Saturday, 27 May 2017

And the winner is?

Who is going to be Dragon's owner?

(Apart from Nick Borlase.)

It seems frivolous to be writing this blog post about books and a competition within a few days of the terrible bombing in Manchester - so I thought it right that competition and book news could come further down this particular post.
My parents came from Oldham, on Manchester’s outskirts, before moving down to Devon – so I grew up regularly travelling the three hundred miles to visit my grandad. It was a long drive, but it was worth it to see him. (If you live in a country with space and the roads to match it might not seem far, but believe me, it is when you’re driving over here.) I loved going into the bakery for an Eccles cake (look it up!), or the newsagents for a comic and sweets. I was fascinated by the cobbled alleys and the rows of red-bricked houses. It was all so different to where I lived in Plympton.
But the main thing I noticed wasn’t the shops or the houses, it was everyone’s friendliness. You didn’t need to know someone to have a conversation; you just had to be somewhere nearby.
So it was no surprise to hear and read of the kindness and heroism defiantly shown by strangers on Monday night, and the many acts of love and care - the antithesis to such unimaginable cruelty: It was light in the face of darkness.
As has been said by many commentators - Manchester is a big-hearted place.
And it's brim-full of big-hearted people.  

Competition news. 

And now onto the lighter stuff, and the competition:
‘The Camelot Inheritance’ series resolutely features light against dark.
Some of you have been kind enough to write lovely reviews – so it’s wonderful that I can run a competition to say ‘thank you’ to all my readers.

Originally there was going to be just one winner – but in the end I plumped for two; one from Facebook and one from this blog. 

Although it wasn’t compulsory some entrants also went the extra mile and suggested names for Dragon (he will be named by the end of Book 4); one really grabbed my imagination.
I’m not going to tell you what it is because I want it to remain a surprise, but I can tell you that the winning name was suggested by Luke.
So Luke, thank you. Your package will be on its way to you very soon.

The other winner is from Facebook; Amanda entered for her son Tom. Thanks for entering Amanda, and I hope Tom enjoys it!

Book news.   

Book 4 is about five chapters in and features a couple of well-known places in London which Pete and I visited last November. One of the places is the British Museum. It’s a vast area and there is so much to see that really you need more than a mere day, but here are a few photos which have inspired the opening chapter of the book.

I have no idea who this person is, but
he, very usefully, demonstrates the statue's size,

And a tiny excerpt from what might be the beginning of Chapter One of Book 4.

(Nothing is final until the last, fully-edited, copy is sent off!)

Chapter One

Tamar nudged Arthur. ‘Don’t look now … but that statue blinked.’
‘The statue behind you, the one with wings and a human face, it blinked.’
Despite her instruction, Arthur spun around. ‘The one that looks like a lion with wings?’
She nodded. 
Catching a stone statue moving wasn’t new to him, he’d come across one before, but that one had been on his side. He didn’t fancy finding out whether or not this statue was friendly. It was way too big.
He turned and caught hold of Tamar’s arm. ‘Let’s move away.’ He lowered his voice. ‘Slowly.’
‘It can’t do anything … can it?’ Tamar asked uncertainly. ‘I mean, how can an ancient Assyrian statue, in the British Museum in the middle of London, do anything?’
‘I don’t know and I don’t want to find out.’ Arthur said, and began edging away. A memory rumbled. ‘It could listen.’
Tamar examined the statue’s head. A sort of headdress covered any ears it might have.
‘We weren’t saying anything worth listening to, were we?’
‘Just think what we were talking about!’
She did a quick re-run of their conversation and realised that Arthur was right. The stuff they’d been discussing had definitely been worth hearing.
She risked another quick look at the statue. It was massive, probably several metres high. It towered above the tourists and groups of schoolchildren. If it did do anything, there could be carnage.

I hope you enjoyed that piece. I will be posting other excerpts from time to time but until then, best wishes from Cornwall. Rosie X

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