Black Eyed Susans – Review

I received this book as a prize in a twitter draw. There are many things to like about this book, not least the crisp writing and the way the backstory emerges drip by drip. I’m not particularly partial to serial killer books, but there is a surprising like of gore and dwelling on violence because the author chooses to leave that in the past. We know the heroine is a survivor of a terrible crime, that she was found in a grave along with the bones and a body of previous victims. Instead, the book looks back to the time before the trial of the man accused of the crime, through the counselling of the victim and alternating present day chapters, fifteen years later. The ‘killer’ is facing execution and Tessa, the surviving victim is no longer sure of his guilt. Continue reading

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The Grand Book Launch

What a month it has been – and most of all what a blast!. Despite the hard work, it has been so much fun. Yesterday saw all of it come together in a wonderful book launch. I wish we had someone adding up the numbers of visitors. Deep down, we all worried that we would be sitting like lemons, twiddling our thumbs as just a trickle of friends wandered through the door. Not at all from the moment we opened people came, were greeted by a glass of fizz and gorgeous cakes and then came to talk and buy. The Jubilee Gallery buzzed for three hours.

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCThanks to Arthur Wells for the photographs.

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Virtual Launch Party

This is a new adventure for Arun Scribes. Over the last month, we have been busy doing lots of crazy thin8U1A0807-Editgs, making a silent film, creating a radio broadcast, tweeting like crazy – you name it – we’ve been doing a lot of pimping our new books.

But the craziest thing of all is our Virtual launch Party to be held on the Arun Scribes Facebook Page on Tuesday, April 18th between 7pm and 9pm, British Summer time. We will have guests from all over the world, the more the merrier. Apart from our new books, we are proud to have four guest authors joining us. Ruth Dugdall; John Broughton; Jane Cable and Michael Parker – so there’s something for everyone. We will have lots of competition giveaways along with food, drink, music and dancing. You can post your own images to the party – we want to see dancing.

Competition winners will be awarded electronic version of books and will be messaged the day after the party. Do join us.


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Another Banana Sonnet

BANANA SONNET  by Angela Petch

I watch you as you sit and peel the yellow skin

Up in the baobab tree, where you lay in wait.

You stole the banana from my picnic plate,

You and your hairy monkey friend, with a din

And a chattering, a hullaballoo of vervets

That echoed round the Serengeti – to Kuwait,

Constantinople, Timbuktu and the Bering Strait.

Oh banana mine, bought in the market of Tanga

From a mother and baby wrapped in a colourful kanga.

She carried a hand of bananas atop her head,

The baby slung on her back in peaceful slumber.

She chopped a bunch for me with a knife-sharp panga

And I placed you in my basket, a snack to store

For our safari. But alas, alack…you are no more.

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Banana Sonnets

This month’s homework was to create an ode or sonnet to a banana. Who knew it was 600 years since bananas first appeared in Britain.As editor of this website, I made the decision that all the offerings were worthy of publication.

The first is by Maureen Wells and entitled My Ladies Choice

I looked upon such lusciousness with delight
At beauty, golden tinted as in a summers day
Nature has caused my senses to excite
My fair lady will surely wish to stay
When I present her with this new fruit banana
She’ll surely give me her hand forever more,
O No! She behaves with uncalled for drama
In a beautiful shape she finds a flaw
She refuses to place her rosy lips to taste
I plead in vain we might share such joy
But love has not the time, it acts in haste
She demands a straight banana. Is this a ploy?
For how hard I try, this I cannot acquire
So farewell my lady, a curvy banana is my desire.


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Now and Then in Tuscany by Angela Petch

THANK HEAVENS for literature. For poems that nail a moment or feeling, books that educate, transport us to places we didn’t know about and help us escape.

Writers are inspired in different ways: through memories, chance meetings with unusual people, newspaper articles, dreams, narcotics…the list is endless.   Looking at my bookshelves, I notice how many of my favourite reads are strong on location.  My favourite childhood read, “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights” with the ominous and brooding shadows of the Yorkshire moors, “Cider with Rosie”, where Laurie Lee takes us to life in a remote Cotswold village and a wonderful recent favourite, “A Year of Marvellous Ways” by Sarah Winman, set in a remote inlet of the Cornish coast. In all these stories, locations are not just backdrops to the plot and characters, they are vital. These books would be diminished and fall apart without them. Continue reading

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Blood, sweat and tears in the Pays d’Oc

At Home in the Pays d’Oc is the story of how my husband and I were adopted, while in France, by a small brown and white dog, and how we ended up spending four years as residents of a village in the Languedoc.

It is true, up to a point, although I wouldn’t dream of spoiling a good story for the sake of a few hard facts.  Some of my beta readers have been kind enough to say it is funny.  If you want to read it, it will soon be available through Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.  If you subscribe to Tolino, Scribd or Apple you will, I’m told, find it there.

But the point of this post is not to tell you about the book.  It is to tell you how it came into existence:  a salutary tale (or a warning) for all indie publishers.  It’s about perseverance in the face of all odds; it’s about saying ‘I quit’ nine times and going back, reluctantly, with gritted teeth and dragging heels, a tenth time. Continue reading

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