In The Plotting Shed

In The Plotting Shed
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Saturday, 22 April 2017

Woodbine and Ivy - Research

The fourth and probably final book in The Katherine Wheel Series is underway. It will be called Woodbine and Ivy and I'm hoping to publish it next year, 2018. I'm deeply engrossed in researching the second World War for this book as it will explore what happens to the children of Cassandra and Douglas, Jem and Katy.
These are the gems that arrived in the post today. Some women get excited over clothes - me? Books!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

The Rose Trail #FREE!

#FREE! This Easter weekend -The Rose Trail

a spine tingling timeslip ghost story

#FREE for the Easter weekend, The Rose Trail has already clocked up 
some great 5* reviews. A gripping tale of a tormented ghost seeking 
revenge, this story will make your spine tingle. Fay, a reluctant psychic,
is dragged into a romantic triangle where brother is set against brother 
during the English Civil War and the woman they both love cannot find
peace. 
Can Fay resolve this desperate tangle? She must somehow release her 
new friend, Persephone, from the terrifying events that haunt her 

Elizabethan Manor house, but only when her husband is away....
click above to go straight to your Amazon page




"5*s It’s dark, haunting and riveting and moves a a good steady place with the occasional revelation that shocks the reader."
"5*s A combination of love, tragedies, friendships, past and present, lashings of historical aspects, religious bias, controlling natures all combined with the supernatural give this novel a wonderful page-turning quality."
"5*s An engrossing and truly original read! Fay and Persephone are possessed by two long-dead characters from a turbulent time in England's history, whose short, tragic lives were entwined almost four centuries ago. The Rose trail took me on a gripping, complex journey and didn't release its hold until the very last page."



Grab your #FREE copy today! 

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The Rose Trail - first responses: #amwriting

Switching genres has proved more challenging than I anticipated. The Rose Trail is a very different book to my others, especially The Katherine Wheel Series. The cover is starkly different for a start. I wanted it to be black to signal the darker nature of the book with its paranormal theme. Perhaps I subconsciously wanted to issue a warning to readers who might quail at the ghostly scenes. In view of its slow start perhaps that's worked too well!
However the following two reviews have given me heart. I hope to develop a series from this book, with Fay and Percy solving more ethereal mysteries in the future so having this feedback motivates me to carry on with that ambition. First I have to write Woodbine and Ivy, the fourth and final book in the Katherine Wheel series and I'm deeply involved in research for that right now, but with these two reviews spurring me on, I hope to hit the ground running with Book Two of 'The Spirit Level' series after that.

Format: Paperback
"An engrossing and truly original read! Fay and Persephone are possessed by three long-dead characters
 from a turbulent time in England's history, whose short, tragic lives were entwined almost four centuries ago.
 The Rose trail took me on a gripping, complex journey and didn't release its hold until the very last page.
 Ambitious and well-researched, it triggered further research on my part into that pivotal period of history. 
Hats off to Alex Martin for teaching me something - rare indeed, in fiction. But this didn't feel like fiction, 
and deserves to be noticed. Also, what a terrific film this would make!"

on April 2, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

Friday, 31 March 2017

Sally's Scribbles: Cephalopod Coffeehouse: March 2017

Sally's Scribbles: Cephalopod Coffeehouse: March 2017: The Armchair Squid says:  Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss the...

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Awesome review shifted #writer's block

Life has kept me away from the keyboard lately and I lost my writing mojo along the way. This has been terrifying. Two recent reviews, both for Daffodils, have restored my confidence a bit. I cannot stress enough how important constructive reviews are. They are worth more than money, more than gold, for the impact they have on a writer. To write at all consumes vast amounts of energy. Every author must draw deep upon the creative well. When mine dried up, I felt lost. A big thank you then to each and every reviewer who has taken the time and trouble to post a positive review for any of my books.
Daffodils is still #free to celebrate its season of spring. http://rxe.me/BPUQAY4 Daffodils
Here are those reviews that melted my heart:

product rating stars Fantastic book.
2017-03-18

"This book is one of the best I have read recently. The story is amazing. Set at the beginning of WW1, it is about an manor house and its estate incorporating the manor house family members, its workers both in the house, garden, and around the estate. This book is written extremely well. The author's talent for writing is so good that I felt I was there among the characters, on and off the battlefield, in hospital tent etc (without giving too much away). If an author can do this for the reader, it proves how marvellous the writing, choice of words, is. And not forgetting the emotions I felt through the story. Even at the end, I had tears (of joy). Well done Alex Martin."
product rating stars
2017-03-01

"I have read all three of this series. All excellent story lines, great characters, these are books that you will find you want to never stop reading until you find the outcome of each of the characters stories. Thoroughly recommend if you like ongoing family stories. I do hope Alex Martin writes more of these."

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

#FREE Daffodils for #StDavidsDay


Daffodils is #FREE today to celebrate St Davids Day
Here's the latest review, received today:
on 1 March 2017
"I have read all three of this series. All excellent storylines, great characters, 
these are books that you will find you want to never stop reading until you find the
outcome of each of the characters stories. Thoroughly recommend if you like ongoing family stories
I do hope Alex Martin writes more of these."

Dear Reader - I'll try! and am now plotting out the story for Woodbine and Ivy, the fourth book in the series.


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Harriet Steel's Blog: Meet Alex Martin

Harriet Steel's Blog: Meet Alex Martin: I'm delighted to welcome historical novelist,  Alex Martin, to the blog today. Alex, thank you so much for accepting the invitation. Wo...

Saturday, 28 January 2017

chatting

I left The Plotting Shed the other day and went to chat with other authors at the exciting new studios of Pembrokeshire's own tv station,Showboat TV. They have a new series starting up, hosted by the ever generous and lovely Judith Barrow, writer, book-blogger and creative writing tutor, called 'Cover to Cover'.
Twice a week on a Tuesday and Thursday evening at 8.30 pm authors from south Wales will be talking about their work with other authors on a friendly panel of four. John Rolls, the driving force of Showboat TV, introduced the very first programme and it was an honour to be his first guest.
So, here I am, talking about my books, with Judith, John and Leah Jenkins who organised the day beautifully.
Just click on the link below to go straight to the interview.


To celebrate the event, I'm discounting my new book, The Rose Trail,
for a very limited time period to 99p. Reviews are coming in and I'm thrilled with the feedback so far:

"A combination of love, tragedies, friendships, past and present, lashings of historical aspects, religious bias, controlling natures all combined with the supernatural give this novel a wonderful page-turning quality."
"Couldn't put it down found it spooky romantic chapter after chapter you never knew what was coming next. With a fantastic ending hopefully will be more."
"I loved The Rose Trail, the humour, sadness, history, mystery and romance not to mention ghosts keep it fascinating from the first page to the last. I couldn’t put it down."
" love the cracking pace, with surprising jolts. It's a great gripping read!"

 Only 99p for limited time

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

A #bookish sort of day

I've had a lovely literary sort of day today. I was lucky enough to be included with a bunch of other Welsh authors to www.showboat.tv.co.uk at Pembroke Dock. The ever lovely and generous Judith Barrow was in the chair for a new series of programmes called 'Cover to Cover' that will shortly be on the Showboat channel. A panel of authors chatted together about their favourite topic, writing - of course! with one author showcasing their latest production number, mine being the ghost story of The Rose Trail.
It was great fun to meet up with old and new faces on the literary scene and John, the producer at Showboat TV, was a fantastic host. Leah Smith held it altogether seamlessly - not an easy task with a random bunch of creative talent!
Pembroke Dock is a fascinating mix of industry, docks and old town. I sat for a while on the estuary to take in the scene.


You can just make out the Irish Ferry waiting at the dockside. Although it is early January and the weather forecasters are predicting snow, the day felt more like early spring with blustery winds and bright sunshine. The water rushed into the estuary, roughed up by the stiff breeze. I was glad I wasn't boarding that boat.
After that,I grabbed the opportunity to visit Laugharne, one of my favourite haunts for quiet inspiration. Dylan Thomas has his famous boathouse there but I prefer the garage he commandeered for his writing space. The view is incredibly beautiful and the winter sun held out through the afternoon and streamed through the shed windows, as it does every sunny morning into my very own Plotting Shed. Although I can only aspire to Dylan's lyricism, at least I can identify with his office. My view isn't bad but the peace and serenity of Laugharne Bay is superlative; otherworldly.
 I walked back along the top lane, imagining him wrestling with his conscience as he walked from his house along the path. How many times, I wondered, did the promise of a pint of bitter sway him from the discipline of poetry and make him pass by the door of the little shed over the water. I pictured him, salivating in anticipation of that first bitter sip, before yielding to the lure of Brown's pub and felt I was eavesdropping on the promises he made to himself to 'just have one' to oil the wheels before returning to work. 

The winter sun streamed in through the window, catching Dylan Thomas's old tweed jacket
This doesn't do justice to the view, which is quite extraordinary, but the most significant aspect of this place is the utter peace. How many places can we escape the drone of traffic these days? All I could hear were the gulls and the curlews and the ceaseless tide.

The timeless view, made dynamic by the constant ebb and flow of the sea

The sample of Dylan Thomas' work displayed by the shed