Derian Dreams Bedtime Story Collection


Last year my friend Mark Lowery got in touch with me and a bunch of other children’s authors. He was writing a short story for children’s charity Derian House to record as a bedtime audiobook and wanted to know if we wanted in. We did!

Derian House is a wonderful charity, providing palliative and respite care for children with life shortening conditions. This audiobook is part of their 2016 Great Derian Dream Campaign, aiming to give each family with a child in their care an extra night of respite care.


Here’s the full line up of stories and authors and amazing readers!

1-Rotten Robbin And The Crooked Cutlass written by George Kirk, read by Ted Robbins
2-Dizzy Dog written by Alan Durant, read by Dave Spikey
3-The Smelly Unicorn written by Natasha Desborough, read by Julie Hesmondalgh
4-Rosie And The Tooth Fairy written by Sarah Rubin, read by Jenny Platt
5-Pickles First Flight written by Jo Dearden, read by Jane Horrocks
6-Scaredy Bat written and read by Jonathan Meres
7-Keep An Eye On The Baby written by Mark Lowery, read by Steve Pemberton
8-Amy Warburton’s Most Unusual Pet written by Steve Hartley, read by Connie Hartley
9-Poems written and read by Ian Bland
10-Siegfried And The Snoring Snarflebeast Of Sevenoaks written by Mo O’hara, read by Susie Poppitt

11-He Should Have Listened To Granddad written by Steve Hartley, read by Danny Cipriani & Mark Cueto

AND the beautiful cover illustration was donated by Nick Sharratt (that’s right, I’m in a book illustrated by Nick Sharratt…shhh, let me bask)

I had so much fun writing my short story, Rosie and the Tooth Fairy, about a girl who wants to know what the Tooth Fairy actually does with all those teeth anyway? It’s narrated by the wonderful actress Jenny Platt (best known as Violet Wilson from Coronation Street) who is a blast to listen to.

You can get a copy of just my story OR the whole lot from amazon or itunes. All proceeds go to Derian House.

Alice Jones’ Cryptic Quip

One of Alice Jones’ favorite pastimes is doing the Cryptic Quip in the Philadelphia Daily News (where her dad is the top Crime Reporter). I made up the name of the newspaper and the puzzle, but it is based on the Cryptoquote from the Philadelphia Inquirer. In the summers, I used to try to sneak the paper so I could get to it before my dad (although crosswords are my real favorite).

In honor of Alice, here is a Cryptic Quip for you to try your hand at:



The puzzle is based on a replacement cipher. I’ve taken the alphabet and scrambled it, assigning each letter in the alphabet a new random replacement letter.  I’ve given you two letters to get you started (A=G and M=D). Your job is to crack the code and unscramble the message.

If you get stuck, check out Puzzle Corner for some tips and tricks for solving Cryptic Quips. OR if you get really stuck, click here for a walkthrough…

Happy sleuthing!