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I tried, I really did: I tried to hold off until Friday, the official publication date for “Heir Apparent”.  But I had to publish it on Amazon before I could order any author copies to send out to bookshops and reviewers, and once I had published it, it appeared on Amazon, and once I saw it on Amazon, well, can you blame me?  IT’S HERE!  “Heir Apparent” has been published and you can all buy it for everyone for Christmas – click any of the links scattered about this website.

I did consider a launch party this time but it was hard to make the numbers work.  I mentioned that I was contacting a couple of bookshops to ask about the possibilities of a launch shindig, and they both responded – which was very kind.  The Cambridge one said that I could hold a launch party but that I would have to pay for the venue (to cover staff costs, etc.) – I can’t remember the exact cost, but it was about £75.  The Saffron Walden one very kindly offered a free venue – but I am realistic enough to know that hauling my friends and contacts from Cambridge to Saffron Walden (about fifteen miles away) on an autumn school night would be tricky.  I might have a blow-out when I have completed the Sam series and hold a “celebration” rather than a “launch” – and then I can choose a better date and location.  This time, the publication is being marked by (a) chocolate cake at home, and (b) lunch out on the “proper” publication day (Friday 18 October).

In the meantime, I am doing what I assume all authors do on such days: I am stroking the cover of the book and smiling smugly.