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Sunday, 6 March 2011

Weekly Round-up & first fun contest

My home pc is still channelling it's inner Regan MacNeil. So far, though, it has not managed to throw up on me, for which I am incredibly grateful. I'm not really a fan of pea-soup, anyway. However, in honour of my history with electronics, and considering the fun I had with them this week, they've now earned a place of their own in the weekly round-up.

It was a pretty busy week, and both really, really good and frustrating ..

I hit Scotland this week - Glasgow on Monday evening through to Wednesday morning, and Edinburgh Wednesday and Thursday. If you ever travel to Edinburgh, I thoroughly recommend the Hudson hotel in Hope street, and a great little seafood place called the Mussel Inn in the Rose street area. For once, Scotland was warmer than London - arriving back on Thursday evening was a nasty shock, temperature wise. London on Friday.

Technical Malfunctions for the week (also known as Computers Hate Me)

Home p.c. is possessed and has consistently booted me off the net every time I try to log on. Either that or the entire screen turns into a pixilated nightmare that won't budge, forcing a hard shut down and copious amounts of swearing.  However, seems to willing to let me complete this blog and do a bit of posting to university forum, so right now I'll live with it.

I have a net-book that travels with me. I need this little darling, both for working remotely and studying when I'm out of town. On Tuesday evening it started making a howling noise and got so hot I thought the key board was going to explode, and wouldn't switch off. When I finally got it off, and cooled down, it sat there and sulked. Cue me rolling on the floor and biting the carpet - no remote work possible, no study possible.

I tried it today - no problems. GAH!

My phone kept switching itself on & off, including on the plane.Since I'd physically switched the phone off - not to silent, off - this was disturbing. (Two weeks ago I woke up in Bristol to find the charger socket twisted and black - the phone had only charged to around 80% so that wasn't the issue - and I currently have to rely on computer charging.)

The possible highlight, though, was triggering the alarm at Edinburgh airport. I had no metal on me (not even a belt), and although I have metal plates in my leg they are titanium and shouldn't trigger anything. The end result though, was a very thorough pat-down by security. It's the closest I've come to a full body massage in months - strangely soothing. Although the woman doing the pat-down got the giggles when I told her I couldn't afford to tip..

Frustrating due to technical hiccups. And finance still leaves me in a gibbering heap. I just want to pass that section. I do not want to have to repeat it, ever.

I was lucky enough to win an e-copy of Naomi Clark's Demonised. If you read fantasy, urban fantasy, or horror, get hold of her work. As yet she doesn't write full-time, but if she finds the right audience I reckon she might start giving the big boys a run for their money. Talented lady. I'm halfway through Night and Chaos and loving it. She has a blog over at, swing by and give her a shout.

I also finished William Meikle's The coming of the King - loved that too. Another alternative history/vampire combo, and a great ride. You can find him at Much though I enjoy a lot or urban fantasy, I'm thoroughly enjoying the return of the totally evil vampire as a character. Nasty, but fun.

I'm still on Protector, by Laurel Dewey - reading slowed up a lot this week from sheer exhaustion. Text books don't count.

Writing and Stuff

Indie Book Blogger listed me in the top 3 books for February. I had a grin on my face all the way to Glasgow.

I got my first ever 5 star review on today - I'm so chuffed. I've commented on each review so far, and will continue to do so no matter what the review says - nothing major, just a thanks for the review. If someone has taken the time to read my book and put their opinion out there, I just feel it's polite to thank them. So far, no bad reviews yet, although I'm sure that will come, and when they do I'm hoping I can pull on my big-girl panties, and thank the reviewer for their time and trouble in the same way.

The best part of the reviews is reading that people like your work. The most useful part is where they point out issues; so far two people have commented on introducing new characters, so it's definitely something to work on. If they hadn't mentioned it, I'd never have known, so I'm even more grateful.

Indie book blog has a  free coupon announcement for Jeffrey Pierce up, and an interview from Andrew Warwick, author of Tears of the Mountain and Winter Wolves.
Also worth mentioning again is Jeffrey Poole over at - author of The Bakkian Chronicles. He is offering technical help for converting books to e-format, and unlike me, knows exactly what he is doing.

Fun Contest

If you'd like a character in the new vampire short story named after you or someone you know, post in the comments.
I have three names available - one male (semi-traumatised immortal with issues), female (spoiled, sadistic rich bitch) and boyfriend (busy sugar-daddy to spoiled rich bitch and a very small walk-on part).
The story is for the collection I'm releasing in May, and I'll send you a copy of the story as soon as it's done.

You can nominate yourself or a friend, or yourself and a friend - first come first served. If you don't want your name in the story but still want to comment, feel free - just state "no name please" in the comment.

PS: The roast was brilliant. Table 7 in Chingford - worth the visit.