The Art of Spirit Capture – A #NewRelease by @geofflepard #BlogTour – How I Found The Story

Our wonderful fellow blogger, and author, Geoff LePard, fondly known as His Geoffleship to me, anyway, has a fabulous new release, out now. His first romance, no less!

It’s called The Art of Spirit Capture, and sounds fabulous!

Now, His Geoffleship, as I mentioned earlier, has penned a romance.

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Jason Hales is at his lowest ebb: his brother is in a coma; his long-term partner has left him; he’s been sacked; and Christmas is round the corner to remind him how bad his life has become. 

After receiving an unexpected call telling him he’s a beneficiary of his Great Aunt Heather’s estate, he visits the town he vaguely recalls from his childhood, where his great aunt lived. Wanting to find out more, he’s soon sucked into local politics revolving around his great uncle’s extraordinary glass ornaments, his ‘Captures’, and their future. 

While trying to piece his life back together, he’ll have to confront a number of questions: What actually are these Captures and what is the mystery of the old wartime huts where his uncle fashioned them? Why is his surly neighbour so antagonistic? Can he trust anyone, especially the local doctor Owen Marsh and Charlotte Taylor, once a childhood adversary, but now the lawyer dealing with the estate? His worries pile up, with his ex in trouble, his flat rendered uninhabitable and his brother’s condition worsening. Will Christmas bring him any joy?

Set in the Sussex countryside, this is a modern novel with mystery, romance and magic at its core, as well as a smattering of hope, redemption and good cooking.

I asked him where the story came from…

I imagine most writers are asked how they uncover their stories. And as a supplemental, how
do they decide one has the legs to be an 80,000 plus novel against a 10,000 short story or 500
piece of flash?
In the case of the Art, it all began with a prompt. The late Sue Vincent began a series of
prompts she titled #writephoto. She would post on a Thursday and try and reblog the stories
she received during the week, ending with a collection the following Thursday and a new
prompt. Her photos were often taken from her visits to the wild and wooly places in England,
her beloved Albion and led me down many a weird and wacky path.
In one she posted a picture of a crow in flight. That led me to my trainee exorcist Pearl Barley
who is now the subject of two draft novels and a third I hope to at least begin this November.
The picture that started me on the road to The Art was a Christmas decoration through which
a rainbow of refracted light showed. Some of you may remember it. There was something
beautiful yet otherworldly about it – a lot of Sue’s prompts had that otherworldliness.
What, I mused as my fingers hovered over the keys, if that wasn’t just a simple decoration
splitting white light into its spectrum of colours? What instead if that bauble gave off more
than mere refracted light? Some sort of essence?
I wrote maybe 500 words that day, imagining a glass blower working away in a remote shack
known only to a few. He had discovered a way of capturing the spirit of someone in the act of
dying and implanting it into a glass decoration. Glass is fluid, even though it appears solid.
What if some of that spirit could escape and create a miasma around close relatives, bringing
succor to the recently bereaved?
It was a little piece, in the run up to Christmas and, for me, surprisingly romantic.
When I started writing seriously I tried not to limit myself in what I wrote. One way to avoid
such limitations was to challenge myself to write in different genres. I tend to default to
humour or mysteries in my longer works, fantasy in my shorter pieces.
Could I write a romantic novel, a romance? A Feelgood book?
I think I have; now it is over to you to decide…

Geoff Le Pard

Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.

Check out Geoff’s other crackers!

My Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.


Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.


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In this, the second book in the Harry Spittle Sagas, it’s 1981 and Harry is training to be a solicitor. His private life is a bit of a mess and he’s far from convinced the law is for him. Then an old acquaintance from his hotel days appears demanding Harry write his will. When he dies somewhat mysteriously a few days later and leaves Harry in charge of sorting out his affairs, Harry soon realises this will be no ordinary piece of work. After all, his now deceased client inherited a criminal empire and several people are very interested in what is to become of it.

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The third instalment of the Harry Spittle Sagas moves on the 1987. Harry is now a senior lawyer with a well-regarded City of London firm, aspiring to a partnership. However, one evening Harry finds the head of the Private Client department dead over his desk, in a very compromising situation. The senior partner offers to sort things out, to avoid Harry embarrassment but soon matters take a sinister turn and Harry is fighting for his career, his freedom and eventually his life as he wrestles with dilemma on dilemma. Will Harry save the day? Will he save himself?

Life in a Grain of Sand is a 30 story anthology covering many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015 


Salisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves. 

This is available here 


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Buster & Moo is about about two couples and the dog whose ownership passes from one to the other. When the couples meet, via the dog, the previously hidden cracks in their relationships surface and events begin to spiral out of control. If the relationships are to survive there is room for only one hero but who will that be?


Life in a Flash is a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction that should keep you engaged and amused for ages 


Apprenticed To My Mother describes the period after my father died when I thought I was to play the role of dutiful son, while Mum wanted a new, improved version of her husband – a sort of Desmond 2.0. We both had a lot to learn in those five years, with a lot of laughs and a few tears as we went.

Life in a Conversation is an anthology of short and super short fiction that explores connections through humour, speech and everything besides. If you enjoy the funny, the weird and the heart-rending then you’ll be sure to find something here.

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When Martin suggests to Pete and Chris that they spend a week walking, the Cotswolds Way, ostensibly it’s to help Chris overcome the loss of his wife, Diane. Each of them, though, has their own agenda and, as the week progresses, cracks in their friendship widen with unseen and horrifying consequences.

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Famous poets reimagined, sonnets of all kinds, this poerty selection has something for all tastes, from the funny, to the poignant to the thought-provoking and always written with love and passion.

Geoff Le Pard’s Amazon Author Page

Don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to reading this one!

The Fault Between Us by @BetteLeeCrosby #BlogTour #BookReview

I was honoured to be given an ARC of Award Winning Author, Bette Lee Crosby’s newest release, The Fault Between Us,having read several of her previous books, and throughly enjoyed them!

The Fault Between Us by Bette Lee Crosby

Here is the blurb:

April 18, 1906 – A devastating earthquake rocks San Francisco and Templeton Morehouse fears her husband is lost forever. A powerful and compelling story from USA Today bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby

Chances were a million to one that a girl born and raised in Philadelphia would encounter a stranger from California on the trolley and fall madly in love, but that’s what happened. Templeton was not only taken with John Morehouse, but also with his tales of life in San Francisco. As an aspiring fashion designer, the dazzle of a city called the Paris of the West, with its towering department stores and European couture was too much to resist.

Despite her family’s objections, she and John are married and, on their way back to California, before the month is out. To ease the heartbreak of such a move, Templeton promises her family that they will return for a visit every summer. She fully intends to keep that promise, but as her fashions gain popularity, the business grows increasingly more demanding. The trips back to Philadelphia become less frequent and she makes foolish choices she will come to regret.

Now, when she is on the verge of having everything she’s ever wanted, a devastating earthquake has torn across San Francisco and she awakes to discover the father of her baby is missing.

With the city in flames, Templeton’s daddy leaves Philadelphia and sets out in search of his son-in-law. He’s too old for such a trip and ill-equipped for the challenges he will encounter, but he’s the only hope of saving his daughter’s happiness.
Lines of communication are down and the city in shambles, so the only thing Templeton can do is pray she doesn’t lose both her daddy and her husband.

And my review:

The Fault Between Us by Bette Lee Crosby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve read a few of Bette Lee Crosby’s books, since discovering her by a Facebook group, and I was honoured to be asked to read her soon to be released book, The Fault Between Us, as an advanced reader.
The book centres around Templeton, a young woman in Philadelphia, with hopes and dreams. Unmarried, still, at an age where most women were settled, she wants to make a name for herself in fashion and design.
Despite her parents’ anguish at their unmarried younger daughter, she forges on with her dreams and is celebrating successes, when she meets a man, John Morehouse, by chance, on a tram journey.
Love often finds you in totally unexpected circumstances, and this is one of them.
Her parents show reluctance to let their girl go, however, Templeton and John marry, and move across the country, three thousand miles away, to San Francisco.
Here, the story builds upon her settling into life as a married woman, but also pursuing her dreams in a different location.
The time-worn worry of whether to be a career woman or a mother plays its part in the story, here.
A natural disaster threatens to rip their lives apart, and this is where the story really comes to life, and the choices made affect their lives forever.
The era in which the story is set was a time when it was frowned upon for a woman to put work before family. Then, there wasn’t the confidence that she could do both.
I loved Templeton’s drive. She’s passionate about what she loves, be it her work, or her family. The way she is torn between the two, and feeling that she might not be able to have either, pulled at my heartstrings.
But thankfully she found a partner who, after initial misgivings, was able to accept and support his wife.
I felt, keenly, for Templeton’s parents, throughout the story. It highlights the fact that no matter what their age, we parents will never truly stop worrying about our children.
A heartwarming read.

Out 11th November, 2021

About Bette Lee Crosby

Bette Lee Crosby

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby’s books are “Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances.” – Midwest Book Review

The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby’s writing is, “A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures.”

Samantha from Reader’s Favorite raves, “Crosby writes the type of book you can’t stop thinking about long after you put it down.”

“Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”

It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win twenty awards for her work; these include: The Royal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal, Reader’s Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer’s Choice Award.

Chai And A Chat #156 #ChaiAndAChat

Hello there, Peeps! Time has just flown by, yet I don’t feel like I have achieved that much, all!

So, got your drink ready? We had a busy one!

  • If we were having chai I’d tell you that school feels all encompassing, to be honest. Monday, we had an educational phychologist in, most of the day, to observe one of my SEND pupils, then one didn’t come on Tuesday, and I found out that he had suffered a seizure – out of the blue. His parents are distraught, so working on supporting them, as well as their child. On Wednesday, we had what is called a Lockdown Practice, which is an ‘evacuation’, but not. Rather like a fire drill, this one is a procedure we have to be prepared for, too, in case of an intruder in the school. We had to make sure all classrooms were darkend, screens off, kids down on the ground. Not an easy thing do do with children ranging from 3-5, as I am sure you can imagine. We made it into a game, with me, Mrs Bhathal, judging who was was quietest class! They were prilliant, I have to say, even the SEND children who were in. And the Nursery, well, they were fantastic, hiding in the toilets! Thursday and Friday whizzed by. I feel like I still have so much to do, but I am not letting it get on top of me…
  • If we were having chai I’d say that Friday evening was fun, but anogther load of rushing around for me. So Lil Man had his second awards ceremony, and Lil Princess and I had our date night. We were going to Bluewater for dinner – a bit of girlie time. We also arranged to meet another friend, and her two daughters, who are good friends of Lil Princess, too. All well and good, but I had to rush home after picking her up, get changed, and drive back to the in-laws, with Hubby Dearest, to drop him off, so he could attend the awards, have a drink, and not worry about his car. Then we went to Bluewater, had a wonderful evening, even though there was traffic getting there, and then, drive back to Gravesend to wait for the other two to finish up their evening, before the final leg of the journey, home!
  • If we were having chai I’d mention that I was shattered, come Saturday, and after shopping and lunch, I was going to snooze with my TV on, but I realised that I had two bedside drawer cabinets to make up. So, as Hubby Dearest and Lil MAn heaaded off out to watch Venom, Lil Princess and I stayed in. She was feeling full of cold, and snuggled up in her bed, and I spent four hours fixing the things together, with Sonu Singh popping in and out to inspect my work!
  • If we were having chai I’d say that Sunday had a chilly start to the day, but I still had things to do. The house still needed cleaning, and I had a mountain of ironing to tackle, as well as finish the book I had been reading for almost two weeks. That is unheard of for me, but to be honest, I have also been bingewatching certain series, and last week, it was The Squid Games… this week, I started You, from the beginning, as I hadn’t watched it before… Managed the book, and the ironing… and the house, I promise!
Bitmoji Image
Reflecting the slightly greying hair, now, with an updated Bitmoji!

This week, we have our Harvest Festival, of sorts, Individual student photos, and generally, crawling to the end of the first term of the year, and it has been a long one! I can’t wait for Friday to come by!

And while you’re here, did you sign up for my mailing list? I am in the middle of writing an exclusive Chickpea Curry Lit story for my subscribers, and there will be news, tips and even recipes! You know you want to join… go on! Click the pic below to sign up!

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 345 – Time Starved


“It is not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do , it is that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have.”

Gary Keller

Thanks, Spidey for that simple, but so true, quote!

Firstly, Peeps, I apologise for the late post.

That thing spoken about, above, time, got away with me, again, and I didn’t get our post ready, as I usually do, so here I am, actually typing it on a Sunday morning, instead of scheduling it, in advance, the day before!

I’m definitely one, firmly in that category of trying to do too much, constantly, and though it has tired me in the past, right now, I have another obstacle to contend with, too.

Before moving, we lived five minutes away from school.

Now, I have to factor in an hour, in total, to commute to and from work.

And that is five hours in a week, sacrificed to the Gods of commuting. Sometimes more, if there is traffic. It’s not even as if I could use it productively, and listen to an audio book, or call a friend, or even use my voice function to record thoughts for my WIP. because the kids are in the car, and they want to listen to music!

It means I seem to find less time to tackle the laundry when I get home, meaning a pile of ironing, and I mea a HUGE pile, on Sunday, grocery shopping, house cleaning, etc. And all those jobs you leave for the weekend, in general, too.

Like yesterday, after shopping, and sorting lunches out, I chilled for a while, then Hubby and Lil Man went out, so I tackled fixing together our new bedside cabinets. It’s not a hard job, just long. An ardous task that took me nearly four hours.

Back aching, one cut thumb and a scratched leg later, it was done.

By then I was too tired to actually get my laptop out and write even a little post!

I have got better at saying no to things, honestly. There was a time I felt compelled to agree to do everything I was asked, but now, I am firmer, if I know it is too much, but there are still jobs that need doing, and I really do feel like I need just one more day, every week, so I didn’t feel so rushed!

So, today, once all are up, will include a general house clean, and then I need to do some work, in preparation for school, tomorrow. But I will try and factor in some me time, too, promise! And time for words!

So, how good are you with time management?


Wishing you a wonderfully peaceful Sunday, Peeps!

Getting Published | Short Reading and Q&A session with author and Journalist Michelle Jana Chan

Today, I am honoured to present you with an opportunity to sign up to a chance to hear award winning journalist, Michelle Chan talking about her new book, Song, with a chance to ask questions, after.

In this free online session, Michelle Jana Chan will give a short reading from her book ‘Song’ and then a Q&A session.

Sign Up Link

Time and Date: On Sunday 17th Oct from 1 pm to 2 pm.

Event Agenda:

  1. Michelle will give a short reading from her book ‘Song.’
  2. After this a Q&A session of around 25 minutes for questions in relation to her creative writing process, the book and the publishing process.
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A sweeping historical epic following one boy’s long journey from rags to riches, by the award-
winning journalist and travel editor of Vanity Fair.


Song is just a boy when he sets out, in the year 1870, from Lishui village in China. Brimming
with courage and ambition, he leaves behind his family, hoping he’ll make his fortune and return
home. Chasing tales of sugarcane, rubber, and gold, Song embarks upon a perilous voyage
across the oceans to the British colony of Guiana, but once there he discovers riches are not so
easy to come by and he is forced into labouring as an indentured plantation worker.
This is only the beginning of Song’s remarkable life, but as he finds himself between places and
between peoples, and increasingly aware that the circumstances of birth carry more weight than
accomplishments or good deeds, Song fears he may live as an outsider forever.
This beautifully written and evocative story spans nearly half a century and half the globe, and
though it is set in another century, Song’s story of emigration and the quest for an opportunity to
improve his life is timeless.
Chan’s own family lineage lays the path for the tale of Song, as she is descended from
indentured Chinese immigrants who immigrated to British Guiana in the mid-1800s. Her father
grew up there but left in the 1960s—searching, in turn, for a better life in England.

“A wonderfully lush and atmospheric of survival against all odds.”

Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other

About the Author

Michelle Jana Chan is an award-winning journalist and travel editor of Vanity Fair in the UK, where she presents the magazine’s digital Future Series. Formerly, Michelle was a BBC TV presenter, news producer at CNN International, and reporter at Newsweek. She was a Morehead-Cain scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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