Author, Barbara Studham

Creator of memoir, fiction, and the children's picture book, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Under the Shanklin sky, book series by Barbara Studham.

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Beat stress through writing, by Barbara Studham

All you need: pen/paper/laptop/imagination!

I have to admit, I have more confidence in my non-fiction writing as opposed to my fiction. Reviewers are tougher on my fiction, possibly because they are unaware of the equal amount of tears I shed over my fiction manuscripts as my memoirs. I wrote fiction during my chaotic days of raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, an FASD diagnosis. If things went well during bedtime, with no child wandering the house, sleepwalking, or having a screaming meltdown, I would sit at my laptop and release the day’s stress through writing. Due to my homesickness for Britain’s south coast, I created stories around a fictional retiree who moved from London to Shanklin on the Isle of Wight. It was my way of being there at least in spirit.

Beat stress through writing!

Though written several years ago when my grandchildren were youngsters, I enjoyed writing the Under the Shanklin Sky fictional series. There are six books in the series: Under the Shanklin Sky, The Faring Foxglove, The Bathing Beauty, A Hint of Spring, The Spitting Image, and, Mann Overboard. All are available from AMAZON in ebook format for 0.99 usd cents.

Under the Shanklin sky, book series by Barbara Studham.

Under the Shanklin sky book series by Barbara Studham.

Contained within each story is my tears, fears, and mood of the day. Raising children with FAS is stressful; escaping into a fictional world was essential for my well-being. As you read each story, you’ll connect with my highs and lows of the day; sometimes frivolous, other times dramatic. Either way, I accompanied the main character, Milly Mullan, a retiree who moved from London to Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, as she sleuthed her way around the scenic seaside town.

I still parent grandchildren but they are now teens and more independant which gives me time to create my Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome FASD picture book series (see my FASD blog,, but when I think of my fiction, I am reminded of my struggles, challenges, fears, hopes, and dreams when the children were small.

Barbara Studham’s bio:

Barbara Studham, the memoir writer — I wrote my first #FASD memoir titled Two Decades of Diapers in 2014; my second #FASD memoir titled Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years in 2016. Both cover the twenty years I parented four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Barbara Studham, the fiction writer — I also write fiction, including the English seaside series, Under the Shanklin Sky Barbara Studham, the children’s FASD picture book creator — My latest creation is a children’s #FASD picture book series titled Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. See, THE SCHOOL DAY, FIDGET! and ADVOCATE! on AMAZON. Soon available: The Birthday Bash, The Twins Learn Of Their Disorder, and, The Twins cause Havoc.

Barbara Studham’s books are available from AMAZON.
Author blog:
FASD blog:
Amazon Author Page:

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Author, Barbara Studham’s Book Series

Six books in the Under the Shanklin sky, English seaside series!

All six books in my Under the Shanklin sky Milly Mullan

adventure series are available on AMAZON!

Author, Barbara Studham’s Book Series

I doubt I will write more in the series so as I wind down, I can’t help feeling a sense of pride. My main character, Milly Mullan, is a retiree from London England who moves to Shanklin on the Isle of Wight. Soon after moving, she is caught up in the locals’ activity and finds herself sleuthing her way through her golden years by the sea.

Book blurbs

For all six book blurbs click on the menu title Fiction Series #1 then head over to AMAZON to download your selection. Format: ebook; Genre: Fiction/Crime, Mystery/Cozy; Price: only $0.99 cents (usd). Makes great holiday and birthday gift!

Barbara Studham’s blogs



Barbara Studham’s Amazon Author Page

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More Writing Tips

Keep your manuscript professional

Two posts ago, I offered some handy writing tips which were well received, so I am offering more. I wish I could say the following list was compiled by me, but I received it years ago from someone whose name I cannot remember. Nevertheless, that does not change its importance to writers who want their manuscripts to appear professionally written.

Periods in abbreviations.

  • There are no periods between the letters in acronyms such as CBC, HIV, AA; nor in countries/provinces/states (US, UK, ON, BC)
  • There are no periods following: Mr Mrs Dr PhD but after Prof. there is a period.
  • There are no periods following measurement abbreviations: km m cm ft in
  • Use periods between abbreviations such as a.m. and p.m. and a.k.a.; also use between initials of a person’s name, such as W.C. Fields, W.H. Auden, or J.R.R. Tolkien, with no spaces between the initials.

Hope this helps you as much as it did me. Don’t forget to file this info somewhere close to your fingertips while writing. In the meantime, why not check out the first in my seaside series ebooks: Under the Shanklin Sky: only .99 cents (usd) and available from your Amazon or the following links. The second in the series: The Faring Foxglove, and the third: The Bathing Beauty, are also available. Please watch for my next three in the Series: A Hint of Spring, The Spitting Image, and Mann Overboard, coming soon in 2017.

Under The Shanklin Sky

Under The Shanklin Sky

Genre: Fiction/Adventure. Title: Under the Shanklin Sky

Milly Mullan is a retiree from London with delightful childhood memories of holidays spent at the scenic seaside town of Shanklin, located on the Isle of Wight. As an adult, she intended to vacation there often, but, with a successful career as an interior designer to oversee, and hubby being top chef at a popular up-scale London restaurant, time to holiday was denied them. Not until retired, did Milly return to Shanklin, by which time Harry had died from health complications. Their daughter, Rosie, had grown up and married. Still, Milly has only one regret: losing touch with a young boy, Jonathan, she had met when only ten-years old during one of her Shanklin vacations. When retired, her hope to see him again absorbed her thoughts until, one day, while tending her balcony flowers; she found a valuable silver fob watch in a flowerpot. Determined to find its owner, she begins a search and finally locates her lost love, but is it Jonathan? To find out, join Milly—Under the Shanklin Sky.

The first in the seaside series, Under the Shanklin Sky is available at your Amazon and the following links:

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What is a cozy mystery?

Well, for a start, a cozy mystery is a fiction genre.

I have to admit, not until someone who had read my book, The Bathing Beauty, said, “Barbara, I loved your cozy mystery” had I ever heard the word cozy used in relation to a book. As a writer, I should have known what a cozy was, but, too embarrassed to ask, I thanked her for the compliment then turned to the Internet for help.

“Cozy… cozy… hmm… let’s see,” I said as I googled—What is a cozy?

Fifteen million, eight hundred thousand results came up. Which means, that amount of people and probably more know what a cozy is. Pathetically, though I had written several, I was not one of them.

So, just what is a cozy mystery?

Well, according to the first few of those fifteen million, eight hundred thousand results, a cozy is a fiction genre, usually a mystery. Some of the stipulations for a cozy are:

  • A cozy mystery does NOT drip with gore, blood, violence, nor vulgarity.
  • The emphasis of a cozy is on the whodunit aspect of the story, not the sensationalism of the crime.
  • The crime solver is an amateur sleuth, usually a woman.
  • The victim is often someone the amateur sleuth knows.
  • Evidence arouses the sleuth’s curiosity.
  • The amateur sleuth is a bit snoopy and actively seeks out gossip for clues.
  • She generally doesn’t stop until she solves the crime.
  • The activity takes place in villages or hamlets, where people know their neighbors and individual quirkiness is not only accepted but also often celebrated.

Given all those points, I was thrilled to come to the conclusion that Milly Mullan, amateur sleuth in my Under the Shanklin Sky fiction series, who actually is a bit of a snoop, though she would never admit it, falls into the cozy mystery genre. She is also featured in my next two books in the series: The Faring Foxglove, and, The Bathing Beauty. Right now I am editing the manuscripts for the next three in the series, titled, A Hint of Spring, The Spitting Image, and Mann Overboard, which will be available in 2017.

Under the Shanklin Sky, The Faring Foxglove, and, The Bathing Beauty, are available now at your Amazon store, or the following links, and many other ebook distributors:

Available in 2017 from your Amazon store:

A Hint of Spring

A Hint of Spring

A Hint of Spring: A Hint of Spring is the fourth in the, Under the Shanklin Sky, fiction series and a brand new adventure for Milly Mullan. Rain, hail, sleet, gale; the petulant, English winter reluctantly gives way to spring by mercilessly battering Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight. Conversely, spring ushers in a new adventure for retiree, Milly Mullan, resident of flat number 6 in the Old Stone House situated on Hope Beach. Anticipating an upcoming fundraising gala, she is shocked to discover the host, Evelyn Scott, is embezzling funds from the charitable agency: Triple-F. With little evidence, Milly drags her obnoxious daughter, Rosie, into the fray, who then witnesses Evelyn’s murder. With so many suspects, all of whom hated Evelyn, Milly is at a loss as to whodunit. Was it Crystal, the receptionist at Triple-F, who held a long-standing grudge against Evelyn; or, perhaps, Evelyn’s love affair, married man, Fred Barker-Ford, of Barker-Ford dog foods, and collaborator in crime? Or, was the killer Tom Fielding, a local health and fitness business owner who, for personal reasons, detested Evelyn Scott. As Milly delves deeper into the case, she inadvertently saves scores of seniors from financial ruin. Given that, and her solving the case of Evelyn Scott’s murder, she is abruptly elevated to bees’ knees status in the eyes of Shanklin’s locals.

The Spitting Image

The Spitting Image

The Spitting Image: To be, or not to be, that is definitely the question in the fifth in the Under the Shanklin Sky fiction series, The Spitting Image. When something is afoot, leave it to retiree, Milly Mullan, to be forefront in solving the case. Residing in flat number six of the Old Stone House situated on Hope Beach in the seaside town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, she ruthlessly hunts down the suspect until all is revealed. This time, the suspects are an attractive church-going couple, Sarah and Martin Kendall, who turn into greedy, trigger-happy blackmailers. However, Martin suddenly goes missing, but, in place of grief, Milly senses Sarah’s relief. Piecing clues together, she completes the puzzle to Martin’s disappearance during her visit to Windsor’s Theatre Royal where snobby guest presenter Sir Nigel Evans introduces a play… but is it really Sir Nigel? Suspicious, Milly relentlessly searches for clues until all is exposed and the Kendalls get what they deserve.


Mann Overboard

Mann Overboard

Mann Overboard: In Mann Overboard, the sixth in the Under the Shanklin Sky fiction series, a howling storm rages through the town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, but not before retiree, Milly Mullan, amateur sleuth, eavesdrops on two young women, one of whom is seeking revenge on her ex-boyfriend. Feeling foolish for listening to teenage gossip, when the young man is found washed up on the beach the next day, Milly reluctantly confesses to her daughter, Rosie, that she believes foul play is afoot. Two witnesses, however, admit to seeing the young lad, the evening before, tossing stones into the raging surf, causing police to believe he was overcome by the sea. But, Milly knows better. So, how does a lost, silver, charm bracelet eventually lead her to the truth? Does it belong to the young man’s killer, or is it just coincidence that the revenge seeker was seen wearing it the night before his death? Find out more in, Mann Overboard.


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A Hint Of Spring

A work in progress!

Milly Mullan's Mail

Milly Mullan’s Mail

A Hint Of Spring is my latest work in progress and will be available in 2017. It is the fourth in my–Under The Shanklin Sky Series–and falls into the same genre as the first three: cozy/amateur sleuth. If you have visited the town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight you will know its beauty. I’m a senior now, and born in England, but when only sixteen years of age, I spent two weeks vacation in Shanklin staying at The Shanklin Beach Hotel. I have never forgotten the seaside’s serenity, and amazing scenic views. My fond memories of the sandy beach, rushing waves, and high cliff top ripe for endless walks, is one reason why I chose Shanklin as the location for my series. I also chose to have my main character, Milly Mullan, be a senior, not because many people retire in Shanklin, but because Milly proves us seniors continue to live vibrant, productive lives.

A Hint Of Spring. So if you feel like lazing on the couch with your feet up for a few hours while reading a book from my series, here is where you can find Under The Shanklin Sky, The Faring Foxglove, and The Bathing Beauty. Don’t forget to watch for the release of Milly’s new adventure: A Hint Of Spring.

All my books are available from your Amazon store, the following links,

and from many other ebook distributors.


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Ebook: The Faring Foxglove

Milly Mullan in The Faring Foxglove

Milly Mullan at the Shanklin Flower Show

Milly Mullan at the Shanklin Flower Show

The Faring Foxglove

The Faring Foxglove

The Faring Foxglove. Genre: Cozy/Amateur Sleuth. Location: Shanklin, Isle of Wight.

The Faring Foxglove is the second in the Under The Shanklin Sky series, and another adventure for Milly Mullan.

Do you love weekend cozies? Amateur sleuthing? In The Faring Foxglove, the second of the Under The Shanklin Sky series, Milly Mullan returns on another adventure! Yearning for a peaceful life beside the seaside, Milly retired to the seaside town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, but her inquisitive nature draws her into disastrous predicaments. This time, Milly’s innocent trip to the Shanklin Flower Show with daughter, Rosie, in tow, ends in a summer full of poisoned cats and the slow-death of a neighbor by a witches brew, but how is Milly involved? Under police suspicion, she has some explaining to do! Join Milly Mullan as she sleuths her way through the hazy days of a Shanklin summer in her latest adventure: The Faring Foxglove.

All my books, including The Faring Foxglove, can be purchased from the following links, or from your favorite ebook distributor.