The first Novel now available on AnnMade.co.uk

Now you must understand that this isn’t my first novel, the first will probably never be distributed, but this is the first to be available to the public in many e forms, as Mobi for the Kindle users, in EPUB for the SONY readers and NOOK and as a PDF for anyone else – I guess.

The novel is called Nothing Ever Happens Here and would, (if it was forced to – see my blog about genres) be in the crime and possibly the romance sections. The blurb reads:

Living in London suddenly becomes too uncomfortable for the attractive Jo Smart and her sixteen year-old son, Alex, after he is beaten up, so when they are offered the chance to take an immediate holiday in a peaceful Cornish town they jump at it. But not all is as peaceful as it seems as they become involved in a murder enquiry, drug raid and abduction.

DI Rick Whittington has also escaped from London and the reminders of the death of his wife and child, and through his investigations finds himself meeting Jo and being drawn into the events surrounding her.

This is a love story set in the early 1990s which combines the historic Cornish love of the sea and smuggling with hard faced twentieth century crime and detection.

So take a look – you can read the first three chapters free as a pop-up PDF * HERE *

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BTT sand sculptures – getting started

As I said in the last Blog – making sand-sculptures for my own children to play in was how it started. I guess most people make a boat in sand for their youngsters to play in but in my case it didn’t stop there – all sorts of vehicles were made and then the animals started, hippos, stegosauruses (the boys were very much into their dinosaurs at the time). It wasn’t long before the older boys started creating their own sand-sculptures, so we would hit the beach and soon a wide variety of sculptures would be created. A child as young as four can create an impressive starfish with a little guidance from an adult. Three year-olds can even collect shells and ‘make’ and decorate a simple tortoise.

There are a few simple steps for a basic sand sculpture like a starfish with a youngster – they can help at all stages, and, depending on age, may just need to be shown the first little bit of each stage and allowed to continue on their own..

1, Draw the outline on the sand then go round it again deeper.

2, D2ig from the outside into this line throwing the sand onto the shape within the outline, more where it will need to be higher, less where it needs to be lower.

3, When they have dug all round the shape assess whether there is enough sand to make the raised form… if not dig all round again.

 

4, Shape the sand in the outline. Knead it with your fingers to break down lumps, shuffle it with your hands into the rough form

5, When in the rough form pat the sand evenly, smearing loose sand up into dips and patting it smooth again.

6, Draw any lines required with the knife, making two lines near each other for each line you want. (not needed on this one)

7, Trim tidily all round the sculpture leaving a crisp edge between it andthe surrounding sand.

8, Using a brush sweep away loose sand and finger marks from the surface of the sculpture.

 

 

9, Draw loose sand back with the flat of the blade of the spade, to form a frame for their sculpture.

10, Don’t forget to pat a smooth place within the frame and get them to sign it – with their initials and the date – it is their sculpture!

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‘Between The Tides’ Sand Sculptures

So I have been away, and when I am away I get to do three things more than I do at any other time of the year. Write my novels, body boarding, more about both elsewhere, and sand-sculpt. Now if you were expecting those magnificent semi-permanent structures created by teams of professionals in special sites all over the world then you may be disappointed, my type of sand-sculpture is ‘between the tides’ which means it is made with ordinary beach sand and in the time between tides, usually remaining on the beach only until the next high tide.

Beach sand is not favoured by the professionals, the grains are too round and do not stick together well enough or allow for the crisp outlines they require. The time between tides is also not sufficient for these elaborate structures as each must be built up over time, with formers being filled with the correct mixture of lake sand and water and tamped down until firm, where upon a second former is placed on top and filled and tamped down and only when that is firm and stable enough can the subsequent formers and layers be added. As you can guess this takes quite a long time and, indeed, a team of people. There may be only one named sculptor, though frequently there are the ‘rough sculptors’ who take the blocks of sand away and the finisher who does the fine work.

However, BTT sand sculptures are possible for everyone who has a bucket and spade and a knife (normal cutlery – not necessarily sharp) and a brush or two (the cheapest from the DIY store) and sand that will stick together – if it would make a reasonably firm sand castle tipped from a bucket – it can be used to sculpt. This year my husband and I have been away with family again, our eldest son, wife and two small grandchildren. This has changed the basic repertoire of my sculptures, which were getting more arty and less representational, back to where I started, sand-sculpture for my own children to play in.  So this year I have had to make a series of Thomas the Tank engines, boats and aeroplanes as well as having the lee way to make a stegosaurus, a shark and my trademark mermaid.

 

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