But it’s still all about the books!
I know! It’s happening again. A couple of weeks ago I posted about my visit to the Isle of Skye to do an author talk and deliver a writing workshop. And I mentioned in that post how good it is to get away from the desk from time to time.
So good that I escaped again a couple of days ago and will do so again before the end of November – in both cases to do more authorly stuff.
Authors and Book Bloggers in Scotland Christmas Lunch
This took place in Edinburgh on Saturday and was the latest real-world meet up of this wonderful online Facebook group which (as the name suggests) is for authors and book bloggers who are based in Scotland, or who write/review books set in Scotland. In the group members can share information about books they’ve written or reviewed or publicise book related events taking place in Scotland.
I’ve attended a few of the group’s get-together lunches and it’s always lovely to meet folks you’ve only previously known online or to catch up with folks you’ve met before. And the talk of course is mainly about books but includes lots of real life chat too.
And Saturday’s Christmas lunch meeting was no exception. It was organised by the amazing Joanne of Portobello Book Blog and Kelly who runs Love Books Group and was held at Wildwood in the capital’s Lothian Road. The food was great – that’s my yummy main course in the picture above – and the company was superb. It was so good to connect with some enthusiastic readers of my books and also with those who’ve posted such great reviews on their blogs. And it was interesting, too, to hear what other writers are currently working on and to share writer-type concerns and tips.
It was especially nice to have a good catch-up with author Linda Gillard to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude for encouraging me to get started writing books in the first place. Linda has a new book out in February and you can find more details about that below. She was also a guest author at my virtual book festival here on the blog a few months ago and you can find her event here. I’ve read and loved all her books.
We also had a Secret Santa gift exchange. We all contributed a book to the lucky-dip and I struck very lucky. I only went and picked the latest novel by a favourite author of mine – a book I was going to be buying, but now don’t have to. Yes, I was delighted to get the fabulous Michael J Malone’s new novel – In the Absence of Miracles. So THANK YOU to whoever was my secret gift-giver – and you have excellent taste.
So all-in-all a fab awayday.
Village Christmas Gifts & Craft Fair
And this coming Saturday I have the above Christmas Fair here in the village where I live. I will be attending as a stallholder where I’ll be selling my books. I always enjoy events like this where, regardless of how many books I sell, it’s good to talk to all the folks who stop by the table. But, of course I’m hoping quite a few people will see my books as an ideal gift for someone om their list – or maybe even for themselves.
Back to Work
But after the fun times away from the office, it will be back down to some serious hard work – both in the run up to and after the festive season. After all, the new book’s not going to get itself ready for its 2020 publication …
And in case you want to know more about the book I won:
In the Absence of Miracles by Michael J Malone
From the back cover:
A young man discovers a family secret that turns his world upside down in this dark, emotive, shocking psychological thriller by number-one bestselling author Michael J. Malone
John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke and she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again.
With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit and revise his childhood.
For in a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover.
For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence.
Shocking, chilling and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets.
You can get the book in bookshops or online. The Amazon UK link is here
And Linda Gillard’s Book is called Hidden
From the back cover:
A birth. A death. Hidden for a hundred years.
“Lady, fiancé killed, will gladly marry officer totally blinded or otherwise incapacitated by the war.”
A sense of duty and a desire for a child lead celebrated artist Esme Howard to share her life and her home – 16th-century Myddleton Mote – with Captain Guy Carlyle, an officer whose face and body have been ravaged by war. But Esme knows nothing of the ugliness that lurks within Guy’s tortured mind, as he re-lives, night after night, the horrors of the trenches.
As a child grows within her, Esme fears Guy’s wrath will be turned on them both. A prisoner in her own home, she paints like one possessed, trusting that one day someone will hear her silent cries for help.
When Miranda Norton inherits Myddleton Mote and its art collection from a father she never knew, she decides to move on after the end of an unhappy marriage. Inviting her extended family to join her, Miranda sets about restoring the house and turning it into a thriving business.
When the moat is drained for repairs, a skeleton emerges with a bullet hole in its skull. Someone from Miranda’s past returns to torment her and an appalling act of vandalism reveals dark secrets, hidden for a hundred years.
You can preorder the book here It will be published in February 2020