Something Special

Country Matters picLook what just landed on the doormat. How lovely and now I’m off to the garden with a cuppa and a ham and mustard cob to read through.

I’ve started a new job this week, and getting into the swing of it. The people are friendly and the hours still give me time to go the the gym. What a fantastic cover they’ve chosen. Is it bad to say you can’t wait to read your own book even if you know what’s in it:)) It’s dated the 28th July, so will be in the shops soon. Hope you enjoy it if you buy and read it.

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A Touch of Snow

Walking in the snow before it melts.

It was such a miniscule amount that I took a picture to prove it. And we went a walk round the block to blow away a few cobwebs.

Here’s our local postbox where I pop in all my submissions and ideas to editors. Doesn’t it look good with a snow hat on.

Post box

Here’s the next paragraphs of chapter 1 of book 2 in the Redington Series.

 

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We left off where Stanly the milkman was chatting to Janice in the grocery shop in the village about the new houses, flats and bungalows being built on the other side of the town.

 

“Not many around here think like you do; and not sure how long I’ll be able to keep going with my rounds. Mind you, saying that, a couple of young wives stopped and asked if I’d call twice a week with bread and milk, so you never know. Their hubby’s work on the roads over in Peterborough; tricky for them to get out early, especially if the babies are sleeping and them without transport. That’s what they were telling me. And with the shop being over this end of the village, makes it easier if I drop milk off.”
“That’s good news. It wouldn’t be the same without you and your deliveries. On the downside, there’s a new row of shops going up on that estate as well, so that might affect us in the long run.” Janice took a deep breath, and ran her tongue along her lip. “According to Jack, he’ll keep on doing the same as he’s always done, he doesn’t seem worried. I’ve spoken to him about expanding. I’m sure it could work.”
The door to the back of the shop banged open. The thin youth with ragged jeans and red and white sweatshirt made his way behind the counter, and picked up the delivery book. He glanced up, “Hi, Stanley, fancy taking a couple of small boxes for me. I’ve got the fruit and veg deliveries today. You know how they’d rather have you bringing them their jammy dodgers than me,” he grinned. “Sorry, did I interrupt something?”
Richie had dark brownish hair that sometimes hung lankly around his ears. On other occasions it stuck up, having a complete life of its own. His hazel eyes were enquiring and always darting from left to right, keeping an eye on every inch of the shop at the same time, Jack was teaching him to become shop manager, only everyone knew Janice held the fort more often than not.
“I was telling Stanley about Jack taking on a shop unit on the new estate. They’re not that big, and we’ve got all the stock and that new delivery van. It makes sense to me, only Jack doesn’t like changes, does he, Richie?”
“Not much. Let’s face it; took him three years to get me a van. He had me going round on that flipping great bike while I was the apprentice, with the basket on the front like an offspring of Granville.”
Janice chuckled, “Mm, I did hear you being called that once or twice. You have to admit it’s an idea though eh?”
“I’m sure you’d manage it between you. Anyway, if the young Royal is going to be attending that new nursery school in Redington, more people might want to come over here to live. We’ll have the television cameras here, Janice; better get your roots done.” Stanley put his cup down and made for the door swiftly managing to duck the pack of crumpets Janice hurled his way. He reached up and caught them in his left hand, then threw her a wink at the door and he was gone.

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Wordcount is 3,127 and I’m at the end of chapter 1 and got titles for the other chapters and a basic outline worked out. It may change from this, but it’s getting the skeleton story down at the moment. I’m aiming to get another chapter done during next week. More paragraphs of chapter one posted next weekend.

Watchout for People’s Friend author interview, coming soon. Amanda Brittany will be here to tell us more about her writing. Something to look forward to so check back here soon. Have a great week…

Blog update

Reading good books, magazines and kindle reads.

 

Digital image

 

Popping in to update the blog as I’ve been quiet on here lately. Busy reading, and doing other things like knitting something small for someone special. A People’s Friend pattern looked good, so having a go at that.

This is what I’m attempting and done the back so far.

Digital image

What I’ve been reading lately, is Dishing the Dirt, M.C. Beaton, In like Flynn, Rhys Bowen and also catching up with several weeks of People’s Friend and Fiction feast, My Weekly and Woman’s weekly fiction magazines.

Digital image

It takes a while to catch up with the latest magazines, but being as I’ve had a mother of a sore throat and cough, it’s a good reason to curl up on the settee and read all those lovely stories.

The day job is going well, and now there’s less mud and more concrete and tarmac areas, so makes my job a lot easier and the people are really friendly which makes it a great place to go to.

On my kindle I’ve got tons of great reads… firestarter, almost finished, Highland Lass looking forward to reading, Gold Digger, Teresa Ashby great stories, and must write a review soon, This one’s worth reading as well, The Little Kiosk by the Sea, Jennifer Bohnet. Set in Dartmouth. Tons more as well.

When the weather gets cold and nights are dark, it always makes me want to read Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier, and Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte two of my all time favourite reads. And there’s quite a good one tucked in there between them, more on that one in the next post.

Bookshelf

Now with so much reading and knitting and eating as we have a smashing dinner lined up from the chef who is so gorgeous that I may just go and jump on him before doing any more of the above, my weekend is wrapped up to perfection.

Look out for a giveaway on the blog soon, and that doesn’t happen very often as everytime I go to give a book away I change my mind.

 

 

 

Here’s the proof

Redington the book will be available soon.

The proof has arrived, and it’s looking good, apart from the odd comma needing to be a full stop. Soon sort those out and then I can press the button to say, print…

My bookIt’s really lovely to have a proper book after looking at the stories in print on the web. And the very first story in the collection was written with People’s Friend in mind. That was years ago, but it’s a story I liked so kept it in a bottom drawer.

When editor of Creative Frontiers, which has now closed down, Martin West, read the story, he told me that it read like a People’s Friend story to him. So glad I wasn’t a hundred miles out. Then after that first story, which was published in serial form, he asked for another. A month later I wrote another, and so on. He gave the stories the label of – The Archers meets Midsummer Murders.

The theme was the village, set in mid Norfolk, called Redington. The same characters appear in some stories and new ones are added as the pages turn. I’m so attached to the characters and place now that there will be more to follow.

As soon as the book is available, I’ll put a link on here. Also I’ll be doing a giveaway on my blog to one lucky follower.

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I’ve got quite a few words written of the next romantic novel. I didn’t sign up to the official November challenge as you probably know, but I’ve got my chapter detail headings, and keep adding more and more information under each one. Now the story is beginning to form and hopefully it will turn into something that will make sense, and follow on from the first one. Always aiming for Mills & Boon, I’m trying to get more passion into this one and focus on the two main characters. When I sent Hats to them, they told me that the minor characters interfered too much. They’re right, but my main character is young and she learns to stick up for herself from the older ones.

Lads night out

Lads night out, a fireman pays a visit.

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..

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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..

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

Brace yourself!!!

Jeff x

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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.

A Man in Uniform

Special people featured on this blog, tune in to find out who…

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…

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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

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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…

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‘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

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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.

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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.

Alfie dog competition

Are you all having a go at the Alfie dog writing competition? Read all about it here. I’m planning my entry and the prizes are amazing so if you’re a writer of short stories, you’d have to be mad not to try it. And, the entry fee is downloading 5 different author stories.

If you wanted to download any of mine that are on there, here’s the link showing you where to find them. Great news is that another story of mine, Seeds of Friendship, will be published on Wednesday 5th August.

Today, we’ve been in the garden, cutting the hedge, so it looks all neat and lovely for a while. Sweet peas are growing and a sun-flower has appeared like magic amongst them. I’ll get a pic when they’re flowering. Pink geraniums are blooming lovely, and our patch of scented pinks make the air smell divine when you pop out to have a relax with cup of coffee.

A few stories have gone out, and one back from take a break fiction feast. It’s a story I like, even though it was written when we had a theme going on in our online writing group. That makes it special, as it wasn’t going to be written otherwise. Now it’s gone off somewhere else. Reading some good books as well, and short stories.

No news on the novel yet, but no news is good news they say. So fingers are still crossed, and toes as well.

Sue in garden
Relaxing while dreaming up my Alfie dog story.

Great author interview coming soon. The lovely Joanne Fox has agreed to be my guest later on this month. So glad she’s back blogging in time to pop over and talk about her writing.