Category: cover reveal


Peachy keen, Josephine!

Just a quick one today and a bit off-topic but it pleased me, so….

For many years I have been an enthusiastic if not very knowledgeable gardener. As soon as I had a little space that was mine, I started putting plants in it. My flower beds are not keenly planned out or beautifully manicured; more a case of “that’s a pretty colour–let’s stick it in the garden and see what happens.” Sometimes things flower briefly and die away, but other times they thrive, which is always very pleasing.

However, I am not now allowed to go near the garden centre. This is not because I am liable to go dashing down the aisles whooping like Tarzan (far too tired for that these days). It’s just that I find it difficult to go past any display of plants without picking something up, and in my local garden centre they have hit my Achilles heel square on by the cunning placement of what is known as the “graveyard shelf” just near the exit.

The graveyard shelf is where they put all the plants that are a bit gnarly, look a bit sickly or they don’t expect to live. They put them all on a big mixed shelf by the checkout for a pound each, and if they don’t sell, at the end of the week they all go in the bin. Hence the name!

Now I am a sucker for this sort of thing. I have a terrible need to rescue them.

One day I walked past and there was little peach tree in its pot, a patio peach tree, which is to say one that has been grafted onto stock that will not grow tall and is therefore suitable for growing on your patio.

At the time we were between houses. We had sold our beloved house further out from London and were looking for somewhere a little bit nearer to the elderly mother-in-law. Our attempt to buy a house had just fallen through, and so we had moved into rental in the area in order to scope out the area and keep an eye out for new properties coming onto the market. It was a bit of a miserable time.

So I saw this peach tree and knew that I should not buy it. It was a silly idea. But it was also a Saturday evening and nobody else had bought it because it had a terrible case of peach leaf curl, and the leaves were all blistered and malformed. I could not have planted it at the rental house, but as it was in a pot, I ended up bringing it home. I had to look up what was wrong with it, and then what to do about that.

For the past four or five years I have been spraying it twice a year to stop the mould that causes it, picking off the leaves if they come through blistered again, moving it from the little lean-to by the house where it spends the winter to a nice warm sunny spot by the wall where it gets maximum warmth in summer but is still protected from rain. I have even – and given the state of my short term memory this is not always guaranteed – I have even remembered to feed it and water it! And it has responded nicely.

Each year fewer leaves come through blistered and it has started bearing tiny little fruits on the branches. Last year they stayed in place for long enough that one was not rockhard, but it was still completely inedible. It looked so pretty with the peaches all rosy against the green leaves though.

This summer, we have had some very hot weather. Outrageously hot, for the UK. And the little peach tree has loved it. Every morning on my way out of the front door I’ve paused for long enough to water it with the can of water set ready, and each new day it it’s dry again. It has six little fruits across its branches – I picked off the other tiny ones so that these six get a chance to ripen properly – and finally today one fell.

We brought it into the kitchen and decided to see if it was edible. This is it next to a teaspoon for scale. Isn’t it the tiniest peach you’ve ever seen?

It separated from the stone beautifully. It was as ripe as could be. And the scent of it! I have never smelt a peach that smelt so beautifully fragrant. We tried the flesh and it was slightly odd of texture – I need to return to Google– but the taste was there, and I could not help thinking that perhaps in a couple of years if I fine-tune the way I have been looking after it, perhaps we will finally get some true, delicious peaches from it. Not bad for a pound purchase from the graveyard shelf!

In some ways my writing career is much the same. I am hopeful that we are getting to the tipping point now whereby the books I have on the shelf are of a quality to please, and there are slowly starting to be enough of them to be memorable. The Holly series is now in editing for the first couple of books although the last one is still to be finished off, and I am in negotiations with Wes for the cover of Holly 3.

I have also recovered the Scarred Artisan. Although the old cover had a much better picture of the main character, Lyria, it was not immediately obvious what genre it was. A lot of people glanced assumed it was women’s lit, which it isn’t. Consequently sales have been negligible. I have now ordered a cover which doesn’t look so very much like Lyria herself, but it does look very much more like the sort of story that it is. It will be interesting to see whether this works better.

Anyhow, back to the grindstone. Lurcher supremo Lord Thunderpaws is starting to give me the meaningful eye. He believes it is time for me to go up to the study and get on writing, not sit on the sofa drinking tea. No brownie points for writing blogs from the lurcher who wants to go snooze on his comfy bed upstairs!

Another busy week at work beckons, so I have no idea how much I’ll be able to do this week: most evenings I’ll probably end up logged on again.

I hope you have a more restful week, in any case. There will be another newsletter going out on the 21st as we are part of another group giveaway. And hopefully also the sneak preview of the new cover for Scarred Artisan so watch this space!

Catch you later – –

J A C

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Hello everyone,

I trust you’re all getting into the festive spirit and happily ploughing your way through ladles of eggnog and oodles of books.  Just wanted to introduce myself as the newest member of the Weasel Green Press team.  I’ll be helping JA with sundry admin-y type things, a little bit of proofreading and sprucing up our online presence during the early part of 2017 so that she can concentrate on what she does best, doting on hubby and lurcher writing stories that entertain, whisk us off to imaginary lands and generally keep us on the edges of our seats.

This Christmas season we’ve been working on her short story, The Locket, which is available for pre-order with an arrival date of Christmas Eve. So far we have not done a cover reveal so here it is:

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I hope a few of you at least find it in your virtual stockings come Christmas morning.  In the new year it will be all systems go with Sprig of Holly sequel, The Holly & the Ivy which we hope to release early in January so do look out for those.

A little bit about me – my reading habits tend towards the classics, modern American literature, anything that rips the old heart out and the giants of fantasy and sci-fi such as Tolkien and Asimov.  I’m also oddly well read in WWII novels on account of stealing most of my reading matter from my big brother who is a bit of a WWII boffin.  But enough about me.

I hope you all receive the books you’re pining for this Christmas and get enough down time to breathe a sigh of relief at the close of this rather singular year whilst indulging in a new work or returning to an old favourite.

Have a good one folks and I wish you all an enlightening and peaceful new year.

Mary

(the funniest and indeed funnest member of the WGP team)

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