‘More Glimpses’ And A Secret With Hugh W Roberts

Greetings, dear friends! After a few weeks away at work (memoir submission) and play (birthday fun, catch up post next week), today I’m delighted to welcome author, Hugh W Roberts, to the Summerhouse.

Hugh is on book blog tour with his second short story collection, More Glimpses. Thrilled to jump onboard and help spread the word, I knew I was in for a treat when Hugh’s book arrived in the post.

It is no secret to those of us who have read Hugh’s stories on his blog and debut collection Glimpses (published in 2016), that he knows how to keep us riveted with his masterful storytelling.

Whether funny, sad or downright deadly, from drama to comedy, science fiction, murder/mystery, paranormal and horror, Hugh leads us through a gamut of emotions and keeps us guessing to the end with a twist in every tale.

More Glimpses’ gives the reader an opportunity to take a peek into the lives of normal, everyday people whose lives are all on a path full of twists, turns and unexpected endings. But it’s not only about the humans; nothing escapes the extraordinary journeys Hugh has planned for you.’

A wonderfully engaging and fantastic read, I highly recommend More Glimpses with my 5-Star Review on Amazon, adapted here:

‘With Prudence Pebblebottom, the Easter Bunny and The Queen, to name a few, how can Hugh’s stories fail to thrill? Tiny people, elderly time travellers and a boarded up music hall transport us to unknown worlds. ‘Murder in Evershot’ takes us to a quaint English village in deepest, darkest Dorset I know well; Miss Marple will never be the same again. My favourite story is ‘Dream Catcher’ because as Hugh knows, I love a disturbing twist. So pull up your chair and turn down the lights (except the one you read by) for a page-turner collection in the mind- popping tradition of Black Mirror and The Twilight Zone. You won’t be disappointed.

Hugh’s opening story, The Whistle, contains a secret within a poignant and powerful read. It gripped me from its first line:

‘When will it come? Every anticipated moment is like torture.’

The only way to find out, of course, is to read the story. But first, Jack, the main character, has a few words to say about it, insistent on writing Hugh’s guest post:

Can You Keep A Secret?

Before you answer that question, you may like to read what I have to say first. You
see, I have a warning for you. Something that you should take very seriously. My name is Jack, and I’m a character in the story ‘The Whistle’, the first story in the new collection of short stories, More Glimpses, by Hugh W. Roberts.

I fought hard not to appear in that story because it was a place I didn’t want to go, but Hugh refused to allow me to leave. Just like some secrets which are held like a prisoner, Hugh locked me into the story and threw away the key. I found that heartless and thought I’d never trust him again.

However, over time, I grew to trust him, and even though it took him months to finish
the story, it wasn’t until he told me that he was going to reveal a secret that I finally
stopped plotting to escape and agreed to stay.

As Hugh tapped away at the keyboard, he kept promising to reveal the secret to me.
But, as the author, he also knew that if he told me too soon, I’d have caused him
trouble and relentlessly tried to escape before he had finished the story.

Without me, Hugh knew that the story would never have had the same impact as it’s been getting in the reviews for ‘More Glimpses.’

Now, where were we? Oh, yes. Secrets. How many secrets have you been told? Are
they even secrets once they’ve been told?Just like the nearest person to you right now, we all have secrets, don’t we? Some of us find it challenging to keep them safe (one of the biggest mistakes us humans can make in life).

As soon as you unlock the door to the place they are held, and allow them to roam free, you allow ‘uncertainty’ into your life and those who are locked inside the secret.

I’m one of the first to agree that not all secrets are unsafe when freed, but most of
them can grow into a creature that will unleash unhappiness, terror, and darkness
into the lives of so many of us.

They can not only split families apart but can summon up another monster that visits us way before it should do. You know who I mean, don’t you? Yes, the green-eyed monster.

If I told you the secret that Hugh told me, who knows what you would do with it. You
may promise me that you’ll never pass on that secret to anyone else but ask yourself
what would tempt you to reveal it. Is there anything in your world that would entice
you to unlock the door to my secret?

If you answered ‘no’, ask yourself if you really are being truthful to the person that matters most in your life. Who’s that person? You!

I can’t reveal the secret I know to you, but if you read ‘The Whistle’ you’ll find out
what it is. I wonder what you will do once you know my secret. Will you create a
monster from it, or lock it away and hope nobody ever finds it?

Can you keep a secret? It’s up to you.


Don’t worry, Jack; your secret is safe and sound at the Summerhouse. No spoilers here. But for those of you wanting to find out more about Hugh and his writing, a lovely warm welcome awaits you here (and I can vouch for that):

Blog: Hugh’s Views and News

Twitter: @HughRoberts05



Amazon Author Page



‘Hugh W. Roberts lives in Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.Hugh gets his inspiration for writing from various avenues including writing prompts, photos, eavesdropping and while out walking his dogs, Toby and Austin. Although he was born in Wales, he has lived around various parts of the United Kingdom, including London where he lived and worked for 27 years.Hugh suffers from a mild form of dyslexia but, after discovering blogging, decided not to allow the condition to stop his passion for writing. Since creating his blog ‘Hugh’s Views & News’ in February 2014, he has built up a strong following and now writes every day. Always keen to promote other bloggers, authors and writers, Hugh enjoys the interaction blogging brings and has built up a group of online friends he considers as an ‘everyday essential’.His short stories have become well known for the unexpected twists they contain in taking the reader up a completely different path to one they think they are on. One of the best compliments a reader can give Hugh is “I never saw that ending coming.”Having published his first book of short stories, Glimpses, in December 2016, his second collection of short stories, More Glimpses, was released in March 2019.A keen photographer, he also enjoys cycling, walking, reading, watching television, and enjoys relaxing with a glass of red wine and sweet popcorn.Hugh shares his life with John, his civil-partner, and Toby and Austin, their Cardigan Welsh Corgis.’


Hugh, it’s been an honour to feature you and your wonderful book at the Summerhouse today, and I’m sure my lovely readers will join me in wishing you every success with all your ventures, secret or otherwise.




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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Series – Sunday Author Interview – Coming Soon.

Calling all authors, read all about it! A fantastic opportunity to promote your books for free, thanks to Sally Cronin’s Sunday Author Interview series coming soon! ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the new Sunday Interview series, and this time, the focus is on the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.

At any time there are approximately 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who have new releases or recent reviews. My focus for the rest of the year is going to be on those authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and on promoting new authors who would like to join them on the shelves.

If you are a new visitor to the blog and an author with recently published books or reviews then please pop in to the Cafe and find out how you can submit your books. It is completely FREE, and all I ask is your participation when your books are promoted. This includes responding to individual comments on your posts and sharing on your own social media.


Now to the new Sunday author interview.


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Blogging With A Little Help From Your Friends. A Guest Post By Sherri Matthews @WriterSherri

Today, I’m thrilled and honoured to guest post at Hugh Robert’s wonderful blog, Hugh’s News & Views, on the challenges of balancing blogging, writing a book and the curve balls of life. And the fascinating coincidences bloggers regularly discover through online friendships, though ocean’s apart. Thank you, dear friends! ❤

Hugh's Views & News  

Blogging, in my experience, is a strange beast. Show your blog you’re in charge and it behaves. But turn your back for just one minute, and it’ll sink its teeth right into you snarling, ‘Who is Master now?’

#blogging #blogger

My early blogging years had a slow start for the first six months, and then one day, I found my poor blog under lock and key in spam prison. Back then, I had no idea what was going on, so I posted a plea for help. I didn’t think anybody would notice, but they did. Relieved to learn it was a widespread problem at the time (and nothing I had done wrong, phew!), it was soon rectified.

Better yet, I discovered a kind, caring, all-embracing community in the great wide ether that I hadn’t known existed.

From then on, blogging became a way of life as my blog took off. I kept…

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School’s Out But I’m In The Classroom Down Under

Last week I bought some curtain material from Laura Ashley, thanks to a great sale discount. It’s been a long time since I did any sewing. My steadfast sewing machine since my days in California still works a dream thanks to a voltage converter.

Talk of sewing never fails to remind me of a certain teacher in middle school. I don’t know about you, but I did not like middle school one bit. Granted, this would have been the mid 70s when ‘Group Projects’ ruled the day. And Needlework.

Getting a group of twelve and thirteen year olds to cooperate while the teacher, a middle aged man in shiny trousers and long, black sideburns  (it was the 70s, remember) trying to keep order was not pretty.

Needlework was in a class of its own (sorry…cliches, puns, going with it today…) Teacher, a matronly woman with short hair and a never a smile to cross her face, gave instructions  on how to buy a pattern and material for our selected items. In my case, a pair of navy, flared trousers.

Teacher measured me and told me the size I needed. Except her measurements were way out. ‘But…they’re too big…’ I protested, albeit meekly, afraid of making her cross. Which I did anyway.

‘Nonsense’, she snapped.

My mother, who did a lot of sewing in those days, said the same thing when I showed her the measurements. Utter nonsense.

Better do as Teacher said, we agreed.  The last thing I wanted was to be singled out in front of the whole class…

Alas, it was as I feared; as I pinned the pattern pieces to the material and cut them out, they looked huge.  ‘I’ll look like an elephant,’ I moaned to my mother back home.

Teacher then told us to take the pieces home for the weekend and tack them together with temporary, hand stitching. But my mother had another plan. ‘Don’t mess about with tacking,’ she said, ‘here’s a short cut.’ Great, I thought, a head start, as she showed me how to stitch the items together on her sewing machine.

If I had wanted to prevent being singled out, I went the wrong way about it. Teacher, furious, made me sit through the whole class and into lunchbreak if necessary, unpicking by hand every single stitch. Then tack them together, by hand, as she had first instructed.

And yes, I ended up with what forever would became known in my family with great hilarity as those ‘Elephant Trousers.’ Needless to say, I never wore them. Strangely, it didn’t put me off sewing, thanks to my mother’s short cuts…

Lessons learned? Some of value (group projects and needlework aside…) but I couldn’t wait for the last day before the summer holidays, ‘School’s Out For Summer,’ blasting from the radio.

But of course, life long learning is a very different animal to sitting behind a desk bored and fed up and avoiding Teacher’s dirty looks. If only I had had more teachers like someone I’ve known since my early blogging days, life long educator, writer and wonderful friend, dear Norah Colvin.

Best described on her About page as an …’experienced and passionate educator. I teach. I write. I create..’, Norah also links to fantastic resources for school age children both in school and at home from her wonderful website, readilearn. She also writes flash fiction at Carrot Ranch and is a great friend to many throughout the blogosphere.

So I was thrilled when she recently invited me to share my thoughts as a guest for her ‘School Days, Reminiscences‘ series. Thank you so much, Norah! Teachers like you (and I take my hat off to you all) make the world a better place. I’m truly honoured to sit in your classroom today.

School’s out for some, the sewing can wait, but today I’m in Australia taking lessons from the best. I do hope you’ll join me!



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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Sherri Matthews #Memoir – Holiday Reading, Ghosts And The Norfolk Broads

Good Monday morning/afternoon,dear friends! Things have been busy at the Summerhouse these past few weeks, culminating with not one, but two trips to London in just the last week. All or nothing, it seems. The first, of course, to the Bloggers Bash and the second to see Metallica at the Twickenham Stadium with my boys. My first time at a real live gig and it was awesome, amazing, surreal…all of those and much more. Perfect timing then to wrap things up with a nice, relaxing boating holiday, albeit one from my 2014 archives. Massive and grateful thanks once again to lovely Sally Cronin and her wonderful Smorgasbord Blog Magazine for featuring the fourth and final of my archive memoir posts. I hope you’ll join me for this brief sojourn on the Norfolk Broads, but beware: a lake at sunset brings a ghostly tale, and a true one at that… Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to welcome back memoir author Sherri Matthews with four posts sharing her experiences of childhood and teens and living in the UK after many years in California. In the final post this series Sherri takes us on a holiday to the Norfolk Broads, a fabulous boating holiday, and an introduction to the more ghostly side of this idyllic part of the country.

Holiday Reading, Ghosts And The Norfolk Broads

Holiday reading. What beats a book crammed full of twists and turn, thrills and spills to keep us occupied while lazing on the beach or reclining on a deck chair by the side of a pool somewhere hot and Mediterranean? What indeed!

When Lisa set her prompt for this week’s Bite Size Memoir challenge as ‘Holiday Reads’ my memories took me not to the beach or the pool but back to the annual holidays we took as a family…

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Five Years And Another Fab Bloggers Bash 2019

London called and I heeded. Why else but for the Annual (and fifth!) Bloggers Bash? Hubby and I travelled by train the day before on Friday, making a short getaway of it.

As an aside, it never fails to amaze me the things some people might stuff down a toilet – and on a South Western train that often runs late, who can blame them? – but hopes and dreams? Surely not…

(And no, I don’t make a habit of creeping into public toilets to sneak photos of toilet seats…but for a blog post, so be it.)

Moving swiftly on…as we did by taxi from Waterloo Station (pun not intended) to our hotel.

Houses of Parliament & the London Eye whizzing by

A warm and sunny afternoon of the sort that invites you for an evening stroll around a park beckoned. But first, we enjoyed a delicous meal of chicken tacos, guacomole and refried beans at nearby Loco Mexicano, a place we scoped out two years ago at the 2017 Blogger’s Bash. California, I miss Mexican food!

View of Vincent’s Square Park from our room

So at last to the Bash! On Saturday morning, hubby headed off for his day out in London and I to the Grange Wellington Hotel , though with butterflies! Why, I don’t know. I’ve been to all the BBs, but with all the lovely welcoming hugs as soon as I arrived, they scattered.

Sacha opened up the event with a stirring welcome encouraging us to look back on the five years since the first Bloggers Bash in 2015, to take stock of our achievements and look ahead to our next goals. I was moved by her heartfelt speech, thinking of all that’s happened personally in that time. And five years goes fast, I know that…

The BB is a fantastic opportunity to meet up and catch up with old friends and make new, really wonderful people all, and this year was no exception. But there is one problem, which is I forget to take photos when I get chatting.

Here are some, as promised, but do check out the Bloggers Bash & ABBA Award public Facebook Group for links to some great blog posts and photos of the day, and don’t forget to check out Hugh’s blog soon when he will be posting his video…oh yes, the video…

Lovely seeing Mary, Marje, EstherRitu & Hugh again.

Lovely Willow and Marje
(Just caught Graeme in the background, who did an excellent job as compère for the day)

Managed to catch Shelley for this lovely pic with Adam

The BB committee organised two great speakers:

Award-winning blogger Laura Creaven, creator of food blog Full to the Brum, shared her experiences, tips and advice together with her fab sense of humour.

Author Gemma Todd (G X Todd) shared her incredibly inspiring journey to a traditional publishing contract for four books with Headline Publishing.

Esther, Shelley and Laura headed up an interesting and helpful Q&A panel and of course, inbetween the presentations, the committee members took turns handing out all the awards.

Congratulations award winners! The full list is posted at
The Annual Bloggers Bash website.

Suzie and Sacha presented a Flay Lay workshop which I really enjoyed.  I didn’t know what it was, never mind how to do one, but I came away inspired with a host of new ideas.  Essentially, it’s a simple but highly effective way of creating a professional visual to showcase a story for anything you want (latest books and promotions for instance). I don’t have an Instagram account, but they’re great for blog posts and any social media.

Suzie came armed with supplies and challenged us to make our own Flat Lay. Yikes…what to do? Then I thought…Gemma inspired me so much with her publishing story, that I went with my dream (book launch – not lunch, I did check, though that would be great too –  in New York, anyone?)…

My first ever Flat Lay!

 Thank you, lovelies!

Suzie and Sacha

All in all, a really fantastic day.  We talked, laughed, had a drink or two, ate cake (thank you, Ritu, delicious!), listened and learned and then it was all over in a blink. Hubby and I couldn’t stay too long afterwards unfortunately, as we had a train to catch back to Somerset. We got home around 11pm, tired but happy.

Thank you so much Sacha, Geoff, Hugh Suzie, Helen, Graeme and Adam, the first rate committee who work so hard all year long to make this wonderful annual event possible. As always, I enjoyed every minute. Now all I’m wondering is, when’s the next one?





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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer Sherri Matthews -#Memoir – My Dad, The Great Train Robbery and A Game of Cricket

A huge thank you once again to wonderful Sally Cronin for sharing the third of my archive memoir posts,and also her lovely and touching introduction. I’m greatly humbled to re-share this post written in 2013 about my dear old dad, three years before he passed away. With Father’s Day approaching it’s a good time to say thanks for the great memories, Dad…I miss you ❤ Have a great weekend all and Happy Father’s Day to all you great dads and granddads out there…you rock! I’m off to the Blogger’s Bash in London and hope to get some good pics. See you soon! Love Sherri x

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to welcome back memoir author Sherri Matthews with four posts sharing her experiences of childhood and teens and living in the UK after many years in California. This week Sherri shares her father’s story, which was complicated. It is a frank look at his life and also acknowledgement of how much he is loved. This was first posted in 2013. Sherri’s father sadly passed away in 2016, but she had dedicated her blog to him with a lovely tribute..About Sherri Matthews

My Dad, The Great Train Robbery and A Game of Cricket

Today is my dad’s 81st birthday. Not so unusual these days (what is 80 now anyway, the new 40?) except in this case my dad is a raging alcoholic who has spent the best part of the last 35 years of his life in prison. No small miracle, then, that he gets to celebrate this day.

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Three Little Words: I Did It

Dear friends, don’t worry, this isn’t a confession. Net yet…  What I did (this week) is finish those edits. My memoir manuscript (just about there, I hope…) is off for a final read through with a massive ‘Thank You’  to my wonderful editor, Esther Chilton.

Being a memoir, you would think it would be easy to get it down and just write it. Beginning. Middle. End. Sorted. No characters to dream up, no plot to invent and no twists to develop, because they’re already there. But the structure as told using the elements of fiction proved a mighty challenge to this writer.

The beginning proved the biggest challenge of all. The end, as it turned out, came easily but not until the very end. And the title didn’t come to me until two years in after finally getting down the first draft.

My ‘final’ draft sent for editing last November had a couple of confusing timelines. Easy to fix, I thought, except it then meant hunting for other parts needing fixing a few chapters back. Or forward. Not to mention some important details I had left out.

‘Every adventure requires a first step’ Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll (Eidfjord Fjord, Norway)

For me, I’ve discovered, the best way to get the job done is to binge write. That means all day every day and everything else slides. But I wouldn’t recommend it: my eyes are blurred, my back aches and my brain is fried. No matter. Whispering those three little words to you now makes it all worth it. Can I say them again? I Dit It.

As always, thank you so much to those who’ve kept in touch on and off blog, and allowing me the luxury of talking endlessly about my book and its process. It helps, a lot!

Next week, time to catch up. Meanwhile, wonderful Sally Cronin is featuring the second of four of my archive memoir posts at her fab blog, Smorgasbord Blog Magazine.  I wrote The Great British Staycation And A Brew Up California Style  in July, 2013, after six months blogging and a couple of months into my book.

A lot’s happened since then, but it’s lovely knowing Sally all that time as one of the very first bloggers I followed.  I also had the very great pleasure of meeting her at the Annual Bloggers Bash 2017.  Huge thanks to Sally for her amazing support to me and bloggers everywhere.

Have a great weekend, all, and see you next week.

Love Sherri x


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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer Sherri Matthews – #Memoir – Times Past Challenge: Chinese Spoons And Eating Out

Hello again dear friends, too long away and enough said about that because setbacks will always prevail, but I am hard at work bringing this round of edits to a close, almost there for the final read through. Hooray! Meanwhile, thank you so much to wonderful Sally Cronin who is featuring four of my archive memoir posts at her fantastic blog for the next four Thursdays. Truly honoured to guest post with Sally, her support invaluable in keeping the Summerhouse ticking over.

Today is about my dad and Chinese Spoons. I realise in the post I mention it was my last meal with my dad in a restaurant, but it was written before I took him out for his 80th birthday. He was in a half-way house by then, and that was the last meal we had out together. How grateful I am for that chance. The passage of time certainly concentrates the mind, doesn’t it? Onward and upward it is then…and as always, thank you so much for reading. Love Sherri x

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to welcome back memoir author Sherri Matthews with four posts sharing her experiences of childhood and teens and living in the UK after many years in California. In her first post.. a little nostalgia and for those of us who enjoyed our first dining experiences in a Chinese restaurant of one of the steak houses such as Berni Inn.. it will bring back memories.

Times Past Challenge: Chinese Spoons And Eating Out

Dressed to impress in my purple and white midi dress my mother had made for me and patent leather, navy-blue sling back shoes with block heels, I walked into the dimly lit Chinese restaurant, mesmerised by the brightly coloured lanterns hanging from the ceiling and the soft, almost hypnotic music filling the room.

It was the mid 70’s, I was twelve and staying with my dad for the school holidays in Brighton, and he was taking…

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First Day of School And Wave Goodbye To Dad

Always a fan of Irene Water’s ‘Times Past‘ posts,  her latest memoir prompt, ‘School Uniforms’, brings back more than a few memories.

First School Uniform

As a tail-end baby boomer attending Primary School in 1960’s England, my school uniform was standard grey tunic, white shirt, navy tie and cardigan (knitted by my mother because it was cheaper back then to make your own clothes).

I wore my navy blue blazer with pride, but loved the start of summer when I could wear my cotton gingham dress.

What strikes me more than my uniform, however, are the vivid memories of my mother hand-sewing white labels embroidered with my name on every last item. And I mean everything including socks, vests and knickers. White for everyday, navy for P.E.

By middle school, short gym skirts in maroon were allowed, but did nothing to keep my legs warm playing hockey on a field rock-hard with frost.

Fashion by the mid 1970’s dictated midi-length skirts. No longer worried about girls hoiking skirts up to their thighs, teachers now forbade us to wear them more than an inch below the knee.  This would not do. Thanks to a group of girls who wore make up and not a hint of uniform, my friends and I escaped Teacher’s wrath, ignoring our skirts with hems at the calves. They had bigger fish to fry.

Unfortunately, the platform shoes let me down.

My pride and joy: brown and yellow lace ups with a platform a good few inches high. They must have stood out, because my mother got a letter one day from the headmaster. He warned that if I continued wearing them and fell down the stairs breaking my leg/neck/whatever, they would not be responsible. I wore them anyway, sneaking past the headmaster or any teacher I thought might bust me, and other than a lace or two, I didn’t break a thing.

But one memory stands out above the rest and it belonged to my dad. Not one to talk much about the past, during a prison visit with him in his later years,  he reminisced about taking me to school on my first day.

‘We said goodbye, I gave you a big squeeze and watched you walk off and thought how grown up you looked in your uniform, but so small in the crowd…I worried about you…’ Dad smiled, a wistful glint in his eyes.  ‘That satchel, it looked so big…!’

We laughed together at the memory.  I could remember the brown, leather satchel draped across my shoulder and the way it bumped heavily against my hip when I walked, but everything else was vague.

‘I’ll never forget it, ‘ Dad continued. ‘You’d almost disappeared, but suddenly you stopped, turned around and gave me a little wave…and I knew you would be all right. Brings a lump to my throat even now…’

Fifty years hence from that first day of school, I would turn and wave to Dad for the last time, the day before he died.  He rasied his head from the pillow on his hospital bed,  smiled and waved back as I said goodbye with a promise to see him in the morning.

Now it was Dad’s turn to tell me he was all right.








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