Happy New Year: My January 2022 Newsletter

Hello and a Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year? My Christmas was a little mixed – some parts good and some not so much. We were going to swap presents with Stuart, my eldest son, and his wife, Laura, on Christmas Eve, but they had become contacts of someone diagnosed with covid. They are fully vaccinated and did not have to isolate but were worried about passing it on to us, so for safety’s sake, we did the present swap on the doorstep. Just like old times!

We then travelled to Chudleigh to spend Christmas with our youngest son, David, and his family. We had all done lateral flow tests which were negative so we thought all was well. We had a lovely time on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. They cooked us a delicious dinner and we were completely spoilt. We even played Trivial Pursuit (which I love) on both evenings and a good time was had by all.

You can tell there is a “but” coming can’t you?  My granddaughter, Chloe, was feeling unwell on Christmas night and did a lateral flow test on Boxing Day morning which was positive. We were coming home on that day anyway, so did not linger! However, the damage was done, and I tested positive on the 27th, and then David, his wife, and my grandson, Jack, all followed suit. Not quite what we had planned. However, although unpleasant, none of us has been seriously ill, and for that, I am very grateful; without the vaccinations, it could have been a different story.  We are all well on the road to recovery now thank goodness.

My Writing News

I met my 2021 Goodreads Challenge!
About a year or so ago a friend mentioned to me that she could not find my book on Goodreads. I had to confess that I didn’t even know what Goodreads was, and so I decided to find out. Well, Goodreads was launched in 2007 and is an American website, and a subsidiary of Amazon, that allows people to search its database of books. You can create “bookshelves” for the books you are interested in. The main bookshelves are “want to read”, “currently reading” and “read” but it is possible to add your own bookshelves, such as “my favourites”. The purpose is to help readers and authors to find, share, and discuss the books they love. Many people leave reviews of the books they have read and this helps readers to choose their next book. Gradually you build up a “friend” base and can see what your friends are reading.

Each year, starting on 1 January, readers can take part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. To do so you pledge how many books you will read in the next year. Last year I said I would read 40 books, but actually managed 44 which I was pleased about as a lot of my time was taken up in writing one of my own. There is no pressure, and it’s just a bit of fun, but it is interesting to look back over the year and see which books you have read. This year I have still been cautious and pledged to read 45 books, but I hope to read more than that.

Oh, and I found out why my first book “The Mazzard Tree” didn’t appear automatically on Goodreads from Amazon. The reason was that when I first published the ebook, I used the pen name of “Josephine Janes”. I was a bit nervous about publishing a book and wished to remain anonymous. Josephine Jane was my mother’s name. However, once the book received a few favourable reviews, I felt a bit more confident and decided I would like it published as a paperback in my own name and so I changed it. (Not a process to be recommended – it was a right palaver!). 

If anyone would like to see what I’m talking about or befriend me if you are on Goodreads, then here is a link to my author page:
Marcia Clayton Goodreads

Interview with Author Alex Pearl
Alex Pearl is an author living in North West London and he has written a fantasy book for children and young adults, and also a psychological thriller. However, more recently he has published a paperback on Amazon called 100 Ways to Write a Book This book, which started as a small lockdown project during the Covid epidemic, contains over 100 author interviews, initiated by Alex. Before long, Alex’s requests for author interviews on social media elicited such an overwhelming response, that the project soon took on on a life of its own.

The authors, from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, wax lyrical about their backgrounds, motivations, and working methods. Among this throng, self-published newbies (including myself!) rub shoulders with award-winning bestsellers from all corners of the globe, including the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Israel and Sri Lanka. I understand Alex is hoping to also offer the book as a hardback and an ebook.

I decided to turn the tables on Alex and invited him to be interviewed for my blog which you can read here: Interview with Alex Pearl 

My Book of the Month

Well worth a read!

The Slum Angel by Anne Marie Brear

This book is about an orphan, Victoria Carlton, who is brought up by her uncle and aunt to be a lady. However, when she meets the handsome Doctor Ashton and he introduces her to a family living in abject poverty she is compelled to do all she can to help them. Her family do not approve of this, and when her uncle dies suddenly, they blame her. She is thrown out of the house with nothing, finding herself in the same position as the very people she has been trying to help. The story highlights the terrible poverty that people had to endure at that time. The book is well written and a very enjoyable read and I recommend it.

As a further treat, the author released a novella as a follow up to this book in November 2021. It is called The Slum Angel Christmas. I haven’t read it yet but intend to do so soon. You can find out more about both books here: The Slum Angel and The Slum Angel Christmas

Thank you for your continued support and for reading my newsletter. Until next month, take care and keep safe.

Best wishes


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