Thursday, 20 November 2014

GLASNOST available for pre-order

The new book is finished (bar some comma checking) and is available for pre-order on Amazon now.  The actual launch date is 4 December.

Available here: GLASNOST

Friday, 7 November 2014

One more chapter

Finally about to finish 'Glasnost'.  One more chapter to go and then its off to the Ministry of Defence to clear it.  I have to do this with all the naval books or I could end up in the poo.  They 'redacted' a big chunk of 'Arapaho' - something to do with me being too honest about tactics which are still current.  Even so it should be out soon, certainly before Christmas.   I've tried with all these books to illuminate a bit of history that maybe never got the attention it deserved and boy I this another of those.  I occasionally get accused of far fetched plots even though they all have a basis in fact.  Well this one is a cracker.  I'll say no more.

My old ship, HMS Andromeda, who in the guise of HMS Prometheus stars in two of my previous books and makes another appearance in 'Glasnost'

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The last lap

I've not been blogging for a while as I've been heavily into writing (and trying to hit a stupid little white ball with a long stick, with little success as usual).  'Glasnost' should be out by the end of November.  However, one of the problems with researching recent political events to weave a story around, is drilling through the myths and conjecture to find the facts.  The climax to the book will be based around the three days in August 1991 when Soviet hardliners attempted to oust Gorbachev while he was on holiday in his villa at Foros on the Black Sea.  The more I've dug into the story, the more I've realised that probably no one really knows what happened and I include Gorbachev in that.  There are plenty of conspiracy theories and as many views as there are writers on the subject.  Of course this is all grist to the mill of the novel writer because I can pick and choose which set of 'truths' to use.
Rather like my book 'The Caspian Monster'  the more I researched the subject, the more I realised that the whole incident was far more critical to world peace than was reported in the western media.   However, in this case it was just the start of a process in that in Russia is still going on today.  When Gorbachev unleashed the floodgates of  Perestroika and Glasnost - Restructuring and Openness - I wonder if he realised just how far the avalanche of change would reach.............(apologies for the dreadful mix of metaphors!)

The villa on the Black Sea where Gorbachev was imprisoned for three days - or was he???


Saturday, 20 September 2014

The latest novel

Now firmly into writing again although I've had the dreaded writers block for a few weeks.  Luckily that seems to have gone and I'm cracking on.  Decided to have a go at the graphics:

A KA 50 Hokum in NATO parlance or a Black Shark if you're Russian.

Monday, 15 September 2014

The dog with extra cheeseory perception

So we spent a really fantastic week on the boat as a last trip of the summer.  For once the weather forecast was good and it actually was!  A quick trip down the Macclesfield and then the Peak Forest canals saw us in Bugsworth basin.  its an amazing place - used in the last century as a dock area for bringing limestone down from the Peak District and it used to handle up to 80 narrow boats a day.  The pub was good too.
Now as to the title of this post.  For some time now I've been amazed at the dog's ability to know when I go to the fridge to get some cheese.  If I go for any other comestible, he stays in his bed but the moment I feel esurient for matured fromage, he is sitting behind me as if by magic.  So while we were away I conducted a highly scientific experiment.  I went to the fridge and got out a bottle of tonic (good excuse for a gin) - no dog.  I went to the fridge for a beer - no dog.  Went to the fridge and touched the cheese wrapper - he was already sitting behind me giving me the 'do I get some' look.  So it just goes to show that animals have extra senses than us poor humans don't have.

Bugsworth - or least part of it there are two more dock areas like this and all as well preserved.

A dog sensing cheese.

 A dog asking for cheese

 Actually we reckon he just knows the sound of the wrapper  crackling when its touched.

Probably won't be boating now until the Spring.  As usual I have the dreaded 'list' of things to work through on the boat including rebuilding the shower.  But more importantly I have a book to finish.................

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


We're now back at home and apart from too much gardening, the new novel 'Glasnost' is taking shape.  Several months on the canals may not have been good for producing words but most of the ideas have firmed up which is the important bit.  Apart from being about the fall of the Soviet Union my books always have to have some good machinery in them and preferably helicopters.  So below is the latest.  Anyone know what it is?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Snug at last

So here we are in Lyme view marina and very nice it is too.  The owner is pretty relaxed about rules so we can leave shore power connected, put up our washing line and let the dog out without a lead  and not be immediately shouted at.  All things we have experienced elsewhere.  There is a massive field at the back for throwing the dog's ball in. Its quiet with no railways or major roads nearby.  The other locals all seem to gather every evening for a beer or three which is also rather nice.
We've already been co-opted into looking after grandkids although I made the excuse that I needed to take the back of the boat apart this afternoon.  We've had an annoying transmission rattle for ages now and it seemed like a good time to have a go at it.  I now have most of the transmission dismantled so we aren't going anywhere for the moment even if we wanted to.  Probably home at the weekend for lots of writing and maybe some golf.

Things you see on the canals - last chapter:

Is this an Alligator or a Crocodile??

This is a canal that the Canal and River Trust say is maintained to be navigable for two boats.  Think we'll take a hedge trimmer with us in the future.