February 2017 Newsletter

My News:

There is little to report this month in terms of book news. Sales have seen a nice spike for some reason which is always welcome. I have given up trying to ascertain the reason for this. Sometimes advertising has an impact, sometimes not. Sometimes it is the fact that I meet a new group of people and I get a knock on effect from word of mouth sales. Whatever it is, sales are always welcome, especially when they are spread evenly across all the books.

Words written:

7,373 – For regular readers you would be forgiven in thinking I have not been the most productive of late. This month as well as last month was always going to be a low word count. Next month will probably be as well. The reason for this is understandable (see the best day of the month).

Best book I read:

Product DetailsMy sister’s Grave – Robert Dugoni. This was another book I picked on a whim. I have never heard of Robert Dugoni let alone read any of his books. I loved this story. I can’t honestly say it is overly original but it is well written with good characters. There is a nice twist which whilst not ground-breaking I definitely did not see happening.Honourable mention to –Doing it over. This was another virgin author for me. In an effort to broaden my horizon, I tried another romance novel. I enjoyed this a lot, the romance and slush were minimalistic and instead it was just a nice, easy reading drama. Considering it is part of Kindle unlimited, I will definitely be reading the second in this series.


Best Film or TV show:

Image resultEpisodes – I’ve come very late to the show with this entry but have laughed my butt off at the exploits of the Matt Le Blanc and co. Matt Le Blanc plays an exaggerated version of himself and Joey from friends, only in Episodes he is smarter (at least a little) and cruder. The characters really make this, with the secondary characters becoming more prominent as the seasons go by. There are many laugh out loud moments and when I have been desperate to keep my eyes open at 3am (again see best day – although if you haven’t figured it out by now I am very concerned about your intuition) this has helped me immensely.

What is also great about this program is the unexpected cameos that crop up. Several famous faces pop in and out of the show mostly for only five minutes of screen time, yet these appearances never feel forced.

Best day:


Image may contain: 2 people, baby

Without a doubt this was 12th February where we welcomed a third son Toby James Donovan into the world. The labour process was one I definitely don’t want to go through (or more accurately watch my suffering wife endure) again. My wife suffers from Addison’s disease and this complicates the labour and birth to worrying levels. I won’t go into the details mainly because I am sick of telling the story and don’t want to re-live it anymore. But it started with water breaking at 5am on the Saturday and ended with an emergency C-section at 4:49am Sunday morning.  So far Toby has been an angel (I am under no illusions that it will remain like this) and as you can see from the photo, his two older brothers adore him. The tiredness is gruelling and there have been many days where we feel like zombies (hence the low word count) but it is all worth it.

Joke of the month:

A man is driving down the road and breaks down near a monastery. He goes to the monastery, knocks on the door, and says, “My car broke down. Do you think I could stay the night?”

The monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, and even fix his car. As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a very strange sound. The next morning, he asks the monks what the sound was, but they say, “We can’t tell you. You’re not a monk.”

The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes about his merry way. Some years later, the same man breaks down in front of the same monastery. The monks again accept him, feed him, and again fix his car. That night, he hears the same strange noise that he had heard years earlier. The next morning, he asks what it is, but the monks reply, “We can’t tell you. You’re not a monk.”

The man says, “All right, all right. I’m dying to know.”

“If the only way I can find out what that sound was is to become a monk, how do I become a monk?”

The monks reply, “You must travel the earth and tell us how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of sand pebbles, when you find these numbers, you will become a monk.”

The man sets about his task. Some 54 years later, he returns and knocks on the door of the monastery. He says, “I have traveled the earth and have found what you have asked for. There are 145,236,284,232 blades of grass and 231,281,219,999,129,382 sand pebbles on the earth.”

The monks reply, “Congratulations. You are now a monk. We shall now show you the way to the sound.”

The monks lead the man to a wooden door where the head monk says, “The sound is right behind that door.”

The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked.

He says, “Real funny. May I have the key?” The monks give him the key, and he opens the door. Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone.

The man demands the key to the stone door. The monks give him the key, and he opens it, only to find a door made of ruby. He demands another key from the monks, who provide it.

Behind that door is another door, this one made of sapphire, and so it went until the man had gone through doors of emerald, silver, topaz, and amethyst.

Finally, the monks say, “this is the last key to the last door.”

The man is relieved to know that he has finally reached to the end.

He unlocks the door, turns the knob, and behind that door he is amazed to find the source of that strange sound.

But he can’t tell you what it is because you’re not a monk.



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