My Christmas gift to you

Christmas is coming. Are you looking for a gripping read over the festive season? The Catholic Woman’s Dying Wish is FREE on Kindle today until the 26th December – my Christmas gift to you!

Readers are telling me it’s laugh out loud, hilarious and sure to make you chuckle. The reviews have been excellent. Here are just a few comments:

“Enjoyable black comedy at its best. An utterly compelling book, dark but at the same time comical, added to a mystery that tugs at heart strings.”

“A wonderful literary work”

“Flawed characters, excellent dialogue”

“In the midst of a heartbreaking tale Warrington finds humour”

This is a story about a missing daughter who was sent, pregnant at 14 to a Magdalene laundry in Ireland and the worldwide search for her taking the reader through stunning landscapes across Venice, Rome, Dubai, Jordan and Ireland.

To accept my gift, with absolutely no strings – but please spread the word if you love it – click here:

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Christmas gift to you!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Catholic-Womans-Dying-Wish-Things-ebook/dp/B014DP7HQW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1450860286&sr=1-1&keywords=joanna+warrington

The dogma of Islamic State & all religions

Unknown-1Listening to David Aaronovitch on Radio 4 discuss the ideological threads that make up the so called Islamic State I couldn’t help thinking that it would be nice if the world abandoned religion altogether. Religion is the root of most conflict in the world. From the mild dogma we see in Christians to the violence of extremists like ISIS. A world that followed Humanism combined with Buddhist ideas and the abandonment of dogma, ritual, spiritual beliefs would be a better more contented world.

 

Islamic State has its roots in the Salifi Movement; ultra conservative Sunni Islam which takes a fundamentalist approach to Islam and seeks to emulate the prophet Muhammed and his early followers. Salifis support Sharia law – the moral and religious law that operates within some Muslim countries. Beheading, flogging and stoning form are common practice in Sharia countries.

 

To understand Islamic State we need to go back to the start of Islam and the early prophets who embraced military expansion of Islam and conquered half the world. Like IS they wanted to purify the faith through Jihad as an instrument of survival and to fight Pagan Muslims. God rewards bravery on the battlefield. The modern IS was founded in 2004 and emerged from Al Queda, by a Jordanian. The aim is to build a caliphate across the Middle East and have all out war with the West. There are 5 stages of Islam: the prophet, the prophet’s descendants, the era of the benign kings and dynasties – Ottoman Empire though to tyrannical rule and overthrow (Syria, Egypt 2011 etc) and finally the Caliphate phase which is the aim of Islamic State. The righteous shall inherit the earth is a phase you will hear from Islam and Jews and Christians alike.

 

The movement to purify faith is found across every religion. Luther wanted to get rid of Catholicism for instance to purify the faith. Mormon fundamentalists did the same in America. The Wako massacre was the same.

The war against Islamic State is a dangerous one. All fundamentals hate humiliation. Humiliating people is dangerous. Look at what happened after Versailles.

Religion is a destructive force in society. I would like to see a worldwide humanist movement to replace religion and its rituals, dogma and outdated texts. There is no proof of a God. It’s basically in the head. A crutch. We don’t need a crutch to support a good life. We can be decent, honest people without it.

I am the author of two novels. The past evils of Catholicism is the theme in both books. Here are the links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_11?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=joanna+warrington&sprefix=Joanna+Warr%2Caps%2C437

The pros and cons of speed dating

Last Christmas I thought I’d give speed dating a go. Like most people I had several dating profiles on various sites. In a further blog I will discuss dating sites. Speed dating was just another medium and I was prepared to give it a go.

 

There are plenty of speed dates organized by different companies. Mine was organized by a lovely lady called Debbie at Meyoo in Brighton. http://meyoo.co.uk/blog/speed-dating-events-in-brighton-hove-how-to-choose/

 

The event was held in a cafe near Brighton station. On arrival we were given a list of names and told to tick the ones we liked after each slot. If both of you tick yes – that is a match. There was opportunity to mingle with tea and cake (strange choice I thought… I needed alcohol !) before we sat down at bar stools. The men came to us, in turn for 5 minutes and then a bell rang to signal the end of the slot. Every man asked the same thing ‘what do you do for a job?’ When I said ‘I’m a funeral celebrant’ they said ‘a funeral wha’? After several times of this happening I gave a different answer! But telling them that I deal with the dead and dying wasn’t any better!

 

The downsides of speed dating:

 

  1. It’s very expensive. My speed date event was £20.
  2. It feels just as artificial as on-line dating but in different ways. I felt like a prize pig on show at the market.
  3. It felt like a job interview, but worse because both of you ask bland questions.
  4. It’s very nerve wracking to be put to the test by 20 different people. Fine if you’re an outgoing, confident person.
  5. Conversations are too short and stilted. You get as far as ‘what do you do for work? Or how are you finding it so far?’ and then the bell rings and you’re on to the next.
  6. Regimented feel. A bell rings after your 5 minute chat the you’re onto the next one.
  7. If someone likes you but you don’t like them it can be awkward to decline a drink afterwards.

 

The upside of speed dating:

 

  1. You have more introductions than you would in one evening on-line.
  2. Face to face interaction.
  3. You form an initial impression of someone.
  4. There’s opportunity for a drink after.
  5. There’s a sense that you are all in the same boat and that can be fun.
  6. You can rate people. If you tick against their name and they tick against your name there’s a match and the organizer will share your mobile details.

 

So what did I do? I wrote a book instead, centred on my dating experiences in Brighton! It’s a bit naughty in places and is certainly not a hearts and flowers romance but readers have said it’s hilarious. Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Catholic-Womans-Dying-Wish-Things-ebook/dp/B014DP7HQW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1449568703&sr=1-1&keywords=joanna+warrington

stock-illustration-12269955-silhouette-of-a-couple-in-love

 

How to sell books

IMG_2405Want to find out how to sell books by deception or other more honest means? A couple of us pitched a table to sell our books in Hayward’s Heath’s shopping centre. A perpetual gust of wind threatened to whip the books away and several hot chocolates over the course of the morning failed to reach our cold feet.

Selling books at stalls, particularly wrapped as gifts at this time of year is another way to reach your customer. The Amazon marketplace though remains number one, but selling at stalls connects you with the public, increases local exposure. I love talking to people about my books.

There was an element of deception about the morning. Friends passed by, smiled, came over for a chat. A potential sale. If a friend isn’t going to buy my books who is?

‘What are you doing these days?’ They asked.

‘Writing books,’ I said, looking down at the source of my hard endeavours about to tell them more.

‘Aren’t you doing funerals anymore? They asked.

I don’t want to tell you about my real work, I thought. And please don’t ask about the kids. You’re here to talk about my books. Go on buy one. They’re only £5 each.

‘How are the kids?’ They asked. And then I knew this was a lost sale for certain.

Sales came from deception.

‘I’ve seen these books in Woman’s Weekly,’ one lady beamed.

‘Really?’ I said looking for the pigs flying above.

‘Yes they had a fantastic review. I recognise the covers. I’m going to treat myself. I’ll have both.’

When another lady wandered over claiming the books were in the current copy of Woman’s Realm (a magazine that folded years ago) this week I did begin to wonder. And the next lady to buy said she’d heard about them on Richard and Judy. I quietly chuckled to myself. Yes, another sale!

Several sales though came from people who had seen me in the Daily Mail. ‘Oh yes I was in the paper a couple of weeks ago,’ I replied, referring to the article in the local Mid Sussex Times.

A French lady showed an interest, hovering uncertainly a few feet away.

‘I read non-fiction. Sorry,’ she said. ‘About what’s going on in the world today.’

We discussed IS and the Paris attacks and she wanted to know what I thought. This was my cue to carefully change tack.

‘The source of all evil in the world is religion, from the state right down to the family. My books are about religion and how one religion, Catholicism ruined a family’s life.’

Five minutes later I’d secured a sale of both books.

I handed flyers out, telling people, quite rightly the book had been number 1 in its category in America. Later in the evening I had a big spike in on-line sales.

All in all a worthwhile day and two more stalls to look forward to next week!

Here is a link to my two books:

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Catholic-Womans-Dying-Wish-Things/dp/1511936703/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449393688&sr=8-1&keywords=joanna+warrington

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Every-Family-Has-One-Things/dp/1512092029/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1449393688&sr=8-3&keywords=joanna+warrington

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Catholic-Womans-Dying-Wish-Things/dp/1511936703/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449393688&sr=8-1&keywords=joanna+warrington

USA: http://www.amazon.com/Every-Family-Has-Joanna-Warrington-ebook/dp/B015RUZL7Y/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1449393818&sr=8-2&keywords=joanna+warrington

USA: http://www.amazon.com/Catholic-Womans-Dying-Wish-Things-ebook/dp/B014DP7HQW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449393818&sr=8-1&keywords=joanna+warrington

 

 

Indie books to buy this Christmas

images-1I have compiled a list of some great indie books, with unusual themes available in paperback to buy family and friends this Christmas. The list is in no particular order:

 

  1. Helen Christmas, ‘Beginnings’ – a British gangland thriller set in the 1970s.

 

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0992989957?keywords=Helen%20Christmas%20Beginnings&qid=1449222987&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

USA: http://www.amazon.com/Beginnings-Same-Face-Different-Place-ebook/dp/B0078L8858/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449223126&sr=8-1&keywords=Helen+Christmas+Beginnings

 

  1. Jason Ayres, ‘My Tomorrow Your Yesterday’ – a man who lives his life backward, changing mistakes on the way.

 

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tomorrow-Your-Yesterday-Jason-Ayres/dp/150865963X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1449223196&sr=1-3

USA: http://www.amazon.com/Tomorrow-Your-Yesterday-Jason-Ayres/dp/150865963X/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449223174&sr=1-1&keywords=jason+ayres

 

  1. Michelle McCarty, ‘The Jewel Box’ – Strip Club adventure set in Houston, Texas.

 

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jewel-Box-Michelle-McCarty-ebook/dp/B00BTRDWTO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449223486&sr=1-1&keywords=Michelle+McCarty

USA: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jewel-Box-Michelle-McCarty-ebook/dp/B00BTRDWTO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449223486&sr=1-1&keywords=Michelle+McCarty

 

  1. Lucinda E Clarke, ‘Amie An African Adventure’ – One woman’s adventure, working for African TV.

 

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amie-African-Adventure-Lucinda-Clarke-ebook/dp/B00LWFIO5K/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449223577&sr=1-1&keywords=Amie

USA: http://www.amazon.com/Amie-African-Adventure-Lucinda-Clarke-ebook/dp/B00LWFIO5K/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449223608&sr=1-1&keywords=Amie

 

  1. C. F Waller ‘Free Dive’ – A diving adventure.

 

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Free-Dive-C-F-Waller/dp/1680281216/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1449223905&sr=8-1

USA: http://www.amazon.com/Free-Dive-C-F-WALLER-ebook/dp/B00OO65K7Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449224007&sr=1-1&keywords=Free+Dive

 

  1. Karl Wiggins ‘Dog Shit Saved My Life’ – Hilarious musings on day to day life. UK: http://www.amazon.com/Dogshit-Saved-Life-Karl-Wiggins-ebook/dp/B00KJSE2K2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449226348&sr=1-1&keywords=karl+wiggins USA: http://www.amazon.com/Dogshit-Saved-Life-Karl-Wiggins-ebook/dp/B00KJSE2K2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1449226374&sr=8-2&keywords=Karl+Wiggins

 

  1. Brandt Legg ‘The Last Librarian’ – science fiction about the last remaining library on earth & one Government rules the earth.

 

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Last-Librarian-Thriller-ebook/dp/B016VAQVXM/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51UN3-uTa%2BL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR103%2C160_&refRID=1MDRTH65CEA80QR4A72G

USA: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Librarian-Thriller-Justar-Journal-ebook/dp/B016VAQVXM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1449224455&sr=1-1&keywords=the+last+librarian+brandt+legg

 

  1. Judith Lucci ‘Toxic New Year’ – a medical thriller.

 

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Toxic-New-Year-Wouldnt-Desephano-ebook/dp/B00ZK0HNNW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1449224539&sr=1-1&keywords=Judith+Lucci

USA: http://www.amazon.com/Toxic-New-Year-Wouldnt-Desephano-ebook/dp/B00ZK0HNNW/ref=pd_sim_351_10?ie=UTF8&dpID=51Eyj%2B%2BNJQL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR107%2C160_&refRID=1CNATCR40MHJQZW7HH50

 

  1. Inge-Lise Goss ‘Cisco Bandits’ – Female investigator drama

 

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cisco-Bandits-Gwynn-Reznick-Novel-ebook/dp/B00VS8WIY4/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449224636&sr=1-4&keywords=inge-lise+goss

USA: http://www.amazon.com/Cisco-Bandits-Gwynn-Reznick-Novel-ebook/dp/B00VS8WIY4/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1449224705&sr=1-5&keywords=inge-lise+goss

  1. Carolyn Mathews ‘Squaring Circles’ – Story about loss & grief with supernatural twist

 

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Squaring-Circles-Pandora-Carolyn-Mathews-ebook/dp/B00MXDAWMI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449224885&sr=1-1&keywords=Squaring+Circles+Carolyn+Mathews

USA: http://www.amazon.com/Squaring-Circles-Pandora-Carolyn-Mathews-ebook/dp/B00MXDAWMI/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1449224793&sr=1-3&keywords=Carolyn+Mathews

 

We should refer to Islamic State as Daesh

Today in the UK we learn about the rise in Islamophobia since the Paris attacks. Understandably perhaps there is much confusion surrounding the terror group we call Islamic State. By calling the group Islamic State we are linking it to Islam. It shouldn’t be linked to Islam, to Muslims.

I want to clarify for you, very briefly, the names used to describe this terror group and suggest that we  use the name DAESH to describe them.

 

Islamic State was formed in 1999 by a Jordanian militant who ran a terror camp, involved in bombings and beheadings in Iraq. The group grew. They called themselves Islamic State (IS) in recognition of their self declared caliphate. (an Islamic state with a leader who has absolute power and governs according to Sharia law).

 

You will also hear the name ISIL which stands for Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant. (The Levant is a historical term used to describe an undefined region around Syria).

 

You will also hear the term ISIS. This stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

 

After the Paris shootings the French Minister called for the terror group to be called DAESH. (Obama pronounces it Dash. Cameron pronounces it phonetically). Daesh is an Arabic acronmyn and it means to crush or tread underfoot and it’s an insulting, disrespectful term to their status making them look silly and powerless. It’s a humiliating term and reflects the fact that they are a terror group and not a state.

 

Thank you for reading.  Here are the links to my recent novels which have been described as “timely”, “compelling,” “a complex look at faith”

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B014DP7HQW?keywords=joanna%20warrington&qid=1449133632&ref_=sr_1_1&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B015RUZL7Y?keywords=joanna%20warrington&qid=1449133632&ref_=sr_1_2&s=digital-text&sr=1-2

 

Air Strikes on Syria

I have several D words to describe the state of the House of Commons today: Doubt, Disrespect and Disgrace. The right honorables are also dishonourable!

MPs are soon to vote on whether to begin air strikes on Syria with the aim of destroying IS. For the past two weeks there has been much doubt about whether this is the right course of action. Without a clear strategy  and with no timeframe in mind or conclusion about boots on the ground the whole thing, quite frankly is a disgrace.

I’m a Conservative voter. Have been for many years. Cameron’s leadership of the country has been strong but for the first time in a long time I have found myself supporting the Labour leader. It has been refreshing to hear Corbyn so eloquently argue the anti war stance. I agree with him that air strikes will lead to the loss of many innocent lives and may encourage the growth of IS rather than destroy it. Paris two weeks ago, London will be next.

I was disgusted to hear Cameron’s contemptible slur on the man and other pacifists when he accused them of being ‘a bunch of terrorist sympathisers.’ This really was stooping very low indeed and if I was in the Cabinet I think I would be calling for his resignation.

 

 

D is Dying. The right to die

I’m 50 years old and healthy and not, to my knowledge about to die. My life doesn’t always sparkle. In fact it can be quite mundane. I trot along, working, paying bills, looking after my children.

But what if I’d really lived it up? Spending every last penny of my four husbands, drinking to oblivion, caring only about having a good time and about my looks rather than a career? We all have different values. We shouldn’t judge how others live their lives.

This is the position of a 50 year old woman who wants to die, having lived a decadent life she fears that the passing of her youth and beauty means the end of everything that “sparkles” in life and wants to be allowed to die. She is refusing kidney dialysis as a result.

The woman, of sound mind has been granted permission to die by the court of protection.

If we have mental capacity we should, quite rightly be entitled to refuse medical treatment. Does this ruling change anything? Not really. It’s purely a statement of law. I reckon this case is in the news because it’s highly emotive. We want to condemn this woman to death in our minds because she’s screwed 4 husbands and lived a self indulgent life not thinking about anyone else but herself. Good luck to her. The end outcome is that the cost of her treatment can be directed to somebody else who actually wants to live!