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.
Well, it’s finally decided to snow around here and it’s lovely. I love the snow. It makes everything look so pretty. It dulls sounds so that all is peaceful. And, well, it’s just gorgeous. The only thing I don’t like is driving in it…I won’t do it if it’s heavy and there’s snow and ice on the road. Uh-huh, not me. Had too many slides and near misses over the years to even think about risking it.
*sigh of happiness as I watch the flakes drifting gently to the ground
Anyway, how are you? How was your week? I’ve been really busy. I decided that I really needed to lose weight and get fitter (plus I have those aforementioned triathlon events coming up) so I joined our local swimming and triathlon club. I went along to a local swimming pool on Tuesday night and joined…and loved it. It was nice because there were a couple of girls I knew from the village there, so I had a chat plus everyone I met was really welcoming and friendly. I went along to another swim session on Thursday night and again loved it. Am wondering now why I didn’t join something like this before.
Hubby and I went to Braehead Shopping Centre to celebrate him taking his last chemo tablet (fingers crossed and all that!). God love him, but he was shattered within about five minutes. He’s really still very weakened by the treatment so he walks slowly and needs lots of rest (Braehead has lots of benches dotted around which were a Godsend). He’s also still very breathless and is as thin as a rake (am trying to encourage him to eat more). We weren’t there very long, but it was enough for hubby to feel a bit normal and less stir crazy. We were there because he wanted to go to Marks to buy another hat (he really feels the cold at the moment).
We dropped into a lovely little café in Govan for a bite to eat en route home. Café 13 sells a great range of delicious food and is a real gem. I had falafel in a wrap, hubby had home-made soup. Delicious!! If you’re south of the river, I would recommend it. The café is attached to Govan and Linthouse Parish Church on Govan Road.
What else have I been up to? Popped in for tea and cakes on my friend Tracy who is just back from climbing Kilimanjaro with her family. Just wanted to give them all a mention and say well done again! Am proud of the lot of you, particularly her 11-year-old daughter and 10-year-old friend who also did it. It was great to catch up with her and hear all about her adventures. Tracy is an excellent orator and always tells her stories in a way that is entertaining and often very funny. Also there was my friend Jane who is equally as funny so we had a good old belly laugh. We hadn’t seen each other since before Christmas so it was fun.
On Friday afternoon my step kids came down for a visit, it was great to see them. We haven’t seen them for a wee while for various reasons and it was good to catch up. Today, I had a jammies morning (watching the snow falling) and then my parents came over for a visit in the afternoon. I was worried they wouldn’t get here because of the snow, but they managed it and arrived bearing pansies (I love flowers) in a pot and sweets and way too much pocket money for the kids. They left around 3pm when it was still light, which is just as well because the snow was falling really heavily and they live nearly an hour’s drive away.
Talking of the snow, the kids have been out all afternoon playing in it. They had a ball and there are little snow creatures dotted right through our estate. I watched my boy creating snow angels in the front garden earlier and he had a huge grin on his face. See, it is the simple things that matter the most and there’s no simpler pleasure than playing in the snow!
If hubby is feeling up to going out, we hope to do a family visit to our local cinema to see the new Star Wars. We’ve all been desperate to see the new film – all being fans – but we didn’t want to go without hubby who has been very unwell over the past few weeks due to his treatment. He’s a bit better, so fingers crossed we’ll be able to go see it soon.
Right, I will finish up here with a sneak peak at the cover of my new book Writing Fiction for Kids which is due out soon. It’s already available on Amazon as a Kindle, but I’m not going to do any kind of launch until the printed book is available, which I hope will be very soon. Just waiting for proofs from the printers, then I can sign it off and make it available.
This book is great for kids and adults who want to write for children. It’s full of tips and info about how to plan and write your book. Plus there’s lots of exercises for you to try that will get you started.
Okay, am aff. Got stuff to do. No rest for the wicked and all that. Til next time!
So, new year, new start and part of that for me is to get more vegetables into hubby and the kids. Last year was very much a non year healthy eating wise – because of hubby being sick and hospital visits and trying to keep everything going, it was very much a case of getting something on to the table whether that was made from scratch, made from a packet or bought at a takeaway. Now that we’re coming out the end of that cycle of cancer treatments (yipeee! fingers crossed that’ll be it), I fully intend to get back to cooking from scratch for nearly every meal.
However, I am already hitting resistance, not just from the kids, but hubby too. I made really lovely meatballs and pasta last night from Jo Pratt’s In the Mood for Healthy Food and everyone moaned about them. To be fair to hubby, the chemo has affected how he tastes and enjoys food. Sigh.
Am currently making root veg falafels from the same book and when I told him what we were having, hubby screwed up his face at them. I told him to try them and see if he likes them before deciding he didn’t like them. Honestly, it sometimes feels like I have three kids instead of just two!!
Anyway, that’s enough of moaning, how are you all? Hope you are well. What’s this weather been like lately? Got up this morning and the whole place was under ice. Spent about ten minutes de-icing the car this morning before I could take the kids to school. Was really chilly. Finally it’s beginning to feel the way winter should. It has been worringly too mild for too long.
This week I’ve been back at work and started to eat and be more healthy (see last post). I haven’t touched wine or coca cola since we last spoke and intend to keep that going. Have finally finished my Christmas chocolates (well most of it…two chocolate oranges and a large bar of chocolate) so chocolate is the next thing to be reduced and chucked out. I want to get into the habit of eating only home-made biscuits and cakes because 1) I know what’s in them; 2) they are fresh; and 3) they are more filling so I won’t need to eat much of them to feel satisfied. It’s all in the masterplan!! Hee hee! Am also on the downward slope to cutting out snacking in between meals. I’ve decided to do this slowly so that I don’t crave (and give into) rubbish. Next, I’m upping my exercise starting this weekend…back to yoga first (hopefully that will sort out my back which still twinges from time to time).
On the writing side of things, I cleared out my study (it was a dumping ground for Christmas pressies and rubbish) and I aim to start back at writing. I’ve got a project to launch, which I aim to do at the end of this month, and am going to get back into a book I’ve half written. It’s aimed at young adults. I’ve been finding it really difficult to write, but I think that may have been partly because of the horrible year we had last year and partly because I just wasn’t getting my head down to get on with it!! I have no excuses this year and only myself to blame if I don’t finish the book.
Jings that’s a lot of intentions I have!
Ref the falafals…the root veg was taking it’s time cooking, so we had home-made lentil soup instead (made yesterday). We’ll have the falafals tomorrow and I’ll let you know how we get on. The kids will be able to try them so no doubt that will be another moan. Talking of lentil soup, the recipe is delicious. Here it is if you want to have a go making it for yourself…
Home-made Lentil Soup (serves 4-6)
half a turnip (swede to anyone who is not Scottish)
four ham stock cube
Two large handfuls of red lentils (minimum 100g – I like to put loads in, I like the soup thick)
Two litres of water
Method – grate or chop all the vegetables and place with the stock cubes, water and lentils in a pot. Heat up to boiling point. Turn down so that it’s simmering and simmer for at least half an hour or until the soup is done. Serve with a side of bread/rolls and butter. Yummmm!!
Right enough of all this food talk. I will say adieu for now. Til next time!