Cheap as chips!!

How cheap are chips anyway? Oh, well, not relevant really.

I’m here to tell you that Amazon is selling one of my comedies at a ridiculous price.

How ridiculous? I hear you shout. 77p, that’s how ridiculous. So, if you want a good laugh at only 77p, then go for it.

It’s a limited offer.

I know I’d go for it, except I know how it ends.

In these times, when a good laugh is what we need then this is perfect. If you’re still not sure then have a little read of the preview below. You can buy your copy here Enjoy. Much love, Lynda xx

HARRIET’S BIG WEDDING BLUNDER

I make my way outside and wait for Fi and Alistair while searching for Julian. Brice passes me and smiles. He could stop hearts with that smile. I spot Fiona and Alistair.

‘On time as always,’ Alistair quips sarcastically. ‘There is something c-c-comforting about your consistent lateness.’ He says sarcastically.

 ‘Hello Alistair, you look nice, like the Y-fronts.’

Fiona follows my eyes to Alistair’s zip.

‘God, Alistair, your flies are undone. Do something before that Jeremy guy sees you.’

‘What Jeremy guy?’ Alistair asks while fumbling with the zip.

‘Over there. He’s a Lord or Sir or something. Anyway, zip your flies up for goodness sake.’

I peer at the man.

‘I don’t think he is,’ I say.

‘Are you sure? He looks familiar,’ she says. ‘I’m certain he’s someone.’

‘That’s because he’s the parking attendant at Homebase,’ sighs Alistair.

I narrow my eyes.

‘He’s right you know,’ I say.

‘Are you sure? What’s he doing here?’

‘P-p-parking cars,’ huffs Alistair. ‘I wish you would wear your contact lenses. Honestly, you’ll be curtsying to parking attendants next.’

 ‘I do wear them. I’m just so tired and they make my eyes sore. I was sure my glasses were in my bag. I feel like I’m jet-lagged. You know that ‘when you’re not here’ feeling?’

‘I’m rather wishing I wasn’t. I feel like a sodding wallflower,’ I say looking around for Julian.

‘A scarlet w-w-wallflower,’ sneers Alistair. ‘It’s a w-w-wedding you know, not a b-b-bloody period drama.’

What a cheek. Some people just don’t appreciate individualism, do they?

‘Damn things,’ he mumbles yanking the zip up.

‘You look lovely,’ Fiona assures me. ‘I love the snap pearl buttons on that dress.’

‘You don’t think it’s a bit, you know, Little House on the Prairie?’ I say feeling self-conscious.

‘A bit?’ sneers Alistair. ‘That’s an understatement.’

‘Ignore him, he wouldn’t know style if it bit him on the arse,’ Fiona says, glaring at Alistair.

‘Have you seen Julian?’ I ask. ‘He should have been here ages ago. I’m sure he left well before I did. You know how he likes to be on time.’

‘Most people like to be on time,’ says Alistair.

‘I can’t see anybody without my contacts,’ moans Fiona, ‘let alone Julian. He’s probably got held up at the restaurant.’

I shake my head, sending a pearl drop earring flying.

‘I’ve tried the restaurant and his mobile, and he isn’t answering either. I’ve only brought a cheap card with me. He’s supposed to be bringing the present.’

‘I imagine he’s still bombing it down the A40 in your Mini,’ says Alistair casually.

I stare at him.

‘What?’

‘That’s just the thing. Alistair swears he saw Julian bombing it down the A40 in your Mini. I said that’s not possible. It’s completely the wrong way, and your Mini won’t do more than forty,’ says Fiona.

‘Not with an empty tank it won’t. That’s why I got a taxi here. I forgot about petrol. I don’t mean I forgot that the car takes petrol of course. I’m not that dippy.’

‘That’s a relief,’ quips Alistair.

I shoot him a dirty look.

‘I just forgot I was on the red, and I’m flat broke. Bombing it down the A40, are you sure he was in the Pooch? The thing will blow up.’

‘I don’t think it is p-p-possible to mistake your Mini. It has that distinctive whining sound that tells you it’s Harriet’s Mini.’

Why on earth would Julian be ragging the Pooch down the A40 when he’s got his new van? I hope the wheels weren’t nicked from the van. That’s all we need. The past nine months have been shit. Every penny going into Julian’s dream of setting up a French restaurant which, so far, has not done very well at all. If it wasn’t for our friends eating there, we wouldn’t have broken even. I’ve seriously started considering selling a kidney. Julian’s obviously, not mine. I’m not that crazy. After all, we could survive on three between the two of us. In fact, maybe I could sell off bits of Julian’s body until he has the restaurant up and running and I have all my studies paid for. Although, strictly speaking, not all our money has gone into the venture.

I have been secretly squirrelling away some of my earnings. I decided from the start that one of us needed to put a little by, and I’m so glad I did. I need to pay for the next part of my tuition fees as I am not planning to work in a laundrette all my life. I can’t help worrying though, what earthly reason would Julian have for racing down the A40 in my Mini? Come to think of it, why is he racing down the A40 at all when the church is in the opposite direction? Still, Julian always did have a terrible sense of direction. All the same, it’s a bit odd. Julian would never be late unless there was a good reason.

‘It’s not like Julian to be late,’ I say, voicing my concern.

‘There’s a f-f-first time for everything,’ says Alistair.

‘It’s dead posh this wedding, isn’t it?’ says Fiona, breaking into my thoughts. ‘There are Lords and MPs and everything. It’s a real high-class do, isn’t it? They’re all big knobs.’

‘Is that a fact? Perhaps you should keep an eye on that zip, Alistair. You don’t want people making comparisons,’ I laugh.

Fiona snorts and quickly turns away. Alistair scowls and storms off.

‘What’s wrong with him?’

‘He’s tired. He’s putting a lot of hours in at the office. We both are. Honestly, what with the rent and food ….’

‘What’s food?’ I quip.

‘Oh, come on, Harriet, things aren’t that bad, surely.’

I sigh.

‘No, that’s true. There are my mum’s scraps after all.’

‘C-c-come on,’ calls Alistair.

‘He’s not stammering much today. That’s good, isn’t it?’

‘He’s taken a Valium,’ she says with a sigh and grabs my arm. ‘Come on, lead me to the reception. I can’t see a sodding thing without my contacts, and you know how I hate wearing glasses.’

Riding Naked on a Horse Through London, Except …

So, today I was going to ride a horse, naked, through London. This would have been quite a feat, considering I can’t even ride a horse, let alone ride one naked. I think my private parts are thanking me greatly. All that leather chafing … Well, you can imagine, can’t you? Then again, you may not wish to imagine it at all. It’s raining, you see, and one can’t possibly ride naked through the streets of London in the rain, not if they are to avoid pneumonia and all sorts of ailments that come from such irresponsibility. The aim was to sell books, lift my profile a little, not kill myself. Although, on reflection, if I were to die from prancing naked on a horse in the pouring rain, then I most likely would sell more books. Imagine the publicity. I just wouldn’t be here to enjoy the fame. But then all geniuses aren’t recognised until after their demise, are they?

Anyway, as it is pissing down, I’ve decided to defer the whole thing to a drier and warmer day. I know they’re rare, but surely one will come along eventually, won’t it, rather like buses. You just have to be patient.

So, instead, I’m blogging about not riding a horse naked through London. Or, as Stephen Fry commented on Twitter, I really should ride naked through Coventry. Naked, except for a mask, of course. Good point, Stephen.

So, I thought, instead, I’ll blog about my new novel. I know. It’s not the same and you’d much prefer to have seen me riding the horse, or most likely clinging onto it, but that isn’t to be.

Do you like a good murder? A fictional one, not a real one. A mystery that you can’t solve? I bet you won’t guess the end of this one? Let me know if you do.

There’s a nasty character in this novel, and it’s down to Detective DS Kate Harper and DI Tom Miller to find them. The problem is Kate and Tom clash on just about everything. However, I think you’ll like them. Read about them below.

Lots of love

Lynda

xx

‘The Lies She Told’

NEW RELEASE AS RETWEETED BY PETER JAMES

My new crime thriller is now available to buy or get FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Also available in Hardback and Paperback.

https://amzn.to/365wOQB

https://amzn.to/2Urkvvp

‘The Lies She Told’

A quiet village, a friendly community, a brutal attack.

The Lies She Told is set in a quiet Oxfordshire village. Meet Detective Sergeant Beth Harper. Beth has lived in the village most of her life. The crime rate is low, and that’s how everyone likes it. Then Detective Inspector Tom Miller comes from London.

Meet Tom Miller, who immediately clashes with Beth. Beth feels a recent tragedy in Tom’s life will affect his judgement as a police officer. No sooner has Tom arrived and the village is turned upside down. A local school teacher is brutally attacked and left for dead in her home. Could this be a burglary gone wrong, or could it be connected to Tom’s troubled past?

What readers are saying about ‘The Lies She Told.’

This is one exceptional read that I enjoyed right through to the end. it lives up to its title big time, with some massive twists that will shock readers. . (Booklover Bev) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A book you will not want to put down. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I do enjoy a good thriller, and The Lies She Told didn’t disappoint. It is packed with suspense and grit that held my interest and attention throughout. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ AN a

I loved this book and couldn’t work it out until the end, which is the sign of a great novel. Ten stars from me! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The twists and turns kept me up all night. I had to finish it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

New Novel and Peter James

OUT NOW!

MY NEW NOVEL ‘THE LIES SHE TOLD’  As retweeted by Peter James

I’m thrilled to announce that my latest thriller is now available on Amazon. You can imagine how delighted I was when Peter James retweeted it and Stephen Fry mentioned it on Twitter in response to one of my tweets.

So, what is it about?

A quiet village, a friendly community, a brutal attack.
A chilling thriller in the tradition of Gillian Flynn

The Lies She Told is set in a quiet Oxfordshire village. Meet Detective Sergeant Beth Harper. Beth has lived in the village most of her life. The crime rate is low, and that’s how everyone likes it. Then Detective Inspector Tom Miller comes from London.

Meet Tom Miller, who immediately clashes with Beth. Beth feels a recent tragedy in Tom’s life will affect his judgement as a police officer. No sooner has Tom arrived and the village is turned upside down. A local school teacher is brutally attacked and left for dead in her home. Could this be a burglary gone wrong, or could it be connected to Tom’s troubled past?

What readers are saying about ‘The Lies She Told.’

This is one exceptional read that I enjoyed right through to the end. it lives up to its title big time, with some massive twists that will shock readers. . (Booklover Bev) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A book you will not want to put down. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I do enjoy a good thriller, and The Lies She Told didn’t disappoint. It is packed with suspense and grit that held my interest and attention throughout. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I loved this book and couldn’t work it out until the end, which is the sign of a great novel. Ten stars from me! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The twists and turns kept me up all night. I had to finish it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

You can buy ‘The Lies She Told’ on Amazon.uk and Amazon.com

I hope you enjoy it.

Much love

Lynda

xx

New Novel News

 

Copy of UntitledI woke up today to discover we had no water. I’ve already used up our loo flushes. If lockdown wasn’t enough.

How are you coping during this crazy time? Does it all feel like a bad dream to you too?  I’ve started wearing the same cardigan day in and day out (who will know?) I did fiddle about with some make up one day. One must have standards. We only went to Poundstretcher but all the same. I got quite excited when I saw there were no queues. Who’d have thought it? Overwhelming excitement at going to Poundstretcher and buying some bargain yarns to crochet with. I came home and planted some seeds into pots. I’m rubbish though and managed to use topsoil instead of compost. Andrew pointed this out. I wondered why it looked like mud when I’d watered them. Oh well …

I watched the briefing by Boris Johnson. He’s our Prime Minister, I think. I only doubt this because we hardly ever see him. I’m sure you would see the Prime Minister a lot more in this national crisis so perhaps he isn’t. Maybe that guy Hancock is. We see a lot of him. I don’t think I have ever looked at so many graphs in my life. Still, they make no sense. It must be me. The government surely must know what they’re doing. It’s good to know we can now exercise as much as we like. Even go to work if we can. If we can’t then we don’t have to, it seems. I dream of normality when I sleep.

I’ve cleaned out all the drawers and I’m up to date with the washing. We’ve painted the kitchen and mowed the lawn within an inch of its life. I’ve baked, knitted, crocheted, read, and written novels. I ignore the state of my hair when I look in the mirror. I rather like the grey mixed in with the blonde. I suppose I ought to do something.

The worst thing about lockdown is the amount of food I’m consuming. When they finally say we can all go back to normal I won’t be able to get through the door.

It will be nice to go to the supermarket without someone shouting ‘2 metres apart’ or have the loud tanoy instructing me to only buy what’s necessary.

Yesterday Andrew had to go into the office. I became quite anxious at the thought of him going out and mixing with people again.

It’s odd isn’t it, how we’ve managed to cope? I’m even sleeping better which has surprised me. I feel calmer too. All the social pressure has left me. I don’t have to worry about saying no to someone’s invitation because no one is inviting me. I hope they remember me when this is over.

I miss going out for dinner and to the cinema. What do you miss the most?

So, the good news. At least it is good news for me. I had got to the point when I thought a new novel would never be forthcoming. It’s here and will be released on June 1st and readers are already saying how much they have loved it. You can pre-order it here.

 

THE DAY HENRY DIEDCopy of Untitled (3)

‘Suppose you wake up one morning to find yourself dead. You can see yourself clearly in the mirror, and feel the same as you did the day before. But today is the day of your funeral. What do you do?

This was Henry’s dilemma. Henry decides he can’t possibly be dead, so he sets out to prove he is alive. Then, he discovers that Rita, a product demonstrator at the supermarket, can see him.

Even with the help of Rita, proving you’re not dead was harder than Henry imagined, but when Henry discovered that he was murdered, the question was why and by whom?’

Stay safe and enjoy the novel.

Much love until next time

Lynda

xx

Lockdown with a smile

woman-bw-typewriter

Around the middle of January, I scrolled through the news app on my phone. I had my breakfast of Special K and coffee made with Hazelnut Milk and skimmed through a news report about a virus outbreak in China. That was a long way from me so I barely gave it a second thought. Life continued as normal. (I never imagined that several weeks later I’d be searching the shelves for Hazelnut Milk. We don’t drink cow’s milk.)

A few weeks later I went shopping in Oxford with my friend and we joked about the women we saw who covered their faces with scarfs when we got into the lift with them in Debenhams. Never imagining for one moment that in a matter of weeks Debenhams would be closed. That our shopping trips to Oxford would never be the same again.

‘It’s in China, not here,’ we said.

How naive we were.

So, life continued. I read about a few outbreaks in other countries but it still didn’t touch us.

Later, I read about people being stuck on cruise ships because of outbreaks of the Corona Virus. I remember feeling a small pang of anxiety and then quickly pushed my worries to one side. But then I started reading about Facebook friends who were stuck on these cruise ships. I checked the number of cases in the UK, saw it was very small and carried on as normal, albeit slightly nervous.

Then, in the middle of February, I became very unwell. I had a continuous dry cough. I would wake up in the middle of the night soaked in sweat and coughing. The next few days I felt like I had a really bad cold or mild flu. I ached and my legs felt heavy. There was mention of the Corona Virus in Europe so I stayed home, not in the least convinced I had it. I did, however, feel very unwell. The continuous dry cough drove me nuts. I developed a terrible headache with flashing lights in my right eye. I’d never had that before. My blood pressure went through the roof.

‘I must have the flu,’ I said.

But it didn’t feel quite like flu. I didn’t have a sore throat. I had a bit of sneezing but nothing excessive. But I was very tired.

Now, I wonder, did I have it? Shortly after, Andrew became unwell. He said it was the worst cold he’d ever had.

Now, here we are. Isolation for everyone.

Strange times. Andrew is on a 2 week holiday. We were going to York. We were going to have lunches out. Instead, today Andrew has to go into work to collect any important documents and laptops he needs to work from home.

Yesterday we sorted through the freezer. A long overdue job and found loads of meals we’d frozen and forgotten about. They’ll all have to be eaten now.

Today Andrew ordered a hair trimmer! I hope he doesn’t ask me to trim his hair.

My grandson is the only child in the village school. That seemed weird. I think there may have been one other child. The schools are closed except for front line worker’s children. My grandson’s parents are both nurses.

Day 1 lockdown

After Boris Johnson’s briefing last night 23/03/2020 I awoke this morning feeling strange. Last night Boris Johnson said all shops would be closed and to shop online if you could.  I’d spent last night looking online for cat food. I assure you that my cat will survive even if I don’t.  I was stunned to see online shopping websites closed due to the demand. Everything on the Wilko site was sold out. I then laid awake for over an hour working out what food we had in the freezer and how much cat food there was in the cupboard and whether we could spare some chicken breast for our boy (yes he’s spoilt), while feeling overwhelming anger, verging on murderous thoughts, towards those people whose homes are no doubt bulging with toilet roll, cat food, kitchen towel, hand sanitizer and god knows what! I woke up feeling I was in a Margaret Attwood novel.

We don’t have a television so we’re not being bombarded by the news. We watch it as and when we think it is important to do so.

I decided to plan my days. Keep busy. Lots of knitting, crochet, and writing. A walk every day, which is essential.

I’m thinking of those people who live in high rise flats. We have lovely weather. I’m lucky I can step out into my garden or walk through my village.

So much in our lives has changed already. I’m cleaning the house obsessively. What’s new?

I never thought I’d be disinfecting the doorbell on a regular basis or that I would almost choke rather than cough in public.  Or that my closest friends would become WhatsApp mates, only.

And I thought Brexit would be bad. Good practice for what is to come.

At least we have wine.IMG_6027

Day 2 of Lockdown

Andrew is to work from home once his holiday is over and to think I was dreading semi-retirement. So far so good. The knives are still in the drawer and I haven’t threatened to leave (where would I go ?) All is well. Just keep taking the HRT and hope there isn’t a shortage. Andrew went to the office to get his laptop and anything else he needed and then braved it to Lidl and Sainsbury on his way back. They were well stocked and there was me going into a massive panic because we were running out of kitchen towel.

So far we haven’t experienced the mass hysteria of panic buying. I can’t imagine battling it out for a pack of loo roll. I’m learning to be more economical with that! Although sometimes I forget and then feel terribly guilty that I used an extra sheet.

Day 3

The days are passing much quicker than I thought they would. Although, it has only been three. In fact, we seem to be getting nothing done.

I checked our toilet roll stash if you can call it a stash, compared to what some have. Where are they storing it is what I want to know?

Anyway, we’ll be all right for a while. I thought of buying serviettes, but the panic buyers were quicker. No flies on them. None to be had.

Everyone is very polite in our local Coop. If you accidentally bash them with your trolley they almost apologise for being in your way. All very civilised. No fighting over food. Of course, I imagine if you coughed anywhere near them, then they may well bash you to the death with their cucumber.

Andrew had a bit of a wobbly when he realised he couldn’t get to Homebase. I said, get it online. The problem is he wants the stuff like yesterday and can’t really wait until 2021.

Will this ever end? We’ve only been in lockdown for a short time and it feels like forever.

Lockdown Day 3 or is it 4 (I’m already getting confused)

Living in a Cotswold village during a virus outbreak is a blessing. Everyone helping everyone else with prescription collection and sharing their shopping delivery slots. We ventured to the Coop again. Not a million miles away. Odd to see the usual pharmacy queue at the doctors surgery now out into the street and halfway through the village, while people stay 6 feet from each other. I remember when they would squash right up to you to get you to move down the queue faster. How times quickly change.

The Coop shop was strange. People entering behind us and then stopping when we did. Always staying 6 feet behind. I felt stressed like I was holding them up while I looked at the grapes. The store was well stocked which was a relief to see. I spent most of the time in there dancing with people so we could shop at a reasonable distance. Had a few near misses but overall all very dignified. Odd to see the staff putting out stock with gloves on and people covering their faces with scarfs as I passed them. It was like being in a leprosy colony. Who’d ever have imagined it? We left the Coop and headed home passing the local garage as we did so. I saw all the pumps were ‘not in use’ apart from one.

‘Uh oh,’ I said.

So Andrew filled up. I couldn’t cope with queuing for petrol next.

I thought I’d look on the Boots pharmacy website for some of the things I couldn’t get in the supermarket. There was a six-hour virtual queue!  Six hours! By the time I got to the front they’d be nothing left. I aborted the mission. I will try again tomorrow.

Day 5 (I believe it was actually Day 4 Yesterday)

Andrew is painting everything in sight. It’s his new hobby. Portraiture is his favourite. He hasn’t asked me to pose nude for him yet. I don’t know why. I imagined I would be his favourite subject. He seems more interested in painting the cat. I’m hoping he’ll start on the kitchen walls but he reminds me there is nowhere to buy paint and anyway it’s not that kind of painting.

I’ve been writing and procrastinating and then more procrastinating.  My friend dropped in some Hazelnut milk for me. She and her husband stood at the front of my gate. Then my other neighbour came along and stopped six feet from them and then Andrew joined me.  I then panicked because there were now five of us and that constitutes a gathering, doesn’t it? We could have had a barbeque. Meanwhile, someone’s chimney caught fire and suddenly there were fire engines everywhere. It was becoming quite a large gathering, albeit six feet apart from each other. We were responsible though and all went back inside our houses and continued our lockdown.

 

Day 6 (surely it’s day 9 or 10, or perhaps it just feels like it.)

Instagram is full of celebrities sharing their fears, recipes, or thoughts. Make up free, hair a mess. We’re going to view these celebs in a whole other light after this. Perhaps the new craze will be reveal yourself as you are, warts and all. They’re  giving us an inside look into their lives. Showing us that they are the same as us, albeit a little bit richer and a little bit more famous and just a touch more influential. Of course, most of us knew that. Anyway, back to more serious things. I fell over. This is serious because Andrew, who was in the summer house, chatting to his brother, never heard me fall or the crash of the jug I dropped. I did wait for him to come hurrying out but to no avail. Eventually, I dragged myself up and into the house. I sprained my ankle and grazed my knee. It’s not the time to go to the x-ray walk-in department is it? Still it could have been worse. It could have been my neck. There’s always a silver lining.

images (1)

Day 7 and 8 of lockdown (they’re all merging into one another now. I’m still limping)

Foot is black and blue and three times its usual size. We’re trying to pretend all is well. It would be far bigger if it was broken wouldn’t it? We braved it to Lidl. Delighted to see from the car park there were no queues and then we turned the corner … Loads of people standing 2m apart with masks and gloves on.

‘Ah,’ I screeched. ‘I forgot gloves’

Andrew rolled his eyes and said nothing. I grasped the handle of the trolley with my coat sleeves and limped forward. Lidl was nicely stocked. I grabbed two plastic bags so I could distance my hands from the trolley and we were off. I tried not to get annoyed at those who didn’t observe the social distancing while Andrew kindly reminded me the place was full of germs anyway. He has this wonderful knack of cheering me up. I know I shouldn’t have but I did stockpile chocolate. I thought I’d make a chocolate cake. Whether I’ll get any further than just thinking about it, is anyone’s guess.

Not being able to go for walks is driving me a bit stir crazy.  I dreamt about the virus again last night. In this one things had really progressed and we weren’t allowed to leave our bedroom!  (sigh) I’m off to rest my poorly foot. More soon if you can bear it.

Much love

Lynda xx

 

More soon … if you can bear it.

Grief, Letting Go and A New Novel, of Course.

Putting on a brave front is not the thing to do. I’ve found this out the hard way. Loss is something we all experience. Grief shouldn’t be ignored. However, I just soldiered on, thinking, for some odd reason, that grieving wasn’t for me.

I lost my mum a year ago and a few other things happened around the same time. It taught me that not all people are like me and that others don’t empathise in the same way. I learnt that people are thoughtless at the most difficult times.

I became introspective and withdrew from social media because I felt I was often misunderstood. I found myself over thinking my status updates and suddenly felt inadequate and a failure. I was grieving also but didn’t really realise it.

Then we lost our little Bendy. Yes, he was just a cat but even typing his name has me in floods of tears. My doctor has explained that losing Bendy reawakened the feelings I had buried at not being able to have children. Suddenly my grief was compounded by this sudden loss being felt all over again. Bendy had been the child I could not have and now he was gone. I was devastated. All those thoughts of being alone in my old age resurfaced. Thoughts of no one coming to see me when I needed people the most began to really frighten me. Being childless hit me all over again. So, like I normally do, I tried to put it behind me. ‘These things happen and you have to get on,’ was my motto. It’s so wrong. You must grieve and you must cry. Burying your feelings will only cause them to erupt at a later date. I know because it happened to me.bendywed

On New Year’s Eve my mother in law died and I took this much harder than my husband. I was suddenly overwhelmed. My heart began to race so fast that there wasn’t a single moment in the day when it wasn’t pounding away. I was scared to move. I couldn’t even play in the garden with my two new cats because it would race even more. I was crying at the drop of a hat and felt like life had no meaning.  The smallest thing that normally I would shrug off had me in the depths of despair. I was affected by how people treated me. Facebook updates by others would have me feeling totally useless and I considered giving up writing because it seemed to me that I was an absolute failure at it.

I finally took myself to the doctors for a routine check. He immediately arranged an ECG as my heart was going too fast for his liking. Fortunately it was okay and after a few more tests he diagnosed extreme stress and delayed grief.

I do miss Mum.  I miss her terribly. I missed her when she had dementia. Even though she was never really mentally with us, I could still see her. I can’t do that anymore. Losing both parents has a profound effect on you as I’m sure many people reading this will agree. Losing a pet is no easier, especially when they have been part of your life for 16 years.

So, moving forward, I am looking into bereavement counselling.  I’ve also told myself that as a writer I am okay. I may not be J K Rowling but a lot of people enjoy my books and that’s what it is all about isn’t it?

On February 1st I have a new novel out titled ‘She Saw What he Did’ It’s a fast paced thriller.  Abby Millers’ life changes when she looks through the viewfinder of her camera and witnesses something terrible.

postershesaw

‘Abby Miller thought she had the perfect family; a good looking, loving husband and a beautiful daughter. Her life was complete. The shock discovery that her husband, Jared, had been having an affair rocked her world. So when Jared suggested a short break to the Cannard Islands, to heal their fractured marriage, Abby agreed. An idyllic holiday turns into a nightmare when Abby witnesses something terrible. Suddenly her life and the life of her daughter are in serious danger and no one seems able to help them.

I hope you will read it. You can pre-order today for 99p Here 

Meanwhile my romance ‘When Archie Met Rosie’ is doing well and has wonderful reviews. Thank you to everyone who bought it and reviewed it. Reviews make such a difference. If you want to read a love story with a difference. Then this is the one for you. Go herearchieoriginal

We have two new cats now. They are named Lytton and Schrody. They won’t replace Bendy. He was very special. But I am sure these will become very special in time too.

boys

Thanks so much for reading.

Much love

Lynda x

 

#authornotwriting. Is it time to step down?

 woman-bw-typewriter

 

I’m a writer. I love writing. I’ve been writing since I was seven. My first poem was published shortly after my seventh birthday. That was over thirty years ago. So, for me to consider not writing is a huge deal. But that’s what I’ve been considering the past year and most certainly in a big way the past few months.

Why, you ask? Are you running out of ideas?

No, in fact I have many ideas but no inclination to write them. The final straw came when I read on Facebook that Amazon have begun to remove reviews from author’s books; the reason seeming to be that the reviewer knows the author and therefore the review cannot be genuine. If you’re not aware of this and have written reviews for your favourite author, then do check to see that they are still there.

I interact with my readers. I have friended many of them on Facebook. It seems this may have to change and that upsets me beyond words. This is not the only reason I’m disillusioned. But let’s go back to where the disillusionment started.

Some time ago and I can’t put a finger on when it happened I got sucked into what I term ‘The Chart Race.’  I’m referring, of course, to the Amazon charts.

I use to sell books at £1.99. I never wanted to sell books at 99p. I was adamant when authors reduced their books to a low price that I never would. I also said that if it continued many of us would have no choice but to sell books at 99p. But low priced books continued to be seen on Amazon. Many authors sold their work for as little as 77p. You couldn’t buy a magazine for that. Readers then expect cheap books. Why wouldn’t they?

What does that say about an author’s work? It takes six months to a year to write a book, providing you are serious about it. It takes months to edit. Authors put their whole being into a story. To sell your work for less than a cappuccino in Costa coffee is degrading. It also under values your work, your time and commitment. I find it painful to say I’m only worth 99p. I’m worth a hell of a lot more. Why were books cheap to begin with? I believe it was so authors could race up the charts. The chart war began. Everyone wants to be in the charts. That’s clear because of the FB posts telling us where authors now are in this chart. Books are released at 99p every day. It is impossible to compete and I have decided I don’t want to. The prediction that 99p books would damage the book business has come true. The reason Amazon are now removing reviews is because the business of posting fake reviews is real. Sock puppeting is a term for the practice of faking favourable reviews on Amazon, in an attempt to inflate ratings of the author’s own work. It’s clearly unethical. But now it is almost impossible for Amazon to differentiate between genuine and fake reviews, so they are removing all that seem even slightly suspicious. So, a loyal reader who has enjoyed a relationship with their favourite author is now being penalised by having their reviews removed.

This is the fault of the ‘Chart Race’ A no holds barred quest to climb the Amazon chart.

Social media, of course, has the ability to make us all too aware of how well others are doing. It produces a sense of failure in many of us. We begin to question everything. Do we have a good family life? Are we successful? Do we have enough Facebook friends? Why doesn’t my husband buy me bouquets of flowers? Why hasn’t that celebrity followed me on Twitter too? Why is my hair not that gorgeous? Why can’t we afford to drink champagne on a Friday night? Why am I not that high in the Amazon chart? Why, why? Am I useless? Am I failure? And finally, if you’re an author, how can I get my book up in the chart? The answer: Drop my price.

I’ve seen authors fall out with other authors because of the chart race paranoia.  

Of course, I will be called bitchy. Or people will say ‘sour grapes’ No! I just want to write good books and sell them for a price I know they are worth. I’m worth more than 99p. I don’t need to post constantly about how well I’m doing. I don’t write for praise. I write because I love it and I love it when a reader tells me how much they enjoyed it. If they now are unable to do that, then it no longer feels like a business I want to be part of. I’m moving away from the chart race. It doesn’t interest me. I’m interested in writing good books. If readers only want 99p books then I guess they won’t have mine. I have to see it as their loss not mine.  

My latest book ‘When Archie Met Rosie’ is currently 99p on Amazon but that will go up in price soon. It’s worth far more than 99p.

I will link to my books below if you are interested. If you have bought read and reviewed my books, I thank you very much and I hope you will think £1.99 is a reasonable price to pay for a book.

https://goo.gl/PN9wcJ

51kpc3LsffL

 

 

Blathering on about everything and nothing and what makes me sad.


Hello, it’s me …

How are you all? Okay I hope.

I’m hiding upstairs. Well, not hiding exactly. The Doctor has a meeting of the book group he’s in. So I’ve come upstairs with my crochet, except I decided to write a blog post instead.

It’s been a funny week. Well, it’s been a funny few weeks actually. I’ve not been entirely myself. I’ve not been anyone else, obviously. I’ve just felt a bit sad. Now, I wasn’t going to write about this, so I don’t know why I am now. I figure people want to read happy blog postings don’t they? Not that this is going to be a miserable one. I’m just digging a hole here aren’t I? I’m generally a happy person. Anyway … more on that later.

Did I tell you I’ve got builders next door? I probably have. I’ve become quite anal talking about builders. I’m going insane with them. They only seem able to bash things with a hammer and they’ve been seven months banging away with a hammer.  I’m sure they are doing a lot more than just bashing around with a hammer but from my perspective, it doesn’t seem so. Honestly, I’m really surprised more builders aren’t murdered by the neighbours. The owners of the house are coming over from America next week, so that will be fun, especially as they are supposedly going to camp in the garden. That’s what one of the builders told us. The house isn’t finished. How unfinished can a house be that you can’t actually camp in it, as opposed to the garden. Quite honestly our house has been unfinished for years but I can’t see us camping out in the garden.  Anyway, how can it not be finished after seven months of hammering?  I could have done loads in our house if I’d done all that hammering.

So, I’ve finished a novel as opposed to hammering about the house. I’ve probably rabbited on about this ad nausea. But I’m so excited because yesterday it went to number 2 in the Amazon chart in Canada. In case you don’t know about it, I’ve put all the details below. I’d like to celebrate with a glass of wine but I’m on another diet and that of course means no wine. Well, you can have wine but not if you want chocolate and if I have to choose then chocolate comes first every time. What would you choose? I need to diet. It’s unhealthy being overweight isn’t it and I hate it when I can’t squeeze into my clothes. I can’t keep buying a size larger as tempting as that is. I’ll be as big as a house soon. No, it’s time to take action. Otherwise I will outgrow everything they sell in ‘Evans’

Anyway, back to writing. It’s hard work writing. You spend all day, every day, alone, stuck in a little room having a weird relationship with people who don’t exist, at least not outside your head. Then you get confused and start calling people by your character’s name. I spent most of last year calling Andrew, Adam. If you’ve read ‘Secrets and Lies’ then you’ll know what character I’m talking about. Then your book is published and you spend days biting your nails worrying that no one will buy it and then when they do, you spend more days biting your nails worrying if they will like it. Then you spend more time worrying that your book won’t climb the charts and that you’ll be a total failure. Then it doesn’t sell as you’d hoped and you spend days crying in the loo.  It’s hellish and if that wasn’t enough, members of your own family don’t seem interested in your work. Hence the sadness I mentioned earlier. It’s odd how they just seem to make out that the books don’t exist. My own brother unfriended me on Facebook, I mean who unfriends their own family? I did think hard about writing about this on my blog. But I always seem to be hiding my feelings from everyone and I am human and it does hurt, especially when they turn their eyes away when someone else mentions your books, almost like it’s something to be ashamed of. This happened only the other day. It’s not just close family but extended family too. Am I tapping into something? Friends are very supportive but I’m cautious about people on Facebook who suddenly turn around out of the blue and accuse you of all sorts and then block you on Twitter. This happened shortly after my mum died and it was quite devastating. Their accusations were extremely hurtful. I’ve worked hard for my success, as little as it is, and I’m happy for anyone else who has success. Especially if they have huge success because it shows what is possible and that inspires me. But, just recently, I’ve wondered if it was worth all the work and the disappointment when certain people disregard it. Still, I’ll mull this one over. Meanwhile I’ve almost finished a romantic comedy. It’s an unexpected love story. I’ve really enjoyed writing about these characters and can’t wait to share the book with you. It’s a romance with a difference.

More news! ‘The Dog’s Bollocks’ has just had its cover reveal in Brazil. I love the cover. The title has changed to ‘Harriet’s Misadventures.’ It was difficult to translate ‘The Dog’s Bollocks’ apparently 🙂 I can well imagine it was!

Anyway back to the psychological thriller ‘WATCHING YOU’ Here’s the blurb.

‘When Libby receives a friend request from her dead uncle she knows it’s time to be afraid.’

Here’s what one reviewer said.

‘The book alternates between present day – after Ewan Galbraith’s release from prison, focusing on his promise that he will take revenge on everyone involved in his murder conviction – and the build up to the carnage of Millennium Eve, and the structure works really well. The writing is taut and just wonderfully edgy, and the characterisation is excellent: as well as the main characters, I particularly liked the police team – involved in the investigation of the earlier events, again handling Libby’s protection – and the light focus on their personal lives as the main story twists and turns around them. Doubts that you’re getting the full story start to creep in as the pages turn faster, the threat increasing and getting ever closer with every new text message and photo. But the “stunning twist” of the Amazon description took me totally by surprise – convincing, credible and a suitably shocking climax to a book that had me on the edge of my seat from its opening pages.’

I hope you’ll like this. Do let me know what you think. It’s currently 99p/99c to download. You can get it here

 Aw, this is so annoying. My laptop is doing the weirdest thing. It’s like it’s been taken over by a weird entity. It’s just doing its own thing and jumping all over the document. I think the cat is responsible for this. He sat on it earlier. That cat is so much trouble. Yesterday he forced himself into a hole at the back of the cupboard under the sink. He never goes into cupboards. I was quite calm at first and then when he didn’t return, well you can imagine.   He just disappeared. I was frantic and getting ready to call the fire brigade when the Doctor, all calm and collected said.

‘Shake his treats.’

Well, I thought that would get him more worked up. I mean, can you imagine being trapped somewhere and hearing your favourite sweet jar being rattled? How upsetting would that be? Anyway, in this case, it worked and he squeezed himself back through the hole much to my relief. This cat! When I was writing my thrillers I would play really scary music to get me into a tense mood. I’d be really into the novel. The music would get scarier and scarier and then suddenly the door would open and in walks the cat. I’d jump out of my skin which in turn caused him to jump out of his skin. What a pair!

Anyway I’ve been ‘blathering on’ as the character from my new comedy would say. I think you will like her. I hope you do anyway. There I go worrying again.

I’m going to make a cup of tea. I’m crazy about Angel Grey tea at the moment by The Tea Experience. They make fab teas. What’s your favourite? I’m a touch obsessed with tea. I have lots of teacups and boxes and boxes of tea. Right now I’m addicted to ‘Fikka’ by The Tea Experience.

I’ll say bye for now, until next time. I will put the links below to the books.

Much love

Lynda

x

Easter, Novels, Stress and Building Work

AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD ON 5TH APRIL.

YOU CAN PRE-ORDER TODAY. ONLY 99P/99C

Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe how long it has been since I last chatted to you on here. I do mean to post but things have been so hectic with writing that there just hasn’t been the time. I’ve also been contending with building work but more about that later. Not my building work, I hasten to add. I would hire decent builders to do my work. (Note to self. Calm down before blood pressure rises … again.

The exciting news and that most certainly isn’t about the builders but about my new book. It isn’t about me murdering a builder, in case you were wondering. That’s for my next novel. You see, I can’t seem to stop talking about builders. It’s like I’m suffering from builder overload. There must be a medical name for this. BST, I imagine. Builder stress disorder. Anyway enough of this, I digress and that’s no good.

So, my exciting news.

 I have a new book out. It is the third thriller. You may know me for my romantic comedy novels. Then again you may not know me at all,which is fair enough.

I was in the middle of a romance when this thriller came to me and the characters Libby and Ewan just wouldn’t leave my brain so I knew I had to write their story. I’m so pleased I did. I enjoyed writing it so much and I so hope you enjoy it.

I’m giving you a little taste of the novel in with this blog post. I hope you enjoy that.

Here’s the blurb.

Ewan Galbreith is out of prison. Libby Owen is scared. Fifteen years earlier she saw Ewan murder her aunt and uncle with their own shotgun, and now he’s coming for her.’

The novel is currently available for Pre Order at the promotional price of 99p/99c so get yours before the price goes up. The audio book will be out later in the year and the paperback is out on the 20th April. BUT the kindle version is released this coming Thursday 5th April. Hurrah. I can’t wait for you to read it.

There will be a romance out in the summer so keep your eyes peeled for that.

So, it’s been a difficult book to write as the cottage next door ‘has had a few repairs’ Those are the words of my neighbour, not mine. I have a word for those few repairs. it’s Gutting.’ I have a word for the builders too but I won’t use it here.

This whole episode has been very disappointing to me. I had a wonderful neighbour. She was American, highly intelligent. She had a doctorate and could debate any subject. I miss her terribly. They loved their old cottage which was originally an old pub. The cottage still had the old doors with lounge and saloon printed on them. There was beautiful oak panelling in one of the rooms and there is still the old pub sign outside. I live in a very quintessential English village and it’s in a conservation area which means there is a limit to what you can do so as not to ruin the beautiful aesthetics of the village. My neighbour died and left the house to her American relatives. They love it (they say) they love the history (they say) So with this in mind they proceeded to remove the lovely panelling and knock down walls. They neglected the old pub sign and knocked down an outhouse that was an old urinal from way back when. Heaven knows what else they are doing as the builders are now boarding up the windows so no one can see. Meanwhile my little cottage trembles with the thuds and the drilling as they break up floors, knock down walls, install a modern kitchen and plastic windows The builders are often rude when we ask questions. They block off the road outside our cottages, even though no one owns the road, so no one else can park there. They’ve been working on this cottage for six months. I’ve written a whole novel in that time and am halfway through another. How have I written it with the constant drilling and hammering? By putting in earplugs and then headphones on top of those. Madness!! I think perhaps I work better under stress. I remember I wrote Pink Wellies and Flat Caps when we were having our own extension. Which I have to say was much quieter by comparison. Still, on a positive note, let’s hope we get lovely new neighbours when the house is sold.

Phew … end of building work chat. Except to say it has had a detrimental effect on me and I have had to watch my blood pressure which has a tendency to go up. Onto nicer things. I hope you have a fabulous Easter with lots of chocolate. I’m attending Slimming World so no goodies for me. An Easter goodie for you. ‘Remember Me’ is 99p as a special Easter promotion. So two novels for £1.99 which can’t be bad.

REMEMBER ME https://goo.gl/Y6jSJQ

WATCHING YOU  https://goo.gl/JYytX9

HERE’S YOUR SAMPLE

‘WATCHING YOU’

Prologue

1st January 2000, 1 A.M.

 

Her bare feet pounded the gravel, the sharp stones cutting mercilessly into her skin. The wind whipped cruelly at her hair and played with her new chiffon dress until her legs became entangled within it. She pulled herself free from the material without once slowing her pace, her heart drumming in her chest. She could hear the blood pulsating in her ears like a wild war dance. Her scalp tingled. Something had touched her. She fought back a scream. It was a branch, just a tree in the blackness of the night. Keep going. She couldn’t stop. A firework boomed and lit up the night sky. She tripped, scattering the detestable gravel. A small sob escaped her lips before she dragged herself up and continued on. He’d seen her. He’d seen her. That’s all she knew.  Keep running. Don’t look back. An orchestra of colours exploded in the sky and lit up the tall iron gates of Greystone Hall ahead of her. She thought back to the house and nausea rose up in her gut. Soon she would smell the pungent odour of seaweed. Her heart beat a steady rhythm now. She knew the beach wasn’t far away. Excited voices and the sound of drunken laughter broke through her pulsating eardrums. People were partying on the beach. It was the beginning of something new, something exciting, a new start.

‘Happy Millennium,’ someone shouted.

She tripped in her haste to reach them. Her mouth connected with cold sand, it scratched her skin.

‘Help me,’ she choked. ‘Please.’

‘Had too much?’ said a voice.

There was laughter from a small group huddled around a camp fire.

‘Hold on,’ said another. The voice concerned.

She felt someone touch her.

‘Fuck, she’s bleeding.’

‘Call the police,’ yelled another.

There was scuffling and someone wrapped a coat around her. It was warm and comforting.

‘Christ, what happened?’ he said.

‘Someone shot my Aunt and Uncle,’ she moaned, trying to get up. She couldn’t. She was exhausted.

‘I think they’re dead.’

 

The Downside of Facebook and How Tea Helps.

facebook-thumbs

I’ve been spending the past few months shut up in my little writing room getting down the thriller that suddenly came to me one night about four months ago. Now, I really didn’t need this thriller popping into my head when it did. I’d already started a lovely romantic comedy with a difference. Then along comes this story, the whole complete story with twist and everything. So, what is a girl to do? So I’ve been trying to write two novels at once. Now, I don’t care what anyone else says, but writing two novels at the same time is very difficult especially when the genres are so different.

I’ve also been trying to study and find time for my new crafting hobby of knitting and crochet. This has of course meant that Facebook and other social media have taken a back seat in my life. So forgive me if I haven’t been getting back to you on those as quickly as normal. There’s something about Facebook, however, that really brings out the negative in me. I know I’ve talked about this before. But reading about other people’s lives and how well they are doing, really affects me. I can’t help feeling that maybe I’m not doing as well. That perhaps my writing isn’t so great compared to other writers. Then there are those that talk about how well their books are doing. I’m pleased for anyone who does well. But I always feel like I am lacking in some way. People seem so confident on Facebook whereas I am far from confident. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way about Facebook. Then there are the selfie photos of other friends looking slim and fantastic whereas I feel frumpy, overweight and unattractive. It becomes too much some days. I find my time on Instagram is much nicer. So do feel free to join me on there. It doesn’t seem to affect me in the same way. There is also this odd thing of when people suddenly unfriend you. You spend days wondering why. But I’ve finally come to the conclusion that these people weren’t my friends anyway. I had a few uncomfortable incidents on Facebook when my account was hacked and temporarily deactivated and people automatically assumed I had unfriended them. I don’t unfriend people. I unfollow if the posts unsettle me but I don’t unfriend. Facebook unsettles my confidence. I like to hear if it unsettles yours too and if so why you stay on it? I stay to promote my books really. But I much prefer Instagram.  I also find there are misleading news stories and manipulated images which I now have to tell myself are not always what they seem. Posts to share if you care about someone with cancer which I find disturbing because they hint if I don’t share them then I can’t care about people with cancer or any other debilitating illness which is completely untrue. Finally the chain letters that come via Facebook which I feel bad about if I don’t send out to 15 friends. I seriously don’t have the time and I get quite a lot of these. So when I read this article about how Facebook can affect your mood, I could very much relate. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/12/15/facebook-admits-spending-time-social-media-can-make-feel-worse/

So, back to books and the two new ones which will be coming out very soon. The romantic comedy is lovely and I have so much enjoyed writing it. The two main characters will be making an appearance on Facebook in the next few months. So, look out for that. I will have a cover reveal too and giveaways. So don’t miss them. Meanwhile you can buy my two other thrillers on Amazon.

SECRETS_TWITTER_2

 

The new thriller I am very excited about. I’ve loved writing this one. I think it is far better than ‘Remember Me’ or ‘Secrets and Lies.’ The cover reveal for the new thriller will be coming very soon. There will also be giveaways. So check the links below to connect with me and make sure your eyes are peeled so you can take part.

So, tell me your feelings about Facebook. Do you find it false? Do you think it is all Smoke and Mirrors? Is it a good or bad thing?

Okay, that’s my little rant over.

Finally I’d like to talk tea. Are you a tea drinker? Do you have a favourite tea? If so what is it? I have a new tea cup and I love it.

G44559219_095_b

 

I’m tea addicted. I love pretty mugs, pretty teapots and different teas. I love The Tea Experience and Jollybrew tea company and of course Wittards. I love tea leaves. There is nothing like a proper pot of tea.

My favourites at the moment are ‘Angel Grey’ which I’m telling everyone about and getting them to try. It’s the most amazing tea. It’s by The Tea Experience and is a subtle combination of black tea, orange slices and rose petals with a dash of bergamot and natural flavouring. You can get a trial size here

I also love Lady Grey by Twinings which is a beautiful tea. A slightly orange twang to this one. 124455lady_grey

 

Another favourite of mine is White Rose tea. This is a white tea by T2 Tea. This is a glorious white tea. You must try it. It is heaven in a teacup. If you have a favourite tea, do tell me about it.

I look forward to sharing the new books with you in the next few months and hearing about your favourite teas.

Lots of love

Lynda

x

Goodbye 2017 (fun, mishaps, books and some sadness)

Hi everyone,

I hope you had a brilliant Christmas and I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year and I hope it is everything you wish for.

I’m hoping 2018 will see fewer mishaps on my part as I well and truly overdosed on those in 2017. There were far too many faux paus to mention.  The time I fell into the river during a boating trip for example and how my first trip to the new shopping centre in Oxford resulted in John Lewis being evacuated. They are two that I remember but I assure you there have been plenty more. Bringing in Bendy when he was outside fighting, only to discover the cat I brought in wasn’t Bendy at all, was another. Bendy was happily in the kitchen eating his food. He wasn’t quite so content when he realised I had brought in another cat, of course.

Of course, I feel sure that your year was just as eventful.

It was also the year that I lost my lovely mum. So the end of 2017 has been a bit tough.

I released two psychological thrillers in 2017 and the first one ‘Remember Me’ surpassed my expectations and I would like to thank all those who purchased and reviewed it but more on those later.

2017 was also the year I discovered the fabulous craft of Crochet.  There will most certainly be more on that.

 

BOATING

IMG-20171008-WA0010 (2)

 

Now, you might love boating. Me? I’ve gone right off it. In fact I didn’t even want to go boating on this particular sunny day in October. I’m not an experimental person and boating is for the summer. That way, should you fall in the water, which apparently is very rare according to the boat owner, (huh, is all I can say) then you’re not likely to freeze to death if you don’t drown first.

The Doctor (aka my husband and if you want to know why he’s known as The Doctor you may have to refer back to older posts) and my grandson who is aged 7 decided they wanted to go boating. Obviously not wishing to be the killjoy I agreed to go too.

The Doctor hired a canoe for three. We trotted behind the owner who threw it over a wall and beckoned us to get in. Now, I don’t know about you but I prefer to get in and out of a boat when the boat and wall are on the same level as opposed to the wall being two feet higher. But, all was well, as the boat owner held onto the boat for us. It did vaguely cross my mind whether he would be there to hold it when we returned but hey, live in the moment right? So off we went. Now, I hate to admit this, but I can’t swim. At least I can swim but I don’t believe I can swim. That makes perfect sense to me. So, when out boating I’m just a touch anxious. After about forty minutes our grandson had had enough. We headed back. I began looking around for the jetty. You know, that safe place to climb out of a boat where you don’t have to reach up to a wall? There wasn’t one. I casually mentioned it to The Doctor, struggling to keep the anxiety from my voice. He looked around too but not with the same anxious look that I had.  Finally he said ‘We obviously have to get out the same way we got in.’

This did not cheer me.

We made our way to the wall with several OAP’s watching us from the benches on the green.

I suggested grandson get out first (anything to put off getting out myself). We held the boat tight against the wall and he slid out easily. The Doctor looked at me and my stomach lurched. How was I to get myself out of the boat, onto the wall, without the boat rocking? There was no one to hold the boat against the wall. All The Doctor could do was steady the boat. He did his best, I’ll give him that but the minute I shifted my weight to lift myself up onto the wall, the boat tipped over and in I went. Into the icy, dirty river. The Doctor said he tried to reach out to me but the boat toppled and he had to keep it steady. He watched the river calmly (he only does things calmly) and then saw a hand rise out of the water like something from a horror movie. This followed a gasping me who could barely breathe. He grabbed my hand promising never to let go. It did feel like that romantic moment from Titanic (huh, who am I kidding).  Convinced this was the end, I clung onto his hand like it was a life raft. Then, came help in the shape of the OAP’s. Yes, only I could be saved from drowning by OAP’s. I’m not proud of it. I could have given anyone of them a cardiac arrest. I’m no light weight. But they got me out, offered me tea and blankets and were so kind. The owner then came (a bit late you have to agree) and said ‘You’re not the first to go in.’ (huh, he’s changed his tune) We skipped the tea and cake we’d planned for after the boat trip and headed home. The Doctor and grandson were very quiet but I knew they were fighting back their laughter (the rotters). We stopped at the supermarket for chocolate cake and then home where I showered and the boys made tea. I came down from the shower and my grandson said earnestly ‘You know I couldn’t have saved you. I’m only seven and have my whole life to live.’

IMG-20171008-WA0003

I think this was his sweet way of telling me I’m now old. This didn’t help. The chocolate cake soothed things a bit and a few days later I felt much better about it and then grandson came to tell me that I had been his show and tell at school. It was titled ‘When Lynda fell into the river’

It has to rate as my most embarrassing moment so far.

BOOKS

2017 saw the release of ‘REMEMBER ME’ my debut thriller. It did exceptionally well, better than I could have dreamed. It went to number 9 in the US Kindle thriller chart and 99 in overall Kindle in the UK. Thank you so much to all who bought and reviewed it. We got an audio publishing deal for it and you can now buy it as an audio book on Amazon. It’s narrated by the fabulous Rosie Akermen Apparently if you already have it on Kindle you get the audio for a much lower price. The kindle price is now £1.99 You can purchase it here 

rememberme2

Following on from ‘Remember Me’ I released ‘Hunters Moon’ which has since been re-released as ‘Secrets and Lies.’ and also been given a new cover. This has also been signed up by the audio publishers and will be released in the New Year.  If you loved ‘Remember Me’ then you will certainly enjoy this. It has been described as a flawless thriller but judge for yourself. It is currently 99p/99c You can purchase here

SECRETS_TWITTER_2

 

 

‘Perfect Weddings’ was also released as an audio book. Purchase here

61UEGAp1r0L._SL150_

‘Wedding Bels’ was re-released yesterday. Originally ‘Croissant and Jam’ It now has a fresh new cover.

WeddingBelsCover

2018 I will release two new novels. One is a comedy romance (a surprising romance) and other a thriller. I can’t say much about them as they are still in progress but I’m sure you will love them. I’m very excited about them and can’t wait to share.

Crochet

Crochet became my big love during 2017 and whenever there was some spare time, then that’s what I did. But this isn’t the blog for that. If you’re interested in crochet and want to join me on my crochet blog then pop over to www.countrycrochet.me  I’ve only written one post but another is due to go up soon. Please join me and share your crochet projects. I’d love to see them.

I lost my mum at the end of the year so the end of the year was certainly tinged with much sadness.

19544_250228471213_5455504_n

May you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR .

Please join me on my new Facebook page

https://goo.gl/81zMGt

Much love Lynda xx

 

 

The downside of Facebook & other much nicer things!

HUNTERAt last I’ve found time to write a blog posting. The days do rush by don’t they? I can’t believe that I’m thinking about Christmas already.

I’ve been quiet for one reason and that is I’ve been engrossed in writing a new novel. I’m really excited to talk about it, so more on that later.

I’ve also discovered a new hobby. But first I want to talk about social networking and how I feel about it at the moment. I’ve been on Facebook for a long time and always enjoyed the interaction I got on there, but recently I’ve become very disillusioned with it. There have been several occasions where I have been extremely upset by what I’ve seen on there. A few weeks ago I scrolled through my newsfeed just before going to bed and a horrific photo of animals being abused was thrust into my face. I was distressed beyond words and couldn’t sleep that night for thinking about it. I couldn’t even face going back to report it because it meant I would have to see it again. I began to be afraid to scroll through my newsfeed for what I might see. So, since then I have barely been on FB. I post a few things and that’s it really. So, if you are on FB and I haven’t been commenting or wishing people a happy birthday, then that’s why. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds these kind of photos distressing. I’ve tried to understand why people post them. I’m sure it is to raise awareness. But I am aware. I know these things go on. I know what charities to support. I know bad things happen. I’m aware children get abused as well as animals. I just don’t need graphic photos to hammer it home. So, for me, FB is not somewhere I want to be that much. If you want to follow me and I hope you do then you can find me on Instagram under Lynda Renham. It is a far nicer place I find. I’m also on Twitter but not so much. But I’m also here at the blog. So feel free to join me. Do let me know your feelings about distressing pictures on FB. I’d like to hear your feelings.

SOMETHING NICER

Now, onto something else, something much nicer. In between writing I also discovered the fabulous art of crochet and I am addicted. So much so, that in the next few weeks I hope to set up my crochet and knitting blog. It will be dedicated to just crochet and all the hand crafts that are such fun to do. It will focus on my crochet journey. So, keep an eye out. I’m in love with this hobby. It’s so calming and relaxing and makes you feel so calm. If you’re stressed in any way then I would recommend it. I taught myself by watching You Tube videos and I’ll be recommending many of those in my new crochet blog. I started last December and have so far made two blankets, a shawl, and lots of squares which I plan to join together. I also made a cushion cover and am currently working on another blanket for a friend. I’ve found a renewed interest in knitting and have made a teddy bear and am working on a shawl. It’s fabulous. I have bought numerous books and will share those on my new blog too. If you’re into any craft then please let me know. I’ll be sharing my new blog posts on FB, Twitter and Instagram. I hope you’ll join me when I do. There are CAL’s  (crochet alongs) which I hope to take part in too and I’m looking forward to going to some yarn festivals too. As you can see I am truly hooked (so to speak) I hope I have fired some of you into looking into this wonderful, calming craft. It’s not hard once you get the hang of it.

I’ve left the best for last. Coming on the 12th September is my new novel ‘Hunters Moon’

hunt

It’s a psychological thriller and I so hope you enjoy it. It has been a long time in the writing. I’ve enjoyed it but I’ve also decided that the next book will be much lighter and funnier than the previous two. Thank you so much to all those that bought ‘Remember Me’ It did exceptionally well, especially in the USA. So well in fact that it is coming out as an audio book next month. I will post links when I have them. Also ‘Perfect Weddings’ is coming out as an audio book too and should be available for Christmas, I hope.

Here’s a little about the new novel ‘Hunters Moon’

‘Hunters Moon, set in the little English village of Penlyn, promises to be the dream home for Flora and Adam McIntosh. Adam’s career in politics has taken a turn for the better and the only thing left to complete the couple’s happiness is a baby. Flora believes the new home will help her overcome a recent miscarriage but she soon realises the house is not all it seems. What are the villagers of Penlyn hiding and does Hunters Moon hold a dark secret? Flora soon finds herself entrapped in a web of deceit with no one to turn to. Her dream home becomes her nightmare as Flora fears for her life.’

I’m very excited and can’t wait to share this with you. I hope you enjoy it.

Well that’s it until next time. I hope I hear from you.

Much love

Lynda

x

REMEMBER ME

A new neighbour moves next door. They seem nice enough. You go to their house for dinner. It’s a nice house.  And then things start to change. The vase in your house is suddenly on their landing. The colour of your kitchen becomes the colour of their kitchen. How much of your life will SHE take? ‘Remember Me’ is an unsettling and on the edge of your seat thriller. Clare is glad when the new neighbours move in. It’s nice to have a new friend.  But as time moves on Clare begins to fear for her baby and her own sanity. As a writer the thought of changing the genre that I normally write was a bit nerve-wracking but I decided to go for it because I had such great ideas in my head and after all, a writer is a writer. We surely can’t be expected to write the same things over and over. So, my new release is a psychological thriller.  The next book will be a romantic comedy again. It’s quite nice to chop and change a bit. I’m very much hoping my readers will enjoy this new book. You can buy it at the promotional price of 99p or if you’re part of Amazon’s prime subscription then you can borrow it for FREE. Go here to purchase

Enjoy Lynda xx

New Cover Reveal

I’m really excited to reveal the cover of my new novel titled Remember Me.  I so hope you enjoy it. It’s a psychological thriller so a move away from my normal romantic comedy. Please let me know what you think.

9780993402692

Remember Me will be available to pre-order at the end of March

Just a little post to tell you that my novel Coconuts and Wonderbras is now free on Amazon,

I’m a bit late telling you this but there is still time to get your freebie. You can pop to Amazon or the daily deal as linked below and … enjoy.

Ebookdaily125

Get yours here

In the meantime check out my new novel cover reveal. The novel will be released in April. Let me know what you think?

Books, ‘La La Land’ and Cats

bollocks

Gosh, I can’t believe I haven’t written in here since November 2016. What have I been doing with myself, aside from eating Kit Kats untill I look like one?  It’s been so long that even WordPress has changed. What’s worse, I forgot my password to get in. Let me tell you getting back into WordPress was harder than breaking into the Bank of England. Not that I’ve tried to break into the Bank of England, I should hasten to add. The important thing is that I’m back.  I was thinking about this blog in bed the other night and thought if only I had the time like I used to. I then realised that I actually have more time now than I ever had. When I worked part-time I seemed to find the time to write in this blog, write novels, cook dinner and keep on top of the housework. Now, I work at home full-time and get nothing but books written. The less said about housework and the dinner, the better. That’s great, but how is it I have more time but get less done? Time management, I hear you say. Quite right too. Less procrastination and more work. So, today I am editing and I thought why not take a break and write a post for the blog while listening to the soundtrack from ‘La La Land’

So what’s been happening. Do I have news? Yes I do. I have a new novel coming out soon. It doesn’t seem that long ago that my last little baby came out. Here it is just in case you had forgotten. You may remember that ‘Phoebe’s Smith Private Blog’ had two different covers. I’d love to know which one you preferred. Leave a comment. Anyway back to novels.  ‘Phoebe Smith’ is £1.99 on Amazon. Better still you can borrow it for free if you are with Amazon Prime. Take a look. You can get it here  All my books apart from a few can be borrowed for free on Amazon. Check it out. I’m also delighted that ‘The Dog’s Bollocks’ popped back into the charts this month. Borrow that for free too. Check it out here

phoebesmithnewcover-copyphoe

My new novel is due to be released early April. I’ve gone for a change in genre this time and it is a psychological thriller. I do hope you like those. It’s very gripping and I’ve just got the cover. I love it. I’ll be sharing it soon on Facebook and Twitter and there will be the usual competitions on my Facebook page so do join us here  if you haven’t already. I’ve been holed up here in my writing room working hard on the new one. I so hope you like it. There will be lots of lead up on my Facebook page so keep your eyes peeled. My little companion in my writing room is my lovely cat ‘Bendy’

17038587_10155104024661214_7625647416600510685_o

About six months ago we almost lost him. One Sunday morning he just collapsed. There was no warning. He couldn’t move or do anything other than sleep. I even had to pick him up from the garden after he had a pee. Not ideal! Me being me, I went into a massive panic, while my husband, AKA as the doctor, kept remarkably calm. we drove to the vet. That is the doctor did. I was shaking so much I could barely hold onto the cat basket. The vet diagnosed heart failure and gave little Bendy a week to live (ooh deep breaths at the memory) So we brough him home with his meds. I needed some Valium for myself at this point. Oddly he bucked up the next day, although he was still cautious going up and down the stairs and slept more than usual. But the next day he bucked up even more and the doctor and I started to get a bit suspicious about the flea preparation we had used on him a few days previous to his collapse.  I then Googled, which I’m prone to do about any illness, only to discover other pet owners having had a similar problem with their pet after giving them flea treatment. I’m now dead against flea products. I think they’re too toxic for little cats. Does anyone know an alternative treatment for dealing with fleas? Please let me know.

So, that’s it for the this post. I hope it wasn’t too boring. I’m now going to edit and then write another post about our holiday. That will be a more humourous one, so hold onto your hats 🙂

Lots of love

Lynda xx

 

Women’s Bits and New Books

 

 

images-1It’s been so long since I’ve posted on here. It’s been a manic few months with so much happening.

Life is certainly never static is it? After months and months of chronic knee I finally went private to find out what was going on. This only after being told that my appointment to see a consultant would take eighteen months. Eighteen months, I don’t know about you but that seemed a lifetime away to me. I love the NHS but it certainly doesn’t seem to like me. Or maybe my GP doesn’t like me. I discovered my flat feet were crippling me. Who’d have thought such a simple thing could cause so much pain? Insteps and a few months later and I feel like a new woman. Well, leg wise anyway. A woman I am beginning to detest being.

So, I thought I’d share the ongoing saga I am having with my GP. I’m attempting to see the funny side of things as I’m sure there must be one. I’m also hoping someone going through a similar thing may contact me to share. God knows I’m in need of sharing.

Before you read on, be aware this post does mention female bits. Okay, brace yourself for the ride. Ready? Here we go then.

About three months ago I began to feel just a touch uncomfortable ‘down there’ My mum always referred to it as ‘down there’ and oddly enough so did a very young gynaecologist I saw. There was me trying to be all technical and knowledgeable by saying, ‘The sore area is on the right labia, high up by the vagina.’ We finally just referred to it as ‘down below.’ I must admit it is far simpler. I also worry I’m saying the names wrong. I probably know the parts of a car better than I do ‘down there’

Anyway, I’m waffling as usual. So, the first thing I do is go to my GP. Sensible I thought. I phone for an appointment. I’m then triaged as I say I really can’t wait three weeks! I’m told my doctor will phone me. She does. She then tells me they are too overcome and I’d have to go to another surgery in the town closest to me. Off I trot. I see a nice doctor there who says she can’t see anything ‘down there.’ Asks me if sex is painful and then suggests something to numb the soreness. I’m not over the top happy but take her prescription. A week later I’m still the same. I phone my GP again and it’s arranged for me to see a female doctor at my own surgery. Off I pop. I explain the soreness and she has a look.

‘Ooh,’ she says surprised, ‘I can see a lesion.’

‘Oh really, I guess that must be the problem,’ I reply.

‘It looks like an ulcer.’

‘Right, what do you do for that?’

A sensible question I thought.

‘I think we should take swabs.’

Great, this was what I wanted to hear.

‘Shall I test for everything?’ she asks.

Now, not being a doctor, I have no idea what everything is. Clearly she doesn’t need to check me for Syphilis or any other STD. I’m happily married to my second husband. He is happily married to me. I was previously married for a long period to another man who wasn’t the type to put it about either. You know your men better than the doctors’ right?

‘Not the things I’m unlikely to have,’ I say.

‘I think we should test for Herpes,’ she says.

I’m a bit open-mouthed for a second and then stupidly find myself wondering if you can get Herpes any other way. I’ve not even worn a tampon in over a year, besides you can’t catch it from them can you? I try not to be insulted.

‘There’s no way I have Herpes,’ I say, trying not to sound affronted.

‘You could have had it from the age of nineteen,’ she says confidently.

‘Without symptoms? I ask.

I’m seriously distrustful of her judgements now.

‘It would be odd that you’ve had no symptoms,’ she says.

So here I am at the age when the only thing I should be worried about is the menopause and this twenty something woman is telling me I’ve been walking around with Herpes for over thirty years without any symptoms and now wham bam here they are. Yes, right, you don’t trust her judgement either do you?

She takes the swabs and I hit the ceiling. She tests for thrush and Herpes. I tell her I have neither. She doesn’t listen to me. I have no voice.

I trot back home and phone for the results a few days later. The receptionist isn’t allowed to give me the results so I wait for the doctor to phone. She doesn’t. It’s on her list but she doesn’t phone. I call the next day and ask could she phone as I’m still in discomfort and need something to ease the soreness. I’m now struggling to pee. And let me tell you, I pee a lot.

‘She’s the duty doctor today,’ I’m told. ‘So she’s very busy.’

Excuse me, but am I not a patient?

I patiently explain she was supposed to have phoned me yesterday and didn’t. It’s a Friday and I don’t know what to do now the tests have come back. It gets to five and still no phone call. The phones shut down at six at the surgery. I phone The Doc (Andrew my husband) in tears. He phones them and says how dissatisfied we are. They promise to phone. They still haven’t by six. He goes in on his way home and says he won’t leave until they call me. She finally does and tells me I will need to be referred and it will take six weeks but as they saw a lesion she thinks I should be referred to the cancer clinic using the two-week wait. I question whether it could be a hormonal thing as my breasts are also sore. She doesn’t know. I ask if she thinks it could be serious and she says ‘The other doctor saw a lesion so best to be sure.’ I agree and wait for the appointment. At least I know I don’t have thrush or Herpes. It’s a start.

A week or so later and off I pop again to see a lovely gynaecologist. We chat about ‘down there’ and finally he has a look ‘down there.’ He then asks if I’d like to know what is wrong with me? Dumb question, but still.

‘Nothing,’ he says.

‘Right,’ I say. ‘So is it Atrophy then?’ I ask pulling up my knickers. I’d worn my best frilly pair. Well, last time I got caught out with a hole at the back. Very embarrassing.

‘Ah, how do you know these things?’ he asks.

‘Ah, I like to know what’s going on with my body,’ I say.

‘Right,’ he says, ‘You need some local Oestrogen for ‘down there’

‘Oh, I say, ‘I take HRT, wouldn’t that have been enough?’

‘Some women need both.’

‘So it’s okay to use both?’

You can’t say I don’t ask questions.

Off I pop. A few days later I phone  my GP and ask them if I can have the medication. They say they will get the doctor to phone. She doesn’t phone. I’m tearful. I phone again the next day and she finally calls back and tells me I can’t have it if I’m on HRT and that she needs the letter to come back first and will also contact the menopausal clinic to speak to my consultant there. I tell her the gynaecologist said it was okay. No one believes me. I contact the menopausal clinic. They send an email saying I can have the medication. The gynaecologist writes and says I can have the medication. My doctor still doesn’t give it. I phone again to be told she is very busy and that she needs the letter first. I tell them it is on their system as I can see it. That day I get no medication. The next day I phone again. I wait until six, no phone call, no medication. Finally it gets to Thursday and I phone again. This time no reply. I jump in my car and go there. I’m seething, in pain and totally fed up. I demand the medication and tell the woman at the pharmacy at the surgery that I’m not going without it. She then tells me my doctor has gone home. She had messages to contact me. She ignored them.

I stand my ground and a doctor gives me the medication as soon as he hears what is happening.

Your opinion? I’d like to hear it.

Meanwhile happy news. While all that has been going on ‘down there’  ‘up here’ a new book has been released and I’m so excited. It’s already getting rave reviews and it’s only **99p** at least for a short time. Don’t miss out.

renham-phoebe-fbcover

I’ve loved writing this book and I so hope you enjoy reading it. It’s a fab read for Christmas. Well, I would think so, wouldn’t I?

Lots of love

Lynda

x

When the buggers try to shut you up

blog

Ten years ago or more I created a group named Childless Support. I created the group to support women, like myself, who could not have children. I’m known for my activism in this subject as there are many articles written by, or about me, concerning my childlessness and the fact that I founded the group, which now has over 1,000 members. I have spoken on radio and to the media on the subject. However, seven years ago I stepped back from the group after feeling I had given all I could. I did stay in the group but kept a low profile. The past year I have been saddened at how the group has declined. The bitterness and division within it is not something I ever encouraged. I have now been driven to publicly distance myself from the group, as I do not want to be connected in any way with the group it has become. I created a group that supported women who could not have children. It was for women who were childless not by choice. There are women who choose to be childless (childless by choice) and it was always clear that Childless Support was not a group for them. However, I never encouraged bitterness or negativity towards women who could have children or towards women who chose not to have children.  The group I ran was happy for a woman if she finally managed to conceive. The group was a positive one, helping women to cope with their isolation of being childless in a positive way. It discouraged bitterness and bad feeling towards women who could have children and focused on moving forward and finding ways of living a life without children. We also accepted that for many this was an extremely difficult thing to do and supported them as much as possible in their struggle. We never ever excluded a woman who was still trying to conceive. I only requested that if a woman should become pregnant that she kindly left and that we wished her all the best. Many of these women I stayed in contact with.

Not anymore it seems. The groups’ admins have changed all that and seem very threatened by me. So much so that as soon as I state an opinion I am shot down. I have now been blocked from the group I once founded, supposedly, for being negative and rude. I was actually voicing valid points and emphasising what a support group is supposed to do. The admins had changed the criteria and were now saying that women who were TTC (Trying to conceive) were now no longer welcome. I’m not sure how these criteria can be enforced. Does this mean the woman should not have unprotected sex or does it mean she should not be having fertility treatment? My argument was that to change a group’s ethos in this way, clearly to please some, (I was informed it was for the masses) would mean excluding women who were already members. That didn’t seem fair to me. While some women were rude to TTC women during this discussion, it seemed I was the only one who was blocked. The administrator who was clearly threatened by me, made comments to me and then blocked me before I could respond. She did the same again when I attempted to email her to explain my points and to also remind her that I had offered to help with the group but that she had not responded to my message. She responded rudely by telling me how rude and negative I was and before I could respond, again blocked me. I previously argued that members posting Memes with nasty comments about women with children was offensive and that as a member I was distressed to see it. Again I was told if I was not happy with the group I could leave. Does this sound like a support group or a ‘I hate women trying for babies and women who have babies’ group’?

I have since had numerous emails from members telling me how upset they are with the group. So, I have now taken the sad step of publicly distancing myself from it. This is NOT the group I created but something completely different. If it is the group for you then fair enough. I just need to state clearly I am not connected with it at all!

I hope to start a new group in the near future.

So, as I couldn’t argue the criteria on Facebook I thought I would argue it on my blog. If you think it makes sense then I take my hat off to you. I did not write the following. The guidelines that I wrote for this group were removed, which I have no argument with. Like I said, I’m not connected with this group at all.

Here are their guidelines with my thoughts in brackets.

The pain of being childless is Un-explainable. (Strange wording. I would have said unbearable. I certainly can explain my feelings) This is a support group to help people get through the pain of being childless. To help support, listen and vent to each other as we journey through our lives being Childless.

This is not a group for people that have had biological children.  ( I would think that was obvious)
This is not a group for those who chose to not have children.  (Correct wording is childless by choice)

Please respect this group is for those of us who cannot have children, without making a choice. (Correct phrasing is childless not by choice)

Our group is not a fertility group.

This is also NOT a TTC Trying to Conceive Group  (Terribly unfair. A high percentage of childless not by choice women never give up hope of having a child. Why should they be excluded?)

Please do not request to join unless you cannot have children & need support coping with that. If this isn’t the case, or you get it by mistake, you will be removed. (Get what by mistake?) This is an exclusive group for childless not by choice individuals/couples. Male and female welcome.

****Wanting to join us? (why are there stars?) Send us a request!  (Why is there an exclamation mark) You’ll receive an email from Mel Gray who is an Admin once we receive your reply, we’ll approve your request :)Please check for email in your others folder. If I do not receive a response from the email within 14 days I will delete your request. (What if you go on holiday and don’t have access to the internet. Your bad luck I guess)

The good thing about this response is that this time if anyone from the group wants to respond then I have the power to allow their comments to be published or as the admins seem to enjoy doing, blocking them.

A Touch of Poldark for your pleasure.

village romance

I’m really excited to release the second in my Little Perran country romances. ‘A Village Romance’ This one is slighter racier than ‘A Christmas Romance’ and somewhat funnier. I thought I would give you a free sample of the first chapter. It was such fun and a little departure from my normal comedies and I do love writing romance, especially with a touch of erotica. And this one certainly had me fanning myself. It wasn’t quite Lady Chatterley but more Poldark, so I’m told. I rather think it is a bit Lady Chatterley-ish. Get the book and meet the sexy Rafe Wylde and decide for yourself. It’s only 99p. Get away from the referendum for a while.

You can buy your copy here

And hitting Amazon, Kobo and all other good bookshop on Saturday is ‘A Summer Romance’ the sequel to ‘A Village Romance’ and it goes tits up in that one.  Lot’s of racy stuff in this one. If you love the country and you love romance then you’ll enjoy this.

Renham-ASummerRomance-Facebook-Pre-Order

I’m now back to writing my next comedy.  Talking of which ‘Perfect Weddings’ is still 99p but not for much longer.  So pop over quickly. Meanwhile below is Chapter One of ‘A Village Romance’ ENJOY!

9780993402623_PerfectWeddings

Chapter One of a Village Romance

 

‘Move to the country?’ protested Billy Baxter. ‘Why the hell would I want to move to the country? It’s all tractors and cow dung out there. Anyway, I don’t speak the lingo. I’ve got a nice little pad here thank you very much.’

Ian sighed.

‘I thought, a little break, you know, might get the old creative juices going again,’ he said, and gave a false laugh. Old was the operative word, he thought, but didn’t say it. The fact was he had no idea what to do with Billy Baxter these days.

Billy stopped strumming his guitar, shook his shoulder-length hair back and grinned.

‘What are you talking about? The creative juices have never stopped flowing. I tell you, this new one is my best yet.’

Ian took a swig of his lager and said,

‘The trouble is Billy, no one else has heard your new one yet to decide if it’s your best. I can’t get anyone to play it. Radio 1 just doesn’t air your kind of stuff any more, and Radio 2 …’

‘Radio 2,’ scoffed Billy. ‘That’s for old has-beens. I’m not Val bloody Doonican. You won’t get me in a bleeding rocking chair.’

Ian was silent. Billy whipped off his guitar and grabbed a lager.

‘So you want to farm me out to the country?’ he said sulkily. ‘And what does that achieve? Everyone rediscovers me when I’m not around is that it?’

‘The last time the press discovered you, you were on a boat with some bird half your age sitting on your …’

‘Yeah, I remember it well,’ Billy smiled.

‘Not the image you need Billy. Anyway, you could do with a rest. You’re burnt out,’ said Ian with faked sympathy.

‘Everyone else goes to The Priory and I go to the bloody country,’ said Billy sourly.

‘I don’t think you can afford The Priory. You’ve got to be doing really well to enjoy the privilege of having a meltdown there.’

‘But the bloody country, come on Ian. It’s all barn dances and Women’s Institutes. It’s not me,’ Billy said as he picked up his guitar again.

‘I think it will be good for your image. It suits Elton John and that lot,’ said Ian, resting his hands on his beer belly.

‘It suits Elton John to be a poof. I suppose you want me to become one of them too. Anyway, they play Elton John on Radio 1 …’

‘You’re not exactly in Elton John’s league and …’

‘What about Graham whatsisface? I thought you were getting me on his show.’

‘They’ve got a lot of celebs lined up …’

‘I’m a celeb for Christ’s sake.’

‘New celebs Billy, like Finn Morrison and …’

‘Huh,’ scoffed Billy. ‘Have you heard his record, it’s …’

‘No one calls them records any more Billy,’ sighed Ian. ‘Anyway they turned you down for the Graham Norton show.’

Billy shook his head in despair.

‘What about Desert Island Discs?’

‘That’s Radio 4,’ Ian reminded him. ‘You hate Radio 4.’

‘That’s true. I do,’ agreed Billy thoughtfully.

They sat in silence for a few moments and sipped their lagers.

‘How about one of those reality programmes?’ Billy said finally. ‘I can do that. I can cope in the jungle. That will give the record a boost.’

‘Forget about the jungle, Billy. You just said you wouldn’t cope in the country.’

Billy sighed.

‘You’re my manager and the best you can come up with is that I retire to the country. I’m only fifty-six. Surely you can set me up with some gigs.’

‘I’ve tried Billy, I’ve tried. There’s a lot of competition …’

‘Huh, you call this new crap ‘music’? If that’s competition then I’ll eat my arse,’ he scoffed.

‘I’m thinking we could build a new image for you. You know, like Paul O’Grady and Julian Clary. They went to the country and then …’

‘One ended up on Strictly Come Dancing and the other’s doing a bloody animal show. Christ, I hate animals and I can’t dance for toffees. Why do you keep lumping me in with bum bandits?’

‘Gays, Billy. People call them gays these days. It’s image building mate. If you look like a country gent we may have a chance of getting you on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!

Billy’s eyes sparkled.

‘Wicked.’

‘I do wish you would stop talking like you’re stuck in the eighties,’ Ian sighed.

‘And you think moving to the country will be good for my image?’ Billy asked doubtfully.

Ian nodded.

‘I’ll put it out to the media. We may even get a story.’

Billy punched the air.

‘We can say I’m going there to meditate and stuff. That I’m into tantric sex like Sting. They like all that. We can do some photo shoots of me in those yoga positions. Isn’t there some charity in Nepal I can support? How about if we give Richard Gere a bell, he’s into all that stuff isn’t he?’

Ian closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

‘Let’s keep it a bit more low key shall we?’ he said patiently. ‘Keep the press guessing for a bit and then we’ll give them a story. I know the break up with Clara was tough but you’ve got to stop knocking off twenty-five-year-olds. It looks a bit, you know …’

‘It looks a bit what?’

‘Immature. You look like you’re going through a midlife crisis. Give yourself a nice break. A good bit of image building is what we need. The press will be crying out to know what’s happened to you.’

Not that they could really give a shit, he thought, but didn’t say that to Billy. There was a lot Ian thought but never said.

‘You know Clara’s asking for dog bloody maintenance?’ scoffed Billy. ‘That bleeding dog is better groomed than I am.’

‘That’s not hard, Billy.’

‘She feeds it caviar. I bloody ask you. It nearly bit my whatsit off once. All I was trying to do was get into my own bed. It was my bed of course. Comes to something when the only threesome you have with your tart is with her bloody poodle.’

‘And you really should stop calling her a tart in interviews, Billy. It doesn’t look good. That’s partly why she’s taking you to the cleaners.’

Billy sighed.

‘So where in the country do you think I should go?’ he asked. He pulled open two more cans and gave one to Ian.

‘Here,’ said Ian, and handed him an estate agent’s leaflet. ‘There’s a nice little place for rent. Higgledy Piggledy Cottage in a Cotswold village, you can’t get more country than that.’

Billy looked at the leaflet and shook his head.

‘Who’d have thought it, me, Billy Baxter in the country. I’ll be herding chickens next.’

‘It looks peaceful. It will do you the world of good,’ smiled Ian.

Billy studied the leaflet and then picked up his guitar.

‘Sounds a real drag but if you think it will improve my image …’

Ian lifted his can in celebration.

‘Here’s to your new life in Little Perran,’ he said, barely able to hide the relief from his voice.