Some of you may remember my previous review post on Truth, Lies and Propaganda: in Africa (Truth, Lies and Propaganda Book 1)” by Lucinda E Clarke

Lucinda’s other book

Amie: an African Adventure 

is currently FREE for 3 days  

Find the book on your Amazon site

Amie: An African Adventure” by Lucinda E Clarke is a powerful and intriguing story about a European woman who comes to live in an African Country. Cultural clash and assimilation, expected and unexpected experiences as ex-pat, colonialism, politics and many more issues are touched upon by an author who knows the continent well.
Having travelled extensively through Africa the book hit home for me on many levels and I applaud the author for her sensitive and reflective portrayal of all that is good and bad.
The character of Amie is instantly likeable and well chosen as narrator. The plot is solid and…

View original post 6 more words


This is an extra blog today to give you the thrilling news that Amie an African Adventure is FREE. The price will go back up on Sunday so grab it while you can. I can’t promise when this offer will ever be made again.

Have a great weekend hopefully reading Amie, or even the sequel perhaps?  (I live in hope).

Here is the link,    to make it nice and easy

and this is what the book looks like
AMY COVER 2 (500x800)image0025star-shiny-web

I was thrilled to get a 5* review from Reader’s Favorites.  I will try to post review, you can see the very impressive badge they sent through, but I am nursing a very sick computer right now, it’s corrupting all my files, so I’m treading very carefully.

Reviewed By Tracy A. Fischer for Readers’ Favorite

In a wonderful offering by author Lucinda E. Clarke, Amie: An African Adventure is a book that is sure to be enjoyed by many. Follow the story of Amie, a young Englishwoman who was living a fairly typical life. She’d stayed in her home town, was close to family and friends that she’d known her whole life, and lived a life she pretty much expected. But when her husband tells her that they will soon be moving to Africa, where he is being sent for work, her stable life is turned topsy-turvy. An African Adventure is certainly an appropriate subtitle for this book, because that is exactly what Amie finds, filled with action, intrigue, adventure, danger, and even a time of being lost. Amie: An African Adventure has something for everyone!

I very much enjoyed this book. Author Lucinda E. Clarke has done a fantastic job in creating characters that her readers will truly connect with, relate to and care about. She has done a wonderful job in scene settings, and readers may look up from the story and find themselves surprised to be in their familiar environments instead of on a hot and dusty road in Africa. I am pleased to recommend Amie: An African Adventure to any reader who enjoys an adventurous tale. I was delighted to see that author Lucinda E. Clarke already has a second book about Amie available, and will be certain to read that one just as soon as I can. If it’s anything like the first installment, it will be a great read!

You Know You’re A Writer When….

This is just too brilliant.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 4.30.54 PM

So, I am gearing up for Nanowrimo and (of course) Hubby decides to get the flu because he is plotting against me  and secretly doesn’t want me to succeed  it is cold and flu season and this stuff just happens.

Poor thing.

Anyway, this means I was up all night long and have yet to go to sleep, but I did find a way to amuse myself between 1 and 4 a.m. before the fun hallucinations kicked in.

I found…THIS! Yeah, yeah, some of you have heard it before but it still cracks ME up and since I am here to amuse myself most of the time? Pthththththth. Haters gonna hate. Usually I do just fine blogging and writing in November, but just in case y’all don’t hear from me for a bit…

I figured I’d share since we all can use a good laugh before the real fun begins…

View original post 1,366 more words


Over the years a lot of people have asked me “How do you write?”

Ask me a question like that and I can talk for hours. “I began scribbling in a notebook and then I had a typewriter….”

“No! You don’t get it, not the mechanics, but how does it all come out, on the page?”

Now I’m lost for words.  “It just does. I sit there and the words just fall out of nowhere and into my brain and then on down to my fingers and I type them (badly) on the keyboard.”

Strange looks from the questioner – but I honestly don’t know what else to say. Even when I’m a million miles away from my lap top (heaven forbid) I am writing stories in my head. It’s a weird addiction over which I have no control.

See that fat lady waddling down the street? She was once thin and gorgeous, a beauty queen winning prizes, she fell in love with this unfaithful man and then…

That miserable waiter over there? He ran away from home when he was 16, determined to make his way in the world, but somehow….

The little girl drinking her milkshake? She will get run over by a bus on her way home and become an angel and befriend a crazy scientist who will invent…..


There are just so many possibilities.

Oh the power is wonderful. Writing is the only job in the world where you can control people, blow up buildings, start World War III and then go out for morning coffee with friends.

But there is one strange little quirk which I’ve noticed and I’ve tried to deliberately correct it this morning.

Usually I write – I have, he did not, he could not etc.  My editor spends half her time putting in the contractions – I’ve, he didn’t, he couldn’t etc.

Now why do I do this?  I have no idea it just comes out like that. I can only put it down to having been a famous writer in a previous life, before contractions became acceptable – Dickens, Shakespeare, Jane Austin perhaps. (Modesty prevents me from adding more famous ones).

And there hangs one of my biggest worries. That I will continue to live a very modest life, counting the pennies only to become famous after I’m dead! That would be the cruelest trick of all. While I’m marooned on some cloud, with an out of tune harp I can’t play, I’ll be forced to watch my great grandchildren on that yacht I’m itching to order, floating around the Mediterranean on the proceeds of my royalties.

Life ain’t fair.

Le super-yacht Lady Lau (IMO 1010674) au port de Bonifacio, Corse-du-Sud, France
Le super-yacht Lady Lau (IMO 1010674) au port de Bonifacio, Corse-du-Sud, France

I don’t think James II thought life was too fair. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m getting horribly confused by all these kings who kept giving their offspring the same names. It’s not as if there were no other names around, like Geobold, or Humphrey, or Edwitch, or Rumplestiltzkin.  I can only conclude they had virtually no imagination at all.

So, first we had James I and IV of Scotland (the one who dribbled), and he had Henry, Elizabeth and Charles.

Henry obviously didn’t make it, so the next king was

Charles I. Now he didn’t dribble, but had his head cut off which was a lot more painful. He produced (well to be quite accurate his wife did) Charles, Mary of Orange (not to be confused with Nel Gwyn of the oranges) and yet another James. There were four more, but I’m not going to bother about them as they are not part of this story at all.

Charles II was invited back and he hopped onto the throne.

Are we quite clear up to this point? I hope you are, I’m still floundering.

Charles II died and because he only left 8 illegitimate children it was his brother who succeeded him.

Enter James II. I introduced him last time. To confuse things even more, he also had the title of James VII of Scotland.

James II was 53 when he became king, so he’d waited an awful long time. Can you imagine the worry he had in case his brother got a real baby prince or princess?

Before the Restoration (time the king was invited back) James had been fighting for the French against Spain (see last post) but when he was flung out, he then joined the Spanish army and fought against the French. And that would have been the end…

Except that things changed when his brother went back as king and although the two of them did not get on, James also returned to England and that would have been the end …

Except that Charles had no heirs and so James became king….

Except that in the meanwhile he’s been given all the land between the Delaware and Conneticut rivers (with apologies to American readers) and he also got New York. Here he erected the time ball in Times Square while he conducted his other interests, a slave company and the Hudson Bay Company.

But if you think that was bad enough, he did even worse. He married a commoner, without a drop of blue blood in her veins.

Swimming in an Indie World

I thought this was very apt.

Words from Emma Woods

Have you ever jumped into a pool on a summer’s day? Most people have, but if you haven’t let me describe it for you:

You stand at the edge of the pool, the sun beats down on you. People around you are watching, waiting for the splash.  The water looks so cool, inviting. A nearby kid splashes at you, daring you to join her. Despite the sweat on your back, you shiver. You know that the water’s coldness will be a shock at first, but you’ve come so far, no turning back now. You hang your toes off the edge as you take one last deep breath, bend your knees, and push off. A moment of exhilaration takes over as you fly weightlessly before water envelopes your body. Splashing sounds and muffled screams of joy register just before you bob to the surface. The water’s no longer cold and you’re…

View original post 1,107 more words



VFIHNA – penthouse of top posh, swanky London hotel

ME: rural Spain, home.

VFIHNA – orders luxury fare from room service with buck’s fizz

ME – toast and marmalade at table in lounge/dining room/kitchen with mug of coffee

VFIHNA – reads raving press releases in newspapers while waiting for hairdresser

ME – rapid shower, washes own hair

VFIHNA – browses Dior catalogue before power dressing.

ME – throws on jeans and ‘I am a writer’ tshirt

VFIHNA – descends to conference room to meet press

ME – trip to market to check out new fleece. While there, duck down behind Churizo van to check sales figures.

VFIHNA – morning coffee before meeting with Hollywood producer

ME – coffee with DH at local café

VFIHNA – takes call from second film producer fighting for screen rights

ME – take call from friend, am I free for lunch next week?

VFIHNA – lunch with adoring fans as publicity stunt

ME – sandwich in kitchen

VFIHNA – checks emails including one from Bookbub begging to include the new book in their prono

ME – checks email, another ‘no’ from Bookbub

VFIHNA – rest before glittering evening function in ballroom

ME – ironing, checking sales figures, run round with vacuum cleaner

VFIHNA – liaises with PA and publicist

ME – chat with friends on Facebook, send out begging emails to buy my book

VFIHNA – PR hands list of total sales in thousands for day

ME – on knees groveling to DH to buy one copy of my new book even if he has read it already.

VFIHNA – dresses for banquet in long, slinky, sparkly dress with matching jewellery

ME – peals off jeans and into comfortable tracksuit

VFIHNA – ascends stage to give thank you speech to invited guests

ME – dishing up spag bol in kitchen, before checking sales figures

VFIHNA – receiving accolades and television interview

ME – watching news on television

VFIHNA – off to London nightclub for late night celebration

ME – crawls into bed after catching up on emails.

VFIHNA – mixes with famous film and TV celebrities extolling new book

ME – dreaming of mixing with famous film and TV celebrities extolling new book

(Well I can dream can’t I?)

I want to mention here that No More Mulberries by Mary Smith is on special offer @ 0.99c/p right now and if you’ve not read it, I would highly recommend it – the subject is women in Afghanistan and it’s one of those books you remember long after reading it.

I’m glad so many of you enjoyed the blog share with true interesting bits of historical interest, but now this is me writing, so you can’t trust any of the following.

We’ve got as far as James II and he became king because Charles II had died – of possible natural causes. 330px-Charles_I_and_James_II.png b y peter lely

Here is James with Daddy painted by Peter Lely. (He was a busy painter wasn’t he?)

I must explain here that Charles II and James II were brothers.

James II was a very special little boy, since Daddy was Charles I he was appointed Lord High Admiral at the age of 3.

yellow duck

He was now in charge of all the ducks in his bath and all the ships in the navy. At the age of 9 he was given the Order of the Garter  to keep his tights in place (garter by eyecatching creations) but when the people began to fight, he was smuggled abroad GARTER

disguised as someone else.

While James was growing up he fought in the French army, but maybe we shouldn’t mention that. It’s not quite the done thing, even in those days and his PR department covered up this rather shameful behaviour.

Then his brother Charles really went and stuffed things up by becoming friends with the Spanish who were the enemies of France and so they threw James out of the French army. What was he supposed to do now?


My mind these days resembles a large blob of jelly, and I can’t remember if I have covered this topic before. If I have, then just click delete (oh, you do anyway?) never mind. Can you click the ‘like’ button on the way out anyway?

I’ve always wondered what is the difference between – a finder’s fee and a bribe – an introduction fee and a bribe – a favour and a bribe. Is it just a matter of degree?

I first encountered this when I was working on the radio in South Africa, and my assistant knew this person was looking for a video company to make some programmes so she introduced us. I then presented to her company, they were satisfied and they then contracted me to work for their clients all over the country. This continued for 9 years, although each time, I would have to pitch for each project.

Every time I met up with this particular lady, in the meantime we had become good friends, for lunch, or even for coffee, we scrupulously went Dutch, paying individually for our Chelsea buns and espressos.

a_cup_of_coffeeWhy? Simple, because she had recommended my video production company to her own international corporate, and to a major bank, who in turn commissioned me to make

programmes for them.

The silly thing is that I wanted to treat her to lunch. We were friends (she may be reading this now) and I wanted to say thank you in some small way. BUT, would this be seen as a bribe? A payback? Collusion?

The original connection was there and this is what we were afraid of.

Years earlier, I remembered working for a producer who was making programmes for the SABC. There were rumours of producers paying their way into the programming slots and as far as I know this lady didn’t, but at Christmas she gave all the commissioning editors very expensive presents, Du Pont gold pens for example. At that time, I was a complete novice when it came to marketing and liaising etc and I was very lucky that my name was passed on without me having to do any promotion at all. – Wow, am I learning now in the field of selling books!

Introductions in business have been around since the Egyptian camel herders asked where they could get the best price for their spices – in fact an Arab won’t buy from a stranger, you have to get to know the seller first.


Which brings me, eventually, to reviews.

It’s accepted that Kirkus charge an arm and a leg to give you a review and if you get a good one you shout about it from the rooftops. It means something, it carries weight, it impresses your readers and other authors. There are dozens of web sites offering you reviews in exchange for money. Yet now, the big A are freaking out about this and taking down reviews they feel are not honest or if you are friends with the author. Will they leave the Kirkus reviews in place?

Is it OK to pay for a review as long as it comes in at one star? Is it then seen to be honest? Is it ethical to pay for a review if no one knows you and promises to be honest?

Currently the big A is now deciding who is friends with whom and who are enemies and sweeping the reviews off the board like breadcrumbs. Food for thought? Comments?


Now I really should use my blog occasionally to mention my books I guess. So a quick reminder that in 4 days, Amie and the Child of Africa hits the virtual bookshelves worldwide. You can pre-order it (please do) and here is the link to make it nice and easy for you. It’s another fast paced, action packed adventure like ‘wot they used to write!’

Amie 3 front cover jpeg

Back in time, James I had no such problems trying to flog his books. He simply ordered that every church should buy one and his ratings on Amazon soared straight to the #1 slot in all genres. Even today the King James Bible is found in millions of homes. Can you image his royalties?


However I have been learning you about Charles II and this is what was written about him.

We have a pretty witty king,

Whose word no man relies on,

He never said a foolish thing,

And never did a wise one”

But he replied “That’s true, for my words are my own, but my actions are those of my ministers.” This has become the new code of ethics for modern day bankers.

Photo of a marble bank
Photo of a marble bank

Well poor, old Charles (he was neither) had a sudden apoplectic fit (whatever the hell that is) one morning at the age of 54 and four days later he was dead. He was very apologetic about this and said “I am sorry, gentlemen for being such a time a-dying.” He was polite right up until the end when he was received into the Roman Catholic Church, not a popular move. But of course it was much too late to do anything about it. He was buried in Westminster Abbey (the Protestant one).


Time for the next king – next time.