Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hallsfoot, Hit List and free giveaway!

Book News:

In case any of you out there are confused by the amount of information that's gone missing on my recent posts, it's not the gremlins (whoever they may be!), but, as part of the continuing legal negotiations with my US publisher, my lawyer has asked me to remove sections mentioning their name and in the interests of working towards an amicable agreement I have been happy so to do. As they say. Just so you know then ... But a heartfelt thank you to all those of you out there who have been and continue to be so supportive throughout, and indeed those of you who've challenged me - I really appreciate it.

Turning to more straightforward literary matters, I'm happy to say that I've finished the final read-through of Hallsfoot's Battle (the second in the Gathandrian Trilogy) and that artist Penelope Cline has agreed to draft a book cover for it. Once that's sorted, then I'm planning to submit Book Two to Bluewood Publishing, and I really hope they like it ...

Meanwhile, The Hit List continues to have a 25% discount direct from the publisher during July - so buy early while there's still time. And I'm equally happy to announce that from Monday 25 to Friday 29 July, I'm giving away 5 copies of The Gifting at Goodreads - so if you'd like to win a copy of this cutting-edge fantasy novel (if I can say it myself at all ..), then please do enter, and best of luck to you all.

As a taster, here's The Gifting's next couple of lines:

They have all failed; it is not simply himself. At least, he prays it is not.

Not to be outdone, For One Night Only gained a review at Brief Encounter Reviews and was also mentioned at the I Love Books Blogspot - many thanks, both! And, equally not to be forgotten, though possibly rather unseasonal, Two Christmases gained a 4-star review at Goodreads - thank you, Lucy.

The Sunday haiku is:

When I sweep the floor
a history not my own
rises with the dust.

Life News:

After building my new website on Sandvox, you can now find out more of the whys and wherefores behind that at the Sandvox site - they're really very nice people, you know.

As you know, I've been having trouble with my car - and we've now worked out that my coolant container is gradually leaking, dammit. So I'm carrying round several bottles of water and coolant in the car just in case of more disasters and I've booked an appointment at the garage next Friday for them to sort it out. Here's hoping I can make it relatively unscathed through the week till then, hey ho.

During the week we also watched The Only Gay on The Estate - well, I watched it while K kept me company and played on the iPad. He must have been paying some kind of attention though as at the end he snorted and complained that Michael, the film-maker and subject of the short documentary, was really not a very nice man at all, but was somehow surrounded by incredibly nice and forgiving friends, boyfriend and family who could, to a man (or woman), do a lot better than Michael. Indeed, I could only agree - Michael's boyfriend was being hugely tolerant and also had some very wise words to say about whether his man's search into his past wasn't about making it right for others, but was only making it right for himself (not a great reason to go digging about in the past, to my mind). And I have to say that the very lovely girlfriend Michael messed around with for 5 years before ditching and fleeing to a gay life in London was a damn sight nicer about it than I would ever be in such circumstances (though her mother, understandably, looked as if she might grab Michael's hand-held camera at any moment and shove it where the sun don't shine ...) and could certainly do a whole lot better for herself. Hell, I'd snap her up in a second myself, if I was that way inclined - though it would have surely been a perfect ending if Michael's current boyfriend decided he wasn't quite so gay after all and went off with her. Or perhaps with the charming and very cute bloke Michael was so incredibly nasty to at school. Either would do. Sigh.

However, I cast aside all irritations on Friday and thoroughly enjoyed a game of golf with Marian - it's ages since we've played due to illness (mine) and holiday (hers), and it was great to get out in the sunshine. Sunshine, my dears - whatever next! I even made a stonkingly good putt at the eighth which I aimed away from the hole to take some kind advantage of the sharp incline it was at the bottom of, and the bloody thing actually went in!! Professional golfers treat this kind of gift from the golfing gods with a nonchalant shrug and a half-smile. I screamed, waved my putter in the air and danced (carefully - you don't want to ruin the grass) around the green, yelling yes, yes yes! Goodness, I am just so classy. And I didn't even win the overall game and I was still smiling when K came home.

Anyway, yesterday K and I went from the ridiculous to the sublime at a thoroughly enjoyable and utterly magical performance of Rusalka at Glyndebourne - it's the second time we've seen it and it's even more perfect and magical than before. A definite recommendation there. Not only that, but whilst in the restaurant, we were treated to a visit by their new chef, the very wonderful Albert Roux, who actually spoke to us at our table, well gosh. Honestly, I went all giggly and girly and gurgled on about how wonderful his starter of veal sweetbreads had been (which it was, totally) - although I was so busy being starstruck and gushy (much to K's shame) that I said sweetmeats instead of sweetbreads - which is of course an entirely different concept. Ah, the humiliation - I shall never be able to look M. Roux in the face again, although no doubt he just thinks it nothing more than the strange food combinations endured by unfortunate British women, poor man. Ah well.

Today, we have popped in to church to pay our respects to the Almighty - some great hymns and ah the incense. You can never go wrong with incense and processions - it's what the CofE does best. Much to my joy there was a cake sale after the service (heaven indeed) and I bought four brownies for tea. Can't wait really until tea-time rolls round. Rather delightfully, the vicar also invited us round for tea and scones in the vicarage next Sunday afternoon (which is very civilised and somehow so very Midsomer ...) so we're looking forward to that, whilst wondering if any murders will actually take place. We'll have to wait and see ...

Anne Brooke

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