Friday 18 November 2016

A little catch-up.

I can't believe how quickly this year has flown, and continues to fly by. In many ways it has been a landmark year - I received my first ever speeding ticket [who would have thought either me or my car would have been capable of that?] doing 36 in a 30 mph section of road, I moved house after sixteen years of being in one place and I turned fifty. I attended three funerals and spent many hours looking at the past, as one tends to do in these circumstances. I saw my eldest child turn sixteen and leave school for the new boundaries of college and my youngest start her final year of middle school. In short it has been a year of change.

And during all of this, I did what I always do, I wrote books and renovated my house and looked after the kids and dogs. Because it is these things which are the fundamentals of my life, the lynchpins of my sanity.

During this time new people have come into my life and shared their stories with me, as they so often do. Some are tales of horror, of injustices done and cruelties perpetrated, others are uplifting and life-affirming and others are just plain funny. And yes, I won't deny it, some of those stories, either in part or in their entirety, will find their way into my books, of course they will.

At the moment I am coming toward the final part of my current book. This is always hard. I want to race ahead with the story, but doing so will mean saying goodbye to characters I love. But I know they will be safe with you, for you will love them as much as I do.

Soon, Ascension will be released and you will get to meet Jessica Stone, the girl who will change her world. As always happens, she was a character who came to me and told me how dire her need was, how desperate her situation. I couldn't refuse to write it down. And the more I wrote about her - the more I got to know her - I realised how human she was, how beyond all her bravery and her quest for truth and justice, she had flaws just like we all do.

But in the book, there is one character who was moulded from a very real person. Grandma Emily was based upon my own late grandmother, her strange wisdom and her hope. This last year, through all the changes above, it has been my grandmother I have thought of time and time again. And in every moment of doubt I've had, every middle-of-the-night awakening I've had, scared and alone, it's her voice I have heard. How she would have laughed if she'd known what is going on in my life right now. Then again, what's to say she doesn't?

Happy Reading! x

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Future Perfect is coming soon!

I'm so afraid for these characters. Wish I could step into the book and help them.

The following excerpt is taken from Future Perfect [coming soon].

Chapter 14

A laser beam slashes a small aperture in Simone Mewdleys’ abdomen. Layers of skin and fat are cut through to produce an opening which is deeper than its width. Even so, the foetus can be clearly seen nestling within the sack of the womb.

It’s so small. So infinitely vulnerable that I feel tears prick the corners of my eyes. Almost fully grown, it is curled up around itself, which only serves to make it seem both less and more human at the same time. Curled up like a cat, it is hairless and covered in a greasy white slick, little arms curved into its chest, little hands curled into fists.

“Don’t hurt it!” I whisper. Even though I know ELSA can’t hear me, saying it out loud is more than a plea, it’s an invocation, an entreaty to something beyond our world within the Dome. To God, if such a thing exists.

Happy Reading!

Monday 14 November 2016

A little bit of poetry to soothe the soul...

Every so often you come across someone who strikes a chord with you. This poet/author is one such person.

With his permission I have posted his lovely poem here.

This has come from a great writer friend of mine from 'across the pond'. It's about October - the magical month of my birth [of course it is]. Enjoy. xx

My Quarrel With October
Look up from the rich, black soil....
Fatigue never felt so good to me.
Look up from blinkered garden toil:

There is beauty and wonder in all I see.
Feel the soft warmth of the autumn sun.
Breathe in the crisp chill of October’s air.
Number life’s virtues when day is all done.

The majesty of October reigns everywhere.
Clouds sail past in a feathery sky.
The chill foreshadows the coming cold.
The woods serve up a feast for the eyes:

A leafy mantle of crimson, scarlet and gold.
The flowers of summer all bow their heads
To the mums, now crowned in purple and gold.
Spikes of royal lavender stand up in their stead.

The rhythms of autumn never seem to grow old.
See the blood red flush of the burning bush,
Twilight colors the sky violet and shades of red.
The palette of autumn has come on with a rush.

Nature’s beauty has made me drunk in the head.
Listen closely and one will hear
A wedge of wild geese on the wing,
And the serenade of the lark so near.

Have you ever heard a more beautiful thing?
The early crickets have come out to sing.
They rub their limbs to ward off the cold.
They long again for the warmth of spring.

No one told them the year had grown old.
Hear the rustle of the tasseled corn,
As restless and wavy as the open sea.
The wind gently sighs of winters forlorn.

All the while, autumn whispers goodbye to me.
I wipe rich, black earth from my hands.
The day has grown old at a quarter to five.
Autumn work draws forth the joys of a man.

Sweet October makes it feel good to be alive.
I stack a cord of wood from the pile.
The apple tree blushes red with her fruit:
There’ll be supper and apple pie in a while.

First I’ll light the fire and kick off my boots.
Thoughts of winter make a man sober:
I’d invite October to stay on, if I could.
Let this be my only quarrel with October:

There’s too little of her to last us for good.
There is beauty and splendor in all I see.
The senses reveal what mere words cannot say:
The splendor of autumn is far too lovely for me.

Has the world ever given us a more beautiful day?

Richard Merli
Copyright Richard Merli

As ever - Happy Reading! xx


Often in life there are hard choices to be made. Prudence Smith is facing one such choice. Taken from "Future Perfect".

“I hear you went to round to see Helena earlier. Does this mean that you’ve changed you mind?”

I pick up on the hope in Mitch’s voice and am ashamed. I should have explained to him what I was doing before I went – now I have given him false reason for optimism.

“I needed to find out where we should head when we leave here. Which direction I mean.” My voice is tight. I’m so scared. Scared that he will refuse to leave when the time comes. Scared that I will have to make a choice between him and safety for our child. I’m scared to look at him, to see the hurt and sadness in his face, to let him see the fear and anguish in mine.

And yet deep down in the deepest, primal part of me, I know what I will do if that time comes. I will protect my child, our child – and if that means leaving Mitch, then that is what I will do too.

Happy Reading!