Loved this x
View original post 235 more words
Loved this x
View original post 235 more words
“While I appreciate your efforts darling, when I said ‘masked crusader’ I was thinking more along the lines of ….. Zorro?”
Thank you to the lovely Linda G Hill for the chance to be part of #1linerWednesday
A day out with my twenty year old London-based daughter, Westminster Abbey the destined venue of perusal. Tickets pre-booked and in we sailed, past the waiting crowds feeling a little like royalty ourselves as the brass-ended rope was unhooked especially.
The only reason my makeup was intact was because I’d put down the book. THE book? Yes, THE book I’d been waiting since February to get my hands on, that’s the 10th February to be precise. Let me explain.
On 10th February, I attended my first meeting having joined the Romantic Novelists Association. Having got my shit together – thanks to Sarah Knight – I’d also become a member of an online FB reading group since October the last year called The Fiction Cafe Book Club (and from those members, had been invited to join their private Writers Group). Emma Cooper was a fellow-member and her debut’s release was imminent as we approached Christmas.
In the privacy of the FB chats, she shared her anguish and hopes that readers would enjoy her story, that they would ‘get’ Melody, her main character who bursts into song at moments of stress or high emotion (this is not a spoiler as that snippet you’ll find on the blurb on the back of the book!).
Back at that February meeting, after some mutual nervous but enthusiastic introductions with fellow aspiring authors sitting waiting for the talks to start, not only did I find myself sitting behind Katie Fford, I listened to an amazing talk by the then buyer for WHSmith Travel. Matt was responsible for choosing which titles are displayed on the shelves at airports and larger train stations, limited space being factor. He was so passionate about his role and read books before their release day in, day out. He had an eye for knowing what us mere mortal readers and weary travellers would be keen to grab before embarking on a journey. When Emma’s book came up on the OHP as one of his six predicted stars of 2018 in the Commercial Fiction UpLit category, I had to glue myself to the seat and sit on my hands.
What I wanted to do was jump up and shout “Excuse me? I know Emma! Well, not like truly know her – yet – but we talk on this FB group often and I’ve watched her deal with the process in the background, OMG!!!” Yet all around me, were these experts and multi-published authors calmly taking in the titles and authors which would be gracing our kindles and handbags and desks. I mean, LOOK, JoJo Moyes and Jill Mansell is in that list!! eeeeeeek
Anwyay, fast forward a few months and ‘Songs’ (as Emma often refers to it) went live on kindle but I held fast to the notion that I wanted the paperback version. My regular followers will know I prefer to hold a book, yet have enjoyed many kindle titles and do see the benefits. The reviews started flowing in and Matt had been right to earmark the title as a potential bestseller. The weeks passed and Emma and her agent, Amanda Preston at LBA, prepared for the launch of the paperback.
With my flights booked to Spain on 20th September, my dream of buying a copy from an airport was within my grasp. Emma was nervous that even though the travel section of WHS usually acquire paperbacks earlier than the High St, copies might not have found their way into Gatwick, but the system did not let me down, and her worries only go to show the incredibly modest nature of this woman and author.
So, why did I just give this book 5 stars on Amazon this morning?
Was it because I’ve two children which mirrors the personal motherhood situation of Melody, or did I relate to some of Melody’s family life hurdles because our team of four (as Man of the Woods like to refer to us) has had some of our own? Was it because I recognised pretty much every song so carefully woven into the prose by Emma, illustration Melody’s uncontrollable condition? Or was it because Emma’s ability to take everyday scenarios and create the most hysterical metaphors and similes such that you know immediately what she means?
It was all of these things, and more. My God. I could barely speak after the final scene.
Twice on Saturday I had mentally prepared myself to finish those last six pages, once on the jubilee line and once outside the Abbey sat in the Cloisters, but on both occasions – within seconds – I’d crack and have to gulp back escaping tears. My daughter was like “What the … Oh God, have you not finished it yet?”
Thank goodness for the Epilogue. I was able to end on a smile but was still shocked with the intensity of the reality Emma created in those pages. (I’m sure she’s probably been lying to us and this isn’t her debut, but her twentieth book of esteemed writing). I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘experience’ whilst reading it. You know I love an emotional tale and this is going to be hard to beat. For me, as a reading experience, it was just as good as Audrey Niffenegger’s ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ and Julie Cohen’s ‘Together’ and those both blew me away.
The breath of a thousand histories whisper on the surface, while sleek silver bodies sing their moment in time against the flow.
A rippling mirror gifts me the sky, roots reach down the banks into liquid life and I dream of you…
Oh God 🤡 and good morning to you too! … Man of The Woods’ attempt to scare me on waking in a beautiful Shropshire setting, almost on the border to Wales.
I adore apple maps… I adore apples too and don’t eat enough of them.
This one MoW picked for me last night as we dutifully took a drive around the farm to check on all the baby crops’ progress. He likes (and needs) to check whether the early shoots of rapeseed oil plants have been ravaged by slugs or flea beetle.
Messing about in the stream at the camp site was fun and I took my present read, Katerina Diamond’s The Secret. This is one gritty read, plenty of blood and guts with occasional graphic descriptions of abuse by the bad guys.
You know how I love a dark read and this delivers!
If you’re more of a Rosemary & Thyme viewer, you may enjoy it less than if you prefer an episode of Luther. However the writing is worthy of mention because the plot unfolding keeps you on the edge of your seat, a who-can-you-trust type of thread.
Katerina weaves two stories into the pages, two years apart, and naturally towards the end, she brings them together with plenty of OMG, really? moments.
Detective Imogen Grey is the main character in all three of Katerina’s books in this series and the third, The Angel, I have ready to go. The first, The Teacher, I have yet to read but they do stand alone so it’s not the end of the world to read them out of order.
I took this from the passenger seat and being away with both your adult children and their respective other halves is a real treat. The fact they are happy to spend precious time off work with us means the world.
Shropshire is not an area I’ve been to much and we shall definitely be going back, when the farming calendar allows MoW another break.
While this is all very nice, I’ve work to do.
En route to the camp site, I made lots of notes about moving chapters about within my WIP, in response to the brilliant feedback I received a week ago. I’m going to start with one of my favourite chapters, which I hope includes a great hook, lots of questions for the reader but contains the emotion needed to captivate their attention. We meet Antonio in this chapter, rather than Martha. Her first chapter was sweet, with a little mystery.
It was Rosemary & Thyme.
I want Luther 🎯
But I can’t reach!
That’s ok. It’s all about effort
So I was washing my highlighted hair with L’Oreal Profressional Magnesium Silver shampoo; a really deep midnight blue mixture which stains the minute it touches anything other than blonde hair – on which it cleverly counteracts any yellow tendencies which can creep up on highlighted hair.
The white shower curtain is flecked with mauve suds as I hum ABBA’s Dancing Queen yet have no idea when I shall next be bopping. As I rinse me, the curtain and the tiles quickly from the offending, but highly effective, what in essence is a blue rinse, I notice Man of the Woods’ white shirt in a heap on the floor.
His clothes never make the laundry basket – just a vague notion of the bathroom in passing and occasionally, like now, the bathroom floor (which is better than the landing so we won’t moan).
Stepping out over the shirt, and delighting at my reflection in the mirror at the face-lift effect that twisting a large towel on top of my head creates, my periphery vision catches purple splodges on said shirt. Must rinse that.
After a gruelling yoga for beginners class this morning (because I’ve forgotten everything and need to start again with my down-dogs) we are going out to lunch. In a pub. Excellent. The joys of post-harvest; I don’t have to wait for my husband to leave the office at 6pm – he’s right here, under my feet!
From somewhere a voice calls;
MoW: “Have you seen my white shirt?”
Me: “No? Must be in the wash! Why not wear the blue one?”
MoW: “Can do, but I really like the white one.” I hear him shuffle off down the landing.
Twenty minutes later…. entering the kitchen.
MoW: “What are you doing?”
Me: “Just thought I’d wash the bedding – great weather for drying and the sun is great for whites!” armfuls of duvet cover and sheet are forced into the washing machine, expertly hiding a garment.
MoW: “You never do housework – and you decide to do some just as we go out?”
Me: “Yes well ..” I stand up and grin “I’ve heard there’s an award going round. For best wife!”
Are you on cloud nine?
Noughts and crosses
Dressed to the nines!
The whole nine yards.
A stitch in time saves nine.
A cat o’ nine tails….