As my part in a group competition, it’s my day for sharing information. I am too daft to reproduce the page as it should be, but you can win books and a gift card for $50 to spend on anything you like on Amazon.
Do remember, if you click on a name to subscribe to an author – after the competition you can always unsubscribe again (I guess I shouldn’t tell you that!) – but of course you may be blown away by the brilliance of that authors; blog, web site, books etc that you are happy to hear from them 🙂
Here is the link to click which will take you to the entry page and tell you which books you can win.
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:
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.
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.
There are now 12 chapters of the Amie back stories and these build up month by month to download for free.
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.
Just for once this is a serious post as I want to raise awareness of something that is going on in dozens of countries, including the United States and many places in Europe. It’s a theme I chose for my latest book and the more I researched it the more horrified I became. FGM is a topic only ever discussed behind closed doors, many people have never even heard of it.
Then this popped up on my timeline on Facebook. It’s written by Serena Cairns and personalizes the fears and feelings of a young girl. It tore at my heart and I think it will tear at yours too. How long must we wait for men and women to be regarded as humans, different, but equal? Women are not possessions neither should they be second class citizens.
With reference to your latest novel, Lucinda, I thought you might like this very short piece.
My name is unimportant. I am twelve years of age. Today, I am to become a woman.
I must submit to tradition; endure humiliation and pain at the hands of those I love.
I am told that I am to be cut, but this is not Africa or Egypt, or India. This is England, and I do not live in ignorance. I know.
Today, I shall have my arms tightly clasped behind me, be pinned down on a stool, naked and afraid, my legs prized apart and held by those I have trusted.
It is no use screaming. Neighbours and passers-by will not hear me above the hi-fi and TV. I cannot ask for help in a world full of strangers.
A woman I do not know will kneel before me, light reflecting off the blade in her hand. I shall feel excruciating pain, feel the warmth and smell the blood, whilst I am held, hacked and mutilated.
If I struggle, I put my life at risk. A severed artery is all it takes.
I’m told I should be proud. I’m told I must be thankful my parents see fit to follow tradition.
I do not understand why I should be glad.
I know only that I risk infection and impairment to my walking.
I know to expect painful periods and incontinence as I grow older.
When I marry, I must be cut again to allow my husband penetration.
When I give birth, again I must be opened and risk painful tearing. Perhaps my husband will insist I be re-stitched between children.
I shall be deprived of my sexuality.
I am afraid.
I do not want to become this woman, this adult.
I do not want to feel the searing pain down there. Not now, not ever.
I want to run, to hide but there is nowhere to go, nowhere where they will not find me.
Who can I tell?
How can I turn against my mother, my family, my culture?
How can I betray them? I cannot.
Where is the reason?
Where is my consolation?
Where is justice?
They are not here.
Today, I am to become a woman.
Serena was aware of FGM long before I ever heard about this cruel practice. It has no medical benefits and appears in no religious teachings.
Please spread the word, education is the key to help stop this inhumane practice. Even in North America, it’s still perfectly legal in many states and there have been very, very few convictions for those adults who mutilate young girls. Over a hundred cases are reported by the British National Health Service every week and so far there has not been one conviction. Many people are not even aware of it. Two million young girls worldwide are at risk.
I had a dream last night, not as earth shattering as Martin Luther King,
I’m not that famous and important, and frankly although I was standing on a stage too, no one was listening to me. Sad isn’t it?
Now most of us might dream of receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature and then being interviewed on a national Breakfast Show, simpering as the interviewer gushed about our brilliant book – right?
Well, my dream wasn’t like that. The stage morphed into a television studio and my interview went something like this:
INT: So, I understand Lucinda that hardly anyone bought your new book?
ME: Well a few did …
INT: Looking at this pre-order number on Amazon, well it’s a disgrace.
ME: I have at least 3 fans! I’m sure they ordered one and DH promised he would …
INT: I presume you told people about it?
ME: Oh yes, I twittered and popped it on a couple of Facebook pages, but we’re always told not to spam, ‘cos then people won’t like us. So it’s difficult …
INT: Other writers manage to do it. Look at JK Rowling and that 50 shades woman, they got thousands of sales.
ME: But they weren’t indies and they …
INT: Is that your excuse? Haven’t you studied those self-help books on how those authors sold 80,000 copies in 10 minutes?
ME: Yes, but most of those were self-help books, mostly about how to sell books!
INT: That’s an answer I’ve heard so many times before. Don’t you have a product page on Facebook?
ME; Oh yes, two, one for Amie and one for my memoirs, but I can’t seem to get them to behave like my author page and …
INT: And you sent copies to all the major newspapers with a press release?
ME: Well no I haven’t done that yet …
INT: And Princes Harry and William?
ME: You’ve got to be kidding! I don’t even know their postal addresses. But I did get a street team together – but it turns out they were mostly an older generation and not many were on social media.
INT: Have you told anyone what it’s about?
ME: Well that’s a bit difficult you see, as it’s a subject that’s only talked about behind closed doors, but affects thousands of young women even here in Britain. I don’t want to give the storyline away as …
INT: Well I’ve heard of some reasons in my time but that one is the weirdest.
ME: I can tell them it’s set in Africa and Amie is a fully fledged, albeit a reluctant spy. There are lots of twists and turns and page-turning surprises. And, there is some love interest there too.
INT: Lots of steamy sex scenes?
ME: Er, no, I’m not good at writing sex scenes I get the giggles.
INT: Well there’s your answer then.
ME: That’s not fair! When did Jeffrey Archer or James Patterson insert steamy stuff into their books!
INT: They are household names and you’re not.
ME: You don’t have to keep reminding me. A few years ago I was …
INT: If there is anyone out there who is deranged enough to pick up Lucinda’s, uh, latest scribbling – what’s it called again?
ME: Amie: Cut for Life. It’s book 4 in the Amie in Africa adventure/thriller series.
At this point, I hold up the paperback book to the camera but it zooms away and focuses on the interviewer who smiles sweetly and says:
INT: Now our next interview is about a subject that’s only talked about behind closed doors, but affects thousands of young women even here in Britain today. For whatever reasons, family honour, ancient tribal custom, or an attempt to keep women from straying from their husbands by destroying any enjoyment in sex. I’m talking about female circumcision and my next guest is …
At this point I am forcibly removed from my chair and booted out the back door while trying to shout out, ‘but that’s exactly what Amie faces in Cut for Life!’
And then I wake up.
Amie Cut for Life is up on pre-order on Amazon for the exorbitant price of $/£0.99 and will be released on September 30th – in case you’re inclined to go and have a look, or you could mention it to someone? I can but dream!! myBook.to/Amie4
I’m trying to type this up with my eyes closed and that’s not easy for me as I’ve never learned to touch type. I do so hate this self-promotion stuff, but as DH informed me in ‘that’ kind of voice if I don’t tell anyone I write books then no one will buy them.
So I suggested he write this blog and got ‘that’ look. DH wouldn’t touch Social Media with a bargepole. He must be the only person on the planet who doesn’t have a Facebook page and has only learned that Tweets exist since they’ve been showing Donald’s efforts on the BBC news. He’s just told me to stop whinging and get typing. (Rumour has it he was browsing the yacht chandlers yesterday, but I’ll be lucky if I can afford a bath sized boat for him to play with – which I wouldn’t buy anyway as we only have a shower).
Big breath and here goes: My first memoir Walking over Eggshells is on sale until Monday at $/£0.99 if you want to grab it cheaply – available on all outlets. myBook.to/WoE
The blurb is: Walking Over Eggshells is an autobiography that tells the story of a mentally abused child, who married a “Walter Mitty” clone. They moved from England to Kenya, from Libya to Botswana and on again to South Africa. It took all her courage to survive in situations that were at times dangerous, sometimes humorous, but always nerve wracking. She had a variety of jobs, different types of homes, and was both a millionairess and totally broke. She met royalty, hosted ambassadors, and won numerous awards for her writing and television programs. She also climbed over garbage dumps, fended off bailiffs, and coped being abandoned in the African bush with a seven-week-old baby with no money or resources. She admits to being the biggest coward in the world, but her survival instincts kicked in and she lived to tell her story. This book will make you laugh and cry and hopefully inspire others who did not have the best start in life either.
This morning WoE rose to the giddy heights of 242 overall in paid Kindle books on Amazon but of course, I had a little help from BookBub, no, make that a lot of help! And, as they do, it’s sinking a bit now, but I was there with the screen shot. And the little yellow sticker has gone too and I only blinked once! You may say “Oh how sad Lucinda” here. But I am thrilled with over 600 sales since BB did not accept it for America. WoE is also up for a paperback giveaway on Goodreads, closing date September 10th. That comes with a free bookmark and a pen – that’s the best I can do, I live in Spain and the postage is too expensive for mugs and aprons, wall hangings and Lucinda E Clarke pyjama sets. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/241508-walking-over-eggshells
As I’m getting ready to put the 4th book in the Amie series up on pre-order, I’ve also dropped the price of book 1 to $/£0.99.
Amie – African adventure – in case you might like to meet her. As far as I know she is the only female spy in Africa – though that doesn’t happen until book 3. And the blurb for that is:
Just an ordinary girl, living in an ordinary town, with nothing but ordinary ambitions, Amie Fish is plunged into hot water when her husband is posted to a country she’s never heard of. Amie’s ability to adapt and make a life for herself in equatorial Togodo lands her in more trouble than she could have imagined, her life is threatened and everything she holds dear is ripped away from her. She is left fighting for her life. If she could have seen into the future, she would never have stepped foot on that plane.
It’s got lots of nice reviews and you’re not taking a massive chance at that price, are you? And, if you’re enrolled in KU it won’t cost you a cent. myBook.to/Amie1
And, there’s more. I launched part one of my free book The very Worst Riding School in the World at the end of June and to date, it’s had over 1,200 downloads pushing that to #1 in genre on 5 Amazon sites. myBook.to/WRS
That’s all from me until Thursday and another author to meet, I so prefer that 🙂 And if you’d like to share this post, I really won’t mind 🙂 (Luckily you can’t see me grovelling at this point, it’s not a pretty sight!)
We finally fell back through our front door last Saturday night after a fantastic week in Florida. We were suffering a bit from jet lag, and DH brought an extra 5 million or so little visitors home too. As a result he’s been sleeping upright ever since. I’ve tried to tell him that’s a small price to pay for being married to an award winning author – he looked less than impressed.
“And a medal winning author at that!” I exclaimed waving the medal in his face. He grunted and reached for the tissues.
Secretly I think he’s quite chuffed and I’m not only thrilled, I’m amazed and flattered and re-energized and I still can’t believe it. It’s such a thrill to think that faceless judges, half a world away, think my writing is worth awards.
A silver medal for Walking over Eggshells in the Inspirational category non fiction and an Honourable mention for Amie an African Adventure. (Personally I think the bright green sticker prettier than the silver one) but Honourable comes after bronze, so she did well too. (Probably much to Amie’s disgust as I shall certainly continue writing about her and putting her through even more horrendous situations).
We stayed at the hotel where the function was held and they ran a shuttle to the Miami Book Fair in downtown Miami. We met up with another writer who – now wait for this – used to teach at the same school in Benghazi, Libya as I had. How likely is that? To meet up in the United States – and as the school wasn’t all that large, there could only have been a couple of dozen teachers there at any one time at the most.
We both drooled at the Readers Favorite book display which was selling copies of our books for St Jude’s charity.
And we also had them on display at the reception desk at the hotel. I threw in a few pens and they disappeared so fast! (Several of the waiters had them stuffed in their pockets, but you never know, someone might look and log on and buy).
On the Friday evening we sat and listened to several presentations from major players in the book industry, and I tried to get my head around how I can do all these sort of marketing things from rural Spain. Not so easy, there’s the language barrier for a start.
The event itself was great, with the presentation, the interviews and the pictures.
The extra cherry was talking to and interacting with other authors – book people who breathe, sleep, dream and obsess over books – just like me. Sometimes you sit and wonder who cares about books, with computer games and Xboxes and movies and other stuff like that for leisure time – but they are still out there!
I met authors from all over the world and we swapped information and ideas and networked liked crazy.
All in all a fabulous trip, made even better by travelling up to Tampa to stay with a reader I met on Facebook – who organized something very special for me, but more on that next week.
PS I sneaked a pic of DH in there somewhere – did you notice?
As usual I got carried away while writing this and forgot to mention links to my books etc. So if you want to find out what all the fuss is about you may like to check out a few.
Now I admit I am only half way through it, but when I heard that CeeCee James had brought out a new book I was thrilled and clicked to buy. This time it’s a murder mystery set in a small American town when the local car dealer salesman is found crushed to death under a train. I am dying (ha ha) to know what happens but sheer self discipline sees me writing this blog instead.
I first came across CeeCee’s books reading her memoirs, as she also had a tough childhood. Now she has continued her writing career with I think her first novel. Good luck CeeCee holding thumbs.
Here is the link. https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Taste-Murder-Angel-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01INPHQJQ/
Some of you may have received an email from me about a competition run by author Paula Wynn. It’s a chance to win almost 30 free books – quite enough to keep you occupied throughout the summer – and some will be in paperback format. It’s a mixed bag with fiction, non fiction and a children’s book. It’s simple to enter and I think (you know how untechie I am) this is the link you click on. It closes this weekend so you only have a couple more days to enter.
The link is here : http://bit.ly/29aEN1v (you’ll have to do the cut and paste thing as it doesn’t seem to work on its own)
Take a peek at the books.
There is other author who has left me in the dust and gasping in admiration. Her name is Michelle Monet and she is writing her first memoir and asked for a couple of tips, (she has some silly idea I know what I’m talking about). I had no idea she was so famous and so brilliantly talented. She was a Barbra Streisand tribute singer for years until it all got too much for her. Then she became a very successful artist and PBS even made a programme on her. She’s still working on her memoir, but in the meantime she has brought out an illustrated book of poetry. It’s in paperback for now, and here is the link.
Reviews from both should be up on Monday, and now you know what I’ll be reading this week.
OK, I can’t resist it. Here is a banner of all my books. You can have any one of them for FREE if I may add your email address to my mailing list – either leave in the comments below, or through a pm on my Facebook page (I’ll check my hidden messages and it’s private) and immediately an e.copy of your choice will be winging its way through the ether. There are six of them to choose from in three different genres.