New Children’s Book and Giveaway

KF_TSITP_ebook_smallHaving a baby, lack of sleep, running around after a toddler, writing a novel and publishing two books this year alone are just a few of the reasons why I haven’t blogged in a very long time. Life as a mum is busy and my time and attention over the past couple of years has firmly been on my son first and then kickstarting my writing career second.

So, with Leo happily at nursery this morning, I’m concentrating on the release of my third novel, Time Shifters: Into the Past. The first in an exciting time travel adventure series for 9-12 year-olds (although hopefully it can be enjoyed by adults too) it follows twelve year-old Maisie, along with her best friend Danny and school bully Lizzie, on an adventure when they’re time-shifted to the past during a school trip to Warwick Castle.

It’s been an incredibly long time getting to this point. I first had the idea for Time Shifters during a visit to Warwick Castle in the summer of 2004, then when we were asked to write the first chapter of a completely new novel during the Experimentation and Exploration class during my Creative Writing MA at Bath Spa University, I wrote the opening of Time Shifters: Into the Past – at least it was a variation of what is now the first chapter. The book’s been on quite a journey since then getting snapped up by a literary agent only for it to all fall through due to bad luck and bad timing. As life does, it got in the way and Time Shifters lay dormant on my laptop for a good few years before the idea of publishing it myself became a possibility following the successful launch of my debut novel, The Butterfly Storm in 2013.

The Medieval Castle

So finally, here it is, launch day for Time Shifters: Into the Past. The last few months have been hard work getting it publication ready but I’m proud of the result and after twelve years, yes, twelve years, it’s been sent off into the big wide world. It’s available in paperback, and for a limited time only it’s just 99p/99c on Kindle. To celebrate I’m doing a giveaway. Considering the book starts at Warwick Castle and a big chunk of the novel is set in the fifteenth century, it’s only fitting that I have a fabulous Medieval Castle slot-together model as one of the prizes. Donated by my Dad who designed it (along with others in the range including a Tudor House, Windmill and Victorian Farm which you can see here), it would make a great Christmas present for a youngster, or you could simply keep it for yourself. The second prize is a Time Shifters goodie bag including a signed paperback and a notebook. Please do enter and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Taste of Reunion of the Heart

RotH-CoverI may not have done much writing or blogging over the last few months since Leo’s arrival but my writer friends have certainly been busy, not least of all my good friend, Elaine Jeremiah. Back in August I was one of the bloggers who took part in the cover reveal for Reunion of the Heart and now, after Elaine’s second book has been published for a few weeks, I’m delighted to be able to welcome Elaine back on to my blog to share an extract from it. In this scene, Anna is having a heart to heart with Will, the man she met at her school reunion who was once the boy who tormented her at school.

Anna hesitated, turning away from him. She wasn’t sure she wanted to talk to Will right now. What could she say anyway? She found herself blushing as she remembered how he’d made her feel at the party, and shivered a little. Footsteps sounded behind her getting closer. Taking a deep breath, she turned around. Will was standing there. He too looked unsure.

‘Hi, Anna.’

‘Hi, Will.’ Anna shifted from foot to foot.

‘Would you like a lift home? If that’s where you’re going? That’s my car there.’ He pointed to a smart looking VW Polo.

She thought for a moment. If she allowed Will to take her home, she’d have to talk to him. But she was freezing cold and the buses would be crowded and slow.

‘Yes, a lift home would be lovely,’ she found herself saying. ‘If you’re sure?’

‘Absolutely.’ He grinned at her, rubbing his gloveless hands together.

Feeling a sense of trepidation, she followed him to the car and climbed in, glad of the warmth. As they drove off, Anna wondered at herself for letting Will get anywhere near her, despite her body telling her otherwise. But perhaps her friends were right. Perhaps she should just let bygones be bygones. After a while, he broke the silence.

‘You know, I nearly didn’t go to the reunion,’ he said.

‘Oh really?’ Anna glanced at him, raising her eyebrow.

‘Yes. I wasn’t sure I wanted to revisit my past.’ He paused and took a fleeting look at her before returning his attention to the road. ‘I guess you felt the same way?’

‘What do you think?’ Anna couldn’t keep the bitterness from her voice.

Will swallowed at her caustic answer and nodded, his eyes never leaving the road.

‘I suppose you have me to thank for that.’

She didn’t trust herself to answer. But if he was going to ask her difficult questions like this, he’d just have to accept that the response he got wouldn’t necessarily be to his liking.

‘Well maybe…’ he began.

‘Maybe what?’

He didn’t reply. They travelled on in silence. As they got closer to her home, she directed him towards her road. Having pulled over and stopped the car, he turned to look at her, taking hold of her hand. To her own surprise she didn’t snatch it away.

‘Anna, I’m so sorry for what I did to you at school. If there was any way of making it up to you, I’d do it immediately.’ He sighed, his face downcast. ‘I’m not sure there is a way to make amends. But I just wanted to tell you that I care about you and if you ever need a friend, you have one in me.’

She looked at him, open mouthed. This was Will talking, the Will who’d stuffed food in her face in front of most of their year group. The person who, along with his friends, had constantly taunted her about how fat she was, to the point that she’d become suicidal and, for a short while, bulimic.

Now this same person was telling her that he cared about her, that he wanted to be her friend? She shook her head as if to clear her thoughts. Her friends’ words came to her mind, what they’d said about him liking her all along. Perhaps she shouldn’t discount Will as a friend. You could never have too many, that was for sure.

‘Thank you, Will. I’ll remember that.’ He let go of her hand. She managed to smile at him as she got out of the car. ‘And thank you for the lift. It was kind of you.’

‘No problem,’ he replied. He sounded relieved, almost as if he’d been expecting a slap in the face. She turned away from him.

‘Oh, Anna!’ She turned around. Will was leaning out of the car holding something out to her in his hand. ‘My contact details,’ he told her. ‘In case you ever need to chat.’

‘OK, thank you,’ she said awkwardly, taking the card and walked quickly to her house, dashing inside as fast as her fumbling fingers, searching for the keys, would let her.

If you’re interested in reading more, then Reunion of the Heart is available on Kindle here. To find out more about Elaine and her writing then head over to her blog or follow her on Twitter. Happy reading!

Cover Reveal for Reunion of the Heart by Elaine Jeremiah

Elaine JeremiahIt was only in September last year that my good friend and fellow author Elaine Jeremiah launched her debut novel, The Inheritance. Fast forward nearly twelve months and Elaine is back with a second romantic novel called Reunion of the Heart. Here’s the blurb:

After a messy breakup with her boyfriend, Anna is feeling fragile. So when her best friend Melissa suggests the two of them go to their school reunion, she’s reluctant as Anna’s school days weren’t her happiest. The evening is going well until she meets the boy who made her school life hell.

But the grown up Will is different and Anna is surprised by the direction her life takes. The reunion sets in motion a series of events that lead Anna to realise things will never be the same again.

Today is about the all important cover reveal and I’m delighted to be one of the bloggers hosting Elaine and her brand-spanking new cover. So, without further ado feast your eyes on this:

RotH-Cover

If that cover doesn’t say romance, love and passion, I don’t what will! I love the way it hints at a Parisian element to the novel with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Not only that reading Elaine’s blog this morning she’s just a week away from publishing it!

Elaine Jeremiah has always enjoyed writing, but it’s only in recent years that she’s begun to devote serious time to it. She’s written lots of short stories, one previous novel that will never see the light of day and a novel which has seen the light of day: ‘The Inheritance’ which she published last year. ‘The Inheritance’ is available on Amazon.

You can make contact with Elaine via her blog: elainejeremiah.co.uk and Twitter: @ElaineJeremiah

The Butterfly Storm is Half Price!

ButtStorm700x700CenteredSet in sunny Greece and on the beautiful North Norfolk coast in the UK, The Butterfly Storm has frequently been described as ‘perfect for holiday reading’, so I thought it was a good time to do a summer promotion. Until the end of this week – Friday 8th August – The Butterfly Storm is reduced to just 99c/99p and can be downloaded here:

What Readers Are Saying About The Butterfly Storm

“I Loved this read with a capital L.” ElaineG, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer

“Beautifully written, carefully researched and expertly plotted – what more could you want from a book?” Joanne Phillips, author of Can’t Live Without 

“Beautifully precise in its descriptions, yet never dull, this is one book you will not be able to put down and will remember long after you’ve read the last words.” Elaine Jeremiah, author of The Inheritance

The Butterfly Storm CoverFinal300X450

 

 

Celebrating Cupid’s Way Launch Day

Cupids Way cover smallCupid’s Way, the new romantic novel from Joanne Phillips is available today. Its release means she now has four novels (including bestseller Can’t Live Without), a novelette and a book of short stories to her name. That’s a pretty amazing feat in just over two years.

To celebrate the release of her latest novel Jo’s having a launch day party over on Facebook if you fancy joining in with all the fun. Otherwise Cupid’s Way is available to buy from Amazon and with a cover like that it looks like the perfect summer read.

 

When Evie Stone’s grandparents enlist her help to save their home in Cupid’s Way, Evie is happy to oblige. On the cusp of her thirties, and still disappointingly single, Evie’s so-called dream job with a firm of architects has been driving her crazy for months. What she needs, even more than a new man, is a challenge.

But saving Cupid’s Way won’t be easy. A perfectly preserved Victorian terrace, surrounded by modern estates and retail parks, the street is a proud oasis of quirky characters, cobbled pathways and communal gardens. Unfortunately, it also sits on prime development land worth millions.

Dynamite Construction have the deal in the bag, and soon the residents of Cupid’s Way will be forced to sell up and ship out – CEO Michael Andrews, charismatic and super-successful, has certainly never let sentimentality get in the way of business. At least, he hadn’t until he met Evie Stone.

Right, that’s another book to add to my ever-growing to read list, particularly as it’s set in my home town of Bristol.

Cupids Way cover small

Joanne Phillips lives in rural Shropshire with her husband and young daughter. She’s the author of romantic comedies Can’t Live Without and The Family Trap, and the Flora Lively series of mysteries. Can’t Live Without was an Amazon top 20 bestseller in 2012 and her books regularly appear on category bestseller lists. Before becoming a writer, Joanne had jobs as diverse as hairdresser, air hostess and librarian, but now divides her time between writing and finding creative ways to avoid housework. She’s a fan of super-dark chocolate, iced coffee and Masterchef. Joanne blogs about writing and publishing at www.writersjourney.co.uk

 

Welcome to the World, Leo – WIPpet Special

Leo instigram close upIt’s been more than four months since I last wrote a post for this blog. It seems like a lifetime ago because on the 27th February Nik and I welcomed our beautiful baby boy, Leonidas (Leo for short), into the world. If someone had told me this time last year that in less than twelve months we’d have our long-awaited baby I wouldn’t have believed them. But miracles do happen and our little miracle is having a cuddle with me at the moment.

Leo will be 16 weeks-old tomorrow and the time seems to have flown by. The last four months have been hard work but absolutely magical at the same time. I lost count (by about day two) of how many dirty nappies I’ve changed and I spend most of my time feeding him, but it’s an absolute joy after wanting to be able to do these things for so long. What’s even more exciting is how interactive he now is and how interested he is in us and the world around him. And as for those smiles… just lush.

Car seat smiles instigram

So, my blog has been abandoned for quite a while and I won’t be posting regularly for the foreseeable future (although hopefully I will manage to do occasional posts including another one this week after being invited to take part in Debbie Young’s The Writing Retreat Blog Hop). Instead I want to spend what time I have available (usually when feeding Leo) to continue writing book two of The Time-Shift Trilogy. Which, as today happens to be Wednesday, brings me neatly on to today’s WIPet – admittedly a short extract but it is new stuff from the middle of book two. My WIPpet maths is simple: 1+8 = 9 sentences for the 18th June. This snippet sees Maisie in 1940s London contemplating time-shifting and the adventure she’s had so far.

The four of us fell silent. I scratched the groves of the wooden table with my fingernail. This time-shifting was getting way too complicated. As soon as we’d found one person, someone else would go missing. Wherever we’d been since time-shifting from Danny’s room we’d managed to put other people in danger and it was all my fault. We’d been chased in ancient Rome, nearly caught by Hunters in 1481 and attacked in Roman Chedworth. My heart skipped a beat. “We’re not even safe here. I mean, if Hunters managed to track me and Danny down in Rome and in 1481 Towcester, then they’re going to find us here too.”

By the way it’s good to be back and joining in with WIPpet Wednesday again. I’ve missed you guys. A big thanks as always to K L Schwengel for hosting. If you fancy reading or joining in with the WIPpeteers then click here.

I’ll get round to reading everyone’s WIPpet posts at some point today but that’ll have to be in-between Leo and I heading off to Bristol Zoo on this beautiful sunny morning for a picnic with a couple of friends and their babies. Have a great day everyone!

 

 

 

Blogger Award and My Last WIPpet Wednesday (for a While)

sisterhood-of-world-blogger-awardIt’s true, this is going to be my last WIPpet Wednesday, in fact my last blog post for a while. How long a while is all depends on when our baby decides to arrive and when I’m next awake enough/have any time (you get the idea) to even think about blogging. Apart from taking the time to relax over these next couple of weeks I also want to concentrate on writing A Long Way From Home while I have the chance. It has stalled at around a third of the way in and I’d like to get a good chunk written before our baby arrives. A little scare over the weekend when I was admitted to hospital for 24 hours to be monitored made me realise how soon our little baby could actually make an appearance. All is fine and baby’s heart was monitored and he/she was moving around like a crazy thing so I was discharged on Monday. Feet up, laptop and writing – that’s my plan.

I’ve also been meaning to do a post about a blogger award I received way back in November from my friend and fellow author, Jade Reyner, who’s not only a prolific blogger but about to launch her second novel in the coming weeks. She nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! and so I thought it was about time that I officially thanked her and passed the award on. As blogger awards go this is a simple one:

Rules:

  1. Provide a link and thank the blogger who nominated you for this award.
  2. Answer 10 questions.
  3. Nominate 10-12 blogs that you find a joy to read.
  4. Provide links to these nominated blogs and kindly let the recipients know that they have been nominated.
  5. Include the award logo within your blog post.

Questions:

  1. Your favourite colour? – Blue
  2. Your favourite animal? – Dog, specifically our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
  3. Your favourite non-alcoholic drink? – Rhubarb & Custard drink from M&S that tastes just like the sweets I had when I was a kid.
  4. Facebook or Twitter? – Twitter, although I’m getting in to Facebook more now.
  5. Your favourite pattern? – Stripes
  6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents? – Giving, particularly when you know you’ve got something that person will really love.
  7. Your favourite number? – 2 and 7
  8. Your favourite day of the week? – Sunday
  9. Your favourite flower? – Colourful, sweet smelling ones!
  10. What is your passion? – Writing stories of course.

There’s absolutely no pressure to take part but I’d like to pass the award on to all my fellow WIPpeteers as I love reading your novel extracts each week and receiving your comments on mine. You’re a great and supportive bunch, so thank you.

Now, for my WIPpet. What to give you today… hum, it’s really getting tricky now without having written any new stuff recently. I think, because it’s my last WIPpet for a while, I will give you five paragraphs for the 5th February 2014 from the last chapter I’ve written, which just so happens to be chapter 14. For those of you who didn’t beta read book one this extract will probably be quite confusing. All I will say is by this point in the book Lizzie has been found and she’s with Maisie in a house in 1940s London with a future version of Danny. Oh, and to be really mean I’ve cut the last paragraph short because it gives away a huge plot spoiler.

“What are we not going to like?” I asked.

“My suggestion of what I think you should do.” Future Danny looked directly at me.

I pointed to the top of my chest. “What I should do?”

“Why Maisie?” Lizzie asked, folding her arms and huffing.

“Because,” future Danny said. “Maisie is the only one of us that can time-shift to…”

Make of that what you will! We’re a very welcoming bunch headed up by the fabulous KL Schwengel, so if you fancy joining in with WIPpet Wednesday simply choose an extract from your WIP that corresponds with the date (creativity is encouraged) and add your link here over on My Random Muse. Take the time to read the other WIPpet offerings too – we’re a diverse bunch.

I don’t know when I’ll be blogging again, but I will be back, that’s a promise. Until then happy writing and reading everyone!

5 Minutes With… Breige King

Silver blue ringI haven’t interviewed anyone on my blog for quite a while so what better way to celebrate my first interview of 2014 than by welcoming a friend to my blog – the very lovely and incredibly talented Breige King. Breige and I worked together at NHS Direct until she took the plunge last year and left to concentrate on her ever-growing jewellery business. To give up the day job to work full time on your creative passion is something that many of us strive for and Breige is the perfect example of making a real success of going freelance.

So, without further ado I’m dragging Breige away from her workbench and making her put down her tools to find out what makes her tick and just how she’s managed to get to where she is today.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today. First off, for anyone not familiar with your work how would you describe what you do?

I’m an independent jewellery designer working with gold, silver and precious stones using traditional silversmithing techniques. Whilst I enjoy working with newly sourced metal and stones, my true passion is working with a piece of jewellery that has meaning, perhaps a piece left by a loved one, taking it and breathing life back into it. With any piece I make, the privilege is all mine – for someone to come to me and ask me to make them an engagement band, a wedding ring, remodel a piece of jewellery – it’s such an honour. It’s as if I step outside of my life straight into theirs…

Garnet ringBeing a writer I can certainly relate to that, immersing myself in my characters’ lives. Have you always been creative?

Mmm? I’ve always been a ‘maker’ without a doubt. As children, my sister and I used to save our pocket money and visit the local haberdashery in Chipping Sodbury. We’d buy packets of sequins, feathers and beads and turn them into magnificent earrings! Our poor mother ‘Ooohed’, ‘Aaahed’ and modeled every creation and so fed my habit of making! I never lost that ‘creative’ bug and dabbled in many crafts over the years.

I used to write mini-plays and perform them with a friend to our mums and long-suffering brothers, and I never lost that creative bug either. How did you then turn that initial childhood passion turn into jewellery making? 

Being forced to give up my horse after a nasty fall left me with two partially fused discs and meant I had huge crater in my life – not that my four children didn’t take up time of course! This is where evening classes at The Orchard Studios in Kingswood, Bristol filled that gap – silversmithing sessions – the rest, as they say, is history!

You quit your job just a few months ago to concentrate on your jewellery business – has going freelance met your expectations? What have been the highs and lows?

After five months freelance it still doesn’t really feel like a job! I left part time Green diamond ringemployment in August 2013 – somehow, at the same time my business demand went through the sky. Was it fate that I left when I did? Who knows! I had an exhibition booked for September/October so the time seemed right. The Peacock Art Trail  in Corsham took my exposure away from friends and family and internet selling and into the domain of those actively seeking art – I’ve really not stopped since. There is always something missing from a photograph compared to the real thing. I guess it’s to do with seeing in all dimensions.

My highlight has to be a complete stranger telling me that my calibre of creative work was what was missing from a long established county fair that I can’t name!

Freelancing does come with minor drawbacks of course, it can often be quite a solitary existence. That and the extreme effort involved in making myself look human in the morning in the knowledge that no one except the postie will even see me!

But at least you’re making the effort even if it is just for the postie! As for freelancing being a solitary existence, where do you get your inspiration from?

Everywhere and anywhere. I’m a really random person when it comes to the bare facts. I love to name my pieces, to give them an identity, to tell a story. Sweet Dreams, this was one of the frequent designs that woke me frantically from sleep, clutching for a pen and paper. La Pelosa, an aquamarine ring named after the clearest, crystal blue sea I’ve ever seen. Little Satsuma, a small but very sweet orange sapphire stacking ring. Something Blue, a modern twist on an engagement ring – set with a striking natural blue diamond – I could go on and on and on…

What are your favourite pieces that you’ve designed and the story behind Memories..them?

Every piece is special without a single doubt. Some pieces tug my heart strings more than others. I always cry at sad (and happy) movies and often shed a little tear over a piece of my work. Strangely, given my (fading) red hair it’s rarely to do with temper or anger (though my children and dogs do inherently know when is a good time to ‘not bother’ me and when to ask for those new trainers!)

I was recently contacted to remodel a set of wedding and engagement rings I named ‘Memories’. By some chance, I had worked with the customer some 20 years previously, she hadn’t realised this when she’d approached me regarding the commission. Her commission was tinged with sadness but also great joy – celebrating life and knowing that her son will always be in her heart… A great privilege to be part of this – and for a friendship reunited.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of giving up their day job and turning their passion (whether writing, illustration, pottery etc.) into their full time job?

Cuff linksTrust your gut instinct and try to do something that sets you apart – don’t be scared to let your personality shine through.

You won’t need to be told to work hard if you love what you do. You might however, need to be told when to switch off, when to step away and when to chill out – I hear you family! 😉

Don’t be distracted by social media other than when working it to your advantage!Silver gold ring

Do make sure that you have a like minded friend to confer with. I’ve a good jeweller friend that I share a good few tools with, also a fair amount of ideas and problem solving, successes, failure and off loading etc! In a solitary working environment, I’d say it’s a must.

Do grasp life and live it! We humble human beings don’t have long to make our mark!

Purple rope ringWise words indeed Breige! What are your plans for 2014?

In 2014 I vow to become computer literate and hopefully get my website up in the near future – watch this space! (I will add a link on my blog to Breige’s website when it’s ready.)

I’ve a few exhibitions booked already – you’ll find me at The Pound Arts Centre in Corsham, Wiltshire during Cloth Road Arts Week 3rd – 11th May 2014 and somewhere in Frome (yet to be confirmed) during Frome Open Studios over the weekends 5-6th and 12-13th July 2014, so a busy few months ahead!

I’m also working on a collection for a wonderful gallery in The Cotswolds – but don’t want to tempt fate here!

Last but not least where can people find you?

Over on FacebookEtsy or on my new blog. I will also have my website up and running soon.

*       *      *

Thank you so much Breige for taking the time to share your journey from childhood ‘maker of things’, to successful independent jewellery designer. I’m sending you back to your workbench to get cracking again on making that stunning jewellery. I love the fact that I have such talented friends both in real life and online.

Breige takes commissions and there are also beautiful pieces that can be bought from her via Etsy. Also, if you like her Facebook page then you can get to drool at her creations on a regular basis. Just saying. 😉

Get Your Head Around This – WIPpet Wednesday

Words from page 29I managed to find the extract I’ve chosen for today in less than a minute – result! Recently it’s taken ages to find a suitable snippet that doesn’t give too much of the story away, and then of course there’s the time spent working out WIPpet maths, which always leaves me scratching my head… Today’s WIPpet maths is lovely and simple. One paragraph – to celebrate it being the last Wednesday of the first month of the year – from page 29 for the 29th January.

I briefly introduced a new character, Lucia, in a previous WIPpet and in this scene she’s with Maisie and Danny in ancient Rome. Maisie has just questioned why Lucia isn’t shocked by her and Danny turning up at her door (to explain anymore or who Lucia is will give way too much away I’m afraid). Here’s her answer.

Lucia laughed, a long throaty chuckle. “There’s very little that surprises me anymore. I’ve known you two and Lizzie since you were in your late teens and of course I recognise you even though you’re children. I always knew this was a possibility to meet you when you were much younger. So no, I’m not surprised, but I am concerned why you’re here and why Lizzie isn’t with you.”

That’s it for today. To join in simply post an extract of your current WIP that has some kind of connection to the date and add the link here. Thanks as always to K L Schwengel over on My Random Muse for hosting.

A Man With a Tattoo – WIPpet Wednesday

Swollen feetI’ve been putting my poor swollen feet up this week but instead of being idle I took the opportunity to catch up on emails and lots of blog posts that I’d missed. Elaine Jeremiah interviewed debut indie author, Chloe Corin on her blog, while queen of the WIPpeteers, K L Schwengel continued her fabulous WIPterviews with Ruth Nestvold and Adrian J. Smith. Jade Reyner wrote an interesting post asking the question ‘Should we speculate to accumulate?‘ and Joanne Phillips shared news on her blog about a brand new service from Kim Nash helping authors market their book. Last but not least I loved L. Marie’s ‘If I lived in Middle-Earth…’ post – go check it out and decide who you’d be: hobbit, wizard, human, dwarf or elf?

In recent weeks I’ve been jumping around all over the place trying to find suitable extracts from my WIP for WIPpet Wednesday and today is no exception. This scene takes place much earlier on in A Long Way From Home than recent WIPpets but it’s one that I’m happy to share and the WIPpet maths works out nicely. So for the 22/01/14 I give you 22 sentences from page 22. Simple. Maisie and Danny are in ancient Rome after time-shifting from Danny’s bedroom (they initially ended up in the Coliseum watching Gladiators fight). They’re trying to find somewhere safe when this happens…

“Which way do you think we need to go?” Streets on either side of the Forum bustled with people. I glanced to the left and caught the eye of a man watching us. I turned away but there was something about him. I looked back but he’d disappeared, probably into the crowd of people that streamed between the square and the street.

“That was odd.”

“What was?” Danny turned to me.

“Nothing. Probably just my imagination.” I scanned the mass of people behind us in the square. There he was again. A big-built man wearing a loose toga, no different to the majority of people we’d seen so far. Except this man’s head was shaved and as he turned to say something to another man I noticed what looked like a tattoo on the side of his neck. Much like the one I’d half seen on the rider who’d tried to capture us on London Bridge in 1730.

I grabbed Danny’s arm. “I’m not imagining things. We’re being followed.”

“Seriously? You’re sounding just like a paranoid Lizzie in 1730.”

“Yeah but Lizzie wasn’t being paranoid, was she.” I looked back to where I’d seen the two men but they’d disappeared again. “We need to keep moving.”

Ancient Rome really hasn’t been much fun for Maisie and Danny so far…

Anyone can join in with WIPpet Wednesday. All you need to do is choose an extract from your WIP that has a connection to the date and add your link here. Many thanks to K L Schwengel for hosting!