Tag Archives: #newfiction

Riley….coming 2022…. a little sneak peek inside

A little sneak peek to tease you……

Around her the bedroom was lit by half a dozen candles, their shadows dancing on the walls. A delicate vanilla fragrance filled the room. The gothic palace lay silent. It was almost midnight. Sitting cross-legged in the middle of the large four-poster bed, Riley sat staring down at the CD in her hands. Her CD. Her debut album that was due to be released worldwide on the stroke of midnight.

A box of CDs had been delivered that morning with a note from the record company saying simply, “Autograph these in time for the launch party on February 29th.” She’d signed her way through two silver Sharpie markers before all the CD inserts were autographed. At Garrett’s suggestion, she’d practiced her autograph on a few sheets of paper before deciding how she wanted to sign it. Initially it had been fun sitting at Garrett’s huge rosewood dining table signing the insert for each disc but after the first fifty or so the novelty swiftly wore off. Two hours later she had finished the chore. All of the discs had been signed -all bar one. The one she held in her trembling hands.

Introducing indie author BH Lynn

This week I’d like to introduce you to fellow indie author BH Lynn. Our paths crossed through a mutual love of the same music (Yes, it involves Alter Bridge and Myles …stop rolling your eyes! LOL) and I’m delighted that she spared me some time recently to answer a few questions about both her debut Scars and Souvenirs and her new novel As It Was. So, without further ado…

Tell me a bit about yourself. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I’m an accountant by day, and a wife and dog mom by night when I’m not trying to do this crazy thing called writing (Or watching Hockey!). I’ve always had a creative drive. I played multiple instruments and toyed around with writing poetry as a teen, but I never thought I had what it took to fully develop characters. I actually didn’t pick up reading and seriously writing until about three years ago. After graduating from college, I was looking for a new challenge, and I truly enjoy the way writing is something I can always be working at.

Your latest book As It Was is due to be released on 15th April 2022. It’s the second book in the series charting Aiden and Jason’s story. What can you tell me about it without giving away any spoilers?

As It Was picks up about 7 months after Scars and Souvenirs ends and is from Jason’s POV this time. It’s a story about how as a relationship grows, you have to learn to grow with it. Like many of us, Jason has his own scars, and though they aren’t as visible as Aiden’s, they are just as real. His own past is becoming harder to ignore, and if he doesn’t get a handle on how to address the way he views his own vulnerabilities, it’s going to cost him the future that he and Aiden are fighting for. 

Which of your characters do you like most? Why?

While I deeply love all my characters (even the one’s no one else has met) Aiden is my baby. He came to me in a time when I most needed him, and though I never set out to make him a version of myself, he helped me work through my own insecurities as he did so through book one. He’s as real to me as any friend I’ve ever had, and that might make me sound crazy, but I’ve been called worse.

What drew you to write MM romance?

MM romance offers me a world where I can relate to characters, love their love, root for them, and as a woman, not feel the urge to compare myself to them like in a traditional romance. Traditional romances I’d read portrayed women as in need of a relationship to be seen or made them into hypersexual beings which I am not. I don’t enjoy reading a book and thinking “Why aren’t I like that? Is something wrong with me?”. Also, MM romance offers a great power balance and unique issues for relationships to overcome. It just felt like home from the beginning.

Is there one particular person who inspired you to write?

I was once close friends with another Author who turned me onto the genre by asking me to BETA/ARC read for them. We unfortunately had a falling out, but they planted the seed. It was after I read the Snow and Winter Mysteries by C.S. Poe that I got the urge to write in first person, and that totally changed the game for me! I credit her with helping me find my voice.

A cruel question, but what’s your favourite book/who’s your favourite author?

This probably should be harder than it is for me to answer, but The Mystery of the Curiosities by C.S. Poe is my favourite book. Sebastian Snow is that lightning in the bottle character for me, and the vulnerabilities shown by him, and his hero love interest Calvin were just so darn genuine in that book. Even the hero needs help sometimes. I felt so seen by that series, and the mysteries are absolutely bizarre and a lot of fun to read. C.S. Poe is my favourite author, but Gregory Ashe and Josh Lanyon are right up there.

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?

No matter how many times I say it’s the opposite way around, my characters are the boss and I’m just along for the ride. I do very little outlining or planning. I go in with points A, H, Q, and Z. They fill in the rest.

I love to write outdoors. Where’s your favourite place to write?

I also love to write outside, but I do some of my best work at Starbucks. No idea why. I think it’s because it’s the only place where I’m not being interrupted with curiosity about what my husband is doing, or the urge to hug my really cute dog who also wants to go outside 100 times a day.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

O gosh. Pretty much anything the great Gregory Ashe has said to me. Especially when it comes to pacing and not trying to fit a chapter into a certain length etc. Just let the scenes be the scenes and the sequels be the sequels, no matter how many or how little words it takes to convey it. I got really obsessive about that at one time and since I’ve abandoned that, I’ve found my execution of my objectives has been much easier.

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors out there?

Do it for you. At the end of the day, readers, purchases, reviews…none of those things are promised. Write what you want for you, and if it happens to bring joy to someone else, that’s a nice big cherry on top.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

By reading. If I’m stuck on something, I go read something that is far from what I’m writing as a way of resetting my brain. So if I’m writing hurt comfort, I’ll go read a mystery etc. Also, I’ll sit down and write my characters doing something totally mundane and not related to the story. Sometimes I learn something about them that unclogs the mental jam.

So, what’s next creatively? Are you working on anything else just now?

While Aiden and Jason have a third story on deck, I plan to switch up and release the first story in my LEO/whodunnit series next. I think it’ll be nice to get back to two other characters I love who have wildly different stories. I don’t want to burn myself or anyone else out on one set of characters. I think it’ll light an even bigger fire in me when I’m ready to return to story three.

Then for a bit of fun:

Favourite food A big fat juicy cheeseburger!

Favourite drink Caramel Macchiato’s

Favourite band Alter Bridge. Their music saved me more times than I can count.

Favourite holiday destination Chicago, Illinois. I just love that city!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? Teleporting, because I hate driving! Also, I would love to travel but also don’t really enjoy flying. I just want to click my fingers and be somewhere else. That’d be ideal for me.

Scars and Souvenirs review

BH Lynn’s debut novel is the first MM romance to cross my radar. Within a few pages I was captivated by Aiden’s vulnerability. When Jason was introduced, my protective “momma” mode kicked in.  Would he be good enough for Aiden? No spoilers from me so if you want to know the answer to that you’ll need to read Scars And Souvenirs for yourself. Both central characters are strong characters that are each other’s Yin and Yang. The chemistry just works here. I have a clear picture of Jason in my head. Aiden less so.

There’s a sensitively handled subtlety to this tale. It drew me in. I was quickly invested in this one and am already looking forward to reading book 2 As It Was when it is released next month.

Great debut novel.

As It Was

Jason: Three fourths. Seventy five percent. It was a passing grade in school, so why wouldn’t one accept such when it came to life?

After eight years in a disastrous relationship with a controlling drug addict named Ben, I’d resigned myself to being the type of person who just wasn’t meant to find love. I’d stepped up to the plate, swung my bat more times than any umpire would allow, then finally struck out. I had a great career, great friends and family, and over three years I’d hardly found myself missing all that comes with being in a relationship. That was until I met Aiden.

Aiden made me realize I’d been swallowing down that lie for so long that I’d almost convinced myself it was true.

But even the best relationships run into issues, and when my past comes back with a vengeance to threaten my future, I discover that there’s more damage left inside of me than I ever wanted to admit. As my instincts to protect Aiden from that part of my life go astray, and the missteps and pressures add up, I realize that I have to make a decision that will greatly impact our future:

Keep trying to hold my head above water and protect the persona of strength I’d fought for years to build.

 Or risk looking like the fraud I feel like I am sometimes and admit insecurities I’ve tried to bury before they drown me.

Can I find the strength to make the right choice in the face of the type of discomfort I’d sworn away after Ben? Can Aiden and I both fight our own fights and still fight for each other? Or will it all be too much, and life will return to as it was?

UK links:

Scars and Souvenirs : Aiden and Jason #1 eBook : Lynn, B.H. : Amazon.co.uk: Books

As It Was: Aiden and Jason Part Two eBook : Lynn, B.H.: Amazon.co.uk: Books

 Amazon.co.uk: B.H. Lynn: Books, Biography, Blogs, Audiobooks, Kindle

US/rest of the world links:

Scars and Souvenirs : Aiden and Jason #1 – Kindle edition by Lynn, B.H. . Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

As It Was: Aiden and Jason Part Two – Kindle edition by Lynn, B.H.. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

 Amazon.com: B.H. Lynn: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Huge thanks to BH Lynn for her time. Please check out her books on Amazon this holiday weekend. They go great with chocolate!

And the title of Book Baby 7 is……

One year, one month, one week and one day after I first put pen to paper I am thrilled (excited and terrified) to reveal that Book Baby 7 is…… Riley.

All things going to plan, Riley will be published during Autumn 2022.

Save the date….

Watch this space for news about Book Baby 7……

Silently Watching By The Light Of The Ice Moon – postscript

Keeping his wings securely folded around them, Jem paused to take a deep breath. The unconscious dark angel was a dead weight in his arms, and he knew he couldn’t hold her for much longer. Praying that he had made the right decision, he slowly unfurled his wings and looked anxiously round the room they’d arrived in.

“A welcome surprise,” commented Stefan from his seat by the fire.

“Help me,” Jem gasped. “I can’t hold her for much longer.”

Without hesitation, the senior vampire was on his feet and moved swiftly to lift the dark angel into his arms. She stirred but didn’t regain consciousness.

“Thank you,” breathed Jem, feeling more than a little lightheaded.

“Help yourself to wine,” offered Stefan as he carefully laid the stricken vampiress on the chaise that sat beneath the window. Gently, he laid a soft fur across her. “Can I assume that neither your mother nor my daughter knows that you are here?”

“When I don’t return, they’ll soon figure it out,” replied Jem as he poured himself a generous goblet of wine.

“Meryn is my most skilled healer,” commented Stefan, coming to join him by the fire. “Sit, son. Please.”

“I think we’ll need her,” stated Jem as he took a seat. “Anna’s in a bad way.”

“So I see” nodded the head of the Court of the Elders. “I’ll be honest, I had my doubts when Trine and your mother told the court about how broken Anna was. I was wrong to doubt them.”

“She was in a bad way when I found her tonight. Worse than she’s been for weeks.”

“Found her? I thought she was staying in your home?” quizzed Stefan, looking confused.

“She was,” replied Jem. “When you summoned my mother and Trine back here, Anna attacked me and took off. My mother said she used magic.” He paused, not wanting to reveal his mother’s secrets, then continued, “I went to look for her. Found her lying in an old stone watch tower a couple of miles away. She passed out when I picked her up.”

“And you chose to bring her here instead of to your beach home?” Stefan stared at the younger vampire with one eyebrow raised quizzically.

Jem nodded. Indicating the slashes on his cheek, he said, “I did it to protect my mother and your daughter. Anna’s dangerous. Unhinged.”

Stefan nodded, “You acted wisely and with bravery, Jeremiah.”

Jem flinched at the sound of his full given name.

“I won’t kill her while she’s injured,” he stated with a soft defiance. “You need to help her. Heal her.”

“Did you even have a plan for killing her?” challenged Stefan, wholly suspecting that the younger man would have no answer for him.

“Yes. I was going to trick her into drinking some of my blood. Its poisonous to her but I know that she’s attracted by it,” he replied plainly.

“Curious. Why would your blood be toxic to her?” mused Stefan.

“She said something once about a common bloodline.”

“Possible. Interesting. I need to give that more consideration,” Stefan acknowledged. “For now, though, she needs a healer, and you need rest. “

Before Jem could reply, he rang a small bell and one of his household stewards appeared almost instantly.

“Please show our guest to his chamber. Same apartments as last time he visited us. Unlock the door to the private sitting room too,” instructed Stefan. “Jem, I’ll send for you in the morning. We have a lot to discuss. Go. Rest. Don’t worry, I’ll take good care of her.”

“You promise not to harm her?”

“I promise,” assured Stefan sincerely. “You have my word. I’ll have her carried to a secure suite of rooms. You can see her in the morning.”

“Thank you.”

Fatigue threatened to overwhelm Jem as he followed the young steward through the maze of corridors and stairwells to his room. When he entered the familiar chamber, there was already a fire blazing in the hearth and the room was warm. A previously locked door was open, revealing a small sitting room beyond. He could see that a fire had been lit in there too and that a plate of food sat on the table beside the fireside chair along with a jug of wine and a pewter goblet.

“I’ll bid you goodnight, sir,” said the steward with a small bow. “If you need anything, just ring the bell. Someone will attend you.”

“Thank you.”

“Pleasure, sir.”

Wearily, he wandered through to the small sitting room, poured a goblet of wine then sank into the leather chair with a sigh. As he gazed into the flames dancing in the wide hearth, Jem wondered if he had truly acted wisely.

Silently Watching By The Light Of The Ice Moon

Frost sparkled on the rocks around him as he sat on the shore. In front of him, moonlight shimmered on the still, dark river. All around him, everything was blanketed in silence. He gazed up at the almost full moon. “Two more nights until its full,” he thought to himself. “Two more nights until they’re back.”

Sub-consciously, he touched his cheek. Four ragged gashes ran from the corner of his eye down into his bearded jawline. Blood still oozed from them.

He had two nights to put things right.

A fire burned in the grate, its flames sending shadows dancing across the stone walls of the chamber. Both women sat in silence watching the flames, almost as if they were seeking inspiration in them.

“We tell your father the truth,” said Meryn softly. “Tell him everything.”

“Everything?”

“Everything relating to Anna,” replied the older woman. Smiling, she added, “Maybe keep the truth about your depth of feelings for my son quiet for now. Let’s see what fate he proposes for our friend first.”

Silently, Trine nodded.

A tray of food lay untouched on the table. With a sigh, Meryn got to her feet, crossed the chamber, and poured them both a full goblet of blood infused wine.

“Here,” she said, offering the cup to the Ice Maiden. “Drink this. We both need to keep our strength up.”

“Are we on trial?” asked the younger woman anxiously.

“No,” Meryn assured her calmly. “We may both be reprimanded but tomorrow’s court meeting is not a trial. If we both tell the same truth, we’ll be fine.”

“And what will happen to her?” Trine paused then almost whispered “And to Jem?”

“Time will tell,” began Meryn, sipping thoughtfully on her wine. “I expect Stefan will demand that we bring Anna to him. We can argue that she’s still not strong enough to stand trial. She’s still unable to hunt. Unable to care for herself. She needs to be fit and well to face the Court of the Elders, Trine.”

“And Jem?” she repeated.

“He’ll be expected to honour the deal he struck with Stefan.”

“And then my father will honour his deal and…”

“No!” interrupted Meryn sharply. “I will not allow that deal to be honoured.”

“Can you prevent it though?”

“I’m working on it,” promised the older vampiress warmly. “Everything’s going to work out, my dear. Trust me.”

Alone on the beach, Jem reflected on the events of the day. The sun had barely set when his mother and Trine had been summoned back to the Court of the Elders. There had scarcely been time to say goodbye before both women vanished. From the shadows of the heavy curtain that served as a door to his bedroom, Anna had watched the entire scene.

Pausing to pick up a small blue tipped feather that had fluttered to the ground as Trine had been transported back to her father’s castle, Anna had walked across the room, her injured wing dragging uselessly behind her. Twirling the feather round between her finger and thumb, she commented, “Well, it looks like it’s just you and me, Son of Perran. Just like old times.”

“If you say so,” he muttered sourly.

“You’ll never be able to do it,” purred the dark angel, stepping towards him. Gently, she ran the feather down his cheek. “You don’t have it in you.”

“Don’t I?” he challenged, staring at her intently.

“No. You don’t,” she stated with a smug smile.

“Well, all we can do is wait till Trine or my mother returns,” he replied, swiping her hand away. “We’ll see what Stefan has in store for both of us then.”

“No, I don’t think so,” she said coldly. “I think I’ve out-stayed my welcome here. I’ve imposed on your hospitality for too long.”

“You’re going nowhere,” he growled angrily.

Letting go of the feather, the dark angel reached out as she murmured an incantation. Her fingernails turned to steel blades in an instant and before he could move to defend himself, she’d slashed his face then vanished in a swirl of smoky green light.

A purple tipped feather lay on the floor beside the blue one.

Staring out into the darkness, the runner deliberated what to do next. Did he wait until he heard from Trine or his mother? Or did he try to re-capture the dark angel before they returned?

Breathing heavily, the dark angel lay in a crumpled heap on a leaf littered, stone floor. She’d acted on impulse with merely a split second to determine her destination. Glancing round in the moonlit shadows, she knew she’d missed her mark but how far off course was she?

Standing side by side outside the door that led into the Court of the Elders, both women waited in silence. Sensing the younger woman’s fear, Meryn reached out and took her hand, whispering, “Trust me.”

Before Trine could reply, the door swung open, and they were ushered inside. Flanked by Michael and Alessandro, Stefan sat behind the oak table. His face betrayed no emotion; his hands were folded in front of him.

“Good morning, ladies,” he greeted them, keeping his tone even. “I trust that you are well-rested.”

“We are,” replied Meryn, her own voice cold and emotionless. “Cut to the chase, Stefan.”

“Such impatience, Meryn,” he commented. “But, fine, I’ll cut to the chase.” He paused to stare at each of the women in turn. “You have both lied to me. By lying to me, you have lied to the Court of the Elders.”

“Neither of us has lied,” interrupted Meryn bluntly. “We may not have revealed the full truth but there were no lies.”

“Well, let’s start by revealing that “full truth” now then, shall we?” he suggested. “Can you both please advise this court how you came to be living with our errant sister, Anna, instead of bringing her here to face trial? Can you perhaps explain why your son did not kill her on sight as agreed, Meryn?”

“We were nursing her back to full health to bring her to you, father,” explained Trine, her voice shaking with nerves. “I fought with her almost seven moons ago. I thought I’d killed her, but Jem found her lying injured three moons after the fight. She was too weak to face trial or to travel. I asked Meryn to come to me. She came to my aid without knowing who she was to heal.”

“Care to start this tale from the beginning,” said Stefan calmly. “Include all the details. Leave nothing out.”

It took several hours but finally, as the candles around the chamber burned low, Meryn and Trine finished their account. The three male vampires had listened intently, occasionally interrupting to seek clarification. When they’d told their tale, Stefan bowed his head. He sat deep in thought for a few long silent minutes then said, “I believe all that you’ve testified here today to be true.”

For the first time since they’d entered the chamber, Trine felt a glimmer of hope.

“How confident are you that she remains incapacitated?” asked Alessandro, his Italian accent echoing round the otherwise silent room.

“Confident,” stated Meryn. “She’s unable to fly due to her injuries. She’s barely able to get out of bed un-aided. She can’t hunt.”

Alessandro nodded then commented, “You’ll recall Anna trained with a mage in North Africa some time ago. When her training was complete, she drained him of life. How confident are you that she’s lost the skills he taught her? Does she still possess that magic?”

Exchanging anxious glances, the two women stood in mute silence, unable to truthfully answer the question.

“Have you placed your son in danger by leaving him alone with her, Meryn?” asked Michael softly. “Anna has never shown any signs of compassion. What’s to stop her from killing him now that you’re not there?”

Meryn paled visibly. It was Trine who found her voice first.

“I don’t believe she’ll kill Jem,” she began. “She loves him too much.”

Stefan nodded slowly, “I believe you’re correct, daughter, but your mate may still be in grave danger left alone with her if that magic remains intact.”

“Then send us back there tonight,” proposed Meryn. “Together the three of us stand a better chance of controlling things than my son does on his own.”

“You both need to feed first. Hunt tonight and you may return to them at dawn,” stated Stefan, his tone leaving no room for debate.

Using some of the medical supplies he’d procured to help with the dark angel’s wounds, Jem cleaned the four deep slashes on his cheek. They were ragged and deep and should probably be stitched but he had nothing to close them with. He would have to take his chances that they would heal without leaving him too badly scarred.

Instead of going to bed at dawn as he usually did, he threw some more logs into the wood burner, poured a large glass of blood infused wine, and sat staring into the flames, seeking a solution to the key Anna dilemma – where had she gone?

Using her magic had drained the dark angel of all of her limited energy. She had crawled into the corner of whatever ruined building she had landed in, covered herself with leaves to disguise her presence from prying eyes and slept from dawn til dusk.

When she awoke, she was still weak, but she found the strength to get to her feet. In the fading light, she managed to work out that she’d transported herself into the ruined chapel beside the main house in the grounds of the estate that lay to the north of the village. Her aim had been less than accurate, but she was less than a mile from home. If she could get back there, she could use her magic to try to restore her damaged wing.

First though she needed to feed and in her current physical state she was unable to hunt. Cursing her damaged wing under her breath, she walked across the chapel to the doorway. There were sheep in the field beyond. A possibility but they were likely to run the moment they sensed her. In the field across the driveway to the south, she could see that there were horses gathered together under one of the old oak trees. They were less likely to run if she approached.

Keeping to the darkest shadows, she walked slowly across the field, trailing her wing through fallen leaves and mud. As she suspected, the sheep scattered as soon as they sensed her in their field.

Car headlights approaching up the driveway sent her scurrying for shelter in the dark shadows behind a huge oak tree. With her heart pounding and her legs trembling, Anna watched as it continued its way up to the “big house.” Satisfied that it was safe, she continued her journey to the field where the horses were still gathered beneath a tree, munching on the contents of a hay net. There were three of them, two chestnuts and a grey. None of them flinched as she walked down the grassy slope towards them. It was decision time. A thick prominent vein in the grey’s neck caught her eye. That was sign enough for her.

As the two chestnut beasts fled in terror, the dark angel drank greedily from the pale coloured horse, draining its life from it swiftly.

Shortly before dawn, Meryn and Trine were summoned to Stefan’s private study. When they entered, they found him sitting alone, gazing into the depths of the wine goblet in his hands.

“Are you ready to take your leave?” he asked without looking up.

“Yes,” replied Meryn. “As soon as you say that we can.”

“You can on one condition,” he began, looking up to stare at them. “Bring Anna to me no later than one week from today.”

“As you wish,” agreed Meryn calmly. She paused before asking, “And Jeremiah?”

“Bring him with you. I have a lot to discuss with him.”

With that he clicked his fingers. Both vampiresses felt the air shift and, the next thing they knew, they were standing on the path that ran along the front of the beach hut. The sun was just beginning to rise and the sky to the east was streaked with red.

“Red sky in the morning, sailors’ warning,” said Meryn absently. “My grandmother used to say that. Come on, my dear, let’s get inside. Its too cold to stay out here watching the sunrise no matter how pretty it looks.”

A welcoming warmth greeted them as they entered the beach hut. Looking up, eyes wide, the runner gasped, “Trine! Mother! You’re back!”

“So it would seem,” stated the older woman somewhat sarcastically.

Sensing that something was amiss, Trine went straight across to the bedroom, drawing aside the heavy curtain. The bed beyond was empty.

“Where is she?”

Turning to face them both, he said simply, “She’s gone.”

“Your face!” gasped his mother. “Anna did that?”

He nodded, “Right before she fucked off in a puff of green smoke.”

“Guess that answers that question,” sighed Trine, crossing the room to inspect his wounds.

“What question?”

“Our friend trained with a mage a long time ago,” Meryn explained. “Her magic would appear to be intact.”

“A mage?” he echoed, looking confused.

“A witch,” said Trine by way of explanation.

“Actually, a warlock,” corrected Meryn with a smile. “The same mage who trained me but let’s keep that between the three of us.”

“Would one of you please tell me what is going on here?” demanded the runner bluntly.

“Plenty of time for stories after I’ve looked at those wounds,” declared his mother sharply.

With his wounds freshly cleaned, the runner sat and listened while the Ice Maiden and his mother told him about their appearance before the Court of the Elders. He was relieved to hear that Stefan hadn’t punished them, seeming to understand the need for the dark angel to be in full health before meeting her fate at his hand.

“So, now what?” he asked, running his hands through his hair.

“We rest,” said Meryn calmly. “We have a week to find our friend, but I suspect that tonight’s full moon offers us our best chance.”

“Do you have a plan?” asked Trine quietly.

“I do but I’m too tired to explain it right now. All I’ll say is this. Jem, you’re going to have to trust me completely.”

Before he could reply, she disappeared into Trine’s room.

“Help me put fresh linen on the bed,” said Trine. “Your mother’s right. We need rest.”

Smiling, the runner got to his feet, took her hand, and said, “I can think of something else we need too.”

Giggling, Trine allowed herself to be led from the room.

The full moon was living up to its name as it rose. The temperatures had plummeted as dusk fell. All around the beach hut everything was glittering with a thick layer of frost under the glow of the Ice Moon.

When Trine and Jem entered the living room, they found Meryn already sitting by the stove, sipping a glass of wine.

“Are you both well-rested?” she enquired casually.

“Yes, mother,” replied her son. “So, what’s the plan here?”

“We…I need to use magic to trace magic, but I need a conduit. That’s where you fit in, son.”

“A conduit?” quizzed Trine as she poured Jem and herself some of the blood-infused wine.

Meryn nodded, “When a vampire creates another, they leave a trace behind. A little bit of themselves. Their maker’s mark so to speak.” She paused to take a sip from her glass. “I’m hoping that our friend has left a little of her magic behind in that trace.”

“And how do you propose to find it, mother? I assume its not a physical mark like my tattoos.”

“I need to scry your mind back to the point when she created you.”

He had suspected as much.

“Remember there was a partial transformation first that failed,” he prompted before drinking deeply from his glass.

“Do you trust me, son?” asked Meryn plainly. “I promise to probe no further than that partial transformation. For this to work, you’ll need to open your mind willingly to me.”

Knowing he had no choice, he nodded his consent, “No further than that. You promise?”

“You have my word,” she answered sincerely. “But I intend to use my own magic to seek out Anna’s in your mind. This will feel different to any other attempts that have been made to probe your memories. I need to locate that trace then feel through it till I connect with her.”

“Will it work?”

“Only one way to find out,” answered the older woman. “I need to draw on the moon’s energy, so we’ll do this outside.”

The rocks were glittering as the three vampires settled themselves down out of sight of the path. They’d walked a little further east of the cottage to find a suitably secluded spot where the light was also right. Sitting facing her son, Meryn looked into his deep brown eyes and smiled. “Try to relax. I’m going to place my fingers on your cheek bones and jawline. I’ll try to avoid those cuts. I need to use an incantation. All you need to do is let me in. Don’t resist the probing. There might be intense heat or intense cold. I won’t know which until I find the connection. It depends on which type of magic she used.”

“And if you don’t find any?” he asked.

“I’ll find it,” she said confidently. “Ready?”

With a quick glance towards Trine, he nodded.

Closing her eyes, Meryn placed her fingertips along his well-defined cheek bones. She positioned her little fingers on his jawbone below his ears then nestled her thumbs among the wiry hairs of his beard at the centre of his chin. Whispering words he couldn’t decipher, she moved her thumbs together to touch. The instant they connected, he felt an icy piercing pain shoot through him. It seemed to curl through his mind carving a frosty trail as it twisted and turned. He resisted the urge to scream as his mother probed deeper and deeper into his soul.

After a minute or two, he felt her hesitate then the energy shifted slightly. A vision began to form in his mind. The scene was misty at first but slowly cleared to show Anna lying on a leaf strewn stone floor. He could see tall stone walls surrounding her. She was swathed in moonlight, but it was coming from a gap in the roof rather than the small square windows that were high up in the walls.

He felt the icy magic being repelled then the world went black. As he lost consciousness, he felt his mother’s touch retreat as Trine’s arms wrapped round him to prevent him from falling backwards.

“Jem,” he heard his name being called through the fog in his mind.

“Jeremiah! Wake up!” Immediately, he recognised his mother’s sharp tone.

Groggily, he muttered, “Awake.”

“Are you ok?” asked Trine, her voice filled with concern.

“I think so.”

“Did you see her?” demanded Meryn, looking pale and exhausted by her efforts.

“Yes.”

“And do you know where she is?”

As the world came back into focus, he looked his mother in the eye and nodded.

“Can you get to her tonight?”

“Yes. She’s not far from here,” he said, sounding surprisingly calm.

“Where is she?” asked Trine curiously. “Back at her mausoleum?”

“No. She’s lying in an old stone watch tower. It’s in the estate to the west of here. Less than two miles away.”

“We’ve no time to waste, son,” said Meryn. “Go and fetch her before she moves on. Bring her back here.”

“Do you want one of us to come with you?” offered Trine, concerned that her mate might be heading into danger.

He shook his head, “I need to do this on my own.”

Before either of them could stop him, he got to his feet, spread his majestic, green-tipped wings, and soared silently into the night sky.

In less than five minutes, he was perched, crouched down on the top of the crumbling wall of the tower. Some thirty feet below him, he could see the dark angel sprawled on the floor, her damaged wing lying at an awkward angle. Soundlessly, he jumped down, landing sure-footed as a cat beside her.

“Son of Perran,” she murmured without opening her eyes.

Laying a hand on her shoulder, his heart filled with sadness. She suddenly seemed so frail and vulnerable. Before his emotions could get the better of his common sense, he lifted her into his arms then wrapped his wings around her. She lost consciousness in his arms as the world went dark.

Frost sparkled on the rocks around him as he sat on the shore. In front of him, moonlight shimmered on the still, dark river. All around him, everything was blanketed in silence. He gazed up at the almost full moon. “Two more nights until its full,” he thought to himself. “Two more nights until they’re back.”

Sub-consciously, he touched his cheek. Four ragged gashes ran from the corner of his eye down into his bearded jawline. Blood still oozed from them.

He had two nights to put things right.

A fire burned in the grate, its flames sending shadows dancing across the stone walls of the chamber. Both women sat in silence watching the flames, almost as if they were seeking inspiration in them.

“We tell your father the truth,” said Meryn softly. “Tell him everything.”

“Everything?”

“Everything relating to Anna,” replied the older woman. Smiling, she added, “Maybe keep the truth about your depth of feelings for my son quiet for now. Let’s see what fate he proposes for our friend first.”

Silently, Trine nodded.

A tray of food lay untouched on the table. With a sigh, Meryn got to her feet, crossed the chamber, and poured them both a full goblet of blood infused wine.

“Here,” she said, offering the cup to the Ice Maiden. “Drink this. We both need to keep our strength up.”

“Are we on trial?” asked the younger woman anxiously.

“No,” Meryn assured her calmly. “We may both be reprimanded but tomorrow’s court meeting is not a trial. If we both tell the same truth, we’ll be fine.”

“And what will happen to her?” Trine paused then almost whispered “And to Jem?”

“Time will tell,” began Meryn, sipping thoughtfully on her wine. “I expect Stefan will demand that we bring Anna to him. We can argue that she’s still not strong enough to stand trial. She’s still unable to hunt. Unable to care for herself. She needs to be fit and well to face the Court of the Elders, Trine.”

“And Jem?” she repeated.

“He’ll be expected to honour the deal he struck with Stefan.”

“And then my father will honour his deal and…”

“No!” interrupted Meryn sharply. “I will not allow that deal to be honoured.”

“Can you prevent it though?”

“I’m working on it,” promised the older vampiress warmly. “Everything’s going to work out, my dear. Trust me.”

Alone on the beach, Jem reflected on the events of the day. The sun had barely set when his mother and Trine had been summoned back to the Court of the Elders. There had scarcely been time to say goodbye before both women vanished. From the shadows of the heavy curtain that served as a door to his bedroom, Anna had watched the entire scene.

Pausing to pick up a small blue tipped feather that had fluttered to the ground as Trine had been transported back to her father’s castle, Anna had walked across the room, her injured wing dragging uselessly behind her. Twirling the feather round between her finger and thumb, she commented, “Well, it looks like it’s just you and me, Son of Perran. Just like old times.”

“If you say so,” he muttered sourly.

“You’ll never be able to do it,” purred the dark angel, stepping towards him. Gently, she ran the feather down his cheek. “You don’t have it in you.”

“Don’t I?” he challenged, staring at her intently.

“No. You don’t,” she stated with a smug smile.

“Well, all we can do is wait till Trine or my mother returns,” he replied, swiping her hand away. “We’ll see what Stefan has in store for both of us then.”

“No, I don’t think so,” she said coldly. “I think I’ve out-stayed my welcome here. I’ve imposed on your hospitality for too long.”

“You’re going nowhere,” he growled angrily.

Letting go of the feather, the dark angel reached out as she murmured an incantation. Her fingernails turned to steel blades in an instant and before he could move to defend himself, she’d slashed his face then vanished in a swirl of smoky green light.

A purple tipped feather lay on the floor beside the blue one.

Staring out into the darkness, the runner deliberated what to do next. Did he wait until he heard from Trine or his mother? Or did he try to re-capture the dark angel before they returned?

Breathing heavily, the dark angel lay in a crumpled heap on a leaf littered, stone floor. She’d acted on impulse with merely a split second to determine her destination. Glancing round in the moonlit shadows, she knew she’d missed her mark but how far off course was she?

Standing side by side outside the door that led into the Court of the Elders, both women waited in silence. Sensing the younger woman’s fear, Meryn reached out and took her hand, whispering, “Trust me.”

Before Trine could reply, the door swung open, and they were ushered inside. Flanked by Michael and Alessandro, Stefan sat behind the oak table. His face betrayed no emotion; his hands were folded in front of him.

“Good morning, ladies,” he greeted them, keeping his tone even. “I trust that you are well-rested.”

“We are,” replied Meryn, her own voice cold and emotionless. “Cut to the chase, Stefan.”

“Such impatience, Meryn,” he commented. “But, fine, I’ll cut to the chase.” He paused to stare at each of the women in turn. “You have both lied to me. By lying to me, you have lied to the Court of the Elders.”

“Neither of us has lied,” interrupted Meryn bluntly. “We may not have revealed the full truth but there were no lies.”

“Well, let’s start by revealing that “full truth” now then, shall we?” he suggested. “Can you both please advise this court how you came to be living with our errant sister, Anna, instead of bringing her here to face trial? Can you perhaps explain why your son did not kill her on sight as agreed, Meryn?”

“We were nursing her back to full health to bring her to you, father,” explained Trine, her voice shaking with nerves. “I fought with her almost seven moons ago. I thought I’d killed her, but Jem found her lying injured three moons after the fight. She was too weak to face trial or to travel. I asked Meryn to come to me. She came to my aid without knowing who she was to heal.”

“Care to start this tale from the beginning,” said Stefan calmly. “Include all the details. Leave nothing out.”

It took several hours but finally, as the candles around the chamber burned low, Meryn and Trine finished their account. The three male vampires had listened intently, occasionally interrupting to seek clarification. When they’d told their tale, Stefan bowed his head. He sat deep in thought for a few long silent minutes then said, “I believe all that you’ve testified here today to be true.”

For the first time since they’d entered the chamber, Trine felt a glimmer of hope.

“How confident are you that she remains incapacitated?” asked Alessandro, his Italian accent echoing round the otherwise silent room.

“Confident,” stated Meryn. “She’s unable to fly due to her injuries. She’s barely able to get out of bed un-aided. She can’t hunt.”

Alessandro nodded then commented, “You’ll recall Anna trained with a mage in North Africa some time ago. When her training was complete, she drained him of life. How confident are you that she’s lost the skills he taught her? Does she still possess that magic?”

Exchanging anxious glances, the two women stood in mute silence, unable to truthfully answer the question.

“Have you placed your son in danger by leaving him alone with her, Meryn?” asked Michael softly. “Anna has never shown any signs of compassion. What’s to stop her from killing him now that you’re not there?”

Meryn paled visibly. It was Trine who found her voice first.

“I don’t believe she’ll kill Jem,” she began. “She loves him too much.”

Stefan nodded slowly, “I believe you’re correct, daughter, but your mate may still be in grave danger left alone with her if that magic remains intact.”

“Then send us back there tonight,” proposed Meryn. “Together the three of us stand a better chance of controlling things than my son does on his own.”

“You both need to feed first. Hunt tonight and you may return to them at dawn,” stated Stefan, his tone leaving no room for debate.

Using some of the medical supplies he’d procured to help with the dark angel’s wounds, Jem cleaned the four deep slashes on his cheek. They were ragged and deep and should probably be stitched but he had nothing to close them with. He would have to take his chances that they would heal without leaving him too badly scarred.

Instead of going to bed at dawn as he usually did, he threw some more logs into the wood burner, poured a large glass of blood infused wine, and sat staring into the flames, seeking a solution to the key Anna dilemma – where had she gone?

Using her magic had drained the dark angel of all of her limited energy. She had crawled into the corner of whatever ruined building she had landed in, covered herself with leaves to disguise her presence from prying eyes and slept from dawn til dusk.

When she awoke, she was still weak, but she found the strength to get to her feet. In the fading light, she managed to work out that she’d transported herself into the ruined chapel beside the main house in the grounds of the estate that lay to the north of the village. Her aim had been less than accurate, but she was less than a mile from home. If she could get back there, she could use her magic to try to restore her damaged wing.

First though she needed to feed and in her current physical state she was unable to hunt. Cursing her damaged wing under her breath, she walked across the chapel to the doorway. There were sheep in the field beyond. A possibility but they were likely to run the moment they sensed her. In the field across the driveway to the south, she could see that there were horses gathered together under one of the old oak trees. They were less likely to run if she approached.

Keeping to the darkest shadows, she walked slowly across the field, trailing her wing through fallen leaves and mud. As she suspected, the sheep scattered as soon as they sensed her in their field.

Car headlights approaching up the driveway sent her scurrying for shelter in the dark shadows behind a huge oak tree. With her heart pounding and her legs trembling, Anna watched as it continued its way up to the “big house.” Satisfied that it was safe, she continued her journey to the field where the horses were still gathered beneath a tree, munching on the contents of a hay net. There were three of them, two chestnuts and a grey. None of them flinched as she walked down the grassy slope towards them. It was decision time. A thick prominent vein in the grey’s neck caught her eye. That was sign enough for her.

As the two chestnut beasts fled in terror, the dark angel drank greedily from the pale coloured horse, draining its life from it swiftly.

Shortly before dawn, Meryn and Trine were summoned to Stefan’s private study. When they entered, they found him sitting alone, gazing into the depths of the wine goblet in his hands.

“Are you ready to take your leave?” he asked without looking up.

“Yes,” replied Meryn. “As soon as you say that we can.”

“You can on one condition,” he began, looking up to stare at them. “Bring Anna to me no later than one week from today.”

“As you wish,” agreed Meryn calmly. She paused before asking, “And Jeremiah?”

“Bring him with you. I have a lot to discuss with him.”

With that he clicked his fingers. Both vampiresses felt the air shift and, the next thing they knew, they were standing on the path that ran along the front of the beach hut. The sun was just beginning to rise and the sky to the east was streaked with red.

“Red sky in the morning, sailors’ warning,” said Meryn absently. “My grandmother used to say that. Come on, my dear, let’s get inside. Its too cold to stay out here watching the sunrise no matter how pretty it looks.”

A welcoming warmth greeted them as they entered the beach hut. Looking up, eyes wide, the runner gasped, “Trine! Mother! You’re back!”

“So it would seem,” stated the older woman somewhat sarcastically.

Sensing that something was amiss, Trine went straight across to the bedroom, drawing aside the heavy curtain. The bed beyond was empty.

“Where is she?”

Turning to face them both, he said simply, “She’s gone.”

“Your face!” gasped his mother. “Anna did that?”

He nodded, “Right before she fucked off in a puff of green smoke.”

“Guess that answers that question,” sighed Trine, crossing the room to inspect his wounds.

“What question?”

“Our friend trained with a mage a long time ago,” Meryn explained. “Her magic would appear to be intact.”

“A mage?” he echoed, looking confused.

“A witch,” said Trine by way of explanation.

“Actually, a warlock,” corrected Meryn with a smile. “The same mage who trained me but let’s keep that between the three of us.”

“Would one of you please tell me what is going on here?” demanded the runner bluntly.

“Plenty of time for stories after I’ve looked at those wounds,” declared his mother sharply.

With his wounds freshly cleaned, the runner sat and listened while the Ice Maiden and his mother told him about their appearance before the Court of the Elders. He was relieved to hear that Stefan hadn’t punished them, seeming to understand the need for the dark angel to be in full health before meeting her fate at his hand.

“So, now what?” he asked, running his hands through his hair.

“We rest,” said Meryn calmly. “We have a week to find our friend, but I suspect that tonight’s full moon offers us our best chance.”

“Do you have a plan?” asked Trine quietly.

“I do but I’m too tired to explain it right now. All I’ll say is this. Jem, you’re going to have to trust me completely.”

Before he could reply, she disappeared into Trine’s room.

“Help me put fresh linen on the bed,” said Trine. “Your mother’s right. We need rest.”

Smiling, the runner got to his feet, took her hand, and said, “I can think of something else we need too.”

Giggling, Trine allowed herself to be led from the room.

The full moon was living up to its name as it rose. The temperatures had plummeted as dusk fell. All around the beach hut everything was glittering with a thick layer of frost under the glow of the Ice Moon.

When Trine and Jem entered the living room, they found Meryn already sitting by the stove, sipping a glass of wine.

“Are you both well-rested?” she enquired casually.

“Yes, mother,” replied her son. “So, what’s the plan here?”

“We…I need to use magic to trace magic, but I need a conduit. That’s where you fit in, son.”

“A conduit?” quizzed Trine as she poured Jem and herself some of the blood-infused wine.

Meryn nodded, “When a vampire creates another, they leave a trace behind. A little bit of themselves. Their maker’s mark so to speak.” She paused to take a sip from her glass. “I’m hoping that our friend has left a little of her magic behind in that trace.”

“And how do you propose to find it, mother? I assume its not a physical mark like my tattoos.”

“I need to scry your mind back to the point when she created you.”

He had suspected as much.

“Remember there was a partial transformation first that failed,” he prompted before drinking deeply from his glass.

“Do you trust me, son?” asked Meryn plainly. “I promise to probe no further than that partial transformation. For this to work, you’ll need to open your mind willingly to me.”

Knowing he had no choice, he nodded his consent, “No further than that. You promise?”

“You have my word,” she answered sincerely. “But I intend to use my own magic to seek out Anna’s in your mind. This will feel different to any other attempts that have been made to probe your memories. I need to locate that trace then feel through it till I connect with her.”

“Will it work?”

“Only one way to find out,” answered the older woman. “I need to draw on the moon’s energy, so we’ll do this outside.”

The rocks were glittering as the three vampires settled themselves down out of sight of the path. They’d walked a little further east of the cottage to find a suitably secluded spot where the light was also right. Sitting facing her son, Meryn looked into his deep brown eyes and smiled. “Try to relax. I’m going to place my fingers on your cheek bones and jawline. I’ll try to avoid those cuts. I need to use an incantation. All you need to do is let me in. Don’t resist the probing. There might be intense heat or intense cold. I won’t know which until I find the connection. It depends on which type of magic she used.”

“And if you don’t find any?” he asked.

“I’ll find it,” she said confidently. “Ready?”

With a quick glance towards Trine, he nodded.

Closing her eyes, Meryn placed her fingertips along his well-defined cheek bones. She positioned her little fingers on his jawbone below his ears then nestled her thumbs among the wiry hairs of his beard at the centre of his chin. Whispering words he couldn’t decipher, she moved her thumbs together to touch. The instant they connected, he felt an icy piercing pain shoot through him. It seemed to curl through his mind carving a frosty trail as it twisted and turned. He resisted the urge to scream as his mother probed deeper and deeper into his soul.

After a minute or two, he felt her hesitate then the energy shifted slightly. A vision began to form in his mind. The scene was misty at first but slowly cleared to show Anna lying on a leaf strewn stone floor. He could see tall stone walls surrounding her. She was swathed in moonlight, but it was coming from a gap in the roof rather than the small square windows that were high up in the walls.

He felt the icy magic being repelled then the world went black. As he lost consciousness, he felt his mother’s touch retreat as Trine’s arms wrapped round him to prevent him from falling backwards.

“Jem,” he heard his name being called through the fog in his mind.

“Jeremiah! Wake up!” Immediately, he recognised his mother’s sharp tone.

Groggily, he muttered, “Awake.”

“Are you ok?” asked Trine, her voice filled with concern.

“I think so.”

“Did you see her?” demanded Meryn, looking pale and exhausted by her efforts.

“Yes.”

“And do you know where she is?”

As the world came back into focus, he looked his mother in the eye and nodded.

“Can you get to her tonight?”

“Yes. She’s not far from here,” he said, sounding surprisingly calm.

“Where is she?” asked Trine curiously. “Back at her mausoleum?”

“No. She’s lying in an old stone watch tower. It’s in the estate to the west of here. Less than two miles away.”

“We’ve no time to waste, son,” said Meryn. “Go and fetch her before she moves on. Bring her back here.”

“Do you want one of us to come with you?” offered Trine, concerned that her mate might be heading into danger.

He shook his head, “I need to do this on my own.”

Before either of them could stop him, he got to his feet, spread his majestic, green-tipped wings, and soared silently into the night sky.

In less than five minutes, he was perched, crouched down on the top of the crumbling wall of the tower. Some thirty feet below him, he could see the dark angel sprawled on the floor, her damaged wing lying at an awkward angle. Soundlessly, he jumped down, landing sure-footed as a cat beside her.

“Son of Perran,” she murmured without opening her eyes.

Laying a hand on her shoulder, his heart filled with sadness. She suddenly seemed so frail and vulnerable. Before his emotions could get the better of his common sense, he lifted her into his arms then wrapped his wings around her. She lost consciousness in his arms as the world went dark.

A Christmas Stranger – K.M. Lowe – new release. Check it out!

Title – A Christmas Stranger Author – KM Lowe

Editor – Karen Sanders

Designer – Francessca Wingfield

Genre – Contemporary romance A Christmas Stranger

A chance encounter with a stranger might just change two lives forever. Going home to Scotland for Christmas is the only thing Ilythia prides herself on doing at Christmas. Family gatherings, eating and drinking too much, and crashing on the couch with games is her idea of heaven at this magical time of year. Until her plans are destroyed. A cancelled flight, cancelled plans, and stuck in New York with no family is her idea of hell…but her path collides with a stranger and things don’t look as dull. Damon hides from Christmas. Nothing about the festive season is remotely happy for him. Give him work to hide away in the shadows with any day. Alone is where he’s happiest. However, when Ilythia and Damon meet for the first time, sparks fly, temperatures soar, and the chemistry is off the charts. Will Damon and Ilythia be able to change their way of thinking, take a walk on the wild side, and enjoy a different Christmas?

Amazon U.K – https://amzn.to/3H8KADA

Amazon .com – https://amzn.to/3kgYPfp

Goodreads – https://bit.ly/3ocKCS3

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/…/a-christmas-stranger-by-km-lowe

Contact The Author Facebook – www.facebook.com/authorkmlowe

Twitter – www.twitter.com/KMLOWE86

Instagram – www.instagram.com/author_k.m_lowe

Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/KMLOWe

TikTok – @kmlowe86

Continue The Story – Fact Or Fiction? (flash fiction)

She spotted him from across the bookstore. He was hard to miss with those mesmerising eyes, the smile that could melt even the coldest heart and his hair still tied back in a long dark ponytail now streaked with grey. He was also the last person she had expected to see here. Her heart skipped a beat. Did he know? Had he read any of the books?

“Are you ok?” asked the fan in front of her, who was waiting for her to sign their book for them.

“Sorry,” she apologised. “My bad. Just spotted an old friend.”

“You looked like you’d seen a ghost.”

Smiling, she said, “Something like that.”

With a flourish, she signed the book and handed it back.

Two hours and many autographs later, the book signing was drawing to a close. It had been her most successful yet. She was exhausted and her hand was throbbing from writing so many dedications and signing her name. In her heart, she knew she shouldn’t grumble. Her fans were loving her books and she was living her dream as a result. This latest novel was the penultimate one in the series, and she’d been plagued with questions all night about how it was all going to end. Was the heroine going to get her man?

“Hi. Can you sign this to Luke please?”

The voice hadn’t changed over the years. Her heart melted a little at the sound of it.

“Or should that be “To Storm”?”

She froze. Storm was the hotter than hell bad boy rockstar in the books.

“You know?” she whispered, feeling her cheeks flush as she looked up into his eyes.

“I’m flattered,” he admitted, flashing her a smile. “Would it be too presumptuous to offer to take you for a drink when you’re done here? We could discuss where this storyline goes next.”

“And if I say yes, is it going to ended happily ever after?”

“That remains to be seen,” he replied with a wink.

Continue the Story – Beach Daydreams (flash fiction)

With the sun beating down on her, she knew in her heart that she had made the right decision to come to the beach. Thoughts of walking along the sand, of playing in the waves, of watching the seabirds dance in the shallows and the sights and sounds and aromas of the boardwalk had been beacons of hope during her darkest of days.

Now, as the sun rose on a beautifully clear June morning, the boardwalk ran behind her, the ocean sparkled and shimmered before her, and miles and miles of soft sand stretched into the distance on either side of her. It was still early, barely breakfast time, but around her the world was slowly coming to life. There were a few fishermen scattered along the shoreline, their rods dug deep into the sand. A few photographers were at work, capturing the beauty of the new day to share on social media. Those sunrise livestreams had brightened many a dark day.

Everything around her was just as she had hoped it would be and more.

As she gazed down the beach, she watched an early morning fitness junkie approach, pounding out the miles on the hard packed sand.

She felt as though she had stepped into the pages of one of her own novels; she felt as though she’d come home.

A relaxed smile playing on her lips, she began to meander down the beach, allowing her daydreams to play out as reality around her. Dreams do come true……

credits to the owner of the sunrise photo – Kevin Lynam Photography (photo is tagged)

You can find more of Kevin’s work on his website https://www.kevinlynamphotography.com

What’s happening with Book Baby 7?

Somehow, we’ve reached the end of August – no idea how we got here! My head’s still back in June somewhere! – and the last rays of summer are sinking on the horizon earlier and earlier each evening.

I’ve come to wonder of late if I’m really solar powered at heart. Every opportunity I’ve had all summer, I’ve been outdoors either meandering or simply sitting in the sun lost in a book.

Now though, as the evenings are growing cooler and darker, it’s time to move back indoors and turn my creative attention back to Book Baby7.

Don’t panic- it’s not been entirely neglected over the summer months. I have made progress both with writing the first draft and typing it up, but the pace has been leisurely.  Maybe it’s been a summer case of writer’s block rather than sun block, but I’m not convinced.  Personally, I think I just needed a break to recharge these (solar powered) batteries.

Like many people, the day job still involves working from home. My home working space during the day is in the living room and when I finish up each day, the work stuff gets cleared away and my creative space is restored for the evening… unless the sun’s shining and its warm and I’ve been lured outside once more to sit on my nice new bench with my kindle until the sun sinks below the rooftops. I do think that part of the issue is that I am thoroughly sick of the sight of my living room!

Now though, its time to refocus and show Book Baby 7 some love and give it the attention that its craving.

So, for those among you who are impatiently waiting for it, where am I with it?

Good question!

I’ve roughly 30% of the first draft handwritten.

I’ve about 25% of the first draft typed. (I’ve paused typing to focus on adding to the handwritten word count).

I have the storyline pretty much worked out in my head.

It has a title but no, I’m not sharing that with you just yet.

I have a release date in mind too but that one needs to remain under wraps for now.

It’s still entirely naked as I’ve not yet given much thought to the cover.

So, all I would ask for now, is that you bear with me and trust that it’s coming in 2022 at some point (hopefully!).

And, if you’re patient, I promise to share a little excerpt soon.