A lift home – part 2

Hello everyone! Welcome to the always wonderful WIPpet Wednesday. I hope this week finds you happy and well. How’s your writing going? Mine’s going pretty well, and I’ve written a lot lately. The only problem is that the plot of Teaching Mr Leavis is still unravelling. What I mean is I need to catch up with it and reel it in a bit. This novel is going to need SO much editing!

So anyway as the title of this post suggests I’m sharing with you some more from the scene I shared last week. And don’t worry – Rebecca isn’t getting in the car with a drunk – I’ve amended it to Jonathan Leavis assuring her that he’s only drunk a glass of NON ALCOHOLIC wine! If you don’t think that works, let me know in the comments below.

OK so how much to share? I think I’ll share 14 paragraphs following immediately on from last week’s. My maths goes like this (I’m manipulating things a bit): 2+2+10=14 Simple! In this scene Rebecca has accepted Jonathan Leavis’s offer of a lift home, now she knows he hasn’t been drinking. But she’s awkward and during the drive to her house Jonathan isn’t exactly doing his best to put her at ease…

‘If you want to follow me, my car’s this way,’ he informed her.

Rebecca followed Jonathan as he led her down the dimly-lit street towards a car park behind the club that she hadn’t known existed. Suddenly aware again how short her dress was, she had to fight the urge to pull it down in case he noticed.

She kept her distance making sure she stayed a few feet behind him as they walked, her face warm with the awkwardness of the situation. You could have just got a taxi, she reproached herself. But that would have meant waiting longer in the cold, with only her flimsy black dress and jacket to protect her against the elements.

‘It’s here,’ Jonathan announced abruptly. He waved the key at the car and it unlocked automatically. I bet he loves doing that, Rebecca thought. Probably takes loads of girls home in his car. If he hasn’t already scared them off beforehand.

Then she remembered what Nick had said about his wife dying. Maybe there were no women in his life. She shivered involuntarily and quickly walked over to the car. Jonathan had opened the door for her. So he can play the gentleman then, she thought raising an eyebrow.

‘Thank you,’ she said in a low voice, climbing into the car and willing her dress not to ride up.

In no time at all Jonathan had started the engine and they were off. Rebecca barely had time to put her seat belt on. Does he drive like this all the time, she wondered, then remembered her first encounter with him and decided he must do.

‘Where do you live?’ he asked her, glancing at her out of the corner of his eye.

‘Coopers Close in Yarrick,’ she told him. The city of Stokington had many areas such as Yarrick, which had been a village once and had got swallowed up into greater Stokington.

He nodded, but said no more. Rebecca exhaled silently and gazed unseeing out of the window. Jonathan’s fight with Nick swam into her inner vision and she wondered again why they’d been fighting. She turned to Jonathan.

‘Are you going to tell me what that was all about?’ she asked, her voice blunt.

‘What was what about?’ came the terse reply.

‘Oh don’t give me that, Mr Leavis. Your argument with Nick.’

‘I don’t want to talk about it,’ he replied, glancing at her for a second with a furrowed brow before returning his attention to the road.

Hope you enjoyed that. :) Wanna take part in WIPpet Wednesday? It’s easy! Just post an excerpt of whatever you’re working on writing-wise at the moment, then add your name to this linky. It should – in theory at least – relate in some way to the date. Don’t forget to check out what the other WIPpeteers have shared this week.

My thanks as always goes to the fantabulous K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :D

 

 

A lift home

Hi all. Hope your week’s gone OK so far. I’ve been doing all right. I’ve made some progress with Teaching Mr Leavis  and I’m beginning to have at least a vague sense of where I want the story to go and how it’s going to get there. Thank  you all for your advice re first drafts – it was very helpful to have my instinct to stick with the first draft until I’ve finished it confirmed.

So for today I thought I’d share with you 10 paragraphs for the month from Teaching Mr Leavis. This scene takes place about a page on from where last week’s excerpt finished which you can read here. To see the excerpt before that go here.

In this scene Rebecca has left the club and is making her way home when she hears someone call her name. When she realises who it is her heart sinks…

‘Mr Leavis,’ Rebecca replied, her voice coming out as a groan. She didn’t care if he noticed. He walked up to her until he was standing only a few feet away. The dull orange glow from the streetlamps didn’t give her much light to see by, but nonetheless Rebecca got another good look at Jonathan Leavis.

She had to admit to herself – albeit grudgingly – that he wasn’t a bad-looking man. He was tall and had a good figure. His hair was almost black and, although short, wavy. His striking eyes were the same colour. She surmised that he was in his early forties, though he was one of those people whose age was indeterminate.

He cut a powerful figure, although he seemed a little worse for wear tonight. Maybe it was just the poor light. But he looked almost a little haggard to Rebecca, and she wondered how often he went to his club, how much he’d had to drink.  

A half-smile was on his lips; his expression was friendly enough, but Rebecca really wasn’t in the mood to have a verbal sparring match. Feeling a wave of fatigue hit her again, she cleared her throat and tried not to sound hostile as she spoke.

‘Mr Leavis, what do you want? It’s late, I’m tired and I need to go home.’

‘Would you like me to take you home?’ Jonathan asked her, giving her direct look that made her feel as though he could glimpse her soul.

Rebecca said nothing, just gawped at him. Had she heard him right? Was that really the parent from hell, Jonathan Leavis, asking her if she wanted a lift home? He has been drinking, she reminded herself, shaking her head to try and clear it of confusion.

‘I’ll take that as a no then,’ he said, pursing his lips and beginning to turn away.

Rebecca thought quickly, weighing up the pros and cons. If she went home with Jonathan she’d have to put up with his questions and general talk. Also he would see where she lived, another downside. But if she chose to get a taxi home, she’d have to wait a while for one to turn up – they weren’t all that frequent in this part of town – and it would be expensive.

‘Wait, Jonathan,’ she said, wincing as she realised she’d used his Christian name without meaning to. He turned back; she saw a half-smile creasing his lips and silently berated herself for slipping up. But she swallowed any biting comment she would have liked to make. ‘Yes, I would like a lift home, thank you.’

WIPpet Wednesday is open to everyone who would like to share some of their writing on their blog. If you want to join in, just post some of your recent writing on your blog. Ideally it should relate in some way to the date. Then add your name to this.

K. L. Schwengel is our lovely hostess. :D

Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop #lovewritechat

RWBanner

This is my first week of taking part in Romance Writer’s Weekly! It’s a weekly blog hop for us romance writers to answer questions about our writing and generally help each other improve as romance writers. So take a look.

If you’ve joined me from Brenda Margriet’s blog, welcome.

This week we’re answering questions set by Vicki Mixon. Enjoy!

1.) Was there a defining moment in your life when you knew you were going to become a writer? If so, what was it?

I don’t think there was ever a defining moment in my life when the mist parted and I knew I was going to be a writer. It was more a gradual process, a slow realisation that writing is what I enjoy and do best.

2.) When you write a story do you see it unfold as one big picture, or do you add layering in subsequent drafts?

A bit of both if that makes sense. To begin with I think about the overall story, how I want it to unfold, and I plan for that. Then as I make a more detailed plan the story becomes clearer to me. But I do change and add things later, following the advice from my beta readers, but also thinking myself about what I feel is working and what isn’t.

3.) How many drafts do you usually write before you send your work to your editor?

I write the first draft then go through it with a fine toothcomb to improve on it, creating a second draft. I often change scenes or add bits. I also check for spelling mistakes, typos and so on. That is the version that will go on to be edited.

Now why not go and check out Veronica Forand’s blog and see what she has to say about her writing process.

A review of ‘The Queen’s Jester’ by Mishka Jenkins

The Queen's Jester

I thought it was high time I shared another review of a book I’ve read recently here on my blog. The Queen’s Jester is the first book I’ve read by fellow indie author friend Mishka Jenkins. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it. Here’s my review to have a read of:

When Queen Marie receives a beautiful gift of an emerald amulet at her wedding celebrations, she’s immediately captivated by it. Feeling neglected by her new husband, Warrick, Marie is entranced by the new jester when he arrives. He gives her the affection she craves, but as the story progresses Marie begins to realise that all is not as it seems.

I found this a hugely enjoyable story. The character of Marie was sympathetic and engaging, and the story pulled me as the reader along, with its ups and downs. The story had plenty of twists and turns and I thought the author did well to keep me guessing as to what would happen next. The descriptive passages were vivid and the imagery beautiful. I could easily picture myself with Marie in her winter gardens.

I liked the world that the author created, with the descriptions of the gorgeous gowns Marie wears and the festivities at the palace. The sense of isolation that Marie feels at times was well depicted too and I empathised with her in her predicament.

The one thing that for me didn’t work quite as well was the character of Warrick. I thought that he had a lovely personality, but I was unsure why exactly he wasn’t being demonstrative with Marie. At times I wondered if perhaps he wasn’t attracted to women and so this confused me as the story went on.

But overall this was a book that kept me reading on, wanting to find out what would happen to Marie and if she would find lasting happiness. I would definitely recommend it as a fun, gripping read.

The Queen’s Jester is available now on Amazon.com and Amazon UK.

How the release of ‘Reunion of the Heart’ went

Hi all.  Just a quick line to update you on how my release of Reunion of the Heart went on Friday.

Well the answer is not bad.  I was tearing my hair out a bit (OK not literally!!) because of formatting issues with it and having to do a load of updates to it, but now I seem to be over that.  I say I – technically it’s my husband who’s in charge of the technical side of my self-publishing adventure. (No pun intended!)  The frustrating thing is that when we published The Inheritance there were no problems whatsoever.  That’s always the way I guess.

I don’t how those of you authors who are responsible for every last part of the self-publishing process do it!  I mean if I tried to do it I think I’d still be staring at the computer screen a year from now trying to work it out lol!  So I’m VERY grateful to my husband for doing that for me.

Anyway to go back to what I was saying, it was great to have such wonderful support from my fellow authors, family and friends.  The sales, while not exactly setting the world alight, are going well.  I’m hopeful that as I continue to promote my work and write more I’ll improve and become more established as an author.  And hopefully make my mark, if only in a small way.

It is so difficult to make a splash in the BIG pond that is the world of published and self-published books.  And yet the exciting thing is that while there may be lots of books out there that you or I are up against, there’s a whole load of people out there waiting to read them.  As indie authors we just have to find a way of reaching them, which I guess is the tricky part.  I think it’s also good that, what with the advent of self-publishing via Amazon etc., there’s so much more choice out there for readers.  Readers don’t have to be confined to only read the books that the Big Six have selected for them. (Cynical, moi?!)

So thank you all for supporting me and each other on this self-publishing journey we’re on. :)

BTW you can get Reunion of the Heart on Amazon.com here or Amazon UK here.  The Inheritance is available on Amazon.com here or Amazon UK here.

‘Reunion of the Heart’ is here!!!!

RotH-Cover

My second novel Reunion of the Heart is here! For those of you who don’t know, it’s a contemporary romance and so you know a little bit more about it, here’s the blurb:

After a messy breakup with her boyfriend, Anna is feeling fragile. So when her best friend Melissa suggests the two of them go to their school reunion, she’s reluctant as Anna’s school days weren’t her happiest. The evening is going well until she meets the boy who made her school life hell.
But the grown up Will is different and Anna is surprised by the direction her life takes. The reunion sets in motion a series of events that lead Anna to realise things will never be the same again.
‘Reunion of the Heart’ is a romance that will lead you to ponder whether love can atone for past mistakes.

It’s available to buy on Amazon and here are the links:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Reunion-Heart-Elaine-Jeremiah-ebook/dp/B00ML03PZO/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408090441&sr=1-3&keywords=elaine+jeremiah

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Reunion-Heart-Elaine-Jeremiah-ebook/dp/B00ML03PZO/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408090418&sr=1-3&keywords=elaine+jeremiah

So please do go and check it out! I’ll be around my computer for most of the day, tweeting and Facebooking etc so why not come and say hi?

A sneak peek at ‘Reunion of the Heart’

RotH-Cover

Well the release of Reunion of the Heart is fast approaching. Only four days to go!!

Now I know most of you don’t take part in WIPpet Wednesday, so you won’t have read any of the excerpts from Reunion of the Heart that I shared.

So… I thought I’d share a spoiler-free excerpt from it with you.  To give you the lowdown on the story, Reunion of the Heart is a romance about Anna, a young woman who returns to her school for a reunion after her friend encourages her to go.  She’s reluctant to go because her school days weren’t her happiest.  But the reunion sets in motion a chain of events that lead Anna to realise her life will never be the same again.

In this excerpt Anna has arrived with her best friend Melissa at her old school for the reunion.  She’s feeling nervous…

Melissa’s voice brought Anna back to the present with a bump.  She’d been so distracted that she had hardly noticed the car slowing down.  Now she felt all unprepared.  As the school loomed up ahead and the car ground to a halt, Anna could feel all her previous anxiety about the event hit her like a blow to the chest.  Am I doing the right thing in going to this thing? she wondered.  It was as if the reunion was her own personal D-day.  

Seeing her old classmates, gauging their reactions to her and making a good impression – she had to get it right or the battle would be lost.  She hadn’t forgotten what Melissa had told her, but being relaxed about it all and keeping it on her terms was easier said than done.

‘Are you OK, Anna?’ Melissa asked her voice concerned.  ‘You’ve been very quiet since we started talking about your parents.  I’m sorry if I’ve brought it all back for you.’

Anna shook her head.  ‘It’s not your fault.  Sometimes I find it hard to face the fact that my parents haven’t been together for years and never will be again.’

Melissa nodded.  ‘So you’re happy to face the brood of vipers now?’

Anna pulled a face.  ‘You make it sound so pleasant.  But yes, I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.  Let’s go inside.’

 ******

 They got out of the car and headed for the entrance.  Anna shivered in the cold wind.  Although it was early March, winter was still clinging on and she was freezing.  Her fancy coat and winter dress weren’t as warm as her puffer jacket and fleeces, but she wanted to look good and so today fashion won out. 

Her long chestnut hair was pulled back into a neat ponytail which Melissa said really suited her.  Anna stumbled a little as she walked; she didn’t wear heels very often.  As they approached the school buildings, memories of being a pupil here flooded back to her.  It was hard to believe that she and her ex classmates were thirty one now.  She and Melissa walked through into the hallway where there was a large banner saying ‘Class of 98’.  A middle aged woman she didn’t recognise was standing there waiting to greet them.

‘Welcome to Mayfield Secondary “Class of 98 Reunion”,’ she said.  ‘In case you don’t remember, the sports hall where the event is being held is at the end of this corridor.  I hope you have a fun evening.’

Anna and Melissa smiled and nodded, though they didn’t need to be directed.  Anna felt as though she had the memory of this place engrained in her mind.  They walked down the corridor which was every bit as long as she remembered.  Loud music from the sports hall drifted towards them.  Melissa gave Anna’s hand a squeeze.

‘It’ll be OK,’ she said softly.  ‘Just remember what I said.  And if you’re really struggling imagine everyone’s naked!’

Anna snorted with laughter and then covered her mouth quickly.  ‘You are quite loopy, Mel,’ she said.

Melissa shrugged.  ‘It’s what a friend taught me once,’ she said.  ‘You’d be surprised how well it can make you feel more relaxed.’

I hope this has whetted your appetite!  I’ll be posting every day on this blog in the run up to the release on Friday.

As always any comments gratefully received! :)