Wednesday 30 November 2016

St. Andrew's Day? Yer Aye learnin'

Happy St. Andrew's Day to you! 

The 30th November is St. Andrew’s Day in Scotland and I've blogged about various stories about St. Andrew on previous posts. (To see them use the 'archive' box on the right sidebar of this blog and type a search of 'St. Andrew') 

I'm not repeating those posts but I will add something new because there is always yet another snippet associated with St. Andrew, Patron Saint of Scotland. I find something different every year! 

This year's browsing led me to a new observation, one which I find extremely modern yet flattering to Andrew of saintly reputation! The Scotland dot org site has an article which suggests that St. Andrew had exceptional people skills -  as in him being the person who brought many strangers to the meetings of Jesus and also one of the disciples who was very good at coercing the people around Jesus to share their food! Someone very good at 'working the crowds'. Thus, the suggestion is that he could become the Patron Saint of Social Networking! 

St. Andrew's patronage extends to maidens, old maids, and women wishing to become mothers as well as those with gout, sore throats and are fishmongers!

Today, you'll find that I've also posted on the Wranglers Blog about St. Andrew's day where there's a little more explanation. Since I researched for a really good painting I'm including this one here. I like this 17th Century depiction of the Crucifixion of St. Andrew by someone anonymous. The canvas (I believe) can still be found in the Scottish College in Paris.

Though not religious, I find the imagery of this one interesting and in the way of a lot of medieval and renaissance painting historically inaccurate. The buildings in Patras, the city where St. Andrew was said to have been crucified might have had stone buildings. I'm not sure that the style here is accurate but the type of ship in the background is probably not accurate for AD 60. It doesn't look like a trireme to me but I'm happy to be put right. Exactly how the poor man is managing to hang there with such loose ties is quite an amazing feat. Again, please feel free to enlighten me.

Paintings aside, in honour of St. Andrew's Day 2016, I'm intending to make some stovies for dinner, served with oatcakes and beetroot. 

HERE  is the source of the photo above and using corned beef is one of the fastest recipes for making stovies. The texture of the stovies in the photo here is not actually the easiest thing to acquire but the real taste needs the whole stew to become a sort of mush to qualify!  Today, I'm using sausages instead of left over beef which is usual in the north-east of Scotland, though I've made stovies with lamb, mince and pretty much any kind of meat. 

Nicola Sturgeon, the first Minister of Scotland has made a St. Andrew's Day video, one which matches very well with the aspirations of the SNP party in Scotland, as in one of inclusion but sadly, I can't work out how to share it here except by this method.

Other news of the day is that I'm pacing on with my #FLHadrian course.

1.    Those who are friends of mine on Facebook might have seen that I’ve made a few mentions about doing a 6 week course right now, via Newcastle University…and I’m loving it! I'm now into Week 4 of the course and so glad that I decided to do it!
I thought I already knew a reasonable amount about the famous Hadrian’s Wall structure that was built by the Ancient Romans from west to east across northern England but I live with the adage that ‘Yer Aye Learnin’ and there’s always something more to absorb.

The time period of the building of the wall at c. AD 122 sits nicely between the two eras that I’ve written about in my historical adventures. The Celtic Fervour Series for adults is set in Agricolan northern Britannia of AD 70s - 80s. My Time Travel Adventure for Teens is set in Severan Scotland in AD 210. Bridging that historical gap is a very good thing!

So again, Happy St. Andrew's Day to you. 

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Par for the course

Happy Tuesday greetings to you!

I missed my Monday Moments, yesterday, since I've got my hands more than full these days with general domestic duties including grandkid minding, new writing, pre-Christmas selling of my novels at various venues and,,,my FutureLearn course on Hadrian's Wall, which I'm really loving. I've now completed Week 3 of the 6 Week course and have just started Week 4.

What did I learn new last week?

...A number of things including the mixture of people who lived along the wall both military and civilian. I looked at frontier communities, including men who were stationed on the wall and who probably would have preferred a warmer location. The men stationed there came predominantly from Gaul & northern Germania, areas we'd now call France, Belgium, Holland and northern Germany. There were others, of course, from different empire locations over the few hundred years of occupation, including north western Africa and Syria. And some came from 'Romanised' tribes from south of the wall.
The tombstones of Victor and Regina

Victor and Regina -Courtesy of Newcastle University

The course is designed to pose many questions for the student to make answers to, even when there is no definitive answer. We're exploring these possible answers in the 'comments section'  - a discussion room for students to chip in their views and opinions.

In archaeology there is supposition, conjecture and a good degree of guesswork based on known sets of information. We briefly looked at inscriptions and iconography on tombstones and tried to formulate some answers for certain people being in the location of the wall, in forts and vici (settlements outside the wall fort) - as testament on their commemorative tombstones and friezes.

Students from Newcastle University in Roman dress researched and put together as part of a Roman dining seminar.

Courtesy of Newcastle Univ - Students from Newcastle University in Roman Costume

The final stages of last week were tough. The little forensics exercise was a challenge which I rose to quite well - apart from making a mistake with the age of a child via the evidence of an already erupted molar tooth. I should have got that one correct!

Week 4 began yesterday and already we are into looking at the Rituals and Religions along the wall forts, So far, there are some fine image examples to look at and I look forward to updating about my new learning this week. But for now, it's a Tuesday so I'm on grand children duty and have to go and waken them up now.
Depiction of female with long hair being bathed
Courtesy of Newcastle Univ.

Let's see how I can squeeze in some new course work, food shopping, baking  and writing whilst looking after my 5 year old granddaughter and 2 and 1/2 year old grandson, today. I know which of those have to take priority.

Whatever you're doing - enjoy!


Tuesday 22 November 2016

Squamata! And it's real...

Tuesday teaser!
What's squamata?

I blogged yesterday about my visit to The Mc Manus Gallery in Dundee. Today I'm posting some more images, photos that I took at the museum. Unfortunately, although you are allowed to photograph (no flash, of course) the exhibits are behind glass cases and my photography skills are not brilliant. Enjoy the best you can!

The answer to the question above is that it's one of the types of chest mail used by some ancient Roman soldiers. It can also be referred to as scale mail. The example below is highly prized by the museum since it was found near Dundee at the site of the fort of Carpow, built/ rebuilt by Emperor Severus approx. AD 209-211. The scales were individually sewn to a backing in overlapping rows, a painstaking business and no doubt a lengthy one.

Squamata mail - McManus Gallery Dundee Scotland

Here are some further examples via Wikimedia Commons. 

File:Roman scale armour detail.JPG

From Trajan's Column.

Lorica Squamata worn by a reenactment Roman soldier at Cricau Festival. 


File:Cricau Festival 2013 - Lorica squamata - 2.jpg
The Emperors Antoninus Pius and Severus both wear lorica squamata in the collection of marble portrait busts  from the Gallo -Roman villa of Chiragen near Toulouse. (Sadly, I can't locate them at present.)

You can view some reenactors wearing squamata on Pinterest. This is only one possibility.


Monday 21 November 2016

Monday Moments on and off the wall!

Monday Greetings to you! 

My Monday, so far, has been mostly sedentary but a good one. That's because I've been able to get on with some of my writing. There's always new decisions to be made in any work in progress and today was one of those days - again. I've a great habit of re-reading my work and telling myself that something doesn't quite make sense and needs a little more tweaking. So, some tweaking has been done and I'm moving on and getting in more action. Well, it is an adventure!

Courtesy of Futurelearn  - Hadrian's Wall Course - Newcastle University. 
As well as new writing, I've now started week 3 of my FutureLearn Hadrian's Wall course and I'm loving it. There's always something new to learn, even when I've previously read a lot about Roman Britain. I really like the structure of the course, organised by Newcastle University and FREE to the public. The constant repetition about how interpretation is the key in archaeology, since being 100% sure of everything is very unlikely with finds, is salutary.

One thing I don't seem too good at learning is organisation of my stored files for the course. Even though it's only been two weeks since it started, I'd already haphazardly saved some information in one folder entitled FutureLearn Hadrian's Wall. When I went to clarify something, I realised that  it was a dog's breakfast so a bit of file management was in order. One hour later, I'm hopefully ready to store things properly into folders for: general info; PDF transcripts; videos; word documents...

McManus Gallery, Dundee, Scotland

Other recent updates are that I had a lovely day last Friday (18th Nov) at the McManus Gallery in Dundee, Scotland. I spent my short slot of two hours in the small Celts Exhibition - a special short-term feature - which was conveniently adjacent to the Roman section. I found some really interesting information, and talked to a lovely young man - a very helpful member of the museum staff who was on duty in the 'Celts' room. Some of the ideas are already appearing in my new writing.

Having gone down by coach  meant 4 different coaches for the return trip, but I read a lot of the way and looked at the lovely scenery, as well, since the day was really fine weather-wise.

I imagined Agricola's armies trudging up the Tayside countryside, into Angus and on into the Mearns of Aberdeenshire way back in AD 84. The flatlands between the east coast of Scotland and the Grampian Mountain passes  (Gask Ridge forts and fortlet areas) would have looked different from now, but I'm sure there would have been some strip fields where the scrub and intermittent woodland would have been cleared and drained...and maybe some marsh and bog draining had gone on as well.

On such a clear day like Friday was, it was so easy to imagine just how far a Roman soldier would have been able to see from a typical watchtower. It was also easy to imagine being a local tribesman on top of one of those ridges watching the snaking column of Agricola's legions tramping along one of the tracks that was already there going northwards. I can also imagine that ancient byway track being widened and flattened further by the thousands of military feet that padded along it.

Can you imagine that with me? 

Nancy Jardine- near Stracathro (Roman Fort)

L - Iron Lynch pin R- Harness fastening 

Ancient Roman coins found in Tayside

Bog iron! That's the hot topic for today. I know it sounds sad but it could very well be a great key to a problem I've been wrestling with for a wee while. Meanwhile I'm adding some lovely images of my trip to the McManus Gallery.

Mirror - on loan from The British Museum.


Friday 18 November 2016

The Ashentilly Letters by Yvonne Marjot!

Friday felicitations to you! 

I'm absolutely delighted to welcome my friend, Yvonne Marjot, today since it's launch day for her latest novel The Ashentilly Letters, published by CrookedCatBooks. Yvonne's come with an excellent guest post to share a bit about how the third of her trilogy has transpired, telling us what is fact and what is fiction regarding her as an author and Cas, her main character- similarities and differences. She's also sent along some great images and I'm using them all since they look so good.

I've loved reading the first two books of her series and really look forward to this third one- especially since it has a Roman theme- right up my street and it's now on my kindle! I can easily recommend them as great reading.

With no further ado over to you, Yvonne...

The Ashentilly Letters

The Ashentilly Letters begins at Christmas, a few weeks on from the events in The Book of Lismore . The weather is bitterly cold, hailstones are lashing down (much as they are doing outside my window at this moment) and Cas is in her kitchen, cooking up a storm ahead of Christmas Day. Readers of the first two books (the series begins with The Calgary Chessman ) will already know a bit about Cas Longmore’s relationship with her son, Sam.

After almost losing him (and her own life) at birth, she spent the first five years of his life focused on her child to the detriment of almost everything else, including her relationship with her husband, Drew. At five, Sam’s father took him away to boarding school, and since then she has only been permitted to see her son during school holidays. Now that he’s at university, and his own man, Cas is getting to know him all over again.

Sam has thrown himself into adult life at the deep end, trying to juggle university life (he’s studying Archaeology), his finances (Dad cut him off without a penny when Sam revealed he was gay), and a long-distance relationship with his partner, archaeologist Niall Webster. Niall’s struggling, too, with intense feelings of jealousy and insecurity, which threaten to destroy the relationship.

In The Calgary Chessman, it was Cas’s discovery of a mysterious object on the beautiful Isle of Mull that brought mother and son together, and introduced them to archaeologist Niall, when the object turned out to be medieval in date, and similar to the famous Lewis Chessmen. By the end of the book, Sam had found his vocation, and was determined to study archaeology. The Book of Lismore saw him collaborating with Niall on a summer dig on the island of Lismore. Cas joined them just in time for a furore involving skeletons, a possible illuminated manuscript and a case of kidnapping.

She barely has time to recover before her son and his man turn up for Christmas, and she receives some very bad news about her family back in New Zealand (The Ashentilly Letters).

As a result she has to dash off to the other side of the world, where a very interesting situation awaits her. Her grandparents need her, and she finds them in the company of an old acquaintance, who introduces a whole new element to her life. Sam and Niall, meantime, struggle on through rows and misunderstandings, until they reach the university holidays and can go back to doing what they love most: digging up the past.

The archaeological theme this time is Roman, and Sam and Niall find themselves re-writing the map of the Roman occupation of Scotland. Meanwhile, Cas is beginning to think that her tired and broken heart may yet have the strength to heal.

Nancy says: a Roman theme! I wonder why I'm really looking forward to that! 😜

One of the questions I’m often asked is whether the character of Cas Longmore is based on my life. There are similarities: I am a lone parent living on the Isle of Mull, I did grow up in New Zealand, I am fascinated by archaeology. But Cas is a very different kettle of fish. She’s part of a tiny family (raised by her grandparents, both her parents are dead, and she has only one child of her own) – whereas I come from an extended family so huge that it’s hard to remember everybody’s name. When I was a kid, and chores needed to be done, my mum would just call out names at random, until somebody answered.

Archaeology is the real link between us. When I was around seven or eight, our teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. All the girls wanted to be nurses or air stewardesses. Except me. I stood up and told them all I wanted to be an Egyptologist and I was going to discover the tomb of Nefertiti. They all laughed. I never did manage to make it my career, but I’ve volunteered on quite a few digs, and now I sink all that frustrated enthusiasm into researching and writing my novels.
Over the years, I’ve known many women who were abused by their husbands, or lost their children in terrible custody battles, or who had to suddenly find a way to make ends meet after years of being the unpaid carer of their husband’s family. I do believe that there is a tendency for men to use their wives while it suits them, and then to walk away without consequence when they have had enough, leaving the mothers of their children to bear the brunt of both homemaking and breadwinning. That was certainly my experience, and I can’t help but reflect it in the life of my protagonist. But Cas’s way of dealing with her problems is very different from mine.

I hope that she feels real to you, and that her story is believable. But it’s no autobiography.

So… if you like your fiction to be plausible, with a hint of tension and a little bit of grubby reality, you might enjoy this. If you like your romance to be a little bit steamy, but not too explicit, this could be for you. And if you like a story based on real human history and prehistory, with a solid dollop of archaeological detail stirred in, this will be right up your street.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook or Twitter to get news of upcoming books, and Crooked Cat  is a great way to find out about great writing by a whole range of authors.

Yvonne Marjot was born in England, grew up in New Zealand, and now lives on the Isle of Mull in western Scotland. She has been making up stories and poems for as long as she can remember, and once won a case of port in a poetry competition (New Zealand Listener, May 1996). Her first volume of poetry, The Knitted Curiosity Cabinet, was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing, and her novels are published by Crooked Cat

The Calgary Chessman (UK)
The Calgary Chessman (US)

The Book of Lismore (UK)
The Book of Lismore (US)

The Ashentilly Letters (UK)
The Ashentilly Letters (US)

Walking on Wild Air (UK)
Walking on Wild Air (US)

The Calgary Chessman on Facebook 

@Alayanabeth on Twitter

The Knitted Curiosity Cabinet (blog)

Thank you for coming, today, Yvonne and best wishes for a great launch of The Ashentilly Letters.

ps I see that Blogger now has emjois 😊

Wednesday 16 November 2016


Wednesday Welcomes to you! 

Normally my slots at the Writing Wranglers and Warriors blog are every second Saturday but this month the lovely blog organiser, Cherley Grogg, gave me a new date for posting- and it's today! This was to accommodate my weekend commitments. I've posted at the Writing Wranglers and Warriors blog so I'm now REBLOGGING my post here since it was one of those moments. 

Some readers may already know that I take my stock of novels and do signing/ selling sessions at local Craft Fair Venues. I really enjoy these events but have to say I never quite know what questions might be asked of me.

Last Saturday was a really good one. The event was one of the large pre-Christmas Fairs in the city of Aberdeen, Scotland, with over a hundred quality crafters displaying their wares. I say quality because anyone trying to sell goods that are outsourced ready-made, and not home crafted, are not given table space.

So there I was answering all sorts of easy things before making sales of my books. What made me become an author? What inspired a particular story? Which was my first novel? …. 

I had some return customers who stopped to buy another book which, I can wholeheartedly say, really boosts this particular author’s spirits. 

But I also had some humdingers of questions!

One very well-turned-out lady lingered over a read of my ‘information’ boards describing the settings of my novels. She briefly responded to my initial greetings but said “it was fine” when I offered to explain the books- meaning no thank you. Then she proceeded to lift and lay the inspection copies I have available at the front of the table, slowly absorbing the blurbs, flicking through the first pages.
(n.b. photo is from the previous venue. I used a less crushed tablecloth last week!)

Other customers came and went and she was still there. Silently reading and quite absorbed. A spy of some sort came to mind but that was the fanciful author in me rearing its ugly head!

Mmm… It was a new experience for me. I can’t quite bring myself to be an aggressive salesperson, so I waited. 

Then came the DUMFOONERT bit.

Eventually, she said, “Why don’t you just write in one genre? It has to be much easier to sell books that way.”

Ah! As a salesperson I never want to offend a potential customer, especially one who seems a little unreceptive to my wares. However, I’m always as honest as I can be, so I told her that any kind of marketing of novels is difficult and that it definitely would be an easier task to be ‘branded’ as a particular genre author—but I said that I don’t always take the easy way out. 

I told her that as a reader I enjoy books written across many different genres and that as a writer, I like the variety of creating stories across different genres. I went on to say that although I feel I’m primarily an author of historical adventures, I’ve loved the freedom of writing contemporary mysteries because I don’t have to think so much about the conventions of the historical era.

She mostly listened to my spiel though asked the occasional easy question. Then, having picked up the 3 pack version of my Celtic Fervour Series she asked, “Why did you choose to write about a historical period so long ago?”

“That’s a great question!” I said grinning like a Cheshire Cat. I wasn’t dumbfounded at all. My list was quite long.
  • Because it’s a hard era to write about
  • Because it’s a pre-historic period that has very few written sources to research so I have to work all the harder to interpret the archaeological records
  • Because I didn’t want to write about an era that lots of other authors have covered already
  • Because I love to learn about Roman Scotland history and archaeology
  • "In fact,” I said, “I’m doing the FutureLearn  Hadrian’s Wall Course with Newcastle University right now because I want to know even more. (By the way I'm glad I'm squeezing the course into my already busy schedule because it's proving useful already!)

I had a lot of positive becauses.

I was again DUMFOONERT when she smiled and said, handing over the money for the books, “You’ve convinced me! I want all three books. I wanted to be sure you know what you’re writing about and it’s not just crappy romantic drivel that's half-hearted history.”

Did I have an answer for that? I'll let you decide...

I do hope she’s a happy reader, except I’m not even sure if she was buying the gift pack for herself or for someone else.

Is there a moral here? I don't know but if you do please add something to the comments box! 


Friday 11 November 2016

Difficult to write reviews?

Friday Felicitations!

I can't believe it's back to Friday again but it's certainly not been a boring week. I'm not going all
political but certain things have dominated my week and stolen some time from my new writing. I've caught up as much as I've wanted with politics both Scottish and from the US, and I've battled a cold and dabbed the noses of grandchildren.

Now my priority is preparing to go to 2 Christmas Craft Fair venues, one very local in my village with around 30 crafters attending on Friday 11th Nov. and the other a very large one at the Hilton Treetops Hotel, Aberdeen, which will have around 100 crafters on Sat. 12th Nov.

The book boxes are ready and the rest of my table organised. Meanwhile, I've got a little more of my Hadrian's Wall course done. The first week of study is 20 'units' and I've, so far, covered 11 of them. I reckon I'll be catching up this Sunday.

However, this post title is about reviews. I've just finished a novel that's been sitting in my kindle queue for quite a while, mainly because I read the beginning chapter some time ago and found the editing, punctuation and formatting really poor. It was abandoned but this last couple of weeks I opened it up again since the subject matter of the novel was one of interest.

If I'd not been intrigued by the storyline, set in Edinburgh in 1745, I wouldn't have persevered. 1745 was a famously historical year in Scotland, it being the date of the final Jacobite uprising, the intention to restore Bonnie Prince Charlie  (Charles Edward Stuart) to the throne. The story actually has little to do with the Jacobites and more to do with investigative 'police' detection of murderers at a time when there was no actual police force as we recognise the service today. In 1745 Edinburgh, law and order, of sorts, was maintained by the Town Guard.

A Pound of Flesh by Stuart S. Laing is an interesting story - the only reason I persevered with it since lack of proper punctuation and poor formatting tends to put me off reading. Very good historical detail is intermingled with some very modern concepts of sleuthing, but I found the mix a good balance and any anachronisms seemed to balance out. There's good characterisation which matches well with good vocabulary, so long as the reader is prepared to do the work of punctuating it along the way.

I notice that 'A Pound of Flesh' is the first of the series which now runs to about 8 books. If I buy another of the series, which for the storyline I may do, but I certainly would hope that there has been a thorough editing and formatting process done to it.

N.B. And since adding the book cover image to this post has reorganised the formatting on this page in a way that I can't seem to change, maybe the image above of the book cover has an issue as well.


Monday 7 November 2016

It's that Hadrian's wall again!

Monday Madness for me..but it's fun so far. 

My moments of madness this Monday have been centred on starting my FurureLearn Course on Hadrian's Wall. They recommend 4 hours study per week. This morning I began the course and dabbled with the 'how to do's' of the online aspects and posted a few comments on the first aspects mentioned. That took about 2 hours. Ahem...

Hadrian - Wikimedia Commons
N.B. not the ones mentioned below
I'm excited, already!

I've been asked to consider two images of statues of Hadrian and make observations on what they are intended to portray about him. Since I've never seen either statue during my searches for him even looking at the details has taken me longer than no doubt is intended. I might just get sidetracked a lot! I've also been able to lay hands on a translation of Cassius Dio which I've not had access to before.

As I pondered some of the comments posted by fellow students they sparked ideas that I can use in my current writing, as did my mopping of my kitchen floor. Weird? I know. So I'm off now to slot them into my manuscript and do a sort of 'NaNoWriMo' November writing slot of the day.


Sunday 6 November 2016

Sunday Smiles

Sunday Smiles to you! 

I'm very glad that it's Sunday after two busy signing/selling days at Thainstone Centre Christmas Craft Fayre. I heartily applaud the people who came to visit the Fayre having braved some atrocious weather to get there. The hailstorms battering the metal roof of the event building were impressive but also quite unsettling when a customer pointed out some drips landing quite near my selection of novels. Thankfully it seemed to be one of a kind and there was no flurry of buckets to catch leaks!

It was really rewarding to talk to a couple of people yesterday who had bought my novels at  last year's event and who bought another book. Return customers are such a boost to this particular author...and I imagine it's the same for most others. What was also wonderful was the fact that most customers asked me to sign their books, which I'm no longer shy about (if I ever was).

My intended really, really long lie in bed this morning didn't actually happen since I was alert around 8 a.m. - though that's two hours more sleep than I get most other mornings. I've caught up with my emails, read a few news items and popped into Facebook, though I was disciplined enough to make that really brief.

So far, best of all is that I've added my profile information and read the introduction to my FutureLearn course which I'm starting tomorrow on Hadrian's Wall (7th Nov). I saw this course last year at this time and decided I had too many things to do, which I later regretted so I bit the bullet this time and joined up! The course is only for 6 weeks and I'll fit it in, somehow.

This afternoon I've added more to my current writing so that's ticking along as well.


Friday 4 November 2016

Friday Fun!

I'm off to Thainstone Centre very soon to set up my wares for signing and selling my novels. The Christmas Fayre has been going on at Thainstone for a few years now and it's always busy, though more so on the Saturday session.

So what do I expect today since it's Friday and many people are still at work?

The Fayre opens to the public at 3 p.m. and closes at 9 p.m. I generally take about a half hour or so to set up my table but since it's the first of the Christmas markets that I'll be attending, I'll be making it a bit festive. I really don't need power for the table lamps that I usually use so any lighting on my table is down to batteries. My little fairy tree lights are all set up to go, as will I be in about an hour.

Tomorrow the Fayre is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Saturday has tended to be much busier during the past years when I've been a stallholder and before that a shopper.

If I get some really nice photos of my stall then I'll add them late.  

It's a pity about the weather being very rainy but we can't  have everything. I'm also sad that I'll be missing the local Bonfire night firework show but that's not so appealing in the rain either. Hopefully it'll be dried up by 7 p.m and my grandkids will enjoy the display.


Wednesday 2 November 2016

Maybe just a teeny bit...

Wednesday Welcomes to you!

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was trying a new ebook marketing site called BargainBooksy to promote The Taexali Game, and that I'd give a little update today.

Here it is so far, though I don't yet have an amount of copies sold.

The best rating rise, when I checked, appeared to be around 24 hours ago- i.e. about 8 p. m. GMT when ratings were at #47 for the Time Travel Charts, #32 Ancient Rome, and #56, 775 in the Kindle Store (paid) section. That means that I sold SOME books, as in a few, but not an earth shattering amount. Now at around 7 p.m. on the 2nd Nov. the ratings are ##129 for Time Travel, #87 Ancient Rome and #116, 431 Kindle Store (paid)

Has the rise been sufficient to offset the cost of the advertising? I'll know when the rises in the ranks translate into a number of sales but if it has given my time travel novel more visibility to the readers who check into their emails from BargainBooksy then that will be a positive aspect.


Tuesday 1 November 2016

#99c Today only!

Tuesday greetings to you!

It's the first of November already and I'm all set up to do a lot of book promotions this month.

November is a great month to do my 'over the counter' selling at Craft Fairs and Christmas Markets, my novels making great little stocking fillers that last for a lot longer (to read that is) than drinking a special cup of coffee, or eating a Christmas pie.

But..apart from my regular slots at my FOCUS Craft Fairs, I'm heading to Thainstone Market (Inverurie) for their Christmas Fayre on the 4th and 5th Nov. That's a fairly busy event, usually with upwards of a hundred crafters/stallholders.

The following weekend I'm heading for the Treetops Hotel in Aberdeen for the AWA Gift and Craft Fair on the 12th Nov. In the past, the Association of American Women of Aberdeen's Fair has been one of the bigger indoor pre-Christmas markets in Aberdeen, Scotland. I've not been as a stallholder before but I have been as a shopper and it's generally very busy. Being a one-day-a-year only market it's been well attended with upwards of 100 stalls offering a huge variety of items. This year I may find it different, though, as it's possible that some of the usual stallholders may have been affected by the oil crisis in Aberdeen and in fact may have been relocated elsewhere in the world. Look out for updates on that in  couple of weeks.

November is also the month that I need to do better at promoting my books across the internet. That is something that I find a lot more difficult. You'd maybe think that selling ebooks is easier than face-to-face paperback book sales but it's not. Amazon alone has upward of 5 MILLION books available so the competition is truly fierce! But because it's difficult is no reason not to keep trying!

Stocking up your kindle/ereader for the holidays can take some time and deliberation or it can be done in a hurried flurry at bargain times. Today, 1st November 2016, is one of those bargain TODAY ONLY deals as I embark on my first attempt at using a site called BargainBooksy
  • I'm writing this at 10 a.m. GMT and The Taexali Game is well down the harts on Amazon. I'm hoping that by this time tomorrow, Wed, it'll be looking a lot healthier and will have zoomed up the charts. Right now on it's at #855 on the Time Travel chart and #1746913 on the kindle Paid.
  • Right now at 10 a.m. GMT on it's #183 on Time travel and #287, 836
I'll try to check back later, around noon and give you updates but for now it's garden jobs with my grandson.