It’s like Widow Twankie’s in here! Plus some book news

Hello, how are you all? Hope you are well. I’m good, well, better. Was a tad unwell yesterday which meant missing out on a night out, but am so much better now.

So what’s been happening in your world? I’ve been busy with house stuff and trying to do my degree course (OU, English Literature and Creative Writing), so my writing had fallen by the wayside recently. However, I did do some editing on the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia and hope to have it out in the spring. So excited about it. Bit stressed that it’s good enough, but I feel this way with every book I write. I think it’s a thing most writers fear.

Anyhoo,  moving on. Tonight, was working on getting Dusting Down Alcudia in other formats so those of you with Nook or ibook can get copies  of it. Those should be available very soon… watch this space for more info. Everything She Wants’ cover is still with the designer, but I am aiming to publish it on or before December 10.

Home has been very busy. It’s amazing how much time I don’t have. I thought that when I gave up work a year-and-a-half ago I would have oodles of time to relax and do what  I want, but it hasn’t worked out that way. As they say, the Devil makes work for idle hands, well my hands are never idle. I am constantly cleaning or washing up or fixing broken things or shopping for food. Then there’s dental appointments, doctor’s appointments, orthodontists… anything I need to take the kids to. It’s endless. And don’t get me started about the dirty washing. I do not know how two kids can produce so much washing. It’s like Widow Twankie’s (for my non-British blog readers, Widow Twankie is the laundrette owning mother of Aladdin in the pantomime Aladdin) at my house! However, I am finally getting to the end of the washing mountain, but I’m trying not to be too pleased about it for I know that next week another mountain will mysteriously appear and my heart will sink and I’ll start stuffing the washing machine.

Pictures. Do you like them? I haven’t been taking any snaps myself lately (too busy up to my elbow in washing suds!), so I decided to get some free ones on the theme of Scotland. You are welcome.

I am reading…now on to the third of the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness and loving it all over again. It’s called The Book of Life. If you haven’t already read these books, please do so. They are amazing.

Right, I am off to do something else now. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Til next time,

Dawn xxx

Somewhat windswept and interesting, plus book news

Yes, that’s me looking somewhat bedraggled after taking the dogs out for a walk this morning at our local park. Boy was it windy and a bit wet. As I write this, the wind and rain are rattling against the windows. It’s really cold outside and I am glad I am inside in the warmth.

So how are you today? Hope you are all well. This week has been a busy old week for me what with various things happening at Chez Nelson. Let’s see: the boy went away on Monday for a five day holiday with the school to an outward bound place in the Borders. He’s back home now, dragging a full suitcase of dirty washing with him and happy to be home. I missed him.

I have been out for lunch four times this week and it was great. I loved it. Was nice to catch up with everyone.

We took delivery of a new fur baby in the form of my parents’ dog, Winston. We have him for a week whilst they are away on holiday. He’s adorable. Below he’s pictured with Millie and Casper at our local park (Bonya, our pug, isn’t in the pic because, as usual, she was lagging behind):

Book news!!  I’m aiming to bring the audiobook of Dusting Down Alcudia out before Christmas if possible. The ebook is currently only available for Kindle, but I will make it available for Nook, ibooks and others in the New Year. Watch this space for more information.

Everything She Wants is my brand new book which is due out in December. The cover is currently being put together by a designer and I’ll share that with you when I can. In the meantime, you can pre-order the book here. If you want to know more about it, here’s the blurb:

“A new dark comedy from the author of Dusting Down Alcudia. This book is rude, full of swear words and definitely not for the faint-hearted!

When Susan decides there’s more to life than housework, her cheating husband puts his foot down. Ignoring his protests and those of their selfish teen daughter, she runs away with a Wham tribute act to find herself and, hopefully, fame and fortune.

Along the way, there’s the chance of happiness with a new man, but things go awry and he turns out not to be the knight in shining armour she had hoped. Now Susan must decide whether to forge ahead with her new life or go home with her tail between her legs.”

Other book news – I am about to start my first edit of the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia. It doesn’t have a title yet and I’m aiming to get it out by the springtime. Watch this space for more!

Book reading news!! Just finished the second in the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Shadow of Night is the sequel to A Discovery of Witches. I am about to embark on the third, The Book of Life, and have the new one, Time’s Convert to enjoy after that. I love these books. I read them years ago, but because of the tv adaptation, I brought them out to read again. They actually belong to my mum, but she’s not getting them back!! Hee hee.

They are amazing books, check them out.

Right, I am going to end this here as it’s after 9pm and I am desperate for a cup of tea. Til next time.

Dawn xxx




Wham! A New Book, A Discovery of Witches and a Night Next Door


Hi! How are you all? Hope you’ve had a great week.  Mine has been extremely busy which has left me really tired this week and feeling under the weather. However, I did get a lot done.

Announcing my next book!!! My next book is called Everything She Wants (the book with the working title Ham) and I’m aiming to get it out before Christmas or in January at the latest. Depends how everything goes with the cover and other bits and pieces you have to do to get books released.  It’s about a very put upon housewife who runs away from her horrible family to join a Wham! tribute act. Here’s the blurb:

A new dark comedy from the author of Dusting Down Alcudia. This book is rude, full of swear words and definitely not for the faint-hearted!

When Susan decides there’s more to life than housework, her cheating husband puts his foot down.

Ignoring his protests and those of their selfish teen daughter, she runs away with a Wham! tribute act to find herself and, hopefully, fame and fortune.

Along the way, there’s the chance of happiness with a new man, but things go awry and he turns out not to be the knight in shining armour she had hoped.

Now Susan must decide whether to forge ahead with her new life or go home with her tail between her legs.

Will share the cover once it’s done. This is nothing like Dusting Down Alcudia, but I hope you enjoy it. While I’m waiting for the cover to be done, I’ll be working on the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia which is due out early next year. Yes, I have been a busy bee this year with the writing!!  Watch this space for more details!! Picture of the real Wham! below.

So what have you been up to this week? For me it’s been finalising Everything She Wants and typesetting it so that it’s ready to be formulated into a print book.  I’ve also been doing a lot sorting out cupboards and rooms around the house as when I am fully into writing, housework and such like kind of go by the wayside. Let’s face it, I am not one of those people who love housework. In fact, I hate it and look forward to the time when I can afford to pay someone else to do it for me! I wish! 🙂

I’ve also been attending my exercise classes. I don’t know what it was but I found my two Zumba classes really hard work this week. I thought the more you exercised the easier it’s supposed to be, but it was a struggle. I still went and still participated, but came out with a face the colour of a tomato streaming sweat in my wake. A lovely image for this time of night, I know!

This weekend I am having a quiet time, but last weekend I was really busy. Well, to be perfectly correct, I was really busy on the Friday. I was hardly home. I met some friends for tea and buns in the morning, another friend for lunch in the westend of Glasgow for lunch (we went to the famous University Café and I had my favourite: macaroni  and chips, yes I am a classy burd!). Then in the evening, I popped next door to my neighbour who is 90 soon for a wee glass of wine. My neighbour is lovely and a very interesting man.  We have always been friendly and he got on really well with my husband. Unfortunately, my neighbour’s wife died about a year after we moved into this house more than a decade ago, so I never got to know her. He is the man our Millie always escapes to. She loves him because he’s constantly feeding her meat. Anyway, I had a fab evening with him. We chatted about everything and had a good laugh. We are going to do it again because we get on so well. So, I had intended going round for a couple of hours… I was having such a good time, I ended up staying until midnight.  Was a great night.

I always find older people so interesting. When I was working as a journalist for a local newspaper in Paisley, I got to interview some residents of Erskine Hospital, which is a hospital for former military people. I was sent there to cover the visit of Princess Diana, but I found chatting to the residents (including my late grandfather who was a resident there at the time) so much more interesting. I met one of the first policewomen in Glasgow and men who had been fighter pilots and ground troops in the Second World War. They were fascinating people. I feel really lucky that I was able to do that. Seeing Princess Di was okay too, but she wasn’t as interesting… not to me anyway.

Finished reading the biog of Radclyffe Hall. I really enjoyed it. She was an interesting woman, but I hated the way she treated her long term partners. I must try and find a copy of one of her books to see what they are like. I can’t help but be curious now I’ve read her life story.

Matthew and Diana from A Discovery of Witches.

I am currently re-reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, which I am loving all over again. I’ve been watching Sky One’s adaptation of the book (picture above), which is great. I am really enjoying it. However, the book is so much better.  Can’t wait to re-read the sequel Shadow of Night and then the third in the trilogy, The Book of Life. I cannot recommend these books enough. They are fantastic.

I’ve also been busy this week with my uni course. I signed up to so an English Lit degree with the Open University and I am loving it. It covers a lot of different areas of the arts and is really interesting. I am feeling so much more “cleverer” than I did when I started. 😀  I’ve just completed my first assignment about Cleopatra and Antony, and Cezanne. My next area of study is about Joseph Stalin.

Right, I need to go. I need to pick the boy up from his school’s Halloween Disco. He went as a zombie. I helped his costume come together by cutting up a pair of trousers and an old jacket and throwing flour over him so he looked pale and zombie-like, and his clothes looked old and dirty (as well as fraying). He looked great. Hope he’s had a good night.

Til next time!

Dawn xx

PS I am still looking to add people to my Advanced Reader Copy group. If you sign up, you’ll be given early copies of my books and all I’ll ask you to do (and this is not compulsory) is provide a genuine review of my books on sites I’ll give you the addresses for. If you’re interested, email me: or sign up in the top righthand corner of this blog.




I love Mary Poppins but I’m not sure about P L Travers


Just finished watching Saving Mr Banks – we’d recorded it – and I quite enjoyed it. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson were excellent in their respective roles at Walt Disney and P L Travers. It’s quite a sad film. P L Travers seems to have had quite a hard early life with an alcoholic father who died young which may have been the reason she was so cold and precise and judgemental in her outlook in later life. I looked up her biography and was saddened to see that there was a line from one of her grandchildren which basically said that she liked no-one and no-one like her. I would hate to be remembered like this. It’s just so sad. What a waste of a life despite her writing so many excellent books. I loved the Mary Poppins film – it’s the first one I remember seeing at a local cinema as a very small child – and I really loved the books which I borrowed several times from Neilston Library. Anyway, I still remember the joy those books brought me when I was growing up and their author’s apparently difficult character will not put me off them!

So how are you? Life has been pretty hectic lately – to be truthful it’s always hectic  (well, until the kids go to bed!). Work has been busy busy busy and the kids are just getting back into life at school. They seem to be enjoying it so far although I am NOT enjoying trying to get my son out of bed and dressed in the morning. Where my daughter is like the hare (quick and quiet), my son is a very noisy and objecting tortoise. He just hates to get out of his bed and he takes forever to get ready, to eat his breakfast, to brush his teeth, to get his shoes on and the list goes on…sigh! It’s soul destroying to have to cajole him every single morning. Am hoping this is just a phase he will grow out of!

Our guinea pigs are now back indoors due to the bad weather. It’s been raining a lot and has got a lot colder lately so I thought I’d take them in earlier than planned. They appear to be loving being back in the warmth of the house and I was rewarded with a lot of purring from Darcy this morning when I gave them the additional treat of some kale. They love fresh vegetables! They are very cute and cuddly wee creatures and I sort of missed them from the house. Now they are back, they are easier to visit and talk to and stroke and rub their heads. The only problem is that my study is now a bit of a mess, but not to worry…the hoover will soon sort that out!

Am currently reading Deborah Harkness’ new book The Book of Life. It’s the third in the All Souls trilogy and it is excellent. I cannot keep myself from reading it, it’s all I want to do. It’s the witch/vampire story I’ve spoken about many times before. If you like a good read I’d recommend all three – A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of WitchesShadow of Night

Shadow of Nightand The Book of Life

The book of life (2)

As for my own books, not much to tell you. I have gotten back to working on my adult and children’s books. Nothing else to report apart from that. Such is the life of an author!!

Anyway, talking of writing, I am going to love you and leave you here so that I may get back to it. Til next time!


Dawn xx

PS am thinking of getting back to Wednesday Word and the Monday favourites…if anyone can suggest either words or themes for the favourites, please do so. I’d love to hear from you.

Discovering Witches, Baking Cupcakes, Writing and Gardening

A Discovery of WitchesShadow of Night

Just finished reading Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness which is the second novel in the All Souls Trilogy. I can hardly wait for the third book, they are that good. It was my mum who put me on to them and I am so glad she did…they are fantastic. Full of adventure, romance, history, magic and more…everything I like in a good read. Would thoroughly recommend them. The story follows Diana Bishop, an historian and witch, who accidentally uncovers a powerful magical book in the Bodeleian Libray. It’s that discovery that leads her into a dangerous world where she comes up against other witches, vampires and daemons keen to get their hands on her and the book. Shadow of the Night continues the story leading Diana back to Elizabethan England. I liked this book in particular for the accuracy throughout about real people of the time,  costume, how people lived, what London looked like, what they ate etc. Deborah goes into great detail about various aspects of Elizabethan life that I loved. Yes, definitely both excellent reads.

So what’s been happening in your world? Everyone returned to work this week and Monday was full of folk groaning and moaning about: being back at work; what miserable weather it’s been; and how dark the winter is this year (dark in the sense that it feels like the day barely lights up at all some days due to the heaviness of the rain clouds). Today there’s been a bit of snow and sleet fall. The snow is lying on the hills surrounding the Clyde and Glasgow, but isn’t lying further down, which is good because – much as I love snow – I hate driving in it.

I’ve had a pretty busy week what with returning to work after the Christmas holidays (to thankfully few emails!) and getting back into the swing of things. The kids are now back in their routine. The boy has been exhausted this week. I forget just how young he is sometimes, but he’s pleased to be back at school – as am I! He and his sister are currently upstairs supposedly tidying their rooms, but I hear too much chatter going on between them for them to be truly tidying! We’ll see!

Been pushing on with my book for adults and I’m close to finishing the first draft. I’ve already edited the first half of the book, but will go back over the whole of the book to ensure it reads okay. I’m pleased with it, I now just need to find an agent who thinks the same thing. Am also going to look into self publishing it as an e-book. I have a  couple of friends I’m going to give copies  to read and give comments back, which will be useful.

On the DarkIsle 3 front – there is no new news at the moment. What I hope is the final draft is with my publisher just now and I’m just waiting to hear back from him.

Crafting – been a bit quiet on that front too. One of my sewing machines’ feeder dogs are broken and am currently awaiting our local sewing machine fixing man to come and collect it. Lord knows how much that’s going to cost!! Am thinking of finishing that sock I began knitting myself this time last year…hmmm.

Baking – my friend Tracy gave me lovely cupcake cases with excerpts from renaissance paintings printed on them. Used them for the first time on Friday.  I baked around 40 small cupcakes. They are now all gone bar one that was saved for hubby. My kids (and me) are proper cake lovers!

Gardening – have gone through my seed catalogue and chosen the seeds I want to buy. Just need to be paid again before I can purchase them! Was out in the garden yesterday weeding the front (the weeds are tenacious there), bin-bagging cat poo from our neighbours’ manky black cats (grrrrr) – I will purchase cat repellent this week, and turning over my veg garden (we put leaves from our garden on the veg plot to rot down).

That’s it from the DarkIsle household this week: nothing exciting, just a normal quiet life which is just how I like it!

Until next time!

Dawn xxx