Friday Click & Run – 13th December

You know what to do by now… just leave a link to whichever blog post you’d like to share this week.  You only need to read and comment on other blog posts if you want to – there are no mandatory rules here.  Live and let live, that’s my philosophy…

Please keep the blogs reasonably family friendly though.  If I see any nasties I will have to delete them!

Thanks to the 6 bloggers who shared their links on 29th November.

Bah Humbug

It’s got to that time of year again when my daughter-in-law starts nagging me to put up a Christmas tree.  Hers goes up around the beginning of December, but I find that as I grow older I have tended to take my mother’s point of view and sigh.

As as child I don’t ever remember my mother putting up a Christmas tree.  However, there was an artificial one in the loft, and Dad would get it down if I asked him to.  I’d then decorate it and make it look nice, but if it hadn’t been for my efforts my parents would never have bothered with any Christmas decorations.  At the time I couldn’t understand why they would not want a tree in their front room.  What they looked forward to at Christmas (and me too) was the all-night East End parties with the family, where we sang and danced until we could dance no more.

So… scrap the food and scrap the tree and decorations.  I’d give anything to have those parties back again, but the family then were of the older generation and of course have all departed this life.  The young people now would rather sit and look at their phones than sing and dance and it’s not quite the same, and so I consider myself very lucky that I was of an age to experience times when relatives all got together to talk, sing and dance and where there was not a single phone in sight.

I’ll be hosting a get-together for the current generations on Boxing Day.  They’ll eat and talk and the kids will run around, but every few minutes they’ll all be checking their phones to get their fix, because their mobile phone addiction is rather chronic.  There will be music on in the background, which is politely endured by the younger members.  They will play music to me on their phones by bands I’ve never heard of, and I will think myself lucky that I grew up when I did.  However ,I’m sure they will also think themselves lucky that they only have to listen to rock music when they visit us.

It’s a funny old game, this game of life.  At the age of 62 I now realise why my mother could never be bothered to put up a Christmas tree.  What a faff it all is, and it all looks so tacky!  I also don’t make Christmas puddings, mince pies or anything else connected with the holiday season.  As far as I’m concerned it’s all artery-clogging gunk and the body doesn’t need it.  Yeah, it’s all a bit ‘Bah Humbug’, but I for one will be glad when the razzmatazz and hype is over and we can all get back to normal!  I’m not at all religious, and it’s a shame that Christmas is so commercialised for anybody who is.

Oh yes… I forgot… Merry Christmas everybody (ho ho chuffing ho)!  Sam’s got the Christmas tree out of the loft to please the daughter-in-law, and now I’ve got to put the bloody thing up…





The 2019 Christmas Charity Appeal – Help Me Raise £250 For Battersea Dogs & Cats Home By Leaving Me Links To Your Blogs and Books

Help Hugh raise money for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home by leaving a link to your blog/Amazon author page.

Hugh's Views & News  

The Christmas tree is up, but something is missing. There are no gifts under it, and I need your help to put that right.

For this year’s Christmas charity appeal, I’m asking you to help me raise some money for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

Since 1860, Battersea has been there for every dog and cat that finds themselves homeless. From the moment they welcomed their first stray dog, they have been placing animals at the centre of everything they do. 

More than three million animals later, they’re still working hard to achieve the vision that every dog and cat should live in a home where they are treated with love, care and respect.

They believe that every dog and cat deserves the best. That’s why Battersea Dogs and Cats home have always helped every dog and cat in need. 

Click here to visit the Battersea Dogs and Cats…

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Blogger Recognition Award


Thanks to Suzan Khoja at Magical Booklush for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award Ceremony:


1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

2. Write a post to show your award.

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

5. Select up to fifteen bloggers you want to give this award to.

6. Comment (or pingback) on each blog to let them know that you’ve nominated them and provide a link to the post you’ve created.

How My Blog Started:

I started this blog back in 2013 when I began writing novels.  I find that blogging is one of the best ways to showcase my work and my writing style.  I have also found many new friends in cyber world who are also writers. They offer support, many volunteer to be ARC readers when I write a new novel, and I have learned a lot from them.

Give Two Pieces of Advice to New Bloggers:

  1. Try to engage with other bloggers by commenting on posts that interest you, and don’t forget to answer any comments that you receive too.

2.  Don’t overkill your blog by publishing too many posts in one day.

Select up to 15 Bloggers:

Here goes… I’ve chosen these awesome bloggers because they either support Indie authors, comment on my blogs, or buy and review my books.  Some do all of them!

D. G  Kaye:

Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie:

Don Massenzio:

Sally Cronin:

Darlene Foster

Robbie Cheadle:

Jim Webster:


Ellen Hawley


Phil Huston:

#TuesdayBookBlog Review for Examining Kitchen Cupboards by Stevie Turner @StevieTurner6

Thanks to Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie for this great 5 star review of my new suspense novella ‘Examining Kitchen Cupboards’.

anita dawes and jaye marie

Jill Hayes discovers that not all is as it seems in her new post as a college examinations administrator. When she turns whistle-blower and tries to report her findings to the authorities, she is horrified to discover that some people will stop at nothing to ensure her silence.

Our Review

Starting a new job is always fraught with tension, you worry whether you will be liked, and more importantly, are you able to convince them of your competence?

Jill Hayes is met with total disdain from her new superior, so when she questions something that doesn’t seem right, she is met with hostility on many levels.

If you discover something is wrong, could you be a whistle-blower, or would you hope that someone else would do it instead?

This story has it all, corruption and greed, and an interesting cast of fascinating and true to life characters. Although Examining Kitchen…

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When You Outlive Your Teeth

I’m starting to outlive my teeth.  Some of them need a bit of shoring up now that I’m into my sixties and have had extensive radiotherapy.  However, there’s one small snag… due to the after-effects of the aforesaid radiotherapy I cannot tolerate dental work done to any of my back teeth, which makes me gag uncontrollably.  The dentist I was with virtually washed his hands of me, as whenever he’d try to carry out any fillings I’d retch. The receptionist always turned up the volume on the radio when she saw me so as not to put the other patients off who were waiting for their turn!

At my wit’s end I searched online and found a lovely lady dentist not too far away who offers sedation (her husband works at my hospital as an anaesthetist and helps out at the dental surgery 3 days per week), and it’s wonderful to wake up with a brand new crown that you didn’t have when you floated off to sleep.  The only drawback is that this all comes at a price (and what a price), and so it’s rather slow progress gaining a mouth full of gleaming gnashers.

However, after 2 and a half years I’ve now had three crowns and three fillings done without even a whisper to Frank, Hughie and Ralph. The last two teeth to be filled are my two upper front teeth, which I’ve left to last because the work needed was not urgent and I can tolerate it without sedation.  I’ve been given the choice of 2 porcelain veneers or 2 composite fillings, the latter somewhat cheaper than the former.

I have friends who have had porcelain veneers, and the shape of their mouth changes.  One former work mate ended up with 2 brilliant white tombstones, causing her to look not dissimilar to Ed, the Talking Horse (look him up on Google).


Image by Nikola Belopitov from Pixabay 

Anyway, based on this scary thought I’ve opted for 2 white (composite) fillings, which I hope will do the job.  I would need sedation for the veneers, as impressions need to be taken (ugh).  If the fillings start to fail after a few years then I’ve no choice but to have the veneers.  Even the thought of having to wear dentures makes me want to retch, and so I must do my utmost not to outlive my teeth!

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #Romance P.C. Zick, #Fantasy Jim Webster, #Thriller Stevie Turner, #Poetry Balroop Singh

Thanks to Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord for the shout-out for my new thriller ‘Examining Kitchen Cupboards’.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to this year’s Christmas book fair where I will be sharing the books of all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with their most recent review in the last six months. I will be selecting authors at random so that there is something for everyone in the post.

The first author with a wonderful selection of romantic novels that would make excellent gifts is P.C.Zick. With new fabulous covers and the final book in the series with recent reviews. Love on Holiday – (Book 7 – Rivals in Love)

About the book

The couple who started the whole Crandall clan face a crossroads as their fortieth wedding anniversary approaches. As their six children plan a surprise party, the couple struggle to stay together through the holidays.

Nolan and Sofia Crandall have remained in love and together for forty years despite their differences. He’s Irish…

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Open Book Blog Hop – 9th December

This week the topic is:

Interview one of your characters. Introduce them to a new audience or give existing readers new insight into their motivations.

I thought I’d interview Jill Hayes, who is one of the main characters in my new 31,000 word novella ‘Examining Kitchen Cupboards‘, a small part of which is based on my own experience whilst working in a college’s Exams department back in 1999.  The book was published on 7th December.

Stevie:  Jill, do you like your new job as an Examinations Assistant?

Jill:  No, not really.  I don’t think my boss likes me.  I can’t seem to do anything right.  And.. there’s another thing.

Stevie:  What?

Jill:  I’ve found out something.  Everyone knows it’s going on, but nobody talks about it.

Stevie:  Can you be a bit more specific?

Jill:  I’ve since been told to keep quiet and that what goes on in Daxton College has to stay in the college.  However, before I was silenced I was so angry at what I found out that I decided to turn whistle-blower and write some letters to national newspapers under an assumed name.

Stevie:  Any luck?

Jill:  No.  I was told by a succession of editors that they understand my frustrations, but they would not be able to print my letters because they are too controversial.

Stevie:  Sounds intriguing!

Jill:  Yeah, so I wrote to my MP, who told me of somebody else to write to.  When I wrote to them, my son was abducted, beaten up by persons unknown,  and told to inform me to shut up.

Stevie:  Wow.  So you’re not going to spill the beans then?

Jill: Not now.  I’m getting out.  I’ve found another job.  Any job is better than the one I’ve currently got.

Stevie:  Good luck, Jill.  Hope it all works out for you.

Jill:  Thanks.

Jill doesn’t realise what the far-reaching effects are going to be of trying to turn whistle-blower.  Luckily I didn’t suffer the same outcome, but like her I got out of that job as soon as I could find another one.

 Click on the link below to see which characters other blog-hoppers have interviewed:


  1. Link your blog to this hop.
  2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
  3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
  4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
  5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Sunday Stills Photography Challenge – 8th December

This week on Sunday Stills, the theme is ‘Peace’.

I thought I’d share a few photos with this theme:

On the first one we are ambling along the Daffodil Walk in Nowton Park, Bury St. Edmunds.  It is rather delightful, isn’t it?


For the second photo we visited the thatched church of St. Agnes in  Freshwater, Isle of Wight.  As you can imagine, out of the tourist season it’s very peaceful inside.


Last but not least we’re sitting in peace by a tinkling brook in Winkle Street, near Freshwater, Isle of Wight.  This village is terribly quaint (shame about the car) and pulls the tourists in year after year.  Artists and people with a lot of money live here.

Isle of Wight 2009 139.jpg

What happens in school stays in school?

Thanks to Jim Webster for his entertaining reminiscences and for his promotion of my new book ‘Examining Kitchen Cupboards’ which is based on something I discovered when working in the Exams Department of a college back in 1999. It’s a suspense novella mostly created from my own imagination, except for that one question you will come across which is very real!

Thanks also to D.G Kaye for the 5 star review.

Jim Webster

what happens in school stays in school

Teaching is my families other profession. My mother, sister and various cousins all taught for a living. So by adding their memories to mine I’ve seen schools evolve from 1948 to now. The world my mother entered is probably unrecognisable now. At teacher training college after the war, the college held one dance per term. The RAF officer cadets from a nearby training school were invited.

Young ladies sat along one wall of the dance floor, young gentlemen sat down the opposite wall. The RAF officer commanding and the Lady College Principal sat on the stage, each with their second in command to act as a runner. Should a gentleman wish to dance with a lady, he would go up onto the stage, ask his officer commanding, who would in turn ask the principal, who would send her second in command to collect the young lady in question. They would…

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