Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Her heart sinks...

I've been waiting. Anxiously waiting if truth be told.  Now I have my answer, and its not pretty. My latest opus was liked by the editor, and went up as far as a reading team, but I just heard back, and they've decided to pass. Although they loved the plot, and thought my writing was good, they said the story lacked pizzazz, and wasn't memorable enough. I've an invitation to rework it and they'll look at it again.
I've been making huge inroads into a new story, have knocked out 1,800 words this morning, and its not even lunchtime yet, but right now my mojo has deserted me.
I know I should be looking on the bright side. Feeling happy about the things they liked, but right now I'm feeling blue. That's okay, because feeling blue is all part of a writer's day. I'm sure when I've absorbed the feeling of being rejected I'll be able to look at it with fresh eyes. Take on board the suggestions. Maybe even rewrite to add the missing elements that make the story so godamned unforgettable that no-one will ever be able to forget my couple's story.
I just need to give it time. Have a wallow, eat some chocolate (thank goodness for Easter!) and lick my wounds. Then pick myself up the floor and get back on the writing horse again. Down, but not out. Definitely not out!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wearing the Green - Part 4 - Final Segment

Wearing the Green - Final part...

“Do you?” Nervous fingers fiddled with her cup.

He wanted to get out of there. It didn’t matter where. If he didn’t he was going to kiss her again, and damn the consequences.
“Not really. I don’t really like crowds.”
She smiled. “In that case, maybe I can take you somewhere different, show you what I do for a living.”
The ringing of the telephone broke the mood, and she picked it up quickly. Her face broke into a smile as she listened to the excited chattering on the other end.
“That’s great news. I’ll pass you over.” She handed him the phone. “It’s Amber.”
Amber had news. Big news. He’d never heard her sound so excited. Bill had proposed and she’d accepted. Bill wanted to cut their weekend short, and come home to meet his fiancĂ©e’s brother.
“He wants to get your permission.” Amber breathed. “We’ll be back this afternoon. I know you think it’s too soon, but I love him Adam. I can’t even think of life without him.” The sincerity in her voice shook him to his foundations. Their father had divorced his mother, married hers, and then moved on to number three. None of that seemed to matter to Amber now. She was as excited as he’d ever heard her.

Eve pushed open the heavy oak door, aware of Adam behind her. Dust motes floated in the still air, illuminated by the jewelled light that streamed in to the silent space. She breathed in deeply. Being in the church always calmed her. The scaffolding filled the interior, the protective rain cover on the outside shielding the huge circular window from the elements. She walked to the large table that scanned the side wall, where pieces of glass glittered.
“We’ve been restoring the window.” She explained. “It was damaged in a storm. It’s a huge project.”
Adam’s finger stroked the painted face of an angel. The action sent a wave of heat through her, imaging his fingers lingering on her warm skin, rather than the chilled glass.
“It’s beautiful.” His voice was deep, reverent.
“I specialised in stained glass when I left college. In a lot of cases, all that’s required to revitalise a window is to clean it. The dirt builds up on it over the years. In this case because pieces were broken we have to make entirely new segments.” She gestured towards the angel’s face he was looking at. “That’s a new piece, I painted her.”
She was a true artist. The workmanship was exquisite. He’d never noticed that some stained glass was painted before.
“How long does a project like this take?”
“We have a couple more months to do on it. We started the project last November. There’s a large team of us working on it, but it can’t be hurried, not if you want to do it right.” She glanced at her watch, “We should go. Amber and Bill will be back soon.”
They walked out of the door. Daffodils poked their yellow heads out of the damp grass, a sign of spring. The ground was starting a new cycle. The new cycle that Adam had come to tell his sister about. His company wanted him to come to Dublin for six months to work in the Dublin office. He wanted to tell her face to face that he’d agreed to the move. Amber had been living on the other side of the world alone – he’d wanted to come for her sake. Now he wanted to be here for a reason all his own.
He reached for Eve’s hand, walked towards the ancient yew tree and pulled her close. What was it she’d said? It can’t be hurried, not if you want to do it right. She tilted her head up to gaze into his eyes as his mouth lowered to hers. They had time.

The End - Hope you liked it!

Wearing the Green - Part 3

Wearing the Green - Part 3 of 4

Luckily that decision was taken away from her by the bustle of people forcing them forwards into the sidestreets. The sleek ribbon of humanity flowed like a school of fish around College Green, diverging at the bottom of Grafton Street. All the cities arteries were blocked. St Patrick’s weekend cholesterol. Her hand was in his, the warmth of his fingers curled around hers heating her blood. She could pretend it was so they wouldn’t be separated in the melee, but why bother? Her eyes flickered up to his.

“In here.” She pulled him into the nearest pub, feeling the heat of the air flush her face. There was no way they could sit anywhere, every inch was full of people.
“What would you like?”
You. The thought rose in response, but she bit down on it. “A gin and tonic?” There was no need to hold hands anymore, but he wasn’t letting go. They made their way to the bar and he instantly got the bartender’s attention. It wasn’t just her, then. Everyone was captivated by Adam.


Their drinks were ready on the bar in front of him, and Adam fished in his pocket for euros. He handed over a note, and waited for change. There wasn’t any. He wanted to reach for her hand again, but the moment was gone. What was with him anyway? He hadn’t held hands since he was nine. Two people sitting at the bar were getting ready to go. He snagged the seats, and waited till she’d perched on one before sitting down next to her. His feet were on the ground, but hers dangled mid-air. A true pocket Venus. Fiery glints of red sparkled from her pre-raphaelite curls, and her azure eyes held his. Her soft mouth with its perfect cupid bow was smiling at him. His heart thumped. She really was gorgeous. What had Amber said about her flatmate? Had she even mentioned her at all? Suddenly it seemed imperative to find out more about this bewitching woman.
“So, where’s your boyfriend tonight?” Subtle, Adam, subtle. He clenched his jaw and mentally kicked himself. What a line. He’d never come out with something so stupidly transparent before. Usually he was cool and confident, but something about this situation had him flustered. Maybe it was the people, the unfamiliar city. Maybe it was the fact that he had only a couple of days before he was headed back to America. Or maybe it was the fact that he desperately wanted to know if she was single. Why kid himself? He wanted to know if she was single. With every atom in his body.
“No boyfriend.” The light seemed to dim in her eyes a little, before she tilted her chin up and forced a tight smile into place.
He took a sip of his Guinness. Smooth and creamy. Like her skin might be if he tasted it.
“I’m single too.” There. It was out. The sounds around them faded and all he was aware of was Eve. Three words, and the world tilted on its axis. Things were about to change.
“We should wait until the crowds die down before going back.” She was avoiding eye contact, and a touch of pink swept up from her throat to her cheekbones.
“Good idea.” He wanted to be alone with her. Talking was impossible in the noisy confines of the pub. If Amber were here, they’d be in the thick of it, enjoying the atmosphere. For the first time in his life, he was glad his sister had let him down.


It was an evening like no other. All Adam wanted to do was pull her into his arms, but he held back. In the intimate confines of the flat he needed to keep his distance. Had to keep it neutral. This was his sister’s flatmate, and she was different from the women he usually slept with. Softer, more innocent.
The next morning was bright and clear, the sunshine shone in through the gap in the curtains of Amber’s room, waking him from a fitful sleep. He’d laid away for hours, wrestling with himself. Resisting the urge to walk into the room next door and see if she was awake, thinking of him too. When he’d finally fallen asleep he’d had the most erotic dream of his life. With Eve as the guest star.
He walked into the kitchen. She was sitting at the breakfast bar, drinking coffee.
“Good morning.” She grinned at him and his heart flipped over. Two more days and he was back on that plane, he couldn’t start anything, it wouldn’t be right. He walked over and kissed her. Running his hands through her riot of curls, desire surging through him as she kissed him back. Why had he thought it would be safer, kissing her in the daytime? He was fast losing hold of his control, as her arms wound around his neck. He pulled back, breathing fast.
She looked stunned, her mouth opened then closed.
“So, what’s on the agenda for today?” He poured himself some coffee from the cafetiere, and struggled to put things back on a neutral footing. “Do you want to go to the parade?”

The next post is the end of the story...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wearing the Green - Part Two

Wearing the Green, continued...
“Are you ready to go?”

Adam hung up the phone and turned towards Eve as she entered the room, his eyes sweeping her from head to foot. Heat flickered in them briefly as they met hers.
“You look great.”
“So do you.” If it had been impossible to take her eyes off him before, it was doubly so now. He really worked those black Levis.
“Did you get her?” She’d taken one look at his expression and left him to call his sister in private.
“Yes.” He shrugged his shoulders. “She told me she’s in love.” He crossed his arms over his chest, drawing her attention to his impressive chest, every acre of it. “I told her she was crazy. How can she expect to be in love after such a short time? She’s only been dating him three weeks.”
“Three very intense weeks.” She’d barely seen her flatmate since she’d met Bill, and there conversations had become very one sided, Bill this, Bill that. In fact she gave a very good impression of someone completely smitten. “He’s nice.”
Adam snorted.
“Well, I’ll doubtless find out on Sunday. She’d determined I meet him. She says he’s the one.” A wry grin twisted his mouth. “I just hope she’s not going to get hurt. Amber doesn’t have the best taste in men.”
“Love happens.” She believed it with all her heart. Even though it hadn’t happened in a good and lasting way yet, she wasn’t throwing out her rose tinted glasses just yet. There was someone out there for everyone. She knew it. Shame Adam obviously didn’t believe it.
“So she keeps telling me.” He grinned, and she pulled in air as her heart pounded. How on earth did he do that? “Where are you taking me tonight?”
“Tonight is the first night of the festival. We’re going into the town centre for the fireworks.”
An eyebrow twitched and raised.
“You’ll love them.” She glanced at her watch. “Come on, we have to get the tram.”
“I can drive…”
“The last thing you want to do this weekend is try to drive anywhere, believe me. We can catch the tram from just outside.”
She slung her light suede jacket over her sparkly v-neck jumper which revealed just enough cleavage to be enticing, but not enough to be ‘look at me’ slutty and they made their way out into the dark Dublin night.
Reflected lights glittered in the dark river Liffey water as they faced the lit up Customs House.
“The architecture is beautiful.” The crush of bodies pushed them closer together. “You should stand in front of me. You’d have a perfect view.” Warm hands landed on her shoulders and he manoeuvred her into position, his hands resting on her shoulders protectively as the crowd surged forwards suddenly.
The person next to them had a radio tuned to the local radio station, and had it pressed to his ear. She craned her neck backwards to talk to him, and he leant forwards to listen.
“They broadcast a soundtrack to the fireworks.”
Someone pointed across the river. “Oh, they’re starting!”
Splashes of colour lit up the night sky and her neck ached as she stared upwards following their starry flight then gasped as the first loud bang rent the sky. She could feel his heat behind her, intensely aware of every inch of his body, so aware that she felt his body shake slightly, and tried to turn around to see if he was alright.
In the split second before she stumbled she caught a glimpse of his rapt face, He was laughing, mouth wide in joy at the sight of Dublin’s sky lit up. As her ankle twisted he looked down and then everything seemed to meld together, his face changing as he looked at her, his arms coming around her holding her steady against his body as she turned in his arms. His head was lowering and that look was in his eyes again, the hot look.
His lips brushed her ear. “Are you okay?”
His breath feathered over her ear and she barely heard his words in the gasps of the crowd and the firework’s bangs and whistles. She ran her tongue over her dry lips and he angled his ear towards her mouth.
“I just stumbled.” His arms tightened around her and it was as if everything faded away, the crowds, the sounds, the rainbow fountains of colour that filled the sky replaced by the greenness of his eyes as they stared down into hers.
He looked shocked, out of control somehow as his lips moved closer, then her heavy eyelids drifted closed as he brushed his lips over hers, softly, slowly, deliciously. Just once.
“Here comes the finale!” An excited voice from next to them had her turning in his arms, eyes focussing on the sight in front of her while his warm arms crossed over her torso. She leant back against his body and felt his moan reverberate through his ribcage. The fireworks in front of her eyes were amazing, but the fireworks going off inside were spectacular.
What to say, afterwards?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wearing the Green - Part One

Happy St Patrick's Day everyone. In the spirit of the day that's in it - I am serialising my short story 'Wearing the Green' over the next few blog posts... Enjoy!

Wearing the Green

“It’s only for the weekend.”
Amber’s tone was wheedling, she tossed back her long blonde hair and fluttered her mascara caked eyelashes. She was a woman used to getting what she wanted, but her feminine wiles were wasted on her flatmate.
“He’s your brother, and he’s coming all this way…” Eve Arden replied. It wasn’t every day that someone took a transatlantic flight, and if he was going to go to the trouble of visiting his little sister, it seemed only right that said sister should be there to meet him.
“Coming all this way without an invitation, and at short notice.” Amber added, eyes flashing. “It’s just like him, springing something like this on me,” she pouted. “And expecting me to drop everything to show him around for a week.” She crossed her arms over her chest, like a small child in full grip of a tantrum. “When Bill has finally made hotel reservations and invited me away.”
She leant towards Eve and grasped her arm, staring into Eve’s eyes with an intensity that would melt a lesser woman into a compliant pool on the floor.
“I think he’s going to propose,” she confided.
Eve knew when she was beat. “So, how long are you in Galway for?”
Amber smiled and blinked her eyelashes rapidly. “Friday to Sunday night. I’ll take over then, promise.” She threw her arms around Eve, crushing her. “Just the Patrick’s Day weekend, you didn’t have plans anyway did you?”
How was it possible that her tall American flatmate could make her feel such a lonely loser with just one sentence? It had only been a month since her last relationship had crashed and burned, but it still hurt. Eve rubbed her chest as she stepped back. Well maybe showing a strange American Ireland during St Patrick’s weekend was just what she needed. It had to beat lying around in her pyjamas, watching TV and eating ice-cream while wondering whether her flatmate was being proposed to yet. Anything had to be better than that.
“When’s he arriving?”
“The day after tomorrow.” Amber said.
“I’ll pick him up at the airport, give me the details.”


Dublin Airport had never seemed so busy, the halls were thronged with crowds of people, bustling to the departure gates with hand baggage, and a thick swathe ringed the arrival gates, staring at the glass doors as they opened. She checked the monitor, his flight had just landed.
Eve smoothed a hand over her riot of red curls, and bit her lip nervously. Amber had dug out a photograph of her brother before she’d left that morning, and handed it over. A picture of the two of them at some function or other. A tall, dark man in a sober suit, glaring into the camera as he stood stiffly next to his golden haired sister.
Great, he looks a barrel of laughs. Her heart had fallen as she examined his expression. It was going to be hard enough, spending the next few days with a total stranger, without him being a grouch.
The gates opened and a flurry of passengers walked through. She straightened her shoulders and stared at each one in turn. A woman struggled out, arms laden with a sleeping child, smiling at a man who pushed the trolley next to her.
“Ali!” Her face broke into a wide grin, and the harried look disappeared as a man broke ranks with the waiting, slipping under the rope separating passengers from their families, walking towards her quickly. He lifted the child into his arms, and pulled her to him tightly and Eve felt the prick of tears behind her eyes. It was always like this, seeing families united after time apart always had the ability to make her cry. She looked down at the floor, blinking for a moment, then glanced up. The little family were gone, taking their trolley of suitcases with them, leaving a tall stranger searching the crowd. Aha. Not the woman’s husband after all, but the man she’d come here to meet.
“Adam!” She waved, and his eyes swivelled immediately to her, dark green eyes assessing, then dismissing her. He glanced around.
“Adam.” She nodded at him as one dark brow lifted in query and he strolled to her. The photo hadn’t done him justice. His broad shoulders were encased in a heavy sweater and he was wearing jeans that looked as though they were made for him, they fitted him so well, clinging to every inch of his long legs. Her mouth was suddenly dry and she swallowed as he stopped in front of her.
“Are you talking to me?” His voice was deep, and his drawl sent shivers down her spine as emerald eyes looked into hers.
“I’m Eve.” She said, and a corner of his mouth twitched. Good, at least he had a sense of humour.
“Well good guess on the name, Eve, but I’m meeting someone.” He stuffed his hand into his pocket, scanning the crowd. “My wife.”
“You’re not married!” She glowered at him. For some reason he must think she was trying to chat him up. Maybe he thought she spent her time staking out the airport, trying that Adam line on all the gorgeous men.
“Do I know you?” His expression said clearly that he didn’t, and she crossed her arms across her chest, tapping a foot as she always did when she was irritated.
“I’m Eve,” she reiterated slowly. “Amber’s flatmate.”
Dawning realisation flickered in his eyes. “Ah.”
He glanced around. “Where is she?”
Eve closed her eyes as the full reality of the situation hit. She should have known it wouldn’t be this easy, with Amber it never was.
“Did Amber tell you I’d be picking you up at the airport instead of her?” As expected, he shook his head. “I guess she didn’t mention that she’d be away for the next three days either.”
His mouth compressed into a thin line. “No, she didn’t. Just where did she tell you to take me?”
“Back to the flat with me. I’m your designated tour guide for the weekend.” Her mouth twitched up in a nervous smile as he frowned. “Let’s go to the car, I can explain on the way.”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a mobile phone.
“I’ll book into a hotel.” He glanced around. “I don’t need babysitting, and it’s outrageous of Amber to put you in this position.” He smiled and her heart thumped in her chest. Scowling he was good looking, smiling… well, he was a heartbreaker for sure.
“Although knowing Amber I’m not surprised. What’s her excuse this time?”
“This time?” she echoed, surely Amber hadn’t stood him up before?
“She’s not exactly reliable.” He lifted his bag onto his shoulder, and slipped under the rope to stand next to her. “She does what she likes, when she likes, and if she thought I was going to be upset about her not being here it makes perfect sense for her to just not tell me.”
“Right.” She nodded. She’d shared a flat with Amber for six months, not enough to know about this less than charming facet of her flatmate’s personality.
“I’m sorry you’ve been put out. Maybe you could take me to a hotel?” His voice was softer.
Eve looked around the crowded concourse.
“It’s St Patrick’s weekend. You haven’t got a hope of getting a hotel room.” She looked up into his eyes. “Amber’s room is all made up, and I’ve got everything ready for you. You’re just going to have to accept it, Adam. You’re spending the next few days in the flat with me.”

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Back to Black

Today I'm going back to black. Yup. I've polished and edited my last 2 romances this year, and am finding them a home. While I'm waiting, and in a frantic attempt to NTAI, I'm off to pastures new. Well, okay, not exactly new, but newish anyway.
I've just printed off the first draft of my second crime novel. Just over 50,000 words and completed last November as my NANOWRIMO project. Its dark, scary, and dramatic. It also has a cast of thousands. So heres the plan...

1. Read it. (Should be interesting, I've forgotten half the characters!)
2. Highlight all the characters (to see if there really are as many of them as I suspect)
3. Add in a death at the beginning (I know who, and how). A death at the beginning of a crime novel is always good, to get the ball rolling, so to speak.
4. To kill off anyone who isn't relevant and necessary. No matter how much I like them. (Electra, honey, this means you)
5. To stick a pic of Ewan McGregor on my computer as inspiration (not just generally, although that works too!)
6. To flesh out my detective. Give him more to say and a deep, dark, past which was only hinted at first time around.
7. To polish it within an inch of its life.
8. And finally, when its almost double the size it currently is and FABULOUS to send it out.
9. Then back to NTAI.

P.S. In the meantime, I can be interrupted with chocolate, liquorish all sorts (can't spell em!), or contracts.

What are the rest of you up to?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Cupcake Award

I'm delighted to announce that I'm the proud recipient of another award. This time the lovely Lacey Devlin has given me the Happy Cupcake Award. Very apt, because what's not to like about Cupcakes? They certainly make me happy anyway.

It comes at a good time for me too. As you know, I've blogged about re-doing edits and sending off a manuscript recently, and since then I've received another request for a full for a different manuscript. The lovely editor gave me lots of pointers for things to look out for before sending it to her, so I've been polishing and refining it ready for sending it off this week. As a result, I've been mostly silent in my usual channels. Reading emails quickly, scanning blogs and not commenting as much as usual, and more of less total twitter silence.

I need a cupcake. Or a plateful. So thank's Lacey!
Anyway, apparently there are a few things I need to do to get this award. The official rules are:

1. Copy the award image into a post
2. List 10 things that make you happy
3. Tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day.
4. Link to their blogs.
5. Notify the award recipients.
6. Award recipients link back to sender’s blog.

So here goes. I've done number 1. Here are the 10 things that make me happy.

1. Having a good time with my family.
2. Chocolate. Any type, I'm not fussy...
3. Writing. Also any type, I'm not fussy...
4. Hot, sunny summers. Preferably with long cold drinks thrown in.
5. Beautiful cities. I'm thinking of Valetta, because its gorgeous and underrated.
6. The bounce and feedback from all my blog friends. They make my day!
7. Online courses. I love 'em so much I'm addicted.
8. Mondays, because that's the day my friend comes over with a cream cake, and we eat and gossip.
9. Pruning fan trained trees. Strange but true.
10. Making jewellery. Especially with swarovski. Bling it on.

Now for those bloggers who make my day. Lacey's already given most of them a cupcake award, so I'll try and spread the love a bit wider:

1. Ally Blake
2. Trish Wylie
3. Maisey Yates
4. Romy Sommer
5. Maya Blake
6. Heidi Rice
7. India Grey
8. B.J. Daniels
9. Caroline Storer
10. Suzanne Brandyn

Happy March, everyone!