Just a short WIPpet

Hi all. How are you doing? (Yes, OK I sound just like Joey from Friends!) Anyway I hope all is well with you. I’m still fighting off this virus – I’m taking a long time to get rid of it. Urgh.

So because I’m tired and not wanting to do too much as I don’t want to be too knackered to do go out tonight, I’m sharing with you nine lines for the month from my WIP, which I’m tentatively calling Teaching Mr Leavis. (Thanks to all of you who commented on my WIPpet a couple of weeks ago with ideas on how I could tweak the title!)

In this scene my MC Rebecca is at her sister Maria’s house and they’re having a heated discussion about who should deal with their parents. I should add that Rebecca grudgingly accepted a life home from Jonathan Leavis the previous evening. That’s all I’m gonna say though…

Rebecca watched as her sister shut the cupboard door with unnecessary force and turned to her. Her brow was furrowed; Rebecca could feel an argument brewing and she wished herself back in Jonathan Leavis’s car – anywhere was better than here.

‘I don’t see why you had to dump them on me, Rebecca,’ Maria said, her face red.

Rebecca sighed and picked at the piece of cake on the plate in front of her. She raised her eyes to her sister. ‘I can’t cope with Mum and Dad descending on me at the moment, Maria,’ she said. ‘School’s just too busy and…’

‘That’s always your excuse, Rebecca, isn’t it?’ Maria interrupted. ‘I mean, come on, it’s been months now.’

And that’s all you’re getting! If you’ve never taken part in WIPpet Wednesday and you think it’s something you’d like to do, all you have to do to join in is post an excerpt on your blog of whatever you’ve been working on writing-wise lately. All we ask is that it relates in some way to the date. Then add your details here. And don’t forget to check out the other WIPpeteers’ offerings as well.

Thank you oh Queen of the Monkeys K. L. Schwengel for hosting us. :)

An olive branch – WIPpet Wednesday

Olive branchHow are you all this Wednesday? I hope OK. I’m feeling a bit rubbish today but thankfully I don’t have too much to do.

Just a quick mention about Reunion of the Heart – I’m still after people to read it and review it for me. So if you or anyone you know fancy a free copy of Reunion of the Heart in exchange for a fair and honest review, please let me know. Thanks!

OK enough of that and on with today’s WIPpet.  It’s another excerpt from my current WIP and… drum roll please… I’ve thought of a title!  Yay!  I’m thinking of calling it Teaching Him, but I’m not absolutely sure I’m going to keep that title.  I’ve looked it up on Amazon and there are a couple of… ahem… erotic novels with those words in the title.  But anyway let me know what you think, if you think it’s awful/could be better.  I want to know!

This excerpt carries on from the previous two WIPpets which I’ve shared with you.  You can read them here and here.  Last week we left Rebecca and the nasty parent Jonathan Leavis at an impasse.  I’m sharing with nine paragraphs for the ninth month:

Then as she was sitting virtually glaring at him, she was surprised to see his lips twitch.  Rebecca thought she was seeing things; seconds ago he’d clearly been so angry.  He looked as though he were trying to suppress a smile, though why on earth… Thinking quickly she decided to offer him an olive branch.

‘Mr Leavis, take your complaint to Mrs Morsley if you must.  But if it would help I’d be happy to offer Daniel some extra tuition – at no extra cost to you.  If he’d be willing to stay behind at school, say one afternoon a week for up to an hour, I could give him a bit of help.’ Though I’m sure Daniel won’t be thrilled by that idea, she thought grimly.  And I could certainly do without the extra work.  But if it’ll keep Mr Leavis off my back…

‘Yes, all right,’ he replied leaning back in his chair and clasping his hands behind his head, appraising her.  A smile played on his lips; the thunderous look had gone.

Rebecca felt self-conscious all of a sudden, as though she were on display and Audi-Man had paid money just to see her squirm.  Her face hot, she felt the need to fan herself and she reached for her glass of water, taking a sip.  Mr Leavis continued to watch her, a half-smile on his face transforming it into a real human being’s.

‘Good,’ she nodded.  ‘I’ll make the arrangements for tutoring Daniel.  I think we ought to get this underway as soon as possible.’

‘Agreed,’ he replied leaning towards her.  He was so close to her; she could feel his breath gentle on her forehead.  As he looked into her eyes, she saw that his were such a dark brown that in the artificial light of the hall, they reminded her of two obsidian stones. She tried hard not to flinch.  Why was he behaving so erratically, she wondered.  One minute he had in in for her and the next he was being… Well she couldn’t call it charming, but still she was glad he’d stopped glaring at her.

And then he stood up; she stood too and they shook hands.  Mr Leavis’ hand was warm and strong in her own.  He towered over her, an imposing figure.

‘Goodbye, Miss Engleton,’ he said.  ‘I expect we’ll be seeing more of each other.’

‘Goodbye, Mr Leavis,’ she muttered and watched as he strode out of the hall. Rebecca almost fell back into her chair, picked up a piece of paper from the table and fanned her face.

So there you have it.  If you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post an excerpt on your blog of whatever you’ve been working on writing-wise lately.  All we ask is that it relates in some way to the date.  Then add your name here. Don’t forget to check out all the other WIPpeteers’ contributions.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel for being our lovely hostess. :)

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 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! :)

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.