Bargain Books. Words Are Cheap.

Who am I? What is this Amazon thing?

I have the honour to write features for a “lifestyle” magazine. Recently the editor edged me into a side room. She confided that the trouble with my writing was that I used words. What people actually wanted was more pictures. In a forced outdoor flash I knew where I had been going wrong. For too long I had been trying to walkie-talkie the ball into the net. It was a Eureka moment almost equal to yesterday when David Beckham met an Amazonian Indian who had never heard of him. Dave – chill! No one at Amazon has ever heard of me and I’ve been lost in their jungle for years. 

It’s politics – it’s our National Y Front.

Okay – here is the deal. I’m having a big push to sell some books. This blog has nothing at all to do with David Beckham. If you read this Dave, get in touch for free copies of all my books. We Londoners need to stick together. After all, I’ve always cheered every swerve of your balls.

My own missions along the Amazon have brought little success. These days I have branched out onto all manner of tributaries. It’s great to see that Dave is getting away from football and doing the same thing.

99c/77p/€0,94 for sexy romance novel SHANNON’S LAW this week only…

Emma Thinx: A word is worth a thousand pictures. It’s your mind.

When the Saints go Marching Up

On you Reds

I bet some of you thought I had gone into a convent. It would certainly be a challenge to write a Romance in that setting – but by no means impossible. I’ll never forget seeing “The Nun’s Story” starring Audrey Hepburn. I’m not sure I’m allowed to say this – but I’ve always liked those sexy priest type stories – you know, broken hearted hunk turns his back on love and celebrates the celibate by performing some kinda priestease. Oooh – all the ladies want him but no one can admit it or make a move. But there’s always one isn’t there!

My guess is that hobbling about on one leg is not likely to attract any kind of hunk. Until my meeting with the wet deck of the Brittany ferry “Bretagne”, the words medial collateral ligament were unknown to me. Now, I trot them out all the time. On Friday I made it back to the steering wheel of the bus. I was just in time to share in the public mood surrounding one of the greatest moments of all historical time. A great unity between religion and legs gelled into a synthesis. The Saints have been promoted to the Premier Division of English football. For anyone not familiar with the “Saints” this is the popular name for the Southampton football club.

The kids on the bus are hardly the most advantaged or ambitious in our society. On Friday, a rare unity gripped the city. The following day, Saints had to win or draw to gain the greatest prize in many lives. As I dropped them off we exchanged tense glances and repeated the magic formula “On You Reds”. Fists were clenched but there were few smiles. We all knew that the next time we met, the world would be a different place.

Now, in fact I’m not any kind of football fan – but I do not entirely mind the odd muscular leg. (By the way, I think they shave them – does anyone know about this?). Football stands as a metaphor for many things that real community used to be. It offers shared aims and equality of voice. We know that in a merciless money driven society the greedy and the selfish get the most, but no supporter is more or less than the other. Many poorer fans could not afford to see the matches very often and yet their tribal passion is no less. Last week Gilles and I had dinner with a local University Professor. In all seriousness he told me that they were watching the league tables intently because as a Premiership football town, many more students would apply. 

And here is the world business news: My book “Knockout” is now available on Amazon USA in paperback, priced at $9.99 +P&P.   The UK is slightly more complicated as the book has to be shipped from the USA so it costs a bit more on Amazon UK £12.41 + £ 2.80 P&P.  I will be holding stock in the UK too and this will be available for £10 per copy, including 3-5 day shipping.  Just email me if you would like to buy a copy by this method.

In addition I am giving away two signed paperback copies to winners of a draw on Goodreads. To register your chance to win, click this link before May 21st. The prizes will be mailed to the winners,  anywhere in the world. 

In total now there are 28,000 Kindle copies of “Knockout” somewhere out there thank you to all the kind folks who have purchased or downloaded for free – will you be one of the first to grab the paperback?

Emma thinx: Struggling writers – Enjoy your posthumous success on credit today. 

Offside Clap-Trap


Driving my bus this morning in the rush hour traffic, the commercial station favoured by the kids squeezed a news flash between an advertisement for a diet plan and a promo for new low prices at Burger King. And the news was…..David Beckham is gonna stay on with L.A. Galaxy. He spoke in his familiar London accent of his hopes to captain the British Olympic team at the forthcoming GAMES. (I will be hiding in France). He seems a decent guy to me but the fact that this small matter filled UK air time testified not to him but to the power of FOOTBALL. Yes, FOOTBALL, FOOTBALL, FOOTBALL,FOOTBALL and more FOOTBALL. I know that in certain areas of the ex-colonies this noble game is known as SOCCER. 
Portsmouth fan

The game in itself is a reasonable entertainment to me. Some very nice male legs are exposed. The repetitive use of jargon and cliché is a genuine comedy of the “Victory is not about getting the most goals” variety. Last week I heard a team manager comment, “They had a couple of exceptional players. It was them that won it for them, not the team.” Ah, I’m glad he explained that.

Southampton fan

All this stuff is harmless enough. Recently vile racist chanting has marred the game and the level of spiky mockery between groups of fans is quite distressing.  I suppose it’s all a form of externalised nastiness that real life suppresses. Just imagine some unfortunate office worker who made a small mistake suddenly being surrounded and jeered at. Surely most of us sing more when we are winning In the UK, I have been living near to Southampton whose team is the sworn deadly enemy of the nearby team of Portsmouth. Babies at the breast are told that they are either “Saints” or “Pompey”. I guess it’s all about tribalism too. I have added a couple of images of fans of both teams. I cannot imagine why David Beckham wants to stay in the USA.

Emma thinx: We only win when we’re singing

Hi Ho Silver.

I love science and there is nothing better than kinda working out something for yourself. My first ever contact with the matter of latent heat was when I discovered the Indian dish of lentil Dahl. I  became aware of an issue when my first tasting of hot lentils turned the roof of my mouth into a huge blister that could carry enough fluid to keep a camel alive for a crossing of the Sahara. When I researched this matter I found that learned scientists were already on the job. If you’re a lentil gobbler check out the truth here. So, science was ahead of me with lentils. During the night I often get up for a cup of tea and a think. In the kitchen of my temporary English home there are silver fish,(pictured above). They are just so beautiful. Whenever I come across some little bug and take the time to examine their complexity and the sheer audacity of their marvel, I  always think of Walt Whitman’s saying that he saw “nothing but miracles”. By the way, Walt was an Indie author and self published his first books.

So, although these little miracles are plentiful in my night kitchen, I’m not too sure about their little “borrowers” routine in the sugar bowl. Chemical pesticides and the like are a no no but my scientific brain at once told me that there is a solution. I do not have any in my French kitchen but I do have my huge huggy friends, the house centipedes. Guess what they eat? I bet you need a license to import a few. It could be the grey squirrel all over again.

Oh no – big trouble in the world of never ending footballfootball footballfootballfootball.  Firstly the English were not allowed to play wearing poppies but luckily Prince William and the Prime Minister intervened. I always find that the threat of the Tower of London and Beefeaters’ pikes soon deals with all those foreign johnnies. But even worse is that Couldn’t Care less Carlos Tevez has refused to play, picked up the ball and has gone home to his mum in Argentina. Now, only one WOMAN OF IRON knew how to deal with Argentina when they wouldn’t behave sensibly. Maggie – they won’t give us our ball back!

Emma thinx: More creatures live on crumbs than live on loaves.

Handling Loose Balls

Me and my big mouth! Over a couple of drinks with a colleague of Gilles last night I mentioned my difficulty with the offside rule. Now- all of his life this guy had been waiting for an unsuspecting little butterfly to fall into the back of his goal net. He was on me like a spider sensing the death struggle of a gnat. Within seconds I was wound into a cocoon and injected with a paralysing sporty drug. Salt and pepper pots, a beer glass, several coasters and a wine cooler shunted up and down the table. I agreed with everything that was said but was suddenly confronted with a test to see if I had been listening. I had not been! I had got behind the pepper before the gin bottle was played.

So it was that instead of my Sunday morning romantic novelist’s lie in with warm baguette, I found myself with a bunch of parent types at the edge of a windswept recreation ground. Gilles had agreed to bring me to watch his chum’s boy play football and to finally split the infinitive and the atom of the offside rule. The ref looked like he had the right clothes but the guys who ran up and down the edges looked like passers-by who had been handed flags. It was these conscripts who were to judge the offside rule. Seemingly anyone you meet in the street who can hold a flag will know it.

The game kicked off and various stampedes of lads hurtled up and down. All of a sudden, a parent type shouted “Ref! That’s gotta be offside – Lino, Lino- you must be blind!”
“Lino – that kitchen floor stuff?” I ask Gilles.
“Lino – it means the linesman,” (That’s the conscript guy with a flag).
The referee blows his whistle for play to continue. A parent of the opposing side calls out “well played lino! – that was never off!”
It then became apparent that the lino guys were from each team and their decisions were allegedly based on a biased interpretation of the rules. By the end of the game it was more or less agreed that all of the officials had obviously lost their sight with solitary handling of their balls. Why does anyone want to be a football official?

Torn shreds of clouds scampered across a pale sky as church bells peeled for morning service. The sound of a ball punted at the far end of the field reached my ears long after the action. This is a world of rules facts and beauties. We are nothing but poor interpreters and conscript linos.

Emma thinx: A granted freedom is merely a longer chain.

Offside Default Swap – Simple!

Since I am supposed to be a writer of books I really ought to say something on the subject now and then. Writers can be some of the world’s least interesting people since they sit writing – often with quite a grumpy and taciturn manner. When I was in my poetic mode I did a fair bit of wistful wandering. Then I would have a couple of drinks and forget what I had thought. Poets like me can be quite up themselves to be honest. However, in my guise as Laureate of the virtual supermarket shelf I am experiencing a few moments of glory this weekend. My book “Knockout” is at No.2 in the Kindle Interpol section and at No.28 in both the Romantic Adventure and Adult Romance tables. This is astonishing to me. My short story “Sub-Prime” is at No.2 in the “Workers Rights” section and at No.6 in the “Working Class” section. Come on now my dear dear readers – lash out that 99 cents/86 pence and make a  middle aged bus driver feel like a No.1 best seller. Thanks in advance guys – I knew we could make it together.

Dear Oh dear on the economy stuff. Seemingly we are all doomed. The market tail is throwing the dog off balance. The politicos will not do as they are told and guarantee to bail out infinite debt.(As soon as you pay some off they increase the interest rate and want more). I actually heard a City guy moaning that politicians are too aware of the voters and tax payers. The solution is simple. Get rid of the politicians and democracy and have free elections for bankers, traders, spivs and gangsters instead. It looks increasingly to me that the big players have nearly jockeyed themselves into a position where their hedges/ default swaps et al will clean up the plate and it will be advantageous to crash the show. Governments will then pour liquidity into the sieve and the well placed hands will catch it. I wish all the free marketeers good fortune and merely comment that the rule of Law and the universal acceptance of property rights will only ever be maintained by the State. Be careful how much you crash. Barbed wire might be a good investment.

Since I have been working more or less full time I have not been able to read as much as I would like. I am still with Bert Carson’s “Fourth and Forever”. I’m enjoying the read but cannot quite grasp the rules of American Football. In soccer I’m afraid that the offside rule is even more baffling than most items on the financial derivatives market. Wouldn’t you worry about a best selling romantic old trollop who could run the line with a flag and deal you a forward rate agreement?

Emma thinx: If the markets are free why do they enslave us?