The Downside of Facebook and How Tea Helps.

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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.

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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.

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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

Woo Hoo, Christmas Is Coming

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

So, what better way to celebrate than this!

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

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

So hurry over to Amazon here and get yours.

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

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

 A Christmas Romance

Lynda Renham writing as Amy Perfect

Chapter One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frankie laughed.

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

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

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

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

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

Frankie felt her heart sink.

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

‘A bit of cheating helps,’ scoffed Birdie.

‘Birdie, I’m sure that’s not true.’

Birdie nodded.

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

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

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

Birdie’s eyes widened.

‘Oh Frankie, that’s amazing.’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She looked at Frankie with wide eyes.

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

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

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

Frankie stared at her.

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

‘You haven’t told me who it is?’

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

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

‘In the flesh,’ Birdie swooned.

‘But why is he coming here?’

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

Frankie felt her blood boil.

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

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

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

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

Frankie grimaced.

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

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

Frankie forced a smile.

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

‘He’ll be okay for one evening.’

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

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

‘All the same she might have told me.’

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

Frankie laughed.

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

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

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

Birdie’s mouth dropped open.

‘But you always go.’

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

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

‘I’ll see.’

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

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

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

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

To read more, get your copy here.

 

 

 

 

My Normal, Mad Behaviour

 

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Me with the geocache in France

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks. I’ve been suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And just when you think it has gone, it rears its ugly head again with a vengeance. Leaving you drained and shattered and with thoughts that you don’t normally have.

However, it hasn’t stopped my normal mad behaviour. Now there’s a phrase you won’t see very often. Normal mad behaviour.

I got back from my holiday. Ooh I never told you about the weird happening on holiday. Here I go digressing. The doctor and I went on a little trek to look for a Geocache. If you’re never heard of Geocaching, then let me enlighten you. Dotted all over England and in Europe are little treasures. Nothing big but finding them is fun and they are nearly always hidden in beautiful parts of the country. The doctor and I do this a lot. Yes, you always wondered what we did in our spare time didn’t you. It’s a good way to get walking and walking in a nice place. So, while in France we decided to go Geocache hunting. You can check Geocache hunting here

Off we went on a lovely walk. We find the treasure. Took photos for the web page and started to walk back. By now we were both thirsty and a little hungry. The walk took us onto a dual carriageway where we never imagined for one moment to find an eating place. But there was the sign. Large and bold ‘Creperie’

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‘How lucky,’ I said.

We turned the corner to where the sign was large and welcoming again and even more welcoming was the open sign. In French, of course, but luckily the Doctor can speak some French.  Ahead of us was a large wrought iron gate and hooked through it was an odd padlock. Hooked through but not locked. We looked at each other for a moment and then pulled the lock through the gap in the gate. We then pushed the gate open only to hit a large paddle which had been laid in front of it.

‘I’m not sure we should go in,’ says the doctor.

‘But it’s open,’ I say, my throat closing up from thirst.

I’m beginning to know what it feels like to be stranded in the desert. Was this some kind of mirage? My first thought was that dogs may come racing towards us, tearing at our throats like something out of a Stephen King novel. I hesitated at the gate.

‘It does say open,’ I repeat, feeling my breathing return to normal after seeing there is no sign of mad, snarling dogs.

We step over the paddle and venture in. We turn a corner and see the café. It is all set up outdoors. We stare for a few seconds and then both become aware of the eerie silence. The huge house to the right of us is imposing. We look at the table and chairs and then I realise. They are all pulled out, like people left in a hurry. On the tables are jugs, half filled with water, just sitting in the sun. Also there was a bottle of wine and glasses, also sitting in the hot sunshine. On one table was a lighter and glasses.  On others half-drunk glasses of water, but the worst part was the eerie silence.

And then … that awful feeling of being watched.

‘We should go,’ says the doctor.

There is not even the clatter of crockery. That usual noise you hear when in a restaurant. We backed out slowly and I nervously began clicking away with my camera, focusing on the windows of the house.

We then hurriedly left and for some weird reason I felt an overwhelming need to look behind for at least twenty minutes. Here are the photos but they don’t do justice to the spookiness we felt.

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Back to my normal mad behaviour.

I got back from holiday, went to fill my car with petrol and couldn’t get the petrol cap off. I was turning it the right way but it just went round and round. When I turned it the other way it made a strange clicking sound. I spent twenty minutes in the garage. Finally I came home and considered pulling it off with a knife. I phoned the doctor first though. I didn’t want his wrath when he came home.

‘Take it to the garage where you bought it,’ he says. ‘It’s still under warranty.’

So, off I go to the next village with my car. Of course, by now, I am very low on petrol. I pull up and march into the office.

‘The petrol cap won’t come off,’ I complain. ‘That’s not very good. I’ve only had the car for a few months.’

You have to stand your ground in garages don’t you? especially if you’re a woman and blonde at that. They immediately assume you’re a dumb blonde don’t they? Well I’m here to prove them wrong.

He follows me to my car and turns the petrol cap until he has it off and is holding it in his hand.

I stare flabbagasted.

‘What did you do?’ I ask.

‘I undid the cap,’ he says flatly.

Ever felt like a dumb blonde.

‘But how?’ I ask.

He demonstrates and I realise when I thought the cap was locked it was in fact the right way to turn and just needed a little more turning to come off. I’d only been away a week and in that time I had managed to forget how to take the cap off my new car. I mumbled something about being tired and drove home.

Still at least I have a good reason for this madness now.

Lastly, my novels. Well, you didn’t think I would write a blog without doing a bit of promotion. My readers say they will buy anything I write. So, I don’t understand why no one is buying ‘The Diary of Rector Byrnes’ which is me writing under the name of Edith Waylen. Please give it a go, it is only 99p at the moment and you don’t often get Lynda Renham books for 99p.

Here it is.  It’s a chilling love story. Click here to purchase  It’s a tale of love, faith and much more.

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Meanwhile much love to you all and thank you for your support. This CFS is a bugger and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Lynda

xxxxx

 

 

Coming Out of the Closet

You may, or then again you may not, have wondered where I’ve been. I had decided not to say anything and then … Well, I’m a writer after all. I write about everything. But mostly I write comedy. I’m a cheerful, happy and funny person. At least, I was, until some months ago. I’ve decided not to hide. I’m coming out, so to speak. I came out on Facebook and it freed me and anyone who doesn’t understand, well, frankly, I don’t care. I’m that knackered most of the time that I don’t actually have the energy to care. BUT I want to say that my aim is to get back to normal as quickly as possible without compromising myself. I’ve missed writing humourous posts for this site and I have several up my sleeve. Particularly funny stories from my holiday which I plan to share with you.

But I know I can share this with you and that you will be understanding. It’s easier to share than to pretend all is well and to struggle to keep up with social networking which just adds to my stress. My note to Facebook was short but I hope clarifying. I will go into more depth here, however. This was my Facebook post.

Okay, coming clean here and not for tea and sympathy but just to explain why I’ve not been on Facebook as much as usual. And why when I am, I’m not my usual jolly, funny me.
A few months ago I had something of a meltdown. Several things contributed to this but mostly I was surrounded by an enormous amount of stress and it seems the stress doesn’t get you until it actually goes! Sounds crazy but that’s how the body works apparently.
So … after doing just a short amount, I feel exhausted, head swimming and generally washed out. Often unable to do anything apart from write my 1,000 words and some days I have been unable to do that. I’ve been weepy, and intolerant of most things.
But I’m getting better and as time goes on things feel easier. It’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy. It feels like flu but a hundred times worse and your body feels like it has totally given up on you.
I miss interacting with you as I love my readers so much. I hope you will understand. I will be back with you very soon but I am conserving all my energy for the novels. Enjoy ‘Roxie Brown’ and hopefully there will be another one very soon. Who knows, maybe in time for Christmas.”

So there you have it. In short, I’ve had a mini meltdown and some days it is a struggle to get off the couch. My head spins, feels full of cotton wool. My legs feel like lead and it feels like I am walking through treacle. I feel like I have a bad case of flu. My heart races, my eyes hurt, my sight is blurry and my body feels so exhausted I can hardly think straight. Just as I think I am improving something mildly stressful may happen and I’m thrown back. This happened only yesterday. It is crippling and something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I’m focusing on my new novel and that’s about all I can manage at the moment. I’ve tweeted a lot more as it is much easier than Facebook . After an hour of promotion I am totally knackered.

I’m not absolutely sure what brought this on. I’m putting it down to a lot of stress and to the fact that I’ve always been a deep thinker and analyser. I’ve possibly driven myself into a break down thinking about time running out and how I’m not getting any younger. Whatever the cause it is a slow walk back and I’m taking it slowly. To most I look no different. I’m good at putting on a good show and many will read this and be surprised. But I’ve decided honesty is the best policy. But I will be working the same so don’t hesitate to ask me anything. I can always say no and I’m getting better at that these days.

Meanwhile, a little plug. ‘Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown’ is now out in paperback and as a download. Make a girl happy and treat yourself and let me know what you think.

Right, back to the Christmas music and the Christmas novel.

Much love and thanks as always

Lynda

xx

High Price not a £5 bang on the street corner.

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It’s here! ‘Fifty Shades of Brown’ and what a battle it has been to get it here. There was a frightening moment when it almost wasn’t here at all. In fact there was a shaky moment when it looked like there would never ever be another book.

I started ‘Roxie Brown’ about four months ago and during this time I had family move in with me. There is much to be said for having a young child in the home. They bring great pleasure. There is also a great deal of disruption. As it is I shed enough tears writing a novel. It became pretty clear I would be shedding more while writing this one. I’d been used to silence during my writing day. Now I was contending with toilet chains being pulled, bathroom doors banging, footsteps up and down the stairs, the sound of laughter from below my writing room and the clashing of pots and pans. And so the tears would come, partly out of frustration because the book wasn’t going the way I wanted and tears of stress from dealing with the noise while trying to write.

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To top it all I’m  OCD about the house and do prefer things just so. Occasionally I would pop downstairs for a drink and see the lounge was a tip where my little grandson was playing and my kitchen turned upside down as stepson cooked dinner. I’d creep back upstairs, shed a few more tears and continue with Roxie. So with all this going on it was not sensible of me to look at the Amazon charts as well was it?

I’d recently been signed to an agent, the lovely Samar Hammam who previously handled Bernard Cornwall among others. She was keen to represent me. I was keen to be represented. Then came the disappointments. Large traditional publishers are struggling to sell romantic comedy as so many self published or digitally published authors are selling e books for pennies. I didn’t want my e books to be sold for pennies. I work hard six months of the year to produce a book. I make my living from writing. When I worked part-time and wrote novels I was never able to produce two books a year as I do now. I wanted to continue as a full-time writer. A traditional publisher was interested, she said, but the advance would be very small. I checked out their authors on Amazon and saw again that their books were selling for pennies. I, then, stupidly checked the charts again and saw that the low-priced e books were high and mine were dropping.

I didn’t write for several days. I thought things through and told the doctor aka Andrew, my lovely husband, that ‘Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown’ would be my last book. I was not prepared to compromise myself. I couldn’t sell my books cheaply. Samar suggested the occasional offer to promote sales. I was reluctant. I couldn’t understand readers not realising that a writer can not survive if they sell books for 99p or less. I saw readers putting their argument forward for downloading books free from a website by saying that they are not ‘all rich and comfortable’ like us authors. Hello! I wish I was. The only stinking rich authors are the likes of J K Rowling and E L James.  But all the same, you wouldn’t nick a bag from Debenhams would you? And that’s what free download sites are doing. Stealing authors hard work and giving it away. That was it! Roxie Brown would be my last book. I vowed never to write another. I stuck to this. I emailed a few close friends and close author friends and told them of my decision only to have them throw up their arms in horror. ‘You can’t stop writing, that would be madness.’

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I know it is not readers fault that the books are so cheap. It is e publishers and other writers that lower the prices. I bet Sylvia Plath never had this problem.

My husband chatted to me. A good friend chatted to me. I finally, albeit very reluctantly, changed my mind. But I have now decided that the charts don’t bother me. I’m not going to compete with 99p or less authors. I won’t drop the price of a new book to reach number one. I like to think my ego is not that inflated. I love my readers, I love interacting with them. They are good friends. So I will be writing for them. If new readers come on for the ride that is great.

I do believe that low-priced e books will eventually crash the market. Writers and publishers cannot survive. Everyone wants their pound of flesh and there isn’t much left out of 49p 89p and 99p. You can’t buy a roll of loo paper for that. It’s wonderful for the reader but I hope they realise that eventually the authors they like may stop writing simply because they cannot afford to. Imagine what they must earn per book by the time they have paid their publisher, Amazon and of course the damn VAT that is now slapped onto them. 10p a download maybe is what they may be getting. An author may as well go out into the street and ask ‘Do you want six months of hard work for free!’

I’ve worked long and hard for this. I won’t do that. I’d rather stop. I will allow the odd special. A past book for 99p or maybe the odd free promotion but I won’t sell new books for less than £1.99. I sometimes think that is too cheap. As an author friend once said to me ‘I’d rather be a high-priced call girl than a $5 bang on the street corner.’ I couldn’t agree more.

So, enjoy the new book and here’s hoping there will be another. I expect there will be. I find it too hard not to write.

Meanwhile ‘Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown’ is available here

‘Croissants and Jam’ is on offer for a short time here

And you get all my other books at a reasonable price here

Thanks for you fab support. I love you all

Much love

Lynda

xx

Facebook- The Dark Side

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It’s not the first time I have considered coming off Facebook because I feel my self-esteem waning and my confidence at an all-time low. Some months ago I came off for a short time. I set my settings so my author page would stay active and removed myself from Facebook. The truth is, I felt much better. There was no one to compare myself with. I wasn’t looking at photographs and considering my self-image. I wasn’t reading about other people’s lives and how much better they seemed to be faring. I didn’t read about other authors who it seemed were doing infinitely better than me. I spent several weeks feeling, that as a person, I was okay. That my work was good and that I was, to all intents and purposes, successful, at least as successful as I could hope to be. I’ve never been a terribly confident person but I find my confidence drops to an all-time low after being on Facebook. If I had self-doubts, these would be reinforced when reading how well others seem to be doing, reaffirming my belief that I was a failure because I wasn’t reaching their standards. It took me a long time to realise that what I was seeing was very much smoke and mirrors and that most likely the people who seemed to be spectacular successes, were in fact doing no better than me. However, they maybe had a better way of making it seem that they were. And those who seemed to be living amazing lives are, in fact, living a life no better than mine. I would often come away feeling like the world’s worst failure. I don’t recall feeling this way for a long time. It then occurred to me that Facebook made me feel very much like the mousy, plain Jane that I had always dreaded being. It was like being out with a bunch of women who were more successful and prettier than me.

According to psychotherapist  Sherrie Campbell, social media gives us a false sense of belonging. This means we give our cyberspace connections more weight than they deserve. We ultimately compare ourselves to others. But only as others portray themselves, not necessarily as they really are. Everyone’s life looks perfect. But in reality it is just a quick snapshot of someone’s life. If we take everything we read literally then it most certainly seems like we are lacking. When I begin feeling negative about myself after looking at my Facebook home page I know it is time for a break. Hence my use has been less over the past few months. I’m sure I’m not alone.

I enjoy my interaction with friends and many of my friends on Facebook are my friends. Like everyone, I have friends on Facebook that I have never met and I also have friends that I have made through Facebook and they have become close friends. I’ve had some unpleasant connections too. But most of the time my interactions on Facebook have been pleasurable.  Am I alone in torturing myself? Do others look at their home page and come away feeling dejected? I’d love to know.

Meanwhile, I’m rationing myself to limited time on social networking and putting my self-esteem first. I’m learning not to take things literally and to realise that things aren’t always what they seem. I’m seeing a snapshot of someone’s life. What is really happening behind closed doors I’m sure I’m not privy to. I know I don’t share my personal hell. The truth is we only want people to know the extreme things that are happening to us. One for praise and the other for sympathy and I’m sure I’m as guilty as the next person of this. But if you see me missing for a while, you’ll know why.

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Tits ‘R’ Us

Every afternoon at three I am usually sitting in the summer-house, writing. I am not always writing great stuff, of course but at least I am writing. However at exactly three I am distracted by the screams and chattering from the village school next door. I feel my attention being pulled reluctantly towards the window to the glamorous mums who stand by my garden wall, laughing and chatting. Trust me, one does not need Hello magazine when living here. All that glamour, sophistication and great fashion sense is right outside my window. Not to mention the designer babies and dogs. Not satisfied with my summer-house spectating, I find I often have to venture nearer. I trudge outside in my baggy sweat pants (sorry for the Americanism) and tatty jumper (well, I was only writing. After all, Iris Murdoch never dressed up, right?) I head to the dustbin where I can get a better look at the school gates. I empty the Sainsbury carrier bag that doubles up as a bin bag and stare mesmerised at the sight before me. The fragrant smells of Chanel and Marc Jacob assault my nostrils while swinging designer handbags dazzle me. The scathing looks I receive have me scurrying back with head bowed. I feel almost inclined to walk back down my garden path towards the summer-house with a brown paper bag over my head. Of course, I then spend the next hour wondering why it is that I cannot achieve this look. Is there something wrong with me? Even the Betterware lady who comes to our house looks a little like Joan Rivers. Mind you, her house also looks like something out of house and Garden magazine. Maybe I should become a Betterware representative. They obviously pay well. Then again, I probably just don’t have the Joan Rivers look to be a Betterware representative. I mean, truthfully, if I resemble anyone I feel sure it is Hilda Ogden out of Coronation Street. I have tried. I buy all the face creams but nothing seems to work. I used the scientifically proven Boots protect and perfect, or is Perfect and protect? Anyway, I used that for a year and I swear I look older now. I even started booking a wash and blow dry at my local hairdressers. Although I have to admit it felt like the ultimate in laziness. I make a visit to the hairdresser to have my hair cut or coloured, but just to have it washed, I mean, really. Why pay someone to do something you can easily do yourself for free? It is rather like paying someone else to wipe your arse isn’t it? Mind you come to think of it that is probably worth every penny. I just don’t do hairdressers that well. You know all that chatting about holidays and stuff and gossiping about your sex life and whether you do oral sex or not. I mean, good lord, does anyone really care if you do or don’t. Worse of all, why is it so important to get the answer right? I get so flustered that when my hairdresser asks,
‘Do you have cap or foil?’ I am afraid to answer in case I have misunderstood and they are referring to my sex life. I mean, one doesn’t want to get these things wrong. People gossip after all. Then there is all that lying. Well, my hairdresser lies.
‘No, darling, I don’t believe we are covering the grey, not yet. Why, you don’t look a day over thirty.’
Not bloody much! Some mornings I look in the mirror and swear I have seen better heads on beer, but I transgress. Where was I? Ah, yes, having my hair washed and blow dried and even I have to admit it looks great until the next morning. After a fitful restless night, it sits like a limp pancake on my head and my effort at blow drying it in the same way as the hairdresser usually end up with me fighting to get my tangled hair out of the sodding hairbrush and as for fashion and sophistication, let’s not even go there. This is the woman who spends more time with her skirt tucked in her knickers than anyone I know. I have been known to walk across a crowded and very chic restaurant with my Marks and Sparks panties on show. No, fashion just doesn’t work with me. This is the woman who ran for a bus wearing a boob tube and ended up asking the driver for a single to Romford with her tits on show. I am also probably the only woman alive who can wear Chanel No 5 and have it smell like cats piss on her. Eye make-up has my eyes streaming and lipstick is chewed off in minutes. So, you can understand why I stare enviously at these women who manage to look like models when they deliver their kids at eight in the morning. I can’t even manage looking alive at that time. Brekky and a quick coffee is all I can muster in the morning. So, I made a resolution to keep to a beauty regime. But when Monday morning comes I mostly just want to shoot the whole world down. I crawled into the bathroom after my husband only to find I couldn’t see a thing through the steamed up mirror. Cursing I fumbled around in the overstuffed bathroom cupboard to find the small mirror I had bought yonks ago. No luck. I finally give up, have a quick shower and then realise I only have ten minutes. No time for hair styling or make up if I want to prepare my lunch. I choose lunch. Food always over rides fashion. I rush out of the house without even moisturiser. Note to self-get up at the crack of dawn if you wish to look glamorous. I choose sleep. After all that is the best beauty treatment. Yes, a nap at three in the afternoon sounds good. Avoidance always was the key.