State of the TAM-6th April

Day Thircondteen of Quarantine and I haven't taken up a new hobby

Some of my friends have taken up new hobbies or are learning new skills during the lockdown. Not me! Well, not yet anyhow. I’ll maybe hunt out some of my old craft projects and see if I finish them, once I’ve finished this WIP. On the last lap now, but it’s a tight few passages to get right.

I also have confirmation that the audiobook for Collared, narrated by Greg Trembley, will be out on May 28, 2020. So keep an eye out! I’ll remind you all once it is live!


Look at my pupper! The Writing Staffie gets bigger by the day, he hardly looks like a bean at all any more. He got his first bath today because he digs and got filthy. Now he’s all shiny and white and smells like orange puppy shampoo.

Ambitions vs Reality with the #writingStaffie Either way if you try, you still get a stick! #staffiesofinstagram #rescuedog
April 3, 2020

Recommendation of the Week

OK, going to go a little off brand this week, but bear with me! I’ve been hitting this book hard the last few weeks to deal with Quarantine dinners. I am a notoriously bad at organised shopping, so not being able to nip down to Tesco’s for bits and pieces has thrown me a lot. But Pinch of Nom has really helped me organise everything and plan a menu that is tasty, filling, and very achievable for a mediocre cook.

It is theoretically meant for slimming, but I mostly like it because the recipes are simple, not to complicated, and the local takeaway options aren’t great so I have nommed some of the fakeaways (can recommend the Pepsi-Max Sweet and Sour Chicken! I made it for Rhys Ford last year and she said it was good! It probably wasn’t a lie :D).

Pinch of Nom - 100 Slimming Home-Style Recipes

Slimming food has never tasted so good; the must-have first cookbook from the UK's most visited food blog.

Sharing delicious home-style recipes with a hugely engaged online community, pinchofnom.com has helped millions of people to cook well and lose weight. The Pinch of Nom cookbook can help novice and experienced home-cooks enjoy exciting, flavourful and satisfying meals. Accessible to everyone by not including diet points, all of these recipes are compatible with the principles of the UK's most popular diet programmes.

There are 100 incredible recipes in the book, 33 of which are vegetarian. Each recipe has been tried and tested by twenty Pinch of Nom community members to ensure it is healthy, full of flavour and incredibly easy to make. Whether it s Cumberland Pie, Mediterranean Chicken Orzo, Mexican Chilli Beef or Chicken Balti, this food is so good you ll never guess the calorie count. This book does not include values from mainstream diet programmes as these are everchanging. Instead the recipes are labelled with helpful icons to guide you towards the ones that suit you best whether you re looking for something veggie, fancy a fakeaway, want to feed a family of four or have limited time to spare.

Kate Allinson and Kay Featherstone owned a restaurant together in The Wirral, where Kate was head chef. Together they created the Pinch of Nom blog with the aim of teaching people how to cook. They began sharing healthy, slimming recipes and today Pinch of Nom is the UK's most visited food blog with an active and engaged online community of over 1.5 million followers.

Showing that dieting should never be a barrier to good food, Pinch of Nom is the go-to home cookbook for mouthwatering meals that tick all the boxes.

You can also find a lot of recipes on here at the Pinch of Nom website.



Deal of the Day

There’s 10% off storewide at Dreamspinner. So if you want to check out my latest release Prodigal then there you go! And you know, there’s some other writers if you wanna look at them ;)

Prodigal

This is so cool!

If you are having a bad day, just remember 2020 is weird for all of us. I for instance never imagined signing my name on a toilet I just drew, but here I’m. 🙈
Thank you @susieq_the_aussie for making me laugh & for this amazing reference shot! 👌😂
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#illustration #art #cartoon #catillustration #dogportrait #dogillustration #petportrait #painting #iamlaurael #lineart #digitalart #digitalartist #dailyillustration #thenewyorker #illustrateyourworld #makearteveryday #illustrationoftheday #illustration_daily #procreate #procreatedrawing #dogart #catart #newyorkart #artistsofinstagram #Artdaily #artdeco #printable #portrait #customart
April 2, 2020

Must Read of the Week

I loved the Rats of NIMH as a kid. It was the first book that broke my heart but kept me coming back for rereads (The Animals of Farthing Wood did NOT get that. My god, those were harsh books for children.)

The Doomed Mouse Utopia That Inspired the ‘Rats of NIMH’

Dr. John Bumpass Calhoun spent the ’60s and ’70s playing god to thousands of rodents.

Calhoun inside Universe 25, his biggest, baddest mouse utopia.

On July 9th, 1968, eight white mice were placed into a strange box at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Maybe “box” isn’t the right word for it; the space was more like a room, known as Universe 25, about the size of a small storage unit. The mice themselves were bright and healthy, hand-picked from the institute’s breeding stock. They were given the run of the place, which had everything they might need: food, water, climate control, hundreds of nesting boxes to choose from, and a lush floor of shredded paper and ground corn cob.


I use Diet Coke because Pepsi Max is *retch*. You can also use Diet Coke Mandarin Orange, which makes it a sorta Kung Pao fakeaway.



I also made Potato Bread. It was very good! Very nice in a fry.

State of the TAM - 30 March

March has been a really long year...

What’s Up

In case anyone has ever wondered, as a kid there was never a scab I didn’t pick. So I’ve spent the last week glued to any and all accounts of ‘I have Covid-19’ and ‘My husband has Covid-19’ just to see how bad it will be if/when I get the virus. It’s whipped my anxiety into a fine froth, like the Starbucks we can’t have anymore.

I’ve been told to wind my neck in by friends and family. So going to try and knock that on the head this week, take the BBC’s ‘latest coronavirus news!’ off my homepage.

So…I made Dalgon coffee this week as a treat, since Cafe Nero doesn’t do Just Eat. It was nice. I might do it again.

And don’t forget that Collared by TA Moore is being released as a novella on April 28. It was originally in the Devil Take Me anthology and I’ve not added anything new. So if you got the anthology, you can skip this or buy it if you want. If you haven’t read Devil Take Me then here you go!

Collared

When ex-priest Jack finds a dead man nailed to his bed, he knows it’s going to be a bad night. He just has no idea how bad. Now he’s been recruited by his own personal demon to find the thieves who killed a man, kidnapped his family, and stole something of indescribable value from the demonic Math. To find answers he has to delve deep into the infernal underbelly of his town and face his own past. Jack’s been promised his soul back if he succeeds. As local cop Ben Ambrose risks his own soul by following too closely in Jack’s footsteps, and with a child’s life on the line, Jack has to decide if it’s a deal he’s willing to make.

Previously published by Dreamspinner Press in the Devil Take Me anthology, January 2019.

Buy Now

My puppy continues to delight. So far he likes balls, cuddles on the sofa, and small, spherical dogs. He dislikes The Brush, dogs larger than him, and people crying on the TV. He is torn on coats, which he despises when on but loves once he is outside.


Book Recommendation of the Week

I was supposed to have had a chance to catch up with the lovely Kim Fielding in Paris. Last year we had a great time at the Reines Beaux and MxM stand in the Salon du Livre. Unfortunately, pandemic. So instead, check out her new book, co-written with F.E. Feeley Jr. It’s a foray into horror, and I love the cover!

Hallelujah by [Fielding, Kim, Feeley Jr., F.E.]

Can you hear it?

Whispering in the dark.

Secrets only the dark knows.

Joseph Moore, choir director for the First Baptist Church of Lenora, Nebraska, has secrets of his own. Terrible, lonely secrets. One that involves natural human desire. One that calls forth powers he cannot begin to understand. Both with the potential to destroy him and those he loves.

Now the world is changing. The darkness, the shadows, the ghosts, are closing in—and Joseph and his lover, Kevin, are being stalked by a merciless demon, hell-bent on possession.

Can you hear it now?

There in the dark.

It's whispering your name.

Buy Now



Deal of the Week

Get Rhys Ford’s amazing Sinner’s Gin series for $1.99 per book. Music, mayhem, and mysteries.

Buy Now

There are also a load of other free and discounted books from some other great authors, including yours truly and Bru Baker. So check them out today.

Happy Reading: 10% Off eBooks and Select $1.99 and Free eBooks

Buy Now


We just have to hope they aren’t putting the chicks to the same use as the loo roll…


Must Read of the Week

In honour of ‘winding my neck in’ on the whole pandemic paranoia thing, not one of my carefully curated anxiety articles have made it on here! Instead I bring you pie innovation. Pinnovation?

The ‘Pie Engineer’ Who Designed a Dessert For the Jazz Age

With a new filling and a new crust, an American innovator changed pie forever.

by Rossi Anastopoulo March 24, 2020

Monroe Boston Strause would reinvent the cream pie.

California is the “Land of Opportunity.” That term was never meant to apply to pie-making, per se, but no one ever told Monroe Strause.

The future Pie King started from humble origins. Monroe Boston Strause was born to salt-of-the-earth parents who left the Midwest for sunny California, raising him and his siblings among the towering palm trees and sky-high hopes of early 20th-century Los Angeles.

As a teenager, he joined his uncle’s wholesale pie business in 1919, where he was soon confronted with a crisis: rising competition from cakes, which were becoming increasingly accessible for home cooks since standardized ovens made baking easier. His industry was in trouble. And thus, the young, curious, and ambitious Strause entered the Roaring ‘20s with a burning conviction to innovate the humble pie.

Read Now


I loved The Almighty Johnson. The first season they only had the budget for like one special effect, but the characters were fun and you wanted to catch up with them every week.

It’s on…Netflix or Amazon. Not sure which without turning the TV back on. So I am going to do a rewatch of it from the beginning.



State of the TAM - 23 March

Win of the Week - A packet of GF pasta

Social isolation should be easier. I’ve been a freelancer and writer for years. The sofa is my office and years ago I pioneered the ‘lounging pant’, under the logic it’s only pyjamas if you sleep in them.

Now that I CAN’T go out though (asthmatic), I feel quite itchy down in my bones. I just want to go over the road for Cadbury’s Caramel/Jelly Beans/Ice Cream. Stupid weak lungs.

HOWEVER, I had Swine Flu and it was horrendous. I didn’t sleep for weeks and I was delirious. I was just randomly sick because I was so weak that any exertion was like two hours of intense exercise. It took months before I felt better, and it left my lungs way worse than before.

Covid-19 is DEGREES worse than that. So, other than a quick trip to the doctor’s this morning to sort out a problem with my prescriptions I am staying on lock down.

*sighs*

At least I have a puppy for company! He really is doing a lot to make this far more tolerable and distract me from any paranoia about the ‘rona.


Deal of the Week

Enjoy 10% off all eBooks along with select $1.99 and free eBooks. Some of my books are on there, as well as Rhys Ford, Bru Baker, Marguerite Labbe, Andrew Grey, and John Good.

Happy Reading: 10% Off eBooks and Select $1.99 and Free eBooks



Must Read of the Week

Maybe if I pretend I am part of an experiment to see how people will survive living on Mars the whole social isolation thing will be easier. Plus, it is interesting!

In 2013, I packed a bag and moved into a geodesic dome where I lived with five other people, all of us pretending to be astronauts on a mission to Mars. It was a strange time in my life, but NASA funded it: an isolation experiment called HI-SEAS on the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa, where, for four months, our crew of six gave scientists our physical, psychological, and social health data in the hope that it might make a future trip to the red planet better for some hypothetical future crew.

Read Now


This is how a bat pees!


And one more puppy for the road!

Look at Jax. He is ready to leave the shire on a grand adventure :) Hey! It is cold in the mornings and he has to pee outside! #writingstaffie #staffiesofinstagram
March 21, 2020

State of the TAM - 16 March

Newsletters are already socially distanced

So, I am socially distancing myself. I’m in the high risk category so better safe than sorry. I had swine flu during that outbreak and I was unbelievably sick and the damage to my lungs is the gift that keeps on wheezing. That means I am staying in (not THAT much difference, to be fair), only running the most vital errands, and trying to get everything I can at the wee farm shop down the road.

Luckily I have the puppy to keep me occupied!


Interview with Kim Fielding

While it sucks that I'm not going to get a chance to catch up with Kim Fielding in Paris this year - Covid 19 sucks! - I'm thrilled to welcome her to the blog today! She's here to chat about Hallelujah by Kim Fielding and F.E. Feeley Jr. It's out March 31, 2020 and don't miss her upcoming blog tour either!

Read Now


Book Recommendation of the Week

Well, it is my newsletter! My novella Collared (originally in the Devil Take Me anthology) is now available for pre-order from Dreamspinner Press. It is also the first cover that I designed from scratch all by ownsome and while it’s not SUPER COMPLICATED I think it came out pretty nice :D. You can also find Rhys Ford’s Wonderland City as a stand-alone novella too.

Collared by TA Moore

When ex-priest Jack finds a dead man nailed to his bed, he knows it’s going to be a bad night. He just has no idea how bad. Now he’s been recruited by his own personal demon to find the thieves who killed a man, kidnapped his family, and stole something of indescribable value from the demonic Math. To find answers he has to delve deep into the infernal underbelly of his town and face his own past. Jack’s been promised his soul back if he succeeds. As local cop Ben Ambrose risks his own soul by following too closely in Jack’s footsteps, and with a child’s life on the line, Jack has to decide if it’s a deal he’s willing to make.

Previously published by Dreamspinner Press in the Devil Take Me anthology, January 2019.

Cover Artist: TA Moore

Pre-Order Now



Deal of the Day

Jazz Vanessen is weird—and not just because he’s a werewolf. For most of his life, he’s felt different from his alpha male brothers and friends. Since he’s adopted, he can’t even blame it on family.

Now eighteen, Jazz meets his idol, the social activist Lysandra Mason, and her breathtaking nephew, Dash Mercury. When Dash is around, even stranger things start to happen, including Jazz falling hopelessly in lust. Not only is Jazz having visions, making people disappear, and somehow turning invisible, but somebody’s following him and threatening to reveal his pack’s secrets to the world.

Together with Dash and Jazz’s equally amazing friends—Carla, BeBop, Khadija, and Fatima—they discover the danger is even more lethal than they thought, and Jazz’s weirdness may save all their lives.

Buy Now



Must Read of the Week

Look, I was going to put something about the virus. It’s just that I’m up to my eye teeth with it, the problems it’s causing, and the probability I will die of it (second mostly likely out of my friends! Whoot! Silver) so you’re getting this instead…

I am not emotionally or physically suited for this sort of trip, but I did think about it a lot. There were a couple of other writers (and general artists) who went out there on a boat with scientists. Well, I don’t know if they got to the North Pole, but the general area.

It was apparently both life changing and occasionally really weird depending on who you were with :D. I did know one guy who wanted to go and read poetry to penguins, but he wanted it to be a pure communion between poet and penguin so refused any sort of record keeping.

Time Has No Meaning at the North Pole

The utter lack of time zones, daylight and people creates a bizarre world
By Katie Weeman on March 13, 2020

Time Has No Meaning at the North Pole

In October 2019 the icebreaker RV Polarstern sat trapped in thick sea ice atop the central Arctic Ocean—the only landmark in a vast expanse of nothingness. Another icebreaker, the Akademik Fedorov, approached it slowly, hauling a load of supplies and personnel. Scientists and crew lined the balconies of each ship, gripping the ice-crusted banisters as they peered across the void. They could see the smiling faces of their colleagues just feet away—but they were two time zones apart.

Read More



State of the TAM - 9 March

Some non-authory news!

What’s up?

Well, I’m still not going to Paris (which sucks shoes), but the universe has her ways. In this case…I got a puppy!

Say hello to Jax Teller-Moore, Pup of Mayhem (trust me, he is well-named!).

He is a rescue pupper and the light of my life! So if I have been a bit quiet on social media the last few weeks, this wee devil is why.

I got him from a local rescue, and right up until halfway through the home check I was sure they were going to say ‘nice try, but not for you!’. Instead, here he is! On his bed, with his bone-chew (did not last long) plotting what sort of future mischief he can conjure up.

So, expect frequent pupdates in future newsletters! I will try to contain my new pup parent excitement a little and totally overwhelm you with pics. Although OBVIOUSLY he is a photogenic and delightful wee dote. But this is my first week with him, so….


I don’t know why this delights me so…no, I do. It’s the expression on the lamb’s face in F. ‘What the heck, lady?’


Deal of the Day

Get A Life Without by Katya Harris ebook for $1.50. Sale ends March 9, 2020 at 11:59 PM ET.

After decades of wondering and worrying over his submissive tendencies, fortysomething Todd decides to explore his fantasies. His first step is to join a BDSM club, and it's there that he meets Malik, a young and beautiful Dominant who is very interested in introducing Todd to this world. In fact, Malik is interested in everything about Todd, which is startling to the older man given the differences in their ages. Malik helps Todd explore his submissiveness, but after an unpleasant meeting with Todd’s ex-boyfriend, he also encourages him to confront his demons so he will no longer live his life in shame.

Buy Now



Book Rec of the Week

The Snow and Winter series by C.S. Poe is now complete, so if you haven’t read it here’s your chance to dip in from day one. Join Sebastian Snow and Calvin Winter (even if Calvin does sort of wish Sebastian would stop jumping in!) as they solve strange and unusual crimes against a solidly realised New York City backdrop.

It’s Christmas in New York City, and all antique shop owner Sebastian Snow wants is for his business to make money and to save his floundering relationship with closeted CSU detective, Neil Millett. But when Snow’s Antique Emporium is broken into and a heart is found under the floorboards, Sebastian can’t let the mystery rest.

He soon finds himself caught up in murder investigations that echo the macabre writings of Edgar Allan Poe. To make matters worse, Sebastian’s sleuthing is causing his relationship with Neil to crumble, while at the same time he’s crushing hard on the lead homicide detective of the case, Calvin Winter. Sebastian and Calvin must work together to unravel the mystery behind the killings, despite the mounting danger and sexual tension, before Sebastian becomes the next victim.

In the end, Sebastian only wants to get out of this mess alive and live happily ever after with Calvin.

Buy Now


Oh man, I love Kratu! He should win a prize for being the happiest pupper!


Must Read of the Week

To be frank, as much as I enjoy a good dystopian survival story…I’d not fancy my chances. I am a short-sighted asthmatic with a sedentary jobs and food intolerances, so I’m probably not going to rule some gluten free Thunderdome, you know what I mean? So probably better to just kark it early in the first wave/

But still fun to read about what the peop

How to Prepare Now for the Complete End of the World

Lynx Vilden teaches people how to live in the Stone Age.

By Nellie Bowles

OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. — When the end comes, some will not be waiting in a bunker for a savior. They will stride out into the wilderness with confidence, ready to hunt and kill a deer, tan its hide and sleep easily in a hand-built shelter, close by a fire they made from the force of their two palms on a stick.

Four hours from the Seattle airport, in a valley called Methow, near a town called Twisp, Lynx Vilden was teaching people how to live in the wild, like we imagine Stone Age people did. Not so they could get better at living in cities, or so they could be better competitors in Silicon Valley or Wall Street.

Read Now


And yet STILL Rhys Ford won’t get me…ahem, herself!…a writer’s retreat in Donegal.

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