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Comfort & Joy

My Christmas collection Comfort & Joy is on sale now, on kindle and in print.

Click the image for the .co.uk link or go to Amazon and do a search.

 

 

caroling

I stopped playing in bands in the summer and now I only busk, which is great fun and pays better than playing in a six-piece ever could, but I find myself committed to two concerts on Saturday.

Firstly, the United Reform Church hall where I practice is having some sort of Saturday carol service and I offered to accompany them. Don’t know what I’m going to do – I play by ear so the thought of learning a dozen carols in all twelve keys is unappealing (though it’d be really good practice, I don’t have the time) – so I’ll turn up and work things out as we go. If I’m asked to lead off, fine, if there’s a keyboard player, great, I’ll ask them the key and work it out, ditto guitar or whatever.

Saturday evening Tommy Ginshop asked me to play with his band, they play some sort of death-metal ska music and I agreed. They needed a support act too so I offered the Jazz Pistols and they said yes. However, the Jazz Pistols can’t all make it so it’s just me and Pistol Pete. Again, dunno what we’ll do, got some ideas, Hard Work by John Handy and the Sanborn version of Comin’ Home Baby, and I’ll try and insert some carols into the tunes. Plus Pete has a delay pedal he’s itching to use, so I’ll do whatever he comes up with. I get on really well with Pete musically, he’s a guitarist but we work together almost as a brass section. I’m looking forward to that, thogh it has much potential to go sideways.

In fact, the entire day has much potential to go sideways. I need to put on my listening head, and I need to be the sax player, and in the words of the sainted Johnny Marr, I need to ‘give it some welly.’

uncrocked

My back injury is improving and I’m discovering that writing while standing (computer perched on a box on the kitchen bench) is becoming easier. I can stand, I can walk, but sitting is still painful.

It threw my writing schedule right out though, but there’s a saying about making plans and what the gods think of people who have the hubris to think they can map out the future.

So, chastened but positive, I’m now able to plan (ish) the Christmas hols. Still got cards to buy, presents to wrap.

kindled

I’ve owned a kindle for about twelve or thirteen years, I’ve worn out three and the current one is my fourth. In all that time I think I’ve deleted two, maybe three books that I really couldn’t finish and didn’t want to keep as a possible re-up for later.

The last ten days I’ve deleted four books.

Something tells me it’s not the books.

Spenderella +

I’m so crocked at the moment that I can’t sit down at the computer and write. I’m writing this post while lying on my back on the floor, holding my mac with one hand and tapping keys with the other.

So Spenderella, which is 70% completed, is going to have to be postponed for a week or so. I was hoping for a pre-Christmas releases but we’ll have to wait and see.

grrr…

Spenderella

Still crocked, I began working on this novella. It’s more bittersweet romance than thriller. Here’s the blurb:

————

Disgraced army pilot turned courier Mark Barrett works in ‘that grey area between almost and legal.’

Spenderella sees Mark undertaking to aid an old friend’s attempt to reinvent herself. Riley Spender is a Madame to the global elite – she counts princes, presidents and pontiffs as her friends, her parties are international, infamous and invitation only. She’s rich, she’s successful and she has a black book the size of a medieval ledger. The press call her Spenderella – the poor girl who caught the heart of many, many princes, and has the jewellery, the lavish lifestyle and the tabloid profile to prove it.

And she wants out.

He’s the Courier. She’s the merchandise.

But what will this meeting of old flames mean for Mark’s self-image as a modern day Sir Galahad, and will past loves and old scars bear scrutiny?

———–

Due just before Christmas.

 

3310

I’m no technophile – hence I use this blog instead of twitter, FB, instagram or whatever – and I’m gradually withdrawing from any sort of online profile.

I try not to use google (except for the maps, which is excellent, so they probably do know where I’m thinking of going), and I’m going to switch to using protonmail as soon I get round to sorting it out.

Which leaves my venerable old iPhone. I use it for work, for emails and keeping in touch with agents and so on, but really I can probably get away without it and my life is cleaner without it, because I spend less time trawling the web looking for random stuff if I don’t have it. Still got my Nokia in the drawer.

Going to try and swap everything over before Christmas.

Then I’m set.

booked

I took advantage of a back injury to spend a few days catching on on my reading. I was very disappointed.

I’m not in the business of slating other writers, especially when they’re much better writers than me, so I’m not going to name them, but two of my favourite authors have just released books. The first was disappointing, which is very disappointing, because up until now he’s been mostly brilliant. The second was bordering on unreadable. After ten chapters I still didn’t have any idea of what was going on.

So I deleted those and went to a simple, high-concept thriller by a quality writer of simple high-concept thrillers.

And that now makes three books I’ve deleted from my kindle this week.

NQA – free download

The first of the Mark Barrett action/thriller novels, NQA, is on free kindle download for the first five days in December.

Click the image or user this link (or go to Amazon and search for NQA by James Ross).

 

 

Sir!

I was a bit broke so accepted some teaching work.  It’s always a good idea to remind myself why I left the industry.

And I was reminded.

I wrote a couple of books on my career as a teacher under the pen name Daniel Ken. They’re listed here.

 

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