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What’s in a name?

As an author I’m always seeking appropriate names for characters. That must be easy you say, but it isn’t. How often do you make an assumption about a person when you hear a name prior to meeting them? It’s the same when characterizing, ensuring the name applies can be difficult; sometimes just finding a name can be tricky.

Several years ago I arrived at a black-tie dinner with a copy of my latest book as a raffle prize, only to discover there was to be an auction of some very high-value donations, not quite the situation I had imagined. With some quick thinking, the prize was changed to not only the signed copy but the offer of being named as a character in my next book, raising several hundred pounds. I now get requests from other fund raising events to apply the same – and it’s great fun.

The Haunted LadyMy latest Eden House Mystery, The Haunted Lady, aided two worthwhile causes, a community based charity and also junior cricket, something I’ve been involved with for many years. I shall be attending an ‘end of season’ cricket meeting in a couple of weeks to present a copy of the book to the donor. Following that, I shall be off to my Greek hideaway, seeking inspiration for another of my Greek Island romances, people watching and listening out for names.

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Wedding, Weeding and Writing

Giving Wen away 3

When I said I was going to ‘give away’ my stepdaughter at her wedding, I didn’t realize that this would be the start of a very busy time. At the beginning of July, not only was the bride beautiful and the wedding wonderful, but I gained a great son-in-law and another granddaughter and grandson. The Haunted Lady

The rest of the month has passed in a blur. The Haunted Lady had just been released by Accent Press, but my alter-ego, William Gordon, has been at it again with another of the Greek Island Romance, Sea Nymph. Cover Sea nymph

All this along with the in-house editor instructing me where to move boxes and furniture following the house move, mowing lawns I didn’t previously have, weeding the garden, and now buying wallpaper and paint. I don’t remember working this hard before I retired; I sometimes wonder how I get time to write!

The Haunted Lady

The Haunted Lady

Here it is, the final cover for The Haunted Lady, the fifth Eden House Mystery: the edits are finished, the proof is done. Already available to pre-order as an ebook, the paperback is in production and will be ready for release on 30th June. Enjoy.

A Monumental Move

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve had three months off, during which time I have been lifting, shifting and unpacking (80 plus) boxes. Yes, we’ve moved house. Although we still have things to finalise, I am now returning to work. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been working at all, far from it. The next Eden House mystery The Haunted Lady is due for release at the end of this month and there have been edit and proof checks to do with Accent Press. But now, I have an office again, a view over the garden and some semblance of order, so I can search through the hastily written notes when an idea occurred and I’m back to it.

Love Changes Everything revised

As a thank you to all my patient readers who have been somewhat neglected, I have made Love Changes Everything, three love stories with a twist, available to download for free from today until Wednesday on Kindle. I hope you enjoy it. Meanwhile, I’ll see what I can create.

Willow. 23rd February 2007 – 8th March 2016

Willow

Yesterday we should have been celebrating. Our offer for the house we hoped to buy was accepted, so plans for our move could take shape. However, any pleasure we might have felt at the news was more than overshadowed by the loss of our beloved Labrador, Willow.

Despite the skill and determination of the veterinary surgeons who tried everything they could to combat her kidney failure, in the end they were unable to arrest the aggressive complaint and halt her decline, forcing us to make the most heart-rending decision  before her suffering became too much to bear. Our only solace was that we had done everything possible to try and cure her. It was small comfort, if any.

Willow had much to contend with during her nine years. As a puppy, she developed endometriosis which necessitated a hysterectomy. Then she almost died during an epileptic seizure that resulted in lifetime daily medication. She bore these troubles with great fortitude.

Nicknamed ‘The Gruffalo’, Willow’s deep, aggressive bark deterred any visitors with evil intent. That fearsome sound belied her gentle nature. She made many friends and few, if any, enemies.

To us, her pack, she was loving, trusting, loyal and protective. She brought us great joy, lots of fun and a huge amount of happiness. It was only when we made the inevitable decision to end her suffering that she brought us any tears.

A friend commented that she was lucky to have us. That definitely cuts both ways for we were immensely fortunate to have her. That is because she chose us to live with. When we visited the litter, Willow pushed the other puppies aside to greet and claim us. She settled into our routine immediately, as if she had always been part of our lives.

Farewell, our friend. We will miss you, the love you gave us, and the happiness and laughter we shared. Rest in peace, Willow.

Looking Forward

Everyone looks forward at the start of the New Year to new beginnings, and I have to say that mine has started very well. News that my stepdaughter is to marry in the summer was the first excitement, and I was honoured that she has asked me to ‘give her away’. Of course this will come at a cost as my in-house editor has begun looking at mother of the bride outfits.

The second was yesterday when we went to our great-grandson’s first birthday party. He had a joint party with his mum and we were able to meet many of his father’s family, a great day was had by all.

Is there more?

 Well the fifth Eden House Mystery, The Haunted Lady, is now finished and with Accent Press. Although in the early stageThe Haunted Ladys of production, and scheduled for release on 6th June, we already have an provisional outline cover.

To top it all, I said in my earlier post Paperback Writer, that Silent as the Grave is to be released as a trade paperback, Silent as the Grave web versionand in four days it will be out there at £7.99.

So all in all, not a bad start for me, and I wish all my readers as good a New Year as I intend to have.

The end of an era

Publisher of my hardback thrillers, Robert Hale Ltd, have decided to ‘withdraw from publishing’ after trading for seventy-nine years. For we authors this is indeed a sad moment but what of our readers? Some Hale authors have long running series and would wish for continuity, so I would like to assure my DI Mike Nash followers that there are several more in the pipe-line. In the meantime, until the situation is resolved perhaps the eight titles previously available will suffice. Alternatively, readers might like to acquaint themselves with the first four of The Eden House Mystery series available in paperback with Accent Press, while I complete book five, The Haunted Lady.

CardWhatever your choice of reading over the forthcoming holidays, may you enjoy a quiet afternoon, maybe in front of a log fire, a glass of something warming by your side as you delve into the world of imagination.

A very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all my readers, friends and family.

 

 

 

Paperback Writer

I always joked that I wanted to be a paperback writer, especially when a certain song played on the radio. Although my DI Mike Nash thrillers are all hardback, Accent Press, who publish my Eden House Mysteries in both digital and print on demand versions, has decided to fulfill my ambitions by releasing the first of the series, Silent as the Grave, as a trade paperback in January.

To boost this, the box set of three is available for 99p to download now.

box set template Eden House

Sofia's House

In October, when I returned from holiday, I mentioned that my alter ego, William Gordon, had the urge to write another Greek romance. What I didn’t mention is that WG has his own in-house publisher. It’s a little known fact that in the corner of my office sits a gnome – well someone shorter than me – who has learnt the technique for publishing both paperbacks and eBooks for him. So while I concentrate on completing the next Eden House Mystery, The Haunted Lady, you can now find Sofia’s House available on Amazon.

Look what popped up today!

So there I was, typing away and up popped an email. My editor Greg sent me an ad showing a discounted price on the third of the Eden House Mysteries. A real bargain so I thought I’d share it with you.

Bill Kitson Vanishing Act

Sun, Sea & Raki.

Although it says Bill Kitson on my passport, my alter-ego William Gordon always seems to appear on my visits to Crete. I don’t know what it is in the little fishing village that brings out the romantic side of my nature. Even when my intention is to work on my next crime novel, there is something in the air that distracts me. Maybe it’s the constant sunshine, the gently lapping sea, or the Raki I’ve consumed the night before, I don’t know. So for the past three weeks I spent my time writing another romance set on my fictitious Greek island. It isn’t finished of course, but it won’t take long. Now I’m home, I have the first draft of The Haunted Lady, the fifth Eden House Mystery to complete so I’m going to get on with it.

Flesh and Blood

Returning from holiday is a strange phenomenon, it takes time to settle back to routine and catch up with work. I was delighted when I discovered that book four, Flesh and Blood, which had been available to pre-order in paperback for release on 29th October, is now available on Kindle.

Accent Press strikes again!