Newsletter one hundred and eleven

Those of you who like a bit of cricket will see that we’ve reached the ‘Nelson’ number today. 111. One arm, one eye, one… I hope it’s not as unlucky as cricketers regard it to be.

News:

In book news, I’m delighted to say that I’ve had a short story, “Don’t kiss the vicar” contracted with Bold Strokes. Edits begin on that in November – will let you know release date when I have it.

UK Meet registration opens today. The event returns to Bristol, in September 2015, and if it’s 75% as good as the 2014 version, it’ll be epic.

Deadly Dames are returning to Havant next month and we’re delighted to say that we’ll have Peter Lovesey, the Sergeant Cribb author, joining us as a honorary Dame. (Chevalier?)

The WWI commemoration posts are coming along nicely. I’m hoping this will build into a really worthwhile collection by the time (God willing) we get to 2018.

Here’s an (unedited) snippet of “Don’t Kiss the Vicar”:

What had produced the change in them all? It had to be the weather, that mild late spring working its magic with the sunshine through the branches hitting the stained glass and sending jewels dancing down the aisle. The bees buzzing lazily through the graveyard and the rooks in the trees. It couldn’t be him. It had been a long time since anybody was enchanted by Dan Miller, in his clerical robes or out of them. Unless…
Unless they’d been impressed with the sombre air he’d had while officiating. Eight o’clock communion brought out the same instincts in him and produced the same response in his congregation. Funny how it was the superannuated attendees at that service and the schoolchildren and harassed parents at the family one who seemed to appreciate him most. It was the morning and evening prayer lot who clearly found him a pain in the hassock.
“That was all right, I think.”
Dan was jolted out of his thoughts—blimey, they’d be thinking he was losing his marbles if he kept going off like that—by Steve’s voice.
“Thank you,” he replied, bewildered. Maybe this was all a dream, if Steve was saying something nice to him. Yep, he’d wake up in a minute to a six thirty alarm bell, the weather would be tipping it down and nobody would turn up for communion. Might as well make the most of it, dream or reality. He held out his hand. “Thanks for coming.”
“I had to come.” Steve shook the hand quickly, then dropped it as though it might be electrified. “Couldn’t miss the chance of seeing you come a cropper.” Only temporarily being nice, then.
“And are you annoyed that I didn’t?” Dan couldn’t help wondering—yet again—why the guy seemed to dislike him so much. Had he worked out that that the vicar fancied the pants off him, despite all of Dan’s efforts to hide the fact? And did it disgust him?
“Not annoyed. Surprised, maybe.” Steve stepped back. “Got to go. Things to see, people to do.”
“You need to get yourself some more original lines,” Harry said to his back, as the bloke legged it down the aisle towards the door.
“Old ones are the best,” Steve replied, without turning round.
“Since when did St. Thomas’s become a platform for stand up comedians?” Margaret asked. The spell had been broken and the status quo resumed.

Inspiration:

Autumn colours!

DSCF7678

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