Back From the Dead

 

LY

Thirteen years ago one cold foggy evening I held a knife to my husband’s throat. We weren’t married then and after that I’m very surprised we ever did get married.

Those were bleak days. I would pack a suitcase every weekend and leave him. It may have been for something as stupid as him making a comment on my washing up. I cried all the time. I felt like some other being had possessed my body when I wasn’t looking and was now determined to destroy all I held dear to me.

The knife incident was the final straw. It was one month before Christmas.  Andrew didn’t want to be murdered before the festivities. You can’t really blame him and frankly I didn’t want to spend my life behind bars for killing him. Although I feel sure I would have got off due to hormonal imbalance and me not being of sound mind, although it can be argued I’m not of sound mind most of the time anyway. But that’s a whole other blog. I was also suffering severely from Bartholin cysts. If you’ve never heard of them they are little cysts that develop on the inside of the vulva, on, of course, the Bartholin gland. They make it hard to sit down. They throb and sometimes bleed. Taking a pee is nightmarish. The many years I had them no doctor seemed to know how to treat them. By the time I got an appointment to see a doctor they would have gone down. I was given creams, antibiotics and told to shower rather than bath. The antibiotics helped but the cysts would always return.

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So, I went to the GP. Of course, some may have said I needed a psychiatrist but I felt the GP was good to begin with. He was.  I was told I was peri menopausal and put on hormone replacement therapy. My life changed. The terrible tension I had suffered stopped. The cysts went away and never came back. The migraines I had been suffering with for many years stopped. My eyes, which were always dry and gritty suddenly felt normal. It was like a miracle had happened. I continued taking Femoston 2/10 my HRT tablet for the next thirteen years. But then my periods got heavier and more painful. I began having brown staining before a bleed. I went back to the doctor and asked if I could change to something else that would perhaps stop my periods. I felt sure they must have stopped and I was simply having a break-through bleed on the cyclical HRT. This was the beginning of a whole new nightmare for me. They began telling me I had been on the HRT for a long time and it was time to come off. You know what they say about opening Pandora’s box or poking a hornet’s nest? Don’t do it. I changed doctors for a completely different reason and went to request my HRT medication and was told I needed to see the doctor first. I made an appointment and saw a male doctor who banged angrily on the table when I told him what I wanted and declared ‘I would not get that poison from them’ My blood pressure had been slightly raised on a previous visit and he told me I could have a heart attack or stroke any day. I did not leave feeling reassured.

I like to be in charge of my own body. After all it belongs to me. My quality of life matters only to me and those closest to me. A GP who doesn’t really know me has no idea the kind of nightmare I am living. To refuse me a drug I had been on for 13 years was both distressing and worrying for me. I was fully aware of the risks and took as much care as possible to check on them. The buck was passed to the menopause clinic at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxfordshire. I met my consultant and after a long chat she agreed that if my quality of life was severely affected then I was a candidate to stay on HRT for as long as needed, but it is always a good idea to wean off if at all possible.

Let me tell you weaning yourself off something that not only helps you feel like a normal functioning adult and also does wonders for your skin and the aging process is not an easy thing to do. However I agreed to go on a patch which I was assured would stop me bleeding. However, three months and I was still staining badly a week or more before my bleed. The stomach cramps were now worse and continued past my break through bleed. An ultra sound was arranged. It showed a thickened womb lining. I was given a different medication to encourage bleeding in the hope this would eventually thin the lining. It didn’t. A second US showed the lining was still thick. It was decided a hysteroscopy should be performed so they could look inside and if anything needed removing they would remove it. So, under I went and they discovered multiple polyps which were removed. My womb lining was scraped and home I came. Weeks later I went back on my old HRT and felt fine. Then after a few months we tried the patches again and I attempted to reduce my dosage by cutting a small piece off each time.

 

Then the nightmare began. I suddenly went from being a happy fun-loving woman to a grumpy, exhausted wreck. My joints began to ache. Tiredness overwhelmed me. It would take me twenty minutes to make the bed. I would stop to lie on it several times in between changing the sheets. I was tense, irritable, and no fun to be around. My eyes were dry and gritty again. I couldn’t work. I kept crying. I couldn’t pull my aching tired limbs from the bed in the morning. My sex life was non-existent. I didn’t care if I never had sex again. My back ached. I moaned. Cooking dinner was a chore that wore me out. I was a shadow of my former self and no one seemed to care aside from Andrew. I googled joint pain and tiredness. I came to the conclusion that I was suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome again along with fibromyalgia. Some people even suggested this may just be my age. At a certain age you stop wanting sex apparently. But I also noticed that the day before I was due to change my patch I suddenly felt increasingly worse but would feel marginally better the following day after the new patch had been put on. This encouraged me to contact my consultant at the menopause clinic and to also do some more research myself on HRT, the risks, the preparations, the delivery and so on.  I also researched Tibilone. I was also tired of being tired and of not feeling sexy anymore. I pushed my case as hard as I could and requested Tibolone, fully expecting to be refused. However, my eyes were so red and sore that she was convinced I was tearful. ‘We can’t have you like this,’ she said understandingly. My blood pressure was taken, the risks of stroke were laid out to me. I said I understood and wanted to try it. My blood pressure unfortunately was 140/80 and considered far too high. I explained that I had been anxious about attending, had a difficult time parking, eventually sliding my Seat into a disabled space. She agreed to me having my blood pressure taken at my GP surgery and arranged a blood test to check my oestrogen level.

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That evening she emailed me. Hurrah, I was extremely low in oestrogen. I had not been absorbing the patch very well. That night on her advice I went back to taking HRT in pill form. The next day I felt brighter, more energetic but still with joint pains. I collected my Tibolone later that day and started it that night. I woke up the next morning and felt so much better. We went out with my stepson and grandson and larked around Waddesdon Manor. I returned with my husband and met friends for lunch. We came home and then I went shopping. I felt more alive than I have in months. Today was my second day on Tibolone and let’s just say there has been a little more action in this cottage than there has been for some time.

Yes, it could all be in my mind. Maybe I expect to feel better but I can’t explain why my eyes are back to normal. Why I feel happier, why things feel and seem so much better. It’s like being brought back from the dead and that really isn’t an exaggeration.

I’m not advocating HRT for everyone but I would certainly recommend it if you are suffering terribly from menopausal symptoms. Do check out the risks yourself and if someone tells you ‘It’s just your age, don’t accept it’ You can get older and still have a life.

I shall be monitoring my symptoms over the next few months and I am very much hoping that things stay as they are today.

 

Don’t Kill the Husband

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I’m going to see my consultant tomorrow to discuss HRT yet again. I’m not feeling very hopeful.

I’ve spent the weekend researching as much as I can about hormone replacement therapy.

I’m suffering. I know other women are suffering too. I’m afraid. Afraid of the side effects of HRT because the side effects are all they drum into me whenever I have a consultation about it.

I’ve gone from pills to patches. I’ve gone from high oestrogen levels to low oestrogen levels.

I’ve bled consistently and then not bled at all. I’ve been manic enough to put a knife to my husband’s throat.

Two days ago I felt so ill that I wouldn’t have cared if I died. I was totally exhausted. It was an effort to climb the stairs. Every joint ached. My knees hurt, my head ached. My eyes felt sunken. The pain in my shoulders was unbearable. I was tired and yet I couldn’t sleep. I felt weak, unable to focus and my skin was drier than it has ever been. It took me twenty minutes to make the bed and even longer to get out of it. Last night I changed my patch and felt somewhat better. Not a coincidence. Hormonal imbalance is debilitating and any doctor who disagrees needs to train themselves better in women’s health.

My sex life is non-existent.  I’ve gone from being a sexual woman to one who couldn’t care less in a matter of months.

My oestrogen intake was vastly decreased when I changed to patches. I only wish I had researched this earlier but I stupidly believed and trusted the doctors. It is only now after my own vast research, do I understand what is happening to me.

My eyes are always dry. Some days the grittiness makes it impossible for me to focus on my work.

Tomorrow I am going to demand more oestrogen. I’m going to request a preparation that will give me back my sex drive. After all, I’m not over the hill yet.

Wish me luck. I don’t imagine it will be easy and I only hope I come home victorious.

 

 

Christmas Cheer to you all

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So, I haven’t been on my blog too much these past six months or more. In fact I haven’t been on social networking much at all, aside from Twitter. Twitter, of course, is easy, quick and doesn’t take much effort and energy and effort seems to be seriously lacking in me lately. BUT … I’ve decided the New Year will see a more relaxed and hopefully more energetic me. I hate to complain. I feel it is important to be positive no matter what the situation. I’m looking into ways to ease my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I really don’t want to be giving in to it or being negative about it.
The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I mentioned in a previous blog. It has not improved as much as I had hoped but hey, there are people worse off than me. I’ve also had a fair bit of pain which apparently can be part of it. But I have refused to slow down or change my lifestyle, so inevitably the pain and tiredness has increased some days. Where I use to get buoyed up when social networking, I now find I don’t so much, BUT that is about to change.
I’m writing more. It’s what I love but I’m also being kinder to myself. I intend to interact more on social network sites in the New Year. After looking into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and thyroid problems I am starting to think there is a connection. By the evening I feel quite exhausted and stress of any kind just aggravates the condition. I’m aware I need to reduce my stress levels and I’m working on that. I find I need to limit what I do, which is frustrating for me. I read much on Facebook of people who have joint pain and tiredness and only now do I realise just what they go through. My thoughts and sympathies go out to you. However, after all this research, I have decided not to slow down in any way. I have a lot of books I want to write. A lot of books I want to read and a lot of living that I want to do. CFS is not going to stop me doing any of that.
Christmas is upon us and as usual we have been busy celebrating in our village. We have our street advent calendar and this year we are number 18. All year we have our little stone animals in the garden which we move around on a regular basis. The school children like looking for them. So we decided what better than to give the animals their own nativity scene. It’s been very popular.
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There have been many Christmas parties and dinners and we still have more before the Christmas season is over.

A Christmas Romance Design!
My Christmas novella ‘A Christmas Romance’ is doing fabulously well and I am thrilled. The village of Little Perran where the novel is set has become a real favourite of mine and I can’t wait to start a new story there and hope to produce one for the summer. Meanwhile I am finishing off my new romantic comedy which should be out in the spring of 2016. I have wonderful readers and want to thank all of you for buying the books and also for reviewing them. I hope I continue to give you as much pleasure next year as I have this year.
I have made some lovely friends, many who visited me for the book signing at my house. To all my lovely readers, thank you so much for your support this past year. You make it all worthwhile.
Merry Christmas to you and thank you to all those that have sent us cards and I look forward to interacting more with you in the New Year.
To all those who have bought my books, thank you so much. I appreciate it more than you can ever know and your reviews have really made my year.
Much love
Lynda
xx

Woo Hoo, Christmas Is Coming

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Christmas is not far away. I love this time of year. Lot’s of great things happen don’t they?

So, what better way to celebrate than this!

Today for one day only my new Christmas novella ‘A Christmas Romance’ is only **99p**

I couldn’t let Black Friday and Cyber Monday come and go without doing something special could I?

So hurry over to Amazon here and get yours.

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Coming soon is my Christmas newsletter. So if you haven’t signed up for that then please do. Just go to the right hand side and scroll down to the newsletter subscription and simply click.

Meanwhile here is a little extract from the Christmas novella … Enjoy.

 A Christmas Romance

Lynda Renham writing as Amy Perfect

Chapter One

Frankie opened the oven door and gently prodded the fruit cake, the rich aroma making her mouth water. Fruit cake was her favourite. She wiped her hands on her apron and began cracking eggs into a bowl. There were just the fairy cakes to make now; the mince pies to go into the oven and the filling into the sponge, and she would be finished. She turned from the bowl and stopped to drink in the view from her kitchen window, the smell of a freshly baked Victoria sponge wafting past her. The tree in the garden twinkled under the dusting of snow that had been falling gently all morning, and she reminded herself to get some Christmas tree lights to go around it. This was going to be one of the coldest winters in years. The weather forecast predicted a white Christmas and Frankie was looking forward to cosy evenings by the fire with a hot chocolate and a good novel. The kitchen was lovely and warm with the heat from the oven but she still shivered at the sight of the falling snow. Then, not for the first time, she wondered what Paul was doing right now. Of course Christmas in Australia would be very different from Little Perran. Frankie couldn’t imagine Christmas on the beach. It seemed unnatural. She shook her head, irritated with herself for thinking about Paul, and turned back to the bowl of eggs. She didn’t need a man in her life. She was coping very well, thank you very much. Her eyes fell on the small Christmas tree in the corner of her living room. Buster slept happily underneath it. It was no good telling a dog that only presents go under the tree. I wonder if they have a Christmas tree in Australia, she thought idly. Of course they do, she reprimanded herself. After all, it wasn’t the back of beyond was it? She beat the eggs angrily. She must stop thinking about Paul. He was most likely sunning himself on the beach with …

Her thoughts were halted by a tapping on the back door. Birdie popped her rosy cheeks around it and sniffed appreciatively.

‘Primrose Cottage always smells good,’ she said, quickly closing the door. ‘It’s bitter outside. I went to the library but you weren’t there.’

‘I took the day off to bake cakes for the Christmas fete.’ Frankie felt the cold air brushing against her bare feet.

‘And fabulous they look too,’ said Birdie, pulling off her wellies and throwing them outside the back door.

Birdie’s thick brown hair had been wound into a tight plait which she had secured at the nape of her neck with a hair pin. Her cheeks were rosy from the cold and her lips pink where she had applied some lip salve.

‘I’m knackered. I’ve been cleaning out. That’s the trouble with having the animals inside. And the tractor is knackered too. Ben has asked Joe to come and look at it for us. Aren’t you glad you’re not a farmer? I wish I worked in a library. Mind you I’d be reading all day.’

Frankie laughed.

‘You’d be bored to death. You know how you love the outdoors.’

Birdie spotted the Christmas cake on the kitchen counter and gasped.

‘You’ve made it?’ she said, looking at the cake admiringly.

‘That was the easy bit. I’ve got to ice it now. I’m nervous about being too experimental though.’

‘Don’t be silly. It will be great. I so want you to win. I heard Cynthia is hiding hers.’

Frankie felt her heart sink.

‘I bet it’s lovely. That’s why she wins every year.’

‘A bit of cheating helps,’ scoffed Birdie.

‘Birdie, I’m sure that’s not true.’

Birdie nodded.

‘As sure as eggs is eggs, it’s true,’ she laughed.

Frankie carefully pulled a sketch pad from the kitchen drawer and opened it.

‘This is a rough plan of my theme, Santa falling down the chimney. What do you think?’

Birdie’s eyes widened.

‘Oh Frankie, that’s amazing.’

‘It will be if I can recreate it with icing,’ Frankie said worriedly.

‘You can do it, I know you can. Any chance of a cuppa and a piece of that sponge?’ she smiled licking her lips. ‘We should celebrate.’

‘No.’ Frankie wagged her finger. ‘That’s for tomorrow’s fete. But I have some chocolate cake?’

She opened a Quality Street tin. Birdie peeked inside and sighed.

‘I love your chocolate cake. Now, I have some exciting news. But I think you already know don’t you?’

Frankie’s heart skipped a beat. Was this something to do with Paul? Of course it wasn’t. When would she stop thinking about him? It had been almost a year now since he broke off their engagement. When would she accept that he wasn’t going to come back to Little Perran? More to the point did she even want him back?

‘I don’t know what you’re talking about Birdie.’

‘Really? I had a feeling you didn’t know. Otherwise I’m sure you would have told me. That’s why I popped round really. Make a cuppa and sit down. I’m not telling you until you do. I don’ want you going into a dead faint.’

‘Ooh heavens, what is it?’ asked Frankie, her hand poised to whip the eggs. Maybe it was to do with Paul after all. Her heart fluttered in her chest.

‘Sit down. Leave those eggs for a minute, they won’t go off.’

Frankie did as she was told and sat down. It was a relief to get off her legs. She pulled the scrunch out of her curly auburn hair and twisted it neatly into a bun before securing it again.

‘Okay,’ said Birdie, tapping a drum-roll with her hands. ‘The Biggest heart-throb ever is only coming to live at Little Perran. He’s moving into Briar Lodge in a few days’ time.’

She looked at Frankie with wide eyes.

‘Briar Lodge, are you certain?’ asked Frankie.

If anyone was coming to live at Briar Lodge then surely she of all people would know.

‘Isn’t it exciting? He’ll be here for Christmas. Every single woman in the village will be after him, except me of course, as I’ve got Ben, but I’ll be tempted.’

Frankie stared at her.

‘Well, what do you think?’ asked Birdie, pouring water into the teapot.

‘You haven’t told me who it is?’

‘Oh, I thought I did. I’m so excited that’s why. Roux Lockhart, can you believe it?’ said Birdie slicing into the chocolate cake.

‘Roux Lockhart, the film star do you mean?’

‘In the flesh,’ Birdie swooned.

‘But why is he coming here?’

‘They’re making a movie. He’ll be staying here for the filming. I’m not supposed to be telling anyone this yet. It’s top secret. The parish council will be delivering letters today. I’ve brought yours. We’re not to talk to the press, or anyone outside the village who asks about him. Only a few of us have been told he’s staying at Briar Lodge. I thought you of all people would have known.’

Frankie felt her blood boil.

‘But Aunty Rose never mentioned renting out Briar Lodge while she was in the States.’

‘Oh dear,’ said Birdie, her face flushing.

‘I can’t believe it,’ exclaimed Frankie, jumping up to beat the eggs.

‘Were you planning on using the Lodge over Christmas?’ asked Birdie worriedly.

Frankie grimaced.

‘Don’t be silly Birdie. You know I’ve got no one coming for Christmas.’

‘You can come to us, you know that? We’d love to have you.’

Frankie forced a smile.

‘I know, but I don’t want to leave Buster.’

‘He’ll be okay for one evening.’

‘I’ll see. I just can’t believe Aunty Rose didn’t tell me about Roux Lockhart. I’m supposed to be watering her plants. How could she forget to tell me a famous film star was coming to stay?’

‘Ooh you’ve got a good excuse to go over there then,’ Birdie grinned.

‘All the same she might have told me.’

‘I think it was all done very suddenly. Your Aunty Rose told the parish council. You know what she’s like. She probably thought she had told you. Can you imagine though? He’s got pots of money. I bet Stella will be round there before he’s even got the kettle on.’

Frankie laughed.

‘I bet he’s got pots of ego too,’ she said, rescuing the fruit cake from the oven.

‘I wonder if he’ll go to the Christmas ball?’ said Birdie thoughtfully. ‘Hey, he can be your date.’

‘Very funny.’ Frankie hurriedly dropped the hot cake onto a place mat. ‘Anyway, I’ve decided I’m not going to the ball this year.’

Birdie’s mouth dropped open.

‘But you always go.’

‘I’ve always had a partner,’ Frankie tried to keep her voice upbeat but felt sure she was failing miserably.

‘You can still go without a partner,’ insisted Birdie.

‘I’ll see.’

‘I’m going to put that on your tombstone,’ laughed Birdie, getting up. ‘Right I’d better get back. Ben will want to fix the tractor. You’re still coming to The Hand and Shears tonight aren’t you for pre-fete drinks.’

Frankie nodded, although the truth was she didn’t really want to go. She’d got into the habit of staying home these days with Buster for company. In fact she quite liked cosy nights in Primrose Cottage, doing her cross stitch while watching some rubbish on the tele. Honestly, she couldn’t get more boring if she tried. She’d be drinking Horlicks next and going to bed at nine o’clock.

‘Great see you later,’ waved Birdie, stepping into her wellies.

Frankie cleared away the dishes. It occurred to her that she ought to check Briar Lodge. Maybe leave a couple of mince pies there. At least someone famous in the village would stop her thinking about Paul. With that in mind, she placed the mince pies in the oven, switched on the radio and forced herself to sing along with the Christmas carols.

To read more, get your copy here.

 

 

 

 

Christmas with Robert Bryndza

Guess who I have on my blog today? Only the brilliant Robert Bryndza, just in time for Christmas too. What’s more I have an extract from his Christmas novella, Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story. Also at the end of this post is news of Rob’s fab Christmas competition. Wonderful prizes, so don’t miss it.

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I love Robert’s books. They are so funny and this one is no exception.

 So, curl up in front of the fire with a hot chocolate – or something stronger! I know that’s what I’m going to do, and enjoy a slice of hilarious Christmas nostalgia with Coco Pinchard and the must-have toy of Christmas past… 

So, over to Rob…

It’s December 1992, and children are going CRAZY for the Tracy Island Toy – almost as crazy as the parents! Christmas day is fast approaching and Coco is desperately trying to track one down for her four-year-old son Rosencrantz.

Throw into the mix a horrible boss, a lazy husband, and the prospect of her in-laws arriving for the festivities, and Coco wishes she could cancel Christmas and sail off to a desert island somewhere – preferably with the gorgeous-yet-unattainable Tom from work.

But retail therapy is at hand! Coco’s faithful friends Chris and Marika rally round, and even her mother-in-law Ethel tries to help in her own eccentric way.

From dodgy dealings in a motorway lay-by, to extreme shopping in Hamley’s with a Sylvanian Families fanatic, to having a go at the Blue Peter make-your-own Tracy Island, Coco tries everything in the hope that Rosencrantz will open his must-have toy on Christmas morning.

Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story is a hilarious feel-good comedy, which asks the question – how far would you go to get your child this year’s must-have Christmas toy?

If you are new to the best selling Coco Pinchard series, fear not, Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone Christmas treat – and it has zero calories!

 Extract;

Monday 14th December

 I arrived home just after five, exhausted. It was dark and cold, and light was glowing softly against the closed curtains of the living room. When I opened the front door I could hear the end of Newsround. I put my bag down in the hall and poked my head around the living room door. Rosencrantz was sitting atop his favourite beanbag, his tiny legs poking out with his Thunderbirds slippers on.

‘Mummy, Mummy, Mummy!’ he shouted, leaping up and grabbing at my legs. He’d left a tiny imprint in the beanbag, like the well in a cake mix where you break the egg. I lifted him up and he kissed my cheeks and gave me a hug.

“How was school?” I asked.

“Today I ate all my dinner, even though it was a bit cold… and Melanie Jones was told off for filling up the toilet with loo roll… and we had the rehearsals for the Nativity play. Joseph can’t remember his lines.”

“But you know all yours?”

“Of course I know all my lines, Mummy,” he said seriously.

“And you’ve got your brilliant song. Did you sing it for everyone?”

“No, Mummy. I only made that up to make you and Daddy laugh. I have to stick to the script. Even if I only have to bring the Frankincense,” he said, rolling his little eyes as if his talents were being squandered as a mere Wise Man.

“You are going to be the best, wisest Wise Man,” I said.

“It’s going to be a big production,” he added, like a seasoned pro. “Mrs Masters is lending her four Dulux dogs for the manger scene. They’ve just had their hair cut so they look a bit like camels.”

“It sounds… interesting,” I said.

We looked up as Blue Peter started on the television.

“Mummy! They’re making a Tracy Island on Blue Peter! Am I going to get Tracy Island for Christmas?”

Bugger, bugger, bollocks, I thought.

“You posted your letter to Father Christmas?” I asked.

He nodded furiously. “I licked the stamp and everything!”

“Then of course you’re going to get Tracy Island for Christmas.” You’re a rotten lying mother, said a voice in my head.

Rosencrantz did a little jiggle of happiness then climbed back into his dent in the beanbag. On the TV in the corner of the living room, Anthea Turner was dressed in her fluffy Blue Peter jumper and listing all the bits you needed to make a Tracy Island at home. I stood by the door and watched Rosencrantz’s happy little face for a moment, then went through to the kitchen.

Daniel was sitting at the kitchen table. He looked up and gave me a grin. His mother was standing by the sink in her flowery housecoat.

“Hello Ethel, I didn’t know you were coming over, again?” I said, trying to keep my voice light.

“Didn’t know I ‘ad to make an appointment?” she said. She picked up the teapot, swilled it round and tipped cold tealeaves down the sink.

“Course you don’t, Ethel. You just seem to be in town a lot lately,” I said, kissing Daniel on top of his head.

“Mum came up to town to get her ears syringed,” he explained.

“Was it a success? Has it improved your eavesdropping skills?” I asked.

“Thought I’d pop in see my favourite boys… An’ you, love, of course,” said Ethel.

We gave each other an insincere smile. I pulled the kitchen door shut and fished The Sun out of my bag.

“We need to talk. Have you seen the paper?” I said, smoothing it out on the kitchen table.

“I know. Poor Princess Diane, splitting up with that Charles,” said Ethel, spooning fresh tealeaves into the pot. “She won’t leave the Royal Family and come out alive.”

Why is Ethel the only person in the world who calls her Princess Diane?

“Who’d want to hurt Princess Diana?” I asked.

“She gave the Queen an Anus Horribilis,” explained Ethel.

“It’s Annus Horribilis,” I corrected.

“Well, whatever it is, it sounds painful,” said Ethel. “That Diane should watch ‘er back, tha’s all I’m saying.”

The kettle clicked off and she poured hot water into the pot. I resisted the urge to press the Diana/Diane debate.

“Anyway, I’m not talking about Diana. Look!” I said.

I opened the newspaper and flicked through to the page about Tracy Island. Ethel came over to the table and she and Daniel both peered at the article in silence. Ethel’s lips moved as she read.

“Blimey,” said Daniel, sitting back and reaching for a cigarette.

“Coco, iss only a week or so till Christmas! What ‘ave you bin doing for the past two months?” exclaimed Ethel.

“I’ve been at work! You’ve spent the past two months on the bus up here and back to Catford. You could have jumped off at Hamley’s, Ethel,” I retorted.

“I’ve been up and down to the ‘ospital with all sorts, Coco. I’ve got a bad back, bad hips…”

“And there’s all that earwax,” I said.

“Okay you two,” said Daniel. “Let’s go outside and have a cigarette.”

“The door’s shut, Danny, the smoke won’t reach little Rosencrantz,” said Ethel.

“No. We smoke outside, Ethel,” I said.

We grabbed our coats and reconvened on the terrace. The moon was now up and the lawn had frozen and was glistening in the moonlight.

“Maybe we can persuade Rosencrantz to like another toy. What about Action Man?” suggested Daniel.

“We could make a Tracy Island? They were just on Blue Peter, using toilet rolls and margarine tubs,” I began.

“You can’t give ‘im something made up of all the old shit you’d throw away!’ said Ethel. She had a point.

There was a knock on the door and Rosencrantz pressed his nose against the glass.

“Everybody, I just thought up a funny Thunderbirds joke!” he shrilled.

We stubbed out our cigarettes and came back inside, relishing the warmth from the kitchen.

“Go on, tell us yer joke, love,” said Ethel.

Rosencrantz took a deep breath.

“Why is Parker called Parker?”

“I don’t know, why is Parker called Parker?” I asked.

“Cos he’s a good parker!” Rosencrantz cried, grinning with his little row of milk teeth. Ethel and I laughed.

“Oooh! Tha’s funny!” she said, scooping him up for a cuddle.

Only Daniel remained confused.

“Who’s Parker?” he asked.

“Oh Daddy, you’re a ding-dong dilly noodle,” said Rosencrantz. “Don’t you know anything? Parker is Lady Penelope’s chauffeur in Thunderbirds!”

Rosencrantz jumped down from Ethel’s arms and started to swan round the kitchen, doing a rather brilliant Lady Penelope voice and jigging gently as if he were suspended from strings.

Parker, we appear to have intruders. I think they are going to take my jewels,” he said. “Yes, M’lady, but h’I fink we might be unable to stop ‘em,” he said, switching to an equally good impression of Parker. “EVERYONE! I can’t wait for Christmas Day! Thunderbirds are go, go, GO!” he shouted and ran round the kitchen and back through to the living room.

Ethel looked at me and raised an eyebrow.

“Right I’ve gotta be orf,” she said picking up her bag. She saw my despondent face. “Don’t worry Coco, love, we’ll sort something out.”

“Yeah Cokes, there’s still a few shopping days to go till Christmas,” added Daniel.

COCO-TOY-STORY-Kindle-CoverSMALL

To carry on reading you can download your copy from Amazon here;

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B013J05F5M

Amazon USA http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013J05F5M

I’m also running a competition to win some Christmas goodies. The giveaway will be one prize consisting of;

A signed dedicated paperback copy of Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story

A £20/$20 Amazon voucher

 A limited edition A Very Coco Christmas mug, filled with Marks and Spencer’s chocolate Brussel Sprouts

 A signed dedicated paperback copy of A Very Coco Christmas

 Head on over to my Facebook author page to enter! https://www.facebook.com/bryndzarobert/

 

 

 

A Fab book signing x

 

christmasrom2Finally, I am back to blog posting.

I’ve been chained to my lap top for the past few months producing my Christmas novella. I so enjoyed writing it too. It’s titled ‘A Christmas Romance’  I’ve written it under the name of Amy Perfect. Simply because it is a romance.It’s a novel that will pull at your heart-strings. There is lots of romance and Christmas spirit is in abundance. It is most certainly a book to be read while enjoying a mug of hot chocolate and a mince pie and of course sitting in front of a roaring fire.

I enjoyed writing this book so much that I didn’t want it to end. So, I have decided to write more about the village of Little Perran. There will be a Summer novel and later in the year another Christmas novella. I hope you enjoy them.

*Romance is the last thing on Frankie Bell’s mind as she gets ready for Christmas in the English village of Little Perran. It’s going to be a quiet affair once the annual Great Little Perran Christmas Bake Off cake competition is over, with Frankie, and her little dog Buster, tucked up warmly in Primrose Cottage. Fate, however, has other plans and Little Perran is thrown into turmoil when the film star, Roux Lockhart, comes to stay. 
The spirit of the season weaves its magic and a freak snow storm that blows in a surprise visitor. Frankie discovers love from an unexpected quarter, but can she trust it? And is someone cheating with their Christmas cake?
 *

To celebrate the release of ‘A Christmas Romance’ I arranged a book signing at my home. I was to meet several of my readers for the first time. It was nerve-wracking to say the least. But they were all warm and lovely. We had a super day. Books were signed and mince pies consumed. What more can you ask for with Christmas approaching?

Later, a few of us went onto dinner at my local pub. It was a wonderful day. I can’t wait to do it again. Many thanks to Tina and Aiden, Suz, Jaydee, Katie, Carrie and Mark, Anne and David, Sarah, Rachel and Raley. Also thanks to Yvie, her mum and Michelle, Gemma and Sally. Not forgetting Nicola and Debbie. It was a great day. Thanks to my wonderful husband who made the teas and to Louise for her support.IMGP2719IMGP2716selfiesigning 23

Enjoy ‘A Christmas Romance’ You can purchase your copy here

A Christmas Romance Design!

Much love

Lynda

xx

 

 

 

 

Sunday Dinners

Fellow author and friend, Jon Rance, has a new novel out. Such excitement! To celebrate I invited Jon onto the blog for tea and a chat. The novel ‘Sunday Dinners’ was released yesterday and is a fabulous and funny read, as are all of Jon’s books. You can get your copy on Amazon for just 99p! Just go here

‘The Wilde family have always had a roast dinner on Sundays. Greg Wilde made sure of it. Him, his wife, Lizzy, and their three children around the table; for years it was the glue that held them together. But now with the children all grown up and moving out, and Greg and Lizzy’s marriage facing an uncertain future, their lives are becoming increasingly unstuck. Greg soon begins to realise that creating a happy family is one thing, but staying that way is an entirely different story.’

Told from each of the family’s perspectives at their monthly Sunday roast dinners, this is a bitter-sweet comedy about parenthood, marriage, love, life and roast dinners.’

SD-COVER-PB-8 Now without further ado, over to you Jon. Tell us all about it …

Hello. Firstly, a big thank you to Lynda for having me over for a cup of tea, a biscuit, and a nice chat about my new novel SUNDAY DINNERS. It’s wonderful to be here.

So my new book SUNDAY DINNERS is out and I’m excited to be here to talk about it. So what’s it about? You’re probably asking. This is my fourth book and like my others it’s firmly about love. It’s not a rom-com in any sense of the word though, but a book about the love between parents and children, brothers and sisters, and a husband and wife.

The book is told from five different first person perspectives. There’s the father, Greg Wilde, his wife, Lizzy, eldest child, Lucy, middle child, Matt, and youngest, Holly. They live in north London and from the outside look like the perfect middle class family. But as the book unfolds at each of their monthly Sunday roast dinners, we discover that none of the family are happy and all are struggling to cope. Greg and Lizzy’s marriage is hanging by a thread. The golden child, Lucy, is dating someone at work she shouldn’t and is facing failure for the first time in her life. Matt is heartbroken and in a rut, but is trying to move on and gets more than he bargained for. Holly is off to university soon and is facing a crisis of sexual identity. And then there’s Joan, Greg’s mum, who’s having a hard time living life without her dead husband.

The biggest influence on the book was the quote, “Life is a delicate balance of holding on and letting go.” I used this to really inspire the central theme of the book. The book takes place at that moment when all the children are leaving home, the parent’s marriage is failing, and so all the characters are facing a tipping point in their lives. They need to let go and move on and yet they’re still holding onto the past through their Sunday roast dinners.

I think the book is about something very British. It’s about the importance of family getting together and eating roast beef and Yorkshire puddings. During the week we’re all too busy to really sit down and spend time together, but for an hour or two on Sunday afternoon, time stops and we have the best meal of the week together. It’s a ritual that means so much to me and I’m sure to you too. It’s uniquely British and I hope that shines through in the book because it’s something I wanted to really celebrate. It’s almost an extra character!

SUNDAY DINNERS is a comedy drama about parenthood, marriage, love, life and roast dinners and it’s out now for just 99p! If you love funny, heart-warming books about love and life and have a passion for properly cooked roast beef, crispy roast potatoes, and homemade thick gravy, you’ll love this!

 

Cheers,

Jon X

Thanks so much Jon. Good luck with the book. Pop over to Amazon to get your copy. See you all again soon and keep reading.