Hello and welcome to my April Newsletter.  

I always thought the month of March was supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, but it seems to have been the opposite this year. We had some lovely warm sunny weather in the middle of the month but towards the end, it has been much colder with a bitter wind. (Or, as we joke in our family, a “spitter” wind.) When my granddaughter was small we took her to the park on a day when the wind was very cold. I remarked that there was a bitter wind and she corrected me insisting it was a “spitter” wind. This was obviously what she had been hearing and she would not have it any other way.

With the price of petrol soaring at the moment (along with everything else!) we have been doing more local walks recently. A week or so ago we did one of our favourites which is from Landkey to Bishops Tawton in North Devon and back along the Tarka Trail. I think I have posted my blog of the walk here before, but it was a while ago and so some new readers might like to see it. There is some lovely scenery so maybe worth another look anyway: Landkey to Bishops Tawton Walk

My Writing News

An Interview with Pam Lecky

A couple of months ago I featured Irish author, Pam Lecky’s first book, No Stone Unturned in The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries, as my Book of the Month.  I enjoyed it so much that I went on to read Footprints in the Sand, the second in the series, which you can read more about further on. Since then I’ve become friends with Pam on social media and I recently interviewed her to find out more about this talented author and her work. You can read my interview with Pam here: My Interview with Pam Lecky Pam is releasing a new book on 14 April. It’s called Her Last Betrayal a sequel to Her Secret War, so another one to look out for and certainly on my reading list.

My Fourth Book – Betsey
As regular readers will know, I’m currently writing my fourth book in The Hartford Manor Series. The first book, The Mazzard Tree, started in 1880 and was followed by The Angel Maker and The Rabbit’s Foot, which ended in 1885. However, for my fourth book, I have gone back in time and am writing a prequel about when Betsey Carter (a granny in the other books) was a little girl in 1820. At the moment the book is just called Betsey, though that might change as time goes on. I’m getting on well with it and have now written several chapters. However, I have found it more difficult to research the 1820s than I did the 1880’s as there seems to be less material available.

I recently had lunch with Helen, the wife of my nephew, Michael, and she was asking about my books. Helen mentioned that her great, great granny had been in service in a stately home and that her mum, Barbara, often talked about the tales told to her by her granny of life at that time.  As her mum is now in her nineties, and her granny would surely reach back nearly another hundred years, I asked if she would like to chat to me about this. I’m pleased to say I’m meeting her soon and looking forward to hearing some first-hand tales of what went on in those days. I may even find out a few snippets for my new book if she doesn’t mind.

The Hartland Book Festival
A few days ago I attended the Hartland Book Festival. It was the first time I had been to such an event and I wondered how it would go. I’m pleased to say I had a great day, and as well as the opportunity to sell a few books, it was lovely to meet several local authors whom I had got to know on social media but had not met in person. Always nice to put a face to a name. The Hartland Parish Hall was a good venue too with free parking and plentiful coffee and cake!

Whilst I was there I chatted to another author and discovered we shared a love of researching family history. She asked if I had carried out a DNA test and I told her that I hadn’t. I could see by her reaction that she had a story to tell.  Apparently, the results of her DNA test identified a whole new family she knew nothing about. Her grandfather was not the father of her dad – the lodger was! Her grandfather had returned from the war, injured by breathing in mustard gas, so possibly that had something to do with it. She has now discovered new relatives all over the world and that her father appeared as a little boy in old photos owned by the lodger’s family, though no one knew who the child was. Just shows no secrets are safe these days. I’m not sure if I am brave enough to have a DNA test myself! One day, maybe.

Book of the Month

Footprints in the Sand by Pam Lecky

Having enjoyed Lucy’s adventures in No Stone Unturned, the first book in the Lucy Lawrence Mysteries, I couldn’t wait to start Footprints in the Sand and I wasn’t disappointed. The second book in the series is set in Egypt in 1887 and the reader is soon drawn into the intriguing story. The vivid descriptions of the desert and the surroundings reminded me of the scenery in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark, a favourite with my three sons, and also myself. Lucy, now a widow, seeks a new adventure in the land of the pharaohs and is soon embroiled in a mystery that places her and her ever-faithful maid, Mary, in danger.

When I started the book I was hoping that Lucy’s romance with the enigmatic Phineas Stone would continue, but it seemed this wasn’t to be – or was it? The author has clearly carried out detailed research into Egypt and the Land of the Pharaohs and the notes at the end of the book are very helpful to the reader. You can find Footsteps in the Sand here:
Footprints in the Sand

Thank you for continuing to subscribe to my newsletter and I hope you found something to interest you. Until next time, take care and keep safe.

Best Wishes

Marcia

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