Let me take you there – Terrible With Raisins: the naughty bits…

Clair, having fled to the gorgeous island of Symi to escape that BIG birthday, has a rare night’s sleep. And instead of the usual nightmare…
“Blessedly asleep that night, I met a new person who was neither male nor female and who drove a luxury horse drawn coach in which I reclined in a bath. We flashed past several places we should have stopped at, but sped on until we arrived in a large dining hall where I stepped out in full eighteenth century finery onto a table covered with candelabra, fruit and sweetmeats – whatever they look like, I just knew that’s what they were. It didn’t bother me that my breasts were bare because they were firm and round with rosy nipples. I walked in golden mules along the sumptuous table to a large triptych of a window that opened onto a sunset seascape. Everyone applauded as I had a devastatingly wonderful orgasm. When I have a good dream it’s worth waiting for.”

Click on the image to find TERRIBLE WITH RAISINS

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Review: Fitzwarren’s Well by Jennifer Ash

This new audio entertainment by Jennifer Ash is a treat for lovers of British myth, specifically the Robin Hood myth, and many with wider tastes. I say ‘entertainment’ because the story has been dramatised rather than produced as an audiobook. Its premise is that the Merry Men, even Robin, have fallen prey to a curse by the Lady of the Well. Foul play has been afoot and it is up to the Lady Marian and Will Scarlet to put it right. With Clannad’s atmospheric music, well-crafted dialogue and varied characterisation, the story is engaging through to its culmination. Special mention to Jon Culshaw, who comes across as a bit of a Phil Davis soundalike in his comic interpretation of Will. A very pleasant diversion from our troubled times.

Can be downloaded from the Spiteful Puppet Website. Click on image.

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Who says reviews don’t matter?

It’s always a nail biting time, waiting for reviews. The first one to come in for JIGSAW ISLAND was a lovely 5 star review on Goodreads and Amazon.com by Jena Henry. Until the next one is up, here’s one from the prequel, TERRIBLE WITH RAISINS:

Ms. S. P. Solomons
5.0 out of 5 stars I felt this would make an excellent tv comedy drama or short series
A laugh-out-loud, witty and endearing novel, charting the highs and lows of the life of one Clair Harkin, terrified of hitting the dreaded 5-0. I felt this would make an excellent tv comedy drama or short series, written as it is with several cliff hangers and epic comedy moments. McVernon’s character’s are easily visualised and I found myself casting them all! Needs to get taken up and made!

Thank you Ms Solomons, cheered me up no end the day that popped up on the screen!

Click on the TERRIBLE WITH RAISINS page on the menu above to read the first chapter.

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Annie – doing nerdy things on Leros….

If you’re into books and learning, it’s a no-brainer for Annie – even if she’s on holiday on JIGSAW ISLAND
“At the bottom of the road opposite, the sea smiles back at me, a fish out of water, that can only head towards it. As I do, though, I pass a building on my left and make out the Greek lettering way above the door as ‘bibliothiki’. Library? Only a nerd like me would go to the library on their first day on a Greek island. Jude would have something strong to say about it. Since being a student I’ve been addicted to the places…”

After an hour or so of nerdery, Annie locks on to why she’s really on Leros… “I’ve been let out to play on a Greek island. I should be soaring up with socking great orgasmic skyrockets of bliss, not going back to school. I close the book and step out onto the balcony, straight into a Taser belt of heat. Like I don’t love it. There’s a view of that ridiculous sea and Aghia Kiriaki island…

…You don’t get views like that from the Westerhouse Road library in Glasgow. I feel an instant need to be down on the beach, plunging into the water then dripping out for a cold beer.”


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Let me take you to where we live – in our hearts….

Leros, of course… This is a view of Pandeli from the path that leads to Vromolithos in the next small bay. In Jigsaw Island, this is the path Alexis uses when he strolls down to have a drink at the late night bar (which I based on Savana Bar – just visible on the far side of the bay). Or was he really hoping to bump into Annie?

And this is the view Annie’s looking at when she sees Alexis and bawls over the railing to attract his attention. She never pretended to be subtle…


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Let me take you somewhere else…

OK – today is not about Leros, or theatre adventures – far from it. This is about Sophie, Countess of Wessex and a – ball?… she dropped in 2001. The incident of the Fake Sheikh and her indiscretions…which feature Sophie airing her political bias – see
Shortly after that, BBC Radio 4 ran a ‘Mystery Shooting’ story invitation – which I took up. Click the image for a laugh…

Proves I had the idea for the TV series ‘The Windsors’ before anyone else did…

But you don’t get away that easily – see how funny I can be… McV’s books

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Today I’m a guest on Jenny Kane’s blog…

Jenny Kane is my writing mentor and friend – and today she has been kind enough to invite me to guest on her blog. MY INTERVIEW

In it, I mention a little of my earlier career – of which The Young Vic was a part.

The Young Vic Theatre

– one of my erstwhile places of employment. It didn’t look like this in the early 80’s. I was able to park my car in a nook in the theatre frontage. I came out after rehearsals one night and it wouldn’t start, so I opened the bonnet – heaven knows why, I knew as much about the combustion engine as I did about brain surgery. Oddly, though, I spotted it in one – someone had nicked the battery. Oh, the the joys of working in The Cut, Waterloo… I still keep in touch with three dear friends whom I met there – actors Jay Byrd and Jane Goddard and my fellow writer, Madalyn Morgan.

Jenny is a prolific and popular writer, so prolific that I have to direct you to her website – thoroughly recommended – to see her books: JENNY KANE

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Let me take you there… lovely places to eat on Leros…

Aloni Restaurant, Xerocampos. Get the bus from Platonos, spend a day lolling on the beach looking across to Kalymnos, plus a long lunch under the tamarisk trees…

Then, in the evening, Mylos Fish Restaurant. And me a vegan – my unfavourite experience there was looking over the wall next to our table and seeing in the shallows – an octopus. “Wow,” I said, without thinking, “there’s an octopus!” – and sealed my fishy friend’s fate. Out came the chef with a net, and the octopus soon became the next course for some patron. Never forgiven myself. Anyway, it’s a favourite destination for diners on Leros, and beautiful to look at, even if I’m at odds with its sourcing methods.

They both feature in my novel JIGSAW ISLAND – find out how, here:

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Agios Isidoros, Leros. Religion, fairytale and fiction

All Leros Info has to say about this beautiful little chapel is: In the area of Kokkali, the picturesque, little church of Agios Isidoros can be found. It is built on an islet in the sea and is connected to the old submerged little port by a small passageway built next to it.

I’d like to know more about the submerged little port. What was it called? When did it submerge? Why?

Greeka.com is more helpful: The lovely church of Agios Isidoros stands on the islet of Alinda that is connected to the land by a narrow passage. The little chapel is built on the site of an ancient temple, the ruins of which can still be seen behind the altar. The view from the church is very beautiful, especially in the sunset.

I’m a little suspect about the ‘islet of Alinda’ as Alinda is a tourist resort on the opposite coast of Leros…


There’s not a lot to do once you get there, once you’ve crossed the causeway, peered into the tiny interior and maybe taken photographs of the usual icons, lamps, candles and offerings (I haven’t seen the ruins behind the altar – having inspected inside and out). Or you may be, as I usually am, on the look out for a stray octopus in the shallows beside the pathway. It is simply a place of enchantment, like a fairytale cottage in the middle of the sea. Worthy of some kind of myth, which I may weave around the temple ruins and submerged port some day. Meaning I’ll just have to go back to Leros. Oh no! In the meantime,my book,  JIGSAW ISLAND is already set in Leros, taking you on a small tour of the island while telling the story of Annie and the psychological entanglement that leads to a dramatic climax in… I’ll take you there tomorrow.

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Stick to what you’re good at.

As an ex – many years ex – art student, I was perhaps over optimistic about designing my own book covers. We got there, eventually, Martyn & I, with the amateurish painting my department and tidying it up digitally, his. Oh, there were boats, there were many boats before deciding on the final image for Terrible With Raisins – top left. Best stick to my day job, eh?

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