Firstly today a HUGE thank you to all the people who voted for Amie an African Adventure in the ReadFreely Best 50 Self-Published Books worth reading 2015. A thank you especially to the discerning reader who entered her and I am thrilled to say that out of 6,000 entries and 10,000 votes, she came in at #18

I can now put this pretty sticker on the front cover of the book. Of course I will have to be extra nice to DH who does all that sort of stuff for me.image002


I don’t think the little button will work, as I tried it – I was hoping everyone might just click and buy to see what all the fuss is about. Never mind.

Waiting anxiously for the return of Amie 2 from my editor, she is so thorough I hope she doesn’t find too much stuff. When I went back over it again, I began thinking that it’s not such a bad book after all. In fact it’s quite exciting and I found myself proof reading faster and faster to find out what happens next. Well at my age, my memory is not what it was.

All I have to do now is write the back blurb and this has been worrying me for weeks. It’s my very weakest writing skill – log lines, yes, thrilling ‘read me’ blurb no.

This doesn’t bring me to reviews, but I’m there anyway.

The next big question we all ask is – ‘I’ve read this book for a review (reciprocal or otherwise). It’s perfectly awful, either because of the spelling / grammar / editing or, which is far worse, the story just doesn’t hang together’.  There may be horrendous inconsistencies, her hair changes from blond to brunette, or suddenly he has gained an extra foot in height, the murderer was on the other side of the word when he killed her, or the characters all have split personalities and behave as those characters would not behave. I’ve just finished the second book in a week that I just can’t give more than 3 stars.

So, do I go ahead and post, or do I pm the author and explain my dilemma?

It’s far kinder to do the latter, and this is what I did. But am I coward? Yes. Because my 3 star will not appear on the page, only the 5 star reviews remain – left by family, friends and readers who just can’t bring themselves to criticize some author’s baby they have slaved over for months.

There is also the fear that if you are honest, in order to help raise the standard of independently published books, you will lose popularity and your own book sales will fall. So do you go anonymous and pretend you are an ‘Amazon customer’? That’s pretty sneaky right?

So, do we leave it to the unwary reader to choose the book with 5 stars? What if they become bitterly disappointed, and in turn, avoid purchasing any other indie book, thus impacting on all our sales? They will have no faith in any 5 star reviews they see, unless it is from a national newspaper, a publishing house or one purchased at $600+ from Kirkus.

Between us, we should be able to come up with an answer.

Well if we think we have problems, they are nothing in comparison to Charles I’s problems. No one was being nice to him anymore. He had no time whatsoever for this upstart Oliver Cromwell. Charles was so convinced that he was right that he raised his standard at Nottingham and made war on the Roundheads. At first he was successful, thanks to Prince Rupert who was dashing in all directions.

PRINCE RUPERT OF THE RHINEThis is Prince Rupert. For some inexplicable reason he was known as Price Rupert of the Rhine, as he had taken one of those expensive boat cruises he’d seen advertised on the telly, and the name stuck.

Some towns in England supported the Royalists – for example the really nice people in Oxford who were kind and loyal.


While others (sadly) supported the Roundheads.  Places like Kingston-upon-Hull.


Now did you know there were 2 civil wars? No? I’ll enlighten you on Monday.


  1. Thank you so much Margaret. You never know when you press the publish button if anyone out there is ever going to read a word. I get a couple of dozen notifications a day and would nver have time to read all the blog either, especially if they are long 🙂


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