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Ups and Downs…


It was finally warm enough to sit in the garden, so I could look out over the cherry blossom and the bluebells and the wallflowers and watch the bees from the local hive where I get my honey busily buzzing about and enjoy hearing their hum. I caught up with the washing too, and washed the winter’s quilts and started thinking ahead to the wonderful day when I don't need to wear socks and I might even be able to have bare arms and legs.

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Then we had another day with gale force winds and torrential rain and very resentful cats who feel strongly that this is not the weather we should be having in mid-April. If I’m being honest, then I have to admit that I agree with them, but it did make that hour sat sewing in the sunshine all the more precious. Today is Tuesday, and the forecast is breezy and cool this morning, turning to rain after lunch so I shall get out for a walk and then come home for a cup of coffee and a piece of Delia’s preserved ginger cake which I made for the first time while the wind was howling and the rain was raining almost biblically. You can find the recipe here - https://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/cake-recipes/preserved-ginger-cake


Being me, I played with it a bit because I didn’t have any black treacle in the cupboard so I swapped it for an extra spoonful of ginger syrup from the jar of preserved ginger and I can definitely see why it’s one of her favourite recipes. I didn’t bother to ice it because it wasn’t dry at all and I’ve worked hard to lose my sweet tooth. Apart from chocolate of course, because every woman needs to have at least one vice…


Workwise, I’m in the middle of the first draft of a new Oldcastle book, telling the story of the reformed brat (as she describes herself) Nadine Jordan. It’s been fun weaving in characters from the other books and making a massive list of things to research and recipes to try.

The Christmas stories are coming well too, and thanks again to Jan for sparking it off by wanting to know what happened next, and to everyone who responded to my shout out for anyone you wanted to visit with for a while.


After that, it’ll be down to work revising and tying together the next six Windy Bay books. If you’re interested the upcoming books are.

MAY - Death by Misadventure - Amy Hammond

JUNE - A Very different kind of War - Esther and the Professor

JULY - The crafty sew and sews - Harbourside

AUGUST - A place to call home - Windy Bay.


My publication day is the first Thursday of the month so you could always put it in your diary or sign up to follow me on Kindle when the nice people will tell you what’s coming out and when. You just click on ‘follow’ on any of the book pages or at the end of every book, and I do it a lot with my favourite writers because it stops me missing a book.


Today’s picture is of ducklings, because I always feel they improve any situation. This time one little duckling went swimming intrepidly towards a massive great carp and I thought we were going to have a classic David Attenborough moment. You know, when you follow a cute little creature, get invested in it, and then, oops, it comes to a horrible fate. Thankfully it lived to ignore its mother another day!



If you’re being ignored or doing some ignoring, you might like some reading material while you do it, so here are this week’s special offers at 99p in the UK and 99c in the US. If you can’t get them, then I’m gradually issuing my books in collections at £2.99 so you can buy them for the same sale price whenever it suits you and I've decided to say when these are available in future because it only seems fair.


This week we have the first three books in the Lavender House series, which are also available as an anthology ‘The Scent of Lavender’ They’re House of Dreams, Ghost of Dreams and Ghost of A Chance and they’re set on the Poole side of the Harbour where the rich people play at dolls houses by knowing down and rebuilding lovely houses. They tell the story of novice property developer Linnet Halliday and gardener Nathan Blake and, of course, the ghost of Lavender House, who doesn't care if you believe in her or not because she’s determined that people will find the happy endings she didn’t get in life. She also doesn’t fight fair!


Then there’s the first three books in the Windy Bay series, which are also available as an anthology ‘Love by the Sea’. These are gentle and sweet and set around Christmas and spring and the titles pretty much sum up what they’re about. A fresh start,

Starting Over and Second Chances. Windy Bay is entirely imaginary, I’m sad to say, but it is based on the Studland Peninsula, where time goes slower, people are kind and have time for each other and aren’t nosy, but are intensely interested in each other’s lives. As Sir Toby Druett says, if you sneeze at one end of the village someone will be looking out for you with a nice bowl of chicken soup and some tissues at the other.


Have a great week till we meet again on Sunday. I intend to no matter what the weather or what’s happening in the wider world, and now I’m off to enjoy the Harbour at low tide, which’ll make a nice change from it flooding the paths. It’s quite disconcerting realising there are ducks swimming where I want to walk!


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