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One Wren’s War: Margaret Munday-Whitaker’s Life During the Second World War on the Isle of Wight!


My Wedding

In 1942 I married my sweetheart, Leonard Munday whom I had known since I was 17. We met on Culver Down as we were both dog walking. He was in Coastal Defence, a gunner in the Royal Artillery. We had also met whilst cycling along the sea wall at Seaview. He was very shy and his friend introduced him to me. He was a very keen musician and played the saxophone and the clarinet and I had seen him playing with other musicians at one of the Vicarage garden parties.

We enjoyed talking to each other and then started to go out together, sometimes to the Commodore cinema in Ryde or to the organised dances. The Services tried hard to give us all some leisure activities which certainly took our minds off the bombings which were constantly taking place.

We had got engaged in 1941. My fiancé had bought me a diamond engagement ring. Sadly three weeks later whilst gardening at granny’s house in Seaview, I lost my beautiful ring. My lovely fiancé bought me a new ring, this time a twist design, with even more diamonds! The original was never found and later on the earth was concreted over so my ring remains buried forever. After that, I always put it in my pocket for safety, most especially when I was gardening.

I wanted to have a proper reception for the guests at my wedding and asked the local baker in Seaview, “Would you be able to do a nice reception for me? I know that rationing might make it difficult but what are the possibilities?” He said, “As you are getting married in June I could do you a nice salad as we can grow that. We can also have home grown potatoes and have half a pound of cheese, your ration allowance for one week.” All this had to stretch to 33 guests and surprisingly it did!

The wedding breakfast cost 3 shillings and 6 pence per head. My mother and father had to apply for travel permits to come to the Island for the wedding. They travelled by paddle steamer and had to go back to Southampton on the one designated to them by the authorities.

Due to very stringent rationing during the war we were unable to use sugar to make icing for the wedding cake and the baker had to be very innovative. He made marzipan with a type of semolina to get a nice white colouring which looked as close to icing as he could get. He then added some almond essence, covered the outside with rice paper carefully and in the joins of the rice paper added layers of artificial flowers. It was very difficult to get hold of any dried fruit for the cake mix but as usual everyone rallied round and one Wren was able to offer one half pound of prunes. The baker cut them up very carefully and made them into currant shapes and together with another Wren’s offering of a quarter pound of raisins a very nice and tasty wedding cake was made. He then put the pink artificial roses around the cake and it looked very beautiful.

I wore a pink wedding dress, which had been a dress I had worn as a bridesmaid, and had a borrowed veil. I was unable to get a white dress due to strict rationing.

Make do and mend was very much the order of the day during the war but it made us very innovative and we found new and different ways to do things. We were not really, at least most of the time, unhappy with our lot. We had a very important job to do and we did it to the best of our ability. Many did it by sacrificing their lives for others.

I was married in the Methodist Church in Seaview and after the lovely service I came out of the church with my husband, Leonard. He was 28 years old. There was a guard of honour by my fellow Wrens. In the photograph, as I was coming out of the church and through my arch of Wrens, there laid carefully in the corner was my gas mask. It still makes me laugh today to think about it but as Service personnel we had to wear special gas masks that were rather more complicated than the ordinary issue. We had to be able to walk around whilst wearing it and keep on going and do whatever needed to be done during an air raid. It was a vital part of our duties.

There is a lovely, funny photograph of myself and my fellow Wrens on a gas training course in Portsmouth. We were there to learn how to use our masks properly. In one of the photographs we are all posed, in naval uniform and with our faces completely covered with the gas masks. It was not a glamorous look, indeed we looked like something out of a science fiction story. The training itself was quite frightening. We had to go through the Tipnor Gas Tank, remove our gas masks and rush quickly to the exit. The smell was awful and we emerged with streaming eyes and lots of coughing and spluttering. The thought of being in a gas attack was very frightening and it brought home the reality of how dangerous and unpleasant that would be.

Leonard, my lovely husband and I honeymooned in the New Forest. We only had two days there before he received a telegram informing him that his father had died. Sadly, our honeymoon was over early.

Everyone travelling to and from the Isle of Wight had to have a special permit during the war so travel backwards and forwards to the mainland was very difficult. As the Island was considered a very strategic and important spot it had to be protected from German invasion. The permit had to state how much time you were spending there and the reasons for your visit. It was very strictly adhered to and of course we all understood why. The proximity to Portsmouth where so many Naval ships were moored made it imperative that the Island did not have infiltrators sympathetic to the German war effort. The ships themselves were an obvious target for the Luftwaffe.

The restrictions were also applied to near relatives of Island dwellers as I have already mentioned. The permit itself was very difficult to obtain and there had to be very good reasons for the trip. The local newspaper, the Isle of Wight County Press, at the time described it as a ‘Necessary but most inconvenient isolation’ The County Press is still the Island’s newspaper and is as informative today as it was during those war years. Some things don’t change, fortunately.

Although travel on and off the Island was diffi cult we did manage to do so on occasions. As my family lived on the mainland I was granted permission to travel to Fair Oak in Eastleigh where they lived. My father had been the Chief Engineer on private yachts before the war. Perhaps that is why I so wanted to join the Wrens and follow in my father’s footsteps.

 On one occasion I had visited my parents in Eastleigh. It was Double Summertime, two hours forward instead of one from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This was, of course, to save electricity and keep industry and farming working as efficiently as possible.

I would normally have left my parents at 3 o’clock in the afternoon but father had suggested I stay longer as it was now much lighter into the evening. I was happy to have a few more hours with my family as I did not get to see them that often. When I eventually got to Portsmouth Harbour the train I should have been on had been completely destroyed.

It had been bombed by the Germans. Travelling later had saved my life, yet another escape from either death or very nasty injuries. As I mentioned earlier people formed all kinds of friendships during the war and some were in very strange circumstances indeed.

It was a common occurrence, at that time, for the Germans to drop propaganda leaflets in order to undermine the war effort and to make people feel that we were losing the war and would eventually be ruled by them.

My sister, Patricia had such a leaflet, which had fallen in the back garden from one of these air drops. She was looking at it as she sat down on the bus to travel home one day. The leaflet had been found near Winchester. She had sat next to a distressed woman who had not heard from her son in a very long time.

As they both looked at the pictures on the leaflet the woman suddenly cried, “That’s my son there.” It later turned out that he was a prisoner of war in Germany and at the end of the war he came home safely.

This was a most amazing coincidence and an outcome that the Germans had not intended, to comfort someone who believed she had lost her beloved son.

It was not the only coincidence of it’s kind. A photograph of a gravestone in a Commonwealth War Cemetery had been taken by a visitor to the graveyard. The gravestone belonged to a young man, only 18, who had been killed in the Normandy landings in 1944. He came from Bembridge on the Isle of Wight and had served with the Hampshire Regiment. By chance the photograph was shown to a friend of the family and eventually the family were shown the picture. Later his two brothers visited the grave. They had never known previously what had happened to him.

You can purchase One Wren’s War by Irene Burkett @ or any good book shop.

Aug 30, 2013

NEWS! RC Bridgestock sold to Turkey in a three-novel deal!



28 August 2013

Press release for immediate release

RC Bridgestock sold to Turkey in a three-novel deal

The deal was struck with the Turkish publisher Trend Yayınevi for the first three RC Bridgestock novels (Deadly Focus, Consequences and White Lilies). The deal was negotiated by Kalem Agency of Turkey and Monika Luukkonen Literary Agency.

Literary Agent Monika Luukkonen said: “I am very excited about this deal which shows that RC Bridgestock crime novels are starting to get more and more interest from publishers outside the UK.”

RC Bridgestock is husband and wife crime fiction authors, Bob and Carol Bridgestock. With 47 years of policing between them they write compelling police procedural novels set in Harrowfield, a fictional town in Yorkshire and feature Detective Inspector Jack Dylan.

Darren Laws from Caffeine Nights, the Bridgestock’s UK Publisher, said: “This follows on from the rights sale into South Korea earlier in the year and marks a fantastic year for Bob and Carol Bridgestock. They have been working as consultants with Red Productions on a new BBC crime drama Happy Valley, and ITV’s award winning crime drama series, Scott & Bailey.”

A fourth novel is about to be added to RC Bridgestock’s works with the publication of Snow Kills in November published by Caffeine Nights Publishing.

“Bob, Carol and I would like to thank Monika Luukkonen for her hard work in selling the rights to these titles,” Darren concluded.



Jul 10, 2013

Follow our journey as we start work with the TV Production Teams!

Just to keep RC Bridgestock followers in the’ loop’, we have just returned from two’ whistle stop’ trips to Manchester for meetings with Red Production Company this month. Here is a link for you to see the award winning work they have done so far 

To say they are brilliant and we are loving working with two amazingly talented teams is an understatement!!!!

We will update you when we’re allowed.

In the meantime for those who will never get to see the Granada Studios now it has closed it’s doors, or neable to visit the new Media City, there are some pictures for you included in our ‘trip’ blog.

After a lovely smooth crossing, from the Island, via Wightlink ,we  had a short train journey from Lymington Pier to Brockenhurst Station and as you can see it was very quiet – fingers crossed for a nice quiet journey cross country to Manchester Piccadilly!

Just short of five hours later Manchester Piccadilly Station looks very different…

But thanks to a black cab taxi we are sat drinking something nice and cool at the Victoria & Albert Marriot Hotel in Manchester ten minutes later! ;-)


Yes, it was so warm we even managed our evening meal outside.

Across the road from the Victoria and Albert Marriot Hotel is the old Granada Studios which is still owned by ITV. This is where our meeting is tomorrow! Giddy with excitement!


Too excited to sleep in we took a walk around Manchester before our meeting at 12 o’clock with Red Production Companies Executive Producer and the production team.

Bob & Carol just outside the security gates – being a real tourists!!

Passed security we were led into the foyer – I can only imagine the ‘stars’ that have passed through these doors… 

Our meeting was held in one of the Green rooms where ‘Stars in Your Eyes’ amongst other fabulous shows were filmed. Fantastic place to ’story & plot’! Come with us into the foyer and down the corridors of Granada Land…

 This picture of our ‘Hilda’ from the long running ITV soap opera Coronation Street  is for sale  for £350.00!

The Jeremy Kyle show is/was filmed here since it started.

And who can remember these fiesty ladies in the picture below?

Yes, my guilty face obviously! Caught in the ‘act’ on the way out by one of the very famous actors following us down the steps! I guess I’ll never live this one down. ;-/

Our second trip gave us a three day turnaround before driving up to Manchester for a meeting this time with the production team for BBC 1 commissioned kidnap drama series  ’Happy Valley’ that we are working on including the very talented  BAFTA  winning scriptwriter Sally Wainwright. 

This time we stayed at the ‘Holiday Inn in the brand new complexin Manchester they’ve nameded ‘Media City’ I can’t begin to recreate the quality of these shots but below are some of our own.

A view from one of the windows in our hotel room… excited or what? If you look carefully some people have spotted spaceships in the sky… but why not in the BBC building are the Daleks and Dr Who’s police box!




Looking over the bridge to the ITV studios at night.


Our hotel room had a wall full of windows! We could see Manchester City Football Ground!

You have to be there to appreciate the size of this place.


And another view…

And so to bed… again too excited to sleep…

Half a day spare we managed to pop over the boarder to see our two grand daughters and have a meal with the children. Magic or what? :-)

Since the journey home is over three hundred miles we decided to stay over at Eynsham Hall Hotel in Witney. Yes, it was as lovely as it looks

Well guys, here is our ferry home so until we can update you! Keep well and safe!

Carol & Bob xx


‘Life Happens’ by Life Coach Maggie Currie. How do I know if I have low self esteem? And how can I change that?


Maggie Currie – Life Coach!


How do I know I have low self-esteem? And how can I change that?


Low self-esteem manifests itself in a variety of ways, and I should know I have been there.  For me the following was very true:


  • I didn’t think I was good enough.
  • I thought everyone else thought they were good enough.
  • I didn’t look after myself, I put others first.
  • I let people manipulate me.
  • I was in a bad relationship.
  • I felt sad and thought there must be more to life than this.
  • I constantly asked other people for their opinion, I didn’t think I knew anything.
  • I was verbally and emotionally abused and never felt I was worthy.


I started out with the intention of being happy when I got married at age 19, but soon discovered that the marriage was not working as I was constantly treated like an idiot, not allowed to develop as me, told I was worthless and became a possession.  This situation went on for 12 years and my self-esteem nose-dived.


Getting out of that relationship led me to become a single parent, living in a small flat with three small children, no money, no job, no prospects and I felt there was no hope.  My self-esteem went down even further.


Does anything resonate with you yet? Can you see the likenesses in your life at the moment? Well there is hope.


It took me a while, some years, but I found the answers to rebuilding my self-esteem and my life to such an extent that I run a successful business that I set up and I am a published author. I married again and have been very happily married for 29 years to a wonderful man who loves me.  I have retrained as a life coach and work with people who have no self-esteem and help them to re-build it and I love every minute of it. I know how it feels, I know it hurts and that’s why I can help so many people.  I am still learning, life is a school and I attend every day.


So what can you do right now to begin to change your situation and start to re-build your self-esteem? 


  • Stop thinking that you are not good enough.  You most definitely are.
  • Begin to look after yourself, put yourself first. It is not selfish – it is essential.
  • Before you think that you don’t have the answer stop, really think about the question, the answer is there, you just have to find it deep down inside yourself.
  • There is more to life than you have now, it is out there waiting for you. What is it that you want? Picture it in your head, write it down, look for it and you will attract it to you.
  • Listen to your intuition. Really listen. It is telling you what is right for you.

By changing your attitude towards yourself other people will change their attitudes towards you, it will take time, but it will happen.

Begin today to change your life. You deserve to be happy and to be yourself. You deserve to have high self-esteem.


Mar 31, 2013

Are we in a town near you? TV/Radio & Book Signing Event Dates for ‘White Lilies’ UK Tour 6th April – 6th May 2013

Book signings/ Radio interviews/ TV interview/Talks  - Times & Dates as they  are confirmed – Updated here!
Paperback/ ebook/Audio books  are available from our publishers as well as & & all good book & e book outlets.
6th April 2013 – Launch of ‘White Lilies’ – Waterstones Newport - 11.00hrs x 13.00hrs
9th April 2013 – Shanklin Methodist Church – Talk – ‘From Crime Fact to Crime Fiction’ – Talk Start 19.00hrs
19th April 2013 – Isle of Arts Festival - Evening with – ‘Life in Crime Fiction’ with Hampshire Police CSI Team input Start 20.00hrs
26th April 2013 – After dinner talk at the Conservative Ladies Luncheon ‘Crime Pays’ Start 12.00hrs
27th April 2013 - County Press Offices, Newport, Isle of Wight - Book signing   10.00 x 12.00hrs
Book signing tour of the north begins 28th April 2013
Monday 29th April – Speaking to the children at St Joseph’s School Brighouse – Taking with us the ‘Nosey Pacas’ – Peter Paca and the Mystery of the Missing Scarecrow!!
Judging the writing and drawing competiton and presenting prizes!
Tuesday 30th April – BBC Radio Leeds 10.40 – The Wes Butters Show
Waterstones – Albion Street – Leeds – 11.30 x 13.30hrs
Calendar ITV 1
You can see our last interview here – - 4 mins
Wed 1st May
Waterstones – Wakefield ‘The Ridings Centre’ Start 11.00hrs x 14.00 hrs
BCB Bradford Radio – 16.30 hrs
Thurs – 2nd May
WH Smith – Halifax – 11.00 x 14.30 hrs
Phoenix Radio – 15.00 hrs
Friday – 3rd May
Waterstones – Bradford – Woolshops 11.00 hrs x 14.00 hrs
Saturday – 4th May
Waterstones – Huddersfield – Kingsgate 13.00 x 15.00hrs
Monday – 6th May
Waterstones – Stratford Upon Avon – 11.00 x 13.00hrs


White Lilies is the third novel in the RC BRIDGESTOCK DI JACK DYLAN SERIES in which Bob brings unique insight and experience from how real life cases are conducted into page turning gripping fiction, aided by his wife Carol, who also worked for the police. This combination adds authenticity rarely seen in British crime fiction, coupled with warmth, humour and humanity.

DI Jack Dylan’s promise to Jen is to spend more time at home in this latest novel; after all she is expecting their first child. However ‘the job,’ as in reality, takes over. Two fatal road accidents, an elderly lady found battered to death, two girls brutally attacked, a chief suspect found dead, a life threatening hostage negotiation and a stabbing all happen as a newly promoted attractive Sergeant is added to the mix, which is truly genuine in voice and substance. Whilst Dylan is confronted by a madman, Jen goes into labour alone only to find herself in hospital with her arch enemy at her side and the question is will Dylan make it to the birth in time and secure justice for the victims of the crimes? 

Available Now!

ISBN: 978-1-907565-33-5

eBook: 978-1-907565



Consequences is the second in the DI DYLAN SERIES although all books stand alone. It is a pacy thriller seen through the eyes of detective hero, Jack Dylan, who lets the job take over his life leaving his girlfriend behind with no one to support her when she thinks she has cancer. With so much already on his plate can Dylan save his relationship with the one person who keeps him grounded and sane, and even if he can is it already too late?

Detective Inspector Jack Dylan’s list of things to do is getting out of control. He has two unconnected murders to solve. One victim is a small child and the other a young woman; plus a missing detective to find. Long hours are part of the job, but does he have the time to figure out the pieces to the crime jigsaws, and save his relationship?

The young woman’s unidentifiable body is found in dramatic circumstances. A harrowing murder of a small child adds to Dylan’s workload plus a detective sergeant who it seems has lost his focus in life.

With the pressure mounting, Dylan has to solve the murder of Liz, a young woman found burned alive in a public park. He also has to find out where half a million pounds of the young woman’s money has gone and how his missing sergeant may be involved in the whole sorry mess. Usually the search for the murderer begins with the immediate family but the dead woman’s husband is in prison. CONSEQUENCES shows the steps the detectives must take to find the answer to the question – who killed Liz?

Available now.

 ISBN: 978-1-907565-16-8

eBook: 978-1-907565-17-5



Deadly Focus 

DEADLY FOCUS is the first in the DI DYLAN SERIES in which Bob brings unique insight and experience from how real life cases are conducted into page turning gripping fiction, aided by his wife Carol, who also worked for the police. This combination adds authenticity rarely seen in British crime fiction, coupled with warmth, humour and humanity.

Be prepared to experience the sense of emotion, tension and intrigue through the eyes of a man who has taken charge of many real life murder enquiries and his co-author wife, to make this fictional tale believable in every way.

Deadly Focus is a fast moving, gripping thriller in which the reader travels with DI Jack Dylan throughout his enquiries, living and breathing the pursuit of the sadistic murderer, through his eyes. A schoolgirl vanishes; everyone becomes a suspect. Murder is chilling and full of mystery; nobody’s child is safe. It is the ultimate and relentless test for the man in charge of the enquiry and his team but the killer is one step ahead and another body is found.

Will it prove too much as both Dylan’s health and private life begins to suffer? DI Dylan is under the microscope and struggles to find a balance between his passion for his job and his love for his partner Jen. Will he be able to maintain the impetus to bring the perpetrator to justice and secure justice for the victims’ families?

N.B – All books in the series also stand alone.

Deadly Focus is also availabe in audio book. The enhanced and unabridged MP3 version is available to download from various online stores soon and to buy direct from Caffeine Nights website as well as various branches of Waterstones. Become immersed in the world of D.I. Dylan with a stunning reading by Paul Ansdell that is a Caffeine Nights and Electric Breeze Audio production.


ISBN-10: 1907565086

ISBN-13: 978-1907565083

Audio Book – ISBN – 9781907565304

Listen to Chapter 2 which is Chapter 1 of ‘Deadly Focus’ FREE



Mar 30, 2013

Carol’s ‘Close Up’ today with Author Julia Hughes!


Carol’s ‘Close Up’

Carol Bridgestock

I am thrilled today to be having a chat with Author Julia Hughes. Her latest book I am pleased to say is aimed at young adult readers. ‘The Griffin Cryer’ is her first title in this market. Come with me and learn more about what this enormously talented lady is up to  and what the reviewers say ;-) … 


  Lovely to meet you Julia! Tell me what are you working on now that the ‘The Griffin Cryer’ is out?

Catching up with my sleep: we’ve just finished a major book promotion on “The Griffin Cryer” which is my first title aimed at the young adult market. We’ve had some outstanding support from the indie community, and some outstanding reviews too. I feel as though I’ve bought shares in the words “Thank you!”

I know. A lot of new authors and readers think that once the book is launched that’s it but that is when the work starts isn’t it? For if we don’t promote our work then how does anyone know about it? You’re doing a sterling job Julia – glad to have met you!

Okay, so now we’re friends share something with me that nobody else knows about Julia. ;-)  

Well – I’ve already shared (with the lovely Charlie Plunkett in her “100 Little Words on Parenthood”) that I screamed the hospital down when I was in labour with my first born – like Jen in “White Lilies” I was minutes away from a caesarean and forced to undergo an epidural. Reading Jen’s ordeal brought memories flooding back, and every woman vows ‘Never again.’ Until the next time!

Absolutely! The strange thing was when I came to writing those scenes I had actually forgotten the details (maybe as it was because it is 28yrs since I had Sammy), and had to enlist the help of two friends who were pregnant. Luckily Kate Young actually gave birth to Mattie just as I was about to  write the birth which was  great timing!

Who would you like to share a cup of coffee and a natter with?

Right now, I’d like a coffee and natter with the best-selling authors of the “DI Dylan” series. I’ve heard the book rights have just been snapped up by a major telly company, and I’d love to congratulate them in person.

Although we have sold some rights of ‘Deadly Focus’ we haven’t sold the rights to the Dylan TV series yet. ;-)  The report in the national tabloid yesterday was subbed dramatically from what Natasha Harding actually wrote about us in The Sun newspaper. We are actually working with award winning scriptwriter Sally Wainwright and a production team at Red Production Company who are presently at the cutting edge of British drama for TV, and have been for a few years . ‘Happy Valley’ is reported by the BBC to be a major drama commission for BBC 1, 2013. It’s a 6 x 60min series kidnap drama that will be filmed this year. We will have more news to share in the near future but that’s all I can say for now… ;-)

How do you relax?

R.E.L.A.X. How are you spelling that? Can’t seem to find it in the dictionary – LOL! I seem to remember I enjoy dancing, mucking out horses, and walking dogs.

Me too! We’d have a lot in common – if we had the time! :-) If you won the lottery what do you think you would spend it on?

I’d give it all away – I adore the telly programme “Secret Millionaire” the look on the faces of those people who work tirelessly to make their community a better place to live in is heart-warming. To be able to make a difference to the lives of people who make a difference to others would be worth every penny.

Ha! You’re not going to believe this but when we do talks we give the proceeds to our local hospice and we always say that if we won the lottery, once we have seen our family are okay we too would love to make a real difference to others lives…

Are you a savoury or sweets girl?

Depends.  I could be both, or neither and sometimes forget to eat. Whatever’s put in front of me really.  Given the choice, I’m one of those who choose quality over quantity every time, and would rather have a sandwich of homemade bread and good cheese than a McDonalds.

OMG this is really freaky – you are me. I’m sure we are out of the same mould!  Okay, what do you have in your handbag right now?

LOL – I don’t carry a handbag. I do have an oversized beach bag that I drop Tinker into, and then she goes into the bike basket when I’m cycling on roads. I guess you could say Tinker’s in my bag.

Mine’s not a beach bag and I don’t have a bike now but it is a big bag with everything but the kitchen sink in it. Come to think of it Belle and Vegas, our Springers would be hard pushed to fit in. What’s your earliest memory?

Riding on my dad’s shoulders as my parents walked along Hammersmith Broadway. I caught sight of his reflection in a shop window, and I can see him now wearing a hound-dog’s tooth checked suit and his “Buddy Holly” glasses. He still dresses so smartly, and I’m still metaphorically riding on my parents’ shoulders. (At my age(!))

Love it! One of my earlist memories are that of sitting on my dad’s shoulders at a Halifax Town Football match! Mum & Dad live in our house annexe now.What’s your favourite smell?

Blackcurrant. It always reminds me of country lanes after a rainfall.

The figure from history that you’d like to buy a pie and a pint?

Nell Gwenn – she seems like a girl who knew how to have a good time!

Absolutely! ;-) We’ve stayed here The house was enlarged by George Brydges to accommodate Charles II and Nell Gwynne.

What piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child?

I think most children would rather listen to fairy tales, rather than some old dear telling them never to accept any limitations.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it?

What makes you think I haven’t already committed it? :D I secretly admire people who manage to pull off betting scams, a la “Ocean’s Eleven.” In fact – I’m currently laying the finishing touches to a horse racing coup. I’m just scouting for a race track where communication is scanty. Would you guys like a piece of the action? (Best not to tell DI Dylan, though he’s a diamond geezer.)

Shh… I won’t tell Dylan. ;-)

We all have a tune that means something to us for one reason or another. What song means the most to you?

This really is a hard one to answer. I’m going for Jose Feliciano’s version of “Twilight Time”. The lyrics are beautiful, the song begins : “Heavenly shades of night are falling, it’s twilight time, out of the mist your voice is calling …” It speaks to me of home, and people you adore returning from work, or school, or even a shopping trip or day’s excursion. But they’re home, and here with me again. “Together, at last at twilight time.”

A bit like the old song ‘I’ll be home for Christmas…’

What is the philosophy that underpins your world?

Toleration: if someone happens to be a little snappy or rude – it’s usually because they’re having a bad day, and I think it’s pointless to take offence. Until you’ve walked a mile in another’s shoes, you shouldn’t judge them.

 The way you want to be remembered?

I’d like to be remembered as a good mother, a loving daughter, a loyal sister, a supportive member of my community, and an inspired writer. I’ll probably be remembered as someone who was always late though.

The PLUG….

Having published four titles, including three in “The Celtic Cousins” adventures, marketing guru and fellow author Sean Campbell advised me to consider writing a novel aimed at Young Adult readers. Materially, youngsters today have more than we did, but more is expected from them, especially academically and employment wise.  I do have a huge admiration for the way youngsters cope with parents splitting up, step families, peer pressure and studying for exams. I wanted to pay tribute to the good decent living kids of today, and Sean’s advice began to germinate ideas, in particular an ordinary teenage girl with more than her fair share of problems. Walking my dogs over the fields and hills last September, I paused to admire the view from a summit, and watched in amazement as a massive cloud of vapour began to rise from the lakes behind our village, swelling and ballooning until it had blotted out the entire landscape.

“Anything could be hidden in that mist” I told myself, and there was a feeling that something truly magical was about to happen. That’s how “The Griffin Cryer” was born. 

Over the past thirty days or so, “The Griffin Cryer” has received 47 reviews in the US, and 17 reviews with a solid average of five out of five stars in the UK, as well as complimentary five star reviews from Germany, and Canada. The story line appears to have struck a chord with adults and young readers and I couldn’t be more delighted with the feedback received. The ebook is available to download for 99cents, or around 77p, for a limited time only.

Below is the synopsis for ’The Griffin Cryer’, where you can download and where you can reach Julia.

Thank you so much for our chat Julia I am so very glad that our mutual love of writing brought us together and I hope that you will stay in touch.


Carol x 

Synopsis for The Griffin Cryer:

It’s an easy mistake to make – instead of whistling and calling for her dog, fifteen year old Frankie accidentally summons a griffin and his rider from another world. The Rider is tall, blond and extremely rude. On the other hand, Balkind is the sweetest, most lovable griffin Frankie’s ever met, and Frankie is determined to help the Rider and his griffin find a way back to their own world.

Dealing with parallel universes, disgruntled warriors, and hungry griffins is the easier part of Frankie’s life. At school, Frankie learns friends can become enemies, teachers aren’t always right, and the boy of your dreams can be all too human. Told in approximately 53,000 words, suitable for young adults, and all those who’ve ever dreamed of riding a griffin.

You can download “The Griffin Cryer” from or for only 77p, or 99cents. This offer is for a limited period only, and subject to change.


You can catch Julia tweeting on twitter @tinksaid, or visit Julia’s site to discover more about Julia and her books: A Raucous Time; A Ripple in Time; An Explosive Time and the stand alone romantic adventure “The Bridle Path.”

It’s Thursday so it’s ‘Read’s Ramblings!’ New Authors


Janet Read

New Authors

So much to do with so little time

Trying to do the housework whilst writing lines on crime

Not easy having a deadline to which we need to meet

This must be what they mean when they say

‘Thinking on your feet’.


What started with us together with a list of things to do

 Has now become an obsession and we’ve written books 1 & 2

It’s really unbelievable how our books are doing  well

But whether we get rich and famous, only time will tell.


If you’ve not already read the works of an RC Bridgestock’s novel

Then let me introduce you to the pair called Bob & Carol.

Their first book Deadly Focus, a huge successful hit

The second ‘Consequences’ will have you chomping at the bit.


White Lilies is the third book, soon to be revealed

A book signing tour in the future, but till then keep your lips sealed.

We are sure its going to be exciting and a series is beginning to form

New Authors in the making, taking you by storm.



A Dilemma! Which poster to choose for our upcoming book tour! Please vote on ‘White Lilies’!

A dilemma! Which poster to choose for our book tour to launch ‘White Lilies’ the third in the DI Dylan series  in March? Can you help us?

Poster 1

Poster 2

Poster 3

Poster 4

White Lilies

Pre order now from our publishers @ £5.99 R.R.P £8.99

WHITE LILIES is the third novel in the RC BRIDGESTOCK DI JACK DYLAN SERIES in which Bob brings unique insight and experience from how real life cases are conducted into page turning gripping fiction, aided by his wife Carol, who also worked for the police. This combination adds authenticity rarely seen in British crime fiction, coupled with warmth, humour and humanity.

DI Jack Dylan’s promise to Jen is to spend more time at home in this latest novel; after all she is expecting their first child. However ‘the job,’ as in reality, takes over. Two fatal road accidents, an elderly lady found battered to death, two girls brutally attacked, a chief suspect found dead, a life threatening hostage negotiation and a stabbing all happen as a newly promoted attractive Sergeant is added to the mix, which is truly genuine in voice and substance. Whilst Dylan is confronted by a madman, Jen goes into labour alone only to find herself in hospital with her arch enemy at her side and the question is will Dylan make it to the birth in time and secure justice for the victims of the crimes?


Carol’s ‘Close Up’ with Rock Chick,Musician,Cake Eater that is Radio Presenter Heather McCallum!


Carol Bridgestock

Heather Mcallum Radio Presenter


       Rock Chick/Musician


 I  love spending time with the lovely Heather McCallum. Heather  is always a bundle of fun and never without a smile, that lights up any room, the moment she walk in. Now she is usually the one to be interviewing us so come on and let’s find out together more about her…


Hello my Lovely! :-) Now, tell all our followers a little about yourself? 

I’m a 29 year old presenter/musician born and bred on the Isle of Wight! I live with my other half Ross and pet fish called Bob.  

My Bob will be thrilled! :-)

What are you working on now?

Well, I have recently relocated to the North! So I am currently working as a freelance radio presenter but also taking a little bit of time to check out my new home. After spending some time with you guys I have also started writing a book! After hearing Bob saying anybody can give it a go, I decided to do just that! I am pretty sure no one will want to read it but it’s great setting myself a new challenge!

Hey, don’t say that. How many shades of grey is it did you say? :-)  

Share something with me that nobody else knows about Heather.

I think at least one person knows pretty much everything about me! A lot of my close friends know how partial I am to cake….. well my first word was cake! If only it had been lettuce or something healthier, I would never need to count those calories!

And let me tell you at this point that Heather McCallum is a enviable size 10 at the most. You’d never guess cake even passed her lips!

Who would you like/or do share a cup of coffee and a natter with?

This is really hard… there are so many people I would like to sit and natter to. I am always up for a coffee and a natter with anyone, well within reason. Ha ha! If it was a famous person… I reckon Dave Grohl would be a good one. I think he would have some amazing stories but, although ultimately I would love to have a conversation with Ricky Gervais. A few years ago I got completely addicted to his podcasts and again I think he would have some brilliant stories to share.

How do you relax?

Hmmm… Eating cake? I would like to say running but I usually have to push myself out of the door to go on a run! I Love watching films and socialising with my blooming wonderful friends and family. After a stressful day, there’s nothing better than catching up with one of my buddies over a glass of wine.

If you won the lottery what would you spend it on?

I don’t think I could even try and answer this. It used to be a running joke with all of my colleagues. We used to play the euromillions every week and would spend at least half the day talking about what to do with it all! I seem to remember we all googled the car we would like to have and one of us even went as far as starting to order one ha! ha! I think my number one choice would be a ticket around the world, oh and a supermarket sweep, type challenge in Harrods! I would go to the bed section and order myself the biggest bed there and of course a Jacuzzi!

Girl after my own heart, I love anything with the Harrods label on it! Bob says they could sell me a piece of coal and I’d ‘love’ it.  

Are you a savoury or sweets girl?

Well as you know I do love a bit of cake but if I am honest… I LIKE ALL FOOD! Do you know what I really like? A good buffet! There’s always a good mixture of savoury and sweet, you can’t go wrong!

What do you have in your handbag right now?

It’s funny you ask this because I did an interview with an American Psychologist for the show. This Psychologist used to work with people by asking what they had in their handbag. She asked me to look through mine and I had a piece of bread in there, along with a shell, a couple of pennies, fruit pastilles and copious amounts of receipts. I think she decided I was a total scatterbrain!

What’s your earliest memory?

I think my earliest memory has to be on one Christmas eve, I really don’t know how old I was, but I do remember getting out of bed at about three in the morning and running in and waking my big brother up asking ‘has he been yet?’ I don’t think my brother was too impressed.

What’s your favourite smell?

I know its a little clichéd, but I really do love the smell of cut grass in the summer. In fact I love the smell of summer in general, I can’t really explain it but you know what I mean. Oh and Chanel Coco mademoiselle!

What was the last thing you laughed & cried at?

Well I like to have good laugh at least once a day… but the other night I watched the new Ricky Gervais show ‘Derek’, I both laughed and cried during a single episode!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given or best advice you’d give?

Don’t let yourself hold you back. You know those doubts or negative thoughts that we all torture ourselves with sometimes? Well I was asked by a friend once… ‘Would you ever say those things to someone else to hurt them?’ and the answer of course is no. I really took that on board and always try to think positively.

 What’s your favourite band/film/book as a child or as an adult or both?

OK here we go! Neil Young & Blondie, I loved both these as a child and as an adult too, I could go on and list 100 bands and artists more but I won’t bore you. My favourite film at the moment is ‘Drive’ and I am a bit of an old romantic, so I loved the twilight saga books. Oh, and of course your books too! I am looking forward to ‘White Lilies’ the next instalment in the Dylan series!

The prized possession valued above all others Ok, well; it would have to be my phone. I know that sounds terrible but I’m not sure I would be able to survive without it. I read books on there, write, record and catch up with what’s going on in the world; I really do love a bit of technology.

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend?

I try not to have regrets, what’s happened has happened and there is nothing you can do to erase it so move on and learn from it – that’s what I try to tell myself anyway!

How would spend your fantasy 24hrs with no restrictions?

Running up and down the street naked! No… not really, I wouldn’t want to put anyone through that!

The temptation you wish you could resist.


The priority activity if you were the invisible woman for a day.  

I would like to be generally nosey! Wouldn’t it be good to go and spy on the Queen for the day? Or go and look in all those places that are ‘taped off’ to the public for instance at Osborne House. I would definitely like to take a peek in all of those places.

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise?

Rude people! I can’t stand grumpy, rude people. I mean how hard is it to smile? That really grinds my gears. I totally understand if someone is having a bad day, but some people … I’m getting wound up just thinking about it!

The figure from history that you’d like to buy a pie and a pint?

I would like to buy and then throw a pie at the face of Henry VIII. I mean honestly, there’s really no need to go through that many wives!

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child?

Oh well, again a tricky one… I don’t have any children but I guess if I did… I would have to say, don’t let anybody put you down, or if they do just ignore them and move on. Oh, and honesty really is the best policy!

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it?

Me commit a crime? But I’m such a good girl!!

The song that means the most to you?

Probably Neil Young’s ‘Don’t let it bring you down’ one of the best songs ever written… have a listen and see what you think.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you?

Probably becoming a properly paid musician, I mean most of us have dreamt of becoming a rock star. I still have about a year left; Debbie Harry properly made it when she was thirty so that’s what I judge it on. You never know…


Heather with the Gold Medal we presented her with! :-)

Me in the studio with Hev @ Isle of Wight Radio -

& Bob & Hev clowning around!


 You can follow Heather @!/pages/Heather-Mccallum/154391631382218

And Catalist Band!/pages/Catalist/148427158516203?fref=ts

Feb 17, 2013

Carol’s ‘Close Up’ with Author Steve Christie!


Carol Bridgestock

Author Steve Christie

I recently met Steve through a social networking site for authors and it was nice to see how supportive he was to others, which made me want to know more about the man himself!

Hi Steve,

Tell me a little about Steve?

I’m originally from Aberdeen and moved to Edinburgh in the late eighties to do an HND in applied Consumer Studies after I was made redundant from Texaco and have been here since. I have been married for twenty five years and have two sons my youngest is severely autistic.

What are you working on now?

I hold down a full time job but am also hard at work on my second novel.

Okay so now we’re friends share something about the real Steve Christie that others would maybe not know… ;-)  

I play guitar and played in a band in the seventies. looking back on those times now I cringingly remember having some very weird hair styles and some decidedly strange outfits.Oh, I remember the seventies well! I had every colour of leg warmers and a Suzy Quatro hairstyle!

I guess you don’t have much spare time but if you do how do you relax?

I still play a bit of guitar, more into blues nowadays and I love going for long walks around Arthur’s Seat (an extinct volcano in the heart of Edinburgh) with my wife and my Border Collie. And of course there’s the writing.

If you won the lottery what would you spend it on?

I think I would buy myself a small farm in the middle of nowhere and spend my time enjoying the piece and quiet. Every thing is so noisy nowadays.

A man after my own heart, that’s why we moved to the Isle of  Wight. :-)

Are you a savoury or sweets guy?
Definitely savoury. Especially if Im enjoying a beer or two. You can’t beat a big bowl of dry roasted peanuts.

You men are so predictable! LOL You sound just like Bob.

What’s your earliest memory?

There’s a few acres of woodland in the Hazlehead area of Aberdeen. My dad would always take the family for long walks up there every Sunday. He had a real knowledge of nature and he would tell us the names of all the birds , trees and plants we would come across during the walk. Although I was quite wee at the time I vividly remember these woodland trips. I often surprise my self with just how much of this knowledge I have retained.

What’s your favourite smell?

Damp woodlands on a fresh Autumn morning.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given or best advice you’d give?

Best advice? Never give up and believe in yourself?

And your favourite book? 

Probably Lord of the rings. I’ve read it a few times now and still go back to it now and again. I suppose that might surprise some people me being a crime writer but I believe if you have a great story with some good characters you can place it into any genre.

That’s really freaky… Bob and I started to watch the Lord of The Rings on DVD just last night…

Who was the most famous person you have worked with and what were they really like?
I havent met a lot of famous people, but I did meet Keith Richard when the stones played Aberdeen many years ago. Seemed a nice guy, very down to earth.

The prized possession valued above all others?

My Guitar collection. It’s not very big but some of them are quite old. Im particularly fond of my vintage Stratocaster and old Martin acoustic.

You sound like Tom our son in law. He plays Base in a couple of bands. Look out for ‘Champs’! :-)

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise?

I hate the way some people punctuate the air with their fingers while telling you stuff.

The person who has influenced you the most?

My wife Audrey who has pushed me when I needed pushing and who has the distinct knack of calming me down when I go off on one!

We have our uses don’t we Audrey? :-) Hi there!

The figure from history that you’d like to buy a pie and a pint? 

Probably Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Simply for this fact. I have always had a great fascination about the Jack The Ripper Murders. I would love to get his take on them. What would Sherlock Holmes do if he was investigating the case? I would love to know.

The unlikely interest that engages you curiosity?

American Wrestling, It’s pure escapism.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again?

My dad had a Rolex watch he got while he was in the army in Singapore. He gave it to me and I told him to hold on to it when I moved to Edinburgh, he died a few years ago and no one seems to know what happened to it.

The song that means the most to you?

Gerry Raffertys Baker Street. It’s a personal thing between me and my wife.

The happiest moment you cherish?

The birth of my two sons. I was present at both.

The saddest time that shook your world?

The death of my father was hard but the death of my younger sister shook me to the core.

The philosophy that underpins your world?

Do unto others as you would have done to yourself, I’m a great believer in karma.

Totally agree Steve which brings me to the first passage of this interview… ;-)

So glad we met Steve! Good luck and thank you, I hope we stay in touch!

Now’s your chance to tell the readers all about your novel ‘Good Deed’ and where they can read more about you and order your book of course!

Good Deed is a fast paced crime novel that captures the reader from beginning to end. The gripping story of Good Deed rattles along relentlessly, leaving the reader breathless but enthralled. Good Deed introduces a new Scottish detective hero, DI Ronnie Buchanan, who is certain to quickly attract a legion of fans.

The events crammed into Good Deed take Buchanan from his base in Aberdeen on a frantic journey around all the major Scottish cities as his increasingly deadly pursuit of a mysterious criminal master mind known only as Vince comes to a breath-taking climax back in Aberdeen.

The pace of Good Deed is exceptional and unremitting. It is the kind of book that demands to be read in one sitting, but most readers will be so breathless as the saga unfolds without pause that they will need occasional rests before eagerly returning for more.

Where You Can Find Me.
Book Links.

Till next time on Carol’s Close Up!

Ta’ra for now!

C x