My eleventh novel…published today by Affinity Rainbow Publications!
I’m calling this a second chance romance and I think the blurb gives that away.
After twenty-five years Darcy and Angie meet again and from the faintly flickering embers of their forbidden teenage love, a flame erupts. Family complications arise including a reluctant engagement, secret surrogacy, and a persistent ex-wife.
Villagers in Professor Darcy Belsfield’s childhood home of Sycamore Haven remember her being sent away to a Christian conversion camp in Canada when her father discovered her making love to her school friend, Angie. Angie has never married but she does have a past and some unenthusiastic plans for the future.
Will the differences in their lives doom the chance of Darcy and Angie discovering if they can build a future together?
Sycamore Haven is a fictional village in North Yorkshire. I imagine it to be somewhere between Skipton and Ilkley.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but October 1st is one of those calendar dates that gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Even seven years after the event that initially brought the feeling on.
Affinity Rainbow Publications published my debut novel, Starting Over, on 1st October 2014. It took time for the reality to sink in…my words were out there for all to see…available not only on the Affinity website, but Amazon platforms around the world, Apple iTunes, Bella Books, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords.
Could it get any better than this? (Or, any more nerve-wracking?) After ten novels, a number of short stories, and another novel due out next month, it actually does.
The next milestone was the decision to enter the audio book market. I tried it out with book seven, Changing Perspectives. The reception for that one encouraged me to give it another go. Nicola Victoria Vincent recorded Starting Over during January 2020. After a bit of a hiccup with the upload to Audible, the audio version went live at the end of May.
It has been said many times, but it’s true that hearing a story not just read aloud, but performed with an actor’s talent for giving each character a voice, really does add another level to the whole work.
While Starting Over was going through the editing process back in 2014, I started writing a sequel. After finishing that, I couldn’t resist adding a sequel to the sequel. So, the trilogy was born. I was warned by Affinity that sequels often don’t sell too well and they were proved right. But I’m still happy that the books were published and I was able to give all the characters from the first book a happy ever after.
If you haven’t read or listened to Starting Over yet, why not give it a go. A tale of romance, relationships, and archaeological discoveries set in the West Yorkshire countryside…you’re in for a breathtaking ride.
I have a lot of photos of trees and roots. As a child, when I was told to go outside and play on a bright summer’s day, I would find a tree to sit in to read a book. Not quite what my well-meaning parent envisioned. I do know that one summer I read my way through the children’s section of the local library. Then a school friend introduced me to Narnia, so I quickly devoured those seven books.
My parents were avid readers. Our house was always full of books. Whenever we moved, which was fairly often, floor to ceiling bookcases had to be added in several rooms to accommodate all the books. As a teenager I read my way through the Russian authors (mainly only interested in the Peace parts of War and Peace), Dickens, Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, and many more.
My own house is full of books too. Being surrounded by books is comforting, even when I know that there are many on the shelves that I probably won’t read again. But they are there, reminders of many happy hours spent between the covers.
So many trees have died to give me a lifetime of reading pleasure. Maybe that’s why I feel the need to appreciate and record their living, breathing beauty.
My next novel, due out in November, features a willow tree. Part of the story revolves around what happens when two teenage lovers are discovered under it. The image of the overhanging, shielding branches of the tree provided a touchstone for the tale I wanted to write.
A cover reveal and blurb will be forthcoming soon.
The easing of government-imposed pandemic restrictions on the so-called ‘Freedom Day’ in the UK (19 July) coincided with a week of continuously high temperatures. Most of us here don’t cope well with anything over 24C and our homes aren’t generally equipped with air-conditioning, as it’s only really needed maybe once or twice a year.
The rush to seaside resorts was therefore inevitable but I didn’t envy anyone who made the journey to sit on a crowded beach.
We’re still taking precautions to avoid catching the virus and although we’ve had both jabs, it seems to make sense to continue wearing a mask in enclosed spaces.
We’ve enjoyed a few cautious outings in June and July with a trip to the Lake District and then last week to the opposite side of the country where I even dipped my toes in the North Sea.
There are many beautiful places to explore on this island so we’re planning on having some more adventures in the next few months.
How about trying out my novella (which came out on 1st July) – romance, action, adventure – set in New South Wales, Australia.
Three Mile Cache is due for release on 1st July from Affinity Rainbow Publications.
I wrote this story some time ago and refer to it as my Flying Doctor fanfic. The Flying Doctors TV series from the 1980s always had me glued to the screen, hoping against hope that two of the female leads – a doctor and a nurse – would get together. It was never going to happen. But watching the programme sparked my imagination and gave rise to this romantic vision – although my two main protagonists are not employees of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. (This is a work of fiction so the usual disclaimer applies.)
The story is set in Australia circa 1988. When archaeologist Carolyn Wells returns home to Sydney after several months away at a dig in Tunisia, she expects to be reunited with her lover, Detective Inspector Alex Graham. But she soon learns that Alex has been wounded in a hostage incident and is recuperating at a Royal Flying Doctor Service hospital at a place in the outback of New South Wales called Three Mile Cache. Carolyn decides to fly out there and surprise Alex with her arrival.
Surprises abound when she gets there. One of the doctors treating Alex has a rather intimate interpretation of a bedside manner. There are mysterious goings-on at a local homestead and Alex’s injuries haven’t stopped her from probing into the lives of the locals, much to their annoyance.
When Carolyn and Alex meet again, things don’t quite work out as either of them would like. Can their relationship recover from the series of events in Three Mile Cache that threaten to keep them apart?
In the dedication I have acknowledged the superb medical service provided by the RFDS covering the rural and remote areas of Australia.
April has been a month of two seasons. We had snow, high winds, rain, and for the last two weeks frosty mornings morphing into bright sunny days.
The good weather coincided with the opening up of outdoor venues and sports. I dusted off my golf clubs, checked my archery equipment and have now enjoyed several weeks of getting out on a golf course and shooting arrows at the archery field.
The garden has also perked up with a bit of weeding and planting of flowers. It’s even been warm enough to sit out on the patio some afternoons – actual t-shirt weather!
Still time for indoor stuff – reading, some writing – and as a break from jigsaws, painting by numbers.
We’ve had our two vaccinations but not planning to go mad with social gatherings. Still playing it safe, wearing masks and keeping our distance as much as possible.
So, here are some photos of the recent activities mentioned above.
I’ve not had any book releases so far this year – so it was lovely to receive this wonderful review this month of Deuce – published in 2019 – by Carol Hutchinson of LesBireviewed:
This is my first blog of 2021 and it’s March already! I’ve been slacking off on the blogging front. No excuses really, just haven’t felt like I have much to say. Maybe I can blame the pandemic for an unusually long period of apathy, mainly with the written word. I’ve certainly been doing a lot of reading. The shed is piled high with completed jigsaw puzzles. And I’m looking forward to weeding the garden. (We don’t have a very big garden, so that won’t take long.)
This period of lockdown in England seems longer than the first one. I suspect that’s because it’s winter whereas last year during April and May we had prolonged spells of wonderful warm, sunny weather. As soon as lockdown eased for the summer, the weather took a turn for the worse.
So, as I can’t think of a lot to say, I’ll just add some photos from a few of my socially-distanced walks during since the start of the year, plus the jigsaw I completed today.
And this image – just because.
Spring is on its way – and the possibility of the resumption of a wider range of activities soon. However, if you still have time for reading, I have ten published novels plus some short stories out there, and two audio books to take a look at.
Producing an end of year blog in previous years has been fun. Lots of places visited with a choice of photos to display. This year has been rather lacking in that regard.
The highlights of 2020 in terms of my writing life include the release of my tenth novel, Country Living, the audiobook of my first novel, Starting Over, and the inclusion of a Christmas story in Affinity’s 10th Anniversary Christmas Anthology – Winterbourne Revisited.
But sometime earlier this year, probably not long after the first lockdown began in March, my muse left me and I’ve struggled to get to grips with writing book number 11. Even writing a blog has been harder work that it needs to be.
My wife and I have been very careful to minimise contact with other people and have managed to stay virus-free, so far. That’s definitely a good thing. Although we can keep in contact with friends and family through phone calls, emails, Skype, FaceTime, and social media – it’s not the same as being able to meet up for an impromptu coffee or a meal.
However, we do live in a part of the country where we can enjoy socially distanced walks in nearby parks or along the canal towpath.
Here are a few snapshots of our 2020:
So, after a muted farewell to this year, we’ll hope for better times to come in 2021– and maybe my muse will find her way back from wherever she’s been hiding.
Ebook links for Affinity’s 10th Anniversary Christmas Anthology
(Short story for Affinity’s 10th Anniversary Christmas Anthology)
When asked by my publisher to submit a story for their 10th Anniversary Christmas Anthology, there was no hesitation on my part in deciding what to write.
My fifth novel, Christmas at Winterbourne, was published in November 2016. The story takes place over four days of the Christmas holiday at the lesbian retreat in Sussex, Winterbourne House. Wil and Gaby are the owners and hosts to the family and guests arriving for the festivities. Gaby is heavily pregnant and hoping to get through this Christmas period without giving birth. But, of course, she does…on Boxing Day.
So this short story, a visit to Winterbourne four years later, gave me the chance to see how things were going with the family. Teri is now coming up to her fourth birthday and all she wants for Christmas is…snow. Lots of it…just like at the time of her birth when Winterbourne House was snowbound.
I have read all the stories in this collection – you’re in for a lovely Christmas-themed treat with contributions from Samantha Hicks, Ali Spooner, Annette Mori, Del Robertson, Natalie London, and JM Dragon. All royalties from this limited edition anthology (only available until end of March 2021) will benefit the Wayward Whiskers Cat Rescue in San Antonio, Texas.
The authors have also contributed some of their favourite seasonal recipes in the book. So come along and enjoy Affinity’s 10th Anniversary Christmas Anthology.
Ebook links for Affinity’s 10th Anniversary Christmas Anthology
A selection of photos from a visit to the Salterhebble canal basin a few days ago.
I’ve passed it many times on the drive between where I live and Huddersfield, but never visited. Turns out to be a pleasant place for a fairly secluded walk around by the lock and the mooring place for boats.
I was fascinated by the guillotine-style lock – something else I’d not seen before.
This basin is an offshoot of the Rochdale Canal, which has a total 91 locks between nearby Sowerby Bridge and the Bridgewater Canal at Castlefield Basin in Manchester, a distance of 32 miles. The canal system is an amazing feat of engineering with work starting in 1798. One section, passing through Hebden Bridge, is built over the river (a hanging viaduct).
Walking through this tunnel, I felt we might emerge into another place and time.
Altogether, a lovely haven for a quiet walk. Of course, quiet walks are what I aim for these days.
Then it’s back home for more quiet time, mainly reading or listening to audio books while piecing together jigsaw puzzles.
If you’re looking for some reading or listening material for your own quiet times, please check out my books.