COVER REVEAL AND LONGSHANKS

As threatened, here is my proposed cover for the next book. It’s a follow on from ‘Truth, Lies and Propaganda’, and is called ‘More, Truth Lies & Propaganda’. Yes, well that’s no big surprise is it?

You wouldn’t believe how writers agonize over the cover of a book and this one was no exception. I love these pictures, but I’m still trying to decide if the children should be walking towards or away from the camera on the front. People won’t see the back cover when it is advertised on Amazon. If you have any comments, please share them with me.

I doubt if any of these little scraps are alive now as they had been permanently hospitalized for incurable TB. They would troop down to the dining room each day and the little ones were pulled back up the slope in the laundry cart. Yet they were such happy little souls and the staff were so fantastic with them. MTLP cover v2 flat(1) MTLP front v1-2 Strange that the pictures look a bit fuzzy but they are clear on the print outs.

Time to go back in history and we have finally reached Edward I. He became king before his reign had actually begun officially, so he was a strong king. He was affectionately known as Longshanks because he had long arms and legs and he was very fond of eating lamb. EDWARD I One of the first things he did was to abolish all the other benches used by the Law Courts and have only one bench which he sat on himself. This was called the King’s Bench. Court_of_Kings_Bench_(1808)Unfortunately this illustration is from 1808, but Edward was very careless with his photograph albums and this is the nearest thing I could find to show you a king’s bench.  Unless you want these instead. BENCHI thought not.

If you’re Scotch, you get a mention next week.

SELF-GOOGLING AND THE NEXT KING

It seems that every day is now some sort of special day. While most of us are familiar with ‘Pancake Day’, or ‘Christmas Day’, now we also have ‘Wash Your Cat’s Whiskers Day’, or ‘Crawl Around Your Supermarket Naked Day’, or ‘Annoy Your Neighbours Day’.

For me, last Saturday was ‘Blog Yourself Day’. This all came about because one very nice reader had recommended my books to a friend and her reply was that she never visited the Amazon site. Disaster!!! How was she going to get hold of my books if she didn’t go on Amazon? However, she said she would google me. “She’ll never find anything there,” I thought, so I’ll just pop in and have a look.

Amazing how doing something quite legal can make you feel furtive and unclean, I mean it’s just not done is it, to google yourself?

I went ahead anyway, and to my amazement there are almost 5 pages on Lucinda E Clarke with links to Amazon, Goodreads, several of my blogs, my Author page, bits from FaceBook groups, an on-line interview, newspaper interviews and even several entries written in other languages. There is even a page of pictures as well!

There is a note at the bottom of the page which states:- Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe.

Data protection, are they kidding? Without that what else could there possibly be on the web? Honestly, anyone would think I was a famous author or something, not just a struggling Indie scribbler hoping to sell a book or two.

Now of course it’s not just me. I can imagine Google acting like an enormous vacuum cleaner sucking up all kinds of information and putting it out there – on all of us.

Then I got to thinking, how long will all this stay up there – for centuries? And if it keep expanding like this will it ever implode? Just how big are these storage data banks and how much more can they hold?

So go ahead, google yourself and just see what it comes up with. You too will be astounded.

Did anyone find out that the next King to grace the English throne was Henry III? He was a confused king and is only memorable for seizing all the money in the mint and imprisoning HIMSELF in the Tower of London. Here he wrote a letter to the nation saying he was a Good Thing.  The Londoners were so enraged that they armed themselves with staves, JERKINS etc and massacred all the Jews in the city.  (Shameful).

HENRY IIITOWER OF LONDONFinally Henry flung himself into the bosom of the Pope,

POPE INNOCENT IV

… but his reign was saved by Simon de Montford who had a good idea. This was to make parliament more representative by inviting people from every parish in the country.SIMON DE MONMTFORDIsn’t Simon good looking! But! This was quite puzzling, for as you will notice, Simon de Montford has a FRENCH name.

EU FLAGSo this is probably an early example of Europe and the EU interfering in the affairs of Britain. It’s been going on a lot longer than you realized.

PASS ME THE PROZAC AND THE DEMISE OF KING JOHN

Well I can’t complain about this week, my highest ever sales and the #1 bestseller [in genre] on both Amazon.co and Amazon.com at the same time. I’ve probably said way too much about that already on Facebook so I won’t labour the point again. I will even restrain myself from posting the screen shots I took and pasting them up here. I’m trying to remember that I am shy and retiring and I should never, ever boast, but I am really thrilled. A huge thank you to all the people who commented.

And the Prozac? Well no one stays at #1 forever and of course, last night the final little yellow sticker disappeared, so at some point you have to come off the high and back down to earth. But it was good while it lasted. Oh and I should like to give an enormous thank you to all those wonderful people who bought Amie. I do hope you enjoy the read, but even if you don’t, it was cheap for a couple of days wasn’t it? 🙂

Onward through history and we left King John fuming at the barons who forced him to sign a silly bit of paper – one that he had absolutely no intentions of adhering to.

He got to wandering around England a bit, and he finally demonstrated his utter incompetence by losing the Crown and all his clothes and treasure in the Wash (people are still looking for it all). Then he died of a surfeit of peaches and so his awful reign came to an end.

NAKED KINGCROWN

Now comes a moment of great SHAME – I’m not sure how we can even bear to mention it and I can assure you, no one in England ever shouts about this period of history. No, it is whispered about behind closed doors.

Half of England was then ruled by Louise VIII of France! And here he is.

LOUISE VIII FRANCEBut don’t panic all was not lost!

Louis realized he could not afford a coronation, and decided that it wasn’t worth the effort. He found out it rained a lot on the other side of the Channel and he really shouldn’t be there at all. So he stayed in France and England was saved!!!!!

Since there is to be an exam at the end of this course, your homework is to find out which king came next. You may even find out before I do! 🙂

PRICE DROP AND MAGMA CHARTER

Just before I continue with the serious history lesson (and I do hope you are taking this all in, ready for the exam in a few weeks) I just want to mention that ‘Amie an African Adventure’ will be reduced to $0.99 and £0.99 tomorrow Tuesday 17 February and Wednesday 18th February, and maybe even later today if Amazon move quickly. This will be the last price drop for a minimum of 90 days, so if you were thinking of buying it, and wanted it cheap, now would be a good time. Here is the link to make it nice and easy for you – I am just so thoughtful 🙂

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LWFIO5K

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00LWFIO5K

So now the advert is over, on with the serious stuff. We are in the reign of King John, Robin Hood has passed on to forests new and the barons are just a weeny bit teed off with their monarch who was really, really bad.

So bad that Pope of that time – I’m sure it’s not important which one – had sent a papal bull to England.

Picture2John sent the Papal Bull on to Spain, where it became a national sport.

Then the barons got together and wrote out a long list called the Magma Charter and for some reason, took it to an ISLAND in the Thames. In it they said that in future –   No one was to be put to death save for some reason [except for the common people]   – Everyone should be free [except for the common people]

Picture1Everything throughout the realm should be the same weight and measure [except for the common people] – The courts should be stationary instead of following a very tiresome medieval office known as the Kings Person all over the country – No person should be fined for his ruin [except the King’s person]

The barons should not be tried except by a special jury of other barons who would understand.   Magma Charter was therefore the chief cause of democracy in England

Next time we come to the demise of John in a very peculiar fashion.

GROVELLING NOW AND THEN

When I published my first book in July 2013, I had no idea that I should market it or even tell anyone about it. Was I hoping that it would leap off the shelves and become a best seller? No, I didn’t even think about it, it was just out there for sale, if anyone happened to notice and felt like getting a copy.

Then the whole marketing and promoting and social media hit me like a sledgehammer. This ‘they’ said is what you needed to do to get sales, – build platforms – create a list – make contacts – blog – Twitter – Pinterest – spam – beg – grovel – advertise – and work 28 hours a day at it.

I was jolted into the real world and I soon realized that my dignity was gone for ever. No longer could I be the shy, wilting violet smiling quietly in the corner. Now it was ‘get out there and sell!’ But, remember never, ever to use that fatal phrase ‘buy my books.’ So I won’t say that. It seems that you must be prepared to crawl naked across Trafalgar Square if that’s what it takes.

So a bit of grovelling here from me, not to buy my books [heaven forbid] but I have sold over 600 kindle books and almost 200 paperbacks and between all of them I have a total of less than 50 reviews. I only have 3 reviews from family and friends! So please, if you have read one of my books, can you take ten minutes to write a review on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk? The big promo companies will not even look at you unless you have dozens and dozens of reviews. Please?

Well grovelling is not new, King John had to do plenty of it too, so I’m in good company.

Eventually the crusades were the end of King Richard and he was succeeded by his bad brother John who had been eying the throne for quite some time.

KING JOHNJohn was not only bad but he was awful too. He had a little nephew called Little Arthur, who was writing a little history of England in a little dungeon, when John ordered his little blue eyes to be put out with some weeny red hot irons. It is said that John did the deed himself.

Now sadly, I have no pictures of Arthur, but coming next, is a nice picture of the Seine in Paris where his body was apparently thrown by John.

SEINE, FOR KING ARTHURThis is a nice picture of the River Seine WHERE, it was rumoured, Little Arthur’s body was thoughtlessly thrown.

papal bullThe Pope was not pleased with John, so he put the whole country under an interdict, but John took no notice. So then the Pope sent a papal bull to England with instructions to the people that no one was to obey John, or stand him a drink or tell him the right time or give him the answers to the Irish question or any other question.

On Monday, we move on to the Magna Charter and the new front cover for Walking over Eggshells. And of course the results of my grovelling for reviews today. Will there be more? Watch this space.

A PROMISE KEPT – FINALLY!

Well I really can’t put it off any longer, so here is possibly the best pictures we managed to get from the photo shoot.

DEE 12

DEE 17I may keep to my original pic though for Facebook and other stuff, it was taken 12 years ago and you know I looked much younger then! This growing old is not for sissies is it?

As I may just have mentioned in passing, I am trying to get the next book out for Easter, in the hope that lots of people will be going on holiday and be desperate for something to read. So, for the moment I am going to drop the Wednesday blog and post only on a Monday and a Friday. The social season has started here in Spain, and the invitations are piling up, that’s the problem when your husband is so popular!

My talk on Cecil John Rhodes this morning went off quite well I think. One interesting remark I heard after from one lady was that she had often thought of Africa as all dry, dusty and open plains, so she was surprised by the pictures I showed of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa which is so like many parts of southern England.

Time to go back a little way in history, where I left you in the tender care of Henry II. Well he died of course – of despair on receiving news that all his sons were revolting.

HENRY II 2

He looks quite sad doesn’t he?

The next monarch, Richard I, was a King with a Lion’s Heart. He liked nothing better than to go ROARING ABOUT in Palestine fighting the Saladins and each time he returned from a crusade he set off again immediately.

The two faces of Richard: –

KING RICHARD

and the less commonly known portrait :-

KING JOHN 2

I’m sorry about the pic of Ghadaffi, I must have cropped it for the lecture, leaving me with Richard on his own. (I believe that is Richard the Lionheart and not John as it’s labelled, so please ignore that). While I can change pictures in Power Point, I have no idea how to fiddle with pictures in WordPress. (You have no idea what problems I have just getting into my blog in the first place). So please just ignore the bit on the left as well. Would I put anything in here that wasn’t true?

UNFORTUNATELY THERE ARE NO KNOWN PICTURES OF BLONDIN, SO PLEASE IMAGINE HIM.

It was whispered that Richard did all this crusading and rushing around all over the place, to stop people nagging him to get married, and conceal the fact that his best friend was a local rock singer of DUBIOUS parentage called Blondin. When the blind King of Bohemia captured Richard and imprisoned him in a tall tower, Blondin traveled all round Europe singing the current number one hit knowing it would attract Richard’s attention so Blondin could rescue him.

Have a great week!

Sir Thomas a Bucket and the Reveal

Well we’ve reached the reign of Henry II and we already know how keen he was to repeal the laws.  But Henry is also remembered for shouting “Will no one rid me of this priest?” after Thomas a Bucket had upset him by proclaiming that clergymen could not be punished at all. Some knights overheard this and murdered Thomas in his ORGAN in Canterbury Cathedral. This was very painful indeed.

THOMAS BECKET

Thomas was made a saint …..

THOMAS A BECKETT 2

and the knights came to be called Canterbury Pilgrims and told very tall tales, which no one believed anyway.

CANTEBURY PILGRIMS

Now as promised, here is the best of the shots taken at my recent photo shoot.

DEE 19

Sorry! I couldn’t resist it! But I promise on Monday I will post one without the paper bag, it’s not as pretty you know. I got that bag in Paris! Have a great weekend.