The summer palace at Bang Pa-In was truly special and as I can’t put too many photos in each blog, I’ll spread it out over a couple of weeks. No words from me are necessary, the pictures speak for themselves.


Well of course all this frolicking around in the bedroom had consequences didn’t it? (Urban legend has it that Albert put locks on the doors – that’s how serious it was).  I’m still puzzling over that letter from last week, do you think Albert ever got to read it?  The Queen hated being pregnant, viewed breast-feeding with disgust and thought new born babies were ugly. She compared them to frogs.


In November 1840, three doctors and a nurse were installed in Buckingham Palace. When the Queen went into labour, she was worried that she might cry out and be heard by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Prime Minister Lord Palmerston and other important ministers who were all waiting in the next room.

This was referred to as the first silent birth – and you thought it might be fun to be a princess? Think again.

The reason for this almost public exhibition? Years ago, many had believed that James II’s son was a changeling and had been smuggled into the queen’s bedchamber in a warming pan, so it became practice to have state ministers on hand to view a new royal baby immediately it was born.

Stay safe until next week.


Honestly I’ve lost count of the number of posts, but we were still in Bankok, and here are a few more shots of the Royal Grand Palace. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures inside. (It’s at times like this you realize how lucky you are to be a very ordinary person, and don’t have members of the great unwashed traipsing through your house gawping at everything).

We left Bankok for Ayutthaya which was the former capital to see the Bang Pa-In summer palace which was really beautiful. The palace is located on the Chao Phraya River bank in the Bang Pa-In district.

I will post pictures of this next week as I have some more here that I want to share with you.


Well of course as we all know Victoria fell hook line and sinker for the upright, prudish minor prince from some unpronounceable place in one of the German states – that’s why we just call him Albert.

During her lifetime, Victoria kept a daily journal and wrote dozens and dozens of letters. On average she wrote 2,500 words a day, but she never managed to upload them successfully on Amazon. After her death, two of her daughters destroyed some of her writings, so we may have inherited a somewhat sanitized version of events. We can only imagine the erotica she wrote from one letter she wrote to her Dear Lord M about her wedding night in Buckingham Palace.


It was a gratifying and bewildering experience. I never, never spent such an evening. His excessive love and affection gave me feelings of heavenly love and happiness. He clasped me in his arms and we kissed each other again and again.”

Words fail me – until next week, stay safe. Oh, did you sign up for the newsletter? I hope so. Hre is the sign up sheet again.

Our Books Are Not Free

If only EVERY author decided to charge even a few cents for every book they have on sale, how long would it take to persuade the reading public not to expect free books? Can you think of anything else people expect for free?

Rainne's Ramblings

Guest post by Rose Montague, writer of Urban Fantasy/Young Adult books with a lot of humour and just a touch of romance.
Rose has worked both in a library as well as several bookstores. She lives in Elon, NC.


It started with a bit of a rant with my post on Facebook:

“Free, Free, Free…

I see it in my emails, on twitter, on my Facebook newsfeed, 20 free books, 400 books at 99 cents, sign up and get free books, enter to win 47 free books, 36 authors giving away eBooks at this event. I’m not participating, sorry.

How about a fun read at a reasonable price? That sounds like a good plan to me.”

Thirty minutes later, I added this in a second post:

“I’m thinking about doing an event called OUR BOOKS ARE NOT FREE.

No giveaways, no prizes, no incentives other than meeting authors and…

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FREE continuing promotion right under your nose …

This was definitely worth a reblog. I’d not thought of reposting old interviews etc. Great idea. 🙂

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

READERS will also find this interesting (and they can *see below how they may help), but …

This post is mainly for all you angst-ridden authors out there who moan and groan about how little promotion and publicity you receive for the books you publish. Yes, it’s true, there are definitely fewer outlets reviewing books or interviewing authors. So what are we supposed to do to get the word out and attract new readers to our work?

I have a cunning plan!

When I ePublished my first novel, I received “some” attention (i.e. Not a lot …) for my efforts, but I carried on regardless and continued to promote other authors, as well as my own books, through my business Alberta Books Canada. Then I moved back to the Caribbean and become much more involved in the online writing community, especially with regards to indie authors around the world who…

View original post 1,101 more words


We were still reeling from the sheer size of the Gold Buddha, these are a few pictures of the exterior of the building it’s housed in. Pure gold, can you imagine? You might expect it to be surrounded by armed guards, trip wires, mine fields and so on, but although it was out of reach on a huge platform, no one could lift it or remove it easily – even if it wasn’t a sacred monument.

A picture of the exterior of the building and the ceiling inside.

The Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) is a Khmer style Buddhist temple on the west banmk of the Chao Phraya River and we went to Wat Po, the largest and oldest temple in Bankok also known as the birthplace of the traditional Thai massage.

The afternoon was spent at the Royal Grand Palace, the official residence of the kings of Siam (now Thailand) which is in the historic centre of the city since 1782.  The king and his court lived there until 1925. It was quite sparse inside, but interesting.

More pics of this next time.


Now I forgot to mention that Victoria, deprived of her favourite Lord M, was ripe for the picking and sneaky Albert had been well coached in her likes and dislikes and was ready to ingratiate himself.


To begin with he pretended to like dancing (he didn’t), he lied and told her he liked staying up late (he preferred early nights) and he was full of fun (he was a boring, lack lustre old fart).  But of course the stupid queen fell for him and the rest, as they say is history.

Stay safe till next week.


We landed in Bangkok on 2nd February. Honestly their idea of a 3 star rating hotel would equal about 15 star in Europe, it was amazing. Once again we were upgraded to a deluxe suite, not sure why, but we were not going to complain.

Our guide took us to the following places and I’m not sure now which is which. Yes I’m ashamed to admit it but I didn’t want to spend all my time writing stuff down as I had in the past, but use my eyes to wonder, gape, drool and take it all in. There was so much to see, so many details, and we moved at such a fast pace to get it all in that it would be either the pictures or the script, and the photos won. We visited Wat Traimit, Wat Arun (Dawn Temple) and Wat Po.

Wat Traimit is the temple of the golden Buddha, famous for its 900 year old five and a half ton solid gold image of the Buddha. This week I am just going to post ONLY pictures of this as it just takes your breath away.

It was impossible to get it all in in one shot. I just love the one where they are working on the feet, using Mother of Pearl, as the man was showing us.


Now I could write a book about Queen Victoria, but I don’t like her enough and I would probably be very rude. Before Christmas I left her slobbering over Lord Melbourne, but her Uncle Leopold (the Belgium king who annexed the Belgian Congo as an extension to his back garden) and various other members of the family had other ideas. this is his photo.leopold-of-belgium

Of course they wanted to bring in a German suitor on the excuse that he would be Protestant and not a Catholic. (Frankly by now I’m sure Henry VIII wouldn’t have minded too much). Enter Albert (yeuk), the one with no sense of humour and every intention of being king.

This time he did the slobbering to get the young queen’s attention and it wasn’t too long before they were an item, frequently seen at the local bowling alley on a Friday night.

Till next week, stay safe.



I really had promised myself that 2017 was the year I was going to be brave, but here we are on the second of the month and already I can’t crack it. You see I was going to look back and check out last year’s New Year resolutions and then comment on how well I did or didn’t do – but I just can’t face it. I’m going to pretend I didn’t make any, though becoming a New York Times bestselling author is niggling at the back of my mind – that didn’t happen. Nor did the film offer from Hollywood materialize, so disappointing. I was looking forward to sitting by some famous swimming pool with household name stars drooling over me. The only thing that drooled over me was the neighbour’s Labrador.


I read a million blogs/pieces of advice/how to do stuff last year and they all tell me to stay positive. So I am going to look on the bright side. There were certainly some highlights in 2016 and hey, as of this moment I’ve still got 2 legs and 2 arms, a roof over my head and food in the fridge.


I admit to being very disappointed in Santa this year. I left out no less than 3 mince pies, a whole bottle of wine which cost me E1.57 ($1.50) at Lidl’s and very specific instructions and plans for the room extension I wanted to use as a study so I could lock myself away and write in peace. I had carefully explained that I was struggling to write with the TV on, DH chatting on the cell phone, and Skype calls from the other side of the world. At the very least I thought he might have dropped off a pair of headphones if he didn’t have space for a new room on the sleigh – I was prepared to understand his limitations. But no, he left me some deodorant, an orange (which looks suspiciously like those on the tree outside),orange-tree

and a large bar of chocolate with several squares missing. I’m trying to read some message into all this, is he trying to tell me something? Would he be suggesting that I give it all up, vegetate on the couch peeling an orange while munching on the chocolate in a cloud of anti-perspirant spray?

So what are my resolutions for 2017? Do I have the courage to make any? I spent many sleepless nights worrying and fretting about this, until I had the Great Idea. I would make some and I would keep them.


Get more followers on my blog – note I’m not specifying any numbers, so if it’s one more at the end of the year, that should be possible.


Grow my mailing list. I feel I can accomplish this if I pounce on a couple of timid strangers in the supermarket, slam them up against the frozen fish counter and say “Give me your email address or else…” while baring my teeth and growling, so that should work as well.


Get my monthly newsletter up and running. This will contain all kinds of interesting and quirky stuff, other writers, readers’ comments and the back stories for Amie and others in the series. This will be exclusively for the newsletter only and not published anywhere else.

There will also be a full in-depth following of the court case as Amie sues me for defamation of character, deprivation of her human rights, murder and a whole host of other complaints. Portions of this will appear on my blog as well.

So, I think that solves the problems, now to get to grips with Mail Chimp (I’d love to strangle that monkey and wipe the smile off his face), and I’m all set for 2017.

Please sign up for my newsletter – you can either send me an email, with YES in the subject line or pm me on my Face Book page, or just look below!.

Wow! look, guess who’s discovered a sign up form!

And, finally if you’ve not met Amie yet, pop over to and check her out.

I hope 2017 brings you all that you could wish for

with love from me.