Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Back to Summer - Teaser Tuesday

Just for the heck of it. Here's another bit from 'Stolen Summer'.

Because I felt like it.


“So, what’s the big emergency?” Ellen stood up and kissed me when I walked into the restaurant. I’d phoned her almost as soon as I returned to London and arranged to meet her on Monday for lunch.

“You’d better sit down and get yourself a drink.” I sank into the booth and waved for the waiter. I ordered a glass of red wine, Ellen asked for a vodka martini. I waited for the drinks and pretended to look at the menu. I didn’t feel much like eating.

“Jesus, Evan. It must be serious, your hands are shaking.”

They were. I wanted to throw up. “Yea, well, it is serious.”

The waiter returned with drinks. Ellen ordered lunch. I decided on a salad.

“What is it? What’s wrong?”

I took a sip of my wine and then another. “Nothing’s wrong, not for me anyway. In fact, I couldn’t be happier. I’m just not sure anyone else is going to be too chuffed.”

“God, what have you done now?”

“I’ve fallen in love.”

“Well, that’s a good thing, isn’t it?”

“It is as far as I’m concerned.”

“Please stop buggering me about. What’s the big deal?”

“It’s Colin.”

“What’s Colin?”

“That’s who I’m in love with. We’re in love. We’re a couple.” There, it was out. I said it. The ceiling didn’t cave in, no one screamed, no one fainted. The world kept turning.

“Colin,” Ellen repeated. “Best friend Colin, the good looking one with the brown eyes and the perpetual stubble. That Colin?”

“Yes, that Colin.”

“You’re in love…with Colin. You’re a couple.”


She took a huge gulp of her martini, pausing only to remove the olive, which she set, with great care on her side plate. “Bloody hell. You don’t do things by halves do you?”

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Viking returns - Teaser Tuesday

So, following my poll which wasn't shaped like a poll, I took a break over the weekend, read a book and had a think.

The Shiny New Idea is on the back burner because someone else already has a published book which has the same kind of bad guys I wanted. Back to the drawing board and a hunt for a new villain. I already have some ideas but they can wait.

So, it's back to Angharad and Fin up in the wilds of 9th century Cumbria. This week, Fin has recovered, more or less, from his unfortunate encounter with a boar. It's Angharad who's about to get into a spot of bother.

Usual caveat applies, rough as a cat's tongue but less smelly (I hope).


Angharad gathered up the reins and glanced back at the house. Fin stood in the doorway, The sun found copper in his hair. His quiet smile made something inside her turn over. For a moment, she considered forgetting about the breached wall but she knew she wouldn’t be long and the brief absence would make the rest of the day all the better. Angharad smiled back surprised how much she wanted him.

The stallion skittered sideways across the grass. Angharad sat deep in the saddle and nudged him forward. He tossed his head and snorted, sending silver clouds of vapour drifting into the bitterly cold air. She knew he was spoiling for a race and, if the ground hadn’t been hard, Angharad would’ve indulged him. Instead, she kept him at a bone-jarring walk and wished she’d taken the mare.

“He’s a bit of a handful this morning, mistress,” Elfled observed.

Angharad looked with envy at the shepherd, happy on the half-asleep pony. “He is.” She dropped her hands and pushed him forward, hoping he would lower his head. Instead, he squealed and bucked. Angharad tightened her hold on the reins, shaken by the buck. She smacked his hindquarters with the stick and held on when he bucked once more. His high spirit replaced by a squeal of temper. He spun around, his ears flat against the side of his head.

“Bastard.” Angharad struck him again. “Settle down.”

The stallion reared.

Angharad clung to the saddle and prayed he wouldn’t topple over. The coarse hair of his mane whipped across her face when he plunged back to earth, tucked his head between his forelegs and bucked. The saddle was no longer beneath her, the reins tore away from her cold hands as Angharad was flung sideways.

This is going to hurt.

Angharad wondered, before she slammed onto the ground, whether Fin would be angry because she didn’t take the mare.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What's a writer to do? Answers on a post card please.

Allrighty then.

The Post-Beta revisions to Christopher's Medal are done and it's gone back out to Betas. So, nothing to do there until I hear back.

Stolen Summer (Contemporary Fiction) is languishing on the back burner, following Beta reads, and awaiting revision;
Viking story (Women's/historical)- The Man in the Reeds - is waiting to be continued.
Through the Mist (Women's/historical WW2) is also awaiting revision prior to going out to Betas
Empty Places (Women's dystopian), the NaNo novel, is languishing on the back burner, awaiting revisions.
Shiny new idea (Women's fiction - horse racing in UK again) still percolating.

So...what is a writer to do?

I haven't a frigging clue. If I knew how to add a poll, I would.

Anyone have any suggestions? I have to do something, I just don't know what.

All suggestions gratefully accepted.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Some crossover fun - Teaser Tuesday

I'm working through the revisions to Christopher's Medal. I've been taking scenes out, adding new ones. I'm now 2k words ahead of the original draft. Nearly, nearly there before it goes back out to Betas.

Which, brings me to my next tropic, I've received feedback from the lovely Betas on Stolen Summer. All three Betas felt that I needed to add some more on the MC's time in Afghanistan. So, in my revisions to Christopher's Medal, I added this scene. You may recognise the other person. :)

Christopher has just finished a hasty, snatched call to Grace, via satellite phone.


Christopher handed the phone to the Sergeant and walked away, his boot heels kicking up dust in the sharp chill of morning. He strolled across the compound and thought of Grace. It wasn’t hard to imagine her lying in bed, half-asleep with her hair all over the place, all warm from the duvet. It was so good to hear her voice, to know that she loved him. The only problem was that he missed her even more.

“Everything all right?”

Christopher wheeled around and found the journalist who’d been embedded with the regiment, walking towards him. He stood and waited. It probably wasn’t a good idea to be alone knowing that he’d probably do something stupid like sit on the compound wall to mope about Grace and provide a nice target for the local sniper.

“Yea, I suppose so.” He liked Harrison. He didn’t seem to fit the stereotype of a pushy, nosey journalist. It helped that they’d been to the same public school, albeit, not at the same time but they shared the same memories of the place.

“It can’t be easy just having a few minutes on the phone like that.”

“No. It isn’t.” Christopher kicked at a small stone and sent it tumbling across the dirt. “It almost makes things worse.” He looked at the journalist. “Do you have a girlfriend? Don’t you miss her when you go away?”

Harrison shrugged. “I have a girlfriend but I can’t say I miss her all that much.”

Christopher raised an eyebrow. “Don’t you think that’s a bit odd? Doesn’t that tell you something?” He couldn’t imagine not missing Grace.

The journalist’s face was a study in indifference. “It tells me that we should really break up. I miss my best mate more. When I’m stuck in places like this, I wish I could sit down and drink a few beers with him.”

“How extraordinary. I suppose Grace is my best friend too. I’m not sure I’d be drinking beers with her if she were here, mind.”

Harrison laughed. “I suppose not.” He shoved his hands in his pockets and stared out across the compound, suddenly still. When he spoke again, he sounded wistful and lost. “I’m not sure I would be either.” With that, he nodded and wandered away.

Christopher watched him go and then turned back towards his tent with a sigh.