Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cheeky Monkey

My last video this year, and yes, it's another one of those English language things I do for my students. I know, it's daft, but I enjoy it.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, listeners, readers and people of random-blog perusal! Whether you celebrate it or - as I do - just tend to find yourself caught up in the inescapable middle of it, may you have a very happy and peaceful time. The next podcast episode is delayed due to all the stuff that we have to do at this time of year, but it will be finished and recorded just as things calm down early in January. Until then, have a great one, and I'll speak to you again once the festivities have abated.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Theatre Etiquette

Another of those little videos I make for my students. This one is a bit longer than usual and deals with a problem I encountered on a recent trip to the theatre. We went to see Richard II at the Barbican on Saturday. It was very good ... but for one thing. What was the problem? Ask John ...


Thanks also to everyone who left a review in the One Among the Sleepless freebie campaign. If you'd like to leave a review for the book, please do so at one of the links below. Many thanks!!

UK Link:

USA link:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sleepless Topping Charts on Both Sides of the Pond.

This is the final day of the One Among the Sleepless freebie offer. Right now, it's number 10 in the UK free Kindle bestsellers (that's the chart, the overall chart, can you believe it?) and number one in Thrillers. Meanwhile in the USA, it's number 39 in Contemporary Fiction; number 24 in Genre Fiction, and number one in Urban. So, if you have a Kindle and you haven't downloaded it yet, go on - be a devil.

UK Link:

USA link:

If we can get this to number one in the UK bestsellers, it'll blow my mind ... which would be nice.

Nook, Kobo, iPad readers, head over to Smashwords for your free copy - and don't forget to leave some stars, I need 'em over there :-)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sleepless Free for Nook, Kobo, iBooks etc

Day 3 of the One Among the Sleepless giveaway continues with the offer now extending to users of Nook, Kobo, iBooks etc, as I'm offering it free as an epub from Needless to say, it also remains free from Amazon stores worldwide, so grab your copy now - whatever your reader format!

Monday, December 9, 2013

One Among the Sleepless-o-rama! Freebies are go!!

One Among the Sleepless (my first novel) is included on this list of Guardian readers' recommended self-published fiction ebooks. It's in alphabetical order, so Sleepless is towards the bottom.  

And, to celebrate, I'm making the ebook free for a limited period at Amazon, so grab your free copy today! Here are the links for  / and - which needs some reviews. Hey, they all need reviews!! So please leave a few kinds in your wake. I thank you :-)

Oh, and don't forget, the podcast audiobook is also back online at Podiobooks after a year away, so help yourself to some of that action too. NICE ONE!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Blood and Smoke: Episode Two

After a lot of bother with my podcasting host, I can now happily announce that U&F Blood and Smoke, Episode Two, is now live in my main feed. In this episode, Underwood begins the tale of what happened to him and Matthias once they left the vampire's island.

Chapter One: The Journey to Jamaica.

However, as a result of the situation with my podcast host, I've started releasing Blood and Smoke in my Vault of Bennett feed. So as a back-up, it might be an idea to subscribe to that feed too. As a bonus, it also includes all the original Hall of Mirrors episodes without the lengthy intros and old, out of date news ... Which is nice :-)

The Vault of Bennett links are: Podcast Site and iTunes feed.

Ship image by Gleads

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blood and Smoke 2 Live at Podbean

(A hasty posting before I got to work,  munching breakfast as I type)

I've had a lot of bother getting this published, but at last, Blood and Smoke Episode 2 is now live in The Vault of Bennett feed at Podbean. My regular feed still hasn't freed up the space for me, so it won't go live in that until ... I don't know how long. I hate them, but I can't delete the account because I want to keep my iTunes reviews. Anyway, the episode is here:
and the itunes feed is: though it won't be live in iTunes until they pick it up, which takes a totally random amount of time.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bear with Me.

Another of those little English language videos I make now and again for my students. Bear with me, would you.

Bear with Me from Mike Bennett on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sleepless Returning to Podosphere.

Currently re-editing One Among the Sleepless episodes for new podcast release; improving the sound levels, cutting off seven-year-old "news" and catch-ups at the beginnings - because you won't have to wait a week for the next one, it'll be posted whole and complete at Podiobooks just as soon as it's finished.

I'm on Episode 19. It takes flipping ages, but it'll be worth it.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blood and Smoke Begins!

Happy Halloween, Listeners!
Underwood and Flinch: Blood and Smoke - Volume 3 of The Underwood and Flinch Chronicles - has now begun!

The first episode, "Prologue", is now live, and you can download it directly from this link: Blood and Smoke Episode One. Tempting though it is, I'm not going to say anything about it - you'll just have to listen and hear for yourself :-)

The podcast will be a monthly event, and like the original U&F podcast, episodes will be 30 minutes to an hour long.

It'll be in my usual iTunes feed, so if your subscription to that has dried up, you can refresh it here: Underwood@iTunes

And if you're an Android user, you can get it using the U&F Android App

So, what are you waiting for? Download it right now, and give your Halloween night a touch of Underwood and Flinch! Huzzah!!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! The second U&F podcast will begin today, Halloween 2013. Preferably after dark. Details here as soon as it goes live.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

By the Sea - A Lexical Chunk Holiday.

Today I'll be working on the final version of U&F Blood and Smoke, Ep 1. But first, a little something I put together last week for my English students ...

... On quickly re-viewing my other recent posts, I notice I forgot to post the third video I made with John, again, another mini-English lesson. The 3rd one is called, "It's Time ... " Here it is ...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

App Made

I made an app for this blog for use with Netvibes and various other things. Here's a link

Can't write much now as I'm in the middle of doing something else. Will update later.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Little English Lessons

As you may know, when I'm not writing or podcasting (so, most of the time, then) I'm teaching English. And over the past couple of days I've had an odd notion to make a few videos to help my students learn a phrase or two of English. Watch them, and maybe they'll help you to remember one - or both - of these everyday English phrases ;-)

Totally Awesome! from Mike Bennett on Vimeo.

You Drive Me Crazy from Mike Bennett on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Into the closet

Yes, listeners, some people come out of the closet, but thanks to traffic noise penetrating our 1970s windows, I've been forced into one. As you know from previous posts, we bought a flat and moved in August. I've done some recording since then, but it was marred by the sound of cars from the main road outside. Our windows are single paned aluminium framed horrors from the days when the homes they were attached to had brown wallpaper and portraits of Miss Wong to add a splash of colour. So, I tried recording in the kitchen, but the fridge noise drove me out again. I tried the bedroom; to much echo. I tried the lounge; traffic noise again. I tried the bathroom; echo. I tried the hall; echo! This wasn't good. I had to find a recording space to record the new U&F podcast, and I had to find it fast! Then I saw the hall closet. It looked big enough for a medium sized chap like me. So I pulled everything out and tried it out. I liked it. I then lined it with cardboard boxes from the house-move, and lo and behold - a recording suite ... sort of.

It's not Abbey Road, but it'll do for now
I tried a number of recording positions, and the one that seems to give the best sound is when I'm sitting in the closet with the microphone positioned just outside facing in. For some reason, the sound with me and the mic inside the closet resulted in too much sibilance. I don't know why. Damn it Jim, I'm a writer not a sound technician. Anyway, the main thing is I have a space to record Blood and Smoke Episode One in.

At the end of the month we have some window replacement guys coming to take out the old windows and replace them with a fine set of double glazed beauties that will hopefully block the street noise and permit to come bounding out of the closet in time to record Episode Two. Unless of course, I like it in there. But what are the chances of that happening? Grown man retreats from normal life into closet ... Hmmmm, is there a story there?

Parsecs Arrive!

No news from me for a while because I've been doing stuff that would be of no interest to anyone ... other than me. I've been doing up my new flat - buying paint and shelving, putting up shelves, hammering in nails, painting walls, etc. I've also been doing a lot of English teaching; the summer season is always the busiest, so it's a great time for me to earn some money to get me through the lean seasons, like winter, when work dries up and I often get laid off. It sucks, but that's 'zero hours contracts' for you. But anyway, I do have a bit of news to share with you. As you can see from the picture below, the Parsec Awards I won this year for Underwood and Flinch and The Shadow Over Innsmouth arrived by post.

I'm thrilled, as you can imagine, and yes, it does inspire me to lay aside my emulsion-dripping paint brush and to try and push my students' English language needs from my head and to get on with my next writing project. I'll be doing some more of that this weekend, hopefully finishing off the text of Episode One of Blood and Smoke and then getting down to work recording it. I'll be in touch about that here and on my other sites, rest assured. But until then, take a look at these lovely awards and rest assured that the Moon is rising over Underwood and Flinch again :-)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Flat

Just a quick update on my activity at the moment. Nothing going on at all in the writing / podcasting departments, because my wife and I are in the process of moving house. Yes - again. Third time in three years. But the good news is, this time it's into our own flat. We bought a place - we got the keys last weekend.  Yay!
The new room wherein all writing and podcasting will take place. 
Those curtains'll have to go.

Since then we've been painting, decorating, buying appliances etc. But now it's time for the worst bit - packing up our stuff. Arrghh!! But what makes things just that little bit more arrghhh (and also makes podcast recording an impossibility right now) is that I have a stinking cold. My students have all had it, but I miraculously resisted ... until I took a week off work to move house. The day my holiday started, ah-choo! It's like the virus was just waiting for me to leave the school before it pounced. Oh well, plenty of symptom-suppressant medication, rest, and vitamin C, and hopefully all will go well. And then, after we've settled in to our new home and I've set up my microphone etc in the little room above, I shall resume a normal service. Ahhhh-choo!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Fracking in Balcombe

I've become obsessed with the fracking in Balcombe. It's not far from me - and worse, it's not far from the reservoir that supplies my home and 65,000 others around here. I've been up to the fracking site once, and I'd go up there a lot more if I didn't have to work every day and wasn't in the process of moving house right now. But anyway, I won't go on too much right now, but I just wanted to share this video that's appeared on YouTube. I watched it this morning and I found it deeply moving. I can't bring myself to watch it again because I know I'll blub like a fool.

If you're unanware as to what fracking is and why so many people, including me, are so worried about it, watch this too.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

U&F on Wattpad

Resurrection has started on Wattpad. So far I've posted 10 episodes. I want to see how it goes. It could connect me with a new audience of millions ... or none. Who knows? All I know for sure is: if you aren't in it, you can't win it. So, if you use Wattpad, please give it a like and share it with your Watty pals. Many thanks :-)

I'm using this cover - complete with gongs - to try to lure in the uninitiated.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Vote U&F in the Top Adult Vampire Chart at Goodreads!

Are you on Goodreads? If so, please could you drop by and give Resurrection and Bonded in Blood some stars. I'd be very grateful.
Also, I'm trying to push U&F up the Best Adult Vampire chart on Goodreads (currently number 145)

So if you'd like to help, please vote for Resurrection here:
Thank you, and Huzzah!!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Underwood and Flinch Chronicles Launch Today!

One podcast becomes two ebooks

Happy Underwood and Flinch Day! Yes, Underwood and Flinch, the 45-episode podcast, becomes 2 separate ebooks as today I launch The Underwood and Flinch Chronicles. Volume One is called "Resurrection" and contains the text of the podcast episodes from Night Crossing to Episode 21. Then the story continues in Volume Two, "Bonded in Blood", which is episodes 22 to 45.
These books are on sale now from Amazon stores worldwide (DRM-free, so you can share them with friends and family) and if you use Nook, Kobo, or iBooks, you can get epubs from my page at Smashwords.


Why two books? Well, multiple reasons, actually. But most importantly, it's because they actually are two books; I'm made aware of thisevery time I try and write a plot synopsis. It's like two seasons of a TV show - describing the events of one doesn't cover the events of the other. Also, we're now in the age of the saga - the ongoing series of books. And since the sequel to U&F is, in fact, the first of three sequels (at least), I realized I was at the helm of just such a segmented century-spanning literary adventure (however, the word "saga" calls to mind "Twilight", and I don't feel comfy there, so I went with "Chronicles" instead).

The book I'm currently writing, the first sequel to the podcast story, is called Volume Three "Blood and Smoke". More than that, I cannot say, but I can say it's set in the Caribbean and Colonial America, and features Underwood and Matthias Flinch. The ebook will be out (hopefully) by the end of the year.

But for now, please help support The Underwood and Flinch Chronicles by buying a copy - or copies - of the ebooks and (if you'd be so kind) leaving a few positive words in your wake. My hope is that if enough people buy the books on Sunday they might propel them to a chart position where they'll be noticed by newbies in the ever-teeming marketplace that is the ebook-o-sphere.

There's a Facebook event today (Sunday), so if you're on the Book, please join us. You can also follow my tweets on the day by following me on Twitter @TheMikeBennett.
And so for now, all I can say is, Hip-Hip for Underwood and Flinch! May today be a cracker among days for the gentleman vampire and his trusty servant(s). Huzzah!

M.J. Hahn's fabulous covers
catch the mood of U&F perfectly!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

No News Lately ...

... I've been busy with other stuff: visiting my parents, working the day job, etc. I did manage to get the full story outline of U&F 2 developed while I was at my parents' house. I now have a beginning (which is written), a middle (which is what I'm writing when I get the time) and an end (which is still to be written, but now at least is fully mapped out).

U&F 1 is almost ready for ebook release (in two parts). I also need to get my Parsec submission sorted out for The Shadow Over Innsmouth. And of course, there's Dracula, Part 3 to record. Parsec deadline is the 15th, so that has to take priority. Then U&F 1 ebooks. Then the next Dracula podcast episode / U&F 1 paperback / hardback releases.

And when I can, U&F 2.

Beyond that, as I say, there's no news. This is just an update in case you thought I was dead or something.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


It's my birthday! So far, I'm having a great time. My wife got me Bioshock Infinite, and a friend in the States mailed me a cool T-shirt and some baldy-head shave (thanks, Martin). It doesn't get any better than this ... oh, wait, yes it does, my wife is making me a fry-up! Cholesterol-tastic it may be, but it's my birthday, so I'll risk it.
 If you're not my Facebook pal, help me celebrate by adding yourself here

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Dracula by Bram Stoker is my latest adventure in podcasting. It's going to take a long time for me to read, record and produce it, but as soon as every episode is done, I'll release it into my main feed.

Click the pic to listen live / download

Expect at least one episode a month. When it's all done, I'll release it as one big audiobook, but that won't be for at least a year, probably more, so be sure and subscribe to my main feed in itunes here: Mike Bennett Reads Dracula.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Poacher's Cottage - FREE for 48 hours!

Brrrrrr! Did someone leave a (Microsoft / Mac) window open on a cold winter's night? No, it's just the door to Poacher's Cottage, which has swung open to allow you FREE access to itself and two other tales from the Hall of Mirrors for the next 48 hours!! Grab your ebook freebie now! Oh, and if you leave me five stars and a few kind words, I'll love you forever :-)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Back to U&F 2

Back writing U&F 2. I have stop-start periods. I wrote a huge amount when I went down to visit my parents at the start of the month. Then I stopped when I was doing Innsmouth. Now I'm back at it again. I shouldn't stop, as even when the words come slowly, writing makes me happy. No matter what I might accomplish at work in my classroom, I always feel like I've really achieved something when I get 500 - 1000 words done.

I think the reason I stop is because I get into territory I'm unsure about. It's always easier to not write anything than to write badly. But badly written work can always be improved, whereas days without writing are completely beyond repair. I'm sticking to the course from now on: a minimum of 200 words a day. There are no excuses for not doing that much. Anyone can write 200 words a day. And it usually tends to end up being way more than that ... which is nice.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Shadow Over Innsmouth - Now Live!

My free audiobook of H.P. Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth is now live at,  iTunes, and for YouTube nuts, it's on there too. Enjoy! And I'd be much obliged if you could leave some stars and a review after you've listened. Many thanks!

Links - Shadow Over Innsmouth at: 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Three from H.P. Lovecraft

Still waiting for Podiobooks to release The Shadow Over Innsmouth. So frustrating. It's uploaded, but it's awaiting release, *sighs*. Ahh well, if you share my pain, maybe this will help - a redux of my three other Lovecraft readings, removed from their Sometimes confines and presented as individual story MP3s. Grab all three at The Internet Archive (and if you'd be so kind as to leave a review, I'd be grateful). Click the pic to hit the source.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Innsmouth - In the Queue

Update - Shadow Over Innsmouth is uploaded to Podiobooks and in the queue for release. I'll notify you as soon as it goes live ... or rather, I'll notify people on my mailing list as soon as it goes live. I'll notify my blog a bit later. You know what I'm saying here, eh? eh? Sign up - get it first!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft

I haven't blogged anything lately because I've been so busy working on my reading of H.P. Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth.

I started the recording two years ago but gave up on it after two episodes because frankly, doing a good job was too difficult / time-consuming for me at the time. However, I recently came upon the old recordings I'd done and listened to them. I was surprised by how good they were, and gave myself a hearty head-slap for not finishing the story off earlier. Then, once I resumed the project, I remembered why I'd abandoned it: Zadok Allen. What a nightmare that guy was to do: a huge monologue in a regional dialect (that, being from England, I've no idea about, but anyway ...)

  Zadok Allen "... the half-crazed, liquorish nonagenarian whose tales of old Innsmouth and its shadow were so hideous and incredible."

It was a total b*stard to do, but I kept at it, and at it, and it, and finally after about seven days of work, at about 01.00 a.m. last night, I finished it.

Then I woke up this morning and realised I had to do a load of re-takes. But generally speaking, it's finished, and I'll be uploading to Podiobooks later today.

Jon Cape has done a series of images based on the story, and the images on this page are just a few of them. A glimpse of the horrors to come in H.P. Lovecraft's, The Shadow Over Innsmouth.

"... lanterns bobbing in the darkness, and horrible croaking voices exchanging low cries in what was certainly not English."

 "... the morbid and horror-infested fabric of the Gilman House"

Zadok: "They'd ruther not start risin' an' wipin' aout human-kind, but ef they was gave away an' forced to, they cud do a lot toward jest that."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sometimes 20

Back again after a typical period of absence with a new podcast - SOMETIMES 20! 

Now, if you've been listening to me for years, you may recall that I read a story for Pseudopod back in 2010 called Spirit of Nationalism by Richard Marsden. However, I know that I've picked up a lot of new listeners since then, and so, since I've always liked the story and my reading of it, I thought I'd recycle it for Sometimes. I contacted Richard Marsden, and he gave his blessing, so here it is, gracing the audio pages of Sometimes 20! 

Spiritclick the pic to get the MP3
Richard has another story on Pseudopod called Grave of Ships, and has a number of books and stories available from his website, including an ongoing sci-fi humour saga called The Traveling Tyrant.

Also in the podcast, there's the return of the One Among the Sleepless podcast, news about the Salvation and Other Stories 3 Day Giveaway from Amazon. For 3 days from 00.01 am Thursday 28th Feb to 11.59 Saturday 3rd March, this ebook will be available for free from Amazon stores around the world. All I ask in return is that you leave 5 stars and a few kind words. Many thanks. 

There's also news on the ebook and print releases of Underwood and Flinch, and news about the sequel, Blood and Smoke. And, besides a trip to the fridge and a song from Lene Lovich, you'll also hear about the new German editions of Salvation (Erlösung) and Night Crossing (Nachtfahrt), as translated by Martje Salje. You can get those from my page at Smashwords.

So all in all, it's quite a bumper slice of podcastery, and I hope you enjoy it.

Music on the podcast

Lucky Number (The Best Of)Lene Lovich
"Bird Song" (mp3)
from "Lucky Number (The Best Of)"
(Oval Music)

Buy at Napster
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Buy at Rhapsody
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at Amazon MP3
Buy at mTraks
More On This Album

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Achtung, Babies!

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Salvation and Night Crossing are now available in German language edition ebooks, courtesy of the very super Martje Salje. Martje has painstakingly translated the stories from their original English, and I've just made both books live on for FREE!! So if you speak German or you have family or friends in the German-speaking world, grab your copies today and spread the word. Es ist sehr gut, ja!


For "Salvation" - FREE German Edition, click here.

For "Night Crossing" - FREE German Edition, click here.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Salvation and Night Crossing are now available in German language edition ebooks, courtesy of the very super Martje Salje. Martje has painstakingly translated the stories from their original English, and I’ve just made both books live on for FREE!! So if you speak German or you have family or friends in the German-speaking world, grab your copies today and spread the word. Es ist sehr gut, ja! - See more at:
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Salvation and Night Crossing are now available in German language edition ebooks, courtesy of the very super Martje Salje. Martje has painstakingly translated the stories from their original English, and I’ve just made both books live on for FREE!! So if you speak German or you have family or friends in the German-speaking world, grab your copies today and spread the word. Es ist sehr gut, ja! - See more at:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I've got flu. My wife and I think I may have picked it up in the aircraft coming back from our holiday last month. It's weird, because I never normally get sick. Everyone can be dropping like flies around me, but I usually bounce along like Captain Immunity, virus germs bouncing harmlessly off me, cursing as they go, "Damn you, Captain Immunity!" Well, not so lucky this time, Captain! This time they hit me with a secret weapon and knocked me right on my a*se. I won't bore you with the details, but I've been house bound for about a week, and bed/couch-bound for a fair amount of that. I tried to write, but I couldn't. It's been a real drag. But I seem to have turned a corner now - I'm feeling a bit better, and I'm able to type faster than a word a minute, which is nice. I'll get some work done on UFBS (Underwood and Flinch: Blood and Smoke) today, but not until after I've had some breakfast. I'm hungry. I feel like cooking some eggs!

Thursday, January 31, 2013


I was on holiday last week in Fueteventura. It was lovely to get some sunshine in the middle of winter. I took a little laptop with me, not really expecting to get a lot done - but I had a sudden and unexpected surge of creativity (maybe it was the sunshine charging up my winter-depleted batteries).

Anyway, I got about 10,000 words done on the U&F sequel. It's called Underwood and Flinch: Blood and Smoke. The title comes from a comment made by one of the new characters to Underwood. He knows something of vampires (unlike our hero) and he tells him: "You are man and beast; blood and smoke."

So far, all the action is in the Caribbean in the early 18th Century, the story picks up from where Underwood's origin tale left off in U&F 1. Here's a picture of me in our hotel room, hard at work (sort of).

Anyway, back home now, back to teaching English, and back also to chipping away at the U&F 1 edit. I've finished the audio-text matching and editing, and my wife is now proof-reading the text for gaffes (of which I'm sure there will be more than a few). I'll keep you posted on how it's going.

In other news, One Among the Sleepless, the original podcast, is now back online after a month of silence. You can now find it From here you can download it in individual episodes, or get the lot in one big zip bundle and drop them straight into your MP3 player.
Here's the link:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Diet Update

... or should I say, "constipation update"? The problem with not eating enough carbs is that you're not eating enough dietary fibre. I thought I was eating enough, and I was drinking ample water, and taking the psyllium husks as ordered. Alas, however, my weight-loss has slowed down and I've started gaining, or rather, retaining, weight. Ahem.

Needless to say, I'm stopping the low-carb / high protein diet now (I've lost as much weight as I need in order to get back into my trousers ;-) And first thing tomorrow morning, I'll be tucking in to a large bowl of All-Bran. Huzzah!!

Help me, Bill!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Trolls and Other Stories - Free on Amazon for 3 days

Huzzah! I've enrolled Trolls and Other Stories (Hall of Mirrors Volume 3) as an Amazon freebie! Great news if you got a Kindle or Kindle Fire or even a computer tablet or smartphone for Christmas, because now you stick one of my books on it for free!!

I was looking at my sales stats, and there's a definite buying trend for Hair and Skin and Other Stories (Hall of Mirrors Volume 1). The only difference between that book and the other story volumes is the many, many wonderful reviews that you good people have left on that book's page. It got a lot of those reviews by being a freebie a month ago, and so I had an impulse to do the same again - and before I knew it, I'd done it! I'd made Trolls and Other Stories a freebie too! Why? Well besides wanting to get my work onto your Kindles and tablet reader devices, I'd also be very grateful if you could leave 5 stars and a few words of recommendation for the book on its page. Reviews don't have to be long and wordy, just a paragraph saying it's a good read and that you enjoyed it (which you can say with integrity - I hope - because you've enjoyed the podcast ... I hope)

Now, obviously the leaving of reviews and stars are actions totally at your discretion, I can only ask, and you can, of course, completely ignore me. Free is free, no strings attached. But, as I say, I'd be grateful if you could, because hey, it's good Karma, man ;-)

Now go and grab your free book from one of these Amazon stores!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Diet Shocker

More on the Atkins Diet post I made the other day. I've been on it for about three days now, and I'm damned if I'm not losing weight! I can't believe it. My football has gone, and I can tie my shoelaces with ease! Remarkable.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Went for a walk in the (very muddy) country the other day. My wife took a picture of me. All I could see in it was a conspicuous roundness under my sweater. Since I'm not pregnant and I wasn't trying to conceal a football, I have to conclude that I'm overweight.

I've tried numerous faddy diets over the (new) years, but I've never tried the Atkins. So from yesterday, I began the Atkins diet. No carbs. No sugar. No alcohol. Easy, I thought, I can do that. So I was quite surprised to find myself watching TV last night and CRAVING fried potatoes. I resisted.

This morning I woke up with a very fuzzy head and the slenderest grip on my own train of thought. I CRAVED Marmite on toast. I resisted. Most of the day has been fuzzy; I've been vaguely present in the here and now. I looked up the problem online, and apparently it's carb withdrawal. Who would have thought such a thing existed? It usually passes in a day or so, so I'm hoping I'll be fine tomorrow.

I'll do it for a fortnight. By then, hopefully the football would have dropped from beneath my sweater ... and I go back to having multiple servings of toast, slowly building up a new football in time for January 2014. Maybe I'll try the South Beach Diet next time.

For anyone who wants to join me in my fuzzy-headed haze, here's a list of diets with their pros and cons according to the National Health Service (UK).