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!

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!

Famous for Being a Missing Person – WIPpet Wednesday

Facebook imageI know, I know – in last week’s WIPpet I said the extract I posted would be the last one from Time Shifters but I have nothing else to share this week and so my trusty children’s novel is seeing the light of day again. It’s not yet gone out to beta readers so I guess it can still be classed as a work in progress (just).

This week I give you a neat 11 lines from chapter 11 for the 11th September. All I really need to tell you to set this scene up is it’s 1471 and Maisie and Lizzie have found a room for the night in an inn.

“I wonder what’s happening back home?” Lizzie said. “Do you reckon the police are out looking for us?”

I sat on the bed next to her. “I guess so. We’ve been gone for four days.”

“Maybe there’ll be a facebook page dedicated to us?”

“Are you worried you’re missing out on your fifteen minutes of fame?”

“I don’t want to be famous for being a missing person.”

“But you want to be famous?”

“Don’t you?”

“Not really, no.”

So there you have it, the final installment of Time Shifters until it’s published – unless you’ve kindly offered to beta read it of course.

I will have to miss WIPpet Wednesday next week as I’m going away for a few blissful days in Norfolk with my husband and our dog, Frodo. Five days of fresh sea air, good food and no internet – I can’t wait. However, if you stop by my blog on Saturday then Elaine Jeremiah will be kicking off her blog tour for The Inheritance with a guest post. Plus if you have time tomorrow then Joanne Phillips has got lots lined up on her blog including giveaways to celebrate the launch of her cosy mystery, Murder at the Maples.

Many thanks to K L Schwengel for hosting WIPpet Wednesday. Got a WIP you’d like to share then simply choose an extract that corresponds to the date (WIPpet maths is encouraged) and add the link to your post here.

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.

They’re Coming – WIPpet Wednesday

Autumn view TyntesfieldTime is running away with me today. I’ve spent most of my time this week submitting The Butterfly Storm to various sites to promote it when it goes free this coming Friday 9th – Sunday 11th but I just about have time to squeeze in a WIPpet. Amazingly I’ve managed to find an extract that fits in with the date and doesn’t have any major spoilers all within 5 minutes – that must be a record.

So, for today’s WIPpet we’re rewinding a fair few chapters in Time Shifters and Maisie and Lizzie are back in 1471, still without Danny, and have left an inn in the middle of the night when they realise that someone’s after them… The following 13 (shortish) paragraphs are from page 78, and the WIPpet maths behind that is quite simply that it’s the 07/08/13.

We thundered along the road lined with skeletal trees but ahead was just darkness. My heart was thumping so hard against my ribs I could barely breathe. I didn’t dare look back. They were on horses and we were on ponies and eventually they would catch us up.

“We need to hide,” I said, glancing back. The flaming torches were getting closer, flickering through the trees. “We don’t have much time.”

The wood loomed against the moonlit sky. I turned Goliath towards the trees and tightened my grip on the rope attached to Zeus. “Hold on!” I said.

Branches whipped and tore at our clothes and skin as we entered the wood. We were forced to slow down. There was no clear path and the trees were dense. We headed away from the road, deeper into the wood. The only noise was the crunch of twigs under hooves, the ponies snorting and our breathing, loud in the darkness. I twisted in the saddle. I couldn’t see anything behind us. Could we be that lucky and have lost them? No, there was the familiar orange glow flickering through the trees moving parallel to us. Did that mean they were still on the road?

Goliath stopped and I was thrown forwards but I managed to grab hold of his mane to steady myself. Lizzie’s leading rope slipped from my hand and Zeus kept moving forwards.

“Maisie?”

“I’m here, don’t worry.”

There was a splash and Zeus walked into a stream shimmering in the moonlight. Now I understood why Goliath had stopped. I kicked him but he wouldn’t budge. His hooves were planted firmly at the edge of the stream.

“Maisie!” Lizzie’s voice was high-pitched and way too loud. She was on the other side of the stream now. “I can’t stop.”

“Turn Zeus away from the stream and into a tree.”

I dismounted, grabbed Goliath’s reins and splashed into the water, gasping at the cold. I pulled at his reins but he was stubborn and still wouldn’t move. Lizzie had come to a stop; I could see the gleam of Zeus’ grey coat not far away.

“Come on Goliath,” I said, stroking his soft nose. A crack of a branch somewhere in the wood made him look up. Maybe he could smell my fear because with another tug on his reins he joined me in the stream. Lizzie’s hands were shaking as she handed me the leading rope.

“They’re coming,” I whispered.

I will get round to reading everyone’s WIPpets but it might take me a couple of days to do so. The WIPpeteers are a fabulously supportive bunch and welcome new writers. Got a WIP to share then post an extract of your novel that relates in some way to the date, or write the beginning of a brand new novel and add your link to the linky over on My Random Muse. Many thanks to the talented K L Schwengel for hosting.

Only One Way Out – WIPpet Wednesday

DSC00458I very nearly had nothing to give you for today’s WIPpet. I was trying all kinds of WIPpet maths to make an extract work that didn’t give too much of the plot away. In the end I’ve decided to keep it simple and have chosen 1 paragraph for the number 1 in the 31st July. Do you remember last week when I asked if things could get any worse when Maisie and Danny were stranded on a sinking boat on the Thames in 1666? Well fast forward a few chapters and this time Maisie and Lizzie are in a spot of bother in 1730.

 

Thud. Someone’s full weight crashed into the cottage door. Dust puffed from the sides. Lizzie backed away and I pulled her into the bedroom and closed the door. There was no lock and the only way out was through the window. I grabbed a blanket from off the bed and wrapped it around my hand before smashing the glass. There was another thud on the cottage door and the sound of wood splintering.

I’m still working my way through the final edit of Time Shifters, so there won’t be any brand new writing from The House of Stone for a little while yet. What I”m concentrating on this week though is setting up promoting The Butterfly Storm for when it’s free from the 9th to the 11th August – I’m hoping for lots of downloads!

The WIPpeteers are continuing to grow, so if you’d like to join in then post an extract of your work in progress that corresponds to the date (I could have chose 31 lines or gone with an extract from chapter 31 today for example) and then add your link to the linky hosted over on K L Schwengel’s blog. You can check out the other WIPpeteers’ offerings here.

Chill Out Lizzie – WIPpet Wednesday

Tyntesfield TowerHello fellow WIPpeteers! This week has been a very good and happy one so far but it’s also one of change with my brother, his girlfriend and my little nephew moving from our hometown of Bristol to beautiful Carmarthenshire in Wales. It means that they’ll be 2 and 1/4 hours away by car instead of just 15 minutes but the time we spend with them will hopefully be quality time. No doubt they’ll be back to Bristol often and frequent trips to Wales to visit them sounds pretty blissful to me.

It’s all change for my characters in Time Shifters this week too. Without giving too much of the plot away it’s still 1471 and Maisie and Lizzie in their quest to rescue Danny (who’s still with the army marching to battle) come across Robbie, the Lord of Towcester. Maisie and Lizzie stay at his house for the night and the following 10 paragraphs from chapter 10 for the 10th July takes place in the morning after their first good night’s sleep in days.

I woke to a cockerel crowing. I was warm and cosy all snuggled up in bed and for a moment I believed I was at home on our farm. I almost imagined I could smell bacon frying downstairs. I waited until my eyes adjusted to the gloomy room. Yesterday morning I’d woken up achy and cold beneath a tree and now I was sleeping on the softest bed ever. Robbie had warned us that the cockerel started crowing before 6am. Who needed an alarm clock? I wanted to leave early to try and close the gap between Warwick’s army and us. I swung my legs out of bed and padded over to the window and drew the thick curtains. Grey light flooded in. I squinted but could only see trees poking through the mist. It didn’t look very inviting and half of me wanted to get back into bed. Instead, I cleaned my teeth, washed my face and started to put on the clean clothes that had been laid out for me on the chest at the foot of the bed. I’d gone from looking like a peasant to a lady overnight. The pale green dress was a bit too big with a high waist, square neckline and long, tight sleeves that covered my hands. There was a pair of soft leather boots next to the chest. I picked up a cap with a turned up brim, put it on and went to the window to see my reflection. I looked totally ridiculous.

My bedroom door slammed open and Lizzie stormed in red-faced and wearing a flattering gold version of the dress I was in. Hers had a jewel at the centre of the waistband.

“What am I supposed to do with this?” she said, waving a jewelled piece of fabric at me.

“Come on in why don’t you,” I said.

“Aaaghrr!” She paced across my room pulling at her dress. “I can’t even walk in this.”

“Chill out Lizzie, it’s just a dress,” I said. “I’m the tomboy remember. Anyway we can hardly walk around in trousers.”

“Tights. The men wear tights and the women wear poncey dresses.”

“I think you look really pretty in it.”

“Oh,” she said, turning awkwardly to face me. “Thanks.”

She was really pretty. Her hair was clean and brushed and lay straight against her shoulders. Mine was a mass of curls that bobbed up and down every time I moved.

Raewyn did a wonderful interview with me last Friday, so if you’ve not yet read it and have the time, then please do pop on over to her blog to check it out.

I will get round to reading everyone’s WIPpets but it may take me a couple of days to do so. And if you fancy joining in then simply choose an extract of your work in progress that relates (however loosely) to the date or write a completely new opening to a brand new novel and add your link to the linky over on My Random Muse. Thanks as always to K L Schwengel for hosting.

This is a Stupid Idea – WIPpet Wednesday

DSC00667My focus this month is going to be firmly on Time Shifters so it makes sense to choose a snippet from it for today’s WIPpet. As it’s the 3rd July I’ve opted for three paragraphs from page 23 (3 + 7 + 13 = 23). This takes us nearly all the way back to the beginning of the book when Maisie found herself time shifted at Warwick Castle to 1471 along with the class bully, Lizzie. The two girls have realised that Maisie’s best friend, Danny, has been caught up with the army that has just marched out of Warwick Castle’s imposing gates and the girls set off after the soldiers.

The view I’d seen yesterday from the top of the castle lay before us unchanged. Outside the castle walls Warwick was little more than a village. The kitchen girls headed down the dirt path towards a cluster of cottages. Home for us was two hours in the other direction by coach. By coach. How long would it take to walk – days and days – and what would we find when we got there? But the Kingmaker’s army was marching in the opposite direction, past Warwick and away from our home, their armour glinting in the early morning sunshine. In every direction there was an uncluttered landscape filled with green grass and trees. No pylons, no roads, no landmarks or signposts. I stopped just a few steps from the castle gates where the path to the car park had been.

“This is a stupid idea,” Lizzie said, stopping beside me.

“Have you got a better one? Like go back inside and wait to be rescued?”

The WIPpeteers are growing and if you’d like to join in then add your link to the linky over on host K L Schwengel’s blog and have a read of all the other great WIPpets too. Talking of the WIPpeteers in last week’s WIPpet post Raewyn asked the question what my WIPpeteer outfit would be and I replied in the comments that it would be the costume I wore when I was a drama student in Aberystwyth and I played King Charles II in an all female production of Stephen Jefferys’ fabulously bawdy play, The Libertine. I did say to Raewyn that I would dig the photo out, so as promised here I am, aged about 19 in full swing as King Charles II…

King Charles II

A very suitable WIPpeteer costume, don’t you think?

On Monday the very lovely Alison Strachan interviewed me for her Moment of Truth feature so if you’ve got the time please pop on over to her blog and have a read. And as Raewyn has already mentioned, this Friday she’s kindly featuring an interview she did with me about The Butterfly Storm. Have a great week everyone.

The Great Fire of London – WIPpet Wednesday

The Great Fire of London mapIt’s back to Time Shifters today (my time travel adventure for 8-12 year-olds) as I’ve not yet written another word of The House of Stone so I can’t share any more with you. I really must get cracking with it as I’m fast running out of suitable chapters to share from Time Shifters without the use of ingenious WIPpet maths. Today I’ve managed to find an extract from just over halfway in the novel when Maisie, Danny and Lizzie have hitched a ride on a wagon into London. The only trouble is it’s 1666 and the Great Fire of London is raging. The following five paragraphs plus 13 lines are from chapter 21… 5 + 21 = 26 for the 26th June and the 13 lines are in honour of it being 2013. See, I told you I was using ingenious WIPpet maths.

On the other side of the gate the houses were even more squashed together making the relatively wide road claustrophobic. It was packed with people, carts and horses hurrying in both directions in and out of London. The air was hot and heavy with heat and smoke that caught in the back of my throat. The old man started with his hacking cough again.

We held on tight to the sides of the cart as we rumbled down the road. Some of the people we passed had flushed, soot ingrained faces and a couple of the women were crying. The smoke-filled sky above was almost blocked out by the house’s roofs nearly touching. We passed an ironmongers and a bakers tucked between houses. I suddenly realised I was hungry and we’d gone without breakfast. I thought about asking Danny what food we had left in our sack but he was peering over the edge of the cart taking everything in the same as Lizzie was doing on the other side.

The smell, a really horrible mixture of urine, faeces, rotting vegetables and smoke, intensified the further down the road we went. So did the noise and heat and I wiped sweat off my face with the sleeve of my dress. We reached a crossroads jammed with people and the old man steered the horse and cart to the left through the mob and onto a wider street called Cheapside. The road opened up and on the right was a huge church, its square bell tower disappearing into the black smog above.

“What church is that?” I shouted to the old man.

“St Paul’s,” he grunted.

“As in St Paul’s Cathedral? The St Paul’s?” I asked.

“I’ve been to St Paul’s and it doesn’t look anything like it,” Lizzie said.

“That’s because it’s probably going to burn to the ground and they’ll have to rebuild it,” Danny said.

“And you know this because?”

“Because I’m guessing that’s what happens.”

Hot wind buffered my face and embers from the fire whipped up by the wind settled on our clothes and in our hair. We passed coffee houses and another church. People were dragging their belongings out of their houses and into the street. A tavern called The Bull Head was still open and men stood outside with tankards in their hands and the snippets of conversations I caught were all about the fire. The old man turned the horse and cart sharply to the right into Bow Lane full of large and grand looking houses still tightly packed together. It felt hotter and the noise of people shouting was getting louder. We turned left into another street at the bottom of the lane and suddenly there was the fire.

My blog tour for The Butterfly Storm is continuing until Friday. On Monday Elaine interviewed me on her blog and yesterday I was a guest on Raewyn’s blog with a post about the freedom of self-publishing. A little later on this morning an extract of The Butterfly Storm will be featured on British author, Jade Reyner’s blog.

Many thanks to K L Schwengel for hosting WIPpet Wednesday. If you’ve got a work in progress that you’d like to share then choose a suitable extract that corresponds to the day (however tenuously) or write a brand new opening to a potential novel and add the link of your post to the blue linky over on My Random Muse and have a read of the other diverse WIPpets whilst you’re there.