Cookies and Privacy

Cookie, Anyone

I’m an author (Tanya Marlow, in case you don’t know by now) who loves finding new readers and resourcing people through my words. There are tools that help that, like newsletters and cookies, and this post explains my privacy policy so that you can feel sure your data is protected and all information you give me is used responsibly. I take privacy issues and consent very seriously, and I do my level best to ensure that the technological aspects of my blog and communications follow those values in every way. I don’t do anything nasty like taking your email address without your permission and sending you stuff, neither do I share or sell the information I have to companies, megalomaniac dictatorships, pirates, or anyone else.

Here follows my privacy policy which includes the use of cookies, the information you provide when you write a comment on my blog, and the information you provide when you sign up to my newsletter.


When I heard that the EU Law required me to write about cookies on my website, I couldn’t be more excited. Who doesn’t love to write about cookies? That combination of salty yet sugary dough, chewy and satisfying, punctuated with delicious dots of chocolate or raisin or maple syrup and pecan. What a brilliant writing assignment!

Then I discovered that they didn’t, in fact, mean those, but the boring computer ones instead. You know, the little files that travel along with you as you hop around the internet, acting as a little souvenir to say that you’ve visited a website.

Like signing a guest book when you go to someone’s house – cookies do that for you. The cookies I have on my website are just like that: ones that help me see how many people have visited my website. They are things like Google analytics cookies and page counters and suchlike. Nothing particularly sinister, just helps my general obsession with how popular I am.

I have a little pop-up that tells you about cookies, and by visiting my site you are implying that it is okay for my site to put cookies on your computer or handheld device. Thank you kindly.


I use third-party WordPress plugins such as Google Analytics, WordPress Jetpack, Better click to Tweet, Reply to Comments etc who use anonymised information such as the length of time you spend browsing my blog, what country you’re from, how many times you’ve clicked. These al collect cookies, too and they are all anonymised and put together into pretty graphs which show me how popular my blog is on any given day around the world. It’s helpful to me and future publishers to know how many people like to read my words and where in the world those people live, so they know whether or not I am likely to sell enough books to make them rub their hands together with glee. It also makes the website function better for you. I do not make, and do not allow Google and others to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting my website. Some cookies collect information about browsing and purchasing behaviour when you access this website via the same computer or device. This includes information about pages viewed and your journey around a website. I do not use cookies to collect or record information on your name, address or other contact details.

If you wish to invisibly float through like a ghost without me knowing you’re here, then you can refuse cookies for the website. It’s very easy to do and there are thorough instructions here on And here are some instructions on how

How do I disable cookies?

If you want to disable cookies you need to change your website browser settings to reject cookies. How you can do this will depend on the browser you use. Further details on how to disable cookies for the most popular browsers are set out below: –

For Microsoft Internet Explorer:
1. Choose the menu “tools” then “Internet Options”
2. Click on the “privacy” tab
3. Select the setting the appropriate setting

For Google Chrome:
1. Choose Settings> Advanced
2. Under “Privacy and security,” click “Content settings”.
3. Click “Cookies”

For Safari:
1. Choose Preferences > Privacy
2. Click on “Remove all Website Data”

For Mozilla firefox:
1. Choose the menu “tools” then “Options”
2. Click on the icon “privacy”
3. Find the menu “cookie” and select the relevant options

What happens if I disable cookies?

This depends on which cookies you disable, but in general the website may not operate properly if cookies are switched off.


The newsletter is the heartbeat of the writing I do. For me, it’s a way of getting to know and really connect with readers who like my work. There are so many who visit my blog as a one-off, and this is a way of me chatting and sharing my life more regularly with those who value my words on a longer-term basis. I use it often as a way of trying new material, letting people in on the secrets of the ‘backstage’ of writing, offering exclusive discounts, material and offers, and sharing more personal stuff than I do on the blog. It brings together much of my writing and ideas and, I hope, offers something uplifting and useful for readers. (Plus, I have GIFS which are awesome).

As part of the registration process for my e-newsletter, I collect only the personal information that you have provided (e.g. your name and email address). I use that information for few reasons: to tell you about stuff you’ve asked us to tell you about; to contact you if I need to obtain or provide additional information; to check my records are right and to check every now and then that you’re happy and satisfied. I don’t rent or trade email lists with other organisations and businesses.

I use a third-party provider, MailChimp, to deliver my newsletter. We gather statistics around email opening and clicks using industry standard technologies to help us monitor and improve our e-newsletter. It’s all about making pretty graphs to see who is reading my words, which emails are being opened and read and which emails are too boring for anyone to bother opening. (It’s also to keeping up my supply of general angst when I wonder why I have 12 fewer subscribers in one day, and for yet more pretty graphs to tell me how many readers I have and how much I need to pay Mailchimp for the genuine pleasure of keeping in touch with you.)

For more information, please see MailChimp’s privacy notice. You can unsubscribe to general mailings at any time of the day or night by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any of our emails.

Consent for newsletter

I have always gathered your consent before adding anyone to my Thorns and Gold newsletter list, whether that is in person, on email or (usually) on the automated form that you fill out on my website. I will continue to do this. You have always been able to opt out easily by clicking the unsubscribe button at the bottom of each Mailchimp email, or by replying to the email and asking me to take you off the list. I will continue to keep this.

There are occasions where readers will write to me after receiving a newsletter. I love hearing from you, and I always endeavour to reply, though my health often won’t allow me to reply to as many as I’d like. This is implied consent to contact you by email in replying to your letter. I only have the information that you have provided me with.

I don’t spam you. I have it set up with Mailchimp that you can opt to receive by email either the newsletter (which comes out approx 6-12 times a year) or the newsletter plus every blog post I write. I leave those lists as they are, and hopefully the technology obeys and gets you what you want. If it doesn’t, you can always unsubscribe or email a reply to the newsletter. You can also contact me by tweeting me @Tanya_Marlow or contacting me via my Facebook page

Reply to comments

When you comment on my blog, and I reply, I have a WordPress app-bot that automatically sends you an email to let you know that someone has replied to your particular comment (it doesn’t tell you what the reply is, just that you got one). This bot doesn’t do anything else.

Affiliate Links

When I am talking about products I like, I often use affiliate links, and I am an associate of Eden Christian Bookshop, Wordery, and This means that if you choose to click through from my site to those stores and buy anything at all, I get a few pence at no extra cost to you. Everyone’s a winner. I am not a champion for these stores, just a pragmatist, knowing that there will be some who want to buy immediately online in those places, and this is a way of helping towards the costs of this site. If you click through, these stores will collect cookies from you so that they know how many people are coming through from my site, and therefore how many pennies to pay me. I highlight the fact within the post that they are affiliate links, so you can choose whether to click to help the website or go your own way, cookie-free.

I am often given products for free to review, with no obligation to do so, and certainly no payment. Some I review, others I don’t. I always write an honest review of things I’ve read.

I do not use affiliate links in newsletters, only on the site.

The right to request to have your data deleted
You are entitled to view, amend, or delete the personal information (e.g. email address) that I hold. You can ask for this via commenting on the blog, tweeting me @Tanya_Marlow, or replying directly to a newsletter communication from me.

And finally – cookies all round! Congrats for reading this far! Help yourself to a raspberry and white chocolate one!

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