It’s been a long time since I wrote anything on this blog! Not since I started the website tottielimejuice.com in fact. But I thought it was high time I brought you up to speed with all that’s been happening to me in the couple of years or so since I last posted on here.
I think back then we were just at the point of the first book in what was always intended to be the Sell the Pig travel memoirs trilogy. Since then, due to my appalling maths, there are now five little pigs, in order: Sell the Pig, Is That Billinge Lump?, Mother Was It Worth It?, Biff the Useless Mention, and Angling Bumateurs.
For French speakers, book one, Sell the Pig, is also now available in French, as Maman, Vends le Cochon.
Since the first days of Sell the Pig, I’ve reinvented myself as a crime thriller writer, L M Krier, author of the DI Ted Darling of British detective/police procedurals set in Stockport, Greater Manchester. There are currently seven books in the series. All the titles are from songs and are, in order: Baby’s Got Blue Eyes, Two Little Boys, When I’m Old and Grey, Shut Up and Drive, Only the Lonely, Wild Thing, and Walk On By.
Book 8 in the DI Ted Darling series is scheduled for release in early September 2017, with another in the series planned for the New Year 2018.
I’ve also branched out into children’s fiction with a crime twist. I actually wrote the basic idea for a story many years ago when I lived in Lincolnshire. The story is loosely based on the city of Lincoln. It’s been sitting on a very old floppy disc for years, then I eventually dug it out and reworked it. Add in some utterly stunning illustrations by Andrew Campbell-Howes and so was born The Dog with the Golden Eyes. It’s available for Kindle and in paperback and it’s well worth the paperback price of £4.99 just to see those amazing pictures full size.
For every book I produce, I work closely behind the scenes with a wonderful team of betareaders who go over everything I write to make sure it is up to standard. One of them, Kate Pill, in Australia, writes such hilarious side notes that I am often sitting crying laughing at my desk here in central France. The exchanges of humour between us get very silly and often lavatorial, but I thought it might be fun to collate them into a short book.
Almost every book emerging at the time seemed to start with ‘The Girl’ after the success of The Girl on the Train (not a favourite of mine). So just for fun I decided to call the little collection No Girl on this Train.
When I first wrote Sell the Pig, I belonged to an author site called Authonomy where I met a fellow author, Jill Pennington. I loved her book, The Diary of a Single Parent Abroad and we quickly became good friends and kindred spirits via internet.
Doris, as she is affectionately known, decided this wasn’t enough and that we should meet up in the flesh. Not only that but we should write a joint book about our mad adventure. Which we duly did, under the title of Take Three Birds.
As mentioned earlier, Ted Darling hasn’t finished with me yet. There will definitely be more in the series and Book 9 has already started insinuating its way into my brain.
In the face of a lot of pressure from readers, I have now started the dreaded prequel to the Sell the Pig series, even though I dislike the term. And because Doris and I had such fun producing Take Three Birds, I’ve decided to go and visit her in Italy, travelling by train all the way and writing a short and hopefully humorous piece about the great adventure.
Jill runs a glamping site (glamorous camping) in the Italian Apennines. Via her Facebook site I’ve been following the incredible saga of how she has constructed a Hobbit House from scratch so I’ve booked a dog sitter and reserved my train tickets and will be visiting in September. Of course, there will need to be a book about that adventure too.
All of which should keep me out of mischief during the cold winter months.
Win T-shirt to show your love for Ted Darling this Valentine’s Day! A simple, easy to enter free competition could see YOU sporting this stylish, fitted pure cotton T-shirt with the I <heart> Ted Darling motif.
Here’s one I modelled earlier. But don’t worry, I won’t be inside the one you could win. The colour is denim blue, which suits anyone and goes with anything, and available sizes are L and XL.
The T shirts are lovely qualify, exclusive, and cost €20 to buy direct from me, €15 if you order at least one signed paperback at the same time. But you can WIN a Free T- shirt with this simple competition.
I mentioned recently that Ted 7 will feature a character who has been in an earlier book. All you have to do is email me your suggestion, not a guess of who it is, but of who you would like to see return, and why. Please email your answer so no one sees it and steals your idea to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please put ‘Ted Tee’ in the subject line of your emails. Thank you.
Entries close at midnight GMT on 13 February 2017 and the winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day, 14th February.
If I like any of the suggestions enough, even if they don’t win, I might use the idea in future books in the series and mention you in the acknowledgements in the book. Don’t be bashful about having a go. I will read each and every answer submitted.
Here’s what the T shirts look like without my ugly mug sticking out of them.
Cotton T-shirt FREE to win in this easy competition
Ted’s been getting about a bit of late. He featured recently on this blog https://seumasgallacher.com/2017/02/04/elementary-my-dear-april-taylor/
And he’s going to be appearing at an online international Mystery and Thriller week on Facebook, starting on 11th February 2017. He’ll be helping me to host a slot there on Valentine’s Day from 2-3pm GMT. Why not come along and show your support?
Pet Sitters wanted for occasional sitting of my dogs here in France if I have to be away for any reason. Effectively, free holidays as I’ll pay reasonable travel expenses and provide board and lodging.
I’m looking for someone exceptional whom I can trust 100% to be in charge of my girls, Rosie and Fleur, and the cats, Bibi and HRH the princess Freddie Mercury, if and when I have to go anywhere.
It must be pet sitters I can trust to follow my instructions to the letter, not simply to do what they feel would be the most appropriate thing. Fleur loves everyone unreservedly (except other dogs) but Rosie is very nervous of anyone she doesn’t know, especially men. That makes choosing pet sitters difficult.
I’d be quite happy to take a couple of pet sitters but any man would have to be exceptionally good with nervous dogs to win Rosie’s trust. A couple of ladies would be ideal, or one female pet sitter who was quite happy in their own company as it’s a bit remote here.
No long walks with the dogs, either. For reasons I won’t go into here, I wouldn’t want the dogs taking off my property while I was away.
The cats are not too difficult. Bibi also loves everyone and is very affectionate. HRH is a typical Siamese cross, very haughty and anti-social so it’s quite likely that pet sitters would actually never get to see her during their stay, but that’s quite normal for her.
The cats are not allowed in the house; they live in the barn and have their own run, Al-Cat-Traz, with a stunning view. It’s nice to sit there in the steamer chair watching the sun sink down behind the chain of volcanoes, with a purring, cuddly Bibi on your lap, and she will take any amount of fuss.
Pet sitters also need to be non-smokers (or vapers) please and no more than moderate drinkers. Also able to drive, either with their own vehicle or happy to drive my left-hand drive van.
If I can find the right person, it could become a regular thing, as I get braver to go away for the occasional visit. But I have to warn you I am paranoid about who I trust with the dogs so do please think carefully if it sounds like your thing.
If you are interested, do please visit the Facebook page Free Holidays in France for more details, or email me email@example.com
New book releases in 2016/17 from Lesley Tither writing as Tottie Limejuice (travel memoirs), L M Krier (crime fiction) and now as L M Kay (children’s fiction – action/adventure with a crime/thriller twist.
For those who missed the news, 2016 has not been a brilliant year. My brother Peter died suddenly in March, aged just 67, leaving his house and his affairs in a state of utter chaos. It’s no exaggeration to say almost every waking hour, and often some of my sleeping ones, has been taken up trying to deal with it all.
Through it all, I think it’s safe to say it has been my writing which has helped me to keep it all together. Especially the DI Ted Darling crime fiction series. The Sell the Pig travel memoirs are relatively easy. They pretty much write themselves as it’s all true. It’s just a case of checking through my diaries to find out what I did and where I went when.
At the beginning of 2016, I brought out the fourth and supposedly final part of the Sell the Pig ‘trilogy’, Biff the Useless Mention. I said I wouldn’t write another one unless something dramatic happened. Well, of course, losing my brother falls into that category, so a fifth book in the trilogy which kept on going will be out later in 2017 – title as usually strictly under wraps until public, (it’s one of my brother’s favourite Spoonerisms) but the writing is almost done.
If you speak French or know anyone who does, the first Sell the Pig book is now out in French. There were a lot of earlier problems with finding a suitable translator but through Facebook, I made contact with Alison Sabedoria, who only lives half an hour from me, who has done an amazing job of staying true to my voice and story.
translation of Sell the Pig
I’ve been much more prolific with the crime fiction, publishing three books in the DI Ted Darling series (writing as L M Krier) during 2016: Shut Up and Drive, Only the Lonely and Wild Thing. This brings the total number in the series now up to six books and I have made a good start on the seventh, for publication later in 2017.
A big departure for me in 2016 was the publication of my first children’s fiction book, The Dog with the Golden Eyes, written as L M Kay. I was so lucky to find a brilliant illustrator, through social media, from Cornwall, Andrew Campbell-Howes, whose fantastic drawings really brought the whole book to life in a way mere words alone could not do. It’s set in Lincoln, near to where I used to live, and the dog in question is based on my old friend Meic.
Andrew was also responsible for the stunning cover which cleverly captures Meic’s likeness and gives a very dramatic feel to this action adventure with a crime twist.
There are also some marvellous internal illustrations, one for each chapter. The book is aimed at all ages from about 7+ and is great for reading together with children. The keen-eyed among them will enjoy a little challenge. Andrew cleverly worked the names of some of my dogs, Meic, Ci, Fleur and Rosie, into the illustrations. It’s great fun to tell children this and then see how many of them they can spot.
Like all of the books, it’s available in either e-book or paperback format. To get the best possible from the drawings, the paperback is best, and it’s perfect for a pocket money budget, at just under a fiver.
So what new book releases can you look forward to in 2017? Pig 5 should hopefully be out first, followed by Ted 7. Then who knows? There is another children’s book on its way, but I’m not yet sure when.
As ever, thanks to everyone who buys and reads the books and please remember, the best way you can show your support for an author is by leaving a review on Amazon. Just a few words is enough – it means a great deal. Thank you.
Support foodbanks by buying a personally signed first edition of Sell the Pig by Tottie Limejuice direct from the author. All money goes direct to The Trussell Trust, which runs a network of over 400 foodbanks in the UK.
It’s minus ten here this morning. I was sitting in my cosy grottage pouring hot, frothy, cinnamon coffee into my already full stomach, self-indulgently thinking it was too cold to bother going out to the market.
Then I brought myself up short by reminding myself there are people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. I have friends whose sole means of avoiding going hungry is to use foodbanks. These are not idle scroungers. They are people who have genuinely fallen on the hardest of times through no fault of their own, some of them through the shocking ‘benefit sanctions’ in the UK.
Homelessness too is a dreadful problem, both here in France and in the UK. But the thought that in supposedly civilised countries, people are going hungry in the twenty-first century truly sickens me.
Quite by chance, last night, I was contacted by someone wanting to buy a signed book from me so they could donate it for a church fund-raiser. They weren’t asking for a freebie, but I mentioned that I don’t, in any event, donate to religious charities. But it gave me an idea. I said I would be more than happy to donate a signed first edition of Sell the Pig if they made a donation to the Trussell Trust. That way, they would be supporting the charity of their choice, by donating the book, and I would be, in a modest way, helping to support the foodbanks network by getting them a small donation.
I also remembered I have a few copies of Pig left over from a truly disastrous book convention in Manchester where hardly anyone turned up because of an appalling venue and abysmal advertising. So I thought I’d open up the offer to seven more people and at the same time raise a little bit more money for The Trussell Trust.
This is the first edition of Sell the Pig, complete with black and white photos of some of the people you read about in the book. It’s now no longer widely available but you can still find it on Amazon for silly prices, starting from about £17.
If you want to get your very own copy, personally signed by me (I’m sharpening my crayons and practising my letters ready) please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org with your bid to reserve your copy. There are only seven available. You then pay your money DIRECTLY to The Trussell Trust. Once you have your confirmation from them, forward it to me and I will donate the book and the cost of the postage and send it to you direct.
So do please consider buying one and supporting an excellent cause at the same time. No one should go hungry in this day and age, certainly not in Britain. Please donate a minimum of £10 via the Trussell Trust donations page but please remember to contact me first to reserve your book. Remember this is a limited offer, only seven copies are available.
Remember all monies go direct to the Trussell Trust. Even if you miss out on the book, do please consider a donation to them. Even £5 would help. And do please share this post. Thank you all in advance for your generosity.
If you already have a copy of Sell the Pig, I’ve got a couple of copies of 1st edition Is That Billinge Lump? too, and would be happy to donate those in the same way.
New crime fiction release from L M Krier in the DI Ted Darling series is coming SOON!
I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog of late, for which my apologies but, for those who have not already heard through social media, it’s because of the recent sudden death of my brother, Peter, aged 67.
If you’ve read the Sell the Pig trilogy of four, Sell the Pig, Is That Billinge Lump?, Mother, Was It Worth It? and Biff the Useless Mention, you’ll already know that my brother had a serious problem with alcohol. He had been going steadily downhill, despite all efforts to persuade him to seek proper help. He even had two social workers, whose advice he ignored.
We continued to exchange frequent emails, in which he assured me he was getting himself together and now employing a cleaner with whose help the kitchen now looked like an operating theatre in its pristine cleanliness. Sadly, none of it was true.
I received a phone call from the police to say he had been found dead at the house, of natural causes. And when I went over to the Pink House to begin to sort things out, the full horror behind the fantasy was revealed.
But enough of the sadness. I’ve found great solace in spending time with my good friend Ted Darling and the result is that Book 5 will be released later this year. The title is, as ever, a closely guarded secret for now, but it follows on from Baby’s Got Blue Eyes, Two Little Boys, When I’m Old and Grey and Shut Up and Drive.
Once that’s released, I have a busy time ahead. The first Sell the Pig book will shortly be appearing in French translation, which is an exciting project, and will finally answer the questions the locals often ask me about why I finished up living in the middle of the rural Auvergne.
Then hopefully before too long I will be publishing my first children’s book, The Dog with the Golden Eyes, written as L M Kay, also a crime fiction. When I finally draw breath from all that, I think there will have to be another book in the Sell the Pig series, all about the challenges my brother has unwittingly left me with. A fifth book in a trilogy? Why not!
There’s a new book out in the popular DI Ted Darling crime fiction series. Book 4, Shut Up and Drive, is now available to pre-order from Amazon for Kindle, and from other online retailers for most other e-book devices. Once again the cover is by talented designer Dave Michael Rogers of DMR Creative.
This new book in the DI Ted Darling crime thriller series sees a serial sex attacker spreading fear in Stockport and DI Ted Darling and his team on the case. The man randomly targets young women and abducts them from busy supermarket car parks. He’s armed with a knife and is clearly highly trained in how to handle it.
Ever-dwindling police resources make the manhunt harder, even though the attacker clearly doesn’t care whether or not he’s caught. All his victims say he’s dead behind the eyes.
As the gripping thriller nears its climax, the dangerous predator becomes even more ruthless and his actions threaten the lives of more than one of the team members.
You will, of course, find out more about Ted and his partner Trev in this new book. There’s a brand new character, hopefully a bit of a surprise, and I hope also one the readers will like and want to see more or.
The new book is the fourth in the series which began with Baby’s Got Blue Eyes and continued with Two Little Boys and When I’m Old and Grey. Baby’s Got Blue Eyes now has a new cover for the Kindle edition and the paperback will also soon be available with the new cover.
Shut Up and Drive is already getting a few mentions on other websites and blogs. Do please spread the word among your friends. The book is available to pre-order NOW and will arrive on your Kindle on 1st March 2016 – Happy St David’s Day!
The good news is that I have just started work on the next crime fiction book. But will this one feature DI Ted Darling? That’s the Million Dollar Question!
Book blog author chats are great fun and the ideal way to meet lots of new people. Plus anyone who knows me knows I love to chat. I recently had the honour to be the first guest author on a book blog run by a good friend of mine who goes by the name of Mrs Bloggs.
I’ve been lucky enough to be a guest author on several book blogs lately and it’s always great fun, with well thought-out questions. And a great way to talk about what books I have coming out soon. I appeared on these particular book blogs mostly in my L M Krier identity, although Tottie Limejuice gets a few mentions as well, of course.
I’m hoping that the fourth book in the DI Ted Darling series should be available for pre-order any day now, for delivery to a Kindle near year in the first week of March 2016. I’m excited about the cover for this one, designed as ever by DMR Creative.
It’s hopefully going to be a busy year for me this year as, hard on the heels of Ted 4, I’m planning on bring out my first-ever children’s fiction, The Dog with the Golden Eyes, which is sort of junior crime fiction.
Next up should be the French translation of the first of the travel memoir series, Sell the Pig. I’m working with the translator now and it’s an exciting project. We’ll need to rework the cover for the French market, although we’ll probably keep the little Pig as he has become something of a trademark for the series.
In addition to all that, I’m hoping to get Tottie’s Tours off the ground this year, relaunching it with a much wider choice of accommodation and price range. You can read all about Tottie’s Tours here. Remember the key is flexibility. If you don’t see the accommodation that’s right for you, just ask me. There are lots to choose from, too many to list on one blog post.
Meanwhile watch this space for details of exact publication dates. And if you are a fan of DI Ted Darling, don’t worry – I will be starting on Book 5 in the series any day now!
If you’re already a follower of the DI Ted Darling crime thriller series, you’ll know that all the book titles have a song connection – Baby’s Got Blue Eyes, Two Little Boys and When I’m Old and Grey.
The latest crime thriller book in the series is a dark psychological thriller, entitled Shut Up and Drive. If you Google the line, it will offer you two songs. Forget the Rihanna one, not Ted’s style at all. Ted’s guilty secret music preference, after Queen, is country music, so it the one by Chely Wright. It’s a great fit for Ted as Chely is a gay rights activist, as well as a respected country singer.
As with all the books in the DI Ted Darling series, the cover is again designed by Dave at DMR Creative and this one is a cracker. Here’s a sneak peak at the draft Kindle cover.
The latest DI Ted Darling crime thriller should be available early in March 2016, and as usual, I will be making it available at a special offer price for pre-order. Keep watching this space.
With my usual superstition, I’m not yet posting the cover all over everywhere, just here on my blog for now. If you have any questions at all about the book, please ask them in the comments here rather than on Facebook and no spoilers! You’ll just have to wait for publication day to find out what the latest crime thriller offering has in store for you. The beta readers liked it, which is always a good sign!
Tottie Limejuice books are being advertised for some crazy prices on the Internet! I’ve seen first editions of both Sell the Pig and Is That Billing Lump? offered for more than £1000. And they’re not even signed.
It’s very flattering to see but, believe me, they’re not worth that much, even as a long-term investment.
But for anyone who does want a first edition, you can buy one from me direct, with whatever personalised message you want me to put in it – as long as I can spell it!
The first editions have the old cover images which are no longer in circulation, but I still have a few copies available. You can buy them via eBay for only a few pennies more than the original list price. That’s because I’m so flattered that anyone might want to collect my early works that I don’t want them to have to pay silly money for them.
The latest editions have the new covers, with the lovely cheeky little Pig.
Don’t forget that Book 4 in the Sell the Pig series of Tottie Limejuice books is also now available.
And if you enjoy travel memoirs with a touch of humour, don’t forget that another of the Tottie Limejuice books is Take Three Birds, jointly written with Jill Pennington and Janet Holt.
Special Offer price for a limited time only – Baby’s Got Blue Eyes, the first book in the DI Ted Darling series.
I’m gearing up towards publication of DI Ted Darling Book IV now, and it’s nearly a year since the first book in the series, Baby’s Got Blue Eyes, was published. To mark the occasion, it’s available at a special offer price for a limited time only, and has a brand new cover for the Kindle edition.
I’ve just had a sneak peak at the first draft cover for Book IV and I’m really excited about it. Yet another amazing job by DMR Creative.
I’m hoping to get Book IV out by March 2016 and that will also be appearing at a special offer price for a limited period for pre-order on Kindle.
Ted’s still very much a new kid on the crime fiction block, and he’s certainly different from any other detective out there in crime fiction land. People sometimes ask why I took a risk in creating someone so different from the standard selling format of drunken, womanising, divorced male cop, or ballsy, man-eating female. Well, I didn’t create Ted. Ted just is. I’m not in control of him. He’s evolved into a likeable and, I hope, believable character, through the first three books in the series, Baby’s Got Blue Eyes, Two Little Boys and When I’m Old and Grey.
It seems the readers have rather taken to Ted, too, despite his differences, as several of you have been kind enough to enter Ted, or rather, me as his humble distributor, into the highly prestigious CWA Dagger in the Library award. He will be up against some huge names, with lots of fans, in there, a real tiny minnow in a big pool of sharks, and you know how much Ted hates swimming. So if any more of you would be kind enough to add my name, on his behalf, it would be excellent. Your entry could win you a £200 book token, too. Just follow this link to a simple form which will take you 2 minutes to fill in.
While you wait for Book IV, do please spread the word to anyone who’s not yet met Ted and might like to, so they can take advantage of this limited special offer.
Has reading about the Auvergne in the Sell the Pig series made you yearn to visit this unspoilt region of central France yourself? Tottie’s Tours of the Auvergne are relaunching with a totally new look for 2016. So it’s time to start planning your holiday in France.
Tottie’s Tours of the Auvergne give you the chance to discover many of the beautiful places in the Auvergne region of central France described in the four books in the Sell the Pig trilogy (you have to read Book 4 to understand the maths!) – Sell the Pig, Is That Billinge Lump?, Mother Was It Worth It? and Biff the Useless Mention.
You can also visit some of the places mentioned in the ‘chickality’ travel memoir I wrote jointly with Jill Pennington, Take Three Birds.
Where to stay in the Auvergne
What’s different with the new look Tottie’s Tours is that you set your own budget and I’ll find you the accommodation to suit. From clean, comfortable chalets and mobile homes at the nearby campsite (English spoken), or a comfortable self-catering holiday let to a delightful B&B, perhaps even one in a château.
Fully flexible itinerary
Stay as many days as you choose and I’ll arrange an itinerary to suit, to include the best of the local sites. Why not extend your holiday in Europe by carrying on over the border into Italy after discovering the Auvergne? There you can enjoy a luxury glamping (glamorous camping) holiday in Jill Pennington’s charming Goat Cottage, in the Apennines. It’s where DI Ted Darling and his partner Trev spent their holidays recently! That way you get to meet two of the famous Three Birds.
So why not get in touch and let me help you to discover the Auvergne, whatever your budget? Simply use the contact page on this website, or email me direct at email@example.com.
The friendly, beautiful Auvergne is waiting to welcome you. What are you waiting for?
I can’t believe it’s a year since DI Ted Darling first bounced his way into my brain and made me write about him. Since then, I’ve published three crime thriller books in the series, Baby’s Got Blue Eyes, Two Little Boys and When I’m Old and Grey.
The reception has been brilliant, very encouraging for a newbie into the crime thriller genre. It’s a huge one, full of very talented writers, both mainstream published and Indies like myself. In such a big pond, it’s always hard for a new and very small minnow to get noticed.
Crime thriller cover design
I’ve been working with the talented Dave Michael Rogers of DMR Creative for the cover designs and have been pleased with what he’s produced for each of them.
But it’s always good to shake things up a bit, to try to create a bit more attention. With that in mind, I’ve asked him to rework the cover of Baby’s Got Blue Eyes for something a bit more stark and dark, perfect for a crime thriller. This is the result of the revamp, and I’m thrilled with it. Hope it won’t give the readers nightmares!
To coincide with the revamp, and also as a lead-in to the next book coming out, Baby’s Got Blue Eyes will be going out at a special offer price, for a limited time only, starting from 30 January 2016. Watch this space for further details. You can also keep up to date with Ted and me on social media – Facebook and Twitter – for more news.
In further Ted news, the next crime thriller in the series, Ted Book IV, is on the second round of beta reading and the designer is already working on the cover, so I hope to have it available before much longer.
Next crime thriller title
You will have spotted a recurring theme with the titles, which are all song titles or lines from a song. I’m too superstitious to reveal the name of my next book before it’s ready to publish. But if you like to play the guessing game, I can give you some clues.
That’s it for clues. Good luck!
Also don’t forget my first children’s fiction book, The Dog with the Golden Eyes, will also be released shortly. It’s an adventure story about a boy and a dog, with a strong crime thriller element.
Well, I couldn’t completely abandon my favourite genre, could I?
As well as writing Travel Memoirs in France as Tottie Limejuice and Crime Fiction as L M Krier, I’m making a departure into the world of children’s books. My first children’s fiction book, The Dog with the Golden Eyes, is coming soon, under the pen-name L M Kay. This is an illustrated adventure story book for children 8-12 years and grown-ups too.
I’m incredibly excited to be working with a hugely talented illustrator/designer on this new project, especially as I’ve just had his first ideas.
It’s about a small boy, Nicholas James Corrigan, who doesn’t speak and who is befriended by a strange dog with whom he discovers he can communicate by thought. Nicholas James was a key witness to a crime when he was younger and now The Man Who Did the Very Bad Thing is back and looking for him.
Can his faithful new friend protect him? There’s only one way to find out!
Watch this space for details of release date. Or you can follow the L M Kay page on Facebook
What a nice new year surprise for DI Ted Darling, to find himself listed as a favourite crime fiction read of 2015 on this excellent new blog. In fact, with not just one but three separate entries for all three existing books in the series, Baby’s Got Blue Eyes, Two Little Boys and When I’m Old and Grey.
I’m especially pleased to be featured on such a well-written and intelligent blog, one where the blogger says herself: ‘I will refuse any free offer of a book to review, because I prefer to read what I like, when I wish and would hate to feel duty bound to review something I didn’t like. I will also NEVER accept payment for any review.’
Ted is overcome with embarrassment to find himself awarded 5 stars for each of the books. He’s had to go and make himself an extra strong green tea to recover!
In other news, I have now finished writing Ted Book IV which has gone out to those most formidable of all critics, the beta readers. If and when it passes that acid test, I can then start the process of getting it ready for publication, so it should hopefully be ready for you early in 2016.
Happy New Year to all of you. Thanks for your support and kind comments about Ted and Trev. Keep spreading the word!
It’s here – at last! The long awaited fourth part of the Sell the Pig trilogy. I know, I know, but you should all know by now that sums are not my strong point.
It’s available for pre-order on Amazon now for all countries and is released on 20 December 2015, just in time for your Christmas treat. The price is a treat, too – my Christmas present to all the kind readers of my books.
‘In March 2007, Tottie left Britain to follow the dream of a new life in France for herself, her elderly mother and her damaged brother. Has the dream turned to a nightmare or is Tottie still happily living the quiet life in her little ‘grottage’ in the Auvergne region of central France?
Come with Tottie now as she takes you on Tottie’s Tours of the Auvergne. Enjoy the familiar ironic humour and keen eye for detail that will bring the landscape and the people to life for you. Be prepared to shed a tear as you say goodbye to some familiar characters. And find out how Tottie took to a life of crime once she retired from her work as a freelance copywriter.
‘Biff the Useless Mention’ is the fourth and concluding part of what started out as a trilogy, with ‘Sell the Pig’, ‘Is That Billinge Lump?’ and ‘Mother Was It Worth It?’. Don’t miss this concluding part of the ‘Sell the Pig’ series.
‘Mother, mother, it’s a bugger, sell the pig and buy me out’.’
The bad news is that this is the last ever Sell the Pig book. But it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped writing altogether. Far from it. The DI Ted Darling crime books are going down a storm and No 4 of those should be out in the new year.
That will hopefully be followed before too long by the first of my children’s fiction books, The Dog with the Golden Eyes.
And there will be lots more to come. I’ve been talking of writing the prequel to the Pigs for ages, so next year may be the year. 2016 is also the year I’m relaunching Tottie’s Tours of the Auvergne in a completely new format, with lots of choice of accommodation, from luxury B&B to budget comfort in a campsite chalet. Watch this space for more information.
So don’t miss out on the chance to be one of the first to read the brand new last Pig in the series, Biff the Useless Mention. The new little Pig is currently at No 3 in the bestseller lists so please do spread the word among all your friends and let’s see if we can get it to No 1 in time for Christmas!
Festive greetings to you all and thank you for your custom and support.
It’s here! The moment fans of DI Ted Darling have been waiting for! Book III in the series, When I’m Old and Grey, is out today, 1 October 2015, and available at a special offer price of just £1.99/$1.99, just for the first few days.
Here’s what the book blur says: ‘DI Ted Darling doesn’t like coincidences. There are too many for comfort surrounding his latest case. They’re spilling over into his private life, too, when some toxic family secrets are uncovered.
A serial killer appears to be targeting vulnerable elderly people in care homes and despatching them in the most cynical way. Ted and his team are struggling to get a lead on who the killer really is.
It doesn’t help that his newest team member is adding to his problems, rather than helping him to solve them.
Then an unexpected phone call brings devastating news for Ted and his long-term partner, Trevor …’
The DI Ted Darling books are based in Stockport, the town where I grew up.
You can get it from Amazon for Kindle and in paperback.
And the good news in I’ve just started writing DI Ted Darling Book IV!
Despite the glorious sunny summer here in France, I don’t have much of a suntan. That’s because I’ve been spending a lot of time at my desk, writing.
I’ve just completed Book III in the DI Ted Darling series, out early October 2015, and am making good progress with Sell the Pig Book IV.
If you’ve already read the Sell the Pig books, you will know that my mother suffered from dementia. So when I was asked to join a group of writers to produce an illustrated children’s book to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, I was quite happy to put both Ted and Pig on the back burner to write my contributory chapter.
Little Kitty – the Cat Burglar, is a charming book which appeals to adults and children alike. I wrote Chapter Six, the others were written by a team of seven other writers. It’s delightfully illustrated throughout and is available from all Amazon outlets.
100% of funds raised from the sale of the book go to Alzheimer’s research, and I think these days most of us at least know of someone affected by dementia, if not have a relative who is.
So why not get your copy now? The paperback is already available and makes a lovely Christmas gift for someone, as well as raising valuable funds for a worthy charity. There will be a Kindle edition, but the ‘real’ book is a perfect stocking filler.
It’s something to keep you amused while you wait for Ted III and Pig IV!
I wrote this years – decades, even – ago, and recently found it lurking in an old battered suitcase in the attic. It’s a satirical piece I wrote in response to some early chicklit, before it was even called that, which I had read somewhere or seen on the telly.
It’s a hot and sticky day outside, too hot to do anything at all, so I thought I would share it here for your amusement.
Your can probably tell how much my sense of humour owes to the likes of Terry Wogan and I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again.
Enjoy! And above all, don’t take a word of it seriously!
Love in a Blue Uniform
‘And take your blue budgie with you!’
David’s last angry words rang in my ears as he slammed the front door of the police house in my face, and on my marriage.
Fighting back tears, I stood on the pavement outside and my mind went back to the start of it all. That day at the police ball, when I first saw Neil.
He was everything David was not. Tall, dark, handsome, the unmistakeable bulge of his truncheon noticeable through the thick blue serge of his uniform.
When he smiled at me, I wanted to melt. Why did David’s looks never do that to me. Make me want to melt away like Fry’s chocolate in front of a winter log fire.
When he took me in his arms for that first dance, it seemed as if we would never more drift apart. Why could we not stay that way forever, drinking each other in with our eyes?
Because of David, of course.
That and nosy Mrs Jones at the police house opposite. What did she think, I wondered, to see Neil’s car outside so often when David was on nights? It must have seemed a strange time to be practising point duty in the bedroom. But of course, Neil was on duty, and if my bedroom was part of his beat, that was all right.
Then that dreadful day, when David should have been directing traffic in the centre of town. Instead he returned unexpectedly to find Neil and me engaged in learning riot control on the sofa.
‘I must warn you that anything you say may be taken down and used in evidence,’ he said hotly, as Neil silently retrieved his trousers from where they were draped over the budgie’s cage, shaking his foot where the Jack Russell had peed on it in excitement.
But nothing could keep us apart. Not David’s anger, nor even when Neil was posted to distant Snettertoneast. We knew we were meant for each other, and our love was a thing that could not be denied.
‘No matter what you say, I’ll always love him,’ I told David tearfully one day over supper – our anniversary. We had been married just six months and he had prepared my favourite meal, one Ryvita biscuit with half a radish, and covered the table with 182 daisies, one for every day since our marriage.
Poor David. He tried so hard to make it work. But I knew that there was only one man meant for me, and that my only mistake had been ever to believe that David and I were meant for each other.
But how could I tell him I was leaving him? I was fond of him, even though he threw me downstairs every day and went out for forty-two pints and a game of darts with the boys each evening when he came back from the beat.
I knew he wanted to make a go of it. But that night, when he had left for work and I heard him trying to claw his way through the wooden back door to get to me convinced me.
That and the time I woke and found him standing over me, staring with glassy, lustful eyes at my body in its see-through chiffon nightie-ette which Neil had bought for me because he said it matched the colour of my eyes.
I had to tell him. Summoning my courage one morning, I said, as we were tucking into the Wheatybangs, ‘David, Neil and I love each other, we’re going to run away and live in sin in a Salvation Army hostel in Saundersfoot.’
For a moment, I thought he would strike me. His anger was so towering. Then, with a choking noise, he pitched face forward into the porridge, pointing to the door and sobbing wordlessly for me to get out of his life.
Sighing, remembering, I turned round to pick up my bags – and found that the budgie had been run over by a No. 47 bus.
It’s nearly here – launch date for the second crime thriller featuring your favourite British police officer, DI Ted Darling.
‘In his darkest and most complex case to date, DI Ted Darling has to confront demons from his own past when investigating the brutal murder of a young boy.
As more deaths follow, he realises he is up against powerful people who believe themselves to be above the law, and starts to feel out of his depth.
At the same time he has to cope with a new boss, much more formal than his old one, who increasingly makes him feel he’s not up to the challenge.
It all starts to put an intolerable strain on Ted’s long-term stable relationship with his partner, Trevor.’
It features a brilliant cover by the talented DMR Creative and I hope you’re going to love it!