Saturday, November 27, 2010

Amazon Kindle Books Now Available As Gifts

Customers can now email a Kindle book gift to anyone, even people without a Kindle eReader.
The emailed gift can be read on a Kindle eReader or Kindle apps on iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry and Android devices. Visit the Kindle Store, click "Give as a Gift," and you can email the gift.

Galley Cat

The book to buy:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Big News!

There is so much news about The Doctor, The Plutocrat, and The Mendacious Minister, that I don't know what to tell first.

One little bit is that for the second print run, there will be changes to the back cover. No big deal to make the change, however...that makes the first books printed into a limited edition.

"Hello eBay!" some time in the future for the lucky ones who got on it and bought the book hot off the press. There are less than 50 of those left divided between what Glyn has in France and I have here in the states. Best be getting after it, if you've been putting off buying.

So what is the change? Well, it is now posted on the Cactus Rain Website, link at the bottom and the purple bit on the sidebar. Go read it there!

Now the bigger part of what brought about the change is very exciting news. We needed a new back cover because (ta-da!) I've been working with a friend, Joy Collins, who also has a couple of publishing companies -- remember the one who has a book that was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize?

We have struck a deal for her imprint, Coyote Moon Books, to digitalize Cactus Rain's books.

That means that the Cactus Rain Publishing books will be published as eBooks by Coyote Moon. The Doctor, The Plutocrat, and The Mendacious Minister will be available on Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iStore for the iPad and related apps, Barnes and Noble's Nook (they have a color version of the Nook due out shortly - great for reading children's books) and the Sony eReader. I'll post the links when I get them. They will also be on the Cactus Rain website.

Just a note for those not in America, Barnes and Nobles reminds me of the UK Waterstones.

So those of you wishing for an eReader for Christmas or daring enough to have the apps to read books on your phone, in about a can buy Glyn's ebook.

Now there is still more news...can you take any more of this???

I just got off the phone with a friend who was on the Theatre board the same time I was. Seems like she is interested in looking at Doc for a stage production. It will take some time to adapt Doc to a script, but I am thrilled at the prospect and do plan to save my pennies to attend opening night some time next year.

All of this certainly points out that small presses are not to be discounted. Goodness, a Pulitzer Prize nomination for Chalet Publishers, and now this for my debut book as a publisher. Look out baby, we are stepping out strutting our stuff!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Doctor, The Plutocrat, and The Mendacious Minister by Glyn Pope

a bit more of the story...

Latymer turned to the gathered spectators. ‘There’s nothing to see.’

Nobody moved.

A policeman was leaning against the counter in the refreshments room. Gaunt and thin, Sergeant Simmons spent most of his duty time at the railway station. During the war the duty was particularly important, as it could have been one way for spies to enter the country. Sergeant Simmons never apprehended anyone, mainly for two reasons: one was that he didn’t know what he was looking for, and secondly, he spent most of his duty time standing where he was now, chatting to Cyril and Cyril’s wife, Dot. Simmons drank tea and ate bun after bun without putting on an ounce in weight. He left his post only when he needed to relieve himself.

‘Hey, Sarge?’ said Cyril.

Simmons stopped mid-bite. It wasn’t often he was interrupted whilst eating.

‘There seems to be quite a crowd gathering.’

‘Ooh, I wonder what’s going on there?’ Dot was a nosey woman and didn’t miss a trick.

Sergeant Simmons looked in the wrong direction.

‘Over there.’ Dot pointed with a cup she was drying.

‘Ah yes.’ Simmons spoke as if he had known all along. ‘Best take a look.’ Simmons put his shoulders back, so he looked more like a figure of authority, and strode purposefully towards the crowd.

‘Now then. Now then. What have we here?’

‘This man has injured his arm. He trapped it in a carriage door. I’m trying to take a look at it.’ Latymer told the policeman.

‘I see,’ said the policeman, full of self-importance. ‘You trapped this man’s arm in a carriage door? I shall need your name, sir. There may be further proceedings.’

The crowd murmured their disbelief at the crime committed by a doctor.

‘I’m Dr Latymer. I didn’t trap his arm. I’m trying to help him.’

Carefully scrutinising Reginald, Sergeant Simmons said to him, ‘Now I need you to answer truthfully. Did this man,’ turning to look in the direction of Latymer, ‘who looks too young to be a doctor in my opinion, shut the railway carriage door onto your arm?’

Sergeant Simmons paused for a moment to let the gravity of the situation sink in, whilst the crowd collectively held their breath. ‘I warn you that anything you may say could be used in evidence.’

‘This is ridiculous,’ exclaimed Latymer, wishing he were in a taxi on his way to his first medical practice.

‘As far as I know,’ replied Reginald, as if he were at the Old Bailey surrounded by aging varnished brown oak, and men and women in grey wigs representing centuries of law, ‘it wasn’t him.’

There was a sharp intake of breath at the doubt expressed.

‘I was in a different carriage. I came here to help him.’ Latymer corrected Reg’s information.

‘He sounds very guilty,’ said one of the expanding group of people.

‘A terrible thing for a doctor to do,’ replied another.

‘I saw him, the man who says he’s a doctor, get out of the carriage up there. Three carriages away from where the man screamed like a woman,’ said one man moving to the front of the pack.

‘I did not scream like a woman,’ Reginald protested.

‘Yes you did,’ said the ten-year-old boy as he stepped forward from the other observers.

‘Are you prepared to swear to that?’ asked the policeman.

‘This boy has been taught to tell the truth,’ said the boy’s keeper.

‘Look, Constable,’ said Latymer.

‘Sergeant,’ Simmons corrected.

‘Sergeant. I need to see what this man’s injuries are. I have somewhere else to get to.’

‘Meeting a woman, are we?’ Simmons said.

‘My practice,’ said Latymer growing annoyed.

‘What you do in your private life is of no concern to me, as long as long as His Majesty’s Law is kept intact.’ Simmons glanced at the station clock and saw it was time he was off duty, ‘Right, sir, I’ll take your word for it. I’ll disperse the crowd.’

‘Thank you, Sergeant.’

‘You could trust a doctor in the war,’ said one of the onlookers as she moved away.

‘You can never tell,’ said another.

‘Can you slip off your coat?’ Latymer turned to Reg.

‘You’ve asked me that once.’

‘So will you do it?’

‘It’s still a bit cold.’

‘Come on, Reg. Do what the doctor wants. He can’t look at you.’

Reginald stood up, and with his wife’s help, took off his coat, ‘Ayah,’ he complained as he did so.

‘Let’s see. Can you bend your arm?’

Reg managed to do that.

‘Good. I don’t think there’s a lot wrong.’ Latymer paused as if thinking deeply. ‘Hm, you need a doctor to look at this.’

‘You said you were a doctor. Were you telling fibs?’

Latymer ignored the question. ‘You need your own doctor. Do you have far to go?’

‘Stocking Farm. Dr McFadden’s our doctor.’ He looked at his wife as if it were something to be proud of.

‘That’s where I’m going,’ said Latymer. ‘We’ll share a taxi.’

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You be the judge

Most people who know anything about me, know that for years I was a child abuse investigator. More specifically, I was the lead investigative social worker for suspected sexual abuse.

Unless anyone is totally clueless, let me mention that sexual abuse of children leave lifetime scars that do not go away - ever. With the right treatment, they are manageable, but let me repeat, they do not go away -- EVER!

Now read this:

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Doctor, The Plutocrat, and The Mendacious Minister

Latymer heard a piercing scream rise from amongst the general sound of the station. He took it to be the whistle of an engine. As he looked around his eyes set upon a man clutching his arm. Could this be his first patient, so soon after his arrival?

‘The stupid sod.’ The voice sounded shrill.

‘Now sir, watch your language, there are ladies and children present.’ His uniform gave the porter the prerogative to sanction.

‘Yes, Reg.’ The lady with the injured man spoke, attempting an air of authority.

Reg replied, ‘Are you standing here with a broken arm?’

‘No, it’s just that–’

‘Shut your gob then,’ Reg told her.

‘Reg,’ the lady pleaded, ‘stop the palaver. Don’t speak to me like that.’

The porter moved to intervene.

‘Fight a man with one arm, would you?’

‘Reginald. Calm down.’ The woman was firm with her husband.

‘What was the idiot doing,’ Reg whined, ‘slamming the door on a train full of people?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘I bet he’s in the station bar,’ said Reg, ‘cosy with a whisky. That’s what I need, a whisky for the pain.’

‘I’ll get you one.’ The lady looked around and shouted, ‘Porter!’

‘Don’t give him anything.’ Latymer purposefully strode to the small gathering. Full of self-importance he said, ‘I’m a doctor.’ Every young doctor has the desire to utter the statement, I’m a doctor, and answer the emergency.

‘Thank God for that.’ Reg spoke, with a miserable groan, as if his life needed saving. ‘A doctor.’

‘He may be in shock. No alcohol.’ Latymer repeated the instruction while he looked into the man’s eyes.

‘What the doc means is he may need an operation.’ The porter made a sawing motion across his own arm. ‘His arm amputated.’

‘Oh no! Oh no! Milly, I’m going to have my arm cut off. You’d better get me that drink.’

The porter walked away and left them to it.

‘You’re all right. Pull yourself together. Let’s take you to a seat and have a proper look.’ Latymer pointed to a bench.

His wife led Reginald to the nearby seat.

At the end of the bench was a narrow space, perhaps large enough for Reg to sit. The rest of the bench was taken by a lady of large proportions with a scarf tied tightly to her head. Next to her was seated a schoolboy.

‘Move along and let the gentleman sit down. He looks a bit pale.’ The woman gave the boy a nudge.

‘Where am I going to sit?’ asked the boy.

‘You’ll have to stand. The train will be here soon,’ the lady said kindly, seeking to appease him.

‘I’ll have to stand on that, as well,’ the boy shot back.

‘Stop being cheeky. Here you are, sit down, duck.’ She gestured for Reg to take the empty place that the boy, flouncing and sighing, had gone to great pains to make.

Reginald made a show of sitting down as if he were a hero.

‘Well it can’t be because of the war,’ the boy gave a sideways nod towards Reg, ‘it’s been over three years now. Why can’t we get proper food? I was reading in The Times that they’re better fed in Germany and they lost!’ He stood petulant in his schoolboy’s uniform, speaking as if he were talking about a game of football.

‘We don’t want that kind of talk,’ said the lady minding the boy.

Latymer looked at the boy and said, ‘You’ve got a politician there. How old is he?’

‘Ten. He sees, hears, and reads everything.’

‘Is that so? Very bright,’ answered Latymer.

‘So his parents say. I’m seeing him back to school.’

What a precocious child, Latymer thought, but doctors are taught to never give away their true feelings. ‘Anyway, thank you for letting this gentleman sit down. He’s been in an accident.’

Reg nodded his head, affirming the situation.

‘Yes, I see that,’ the boy went on. ‘His arm isn’t broken though. At the worst it’s a slight sprain. If he moves it carefully, it’ll free itself. He’ll be right as rain in no time.’

Years of hard work training to be a doctor, Latymer despaired looking heavenwards towards the vaults of the railway station, and a ten-year-old diagnoses my first patient.

‘His mother and father say he wants to be a doctor.’

The boy confirmed the statement, pronouncing his words as if he had a plum in his mouth. ‘I do want to be a doctor.’

‘Well, there’s a lot more to it than guesswork.’ And to show that he was very serious, Latymer spoke in a voice that was a few decibels below his normal one.

‘How long have you been a doctor then?’ the boy asked.

Latymer ignored the question, but carried on with his explanation. ‘There’s seven years hard training, difficult examinations.’

‘There’s nothing wrong with most patients you see as a GP that wouldn’t cure itself,’ said the boy pompously.

Latymer knew the boy to be correct. ‘How do you know that?’

‘I read it in The Lancet – last June’s issue. I can send it to you if you give me your address.’

‘You read The Lancet ?’ Latymer gave the boy another look.

‘Like other boys read the Beano,’ the lady told them rather proudly, as if she were his mother.

‘Yes, so do I,’ said Latymer, foolishly with pride in his voice.

‘You read the Beano, Doc?’ asked Reg. ‘I can let you have my back issues.’

‘No, The Lancet.’

‘That’s why he knows more than you,’ said Reg.

‘He doesn’t know more than me. This arm could be broken.’

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day Three

Day three of being a publisher. Someone please, pinch me! After years of thinking about this and working on it, it seemed a bit unbelievable when my retail licence arrived last Saturday.

How about a sample of The Doctor, The Plutocrat, and The Mendacious Minister by Glyn Pope?

Chapter One

Peter Latymer stepped from the Great Northern carriage at Belgrave Road station. The concourse was unusually busy for late afternoon on a chilly October day. The secure glow of warmth from the fires of the train engines and the heavy smell of oil and coal, bound up with the crowd moving as if all were on a new journey. Peter stood, reflecting for a moment on his new start.

The daylight failing, there were lights shining as hadn’t been enjoyed in three years. There had been a brief glimmer of hope earlier that year when the Olympic Games were held in London. But that had been London. In the rest of the country the celebrations hadn’t made any difference. The aftermath of the war existed. It was still dark. A new age had yet to dawn.

Latymer heard a piercing scream rise from amongst the general sound of the station. He took it to be the whistle of an engine. As he looked around his eyes set upon a man clutching his arm. Could this be his first patient, so soon after his arrival?
Oh yes, I'm milking this...I'll share more in the next post.