An end to Country Living

I’ve struggled to finish Book 10. I was fairly confident when I started writing it back in September that I would be finished by Christmas. However, it’s now eight months on from that beginning and it’s not over yet.

The working title is Country Living and although I’ve tried to come up with another name that isn’t going to be confused with the magazine of the same title, it just seems to fit.

As spring is now moving rapidly into summer, the analogy that also fits could be portrayed with these photos.

roots1The gnarled roots of an old tree exposed to the elements…as I try to unearth the secrets of my characters…

tree_cut1The beautiful mature tree at the top of our road that was cut down in January to make way for a car park…losses the protagonists have to deal with…

crocii_daffsAnd the first signs of spring…brave daffodil and crocus flowering to bring life and colour to the garden…the hope for a happy ever after…for someone…

Sometime soon I also have to write the synopsis…something else I struggle with. Fitting the essence of the story into a few hundred words is the hardest job of all. Then whether or not this story will be accepted for publication is another matter.

Here is the beginning:

Chapter One

The view is what sold it to her, Peri’s dream cottage in the country. A lack of roses around the door made up by the commanding vista across a tree-lined valley with no hint of the busy road below. When she’d researched the area, the hamlet shown as Heron Ridge on the map had a history that stretched back to pre-Roman times, part of Elmet, often referred to as the last Celtic kingdom in England.

Peri breathed in the fresh air, recently cleansed from the shower that accompanied their drive up the narrow lane. There was plenty of space for a kitchen garden and perhaps a generously sized chicken run in the future.

“Isn’t it just simply gorgeous, K?”

Karla grunted as she hefted the two large suitcases out of the car. “Yeah. Nice. Grab one of the boxes. Let’s get this in before the rain starts again.”

It wouldn’t take long to empty the boot of the Range Rover, a vehicle that looked out of place on city streets but would be perfect when Karla finally joined her at the cottage. Her wife was looking at six months to close out all the projects she was working on so they could start the new phase of their life together.

So, what can possibly go wrong for these two characters? Working that out wasn’t difficult. Finding out what could go right was another matter.

The end is getting closer. But it’s reached the point now where I need to let it sit for a few weeks before reading it again to see what might be missing, what needs tweaking, and writing that damn synopsis.


In the meantime, if you’re looking for something to read, you could give Book 9, Deuce, a try. It’s been out for a few months now and has had some good reviews.

Happy reading!


Buying links for Deuce: Affinity Rainbow Publications / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Barnes & Noble / Bella Books / Smashwords / Apple iTunes

Spring reading

After the depressing images from last week’s blog about the floods in our area, I’ve taken some spring-like ones to day. New growth everywhere and the sheep grazing peacefully in the fields.

canal_daffs

Daffodils planted along the canal

new_planting

Newly planted flowerbed in the park

Storm Katie moved through during Easter weekend and brought devastation to other parts of the country. Here in the north we escaped with just heavy winds, some rain, and on Tuesday it snowed…a light dusting for the tops of the hills that didn’t last long enough for me to take a photo.

sheep_grazing

Sheep in the fields

With the spring theme in mind, I’m attempting to spring into action in promoting my latest book. At one point last week, I was amazed to see The Circle Dance reach the #9 spot for lesbian romance on Amazon.com. Good going, I thought, for a book that was only released on 15 March. Plus, two reviews and both 5 star!

This is the one from Loek:

“Dealing with the pain, hurt by the betrayal, Jamie struggles to get her life back but loving again it’s not what she opted for. Getting over and moving on is not an easy thing to do. But with a little help from her friends, Jamie’s future does look promising. Yet there is an ex that could ruin everything. This is a sweet romance but not too sweet because there is enough drama, just like real life. The characters are realistic, the relationships have depth and complexity, the story keeps moving and there are several twists. It has all the ingredients for a great romance and it keeps you turning the pages. I didn’t even notice that I was already at the last page. It was sensitive, heartwarming. I would say, don’t miss this one.”

Thank you, Loek!

This reviewer has managed to put in a few sentences what I struggled with for several weeks when trying to come up with a succinct summary to submit to the publisher.

As part of the promotion process, I thought I would try recording a reading from the book. I selected a passage from Chapter One to read and only then discovered how hard it was for me to say the name Laurel without stumbling over it. Too late now to go back and change her name to Laura or Lauren. Anyway, I persevered, and this is the result. (Also haven’t mastered the art of turning pages quietly.)

Reading from Chapter One of The Circle Dance.

Should you not wish to listen to the not very professional recording, the whole of Chapter One is available to read on the Affinity website. The recording is of the seventh scene, which starts with the words: “The shower did its job, washing away the frustration of the last hour…”


 

Ebook links for The Circle Dance: Affinity eBooks/Amazon US / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Apple iTunes

And don’t forget to take a look at The Starling Hill Trilogy – still available on Kindle Unlimited:

Ebook 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

 

A walk through the woods

This time of year I like walking through the woods as things that are hidden behind summer foliage can be seen. And the bare limbed trees show a range of incredible shapes.

woodhorse

It makes me think that the stripping away of leaves is like writing. Taking away the coverings from our minds reveals thoughts and feelings we didn’t know were there. Or maybe we knew they were but hadn’t paid any attention to them, happy to keep them hidden.

I often find I’ll read back something I wrote a while ago and think ‘where did that come from?’ Perhaps it comes from the collective subconscious that we’re all connected to, the hive mind. That is a scary thought. There are plenty of minds I don’t want to have contact with.

Back to the woods, the bare trees with the branches reaching up to the sky, I revel in the openness, the spaces between. And now as the season changes, new leaves will start to fill in the gaps, and the mind will focus on the bright colours of spring. That which was exposed during the winter months will be hidden once more.