‘Mac’s Christmas Present’ – Just published!

I will be the first to admit that this has been a very difficult year. It has been a year when I have struggled to get into any kind of flow with my writing. Until very recently that is. I am so grateful that, at last, I will be able to publish something in 2022. Not only a book but a Christmas book too.

I have been trying for the last few years to write a Mac Maguire novel set at Christmas but, however hard I tried, nothing came to me. So, it is in something like wonder that, very late in the day, the plotlines for Mac’s Christmas Present popped into my head.

Like my third book, The Weeping Women, it features two cases. However, at around 40k words, it’s somewhat shorter than most of my books so I will be selling it at a reduced price.

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Strange decisions for strange times…

Here in the UK, we are in a deep dark economic hole. It all started when the traditional party of power became high on Brexit. However, it turned out to be not a golden ticket to a brighter future but a one-way ticket to being a third world country. After the party in power knowingly voted for a serial liar and cheat to be their leader, there was never going to be any happy ending. Despite everyone trying very hard not to see the enormous elephant in the living room, they kept on supporting him. Lie upon glib lie and they all cheered. That was only until their leader, bloated with corruption and power, tried to protect a serial sexual predator, one that he put into a position of great power knowing what this awful man was like, only then did the party finally find any sort of conscience and finally vote him out of power.

What followed made all this look like a mere molehill. The new leader, fired by winning and a streak of sheer lunacy, put all our money on a mad bet in the global casino and lost big time. In a matter of weeks, the UK’s global economic reputation was in tatters and we are all the poorer for it. Why someone isn’t doing prison time for the enormous suffering they are causing is beyond me. Ordinary people in their millions will freeze, go hungry and become homeless as a direct result of this reckless act. Children will go hungry this Christmas.

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What 2022 might have in store…

With a brand New Year having arrived all too quickly, I’ve been thinking about what might be happening in 2022 with regard to my books. I’ve now written twelve Mac Maguire mysteries and the thirteenth is about a third of the way there. This one will be set at Christmas and a Mac Maguire book set during the festive season is something that I’ve been trying to achieve for quite a while. In order to ensure that I succeed this time, I will continue writing this book during the early part of the year and will hopefully have it completed by June or July. If my plan works out then I should have no problem in publishing it in the run-up to next Christmas.

Does that mean that I will only be publishing only one book this year then? No.

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Happy Holidays to all my readers!

So, it’s Christmas once again and there’s a strong feeling of deja vu in the air. Covid is still news as the Omicron variant spreads and, in the UK, the threat of a new lockdown is on the horizon. News is constantly coming out about how little right-wing Governments care for the lives of the people they rule and even democracy itself come to that. Lying and alternate ‘facts’ have inexplicably become okay with a lot of people but only if these align with their incredibly distorted world-view. Partisanship is worse than ever with both sides vilifying the other as the far-right wingnuts disappear down into the rabbit hole of total virtual insanity and see weird conspiracies all over the place.


I must admit that I like that word. It means that there might be some light at the end of the deep dark tunnel that we’ve been living in lately. Yet, I see acts of kindness daily, people smiling at each other under their masks and children still getting excited about what delights Christmas Day will bring.

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2021: what’s in store for Mac Maguire?

I’m confining my thoughts about the new year ahead to what I’m hoping will be happening with regard to my books. Although I have some thoughts about what I would like to see happen in 2021, I think that I’ll keep them to myself for now. I recently read an article that listed a bunch of people making their predictions at the start of 2020 and, of course, they were all way off the mark. Continue reading

Another New Year – What happened and what’s next?

bookshelfI keep the draft paperback versions of my books in the bookcase in our hallway. I rarely look at them but, when I do, I am sometimes surprised that there are so many of them and even that they’re there at all.  I only took up writing as a sort of pain therapy but it seems to have taken on a curious life of its own. At year’s end it’s the usual custom to reflect on the events of the past year and to look forward to what the new year might bring. I’ll attempt to do that in this short post. Continue reading

Ghosts, Christmas and Mac Maguire

I’d first of all like to wish all of my readers who observe it a very Happy Christmas and to those who don’t Happy Holidays anyway.

I am something of a Christmas nut. My lovely partner Kathleen, being normal, is not quite as enthusiastic as I am. I insist on having a ceremony on the 6th December, when we put the decorations up, and again on the 6th January when they get taken down as well as celebrating every day in between. I also insist on cluttering up her living room window with electric Santas, snowmen and sleighs as well as covering every inch of the walls with decorations. She bears it all with good grace however.

Marley's ghostA large part of my love for Christmas comes from Charles Dickens and, if I was honest, I’d have to admit that I consider A Christmas Carol just about the greatest work of fiction ever written. It’s a perfect little gem of a book and one I read again every Christmas. The whole thrust of the book is that it is possible for someone to be reclaimed from being a miserable old miser and turned into a caring human being solely by being made to remember everything about his past. This thought is compelling. We often forget what’s painful for us even if it’s the part that makes us human. A Christmas Carol tells us that there is hope, even for the worst of us. Continue reading