Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Beta Readers Needed for A Date With Death

Una Cita con la Muerte – this is the title of the movie which is being made in the new Flora Lively mystery. It translates from Spanish to A Date With Death … I’m putting out the call today for beta readers who can read the book in two weeks between Monday 18th October and Friday 24th October. There are no special skills needed – just a willingness to feedback honestly what you feel works and what might not work so well. And it helps if you love mysteries, and/or read and enjoyed the first Flora Lively book, Murder at the Maples.

FL_a date with deathv3

It would be really super-fab if I could find someone who speaks Spanish to beta-read the book as well. There are a few Spanish words and phrases, and while I have been rigorous in my translations, it would be great to have someone scan these for authenticity in context. If anyone has a Spanish-speaking friend they could put me in touch with that would be great. I could put the Spanish-containing bits into a separate document so they wouldn’t have to read the whole thing.

I love this stage of producing a book. The first draft is completed, and now it’s just polishing and re-drafting and editing. Now I start to really know the characters – and they are a pretty mad bunch, I can tell you! A Date With Death is a mystery more in line with a traditional Agatha Christie-esque structure – a bunch of potential suspects, all holed-up together in a manor house, with lots of twists and turns and surprises. And red herrings, of course ;)

Next week I’ll be posting up an excerpt from the first chapter, so watch out for that. And if you are interested in beta reading, either leave a comment in the boxes below or email me on joannephillipsmail (at) gmail (dot) com.


Filed under Flora Lively, Miscellaneous

The Story of Slur

Joanne Phillips:

My great friend Diane Mannion is launching her new book today – check it out here and join her launch party. You can also win a signed copy of Can’t Live Without in a special 5-book package prize from Diane’s Fab Five authors. (Loving that cover!)

Book Cover

Originally posted on Heather Burnside Author:

The party’s started so grab yourself a cuppa and crack open the biscuits – we’ll save the wine and nibbles till later. I thought I’d start by letting you know what we’ve got lined up before telling you a little bit about the book. In fact, SLUR will be telling its own tale, and I have to warn you that with all this attention it’s become the diva of the book world.


We’ll be running some fun quizzes throughout the day and are offering great prizes (more about that below). All quiz answers should be sent by email to We’ll also be publishing updates during the day so if you want to receive the updates by email, just follow this blog by clicking the box marked ‘follow’ to the right of the screen.

Where to Buy SLUR

SLUR is available from Amazon in both Kindle format priced at £1.99…

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Charity Bike Ride – 95 Miles in Aid of Macmillan

On Sunday my husband is taking part in the Wiggle Dragon ride – 95 miles up (and hopefully down) some of the hardest climbs in South Wales. Jez says it’s the equivalent of going twice up Mount Snowdon! He’s doing this for Macmillan, and just because he’s a bit mad, really.

Here he is after completing a Tour of Britain ride last year:

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I was hoping some of you lovely people out there might be willing to sponsor him – you can do this easily and securely by going straight to his Just Giving page at I can’t imagine cycling 9 miles, let alone 95, and I’m constantly amazed at his energy and dedication. He even cycles to work two days a week – and this is not an ordinary commute! We live 28 miles away from Chester, so that’s a 56 mile round trip with a working day in between. Bonkers!

So let’s give him a great big cheer and say ‘Good luck for Sunday, Jez!’ (I think he’s going to need it.)


Filed under Miscellaneous

The Summerhouse is Finally Finished!

I’m lucky enough to have a small office at home (which doubles up as the spare room), but last summer I found myself feeling frustrated at being stuck in all day working while the sun shone outside. We came up with the idea of buying a summerhouse – one that I could use as a home office, but also a relaxing space to enjoy the garden even when the weather wasn’t quite so good. Now, finally, my summerhouse project is finished and ready to go!

Here is my summerhouse journey, starting with the before picture …

Summerhouse beforeThis was the spot where we used to keep our chickens a while back, so it needed to have a brand new base …

Summerhouse base

And then the summerhouse arrived …


This was quite late into the year, though, so I didn’t get around to painting it until recently. My lovely brother-in-law put in some electrics for me and I started collecting old bits of furniture out of the garage ready to go in my new office.

And finally, on Sunday, the summerhouse was completed and ready to go!

Summerhouse completed


Summerhouse close up


Summerhouse desk


Summerhouse relaxing

The only brand new thing I have in there is the comfy chair from Ikea – the desk is an old one that didn’t make it into my office make-over last year, the glass bookcase used to be in hubby’s shed, and the wicker chair I’ve had for years and years. I can’t tell you how lovely it feels working in there. I used to stagger out of the house and walk to pick up my daughter from school blinking in the daylight and feeling bleary-eyed and dazed – now I feel as though I’ve been outdoors all day, and it’s so lovely to have the garden to look out on …


Plus, it’s amazingly quiet.  I can hear birds singing and bees buzzing around but not much else. Wonderful! And of course, it’s warm and cosy, with a radiator and lots of blankets, so I’m sure I’ll be using it all year long. Cupid’s Way will be finished in there very soon too :) It was a project well worth waiting for, and now I can’t wait to get to work in the mornings. My commute is about twenty five steps, which isn’t bad at all when you think about it.

So what do you think? And what kinds of lovely working spaces do you have?



Filed under Miscellaneous