It’s finally happened – The Case of the Black Tulips is now LIVE on Amazon! And for its first week in the world, you can buy it for just 99c/99p (or it’s available to read in Kindle Unlimited).
When I say ‘finally’, though, Paula Harmon and I only wrote the draft in January, so actually we’ve been quite speedy. And we plan to continue being speedy, because book 2, The Case of the Runaway Client, is already available to pre-order and will be out in July!
This is what the three books in progress look like together:
And if you’ve managed to escape all my earlier rantings about The Case of the Black Tulips, here are some of the things you can find within its pages:
- 2 – yes 2 – female protagonists, who move between friendship and utter exasperation with each…
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GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation – comes into place on 25th May 2018.
Here is what I have done to comply.
If you follow this blog/website, then your email address will be stored by the website. I do not use it or access it. It simply forms part of the statistics on the website itself.
Because your email address constitutes personal data, I need to have a Privacy Statement. This explains what data I collect, why I collect it, and how I store it, including whether I share it with any third parties, who they are, and what their privacy policies are. My privacy statement is in my site menu, and also linked here. It touches on your other rights regarding information you share with me.
If you are one of my blog/website followers, because you have signed yourself up and as I don’t use the contact details personally (the website itself emails you with new entries), I will not email you to ask if you wish to keep ‘following’. You may ‘unfollow’ whenever you wish.
I now have a Contact Form which cross-references with the privacy notice. You can use this to contact me about anything, for example existing or upcoming books etc.
If you do wish to unfollow my blog/website you are very welcome to do so at any time, by clicking the Unfollow button.
Of course, I’d rather you kept following as there is plenty of news coming up!
And hopefully it’ll be a lot less dry than this post!
As tempting as it is to address the craziness of recent events and a certain writer’s lack of common sense, I will abstain from that. While what she did was selfish, uncalled for, and served no purpose other than burning all her bridges in the literary world, I don’t subscribe to the idea of name calling or finger pointing–be it in person or in cyber space.
What I would like to talk about today is professional courtesy and respect. When I first got involved in the romance publishing world, I was like most “virgins”–starry eyed and naive. I’ve never been good at making professional connections and having no one to guide me in this new world, I was pretty much a fish out of water–flopping around and gasping for air.
Little by little, I learned the ropes, or at least enough to start getting some air into my lungs to…
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It’s been a wonderful experience. Here’s to the next adventure!
Um, you remember that last post I wrote, about a week ago? The one where I said I was co-writing a book?
WE’VE FINISHED THE DRAFT!!!
Yes, I am rather excited. The Case of the Black Tulip(s) – still haven’t decided how many tulips there will be – is a THING!
Here are some stats:
- From start to finish, the first draft took us 20 days
- The draft is 27 chapters and just over 54,000 words long (we aimed for 50-55K so that’s great)
- My co-author Paula Harmon wrote 14 chapters (she did the first and last) and I did 13. We alternated throughout
- The last chapter sets things up VERY nicely for book 2…
- My biscuit and crisp consumption has been remarkably low, considering. I have eaten 2 caramel wafers, NO Viscounts (even though I have some in) and NO crisps in the course of writing! Then again, I’ve…
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“Chickens Eat Pasta” is an excellent book which I thoroughly recommend to anyone who likes books about settling in a different culture and about community and love.
The author is donating one month’s royalties to the to the fund for the earthquake that struck her part of central Italy a few days ago.
And in tribute to Amatrice, which was almost demolished along with tragic loss of life, here again is a post from her blog about this beautiful mountain town’s symbolic dish, bucatini all’amatriciana, and the role it played in her own story in Italy. Please click on the link or visit:
It’s a slow amble down the slope.
The railings on either side are a little wonky. One set appears to be held up by brambles and on the edge bordering the big green field with the sad horse tethered in his small brown circle, the railings slope idly as if no-one ever told them to stand up straight. They were painted black once, but now they’re dull rust colour. You can taste the iron just by looking at them. Right at the end, just before the bridge the bars have been bent apart so that someone small can squeeze through.
The start of the bridge is overhung with trees. Trees overhang the river on both sides. The railings of the bridge are still black, mostly, and the paint is smooth and lumpy under my hands as I look over.
Upstream, the river curves away but the depths still sparkle under the trees and little droplets of light and dust shine and spin and dart – appearing and disappearing. The water is darkest as it disappears around the bend but the spots of sunshine on the waves and in the air make it friendly and welcoming. I open my mouth to speak to the flashes of brightness but find I am dumb.
Turning, I look over the other side of the bridge. You can see further downstream and it is not so overhung. For a few metres, the water runs swiftly, weed straggling with the flow. Deceptively it plays over hidden deeps and stony shallows. It will speed up and deepen as it bends away, as it nears the waterfall at the other end, before it pours out into the bigger river and on to the sea.
The black bars of the bridge are hot under my hands, even under the trees and when I step on the bottom bar with my feet between the balusters so that I can lean over, the metal is hot on my toes as well.
Just out from under the bridge is a small sandbank, dry enough to stand on. A little girl is there alone, crouched down, intently staring at something. She is around nine and her feet in white sandals are planted firmly on the edge of the lapping water. Her cotton dress is short and floral and her brown hair is clipped back from a face which is turned from me. She is carefully picking out stones and examining them. A little pile has built up and I can see that some are smooth and pretty and some are like black glass, jagged and sparkly. After a while, she stops picking out stones and just hunches, elbows on her knees, chin on her hands, staring into the water. It is shallow enough here for her to make out all the little lives going about their business in the lee of the main flow. Sometimes, she looks upstream and downstream and then returns to her observations or her foraging.
If she has any doubts and fears, it seems they are forgotten. Now she appears totally content and safe and full of hope and peacefully alone.
In a while, she will go home, taking some of her finds; she will say goodbye to the river and the sparkling lights who listen to her secrets and her worries; she will take one last look at the nymph, busily marching round its underwater kingdom and hope that she will be there when it emerges and transforms.
I look at her and wish I could remember the words the river understands, wish I knew how to find the pretty stones, still feel sad that the next time she comes the nymph will be gone and a myriad dragonflies will fly around but none will recognise her.
If she looks up, she will not see me because I do not exist yet. She will see nothing but a bridge, going home in one direction and going away from home in another.
She will grow up and stop visiting the sand bank. Some of her worries will come true and others won’t. She will forget how to talk to the wild, but the wild will not forget how to speak to her.
The river will flow on, the waterfall will carry her away, the big river will swallow her up, the sea will engulf her, but she will be all right. In the end, she will be all right. The light sparkling under the trees will always be there. She will be all right.
Copyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission
How often do you look out of the window when everything is going wrong and wish you could start all over again? And then you sigh and decide it’s impossible and you’ll just have to keep on going.
At 26, Clare Pedrick was a successful Sussex journalist with plans for a career in London. But the death of her parents and the end of a long term relationship left her wondering if that was enough anymore. When she saw an advert for a “house for sale in Umbria”, Clare started on a journey which would lead her to resigning from her job and buying an old house in a small village in Italy, against the advice of friends, family and colleagues.
“Chickens Eat Pasta” is a wonderful book. Clare’s love of Italy and the new friends she makes there fill the pages with warmth. The author skilfully demonstrates some of the culture clashes between British and Italian cuisine and customs, but unlike some similar books, there is no sense that the author feels either superior or inferior to her new compatriots. You can sense that real, lasting friendships were formed while Clare learned to fit into her new surroundings without relinquishing her own personality.
In this book, Clare interweaves love stories, her own and those of others around her, locals and ex pats, funny and tragic with the constant thread of her love affair with her new home -the purchase and renovation of the house which “towered imposingly from its position on a knoll overlooking an endless vista of hills and valleys”. She describes how her new friends help protect her against bureaucracy and menace and how she manages against technological odds, to continue her journalistic career in a different way.
I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who loves travel, humour and a little romance. For anyone who is looking out of that window and wondering what would happen if you started again – this book shows how it worked out for one woman brave enough to find out.