Sunday, February 26, 2012

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr DeMille - possibly ...

Book News:

Well, the truth is well and truly out. I am indeed, as the Surrey Advertiser has now showcased for all time, a redhead. I sincerely hope that their rather wonderful pic (please note my much-loved collection of fluffy pens, though sadly they couldn't quite get my snow globes in the shot) will finally stop people strangely insisting I'm a blonde or a brunette. Um, no, as is very evident ... Plus a BIG thank you to Jennifer Maxfield at the Surrey Advertiser who somehow managed to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear and produce a rather good article about gay sex and faith in The Heart's Greater Silence from my mindless ramblings this week. Thank you, Jennifer.

To add to this excitement, I've had a visit today from the very charming Sam Milletti of Milletti Films, who is keen to pitch a ten-minute film about the psychology of the writing life in general and my writing in particular as part of his degree course film assignment. We've come up with a few angles so I'll see next week if his is the one chosen.

Yesterday was our Elstead Writers group meeting which was as inspirational as usual (many thanks, all). I think I now have renewed enthusiasm for battling on with my gay fantasy novella, The Taming of The Hawk, though I suspect progress will still be slow. In the meantime, I've done the second round of edits on Angels and Airheads for Musa Publishing, and have sent them off, so am awaiting the response.

This week, biblical story Dancing with Lions was my bestselling story at Amazon US, and gay short story For One Night Only gained a 4-star review at Goodreads (many thanks, Lennis).

I've now also signed up for the upcoming UK GLBTQ Writers & Readers Conference which takes place in Brighton in September, so am very much looking forward to that. Am hoping to be involved on one of the panels, and also in the novel beginnings session, so watch this space ...

Nearer at hand in terms of timings, I'm very happy to announce that for the whole of next week I will be the Featured Author at Pants Off Reviews, and this will include reviews of my gay short stories, an interview and a fun giveaway. Do pop in and join in the fun - all are welcome!

Finally, to round off your weekend and put the zing back in your week, why not pick up a copy of warm-hearted romantic comedy Pink Champagne and Apple Juice? A classic cocktail not to be missed indeed - enjoy.

The Sunday haiku is:

A glimpse of sunshine
across the silent grasses:
one lone daffodil.

Life News:

Yesterday I finally felt well enough to crack open the champagne we were supposed to have on Valentines Day but I was too ill. Mmmm, champagne - it was lovely, thanks. I really have never met a bottle I didn't like. Bliss. To maintain the universal culinary balance, however, I must needs confess I managed to burn the muffins, alas. I was attempting to be such a Kitchen Goddess too (hmm, as if ...) but I fear the oven is hotter than the recipe anticipates. So we do still have muffins, but the burnt bits have gone in the bin and the chocolate chips appear to have sunk to the bottom and are huddling together for safety (though not warmth). Ah well. Perhaps next week's cookery attempt will prove more successful.

Speaking of being a Bad Wife (of a sort), I decided to be very noble and tidy up my computer desk which has been in a shocking state for weeks. This resulted in the unexpected discovery of the Very Vital USB cable that I accused K of losing a fortnight ago. Hmm, anyone for Humble Pie? It's definitely on the menu for me ...

Meanwhile, the bird excitement here on the estate (as it were) is mounting. A couple of days ago I saw three goldfinches on our bird feeder, and K has now also put up the two nesting boxes we've very kindly been given. We might not quite stretch to installing a webcam to view them more thoroughly, but I do hope something will turn up and move in.

And today's sermon pointer: God is never as narrow-minded or resentful as we are. Well, thank goodness for that indeed!

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Daffodils, coconuts and literary comparisons

Book News:

Some nice news about my fantasy novel The Gifting this week. First of all, for a couple of days, it was my bestselling ebook at Amazon UK, and then the lovely Nithu gave it a 4-star review at Goodreads, and even compared my hero Simon Hartstongue to the quite magnificent Thomas Covenant from the bestselling Unbeliever Chronicles series by Stephen Donaldson. Well, gosh, excellent company indeed! And even more heartening as in my teens and twenties I was a huge fan of Thomas Covenant and I like to think my Simon is in some way the next development of that kind of character.

To add to my successes with Bluewood Publishing, I'm equally pleased to note that today my most popular Amazon UK ebook is historical short story Dido's Tale. Hurrah, you go, gal!

Also today, you can find me at TWLIB Reviews with an article taking a look at the concepts of love and obsession in fiction - all visitors welcome and let me know what you think! Love certainly makes the world go round, for better or for worse ...

At Vulpes Libris Reviews, you can find my review of Simon Van Booy's literary novel, Everything Beautiful Began After. It's certainly a beautiful beginning but I fear the finish is rather disappointing, sad to say. I suspect he's more a short story writer than a novelist, but that's only my personal take on the book.

And I'm very happy that my money from the ALCS author funds has come through for this year, so that's a nice little boost to the bank balance, hurrah, and thank you.

Oh, and this week the Surrey Advertiser has interviewed me about the Guildford setting in gay short story The Heart's Greater Silence, and sent a photographer to take a shot too, so I'm looking forward to seeing that article in print at some point. I only hope they understood me as I could barely understand myself, with all the coughing, snuffling and sneezing ...

Life News:

For most of this week, I've continued to be ill, though I did make it into work on Monday (probably a mistake, as it then took Tuesday to recover ...). I'm feeling a lot more normal (ha!) now though, and heartfelt thanks to some very helpful Facebook friends who've suggested some high-quality catarrh/vomiting remedies. A BIG thank you to you all, as I really seriously needed some help! I'm definitely stockpiling everything I can think of ready for the next nasty bout of the wretched beast.

Also this week, Lent has begun. I was toying with the idea of giving up teasing my husband for Lent, but he is still laughing hysterically at the notion that I might last more than 30 seconds in the attempt (such marital confidence, eh!) so I've decided, along the lines of last year, to give up worrying instead. Much healthier, in my opinion.

Recent Nature News has been that the blue tits finished the coconut bird food we'd hung from the apple tree in the front garden - and then very cunningly angled the empty shell towards us so we could see that they needed more, and soon. Clever, clever birds ... Thankfully, K rushed to replace it so we are no longer in danger of being dive-bombed by half-starved birds when we leave the house. Phew. And today, we have our very first daffodil in bloom in the garden. Double hurrahs and hang out the bunting! I hope some daffodil friends come and join it very soon, but in the meantime we are both still hugely excited by the delights of nature.

Tonight, K and I are off to Woking Theatre to see Yes Prime Minister, so we're looking forward to a few laughs and some political irony in order to round the day off nicely.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blog tours, brandy and brothels

Books News:

I've spent a very happy time contacting the winners of the recent blog tour for The Heart's Greater Silence and getting their prizes to them. Many congratulations to all, and I hope you enjoy the reads and packages you've won!

Meanwhile, I'm very pleased to catch this wonderful article about the importance of ebooks - some great wisdom there, and I do like the understanding that ebooks are books for grown-ups. Well said indeed. Speaking of which, gay short story Entertaining the Delaneys gained a 4-star review at Goodreads - many thanks, Mickie.

And, if you're looking for a good fantasy eread, why not try The Gifting. At only £1.91 at Amazon UK as well as being available at Amazon US, it's a bargain not to be missed. Trust me.

The Sunday haiku is:

After this bleak snow
crocuses rise up like stars
from the silent earth.

Life News:

Sadly, I've continued to be ill in the latter half of the week so haven't done very much at all. I think I feel better today though, and indeed it's the first time I've been outside since Tuesday, so things must be looking up. K and I popped out to see Brandy Mount Gardens and admired their national collection of snowdrops and daphnes which was absolutely stunning. So I'm glad I made the effort. I think it's the last time they'll be open to the public so even more worth the effort indeed.

The fabulous news of the week however is the launch of the Embrace The Rainbow website - which is a safe place for all GLBTQ people, with a particular emphasis on writers and readers, and I can't recommend it too highly. Do visit - it's a very important cause.

Finally, I was much amused this week to find that someone had stumbled upon my blog by searching for "Elstead brothel" in Google. Goodness me, I had no idea Elstead was such a den of sin. Perhaps a career move is on the cards? Since then, I've found out all sorts of exciting titbits, including the fact that up until 2005 Elstead did have a brothel, and apparently pampas grass is a sign of a swingers' household. Well, goodness me. I don't think we could ever afford pampas grass in Essex, and we Essex gals are in any case way too direct for the swinging lifestyle. I shall however never look at those charming tall fronds swaying in the breeze in people's gardens in quite the same way again. But, hey, at least I've solved that particular searcher's problem, should he/she ever return ...

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blog Tour grand finale: sex, faith and bullying

The final day of my blog tour for The Heart's Greater Silence is here. Today (and indeed yesterday but I couldn't blog about it as I've not been well ...) you can find me at:

Riptide Ripples - where I talk about why Riptide Books and I are a perfect fit.
Bitch Factor 10 - where I reveal the close links between sex and faith in my fiction.
Jeff Erno's Blog - where I discuss my own experiences of bullying and how we can all support the vital anti-bullying campaign. It's a subject very close to my heart indeed, as you can probably tell.

I hope you gain something from these articles, and don't forget that if you leave a comment on any of them today, then you're still in with a chance of winning a variety of book prizes. Tomorrow, the winners will be picked. Good luck, all!

I'm also happy to announce that I now have an author page at QMO Books, so many thanks to the lovely Serena Yates for arranging that for me.

Finally, as above, I'm not terribly well at the moment - the usual nasty cold/catarrh attacks, so I didn't go into work yesterday, and I've not slept much over the last couple of days and certainly haven't been eating anything. However, today I think I'm slowly on the mend (hurrah!) as I've actually managed to have a bath and get dressed and clean my teeth - so jolly good news if anyone happens to call. Though I wouldn't recommend it, to be honest, as I still look like a reject from an old Hollywood horror film or, as a friend of mine once admitted: something that died ten years ago but hasn't yet realised it. Ah, such truthfulness is what friends are for, you know ...

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Blog Tour Day 9: of love, romance and angels

Happy Valentine's Day to you all. Today on my blog tour for The Heart's Greater Silence, I'm at Joyfully Jay's site spilling the beans on my own real-life romance and a very special marriage proposal (or two!). Plus don't forget the free giveaways if you leave a comment on the post.

As a Valentine treat, there's even a 25% discount on the book directly from Riptide for TODAY only - so hurry across and don't miss out! As an incentive, there's a lovely 5-star review at Goodreads today as well, hurrah.

Other good writing news is that my gay romantic short story Angels and Airheads is being republished by Musa Publishing in March, and you can see the cover art on that page. I love it.

In addition, don't forget that Untreed Reads are holding a Valentine sale this month, and you can get a copy of my literary lesbian romance A Woman Like The Sea at a 30% discount, so a bargain to be had indeed. Happy shopping.

Anyway, back in the non-book world for a moment, I'm having a very lovely Valentine's Day with my equally lovely husband - except for the fact that I'm actually not very well. I've developed a rather nasty cold today, groan, so I fear I'll not get much sleep (and for totally the wrong reasons, ho hum ...) tonight as I'll be too busy snorting and coughing like an old horse on the sofa (though why there should be an old horse on our sofa is a mystery) whilst swigging Lemsips and Lucozades in my usual fashion. However, the good thing is that the really lovely red roses K sent me today do at least match my nose. Ah well, the champagne will have to be on ice for the weekend ...

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Monday, February 13, 2012

Blog Tour Day 8

For today's leg of my blog tour, you can find me firstly at my own blog looking at fun facts about Guildford (and yes, people, there are some, trust me ...), and secondly at the Literary Nymphs site looking at the inspiration behind The Heart's Greater Silence. Don't forget to leave a comment on either or both blogs to be in with a chance of winning the ongoing competitions.

I'm also very happy to say the story has received a couple of good reviews today: a 5-star one from Sheila at Goodreads (many thanks, Sheila!); and a 4.5 star one at Joyfully Jay Reviews (thank you, Jay).

Meanwhile, in my other life, I'm back at work today, and have managed to deal - fairly successfully, I hope - with the 158 emails waiting for me from my week away. It's actually nice to be back into the routine again - I'm such a creature of habit ...

Plus I'm looking forward to Whitechapel on TV later tonight, hurrah. Utter tosh, but wonderful tosh and such marvellous characters. I'm seriously hooked.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Fun Facts about Guildford

The setting of my literary gay short story, The Heart’s Greater Silence, is Guildford, my nearest town, and most of the action takes place in the church at the bottom of the High Street. One of my friends recently created a brand new genre for my story which she calls Hot Clerical Action, or HCA for short, and she’s not far wrong, but you’ll have to read it for yourself to find that one out!

I used the town as I wanted somewhere I thought of as ordinary as a backdrop for the intense and obsessive relationships that my main character, Mark, is involved with. But actually when I started looking more closely, I soon realised that nothing is as “ordinary” as we think it is, when we start investigating. Not even a town … 

I didn’t know, for instance, that Guildford Cathedral was the setting for the 1976 film version of The Omen – there was a brave decision of the church to make, that’s for sure. Sadly though, even in spite of having a cathedral, Guildford still isn’t a city. It last made an application for city status in 2002 but the Queen decided against it. Shame … Though in this Jubilee Year, perhaps she might change her mind (hint, hint)?

If I’m looking for more obvious literary connections, then I find that Ford Prefect from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy claimed to be from Guildford (good man!), and Lewis Carol, the author of Alice in Wonderland, lived and was buried here. Both great classics indeed. 

Turning to other places of worship beyond that visited by Mark and Richard in my story, one of the oldest sites we have in Guildford is a Jewish one, as in 1995 the remains of a 12th century synagogue were discovered in the High Street. In fact it’s believed to be the oldest remains of a synagogue in Europe, so an important religious centre for all indeed.

Naturally, the town is also a centre of sporting excellence, especially with the new Surrey Sports Park just opened nearby, with a special emphasis on this year’s Olympics (well, we’re only 30 minutes from London by train). But as early as 1598, a court case referred to the game of cricket being played in c1550 at the Royal Grammar School. Keeping tradition alive, the School still exists and still has a cricket team though I don’t think any of them remember that first game …

Finally, the two most likely possibilities for the origin of the name Guildford itself are the yellow (Guild = Golden) sand the river runs through, or the yellow marigolds that grow down by the river. Perhaps not as strange as the other facts I’ve unearthed in my investigations, but certainly just as poetic. I shall never look at my home town in quite the same way again, nor assume any setting I use in my fiction is ever really ordinary.

So, what’s the secret life of your home town, and does it have a quirky fact or two of its own? If so I’d love to hear it! And don’t forget if you leave a comment on the blog, then you’re automatically entered in the below competition:

1. Two contests per stop - the first one being a backlist ebook giveaway for one commenter, and the second one being one signed Heart's Greater Silence cover flat and magnet for another commenter.

2a. I also have two cumulative competitions throughout the blog tour, the first one involving answering 3 questions from The Heart's Greater Silence - with the prize being 3 backlist ebooks for one commenter from the tour as a whole. Please send your answers to: - thank you! The questions are:

(i) What item of his trade is Richard wearing when Mark sees him in church? 
(ii) When Craig discovers Mark and Richard together, what does he do just before leaving? 
(iii) What action does Mark take at the end of the story?

2b. And the second cumulative competition is for a gift certificate to be drawn at the end of the tour - with this NOT being the winner of Item 2a (see above).
Good luck!

(With grateful thanks to the Guildford Fun Trivia site for the facts!)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blog Tour Day 7

Yes, it's already Day 7 of my blog tour and I'm in two places at once today, so hope you'll be able to join me at one or other of them, or maybe even both: first off, I'm looking more closely at the short story format at Brief Encounter Reviews; and then I'm revealing how I started writing The Heart's Greater Silence at Jadette Paige's site.

And don't forget if you leave a comment on any of the blog tour posts, then you're in with a chance of winning a plethora of prizes!

I'm also thrilled to announce that from 23 February to 3 March I will be Author of the Week at Pants Off Reviews - and this will also include a fun competition so mark the date in your diaries to avoid disappointment. I'm very much looking forward to that one.

The Sunday haiku is:

The silence of snow
rises through my cloudy breath
in this frosted prayer.

I'm very much having a chill-out day today, as I'm back at work tomorrow so it's going to be hugely busy for a while. Can't wait for my afternoon nap - bring it on ... Hope you all have a lovely rest of Sunday, and happy snoozing.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Blog Tour Day 6 and the winter garden

Book News:

Here we are at Day 6 of my blog tour, and I'm at Brief Encounter Reviews for the weekend. Today's post is their review of The Heart's Greater Silence, which is an interesting mixed response, so many thanks to PP for raising some fascinating points.

Meanwhile, congratulations to Amara who was the winner of my Amber Allure Spotlight competition yesterday, and so wins The Delaneys and Me, and Entertaining the Delaneys. Happy reading, Amara!

And for the whole of FEBRUARY you can get 25% discount off ALL my Amber Allure titles, so keep yourself warm and cosy throughout the Valentine month - happy shopping.

In addition, literary romance A Woman Like The Sea is currently selling at a 30% discount directly from Untreed Reads, so I hope you give that one a try too. Thank you!

Life News:

In spite of the chill in the weather, K and I have spent a lovely day at The Savill Garden, wandering around and admiring the hellebores, the camellias and the general covering of snow. Thank goodness for the Wellington boot, eh. Lunch in the cafe was greatly appreciated too, especially as they have cappuccino and cupcakes to die for. Mmmmm ....

On the way back, we popped into a couple of garden centres (as you do) and have bought a lot of lavender in the sale, and some Christmas box - which smells utterly glorious. Oh, and I invested in a lavender-scented candle too, so spring in all its splendour is surely in the air. We hope.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy - still curiously unpopular but it might just grow on you ...
Gay Reads UK - more literary than one would expect
Biblical Fiction UK - where God isn't as odd as he's made out to be, possibly

Friday, February 10, 2012

Blog Tour Day Five and a little quirky romance

Book News:

Here we are at Day Five of my Blog Tour for The Heart's Greater Silence, and today you can find me at:

Ren Thompson's site - where you can find out the 10 worst things I've ever done in church, and add your own too, if you like!
Shannon Leigh's site - to discover the secret superpowers I really wish I had.
Ebook Addict Reviews - where you can read about my all-time favourite song and why I chose it ...

And let's not forget that all the competitions are still open throughout the blog tour so don't forget to leave a comment to enter!

At the same time, today is a very special day, as I'm also the focus of this Friday's Author Spotlight at the Amber Heat Readers Yahoo Group - where I'm posting information and extracts about the Delaneys gay erotic series all day long. If you join the group and leave a comment, then you're in with a chance of winning a FREE ecopy of The Delaneys and Me, AND Entertaining the Delaneys - i.e. the first two books in the series. Good luck to everyone!

Speaking of which, I'm very happy to see The Delaneys and Me gained a 4-star review at Goodreads (thanks, Mickie) and a 5-star review at Amazon US (thank you, Lyne). So a red-letter day for Liam and those twins indeed.

And keeping to the subject of reviews, I was also happy to see that gay thriller A Dangerous Man also gained a 5-star review at Amazon US - so many thanks again to Lyne for that one. It's much appreciated.

Life News:

Not much today apart from books, I have to admit. Though today's snowfall has meant no golf this morning, sadly. Which is a bit of a shame, but I did need the time to get on with book stuff (see above!) so perhaps a blessing in disguise ... Hopefully it'll be all bright and warm next week (ho ho) so we'll be able to get out on the course. You never know.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Blog Tour Day Four and a Birthday

Book News:

It's Day 4 of my blog tour, and today you can get to know Mark, my main character in The Heart's Greater Silence, a little better at the Book Wenches Site. Happy reading and don't forget to leave a comment or enter the competition for a chance to win a prize. Good luck!

Life News:

A big Happy Birthday to my lovely husband! We've had a great day today - though it did get off to a strange start when I accidentally gave him his Valentine's Day card instead of his birthday one, groan ... I managed to snatch it back before he'd actually finished reading the verse, but I suspect I may have to get him another one anyway - it's a matter of honour, you know.

And more strangeness at breakfast when Roofer Chappie Number 3 unexpectedly turned up with the scaffolder to take a look at the situation in terms of scaffolding - so while we were enjoying our coffee & porridge, the workmen were measuring the side of the house with a tape measure - how quaint. Always good to watch the servants work while the posh folk eat, dream on eh ... Plus I was rather taken with the older chappie who told me in the tones of an ancient prophet that it would be cold for another month and we'd be lucky to see spring before at least April. We're all doomed, captain, doomed ...

Anyway, after they'd departed, as part of K's present, we both attended the Roses Pruning and Maintenance morning workshop at Wisley - which was fantastic and very useful indeed. We shall set to with our pruning with much more confidence now, thank goodness. We then had lunch at the cafe, a walk through the spectacular butterflies in the glasshouse, and a wander round the really very chilly gardens (I fear my roofer prophet might be right ...), before spending our hard-earned cash in the shop. Mainly on roses equipment and two new climbers for the garden gate. Bliss.

Tonight it's definitely a champagne supper and celebrations all the way to the finale, hurrah!

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Blog Tour Day 3

Book News:

Today, Day 3 of my Blog Tour for The Heart's Greater Silence, you can find me at Amara's Place, where you can read about what animal I'd love to be, and what I'd probably end up being (sigh ...!) - don't forget to leave a comment in order to enter the giveaway competition and let me know what animal you are at the same time. I bet yours beats mine.

Keeping to the theme of gay fiction, I'm delighted to see that short story Give and Take has received two 4-star reviews at Goodreads - one from the lovely Brita Addams, and one from the equally lovely Michi - many thanks indeed to both of you.

Turning briefly to my lesbian literary fiction, I was very happy indeed earlier today to see The Girl in The Painting at No 7 in the Amazon UK gay and lesbian stories chart. Gosh indeedy. I'm delighted it's still selling and I do hope readers are enjoying it.

Here's today's meditation poem:

Meditation 623
Doing what’s good
is so wearisome
when the whispers of evil
excite us

but beware of that call
as evil has teeth
and is likely to turn round
to bite us.

Life News:

Yesterday evening's MAJOR domestic disaster was Bad Me spilling half a glass of our best port all over the lovely cream carpet of my husband's study. Groan ... Well, that'll teach me to all but snatch it out of his hands in order to have a quick taste, won't it ... All those Wife Points lost in one fell swoop, alack and alas. Naturally we rushed into action with stain remover, kitchen towel and water (him) and much weeping (me - well, every drama should have a sound track), and I think we might just have managed to salvage something, but I fear it may never be quite the same again. However, many thanks indeed to all those lovely online folks who have offered essential tips and support, and I will be sure to have all your suggestions in the store cupboard for next time imminent disaster threatens.

This morning, I have attempted to Make A Cake (capitals deliberate as I'm not a natural baker so this is a Big Commitment for me) - well, it's my husband's birthday tomorrow and he said how much he liked the Lemon Drizzle cake I tried to put together a couple of weeks ago, so I am having another stab at it. I must try to claw back those missing Wife Points somehow, you know. I think it'll be okay - though I do appreciate I'm supposed to blend the butter into the mix instead of leaving it in little pieces as my arms were so tired with all that stirring. The result was that halfway through I had to take it out of the oven and pour off the heated butter which was gathering together for safety on top of the cake before it drowned entirely in its own juice. Hmm, it's the thought that counts, I suppose. Still, I shoved some icing on the top to cover my shame, and I'm hoping for the best. Hey ho. I suspect the TV Series, Cooking with Anne, remains a distant dream ...

Tonight, we're off to the theatre to see The King's Speech - I've already seen the DVD, so it will be interesting the live version of it - and will also be the first time K has seen it, so I'm hoping it will be a treat for him. Perhaps it will take his mind off the cake?...

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Blog Tour Day Two

Book News:

Today on my blog tour you can find me at:

It's Raining Men - where you can discover the importance of setting in my fiction
Miz Love - where my ideal career is finally revealed!
Dawn's Reading Nook - to find out what my husband really thinks about me ...
Louisa Bacio - to take a walk on the dark side.

Not only that but you can get in the mood for tomorrow's blog tour stop over at Amara's Place, and see some of her very lovely jewellery too.

Meanwhile, it's the absolutely LAST day for you to buy a copy of fantasy novel The Gifting and get a FREE ebook from my backlist - so act fast so you don't miss out ... Happy reading.

Today's meditation poem is:

Meditation 622
To understand the man
look first at his mother
and see how the blood
really flows.

For all of her wrongs
will be multiplied twice
but as for her goodness –
who knows?

Life News:

Today, I've had a lovely time having my rebalancing facial and an eyebrow wax at the Elstead beauty salon and very enjoyable it was too. The therapist was particularly good at the eyebrow defuzzing and I hardly felt a thing. No, honestly. So now my eyebrows are utterly perfect in every way and I can even see out, hurrah! How glorious the world is now I'm not staring at it through the brows of a yak, hey ho. I might even have it done again sometime.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy - last day of the FREE offer!
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Monday, February 06, 2012

Blog Tour Day One

Book News:

Yes, it's here at last, hurrah. My literary gay short story The Heart's Greater Silence has been published today and you can find it at Riptide Publishing, All Romance Ebooks, Amazon US and Amazon UK, alongside other major ebook stores. Happy reading to all.

At the same time, today is the first day of my blog tour which will last until 16 February. There are loads of prizes and giveaways, so do pop in and leave a comment or enter the competition for a chance to win THREE ebooks from my backlist - there's nothing to lose and everything to gain. Today you will find me at Top 2 Bottom Reviews where you can find out 10 very strange things about me; and Long and Short Reviews where you can discover what 5 items I'd take to my own desert island.

Today's other book news is that it's Day 6 of the Buy One Get One Free offer on The Gifting - so there's still time to pop a copy into your shopping basket and get a FREE ebook from my backlist. Don't delay, as the offer only lasts till Tuesday 7th Feb ...

Meanwhile, literary gay short story Brady's Choice received a 4-star review at Goodreads - so thank you to Meggie for that.

And, speaking of Amber Allure Press, I will be their Spotlight Author on Friday 10 February and this event will include a FREE giveaway of a backlist ebook, so please do pop along to that and join in the fun there too. You'll be more than welcome.

Finally, here's today's meditation poem:

Meditation 621
So many voices
in the world
pushing at my ear’s
tender skin
in an attempt
to be heard

when only one voice
is needed
and its final arrival
makes the harsh demands
of every other whisper
faintly absurd.

Life News:

Not a great deal has happened today which isn't writing-related, except the snow appears to be melting - so a cause of great celebration indeed. Oh, and I am enjoying a week off to use up my holiday days before the end of March, which is the end of our holiday year. So that's lovely.

Plus, in a less lovely way, I did get an email from British Gas asking me to give them a meter reading online. Bearing in mind the series of disasters which took place the last time I attempted to do this - including an inability of their website to recognise me as a customer at all, several abortive attempts to contact them by telephone, and the fact their engineer eventually turned up to read the meter - I've told them I won't do this but to simply send the engineer instead to avoid customer disappointment. No response yet, but we won't wait up, eh ...

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy - still time for a free book!
Gay Reads UK - naughty but nice
Biblical Fiction UK - because faith turns up when you least expect it

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Blog tours and beauty

Book News:

Well, it's almost here - as of tomorrow until 16 February, my literary gay short story The Heart's Greater Silence is going on tour and will be appearing at a variety of venues at a computer near you. Don't miss out! Especially as there's a big bag of goodies and other fun stuff to give away while we're travelling. Plus don't forget you only have till Monday 5am UK time to preorder and be in with a chance of winning a year's supply of books - happy shopping! Also because of the tour, I'll be posting a quick blog each day to update you as to where I am and what I'm up to (in the politest possible sense, naturally ...).

In addition, I'm pleased to say that I've received a few very nice reviews for The Heart's Greater Silence in the past couple of days: there have been three 5-star reviews at Goodreads, one from Nithu, one from Suzette, and one from Aija. Thank you so much to all of you, both for reading and commenting. Plus there's also a lovely 4.5 star review at TWLIB Reviews - many thanks indeed, Nicci.

Meanwhile, my Buy One Get One Free offer continues - so if you purchase a copy of my fantasy novel The Gifting in ebook OR paperback version, you get a FREE ebook from anything on my backlist as well. This offer absolutely has to end on 7 February so don't miss out on that one either!

Keeping to the subject of The Gathandrian Trilogy, I was thrilled to receive back the first impressions from my independent editor in response to the final part of the trilogy, The Executioner's Cane. She very kindly said it's a "powerful evocative final book for the trilogy." Gosh, thanks, Sarah! This was especially welcome as the so-far poor sales record of The Gifting has left me feeling rather down recently, and I was wondering if I had the ability to finish it properly at all. Well, maybe I have, and maybe it's not as awful as feared. I hope not anyway. I'll certainly be getting lots of edits and alterations from Sarah (I hope - as I really love getting my teeth into a good editing task), but now I feel there might be something there worth improving. You never know, eh.

Other book news is that there's a 20% discount on my Sunday Haiku collection direct from the publisher, so it's the ideal opportunity to slip some nature poetry into your shopping basket. Enjoy. Speaking of which, here's my latest Sunday haiku:

This golden evening
dreams away the honeyed time,
making winter warm.

Life News:

As both a traditional Christian and a staunch believer in LGBT equality, I'd like to draw your attention to this petition to allow vicars to bless the civil partnerships of gay and lesbian couples in church in the UK. It's something I believe in very strongly indeed and I've already signed it, so I hope some of you out there will consider signing it also. One day - surely! - the church has to show at least some understanding of equality and justice ...

On a more practical level, our roof problems continue. The third roofer chappie came round for a third time this week to discuss options, and he's coming round again next week with a scaffolding expert so he can begin to get together a proper quote for us. Really, it's all fun and games here in the shires. As always.

Plus there's wonderful local news: I've won a free MOT with our local garage in Elstead, so I'm looking forward to taking that up later in the year. And my neighbour and friend, L, and I sipped champagne on Friday afternoon at the reopening of our local beauty salon, hurrah, and hic! It looks marvellous, and we've both booked treatments for next week. I'm having the rebalancing facial and they're going to cut through my eyebrow hedge at the same time. Good luck to them on that front, eh ... Honestly, I'll be a new woman next week - you won't recognise me.

Astonishingly, I also managed to win our golf game on Friday morning - I can't remember the last time I beat Marian so we were both severely shocked. Perhaps I've been swopped with an alien? Who can tell ... I've also had a haircut which I'm very pleased with and can now see out (well, apart from the eyebrows problem), hurrah. And on Friday evening, we had L & J, and R & G round for dinner, which was fabulous. Our first dinner party at the house, dahlings - what fun! K really pushed the boat out, and we ate pate and crispbreads, followed by mushrooms in Yorkshire pudding with potato wedges and green beans, all finished off with pears roasted in honey and pine nuts with clotted cream. Oh and not forgetting the cheese & port course, and coffee and chocolates. Bliss .... That should keep us nicely going through this sudden onset of winter.

Because, arrggh, the snow! Horrid. Though thank goodness it appears to be melting. Let's hope that continues. After all, I don't want anything coming between me and my new eyebrows next week, ho ho ... Perish the thought.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy - critically acclaimed but commercially sagging
Gay Reads UK - for intelligent kink (as it were)
Biblical Fiction UK - for a new look at those old stories

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Buy One Get One Free and Roof Disasters

Book News:

Fantasy novel The Gifting is currently being advertised on the Kindle UK Users Forum until 7 February, so if you buy a copy before then, you also get a FREE ebook from anything on my backlist. I am indeed the Queen of the Offers this year (as it were) so happy shopping!

Meanwhile, don't forget that my gay short story The Heart's Greater Silence is less than 72 hours away from being released to you if you've preordered it. And if you haven't, I believe there's still time to do so and also enter into the Riptide competition to win FREE ebooks for a year, so don't miss out ... Speaking of which, there's a lovely 5-star review at Goodreads just in today, so thank you, Jeff, for that. So pleased you enjoyed the read. And don't forget my blog tour will start on 6 February and there will be lots of goodies and prizes to win, as well as some exclusive extracts, so I do hope you'll join me. I'm sure it's going to be fun.

At the same time, there's a whole baggage of exciting book news this week, which I will list below for ease of understanding:

1. My gay thriller A Dangerous Man is one of the entries for the LGBT Scholarship auction, so please feel free to make a bid and support a very worthy cause. It will end on Sunday 5 February, so there's still time - just! Many thanks.
2. Gay romantic short story Angels and Airheads will be published by Musa Publishing in September, so I'm looking forward to that.
3. Gay erotic short story The Delaneys and Me gained a 4-star review at Goodreads - thank you, Sandra.
4. Not to be outdone, Dating the Delaneys also gained a Goodreads 4-star review - many thanks again to Sandra.
5. Literary lesbian short story The Girl in The Painting was for a time at No 7 in the Amazon UK Short Story charts, which was lovely. It's down to No 25 now, but hey I'm still smiling. It is odd though how people are buying it (for which thank you!) but nobody seems to want to talk about it afterwards. Perhaps it's a secret vice, even though there's no sex in it at all? It is indeed a mystery but a nice one.
6. Another literary lesbian short story A Woman Like The Sea is also subject to a 30% discount at Untreed Reads for the whole of February, so why not give it a try? Again, no sex, but a whole lot of emotion. Enjoy!
7. Two copies of my biblical short story A Little Death have been bought by a library in Indiana, so that's very positive too, well gosh.
8. And, finally, you can now find all my romantic stories and novels in one place at my page at Romance Reviews, so happy browsing there too.

Today, you can find my review of Lisa Jewell's chicklit novel 31 Dream Street at Vulpes Libris Reviews. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was greatly pleased indeed that the main character was a man - good for you, Lisa!

This week's meditations are:

Meditation 619
Everything new begins
with the destruction
of something old

for there is a balance
in the universe
as our stories unfold

and all that fades
is exchanged
for everlasting gold.

Meditation 620
Money has the gift
of deadening thought

where each fresh idea
dies when bought

so all our dancing life
remains uncaught.

Life News:

Jolly cold here in the outback, Captain, I must say. Golly gosh, have we been transplanted to Russia and nobody's told us?? It wouldn't surprise me. Suffice it to say that my thermals are in good use this week, and I even wore them to work for the first time ever. Another weather first was earlier in the week I snuggled up in front of the TV with a blanket round my knees. Not the sexiest image you could think of, I admit, but I have to say it was bliss. I am indeed turning into my grandmother after all and any day now I will be taking up knitting and developing a Geordie accent. You heard it here first ... I'm now wondering if I should invest in a slanket or a snuggie - yes, it is sad that I know these phrases - but I'm not sure K's reaction would be positive.

Mind you, with the way things are developing with our Roof Problem, a slanket may turn out to be a wise option yet. Our third roofing man turned up today to give us a quote and he too thinks it's not good news and the whole lot will have to be redone. He's even coming back tomorrow with a friend so he can take a proper look at the really disastrous parts, ah well. Which in a strange sort of way is actually reassuring as we're therefore not being taken for a ride by the first chappie. No news yet from Chappie No 2 however - perhaps he was just too traumatised by it all. Not only that but in chatting with the neighbour today, it appears that the roof of our house has always been an issue and in fact the extension roof doesn't fit properly with the original one. As this is exactly what today's man said too, I suspect there'll be trouble ahead, my dears. The only mystery now is whether Chappie No 3's quote will be four figures or five.

I'd best start knitting then. Anyone willing to buy a jumper? My prices are good, hey ho ...

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK