Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Moving To Wordpress

On 11th June 2011 I started to blog on this site. Since then some 417 posts have appeared. Much has changed in that time. The blog was once the essential flagship of the wannabe blockbuster author like me. Now it is a diminished form in the jingle jangle jumble of competing media voices. People are at full stretch just trying to sell their own deal or ducking out of infinite sales pitches.

For all that, it's been a great experience and pleasure to be on here. Over the past year my stats have been completely meaningless on account of Russian Spambots hitting the site multi-thousands of times.  Thanks to everyone who has read and/or commented on my blog. I'm gonna carry on via Wordpress to see if there is a genuine audience out there. You can find me here .

Jambon melangé en croûte avec blé complet et salade verte. (SPAM fritters)
Did you ever wonder if the genuine delicious SPAM has suffered by association with junk mail? To be honest I'm a SPAM fan and often tuck into a SPAM fritter when the gourmet world isn't watching.



Emma Thinx: The sword of spam is mightier than the pen







Monday, 25 May 2015

Royal Diet - Let them eat cakes! pic.twitter.com/IZHc6rHmx8

I do not struggle with my weight. My weight struggles with me and owing to its superior artillery of temptation, I don't resist.  Until now! 

I have joined the underground resistance. I'm working by sabotage and secrecy - so much so that I've not even told myself I'm dieting. In that way if I'm captured and tortured by the Guessmyweightstapo with a chocolate eclair I will not give myself away. I'll just eat it so as not to betray my secret plan.

So, I'm on a pleasure based diet. This means long country walks, poetic contemplation and writing 'Passion Patrol 3' in my head.


Oh Cinders - I shall go to the ball at the Hall when I can get into my dress


Today my route took me to the grounds of Broadlands House in Hampshire England.  This is the stately home of Lord Romsey who inherited when Lord Mountbatten (cousin of the Queen and uncle of the Duke of Edinburgh) was assassinated during the Irish troubles. Prince Charles went to the scene a few days ago. I'm not a royalist groupie but I like the guy. He's been in trouble for writing to ministers about providing better kit for the poor old squaddies who fight for us. Well - Good on ya mate. If they don't like it ride down to parliament and close'em down.

My path to bodily perfection and infinity
My new royal protection squad heroine was feeling the surge and pulse of life in her inner core longing for release as she took in the view through my eyes this afternoon. Well - maybe it was me rumbling.....but I'm pretty sure the earth moved.

'The Sane Max' - Passion Patrol 3  - coming soon to an e-reader near you. 

So here I am on my long and winding road to health and fitness.  Have you ever been on a secret diet? What tips would you share to keep me on track?






Emma Thinx: The straight and narrow only works if the Earth is flat

Monday, 11 May 2015

Black Beauty Has A Beady Eye On The World pic.twitter.com/2lWfIdXcUI #birds

Who's a pretty boy then?

In our house we’re celebrating the recovery of a favorite ‘pet’ - a wise old crow who’s been coming to our garden for years. Just as the dog in "Alf The Workshop Dog" is a real mutt, ‘The Crow of the World’ from the same story is also based on my real-life bird friend. We call him ‘Hook Beak’ - for reasons you can guess from his photo.

He’s the cleverest and bravest of the crows, always first to come down when we throw out food. He swaggers up, looks right in at the window with his beady eyes and squarks at us when he’s hungry. If food is too dry – he takes it to a bowl of water and sits for a few minutes whilst it soaks and softens. If there’s any left over, he hides it for later – digging little holes in the grass and covering with leaves or moss.


Recently he showed up with a wounded leg, hardly able to walk. The other crows were pecking at him, keeping him away from food. He became increasingly bedraggled and we were worried he wouldn’t survive, especially with the constant bullying. We knew he was braver and more confident than most of his oppressors. We guessed he would approach closer than the others if we stayed in the garden to frighten them away. We made up some pasta (his favorite!) mixed with tinned dog meat. Sure enough he flapped down to feed while we stood guard. The bullies just squawked and postured at a distance. His courage and intelligence got him his three meals a day in peace.  This weekend he’s looking glossy and sleek. His limp has more or less gone and he can once more hold his own in the pecking order. He’s also very busy delivering food to a nest in a nearby oak tree – we think he may soon be teaching a young apprentice all his tricks!

The Great Crow Of The World is a major character in my kid's book Alf The Workshop Dog which  has been doing great and has reached #1 Bestseller in Time Travel, Pets, and Chapter Books in USA, UK and Canada.  To celebrate, the second book in the series Isabella's Pink Bicycle is going free 12-13-14 May. Come along and meet another animal - that cool pole cat for a tight spot - Frankie Ferret.  Who needs a Fairy Godmother when you've got a Ferret Godfather?

http://www.smarturl.it/IsabellaPink



Emma Thinx: You can't bully your way to courage.






Saturday, 2 May 2015

The Wind Weeps by @Anneli33 pic.twitter.com/d2V5UDsn3A smarturl.it/WindWeeps #Canadian #suspense

Look inside
I'm using my blog today to proclaim the new cover for an excellent novel The Wind Weeps by Anneli Purchase. I reviewed this story when it was first published. It is a dramatic read with a sexually sophisticated ambiance. To my eyes, the repackage is fantastic.

A novel as emotionally charged as this one needs a cover to reflect its contrasts and nuances. When fear and desperation threaten to sweep aside all gentleness and consideration the cover has a job of work to do. The new design conveys every element of this beautifully written story and for sure proclaims its worth.

The brutal truth of Nature displays itself along the lonely coast as much as it does through the lives of handsome men and beautiful women. Set in the commercial  fishing world of British Columbia, the depth of the story offers a range of choice for a cover. Anneli's designer, Anita B. Carroll of http://race-point.com created a design that embodies the passion and emotion that simmer even within the cruel unforgiving sea.

Remember the terror Julia Roberts felt in the movie Sleeping with the Enemy? That’s the kind of terror Andrea feels about her husband, Robert. But, in her case it isn’t so easy to escape him. He has taken her to live in a remote cabin on the coast, cut off from all communication.

Andrea once loved orchids, but Robert has transmuted them into a symbol of his control over her. The orchid on the cover seems to be weeping. The blood red sky, the bleak churning sea add their abstract shadows. And yet Andrea is determined to survive and get back to the man she wishes she had married, the one who has never stopped loving her.

For more than just a romance, why not click on the link to download The Wind Weeps. You won’t sleep until you finish it....




For those with e-readers other than Kindle, go to Smashwords.com

My Review of The Wind Weeps:

FIVE STARS: A really good story! We don't always make the right choices. We always think we can change people but human nature is very complex. Set in an unforgiving landscape of fittest survival, the human is a fragile and troubled creature. This is a book where the writer clearly knows that small mistakes can hook you in the mouth like a salmon on a merciless steel line. The water is cold for any warm blooded stranger who falls in the struggle. Yet this is the true life for these characters on the fishing grounds of the North. No ice can freeze the heat of desire and no innocence of springtime can un-cry the tears of youthful regret. Set in an awesome savage beauty, the human spirit goes on through real and imagined kisses and wine to find a wider perspective. We are free because love imprisons us. I adored this book for its exploration of this dilemma set in the real lives of real folk. No highfalutin literati posturing but a hand on the winch, a knife in the hand and a pulse in the flesh mix in this story. The style is straightforward without gratuitous flourishes - a bit like ice and a loving kiss. A sexually sophisticated and tension packed story. A good good read!

AUTHOR BIO


Anneli Purchase is an author and freelance copy-editor. She writes for the Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine, which she also helps to edit. Anneli lives on her little acre of paradise on Vancouver Island with her husband and two spaniels. She has published three novels and is working on her fourth.

Friday, 1 May 2015

The Ship That Died of Shame. pic.twitter.com/sb6Uq0fBOw Fly Tipping Horrors in the UK

Disgusting criminals ahoy
What beauty there is in the Springtime. Who could be blind to its joy? Who cannot know in their own heart the joy this beauty brings to others be they rich or poor? Who would SHIT in the face of innocence and loveliness? Who would SHIT in the face of our communities?


Fly tippers - that's who! These creatures are a curse in both urban and rural areas. Generally they are "contractors" who offer to clear rubbish. Instead of registering their business and joining in the community need for recycling, they dump the trash anywhere. Needless to say these barbarians avoid legitimate disposal fees although they charge their clients for them. Nowhere is safe. They are utter low-lifes with no care for their fellow man.

Close to the church of St Margaret's church in Wellow, a small Hampshire village (famous as the burial place of Florence Nightingale) I chanced upon a rare outrage of fly tipping. It's not often you wander along a country lane and find yourself confronted with a speedboat. Yes - a speedboat filled with bags of rubbish. Nearby there is a fridge and some other debris from a previous incident. Someone must be able to recognise this boat.
 Shipping lane


Being a writer I do get the chance to express my own views through characters. In Passion Patrol 2 WPC Shannon Aguerri confronts a band of fly tippers. Things turn ugly and there is violence. In researching the book I spoke to officers who had dealt with this kind of incident in real life. The fiction in the book is no exaggeration. 

I know this is just a futile rant and I doubt fly-tippers read my blog. Let me know your thoughts and maybe you will recognise this boat. If you do let me know and this passion patrol girl will get on the case.

Emma Thinx: You can't fly-tip your conscience.





Wednesday, 29 April 2015

A Spring Postcard From Exbury Gardens: Breathtaking Beauty pic.twitter.com/1tODNEQdUJ @exburygardens

Lucky I had a camera because when I got home I couldn't believe what I'd seen
The house - a noble perspective of lawn
Exbury Gardens is a visitor attraction set in the New Forest of Hampshire UK. The grounds run down to the Beaulieu RiverWild ponies wander the roads as you approach. The Isle of Wight and the Solent are visible as you wander along the river path. I had the fortune to go there yesterday. It's a job to write about the place without sounding like an OTT tourist brochureIt is just SO beautiful that really you just have to see the photos. The beauty has a quality of unreality which I suppose is to be expected in a created garden.  I wish I knew more about plants. Certainly there are 
From the dressing room palette of Madame Butterfly
azaleas and rhododendrons. I also spotted some king cups which have always been a favourite with me. They seem to cry out the joy of the sun and lush meadow land with their open faces. I had not seen any for years and suddenly I spotted them. My mind raced back decades to a John Clare poem.   
Green lush and beaming out vibrant joy

A Bank Holiday weekend lies ahead. If you get the chance give yourself a real overdose of beauty and get down to Exbury. Be sure to take your camera. My final shot is a close up of a Rhododendron. To me it represents an abstraction beyond reality. Maybe this is the way we are supposed to see things - as if everything is something more than itself. I guess this is what great gardeners seek to achieve - a transcendence beyond the truth of itself - a fiction of beauty - like a once dreamed kiss that suddenly is on your living lips.


Maybe dancers, maybe a melody - always beyond this world.

PS. Keep an eye out for Her Majesty. Seemingly she's a fan



Emma thinx:  We tolerate beliefs because no one knows the truth.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

If you go down to the woods today - #Bluebells #poetry #video pic.twitter.com/kq9vFPaOJP

Oh to be in England
Now that April's there.....

So begins the famous poem Home Thoughts, From Abroad  by Robert Browning, written in 1845 when he was feeling homesick in Italy. It is a lovely poem and I have always taken pleasure from poems of Nature. One of the few "arty" things I learned at school was the poem "Daffodils" by William WordsworthIn later life as a wannabee poet I discovered the words of John Clare and wept with frustration at my dullness. These days what poetry I have I secrete in my novels like a pinch of mono-sodium glutamate among the stir fried bean sprouts of new love. (Guess what I've been cooking for dinner?)

It was a release to get away from the office and go to the Bluebell woods at Mottisfont in Hampshire. I took my camera and tried to capture the crushing fragility of such beauty. All I could think of was the poem by Oscar Sparrow entitled simply "Bluebells"So much of our longing as humans comes down to a need to hold on and endure. Humble flowers with their immense beauty and perfume fade before our eyes and we cannot hold them any more than we can hold ourselves on the shingle shores of Time. And yet in poetry we can pass on a few moments that in the act itself of sharing, flower over and over as seeds, roll over and over as waves, kiss over and over as innocent lovers: as if no bloom before had offered such beauty or no lips before had ever known the joy of the kiss.

These were my feelings when I first read Oscar Sparrow's poem. Putting away all the bawdy splash and dash of selling the stuff and beating the drum which is a novelist's/publisher's life, I was in those woods - trying to hold back Time, trying to breathe in the blue. 

Emma thinx: Memory is your portrait. Select your poses to paint you







Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Putting Some #Free Love And Sex On Your Tablet pic.twitter.com/QP68aAdQV #romance




Cop on the cover - definitely NOT undercover!


I could not believe my ears. I was driving along listening to "Woman's Hour " on the BBC radio. The presenter announced the result of the latest official sex survey in the UK. People are having less and less sex! They are having less sex than in Victorian times which was before evolution had provided polite ladies with any orgasmic bits. (Didn't they have hands or curiosity?)

 The official reason is that the tablet and the smart phone are our true love mates. We even play with them in bed. The result is that on average folk are doing it THREE TIMES A MONTH. 

Now, without shocking you with my domestic survey stats I feel I can speak as an active writer of Romantica. The production process requires a fair bit of imaginative role play. Serious academic literary critics call this unashamed erotic fantasy. You can imagine the state of me at the end of a hard day. Three times a month wouldn't get me through a couple of scrappy chapters of drugs, crime and car chases. I've always wondered why writing about sex makes me feel sexy but writing about burglary doesn't make me want to steal other people's televisions.

At once I realised something had to be done. I had to save the British nation from further decline. I knew it would be impossible to convince lovers not to take their digital devices to bed. Of course the answer was simple; supply everyone with a free copy of  Passion Patrol 2. It wouldn't be long before the manhood of Britain would rise up and the ladies would lie back and think of England as they did in the time of sexy Queen Victoria. 

And, if you believe the reviews it's a thumping good tale of action, crime, love and sexual pleasure set in the crucible of race, class and wealth of modern Britain.



Emma Thinx: The idea of free love is for those who've never loved.






Thursday, 16 April 2015

French Resistance - a nation of #bookshops against the world

A book shop - a true symbol of modern French Resistance
In France there are book shops.  In England a few still cling on but they are hard to find. Whilst the French have embraced much of the out of town retail centre/shopping mall culture, the book trade is still in independent hands. The sale of books online lags far behind the UK and The USA. A few Parisian sophistogauls possess Kindles but I suspect even they read e books about propagating chic organic cucumbers in their attics.

Eventually I plucked up courage to enter my local "librairie". After all, I am Anglaise and so are my books. I imagined they would not be impressed by some Femme Franglaise swaggering in to anounce myself as the only International Number One Best Seller of female fantasm in the village. So - I took in some respectable material - my series of children's books and of course some serious poetry which I publish at Gallo-Romano media. I met a wonderful French lady.

"No one buys poetry or children's books," she said, selecting instead the crime soaked oversexed romance which is my more worldly genre. "There are many English in the region - this is the stuff they like," she assured me. Obviously  she knows what appeals to the daring fantasy follicles of the Anglo Saxon lady.

The bookshop "Le Passage des Heures" is a little marvel. Books on The Forgotten Vegetables of France lounge casually on the shoulder of Emile Zola. The place is adorable for a book groupie like me. We talked about the price of my books. I mentioned Amazon. A Gallic eyebrow shot out the roof of the building. Seemingly, the affairs of Amazon are of no interest. 

"We resist!" said the lady. 


A Corner of a foreign fenetre that is whatever Emma
Indeed they do. France is still a very foreign country - no matter where you are from. Being French is a talent and I will never be equal to it. Generally they understand how awful it is to be foreign and are very kind. As a result there is a bookshop in Saint Savinien with my books in the window. Merci beaucoup.  Eat your heart out Waterstone's. 


Emma Thinx: Foreign - a land of fear, spice and possibility. 











Friday, 10 April 2015

Give A #Dog A #Free Home - http://t.co/bWCW8z7aMy 11-13th April Amazon Worldwide

You can't drive a better bargain than free!
There is a long tradition of novelists taking real characters and turning them into literary figures. Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Severus Snape, Indiana Jones, Dorian Gray and Alf The Workshop Dog were all based on real people .....and a dog of course. 

If you want to check out the real Alf  FOR FREE you will able to see him live by using the interactive features in Alf The Workshop Dog which goes free on 11th, 12th and 13th April.

In the story Alf the homeless mutt helps out at a Bus depot workshop by finding tools and sniffing out waste food on a fleet of buses. Do I hear you saying "Aah - poor thing".  Well, here's your chance to give a dog a home and learn the whole story. 


Emma thinx: Police dogs work on leads.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Crows' Feet And Pasta - a menu for #Spring pic.twitter.com/2bhpJQYJ6n

Prima Rosa - yes the first rose. It is indeed the Spring and where there was nothing, suddenly there are primroses. Suddenly I draw them in through my senses and into my pagan soul. The crows fight savagely over sticks with which to build their nests. I get up at dawn to boil pasta to provide my noble scavengers with a romantic novelist's breakfast. I love these birds. I think I worship them. In my children's story Alf The Workshop Dog, all the wisdom of the world is stored in the crows. They are the default battery  on the motherboard of consciousness. (Did you ever wonder if digital language just has to reflect inescapable symmetries by way of metaphor and semi conductor?)

My friend H.B.
They have watched our futile struggles from the high trees since the dawn of conscious time. They have the DNA of dinosaurs, the politics of parliaments, the sheen of pimps, the stab of spike and claw, the stamp of merciless truth. Regular readers will recognise the photo of HB, my court favourite. Last week he showed up for breakfast bedraggled and desperate with hunger, only able to half hop on one leg. The others crows attacked him - such is the nature of the universe. I moved in close and for a moment he looked me in the eye. The other birds retreated or flapped off. He held my gaze and ate on. I circled keeping the others at bay. Finally he had eaten his fill. He took off back to his nest and fed some food to his mate. 

For the next two days he came, limping but stronger. He flew close by me before landing almost at my feet. Rivals moved in and he seemed to check me out for complicity. The others stayed away while he ate his Walmart fusilli and dog meat mash. Oooh, I'm a right cordon bleu you know!


Stark, stark. My kind has watched your species and bared your bones
Yesterday and today he has stayed up in his nest. He seems to be feeding on some agricultural land to the south of me. He has always been one to avoid the crush and shemozzle.  I watch him. He sat on my TV aerial while I hung out some washing. He watches me. He is still a bit lame but coping. He seems to have eggs in the nest. This universe has no mercy but it does support intelligence and the will to survive. Maybe just this once I have made a tiny tiny difference. Just maybe, beyond all the falseness of words and the dynamics of physics, some glue of friendship has some moral gravity or some value.

Emma Thinx: Friendship is an island. Ditch the swimming lesson.







Thursday, 19 March 2015

Breath In #Venice - The Living Flesh Of Imagination In Stone pic.twitter.com/ulZHBV9B5K #minibreak

There's no place like Dome

Venice. Yes, that one word says it all. If only I had words to say what that one word says. Maybe I'll just put up some pictures. Let me explain.
Main Street

I went to Venice - just popped over. You see there are people in Cybersales who know about me and watch me. They know the swivel of my eyes and the recycle bin shameful lusts of my browser history. I should be worried about surveillance and privacy shouldn't I? Someone out there in the ethos of commercial ether knew that if they sent me an e mail offer of a couple of nights in Venice for the price of a B&B with a pint of warm beer in Grimethorpe, I'd be the sort of lush, decadent credit abusing floozy who'd sign up. So, I got out the plastic fantastic, explained to airport security that there was indeed a terrorist's dream of
Venice  in night time perspective

metal support in my bra and uplifted myself to a place where I'd only ever been in my books. It just didn't seem fair that Earl Spencer and hot cop Shannon had shared Venetian love in Passion Patrol 2 and I had not!

Many of you will have been there. If you have, you are still there at any moment the name comes back to you. If you have not, then it will be Disneyed away in your helpless dreams. Of course there is the sadness that it could all be swept away. The Mose project is nearly ready to provide gates to hold back the sea. The quaysides are being raised. Collectively as a world we cannot let this go. Moses, Noah, King Canute and I will not allow it!

The above is a short clip of my coffee at the borrowed edge of time. Oh thank you credit card limit. Thank you Venice. Thank you spirit of magic that inspired this place.

Emma Thinx: The hardest thing about the possible is to imagine it.








Sunday, 15 March 2015

Date with The Devil: London,Venice, Paris, Milan, New York...SWANSEA! pic.twitter.com/79xO0Qfrww @SwanseaOpera #Opera


The devil is in the coat tails
If you can't do it big - then do it close. After a lifetime of trying to come up with some sort of artistic philosophy, the past week presented me with this vital truth ready wrapped. Should I get the chance to be a movie director, I now have a plan - or at least something to say in my oscar acceptance speech.

I got back from Venice in the early hours of Friday morning. Although exhausted I was still floating on water and the magical performance by "La Musica A Palazzo" of Grand Opera love duets  in the splendid setting of the Palazzo Barbarigio-MinottoIn essence the rooms of the palazzo become the stage and the audience gets to share the love up close. Well, how else would you want it?

I was in Venice following in the footsteps of Spencer and Shannon from Passion Patrol 2. As I crank up the keyboard on Passion Patrol 3 I wanted to recapture the mood. I'm still not sure where our hot cop lovers will find the romance button. It's possible it could be Swansea.

So, with Venice just a few ripples behind my Ryan Air bus ride, I was at the Theatre Royal in Winchester, Hampshire, UK. The occasion was the performance of "Faust" by the Swansea City Opera. Wow! Wow! what a show it was. Of course there are famous massive productions by Covent Garden, New York Met' and the Opéra National de Paris. 

As a travelling show in often smaller venues the stars are already philosophically closer to the audience. The Theatre Royal is a gorgeously intimate space. The cast filled the evening with drama, melody and music; experienced as a fellow mortal rather than an audience. I'm not a music critic but to me the harmonies and pacing were fabulous. Everyone gave it full power and maximum stagecraft - you sure don't always get that in opera. Méphistophélès was disturbingly appealing. (Hah! As if you could tempt me with  youth and worldly pleasure?). Mind you, Hakan Vramsmo who
 http://www.guyharrop.com/
played the part of Valentin, could inspire a handsome hero in my next Passion Patrol novel. It's pure talent to be a hunk when you're on the floor dying and singing. 


At the end I was up on my feet. Two days later I'm still alive with the buzz of it. The show is out on tour now. Click here for dates and venues. Go on - do whatever you have to do to get a seat, even if it means doing a deal with the devil. The pleasure will be worth it.


Emma thinx: If the devil is buying you, keep things familiar. Offer him a pay day loan.




 





Monday, 9 March 2015

Some Things Are Meant To Be. Craig Jefferson does Elvis

See, See See Rider

 You just can't help believing can you? Wise men say that there are now 85,000 Elvis impersonators in the world. This must be an underestimate since there can be up to four in my house alone. Elvis is surely the one image that is capable of uniting the world. Many fine academic brains have tried to analyze the essential oils of Elvis juice. All I know is that just one drop would make me ten times more talented than I am.

So it was that on Friday evening I went out to  The Plaza  theatre in the country town of Romsey in Hampshire UK. Elvis was sung and acted by the very talented Craig Jefferson. This guy has a powerful authentic sound and if you close
In The Glen Miller big band mood with the style of the KING
your eyes you are truly in the presence of the King. I would not describe him as an impersonator. To me he was a spirit guide - somehow linking the audience to the sheer showbiz aura of Presley. The big band support was provided by the Romsey Area Youth Jazz Orchestra conducted by Alex Needham who also did the arragments. Wow! These guys were hot. Thanks guys for a wonderful show - I'm still singing along.


I've tried to work out what it is about Elvis that grabs me and many folk far younger who were never part of his generation. Undoubtedly his image is no less hype than any other star. For all that, he stood out front, alone before his audience, a true Shakespearean flawed hero slowly revealing his own tragedy and mortality. I wonder what he would make of the helpless tears still shed by the likes of me at his memory.


Emma Thinx: Tinsel has not the weight of silver. It can fly higher.














Thursday, 5 March 2015

Cops And Slobbers pic.twitter.com/JhbQJLYlxL #relaunch the #romance!



Today is World Book Day. I know this because I've seen lines of dressing up costumes in ASDA for parents to buy for their children. My guess is that more costumes will be sold than books. Seemingly the idea is that kids dress up as their literary heroes. Most of them seem to be characters from "Frozen"which as far as I know, is a Disney film. I've also spotted a couple of Hagrids, several Harry Potters and a sprinkling of geek girls. Thinking about it they may have been just regular modern girls.


What I have not seen is hordes of women dressed in police uniform spiced up with checkered garters, high heels and fishnets. That's because I've only just relaunched two of my novels with covers bearing this image. "Knockout" and "Shannon's Law" have been re-born as "Passion Patrol 1" and "Passion Patrol 2". All subsequent members of this crime busting oversexed family will be similarly named. I'd love to tell you that I modelled the legs on the cover myself....well, I might have done mightn't I? Next year it will be the must have costume. Buy early to avoid disappointment.

Both books feature London Metropolitan Police girls. They don't just get their own man - they scoop the bad guys on the way. I've been delighted by the critical response to both books since they launched in their original forms. This could be the biggest marketing event since the UK re launch of the Mars Marathon bar as "Snickers". What a name - they must have been nuts! OK - you can groan but it's late and I need a glass of Bordeaux.

Emma Thinx: The face that launched a thousand ships was mythology in books. Relaunching is mythology on Face book. 




Saturday, 28 February 2015

Emma Does ASDA Pulse Of The Nation - quirky veg is sexy! pic.twitter.com/vmoY6YrfqV

Meet my buddy spuddy
It has just been Oscar season. The host opens the envelope and the winner is announced. Every year there is the Man-Booker literary prize shortlist. All the scribes are interviewed on posh BBC radio and eventually the winner is crowned. Huge cheques are awarded. Limos and red carpets enter our subliminal souls. Thousands cheer while rivals grind their teeth in bitter angst.

Until a couple of days ago I'd always just missed out on this stuff. Then it happened. Suddenly I was a selected one! ASDA (Walmart) chose me to be on their green "Pulse Of The Nation" forum. I became part of the great discussion on green behaviour and politics. Decades of playing trolley dodgems at ASDA had led up to this moment but I was soon to realize that my style of being green was a pathetic pastel imitation of the real thing. There are some fantastic folk out there.


Bottoms Up
There are people who buy and sell worms on e-bay. Then you nurture the little creatures on waste in a wormery. Then you separate the droppings from the worm urine and feed it to your veg'. There are people shredding up all the family scrap paper for chicken bedding.  I thought I was being good by putting my old clothes in the rag bin. Some folk cut them up and use them a dish cloths. Of course, I'm also a bit of a carnivore and I know that's not too green.
Once you start hording you just can't stop


Once I realized that I was more green dwarf than giant I settled down to discuss what happens to pigs' heads and trotters these days. I did get a bit passionate about misshapen veg. I revealed my tower of old tubs I can't throw away because they contain other junk I can't throw away. I also confessed to loving ASDA 3 for £10 deals. Well, you just never know when you're going to need an extra pack of bacon.

So thank you ASDA for having me and thanks to all the folk who replied to my posts. I came across a fabulous librarian who loves crows and ferrets. People like us have to stick together. I've put up a few of the nutty photos I added to my inane comments.

Emma thinx: Against all the odds Time and Destiny chose YOU.








Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A Little Birdhouse In My Soul pic.twitter.com/XDLpb7RkGd

A ball of fluff against the cruel cuts of Nature
A couple of years ago I posted a blog here entitled "Are my tits out of proportion to my hole?" You cannot imagine the torrent of criticism that drowned my sensitive soul. The feature, which concerned the frustration of my empty nesting box, was reviled and despised by right minded people. Old friends and supporters turned away in disgust. I was forced to crawl away like the ugly duckling. The post went on to collect my biggest ever readership and topped the poll every day. Can you believe that pervy hornythologists search for such words on line? In the end I took it down out of shame and promised myself and the Devil that I would never ever use the T word again. Faust may have succumbed to an offer of knowledge and worldly pleasure but I am a chastened harlot. I am not the sort of big mamma mammal who would ever give suck to such conduct.

So it is that I can report that the smallest of the T word species has arrived in my box. Better known as Periparus ater by you academic Latin speakers, the little soul has moved in to claim his home. At dusk he pops in and immediately fluffs up his feathers to conserve heat. He/she is a miracle of beauty and of life. I cannot find the words to tell you how blessed I feel that this vulnerable little creature is in some way in my care. Folk I pass in the street have hopes, loves, losses and regrets that I cannot touch or share. Yet - a wisp of a bird, that demanding weightless heaviness of life itself - that flight and gravity of the universal soul, has come at last. Fragile bird - you carry the burden of my kisses and hopes. 

Emma Thinx: Only love gives you the weight to fly.






Sunday, 22 February 2015

Roads to Freedom pic.twitter.com/gOLWkGBKjt


 A coded message from Emmadamus spotted on a French country walk
This week the storks returned to Saint Savinien from Africa. The world was otherwise filled with death and mayhem. Tanks (apparently privately owned by amateur military enthusiasts) rattled around Eastern Ukraine. Amateur religious enthusiasts did some mass beheading to bring us all closer to God. Euro money politics fenced around with the concept that it's the Grexit wot wrecks it.
In a clear sky it's easy to tell stork from clutter
And yet even in the cold air a thermal lifted these hopeful voyagers above our little town in South Western France. The legend of storks bringing babies is that they re-appear in Europe nine months after mid summer day. Maybe the message is also a cryptic reminder of re-birth and new hope.


Generally I am a very positive person. Fears of doom and disaster are over played in the media. Yet, as the pretty face of Spring makes its first weak smile, I see a troubled frown ahead. A vicious war is stoking up at the gates of Europe. Rootin' Tootin' Vlad' the Impala is leaping ahead of our lame pen pusher bean counter politicos. Elsewhere, radical religion offers young warriors the sense of belonging and purpose denied to them by the world financial system. The fact is that our play safe geeky faux meritocracy is weak and we have been sussed out. It is not that our leaders have not stood up for our beliefs for they do not know what they are. Our swords have withered into spreadsheets. Politics has been played out on a pitch the size of a handkerchief in an arena the size of Alaska. 


Brave young French kids ride the torrent at Saint Jean d'Angely
The financial collapse of 2007/8 was a warning that the structure was rotten. The bloated corpse of private greed was covered over in a shallow grave dug at public expense. We've thrown in some quick setting cement and all our gold coins but erected no headstone. We resemble the court of Louis XVI at Versailles.Who could not marvel at our palace? A stock market failure or other financial crisis will capsize our fragile little boat into a white water torrent. From such catastrophe new leaders arise; and quickly. Cometh the vacuum, cometh the fist. Every accordion player is a philosopher.The suck is as strong as the blow. The one invites and defines the other.

We are at the e cigarette end of the Christrivian era. Our cosmetic goodness-lite is non judgmental and not tested on animals. Yet. 

Emma Thinx: You can't back off if you've got no front.




















Friday, 13 February 2015

A Rose By Any Other Thorn - #Valentine's Day Snags pic.twitter.com/plGWt0rbd0

It is Friday the thirteenth. Although my life is an obstacle course of superstition, this occasion has never brought me any bad luck. Happily this morning I saw two magpies out of the window at first light. In the semi gloom I did put my knickers on back to front and resisted the urge to adjust the mistake. I'm just so pleased I don't wear a thong. So, I'm safe. It is well known in supernatural circles that the defiant power of reversed knickers always trumps the hand of doom. 

Far more important is the date tomorrow - 14th February. I guess it's potentially the best or worst day of the year. You love him. He loves you. He loves you not. He loves you but doesn't know the date. He loves you but he's a creepy stalker with dog breath and a socially plausible excuse! She sends you a card out of capricious vanity....dear me - just remember what happened when Bathsheba sent Mr Boldwood a teasing card in Thomas Hardy's novel "Far From The Madding Crowd". Yes - it's an interpersonal swine-field. 


Like most things spontaneous and romantic- they can be improved with good management. For the past two weeks I've been indicating to my man that there may be a package arriving that he is not to open because it may contain items he should not see yet. I've been casually talking about the Valentine's merchandising in Walmart as I complain about regular items being moved. 


"Do you know they've moved the unwashed organic potatoes so that they can sell more cards with gaudy quilted hearts!" I say casually. He nods. He gets it. He loves it when I talk dirty.


But, it's a wonderful festival of sentiment. It can be over the top and under the bottom but that's how love is. Check out my Valentine poem. It's an indulgent fest of vulgar velvet but that's the way I love my man.



Emma Thinx: You are not my heart. You are its beat.











Friday, 6 February 2015

Erin, aged 6, #reviews all three Once Upon a NOW #books @ajcraftybox #kidlit #giveaway


ajbookreviewclub, kid's review, book review, book blog

My children's book tour and giveaway is now up to stop number seven: the  ajbookreviewclub

I've been delighted to be included on many blogs where real children have been invited to read and share their thoughts about the series with adult reviewers in the feature. Here on AJ's blog we meet the delightful and wise Erin (who is six). She had all three books read to her and tells us about which bits she liked (and didn't!) and which of the stories is her favourite. 

One common comment on all the reviews of 'Alf The Workshop Dog' is that readers love 'the song'. They are referring to  the fictional National Anthem of Zanubia, which you can hear and watch being sung from within the book.  


Zanubia, King of Zanubia, Zanubia National Anthem, song, Once Upon a Now song,  Oscar Sparrow, narrator
It's performed by my daughter on the piano (she's very clever and wrote the music) and Oscar Sparrow who is the wonderful narrator on the audio book editions of all my children's stories. 

He was very worried about being too fierce and frightening the kids - so we made him a paper crown to go with his plastic sword.  This then gave us a lot of trouble as he couldn't keep a straight face and we had to record many takes.  In the end I set the camera rolling and left the room and that solved it.


Want to see the video and hear the song? Well I'm afraid it's exclusive to the book... it's one of the 'bonus features' included via scannable QR code and secret URL links.  

(A hint for my special readers - ALF will be FREE on Amazon Kindle 8,  9, 10 Feb:  grab your copy and hear the song! http://www.smarturl.it/Alf )

All books in the series are 'chapter books'.  These are aimed at younger readers maybe not yet ready to read a whole book in one go.  The stories are divided into manageable chunks with the bonus materials as a 'reward' for the end of a section. The videos, photos and colouring pictures are accessed via QR codes and URLs in the book. QR codes let people with the paperback version still get the benefit of these interactive materials. I guess they are a bit of a gimmick but I think they make for a richer experience and help make story time more fun. They certainly added a new element to the job of creating the books! 

A big thank you to AJ and her daughter for sharing their thoughts on my stories - I'm so pleased you enjoyed them!

Child Labour – digging it out to write for kids with @Maryannwrites - The inspiration behind Alf The Workshop Dog.

French flag wine, It's not all Gravy image, Emma Calin

Stop #6 on my Children's Fiction Book Tour is back on 'It's Not All Gravy' - this time for a chat and a lovely glass of wine with Maryann, tlaking about the about inspiration behind Alf The Workshop Dog.

Here's the REAL Alf who spends his days in an busy inner-city bus garage.

Alf The workshop dog, Alf, Dog, Children's fiction, paperback book, kid's books

Find out how I worked backwards from meeting this little mutt to the mythical ancient kingdom of Zanubia, an evil king and a kind time-travelling prince - visit Maryann's blog here.



Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Who couldn’t love a dog like that? pic.twitter.com/PqRKR1uWKa @maryannwrites #review

it's not all gravy, blog tour, blog, review, book review, Alf The Workshop Dog, Children's fiction, kid's books,

Day Five and my Book Tour is visiting the blog of Maryann Miller which is called  It's Not All Gravy.  

Alf The Workshop Dog cover, cover image, kid's fiction book, kid's book, children's storyShe has kindly hosted all three books in the 'Once Upon a NOW' series and includes a review of 'ALF THE WORKSHOP DOG'.

With a daughter who is a graphic artist she was particularly interested in the illustrations in the book.  
Alf The workshop dog, time travel, dog, kid's fairy stories, kid's fiction
I also know she downloaded one from the book to colour-in for herself. 

Find out why she highly recommends these books for children of all ages..

Thank you Maryann!

Father and son duo @grabthisbook #review pic.twitter.com/oq0OciiXPE ALF THE WORKSHOP DOG

Grab this book blog, book review, blog tour, Once Upon a NOW, kid's fiction, children's book, Alf The Workshop Dog, review

Stop number four on my Book Tour for the Once Upon a NOW series is at the wonderfully named review site "GRAB THIS BOOK".

It's great to get a dad's perspective on my children's books.  As a mother of sons whose father was frequently away and busy when they were small, I always felt it was a shame they never got to share special reading time with him.  

Alf, Alf the Workshop Dog, children's fiction, book cover sketch, colouring picture, Once Upon a NOW
It's wonderful to be allowed in to this father and son's story time and share an 8year old's perspective on Alf The Workshop Dog.  What a perceptive young man - and what  a lovely review.  Thanks to the little chap for telling us how the book made him feel.  Thanks to Dad for  hosting us on his blog.

Interesting too that the lad is now demanding to be a regular guest on his dad's blog.  The next generation of reviewers is here!

Take a visit and hear their thoughts on Grab This Book.

Everyone needs a ferret godfather pic.twitter.com/6Cgub60Fzh #kidlit #review by @JossRadillo

Chapter 5 Blog, book reviews, blogger, book blogger, Joss Rodillo

Today the Once Upon a NOW! series visits the Chapter 5 Book Review hosted by Kindergarten teacher and book blogger Joss Rodillo. 


Frankie Ferret, ISabella's Pink Bicycle, Once Upon a NOW, children's books, kids literature, Emma Calin, review


Which book in the series is her favourite?  The clue is in the title of the blog..... yes she fell in love with Frankie Ferret the sidekick and adventure-buddy of Isabella in 'ISABELLA'S PINK BICYCLE'.

I was delighted that she gave the whole series a whopping 5***** and can't wait to share the stories with her little charges.

Find out what else she had to say about 'ALF THE WORKSHOP DOG' and 'KOOL KID KRUNCHA AND THE HIGH TRAPEZE' on her blog here