This is my favourite time of the year, and to celebrate, here are a few seasonal treats.

Until the end of the month, Amazon Kindle is offering both THE BLUE SALT ROAD and BLACKBERRY WINE for only 99p each. Get them while you still can!

The Folklore podcast is out! Listen to me discussing Orfeia, the Child Ballads and the importance of folklore for free here.

Storytime fans; I’ve uploladed the Storytime Band’s version of A POCKETFUL OF CROWS on to Bandcamp for you to enjoy (although if you prefer physical CDs, you can still buy your copy here.)

And if you’re craving something delicious in a hurry, here’s the EIGHT-MINUTE MUG CAKE from my good friend, David Greenwood-Haigh


  • 30g plain flour
  • 20g caster sugar (Fairtrade)
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1/4 tspn baking powder
  • 30 g butter
  • 40g chocolate


Using a microwaveable mug, melt the chocolate and butter togther in the microwave in short 30 second bursts.

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.

Add the egg and mix thoroughly

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high).
If the cake rises over the top of the mug, don’t worry – more for you to enjoy!
Allow to cool a little, and either tip out onto a plate or just eat it straight from the mug. Enjoy!

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Manuscript services

For the writers among you, my daughter Anouchka, has begun to offer editorial, manuscript evaluation, copy-editing and other writing and submission-related services online. She's an excellent writer, has a very good eye for what works and what doesn't, and is completely thorough and reliable. I've used her help many times myself, and can I recommend her most heartily. Go to: if you need a new pair of eyes on your manuscript, help drafting a synopsis or submission letter, one-to-one tutorials, or just an informed reader who knows the publishing industry and can help you make your manuscript as good as it can possibly be.