Another Great Amazon Review for ‘Dickon’s Diaries’!

Cover of 'Dickon's Diaries'

When Susan Lamb and I wrote Dickon’s Diaries, we weren’t sure how it would be received. It is purposely written in mock mediaeval speech which we knew some might find difficult and we wondered whether everyone would ‘get’ our sense of humour. Well, so far we have had one 1-star review (which mentions the mediaeval speech) and twelve 5-star ones!

Here is the latest one:

 512px-5_stars.svgKeeps you Laughing!

By RhiannonsWheel on 22 Mar. 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“Such a funny book. No one usually writes humour and Richard III…and in cod-Middle English, no less. Frances Lovell’s exploits in particular crack me up. Different and amusing.”


You can download ‘Dickon’s Diaries’ for Kindle or buy a print version here.

Reviews for Dickon’s Diaries

Cover of 'Dickon's Diaries'

Susan Lamb and I are very proud of the great reviews we have had so far for our ‘baby’, ‘Dickon’s Diaries’. Here are the ones on the UK Amazon site:

stars-5-0-_cb192197110_Richard and his Dames

Certes a moste amusinglye quilled diarye whyche gaveth muche laughter to alle Forsure Kynge Richard would have approveth and smileth! More Prithee!

Pic of five starsWould recommend especially if you want something a bit different from …

Tongue in cheek book about King Richard and his everyday diary. Would recommend especially if you want something a bit different from all the other serious history books about the King.

Pic of five starsToo funny to miss out on

This is the kind of book I wouldn’t “normally” have picked out, but I was encouraged by a friend to read it. So I did and I am really delighted I did as it made me chuckle and laugh out loud from time to time. It is rather entertaining and witty – especially with the medieval writing format. But don’t let that “scare” you off. This is a “diary” with lots of amusing stories and indeed it is a cleverly written, humorous book. Highly recommended.

Pic of five starsBanish Winter’s Discontent with this original and very funny fantasy

If you are a Ricardian (i.e. someone who believes King Richard III was a good man and not a murdering monster) and are in need of some R&R, you must get hold of this book. It is a light-hearted and extremely funny fantasy window on a ‘Carry-on’ type world in which mediaeval characters, real and imaginary, mix with people from the present day in a glorious time warp full of hilarious anachronisms like Thou Tube and Ye Bay (you can buy the ‘My Little Destrier’ collection on Ye Bay).
The authors have created this up-beat version of Richard, as they believe he ‘must have had some fun and laughter in his life, as well as all the duty, care and tragedy’. Delightful illustrations interspersed within the text enhance the book.
Suspend disbelief and visit Muddleham Castle, home to King Richard, his wyf Anne, the Quene and their small son, Edward. Spend Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter with King Richard III (aka Dickon) and his family, friends and loyal subjects, especially his ‘Dames’ – 21st century women who are his loyal subjects and are more than a little in love with him. Read his Agony Uncle Column ‘Dear Dickon’ and the words of wisdom with which he counsels the men and women who come to him with their problems.
Diary entries include an account of Edward’s homework: an account of ‘Our lyff at Muddleham’ – which is written in all innocence but gives his tutor a rather different impression from that which was intended. To liven up the bleak dark winter, Richard’s friend Francis Lord Lovell suggests they hold a dis-co-tecke within the grounds of Muddleham Castle, which is enjoyed by all, with dancing to the music of ‘Mad Donna’ and ‘Sir Shakying Stephens’. There are many more adventures and amusing occurrences throughout the year.
And if you enjoy this book, you can read more in like vein on the Page entitled ‘Dickon for his Dames’ on Ye Book of Mannie Faces.      Debby Wakeham

Pic of five starsDickons diaries

The book is brilliant, a light hearted and very funny look at one of our most enigmatic English monarchs, king Richard 111. It’s is cleverly written using olde English, and there is a laugh on every page. Can’t wait for the next one.

 Pic of five starsLove it!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, it verily cheered me up – I’ve spent most of Xmas in bed with a nasty flu virus. And there’s even a bit part in it for my late grandfather, Harry Cox! Hope there will be a vol. 2 & don’t let our liege lord eat ALL the Jaffa Cakes, I love one too

You can purchase a copy or download a Kindle version here!

Latest Review


Here is the latest Amazon review I have for my first novel, Richard Liveth Yet:

512px-5_stars.svg  ‘Love this, well written, good historical info though I do not agree with some things in the book but it is good that the author has taken some trouble to be fairly accurate.
Well worth reading for Ricardians of which I am one and I am very fussy about fiction about Richard.’

You can read the others by following this link. There are now thirty on the UK site and, apparently, Amazon gives your book more promotion if you have more than fifty, so if anyone has read it (and especially if they liked it!) please consider giving it a review. It doesn’t need to be a long one; as you can see some of these consist of just a few words and others of several paragraphs – they are all precious to us authors!

How much help are book reviews?



Well, first of all, are we talking of the reader or the writer of a particular book?

As a fairly new writer, I was appalled to learn that readers often assume that five star reviews are given by friends and family and one star ratings are from people with issues of some kind. As an author, nothing gives me such a thrill as seeing a five star review. What a shame if they are disregarded. Even low reviews can be useful to point out faults you might be able to correct next time, or learn from in some way, but a five star review is a vindication of all your efforts and the work you put in. However, when it comes to reviews the ones you remember most are typically the one star, spiteful nasty ones. Isn’t it typical? You might have twenty four and five star reviews, but its the one or two low ones that you think about the most.I’m pretty thick skinned, but they even get to me. The only comfort I have found is that in two cases, where the reviewer obviously hadn’t read the book (and in one case, actually admitted as much), others have commented that it is unfair to download just the ‘freebie’ part or look only at the ‘Look inside’ section and then post a bad review. But they do it. It’s a part of being a writer. Who knows what their motivations are? However, you can see that reviews are important to us. Apparently, your book gets more prominence if you have over fifty reviews, so please guys! Give a review if you’ve enjoyed a book (or even if you haven’t, if you must -they all count towards our fifty.

As a reader, \i do look at reviews, but if I think by the blurb that I might like a book, I prefer to judge for myself – reviews are a guide and some are really helpful, but not the be-all and end-all of whether or not I will buy a book.

And I have to add that none of my family have reviewed my books. One or two friends have, but they were unsolicited by me and they are absolutely genuine reviews. Goodreads actually has a separate section for ‘friend’ reviews. Good idea, you might think, except that anyone can ‘friend’ you and you may not know them from Adam.Then their review is seen as biased.I suppose you can’t win!




Image credit: By User:Estoy Aquí (Self created (previously on en.wikipedia)) [CC BY 2.5 (, via Wikimedia Commons


The Meaning of Fiction

Definition of fiction. 1 a : something invented by the imagination or feigned; specifically : an invented story b : fictitious literature (as novels or short stories) c : a work of fiction; especially : novel.

Pic of fiction shelves

As you may realise if you have been reading this blog for a while, my novels deal with time travel and alternative history.

They have occasionally been criticised for not complying with the laws of physics (‘If you change history, your heroine will not have existed’, ‘You can’t go backwards in time’, ‘You can’t have Richard co-existing with his bones – it breaks the laws of physics’, ‘It would create a paradox’, etc, etc). Well, I’ve got news for you folks: the books are FICTION, products of my own imagination, so actually I can break the laws of physics, the law of the land, the law of gravity or any other law I like. In my books, I am God and I can do whatever I wish. That’s what fiction means (see above) – it doesn’t have to stick to the facts or the rules. And that’s what makes it fun both to write and to read. It gives you the ability to surprise, shock and entertain. It allows for creativity, ingenuity and originality. The ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy didn’t care about the laws of physics as long as the storyline was entertaining and the viewers could follow the plot – and they were great films.

Having said that, I do try to make my fictional world consistent in order to allow the reader to immerse themselves in my world and suspend their disbelief for a while. If everything were completely outlandish the story wouldn’t flow or give the illusion of a ‘real’ situation.

I remember the story of a cartoonist who wrote tales of a hero escaping from all sorts of dire situations – a different one every week. Then he went on holiday and his advance episodes got lost. The hero was tied on a railway track with the train almost upon him. How had the cartoonist got him out of this predicament? They couldn’t work it out. The Editor was beside himself and tried to get an assistant to sort out the ending, but despite wracking his brains, he could think of no way to save the hero. In desperation they sent a telegram to the cartoonist on his holiday and begged him to help them – could he send a reply back telling them how the hero escapes the oncoming train? When the reply arrived they opened it eagerly. The cartoonist had written: ‘In one bound he was free!’

A rather extreme example, but I’m sure you know what I mean!


Image credit: By SEMSLibraryLady (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Latest Review for Richard Liveth Yet


Book and bracelet

I don’t regularly publish my book reviews,but I really couldn’t resist with this one. Thank you ‘Avalon’ (whoever you are) – you really made my day!

5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Liveth Yet….thank goodness!
on 4 April 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I read this book last year and thoroughly enjoyed it… I couldn’t put it down! The author really gets into the head of a medieval king, who is suddenly propelled into the 21st century of technology, strange customs, and informal friendships. I don’t want to give anything away as there are at times some hilarious ‘laugh out loud’ moments, and tender moments that pull on the heartstrings.

I really hoped there would be another book, and thank the lucky stars there is! I started reading book 2 at the weekend when it popped up on my ‘recommended list’ and again, I can’t seem to put it down!

Any filmmakers reading this……please, please turn these books into films!

Canadian Review

I was delighted to find, when I looked on the Canadian Amazon site, this lovely review! My only Canadian one, so far!

Picture of book cover of Richard Liveth Yet

5.0 out of 5 starsLoved this book Oct. 13 2015
By Marianne Strype
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
“Loved this book. I understand the author is writing another and can’t wait for this. Could not put it down.”
And here is my latest review on the English site:
5.0 out of 5 starsdefinitely in my top ten list for my most enjoyed novels about Richard III
on 11 October 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
“This book is definitely in my top ten list for my most enjoyed novels about Richard III. In some sections sad and in other parts of the book absolutely hilarious. This is the first book that I have read about Richard III that made me laugh out loud a couple of times. The book brings a smile to my face when I think about it. I would love to tell you my favourite parts of the book but I won’t because it might spoil the pleasant surprises in store for future readers”
Thank you to everyone who has left a review – I really appreciate it!

Reviews are important, so thank you!

I have now had more than twenty reviews on Amazon for Richard Liveth Yet, and luckily most are 4 or 5 stars.  I’d like to share the latest five on here and thank everyone who has reviewed the book. Even the more negative ones are useful (though of course I prefer the good ones!) because they make you reassess your work and help you improve, but you can’t please everyone all the time and not every reader will like your book. Picture of a depiction of Richard III

L. M. Wilson “korcula blue” reviewed Richard Liveth Yet: A Historical Novel Set in the Present Day
A Delightful Surprise at this Well Written Book. Loved it! 6 August 2015
As another reviewer mentioned also, when I began to read this book I felt I was not going to get into it and that it was going to be a kind of chick-lit type of story with a twist. I persevered and soon became engrossed. I found the book, easy to read, a mixture of light-heartedness and sadness too. well researched and I liked the relationship between Rose and Richard, Some reviewers have commented that Richard would not have taken to modern times so easily! Perhaps not, perhaps credibility was stretched a little, but to be honest it wasn’t a problem for me personally as I simply enjoyed the story. An interesting and original addition was to have Rose able to help Richard with his twisted spine because of her job. I liked the fact that the author did not allow her book to become nothing more than a romance. I read of their mutual sense of what they felt was the right way to behave in the circumstances led me to respect the author.The inclusion of all the recent findings, the reburial of Richard, and how he gradually found the truth of what happened to him at Bosworth et al…. again added to the originality and the interest for me.


What if 6 August 2015
Funny and interesting, a nice twist on ‘ what if’

1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Something totally different and original 4 August 2015
I am loving this book. It is so beautifully written by an author who knows her subject so well and brings Richard startlingly to life and fleshes him out as a real, three dimensional character, which you don’t always get from some of the historical novels. And for once, it’s so wonderful that he does not have to return to his time to meet the inevitable ending to his story.. there are many of us who would wish Joannes amazing plot could have been the satisfying ‘twist’ to history! My congratulations to such a competent, erudite and imaginative authoress, can’t wait for the sequel! Loved it.


0 of 1 people found the following helpful
Light afternoon reading 26 July 2015
Light-hearted historical “romance”, entertaining and obviously well-researched.


1 of 1 people found the following helpful
Unusual Tale 23 July 2015
The story of King Richard is pretty well known by now, what with the discovery of his bones at Leicester and the subsequent publicity. This book has the king in the present day, which is a different take on his life. Of course, once he knows what history says happened to him, his return to his own time might make him act differently?

Review of ‘Richard Liveth Yet’ on Goodreads

I had a lovely surprise when I found this review on Goodreads, today:

‘I have read numerous “alternate history” stories in years gone past, and many are a bit disappointing. Some take no notice of historical facts and just go crazy. RICHARD LIVETH YET is obviously a very well researched novel and presents a look at the title character that makes him so much more than a historical footnote.

Author Joanne Larner has put her physical location in England to incredible use and while I have not actually visited her corner of the country, I can easily picture just about everything she describes. And that is a key factor in how I rate books. As an author myself I know how vital it is to provide descriptions that lead the reader to picture things, people and actions in your story without dragging them around saying,”Here! This is what you MUST see in your mind!!!”

Larner’s book is a treat to read. I plan to read it again in about a year.

She also includes a monumental Bibliography of her research materials at the end.

I am impressed!’

If you’d like to try it click here: Richard Liveth Yet

Picture of a depiction of Richard III

Cover of my novel – Richard Liveth Yet