26 November, 2023.

Dear Readers,

For You

And it’s all because of you. You see, I’m feeling rather smug. Why? I’ve just thought of a cozy mystery Christmas present for you. It came to me just now. I’ve got a month to make it, box is up, and put it under the virtual tree. I am rubbing my hands in glee. But I digress.

The Power of TH

Today, we begin the new video series, of reader insights, author tip. Spelling It Out gets down the nuts of bolts of conveying an international or regional accent, converting sound to print. The text has to help you, the reader, hear their voice in your head. The series starts with the easiest and most common difference between an English accent and a foreign accent, and I’ve even thrown in a regional nuance there, which I hadn’t spotlighted, but see if you spy it. Here’s a clue: it’s one of the London accents. But without more ado is Part 1: TH …

Click for video: Spelling It Out - Your Character's Accent Part 1 - TH


Did you notice it? It was ‘v’ for ‘th’? Here in the Metropolis and surrounding areas, you may hear ‘wiv’ for ‘with’ ‘ve’ for ‘the’. Well done, if you got it.

This Week’s Jigsaw

And so we come to this week’s puzzle. This is one of the core members of Sunken Madley, home to covert witch Amanda in the Amanda Cadabra cozy paranormal mystery series. I say ‘one’, but technically, it’s two. You may notice that the page is rearranged in reverse order of puzzles so that the most recent is at the top and the oldest at the bottom. Also there’s a ‘Quick Start’ section at the top, in case you’re not sure how to proceed. It’s basically, click OK and drag and drop. And now, over to you ….

Click for cozy mystery jigsaw puzzle 9 for 26th November 2023


How Do I Know?

When I’m asking MJ, the Midjourney AI graphics bot (to create an evocation of a cozy mystery character from the Amanda Cadabra series) it always offers me sets of four possibilities. It doesn’t get it right the first time, and I’ll have to go through various tweaks of the ‘prompts’ I give it. So how do I know when it’s got it right? The answer to this is somewhat profound and deserves its own post. I can only say at this point, that it’s right to me. The question is are they the way you see the characters in your mind?

I’m looking forward to seeing what you think.

Magic quills writing on page with 13000 in gold above itSequel Update and The Author AI Carnival

This week, twice as many words arrived in my head as in previous weeks, and the total word count for the next Amanda Cadabra cozy paranormal mystery so far now stands at 13000. Naturally, I wished to celebrate this with you in a delightful visual.

Unfortunately, MJ has still to learn its letters and numbers. Understandably, it can manage 1s and 0s, but it lapses into bewilderment beyond that. So Microsoft Dall-E over on bing.com to the rescue. It can’t always count its 0s, but it did come up with this. Admittedly, it got a bit carried away with the whole quill thing, but its heart was in the right place. 

Coming Up

Next week, a new puzzle, a new video and more sequel news, as I work on your Christmas present …

Happy cosy days,



PS If you want to start the series now:
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available on Amazon

Paperback, Kindle
and Large Print

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About the Author

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Cat adorer and chocolate lover. Holly Bell's life changed in a day. A best-selling author friend telephoned and convinced her, that after years of penning non-fiction, she could write cozy paranormal mysteries. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Holly lives in the UK and is a photographer and video maker when not writing. Her favourite cat is called Bobby. He is black. Like her favourite hat. Purely coincidental.