance, again with just a wee touch of a ghost, in the form of the departed Aunt Bea.

Well, that was okay. Having had some paranormal experiences in my life, it was almost inevitable that I’d write such stuff, although I never delved into the downright scary – with the possible exception of Bronwen – now she was a very nasty, murderous ghost!

What I didn’t bargain for, because I’d intended Aunt Bea’s Legacy to be a one-off, was for a story to come through me so quickly that I was astounded at how fast I wrote it – in less than a handful of weeks! It was By the Gate, a story of a seventy year old murder that came to light because a farmer dug a hole in the edge of a field because a fence fell over in a gale. It involved the community of Sutton-on-Wye where Lucy had come to live in Aunt Bea’s house – and the field belonged to her! So, the detectives that featured fairly lightly in Aunt Bea’s Legacy suddenly had front stage as they investigated this very old mystery. Oh my! I did enjoy writing it and loved the research I had to do for it. But it meant that my story of Lucy and her aunt’s house had suddenly become the first of a series – and a crime series no less!

After By the Gate, came Fear Has Long Fingers – and boy! That was, I think, my crowning glory! I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to write something better. It took me by surprise – and that of my readers. When I started to write, I never dreamed I’d end up writing crime – not ‘crime thrillers’, for I’m told that mine are ‘cosy crime’, which is a daft concept to my mind, for crime is never ‘cosy’, is it? But that’s what it has to be, for although I have detectives on the cases, my stories aren’t hard thrillers, although they certainly have a dark twist which mar the peacefulness of the Herefordshire village of Sutton-on-Wye.

Now I’m writing book four of the series; it involves murder and a runaway boy. I’m not sure it will be as riveting as Fear Has Long Fingers, but I’ll do my best.

In the meantime, if I think too much about what I’m writing, I clap my hand on my head and say to myself ‘me, a writer of crime? I must be crazy!’ But of course, all writers know that we have to be a little crazy or we wouldn’t be writers…

Lynn Miclea – “Window to the Future”

A short write with a touch of mystery and truth

Writers Unite!

Welcome toWrite the Story!Each monthWriters Unite!will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone.WU!wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms.Pleasecheck out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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( Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

“Window to the Future”

by Lynn Miclea

Aliya brushed the hair out of her face as she walked up the grassy incline. She had wanted to climb to the top of the hill in her neighborhood and see the view for months now. Her breathing heavy and ragged from exertion, she was finally here. A shiver of anticipation ran through her as she neared the crest.


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The Other Side of Mothers Day


Today, in the United Kingdom, it was Mothering Sunday, or Mothers’ Day, as it is now referred to. I’m happy to say that I was thoroughly spoiled by my own five children, who gathered here in our home with their own children, to bring me gifts and cards but more importantly, to spend time together as our family. How blessed I am and I know it.

I turned on Facebook and of course it is full of my friends paying tribute to their own mothers, still living or passed on. Indeed, I posted a couple of photos of my own dear departed mum. My thoughts turned back to my childhood and life with parents who never had that much but always gave me and my sister all the love and protection that parents should and I had a happy childhood, secure in the knowledge that they loved me.

This week, however, I’ve had much cause for reflection. Our eldest daughter, Joanne, is a mature student at Derby University, studying Criminology. Because my husband, Tony, has worked in a Secure Unit (a prison for young offenders under adult prison age) and has also been a prison chaplain for our church, visiting regularly four prisons in our area for ten years, he was invited to give a presentation to the students on Joanne’s course. I went along with him at his request and I was very proud of how well he did. Of course, being a teacher of long standing, he is a natural and immediately had the young people engaged and kept them so until the end. I knew he had much more he could have shared with them, had time allowed, after all, hadn’t I spent hours listening to him after his visits, telling me about some of the heart-rending stories of the prisoners he’d visited? Not of the crimes they’d committed, but of the treatment they had received at the hand of our so-called justice system and the way they were still suffering, basically because no one cared; many who should have been freed years ago but the system continually failed them. (Apart from the unfairness to the prisoners, but also keeping a person in prison costs the taxpayers a lot of money – so stupid when they actually don’t need to be there.)

One point Tony was trying to make was that the greatest majority of these men, and the children in the secure unit, had all had similar starts in life; broken homes, put ‘in care’ by the system, no one who really cared about them, drugs given to them at an early age by the very people who should have been protecting them, and also being led into prostitution and other drug-related crimes. Many have learning difficulties or have simply never had a proper education. He spoke of one nine year old girl in the secure unit, who had been sold into prostitution to feed the drug habit of her mother. Totally shocking, and yet this kind of thing goes on all the time, and with children much younger even than that girl.

Since I’ve been a user of Facebook, I’ve come to ‘know’ quite a few people who have had less than happy upbringings for various reasons. I know that alcoholism and abuse has been prevalent. I personally know people who have had very bad backgrounds involving things that I could never have imagined in my childhood. Years ago, I worked in a children’s home and although we loved the children there during my time, there is no doubt that some of the home’s residents did not have good experiences in the care system, some being passed from one foster home to another and some went home again to face life with an abusive step-parent. These are common stories I know – sad, but true.

I would imagine that ‘Mothers’ Day’ means something quite different to so many. They have no cause for celebration; recalling their childhood means experiencing pain and heartbreak. And yet, many still think of the mother they had and in spite of everything, there is still some love, some longing, for something they could have had but never did. It is those people I’m writing for today. I know I’ve barely touched the surface, can never really know the suffering of a painful childhood, but I want them to know that I think of them in sympathy and admire those who have been strong enough to overcome their terrible starts in life in order to become good mothers and fathers today, bringing up their own children in a way they never experienced, in love, security and the protection they deserve. These people are today’s true heroes.