History People #3: Cathie Dunn, a Medieval History Fan

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Originally posted on Vanessa Couchman:
Historical novelist Cathie Dunn I’m delighted to welcome back author Cathie Dunn to the blog today, who continues my series about writers of historical fiction. Thank you, Vanessa, for hosting me today. I love talking…

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The Great Architect – a poem for Christmas Eve

Broad Thoughts From A Home

Today is Day 24 of the Christmas with the Crooked Cats Advent Calendar, and it’s my turn to reveal what’s behind the door.

Here, then, is a little Christmas-related ditty.  From all at Barnard Towers, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and blessed Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous 2017.


Building a home, a place of your own,

is a careful and skilled operation;

be it palace or croft, from cellar to loft

you must start with a stable foundation.

Doors, passages, halls, windows, ceilings and walls

are all signs of great civilisation,

but what makes buildings sound is what’s under the ground –

so there must be a stable foundation.

When the world first began, built to one clever plan,

human life was the greatest creation.

But no matter how fine is the final design,

it must start with a stable…

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A Bit of Festive Fun

Tim's Blog

Everybody likes games and puzzles at Christmas time, right? So I thought I’d set a little challenge for readers of this blog. Below is a little story I wrote at Holmfirth Writers the other day (not a festive one, I’m afraid). It was written in response to eight words chosen at random from a book taken off a library shelf – they all appear in the story.  Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to guess what the eight words were and tell me your guesses either here or on Facebook. It’s just a bit of fun. People who were at the HWG meeting on 19 December are ineligible, for obvious reasons!

“You may leave us now, Feldwebel,” said Doctor Schuster. “The prisoner’s hands and feet are secured, are they not? I need to examine him and ask some questions. In my experience, it is easier to obtain the information I need when the ……

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8 Stocking Fillers for Writers and Readers

A little help if you’re seeking that last-minute inspiration…

Vanessa Couchman


What would you like in your Christmas stocking this year? A three-book contract with one of the big ones, perhaps? You can’t get those at Amazon or Waterstones, unfortunately. Decorative notebooks are always handy, if a bit predictable, but I hate sullying them with my scrawl, so several unused ones languish in my desk drawer.

There are still a few shopping days to Christmas, so here are some other suggestions you can give your nearest and dearest – or ask them to give you – for writing and reading accessories.

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Chestnuts are not Just for Christmas in Corsica

Vanessa Couchman


Chestnuts Chestnuts

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” goes the Festive Season song. We associate chestnuts with Christmas, roasted whole or made into succulent stuffing. But this seasonal treat was once a staple food for many people, including the Corsicans.

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