Hello and welcome to my July newsletter.  

This is always a busy time of year for me as I’m torn between lots of jobs in the garden, writing, or watching Wimbledon. I did a bit of all three yesterday. In the morning we went to our allotment and picked peas and broad beans, pulled carrots and dug new potatoes. After lunch I finished off a couple of blogs I’ve been working on, and then settled down to watch some tennis. I’ve been to Wimbledon a few times over the years, but the last time I went I was a bit disappointed to find that some lovely flowerbeds had been dug up in favour of pizza and fast food outlets and for me, it had lost some of its charm. It was also extremely busy with so many people jostling to get to see the match they wanted. I guess things will be a bit different this year because of the pandemic, but I will be happy to sit and watch the matches from the comfort of my own armchair. Anyway, the tennis did not disappoint with first Cameron Norrie, and then Dan Evans, winning their matches. All good so far. Then I watched Andy Murray. What a rollercoaster of a match, but a great outcome and I’m so pleased for him that he won. 

Writing News

My Little Moment of Fame

Some of you may remember me saying a few weeks ago that RHS Rosemoor in Torrington, Devon had agreed to stock my books in their shop. However, several weeks passed and they did not arrive and eventually it turned out there was a problem with their order. Anyway, the matter has now been resolved and it was quite a moment for me when I visited last week to see my books on their shelves. I just hope now that they sell! Some of you will have seen a photo of me on my Facebook page, admiring my books, but if not you can find it here: Marcia Clayton – Author | Facebook if you scroll down a bit. Thank you to everyone who “liked” my post and commented. It’s very kind of you.

The Third Book in The Hartford Manor Series
You may well be thinking that it’s gone a bit quiet on this matter, but I have been busy getting the book finished. I’ve decided on the title which is “The Rabbit’s Foot”. This may seem to be a strange choice, but all will be revealed at the very end of the book and then hopefully it will make sense. I’ve edited the book several times and two people have read it. Now I need to get a few more people to read it through to pick up anything I’ve missed and then I can upload it to Amazon and Ingram Spark. I’m hoping this will be easier the third time around and that I will remember how to do it. At the moment I’m trying to write the blurb that goes on the back of the book and this is proving almost as difficult as writing the book itself. Anyway, as my writing is just a hobby, I don’t put pressure on myself by setting a launch date, but hopefully it will be published by the autumn.

“The Mazzard Tree” and “The Angel Maker”
If anyone reading this hasn’t read my first two books and would like to, they are called “The Mazzard Tree” and “The Angel Maker” and they are available from Amazon as ebooks and paperbacks: http://viewauthor.at/MarciaClayton or by ordering from a bookshop. Both ebooks are available to download for free to Kindle Unlimited members. If you have read my books I’m always grateful for a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Even short reviews are really helpful in raising an author’s profile, especially for indie authors like myself.

Walk of the Month
People who read my newsletters, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter, seem to like my blogs about the walks that Bryan and I do. My walk of the month this time is a lovely one at Hartland. It starts at Hartland Church and takes you inland to Hartland Point and then back along the cliffs to the Quay. The scenery is beautiful, though the walk is quite demanding. If you are not able to do the walk yourself you might enjoy the photos I have put in my blog which can be accessed here: https://marciaclayton.co.uk/a-walk-along-the-hartland-cliffs/

Holiday News
In early June we went to Tewksbury for a couple of night’s bed and breakfast. It coincided with our wedding anniversary, but really it was just nice to get away after so long without a break. Tewksbury is a quaint little town with lots of historic buildings and you can read about our visit here: https://marciaclayton.co.uk/a-visit-to-tewkesbury/
Whilst we were there we also visited the Cotswold towns of Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-the-Marsh, and Bourton-on-the-Water. They are all pretty little places, but Bourton-on-the-Water was absolutely crowded with people and we didn’t stay long. I guess it’s because everyone is holidaying in this country as they can’t go abroad much at the moment. My advice to anyone visiting the Cotwolds this summer is to make sure you have a supply of 20p pieces with you as all the public toilets seem to charge this amount. Also to leave lots of time for your journey, as the motorway was extremely busy and it took us over three hours to travel home from Bristol.  Later in July we are hoping to go on holiday with our youngest son and his family. This is a holiday carried forward from last year when we booked a cottage for a week in the Lake District. Fingers crossed we will get to go this time and I’m really looking forward to it. I suspect next month there might be a blog or two about that area.

Book of the Month

The Scolds Bridle by Minette Walters

I read this book quite a long time ago, but I remember it well and when I was choosing a book to feature here it came to mind. “The Scold’s Bridle” is a thriller of manipulation and blackmail and it drew me in from beginning to end. An unpopular woman, Mathilda Gillespie, is found dead two days after taking an overdose and slashing her wrists. Clearly a suicide you would think, but the shocking thing is that she is wearing a scold’s bridle, a medieval contraption used as a punishment for women who talked too much. It is unlikely that she could have put on the bridle, which is adorned with a garland of nettles and Michaelmas daisies. Her doctor, Sarah Blakeney, seems to be the only person who actually liked her and who is unwilling to accept the suicide theory. The book is well written, though slightly confusing, and it is important for the reader to concentrate on all the details right from page one.

Thanks for reading my newsletter and I hope you found something in it to interest you. Fingers crossed we get some good weather in the next few weeks and I hope you all have a good summer.



If you would like the latest updates, please sign up to my newsletter