Category Archives: fantasy

Discounts and doorbells

Book News:

There’s a 25% discount on The Hit List direct from the publisher this month so buy early buy often. And this weekend only, there’s also a 20% discount on Sunday Haiku from Rainbow Ebooks, so Sunday is definitely a good shopping day.

Meanwhile, The Delaneys and Me found itself briefly at No 62 in the Amazon charts, and Tommy’s Blind Date was equally briefly at no 50. That was certainly a nice feeling anyway. I’ve also, much to my delight, looked again at The Executioner’s Cane, and have this weekend added 2,000 words to its wordcount, hurrah. It might just become a novel one day, you never know.

Recent meditations are:

Meditation 440
After the clamour
of battle
and the stark
inevitability of death:

the quiet washing away
of blood
and the song
of the women.

Meditation 441
The sea calls him
even now in this land
of desert and whispered song.

It is like God:
mysterious, other,
a depth and story

he cannot imagine
and to which
he may never belong.

The Sunday haiku (there’s been a heck of a lot of ladybirds about over the last couple of days, mainly all over our white outer door in colourful fashion …) is:

Sun-flung ladybirds
paint my door with promises
red and ebony.

Life News:

K returned from Dubai (hurrahs!!!!) which was totally delightful and brought me a present of a camel in a snow-globe. So I can add that with pride to my burgeoning snow-globe collection. I’m sure it will be happy to join the old Pope in a snowstorm, the Holy Family in a snowstorm and Noah’s Ark in a snowstorm, amongst others. Never say we’re not classy here in the shires.

Yesterday, Pauline and Tony from Kent visited us for lunch and we played catch-up which was great. Pauline’s been keeping up with the traumas of the House Saga (or rather Lack of House Saga) and very sweetly (pun not intended) bought me loads of goodies to cheer me up – including wine, home-made jam (mmmm ….), a box of chocolate biscuits, and an outrageously enormous box of Thorntons which is actually so incredibly large that it won’t even fit in the fridge. Well, gosh, and thank you, my dear!! I suspect that K and I will be nearly as large as the box after we’ve eaten them all …

Meanwhile, the DIY project is continuing – and we now have, for the first time in the 17 years of being here, a real-live front doorbell. Whatever next? It’s almost like being normal members of the local community, you know – like having a real bridge to the outside world, which up until now we’ve largely ignored as nobody knows how to get up here anyway. We live in terror of someone actually ringing the dang thing, but I suppose that, like the phone, we can always on the whole ignore it. Sociopaths ‘r’ us, eh …

Anne Brooke

Haikus, houses and Holmes

Book News:

I’m happy to say that my latest poetry collection, Sunday Haiku, has already received two 4-star reviews at Goodreads, one from Kim and one from Lisa, who says amongst other comments that she “felt captured within the calm of the poetry” which is precisely the feeling I was trying to attain. Thank you very much, both. And you can now also find Sunday Haiku on sale in PDF version at Rainbow Ebooks, so I hope that covers all buying possibilities. Enjoy!

In addition, I’m getting towards writing the final few scenes of The Prayer Seeker’s Journal, where you can now find the latest episode. There’s a time lag between writing them and actually uploading them, but I hope to finish the first draft by the autumn or thereabouts, though I suspect the last few chapters will be fairly long.

Other books news includes the following: Creative Accountancy for Beginners found itself in the Smashwords Top 10 Humour Bestsellers list, which has been a lovely boost; Painting from Life gained a 4-star review at Goodreads; and The Bones of Summer also had a 4-star Goodreads review – many thanks, Nene, for reading! Meanwhile The Delaneys and Me, continues its rise and fall through the Amazon Kindle Gay Fiction charts, rising as high as No 32 this week.

Recent meditations are:

Meditation 396
No matter
how many lists you make –

table, lampstand,
flowers, cups, bowls

and all the paraphernalia
of fire and hope –

you cannot keep God
contained by your

limitation.

Meditation 397
A cloudy day
and a simple ritual,

wood and stone
and silent angels,

but when the light
arrives, it dazzles you

to the eternal changeability
of prayer.

Meditation 398
The slow history
of stone

wraps you round
in memory

and truth,
helps you

pray again.

And here’s a poem I’ve also written this week:

East

These eastern winds
are an icy layer
leaving you
and me

too close
for comfort

and too far away
to see.

This week’s haiku:

Two blue bicycles
energise the road, piercing
the day’s warm silence.

Life News:

The very big news this week which is both exciting and terrifying is that we and our deceased neighbour’s nephews have agreed on a price for his old flat (below ours) – it’s at the upper limit of our budget but we think that with a bit of scraping around and with the wind in the right direction we can do it, hurrah! So we’re now plunged into the process of conveyancing and soliciting (as it were) and mortgaging, and we hope to have contracts exchanged – all things being equal – by the end of August. I hope it all goes to plan, as it would be great to have more space, not to mention a part of the house garden and a garage. And two floors, well gosh. Whatever next? We won’t be able to eat or go on holiday for the next five years, but what the heck, eh. Who needs food or aeroplanes? We do so love the house, which has got an NVQ Level 5 in Character, though those old Victorian pipes can be a tad dodgy (don’t ask, but never ever put anything at all if you can possibly help it down the loo in a Victorian house – a piece of Life Advice you can have for free …!), so it would be lovely to have more of it. So watch this space, and wish us luck.

Marian and I had a good round of golf on Friday, though we can tell that the schools are ready to break up, as it took a lot longer to go round. I started off with two pretty damn glorious pars (hurrah!) but rapidly faded, so only just managed to scrape victory from the certain jaws of defeat. Yesterday, I was briefly (on a Saturday, how dreadful!) back at work to help out in the afternoon at the University’s open day – which I must say was the busiest I’ve ever known, so I did a heck of a lot of smiling, and was utterly shattered when I got home. So much so that I nearly fell asleep in front of our recorded episode of Midsomer Murders and had to go to bed at 9.30pm, which is really unheard of.

I’m still tired today as well, but this might have been a good thing as they sprang a cunning double christening at church on us today, so there was a lot of water and gurgling, not all of which was me. I’m not a great fan of christenings to be honest – too child-centred for my tastes, but I did a lot of smiling and trying to look normal, so I think people were fooled. Mind you, the family had dressed up to the nines, which was nice to see, and all looked very glam. We’re not used to that in the Sunday crowd …

Ooh, and tonight I and Lord H are hugely looking forward to the new updated version of Sherlock Holmes, which I’m sure will be well worth catching – 9pm on BBC. Don’t miss it! Must dash and get my violin and deerstalker hat ready, if only for old times’ sake.

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal

Free books and Sunday Haikus

Book News:

Am blogging a little earlier than usual today as there’s a competition at Jessewave Reviews to win a FREE copy of Tuluscan Six and the Time Circle for today only, so hurry on over and comment on the post to enter – good luck!

I am also absolutely and incredibly delighted that I have a new poetry collection out! Yes, my collection of haikus for 2009, called simply Sunday Haiku, is now available as an eBook direct from the publisher, Seventh Window, and also at Amazon Kindle. Here’s the publisher’s blurb:

Since 2002 Anne Brooke has written a haiku or two every Sunday. This book contains her haikus written in the year 2009. These short poems are Anne Brooke’s meditations on life, publishing, nature and herself. They are simply brilliant and beautiful.

And I’m sure you’ll all agree that the cover is lovely. All this has been a complete surprise to me as the lovely Ken Harrison of Seventh Window Publications only contacted me this week as he’s been enjoying my Sunday haikus on Facebook, and so it’s been a rollercoaster ride since Monday! I gather he’s even managed to sell some copies, so thank you to those of you who’ve taken a chance and I do hope you enjoy the read. Thank you, Ken! Goodness, how refreshingly different the world of ebooks can be.

I also continue to be bemused but happy at the fact that The Delaneys and Me continues to float around the Amazon Kindle Gay Fiction charts and was apparently at one stage at the dizzy heights of No 16, well gosh. It’s fallen rather since then though, but I think the excitement might have been too much for the twins. Meanwhile, Martin and The Wolf recovered its dignity somewhat since its beating last week, with a 5-star Amazon review, so thank you, Amos, for that. Lucas sends love … fiercely, of course. And there’s been a nice round-up of my Untreed Reads fiction, including the latest offering, so thank you for those kind words also, Jay – though I’m not really sure that I move seamlessly anywhere in any part of my life, to be honest! I am from Essex after all, and we don’t do seamless.

Moving on to other people’s books, may I recommend this marvellous and very readable fantasy, which frankly is the best book I’ve read all year. Including my own, dammit. The good news is that I gather it’s shortly to be published by Untreed Reads in ebook version, so will be cheaper, and at that stage I intend to review it thoroughly for Vulpes Libris, so you’ll have to wait for that a while longer. But it’s definitely worth a read, and some.

Today, however, my review of Geoffrey Best’s Churchill, a Study in Greatness is at Vulpes instead, so you can admire The Great Man in a great and inspirational biography while you’re waiting. Never say I’m not good to you.

This week’s meditations:

Meditation 393
The fragility
of the lily

encased in the glory
of bronze

shines its delicacy
on your slow path.

Meditation 394
Metal and water
and the lily’s slow bloom:

strength made perfect
where delicacy dwells.

Meditation 395
If you possess
everything,

lions, bulls,
winged creatures

and palm trees,
then you’ll always need

a cart to put them in,
in bronze, of course.

Life News:

It’s been a very muddly and difficult week, work-wise, and really I seem to have been often at odds with the universe and the world around me. Does anyone else get weeks like that?? Or is it just me? I feel very much like I’m only just holding on to the sense of what’s going on in the office and how the heck to deal with it, and everything seems to have been a real effort. I suspect I’m simply overtired, and am not coping well and obsessing about the slightest thing – hmm, sounds of Lord H muttering that it doesn’t appear to be any different from usual really, but you know what I mean. I hope.

Mind you, all the angst and trauma has been rather mitigated by the success of last night’s work quiz at a local pub (which Ruth and I arranged) – though it has been causing some of the issues this week, not least because the pub’s phone has been out of order for a week so getting hold of them to sort things out has been … um … a challenge, though they are very nice. Anyway, it all went well in the end and our quizmaster was absolutely excellent, so everyone had a good time, phew. Including me.

Still, I was looking forward to a wonderful Clarins massage this afternoon at the House of Fraser Guildford to ease out the tensions of it all, but there’s been a mix-up, and they and I had different days down for my appointment, dammit. Not sure whose fault it is, but frankly I think they could have at least offered some sort of apology rather than sounding as if I was wasting their time by even existing, sigh. I’ve been a customer of theirs for seventeen years after all, and I think I’ve always been a very reliable and easy-to-deal-with one. It would be nice if I felt I was getting something back. Maybe I should go elsewhere? So if anyone knows another Clarins treatments provider in the Surrey area, please do let me know! I’m open to offers (as it were).

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal

Creative Accountancy for Beginners

Book News:

I’m delighted to say that my comic fantasy short story, Creative Accountancy for Beginners, is now published at Untreed Reads, and you can also read an extract to whet your appetite. Enjoy.

At the same time, my biblical short story about Moses’ wife, Little Bird, has been published by Pages of Stories webzine, so I’m pleased about that too. I must write another biblical tale at some point really, though I suppose biblical reinterpretation would be more accurate.

There have been some more nice reviews and chart listings this week too. The Delaneys and Me gained a lovely and very funny 4-star review at Goodreads, and was for a while at No 80 in the Amazon Kindle Gay Fiction charts. Not to be outdone, Give and Take received a 4-star review at Goodreads, but this week’s outright winner has definitely been Martin and The Wolf, which gained a 5-star review at Goodreads, and a 4-star review at Amazon Kindle where it was also briefly at No 89 in their Gay Fiction charts, hurrah.

Meanwhile, I’m also pleased to see that Thorn in the Flesh is available at a discount and with free worldwide delivery at The Book Depository and is, of course, always available as an Ebook in a variety of formats at All Romance Ebooks, where you can also read a fairly substantial extract to add spice and darkness to your Thursday …

And, finally or nearly finally in this section, you can find a good supply of my Ebooks at new Irish Ebookshop, DirectEbooks. Happy shopping!

This week’s meditation poems:

Meditation 388
Friendship
is a river

flowing silently
between people

and bearing
on its bright back

the things that are needed:
cedar, pine, wheat.

Meditation 389
The mercies of God
are so deep

and immeasurable
that no measures

are enough
to contain them.

Meditation 390
Everything leads
to the centre:

this slow, hard journey
to God

and how he remembers
the cutting, measurement,

placement of stone
and smoothed wood,

the blood, sweat,
scars and striving

constantly as if none of it
would ever be complete

and then, suddenly,
that one cool morning

when the rock-dove sang
and the air sparkled

just for a moment
at the edge of his eye

the arrival
at the heart of it all:

a room protected
by angels

and a quiet realisation
of God.

Life News:

Hell, what can I say … May I refer you to the title of this blog and ask you to sit comfortably, as (sigh …) we’re about to begin:

About 10 days ago, I made the (quickly foolish) decision to try to transfer my current account from my old bank to Lloyds as Lloyds offered interest on it and I thought that might be a good idea. Dear reader, I filled in the online new account/transfer request form on 6 July and sent it off. Into the void apparently, as I received no email notification that they’d got my form and indeed no acknowledgement whatsoever. Time, as it tends to do, ticked by and I wondered vaguely what might be happening to it, though I do understand that finances take time. I’m married to an accountant, so I really do understand that. On 12 July, I decided to ring them up to see when my new account might be ready (ah, the innocence of it …). I found a phone number and rang it. When I pressed “2” for the non-account holders’ option, I was taken to a voicemail message which told me I had to ring an entirely different number. More sighing. So I put the phone down and rang the new number instead. It told me I would have to wait 10 minutes, which being a 21st century customer I expected, so I settled down at the table with my paperwork and reference numbers to wait. After one minute (hurrah!) the phone was answered by a lady called Kate who didn’t really seem to grasp what I was trying to tell her and kept asking where my money was in Lloyds and what sort of account I had. I admit I was not at my best, so perhaps I was just being confusing. However, eventually, she understood what I’d done and looked up the online records. She then told me there was a problem on my account request and I would have to go in and speak to my local Godalming branch of Lloyds to sort it out. I enquired, as a matter of interest, how long it would have taken them to contact me to tell me that, or were they simply expecting me to chase them up to find that out. She responded by starting to tell me about what happened six months ago when she opened her own account. I cut her off by telling her I had no interest in her life story (yes, I really can be that bitchy, but occasionally I think I’m entitled …) and could she simply answer the question about when Lloyds had intended to contact me about this. She responded to that by carrying on with her obviously more interesting personal account-opening tale, and I simply then put the phone down. Whereupon I spent some time fuming and pacing the flat, revisiting my rather wide-ranging knowledge of swear-words. Poor Lord H …

The following day, I walked into Guildford at lunchtime from work and spoke to my current bank to make sure that if/when Lloyds contacted them they would be sure to ignore them as I had no intention of becoming a Lloyds bank customer at any point as the blessed Kate had entirely put me off. They very sweetly made a note of it, but then later rang me at home that day to say that I would also need to tell Lloyds not to go ahead with the transfer. Understandably enough. So I then spent some time attempting to do this online with Lloyds, and discovered that it’s simply not possible. So I gathered my courage in both hands, such as it is, and rang the helpline (ha!) again. Thankfully, Kate must have been out or lying down in a darkened room or something. Good, say I … Anyway I spoke to an equally callow young man who said that I would still have to go in and see the Godalming branch to sort it out as he couldn’t do anything over the phone or online. I said that seemed like a pretty poor customer service to me really and as he launched into what would no doubt prove to be a long and equally pointless explanation, I decided I simply didn’t want to hear any of it and put the phone down on him too. Perhaps he’s now also in that darkened room.

So, yesterday, I went in to work early to allow extra time at lunchtime to drive into Godalming to sort it out. I duly walked into Lloyds bank in the High Street and began telling my tale of woe to the first man I saw, who turned out to be the manager. His (really rather glorious though it didn’t feel it at the time) response was (and I quote):

I’m too important to deal with you and you’ll have to go away and come back at another time.

Marvellous. Customer service is alive and kicking and (not) living in Godalming. Naturally, dear reader, I expressed my opinion forcefully and with dedication in the public foyer – though I’m proud of the fact that I didn’t shout. I simply said that I had no intention of leaving and would stay here communicating my dissatisfaction with their service for as long as it took until my issue was sorted. The manager attempted to talk over me and tell me he couldn’t help and I still had to go away, but frankly by that stage I didn’t care if he was God, I expected him to sort out the problem even if he found a completely unimportant person to deal with it. Luckily, at that point, the really lovely and utterly efficient Karen Stenning whisked me away to her table, apologised profusely on the bank’s behalf (the first apology I’ve received all week, so thank you, Karen), listened with growing horror to my tale of woe, and then sorted it all out for me with style and finesse, and in a matter of minutes. Karen – you are truly marvellous and if you left and started your own bank, I would most certainly be your first and proudest customer. Thank you. It was a pleasure doing business with you – though I suppose that should be not doing business with you. Still, it was nice.

So, there you have it. Interestingly, today, I have received a package through the post from Lloyds thanking me for applying online and saying how much they were looking forward to having me as a customer. Lord preserve us. I am ignoring it, and hoping for the best. But if you do hear tell of a crazed woman venting her wrath on a Surrey bank manager, then it’s likely to be me …

Anyway, back to more spiritual matters. Bible study group last night was good (and good God, how I needed it, eh!). We were looking at St Paul’s letter to one of his underlings, Titus (you see, even St Paul wasn’t too important to write a letter when it was needed and, hell, he was a busy chap too …). It did amuse me though that the associate vicar’s husband walked in a little late and without his good lady wife, but with this glorious excuse for her absence: Sorry. Paul couldn’t come; he sends Titus … Which sums up the letter itself, really. Anyway, it’s the last group meeting before the summer and we’ve decided to look at the Book of Daniel in October, followed by Revelation after Christmas. Never say we don’t challenge ourselves here in the shires. It did worry me however that the vicar was muttering something about having an exam once we’ve finished the whole bible. I just hope it isn’t in Greek, God forbid. Do you think it’ll be multiple choice?

I must also say, on an entirely different matter but my brain is like a gazelle on a rock today sorry, that I’ve been deeply disappointed by the Prime Minister’s statements in Parliament about the Moat affair. His opinions seem mean and uncalled-for to me – far better surely to acknowledge the horror of the events and the terrible complexity of it all, to ask for a reasoned response from the public as far as that is possible, and to pray for all the victims involved. That was all that was needed – but making bitter personal comments about a dead man in public, however difficult and dangerous that man was, is beyond the pale and must be totally appalling for the family. Badly done, Mr Cameron. Very badly done. You should have taken a lesson from the open-hearted response of the policeman victim.

Finally (at last!), I’ve visited the dental hygienist today so my teeth are all gleaming and white, and even now planes are landing when I smile, hurrah. And, whilst there, I had a lovely chat with the dental nurse (hello, Margaret!) who, rather worryingly for her, has my blog on her i-phone as one of her favourite sites. Well, gosh! I’m deeply touched and it really made my day, but have you ever thought you might need help, Margaret?!? I can offer you the name of a very good therapist, you know …. Great to catch up with you though!

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal

Disappearances, Delaneys and a Dibley moment

Book news:

Today at Vulpes Libris, you can read my review of the always marvellous though sadly underrated Clare Morrall’s The Man Who Disappeared. Really, she’s superb. If you read nothing else this year, try a Morrall novel – they’re great.

I’m also thrilled to announce that I’ve somehow reached the 50,000 word marker of The Executioner’s Cane, earlier than anticipated even. Hurrah! That neatly rounds off the first third of the book, which I’ve entitled Faith. Now on to my second section, which will be entitled Hope. No prizes as to guessing the title of the third and final section, though I do hope the final two parts will be smaller that the first one – otherwise I’ll still be writing the damn thing in my bath chair, scary thought. Will those pesky Gathandrians ever really let me go?? Time will tell … Or, as they would put it, the time-cycle will tell. Lordy, but I’m starting to talk like them too, by the gods and stars. Hey ho.

Chart & review news this week: The Secret Thoughts of Leaves found itself staying happily in the Amazon Kindle Surrealism charts, currently at Number 41; whereas The Delaneys and Me kept in the Amazon Kindle Gay Fiction charts, drifting merrily between Number 50 and Number 80. I was also very  happy indeed with a lovely and thorough review of Martin and The Wolf at the Obsidian Bookshelf by Val Kovalin who recommends the book, saying: This gracefully written story handles the novelette length just fine, delivering an absorbing opposites-attract story warmed by understated humor. Many thanks indeed, Val!

Meanwhile, I’ve sent the galley proofs of The Boilerman and The Bride back to Amber Heat Press, ready for publication this Sunday, 4 July. And my biblical short story about the wife of Moses, Little Bird, has been accepted for publication by Pages of Stories ezine, well gosh!

There’s also great news for one of my publishers, Untreed Reads, and all their readers, as you can now benefit from a new loyalty discount pass, called the GreenPass – so you can get great reads (including my own) at cut prices all year round and save the environment too. What could be nicer!

Surprisingly, there’s been rather a lot of poetry around this week, which has been fun, mainly focused on art inspired by the glorious pictures in the latest Art Fund catalogue, plus the meditation poems as well. Here they all are, the art series first:

Red Stripe by Rachael Woodman
Tall blue pipes
protect their crimson treasure,
fluting invisible song
as a barrier
in the quiet air

while the blood
and the life
run free.

Sleepers by Yto Barrada
I lie on black and white grass
in a black and white world.
A human zebra
on an empty plain.

No-one notices me
and pale despair
covers my face.

You might hear my breathing
if you listen.

Purple Blue, Arno, Erlauf by Jenny Holzer
I watch you
I bury you
deep in blue

ancient, legendary
the shadow
at the centre

of things:
deep in blue
I bury you

I watch you.

Nearly Untitled
Seven and Seven is
or Sunshine Bathed
the Golden Glow
by Jim Lambie

is a riot of chairs
glittered with mirrors
on handbags

or just how
I envisage
my life.

Meditation 375
When God’s mercy
means seventy thousand people die

perhaps you’re better off
with man’s judgement.

Meditation 376
The consolations
of old age
for kings

are blankets
and the beauty
of women,

proving once more
that what counts
is money.

Meditation 377
Everywhere I look
men are jostling
for position
hungry for power

when all that is needed
is to stop
breathe
and listen.

Life News:

Phew, we’re at this section at last then. Not much to report in terms of life this week, you’ll possibly be heartened to hear. Though I must say that the glorious rain we had early in the week was delightful in every way and I spent long moments before going to work simply looking at it and breathing in that wonderful smell. Delicious. I hope there’ll be some more soon.

And this week’s Vicar of Dibley moment just had to be at our local bible study group, which is filled with really decent and lovely people – so Lord alone knows what the hell I’m doing there … Anyway, Woman X was explaining to the vicar why dog-loving Woman Y wasn’t there and conveying her apologies, when she came out with the glorious statement: yes, she can’t be here as she’s off dogging, as usual. My dears, I had to breathe deeply and bury my nose in my bible in order to avoid running hysterically from the room. I don’t think anyone else but me (and the vicar, I’m sure) picked up on it, but it truly goes to show how very corrupt I (and possibly the vicar) actually am, and how everyone else will most certainly get to heaven before me. Though, on the other hand, perhaps that’s what every other parishioner not in the bible group was actually up to, and good luck to them indeed! – this is Surrey, after all …

But, talking of TV vicars, I must draw your attention to the funny, realistic, non-cliched and deeply heartening series, Rev, on BBC2 Mondays 10pm. In Episode One, it knocked into definite touch all the achingly bad and shallow versions of TV vicardom we’ve had to endure over the years, sigh, (with the exception of the Vicar of Dibley) of course – and great points must go to it for that pub scene at the end where the put-upon vicar quietly but firmly stood up for his principles after huge pressure not to do so. It was perfectly pitched and very true. Nice one. I hope the rest of the series lives up to that standard and doesn’t go on to shortchange us Christians out of our actual humanity, as many series do.

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal

Holidays and books

Have had a fabulous holiday in gloriously sunny Wales – it was total bliss to get away, and ye gods and little fishes but I think the St John’s Wort happy pills might be working, hurrah! This is the most normal I’ve felt in two months, maybe more. Anyway, Wales is wonderful. My favourite day was the one we spent at Hilton Court Gardens taking tea and just sitting in their incredibly beautiful gardens at ridiculously cheap prices. If you’re anywhere near it, you absolutely must go. It’s just soooo relaxing. After that, we paddled on the amazingly beautiful and all but deserted beach in Newgale, nearby, and that was wonderful too. Honestly, that night, I was the most relaxed and happy I’ve been in years. I wish I could go to Hilton Court and Newgale every day or, at the very least, have them delivered. Bliss.

Book News:

My gay fantasy short story, Martin and The Wolf, is now published at Amber Allure and you can also view a book trailer.

At the same time, my gay comic fantasy, Angels and Airheads, is published at Torquere Press, which is my first publication with them. I hope it won’t be the last!

In terms of upcoming book news, I now have a webpage for straight romance, The Boilerman and The Bride, and that’s due out from Amber Heat Press on 4 July 2010. And I totally love that cover – so many thanks to Trace at Amber who created it! It’s astonishing what men can do with their spanners indeed – as it were …

I also have a new page for upcoming comic SF story, Creative Accountancy for Beginners, and this will be part of the new Orbis line from Untreed Reads Press. It will probably be published late this month and will be their first Orbis offering, so I’m especially thrilled to be part of that – thanks to Jay once more! Talking of which, the cover for it is wonderful too – as you can see!

Finally, in the specific book news section, I’m very happy that Bluewood Publishing now have an author’s page for me that also has the cover art for The Gifting on it, so that’s getting exciting too.

Reviews & ratings:

The Delaneys and Me has had two reviews this week, one at Three Dollar Bill Reviews and one at Amazon US – very many thanks to both reviewers for their comments. It’s also been interesting to note that The Delaneys and Me was briefly at Number 45 in the Amazon Kindle Gay Fiction charts, whilst The Bones of Summer managed Number 68 in the Amazon Kindle Gay Romance chart and (pause for BIG drumroll!) The Secret Thoughts of Leaves was actually Number 17 in the Amazon Kindle Surrealism charts for a while. Heck, I didn’t even know Amazon possessed a surrealism chart, but my goodness it’s nice to be in it. Whatever next, eh?


Interviews:

There are two interviews with me on the web this week, one at Sizzling Releases that focuses mainly on The Secret Thoughts of Leaves. And the other is about my fiction more generally and can be found at Two Ends of the Pen journal. I hope you enjoy both.

Poetry:

Meditation 370
Sunlight on ripening barley
and the soft pull
of the wind

whilst at the skyline
seven men are hanged
all the way

to death: in the midst
of beauty
we are in ugliness.

Last Sunday’s haiku:

Decide for silence,
unknit yourself from the earth.
Finally alone.

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal

GLBT Week at Vulpes: halfway through …

We’re now halfway through GLBT Week at Vulpes Libris and I hope everyone’s enjoying it. I certainly am! So far we’ve had a look at: Sarah Waters’ Fingersmiththe love affair between Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland; and a rollercoaster ride through gay teen fiction. It’s all go, my dears, and there’s still so much more to look forward to!

I’m also pleased to say that Amber Quill Press have accepted my (straight) erotic short story, The Boilerman and The Bride, for publication on 4 July – and a special thank you to Ruth at work for the title. But, trust me, the story behind her boilerman and bride is entirely different and very proper. Honest! I’m also at the 40,000 word marker in The Executioner’s Cane, so about one-third through, which is nice. Heck, there’s almost hope there. Almost …

This week’s meditation poems have so far been:

Meditation 352


If in doubt
send for a clever woman:

they’re much better
at fooling a man

into doing the right thing
than a thousand messages

from God
would ever be.

Meditation 353


Never trust a man
with beautiful hair

and don’t respond
to a neighbour

who burns your fields
to get your attention:

it’ll all end in tears.

Meditation 354


His promise
becomes a betrayal

and kisses
are nothing but scars

in the making
while it’s best not to mention

his deceitful web
of words

drifting through the air
to catch you.

Meanwhile rejections this week: 1
Under serious consideration: 1

Anne Brooke
The Prayer Seeker’s Journal