Still a couple of weeks to go, so there's time yet to buy those books for Christmas gifts! That's what we've done this year, sharing our wish lists and buying accordingly. Easy, and you know people will appreciate what they get.
It will be the two of us for Christmas, as the thought of cooking up a storm for the family in my limited kitchen space was just too much after the past months. But we've had visits from my daughter and then my son and his wife recently, which has been lovely. Bedrooms were being decorated when my daughter was here, which meant I was camped in the 'library', but all sorted now. Painting is finishing up this week and next week it's carpets and, finally, the last bit of wooden flooring. Yay!
It's so wonderful to have gone from the left hand pic (shudder at the disorder) to the right hand!
A diamond tumbles into a chasm. Lightning arcs across a starlit sky. A forgotten Evil wakes.
'The tension to know how the story ends made me stay up late one night to finish the last quarter. That’s a cliché, but it’s the truth. If you like fantasies with nail-biting passages, read this book.' Amazon review
My tour of local libraries with River Witch ended with a lovely hour in Cinderford, home of Ellen Hayward whose trial for witchcraft in 1906 inspired the story. Highly appropriate, as the book is currently in a promotion with a handful of others, all of which are based on or inspired by true stories.
Do take a look. Click on the image below to find a range of fascinating tales. Many are discounted, including River Witch, with the eBook a mere 99c/p through to Christmas. (Hint: you can gift Amazon eBooks in your own country, very simple and postage free!)
The cover of River Witch has drawn many, well-deserved compliments, and I'm grateful to the designer Lauren Willmore for its 'ethereal' look, as someone commented.
The cover is in a competition which runs through December, with the most popular going through each week until the winners are found. Choices are by popular vote, and if you would like to give me a small Christmas gift, a click on this link and then a click on Vote, would be wonderful. (And then again next week and the week after, sorry and thank you - if we make it through of course!)
Cover and blurb done, getting through the editing, and on track to release this sequel to Keepers in my February newsletter, just in time for Valentine's Day. It's a novella, and while it can be read as a standalone, I hope those readers will then want to read the first story!
Click on the image to see what it's about. Paperback available from 9 February on Amazon and then in local bookshops.
This wonderful program is aimed at gathering and recording the memories of individual Foresters, with the work around certain themes or, in this case, a building. Occasionally I and other members of Dean Writers Circle get involved, and what fun that is!
On this recent occasion, I worked with my new friend Barbara to pull together her beautifully written snippets of memories around Bilson Mission. The resulting text was then recorded and will form part of the finished project. Read more about Voices, and Bilson Mission, here.
When I came across Wendy's series, I knew I had to have her as a guest. History for kids in the delightful wrapping of time-travelling fiction, with a little hint of magic and a highly personable, clever cat. What's not to love?
Wendy has set herself an ambitious target of 25 books and is currently writing number 18. Read all about it, and Max, of course, here.
WRITERS ARE READERS TOO
Lessons in Chemistry Bonnie Garmus
For once, and it's a rare event for me these days, a highly popular book grabbed me from beginning to end. Read my review here.
As I'm in the throes of editing, it was a good idea to remind myself of this post I did a little over a year ago. Making sure each scene keeps the reader's attention is critical if we want them to say 'I couldn't put it down'.
I hope the writers among you find it helpful - I am!
However you celebrate this season, and whether it's prawns on the beach or full turkey roast, may the time be joyous and restful. Take time to chill, eat too much and go for long walks - on the beach, in the woods or your local park.
In January, I'll do the trad thing of looking back over this year but mostly it will be about what's coming up in 2023. Plenty!
PS: If this email was forwarded to you and you would like to sign up for my newsletter, you can do so here, and download your free copy of Dragon Gift.