Monthly Archives: November 2012

AUNT SALLY & MORE due out on Amazon this December

Cover image by Beccy Blake: http://beccyblake.com/

Here is the blurb for Aunt Sally & More, sequel to The Aunt Sally Team (http://amzn.to/MgZRmW http://amzn.to/LJvFhf): 

Find out what happens to the Aunt Sally team. A year on and it’s still going strong, but the lives of some of its members, past and present, seem to be in upheaval.

Dante is out of rehab, wanting Diana to give him another chance. But she finds that giving up drink is only the beginning of a long, rocky road for an alcoholic. His daughter Lucy fears abandonment and wants her dad to herself, and his old flame Lou has inveigled her way into his thoughts again. Can Dante and Diana’s love survive the trials and pitfalls as he fights his addictions and gets his emotions in balance?

Beth is drawn into the world of fashion, with all its glamour and dangers. She’s divided between her love for Zac, who’s back for the summer, and Harvey, who gives her the break she needs but seems to have a hidden agenda. The only person she can be sure of is pagan musician Humphrey, who’s like an older brother to her. In the end, torn between the two sides of her nature, she questions who she is and her health and sanity are threatened.

Harry wants to leave Oxford and go away to uni. Can Lucy trust him or will he desert her like her dad did? After all, there will be loads of new girls to tempt him. When she runs into Zac then meets a handsome stranger on a train, things get more complicated than ever.

Lissa and Rashi return to Oxford from Sheffield with baby Ravi and move into the George and Dragon, home of the Aunt Sally team. Liss wants to make a go of it, but her Indian in-laws don’t want their son to have an English wife. The pressure on her marriage mounts till she wonders if she and Rashi can survive.

Jason and Rose are deeply in love but don’t have anywhere to be together. When things start to resolve, they take on Tyson, a puppy with a dodgy past and an uncertain future.

And Vera is determined to keep her friendship with Jim under control and on an even keel.

Sex, drugs and fashion modelling; Druids at the Neolithic Rollright Stone Circle; mushroom picking in the autumn woods; a gypsy-like existence aboard traditional canal boats on the river; old loves and new; all the ups and downs of relationships under pressure – Aunt Sally & More explores some of life’s deeper issues…but there’s still romance and wonder in the world, and Oxford and its surroundings are as beautiful as ever.

 

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dementia, a remarkable book & more

Today I want to showcase a book by a fellow author, Doreen ‘Dody’ Cox, Adventures in Mother-Sitting: http://amzn.to/RQo8kn UK, http://amzn.to/Qn08by US

Dody is one of my beta readers for Aunt Sally & More, the sequel to my book The Aunt Sally Team, and I got to know her via Twitter and Facebook. The reason I’m featuring the book is because it’s free at the moment and I think everyone should have a chance to download it. Dementia affects us all sooner or later, whether personally or through the media. If you read Terry Pratchett’s books, you will probably have been moved by finding he has Alzheimer’s and touched by his tireless work in raising public awareness about the deterioration of the mind it causes.  Dody’s book is remarkable as it plots the course of her mother’s deterioration and her own growth as she finds resources within herself to carry on coping and loving. Below is my Amazon review of the book, but don’t take my word for it; take a look.

This book is about the journey two brave, wonderful women make. One treads the path of self realisation and spiritual insight via her role as carer for her elderly mother: the other journeys through dementia to death. The voyage is one of learning, humility, dignity and above all love. These central characters are held and sustained by a network of compassionate supporters – both close family and the health care workers, nurses and doctors involved as well as people chance met along the way. The tale unfolds in an almost Zen like manner, showing how suffering, grief and frustration can evolve into peace, insight and the love and equanimity that help us rise above the hardships and sorrows of the human condition.

Dementia touches all our lives, whether through people close to us, through our own mental deterioration as we grow older or through the wider context of society. I would recommend this beautiful book as reading for anyone closely involved with the experience of dementia or caring for the elderly, but also, perhaps, as a tool of understanding and realisation for anyone.

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relationships, editing one novel and writing another, plus some good indie reads

Mic, the love of my life, just before he got his hair cut…

A love relationship is a marvellous thing, but sometimes it can be stressful too. Every relationship we have, whether with partners, children, friends or family, teaches us more about life and helps us to grow. I know that sounds trite and New Agey but it’s also true. Whatever we need to confront in ourselves, you can be sure that a relationship will force us to meet it head on. And yet relating brings joy and deep contentment too. It’s like the extremes of weather that lead to growth and blossoming. Of course, relationships provide endless veins of rich material for writers. Though it would be a mistake to assume that any one character or set of circumstances translates directly into one’s latest novel. It’s more that all the experiences we have of our encounters with other people, and what we observe of people in general, seem to mulch down into a rich compost that feeds the creative process.

Talking of the creative process, Aunt Sally & More, the sequel to The Aunt Sally Team (http://amzn.to/MgZRmW  & http://amzn.to/LJvFhf is now finished and edited and is out with beta readers. Beccy Blake (http://beccyblake.com/) has already sent me a rough for the cover, so we are on target for publication in December. Meeting fellow authors whose writing I admire, and whom I trust to review my work and make suggestions/pick up mistakes etc. prior to publication, has been one of the bonuses to come out of using Twitter.

I’m now also 10,000 words into writing a new novel, Angel in Between, which is linked to my novel The Sacred Marriage (http://amzn.to/LhdwVm & http://amzn.to/LJvFhf) but is far more like chick lit. I’m really, really enjoying writing it. My only regret is that it leaves me little time to read the many excellent books by fellow indie authors, as well as traditionally published books, that I have piling up in my library. Some good ones I have managed to get round to are: The Chapel in the Woods by Susan Louineau, Tollesbury Time Forever by Stuart Ayris, Death in Spigg’s Wood by Linda Gruchy and The Blake Curse by I.C. Camilleri – I’m still reading the last one…

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