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Print Book Sale

I’m clearing out some of my old print book stock to make way for the new books coming out late this year and early next year so that means it’s sale time! Below is the current price for buying signed copies of my print books.

These prices will stick until Christmas (I know it’s a bit early to think about Christmas but signed books make great presents) or until I run out.

With Proud Humility: £7

Chains of Freedom: £6

Historical set (the two books above): £12 (£3 off list price, and a 20% saving)

Sherdan’s Prophecy: £6

Sherdan’s Legacy: £6

Sherdan’s Country: £7

Sherdan trilogy (the three books above): £18 (£6 off list price, and a 25% saving)

All five books above: £28 (£11 off list price, and a 35% saving)

I’m also now taking pre-orders for my next release – a triplet of Mycroft Holmes adventures in one paperback.

Special pre-order price: £8 (£1 off list price)

All six books (the five already in print + the pre-order, which will be ready in time for Christmas): £35 (£13 off list price, and a 37% saving)

These prices don’t include postage, which will vary depending on number of books, plus location delivered too. For the UK:

1 book add £2, 2-3 books add £3, 4-5 books add £4, and for 6 books add £6 (this may well be cheaper, but it will depend on the exact weight of the six books, if it’s over 2kg it’s significantly more expensive than under so it makes sense to send in two packages, if it turns out that it is under and can be sent as one package the difference will be refunded)

Email books@jessmountifield.co.uk or comment below with the email address line filled in to place your order, ask questions or enquire about postage possibilities and prices in other countries.

An update on Assange: One room in an Embassy

It’s been several years since Julian Assange took up residence in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and during that time he’s had to live in one room, an office that’s had a small bed, kitchenette and shower added. There’s no window so no natural light and no where to particularly do anything like exercise. In short it’s actually worse than a prison.

On top of this the UK government has spent well over £10 million on police to make sure he stays there. Something that seems to be a complete waste of time given that he’s only wanted for questioning regarding allegations of sexual abuse and rape, and the prosecutor could fly to him and conduct the interview right where Assange is, or alternatively give him the reassurance that if he comes to Sweden they won’t just hand him over to the US, but they won’t do that either. It just seems odd to me that this prosecutor has been so stubborn given that 44 other cases of possible extradition have resulted in swedish prosecutors or equivalent officials coming to the UK to interview people here rather than extradite them. If they can do it for the other 44 why can’t they for Assange?

Something also seems to be incredibly wrong about this whole scenario given that 3 of the 4 allegations are now impossible to bring to court because of the statute of limitations. In plain speak, laws governing the length of time that a crime can be tried for after the event, has led to the bulk of the charges expiring completely. Whether Assange is guilty or not, this is no form of justice for anyone involved, and all it would take for this awkward stalemate to end is for the prosecutor to come visit Assange.

The final allegation of rape has a statute of limitations that runs out in 2020, twice as long as the previous three, and I find myself wondering if this is going to string out that long. If Assange is innocent of the alleged crimes, then this is wrong on every level, but even if he is guilty (although we’re meant to assume innocence until proven otherwise), this is no justice for the victim’s either.

It’s costing the UK a ridiculous amount of money and gaining no one anything. I personally feel like it’s getting time to send the bill to the swedish prosecutor and asking her to either finish what she has started or cough up our expenses for the mess she’s made.

 

The TRC are Four

Last Friday I attended the Trauma Recovery Centre’s 4th Birthday Party and it was super awesome to go hang out with these awesome people for the evening (and who doesn’t like an excuse for a party).

TRC AwardThe TRC are a charity I’ve mentioned several times. They really do great work in a lot of different areas related to child trauma and have helped so many kids and adults already. They also have an amazing facebook page you can check out and like here or their awesome website here. You only need to take a quick glance at their page to see the awesome things they’re doing and the lives they’re changing for the better.

While at the party they shared a couple of stories from parents who’d had their children and themselves supported by the TRC and then a couple of awards were given out. It was great to take time away from the heroics of my characters to go listen and appreciate the even more meaningful heroics of ordinary people doing the best they can. Life often hands us difficult times, surprise events and even occasionally the loss of people we love. It’s good to know that when the worst happens there are people to help pick up the pieces. The TRC do just that.

Unfortunately there is always more they could do and more people that need the help they provide, so if you have some spare cash please consider donating to them and know it will go to helping people when they need it most.

Enough of the Cold

So it seems it’s that time of year when it’s cold outside and everyone is catching colds. It’s almost midday and everything outside still has a layer of frost on it (which is rather pretty I suppose) and I’m curled up on the sofa under my favourite fluffy blanket. Although it’s partially because it’s cold and the blanket is warm, I also happen to have caught one of those nasty cold like viruses which has decided to spread into my sinuses. Yup, I have sinusitus, and as such feel like doing very little.

I’m thinking of hibernating for a few weeks. Anyone want to join me?

The Hobbit: A Review

So I’ve finally seen all three of the films in the new Peter Jackson series, and I thought I’d make a post about what I did and didn’t like.

Hobbit DwarvesIn the first film, I liked that it had a more light-hearted feel to it than the Lord of the Rings films. The chases had me laughing and so did the Dwarves antics in Bilbo’s house. considering how much more light-hearted the Hobbit is to the Lord of the Rings in book form that sat well with me, but I noticed a lot of people who hadn’t read the books and were introduced to the series by the films were annoyed by those scenes and thought them unnecessary.

I didn’t like the new pale orc stuff as much nor the rock giants, but over all I enjoyed the film. I quickly realised it was a sort of in between feel to it. Less light-hearted and more over all world in it than the Hobbit book, but more light-hearted and focused than the previous films. I think this only led a lot of people to be disappointed. All the people who expected Lord of the Rings got more Hobbit than they wanted a vice-versa. As I didn’t mind either way I was very happy with the film. I think it blended the feel of the two together nicely.

Hobbit SmaugThe second film was probably the best, of the three. I liked the extra Necromancer stuff in here and what Gandalf got up to. I also really liked how they introduced Bard and the Smaug and Bilbo scenes were amazing. Some of the Legolas stuff wasn’t as good, but I liked what they did with his father and how they showed the differences between the two elvish races.

There was the odd bit I didn’t like so much, but very few parts of this film. I didn’t like where it finished, but I tried to think of a better place and really couldn’t. If the moved the end later to include more Smaug stuff it didn’t leave enough plot for the third film and if they moved the end sooner it would have needed to be a lot sooner or still be in the middle of the Smaug plot thread.

hobbit taurielFinally, I think the third film is the weakest. This is the film that suffered the most from the Hobbit being so much shorter than Lord of the Rings. It had the conclusion to the Necromancer and Smaug near the beginning of the film and both of these would have served the film much better if they were either more complicated and didn’t start the film or just moved to the second film. Maybe the Smaug section could have been in film two and the Necromancer stuff in film three, but then Gandalf wouldn’t have been in film two very much at all (see, I told you I couldn’t find a better way to divide it). I’d have liked a longer resolution to the Necromancer plotline for sure. After adding in all the stuff Gandalg got up to it was very lacking on imagination and scope.

I liked the set up for the final battle and the way Bard handled himself, as well as the interplay between Thorin and Bilbo, and Legolas, Tauriel and Thranduil, especially concerning love and what happened to Legolas’ mother, but that was about it with the third film. I didn’t like Alfrid at all. I assumed he was in film three for the comedy value (like the chase scene in the Goblin lair and Barrel scene in the previous two films) but I didn’t find him funny at all. I did find Billy Connelly as Dain funny and Gandalf had the odd amusing line. The conclusion to the Pale Orc stuff was predictable but good enough.

Anything else I could complain about would have spoilers so I better stop there. I have a feeling the Hobbit films would improve on me if I could watch them in one go. There just isn’t as good a way to break them up as there was with the Lord of the Rings. I also want to see what’s included in the extended editions. If there’s more Necromancer it could improve the third film a lot. after that I want to watch all six extended movies in one go and see if it does what I think where the third Hobbit film sets up some of Lord of the Rings and creates a natural progression that weakens the third Hobbit if you treat the trilogies as stand alones.

Ebook pricing change on Amazon UK

Recently the European Union decided that the way VAT was applied to a sale would change. Instead of it being the VAT of whatever country the seller is in, from January 1st it will be the VAT of whatever country the buyer is in. At the moment Amazon’s UK server is hosted in luxumbourg where VAT is only 5% so as of the start of next year, all my UK buyers will find the prices adjusted up by 15% to compensate for the increase in VAT.

As far as I can tell from the email Amazon have sent this will be automatic and will apply to a lot of books (not just mine), although I don’t know if it will apply to the big 5 publishers or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does. Not even they can take a 15% hit to the profit margin, so if you plan to buy any ebooks in the next little while, do get them before the end of the year or you may find the books you want to be even more expensive after.

Print books will remain VAT free, as they’ve always been.

Ten Years In Bath, Freedom and God’s Hands

It seems I’m coming up to (and in one case I’ve passed) some big anniversary markers in my life. Most people have a lot of changes in their life around the age of 18 so I’m sure I’m not the only person who finds at 28 that the last ten years has been quite a ride.

Like others I went off to university and just over ten years ago on October 5th 2004 I turned up in Bath ready to study and meet new people. One of the first people I met was my now husband, Phil (yes I did declare my undying love to the first guy I met at University and yes I’m aware you’re not meant to do this) although it’s still quite a few weeks away from the anniversary of us getting together as a couple.

While I was getting to know Phil he invited me to go along with him to church and I couldn’t see any reason to object to the idea so off I went with him. It was quite an experience. Within minutes of the service starting I found myself overwhelmed with the feeling of being safe and peaceful, something I hadn’t felt in years for one reason or another (I didn’t come from the most stable of family backgrounds and despite my mother’s best attempts to make our family life safe and carefree I was a little too good at getting myself into trouble), and on the 26th October 2004 I decided I was going to try to follow Jesus and the things he taught. That makes it my tenth birthday this Sunday. I later discovered that the same feeling of safety came back every time I worshiped.

Shortly after that I went to Freedom Bath and Bristol, one of the churches in Bath, and accompanying the feeling of safety I got every time I reached out to God, I also felt very much at home. There’s never been one person specifically or one event or moment. I just walked into Freedom on November 13th 2004 and knew I was home, and almost ten years later it’s still the same. Every time I walk in I know it’s where I belong. That feeling and concept often comes up in the stories I write and I know it’s because I get to feel that sense of belonging each and every week.

Within my ten years at Freedom I’ve also seen some pretty awesome things. I’ve personally been healed twice. The first time my right leg grew by about 2 inches (it was shorter than my right and had been causing back problems, including scoliosis), and the second time I was healed of some internal bleeding which I blogged about already here. I’ve had several financial miracles where money has turned up right when I needed it, once so I could quit the day job and start my writing career, and another time so my husband and I could buy our first house.

Being in Freedom has also meant I’ve had great teaching from the leaders, I’ve been supported, encouraged and often inspired as a writer and part of the creative community within the church, and I’ve had plenty of mentors, friends and people to do life with. I am so much more emotionally stable and have a greater understanding of who I am, what makes me me and what I want to do with my life than I ever have before. Bad stuff still happens occasionally, but it helps to know I’m not alone in facing it, unlike how I used to feel before I came to Bath.

I’m definitely looking forward to the next ten years with God, Church, my husband and my friends.

Cutting out Wheat and Losing Weight

Around christmas time I finally managed to pin down my food problem to wheat. This was brilliant in several ways. Most notably, that I could finally feel totally better, but also because it turned out that cutting wheat out of my diet has led to me shedding the two stone I put on while sick with incredible ease.

At first it proved a rather difficult adjustment. Wheat is in so many things, from sausages to gravy and then the obvious things like bread and cake. It made a huge difference to what I usually ate. A bunch of cereals are completely out and toast isn’t an option, which left me with things like scrambled eggs and mushrooms for breakfast or fruit.

Lunch has become salads or last night left overs reheated, and dinners have probably changed the least. Where wheat used to form my most major carbohydrate I’ve switched it out for rice and potatoes, but for the most part the rest has stayed the same. The free from section of the supermarket has wheat free pasta which helps. I’ve also increased the vegetables to help myself feel full despite the lack of bread.

Since Christmas time, I’ve gone down from being 11 stone (154 pounds for the peeps in the US) to 8 stone 8 (120 pounds). Although I am snacking slightly less (the advantage of not being able to eat cakes or biscuits). I’m still eating raisens and nuts as well as baking cakes and flapjack. There’s an awesome flourless cake recipe here. I’ve made that quite a number of times to solve the no cake problem. I’ve also found wheat free sausages and at my local supermarket the venison and the lamb burgers are made wheat free.

I’ve seen a slight increase in my food bill (veg and fruit are surprisingly more expensive) but over all I’m really pleased that cutting out something to make me feel better has also resulted in me losing the weight I gained while sick, plus a little more that it probably didn’t hurt to lose.

Now I guess I need to go shopping for more clothes. If I was a normal woman that might be a good thing, but I’m not and I’m dreading it.

Craft Extraordinaire

Normally in this scheduled blog post I share something I’m up to with you all but today I’d like to share somethings I’ve not made but purchased from some other amazing creative peeps.

The first has been mentioned a few times on facebook and is one of the best purchases I think I’ve ever made, although everything I’m going to share today comes close.

Tardis Journal by Claire

This is based on the journal River Song uses in Dr. Who. It’s the Dr himself who gives it to her, although the first time you see it, it’s pretty much as old as it’s going to get, falling apart and crammed full of out of order info and notes by River.

I’ve wanted something I can write my ideas down into for months and, well, probably years and it is something I’ve just been putting off, relying on my memory and a few sentences in evernote to remember all the good ideas I’ve ever had.

When I went to the Dr. Who exhibition in Cardiff a few months back I was looking around the shop and seeing what they had and noticed there was a large amount of notebooks but nothing in the style of River’s Tardis Journal. I like my notebooks but I’d really hoped to be able to get something similar so I came away a little disappointed (the exhibition itself was awesome though).

I looked on the Dr. Who online store as the shop assistant said I might be able to find it there, but still no luck. The closest they had was a lined notebook with a plastic cover that had a flat picture with the pattern on but no actual grooves or dents and no tardis blue leather.

But thanks to Claire I now have this, with all my book idea notes in, in whatever order the parts, snippets of dialogues, and scenes have come in. It’s full of spoilers, out of order and I’ve had to leave the first few pages blank to index it all when it’s full, just like the actual journal River Song used.

It’s made with a basic journal, card and tardis blue tissue paper (as far as I’m aware) so not a leather version but it feels amazing and I think I spent about the first week stroking it. I’m also going to be photographing each and every page to back it up in the off chance I might lose it but it goes everywhere with me so chances are slim.

Claire is also one half of Flaire, a fantastic crafty couple of ladies, who come with my recommendation (I also believe Claire is taking commissions for more tardis journals if anyone else wants one) and you can check out all their awesome stuff via their facebook page here and the have an etsy shop here. I’ve bought a few things these guys have made and always want to buy more.

Steampunk Pocket Watch by Geek Creature Creations

This is just one of the many cool things you can get from this crafter. While this is probably one of the simplest things it was something I fell in love with right away (I also have a nyan cat Christmas tree decoration and I’m about to buy something else, but still deciding what I want)

As I’ve mentioned in various places I have quite a love for Steampunk and dragons and this was the perfect accessory for me when it comes to designing steampunk clothes. The chain was one of several options and this one allows me to clip the watch to the waist band of whatever trousers I’m wearing.

It also has the standard push button at the top which flips down the cover and features a rather pretty watch face. I’d seen some other pocket watches that had very modern clock faces and it just looked wrong so I was very pleased to see that this one looked a bit more elegant and old fashioned.

The pieces in Geek Creature Creations tend to be limited numbers or often, one of a kind items and commissions are also accepted, so I often check out their facebook page here to see what their latest designs are and they come with my recommendation as well, especially for the speedy service. Now all I have to do is decide what I want from them next!

Changes

I’ve been blogging for well over two years now and I’ve decided that I want to change things around a bit. Since the beginning I’ve been blogging once every three days and writing all sorts of blogs in a sort of revolving pattern.

From now on I’m going to try blogging twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. I’m beggining to get a little overwhelmed by the current blogging schedule so I’m going to see if cutting it a little bit and making it a bit more flexible in terms of topics is going to help. On Fridays I’ll post a review of some kind, either a book or film or something else and then on Tuesdays I will blog about whatever I want, from character spotlights to how-to’s to general thoughts on random topics.

This also means that I won’t be scheduling anyway near so far in advance. I’m just going to write them as I feel like it rather than having to try and write in set days. I’m hoping this will mean the blogs get better overall as I’m writing what I really want to and not what I have to, to meet a quota.

If this doesn’t work I will rethink everything again and we’ll try something else.