Review: The Secret Shore, by Liz Fenwick

I’ve just finished the truly excellent The Secret Shore, by Liz Fenwick! 5*

Like Nigel Tuffnell’s Amp – the score should go up to 11!

May 15, 2023

It seems like an age since Liz Fenwick’s last book, The River Between Us. It is, in fact, almost exactly two years – and it has been a l-o-n-g two years!

Fortunately, she is back with a knock-out blow with The Secret Shore. She is also returning to her favourite location- Cornwall, specifically the Helford River. She takes us back to the period of the Second World War and how the war impinged on the residents, both local and incomers.

Speaking personally, this book had extra appeal for me as it dealt with both an area I know, South-west Cornwall) and my own milieu – as a man whose entire career as a ship’s officer has depended on the work of the mapmaker and those who made sure that we on board ship had access to the latest information and updated charts.

Merry, or Dr Meredith Tremayne, is a career geographer who has chosen a career path rather than marriage and a family. She is happily ensconced in Oxford in her late twenties until the war breaks out and everyone’s world changes.

Her particular skills see her posted to London, her home area of Helford, and to her working with the special units preparing for a distant invasion of France. The teams she must work with are drawn from several nations and departments. It is part of Merry’s duties to help weld those different parts into a single functioning team. The teams themselves are engaged in long-range supply to forces in Brittany and the landing and evacuation of specialist personnel.

She is also working under the enigmatic Lieut. Commander Ian Fleming; the picture Liz Fenwick paints of him is finely drawn and brings his character to light. Apart from Ian Fleming, she includes several other real participants and locations and several characters from her earlier novels.

Among those she is working with is an American, Jack Russell. One of those who crossed the border to Canada to take Canadian nationality so he could fight in the war. While Merry is determined to avoid any romantic entanglements, they realise that to be true to themselves, they should “seize the day” This would be Merry’s mother’s advice – however, her mother has mysteriously disappeared. Was she a spy? Who are they really working for?

This is a really well-crafted, pacy and absorbing read. I loved it and would unhesitatingly recommend it to readers of any age or gender.

So “Carpe Diem” and “Fill to me the Parting Glass!”

The Secret Shore


It’s Beginning To Feel Like Christmas…

By Victoria Cornwall.

Every Christmas I like to browse the new festive releases from my publisher, Choc Lit, & their imprint Ruby Fiction. As always, the covers look amazing. Congratulations to all the authors who have been busy writing these festive treats over the past year! Why don’t you have a browse too! If the blurb tickles your fancy, just click on the book cover to find out more. All the books are available in ebook and audiobook format and some are in paperback too! Enjoy!

Laughing All The Way by Berni StevensIf you received a mysterious invitation for a fun-filled festive train ride the week before Christmas, would you go?When teacher Dee Nicholls receives her invitation, she isn’t sure what to make of it. Surely it’s some kind of joke to get her out of bed early on a weekend? Perhaps a clever festive marketing ploy?But as the Christmas countdown begins, it becomes clear that Dee isn’t the only “Jingle Bells Express” invitee. There are other people out there who have received the same invitation: Tom the intern, Rachel the aspiring writer, Dylan the musician and his dog Muttley – and they’re not the only ones!Could the unusual festive journey they eventually take together show them all the true meaning of Christmas, and also that happiness is sometimes right in front of you – if you just take the time to look?

Strictly Christmas Spirit by Helen BuckleyEx-dancer Emily Williams turned her back on the sparkle of popular dancing show Strictly Dancing with Celebs to help those in need. Now the only dancing she does is teaching lonely pensioners to waltz, and the closest she gets to disco balls is making baubles with the homeless people in her Christmas crafts class.She’s certainly not star-struck when Hollywood heart-throb Blake Harris is sent to her at short notice for community service, and has no desire to babysit the arrogant actor with his bad boy antics and selfish ways. Christmas might be a time for miracles, but Blake seems to be a lost cause.Could their time together, coupled with a dash of Christmas spirit, lead to a miracle change of heart for them both?

A Cornish Christmas at Pear Tree Farm by Angela BritnellPear Tree Farm in Cornwall, owned by the kind-hearted Nessa Vivian, is known for taking in lost souls, and ex-soldier Crispin Davies is certainly one of those. But the once sleepy caravan park is now a thriving business, and far from the peace and quiet Crispin was craving, he soon finds himself roped into helping out with a short-notice Christmas festival, organised by Nessa’s force-of-nature sister, Lowena.But despite Crispin’s initial reluctance, his involvement in the festival serves to throw him together with Ashley Spencer, an American woman and fellow lost soul, who works at the nearby Tregereth House. Could Lowena’s ambitious scheme result in a more hopeful Christmas and New Year for them both – with a few surprises along the way?

Christmas at Serenity Bay by Helen Bridgett
Chloe Walsh’s skills as location manager for the beautiful seaside village she calls home have come up trumps again, and Serenity Bay is now the setting for cosy crime drama The Montgomery Mysteries, starring amateur sleuth Dominic Montgomery and his crime-solving dog, Agatha.But Chloe is in a race against time. Filming has to finish before the village Midwinter Festival but schedules are tight – and a mystery saboteur is intent on slowing things down even further. Not only is Chloe facing problems with the shoot, she also has some personal conundrums to solve – a diva actor has commandeered her flat, her mum is having a late mid-life crisis, plus she has no idea what to buy for her Christmas-obsessed boyfriend!Can Chloe sort out her life and save Christmas for an entire village?

Christmas of New Beginnings by Kirsty Ferry
Not all festive wishes come true right away – sometimes it takes five Christmases …Folk singer Cerys Davies left Wales for the South Downs village of Padcock at Christmas, desperate for a new beginning. And she ends up having plenty of those: opening a new craft shop-tea room, helping set up the village’s first festive craft fair, and, of course, falling desperately in love with Lovely Sam, the owner of the local pub. It’s just too bad he’s firmly in the clutches of Awful Belinda …Perhaps Cerys has to learn that some new beginnings take a while to … well, begin! But with a bit of patience, some mild espionage, a generous sprinkling of festive magic and a flock of pub-crashing sheep, could her fifth Christmas in Padcock lead to her best new beginning yet?
For more Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction festive reads please click HERE

Summer’s Christmas by Ella Cook
Summer by name and summer by nature – that’s how people describe Evelyn’s happy, outgoing daughter. Even if her favourite time of year is actually Christmas!But Summer has gone through more than any eight-year-old ever should, and that’s part of the reason Evelyn is leaving everything behind to return to her childhood home in the village of Broclington; just her, Summer and Summer’s best friend – a Shiba Inu dog called Tilly. Unsurprisingly, Evelyn is hesitant to let anyone else in, although local vet Jake Macpearson seems intent on winning her trust.When Evelyn receives the news that every mother dreads, it’s Jake who comes to the rescue. With the help of the Broclington community, could he be the man to bring festive magic to August, and make all of Evelyn and Summer’s Christmases come at once?
Perhaps now is a good time to mention my own festive novella! Originally published by Choc Lit as an ebook and audiobook, I always hoped that one day it would be released in print.
I am delighted to say that it is now out in large print for the very first time this Christmas!

A Daughter’s Christmas Wish by Victoria Cornwall
Christmas, 1919. A promise to a fellow soldier leads Nicholas to Cornwall for Christmas, and to the teashop managed by Rose: the youngest daughter of a family whose festive spirit has been blighted by their wartime experiences.But as Nicholas strives to give Rose the best Christmas she could wish for, he begins to question whether his efforts are to honour his friend – or if there is another reason…
The large print format is published by Ulverscroft and you can buy a copy HERE
This is my last post until after Christmas, so I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!
Victoria Cornwall

Romantic Fiction as a Genre

Please read and share this blog post widely. I cannot over-emphasise how important I think this is! Please Repost it in every Facebook and other Group you think is relevant.

The RNA has written an open letter to Sunday Times Literary Editor Andrew Holgate regarding the omission of romantic fiction as a genre in the best books of 2021 roundup.

The RNA was founded in 1960 to celebrate & demand respect for this genre.…/rna-open…/#RespectRomFic

I am ridiculously proud to see just how many of those who are signatories to this important letter are writers who I hold in the highest regard as authors, professionals and friends.

AS a male author I am equally proud of being a Member of the RNA. An amazing organisation working towards the highest ideals of authorship and story-telling.

To my fellow-members, and to every aspiring author, may your pens never run dry!


Dear Andrew Holgate,

On behalf of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and all the 496 undersigned, we are writing this open letter in response to the Sunday Times books roundup of 2021 entitled, ‘The 33 best books of 2021 from every genre.’ At the time the roundup was published, two of our author members were in the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers chart, with Phillipa Ashley at number 9 and Milly Johnson holding the number 2 spot. To have romantic fiction occupying a fifth of the top ten is a huge achievement. It was, therefore, astonishing that in an article claiming to include every genre, romance was nowhere to be seen. To add insult to injury, your tweet questioned whether it was indeed a genre. We recognise that you have since withdrawn the tweet – but the damage has been done.

Romantic fiction plays a crucial role in financially underpinning the industry. We believe that it should be recognised for the great success it is, and for that, we would like your support. Speak to us! Find out more about our genre and include us in your future lists. How about a separate list to round off this year just for romantic fiction? The New York Times now has a regular romance column. We would like to suggest something similar so that our genre can be more visible and receive the respect it merits.

The RNA has almost a thousand members, including many bestselling and world-renowned authors who not only appear regularly on your bestseller list, but several of whom also have film and TV deals. Our membership is also made up of editors, literary agents and other publishing professionals. Every year we present prestigious awards for excellence in romantic fiction, as well as highly coveted awards for those in the industry that champion our genre.

Many of our members are upset and angry at the dismissal of the genre they love and are proud to write and read — a genre that is in fact a multi-billion dollar industry. Booksellers and librarians have dedicated Romantic Fiction sections, the publishing industry recognises the genre and so do millions of readers. How can you possibly justify your failure to acknowledge us?

The general snobbery towards these wonderful, intelligent, creative and supportive people is nothing new — but the complete erasure of our genre is a step too far. The perception of romantic fiction needs to change across the whole industry, and you are in a position to be able to influence that change. We have lots of ideas, and would welcome the chance to work with you. Are you up for the challenge?

To contact the RNA Committee please email:


(Letter signed by 496 romantic fiction authors.)

Twelve Books for Christmas: Day 1: Under the Mistletoe by Sue Moorcroft

Karen King: Author

Welcome to my Twelve Books for Christmas blog. Over the next twelve days I’ll be introducing you to twelve romance books to warm your heart and make you feel all Christmassy. They’ll all make wonderful presents for a friend, or you could even treat yourself. And kicking off the blog isSunday Times Bestselling author, Sue Moorcroft. Sue’s latest Christmas books, Under the Mistletoe, takes us back to the wonderful village of Middledip which often features in Sue’s books.


Snuggle up with a mince pie, a cup of cocoa and the most heartwarming book this Christmas from the bestselling Sue Moorcroft.

Christmas. A time for family, friends – and rekindling old flames…

When Laurel returns to the village of Middledip, she’s looking for a quiet life. Adjusting to her recent divorce, she’s ready to spend some time getting back on her feet amidst the glorious snow-dusted countryside.

Yet, life in…

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The results are in . . .

A lovely blog post from Lizzie

Lizzie Lamb - author

my glittery runner-up certificate

Although I wasn’t lucky enough to win my category at the Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards Ceremony I was proud to be nominated. And, in true Lizzie fashion, I made quite an event of it: travelling first class from Leicester to St Pancras with husband Dave, lunch in the Betjeman Arms, overnight stay at the Leonardo Hotel in view of the Tower of London. There was even time for a bit of a shopping expedition on the way home.

Looking back over the event I’ve come to see it as a marker of how far I’ve come over the last nine years. I am very proud of what I’ve achieved:

  • six published novels on Amazon with number seven under way
  • the establishment of the Leicester Chapter of the RNA (over 60 members)
  • the network of friends, readers and other author made via social media
  • the help and…

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Readers are Plentiful: Authors are RARE

Some Thoughts about RARE Edinburgh

Here, RARE stands for Romance Author & Reader Events. They have taken place in various cities around the world since 2014. Basically, you get a large venue, and fill it with romance authors. They each pay about £300 for a table. Attending readers (their fans) descend on the event to have their paperback copies of their favourite books signed by the author. Many of the authors will also take advance orders for their books and will attend with all they need.

Readers queuing to enter the Heart of Steel signing event in Sheffield.

Nowadays, these events sell out VERY QUICKLY! Tickets are priced anywhere from £50 to £80

Authors coming to Edinburgh by Nationality

  • Australian          10
  • Canada               10
  • Ireland                4
  • UK                     25
  • USA                   163

So the vast majority of the attending authors find it worth their while financially to fly to the UK, and to make all the arrangements for their paperbacks to be there for them. For the majority of them, this they must do themselves: there is no publisher to do it for them.

Among the authors there is massive competition for places too. ALL these events have a substantial waiting list for tables.

Romance Author Reader Events on Facebook.

RARE Events on Twitter.

A great many are USA Today Bestsellers and/or New York Times bestsellers and are VERY productive,  insatiable writers. Just look at these figures!

Number of books published by the attending authors.

  • Total (using Goodreads)               13650
  • Mean                                            About 52 per attending author.
  • Highest                                         382 in 12 years!  i.e. over 30 a year!
  • Lowest                                          2

Asll this demonstrates just how VERY broad is their spectrum of productivity.

Out of 239 attending authors, 189 are independent authors. These are publishing under their own name with CreateSpace, IngramSpark and the like for paperbacks, but on EVERY platform for their eBooks. i.e. Amazon, Barnes&Noble, I-Books, Smashwords, Evernight and Kobo.

Because of Covid various signings have been cancelled, but the organisers are really hitting the ground running with RARE Edinburgh next year – and this event will take place over 2 full days with over 230 authors coming.

 There are a few Romantic Novelists Association members attending, including Carrie Elks and Julia Sykes. All attendees’ tickets for RARE Edinburgh are sold out.  When they go on sale, they normally go within a couple of hours.

Although all the authors write in the romantic genre, a LOT of them write fantasy or erotic romances, both MM and FF, and books in the alpha, rockstar, bad-boy, and cowboy tropes.  Also plenty of historical and romantic suspense. Saga type romances seem less common.

Nearly all of them use Linktree and put links to EVERYTHING on their Linktree page.

And – invariably – a cover and link to their books, under every writing name they use.

Almost all of them will write “series” of up to 10 inter-connected books. This seems to be very much what their readers want. Writing a series also has several marketing advantages. I know from experience that some established authors have suggested that their work is not of a “high quality”! Well, it certainly appears to be of a suitable quality for their numerous readers.

Among the 50 authors who are conventionally published, their publishing houses include Montlake and Skyscape (both part of the Amazon stable), Piatkus. Penguin, Macmillan, Carina, Hachette, Avon and Bantam.

From those I have seen, the standard of their websites is very high. Lots of stuff going on. Pics and links to all their books and a very professional appearance. A lot of their covers show echoes of Fabio! As with conventional publishing, there IS a noticeable difference between authors from the UK and the USA.

Although most authors attending are from outside the UK, there IS a trade in the other direction, with several British authors attending similar large events in the USA.

I’ve been to several of the smaller signing events within striking distance of York, and I’ve found them ALL amazingly friendly and convivial occasions. Independent publishing is “the other side of the coin” to those of us grounded firmly in the conventional side of the game, but I think it behoves us all to look at the Indie sector and take a note of what makes them so successful, and to note their amazing productivity. This is not unknown, particularly in the category romance area. I know of several HM&B authors who produce 4-5 books a year.

Some shots from signings in the UK.

Thay are invariably fun events to attend, and for meeting old friends and new!

Many readers will attend a signing event with a wheeled trolley or roll-along case and take it home FULL of the books they have collected and bought.

Perhaps its most important to note that any success they achieve is purely by their own efforts and on their own terms.

Personally speaking, I would like to see more formal recognition given to indie authors, possibly along the line of one or two awards in the Romantic Novel of the Year awards reserved specifically for independent authors. Does the RNA need to reach out to all these bestselling authors of romance to make them feel welcome and included?

After all, romance is for everyone!

How to write a classic

From this week’s Novel Points of View Blog.

This week its Victoria Cornwall.

In January I wrote a blog post about books to read before one dies and how the list influenced a Christmas gift from a member of my family. One of the books I requested for Christmas was the classic The Catcher in the Rye, which I have just finished. The plot wasn’t what I was expecting, but perhaps that is not surprising as I knew nothing about the book beyond its cult-like status before I read it. However, its simple plot and style did make me ponder on what makes a book a classic and could I write one?

According to the Cambridge and Collins dictionaries, a “classic” is a work which is well known, of high literary standard and has lasting value. During my research the general view is that a classic should touch and connect with people, challenge a reader’s view on life, influence subsequent books and its appeal must last for years. Using it as an example or a discussion topic in book clubs and education can help with the demand lasting for years.

Armed with this knowledge, I re-examined The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger to discover why this book became a classic. The story is told from the viewpoint of a teenager and covers his thoughts and actions over a very short period in his life. The teenager becomes increasing depressed and disillusioned with the world, and although he has a kind heart, the reader can’t help feeling he is on the road to delinquency.

This novel was initially a series, but was published as a book in 1951. Now it may surprise some people, but the idea of being a teenager didn’t really emerge until mid 20th century. Prior to this children left school at a young age and went straight into work. They dressed like their parents and worked long hours like their parents. Compulsory education, coupled with the advances in technology, opened up teenagers to the wider world and its variety of new influences. Suddenly teenagers had the space to create their own culture, fashion trends and music preferences. So the arrival of The Catcher in the Rye was, in my opinion, probably one of the first novels to be from a teenage perspective, using teenage slang and… most exciting of all, the hero was suffering from all the insecurities and disillusionment that, although rife, was probably not fully acknowledged back then. Although initially written for adults, this book connected with adults and teenagers, challenged readers view of the world and subsequently changed how many books, aimed at teenagers, were written. Add the cult following it has attracted over the years, it is no wonder it became a classic.

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, is a coming of age tale of the March sisters. Published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869, it was later released as one volume in 1880 and became one of the most widely read novels in history. The plot had a wide appeal, as it not only connected with readers from all classes, but it resonated with readers who were, or had, navigated the choppy waters from innocent childhood to womanhood. However, the story also challenged the idea that marriage was the main goal, as the main antagonist, Jo, turns down her first marriage proposal and, instead, chooses independence and pursuing her dream of becoming a writer. This was inspirational for many readers at that time and challenged their view on life. Independent heroines, choosing who and when they marry, had been created. No wonder Little Women became a classic.

My third example of a classic is Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell. Published in 1877, it has become the best selling book of all time. The book is told in the first person (or should I say first animal) as a autobiographical memoir from the viewpoint of a working horse. It is emotional, graphic, sad, happy, and takes the reader on a roller-coaster of emotions. More importantly, it highlights the suffering of working animals in a way that had not been done before. Suddenly animals were shown to experience sadness, longing, fear and exhaustion, in a way it was not acknowledged before.  This novel connected with people, as many used horses for work and transport at that time, but it also challenged their treatment and highlighted their suffering and how easily they were discarded. It became the most anti-cruelty novel of all time and was championed by animal welfare activists to further their cause. Subsequent books, told from the animals point of view or at least gave them a voice, such as Charlotte’s Webb and Watership Down, followed.

So now we know what makes a classic, all we have to do is write one. Remember, it must connect with a wide audience, challenge their view on life, influence subsequent books and remain popular for years. Hhmmm… I think that’s easier said than done!

What novel is your favourite classic? Is there a book you think should be considered a classic? Tell us about it, we would love to hear.

You can pick your Friends, but you are stuck with your Family! (but then again…)

I’ve just been updating and polishing my Family History files. This is very much a work-in-progress and isn’t likely to be finished any time soon! I have been doing this for over 50 years, too, so there are a LOT of people “in the database”.

Turning your family history into a story is not a job for the faint hearted, and, truth be told, isn’t necessarily of any interest to anyone outside your immediate family. (Or even to them!)


Your family history can be a great source of “plot”. It will show you the size of families and the names in use, and, in many cases the occupation of your family members, and their locations.

Everyone in the UK has access to the General Record Office of Births, Marriages and Deaths.  They have a useful web page at and you can look online and order certificates of your “person of interest”

I also recommend This site is useful for looking up records and getting the date (by quarter) and place of their birth, marriage or death. This will take your research back as far as 1837, when they started keeping BMD records.

I’m sure lots of us have got a battered photo-album, or an old biscuit tin, handed down to them and FULL of very old family photos. I urge all of you to check, and if at all possible, sit down with Gran, Mum or Great-Aunt Lilly, and try to identify them.  You are not going to write their stories, (generally) but they CAN inform your choice of characters in your next book. They also show you what people were wearing at that time. Don’t leave it until it’s too late!

They really did good beard back in Victorian times! Prototype Hipsters. I would really love to know their names.

Another great source of names can be the old baptism records. These have generally been collected by a local Family History society and can really be useful.

This is a screenshot of a random simple query on Baptisms in Helston. Lots of genuine names and occupations here, and plenty of fuel for any age you would want.

This is my Family tree – and all these details are available through the General Record Office. The “gap” in the right -hand column is because the Greys were out in India. They were jute merchants in Calcutta.

In that column, my great-great-grandparents, there is an army officer, a vicar, a Quaker mill owner, some “box-wallahs”, a Purser of the Botallack Mine, a railway contractor (he had several thousand fellow-Irishmen working for him, on the railway to Holyhead) a peer’s son and another peer’s daughter!

Most of us had relatives who served in the Great War. The Imperial War Museum is the best place to start. Its also FREE!

Another really great resource is the National Archives at Kew. They have details on almost everyone and everything. I’ve spent many happy hours going through “stuff” there!

John King was my Gt Gt Gt Grandmother’s 2nd husband. This was the official notice condemning him to Debtor’s Prison in 1800. (not for long!)

Ditto the London Gazette. Historical Novelists and readers will surely have heard or read of “The Gazette” or engagements being announced in the Gazette, or someone being Gazetted. This still goes on for EVERY official government announcement. And, again, it’s FREE!

And lastly,

Again, just packed with info on almost everyone and everything.

So, some rules.

Any event dated before 1066 is likely to involve a LOT of guesswork.

Any history before the Victorian era will have been written by a man.

All history is written by the victors (who pay for it).

And finally – do remember – we are STORYTELLERS first and foremost.

Now happy hunting, and don’t over-research! (you will, anyway!)


And finally – some news about the hedgehogs!

We are getting regular calls from about 3 or 4 of them. Actually, IDing individuals is very very hard. I keep putting up pics from our cameras and share them to our local Facebook Groups. Quite a few people are feeding them now in the village. This is a GOOD Thing!

Remember, now matter what you feed them, this only represents about 20% of their diet. The other 80% is made up of invertebrates, insects, beetles, slugs and other tasty items the find while rootling round your garden.

Novel Points of View

The Not-So-Secret Seven. Writers and bloggers passionate about creativity – spilling the beans on writing, narrative, reading and more … Do join us and enjoy.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

FOOD STORIES – from Rae Cowie.

Hello reading friends! 


When writers write for a while, themes can emerge, and one of the topics that interests me is food. This will be no surprise to friends and family, as I’ve been described as a ‘feeder’. Someone who enjoys preparing and sharing meals. 


When growing up, I ran home from primary school each day to enjoy a hearty lunch, followed by tea on the table at five o’clock. As one of four children, there was always plenty chatter around the table. For me, food and stories have always been closely linked. A tradition I’ve tried to pass on to my own family, ensuring the kitchen is the heart of our home. The celebrity baker and chef, Mary Berry says the reason we pine for home cooking is because a special ingredient is added – love. 


However, for most of the past year I have been living alone (although I am very lucky to have dear friends and family close by) and realised that it’s not the preparing of food I enjoy, so much as the companionship and shared stories around the table. Don’t be mistaken, when my sons were very young, it wasn’t all sunbeams and laughter that filled the kitchen. Mealtimes could be a challenge. Then during the teenage years, there were several tense meals, when the only sound was the clatter of cutlery! But, often, sharing food also offers an opportunity to catch up. 


But what has this to do with writing? Well writing about food, or the lack of it, can set the scene for a reader and say much about a character’s background, circumstances, mood. Are they eating alone? Or preparing a celebration feast etc. Always remembering that relationships with food can be tricky, stirring uncomfortable memories, binging for comfort, rationing food as a means of control. 

My favourite comfort food – 
a boiled egg and toast!


And then there are those who, for a whole variety of reasons, find themselves in food poverty. Which is why I was drawn to write a piece for Potluck Zine, a publisher who donates 10% of sales of EVERY issue to The Trussell Trust, to help put food on the table for those who need it. The latest issue focuses on Feasts, and I am thrilled that my story, A Welcome Home, is included. 

The title, A Welcome Home feels apt, as over the past week I have done just that. Welcomed my husband and sons home, and I’m in my element again, cooking and preparing family meals. 
So, are you a foodie? Do you like to experiment with new ingredients and recipes? Or do you see food as fuel? Cooking as just another chore to be completed. If you are a writer, how do you use food in your work?


To preorder a copy of Potluck Zine and help others enjoy a decent meal, just click on the link to order a copy (which will be issued at the beginning of August)… Preorder Potluck Zine

Issue 4 of Potluck Zine : FEAST

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy!
Rae x

Posted by Rae Cowie at 7/31/2021 02:25:00 pm  Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to PinterestLabels: Food MagazineFood PovertyFood StoriesFood ZineFoodie StoriesMary BerryPotluck ZineShort FictionThe Trussell Trust


  1. Terry Lynn Thomas1 August 2021 at 21:42Great post, Rae. And I realized after reading it that I have a scene in every Olivia Sinclair book where Olivia and her best friend Lauren eat lunch or breakfast. (And they don’t count calories!) Now I’m hungry…ReplyDeleteReplies
    1. Rae Cowie2 August 2021 at 09:57You’re right, calories don’t count when eating with a friend!Delete
  2. Victoria Cornwall2 August 2021 at 08:36What a great post, Rae, and congratulations on having Welcome Home selected for the feast issue of Potluck Zine. Dinner (hot) and then tea at five (cold)… takes me back to my childhood. In our house meals were not served past 6pm. Anything past 6 was supper and usually consisted of no more than a snack and a warm drink. Simpler times. 🙂ReplyDeleteReplies
    1. Rae Cowie2 August 2021 at 10:02Thanks Victoria. Your childhood meal routine sounds very similar to mine. My best friend had dinner at 6pm, which sounded far posher than our tea at 5!Delete
  3. Just Another Bloke (John Jackson)2 August 2021 at 11:47Congratulations, Rae. Also, the Trussell Trust do a fantastic job with foodbanks. It is so very sad that there is a need for their work. *sigh*

    A cause worth supporting, and a writer worth reading!

    John 🦔🦔🦔ReplyDeleteReplies
    1. Rae Cowie2 August 2021 at 18:50Aw thank you, John. I agree, it’s so sad that the need for food banks is growing, but fantastic that Potluck Zine are doing what they can to help.Delete

Children in Read 2021

Yes – it’s all kicking off again!! Pudsey is Back in Town!

Paddy Heron has just opened up the Auction for this year’s Children in Read charity auction. If you donated last year, then we would love you to express your generosity again!  If this is all new to you, then read on.

Children in Read is a charity auction of signed books by both Authors and Illustrators. This is the 7th year of the auction and last year we raised over £21,000.

Its open to both mainstream published authors and Indie authors! If you have a physical book to donate, that’s fine! ALL genres welcome!

A reminder:

  1. Follow Paddy on Twitter at @Childreninread
  2. Send him a Direct Message telling him you want to donate and give him:

a. The Title

b. The Amazon Link so he can use it for your Bio, the book blurb, the Cover and Headshot

c. Your Bio, Blurb and Headshot if not on your Amazon Page.

Include your website and social media links in your Bio.


Email him at with the above info, although Paddy does seem to prefer Twitter.

So many author friends were very generous last year, and I’ll be doing regular Promo posts as last year by way of a thankyou..

Every author who donates will have their twitter added to so you can see everyone else who has committed to donate.

They will also be invited to join the Facebook Group I use for promoting the event at  Like last year I hope to advertise the event and your contribution through a series of collages.

Cheers and thanks!!