My March 2022 Newsletter

Hello and welcome to my March Newsletter  

My garden is looking lovely at the moment. The snowdrops are past their best but they have been replaced with masses of crocuses and small Tete a Tete daffodils. 

Mind you, like many people, we did take quite a battering in the recent storms. Storm Dudley wreaked havoc when it blew an eight-foot square roof off our lean-to where we keep our bins. It sailed over our car (luckily) and landed on the drive. I’m just glad it didn’t blow into the road and injure anyone. Then, before we had a chance to do any meaningful repairs, Storm Eunice came in and continued the devastation. We lost the shed roof-felt, four panes of glass from the greenhouse, and two of the walls of the by-then roofless lean-to. Still, no one was hurt and that’s the main thing. It can all be repaired. When you think of what else is going on in the world at the moment this is so trivial.

My Writing News

A New Book!

Several people have contacted me recently to say they enjoyed my latest book, The Rabbit’s Foot, and to ask if I am writing another in The Hartford Manor Series. Well, the good news (I hope) is that yes, I am, and I’ve been planning a new story. It will not follow on from The Rabbit’s Foot but will be set in 1820 when Betsey was just a six-year-old child. Those of you who know my books well will remember that Betsey Carter is married to Ned and together they own The Red Lion Inn. They are the grandparents of my main character, Annie. The idea for this book occurred to me when I was writing The Rabbit’s Foot. In that book, Betsey’s granddaughter, Selina, asked her granny about what she did as a little girl and Betsey was evasive. I decided then that Betsey deserved to have her story told and ideas have been coming to mind ever since … quite often at the most inconvenient times …  about 3 am seems to be favourite! I have not fully developed the story yet, but I have written the first chapter.

The Rabbit’s Foot Book Cover
Thank you to everyone who voted for the book cover of The Rabbit’s Foot. I don’t like to email my readers more than once a month as I think we all get too many emails, but I did make an exception just this once. I recently joined an author service called AllAuthor as it helps with promoting my books on Facebook and Twitter etc and they run a monthly book cover competition. I put The Rabbit’s Foot forward for the February competition and it was accepted. It did well in the first three rounds of the competition and was lying fourth at one stage with something like 75 votes. However, it then dropped back considerably, as the winner quickly amassed more than 300 votes. I didn’t want to harass people to keep voting so I let it slide. Still, it was fun while it lasted. I suspect the fact that the winning cover had a muscle-bound, semi-naked man might have had something to do with it?  Poor old Sam the Tramp just couldn’t compete!

Hartland Book Festival – 2 April – Hartland Parish Hall – 10 am – 4 pm
I have booked a stall at the Hartland Book Festival at the beginning of April. This is a new venture for me, so if you are in the area, do pop in for a chat even if you don’t want to buy a book. It would be nice to meet some of you kind folk who support me.

My books in shops
My books are available to order from any book shop, either in hardback or paperback but recently I contacted a few local stores to see if they would be interested in stocking one or two copies. I’m pleased to say that they are now on the shelves of the following stores:
RHS Rosemoor, Torrington
Walter Henry, High Street, Bideford
Liznojan, 25 Gold Street, Tiverton
The Book Stop, 3 Market Street, Tavistock
The Bookery, 21 High Street, Crediton

The Mazzard Tree – My Debut Novel – FREE for a few days!

I’m pleased to tell you that The Mazzard Tree ebook will be free for a few days from Friday, 11 March to Tuesday, 15 March 2022.

Here’s a bit about it:

1880 North Devon, England
Annie Carter is a farm labourer’s daughter, and life is a continual struggle for survival. When her father dies of consumption, her mother, Sabina, is left with seven hungry mouths to feed and another child on the way. To save them from the workhouse or starvation, Annie steals vegetables from the Manor House garden, risking jail or transportation.  Unknown to her, she is watched by Robert, the wealthy heir to the Hartford Estate, but far from turning her in, he befriends her.

Despite their different social backgrounds, Annie and Robert develop feelings they know can have no future.  Harry Rudd, the village blacksmith, has long admired Annie, and when he proposes, her mother urges her to accept.  She reminds Annie that as a kitchen-maid, she will never be allowed to marry Robert.  Harry is a good man, and Annie is fond of him.  Her head knows what she should do, but will her heart listen?
Set against the harsh background of the rough, class-divided society of Victorian England, this heart-warming and captivating novel portrays a young woman who uses her determination and willpower to defy the circumstances of her birth in her search for happiness.

Reviews on Amazon
I know I might have mentioned this once or twice before (!) but new people sign up to my mailing list all the time. Anyway, if you have read any of my books and enjoyed them, I would love it if you left a short review on Amazon. It doesn’t have to be very long – even one sentence would be great, so if you can spare five minutes here are the links to my books:
A few people have asked how to leave a review and all you have to do is:
– click on the yellow stars and this will take you to the reviews.
– click on “See All Customer Reviews”
– click on “Write a Customer Review”
– fill in the spaces i.e. how many stars you would like to award the book and write a few words and press Submit.

My Interview with Alison Huntingford
My book of the month is called A Ha’penny Will Do by Devon author Alison Huntingford. I am friends with Alison on social media, and I was pleased when she agreed to be interviewed by me.  You can read the interview here: My Interview with Alison Huntingford
I understand Alison will also be at the Hartland Book Festival and so I am looking forward to meeting her in person. Always nice to put a name to a face.

My Book of the Month

A Ha’penny Will Do by Alison Huntingford

I won this book in a Facebook competition and couldn’t wait to start reading it as it sounded right up my street. I knew the book was based on the author’s family history covering the period from 1879 to 1920. However, I wasn’t sure if I would like the way it was presented in the form of the diary of a young Irish girl, Kate McCarthy. I need not have worried for the story soon drew me in and was a real page-turner. I also found the short excerpts from the diaries convenient if I only had time to read a few pages. Kate’s family leaves Ireland for Liverpool looking for a better life, but then she moves on to London and into domestic service. She falls in love with the charming William Duffield and yet she has doubts about his uncertain moods. The story is well written and highlights the extreme poverty and hardships that folk endured at this time. Added to Kate’s diary excerpts are those of her son, Joe, and also letters from her eldest son, Fred, during his time serving as a soldier in World War 1. Again, the accounts are movingly written and create a vivid picture of the past. You can find the book here: A Ha’penny Will Do

Thank you for reading my newsletter and I hope you found something to interest you. Next month I interview Irish author, Pam Lecky, and her book, Footprints in the Sand will feature as my book of the month.


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