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Flinty Maguire and Bronte outside Whitby bookshopFlinty: I was absolutely delighted when Fiona, Manager of Whitby Bookshop said she wanted to stock my books. It was not a problem transporting them there - Whitby is one of our favourite places. We hopped in the car with a box of books! It was especially lovely when Bronte, our Labrador family member, was invited to have a well behaved sniff around. To add to her happiness, she was offered and accepted an organic biscuit.

Whitby Bookshop is charming. The spiral staircase gives the shop an enchanted feel, the shelves are stuffed full of interesting books and extras (Whitby souvenirs and little must-have pocket items) and the staff are so kind and friendly. What more could an author and a book lover ask for?

When you're in a bookshop it seems impossible to leave without taking something wonderous with you. I chose Lauren Child's book, RUBY REDFORT: FEEL THE FEAR, which is one of a series of stories featuring Ruby, a sassy 13 year old detective. Also, the Mini Enclycopedia of Bugs by Miles Kelly. You can't know enough about bugs - right?

In fact... only yesterday I spotted a rather scary looking spider (bulbous body with curious white markings and stripy legs) on the glass outside our little conservatory. I went on the Internet and looked at pictures. It is a noble false widow spider (Steatoda nobilis ) capable of venomous and stingingly painful bites. Eeek. I'm steering well clear of that one!

Back to Whitby: there's always so much to see. The harbour is busy with fishing and trip boats; the seagulls are curious and confident, and the occasional troubled skies over Whitby Abbey remind you why Bram Stoker imagined Dracula washed up on the shore in the guise of a black dog... Talking of dogs - Bronte is a Golden Labrador. So is Herman, who features in Ellie Booton's Journals. Sharing my life with Bronte helps me imagine the character of Herman: exhuberant, playful, sensitive, loyal, protective and very kind. In fact, Herman is the perfect friend - always there, always supportive, and always ready to play. It makes you wonder if you actually need people... but of course we all do. No man is an island, as Jem Hardy, one of my characters, likes to say.

So - coming full circle - I am very grateful to the human kindess and interest of Fiona and her staff at Whitby Bookshop in stocking my books on their hallowed shelves. Thank you so much.

A few pictures from our day in Whitby...

Bronte and Flinty Maguire. Bronte - pleased as punch - after savouring an organic biscuit: perk of of being a dog, I guess.

Whitby Bookshop staircase leading to enchantment.

The calm before the storm... and how it rained...

Always reassured to see a lifeboat station. These men and women are amazing. I've know from an early age that you must respect the water. Website: rnli.org

The Spy Seagull: couldn't quite convince this lad we were decent citizens. Streetwise, suspicious. Probable links to MI5.

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