Thank you to all my fans

Thank you to all of my followers.

I send a huge and heartfelt thank you, to all of my followers who have supported me on my publication day November 1st.

I spent the day with my publisher, Anna-Lisa, the Director of The Globeflower Agency, celebrating our first venture together. I enjoyed interacting with all of my family and friends and all of you book lovers out there, who very kindly joined us in the celebrations.

Love, Secrets, and Absolution is published under the imprint of Globeflower Books is available as a paperback and e-book from Amazon.

Check out The Globeflower Agency website to purchase Love, Secrets, and Absolution merchandise, a nice stocking filler along with the book.

 

It’s the final countdown.

It’s the final countdown.
I am getting so excited about the publication of my second novel, ‘Love, Secrets and Absolution’ published by ‘The Globeflower Agency and available from Amazon. How far can a mother’s love go? Will she ultimately sacrifice her life for his? Deceit, betrayal, love and addiction. Will anyone find absolution?

Please join me in the final countdown. Publication date. November 1st.

Fun at Foxton Locks.

Finally, Michael and I have done our first extended sail on ‘Speckled Hen’ our canal boat or otherwise known by myself as our ‘cottage on the water’.  You are probably wondering what this woman is talking about. ‘Extended sail’? I refer to the fact that normally if we take the boat out for a week, basically it is 3.5 days sailing in one direction, then the return journey of 3.5 days back to our beautiful moorings at ‘Mercia Marina in Willington.

I regress. Having completed my second novel, Love, Secrets and Absolution. We decided the time was right to spend three weeks away from home. A special time together, before the winter draws near.

My publisher ‘The Globeflower Agency’ continues with the task of marketing my book and doing a tremendous job. Thereby, giving me the opportunity to once again head for the keyboards of my laptop computer and write a future novel. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I use the tranquillity of our boat, to concentrate on my writing.   So here we are at the top of Foxton locks ready to take the boat down two staircases of five chambers. The magnificent volunteer lock keepers are ready to assist my husband to open and close every gate as I drive the boat down the steep incline of the countryside. It is an amazing sight to see and attracts many visitors, young and old. The youngsters, in particular, are fascinated to see how the locks are manually operated and are delighted to help push open the heavy lock gates.

Along our journey, the evidence of autumn being well and truly established was all around us. The roof of our boat covered in a multitude of leaves of all shades from green, red, yellow and russet. Along the route, we are privileged to see back gardens as they slope towards the canal. It is true that an Englishman’s home is his castle, for we have seen many beautiful gardens.

I am surprised to see lots of apple trees, the boughs bending full of fruit. Fruit that is falling to the ground to go rotten. Actually, it saddens me think of the waste and how many hungry people would be glad of the richness of this fruit. It reminds me of a poem I wrote, due to be published in my collection of poems. ‘Chameleon days’ also published by ‘The Globeflower Agency’ and available on Amazon, as is Love, secrets and absolution’.

Both books available on Amazon.

News Flash: Love, Secrets, and Absolution

Love, Secrets, and Absolution

Book cover reveal and pre-order

I am thrilled beyond belief to announce the publication of my second novel ‘Love, Secrets and Absolution: An emotional and gripping psychological, family drama’.

This latest novel, follows hot on the heels of my debut novel ‘Alice’, this is another true to life story that covers complex family issues.

This story has it all. Deceit, betrayal, love and addiction. A compelling story set in Nottinghamshire that follows the life of Alfie, the long-awaited son of a mining family. We see how the miners’ strike of 1984 has far reaching effects on Alfie and his parents. This is a coming of age story with a difference.

If you enjoy reading authors such as Jodi Picoult and Diana Chamberlain, then you will certainly enjoy reading ‘Love, Secrets, and Absolution’.

Love, Secrets, and Absolution - novelLove, Secrets, and Absolution is published by ‘The Globeflower Agency under their publishing imprint Globeflower Books.

A huge thank you to Anna-Lisa and her team who have worked relentlessly to get this book to publication.

Pre-order on Amazon

The novel is available as a pre-order on the following Amazon websites:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com.au

Amazon.in

Glorious Autumn.

Autumn is upon us with all of its glory and as I look out through my conservatory window, I truly appreciate all that my precious life offers.  Is there any wonder that poets feel compelled to write about the beauty of this glorious season.

William Blake in his poem ‘To Autumn’ and Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘Autumn Fires’ both capture the essence of autumn in a profound way.

In my soon to be published book of poems ‘Chameleon Days’ I have written my own poem ‘Autumn Antics’ a light hearted poem that captures the fun to be had in this glorious season.  The Globeflower Agency plans to make this available as a pre-order November 15th. A nice Christmas gift for lovers of poetry.

As we approach the final weeks of September let’s seize and enjoy the beauty of our herbaceous borders while they are still in their late flush.

To welcome autumn into our home I have arranged a few of our gorgeous blooms and berries.As you can see, flower arranging is a skill that I need to work on, however, as I am in the Autumn years of my life, ( what a wonderful saying) maybe this is something I can work on when I have an evening or two to spare.

R and R

R and R. = Rest and rehabilitation.

R and R = Races and Recreation.

 

Hi everyone, I have spent an entire day having lots of the above. You may well ask. Why is this woman not sat working at her laptop, typing away at her next novel?    Good question.

I can confidently report that my second novel ‘Love, Secrets and Absolution’ is now completed and currently in the hands of my excellent publisher. Together, we have designed the book cover, although in fairness Anna –Lisa did most of the work. I am not saying that there is lots of time for fun and frolics. Quite the contrary, for as most of you know, the next stage of marketing the book can be relentless. However, Sunday, August 20th, there I was along with six friends at Southwell Races, located near Newark on Trent, Nottinghamshire.

Ladies I was proud of you. And you too Gents. It was ladies day and what a grand spectacle it was. Royal Ascot ‘eat your heart out’ for the ladies of Nottingham are most definitely the finest fillies in the land.

The sun was shining, the Prosecco was out and the races began.  My husband and I had a small flutter on every race. For those of you not accustomed to the term, I refer to a small bet. Knowing nothing of horses or form, we just went with our hearts, betting on such horses as, ‘David John’ and ‘Old Harry rocks’. Both for sentimental reasons. Needless to say, that with these tactics, it wasn’t until the last race that I managed to back a winner. My friends were less sentimental. Interesting ending to that word! They backed the favourites to win and due to the laws of probability, managed to come away in pocket.

A good day was had by all. Thank you to ‘And Why not’ for organising this amazing day out.

 

Visiting the ancestors.

Having recently joined ‘The National Trust’ my husband and I decided to pop along and visit the relatives at Hardwick Hall. Well ! maybe that’s stretching things a bit too far. There is every possibility that one of our ancestors may have lived there, but most likely in the servant’s quarters.

Situated at Doe Lea in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, the Hardwick Estate is made up of stunning houses and beautiful landscapes. Bess of Hardwick commissioned the building of Hardwick Hall in the late sixteenth century. The first feature of the hall that caught my eye, was the huge windows of which there are many. The architect Robert Smythson designed the hall to allow maximum light and amazing views over the surrounding countryside. It is very much in the Elizabethan style of its time.  There was so much history to absorb about the first and last ladies of Hardwick. I would say that it is all about the women at Hardwick and from what I can understand, they were all formidable ladies.

We had a most enjoyable day, exploring the Halls and the gardens. Our ancestors below stairs would be happy to know that we had paid them a visit albeit more than four centuries too late.

 

Home is where the heart is.

 

Over the weekend along with my very good friend Janet, I travelled to the North Yorkshire coastal town of Filey. This is historically a fishing village, situated between Bridlington and Scarborough.  The purpose of our visit was to meet with another friend of ours, Susan. The three of us first met at the age of five, in the infant’s school and have a great shared history of our teenage years. Something that we can spend hours reminiscing over and returning to the joy of those memories. During the years of raising young children, we met infrequently. We have since made up for it, by organising days out together in Nottingham, to catch up over lunch and a spot of retail therapy.

However, Sue moved to Filey a few years ago, and although she still returns to her home town to visit her family, we thought it would be nice to make a special effort to meet our friend in her chosen place of retirement.

This made me think about all of the possible places, one could choose to live out retirement. Without a doubt, coastal areas are a popular location for the autumn years of life, all that bracing sea air and coastal walks. Alternatively, the countryside is also a popular location for a quiet peaceful life. It is indeed a brave plan to move away from your familiar surroundings as old age is around the corner. Of course, sometimes, when your family are living apart from you, a move from your area of long term residence to be nearer loved ones can be a great advantage.

There has been a surge in retirement properties over the last decade. No doubt to correspond with the baby boomers of my generation. This, of course, is becoming another potential choice in terms of living out your retirement.

So, here I am in my home office, currently surrounded by many books and research articles in preparation for my next novel. The familiar view from my window gets better every year, as I plant more and more perennials in the borders.This house is like a huge comfort blanket wrapped around me, creating a warm feeling in my heart. Yes. Home is where the heart is and for now and hopefully for many years to come. My heart is here in this place I call home.

Messing about on the river.

I felt compelled to share this with you all. My husband and I have witnessed many marvels of nature during our time on the British inland waterways.  There have been numerous occasions when we have observed the sweetest evidence of new life.

A few weeks ago, we set off for a four- day round trip from our mooring on the absolute best Marina ever ‘ Mercia Marina’, towards one of our favourite little villages along the canal, ‘Alrewas’ in Staffordshire. Our journey took us through the picturesque countryside where we decided to moor overnight by Branston Waterpark.

The following morning, while sipping our tea, we glanced across to the opposite side of the towpath, where we spied a moorhen sat serenely on her nest.  Very quietly we opened the side hatch doors of our boat and gently threw small morsels of five seed grain bread out onto the gentle ripples of the water. Sure enough, mother hen and her six newborn chicks swam towards the bread. The chicks were tiny bundles of black fluff. Amongst the uncontrolled sticky out fluffy feathers, bright red and yellow beaks dazzled in the early morning sunshine. A vivid shade of red that contrasted brightly against the murky grey water of the cut.

What happened next was the sweetest of sights. The mother collected the small pieces of bread and one piece at a time she re -dipped the bread into the water then popped it into the beak of the first chick that was in line. She then proceeded to repeat this process for each chick. Without having any food herself, she ushered the chicks back to the safety of the nest, where she promptly sat on them to keep them warm, after their early morning swim.Satisfied they were safe, imagine our delight when she returned for her own share of the food, which we promptly provided.

Our journey continued taking us along a small section of the River Trent, towards Alrewas. Approaching the village, I jumped off the boat to open the lock that we were approaching. As I walked along the towpath, windless in hand, my husband called to inform me that a Pidgeon was stuck in the water and struggling to get out. As the Pidgeon flapped and struggled towards the bank, I knelt down on the grassy bank, reached out as far as I was able to stretch and gently hooked the windless underneath its belly, slowly pulling the bird close enough to the bank for me to lift out of the water. The Pidgeon was ringed, suggesting ownership. Immediately on terra firma, it hopped towards the hedgerow to rest and dry out.

I’d like to think that it was able to complete its journey, whatever the destination, as we completed ours, later that day.

Do you have fun messing about on the river?  Do tell.

Look at me!

As per my previous post, I don’t wish to go on, but “Look at Me” Today, I used my bus pass for the first time. Now, some of you can be forgiven for thinking “why is this woman so obsessed with this retirement issue and her bus pass.”

The truth is, that like so many women born in 1953 and beyond, we have had our pensions (and bus pass) deferred due to changes in government policy. I don’t intend to go all political here except to say. “GO WASPS GO”. You know who you are.

So you ask. “Where did this woman go on this austere occasion with her Virgin bus pass”?

Along with my husband, we went to the historic town of Lichfield in Staffordshire. Our boat was moored in the pretty village of Alrewas, a bus ride away from Lichfield. So off we set, two young at heart senior citizens, to explore this delightful city. We were not disappointed.

The city centre was alive with activity as bunting gently swayed and buskers played a variety of music. We made our way to Lichfield Cathedral, the burial place of Saint Chad, the Anglo-Saxon missionary. This medieval cathedral is a sight to behold with its three majestic spires.

After eating a traditional Sunday lunch in the oldest pub in the city, we made our way to Beacon Park. A festival was in full swing with many events taking place, including a classic car display.  I thought that I caught a glimpse of ‘Jeremy Clarkson’ driving by in a vintage sports car, but alas. My husband informed me that as usual, my imagination was in over-drive. Very appropriate I thought, considering the car theme.

I particularly enjoyed watching the Police dog training display, which reinforced my views on the importance of Police dogs.

Although we didn’t have time to explore the rest of the city. Plans are already in place to return and visit the many other interesting places. For example The Erasmus Darwin House and the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum.

Still, there is plenty of time for that. Oh! Did I forget to mention that I am now retired.