Dusting Down Alcudia
Madam C J Walker, Stargate and the Chippendales
Hey everyone! How are you all? Hope you’re all well and keeping safe! Here at Nelson Towers, life is pretty dull and monotonous, but everyone is in the same boat so we are just getting on with it.
Last week, I did feel really down at the beginning of the week (I’m definitely not alone on that, I know), but that soon lifted especially when a friend sent me a short video of a Chippendale dancer dancing with a pile of toilet paper. It was so ridiculous I couldn’t stop laughing and it brought me out my funk. I think I was feeling so down not because I’m in the house all day – I work from home so that’s not a problem – but because I was worried and feeling out of sorts because I wasn’t in control of my own destiny. The thing about Corona Virus is we don’t know who has it, we don’t know if we have it and if we do get it, we don’t know how severe we’ll get it. On top of that is the worry about family members who are more vulnerable. I like to be in control of my life, so all this not knowing was doing my nut it. However, after the said video, I felt a lot better. Just shows you that having a laugh can do wonders for your mental health. Plus I have great friends who have been a real support.
Right, enough of the ‘Rona as I’ve seen Corona Virus referred to on social media, and on to my writing life.
So, being stuck inside hasn’t been all bad. I’ve started writing my new book project which I can’t tell you too much about yet – it’s too early – but that I will give you small bits of info every now and again. I’m a member of the Romantic Suspense Writers group on Facebook and nine of us have come together to produce a series of books under the R S Wilde author name. That is all I can tell you right now. All I will say is that this collaborative has been amazing so far. The girls – most of whom are from America, but there’s two of us in Scotland and one in Australia – have been brilliant to work with and we’re all really enjoying the process.
The sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia, The Jacobite’s Share (see image) is now out and available on a range of formats and in a range of shops including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and others.
I am still waiting for ACX to sign off the audiobook of Dusting Down Alcudia. Sigh. This has been a long trek. It’s mainly to do with my not understanding stuff about audiobook production, but is now at their end. Hopefully, they’ll sign it off soon and it will be available on Audible. Then I will crack open the champagne and celebrate for this has been a long and harrowing road! 🙂
News on my other secret project with my illustrator friend, Mandy. I’ve started writing it and am about a third of the way through the first draft. It’s a really interesting project and I’m loving doing it. More on it later.
Other news, I’m still doing my OU course, but because of Corona Virus, our end of term exam has been cancelled. I am not devastated by this as I’m one of those people who never does well in exam conditions. They’re going to look at our year round assignments to get a mark.
I’ve been spending a lot of time watching telly – as you can imagine – and I stumbled across a very good drama series on Netflix called Self Made based on the life of Madam C J Walker (1867 – 1919), America’s first female self-made millionaire. Sarah had a rough upbringing being born to former slaves near Delta in Lousiana and she was the first in her family to be born free after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Her parents died when she was a child and she suffered hardship growing up. Life got better after she set up a hair and beauty business for black women with her third husband, Charles Walker, in the early part of the last century. Although they divorced in 1912, Sarah continued to build the business, opening salons and factories across America, and went on to employ thousands of (mainly) women. Apart from being a hair care entrepreneur, Sarah was also a philanthropist and political activist. She died in 1919 at the age of 51 from kidney failure. She’s buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York.
Octavia Spencer, one of my favourite actresses (I loved her in Hidden Figures), takes the title role in the show and Tiffany Haddish plays Madam C J Walker’s daughter, A’Lelia. It’s really good, I’d recommend it. Other cast members include Blair Underwood, Carmen Ejogo and Kevin Carroll among others.
Other things I have been watching include Witness with Kelly McGillis and Harrison Ford. I’d forgotten how good the film was. I don’t think Kelly McGillis is a particularly great actress, but it was still an enjoyable film. Also watched the Stargate film starring James Spade and Kurt Russell. I used to watch the TV series, being a huge sci-fi fan, but had never seen the film. It was actually really enjoyable. The sets and the way the film was shot was stunning and it was a good old fashioned sci fi adventure. I kept looking for French Stewart who plays one of the soldiers in it. I’m used to him being Harry Solomon in 3rd rock from the Sun, so it was a nice surprise to see how attractive (and manly, let’s face it Harry Solomon is not manly) he really is in another role.
I am still ploughing my way through the Agatha Raisin books and loving them. They are so enjoyable to read and so easy, just perfect for this weird time.
Right, I am going to say adieu here and wish you all a good day. Please stay safe my friends and we’ll talk soon.
New Covers and a New Way of Living
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,
FREE BOOK – Get your copy now!
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
Is it February already?
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.
Keeping busy and meeting an old friend
So, I know this is a very British thing to say, but where the hell has January gone? One minute I was dreading the cold weather and dark nights and now, it’s nearly February and I’m looking forward to spring! My life is whizzing by so fast these days. My parents were right! They always said life goes quicker the older you get and it’s true. As a kid, the days used to last forever. Now I’m lucky if I know what day of the week it is! 🙂
In saying that, the last couple of weeks the weather has been mild for this time of year. A wee bit blowy, but not the freezing temperatures we normally get in January. Except for today. Today is COLD.
So, how are you? What have you been up to over the last (is it really??) two weeks?? I’ve been really busy writing my script, doing assignments for my uni course, being a mum and general dogsbody and going to my exercise classes. I have managed to meet up with friends though, which was good. Last week, I met up with a friend I knew in Primary School. It’s horrible to acknowledge this but Una and I have known each other nearly 45 years! Yikes! We had a late lunch in Bill’s in Glasgow, which was nice, and a two hour catch-up, which was fab. It’s such a laugh remembering the things we used to get up to as kids: sledging in the park across from her house on tin trays and binbags (only very posh people or kids with joiners for dads had sledges in those days), watching horror movies at her house and then being terrified going home, playing Space Invaders on her games machine. She came round to mine too, but for some reason I only remember being at hers. Anyway, was great to catch up with her and I look forward to doing it again soon.
What else have I been doing? I’ve been working to get The Jacobite’s Share out in March/April and then audiobook of Dusting Down Alcudia out (yes, it’s still not out and I take full responsibility!).
Still beavering away at building my PR/Social Media business. Am still loving doing the social media side of things because it’s right up my street creating images and memes for Facebook and Instagram. I love thinking up the ideas for the post, researching it and then putting it all together.
Talking of social media, did you know that I have a Pinterest account on which you can see pins I’ve collected for my books, examples of my creations for my social business and other stuff I love. I don’t go on Pinterest nearly enough. I love it. It’s like having an endless online scrapbook – well, I suppose that’s exactly what it is! Anyway, you can find me under D A Nelson, author, PR and social media.
Right, I am off. Got loads of things to do. Til next time, my friend.
Carnival, Agatha and finishing the audiobook – I hope!
So the start of this week kind of started a bit slow mainly because I’m getting on in my years (I’m 50 this year) and I can’t hack it when my son wants me to take him to the Carnival.
In my defence, it was the big Irn Bru Carnival at the SEC in Glasgow, we were there three-and-a-half hours, the noise was deafening (lots of competing pop tunes played at ear splitting intensity) and there were loads of flashing lights – everywhere. I’ve never been one for the carnival. I did go to our local one in Neilston a few times in my teens, but I never truly enjoyed it. This one is indoors, in a big echoing shed type structure and there were loads of visual and aural stresses.
The boy was there with his friends who met us there, so, while the boys went off to enjoy the carnival, me – Methuselah that I am – went to the food court to sit and wait for them. And wait and wait. I bought myself a very ordinary hotdog with very ordinary chips and some tasteless chilli on top. That plus a bottle of water set me back £11 – daylight robbery if you ask me. It wasn’t that nice, but I ate it anyway. Then I tried to read my book, which was impossible due to the aforementioned noise and people and noise and flashing lights – oh yeah, and the noise.
So, I sat on my tod for three hours waiting for the boys to get fed up and want to go home. They didn’t, but thankfully the boy (with whom the others had come with) had contacted his father to come and get them. So we had to wait another half an hour for him.
Anyway, I digress, back to sitting dolefully people watching on that hard wooden bench at that sticky drink laden bench table. The only good thing to come out of the event (apart from my boy have a ball with his friends) was the people watching. Oh my God, there were some sights there I can tell you. I don’t know what it is about some Glaswegians, but they wear summer clothes in the middle of winter. Sunday afternoon was really cold and, although the hall was warm, I wondered at folk coming out without proper winter clothes on.
And the fashion was fun too. There were lots of very young women, plastered with makeup, glossy hair scraped back in a ponytail or worn long, wearing the latest fashions. Some had their children with them or a gaggle of friends or their young looking boyfriends. One in particular, a young mum pushing a white pram (they always have white prams this type) was an attractive girl with too much makeup and eyebrows drawn into pointed perfection. At her side was a wee girl of about four in designer clothes complete with a dummy tit in her mouth and a huge bag of pink candyfloss which was almost as big as her. The mother was sporting a pale pink, fake fur skipcap. I’ve never seen one before. I didn’t think they existed. Anyway, the pair plus small baby in pram (I think, she had the hood up so you couldn’t see it), wafted past me en route to meet a young man I can only presume was dad. He had on long shorts, no socks, trainers, a t-shirt that showed off his tattooed arms and sported an earring in one ear. He was perma-tanned – like his partner – and his hair was rigid with some sort of wet look hair gel. Neds R Us.
Anyway, I eventually left the SEC around 4.30pm and we got home just after 5pm. The boy, who claimed all I had done was sit and do nothing all afternoon, couldn’t understand why I was so tired. Just wait til you’re doing this with your kids, I thought smugly, then you’ll see.
Anyway, enough of my tirade. How was your week? Was it busy? Did you get loads done? I am permanently busy. Last week, I took some time away from studying and writing to go to a 4N networking meeting at the Hard Rock Café in Glasgow. It was really good. Everyone was really welcoming and it was good to meet new people – two of whom live nearby! I handed out some cards and connected with a few folk on LinkedIn so we’ll see what happens.
I’m still making my way through the Agatha Raisin books and recently finished The Haunted House one, which was a fun read. I really like the books. They are a nice easy read and I enjoy the stories. I was sorry to hear that their author – and creator of the Hamish MacBeth books – M C Beaton (above) died over Christmas. Apparently, she was a lovely lady. Anyway, I look forward to starting the next one which is Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance.
Still reading the Pompeii book. It’s taking so long, not because I’m not enjoying it (I am), but because I’ve been binge watching Bones until late so haven’t had the time or energy to read when I go to bed. Plus I’ve been reading those Agatha Raisin books in between.
What else has been happening? I’ve been continuing to work on my script plus the finishing touches to the book blurb for my next in the Nina Esposito adventure series, The Jacobite’s Share. I sent that over to my book cover designer this week and hope to launch it by the end of March. Watch this space for more details!
Am still struggling to get the audiobook of Dusting Down Alcudia out. I’ve made the changes required by the company who will upload it to Audible, so hopefully I’ll be able to launch that soon.
Right, that’s it for today. Due to a glut of hen eggs, I baked over the weekend, so am going to have a cup of tea right now along with a fairy cake. Til next time.
New book title reveal!
Best news ever this week! Myself and the lovely Graham, my editor, have finished the final edits of the new book.
And now I can reveal its name!
The Jacobite’s Share is the latest Nina Esposito adventure and sees our heroine heading home to Scotland to search for a hidden Jacobite treasure as a would-be murderer is at large. The action takes place in and around Dundow Castle in Perthshire and features our favourite archaeologist, Nina, her lover Jay and a cast of new characters.
I am just working on formatting it just now – I literally just finished for the night – and will be getting back in touch with Mia, my book cover designer, to do the next cover. Cannot wait!
In other news, I have finally learned how to make proper tablet. Tablet, for my non Scottish readers, is a very sweet treat made from sugar, milk, butter and condensed milk. It’s incredibly good and very, very bad for you. Put it this way, there’s so much sugar in it, your teeth vibrate when you’re eating it! It’s delicious and can be a bit tricky to make, but I managed it!! Whoohoo!
Finally about to finish the biography of Miss Anne Lister. It’s not the book. I am really enjoying it. It’s been several nights of not reading because I’ve been too tired interlaced with evenings when I’ve been binge reading M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series. They are quick reads and highly enjoyable. And funny. Next on my list is Elizabeth Gaskill’s Cranford.
This week has been very busy as I’ve been working on building my social media marketing business and formatting The Jacobite’s Share. I’ve really enjoyed networking and meeting other folk in small businesses. Have also signed up for a number of free training courses run by our local Business Gateway. Got a few coming up in the next couple of months, so that should be good.
Right, am finishing up now. Got a book on SEO optimisation to look at. Til next time.
A Furry Visitor, Uni and
Well the house is full of doggy kisses and hugs just now as we babysit this week cutie (the white one above). Yes, my parents’ dog Winston is visiting and we are just loving it. The kids don’t want him to ever go home. He’s pictured above sitting on a chair next to his best friend, our Yorkie, Casper. The two of them love each other, which is lovely.
At this precise moment, both are fast asleep (as are my girls) and Winston is sleeping under the table:
I just love dogs. They are great creatures.
Anyway, how are you all today? Hope all is well in your world. This week has been really busy for me as I worked to get my first big assignment done for my university course. It was a tough one, about tradition and dissent. Anyway, it’s done and I sent it in and I can do nothing more now but sit and chew my fingernails whilst I await the results. Really hoping I do well in it. I am aiming to get a First for this course. That’s what I really want to get. So, although this is only the first module, I’m aiming to get as high marks as possible. I’ve done really well so far, but was a mark short of a distinction last time so fingers crossed I pass that mark this time. I hate waiting for results, it’s so nerve wracking.
Anyway, enough of my moaning. What else have I been up to? Well, really the assignment has taken up a lot of time, but I did managed to do some editing today on the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia. I am still aiming to have that out in spring – late spring, but spring none-the-less. Also spoke to the lovely Jenny who is doing my audio book of Dusting Down Alcudia. That’s now at the editing stage and will be ready in a few short weeks. I am so excited about it. Will let you know when it’s available on Audible.
Last night was the first night in ages I managed to get any time to read, so continued with my book on the teenage brain and did a bit of Pyjama Profit, both of which are interesting books. See here for more info.
That’s it really. Sorry for being a bit dull today, but a writer’s life really isn’t that exciting (unless you are a travel writer, I suppose!). On that note, I am going to say adieu until next time. Got a son to pick up from school.
Til next time,
It’s like Widow Twankie’s in here! Plus some book news
Hello, how are you all? Hope you are well. I’m good, well, better. Was a tad unwell yesterday which meant missing out on a night out, but am so much better now.
So what’s been happening in your world? I’ve been busy with house stuff and trying to do my degree course (OU, English Literature and Creative Writing), so my writing had fallen by the wayside recently. However, I did do some editing on the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia and hope to have it out in the spring. So excited about it. Bit stressed that it’s good enough, but I feel this way with every book I write. I think it’s a thing most writers fear.
Anyhoo, moving on. Tonight, was working on getting Dusting Down Alcudia in other formats so those of you with Nook or ibook can get copies of it. Those should be available very soon… watch this space for more info. Everything She Wants’ cover is still with the designer, but I am aiming to publish it on or before December 10.
Home has been very busy. It’s amazing how much time I don’t have. I thought that when I gave up work a year-and-a-half ago I would have oodles of time to relax and do what I want, but it hasn’t worked out that way. As they say, the Devil makes work for idle hands, well my hands are never idle. I am constantly cleaning or washing up or fixing broken things or shopping for food. Then there’s dental appointments, doctor’s appointments, orthodontists… anything I need to take the kids to. It’s endless. And don’t get me started about the dirty washing. I do not know how two kids can produce so much washing. It’s like Widow Twankie’s (for my non-British blog readers, Widow Twankie is the laundrette owning mother of Aladdin in the pantomime Aladdin) at my house! However, I am finally getting to the end of the washing mountain, but I’m trying not to be too pleased about it for I know that next week another mountain will mysteriously appear and my heart will sink and I’ll start stuffing the washing machine.
Pictures. Do you like them? I haven’t been taking any snaps myself lately (too busy up to my elbow in washing suds!), so I decided to get some free ones on the theme of Scotland. You are welcome.
I am reading…now on to the third of the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness and loving it all over again. It’s called The Book of Life. If you haven’t already read these books, please do so. They are amazing.
Right, I am off to do something else now. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Til next time,
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