Wednesday, 25 September 2019

New release - it's been a while!



I know, I know it's been FOREVER since I brought out a new book but there are reasons for this which I'm unable to share for the moment.  As soon as I can, I will.  Promise.

Anyway, 'Half as Good as You' is now available for pre-order on Amazon and will hit your Kindle on 4th October.  The paperback version will be available shortly, once I decide whether to publish through Lulu or Amazon.

If you read it and love it, PLEASE leave a review  - your words help to sell mine.  If you've enjoyed any of my other books, I'd be really grateful for even a one line review.  They really DO make a difference.

Right ... here's the blurb ...


The day after discovering her husband’s infidelity, TV make-up artist Fizz finds herself knocked off her feet (quite literally!) by a passing stranger in the busy Covent Garden rush hour.  

Rescued by an elderly gentleman, an unusual friendship forms, a mystery lottery ticket appears and Fizz realises that she’d never really been as content in her marriage as she’d allowed herself to believe.

With the arrival of two new men on the scene, how long will it be before Fizz hits the jackpot?

And the links for UK Amazon

Just £1.99 - less than a coffee and will last longer!

Monday, 1 April 2019

Pirating is Theft - end of.


Dear Travis McCrea of Ebook Bike

It’s not often that I blog now as there never seem to be enough hours in the day when you earn an honest living but this particular post needs to get out my system before I self-combust.

Working as an Indie writer is an incredibly tough job and, in the past, was a worthwhile career.  The way that Amazon has changed how they pay us has made it increasingly difficult to earn a living and so I really don't need any spanners in the works.

So, with a constant battle on my hands to get my books seen, talked about, sold and reviewed, imagine my fury when it came to light that you are stealing my work and giving it away for free.  Your opening line on your FAQ page is:

Imagine a world where authors can make money by giving digital versions of their books away to their reader.

This makes NO SENSE TO ME!  HOW?!  How can the theft of my books be making me any money?  Do you have a stash of cash owing to me?  I don’t think so somehow.  I’ve asked you this many times on Twitter and you choose not to answer.  I wonder why.

The truth of the matter is, every book you give away is taking hard earned cash from my hands.  So all the years, months, weeks and hours of blood sweat and tears that I pour into my work are given away, without my permission, for nothing.

And how do you justify this?  Oh, it gets better and better!  You set yourself up as a Reverend of:

Missionary Church of Kopimism

The followers of the religion are called Kopimists from copy me. A "Kopimist" or "Kopimist intellectual" is a person who has the philosophical belief that all information should be freely distributed and unrestricted. This philosophy opposes the monopolization of knowledge in all its forms, such as copyright, and encourages file sharing of all types of media including music, movies, TV shows, and software.

So you are somehow trying to justify your act of theft.  Unbelievable!

It doesn’t end there though.  Your girlfriend @malkarii_ is a charity fundraiser for St Jude’s Hospital, Memphis.  No, no, no!  Sorry, but this doesn’t sit well with me.  You @travisvancouver boast about the plane that you’ve bought and the yacht trips that you’ve taken with MY money - because your ‘religion’ doesn’t believe in copyrighting and you’re under the misguided impression that it’s your right to share my work for your gain.  You can’t expect us to believe that your girlfriend doesn’t enjoy that illegal lifestyle to some extent.

I too raise funds for charity and I know that my reputation needs to be whiter than white.  I’ve watched her video on Twitch and I feel for her but she openly admits that what you are doing is ‘shady’ and has asked you to take the website down.  Any connection with you and your dodgy deals will not show @malkarii_ in a good light - she needs to be rethinking her life choices and who she keeps company with if you continue to ignore her requests and she wants to maintain her credibility and integrity.

And you need to own up to the fact that you are a thief and a liar.  On your interview with BBC Radio, you claimed that Ebook Bike was set up with and for writers.  I’d like just ONE writer to come forward and agree with this statement.  Who are these writers who helped to set it up and how do they gain financially from it?  The only writers I’ve heard voice an opinion, are those who are being ripped-off.

I thought long and hard before writing this.  There are two trains of thought.  Some authors are keeping quiet as they don’t want to give you oxygen to grow, others are livid and doing everything they can to bring you down.  Indies are the ones who are particularly disgruntled as we don’t get an advance to keep us going - but what the traditionally published authors need to realise is that, if their books continue to be given away without their permission, their publishers will see a fall in sales and may not re-sign them.  It affects us all.  I won’t be silenced, especially when I read that a sixth of ebooks that were downloaded in 2017 were pirated because of the likes of you.  Why should I keep quiet?  If you crept into my house while I was sleeping and stole all of my worldly goods I wouldn’t let you get away with it - this theft is no different.

I don’t have a plane or fancy yacht trips around the English Bay of Vancouver and you know why?  Because I’m helping to pay for you to enjoy those privileges.

Shame on you.  Enjoy the publicity while you can but I don’t think it will last for long.  Time to get your thinking cap on and come up with a new scam.

May you get your just desserts in heaven Reverend McCrea.

PS: To those authors and publishers who choose to keep quiet, I respect your opinion but I’m choosing to speak out for the underdog.  I don’t believe that by writing this I will encourage more people to pirate books - honest people don’t - but I do feel that it needs to be talked about.  This isn’t just affecting Indies.  It’s affecting traditionally published authors and will go on to affect the publishing world, just as it did with pirated music, unless people make a noise.  I don’t believe that this is a time for anyone to sit on their laurels, hope that it will go away and leave other people to do the dirty work and deal with it on their behalf.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Swinging Sixties

It's over!  Months of work, numerous dramas and several sleepless nights but it's finally behind us - the fundraiser in memory of my lovely mum for Age UK, Wandsworth.

I'm tired to the point of nodding off at the laptop so I'll let the pictures do the talking.  Suffice it to say, we had a ball - everyone said it was the best yet - and raised £2,702.35 with more money to come from the sales of the last of the Christmas goods I made.

Here goes ...

The Misfits, ready to party like it's 1960

Son and Austin Powers!

With Marianne Faithful

Hippy Table

The Kitsch Kittens
Entertainment - they were FAB-U-LOUS!!!

They sure knew how to work the crowd.

Grooving!
Check out our 60's lighting


One of the kittens got carried away!

Mr Misfit & I made a VW photo booth
The number plate was P3GGY 
for my mum




Over 30 raffle prizes.
The lovely Emma at Age UK won the dance class vouchers 
that I'd been coveting and she donated them to me!
Mr Misfit and I are heading off to ballroom and Latin American
dance for a month.
The cupcake lottery raised
almost £100
Lovingly made by 'Fenella'

My Christmas mini market raised lots so 
my months of handicrafting paid off.
Anything left is going to Age UK for them to sell.
An A Board to welcome the guests

My neighbour donated an almost new TV which we held 
a blind auction for.
It raised £50 and the highest bidder then donated it
back to Age UK for them to sell or give to an
elderly person who may need one.
Our groovy welcome table


Alfie having cuddles in his cool bandana

A last minute arrival of a fruit basket so I
auctioned it and raised another £20.
My lovely Twitter buddy who travels
all the way from Glasgow with her equally lovely partner.
Invaluable help!

The night wouldn't have been complete
without a pic of my mum in the 60's

Huge thanks to all who helped - you know who you are - and to Mr Misfit, I couldn't do any of it without you.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Putting the Fun into FUNdraising

It's hard to believe that I haven't blogged since November of last year but life seems to have been pulling me in a few different directions recently and, as John Lennon once said, 'Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.'

So, forgive me for the blogging silence but understand that there have been valid reasons and certain news I'd love to share (regarding an exciting development in my writing journey) but things are still too much in the early stages to go shouting from the rooftops yet.  All I can say is, watch this space.

BUT ... I do have some fantastic news about my fundraising for Age UK, Wandsworth.  Regular followers will know that I've now been working with this charity since I lost my lovely mum in 2016.  Three events later, I've raised approximately £3,500.  My next event will be on November 10th upstairs at The Telegraph Pub, Putney and will take the form of a 1960's night with live entertainment from The Kitsch Kittens, food, raffle, cupcake lottery and dancing until midnight.

Every year the hardest part is approaching companies for raffle prizes.  I send HUNDREDS of emails and, more often than not, don't even receive a reply.  I usually manage to source about 30 prizes with the help of friends, and the raffle is always a great boost to the proceeds.

A chance email to a favourite restaurant of ours in Chelsea Wharf - Yamal Alsham - proved to deliver a result beyond my wildest dreams.  We went there today and had a drink in the London sunshine with their charming marketing manager, Imad, and were told that they are happy to donate a voucher for a meal for 2 ( the BEST food!) AND ONE THOUSAND POUNDS!  Eeek!  Can you imagine how hard it was for me not to throw my top over my head and do a little happy dance around the waterfront?! 

Once the news had sunk in - if you'd been passing, I MAY have been the one who looked like a demented goldfish as I opened and closed my mouth in delighted shock - we agreed that out of the first £1,000 they are donating we will cover the cost of the entertainment and that will still leave over £600 profit for the charity.  That means that now, for the first time in doing this, I officially have a cash sponsor.  I can't begin to tell you how many businesses I've approached for prizes or sponsorship to simply be ignored.  Estate agents are THE WORST, by the way!

When I watch TV programmes with WAGS or celebrities raising funds for various charities I always feel a bit down-hearted that, as a nobody, I can never even hope to raise the amount that they achieve but I have to keep reminding myself that I'm doing this in memory of my lovely mum and EVERY PENNY I raise goes to help an older person in my area. OK, I may never get to five or six figure sums but I sure am heading in the right direction.

Excuse me now whilst I go off to have a celebratory G&T.  I'll leave you to take a look at the list of prizes below that I've accumulated so far - aside from the ONE THOUSAND POUNDS AND COUNTING!  Did I mention that?!  Also, if any other businesses, multi-millionaires or even estate agents (!) would like to show their generosity, you know where to find me - here or on Twitter @mummy_misfit.  Or, if you'd like to donate the odd pound or two, you can do so here and also read the story behind my fundraising. Remember, one day you may be old and lonely, and Age UK may be the ones who come to your rescue.

PRIZES TO DATE:

The Spencer Pub, Putney - £50 voucher for dinner
The Flower Yard, Putney - flower arrangement
Cook - £20 voucher
A Time To Heal, Glasgow - pamper hamper
Panacea Health & Beauty - 2x hampers worth £40
The Pheasantry, Kings Road Chelsea - 2x tickets for live entertainment £30
Kingston Lodge Hotel - Sunday lunch for 2
Ma Goa, Putney - Sunday lunch or dinner for 2, up to £50
Cannizaro House, Wimbledon - afternoon tea for 2
Tastecard - annual subscription £40
Fullers Brewery - tour for 2
The Dance Lab, Putney - beginners dance course for 1 month for 2 - £100
Avenue Cookery School, Putney - £30 voucher
Headmasters - cut and blow dry
Chiswick House - 2 x vouchers for 4
Yamal Alsham -voucher for dinner for 2 with a glass of wine - £49
Experience Days - Chelsea football stadium tour - £40
Buyagift - bungee jump - £40
Gap voucher - £50
H&M voucher - £50
The Crane, Wandsworth - bottle of Prosecco
Karen Hardy Dance - dance class for one
Angelic Hell  - voucher for 2 x piercings and £50 for tattoo
House of Yoga - 1 month's yoga classes
The Gardeners Pub - £25 voucher
The Telegraph pub - £50 voucher
The Farm Girl - breakfast for 2 - up to £35
Rush Hair - cut, blow dry and Keratin treatment
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Battersea - bed and breakfast with use of all spa facilities

BLIND AUCTION!
 32" TV - highest private bidder wins




Sunday, 12 November 2017

Blimey! It's the 1950's!

Last night saw the culmination of months of work for my third fundraiser in memory of my mum for Age UK, Wandsworth.

Friends, family and strangers (some who came last year and are fast becoming friends!) donned their 50's finery and sang and danced their way back to the era of leather jackets, swing dresses and pedal pushers.

We raised just over £1,100 and I think everyone who attended would say that it was a night to remember - the pictures speak for themselves. As usual The Telgraph Pub, Putney, provided a great back-drop for the event and I look forward to working with them for next year's 60's night.

Special thanks go to my wonderful husband, my son and his fiancée, Mireille and Alan, Toby and my side-kick 'Fenella' - I couldn't have done any of it without you fabulous people.

Also, thanks to Emma at Age UK, who came with a couple of her friends and set the dance floor on fire with their glamour and moves!

 A rather picture-heavy blog, but these capture the mood of the evening:

College freshman and the Grease monkey

Fabulous Emma from Age UK and her posse

He had a gingham bow-tie on in that fur somewhere!

My baby!

The boys! He-e-e-y!!

Stunning cup-cakes from 'Fenella' raised £93

Grooving!

The table settings

Me and my men

Not quite Danny and Sandy!

The welcome stand that took me months and will now go to the dump.

Having a breather after air-guitaring

Waiting for the raffle

The 50's aren't complete without a pearly queen

Peggy, my mummy - the black and white photo of her was in the 50's on her honeymoon

Which karaoke number shall we do?

The raffle table

A rush to get ready but we made it!

Check out the 50's baseball boots!

Pretty in Pink

Karaoke for the brave ones

Tense raffle moment

A winning ticket!

Hubbie drilled a lot of holes through those records to make the mobiles

50's sisters

Age UK won the flowers but presented them to me!

Glamour pusses

My trusty raffle helper on the left

'Chrissie Cadillac' leads the revellers in a four-step

The dumped cabinet we found, transformed beautifully

They've got the Colgate look ...

With 31 prizes, the raffle takes forever