A belated Happy New Year to everyone.

New Year fireworks at Tignes

I’ve had a few weeks away from my blog because I’ve been on holiday for Christmas and the New Year. We spent Christmas in Wales, arriving after the snow that would have cut us off had vanished, leaving us with grey misty days that could have been dull but, where we were, were strangely beautiful.

The snow returned just as we were leaving.

There wasn’t enough to stop us coming back to London where we were able to enjoy an afternoon of dancing tango at the Royal Festival Hall before we were off again to see the New Year in in the French Alps. There the snow fell rather extravagantly, but when the resort wasn’t closed down because of the avalanche danger, we had some lovely skiing.

I wouldn’t normally apologise for taking a holiday during what so many people (admittedly mainly Americans) now call “the Holidays”, but it was an unfortunate time to be away as it meant that we were still in France when Endeavour press published Burke in the Land of Silver.

When Burke in the Land of Silver was first published, I didn’t really understand how vital it is for writers to promote their books. I thought this was something I could leave to my publisher. I was wrong. Nowadays a good part of an author’s life – any author, from bestsellers like JK Rowling to less well-known writers like me – is spent promoting their work. With their publication of Burke in the Land of Silver, Endeavour have given me a second chance to make a first impression. Perhaps being out on the ski slopes when that chance came along wasn’t a great idea, but sometimes family commitments and the difficulty of organising everybody’s diary so we can holiday together is arguably more important than getting my blog out on time.

Still, even if I haven’t been busy on my own blog, you will have had the chance to read things I have written elsewhere. Sandra W has kindly offered me the chance to share my hopes and plans for 2018 on her bookloverwormblog while Jennifer Macaire has allowed me space to talk about the research that goes into a book like Burke in the Land of Silver. On Thursday there will be a piece about the real James Burke on Jenny Kane’s blog (http://jennykane.co.uk) and there will be other stuff coming soon – watch out for details on my Facebook page and Twitter. And if you have a blog and would like to write something (or would like me to write something for you), that would be just amazing.

Anyway, just in case you haven’t worked it out, Burke in the Land of Silver is now available on Kindle on Amazon. It’s a thrilling story based on the real-life adventures of James Burke who was spying for Britain in Argentina at the beginning of the 19th century. It’s just £2.99 on Kindle. A paperback edition should be along soon.

The second book in the James Burke series, Burke and the Bedouin, will be published on 19 January. It is available to pre-order at the ludicrously cheap price of 99p. Get your pre-order in soon!

If you live in North America the books continue to be available from Simon & Schuster.

Anyway, that’s all from me for now. Do look out for the posts that will be appearing on blogs all over the place and for news about my much promised new website, which really should be up and running very soon. Most importantly, do all have a very happy (if belated) New Year.

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