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!

A Very Merry Christmas WIPpet Wednesday

Christmas FrodoMerry Christmas everyone! I’ve cheated this week by actually writing this post in advance because right now I’m cooking our Christmas dinner and singing along to festive songs. It’s just Nik and I this year (plus Frodo and ‘bump’ of course) and it will be our first Christmas on our own (we usually go to my Mum and Dad’s). We’ll sit down and eat about 1pm before opening our presents and then spending the rest of the day all cosy in the living room with the wood burner going, roasting chestnuts, playing board games and watching Christmas TV.

Everyone keeps telling me to make the most of one last quiet Christmas because next year will be frantic with a baby. But that’s what I’m really looking forward to, as in my mind that’s what Christmas is all about – family. I remember Christmas being such a special time when I was growing up, with my Mum, Dad, brother and I always spending the holidays with my Grandparents and uncle on their farm in Norfolk. To be able to replicate those happy times with our own son or daughter will be simply magical – however hectic it may be.

Maisie and Danny in today’s extract definitely aren’t having quite such a magical time in ancient Rome. This scene from page 25 for the 25th December takes place a little bit before this one that I posted a couple of weeks ago. Maisie and Danny have just been chased through the streets of Rome by two men and have found somewhere they hope will be safe.

The double doors were made from a rich-coloured wood and had carvings all over them. I looked closer at images of hooded riders on horseback, of battles, and characters eating from plates piled high with food. In the centre, and crossing both doors, three letters were carved into the wood:

D M L

“Danny, Maisie, Lizzie,” I said. “This is definitely the place.”

“Get the key Maisie – they can’t be far behind.”

I tipped the key into my hand from the locket round my neck. I searched the door. “Danny. There’s nowhere for a key to go. There’s no lock.”

“There’s got to be.”

“I promise you there isn’t.”

He had his back to me and was looking along the street the way we’d come. “We need to get inside, like now.”

The fabulous K L Schwengel hosts WIPpet Wednesday over on her blog, My Random Muse, so do pop over and say hello, have a read of the other diverse WIPpets or even post your own extract here.

I will get round to reading all the other WIPpets but with all this eating, drinking (non-alcoholic of course) and being merry to do, it might take me until the end of the week. In the meantime, have a very happy Christmas all my fellow WIPpeteers and blog readers and I’ll see you back here on the 1st January 2014!

A Blast From the Past – WIPpet Wednesday

Christmas presentsWith just one week to go until Christmas, festive fever has well and truely hit the UK. Everywhere you go Christmas songs are playing; the German market in the centre of Bristol is in full swing; and the shops are heaving with people frantically buying presents for their loved ones. I’ve written my Christmas cards and sent them off and all the presents are wrapped and looking very lovely under the tree. This lunchtime I’m off out for my first roast turkey dinner with friends from work. I may not be able to move this afternoon so that will be the perfect excuse to make the rounds and read everyone’s WIPpets.

My WIPpet maths is simple today – 18 (nice and short) paragraphs for the 18th December from Time Shifters – A Long Way From Home. Be warned it is a completely unedited first draft! In this extract Maisie and Danny are time-shifting again after finding themselves in yet more trouble in ancient Rome. They’re in a horse-drawn covered coach escaping Rome when they’re attacked. Maisie has very little time to decide about where and when they should attempt to time-shift to…

There was another shudder. I didn’t know if it was Hunters attacking the coach or us about to time shift. I kept my eyes tightly shut and concentrated on the warmth of the fire in the Great Hall and the feel of the well-worn wood of the table.

Another shudder. And then the cushions we’d been sitting on fell away from beneath us and we were left spinning. My legs kicked nothing but air and my arms gripped Danny tighter and tighter. I didn’t dare open my eyes, not just because I’d be able to see ourselves falling but also because I was terrified about where we’d actually end up.

Still with linked arms we thudded on to a stone floor and ended up sprawled on the ground. I opened my eyes and untangled myself from Danny. It was definitely Robbie’s Great Hall, except there was no roaring fire and the room was cold and unwelcoming with grey light streaming through the windows.

“Where are we?” Danny brushed dirt from off his makeshift toga.

“Robbie’s house. The guy me and Lizzie met in 1471.”

The door creaked open and a servant walked in with a bundle of wood in her arms. She stopped when she saw us, let out a seriously loud scream and dropped the wood on the floor.

“It’s okay,” I said, holding my hands out and taking a step towards her. “We’re friends of Lord Robert’s.”

She screamed again, turned and ran from the room.

“That went well,” Danny said. “You do realise how ridiculous we look dressed like this.” He pointed at himself.

“At least we both made it here.”

There were voices out in the main hallway and a boy, a little bit older than us, charged into the Great Hall with a sword pointing towards us.

Both Danny and me held up our hands and took a step backwards towards the fireplace.

“Who are you?” he asked, stepping further into the room.

“We’re friends of Lord Roberts,” I said again. The boy was tall and muscular but with a boyish face and dark blonde curly hair.

“Why are you dressed like that?”

I could see a couple of servants hovering out in the hallway. “You wouldn’t believe us if we told you.”

“Try me.”

I met his eyes and slowly it dawned on me that I might have met him before. “Who are you?”

I may or may not reveal who he is in a future WIPpet, although my lovely beta readers who read the first Time Shifters book might be able to work it out.

K L Schwengel hosts WIPpet Wednesday over on her fabulous blog, My Random Muse. You can check out the rest of the WIPpeteers offerings over there or even join in yourself by simply posting an extract of your work in progress here that relates to the day. 18 lines, paragraphs or even words for the 18th December – you get the idea…

This time next week it’ll be Christmas Day! I hope everyone’s feeling festive and are all ready for the celebrations. Only seven more sleeps. :-)

Finally Feeling Festive – WIPpet Wednesday

Christmas tree 2013I’m a bit later than normal publishing my WIPpet post because while there are half price sales on and Nik and I both have a few days off together (for once) we’ve been out shopping for nursery furniture, a pram and a car seat. Nik’s also been busy painting the nursery and I’ve decorated our Christmas tree so we’re beginning to feel rather festive. It is, however, far from festive for Maisie and Danny in this week’s WIPpet as towards the beginning of Time Shifters – A Long Way From Home they find themselves time-shifted to somewhere hot, noisy and a little bit dangerous. No surprises there. Confusingly these two paragraphs (for the 2 in 11/12/13) from page 11 take place before last week’s WIPpet.

I stepped up on to the bench. My heart skipped a beat as I realised what I’d done. A sea of people spread out in front of us, their attention focused on the arena in the centre. There was sand, just as I’d imagined but it wasn’t a lovely clean beach yellow. Instead, blood soaked into the sand forming large pools around the gladiators who were already dead or dying.

“The Coliseum. You imagined the Coliseum?” Danny said as we were shoved backwards by one of the Romans jumping on to our bench to get a better view of a gladiator holding his sword above the chest of one of the gladiators sprawled on the ground.

I warned you it wasn’t very festive.

The lovely K L Schwengel hosts WIPpet Wednesday and has been doing interviews with the WIPpeteers over the past couple of weeks, which are well worth checking out. If you want to join in and become a WIPpeteer yourself then post an extract of your work in progress that relates, however loosely, to the date and add it to the link here.

In Trouble Yet Again – WIPpet Wednesday

venice3It’s good to be back and joining in with WIPpet Wednesday again – I’ve missed you guys! November was spent working on Time Shifters – A Long Way From Home and I have to say after months and months spent editing, first The Butterfly Storm and then Time Shifters, it was so good to actually start writing again. Getting approximately 20,000 words written during NaNo also means that I have a whole new WIP that I can post extracts from. It’s rough, and I mean really rough, but that’s what WIPpet Wednesday is all about isn’t it? Sharing our work in progress in all its first-drafty glory.

So, for the 4th December I’m giving you 12 sentences from chapter 4 of Time Shifters – A Long Way From Home. This extract features Maisie and Danny who have – unsurprisingly – managed to get themselves into a bit of trouble in ancient Rome.

We tumbled inside, practically pushing the woman out of the way, and shut the heavy door firmly behind us. A great wooden bar fell into place and it was only seconds later that the weight of the two men landed against the door. It didn’t budge. We took a step back and turned to the woman.

She had a tanned face and looked Italian with dark golden hair braided on top of her head. She wore a floating cream dress that had an embroidered band above the waist. She stared at us with wide brown eyes.

“Hello Maisie. Hello Danny,” she said.

I frowned. “You know our names?”

“You speak English.” Danny took another step into the villa.

So there you have it. The WIPpeteers are a friendly bunch and if you fancy joining in simply post an extract of your WIP that relates in some way to the date and add your link here. WIPpet Wednesday is also a fabulous way of making writing friends from all round the world. Elaine and I were lucky enough to meet fellow WIPpeteer, Emily, during her recent visit to the UK. After spending time in London and Cardiff Emily was in Bath for a few days so we met one chilly evening in a cafe and had a lovely chat for a couple of hours before she headed off to Paris.

Many thanks as always to K L Schwengel for hosting WIPpet Wednesday.

Stupid Lizzie – WIPpet Wednesday

Peugeot 3008This past week has flown by and despite being busy working, sorting out cars (the new car is lovely by the way – see the photo!), insurance and lots of other bits and pieces I have managed to write some more of Time Shifters book two. I think I need to come up with a more imaginative title than Time Shifters book two. I’ve been toying with the idea of book one simply being called Time Shifters, book two Time Shifters – A Long Way From Home, and book three tentatively entitled Time Shifters – The Last Stand. That at least will do for the time being but I’d love to know your thoughts.

In last week’s WIPpet Maisie had just texted Danny to inform him that Lizzie had gone missing and was splashed all over the news. In this week’s extract Maisie has arrived at Danny’s house where she finds him in his bedroom reading about what’s happened to Lizzie on his computer. Here are a convenient two paragraphs from Time Shifters – A Long Way From Home for the 2nd October.

“Hey,” Danny said, without turning round. “I’m surprised no-one actually saw her time shift. One second she was in this villa looking at mosaics with her parents and sister, next thing she’s gone. The police think she’s been kidnapped by someone.”

I sat down on the bed and Danny swung around to face me. “Lizzie is stupid enough to have wandered about that place daydreaming about Roman times and got time shifted to actual Roman times,” he said.

That’s your lot for today. WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by the talented K L Schwengel over at My Random Muse. Anyone can join in so if you’ve got a work in progress that you’re happy to share then post an extract that relates in some way to the date and add it to the linky here. Have a good week everyone!

Time Shifters Book Two! – WIPpet Wednesday

Holkham BeachHello everyone! It’s good to be back and joining in with WIPpet Wednesday again. Last week’s few days of relaxation didn’t quite go to plan. We set off for Norfolk in good time on Tuesday morning only to break down halfway. Whilst driving up a hill behind slow-moving traffic a warning light came on and I suddenly felt the power drain from the car until it was like driving uphill through treacle. Fortunately we were close to a lay-by and I managed to squeeze the car in behind a lorry where, with the stink of petrol filtering into the car, I switched the engine off and thought ‘oh bugger’. Actually, I thought a lot more than that but I won’t publish my actual thoughts on this blog.

We called the AA and waited an hour for a helpful AA man to turn up, attempt to switch on the engine and say the words you really don’t want to hear when Bryabel garden viewyou’re 100 miles from home and stuck in a lay-by between Buckingham and Milton Keynes: ‘That really doesn’t sound good at all.’ In fact it was far from good. The timing belt had completely gone and we were going no-where apart from back home to Bristol. It was at this point that I had a lot more thoughts along the lines of ‘oh bugger’. Annoyed doesn’t even come close to how I was feeling when we’d so been looking forward to a few peaceful days on the north Norfolk coast.

With Frodo happily asleep on the back seat of the car, Nik and I waited another three hours for the tow-truck to arrive to take us back to Bristol. At least we got to spend some quality time together… Despite everything we did manage to get to Norfolk with my Mum and Dad towards the end of the week and had a lovely and very relaxing few days going for a walk on beautiful Holkham Beach, picking blackberries, eating delicious food, and generally chilling out and de-stressing. As for my poor car the cost of repairing it was so much we’ve ended up part-exchanging it for a brand new one which I will hopefully be picking up by the end of the week.

BlackberriesSorting out buying the new car on Monday left me with some unexpected time on my hands when I ended up waiting for Nik to finish work so we could make the final decision on the car together. With nothing else to do I got a hot chocolate and tucked myself away in a corner of a Starbucks and started writing the beginning of Time Shifters book two. So for Wednesday 25th September here are approximately 25 first draft sentences which are not necessarily the start of the book but are likely to be within the first chapter. *Warning* The following extract will go some way to giving away the ending of book one.

“Ollie that’s not a nice thing to say,” Mum said, wiping her hands on her apron. “Whether you like Lizzie or not that has nothing to do with it; she’s gone missing and no-one deserves that. Her poor parents they must be worried sick. Imagine if it was Maisie and how distraught you’d be.”

I bit my lip and hugged Benji. I realised how easily it could be me. I was certain Lizzie had time shifted just like we had at Warwick Castle three months ago. I’d made sure I hadn’t gone anywhere there’d be a risk of time shifting since – no castles or National Trust places for me. Not that it was a problem living on a farm as we rarely went anywhere on the weekends anyway.

Ollie downed his glass of orange juice and flicked his fingers in front of me. “You’re daydreaming again.” He grabbed the lead from my hand and patted Benji on the head. “Come on then.”

“Does that mean I can go to Danny’s?” I asked.

Mum sighed. “Yes, but be back by seven.”

I kissed her on the cheek and she waved me away, turning back to her frying pan of mince and tipping in a tin of tomatoes.

Grabbing my mobile I ran back out of the door, texting Danny as I went.

Coming over to yours. Be 20mins. You heard about Lizzie?

I retrieved my bike from where it leaned against the woodshed and wheeled it across the yard towards the gate. Beep went my mobile.

No. Wots she done now?

Turn on the news. She’s gone missing. Think she’s time shifted.

Many thanks to K L Schwengel for hosting WIPpet Wednesday. To read the other WIPpets or add your own you can find the linky here. Enjoy.

If you weren’t aware my good friend and fellow WIPpeteer Elaine Jeremiah launched her debut novel The Inheritance just over a week ago. I interviewed her as part of her blog tour plus she wrote a fabulous guest post for my blog all about how she became a writer. The Inheritance is available from amazon.

 

Book Blurb for Time Shifters – WIPpet Wednesday

DSC00667Choosing an extract that corresponded with today’s date and didn’t give too much of the plot away was proving to be difficult so I thought I’d share my first stab at the blurb for Time Shifters instead. Part of it I’d written a few months ago, some of it I wrote this morning so I’d be very interested to know what you think. I’ve had to be ingenious with WIPpet maths to make this work for the 28th August. The blurb is exactly 101 words… 2 + 8 = 10 (101 = 10 + 1 for luck). And I was never any good at maths when I was at school…

 

When Maisie Brown is time shifted to 1471 during a school trip to Warwick Castle, it’s the beginning of an adventure bigger than she could ever have dreamed of. The only problem is she has to share it with Lizzie Andrews, the class bully, instead of her best friend Danny Romano, who is caught up amongst the Earl of Warwick’s army marching to battle…

Will Maisie and Lizzie find Danny before it’s too late? Will they manage to get home without being time shifted again? And just who are the mysterious hooded riders who seem so intent on hunting them down?

Comments about what works, what doesn’t, whether the premise hooks you or if it would make you want to buy the book for yourself, your kids, niece, nephew or Godchildren will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

WIPpet Wednesday, hosted by K L Schwengel, is all about sharing your latest work in progress. Simply post an extract of your WIP that corresponds in some way to the date and add your link to the linky here. Why not have a read of all the other great WIPpets whilst you’re there too.

All Is Not What It Seems – WIPpet Wednesday

Frodo on blanketI’m back! I missed writing my WIPpet post last week although I did manage to read some of the other WIPpeteers’ work. I really need to start writing The House of Stone as I’m on the verge of giving too much of the plot away with my Time Shifters snippets. Last week was all about The Butterfly Storm and this week my focus is going to be firmly on finishing editing Time Shifters. The Butterfly Storm is still doing really well post-promo and is hanging in the top 300 on the UK amazon kindle chart and is still in the top 10 of the literary fiction and women’s literary fiction categories.

But back to Time Shifters and today’s WIPpet which is 8 paragraphs from chapter 21 for the 21/08/13. You might remember from a few weeks back the scene when Maisie, Danny and Lizzie get a lift into London on the back of a cart. It’s 1666 and the Great Fire of London is raging. Despite their best laid plans to get out of London and across the Thames as soon as they can, they end up helping to save a wealthy woman’s belongings from her house, which just so happens to be in the path of the fire. In this extract the woman has asked Maisie to save her beloved dog, Charlie.

I followed Lizzie and Danny into the house. After the brightness of the day, it was gloomy and stuffy inside. Danny headed straight for the large chest against the entrance hall wall.

“Grab the other end, Maisie,” he said.

“I have to find her dog. Lizzie, help Danny.” I clattered up the stairs and didn’t give them a chance to argue.

The first floor landing was a little brighter with smoky daylight streaming through a window over looking the street. Apart from one door that opened on to a large panelled room with a writing desk in front of the window, all the other doors off the landing were closed. I began to climb the stairs to the top floor when I heard a bark.

“Charlie?” I ran to the top landing and pushed open the doors of each bedroom until I saw the most gorgeous King Charles spaniel, barking his head off in the middle of a four poster bed hung with gold drapes. He saw me and abruptly stopped barking and let out a whine.

“Hey Charlie, what are you doing up here on your own?” His tail wagged and he waddled over to the edge of the bed. He was a white and tan colour and so soft with huge floppy ears and big brown eyes. I scooped him into my arms and his wagging tail flicked back and forwards into my face. “Come on, let’s get out of here before the whole place burns down.”

I was about to walk out of the door when a thud on the floorboards behind me made me stop.

“Maisie, wait!”

That’s your lot for today and that might have to be it for Time Shifters too unless I can find something suitable to post next week. Otherwise I might just have to write something new….

If you fancy joining in simply post an extract of your work in progress that relates in some way to the day or if you’re feeling brave post a new beginning of a whole new WIP. WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by the lovely K L Schwengel over on My Random Muse. To read the other WIPpets or add your own just click on the little blue linky.