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Friday, 9 October 2020

Secret Scotland and Devil’s Porridge


 

Most of you who follow me and read my books will be familiar with one of my Kirsty Campbell mysteries, Devil’s Porridge. What I hadn’t expected would be that someone from TV land would have noticed it. But notice it they did, and an email landed in my inbox asking if I would like to take part in an episode of Secret Scotland and asking me to phone them.


Now, in this day and age of multiple scam emails, I must admit I looked at it with jaundiced eyes but it looked reasonably genuine so I gathered my courage into my hands and phoned the number. And, guess what, it was genuine!


Filming was planned for July, not long after the government lifted the lockdown, So, accompanied by my granddaughter, we drove down to Gretna in a state of great excitement. The only thing dampening my enthusiasm was my Covid hairdo and my Covid teeth. No time to get them sorted, and I wasn’t going to turn down an invitation to appear on TV simply to cater for my vanity.



We stayed overnight in Gretna and then travelled to the film shoot at Eastriggs early the next morning. So early, we barely had time for breakfast. In between showers and the sound of passing cars on the main road that runs past the Devil’s Porridge Museum, Susan and I chatted about Devil’s Porridge, the explosive not the book, and the gigantic munitions factory built in the area during the First World War. The factory was so large it stretched for nine miles along the edge of the Solway Firth from Dornock in the north to Longtown, near to Carlisle, in the south.



In the Eastriggs part of the factory, the munitionettes made the devil’s porridge, a mixture of guncotton and nitroglycerine which was then transported to the Longtown end to turn into cordite, a propellant for use in the guns at the front.



Susan and I discuss the munitionettes and how their life was in the munitions towns of Eastriggs and Gretna. Parts of the discussion cover the role alcohol played in the townships and how the government of the time handled this. We also take time out to look at the social life of the munitionettes and Susan has a wee whirl around the dance floor.



If you would like to join us by viewing this episode of Secret Scotland, it’s on tonight (Friday 9th October) at 8 pm on Channel 5. If you would prefer to view it later, you can see it on catch up. It’s series 3 episode 4, Galloway and the South, and here is the link https://www.channel5.com/show/secret-scotland/


Me and my granddaughter being photo bombed by Susan Calman

I hope that if you manage to view the programme you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed taking part.


Chris Longmuir


Social media handles 

@SusanCalman (Twitter)

@officialsusancalman (Instagram)

https://www.facebook.com/Susan-Calman-44711520390

@channel5_tv (Instagram and Twitter)

@channel5uk (Facebook)


Monday, 31 August 2020

Life - Not As We Know It


Strange times lead to strange solutions. As humans, we are unaccustomed to being cut off from our fellow human beings. It brings a multitude of problems of which social isolation is only one. It changes us. Our reality becomes a different reality. The new normal, whatever that is.

But we humans are, if nothing else, innovative. We are reluctant to let go of our social lives. So, we turn to virtual living through apps like Zoom and several others. In the process, we have all become proficient Zoomers.

I must admit, until we went into lockdown I had never heard of Zoom. But now I’ve taken part in meetings, chats, virtual coffee mornings, quizzes, and even an AGM. Not forgetting a couple of author panels and some interviews. Who would have thought?

Click the link to watch the Dundee and Angus Crime Panel on YouTube: 

https://youtu.be/lWiJtZsAZgw

People also engaged in other activities. Exercise, walking (when we were allowed out), cooking, and baking. I filled my freezer with individual homemade meals within a short time after I locked my door to the outside world. I’ve also baked cakes and scones, something I haven’t done since the early years of my marriage before I became caught up with more important things.


I’ve also learned how to freeze things like spare bread – I use to just bin the leftovers. I’m old enough to remember rationing and it’s as if that time has returned to haunt us. Nothing goes to waste.


The lockdown gave us all time. Time to reflect, time to indulge in other things, and something which had become alien to me – leisure. I’ve always been a workaholic, so to have all that spare time on my hands was a unique experience. Not that it did me any good.

You see, for some authors the lockdown was a chance to increase their output, for others it had the opposite effect. Raising barriers to the writing process where no such physical barriers exist. I’m afraid I come into the latter category. My production over the lockdown period has been abysmal. I suppose it boils down to the old saying ‘if you want something done ask a busy man – or in this case a busy woman’. And, the availability of masses of extra time means we are all less busy.

But now lockdown is more or less over and we are being offered more freedom, how is that going to affect us? I suspect that, apart from the section of the population who want to crowd out the pubs and go on illegal raves, the rest of us will be cautiously turning the key in our locked door and seeking the outside world with a degree of trepidation. We may have been offered our freedom, but are we brave enough to take it.


Will it be a brave new world where anything is possible. Or are we entering into a world which is no longer safe? Only time will tell.


Chris Longmuir

Web Site

Amazon Author Page


Monday, 10 August 2020

My Birthday Bargain Offer For You

 

When you look out of the window tonight, will you notice the moon is blue? And will you ask yourself why it has changed colour? Well, it’s simple really. You see, I’ve done something I rarely do, I’ve reduced the prices of all my novels to £1.99 and that equates to a saving of £2.00 on each book.


Now, it’s extremely unusual for me to reduce the price of my books. After all, each one takes over a year to write and the usual price of £3.99 is actually quite good value for a year’s hard work. They also sell well at the usual price, so what has prompted me to reduce them for the rest of the month of August.


The reason folks is that I’m a Leo. This is my birthday month and what better way to celebrate than to offer my readers a bargain. The other factor, of course, is that these are unusual times, so what better time to do something unusual than now.


So, come and help me celebrate my birthday and I guarantee to maintain the bargain until the stroke of midnight on the 31st of this month. When that witching hour strikes the bargain will disappear and like Cinderella fleeing the ball, the magic will vanish and the moon will no longer be blue.


Happy birthday to me and happy reading to you.


Chris

Website

Amazon Author Page

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

The Long Wait is Over Dangerous Destiny has Arrived


These are strange times, and I'm having to adapt to living in isolation in the same way as everyone else. But at least I have my imaginary friends to keep me company. They talk to me and live in my imagination, and then I write them down and share them with you. Sometimes I think my characters are more real to me than other people, although they don't always do what I want them to. And they astonish me by what they say.

So, for the past year, I've been living with my suffragette characters and, with a great deal of trepidation, I've launched them out into the wide world. I wonder how they'll fare there? Will my readers like them as much as I do? Or will they wave them away with a disparaging gesture? Time will tell.

No doubt you've guessed by now that my new historical murder-mystery 'Dangerous Destiny: A Suffragette Mystery' is now available to buy. It's out in paperback and Kindle, and in view of the strange times we live in, I've done something I've never done before. I've made the Kindle version available for Kindle Unlimited, which means that if you subscribe, you can read it for free. Otherwise, it's the same price as the others £3.99 in the UK and whatever that converts to in the US.

Here is a view of the cover, designed by Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics. She does a great job.


The story is a combination of coming of age with a murder-mystery at its heart. It's a story about three suffragettes who come together to try to solve the mystery of who is killing suffragettes in Dundee, Scotland. They are frustrated because the police are doing nothing to investigate the murders, taking the view that suffragettes are a nuisance and society would be better without them.
First we have Kirsty, a naïve young girl with a secret in her past, who is trying to break free from her controlling family. Then we have Ethel, trying to escape her vicious and abusive father. Martha, a seasoned suffragette, takes them under her wing and introduces them to women's suffrage.
Of course, they run into danger before everything is solved. And in the process, we find out whether Kirsty and Ethel will break their family bonds and forge a new destiny for themselves.

You can find the Kindle version by clicking HERE.
And the paperback version by clicking HERE. 
If you are in the US, just change the .co.uk part of the link to .com

There will be no physical launch for this book at Waterstones, and I'll miss meeting all my lovely readers and supporters. So, now I need to get back to my lonely isolation but, hopefully, there will be some imaginary friends waiting for me. I do hope you have some imaginary friends as well and if you don't, I'd be delighted to share mine with you.

Take care.

Chris

Website
Amazon Author page

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Dangerous Destiny - Cover Reveal



The wait is almost over. Dangerous Destiny is with my editor and I'm hoping to get it published before too many moons have passed.

This book is part of a new suffragette mystery series and I've set it in Dundee, Scotland, in 1908. The story involves three women, a seasoned suffragette, a working-class girl escaping her abusive father, and a young girl breaking free from her controlling family. They join forces to find a killer who is targeting suffragettes. So, the book is a mix of murder mystery and rites of passage as the two younger girls choose a different destiny for themselves.

Well, what do you think? Do you like it? I'm quite chuffed with it. I think my cover creator has done a good job and now all I need is for my editor to complete her work and get the manuscript back to me. Then it will be all systems go.

Watch this space!

Chris Longmuir

Website

Amazon Author Page




Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy New Year: Lang May your Lum Reek


A very Happy New Year to everyone. May this year be the one when all your dreams will come true and success and good fortune will be yours.

All the best for a happy and prosperous 2020.

Chris

Website

Amazon Author Page

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Merry Christmas to One and All


A merry Christmas to all my friends, readers, and followers. I hope you have a joyous time and that you don't overeat the turkey, trifle, and mince pies. Leave room for the champers and choccies that Santa has left in your stocking.

I hope Santa has left all of your favourite things, in my case it's always books, although I am partial to a bit of the smelly stuff as well as earrings. I can't resist earrings.

Now, it's back to the toil for me there are loads of revisions to be done to the new book and there is no time to waste.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Chris

Website

Amazon Author Page