Jake and Lori return to Rehoboth Beach to pick up the threads of family life.
As they look forward to Jake’s first solo tour with Garrett, the album launch and the arrival of the new baby, life is looking good but then a cruel twist fate casts Long Shadows over the Silver Lake family.
Will life ever be the same?
Long Shadows is now available to pre-order on Kindle worldwide
Like many parts of the UK, the weather around here has been icily cold since the start of the year.
It’s no great secret that I hate the cold. I love summer and warm sunshine. However, having said that, I do enjoy a walk on a crisp cold sunny winter’s day (as long as it’s not icy!)
One thing that makes cold winter days bearable is the hood of my winter jacket. The rest of the jacket is a necessity, but I do love that fur-lined hood. (Manmade fur I hasten to add!)
As I walked along the coast road the other night, taking great care not to fall on my ass on the large patches of black ice, I was very grateful for that hood. It sheltered me perfectly from the biting wind, but it got me thinking.
I’ve always loved hoods on my jackets and coats. This is a lifelong love affair.
The earliest hood I can clearly remember was the white fur-edged hood of my red snowsuit jacket. The snowsuit had been brought over from America and, while I had little use for the padded waterproof trousers, I loved the jacket. I wore it until I had long since outgrown it and the sleeves were halfway up my arms!
Then there were school coats with velvet lined hoods. I loved those.
In high school, it was my donkey jacket with its warm hood that kept out the winter chills. I felt a bit like Paddington Bear in that one.
I remember another jacket from my late teens/early twenties that was lilac in colour. It was made from the softest microfibre. I wore that one until it was in tatters.
When I started work, I needed a decent smart raincoat. I’ve always been useless with umbrellas so a hood was a must. I took myself off to M&S and opted for an ankle length cream coat with a large soft draping navy blue velvet-lined hood. It may have been a nightmare to keep clean, but I loved that coat!
Time took its toll on it (and my high heels – I spiked holes in its hem many times! Yes, there was a time when I wore stiletto heels to work.) I replaced with a very similar model in black. Think Scottish Widows advert. I still have it more than twenty years down the line.
There have been numerous winter jackets over the years but all of them have had hoods too. Even my recently purchased leather jacket has a hood.
So, why this lifelong fascination?
Apart from the desire to stay warm and dry, you can get “lost” in a good hood.
It’s your own special personal space in the world. No one can enter it. No one can share it.
These days, as the weight of this crazy world weighs heavy on me, my fur-lined hood has become my winter sanctuary. No one can touch me when I’m in there. No one can disturb me. I’m safe. Secure. Protected.
So, I’d better pause here and offer up an apology to any local friends I may have inadvertently blanked recently!
If I’m out and about on my own with my hood up, I’m not being rude. I’m channelling my lone she-wolf and I’m lost in my own wee world.
(image sourced via Google – credits to the owner Fotocelia)
This week I’d like to introduce you to fellow indie author, Sarah M Reed. I first came across Sarah’s work when I read If I Fell In Love last summer and I’ll be honest I fell just a tiny bit in love with Ray in that book.
The lady herself has a new novel, The Boyfriend Pact, out today- yes, today! (The link to purchase it is below.)
So without further ado, here’s how my recent virtual interview with Sarah went :-
Tell me a bit about yourself. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
When I was seven years old, my first-grade teacher did a unit with our class on how books are created. We all wrote our own story and made it into a book. My book was entered into a schoolwide contest and won a blue ribbon for first place. I have been writing ever since!
Your latest book The Boyfriend Pact is due to be released on 21 Jan 2021. What can you tell me about it without giving away any spoilers?
“The Boyfriend Pact” is a best friends to lovers story that has a little steam and a whole lot of feels. It actually started as a novella that I wrote in high school twenty years ago, but when I dusted it off and set about trying to expand it into a full-length novel, it became something completely different. I love the way it turned out.
Which of your characters do you like most? Why?
Lauren, from my first book, “If I Fell in Love,” is my favorite because she is the most like me. However, Michael, the main character of “The Boyfriend Pact”, is the best book boyfriend a girl could have, so…
Is there one particular person who inspired you to write?
There have been many – starting with that first-grade teacher and on through the years. Recently, I’ve been inspired by the community of other female indie authors who have welcomed me and accompanied me along this journey.
A cruel question, but what’s your favourite book/who’s your favourite author?
Just one?? I am a big fan of rom-coms, so I love Jennifer Crusie, Jill Shalvis and Jo Watson. I’ve read pretty much all of their books. “Faking It” by Crusie and “Nobody but You” by Shalvis are the two books that I could (and have) read over and over again and never tire of.
Tell me a bit about your approach to your writing. Are you a meticulous planner or do you tend towards letting your characters go with the flow?
I am a go with the flow type of writer. I have the characters in mind ahead of time, and a general idea of where the book is heading, but sometimes the characters have their own ideas about things and I have learned to go with them. Their ideas are often better than mine…
I love to write outdoors. Where’s your favourite place to write?
Since I have two little kids to keep an eye on, I do most of my writing at the kitchen table. Keeps me right in the middle of the action!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
In terms of life? Be today who you want to be tomorrow. In terms of writing? Just get it on the page and then clean it up later.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I have found that usually writer’s block happens when I am trying to make the story go in a direction it doesn’t want to go. If I take a step back, think it through, let me imagination go… oftentimes the right path will come to me.
So, what’s next creatively? Are you working on anything else just now?
I am writing a love story for two of the side characters from my previous books: Lexi from “The Boyfriend Pact” and Simon from “If I Fell in Love”. Then I have a romantic suspense I’d like to write, which will be similar in style to my second novel, “In Pursuit of Happily Ever After.” After that, I don’t know.
Let’s finish with a few of Sarah’s favourite things…
Favourite food – ice cream
Favourite drink – just water (boring, I know)
Favourite band – the Beatles
Favourite holiday destination – Disneyland. Seriously. Disneyland at Christmastime is magical.
If you want to catch up with Sarah, here’s the links to her social media:-
I was lucky enough to be given an ARC copy of The Boyfriend Pact a couple of weeks ago. I was curious right from the start about where this storyline was headed. Within a few pages I felt totally invested in these characters’ lives. This is one of these books you can hear in your head as you’re reading it. More importantly, its one you can feel too. I’m not about to give any spoilers away here but this tale is filled with love- the kind of love you find in friendships, family and in relationships. I love how Sarah captures the quaintness of Winston Prairie. I could also hear the buzz and smell the cooking in the scenes involving Michael’s family. Great read. Don’t believe me then check it out for yourself.
Last week the proof copy of Book Baby 6 aka Long Shadows arrived. Look isn’t it pretty?
Now I’m scrutinising it for errors- inverted commas that are the wrong way round, spacing errors in the text, spacing errors in chapter headings, spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes, continuity errors…. and, of course, those evil commas that move around pages when your back is turned!
The list goes on and on…..
These last few weeks before the launch of a new book baby into the world are the most stressful part of the whole process.
Writing it is the easy part!
Then comes the next challenge- promoting it and marketing it. I’m going to be brutally honest – I suck at that part!
I’ve tried Facebook ad campaigns. I’ve tried Amazon ad campaigns. I’ve self-promoted on numerous book promotion sites. I’ve updated my GoodReads page and my BookBub page. I’ve self-promoted on my own author Facebook page. I’ve shared it on Instagram and Twitter. I’ve shared it on this blog page. Several wonderful friends have helped by sharing my posts on their social media.
I feel like I’ve sold my soul and there’s still over a month till its release date!
So, if you want to take pity on the poor wee stressed out indie author and want to pre-order a copy of Long Shadows, here’s the links:
I was checking back on my previous first blog posts of the year and noticed that I never set any goals for 2020…maybe some sixth sense was already at play there.
While I was out for a walk at the weekend, I was thinking about potential goals for 2021. (Ever the optimist)
Creatively, there are two that I’ll strive for:
Publish Long Shadows on 14 February 2021 (with the hope of getting at least 25 pre-orders before then…. yes that was a hint!)
Post one blog on here every week.
In life, there’s just one:
To live in a world once more where we can hug our friends and family.
I think the first two might be easier to achieve….
It’s a crazy, screwed up, cruel world we’re living in. No matter what goals you set for yourself this year, I wish you health and happiness to achieve them. As my mantra says – dreams get you started, discipline keeps you going.