Over 500 followers!

How did that happen? You crept up on me! It’s taken almost 7 years, since starting this blog in mid-2011, to get to 507 followers. I don’t run the biggest book blog on the planet, but I hope I keep my followers amused and informed. I was surprised the first time someone who wasn’t a friend or family member decided to read and follow my blog. I’m still surprised every time I get an email telling me someone has followed my blog. Thanks, it’s appreciated.

Screenshot 2018-05-31 21.38.10

I really started to focus on the book blogging in 2014 and saw a massive increase in visitors. With odd dips, my visitor numbers and followers have steadily increased and I’ve made some lovely booky contacts. Since my mental health crash in 2015, and subsequent inability to work a ‘normal’ job, I’ve been able to devote more time to reading, and my own writing. It helps with my recovery from serious mental illnesses, and with processing my new diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome/ASC.

So thanks, everyone, for your support and comments. More book reviews and book-related posts coming in June. Two crime novels and an historical adventure this month, plus my birthday, the weekly dissertation updates and any bonus stuff I feel like writing. I’m reading a book about a German First World War spy, called Regina Diana, from Pen & Sword, at the moment, so expect a review at some point soon.




If you want to help keep me in notebooks, pens, food, gas, the usual stuff, you can donate through PayPal using:





Bonus Review #6: ‘The Fact of a Body’, by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Whatever happened in the past, the story wrote right over it. The story became the truth. What you see in Ricky killing Jeremy, I have come to believe , depends as much on who you are and the life you’ve had as on what he did. But the legal narrative erases that step. It erases where it came from.

Page 310/91%

Published by: Pan Macmillan

Publication Date: 3rd May 2018

Format: ebook

I.S.B.N.: 9781509805648

Price: £8.99






When law student Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich is asked to work on a death-row hearing for convicted murderer and child molester Ricky Langley, she finds herself thrust into the tangled story of his childhood. As she digs deeper and deeper into the case she realizes that, despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar. The Fact of a Body is both an enthralling memoir and a groundbreaking, heart-stopping investigation into how the law is personal, composed of individual stories, and proof that arriving at the truth is more complicated, and powerful, than we could ever imagine.

Continue reading “Bonus Review #6: ‘The Fact of a Body’, by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich”

Blog Tour: ‘When The Waters Recede’

When The Waters Recede Full Banner-new

This month’s first blog tour – there will be three in June. This week we have a crime novel set in the North-West, and there’s a chance to win all six of the author’s books. Just scroll down for details.

When the Waters Recede

When a car is pulled from raging floodwaters with a dead man in the front and the decapitated body of an evil woman in the boot, Cumbria’s Major Crimes Team are handed the investigation.

The woman is soon recognised, but the man cannot be identified and this leads the team and their former leader, Harry Evans, into areas none of them want to visit.

Before they know it, they’re dealing with protection scams and looking for answers to questions they didn’t know needed to be asked.


Purchase Link – https://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Waters-Recede-Harry-Evans/dp/1910720968/

Graham Smith Author PicAbout Graham Smith

Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and three novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, eight attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.

Graham can be found at





To celebrate the release of When the Waters Recede, Graham Smith is offering one lucky reader the chance to win all six books in the Harry Evans series.

When Waters Recede - 6 Book Giveaway

To enter, simply sign up for his newsletter via the link provided before the 5th of June 2018 and you’ll be entered into not just this competition, but all competitions that he runs. Entrants from the whole world are welcome.

Dissertation Update: Week 4

Yes, I am aware that it’s stupidly early in the morning, I had to get up to come down  to the bathroom. And check my bank account. It’s ESA day and I get twitchy if I don’t check the money is in my account as early as I possibly can (after 3 a.m. is about the right time).

Anyway, on to the dissertation.

Continue reading “Dissertation Update: Week 4”

Bonus Review #5: ‘Redemption’, by Jussi Adler-Olsen


This edition

Published By: Penguin

Publication Date: 18th July 2013

I.S.B.N.: 9780141399997

Format: Paperback

Originally published in Danish as

Flaskepost fra P, (1st January 2009)





Detective Carl Mørck holds in his hands a bottle that contains old and decayed message, written in blood. It is a cry for help from two young brothers, tied and bound in a boathouse by the sea. Could it be real? Who are these boys, and why weren’t they reported missing? Could they possibly still be alive?

Carl’s investigation will force him to cross paths with a woman stuck in a desperate marriage- her husband refuses to tell her where he goes, what he does, how long he will be away. For days on end she waits, and when he returns she must endure his wants, his moods, his threats. But enough is enough. She will find out the truth, no matter the cost to her husband—or to herself.

Carl and his colleagues Assad and Rose must use all of their resources to uncover the horrifying truth in this heart-pounding Nordic thriller from the #1 international bestselling author Jussi Adler-Olsen

Continue reading “Bonus Review #5: ‘Redemption’, by Jussi Adler-Olsen”

Dissertation Update: Week 3

On Monday I reached 13,000 words. I sent it to my dissertation supervisor and this morning he replied. As expected, he doesn’t like it. Not enough sub-plot and the main character is two-dimensional and isn’t central enough. There’s too much talking and not enough pace.

I’ve got a long list of proofing errors to go through and I’m going to have to do a massive re-write.

Continue reading “Dissertation Update: Week 3”

Dissertation: Week 2

I have been typing up everything I wrote in week one. I still have not finished getting the writing transferred, and I’m on 7194 words. I’ve probably got at least another 1000 words to type up. I have added a few bits, including a whole chapter at the beginning. That’s something that usually happens between drafts 1 and 2. I’m going to spend the coming week continuing to type up my remaining chapters and then go back to hand writing the rest of the story.

Bonus Review #4: ‘Children of Time’, by Adrian Tchaikovsky


Published by: Pan Macmillan

Publication Date: 21st April 2016 (First published June 2015)

I.S.B.N.: 9781447273301

Format: Paperback

Price: 8.99





The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age—a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind’s worst nightmare. Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?

Continue reading “Bonus Review #4: ‘Children of Time’, by Adrian Tchaikovsky”

Diagnosis time and reflections.


After my last post on Wednesday, I thought (some of?) my readers would be interested to know the results of my trip to the ASC Diagnostic Team on Thursday afternoon.

Continue reading “Diagnosis time and reflections.”

Dissertation: Week 1 – I’ve finally started ‘Granny Killer’ (provisional title)

I’m writing this to keep myself on track. I had a good first few days, until Monday. I wrote about 7000 words between last Wednesday and this Monday, but now I appear to have ground to a halt.

7000 words isn’t bad, I suppose, for the first draft, and I keep thinking of things that need changing when I write the second draft on my laptop. The first draft is hand written, in my notebook. The notebook has a fairy on the cover that looks curiously like Liv Tyler, but they added wings to make her less Arwen-like; probably for copyright reasons.

Sorry, back to the topic in hand. My dissertation. The creative piece has to be 13,000 words of consecutive prose from a new piece of fiction, and the creative analysis part has to be 2000 words. For that I’ll be concentrating on three areas – the conventions of crime fiction, the use of real crimes, criminals and detectives as inspiration by crime writers, and regionalism in crime novels – especially in Britain.

At 7,000 words I’m half-way there on the creative piece. I have arranged to do my dissertation supervisions by email, so I don’t have to travel to Lincoln. I can’t afford to; the student loan has all been spent on fees, travel, food, council tax, other bills. Basically surviving while attempting to study. Once a month I have to type up what I’ve written and email it to my dissertation supervisor for detailed, substantial feedback. That should be helpful. I hope.

Just looked out the window and noticed the bin. It’s bin day tomorrow and I haven’t had the bin emptied for four weeks, so I suppose I’d better go and put it out. And tomorrow is also my Post-Diagnostic Support Session with the psychologist. I don’t actually have official confirmation of my diagnosis yet and she wouldn’t even hint at it in her emails last week.

I’m anxious. If I get the suspected diagnosis of ASC – Asperger’s Syndrome, there’s nothing they can do to help, I’ll be passed on to a charity that might possibly be able to provide some information and support. If they decide on a different diagnosis, I’m back to square one, trying to work out why my brain doesn’t work the same way as other people and feeling like the odd one out all the time, with no explanation for my anxiety and depression, or my limited social skills, my dislike of changes to routine or plans, my pacing, fidgeting and tapping, and on a really bad day, rocking back and forth in my chair (sorry! everyone at uni, can’t help myself.).

It’s not uncommon for autistic women to be misdiagnosed as OCD or BPD, or ignored completely, and I don’t know what the psychiatrist’s qualifications or experience is, so now I’m wondering if he’ll dismiss everything he’s seen, heard and read because he’s one of those that doesn’t believe autistic women exist. Maybe I’m unnecessarily torturing myself, but anxiety lies and so does depression, so I don’t know what to think and I’m probably not going to sleep much and be a horrible person tomorrow.

Anyway, time to get offline and do something else. I’ve noticed a distinct increase in my anxiety whenever I spend more than a few minutes online without purpose, and especially if I go on social media. I had to go out food shopping this afternoon so I didn’t get my nap either, so I’m frazzled and tired. Also, my spelling is atrocious right now. Considering going up to my bedroom to cuddle with the dogs and Wabby, and have an early night.