My latest Sherlock Holmes short story Miss Violet Dixon (deceased)

My latest Sherlock Holmes short story Miss Violet Dixon (deceased)
The front cover created with Gimp with help from Aubrey Watt on You Tube.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Just decided to do a Halloween marketing offer! I'm now offering my very latest ebook 'Sherlock Holmes and The Zhou Bell' for FREE!! Yes, absolutely for nothing! Pop along to Smashwords and download it in whatever format you like and enjoy it! Let me know what you think and leave a review!

Dick xx

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Beautiful day here in Brittany, typical weather, a superb contrast between bucketing it down with rain and beautiful sunshine with temperatures reaching 18°C. Some friends of ours came over on the Plymouth to Roscoff ferry on Friday and we have been having fun ever since. Today we went to an open air market in Plestin-les-Greves which was fun with on and off showers and then back home for lunch before we visited a local Breton Museum which was holding a cider festival (I was driving!!).

The cider festival had lots of exhibits on show as well as cider making, model railways, livestock, crepe making etc, but in the courtyard there was a still making Calvados. Now, Calvados is to cider as brandy is to Champagne. The still was in production (legally) producing a firery clear, colourless spirit. Quite a few of the locals were trying this really high strength stuff straight from the still....brave folk! Other folk were watching the traditional method of producing the apple juice using an apple mincer (a scratter) and then a traditional apple screw press with layers of oat stalks between the layers of apple purée. Folk were buying the freshly pressed apple juice and also the matured cider from last years pressing. A good time was had by all, I particularly enjoyed the clog (sabot) making demonstration where you could buy a pair of children's clogs for €5.

I have to report that the sales of my new story Sherlock Holmes and the Zhou Bell are proceeding and I look for more folk to buy it as it is a cracking story. I am waiting for it to be vetted by a human at Smashwords before it is accepted onto the Premium list and then it can go live at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes etc.

My next story is in the works, I wrote some of it some time ago when I was building my pond yacht. I hope to have it published before Christmas. Just as a tease, the story finds Holmes having one of his rare breaks from being a detective when he offers to teach Watson how to sail at a south coast town. There Holmes falls ill and it is up to Watson to nurse his friend back to health. Others around Holmes have fallen ill and he must find the source of the malady, is it natural or man made? Our detecting duo must try and solve the case.

Well, as it is now 11:30 pm after a tiring day I will say goodnight and try and post a little more as the week progresses.

Have a really good one,

Dick xx

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

At last I have re-sized the giant front cover for my book for this blog and I've managed to get it published on both Amazon and Smashwords! I have to say that I thought that the formatting was interchangeable....hmmm...dream on Dick. So, after a major wrangle with the formatting of the table of contents, I have managed it ...and very good they look too!

The trouble with a Mac is that you have to lash out shed loads of money to get Word onto it. I usually bumble along using the freebie software Libre Office but when it comes to uploading ebook files, it has to be in Word format, not ODT. Having said that, Smashwords will not accept .docx so you have to upload your file for publishing as a .doc file.

Enough of this techy stuff, just go out and buy the book, it's good! I have generated a 50% off coupon for Smashwords if you want one. Just enter the discount code DX59S at the checkout. The link to the book on Smashwords is
The code is good for 5 days so it runs out on the 20th October.

If Amazon is your thing, I'm sorry there is no discount code but here's the link

If you like the book, leave me some feedback and tell your friends. Drop me a line here and tell me what you thought of it.

Have to say it is warmer here in Brittany than in the UK but I'm missing the food already! The choice of flavours, the variety of fresh food and the freshness...and of course the prices! One thing I did discover when I was in the UK was the teabags from Lidl. I had heard on a blog that they were good and so I bought a packet of 'Knightsbridge' black label tea bags and they are superb! I usually drink coffee but these teabags are magic. I am having to restrict how much tea I am drinking as we only bought a box of 50. Must get friends to bring some more over when they visit : )

The dampness of Brittany gives us the gorgeous greens of the countryside but this is the first place that I have lived where things start growing on my car! I have lichens on the bumper! Just shows how good the air quality is here! However, on the outside of our house is a coarse render between the bits of exposed stone. This is a great place for moss etc to take root. Every so often you need to have your house de-mossed and pressure washed...not a cheap hobby when access is difficult and you have to hire a cherry picker for the job! This task SHOULD have been done whilst we were in the UK but wasn't...the guy doing it blamed the weather! All our neighbours said that there was glorious sunshine whilst we were away...grump...grump...grump. Still, he is coming back on Thursday (weather permitting) to spray on the 'anti-mousse' which needs 2 weeks to work before being power washed off. I hope the house will be sparkling!

Anyway, have a great week, we have friends coming over from the UK overnight Thursday so a fun time should be had by all!

Dick xx

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Well, I am home safely in Brittany after the madness of 10 days in the UK. What a change from the rural roads in Brittany with the odd tractor in front of you to the madness of big city driving! The noise, the number of people and the incessant music blaring out in shops! Wow, I had forgotten!

I drove down overnight from our home in The Midlands, setting off at midnight for the 250+ mile drive to the ferry port at Plymouth. Good journey, our black Labrador snoozed most of the way only to grumble at the port security staff as they checked our car before we boarded the ferry. Crossing was good, it was smooth despite 2 metre waves. Heads down in our cabin and a good sleep meant that the 6 hour crossing passed very quickly.

Food choices and prices in the UK always amaze me. In Brittany and France in General there seems to be a reluctance for hot, spicey foods. We had both Indian and Chinese food whilst we were in the UK and they were delicious. Chinese food is available in France but it tends to be quite bland with a lot of influence from Thai and Vietnamese cooking. Indian food is much harder to find and the level of spice is much lower.

My favourite eating out experience was at our favourite pub in Denby village (famous for its wonderful stoneware cookware and dinner services ). I had a fabulous fillet steak with a Stilton (a delicious traditional British blue cheese) sauce. Yum!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Today finds me in the UK stocking up on all the yummies that you can't buy in France....but that is not the only reason I am here ; )

My grand daughter had her fifth birthday and so we came over and as a present, we were requested to buy not something high-tech but something that has it it's origins that probably go back hundreds of years...a rocking horse! A bit of assembly was required and said horse was presented. It was an instant success and our grand daughter has been glued to the saddle ever since! I have never seen myself as an Ostler but I when she wanted to show her horse to somebody else it was a case of shouting to me over her shoulder "Bring the horse!". I felt like part of a 17th century period drama!

This week has been a flurry of activity seeing friends, getting my 4x4 repaired (bit of a trauma driving through a large city after being used to the country roads of Brittany), buying stuff...but...I managed to finish off the first draft of my latest Sherlock Hollmes story, SH andThe Zhou Bell.

I have already created the book cover using the excellent free program Gimp (a bit like Photoshop) on my Mac and now I have to learn how to REALLY format and edit my book properly. The feedback that I have had has been very positive, folk loved the plots but the formatting needs attention. Something for me to work on once we are back in France later in the week.

As this is being typed on my iPad whilst sitting up in bed, I will leave any further news until I can access my laptop.
Enjoy your week.

Dick xx