1.5 News & Blog

The aim of this page is to attempt to try and keep you up todate with what is happening vis-a-vis "The Red Grouse Tales". However, as I am sure you appreciate, writing is a slow business. So, let's be upfront about it, there is not going to be new "news" every other day! Indeed, there is unlikely to be new "news" every other month! However, I will endeavour to pass on a taster of what I am working on and what is to come as often as I can.

General News.

Goodreads Blog

You all know I have a page on goodreads. What you possibly don't know is that I also have a blog on goodreads. So those of you that are members of Goodreads can also keep up to date with my latest "burblings" on Goodreads. I won't promise that that blog will be the same as this one, as I am sure to mess-up at some stage! But I'll try and keep both up to date.


Book reviews.

The five star reviews are continuing to come in, which is very nice. Indeed, I think all my titles have review averages of 4+ stars, which is wonderful. It is so good to learn that others appreciate one's work, that the hours spent are worth while and that the writing is worth doing. Thank you!


But not only are reviews nice for me they are also vital to other readers who may not have come across my tales before. Unfortunately you can't walk into Amazon and have a chat with the guy behind the counter like you can in a traditional bookshop. All you have got is a picture of the cover, a brief synopsis of the book, which is written by the author, and yes, the reviews. Although it is obvious, it is worth remembering that the reviews are other people telling you how they found the story. It is these which make all the difference to you or anyone else who is looking at the title - shall I try it, shan't I? - at helping to give an idea of what the book is like. Yes, I can tell you on this website all about my books, but let's face it, we all prefer a recommendation from someone other than the manufacturer! And this is where reviews come in and where your opinion comes in.


So if you liked a story - or even if you didn't, though I hope this is not the case! - please give it a review. You don't have to say much if you are not feeling particularly literary, just click the stars and add a simple line or two. That will be fine. But please do do it. Thanks.


Amazon discussion Forum

Did you know that there is a “discussion forum” on Amazon? I didn't, so I wouldn't be surprised if you'd missed it. Click this link “Visit Amazon's Leslie W P Garland Page”, and it takes you through to my author page. Scroll down this and you'll find “Customer Discussions” and “Leslie W P Garland discussion forum”.


I'll make no promises as regards any contribution from myself - after all, I have got the next series of “The Tales” to write! - but if something gets going, who knows, maybe I'll chip in? However, irrespective of that, you may find it a bit of fun to discuss stories with fellow readers.


And of course, don't forget  Twitter - it's always interesting to know what your friends think, to know if they agree with you, or have a totally different theory!




3 August 2018
Having had a successful promotion of The Bat (A Red Grouse Tale) - A coming of age story involving a search after truth, doubt and a bat! at the end of last month, I am now back to serious editing of The Ghost Moth and can report that it appears to be coming on quite well. I have one chapter to rewrite and then I think I will have the makings of a new tale - a novel this time. I will make no promises as to when it will be available, but rest assured, as soon as it is I will let you know.

For those of you that missed that latest promotion:-
a) The Bat ( and all my other tales ) remains free to all who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited,
b) there will be future opportunities to take advantage of promotions both for this tale and others - and now you know where to look (right here on my web site and Goodreads) come that next time.

And on that subject of "letting you know" / "knowing where to look", I strongly recommend that, as well as keeping an eye open here, you also follow me on Twitter ( @LeslieWPGarland ) . I do not recommend FaceBook as there is just so much hassle with them ( blocked postings, etc. ) - they really are the most awkward group of people to deal with! So forget FB.

And finally, thanks to all who have rated and posted reviews on my books, these are much appreciated. Please, keep them coming, and, I hope, have an enjoyable read at the same time!
5 July 2018
For 7 & 8 July only:-

 The Crow - "a sad, poignant story of misunderstanding, bitterness and blame", will be free as a download from Amazon.

 The White Hart - "a happy ghost story, if there can be such a thing!" &  The Bat - "a coming of age story involving a search after truth, doubt and a bat!" will both also be available at $£0.99.

And since last posting, The Bat has received yet another 5 star review! Thanks to Miss S.

So before you pack your bags, make sure you load up your Kindle this weekend - it is not every day you can download 3 books at a bargain price!

 (And perhaps needless to say following my mention of Miss S's 5 star review, if you like the stories please leave a review on Amazon and if possible Goodreads, and if you are not feeling literary just leave a star rating - both will be much appreciated).

Happy holidays!

2 June 2018

Having been away for a couple of weeks it was lovely to return to some more 5 star reviews for; The White Hart , thus bringing its 5 & 4 star ratings to 82%, which is fantastic! Thanks to Miss S (full review available on Amazon) and Michele.
And also another 5 star review for The Bat thus maintaining its 100% 5 star rating. Terrific! Many thanks to Debbie Viscosi.

My current piece of work, The Ghost Moth, is at present in mothballs, which means it is being thought about rather than being written. I am hoping to start on a few necessary changes fairly soon, but am making no promises about when it will be finished.
2 April 2018

Spring at last?

Firstly a big vote of thanks to Stacie Williams for a super 5 star review of  The Red Grouse Tales: The Little Dog and Other Stories, which she described as a "Great fantasy book. It has 4 novellas in one book. What more could you ask for."

Secondly, the free Easter give-away I ran on The White Hart seems to have been a success so far with just 2 short of 800 downloads. We'll have to wait and see how many "converts" that turns into.
For your information I am planning to run a few price reductions over the next few months, so keep your eyes open if interested and grab them when available because they will only run for one to two days at most.

Face Book. I am heartily sick of Face Book. They are a hopeless bunch of people to work with, never seriously address any problem or complaint, just come back with a bland "non-answer", have blocked my postings for no good reason on more ocassions than I can remember - all those on 30th & 31st March, advertising the above mentioned Easter give-away were blocked (so if you missed it, you know why) and that is not to mention the big "sharing of personal data" problem. I would love to dump them, but I know many of you still use them. Please follow me on Twitter if you can.


17 March 2018

"The Ghost Moth" - first draft complete!

Dear “Readers of this Blog,”


A big sorry for not have written anything for so long. My excuse is …. I have been writing!


Yes, at last I have finished the first draft of my next story and first novel “The Ghost Moth”. As is customary for me, the whole thing is now in “the freezer” for a month or two, while I catchup / get on with other things and so forget about it, after which I will pull it out and defrost it and go through it again with a tooth-comb – the fine tooth-comb comes later! In the meantime I am hoping to get started on an other story and / or rework one which is currently in “the freezer.”


So now, for a complete change, I am back to getting reviews for my currently published stories. So if anyone is interested in getting a free story in exchange for a review, please get in touch - via Goodreads or Twitter.


And talking of free stories, I hope to get something organised just prior to Easter. So if you are interested, please keep an eye out for same.


19 December 2017

The Little Sparrow

Oh how I like Mondays when I am greeted with a super 5 star review of one of my Tales, though in this case of four of them, the entire The Red Grouse Tales! Many thanks Courtney.


Face Book is messing me about yet again. Indeed, I think this is either the fourth or fifth time they have prevented me from posting. Strange, they can't arrange to stop the downright evil and disgusting, but they do manage to stop me? Of course none are so deaf as those who don't want to hear, or blind as those who don't wish to see, and the folks at FB certainly fit into those categories. I am seriously thinking of dumping FB once and for all – one wastes so much time trying to sort out problems of their making and the gain appears to be minimal. Anyway, enough of that.


Far more important is that at last I have managed to get back into some writing, and the first thing I have done is get myself a new title. “The Ghost Moth” was always just a working title as I never felt happy with it, because the actual ghost moth in the story is somewhat peripheral to it. So now I have settled on “The Little Sparrow” which I feel is a far more logical title.


The first 5 chapters are now written and see our young protagonist as a novice monk in a priory monastery run by a fanatical prior who is of the opinion that all women are she-devils sent by Satan to lead men into sin and off the straight and narrow path to salvation. Perhaps needless to say, our young monk meets a beautiful girl at the market and the strictures of the monastic life and his physical desire for her clash a wee bit and it is the conflict between these that I am wishing to explore in this story. Why does Christianity (even to this day) have such a problem with women and sex? Having set the scene, I am now starting the process of trying to answer my own question.


Of course all the foregoing happened in the dim and dark Middle Ages. Those of you who have read some of my Red Grouse Tales, won't be surprised to learn that in this tale (though I think it could end up being a novel) what has happened in the past impacts on the present. So there is also a story effecting the narrator of this tale and his family, going on in parallel to the first one. The present day family have visited a bizarre, indeed horrific looking tree growing above a small cave on a day out in the country. That marriage is evidently not all that it could be and on their return home the young son is not feeling well and is starting to tell his parents of some strange things that unbeknown to them, happened at the cave that day. And now, I am afraid, you'll have to wait!


As I think it unlikely that I'll post again before Christmas/Jul and the New Year, my thanks to all readers and reviewers, and my best wishes to you and yours for the Festive Season.


6 November 2017

Wings of Desire
It's lovely to start a Monday morning with getting another super review for one's book! Thanks to both Aly and Darque Dreamer for their reviews of  The Red Grouse Tales: The Little Dog and others stories.

You may have guessed that one of the questions that Goodreads authors are asked is “which authors have influenced you?” - you'll see the answers at the head of every Goodreads author profile. One is even prompted to include links to these authors' books. What is not expected, and neither is it catered for in the same way, is influences from the authors in other art mediums. And speaking for myself, I think these have probably been just as strong, if not stronger that those from other writers. I think I am going to start breaking with Goodreads tradition and include some of these!

Without seeing the works of Gustav Dore would I ever have read Dante? And it was William Blake's illustrations of his work that grabbed my attention rather than his poetry. And what about Elgar's “Light of Life” or “The Kingdom”? Or Mahler's 2nd Symphony (Resurrection) and the works of my favourite composer, Jean Sibelius?

One doesn't have to use words to “paint a picture” in one's head. Indeed, those very words, “paint a picture”, imply something visual. And music of course, not only “paints the picture”, but also “pulls on the heart strings”! Of course other mediums must influence writers! We are being awfully blinkered if we don't think this is so.

Which brings me on to last week, when I re-watched Wim Wenders film “Wings of Desire” for the first time in I don't know how long. I remember seeing it back in my twenties and remember being impressed by it. Now, having re-seen it, I think I must have been a lot more impressed by it than I realised. Although in some ways I hate to admit it, because it could be seen as reducing the originality of my work, if anyone wants to know where the general tenor of my stories comes from - the fantastic being right here in amongst us, only we can't see it and the philosophic questioning - then watch this film. It is absolutely terrific!

30 October 2017

New ideas!
I won't bore you with the trials and tribulations of FB, just to say, if I didn't have to use them I wouldn't! But I guess the same is true about all social media.

Instead, let's talk about two nice reviews, one from Stephanie at Bundledupbooks for The Little Dog and the other from author Emily Williams for The Red Grouse Tales: The Little Dog and Other Stories. Both of which are much apprecaited.

Who has been watching Philip K Dick's "Electric Dreams" on the TV (here in the UK)? A super series, so if you are living in a country where it hasn't been on yet, don't miss it! This and "The Handmaid's Tale" have been two TV highlights.

Although I have done no actual writing this month, I have had some interesting ideas to add to "The Ghost Moth". And with many of the "chores of house moving" now done, and as it rather looks as if we won't be moving until the spring now - people don't move in December or January, do they? - I may at last be able to get back to some writing over the winter and so get these ideas down on paper (sounds so much nicer than "get them down on the hard-drive", don't you think?).

Thanks to all for your support and I hope you enjoy the stories currently available - more will be coming. Honestly!

19 September 2017

The importance of reviews.
Dear Reader,

I can guess that you don't want to come on to my blog and find me banging on about reviews, yet again!

But that is what I am doing today, because unfortunately in these e-book days, reviews are vitally important, which is why you will find so many authors going on about them.

Back in the bad old days you could go into your local bookshop and have a chat with the guy or girl behind the counter and they would make some recommendations. Those recommendations would be of books that had already been vetted by a publisher (they wouldn't have published the book if they didn't think it any good) so you knew that what you were getting was to a pretty good standard and the only thing you had to concern yourself with was whether or not it suited your taste.

These days when buying e-books from the likes of Amazon, there is no publisher and there is no guy or girl in the bookshop. All you have to go on is the author's write-up of their own book (so why should you trust that!) and other readers' reviews. This is why reviews are so important. They are all you as a reader has to make some form judgement about the book, and all the author has re recommendation.

Please do review.

It doesn't have to be a literary masterpiece. A simple star grading and "I really enjoyed this book", will do. Please do it both for your fellow readers and for us authors. Thanks.

18 August 2017

And yet two more wonderful reviews!
I had to remind myself that it was not Monday, but Wednesday, when I read Stephanie's (at Bundledupbooks) lovely 4 star review of "The Golden Tup" and then subsequently, only this time it was on a Friday, when I read Lisa-marie's super 5 star review. Thanks to both. A 4.2 star average from 20 reviews, can't be all bad!

Whereas I have managed to catch the odd email, I've done little more in the past two weeks, having been driving round and checking out areas where we might move to. Things on this house moving front are gradually coming together, but it is a painfully slow process and in the meantime I still can't get on with any writing. No, I am not one of those people who can sit down at any spare minute and just carry on where I left off, I need peace and quiet and the knowledge that there is no preasure on my time.

However, I console myself with the fact that at least some lovely reviews are coming in. So my thanks to all who are providing them.

24 July 2017

I am beginning to look forward to Mondays!

Today I logged on to find two new super 5 and 4 star reviews for "The Golden Tup". Many thanks to Courtney and Roisin.

I also saw two nice spikes in viewing over the weekend period (one for each of "The Little Dog" and "The Golden Tup") in the Goodreads adverts that I am running, and wish I could pin exactly what causes these. At present this is all a bit of a mystery to me - a nice mystery though, as I recon the more that see my "Tales" the better!

The actual business of writing is still suffering - things are churning in my head, but next to nothing is going down on paper. I'll be glad when this house move is over and done with as it is dreadfully hard to concentrate while all is up in the air and so uncertain.

14 July 2017

An all singing, all dancing web site?
During the past week I have graduaIly up-graded my web site. Nothing too dramatic - where necessary additional reviews have been added to the individual "tale pages", the News and Blog pages have been re-vamped, and perhaps most importantly, I have added a sample chapter to each of the "tale pages" so that visitors can get a taster of the tale that they are looking at.

The 13th may be unlucky for some, but Thursday 13th July was certainly lucky for "The Little Dog" advertising that I am currently running on Goodreads, with a massive spike in views to over 21,000 on that day. I have absolutely no idea what prompted it - possibly that little bat that I mentioned in my last post was a good omen?



12 July 2017

My last three postings have been about "The Bat" and yesterday afternoon we discovered a small pipistrelle bat hanging on to the woodwork of our house!

A lovely little chap! Only about a couple of inches long, witha pug-like face, tiny ears and soft brown fur. He was less that a couple of feet away from an opening window, so we had an excellent view of him.

This morning, of course, he was gone - "The hours of darkness were no longer hours for relaxation at the end of the day, but had become hours of anxiety, when you needed to be indoors, with the windows closed and the light on. No one mentioned the bat, but there was no doubting that it was on everyone’s mind, its tiny black wings casting a huge, dark shadow over our village!"

Let's hope this one has brought luck rather than a huge, dark shadow.

Happy reading!

10 July 2017

Had a nice surprise this morning - another 5 star review for "The Bat". It is posted here on Goodreads, so please go and read it. Many thanks to Hector's Girl for a lovely review.

In my last posting I mentioned that I am running an ad. here on Goodreads for "The Golden Tup". Since then I have now added one for "The Little Dog" and am now running the two in tandem. There are a few nice spikes on the stats graph, which suggests that these ads are getting seen, though whether these will translate into increased sales remains to be seen.

Still finding it hard to get back into "The Ghost Moth" - we are in the throws of moving house and so there is just too much else which is taking of my time and concentration right now.


3 July 2017

"The Bat" was nominated as a runner for LAS Reviews "Book of the month".

Unfortunately, it didn't win, but as the award is on a votes cast system that is hardly surprising as I don't have the huge fan club - just yet! However, what is really gratifying is that the tale was nominated in the first place. Only three titles are, so to be one of three is pretty pleasing in itself.

A big vote of thanks to all who voted, retweeted, shared posts, etc.


28 June 2017

The first review is now in and it is 5 stars, thanks to LAS Reviews (Unfortunately, they don't post on Goodreads, but their review can be read on amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/Bat-coming-inv... )

Have got my pc back from the repair shop and after way too much hassle - why can't software manufacturers make the installation of their programs easy? - it is now up and running. Fortunately the repair guys did manage to extract most of the data off the hard drive before reloading Windows - pity they couldn't have lost it and put something better in, but I mustn't complain! - and it seems that with luck I haven't lost anything. So now I have just got to get myself back in a writing frame of mind.

Have started running an advert on Goodreads for "The Golden Tup" and so will be interested to see what effect this has on sales.


27 June 2017

Having - after too long a break - got back into writing again, the next thing that happens is my computer crashes!

The prognosis is not good. So at present it is looking as if I could well be back to Chapter 3 in "The Ghost Moth" and could well be having to spend time learning how to download story data from Amazon in order to recover that which is published todate. So, I am currently trying to brainstorm how to avoid this problem in the future - buy a refurbished pc with XP (I can't stand Windows 10. MS appear to have excelled themselves at taking three steps backwards!) and use it for writing only i.e./ no Internet use? Buy a Mac? Any ideas would be most welcome. Why can't the manufacturers of hard and software make their products work? Forget the "all singing, all dancing" and concentrate on straight forward reliability.

On a different subject, I got my first review for "The Bat" - 5 stars from LAS Reviews! Unfortunately they don't post on Goodreads, so if you want to read it you'll need to pay www.amazon.com a visit at https://www.amazon.com/Bat-coming-inv...


11June 2017

At last I have managed to get back to writing again. Think I might have finished Chapter 3 of The Ghost Moth and made a start on Chapter 4. Confess it is rather hard to get going having been away so long - whereas I have the plot of the tale mapped out, one looses the atmosphere of the story and it takes time to get back into that again

Reviews, and very nice ones as well, keep coming in for all the tales. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this.

1 May 2017

A coming of age story involving good & evil, a search after truth, doubt and a bat!

“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible” St Thomas Aqinas.

What is true, what is Truth?

In this coming of age story a sceptical Thomas recounts the events of a term at school when his class returned to a new beautiful class teacher, a donation of stuffed animals and birds by an eccentric benefactor which he and his friends subsequently discovered weren't quite as dead as they looked, an exorcism in which a bell-jar which had been containing a bat shattered, and then things, which up to then had been strange, turned to being sinister and frightening.

In an attempt to understand what was going on, Thomas found himself reading up on Black Magic, Satanism, the early Christian Church, and the worship of evil, but instead of assisting his understanding this made him more confused than ever. Even a conversation with his local priest failed to resolve the problems he found himself wrestling with. What was true? And of course, where was the bat?

An adult fantasy story for those who like to think about what they are reading. (A warning for more sensitive readers - the story does contain sex references)

Background Information.

With “fake news” hitting the headlines, I thought it would be nice to look at “truth” and muse on questions such as “what actually is true?” and “what is Truth?” using a fantasy story as a foil for same.

Is truth what we believe to be the case, or is it what we know to be the case? Why is one religion deemed to be true, whereas others are deemed not to be so? And why are religions deemed to be a “good thing” when they appear to be the justification for much of the conflict and appalling atrocities that have been and still are being perpetrated around the world?

St Thomas Aquinas' famous quotation “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible,” doesn't provide an answer to these questions but I think, does rather nicely state things as they are - the lunatic who believes a god is on his side doesn't require an explanation, and of course those who don't share that same mad belief will never understand!

I needed my narrator to be at that age where his opinions hadn't been formed, so that he would question and ask “those embarrassing questions” of others. He also had to be a bit naïve and not be fully aware of what was going on. So I thought a sceptical "doubting Thomas" would make a good narrator. Somehow the story cried out to have both the Reverend Money and Felicity (both from “The Little Dog”) in it, so “The Bat” became a prequel to “The Little Dog”.

The subject matter of Knowledge, required that apples, whether metaphorical ones, or ones in gardens or buckets of water, had to be included as did the Garden of Eden allegory and the having to leave it. I hope my choices of other characters do not require further explanation. And of course sex had to feature in the story, because the "gaining of knowledge" is just another way of saying "sexual awakening". So for more sensitive readers; be aware that sex does get a mention.

And finally, I hope I have been even-handed in exploring this subject, with a sceptical Thomas and logical, brain-box of a Bobby Thompson on one side of the argument and genuinely nice, Felicity and thoughtful, steady Reverend Money on the other side. I am not sure there is a conclusive answer, hence the St Thomas Aquinas quotation, but none-the-less I hope the end result is both an interesting exploration and an entertaining read!


24 April 2017

Coming soon to Amazon!

Thomas recounts a term at school when his class returned to a beautiful new class teacher, a donation of stuffed animals which he and his friends discovered weren't quite as dead as they looked, an exorcism, and then things changed from strange to frightning.

A coming of age story involving fake news, a search after truth, doubt, and a bat!

The Red Grouse Tales; paranormal tales for adults who like to think about what they are reading.

Info on www.lesliegarland.co.uk


8 April 2017

For one day only, Thursday, 13 April, "The Golden Tup" can be downloaded for FREE! from amazon.
The Golden Tup: A dreadful tale of paradise being cruelly taken by latent evil.
Check the links for more info and reviews.
Your review will be much appreciated.