So, I’ve been looking at the books I have up for sale at the moment and I’ve been taking advice and I’d done everything that I was advised to do, except change the book covers. So, it was with a heavy heart that I’ve finally taken the decision to change my book covers. I loved my originals, but readers just weren’t buying the books. So, with my sensible business head, I’ve taken additional advice ref the book cover design and here’s my two new ones. Above is Dusting Down Alcudia, below is The Jacobite’s Share.
These are the ebook covers, hence the odd shape. Anyway, I’m hoping these will attract more people. If they don’t, I’ll just have to accept that nobody wants them OR that I’m way ahead of my time! 🙂
So how are you all doing at this weird time? I haven’t been over the door today and it was okay, but I’ll need to get out with the dogs tomorrow. I’m lucky in that I live in the countryside so I can take them for walks without meeting many people and the people I do meet tend to keep their distance now. We dog walkers are a friendly bunch and have now taken to hailing each other over the park. It’s not the best way, but it’ll have to do just now.
Today, I spent all day redoing my book covers and tomorrow I’m going to get back into writing and my OU course. The past few days have been terrifying as everyone goes into lockdown and I just hope everyone stays well. I know that’s not going to happen, that this virus is horrible and spreads quickly, but one can hope. It’s been difficult trying to get it into my kids’ heads that they are pretty much house-bound, they don’t really understand the severity of this pandemic, but they are finally accepting it. I don’t want to scare them, but I have to make them realise how bad this situation really is.
My dogs, bless them, live on in blissful ignorance and make us laugh on a daily basis. Here are images of my fur babies to cheer you all up. The pics were taken by my friend Anne-Janine who is a great photographer. These were taken on her phone. She’s so talented. The dogs are (in order) Millie, Casper and Bonya.
Right, I am going to finish up here. I’ll be back next week. Like everyone else, I’ve been knocked for six with this Corona virus pandemic. Til next week,
To celebrate the launch of my new book, The Jacobite’s Share (on sale from March 27), I’m giving away some free copies of the first book in the series: Dusting Down Alcudia. Get your FREE book here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/o1qu2vd2pf
Nina Esposito, archaeologist, is on a mission. She’s flying to Mallorca to locate a magnificent Roman treasure that’s been lost for centuries.
But, when a formal love and a work rival vie for her attention, Nina finds herself locked in romantic rollercoaster. Which one is truly worthy of her? And do they have ulterior motives other than winning her heart?
Added to the mix is a Spanish billionaire who will stop at nothing to get the jewels for himself.
Who will get to the treasure first? Will Nina’s heart be broken along the way? And can she really trust either of the men in her life?
Join Nina on a breath-taking journey of discovery that takes her from the dusty fields of Mallorca to the diamond brokers of Amsterdam. As she soon finds out: there’s everything to play for when you’re Dusting Down Alcudia.
“A terrific, fast paced action adventure that I couldn’t put down,” Janice Mitchell.
“This romance is full of great characters and is a fantastic story. I can’t wait until the next one is out.” Laurina Hewson
The past couple of weeks have been very unsettling with all the things going on with regards to Corona Virus. So, I have decided to ignore it all and lighten up your day with some images of spring and a quick lowdown on what I’ve been doing.
This week, apart from doing my social media business, I’ve been working hard on a number of projects. The secret book series is still ongoing – I still can’t tell you much about that yet, but I will – I edited a short story I had written a couple of weeks ago, I’ve started work on my children’s history book (another secret-ish project) and I’ve been sorting out my new novel, The Jacobite’s Share. I’m just waiting on my cover designer to tweak the covers for me, but so you don’t have to wait too long, here’s a quick sneak peak:
I love it, I hope you do too. The book is being launched in a couple of weeks time and I’ll let you know the details nearer the time.
My friend came down from Glasgow last Thursday to borrow my sewing machine to sew some cushion covers. She hadn’t sewn anything since childhood and, let’s just say, she’ll have to come down and do it all over again. 🙂 However, we had a lovely time catching up. I think we put the entire world to right!! We ate pizza and cheesecake, drank copious amounts of tea and chatted about everything and anything.
I’ve been busy doing my uni course too. We’re looking at the conditions of the working classes in the north of England in the early 19th century along with Charles Dickens’ Hard Times. It’s very, very interesting and I remember studying this in History in High School. We’ve got a big exam coming up in June so I’ve been looking at what that might entail too. I must admit I’m a bit nervous about the exam. I haven’t sat an exam since I was 20. Yikes!!
I’ve been baking bread again and making up dinners for the freezer. I have a small table top freezer, as well as a bigger freezer, and the little one is filled with home-made dog food courtesy of my mum. She had made them for my dogs and her dog for the period of time she and my dad were going on a cruise. NB she makes her own dog home-made dinners, so when he stays she makes them for my dogs too! Now the cruise was meant to take place next month, but unfortunately has been cancelled because of Corona virus. So, now I have a small freezer full of dog food – my dogs are lucky dogs!! They love their granny’s home-made dinners. They are so spoiled. Dinners I have been making for we humans include Sloppy Joes (an American recipe for minced beef which is lovely), Bolognese sauce and chicken. I’ve been using my pressure cooker again and it’s becoming less scary to me! 🙂
Right, I am going to finish up here. I’m going to make a cup of tea and put my feet up for a little while.
Til next time,
Okay, so this week started well, and then quickly descended into not so good a week. It began with me and a friend going back to the Royal Concert Hall on Sunday night to see the wonderful Madam Butterfly. It was so good. The music was gorgeous and the opera singers were amazing. I, of course, had a good sob at the end when she dies, but I just loved it. What was funny – and this is typical Glasgow – when the cast were coming out to take a bow, the guy who played Butterfly’s husband, Pinkerton, was boohed. Then he got applause and a cheer. Elena Dee played Cio Cio San (Butterfly) and Giorgio Meladze was Pinkerton. The whole thing was just wonderful. I loved it.
So, unfortunately, Monday was the funeral of an old friend. I didn’t manage along to the church service, but I did go to the crematorium where her daughter gave a really lovely eulogy. She had a good send off and will be missed, she was a lovely lady.
Monday was also when the dread Lurgy really started to take its hold on me. I had felt a bit of a cold coming on on Sunday, but by Monday I was feeling really rough. And I’ve been feeling rough all week. Today is the first day I’ve felt a little bit better. Anyway, hopefully that’s me on the mend. I had to cancel all my exercise classes, lunch with friends, tea and buns with friends today, and going to see my parents tomorrow – was too unwell and didn’t want to infect anyone else.
Anyway, I am feeling better, so hopefully it’ll lift before next week.
Anyway, I dug out my electric pressure cooker today to make something for the freezer. I’m always a bit nervous with pressure cookers, but I made Sloppy Joes and it’s turned out really nice.
I also made bread in the bread maker using a just add water packet and it turned out really nice. So nice the boy has eaten half of it already!
Okay, on to writing news. I’ve chased up the Dusting Down Alcudia audiobook and hopefully that will go on sale soon. The ebook and paperback book will soon be available in mobi and epub files at many more retailers very soon – this means more people can read it on more devices. So, watch out for that. Everything She Wants will also be available in this way too.
Regarding my two secret projects – these are ongoing, I will hopefully be able to tell you more about them soon!
What I am reading – currently reading Hard Times by Charles Dickens for my uni course. Loving it. And am also reading M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin: As the Pig Turns, which is very good.
What I’ve been watching – the boy was off sick this week (Wednesday and Thursday), so we’ve been watching Star Wars films. I’ve also been watching Outlander, which I love, love, love.
Right, that’s my week, not very full due to illness, but not bad either. Til next time,
Jeezo this week has flown by and I feel like I’ve not really achieved much! I have been working hard at various things, but I still feel not much has been achieved – and I hate that.
Anyway, next week will be more productive, you can bet on that.
So how’s your week been? Hopefully it’s been good. I’ve had a good week despite feeling I haven’t achieved and here’s why…
On Monday night, my friend Tracy and I went to Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall to see Dick and Angela Strawbridge on their tour. If you don’t know them, they are the couple who do Escape to the Chateau, a programme I LOVE. Anyway, they both came across just like you see them on telly: warm, nice, approachable. They were great and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. However, being out past my bedtime knocked me off my stride for a couple of days after – I was yawning and feeling tired. Such are the perils of growing older! I’m 50 at the end of this year!!! Scream!!! 🙂
On Tuesday, I attended training on how to decipher Google analytics, which was great. It was run by a lovely Dutch man called Rene and he really knew his stuff (although all the contractors who do this kind of work for Business Gateway all seem to). Anyway, now I feel much more confident in working out what’s what when I look at my analytics so that I can formulate what works best social media-wise and for my website. Exciting times!!
On Wednesday, I visited the new Lidl that’s opened in Dumbarton and it’s a lovely shop. It opened the week before and apparently people were queuing to get in on the morning of its opening. Well, they were giving out goodie bags! Anyway, it’s a nice shop and I look forward to getting my groceries there again. You know, when you’re a teenager or in your 20s you never think it would be possible for you to look forward to a supermarket opening. But you do and I did! 🙂
And once again here’s how exciting my life really is because yesterday afternoon I cleaned out the fridge. It needed done, but I am very pleased with it because I put down fridge protectors which will help me to keep it clean – got the idea from Mrs Hinch and it’s a good one. You can get them from Amazon. Basically, it means all you have to do is remove the dirty protector, wash it and return it to your shelving. It means you won’t have to be constantly pulling out shelving and drawers to clean them. Anything that makes my life easier is to be celebrated!!
BOOK NEWS – nearly there for the cover of A Jacobite’s Share. Watch this space for more details.
Not heard from ACX ref my audiobook so am going to try and contact them today. That’s been well over a month.
SCRIPT NEWS – have finished writing my script and have laid it aside for a week or so to ‘marinate’. I’m going to start going over it next week.
UNI NEWS – was so excited this week (and this is one of the things I was working on), we finally got to do some creative writing, so have submitted that for my next assignment. Am now worrying it’s not good enough, but I worked on it a lot, it’s the best I can do. Now worrying I’m not a good writer! 🙂
Right, that’s it for this week. Oh, the other thing I did (and I did it because it was taking up a lot of time for little return) was to shut down my book formatting and editing website. I will still do it, if anyone wants me to, but I’m going to concentrate on my author and PR/Social Media businesses. That makes sense to me. Til next time.
Okay, so I’ve got some news I’m dying to tell you about, but I can’t tell you details yet. The first is that I am collaborating with a very dear friend of mine on a new book for kids. She’s a great illustrator and we work well together, so I am looking forward to doing that one.
The second is international. I’ve teamed up with a group of authors from the US, Australia and the UK to do a whole series of books, romantic thrillers. We’re just working out the details now, but we’re hoping to have the first book launched by the end of the year. I cannot wait to get started. I have already begun planning.
(Takes deep breath to calm down) Sorry I can’t tell you any more, but I will give you details as we go along.
So, back to reality, how are you? What’s been happening in your world? Apart from signing up for two projects, the rest of the week has been pretty mundane. The weather has been terrible, we lost a chicken (she died – I think it was the weather that did it, it’s been wet and miserable for weeks now), but on the plus side we still have three healthy chooks left. The dogs have been loving trailing through the mud on their wet and windy walks. Sorry, let me re-phrase that, the Yorkie and Jack/Chi have been loving the mud, the pug (who hates going out for walks and I have to force her to go) does not like getting her wee tippy toes wet. So we’ve been getting a fair bit of grumbling from her this week! 🙂
I’ve been beavering away at my uni course and have an assignment to hand in next week, but it’s a creative writing one and I am just loving doing it!
What else have I been up to? I attended a tarot reading at our local pub on Monday night. Let’s just say I was a bit sceptical when I went and I remain sceptical now. The guy doing the reading was nice, but the stuff he was telling me was way too general and I felt he kept looking at me for signs of information so he could add to it. Do you know what I mean? I think there are people who are genuinely psychic or something – and I’ve only met one who was so accurate it was scary – but most are just reading off their client. Anyway, we’ll see.
I am still making my way through M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin books. They are a fab way of relaxing at night. I like to go to my bed at 9pm and read for an hour (sometimes two) before lights out. These are great books – I love the characters, I love the humour and the stories are great. It is murder and mayhem, but not so you can’t sleep at night (I don’t read dark murder stories or horror at bedtime because my mind goes into freefall with imagining things that go bump in the night and I can’t sleep).
Oh, I see it’s now raining again. It’s the type of rain that’s almost snow… you know the kind I mean? The type that when you look out you think ‘Is that snow?’ but it’s not settling. It’s not hail cos it’s too soft and too easy for the wind to blow about. Anyway, it’s bloody cold and miserable outside. I had to bring the chickens in last night and I kept them in a large cardboard box in the living room. They’d got soaked yesterday and were in their coop shivering. I was worried they’d get hypothermia, so I brought them in. Looks like they’ll be spending another night indoors tonight.
Right, I am off. Got another two blog posts to write and then I’m going to finish my assignment and then I’m going to start researching my kids book project. Til next time.
Well, Storm Dennis has hit today and it’s bloody miserable outside. So far, it’s just heavy rain which – I saw as I was going to my car to drive my daughter to her friend’s house – has flooded the entrance to my garage. This means inside probably is flooded too. Sigh! I will worry about it later, no point just now as there’s nothing I can do about it.
So, how are you all? Hope you’re all well. How’s life been lately? My kids were off school this week – it’s the February holiday – and spent a good bit of it lazing about in their rooms. One is a teenager, the other a pre-teen, so I don’t see much of them these days, just when they are hungry or wanting money. However, I did have a good week: my friend Val (from Austria) came over to stay for a couple of nights and we had a lovely time. Another friend joined us for dinner on Sunday night and then Val and I spent Monday night drinking wine and watching movies on the telly. We watched Judy. My God that’s a sad story, but a great film. Recommend it. We also watched Chicago, which I love and I’m sure The Joker, but I fell asleep and missed most of it. Of course I wasn’t drunk!! Ahem. What I remember of it was feeling very unsettled by Joaquin’s Joker. Creepy! Anyway, it was lovely seeing Val again. You can stay over anytime, Val.
So Val left on Tuesday morning. And I spent Tuesday recovering from a wine hangover. No sympathy please, it was totally self inflicted. Wednesday, I did a training course with the local Business Gateway folk on Pinterest and Instagram. It was really good. Their courses are great, by the way, really recommend them. I have two Pinterest accounts: D A Nelson, author and D A Nelson PR and Social Media. Please pop over and have a look.
Also on Wednesday, the house was full of teenagers. My daughter had a friend stay overnight, but they had a couple more friends in during the day. I felt like I was feeding the 5,000. They were remarkably quiet and well behaved, though, so that was good. The girl – my daughter – has been remarkably well behaved all week. Might it have something to do with her birthday coming up in a couple of days? Not that I’m cynical or anything.
I’m not sure what I did on Thursday, but you can be sure it involved cleaning and washing clothes. Yesterday, I did a lot of my degree course. I was way behind (oh I remember now, I was doing my OU course on Thursday as well), so spent most of the day catching up. I still have a wee bit to do to get me back on track, but I’m nearly there. I also went to B&M to buy hay for the chickens and dog food for the dogs, but ended up paying £97 for a whole load of essentials for the house. You know the type of stuff: cleaning products, some food, other things. I swear to God, you’d be as well handing your purse or wallet over to them at the door! I go in for one thing and come out with a trolley full, I can’t help it. It always has products I need at great prices. The cashiers say everyone says that. It’s a great shop for bargains!
Today? More OU and I’ve written a short story which I hope to sell to a literary magazine. Or one of the women’s magazines. More likely the latter.
I must admit, a fair bit of my time this week was watching telly. I did binge watch The Stranger, which I loved despite the plot being a little bit woolly towards the end. There were a few unanswered questions, but overall it was great. It had me on the edge of the seat most of the time. I loved that. I’ve also been watching Locke & Key, which, as a lover of fantasy, I have been really enjoying. Hmmm, maybe that’s where most of Thursday went! 🙂 Must look out the graphic novel of it.
Reading: and I am still binge reading M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series. They are just the thing for a light read. They are funny, clever and highly enjoyable. I’ve got about eight more to read before I reach the end of the whole series. I may through a couple of more serious books in amongst there to shake it up a bit (yes, my life is so “rock n roll” – not!). Oh no! Torture! Got to read Charles Dickens’ Hard Times for my OU course. It’s not one of my favourite Dickens’ books, but I enjoyed it when I read it before so it’ll be no problem. Can’t wait, in fact, to get into it.
Right, I am going to finish up right now. I have a million and one things to do this afternoon, so I will say adieu and hope the weather doesn’t get you down. Til next time,
Jeezo, January went fast this year. One minute we were celebrating the new year and the next it’s February! And it’s been a pretty soggy month already – although today is sunny, which is a welcome change from the torrential rain we’ve been having lately.
So, how have you all been? I hope you’re well. We’ve had the lurgy in the house again. The boy was off with it on Friday and I’m feeling dodgy today. It’s a nasty stomach bug which a lot of people around this area have been experiencing, if the amount of kids who have had to take time off school is anything to go by. Anyway, it’s short lived, so hopefully I’ll be over it soon.
So, what’s been happening in your world? Anything exciting happened lately? Please tell me, I need a bit of excitement. My life lately has been one long round of working, housework with the odd bit of fun things thrown in.
Talking of which, I lunched with my friend from next door last Tuesday. We went to a lovely farm shop type complex called Ardardan, which is a five minute drive from where we live. My friend loves their lentil soup, so Ardardan has now become our place to go. I had a cheese toastie (grilled cheese sandwich) and we sat and had tea after. Ardardan offer a range of fab cakes, so I “forced” myself to have one. Okay, I couldn’t resist, it was a caramel apple granny cake and I just love it.
I also met up with an old (in the sense we have known each other for years) friend from work. We went to Rose and Grant’s at the Trongate in Glasgow. We both worked in that area before, so it was our local when we were there. Anyway, it’s a great place if you eat meat, are vegetarian or vegan. They do a great range of really nice food for everyone and their vegan food and cakes is delicious. I’m not vegan, in fact I am the total opposite, but I do love vegan food. I opted for the vegan square sausage (a square sausage is a Scottish thing – it’s a beef sausage, without a skin, pressed into a loaf shape and then cut up into sort of square shapes before cooking. Square sausage – also called Lorne sausage – is fabulous in a crusty roll). Anyway, their vegan square sausage is very like the meat version, so you don’t feel like you are missing out. I can recommend their vegan and full Scottish breakfast too. Yum.
I also attended a women’s business event in Helensburgh on Friday night. It was just a couple of hours and there were ten of us in total. Set up by Lesley, who owns the Beachcomber Café at Kidston Park in the town, the night’s aim was to bring local business women together to chat, support each other and share experience. It was really good. There was a great atmosphere and everyone got on. I was there not as an author but as a PR/Social Media business owner and I volunteered to set up their Facebook page, which I’ve done, and I hope to have that go live soon.
What else? I’ve heard no word back regarding the audiobook of Dusting Down Alcudia. Fingers crossed I hear back from ACX, the production company linked to Audible, soon. Regarding The Jacobite’s Share, Dusting’s sequel, I’m awaiting some proofs of the cover for that. I hope to launch that towards the end of March. Once I have some artwork, I’m going to start promoting it, so watch this space.
I’ve also been working hard on my draft script for a production company I have contact with. Don’t know if it’s going to be any good, but I am so loving writing it. Maybe this is my next career!! Anyway, we shall see.
This coming week will consist of working on my uni course, the script and some short stories. I’m also going to meet an old work friend who now teaches English in China (nowhere near poor Wuhan), but has been back in Blighty for a month now. We’re going for lunch and I’m looking forward to a catch up. Remember my Austrian trip? Well, my friend from there is coming back to Scotland next weekend and she’s going to be staying for a few days at my house. I cannot wait to catch up with both of them.
My chickens (see above peering in my patio door – they are so nosey) continue to produce lots of eggs, so I’m going to do a bit of baking later. A nice wee Victoria sponge I think! Yum. The hens are doing really, really well and love being able to wander about my back garden, scratching and eating grubs and bugs. I love watching them, they look so happy, especially when they take dirt baths. The dogs pretty much leave them alone, except Millie who just wants to play with them. They soon see her off, though. On Christmas day, our chicken Nugget (the big one second from right, above) chased her right across the garden. It was hilarious!
Anyway, I will leave you on that happy note and say adieu until next time! Have a great week.