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My latest blog posts

My latest blog posts

Favourite places: Dover Castle

The nearest town to my home in Kent is Dover. I love spending afternoons wandering around the magnificent 12-century Dover Castle which stands majestically above the White Cliffs for which the town is famous.

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Favourite films: Out of Africa

Out of Africa is one of my favourite films – I’ve watched it at least fifteen times to date, and it never fails to move me. The film is set earlier in the twentieth century than Burning Embers, but the breathtaking settings (which include Mombasa, where Burning Embers is set)

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My latest blog posts

Preserving the residences of literary greats

The blue plaque scheme in the UK is one of my favourite historical initiatives. It began in London, launched in 1867 by the Royal Society of Arts, as a means of connecting sites with people of historical interest. The first plaque was unveiled at 24 Holles Street, Cavendish Square, the birthplace

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‘Start with a bang’

Here’s a piece of advice commonly given to writers: Start with a bang and you won’t end with a whimper. It’s frequently attributed to the poet TS Eliot, but in fact he didn’t give this guidance; he attributed it to an ending, not a beginning, at the close of his

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His Island Bride by Maxine Sullivan

From the blurb: When JaceJardine is asked to return to his family’s island resort after years spent in the city, he knows Wedding Belles Resort must be struggling, but when he arrives he finds the business on the brink of financial ruin. The solution? A big wedding and happy marriage

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The dream of being a writer: What does it really mean?

The phrase ‘dream of being a writer’ is a common one that dates back a long way. Remember Josephine March in Louisa May Alcott’s 19th-century Little Women series? She ‘dreamt of being a writer’. But what exactly does that mean? What is the dream exactly? Once upon a time –

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Reading: A social activity?

Reading is often assumed to be a quiet, sedentary, solitary pursuit. If you want it to be that – if you want some peace, a sit-down, a break from socialising with others – then reading can certainly be an activity for you and you alone. But in fact, reading has

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Genre-specific book stores

The idea that the conventional book store is in trouble needs no introduction. Digital publishing, book discounting by giants like Amazon, the shift from high-street shopping to online shopping: these, and other reasons, have seen many book stores close in the past few years. Those that soldier on are forced

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The espresso purist versus the latte artist

Coffee. In the 15th century it was first brewed in Yemen. In the 16th century the drink had spread to the rest of the Middle East, Persia, Turkey and northern Africa. Then came Italy, and it that took coffee and made it the drink of today, perfecting the espresso on which most drinks

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The Love List by Eve Devon

From the blurb: Falling in love is just not on Nora King’s To Do List… Neither is accidentally super-gluing her shoe to her hand right before the biggest presentation of her life! With all the hard work she’d put into securing the family business after her father’s death, Nora has

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