Newsletter no.195, January 2023

January comes in with a splash and a crash and I don’t suppose many of us look back on the last year with pleasure. So much changed in that time. The Christmas story for the Methodist Recorder this year was very different, being about the problems that many of us encounter as we get older. This tale does remind us that we are not alone in find life difficult nowadays and that sometimes we can act as today’s ‘angels’ to others in the same position. It’s titled ‘Louise’s Christmas.’

Presents can mean different things to different people . . . not to mention cats. My stories about the tiny back cat whose missus miscalls him Maximilian the Magnificent, seem to amuse people who came to our choir concert, so here is what he got up to in ‘A tree for Christmas.’ You can access it here.

So much of the news recently has made me want to go home, slam the front door shut, draw the curtains and reach for comfort food. However, I’m told the e-books from Joffe of the Abbot Agency series are doing well, and their choice of covers recently has made me applaud, instead of reach for indigestion tablets. FALSE MONEY came out on 11th December, FALSE REPORT will follow on January 10th, on FALSE ALARM on February lst.

Now in False Report I wrote the lyrics of a song about a girl who was trafficked into this country with promises of love, and ends up walking the streets. Re-reading the words recently it occurred to me that it could be set to music . . . but what do I know of such things? I’ve asked a musician I know to look at it. Perhaps something will come of it, perhaps not.

Murder for Profit, the latest in the Ellie Quicke series, is now out and about and doing well, too. This story covers the fatal fall of a student from one of Ellie’s housing charity’s houses, which triggers an attack on the estate agency’s reputation. It’s also about sibling rivalry.

Meanwhile, my editor has read the next Bea Abbot story called False Name which I’ve spent the last nine months writing, and accepted it straight away. However, she questioned my statement that two brown-eyed parents cannot produce as blue-eyed child. Isn’t it odd how you grow up with these misconceptions? I could have sworn it wasn’t possible, but apparently there are decent odds are for it. Anyway, that manuscript is now going to the copy editor and I’m starting work on another Bea Abbot which will be a follow-up to False Name.

PARSLEY and POSY have decided it’s too cold to pose outside, so can be found in my tiny lean-to conservatory, admiring the poinsettia. See them here.

A blessing on those who help us to face the New Year with courage.

Veronica Heley