Category Archives: Book Launch

Lads night out

It’s the lads night out tonight, after a flying visit up the motorway, they’re off to see the dog racing, place a few bets and have some beers. They were in such a hurry that Alan gave them a lift so they wouldn’t miss the coach.

Iwan going outAlan going out

They bundled into the car so fast I only captured a shot as they left. Our Son turned and waved, but my useless camera wasn’t fast enough to capture that. I did take them by surprise as well though.

I’ve just lit the coal fire, which reminds me,

FIRE

Following on from the promotion of FIRESTARTER, latest novel by Patsy Collins, I promised there would be a visit from Alice and Hamish, main characters in the book.

Unfortunately, Alice sent this message earlier in the week..

————————————————————
Hi again, Suzy Doodling!

I’m really sorry, but I can’t come today after all. Tony has arranged for us to go to an art gallery and then to dinner at Luigi’s. I was sure he said it was tomorrow, but I’d just got my invite to the school reunion and was wondering who else would show up, so I might have been a bit distracted. Not that I was thinking of anyone in particular …

Really dissapointed as I was looking forward to rummaging in your drawers! lol! Reckon you might have had something to go with my mad orange jumper. We’d have mad a fab double act. I’d better go with him though, Tony’s sooooo moody if he doesn’t get his own way.

Sorry to leave you to cope alone with a hunky fireman – poor you, eh? 😉

Alice Xxx

What a shame she can’t pop in, and Hamish has gone out with the lads; never mind, now here’s another text message..

————————————————————————–

Hiya, Suzy! I’ve got good news for you. Hamish is busy so I’m coming to see you instead!

Brace yourself!!!

Jeff x

————————————————————————

Oh, there’s a knock at the door now, wonder who that is?

So, it’s Jeff, Hamish’s mate, how are you?

Wellll hellllo, Suzy! Tell you the truth I was wondering what I’d let myself in for when Hamish talked me into coming to see you. Once he told me he was taking me to see some birds and they really were! The kind with feathers on! That’s where he was today – down the sanctuary. There’s bad weather coming in so he’s doing something or other to keep the birds safe. Once he told me about you I wasn’t paying attention to that and I see for once he wasn’t having me on. You’re lovely!

Let me tell you I’m happily married, Jeff, and Alan wouldn’t want any funny business, so watch it. Hamish did call by, but he went off on the lads night out. Shame you missed that Jeff, never mind. Come on in for a chat then, seeing as Hamish sent you, you’ll have to take those muddy boots off though.

Thanks, Suze. I’ll just take my boots off – my very big boots if you catch my drift …

fireman bootsOh, married? Right. Oooops. Still can’t blame a man for trying, eh?

Wow! Look at all that grub! For me? Thanks very much, saving lives is hungry work!

corned beef piesgingermen

Pile it high and give it a try.

How long have you known Hamish?

Oh ages! Since we were kids, but we’ve been great mates since we both joined the fire service. We trained together and we’ve had each other’s backs ever since – on watch or off.

Did you always want to be a fireman?

Pretty much, yeah. I know how you ladies love a hero!

How does your wife cope with you doing such a risky job?

No lovely girl has got that lucky yet. Our mate William is married and I suppose his poor missus might worry now and then, but me and Hamish and the rest of Red Watch look out for each other and though we’re dead brave, we’re sensible too.

I know that look – you’re amazed I could be single and wondering which of your friends is lovely enough to introduce to me, aren’t you?

Oh, you’re not. Oh, OK.

Have more tea and food, there’s plenty left, go on, go on, go on… oh and by the way, do you find people stop and stare when the fire engine goes past in Hampshire?

Well yeah, I’m on board aren’t I? And oddly some girls look at Hamish too. Can’t think why. He’s all broad shoulders and so tall they could get a crick in their neck, all that blond curly hair and … makes me sick! But I’m handsome too in my own way, don’t you think?

Sorry, didn’t quite catch that. I’ll take it as a yes.

Oh, what’s that, you’ve been called away, no, don’t worry, I’m not in the least worried, I’m glad, I mean glad that you’ve got somewhere else to be that’s important, thanks Jeff for popping by….

I asked him earlier for any hints and tips on fire safety, he gave me this link.

Keeping safe over bonfire night

Firestarter_cover

To order the book, click on the cover, have a great week.

Bucking the Trend

Being different to the rest, like this news here.

I’ve got a new job, so I’m bucking the trend as well, in my nifty new jacket. I managed to wangle one, as someone was lending me his so that I didn’t get soaked in the rain. But he needed his back, and told me to keep it safe, as they’re like gold dust. Quite a responsibiity to keep on watching a bright orange padded jacket, then going, ‘Phew’ when it’s still where you left it. So now I have my own one.

Mine’s yellow, and I work for the Buckingham Group, so will probably be walking the Corgi’s tomorrow, or getting handy with a mop and bucket, or if Madge wants a bit of dusting done, that’s where I come in.

Sue, BuckinghamYou’ll see me coming in the dark, and it’s warm and waterproof as well. I’m the site cleaner, and I’m the one with the lipstick and mascara. I can come and go when I like, and the chaps are friendly so all I need now is the hard hat. I’ve got the muddy boots, so I’m in vogue. You have to be don’t you?

Me and Alan went a smashing walk through the woods today. The colours of the leaves are amazing, and dropping fast now. Great to see them before they all dissapear, something new to see everyday in the countryside.

More news….

I’ve been cooking, corned beef piessaladwell, fair enough, salad isn’t cooking, but those pies are corned beef, mash and suede, carrots, peas, onions, spring onions. In puff pastry. Breaded garlic mushrooms and extra veg with salad. Easy peasy Sunday dinner, and tasty as well. Following on from my last post, I’m practising ready for when Hamish and Alice turn up next week. Remember, the characters from Patsy’s new book, Firestarter. I want to make sure there’s nice things to eat, so mm, yes they are lovely. Might even go and try another one to make sure. Can’t leave things to chance.

Call back soon to see how Hamish and Alice get on, can’t wait for that myself. Have a great week:))

A Man in Uniform

Hello, lovely blog followers, and new ones as well. It’s busy here at Jonesey Mansions, Alan’s painting doors, I’ve been for an early morning swim, while he had a routine check at the Doctors and back home for breakfast. Now to update the blog, then it will be time for coffee break and the cryptic crossword, that’s more Alan’s thing, I’ll be reading.

My writing buddy, Patsy Collins is launching her latest novel ***FIRESTARTER*** on 5th November and to help celebrate, I’ve asked Hamish and Alice to put in an appearance. This should be by the end of next week, so now you can see why we’re tidying up and getting everywhere spick and span for the bonfire party.

Oh, hang on, a text message has just come through, I must share it with you…

**************************************************************************

Dear Suzy, thank you so much for inviting me on to your blog to talk about firework safety. I’d love to. I know your son is a fellow firefighter and of course you’re a great friend of Patsy’s, so you’re almost part of the family.  Thanks for helping her with the research – that meant I got a good bunch of mates to work and socialise with as well as plenty to eat. Very important for morale, that.

I hear Alice Bakewell will be popping in too. I remember her from school, sweet kid but a bit shy. It’d be nice to meet her again and see how she’s turned out.

Look forward to meeting up with you soon!

Hamish Mustarde

x

*******************************************************

Isn’t that brilliant and hopefully we’ll get Hamish to expand on what he remembers about Alice from school. I plan to make sausage and chunky home made chips; they’ll be wrapped in paper, the old-fashioned way. These firemen like traditional things I’ve heard. And as I’m in the middle of this, Alice has texted back as well. Glad to know they’re keen to meet up. Here’s what she says…

********************************

‘Hi Suzy Doodling!
Thanks for those lovely boots with the furry tops, really cool. Well, cosy-cool, you know what I mean!
Hope this isn’t too cheeky, but I heard about your famous green smoothies and Patsy said maybe you’d make me one. She reckons they’re the opposite of Dad’s wine – that looks great but tastes flippin’ awful. Your smoothies look odd, but taste pretty good and they’re healthy too. Would you?
Oh, btw I heard there might be a fireman or two round your place soon. Maybe I could pop round that day? Not because I have a thing about firemen or anything. You know that’s just a rumour. Mostly anyway. Just thought it’d be a good time.
I could bring cakes. Home made obvs. What kind do you like best? And the firemen, what would they like?
Alice
xxxx

p.s. These firemen … do they have muscular thighs? I mean, I just wondered uh … because if they do, they’ll probably need extra cake.

Alice
x

**************************************************************************

Hang on while I send Alice a message back,

Dear Alice,

You’re welcome for the boots, but I have better ones than, for you to borrow. Tell you what, come a bit earlier, and you can have a root around in my wardrobe. From what Patsy tells me, I think we share the same dress sense. There are other things you might like to borrow, and yes, deff bring cakes, but… I’ve heard the firemen like flapjacks and shortbread. They are into the healthy eating, (obviously) it was them who told me about the green smoothies you mentioned. Bring the sprout wine, sounds yuk, but my geraniums need a bit of a pick-me-up, so they might like a drop. So so so looking forward to meeting you, and hope that boyfriend of your doesn’t object to you coming all this way. I’ve heard he likes to keep tabs on you. All for now, Suzy. xx

P.s. Yes, they have big muscles, Alice, from working out at the gym in-between shouts.

*********************************************************

Phew, it’s all go as I said earlier, and I’ve got lots of sticks for the open fire, after knocking down that old shed. A few doors down, the working men’s club has a bonfire, so no need for us to do one, we get to see that, and the firework display is amazing. Then again, when I get the crackling fire going and settle down with ***FIRESTARTER*** the night will go with a bang.

Join me and make Patsy’s rom/com rocket up the Amazon charts….. You can pre-order it here…..

Firestarter_coverDon’t miss this crackling read, fun and frolicks and come back next week to see what Alice and Hamish have to say when they meet up. Now I must get on and make gingerbread, brandysnaps oh, and get the spirulina in ready for the smoothies.

Until next time, keep safe, and get ready for the fire safety talk as well.

Welcome, Glynis Scrivens

visiting CanberraIt’s a pleasure to welcome, Glynis on to my blog today, all the way from Australia. You’ve come a long way, Glynis, so take a seat, and I’ll pour the tea while you have a chat about your writing.

1. Do you remember the first short story you sold to a women’s magazine? Which one was it, and what was it about?

My first sale was to Australia’s Woman’s Day magazine. The story was called “A Red Rose”, a romantic twist. The setting is a wedding. When the bride walks down the aisle, she has to force herself to keep her eyes on the groom. She’s actually in love with the best man, her ex, and hadn’t known he’d be here. Then the director says, “Cut”. Between scenes being filmed, she and her ex sort things out.

2. Are there many markets in Australia for short stories, and how do they differ from U.K. ones?

That’s Life and Fast Fiction are our major magazine markets. They seem similar to Fiction Feast, but with fiction editors changing quite frequently, there’s always a chance to offer previously rejected stories. Take 5 Fiction Feast is a newcomer but essentially uses stories from the UK Fiction Feast, sourced directly. We also have magazines such as Cosmos which publish sci-fi. And a growing number of literary magazines such as Wet Ink and Positive Words. There are other magazines which use stories but have no dedicated fiction editor and approach writers rather than being open to general submissions. Family Circle is an example.

3. I enjoyed your story in Iain Patterson’s Quintessentially Quirky tales book. I may even start sewing dolls of certain people as well, but put them in the garden instead. How did the story in his collection come about? They’re all good stories in there by the way.

I was tired and irritable from lack of sleep when I wrote that story. We’d driven down into northern New South Wales and were staying in a small cottage on a farm. As soon as I went to bed, there was a huge storm. Windows rattled, the wind howled outside, and I ended up with only a few hours sleep. Probably nearly as disgruntled as my character, Connie.

I’d brought a beret I was knitting…

And I felt angry. A bus had hit the new Peugeot a friend had lent us, causing quite a bit of damage along one side. The powers that be denied there’d even been a bus in the street at the time, despite the fact we’d both seen it. My husband had actually been in the car at the time it was hit, and I’d written down the number.

So I needed somewhere to put my anger – and by coincidence one of Connie’s victims may have had the same name as one of those concerned…

4. Above my desk there’s a poster with the article in Writers’ Forum. There’s you, me, Della and Teresa. That was really exciting for me to be with three special writers. We spoke about e-publishing there. Is this something you’ll be doing more of as short story markets seem to be shrinking?

To be honest I can’t see me doing much of this. With short story markets shrinking, and fewer opportunities to resell stories to several magazines, my focus has started to shift to non-fiction. I’ve always enjoyed writing articles. It’s nice to have a certain sale when you write something that’s been commissioned. So in my spare time, I’m reading books like Simon Whaley’s The Complete Article Writer and Deborah Durbin’s So You Want To Be A Freelance Writer?

Having said that, I want to put together some books of my published stories, mainly for family and friends. I might as well put out eBook versions of them. My daughter’s come up with a wonderful cover for me too. I’m aiming to have the first one ready before Christmas.

5. Looking forward to reading Edit is a four letter word. Can you tell us about the new book? What or who inspired you to write it, and what will be next?

I suppose once the title popped into my head one night – as it did! – I wanted to use it. So my antennae were alert when there was something on the Compass Books Facebook page about wanting an editing book for writers. It was more coincidental timing than inspiration really.

Once I got the go-ahead, I kept the younger generation of my family in mind. We’re a family full of creatives – drawing, painting, dancing, music, woodworking, photography. Some already have unfinished manuscripts sitting in drawers.

I’m hoping my experiences might be of help. And I’ve tried to include as many other writers as was feasible. Editing is an individual thing and we each have to find our own way.
There are no plans for a next book. But if the right idea and opportunity come along again it’s something I’d enjoy doing.

Edit is a Four-Letter Word - cover imageBuy the book here

To pay a visit to Glynis’s website, click on this link

Thank you, Glynis for taking time to pop in today, and good luck with the new book. It’s on my list already.

Here it is…

coverThe new cover of my latest e-publication. Don’t you just love it? I know I do, and it’s exactly how I wanted it to be.

A collection of 9 stories set in my favourite made up village in mid-Norfolk.

So far, it’s available on Amazon.com and soon will be on the .uk one as well. Here…

Nine stories in all, ending with The Wedding… It’s taken a while, so at last I can get on with something else now. Like the serial for People’s Friend magazine, and a story for the Alfie dog competiton.

Coming next week, interview with Glynis Scrivens and all about her latest book, which I need to get. Edit is a four letter word.

Welcome, Maureen Vincent Northam

To celebrate launch day of Trace your Roots, Maureen is here on my blog today to tell us about her new release. Lovely to welcome you here, Mo, and good luck with the book. I’ve got mine on order already.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

New Trace Your Roots-med(1)

When I sat down to write Trace your Roots I had great plans. I wanted the book to be packed with loads of useful genealogical tips. More than that, I wanted to help those who found they’d reached an impasse – as so many do when drawing up their family tree.
So the tips in my book needed to cover less well known resources, as well as the more obvious birth, marriage and death records, parish registers and census data. To enable both novice and more experienced family history researchers to break though their brick wall I’d use the strategies that had helped me during my time as a professional researcher. These tips would work – after all, they’d been tried and tested.
Each family tree is a puzzle that’s waiting to be solved and like an old jig-saw, there will be pieces missing. Yet these missing segments can often be found when you look in places you hadn’t thought to explore, or didn’t even know existed. Strangely enough, some of the most rewarding finds can be discovered by travelling these unfamiliar routes.
Trace your Roots, published by Crooked Cat Publishing, was a joy to write and I’m very happy with the result. The fabulous cover was designed by Laurence Patterson of Crooked Cat.

Please join me on my genealogy blog, I’m always happy to post other people’s stories: http://trace-your-roots.blogspot.co.uk/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trace-Your-Roots-Maureen-Vincent-Northam-ebook/dp/B00Y2PFXYC/ref=zg_bs_362635031_44
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Trace-Your-Roots-Maureen-Vincent-Northam-ebook/dp/B00Y2PFXYC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1434284388&sr=8-3&keywords=Trace+your+Roots

Author bio
Maureen Vincent-Northam has written seriously ever since Father Christmas left her a Petite typewriter. Author of Trace your Roots, she also wrote Black Dog’s Treasure and co-authored The Writer’s ABC Checklist.

An editor with Crooked Cat Publishing, her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, anthologies and online. She has tutored workshops; judged online writing contests and a few years ago was winner of The Writers’ Advice Centre for Children’s Books competition.

Maureen works part time in a residential home, is rubbish at cooking and, when not burning dinner, can usually be found surrounded by empty chocolate wrappers.

From shabby chic, to sleek teak.

 

Digital imageDigital image

Here’s the before and after pictures of our garden fence. It’s cedar red to be precise, but that doesn’t rhyme with shabby chic. I was wondering what that white thing like a mushroom was in the picture, it’s a bit of washing that popped in there.

As we sat having a cup of tea, looking at the shabby version, we agreed that it looked quite rustic. Along the lines of faded Levi jeans. We almost wanted to leave it, but the fence paint will protect it for a while, hopefully. The red one is going to have another coat, when the weather picks up again. Too cold today.

Digital imageDigital imageDigital imageDigital image

If you had lovely flowers last weekend, a tip to keep them looking fresh, is to add a teaspoon of sugar to the water, when you

change it every two or three days. Keep doing that, and they’ll last ages.

I’m going over some old stories that need re-writing. It’s amazing even a few months later, you can spot the flaws immediately. So hopefully with a bit of re-writing, they will appear fresher and be accepted somewhere else.

One of my stories has been accepted on Alfie dog, short story website, that will be published on 23rd April and there’s a new cosy crime  by Susan Wright published on Alfie dog for you to download, if like me, that’s your cup of tea.

Job hunting this week… I don’t mind if they ask you properly. What I can’t stand is when you read a job advert, and they say. ‘We expect you to hit the ground running, and give more than a hundred percent, be focused and a team player, by now I’ve logged off. I’m not an aeroplane I’m a human. Also, there are lots of apprentice jobs where the pay is peanuts, and I’m not a monkey either. Another annoying thing is when a twenty something fresh faced, lovely person asks me, ‘how would you react in a crisis?’ I’d love to say, ‘my children knew how to react is a crisis before you were born.’ But I don’t. There are two jobs (at the same place) I’m waiting to hear from quite near home, and my temp girl is good at finding jobs I like, so fingers crossed something will turn up.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying the time to write and read my books and People’s Friend magazines. Which leads me on to the good news that coming soon, exclusive to this blog…

An interview with everyone’s favorite People’s Friend writer, Teresa Ashby. Look out for that around the twelfth of April, it’s good.

 

Out today – ‘Came as ‘me’ left as ‘we” from Alfie dog

Came as me
Left as we.

I’m thrilled to be able to tell you about the launch of :-

‘Came as ‘me, left as we’

A collection of beach reads, ideal for when you get time to relax.

My storyPier into the Future’ along with lots of other great stories, makes this anthology one for your summer-time reading.

All your favorite authors from Alfie dog short-story website, details on Patsy Collins,  blog.

To get your copy, either as a paperback book, or for downloading to kindle

http://alfiedog.com/products-page/alice-parrant/came-as-me-left-as-we-21-stories-to-escape-with

Over a 1,000 stories on the site.

www.alfiedog.com