Ask a Duchess! Lady Imogen Solves A Birthday Present Problem by Glynis Louise Donohue

Ask a Duchess!
Lady Imogen Solves A Birthday Present Problem

Dear Lady Imogen,

It’s my birthday next month and I fear my husband will do what he always does, which is buy me something he thinks I need, like a food processor, when what I’d really like is a diamond ring. How can I steer him in the right direction?

Thank you,

Sick of kitchen equipment


 My dear friend,

What on earth is a food processor?  Do you mean a cook, though I do not comprehend how one could buy one, precisely? It is true there was a disturbance amongst the ton when The Earl of Westchester apparently stole away the Baron Hutchings’ cook by offering her financial inducements.  It actually came to blows in White’s, I’m told. Our chef de cuisine, I might add, has a particularly good way of “processing” collops of veal, which my dear Ivo, the Duke of Sarisbury, enjoys very much. I blush to admit he says he likes the dish because the whiteness of the veal reminds him of a woman’s breast. He says this with a lift of his brow and a gaze at that part of my own body that I find quite thrilling. But I digress.

 My experience with the Stock Exchange has taught me that gentlemen need to feel the decisions they make are their own. You must not, therefore, ask for a ring outright. It is imperative he imagines he thought of it himself.

At dinner, while walking in the park, in the carriage, on any and all occasions, sigh and raise your ringless hand saying, I hear diamond rings are all the rage this year.  Lady Jersey is wearing the most beautiful creation, but, of course, one of her many…er, gentlemen friends may have given it to her.  Her husband has no taste.  Unlike you, my dear! And smile engagingly at him. Repeat this as often as you can.

Then, after a week or so, refer to the specific place where a ring might be had – Garrard’s, of course. On several occasions, have your coachman drive past their premises (just off Haymarket) and draw his attention it.  Oh, look, my dear.  There’s Garrard’s.  I believe that’s where Lady Jersey’s ring was obtained.

Finally, about a week before your birthday, drive past that establishment and carelessly drop your glove out of the carriage window.  Insist on descending to retrieve it. As a gentleman, your husband will naturally descend with you. You will not bother about the glove. Let the driver find it. You will take your husband’s arm, press your nose against Garrard’s window and exclaim, Oh! how beautiful, just of all things what I should desire!  Do look, my dear! 

Back in the carriage, not forgetting to rub the smudge from your nose, sigh and look down at your ringless hand repeatedly. In a voice of wonder then, and later, as often as you can, exclaim: oh, the rings in Garrard’s were so beautiful, were they not, my dear?

            If, after all this, your husband is so obtuse as to not take the hint, he is really of no use to you at all. I should immediately follow the lead of Lady Jersey and find yourself another … interest. ButI shall leave advice on that until another time.

            Good luck, my dear! I hope your husband comes up to scratch and you receive a ring, not a cook, for your birthday!

Imogen, Lady Sarisbury.

Imogen, Lady Sarisbury first appeared in the works of GL Robinson, her good friend and editor, to whom she told her story.  It was published under the title Imogen or Love and Money. If you would like to see more advice from her, read her story or listen to the first chapter of her fascinating life, please go to the website:

Her ladyship will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Please contact her via the website above.  In view of the technical difficulties of communication with the early nineteenth century, she is unable to respond to you direct.

Glynis Louise Donohue

Writing as GL Robinson

Novels available on Amazon


Amazon Link



Birthday surprise at 76 Silver Street by Anna Shenton

Birthday surprise at 76 Silver Street

“It’s yer birthday,” Jack begged Rosa to sit at the table in the scullery.

“Me beautiful pregnant wife to be.” His smile spread across his handsome face.

“Bacon, two eggs and… as much toast as yer can manage.” He pushed the plate in front of Rosa.

A faint blush spread over her face as she laughed and pushed the plate back.

“I can’t face it Jack, I feel sick, and you know I hate bacon.”

Jack poured hot steaming tea from the pot.

“A good strong cuppa then?” he cocked his head to onside. “I have fruit cake for yer later,” Jack stirred milk into the mug.

Rosa cupped the hot mug in her hands and sipped.

“It’s nice,” her pretty cherry-brown eyes sparkled with love.

 “This is a first for you,” Rosa couldn’t hold back the titter.  “I know you are being kind and you’ve probably never made a pot of tea in your life,” she took another slurp. “But…”

“Ssh,” Jack strode across the flagstone floor and opened one of the alcove cupboards.

“I’ve been hiding summat from yer.” He reached up to the top shelf and took a box in his hands wrapped in a white tablecloth.

“Go on, it’s for yer,” he watched Rosa’s mouth gape and her eyes widen.

“I have all the presents I need,” she smiled looking deep into his dark charcoal eyes. “You are my present, my first true love and we…” she rubbed her hand over her stomach. “We have our baby to bring into the world. It may not be the best world, but it will have more love than anyone.

“I can’t believe that I’m goin’ to be a pa,” a tear rolled down Jack’s face. “He’ll have the best o’ everything. For once in me life things are goin’ good Rosa, and it’s all down to yer.” He placed the box on the table. “Open it then.”

“He?” Rosa shook her head. “What if it’s a girl?” She took the tablecloth between her fingers and gently unwrapped it away from the box.

Jack’s eyes fixated on Rosa’s dainty, freckled face as she lifted the lid and took out a beautiful golden handled hairbrush and sparkling mirror.

“OH, MY GOODNESS,” Rosa fingered the engraved pattern on each piece, held the mirror in front of her face and brushed the ends of her long auburn hair down onto her shoulders.

“It’s wonderful Jack, thank you.”

Jack planted a kiss on her forehead. “Let’s hope all our dreams come true?”


Anna Shenton Bio

Anna Maria Shenton (1954) –  I was born in Staffordshire, England and experienced an interesting upbringing by my English father, and a German mother. My two elder siblings also helped fuel my imagination deriving from a world of home-truths. My surprise half-brother from Germany arrived when I was twenty-six. Woow!!

I live in Staffordshire with my lovely retired hubby. We love to travel with our touring caravan – Any country goes.

Always loved to write. Kids flown the nest! I ploughed into a home study course with the Writing School of London. Amazing stuff!  Success with Star Letter Pages and Fillers for Women’s’ Commercial Magazines was encouraging.

Venturing forward, my articles were soon published in Hobby publications, Practical Caravan, Caravan Magazine, Modellers World and Writers Forum.

Poems didn’t go a miss either. Growin Owd – my pet poem – won World Book Day prize 2015 with Vind & Vag Publishing House, and, I loved writing short stories for writing group anthologies, where I used to be fund organiser.

Inspiration from life experiences, and reading other authors, helped me write Seduced by Mind Tricks, my debut novel and create short stories.

Want to share my love for writing, with – I wanna be a writer friend. My eBook Writing Spelled Out is devised and rewritten from my articles to help all budding authors. I am currently writing book two of the sleep with one eye open series, A  historical romance novella. 76 Silver Street, now available on Amazon and Don’t Go Back out later this summer.

Writers Authors and Readers online closed group is currently my passion.

Amazon Link





Summer Changes, Winter Tears. (Meeting the family.) By Val Portelli

Meeting the family.

The invitation to the family party would finally give Zoe the opportunity to discover more about the enigmatic man who had stolen her heart. What would his relatives be like? Would they take to her? As they reached the hotel, he was assaulted by a host of young children, all vying to hold his hand. Relinquishing “Uncle Reno” to her younger competitors, she followed him to where tables were set for lunch.

There was no mistaking the grey-haired, older version of Reno, who he introduced as his father. His expensively dressed mother had the aura and rosy-cheeked face of a country lass, and in contrast to her husband, was short and stocky, but in her youth would have been a stunning natural beauty. It was obvious that despite her diminutive stature, she was the head of the family household, and her husband adored her.

When she was invited to sit beside Reno’s father, Zoe was embarrassed to discover the reason for the lunch was to celebrate his birthday.

‘I’m so sorry,’ she said. ‘I didn’t know it was your birthday, or I’d have brought you a present, but thanks for letting me join you.’

‘No apology necessary,’ he smiled. ‘The greatest gift is the company of a beautiful lady. Now I’ve met you, I know my eldest son has inherited my own good taste in women.’

‘Ladies and Gentlemen,’ Reno announced. ‘Thanks for coming today. It means a lot to the old man to have you here to celebrate his birthday.’

‘Not so much of the old,’ called a voice from the head of the table. ‘You might think you’re all grown up, but I can still give you a spanking if you get too lippy!’

‘Sorry, Pa,’ said Reno, amid the laughter. ‘Friends and family, please raise your glasses to wish the “young man” a very happy birthday. I won’t tell you how old he is in, but it’s got a nought on the end and his bus pass is ready.’

To a chorus of happy birthdays and the clink of raised glasses, Reno resumed his seat, and there was more laughter as his father made a mess of cutting the cake. Teasing about useless men who could build a hotel but were hopeless in the kitchen, his wife took over before it became, as she put it, an ancient crumbling ruin.

A little girl of three presented Reno’s mother with a huge bouquet. ‘You deserve it for looking after Grandpa,’ she said.

He immediately grabbed the youngster, and tickled her until she was giggling and had to give him a kiss as an apology.

‘If I give you some flowers, will I get a big kiss too?’ Reno whispered in Zoe’s ear.

‘Only if you’re a good boy, and eat your greens,’ Zoe teased.

A few minutes later she laughed out loud when Reno returned chewing a cabbage leaf, and presented her with a few bedraggled daisies. Keeping her promise, she too had to pay her forfeit.

Voinks Bio 

The author’s pen name Voinks began as a family joke, and was the obvious choice when her first book was published. Despite receiving her first rejection letter aged nine from some lovely people at a well-known Women’s magazine, she continued writing intermittently until a freak accident left her housebound and going stir crazy. The completion and publication of her first full length novel helped to save her sanity during those difficult times.

A second traditionally published book gave her the confidence and experience to self-publish, dropping her pen name along the way when she realised that, although unique, it was not particularly memorable.

Her work now includes six books, including one co-written, two contributions to anthologies, and three more in various stages of progress. She also writes weekly short stories for her web site and Facebook author page.

Although her novels tend towards modern fiction, her short stories cover various genres including her trademark twist of ‘Quirky.’ Emigrating to Venus, where a day is over a year long, is a possible option to allow time to write all the stories needing to be told.

She always appreciates reviews as they help spread the word, and sales bring in cash to pay for food for the Unicorns she breeds in her spare time.

Summer Changes Blurb.

Escape to the sun and find the perfect man. What’s not to love?

A series of unexpected events encourage Zoe to adopt a new persona and leave dull and rainy London for an extended holiday in the sun. Life on the Mediterranean island of Malta is idyllic, especially when Reno appears on the scene. She determines to settle there permanently until a family emergency has her rushing back to her childhood home, and having to decide where her heart truly lies.


Summer Changes Book Links

Amazon Author Link.

Facebook author page.

Web site/blog.


Renza’s Dream Eighteenth Birthday by Jane Risdon

Jane with Only One Woman and Undercover: Crime Shorts

Based on the character of Renza from the novel Only One Woman by Christina Jones Jane Risdon

Renza’s Dream Eighteenth Birthday

I reach my majority next week; I can vote, and better than that I can obtain a Passport in my own right. If only I had enough money to buy a ticket back to England, to Scott and a new life. That would be the best birthday present ever. Fat chance. I need so much more money and it’s going to take me another six months to save up for the fare, besides, there’s no point heading back to England without knowing if I’ve got the job at the Foreign and Commonwealth office yet.

My imagination’s been working over-time all day. I keep seeing myself in England with him and the band on my birthday. There’s a huge party with lots of famous people the band know, all invited to meet me and celebrate my eighteenth

The party is taking place at his manager’s new pad in London, and there’s champagne and lots of lovely food for my guests to enjoy. Narnia’s Children are going to play for about half an hour and then Rod Stewart is going to sing Happy birthday to me – the cake is from The Ritz – and Geno Washington is going to do a couple of numbers with the Ram Jam Band. The Balloons and Doc Holliday and the Aces are going to perform as well. Just for me. But best of all Scott will play the latest songs he’s written for me and as Narnia’s Children perform them, he has eyes only for me.

David Bailey is there with Twiggy and The Shrimp, but he keeps asking to take my photo and everyone is excited telling me that I could be his next muse – whatever that is. Stuart Henry and Tony Blackburn from Radio One arrive with lots of their friends from radio and television and they’ve got gifts for me. It’s all so ace. Scott introduces me to The Who and Led Zeppelin who call in to have their photos taken with me and, after a few drinks, they decide to jam with everyone else and it is unbelievable. Scott’s as excited as I am.

We’ve come clean about our engagement and everyone is excited for us and happy, as we are. I’ve left everyone in Germany behind for good, I’ll never have to live with any of them ever again. Scott and I can get married. His band is going places, everyone says so and that means it can happen.

There’s a drum roll and the lights go out, except for a spotlight which follows Scott as he walks towards me, the room falls silent as he reaches for my left hand and slips a ring upon my finger –  a beautiful Sapphire with lots of diamonds surrounding it. Scott holds my face between his hands, gazes into my eyes and asks for the second time, ‘will you marry me?’ I say, ‘yes.’

My best birthday ever. Soon, in six months, it can become a reality if I get that job.

Bio Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon is the co-author of ‘Only One Woman,’ with Christina Jones (Headline Accent) and ‘Undercover: Crime Shorts,’ (Plaisted Publishing), as well as having many short stories published in numerous anthologies and writing for several online and print magazines such as Writing Magazine and The Writers’ and Readers’ Magazine.

Undercover: Crime Shorts is the February 2020 Free Book of the Month on the virtual library and festival site, and her live video interview features in their theatre. She is a regular guest on international internet radio shows such as, and The Brian Hammer Jackson Radio Show.

Before turning her hand to writing Jane worked in the International Music Business alongside her musician husband, working with musicians, singer/songwriters, and record producers.  They also facilitated the placement of music in movies and television series.

Jane’s Links:

You can find her on GoodReads, LinkedIn, BookBub, MeWe and Instagram as well as:…






Happy 1st  book birthday to The Lost Town of Man’s Crossing.

Happy 1st  book birthday to The Lost Town of Man’s Crossing.

It’s been a whole year of The Lost Town of Man’s crossing is out in the world. To celebrate this occasion, I’ve written a snapshot of my character Aidyn’s perfect birthday celebration… I’d like to thank everyone who has read, reviewed and enjoyed The Lost Town of Man’s Crossing this year.

It’s a cold night, the wind blows and I, Aidyn, walk the town naked with my wings fluttering and thoughts of a new world far from here in my mind. I’m a protector you see, a creature that helps those cross to this place and at this moment Suzy is the one I watch over.  Life as a crossing creature means you get to travel, in dreams, between worlds and visit the past. I let myself travel into a dream and creep past Elder Crossing sleeping behind his desk.

I slip into the travel hub and lay down like many humans before and close my eyes. I focus on the crossing Creatures long gone and imagine us all doing our job and celebrating a successful cross over. I hear voices and open my eyes and there they all are in our magic garden, some glowing all colours, some hiding behind clothes like humans. I join them and we sit under the moonlight watch many falling stars and pass around the cake to share.

‘’We stand together, not a creature alone and celebrate our true self. Happy Crossing Creature day.,’ The oldest member said as he stood and waited for us to join hands and dance under the moon with the songs of our kind playing on the wind. I felt loved here like all my efforts had paid off back home where I was the last of my kind.

The music stopped and I knew it was my time to return to the present day, to protect and help others travel. I took one last look at the faces of the past as they faded from sight.

“Ya better thyself up,” Elder Crossing’s disapproving face looked down at me as I opened my eyes. Happy birthday to me I thought as I followed him into the man shop where the hobble-fluff were waking, and old magical items called to me sharing their secrets. As beautiful as it was seeing old faces, celebrating the crossing way, the comfort of knowing I still had work to do reminded me that through all my ages I’m connected to something special.

Happy Birthday, Aidyn.

If you’d like to learn more about The Lost Town of Man’s Crossing, or follow Aidyn as he tries to follow his path and help Suzy here is a link to the book.


My Review Of Growing Only Dandelions by Joan Hugues

My Review Of

Growing Only Dandelions by Joan Hugues

Growing Only Dandelions is an emotional story teetering on life and death. This story is about abuse, forgiveness, and redemption for Bethany. While this is a vivid story centred around God’s love and the will to fight through ugliness inflicted by others to find peace in oneself. I thought it was interestingly written to show how life events can not only change a person but also shape their self-belief and tendency to self-harm in later life. I also like that the book gives a glimpse into a heavenly realm that makes you question, do the choices we make on earth slow us down to finding true peace in the afterlife? Or even in the present?

The story itself follows Bethany as she anxiously watches over her son and husband playing on the beach in the sea. She can’t get this feeling of doom out of her mind, and so after waking in the hot sun, she notices her husband and son is no longer there. In her panicked mind, she sees a body floating in the water and rushes to save them. However, the waves are strong and pulls her down. Will Bethany see her loving husband and son again? Will she get pulled from the sea alive or has her worldly journey come to an end? Read this book to find out.

My favourite character is Tommy, he starts out as a character that you may not really like his actions, however, throughout the back-story you get to see his true heart and the way he shows kindness to another and later in life is rewarded back for his kindness.

I thought Author Joan did a great job at really showing how one little girl found love through others and found her spiritual journey despite her self-harm and abusive upbringing. Also like how she painted a vivid image of the past, present, and afterlife within Bethany’s portrait of herself, the ugliness she feels, vs the love and joy others see in her.

While the end for me was very unexpected and rather sad. I think if you like reading books about God, the afterlife and a journey from self ugliness to searching for peace then you should give this book a read.


My Review of Vampire Hospital by Angela L Carr

My Review of

Vampire Hospital by Angela L Carr

Vampire Hospital is a gritty, somewhat violent paranormal novel. However, I found the characters intriguing and I liked the contrast between Dr. Collins and Jeff. In some ways, throughout the book, you want to believe one is redeemable, whereas the other does such bad acts against women he never could be in anyone’s mind. However, I think a change in storyline squished that idea for me. Even though I had to keep reading to see how their story ended.

The story itself follows Susie as she suffers a terrible car crash that changed her life forever. However, at the hospital, she meets the charming Dr. Collins who offers to change her life again, but accepting his offer comes at a great price, not only will Susie lose ties with her family, but also she will live many lifetimes in the dark shadows. Will Susie choose a life with Dr. Collins? Or will she accept her fate and stay with those she loves the most? Will either choice be all she’d been led to believe? Read this book to find out.

I liked Susie’s character. I think she had heart and in the throes of death, all she really wanted was to take the hand of her brother and be with him. I also think this beginning makes her life choice surprising and also that she then had to live with her path made her a strong and somewhat scary character.

Jeff was just one of those characters that starts off a bit misguided and end where you can’t help but hate him and his acts against humans. However, I think his actions do throw you off compared to that of other characters and make you question are there really any good souls left?

Author Angela does a great job at surprising readers with many twists and turns in her story, as well as casting some very vivid dark scenes that help you get into the mindset of her characters’ lives. Also, those scenes pose a question of who is the real baddie in this book? Who should one want to be there by the end?

The end was quite surprising, and I thought very fitting for this book. If you like dark, gritty stories with supernatural beings, bloodsuckers and lots of twists and turns, you should give this one a try. At present, the author is offering the eBook for free until March 1st on Amazon.



Growing Only Dandelions by Joan Hugues.

Growing Only Dandelions by Joan Hugues.

“Growing Only Dandelions” is a story of a woman who has a near-death experience that propels her on a spiritual and emotional journey.  This unconventional supernatural manuscript dares the reader to consider the possibility of a present and loving God through a narrative that triggers one’s imagination to question every action and inaction.

Throughout the novel, our protagonist is transported back in time to milestone moments in her life that shaped her own “ugliness”  (i.e., personal, shameful life event).   Growing Only Dandelions highlights the presence of God through strategically placed relationships, purposely left “signs” and guardian angels, all of which are gifted to us through his grace.

The inspiration for my novel was simply prayer.  I did not have an outline or preconceived notion of the contents of my novel.  I just prayed that the next chapter would come to me and every time I sat to write, the story unfolded for me. The characters came alive and their “ugliness” and beauty were revealed to me.  All conjured up through my imagination, inspired by prayer and based on my own personal spiritual relationship with God.

Continue reading

My Review of Zach’s Cross (How To Live Forever Audiobook) By E.M.G Wixley.

My Review of

 Zach’s Cross (How To Live Forever Audiobook) By E.M.G Wixley.

Zack’s Cross is the fourth book in this enchanting series.  I really love how this story drags you into the magic, horror and demonic goings on from the start. The sound effects are amazing and if you close your eyes and listen you can see every scene play out as if you were a ghost listening in behind a wall. I also love the voice of the creepy doll it sends cold shivers whenever you hear it. I really hope there is going to be a fifth book because the cross series is by far my favourite, I’ve followed this year.

The story itself follows Eve as she come to terms with the many losses in her life by talking to the wise and cat loving Max. However, soon Eve finds herself nursing a man back to health, but between her hope of his recovery and her discovery  of who he is, is there a darkness or a lighter soul bringing him back from the dead? However, will he live? Will Eve’s life be forever change from the sadness she feels? Will those battling between darkness and the light remain honest to themselves or will the demons and witches be too much to handle for any of them?

I found Ruben to be a very interesting character as his life spirals out of control after the death of his son. He struggles to keep a grip and drags those around him down the creepy dark hole of his emotions too. But I also think throughout this book you see many sides of him.

I also loved that Kane one of the keepers of light was having his own troubles throughout this book. He’s one of my favourite characters and can shape-shift, which makes him someone not to mess with. However, he also loves deeply and goes looking for Rose to save her from danger.

Author E.M.G Wixley does a great job  with not only conveying the emotions of her many creepy, mysteries and wonderful characters, but also the world they live in and how damaging and scary that world is when dark forces overtake the light. This book makes you wonder can darkness ever be redeemable? Can light cover all sins?

I also love the blend between demonic and witchcraft and the power of that feeling inside that make one feels doomed like something bad will happen now or in the future. I thought this was beautifully shown through Eves’ dreams the plaque her adding to her sorrow.

I highly recommend this audiobook as well as all the books in the Cross series. They are creepy and enchanting to listen to and the characters will stay in your mind long after you’ve finished listening to this book. So why not turn down the lights, light a candle and step into a world full of creepy and supernatural surprises with this book.



My Review of Looking For Life (Novelette) by E.M.G Wixley.

My Review of

Looking For Life (Novelette) by E.M.G Wixley.

Looking For Life is a rather interesting and gripping novelette. I couldn’t put this book down until I’d finished it. I find the contrast  between worlds interesting: when the earth dies out, what will another world do to stop it happening again? I think this story explores this possibility in a creepy and somewhat chilling way.  I also like seeing the contrast between Georgina and Susan and the different ways they looked at their mission to seek out if there was life left in the earth.

The story itself follow Susan and Georgina as they search earth for any living humans. This was a purely observing mission. Until Georgina discovers someone she can’t leave behind. How will she keep him a secret? Will he be her worlds downfall? Or will her life be enriched for saving one soul?  You must read this book to find out.

I liked Georgina’s character, she wanted to be a mother very badly and she had that nurture vs nature feel to her. I also felt for her putting her own life on the line to help someone else. At the same time, she does make you ask the question is the good of one mean the good for all?

I think Susan is one of those matter of fact characters. She wants to do what right but end up very much with her heart in the wrong place. I thought the author did a great job of showing how different two friends are, but how they both end up in some ways needing to use each other.

I also liked the land of safety and peace hidden in this book. I thought the descriptions were great. But is peace all it’s meant to be once you’re there? Something for readers to discover throughout the book..  I loved that for a short book, the story and character went through so many chilling and spine-tingling moments and the end was very unexpected but satisfying.

E.M.G Wixley has become one of my favourite authors, especially I love her audible Cross series. This novelette is just as amazing as her other stories and I would recommend it to anyone who loves character-driven stories about strange new worlds, evolving creatures, dark secrets and an ending that you just won’t see coming.