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  1. A sunless balcony in the South of France,

    1920

    Dearest Rosemary,

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    It was a limpid dreary day, hung as in a basket from a single dull star. I thank you for your letter. Outside, I perceive what may be a collection of fallen leaves tussling against a trash can. It rings like jazz to my ears. The streets are that empty. It seems as though the bulk of the city has retreated to their quarters, rightfully so. At this time, it seems very poignant to avoid all public spaces. Even the bars, as I told Hemingway, but to that, he punched me in the stomach, to which I asked if he had washed his hands. He hadn’t. He is much the denier, that one. Why, he considers the virus to be just influenza. I’m curious of his sources.

    The officials have alerted us to ensure we have a month’s worth of necessities. Zelda and I have stocked up on red wine, whiskey, rum, vermouth, absinthe, white wine, sherry, gin, and lord, if we need it, brandy. Please pray for us. You should see the square, oh, it is terrible. I weep for the damned eventualities this future brings. The long afternoons rolling forward slowly on the ever-slick bottomless highball. Z. says it’s no excuse to drink, but I just can’t seem to steady my hand.

    In the distance, from my brooding perch, the shoreline is cloaked in a dull haze where I can discern an unremitting penance that has been heading this way for a long, long while. And yet, amongst the cracked cloudline of an evening’s cast, I focus on a single strain of light, calling me forth to believe in a better morrow.

    Faithfully yours,

    F Scott Fitzgerald

  2.  It's Friday. Hurrah!

    Good news. I have a freebie and an introductory-price new release for you.

    Until Tuesday (March 10, 2020, 11:59 PM PDT) Over the Sea to Die is free on Amazon. It’s the third novel in the fun, zany Izzie Firecracker series and is mainly set on the fictional Isle of Scree.  I spent ten years on Scotland’s Isle of Skye so much was inspired by real events, albeit tongue-in-cheek and satirical...

    Beautiful Coco, who oft wails on a cold and windswept beach, Bible in hand, is based on a woman who moved to Skye expecting paradise. However, it was too remote for her city soul, and she had a nervous breakdown. All ended well. Does it end well in the book? Please read it for free and see!

    Skye is rarely ‘remote’ these days, and if you’re planning a visit, go out of season lest you wish to be stuck behind a long line of camper vans.  May and June are usually the best and sunniest weather of the year. I often wore t-shirts and cardigans in May, raincoats and sweaters in August! 

    What else?  Oh, yes, my latest release is Awful Wedded Husbands, a  romcom with hints of mystery and magic -- set in the 1970s -- my teenage years.  I look back fondly to when I ate masses but was as skinny as a string bean. If only. 

    The intro price for Awful Wedded Husbands is just 99p. 

     NB. The first half of Awful Wedded Husbands was initially published as Nice Girls Don’t Sleep Naked.  

     

    Keep happy.

    Janet xx

  3. I am still in post-Christmas procrastination mode. So, instead of organising an Amazon or Facebook ad (groan) I wrote down, without stopping to think, twenty books I've loved.

    And here they are. Drumroll...

    The Thorn Birds

    Rachel's Holiday

    The Boys from Brazil

    Perfume

    The Big Picture

    Tell no One

    Rosie Meadows Regrets

    Hotel du Lac

    All Quiet on the Western Front

    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

    Tell No One

    Mrs Pettigrew Lives for a Day

    I Capture the Castle

    The Thirty-Nine Steps

    The Rich are Different

    Polyanna

    Heidi

    Ballet Shoes

    Jennings Goes to School

    Anne of Green Gables 

    PS. I reread the children's books as an adult.  

    What books instantly pop into your head? Please reply in the comments.

    Right, now to make (another) mug of tea and do something worthy...

    Like watch Ugly Betty. 

    Bye for now,

    Jan xx

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