Good Deeds Week March 30th – April 5th

Welcome to my weekly roundup of my year long challenge to do one Good deed a day for a year. This challenge began back in April 2013 and is still going strong, I’m now entering my final few weeks. My inspiration came from reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Here is what I’ve been up to this week.

Good deeds

March 30th – Last night we changed our clocks in line with British Summertime, so I’m a bit late this morning. It’s also Mother’s Day, so I’ve been giving and receiving gifts as all Mothers should.

March 31st – A really busy day today. I’ve just done my morning at school. Now the April Issue of Fleet Life has just dropped through my door, so I’ve written a draft ready to coincide with the online version. click on the online directory and fins me on page 18. This months books are;

Please Call Me Derek by Mac Black

The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Calculated by R.S. Novelle

Spirit Warriors by D.E.L Connor

It’s also my first month writing book reviews for Fleet Life’s sister magazine The Elvetham Heath Directory., again click on the online directory and find me on page. This months featured books are different to Fleet Life although I will mix and match on occasions.

The Dating Game by Susan Buchanan

Greening of a Heart by Stepheny Houghtlin

Red Clay and Roses by S.K. Nicholls

The Griffin’s Boy by Julia Hughes

The Black Hours by Alison Williams.

With my A to Z Challenge starting tomorrow too, I’m sending out reminders to authors whose books are featuring in the first week. I want it to be a good give and take, I promote their books and they promote me.

April 1st – It’s here the first Day of the April A to Z blogging challenge with well over 1900 bloggers signed up this year it’s going to be huge. I’ve been all over the place visiting blogs and writing comments. My own challenge started with A World Apart by Camelia Miron Skiba. Catch up with posts in my Challenge round-up post, or from the A to Z page at the top of this blog.  The sun has finally burnt off the morning fog so now I’m off out in to the garden for a bit of one on one with nature after all my computing.

April 2nd – Online versions of both local magazines made it up on the internet today, so posted my pieces about them and let all the authors know. Having an absolute blast with the A to Z challenge, I can’t believe how many people are coming to my blog it is fantastic. Today’s book was Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb, Lizzie helped promote the post with her Facebook group of friends which I really appreciated. My slideshow on the sidebar is getting plenty of attention and good comments which is great to hear, have been helping a couple of people out with setting up their own gallery.

April 3rd – Met a friend for coffee in town and caught up with all her news. Went out this evening with more friends and took a birthday present with me for one of them whose birthday is in the next few days. Today’s book on the A to Z Challenge was Coronado’s Treasure by Randy Mixter. I’m thrilled to see lots of re-tweeting going on from other authors who will be taking part in my challenge and from followers of my blog, thanks everyone it means a lot.

April 4th – It’s a Derek Day today on the A to Z with Derek’s Revenge by Mac Black and a plug for the whole series. Went to the local market this morning, met a friend who has offered to pick us up in a few weeks time to attend a party. My Good deeds are mainly internet bound this week, visiting lots of blogs and leaving comments, tweeting and sharing posts. Finished reading Chill Factor by Rachel Caine and left a review on Goodreads.

April 5th – Everlasting by Candace Knoebel is the book for letter E in the A to Z today. Went for a quick walk this afternoon and picked up some litter. Am reading the second book in the Wardstone Chronicles, The Spook’s Curse, by Joseph Delaney, finished it late last evening and posted my review on Goodreads.

April Edition of Fleet Life

This month I’ve books reviews in 2 local magazine, here is my page from Fleet Life.

APR 14 Fleet Life


To visit the online version go to Click on the online directory and turn to page 18.

The following authors and books have their work in the magazine;

Please Call Me Derek by Mac Black

The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Calculated by R.S. Novelle

Spirit Warriors by D.E.L Connor

Rosie Recommends – Spring Reading

Here are a selection of my Rosie Recommends books for some Spring reading.

20828405 Ever feel like you aren’t getting everything you want out of life? A man on a bus smiles or a stranger exudes happiness and you wonder, why isn’t that me? A child runs giggling across your path and reminds you what pure joy looks like, causing you to stop and ask… where is your joy? Ever sit in your office or home and feel life is passing you by, or that there is more out there, but you just can’t reach it? Saving Our Pennys, by Roy Dimond and Jeff Leitch tell the story of a teacher, who facing a crisis, searches for answers to some of life’s most difficult questions. Goodreads, or

14571718 Derek travels from child to confused adult, from reporter for the local paper to any job available, doing everything he thinks he should, but doing it his way. Pursuing life and employment leads Derek to fling himself into the sort of sticky situations he won’t want to have to explain to his friends or his family. With determination, gritting his teeth, doing everything for the best, how could anything go wrong? Goodreads, or

17281240 An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love. Goodreads, or

18685624 1885. Anne Stanbury – Committed to a lunatic asylum, having been deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for the crime of which she is indicted. But is all as it seems? A chilling mystery fast becoming one of this years MUST READS. Goodreads, or

12382545When the Bishop insists that Martin Winchester take a sabbatical from his parish to restore his depleted energy and regain his spiritual focus, his wife Hannah is left on her own for the first time in years. Her new found freedom gives her an opportunity to reflect on her life. Retreating into the newly-renovated vicarage garden in the Cotswold’s village of Burford, Hannah not only wants to escape the demands of her role as the vicar’s wife, but to reinvent herself.  A heart-warming English Village tale.Goodreads, or


19206778Toad thought it’d be easy to steal from Mr. Edward P. Owl. Unfortunately for Toad, he isn’t the best of thieves. Caught in the act, he’s in more trouble than ever before. Now to save his hide, Toad must track down five rare potion ingredients for Mr. Owl. Or else. A delightful YA book easily readable for adults too. Goodreads, or

12765769I was immediately drawn to this book by it’s title. After checking out the book description, it still appealed to me. The idea of a Hitman getting stranded in Iceland, a land that has no army, no guns and a homicide rate of 1 maybe 2 a year struck me as very funny. Our Hitman goes by many names and occupations during the tale, I won’t spoil it for the reader by revealing these. Iceland a land of fresh bleak beauty, freezing temperatures, days of light or dark and very few people. Goodreads, or

Let me know if you go ahead and read any of these, and tell me what you thought of them.







Good Deeds Week 2nd – 8th March

Welcome to my weekly roundup of my year long challenge to do one Good deed a day for a year. This challenge began back in April 2013 and is still going strong. My inspiration came from reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Here is what I’ve been up to this week.

Good deedsMarch 2nd – Helped a fellow author out, Rachel Roberts, promote her book in a Kindle Countdown Deal, she was at no.27 in the top 100, with her book Medea Complex.

March 3rd – Helped out at school this morning. Had some wonderful help from fellow bloggers with some of the last letters on my A to Z Challenge. Volunteered to read and review Me and Billy The Kid for author Briana Vedsted.

March 4th – Got up seriously early this morning so that I could get my social networking done before sitting in traffic jams with the kids and finally getting to work. After this morning I really appreciate the fact that usually, I can avoid rush hour. Have been promoting The Griffin’s Boy and author Julia Hughes over the last 2 days. Julia’s been busy herself helping out a fellow author who is fighting cancer. Author Stephen C Spencer writes the Paul Mallory series, America’s answer to James Bond. Julia and Sean Campbell (who was our guest a few weeks ago with his book Cleaver Square) are helping Stephen to re-launch his books. I’ll be helping out on the blog with the re-launch in a few weeks and will appreciate help from you all to spread the word where possible during that time.

March 5th – Bought Land of the Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel book 6 in the Earth’s Children series, for my Mum ready for Mother’s Day. We’ve both enjoyed the series and Mum has been looking for a copy for a while. Started reading The Singing Bowl by Roy Dimond. Good Deeds received; Today I was a guest author over at fellow book reviewer A Woman’s Wisdom.

March 6th – Made a charity donation whilst out shopping today in one of my favourite stores, Lush.

March 7th – Posted my review of Flawed Perfection by Cassandra Giovanni on Goodreads and Amazon inline with the book launch today. Dropped off a birthday gift for a very good friend.

March 8th – Today’s book on the blog is a FREE travel download available from my friends at Blackfrog Publishing. “Overlanding- How, What, Where and Who with…”  by Andy Robinson and Kirsty McGregor. Check out the link to the post here

I’m ploughing my way through The Singing Bowl by Roy Dimond it really is an brilliantly epic book full of amazing characters and places, it is about a Tibetan Monk who is given a mystery to solve and a lost book to find as he flees from Chinese communists who want to destroy the ancient religion. It spans many cultures and travels through The Ancient World, The Old World and will end in The New World. The monk learns so much from inspiring people, I feel that I am travelling along with him. My deed today is to spread news of this book to you. May you too, find time to read this book and enjoy it as much as me.

Guest Author Rachel Florence Roberts

Today our guest is Rachel Roberts author of The Medea Complex which I reviewed yesterday on the blog. Here is the link to my review.


Let’s find out more about Rachel and her writing.

1) Where is your home town?
I was born in Liverpool, and grew up in Merseyside. I now live in Malta, EU.
2) How long have you been writing?
I’ve only been writing since my son was born, as he was the inspiration behind The Medea Complex. But I’ve been reading my whole life, and have wanted to write a book for much longer!
3) How long did it take to research the material for The Medea Complex?
Just under a year to gather the majority of it, and then further research as the book developed and came to life. All in all, about 18 months.
4) Can you tell readers the history of Bethlem Lunatic Asylum?
Bethlem Lunatic Asylum, or as we now refer to it “Bethlem Royal Hospital” is the worlds oldest, and most infamous psychiatric hospital. Records can be traced to its foundation in 1247 during the reign of Henry III, when it was first opened as a means of collecting alms to support the Crusader Church, and linking England with the Holy Land. Scholars argue that it’s first use as an insane asylum occurred as early as 1377. The word ‘Bedlam’ – meaning madness, actually comes from its earlier given nickname, assigned to the hospital sometime in the fourteenth century. From the end of the sixteenth century until the mid nineteenth century, people were able to pay to ‘poke sticks’ at the inmates, and ‘laugh at one knocking his head against a post’; both as a means of entertainment and as a cautionary tale to people against bad morals and vice.
It has been featured in many seventeenth  and eighteenth century plays and more recently, in books, television series, movies, and even ‘fly on the wall’ documentaries. People have long held a curiosity about those who hide behind it’s walls, even to this day.
5) Was Doctor George Savage considered a leader in psychiatry at the time?
This is of great debate. Dr George Savage was ‘ahead of his time’ in a way, and many of his opinions and research at the time was opposed by another alienist or two. Dr Savage was against the use of chemical restraint: ‘chemical cosh’, as he referred to it: dosing inmates on morphine and other drugs as a means of sedation. He preferred to use physical restraint when necessary, which was in direct opposition with both Dr Bucknill and Henry Maudeley’s opinions on the treatment of the insane. In fact, during my research, there are newspaper articles in the 19th century ‘Lancet’ where these doctors publically demean one another’s techniques! Dr Savage was knighted in 1912, so someone somewhere thought he was doing something right. His research and opinions can be found in the publically available book, ‘Insanity and Allied Neuroses’ (this can be found in, and the Gutenberg project). His character in my novel was heavily influenced by his works, and indeed many of his notes regarding Anne come directly from this book.
6) Anne was an unusual women because she read many books, why did the Doctor disapprove?
Women in the nineteenth century were not encouraged to read. Indeed, this was believed to be detrimental to their health, and in itself could directly cause insanity. Women were ‘weak’ creatures, of no significant consequence…delicate, and easily offended. To educate themselves beyond the home was anathema to the men at the time. To fill their heads with stories and knowledge…why, god knows what might happen to their brain! Women were wives, they were mothers. They were to play the piano, and sit, and look pretty. They were to agree with the men around them. In everything they were, in fact, viewed almost as a lesser species. When Dr Savage learnt of Anne’s passion for reading, this, of course (in his 19th century mind) led him to believe that this was a direct cause to her insanity. (Though of course, if you read on….).
7) Tell us more about the history of Anne’s Lady’s Maid, Beatrix.
Ah. Beatrix was found by Anne’s mother during one of her trips to France. Beatrix was in a terrible state, and Anne’s mother took pity upon the woman dying in the road. When she saved her, and took her on, Beatrix’s’ sense of obligation, loyalty, and love for her saviour transferred to Anne. Having lost her own child, she believed that she owed Anne’s mother. When Anne’s mother died, suddenly, there was a motherless child, and a childless mother. Beatrix therefore created a bond that was as strong, if not more so, than that between a natural mother and her child. She would do anything to protect the daughter of the woman who saved her, and in turn, of the child she came, over the years to view as her own. Although she did not agree with Anne, nor of what she did, she was simply in too deep to turn her back or sway her allegiance. She desperately did not want to be alone.
8) The Medea Complex is a complicated tale, I wonder if there was not an alternative way to rid the family of Stanbury?
I wondered this too! But ultimately, no. In the Victorian Era, if a man and wife divorced, any child born of that union would be put in the full custody of the father. Combined with the male entail that secured Asquith Manor, there was no other way to dispose of Stanbury. If she had run away with the child, her family was too well known for this to not have attracted the attention of the police and newspapers. When (for there was no if in my mind, only a when) she was found, the child would be taken away from her as Stanbury commenced divorce proceedings. As mentioned in the novel, women COULD divorce men at that time…but it was very difficult to do so, and Anne would have had to PROVE cruelty, incest, and affair, etc. And still, as previously mentioned, she would run a very high risk indeed of her baby being given to Stanbury, without access! If they killed Stanbury, again, that was too much of a risk: She would have hung, and in that way too, she would have lost her baby. If a grown man suddenly disappears, people start asking questions. So how else could she have done it? She can’t run away from him, she can’t kill him. She certainly can’t ask him nicely not to take her baby away from her (though anyone who has read The Medea Complex, will learn that if she had indeed spoken to him, the outcome would have been very different). Though there is a part in the novel where Stanbury is warned. Did she think that if he thought there was no longer a baby, and no possibility of a baby (to secure his hold on the Manor) that he would go away? Why doesn’t he? Is it because he loved her, and she didn’t realise…or because he was hell bent on getting what he believed was rightfully his, by any means possible? Was she being kind here, and trying to give him an ‘out’? We see his behaviour after her release!
Ultimately The Medea Complex is a tale of miscommunication, two people who want something very very badly, laws that contributed to the story (because come on, it would never be necessary to do what she did in the 21st century!), and then…just to make you wonder…was Anne, in fact, just not a very nice person? Or was she a mother simply desperate to do anything it took to stay with her baby? At the end she clearly says that the death of Stanbury was not her intent, yet the reader knows by this point…she was not stupid. She certainly knew how to do her research. Did she say this simply to appease Beatrix’s’ conscience? Did she know what the outcome would be all along, and if so, why did she do it? Did she feel such hatred for the man, and his plot, that his death was her vengeance?  I like the way that this is open to interpretation. To be honest, I’m not even sure myself. Sometimes I like her character, and sometimes I hate her. Ultimately I don’t know who I feel the sorriest for in the end!
9) Are you working on your next book?
Yes. And it will be JUST as twisty, and dark (if not more so!)
10) Do you have an expected publication date for fans?
I’m going to say (ever so tentatively here)…June 2014. But fans can join my Facebook page to stay right up to date with future developments, and of course, to message me! I love to discuss the novel, and anything else, with anyone!
The Medea Complex
The Medea Complex, or

Thanks Rachel and good luck with the new book.

The Medea Complex by Rachel Roberts

The Medea ComplexThe Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Medea Complex is a historical thriller set in England in 1885. Deep within the story is the chilling factor that money and influence can get you anywhere. The story opens with Anne who wakes to find herself no longer at home but in a rough cell, with no recognition as to how she has got there.

A gruesome tale unfolds, Anne has killed her baby and has escaped criminal trial by being diagnosed as insane. She is now in Bethlam Lunatic Asylum and being treated by Doctor George Savage, the Chief Medical Officer and renowned psychiatrist. The doctor believes Anne is suffering from puerperal mania, a disorder often occurring after childbirth, which today would be classed as postnatal depression. Her treatment is harsh and cruel by modern standards.

Doctor Savage is intrigued by Anne and her condition. Anne doesn’t know her husband when he visits, a man torn between anger for the loss of his son and love for his suffering wife. Stanbury has his own secrets and is driven to drink by his own weakness and indecisions.

With the help of a caring nurse called Agnes and a cold dunking in water, Anne recovers her memory and her sanity returns. The Doctor declares her well and releases her back to her home. A nervous Anne fears her husband, in a drunken outburst he threatens her and is full of hatred and loathing. When Anne disappears overnight, a trail of evidence points to Stanbury. He is arrested for murder and goes to trial even though Anne’s body is never found.

The trial reveals past betrayals, hidden secrets and suspicious circumstances, plus the strength and willpower of a woman prepared to do anything for her child. Doctor Savage may hold the key to Stanbury’s fate but will his evidence be enough?

This book has many twists and turns to keep the reader guessing, there are chilling descriptions of conditions and treatment for patents at Bethlem. The book is based upon a true story and the author has written a very informative and entertaining story about the subject and the era in which it took place.

Find a copy here on or

Rachel will be our guest author tomorrow on the blog, so pop back and find out more about this book and it’s author.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Good Deeds Week January 5th – 11th

I’m now in to my ninth month of my year of Good Deeds challenge, where I try to do at least one Good Deed a day and I write about them. I find that, for me, this brings their value to the forefront of my thoughts. My inspiration came from reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Judith was our guest on the blog last week and if you missed it here is the link.

Good deedsJanuary 5th – What a brilliant day today, Judith O’Reilly was our guest on the blog, fantastic! I’ve volunteered to go and feed the poultry at my parents while they are away overnight on Tuesday. An easy sounding job, but one that puts fear into my heart. I shall be facing the “Killer Geese!” The farm has no need of guard dogs, they have 3 geese. The geese disregard the fact that I’m feeding them and even though I keep a metal feed bucket and the egg collecting basket between us they always viciously attack me and chase me from the premises.

January 6th – School is back today after the holidays, so I’ve been helping out again this morning.

January 7th – Have finished reading another book and written my review of The Medea Complex by Rachel Roberts, a historical thriller which I shall be reviewing here on the blog at the end of January. Great news, I survived the killer geese! I think they were slightly less aggressive because the goose wasn’t in her egg laying season when they are simply vicious! I collected the chicken eggs, fed the farm cats and lit a fire in the farmhouse boiler (tried to get rid of all of the smoke that wafted around the kitchen in my fire making attempts, but as my clothes still smell, I’m not sure, let’s hope there is a cosy kitchen for my parents return, rather than a dead fire and smoke smells.)

January 8th – Have just hand delivered a Christmas gift Thank you note and picked up litter on the way home.

January 9th – It’s a beautiful sunny day outside, so after a quick lunch I made the most of it and went out for a walk. I picked up litter and was rewarded by finding some dropped money along the way. Read and posted 2 more book reviews over the past couple of days.

January 10th – Met someone I haven’t seen for a couple of years in the supermarket, made time to catch up with all her news. Later did some Good Deeds research, had a chat to another person that works in a charity shop, I was asking what books they can use in their shops. We have found quite a few old books, not first editions or anything, just older books that I’m not sure anyone is interested in anymore. But she said they would consider any books that I’d like to take along. She said there is little demand for non-fiction hard backs and no demand at all for Videos. Are Videos now heading for extinction? Posted a book review on Goodreads and Amazon for Cleaver Square by Sean and Daniel Campbell.

January 11th – Good Deeds received; Thanked today for my review of a book that I’d posted on Goodreads and Amazon. Sorted out some books for the charity shop and others for friends who I lend books to. Lastly one more Good Deed just before bed, a late phone call from my brother-in-law needing help with a computer issue, simple for me but a nightmare for him, I talked him through the process and it worked straight away.