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North Devon local bookshops

Support your local bookshop.

We’re blessed with some wonderful bookshops in North Devon and here at Blue Poppy Publishing, our long term aim is for all books to be sold by retailers, while we only deal with wholesale. For now you can buy our books right here from our website, but if you want to support your local book shop we would love that too, even though we make less money on the deal.

Here’s the lowdown on your local book shops in and around North Devon.

  • Ilfracombe Bookshop” – 99 High St, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 9NH – 01271 864545
    This is a wonderful book shop with shelves stacked high with stock and the owner Paul will cheerfully order books for you. As well as books, he stocks a superb range of artists materials, catering for the many amateur and professional artists in the town. There’s no website so if you’re in town pop in and say, ‘Hi’.
  • Tarka Books” – 5 Bear St, Barnstaple, Devon, EX32 7BU – 01271 267090
    An unassuming frontage on the one way section of Bear Street in the centre of town opens into a large space crammed with books, although they have more second-hand books they do stock some new, particularly children’s books. Website.
  • Sol Books” – 2 Bridge Chambers, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1HB – 01271 327319
    Although this shop is almost entirely second-hand and antiquarian books, they do specifically stock books by local authors, including Blue Poppy publications.
  • Waterstones” – 42 High St, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1BZ – 01271 374433
    The national chain is a vital part of the overall book retail market.  Think of it as a game of ‘rock-paper-scissors’ but instead it’s ‘Amazon-Waterstones-Indies’ The Barnstaple branch is large and open with a great range and, like all bookshops, they can order any book in print. Website
  • Walter Henry Books” – 12 High St, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2AA – 01237 425727
    A beautiful spacious and well stocked bookshop in the centre of Bideford. hey don’t have a website, but there is a Facebook and Twitter account if you want to get in touch.

Honorary mentions

Coming soon…

BBC Radio Devon interview with David Fitzgerald – “Fitz”

Dateline: Friday 5th October
Time: 12:09 – 12:19 approx

Well yesterday was an experience and tremendously interesting, and fun.

David Fitzgerald is a lovely bloke who managed to sound interested in my maundering nonsense. I just hope I didn’t send all his listeners to sleep.

I got in touch with the show with considerable trepidation, fearing that I would either be ignored, or worse, rejected as not sufficiently interesting. (n.b. this is why I self-published in the first place, because I dread rejection far too much)

Contrary to my worst fears, Elsa got back to me almost immediately and, to my huge surprise, offered me an interview the very next day! 

So there’s me driving down to Plymouth (I had thought the BBC Radio Devon studios were in Exeter) on Friday morning, and waiting in reception, then being brought through by the delightful Elsa and introduced to Fitz.

I knew I wouldn’t have long, and I tried to splurge as much information as I could in an incoherent stream. Fitz managed things with utter professionalism and natural charm, bringing out some of the important points I had glossed over, and making sure I could plug the website.

You can listen again using the BBCs own iPlayer app, This requires an account and you have to be signed in. My interview is at approx 2:09 into the three hour programme.

If you live abroad, or if you can’t bring yourself to sign up for an account, then I have made a  recording of the specific bit for you to listen to.

I left thinking of a hundred things I wanted to say but didn’t but listening back over the interview I got about ten minutes and covered almost everything I could have hoped for. Thank you Fitz, and BBC Radio Devon.

Until next time.

Launch Day MMMM

Mystery, Magic, and Mayhem,
– and a Sprig of Mistletoe. –

I am writing this at 10:00am on Saturday 29th of September and the brand new book is here and available to buy but ONLY in bookshops or from our shop.

If you are coming to Barnstaple Library today from 2:00 – 4:00 pm there will be fun and activities, a chance to meet some of the authors and get them to sign your book. We will get a few extras signed too for those who can’t get there.

We would LOVE you to buy the book from your bookshop!

“Why?” We hear you ask, “Surely you get more profit if I buy directly?”

Well yes we do, but Blue Poppy Publishing is a publishing company and in the long run we hope that everyone will buy our books in bookshops and we won’t have a retail operation at all.

If people order our books from local bookshops there are two major benefits.

  1. Bookshops make money which helps the local economy.
  2. Bookshops find out we exist and that there is demand for our books.

This book is not available on Amazon!

“Whaaaat?”

You heard! There are technical reasons why, but we decided not to even try to overcome them at least for now.

This book is ONLY available from us or from UK bookshops.

ALL UK BOOKSHOPS.

If you want to buy a copy in Birmingham, or Manchester, or Nottingham, or Sheffield, or Aberdeen, or Belfast, or London, just go in and say, “Hello, can you order me a copy of ‘Mystery, Magic, and Mayhem – and a Sprig of Mistletoe’. It’s from Blue Poppy Publishing.” They will look puzzled and then type it into their computer, whereupon you will see their little face light up as they find it. Just in case that doesn’t work for any reason give them the ISBN 978-1-911438-53-3 (you don’t need the hyphens but it’s easier to read that way.

They will then order it and take your details to let you know when it arrives.

You pay £6 they make a small but certain profit and everyone is happy.

 

 

The Dreaded Facebook Jail

Getting booted off social media for no good reason SUCKS.

Link to Ian Nathaniel Cohen’s website  See below for story.

Authors need to promote their work, so they use social media like Facebook and Twitter etc. to try and encourage punters to visit their website.

Then for sometimes seemingly arbitrary reasons, Facebook takes it upon themselves to lock your account.

“You seem to be posting spam. Please complete this Capcha to prove you are not a bot.” is just a gentle one.

I got forced to change my password because I posted a comment on a school’s Facebook page thanking them for making one of my books a ‘set book’ for their year 4. – Huh?

They let me back in when I assured them that my post was not spam. Yeah, they actually took my word for it. Bless!

But you don’t have to get booted off completely for it to be a right royal pain. Pity this poor author who has been banned from linking to his own website, even though there is literally nothing wrong with it.

See for yourself. https://iannathanielcohen.weebly.com/

Ian Nathaniel Cohen is such a regular Joe from Miami FLA who has written a umber of academic works and what looks like a rip-roaring pirate adventure The Brotherhood of the Black Flag. Go check him out and show him some love.

 

On the Order of Intensity of Meaning – Angry

In the light of the current admonition  against ‘adverbs of degree’, I was thinking about words for angry, and how they relate qualitatively to each other.

I could have started with any number of adjectives, but this happened to occur to me on the subject of ire, so I’ll start with that. If there is a smattering of a response in the comments which does not relate to buying aids to sustained performance in an intimate setting then there may be other similar posts to follow.


Let’s try to put these words in order, starting from the least severe and working up.

Let me know if you think I should change the order, or if I have missed any out (probably) or included any that are too obscure (unlikely!).

Rules :

  • There are no absolutely wrong answers. I am as interested in how others perceive these words and their meanings as what the dictionary actually says.
  • I didn’t use a thesaurus or a dictionary, but you can.
  • Try to avoid straying from the core meaning of ‘annoyed’ so not words like ‘hurt’ or ‘upset’.

 

My list :

  1. Put out
  2. Miffed
  3. Peeved
  4. Disgruntled
  5. Irate
  6. Annoyed
  7. Angry
  8. Furious
  9. Incandescent
  10. Apoplectic

 

Updated list :

  1. Put out
  2. Miffed
  3. Peeved
  4. Irritated
  5. Disgruntled
  6. Annoyed
  7. Angry
  8. Irate
  9. Furious
  10. Incandescent
  11. Apoplectic

 

Now I am wondering about “irked”

Old photographs Poles Montaland genealogy france

Other People’s Ancestors

When researching your family tree, you can’t help but turn up interesting stuff about friends of the family who are no relation to yourself. I have been writing about my great grandmother, Fanny Chalk Austin, whose memoirs I have edited and expanded and published on Kindle. UK Link  –  Global link 

I have since been digging out old family photographs and hit a rich vein in a big old scrapbook that my father had. In it, there are photographs and newspaper cuttings relating to lots of my own family, but also some which bear no relation to my tree. (as far as I can tell)

Photographs of a wonderful looking woman who, judging by the pictures, had a vibrant sense of humour and a ‘jolly-hockey-sticks’ approach to life. Her name was Dora Boobyer, and I haven’t the faintest idea how she connects to my family. But it was a pleasure to be able to send the images to a genealogist who has researched her in their tree.

I also have several photographs of a French family who obviously had a major impact on mine but it is not clear why. My great-grandmother honeymooned in Paris, as did my grandmother, at Hôtel Britannique, and it looks likely that at least one family member had strong connections with Britain, but I still haven’t pieced together the puzzle and it isn’t even MY puzzle.

Granny Poles had three children, Louise, Richard, and Harry.

Louise married a M. Montaland apparently in England AND France.

I’ll continue this story later and add the photos. I have to go to a bookshop now to promote my physical books a bit.

Ilfracombe library Book Giveaway event

Friday the 15th of December
3:30pm – 6:00pm at Ilfracombe Library

Every child (age 0-16) with a valid Devon Library card, who comes to the library in Ilfracombe on Friday 15th December, between 3:30 and 6:00 pm will receive a FREE copy of “Dr Gnaw” the latest Felix Whiter book, and sequel to “For Cats’ Eyes Only”

This event is once again made possible by Ilfracombe’s very own David Tubby. Olli will be there with the illustrator Amii James to sign books. David Tubby won’t be able to make it but he has arranged for none other than Father Christmas himself to be there in his place.

make sure you have a valid library card

Check your card is up to date, or if you don’t have one, head on down to the library and get one. You don’t have to register at Ilfracombe, as long as you have a Devon Libraries card, and are 0-16 years of age, and you come into Ilfracombe Library at the time stated above, you will get your book.

See you there.

Black Friday Deals

I don’t see how we can fight it, so we may as well join in.

Friday 24th November. (time zones may vary)
Some deals may extend longer see details

FREE BOOKS (Amazon Kindle only)

For ONE day only, all four “Time Tunnel” books by Olli Tooley are Free on Kindle. 00:00 – 23:59 PST

  1. Time Tunnel to Londinium – 10 yr old David Jones his bored with history until a freak event leads him back in time to Roman Londinium. He meets Marcus, and gets first hand experience of life in the 1st century AD
  2. Londinium Revisited – David returns to Londinium, but this time his friend, Marcus, is an old man. Meanwhile, in the present day, developers want to build on a site which may contain important historical artefacts.
  3. Time Tunnel at the Seaside – On holiday in North Devon, David is joined by his bossy cousin Sarah. But when they find themselves transported back to the middle of World War Two, it is Sarah who saves the day.
  4. Time Tunnel to West Leighton – A new school year, and David sticks by his new friend Maarten who is getting bullied. On a school trip, the two find themselves having to help out an Anglo-Saxon family, who are also being pushed around.

KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEALs 

For Cats’ Eyes Only

Special Agent Felix Whiter always gets his man… or tortoise.
Or does he? Sometimes the tortoise gives him the slip, and sometimes the real villain is… oh but that would be telling.
A fun and sometimes silly spy thriller for kids, with plenty of giggles for adults too. “For Cats’ Eyes Only” is packed with excitement, danger, terrible puns, and fart humour.
Educational allergy advice.
This is intended to be a purely FUN story and every effort has been made to remove all traces of education and morality from it, however it has been produced in an environment where educational elements are included in other books, and as such the publisher cannot be held liable should you inadvertently learn anything by reading this book.

From 24th Nov – 30th Nov (GMT) priced at 99p UK only

From 24th Nov – 30th Nov (PST) priced at 99c USA only

If you are outside these two territories and would like a special price please email us direct. In the words of Lennon and McCartney, we can work it out.

And the Wolf Shall Dwell – 25th November …

We couldn’t quite make it in time for Black Friday, but this weekend you can get the Kindle edition of “And the Wolf Shall Dwell” for just 99c on Amazon.com

PHYSICAL BOOK REDUCTIONS (GMT 00:00 – 23:59 Fri 24th) – with Free P&P to UK addresses

For Cats’ Eyes Only – Paperback HALF PRICE

Reduced from £4.99 to £2.49 all weekend

Get it HERE 

 

And the Wolf Shall Dwell – Paperback 33% off ALL WEEKEND

Reduced from £7.99 to £5.35 for 24 hours only

Get it HERE

Children of the Wise Oak – Paperback 40% off

Reduced from £7.99 to £2.49 all weekend

Get it HERE

 

NEW – Teeny Tiny Witch – Paperback 33% off

Reduced from £6 to £4 all weekend

Get it HERE

Book Gobbler

One last thing, if you missed these deals, or they just didn’t take your fancy; check out The Book Gobbler, for loads of free e-books and physical books.

Check out Book Gobbler for FREE books

Who wants free books?

We all like to get free books, and we all know a few ways to do that. Well here’s another one.

Book Gobbler is a brand new site set up by Blue Poppy author Joni Dee.

For readers.

Especially avid readers with a tight budget, you can get hold of loads of FREE e-books from a wide range of authors and all genres. All they ask is for an honest unbiased review in exchange.

You can ALSO enter for a chance to win FREE physical books for many giveaways.

Because the site is new, you are in with a much better chance than with Goodreads.

For authors.

Get more reviews and readers.

We all know how hard it is to reach new readers, and get honest reviews on blogs and Amazon. By offering your e-book, and/or physical copies, you are able to reach a new audience of avid readers, including several influential bloggers.

Readers are required to write a review for any books they get for free. If they don’t write the review, they don’t get to apply for any more free books.

YOU choose, whether to offer e-books, or physical books, or both.
YOU choose, how many books to offer, and if you want to limit postage of physical copies to certain geographical areas.

Get in EARLY

The Book Gobbler is a new site, but it is building up users incredibly quickly. For now, the service is free, unlike many influential book review sites which charge authors money for the same service.

At some point in the future, they will have to charge something to maintain the growing site and cover hosting costs. So get in quick while it is still free.

 

Unfinished NaNoWriMo Chapter 2

Chapter 2 of my unfinished NaNoWriMo story
If you fancy reading Chapter 1 first, it is here.

2 Heaven

He had died. He laid back on the clouds, with St. Peter standing over him, clipboard in hand, accompanied by angels in white or blue robes. The light was bright, it was warm, not the freezing cold of Earth in winter. He blinked. The light of the Lord was too much, and he would be found unworthy. He tried to shield his eyes, but there was a wire in his hand, and it hurt to move.

St Peter took out a pen, and made a note on the clipboard, as he said, “Don’t try to move just yet, Mr …?”

John didn’t answer. He was confused. Why would St Peter not know his name?

“Where am I?”

“St Luke’s hospital. You passed out in the subway station. We couldn’t find any identifying documents, so we don’t really know much about you. Rather difficult to treat you without medical records.”

John’s head slumped back on the soft pillow. Not a cloud, but a bed. It wasn’t St. Peter, but St Luke. No, not St. Luke, but a doctor. He wasn’t dead. He felt … what did he feel? Everything and nothing. If he had been dead, and this were heaven, it was pretty much alright. Clean sheets, warm enough, and presumably, there would be regular meals. But would he have made the cut. He tried to weigh up his own life without bias. He half laughed at himself for the audacity of such a thing. How could he possibly remain unbiased while deciding if he should be allowed into heaven? He couldn’t even be certain of writing an honest review about his latest song.

St Peter was speaking to one of the other angels, “See if you can find out some details about him. If we can’t I suppose we’ll just have to do the best we can, and then discharge him as soon as he’s fit enough to go home. Assuming he has a home.”

‘Home! Star!’ John remembered he needed to feed the cat. He sensed he was thinking more lucidly again. He could see he was in a hospital, but he felt fine. No broken bones, no cuts or burns, no infection or neoplasm, his heart was beating normally now, and he had no breathing difficulties. He was in fine physical shape. He didn’t need their help. Star, on the other hand couldn’t feed himself. Star was the cat, his name short for Astaroth. Ok, naming your cat after a demon might be a black mark on St Peter’s clipboard, he had to admit. But taking good care of the cat, when he often forgot to look after himself, that was a big plus mark, right? That must be like, fifty heaven points right there. Anyway, it was just a name, and Star could be a right little devil sometimes.

“Nurse.” The word came out as a feeble, almost inaudible, croak; as though a very sleepy frog was trying to get someone to lift a heavy log off their back.

‘Nope, that’s not how my voice is supposed to sound.’ He thought.

He coughed, experimentally, and did the shortest vocal exercise in the history of music. “NURSE!”

‘Oops, bit loud.’

He hid under the bedsheet as a nurse bustled over, looking aggrieved.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to shout. Errm, when can I go home?”

“The doctor will need to see you before you can be discharged.”

“I really need to feed the cat.”

She consulted the little fob watch on her pocket absently as she said, “Doctor will be doing his rounds later this afternoon.”

“This afternoon? What time is it?”

The nurse looked again at her watch and said, “Eleven thirty-two.”

John enjoyed, fleetingly, the fact that she had literally just looked at her watch, and then had to look at it again the moment he asked the time. Then he recalled that it had been early evening when he had been chased by the barbarian horsemen; sorry, correction, biker gang. So he had been in hospital overnight? Which meant that the need to get back and feed Star was even greater now.

The nurse bustled away. He looked at the line in his wrist. It wasn’t actually connected to anything. Just there in case they needed it. He gently peeled the retaining tape away and slid the thin metal needle out of the vein. It hurt. John wasn’t brave or tough. He was a musician not a fighter. But this was too important. He replaced the tape with the little wad of lint, and held it in place as it felt like the stickiness was worn away. His jeans and tee shirt were in a bag in the bedside table. His coat, which wasn’t warm enough hung on the chair.


Same rule applies. If you want to read more you just have to ask, and I will post up chapter 3.

I don’t want to bore people.