Today, I’m delighted to introduce a new feature on my website highlighting authors who have caught my eye over the past year. I start with Lucinda E Clarke, a lady with a fascinating background and an important story to tell.
Truth, Lies and Propaganda
Do you want to be writer? Work in television or on the radio? Meet lots of famous people? It will be glamorous, exciting and scintillating right? Wrong. If you’re young, think again. If you chose a different career, consider yourself lucky you were spared.
Truth, Lies and Propaganda is the first of two books about how Lucinda ‘fell’ into a career in writing for radio and television.
#1 in genre in the US on Saturday (and not for the first time) with 4.9 from 30 reviews.
There was the case of the condemned rat: the embarrassing interview with a world famous sportsman she’d never heard of:…
Today I’m welcoming another favourite Indie Author of mine. The very talented, Lucinda E. Clarke is a hard hitting writer, who doesn’t sugar coat her stories. She’s certainly a name to be reckoned with, with her fantastic books about Africa.
Here’s a little peek at Lucinda. Her life, and her books.
Lucinda’s life has not been boring. She was born and raised in Dublin, dragged into her teens in the Cotswolds and finished off in Liverpool. She has lived in 8 different countries, in a croft in Scotland, a mansion in Libya, a farm in Botswana, a boat in South Africa and other dwellings in between. She dutifully trained to be a teacher, despite bleating she wanted to be a writer. She worked as a radio announcer in Benghazi and then, years later, after being from her teaching job, she crashed out in an audition with the words “Go home…
I usually tap out my blogs in a word document as I find the little window on WordPress very restricting. On one momentous occasion I found out how to make it a whole page size, but I have no idea which button I pressed and I’ve never found it again. I’ve also never found out how to add tags either – something else to learn.
Back to the document which I keep in a special file and as I think of them, I put ideas in there as well. So, imagine my horror when this morning I opened it up to find NO ideas for today’s blog. PANIC!!
But one thing I must do is to thank all those people, some I don’t know at all, who helped publicize my promo on Amie this last weekend. I was amazed and humbled by all the sharing and tweeting and blog bits which helped tell the world that I was offering her for free – yes, yes I know – after I swore I would NEVER give any of my books away for free. After all the blood, sweat, toil and tears to offer it for nothing!
However, I am flexible (not physically you understand), and having learned from all the information shared by other authors and publicists and bloggers you just have to try and make yourself visible somehow. So, for better or worse there are now over 27,000 people with Amie on their reading devices across the world – in Japan, India, and several countries in Europe. What percentage will read about her I’m not sure, but a spin-off has been nearly 18,000 page reads.
I’ve dropped the price of Amie and the Child of Africa for 2 days, back up on Tuesday night. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015CI29O4
Exercising extreme self-constraint, I’m still not ordering the mega yacht yet.
I guess James II had a mega yacht or three, but I was about to tell you that he married a commoner. Yes, how disgraceful was that – especially in those days when royalty stuck together like glue and princesses were offered up as bargaining chips on the altar of marriage. (Disney should be sued for pretending that being a princess is in any way a glamorous occupation. Millions of small girls across the globe have been well and truly conned.)
To be fair to James, he was not expecting to ever become king, and he had a torrid (I expect it was torrid) affair with Ann Hyde, daughter of one of the court ministers.
“Don’t marry her!” everyone cried.
So he did, in secret, and, surprise, surprise less than two months after the ceremony she gave birth to a baby boy. Sadly it died, but they tried it again (you know what) and 5 more children didn’t survive. Two did however, Mary and Ann (you should remember them as they become important later on).
Samuel Pepys was still around and he wrote (he did a lot of that) that James played with his children like an ordinary parent of a child.
portrait by John Riley
Now this is a fairyland love tale right? Wrong! The king had affairs, lots of them.
portraits by Peter Lely.
ARABELLA + CATHERINE
There was Arabella Churchill and Catherine Sedley and people also described James as the ‘most unguarded ostler ogler of his time.’
Reconstruction of conversation:
James II: Peter Lely?
Peter Lely: Yes Sire?
James II: I need another portrait painted.
Peter Lely: Another mistress Sire?
James II: How did you guess man? You must be psychic!
But it wasn’t all cuddles and giggles. When James II came to the throne he was threatened by Monmouth, the indiscriminate son of Charles II.
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…
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, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LWFIO5K to make it nice and easy
and this is what the book looks like
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!
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.
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…
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.
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.
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…