My novel, Among the Living, shot up more than 100,000 places in the charts last week.
But there’s still a way to go, so for three days from the early hours of Monday 1st April it will be available as a free ebook from Amazon. That’s right, completely free.
If you haven’t read it yet, give it a try. I suspect you’ll enjoy it. And if you do, please put up a review.
And please feel free to pass on news of the promotion. Can’t go far wrong with a free book, now can you?
If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still have the book. Check out the Apps on the Among the Living page on Amazon, which make the book available on PC or iPad/tablet computer.
(Despite the date, it is not an April Fool’s jape. More a chance to celebrate the cruel joke that is British Summer Time.)
I mentioned before the Anachron Press anthology ‘Urban Occult’. It’s now out in print and ebook. You can buy it from Amazon, or more cheaply (and with preferable ethics?) from other places like Kobo.
Either way, it really is good if you’re at all interested in short stories with a dark side. Obviously I must declare an interest, because my own story ‘The Other Woman’ is included. But I’ve been in anthologies in the past, and I’ve never felt as proud to be nestling among such a high-quality collection. Editor Colin Barnes has done a really good job.
My particular favourite so far (still a few more to read) is ‘Spider Daughter Spider’ by Jennifer Williams, which really spooked me and has a coldly devastating ending that will stick in your mind.
Part 1 of The Football Years (6 March) featured pea soup. This edition gets serious, with soya bean curry. The recipe is at the end. After I have explained its significance.
When I stopped playing football, the gap it left in my life felt bigger than I could have expected. I miss it a surprising amount, even all these years after the broken leg brought it to an early end.
Playing the game was about more than ninety minutes exercise on a Sunday morning. It gave me a regular ritual in my life.
In my football years a typical Sunday morning started with a friend turning up at around 9.15 in his van. I would need to be ready to go. This was not as straightforward as it might sound.
It wasn’t just a matter of getting up, getting dressed and having breakfast. There was the frequent discovery that the mud-covered football boots you had thrown into a cupboard after the previous week’s game had mysteriously failed to clean and polish themselves. Not only was the mud still there. If you had left the boots in a plastic bag you also got the bonus of interesting new fungal life forms colonising the damp leather.
Then there was the toilet issue.
I played football on Sunday mornings for years. During that time I cooked all kinds of high-carb dishes on Saturday evenings. I’m not sure they ever made me run faster. Nor, as it turned out, did they make me stronger. Certainly not in the shin-bone department.
There are a million recipes for pea soup. This is my favourite, whether before playing football or not.
1lb dried green split peas
1½ lbs potatoes
4 pints of low-salt vegetable stock
2 cloves of garlic
2 large carrots
4 oz butter
Salt, pepper to taste
Soak the split peas overnight in half the stock. Cook in the stock until they are soft (add more liquid if it runs low).
Peel and chop carrots, potatoes and onions. Melt the butter in a (very) large saucepan and fry the vegetables and garlic until softened (5-10 minutes). Add the rest of the stock and cook the vegetables in it.
Mix the vegetables into the peas and cook for a few more minutes. Whizz the whole lot in a liquidizer to the texture you want. Personally, I don’t mind a few lumpy peas left in the mix of my soup.
And here, to go with that winter warmer of a meal, is the story of my last ever game of football.