Today on the blog I’ve got – you guessed it – lots of news! Some exciting, some interesting, and some not-so-great. But first of all an apology: I haven’t posted anything for over a week due to a really bad chest and throat infection and generally being forced to rest (hubby can be very forceful at times). But I’m back now, ready for the big day on Thursday, and here are some of the things I have to tell you about before it all kicks off for Flora Lively …

My great friend and author Martina Munzittu is launching her new website today, and you can take a look here. Martina has a new and exclusive free ebook called Incompatible Twins – all you have to do is sign up to her newsletter. And here’s a good reason to sign up to it – you’ll get news of her upcoming series, The Broken Heart Refuge, and as someone who is lucky enough to have already read an early draft of the first in the series I can tell you it’s worth a look.

Back to matters closer to home – my new summerhouse/writing room finally arrived last Thursday. Remember Thursday? Sunny, warm, ideal weather for sitting around in a … summerhouse! And then on Friday, autumn arrived. Ah well, I plan to insulate the garden room and make it snug and cosy for year-round writing. Here are the before and after photos:

Summerhouse before
Just a pile of rubble – this is where we used to keep our chickens!
All we had to do was build a nice level base ...
All we had to do was build a nice level base …
And now here is the new garden room! Brilliant 🙂

I am really chuffed to bits with it and I have BIG plans … The biggest of which is my intention to wire it up myself (!) and then insulate and clad the inside myself (double!!). Painting and fitting it out with fab furniture won’t be too hard, but that will have to wait a while too. Photos of the inside coming when it’s all done.

Now to Flora Lively and the launch of Murder at the Maples. I’ve got some fun competitions planned for Thursday’s launch, which I’ll be running simultaneously here and on Facebook – here is the FB event page if you’d like to join in over there. If my throat recovers in time I’ll be reading out the first chapter on video, but if not there’ll still be lots of excerpts and previews, plus the chance to win a Flora Lively mug and notebooks, and lots of other giveaways.

If you’d like to WIN a signed paperback copy of Murder at the Maples, there’s plenty of time to enter my Goodreads Giveaway. I’m offering 2 copies, and the winners will be picked at random by Goodreads – click here to enter.

MatM proof front

Well, I promised some not-so-great news. On Sunday I had tickets to go and see the Morrissey25Live film in Shrewsbury. This was recorded during his recent tour, at an intimate gig at Hollywood High School. We saw him in Manchester during this tour, so I knew it would be an amazing film to watch. I couldn’t go because I was too ill. Here is a clip (just made myself cry watching this – I wish, wish, wish I’d gone anyway, no matter how rough I felt).

So, there’s a note to end on. Please, please, please let me get what I want this time. And what is that? Good health, and peace of mind. Millions of readers for my new cozy mystery series – and fantastic reviews. And maybe, just maybe, next year a publishing contract. Because as much as I love being indie, it’s starting to take it out of me, doing all this work myself.

See you on Thursday – and I promise to be a hell of a lot more cheerful then!