Arriva arriving

No, this isn’t really about buses but this X30 goes between Chester and Warrington with me on it.

An Arriva bus I was on today between Warrington and Chester. The driver was going very slow and finally stopped in a village. He told us that his dashboard had a persistent warning light saying possible engine management malfunction. It did it whenever he drove over 20mph. He still had 20 miles of major roads and dual carriageways to go where it could be dangerous to go that fast so he’s aborting and has sent for an engineer and another bus is diverting to pick up everyone going to Runcorn. I was the only one going to Chester. So I had nearly an hour to wait for the next one. I wasn’t in a rush, had a book to read for my book group – The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter and today’s puzzles in the paper. Turned out that the driver used to do the route passing my house years ago, is a keen cyclist and hiker. He took my card and said he’ll buy ARIA. The engineer turned up opened the back of the bus and within a minute said, “Those bloody lazy sods haven’t filled the coolant.” That’s all it was. Except, although the engineer enjoyed driving a big van, he’d forgotten to carry a stock of coolant. So, I still had to wait for the next X30. When it arrived, the first driver jumped on and kissed the other! He then said to her, “This stranded passenger has been the model of patience and I’m buying you his book.” To me he said, “Meet the wife.”

One of those days of good and bad news.

Months ago Solstice Publishing agreed with July 24th as the release date for XAGHRA’S REVENGE. It’s a symbolic date as it is the 466th anniversary of the pirate abduction of the entire population of Gozo, the Maltese island in the Mediterranean. Great for publicity and to mark the authenticity of the research ethos that went into the novel. Today SP tell me the release date will have to be the 25th after all because the 24th is on a Monday and it would mean staff working on Sunday. Oh well. Pity they hadn’t said months ago when I’d already used the 24th in publicity shots. On the other hand the abduction of 5,000 people took a long time. Many hid in caves and there was much celebration of the pillage and carnal variety through the night. They left on the morning tide, so that would have been the 24 th July 1551. Phew. Two-day events can be so helpful.

Latest book cover by Andy Bigwood. Note the Maltese font.

In Other News

On April 12th my short science fiction story, Locked Out, was published by Perihelion SF magazine and you can read it for FREE at

On May 1st was the release of the summer magazine of The Horror Zine within which lies my fantasy, Girl in a Wandering Wood. I’d mis-overheard a phrase ‘wandering wood’ – probably wander in a wood, but my brain concocted a story in which a young botanist investigating unusual trees discovered they were closing in on her! You can buy the Kindle for less than a meal deal or the paperback for a bit more at

My newest published book is The Chaos of Mokii published by Solstice Publishing. It is an experimental scifi and takes only half an hour to read. Summed up with: Olga sits in a train but her mind is in Mokii, a city populated entirely by the consciousness of its inhabitants. Once she’s tricked her way past the figment bouncer she finds fun but also danger. 99 pence

A fun illustrated (kind of) book for little children is Timmy the Tornado. pdf copy that can be printed or viewed on your device for £1.50 at

Other books of mine including anthologies are at



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