Introducing The Circle Dance

Returning home from our holiday in Tenerife, it was straight into editing mode for me. My next novel, The Circle Dance, is due out in mid-March.

I’m very excited about this one. It’s completely different from The Starling Hill Trilogy books. Be prepared to meet new characters embarking on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as they experience numerous ups and downs in the course of the story.

The action takes place in northern England, mostly in the market town of Hebden Bridge, with forays into the city of Manchester. Most of the characters are in their mid to late forties so you would think they might have settled down by now. But, as often happens in real life, the path to true love  isn’t always strewn with rose petals.

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One of the main characters is a keen cyclist and Irish Dragon Designs has done a fine job of depicting her on the cover with a very English-looking village in the background.

This is the short version of the synopsis:

Jamie Steele has moved to another town trying to forget the heartbreak of losing her lover. She now has a low paying job as an IT technician, lives in a rented room, and mostly failing, at the forgetting part.

Ivana Spencer is introduced to Jamie over dinner at her friends’ house. She can see herself falling for Jamie, but Jamie hasn’t got over her ex, Sasha, and perhaps never will.

Sasha Fairfield, finds her thoughts taken up with her ex-lover of six years and thinks she wants Jamie back. But given the acrimonious nature of their breakup will Jamie want to even talk to her? After all, Jamie lost her home, her job, her car…and most importantly, the cat…all at the same time.

Follow this captivating romance as love dances through the lives of these women to its surprising conclusion.

Chapter One is available to read on the Affinity eBook Press website.


Book links for The Starling Hill Trilogy:

Starting Over: Amazon US / Amazon UK

Arc Over Time: Amazon US / Amazon UK

Carved in Stone: Amazon US / Amazon UK

(All three books are available on Kindle Unlimited for the next 2 months)

Holiday time

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Valentine’s Day display in the hotel reception area

We’ve had several golf holidays in Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands situated in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Africa. It’s a four-hour flight from the UK and the weather in winter is an acceptable temperature – not too hot, but warm enough for shorts and t-shirts.

February is a good time to get away—a welcome break from our winter of continuous rain and a lovely dry course to play on with the ball getting plenty of run. This was important, as I hadn’t played for four months—and it was three months since my hysterectomy operation. I was relieved to find that, not only could I still remember how to hit the ball, but also didn’t experience any pain from the activity.

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I find I can hit the ball (truly amazed at the colour co-ordinated outfit as well!)

Flying in to the airport at Tenerife South, all you can see from the plane is a big rock sticking out of the ocean. It’s hard to believe from the air that there is any greenery on the island at all. But it does have an abundance of flora and fauna. The golf course we played on was surrounded by banana plantations. And the course itself had many mature palm trees and cacti of different shapes and sizes.

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Palm trees everywhere

After four days of golf we decided to have a rest day and took the little train down to the beach. It was a fascinating ride, getting a close up view of the deep fissures cut through the rock by the original volcanic eruption. The beach was a popular place for families, both locals and visitors. I wasn’t quite brave enough to take a plunge into the ocean. It was a yellow flag day – which meant ‘large waves, swim with caution’.

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Beach transport

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Sea view close up!

Although on vacation, I couldn’t resist checking up on social media sites and Amazon. The third book in  The Starling Hill Trilogy was released two days before the holiday. So, I was thrilled to find a few reviews appearing. The Lesbian Review website also started the trilogy giveaway competition on Valentine’s Day…there’s still time to enter – the competition ends on February 29th. All you need to do is visit the website and send in an email to be entered into the draw.

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The trilogy competition – three trilogies are being given away!


 

So, onto the next project. I came home to start on the edits for The Circle Dance – my new romance novel, set for release by Affinity eBook press mid-March. Look out for a cover reveal and teaser in next week’s blog.


 

Book links for The Starling Hill Trilogy:

Starting Over: Amazon US / Amazon UK

Arc Over Time: Amazon US / Amazon UK

Carved in Stone: Amazon US / Amazon UK

(All three books are available on Kindle Unlimited for the next 3 months)

Relationships and dreaming bones

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The trilogy is here!

I was asked to describe my books using only one word in the Q&A for my author profile on the Lesbian Review website.

The word I chose after much deliberation, and consultation with my wife, was: relationships.

Not a terribly sexy word but it covers a lot of territory.

The characters in the books go through different phases of relationship. In Starting Over, Ellie and Robin are struggling to maintain their long-term one. For a large part of Arc Over Time, Denise is trying to get Kathryn to commit to a relationship, not willing to suffer through a continually frustrating LDR. And Jasmine discovers something about herself that leads to happiness. In Carved in Stone, Jo finds a love interest whose lifestyle is pretty much the opposite of her own wandering one.

Some readers have commented that they don’t think Robin and Ellie are a good match and don’t hold out much hope for Kathryn and Den to succeed in their relationship either. But, as in real life, what do we know about other people’s relationships? We’ve all met couples where we’ve thought – ‘how on earth did they get together?’ – or – ‘what does she see in her?’ We make judgments all the time that generally turn out to be wrong. And that is the joy of both reading and writing. We can get inside people’s heads and in the process some things will resonate about our own relationships, both good and bad.

 

Bones can dream

This almost became the title of Carved in Stone because of the character who isn’t there but who pervades the imaginations and subsequently, the actions, of the other characters.

In Starting Over the bones of a long dead historical figure are discovered at Starling Hill farm. They turn out to be the bones of Cartimandua who was the chief of the Brigantes tribe in Britain when the Romans turned up in force in AD43. I hesitate to use the title ‘Queen’ because I doubt that was a title bestowed on her by the tribe. It was used by the Roman historians who wrote about the period much later. We have no written records of this time in Britain. However, for the sake of not having to ascribe other words to denote her leadership, she is generally referred to as Queen Cartimandua.

Archaeologists in this country would love to be the discoverers of Cartimandua’s final resting place. No one knows where she went once her reign ended.

In these stories, and particularly Carved in Stone, Cartimandua becomes another presence. It is her influence on their lives that brings all the characters together one way or another.

This is fiction, of course. But I hope that one day Cartimandua’s actual bones will be found to give archaeologists the chance to piece together her life and what happened to her in those final days.

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Digging at Vindolanda – finding mostly cow bones!


Book links:

Starting Over: Amazon US / Amazon UK

Arc Over Time: Amazon US / Amazon UK

Carved in Stone: Amazon US / Amazon UK

(All three books are available on Kindle Unlimited for the next 3 months)