Just Another Rant – The Pant Rant

Today’s post is another call for fairness for consumers. As someone who is a very organized and expertised shopper, I want to say something here to online businesses who oversell their stock, just like the airlines do with over-selling seats.

Wouldn’t it seem simple that when ordering an item from an online store and your order is confirmed that you should expect the delivery of your product? Ya, so did I. Wouldn’t it seem simple that when there are ‘x’ amount of items in stock that as each person orders one, the number available would go down by one in their system? Ya, that’s what I thought. But apparently, that’s not how they do things at TSC, our Canadian home shopping network.

Let me preface this by saying, I practically have a mortgage with this company. I’ve ordered from them for over 20 years, and although I’ve had my share of discrepancies with them over the years, this one just bites!

Over 3 weeks ago, one of my favorite clothing lines came on TSC. I’d found the perfect evening legging to complete an outfit I intended to wear last weekend.But I still never received them. I’d sent 4 intermittent emails to customer support inquiring as to where the hell my pants were – to no avail. Because, as usual, NO REPLY. When I went into my account to check on the status of the order, beside the item number was the word ‘backordered’. Backordered? WTF? As a seasoned shopper on that channel, I know full well the items that go first on airings. The pants I’d ordered were a popular item. I ordered those damned pants on the very first airing to lock in my order – OR SO I THOUGHT.

I placed my order, along with some other items, a few days later I received the other items – no pants! The receipt said ‘pants to follow’. This does happen occasionally that they will send a partial order and follow up a few days later with the balance. But no, not this time. I placed my order and immediately got notification, ‘thank you for shopping TSC your order has been placed.’ After a week had passed and no pants, I got suspicious. After checking my account order status and seeing backordered, I sent customer support an email. In fact over the course of another week I’d sent them 4 emails but AS USUAL they never replied.

Yesterday I started to get really concerned because I was counting on those pants to go with a jacket I’d purchased to wear to next weekend’s family Christmas party. Since I had no email reply, I went onto their Facebook page and messaged through there with my inquiry. The response was about as helpful as anything I’d received so far. So, I knew it was time to place a call.

After the usual 100 button pushing and waiting on hold for half an hour I finally spoke with a rep to ask where the hell my pants were. Yes, I admit, I wasn’t feeling very friendly. I received the typical ‘Oh, so sorry, the pants are sold out’. I lost it. And that’s when my rant began.

I asked her how a giant company like Rogers who owns half of Canada it seems, including our home shopping channel, doesn’t have an ordering system that serves the consumer. How on earth could my pants be sold out when I ordered in first airing and the pants remained on other airings as available for 2 days that followed? The hosts on that show display an ‘items left’ when they feature an item. On day 2 there were still ‘items left’ but somehow my friggin pants are SOLD OUT! The rep kept coming up with lame excuses amid her apologies, telling me that they were probably sold out before the airing. LOL I replied, are you kidding me, those pants were available for 2 days because I kept checking myself as I saw them as I was eyeing some other items.

“You oversold the item, just like the airlines do with seats!” I replied in a huff. How can such a big company run a business like this where people order an item and it’s not counted as sold automatically? How can a giant corporation like Rogers who owns them, have such a lame shipping system? She continued on trying to pacify me, apologizing that the item was no longer available and no more would be coming in stock. I was livid, and asked to speak to a supervisor. She told me there was no point because there were no items left and the item shouldn’t be showing in my cart. Oh really, and wouldn’t it have been nice IF I WAS INFORMED IT WAS OUT OF STOCK? More apologies, again for not receiving an email!

I told her I want to speak to a supervisor because I want to let them know that you can’t treat consumers like this. Eventually, I spoke to the higher up who again apologized profusely and tried  to tell me the same excuses the rep did. I set the record straight with her, letting her know this isn’t how to do business, their support is terrible, and stop telling me bullshit stories about stock. She retorted by telling me they send emails out when something is out of stock. I reminded her, just one more incompetent thing on them because I NEVER RECEIVED ANY EMAILS, other than when MY ORDER WAS CONFIRMED!

I’m a seasoned shopper there, I know how it all works.”You guys failed to deliver my product ordered first airing and those stragglers a day or two later who ordered received their pants and I didn’t.” I told her again how bad their stock strategy was and as a courtesy to the public I will be writing an article about this. That was when I got offered a credit on my account. But that was not enough to stop me from sharing this rant!

I am soooooooooo tired of big corporations. I’m tired of taking whatever is dished out from companies because our hands are tied and there’s nothing we can do when business isn’t done properly. No, my complaint didn’t magically make them come up with my pants, but I had hoped to instill some sort message to upper management that may miraculously be passed on to the powers that be. Yes, I got a credit, big deal, that didn’t give me my pants and that doesn’t justify their shit business policy and sorely lacking customer service. Just sayin’.

I know I’m not going to change the world single-handedly. But by speaking up, we have to let these companies know when they’re in the wrong. If nobody speaks up, nothing will ever change! We must keep them accountable!

Have any of you been chumped by bogus protocol with online ordering?


© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye



#WATWB – 52 Big and Small Good Deeds to Help Change the World

Another month has come to the end and that means the last Friday of the month is time to post about some of the good things going on in the world for the #WATWB – We are the World Blogfest. I thought it was the perfect time of year with Thanksgiving and Christmas on its way to share some wonderful deeds that we can all partake in, if only just one of these 52 gestures to contribute to making somebody’s day. This post was written in early 2019, but it’s evergreen. It’s never too late to start and there is no expiry date!


52 Big and Small Good Deeds to Help Change the World in 2019

One good deed can lead to another so pass it on.

You can make a real difference, one good deed at a time. When you perform acts of kindness, it doesn’t just help others, it’s good for you too. Doing good deeds, no matter how small, makes you feel better too.


1. Thank the salesperson who helped you
2. Buy an extra can of food to donate to a food drive or food bank
3. Help someone find a lost pet
4. Let someone go in front of you in line
5. Bring flowers to patients in the hospital or to the nurses’ station
6. Weed a community garden
7. Apologize when you are wrong
8. Buy a buy-one-get-one pair of shoes or socks
9. Prepare food for firemen or policemen who have to work on a holiday.
10. Put out a bird feeder for the winter birds
11. Put an encouraging note in your child’s or partners’ lunch bag.
12. Be the designated driver and make sure your friends celebrate safely
13. Smile at a random stranger – smiles are contagious
14. Ask someone to give a donation in your name instead of a gift
15. Pick up trash in a park or at the beach
16. Donate your hair to Locks of Love
17. Donate to your local school to help a child pay for their school trip
18. Help an elderly or young person cross the street
19. Put your change in a donation box when you shop
20. Donate blood or join the bone marrow registry
21. Pay it forward by paying for a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line.
22. Buy a meal for a homeless person
23. Bring a cake to work
24. Take public transportation or carpool instead of driving to work
25. Tell the manager about an employee who gave great customer service
26. Donate school supplies for children in homeless shelters
27. Volunteer for an hour at a senior center or nursing home
28. Hold the door open for the person behind you especially if they are carrying bags.
29. Sign up for a CPR course, you never know when you might need it
30. Bring a meal over to someone who just left the hospital
31. Donate clothing to goodwill or a clothing drive.
32. Give up your seat on the subway or bus to someone who needs it
33. Compliment a stranger’s new haircut or outfit
34. Sign up to be an organ donor
35. Go to an animal shelter and play with the puppies
36. Donate period products to a shelter for abused women
37. Plant a tree
38. Offer to babysit for a new parent
39. Donate old eyeglasses to an organization that will reuse them
40. Recycle plastic bottles, paper and whatever else is collectible
41. Help a friend move even if there are stairs
42. Shovel out your neighbor’s walkway or mow their lawn
43. Save the mini shampoo bottles and soaps from a hotel stay and donate them to a homeless shelter
44. Walk or run for a cause
45. Bring a welcoming gift to a new neighbor
46. Read a book to children – yours, a relative’s, or volunteer at your local preschool
47. Turn the lights off anytime you leave the room to save energy
48. Help someone change a flat tire
49. Share your umbrella with a stranger
50. Return shopping carts at the grocery store and leave the quarter in it for the next person
51. Give books to a street library
52. Leave a server a generous tip before a holiday


Thank you to Bonnie Riva Ras for this inspirational list at Goodnet.org

Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.

Source: 52 Big and Small Good Deeds to Help Change the World in 2019 – Goodnet


This month’s WATWB is hosted by:

Damyanti Biswas – http://www.damyantiwrites.com/ –

Lizbeth Hartz – https://www.authorlizbethhartz.com/blog/ –

Shilpa Garg – http://shilpaagarg.com/ –

Peter Nena – https://drkillpatient01.wordpress.com/ –

Simon Falk – https://simonfalk28.wordpress.com/ –


A Time to be Grateful for Friends and Collaborators -D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I thought this was the perfect day – a day of Thanks to share this most beautiful post Sally Cronin wrote for me in thanks for being one of her Smorgasbord Blog Magazine contributors. I was truly touched and humbled and feeling a bit warm and fuzzy and grateful to belong to such a wonderful community with so many solid friendships that couldn’t be any more real if I met you all in person. Thank you Sally ❤


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – A Time to be Grateful for Friends and Collaborators -D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies



Although technically we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK and Ireland, that does not mean we cannot appreciate the opportunity it offers to formalize our thanks to those who help and support us.  I fully appreciate that Smorgasbord Blog Magazine is a collaboration between myself and a number of key contributors who add their experience, support and wonderful content, to entertain and inform readers who visit.

Between now and Thursday I would like to say a special thank you to four of the monthly columnists during 2019 who have added such colour, flavour, insight, humour, adventure and music to my life and to yours. They create new content each month which I know takes a great deal of time. Something as busy people they do not have in abundance.



The first is D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) who has been writing the The Travel Column for the last two years. Debby has taken us to the Caribbean including Cuba, St. Thomas and the Bahamas. To the United States to the dry heat of Arizona, and shared with us the warm welcome and sunshine of Mexico.

In the last year, Debby has also joined me in the twice weekly Laughter Lines, sharing images she has foraged from various online sources, and also we have discovered she has rather a thing about parrot videos!

Outside of Debby’s blog duties, she is also amazingly supportive, always dropping by each night to read the posts and share across social media. When I take a break, she will make sure all is okay on the days that I am absent and that the posts are boosted regularly.  What a great blog sitter and worth her weight in gold.

She accomplishes all of this for me but also for many other bloggers, and if I was to say ‘hands up’ all of you who are in receipt of her kindness I am sure I would lose count.

As a blogger at D.G. Writer Debby furthers her support to others with author interviews, a weekly book review, reblogging of other people’s posts, and sharing writer links from around the community. We can also all benefit from some of her well thought out and delivered ‘rants’ against injustice and sloppy government, saying many of the things we might agree with but not necessarily have the guts to share.

As a non-fiction and memoir author, D.G. Kaye has a commonsense, practical approach to the problems in life so many of us have faced in the past or do in the present. From relationship issues with parents, overcoming traumatic events, facing a time in life that every woman has concerns about, or overcoming the stress of packing for a holiday, Debby has strategies to cope.  I have read of Debby’s books and they are on my ‘favourite’s shelf’ in my office.

Please continue reading at Sally’s Blog.


Source: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – A Time to be Grateful for Friends and Collaborators -D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine


Thank you


Happy Thanksgiving!


25 Books for Christmas, The List #GiftIdeas #FeedYourKindle – Authors and books

I’m happy to be sharing this wonderful Christmas Book List author Patricia Furstenberg has put together beautifully. And I have to admit, I was elated when Patricia invited me and one of my books to be part of. Enjoy this fantastic smorgasbord of books!


25 books for Christmas, The List


25 Books for Christmas, The List, Gift Ideas #GiftIdeas #FeedYourKindle


Are you in need of a gift idea for a child, a captivating YA or Sci-Fi for your teen, a romance or a Rom-com, a humorous book, poetry or memoir, a captivating historical novel, crime, contemporary fiction or maybe psychological horror? I hope you will find it in this hand-picked 25 Books for Christmas, The List, Gift Ideas or Feed Your Kindle – celebrating engaging stories by talented authors. Christmas stocking fillers or a last-minute e-Book to feed your kindle are right here. The books on this list are written by gifted authors with vibrant personalities and talents that extend beyond these publications.


Happy browsing and a happy holiday! Thank you for visiting.


In 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle. You can choose from:

Please hop over to Patricia’s blog to be enticed by a most delicious selection of books. And don’t be surprised authors, if you find one of your own books listed there too! It’s time to #FeedYourKindle


Source: 25 Books for Christmas, The List #GiftIdeas #FeedYourKindle – Authors and books



Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Guest Post – D.G. Kaye – Writing in Memoir | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I’m thrilled to be kicking off the new Christmas #Bookfair Series at Sally Cronin​’s Smorgasbord Invitation. Once again, the generous Sally is featuring her blog contributors where she’ll feature our books that are part of Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore shelves and invited us to write something about our writing. Naturally, I wrote about writing in  #Memoir.


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Guest Post – D.G. Kaye – Writing in Memoir



Delighted that author D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) is kicking off the Christmas guest posts for this year’s book fair.

As someone who has read all her memoir and non-fiction books, I can think of no better person to share some very important aspect of memoir writing….how it can expose us to experiences that are painful to recall and the inclusion of real people in your life, who might not necessarily agree with your assessment of your relationship, or who might be offended.



Whether writing a novel or writing a memoir, the process is similar with different components. Some may think writing in memoir is easier than creating fictional stories, but the story must still be created, even though taken from our own experiences, facts still must be checked. There can also be added emotional stress when writing such stories as we are forced to relive, sometimes, painful memories.

The process of focusing on past painful events, writing about them, rereading them in revisions and edits can become emotionally draining and sometimes depressing at points. I liken the process of writing my memoirs to going to therapy sessions where I’m baring my raw self and soul to a specialist in search of resolution from the conflict. There can be dark moments when we go back to some unpleasant places in time. I find in those times; I need to step away from my work to distance myself from my story to decompose for awhile.

As memoir writers, it’s our job to tell the truth and convey our stories from our own truth, the way we experienced it. The truth is not made to be sugar-coated or exaggerated. Characters in our stories shouldn’t be adorned for more than who they were just to sensationalize. The purpose of our stories is to keep the readers engaged by allowing them to form their own emotion from what we deliver. The story isn’t a place for us to present ourselves as self-centered or heroic, nor is it to invoke sympathy from the reader, but rather to engage our readers into the stories we tell, allowing them as readers to develop their own emotion from the story, and hopefully gain some insight for themselves from the material they’ve read.

It takes a special blend of courage to be able to write in memoir, first by having to face some unpleasant memories, and then once published, exposing our most intimate stories to the world.

We must also pay attention to the real people who are our characters in our stories. Often, the people we write about are flawed. These people shouldn’t be taken by surprise when finding out they are in someone’s book, finding their flaws exploited publicly. It’s important to learn the infringement laws about libel, slander, defamation of character, and invasion of privacy to protect ourselves from potential lawsuits. If the people we write about concern us with these issues, it’s always best to get permissions from them in writing. Although this may sound like an awkward task, it’s well worth doing to avoid possible repercussions and lawsuits.

Two important things to keep in mind to help avoid potential lawsuits are . . .please continue reading at Sally’s blog.


Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Guest Post – D.G. Kaye – Writing in Memoir | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine


© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye


Under pressure… | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Today I’m sharing a wonderful blog post Sue Vincent has written on the topic of writing and using editing apps. Do you find them helpful or do they get in your way? Read on to discover Sue’s take on this.


Under Pressure


Let’s be fair, we all need a bit of help now and then. Especially writers. Whether it’s a word we seem to have forgotten how to spell… every time we use it too… the correct placing of punctuation or a point of grammar. There are, apparently, no excuses now that we all write online. Apart from that odd typo that inevitably creeps it… there is always the odd one of those, especially when fingers are racing to keep up with thoughts.

So, given all the tools at our disposal, how come so many of us still end up with errors in our work?

I don’t mean the ones our eyes and brains fail to pick up as we edit, the ones that slip through the cracks in attention as we read what is supposed to be there, rather than what actually makes it to the pageI mean the ones we think we have corrected, because the grammar police have told us we must or the various spellcheckers and editing software we have installed on our devices highlight the errors, leaving us with a multicoloured patchwork on he screen.

I have grown increasingly frustrated with both the software and the grammar police over the years. Do we really have to conform?


question marks


There are rules for punctuation. There is good reason for that… punctuation is designed to allow us to read what has been written the way the writer intended. It makes us pause when a pause is required, lets us know when a character is speaking and when they cease to speak. It separates ideas, and can radically alter the sense of a sentence.

There is a reason to conform here… at least to the basic rules that make sense of your writing.

On the other hand, and unless you are writing for publication in an arena where slavishly following the rules as set out in the style guides really matters, does it matter, as long as the true sense of your words is conveyed to the reader?

Please continue reading at Sue’s blog and find out what does matter.



Source: Under pressure… | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Sunday Book Review(s)- Special Shared Reviews by Robbie Cheadle

Hello readers. Today I’m sharing two book reviews by Robbie Cheadle. As I only just finished my latest read and have yet to write a review, it was timely and elating for me to come across two reviews on one post by Robbie on her blog, Robbie’s Inspirations,

One of these reviews is for Sue Vincent’s new release – a collaboration with Sue and her sweet dog Ani – Doggerel, and one for my book Twenty Years: After “I Do”.


#Bookreviews – Books by Sue Vincent and D.G. Kaye


Book reviews


I seem to have been reading faster than usual as I have two wonderful books read and reviewed this week. I decided to share them at the same time rather than holding one back for next week.


Doggerel: Life with the Small Dog by Sue Vincent


What Amazon says

The relationship between Ani, the inimitable Small Dog and her two-legs, first came to light in ‘Notes from a Small Dog: Four Legs on Two’. Their poetic adventures continued in ‘Laughter Lines: Life from the Tail End’. In this new collection of poems, their daily life together takes centre stage. From the perfidy of humans who insist on bathing dogs, to the unpunctuality of writers at mealtimes, the relationship between two legs and four is explored in verse. The Small Dog reveals her continuing fascination with chicken, tennis balls and the compulsion to re-write Shakespeare, while exposing her two legs’ misdemeanours to the world.



My review

Ani, or the Small Dog, as she is referred to in this delightful collection of poetry, is a rescue dog whose mother and father were found living together in an Irish field, awaiting the birth of their litter of puppies. Ani’s two legs is named Sue Vincent and she is a Yorkshire born writer, a teacher and a director of The Silent Eye. Both Ani and Sue write highly entertaining blogs.

So what is life like for a Small Dog who blogs and writes poetry, living with another writer who is obsessed with bathing her? Ani tells us all about her life with Sue in a collection of hilarious and poignant poems, largely written in rhyming verse

Well, to start of with, Ani makes it quite clear she does not enjoy being tricked into bathing:
“I got them back on exit
When I shook my dripping fur…
(I didn’t get my boy too much,
But aimed it all at her.)”

“To add insult to injury…
All guilt upon her head…
When I went off to sulk a bit
I found she’d washed my bed!”
Both from Touche.

Ani also does not like having to diet:
“Now this works a treat, if you’ll pardon the pun,
‘Cause she either forgets, gives me treats or a bun
Or more likely she will not go in there at all
‘Cause, “You’ve put on a pound or two, girlie, since fall…”
from In hiding…

Of course, Ani is the first to worry if her Two-Legs gets sick:
“My two-legs has broken down again,
Or maybe she’s still broke,
I think she’s cute with hamster cheeks…
She says it’s not a joke.”
from Karma

Ani is also the first to admit that when she is sick, her Two-Legs nurses her with devoted care:
“Being poorly does have compensations;
‘Cause she’s worried to death, I can tell.
But now she is just so attentive…
I’m not in a rush to get well.”
from Sleeping Dogs Lie…?

This is a thoroughly enjoyable book of poetry about the antics and life experiences of the Small Dog. I would recommend it to anyone who loves dogs and who enjoys having a good giggle about life in general.


Twenty years: After “I do” by D.G. Kaye


What Amazon says

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.



My review

This book is a memoir. I do not often read memoir, but after reading this one, I really think I should read more of them.

The author married a man who is twenty years her senior. At the time of their marriage, she did reflect on what could or would happen in the future as the relentless march of time took its toll, but she loved Gordon so much that she decided to grab the happiness and job life was offering her.

I found this book particularly interesting because my mother is ten years older than my father. My mother has always been “young” for her age and my father a bit “older” for his. They are now 80 and 70, respectively, and it has been interesting to watch the changes to their relationship and lifestyle. Ten years is half of twenty years, so such a big age gap does seem rather overwhelming to me and I was curious as to how the couple managed their life together now that they were both older. It turns out that they manage very well indeed, and I found this memoir uplifting and even inspiring.

The author addresses all sorts of aspects of married life, many of which are relevant in any marriage, regardless of the age of the spouses. I learned a lot from her thoughts and ideas, in particular, the idea of counting to ten before speaking in rage and never saying anything deliberately spiteful or hurtful. I have heard this message before, but never understood it quite like this. I am going to take this lesson learned forward in my life especially in my relationship with my one son, who is so like me we often fight like cat and dog.

The information covered in this book about living with a senior and travelling with a senior is useful to anyone who spends time and travels with parents so it is all very relevant and useful. I is also interesting to note how the author manages medications and illness with her senior husband.

This is a great book with numerous important messages that can be enjoyed and appreciated by people of all age groups looking to gain the best from life and relationships.


Original Source: #Bookreviews – Books by Sue Vincent and D.G. Kaye – Robbie’s inspiration

Q and A with D.G. Kaye Featuring Robbie Cheadle- Through the Nethergate

Welcome to my Q and A series. Today I’m thrilled to be featuring Robbie Cheadle and her book – Through the Nethergate. Robbie is a multi-genre author who writes children’s books with her son Michael in the Sir Chocolate series, poetry and chilling thriller/horror stories and is a prolific blogger, baker,  among many other talents.


Roberta Eaton Cheadle


I am an author who has recently branched out into adult horror and supersupernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my young adult and adult writing, these will be published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first young adult supernatural novel, Through the Nethergate, has recently been published.

I have two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre as well as three short stories published in Death Among Us, a collection of murder mystery short stories by 10 different authors and edited by Stephen Bentley. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.




Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own.

In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise.

With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.


Through the Neth3rgate


Excerpt – Through the Nethergate


Can you Feel it?

As Margaret followed Grandfather down the steep stairs, the evil surged up to greet her. It filled the shadowy cellar with its thick flint and stone walls like thick mist, its menacing fingers swirling in the dimness.

Margaret hesitated on the last step. Something was watching her, its red eyes glowing fiercely.

“Come on, Margaret,” Grandfather called, striding forward in his usual purposeful way.

What is wrong with me? There is nothing down there. Grandfather would know if there was, he’s lived here his whole life.

A pretty and slender girl with thick, flaxen hair arranged into two braids that hung down her back, Margaret took a deep breath and plunged forward. Her gorge rose, burning her throat, as the cloying smell of age and decay assaulted her. There was another rank smell underlying the muskiness: the stench of a wild animal’s den mixed with the offensiveness of rotting meat and old blood.

This cellar is ancient. Of course it smells. Swallowing hard in an attempt to settle her nausea, she gave herself a mental kick in the ass.

Still wearing the faded jeans, colourful checked shirt and running shoes she had travelled in, she looked small and sensible. Her unsophisticated attire and plain hairstyle made her look younger than her actual age of sixteen years.

Grandfather had collected her from the Norwich Station an hour ago and offered to take her on a tour of the Inn immediately. Tired from her long trip, Margaret would have preferred to have gone straight to her room to freshen up, but Grandfather obviously wanted to show her around her new home. His pride in the Inn her family had owned for many years was evident in his tone and actions. Margaret had smiled and undertaken her private tour with good grace; disappointing him wasn’t an option.

A product of his rigid Victorian upbringing, Grandfather ran his business and his family in an authoritarian and patriarchal manner but, underneath his crusty exterior, he adored his family. Margaret could not upset him by allowing her horror to show.

She gazed around the cellar, her eyes large and luminous. Why am I so scared and anxious? Mother grew up here, serving drinks and snacks to customers in the large bar upstairs. I don’t recall her ever mentioning that she was scared or that the cellar was creepy.

Tears filled her eyes at these thoughts of her mother. She quashed them quickly. She did not want to remind Grandfather of their shared pain. Let him enjoy the distraction of showing her around the Inn. As a historian, he was knowledgeable about the building and its long and dark history so the tour was interesting.”


Time to get to know a little more about Robbie:


If you’ve published more than one book, do you find or notice your writing changes or evolves with each new book?

My first attempts at writing evolved in my place of work, an auditing firm, and were non-fiction. I have been involved in corporate finance and transaction advisory work for many years and over that time I started preparing guidance documents to help my work colleagues. Corporate finance work is chunky, and you have periods of being insanely busy and working all hours of the night and over weekends as well as periods when you are not as busy. During my quieter periods, I started looking into the drivers of investment into Africa to keep myself busy and interested. This interest resulted in a series of publications about listing in Africa, the African debt market and the preparedness of African countries, individually and cumulatively, for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

My interest in writing gradually changed and I started writing poetry and the Sir Chocolate rhyming verse books to entertain my own children and other people’s children too. From this beginning, my writing has grown into what it is
today. I currently have six published Sir Chocolate Books, one Silly Willy middle school book, one young adult historical fictionalized autobiography, one young adult supernatural fantasy book and four anthologies containing my short stories.

D.G. – You are so multi-talented Robbie, it amazes. I don’t know how you do it all!


What prompted you to write in your chosen genre?

I do not write in one specific genre. I have written non-fiction, young children’s picture books, middle-school and young adult. My fiction books have generally either been fantasy or historical in their content. I never thought about writing supernatural and/or horror books and stories until I saw a short story competition on author, Dan Alatorre’s, website. I liked the topic and a few ideas came to me, so I decided to give writing a few horror short stories a go. This effort resulted in The Willow Tree and The
Haunting of William, both of which were published in Dark Visions, horror anthology last year.

I discovered that I really enjoyed writing darker stories and I decided to continue writing short stories in this genre. That was the beginning of Through the Nethergate. I had an idea to write a series of linked stories about the twenty or more ghosts that were believed to haunt a famous local inn in Bungay. As the stories of these ghosts revealed themselves to me, the idea of a girl who had the power to reincarnate the ghosts and help theme escape their lives as ghosts came to me. The stories started
linking together, both through the location of their hauntings and through Margaret. It was quite a strange experience, but as I went along writing this book, it just revealed its path to me. It sounds a bit odd, but that is how it was. I wrote and ideas came, and they formed themselves into a proper and full length story.

I have found it easier and easier to write dark stories and prompts and have dozens of ideas for short stories. I have started storing them in a separate folder, so I don’t forget them. I have limited time to write.

D.G. – Like I said before, you are a wonderment! And yes of course, we must file all our ideas because if anyone is like me – a moment of brilliance evaporates if it is not written down.


How do you promote your work? Do you find marketing and social media overwhelming?

I love social media, especially blogging. I love it so much I must be very disciplined with myself about it. I blog in the mornings between 5.30am and 6.45am and again in the afternoon from 6.30pm to 8pm. I must have time for writing, reading, work, and, most importantly, my family. My boys are teenagers now and so they don’t need as much of my time and attention as they are busy with schoolwork, sport and their own social activities during the evenings and parts of the weekend. That gives me plenty of
time to do my thing on my blog, social media and to write. I have three blogs now, and I love them all so I can’t see that changing in the short term. I have robbiesinspiration for baking, fondant art, children’s books, lighter prompts and poetry and robertawrites for my dark writing and horror/supernatural books promotions. I have robbiecheadle.co.za which is my new flagship website which I use for travel stories and promotions about my books.

D.G. – Unbelievable how you can keep up with all those blogs, besides writing and reading books, social media and real life. Kudos to you Robbie!


Do you prefer to only read books in your genre?

I read books in every genre and for all age groups. Over the past two months I have listened to three dystopian novels, 1984 by George Orwell, and The Running Man and The Long Walk by Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman. I have read two poetry books, four children’s books with a Halloween or spooky theme and two tales of espionage, one from the Chinese point of view and one from the British point of view. I also read a book by Stevie Turner called No Sex Please, I’m Menopausal, which is an
amusing take on menopause and also a peep into modern dating. It seems that I have not read one book in this period that is in the supernatural/paranormal/horror genre which is the one I have been writing a lot of lately. I have been quite into dystopian novels recently and also read Fahrenheit 451 and have Animal Farm and The Handmaid’s Tale on my TBR.

D.G. – Thanks for sharing your ultra busy life with us and what you’ve been up to Robbie. I loved your mother’s memoir you wrote – When the Bombs Fell, and look forward to reading Through the Nethergate.


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