April is a special month for me; it contains our wedding anniversary and my birthday. This year, the spring weather has been exceptional and I have been able to spend a great deal of time outside studying and photographing the various pollinators tirelessly working the blossoms, preparing the fruit of upcoming months for us, which will include, I hope – if the blossoms are a sign of promise – the first avocados we have produced here on the farm. The tree is full of buds and blossoms. My last blog (March 30) shows a photo of the delicate avocado flowers, which I had never seen before.
A Red Admiral butterfly on an olive tree in our cottage garden last week. Its official name is Vanessa Atalanta.
As I write this note, Hotel Paradise is still holding the number one slot in the UK Kindle Singles chart. So, a BIG thank you to all those of you who have purchased it.
UK link http://www.amazon.co.uk/
US link http://www.amazon.com/
The Only Girl in the World my love story for young adults was published on 3rd April and has been receiving some lovely reviews.
Since I last blogged, we have been very busy preparing the jackets for two earlier novels, my first and third for adults, both of which are to be republished in the coming days.
Here, below, are the jackets. I am thrilled with them and want to thank Bart Hulley, who looks after this website for me, for his huge contribution towards the look of these two ravishing jackets.
An Abundance of Rain is set in Fiji in the lead up to a hurricane. It is the story of a woman who arrives on the islands in search of her estranged father, only to find that he died a few days before her disembarkation. Of course, his death was no accident… Curiously, the day after I delivered this first novel of mine to the publishers, Fiji was caught up in a coup d’état.
Mapping The Heart is set between France and Brazil. It is a love story, a story of an illicit passion that threatens to ruin a woman’s life. The Irish Independent described it as ‘the stuff that blockbusters are made of.’ Elsewhere, it was described as a book that ‘defies pause for sleeping or eating.’
It has been fascinating revisiting these two earlier works. It is something that I rarely do. Usually when either a film, book or script is finished, I leave it and never look back, but in this instance I was given the proofs to read so could not avoid it. It has also been fascinating to see how swiftly the world has changed since I wrote these two novels. People sent faxes not emails. There was no Google or Wikipedia to consult for information, no mobile phones …
Of course, there are many things I would change were I writing these stories today, but the subjects still excite me and they are both rich on location. Tropical stories set against torrid weather, crime and corruption.
As soon as the Amazon links are available, I will post them.
For those of you who, like me, are concerned for the environment and are fighting for the safekeeping of bees and a healthier natural world by living as far as possible without the use of chemicals on the land or, in our case, running an organic farm, you might have read that Emmanuel Giboulot was found guilty last week in the Dijon Court of Law for refusing to spray his vines with pesticide. Mr Giboulot has been an organic winemaker for many years and this conviction against him, in spite of a petition signed by over half a million French citizens, is deeply worrying. I sincerely hope that this is not the beginning of a crackdown against those of us who refuse to follow the dictates of the big agrochemical companies. We need to be vigilant.
Here is Emmanuel Giboulot’s Facebook page. It is in French but there is a button to read a translation if you wish to follow the case. He will, of course, be appealing and he will value all support.
Well, Easter comes next. We are intending to spend it here at the farm quietly, enjoying the spring, thankful for all that we have. I wish you all a wonderful second half of April.
Thank you for all your support. Be well and care for yourselves.