My May 2024 Newsletter

Hello, and welcome to my May Newsletter.  

Well, after so much rain, I’ve finally been able to get out and weed my garden, and now it’s looking nice and tidy. My potatoes, broad beans, and peas are all up, and the sweet peas are already climbing up the sticks. Fingers crossed, we’ll get a good summer! So now it’s time to turn my attention back to my writing.

I’ve been smartening up my website for the last few weeks to make it a bit more interesting, and it now has a sub-title of Devon Maid Book Corner. There’s a nice new banner showing some beautiful Devon countryside and a cream tea – with the cream on first, of course! You might like to take a look at it here and see what you think: 

You will find information about my books, reviews, and author interviews, and blogs about various subjects in a section called Marcia’s Musings. I’m also hoping to become a host for the blog tours of The Coffee Pot Book Club later in the summer, so this will introduce us all to new books and authors. My first attempt at using the updated website was to post a blog about my visit to New York with my family last year. You can hear how I came to dance on Broadway! Not everyone can say that! There are also some interesting photos of the famous landmarks, and this is one of a gentleman in Times Square who was more than happy to pose! You can read it here: My Visit to New York

Old Saying of the Month

Hit the Sack
The terms Hit the Sack or Hit the Hay are often used nowadays to describe someone’s desire to go to bed and get some rest. The saying is thought to originate from the fact that bedding was once made out of hay stuffed into cloth sacks. In the past, linen was used for bed sheets, but it wasn’t the kind of material we use on our beds today. Often sheets were made from pieces of material cut from burlap and hessian bags used to store grain and rice. Some historians also think the sayings could refer to the practice of fluffing up the hay in the mattress before lying down to sleep. Even longer ago, the saying Hit the Hay literally meant to sleep in the barn on the hay. There is another saying linked to this: Given the Sack. Before the days of contracts and trade unions there was no job security and workers could be discharged a moment’s notice. When their services were no longer required, they were literally given their sack and ordered to pack it up and leave.

My Writing News

I’m pleased to tell you that Book 6 of The Hartford Manor Series is progressing well, and I’m currently working on Chapter 34. It will be called A Woman Scorned and here is a first look at what will probably be the book cover. I would have liked a woman with a bit meaner expression but that’s proving difficult to find. Hopefully, I will be able to publish it in time for Christmas.

The Hartland Book Festival
I attended the Hartland Book Festival on 14 April and had a good day, selling a few books and talking to readers and other authors. I don’t think there were quite as many people as last year, but the weather was warm and sunny, and after so much rain, I think people wanted to be out of doors.

This Month’s Bargains

The Angel Maker is reduced to 99p from 3 – 10th May. Here’s a bit about the book:
On a spring day in 1884, Fred Carter finds a young woman in labour at the side of the road.  He takes her to the local inn, where she gives birth to a daughter.  Charlotte Mackie is unmarried and takes the child to her aunt’s house to seek help.  However, her aunt arranges an adoption behind her back, and Charlotte is distraught.

Fred’s niece, Annie Rudd, a former kitchen-maid at the Manor House, is recently widowed and struggling to raise her little daughter. 

Robert, the son and heir of Lord Fellwood, has been in love with Annie for a long time and would like to marry her, but his family will do anything to prevent the marriage. Annie’s friend Sam lives in a makeshift hut in Buzzacott Woods, a remote part of Exmoor.  Now an old man, he has no family and has to fend for himself as best he can.  New owners have moved into nearby Buzzacott House.  They are rude and unfriendly, and the local people become curious.  Why is a dangerous dog roaming the grounds?   Do they have something to hide?

My Book of the Month

Aunt Bea’s Legacy by Jeanette Taylor Ford

When Lucy inherits a lovely old house from her aunt, she is puzzled by the condition that she must live in it for a year or it will be sold and the proceeds donated to charity. This is not an easy decision to make, for Lucy has a successful career in London, and her fiancé, Jim, doesn’t want to live in the country. However, as the circumstances surrounding her aunt’s death are suspicious, Lucy decides to move in and find out what’s going on. Lucy falls in love with the house and the village in no time and even takes over her aunt’s business, “Aunty Bea’s Pantry”, making jams, pickles and homemade baking and supplying the local shops. However, following creepy footsteps heard at night and strange goings on, Lucy wonders if the house is haunted or whether someone is trying to frighten her into leaving. Then there is the handsome Kenny Baxter, a neighbour to whom Lucy is irresistibly drawn despite the ring on her finger. I don’t usually read cosy mysteries, but I loved this book, which was well-written and a delightful read. I look forward to reading more books by this author. You can find the book here: Aunt Bea’s Legacy: 1 (River View Mysteries)

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

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