Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Can you help with reviews for Sell the Pig please?

I wonder if some of you kind Sell the Pig readers can help me please? On the Amazon UK site, 'Pig' has done very well indeed for reviews, with 60 x 5-star reviews.But the .com and French sites are lagging some way behind.

The sequel is now finished and with the publishers, Ant Press. Leading up to the launch of the sequel (for those who have not yet seen the announcement, it's called 'Is That Billinge Lump?') it would be nice to give 'Pig' a boost, especially in the US market.

I have the chance of some excellent publicity but 'Pig' needs at least 25 x 5-stars on the US site which it has not yet got.

If you have an account with Amazon, you can leave your review of any of the sites. So if you have already left a review on the UK site, would you be very kind and add it also to the US one? There's probably a clever way of doing it automatically but I'm a technophobe so I don't know. If it were me I would simple copy and paste.

It really would be an enormous help and I would be forever grateful.

Thanks so much if you can spare the time.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sell the Pig sequel - news about 'Lump'

Now here's the delivery news you've all been waiting for - the sequel to Sell the Pig!

Little baby 'Lump' has safely past through the hands of editor Victoria Twead without too much of a mauling and I'm now going through her excellent suggestions to lick it into shape. Victoria is meanwhile designing the cover and it is her publishing company Ant Press which will be publishing. Which means that 'Lump' is already officially an 'awesome book'!

And the very good news is that 'Lump' will be available both for Kindle and Paperback more or less at the same time. So there'll be no excuse not to buy it!

Keep your eye on the Sell the Pig - Tottie Limejuice page on Facebook for full details of publication dates.

Meanwhile here's a picture connected to the sequel, to tempt and intrigue you ;)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Peace, perfect peace - Lac des Estives

So where does the bestselling author of Sell the Pig choose to go on holiday? Clearly it needs to be in my beloved Auvergne, from which I have not ventured since I arrived in March 2007.

My best friend Jill, whom you may remember from Sell the Pig, came to visit, so together we ventured south to the Cantal, up to the Cézallier plateau. We stayed in a funky yellow chalet at the Lac des Estives, at Mongreleix, the highest village in the Cantal.

The estives are the summer pastures where the cattle, mostly Salers and Aubrac, go for the summer to graze on the abundant wild herbs and flowers. The view from our chalet was of the pastures and hills, and we could watch the cattle marching purposefully up and down in the evening, probably going for a drink as they aren't being milked.

Lac des Estives has a good sized lake for fly fishing, well stocked with some large fish, and with the largest collection of different dragonflies I have ever seen in one place.  I also saw a big crayfish. 

It was blissfully quiet and, in between exploring some of the local sites, like the beautiful Brion, famous for its cattle marts, Jill and I spent most of our time just reading and chilling.

We had a wonderfully relaxing time. Our evening meal the first night was taken with hosts Alain and Ghislaine, a lovely couple, very friendly and welcoming. They went to a lot of trouble to produce a meal which I could eat, with my dietary constraints.

Our chalet could sleep six, so at only €300 the week in high season, it's a very reasonable place to stay for a group of friends or a larger family.

Highly recommended, if you like peace and quiet.

So now it's back to work on the sequel.  Just going through editor Victoria Twead's very useful comments and amendments. Then Ant Press will be publishing "Lump" very soon.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Killing me softly with his song - Roberta Flack

Those of you who follow my ramblings on Facebook will know that I've been in a state of great excitement since our factrice (post lady) called this morning with a very special parcel for me.. And as a result of the contents of said parcel, my earworm all day has been the very beautiful Roberta Flack song Killing me Softly.

For those who don't know it, and you really should listen to it, Roberta wrote it after going to see Don McClean (American Pie) sing and being amazed at the poignancy and the relevance to her of his songs.

Through an old friend, Robin Eccles, I was introduced, via Twitter and Facebook, to the very lovely  Kay Prout.  I knew she made unique miniatures, a way of telling someone's life in intricate detail, and I was thrilled when she said she would make one for me.  That was the parcel that came today.

I have never met Kay in the flesh but have always called her my soul sis.  She has the most amazing talent for soaking up every tiny detail about someone from their briefing ramblings on social media and logging them all away in her phenomenal memory.  She also has an incredible witchy way for knowing things she can't possibly know through normal means.

She told me to open it outside as it risked making a mess.  I was expecting those expanded polystyrene things like cheesy puffs. But no, my nose told me right away that it was lovingly packed in hay.  Real hay. And very good too.  I know about these things, I have stable management certificates to prove it.

The first thing I saw was the stable. I've always been horse mad. I learned to ride at Offerton School of Riding.
Just look at the detail. The stable is half timbered, in the magpie style typical of Cheshire, where I'm from.  Each individual roof tile has been made and placed by hand. There's even a climbing white rose, as I'm growing a Kiftstgate rose just like it.

Inside the loose box  is a mare and foal. The mare is exactly like my old Cleveland Bay x Thoroughbred mare, Sally. The foal is the spitting image of my best friend Jill's horse, Cinnabar, or Cinna to his friends.
There are so many tiny details I can't list them all, but you can see the clippers hanging on the wall just as you go in, all ready to clip Sally when she starts getting her winter coat. Now just look at my fabulous tack room (oops, it won't rotate!)
I love cleaning tack! The smell and the feel of the glycerine saddle soap. And look - driving harness! Fabulous, lots and lots to clean, and the real Cinna is broken to drive, too. The little lamp even works, so I can see to make up evening feeds.

Next comes my other miniature, and there is just so much to show you.Top right are pictures of my dogs,
dear old Meic and my current horrors Ci and Fleur. Below them is HRH, my part Siamese cat, with her little emerald crown (which has tipped over and I couldn't right it.) Under that is my favourite painting by the artist Alan J Slater. And in the corner, a tiny little pig, a nod to Sell the Pig, of course.
Over on the left, there's mention of the other great passion in my life - cowboys! That's Cameron Mitchell's face, Uncle Buck from the High Chaparral, for which I wrote an episode and look! At the bottom, that must surely be Pancho from the Cisco Kid, or perhaps Tuco from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?
"Telling my life with his words" says the song. But my new treasures tell my life in the most amazing and unique way. And it is unique. No-one else will ever have the same as I have, made with such skill and knowledge and love.

So now do please excuse me - I have horses to feed and harness to clean once more.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sell the Pig sequel is officially "awesome"

I promised you some exciting news about the sequel to Sell the Pig, and here it is. I've just received confirmation that the indie publisher Ant Press has agreed to publish it. And as you can see from their website, they only take on "awesome books and awesome authors".

Ant Press is "a small, family-run, dynamic publishing company with a passion for engrossing, well-written books". And furthermore, they state: "Ant Press will only accept books they love and believe in." So I'm even more thrilled that they have agreed to take the sequel.

One of the faces behind Ant Press is New York Times best-selling author Victoria Twead, who wrote Chickens, Mules and Two Old FoolsTwo Old Fools - Olé, and Two Old Fools on a Camel. 

The Pig sequel is written, the deal is done, I just now need to trim and tidy up my final draft, send it to Victoria for proof-reading and formatting, then it will be available soon in Kindle format, to be followed by a paperback at a later date.

So there you have it.  Keep watching this space for the publication date!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Royal birth - Sell the Pig reduced to celebrate

As I'm sure you all know, there's a very important royal birth coming up. No, not that one. This will be the birth of Sell the Pig's baby brother (or sister).

So for July only, Sell the Pig is on special offer price for the Kindle edition across the usual Amazon channels. On Amazon UK it will be £2.35. So now's your chance to find out why it has 70 customer reviews,  59 of them 5-star, putting it at No 1 in its Speciality Travel category.

And on Sell the Pig is down to just $3.50.

The sequel is now finished and will be out very shortly, hopefully by autumn. Look out for some very exciting news about a possible new publisher!

You don't absolutely have to read Sell the Pig before the sequel, but at those prices, why not? Sell the Pig is also available in paperback format and you can get FREE worldwide delivery from The Book Depository.

It's a great summer read - why not give it a go?

Sell the Pig - better by design

I was really pleased with the design done for me for the book cover for Sell the Pig in paperback.. The photo perfectly captured the beauty of this region of the Massif Central.

We authors are a vain bunch. I was Google searching randomly on "Sell the Pig - Tottie Limejuice" when I came across this nice blog from Zak Erving, the designer who worked on the cover.

It was the first direct contact I'd had with Zak and I was pleased to tell him how well his cover had been received. I was able to tell him I have had lots of positive feedback for it too from readers, too.

And he in turn was delighted with my feedback to him: "I did in fact work on the cover, and I loved your feedback! I also stole a read at the first chapter and found it very entertaining."