My October 2023 Newsletter

Hello, and welcome to my October Newsletter.  

I’m a bit late sending out my newsletter this month as I’ve recently returned from a short holiday in New York and am still catching up on everything, including some sleep!  We went to New York with our two sons and their wives to celebrate my 70th birthday, and it was lovely to all be together – something that doesn’t happen too often when children have flown the nest.

It was the first time I’d been to New York, and it was amazing, apart from the weather, which was horrendous. We went for six days, and for the first four, we had torrential, non-stop rain! We decided to summon the British stiff upper lip, man up, and carry on regardless, and we got very wet! However, we then had two lovely days and a chance to see some of the views, so we were lucky. We also flew home hours before the worst storm to hit the city for over a hundred years, so it was good to miss that! The view is from the Rockefeller Centre.

I’ll probably get around to writing a blog about the things we saw in New York eventually, but in the meantime, I’d like to share a post that I wrote about Herculaneum and Pompeii when we once visited Italy. As you will probably have guessed, I love history, so this was literally right up my street and so interesting. If you would like to find out more about these two amazing sites, you can read my blog here: A Visit to Pompeii and Herculaneum The photo shows the town of Positano, which is situated on the Amalfi Coast.

Old Saying of the Month

The Third Degree

There are several tales about the origin of “the third degree,” a saying commonly used for long or arduous interrogations. One theory argues the phrase relates to the various degrees of murder in the criminal code; yet another credits it to Thomas Byrnes, a 19th-century New York City policeman who used the pun “Third Degree Byrnes” when describing his hardnosed questioning style. In truth, the saying is most likely derived from the Freemasons, a centuries-old fraternal organization whose members undergo rigorous questioning and examinations before becoming “third-degree” members or “master masons.” I’ll leave you to decide which you believe.

My Writing News

Millie’s Escape

My main news at the moment is that my fifth and latest book, Millie’s Escape, will be published next month as a Kindle book, paperback and hardback. Those of you who read it will find that although it (hopefully!) has a satisfying ending, it will leave the story nicely poised for a sixth (and probably final) book in The Hartford Manor Series.

Great Torrington Book Fair – Saturday, 2 December

I’m delighted to have been invited to attend the Great Torrington Book Fair, which will be held on Saturday, 2 December, between 10 am and 3 pm at the Castle Community Centre in South Street. Amongst other things, there will be authors to meet and chat with, author talks, storytelling, and an Illustrating Workshop for Children. If you happen to be there, do come and say hello. You can find out more here:  Facebook – Great Torrington Book Fair 

My Book of the Month

Amelia’s Story: A Childhood Lost by D G Torrens

This is such a sad book, and yet I couldn’t put it down. It is the true story of a little girl called Amelia who suffered terrible abuse at the hands of her cruel mother and was then sent to one children’s home after another and eventually separated from her siblings.

The book highlights the harsh existence of children living in the care system and is truly heartbreaking. The character of Amelia is well-developed, and no reader will fail to empathise with this unhappy child. Having enjoyed a loving and happy childhood myself, I found it hard to believe that a mother would treat her daughter in this way, and yet, I know this is not an isolated case. This is a story that needed to be told, and this author did an excellent job. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. You can find Amelia’s Story here: Amelia’s Story: A Childhood Lost

Well, that’s all for now, so thanks again for continuing to follow me. Until next time, I hope you keep safe and well.


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