Tag Archives: #books

…a great oppor-chancity to enjoy a good laff with Rikki Fulton…

…a wee while back, my good pals, Sandy Paterson and Maura Lynch had a revisit of this clip below from one of Scotland’s funniest men, Rikki Fulton... sadly missing from our entertainment circles now, Rikki’s various comic character portrayals included the legendary ‘Late Night Calls’ from Ministers of the cloth… amongst all of the modern WURLD’s nonsense, it’s good to give yourselves a break and listen to this… go on, have a laff… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…but soft, what NEW light shines brightly through yonder window on Shakespeare’s tale?… Guest Blogger Sue Barnard is the luminary…

…what great fun it is to have some of my favourite Bloggery Buddies share with yeez on my wee Web page… today, Authoress, Sue Barnard tells all about her intriguing slant on a play yeez may have heard of…

Sue Barnard author pic




It’s over thirty years since I first saw Franco Zeffirelli’s wonderful 1968 film of Romeo & Juliet There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the end, and I came away thinking: This is the world’s greatest love story – so why does it have to end so badly?

That question haunted me for many years.  Then, a few years ago, I chanced across one of those lists of Things You Must Do Before You Die.  I found most of the things on the list pretty underwhelming, but the one which leapt off the page and grabbed me by the throat was: Write The Book You Want To Read.  The book which I’ve always wanted to read, ever since that day thirty-odd years earlier when I’d left the cinema in tears, is the version of Romeo & Juliet in which the star-cross’d lovers don’t fall victim to a maddeningly preventable double-suicide.

Why, I asked myself, should there not be such a book?  And the answer came straight back: Why not indeed?  And if it doesn’t exist, then go ahead and write it.

I mulled over the idea, but it took a while before anything definite happened.  I’d dabbled with Creative Writing in the past, and had taken a few courses on the subject, but had never attempted to write anything longer than poems, or short stories, or articles, or the occasional stroppy letter to The Times.  The thought of tackling a full-length novel, even one on a subject about which I felt so strongly, was a daunting prospect.  Then, in one of those serendipitous moments which really make one believe in Guardian Angels, whilst browsing in a bookshop in France I came across a novel which took the form of the lost diary of the secret lover of Count Dracula.  A voice in my mind whispered “A lost diary?  You could do something like this…”

I scribbled a few preliminary notes, then once I was back at home I powered up the laptop and started writing.  I was writing the book mainly for myself, because it was the outcome which I’d always wanted, but when I’d finished the first draft (which took about six months), I showed it to a couple of close friends, who both said “This is good.  You really ought to take it further.”

Even so, despite this vote of confidence, it was another year or two (during which time the manuscript underwent several revisions) before I plucked up the courage to submit it to Crooked Cat Publishing, an independent publisher whom I’d found on Facebook, and for whom I’d recently started doing editing work.  I wasn’t very hopeful, so when I received the email from them telling me they wanted to publish it, I had to print it out and re-read it four times before I was able to convince myself that I hadn’t imagined the whole thing.

The book’s title, The Ghostly Father, is based on a quotation from the play (it’s how Romeo addresses the character of Friar Lawrence), and the story, which is a sort of part-prequel, part-sequel to the original tale, is told from the Friar’s point of view.  I’ve often wondered why, in the play, he behaved as he did – and by giving him what I hope is an interesting and thought-provoking backstory, I’ve tried to offer some possible answers.  Plus, of course, I wanted to reduce the overall body-count, and give the lovers themselves a rather less tragic dénouement.

The book was officially released on St Valentine’s Day 2014.  Since then, judging by the number of people who have bought it, read it, and have been kind enough to say they’ve enjoyed it, it seems as though I’m not the only person who prefers the alternative ending.

The Ghostly Father is available as a paperback or ebook from Amazon, or as an e-book from the Crooked Cat Bookstore.

TGF front


Sue was born in North Wales but has lived for most of her life in and around Manchester.  After graduating from Durham University with a degree in French, she got married then had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent.  If she had her way, the phrase “non-working mother” would be banned from the English language.

As well as being an award-winning poet and the author of two novels, Sue is also a member of the editorial team of Crooked Cat Publishing.  She joined the RNA in 2014.

Sue also compiles questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz – which has caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.”  She is also very interested in Family History.  Her own background is stranger than fiction; she’d write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

Sue lives in Cheshire with her husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.

You can read her blog here.

…Shakespeare’s pal, Master Gallacher here again… so, thankee, most kindly, Lady Sue, in that harboured arbour ardour burned… coz, what’s in a name?
…that which we call The Ghostly Father by any other name would tell as sweet,
…so The Ghostly Father would were it not The Ghostly Father called retain such dear perfection to which it owes without that title,
The Ghostly father, Doth its name!
…and for that name which is no part of it, take all itself.., (I do like to help ol’ Billy Shakespeare out from time to time… ye’re welcome!)…

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!






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… John Holt… a crime thriller authors’ Author…

…yet another treat for yeez today, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… some of us labour at getting our word-smithing to flow… a few are granted the gift naturally… just have a wee read at the following Guest Blog post from my pal, Author John Holt… then go download his books…. yeez’ll enjoy them…


John 2-A


How do you like your detectives? I mean do you like the tough guy type like Sam Spade, or Mickey Spillane. Handy with their fists, and a gun, and quick with the wise crack, they are tough talking, and hard hitting. Or perhaps you prefer the more methodical type, the ones with the little grey cells, who work on psychology. Nothing and no one can fool Poirot. Nothing gets past him. It makes you wonder why anyone would even consider committing a crime knowing he was in the same house, or at least close by. But they always do whether it is at a county house called Styles; in Mesopotamia, or on a Nile cruise.

How about that deceptively quiet and unassuming, Miss Jane Marple? An irritant maybe, but she would always outsmart the cleverest policeman, and solve the most complex crime imaginable. Then there is possibly the greatest detective of them all, Sherlock Holmes. Logic and deduction are his watch words. Give him a few strands from a man’s scarf, and he will not only deduct where the scarf was purchased, but will also be able to tell that the man was thirty-eight years old, with dark wavy hair, six foot two in height, walks with a limp, and had kippers for breakfast, named William, (the man that is, not the kippers).

How about Inspector Clouseau? “I suspect everyone, and I suspect no one.” No matter how bumbling he was, or how silly, he still, somehow, “Solv Ed” the crime.

Then, of course, there are a whole plethora of television detectives – who can forget Kojak, and his lollipop, with his catch phrase “Who loves ya baby?” Or Sergeant Joe Friday – “Just the facts ma’am.” Or perhaps Columbo is more your scene, with his “Just one more thing.” We all know what that meant don’t we? There are a whole collection of them – Magnum; Jessica Fletcher; Rockford starring the late great James Garner; Ironside; Cagney and Lacey; Morse; Starsky and Hutch; to name but a few.

Now we have another to add to the list, the name of Tom Kendall, private detective. He really wanted to be a Private Investigator, but that was judged to be far too long to fit on the office door, so detective it was.

Kendall is a down to earth guy, slightly over-weight, far from fit, and suffers with hay fever. He is ably assisted by Mollie, his secretary and business partner – their relationship is purely platonic – and first appeared in “The Mackenzie Dossier”, a story of political corruption, blackmail and, of course murder.



Kendall could just see the television screen. There was a photograph of Governor Frank Reynolds. Across the bottom of the screen the ticker tape announced in large black letters ‘Governor Reynolds Murdered’. The voice over was filling in whatever detail was available. Apparently his body had been discovered earlier that morning. He had been found lying in his garage. He had been shot twice. One shot to the upper chest, the other hitting his shoulder. ‘Police believe that the weapon used was a 9 mm pistol,’ the reporter said. Kendall froze. Anthony Shaw had also been killed by a 9 mm bullet. Kendall was not quite sure of what it all meant. What connection was there between Anthony Shaw, and the State Governor, and the business mogul, Ian Duncan. And what about Senator Mackenzie? Where did he fit in? And who or what was Latimer? Only a short while ago Kendall was a small time private detective, a Private Eye, investigating an insignificant little murder with no clues, no witnesses, and no motive, in fact, no nothing. Now he had so many pieces of a puzzle he didn’t know how they fitted together. He didn’t even know if they all came from the same puzzle.

Next was “The Marinski Affair”



The Marinski Affair began as a dull mundane case involving a missing husband. Okay, so he was a rich missing husband, but he was nonetheless, still only a missing husband. The case soon developed into one involving robbery, kidnapping, blackmail and murder. But was there really a kidnapping? And exactly who is blackmailing who? Who actually carried out the robbery? Who committed the murders? Who can you trust? Who can you believe? Is anyone actually telling the truth? What have they got to hide? And what connection was there with a jewel theft that occurred four years previously? All is not as it seems. Kendall had the task of solving the mystery. He was usually pretty good at solving puzzles, but this one was different, somehow. It wasn’t that he didn’t have any of the pieces. Oh no, he wasn’t short of clues. It was just that none of the pieces seemed to fit together.

The third novel was “Epidemic”

Epidemic - small


Kendall is asked to investigate the death of a young newspaper reporter. The evidence shows quite clearly that it was an accident: a simple, dreadful accident. That is the finding of the coroner and the local police. Furthermore, there were two witnesses. They saw the whole thing. But was it an accident, or was it something more sinister? Against a backdrop of a viral epidemic slowly spreading from Central America, a simple case soon places Kendall up against one of the largest drug companies in the country.

The fourth novel was “A Killing In The City”

Killing - small


‘To make a killing in the City’ is a phrase often used within the financial world, to indicate making a large profit on investments, or through dealings on the stock market – the bigger the profit, the bigger the killing. However Kendall, on vacation in London, has a different kind of killing in mind when he hears about the death of one of his fellow passengers who travelled with him on the plane from Miami. It was suicide apparently, a simple overdose of prescribed tablets. Kendall immediately offers his help to Scotland Yard. He is shocked when he is told his services will not be required. They can manage perfectly well without him, thank you.

The latest novel is simply called “Kendall”.

Kendall - front


It is in reality a prequel, and tells how Kendall decided to become a private detective, and how he and Mollie met. Tom Kendall had been with the 32nd Precinct, New York Police Department for just under ten years. But now he wanted a change. Now he wanted to start his own Private Detective Agency. He had grand ideas. He wasn’t interested in just any old case. Oh no, he would handle only the big time cases, the expensive ones. He would be able to take his pick, the ones that he wanted, where the stakes were high and so were the rewards. He knew exactly the kind of case that he wanted. Anything else would not do, and it would just be turned down flat.

“Kendall” is available on Kindle Countdown from 26 November until 3 December.

…yeez can follow John Holt on his SOSYAL NETWURKS as follow:




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…once the Celtic music’s in yer blood, it’s with yeez for life…

kilt 2

… the first time I ever wore a kilt was when I was sixteen years old… a newly arrived lad from the slums of Dockland Govan in Glasgow to the idyllic Hebridean Island of Mull, tucked in there just across from Oban in the Scottish Western Highlands… that first kilt was a helluva lot slimmer than the current version I sport nowadays, fifty years later… sum’where along the way back then, I’d been cajoled into learning how to sing in Gaelic (didn’t take much arm-twisting, truth be told), allocated a couple of LUVLY schoolteaching ma’ams, one for the Celtic music and one for the Gaelic language, in order to enter the annual local competition, singing in the tongue of the Gods, in what’s known as the Gaelic Mod Festival… I seemed to wear both the kilt and the singing of the language with relative ease, winning several of the local prizes on that virgin outing… the remarkable thing was that I had to compete against native speakers, but because I was actually studying the WURDS, the sentiment, the feelings, sum’how that came across as the winning renditions… no one was more surprised than myself, and even more shocked when told, that now, as the local flag-bearer, I had to go to the National Mod, held in Glasgow that year to compete against all the other local regional winners… it may only be understood by those who’ve been there and felt it, but the sense of occasion in what was the old St Andrew’s Hall in Glasgow was awesome… I made it to the finals and sang as one of my test pieces a beautiful song called ‘Mo Mhathair’… translated it means , ‘My Mother’...

crofter lady

…it contains all the wonderful sentiment that the Celt carries in respect for his parents… I won and can honestly say it was one of the proudest moments of my life… we were obliged to sing, without musical accompaniment, into a hall filled with over two thousand people… the walls were clad in panelled wood, and the uncanny experience of hearing yer own voice reverberate back is a never-to-be-forgotten occasion (back then my tenor delivery was obviously much stronger, truer, and clearer than it sounds today)… sadly, for reasons we need not dwell on here, it was the only time my Mam and Da ever heard me sing live… a treasured moment… I don’t have a copy of my own singing of it, but attached below is a clip of the same song, sung by the renowned Mod Gold Medallist, Calum Kennedy whose fame among Scots is legendary… I hope yeez get a wee sense of the beauty in the music, even if the language is unfamiliar to yer ears… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…je talk Francais very bien, thank you beaucoup…


…I s’pose enuff water has passed under the proverbial bridge since the following true account, that merely changing the names to protect the guilty will suffice to ward off a lawsuit for my telling of it… in an early passage in my banking career in the Far East, my immediate boss was a Frenchman… and one of a certain breed of person who wouldn’t listen to what he was being advised …on anything!… (not confined, this, to my Gaul-ish associates, by the way)…


…yeez all know people like this… no matter what indisputable evidence yeez place in front of them, they know different… they know better…they just… just… know!… the kind that tell yeez  ‘when I want yer advice, I’ll give it to yeez’… well, the Peerless Pierre was down to make a business trip encompassing various parts of Scandinavia, principally in Norway and Sweden… his P.A., a remarkably intelligent lady, and one, it must be said, deserving of a long-serving-patience award, offered to draft an itinerary and to order the tickets accordingly… mais Non!… this homme would ‘ave none of it… ‘I ‘ave always ‘andled my own ‘oliday travel arrangements, and am quite capable of ‘andling theez business ‘ere…’ …the outcome eventually became the stuff of corporate legend… it’s not known where the ‘lost-in-translation’ element kicked in ’twixt Pierre’s priceless pummelling of pidgin English and his choice of linguistically-challenged Chinese travel agent… but… instead of a transit passage via Copenhagen, sum’how our latter-day French Marco Polo routed through Amsterdam, got a 15-hour fog delay… and shuttled off to Helsinki


The Case of The Missing Executive became the Talk of the Water Cooler as chasers started to arrive from concerned bankers in other institutions in Scandinavia who had been expecting him… his emulation of the Invisible Man caused not a few titters around the place and even into the Boardroom, where some wag hazarded a guess that the bold Pierre ‘didn’t know his Aarhus from his Oslo’… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…a trio of crime thriller gems by a 24-carat writer from the Emerald Isle… Authoress, Brid Wade…

…yeez all know by now, I’m inundated with gazillions of terrific pals on the internet… tons of quill-scrapers, and that most precious of breeds… readers… an Author pal, Brid Wade delights me by agreeing to render a Guest Blog piece… a glance through the reviews section on her Amazon-listed Matt Costello mysteries tells yeez I’m not the only one who  admires her WURK… have a peek at what she’s sent me…


I remember, as a very young girl, reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It terrified the living daylights out of me, and I loved it. Likewise with TV drama, movies, etc. Anything that shocked, I was there.

As time has passed, and I’ve experienced the ups and downs of life, I’ve discovered that there’s more absorbing drama in the real world than fiction could ever capture. It leaves its mark in sad eyes, angry frowns, dampened spirits and the reluctant acceptance that ‘s..t happens’. Most people have unresolved issues that colour their lives. What the world needs is an equaliser … like Matt Costello.

When I began the Matt Costello Mystery series of novels, I wanted to redress the image of Ireland as the drug-soaked, brutal culture depicted in hard core crime fiction. I don’t deny that this exists in pockets around the country, but it’s not my Ireland.

So, I created Matt Costello, a clean-cut, kind-hearted ex-cop turned PI. He’s a modern man, a separated father of two, a sneaky smoker and, naturally, fond of a pint of Guinness. His offices, in the Dublin suburb of Fairview, are managed by his daughter, Clare. But his cases often take him away from the capital into rural areas where, because he’s an outsider, he’s likely to meet resistance. However, Matt has a way about him. It manifests in an easy charm and the art of conversation.

In Watchers, the first book, Matt’s brief is simply to visit the site of recently-discovered human remains. The victim, a young woman, has been found in the grounds of a private estate in Kilkenny. Matt’s friend and colleague, solicitor, Dennis Hegarty, wants him to check for possible liability attached to the landowners – his clients, who have lived abroad for many years. Soon it becomes clear that the remains are those of a missing woman, last seen hitching a lift on the outskirts of Dublin. She is one of ten linked to a serial killer. who has eluded capture for many years – one Matt left behind when he resigned from the Force.

Watchers by Brid Wade - 200


This time, all he can do is watch from the sidelines as the investigation gets underway. But, a few question about the estate and its history arise. The answers open up other mysteries Matt’s inquisitive nature can’t ignore. Inevitably, he is drawn back into the hunt for the killer.

New Sleeping Dogs by Brid Wade - 200

Sleeping Dogs is the follow-up novel and continues Matt’s story, introducing new characters, who will re-appear in subsequent books. The third book, Wild Justice was released in October this year.

Wild Justice by Brid Wade - 200

Matt is an irresistibly endearing character. He’s not slick, nor does he have all the answers, but he’s a cool and clever detective who will go that extra mile to bring justice.

…thanks for this, Brid… and fabulous covers, m’Lady!……yeez can catch up with the LUVLY Brid here:



People In ProfileBríd Wade (8/9/2013) – KCLR 96FM


…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…the Big Bid for Infant Freedom… and the dire consequences lurking thereby…

…from the outset, this ol’ Jurassic would like to make it clear that I’m not a strong advocate for needless wholesale corporate punishment… but there are times when the  administration of… of… well… just read on… it’s almost a ‘once-upon-a-time’ true story… over 60 years ago, when Master Gallacher was possessed of all the WURLD-ly knowledge available to a wee five-year-old lad from Dockland Govan in Glasgow… my even wee-er sister was all of three-and-a-half, going on forty… with money always scarce, Mam and Da rarely went out on a date together back then, but on one such blue-moon event, they went off to the cinema (I think it was after the silent movies era, but I couldn’t swear to it)… a very, very, very much older girl of around fourteen or fifteen was detailed to babysit the pair of us… the trouble started the minute the door closed on our parents’ over-the shoulder ‘goodbye…see yeez later’… it was only about 5 p.m., and we generally didn’t go to bed until at least 8 or 9 o’clock… we wanted to build a cardboard box fort around the legs of our tiny dining table… the sitter, Helen Foster by name, resisted all our efforts to construct our castle… we squealed, we screeched, we screamed… proper little brats, truth be known… eventually, when Ms Foster’s back was turned, we made it… the Big Bid for Freedom


…hand-in-hand, this infant Govan version of Bonnie and Clyde bolted through the door and off down the street… the budding Evil Mastermind in me had a plan… about four streets away the River Clyde presented a playground universe… particularly in the form of the free ferries that crossed from the Govan side across to the Partick side of Glasgow… the service shuttled forth and back every 8 minutes… a passengers-only fleet, and more attractive, the vehicular ferry

car ferry

…this was the craft of kids’ dreams… ‘coz it had an upstairs deck with railings from which to scan the length of the Govan shipyards… magic land indeed… we scampered aboard the big boat and stayed there for what seemed like hours, heedless of the panic we’d left behind with the Forlorn Foster Witch… about ten o’clock, we docked on the Govan side for the umpteenth time, and there waiting for us were Mam and Da, and the tearful Ms Foster… the editor should prob’ly draw a curtain over the punishment proceedings when we arrived home… suffice to say, my sister and I had hardly any skin left on our respective criminal backsides when we went to bed…


…did we suffer mental anguish for the rest of our lives from that?… not a bit of it!… if it had happened in these modern times, with all the P.C. nonsense that swills around, we could prob’ly have had Mam and Da locked up in jail for centuries… I reckon I’m the better respecter of proper authority nowadays… but I’m still a bit leary of boats… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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