Since the release of my second novel, Arc Over Time, I have focused on two of the characters in previous blogs: Denise, the journalist and her friend, Jasmine, a PR executive. They are both Londoners and enjoy the city life. However, in the first novel, Starting Over, they found themselves drawn out into the countryside. And not just the nice, fertile downs of nearby rural Surrey, but the sparser, northern moorlands, 200 miles to the north of the big city.
What brings them out of their comfort zone? Well, love, of course. For Jasmine, this doesn’t work out and she retreats to the city. But for Den, what started as a casual fling turns into something more serious in book two. She has fallen in love with the professor, Dr Kathryn Moss.
Several reviewers picked up on this aspect of the story and expressed the situations in the book with marvellous clarity:
“Dr Kathryn Moss is still obsessed with Ellie Winters, despite Ellie’s obvious commitment to and happiness with wife Robin. Despite her unrequited yearning the buttoned up professor has continued her affair with journalist Denise Sullivan – what Dr Moss hasn’t realised is how Den’s feelings are developing.” Velvet Lounger, July 2015
“Dr. Kathryn Moss is a bonafide archaeologist and university professor. She also appears, at times, to live within several isolated segments. Additionally, she does not understand how confusing and sometimes stupefyingly upsetting she is to women currently close to her and those previously close to her. I love how much she enjoys and executes her professional assignments, but her obliviousness to the concept of long-term relationships and even simple courtesies makes it complicated to be on her side. Possibly her parents missed a few vital steps in their childrearing practices or it may simply be Dr. Kathryn Moss at her most clueless. Amazingly incongruous!” J Johnson, Rainbow Book Reviews, June 2015
In this excerpt from Chapter Three of Arc Over Time, Den has travelled up north to see Kathryn give a talk at Huddersfield Town Hall. The professor hasn’t responded to any of her text messages or phone calls since the last weekend they spent in London together – so it was her plan to turn up unexpectedly and find out what was happening:
The lights dimmed and the hum of conversations died down with the occasional cough and sniffle. There was a brief introduction from Dr Ed McLaughlin who Den knew was a close colleague of Kathryn’s. She had seen him at the site the year before but hadn’t spoken with him. He kept his introductory remarks brief, as he was well aware the audience hadn’t come to see him. When Kathryn walked onto the stage there was a big round of applause. The professor waited for the noise to die down, acknowledging the crowd, smiling and glancing around.
The next hour was a torment for Den. She wondered why she had thought attending the lecture would be a good idea. Watching Kathryn as she gave a polished and commanding performance, she was aware only of the heat gathering between her legs and the tight knot in her chest. When the question-and-answer session started it was all she could do to stop herself from jumping up and shouting, why haven’t you answered my calls?
Ed McLaughlin came out onto the stage again and brought proceedings to a close and the audience rose as one to give Kathryn a standing ovation. The lights went up in the hall and people started to shuffle around looking for bags and jackets. Den stood and stretched her legs. She moved to one side to let the other people from her row out. Her eyes briefly caught Kathryn’s as she stopped by the lectern to pick up the notes she hadn’t used. Den raised her hand to wave and then let it drop limply to her side as Kathryn turned away without acknowledging her and walked out of view.
A wave of self-pity hit her. Why had she bothered? Tears threatened to fall as she tore her gaze away from the stage and the movement of the crowd carried her out into the foyer.
“Hey, Den! Is that you?”
She turned to face the voice and found herself looking into Robin Fanshawe’s hazel eyes.
“Wow, it is you? What brings you this far north without a minder?” Robin was smiling at her, looking as happy and healthy as when Den had last seen her, at her wedding six weeks earlier.
Den swallowed. She wasn’t sure she could speak. All she could do was look at Robin and shake her head. The tears were on their way and there was nothing she could do to stop them.
Kathryn does appear to be rather emotionally challenged in the scenes that follow from this. Can Den overcome these obstacles and continue to pursue the professor in the hopes of a proper relationship? Is Kathryn hoping to have another chance with Ellie Winters as she thinks Robin won’t be able to live up to her recent marriage vows?
I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out…and if you’re still undecided, here are the links to the two reviews quoted above:
http://www.lesbianreadingroom.com/arc-over-time-jen-silver/ by Velvet Lounger