My April 2024 Newsletter

Hello, and welcome to my April Newsletter.  

Thankfully, last weekend signalled the start of British Summer Time, but I just wish someone would tell the weather! I know the English like to moan about the rain, but we’ve had so much of it over the last few months that I think it’s justified.

There had better not be any mention of a hosepipe ban in the summer! I was more than a little surprised when I opened the curtains last week and found the garden was white with snow. It looked pretty and made a change from rain, and by lunchtime, it was gone! My garden is at that messy stage now where all the spring bulbs have finished flowering, but the leaves remain – and Monty Don tells us we must let them die off naturally before we tidy up. Well, I’ll try!

Old Sayings

Here we go then – another old saying that I’ve investigated.

Running Amok
The word amok is derived from the Amuco, a band of Malay warriors who were known for their penchant for indiscriminate violence. The famous explorer, Captain James Cook, wrote that “to run amok is to kill the person or persons supposed to have injured the Amock. Running amok is nowadays often associated with wild behaviour, but the phrase began life as a medical term. In the 18th and 19th centuries, European visitors to Malaysia learned of a mental affliction that caused otherwise normal tribesmen to go on brutal and random killing sprees. It was thought this was the result of being possessed by evil spirits, and the phenomenon found its way into psychiatric literature. It remains a diagnosable mental condition to this day.

Beer Caves

Talking about old sayings has reminded me of a blog I wrote a while ago. My husband, Bryan, and I visited the village of Beer in East Devon and spent a couple of days there. On one of the days, the weather wasn’t great, so we decided to visit Beer Caves. We went on a tour, which lasted a couple of hours, and it was very interesting. The picture on the right is of a stone window from Colyton Church. It was originally carved in Beer caves, and when the church was renovated, it was returned to the caves rather than destroyed.

 This photo is of Beer Beach – a lovely place to visit – and the cafe there makes the most amazing crab sandwiches. If you’ve ever wondered where the phrases “not worth the candle”, “ring true”, and “stone deaf” come from, you can find out here: A Visit to Beer 

My Writing News

Book 6:  A Woman Scorned
I’m pleased to tell you that I’m getting on well with writing Book 6 of The Hartford Manor Series. I’ve not quite made my mind up yet, but I think it will be called A Woman Scorned. I’ve planned all the chapters and am currently writing Chapter 30, so I’m getting on. We’re on holiday in a couple of months, and ideally, I’m hoping to finish the first draft so that I can read it through while I’m away.

Tregolls Lodge Book Club
When I attended the Hartland Book Festival last year, I met Howard Embury of The Tregolls Lodge Book Club, which is based in Truro, and he asked if I would take part in an interview: I was delighted to discover that  Millie’s Escape is featured in the April Newsletter as Book of the Month!

Special Offers – 99p

All of my books are free to read if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited on Amazon. However, if you want to grab a bargain, The Rabbit’s Foot will be reduced to 99p on the following dates:
The Rabbit’s Foot18th – 25th April

Hartland Book Festival on Sunday, 14th April
I’ve been invited to the Hartland Book Festival again this year and will have a stall selling my books. I enjoyed it last year, talking to the other authors and chatting with the people who visited. It will be held in Hartland Parish Hall, EX39 6BL, between 10 am and 3 pm, and coffee and cake will be available. If you’re in the area do call in for a chat!

The Fussy Librarian
Last month, I mentioned The Fussy Librarian and that I had paid to advertise Betsey for a day. This proved to be a good move as my sales have increased substantially since I ran the promotion, with people going on to read the other books in The Hartford Manor Series. For other authors who want to publicise their books, I would recommend trying this. The Fussy Librarian has two daily newsletters which they email to their followers – one is for free books, and the other for reduced books. You can unsubscribe at any time if you find you are getting too many emails.  If any of you are interested in joining, here’s the link: The Fussy Librarian . I was invited to be interviewed, and you can read my interview here (you need to scroll down slightly) The Fussy Librarian Author Interviews

My Book of the Month

Flint by Carolyn Ward Daniels

What a fantastic story! I enjoyed every page and couldn’t put the book down. Set in the North of England, in a mining community, the story begins with Jed Flint saving the lives of two of his fellow workers. Jed then leaves the mine and sets out to seek his fortune. The characters, some good and some bad are so skilfully developed that the reader can fully appreciate their many emotions – sincerity, loyalty, love, greed, anger – they are all in this wonderful story. The book draws you in from the very first page and, with many surprises along the way, refuses to let you go until you have finished. This author is a talented storyteller, and I have already downloaded and look forward to the next two books in the series.  You can find the book here: FLINT: By Carolyn Ward-Daniels This is the second book by Carolyn that I have featured in my newsletter, and some of you may remember that I interviewed her last year. If you fancy reading the interview again, you can find it here: My Interview With Author, Carolyn Ward-Daniels

Well, that’s all for now, so thank you for continuing to follow me. Until next time, I hope you keep safe and well.

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