I JUST CAN’T GET IT LARGER!

How about a Christmas present for me? It won’t cost you more than a moment and very little effort. I’m asking all you FABULOUS people out there for a re-blog of this post (flatter them p 148 of How to Win Friends and Influence People).

You see I have been trying to build up my email list like, well forever. Everyone I know has thousands and thousands and thousands of names and I’ve struggled to reach even a limited number – (you may sigh here).  Now I know the fake news going around that the Big A is about to go bust is nonsense and that we will only be able to sell our books all by ourselves, but I do see it’s a very good idea to have a healthy mail list a little larger than your friends and family – and I have a very small family. I’m fed up with sending dozens of copies of my newsletter to DH and myself over and over again.  He’s now threatening to unsubscribe!

I am sending out my Christmas newsletter on Saturday, December 23rd and my subscribers will get a free copy of:

51-ano4yifl

Amie African Adventure which has done really well and won lots of awards from individual readers and international awards and 173 reviews (unless some have gone AWOL while I type this!)

And that’s not all. Subscribers will be able to download Part 2 of The very Worst Riding School in the World – which is only available from my newsletter and will NEVER be on general sale.

WRS Kindle Cover book 2 (1)

Part 1 is available free on the Big A and wide and is also free so you can grab that short read if you have got this far.

https://www.books2read.com/u/bw8May

And that’s not all!!  (Amazing isn’t it?)

There are now 12 chapters of the Amie back stories and these build up month by month to download for free.

Amie Back Story v2.1

Sam, Amie’s spoilt brat of a sister, is taking her first overseas holiday with boyfriend Gerri and they are getting into all sorts of trouble in Spain – he’s landed in jail and she’s spent several hours in the lift between floors. The other character who features is Ben, who was Amie’s cameraman in book 1, she meets up with him in book 2 and he plays a huge part in book 5 which is still in progress.  DH has designed this lovely cover for the backstories.

Oh, and before I forget there is also a bit of rubbish blurb from me and if you would like me to feature your book, then let me know by this Friday morning (it takes me hours to sort out the techie stuff on MailChimp).  I’m not sure whose twisted mind designed it all but if you know who it is, advise them to steer clear.  So I think my newsletter is really good value and it only goes out once a month, twice at most. OK, I’ve finished groveling now and it only remains to wish you all a Wonderful Christmas with friends and family or a good book (preferably mine 🙂 )  and a Happy, Healthy and Brilliant 2018.  With love from Lucinda.

 

LUCINDA’S BEST READS 2017 – PART 2

This week the list of 5 more books that had me totally enthralled. I’ve only read about 120 odd this year, most previous years I’ve read more than that, but with all the marketing, and writing and entertaining DH, I’ve not devoured as many in 2017. This passion for reading began before I started school, and I’ve always been caught on those application forms when it said ‘list your hobbies.’ I’d put down reading of course, and then I’d be stuck! It would seem frivolous to add chatting with friends or occasional meals out, but that was the truth. I read in the bath, at the table, waiting in the car for the kids to come out of school, every spare minute I had. I never go anywhere (and I mean anywhere) without my kindle in my pocket or bag.

Here are the second five books I’ve really enjoyed this year, although it’s been really, really difficult to choose which ones to include.

NO DARKNESS by Mark Morey

You will not be surprised by this choice as Mark has set his story in Zimbabwe under Mugabe where a simple misunderstanding leads to terrible consequences. The interaction between the hero and his African girlfriend highlight the cultural differences and this is another fast action-packed story set against a background I know well. (That Amie is listed under the ‘also bought’ has no bearing on my choice of best reads!) From my experience, Mark had it just right with an exciting story that moved fast and furiously.

THE GOOD MOTHER by Karen Osman

This is a psychological thriller and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I admit to guessing the ‘twist’ at the end quite early on, but this was such a good book that it didn’t stop me from reading it as fast as possible. Writing to a convicted murderer in prison seems an unlikely scenario and I’m not sure now where I saw it advertised, but I thoroughly enjoyed it especially as it was that bit different to many other books.

CYPHER by Cathy Perkins

This was a good, solid family drama with murder, mayhem, mystery and a bit of romance thrown in. It had me guessing and I love that in a book. There were enough twists and turns to keep me happily turning the pages. The added bonus was I learned new facts about the world of finance and big business. A book that entertains and teaches at the same time is the kind I really like.

MY PRISON WITHOUT BARS by Taylor Evan Fulks

There is a good reason the front cover of this book is plastered in awards. It’s based on a true story and I was intrigued to see if I could separate fact from fiction. It’s about physical and mental abuse, I can relate to that, and it’s not for the faint-hearted. The book is beautifully written, you cannot help but connect with Taylor, live with her through her pain and hope that she finds peace and a happy, stable relationship in the end.

FIREFLIES IN THE NIGHT by Nalini Warriar

This is another award-winning book which is beautifully written. Set in India in the 50s and 60s and the Indo China conflict, a family is torn apart from differing attitudes between traditional customs and the modern world. It’s a conflict taking place in so many countries even today, but the author takes us back to a time when change was not as common. You expect the young to want to forge a different future, but a parent seeking to break away from tradition gives this book another dimension entirely.

Only five more books to go and you can find them here next Monday. Till then, take care.

 

YOU MUST HAVE A CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVEN IF IT’S A DISASTER

I’m taking a break this month from the usual travel, history and ‘buy my books’ blurb because it’s the festive season and if you were ever going to buy my books, you probably already have them.  Xmas church

With all the talk this year about refugees and religious difference I was surprised to see that Christianity still has the largest number of followers worldwide. Not that religious practices seem to be the main focus on 25th December. No, it’s all about spending money – possibly even going into debt – to give our loved ones presents.

wrapped xmas presents

It doesn’t matter that they don’t even know what they want, or that they don’t need anything, they MUST receive a present from everyone near and dear on the festive day.

One good thing about being a writer is that you can unload all those first edition books that are cluttering up the shelves, as you’ve now re-published them in nice new covers. The relatives will probably never read them anyway, but it clears your conscience.

When I asked DH what he wanted for Christmas I was expecting the usual shrugs and grunts. binos

To my horror, he’s asked for new binoculars – and I know he doesn’t want the Christmas cracker variety.  Nor is it going to be a massive surprise as he’ll comb the web for days choosing just the right ones. I’ll dig (as cheerfully as I can) into my book budget account and order them from eBay or the Big A and the parcel will arrive at the door.

xmas present

Then I will stupidly cover the box with expensive foil wrapping paper, place a shiny red bow on the top and watch him rip that to shreds and express surprise on Christmas morning.

No, that’s not DH, he’ll smile, give me a kiss say ‘thank you’ and go and test them out by spying on the donkey in the farm below our terrace.

Last year I bought him an in-car camera. Now that was a surprise but it caused days of angst. Firstly, he didn’t want to attach it to the windscreen as per instructions. No, he wanted it on the dashboard. Weeks of finding the right sticky pad and it was ready for testing but to his horror, it recorded all his journeys upside down.

dashcam

More hours were spent combing the internet, until he found a programme to download that promised to cure this problem. It did. But now it reversed the picture and showed DH driving on the left-hand side of the road – we live in Spain where they drive on the right. Not good if the police view it in the aftermath of an accident. How do you explain in broken Spanish you were kerb-crawling on the right when the camera tells them otherwise?

Emails flew back and forth from DH to the manufacturer until finally the camera was parcelled up and sent back (he had to pay the postage). A new one arrived and DH set it up only to discover – yes you’ve guessed it – it recorded everything upside down.

Now I come to think of it, I’ve not seen it around. He’s probably stuffed it in a drawer somewhere.

I’m happy to give at Christmas, but I hate wasting money – buying just because the advertisements on the television, newspapers, and radio tell us we must.

That said, DH will get his stocking. Oh yes, he gets one from Santa every year, but because Santa is buying the contents I don’t have to worry about spending my money. Luckily the old man from the North Pole is very practical and fills it up with chocolates, (particularly the ones I like) toiletries, an orange, nuts and other disposable and necessary things.

IMG_0918

Nothing here goes to waste. If DH notices there were 3 oranges in the fruit bowl yesterday and only 2 today, he wisely says nothing. Even the Christmas we were away on a cruise, Santa managed to sneak DH’s stocking into my suitcase, probably an easy task for him after scrambling down all those chimneys!

gift voucher

Now if DH asks me what I want it’s always the same old boring thing – book vouchers. I’m happiest if I can keep my Big A account in credit so all I have to do is click on the ‘buy now’ button and not ferret around searching for the credit card.

I have thought of asking for the professional photo package, the makeup, hair and proper lighting, the works. But, I suspect it won’t up the sales in any way. I’m practical enough to know I was not first in the line when the visual images were handed out, and will more people want to buy my books because I have long, flowing, golden locks and eyes the size of flying saucers? They would get a horrible shock if they ever attended a book signing and compared it to the real me and, I’ve met several FB book friends and they could so easily give the game away. No, guess I guess I’ll stay as I am.

Next week I’ll be showcasing the first 5 of the best books I’ve read this year, so keep an eye open for that.

Till then, take care and happy shopping.