Hello, it’s been a while.

So it’s been a while since I posted anything on this page. You can say that again, I hear you all say.
This current situation of enforced leisure has prompted me to get back to finishing the third and final Mac and June book. About time, you lazy bastard, I again hear you all say.
I thought I’d give you all a little taste of what’s inside with a chapter.
The third book starts about six months after the end of “Never A Dull Moment”.
Among other plot lines, Grandpa has convinced Mac to invest in an old cinema in the middle of Aberdeen, his reasoning being that they will only show old movies, but with the brilliant idea of selling beer, hot pies, and fish and chips to eat while watching the films on a big screen.
In this chapter, Grandpa takes Mac to check out the place. They go in Mac’s new car..

M&J III Excerpt


Me reading a story

Back on February 1st this year, I had the privilege of being asked to read one of my short stories, entitled “Wings”, in front of a live audience along with five other Arizona writers. Brian Dunn and Robert Hoekman Jr. are the gents behind Spillers, an enterprise that showcases local authors, and they are doing a fine job.

I read my story in front of around 150 people, which was a real rush, After the event was over, I sat down afterwards to talk with Brian and Robert. I freely admit that I was a little tired, having consumed a couple of drinks by the time we got to talking. The Spillers guys thought it an entertaining chat, and decided it was worth using. I’ll let you all decide…

Links for both are listed below. Have a listen, and please share if you feel it’s worthy.



Festive Shopping with Mac, Grandpa, Ronnie, and Doug.

Thought it might be fun to share a short scene from the third (and final) Mac and June novel with you all. It’s also timely because it takes place in a department store in Aberdeen, a few days before Christmas 1976. Here you go:

Ronnie spoke to Mac out of the side of his mouth. “I feel like a pervert in here.”

The two men stood waiting in the ladies’ underwear section of the store. “I wouldn’t worry about it,” Mac answered, pointing at Grandpa, whose nose was inches from a hanging rack of ladies’ panties, wearing a look of lustful ecstasy. “I don’t think the store detective will be making us his first arrest.”

Ronnie nudged Mac. “Not even the second. Look at Doug.”

Mac followed his father-in-law’s gaze to see Doug cupping his hands on a bra, closing his eyes for a second, shaking his head, then performing the same maneuver on a different size.

Ronnie grabbed Mac’s arm.“Oh, for fuck’s sake. Come on.”

They walked over to the dumbfounded Doug. Ronnie smacked his brother’s arm.

“Fuck me, Douglas. Are ye tryin’ to get yersel’ arrested?”

“I dinna ken Peggy’s bra size. I was goin’ off of memory.”

Ronnie sighed. “Well, I’d say she’s probably about the same size as Bessie in that department. Wouldn’t you say, Mac?”

Mac blushed. “I haven’t really made much of a study of your wives’ chest sizes.”

Grandpa walked up. Ronnie snorted. “Oh good. The panty sniffer’s here.”

Grandpa ignored Ronnie’s barbed comment. “What are you lads up to?”

Ronnie stared at his father. “Buying fishin’ tackle. What does it look like?” He nodded at Doug. “Brains here has forgotten his wife’s bra size. I said she’s about the same as Bessie.”

Grandpa scratched his chin. “Thirty-four C.”

Ronnie stepped closer to his father, towering over him. “And just how would ye ken that?”

“Simple. We were lookin’ at a mail order catalog a few weeks back and Bessie was disappointed that a bra she liked didnae come in her size.” He got a faraway look in his eye. “Brigid, the nurse, she has to get hers specially made. Someplace in Leeds.” The old man’s eyes glazed over. “Ye should see it. It’s quite the marvel of engineering.”

Ronnie shook his head. “Okay, that’s enough. Doug, find a—what did you say, Don Juan?”

Grandpa’s attention had been distracted by a voluptuous woman in a wool suit and high heels. “What? Oh, thirty-four C.”

Ronnie, ignoring Mac’s silent mirth, and turned to Doug. “Did ye hear the man, Douglas? Thirty four C. Hurry up. We need to get oot o’ here, afore we all end up in jail for public indecency.”

Doug rifled through the underwear and found the right size. He held up his trophy, like an Olympic gold medal.

Ronnie knocked down his brother’s arm. “Fuck me. Let’s go.”

They all headed for the cashier. Mac walked beside Doug. “Nice bra. Very sexy. You should get some matching panties.”

Doug turned to Mac. “No.”

“Why not?”

“She never wears any,” Doug answered, as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

Mac knew at that moment he’d never be able to look Peggy in the eye again.

Ronnie looked at his watch. “Come on, you bastards. The pubs are open.”


Here are links to the first two books:

US Links: Mac and June: Love In The Time Of Oil

Mac and June: Never A Dull Moment (Volume 2)

UK Links: Mac and June: Love In The Time Of Oil: Volume 1

Mac and June: Never A Dull Moment: Volume 2


Your Christmas present to me is to share, share, share this post. Thanks!

The Cars of Mac and June

Since Mac and June is set in the seventies, and not all of you were alive then, I thought it might be helpful to show the cars that my characters ride around in while having their adventures.

First off is Mac’s MGB-GT. Iconic, British Racing Green (BRG), this car is one of several that Mazda looked at for inspiration when designing their timeless MX-5 (Miata). Not very powerful, but nimble, and very British. Grandpa doesn’t care for it – “like a bloody clown car.”



Next, Ronnie and Bessie’s Ford Granada. For me, this car is a good example of American, mid-century, automobile design influencing UK/European vehicles. The big Ford, with room for six and an available three litre V6 engine, was considered an executive express for those on the way up, or for towing a caravan to Sandend.. Theirs is a Mark I, as shown here.


Ford Granada (6)



Doug and Peggy’s Jaguar is a Mk1 XJ6. A favorite with villains and bank managers alike for its ‘classy’ looks and good value for money. In 1968, the big Jag that Peggy drives like a maniac was the latest in a long line of performance/luxury vehicles made by the English company.




Finally, Mac’s father’s 1967 Pontiac GTO convertible. Typical of the mid-60’s, US predilection for dropping ever-larger engines into mid-size bodies, the ’67 is now an icon of the muscle car era, and these days a well-maintained example sells for a significant amount of money.

GTO 0853


Note: I make no claim as to the ownership of these found images. If any of the above pictures belongs to you, and its presence here offends you, I will not hesitate to remove it.

Get ‘Em While They’re Hot – Mac and June, Never A Dull Moment Now On Sale!

Guess my “This Day In History” headline wasn’t such a good idea..

Here’s the blurb that appears on the back cover of the new Mac and June novel:

“It’s 1976, and the UK has its hottest summer on record. Across the Atlantic, the USA is celebrating its bicentennial. For the Meldrums, and Mac and June, it’s a time of upheaval, bad news, and an unexpected trip to California. Grandpa continues to color outside the lines, Mac gets to see the Queen, and a long-held secret comes to light in this, the second of the Mac and June Trilogy.”

On sale now at:

Amazon.com www.amazon.com/Mac-June-Never-Dull-Moment/dp/1508748314/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1427758127&sr=1-2&keywords=mac+and+june+never+a+dull+moment

Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mac-June-Never-Dull-Moment/dp/1508748314/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1427758324&sr=8-2&keywords=Mac+and+June%3A+Never+a+dull+moment

The above are for the actual book, the kindle option is also on the same page.

This Day In History, March 26th

Let’s see:

1827 Beethoven died.

1911 Tennessee Williams was born.

1931 Leonard Nimoy popped out.

1948 Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler’s birthday too.

1953 Dr Jonas Salk announced a vaccine for polio.

1959 Author (and one of my favorites) Raymond Chandler died.

1965 It was announced that Jeff Beck would replace Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds.

1979 Camp David Treaty signed, ending 31 year state of war between Israel and Egypt.

1983 Boris Yeltsin, who liked a drink, was elected Russian President.

1985 Keira Knightley was born.

(That last one made me feel very old.)

2015 (Yes, I know I said it would be released Coverlast week..) Mac and June: Never A Dull Moment is now published! The Kindle version is available right now, and the physical book will be on Amazon in a couple of days, maybe sooner. If you can’t wait for Amazon, the print version may be purchased today from Createspace (www.createspace.com/5355156).

Never A Dull Moment is going for the introductory price of $9.99, or the cost of a couple of venti lattes..

I have also lowered the print price of Mac and June: Love In The Time Of Oil, for those who may want to get up to speed before reading the second book.

I am excited that the follow-up is finally getting its public airing, and hope readers find it an enjoyable and fun read.

Please share this with your pals on social media, and after you’ve finished reading, a review on Amazon, Goodreads, etc, would be most appreciated.

Hurry up – Grandpa’s waiting..

Release News

CoverMac and June: Never A Dull Moment will be released this week!


Thank you for your patience. The last thing I wanted to do was put out something I wasn’t totally happy with, just to meet a deadline. I must admit, the whole “second album syndrome” loomed very large in my mind when I sat down to begin writing the sequel to Love In The Time Of Oil, with nothing but a blank screen and a blinking cursor for company.

Of course, I did know that Mac, June, Doug, Ronnie, Bessie, Peggy, and Grandpa would feature in the narrative, and that the first book had ended with Mac maybe going to work on the Stella Maris. Beyond that, I had no clue. I let the characters’ words lead me along. They are all such strong, diverse personalities that all I have to do is picture them in a situation, and away we go.

A couple of new, supporting characters feature this time around, as well as the return of others who made cameo appearances in the first book.

So, it’s my fervent wish that you enjoy Mac and June: Never A Dull Moment. Out of necessity, I’ve read it myself at least thirty times, and still laugh at some of the scenes. I only hope I’ve managed to effectively translate what was in my head onto the paper, so that you too can live in Mac and June’s world for a little while.





January 8th, 2015 – Whew! I wrote the final chapter of Mac and June: Never A Dull Moment yesterday, I’m happy to say.

January 14th, 2015 – No, I didn’t. The last line/ending is annoying me. Back to the keyboard.

January 15th, 2015 – Now I think it needs an extra chapter in the middle.

January 21st, 2015 – Chapter in the middle is half done. Read it at writers’ group tonight. Good response and feedback, so all I have to do is finish that chapter, and re-do the ending. Easy.

January 23rd, 2015 – Still stuck on both.  Have resorted to fixing errors/omissions in manuscript found by eagle-eyed Sue’s proofreading. At least it still makes me smile as I read it for the nth time.

January 25th, 2015 – Robert Burns’ birthday. Hoped the Scottish Bard would inspire me. Nope – still fixing typo’s.

January 26th, 2015 – Today we write! I will type until something good happens.

As my old, long-departed, audio colleague Larry used to say, “Some days, the bear eats you. Some days, you eat the bear, and some days, the bear just toys with you until you’re dead.”


Doric – Not Just A Column Holding Up An Ancient Building

One of the reviews I saw on the UK Amazon site for Mac and June: Love In The Time Of Oil commented that the dialogue wasn’t how folk in the Aberdeen area spoke. I believe the word ‘disappointed’ was in there.

Doric is the dialect spoken in the North East of Scotland. In ancient Greece, the residents of Sparta were Dorian Greeks, a rural area, and they spoke differently than the sophisticated Athenians did. In other words, they were considered hayseeds, uncultured bumpkins. Hence the term.

I always wanted the novel to be accessible to as many English speakers worldwide (duh), and so I did somewhat ‘water it down’.

In the upcoming sequel, Mac and June: Sex And Drugs And Sausage Rolls, I’ve added a bit more, but it is by no means indecipherable.

As an example, and a little preview of the second book, here’s Grandpa explaining Doric to Mac.



Mac sat with Grandpa in the Meldrums’ back garden, waiting for June’s co-worker, who lived close by, to drop her off from work. The American’s head was spinning, and he was wondering what had possessed him to bring up the subject. It had started simply enough.

“So I read in the paper that this,” he held up his fingers in quotes, “language you speak here is called Doric.” Mac laughed. “I just thought you all had bad pronunciation.”

Grandpa took another cigarette from Mac’s pack, even though his own sat on the small table between them. Mac noticed.

“Hey, what’s wrong with your own?”

“Ach, I’ve only a few left, and I canna be buggered to go down to McGillivray’s shop to buy another twenty. Leave me yours when June comes, and I’ll gie ye a lesson in Doric for free.”

“How’s it free if I’m giving you half a pack?”
“Ach, dinna fash yersel’.”

“Is this it? We’re starting the lesson? What did that mean?”

“Means keep a calm sooch.”

“Wait, you can’t explain one piece of gibberish by quoting another.”

Grandpa lit the stolen cigarette, and took a drink of his tea. “All right. A calm sooch is a gentle wind.”

“Oh, so don’t get fired up. I get it.”

“We should start with the three F’s.”

“The three F’s?”

“Aye. Fit, Fan, Fa, and Far.”

“That’s four F’s.”

Grandpa silently mouthed the words while counting them on his hands. “Right. Four. So, fit.”

Mac smiled. “As in ‘I’m fit and well.’”

Grandpa gave an exasperated grunt. “No, as in, ‘Fit time is it?’”

“That what people say when somebody’s going to the gym?”

“No, Jesus, that’s when folk want to know what the time is.”

“Ahhh. Number two is…?”

“Fan. ‘Fan are ye comin’ hame?’”

Mac shook his head. “Nope.”

Grandpa rubbed his nose as if there were ants inside his nostrils. “Okay, Try this.” He rubbed his nose again. “F is instead of wh—fit is what, fan is when, fa is who, and far is where. Got it?” He sat back, dazzled by his own brilliance.

Silent, Mac sat for a moment, running this magic formula around in his brain. He heard a door slam inside the house. “Ohh, so when you guys say, ‘Fit like?’, you mean, ‘What like?’, as in ‘How’s it goin’?’… is that right?”

“The boy’s a genius.” the old man leaned over and put out the cigarette in the ashtray. “Think it’s too early for a beer?”

“I have to drive June home.”

“It’s one beer. What—have ye joined the Temperance Movement or somethin’? Go and get us a couple.”

Mac knew from experience there was no point in arguing with the wily old bastard. “Okay, okay, I’ll go.” His face broke into a sly grin. “Far are they?”

Grandpa cracked a smile. “Go to the top of the class, young man.’ He rubbed his hands together. “They’re in the fridge. Hurry back, this teachin’s makin’ me thirsty.”

Mac wandered in through the open back door, past the washing machine, and into the cool kitchen. June was sitting at the table. She was reading the paper. He decided to try out his new-found knowledge on her. “Aye, aye, darlin’. Fit like?”

June put down the paper, and looked up at Mac as if she’d never seen him before.

Mac walked over to the fridge and opened the door. “Grandpa’s teachin’ me Doric,” he said to the leftover leg of lamb sitting on a plate on the middle shelf. He grabbed two beers, and closed the fridge. Turning back to the still-staring June, he held out a bottle. “Want one?”

His wife picked up the paper again, and spoke to it. “Nae iv noo, ma feet are affa sair. I’m needin’ awa hame fan ye’re deen wi’ yer beer, an Grandpa. Ken?”

Mac stood with his mouth open. “Whoa, whoa, slow down there, sister. I’ve only had the one lesson. Gimme a break, would ya?”

June straightened the newspaper and switched to a Brooklyn accent, in the style of Sean Connery. “Snap it up, then. My dogs are barkin’. I wanna split, pronto. Got me, Jack?”

Mac pointed at her. “No fair. You watched all those Jimmy Cagney movies growing up.”