Grousable Books Newsletter: 15 April 2023

🌿 Springing into poisons

Garden news can be up front this time because spring is finally here after weeks and weeks (feels like months) of rain. Plants are a little uncertain, a little waterlogged still, but they’re more game to try. It’s going to be a slow start: the new artichoke plants are only ten inches high, last year’s roses are still huddling unenthusiastically, and the carrots aren’t certain if they want to bother. But the broccoli is finally growing (now that I’ve protected it from the visiting bunny with a bit of hot sauce on the leaves) and the new bearded iris forgot it just bloomed last November and is going again.

Even the part of my garden root-bound by trees is flowering

My ambitions to plant more poisonous plants (how can I write about them if I don’t grow them?) are starting small, with a dozen digitalis (foxglove). They seem happy, but a friend has reported I may have planted them in too much shade, so we’ll see. The delphiniums (aka larkspur when it’s an annual) are happy to start reaching toward the sky. Apparently the diterpene alkaloids they carry can kill an adult in very small amounts. Naturally, as with all poisons, it has therapeutic uses in smaller doses, for asthma, dropsy, and more. (Don’t worry, dog lovers–all my flowers are behind a fence!).

📚 Book news

I opened a new Etsy store for my books, which was actually quite fun to do. Etsy wants you to post the “story” of your shop, so I made one up and it’s kinda fun; I think you’ll like it. Right now it’s just my Tommy Jones Mysteries e-books, but more is coming soon, including the autographed copies currently available from my website.

Meanwhile, my Work in Progress (WIP, as they say in book land) will be a cozy mystery. I suppose it’s not that historical (set in 2004) but it will be based in a California beach town, so will be the first of my mysteries set in the U.S. So far, I have a body buried in sand at the bottom of a coastal bluff. Who is he? How did he get there? And what does it mean that one of those little paper umbrellas was found at the scene?

The Once Upon a Book Fair is in Escondido on June 3, and I’ll be there selling and signing books. Come on along–it would be great to see you. It’s 10 am – 4 pm at the California Center for the Arts.

🇬🇧 Hail Britannia

After a three-year delay, I will finally be journeying to the U.K. next month. I hope to stop by the shops that are carrying my books in London (The Old Operating Theatre) and Stockton-on-Tees (BookDragon).

I also plan to visit and photograph many of the locations from the mysteries, including Clerkenwell in London and Durham from Murder on the Pneumatic Railway.  And I’ll visit the Yorkshire Dales, which I was thrilled to see beautifully filmed in the new TV version of All Creatures Great and Small, this month’s historic TV pick. This time it’s the 1930s.

Yes, the show is excellent, with good acting and solid historical accuracy. The gorgeous scenic shots were done by drone camera. Writers sometimes make the setting a character. I love doing that, and the Dales definitely are a character in the show, mostly because no one wants to leave. And why would they?

🤷🏻 BTW

By the way, I’ve added a page on my website featuring all my Instagram posts together. Why? Well, not everyone wants to be in Facebook or Instagram, and sometimes it’s more interesting to see a bunch of posts at once.

Till next time!