Thursday, 18 April 2013

Special offers

BOOKS Magazine claim that the cozy mystery genre is the next market leader - More and more people are reading cozy mystery books. And within the cozy mystery genre, holiday themed cozies have also been increasing in popularity. Some authors of the cozy mystery book subgenre specialize in holiday and special occasion mysteries. These books are often written in a series, with each covering a different holiday.

My own cozy series featuring the pensioner sleuth Granny Smith is experiencing strong sales, though interestingly I'm selling twice as many books in the US market than I am in my native UK. The Granny Smith series, currently two books, with a third out this winter are set in the semi-fictional South Wales village of Gilfach, which is very much based on Gilfach Goch, the village I grew up in - the geography is the same but the Gilfach of the books is populated by a bunch of surreal characters and I'm having great fun playing with them.

" A great mystery here and brings that style of cozy forward into the twenty-first century, touching on modern subjects that wouldn't have been tolerated back then, Hell, not even thought of back then." From Amazon reviews.

Now cozy crimes traditionally don't feature any graphic violence or sexual content, and whilst the Granny Smith books mostly follow these conventions, I have tried to push the genre somewhat, which is why you will often find the Granny books to be a little more risque than most other cozies. In fact I don't think of Granny Smith as strict Cozies, but rather un-cozies. I mean they are not serious crime novels, far from it - I think they are far more humorous than most and there are definitely passages which are all out comedy.

"The murder mystery has good flow. The characters are a hoot." From Amazon reviews

"Very interesting and a very fast and fun read. Was a surprise ending, I loved the way granny defends herself." From Amazon Reviews.

The third Granny Smith novel (The Welsh Connection) which will see print this winter continues directly on from Granny Smith and The Deadly Frogs, and finds Granny and her extended family setting off for Disneyland to celebrate the wedding of Granny's son Gerald to his long term partner, Wayne. It's going to be the gayest of gay weddings - indeed Granny calls it The Royal Wedding.

With Granny at Disney mayhem ensues - murder, mayhem, narcotics and a mouse. I do hope many of you who read the Archive will try the series and to celebrate the success of Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs, it's just outside the top one hundred on Amazon  you know, both of the currently available books in the series have been dropped to a low low price (£1.34 UK/ $2.06 US)  for the remainder of this month.

Extract: Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs

That was one possibility, Granny thought but just because Mark and Carol had shared a night together didn’t mean he had killed her.
During her younger days Granny had experienced a few one-night stands herself, it had seemed almost compulsory at the rock festivals of her youth. And if murder followed casual coitus then she herself would be a serial killer – well, she would have bumped off at least two men at Glastonbury and another at Knebworth. And Keith Richards certainly wouldn’t be around to twiddle his twangy strings, not after Hyde Park. 

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Saturday, 13 April 2013

Granny Smith extract

The end of last month saw Granny Smith and The Deadly Frogs published by Red Valley Publishing - the book is  available on the Kindle as well as in other formats, and will be on sale at  Amazon, Barnes and Noble, WH Smith, Goodreads and other digital stores. There will also be a limited run print edition available later this year, as Granny Smith breaks through into print.

Granny Smith is set in the small Welsh village of Gilfach, a semi-fictional village loosely based on Gilfach Goch, a village I grew up in. When I started to create the series I wondered what my own village would be like if it were populated by charters from an Ealing movie, and from there the village of Gilfach developed. There are many secondary characters who pop in and out of the Granny Smith series and I hope they add colour to the story, and give a sense of reality to this much larger than life village.

It's Miss Marple on Steroids!!!

The first book in the series Granny Smith Investigates is still available from all the usual outlets so if you've not got into the series yet then maybe now is the time.

"A nice easy read for lazy Sunday afternoons curled up on the sofa in front of a roaring fire with a nice glass or two of wine and chocolates, brilliant ." STARRED REVIEWS  

"I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Granny is a wonderful character, refreshingly different and politically incorrect. I loved that she still smokes in a time when it is frowned upon; that she is an unrepentant hippie and even that she is blind to her son's faults. She is astute and not scared to speak her mind. She is also very human and that is a large part of her charm. I think most of us can identify with her." AMAZON REVIEWS

Go get Granny Smith Investigates now - and below find a short taster of the new book Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs which will be published 31st March 2013.

Get ready - the geriatric crime-fighter is back!!! 

Sample from Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs

Granny sighed.
This wasn’t getting them anywhere and they had strayed so far from the point of the meeting that they were in danger of losing sight of it all together.
‘Capitalism by its very nature exploits the working man,’ Mark brought a fist down on the table to illustrate his point.
‘And the working woman,’ Sue chimed in. ‘It’s not all about men you know.’
‘Right on, sister,’ Mansall punched the air and had to adjust his cap when it fell forward over his eyes.
‘I had the impression it was about frogs,’ Granny chimed in.
‘Right on sister,’ Mansall repeated, this time neglecting to punch the air but throwing his support behind Granny as well as Sue.
 ‘I really think we should get back to the frogs,’ Granny said and then used the pun she had been itching to use for the last ten minutes or so: ‘We seem to have hopped away from the point of this meeting.’
Maud liked that and nudged Granny gently in the side as a token of her appreciation.
‘Indeed,’ Mark stood and leaned forward, his knuckles on the edge of the table. ‘But I used the word man as in mankind. I was referring to the species and not any specific gender.’
‘Womankind,’ Sue chipped in again. When she got something between her teeth she held onto it with all the tenacity of a terrier. She also found Mark to be a pompous ass and took pleasure in annoying him.
‘Oh, give it a rest,’ Carol was sat leaning forward on the table, her chin resting in her cupped hands. She looked bored and other than this one utterance was content to allow the proceedings to go on around her.
 ‘Please, please,’ Councillor Pipe stood and glared across the table at Mark. He didn’t say another word until Mark had sat himself back down, and then gave a tight smile before continuing. ‘You have stated your case and I have listened but please do not let this resort to petty arguments. If this meeting is to continue then I must insist on the correct decorum.’
‘Well what are you going to do, Dwain?’ Granny asked. She had known the councillor since he had been knee high to a grasshopper and would never, no matter what position he held in the council, address him by anything other than his Christian name.
The councillor frowned at the use of his Christian name.
‘I will arrange for a spokesman from your little group to put your concerns before a full council meeting,’ he said.
‘And when will this be?’ Mark asked, his tone aggressive. ‘The development is due to star in less than a month and I imagine someone in the council will benefit from things going ahead. This is nothing but typical bureaucratic stalling for time.’
‘I beg your pardon,’ the councillor once again glared at Mark. ‘What are you inferring?’
‘It is you that infers,’ Mark said, smugly. ‘I’m implying.’
‘Semantics,’ the councillor waved a hand as if to dismiss Mark.
Mansall, wondering what apes had to do with anything, turned his head back and forth between the councillor and Mark like a spectator at  a tennis match.
 ‘And I imply that palms have been greased within the council,’ Mark wasn’t going to let this go.
This time the councillor was speechless and looked to Granny for support, for it was she who had cajoled him into attending this impromptu meeting, which felt to the councillor like an inquisition.
The focus of the meeting should have been the small pond on Graig Meadow, which was a known spawning ground for the extremely rare Lesser Crested Frog, and yet the amphibians had been all but forgotten. The meeting looked to be in danger of becoming a full-blown argument.
‘If the development starts and the pond is destroyed,’ Sue said, frowning. ‘That it’ll be too late. It’ll be no use stopping things once the pond’s been destroyed. That would just be a waste of time.’
‘The pond goes,’ Amy said, offering Sue a smile of support. ‘The frogs will have gone forever.’
‘I am aware of your concerns,’ the councillor started but he was cut short by a hostile “bollocks” yelled out by Mark.
‘That’s the point, Dwain,’ Granny said, quickly stepping in to defuse the situation. Mark seemed to be getting riled and Granny knew he had a nasty temper. ‘The Lesser Crested Frog is a very territorial creature and if it’s habitat is destroyed then it will move on elsewhere and will miss the next spawning season. The frogs are rare enough as it is in this part of the world so time is limited. We can’t wait for a full council meeting,’ she pulled her battered pipe from her pocket and placed it in her mouth. She would have liked nothing better right now than to puff on a bowl of burley tobacco but the smoking ban meant that she would have to wait until she went outside.
‘The meeting will be arranged by the end of the week,’ Councillor Pipe said, firmly. ‘I’ll call an extraordinary meeting which means I only have to give twenty four hours notice.’
‘There,’ Granny said. ‘That’s something at least.’
‘Excuse me,’ a short man wearing an over sized raincoat and clutching a tan leather briefcase to his chest said as he approached the table. His eyes went to each of them in turn before settling on the councillor since he was the only one wearing a shirt and tie and looked to be in charge. ‘I’m looking for a Terry Mansall.’
Mansall looked up at the newcomer and once again had to adjust his errant cap. He was about to identify himself, but then his eyes clouded over with suspicion and he remained silent. He had learned from past experience that whenever anyone came looking for him by name it usually wasn’t a good thing. The small man didn’t look like a bailiff, Mansall had enough experience with that breed to know one when he saw one, but the man was carrying a briefcase and Mansall could see no good reason for anyone connected with himself to carry a briefcase.
Mark was about to speak, likely pointing Mansall out, but Granny, noticing Mansall’s reluctance to make himself known, cut in.
‘And you are?’ she asked.
‘Forgive me,’ the small man said and had to put his briefcase down while he fished in his pockets for a business card, which he handed across to Granny.

Richard Purser, PhD

For the full story be sure to download a copy of Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs 

Granny Smith Investigates is also available .

Monday, 8 April 2013

Granny's words of wisdom

My latest adventure, Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs is available now in eBook, and proving every bit as popular as my first adventure, Granny Smith Investigates.

Check out the low priced eBook.

You won't be disappointed.

Read about how I:
saved the day,
pounded some druggies,
campaigned for the frogs,
bedded Keith Richards
and solved yet another baffling murder.

Some people call me the geriatric crime-fighter, a kind of Batman with dentures but why not read the books and decide for yourselves.

Go on - get yourself a whole pints worth of entertainment with Granny Smith Investigates and Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs.

 Both are available now.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

The old bird's still got it

Nice to know that this old bird's still got it - on the Granny Smith Facebook page HERE - I have picked up my first stalker who claims he wants to know more about me, but I suspect he just wants to get into my bloomers. Hey, there's plenty of cool  tunes played on an old fiddle.

Below is the transcript of an instant chat this net romeo initiated with my this morning:

Hello angel how you doing am DON MOORE from new york am single seeking for true love here, what about you can i know more about you
You could buy my book, sweetchunks XX
I want to know more about you honey
Hi! What's up?
Hi! What's up?
nowt just soaking my teeth and using a hacksaw to file my toenails.
how pain it is honey?
You are my first Internet crush - congratulations
how you doing now?
I'm fine - gonna make lava bread for dinner and then grease my breasts
where do you live honey?
In a small village called Gilfach - I like long walks, listening to rock music and solving murders
what country is that honey?
The UK my sexy American dude - from now on I will think of you as my own Charles Bronson
we you marry me?
My Arthur may have something to say about that. Mind you he has a bad ticker and should only be around for a few more years...five at the top!
can,t yyou marry me?
It'll be bigumtree
never mind read one of my books and bang one off the wrist
am heree because of love, am not here because of book

Top 100 albums of all

The last week BBC Radio 2 published the result of its poll to name the top 100 Favorited albums, and what the results revealed is that Radio 2 should be aiming to attract a different kind of listener. This was obviously a music poll for people who don't like music.

The top album according to the Radio 2 poll is Coldplay's Rush of Blood to the Head - are they serious? Coldplay are hardly the best of anything. This is one of the blandest bands on the planet and their magnolia paint colored album comes in higher than Dark Side of the Moon, higher than Pet Sounds, higher than Sgt. Peppers! No 2 was Keane's Hopes and Fears - off! At number three we have Duran Duran's Rio - OK by now the list has lost all credibility. Mind you No 4 is taken up by Dark Side of the Moon but then this one touch of reality is shattered by Dido coming in  at number 5. The Beatles do manage to make no 8 but below The Stones' mediocre Sticky Fingers album and something by the pet shop boys.

Paul McCartney gets just inside the top 100 with Pipes of Peace at no 98. Now I like McCartney and know his entire back catalog inside out, but Pipes of Peace is one of his weakest albums and is largely made up of tracks that were left off the far superior, Tug of War. His old pal John Lennon does a little better at No 89 with Double Fantasy - but hang on isn;t this only half a Lennon album and whilst his tracks are all great, Yoko's contributions destroy the album for many. And besides Lennon's Plastic Ono Band is a far better album, as is Imagine and Walls and Bridges...none of which make the top 100.

I guess the BBC, at least in terms of Radio 2, mean Bullshit Broadcasting Clowns.

The full list was:

    • 1 Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
    • 2 Keane - Hopes & Fears
    • 3 Duran Duran - Rio
    • 4 Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon
    • 5 Dido - No Angel
    • 6 The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers
    • 7 Pet Shop Boys - Actually
    • 8 The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    • 9 U2 - The Joshua Tree
    • 10 Queen - A Night At The Opera
    • 11 Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
    • 12 Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV
    • 13 The Police - Synchronicity
    • 14 Madonna - True Blue
    • 15 James Blunt - Back To Bedlam
    • 16 Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run
    • 17 Adele - 21
    • 18 Oasis - Definitely Maybe
    • 19 Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
    • 20 George Michael - Faith
    • 21 Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
    • 22 Electric Light Orchestra - Out Of The Blue
    • 23 Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell
    • 24 Kate Bush - The Kick Inside
    • 25 Kylie Minogue - Fever
    • 26 Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde
    • 27 Michael Jackson - Thriller
    • 28 Paul Simon - Graceland
    • 29 Billy Joel - An Innocent Man
    • 30 Kinks - The Kinks
    • 31 Guns N Roses - Appetite For Destruction
    • 32 Pulp - Different Class
    • 33 The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
    • 34 Stevie Wonder - Songs In The Key of Life
    • 35 Take That - Beautiful World
    • 36 Blondie - Parallel Lines
    • 37 ABBA - Arrival
    • 38 Prince - Purple Rain
    • 39 The Eagles - Hotel California
    • 40 The Human League - Dare
    • 41 Supertramp - Breakfast In America
    • 42 R.E.M. - Automatic For The People
    • 43 Wings - Band On The Run
    • 44 Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
    • 45 Joni Mitchell - Blue
    • 46 Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet
    • 47 Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
    • 48 Robbie Williams - I've Been Expecting You
    • 49 Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
    • 50 Neil Young - Harvest
    • 51 Carole King - Tapestry
    • 52 The Verve - Urban Hymns
    • 53 Celine Dion - Falling Into You
    • 54 The Who - Tommy
    • 55 Donna Summer - Bad Girls
    • 56 George Harrison - All Things Must Pass
    • 57 Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane
    • 58 Bob Marley & The Wailers - Exodus
    • 59 Donald Fagen - The Nightfly
    • 60 Gerry Rafferty - City To City
    • 61 David Bowie - Let's Dance
    • 62 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Déjà Vu
    • 63 Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True
    • 64 Roxy Music - Flesh and Blood
    • 65 Steely Dan - Can't Buy A Thrill
    • 66 Culture Club - Colour By Numbers
    • 67 David Gray - White Ladder
    • 68 Bryan Adams - Reckless
    • 69 Neil Diamond - Beautiful Noise
    • 70 Phil Collins - Face Value
    • 71 Genesis - Invisible Touch
    • 72 Barbra Streisand - Guilty
    • 73 Frank Sinatra - Songs for Swingin' Lovers!
    • 74 Simply Red - Stars
    • 75 Van Morrison - Avalon Sunset
    • 76 Rod Stewart - Atlantic Crossing
    • 77 Sade - Diamond Life
    • 78 Buddy Holly & The Crickets - The Chirping Crickets
    • 79 Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston
    • 80 Michael Bublé - Crazy Love
    • 81 Shania Twain - Come On Over
    • 82 Emeli Sandé - Our Version Of Events
    • 83 Elvis Presley - Moody Blue
    • 84 Bee Gees - Spirits Having Flown
    • 85 Eric Clapton - Slowhand
    • 86 The Pretenders - The Pretenders
    • 87 Eurythmics - Be Yourself Tonight
    • 88 The Carpenters - A Song For You
    • 89 John Lennon - Double Fantasy
    • 90 Don McLean - American Pie
    • 91 Chic - C'est Chic
    • 92 Aretha Franklin - Lady Soul
    • 93 Daryl Hall & John Oates - Private Eyes
    • 94 Earth, Wind & Fire - I Am
    • 95 The Doobie Brothers - Minute by Minute
    • 96 Lionel Richie - Can't Slow Down
    • 97 Diana Ross - Diana
    • 98 Paul McCartney - Pipes Of Peace
    • 99 Dionne Warwick - Heartbreaker
    • 100 Cee Lo Green - The Lady Killer

Friday, 5 April 2013

The Willygate tensions soften

It started when Keef went on about the small size of Mick's penis in his entertaining autobiography, Life. Throughout the book Keef referred to Mick as Lady Mick and Princess Jagger and this caused a rift in their already strained relationship. Mick, he of the tiny todger, refused to speak to  Keef and the hopes that they would perform together for the 50th anniversary of the band didn't look likely.

The relationship between Keef and Mick was always volatile but Jagger went nuts when Keef's book made fun of his penis and revealing that where the ladies are concerned, Mick couldn't give no satisfaction. It all led to a hilarious series of press reports in which ex girlfriends either denied or admitted the Jagger plonker was a tiny todger.

In his book Keef claims he discovered the truth about his old friend’s bits and pieces during a tryst he had in 1960 with Marianne Faithfull, then Jagger’s girlfriend. To make matters worse, he added how it had been his good fortune to bury his head in Faithfull’s “beautiful jugs” 

And so it didn't look like the Stones would ever appear together again.

However out of the blue it was announced that the Stones would play this year's Glastonbury festival and now we've learned that the Stones will play a concert in London's Hyde Park - though anyone expecting another free open air concert in the park, as the Stones did in 1968, can think again. Now, 44 years on, the Stones are to play Hyde Park again, it was announced yesterday. But this time, fans will have to buy their tickets – with the cheapest costing £95 and VIP seats expected to be three times as much.Today’s corporate world sees the event in central London sponsored by Barclaycard – and health and safety rules mean the crowd will be limited to 65,000.