Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Writing For A Good Cause

Today, I am breaking away from the usual silliness on this blog to introduce you to Legend Press author, Linda Huber. A few months ago, Linda spontaneously bought and reviewed my novel and since then we have become Facebook friends. It was through one of those fleeting Facebook feeds, and quite by chance, that I noticed Linda was contributing to an upcoming charitable anthology. The two beneficial charities rang bells with me and I immediately decided I wanted to support Linda and her writing partners in their very worthwhile cause. Today, I'm leaving it to Linda to introduce the anthology but later in the week, as well as reviewing the anthology, I shall be telling you why supporting Linda's endeavours is personal to me. In the meantime, and with no further ado, here's Linda...

Hi everyone and first of all huge thanks to Jane for letting me loose on her blog this week… (brave woman). The bad news is she’s much funnier than me, but there’s good news too – I’m here to tell you about the PERFECT Christmas present for all those difficult mums and aunties. Yes, I know the dads and uncles are even trickier but as you won’t have to worry at ALL now about the female side of the family, you’ll have lots of extra time to plan for the men…

What is it, I hear you ask? It’s a book called Winter Tales; an anthology, to be exact. Full to bursting with light-hearted, romantic, humorous stories, and the best bit of all is that every penny made by this book goes straight to the Teenage Cancer Trust and The Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The project was organised by a group of romance writers called The Write Romantics. They wrote some of the stories, and for the others they drafted in people like me. (My usual genre’s suspense). I was really, really pleased to be part of this because as a physiotherapist I’ve worked with both cancer and CF patients. Cancer needs no introduction; Cystic Fibrosis is a horrible disease affecting mostly the lungs and the digestive system. It’s genetic, you have it from birth, and although it used to be a death sentence sufferers can now live well into adulthood –  though not a day goes by when they can forget their condition.

Winter Tales  stories to warm your heart, is currently £2.52 on Amazon  Kindle and £6.00 in paperback. In the US it is $3.95 on Kindle and $7.20 in paperback.
So Winter Tales is a nice, funny, romantic book supporting two excellent causes. And we like humour, don’t we, us Brits, even when we’re talking about something as serious as cancer. We’re famous for that. I live in Switzerland, and I get quite a lot of odd looks from people, followed by the careful question ‘Is that British humour?’ And usually it is. Mind you, my story in the anthology, ‘Something Blue’ (as in Something Old, Something New etc), was inspired by a wedding right here in Switzerland when the fire brigade played quite big part in proceedings…

I think too that a bit of humour doesn't go amiss even when you’re writing suspense. My new(ish) book The Cold Cold Sea is about every parent’s worst nightmare. But my cast of characters includes a school class of five-year-olds, and it’s these kids, who all have names – I was terrified we’d edit one of them out by mistake – who provide the light relief. Just by being nice funny little kids. A sense of humour can help us through many an unfunny situation.

"Disturbing and compelling" Hilary Johnson.
So there you have it. Winter Tales is available on Amazon in e-book and paperback, and buying a copy or two or three or forty will help two excellent causes. I’ll be getting a few myself – please join me!


               Please share this post and help support The Teenage Cancer Trust and The Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bargain Alert, Bargain Alert!

I've just got home from Morrisons petrol station where I saw such an absolute bargain at the checkout that I feel compelled to inform you of it, dear readers, so that you can rush out and get it for yourselves.

This was the wording I saw on display at the checkout:

Customers spending over £15.00 will receive a voucher for three minutes of FREE air.
Vouchers valid only on day of purchase. 

What the *uck? I am sorry to let that slip out - but I've never seen anything so ridiculous in all my life (except this blog of course). I mean, I appreciate the FREE air (no doubt factored into the £15.00) but I can only have it on the day of purchase? Is there a rush on air or what? Is it in short supply? Is Cameron going to start taxing it or what? I am gutted, absolutely gutted, I cannot pick up my FREE air tomorrow. I am going to complain to Morrisons about this - I spent £100 in the store and another £50 in the petrol station and I can only pick up my FREE air today? What sort of customer service is that?
"It doesn't matter that our car has broken down - if we keep pushing we can make it to Morrisons for our FREE air by midnight."
"I love you, Josh. I'm so glad you spotted that FREE air at Morrisons - now we can be together all day!"

In fact Morrisons have not just got it coming to them from me with the FREE air issue as I'm also going to complain to them that their FREE air nearly got me killed. Unfortunately, after I saw that sign I couldn't stop laughing and I laughed all the way home - it is a miracle I didn't kill myself or someone else with my erratic driving. So I'm lodging a complaint with them for making me a danger to myself and to everyone else. 

Ahhhh ... look how happy this young couple are knowing they have got some FREE air. It will making saving up for their first child soooo much easier.
Well now it's time for me to go back to doing something constructive. I'm going to pump up my tyres on my driveway with my own FREE air and I shall, very generously, give my voucher for FREE air to my neighbour with the one leg.

"Quick - come over to Morrisons the air is FREE all day. I'm getting two  bursts!"

Monday, November 10, 2014

Reality is Dangerous

I know you all thought I was dead. But I still have a few years left in me. So says my taxidermist.

So what have I been doing?

I am not sure - but in the last week I forgot the dentists (again), broke down in Mr T's car and was stuck on the A5 for 3 hours in the dark with Master Jacob only wearing his tennis shorts, the central heating system failed, the school rang me for a second time to remind me about the forms that Master Ben has failed to hand in since September and I gained 1lb in weight despite having gone swimming six (yes SIX) times.

In addition the upstairs bathroom light only works after twenty pulls and the downstairs one blows all the fuses.

Just an ordinary week for Mrs T then.

The good news is the plumber has already come and fixed the central heating. The electrician is coming at 1am, the car is at the garage and I have started a diet.

Everything else is not resolved.

And that was just last week. You don't want to know about the preceding weeks.

Now, sadly, there has been a lot that I have wanted to talk about here on my blog in those missing weeks. Even sadder is that I now can't actually remember what those subjects were. And as a writer who has about 100 notebooks (but who doesn't write in any of them) that is shameful. Still, with any luck, it will all come back to me and there will be a whirlwind of activity on this blog.

Anyway, I have two things to mention.

Firstly, this coming Sunday, I am at the Indie Author Fair in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire where I will reading from my novel and pretending to be a bestselling author.

Anyone who splits on me will be knifed. That's not spits - but splits. Anyone who spits will feel the wrath of my tongue - and that is probably worse than a knife.

Secondly, my novel The Changing Room is available free as part of the Choosy Read and Review Programme - where I give you a free mobi file for Kindle and you give my book an honest and impartial review on Amazon or elsewhere. Now, in my opinion, that is a absolute fantastic bargain - my work of (dubious) genius in exchange for a couple of lines on Amazon. What could be better? Further, I am going to make a tempting offer - anyone who writes to The Guardian telling them they ought to review The Changing Room gets a pair of my old tights and a Christmas hat. It's an offer I know some of you won't be able to refuse. There is so much you can do with a pair of my old tights - hold up David Cameron for instance. I mean - who wouldn't love to see him on his knees begging for mercy whilst you pocketed his Rolex. I know I would.

Well that's it. Accept to say - I would welcome any notebooks for Christmas as I am trying to build a dam in the beaver compound at London Zoo and Mr Beaver has already complained that I am not collecting notebooks fast enough.

Don't be fooled by their cute looks - beavers can be bolshy little bastards.

My Nominees for the US and UK Elections and Other Waffle

It's the early hours of the morning, and I have had a large gin... Late-night alcohol is always a good recipe for writing gibberish. And...