From the ashes of disaster …

Writing News:

Seeing as I am (fairly evidently) not having my week’s holiday in Pompeii (ah the irony of it all …) – of which more later – here’s some happy writing news: my gay erotic short story, The Delaneys and Me, is now published by Amber Allure, and you can find out more and purchase a copy here – there’s a 35% discount for the first week so it’s worthwhile rushing! Plus, for TODAY only, Jessewave Reviews is offering a FREE copy of the story to one lucky winner if you leave a comment at her review site here – good luck to all, and may the best man or woman win. Finally, for your viewing pleasure, don’t forget to click onto the book trailer – enjoy!

I’m also very pleased to see that Give and Take is now available in Kindle edition at Amazon US. And that The Bones of Summer received a 5-star rating at Goodreads – many thanks, Tracy.

Other exciting news is that Untreed Reads is having a 25% discount off ALL their books until 22 April, and this includes three of my literary short stories, amongst others – so do pop across and browse their bookshop – but don’t forget to use the coupon code FBFRIENDS at checkout. Have fun!

Finally in this section, amidst yesterday’s holiday disappointments, I was delighted to receive a proof copy of Clare Morrall’s latest novel,The Man Who Disappeared, from the lovely Carole at Sceptre Press – I’d chatted for ages with Carole at the recent Sceptre event and said how much I love Morrall’s work, and so I was thrilled to receive this surprise package in the post – thanks, Carole! It’s much appreciated, and I can’t wait to get my reading teeth into that one …

Other News:

Yes, well, what can I say? The delicious irony of not being able to go on my longed-for week’s holiday to Pompeii & Naples because of volcanic ash has indeed not escaped me. But I really can’t recommend the existential pain of unpacking when you … um … haven’t actually been anywhere yet. Don’t do it, folks! It’s not pleasant. Though it does save a hell of a lot of washing and ironing, so I suppose there’s always a silver lining to every volcanic cloud. Page & Moy promise us that refunds will be sorted on Monday, as we can’t reschedule as this coming week was the only week we could do, Lord H’s and my schedules being hugely tricky to juggle, alas. Ah well. Maybe Pompeii next year? Who can tell?

So we have spent the weekend having a mini-holiday and drinking champagne to give ourselves an essential lift – where planes could not perform that task. Yesterday, we had a lovely day out at Knole House in Sevenoaks and managed to spot two new birds for this year: a redstart and a willow warbler, hurrah! We also treated ourselves to a truly scrumptious holiday cream tea and admired the gorgeous butterflies, which this weekend have included several orange tips and a light scattering of brimstones. Bliss. Plus we just managed to get back in time for Dr Who, which was thankfully a whole lot better than last week’s disastrous episode, hurrah! Phew, as I was starting to lose the faith a little, perish the thought …

Today, our mini-non holiday continued with a day spent at Wisley Gardens – more butterflies and a riot of colour in the flowers, but way too many people wandering around the arts & crafts fair. We had to eat in the cafe, shock, horror! And they ran out of salad to serve with our pizza so it looked very lonely on the plate, sigh. Mind you, I argued successfully at the tills that we should have had the salad as it was part of the meal, and they took £2 off, so I am indeed the Bargaining Queen of Wisley, ha!

However, Wisley had its revenge in the end, as halfway round our afternoon stroll, I came over all peculiar and had to take a stomach pill in order to make it back to the car at all. I am a slave to my stomach pains, sadly. Anyway, I’d just been admiring the tee-shirt on a small boy which said: Zero to Naughty in Six Seconds, so after a few moments of sitting on a bench, groaning and wondering if I was going to be sick or worse (thankfully I was neither), I told Lord H that I should have a tee-shirt that said Zero to Sick in Three Seconds. However, Lord H reassures me that such a talent is merely an expression of my particular Super-Power, and I am saving many other people from being sick by taking it all on myself. Now, there’s a thought. Though, like Lord H, I’d really rather have the ability to fly or be invisible. Ah well.

So, back to work tomorrow (sigh), but here’s this week’s haiku, inspired by events near Heathrow Airport, where apparently they can hear the skylarks for the first time in living memory:

All the planes are stilled.
Instead the song of skylarks
laces the bright sky.

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal

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