The moody Clyde…an image I took of a moody River Clyde last week
Hello, how are you? Hope you’re all well. Sorry I’ve not been around lately. I’ve had the Dreaded Lurgy aka a really bad cold that’s been doing the rounds here in Central Scotland. My poor son brought it into the house and, just when I thought I had managed to skip it, it whammied me from the side. He was off school with it for most of last week and is a lot better now. I got it a few days later. Anyway, today I’m feeling better and starting to get back into doing stuff.
Because I’ve been almost housebound over the last week to ten days, I haven’t been doing anything much other than watching tv and reading. Over the weekend, when the cold was reaching its crescendo, I binge-watched The Hobbit trilogy again. I love fantasy and love those films. I’ve been watching Gavin and Stacey again. I tried the US version of Ghosts. Watched three episodes and gave up on it. Not a patch on the UK one, I’m afraid. It just felt flat compared to the original.
The River Clyde, different day, nicer weather.
I finished reading Denise Mina’s excellent Rizzio. It’s about the night Mary, Queen of Scots’ secretary, David Rizzio, is brutally murdered. It’s full of darkness and tension, and there is the ‘will they, won’t they’ as to whether the perpetrators will also kill the pregnant Queen. It’s superb. I recommend it. If you love history, if you love tales of bloodthirsty murders, this is the book for you.
Casper watching my daughter’s ipad.
Right, I’m going to finish up now. Still not 100%, so finishing while I’m winning. That last image is of my Yorkie, Casper watching guinea pigs on my daughter’s i-pad. He’s obsessed with it. He has his favourite videos and harasses her until she puts in on for him. He also enjoys dancing fruit, small parrots (not cockatoos – they frighten him) and some K Pop bands. It’s like living with a telly addicted toddler.
Hi, how’s everyone? Hope you’re all well!! So exciting news! Envy comes out in three days’ time” THREE DAYS!! Woohoo. It’s another of the Sisters of Sin series, it’s romantic suspense (available as a paperback and romantic suspense Kindle book) and what I would describe as action adventure. The heroine is Izzy Starr, an assassin, who is given a job by her ex to see is an international chocolate company is indeed using child slavery on its African plantations.
Heres the blurb:
Envy loves her life as an assassin working for the Sisters of Sin…until her ex, Adam, shows up begging her for help.
Someone’s forcing children into slavery on African cocoa plantations.
Pretending to be a couple, Envy and Adam fly out to the Ivory Coast to investigate.
What they find sickens even her…and now she’s armed and very, very angry.
Enemies to lovers. Action and adventure. Fake relationship. Steamy Sex. Envy has it all.
Okay, so what else has been happening a Nelson Towers? Me and the kids were at a Halloween party on Saturday night at our next-door neighbours’ house. It was a fab party. I was originally going to go as Cruella de Vil. I’d bought the costume last year, but it came too late, so I brought it out Saturday afternoon only to find the damn thing doens’t fit me. Despite ordering a size up from my normal curvy self, this was waaaaaay too skinny fit for me. Sigh. Way to go costume makers! You’ve made a plump woman feel even fatter! Anyway, I dug out last year’s costume (a black stretchy dress) and wore that instead. I back-combed my hair (big mistake, took me ages to brush it on Sunday morning!) and donned black shoes. It was a fab night. Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of myself taken.
Our beloved Bonya, gone but not forgotten.
The night had a tinge of sadness over it however. We had to have our beloved pug, Bonya, put down a few weeks ago. She was old and had various health issues, so it was the best thing to do for her. We were all devastated, and I couldn’t sleep properly for about a week afterwards. Apart from her farting, she was a terrible snorer, and my bedroom was just too quiet. Anyway, Bonya always came with us to any party our neighbours were having (and they have loads) and became known as Party Pug. This was our first party without the wee soul. She was missed. She will, however, never be forgotten…mainly for her lovely personality, her cuddly-ness and her farts that could clear a room. She was an amazing animal, and we were so lucky to have had her in our lives.
Right, on to happier things. So, my mum gave me a book, The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley, and I desperately want to like it. But it’s boring me to tears. It’s dragging on and on and I just don’t want to finish it. My mum really enjoyed this book and its sequels, but I’m going to have to give it back. I feel like I’m wasting my time on it. Sorry Lucinda Riley.
I am reading Robin Sharma’s The 5am Club, which, while the storyline is a bit cheesy in places, does have some good solid advice to give to people who want to improve their productivity and their lives in general. While I won’t be getting up at 5am, I am trying to get up earlier. I am very productive anyway, but I’m looking to add more hours to my day. I can’t do it after dinner (6pm-ish) as I’m just too tired by then, but maybe getting up at 6am instead of 7am is doable. I’ll let you know how I get on.
Right, so there are some amazing programmes on tv right now and I’ll briefly take you through what I’ve been watching.
Firstly, I re-watched Carnival Row on Prime because it’s just so amazing. If you like fantasy and history, this is the series for you. It stars Cara Delevigne and Orlando Bloom, and is just amazing. I cannot wait for the second series!
Secondly, everyone’s been talking about The Empress on Netflix. It’s about the life of Empress Elizabeth of Austria and is excellent. It’s stunningly shot as well.
Thirdly, Walter Presents Agatha Christie’s HJerson (I watched in on More Four) is a superb Swedish crime drama based around a tv producer and an ex cop. Hjerson is the main character of Ariadne Oliver, the writer in the Poiro books. Anyway, this is a modern look at that character and what he might get up to. It’s clever, it’s funny and I just loved it.
Fourthly, again Walter Presents, Astrid: Murder in Paris is about a woman with autism who helps Parisian police investigate murders. It’s quirky and clever, and very very enjoyable.
Fifthly, (and I haven’t just been watching telly all day, promise), I watched The House of the Dragon. It was a bit of a drag at first. I stuck with it, though, as I’m such a huge Game of Thrones fan, and thank God it did heat up towards the end.
And finally, my current obsession thanks to a recommendation by my sister, Vicky, and that is The Tudors. Oh my God, this series is so GOOOOOOOOD. Okay, not 100% accurate (the history lover in me has winced a few times at story lines that weren’t correct), but very addictive. I’m on season two right now.
A BIG RASPBERRY
Things I would not recommend are: The Beach Bum starring Mathew Macconaughey. It’s dire. I watched half of it hoping it would get better. It did not. I didn’t like the characters and the storyline dragged. A big raspberry from me!
I’ve signed up to do another anthology, which is due out in February next year. I’ll let you know more nearer the time.
I’m also about to embark on writing a new fantasy book for adults. It’s set in Victorian Scotland. More on that later.
Right, I need to say adieu just now. I am away to the dentist to get a filling replaced. It fell out two-and-a-half years ago in the midst of the pandemic and this is me just getting it replaced now. My dentist has only just reopened to non-urgent patients.
So, as you know I’ve been really busy finishing the first couple of drafts of Envy and that is now with my editor. But it’s not the only thing that’s been happening lately.
Firstly, my degree course has started up again. This time it’s advanced creative writing and I’m loving it already.
Second, my lovely friend, J, took me to see the musical The Book of Mormon in Edinburgh. It was the first time I’d seen it and it was phenomenal. My face hurt so much by the end of the show, I was smiling so much and laughing that hard. It’s about some Mormons who go to Africa to convert the locals and it’s hilarious. The songs are great as well. I really recommend this show, but only if you’re not easily offended.
Third I went with another friend to see Mrs Harris Goes to Paris at a cinema in Glasgow and it was lovely. The Dior dresses were to die for, and it was a beautifully put together film. It’s got a real feel-good feel to it, so if you’re fed up and want a cheer up, I’d recommend it.
Lesley Manville is Mrs Harris whose one dream is to go to Dior in Paris and buy a designer dress. She plans to wear the dress at a dance in her local area. There are many hiccups along the way, but she does get to Paris and Dior. I’ll not tell you anymore. Go and see it, it’s lovely.
Ooh and it’s also a book…
What I’m reading just now: The Marvellous Miss Marie Corelli: Queen of Victorian Bestsellers by Teresa Ransom . It’s all about the author Marie Corelli who was a best-selling writer in the late Victorian era. She’s a fascinating woman: she’s got a mysterious past and was a wee feisty woman who stood up for herself against the tyrannical reviewers of the British press. I’m really enjoying it. I’d never heard of Marie Corelli up until recently and decided I really had to learn more, which is why I bought the book. The book itself is well written and chronicles her life from her younger years until her death in 1924, and her very long friendship with her companion Bertha Vyer. No-one knows if they were more involved or not, but Bertha played a big part in her life.
Anyway, time for me to go. I’m going to have a cup of tea, watch some telly and then go and pick my daughter up from her friend’s house in about an hour-and-a-half. Such is my exciting life!
She’s coming! I’ve just finished writing Envy (out Nov 5) and it’s now with my editor. This one was a hard slog. I don’t know why because I really love my main characters, Izzy and Adam, but I found it a difficult one to write in the sense of finding the time and energy to do it. Part of it was because I have been experiencing tonnes of problems with my laptop … I’ve had it fixed now and (fingers crossed) it seems to be working properly … and I’ve been desperate for a break. I’ve not had a day off writing or doing social media since probably last Christmas. So, this week and next I’m stepping back a bit and I’m putting my feet up. I have plans to do some sewing and knitting and basically whatever I like. Woohoo. Can’t wait.
What else has been happening? Well, the fabulous Lust was launched this month.
Here’s a sneak peek at the blurb:
Killing isn’t always a choice.
Even for an assassin.
Or is it?
Zoe McKnight found a way to fight for the right side of wrong until Devon Kincaid pushed his way into her life.S he wanted to kill him, but that wasn’t a sanctioned hit. Not even close.
He was sent to protect her from a lethal Drug Cartel out for revenge.
What the actual F was up with that?
She was a trained assassin for an elite international organization. She didn’t need protection. Except, perhaps from Kincaid.
Is Zoe’s lust for vengeance strong enough to take on the infuriating Kincaid?
Or would she fall victim to her own lustful desires for a man she hated?
Well, things have been moving on at my house. I’ve been working away on a new short story for a charity anthology that is coming out next year and my next Sisters of Sin series book, Envy (due out November 5).
So excited by the five star reviews that are coming in for Greed. Thanks to everyone who took the time to leave a review. I really appreciate it. If you have a minute, and have read the book, would you also mind leaving a review on Amazon? Every single one matters and it’ll help get my book further up the charts. Thanks.
Right, now that’s done, on to the blog. How are you today? Hope you’re all hail and hearty. Me? Well, I’ve been busy cranking up my social media for my writing and for Greed. It’s tiring, I can tell you, but I’m already seeing more people beginning to follow me and I got some more book sales, so that’s great. I haven’t gone viral on Tik Tok (yet, fingers crossed) but you never know. If there’s anything you’d like to see me put up on social media (for instance, answering authorly questions), then comment on this post or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on my author page on Facebook, which is D A Nelson Author.
So, we’ve been basking in sunshine lately in Scotland and it’s been nice, but too hot. I’ve had to have a fan running all night in my room because it’s so hot in the room and my poor elderly pug, Bonya, gets too hot and pants… loudly. The fan seems to work though and we can all get a rest. The last couple of days, however, the weather has become pretty overcast and wet. Torrential rain yesterday, but it was good as the plants needed a good watering.
What’s been happening? I’ve gotten around 30,000 words written of my next book, Envy, which is due out in November. I’ve also got a short story due for an anthology in October and I’ve signed up for a different series next year. I also want to write my historical fantasy steampunk series. I have started it, I have notes, but I really need to finish my other projects and get on to it. I’m very excited about it. There are another two books I have finished, but not polished, in my computer and I’d love to get those out too. Busy, busy, busy.
What I’ve been watching… I’ve become addicted to Help! We Bought a Village which is a series about people who’ve bought rundown villages in rural France and Portugal and are redeveloping them. I love programmes like this.
I’m also feeling bereft having binge watched The Sandman series, which I loved. What a series. I was hooked. However, the prequel to Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, starts next Monday at 2am. I CANNOT WAIT!! You all know I’m a huge fan of Game of Thrones and this new series will hopefully be as great.
I’ve also been watching (again) my guilty tv watching secrets, which are Father Brown and Murdoch Mysteries. I love a good mystery, especially if it’s set in the past, and these two are just fab. They give me a lovely hour of gentle murder! 😉
Right, I’m going to love you and leave you. Til next time,
Hello! How are you all? Hope you’re having a good week. I’ve been working away on my next novel in the Sisters of Sin series. This one is about an assassin whose codename is Envy. Her real name is Izzy, she’s Scottish and a bit of a hard-nut. She’s got a small farm on a mountain overlooking Loch Lomond where she provides a home for various waifs and strays. Anyway, I think I’ve given you enough for now, you’ll have to wait for the book to come out to learn any more.
So, what have I been up to apart from telling Izzy’s story? I’ve been having fun putting up videos on my Tik Tok account (@danelson70). There was one where I duetted with Beaubull, it was hilarious, but you’ll have to go over to my Tik Tok account to see it.
Myself and the boy did a fair bit of walking this week with the two younger dogs. We walked around a local beauty spot called Ardmore Point. When I say we walked around, I actually mean we got more than halfway there when stopped to have a snack and a drink. Then I realised I had lost my car keys so we were retracing our steps when I found they had slipped through a hole in my jacket pocket and were inside the jacket. Phew. It was good though as we met a friend of mine I hadn’t seen for a while. She was walking with her dog and her daughter, so we had a fab catch-up.
Yesterday, we took the dogs up Ben Bouie, which is a local mountain. We got most of the way there, but it was really hot and we were all suffering so we stopped for lunch and to give the dogs some water. We stopped at a point overlooking Loch Lomond and it was just lovely. We were both exhausted last night. My son normally goes to his bed after midnight, but he was fast asleep by 9pm. 😉