The Perfect Blend: Coffee and Kane


Twenty Questions with Jenny Kane

Jenny KaneI have been neglecting this blog a bit lately, and thought I should put that right! So, I asked a friend to pretend she didn’t know me, and ask me 20 quick-fire questions she thought my readers might want to know the answers to! Yes- I know that’s a little bit mad- but I’m a writer- insanity is only ever inches away!!

  1. 1.Why have you neglected this blog this week?

One of the other mes- Jennifer Ash- has been very busy writing ‘her’ third novel, ‘Edward’s Outlaw’ that will be out this Winter. She is also preparing for the publication of her first two novels, The Outlaw’s Ransom and The Winter Outlaw (Out in March and April- published by Littwizz Press)

  1. 2. Are you more like Jennifer or Jenny or Kay (Kay Jaybee- erotica) in real life?

Jenny

  1.  Do you love coffee as much as the characters in your Another Cup of Coffee series?

Even more than they do!

  1. How do you take it?

Black- nothing added- Americano for preference

coffee cups

  1. 5. How many cups do you drink a day?

Three – none after 2pm.

  1. 6. Do you really write in cafes and coffee shops like JK Rowling?

I really do.

  1. 7.What is your favourite hot drink – apart from coffee?

Coffee is the only hot drink I like- I HATE tea, and I’m allergic to milk, so can’t have hot chocolate, latte etc

  1. Favourite colour?

Purple

  1. Boots, trainers, or heels?

Boots – I am not sporty, and I’d break my neck in heels. I am very clumsy!

  1. Are the characters in Another Cup of Coffee based on real people?

Some of them are.

  1. Which ones?

My lips are sealed.

  1. Spoil sport- give us a clue?

I knew three of them at University- although I obviously wrote exaggerated versions of them- and they are all still my friends and totally lovely.

  1. What did you study at University?

I did an Archaeology degree, and then a Medieval History  PhD.

  1. Ohhh-  like Amy did in Another Cup of Coffee and like Grace did in Romancing Robin Hood.

Yes- just like Amy and Grace did- I think I can guess the next question!

  1. So  are you Amy or Grace?

I am a little tiny bit both of them.

  1. You feature Kew Gardens in Another Cup of Coffee and Another Glass of Champagne. Have you been there, or did you just research in on Google?

I’ve been there a few times. I really like just wondering around the various greenhouses- and sitting in the cafe of course!

  1. Jack and Rob run a bookshop in Another Cup of Coffee, is that based on a real place?

No, that I invented.

  1. What would you say always surprises people when they meet you?

That I wear hearing aids. I am 80% deaf.

  1. Do  you prefer being Kay Jaybee- Queen of BDSM Kink- or Jenny Kane- writer of  book chocolate- or Jennifer Ash- medieval crime writer ?

I love being all of them – it is wonderful to be able to create such different styles of work, and thus- hopefully- make more people happy when they read! (Well- that’s the plan!)

  1. What is Jenny going to do next?

Jenny has just finished a new novel – it’s being edited at the moment. Meanwhile, I’m preparing for the re-launch of Romancing Robin Hood! very exciting- it will be out the first week of February- not long now

 

Thanks for dropping by!

Jenny xx

 


Abi’s House: Time for a warming read

I don’t know about you, but the dark days, cold winds, and constant damp mizzle in the air is beginning to get me down.

I thought it might be nice to escape the January Blues for a moment. Why not take a dip into my 2 Cornish summer reads, Abi’s House and Abi’s Neighbour.

 

Here’s a reminder of the Abi’s House blurb!!

Newly widowed and barely thirty, Abi Carter is desperate to escape the Stepford Wives lifestyle that Luke, her late husband, had been so eager for her to live.
Abi decides to fulfill a lifelong dream. As a child on holiday in Cornwall she fell in love with a cottage – the prophetically named Abbey’s House.
Now she is going to see if she can find the place again, relive the happy memories and maybe even buy a place of her own nearby?
On impulse Abi sets off to Cornwall, where a chance meeting in a village pub brings new friends Beth and Max into her life. Beth, like Abi, has a life-changing decision to make. Max, Beth’s best mate, is new to the village. He soon helps Abi track down the house of her dreams … but things aren’t quite that simple. There’s the complicated life Abi left behind, including her late husband’s brother, Simon – a man with more than friendship on his mind…
Will Abi’s house remain a dream, or will the bricks and mortar become a reality?

Check this out this video about Abi’s House!!-  YouTube link https://youtu.be/VAumWAqsp58

You can buy Abi’s House from all good bookshops and retailers, including

http://www.accentpress.co.uk/Book/12915/Abis-House

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Abis-House-Jenny-Kane-ebook/dp/B00UVPPWO8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1426711175&sr=1-1&keywords=Abi%27s+House+Jenny+Kane

http://www.amazon.com/Abis-House-Jenny-Kane-ebook/dp/B00UVPPWO8/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426711253&sr=1-2&keywords=Abi%27s+House+Jenny+Kane

Abi’s Neighbour Blurb-

Abi Carter has finally found happiness in beautiful Cornwall, with her old tin miner’s cottage proving the perfect home. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door…Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. She’s obnoxious, stuck-up, and hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, she seems to have designs on Abi’s boyfriend Max…But Cassandra has her own problems. Her wealthy lawyer lover has promised to leave his wife and join her in their Cornish love nest – but something always comes up. Now, not only is Cassandra stuck on her own, miles away from her city lifestyle, but someone seems intent on sabotaging her successful business. Will she mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are the two just destined not to get along? Complete with sun, sea and adorable Labrador Sadie, Abi’s Neighbour is the fantastic new novel by bestselling author Jenny Kane.

You can buy Abi’s Neighbour from all good bookshops and retailers, including-

 

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Happy reading everyone,

Jenny xx

 


Tom Wlliams: When I was looking for a hero for a new series of books…

I’m welcoming Tom Williams back to my blog today- and in turn- he is welcoming James Burke…

Over to you Tom…

When I was looking for a hero for a new series of books, I asked friends for suggestions. One of these was an Alaskan writer who I had met dancing tango in Buenos Aires, as you do. She said that I should look amongst the European adventurers who lived in South America around the time that they were fighting for independence from Spain.

Jocelyn’s advice (thank you, Jocelyn) was a while ago now, and I can’t remember quite how I started to follow it, but I read a lot of books about 19th century South America until I came across the name of James Burke.

Burke was a spy for the British who had prepared the way for the British invasion of Buenos Aires in 1806. (Yes, I had no idea either.) He sounded an interesting fellow, so I went to find out more about him – and discovered that, although there were stories in Spanish, there was hardly anything about him in English. The one paper I found was in an Anglo-Irish journal (Burke was Irish) not widely available in England. Even the British Library had lost their copy and had to send out for one specially.

It turned out that Burke was quite an exciting character. He had fought in Haiti and travelled widely in South America and Europe. His name was linked (nudge, nudge) with the queen of Spain, a princess in Brazil and the Viceroy’s mistress in Buenos Aires. Honestly, the first book about him (Burke in the Land of Silver, now available from Endeavour Press) practically wrote itself.

Oscar – the head gaucho

I needed to do some more research, of course, and that took me back to Argentina and an unforgettable day galloping across the pampas with the gauchos as they lassoed cattle to check their health. (We were with a Scottish cattle farmer, who said that his father did much the same thing, but with pickup trucks and no lasso, which seemed much less romantic.)

I followed Burke’s footsteps on horseback through the snows of the Andes, too, with a couple of nights in an unheated stone hut at 3000 metres, which was, in its own way, even more unforgettable.

 

Burke in the Land of Silver is a tale of devious plots, thrilling fights, wicked women and a villain all the more deliciously evil for being a real historical character. Buckles are swashed and bodices are ripped. I had huge fun writing it and I hope you’ll have fun reading it. And at the end, you will find you have painlessly acquired a basic understanding of Spain’s role in the Napoleonic Wars and some of the early history of Argentina, a country I have grown to love.

No one is quite sure what Burke did after Buenos Aires, but his name remained on the Army list well after the wars with Napoleon were over. I’ve written five books about him now, three to be published over the next few weeks and the remaining two to come out later, if book piracy leaves me with enough sales to justify them. (I so wish I was exaggerating the problem there, but I’m not.) The stories that follow Burke in the Land of Silver are entirely fictional, but the historical background to each one is all too real. The wars with France were horribly bloody, wreaking havoc with the economies of every country in Europe. But in all the chaos and bloodshed, there genuinely were stories of derring-do and adventure, and I tried to capture some of that excitement in the James Burke series.

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Buy Links-

‘Burke in the Land of Silver’ – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Burke-Silver-Majestys-Confidential-Agent-ebook/dp/B078TGFSZT

‘Burke and the Bedouin’ – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078PKKNBD

Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTomWilliams/

Twitter – @TomCW99.

Blog- https://thewhiterajah.blogspot.co.uk/.

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Bio

Have you ever noticed how many authors are described as ‘reclusive’? I have a lot of sympathy for them. My feeling is that authors generally like to hide at home with their laptops or their quill pens and write stuff. If they enjoyed being in the public eye, they’d be stand-up comics or pop stars.

Nowadays, though, writers are told that their audiences want to be able to relate to them as people. I’m not entirely sure about that. If you knew me, you might not want to relate to me at all. But here in hyperspace I apparently have to tell you that I’m young and good looking and live somewhere exciting with a beautiful partner, a son who is a brain surgeon and a daughter who is a swimwear model. Then you’ll buy my book.

Unfortunately, that’s not quite true. I’m older than you can possibly imagine. (Certainly older than I ever imagined until I suddenly woke up and realised that age had snuck up on me.) I live in Richmond, which is nice and on the outskirts of London which is a truly amazing city to live in. My wife is beautiful but, more importantly, she’s a lawyer, which is handy because a household with a writer in it always needs someone who can earn decent money. My son has left home and we never got round to the daughter.

We did have a ferret, which I thought would be an appropriately writer sort of thing to have around but he  eventually got even older than me (in ferret years) and died. I’d try to say something snappy and amusing about that but we loved that ferret and snappy and amusing doesn’t quite cut it.

I street skate and ski and can dance a mean Argentine tango. I’ve spent a lot of my life writing very boring things for money (unless you’re in Customer Care, in which case ‘Dealing With Customer Complaints’ is really, really interesting). Now I’m writing for fun.

If you all buy my books, I’ll be able to finish the next ones and I’ll never have to write for the insurance industry again and that will be a good thing, yes? So you’ll not only get to read a brilliant novel but your karmic balance will move rapidly into credit.

Can I go back to being reclusive now?

***

Many thanks Tom. Good luck with your novels.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x


Coming Soon from Jennifer Ash/Jenny Kane…

It is with great pleasure that I can announce that my medieval crime novels have a brand new home.

I am proud to say that my historical side will be represented by Littwitz Press.

The first of my books to be published by Littwitz Press is actually a re-publication.

Romancing Robin Hood – part modern romance/part medieval mystery – has had a re-edit and a face lift. What do you think of this amazing cover?

I was honoured when Nicola Cornick, Chair of the Romantic Novelist Association (not to mention a brilliant historical fiction writer), enjoyed reading Romancing Robin Hood so much that she agreed to endorse my book. Check out that wonderful quote you can see on the cover!

The quote Nicola provided is actually much longer…the full version can be seen on the back of the book…but you’ll have to wait until you’ve purchased it to see it in its entirety!

If you didn’t read Romancing Robin Hood in its first edition form (now unavailable), then you won’t know that this novel was the result of my love of all things ‘Robin Hood’…or should I say… out of my obsession with Robin Hood. Not that I’m like Dr Grace Harper -the protagonist in this novel… Well, not much anyway… (Umm….)

Within Romancing Robin Hood– as the above blurb suggests- there is a secondary story- a medieval mystery. Like before, that story is going to be released soon as a standalone book called The Outlaw’s Ransom. So if modern romance is not for you, but you want to read the historical part, then soon you’ll be able to do just that!

If you do like contemporary fiction however; if you remember 1980’s television fondly- especially Robin of Sherwood – or if you simply like guinea pigs and some light hearted RomCom reading…then keep an eye open for the Romancing Robin Hood buy links. (Coming very soon)

What a great way to start the year.

Happy reading,

Jenny (Jennifer)

PS. The sequel to the medieval half of the story (which follows on from both the crime part of Romancing Robin Hood and The Outlaw’s Ransom) will be out soon too!

 

 

 

 


2017-2018: New stories and new adventures

Happy New Year!

Here we are again then- another brand new year. A list of potential new year’s resolutions considered- and dismissed- and a determination that this year will be very much better than the one just past are whizzing around our collective minds.

It has to be said that 2017 was an eventful year. My naughty side (Kay Jaybee) had a novella out in January 2017, and then began the process of re-editing all her old novels. Meanwhile, in May my Jenny Kane side saw her second Cornish romance, Abi’s Neighbour, hit the world.

One of the highlights of 2017 has to have been when the amazing Katie Fforde endorsed my work in contemporary fiction, by providing a fantastic quote to be printed on the cover of Abi’s Neighbour. Having been a Katie Fforde fan for many years, this truly was a magic moment for me.

The publication of Abi’s Neighbour, and it’s previously published sister novel, Abi’s House, led to me being invited to the Penzance Literary festival in July. I had so much fun! Not only did I get to sit on a panel with the lovely Liz Fenwick and Teresa Benison, but I was also invited to teach a Life-writing masterclass.

Teresa Beniton, Jenny Kane, Liz Fenwick

A major change came to my writing life in 2017 with the setting up of Imagine – a creative writing workshop business I set up with my friend and fellow author, Alison Knight.  Although we’ve only been in operation since last Spring, we’ve built up a regular following at our classes, and expansion across SW England (and beyond) is afoot.

Not only do we teach group workshops, but we provide one-one classes, and this March we are running our first writing retreat on Exmoor in the stunning Victorian manor of Northmoor. If you want to have a look at all our Imagine information you can find it here- www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk 

This decision to set up a creative writing business was something I’d been considering for some time. In 2017, with so many publishers either failing or cutting back on their lines, it felt that the time was right to add another string to my bow…and talking of bowstrings…

I was extremely luck last year to be asked to write a couple of audio scripts for the brand new series of Robin of Sherwood. As a life long fan of the show, it was particularly wonderful to be able to put words into the mouths of my favourite characters!

Produced by Spiteful Puppet- these new audio tales- narrated by original cast embers- are available now!! https://spitefulpuppet.com/product-category/robin-of-sherwood/  With luck- if enough copies are sold- then I’ll be thinking up some more Robin of Sherwood stories in the future!

photo by Kim Jones

Of course, you can’t have the ups without the downs, and 2017 saw the medieval crime novels I’d promised you, take a step back from publication. The publisher they were lined up with decided to streamline, and not take on any new historical fiction. This meant I had to find a new home for my Jennifer Ash work. While this was a little frustrating, I am delighted to say that a new home for my work has now been found!

Romancing Robin Hood, The Outlaw’s Ransom, and The Winter Outlaw will all be out in the near future- and I’m already hard at work writing Edward’s Outlaw, for release in the Winter. Watch out for a very special announcement about that later in the week…

And what of my contemporary women’s fiction? Well- my next Jenny Kane novel is complete- watch this space…

***

2017 saw many new adventures (I’d never written a script before in my life for a start!)- I wonder what new adventures 2018 holds?

I hope you all have a very happy and exciting 2018.

Happy reading,

Jenny xx

 


End of the month- and year- blog from Nell Peters

Once again- and for the last time in 2017- I welcome the fantastic Nell Peters to my blog to give us a monthly roundup of events.

So grab a cuppa, settle down, and have a read.

Over to you Nell…

Hi, everyone! Take a break from eating the leftover turkey sandwiches for a mo and step inside – don’t panic, that’s as far as my Cilla Black impression goes … chook.

New Years Eve is always a time for reflection and resolution, past times and planning – plus any other alliteration you care to come up with. What have I learned this year? More than anything to Carpe the jolly old Diem, since none of us knows what might be lurking just around the corner to lob a spanner in the works. The fickle finger of fate may well interfere to ensure you don’t actually get to do those things you are putting off until it’s more convenient/you can better afford it/there’s an R in the month. Just do it!

Other sage pieces of advice from me to me include, in no particular order;

  • Don’t bother ordering a gluten free meal in BA Business Class in future (assuming you ever get to fly at the front of the plane again) – you know they are rubbish and you are better off chewing the plastic tray, or staying hungry while you enjoy the ‘free’ drinks.
  • You shared a childhood with your cousins, Keith and Barbara – keep in touch! This after I met them again at my dad’s funeral after 22 and 8 years respectively.
  • Try to remember Carey Mulligan is an actress, not a singer – you have even seen Suffragette! Barbara mentioned that her daughter is now married to CM’s brother – thought the name rang a vague bell, just picked the wrong option … Duh! And no, the tenuous connection that she is married to Marcus Mumford of the band, Mumford and Sons does not get you off the squirmy hook.

  • Don’t go anywhere with the OH’s colleague, Richard. He survived being badly stabbed and beaten on London Bridge in June only because a) he’s super fit and b) an off-duty soldier lay on top of him to stop the bleeding and save his life. Richard then emerged unscathed from the shootings in Las Vegas – there for a charity swim. Things happen in threes.
  • Remember James (Jim) Angel as the huge personality he was when you cavorted around California with him decades ago, not the shell he became through dementia. He flies high now – so should you.
  • No matter what your mother drummed into you repeatedly, you do not have to keep a stiff upper lip at all times.
  • There are many, many fantastic people around and you know a lot of them, either in person or on line. Perhaps consider that since they associate with you, you are not totally bad yourself?
  • Remember the AA Milne quote, ‘You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.’ You gave each of the GDs a locket with that engraving, so maybe take it on board yourself?

  • Even though you live in a draughty old house that costs a small fortune to heat, turn the boiler on!
  • You need to majorly improve your work/life balance.
  • Having said that, you also need to get back to some serious writing – there’s the third part of a trilogy to finish and two other WIPs wanting attention, plus so much more. You have been faffing around for many months doing dutiful daughter stuff. Enough! Oh, and while you’re at it, get a decent publisher.
  • You have skinny legs – so what? They’ve held you up for decades, haven’t they?

I think that’s enough of that, don’t you? As you are reading this (and assuming all goes to plan) we will be travelling to London for the New Years Eve celebrations and meeting up with three sons and partners. We used to go every year before the boys fled the nest and stay over, but we haven’t done so for a few years. You have to buy tickets now and take up your position in the zone you’re allocated – we are all A, which is just as well, as there is no hopping around wherever you fancy. In a truly insane moment, I said I’d treat everyone to their hotel rooms – NYE has always been premium rate, but now the cost is astronomical and my debit card is weeping buckets. Note to self: look up prices before opening stupid mouth. I didn’t take up the breakfast option … Speaking of buckets, I hope there will be large numbers of handy Portaloos.

#3 will typically be cutting it fine, as his plane lands at Heathrow around 5.30 pm – he’s not home for Christmas as he has a previous engagement, sailing around the Philippines on a luxury yacht for a week and then a week in Phuket. How very stressful for him. As I type, I’m not clear where he’s flying from, but I hope he turns up! And when he does, I’ll bet he still hasn’t got a suntan – he’s never been a sun worshipper, but how anyone can spend all that time in really hot climates and remain whiter than the whitest maggot, is quite beyond me. His brothers have christened him ‘Insipid of India’. His is a flying visit – back to Mumbai on 3rd January.

Once we are into January, it will no doubt be impossible to avoid being bombarded with stuff about the royal wedding – snore. I see it is to be held in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, which is where I was almost christened. Let me explain; Unc – my great uncle Keith, more formally known as The Reverend Canon Keith Harman – lived in Bermuda and within his island parish (or whatever it would be called) were both a military base and a leper colony. He was married to and divorced from a famous American concert pianist, though if I ever knew her name it’s now forgotten. I don’t know if the disgrace of divorce was the cause, but Unc was sent to Windsor for a year on some sort of exchange programme.

Not much of a punishment though, because as a keen photographer he was given the run of the castle and permission to take pics of the royal nippers. He was regularly invited to lunch with the Queen and Prince Philip and somewhere in Windsor there is the Harman Clock, presented to him as a token of thanks. His big sister – my paternal grandmother – must have dined out on that for years. I was a baby during Unc’s Windsor sortie and said grandmother arranged every detail of my christening at St George’s Chapel, unfortunately neglecting to consult my mother – a battle of control freaks ensued and my mother won. Incidentally, I don’t know if it’s in the genes or name, but my aforementioned cuz Keith is a pro snapper of some renown.

Quite a few musical events have happened over the years on NYE – starting with the premier performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s light opera, The Pirates of Penzance in New York City, 1879. A mere eighty-two years later (1961), the Beach Boys gigged together for the first time using that band name. In the original line-up were brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis (drummer, and the only one in the group who actually surfed) Wilson, their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine.

In the summer of 1968, when everything was sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, Dennis took under his wing an unknown and strange long-haired rocker called Charlie, who sang in a random way and talked of mystical things.

The Beach Boys – along with the Beatles and others, were already disciples of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, guru of transcendental meditation, so perhaps the mystical bit appealed. Peace, man. Not much peace and love the following year, though, when Charlie – better known as Charles Manson, who died in November – incited his ‘family’ to commit brutal and ritualistic murder.

On NYE 1963, a young Jerry Garcia and an even younger Bob Weir played together for the first time – but not at a gig. Weir (16) was wandering the back alleys of Palo Alto (San Francisco Bay area), with another underage friend, looking for a club that would admit them, when they heard banjo music. They followed the sound to Dana Morgan’s Music Store, where Jerry (having forgotten the significance of the date) was waiting for his students to arrive. Weir and Garcia spent the night playing music together and then decided to form a band – take a bow, the Grateful Dead via a couple of other names.

In 1966, the Monkees’ I’m a Believer made it to the number one spot and hung on there for a further seven weeks. Paul McCartney chose NYE 1970 to file a lawsuit to dissolve The Beatles. 1st January did not become a bank holiday until 1974 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – that was the year Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac. Two years later The Cars played their first gig.

Rick Allen became Def Leppard’s drummer aged fifteen in 1978, just before the band signed their recording contract. Result! He lost his left arm in a car accident 31/12/84, but ignored medical predictions that he would never play again, and re-joined the band less than two years later to perform with the help of a semi-electronic drum kit. His live performance comeback was an emotional event, and Rick admits to shedding a tear – quickly followed by the fear that he’d be electrocuted if the tears hit his metal pedals.

Barbra Streisand seems to enjoy warbling on New Years Eve – in 1993 she gave her first live public concert in twenty-seven years at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, when ticket prices ranged from $50 to $1500. That made her the highest paid concert performer in history. Six years later in 1999, Streisand returned to the concert stage, tickets selling out in the first few hours, eight months before the show. At the end of the millennium, she was the number one female singer in the US, with at least two #1 albums in each decade since she began performing. Not too shabby.

Who has a NYE birthday? #4 son was expected on 31st December, but feared he might be missing out on presents and so brought things forward to Christmas Eve – the only one who was early. Our beautiful niece, Francesca, was far better behaved and turned up on her due date – she’s twenty-seven today. Way da go, Fran! French modernist artist and sculptor Henri Matisse would be blowing out a lot of candles on his cake today, if he hadn’t died in 1954 (aged eighty-four.) He began painting at twenty while recovering from an appendectomy and his style was influenced by (amongst others) Vincent Van Gogh – although he quickly developed his own unique approach to colour and form. Matisse was arguably one of the most influential painters of the twentieth century.

North of the border, we have some Hogmanay birthdays, starting with Prince Charles Edward Stuart in 1720, who was born in Rome to exiled Stuart King James VII (Scotland) and II (England and Ireland) – the last Roman Catholic monarch.

Bonnie Prince Charlie spent just a year in Scotland, in his attempt to rally support and battle his way to London to claim the English throne for his father from George II. His was a win some, lose more campaign, and following a decisive defeat at Culloden Moor, he spent months on the run, disguised first as a ship-wrecked merchant, Mr Sinclair, and then as a woman, Betty Burke. Aided by wee Flora MacDonald, he eventually escaped to France.

The not so bonnie Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond checked into Linlithgow, Scotland in 1954. The Former First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party was originally an economist and worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland – enough said. Following the referendum result in September 2014, he resigned both positions and left us to the mercy of Nicola Sturgeon, keeping up the fishy surname theme.

Next up is (Paul) Dominik Diamond born in Arbroath in 1969, a television and radio presenter and newspaper columnist (Daily Star – that’s a newspaper?) who spreads (get it?) himself around the UK and Canada. I’ve never heard of the guy – who studied drama at Bristol Uni with David Walliams – but apparently he is best known as the original presenter of Channel 4’s video gaming programme, GamesMaster from 1992-8. This was the first ever UK TV show dedicated to computer and video games and featured star man Sir Patrick Moore in pre-recorded inserts as the ‘Games Master’ – with or without monocle, I wonder?

Last but not least, vocalist, songwriter and musician Malcolm Bruce Middleton (any relation, I wonder?) rocked up in Dumfries on the last day of 1973, which was a Monday. It was also the day that as a result of coal shortages caused by industrial action in the UK, the Three Day Week electricity consumption reduction rules came into force. Oh happy days – I wonder if the first-footer-bearing-coal Hogmanay tradition was affected by the shortage? I doubt little Malcolm cared. Before teaming up with Aidan Moffat to form Arab Strap (a post-folk indie band) in 1995, he played bass, guitar and sang in several bands in the early 1990s, including Purple Bass Plectrum, Rabid Lettuce (I so love that!), Pigtube and The Laughing Stock.

So, Happy Birthday to all those mentioned who are still breathing, and Happy 2018 to everyone else.

Thanks for having me, Jenny – see you next year!

Toodles.

NP

Author.to/nellpeters 

***

A huge thank you Nell – another wonderful blog. 

I can’t thank you enough for all the laughs you have given myself and my fellow blog readers this year. You’re wonderful.

Have a fantastic – and less stressful – 2018!!

Happy reading everyone

Jenny xx

 


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