Clap your hands if you believe in fairies!

Today I have been given a guest slot over at Barb’s, so go and read more about fairies over there. Wonder how many of you then realise you’ve got them in your house or garden after reading this:

http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/i-believe-in-fairies-just-dont-ask-me-to-define-what-a-fairy-actually-is-guest-post-by-vivienne-tuffnell/

Announcing my new baby ~ Introducing Away With The Fairies

Announcing my new baby ~ Introducing Away With The Fairies

I’ve been away for a fortnight on holiday (more of that soon) but the day before we headed off, I hit the publish button for my new book. I’ve had limited and sporadic internet access, not to mention not a lot of time to go online, and when I did try to write a blog post with my net-book, both WordPress and my net-book refused to play and only allowed me to post a photo. So this fanfare-and-trumpets post has had to wait till I got home again and had the time and the technology to write a suitable “press release” for it.

That said, the small amount of publicity I was able to give it has
resulted in sales, which made me grin like the Cheshire Cat.

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to…..Away With The Fairies. Originally entitled Fish Out of Water, I wrote this novel
some years back and it was one that very nearly landed me a
publishing contract. It landed me an agent, too, who proved to stink
like rotting fish, metaphorically speaking and who threw me out of
the keeping net when he failed after a few tries to find a publisher
to take it on. Since I have changed the name, the fishing metaphors
need to be dropped…sorry, I could never resist a bad pun.

The following is the synopsis of the novel:

Irrepressible artist Isobel has survived most things. She’s coped with everything from a sequence of miscarriages, her husband’s ordination, the birth of two small and demanding children, and finally the recent death of both her parents in a bizarre suicide pact. She’s managed to bounce back from everything so far. A sequence of domestic disasters finally signals to Isobel that perhaps things aren’t
quite as rosy as she’d like. With her half of the inheritance,
Isobel buys an isolated holiday cottage where she hopes to be able to catch up with some painting, as well as have the occasional holiday.

The cottage is idyllic, beautiful and inspiring, but odd things keep
happening. Doors won’t stay shut, objects go missing and reappear
in the wrong places and footsteps are heard when there’s no one
there. One of Isobel’s new neighbours suggests that it is the
fairies who are responsible, but Isobel is more than a tad sceptical:
there’s not a hint of glitter or tinselly wings or magic wands.

Isobel’s inner turmoil begins to spill over into her daily life when she hits a deer while driving back from the cottage. Her family hold crisis
talks, deciding that she needs to have time alone in the cottage to
get over long repressed grief and to paint it out of her system. As
she works at frenetic pace, the odd happenings begin to increase
until even Isobel’s rational, sceptical mind has to sit up and take
notice. And that’s when she gets really scared. Up until now, her
motto has been that there’s nothing in life that can’t be made
better by a cup of tea and some Hob Nobs. This time it’s beginning
to look like it’ll take more than even chocolate biscuits to make
things better. 

I’ve long believed in the existence of fairies, but defining precisely
what I mean by fairies is hard. Beings that inhabit our world but are
not human is possibly the simplest definition and it encompasses all
the possibilities from a pygmy race of primitive humans (like the now
extinct Homo Floresiensis), to spirits of the dead and to the devas
that guard the natural world. Folk-lore and literature are packed
with stories and anecdotes about the fairies(also spelled faeries; I
chose the modern spelling deliberately to ensure I kept the story
firmly in this century) and like ghosts the subject divides people
between believers and sceptics. I’m cool with that.

Isobel is very close to my heart; in some respects she’s the me I’d like to have been: capable, rational, practical and pragmatic but with a streak of artistic madness that can drive her like a demon. She
played “best supporting actress” in another novel that pre-dates
this one, set when Isobel’s husband is at theological college and she
teams up with the rebellious Chloe to play merry hell with the staid
and bigoted wives at the college. She also appears in two other
novels as a pretty vital character, but Away With The Fairies is
Isobel’s own unique story.

The book is available right now from Amazon Kindle US, Amazon Kindle UK (also the Amazon sites for France and Germany but I can’t see it being a big seller in non-English speaking countries) and will be
available as a paperback from both Amazons in due course. It is
already on sale at Lulu, and will be listed on Amazon in due course.
Likewise it will be listed for Nook and in the iStore at some stage.
For those of you who do not possess a Kindle yet, it is possible to
download a Kindle app for your pc or Mac and then download a free
sample to read. My husband doesn’t yet have a Kindle but he uses
Kindle for pc and buys and reads books on his laptop.

Anyway, one final thing. The cover art was done by the very talented Andrew Meek whose book I will be reviewing soon. The image was suggested by our very own Wherearetheheroes, and he has a mention in the acknowledgements for reminding me of the very striking description of one of Isobel’s paintings. I am so very grateful to both you guys for your help and support.

Lost and Found

Last week, I lost my wedding ring. It’s not my real wedding ring which is too small to wear when my joints swell up with the occasional bout of arthritis, but one my husband bought me on our 20th wedding anniversary. It was made of fairtrade silver from Bali and had a central band of Celtic knots that spins independently of the rest of the ring. I’ve had a lot of entertainment from that ring (I’m a simple soul, really)

I searched high and low and even ended up cleaning into corners that had been untouched for months. Not a sign. But I found: the dog’s tennis ball, a couple of errant tubs of lipbalm belonging to various members of the household, a pendant I had bought as a birthday present for someone and then lost (it was under my printer!) an assortment of other small things and a lot of dust bunnies. I even emptied bins and the hoover, and the recycling bin.

I came to the conclusion that the faeries had nicked it. I know how silly this sounds to people who don’t believe in faeries, but my experience is that there are beings who are very playful and sometimes very naughty who move items in some houses. I’m not actually disorganised as such and I’m not untidy, but there have been times when things of vital use have vanished utterly from where all can confirm they were put and despite frantic searching, of every possible corner, pocket, bag, box and shelf, the item is not there. I once had my car keys vanish when I needed them urgently and having turned out my pockets repeatedly and tear the house apart, I found them an hour later…IN THE POCKET I HAD TURNED INSIDE OUT, in front of witnesses. The same happened with the candlestick from Cluedo; it turned up in the murder envelope, which had previously been empty of all but the 3 cards.

The house we had in Darkest Norfolk was especially prone to this sort of episode; it affected guests and inhabitants alike. That house had darker secrets I may write about another time, but it’s not for today.

I can’t express my relief to find the ring again nor my amusement at the means of recovery.

I was getting dressed after my usual shower, and I went into my undies drawer for clean underpinnings, and as I pulled out a pair of knickers, the ring seemingly materialised from inside them.

Well, where else do you return a wedding ring? It seems the faeries have a naughty sense of humour !