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THE AUTHOR AND HER EDITOR

A lot of people having been asking me what I’ve really been doing apart from writing and also my Editor and I thought………hmmmm. I never realised that I’d never really said. So let’s start with me.

During lockdown while people did a lot for the NHS I admit I didn’t. Not because that made me a bad and un-caring person. I support my own chosen charities and if I suddenly supported the NHS then it mean’t that I had to turn my back on my own Charities. Firstly I’m what they call a Twiddler. I belong to a small group and we knit squares and make muffs for dementia patients. Then I support a lovely lady called Jane. Jane helps anyone that needs help. She is grateful for anything that comes knitted, crochet, sewn. Hand made toys, The list is endless so I make ‘things’ for Jane and she sends them to people in need, or she might raffle something to raise funds for a Charity such as Help the Hero’s.

The Charity that is closest to my heart and always will be is the Sailors Society or Seaman’s Society formerly known as King Georges Fund for Sailors. I have supported them since I was sixteen years old when I first found out about them. They support the Seamen and now ladies as well on the Container ships. People may think they know about them and their conditions, but they don’t know maybe as well as I do. Not that I’m a know all as someone called me but over the years I’ve gained the trust of a a lot of these Seamen and they are now my friends and talk to me. However, what they tell me stays with me. I don’t betray that trust and gossip behind their backs.

It’s lovely to see them come into Southampton. It’s a pleasure to knit hats, and fingerless gloves for them and know I’m doing my bit for them.

However, please don’t get the impression from this part of my blog that I think I’m full of my own importance and aren’t I wonderful because I’m not. I’m just one of many people who knit for the Seamen. The people who work in the Offices are amazing. In fact everyone concerned is amazing.

The saddest thing that happened recently is that they had to cancel selling their coffee. They had to stop because no one was buying and all funds went to the Society. My son was furious because he loved that coffee!

What I do get cross about is that there seems to be an attitude at the moment out there that Container Ship Crews don’t matter because they’re dirty, and they don’t wear nice pristine Uniforms like other certain services. I’ve seen a lot of really nasty pieces on Social Media recently where jokes have been made about this Container Ship that’s stuck in Suez. Well strange as it seems, I honestly can’t see why you need to make jokes about something like that.

A while ago a Container Ship was involved in an accident where some of the crew died. The wife of one of the missing crew contacted me.

Please Mrs Carol, she said, Please don’t make him dead for me. You wouldn’t make him dead for me. You – a good lady.

That ripped my heart out. To this day I still don’t know if her husband survived, but I will still always support my Seamen.

My Editor is over the moon at things getting back to normal even if it is a little bit. He’s booked himself some time at the golf course. He can get a haircut he can actually have some kind of a normal life and even better he – as in both of us can go and watch our horses race again, although we do own the same, but different ones as well, and for him the best part of all is that he will hopefully be able to go to football as well.

He’s also a London Tour Guide and guiding is starting again. Hopefully from April 4th. One guide and much smaller groups of people, but that part of life is getting back to normal so it looks as though there’s hope for all of us.

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THE VERY BEST OF AFTERNOON TEA

I think a recipe is called for and I love this one, even if it is out of my afternoon tea book.

EARL GREY AND LEMON MINI LOAF CAKES

125ML milk

4 Earl Grey tea bags

115g unsalted butter

225g granulated sugar

2 large eggs

125g self raising sugar

1/2 lemon juice and zest

200g icing sugar

sugar flowers optional

Method

  1. Place the milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Take off the heat and immerse the tea bags in the hot milk and set aside to cool.
  3. Squeeze the tea bags out into the liquid and set aside to cool some more.
  4. Heat the oven to Gas Mark 4
  5. Grease and line 8 mini loaf tins.
  6. Cream the butter and sugar together. When it’s light and fluffy, add the eggs one by one. Add half the flour and half the tea infused milk. Add until combined, then add the other half and mix until completely combined.
  7. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Set on a wire tray to cool.
  9. To make the icing, mix the icing sugar and lemon juice and zest together and pour over the sponges. Add a sugar flower if using.
  10. Eat and enjoy when the icing is fim.

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j. j. Egosi

I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine. A fellow Author, but this guy is no ordinary Author. This guy is a Crafter of Tales and Teller of Dark Fantasy. How does that grab you?? He wrote the Demon Heart series available on Amazon and I can recommend it one hundred per cent. He’s from Manhattan, New York.

You can also get his book in paperback.

I’ve read the first book in the series, and if I could give it five stars, I would give it ten.

So if this is your kind of thing, go and get his book, because between you and me, I think our j.j is inclined to hide his light under a bushel. British phrase I know. In other words, he doesn’t know how good he is, so I’m telling him.

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MORCEAUX WINES

There comes a time when a series of books comes to it’s natural end and I’ve decided that the Morceaux Wines series has reached it’s end. The book that I’m writing now will be the last. I’ve loved every minute of writing about Corine and her family and friends, but I want people to remember the series with love and not a tired old series that became a heavy to read and a bit stale.

I read the other books just to make sure I was making the right decision, and I laughed at some of the characters, Fat Felice for one, and Madam who ruled the kitchen with more than an iron rod and I knew that this was the right time.

I’m not giving any teasers, nothing at all, but the book will be out before the end of the year. One thing I do know is that I will miss all the friends I’ve made at Morceaux Wine. It’s as though I’ve created a new family for myself and when I write that last line

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REVIEWS

Reviews I will admit do come with a reputation. The reason I say this is because I know for a fact that some people pay other people to leave certain Authors bad reviews. I know this is the truth because I know one Author this happened to. I know that we all need reviews, and it’s lovely to get them and we have to accept the bad with the good because we don’t all enjoy a book when we’ve read it.

I’ve not spoken about this before, so I will. I may have mentioned it in passing but not the full story. I dropped into Amazon to see my reviews. One said This Author needs an Editor badly. Fine, her opinion but I did have an Editor. My son, who is actually a professional Editor so I know my books are well Edited. Maybe the odd one of two letters miss out but tell me an Editor who doesn’t miss one letter here or there, mainly because Editors are human. Suddenly I looked at another review. This Author needs to grow a brain. Pardon me? That was a bit harsh. Even if you don’t like my book. To say I need to grow a brain was a bit of a insult. Then it went on and on. This Author is a fake. They are in Africa and are a scam and will take your money. Well you can check out my profile as an Author any time. How am I a fake when my name and details are on the cover of my books. So this went on and on. Reports to Amazon got me nowhere, until a further check saw one hundred and twenty five people getting the same review and at long last the Amazon machine swung into action and the whole thing was taken down.

However, I do value reviews if you read my books, good or bad. So please leave me one and if you’d like to leave me a comment or chat to me, I’d love to hear from you as well.

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HONOR IS BACK

As you might expect, there’s no keeping Honor and the residents of Farworth down and they’re all back in yet another mystery. This time it’s called Death Comes at Teatime. I’m only giving a small spoiler as they call it. An old school friend of Honor’s comes to stay and Percy, Honor’s loyal Pug is not happy. John and Honor have fallen out, Regina is beside herself with fear, something strange is happening in a cottage that has been empty for years, Dave the Farmer is heart broken, but apart from that life goes on as normal in Farworth.

You can buy the latest Honor May Mystery on Amazon Kindle or Kobo now for 99p. If you do buy it, please leave me a review. I’d love to know if you enjoyed it.

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SVELT

Have you ever looked at a book and thought this is definitely not for me, but I’ll read it anyway because you never know, it might change my mind. Well this is exactly what happened to me with a book called Svelt. Trolls, and Dwarfs, but wait. I won’t spoil it for you. Me? I’m definitely a fifteen violent murders before breakfast kind of girl. So, I started, got through Chapter 1 and thought actually this isn’t bad. Got through Chapter 2, and thought this is really good. Got through Chapter 3 and found I was hooked. I mean seriously hooked. The Author is Chris Whatt, who writes a lot of stuff like this and he comes with my personal recommendation.

Chris also has a Website. Balsano’s Books. Why not drop in and take a look. You can also find him on Twitter.

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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

Despite everything I did start one of my stand alone novels. My main character was on the point of a gun, so I try to make my research as perfect as I can. I go into Google and type in Where can I buy a handgun, hoping to research Hand Guns. Fine, after looking around and looking at one that I think might work I make a note of it. I then get a very stern message saying “Are you aware that it is illegal to try to buy a weapon on line.. If you continue your details will be reported”.

I didn’t like to reply with, well if it’s illegal why is there a site on the Internet, quoting prices and taking orders, just in case someone turned up to arrest me.

Yes, it scared the life out of me, and yes, it is a true story!

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STAND ALONE NOVELS

My first book was called the Dark Side of Innocence.. When it started to become successful I suddenly realised I didn’t like the Title. Looking back if I’d have seen that Title I would have though Child Abuse, but it was too late. It’s actually a thriller about a young girl caught up in the world of Witchcraft. It taught me one lesson. Think.

So far I’ve only managed to come up with four ideas for stand alone novels, but here’s my problem. You see I can always find a problem lol. I’m getting older and suppose I don’t live long enough to write all these books that I’ve got idea for. Well, my beloved M.C. Beaton was in her nineties when she died, so there’s hope for me yet!

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BACK AGAIN

Hi everyone,

Well I’m pleased to say I’m back again and hopefully I’m back for good. My health issues are sorted and the good news is that I’m cancer free. It’s been more than a difficult time but my Editor, who is also my son has been my absolute rock and I couldn’t thank him enough. That’s what really took it’s toll along with this Virus problem which, let’s be honest took it’s toll on everyone’s lives.

The latest Honor Maye book is finished! It’s with my Editor as we speak and now I can move on to my my next book. So here’s a small tease. Honor, John and Percy are quite happily getting on with their lives. A visit from an old school friend of Honor’s, a visit from Regina’s parents who live in India, and a Priest who begins to question his Faith suddenly bring a change to the village. Or is it change or disruption?

I’m going to be writing some stand alone novels this year. I notice I haven’t written many to be honest and I don’t want to be known only as an Author who writes series. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. There are a lot of Author’s who write some fabulous series that go into twenty or twenty one books. My beloved M.C. Beaton for one, or Marion Beaton as she was sometimes known. I used to follow Agatha Raisin. Agatha as she intended her to be. Not the Agatha Raisin that you see on tv.. M.C. Beaton is the only Author who’s death I have actually cried over. No I didn’t cry. I sobbed. If there is one thing I will remember about MY Agatha Raisin as she was supposed to be it’s that she was a heavy smoker, loved a drink and her favour phrase when she was annoyed was Snakes and Bastards !