Finally out!!

We need all the support we can get. Good luck!


 Its happened! I’m a published author! Now what?


Now comes the hard part, getting it out there.  It’s on Google Play, it’s on Kindle, and its on the Author House website. But does that mean it’ll take off by its self? No.  For authors like Steven King and Dean Koontz, it’s easy to promote a new book.  But for an unknown author?  Almost impossible.

That’s were you come in, dear reader. All I ask is that you give Breathless Bodies a preview, a quick scan of the first few pages.  If you don’t like it, no harm done. But if you do, then you read a good book!  Where’s the downside?  Please give this a share to help a struggling author along!

Much love,


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Teon: the Feckless Bard

How far would you go for an easy life?

A feckless musician and storyteller, all Teon wants is an easy life. The new boy-king of Mercia needs a prophet to help him reclaim his father’s kingdom. Teon simply has to convince him that he is the prophet to guide him on his quest.

But the easy life comes with a price.  It requires deceit, cunning and murder.

A tale of ambition.

On sale now.

Why Insulting the British is Such Fun

By A.J. Sefton

‘Britain has forty two religions and only two sauces.’ So said the Enlightenment philosopher, Voltaire. ‘Unmitigated noodles’ said Wilhelm II. Great insults!

In 2013 there was some banter between international politicians. So what, but I was concerned that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, felt that he should have responded to the insult by the Russian president’s aide, in the manner that he did. Cameron listed the inventions and progress (such as the abolition of slavery) that the British have contributed to society worldwide. The insult, if it actually warrants such a word, was: ‘Britain is a small island that no one listens to.’ Such a daft comment deserved a daft response, frankly. Nobody in Britain is offended. It was a mildly amusing remark after all.

This led me to think about other insults that have been aimed at Britain, or more particularly, England. The first one that came to mind was the one from Napoleon when he said that England was a nation of shopkeepers. Where would we be without shops? I did a bit of digging in the dirt and found loads of jibes. Jolly jibes. Here are my favourites:

The English have an extraordinary ability for flying into a great calm. – Alexander Woollcott, US writer and broadcaster.

The English public takes no interest in a work of art until it is told that the work in question is immoral. – Oscar Wilde

I know why the sun never sets on the British Empire – God wouldn’t trust an Englishman in the dark. – Duncan Spaeth, US writer, quoted in The Book of Insults by N. McPhee, 1978

The Englishman is a drunkard. – Spanish saying

Englishmen never will be slaves; they are free to do whatever the government and public opinion allow them. – George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, 1903

The people of England are never so happy as when you tell them they are ruined. – Arthur Murray, British writer, The Upholsterer, 1758

From every Englishman emanates a kind of gas, the deadly choke-damp of boredom. – Heinrich Heine, German poet

The German originates it, the Frenchman imitates it, the Englishman exploits it. – German saying

An Englishman loves a lord. – English saying

England will fight to the last American. – American saying, coined c.1917

An Englishman will burn his bed to catch a flea- Turkish saying

Continental people have a sex life; the English have hot-water bottles.

– George Mikes, Hungarian writer, How To Be an Alien, 1946

A very cold, uninhabitable country with small houses.

– Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe, in July 2013

There are, of course, many, many more. But am I offended? Not a bit. Some of these are really rather good. I will read through some more following afternoon tea.

© 2013 A.J. Sefton

When Staying in is the Only Option: Feast of Saint Wulfric

Feast of Saint Wulfric by A.J. Sefton.

20 February is my birthday. These days they are pretty low-key. Always have been actually, except when I was twenty-one. I will get lots of cups of tea made for me, gifts, of course, a meal out (this year I believe it will be Italian) and a trip to the cinema. When my daughter was small we always went to see the special family film that always came out during the February half-term. There is cake – it is the law after all – and usually chocolate and a big breakfast. Fortunately I only have one birthday a year. I’m not the queen, you know.

It is also the feast day of Saint Wulfric. He was a priest who undoubtedly enjoyed himself in the early days. Wulfric was partial to the finer things in life. Not chocolate, as it hadn’t been discovered during the Dark Ages, but he was very materialistic and liked nothing better than to spend the day hunting with hawks and dogs. Addicted even, some would say. He was also thought to be worldly. As a priest in the early Christian Church in the twelfth century, this was not a good thing. Hints of immoral women and other such sins. I bet he knew how to celebrate his birthday if Anglo-Saxons had birthdays.

Then, one day, Wulfric came across a beggar. It must have been the first time he had ever done so because the meeting totally changed him. Whatever the beggar said made Wulfric go back to the place he was born, Compton Martin in modern day Somerset. Once there, he gave himself to his holy duty and lived a suitable lifestyle as parish priest.

In 1125 he moved to Halesbury and began a life as a hermit. Wulfric lived in a very basic cell off the side of the church, which faced north so must have been cold and dark most of the time. Here there were no luxuries from his previous life. He ate only the minimal amount of food to keep him alive, no meat and definitely no cake. He fasted a lot, prayed, read the Bible, wore hair shirts and heavy chain mail. Probably beat himself regularly, too.

All of this reformed behaviour gained Wulfric a certain amount of respect from quite influential people. News undoubtedly spread when his skills included the gift of prophecy and healing. There were stories of miracles. Wulfric could cure anything on the mind, body or spirit. Sir William Fitzwalter used to send him parcels of essentials and he had visits from locals wanting advice as well as blessings. Eventually the visitors included royalty in the form of King Henry I and King Stephen.

Wulfric’s authority was impressive. He told Henry that he was about to die, which he did. Stephen was told off for the evil goings-on in his government and took note. He was the celebrity of his day.

He lived in his dark cell for twenty-nine years. There was the occasional bath in cold water but no dressing up. He died in 1154 on 20 February, and a fight broke out. Everyone wanted his remains as his relics would have brought fortune in both spiritual and fiscal ways. In the end the locals won and buried him in his cell. However, he did not rest in peace. Twice his remains were removed for security reasons and he is buried somewhere known only to himself and God.

Pilgrims visited his tomb in the grounds of the church where he served as a priest, hoping that some of his healing powers still remained.

As for me, I know that my birthday feast will be much better than Wulfric’s. At least I will be going out.

 © 2015 A.J. Sefton