It is incredible that Christmas is almost upon us again. Where do the weeks and months go? It seems each year is shorter than the last.
On a sombre note, my heart goes out to those affected by the floods. It must be horrendous to have to deal with the aftermath of the weekend. A situation made worse by the fact that for some this isn’t the first time and may not be the last. I cannot imagine what it must be like to live with the constant anxiety that bad weather forecasts could mean yet another flood. A great deal more money needs to be spent investing in flood defences and looking for innovative solutions.
On a more positive note, I wish to announce that the e-book of A Million Tears is free this weekend from Amazon. I will be forever indebted to all who take advantage of the offer and spread the word to friends, family – in fact, all and sundry. The more downloads the better – it helps to get the book on Amazon’s top ten. On a couple of occasions it has been Number One! So thanks for sharing.
We went to see Spectre a couple of weeks ago. Best summed up with one word – brilliant! For Dorothy the best James Bond is Pierce Brosnan, for me it’s Daniel Craig. He epitomises the rugged toughness of the Bond character, ruthless as well as a patriot to this country.
I just have another 4 days of book-signings this month, Banchory, Stonehaven and Edinburgh (2 days) and then a family Christmas in Switzerland. Next year I’ll be out and about as usual. I look forward to seeing you at some event or other in one of the countries that makes up the great UK. Dorothy will keep you updated with the schedule. Our Christmas newsletter can be viewed HERE.
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let’s hope 2016 will be a good year for one and all.
Buy a beautiful bone china mug created by the renowned Barbara Davidson Pottery of Larbert. Barbara’s husband, Brian, was a great fan of Paul’s books and it had been his idea, in the last few months of his life, that they should create a series of mugs of Paul’s book jackets. Barbara remembered this and has worked with us to create the first mug! And she came up with the above strapline.
The nights are getting longer, the days shorter (a bit self evident) and the weather is becoming colder.
It means the fire is lit every evening and the central heating is on around 16.00 – I’m warm blooded, you see. Really I was meant for sunnier climes!
But the Scottish climate never fails to amaze – was a beautiful sunny day so Dorothy and I decided to do another stretch of the West Highland Way. This is a 96 mile walk from just north of Glasgow to Fort William. Lots of people walk it in a week.
Dorothy and I decided to do it in short bursts and started in 2011 !!. We may well get into the record books as the longest elapsed time to completion. And at the rate we are going the last part may be with zimmer frames for support.
As my excuse I tend to be book signing every weekend during the summer months. But the other reason is we only walk on sunny days when there are no midges. So yesterday was perfect.
We drove to Tarbet and took the ferry to Rowardennan.
The weather was warm and sunny, the ferry small and cosy, the free coffee more than acceptable. We met a very nice Scot called Peter. Peter now lives in New Zealand but had returned to Scotland to visit family and friends. As we (i.e. Dorothy) had forgotten a camera, Peter kindly took our picture as we got off the ferry at Rowerdennan.
From there we walked to Inversnaid – 7 miles! It was a case of up hill and down dale, walking through the woods.The walk was exhilarating and at the end of the 7 miles we had a glow of achievement. I know, I know! Not much of an achievement, not when compared to my sister-in-law, Patricia who can climb a Munro (hill over 3,000ft) before breakfast. Or Nick and Ruth yomping 20 miles through the desert in Mayhem.
Still, Dorothy and I enjoyed the day, we are now over a third of the way with only 62 miles to go.
Anyway, I’m out and about most weekends from now to Christmas. Please take a look at my schedule on the website and if you have the time, I hope to see you at one of the events.
This is the time of year to sit in the garden, in the shade, having a glass or two of Pimms, or a glass of wine – any colour.
You see what good fiction I am able to write when I can dream up such a scenario?
The reality? Freezing cold, shivering with a blanket over the shoulders, the BBQ alight under an umbrella (to prove what a hardy race we are), a hot toddy to hand, with only one redeeming feature in the whole scenario – a good book.
For those of us who are discombobulated by the weather (for those who don’t know the word is the antonym of combobulated) we have a special offer. To help you get through this long, dreich ( a great Scottish word) summer, we are giving a free copy of The Seventh Circle this weekend. Just CLICK HERE to get your copy.
The story won’t help with the burnt meat, the lousy weather, the noisy and grumbling kids unable to go out and play but it will take you on a roller-coaster of a ride where the end is, as always, a happy one.
I’d be delighted to see you as I am out and about at events this summer. Over the next 6 weeks I will be in Banchory, Stranraer. Perth, Wigtown, Stewarty, Stonehaven, Keith, Peebles, Chipping and Shrewsbury.
Enjoy what’s left of your summer and remember. On the Continent the temperature has been soaring into the high thirties even the low forties. Which is far too hot. Damn, there’s no satisfying some people. Or is it that I am becoming a grumpy old(ish) man? Heaven forbid!
“Dropping through space was exhilarating. In the warm cocoon of their suits, breathing oxygen, the false sense of security left them with a feeling that was indescribable. There was no fear, no thought as to what might happen if their parachutes failed. Just an adrenaline rush that was completely intoxicating. In the moonlight they could see lights scattered for miles across the country.”
Extract from Mayhem. A Nick Hunter thriller
I guess there is still dare in the old (or is that oldish?) devil yet.
I’ve just been to Switzerland where I did a skydive. I leapt out of a perfectly sound airplane, plummeted for about 50 seconds – you know the position. Arms and legs extended, belly down, smile (or is that a grimace?) on the face. The chute opened, I dropped to a vertical position and sailed serenely towards the earth. I landed on my backside with my feet and legs in the air and slid along the ground to a halt.
Unlike Nick and Co, I did this in daylight, and was strapped to a professional skydiver. Oh and I was not going to have to run 3 km on landing in order take out some deadly terrorists and rescue two hostages!
But since the jump, Dorothy insists on referring to me as “Nick”. If you are new to my books, Nick Hunter is the diving and bomb specialist in my TIFAT series of thrillers.
It was what I used to do. Except Nick Hunter is taller, tougher, better looking, traps the women a damn sight more easily than I did (before I met Dorothy – what did you think?) oh, and he’s also younger by about 3 decades.
Still, he’s the alter ego – in my head, that is.
If skydiving is something you are considering then I can strongly recommend Skydive Switzerland. The guys were professional, re-assuring and had a good sense of humour: “Hi Paul we’ve teamed you today with Dangerous Dave !!!”
As a 65th birthday present from my sons Richard and Oliver, it was an exciting experience and great fun. Another objective ticked off my bucket list.
That’s all for now. Anarchy has just launched as a paperback and I have another thriller due pretty soon. When it’s published, I’ll be in touch. Hope to see you over the summer- I am out and about quite a bit. Next weekend (20th, 21st June) I am at the Bon Accord Steam Engine Club at Sauchen near Inverurie. – Click here for my schedule
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