Two sweet reader’s reviews for Carmen Capuano’s ‘Split Decision’

I love it when my authors get great reviews.  Here are two readers who loved “Split Decision” by Carmen Capuano, which we published on the 4th of July:

“Split Decision is one of the most enticing books I have ever read. I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in it every night. An absolutely brilliant book! Thoroughly recommended!”

Zena Weeks, Special Projects Manager, England Athletics.

What can I say… I could not put Split Decision down. From the moment I began reading it to the end it held my attention 100%. I was totally engrossed in the book. The Characters were amazing and I felt so emotional at times when reading that I felt I was Natalie. Your storytelling was sheer brilliance. Would love to see this televised as an English drama. It was the perfect book for me to take on holiday. Best of luck with the writing for the future. Can’t wait for the next Owners volume.

xxxxx Catherine Phelan.

Tonight is also the paperback launch of Split Decision in Birmingham.

Here’s wishing Carmen the best of luck;  wish I could be there!  She’ll hopefully tell us all about it tomorrow.

Got a guest post on The Story Reading Ape Blog, and internet apologies…

Many thanks to Chris on The Story Reading Ape Blog who allowed me to guest-post and introduce myself to his readers.  Chris, you are super!

Here’s the link:  (Do go have a peep: )

My timing however was atrocious, as my internet chose the 21st or 22nd of September to flunk out.  It has been driving me nuts, not even being able to check my emails.  Sorry if I have been absent.  Now you know why.  I’m not out of the woods yet with internet, so please forgive if I’m patchy in my presences…


In Her Own Words – Marie Marshall, Scottish Author & Poet

In Her Own Words – Marie Marshall, Scottish Author & Poet


Silver Threading did an absolutely superb post combining (with the help of some sleuthing) the information our author Marie Marshall provided, with more background on the poet and author. Read and enjoy!

Originally posted on Silver Threading:

It’s P’kaboo Publishing
! Make sure to visit P’ for all the fresh crispy reads!

Author, Marie Marshall

I’m a middle-aged, Anglo-Scottish author, poet, and editor who likes her written works to speak for her. When asked for a bio I usually reply with a version of the famous telegram sent by the artist Balthus:


And that’ll have to do! ~ From her Amazon author page.

Marshall’s the name, writing’s the game. It really is as simple as that. I don’t talk much about myself – I’m a very private person – I let my writing speak for me. My basics are this: I’m middle-aged, Scottish (though born and brought up in England), and have been writing since 2004.

Ah – writing! Now you’re talking! How did…

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Somewhere in another universe

To tie in with a theme our author Carmen Capuano discussed about parallel universes, I feel rattled, as though I split in two yesterday.

While I am not too sure I buy into the parallel universes theory, I do feel as though at certain junctions in life, things happen either one way or the other.  The potential splits in two, and while we continue down the road of what was, a part of us keeps going down the other road of what could have been until it either fades away or we forget to follow its progress.

I’m at that fork in the road, or rather, just past it, I can still see that other me stumbling ahead lost and broken on the less fortunate of the two paths.  But the me that is here and now, has had one more full day with my youngest child, having the privilege of carting her to rehearsals with the pianist for her violin exam (and helping the other students with their rehearsals too).  The extended privilege of dropping two children off at Scouts and trusting that when I pick them up, all will be as normal – which it was.  Part of me is still attached to that part of my soul that wandered off on the wrong side of the fork, and is still riddled with an echo of her pain and grief.  I know it will fade, I’ll forget about that part of me over time, except for once in a while when I remember…

How often have we made a choice that turns out to be pivotal to the rest of our lives?  Accept that lift from somebody, go to that party…  and more consciously, moved from one town to another, changed jobs?  Somewhere out there is also another “what if” me who stuck in Genetics full-time, getting old in a lab full of stress and not having time for much else.  The irony is that the pay didn’t even justify it, that’s why I changed jobs…

When writing a story, you have that choice.  You can turn the whole plot around and change direction at a junction point.  Usually I allow my characters to make such choices; but it can backfire, like once when I wrote a story where the main POV was so meek she never took a risk, with the result that the story never went anywhere.  Meek protagonists don’t make for strong story lines.  Needless to say that story was trashed – I don’t even remember the title.

And then I think, in M’s case, what would I have done, and I find myself thinking, probably the same.  Why?  Because it was new.  Something she’d never done before.  Something she was doing independently.  Risk?  How exciting!  Something that gave results – she got home all by herself.  Independence!  Oh yes, I can definitely see I’d have done the same.

I wish I could give you a story post along with this, but – my head is empty.  Tonight, a bit more editing perhaps.  Tomorrow, lessons.

Signing off…

Angel wings

angel+clouds AngelCloud2 cloud angel1

Today I had my belief in angels reconfirmed.

It went like this:

Little Miss M, my youngest daughter (“quite contrary”), was discovered to be hiding a whole busload of demerit points for homework not done, at school, yesterday.  Homework books that mysteriously disappeared and had to be replaced with a new one, suddenly made sense.  Letters I should have received…  you get the idea.

So after some serious talks, the 11-year-old decided for herself to make use of the school’s system for clearing demerit points:  Detention.  One detention class clears 50 demerit points, so she only had to sit twice to get her overload of demerits cleared and prevent things from running off the rail.

That sleepless night happened for me on Tuesday night, by Wednesday morning we had it sorted:  She was going to sit detention today.  The timeframe was 13:45, when school came out, until 16:15, or so we were told.

Both Hubbs and I were working at that exact time, so he said he’d pick her up at 16:35, when his student left.  And he did – except that he arrived at the school gate, and Miss M was not there.

I had a feeling, so I called to find out how the picking up was going, and found out that no, it wasn’t going at all.  My student was sent home with a promise to catch up the lesson (I made sure her mom picked her up, so she wouldn’t fall through the cracks too!), and then I was on my way to school.  I arrive, and still no M.  I march all across the school grounds and end up at the aftercare, where a sweet kiddie takes me to the classrooms where they sat detention.  Nobody.  The office:  already closed.  The teachers: already gone.  Lots of parents though, watching a cricket match…

At that point I was still hanging onto the idea that M had hidden away in some corner to read Eragon, she does that kind of thing.  But where??  There is building going on on the school grounds, this made me very uneasy.  Wherever there is building happening, there are also characters that hang about looking for victims.  I don’t quite understand how the two processes are associated, but they are.

When my young guide from the afterschool centre told me about an abduction of two girls that happened not too long ago, and told me they were found “where the people trade drugs”, the message started sinking in.  This may be real.  Maybe she’s not hiding in a corner reading Eragon.  I alerted the neighbourhood watch, one of whom is a close personal friend, and they activated a search, looking all around the suburb for M.  My friend called me back and asked me if I had the number of any of the teachers – no, only of the office, about 3 different numbers for the office.  The teachers who supervised the detention should have known at least something…  or could maybe provide a lead – bummer that they had already left!  I approached some of the parents sitting watching the cricket game, and two of the moms gave me numbers for teachers, whom I tried phoning – everyone and their buddy seemed to have their cellphones switched off.  The one mom alerted her school What’sapp group, let me post a message, took a picture of M from my cellphone and posted it.  My father called – first I ignored the call as I was taking down a teacher’s number but the second time I did answer – and I didn’t know what to tell him, I had no answers, we both just listened to the phone in horrified silence…

We were still in the middle of “What’sapping” the group, and I had sent Hubbs home to get in touch with the residential group in our complex – when his call came.

Our neighbour called him.  M was with her; the neighbour, B, had seen M sit quite despondently on the little green playground of the complex, and she spotted that our cars weren’t there.  So she called Hubbs, because she instantly connected that something was wrong.

M had walked home.

It was a double relief – firstly that she had been found, and secondly that she’d made it home safely!

Now, to understand this, you’d have to be South African.

Some people still let their kids walk home in this place.  I’ve never allowed mine.  We live exactly across from “that place where people trade drugs”, that has been pointed out to the police so often and yet it persists.  That’s half our problem.  And the other is that the lovely river that runs along the main road she had to trudge along (and that crosses the side roads she walked, at least once) is infested with over 40 human predators of the worst kind.

A generation back I walked home 1.8 kms from school every day of my life, from the time I was around 10 – and it was never a problem.  (Except for me, because it’s not always fun lugging a heavy schoolbag for 1.8 kms in the scorching heat of a mid-summer mid-afternoon in Africa.  Other kids were fetched from school.)  It was certainly never a safety issue.  And very often I walked alone because we – my brother and I – generally did not have activities at the same time.

Turn back the clock by 30 years and people would have looked at me funny and asked, “but, helicopter mom, what on Earth are you stressing about??”

Turn back the clock only 5 years, to a place in Brooklyn where I used to teach – a place that closed its gates against its own kids in the afternoon because of after-school hooliganism and vandalism – a primary school that sent its children waiting for parents to the park diagonally across the road, until a girl got abducted from there, too…  That’s the more accurate picture.

Today M had a ton of guardian angels protecting her; and I learnt again that there is no such a thing as a foolproof system, for fools are ingenious!

I never, never ever want to experience that kind of panic again that I went through in those 90 minutes of searching.

My father’s comment:  “Yes… they make us older, those kids!  That’s why parents end up old.”