Hello and welcome to my July Newsletter  

Those of you who know me best will know how fond I am of my garden and I couldn’t resist adding a photo of this flower bed. It’s looked lovely for weeks with self-seeded foxgloves and Welsh poppies appearing between all the established plants. There are more treats to come as I have several dahlia plants which survived the winter and are now full of bud. Our allotment is also doing well and we have been enjoying new potatoes, peas, broad beans and carrots. It’s lovely to have a dinner where you have grown everything on the plate yourself – well apart from the meat!

On the family front, I have some exciting news about my granddaughter, Chloe, who is studying music at the Welsh College of Music where she is in the second year of a four-year degree course. She is a talented pianist (I may be biased!) and she was excited when she rang to tell me that she has been chosen to take part in a musical in the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff. The musical is called “Sunday in the Park with George”. I must confess I’d never heard of it but it has music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and was inspired by a book written by James Lapine. We’ve bought tickets to see it and hopefully spend a little time with Chloe. I must listen to some of the music before we go as I think musicals are always more enjoyable if you know some of the tunes.

My Writing News

I do have one or two things to report this month. I had a nice surprise earlier in the week when I received this message on Facebook:

Book of the Moment Club
Marcia: We are spotlighting The Angel Maker today as our Featured Book of the Moment Club selection. You have a wonderful series. To answer your question, belatedly, I work with a lot of fine authors, doing what I can to promote exceptional books. They kept talking about how good your writing was, so I decided to read for myself. They were right. Here is the link for your social media:
https://www.calebandlindapirtle.com/…/featured-the…/
This followed on from a few weeks before when Caleb and Linda Pirtle featured my first book, The Mazzard Tree, on their Book of the Moment page. Sadly, at the time I thought it must be some sort of scam and I asked how they came across my book but I never received an answer until now.

Featured Author Day
I was also lucky enough to be chosen as the Featured Author for the day on this Facebook Page:
Best Book Editors: Authors, Readers, Others welcome | Facebook
Throughout the day posts appeared about me and my books, providing some welcome free publicity. The way it works is if any of the followers of the page buy my book they are rewarded with a Featured Author Day of their own. Writing a review on Goodreads or Amazon also qualifies for another Featured Author Day. I’ve been following this page for while now and have found some interesting books and it’s a good place for a chat with other authors.

My Fourth Book – Betsey
My fourth book is progressing well and I’m enjoying writing it, though I struggle to find enough time to put to it. I find life is always busier in the summertime what with holidays, gardening and walking, and at the moment, I’m having to fit in Wimbledon as well. I love watching tennis and there have been some fantastic matches. The Brits have done well too.  Anyway, back to “Betsey”. I’ve just finished writing Chapter 39 and probably have half a dozen or so more chapters left to compose. I never know for certain how many there will be until the end. Then will come several edits until I’m happy with the book. This will be followed by my proofreaders for you can’t beat a few other pairs of eyes. I’ve started thinking about covers and it’s proving to be quite difficult as I want the design to blend in with the other three books and for them all to look as if they belong together. My daughter-in-law, Laura, and I have been looking at various options and have more or less decided on an image of a little girl surrounded by moorland scenery (it could be Exmoor or Dartmoor). I’ll give you all a preview when we have finalised it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to inviting an author for an interview this month. However, I recently published a post about a visit to Lynton and Lynmouth, two really pretty towns in North Devon and well worth a visit if you are in the area. It’s somewhere we go regularly. Anyway, you can read my blog here and see for yourself:
https://marciaclayton.co.uk/lynton-and-lynmouth/

My Book of the Month

A Matter of Conscience by Judith Arnopp

I found this to be a fascinating and intriguing novel written from Henry VIII’s point of view. Whilst there is plenty of historical detail, clearly well researched, the author strikes just the right balance between storytelling and facts. The novel takes the reader from the childhood of the famous king to when he leaves Catherine of Aragon for Anne Boleyn. It reflects the disappointment of both he and his wife at their inability to raise a son and heir.

The reader cannot fail to feel compassion for Catherine as she suffers miscarriage after miscarriage, and then when a son is born, he sadly dies soon after birth. Although she successfully delivers a daughter, Henry blames his wife for their lack of sons and their relationship begins to fall apart. It was also interesting to read about Henry’s relationship with his sisters; something often overlooked by history books. I enjoyed this beautifully written book and will be reading more by this talented author. 
A Matter of Conscience: Henry VIII, The Aragon Years eBook : Arnopp, Judith: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Thank you for reading my newsletter and I hope you found something to interest you. 

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