Easter Egg

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For those of you who like a bargain, or who like celebrating Easter in a non chocolaty but equally decadent kind of way, I have news. My publisher Kensington Gore has put the Secret of Aldwych Strand on special.

From Saturday 26th – Sunday 29th (inclusive) Book 1 of Mark and Lucy’s adventures is free, gratis – cost nothing to purchase for your Kindle.

For a slightly longer period – the 26th of March to the 2nd of April the other two tales in the trilogy are reduced to only 99p.

“Where do I get them?” I hear you cry as you charge your kindle and kindle app!

“Why! That’s easy. Click on the easter eggs!”

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Latest 5 Star Review

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Humbled…

5 star review

 

 

World Book Day – a teaser from Cowardice of Crows

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Later this year, the first Byrd novel hits the shelves. The following is a short extract from chapter 2… Enjoy

Friday 2nd November, 1900

12pm

A shy unassuming man,  who was wearing a clerk’s suit complete with a bowler hat, caught the noon train to Brighton. Aged about 40, he positioned himself in the corner seat of a second class carriage, and stared out of the window at the passing scenery. Every so often, he would look at his well-worn half hunter, and note something down in the pages of a little black notebook; but otherwise he was no trouble to the people who travelled with him from London. When the train entered the tunnel the man tensed, and a motherly lady with big hips and loud breathing, patted him gently on the arm, and made soothing noises. He thanked her, in a whisper, and continued to sit upright until the tunnel section of the journey was complete. Then with a sigh, he leaned back against the seat and closed his eyes (to all intents and purposes) worn out after his nervous display. And thus he stayed, until ten minutes before the locomotive was due to pull in to Brighton, when the carriage was disturbed by the conductor.

“Mr. Sampson?” The shy man jumped, dislodging the bowler from his lap and sending it to the floor.

“Yes?”

“The earl requests you attend him in First, sir.”

“Yes… Yes… Thank you.” The man rescued his hat from the motherly lady (who had swooped eagle like to pick it up) and stood up. Making his apologies, he made his way out of the carriage and down the corridor.

~~~

At the station, the motherly woman looked out for the shy man amongst Earl Byrd’s very noticeable entourage. But while she could see a burly porter pushing a trolley laden with cases; a ramrod backed valet (who had clearly seen military service); and an efficient looking secretary with grey hair and a hatchet nose; there was no sign of the shy man. Instead of looking perturbed by his absence, the motherly woman grinned and hobbled her way to the ladies cloakroom, where an attendant later found a pair of boots stuffed with newspaper.

Up and Coming

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All being well and good Secrets and Lies will be at the Hockley and Hawkwell Methodist Hall on February 13th with copies of the Aldwych Strand Trilogy as well as the compendium version.

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Time Travellers and Normals

Mark – A football mad teenager who should know better by now

Lucy – The class geek whose madcap idea to photograph Southend Pier got them into all this trouble

Molly Pearce – Manager of the Edinburgh Castle Mission (a woman of hidden depths)

Will Driver – Lloyd George’s Driver

DCI Arthur Sutton – a policeman working for Melville

Lysander and Cornelius Armstrong – twin brothers who look nothing alike

Captain Michaels – an officer who hates Italians

Historicals

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David Lloyd George – Chancellor of the Exchequer, Welshman and playboy

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Guillermo Marconi – Inventor of the Wireless. An Essex boy from Italy.

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Winston S. Churchill – Home Secretary

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Walter Nicolai – An old fashioned spymaster who is playing a deep game

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William Melville – Allegedly the head of the Secret Service

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Frances Stephenson – A girl who catches Lloyd George’s eye

Promo video from Impala films

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Do have a watch. This promo video showcases Essex talent

Gravesend – Craftastic

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Yesterday I went south of the river. It was fine. I survived. It wasn’t a friday night and I wasn’t in a taxi.

It was my first craft fair held in the heritage quarter of Gravesend in the Three Daws function room. There was a gentle stream of people, mouching around – buying the odd bit; talking about this and that -mainly about how quiet town was.

Since our first book fair – we’ve been speculating to acumulate. For the first time we had a banner and a locations videoin addition to our  bookmarks. I even thought about including a sheet of reviews It drew interest. People came over; and I was able to talk about the books in terms why it had short chapters and different narrators.

I sold books: to complete strangers. Always the sign of a good day. Contacts were made for other fairs that side of the river.

Agatha Christie I may not yet be – until Symington goes viral on publication next year, that is!  (Cue Twilight Zone special effects) but I didn’t go into this book writing lark to make money. I went into it to ensure that Mark and Lucy and Symington and Emily’s stories were told, and that people read them.

A huge thanks

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To Barry R. Ward of Doctor Who Appreciation Society fame, for his fabulous piece of artwork to accompany the Ad for the Trilogy on the DWAS Facebook Page.

For those of you who didn’t know, the adventures of Lucy and Mark are complete and can be bought hereSarah_E_Smith

Langley Bradley – clockmaker

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Langley Bradley was a clockmaker born in 1663. At the age of 23 he was apprenticed to Joseph Wise, and after being freed in 1694, he worked in Fenchurch Street at the Minute Dial. In 1720 he was appointed Assistant of the Clockmakers company and was master in1726. From 1748 he was working as a clockmaker in Mile End.  Best know for the commission from Sir Christopher Wren in 1707 for the clock for St Pauls which was criticised by a government commission led by  Sir Isaac Newton, whose own clockmaker won the right to replace the Bradley piece.

However, despite this set back Bradley’s career did not suffer too badly. Wren tried to get him appointed as official clockmaker to Queen Anne, but the Lord Chamberlain’s office blocked the appointment. So when this failed Wren helped the clockmaker win the commission for the new clock at Hampton court.

My interest in Bradley Langley results from a visit to London. We do the Open London weekend and last year visited the Old Admiralty building. And there we found “Langers”. It’s a grandfather clock,  which was made in 1697 and came  from the offices of the Navy Board. Stately as all clocks should be, this time piece has witnessed a lot of history – wars declared, ships lost and careers made and destroyed. Obviously, as the Old Admiralty building is a secure area, we were unable to take a photograph of the piece. However trawling the net to help with my description of the cabinet’s HQ (for book 3) I found this picture of the table. And there – lurking in the background is the Langley Bradley. Gorgeous, isn’t he?

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