Another WIPpet Wednesday and call for book reviewers

Hello one and all and welcome to WIPpet Wednesday when we writers share our wonderful work with the world!  OK, enough with the alliteration. :-p  Anyway I hope you’ve all had a good week.

Before I share my WIPpet, I wanted to say that I’m still looking for people to read my book Reunion of the Heart for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.  You can read Amy Mitchell’s lovely review of it here and there’s also a review of it by Kathy on her blog here.

If you’re interested in reading it in exchange for a review, or you know someone who would be, my email address is: elaine (dot) jeremiah (at) gmail (dot) com   Please do get in touch if it’s something you’d like to do. :)

And on with this week’s excerpt.  I’m being boring and sharing with you eight more paragraphs for the month of August from my current WIP romance about a school teacher.  They follow on immediately from last week’s which you can read here.

To fill you in a little my MC Rebecca, a teacher, is at a parents’ evening where the parents of the kids at the school where she works get to have a meeting with their kids’ teachers and find out more about how their kids are doing.  Rebecca is currently meeting Jonathan Leavis, the parent from hell, about his son Daniel who isn’t working hard enough…

‘Mr Leavis, the reason that I’ve been grading Daniel’s work so low is because that is the level that he is attaining at the moment.  He’s simply not bothering in class; he’s writing little poems about…’ Don’t say they’re about you, Rebecca, she thought, ‘…about nothing… nothing important.  He’s not paying attention at all; he’s not taking anything in, so he’s not learning.  In short, Mr Leavis, the way Daniel is carrying on he won’t pass his English literature exams next year.’

She paused and forced herself to look directly at Mr Leavis.  While she’d been talking, her gaze had been fixed just slightly above his face; she hadn’t been able to bring herself to look at him properly.  You coward, she castigated herself, as she saw in Mr Leavis’ eyes anger, disappointment and… what?

Rebecca watched as he gave a nod.  There was a long pause.

‘I want to take this further,’ he said finally.  ‘I’m not satisfied that my son is receiving the highest standard of teaching.  Most likely if he was in another class, he would be doing much better.  There was never a problem when Miss Adams was teaching him.’

Rebecca was speechless.  Had she heard him right?  Had he really said what she thought she’d just heard him say?  It took her a moment to find the words to say to him that were repeatable.

‘I’m sorry you feel this way, Mr Leavis.  If you really have a complaint to make,’ she said biting back her anger, ‘I can refer you to Daniel’s head of year.’

‘Head of year?’ he spluttered, his face red.  ‘Headmistress more likely.  I’m going to take this to the top.  I want my son to have the best education possible.’

‘Well in that case, perhaps a state education isn’t for him.’ Rebecca closed her mouth.  I did not say that, I did not say that, she thought, feeling her face turn scarlet.  But she had said it and she watched as Mr Leavis’ face began to mirror her own, only his was puce.  I’m fed up with this, she thought suddenly.  I don’t care anymore, it’s late, I don’t need this, I want to go home.  She folded her arms.  He folded his arms.  They were at an impasse.

That’s it from me today, except to say that if you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post on your blog an excerpt from whatever you’ve been working on writing-wise lately.  Just make sure it relates in some way to the date.  Then add your details here and join in the fun by visiting the other lovely WIPpeteers sites to read their contributions.

My thanks as always goes to K. L. Schwengel for being our lovely host. :D

 

WIPpet Wednesday and an update on Reunion of the Heart

Parents evening

On Friday I published my second novel Reunion of the Heart. Initially it went well and I had some sales so obviously I was happy.

But then… they slowed right down. OK so it hasn’t been long since the launch and it’s only Tuesday now as I’m writing this. But what’s going on? The Inheritance, though it didn’t exactly set the world alight, sold more than Reunion of the Heart has at this point.

I was feeling a bit miserable about it to be honest.  I spoke to my dad and he had some words of wisdom: that releasing a book in summer is a bad idea because everyone in the Western world is away on holiday – or at least many of them are in the US and UK as well as the rest of Europe.  So it follows that they’re not around to download/buy books.

He’s got a good point.  He also said that, for example, film makers release their films at certain times of the year, depending on what sort of film they are.  They release blockbusters in summer and Oscar-worthy films at others.  He reckoned a good time of year to release a book would be October when everyone is almost certainly back from holiday.

It makes me think that perhaps I chose the wrong time of year to release Reunion of the Heart and that maybe I should have waited till the autumn.  Do you have any thoughts/advice?  I’d love to hear from you.

Anyway on to today’s excerpt, from my WIP.  I still haven’t chosen a title yet lol.  But it’s the one set in a school.  I thought I’d be generous and share with you 8 paragraphs for the month.  In this scene my MC Rebecca is coming face to face with Audi-Man again. It’s parents’ evening where the parents of kids at school get to meet with their kids’ teachers for an update on their kids’ progress.  Unfortunately for Rebecca, she’s teaching Audi-Man’s son.  Here’s a snippet of their conversation:

Taking a sip from the glass of water on the corner of the table, Rebecca looked at the list of parents still to see on the list in front of her.  She stifled a yawn.  It’d been a long evening.  She’d seen twenty eight sets of parents, although sometimes only one parent had attended, usually the mother.  There was only one parent left to see, the one she was dreading.  She would rather have seen him first.  Mr Leavis, Daniel’s father.  What could she say to him about his son?  That Daniel mucked around in lessons and never bothered?  That he could be a grade A student if he just knuckled down and did some work?

Her encounter with Mr Leavis in the school corridor came back to her and Rebecca’s cheeks warmed.  What was the meaning of it?  And why had he arrived so early at the school?  What on earth had he been doing for the last two hours?  But there was no time to dwell on those troubling thoughts.  She watched as Mr Leavis – Audi-Man – strode across the hall towards her.

Feeling her resolve falter, Rebecca took a deep breath, pulled her shoulders back and remembered what she’d learnt at drama school about portraying confidence.  As Mr Leavis approached she gave him the biggest smile she could muster under the circumstances and stood up to shake hands with him.

‘Good evening, Mr Leavis,’ she said, forcing the smile to remain on her face, though she would much rather have scowled at him.  ‘Please sit down.’

He did so frowning at her; it looked like a puzzled frown to Rebecca though she couldn’t be sure.  ‘Good evening Miss… Ms Engleton,’ he replied.  He sounded flustered.  Good, Rebecca thought.  The boot’s on the other foot now.

She gave a little nod and looked down at Daniel’s grade sheet.  It was woefully inadequate, when she knew he could do so much better.  She looked up again and nearly bashed heads with Mr Leavis, who she saw was also looking at the grade sheet.  Her face became hot, hotter still when he began to speak.

‘I don’t see what could possibly be so wrong with my son’s performance in class that you’re giving him such low grades.  It’s his GCSE year – he needs good grades to go on and do his A-levels.  There must be something wrong with your teaching methods for him to be failing so miserably.  Your predecessor never had it in for him as you clearly do.’

Mr Leavis’ voice was angry, as was his expression.  The word thunderous came to mind as Rebecca watched him, trying to remain cool while inside she was seething.  When she spoke she was surprised by how calm she sounded.

So there you have it.  If you’re reading this and thinking ‘I’d love to join in’, all you have to do is post on your blog an excerpt of whatever you’ve been working on writing-wise lately.  Just make sure it relates to the date in some way.  Then add your details to this linky.

Thanks once again to the lovely K. L. Schwengel, our wonderful host. :)

A BIG thank you to my lovely cover reveal volunteers

I just wanted to do a quick post to thank the ten lovely people who took part in my cover reveal yesterday for my new novel Reunion of the Heart.  Drum roll please…

Adrian J Smith

Amy Leibowitz

Emily Witt

K. L. Schwengel

Kate Frost

Kate Sparkes

L. S. Engler

Mishka Jenkins

Only Books and Horses

Secret Lives of Fiction Lovers

Thank you all so much for your help in this.  I really appreciate it.

If you’re not on this list – or even if you are! – do please visit these great bloggers’ websites.  They’re fantastic and really worth a look. That’s it from me now.  Have a lovely weekend!

WIPpet Wednesday – Feeling nervous (and a cover reveal mention…)

Hi everyone!  Hope you’re all well.  This is gonna be a special week for me – or I should say a special day on Friday because… IT’S MY FIRST COVER REVEAL!  It’s for my new novel Reunion of the Heart, a romance, which I’m going to publish shortly.

To coin an American phrase  (or at least I think it’s American!) which I’ve heard in blog land  I’m super excited!!!  Thank you in advance to my 10 lovely volunteers who’re gonna help me out with it.  It’s going to be great.

All right, back to the main event.  Today’s WIPpet is for my… all right, yes, still untitled novel-to-be romance about the school teacher.  To remind you non-British people, she works at a secondary school for 11-16 yr olds.  In this scene Rebecca, my MC, is facing the dreaded parents’ evening.

Now because we’re such an international group of writers in WIPpet Wednesday, I’m not going to assume anything, so in case you’re unsure what a parents’ evening is (forgive me if you do know what it is!!), it’s just a chance for parents of children at a school to discuss their child’s work and achievements (or lack of them!!) with their child’s teacher(s).

Rebecca is a new teacher and this is her first term (semester??), so she wants to get things right.  I’m sharing 3 paragraphs, 2 + 1 from the year.

Rebecca looked at herself in the mirror and adjusted the collar of her white blouse.  Her long jet black hair was pulled back into a neat chignon, her blouse and skirt suit had been carefully ironed and she’d taken extra care with her makeup, wanting it to be subtle but enhancing at the same time.  Anyone would think I was going on a date, she thought, her wry smile reflected in the mirror.

But this evening would be ten times more nerve wracking than a date.  Tonight was parents’ evening at Wyncliffe High and Rebecca was feeling as scared as someone about parachute out of a plane for the very first time.  It was the middle of October and Rebecca had been dreading this evening for weeks.  Now that it was finally here she just wanted it to be over and done with.

She sighed as she walked out of the bathroom, picked up her heavy bag, coat and keys from the living room and exited the flat.  She would have liked to cycle to the school as she normally did, but hadn’t wanted to be too sweaty and out of breath when she got there.  Rebecca desperately wanted to make a good impression.  She was particularly anxious about meeting one of the parents there – Audi-Man.

If you’ve been reading our WIPpets and you’re thinking ‘That’s something I’d like to do’, it’s easy to join in.  Just post on your blog whatever you’ve been working on writing-wise lately and ideally make sure it relates in some way to the date.  Then put your details on this linky.  Don’t forget to have a read of what the other WIPpeteers have shared too. :)

Thank you to our wise and knowledgeable leader aka K. L. Schwengel for also being our gracious hostess. ;)

WIPpet Wednesday & call for cover reveal volunteers

Classroom

Welcome to the wonderful, weird world that is WIPpet Wednesday when we writers share our work. Today as well as sharing some of my writing with you, I wanted to ask if any of you would be willing to take part in my cover reveal for Reunion of the Heart.

I haven’t set a date for it as yet, I thought I’d see how many people would be willing to participate first. But it will be soon as I’m making the final touches to Reunion of the Heart and it won’t be long before I publish it. Yay!! I’m amazed, actually, that it’s come around so fast – I was expecting things to take a lot longer to prepare it for publication. But things have come along really well.

So anyway that’s that.  For my contribution to today’s WIPpet Wednesday, I’m being generous and sharing with you 30 sentences for the 30th July (see what I did there?  Genius!!).  OK so maybe not generous by some people’s standards… Anyway it’s another excerpt from my romance about a school teacher.

Before you ask, no I haven’t decided on a title yet.  It’s currently saved on my computer under the hugely original title of ‘school’.  I’m rubbish at thinking up titles for my novels and this one is no exception!  I’m completely stumped at the moment.

In the scene I’m sharing today, my teacher MC Rebecca has kept two of the boys in her class behind at school because they were messing around during the lesson.  They’re not too happy about being given a detention and Rebecca isn’t wildly thrilled at having to keep them there either…

As they’d been told, Daniel and Richard stayed behind at the end of the lesson.  As they were standing in front of Rebecca’s desk to learn their punishment, their faces were surly, their shoulders slumped.  Outside it was a beautiful afternoon, the sun was shining, the sky was blue – and it was a Friday.  Rebecca didn’t really want to be there herself, but it had to be done.  She couldn’t let this go; they needed to understand that rudeness and disrupting the class was unacceptable.

‘Daniel and Richard, I’ve decided in the next hour, you will both write me a two page essay on a book you’ve read which you enjoyed.’  She saw their scowls deepen and sighed inwardly.  This was going to be a long hour.  She watched as they took the paper she handed them and trudged back to their desks.

In spite of her better judgement, curiosity won out and Rebecca pulled out the piece of paper which she’d seized from Daniel from her desk drawer.  She glanced at him, hoping he hadn’t noticed her looking at it.  But Daniel’s head was bent in concentration over his writing.  Rebecca’s lips twitched as she read what was written on the piece of paper, and she had to purse her lips to stop herself smiling.   

It was a little poem about her – she assumed it was written by Daniel.  Not only did it rhyme perfectly, it had a clear rhythm as well.  It was cheeky, yet not offensive, although she did note the allusion to her looks.  But that didn’t bother her.  Rebecca knew what young men were like and she was aware that she wasn’t unattractive.  She stole another glance at Daniel; this time he was looking out of the window and while she had the chance, she quickly put the paper back in her drawer.

Looking at the clock, she saw that there was still ages to go until Daniel and Richard’s detention was up.  Resigned to her fate, Rebecca picked up the first in a large pile of exercise books to begin marking.  But the stories the year 8 pupils had written about their favourite weekends were engaging and often amusing.  She had to suppress a chuckle now and then.  Before she knew it, she looked at the clock and saw that the time was up.

‘All right then,’ she said to the two boys who were looking tired and fed up, ‘you can go.  Put the essays on my desk,’ she added as they approached, ‘and I’ll see you both tomorrow.  And I hope I won’t be seeing any of that misbehaviour again.’

Daniel and Richard shook their heads, clearly itching to be gone.  They turned to leave the room.  Then Rebecca thought.

Oh BTW I should say if you need to contact me re. the cover reveal my email address is: elaine (dot) jeremiah (at) gmail (dot) com

That’s it from me today.  If you’re reading this, but you’re not involved in WIPpet Wednesday and you think it’s something you’d like to get involved with, it’s easy to take part.  Just share on your blog anything you’ve been working on recently writing-wise.  Your excerpt should preferably relate in some way to the date.  Then once you’ve done your post, add your details here.

Thanks once more to K. L. Schwengel for hosting.

Struggling to keep it together

Depression

I’ve been working on character profiles for my WIP about a school teacher which I’ve been sharing with you. So while I’ve been doing that I haven’t been writing.

So I’m sharing with you something different today. It’s from a story I was working on some years ago, but never finished. It’s a highly personal tale – you could say it’s semi autobiographical. I would like to finish it one day and maybe publish it.

It’s about a girl of about 15 who’s struggling at school.  She has few friends and is very unhappy.  Then a new girl joins the school and she’s kind to my MC.  They become friends.  But unfortunately for my MC it doesn’t last.

I’m sharing with you 23 lines for the 23rd July:

I withdrew into myself, trying to talk to as few people as possible.  If Mum and Dad asked how I was, I put on a brave front, smiling and saying I was fine.  No one guessed how I was feeling.  At school, I tried to stay by myself as much as possible, not wanting to be seen.  At lunchtimes, I didn’t go out, I just stayed in the library, trying to absorb myself in a book, hoping that somehow a good story would make the pain go away.  Christine had been the only friend I had had in as long as I could remember, and now she was dead.  I couldn’t bear it.

   I stopped sleeping.  My nights were ones of restless tossing and turning, throwing the bed covers away from me, and then in turns gathering them towards me.  I was always very quiet, not wanting to wake my parents or Bryony.  Even so, Mum started to notice a change in me.  Whereas before I had answered her questions, be it monosyllabically, now I didn’t say anything.  When I went down to breakfast a couple of days after the announcement of Christine’s death, she was sitting at the breakfast table reading a newspaper.  Looking up at me with a serious expression on her face, she said,

   ‘There was something in the news this morning about a girl from your school who was killed in an accident.  It was Christine, wasn’t it?’

   I didn’t answer.  Mum sighed.

   ‘Kate, why didn’t you tell us?  Your dad and I wondered what was wrong with you.  Lately you haven’t been yourself.  We had no idea of what you were going through,’ she said, coming over to me and laying a hand on my shoulder.  ‘We want to help you in anyway we can,’ she added.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this so please comment. :)  And if you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post some of your writing (old or new) on your blog.  It should (ideally!) relate to the date.  Once you’ve posted it, add your details to this linky.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting.

Review of ‘Emergence’

Emergence

I thought I’d post another review of a book I’ve enjoyed here on my blog. It’s by the lovely K. L. Schwengel who kindly hosts WIPpet Wednesday on her blog once a week.

It’s called Emergence and it’s the second in her Darkness and Light series. It was a hugely enjoyable book to read. Here is my review:

This novel picks up the story of Ciara, and the battle for her power, where the last story ‘First of Her Kind’ left off. As the story begins Bolin, who is trying to protect Ciara, has a summons from the Emperor of Nisair demanding that he bring her to him. Bolin does everything he can to try to avoid this. There are powerful people who want Ciara and her powers for themselves and Bolin doesn’t want to risk taking her away from the safety of the Greensward, where she is being cared for, on a potentially perilous journey where she could be captured…

I really enjoyed this novel. I thought it was even better than the first, although I would say that to understand the story fully it might be helpful to read the first in the series, ‘First of Her Kind’, before this one.

The characters were vivid and memorable. Bolin in particular stands out for me. He is a troubled character, desperately trying to ignore what he feels for Ciara and always putting himself in dangerous situations before others. He refuses to let anyone get properly close to him and the consequences are often near fatal.

Reading this novel, it is clear that the main character, Ciara, is maturing. She is less hotheaded and headstrong than in the first novel, and she actually listens to people who’re trying to give her advice. Like Bolin, she is a memorable character – a strong young woman, yet endearingly vulnerable at times too.

I thought that the battle scenes were realistically described and the author also drew me, as a reader, into her world. The people and places felt real to me. All the characters were well drawn and I really felt that I got to know them as the story unfolded.

The story was gripping and exciting. There were plenty of twists and turns and the author kept me guessing as to who would have the upper hand by the end.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an adventurous, thrilling tale. You won’t be disappointed.

If you would like to read it, it’s available from Amazon.com and Amazon UK.