Newsletter no 79 July 2014

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The great thing about old friends is that you never have to explain anything to them – they’ve known you for years, warts and all. So in June I went on my travels to visit some of them. We played ‘catching-up-on the news in the families’ and in addition I gave a talk in the library at Lytham. I really enjoyed a few days without emails or computer.

Then, I took my life in my hands and upgraded my computer to Windows 7! Not 8, which I gather has many faults, and not 8.1, which I thought would be a step too far. Anyway, with 7, I have lived to tell the tale. More or less. No, of course I didn’t do it myself. I had the most delightful man come round to show me what he’d done and what I had to do in future and, with clenched teeth and many a prayer, I have more or less come to terms with the new system and found where everything has been stowed away.

Well, except for the pictures, which disappeared. You expected that, didn’t you? I can hear you laughing from here. And, it was a big problem. Each time I am asked to guest on someone else’s website, I have to send a picture of the cover of the latest book, plus a picture of me. And, although there seemed to be hundreds of images on my new system, none of them related in any way to what I do. Question: Why are they there? Does anyone ever use any of them? Why burden everyone’s computer with all that stuff? But eventually all was made clear and I am now able – fingers and toes crossed – to perform the usual tasks, if not in the usual order.

I managed to send off the Summer Holiday story for the Methodist Recorder between my trips out of town, but I’m not sure when it’s going to be published. Perhaps the editor will be popping it in early if another promised item fails to show up? Perhaps it will hang around till August? I’ll let you know when I hear. And of course I now have to think up a Harvest story for them. Hmm.

Going away meant a break in my routine. Usually I start on the next Ellie story the day after I deliver a Bea Abbot. This time I made a start and went away . . . without my computer . . . came back to struggle with business matters . . . and still haven’t got my desk sorted and ready to get back to proper work. And of course my decorator arrived just as I was thinking I could get down to it, and now I have my computer in my bedroom and my files are all over the place. I do keep a notebook with me at all times and have scrawled some words about the plot which I’m having some difficulty in deciphering. I’m sure it will be all right when I can finally get down to it . . .

You may remember that Severn House is bringing out one of my early historical novels as an e-book each month? On July 14th, the next one will appear; this is THE TARRANT ROSE, which has a proud but poor heroine – the Rose of the title – falling for a man she thinks is equally poor, until he turns out to be one of the movers and shakers in the Hanoverian government who are trying to deal with the Jacobite rebellion. All ends happily – except, of course, for Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Severn House is also tackling the backlog of the early Bea Abbot stories, bringing them out as e-books. The very first title, which introduced Bea as a new widow staggering under the necessity of taking on her husband’s business, is FALSE CHARITY, and this came out on June l4th. The second, FALSE PICTURE, deals with a picture which may or may not have been stolen, but which has certainly gone missing – and that will be out on July l4th. Mark and I are struggling to get all the information about the new ebooks up on the website. Yes, there’s shortly to be even more, from another publisher called Endeavour. I’ve seen some of the covers but have no Isbn numbers as yet. To be continued, no doubt.

About the moths? I have been very brave and ordered new carpets for the affected rooms. I cringe at the thought of the disruption involved but I must say my carpet supplier is an old friend, knows how to deal with old houses and worried women. He assures me that even if he has to replace the odd floorboard or re-hang a door, All Will Be Well. Meanwhile the moths continue to breed. You can hear me grinding my teeth, can’t you?

Our afternoon tea club for the over 65s is going really well. We have a different menu of sandwiches and cake every week; so far the mushy chocolate cake is the favourite!

A blessing: may you find some time to sit and enjoy of the beauty of daisies and roses, a blue sky with the trail of an aeroplane across it. And the delight of a really hot cup of tea. (The hotel I stayed at in June thought you could make decent tea by pouring hot water out of an insulated pot onto a tea bag in a cup. Sorry, but No, You Can’t!)

Veronica Heley

Severn House e-books released in June and July

Historicals:   MY LORD, THE HERMIT June l4th. ISBN 9781448301362

                       THE TARRANT ROSE, July 14th. ISBN 9781448301355

Bea Abbot:   FALSE CHARITY June 14th. ISBN 9781780105611.

                       FALSE PICTURE July 14th. ISBN 9781780105628

FALSE REPORT, 6th Abbot Agency story, large print, hardback, June 14th. ISBN 97807278 97114

Don’t forget that if you would like a digital review copy of Murder in Time, it is available from Severn House through NetGalley. This facility is available to librarians, booksellers and established reviewers and bloggers, but NOT to the general public who only post reviews on Amazon or Goodreads – unless they are Amazon Vine reviewers or GoodReads librarians. Apply direct to Charlotte Loftusx at

The short story, ‘The Art of Saying “No”’ was published in The Methodist Recorder at Easter. If you’d like to read it, let me know and I’ll send it you by email.

FALSE DIAMOND. Bea is drawn into the questionable doings of the multi-billionaire Holland family, which include an engagement with a fake diamond ring, an alleged suicide attempt, an abusive man who tries to put the frighteners on Bea, and the ambiguous behaviour of the black sheep of the family, who turns out to be the joker in the pack. ISBN 978072788298 1. Also in e-book in March 2014: 781780104843

UNSUNG HEROES is now available as an e-book. This is a collection of short stories originally published in the Methodist Recorder, concerning the problems of three retired men and their families, plus some Ellie Quicke short stories. £3.40 UK, and $4.90 USA.

Find details of all the other E-books at