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Saturday, 18 October 2014

New Promotion and New Story

'Lucky Dip' will be on Countdown Promotion for a week starting tomorrow. 'Lucky Dip' is the story of Connie Henshall and her battles to hold her family and home together through the strains of redundancy. Her disastrous and at times comical attempts to find new employment test her confidence and her marriage. It's a light-hearted and hope-filled story of love, friendship, family, and the never-ending battle to keep an eleven year old daughter out of the make-up bag.

And if that isn't enough, there's a new story on the Quirky Tales website. 'Journeys in Dream State' tells of a young girl's travels through magical lands with a flying elephant for her companion. It's a touch surreal, as might be expected from the title. I hope you enjoy it.


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Boldre Wood Promotion

Just to remind you, 'Billy and the Carinthean War' is on Countdown Promotion all this week at the bargain price of 99p. 'Billy of Boldre Wood' is on free promotion for five days, starting today (14th October 2014), and 'Billy and the North Oakian Alliance' is on free promotion for three days starting today.

Happy reading.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Exciting News

WARNING: Here comes the big announcement:

The new look Quirky Tales Website is up and running!

I would have added streamers and fireworks but there are severe limits to my skills and such things far exceed them. (Besides which, I don't think Blogger allows such frivolity - I certainly haven't seen any buttons for streamers and fireworks anywhere on their site.)

And further excitement, I know, it's all happening here this weekend, Billy and the Carinthean War will be in Kindle's Countdown Promotions all next week, starting tomorrow, 12th October. The final book in the Boldre Wood Trilogy will be available throughout the promotion for the bargain price of 99 pence.

I'll leave you now to get acquainted with the stylish new QT. Happy Saturday everyone!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Route Mapping

In recent times our fitness regime has had to change to accommodate a raft of annoying injuries. Running is not an option when you have a badly torn calf muscle, or a wobbly ankle, or damaged ligaments in your big toe. Bizarrely, only one of these injuries was incurred during a run. The others were accrued stumbling down the stairs or even, on one particularly notable occasion, tripping over what under closer examination turned out to be thin air.

But prior to our descent to crippled wreckary, we used to map our runs using a website that drew the route as a red line over a high resolution map. From this we could deduce how far we had run, roughly how many calories we had burned, and just how steep that long slog up the hill to the park is (incidentally, not nearly as steep as it felt running up it). The resulting routes normally appeared as seemingly random squiggles, or at best very badly drawn circles. I'm rather disappointed in them having seen the following story on the BBC's site:

David Taylor, a cyclist from Wiltshire, has used a similar app to map his routes, but instead of random squiggles or badly drawn circles, he creates actual pictures. He even managed to draw a bicycle by travelling a very convuluted journey around the New Forest. He had to cycle 187 miles to complete it though, so perhaps we'll leave him to it.

Besides, our new fitness regime revolves around the rowing machine in the garage. However hard we row, our routes now would just be one slightly embarrassed blob to the left of our house.


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

New Website and New Genre

I'm happy to report that Minecrafting remains unchanged and as yet mortgages are not required for the building of small dwellings within its wondrous blocky world. I'm making the most of it while it lasts.

I hasten to point out I haven't spent all my time building new worlds, that's just my evening job. A lot of work time has been devoted to the new look website. We're nearly there, but there are some last minute bugs to catch and eliminate before the new look can be presented for public consumption. Watch this space for an announcement as soon as the work is completed.

I've also been doing a spot of writing. I'm currently working on a crime thriller/ mystery, which is a new genre for me but I'm enjoying delving into the dark and mirky side of human nature. The story, 'Schism', will be available later this year as a novella on Kindle. I'll keep you informed of its progress.


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Is This The End of Minecrafting?

In order to preserve my sanity in an age of grotty news I've reduced my news following to a quick scan of the headlines, just so I'm vaguely informed. It may seem cowardly, but it's better for my blood pressure. However, one headline struck with such force I had to investigate further:

'Microsoft buys Minecraft'

I'll admit, there was a reactionary spike in my blood pressure, but then I have an emotional investment here. I'm a creative Minecrafter on the Pocket Edition version, which I realise to anyone who doesn't Minecraft would make no less sense if I'd said it in Klingon, but the point is I'm a fan. I pick up my tablet at the end of the working day and I build. I build towns, I build weird islands in a clear blue sky, I build tree houses, I build complex tunnel structures, I build basically whatever takes my fancy. Creative Minecraft is Lego for grown-ups.

Screenshots of builds that pre-date the Microsoft buyout:

Now, as deep as my love is for Minecraft, so is my distrust of Microsoft. I have a Windows laptop I never bother starting now as it would probably take the better part of three hours to go through the switching on procedure. I exaggerate, but only slightly. I dread to think what they'll do to Minecraft. Maybe my imagination is running away with me, but I foresee a future where my build will be constantly interrupted by demands to 'update' or even, dare I say it, make in game purchases: you want another forty bricks? That'll be £4 please. My Minecraft towns and tree houses could be reduced to a few very small sheds.

I must point out that no such plans have been announced by Microsoft, but the forums are buzzing with prophecies of doom. Let's hope the chaps behind the Windows quickly offer reassurance to the Minecrafting community.

Good luck all you Minecrafters out there.


Monday, 15 September 2014

New Story - The Next Adventure for The Gathering

If you enjoyed 'The Gathering', the super-hero adventure story in the latest of the QT Anthologies, you may like to take a look in the Quirky Tales library for the follow-up story, in which The Gathering are asked to return to Asquith's secret base to recover vital blueprints. Of course, things don't always go smoothly when you're dealing with an arch-villain's hideout inside a volcano. To read the story follow the link to 'The Gathering at the Volcano Vault'.

I hope you enjoy the story.