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Apologies for the silence this week (I was away working all week – much as I would love to spend all of my time with Sam and Martha, I do still have to earn a crust at the day job), but I do have some updates for you.

After my despair last time, a really lovely review of “Worm in the Blossom” has appeared on Amazon, written by Debbie Young, the author, book blogger and champion of independent authors.  [Apologies to both ladies for confusing her, in an earlier version of this post, with Jo of Jaffareadstoo.  That’s what comes of writing blog posts while listening to “Desert Island Discs” – I was probably distracted by a bizarre musical choice.]  Unfortunately Debbie says how much she enjoys the historical picture that I paint of 1820s London, which simply gives me permission to go back to the library next week and spend another day “researching” (i.e. browsing newspapers and magazines from Sam’s day, and rewarding myself for all that “hard work” with a cheese scone for elevenses).  But I am delighted with this very generous and encouraging review, and have already drifted off into daydreams about who I would cast as Sam and Martha for that Sunday evening slot…  I’m quite keen on Claudie Blakley for Martha (perhaps with a bit of padding), but keep changing my mind about Sam.

This coming week I have two promotional events coming up: on Wednesday I am doing one of my library talks, in Histon (a village just outside Cambridge) and on Thursday I am schmoozing with the cream of Cambridge crime writing society at the Heffers “Murder under the Mistletoe” party.  That nice James Runcie will be there – he wrote the novels behind the “Grantchester” series, so I can pick his brains about this casting concern of mine.

But is she writing anything, I hear you cry.  Things have ground to something of a halt as my Macbook charger has given up the ghost and I’m waiting for a replacement, but I have discovered a new way to generate ideas.  What I do is, whenever I notice something I ask myself how I could use it for Sam.  So I was in Guernsey this week, and one morning I had to get to work early and found myself walking through the dawn.  It was magical, and I think I might make Martha kick Sam out of bed one day so that he can see it too.  And next time, I’ll tell you all about my first literary festival!