A light has gone out over the Mississippi.

I was shocked and saddened to receive the news of the passing of my friend, author and designer, Shannon Ware. It came through in the same manner as we met - on Facebook. One of her close friends and fellow writers contacted me to tell me Shannon had passed suddenly; some complications from the flu. She was 54. I once asked her for her address, to send a thank you for all the work she’d done, but Simi would only tell me that she lived near the...

Carl MacDougall (2017) Someone Always Robs the Poor

I was aware of Carl MacDougall in an oblique way. I hadn’t read any of his work, but knew him to be the editor of one of the classic Scottish texts The Devil and the Giro: The Scottish Short Story . When I found out the Scottish Book Trust had approached him and he had agreed to be my mentor for my second novel I was chuffed. I googled him. This is his latest short-story collection, by the now defunct publishers Freight. I admit to a bias here...

Castle Pillock: A Good Night's Sleep

Castle Pillock is quiet again. I am more blessed than I deserve to be by the fact that both my kids choose to come home for Christmas, and one of them now brings his other half. I am glad of heart to have had the Princess home from Uni for the entire vacation. I am delighted beyond measure that the four of us will be together in New York next Christmas. ​ (Did I mention we’re going to New York next Christmas? I may have done. Only fair to warn...

The Art of Believing

no guru, no method, no teacher

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point.

There's been some great pieces this week, particularly on the poetry front. I do hope more of our poets submit work to Cerasus Poetry - go on - you know you want too. Having said that, there's been some pretty stunning prose too. It's been very hard to to pick one but I've chosen Stephen Thom's gruesome but compelling two parter: So which poem to pick? So tricky, but I have to...

Two New Signings

Let's hear it for the boys.

Polly and Dolly

A middle-class lady bought two female parrots, Polly and Dolly, but was shocked to discover that they kept shouting out rude and inappropriate remarks. She sought advice from her parish priest about curing them of this embarrassing situation. The priest was mortified at the things the parrots were shouting. Polly squawked provocatively, “Do you fancy some hanky-panky?” Dolly screeched rudely, “Would you risk it for a biscuit?” The priest then...

The Darkest Minds (review)

“Maybe nothing will ever change for us,” he said. “But don’t you want to be around just in case it does?”~ In a world where special children classed by colours like red, orange, blue, green and yellow are seen as a threat to the government comes The Darkest Minds . These children's abilities are the reason they're hunted and placed in terror camps where they’re killed or trained to kill for the same government that's killing them. I was going...

Let’s Hear It For The Boys

We will shortly be announcing another two signings. Both men. Not to detract from their testosterone fuelled ability, but we would love to hear from more women, to redress the hormone imbalance.

The Magic Of It

what ARE the odds?