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Getting back to normal

Having started to recover post UK Meet (I didn’t realise how much of my time and my brain it had eaten until it finished), I keep having thoughts like, “You’ve not updated your website in ages!” “You’ve signed up for a book fair but haven’t ordered author copies!” and other useful things.

If you spot anything that’s out of date, on my website or elsewhere, please let me know. I have appointed this wildcat kitten to say thank you in advance.


Charlie’s newsletter

Back from last weekend’s UK Meet feeling enthused and inspired. It’s amazing what time spent with readers and authors can do: I’ve started to write my story for Alex Jane’s Advent Calendar event and I’ve got my plotlines clear for the Cambridge Fellows story I’ll be releasing later in the year.
I’ll be doing some Kindle special price events on Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour  and Lessons in Chasing the Wild Goose in the run up to launching Lessons in don’t-actually-have-a-title-yet-even-if-I-have-the-plot!
I’ve booked a place at the Southsea library signing event on November 15th so if you happen to be in the area, please drop in and say hello. I’ll have sweeties to share.
Lessons for Survivors will be relaunching from Endeavour on October 20th with a shiny new cover.

So this week’s excerpt clearly has to come from there!
“Stand still.”
“I am standing still.”
“You aren’t. You’re jiggling about like a cat after a pigeon.” Jonty Stewart made a final adjustment to Orlando Coppersmith’s tie, then stood back to admire his efforts. “I think that’s passable.”
“You should wear your glasses, then you wouldn’t have to go back so far. You can’t use that old excuse about your arms getting shorter so you have to hold the paper farther away.” Orlando turned to the mirror, the better to appreciate the perfectly tied knot. “Faultless. Thank you.”
The hallway of Forsythia Cottage benefited from the full strength of the morning sun through the windows and fanlight, enough for even the vainest creatures to check every inch of their appearance in the mirror before they sauntered out onto Madingley Road. Still, what would the inhabitants of Cambridge say to see either Jonty or Orlando less than immaculate, especially on a day such as this?
“It’s as well you had me here to help, or else you’d have disgraced yourself and St. Bride’s with it.” Jonty smiled, picking at his friend’s jacket. If there were any specks on it, Orlando had to know they were far too small for Jonty to see without his glasses. “I’m so proud of you. Professor Coppersmith. It will have a lovely ring to it.”
Orlando nodded enthusiastically, sending a dark curl springing rebelliously up, a curl that needed to be immediately flattened, although even the Brilliantine he employed recognised it was fighting a losing battle.
His hair might have been distinctly salt and pepper, but he was still handsome, lean but not angular, nor running to fat like some of his contemporaries. He’d turned forty when the Great War still had a year to run, so there was a while yet before he hit the half century. Jonty was a year closer to that milestone and never allowed to forget it. “I won’t believe it until I see the first letter addressed to me by that title.”
“Conceit, thy name is Coppersmith.” Jonty nudged his friend aside and attended to his own tie. Silver threads lay among his own ruddy-gold hair now, and the blue eyes were framed with fine lines. He knew he could still turn a few heads and young women told him he was handsome. If the young women concerned were his nieces . . . well, that didn’t invalidate their opinions.
Orlando snorted. “Conceit? That’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black.” He slicked back his hair again, frowning.
“You seem unusually pensive, even for the new Forster Professor of Mathematics.” Jonty stopped his grooming, turned, and drew his hand down Orlando’s face, remapping familiar territory. Coppersmith and Stewart. Stewart and Coppersmith. They went together like Holmes and Watson, Hero and Leander, or strawberries and cream. Colleagues, friends, lovers, and amateur detectives, they were partners in every aspect of their lives, and neither of them entirely sure whether the detection or the intimacy was the most dangerous part.
“I was just thinking how sad it is that neither your parents nor my grandmother are here today.” Orlando fiddled with his tiepin, at which Jonty slapped his hand away and straightened the offending object once more.
“Leave that alone. I’d only just got it right.” Jonty stuffed a hat into Orlando’s hands—not the one he was going to wear today, but one he could twist nervously to his heart’s content, with no damage done. “Perhaps it’s as well they’re not here for your inaugural lecture. They might have had to put on a magnificent act to cover their boredom. Computable numbers? Hardly the stuff of gripping entertainment.” Jonty smiled, trying to keep his lover’s spirits up. 
And finally apparently the dust in the air, due to the dry weather over the continent, has been giving us the recent spectacular sunsets and skies. Here’s a corker from last month, seen over Cochrane Central.