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Archive for the ‘The Just Woman’ Category

SeriesOld Year: in 2017 Amazon launched my ‘Just Woman’ books as a ‘6 Book Series’, which was very nice of them because I didn’t ask them to do it (see the picture above!). The Amazon UK link is here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Woman-6-Book/dp/B0747QVC9G/ and the Amazon US link is here: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Woman-6-Book/dp/B0747QVC9G/

This is certainly the collection which has attracted the most favourable comment during 2017, although it was Wattpad rather than Amazon Kindle which brought the most beneficial contact. Sales: there have been a few, which is delightful as I’ve done virtually no advertising. There has also been one, 5-star, review on Amazon.

I still have to produce a proper cover for the final (to date) volume in the ‘Just Woman’ series, which might improve sales for it.

During October a reader using Amazon.de bought the entire ‘Star’ series: I hope they enjoyed reading it. I haven’t forgotten that I’ve promised to go back and correct the typos. There were too many typos in the ‘Star’ files, partly because the cataracts in my eyes made it difficult for me to spot the detail of text on the e-page.  Now that one eye has been operated on and I can see clearly through that one at least, I’ve been reading through the files spotting silly mistakes.  While I’m on Christmas leave from work this week, one of my jobs is to tidy up and re-upload the files.

New Year: I’m still considering whether to publish ‘The Just Woman’ stories on Kobo as well as Kindle. As the Kindle Direct Publishing platform requires Kindle to have sole distribution rights, this would mean abandoning Kindle Direct Publishing — and the paperback version of The Flat at Doughty Court. On the other hand, it would reach a wider range of potential readers.

Mirabelle’s next adventure is still at the planning stage. I’ve been thinking about which of the standard ‘Edgar Wallace-style’ plotlines should be brought in, and what to add to make the story work for my circle of readers. At present there will be a visitor from South Africa, and either Mirabelle or Lucy Baines will buy a new hat.

In The Star, Adelheide and Jan are struggling on in Reolt. Jan still hates being viceroy, but at the moment there seems no alternative. I’ll put finger to keyboard again when there is something more positive to report.

I’m currently working on a ‘Watchers’ story, which won’t be finished for a while. Unusually for the ‘Watchers’ it doesn’t have a strong plot but is more like The Star, meandering through daily events pondering the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Yes, it’s self-indulgent, in fact its primary purpose is personal relaxation rather than publication. It’s throwing up various questions relating to myth and legend which are interesting to look into and which may turn into other stories in the future.

But the immediate priority is to tidy up typos and book covers and fill a small plot hole I’ve spotted in The Most Dangerous Woman in the Galaxy. Oops.

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DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAILI’ve just uploaded the 6th ‘Just Woman’ story to Amazon Kindle. This time I used Amazon’s ‘cover creator’ to create a cover reminiscent of the Edgar Wallace hardbacks of the 1930s. (I’m still working on a good 1920s cover …).

Price: the lowest price, as usual.  Book description:

Mirabelle Leicester has always known that her husband Leon Gonsalez is the ‘possessor of innumerable coats of arms, quarterings, family mottoes direct and affiliated’ (in the words of Edgar Wallace), but since their marriage she has  discovered that he also has a real family, including a revolutionary cousin from Barcelona and an aristocratic aunt. When the cousin asks for Leon’s and Mirabelle’s assistance in clearing his name, the investigation takes them to Spain: trailing kidnappers, dodging gunmen and encountering old friends.

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The Sapphire black and white My friend who writes stories set in the ancient kingdom of Rheged has just sent me a list of typos and suggestions for The Sapphire, which I’ve implemented. They should come through on the edition on Amazon.com (etc.) shortly. However, I have left the Wattpad version as it is — none of these are major changes, just minor tweaks. (Readers, let me know if you want me to update Wattpad too.) She also said some nice things about the book, but you’ll have to read it for yourself.

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After much tearing of hair and headaches I have at last brought the most recent ‘Just Woman’ story to a conclusion. This one has involved a bit of research as most of the action takes place in Spain, and when I started this story my knowledge of Spain in 1924 was approximately zilch. I now know a bit more about it (not a lot, but a bit).

The story is now on Wattpad, and here’s the blub and the current cover:

The Man from Barcelona 2nd draftMirabelle Leicester has always known that her husband Leon Gonsalez is the ‘possessor of innumerable coats of arms, quarterings, family mottoes direct and affiliated’ (in the words of Edgar Wallace), but since their marriage she has  discovered that he also has a real family, including a revolutionary cousin from Barcelona and an aristocratic aunt. When the cousin asks for Leon’s and Mirabelle’s assistance in clearing his name, the investigation takes them to Spain: trailing kidnappers, dodging gunmen, encountering old friends, and accumulating innumerable pieces of evidence in their battered suitcases. Is the Man from Barcelona innocent, or has he been lying all along?

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Readers may remember that I don’t usually do research when I’m writing fiction, ‘The Star’ and the ‘Gray’ stories don’t need research (much), as they’re fantasy; ‘The Just Woman’ is set in Edgar Wallace’s world so follows the guidelines sent out in his stories as far as possible.

Edgar Wallace’s stories are striking for their timelessness. Although he referred generally to telephones, telegrams, motorbikes, cars, taxis, ships, trains and planes, his stories hardly ever contain any specific description of technology that would fix them to a particular time between 1905 and 1965. I usually try to follow his lead, but as the current ‘Just Woman’ story is set very early in Europe’s airline history, and the characters take a journey by air from Spain to Britain, I had to do a little research. The internet wasn’t much help for the history of Spanish airlines, but various webpages sent me to R.E.G. Davies, A History of the World’s Airlines (London: Oxford University Press, 1964).

So the plane that makes a brief appearance in the current story (working title:  The Man from Barcelona’, set in late 1924) is a Junkers F.13, also known as a Ju 13. These metal-bodied, single –engined planes could carry two crew and four passengers and had a range of 746 miles (1200km) at speeds of up to 106 miles per hour. As it is around 390 miles from Madrid to Toulouse along the most direct viable route (i.e., to Barcelona and then following the already-established route flown by Latécoère and the C.G.E.A via Perpignan) the journey would take around six hours without needing to stop to refuel, but as there would have been no toilet facilities on the plane, it would be necessary to have toilet stops along the way: hence our travellers will stop at Barcelona.

I selected this plane  because in 1925 Union Aerea Espanola was set up with a fleet of Ju 13s: so our pilots is testing these planes.

Wikipedia provides some information and pictures of these planes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkers_F.13

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I’ve uploaded the fifth Mirabelle Leicester (a.k.a. the Just Woman) book to Amazon Kindle. It should be available for purchase within 72 hours; or you can get the beta version for free on Wattpad.

The cover picture shows Isola Koskina: Wallace fans have met her before in Again the Three, in the story of the ‘Happy Travellers’. In The Sapphire the events of ‘The Happy Travellers’ occurred last year, and somehow or other Isola has escaped prison and is back in Italy, still plotting against the government.

The Sapphire black and whiteAnd here’s the blurb:

London, 1924. After the dramatic events of Four Days in October and the exciting General Election, the Three Just Men and One Woman intend to return to solving some of the other criminal cases crying out for their attention. Mirabelle and Leon have an Italian banking case to investigate which would take them away from England and the influence of the irrational and disruptive Maria of Gratz. It’s time to return to the sort of cases that made them famous! But Europe in 1924 is a dangerous place; perhaps they should stay in London and investigate a missing jewel — a valuable sapphire brooch that was given away to a notorious criminal. But as it happens, Mirabelle and Leon know the criminal …
The Sapphire continues the story of Four Days in October and The Woman of Gratz. It is based on the characters in Edgar Wallace’s thriller The Three Just Men (1924)

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The Sapphire black and whiteAnd here’s a cover for The Sapphire. Slightly sketchy but the black and white gives it just a touch of appropriate menace — what do you think?

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