Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Book Finds: March 2017

Each month I showcase a small selection of books that I've loved reading. Some of them might be best sellers, but the majority of them won't be. That said, I didn't do a book finds in February because I had too many other things to share! But, I'm back on track now.

So, what treats do I have to share with you this month?

Well, in some ways this feels like a cheat, because although it's three books, it's a trilogy! It's Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking trilogy:

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Newsletters

I hate being bombarded by emails about stuff, even when I've actually signed up for them. Over Christmas and New Year, with all the sales, I must have unsubscribed from umpteen mailing lists because I was getting them every day. Who has time to look at things like that every day? I don't.

My newsletter comes out just once per month. That's it. The only time I would send a second email in a month would be if there was a special offer for subscribers only - early notification of a price-drop, a money off offer or a freebie for them to thank them for their support.

My newsletters have a reminder of my blog posts from the month and also feature a few things, most of which relate to aspects of my novel The Wrong Kind of Clouds. I also include a short update about what I've been up to over the month.
[Not read The Wrong Kind of Clouds yet? Give it a whirl. The eBook costs less than a decent cup of coffee and lasts longer!]

The two main characters in The Wrong Kind of Clouds are Summer Morris who's a photographer, and LB Stewart who's a detective. My husband is a photographer and each month in the newsletter, I feature one of his pictures (such as this one here).

Boats at Salen on Mull, with double rainbow behind
© Colin Nicol
LB Stewart is a man who likes his food. In fact, he'd rather go hungry than eat a bad meal. Each month, I include in the newsletter a recipe that LB might cook. These might be main courses, cakes, soups... anything really.

Some of The Wrong Kind of Clouds is set in Malawi (a country close to my heart) and features a fictional charity that's loosely based on a real charity I helped to set up. In the book, the charity is called Samala (which means "to look after" or "to cherish" in Chichewa); the real charity is called Chimwemwe Children's Centre (Chimwemwe means "we are happy"). Each month I include a short update about Chimwemwe in the newsletter so you can hear what we're up to.

There's also a few links to things I found amusing or interesting over the month. These expose my eclectic taste I'm afraid and can range from glorious calligraphy, to a video of a dog hilariously failing an obedience test, through miniature mouse shops in Sweden or 3D scanning of a house in Pompeii.

Fancy seeing some glorious pictures, discovering new recipes, or getting my special offers or freebies? Then sign up for my newsletters. No spam, no selling of your details to anyone else and it only lands in your in-box once a month. And when you sign up, I'll give you a free copy of my novella "Gathering Storms" as a thank you.
[already signed up but didn't get the novella? Let me know and I'll send you the links.]


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The first 20 minutes

The first 20 minutes, for me, are the difference between not doing something at all and throwing myself into it wholeheartedly.

After the first 20 minutes of a run (and okay, some runs barely make it past that magical mark), a run can be wonderful. My muscles are warm, my breathing has settled into a pattern... my legs are moving, my shoulders are relaxed and it just flows.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Spotlighter Mini Meet Up StAnza

L-R Me, Sandra Ireland, Stephen Watt
As you may remember, there were 12 new writers selected for "Crime in the Spotlight" slots at Bloody Scotland last September. We've kept in touch and managed a mini-meet-up on Thursday, to support Stephen Watt at StAnza (Scotland's International Poetry Festival, held in St Andrews).

Sandra Ireland (author of the fabulous book "Beneath the Skin") lives not all that far from me, so I collected her from the train station and we headed to St Andrews on a gloriously sunny day. She was going to another event before Stephen's so I dropped her off at the Town Hall and headed for The Byre Theatre to see if I could find Stephen. He was indeed there and we had a natter and a walk around St Andrews (managing to freak out The Byre Theatre in the process who thought they'd lost him!).