Thursday, May 31, 2012

Angels, Sauce and sofabeds

Book News:

I'm happy to announce that June is Pride Month, and I'll be taking part in Beth Wylde's Pride Event on both 1st and 2nd June, well gosh. On 1 June I'm part of the British Belles group and I'll be focusing on my gay erotic fiction. Then on 2 June, I switch writer hats and become part of the Untreed Reads group, looking at my lesbian literary & biblical fiction. It'll be a great party and there are lots of giveaways to be won, so get your frocks out and come and join us. Enjoy, and it's a great way to start the Jubilee Weekend!

Gay comic romance Angels and Airheads has been spending a little time in the light this week: the story received a lovely review at The Romance Reviews, and you can also read a very quirky interview with my main character, Ricky. He's a bit daft, bless him, but really you have to love him ...

Keeping to the subject of reviews, gay short story Where You Hurt The Most gained a 4-star review at Goodreads. Many thanks, Melora.

And I'm very excited that my quirky gay romance School for Doms has been accepted for inclusion in the UK GLBT 2012 Meet anthology, Lashings of Sauce. It's due for publication in July, in both ebook and paperback versions. Closer to hand, gay erotic short story The Delaneys At Home (Delaneys *5) will be published this Sunday, hurrah, so perfect Jubilee reading indeed.

Here are the recent meditation poems:

Meditation 660
Desolation glitters
on the earth
as small stars
across a cloudless sky

each quiet sorrow
a pinprick of pain
the endless question of why.

Meditation 661
A quiet return
to who we are

is possible
when we see how far

our lives
only crystallise

not in being alone
in our own self-worth

but in knowing our part
in the richness of earth.

Meditation 662
In the midst
of overwhelming joy
at returning home
from such long exile

there always remains
the puzzling question
of exactly how much
crockery to pack.

Life News:

Much joy this week as our first pink scented rose is now in bloom, well gosh. I'm hoping its friends will join it soon. Plus our Jubilee petunias (red, white and blue) which we grew from plug plants are now flowering beautifully and will be perfect for this big Jubilee weekend. I've put them in hanging baskets and they're ready to be put up. Must get the bunting out too, and maybe even my sparkly headband with flags. Which I bought from the village shop as I simply couldn't resist. Heck, I might even wear it at our street party on Sunday - you never know!

This morning I have been to the doctors for a review of my new anti-depressants. I've been taking the 10mg ones instead of the 20mg ones for a month now, and I think I've generally been more anxious and also lower - though not at the same time, as that just might be a multitasking possibility too far, even for me. But, it could be worse (I was certainly expecting worse!), and she did say today that it would take me a while to get used to it as I'd been on the other ones for so long. So I'll carry on, keep an eye on things and will make an appointment for three months time. Onward and upward, as they say - I hope.

Today, I'm also waiting at home for our lovely new sofabed to be delivered by John Lewis, though it's not arrived yet. The anticipation mounts. We're going to put it in the reading room and, if it works out and we like it, we'll probably get a similar one in a different colour for the music room. So then we'll have somewhere to sit in a comfy manner upstairs plus beds for visitors, should they take their courage in both hands and ever arrive!

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Houses and haikus

Life News:

A lovely weekend with our wonderful Egypt Group friends in Buxton. Had a fabulous get-together and catch-up and also managed to spend the day in Chatsworth on Saturday which was grand. Honestly, the weather couldn't have been better.

On the way up, we also spent some time in Calke Abbey, which is interesting as the National Trust are conserving it rather than restoring it - so you get rooms which are in decay and it has the aura of a dying house caught in time. Fascinating stuff.

This afternoon, K and I have sorted the garden out after having been away. Lovely to see the purple (actually lilac now the flowers are out) rhododendron, and also how large the sunflower shoots are getting. The excitement mounts, eh! And we've had a very nice cup of tea and cake in the summer house whilst listening to the fountain. Country living has much to recommend it indeed ...

Book News:

A lovely review for Where You Hurt The Most at Goodreads - many thanks, Val, who says (amongst other comments):

I am always glad to snap up the latest fiction from Anne Brooke because the writing is flawless - clean, crisp, minimalist, and elegant - and her insight into the reactions between people is profound. This story flows like a cool drink of water. Recommended!

Gosh, many thanks indeed.

The Sunday haiku is:

This blue waterfall
of wisteria magics
dreams from silver air.

Anne Brooke
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandria Fantasy Trilogy
Biblical Fiction UK

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Books, flowers and the Olympic Blog

Book News:

It's the start of Ebook Fortnight at Vulpes Libris Reviews, where you can find my post confessing how ebooks saved my life, amongst other fascinating articles. Happy (e-) reading.

Gay comic romance Angels and Airheads received an A rating at Brief Encounter Reviews, and over at Goodreads, The Delaneys and Me gained a 4 star review, and Entertaining the Delaneys a 5-star one. Thank you to Kazza for those comments. And, talking of the Delaneys, I've just given the final edits to Amber Allure for The Delaneys At Home, which is due out on Sunday 3 June. Not long to go now!

Meanwhile, there's a sale of all my books over at Books on Board - so hurry over and don't miss out ...

And we GLBTQ UK 2012 Conference writers are not letting the Olympics go unnoticed. We've started a daily Carrying The Torch Olympic blog, and my first post there is all about the joyous cream teas and toilets of Exeter. Perfection indeed!

Recent meditation poems are:

Meditation 658
Power comes
when it will
and leaves
when it must:

its promises
though it’s nothing
but dust.

Meditation 659
In these days
prophets are few
and far between

their wisdom
cooling in the air
while the leaves are green

and if we seek them
their shapes are only shadows,
sight unseen.

Life News:

Returning briefly to the importance of supporting the GLBTQ community, Go All Out seems to be a good place to be, so I've added it to my favourites. The focus there is on building a world where we can all live freely and be accepted for who we are - and there's nothing fairer than that. Come and join me - I make good cake! Well, sometimes, eh ...

The last couple of days have been wonderfully garden-friendly. Our strawberries are developing nicely, the choisya is out, the sunflower seeds are starting to sprout, and the remaining two rhododendrons are coming into flower and are both going to be purple. Bliss indeed. On the minus side however, I discovered yesterday that our internal food bin was providing a home from home for a very determined ant community, so I dumped it all into the outside food bin, and it's being recycled tomorrow. Whilst driving out the interlopers, the food bin closed itself very nicely on my finger and I somehow managed to cut myself. Which is pretty impressive, seeing as it's plastic. Luckily I worked the injured digit free, as otherwise the ants would have been in clover, ho hum.

Today, I have planted out the flowers we've grown from seed - so the beds are now full of our jubilee (red, white and blue) petunias, plus verbena, antirrhinums, sweet peas and cuphea ignea. I looked quite charming in my floppy hat and carrying my trusty trowel. It felt like being in an episode of Midsomer Murders before the body is discovered ...

Later on, I'm getting my hair cut, so I'll be able to see out, and then tonight, K's boss is taking us both out for dinner as it's K's 10 year work anniversary. Well done indeed! And what a star boss he has.

Anne Brooke
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Biblical Fiction UK

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Gift of the Snow and last chance blogs

Book News:

Don't forget that the Blog Hop Against Homophobia is still running until tonight, and you can find my blog about it here. All comments are entered into a competition to win something from my ebook backlist so don't miss out!

In addition, the last stop of my blog tour for Where You Hurt The Most was at Amara's Place, and there's still time (just!) to enter that ebook competition also, but you'll have to hurray. This week, the story has received a 4-star review at Goodreads, so many thanks, Sadonna, for that.

And I'm happy to say that my literary paranormal short story The Gift of The Snow has now been published by Untreed Reads, and was briefly at No 67 in the Amazon UK horror charts (though more literary than horror, to my mind), so thank you to those of you who've bought it and I hope you enjoy the read.

Life News:

I've come somewhat under fire once more this week for being a Christian who fully supports same-sex marriage and GLBTQ inclusion in the church. People are very happy to tell me in detail how wrong and unChristian I am, which is interesting as I don't feel I have to take other people to task for believing in a different way to me. Actually it makes me even more determined to stand up for what I see as reasonable equality and to make it known as much as I can that Christianity is - or should be - as much for the GLBTQ community as it is for the straight one. In fact there should be no difference. We're all human and all fully equal in God's sight, and I'm more than happy to keep shouting that joyful fact. It's good news indeed. For this reason I can thoroughly recommend Changing Attitude who work in the UK helping to encourage churches to be more inclusive of GLBTQ people. Well done to them!

This weekend has been hugely busy. We had the meeting of the Jubilee Street Party Committee yesterday, and I think we're now on track to sorting out the final details of what we're all doing. Only two weeks to go now, goodness me. Also yesterday I made a pretty fine carrot cake with orange frosting which not only tastes good but also looks almost exactly as it does in the book. Golly gosh, that's a first for me, eh ...

And Saturday just wouldn't have been the same without the Elstead Rubber Duck races at lunchtime. So wonderfully English and strangely gripping, we loved it - though sadly our ducks Troilus and Cressida weren't anywhere to be seen in the winning heats. Maybe next year then.

It's also been a plant-filled weekend, which has been great. We bought a lilac phlox, a hebe, 4 cosmos and one broccoli at the church plant sale, plus a purple osteospermum and another sunflower from the village florist. Today, we've visited Rake Garden Centre, where we bought a huge trolley-load of flowers, including nine French marigolds, six salvias, an impatiens, six chrysanthemums, four large fuchsias, two lupins and a veronica. And a partridge in a pear tree (that last one's untrue, btw ...). All now safely planted up in back and front gardens, and very good they look too, hurrah!

Oh, and our azalea and one of the three rhododendrons are now doing pretty well too, as you can see ...

On the way back we also popped in to see Lowder Mill which was open today as part of the National Gardens Scheme. A totally amazing place and if you get a chance to go, I can really recommend it. Beautiful grounds, and so very quirky and peaceful, at the same time. Plus the cakes were magnificent. What could be nicer?

Here's this week's haiku:

On this soft morning
the garden dances in pink
while small birds flutter.

Anne Brooke
Hop Against Homophobia
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Biblical Fiction UK

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Great Blog Hops and the Gift of The Snow

Hop Against Homophobia:

A happy reminder to everyone that the magnificent Blog Hop Against Homophobia is now well and truly on the road and will be visiting a blog near you until 20 May. So there's lot of opportunity to find out about the detrimental effects of homophobia, however subtle, and  the actions people are taking to bring equality and justice to everyone, no matter what their sexuality might be. You can find my blog here, which focuses on the close links between being Christian and being highly GLBTQ-friendly, and other people's blogs here. Hope you have a thought-provoking read, and don't forget a comment on any of the blogs during this event gives you a chance to win a prize. Enjoy!

Book News:

I'm thrilled to say that my literary paranormal short story The Gift of The Snow has just been published by Untreed Reads, and is now available from all good ebooks shops. Here's the blurb:

When Andi moves into her new house, she knows from the outset that it's different. One autumn night, she discovers how different it is when she wakes to find that her past, and the woman she left behind so long ago, aren't quite so far away after all. Will she succumb to her own fear of the unknown or will an old love be strong enough to protect her?

I hope you enjoy the read.

In addition, my gay comic short story School for Doms has just been accepted for inclusion in the UK GLBTQ Conference 2012 Anthology, Lashings of Sauce. So I'm currently working on edits with the publisher, JMS Books, and am looking forward to that one.

Meanwhile, I'm getting more reviews for gay short story Where You Hurt The Most, including three 4-star reviews at Goodreads, one from Blub, one from Stephanie and one from Chris - many thanks, all, for your comments.

Not to be outdone, the Delaneys gay menage series hasn't been doing badly on Goodreads either. Entertaining The Delaneys received a 4-star review, The Art of The Delaneys gained a 4-star review, and Dating The Delaneys received a 5-star review, so thank you to Darien and Kazza for those. Much appreciated.

Here are my most recent meditation poems:

Meditation 655
God’s presence
can be felt
in the rain’s rhythmic fall
and the softness
of snow

whilst his voice
can be heard
in the wisdom
of people
you do not yet know.

Meditation 656
The memory of home
drifts through your skin
in shifting shadows
of dark and light:

both curse and blessing
in a strange land
where the clearest day
becomes your night.

Meditation 657
Eleven years
of poverty and pain
are not enough
to wipe away the stain

of bitterness
which seeps across the earth
when the land cries out
for a purer birth.

Life News:

Very busy week at work this week, plus it's slightly confusing as I'm working Monday, Wednesday and Friday, rather than my usual Monday to Wednesday, so I'm utterly bamboozled as to which day of the week I'm actually in. Must be my age, you know ... Just hope I remember to go into work tomorrow, as there's a very important meeting on and I do really need to be there. Still, if I end up on the golf course as is usual for a Friday morning, I think I shall blame my hormones ...

Finally, is it me, but was the wonderful new series of TV drama Silk which started this week just way too gory for words?? All that stuff about eyes and how to lose them was all rather too much for K and me. Horrid. So not what we want for a pleasant evening's viewing ...

Anne Brooke
Hop Against Homophobia
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK
The Gathandria Fantasy Trilogy

Hop Against Homophobia

I’m very proud to be taking part in the Hop Against Homophobia Day and to stand up for the human rights of all people, whatever their sexuality, gender, race or religion.

I also want to stand up for heterosexual Christians like myself who are 100% behind the drive for GLBTQ equality and same-sex marriage - the media seem at the moment to be concentrating on those Christians who are against the idea, and I think it's important for people to know that we don't all think the same. I'm proud to say I've just joined the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement in the UK to show my support, and hope that other Christians will also stand with me on this point.

As a Christian, I’m also very proud of the fact that I’m a writer of gay erotic fiction, and celebrate love and romance wherever it’s found. To my mind, there’s no battle between being GLBTQ and being Christian, and the sooner the churches catch up with this freedom we have in God, the better. Recently, the Church Times wrote in one of its articles that we have much to learn about equality, truth and justice from society’s approach to homosexuality and faith, implying that God doesn’t always speak to us through the Church alone. Quite right too!

You can find out more about my gay fiction at Gay Reads UK, and about my Biblical fiction (which happily includes a lesbian reinterpretation of a few of the bible stories) at Biblical Fiction UK.

And as a special treat, anyone who leaves a comment on this blog will be entered into a competition to win a FREE ebook from my gay fiction collection. Good luck and happy blog hopping!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunflowers, sales and snow

Book News:

I'm happy to say that Where You Hurt The Most is still doing okay in reviews, which is lovely. It's recently received a review rated A- at Brief Encounter Reviews, one at the Well Read Book Blog, plus a 5-star review at Goodreads, and a 4-star review also at Goodreads, this latter from a reader who usually doesn't read contemporary fiction. Many thanks to all for picking up and reviewing the book.

Meanwhile my blog tour continues, with Day 5 taking place at the Book Wenches site where you can find out why I write m/m fiction. And let's not forget you can also enter the competition to win 3 ebooks from my backlist - good luck.

This week, you can also buy any of my books at All Romance Ebooks in their sale - so buy early buy often. After all, who can resist a bargain ... And at the same time, all my books at Dreamspinner Press have a 30% discount right now, so do feel free to have a browse in both of these stores and pick up anything that takes your fancy. As it were. Happy reading!

I've also sent back the proofed copy of my literary paranormal short story The Gift of The Snow to Untreed Reads, so watch this space in terms of a publication date for that one ...

Here's my most recent meditation poem:

Meditation 654
One fact people
so easily forget
is how much
God loves to laugh

for otherwise
He would have created
a far duller world
by half.

The Sunday haiku is:

In this summer hush
a barn owl floats through the trees:
messenger of dusk.

Life News:

We had a great night out on Friday, having dinner and chat with R&G, along with L&J, so many thanks to all for a wonderful time. The food was excellent too, and I had second helpings of everything available. Bad me ...

Yesterday's cake effort was the Swiss Roll - all went fairly well until it got to the rolling up stage, which was something of a nightmare. However I now have lots of great advice from Facebook friends (many thanks, all), and the joy of it all is it tastes pretty damn good, even though it looks rather weird. Phew ...

Last night was also the grand reopening of The Woolpack in Elstead, so we went along with J (L up in London) for our free buffet and champers. All very nice, and we'll definitely be back. The focus is going to be slightly more Italian, which is more than fine as far as I'm concerned. Apparently the coffee's going to be grand, so I can't wait to try it out. Strangely they'll also be open for breakfast from 6am, but that's rather too early even for me, I fear.

This weekend the weather has been glorious, my dears, glorious. So we've been out whenever possible mowing the lawn, finishing off our second gate (why make do with only one?...), getting more bedding plants in and, most importantly of all, getting our sunflower seeds planted. The big problem there was trying to find somewhere the Russian Giant (ooh err, missus) which can get to 4-5 metres tall would be happy, but hurrah that's where the second gate comes into its own. We hope. To encourage appropriate growth, I also bought a lovely sunflower plant from our local flower shop, Teasels, and that looks wonderful. You can't go wrong with a sunflower really.

And, talking of weather, I've been very impressed with Prince Charles' weather forecasting moment, which still makes me laugh even though I've watched it several times. I tell you, he's a natural ...

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Book Tour Extravaganza and the Grateful Author

Book News:

Well, gosh. This week has certainly been astonishing. Literary gay short story Where You Hurt The Most was published on Monday, and since then the party hasn't stopped. I've never had so many people buy so many copies of one of my books and be so generally very enthusiastic about it. Thank you very much indeed - I'm utterly gobsmacked by it all, and very appreciative. I'm so glad you seem to be enjoying the read.

To put all this amazement and gratitude into some kind of order, I'd like to acknowledge the following with a great deal of thanks:

Seven official reviews have been received, including:

4.5 stars from Joyfully Jay Reviews
4 stars from Hearts on Fire
4 stars from Pants Off Reviews
4 stars at Amara's Place
5 stars from The Novel Approach
A-/B+ from Words of Wisdom Reviews
5 stars from Top 2 Bottom Reviews

Not only that but the book has also gained the following:

26 reviews/ratings at Goodreads, mostly 4 or 5 star

* Reviews at Amazon US where it reached No 48 in the charts, and at Amazon UK where it reached the dizzy heights of No 20 in the charts.

* Additionally, it's already a bestseller at All Romance Ebooks and even has a rating there too, goodness me.

Honestly, I swear it must be something in the water as never, at any time in my writing life, have I had a book be so popular in so short a space of time, if indeed at all. The only thing I can say is thank you hugely.

Meanwhile, the book tour for Where You Hurt The Most is in full swing, with a competition at each stop for you to win THREE ebooks of your choice from my backlist, so definitely worth having a go. Here are the stops and themes so far:

1. An interview with high-class escort Adrian at All I Want And More blog
2. An article about the pleasures of art at Words of Wisdom
3. An interview about my writing life at Long and Short Reviews
4. An interview and extract at Top 2 Bottom Reviews
5. A feature on the Meet An Author Tuesday slot at Pembroke Sinclair's blog
6. An article on change and how to survive it at Tracy's Place
7. An interview with facially disfigured Dan at Pants Off Reviews
8. An article about the healing power of parks at Joyfully Jay Reviews.

So there should be something there for everyone and I hope you enjoy the reads, and don't forget to enter the competition! Good luck.

Other writing news this week is as follows (goodness, there's been more? What fun!...):

* Lesbian paranormal short story The Girl in The Painting reached No 7 in the Amazon UK charts which, after two years of being on the market, is pretty damn amazing. Again, I hope people are enjoying the book.

* Gay romantic comedy The Hit List is still on sale at a 25% discount direct from Amber Allure Press

* Lesbian paranormal short story The Gift of The Snow has just been accepted by Untreed Reads and should be published sometime this month. Further news to follow ...

* At Vulpes Libris, my review of Madeleine Wickham's wonderful romantic comedy Sleeping Arrangements is now available - definitely a book I can recommend to you, and perfect summer holiday reading.

This week's meditation poems are:

Meditation 652
Some discoveries
lie waiting
for years until
we turn and see them

for in the richness
of our secret life
we must be strong enough
to free them.

Meditation 653
Words spoken aloud
change the shape
of the air
into something
rich and rare

for the fact
of them lasts forever
carved in your skin
in the silent place
where your memories begin.

Life News:

On Bank Holiday Monday, K and I braved the metropolis of Kingston (no, it's not improved much in the years since we've been, and if anything I think it's got worse ...) for the joys of John Lewis. They're quite magnificent and how I wish they had an outlet in Guildford, sigh ... Anyway, we ordered a double futon for the Reading Room, and if that works out we'll get one for the Music Room as well. Hey ho, there's a pretentious sentence if ever I wrote one, but what the heck, eh. Live dangerously. We also bought a tea-strainer, a jumper (him), a cardigan (me) and a swiss roll tin in preparation for this weekend's cake. How very suburban we are.

Back home, one of our three rhododendrons is suddenly and delightfully coming into flower and it's going to be a wonderful rich dark pink. Bliss. Perhaps its two friends will follow suit soon. We can but hope. K and I were also thrilled to see a barn owl on the hunt earlier in the week - our first sighting of one at Elstead, and in full view of the house too.

Meanwhile, I'm delighted to see that Barack Obama has come out on a personal level in full support of same-sex marriage. Good for him, and let's hope it can become law as soon as possible in as many countries as possible. It's a matter of justice and equality, after all, so please do consider signing the Thank You form if you're able to. I have. With this in mind, I'm also very happy to say I'm now a member of the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement. Because, to my mind, there should be no divide at all between being GLBTQ and being Christian if you want to be. God includes everyone (and occasionally even straight redheads with a mouthy attitude, if my luck's in and the wind's in the right direction ...), and so should we.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Blog tours and a GLBT-friendly faith

Book News

Whilst it's not officially published till tomorrow, I'm happy to say you can now buy my latest gay literary short story Where You Hurt The Most at Riptide Publishing. Apparently pre-sales numbers have been strong (hurrah!) and I even have my first review from Tracy's Place. Many thanks, Tracy. Don't forget the blog tour for the book starts tomorrow, and doesn't end till 18 March, so there's plenty of time to enter the free giveaways competition. Good luck!

I'm also happy to say that gay thriller The Bones of Summer gained a 4-star review at Goodreads - many thanks, Stephanie. And, not to be outdone, biblical short story Dancing with Lions received a 5-star review at Amazon US - thank you, Melissa.

My most recent meditation poem is:

Meditation 651
Where time perfects the gift
life’s best offerings
cannot be hurried:

see how the hills
breathe out their fullest shape
over centuries

and the rivers
carve their quiet path
to the seas.

The Sunday haiku is:

Goldfinches flutter
and glow amongst the grasses:
our only sunshine.

Life News:

This wonderful image which I found on Facebook really sums up my approach to faith and homosexuality, and is especially apposite as it's a question I've been asked at point blank range this week. For anyone who's still wondering what my Christian stance is on gay and lesbian relationships (and who evidently hasn't been paying close attention to my blog or FB/Twitter posts), I'd like to reiterate that I don't worship a God who hates gay and lesbian relationships, or indeed transgender or transexual ones, and neither could I agree to worship a God who holds those views. Occasionally, God also even quite likes heterosexual people, though we do tend to act as cultural bullies more often, which does irritate Him hugely. Just so you know. Here I stand, as they say, and I can do no more.

Managed to get out on Friday and play some golf, which was a good laugh, partly because my game was such rubbish. I think they must be making the holes smaller or the balls bigger (um, as it were) - as my ability to sink the wretched little white beast was minimal, to say the least. Sigh.

Neighbours L, KM and I have also formed the Jubilee Street Party Committee for our road, and all systems are go for having a great celebratory lunch on the Sunday of Jubilee weekend, hurrah. We've got about 40 people coming so far, so all we need is to coordinate the food and pray very hard for the right weather. Wish us luck. I'm threatening to wear a tiara (ah, if only I had one ...) but I fear it might be a tad too much bling for Surrey. Though really, as an Essex girl, I don't actually think there could ever be too much bling ...

Yesterday's cake attempt was Boston Cream Pie, which was disastrous, my dears, disastrous. It took me about an hour to get the filling right and I was weeping like a crazy woman over the simmering pot - yes, you do have to heat it up whilst beating it. Heck, that sounds bad. In the end I thought it would never thicken up so I added a ton of cornflour to the pesky thing, and now it just tastes of cornflour. In addition, the chocolate topping didn't really harden up but eventually it was thick enough to pour onto the cake, and has just about stayed on it. Luckily, the taste of the chocolate overpowers everything else, but I will not be making this again. Life really is too short.

I was so fragile in the afternoon that K kindly took me to a garden centre, where I bought another wallflower, a senetti, some carnations, three dwarf dahlias and a foxglove. Have now planted or potted all these up, so the garden is once more brimming with colour.

This morning, K and I went along to church, where we twice had the angelic accompaniment of a mobile phone. Being English, we all carefully ignored it and carried on regardless. Which, if God was desperately trying to get his message across by phone, might of course have been a mistake. Ah well. There were also far too many chorus-type songs (bah, we say, bah!) for me, though really one would still be far too many. Give me a hymn and I'm happy.

And this afternoon, L & J from down the road have accompanied K and me to the Chandlers Open Garden event in Elstead. Where we also met S & K from the road as well, so all had a jolly nice tea and cake in the garden. This may all sound just too 1950s for words, but that's just the way things happen here, and very pleasant it was too.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Book tours and happy pills

Book News:

The next month or two are going to be excitingly busy. The book tour for gay short story Where You Hurt The Most starts on Monday 7 May, and includes a competition giveaway for three of my backlist ebooks. So make a note of the date and do pop in - you'll be most welcome. You can also read an extract of the book now up at the Riptide Publishing website.

Then from 11 to 22 June, the anniversary book tour for fantasy novel The Gifting will take place, and you'll have a chance to win a FREE Kindle ereader, as well as other prizes, if you take part in the competition! Further details to follow, but do mark that date in your diaries too. It's going to be fun.

I'm also pleased to say that comic sci-fi story Creative Accountancy for Beginners has been purchased by Reading Library in Pennsylvania, so I hope borrowers there enjoy the read.

Meanwhile gay comic romance Angels and Airheads received a very lovely 4-star review at TWLIB Reviews - thanks for that, Nicci. And, not to be outdone, another gay romantic comedy The Hit List is now available at a 25% discount direct from Amber Allure Press. So the ideal moment to add this one to your shopping cart - thank you!

Over at Vulpes Libris Reviews, you can read all about Megan Taylor's rich and poetic novel The Lives of Ghosts. Another stormingly good book from Taylor and definitely one I can recommend.

My biggest excitement of the week though has been receiving my first piece of fan mail for 2012, well gosh - it really started off my day with a big smile this morning, and huge thanks to the couple who sent it. It's much appreciated.

Here are this week's meditation poems:

Meditation 648
Hidden in the stream
the white stone
calls to me

sings for me –
a voice for me alone
in my dancing dream.

Meditation 649
In our beginning
we know the echoes
of our end –

the flower
already blooming
from the smallest seed

and the bird’s flight
written on the sky’s
clear creed.

Meditation 650
Even the distant glimmer
of the furthest star
travels this far
to reach us

so the smallest hope
we cannot believe
can still weave
a pattern to warm us.

Life News:

This week is the week I move off my 20mg Citalopram happy pills and down to my 10mg ones. I've taken the last of the old stock this morning, so tomorrow I begin my new regime. I know it's good to be slowly coming off them after eighteen months or so, but I can't help being rather worried about how it will affect my state of mind. Honestly, things have been brilliant since I've been on them and I seriously don't want to go back to the horrible mental and emotional state I was in before. Ghastly for everyone really. Anyone, a heartfelt thank you for all the advice I've been receiving today - it's made a big difference. And yes the plan is to come off them slowly so the side-effects are kept to a minimum. I hope!

Anyway, earlier this week K and I actually had a moment or two after work when the sun was out (the sun?! What's that?...) and we could sit in the garden and have a mug of tea. Bliss. Sadly, it's not happened again, but we'll always have the memories, eh. Also, today I have had a lovely lunch with G, and it was great to catch up with her news, especially as we don't seem to have seen each other for ages. Where on earth is this year going?

Oh, and I must say how much we've enjoyed the latest series of Scott and Bailey (or Bott and Scaly as we call them, as it took us an age to work out which one was which, sad to say) - but must there be quite so much domestic trauma? Surely there are some nice men in Manchester ...? Anyway, it was all so traumatic on Monday that K and I had to work our way through a bag of giant chocolate buttons just in order to have the courage to keep watching. Really we need something jollier for a Monday night. I hope the TV schedulers are listening.

Anne Brooke
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK
Biblical Fiction UK